Happy Sunday, everyone! I am a day behind on my WW post, but I had a busy day yesterday. As usual, I really enjoyed the meeting yesterday morning. Beverly was not there, but Anthony filled in for her and he is always great too. Also, it was really full meeting! It’s the time of year, of course. Many regular faces and many new faces. Last week was my third week doing Simple Start. I am really enjoying the power foods and I still have my indulgences, some days a little more than others if I am being honest. My first week on Simple Start, I had a gain. The second and third week, I had a loss. One of my favorite things about Simple Start is the power foods – they are better fuel for me and my running. Power foods are AWESOME.
I was so thrilled about this weigh-in. A total of 31.6 lbs. lost putting me at 146.4. I am just 4.4 pounds from being Lifetime again and 6.4 pounds from reaching my goal of 140. SO close. I feel like Simple Start came around at just the right time in my journey and is giving me a little jump start to keep me pushing forward.
Things I did right this week are:
- I focused again on power foods. Salad, chicken breast, tuna, tilapia, healthy oils, fresh fruits and veggies, and more. I made another batch of my Black & Red Chili for the week. It is SO good leftover.
- I only ran twice this last week but I did my #plankaday consistently, even having my longest plank ever at over 3 minutes long.
- Plenty of water…
- I made sure I had the foods handy that would have for the week. The shopping list of the back of the Simple Start is the best thing ever. Your options are endless when you have the right foods on hand.
- I threw together a salad for lunch one day and it was delicious! Broccoli slaw and baby spinach salad with cucumber, tomato, albacore tuna, olive oil, and red wine vinegar… I just love the colors and how fresh this salad was. I will definitely make this again!
What I will focus on this week:
- I’ve already been grocery shopping this morning and I went with a plan, which is the best. Today I will work on food prep for the week. I’ll be making meat sauce for whole wheat pasta, as well as a pot of my homemade minestrone. For snacks, I have apples, cucumbers, carrots, raspberry jello, and hard boiled eggs. I’m also going to try my hand at roasting sweet potatoes.
- For dessert this week…. Cake in a cup is still our current favorite. This week, we’re trying lemon flavor. It will be hard to top the spice cake, but we’ll see!
- Aiming for 3 days of running this week – half marathon #7 is on February 1! Also trying out a few more T25 workouts and keeping up with my #plankaday. I missed yesterday which is so frustrating to me, but I will just jump back into it today.
- I have 2 great new cups to use for water. It’s more fun to drink water from a fun cup than just a plastic bottle. When I’m at work, I keep ice water on my desk, right next to my computer.
This last week, I also had the pleasure of taking part in a live Google + hangout with Weight Watchers and Jessica Simpson. I still can’t believe I was asked to do it. It was such fun. You can read my post about it here, as well as watch the video.
With only 2 runs last week, my activity points were down for the week, but it helped that I spent two days rearranging and cleaning our living room. Moving furniture and cleaning from floor to ceiling is no joke.
All in all a great week. I love starting a new week fresh and ready to go. I enjoy cooking and prepping food for the week, so I’ll be doing that today, along with some napping and reading mixed in. I ran 6.5 miles this morning, with hubby by my side on his bike. It was beautiful out, a really cool and crisp morning. And even better? I didn’t take one single walk break on my run, so I’m feeling like a rock star. This run also means I am splurging on breakfast and making homemade BLT’s. Bacon rocks!
Make it a great week, everyone!
After deciding to give WW Simple Start a go and using the recommended shopping list on the back of the Simple Start booklet, I knew I was going to make chili.The great thing about the shopping list is that it is full of essentials to have on hand for endless possibilities. There is nothing magical about this recipe, it’s just simple ingredients that I had, but it is oh so good!
- 2 tsp. olive oil
- 1 tbsp. minced garlic
- 1/2 white onion, diced
- 3/4 green pepper, diced
- 1 can black beans (drained)
- 1can kidney beans (drained)
- 1 can onion & garlic diced tomatoes
- 1 can diced tomatoes with green chiles
- salt & pepper to taste
In a large pot, heat oil, add onion, green pepper and garlic. When veggies start to soften, add lean ground beef and salt and pepper to taste. Stir and sauté until ground beef is cooked through.
Add black beans, kidney beans, and both cans of tomatoes. Bring to a boil and then turn heat down to medium, cover, and simmer for 30 minutes.
I like my chili on the thick side, so it is not very soupy. You could add tomato sauce for extra liquid. I topped mine with fat free cheddar cheese.
This recipe makes roughly 6 servings. These are all power foods, so there is not need to track points. Regular cheese and any ground beef that is not lean would count as points if you decide to go that route.
As with most chili, it is even better the next day. I had this for lunch several days after and it was just as good each time. Another recipe success that I will make often!
Do you like you chili hot or mild?
After deciding to give WW Simple Start a go, I went to the grocery store and stocked up on all the power foods recommended. What is so wonderful about the list that WW provides, is that you have ingredients on hand to make so many things. I couldn’t resist making homemade soup and of course, it had to have an Italian flare.
Little known fact here on the blog… I spent my much younger years in my parent’s different Italian restaurants, up until about age 10. After restaurants our family businesses went in another direction. Then, in 2006, my dad decided he wanted to open one more restaurant. Much to my and my mom’s strong desire to NOT do that, my dad won and he opened a great little place in Dunedin. My mom, the amazing cook that she is, and the recipes that he and my dad created over the years (and food that I grew up on) made for a pretty amazing menu. I actually worked in the kitchen, cooking alongside my mom. And while I will never have the cooking skills that my mom does, it helped me to not be so afraid to be creative when making new dishes. We sold the restaurant after just a couple years, but I still love to cook. This is a great quality to have when you also love to eat!
A thick soup of Italian origin containing assorted vegetables, beans, pasta such as vermicelli or macaroni, and herbs in a meat or vegetable broth.
Makes 4 servings
- 4 cups chicken broth (reduced sodium)
- 1 can Italian seasoned diced tomatoes
- 1 can cannellini beans (drained)
- 2 tbsp. minced garlic
- 2 tsp. extra virgin olive oil
- White onion
Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium heat, add garlic and cook for 30 seconds. Add carrots, zucchini, celery, and onion and cook until soft, about 10 minutes. Add broth, deiced tomatoes, and cannellini beans and bring to a boil. Add basil and oregano and simmer for about 15 minutes.
I like soup chock full of veggies, so I tend to put a lot in. You can add veggies to your liking. Serve with a little bit of shredded parmesan cheese on top.
These are all power foods, except the shredded parmesan. On the Simple Start plan, I do not have to track the points, but I would track the parmesan cheese. This could come from my extra 7 points I have to use per day on non-power foods, indulgences, and more.
This recipe is so easy and delicious! I am sure it will be a regular in my house, especially during the cooler months!
What is your favorite soup? Do you enjoy soup as a way to add veggies into your meals?
It has been way too long since I’ve shared a recipe on here, other than by way of a link from another site. Last Saturday, at my WW meeting, a member shared a recipe for his current favorite dessert. Coming from someone who says they have a sweet tooth, I knew I had to make this and share it with you all!
Several things got my attention on this one. It’s cheap, super easy to make, you only make it when you want to eat it, and the options are endless. Hubby and I love to have dessert and we try our best to have something that is on the good side. Frozen yogurt, fruit with fat free cool whip, pineapple angel food cake, and the like….
Here are the ingredients you need to make cake in a cup…
- 1 box angel food cake mix (unprepared)
- 1 box any other flavor cake mix (unprepared)
- Fat free Cool Whip
Empty both boxes of cake mix into one large Ziploc bag and mix together. How easy is that? And you can keep it in your cupboard so it’s ready whenever you are.
In a small bowl, mix 1/3 cup cake mix and 3 tbsp. water together with a whisk. Put in a coffee cup and microwave for 70 seconds. You will have a moment of fear when you think the cake mix is going to explode in your microwave, but it won’t.
What you will have is deliciously warm and moist cake in a cup. Easy as pie! Er, cake….
For our first time trying this, I used Devils Food cake mix as my second flavor, our absolute favorite. But, I also have a box of yellow cake mix to try next. I bet it’s delicious too.
Add a dollop – or two – of fat free Cool Whip to the top and enjoy! It’s warm and comforting and sweet! All of this is just 3 points!
Have you tried cake in a cup before? What are your favorite flavors?