Wednesday, November 14, 2012


Life has a way of throwing a wrench in the works, doesn't it. The scale is not my friend this week, but that really doesn't matter. I just returned from a two week overseas trip. While that may sound like a good thing, it wasn't. What was a good thing, is that we were able to spend time with my mother in law before she passed away. I indulged in plenty of stress eating, emotional eating, visiting with relatives eating.... and drinking. Let's not forget the drinking. I know I need to make healthy food and beverage choices. I know I need to move more. I know I need to make sure that my husband does the same. It all comes down to quality of life. I want the quality, for me and my husband, to be good. You see, I promised my mother in law that I would take care of my husband. I won't go back on that promise.

Friday, September 28, 2012

My Fitbloggin Memories

So, how do you process something like Fitbloggin? I wasn't sure what to expect, but I was looking forward to meeting a lot of twitter and facebook friends that I’ve made over the last few years.  I was also scared to the point of panic attacks, wondering if I should bother going. I am so not an extrovert. But, as the saying goes, nothing can happen if you don’t show up.

I shouldn't have worried. Hug #1: @FoodieMcBody As soon as I saw her, I squealed and ran to meet her. That first hug was so wonderful. Her warmth is contagious.

While I was standing in the hotel lobby, waiting for my turn to check in, I saw a familiar face walk in to the lobby, lugging her bags. Leave it to me to make a brilliant observation out loud and solidify my dork status, but I walked over to her and said “It’s Dubyawife!” Luckily she laughed. Hug #2 complete.

Up in the room, I decided to check twitter and see what was going on. OMG,  @Tidbits_Of_Tara posted a picture of herself in front of the Fitbloggin banner. Tara and Meegan were here!!!  I rushed down to the check in area and stalked tracked them down. It was so amazing to finally meet these two wonderful people in person. I squealed like a little girl when I hugged them. Hugging Tara and Meegan: Pure awesomesauce. Bit by bit, and hug by hug, I began to relax and feel less freaked out  more comfortable.  Sure, I was still having a lot of dorky, wallflower moments, but I was dealing with it.  Hugs from @FatgirlVsWorld: just as amazing as I'd heard they were. And, man, she should charge for her shoulder rubs.

I absolutely enjoyed meeting so many of my very early twitter friends, many of whom have transitioned in to Facebook friends. The best way to describe meeting the friends I’ve made online came up in a conversation with @KCLAnderson. She said it’s like “Oh, of course, it’s you.” She was so right. After a little while, you don't even think that you haven't actually met some of your friends in person before.When @Mizfitonline showed up: huge hugs and "Texas is in the house." So much laughter. More awesomesauce: meeting @SteveGrayFTW in person! Just as warm, fun, with as warped a senses of humor in person as he has online. (Cat, I'm a kitty cat...) And even though we didn't get a chance to have a wigs and wine party, I dearly loved meeting @MrsFatass and being able to Zumba (it's pronounced "zoomba") with her, @simplifyingsam (these girls got moves!) and 100 or so of our closest friends on her birthday.  Meeting my roomies @ItsMeVsMe and @ChristieO who I've stalked known through the Sisterhood, and @sweatismysanity was great. Very cool ladies that I am so thankful invited me to be a roommate.  I've learned that you can't cry and do jumping jacks at the same time, thanks to Thea. And she's right, she does kinda kick ass! Hanging out with @TJsTestKitchen, @JackSht, @SushiJammies, @IrishEyes1982, @bitchcakesny and so, so many others was beyond amazing.

I think Friday was the best day at Fitbloggin. You see, that's the day my girl @mendingjen arrived. I was hanging out, waiting for the lean beef session to start, when I hear “Kirsten!!!!” (my real name) I see Jen making her way through the tables and we gave each other the most amazing hugs. My heart was so full. She is one of my early twitter friends, and all of my stress leading up to Fitbloggin was worth it, just because I got to meet her and hug her in person. (I'm sorry I stood her up on Saturday night when it was time for her to leave. I think I did it subconsciously, because I didn't want her to leave, and I knew I'd be really ugly-crying.) Friday afternoon, Jen, Heather, and I decided to go for a walk. The weather was gorgeous, and we really needed to get outside. I don't have a lot of girlfriends in real life, so being able to just hang out, walk, have heartfelt talks with these two wonderful women, was so special. And, I can now say I've had a water ice. Pronounced "wah duh."

The memories I take away from Fitbloggin are more than just meeting wonderful people, taking part in some fantastic workouts, or just hanging  out. I take away the realization that no matter where you are on your journey or what your back story is, we are all the same. As @Mizfitonline recently blogged, at our very core, we are all the same.

You see, we are a cobbled together family. We have each others' backs. We're here for each other. So think about this when you see comments posted by unhappy people looking for attention (I won't link to the blog because I don't want to drive traffic to it). Do what you can to lift someone up, don't put them down. A heartfelt kind word can mean the difference when someone is having a bad day. 

Monday, September 10, 2012

Don't be an Eeyore

He's cute and huggable, but don't be an Eeyore. I think he's the Debbie Downer of the 100 Acre Woods. When it comes to your health, don't think "why bother, I lost weight before and it all came back," or "I have so much to lose that I can't imagine it ever coming off."

Why bother? Because you deserve it. I had a pretty decent week this past week. I made it to my 20 pounds down goal, and I'm getting closer to my overall goal. The funny thing is, the weight I hit at weigh in this week is what I weighed when I joined Jenny Craig about 12 years ago. And the weight I was when I started Weight Watchers last October is close to what I weighed when I moved to Texas almost 7 years ago. Yes, you might regain some weight, but that doesn't mean you shouldn't try. Life is a learning process, and not all lessons are easy.

And don't be a Pooh. Pooh isn't that great a role model either. A favorite poem of mine, from A.A. Milne, begins "A bear, however hard he tries, grows tubby without exercise. Our teddy bear is short and fat, which is not to be wondered at. He gets what exercise can can, by falling off the ottoman, and generally seems to lack, the energy to clamber back." I was a Pooh, before I started my journey to get healthy. It was a couch, not an ottoman, but the lack of energy was there. I don't always like working out. To be truthful, I'm really not that fussed with the trainer I have at the gym, but it's a small gym without many options. But I feel better when I do work out. No, it isn't easy, but it is worth it when you know you're getting healthier and stronger.

So, don't be an Eeyore. Be a Tigger.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

New Month, New Goals

Sitting in my Weight Watchers meeting Saturday morning, I realized that something. I am not alone. Many of us fall off the wagon, stop tracking, lose any mojo they once posessed. I'm human, I make mistakes, I get injured, I get sidetracked. The beginning of a month is a perfect time to begin fresh.

A friend of mine recently celebrated 14 pounds down since she got herself back on track. I mentioned to her that I've been bouncing a few pounds around my 10%. The goal that I reached MONTHS ago. What is my deal? I am within 11 pounds of the Weight Watchers upper level goal range.  And what do I do? I pretty much stop tracking for a month. I am sabotaging myself for no good reason. Reaching a goal doesn't mean the work on what I eat and drink stops, I won't miraculously become a single digit size (though that would be awesome), and it doesn't mean that the training stops.

So, in the spirit of my fresh start, I am doing something I rarely do. I am posting my weight. No more  hiding. I need to make myself accountable. (Sorry for the sideways picture, I really am an amateur when it comes to blog formating. And yes, the red line on the top of my left foot is the scar left from my "incident" last month.) I can see the light at the end of the tunnel, I need to stay focused on me and my health, get back to tracking, meal planning, and making good choices that support my goal.

September has started out really well. Had a productive day Saturday(helping the local economy). I ordered a new pair of glasses and a pair of prescription sunglasses. We also got a new weedeater/trimmer. I'll admit it, I'm a dork. Sunday morning was Reunion with Communion at church. Four former members of our praise band who'd moved away in the last couple of years, returned for a reunion.The music was outstanding and moving. I cried when the former guitar player sang "You Lift Me Up." Our former pastor, who retired last summer, and his wife were there as well. I looked around during the greetings and remarked to the woman next to me that "this is the church I joined." The spirit in church was amazing. I need to keep that feeling within me.

Yesterday I had the option of working or not. I chose not, at least for my job. But work, I did, earing about 10 Weight Watchers activity points in the process. Bright and early, so as to avoid some of the heat, I headed to the community garden. I hauled up 4 large bags of organic soil, 2 large bags of soil conditioner, and 2 smaller bags of manure up to the garden (which is at the top of a small hill) so that I could work on my bed. Bermuda grass was pulled, swiss chard that I planted a year and a half ago was (finally) pulled, spent tomato plants were chopped down, soil and manure was spread, plant waste chopped up and hauled off to the dumpster, and my sweet potatoes were watered. Two hours later, I returned home, parched, tired, sweaty, and covered in dirt.  Labor accomplished, relaxation earned.

I hope y'all have had a wonderful and safe summer. I look forward to seeing you at Fitbloggin in a few weeks. September is going to be a great month! :)

Monday, August 27, 2012

Chaos Incorporated, can you help me?

That's an old joke between me and my sister when I give her a call and she's completely stressed out - she'll answer the phone with that line. Lately, I think it's the way I would answer the phone when she calls me.

The foot is definitely mending. The stitches are out and I can wear a lightweight sneaker, loosely tied. I've been able to work out a couple of times, slowly walk on the treadmill, some strength training with my trainer, taking the dogs for short walks. My foot still doesn't like much pressure on the scar area, but it's coming along. I look forward to being able to really work out.

The other thing that's been happening around here that's been stressing me out involves bunnies. Little baby bunnies. What started as four bunnies my husband rescued from a burrow that was flooded, eyes not even open, is now just two baby bunnies. The past few days in the Foodie household have been very sad for me.  I keep reminding myself that they at least had a chance, whereas they wouldn't have if we hadn't rescued them. Irony of all ironies, we found out they were out there because Puppygirl brought one inside last Saturday night, and by pure chance, didn't kill it. It had a particular leaf with it, so we knew where it came from. Note to bunnies: our yard is REALLY not the best place to dig a burrow.

The two little ones are starting to eat solid food: apple, carrot, celery, grass. They're still getting kitten formula, but it's more watered down. Needless to say, it's been hectic. And keep in mind, we have 3 dogs who all have very strong prey-drives. We've fenced off the kitchen area where the bunnies are, but they sit there, whining and staring at me, when I am feeding the bunnies.  Yup, it's just a bit crazy around here these days.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

On the disabled list

It is with feelings akin to envy that I have been reading about people's runs on Twitter lately. You see, I am on the disabled list right now. A very large, heavy meat cleaver and I had a run-in on Sunday evening while I was making dinner. I seriously am extremely lucky I have all of my toes, and that I only had to get 3 stitches. Unfortunately, my foot is so badly bruised and sore from the wound that I can't wear shoes. On Monday, even having a sock touching my foot was extremely painful. I can manage wearing an extra large slipper for short periods of time now, but even that is too painful after a while. Sneakers? Out of the question. All of this has amounted to cancelled training sessions, very bored doggies, weight gain, and my not being able to get in any meaningful activity this week,  It ain't been pretty, folks. I feel like the real life equivalent to those "trick to lose belly fat" internet ads that show the cartoon figure grabbing it's belly fat. Nope. Not pretty.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Don't you just hate that?

I'm really not looking forward to working out with my new trainer later today. He's new, brash, rambunctious, not just a bit annoying. But what's worst? He tries to sport an "Alcide Herveaux" look.  Ugh. It has totally ruined my love of True Blood. Alcide? Ruined. This is as bad as when Hugh Jackman started singing Oklahoma songs to Katie Couric on the Today Show years ago. Wolverine? Ruined. I hate that.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Word Of The Day


"Meh" is an interjection, often used as an expression of indifference or boredom. It can also be used as a verb, (rendering something uninteresting or boring) and an adjective, meaning mediocre, boring, or apathetic.  (Source: Wikepedia)

Yup. That pretty much sums everything up. Working out, weight loss, blogging, cooking, finances, life in general... you name it, it sums it up. As much as I'd love to meet up with everyone at Fitbloggin, I'm reconsidering even going.  I'm boring, my blog is boring, my workouts are dwindling and boring. Why bother. Between the cost and the fact that I get freaked out by "social" situations, it doesn't make much sense.

Friday, June 29, 2012

You got your chocolate in my peanut butter... my take on not-Larabars

I have been known to go overboard buying Larabars when Kroger has them on sale. But when they aren't on sale? Not happening. I love them, but man, they can get expensive. I have enough expensive habits, thank you very much. Do you have any idea how much pretty batik fabric is per yard?  So, I figured, lots of people have made homemade versions of Larabars, why not me, too.

I love the combination of chocolate and peanut butter, so I mixed up a batch of fudgie bites this morning with my Magic Bullet. Gotta tell you, blended dates are super sticky. Since less is sometimes more, I made mine bite sized instead of bar sized. Your choice. This came out to 16 pieces, at 1 WW +point each. The whole batch was 15 points total.

PB2 Chocolate Bites

1/2 cup (tightly packed 1/2 cup) of chopped dates
1/4 cup dry roasted peanuts
2 T PB2
1 t vanilla
1 T dark unsweetened cocoa powder

Put the dates in the Magic Bullet or food processor and blend until it's a rough paste. It can be a little lumpy. Add in the peanuts and blend until it's a coarse paste. I then added in the PB2 and cocoa powder and the vanilla, processed until mixed. Then I turned the paste out into a bowl and mixed until everything was blended together. When mixture is blended well, put on to a piece of waxed paper and flatten into a square. I then folded over the waxed paper and rolled it flatter, so that the thickness was even. Refrigerate for at least an hour, unwrap, and cut into your desired shapes. Enjoy!

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Kenlie's challenge - week three

This week, Kenlie challenged us to make a soup or stew. I wish I could get The Aussie to eat stew, but he's got this "thing" about stew. I think it's the same "thing" he has about casseroles. Oh well.  Soup is something I like.  I thought I had a picture of the finished product for the amazing veggie "pho" that I made, but apparently not. I did take a picture of the ingredients I was using. (I added the flank steak to one bowl just to try it.) I made it with chicken broth, sliced radish, bell pepper, scallion, hot pepper (they scare me), cilantro, ginger, fish sauce, soy sauce, and brown rice maifun noodles. It was so delicious. The fresh ginger gives it some serious bite and aroma. I can imagine having this when I have a cold. Not that I want a cold, mind you. *knock on wood* 

I did manage to get a picture of the other soup that I made this week. It's a curried carrot and sweet potato soup. So easy. Just heat up a carton of chicken broth (see above picture), add in 6 peeled and chopped carrots, a peeled and chopped sweet potato, some garlic powder and curry powder. Cook until the veggies are soft, then either blend or use an immersion blender. I've made variations of this soup so many times, my immersion blender is stained orange! 

I've also been doing a lot of grilling this week. I grilled trout the other night, steak, veggies. All good, especially when it's over 100 degrees out. Tonight I'll be trying Shannon's agavae lime marinated chicken. I'm getting hungry just thinking about it.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Last picture for Kenlie's challenge

Once again, not the best picture, but here it is. I marinated the turkey tenderloins in soy, sesame oil, garlic and ginger. You seriously can't go wrong with that combination. I didn't grill these, but cooked them on the stove, browning them on all sides and then I reduced the heat and covered them. I was going to have TJ's harvest grain blend as a side, but I didn't cook it long enough and the baby garbanzo beans were still crunchy. Yuck. So, the last of my cucumber salad had to sit in for dinner.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Cook At Home Challenge - week 2 update

It's been fun trying new recipes this week as part of Kenlie's Cook At Home Challenge. This week I've made the following:

Grilled chicken and black bean quesadilla, made with reduced fat pepperjack cheese and reduced fat sour cream


Pork satay with cucumber salad and spicy peanut dipping sauce made with PB2 - awesome! (Please note that the husband got breaded pork cutlet and green beans because it was Doggy-Father's Day and that's what he wanted! He did try mine, though, and liked it.)

This is the potato torte with romesco sauce from one of the Weight Watchers cookbooks. Eh. It was a waste of the last of my smoked paprika. The cooking time on this recipe were outrageously off and it took forever for the egg beaters to set and cook. I had to cut it in half and flip over so that it was fully cooked. It did not look anything like the book picture, either. On the good side, the potatoes, herbs and tomatoes were all home grown.

I don't have pictures (well I do, but my non-phone camera has grown legs and walked away) of the awesome mixed berry dutch baby that I made on Saturday morning or the grilled salmon that I cooked last night. The dutch baby is from the Weight Watchers Power Foods cookbook and is so good.

Tonight I'm planning on grilling turkey tenderloins that I have marinating in soy, ginger and garlic marinade.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

I like big bling, and I cannot lie...

Behold, the fruits of my labor. AKA the finisher's medal from Sunday's Wounded Warrior Half Marathon. Oh, yeah. And the four shiny new 5k charms I earned at Weight Watchers for having finished the half marathon. Not bad for a birthday, huh!

Week 2...

We've officially finished week 1 of Kenlie's Cook At Home Challenge. I really like coming up with healthy things to eat, and if The Aussie will at least try it, all the better! This past week I've had everything from morning glory muffins filled with fruit and vegetables, to grilled chicken and corn, to a dessert made with tofu. Now I just have to remember to take more pictures of what I'm cooking, even if I don't plan on posting the recipes.This coming week should be a good one. I already have a few ideas!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Trust me. Go buy some silken tofu...

Never thought I'd be saying those words, but you really should go buy some silken tofu (the kind in the box). And while you're at it, buy a bar of good chocolate, and some POM or orange juice.  I'm hoping you already have agave nectar and cinnamon at home in your pantry. You see, you'll need them to make this.  Dairy-free chocolate "mousse." This stuff is super easy to make and so good. It totally makes up for the tofu "cheesecake" my older sister brought home from the hippie bakery she worked at in the 70s. As usual, I didn't totally follow the recipe. I added a half teaspoon of cinnamon, because I love the combination of dark chocolate and cinnamon. (If I had orange extract, I would have added a tiny bit of that, too!) I melted chocolate in a bowl over a saucepan of hot water, and I blended the tofu and juice in my Magic Bullet. Said Magic Bullet was too small to mix everything, so I spooned the tofu in to the bowl of melted chocolate and mixed everything there. I have to tell you, the waiting-to-cool part of this recipe is the hardest. I dare you to keep your face out of the refrigerator and your spoon out of that stuff... if you can, you're a better person than me. ;)

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Summertime... and the grilling is easy

It's been a busy weekend, with a lot of eating out (mostly healthy!), running around (literally - I did my 3rd half marathon on Sunday) and resting. Last night the weather held out and I grilled Mexican style chicken and corn on the cob. Delicious! (please note: my chicken is the one without the skin - The Aussie loves his with, but I was being healthy)

Mexican Style Chicken

4 chicken thighs (with or without skin) or pieces of your choice
1 t coriander seeds, toasted and crushed
1 t cumin seeds, toasted and crushed
1 T orange juice concentrate
1/4 c thinly sliced scallions
2 T agave syrup
1 T fresh thyme
3 fresh sage leaves, thinly sliced
1 sprig of fresh rosemary, minced
1 t garlic powder
1/2 t chili powder
1/2 t True Lime

Combine all of the marinade ingredients in a small bowl and mix well to combine. Place chicken pieces in a sealable plastic bag and pour in the marinade. Close bag and smoosh the marinade all over the chicken. Refrigerate for at least an hour.

I grilled this, using the indirect heat method. Cook for about an hour, or until chicken near bone is no longer pink and the temperature is at least 180 degrees. I am sure this would be fantastic baked, too!

Friday, June 8, 2012

Wounded Warrior Half Marathon Playlist

Because nothing says Happy Birthday like race bling, I'm doing the Wounded Warrior Half Marathon on Sunday. Well bling, and the fact that it's a great organization that The Aussie and I believe in. Even though I really hate don't like running outside when it's hot out, I am doing this race. Even if it means I'm walking for half of it. My reasoning is that if the service people who are helped by this organization can deal with their injuries and trauma, I can suck it up and run/walk 13.1 miles in their honor.

I spent much of my lunch hour tweaking my alternate playlist. Alternate, because I would like to do as much of this to the Run To Cadence with the Navy Seals. I want a back up in case I start to lose my sanity by the 3rd time through for this set and start to think I actually am running with a bunch of hot guys in Navy uniforms. Hence, an alternate playlist with LOTS of music. Hopefully I won't hear anywhere near to all of these songs. Ginger, from twitter, was interested in what I came up with, so in no particular order, here it is! (Gee, can you half tell I'm a Gemini? These songs are all over the place.)

I Will Possess Your Heart - Death Cab For Cutie
Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic - The Police
Our Lips Are Sealed - The Go Gos
Rio - Duran Duran
Shake Ya Tailfeather - Nellie
Pleasure Little Treasure - Depeche Mode
Fake It - Seether
Time Of Our Lives - Paul Van Dyk
Since U Been Gone - Kelly Clarkson
Vertigo - U2
Don't Change - INXS
Dance With Me Tonight - The Wonders
Right Round - Flo Rida
Straight Lines - Silverchair
Uprising - Muse
Major Tom - Shiny Toy Guns
Run - Snow Patrol
I Like It - Enrique Iglesias feat. Pitbull
Break Your Heart - Taio Cruz
Tainted Love - Soft Cell
Times Like These - Foo Fighters
Check Yes Juliet - We The Kings
Favourite Shirts - Haircut 100
Closer To The Edge - 30 Seconds To Mars
Hold On Loosely - 38 Special
Gloria - U2
Give Me Everything - Pitbull
Lose Yourself - Eminem
Solar Midnight - Lupe Fiasco
These Days - Foo Fighters
Love Plus One - Haircut 100
I Will Follow - U2
Space Age Love Song - A Flock Of Seagulls
Steppin' Out - Joe Jackson
Mr. Brightside - The Killers
Back In Time - Pitbull
Monkey Wrench - Foo Fighters
Litany (Life Goes On) - Guadalcanal Diary
Fantastic Day - Haircut 100
Linus And Lucy - Vince Guaraldi Trio
Howlin' For You - Black Keys
Hold Tight London - Chemical Brothers
Girlfriend - Avril Lavigne
Good Vibrations - The Beachboys
International Love - Pitbull
Rompe - Daddy Yankee

What's the story, morning glory?

Muffins. Yum. What's not to love about muffins. I was inspired by a tweet to make these by Josie after she raved about a muffin she had with carrot, coconut and dates. Hmm. Sounds like morning glory muffins to me! And glorious, they are. At 7 WW points +, they aren't freebies, but they are jam packed with healthy stuff. You can reduce the points by substituting apple sauce for the oil.

Morning Glory Muffins (makes 14)

3/4 cup chopped dates
2 cups white wheat flour
2/3 cup brown sugar
1 t baking soda
1 t baking powder
2 t ground cinnamon
1/2 t ground ginger
1/4 t salt
2 cups grated carrots
1 large granny smith apple, peeled, cored and grated
1/2 cup coconut flakes
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1/3 cup ground flax seed
3/4 cup Egg Beaters
1/3 cup canola oil
2 t vanilla
3/4 cup POM pomegranate juice

Preheat the oven to 375 and spray your muffin pan with non-stick spray. (I made 12 but there was leftover batter, which I kept in the fridge).

In a medium sized bowl, stir together the flour, brown sugar, baking soda, baking powder, spices and salt. In a separate bowl, mix together the grated carrots, apple, coconut flakes, walnuts and flax seed.  In a large bowl, beat together the Egg Beaters, oil, vanilla and juice. Stir in the flour and carrot mixtures, stirring until they are well combined. Finally, stir in the chopped dates.

Spoon mixture into prepared muffin tins. Bake for 25 minutes or until a toothpick stuck in the center of a muffin comes out clean.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Who doesn't love a challenge?

Kenlie at All The Weigh is having a "cook at home" challenge, along with Calphalon, that I'm excited for. So many people eat out these days, and we all know that restaurant food, while tasty, is not the healtiest thing for you. It isn't the chef's job to make sure you eat something healthy, it's his or her's job to make sure you eat something that tastes good. It is totally possible to eat something healthy that also tastes really good. Case in point, I'm eating Mediterranean seafood soup that I pulled out of the freezer. Make a huge batch, freeze leftovers for later. Cook once, eat twice. It's a win-win for healthy eating.

So step up to the stove, and join me, won't you? Take back your dinner.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Curried Ramen Soup

Leave it to me to not look at how expensive a specialty publication magazine is. I was standing in line at MalWart the other afternoon when "Best-Loved Reader Recipes" caught my eye. If I'd checked the price and saw it was $9.99 I might not have bought it. That said, I've already adapted one of their recipes, the Confetti Chicken Big Bowl.  Sorry no picture. :(  It's already packed up in the fridge so that I'll stop eating it. This made a huge pot of soup. At 12 servings, it's 5 WW points.

Curried Ramen Soup

2 carrots, shredded
1 head of broccoli, broken down into florets
2 cups green beans, cut in to bite sized pieces
1 green pepper, cut in to strips
1 red pepper, cut in to strips
2 cups snow peas, cut in to 1 inch pieces
4 very large cloves of garlic, crushed
2 T ginger, grated (I have paste in a tube)
2 T red curry paste (feel free to make it spicier by adding more)
1 t canola oil
2 cans light coconut milk (recipe called for 1 but I wanted it creamier)
6 cups water
3 packs of Oriental flavor ramen, broken in to pieces
flavor packets from 2 of the ramen packs
1 T low sodium soy sauce
1 t True Lime (can use juice of 1 lime)

Heat a large pot over medium high heat. Add in the 1t of oil. After a minute, stir in the garlic, ginger and curry paste and cook for a minute. Add in the vegetables and stir to mix in the aromatics. Next, add in the broken ramen, coconut milk and water. Stir and cover. Lower the heat to medium and cook until the noodles are done and the vegetables are cooked. This should be about 10 minutes.  Before serving, add in the flavor packets, soy sauce and lime. Stir well and serve.

Note: I totally forgot about the bean sprouts I wanted to add. Bummer. I'll add them when I heat up leftovers.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Happiness is a new cookbook. Or three...

The Postman doesn't have to ring twice at my house. As a matter of fact, with three dogs that love to let me know EVERYTHING that's going on in the neighborhood that they can see from the windows by the front door, he doesn't have to ring at all.  With much fanfare, dogs heralding his arrival, Mr. Postman deposited a box with a smiling logo, on my doormat. Squee! I am a very happy girl right now, impatiently waiting for 5 o'clock to roll around so I can start reading and planning.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Get Mikey to try it...

If you're of *ahem* a certain age, you might remember the Life cereal commercial with Mikey. "Let's get Mikey to eat it... He won't eat it, he hates everything... He likes it, hey Mikey..."  I'm not saying The Aussie is as fussy as Mikey, but there are certain things he likes and many things he would never have thought of eating.  Enter last night's dinner. I gave him the option of omlette for dinner, but I told him that I had an Asian inspired pork mixture to fix. I told him they were kind of like rissoles, but with Asian flavors. (Rissoles are basically meatloaf in patty form that are breaded and pan fried.) He said he'd try it, which made me very pleased.  I have to tell you, these were good! Mikey liked it!

Asian Pork Burgers (makes 4)

1 pound extra lean ground pork
2 eggs, lightly beaten
2 scallions, finely sliced
3 large garlic cloves, crushed in press
1 T low sodium soy sauce
1 t fish sauce
1 T Mae Ploy sauce (sweet chili sauce)

Topping: (if you can, make this a couple of hours ahead so that flavors blend)

1 bag of "rainbow slaw" vegetables
4 T rice wine vinegar
1 T Maey Ploy sauce


1 T mayo
1 T Mae Ploy sauce
1/2 t Sriracha sauce (spicy chili sauce)

4 toasted burger rolls

Put topping ingredients in a small bowl and mix well. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.

Put burger ingredients in a bowl and mix well.  Cover and refrigerate for an hour so that flavors blend.

Form four patties with the meat mixture, about 1/2 an inch thick.  Spray pan lightly with cooking spray. Over medium high heat, cook until the juices are clear, about 5 minutes each side. Since this is pork, do not undercook.

To assemble: Mix together the mayo with the Mae Ploy and Sriracha. Spread on the top and bottom halfs of the toasted rolls. (Yay to Kroger for now carrying whole wheat burger rolls).  Place patty on roll and top with the rainbow slaw. Make your tastebuds happy and enjoy!

BTW, these are great without the roll, served with brown rice and the slaw as sides, with the dressing drizzled on top. As in, yes, that's what I'm having for breakfast. ;)

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Twenty Questions

For fun, especially since I got a bit deep (for me) in yesterday's post, I thought I'd lighten it up with a game of 20 questions. (I got the idea from Hanlie)

1. What is your favorite dessert?  Pudding with whipped topping or cheesecake.

2. What's the last thing that made you laugh (a belly laugh, not a giggle)? Watching the Rude Chef skit by Armstrong and Miller.

3. Are you left-handed or right handed? Right handed.

4. How long does it take you to get ready in the morning, out the door? I'm lucky enough to work from home, but I try to have changed out of my PJs by lunchtime. ;)

5. They say everyone has at least one book/novel in them. If you ever got around to writing yours, what would it be? Probably a cookbook. No surprise there, huh!

6. What is your favorite quote? Time takes all but memories.

7. What is your favorite comfort food? Probably mashed potatoes with butter.

8. What are you wearing today? A running skirt and tank top with a velour hoodie.

9. Where is your happy place? Snuggling with the dogs and my hubby.

10. Who do you miss (dead or alive)? My dad.

11. What can't you forgive? I try to be forgiving, but how people treat my husband is right up there on the can't/hard-to forgive list.

12. If there was ONE thing you could go back in time and change, would you, and what would it be? I would change a stupid situation I found myself in when I was in my 20s.

13. Are you a girly-girl? You might not think it to look at me, but I kind of am.

14. What do you like most about yourself? My compassion.

15. What do you like least about yourself? Too many things to list.

16. Do you have any tattoos or piercings? Yup.

17. What is scarier - snakes or spiders? Spiders. The poisonous ones in Australia freaked me out. There are some nasty ones in Texas, too.

18. What type of movies do you like? Action movies.

19. What foreign country would you like to visit most? Italy is right up there. I've been listening to Earworms language program in Italian lately. I can order a coffee and ask for a table for two by the window! I'd love to see the Taj Mahal, too.

20. What are you grateful for today? I'm grateful for my home, my family, the fact that I can work from home, that I am healthy. I'm blessed in so many ways.

Monday, April 23, 2012

A recent FB post

Feeling very out of sorts, I posted the following on FB on Saturday morning:

You probably don't know how painfully shy the person who showed up at your club's group run is. Or how far out of her comfort zone she was. Last year, when she showed up for a run, people were welcoming, so she thought she'd be okay. A couple of you said good morning as you walked past her, but after 10 minutes of standing there, nervously clutching her water bottle, feeling anxious and out of place, with no one talking to her, she left. But you probably didn't notice that.

The supportive comments this post received meant a lot to me. You see, not everyone knows how shy I am. It took a lot for me to even drive to this group run. When I got there, it took a lot for me to get out of the car. I seriously considered turning around in the parking lot and just driving home. But I didn't. I metaphorically put on my big girl panties and got out of the car. I slowly walked to the club house, and nervously said good morning to the people who were already there. A couple of people acknowledged me, but most didn't. The few women that were there just continued on in their conversation as if I was invisible. And that's what I felt like. Invisible. I toughed it out for several more minutes, feeling more and more like a loser the longer I stood there. Funny how the big girl panties can quickly disappear in situations like this. Finally, feeling a panic attack coming on, I walked away from the club house, back to the car. I managed to drive away (past the club house, mind you) and get down the road a bit before I started crying. 

When I got home, it was not even 7:30, so The Aussie was still in bed. I climbed in beside him, doggies hopping on the bed to snuggle with us. He asked what time it was and I said 7:30. Puzzled, his asked "aren't you going?" I told him I was back. He asked what happened. While he's a very outgoing person, he knows how difficult things like this are for me. He just held me as I cried while telling him what had happened. He told me that I at least made the effort and that was what was important.

It was important. I made the effort. But I won't be again. Oh, I'll show up for races that this group puts on a couple of times a year, but I won't be showing up for group events. Want to hear something funny? When I was half asleep not long ago I thought about why I sign up for races. This is going to sound pathetic, but part of it is the pictures of groups of friends all running together, wearing goofy costumes, having fun. It's like I'm still the nerdy little kid, always picked last for the team, looking at a group of friends from the other side of the chain link fence. I want to be a part of their popular group. But I'm not. A dear friend left this comment to my post ... When you are out there in a race it is just you and the pavement. You have everything you need inside you right now... She's right. I do have everything I need inside me. I'll be fine. Just me and the pavement.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

My new best friend is a salad dressing. Or how to torture yourself on Sunday morning part 2.

Please pardon the sorry excuse for a food picture, but this is one delicious pasta salad. Thank you, thank you Sandwich King. In addition to the grilled veggie sandwich that I made yesterday for lunch, he put together a spring pasta salad in this weekend's episode. Obviously, you use what's on hand if you don't have yellow roasted peppers in a jar or shallots. (Actually, I did have a shallot, I just forgot to put it in the salad.) And if you'd rather use agave nectar instead of honey, go for it.

Spring Pasta Salad (makes about 10 cups)

8 oz brown rice spirals, cooked, rinsed in COLD water, and drained
1 bag of frozen peas, thawed
1 bunch of asparagus, blanched and thinly sliced
1 bunch of snow peas, blanched and sliced ( used a big handful)
1/4 cup roasted red pepper (in water), diced
1 cup grape tomatoes, quartered
1 jar artichoke heart quarters (in water), drained
1/2 cup dressing (see below)
salt to taste

Mix together in a large bowl, add dressing and gently toss to coat.

Lemon Mustard Dressing (aka my new best friend)

1 t dijon mustard
1 T agave syrup
1 large clove of garlic, grated
zest of one large lemon
juice of one large lemon
1 T fresh dill, finely minced
1/2 cup olive oil (the oil should be about the same volume as the other ingredients)

Place all ingredients in a small jar, cover, and shake.

This is such a lovely dressing. I am lucky that I have a dill plant that hasn't bolted up at the community garden. It really goes well with lemon and garlic. Our assignment for Weight Watchers this week is to try a new vegetable. I picked up a big bunch of broccoli rabe at Sprouts after the meeting on Sunday. I am thinking I will blanch it and dress it with this salad dressing. To paraphrase Dr Seuss, Oh The Places We'll Go...

Monday, April 16, 2012

How to torture yourself on a Sunday morning.

My regular Weight Watchers meeting is on Sundays, and I try not to eat much before the meeting so I don't mess up my weigh in. Normally I'm not at home for part of the time, but I was a bad person and skipped church because I was being a wuss and didn't want to go out in the torrential downpour. So what did I do yesterday before the meeting? Watched cooking shows. Dumb idea. I was getting downright stabby, but the food being made looked so good. I've never watched Sandwich King before, but I do like sandwiches, so I continued to torture myself by watching. One he made was a grilled veggie sandwich with goat cheese spread. Eww to the goat cheese, but the veggies looked good.  I don't recall what he marinated his veggies in, but I did a simple balsamic vinegar, olive oil and italian seasonings marinade and popped the sliced vegetables (yellow squash, zucchini, red onion and later I added in portobello mushrooms) in a plastic bag this morning. By lunch time they were ready to grill. One of the pluses to working from home is cooking up your lunch. Grilling it was a first for me. (Note to self, go clean up the pieces of onion that fell through the grill grate.) This sandwich was huge! I'm still full at 5:30 pm. Instead of goat cheese, I combined about 1 T of shredded queso fresco and 1 T of fat free cream cheese, and a bit more of the italian herbs. I now have a great substitute for goat cheese!  The huge pieces of flatbread really added to the points, but overall, it was worth it.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

New Gadget

I was invited to a Pampered Chef party recently by a woman from church. It was my first one, and I didn't quite know what to expect, so I went online to see what kind of products they have. One thing that caught my eye was the microwave chip maker. I like crunchy, snacky things, but not the fat and calories that many crunchy, snacky things have.

Yesterday morning, before work, I pulled out the mandoline that The Aussie gave me for a birthday present a couple of years ago. I have had so little success with it, but I watched a video recently to try and figure out how to use it. Success! I managed to make thin slices of sweet potato with the mandoline. I placed them on the trays and started microwaving. The guidelines say 3 minutes, but it took about double that time. Maybe my slices are thicker than they recommend, but I wanted crisper chips.

Voila! This is actually both trays worth of slices (minus a couple I ate), so they really shrink down a lot. These weren't seasoned, but you could make them spicy, sweet, whatever you like.  Hello little crunchy, snacky things... I think I'll be planting sweet potatoes this summer at the community garden. I don't want to run out.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Aftermath of the storm

Last night I headed up to the community garden to survey the damage. Below is an example of what was coming down in the yard on Tuesday afternoon. It sounded like a meteor shower hitting the house. A very loud meteor shower. The extent of our damage, at least that we've discovered so far, is a broken window in my husband's work room upstairs. That'll be fun to fix.

This little tomato got clobbered. It was the worst of the six I planted this weekend. Poor thing. I'll be taking it out and planting a new one. The others weren't happy, but they were still standing.
The potatoes came through nicely. I need to buy more compost to top up my rows.
Part one of my Three Sisters faired well. This is the corn, that was planted a couple of weeks ago. Last weekend I planted the beans. They haven't sprouted yet. No picture of the swiss chard. There's a bit of hail damage to the chard, but it won't make it taste any less yummy.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

No Knead Bread

After the craziness of yesterday afternoon, spending "quality" time with the dogs and the parrot in a closet under the stairs, listening to tornado sirens blaring and hail hitting the house, I decided to try making no knead bread. I don't know how I stumbled upon this blog but I'm glad that I did. Now I love bread. Probably too much. Especially when it's warm from the oven or bread maker, slathered with butter... oops. Drooling now.... As you know, I've been doing Weight Watchers since the end of October, so it's not a treat I allow myself very often. And since I've pretty much been at a plateau since I hit my 10% goal, I probably shouldn't be treating myself now. That's life, though. I can eat things, but I'd better be prepared to exercise more and eat plently of healthy things, too.

I have a bread machine, which makes great bread. When I've tried to make it by myself, I've totally messed up. Last time, I ended up with bread that wouldn't rise, and was so tough. I think the yeast continued to rise in my stomach, which was NOT a good thing. So when I heard about no knead bread, I thought it would be neat to try. So last night, after I signed off from work, I put the dough together. Flour, salt, yeast and water. Pretty easy, huh? I'm not 100% sure my yeast was fresh enough, but it rose. The trick to no knead bread is that you don't mess with it. It sits in a bowl, on your counter, overnight. Simple.

No Knead Bread
3 cups AP flour
1 3/4 t salt (Note: this was too salty. I'll reduce to 1 t next time)
1/2 t yeast
1 1/2 c water

In a large bowl, mix together the flour, salt and yeast. Stir in the water, mixing enough to ensure that it's worked in. Cover with plastic wrap and let sit for 12-18 hours on your counter.

This is what it looked like this morning, after 13 hours. When you're ready to bake, heat up your oven to 450. When it reaches temperature, put your dutch oven and lid in to heat for 30 minutes. (Note: I read that my dutch oven lid can only be safely heated to 400 because of the handle, so I heated the bottom for 15 minutes at 450, reduced the heat, and when it hit 400, I put the lid on and heated for another 15 minutes.)

While the oven is heating, dump out the sticky dough mixture on to a heavily floured counter and shape in to a ball. Mine didn't really come out as a ball, more like a blob. Cover with the plastic wrap and let it rest while the oven and the pan are heating. After the pan has heated for 30 minutes, remove from the oven. Pick up the blob and put it in to the pan. Cover and stick in the oven for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, remove. At this point, I removed the lid and stuck it back in for a few minutes to get it a bit more brown. When it's baked, carefully remove from the pan and let cool on a wire rack.

Isn't it pretty?

Now all I need to do is figure out how many WW points this loaf is so I don't eat the whole thing!

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Top O' the morning to you

Naw, this isn't a Saint Patrick's Day post. I just like that phrase! Plus, I'm trying to generate happy thoughts and stay positive, and what better to put you in a cheerful mood than a happy greeting? :) And a lovely, HUGE, mug of tea and a piece of pumpkin cake?

I was scouring the interwebs for recipes for pumpkin chocolate brownies after a friend mentioned them on FB recently. Too many of the recipes posted were simply boxed brownie mix made with pumpkin. Delicious, I am sure, but full of sugar and preservatives, too. Besides, it's not what you mix in to the brownie mix that's not good for you, it's the brownie mix, itself. So, I played recipe mash up and came up with these. Techically, I guess they are brownies, but there's almost no chocolate flavor here, so I'll consider this to be spiced pumpkin cake. Probably more suited to fall baking, but it's a tasty treat, nonetheless, and not too sweet. Recipe Builder calculated this at 4 +points. If you like sweeter, you could add more sugar, but the points would change.

Spiced Pumpkin Cake (12 servings)

1 cup canned pumpkin
1/2 cup low fat buttermilk
1/4 cup canola oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 cup egg beaters
1 1/4 cups white wheat flour
1/2 cup brown sugar (not packed)
1/4 cup splenda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons cinnamon
2 Tablespoons of dark cocoa powder (unsweetened)
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon grated nutmeg

Preheat oven to 350. Spray an 8x8 baking pan with non-stick spray. Mix the wet ingredients, including the brown sugar and splenda, together until smooth. Mix the dry ingredients together and add to the wet mixture. Pour into baking pan and back for about 35 minutes.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

TMI Tuesday, the Wednesday edition

Can I just tell y'all how sick to death I am of hot flashes? I put on and take off layers of clothes so often, I'm starting to feel like a stripper.

Thank you, Pixar

Please, take a few minutes and go read this post by Ryan. It will put a smile on your face, and in your heart.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Weight Watchers - week 17 update

So, I didn't do too badly this week at weigh in. This is a good thing, considering I was up 1.6 last week after finally getting to my 10% mark. I was back down that 1.6 and a little more, for a total of 2 pounds down. It's really strange being this weight, because I haven't weighed this little in years. I'm actually going through my closet and finding things I can finally fit in to again. Not everything, mind you, but I'm getting there. Ideally, I'd like to fit in to a little black dress that I bought to wear to a New Year's Eve party in Australia many years ago. That's still 25 pounds off though, which is less than my official goal weight. I'd like to fit in to my wedding dress again, too! Anywho, slow progress is good progress.

Nothing new cooked this week, so far. I'm actually back to tracking this week. I need to reign myself back in. I was cooking with mostly power foods, so I wasn't eating badly, but I don't want to get too far removed from tracking and accountability. Speaking of tracking, I had to suck it up and write down that I ate pizza last night. We were getting our taxes done, and our accountant was running behind schedule, so we took advantage of the delay to go get some dinner at a nearby pub. The Aussie had his beloved fish and chips, and I splurged and had one of their naan bread pizzas. It was strange, but tasty in it's own non-pizza way. It was topped with garlic spread, apples (they weren't carmelized like the description said, though), bangers (a sausage sliced up) and brie. And I had a Harp lager. O.M.G. that was tasty. So a few points (about 7) came off of my weekly points allowance. That pizza and beer was worth it. All in all, it was a good night. :)

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Bad pictures, fantastic chili

I apologize, in advance, for the pictures in this post. Tired of strangely shaped pictures taken by my phone camera, I went back to my digital camera. Because I don't like to use the flash, I have to be my own auto-focus and try to stand very still while taking pictures. Needless to say, I'm not very good at this. I am pretty good at cooking, though, so it all evens out in the end.

Speaking of cooking, I came up with the idea for this chili while I was half asleep yesterday morning. I'm glad I did, because it tastes amazing.

Turkey Sweet Potato Black Bean Chili (serves 8)

1 T canola oil
1 medium onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, crushed
1 1/2 pounds extra lean ground turkey
2 T chili powder
1 T ground cumin
1 t ground coriander
2 bell peppers, diced (I used red because it was on hand)
1 poblano pepper, diced (I remembered to use a glove while cutting this time!)
2 large sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped into bite sized pieces)
2 cans diced tomatoes
1 cup chicken broth
2 cans black beans, rinsed

1. Heat a large pot over medium high heat. When it's hot, drizzle in your canola oil. Add in the chopped onion, and after a minute or so, add in the garlic, making sure it doesn't burn. After these have cooked for a few minutes and have softened, add in the ground turkey, breaking up the clumps. Cook until you don't see much pink in the turkey. Add in your ground spices, stir to coat the meat evenly with the chili powder, cumin and coriander.

2. Stir in the diced bell pepper and the diced poblano pepper.

3. Now it's time for the sweet potato, diced tomatoes and the chicken broth. Stir well, lower the heat, cover and simmer for about 40 minutes.

4. Uncover, stir in the black beans, and simmer until the potatoes are done and the black beans are heated through. Season to taste. I didn't add any salt, because there's enough sodium with the canned ingredients. If you're a salt lover or want more heat, please feel free to spike your chili with more salt and some cayenne.

Enjoy! FYI, the WW +points for a 1 cup serving is 7. Everything in here, except the garlic and spices, allowing for your healthy oil, counts as a power food.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Breakfast Treat

A while back I picked up the WW Power Foods recipe book. I figured, since I'm going back to the Simply Filling technique, that I'd look through the book and see what struck my fancy. What struck my fancy was the Dutch Baby recipe. (They call it a "blueberry" Dutch Baby, but even I can clearly see the blackberries in their picture) First, I'll say that the recipes use power foods, but aren't only power foods. This means that I can't count them as power foods when I track what I eat, since the entire WW +points amount would come out of my weekly points total. To get around this, I just logged the components of the recipe, so only the non-power foods points came off of my total. If you're going for straight points, this came to 4 points, because I didn't use any confectioner's sugar on top or serve it with fat free Greek yogurt.

Three Berry Dutch Baby

2 t butter
1 cup of fat free milk
3/4 cup AP flour
1/2 cup Egg Beaters
1 t canola oil
1/4 t ground cinnamon
pinch of salt
3/4 cup of frozen mixed berries (I think I used closer to 1 cup)

1. Preheat oven to 450. When it's come up to temperature, but the butter in a 9 inche glass pie plate. Place in oven for 2-3 minutes, or until the butter has melted.

2. While oven is heating, combine the milk, flour, Egg Beaters, canola oil, cinnamon, and a pinch of salt in your blender. Blend until the mixture is very smooth, making sure you have no flour clumps hiding.

3. Remove the pan from the oven, swirl until the butter has coated the bottom and just up the sides of the pan. Pour in the mixture. (The butter will move up the sides of the pan, around the mixture) Sprinkle your berries evenly on top. Bake for about 20-25 minutes, or until the Dutch Baby is puffed up and lightly browned. When you take out of the oven, it will be very puffed up, but it will drop as it cools.

4. Enjoy! (The book calls for you to sprinkle with 2 t confectioner's sugar and serve with 1/2 cup of fat free Greek yogurt. This will at 1 point to the total). I served with a drizzle of sugar free syrup one morning, at it plain (and cold) the next. Delicious either way.

(Oh, and for my WW check in, I didn't do very well this week. In fact, I regained what I'd lost the week before... I was totally expecting it, so I'm not concerned)

Friday, February 17, 2012

Asian Lettuce Cups

After a couple of day off the Simply Filling wagon, I'm back on. Blame Valentine's Day, blame TOM, blame whatever... (the chocolate in the fridge that I got The Aussie...) Hopefully I have some of the bad choices out of my system. Last night I made Asian lettuce cups, and they were good. I actually just had more of the filling for my breakfast. Yum. :)

Asian Lettuce Cups

1 pound of extra lean ground turkey
2 T low sodium soy sauce
1 t fresh ginger, grated
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
1 T sriracha sauce
1 T hoisin sauce
1 can of sliced water chestnuts, chopped
lettuce leaves (bibb lettuce is recommended because the leaves are flexible, but if you only have iceburg, like me, that works fine)

Preheat a large skillet over medium high heat. Meanwhile, combine the ground turkey with the soy sauce, ginger and garlic in a bowl and mix well. Cook the turkey mixture until there's no more pink, breaking apart any big clumps of meat with your spatula. Add in the sriracha, or any hot pepper sauce you have, the hoisin sauce and the chopped water chesnuts. Mix thoroughly and take off the heat. Serve with lettuce leaves to spoon the mixture into, and have fun playing with your food!

Monday, February 13, 2012

Weight Watchers - week 15 update

Woo Hoo! I made my 10% goal at yesterday's weigh in. I was down 1.6 pounds.

The Simply Filling technique has really been working for me. I eat foods off of the power foods lists and I don't have to worry about points so much. Because I'm eating off of the power foods list, I'm not eating highly processed foods, full of preservatives and sodium. Win-win situation, in my book! Not every day is easy, and I'm still tempted by certain foods, but I'm trying not to get tripped by them.