Monday, November 14, 2011

Easy Berry Smoothie (2-4 points)

Easy Berry Smoothie (2-4 points)

  • 2 cups mixed berries*
  • 1 cup fresh spinach
  • 2 cups fat free milk

Put all ingredients in a blender and blend to desired texture.

The entire blender full of smoothie is 4 points.  The glass you see above has about 1/2 that much.  So if you only have one glass, it's only 2 points!

*I bought a big bag of frozen mixed berries from Costco which made this really easy (and much cheaper than buying all those berries fresh).

Okay, so maybe you noticed that I snuck in an entire cup of spinach.
But can you see it now?
Me either.
Nor could I taste it.
So pack it in and give yourself some extra nutrients for no extra points and no funny taste!

Aside from the couple of spoonfuls I snuck in before I took the picture, this is the entire amount of smoothie it made.

Also, this is random, but if you have a lame blender (like me) and it dissuades you from making smoothies, just add more liquid.  Chances are, it'll run just fine.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Homemade Coconut Macaroons!

I love coconut macaroons. But with the average store-bought cookie clocking in somewhere between 3 and 5 Weight Watcher points (up to 160 calories per cookie)...and those are the ones without the chocolate's hard to justify them as a healthy snack choice!

Enter this healthy Coconut Macaroon Recipe. It's been on a 3x5 card tucked into my cookbook forever...I don't know who to give credit to, but I tried the recipe this weekend, and it's a keeper! After I calculated the recipe's points and figured out that these cookies are only 1 point each, I decided to whip up a batch.

You know what's even better than being low in calories/points? Super easy-peasy to make!! I kid you not. You can whip them up in 10 minutes or less, then sit back and wait for the timer to go off.
OK, I know this photo makes them look like white blobby puffballs, 
so you are just going to have to take my word for how good they are.
Slightly crunchy on the outside, fluffy and moist on the inside...mmmmm!

Coconut Macaroons
2 egg whites
1/2 tsp vanilla
dash salt
2/3 cup sugar
1 1/3 cups flaked coconut

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees, and spray a cookie sheet with Pam.
Beat the egg whites, vanilla, and salt until soft peaks form.
Gradually add the sugar, beating until soft peaks form.
Fold in the coconut.
Drop from a teaspoon 1/2" apart on the greased baking sheet.
Bake at 325 degrees for 20 minutes.
Cool on wire rack.

Makes 20-24 cookies.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

1 hike ≠ 1 milkshake

Mark and I went on a glorious fall afternoon hike yesterday. We hiked steadily--a good pace, uphill and down--for 3 whole hours!

Whew! I was a hiker grandma, for sure!

I was careful with my food choices, and carried a healthy, nutritious, low-points lunch.

Wonderful exercise and healthy food. Win-win, yes?

Because by the time we got back into civilization, I had waaaay too many rumblies in my tumbly.
After hiking 3 hours, I could certainly justify a small milkshake, right?


When I got home and entered my exercise and my snack into my Weight Watchers points tracker, I ended up regretting my milkshake.

Hiking for 3 hours = 9 activity points
1 small McDonald's vanilla milkshake = 15 food points

Oops. Lesson learned. Next time I'll take a little more (as in, quantity) healthy food with me!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Hot Cocoa with Chocolate Chip Ice Cream (2 points)

Hot Cocoa with Chocolate Chip Ice Cream (2 points)

  • 1 cup water (0 points)
  • 2 TBS hot cocoa mix (2 points)
  • 2 TBS chocolate chip ice cream (0 points*)

Fill a mug with 1 cup water.**  Heat in the microwave for 1-1 1/2 minutes.  Spoon hot chocolate mix into water and stir.  Top with ice cream and enjoy!

*No joke!  The ice cream really doesn't count if you only have 2 TBS.  Sweet!

**I actually used a little less than 1 cup so I could leave enough room in my mug for the ice cream.

Oatsies and Scrabbled Egg Whites (revisited) (4 points)

Scrabbled Egg Whites (2 points)
  • 1/8 cup onion, diced (0 points)
  • 5-6 slices fresh mushrooms, diced (0 points)
  • 3 egg whites (1 point)
  • 1/2 slice of deli ham, diced (0 points)
  • 5-6 cherry tomatoes, sliced (0 points)
  • 1/2 cup fresh baby spinach leaves, chopped (0 points)
  • 2 TBS shredded Mexican* cheese (1 point)

Spray a non-stick frying pan with cooking spray.  Saute the onions and mushrooms on medium heat while you prepare the rest.  Put everything else except the cheese in a bowl and mix it up with a fork.  Remove the sauted onions and mushrooms and add them to the egg mixture.

Spray the pan again with cooking spray and then scrabble the egg mixture like you would normally cook scrabbled eggs.  Move scrabbled egg whites to a plate and top with shredded cheese.

*This is just that shredded cheese mix intended for tacos.  We had it on hand from--believe it or not--some tacos we made a couple nights ago.

Oatsies (2 points)
  • 1/4 cup 1 Minute Quick Oats oatmeal (2 points)
  • 1/2 cup water (0 points)
  • 1/3 TBS brown sugar (0 points)

Put the oatmeal and water in a microwave-safe bowl.  Heat on high for 1- 1 1/2 minutes.  Stir in brown sugar.

Serve with a tall glass of water.

This breakfast was really yummy and satisfying.  I think I like the eggs even better today with the onion, mushrooms, and spinach.  It just gave it more color and flavor, I think.  Also, adding the spinach was an easy way to pack it with that much more veggie goodness.

I had initially planned on having some fruit with it too, but once it was all prepared, it just seemed like plenty of food already.  Also, I had already had a banana earlier during my morning walk.

Now if only I could bring myself to wake up early enough to make this for Bryan before he leaves for school...

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Scrabbled Egg Whites (2 points)

Scrabbled Egg Whites (2 points)

  • 3 egg whites (1 point)
  • 1/2 slice of deli ham, diced (0 points)
  • 1 stalk green onion, diced (0 points)
  • 5-6 cherry tomatoes, sliced (0 points)
  • 1/2 clove fresh garlic, diced (0 points)
  • 2 TBS shredded Mexican* cheese (1 point)

Put everything except the cheese in a bowl and mix it up with a fork.  Spray a non-stick frying pan with cooking spray and then scrabble the egg mixture like you would normally cook scrabbled eggs.  Move scrabbled egg whites to a plate and top with shredded cheese.

Serve with a side of fruit and a tall glass of water.

*This is just that shredded cheese mix intended for tacos.  We had it on hand from--believe it or not--some tacos we made a couple nights ago.

This is what I ate for breakfast this morning.
Instead of a bowl of rice chex with skim milk.
There's kind of a difference between the two.

Why the big change?
I joined Weight Watchers yesterday.

I've been hearing good things about the new-and-improved Weight Watchers program from my mom, mother-in-law, and father-in-law for months now.  And being on my mom's health insurance (oh the joys of being under 26... and having really nice parents) makes it so I can be in Weight Watchers for free.

So I had been thinking about joining for a while, but then after I read this post on my sister-in-law Holly's blog yesterday, I finally made the plunge.  No offense to mine and Bryan's parents, but I think seeing somebody my own age enjoying Weight Watchers made it that much more appealing to me.  So, thanks Holly.  (And sorry to Mom and Trish and Greg for calling you old.  I didn't really  mean it, promise.)

Apparently the way it works to get Weight Watchers for free through the health insurance is that you only get 3 months free at a time.  And in order to qualify for the next 3 months, you have to actually be consistently entering in your weight and what you eat and everything.  Which is totally genius because otherwise I would be really likely to be a lazy bum about it.

When I signed up and got everything started yesterday, I was 150 lbs.
This morning I was 148 lbs.

Haha, actually, I think that has very little to do with Weight Watchers and everything to do with, I don't know, maybe Heavenly Father trying to give me a little push start.  Because last night I went to the Relief Society pie night and, ya know, ate a lot of pie.  Although I guess I have the whole Weight Watchers thing to thank for my choosing to eat really tiny pieces of each pie instead of really big ones.  And even though it just sounds wrong to join Weight Watchers and then go to pie night, I think it was actually really good.  For a couple of reasons.

First of all, eating all that pie had me majorly sugared out.  My desire to eat sweets right now is considerably lower than normal.  Nothing like a good pie binge to make you hate sugar for a while.

And, second of all, it was a good practical situation to show me that being on Weight Watchers doesn't mean I can never splurge.  Because, even though I ate all that pie, it didn't put me "over" on calories or points.  It just pulled from my flex points that I get each week.  So instead of the program telling me, "You are such a fatty and all you ever eat is pie and you should be disappointed in yourself" it said, "That was fun, but let's be good for the rest of the week, okay?"

All in all, I'm happy about Weight Watchers so far.  While the website does still seem a little intense and overwhelming to me, I've already picked up quite a bit about how to use it.  I think it's going to be a good thing.

Here's to slimming down, eating healthier, and getting that $100!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Lucky 7!

After 6 weeks of attending Weight Watchers, I have lost 7 pounds! This morning the scale gave me the happy news: 134 pounds.

I am kind of surprised that I like the Weight Watcher eating plan so much! They upgraded it a few months ago to align with the latest information about healthy living. I appreciate the guidelines toward health instead of focusing on calories. 

I get 29 "points" every day. The points are based on a formula for fat, carbohydrates, fiber, and protein. I find that I am paying more attention to those numbers now, and not just the calories. For example, both a banana and 1/2 cup of ice cream have about 100 calories. But the banana is 0 points, and the 1/2 cup ice cream is 3 points. It's a no-brainer that the banana is healthier, but now I don't feel guilty for eating it.

I really like the flexibility with the plan. In addition to my daily 29 points, I have another 49 "plus" points that I can use every week, however I like. I can save up to use them all at once for a special event, or I can spread them throughout the week.

I had a little time to myself yesterday evening, so I dropped by Goodwill for a shopping trip to celebrate my smaller self. I bought a size 10 skirt! And this adorable sweater. It is so comfortable, and I love the way it camouflages some of my neck wrinkles.

 Mark took the photo when we went with our Primary children to the temple this afternoon.

 Holly and Arora - Arora did not want to leave! Her mommy had to promise that they could go back again soon.

 The white marble spires were beautiful in the autumn sunshine.

Tonight for dessert, I'm enjoying a wonderful Cherry Cheesecake recipe from the Weight Watchers website. Mmmmmm! You can find the recipe here.

We'd love to hear from you!

Want to write a guest post for The Skinny? E-mail Katie at kathleenann08 (at) gmail (dot) com.