Tuesday, March 19, 2013


I went to lunch today with a friend.  I had a coupon for Camille's Sidewalk Cafe here in Lancaster.  I found out that their menu is on Weight Watchers' e-tools.

I looked and sure enough...there it was.

I also learned that they are a franchise with locations across the country.  The food is fresh and tasty.  If you live near a Camille's, stop in.  Check out your e-tools!

Camille's Sidewalk Cafe

Cuties are in season!

Cuties, or clementines, are in season and delicious.  Just picked up a bag of them at Walmart.  Great snacks for kids for school, because they are easy to peel, nutritious, and hydrating.


Here is the link to Sun Pacific's website!


Sunday, March 17, 2013

Corned Beef and Cabbage...and no blarney!

This turned out really well.  The corned beef was already seasoned, so that helped.  This is my first time making it myself.  

As I said yesterday, the girl at TJ's said they just sauteed it.  I drizzled a little olive oil in the fry pan.  I cut up the potatoes and dropped them in.  Potatoes take longer, so I let them cook for a bit.  I stirred them around so they wouldn't burn.  I put a lid over the pan after I poured in a cup of water.  When the potatoes were hot, but still hard, I poured in a cup of chicken broth, then added the corned beef.  I had cut it up in about 1 oz. chunks (easier to count the points that way).  I let that cook until the potatoes were tender, but not done.  I cut up the cabbage and put it on top.  The cabbage steamed atop the corned beef and potatoes under the lid.

The meat melted in our mouths, the potatoes were perfect, and the cabbage was al dente!  I just added a bit of salt and pepper to mine.

There were 3 potatoes and the corned beef was 1lb. 7oz.  The entire skillet was 35 points.  There are about 7 servings in the pan.  Of course, you cannot load up on just meat or just potatoes and get the right point value!  I made sure I had more cabbage than anything, then equal parts of meat and potatoes.

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Saturday, March 16, 2013

St. Patrick's Day Alert!

I haven't posted in the past few weeks, because I have been super busy and have not felt inspired.  Inspiration has returned!

Trader Joe's has yummy corned beef brisket.  Brisket is normally very fatty, so I would never even consider it as a viable WW choice because I wouldn't want to spend the points.  Well, this brisket is only 1 WWP+ for an ounce!!!!!!!!!!!!  It is also fully cooked, so it really is just heat and eat.

I asked the girl at the sampling station at my TJ's how she prepares it.  I know you can make it in a crock pot or stock pot.  Anyway, she said that they saute it in olive oil with potato and cabbage.  I am going to do that for tomorrow.  I will post how it turned out!

If you haven't bought your brisket yet, I highly recommend this one!

Monday, February 11, 2013

Staying on Program While Recovering from Stomach Flu

This is the first time I have been violently ill while on Weight Watchers.  When I say violently, I mean violently.  I will spare you the gory details.  Feel free to imagine, if you like.  I used some of the skills I learned through having colds while on the program.

First of all, while you are in the throes of illness, stay hydrated and keep something in your stomach like a bit of dry toast or some crackers.  Gives your body something to work with and keeps you from becoming completely dehydrated.  I sipped water until I could manage diet ginger ale.

On the second day, at which time the violence calmed to just weakness and lots of rest, I continued with the ginger ale and toast.  Whole wheat toast can be too much for your system, so I ate whole grain white bread which gives you more of the fiber, less points, but is still easy on your stomach.  Depending on the brand, you can eat 2 slices for 3 points.  That's a lot of toast!

Toward the end of the day, I decided soup would be good.  A can of Campbell's tomato soup or chicken noodle soup is only 5 points for the ENTIRE can.  If sodium is a concern, get the lower sodium kind.  While Progresso soups already have WW Points on them, they can still cost you about the same amount per can and tend to be chunkier and harder to digest.

On the third day - day two of recovery - I added Jello.  The sugar free 0 point Jello is soothing and is a power food.  I continued with soup and a few crackers.  Late in the day, I re-introduced my Greek yogurt with fruit.

I will say that the upside of all this was that I lost 5 pounds in that one day of illness.  Once I was rehydrated, I only gained back a portion of 1 pound.

As you can guess, I won't post any pictures with this blog post.  There aren't any, but you wouldn't want to see them anyway!

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Comfort Food!

For 8 points+ for 1/8 of this casserole, you can enjoy a filling comfort food.  This is a Weight Watcher recipe that I have made for my family, potlucks at church, and to take to families who need meals provided.  Everyone loves it and it is easy to make.  You can also freeze it for lunches during the week.

Baked Ziti with Turkey Sausage
I have a hard time finding whole wheat ziti, so I use penne pasta.  It works just as well.

3/4 pound(s) uncooked turkey sausage(s), spicy-variety, casings removed  
1 medium uncooked onion(s), chopped  
1 medium green pepper(s), chopped  
28 oz canned diced tomatoes  
10 oz frozen green peas, thawed  
2 Tbsp canned tomato paste  
1 tsp dried oregano  
1 tsp dried basil  
1/2 tsp dried thyme  
1/2 tsp fennel seed  
1/2 tsp table salt, or to taste  
1/2 tsp black pepper, freshly ground  
 12 oz uncooked whole-wheat pasta, ziti, cooked according to package directions  
6 oz shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese   

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

Crumble the sausage meat into a large saucepan and brown over medium heat, stirring often, about 4 minutes.

Drain off any fat, then add the onion and bell pepper. Cook, stirring often, until softened, about 3 minutes.

Stir in the tomatoes, peas, tomato paste, oregano, basil, thyme, fennel seeds, salt and pepper. Bring to a simmer, then reduce the heat and cook uncovered 5 minutes, stirring often.

Stir in the cooked pasta and half the cheese. Spread evenly into a 9- X 13-inch baking pan. Top evenly with the remaining cheese.

Bake until the cheese has melted and the casserole is bubbling, about 20 minutes. Let stand 10 minutes at room temperature before slicing into 8 pieces. Yields 1 piece per serving.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Chips 'n Dip!

BRAVO for this dip!  If you love spinach dip, but hate counting the points, I have the answer to your snacking prayers.  <<Insert drumroll here>>

I have been eating this with carrot chips making this my new party dip.  Serve it with bell peppers, carrots, or your favorite chip (if you want to count the points).  Now...besides the flavor...guess why it earned a bravo?  ONE WWpt+ for 2 Tablespoons!!!!  Amazing!  You can eat 1/2 cup for only 4 points!  The Greek yogurt gives you more protein and more calcium!  It is available at Trader Joe's!

I have a recipe for a satisfying comfort food to share with you in my next post.  Stay tuned!!!

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Coming Soon!

On my Trader Joe's adventure this morning, I found some things that I want to try.  Stay tuned for healthy sliders and the scoop on spinach and kale dip!  I have enough dip kind of stuff, so I didn't want to try it this time around.  However, I will and you will find my review here!

Slight change in my rating system.  I am changing it to Bravos and Bombs!  No Bravos this week, but I have 2 Bombs!

Trust me, these are yummy and they have their place, but not as a meal or something you eat frequently.  They are bombs from the WWPts+ standpoint.

The Piccolo Paninis are really delicious.  They would make a good appetizer, but they are a Bomb because they are just over 1 point each!  If 1 point per panini isn't scary enough...there are always these...

These Pastry Pups are FABULOUS!  They are flaky, juicy yumminess, but they are 2 points each.  They are very small.  Nowhere close to a mouthful!  Not worth the 2 points each unless they are an appetizer.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Pineapple Pictures!

I cut my pineapple this morning.  Here are the pictures of their awesome juiciness!

I twisted off the crown then set the pineapple upside down on the counter overnight.

When I was ready, I cut off the ends.  That gives you a flat surface to use when you remove the rind.

I cut down the sides to remove the rind.  I don't get all the eyes, but I don't mind eating a few.  Sometimes I don't get enough off and just have to pull them off. (Or spit them out..ewww!)

I enjoy pineapple spears.  It makes them easier to eat on the go.

If you want to get the eyes off and keep the juiciest part of the pineapple, check out these directions on pineapple cutting from this site:  How to Cut a Pineapple  I haven't tried their method, but on my next pineapple I will try it and let you know how it goes!

Monday, January 14, 2013


I was at Trader Joe's on Saturday for my weekly excursion.  In front of the demo booth were pineapples.  I asked the girl if pineapples were in season yet.  She said that they were just coming into season.  She said she had some cut up in the back if I wanted to try some.  You bet I did!  She gave me a sample.  It was sweet, juicy, and awesome!  I bought one on the spot....only $2.99.

Here is the trick to a perfect pineapple.  I learned this from my friend, Robin McCabe.  Her mother taught her this trick.  Twist the crown off of the pineapple.  Turn the pineapple upside and let it sit on the counter.  I have left it for just an hour and even overnight.  Cut off the peel and cut away the core.  I like to cut it into spears.  I will put 4-5 into a quart size ziplock and take it to work.

I forgot to take a picture, so I will post pictures after my next pineapple!

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Girl Scout Cookies!!!

Girl Scout cookies go on sale for pre-order today in Southern California.  This is not an impossible time for weight loss.  The following information applies to cookies baked by Little Brownie Bakers.  If you are not sure, ask the Girl Scout leader or call the Girl Scout office in your area.

I have been a Girl Scout leader for 12 years.  Also, being a Weight Watcher makes things challenging at times.  So, I did the math for you Weight Watchers out there.  No matter which cookies you get they are 4 points a serving.  No, a serving is not the entire box!  Savannah Smiles and Trefoils are 5 cookies/serving.  Thin Mints are 4 cookies/serving.  Do-si-dos are 3 cookies/serving.  Finally, and not surprisingly, Samoas and Tagalongs are 2 cookies/serving.

If you do not want to buy cookies, please consider giving to Gift of Caring.  Every $4 gives a box of cookies to one of 4 charities.  Girl Scouts Greater Los Angeles supports Blue Star Mothers, Goodwill of Southern California, Operation Gratitude, the Los Angeles Regional Food Bank, and Bob Hope Hollywood USO at LAX.

If you want to order cookies, my girls are earning money to go to Camp Surf this summer.  Contact me via email or on Facebook.  If you don't live in the Antelope Valley, you can Order Cookies Here.

Thanks for supporting Girl Scouts!

By the way....in case you do want to eat an entire box, here are the points for each kind:
   Savannah Smiles - 22.4
   Trefoils - 28.8
   Do-si-dos - 26.7
   Samoas - 30
   Tagalongs - 30
   Thin Mints - 28

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Foodie Adventures at Trader Joe's

After my Weight Watcher meeting, I go to Trader Joe's.  I always like to stop at the demo booth.  Today, they were sampling a lettuce wrap that was filled with grilled chicken breast strips and broccoli slaw mixed with Trader Joe's Wasabi Mayonnaise.  The Wasabi Mayonnaise is actually a light green horseradish mayo; like a creamy horseradish.  I made it myself at home.  It was very yummy!

I mixed 1T of Wasabi Mayonnaise with broccoli slaw.  I put enough slaw in the mayo till it was coated, but not soggy.  You want to be mindful of the effect of the horseradish on your sinuses!  I put 3 oz of grilled chicken breast strips on the lettuce leaf then topped it with the mayo and slaw mixture.  For the side dish, I put several baby carrots on the plate and drizzled it with 1T of tzatziki.  The entire lunch was 7 points!  It was very tasty.

The next time I make this, I am going to mix the chicken in with the slaw and mayo.  I think intermingling the flavors more will be even better!

BOOMS for this week:
1) Trader Joe's Wasabi Mayonnaise
2) Trader Joe's Tzatziki
3) Pineapple (more on this in another post)

Cantaloupe!  I don't know if I just got a bad one or if cantelope is going out of season, but I got an overripe cantaloupe that had no flavor.  Laying off melons for now.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Breakfast Pictures

Here are the pictures to go with my post from earlier today.

My weight loss tip for today:  Keep your measuring cups and spoons in the containers of food you prepare frequently.  I keep a measuring cup in the oatmeal box and a measuring spoon in the brown sugar.

Breakfast...the most important meal of the day!

I have been eating the same breakfast almost every day for the year that I've been losing this 70 lbs.  Sounds boring?  Well, I can eat the same thing day after day and it doesn't bother me.  So, whether you like something different each day or don't mind the same thing, I am going to share with you my go-to breakfast!

I eat oatmeal, an egg, and bacon every morning.  My breakfasts need to be quick, easy, and able to be eaten in the car.  I eat the bacon and egg first.  I recommend Great Value (Walmart) microwave bacon or Kirkland microwave bacon from Costco.  I always weigh the Great Value bacon.  The size of the strips and the actual weight of the package varies greatly.  It can be difficult to separate the bacon strips without destroying them, so I will often weigh the slab that is on the paper.  It is usually about 30 grams, so I will cut the paper and the bacon with my kitchen scissors and then I know the other half is right for the next morning.  It microwaves in 30 seconds.  Kirkland bacon is very standardized, so I nuke 1 1/2 pieces every morning.

I fry one large egg.  My sister left a container of egg whites here at Christmas.  I am NOT a fan of just egg white...BLECH!  However, for ZERO....count 'em....ZERO points, I can drizzle some egg white into the pan, break the yolk on the real egg, and make it LOOK like I have 2 eggs!

The more portable part of my breakfast is oatmeal.  No steel-cut for me.  Can't get passed the squishiness!  (Costco does have an instant steel-cut if you are interested.)  I make the single serving (not the heart-healthy...too much food).  I always put 1T of brown sugar in my oatmeal.  I keep the measuring spoon in the bag of brown sugar to make life easier.  Recently I started sprinkling cinnamon and nutmeg on my oatmeal, so that for no additional points, my breakfast tastes like a giant oatmeal cookie!  If I am eating on the run, I put it in a travel mug with my spoon and I am off and running!  Oh, and I add 1/4 cup of milk (1% or 2%) to my oatmeal, too.

The whole kit-and-kaboodle is 11 points.  I can pretrack it, because I know I will eat it every morning.

It is time to get ready for church.  I will post a picture and a breakdown of the points later.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Today I felt inspired to begin this blog.  I have been suggesting foods at my Weight Watcher meetings and have been getting a lot of feedback from others at the meeting.  My meeting is next door to Trader Joe's and I go there right after my meeting to check out what they have and pick up things I need.

While there today, I was trying the food they were sampling.  I discovered that the quinoa chips were the same amount of points as other chips, so it really wasn't a better choice from that perspective.  I did discover that their reduced-guilt guacamole has the same points as the one we've been using, but it tastes AWESOME!

I am trying to come up with a rating system like Siskel and Ebert's thumbs or "Picks and Pans".  For now, I have come up with BOOM and BUST.  Any and all suggestions are welcome.  I want something alliterative and food-related.

Today's BOOMs:

  • Trader Joe's Organic White Corn Tortilla Chips - 3 WWPts+ per 1 oz. serving - taste like tortilla chips, nothing fancy, great for salsa and/or guacamole.  Sodium - 80mg
  • Trader Joe's Reduced Guilt Chunky Guacamole - 1 WWPt+ per 2T serving - very tasty!!!  Previously, I was eating Yucatan Guacamole (available at Walmart) which is also 1 WWPt+ per 2T serving, but TJ's has more protein and less fat and is more dip-like.  It is made with Greek yogurt which you don't really notice.  Either one is a good choice.  Just depends on what other benefits you are looking for.
  • Madras Lentils by Tasty Bite from Costco - 4 WWPts+ per 1/2 pack - Vegetarian - Spicy and yummy.  Tastes like chili.  Heat it up right in the pouch and eat it from the pouch.  Could be used for earthquake preparedness (shelf-life is over 2 years).  Does not need refrigeration.  Easy to open. Sodum - 510 mg
Today's BUST:
  • Palmdale Walmart was out of the brand of foundation I use (the entire brand, not just the color).  They had one bottle of foundation amidst the empty shelves!  :(  I love Walmart's prices, but I am sick to death of their empty shelves!  When I worked retail, the area/district managers would come in the store and say "We are not selling air.  Fill these shelves!")  The westside Lancaster Walmart is worse, but they really need to keep their shelves stocked!