Saturday, January 26, 2013

Week #3 - Design a Dinner

Doing a meal planning activity in this week's meeting turned out to be a fantastic idea, in my opinion. This week's meeting was the embodiment of what Weight Watchers is trying to do with the meetings - they are calling them Active Meetings. We want to get you focused on ACTING on those healthy ideas, we want to get you ENGAGED with the group, and LEARNING from them. Doing it with the idea of giving everyone a host of meal ideas was the perfect setting for it.

Many thanks to those of you who brought in copies of recipes to share with the group! When I took copies for myself, I probably should have written on them who shared what, so apologies that I can't call you out personally. Here are the recipes that are available online:

Broccoli and Chicken-Topped Potatoes - this recipe uses the Green Giant Frozen Vegetables that you can buy at the store, which has our PointsPlus logo on it. There is apparently enough cheese in the package that you can easily throw in some extra vegetables and still have sauce to share!

Garlic Chicken with Orzo Noodles - did you know you can share a recipe you create with the Weight Watchers community? This is a recipe that was built using the Recipe Builder, and then shared in the Community Recipe section!

Stuffed Acorn Squash - I actually was on the ball and wrote a note to myself that Linda shared this recipe, that appeared in the newspaper on January 16th. She made this recipe, so it is tried, true, and husband approved!

This is a great time to remind you that you are always welcome to bring in meal ideas, recipes, products, anything that you think makes your healthy lifestyle easier. If you think it might work for someone else, please share! I will always make time in a meeting for that kind of thing, so don't be afraid to ask!

Friday, January 11, 2013

Week #1 - Fruits & Veggies All. The. Time.

It's a new year, it's a new month, so it's time for a new routine. This month we turn our focus to including fruits and vegetables at every meal, and if possible at every snack.

When I'm planning how to attack our meeting topic each week, I like to think about these routines in terms of what I'm doing. Am I following the routine that I'm about to introduce? It helps to practice what I preach, and even after 15 years of Lifetime membership, I find there are still lessons to be learned. And sometimes lessons I've learned have to be RE-learned.

I'm happy to say that fruits and vegetables have a large place in my life. We get along really well. Here's an example of how I've followed this routine over the past week:

Breakfast - this week I made myself some buckwheat cereal, and I topped it off with some thawed frozen berries (a combination of raspberries and blueberries).

Lunch - I used up some leftovers from the prior week's kitchen adventures, so lunch was, depending on the day, a tofu stir-fry that had a bunch of bell peppers, bok choy and snow peas, or else it was a squash stuffed with things like onion and cauliflower (I used a recipe from the Nov/Dec Weight Watchers magazine).

Dinner - I made a one pot casserole that had some sauteed onion, bell peppers and zucchini, and a few of the days I served it with a salad on the side. There were plenty of vegetables there!

Snacks - my snacks were (and usually are) all about the fruits and vegetables. I love snacking on grape tomatoes and red, orange or yellow bell peppers. I have a banana every day (and I did that even when we had to spend TWO POINTS on them - remember those days?!?), and then usually some other sort of fruit. Right now it's mostly apples or citrus, and I can't wait until we get into the summer months when I can throw more variety at my fruit snacks.

So there you have it. This particular routine is one I'm already on board with. And you'll probably find that as we make our way through the year and the routines sometimes what we focus on is something you're already doing. And then other months it will be something that maybe you've always intended to do but weren't quite there yet.

I think for the remainder of this month, my living the routine will involve making sure that on the weekends I'm doing just as good of a job as I do during the week. Once Saturday and Sunday rolls around, my life is much different, so I need to be extra mindful that I add enough fruits and vegetables.

Wednesday, January 02, 2013

It's 2013!

Happy new year, everyone!

We're now in that short period where it seems most of the world is focused on healthy behaviors. Or at least giving lip-service to practicing healthy behaviors! Now is the time when our meetings get bigger, the new members join up, and maybe you see someone in the meeting room that you haven't seen in awhile.

I know that the beginning of the year seems like the time to make a huge change and some big grand gestures, but keep in mind that you are a human being. You will make mistakes. You will struggle. You will find it hard to make some of these changes. So start small and know that little things done well will cascade. One thing becomes routine, so now you have the brain space to work on something else. Hold yourself accountable, clean up your environment, adopt some healthy routines. That's it. That's what our program is all about.

On a personal note, in the spirit of "little things that add up" I am starting the year off with a focus on HONEST AND COMPLETE TRACKING. It's so easy to fill in a tracker when I make smart choices. But the minute I eat something unplanned, go over my allotment, or do something silly, all of a sudden putting pen to paper gets much harder.

I have some other thoughts about things I'd like to accomplish for the year, but as many of you know, I am in training for a marathon, and that rolls around at the end of this month (YIKES!) which means that now is not the time for big changes to my habits, exercise, or eating plan. With my focus on tracking, I figure I'll naturally gravitate to cleaner choices, which will help me fuel properly for my remaining training runs and the race itself. But for now, it's all about keeping on keeping on.

Once race day passes, then I'll be looking ahead to what's next. Chances are I'll share them with you then!