Tuesday, June 30, 2009

A Good Day!

Even though a sneak peek at the scale this morning revealed that I have "found" 4 of the 5 pounds I lost, I refused to accept it and allow some numbers to ruin my day. I chose to believe the numbers were a result of PMS, or the salt in the pretzels I consumed yesterday, or a host of other possible reasons. Even if the scale was correct, so what? Was I going to allow it to get me off track and send me running for the donuts? Hell, no!

Instead I turned up my nose at the offending instrument and proceeded with my morning. I took extra care with my make-up and hair and even experimented with a silk scarf I've had hiding in my closet for years, afraid to wear it because I never knew exactly how to pull off that look. (I know, it sounds silly, but remember that I live in super-casual Florida!) I pulled out my new-to-me bag (bubblegum pink Franco Sarto - $2.99 at the thrift store, darling!), hopped in my red convertible and sped off to work, determined to make this a good day.

And you know what? It was! Call it attitude or the Secret or positive thinking or whatever, it worked! Not only did I feel cuter and put-together, received compliments from my workmates on my fab accessories, but I got some great news about employment for my two out-of-work children! Whoo-hoo!

Then, oh-my-goodness, I can't even take all of the wonderful-ness of this day, I received an e-mail from the fabulous Sally at Mais Fica informing me that I won a prize in her give-away! Isn't that the best?? I can't wait for my personalized rabbit wine opener to arrive, if only Sally were here to share a glass of (2 POINT) vino with me!

I felt even better after a nice long walk in the 'hood, went to the grocery store and pharmacy, expending my own energy and being kinder to the planet, my wallet and my waistline!

Now, to top off this awesome day, on my hearth I have a special meal, just for me, my blogger pal Bitch Cake's recipe for a zero-POINT Italian dinner! I couldn't believe my eyes, no way can an Italian meal cost me nothing in POINTS! But it's true and man, oh, man does it smell good! Good thing the rest of the family is having pizza tonight because I am not sharing this deeelicousness!

Ok, and one more thing, saving the best for last...as is custom in our family, my Dad has agreed to give me my birthday present early (I'm a Leo, I have no patience!) so Beren and I are headed out in a bit to make the purchase! I will post pictures later but the pin-up above gives you a big clue as to what it is! I can't wait; thanks, Dad!

Have a Beauty-Full Day,

Monday, June 29, 2009

Hot Dish ~ Farm-Fresh Veggies

I found a wonderful new-to-me farmers market the other day, the only locally-grown farm in my area! The owner, Sheila, was such a sweetheart, gave us wonderful personal attention (and samples!) and information about her produce. Everything was so beautiful and fresh, I could've loaded down my car with goodies! I scooped up some gorgeous zucchini which I can't wait to use in this casserole tonight.

I'm posting the original recipe here but to cut down on calories and make this vegetarian, I am substituting veggie crumbles for the turkey, half & half instead of cream and using low-fat Swiss cheese, making the recipe 5 POINTS per serving.

Seven-Layer Gratin

6 servings
Prep: 15 minutes
Bake: 50 minutes


* 3 medium zucchini, cut diagonally into 1/4-inch-thick slices
* 1 yellow squash, cut diagonally into 1/4-inch-thick slices
* 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons dried bread crumbs
* 1/2 teaspoon dried sage
* 1 tablespoon flour
* 1-1/4 teaspoons salt
* 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
* 1 can (8.5 ounces) artichoke hearts, drained
* 1 scallion, trimmed and minced
* 1-1/2 cups shredded Swiss cheese
* 3/4 cup light cream
* 1/2 pound ground turkey
* 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese


1. Heat oven to 350°. In large bowl, mix zucchini, yellow squash, 1/4 cup of the bread crumbs, sage, flour, 1 teaspoon of the salt, and pepper. In blender, puree artichoke hearts, scallion, 1/2 cup of the Swiss cheese, 1/4 cup of the cream, the remaining salt and a pinch of pepper.

2. Spread one-third of the squash mixture over bottom of a shallow 2-quart baking dish. Spread half of the artichoke puree over squash. Top with half of the turkey. Repeat layering; top with the remaining squash mixture.

3. Toss together the remaining 1 cup Swiss cheese, remaining bread crumbs and the Parmesan. Sprinkle evenly over gratin. Drizzle with the remaining 1/2 cup light cream.

4. Bake at 350° for 50 minutes or until squash is tender and top is golden. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.

Have a Beauty-Full Day,

Sunday, June 28, 2009

If You Like Pina Coladas....

Please forgive my absence, have not been spending much time on the computer this past week. With two extra kids in the house and Beren and myself home on vacation, it was all I could do to keep up with the minimal housework and cooking while entertaining the girls and enjoying some summer fun!

We'll be enjoying one last poolside party before heading back to work tomorrow...grind..in addition to veggie burgers & dogs (& coconut cake for those who can afford the indulgence!) I'll be whipping up these cool & creamy cocktails courtesy of, once again, Hungry Girl!

HG's Pina Colada Freeze (120 calories!)

1/4 cup fat-free vanilla ice cream
1.5 ounces Torani Sugar Free Coconut Syrup
1 ounce light rum
1 tablespoon crushed pineapple in its own juice
1 packet Splenda (or another no-calorie sweetener packet)
5-7 ice cubes OR 3/4 cup crushed ice
Optional: fruit slices for garnish

Put all ingredients in the blender. Blend on high speed until mixed well. Pour into a cute cocktail glass, top with fruit if you like, and sip your way to satisfaction!

Virgin Version - Nix the rum and replace it with a half-ounce of water and an extra half-ounce of the coconut syrup. Your liquorless frozen concoction will weigh in with around 60 calories!

Have a Beauty-Full Day,

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Just Say No to the Dough!

I've mentioned it before, I am much more successful in my weight loss efforts if I refrain from eating "white stuff." This means white bread, rice, pasta, sugar, etc. etc. I don't do "low-carb," per se, just avoid simple carbs whenever possible, seeking the healthier complex carbs. This means whole grain bread, and on the rare occasion I have real pasta it's the whole wheat variety.

When I'm dining at home this is really not a problem, I made sure my fridge and pantry are stocked with Sandwich Thins, multigrain English muffins, and Shirataki Noodles. Dining out, however, is a bit more of a challenge, especially when it's Italian fare!

Last night, for example, we went to a family dinner at a restaurant know for it's awesome sandwiches and pizza, Primanti Bros. *groan* Perusing the menu, I was really nervous, not wanting to give into the pizza and other higher fat choices but didn't want to feel deprived, either. Fortunately I discovered a Cajun Chicken salad which was amazing! Huge bowl of greens with spicy chicken and hot peppers, flavor-packed and very filling. I was quite satisfied and barely noticed the hot, cheesy pizza in front of me.

At the end of the evening I was able to leave the restaurant feeling proud of myself, knowing that I made a really smart choice. Yay, me!

Have a beauty-full day, Happy Father's Day to all the daddies out there!

Friday, June 19, 2009

Starring Rapunzel!

Great news on the scale this morning, lost 2.4 pounds this week for a total of 5 pounds! That entitles me to a little cyber star on Weight Watchers online and a big ol' gold star in my head! Yippee! Even more exciting is that I'm now "in the 9's," you all know what that means, right? I've dropped down to the lower range..oh, what the hell, might as well reveal my weight - 159. Whew..there I've said it. I've never weighed this much in my life, highest non-pregnant weight in the past was 152 and here I found myself more than 10 pounds over that. But, that was then and this is now, I'm on the right track and will never see the 160's again! Unless I got pregnant, goddess forbid, but that would be practically a medical miracle, believe me.

So I'm feeling really good this morning with my 5 pound weight loss, gonna keep reminding myself of that number when I get frustrated or tempted to give up. In the past, each week I lost weight I'd reward myself with a little treat, a small gift to myself. Guess where I'm going today? You got it, shoe shopping, darlings! A sexy pair of stilettos is definitely in order for this happy gal!

Have a beauty-full day, TGIF!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Hot Dish ~ Mexican Vegetarian Casserole

With this recipe as inspiration and using what I had on hand, I made a few adjustments and came up with something that I think is just as good and so much healthier! While I'm sure it is delicious, the original version weighs in at 627 calories and 33 grams of fat, ouch!

I found that 1 cup of cheese and 1 cup of rice is plenty but if the family wants more they can add it to their own portion.

Mexican Vegetarian Casserole ala Rapunzel

1 cup frozen corn kernels, thawed
15 oz Old El Paso Vegetarian Refried Beans
8 oz Pace Picante Salsa (I used hot because I like things spicy!)
1/2 cup low-fat shredded cheddar cheese (or Mexican blend or Monterey Jack)
1 cup chopped tomato (or canned, I just happened to have fresh)
1/4 tsp black pepper
1 medium scallion, chopped
1 cup cooked brown rice
6 oz frozen meatless soy crumbles, thawed slightly
1/2 cup low-fat cheddar cheese, for topping
sliced black olives, for topping (I used 6 large)
8 oz reduced-fat sour cream

Combine first 9 ingredients in a casserole or 9 x 11" baking dish. Sprinkle with the sliced black olives and shredded cheese. Bake at 350 degrees for about 50 minutes. Top with sour cream before serving.

Serves 6 at 6 POINTS each

Note: This can be served with baked tortilla chips alongside as a dip or rolled into whole wheat tortillas, just remember to count the extra POINTS.

Let (Us) Eat Cake!

Yes, I know that Marie Antoinette did not actually say that but the quote works for me today as I did indeed eat cake last night. And Saturday night. And last Wednesday night. There have been three family birthdays and as many cakes in the past week, and while I have only indulged in a sliver, I did indulge. I'm not sorry, and I enjoyed every bite. I realize that this is not a Diet, this is Life and I am going to live it to the fullest, savor every moment of it because as I am well aware, it is entirely too short. I'm so glad I ate a slice of my mother's last birthday cake, it was such a pleasure to watch her enjoy it as well.

So, the scale will most likely reflect my cake consumption, and that's ok. It was well worth every single morsel because what is life really if we can't share a slice of birthday cake with our loved ones? As much as I want a thinner, healthier body, it is simply not worth constant deprivation. There must be room for occasional indulgences and fortunately with Weight Watchers, there is! We are allowed those special treats...just perhaps not quite so many of them in one week!

P.S. Be sure to watch the Youtube videos I posted in the Eye Candy sidebar today, the one entitled Cake and Shoes is to die for! What a combination! *swoon*

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Breakfast at Rapunzel's

Like my blogger friend *Bitch Cakes*, I too realize the importance of a good breakfast, and have learned that it can't be a bagel or slice of toast on the run. Unlike my beautiful daughter who can eat pancakes and the like, I need some protein in the morning or I will crash before noon!

I typically eat the same thing every day because it's quick & easy I love it! My version of a McMuffin, with or without the egg depending upon my mood and time limit in the a.m.

1 Thomas' Light Multi Grain English Muffin - 1 POINT
1 slice veggie cheese - 1 POINT
1 piece veggie sausage patty - 1 POINT
Slice of tomato - 0 POINT
coffee w/Splenda & half & half - 1 POINT

(compare to the McD's version of 11 POINTS!)

Then I'll usually pack some fruit & yogurt for a mid-morning snack at work:

1/2 cup Fage O% Yogurt - 1 POINT
1/2 cup melon or other fruit - 1/2 POINT

Total Breakfast: 5.5 POINTS

This tides me over until lunchtime and starts the day off on the right note. Much more difficult to "cheat" later on in the day if I've put in 30 minutes on the treadmill and fueled my body with lean protein, lowfat dairy, fresh fruit and whole grains!

Much better than a fat-laden donut, wouldn't you agree?

Sunday, June 14, 2009


Last night we celebrated my stepdaughter's birthday with a BBQ at the castle. Family & friends gathered around and gorged on burgers, hot dogs & chicken, both real and vegetarian versions. We also had corn and grilled veggies, french fries and shrimp. Mmmm! I am pleased to report that though I ate and drank to my heart's content, I did so in moderation. One fried shrimp, one handful of french fries, one small slice of cake, and then I filled up on the veggies and veggie products.

This morning I woke up not dreading the scale and finding that it's actually down a couple of ounces! Proof that I can party in moderation, it doesn't have to be a complete binge fest every time the occasion arises! Yay, me!

The sun is shining and I'm planning a nice day poolside, don't want to be bothered cooking afterward so I'm throwing this recipe into the crockpot. Along with a sliver of Petit Francais bread, it'll be the perfect Sunday night meal.

Crockpot Veggie Soup

Recipe By :JaneStarr

0 Points Per Serving

1 14.5-oz can canned cut tomatoes with onion and garlic
1 14.5-oz can 99% Fat Free Vegetable Broth
2 1/2 cups fatfree chicken broth
5 cups V-8 vegetable juice -- high calcium kind preferred
1 pound frozen carrot slices
1 10-oz package sliced mushrooms
1 medium yellow squash -- sliced
1/4 cup peppers -- frozen, assorted
black pepper -- to taste (1/2 tsp?)
kosher salt -- to taste (1/2 tsp?)
2 tablespoons fresh parsley leaves
1 teaspoon dried basil -- to taste (or 1T fresh)

Put all ingredients into crockpot and set on high. (I use a 4 1/2 quart Rival Oval Crockpot). Cook as long as desired (until veggies are as soft as you like). You can cook this on "low" power all day. I like to start it on "high" to get it up to temp.

*faster Puree half of veggies in small batches in the blender or use a hand-blender right in the turned off crock pot.

Freeze in plastic containers in desired quantities. Thaw and reheat in microwave or stove top.

Since this recipe filled my 4 1/2 qt crockpot, I estimate that this will make about 12 (1 1/2 cup) servings

Yield: "4 1/2 quarts"

Per serving: 62 Calories (kcal); trace Total Fat; (6% calories from fat); 4g Protein; 12g Carbohydrate; 0mg Cholesterol; 781mg Sodium

Friday, June 12, 2009


Whoo-hoo! You guys were right, I did indeed make up for last week; the scale showed a 2.4 pound loss! Just what I needed to get me motivated and on track!

This coming weekend presents a couple of challenges, we are celebrating another birthday (Beren's daughter) and I'll be making dinner and a cake for her. We are also attending a birthday party on Sunday, Madonna-themed and I've already heard about the decadence planned for that one! I'll just need to keep my wits about me, remember the number on the scale and how hard I have to work to get rid of those sweet treats and alcoholic concoctions.

To start the weekend off right, I'm going to be making a pasta dish from Hungry Girl tonight. I'll be using Shirataki noodles for my serving, whole wheat penne for the family as they aren't quite as fond of the miracle noodles as I am!

photo courtesy of Hungry Girl

Fettuccine Hungry Girlfredo Veggie Explosion!

PER SERVING (entire recipe): 151 calories, 4.5g fat, 407mg sodium, 20g carbs, 7g fiber, 7g sugars, 9g protein -- POINTS® value 3*

1 package House Foods Tofu Shirataki Fettuccine Shaped Noodle Substitute
1/2 cup small broccoli florets
1/2 cup red pepper chunks
1/2 cup large zucchini chunks
1 wedge The Laughing Cow Light Original Swiss cheese
1 tbsp. fat-free sour cream
2 tsp. reduced-fat grated parmesan-style topping
salt and pepper, to taste
Optional: garlic powder, chili powder

Place all the veggies in a medium-sized microwave-safe bowl with 2 tbsp. of water. Cover bowl and microwave for 2 - 3 minutes (until veggies are fully steamed and tender). Drain water and set aside.

Drain and rinse noodles well. Dry noodles thoroughly (use paper towels to soak up as much moisture as possible), and then use a knife or kitchen shears to slice them up a bit. Next, place noodles in a microwave-safe bowl, and top them with the cheese wedge, sour cream, and parm topping. Then microwave for one minute.

Stir well, and then microwave for one additional minute. Mix in the veggies, and season well with salt and pepper. If you like, add some garlic powder and/or chili powder. Enjoy!!


Now, off to the treadmill to keep those pounds off, I really need to make morning exercise a habit. Have a great day, TGIF!

P.S. 30 minutes on the treadmill, 224 calories burned.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

(Wo) Man vs Machine

Despite frequent declarations to do otherwise, I have left my poor treadmill standing alone for months now. Untouched and unappreciated, it sat in the corner of my family room gathering dust and providing a constant reminder of my failing fitness efforts. I passed by it each day on my way out to the pool or patio, glanced at it behind me while working on the computer, stared at it guiltily through the kitchen window. Shameful, I know. I could hear it taunting me, reminding me of the money spent, promises made and broken...sigh..finally the nagging voices became too loud to tune out so I listened, and I responded.

For 25 minutes, long enough to watch an episode of Sex and the City, I worked that machine as well as my body, made them both come happily to life!

1.5 miles and 185 calories burned later, I'm a happy girl, filled with renewed energy and ready to tackle the day! I can't believe what a difference that half an hour makes and can kick myself for allowing exercise to fall by the wayside. There are no excuses, I simply got lazy and unmotivated. Period.

Ah, treadmill, my friend, I apologize for neglecting you for so long! I promise we'll be having daily dates from here on because you are oh-so-worth the effort.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Non-Scale Victory

Today my youngest daughter turns 18 (Happy Birthday, Bambi!) so last night we celebrated with Chinese food and ice cream cake, her choice of course. *groan* I am proud to say that though I was not "perfect" I did ok!

Knowing how high in calories and fat Chinese food typically is, I took careful stock of the menu before placing my order. Fortunately this restaurant has a "diet section" which contains steamed vegetables with chicken, shrimp, etc so I chose the veggie/shrimp combo. While not as delish as the cashew chicken and egg rolls my family was consuming, along with a scant amount of white rice it was satisfying and tasty! I did have a small sliver of ice cream cake but it's bad manners in our family not to at least take a bite, so how could I say no? *wink*

This morning I woke up to find that the number on the scale hasn't changed but I'm also not bloated from MSG and an abundance of sodium and not hiding my head in shame from overindulgence.

Yay, me! Just had to pat myself on the back for a change..smile...

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Trials of Traveling (and Eating) Lightly

Beren and I have been taking an unusual amount of road trips lately both for pleasure and work. While I love these mini-getaways, the decadence of sleeping in luxury hotels, waking up on the beach, maid service, etc. etc..my waistline does not benefit from these frequent induldgences! I find it difficult to stay On Program when presented with so many temptations, the tendency is to throw caution to the wind and dive into whatever decadent dish or luscious libation is presented to me! How's a girl to resist?

Last night, for instance, I was tagging along for one of Beren's business meetings. I arrived at the hotel before him so I headed out to the beachfront pool bar, book in hand. I ordered one chardonnay, opened my book and settled in to wait for him. After a few minutes, though, I realized that I was hungry. Lunch had been hours ago, I forgot to pack a snack, dinner was still at least an hour away, what to do? Opening the menu hoping to find some steamed shrimp or even a small salad I was sadly disappointed. Sure there were huge meal-sized salads but otherwise my options were chicken wings or fat-laden chips & dip. I went for the mango-salsa and lollipop wings which were good but definitely fried and surely not low-cal. I only ate three, though, saving the rest for Beren when he arrived.

The restaurant we chose for dinner was fabulous but pricey so we decided to share. This is not easy with My Man because, as I will share in a separate post some day, he is not the World's Healthiest Eater! It is challenging to find something that we will both enjoy and that won't destroy my diet. So, out came the blackened mahi with Bernaise sauce...groan...I ate half with very little sauce, a caesar salad sans dressing, and 2 small pieces of bread. Not too bad but who even knows how many POINTS that added up to be?

Again, today's a fresh new day and once I get home I'll work some of that decadence off on the treadmill. As sinful as it was, I daresay it was worth every single bite, and every extra minute on that treadmill! Mmm....

Monday, June 8, 2009

Sleepy Gal

I am dog tired today, dear readers, trying to figure out how to get the caffeine into my system more quickly than my mug of java provides. *yawn* You see, Beren and I had an unusually busy Saturday night and I daresay that I am still recovering! Even a lazy poolside Sunday wasn't enough to revive me, more extreme efforts must be required.

In case you're curious about what caused this overwhelming exhaustion, I'll share with you. Saturday night we decided to walk on the wild side a bit, got tickets to Art Undressed in Miami. Oooh, what an experience! The art, both still and performance, was deliciously enticing, interesting and thought provoking. There were several pieces I would have loved to own but that wasn't in my budget this year, perhaps next time. I did, however, shell out $20.00 to have a serpent painting on my chest, would you like to see the picture? It's a bit grainy as I had only my camera phone to work with, but a professional photographer took a few shots and promised to share them with me so hopefully he'll follow through on that.

Isn't she beautiful? Even though it only lasted until the next morning's shower it was so much fun and drew quite a bit of attention at the next event...

After we perused the gallery and got our fill of art, we headed over to a hip & happening club which occasionally hosts a Burlesque show. I've been wanting to attend for some time but we rarely hang out in this part of town; tonight, however was the perfect occasion!

The show was titillating and totally entertaining and the crowd provided even more eye candy; Miami does indeed have more than it's share of Beautiful People! Beren and I had a fabulous time and I'm quite sure that I burned off several glasses of chardonnay on the dance floor!

By 1:00 am we were totally spent, caught a cab and headed to our hotel room. Yes, hotel room! We had decided to make a mini-vacation out of this, sparing ourselves the hour-long ride home and allowing us to have a few cocktails safely and responsibly. So off to our gorgeous 27th floor room with a stunning view of the Miami skyline.

We awoke the next morning, had breakfast and headed back to Suburbia, having thoroughly enjoyed our foray into hip & happening Miami nightlife! We'll definitely do it again sometime, but first, a nap might be in order.....zzzzzzz......

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Hot Dish, Hot Day!

Finally, after weeks of rain, a beautiful day in the Sunshine State! Not wasting any time in the kitchen today, no way, no how! I'm lugging out my slow cooker and letting that baby do the work while I slip on bikini and head out for some fun in the sun!

Ok, you know that I normally avoid the "white stuff" but today I'm cheating just a bit with this recipe. You see, My Sweetie's kids are here and, well, they are really picky eaters and pasta's pretty much the only thing they'll scarf down without issue.

Please note that since I have a house full of mostly-vegetarians and am slowly going back to my veggie ways myself, I will be substituting veggie crumbles for the ground beef, surely that will take off a POINT or two?

Slow Cooker Lasagna

POINTS® Value: 8
Servings: 6
Preparation Time: 20 min
Cooking Time: 360 min
Level of Difficulty: Easy

No need to cook the noodles first or stay home while it bakes. Just let it sit a few minutes before serving so it can firm up a bit.

1 pound(s) uncooked lean ground beef (with 7% fat)
1 small onion(s), chopped
1 medium garlic clove(s), minced
28 oz canned crushed tomatoes
15 oz canned tomato sauce
1 tsp table salt
1 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp dried basil
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes, or to taste
1 cup(s) part-skim ricotta cheese
1 1/2 cup(s) part-skim mozzarella cheese, shredded, divided
6 item(s) dry lasagna noodles, no-cook
1/2 cup(s) shredded Parmesan cheese, strong-flavored like Romano or Parmigiano Reggiano


* Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add beef, onion and garlic; cook, stirring frequently, breaking up meat with a wooden spoon as it cooks, about 5 to 7 minutes. Stir in crushed tomatoes, tomato sauce, salt, oregano, basil and red pepper flakes; simmer 5 minutes to allow flavors to blend.

* Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, stir together ricotta cheese and 1 cup of mozzarella cheese.

* Spoon 1/3 of beef mixture into a 5-quart slow cooker. Break 3 lasagna sheets in half and arrange over beef mixture; top with half of ricotta mixture. Repeat with another layer and finish with remaining 1/3 of beef mixture.

* Cover slow cooker and cook on low setting for 4 to 6 hours. Remove cover; turn off heat and season to taste, if desired.

* In a small bowl, combine remaining 1/2 cup of mozzarella cheese and Parmesan cheese; sprinkle over beef mixture. Cover and set aside until cheese melts and lasagna firms up, about 10 minutes. Yields 1/6th of dish per serving.


* To boost your vegetable intake, add a can of zucchini in tomato sauce to the meat mixture. You can also add 2 cups of sliced shiitake mushrooms to the beef mixture.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Hot Dish - Tuna Noodle Casserole

Since my Mom worked full time, when I was a tween & teen I was responsible for most of the weekday cooking at our house. Since I'd often forget to defrost the meat until it was too late, (you know, in the olden days before microwaves) I'd often rely on pasta or, one of my faves, Tuna Casserole. I still love the stuff but it's not exactly up there in the healthy department (12 POINTS per serving according to Hungry Girl!) so after a bit of searching I found a lower calorie & fat substitute. Just as tasty and filling but oh-so-much healthier!

Mmm...comfort food! Takes me right back to the 70's and that avocado kitchen!

Tuna-Noodle Casserole

Source: The Weight Watchers Complete Cookbook & Program Basics

6.5 Points Per Serving

This all-time favorite casserole is perfect on a cold, dreary night or when you've had a stressful day.

4 1/2 ounces medium egg noodles
1 cup chopped onions
1 cup chopped celery
1 cup chopped bell peppers (green, red and yellow)
1 cup sliced mushrooms
1/2 cup frozen sweet corn, thawed
1 (10.5 ounce) can reduced-calorie undiluted mushroom
soup (70 calories per can)
8 ounces drained canned chunk light tuna packed in water, flaked
1/2 cup skim milk
Few drops hot pepper sauce
2 tablespoons minced parsley
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 slices reduced-calorie fresh whole-wheat bread, made into crumbs
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon grated Parmesan cheese
2 medium tomatoes, sliced

Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray shallow 2-quart casserole with nonstick cooking spray.

In large pot of boiling water, cook noodles 8 minutes, until tender. Drain; keep warm.

Meanwhile, spray a large saucepan with nonstick cooking spray. Add onions and celery; cook, stirring frequently, about 2 minutes, until tender-crisp. Add bell peppers, mushrooms and corn. Continue cooking and stirring, 5 minutes longer, until tender. Stir in soup, tuna, milk, hot pepper sauce, parsley and pepper. Remove from heat; stir in noodles. Transfer to prepared casserole. Sprinkle with bread crumbs and Parmesan cheese; bake 15-20 minutes, until crumbs are golden brown and crisp. Top with fresh tomato slices. Serve hot.

Makes 4 servings.

Each serving (1 1/2 cups): 342 Calories, 27 g Protein, 5 g Fat, 50 g Carbohydrate, 597 mg Sodium, 56 mg Cholesterol, 6 g Dietary Fiber

Weigh-In Woes

In the spirit of complete honesty, I'll share my weigh-in this morning even though it is Not Good! It seems that even though I could afford the POINTS I spent on pizza last night, that indulgence combined with a less-than-perfect last weekend along with PMS (early again this month, what the hell is up with that?) contributed to a nearly 2 pound gain. So, I'm basically back right where I started.

I'm not bummed, though, honestly, just even more motivated to do better this week.

Hang in there with me, ok? I am determined to get this weight off no matter how long it takes!

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Domestic Goddess

I'm happy to report that I had a nearly Perfectly On Program day yesterday, yay! The only area where I could have done better was in the exercise department, but since I kicked butt on my haus frau chores in the afternoon I am counting that as one exercise POINT. I love that WW gives us credit for any movement of our bodies, even the boring but necessary daily grunge work! If nothing else, it inspires me to tackle those dust bunnies on a regular basis and allows me an extra glass of wine here & there as a reward for my hard labor. Oh, and darn it, I forgot to eat my dairy, have to do better on that one today.

I ended up saving the Israeli salad for today's lunch since My Man and Kids were in the mood for pasta and I wanted to join them. In lieu of the white stuff I had the amazing Miracle Noodles, was just as satisfying and oh-so-much better for me!

Today my plan is to tweak my menu so that I get the aforementioned dairy in and load up on the fruits & veggies, hope to work in a 30 minute stint on the treadmill. We have plans to meet Kali & Kevin for dinner tonight at a pizza joint so I'm going to peruse the menu ahead of time and plan for an indulgence instead of throwing caution to the wind and gorging. I'll let you know how that goes.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Hot Dish ~ Israeli Salad Pitas

It's actually a cool dish tonight because it's too hot & humid here in Paradise to turn on the oven! I'm planning to serve these al fresco on our patio, fan turned to high and followed by a nice cool dip in the swimming pool. Ahh...

Israeli Salad Pitas

POINTS® Value: 4
Servings: 4
Preparation Time: 15 min
Cooking Time: 5 min
Level of Difficulty: Easy

This is the ideal sandwich for a hot summer day. You can also serve the filling solo as a light and refreshing side salad.


2 large tomato(es), chopped
2 medium sweet red pepper(s), seeded and chopped
2 medium cucumber(s), chopped
4 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1/4 tsp kosher salt
1/8 tsp black pepper, freshly ground
1 tsp olive oil
1 medium garlic clove(s), minced
1/4 tsp ground cumin
1 cup(s) canned chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1/3 cup(s) fat-free sour cream, or plain yogurt
2 average white pita bread, halved


* In a medium bowl, mix the tomatoes, bell peppers, cucumbers, 2 tablespoons of lemon juice, salt and pepper. Refrigerate, covered, until the flavors are blended, about 30 minutes.

* Meanwhile, in a small nonstick skillet, heat the oil. Sauté the garlic until fragrant, about 30 seconds; add the cumin and toast, stirring, about 1 minute.

* In a food processor or blender, combine the chickpeas, sour cream and remaining 2 tablespoons of lemon juice; puree, then pulse in the garlic mixture.

* Pour half of chickpea mixture into the pitas; with a slotted spoon, transfer vegetables to the pitas. Top with remaining chickpea mixture.


One of my favorite bloggers wrote a great post today about motivation. Since she is such an inspiration to me, I've decided to follow her advice and make a list of motivators, why I want to lose weight and change my body:

* I want to look like Sophia in a corset!
* I want to climb the stairs without getting winded
* I want to sleep better
* I want to fit into my sexy/skinny clothes that are crammed in my closet
* I want to be able to look at my full reflection/photographs of myself
* I want to be happy with myself
* I want to feel comfortable, and not be self conscious all the time
* I want to wear a bikini on the beach without a pareo
* I want to turn heads again
* I want to look good naked!

So, there you go. Maybe I should print these out and carry them around with me so that when temptation strikes (as it did last night at Ruby Tuesdays in front of the chips & guacamole) I can whip them out and be reminded.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Chubby Cheeks and Double Chin, oh, my!

Stuck in a hotel room yesterday with nothing to do but read and surf the internet (my idea of heaven, honestly), I took the time to do some extra pampering on myself. Nice long shower, did my hair properly, etc. Then, thinking I looked ok I took a self-pic. *groan* I cannot believe how fat my face looks, not even dealing with the rest of me. Whenever I gain weight it goes everywhere which I guess is good because I'm at least proportioned but why can't I be one of those girls who don't get all moon-faced when she's overweight? Sigh.....