Friday, January 11, 2013

Taking Control

 
Temptation is every where we/I go. I love my new job, but in the office there is an alluring dispenser full of M&M's and a lovely candy dish filled to the brim.
 
The smell of chocolate alone is inviting and the fact that they are an arms length away doesn't help. Everyone knows I've lost weight and follow Weight Watchers and the ladies  in the office all would like to lose a few pounds. So why the candy - for visitors. My feeling is even the visitors don't need chocolate. If you want to put something out for visitors then fill the bowl with mints or hard candy.
 
 
Even my dance studio has a large jar filled with candy. It's hard after a long day at work to go to the dance studio and not eat some chocolate. After all you are running on empty and you know the caffeine in the candy will give you a boost so what do you do?
 
 
Here's my energy boost list:
 
  • Almonds - I always keep them in my gym and dance bag
  • Trial mix
  • Green 'energy' tea bags - yogi brand. I keep them in my purse
  • Fresh fruit - apples, oranges, banana, etc.
  • String cheese or individually wrapped cheeses
Take your lunch or a snack with you:
  • Peanut butter sandwich- high in protein and energy
  • Oatmeal in a heat up container - it's not just for breakfast
  • Hummus or Salsa with Pop chips or a low calorie chip
  • Chicken or turkey sandwich with lettuce & tomato
  •  
On the go? Buy this instead of going to the fast food restaurant:
  • Yogurt - low  fat or fat free
  • Unsweetened apple sauce
  • Sushi
  • Sunflower seeds
  • Raisins and nuts
  • Cottage Cheese
There's lots more this is just my 'go to' list. Make your own and don't starve yourself. You'll end up binging later.
 
 
 
 
 
 

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Add Fiber to Your Meals

If you're like me you don't get enough fiber on a daily basis. So here are some helpful tips to adding fiber to your menu.

Instead of this hearty meal try something healthier

Breakfast try adding the following:
 
Cereal hot or cold - granola, nuts, fresh fruit, wheat germ or quinoa

Omelets - raw vegetables such as onions, peppers, mushrooms, tomatoes, spinach, etc.

Pancakes - fresh fruit, oatmeal and wheat flour instead of white flour, nuts or wheat germ

Smoothies - fresh fruit, granola, wheat germ, veggies ( make a V-8 style smoothie), or flaxseed.

Lunch:
Instead of this, try:
 
Salad - toss in nuts, avocado, fresh fruit, raw veggies, beans, wheatgerm or flaxseed.
 
Sandwich - add veggies or fruit. Try a grilled cheese sandwich with slices of pears in it or make a tuna sandwich with fat free Greek yogurt instead of mayonnaise, add a chopped bell pepper, apple and celery to the mix and eat on whole wheat.
 


Instead of this, try:

Dinner:

Pasta - use whole wheat pasta or spaghetti squash in place of pasta, add zucchini, eggplant, carrots and or onions to the sauce

Soups and stews- add beans (any kind), raw veggies, potatoes, corn off the cob and if you want you can add brown rice, whole wheat pasta, barley or quinoa.

Meat and poultry - add apples, pears, cherries, cranberries, apricots and oranges to the dish either as a sauce or baked in with the juice of the meat.

My weakness

Dessert:

Cookies - add nuts, fruit, oatmeal or seeds

Ice cream - use low fat or fat free ice cream and add fruit, nuts and/or granola


Yogurt - either frozen or regular add fruit, nuts, granola, wheat germ or seeds


Foods high in fiber:


Fruits:
Berries, apples, bananas, pears, oranges, prunes, raisins, peaches and dried figs

Nuts and Seeds:
Almonds, pistachios, cashews, peanuts, walnuts, Brazil, pinon nuts, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds and flaxseed


Vegetables:
Squash, turnips, corn, mustard, beet and collard greens, spinach, Swiss chard, peas, kale, cauliflower, broccoli, Brussel sprouts, red cabbage, avocados, russet, red and sweet potatoes, edamame and hearts of palm


Beans of all kinds, bran and whole grains


Have a healthy New Year!

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Sugar Addiction

 
Christmas cupcakes and cookies

 


My favorite cookies - Chocolate Chip
 
 
Lately I've been obsessed with baking. I have been making cupcakes, cookies, pies, etc. This is not a healthy trend. Even my dance teacher mentioned that I have been on a sugar high lately and that he was concerned I might develop diabetes if I didn't stop. Not a good sign.

 
So I went home and threw out all the goodies and made a shopping list. Instead of the high sugar, high carb goodies I bought low fat yogurt, fresh fruit, unsalted nuts, unsweetened applesauce, raisins, protein shakes and granola for my dessert.
  
 
I bought lots of vegetables for my meals and  made one of my favorite side dishes: butternut squash and potato mix for dinner this week. I also make turkey chili - another favorite.


 
 


I n addition to my sugar adiction I have been slacking off on my exercise routine. So I revamped my schedule and wrote in my datebook when I plan to exercise every this month. If I write it in my datebook it's like an important appointment I have to keep.  

 
I'm so grateful our basement ha a great gym. It's so nice on those miserable days not to have to go out to the gym. The gym also has a large space to do floor exercises like yoga and Pilate's and there are weights for strength training, exercise ballls and floor mats. If we had a pool it would be ideal.
 



So my New Year's Resolution is to get off my fanny and get back on track. After all this work I don't want to slide back to the old me. What's your New Year's Resolution? I hope it's one that includes a healthy you!
 
 

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Christmas Cupcakes

 
So the holidays are over, that's not a reason not to make cupcakes is it? I had some Christmas frosting left over so my feeling is let's use it up. These cupcakes are simple to make, simply delicious and only 3 points!
 
Yellow Cupcake Recipe (2 Weight Watchers Points):
 
 
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
 
In a small bowl combine the flour, salt and baking powder and set aside. In a large bowl beat the butter for a minute with a mixer. Add
the sugar and vanilla and beat until creamy. Add the egg and mix well. Add the flour mixture a little at a time and combine with the milk, mix thoroughly.
 
Put cupcake holders in muffin pan and fill 1/2 way with batter. Bake for 18 to 20 minutes or until done. Makes 24 cupcakes.
 
Butter Cream Frosting (1 WW point): 
 

Monday, December 31, 2012

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

 
 
WISHING EVERYONE A HAPPY,
 HEALTHY AND PROSPEROUS
NEW YEAR!  
 
 
SEE YOU IN 2013
 

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Gingerbread Cookies


           


                         
2 Points Plus Value

Serves: 48
Ingredients:


 2 1/4 cup(s) all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1 cup(s) packed light brown sugar
3/4 cup(s) vegetable oil
1/4 cup(s) molasses
1 item(s) egg(s)

Instructions:

Combine flour, baking soda, ginger, cinnamon, and nutmeg together in a medium sized bowl.
 
In a large bowl mix together the brown sugar, oil, molasses and egg. Add dry ingredients to the molasses batter and stir well.
 
Form 2 large balls of dough; flatten dough out to a large square and put in plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator for 1 to 2 hours.
 
Preheat oven to 375 degrees
 
Remove dough from refrigerator and let stand for 10 to 15 minutes. Unwrap and place plastic wrap under and over the dough. Using a rolling pin roll the dough out to 1/4 inch thickness. and cut cookies out using a 3 inch cookie cutter. Place cookies on a nonstick cookie sheet and bake for 8 to 10 minutes. If desired decorate with frosting.
 
Tips:


I have found that using plastic wrap instead of parchment paper and flour works much better when rolling out your dough. Besides being messy the flour dries out your dough and makes it crack. The plastic wrap keeps your dough moist and you can roll the dough out very thin without it splitting or cracking. If you are concerned about using plastic wrap, use an environmentally safe brand.

A friend and I went shopping before Christmas for some sundry items such as a wreath, flowers and a small tree. Okay, yes, I waited until the last minute to get my tree. And no I didn't buy one. I wanted a table top tree and they were all gone so my dear friend lent me her adorable twig tree for my table instead.
In our travels we found this quaint old fashioned general store; the kind that sells home made pies, real maple syrup, cakes and cookies, apple cider, etc. It brought back so many memories of traveling to New England with my husband Tom.
I told my friend that if Tom were still alive we could easily have spent $300.00 or more buying Christmas items, pies, cakes, cookies, etc. Now I remember how I got so huge. It's a wonderful feeling to be able to walk into one of those stores and walk out with a container of cider and not the whole store. 

I still find it hard to believe how different I look. It's a great feeling and a reminder that this is my Christmas gift to myself every year. As of December 12 I have kept the weight off for 2 years. There's no going back.
 
This year make your New Year's Resolution to be one of good health. You deserve it.
 
CHEERS!
 
 

 

 



Friday, December 28, 2012

Oatmeal Christmas Pancakes

A BELATED MERRY CHRISTMAS TO EVERYONE!
 

On Christmas morning I thought let me treat myself and have pancakes. Since it was Christmas I decided to make my pancakes in Christmas shapes using cookie cutters. So I made a snowman, a Christmas tree, Santa and a Christmas stocking. Fun times!

This recipe is my own version. I wanted the pancakes to be heartier and have a rich not too sweet flavor so I used rolled oats and white flour and in place of honey I used molasses.

Pancake Recipe:
1 large egg
1 egg white
1 cup low fat milk
1/2 cup mashed bananas
1Tbsp canola oil
1 Tbsp molasses
1/2 cup & 1 Tbsp of white flour
1/2 cup & 1 Tbsp of rolled oats
2 tsp salt
2 cups sliced bananas

Instructions:
Combine the egg, egg white, milk, mashed bananas, molasses and oil in a large bowl and mix together. In a small bowl combine the flour,oats and baking soda until blended. Stir flour mixture into the milk batter and stir.

Put parchment paper on top of a cutting board. Pour pancake batter into the cookie cutter shapes you want to use. DON'T make them too thick or they will be hard to cook, the dough may spread out as it cooks changing the shape. Place cutting board in the freezer for 1/2 an hour or until the dough is frozen.

Remove cutting board from freezer. Gently remove the cookie cutters.

Spray a nonstick pan with cooking spray and heat over a medium heat. Once the pan is hot put the pancakes on the griddle and cook until you see bubbles form or approximately 2 to 3 minutes on each side. Pancakes will be a golden brown color when they are done.

Add low fat butter and sugar free maple syrup and enjoy! Makes 3 1/4 cup pancakes for 5 points.  

A Change of Life Style for Me:

You may have noticed I haven't written anything in ages.  Amid the hustle and bustle of the holidays I was offered a job as a professor at a local college. Wonderful and exciting news for me. But also a lot of work. I've been writing curriculum and syllabuses for the new job as well as finishing up the last little bits of my doctoral dissertation.

So what does this mean for my blog. I'm afraid I will no longer be able to do a daily blog posting. For now I'm going to try and do a posting three to four times a week depending on my work load. If it becomes too much I will have to stop. I want to thank everyone who reads my blog and hope you understand my dilemma.

I hope you had a joyous Christmas.