Friday, July 03, 2015

Cool Breakfasts for Hot Mornings

We are having an unusually warm Summer on the South Island this year. I am not complaining!

Actually I am enjoying every steamy degree on the thermometer... but I have certainly changed my eating habits in this heat.  I am not interested in my usual breakfast fare these days... eggs, pancakes, and even waffles are just not appealing.  I have been coming up with other things to enjoy as the temperatures soar... cold breakfasts are just better right now.

I like to select some fruit, occasionally nuts or seeds, some protein, a bit of cinnamon and sometimes stevia.  The combinations are endless.

Here are a few of my favorites so far... of course they are all gluten free.

Chocolate Cherry Smoothie
Chocolate Cherry Smoothie

chocolate protein powder, unsweetened original Almond Breeze, frozen cherries
WWP+ = 4

Fruit and Seed Yogurt Bowl
Fruit and Seed Yogurt Bowl

fat free plain Greek yogurt, goji berries, hemp seeds, sunflower seeds, flax meal
WWP+ = 5

Cottage Cheese and Berries
Cottage Cheese and Berries

fat free cottage cheese with thawed frozen mixed berries
WWP+ = 2

Egg White and Flax Muffins
Egg White and Flax Muffins

egg whites, ground flax, cinnamon, stevia
WWP+ = 4
addition PPV for the cheese
I also like these slathered with PB2 or nut butter

Protein Pudding with Cherries
Protein Pudding with Cherries

Greek yogurt, vanilla protein powder, thawed frozen cherries
WWP+ = 4

Chia Pudding with Yogurt and Berries
Chia Pudding with Yogurt and Berries

Chia Pudding with Yogurt and Berries

Greek yogurt, thawed frozen berries, chia pudding made with 2 Tbs chia seeds and 1/3 cup Almond Breeze.
WWP+ = 4

A couple of weeks ago, I even had a big kale salad!

What do you like to have for breakfast on a hot morning?

Sunday, June 07, 2015

Hot and Spicy Peanut Sauce

Sometimes I want hot pasta, and when I do, I make up a big bowl of gluten-free black bean spaghetti and slather it with a tasty sauce.  This Hot and Spicy Peanut Sauce is very flavorful, and when you read the ingredients, it may sound like an odd combination. But it is truly delcious and I have enjoyed it a couple of times now.  It is a mixture of some of my favorites!

If you are a fan of hot sauces, then go ahead and use more sriracha! I kept it to 1/2 teaspoon but you might like more.... and my shredded cheese is a blend of 3 different cheeses that I purchase at Costco but I think that shredded parmesan or asagio would work nicely too. Just gives it a bit of a salty tang. I use a gluten-free soy sauce called tamari... use your own favorite.

I am going to make it again and have it with lightly sauted zoodles...

If you give it a try, I would love to know what you think!

Hot and Spicy Peanut Sauce by @WeCanBegin2Feed

Hot and Spicy Peanut Sauce
Makes 1 serving

  • 4 Tbs PB2
  • 1 Tbs water
  • 2 Tbs tamari
  • 1 clove garlic, peeled, smashed, and minced
  • 1 tsp freshly grated ginger
  • 1/2 tsp sriracha
  • 1 green onion, cut into 1/2 inch lengths
  • 1/3 cup shredded cheese
  1. Mix the PB2 with water and tamari till smooth.
  2. Stir in the garlic, ginger, and sriracha and mix well.
  3. Pour over the top of your noodles.
  4. Top with onion slices and cheese shreds.
Per serving, sauce only.
Weight Watchers P+ = 5.
Calories 167; Protein 19g; Carbohydrate 9g; Fat 8g; Fibre 3g.

Are you a fan of hot and spicy?

Sunday, May 31, 2015

Back on Track...A Day's Eats on the Weight Watchers Points Plus Program

I am starting out this post with a bit of background and some disclosure. I have been a lifetime member of Weight Watchers for many many years... since the mid-eighties actually.  And during those first few years after I got my lifetime designation, I quit, gained back a bit of weight, and rejoined 4 different times before I finally realized that I am a person who needs to stay active with the program.  I need the accountability of someone else weighing me once a month to stay on track.

Since we gave up living on our sloop and moved into the city, I began working for Weight Watchers as a meeting room receptionist, and recently took on another role as a 24/7 Chat agent.  And even though I am surrounded by members, program materials, and program tools... I confess that right now I am struggling with my weight.

I am 5 feet and 10 inches tall.  I like to weigh between 139 and 141.  According the the Weight Watchers guidelines, someone my height should weigh between 139 and 163.

Over the past couple of years, since training for and running a half-marathon in May of 2013, I have put on about 12 pounds.  I manage to knock off a couple here and there but always put it back on, and right now, after coming back from a vacation during which I spent 17 days on a cruise ship, my weight is the highest it has been since the beginning of 2006.  I am not a happy girl.  I have been trying to ignore it and just hope it will go away. I know that is not realistic and it is time for me to get back on plan, and seriously.  It is not easy for me to face that... much harder to disclose it publicly. But I feel I must in order to make it realy sink in and help motivate me to stay the course and get back to my happy weight..

I have experimented with other programs.  I have done the 21 Day Fix,  and I have joined online Facebook challenge groups.   I manage to stay with them for a couple of weeks, but find the requirement to take and post pictures of my meals and workouts quite time consuming and eventually annoying.  I did a 3 Day Refresh... a 'detox' of sorts.   I have tried carb cycling, and recently started tracking calories and macros again, this time with My Fitness Pal... and I have read countless other diet books... all the while knowing that there is a program right in front of me that works.

It is me that is no longer working the program.  I have been working out regularly... that is not an issue.  I do strength training and full bodyweight workouts. I run, I do yoga and Pilates. I play tennis and swim. I walk everywhere, sometimes for hours.  And what all of this activity has proved to me is that you cannot OUTWORK a bad diet.  Yes, working out burns calories and it helps build muscle and give you shape, it does not give you the freedom to eat and drink too much.  Sooner or later it all catches up with you.

Now, I do understand that for my height, I am not overweight.  I have a BMI of just over 22. But for me, it is not only too much weight, it is also an indication that I am not paying attention to my health and to my body's fuel/nutrition needs.  I feel bloated and my clothes are getting a bit tight.  I am uncomfortable. And it is how I feel that is driving me to make the commitment to fix it.

So, today is the beginning of a new phase in my life. First of all, I am forgiving myself for getting to this point and putting all of the guilt behind me.  I am getting out all of my Weight Watchers tools.  I am re-reading my program materials.  I am counselling mysef the way I do my members in getting back to basics... to weighing and measuring... to tracking/journalling my day's food intake and activity output... to drinking my water.  I am starting anew.

WW program guides and tools.

Measure cups and spoons... the scale is not from WW.

Knowing that Weight Watchers is sound nutritionally gives me comfort and peace of mind. The program is not extreme.  It leads one toward whole, real foods... fruits and vegetables, lean proteins... whole grains and lean dairy if you want them. It allows for personalization. It does not require deprivation. I can have anything I want, within reasonable limits.  I can make choices, and I can tailor the program to allow for more food/fuel on days my athletic endeavors are more rigorous. It encourages activity. It encourages drinking water.  All in all it is a very good program.  And I know I can follow it, and I know it works when I do!

So what does a day's food look like when on the Weight Watchers program, when one is counting Points Plus Values?

Based on my sex, my age, my height, and my current weight, my Daily Points Plus Target is set at 26.  That means I need to eat 26 Points Plus worth of food each day in order to meet my nutritional requirements.  (And yes there are Good Health Guidelines as to how that target should be spent on the various food groups.) I also have a Weekly Allowance of 49 (although I am imposing a personal limit of 35) and if I exercise, I earn Activity Points, that I may add to the Weekly Allowance if I so choose. This allowance is discretional... I can use none, some, or all of it, as I choose, and each week it refreshes.  Use it or lose it.

Here is how my day went on Sunday, May 31st.


Shakeology Waffles with  mixed berries and  sugar free pancakes syrup
WW P+ = 3


Huge salad of mixed greens with chicken breast and fat free dressing
WW P+ = 4

Afternoon Snack 1:

Fat Free plain yogurt with a bit of Stevia and frozen cherries
WW P+ = 1

Afternoon Snack 2:

Baby Bel cheese
WW P+ = 2

Wine while making dinner:

2 - 4 oz. glasses of red wine
WW P+ = 6


Black bean spaghetti with olive oil and parmesan shreds
WW P+ = 7

Evening Snack:

Banana with chocolate PB2
WW P+ = 1

I did a 5 km run (35 minutes) this morning which earned me 6 AP.

Daily Total = 24
Remaining WAP = 35 
Remaining AP = 6

According to My Fitness Pal:
Calories 1264; Protein 105g; Carbohydrates 129g; Fat 30g; Fibre 25g

A pretty good day.  My motivation is high and this amount of food definitely kept me satisfied throughought the day... probably because I have been overeating the past couple of days and am still feeling somewhat full from that.

I will keep ya posted on my progress!