Getting my focus back with Weight Watchers new Points Plus program

You may have heard that Weight Watchers launched a new program last week, their Points Plus program.

I joined WW 3 months ago for the group support and the weekly weigh-ins. I never followed their actual program because I thought that counting points was a less accurate way of counting calories; so on-and-off I’d toy with the idea of going back to calorie counting instead, lasting maybe a day or 2 at a time.

And then I went to a meeting last week. The new program encompasses all the nutritional research that has been done over the past 13 years (since WW launched their original points system). The Points Plus program focuses on how each macro-nutrient is used by our bodies (with protein being much harder to use for energy and carbs and fat processed easily). The bottom line is not all calories are created equal and I’ve been a strong supporter of this system. The program also encourages you to eat as many fruits and vegetables (the fiber in these is what makes them power foods); lean meats and low fat dairy are next on the list and carbs + fat are the most “expensive” points plus wise.

I would really like to be able to eat intuitively one day and not count anything. However, at this point of my life I need to do something structured and this program encompasses everything I was already aiming to do… just adding that structural component that I need.

I’m dealing with my emotional eating issue as well. This is my biggest obstacle that no diet can fix. I’ve been questioning the reasons for eating outside of hunger. In situations where I can’t deal with the discomfort/anxiety/whatever I’m feeling at the moment, I’ve been grabbing fruit (zero points, baby!). And I’m seeing results so far. It’s only been a few days since I followed the program to the T and I’m very encouraged to keep going. I think this is really going to work!! Open-mouthed smile

With my new focus back, I’ve been really focusing on nutrition and enjoying some really wonderful meals lately. Let’s check out dinners from the past 3 days…

Savory Mexican pancakes

 IMG_1676

I used TJ’s pancake mix and loaded these babies up with corn, baby spinach, black beans and tomatoes.  A little salsa and low fat sour cream on top are a must! Smile

IMG_1683

Adam has a mild obsession with black beans so he was a very happy camper. I loved how quick and versatile this recipe is. Smile

Moroccan spicy chickpeas with whole wheat couscous

IMG_1880

I didn’t have ras el hanout (traditional Moroccan spice blend) so I used garam masala, so this was kind of an Moroccan/Indian dish. The sweetness of the dried apricots and the crunch of the almonds added a lot of complexity to this simple entree.

IMG_1876

Today’s kick-ass lunch was the leftover chickpeas served over salad greens, tomatoes, hot peppers and cottage cheese. MmmMmmM.

Beer-battered fish tacos with tomato avocado salsa

IMG_1887

One of the star ingredients (Adam really wanted me to show it to you :lol: )

IMG_1897

I always have some kind of fish in my freezer. Last night I dug out a few mahi-mahi fillets and tonight the rest of the meal came together in about 10 minutes. Fresh, light, just the way I love my meals. Yum, yum, yum Nyah-Nyah

My clothes are starting to fit a bit better, I’m having more homemade meals, and my focus is back. I’m feeling GOOD.

PS – I’m going to be visiting my sister in NYC this weekend and I’m meeting Joanne on Saturday night for dinner. Anyone would like to join us? I’d love to meet some of my readers!!

PPS – In case you missed it, check out my Real Food Diet cookbook review and giveaway.

See you tomorrow! Send a kiss

Food, farms and more food in 100 pictures

Once again, I wanted to start this post by thanking you all (that are still reading!!) for being patient with me. As you know, the last few weeks have been crazy busy and luckily – this weekend was the exact opposite! Adam is starting a new job tomorrow (his last day was Friday – same day as I handed in my work!) and we decided to take off for the weekend and completely unplug… in Maine. If you were following this blog a few months ago, you may remember our last super relaxing trip there. I knew this would be the perfect getaway this time around as well. I’m happy to report that our “batteries” are recharged and we are ready to face this work week. Good thing we only have 3 days left. ;)

By looking through 260+ pictures I took, it looks like this weekend was as crazy busy as ever. But I can assure you – we definitely spent a few hours just sitting on the porch, soaking in the sunshine and catching up on books that have been gathering some dust over the past few weeks. And of course, we also ate well. Very well. Thank you, Jane and Jim, for being such great hosts! (I also cooked one breakfast and one dinner – cooking is what I love!). So how about a recap? Ready?….

We like breaking up trips that are over 2 hours with fun stops. This weekend was my first time in Potsmouth, NH where I finally got to taste the famous Flatbread flatbreads. :)

This adorable drawing pretty much says it all :) My choice of the carne special – pepperoncini oil, organic garlic yogurt marinated chicken, baby spinach, whole milk mozzarella, kalamatta olives, feta cheese, artichokes hearts and herbs was a very good choice. I can’t see it on my camera so here is Adam’s pepperoni + mushroom flatbread (also awesome!).

The place itself is also adorable, very fitting for a super cute town. I want to go back to Portsmouth asap!

The real eating commenced upon our arrival in Maine though…

HEALTHY HOME COOKED MEALS (over 4 days, in no particular order)

Ellie Krieger’s tricolore penne pasta with chicken (recipe here)

Stuffed peppers with eggplant (and parmesan cheese) – recipe here. I had no idea these were somewhat healthy. I limited myself to just one. I may need to recreate them soon to make up for lost time. haha :)

Dark chocolate bark with walnut and dried cherries (and crystallized ginger) – recipe here. I ate my weight in these. Addictive is an understatement.

Broccoli-cheese (and sausage) breakfast casserole – recipe here

Chobani with fresh strawberries, blueberries and mango

Chobani with wild Maine blueberries, fresh mango, Kashi GoLean crunch cereal + mixed nuts

+ some blackberries Adam freshly picked on the side of the road while I was eating breakfast :)

Breakfast casserole with mushrooms and asparagus (recipe here, I added more cheese, more veggies than the recipe called for + some fresh lemon juice)

Blueberry tea cake (Adam’s mom has been making it for years… from this recipe?)

Apricot-walnut cereal bars (recipe here, the recipe yields a lot more than 10 servings and they are very delicious!!)

Zucchini rice casserole (recipe here, we subbed broccolini for zucchini and corn – this tasted like sinfully creamy risotto – SO good yet healthy, although apparently time consuming. Thanks for making this, Jane!!)

On Monday night I offered to cook dinner (although it ended up being a whole family effort after all). What’s more Maine than lobster? Adam and I decided that we must eat it every time we come. At $4/lb, fresh out of the water, it doesn’t get much better than this!!

Adam’s dad steamed the lobsters…

I made the lima bean/corn/grape tomato and bacon succotash (based on this recipe, I used 6 corn ears, lemon juice and of course lobster!!)

Mmm, so summery… and so Maine :D

We bought 5 lobsters – Adam took the meat out of the last one and shared it with all of us. Good job, honey! ;) Adam’s mom made this lovely pear tart from Ellie Krieger (recipe here)

Oh yeah, we ate quite well at home! :cool:

THE NOT-SO-HEALTHY MEALS OUT

A super special dinner at Primo. We’ve been dying to go ever since seeing Anthony Bordain go there. Vegetables served in the restaurant are home grown in their extensive gardens and meats, seafood and cheese are mostly local (we spotted some Italian cheeses – who can blame them?!).

The atmosphere was very cozy (read dark soft lighting) so my pictures would not do the food and presentation justice. Here is my favorite serving platter at the charcuterie bar.

The charcuterie board with homemade sausages was my favorite! Adam and I shared it as a starter and it set the right tone for what was to come – more delicious eats! :) This molten chocolate cake did not dissapoint either. Yes, I know – predictable… but I couldn’t help myself! :mrgreen:

Pretty much the exact opposite of Primo was a plate of fried clams we got at Kelly’s on the drive back. I don’t know what was up with me – I actually got this craving. Adam and I shared this plate. You know who ate the onion rings. ;)

OPEN FARM DAY

Food, as always, was kind of the main activity (well eating it at least) but the coolest part of the weekend was visiting 5 different farms all over Maine. There were dozens open for visitors this past Sunday. How lucky was I?!! These pictures should say it all…

This afternoon, before going back to Boston, we picked some wild blackberries for the road.

Slim pickings today. Does that mean we should come back in a few weeks? :lol:

The loot:

Another amazing weekend. I feel so fortunate!!

I had lots of time to destress and reevaluate my priorities. Some small changes will be coming to Healthy and Sane. Stay tuned. :mrgreen:

A man meal, fancified

I decided to leave work after 5 hours yesterday. I feel like I can handle the rest of the workload without completely living in the office this weekend (although Sunday will surely be a longer day). Leaving just a little after 5 gave me enough time to make something a little more special. Dinner was basically a meal with several components that should have been featured earlier in the week. I bought the ingredients but ran out of time to put them together. So last night, when Adam heard that we had chicken sausage he asked if I could make a man meal. :shock:

My original plan was to finally make this week’s CEiMB recipe for panzanella with chicken sausage which was featured by Pantry Revisited (recipe here)… but something told me that didn’t qualify. In fact, Adam told me if I hesitated to answer whether this was a man meal or not, that meant that it wasn’t. I guess that’s true. :lol: I also purchased some fresh corn on the cob at the farmers market on Friday. Corn is best in the very first few days after being picked so that had to be featured for dinner. After a quick brainstorming session we had dinner which qualified as a man meal but also satisfied this girl. I love my man meals just a little fancier. ;)

Italian style chicken sausage on a whole wheat bun with tomato/cucumber/basil “relish” (based on Ellie’s panzanella salad)

Lemon-garlic glazed corn on the cob (recipe here)

This meal really came together. The salad added lots of freshness and the corn recipe was definitely a winner. I’ve never cooked corn on the cob on the skillet but now I’m a believer. It basically steamed with butter/EVOO/garlic + lemon mixture (I used a little less than the recipe called for) which infused it during the cooking process, and then it was finished with the reduced sauce. Lovely. Adam said this was the best corn on the cob he’s had at home (the one from Toro taking first place so far – I am going to attempt recreating that next time).

Working backwards… lunch

Hummus/smoked gouda/capers/ tomato and spicy mustard panini

This wasn’t just any old hummus – I made EDBV white bean hummus with thyme and fresh basil last Sunday (recipe here) and have been enjoying it in a variety of ways. This is a really fantastic dip – there is so much depth of flavor with dijon mustard, garlic, red wine vinegar and all the fresh herbs. I was in love from the first spoonful. :) I highly recommend it (don’t worry, it’s not too “herby”).

This panini was another great lunch. The combination of a very flavorful hummus with the creamy cheese, a little pickled flavor from the capers and the freshness of tomatoes was absolutely amazing. The hot mustard gave a kick right at the end. Yum!

A few hours later I made this instant blueberry oatmeal snack. I am actually not a fan of this particular oatmeal flavoring but topped with Barney Butter and fresh blueberries, this was quite satisfying. I got these blueberries at the farmers market on Friday – they are SO sweet. I’m so happy I got 2 containers because every time I pack some, a few jump into my mouth (and I have no problem with that at all. lol) :D

I also had one breakfast cookie before bootcamp in the morning (for visual, see previous post), an iced coffee with soy milk mid-day and at night- an apple, a serving of dry roasted almonds and some fudge when my sweet tooth hit (sorry, no picture – it was quite ugly so I didn’t bother). As previously mentioned, 3-2-1 is going really well. I feel stronger, lighter and overall a lot healthier. That’s a lot to accomplish in a week. :grin:

I’m off to work……story of my life. :D

Related Posts with Thumbnails

Follow Me




Check out my other blog:

Categories