Wednesday, March 30, 2011


A reminder that if you would love to have some cheerleaders root you on or share in your weight loss journey, please let me know and I would be happy to spotlight you and link up on this page!!

I first wanted to spotlight a friend of mine who has lost 75 pounds now! Isn't that INCREDIBLE!?? She is so dedicated to her weight loss and is looking INCREDIBLE so far. I love her weekly weigh in posts and how real she is with the struggles and triumphs of weight loss. 

Cheryl is incredibly motivating! She is a workout wonderwoman--which I love to see. I definitely couldn't keep up with her, that's for sure! :) But she gets me thinking of ways to get moving. 

So go check her out--leave her a little lovin'! And let's link up!!! Come know you want to! :)

Friday, March 25, 2011

A few helpful hints, and a little about me...

I got the sweetest email from someone who came across this blog, asking if I had recipes to share for the meals I have posted.

I suppose in my quest to put everything up, I forgot to mention some basic details that would prove helpful when reading this blog! So here ya go:

If the words on the screen are a different color, they are a link to something.

For example, when I wrote in the post below about choosing what works for me, I gave a variety of meal ideas that would be equal to the points + value of 3/4 C Lucky Charms. All of those meals have recipes on my recipe blog, and I linked them over.

As you go back through the 29 pt+ in 29 days, I have tried to post and link the recipes to those meals as well. If you want to reference my recipe blog in general, you are welcome to! It is:

But I still do try to link up to the specific recipes when I post here as well. :)

As for me, I am a mother of 4 and have struggled with weight for a long time now. Using the former momentum plan and current points + plan I have lost 64 pounds below my pre-pregnancy weight after having my baby 8 1/2 months ago. You can see my before and after pics at my 50 pound mark here:

And after I had reached my goal weight here:

Being at goal and maintaining now, I have actually lost another few pounds not even trying. Hoping it all evens out in the next few weeks, but am excited to be heading to a lifetime membership with Weight Watchers! I love the points + program. IT ABSOLUTELY WORKS. It really helped me relearn a better way to eat. My portions are better, I use more whole grains than ever, and we are trying to incorporate more fruits and vegetables into our daily meals. I've always done this plan and fed my family accordingly. I feel like it's helped us ALL make healthier choices, and am so grateful my kids are being exposed to these kinds of healthier choices at a young age.

I LOOOOVE meeting other members and people who are following the pts+ plan. It is SO nice to know others who are in the same boat as me--and getting an email here and there or a comment from someone who has popped in on this blog absolutely makes my day! :)

I have had some feedback as far as linking up goes, so if you would like to have me add your blog where you journal your weight loss journey in some form of fashion, please let me know and I am happy to add it! This is one thing I did each week on my weigh in, and it helped me TREMENDOUSLY! And having others cheer you on feels so good, and truly helps aid in weight loss and success! So feel free to pass me your blog address and I will link it up! :)

...on that note...have a fantastic Friday night! :)

Thursday, March 24, 2011

What works...

I have had a lot on my mind--thinking about our big upcoming move and all that is to be done for that...thinking about this blog, and whether or not it is doing much good (sometimes I feel like I'm speaking to an empty room. lol), and thinking about weight loss in general.

I'll admit, I had a couple "off" days last week. I'm an AVID tracker--when I joined WW I set out to make it almost a game. And it is to me now...kind of like I am on the Price Is Right...wanting to get as close to the goal number without going over. :) But I had a day or two recently that I just didn't track. Period. And part of me felt kind of guilty, while part of me just was at peace with it. (don't you hate those devil vs. angel fights??) They were also the days I just munched on whatever. BLAH.

At my WW meeting this week, we talked about what works for me in regards to weight loss, and what DOESN'T work. I had a couple things come to mind...

1. What works for me is TRACKING. I feel so much better knowing what I am eating, keeping tabs on it so it's not a mindless game. I like feeling in control. And honestly when I track, I feel liberated in my food choices. The numbers let me know what I can still fit in to my day (or week, if I am using my weekly points) and it helps me keep my choices in check.

2. What works for me is EATING FILLING FOODS. The extent of our St. Patrick's Day celebrations here was treating the kids to a box of Lucky Charms. :) We hardly ever have sugar cereal. Well, after the 2nd day of them eating it, I broke down and decided to have a bowl myself. I measured it out. I counted the points for it. 3 pt+ for 3/4 C of Lucky charms...just in case you're wondering. PLUS the skim milk I put on....1 pt+. PLUS the 2 pieces of light toast I had...2 the butter...1 pt+. And I did have a banana to go with it...

Pretty soon I was at 7 pt+ for a breakfast that I wasn't even full after eating!

Other meals I could have eaten for 7 pt+...

2 chunky monkey pancakes with peanut butter syrup and fruit

baked oatmeal with a side of fruit

Hash brown casserole with a piece of whole wheat toast

banana pancakes and syrup, 1/2 C egg beaters--scrambled, 2 pieces of turkey bacon, 2/3 C frozen hash browns.

AND YET, I chose 3/4 C of Lucky Charms. :)

My point is, I somehow had thought I was missing out by not eating those dang Lucky Charms. The fact is, and I realized this AFTER eating them, I totally don't MISS them, per se. At least not as a meal. Should I choose to have Lucky Charms again, I won't be using all those points as a meal--but maybe a snack. I just know that for ME, I feel SO much better---so much LESS like snacking all day while trying to fill that hunger void I have because I didn't eat something substantial--when I eat something good and filling to start the day.

And along those lines, one more thing that works for me...

Having those very "off" days once in a while...

I learned a lot about myself those days. Strange, right? :) I learned that my body truly DOES feel much better when I eat right. I feel better about myself when I am in control and not reverting back to the mindless snacker that just ate to eat. And all those foods I thought I was missing out on by not choosing to eat them...well....truth is, I don't miss them at all. They've been replaced, by bigger and better things. And I like that fact. I like that I can just let go of the idea that I was losing out by not eating huge portions and all sorts of chips and candy and other junk (mind you, I still eat those things on occasion and within reason).

 I don't miss the food I used to eat the way I used to eat it.

I'm different now. And seeing that change, makes me feel so very good.

And that is what works for me...

What works for YOU?

Friday, March 18, 2011

Philly Swirl - a zero pt+ sweet treat!

Some days I want a sweet treat. (okay, let's be honest...MOST days I want a sweet treat! :) But some days I don't want enough of a sweet treat to count points for it...

That's where these delicious delights come in...
You're reading right...sugar free, fat free, gluten free....only 14 calories! kids even love these! And while we love to make our own popsicles, it's not always possible--especially for ZERO points! :)

YES, ZEEEEERO pts+ for these bad boys....or good girls....whichever you like to call 'em... :)


And if you want a bigger variety, go for these little gems. ONLY 1 pt+....and delicious!


Not feeling fruity tooty---well, of course, they've got the chocoholics covered too!


WANNA BUY??? Check this link out to find out where you can pick 'em up!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

There is strength in numbers...

I know there are only a handful of you out there reading this. Maybe you pop in now and then. Maybe you read each post. I don't know. But I do know that I really had a vision for this blog--and it's something I would love to have unfold. Might not be all at once. But I really hope I can see it come to light.

This is where YOU come in to play!

I have found there is such great strength in numbers-it's so motivating and exciting to share your successes, triumphs, and even bummer weeks with others. It's nice to know other people in the same boat! And I would love to create that kind of support group here--

So I am wondering a few things...

What would you like to see here?

Would you like to be a guest contributor? (because I wanna hear what YOU have to share too!!)

Would you be interested in linking up your blog that shares your weight loss journey??

I really would love some feedback! So if you could leave a comment or shoot me an email....well, that would just make my day! :) I am ready to get this blog into second gear... :)


Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Popcorn Indiana - a low point, tasty, sweet and salty treat!

Ever find those products that just revolutionize you life?

Okay, perhaps that's a wee bit exaggerated... :) But you get my point. I just discovered (have I been hiding under a rock???) this DELICIOUS popcorn from Popcorn Indiana. (promise their is no product affiliation going on here, I just LOVED this stuff...Ya, THAT much!)

I happen to love popcorn, but usually stick to my 94% fat free microwave stuff--lately that's just felt so boooooring!

So when I saw this displayed front and center and my local non-super Walmart last night, I grabbed a couple bags and thought I would give it a shot.

um....can we say heaven in a crinkly bag? yes! yes! yes! 2.5 C of this decadent cinnamon sugar popcorn is only 3 points+...

And I grabbed these popcorn chips as well--thinking they would be foamy like rice cakes--but wanting to give them a chance. OH MY GOSH. DELICIOUS! They were more like a tortilla chip, but better. And you get approx 20 chips in a 3 pt+ serving--so not too shabby!

I especially am excited because as I browsed the product page I saw they had all sorts of flavors to try...for any chocoholics out there, this may do the trick...
I mean really...chocolate and kettle corn = pure bliss. It must! :)

And for those savory days--mmmmm....this would be dreamy!

Or even these...

If you want to treat yourself, check out their website...and click below to see where you can pick up these sweet and salty treats too!!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

PERFECTLY portioned!

If you have a baby or have had a baby recently in the solid / baby food eating stage, you KNOW what these are..

YES....YES...YES! Those perfect little baby food containers that are just too cute to throw away! Okay, I am probably the only human who thinks this...but it's true. I kept thinking there HAD to be a good way to re-use them...and a few weeks ago it hit me!

We were heading to a friend's house for a little birthday party, and knowing I was going to splurge on some cake, I wanted to bring my own frozen yogurt to eat, instead of ice cream. As I was sifting through the tupperware black hole drawer, I saw these and though I would just take what would fit in there--keep it simple.

Well, as I measured things out, I realized that this cute little baby food container is EXACTLY a half cup. And guess how much a perfect portion of ice cream / frozen yogurt is??? Yep, 1/2 Cup!

I WAS SOOOO excited.

It's the little things that get me...clearly. :)

So this new discovery (that's nothing new to the baby food makers) sent my brain spinning on what all could fit inside and how this could revolutionize my fridge and freezer!

The other day, I made up a batch of sugar free pudding (again, 1/2 C serving)--filled up 6 containers, and put them in the fridge. PERFECT for snacks, and cheaper to make my own pudding and fill them than to buy the individual little cups at the store. (and it's a yummy low cal treat!)

I also have pre-portioned my frozen yogurt and kept them in the freezer...

And then realized they would also be great for this...

v-day food 006

Did you know a serving of fruit is usuall 1/2 C or a small whole piece? Yep!
So when I go grocery shopping, I cut my fruit up right away, wash it, and put it in the mini containers. This has been SUCH a great solution for our family, as I can just toss one in my daughter's lunch or grab a container of whatever fruit I choose to eat with my meal--and the kids have easy access to cut up, washed fruit for their own snacks! 

Are you using these in your home to store or portion food? I would love to hear your ideas on what you've used it for or can see putting in there!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Knowledge is POWER!

birthday week 024

I have so many things to post--some fun little tips and recipes--but I wanted to share something that's been on my mind first!

This week is my birthday--and with birthdays comes all the birthday freebies, and big dinners and indulgent desserts. I felt quite nervous with it approaching--not really sure what to expect, and NOT wanting to gain weight or make bad choices.

I always go on special dates with each of my kids to use up some of my b-day freebies--and so when I went out with my daughter to Baskin Robins the other day, I did a little research--checked out the points in certain icecream, tried to decide what I was going to get. I was shocked to see that it was 8-9 points for most of the ice cream selections--but not so surprised when I saw the scoop in the bowl, because it really was substantially more than the 1/2 C serving size I would do at home--even for the one scoop. And I really wasn't willing to spend 9 points on a dish of ice cream.

My daughter offered to share, and I felt that was a good, happy-medium solution. :) So we shared. And the whole experience was more about our time together, like I wanted it to be, than it was about the ice cream.

Fast forward to Monday night--when we went out as a family to Red Robin for my free birthday burger. I had sworn off eating out at places like that for the past few months, knowing most everything was unhealthy. And while I know I could have swapped out my burger for chicken and gone without fries, I also know that I don't eat burgers often--and that it is okay to treat yourself sometimes! This was one of those times for me...

I had looked ahead at the nutritional facts (check out their site! It's super cool!!) and knew what burger I wanted. After plugging it in to my points+ calculator, and about falling off my chair with how many points it would be, I wrote in my tracker right then the amount of points it would be for 1/2 a burger and a serving of fries. I figured if I was still hungry, I would order a side of fruit. That allowed me to track backwards, so to speak. Knowing I would have a bigger dinner, and taking the points out ahead of time, let me know how many points I would have left for the day--so I chose lower point options like soup, and had a smoothie as a snack, because I knew it would help keep me full through the afternoon.

Dinner was SO delicious--and we all enjoyed ourselves. My husband had the other half of my burger, and I realized once I was there that there was NO WAY I could have eaten that whole burger by myself anymore. Half was plenty....if not more than plenty!!

It truly felt so liberating. to be able to eat out--whether it be ice cream or burgers--and know that while they are foods I don't want to eat every day anymore, I CAN EAT THEM, and I can still lose weight or maintain weight doing so--because I took the time to KNOW what I was putting in my mouth and decide how much of it I wanted to eat.

By the same token, some of those things you assume are healthy and couldn't possibly be very high in points, will often be shocking! It's ironic to think that a burger and a salad could be the same points+ values...but it happens!

Guess that's the key--knowledge is power--it gives you the information to make the right choices for YOU--whether to splurge, or celebrate, or just eat more than you thought possible in your everyday foods. You just never know until you find out!!

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Are you up for a challenge?

Look up 5 items this week that you don't know the pts + values of--whether it's a snack you used to eat or something you've sworn off because you assumed it wouldn't fit in on your weight loss journey, or a meal at your favorite restaurant...look up the nutritional information (many websites offer it, or you can often google it and get lots of great information) and figure out the points! I promise you will feel a great sense of freedom by not blindly guesstimating--and by being able to fit that forbidden treat in every now and then.


Saturday, March 5, 2011

Little white lies...

I reached my weight loss goal the other day, so I am technically in maintaining mode right now.

It's a weird feeling--a GOOD FEELING! :)

And because I am still counting my points and tracking as part of my maintenance working towards lifetime, I obviously still keep a diligent record.

Today I was tallying things up and writing them down at the end of the day. I found myself in debate over a piece of garlic bread I had with dinner. I KNEW in my heart of hearts that if I honestly counted the points for it, it would be 4 points+.

But I didn't want to. I wanted that bread to magically only be 3 pt+. It makes no sense, I know.

And so I wrote it in. 3 pt+.

It made me think about how far I have come--where I have been in my life--and what losing all this weight has given me. Do I think that fibbing on my 1 little point would have made me gain back everything I lost or be a total deal breaker on the scale this week?, I don't.

But the truth of the matter is, it's the little white lies that got me where I was before...the "I'm only ate a few chips" that really translated into half the previously unopened bag. There is freedom in facing the facts about what you're eating. If I had told myself tonight that my garlic bread was only 3 points, I would forever think of it as only being 3 pts. And I would forever calculate it as that. And what if there is another day, when I don't like another points value...and I decide to fib a little there too...

How many points will it take to get me off lie to myself enough to give up what I have worked so hard for?

I quickly went back and changed the points. 4 pt+ for my piece of garlic bread.

There. I did it. It felt good. It felt real. And honest.

The only way to change a problem is to face it right on. To avoid or deny, is to skate around the real issues at hand...and the way to keep yourself from growing and progressing.

And I guess that's just my challenge to you...and to avoid the little white lies...that the couple crackers here and there don't have points if you don't track them, or that the 3/4 of the sandwich really only counted as half...or that the garlic bread was 3 points instead of 4.

The scale, your body and your mind will thank you...and I think you'll find in yourself a greater dedication to eat right--not just now, but always.

Peanut butter sauce


I am a HUGE Peanut butter fan! Peanut butter and chocolate, even more so! :) 
So I came up with a quick way to get more bang for your buck (lower points for my favorite treat!) 

1 tsp peanut butter   1 pt+
2 tsp milk  0 pt+
dash of powdered sugar (optional)  o pt+

TOTAL: 1 pt+

In a small bowl, put the peanut butter and milk in and stir. Place in the microwave for 15-20 seconds, and stir again, repeating until just mixed and melted through. Add powdered sugar if desired. Pour over icecream, or use as a dip for fruit, or over cake...there are really a million uses for this! :)

What would YOU make this for?

Thursday, March 3, 2011

banana chocolate chip sweet treat

black dress 057

One of the biggest challenges I had when I first started losing weight was mastering my sweet tooth.

If you've looked in the archives of my recipe blog, you'll see I clearly had a problem. :)

But I discovered that often I just need a sweet taste. I don't need a full brownie with ice cream and caramel all over it. I don't need a giant piece of pie or 2 scoops of ice cream. I just don't....

So it has been fun to find ways to feel like I am completely indulging, but know I am doing it in a healthier, more moderate way. That's where this little idea was born. I wanted some ice cream...which really just means I wanted something sweet and cold. :) 

So I took a banana (zero points+) and sliced in in a bowl--and set the bowl in the freezer for about 20-30 minutes. (I like to do this before lunch or while I am getting the kids in bed)

Pull it out and top with up to 1 TBSP. ice cream caramel topping (1 pt+ depending on brand) and sprinkle on 7 gm of mini chocolate chips (because that amount happens to be 1 pt+)

The frozen bananas really do taste like ice cream and it satisfies that sweet craving!
And best of all, it's only 2 pt+ !!!!