Saturday, December 27, 2008


I saw the following poem on a WW website and think it has a good message for such a tough time of year.


When you've eaten too much and you can't write it down,
And you feel like the biggest failure in town.
When you want to give up just because you gave in,
And forget all about being healthy and thin
So what you went over your Points a bit -
It's the next move that don't you quit !

It's a moment of truth, it’s an attitude change.
It's learning the skills to get back in your range.
It's telling yourself you've done great up 'til now
You can take on this challenge and beat it somehow.
It's part of your journey toward reaching your goal.
You're still gonna make it, just stay in control.

To stumble and fall is not a disgrace
If you summon the will to get back in the race.
But, often the strugglers, when losing their grip
Just throw in the towel and continue to slip,
And learn too late when the damage is done,
That the race wasn't over and they still could've won.

Lifestyle change can be awkward and slow,
But facing each challenge will help you to grow.
Success is failure turned inside out -
The silver tint in the cloud of doubt.
When you're pushing to the brink, just refuse to submit.
If you bite it, you write it...

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

5 A DAY! It's a health guideline.

To sneak in extra veggies I like to:

Use as a substitute. Spaghetti squash is great as a side dish instead of pasta. Or make ribbons of carrots and zucchini and add them to cooking pasta during the last minute. They can really make the portions bigger with not points.

To extend ground meats. I like to use chopped mushrooms or grated carrot, squash or zucchini for 1/2 the meat in a casserole or sauce. I get the texture and bulk I want and decrease the points.

Replacement. As you see in the recipe below for Mac & Cheese, I have substituted pureed winter squash for 1/2 of the cheese. That is a big savings!

Mac & Cheese - With Winter Squash

8 oz whole wheat penne
1 (10-ounce) package frozen pureed winter squash
1.5 cups fat free milk
2 ounces 2% Velveeta (it really works)
1 ounce Monterrey jack cheese, grated (about 1/3 cup)
1/3 cup fat free ricotta cheese or cottage cheese
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon powdered mustard
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 slice whole grain beard made into fresh crumbs in blender
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan, divided
1/2 teaspoon olive oil
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Coat a 9 by 9-inch baking pan with cooking spray.
  2. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook until tender but firm, about 5 to 8 minutes. Drain and transfer to a large bowl.
  3. Meanwhile, place the frozen squash and milk into a large saucepan and cook over a low heat, stirring occasionally and breaking up the squash with a spoon until it is defrosted.
  4. Turn the heat up to medium and cook until the mixture is almost simmering, stirring occasionally. Remove the pan from heat and stir in the Cheddar, jack cheese, ricotta cheese, 1 Tablespoon of the Parmesan, salt, mustard and cayenne pepper.
  5. When the cheese is all melted, pour cheese mixture over the macaroni and stir to combine. Transfer the macaroni and cheese to the baking dish.
  6. Combine bread crumbs, Parmesan cheese and oil in a small bowl. Sprinkle over the top of the macaroni and cheese. Bake for 20 - 25 minutes, until the top is crisp and nicely browned and the cheese is bubbling.

If you divide into 4 large servings, this is 7 points. If you do 5 (and really that is a good portion) this is 6 points. With a vegetable or salad side, this is a good comfort meal!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Ribollita - Take care of yourself with soup!

Taking care of yourself is one of the helpful habits of a Weight Watcher...and it really pays off. I always keep some WW snacks in my glove compartment (1 and 2 point bars and some baked snacks too) and if I am out for the day I like to pack a snack so I don't get caught hungry or at "0" on the hunger scale.

I had knee surgery yesterday so I made some Jello with peaches, some sirloin beef enchiladas in corn tortillas and Ribollita (a hardy Italian vegetables soup) to have on hand for my recovery. I almost always have a pitcher of soup in the frig ready for a quick lunch or a snack.

Ribollita is one of my favorites and for only 2 points for a 1 cup serving it is quite satisfying.


1 1/2 tsp olive oil
1 cup carrot(s)
1 cup onion(s)
1/2 cup celery
4 clove(s) garlic minced
6 - 8 cups chicken broth
3 cup(s) Swiss chard, chopped
3 cup(s) kale, chopped (or 6 cups of one of these)
2 1/2 cup(s) uncooked new potatoes, medium dice
2 tbsp canned tomato paste
1 tsp sugar
2 cup(s) canned diced tomatoes
3 cup(s) Goya Navy beans
2 slice(s) whole-wheat bread, made into fresh crumbs

Heat 1 1/2 teaspoons oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat. Add carrots and next ingredients (through garlic); cook 5 minutes or until onion is tender, stirring frequently. Add chard and next 8 ingredients (through tomatoes); stir to combine. Bring to a boil; reduce heat, and simmer 45 minutes.
Place 1/3 cup beans in a bowl; mash with a fork until smooth (optional). Add mashed beans, remaining beans, and bread to soup; cook 5 minutes or until thoroughly heated. Ladle soup into bowls.

Note: the extra 2 cups of broth can be added to make a thinner soup.