Life · Weight Watchers

Weight Watchers Thursday: Fall Back Into Your Routine

Once again, I missed 1/2 of the meeting because of my other appointment and I hate to miss that much. BUT I lost another 3.4 lbs this week and I’m down a total of 7.6! I am so excited. I am already feeling a little better. I’m eating a lot healthier foods. I’m planning more and trying to get my fruits and vegetables in. It all just makes me feel better. I know I’m not going to have this kind of progress each week. I’ll even have some weeks where I gain, but it happens and that’s not what is truly important. What is important is getting healthy.

So to be honest, this week’s topic was kind of foreign to me. I have problems with sticking to a routine. Which could be that this is a good topic for me to learn from. I am making an effort to have a normal routine before heading to bed and a goal of turning everything off by 10 so I can wind myself down and not start nodding off at my desk.

Anyway, it is good to have a routine so I’m going to let you know their tips of Getting Back to a Routine in time for Fall.

1- Act Like a New Member- Re-read new member materials. Weigh, measure, and track everything you eat. Keep your tools handy. Have your scale and a set of measuring spoons out on the counter in your kitchen or within sight of e kitchen.

2- Stay for a Power Start Session- Sometimes it helps to have a refresher course on the tools and tips they teach the beginners after the meetings.

3- Make Small Changes and Small Goals- Small changes and goals make things seem more attainable and before you know it, those small achievements turn into large ones.

4- Explore e-Tools- If you have it, e-Tools is an asset to your weight loss. There are apps that go with your smart phone and the iPad to help keep you in check and find out how many points recipes you create are. There is a lot of support in message boards, articles, and many other tools. You also get your own page where you can keep your own blog, and update how you’re feeling, etc.

5- Good Health Guidelines- Be sure to check off your good health guidelines which include, dairy, fruits and vegetables, healthy oil, and water.

6- Plan Activity- Make sure you get some exercise in and start moving around.

7- Reward Yourself- Make sure to have some non-food rewards to keep your mind on your goals.

Okay that’s just about it. Time to get to the dishes and plan some routines for myself.

Recipes

Quick Pasta with Sausage and Spinach Recipe

So, I threw together a quick pasta dish, ended up being 9 points for a heaping cup so I still need to work on my recipes to make them lighter… Anyway, I thought I’d share it because it was pretty good and I was proud to make something with solely what we had at home.

Makes roughly 8 heaping 1-cup servings for 9 P+ each.

2 links uncooked Italian pork sausage (around 1/2 pound)
1 box Farfalle pasta
6-7 shallots finely chopped
5-6 garlic cloves, minced
1 box frozen chopped spinach, thawed, and water squeezed out
1/8th cup olive oil
Pinch red pepper flakes, salt, and pepper to taste

Put a large pot of water on for the pasta. Add pasta and salt when water is ready. In a large pan on med-high, cook sausage breaking up into little bits, drain on paper towel and set aside. Add oil, red pepper flakes, shallots, and salt to pan, cook until translucent. Add garlic and cook until shallots are caramelized. Add spinach and cooked sausage to blend together and heat through.

Add pasta to pan with 1/2 cup or so cooking liquid and mix everything together. Salt and pepper if necessary. Serve with grated Parmesan.

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Life · Motivation

Eating Locally

So, my mom, Nick, and I went to the Farmers’ Market yesterday and didn’t get there until about 30 minutes before closing up which is later than standard Farmers Markets. Ours closes at 2 which is good for us night owls. Still, we didn’t get there until around 1:30.

BUT, there is a benefit to getting there late. I bought 15 pounds (at least) of fruit for $10. TEN freaking dollars! I have so much fruit that I can’t fit all of it into the fridge.

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I got a bag each of red and green grapes for $5 and did the $5 for 5 pounds at a different farm and got more red grapes, plumbs, and white nectarines. Holy crap, I’m up to my eyeballs in fruit!

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I got the bag of green grapes for my nephew because he’s on a green grape kick, plus, I had already gotten a bag at Nugget before and didn’t figure on going to the Farmers’ Market this weekend.

The negative is that the food vendors were closing so Nick (who hadn’t eaten yet that day) didn’t get anything to eat. We went to Costco next so he just got something there, but I digress.

Today’s topic is about eating locally. This Month’s book for my book club was Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver. It’s about her family’s year of eating off of what they grow and raise and it is quite interesting.

Due to my bad memory, (and that I only read 1/2 the book) I can’t remember a lot if details or specific point that I really wanted to talk about, but it really opened my eyes to where our food truly comes from.

It made me understand why I should be going to farmers markets and eating locally grown and raised foods which isn’t very easy at all, but the conditions of these farms where most of our meat comes from is appalling and all of the pesticides and the conditions the farmers have to work in and he oil that’s used in gas to ship it all is just gross.

I know for the condition I’m living in that I cannot grow my own garden and I can’t get everything locally, but because of reading this book, I’m going to try to get as much as possible from local sources.

Farmers’ Markets help with that, and there are stores like Whole Foods (or known by it’s nickname Whole Paycheck) and there are more restaurants popping up each day that get their food locally. I’m going to do some research on local foods in Sacramento in case anyone reading is from Sacramento and is interested.

Okay, that’s it from me for now…

I Heart... · Recipes · Weight Watchers

I Heart Cookbooks Series

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In my opinion, I have quite a collection of cookbooks. I love them. I would buy more if I had the space and money to do so. My only problem is that I rarely use them. So I am making a plan to make at least 1 or 2 new recipes per week and blogging about them of course. It’ll all depend on how much money I have, but I think the goal of once a week is fair.

I am first going to go through them and add the ones I really don’t want to the yearly garage sale boxes for next year.

I’ve been wanting to do this for a while now but I’m finally going to start going through the books and adding little sticky notes to the recipes I personally want to try (I’m not as picky as my mom and brother. I got my dad’s palate.) and making lists of them so I can look at it to see if there are certain dishes that would work well together.

Anyway, I’m looking forward to it and hopefully I’ll get started soon.

Weight Watchers

Weight Watchers Thursdays: Supermarket Strategies

I’ve been wanting to write something all week but my mind has been blank. Thankfully I have a topic handed to me each week with Weight Watchers.

This week’s topic is Supermarket Strategies. Shopping can be hard when you aren’t prepared. There are a lot of things that can throw you off and luckily I have quite a few tips that I have already learned over the years.

1- Shop the perimeter of the store- Most grocery stores, keep the healthier foods around the perimeter of the store. The middle isles tend to have the highly processed junk foods. Also, beware of the foods that are eye level. Said junk foods tend to be in the middle of the isle and in the middle rows right at eye level. Beware of the ends of the isles as well.

2- Plan ahead- If you can, plan a week’s worth of meals and make a list (see next item for lists) of everything you need for the week.

3- Lists- One of the BEST things to do is make a list and STICK TO IT. It’s easier to just go off a list instead of walking around willy nilly through the store. You have less of a chance of grabbing junk food or things you don’t need. Also, it helps you save on money.

4- Don’t Go to the Store Hungry- This is one of the worst things you can do. When you go hungry you want to grab every single thing that looks good (but really isn’t, it just looks so because you’re hungry.). Trust me, I have fallen curse to such tragedies! 🙂

So I think that’s a good guide to start out with. And how did I do this week, you ask? I lost another 2 pounds! I’m down a total of 4.2 pounds since I started. Not too shabby. Hopefully, I can stick to it this time. I’m feeling slightly better. I definitely feel less bloated. And I’m happy with most of the decisions I’ve made over the last 2 weeks.

Do you have any ideas or tips for smart shopping?

Weight Watchers

Weight Watchers Thursday: Meals in Minutes

I missed the first 15 minutes of my meeting today because I was coming from Roseville, so I came into the middle of this weeks topic, but it sounded like it was mostly about quick meals which I like to think most of my recipes are.

They mentioned in an article on their website that you can buy pre-prepped foods like shredded cheese and per diced onions and the like, but for me it is so quick and easy, and tastes way better to prep your own. Not to mention WAY cheaper.

Anyway, I do think in today’s world it’s very convenient to buy per made foods for quick cooking, but I as an alternative, think about prepping the ingredients you can a little ahead of time. That can help a lot. Pe wash fruits and vegetables and keep in storage containers, pre-wash lettuce sor salads, so they are at hand just as easily as a bag of chips would be.

So that’s my 2 cents on the matter.

And how did I do my first week? I lost 2.2 pounds! Not too shabby. My first goal is my 5% which is 12 pounds. I would like to get down 30 by Thanksgiving which I think is doable. I know I don’t want to put a number on things but for now it’s the easiest way to keep track of my progress.

Okay that’s about it for now. I’ll have 2 recipes for tomorrow.

Recipes

Gemelli Pasta with Greens, Bacon, and Onion and a Bonus Salad Recipe

So I have two recipes today because pasta and salad really go well together. I am sure I’ve talked about my aunt’s salads before but I don’t think I’ve done a recipe post for it so I thought I’d add it to this dish since I made them together.

Gemelli Pasta with Greens, Bacon, and Onion
1 box Gemelli Pasta (or other extruded pasta like penne or farfalle)
1/2 lb bacon, cut into small pieces
1 medium onion, sliced
3-4 shallots, sliced
1 bunch swiss chard (or other green) with the thick stalk removed. Roughly chop the greens
4-5 good-sized garlic cloves, minced (I know, I might be overdoing it…)
1/4 cup olive oil

Servings- Roughly 8, 1-cup servings. 11 Points+ per serving (I’m going to work on lowering that because that is pretty high for 1 cup of pasta and I’ll redo a revised recipe but that won’t be for a while because I’m kind of tired of this dish…)

Cook bacon in large pan on medium-high heat until crispy. Drain on paper towels and set aside.

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Drain out oil and wipe with paper towel. Add chard (or greens of choice) to pan and cook until wilted down. Set aside with bacon.

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Wipe out again with a damp paper towel if residue is left in the pan from the greens. Add 1/2 of the oil (1/8 cup) and saute onions until starting to caramelize.

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Add shallots and continue to caramelize, I added a little salt to help draw out the liquid in the onions.

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Once mostly caramelized, add bacon and greens back to the onions.

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While bacon is cooking, heat a large pot of water to a boil and add pasta and salt, and cook until al dente.

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Drain and add to pan with bacon mixture along with 1/2 cup cooking liquid, the rest of the oil, and salt and pepper (only if needed, the bacon adds a lot of salt). Serve with grated Parmesan.

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Okay onto the salad.

1 head butter lettuce (or lettuce of your choosing, roughly 4 cups) washed, dried, and torn into pieces
2 large carrots, peeled and thinly sliced
1/2 medium red onion, very thinly sliced
1/4 cup candied pecans (large pieces broken in 1/2)
1/4 cup dried cranberries
2 small (or 1/2 regular english) cucumbers, thinly sliced
1 medium apple thinly sliced into small pieces
1/8 cup olive oil (2 tablespoons)
1/8 cup orange muscat champagne vinegar, shown below

Serves 4 decent portions. 4 Points+ per serving.

While the onions were sauteing, i started prepping the salad. I got 2 heads of live butter lettuce for $2.30(ish) at Costco. Live means they have the roots still attached therefore they last WAY longer.

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See! Anyway, since it was just my mom and myself, I used 1/2 of a head of lettuce.

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I got these baby cucumbers at Costco, but you can find Persian cucumbers at Trader Joes and I’m sure other stores. If you don’t have access to either store, 1/4 to 1/2 of an English cucumber would work too. My aunt has added other vegetables too including sugar snap peas, or whatever she has on hand.

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I thinly sliced the onion and apple into bit sized pieces. I used a Gala apple as that is what looked good at TJ’s but you can add any fruit you want. My aunt has put in all different kinds of fruits including peaches, mandarin oranges, she uses pear a lot which is my favorite but my mom doesnt like so I compromised.

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These are the BEST in salads. They add a nice sweet crunch to the salad and you don’t need much.

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I had dried cranberries from TJ’s too but I didn’t bother with a picture. Here’s everything in the bowl.

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This is the vinegar she uses and it is SO good in this salad.

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Toss together with salt and cracked black pepper after pasta is done and serve immediately. (Unless you like wilted salad, then do whatever you want! )

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Once I feel like making the pasta again, I’ll post a revised recipe. I know I can lower some ingredients in it