Friday, July 24, 2009

Vegetable Challenge

Well, Weight Watchers has been trying to get us all to eat more Fruits and Vegetables this summer. For some this is an easy task but others are struggling. Sometimes we have an aversion things we didn't like or eat as a child.

Here is an easy way to prepare vegetables to maximize flavor and enjoyment and you get some healthy oil in too!

You will need 1 1/2 cups of vegetables per person; 1 t oil; S&P to taste: 2 T water; and a nonstick pan with a lid.

Cut your vegetable (broccoli, carrots, cauliflower, asparagus, Brussels sprouts all work well) in bit size pieces. Use one to 1 1/2 cup per person.

Heat your pan with 1 teaspoon of olive oil(per serving). When the oil is hot add the vegetables. Allow them to sit (don't stir) for 1 minute. Toss them (or stir) and cook 1 minute. Toss and cook one minute more (that makes 3 minutes).

Season the vegetables with salt and pepper (add red pepper flakes and garlic if you like).

Immediately add 2 Tablespoons of water (a bit more for larger pan and multiple servings) to the pan and cover. Cook for 2 minutes to allow the vegetables to steam.

Uncover and allow the water to evaporate and enjoy.

Only 1 point and you get a vegetable and a healthy oil into your diet!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Summer BBQ Rub

I love to use rubs on grilled meat. For me they are great because I get a taste in every bite, they are easy to apply and they don't have to be high in calories or points. Here is one that is easy and quick. I am using it tonight on a pork tenderloin (remember if it is loin it is lean and WW Green). It is also good on chicken, beef or even salmon!

For a rub like this to work best, just roll your protien in it or dust the meat right before you grill it.

1 tsp sugar
1 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp cumin
1/8 tsp ground ginger
1/8 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp pepper

Mix the dry ingredients. You may want to spray your meat with a spritz of cooking spray before rolling in the rub.

This adds no extra points to your food!

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Banana Boat Adventures

~ Sharon Lee Riguzzi

Sharon, a Weight Watcher Leader who pasted away last year, wrote a book full of essays on life for her members. Here is a good one to kick off the summer months of family fun times and vacations.

Banana Boat Adventures

Spending last week in the Caribbean with all of our kids and their spouses left us with wonderful Kodak moments. Watching everyone getting along and enjoying one another’s company warmed my heart.

Since I am not fond of the water, it took days of my kids’ begging me to be adventurous, to be daring, to live, before I finally broke down and dived in (well, maybe it was more baby-stepped in). Seven of us saddled the banana boat---my pregnant daughter was able to be the photographer. As our “no problem, Mon” speedboat driver crisscrossed and turned, they were chortling: I was screaming. While they were switching seats with one another, I was keeping my eyes shut, clutching on tight as we bounced over the waves. Eventually everyone fell off except me-Esther Williams (if you don’t know who that is, you’re probably too young to read this). That is, technically I didn’t fall off. It was more a case of hanging on by one leg and a death grip (forget Esther Williams, think Lucy Ricardo).

As the family returned to the boat, they faced the task of pushing, one was pulling. I was still screaming. One tried to instruct, and another tried another tactic. All the people onshore probably thought this was some sort of boat show. Finally I was back on top of the banana for the revved-up ride back to shore.

Once back on solid sand, one of my kids asked, “Why were you so scared?” I replied, “I felt like I was drowning. I hated not being in control.”

Another daughter blurted, “Mom, didn’t you realize you were wearing your life jacket, which would keep you floating? And besides, don’t you know we were there to help you, and we never would have let anything happen to you?”

When did the roles reverse? I missed that memo.

Do you ever feel like you’re drowning? Do you ever feel you’re losing control? So often in life, with the pressure of work, family, responsibilities, I sometimes feel like I am going under. And yet my daughters’ questions made me realize what had been my main problem in the salty sea. Yes, I was afraid, but my carrying on had blocked my senses from recognizing that help was close at hand. All I had to do was reach out and calmly ask for it. My screaming prevented me from hearing offers of how we could accomplish our feat (and getting me on the banana boat was exactly that.)

I’ll make a pact with each and every one of you. The next time any of us feels like we are drowning, we will take the following steps:

• Breathe.
• Look around to see who is available to help. (If no one is in sight, make a few calls. This might take a while, especially if our MO has been “I can do it myself!”)
• Ask for help.
• Let them help.
• Forget about not wanting to bother anybody else. If they asked you for help wouldn’t you pitch in?

I rest my case.

After the fright of the banana-boat experience left me, I realized I was proud that I actually had done something out of my comfort zone. It energized me so much that I suggested we all go on the water trampoline.

Who knew it would take more out of me than the banana (and I’m just talking about climbing the ladder). But that’s another Shot.