recipe

{Recipe} Creamy Guacamole

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One of my favorite things ever is guacamole. But not just any guacamole. I will rarely order guacamole at a restaurant and I never buy it already prepared. My favorite guacamole in the whole world? Well, my mom makes it. And just the other day, I actually made it myself. It’s so easy, I’m not sure why I never tried it before although I’m sure I thought it just wouldn’t taste the same if I made it.

 

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Ingredients:

  • 2 ripe Hass avocados
  • 2 tbsp. mayonnaise
  • 2 tbsp. sour cream
  • 1 pack Concord Foods mild guacamole mix (found in the produce section)
  • Lemon juice

 

Peel avocados in a large bowl. Add mayonnaise, sour cream, and guacamole mix. Mash with a fork and mix well to desired consistency. I like my guacamole really creamy so I try not to have any chunks at all.

 

creamy guac 1

creamy gac 2    creamy guac 3

 

creamy guac  4

 

I calculated this recipe on WeightWatchers.com and based on approximately 12 servings, it would be about 2 points per serving, guesstimating the serving size to be about 2 tablespoons. You could probably save a little bit by using reduced fat or fat free mayonnaise and sour cream.

As for the lemon juice, which was not used to make the guacamole, you will add a few drops to the top of the guacamole and cover with saran wrap when you refrigerate it. This will keep it from turning brown so quickly. Mind you, in my house, it rarely lasts long enough to turn brown.

 

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What is your favorite way to have guacamole? Chips? On tacos or salad? Share!

WW Weigh-In #54

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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.

WW Weekly weigh-in Week 54

 

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!

 

broccoli slaw salad

 

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.

Jessica Simpson WW video 010714

 

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.

 

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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!

sunday run 011214

 

Make it a great week, everyone!

WW Weigh-In #53

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This morning, I celebrated a year at WW with a loss. What a way to ring in 2014! It’s very surreal to me to think that it’s been a full year since I went back. I’m such a broken record, but I just love my meeting. This one is the perfect fit for me. I look forward to it every week – Beverly is an amazing leader, the receptionists Marilyn and Connie are fabulous, and all the members are wonderful. We all share a common bond and it’s just… Nice.

 

WW Weekly weigh-in Week 53

 

This past week, I *mostly* followed Simple Start again. I made AWESOME chili which I had for lunch or dinner for a few days. I stuck to power foods most of the time. But, I did go over the 7 extra points per day for a few meals out while were moving stuff this week for work, and New Years Eve.

 

 

Things I did right this week are:

  • I didn’t track except a couple times. What? How is this right? Following Simple Start, you only have to track your indulgences, the 7 points a day. The first week on it, I still tracked because I was terrified of not tracking. Let’s face it, if I could eat without gorging myself on every meal, I would never need Weight Watchers. But the premise behind Simple Start is power foods, which are filling. So, you eat until you are satisfied. I am still working on this one, but this week I trusted my instincts a little more and tracked less. Clearly, it worked out okay since I lost. I still have to be mindful of it, though.
  • Power foods….. Zucchini, squash, tilapia, tuna, salad, cucumbers, green peppers, whole wheat pasta, lean ground beef, shrimp, black beans, kidney beans, and more. Power foods are endless and there are SO many that I love.
  • I seemed to go through a lot of water this week!
  • I ran Saturday – Wednesday. I was on a mission to complete my 625 miles for 2013 and I hit 628, overachiever that I am. I also did an ab workout from T25. Loving that program! I am also doing a plank-a-day for this month.
  • As I mentioned above, I made chili. It was so good! You can find the recipe here.

 

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What I will focus on this week:

  • I am going to continue with Simple Start – mostly – this week. I will continue to focus on power foods and be mindful and aware of eating only until I’m satisfied – not stuffed.
  • I want to try 2 new recipes this week, using ingredients from the Simple Start shopping list.
  • I am shooting for 3 runs and 3 days of T25.

 

t25 abs alpha

 

My activity points were up again this week with a total of 49! I am trying to get back into a regular routine again which helps me keep those points up!

 

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I started reading Find Your Fingerprint last night, included in the new Success Kit. I am really loving it. I love reading about the science behind the reason we do things the way we do. Even better, the book has you focus on YOU, what works, what doesn’t, your successes, and more. I can’t wait to read more.

 

Have a great weekend!

{Recipe} Black & Red Chili

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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!

 

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  • 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.

 

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IMG_4052    IMG_4053

 

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.

 

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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?

{Recipe} Homemade Minestrone

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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!

minestrone 5 edit

min·e·stro·ne

A thick soup of Italian origin containing assorted vegetables, beans, pasta such as vermicelli or macaroni, and herbs in a meat or vegetable broth.

Homemade Minestrone

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
  • Carrots
  • Zucchini
  • Celery
  • White onion
  • Basil
  • Oregano

 

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.

minestrone 2    minestrone 1

minestrone 3    minestrone 4

 

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?

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