Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Roundup, week of January 2nd

Can you believe it? 2010 is pretty much toast, and here we are about ready to begin a whole new year. If you're reading this and it's been awhile since you've visited a meeting, now's the time. Free registration is on, and you can experience our new PointsPlus program for yourself!

What Happened Last Week?

It's that time - time to start thinking about what you'd like to accomplish this year. Remember to keep your goals positive and specific, and don't be afraid to really flesh out the steps you need to take to achieve them. (I'll probably be sharing some of my goals for the year in a separate entry.)

Some of you were very brave to come out and weigh in this past week. We celebrated Olivia reaching her 5% target, and Heidi reaching her 1 year anniversary as a Lifetime member. If you were still engulfed in the holidays, I hope to be celebrating with you this next week!

So What's Coming Up?

New year, new you! New program, too! But something that's not new is the importance of tracking. It's a critical part of the PointsPlus plan, and we'll discuss any questions or concerns you have about how to track, and whether or not this new program means a change in what and how you track.

Keep in mind that this time of year is our busiest. In January and February we enroll a huge number of new members. Consider showing up earlier in the weigh-in period to secure your seat or spot in line.

Thought for the Week

If you have made mistakes, even serious mistakes, you may have a fresh start any moment you choose, for this thing we call "failure" is not the falling down, but the staying down. - Mary Pickford

Weekly Recipe: Black Eyed Peas with Collard Greens

I didn't know until only a handful of years ago that black eyed peas were a typical New Years Day type of food. In honor of the birth of 2011, here's a Jennifer Hudson approved recipe from eTools:

Southern Style Black Eyed Peas with Collard Greens

Also, pop culture has totally ruined me, because now whenever I see the phrase "black eyed peas" I imagine something other than food.

Happy New Year!

Friday, December 17, 2010

Roundup, week of December 19th

What Happened Last Week?

On Monday we had a really great Lifetime Member panel. Thanks to those of you who came and asked really interesting questions of Marianne, Trina and Candy. Remember that our Lifetime Members at goal are the expert resources you can turn to when you need some additional help.

This past week we returned a little more to business as usual instead of OMG POINTSPLUS for the week's topic. Your Weekly PointsPlus Allowance and Activity PointsPlus can be great ways to get additional flexibility as we head into the last few weeks of the year. If you usually try not to use them, consider what you've got coming up. It's not fun to keep saying "NO" to all those celebratory treats, and when you use those allowances, you don't have to!

Awards this week went to Jennifer (5 pounds), Rick, Sunny and Noreen (10 pounds) and to Maria for reaching her 10% target!

So What's Coming Up?

Another thing that can give you some holiday flexibility are the zero PointsPlus fruits and vegetables. They can be a great way to sneak in a snack before you hit the buffet, or a way to bulk up some low PointsPlus meals before you pop open the bottle of champagne. We'll discuss your favorites and your tips for getting the most out of these foods.

Thought for the Week

Be not afraid of going slowly; be afraid only of standing still. - Chinese Proverb

Note: I won't be publishing an update or recipe link next week. Once I'm done with my meetings for the week, I'll be off for a few days to enjoy the holidays in a place that looks something like this:

Weekly Recipe: Mini Cherry Cheesecakes

This recipe was mentioned in last week's edition of the WW Weekly as a lower PointsPlus replacement for regular cheesecake. Marta has stated she's making them this weekend, so hopefully we'll get a real live recipe review this next week!

Mini Cherry Cheesecakes

Friday, December 10, 2010

Roundup, week of December 12th

What Happened Last Week?

Having been through a week of PointsPlus, we discussed any issues, concerns or questions that came up, and discussed the plan a little bit more. Don't worry if you're not an expert yet - we really don't expect you to be!

This week we celebrated our newest Lifetime Member - Erika! Congratulations on completing your weight loss and moving into the next phase.

So What's Coming Up?

The system for evaluating food may have changed, but many things have not. We're still going to give you the tools you need to make it through difficult the holidays. We'll remind you that you CAN do it, particularly by using those PointsPlus allowances to give you flexibility. This holiday season doesn't have to be about adding pounds!


We will be having a special "Ask a Lifetime Member" panel in this week's meeting. Our members at goal are a walking example of how it's done. And now you can ask them exactly how they did it. Go ahead, ask them anything!

Thought for the Week

Determination gives you the resolve to keep going in spite of the roadblocks that lay before you.

~ Denis Waitley

Thursday, December 09, 2010

More Helpful PointsPlus Links

Thanks to Kim for helping me keep track of all the new things out there that will help you transition from Momentum to PointsPlus. I know we've been deluged with all sorts of new stuff, but these links can be an easy way to shrink the change.

Power Foods List - this will open as a PDF file.

PointsPlus Transition Guide - this is an article on the Weight Watchers website. It has links to a lot of information on essential things to both do AND not do! Think of it as PointsPlus 101.

Weekly Recipe: Roasted Pepper, Feta & Lentil Salad

I hope you're all taking advantage of eTools to find new information and recipes for PointsPlus. This recipe is going on my list to make for the upcoming week. I'll probably have it at lunch!

Roasted Pepper, Feta & Lentil Salad

Saturday, December 04, 2010

Helpful Info for Moving From Points to PointsPlus

Here are some things to read or think about as you make the transition from our old Points system to the new PointsPlus system.

Weight Watchers Product Info

Did you buy a calculator, scale or pedometer and need some help using it? You will find User Guides for those products at the link above. You'll also find a list of PointsPlus conversions from our last 5 cookbooks - no need to recalculate those recipes, we've already done it for you. Maybe most importantly, you can see the corrections we've already identified to the Pocket Guide and Complete Food Companion food lists. Yes, we know there are some typos and errors - this consolidates those changes for you.

If you are an eTools user, you have access to a ton of information. Go to "Your Plan", and you will see some tabs - eTools customizes the information it shows you based on how many weeks you've been a member. Since this is a new program for ALL of us, you have the option for looking at earlier weeks, which might give you more basic information to help your understanding of the new plan.

I've already been contact by a few people who notice that when the Recipe Builder is used, things that should have zero PointsPlus values (your fruits and veggies) start adding up. Why is that? Here's the official answer from our Program Developers:

When 0 PointsPlus veggies and fruit are used in a recipe in the eTools recipe builder the nutrition information is used to figure PointsPlus values...just like it was with veggies on Momentum.

Read page 42 of the Getting Started book on options of how to do recipes. If you feel that you have a tendency to abuse certain 0 PointsPlus value foods, you can use the nutritional information for all ingredients, sum them and input them into your PointsPlus calculator or Recipe Builder online. If you choose to exclude 0 PointsPlus foods, you can use your recipe builder, excluding 0 PointsPlus value foods, or use Simple Recipe Math. As always, let your weight loss be your guide, and work the plan that works best for you.

It has always been our policy at Weight Watchers to incorporate the nutrients of vegetables (and now fruit) into recipes. Why? A few reasons.

1) Vegetables and fruit add fiber and other nutrients, and without including them it can impact the Points value.

2) Our recipes are often featured in articles and magazines nationally and as a result we need to disclose this info to ensure the appropriate calories and nutrient content are displayed if evaluated by organizations outside of Weight Watchers.

3) Since many non-Weight Watchers recipes include nutritional information these days, we want our calculations to match those you may do for recipes you find in other places. We don’t want to unfairly advantage our own recipes.

4) Once you start combining vegetables and fruits with other foods, you change the experience of eating them. Few people “over indulge” on carrots but might on carrot cake. To ignore them in recipes would place our member at risk for abuse potential.

Got any other questions? Bring them in to the meetings this week!

Thursday, December 02, 2010

Roundup, week of December 5th

What Happened Last Week?

Wow! You all came out in full force to hear about our new PointsPlus program! I hope you enjoy the tweaks as much as I have, and aren't trying to combine the old Points with free fruit! That's not going to work.

If you missed your meeting this week, please plan on staying after the next meeting to hear the Getting Started Session. It is really important for you to understand the new plan, and next week it won't be the full focus of our meetings. So budget in that time just this once.

In amongst the new plan excitement, we did celebrate. Maria got her 10 pound star (while in Louisiana!), Patty got her 20 pound star (while in San Francisco!) and Susie reached her 10% target. It's great to see how successful you are while on travel over a holiday weekend. If you can do it then, you can do it anytime!

So What's Coming Up?

First off, please come prepared to ask any questions you have about the new plan. I know the first week of following something new can be confusing, so I want to make sure we get you settled in and confident.

This week we'll continue to discuss the plan basics, find out what works for you, what you're worried about, and maybe give out a little more PointsPlus wisdom. If you're struggling with the transition, this is the meeting for you!

Thought for the Week

Don't mistake failing with "I am a failure," as no one is perfect all the time. Take what you have learned and apply it to the next situation.

Weekly Recipe: Mexican Beef Over Polenta

You know what I haven't done much of this week? Cooking! (And exercise, but that's neither here nor there....) So the recipe this week isn't a tried and true one, but I chose one with good reviews.

In my recent exploration of all recipes meatless, I realize that I haven't given you carnivores much to work with.

Mexican Beef Over Polenta

If you've got a good meaty recipe you think I should feature, send it my way. Particularly if it's red meat - that's never been a food I've cooked and eaten much of, so I tend to link to that kind of recipe pretty infrequently.