Get Moving into 2009

Some of the ladies on the 20's board expressed a desire to get back into activity and after talking with Lindsay last night, it seems like it's something that a lot of us need to do. So I've created this chart (similar to the lovely WW Chick's for fall) to jot down your activity goals, your activity minute goal and a place to put a sticker for every day that you work out from now until the new year. Let's all get moving!! You can also comment on this post and tell me your goals for the next 35 days - I will post mine too! Happy moving!!

Get Moving into 2009

Another amazing blogger

Tony's lost 193 lbs - check out his blog to see his amazing progress and see how dedicated he's been to his weight loss journey

the moment you've all been waiting for...

*additional recipes coming soon*

Ladies & Gentlemen I give you soup recipes to last you the winter... Happy Soup Making!! Thanks to all my members and fellow posters on who contributed recipes to my cause!! I'm so excited to try them myself.

I printed this brochure for my members and it includes 9 soup recipes. In my head you'll be able to print it like I did (1 page back and front and then you fold it to make a brochure), but if that doesn' work, email me and I can send you the pdf.

I could have written a whole book on soup, but had limited time and resources! Here are some more recipes that didn't make it into the brochure. I'm in the process of adding the Points values... or you can figure them out on your own if they're not included.

Butternut Squash and Sweet Potato Soup

Serves 2, or 1 in great need of solace Ingredients
2 1/2 cups diced butternut squash and sweet potato
3 cups hot chicken or vegetable stock
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground mace
good grinding of pepper
4 tsp buttermilk


Put the diced butternut squash and sweet potato in a saucepan with the stock and spices.
Bring to a boil, and then simmer for 15 minutes or until the vegetables are tender.
Puree the soup in a blender. You will find that by removing the center nozzle on the lid and placing a hand towel or tea towel over the top, you will not get a buildup of pressure and an explosion of soup on your walls or over you.
Pour the blended soup into two bowls, decorating each bowl with swirls made with 2 teaspoons of buttermilk.

Roasted Bell Pepper Tomato Soup
2 tsp olive oil
2 medium garlic clove(s), minced
1 medium onion(s), diced
1 medium carrot(s), chopped
1 1/2 tsp herbes de Provence (equal mix of basil, rosemary, thyme, bay leaf, savory and marjoram) 14 1/2 oz ff reduced-sodium chicken broth
20 oz canned crushed tomatoes
1 tsp table salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
3 medium sweet red pepper(s), or orange, sliced
2 pkts SPLENDA No Calorie Sweetener

Place peppers on a cookie sheet, and place under warmed broiler, turning until all sides are charred. When cooled, peel and seed the pepper. In a large pot, heat oil over medium-low heat. Add garlic, stir until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add onion and carrot. Cook until onion is tender, about 5 minutes. Add herbes de Provence, cook, stirring until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add peppers. Add broth and tomatoes. Bring to a boil. Cover; simmer for 25 minutes. Stir in salt, pepper, and Splenda* No Calorie Sweetener. Purée in small batches; briefly reheat, if needed.

Yields 1 cup per serving.

POINTS: 1 point per serving - Core

Chicken Tortilla Soup

1 onion, finely chopped
2 stalks celery, finely chopped
2-3 cloves garlic-finely chopped
1 t. cumin
1 t. cayenne pepper (I used 1/2 t.)
1/2 tsp. salt (I didn't use this much)
2 to 3 c. shredded/cut cooked chicken
1 c. frozen or canned corn
1 14oz. can White Northern Beans - drained
1 14oz. can diced tomatoes-do not drain
2 cans fat free chicken broth

Spray a pot with cooking spray and sauté onion, celery and garlic until soft. Add seasoning through beans-stir gently to mix. Add tomatoes with juice and soup. Bring to a boil and then reduce and simmer for about an hour.
Great topped with low fat/fat free tortillas-cut into strips and baked (count points for tortillas)

Servings: 8 (1 cup each)

Core except for tortillas

Spicy Black Bean Soup
Cooking spray
1 chopped onion
4 cloves garlic-chopped
3-15 ounce cans black beans
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
1 tsp ground cumin
1-14 1/2 ounce can ff chicken broth or veggie
10 ounce can Rotel type tomatoes
11 ounce can corn

Cook the onion and garlic in cooking spray in stock pot until soft.
Place 1 can of beans with liquid, half the broth, the onion and garlic mixture and the cumin and pepper flakes in blender, pulse until pureed. Transfer back to pot.
Puree the second can of beans with the remaining broth, add to pot.
Stir the last can of beans, undrained, corn, and tomatoes into bean mixture, stir, bring to a simmer and simmer 20 minutes.

Harvest Chicken Corn Chowder
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped sweet red pepper
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 cup cubed fully cooked ham
2 cups water
2 cups cubed red potatoes
1-1/2 cups fresh or frozen corn
1 teaspoon reduced-sodium chicken bouillon granules
3/4 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon poultry seasoning
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 cup cubed cooked chicken breast
1 can (12 ounces) fat-free evaporated milk
3/4 cup 1% milk, divided
1/4 cup all-purpose flour

In a large saucepan, saute the onion, red pepper and garlic in oil until onion is tender. Add ham; cook and stir for 2 minutes. Stir in the water, potatoes, corn, bouillon, thyme poultry seasoning, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 15 minutes or until potatoes are tender. Add chicken; heat through. Stir in the evaporated milk and 1/2 cup milk; bring to a boil. Combine flour and remaining milk until smooth; gradually stir into soup. Cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened.

Servings: 5

POINTS® Value: 6

Recipes Wanted!

I am so thrilled for Saturday's topic.


I love making soup. I love eating soup. I love soup recipes - so I'm going nuts over this topic!! As I mentioned last week, please send me your soup recipes. I will be posting them here (with Points values) and will have a display in the meeting room as well. I will also be doing a spotlight on produce! I think it will be apples & squash - but please let me know if there's another fruit/vegetable you would like to know more about.

Please email your recipes to me at:

Motivation A-Z

This week one of my members asked me for some additional time in the meeting spent on motivation and maintaining motivation over the course of one's weight loss journey. I thought this was a great suggestion, as I often hear motivation come up in my meetings and I see it often on the boards as well. Thanks to everyone who responded to my post on the 20's board regarding motivation to help get my brain going!

A - Attend your meetings - Meetings are where you'll get lots of great tips, ideas and inspiration from other members. It's a great way to kick off a new week and put the previous week behind you.

B - Be patient - You didn't gain weight overnight, so you can't expect to lose it overnight either. Remember the story of the tortoise and the hare - slow and steady wins the race. WW recommends a weight loss of 0.5-2 lbs after the first three weeks. Even if you lost 0.5 lbs every week for a whole year, you'd still lose 26 lbs by the end of the year, which is pretty amazing!!

C - Celebrate!! I love celebrating with members! Celebrate pounds lost, celebrate smaller clothing sizes, celebrate activity milestones - celebrate everything! The positivity is infectious and it's a great motivator. Plus, who doesn't love getting stickers or medallions or ribbons?

D - Dine in - Eating out a lot lately? Make yourself a deal and dine in. Not only will you be control of knowing what's in your meals, but you might find some new recipes or foods that you like. Trying something new will keep things interesting and help you stay away from the grilled chicken and salad. Again.

E - Examine your Motivating Strategy - How are you going to feel when you reach your goals? What's going on? What are you doing? How fantastic do you feel? Remember those feelings and utilize them when you need an extra boost or just to help you keep going on a day to day basis.

F - Find a WW friend - someone who can attend meetings with you, walk with you at lunch or try a new class at the gym. It will help you stay accountable and you will help them too! It's amazing what we can learn when we "teach" others.

G - Goals - Set goals, both short and long term, weight related and non-weight related. When you achieve a goal, make a new one and keep your eye on the prize.

H - Have fun - Sometimes weight loss seems like very serious business, but think about the AMAZING changes you are making in your life and how amazing you are going to feel as you reach your goals. You are engaging in a life-altering experience, so try to enjoy it!!

I - Inspire others - think about joining the Weight Watchers staff or apply to be a Success Story!! Being a staff member is an incredible experience. I learn and am inspired by my members every week and really helps me to stay on track. OR check out the website to apply to be a Success Story and share your story with others!

J - Jot down your goals and accomplishments - and put them in places that you'll see them, like on your fridge, in your calendar or at your desk. It will help remind you of what you're currently working towards and what you've already done.

K - Kick it up a notch - Sometimes our bodies grow accustomed to our routine, so try out a new activity. Take a class. Walk. Jog. Run. Swim. Play a sport. See what's offered at your local community center or gym and see if there's anything you're interested in.

L - Learn from your experience - have a look at what has worked for you in the past and what hasn't and use that information to help you in the present/future.

M - Manage your Thoughts - be aware of your negative thoughts and get rid of them. Can't, no, don't, never. Replace negative thoughts with positive ones and recognize all of the great things you've done and accomplished already.

N - Non-Scale Victories - enjoy them! They're important too and really help when things aren't going the way you want them to at the scale. Whether it's a new clothing size, a great choice made at a social event - everything that you do to contribute to your weight loss journey is a cause for celebration!

O - Open your mind - and change your thinking. You are capable of so much. Never forget it.

P - Persevere - Stick with it. Even when you're feeling down. You can do this. Remember the toothbrush analogy. You wouldn't stop brushing your teeth if you forgot one day or you didn't have time. Even if things are a little rough, get back on track and make it a new day.

Q - Quiz yourself - Go back to Week 3 (Think First) and take the Habit profile. Figure out what you're already doing well and work on the things that need a little TLC.

R - Reward Yourself - Once you've achieved a goal, be sure to do something nice for yourself. Book a massage, have a pedicure, buy that new book/top/ipod you've had your eye on. Once you've rewarded yourself, be sure to have another reward in mind when you reach your next goal.

S - Start over - go back to week one and think about what brought you to WW in the first place. Re-read your materials and take a trip to the grocery store. Rekindle your love affair with the program with the passion of a new member. You might even learn something new.

T - Track everything! Track your daily food intake. Track your activity. Track your measurements

U - Utilize your resources - meetings, materials in the meeting rooms, other members,, ME - they are all there to help you in the meeting room and the other 99% of the week. Use them!!

V - Visualize success - what is reaching your goal going to look like? Feel like? Having a juicy Winning Outcome is really important and makes it super specific and relevant to you.

W - Weigh in - even when you think you've had a bad week. And those are the weeks to make sure that you stay for the meeting too!! Weighing in helps you to visualize a fresh start of a new week and if you've been off plan, a good way to motivate yourself to get back at it. You might here something in the meeting room that inspires you AND the weigh in might not be as bad as you think!!

XYZ - Anything extra that I haven't mentioned at this point! Check out the blogs I've listed in the blog roll. Read Success Stories. Read/post on the Message Boards. Check out articles on Read WW magazine. Find inspiring quotes. Find an inspiring/interesting book. Take a walk and clear your mind.

Sustaining motivation is a huge part of your weight loss journey and I hope this list can help. You have it within yourself to achieve your goals and reach your Winning Outcomes. I know you can do it. And if you fumble along the way, I'm always here to help pick you back up again.

You have within you the strength, the patience and the passion to reach for the stars and change the world - Harriet Tubman

No day but today

While I always think that every week's meeting topic is important, I think last week's topic couldn't have come at a better time for me personally and really resonated with many of my members as well. In my meetings on Saturday we talked about the importance of Taking Care of Yourself.

In our daily lives, it's pretty amazing how we can push ourselves to the backburner while we tend to our various roles in life. By taking care of yourself, you're really making yourself better equipped to take on those roles and be the best that you can be.

Taking care of yourself means saying no to:
  1. always letting others' needs take priority
  2. allowing have-to's dominate your life
  3. losing motivation
  4. being a yes (wo)man
  5. feeling guilty about making your weight-loss efforts a priority

Take a moment and examine your life. Is your schedule filled with things that you are doing for other people constantly? Where's the "me" time? Is your motivation taking a dive? Do you have to schedule 3 months in advance to do something nice for yourself? If you answered yes to any of these, it's time to step back for a moment and find something that you can do for yourself. Can you ask for help? Is there someone in your life who can help relieve you of some of your duties? Or are things going to calm down soon? What can you do to make yourself a priority?

In my meeting this week I ended with the quote "no day, but today" from the musical Rent. I told my members to make today count and really start taking care of themselves. As someone who leads a very busy life, this is something I need to remind myself of constantly and this meeting topic couldn't have come at a better time. This week I encourage you to also Take Care of Yourself by saying yes to:

  1. Valuing your own needs (as much as you value the needs of others)
  2. Making time to do activities you love
  3. Finding the motivation to work towards your goals
  4. Learning to say no to requests that will get in the way of commitments you've made for yourself
  5. Saying goodbye to guilt

What I've been reading lately...

I would like to start adding reviews of books I've read that are related to weight loss, nutrition, emotions, clean eating etc as it seems I've been reading a lot of them lately!

In no particular order...

What to Eat by Marion Nestle provides a great overview of the food industry and what to find in your local supermarket. The book is interesting, informative and provides a witty, non-biased opion. Nestle lays out the facts and allows the reader to draw their own conclusions. The book is divided into sections and it's easy to skip over topics that aren't relavent or that don't interest you. There is information on the US and Canada and I really enjoyed it and read through it pretty quickly! A great book about food

I found Food & Mood by Elizabeth Somer on a total whim. I like to hang out in the food/health section of my local bookstore and started reading this book in the store. I thought it would be a great read for me personally, but would provide some additional insight for leading my meetings. The basic gist of the book is how our mood effects our eating habits. Sounds simple, right? Not when you factor in stress, PMS, general fatigue, SAD and many other issues we face as humans. It provides insight on each factor and gives you ideas for combat including tips and recipes. It helps you to look at your diet and see how your food choices can really affect your mood. A really interesting, relevant book.

Once again, I was browsing at the bookstore when I came across this book and then found it at the library. Lately I've been a lot more cognizant of my choices in life and how they relate to the environment. Some people think I'm going a little nutty or say that I'm just standing on my environmental soap box, but I'm really trying to do what I can for the earth and help myself and my family at the same time. Your Guide to the Most Friendly Information, Products and Services in Canada is a great Canadian resource for people who are looking for ways to go green but (like me) need some guidance. Great information, products and resources and overall a really fast read. I took what I could from the book and am now applying the principles in my daily life!

It's November

I apologize for the lack of updates lately. Things have been hectic at work and I've also been back and forth to the doctor a lot recently. On Monday I was diagnosed with Crohn's Disease. I'm really happy just to have answers at this point and my experience with my new doctor has been great. I've been lucky that everything has moved along quickly and I'm starting on some medication that will hopefully help things. My doctor has said there is no need for surgery at this point, but I may cross that path at some point. I'm going one day at a time and I'm just thankful for the amazing supportive people I have around me.

I hope everyone has an amazing Hallowe'en. If you have any pesky spooky treats kicking around, be sure to check out this list for the Points values to some of your favourite treats.

Oh and I'm still obsessed with my Laptop Lunch... Additional pictures coming soon...