Friday’s Weigh-in & a Really Good Dinner Recipe

Again, I didn’t have time to post on Friday after my official weigh-in.  This week the scale actually went down 2 pounds, which is an amazing thing, and I’m going to be happy about it, even though I didn’t even come close to getting to my goal of getting back to one-derland by March.  That’s really sad because I remember when I made that goal at the beginning of February, I actually thought it was a silly goal because it was so easy.  *sigh*

ANYWAY!  On to even better news!  A good WW recipe-find always makes me happy!

This one is from Emily Bites (my second favorite WW recipe site, after SkinnyTaste), and it’s called Spaghetti & Meatball Cups.  Look how cute they are:

ImageAs you can see, I served them with some steamed broccoli.  The plate of two meatball cups + veggies was 9PP+.  They were pretty filling and my whole family liked them.  Yay!  You should give ’em a try!

1 PP+ Dessert!

Sometimes a girl’s gotta have dessert…but I don’t like to spend many points on dessert foods at all. So the other night I came up with this really low-point version of a strawberry shortcake.  It’s small, but yummy — and only ONE point+!

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What exactly is it?

1/2 of an Eggo Nutrigrain Whole Wheat, Low Fat Waffle — toasted.
3-4 strawberries, chopped (I also added a little sprinkle of Splenda)
3 TBS of fat free cool whip.

There ya go! 
Like I said…. it’s small, but it gives you that dessert fix when you really need something sweet.  Enjoy! 

A Spaghetti Squash Expirement (and some really yummy turkey meatballs)

Let me start by saying — I LOVE spaghetti squash.

I used to make it maybe once or twice a month, but for the past few weeks, it’s become a Sunday night tradition for me to make some kind of spaghetti squash dinner for my husband and me.  So far we’ve tried two recipes from SkinnyTaste (Cheese Baked Spaghetti Squash Boats and Spaghetti Squash Lasagna) and last week I tried Rachael Ray’s Spaghetti Squash with Mushroom Ragu.  The two from SkinnyTaste were really good, but Rachael Ray’s recipe was a total bust. So bland and tasteless.  blech!

Anyway!  I wanted to make another spaghetti squash dish tonight, but I’m getting a little tired of the Italian theme.  I found a recipe for WW-friendly Asian meatballs and thought — why not try to make some kind of Asian spaghetti squash to go with it? I did a quick Google search for ‘Asian Spaghetti Squash Recipes’, and there were a couple, but none of them looked like exactly what I was looking for (or called for ingredients I didn’t have on hand). 

So I made one up. And it actually turned out really good!!  I basically just stir-fried the veggies I had on hand, then added a soy/peanut sauce that I’ve used for noodles before.. and voila!  “Thai Peanut Spaghetti Squash” was born!

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Here’s my “recipe” if you want to try it yourself:

INGREDIENTS
1 large spaghetti squash, cooked and strands removed. (My favorite way to do this is to cut the squash in half lengthwise, scoop out the seeds and place cut-side down on a baking sheet.  Bake at 350 for about an hour.)
8 oz thinly sliced mushrooms
1/2 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
1 large carrot, thinly sliced (I used my julienne peeler.  LOVE.)
1 tbs minced garlic
large handful chopped cilantro
Sauce:
2 tbs chunky peanut butter
1/2 cup soy sauce
juice from half a lime

DIRECTIONS
1)  Mix sauce ingredients in a small bowl and set aside.  (If the PB doesn’t want to mix up with the soy sauce, you can microwave it for about 30 seconds and it should come together better.)
2)  Spray a large deep skillet with cooking spray and heat to medium-high.  Add mushrooms, pepper and carrots and cook, stirring often, for 4-5 minutes, until vegetables are tender.  Add garlic and continue to cook for another 1-2 minutes, until garlic is softened.
3)  Add spaghetti squash strands to the veggie mixture and stir to combine.  Turn off heat.
4)  Add sauce, and stir until all of the veggies are coated.  Top with cilantro and serve!

Now I’m not one of those people who pretends spaghetti squash actually tastes like spaghetti.  Let’s face it … it doesn’t.  But I have to say, with this peanut sauce on it, I almost fooled myself into believing I was eating Asian noodles.  And my husband (who is definitely not a huge fan of vegetables) LOVED it.  He even asked to take the leftovers to work with him tomorrow.  Yay!

But the best part?  I only had to count the points for 1 tbs peanut butter (actually less than that because I ate less than half of the recipe) because the rest of the recipe is Simply Filling.  Yay! 

Oh and the turkey meatballs were really good, too.  I found that recipe here.

So anyway… let me know if you give it a try.  And if you have any great spaghetti squash recipes, please share!  I’m sure we’ll be eating some more next Sunday! 🙂

First weigh-in. Well, THAT’S annoying!

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So, yeah, I know WW says I’m not supposed to, but I’ve been looking at the scale every morning since re-joining and following the “Simple Start” plan for a week.  I was feeling really good because after gaining a random pound the first day, the number kept going down, down, down every day after.  By yesterday morning I was down 4 whole pounds!

I made sure I laid off the sodium yesterday.  No super salty foods, no diet soda …. lots and lots of water.  I followed the plan all day (as I have all week) and felt pretty good when I went to bed last night.  I was happy I’d wake up this morning and head into the meeting with a FOUR POUND loss.  WOOP!!!

But wouldn’t you know it.  This is SO typical for my body.  I woke up this morning almost 2 pounds up from yesterday.  Why?  WHO ON EARTH KNOWS!  It’s just what my body does.  All the time.  It’s really frustrating and annoying, and it’s actually the reason I weigh in daily instead of once a week (See more on that in this post I wrote a while back).  So at least when my weight pops up for no apparent reason, I don’t feel like I’ve been a complete failure all week.

So anyway…. I just got back from my official weigh-in and according to the WW scale, I lost a whopping 1.2 pounds this week.  *sigh*

Yes, yes, I know, I know…. I don’t need the lecture about how 1-2 pounds is the recommended weight loss, and that 1 pound of fat is like that big scary lump of yellow stuff they show you in the meetings.  I know.  It’s just really frustrating when I know there is no way on earth I actually, legitimately, gained 2 pounds overnight and it’s like the Weight Loss Gods like to play a little joke on me every weigh-in day just to get a laugh. Well I don’t think it’s funny!

But ok we’ll go with it.  As I promised myself I would do every Friday… here is my official WW weigh-in for 2/7/14: 204.8 lbs.
Hopefully I’ll have better luck next week.

Here’s to week 2 of Simply Filling!

Back to being a full-fledged member

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I really hoped this day would never come, but Friday I took the walk of shame back through the doors of my local Weight Watchers center.  I couldn’t believe when I signed back in to my eTools account, it had been a year, almost exactly, since I quit doing the program as an official member. Wow.  And here I am again!

So let’s recap what’s been going on the past few years:

  • I joined Weight Watchers in October of 2011 with an official starting weight of 237 and an official goal weight of 160.
  • Over the following year, I lost almost 50 pounds and got down to the lowest weight I have ever been as an adult: 188.
  • Over the holidays of 2012 I managed to gain back 10 pounds, bringing me back up to 198. That was the start of a really hard year for me.
  • At the beginning of 2013, due to work and income changes, I ended up quitting Weight Watchers and trying to do it on my own — still following WW guidelines, and keeping to a very dedicated fitness plan throughout the year (You can check out my fitness log here.)
  • I struggled all through 2013 to lose weight – desperately wanting to get back to 188 (not even dreaming about getting to goal weight!)… but if you followed my blog at all, you know…. my weight would not budge.
  • Throughout the year I lost and gained the same 7 or 8 pounds but could never get back down to that elusive 188.  The closest I ever got was 191.
  • The holidays of 2013 struck, and my extreme frustration over my plateau… coupled with a really bad knee injury … sent me into a pretty bad funk diet-wise and although I didn’t completely go crazy, I didn’t do great either.
  • That brings me to January 31 of 2014.   I am ashamed and utterly humiliated to admit that my new starting weight as of Friday was 206.

I want to cry typing that horrible number out, but it is what it is.  I can wallow in shame and pity or I can get over it and move on.  I think I’ll choose the latter.  That’s why I’m here confessing it to everyone publicly, and that’s why I decided I needed to actually go to a meeting and join Weight Watchers again.

It felt like deja vu walking back through the doors on Friday.  I quickly remembered how much I dislike WW meetings.  Don’t get me wrong… I need the WW meetings (apparently), but I really hate them.  I hate the cheesy little stickers they hand out, I hate having to clap for everyone, I hate the scripted weekly messages the leaders give us.  But I need it.

I need the accountability.  I need to get in my car every week and drive somewhere and stand in front of someone and have them tell me if I lost or gained weight.  I need to listen to the messages (as cheesy as they are) and remind myself of the things I need to be doing.  Much like going to church each week, I need to be surrounded by people with my same vision and recommit every week to the things I know I need to do.

So there you go!  I’m back!  I have to say I’m a bit hesitant about the whole “Simple Start” thing they have us on for the first 2 weeks (more on that in future posts), but I’m doing it!  And as usual… I’ll be keeping everyone posted of the progress (or lack thereof) right here on my blog.  Wish me luck!  I really feel like I need it.

Another Trader Joe’s Favorite: Reduced Guilt Spinach & Kale Greek Yogurt Dip

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Only 30 calories (or 1WW p+) for 2 tablespoons and this stuff is soooo good.  And I am not even a fan of Greek yogurt!  Try it right out of the container on raw veggies (carrots, radishes and mushrooms are my favorite), or heat it up in the microwave and it ends up tasting like a warm spinach dip — really good on pita bread or tortillas.

Mmm I’m gonna go have some right now.

Experimental Beet Cupcakes

In my never ending quest to find yummy Weight Watchers-friendly sweets, I came across a recipe for cupcakes made with canned beets the other day.  The pink color just screamed “Valentine’s Day” to me, so I thought I’d experiment and bake some up tonight to bring in to work tomorrow.

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Here’s the recipe (each cupcake is 5 WW Points+):
1 8oz can beets with liquid
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
1 box white cake mix

1.  Preheat oven to 350 and line cupcake pan with 15 cupcake liners.
2.  Puree the beets and applesauce in blender.
3.  Pour cake mix into a large mixing bowl and add beet puree.  Beat with electric mixer for 2 minutes.
4.  Separate the batter into cupcake liners and bake for 20 minutes.

The verdict?
Well, I hate to say it but…… yuck, not a fan!!
They’re not inedible, but they’re definitely not my thing!  Unlike cupcakes made the same way, but using pumpkin instead of beets (which are DELICIOUS, and you really can’t taste the pumpkin)… you can really taste the beets in these.  And apparently I’m not a big beet fan.

So chalk that one up to experimentation.
I’m still going to bring them in to work tomorrow, though.  I’ll see if anyone else likes them and let you know.  Maybe it’s just me!