Monday, December 27, 2010

A Second Honeymoon

2011 is there!!

This year for my New Year resolution I promise to eat no sugar, drink no wine, to work out 3 hours/day and to do absolutely everything absolutely on time!

What’s wrong with this picture?

How about setting realistic goals and figuring out a way to make them work, instead of making overwhelming promises that will be forgotten by January 15th?

With a new program to reenergize our weight management, it’s the perfect time to set a livable successful routine that will bring us to our goals and beyond. How does that sound?

Lets start 2011 with a plan and with the right tools to make it happen!

Tool of the Week

Consistent tracking is the best way I know of to regain control of our eating. It teaches us what works, what doesn’t, and where we need to put an extra effort to make sure we are reaching our goals.

Not only you can track what you eat along with your activity, but you can also add little notes, put down an action plan for a coming challenge, and keep track of your weight and measurement.

It really is a good mirror in which you can look at your plan and see what needs to be done to achieve your Winning Outcome.

In the Kitchen

I’m not that much of a red meat eater, but every once in a while I get an attack. This recipe turned out fabulous, and easy!

It’s delicious with roasted asparagus and roasted fingerling potatoes!

Pepper and Garlic-Crusted Tenderloin Steaks with Port Sauce
4 servings, 5 P+/serving

2 tsp black peppercorns
½ tsp salt
3 garlic cloves minced
4 (4oz) tenderloin steaks, trimmed (1 inch thick)
Cooking Spray
¼ cup Port wine
¼ cup beef broth
1 TBSP chopped fresh thyme

Place peppercorn in a zip-top plastic bag; seal. Crush them using a mallet (or anything hard enough!)*. Combine peppercorn, salt, and garlic in a bowl; rub evenly over steaks.

Heat a large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. Coat pan with spray, add steaks, reduce heat and cook 4 minutes on each side or to desired doneness. Remove steaks from pan, cover and keep warm.

Add Port and broth to pan and stir to loosen browned bits. Cook until reduced to ¼ cup (about 3 minutes). Place 1 steak on each plate and drizzle with 1 TBSP of sauce. Sprinkle with ¾ tsp of thyme and serve.

• I cheat here and loosen up the gears on my pepper mill, it makes a huge ground, so it’s not quite as big as cracked pepper, but it’s much easier!

Source: Cooking Light 350 Calories recipes, hints tips, Oxmoor House, p. 30


When I lived in Sonoma County, I used to go skating at the "Snoopy Arena" which is actually the Redwood Empire Ice Arena. I shamefully must admit I have not put on my skates since I moved back to San Francisco. That's almost 2 years ago!!!

So, I'm looking into it, and found this:

This is downtown, they have a pretty extensive open skating schedule as well as adult only skating which can be nifty when you are not too solid on your skates. No kids to skate around.

There's also the Holiday Ice Rink at Union Square until January 17th! Now after the first of the year the crowds will be down, so it's a perfect time to go skating!

There is also an outside Holiday ice rink at the Embarcader center, but that one closes on January 2nd, so you've got to hurry up!

San Francisco not your hometown? There are ice rink all over Northern California!

Who would have thought that there would be so many Ice rinks out here? Outside ones even, in California! It's fun, it's good exercise (oooh! I used the "E" word!) and it's really not that difficult. Try it!

Have a good week!

This is my last newsletter of 2010, has it gone fast or what? I'm wishing you a fabulous New Year celebration. Enjoy the love, the friendship, the fun and the food!

May 2011 bring you everything that you need, and much of what you want. I'm wishing you health, love and strength!

I will see you in the meeting room, in the meantime, I'm only an email away.

Your leader


“The first step towards getting somewhere is to decide that you are not going to stay where you are.”
~ J. Pierpont Morgan

Monday, December 20, 2010

0 PointsPlus Fruits and Vegetables… Freedom!

Most vegetables were 0 Points on Momentum, so having them 0 PointsPlus on the PointsPlus program was not really a shock, but fruits? Really? Bananas, apples, cuties, pineapple, all 0 PointsPlus! No need to count, to weight or to measure them? Really?

Wait a minute; I used to have to weigh my bananas to make sure they aren’t 2 Points, now they are 0P+? I can have an entire banana? Not only I can have it, but I don’t even have to count PointsPlus for it?

What happened to fruits? Did they change somehow? A lot of us are so used to being careful when eating fruits that we look at this fruit business with a bit of skepticism.

This week we will talk about why having 0 PointsPlus fruits and vegetables (most of them) not only works, but is a step toward better weight loss success.

It’s healthy, it’s delicious, it works! We’ll discuss the whys and hows in the meeting room. Bring your fruits and veggies preparation ideas!

What’s going on?

In the hustle and bustle of shopping and preparing along with the people visiting or us traveling is making our routine difficult to hold on to. It’s a fun time, but a challenging time also.

Make sure that you do a few things to be able to enjoy yourself without having to start all over again:

Plan ahead: Ok, this seems obvious, but prepare for what is coming, what might be coming, and for a few unplanned adventures. That way you are ready no matter what.

Pick your splurges: Yes it is the holidays, and there will be goodies that are just too good to pass up. There will also be goodies that are just ok. Pass those!

Move: Add a little bit to your daily activity. It’s good for your belly and for your brain!

Take care of yourself: We tend to make sure everybody has a good time. Don’t forget yourself! After the race to get here, it’s time to enjoy!!

Down time: In between the get-togethers and the parties make sure to have Power Foods on hand, and 0 P+ soup in the freezer so that you can keep your PointsPlus for the goodies!


In the Kitchen

I like to roam the international sites, it’s fun to get ideas and inspiration from what other people are doing.

This I stole from the UK website and changed a little to make it lighter, and more to my taste.

Spiced Winter Fruit Salad

2 servings, 1 P+/serving*

6 medium Plums, halved and pitted
2 medium Orange

1 teaspoons Cinnamon, or 1 cinnamon stick

4 individual Cloves, Whole or Ground,
1 star anise (optional)
1 tablespoons Artificial Sweetener, powdered
1 medium Banana
1 teaspoons crystallized Ginger, minced very finely
6 tablespoons, Nonfat Greek yogurt

Put plums into a saucepan with 150ml (1/4 pint) water. Pare the zest from 1 orange with a potato peeler and add to the pan with the cinnamon (stick), cloves and star anise, if using. Cook gently for about 8 minutes, or until the plums are tender. Remove from heat and leave to cool for 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, use a sharp serrated knife to remove all the peel and pith from the oranges. Slice the flesh into segments, removing all the membrane. Add to the plums. Taste, adding powdered sweetener, if needed.

Slice the banana into the mixture, then ladle into two serving dishes.

Stir the ginger (if using) into the yogurt and spoon an equal amount on top of each fruit salad. Serve at once.

Note: The fruit salad is best when served barely warm.

Adapted from (and image from):
*PointsPlus Value counted by hand, does not include fruits.

At Work Corner

Since we are not going to be meeting between Christmas and New Year, I want you to know that there will be meetings at the centers and travelers in your area (unless otherwise specified on

If you are in a series, you have paid already, just bring your weigh in book along with your series number (should be at the beginning of your book, email me if you don’t have it).

If you are in between series, you will have to pay the 13 dollars meeting fee. Still I think it is worth it to stop by and “check in”. It’s all about accountability isn’t it?

Here’s my meeting schedule:

Stop by if you are in the neighborhood! ;o)

Have a wonderful week!

The weight Watchers centers and travelers will be closed on Christmas and New Year day. Check for meeting schedules in your area.

I hope you have a wonderful holiday break (be it a short or a long one!). Take time for yourself as well as your loved ones and have a thought for those of us who are away from our families at this time of the year.

As always I'm only an email away! See you in the meeting rooms!

Your leader,

Melanie Bourgeois

Blessed is the season which engages the whole world in a conspiracy of love!

~Hamilton Wright Mabie

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Now we are Living it!

How did the week go?

Last week I presented you with this exciting new program. I did most of the talking and this week it’s your turn!!

I am absolutely dying to hear all about your week and help you with any questions that might have popped up during this first PointsPlus adventure. So bring in your questions, the lessons you’ve learned the new food you’ve tried, anything you think will help you and/or all of us to live this new plan better.

Questions, victories and discoveries are IT at Weight Watchers this week! We are learning together and this is YOUR meeting!

Tool of the week

Most of you have bought the member kit already. Good idea! This will be enormously useful while we are learning the new PointsPlus Values of the foods we eat every day.

Along with the Food Scale and the Calculator (which is included in the Deluxe kit!) the Member Kits is an essential tool for success with the new PointsPlus Program. Don’t go without it!

What’s going on?

****Change of plans!! The Cooking event has changed name and date!! I pushed it one week because I felt there was enough going on with the new plan and all. Next week we’ll be good and ready to have fun together!

Quick Cooking with PointsPlus
Quick cooking on the new plan! Tricks and ideas to have tasty & healthy food on the table in minutes. Tricks, tips and humor is on the menu!
With Melanie Bourgeois (me! me! me!)

When and where:
Wednesday December 15th at 7:30pm
Stonestown Center
557 Buckingham way (right by the Stonestown Galleria)

Make Etools work for you
How to use Etools to its fullest for more fun and success.
With Joe Lagana

When and where:
Monday December 13th 6:30 pm
San Bruno, Bayhill center

Saturday December 18th 1pm
Stonestown Center

Take full advantage of those events! Bring your friends too!!

In the Kitchen

This is a hot and tasty chili that we use to do all the time. I reorganized my cookbooks a little while ago and found the Turn Around cookbook (2004).

I made it not too long ago and it’s going back on the menu this week!

Champion All-Beef Chili
4 servings, 4 p+/serving
(2 servings is 7 p+)

1 pound boneless, lean top round steak, trimmed and cut in 1 inch cubes
2 onions, chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
2-3 jalapeƱos peppers, seeded and minced (don’t rub your eye after handling these!) or ¼ cup canned chopped chilies *
1-3 TBSP hot chili powder *
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp dried oregano
½ tsp ground cinnamon
3 cup reduced sodium beef broth
2 scallions, sliced (optional)

*These are “to taste” putting in the full amount makes this fairly spicy.

1- Heat large nonstick saucepan or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Brown the beef cubes for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the onions, the garlic, and jalapeƱos; cook, stirring frequently, until the onions are softened, about 5 minutes. Add the chili powder, the cumin, oregano, and cinnamon; stir until the spices coat the beef and vegetables.

2- Stir in the broth and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, partially covered, until the beef is fork-tender, the broth is thickened, and the flavor are blended, 1- 1 ½ hours. Sprinkle the chili with the scallions (if using).

Source: Turn Around cookbook p. 81.

You can eat this after 45 minutes of cooking, but it’s better if it can go the whole time. I find it even better as leftovers!

At Work Corner

December is renewal time!! Make sure that all your friends know about our great group and how good we are doing. The more the merrier! We need new recruits!

City & County Monday meeting a 1 South Van Ness is starting the new series on December 20th

Farella Braun & Martel on 235 Montgomery is starting this Tuesday. We have enough YAY!! Please make sure to bring anybody who’s interested Tuesday, there’s always room for more!

City & County Wednesday at1145 Market street is starting this Wednesday! We were short a few last I heard. If you haven’t already, let Catherine Dodds know that you are rejoining and anybody who’s interested should contact her ASAP also. We need to keep this going, we are just doing too good to stop now!

Please feel free to give my email address to anybody who’s interested in joining but has questions. I will be more than happy to address any concerns about the Weight Watchers Corporate Solution.

Side note: I’ve got STUFF! If there’s anything you don’t find in your meeting room, let me know, I’ve got it! I’ll bring it for you. :o)

Have a good week!!

This is a very busy season for everybody. Remember that you do want to make some time to take care of yourself! That means eating well, exercising and coming to your meeting!

We want to be the ones who walk in proudly in the meeting room in January knowing that we enjoyed ourselves without forgetting about our goals. For that, you need your meeting and your meeting needs you. We’re in this together!!

See you in the meeting room.


See my schedule

Every day is a new beginning. Treat it that way. Stay away from what might have been, and look at what can be.
~Marsha Petrie Sue