Monday, January 31, 2011

Cashew Chicken Curry


3 Weight Watcher points
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
  • 1 – 3 tablespoons curry powder 
  • 1/2 - 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/4 - 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 pound chicken thighs or breasts, cut in bite-size pieces 
  • 29 ounces canned diced tomato
  • 1 pound carrots, diced
  • 8 ounces sliced mushrooms
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1/4 cup ground cashews
  • 1 cup nonfat yogurt
  • 1/2 cup light coconut milk
  • 8 ounces frozen peas

  • Melt the butter in a Dutch oven on medium high. Add the onion, garlic and ginger and cook until soft. Stir in the next 5 ingredients (curry through salt). Add the meat in batches, cooking each one through. Add the tomato, carrots, mushroom and cilantro. Bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to medium and cook for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally. (Stop here if you’re cooking ahead.) Stir in remaining ingredients and heat through but do not boil, about 5 minutes. Serve over basmati rice.

Egg-white omelette= 1 point
toast w/spread & jam= 3 points
yogurt= 4 points
Smart Ones pasta= 4 points
Triscuits & salsa= 3 points
Cashew Chicken Curry & jasmine rice= 7 points
ice cream= 2 points
extras= 3 points
pop corn= 1 point

TOTAL= 28 points

Mushroom and Black Bean Crock Pot Chili

Mushroom and Black Bean Crock Pot Chili Recipe

– 1 pound mushrooms, any variety, sliced
- 2 cans of black beans, drained and rinsed
- 5 1/2 cups fat free vegetable broth
- 2 medium onions, chopped
- 1 can corn kernels, drained and rinsed
- 1 large zucchini, chopped
- 8 ounces tomatillos, husked, rinsed and chopped
- 2 fresh jalapenos, seeded and finely chopped
- 1 6-ounce can tomato paste
- 1/4 cup water
- 2 tbsp fresh lime juice
- 1/4 cup mustard seeds
- 1 tsp extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 tsp ground cumin
- 2 tbsp chili powder
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 tsp ground cardamom
- 2 tbsp minced canned chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
- 1/2 cup diced tomatoes
- 1/2 cup reduced fat sour cream

Combine oil, mustard seeds, chili powder, cumin and cardamom in a 5- to 6-quart Dutch oven. Place over high heat and stir until the spices sizzle, about 30 seconds. Add onions, garlic, mushrooms, corn, jalapenos, zucchini, tomatillos and water. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are juicy, 5 to 7 minutes. Uncover and stir often until the juices evaporate and the vegetables are lightly browned, 10 to 15 minutes. Add broth, lime juice, tomato paste, salt & pepper and chipotles; mix well.
Place the beans in a 5- to 6-quart crock pot or slow cooker. Pour the hot vegetable mixture over the beans. Turn heat to high. Put the lid on and cook until the beans are creamy, 5 to 8 hours. Garnish with sour cream, cilantro and diced tomatoes right before serving

Entire recipe makes 10 servings
Serving size is 1 1/2 cups
Each serving = 6 Points +

sandwich = 4 points
fries = 2 points
orange = 1 point
pudding = 1 point
chili/couscous/sour-cream/cheese: 8 points
ice cream= 4 points
TOTAL= 20 points

Activity Points.

I have found that Weight Watchers Food Lists is an incredibly helpful web-site in my weight-loss journey. It is a quick, and helpful guide in figuring out points in a pinch.

Sunday is my official weight in days (because that's the day I did my first weight in), and as of Sunday I weight 236 pounds! I have lost 10 pounds on my first week of Weight Watchers! Whoot! This week my goal is to focus on integrating Activity Points into my Weight Watchers journey, and a general over-view.


The Weight Watchers program is popular in part due to its simplicity. Instead of counting calories, members count points, a number calculated through a formula of calories, fat and fiber grams in any given food. Members get a certain number of points each week based on several factors such as height, weight and sex. Additionally, all members get 35 additional weekly points to use as they choose. But perhaps the concept that gives the program its greatest flexibility is the activity points, or APs

What They Are

Activity points are earned by--you guessed it--doing activity. Each activity earns a certain number of points, calculated for each individual based on body weight, length of time spent doing the activity and perceived exertion. For example, a 193-lb. woman following the American College of Sports Medicine's guideline of 30 minutes of moderate cardio five days a week would earn 10 activity points a week--two points for each 30-minute session.

How They're Calculated

The Weight Watchers online calculator allows you to plug in your weight, minutes of exercise, and low-, moderate- or high-level activity to come up with the APs for an activity. But it also includes a large database of activates, into which members can plug in anything from "elliptical cross-trainer" to "walking the dog" and get the number of activity points for the specific activity.

How to Figure Out Weight Watchers Activity Points
If you are on Weight Watcher or considering doing Weight Watchers it is important to know how to calculate the activity points. They are an important way to increase your weight loss as well as make up for extra food that you ate. Learn how to calculate and figure out your weight watchers activity points in a couple steps.

Things You'll Need:

  • calculator
  • time you worked out
  • activity level or heart rate


  • 1

    The first thing you need to do is determine your level of activity to calculate your weight watchers activity points. To determine your level of activity you can either use your heart rate or a speaking test. If you are using heart rate to calculate your weight watchers activity points then 40-54% of your max heart rate is light, 55-69% is moderate, and 70% or more is intense. If you are using the talking test to calculate your weight watchers activity points then if you can have a full normal conversation, it is light, you can speak but it is slightly difficult is moderate, and difficult to speak is intense. This is extremely important when determining your weight watchers activity points.

  • 2

    The next step to determine your weight watchers activity points is have the number of minutes of activity your completed as well as your current weight. You will want to then multiply your current weight by the number of minutes you worked out. For example, if you worked out for 30 minutes and you weight 150 pounds, you would get 4500.

  • 3

    Once you have the number from step two you will need to multiple that by the number that corresponds to your activity level (as determined in step 1)to figure out your weight watchers activity points. For light activity,multiple the number by .000232, for moderate activity multiply by .000327, and for intense workouts multiply by 0008077. For example, if you weighed 150 pounds and worked out for 30 minutes at an intense level you would multiply 150*30*0008077. In this example, the person earned 3.6 weight watchers activity points.

    How to Use Them

    Activity points are added on top of the daily points and the 35 weekly points. Activity points are the last batch of points you'll dip into. If, for example, your daily goal is 24 points, you earn four APs, and you eat 62 points one day (it can be done) you'll first use up your 24 daily points and then your 35 weekly points before dipping into three of your activity points.

    Why Use Them

    Activity points shouldn't be used simply so you can eat that extra slice of pecan pie every day. While they certainly can be used, on special occasions, to allow for extra food intake, for the most part activity points are there to encourage members to get moving. Any movement is good movement, according to Weight Watchers, and members are encouraged to build up their activity levels over the course of the program. And, if you want a little extra weight loss boost, the program materials say, don't use the activity points you earn. This is a concept, of course, that should be used in moderation--running a marathon and not using any APs could be dangerous.

    Evolution of Activity Points

    The use of activity points has changed over the years as Weight Watchers has adjusted and revised its program. At one point you could earn as many points as you wanted but only use four each day. Another plan allowed you to use as many as you earned, but only the day you earned them. The current plan, which allows you to save up as many points as you earn throughout the week is certainly the most flexible, yet fits in with the Weight Watchers' goal of encouraging its members to be active.

  • Saturday, January 29, 2011

    Veggie Burgers and Sweet Potato Fries.

    1 lb sweet potatoes, peeled
    1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
    1 teaspoon Cajun seasoning
    salt (to taste)

    1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
    2. Quarter the potatoes and cut into 1/4 inch thick strips.
    3. Spread the potatoes on a lightly oiled baking sheet, sprinkle with olive oil and cajun seasoning and toss to coat.
    4. Bake in the lower third of the oven for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
    5. Season with salt to taste and serve hot.

    WW POINTS per serving: 2

    Saturday, January 29, 2011:
    Breakfast= 5 points
    snack= 2 points
    Dinner= 10 points
    dessert= 2 points
    snack= 1 point

    TOTAL= 21 points

    Roasted Garlic and Onion Linguine

    Roasted Garlic and Onion Linguine

    3 POINTS
    per serving


    2 small onions
    1 head garlic
    vegetable cooking spray
    1/4 cup nonfat parmesan cheese -- grated
    1/4 cup nonfat chicken broth -- no salt added
    2 teaspoons cracked black pepper
    1/4 teaspoon salt
    12 ounces linguine -- uncooked


    Peel onion, and cut each into 8 wedges. Gently peel outer skin from garlic and
    discard. Cut off and discard top one-fourth of garlic had. Place onion and garlic, cut sides up, in center of a piece of heavy-duty aluminum foil, coat with cooking spray. Fold foil over onion and garlic, sealing tightly.

    Bake at 350º for 1 hour or until onion and garlic are soft.
    Remove from oven and let cool. Remove and discard skin from garlic. Scoop out
    garlic pulp with a small spoon. Position knife blade in food processor bowl,
    add garlic pulp, onion and cheese.

    Pulse 5 times or until combined. Add broth and next 3 ingredients to garlic
    mixture. Process until mixture is finely chopped. Set aside. Cook pasta according to package directions, omitting salt and fat, drain. Add garlic mixture, toss lightly.

    Serve immediately.

    Yield: 8 serving (3/4 cup)
    3 POINTS per serving

    Friday, January 28, 2011

    Breakfast: 8 points
    Lunch: 6 points

    snack: 2 points

    Dinner: 6 points

    dessert: 2 points

    TOTAL = 26 points

    Mediterranean Pasta Toss

    Mediterranean Pasta Toss
    3 points per serving

    8 oz pasta -- uncooked
    1 can artichoke hearts -- drained and chopped
    1/2 small green bell pepper -- coarsely chopped
    1/4 cup pitted black olives -- sliced
    1 Tablespoon olive oil
    2 cloves garlic -- pressed
    1 can Italian style diced tomatoes -- drained
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    1/4 cup feta cheese

    Cook pasta according to package directions; drain and keep warm.
    Cut-up and prepare vegetables for cooking.

    Heat oil in a skillet over medium heat until hot. Press garlic into skillet with Garlic Press; stir-fry 15 seconds. Add onion and bell pepper; stir-fry 2-3 minutes or until vegetables are crisp-tender.
    Add olives, artichokes, tomatoes with juice, and salt. Heat 1-2 minutes, stirring gently until heated through. Remove from heat. Stir in warm pasta; sprinkle with Feta cheese. Serve immediately!

    Thursday, January 27, 2011:
    Breakfast: 9 points
    Snack: 1 point
    Lunch: 7 points
    Snack: 2 points
    Dinner: 6 points
    TOTAL = 25 points

    Friday, January 28, 2011

    Goals, Overview, and Weight Charts

    Starting weight: 246
    Current weight: 239
    Next week take-off goal: 3 pounds (putting me at 236)
    Short term goal weight: 200
    How man pounds to go (to reach S.T.G.): 39
    Long term goal weight: 167
    How many pounds to go: 72
    How many pounds lost: 7

    "The weight charts for men and women illustrated below are for reference use only & should not be used as a medical guide. As a note, please keep the following in mind when using this chart as a weight loss tool:
    I believe that too much emphasis is placed on 'overall' accepted weight rather than individual weight. Everyone has a unique and different body composition, so what might be a 'perfect' weight for one person may be too thin or too heavy for another.
    Your frame size should factor into the number on your scale. Are you small, medium, large, or extra large when it comes to that department? This usually refers to the bone size of an individual (your frame). In fact, you may even be 'in between' these set categories. So allow yourself some lead way here.
    Our Standard Weight Charts for Men & for Women are based on the individual being dressed in light clothing (3-5 pounds) without shoes.
    Charts are based on individuals 21 years and older. Keep in mind, age plays a huge factor in our weight. One of my doctors once told me that it's about impossible for a middle-aged person to expect to weigh what they weighed in their younger days. In his experience, middle-aged dieters were very hard on their self in trying to reach weights on standard weight charts, rather than focusing on being healthy. A few pounds up isn't going to kill your image, and if you feel healthier at a higher weight, it might very well be the best weight for you.
    Muscle weighs more than fat. This is one of the chief reasons, as well as bone mass, that we have a chart for men, and one for women. Men are equipped with more muscle than women, so naturally they are going to weigh more.
    Current trends and celebrities should not influence your weight. An ultra-thin superstar might be a walking time bomb living on cotton balls soaked in liquid gelatin. Remember - just because someone is popular doesn't mean they are fit! Admire what is around you, but take care of YOU first and foremost.
    This chart is not for pregnant or nursing women. If you are pregnant or nursing, you should seek your doctor's advice before attempting to go on a diet. Also, use common sense for these issues. For example, if a physician instructs you to go on a very stringent diet while nursing, a red warning light should go off in your head. Ask questions! You're certainly paying for them. Vitamin recommendations should be made, a nutritionist should be recommended, or your could wind up being so worn down from improper nutrition that you end up in the hospital. So please, exercise your good sense. There are great doctors and there are also some really big stinkers out there.
    As time goes by, Nutritionists and Physicians are discovering new facts regarding body weight.
    Another thing that you must factor into your weight goal is your overall feeling of good health. At what weight do you feel best? Just because a number has been etched into a chart, does not mean that it should be your weight goal number. You may not feel healthy at this 'suggested' weight. And that is merely how this number should be conceived - as a suggested weight number, not as YOUR designated weight number. These numbers and charts are patterns that flow among averages that have been studied over time. So, if you feel better at a higher weight than the chart 'mandates', then shoot for the higher weight. On the flip side of the coin, if you feel better at a little lower weight, aim for that number. Use your good sense when determining this; too thin can be as dangerous as too heavy.
    Weight is only one factor in achieving total fitness. Remember - body, mind & spirit!
    Your weight should NEVER determine your level of happiness! Life should be a celebration of you!"


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    Thursday, January 27, 2011

    Jan. 25th, and Jan. 26th

    I'M BACK!

    On January 25, 2011 we made Caribbean Rice and Beans-- served with a side salad, and chilled pineapple. The Caribbean Rice and Beans came to 5 points, the dinner as a whole was 8 points. My points for my over-all day came to 36 points that day.

    Granted I am alloted 31 points a day, and 5 points over may seem like a lot-- but that's why there are flex points, and activities points (we'll save these explanation for a later day, and blog). I am still feeling great keeping up with Weight Watchers. I don't feel deprived, or hungry, and I feel energetic, and full of life! I also feel in control of the food I've been putting in my body-- I don't feel like I have been feeling guilty over my food decisions!

    On January 26, 2011 we had a Greek Salad served with a Tomato Basil Soup, and Pizza Snack Rolls. The salad came to 2 points, however with the pre-made foods that we added onto it our dinner points greatly out-weighed my points versus the rest of the day!

    Breakfast= 4 points
    Lunch= 4 points
    Dinner= 16 points
    Snack= 3 points


    Caribbean Rice & Beans


    1-1/3 cups chicken stock
    2/3 cup long grain white rice
    1-1/4 tsp. olive oil
    5 ounces bottled roasted red bell peppers, drained & cut in short thin strips
    1/4 green bell pepper, seeded and cut in short thin strips
    2 cloves garlic, minced
    1-1/4 lbs. canned black beans, drained and rinsed
    1 Tbs. plus 1 tsp. white vinegar
    1/8 tsp. hot pepper sauce, or to taste
    2 Tbs. fresh cilantro or oregano, finely chopped


    Boil stock in a medium saucepan over high heat. Stir in rice. Immediately reduce heat to low. Cover and simmer 20-25 minutes, or until rice is tender and liquid is absorbed. Remove from heat and set aside. Heat oil in a heavy nonstick skillet over medium high heat. Sauté peppers and garlic 2 minutes. Stir in next 3 ingredients. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer 5 minutes. Stir in rice and cilantro and serve.

    Yield: Makes 4 servings.
    5 POINTS per serving

    Greek Salad


    6 leaves Romaine lettuce, torn into 1-1/2-inch pieces
    1 cucumber, peeled and sliced
    1 tomato, chopped
    1/2 cup sliced red onion
    1 ounce feta cheese, crumbled (about 1/3 cup)
    2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
    2 tablespoons lemon juice
    1 teaspoon dried oregano leaves
    1/2 teaspoon salt


    Combine lettuce, cucumber, tomato, onion and cheese in large serving bowl.

    Whisk together oil, lemon juice, oregano and salt in small bowl. Pour over lettuce mixture; toss until coated. Serve immediately.

    Yield: 6 servings
    2 POINTS per serving

    Tuesday, January 25, 2011

    Spinach Enchiladas

    1 onion -- chopped
    4 cloves garlic -- minced
    2 Tablespoons Olive oil
    1/4 cup preferred chiles
    1/2 package large bag of frozen spinach
    1/4 cup mushrooms
    1/2 cup canned black beans -- drained
    8 tortillas
    1 cup salsa
    2 Tablespoons Taco seasoning
    1 cup low-fat Mexican-style shredded cheese


    In a skillet over medium heat, saute onion and garlic in oil until golden. Stir in chiles/peppers, mushrooms, and black beans, cook for 3 minutes. Transfered thawed, drained spinach to the skillet, cook until heated completely through, and ingredients are well mixed.    
     Meanwhile, soften tortillas by heating them in the microwave for 1 minute in the package. Then, place 1/4 cup filling in the center of each tortilla, until all 8 tortillas are filled an equal amount. Roll up and place seam side down in an oven proof dish that you have sprayed with Olive Oil cooking spray. Smother with salsa, and cheese. Bake at 350ºF until heated and bubbly.

    The Spinach Enchiladas serve 8, and has only 3 points (the points for the sour cream is separate). I served my enchiladas with a side of roasted vegetables, and hummus.

    Points for January 24, 2011:
    Breakfast= 6
    Snack= 3
    Lunch= 3
    Snack= 2
    Dinner= 10
    Quaker granola bar= 3
    Total= 27 points