Friday, October 29, 2010

Have a Happy Halloween

Are you ready for the biggest night of candy?  Are you ready to see that stuff staring you in the face?  Well chew on this...

You have to run...RUN the entire length of the football field to burn the calories of one...ONE M&M.  If you want a peanut M&M, you have to run 3 times! 
Some tricks for treats include:  buying the kind you will not eat, handing out pencils, erasers, and stickers.  My leader says the candy fairy comes and trades candies for toys at her house.  No, she doesn't keep the candy, she donates it.  If she kept it, she would not be a leader for long.  BTW, did you know all Weight Watcher employees are members of the program?  Another member said her kids get a couple of pieces a day and must keep their candy in their rooms.  Yikes...not sure I could trust my kids with that kind of power.  The first leader I ever had said she would dump the last of her candy into the last kids bucket before she turned out the light.  Other people bring the candy to children's hospitals.  

Have you ever tried banishing sweets?  Yeah, it doesn't work, does it.  We know that deprivation can backfire.  So plan for small treats and indulgences.  Pick two or three of your favorite "treats."  Set them aside for when you can sit and truly enjoy each bite.  And remember the first and last bite taste the same.

Does eating sugar cause weight gain?  Indirectly, yes.  You can eat sugar.  You can eat the fun size bars.  However, you are going to feel hungry sooner and thus you are going to want to eat more.  Which can ultimately lead to weight gain.  It is also about calories in vs. calories out.

A treat is a treat is a treat and every one is junky (and delicious.)  What!?  You mean my low cal brownies are junky?  You mean my delicious cobbler is JUNK!?  I think not.  There are several sweet delicious, and satisfying treats out there.  We just need to turn to them. 

Remember opportunity only knocks once, but temptation leans on the doorbell!

Trick or treat is finding the right sweet to eat!  I know we can have a successful Halloween!!

Monday, October 25, 2010


A few weeks ago, we talked about celebrating our successes.  It is an important part of the process to recognize all that we do as we journey along.  Make a list of your successes....

  1. I joined Weight Watchers Feb. 2010
  2. I have lost nearly 30 pounds
  3. I have learned and tried healthy alternatives
  4. I eat less
  5. My clothes are too big
  6. My shoe size changed--yes it really did.  
  7. I have continued to stick with this new lifestyle
Did you celebrate it?  Ummm....errrmmm....*shuffles feet*  No.  Well why not?  Do you know I honestly can say, I don't know.  I didn't think of it?  We celebrate our childrens successes.  Why not celebrate our own.  How does a nice manicure sound?  Ooh sounds good.  How about a bouquet of flowers...nothing fancy now.  I know what it's like.  Believe me.  I am talking about the grocery store finds.  They are pretty reasonable.  And really quite beautiful.  Why not!  How about a new pair of earrings from Wally?  Again...I am not talking fancy--that can come later--just one of those $5 jobs.  We earned it.  Try not to reward with food.  Be creative.  Give yourself a dollar for every pound you lose.  If I had done that, I could buy the new jeans I now need! 

List your behavior changes:

  1. I no longer buy candy (Hershey Mini's) buy the gallon when I go to Wally
  2. If I buy ice cream, it is fat free(Breyer's Smooth and Dreamy!)
  3. I use carrots like crazy.  They save me
  4. I move more than I did...I am not saying I exercise because I don't. 
  5. drinking more water
  6. Getting my healthy oils in
So what if you drew a mountain, and put on it the path to your goal.  How far would would you have come?  I tried this exercise.
Remedial though it may be, you can see where I started, and how I am doing.  Remember to celebrate your successes and your behavior changes.  Don't try to scale the mountain.  There is a path. 

Now I would like to put my dear sis on the spot.  She, my mother and I all joined Weight Watchers together.  We've all lost about the same amount of weight, and we all have different amounts to lose.  Interestingly enough, we are about the same for weight loss totals to date.  We are a great support for one another.  Anyway, my sister showed me a picture of herself holding up a dress she used to wear.  I was floored by the difference.  I asked her if I could share it, and she said yes.

Now that is a success worth celebrating!  You go sis of mine!!!

What are ways you celebrate your successes?

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

1 Point Cocoa Brownies

A Recipe from Weight Watchers


3/4 cup(s) unsweetened cocoa, powder   

3/4 cup(s) sugar   

1/2 cup(s) all-purpose flour   

1/2 tsp baking powder   

1/2 tsp table salt   

1/2 cup(s) low-fat plain yogurt   

2 Tbsp vanilla extract   

2 spray(s) cooking spray   


  • Position the rack in the center of the oven and preheat oven to 350°F.

  • Whisk the cocoa powder, sugar, flour, baking powder and salt in a large bowl. Then use a wooden spoon to stir in the yogurt and vanilla until smooth but quite thick.

  • Coat an 8-inch square baking pan with cooking spray. Spread the thick batter into the pan, evenly to the corners.

  • Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out with a few moist crumbs attached, about 20 minutes. Cool on a wire rack for 15 minutes before cutting into 16 squares, 2- X 2-inches each. Yields 1 square per serving. 
I needed to add a little more yogurt and an egg white.  At first the consistency was more dough like.  The extra yogurt and egg(white) made it more like a heavy frosting.  I would like to toy with this some more.  Feel free to do the same and let me know what you did and how it goes.  
The brownies themselves are quite tasty.  I ate two. But I stopped at two. 

Monday, October 18, 2010

Beating Overeating!

What triggers you to overeat?  Stress?  Boredom?  Holiday or other "special occasion?"  Figuring out triggers is part one of our on going battle. 

Starting with I really eating because I am bored???  Well then what's a girl to do?  First we need to identify the time of day we fighting the boredom most.  Is it a daily occurrence?  Or maybe just weekly?  Once you have established your pattern, you can work to change it.  Did you know you have to do something 21 times to make it a habit?  Remember that while you are making new ones.

Kim from WW sent me a list of things to do to combat boredom and I am going to share them with you.  I will also add my own commentary to the mix.

If you have ten minutes:

  • Write down the foods you've eaten so far today.  This I can do.  Even if you don't follow the program.  Grab a piece of paper and start writing.

  • Make a grocery list of healthy foods.  Now this I haven't tried, but I am always trying to remember to buy healthier foods.  Not just for me, but for the family as well.  Now's my chance.

  • Schedule your next exercise session.  Okay for me that is PT.  If the time you chose isn't working...try and come up with an alternate.  I hate making schedules...but honestly life runs a little better with them.

  • Write an email to a friend you haven't caught up with in awhile.  I get so behind in emails sometimes I am buried in them.  Or how about a good old fashioned LETTER! 
  • Shop online for a fitness gadget.  Why does it have to be a fitness thing, Kim?  How about going shopping to dream.  I made my Christmas list this way last year.  Plus the families.  It was great.  I registered with Target and went to Town.  
If you have 30 minutes:

  • Go for a walk.

  • Look through past weeks in your Weight Tracker. If you don't use a tracker or food journal get one started. Check out weeks that worked, and see if there's anything you did then that you can do again this week.

  • Check out the Message Boards in the Community section. I am not positive, but I do believe anyone can be on their message boards.  You don't HAVE to be on the program.

  • Read a favorite book or relax with a magazine.
  • Take a bath complete with candles and some soft music.  
If you have an hour or more:

  • Look through healthy recipe ideas.  I have done can also look up old favorites and think of ways to make them healthier.

  • Clean out your closets. Throw away clothes that are now too big, or donate them to charity.  My mom did this and she found stuff that finally fit her again, plus she was able to give stuff to my sister.

  • Go for a long bike ride.  I just ride around the culdesac with the kids.  They enjoy it and I am getting exercise.  (My bike needs new tires tho)

  • Start a new project. Whether it's fixing something in your house, building a bookshelf or starting a garden.  I have a craft project screaming my name and I haven't touched it!!!  I need to get busy!

  • Take your kids to the park.  I am not a big fan of this idea.  However, if it fits into your boredom time, then by all means...go for it. Bring a notebook and write down some blog ideas!  ;)

  • Spend the afternoon at your local museum. This will get you out of the house and walking around, and what better way to get your mind off food than to absorb a little culture? well why not?  Now most of my boredom strikes at night.  I get a little ravenous.  But am I hungry?  A lot of times I am simply tired.  If I find that I am legitimately hungry I try to remember carrots. They are also great for stress eating.  It will keep you from clenching your jaw as much.  Don't chew ice--this is for my mother--it is not good for your teeth! Popcorn...or as Kim calls it, " naked"   popcorn.  Spray it with butter spray and add salt or some other kind of seasoning.  Wally (Wal-Mart) has many popcorn flavorings.   
  • What about special occasions and holidays.  The really neat thing is we have a little more control over these things.  While we don't always know what another person will be serving, we usually have an idea.  We can also eat a snack before we go.  And by snack I mean a filling one.  An apple is a good choice, but dip it in yogurt or add peanut butter to it.  (1-2 Tablespoons)  and drink a tall glass of water.  Bring a mint to eat after you're finished with your food.  Watch your portion sizes:
  • a deck of cards is about equal to 3 ounces of meat
  • a DVD is about the same circumference of a large bagel
  • a small serving of a side dish(such as coleslaw) is about the size of a computer mouse(a basic one)
  • A tennis ball is about a cup of rice
  • A light bulb is about the size of a large potato
  • What are you going to do beat overeating?

Wednesday, October 13, 2010


When our cell phones run out battery power we do not go and get a new one.  We simply recharge them.  If your car gets a flat tire, you do not go and get a new one--but wouldn't that be fun if you could!!?  When the tire is flat we fix the problem.  And that is what we are talking about this week. 

First, I do apologize for not keeping up with this blog.  I am still trying to figure out how often to post here and what the content should be.  So that problem isn't solved, but it is a work in progress.  Just as our eating style is a work in progress.  We are constantly changing it and making it fit our needs and personalities. 

I have a problem with keeping goodies in the house.  It's better to buy them for the kids because I won't eat them.  Yes, they should eat healthy too, but I do not want them to think they can't ever have the "yummy" stuff.  I prefer to bake.  It's harder to stay out of it, but it is also better quality.  Much!  So what am I to do.  Using apple sauce in lieu of oil doesn't always work.  So it occurred to me to split it up.  Use half oil half apple sauce.  Not fat free, but lower in fat.  And maybe half Splenda and half regular sugar.   Maybe a little wheat flour...not a lot as we don't want to change the texture too much.  Using egg whites or egg beaters.  Look at that. 

I have another problem with snacking...mostly at night.  I am a night owl.  I shouldn't be, but I am.  As I sit and watch TV I find that I am getting up a lot for something to eat.  I am considering bringing my floss down stairs so that I can floss after my regular snack.  Maybe then I will not eat.  I can always drink a glass of milk.  I think it's a lot harder to get fat from milk than say...chocolate chips.  Just a random example.  I could go upstairs and watch TV up there.  I don't usually associate eating with the upstairs unless I am genuinely hungry.

Exercise is my nemesis.  I know it is good for me.  I know we should not be sedentary.  And yet, I am.  I watch DWTS, and Jennifer Grey is my favorite to win. She is 50 years old and looks like she is 30.  I am 40 and I look...well...I look 40.  I couldn't possibly do the things she is doing.  So how then, do I get that blasted exercise in?  Right now, my hand is forced.  I am in physical therapy.  I am doing very basic and sometimes torturous difficult exercises to strengthen my hips and knees.  I am willing in PT, but what happens when it is over?  I can certainly walk to pick my son up from school.  It's 1/2 of a mile to get there.  Did you know that our housework is exercise?  Have you ever mopped or vacuumed with your OTHER hand?  Try it.  I have.  It's not easy.  It's a bit of a....wait for it....workout!  Not just your muscles, but for your brain.  You have think about it.

When I go to the store or anywhere I usually park farther away.  I can walk.  I really can.  There are those who really struggle and don't have a handicap plaque. They need the close spot.  Do you like to garden?  Well that is a workout too.  Any activity that gets us moving is exercise.  My funny and lovely WW leader, Kim, says you can jog/march in place while your brushing your teeth.  While you are waiting in line.  I have a tendency to if I am rocking a baby.  I think it is a mom thing. 

In the meeting, Kim told us that a well stated problem is already half solved.  If we can figure out the problem we can then start solving them and giving us the recharge we need!!  How are you going to recharge?

Keep checking back for more ideas and tips.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010


At the risk of over sharing, I am bloating.  It's an awful feeling.  Your pants are tight and you feel like you are carrying around and extra ten pounds.  And to make it worse, you didn't even do anything to cause that!   I chose not to weigh in yesterday because it was that bad.  Still is.  But it got me thinking.  First question was, why does this happen in the first place?  And the second, how do I fix it?

Let's address the first one.  Hormones!  Hormones! Hormones!  The higher levels of hormones cause this to happen.  And while medicines like Ibuproferen helps with cramping and other noxious pains, it can contribute to water retention.  So how do we fix it?
  • Water!  Believe it or not.  Water and lots of it.  Stay away from carbonated drinks.  The air will make you gassy.  I can do the water thing, but I am not giving up or staying away from my Diet Coke.
  •  Eat foods that are water based.  Melons, berries, celery, lettuce.  The good for you stuff...not the comfort food.
  • Avoid caffeine.  No matter how tired you are.  Caffeine will aggravate the symptoms and make you more irritable.  I'm ALWAYS irritable.  
  • Avoid foods high in sodium.  I do this the night before each weigh in.  I don't want that to be reflected on the scale.  Even popcorn, which is a fantastic filling and good choice can show a gain.
  • Avoid gas promoting foods. 
  • Exercise   I have a hard enough time with this one under normal circumstances.
  • Ask your doctor for a diuretic prescription.
All kidding aside, these are some great tips to help cure that bloat.  We don't have to be miserable.  And the best part about these tips sans the last, is we can do them all on our own and without taking a pill.  I like that.  What do you do to beat the bloat?

Monday, October 4, 2010

What About the Kids?

I was in the waiting room last week for physical therapy...more on that tomorrow on my main blog...and I saw an issue of Parents Magazine.  It was either that or Motor Cross.  Since I know nothing about motor cross beyond the obvious, I chose the former.  I enjoyed Parents magazine...when the teen was new and I was green.  Now I am just jaded and set in MY ways, which are clearly RIGHT.  However, there was an article on how to get your kids to eat healthier.  I kind of scoffed and flipped to the appropriate page.  It turned out my scoffing was right.  When you see pictures of food that even you wouldn't eat, why would you make it for your kids??  And it got me thinking about my own kids and the limit of their palates.  How can I alter what they eat? 

So I did some searches...

  • All Recipes has some great snack ideas.
  • Kids Health has illness oriented recipes such as:  celliac disease, lactose intolerance plus everyday recipes that sound doable and also like something the kids would enjoy.
  • The Dollar Stretcher had good ideas and tips for lunches.
What it boils down to, is we know our kids.  We know where we can push and where we have to wait and try that later.  What healthy snack and lunches do you give your kids? 

Friday, October 1, 2010

Out Smart Your Super Market!!

Grocery shopping is perhaps one the more daunting and tempting tasks we are faced with.  Think about it.  You.  A store filled with beautifully displayed food.  Did you know your grocery store hires experts to teach them how to display their food and isles in such a way that we will deviate from our lists and our healthy eating?  Did you know that name brand companies pay the stores to have their product displayed on the end caps?  Did you know that the bakeries will pour vanilla onto a cookie a sheet and throw it into the oven to entice us over to the bakery?  So how do we out smart them?  This is what we talked about in Weight Watchers this week.

Did you know that your store has a map?  And that you can ask for it?  It's true.  Think of your store.  Where is the milk?  In the back?  What do you see to get there?  Stay on the perimeter of the store to avoid the temptations.  For me this is the liquor isle.  I don't drink so it's a great line of defense for me.  Do your kids beg ask for treats?  Of course they do.  These treats are hazardous to our waists!  One member said she buys things that she doesn't like.  I do that.  I don't eat it. 

With your map(or mental map) of the store, and your list ready are you ready to tackle the store?  No.  You are hungry!!  Have you shopped like this?  I have.  Lots of strange things end up in my cart.  Have a snack before you go.  Bring your water. Learning to manage supermarket shopping can save money and time and calories.  Enhancing our success. Savvy shopping helps us manage our home and work enivronments. When we've got the right foods in the fridge, pantry, freezer, desk drawer, glove box, or gym bag, it's easier for us to stay on track or bounce back.

Are you ready to go to the store?

Bonus Information:  Did you know that SONIC sugars their ice???  I tried to find the notation for it online and could not.  However, a member at my meeting knows an owner of Sonic and they do sugar their ice.  You can ask for "naked ice."