Friday, September 16, 2011

1 point+ peanut butter & chocolate treat

ANOTHER peanut butter and chocolate treat, you ask? Why yes. Yes indeed. Because my world could never have enough PB and choc. It's truly the perfect combo. And for someone like me who just CRAVES that after-meal sweet treat, this totally fits the bill.

I love to have a bag of these bad boys on hand...though, if eaten in correct portions, I dare say we could call them GOOD boys. :)

20110916-reeces 002

I figured it out, crunched the numbers, and voila...
10 g of these are only 1 PT+

I weight mine out in medicine cups...because I always have these things kickin' around the house and it's the perfect little container for such a treat. :)

20110916-reeces 010

I love that they're pb...
I love that they're mini. I'm telling you, there is great power in telling your brain you're eating MORE than you really are. :)
And I love that they are only 1 pt+.

Monday, August 29, 2011


Can you believe it? A post? From ME? Yes....

It's true.

I thought I was on track before, but we were still unpacking our house, and painting, and trying to find furniture, and working on a few home improvement things, and registering our cars, and getting new ID's, and taking 3 weeks out to visit family in Idaho....

You get the idea. WE'VE BEEN BUSY!

I've maintained my weight, THANKFULLY, but I still have felt like my body is not back at the optimal place I felt I had arrived at when I reached my goal. And I KNEW a change needed to happen...before there were negative results. I found myself becoming very lax with things--thinking to myself that since I hadn't gained after eating so haphazardly, I could go ahead and eat one more this, or a scoop of that...that I was somehow invincible. But I know this is so very far from the truth, and I knew I needed to get back to the basics and settle in to a good, healthy routine again--not because of the weight, but because my body was telling me it needed to be back there...

Happy to say that school started back for the kiddos...and I've been able to get my head in the game again as far as meal planning is concerned. And THAT makes a huge difference. Even though I haven't gained, per se, I still want to check in with myself.

So I'm back to tracking! Even just the past few days, it has made me so aware of myself and eating habits. And it has helped to curb some of the snacking and careless food prep that was starting to take place.

Just grateful to be BACK ON TRACK!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

A big ol' Texas HOWDY!

Hello!!! I cannot believe it's almost been 2 months since I wrote on here. There was just a ridiculous amount of stress involved with our cross country move and wrapping things up at our old place, driving cross country, and setting up our new place in Texas! I wish I could say I was all settled in and totally on track with food, but it is quite the opposite.

Believe it or not, I have continued to lose. I got to a point where I had lost another 9 pounds since I reached lifetime! I'll say that this is the first time in my life when stress has helped me lose--I usually get stressed and gained 20 pounds! I kid, I kid...kind of. :)

I have definitely not been where I want to be as far as eating is concerned. We were trying to eat through everything we had on hand before we moved, and now that we're here, we need to figure out our food staples again--it's just been a weird few months.

I DO want to say, however, that despite losing while eating badly, I RECOGNIZE how much better I felt when I was eating healthier....adding in more fruits and vegetables, watching portion sizes, cutting back on high fat cheese and desserts. I recognize how much better my KIDS were when they ate that way too. And I am SO ANXIOUS to get back to that place.

At this point it's not about LOSING the weight, but continuing the lifestyle I had to with the changes I made. I've attended a meeting here, and hope to find a good time to keep going. Love that about being a Lifetime member--and going for FREE now! Meetings really motivate me--it's never been about accountability. It was more about making a time for ME, and putting myself first. That's what meetings did for me. And I wouldn't give them up after coming so far! :)

I am loving this Texas sun and heat--we've walked to and played at the pool every day. I bought myself a swimsuit for the first time in...well, a LOOOOONG time. And I actually wore it without a t-shirt covering me...something I didn't even do as a kid. Yes, my body is imperfect. And at no time EVER will you see me in a bikini. But to shed the extra layer I used to protect my sensitive self and wear a swimsuit as it was intended, is TRULY a breakthrough for me.

I love going for a walk every day to get our mail (which oddly is at the end of our street) and pushing myself to find new ways to be active. I don't have a good schedule yet--we're flying by the seat of our pants still--but I am trying to be better than I was before...the little changes that make a difference You know?

Just wanted the handful of you who may still read this to know, I am here! All is working on getting well. :) And I have a MAJOR grocery shopping trip coming up that will hopefully allow me to get back on a healthy track.

I would love to know though--what are your FAVORITE healthy summer staples?! It seems that most of my healthy meals and changes were made over the winter time, and I can't bring myself to eat a yummy vegetable soup in 100 degree heat! Would love to hear so I can add 'em to my list!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011


(my hubby and me a couple weeks ago!)

Tonight was the night...
I transitioned from WW member to LIFETIME member.

There...I said it. I am proud of myself. This weight loss journey has truly made me see a side of me I haven't seen I didn't think existed.
I always thought it was in my genes for me to be heavy--to have big hips--to carry weight.
And while it's true that I DO have bigger hips and am more prone to carry weight than some people, it doesn't define who I am and it certainly doesn't stop me from being a healthier, happier person.

I have now lost 65 pounds. 
That number astounds me. I didn't even think I could lose 40. 
And here I am, having passed that number 25 pounds ago. 

I discovered that I could make changes...inside...outside. I learned I really could allow myself to LOVE myself. Even if I am not thrilled about the saggy skin or the exterior flaws. This journey has allowed me to see that those things don't make me who I am. The other changes...with food...with exercise...running my 5k, cooking better for my family, practicing self control...and then starting to see myself in a different, more accepting light...those are the things that have helped make me a better me.

I am excited to reach Lifetime for many reasons...primarily because now I can pocket the money I was spending on meetings every month, and still get to GO to my meetings! :) That was a HUGE motivating factor. But now I can look into working for weight watchers and I am more motivated than ever to keep up this healthier lifestyle and keep those pounds off. And I can say for myself and TO myself, that I did it. I accomplished something great.

And it feels SO good.

- - - - - - - - 

if you're just tuning in to my little blog, don't forget to check out the 29 pts in 29 days for some meal ideas--I had planned to do another round of daily tracking and posting, but with a cross country move looming overhead (4 more weeks, EEK!) I just don't have the time. But once we're settled, I will be back at it and hoping to really get this blog up and running the way I have envisioned it!

In the meantime, if you blog about your weight loss journey, I would love to share your story here too! PLEASE shoot me an email or leave a comment with your link and I will put you in the spotlight!

Thursday, April 21, 2011


A few weeks ago, at my WW  meeting, we talked about exercise and keeping up with it. I've got to admit that after my 5k in February, working out definitely took a back burner for me. I have felt very discouraged about that and wondered how I could change that around.

Someone in my meeting suggested having a goal. And then it hit me...I am not working towards anything. Nothing. Not a race, not a weight goal, not a single thing. And THAT is my problem.

With preparing to move and getting ready for my husband to graduate, and with the incredibly yucky weather we've had here, I felt that there was a lot in the way from really doing much. And I couldn't think of a goal--something to really work FOR....until the other day.

I decided that I could at least work on walking more...10,000 steps a day. I may not be able to get in a full workout at the gym or go outside to do a full run, but I can up my walking--whether in the grocery store or in the parking lot, or on the stairs in my own house. 

So now I'm in the market for a great pedometer. Any suggestions on one that won't miscount all the time?? And I would love to hear what works for you...what are YOUR goals? What keeps you moving?!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

RECIPE TIME! How about some strawberry stuffed french toast!?!?

I've got this recipe posted on my recipe blog as well, but it was tasty enough to share here too. :)

I remember when I started the Weight Watchers program, and somehow felt that my cooking would be so limited. I could not have been more WRONG! I have cooked and baked and created so much more NOW than I ever have in my life. And I LOVE that! I am always on the lookout for how to make a recipe a little bit healthier. And while nothing about stuffed french toast screams HEALTHY, per se, (well--except the strawberries!) it is a delicious and filling meal that would make a great entertaining dish at a brunch or for your own daily breakfast. Am experimenting with how they freeze this weekend, and I will definitely post an update! And really, you can't even have a bowl of cereal for 4 pts+ nowadays! :) My kids LOVED this and even added extra berries to theirs. So I'd say it's a clear winner in our breakfast rotation!


Approx. 16 inches of hoagie roll bread
2 oz. 1/3 less fat cream cheese (softened at room temperature)
2 oz. plain fat free greek yogurt
3 TBSP. strawberry jam
3 egg whites
1/2 C skim milk
1 TBSP. ground cinnamon
1/4 C strawberries (diced)
1 TBSP sugar

Slice your bread into 1 1/2-2 inch slices. Then using a paring knife, cut a deep slit across the top in the middle of each slice. This will form your pocket. (don't cut all the way through!) Set bread aside.

Chop and rinse strawberries and put them in a bowl with sugar--set them aside.

In a bowl, mix cream cheese, greek yogurt, and strawberry jam together. MIX WELL.

Preheat skillet or griddle to about 350 degrees. (I use a big griddle, but you could use a pan over the stove as well)

Now it's time to get your egg dip ready. In a bowl, beat egg whites, milk, and cinnamon together. Take your strawberry filling and stuff a generous Tablespoon of it into your bread slice. Fill in with fresh strawberries. (you can also mix the strawberries in with the filling and save a step!) Soak your bread for about 15-20 seconds on each side in the egg mixture, and place on the griddle. Cook for about 3 minutes on each side.

Serve with powdered sugar and/or sliced almonds.

Could also serve with a light syrup, but we all thought it was delicious without!

Serves approx. 8 slices (4 pt+)

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Weight Loss 101

I wrote this on my family blog a while back, but felt it was appropriate to share here as well. As more and more of my friends and family (and sometimes even perfect strangers) start their own weight loss journey, they often approach me and ask what I did to lose the weight. So I want to share a few of the basics that made a big difference to me...

Please remember that I am not a health professional--I am merely sharing what worked for me... ;)
1. Pick a plan. I happened to join Weight Watchers, because I wanted to maintain regular foods in my life and not feel deprived, but make healthier changes overall.(and I absolutely LOOOVE it!) That program setup worked for me. You may choose something else, but regardless you have to have some consistency somewhere. You can't do low carb here, and low calorie there, and cabbage diet another time, and throw in some slim fast there too. You've got to pick something and stick to it so you can maximize your success. And most important, you have to LOVE the plan you choose...if not, you will drop it like the boyfriend with bad breath.

2. I decided not to DIET. (notice the first three letters of that word are DIE! :) I just have REFUSED to accept my weight loss as being associated with the word DIET throughout this process. Diet = deprivation to me...and it also doesn't give of the feeling of long term sustainability.I simply saw that I was making certain healthier changes to my eating habits. This was HUGE for me--because our minds play such a big role in the weight loss process!

3. WHEN YOU BITE IT, WRITE IT! Yes, write down what you eat--do it daily. I have done it now for
 8 1/2 months. Sure, I've had a day or two where it was as possible as I hoped, but aside from that I haven't faltered--I have stayed constant and at this point it is such a habit. I know that if I am to lose weight, it is imperative that I know exactly what I am putting in my body, HOW MUCH of it, and when I did it--it is SO helpful in so many ways! Consider what you put in your body almost like transactions that debit from your daily account balance (points target or calories, etc) Deduct the number as you eat--so you know where you stand. This also made me take accountability for those little bites and licks that would happen throughout the day and helped me STOP doing so. I didn't want to take the time and efforts to have to write a nibble of fruit snacks or a bite of mac and cheese or the last few tastes of dinner as I was putting it away. The write it when you bite it habit helped me change the nibble habit.

4. In realty, the most important thing is location, location, location. With healthy eating, the most important thing (at least to me) is PORTION, PORTION, PORTION. Seriously--test yourself! Fill up a bowl with your favorite cereal or icecream, for example. And then read the box and take from your bowl the appropriate serving size. YOU WILL BE STUNNED. Try it with a bowl of cereal--you'll be stunned!!

--Take your recipes--figure out the nutritional info for them. There are lots of websites that do this--and then keep the info for YOU to know the nutritional content and decide what numbers work for you (sometimes shaving off 1/3 of a piece of something can cut back the fat and calories and SUGAR by a lot more than you'd think!)--so you know that for YOUR recipe 1 1/2 Cups of soup is a serving, or that your favorite chocolate cake serves 15 (instead of 12 like you've always thought). 
The smallest changes make the biggest impact.

--After reading this post, run, don't walk, RUN buy a kitchen scale (I have a digital one...LOVE it!). I can't believe I went without one for so long! As far as I am concerned, it is a KITCHEN much as the forks and knives in my silverware drawer. I use it when cooking--I use it when plating my food (I put my plate on their and zero it out, and then add my meat or whatever I am weighing so I know I am getting an accurate amount). I use it when I am getting croutons or almonds or whatever else has a crazy serving size of like 2 TBSP when it's a bizarre shape that would in no way fit in a measuring spoon! :) LOVE it! While some people may think that this would get really old or be a pain, I never have seen it as that. I see it as an empowering tool--I love the control of knowing that I am no longer eating a 10 oz piece of chicken out of ignorance, but rather a 4 oz. one...and by the same token, that I can have 4-5 croutons instead of the 1-2 I thought would make up the correct serving.


5. DON'T DEPRIVE -- (again, I am speaking from my experience and what worked for ME)  obviously, as part of a change for healthier eating there has to be SOME resisting of the old junk you've eaten. If not, there will be NO change in your weight or health. However, I have heard about some eating plans that institute a certain day or the entire weekend to eating what they want, and only making them be on track the remaining day. This, to me, sounds absurd! :) If I feel like I have to go X many days without eating something, and then have 1-2 days to have a free-for-all, I will WITHOUT FAIL binge on the foods that are terrible for me! 

This is where portion control and your food journal come into play. I can't speak for other eating plans, but for Weight Watchers you're allotted a certain amount of points. Because of the high point value of certain foods, there are certain foods that automatically became less appealing because I found that I didn't WANT to spend my points on them. But once in a while I find that something like a hotdog or pizza or french fries sounds good. So let's say I eat a hotdog. I write it down. And I just make sure that I eat soup or something else lower in points that is filling to compensate for the high points I am spending on that delicious dog! And at the end of the day it balances out. I still have dessert and sweet treats...but they are SIGNIFICANTLY scaled back from where they used to be. I find that now, a small piece of candy or a single serving brownie in a mug or something small is really all I need to get that sweet fix...instead of the big brownie sundae drizzled with caramel and hot fudge and whipped cream and cherries...

This brings me to my next point...

6.  In time when you mess up, pick yourself up and move on! In other words, don't let a slip up keep you down. It takes more than one weekend to ruin you for life. Consider it an opportunity to learn and just recognize where you went wrong and how you can fix it next time, and move forward. Don't drag your mistakes on and on and dwell on it will only lead to one more piece of cake to try to drown your sorrows. :)  

7. KEEP YOUR EYES ON THE PRIZE! It's really important to find non-food ways to reward yourself during the weight loss process. I thought this was silly at first, because CERTAINLY just losing the weight should be prize enough. But there is a whole different level of satisfaction that comes from having something to look forward to! 

Set milestones for yourself...maybe you'll start off with aiming to lose 5% of your body weight....then 10%....then go by pounds...maybe you will break it up into 5 or 10 pounds segments. And then pick rewards to match! You don't have to spend a lot of money doing so...maybe you set up an agreement with your husband that after meeting a goal, he will do the dishes and put the kids in bed and massage your feet and watche a chick flick with you...okay, maybe I've gone a little far here. lol. But you get the idea. Or maybe it will be one new piece of clothing...or a massage at a salon...or even just a new haircut. Just be sure to find something that you will be EXCITED about--

My 50 pound goal prize was to buy a little black dress...since I have never in my life owned one or felt like I could look good in one. My 60 pound goal was to buy shoes to match. It feel fantastic to have something to look and feel incredible in!

8. GET MOVING! I didn't start out doing much--but I did start out doing SOMETHING. Go for a walk, a run, park farther in the parking lot at the store. Instead of carrying all your groceries over your arm in one giant load, take a couple trips out to the car. Join a class. Walk up your stairs a few times. Do a workout video--just pick SOMETHING! As the weight came off, it because easier and easier for me to do more and more--and that's a good feeling! 

9. WEIGH YOURSELF. Take pictures. Rinse. Repeat. :) I seriously wish I had done a real before picture--and checked in doing so throughout my weight loss process. I was too ashamed. But hindsight being 20/20, I wish I had just done it--

10. TELL A FRIEND. Or lots of them. It is such good "therapy" to journal your way through this process--and to share your successes or hangups with someone. There is a HUGE amount of support to be found--and it is SUCH an encouraging thing to know people are behind you.

I hope that ANY OF YOU who are in this process of shedding the pounds know that I am SO happy to be that cheerleader for you if needed. I mean it!! This process has awakened me in a passion for this topic, and I am so happy to share snack ideas or meals or tips and tricks....or just to be a sounding board. Just hope you know that....feel free to leave a comment or email me if you wanna talk more about it! 
hollowayfam (at) yahoo (dot) come

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...

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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!

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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!!

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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

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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+ !!!!

Monday, February 28, 2011


I know there aren't many people out there reading this yet. :) But for the handful of you out there that ARE, I just wanted you to know I AM working on getting recipe and product links up! :) It's a process--but it's coming along!

My main goal in starting this blog was to show how the Points + program through Weight Watchers is truly a lifestyle--NOT a diet. The things I post here and things my family eats, TOGETHER. And it is how I plan to cook and eat the rest of my life. I knew when I started out on my weight loss journey that if I could not follow a plan that would be sustainable in the end, it would all be in vain.

I have truly loved the flexibility of this program, and how it has allowed me to start to make changes that not only affect ME, but my entire family. I may not eat PERFECT, but I can definitely say I am eating better and healthier than I ever have before. I am AWARE of what and how much I am putting in my body. Some days I feel right on track. Other days I can look back and see places I could improve next time. But 60 pounds down, and I know this was the right lifestyle change for me!

I hope you feel free to ask questions if you need. Or if you're on your own journey and want to share, I would love to hear from you as well! There is strength in numbers, and in LOSING other numbers (on the scale) together! :)

Be looking for some of my favorite low point snacks, products, and kitchen essentials that make eating healthier a cinch! I am so excited about this project and sharing what's worked for me, and would LOVE your feedback and ideas as well! :)

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Day 29 (29 points+ in 29 days)

BREAKFAST: breakfast parfait with English muffin

1 container fiber one vanilla yogurt  1 pt+
1/4 C special k granola  2 pt+
fresh sliced strawberries
1 Thomas Light english muffin  3 pt+
1 TBSP. brummel and brown butter  1 pt+
1 banana

TOTAL: 6 pt+
food and science museum 002
1 C progresso high fiber minestrone soup  3 pt+
20 gm Athenos Pita chips  2 pt+

TOTAL: 5 pt+
I was really trying to increase my water consumption today. So I went for my old standby red hot trick:
15 gm red hots (they make me SOOO thirsty!)  2 pt+

TOTAL 2 pt+

food and science museum 042

1 healthy fiber tortilla (made into a tortilla bowl)  2 pt+
1/3 C corn and red peppers  2 pt+
1/3 black beans (seasoned with taco seasoning)  1 pt+
1/4 C reduced fat cheese  2 pt+
4 oz. shredded sweet pork  4 pt+

TOTAL: 11 pt+


Dinner really did fill me up, but I was snacky after the kids went to bed, so I had:

Evening snack:
1 swiss miss fudge bar  2 pt+
1/2 C lowfat cottage cheese  2 pt+

Total: 4 pt+


Day 28 (29 points+ in 29 days)

Really wanted to do something fun for the kids this morning, so I found a recipe for these chunky monkey pancakes that looked super tasty! I calculated it all out, and took a few things out (or reduced them) to get them down to only 5 pt+ for 2 pancakes, which I thought was AWESOME since I normally will use between 3-8 pt+ for breakfast (remember, I like to start the day off good and full!)

2 Chunky monkey pancakes  5 pt+
2 TBSP Peanut Butter syrup  2 pt+

TOTAL: 7 pt+
1 C Progresso high fiber minestrone  3 pt+
19 gm Special K multigrain crackers  2 pt+
1/4 C cottage cheese  1 pt+

TOTAL: 6 pt+
I was at church most of the day, and came home to get dinner ready, so there weren't really any snacks in there...just moved on to dinner.

DINNER: meatball sub, green beans, watermelon
4 inches of whole wheat hoagie roll (puchased from Sam's club)  5 pt+
3 meatballs in pizza sauce  3 pt+
1/8 C mozzarella cheese sprinkled on  1 pt+
1 C watermelon
3/4 C green beans

TOTAL: 9 pt+

We had some friends over and I figured since I had the points left over, I would have a bigger piece of dessert than normal. HUUUUUGE mistake. It was WAY too much, and I ate it anyway, which left me feeling yucky. One serving would have been plenty. Lesson learned. :)

1 1/2 slices of pumpkin pie cake  8 pt+

TOTAL: 8 pt+
pumpkin pie cake

Day 27 (29 points+ in 29 days)

2 pieces of toast  2 pt+
1 TBSP brummel and brown butter  1 pt+
1/3 C Danon all natural yogurt  2 pt+
1/4 C fresh strawberries
1 banna

TOTAL: 5 pt+

5k 003

LUNCH: turkey sandwich with sides
2 slices lite wheat bread  2 pt+
1 svng Hillshire Farm thin sliced turkey breast  1 pt+
2 slices ready to serve bacon  1 pt+
romaine lettuce
1 C canteloupe
1/4 C lowfat cottage cheese  1 pt+
1 Swiss Miss fudge bar  2 pt+

TOTAL: 7 pt+

5k 005
I have to do an approximation for dinner, because I don't think there is truly a way to figure out down to the exact point recipes that I combine homemade sauces, etc. with another recipe--so I am guessing the best I can, and trying to be realistic about it.

We had pizza for dinner--homemade. I did thin crust this week, so I know each slice was 2 pt+ for the pizza dough. Usually my toppings end up being between 2-3 points, so approx 4-5 pt+ per slice. We did a macaroni and cheese pizza, a chicken alfredo pizza, and our standby supreme. :)

I had my 2 slices of pizza, but just HAD to try another half slice of the other kind to see how it turned out! In my defense, I HAD saved the points for this night, so I had them--

2 1/2 pieces of misc pizza  (probably over-guesstimating, but approx) 14 pt+
dessert: orange sherbet push pop  2 pt+

TOTAL: 16 pt+
week with holloways 110-2

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Day 26 (29 points+ in 29 days)

2 Nutrigrain lowfat whole wheat waffles  4 pt+
1/4 C strawberries
1 banana
1 1/2 TBSP Cary's sugar free syrup  0 pt+
2/3 C southern style hash browns  2 pt+
1 tsp olive oil (for cooking them)  1 pt+

TOTAL: 7 pt+


1 serving scalloped potatoes and ham  8 pt+
1 C steamed broccoli

TOTAL: 8 pt +


I was anxious to try my peanut butter sauce again, to refine my little recipe. :) So as ashamed as I am to admit it, I had an ice cream sundae, mid-day! :) (and the 2nd day in a row!)

Sundae  4 pt+
(refer to yesterday for complete breakdown)


1/2 C cantelope
1/2 C cottage cheese  2 pt+

TOTAL: 2 pt+

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week 1 tracking 022

In all honesty, my snacks this afternoon filled me up and I really wasn't very hungry at dinner. So I kept it simple--
Chicken pot pie 6 pt+

TOTAL" 6 pt+

pot pie 003


Day 25 (29 points+ in 29 days)

I had a good, long run before breakfast, so I came back wanting something good and hearty!

1 egg + 1 egg white, scrambled  2 pt+
1 fiber one vanilla yogurt  1 pt+
1 bacon biscuit   2 pt+
1 banana
mid morning I snacked on:
Athenos Pita Chips (28g)  3 pt+

TOTAL: 8 pt+
1 Parmesan encrusted tilapia  6 pt+  (purchased from Sam's club in the freezer section)
1/2 C uncle bens rice  3 pt+
3/4 C broccoli
1 Philly swirl bar   1 pt+

TOTAL: 10 pt+
Scalloped potatoes and ham  8 pt+
romaine lettuce
1/4 C cottage cheese  1 pt+

TOTAL: 9 pt+
1/2 C nonfat frozen yogurt  2 pt+
1 svng peanut butter sauce  1 pt+
7g mini choc chips  1 pt+
cool whip free  0 pt+

TOTAL: 4 pt+

Day 24 (29 points+ in 29 days)

1/2 C egg beaters  1 pt+
1 TBSP Hormel real bacon crumbles  1 pt+
1/4 C reduced fat cheddar cheese  2 pt+
1/3 C kellog's lowfat granola  2 pt+
1/4 C skim milk  1 pt+

TOTAL: 7 pt+

v-day food 033

I just HAD to eat leftovers from our Valentine's day lunch, but wanted to make it fewer points than last night, since this is lunch and I want to have enough points for the rest of the day. I just made some small changes, like taking out the chicken and having a big serving of broccoli instead (which was DELICIOUS in the alfredo sauce!)

1 C fettucine noodles 5 pt+
1/4 C alfredo sauce 3 pt+
1 C steamed broccoli 0 pt+
1/2 garlic bread 2 pt+

TOTAL: 10 pt+
(though, truth be told, next time I do this I will just leave out the bread, Not worth the points in my opinion!)

v-day food 035

I did a really stupid thing. I was totally not hungry, but when I went to my weigh in they were handing out samples of dijon pretzel chips. I don't even like dijon mustard. So what did I do? I ate them in between errands after my meeting. Lame, lame waste of points. :)

1 bag WW dijon pretzel chips: 3 pt+

TOTAL 3 pt+

I actually have no picture of this, sorry! I was really not hungry at this point--mainly ate now so I wouldn't be hungry later!

1/2 C uncle Ben's wild rice  3 pt+
approx. 80 grams of roasted chicken breast (picked up a roasted chicken on my way home!)  2 pt+
1 fun size candy bar  2 pt+

TOTAL  7 pt+