Get Moving into 2009

Thursday, November 27, 2008

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

Friday, November 21, 2008

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!

Monday, November 17, 2008

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:

No day but today

Monday, November 10, 2008

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...

Thursday, November 6, 2008

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

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

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...

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