Going out on my own!

I’ve had progress with weight watchers and have been very happy with my results every weekly weigh in. I have some sad news, I had to cancel my monthly membership because I can’t afford to pay the $42.95 every month. It didn’t seem like much at first, but when you get stuff, sometimes the things that help you, you have to let it go. The good news is that I have enough info to continue to follow the plan on my own. I know my daily points is 34 and my weekly is 49. I don’t need a fancy app to record every bite lick or taste, I can go back to basic notebook and pen recording. My current weight right now is 222.3. Keep in mind when I decided to start weight watchers I was 245.5 and before I decided to even get back on the track to being healthy – I was 25.4.4.As long as you vow to yourself, you are ready for the change and want a program to work for you, it’s weight watchers! I will not slide back to my old habits. I will continue to stride for the one to two pounds a week weight loss on my own. I have excellent resource from my previous weekly meetings and I got the current books with all the points from dining out and shopping for groceries. It’s a very sad day here but I have other commitments that I have to contribute to as well.
This post also has made me came to the conclusion of phase two: work out more! I need to step it up if I’m going to do this on my own. You need to eat healthy and keep up the movement to melt away all the fat. I have no regrets spending my money on the previous months of my online monthly pass because it worked. I know I can do this though now without a program with the education I have gained. Eating healthy, determination, movement, results are all fueled elements to keep one going to reach that goal. I’d love to get out of the 200’s! Wish me luck guys! We can do this together.

This Weeks Challenge: Pantry clean up!

So you never made it to the grocery store or had time to plan some recipes for this weeks menu for your family…No big deal! This gives you time to practice your culinary skills to whip up shockingly awesome meals with food you guys already have! I’ve learned a lot the past month or two that I started really getting into planning and prepping meals, this will be an acceptable and doable challenge for me to concur! I thought it would be fun to for my readers to join me in this weeks challenge. When we do this, we can swap recipes on the comments below and most importantly save money! I will allow mini trips to the convienent store or to your nearest grocery store for milk eggs, tp that kind of stuff. But when it comes to prepping breakfast lunch and dinner as well as in between snacks – dig deep into that pantry/fridge & freezer of yours and create new dishes!

Fruit& Vegetable& Herb garden!

 Hey yall, sorry I haven’t updated in awhile – I got busy with my own garden! I never thought I’d want to have my own garden but with how much cooking I do, I thought it would be beneficial and money saving. I have my own herb garden full of basil, marjoram, parsley,cilantro, onion chive and more! For my fruit and vegetable garden, I have beans, tomatoes, Serrano pepper, honey dew melon, cantaloupe, cucumber, green & red bell pepper. Since it was late in the season we couldn’t do it from seeds, we bought a plant to place in. Also, my lawn is all sand and stuff from being on an old school ground – I had to do a raised garden. I tell you, it’s so exciting to have a garden and watch it grow everyday. I will try and get a few pictures up here as well. I can’t tell you how much I love going outside to clip off fresh herbs from my garden when one of my weight watcher recipes call for it. The smell of herbs when you walk up to my house is amazing. Some vegetables are coming in as well already especially the tomatoes.

 

 

 
gardenone

  Along with this post of announcing that I have my own garden, I’d like to share some tips on how to keep your produce fresher for longer. I’ve done some extensive research and tried a few ideas for you to try in your home as well ( I hope you enjoy the info and if you have tips that work better on storing produce, please comment on my blog)!!

* After spinning salad, store your greens in a regular cloth towel secured by rubber bands at the end! The towels do an excellent job of keeping greens moist and not damp so they will stay fresher longer up to a whole week. You can find cheap kitchen towels at your local dollar tree store.

* For scallions, fill a mason jar with a couple inches of water and put scallion root side down cover top of scallions with a paper bag. This method reserves scallions for about a week.

* Store carrots in a  covered container filled with water. You can also store carrots in bubble wrap.

* Cucumbers have to be stored at room temperature. Also, store away from bananas,  melons, tomatoes. Cucumbers are very sensitive to Ethylene.

* Asparagus should be stored in refrigerator with a moist paper towel around the stems or can be stored up in a glass of cold water with a damp paper towel wrapped around the tops to keep moist.

* Mushrooms should be kept in a cool place. Only wash them before use.

* Store herbs in a plastic bag with a paper towel to lock in moisture.

*Blueberries and strawberries as well as raspberries (blackberries) can be stored in refrigerator and can be freezed for a long period of time. Frozen fruit works excellent for smoothies and ice cubes or as a healthy hard candy!

* Apples can be stored in refrigerator. Lemons and limes will last along time in  room temp.

* Mangoes, plums, peaches, pears can be stored at room temp in a brown bag..

* Pineapple can be stored at room temperature upside down to keep the flow of the sugar going.

* Vegetables & Fruits to be stored in a cool place: acorn squash, butternut squash, sweet potatoes, pumpkins, spaghetti squash, winter squash.

* Store in a paper bag: Mushrooms/ okra.

* To reduce crying while trying to cut an onion is to chill it first for about 30 minutes. Then cut off the top and peel the outer layers leaving the root end entact.

* Chopped or sliced onions can be stored in a container at temp of 40 degrees for seven to ten days.

* Another fun fact, onions are a good source for vitamin c and a great source for fiber.

I’m hungry & starving what is there that I could possibly eat on a diet!?!

           The options of healthy snacks and meals (as well as desserts) on weight watchers are endless. The variety of foods and different ingredients you can eat and learn about are a few reasons why I love this program. I also love the endless support you get at weekly meetings from other members. Every week is different in every individual wether you gain or lose your other members and leaders are there for you every single step of the way! The points value changes, but don’t get rid of your old cookbooks because all you need to know to determine the new points value is the fat, carbs,fiber and protein in each recipe. I have many old cookbooks that are still very low in points and have only changed by just a few either more or less. If you’ve got a smart phone, there is a mobile app to where you can plug in the numbers i’ve mentioned above for a quick value. At meetings, there is a calculator available for adding that you can carry around in your purse or pocket for purchase. Also, another great purchase is the eating out and shopping guide you can keep in your car for healthy options if you don’t have a mobile phone with internet. The recipes that I post on my blog are all approved and tried by my husband and I. I believe that’s why my blog is different from others. I don’t just gather recipes from what sounds good, I want to try it first! Before I reveal the amazing foods and drinks you can have between meals, I want you to know that this new lifestyle I have received from weight watchers, I wouldn’t trade it for the world! I know i’ve probably mentioned that statement before but it’s true. I love being healthy. Now here are just a few snacks to my preferences and drinks that you can have between meals to satisfy the urge to induldge. My options are under six points! First of all all fruits and vegetables that are fresh and frozen are absolutley zero!

 

Fruit and Vegetables: Zero Point Value

 

Apples

Grapes

Jicama

Banana

Blueberries

Raspberries

Strawberries

Mango

Pears

Asparagus

Artichoke Hearts

Bean Sprouts

Bell Peppers

Blackberries

Broccoli

Broth

Brussel Sprouts

Butternut Squash

Cabbage

Carrots

Cantaloupe

Celery

Cherries

Clementines

Cranberries

Cucumbers

Eggplant

Endive

Escarole

Fennel

Grapefruit

Honeydew

Horseradish

Jalapeno

Kiwi

Kohlrabi

Leeks

Lemon&Limes

Lettuce

Mixed Greens

Okra

Papaya

Passion Fruit

Peaches

Pickles
Pico De Gallo

Radishes

Rutabega

Sauerkraut

Scallions

Snow Peas

Spaghetti Squash

Squash

String Beans

Spinach

Sugar Snap Peas

Tangerines

Tomatoes

Turnips

Water Chestnuts

Watermelon

Zucchini

Acorn Squash

 

Zero Point Liquids

Zeltzer Water

Club Soda

Diet Soda

Black Coffee

Espresso

Tea

FF Creamer is 2 points per serving

Half N Half is as low as 2 points per serving which is a tablespoon!

Broth Zero

Vinegar

Full Throttle 3 pts

Any Progresso Soup 2 pts

Nos 8fl 3 pts

Starbucks Refreshers 2 pts

Red Bull 1 250ml Can 3pts

 

 

Snacks Under Six Points

 

Goldfish Crackers 55 pieces 4 pts

Chicken In A Biscuit 12 Crackers 4 pts

Cheeze Its 27 Pieces 4 pts

Sandwhich Thins 3 pts

Boca Burgers 3 pts

Egg Whites- 2 if having more than one

Turkey Bacon 3 pieces=2 pts

Laughing Cow Cheese White Cheddar 1 thing 2 pts

Special K Cracker Chips 27 Chips 3 pts

Sun Chips 15 pieces 4 pts

WW Chili Lime Chips 2 pts one package

Nabisco 100 Cal Packs One Package =3 pts

Gardettos ½ Cup 4 pts

WW Cheddar Twists One Pack 2 Pts

Cheese Balls 32 balls 4 pts

Funyons 1 21g package= 4pts

Cheetos- 35g 1 pck = 6 pts

special k bar 2 pts

Nutrigrain Yogrut 3 pts

Quaker Chewy Chocolate Bars 4pts

Rice Krispie Bar One= 3pts

Kudos Variety Pack One Bar= 3pts

Nature Valley Cinnamon Crunchy 2 bar 5 pts

Luna Cookie Dough Bar 5pts

Lucky Charms 3pts

Kind Dark Chocolate Bar 6pts

Kashi Pita Crisps,Zesty Salsa 11 pieces 3 pts

Fiber One Bars 2-4 Pts

Frito Lay Chips Classic 1 bag 4 pts

Ritz Cracker Sandwhiches 1 package 5pts

Peanut Butter Tablespoon 3 pts

Yoplait Yogrut 2 pts

Activia Yogrut 3 pts

WW String Cheese 1pt

WW Cheddar String Cheese 2pts

Fruit Gushers One Pack 2 pts

Welchs Fruit Snacks 1 pck 2 pts

Emerald Cashews ¼ cup 2 pts

Blue Diamond Honey Roasted Almonds 28pieces 5 pts

Cracker Jack Coated Popcorn Original ½ cup 3 pts

Crunch N Munch Popcorn with Peanuts Carmel ½ cup = 4pts

Angies Kettle Corn 2 1/3 cups 4 pts

Orville Redenbachers Original Popcorn ½ cup 4pts

Snack Wells Carmel Popcorn, white Fudge Drizzled 1 pck 30g =3pts

Jollytime healthy pop butter 100cal bag 3 pts

Chesters Flamin Hot Cheetos 33 pieces 4pts

Lays Barbecue Chips 1oz 4pts

Lays Classic Cheddar and Sour Cream 15 chips=4 pts

Pringles Sour Cream and Onion 16 Chips=4pts

Ruffles Potato Chips Cheddar Sour Cream 15 Chips 4 pts

Mini Bite Sized Pretzels 1oz 4 pts

Nabisco Pretzels fudge 100 pck 3 pts

Rold Gold Pretzel Rods 1oz 3 pts

Synders Of Hanover buttermilk ranch 1/3 cups 4pts

Quaker Rice Cakes 1 cake=1pt ****

Munchies Snack Cheese Mix ¾ cup 4 pts

Great Value Trail Mix Moutain 1 pck 4 pts

OcreanSpray Craisins 4pts

Doritos Nacho Cheese 1 pck 28g 4 pts

Vegie Straws 38 straws 3 pts

      Any WW Desserts at walmart or your local grocery store are under 4 pts for many of the options, For a quick lunch or meal go grab the smart one frozen meals many options under 8 pts for breakfast and lunch as well as dinner!

       The foods I’ve listed above are just a few healthy options you can eat or drink when the craving strikes. My resource for the point value came out of the newest addition of Weight Watcher Shop Guide that you can buy as a refrence at your weekly meeting location or nearest Weight Watcher store. There is also a Eat Out guide you can have for in your purse or car to help you make the best choice when your mobile app is not available.

    Now a lot of the time I hear people complain how they don’t want to count the points or don’t have time to cook and plan meals ahead. Look at how many other programs are available to chose from you still have to count in some form whether it be calories carbs or fat. Weight Watchers has done all the work for you – you just have to be loyal enough to portion and cut back. Weight watchers also has the simple start program where you make these delicious meals and you don’t have to track for two weeks! Perfect jump start to see if this would be the program for you! I’m never starving on Weight Watchers because I can eat real food and lose weight..Still lose weight the pants are falling off guys!Extreme Weight loss doesn’t happen over one night just as one meal can’t make you gain everything you’ve lost. When you fist start out like I did, I dropped five pounds now i’m on a steady one to two pounds a week loss. Slow weight loss is okay and healthy. Slow weight loss also stays off longer than if you did a crash diet. Counting points is the way way to go – it’s easy and weight watchers has done all the work for you, you just need to take the time to look and care!

        If you’re a mom that just came across my blog, please -please get your kids off to a healthy start and introduce them to new foods that are good for them. Help them learn about portion management as well so they can adopt these behaviors when older. I wish I was taught early enough to love the good foods for you but I had to teach myself as an adult and now I will NEVER go back to my old ways! When you change your life you have more energy and feel good about yourself and what you do! Be a great example for your children and everyone else around you, they’ll admire your new lifestyle and want to do the same. By changing my life style and getting results, my friends and family are noticing. I’m proud of where I am in such short time. I want to tell the world about what i’m doing and thats what braught me to you guys! If you have any questions on a point value of a food item comment below and ask. I’d be happy to look up any answers to any questions you have for me or weight watchers. Signing up for Weight Watchers was worth every cent I own. The tools, support and friends you meet along the way is all what makes this journey successful.

Kitchen Talk

  Stop and take a look around your kitchen, what are some of your favorite utensils and gadgets? What are some tools that don’t get used often and how can we find new ways to use those forgotten utensils? I know these are two different subjects here to tackle in one blog post but every time I go in my kitchen I see what I love and couldn’t live without and look at some tools that are left behind. My ultimate favorite machine is the single serve coffee brewer from Cuisinart! I drink a ton of coffee and coffee is zero points on weight watchers when drank black! I also just recently purchased the ninja 1500 watt blender processer and mixer all in one! I’ve been using up more fruits and vegetables more often and I am looking forward to expanding my choices in advanced recipes. The ninja is awesome and I would totally recommend it for anyone! Though it was pricey, it will pay off in the long one if you’re always in the kitchen!  I will also be adding a page dedicated to homemade juices, salsas and sauces that can be used on the weight watcher program, keep checking back for details.

   Now back to the forgotten utensils.. One that I just found that was tucked away was the potato masher.. When you  make peanut butter cookies you could use the potato masher to incorporate design on your cookie or any other type of cookie/dessert. You can also use it to scoop out potatoes from boiling water if you don’t have a spoon handy. You can use your potato masher to break up meat into smaller chunks. Another great idea to put your masher into new use is to make homemade baby food. You can use it to smash up different fruits. Some other utensils that could be used more are the melon baller. The melon baller can be a multi purpose tool. You can use your melon baller to scoop perfect sized portioned cookies from dough if you don’t have a cookie scoop.You can core apples, hull strawberries, remove seeds & base from a pear! You can dig out spots on potatoes. You can scoop smaller size portions of ice cream for children or a treat for you! You can scoop chocolate for truffles.

  If you’re like me and switched to a single serve coffee brewer, you probably have a ton of left over coffee filters. I love using coffee filters to clean windows and polish faucets at home or work. You can put filters between dishes to prevent from scratching. You can also use a filter to filter wine if you break the cork while opening! A filter can reduce the mess of a melted popsicle by placing at the bottom of the ice cream treat! If you’re having a movie night with your kids use the filters as littler serving bowls for popcorn or other delicious goods. Easy clean up and no dishes!

What are some uses you can come up with that aren’t listed here for the tools above? What are some of your favorite kitchen gadgets you can’t live without!? I’d love to hear from my readers new ideas! Don’t be shy!

 

Just say NO & Reach for the stars!

  I think the hardest thing ever to face day to day is saying no. No to the extra calories, no to the people that ask too much of you and no to just one more helping. We all know we don’t need it but we want it, and want overcomes need most of the time. It’s just a little thought in the back of our minds that might satisfy needs we don’t really need. I know it might sound confusing that last statement, but it’s true. When we make a lifestyle change, it’s about teaching yourself the right extra helpings we might need and the right amount of food or drinks to consume. Before my new life, I would always want pizza or take out and oh yeah chocolate. Lets not forget about that extra cream and whipped topping on the morning coffee! Though some may wonder, well what’s wrong with the choices above as long as you work out!? Not everyday we get that chance to go to the gym so all of those horrible choices are building up inside of you. Whenever I get hungry now, I reach for healthier options that are next to zero points on weight watchers. I try and remind myself I need at least three to four servings of vegetables and fruits.  I’ll go for a banana or celery!  I’m in love with cheese, any type of cheese and most of the string cheese snacks from WW are only two points! The snacks at the meetings are all two to three points as well and are very satisfying. That’s all in my  pantry, weight watcher brand or special k. Surprisingly enough, many special k snacks like the new moments bars are only two points as well. What I’m trying to say is surround yourself in health, fill your fridge and pantry with what your body needs not what your mind wants!

 When attending office events, family parties or getting through the holidays – go for the vegetable or fruit tray instead of the other appetizers. Or even better yet, weight watchers has amazing recipes you could even bring your own appetizer dish to share! Drink more water than any other type of liquid. Water will help you control your temptation to indulge at whatever event you’re attending. Plan meals accordingly ahead of time if you’re saving yourself for whatever type of get together you’re going to later. There are party points to you can dip into for special occasions. But my challenge here is for you to say no to the foods you usually crave (fast food, unhealthy meals, extra creamer in the coffee) and reach for stuff you need to be healthy (fruits, vegies, protein) . 

 

What was made for dinner tonight:

Image

Dijon Beef Stroganoff! Recipe under dinner time page! Make it tomorrow<3

 

 

 

 

Portion Management

It’s so easy to get comfortable with measurements according to our diet plan. But when you step on the scale and ponder why you’ve been at a steady weight for a few days, you’ve hit a plateau. Things you can do to revamp your success again is to review your tools you’ve received in the beginning when you joined weight watchers. You get a starter kit which includes a pocket guide with point lists, portion measurements by hand, etc. You also get a weight record for when you attend meetings, your leader will record in there how much you’ve gained or lost. Attending meetings is the key for success with weight watchers. You meet others that are going through the same struggle (losing weight) and you learn helpful information with pamphlets called weight watchers weekly. I’ve used many information tid bits from the pamphlets in my previous posts. I love whenever you hit a milestone, you’ll get a sticker for your weight record book and collect a key chain with different charms to remind you how long you’ve come. You also have access to weight watcher products at the beginning of the meeting where you can purchase different weight watcher snacks cook books and other tools to help you achieve your goal. I also find it helpful to try to record everything you consume from liquids to solids! At the end of everyday or every week you can review and see where you can improve on your choices. There will be temptations thrown at you everyday – remind yourself why you’ve started and the goal you’re trying to achieve. You can do this. We all can do this together. Down below I’ve included some images of how you can control portion management with your hands!

from dr oz

Good Health & Multi Vitamins

 In one of my meetings we had discussed the Good Health Guidelines for having a healthy lifestyle. You may already know these at the top of your hat, but it’s always nice to have as a printed reminder somewhere in your kitchen. The old saying “An apple a day keeps the doctor away”, is quite accurate.  When changing to a healthy lifestyle these are the guidelines to follow everyday or attempt to:

* Eat at least five servings of fruits and vegetables (Nine servings if you’re over 350 pounds). Serving sizes are 1/2 cup for vegetables and fruits, except for leafy greens (1 cup).

* Choose whole grain foods, such as brown rice and oats; check the nutrition label to determine the serving size of packaged whole grain foods. (My weight watchers weekly also says to mention that popcorn counts as a whole grain as well!)

* Have at least two servings of milk products- low fat (1%) or fat free (which I use). If you’re a nursing mom, teenager over 50 years old, or weigh more than 250 pounds, make it at least THREE SERVINGS. Examples of one milk serving: 1 cup of milk or yogurt or 1 1/2 ounces of different cheeses.

* Include 2 teaspoons of healthy oils (Olive, Canola, sunflower, safflower, or flaxseed) for Vitamin E and essential fatty acids.

*Choose 1 or 2 servings of lean protein: lean meats, skinless poultry ,fish, dried beans,soy products, and lentils! A serving of lean meat or fish is about 3 ounces, roughly the size of a deck of cards, so you need less than you think!

*DRINK AT LEAST SIX TO EIGHT OUNCE GLASSES OF LIQUIDS A DAY! WATER IS THE BEST CHOICE, but any nonalcoholic drinks count ( includes coffee, tea, diet soda, flavored water,juice)

*Take a multiple vitamin mineral supplement each day with your meal.

*Limit sodium, added sugar, and alcohol.

Think to yourself for a  moment…How can I incorporate the above guidelines into my everyday lifestyle routine? Don’t over kill it at first, start with one or two changes. I started out with adding more vegetables, taking a vitamin and trying to drink more water instead of coffee.

  What multivitamin do I take everyday?

  I went to my local GNC store and got directed to the best multivitamin for my weight loss plan. That day there was a sale buy one get one 50% off, I scored big time! The guy was very helpful. What I take is GNC Women’s Ultra Mega Energy & Metabolism dietary supplement. I take two pills in the morning with a healthy breakfast. I also take Body Toner Censor that supports weight loss. Suggestion says to take two pills up to three times a day with a meal. I started out by taking two in the morning along with the Woman’s Energy and Metabolism pill. I just now added two to take along with my lunch. The censor helps curve appetite. The other pill has everything I need to increase my daily exercise regimen. You can order online at Amazon or visit your local GNC dealer to get the right multivitamin that will help you and your new lifestyle.

  Don’t know what to make for dinner tonight? Go to my dinner link on the side and write down a couple of recipes to try and share with your family. My hubby and I had stuffed green peppers with farro, water chestnuts, dried cranberries,celery.

Navigating Around The Grocery Store

  The hardest thing about changing my lifestyle was the amount of preplanning I had to do when it came to dinner time. I was always lost in the grocery store, went with out a list and jacked up my bill to almost 200$ every two weeks for junk food that my husband and I may or may not like. We also went out to eat or I had him bring me home fast food all the time. Since, I started my WW program, I sit down and look through healthy cookbooks and plan out our meals. One of my nearest and dearest friend gave me a weekly menu planner (which I use every week) I put down the recipe, the cookbook it came out of and the page number. I will post a picture later. At the end of every week, I will write a reminder of how much my husband and I loved the recipe or scratch it out if I shouldn’t make it again. I struggled a bit at first with how to organize my ingredients for each recipe I needed. Now I have a notebook dedicated to menu planning. One page will be what we’re going to have for dinner and the week of, then the next I will write down categories (PANTRY- DAIRY- PRODUCE-MEAT). That way I’m more organized when it comes to walking in the grocery store and food will stay colder longer. 

  Another area I want to bring up when it comes to grocery shopping, are  the areas your family shops when it comes to replenishing the pantry, fridge and freezer. When I wasn’t trying to be healthy I would literally go  up and down the aisle’s. If you noticed the perimeter of the grocery store has all of the healthy foods-the insides have all of your processed foods. Not all aisle’s are bad, some you need for ingredients in healthy recipes but with education, you know which choices to put in your cart.  I have a mobile app from WW where I can scan barcodes for quick point reveal. I also use the newest version of the shopping guide with all the foods in groups I can look up if the store has slow internet connection. For snacks, I try to stay anywhere from zero to four points. Meal wise, I like to stay under 10 points. I am also a sweet tooth eater. I will try and make sure I have enough points to enjoy a weight watchers frozen treat with my husband after a delicious cooked meal. Many desserts are under four to five points! I absolutely love portioned meals and snacks that help me stay on track.