Tag Archives: weight watchers

Trying Something New

3 Jan

whatwillmakeyouproud
(from pinterest… how I feel about New Year’s Resolutions right now.)

So, I’ve done something rather radical. I quit.

Yep, I quit Weight Watchers, after being a card-carrying online member since August 2011. I’ve seen great success on Weight Watchers. I’ve also felt unmotivated, uninspired, and just generally, underwhelmed with it recently. And by recently, I suppose I mean since the summer when I started trying different things — no white stuff included. I don’t track as much as I should anymore, and I haven’t been finding their recipes to be that exciting.

I really loved Weight Watchers originally, and it helped me lose a lot of weight. And who knows, maybe I’ll go back one day? For now though, I’ve decided to go back to counting calories. I am working with My Fitness Pal — I got the app on my iphone, and so far, it’s okay. I don’t really like their recipe builder, so I might switch to another calorie counting app.

I feel sort of free at this point. And a little uncomfortable. I guess it will take me a while to get over “how many points is this worth?!??” mentality. Hopefully this will be a good jump start for me this year.

(In my honest opinion– there is nothing wrong with Weight Watchers! I really loved the program at first, I just wanted something new. I still highly recommend it to anyone who wants to lose weight.)

My husband and I are trying to save money… I had the thought that trying to cook more frequently, no matter how tired I am, might help us save some money. We spend a TON of money on both groceries and eating out. It’s insane. Today I made a stir fry with baby bok choy — first time cooking baby bok choy, and it was delicious! I’m excited to find new healthy ingredients to cook with:)

Some things on my radar:
*cooking with quinoa or other whole grains
*making more vegetables
*making my own cheese (possibly a ricotta?)

Advertisements

Baked Scallop Pasta

6 May

I hope everyone had a fun Cinco de Mayo!  Personally, even though I had a themed bridal shower to attend, I managed to stay on point and on track with my weight loss!  Weigh in day is tomorrow, so hopefully it will be a great weigh in!  I’ve successfully navigated dinners this week and I’ve managed to make it to the gym several times (3 times last week; I will “start over” today so one workout in this morning!).

Sometimes I want to feel decadent while on a diet, and the person I look to most often for decadent recipes in the Pioneer Woman.  When I saw this recipe, I knew I had to adapt it for Weight Watchers.  Soooooo good.  (See the original recipe here: http://thepioneerwoman.com/cooking/2012/03/seafood-pasta/)

Baked Scallop Pasta

Adapted from the Pioneer Woman

Serves 2 —  good for a date night spent in! 12 (hearty!) points plus per serving; feel free to adjust amount of pasta and scallops if you want less points.

Ingredients:

  • 4 oz. uncooked whole wheat pasta (I chose linguine)
  • 2 cups of fresh tomatoes, diced (I love cherry tomatoes… super sweet!)
  • 1 tsp light butter
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 1/3 cup canned chicken broth
  • 1 pound scallops
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • pinch of red pepper, to taste
  • basil, cut into strips
ingredients

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 and throw a pot of water on the stove for pasta.
  2. Cook pasta a little over halfway to al dente… it should still be somewhat crunchy. Set aside. (It helps if you have a cute sous chef to do the heavy lifting for you!) sous chef
  3. While pasta is cooking, heat 1 tsp. of olive oil and 1 tsp. of light butter in a pan.  Add cleaned scallops to the pan and cook for about 1 minute on each side. They should have a little color.  Remove from the pan and set aside.  
  4. In the same pan, heat another tsp. of olive.  Throw in some garlic and sautee for about 30 seconds. Add the chicken broth and let simmer for about two minutes, stirring occasionally.
  5. Pour in the tomatoes and their juice, red pepper flakes, salt, and pepper, and stir the pan, letting all the flavors simmer together for about 10 minutes.  
  6. Take two pieces of aluminum foil and overlap them in an oven-proof baking dish.  Smooth down until it makes a little pouch
  7. Add pasta to the aluminum foiled dish.  Next, add the sauce.  Finally, pour the scallops on top, including the juices.
  8. Fold over the foil so that everything is enclosed in the little packet.  At this point, put everything in the oven and bake for 15 minutes.
  9. After everything has cooked, top with your basil.  Enjoy!

 

 

Exercising Today.

1 May

Imagexer

 

This is how I felt tonight at zumba class (which unfortunately had a huge mirror for us to dance).  However, it felt so good to be active and keep pushing, even when I felt like stopping.  Yay, endorphins!!! And pushing past the soreness from Sunday’s mountain hike felt great. 

The Slice-o-Matic Debacle and Au Gratin Potatoes

30 Jan

There are few things (food-related or not) that I love more in this world than cheese.  My cheese tray is one of my most treasured kitchen items (it sits out all the time in a place of honor above my sink), and I love cheesy anything in recipes.

(Look at that delicious cheesy goodness!!!)

It’s really no wonder I was attracted to an au gratin potatoes recipe on the Weight Watchers website.  After making it, I made some modifications to the recipe that keep it light but infuse more flavors that I enjoy.  And, of course, a requisite for au gratin potatoes is the cheese factor.

A funny thing happened while preparing my au gratin potatoes.  My sweet, sweet man bought me a slice-o-matic one night as a surprise gift.  I’ve been dealing with my dull, awful kitchen knives for months, but I’d been longing for a mandolin.  Unfortunately, I do tend to have little clumsy accidents and ligaments tend to get cut up — and my beautiful sous chef decided that a slice-o-matic is a safer option than a full-blown mandolin.  Gosh, I wanted the slice-o-matic to work so badly.  Not only was it a cute gift, but it seemed like a nice concept.  But, no.  It was awful to use, and more of a hinderance than a help.  I ended up having to slice most of the potatoes myself.

(total slice-o-matic failure)

However, the au gratin potatoes is pretty easy to prepare, and although it is not the perfect menu item for a weeknight due to the long cooking time, it’s fairly easy to prepare ahead of time.

Au Gratin Potatoes

adapted from a Weight Watchers recipe

4 Weight Watchers points plus value; 8 servings

Ingredients:

  • 1 Tbsp butter
  • 1 large raw onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 Tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups skim milk
  • 2 lbs. uncooked Yukon gold potatoes, thinly sliced (preferably not by a slice-o-matic)
  • 1 cup low-fat shredded Cheddar cheese
  • some salt and black pepper, to taste
  • Hungarian hot paprika, to taste (my taste tends towards 2-3 tsp)

Instructions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Spray a baking dish with olive oil cooking spray.  I like an oval baking dish for this recipe.
  3. Take a large pot (I use my trusty Creuset Dutch oven) and melt the butter.  Add the sliced onion and cook for about 5 minutes.  It should smell heavenly and buttery in the kitchen.
  4. Add the flour and stir.  Slowly pour the skim milk into the pot and stir it all together.
  5. Add the potatoes and mix so that everything is covered and stirred together.  Wait until the concoction starts to boil.
  6. Stir in the cheese, paprika, salt, and pepper.  Mix everything all together and turn off the heat.
  7. Pour everything into the sprayed dish and smooth out the surface of the dish.
  8. Pop it into the oven for an hour uncovered.
  9. Remove the dish from the oven, cover with foil, and cook in the oven for another 20 minutes.
  10. Let stand for about five minutes, cut into 8 pieces, and enjoy!

When I’ve made this dish, I’ve let it stand and then put it in the fridge and saved it for the next evening.  To re-heat, put it in the oven for about 15-20 minutes on a low temperature (around 250).  Check to make sure it is heated through before serving.

Look at the beautiful end result!  It gets delicious and crisp all on its own!  Yummy — and actually healthy for you!

And as for my weigh in last week — I lost weight, and I feel better and better.  I did realize this weekend (which shouldn’t have come to a shock to me!) that I never meal plan for the weekends, and so I’m usually more on track Monday-Friday, and I’m eating Chipotle twice within a 24 hour period on the weekends (not that that happened this weekend or anything…).  It’s on my radar now, and I am going to try to plan my meals for Saturday and Sunday next week too!

We are doing “Meatless Monday” tomorrow — I hope it goes well!  It’s our first attempt!

Weight Watchers Update

24 Jan

For the first time since joining Weight Watchers, I used more points than my allotment for the week. What?!?

Sidebar A: Clearly, I didn’t accurately track during the holidays. I probably ate 10000 times more than my points allowed. For shame.

Sidebar B: Hey, I tracked through all those grazing periods… good for me!!!  (And trust me, this was not my first reaction… guilt and shame must have their day before any sort of re-framing happens.)

The way online Weight Watchers works is that you have a certain amount of points per day (based on age, weight, gender, health conditions, whatever else they use) and then you receive a certain amount of playing points per week.  I weigh-in on Wednesdays, so from Wednesday-Tuesday I am allotted 26 points per day and 49 “anytime points” per week.  This is brilliant.  I am allowed to indulge and go to Restaurant Week with my friends (www.baltimorerestaurantweek.com) and not feel guilty.  I am also allowed to have 1/2 cup of Turkey Hill Light Strawberry Cheesecake ice cream at least 3 nights a week… alright, it’s more like 5 nights.

So, the first week back on track? I go over. I blow it.  But I’m trying to focus on the positives, and even though I’m engaging in some negative behaviors right now, I am still overall in a better place than I was during the holidays.

My next weigh-in day is tomorrow.  I have 2 “anytime” points left this week, so I am in better shape than I was last Tuesday.  Ideally, I like to still have between 15-30 “anytime” points remaining at the end of the week, but ideally I’d also like to run for 5 minutes without wheezing up a lung… and some stuff just isn’t going to happen right away!

Eating with abandon sounds like a good idea… but it never is.

(found this on pinterest… it definitely speaks to me!)

 

To set myself up for success this week, I planned my meals better.  I tried to eat out with less frequency (damn this Chinese New Year and all the delectable Chinese food that we had this weekend!).  I tried to get more sleep (hah!).  We shall see tomorrow during my weigh-in how it all turns out.  Besides a slight (devouring) mishap with some wonton soup this weekend, I already feel healthier and more in-control over my eating habits.

My goals for this upcoming week:

  • Cook more at home and try to avoid the always-tempting carryout options.
  • Plan my meals better! I baked one casserole and made oatmeal in the slow cooker that should last us the whole week, but with how busy we have been, I should probably make some sides and another main course for some variety.
  • Work out.  I bought a one-month discounted gym pass for a fitness club down the street from me. They offer zumba classes and a bunch of other things.  I would like to either cash that bad boy in or walk outside if it is nice this week!

More recipes will be posted soon!

 

Getting Back on Track

10 Jan

This is a hard process.  I’ve been on Weight Watchers since the end of summer, and I’ve lost 15-20 lbs.  There is a 5 pound range due to my crazy binge eating during the holidays. 

After my recent trip to Old Town with the future hubby, I said I would get back on track.  No more eating out, no more late-night chocolate, no more fried foods.  I need to find the inspiration to get back on track.

After I had been on Weight Watchers for a month or so (and had been seeing the results), I remember thinking to myself while reading health/fitness blogs, “how can these people plateau and stop counting points?”  I couldn’t comprehend stopping such a good thing.  The unfortunate truth is that after losing about 20 lbs., I hit a totally self-induced plateau.  

I got tired of measuring, tired of trying.  I stopped going to my zumba class, and I got easily discouraged with running.  And then the holidays came, and I was baking cranberry pies with sticks of butter in them and cauliflower gratins with mounds of cheese.  I was eating lots of chocolate and mashed potatoes and hosting a New Year’s Eve party with the theme of “Decadence.”  And then it was my fiance’s birthday, and there was no point in trying to watch what I’m eating just to fail — or so the thought process went.  Excuse after excuse, because after all, it is the holiday, right? 

Which brings me to today, a day in which I planned all of my meals and I tracked all the things I needed to track… until dinner.  Today is my fiance’s actual birthday, and after our long day, he wanted to go out to eat instead of having me cook.  I agreed and we went out to eat.  I ate fries and a burger.  I went over my points for the day.

Usually I spiral out of control with guilt and shame — I feel fat, good-for-nothing, my entire day is shot.  However, I am working on reframing and turning my negatives into positives.  Or, failing that strategy, at least acknowledging where I made good decisions today along with my poor choices.  I did do a good job tracking today, and even though I went out for dinner, I still tracked all of those points — something I hadn’t done in a while. I made good choices for breakfast and lunch.  I have part of my dinner made for tomorrow (Weight Watchers recipe of potato au gratin — if it turns out well, I will post the recipe here).

I guess what I’m trying to say is that I cannot snap my fingers and automatically get back on track.  Maybe I need to start out with baby steps, and just try to track every day.  I want to make better choices and find that motivation again.  I want to break this plateau.