Getting Back on the Weight Loss Track

It’s true. The poorer you are the less you can afford to eat healthy and take care of yourself. Here in Silicon Valley for the last week channel 5 here has been doing a special about living on $4.00 a day for food. The consumer advocate put herself on a budget of $4.00 a day because our unemployment is up over 12% and many, many people are on food stamps. That is their allotment.

One of the first things she noticed was she had to switch from fresh fruit to frozen. The other thing she did was fill up on more starchy food for fullness versus healthier food. I’m not sure I would have agreed with how she shopped. I think I would lay out a menu and buy more bulk foods cheaper when I first got my money than shop day by day as she did. She had a bulk pak of chicken breasts that were a great buy, but because of the way she was shopping she had to put a large portion of it back. She also went to bed hungry one nite because she spent $1.59 one day on a coffee. I guess between shopping in bulk, buying pretty much only the stuff on sale, and clipping a few coupons feeding a family of 5 on $6.00 a day wasn’t too bad. LOL.

Since we’ve been living in a hotel I have been eating full-fat cream cheese on my bagel and whole milk on my cereal because that’s what they serve for breakfast. The other choices are sweet rolls, muffins, crescents, toast, and that sweet, instant oatmeal. I could not eat the bagel but then I’m hungry mid-morning and start looking around for something else to eat. For dinner we either do fast food or something microwavable because there is no stove. TV dinners are neither cheap or non-fat no matter what anyone says, although at least there is Lean Cuisine, Healthy Choice and Smart Ones to choose from. I will be so happy to be back in a full-fledged kitchen where I can buy things on sale and store them, buy fresh fruit and vegetables and have a way to cook them. And oh yeah, I’ll have my scale back. That will really tell the tale. LOL.

I’m starting to wonder if the obesity problem in this country is really poor eating habits etc., as much as it is that more than half of American families live below the poverty level and eat what they can afford.

Good Food

I received this in my email from my “almost” sister-in-law this morning and thought it was interesting enough to share. Some of you may have seen this already. I couldn’t help but notice that sugar, bread, and white potatoes didn’t make the list.

God’s Pharmacy
  This is absolutely amazing – and makes perfect sense!!
It’s been said that God first separated the salt water from the fresh, made dry land, planted a garden, and made animals and fish… all before making a human. He made and provided what we’d need before we were born. These are best & more powerful when eaten raw.  (I don’t know about eating fish and meat raw. I don’t know where that came from. A lot of them eaten raw make you sick.) We’re such slow learners…God left us a great clue as to what foods help what  part of our body!carrot

A sliced Carrot looks like the human eye.  The pupil, iris and radiating lines look just like the human eye… and YES, science now shows carrots greatly enhance blood flow to and function of the eyes.

tomatoTomato has four chambers and is red. The heart has four chambers and is red. All of the research shows tomatoes are loaded with lycopine and are indeed pure heart and blood food.

grapesGrapes   hang  in a cluster that has the shape of the heart.  Each grape looks like a blood cell and all of the research today shows grapes are also profound heart and blood vitalizing food.

nutsWalnut looks like a little brain, a left and right hemisphere, upper cerebrums and lower cerebellums.  Even the wrinkles or folds on the nut are just like the neo-cortex. We now know walnuts help develop more than three (3) dozen neuron-transmitters for brain function.

kidneyKidney  Beans  actually heal and help maintain kidney function  and yes, they look exactly like the human  kidneys.

celeryCelery,  Bok Choy, Rhubarb  and many more look just like bones. These foods specifically target bone strength. Bones are 23% sodium and these foods are 23% sodium. If you don’t have enough sodium in your diet, the body  pulls it from the bones, thus making them weak.  These foods replenish the skeletal needs of the body.


avacadoAvocadoes,  Eggplant and Pears  target the health and function of the womb and  cervix of the female – they look just like these  organs. Today’s research shows that when a woman eats one avocado a week, it balances hormones, sheds unwanted birth weight, and prevents cervical cancers. And how profound is this?   It takes exactly nine (9) months to grow an avocado from blossom to ripened fruit. There are over 14,000 photolytic chemical constituents of nutrition in each one of these foods (modern science has only studied and named about 141 of them).  

figFigs are full of seeds and hang in twos when they grow. Figs increase the mobility of male sperm and increase the numbers of Sperm as well to overcome male sterility.  
  Sweet  Potatoes  look  like the pancreas and actually balance the  glycemic index of  diabetics.

  Olives   assist  the health and function of the ovaries  

  Oranges,  Grapefruits ,  and other Citrus fruits look just like  the mammary glands of the female and actually  assist the health of the breasts and the  movement of lymph in and out of the  breasts.

  Onions look like the body’s cells. Today’s research shows onions help clear waste materials from all of the body cells. They even produce tears which wash the epithelial layers of the eyes. A working companion, Garlic, also helps eliminate waste materials and dangerous free radicals from the body.

If I could stick to this list, weight would never be a problem! LOL

Pork Loin and Acorn Squash by WW

Sticking to my plan of cooking more WeightWatchers recipes last night I cooked a pork loin with acorn squash. Pork loin was on sale super cheap if you bought a big one, so I bought one that made about 3  three or four pound roasts. I usually don’t have a special fondness for pork loin because it always seems to come out so dry. This was really nice and there was glaze left in the bottom of the pan to spoon over the pork after it was cooked.

I need to get used to acorn squash again. With this glaze it had just a nice, slight orange and sweet flavor without overpowering it. The BF said it was really good and he knows not to say that if he doesn’t want to eat it again. LOL.

Usually when I do a roast I just sprinkle some tried and true combo of spices out of a jar, but this calls for a little salt, pepper, sage and garlic cloves. Here’s what I did.

  • 3 lb. pork loin roast
  • 1/2 TBLS. salt
  • 1/2 TBLS. fresh ground pepper
  • 4 TBLS. sage
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3/4 cup orange juice
  • 6 TBLS. real maple syrup
  • 2 acorn squash, halved and seeded

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Line a roasting pan with foil. Spray foil with Pam or whatever you use. Rub roast with about 3/4 of your spice mix and garlic. Cook for about 20 min. Take the balance of the mix and rub around the edges of the acorn squash.

Take the pork out of the oven and put the squash, cut side down around the pork in the roasting pan, and shove back in the oven for about 30 min.

Mix the orange juice and maple syrup. Pull the pork and squash out of the oven and turn the squash cut side up. Baste everything with the orange juice and maple mix. Cook 15-20 more minutes or until internal temp of pork reaches about 160 degrees and the squash is done. Baste 2 or 3 more times while finishing the cooking. I finally on the last 5 minutes just poured what I had left all over everything.

Enjoy. If you’re counting points, this is approx. 7 points per serving. I’m open to suggestions if you want to put any in the comments below.

I Try To Be Good And “They” Screw It Up!

Grahm crackers

Grahm crackers

Starting in kindergarten, graham crackers have always been the snack of the hour holding a special place in the hearts of most children everywhere. My love for graham crackers didn’t just stay at school during snack time though. My Dad used to break up graham crackers in a bowl, pour milk over them and eat them like a breakfast cereal. Just about anything my Dad did must be good, so I have carried on the habit and passed it on to my children.

As a dieter they were always the less evil choice between them and cookies. I was thrilled to death when they came out with the low fat version. This morning as I’m opening one of the pouches, getting ready to break some of them in my bowl, I couldn’t help but notice they now boast 5g of whole grain on the front of the box. If there really is whole grain in there, shouldn’t it boost the amount of fiber? As I’m reading through the ingredients to find what kind of whole grain, I can’t help but notice the high fructose corn syrup making the list. Now why on earth do they need HFCS when they brag about the honey that makes them “honey grahams”?

It just goes to show how important the little list of “stuff” on the side of the box really is. It’s so easy to be deceived by their fancy marketing tactics thinking we’re doing a really good thing towards our own health and obesity only to find we’ve been foiled again.

While Little Endorphins Dance In My Head

I thought this would be a great time to write a post, right after exercising! Yeah, I went. I joined the gym last Thurs. While I was there I saw a lady that could have been me. Standing on one of the machines like a treadmill but it has individual places to put your feet, like you’re really walking, trying to figure out how to run the darn thing. I felt sorry for her and knew right away I didn’t want to look like that. The unfortunate thing about a lot of these gyms is unless you’re paying for a personal trainer, you really have to ask for help. Nobody volunteers just because they see you in trouble. LOL.

Since then, Friday I didn’t go because I had a bunch of running around to do. I figure that’s exercise enough. Saturday and Sunday I didn’t go because it’s the weekend and I figured it would be too crowded. Yesterday I didn’t go because I had an early appointment on the other side of the hill, about 30 min. away and that turned out to be an all day excursion. This morning was it!

A business mentor that I follow quite a bit says you need to develop a routine to be more productive and take care of your health. My routine this morning was to not allow myself on the computer until I worked out, for starters. I had 2 cigarettes, a cup and a half of coffee and I was out the door by 7 am.  (I slept in a little today). I wasted some time getting going as I was looking up the routine I have chosen to follow. I needed a little refresher. I made the decision I was not going to be one of those people that pays notto work out. I did the treadmill slow and fast, slow and fast, for about 10 min. and 10 min. of circuit training. I feel like a tigress. grrrrrr. LOL.

WW Mustard Chops

WW Mustard Chops

I’ve also been doing pretty good with my WeightWatchers recipes, but I have discovered I’m quite the “ad libber”. I really don’t like to use oil to cook, especially if something already has a little bit of fat on it. I buy lean chops and usually use the little tiny strip of fat around the edge to grease the pan.

This was from their “Stir it Up: Super Skillet Cookbook”. I’m into “easy” and this certainly was.

You just fry up the chops until browned on both sides. Remove from pan.

Add 1/2 cup chicken broth, 1/4 cup of orange juice, and 2 TBSP dijon mustard. I used spicey brown. My Dijon had expired sometime in 2006. LOL. They also use 1 cup of orange sections. I did that this time, but I don’t know if I will again. I really didn’t care for them cooked.

Stir up everything with the pan drippings of the pork. Put the pork chops back in and finish cooking for 3 or 4 min. You’re set to go.

They were moist and delicious. I thought about serving sweet potatoes with them. I know some recipes for yams or sweet potatoes have orange juice in them also and I thought the flavor would carry through. Instead I did fried potatoes and onions, steamed veggies and applesauce.

WW uses a lot of “pork loin” vs. pork chops, but around here pork loin can get rather expensive so I just use pork chops, but make sure they are really lean or I trim them really lean. 1 average chop above is 5 points.

Last nite I lucked out and Tom cooked. He makes the best pork roast, sauerkraut and mashed potatoes, but he was thumbing through my book and decided to use their recipe which adds apples and apple juice. It was wonderful and the apple didn’t make it too sweet like I was afraid of. Yum, yum. I just have to remember 1/2 cup of mashed potatoes really is enough. LOL

Using Weight Watchers Cookbooks

I have probably over a half dozen WeightWatchers cookbooks starting clear back to the original which I bought when I was 16 ( a whole lot of years ago). When I bought that original book, a lot of the recipes in there were really odd, like cooking cauliflower and blending it for “fake” mashed potatoes. That’s just one memory I can pull off the top of my head, but trust me there were many more. Actually one thing that book did for me was introduce me to a lot of new foods I had never had before and ended up liking. A few years later when my mother was living with me she enjoyed not only some foods she had never had before, but also some dishes using foods she previously didn’t care for. By then I was probably on their 3rd cookbook.

Now WeightWatchers has come so far and while I haven’t kept up with buying every cookbook, I have quite a few. I informed the BF today that I think I’m going to start picking dinners out of one of them every nite. I might as well put them to good use. God knows I paid enough for them (the collection, I mean). So I thought I would take a page out of “365 Days of Crockpotting” and see what I can do. Unlike the crockpot lady, I probably will have “lazy” days where I just cook something I know is ok or whatever, but for the most part I’m looking forward to trying some new food ideas.

They say that one of the dieting downfalls is boredom. Well hell, I get bored with my cooking now! If you could see the collection of recipes and recipe books I have you would wonder how, but I basically always cook the same stuff.  I might as well be one of those “Oh it’s Tuesday we must be having meatloaf” of “Oh it’s Friday we must be having fish” kind of people. (I’m not Catholic but I was raised with the old rules. LOL). I have actually caught myself wishing there was another kind of animal besides just beef, foul, pork or fish.

A Beautiful Way To Remember…

What food is good for what.

I received this in my inbox today. The music is beautiful and the comparisons are uncanny! enjoy =)

Such A Simple But Great Recipe

I went to a friends retirement (breakfast) party a couple of days ago, and the hostess served this with slices of sourdough baggetts. I can’t remember for the life of me the Italian name for it, but it’s astoundingly delicious for being so simple.
35 Minutes to Prepare and Cook


1 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
5 cups water
4 potatoes, peeled and quartered
salt and pepper to taste
4 eggs

Heat oil in a large pot over medium heat. Saute onions until translucent. To the onions add water, potatoes, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil; reduce heat to low and simmer for 20 minutes, or until potatoes are tender but still firm.
Gently crack eggs into soup; be careful not to break eggs. Place on low heat until whites of eggs are cooked. Sprinkle with a touch of parsley. Cool slightly before serving.
Makes 4 1-cup servingsNumber of Servings: 4

Nutritional Info
Servings Per Recipe: 4
  • Amount Per Serving approx. 1cp
  • Calories: 226.9
  • Total Fat: 4.9 g
  • Cholesterol: 53.1 mg
  • Sodium: 35.9 mg
  • Total Carbs: 40.6 g
  • Dietary Fiber: 5.4 g
  • Protein: 6.3 g

For WeightWatchers, this is 4pts. The onion may be a little overpowering for some. It was delicious without any if you prefer it that way. enjoy=)


Back From Paso…

Got back from visiting my daughter in Paso Robles yesterday. She too wants to travel the “Weight Loss Trail”.  My other daughter and I went down to equipt her with some of the tools for the journey. It’s probably a little harder for her to eat properly as she does not cook and did not know how to use any kitchen appliances. The cooking appliances I consider to be the easiest to use for a single and busy lifestyle are: an indoor grill (like a George Foreman, altho I hated the one we got her and I took it back), a small rice cooker, a crockpot, and now that I think about it, probably a chopper. I got her a “magic bullet for XMAS last year. She should be able to chop with that. I taught her how to use it to make great chicken salad and now she’s very anxious to try the Fat Free Hummus recipe, etc. Weight Watchers has a beautiful new cookbook out, binder style, that looks like it’s latest and greatest combination of recipes, which even at Walmart was $25.00. Today is her first day back to work after her little vacation, so I told her what to fill the crockpot with and she should have a very nice dinner waiting for her tonite when she gets home. She works in a restaurant during the day, so her plan is to eat veggies and healthier food items while she’s there.

Helping her helped to re-motivate me. Working with those items reminded me there really are no more excuses. Between being able to buy veggies frozen, already done for me except to decide how I want to use them, and the ease of cooking if you have the right equipment, I really don’t have a good reason for not eating right. It’s amazing what showing someone else how to do this will do for giving you a fresh prospective. Maybe I’ll be around to see my Grandchildren if I just quit thinking I’m immortal! LOL