Wednesday, December 28, 2011


"My goal for 2012 is to get this weight loss thing back on track and finally make it to goal! No resolution, no promises to be perfect every day of the year, I have set a realistic goal, and I will make it happen!
Sounds good but I'm not sure I actually can make it happen. It's not like it's the first time I try, I'm not sure what I can do for it to work this time. What if I can't have my wine? My chocolate? I don't want to eat carrots and lettuce all year. I'm not sure I can give up all the foods I love, all my social engagements. 
I've done this weight loss thing before, maybe I've been at it already for a while and well... I'm not exactly melting if you get my drift. Why make all those effort to hardly lose anything?"

Does this sound familiar? Do you find yourself sometimes setting a goal, determined to make it happen but not altogether confident about actually achieving it? You are not alone!

This week we will use the knowledge of the PointsPlus 2012 program, along with the lessons of our past weight loss experiences all wrapped up in good old common sense to dispel our fears and realize that YES each and every one of us can achieve our goals.

Hear me loud and clear: You can achieve your goals! The first and most important step is to believe...

Member's Corner

This week  was a tough week for weight loss. It was the week of Christmas, Yule (the solstice), and Hanukkah!  Still we have lost! Those of us who have kept going through the holidays are now ahead of the game for January!

Tuesday at the San Bruno Bayhill center for the 6pm meeting, 17 members weighed in. We managed to lose 4.4 lbs! That's 0.26, or about 1/4 lb per person! Good job!

We had no award, but Nancy, who couldn't make it to the meeting, left me a note to say that she DID add a walk on the weekend like she had promised to do on the 20th! Go Nancy!

Wednesday at the Stonestown Center, also a 6pm meeting, 23 members weighed in and we lost 8.6 lbs! That's about 0.37lbs/member or a little over 1/3 of a lb!

Elissa and Jen both passed the 20 lbs milestone, and they both, along with Ruth, earned their Stay and Succeed award for being there for 16 weeks.

Look at your weight record, and plot your way to your next milestone. What will it be? Another 5 lbs? A percentage? When he made one of his milestone, 5% I think, Rich, a member at Stonestown explained that he felt he had to stick to this, and go the extra mile so that he wouldn't let the team down. That's what we are, a team, and everybody is an important player!

My Healthy Lifestyle

Most of my cooking during the holidays has been quick and uninspired. We spent our energy on relaxing, going outside and watching cartoons. Don't judge us, we are nerds and proud of it!

I did make an experiment in mid-December that turned out quite well! I had this recipe for banana bread that I spent some time fine tuning, and when my friend gave me a bag full of pineapple Guava, I decided to experiment! See the result of my experiment here: Pineapple Guava Bread.

I baked this all by myself! Two of them actually, for real!
This next breakfast recipe is an old one that I just trotted back out this week. In my family, we call it "Mushed-up egg half sandwiches" the name evolved from my bad English and our enjoyment of silly sounding names. It's a simple thing which, I'm sure, we aren't the only one cooking, but it's a favorite of mine, and makes me feel like I'm cheating. See what it's all about here: Mushed-up egg half sandwich.

Mushed up egg half sandwiches!
Other than cooking, I've been walking quite a bit, and thinking. Now that all the partying and celebrating is done and that I had some time to myself, I finally had the time for some much needed sitting back and thinking things through. For over two years my energy has been all over the place, and I have been feeling for a while like I was hanging on my weight loss by a hair. It's time for a makeover!

My first step was to realize that somewhere over the years, my focus had shifted and not for the better. I decided to put the focus back on setting significant goals, and achieving them, rather than focusing on the process itself. It's not about how many times I go to the gym, but rather about why am I wanting to workout? Why do I want to eat right? What am I working for?

See how my whole reasoning went, and how refocusing can really help you prepare for success here:  Not  Resolutions, goals.

You know what though? Goals aren't only helpful if they are worth the effort to you. It's also important to understand why you want to achieve them, and to know that you actually CAN achieve them. It's work, but it's worth it! I sort of worked it out for myself here: Here we are!

Lets get this year started!

It's 2012 my friends! Lets get this year started the right way with a goal, a plan, and a lot of want power!

Remember that there is a meeting of the Recipe Club on January 11th at 7pm at the Stonestown center. The theme for January is Soups, Stews, and Chilis. We are warming up for winter!

Never be afraid to email me, I'm there for you! Starting on January 2nd, I will be back to my usual available self (we're running out of cartoons to watch, HA!). I will see you in the meeting room. Lets get this weight loss thing going and going strong!

All the best,


"If you think you can do a thing or think you can't do a thing, you're right."
~Henry Ford

Monday, December 26, 2011

Melanie Weekly 2012!

Hi everybody!

I hope the Holidays are treating you well and that you are getting ready to enter 2012 with a spring in your step. I know I am! There has been a lot of changes to my schedule, and to my life. A lot of you now have a new leader, whom I KNOW is doing a great job because those who were chosen to replace me are just that great!

The Melanie Weekly Blog is coming back!

This blog has been very quiet through the Holiday season, simply because I needed to focus my energy elsewhere and so did you I’m sure! It is not dead though, the Melanie Weekly 2012 will be a little different, but it will be there! Here’s how I want to make it work so that it’s easier for me to put together, and still give you what you really need to have:

The Weekly itself will be simplified. I’m keeping my little “Topic of the week” section, because it’s fun to know what we’ll be talking about before you get there, right? I want to put in a “Member section” where I can report on how my 2 groups are doing, and maybe brag about people’s milestones? Wouldn’t that be cool? I will also have a little “Lifestyle” section where I will link to anything I posted that week on my Lifestyle blog and the attached Recipe blog. Those blogs are more related to my own journey on this healthy lifestyle of ours, and on what I learn and try out for myself. Hopefully that way I can still share and encourage you to try and have fun with this without having to put in extra research to “have something new” for the Weekly. Finally, I plan on keeping you posted on what’s going on at WW in the Bay Area but in a less formal manner than having an “Events” blog, or an “On sale” sections.

Any comment, suggestions and/or ideas on how the Melanie Weekly blog could be better, more useful, or more insightful is greatly appreciated! I want to note that the “Body and mind” blog is going dormant for now. It never quite found its focus, and I am keeping it in reserve for a possible Personal trainer career (if I ever get to it!). I also want to note that all of my blogs, the Weekly included, are put together by me, not by Weight Watchers, and reflect my opinions and ideas and only mine. Furthermore, only the Melanie Weekly blog is written with my Weight Watchers members in mind. The other blogs are a reflection of my personal ideas, and my sometimes twisted opinions and sense of humor. Readers be warned! ;op

2012 is knocking at the door

I want to take a minute to thank you my members and my friends for being there week after week through 2011. This year has been great, this year has been difficult. We have seen success together, set backs, joy, sadness, inspiration and frustrations, and yet here we are, good and ready to get started all over again.  I intend on taking the good, the smiles, the lessons, and the victories of 2011 and use them as fuel for my efforts during 2012. The new year is full of promises, of possibilities and opportunities. Take them, step ahead and grab whatever it is that you want for 2012! We are not making resolutions, we are setting goals, and already we can plan ahead and prepare for the steps that will lead us to those goals. We’re in this together, and as long as we stick together, not much can stop us!

I wish you a wonderful year 2012, full of love, health, success, smiles, lessons and victories. I am proud and honored that you have chosen me as your leader and will be looking for you in the meeting room!

Thank you again and Happy New Year!!!


Sunday, November 20, 2011

It's Thanksgiving already!

Hi everybody,

It’s been a while since I last posted on here. To make a long story short, I have a lot going on and needed to back off a little bit. The blog will live on, but I’m in the process of reorganizing and refocusing the whole thing, so I needed some thinking time. I couldn’t pass up Thanksgiving though. So I’ve put together a few things that I’m hoping will be helpful for you this week!

Thanksgiving is first and foremost about giving thanks and I want to thank you my members, and my readers, for your strength, your dedication for this journey we are all on together. I want you to know that over the last 8 years, I have learned and grown as a person, as a Weight Watchers members, and as a leader from your experiences, your insights and you strength of character. You inspire me, motivate me, and remind me on regular basis that you can do anything if you really want to. You have also shown me that there are people out there who are good, caring and strong. Thank you!

Now, the Thanksgiving party! And please, party is the operative word here. Thanksgiving is one day in the year, and it’s all about enjoying yourself and your family. Yes there is a lot of food (my first American Thanksgiving gave me my first real culture shock after moving to the US!), but you don’t want to be so concerned about what you eat that you forget to enjoy yourself! A little thinking ahead can make you feel safe and secure, and take the stress out of the Thanksgiving dinner, well the food stress that is ;op

Thinking ahead

Here’s a few things that came up during the meetings this week that you might want to do ahead of time to be prepared for the big T day:

Add a little bit to your activity routine every day : It’s easier to earn an extra 2 AP+/day than try to earn 6 AP+ the morning of Thanksgiving. Remember you can swap your AP+ for Food P+ on the week that you earned it!

Look up recipes: There are a lot of delicious healthy recipes floating around at this time of the year on the web. With a little research you can “healthy up” old favorites, or find new avenues to explore that can make the Thanksgiving dinner healthier and still memorable. Remember Etools and the message boards!

Shop ahead: The 2-3 days before Thanksgiving, the grocery stores will be overloaded, and under stocked. It’s not too late to avoid most of the craziness. This close to T day, you might want to go shop early in the morning or a little later at night to avoid the crowds. You want to shop for cooking supplies, but also for safe snacks, to munch on while the appetizers are going around.

Make it easier on yourself: A lot of the Thanksgiving fare can be cooked ahead of time, or at least prepped so that on the day of the dinner, you don’t get overwhelmed. It’s also a good idea to delegate and share the workload. After all Thanksgiving is a family affair, so it’s only natural that everybody pitches in. Sometimes all you have to do is ask…

Set your Winning Outcome and then strategize: What is your personal Winning Outcome for the Thanksgiving dinner? You want to track everything and stick to your P+ budget? Is it going to be a Simply Filling day? Are you setting a strict goal? Or are you just trying not to pass out on the couch at the end of the night?

Once you know what you are shooting for, you can put together a plan:
  • Find an ally in the crowd,
  • Decide ahead of time what you are going to eat and find the P+ values
  • Use a smaller plate
  • Use a PointsPlus Clicker to click away the P+ value as you eat
  • Drink a lot of water to keep you hydrated (and busy).
  • Practice saying NO to food pushers in a firm but polite manner
  • Hang out away from the table when you can
  • Offer to do non food-related duties to help out

There are a lot of things you can do ahead of time to make sure that your Thanksgiving Day is stress free and fun.

The Food

No matter how prepared we are, there is no denying the fact that once faced with a table overloaded with goodies, some of us might struggle with keeping things under control. When it comes to loading the plate, there is 2 main questions you must ask yourself: What am I going to eat? And How much of it am I going to eat.

What to pick: Some Thanksgiving goods are just too good to pass up. There will be things on that table that comes around once a year and that you don’t want to miss. Costco cookies are not one of them! Here’s the process of elimination that came up through this week’s meetings:

  • Which foods can I do without? For example, I HATE cranberries, so not having that sauce, and mashed potatoes are just “ok” so that’s not worth the P+.
  • Which foods can I have any time? There are foods on there that are year round food really: Mashed potatoes, unless it’s Granny’s special recipe that comes once a year, isn’t worth splurging on to me.
  • Which foods are a must? Some of the Thanksgiving fare is just either too good to pass up, or so deeply tied to tradition that passing on them would just not go. Those are the foods you want to go for. Every year I have a slice of real, full fat/sugar/everything pumpkin pie. Not skipping that one because it’s worth every single P+.

How much: Ok, so you’ve decided that the stuffing is totally worth it, the mashed potatoes not so much, Pumpkin pie totally, but Mac n Cheese, meeeh no way! All is good right? Well, only if you don’t overload your plate with your chosen goodies. Portion control can be a challenge when there’s a lot of food, a lot of distractions, and sometimes a lot of pressure from the family. If you can measure out your portions that would be ideal but it’s not always convenient or even possible. Being the extremely visual person that I am, I use visual cues:

Separate your plate and load it in order:

  1. Vegetable and fruits, ½ of the plate, comes first
  2. Starch/Grains ¼ of the plate comes second
  3. Proteins, 1/6 of the plate comes third
  4. “Yummies” (sauces, dressings, etc) comes last taking whatever space is left.

Practice Island eating:

The food you put on your plate makes little islands, the food CAN”T TOUCH. This is automatic portion control, unless you’re an engineer, you can’t overload while doing this (and it’s fun!).

Respect the plate:

There are two parts to a plate:

  1. The food part
  2. The decoration part

There should be no food on the decoration part of the plate. Somebody made the effort to make those plates pretty, enjoy their prettiness. :o)

Emotional eating:

The holidays can be a stressful and sometimes sad time for some of us. Having lost loved ones, or living far away from family members can make us feel cut out from all the festivities. Add all that with the overabundance of temptation, this can spell trouble. Take time to acknowledge the feelings that rise up at the time of the year and remember that food is not the solution. Reach out, talk to loved ones, help somebody, treat yourself with non food goodies, find a way to honor your feelings rather than trying to squash them.

If you think emotional eating might be a challenge for you in the coming weeks, look up the Reframing Tool for Living, either on Etools, or on the leaflets at your meeting. It certainly helps me a lot. :o)

Thanksgiving Cheat Card:

In case you missed the meeting, I decided to post my cheat card on here. I don't normally put handouts on the blog, cause that's what the meeting is for, but I didn't have the heart to stick to this rule on Thanksgiving week ;op

The format is a little off, but the information is there. Hope it helps!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Thanksgiving is a great time of the year in which we celebrate those we love, and give thanks for the little and big things in our lives. Since traditionally, Thanksgiving is a celebration of abundance, the focus often is on the foods as well as (sometimes more than) on the thanks.

Let’s put the focus back where it belongs this year, and put the focus on the love, the family, and the gratefulness of the season. Don’t worry, I’m not saying we want to skip the food! Just that, it should be “part of” the celebration, not the sole focus of it. How’s that sound?

Thank you, from the bottom of my heart, for being part of my meetings. You bring inspiration, motivation and light to my life, and I’m hopeful that in some small measure, I can do the same to you.

My husband and I (as well as Grace the dog, Leo and Gaya the cats) want to wish you all a Happy Thanksgiving!

See you in the meeting room,


Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Trick Not Treats!

Halloween is almost there! The kids are all excited, most have picked their costumes and are getting ready to go trick or treating. Fun, fun, fun all around! To most of us though, Halloween means 1 thing: Candies everywhere.

Every business we go to have a candy bowl, the stores are filled to the rafters with the "seasonal treats" (as if candies didn't exist the rest of the year!), the kids come in from trick or treating with bags full of candies, we feel obliged to buy candies for the trick or treaters who will inevitably stop at our door. If you have the tiniest of a sweet tooth, it seems like you're suddenly dropped in the middle of a mine field! Now what?

This week we will talk about ways to manage our sweet tooth during the Halloween celebration. You can enjoy Halloween without turning into a sugar monster!

Here's something that is floating in the Leader's message board (click on it for a bigger version):

Tool of the week

One thing that helps me when I know there will be temptation to avoid, is the Mini Bars! I always have at least one of those in my bag. They are delicious and only 2 PointsPlus. They can give me that sweet fix I need when temptation gets to be too strong.

They are small, easy to carry, and a very PointsPlus-friendly way to fight off a sweet attack without feeling deprived. :o)

In the Kitchen

I posted these last year, and they were a hit, so I figured I would share them again this year! I did these for a party with adults only (I have no kids) and they were a hit! As George Bernard Shaw said: “We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing.” The Point value will vary depending on the brand/recipes you use and the serving size, but it’s a lot of fun to put together!

Wormy Mud

You need:

A package (or two) of brownie mix. I used the No Pudge to cut down on pts
A pack (or two) of gummy worms
A large shallow bowl

Cook the brownie mix following the package directions, let cool enough to handle. Crumble the brownies in the large shallow bowl and mix in the worms.

Add-on: You can use a handful of FiberOne cereal to throw in. They look like twigs making the “mud” look more realistic.

Funky Eggs

You need;

Hard boiled eggs (shells on)
A glass bowl with enough water to cover all the eggs
Green food coloring (other colors work too, mixes can make some really interesting eggs)

Once the eggs are cooked, crack the shells by rolling the eggs between a hard surface and your hand being careful not to squish them. Do not remove the shells.

Once the shells are good and cracked all over, put the eggs in a bowl of water to which you have added 20-25 drops of food coloring. Let soak 10-15 minutes.

Remove the eggs and peel off the shells. The results should be eggs with a marble effect in green.

Creepy Punch

You need:

A bowl of fruit punch (I like to mix pineapple, pomegranate and tangerine juice).
A clean rubber glove.
2+ cup of orange juice.

Fill the glove with orange juice, tie the wrist securely and put in the freezer.

Just before serving take the glove out of the freezer and peel off the orange juice “hand”. Put the hand in the punch bowl.

It looks creepier as it melts!

There are tons of ideas like that floating around on the web.

Have a Great Week!

Halloween is only one evening, do not let it be the beginning of "food season". There are candies around all year round, they are just decorated differently at this time of the year. Unfortunately, putting a witch or a ghost on a candy wrapper doesn't remove the carbs or the fat from the candy inside! Wouldn't that be neat? This time of the year is just like any time of the year, take the challenges one at a time, plan for them and then enjoy yourself.



Tuesday, October 18, 2011

We did it again!

Once again the Lose For Good campaign is a great success: A million dollars donated, millions of pound lost, thousands of food drives. It’s a success, and that’s because of YOU!

Each 0.1 of a pound, each can, each “on plan bite” has added up to a major success. Once again we helped others by helping ourselves one little bit at a time! In the process we have proved, to ourselves and to the world, that when we really want to we can totally make this work no matter what.

This week we are getting together to celebrate our success and see what lessons we can take out of this wonderful Lose For Good campaign and how we can apply them on our weight loss adventure. Don’t miss it!


The next meeting of the Recipe Club is November 9th at 7pm at the Stonestown Center.

November Theme: What else? PointsPlus-friendly Holiday Fare

Click here for details, don't miss it!!

Dr. Oz:

It's not too late to enter the Dr. Oz Transformation Nation contest! Make sure to ask for it when you weigh-in!

Sale - Sale - Sale - Sale

It’s the last week of the sale: From October 2nd to the 22nd, Baked snacks, Snack Bars and Popped Snacks are on sale at $3.50!

That's a dollar off on every box you buy. Last week to stock up on the good stuff!

Tool of the Week

It is often the small changes that make the biggest difference between weight loss success and a plateau. It’s in the little steps that you take every day that you build new successful habits. To count the most basic of those step, we have the Weight Watchers Pedometer!
Not only it’s a good way to count the number of steps you take, but also the distance, and the Activity PointsPlus earned by walking. There’s even a stop watch! It’s a highly motivating monitoring tool.

In the kitchen

This is one of those recipes that has made the round on the Weight Watchers message boards since the dinosaurs. I have no idea who first posted it, or how many variations there are. I trot it out in one version or another every year.

Pumpkin Mousse Parfaits
Makes 4 parfaits, 5 P+ each (8 with the graham crumbs)

15 oz can of pumpkin puree
3 cups cool whip free, divided
1 cup skim milk
2 small boxes of sf/ff vanilla pudding
1 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice (to taste)
1 cup Graham crumbles (divided in 4)

Click here for the complete recipe.

This week the topic of the meeting has to do with the little things. How the little steps, the little victories can make a big difference.

That inspires me to start a Fall Challenge that will take us from now to January! Now that Lose for Good is all done, we need something else to tweak our motivation a little bit right? Here's what I'm thinking:

For this week: Find, each day, one way you can move a little more in your day to day activities and do it.

See some examples of ways to burn more calories Here!

Have a good week

We have such a good thing going, lets keep at it. Lose for Good gave us wings, now is time to fly!

What do you want to see by January? Making it happen starts this very minute! Success doesn't lie in the big complicated plans, but in the tiny mini steps that you take every second of every day. Make every one of those second count!

As always, let me know if you need anything, I am there to help you reach your goals, just email me if you need me. See you in the meeting room.


“It is better to take many small steps in the right direction than to make a great leap forward only to stumble backward.”

~ Old Chinese Proverb

Sunday, October 9, 2011

A Space of your own

Oops, I got this all ready to go and never came back to post it! Here is this week's Weekly Note:

It's Saturday, 12:30 pm, and you realize that you were so absorbed in household chores that you completely forgot about lunch. Now family and stomach are both calling for food now! "I'm STARVING!" So you open the fridge, the pantry, the freezer, and see.. what?

What do you see when you look around your kitchen? How does that help you make the right choices? Are there things in there that makes it easier to follow the PointsPlus Program? Are there things that makes it more difficult?

Managing your environment is a cornerstone of following a healthy lifestyle. It's great in theory, but what does that mean in our daily lives? What do I get? What do I avoid? How can I make my kitchen PointsPlus-friendly? This week we are sharing ideas, tricks and strategies to make our environment work for us on a daily basis. Be there!

What's going on at Weight Watchers?

The Lose For Good Campaign is nearing its end! It's time to give a last push on the weight loss, and on the donations. Don't forget that you can help others by helping yourselves.

The food drives are in the Centers. Bring your non-perishable foods and we will donate it to the San Francisco Food Bank.

It's not too late to enter the Dr. Oz Transformation Nation contest! If you missed last week, make sure to ask for it when you weigh-in!

Here are the October events:

  • October 12th Recipe Club, 7pm Stonestown Center. Theme for October: Fall vegetables and fruits
  • October 13th Recruitment meeting, 2pm Stonestown Center.
  • October 15th Etools training, 11:15 San Bruno Center.
Sale - Sale - Sale - Sale

From October 2nd to the 22nd, Baked snacks, Snack Bars and Popped Snacks are on sale at $3.50!

That's a dollar off on every box you buy. Time to stock up!!

Tool of the Week

Did you see our brand new Oil Sprayer? It's a most nifty way to cook using natural oils (without pesky chemicals) while completely controlling the amount used.

A little oil goes a very long way as 10 sprays (plenty to cover the bottom of your favorite pan!) has a PointsPlus value of 1 only! It's the ideal tool to use on vegetables or proteins before roasting or grilling as you can coat the whole surface with very little oil. Perfect tool for healthy cooking for only $11.95.

With its stainless steel look it's cute too right?

In the kitchen

This recipe is from an old-ish cookbook called "Slow Good". That cookbook came out in 2005 and has been a favorite of my family ever since! We make this recipe regularly. It's good as is, or with leftover chicken or pork thrown in. :o)

Sweet Potato Chili
4 servings, 7P+/serving

2 leeks, trimmed to white and light green parts, chopped
1 large zucchini, diced
1(15 ounce) can red kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1 (15 ounce) can chickpeas rinsed and drained
1 (14 1/2 ounce) can diced tomatoes with jalapeno
1 (8 ounce) can tomato sauce (no salt added)
2 1/2 TBSP chili powder
2 TBSP packed light brown sugar
1 1/2 tsp curry powder
1 tsp cumin seed crushed (ground can do, but put less!)
1/2 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp cinnamon
2 small sweet potato, peeled and diced
1/2 pound green beans, cut into 1 inch pieces
1 tsp red-wine vinegar

Place the leeks, zucchini, kidney beans, chickpeas, tomatoes, tomato sauce, chili powder, brown sugar, curry powder, cumin seeds, pepper, and cinnamon in a 5 or 6 quart slow cooker; mix well. With the back of a spoon, gently press the vegetables so they form an even layer. Place the potatoes on top, leaving a 1/2 inch border around the edge of the slow cooker. Place the green beans on top of the potatoes. Cover and cook until the vegetables are fork-tender, 4-5 hours on high or 8-10 hours on low.* Stir in the vinegar.

* Newer slow cooker seem to reach a higher temperature on the "low" setting, adjust time accordingly.

Source: Slow good, Weight Watchers 2005, p. 126.

Other recipes this week:

Have a good week

Lets keep the momentum we built in September going! Come to your meeting, bring any friend who's interested in learning more about Weight Watchers. Ask questions, bring ideas, this is YOUR meeting!

As always, I'm there for you, just let me know!


Friday, October 7, 2011


"Your time is limited, so don't waste it living someone else's life. (...)

Don't let the noise of others' opinions drown out your own inner voice.

And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition.

They somehow already know what you truly want to become.

Everything else is secondary"

~Steve Jobs

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Etools for Success

When it comes to staying on plan, I tend to be a little old fashioned. I like to track on paper, I use my companions to look up PointsPlus values of the foods I eat, I love my "Little Blue Dude" (my calculator), I like to have things in my hands. Something tangible to work with.

The challenge with that is that it's a lot of tools to carry: 2 Companions, 1 tracker, 1 calculator, my Getting Started Booklet, my Pocket Guide. Add all that to my usual: Cellphone, wallet, laptop, sunglasses, gym bag... Ever feel like you're moving every time you go somewhere?

Enters Etools! In my little easy to carry Blackberry, I have all the tools I need to follow the PointsPlus program (It's even better if you have an Iphone!), and that's only 1 of the many advantages of using Etools. What if I said that you can just go online and calculate the PointsPlus value of Grandma's favorite and make it fit in your plan? What if I said you can find information, inspiration, motivation just by clicking in? How about this one: Members who use Etools lose 50% more weight than those who do not. Interested yet?

This week we are discussing how to get the most out of your Etools subscription. If you have questions, bring them in! If you are an expert, bring yourself in! We'll get this all figured out!

What's going on at Weight Watchers?

The Lose For Good Campaign is still going strong!! Don't forget that you can help others by helping yourselves. There are also food drives in the Centers. Bring your non-perishable foods and we will donate it to the San Francisco Food Bank.

It's not too late to enter the Dr. Oz Transformation Nation contest! If you missed last week, make sure to ask for it when you weigh-in!

Here are the October events:

  • October 9th Second Sunday Stairs with Michael
  • October 12th Recipe Club, 7pm Stonestown Center. Theme for October: Fall vegetables and fruits
  • October 13th Recruitment meeting, 2pm Stonestown Center.
  • October 15th Etools training, 11:15 San Bruno Center.

Sale - Sale - Sale - Sale

From October 2nd to the 22nd, Baked snacks, Snack Bars and Popped Snacks are on sale at $3.50!

That's a dollar off on every box you buy. Time to stock up!!

Tool of the week

The one thing that I do still carry around is my PointsPlus Calculator. It's just faster and easier to calculate P+ values with it. It's so small anyway, you hardly know it's there.

The "Little Blue Dude" can do many things for you:

  • Calculate the P+ value of any food using the nutritional values
  • Keep track of your P+ for the day
  • Calculate your Daily PointsPlus Target
  • Serve as a regular calculator
Don't leave home without the "Little Blue Dude"!

In the Kitchen

I had leftover Harissa that I didn't know what to do with, and I decided to get creative. This recipe is a mix of personal ideas, several recipes I've seen on the web. It's very simple, and gives you a lot of latitude. It's very spicy! So feel free to modify the Harissa recipe. Better yet, just buy pre-made Harissa and then it's a snap to prep!

This is delicious!

Butternut Squash Roasted with Harissa
4 servings, 2P+/serving

Harissa (store bought Harissa is perfectly fine, just forget this part):
10-12 dried red chili peppers
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoons olive oil (normally it's more than that, but I try to keep it to a minimum)
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon ground caraway seeds
1/2 teaspoon cumin

Remove stems and seeds from chilies, soak in warm water about 20 minutes to plump up. Meanwhile, sauteed the spices in a dry cast iron pan until just browned (fragrant).

Put everything in a mortar and grind everything together with a pestle until it makes a more or less even paste. If you want to it to be super smooth, you might want to grind the spices first in a grinder, but I like it more "natural looking".

1 large butternut squash peeled and cubed
1 TBSP Harissa*
1TBSP olive oil
1 tsp lemon juice (optional)

Preheat the oven to 400F.

In a small bowl, mix Harissa, oil and lemon juice (if using). In a large bowl toss the squash cubes with the harissa mix well.

Spread the squash cubes on a baking pan (big enough to make 1 layer) and let sit a few minutes. Roast in the oven for 30-40 minutes (a bit browned is good, but don't let the Harissa burn).

*Note: Any leftover Harissa can be refrigerated, just put in a clean glass jar and cover with oil.

Body & Mind

You may have noted that the "Move it" Blog has become the "Body and Mind" Blog. The reason for the change is simple, I felt like I had limited myself by making the sub-blog sorely about exercise. I feel like there is so much more to talk about than food and exercise when trying to improve on our health.

I'm hoping that the new focus will be helpful to everybody and of course encourage you to make comments, suggestions whenever you feel like it. This Blog (and all of its sub-blog) are for you! Here's this week's post:

How much sleep do you get on average each night? Is it enough for you? I'm asking because it is different for all of us; some people need their 8 hours of shut eye, others can function with 4 hours (how I'll never know!). Having suffered from insomnia most of my life, I thought it would be an interesting subject to look into: What can we do to get a good night sleep?

For the complete post click here.

Have a great week

We are having rain this week. It's the perfect time to do a little planning, maybe a little cooking and getting ourselves ahead of the game for October!

As always if you need anything, I'm here for you! Never be afraid to drop me an email :o)


“Computers are magnificent tools for the realization of our dreams, but no machine can replace the human spark of spirit, compassion, love, and understanding.”
~ Louis Gerstner

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Why am I doing this?

Since the beginning of September, we've been talking about what the PointsPlus program is about, about what we need to do to stay on plan the entire week. We've come up with ways to make time in our busy schedule to take all those steps that we need to take to plan ahead, eat right, move more and do all the things that lead to success. We know what needs to be done, and how to do it.

Still, sometimes when the alarm clock rings at 5:30 in the morning, I want to roll around a sleep, lets just say that motivation isn't always at its peak that early in the morning. I know that I need to get up and go to the gym, otherwise I won't have time to go later, still I don't wanna. It's one thing to know what to do, it's another to actually do it. Sometimes what I want "now" comes ahead of what a "really" want.

Motivation doesn't appear from the sky in a ray of light and with a little heavenly music. It's a fire that you need to build up, light up, and keep fueling if you want it to last for the long run.
Come to the meeting this week and we will gather fuel for a long lasting motivation!

Recipe Club

We met last Wednesday for the first time and it was FUN! See what we came up with here:

The next meeting will be October 12th, at 7pm at the Stonestown Center. The plan is to meet the second Wednesday of every month.

Theme will be determined shortly. Don't miss it!!

Lose for Good

We are more than halfway thought the Lose for Good Campaign already! Can you believe it?

It's time to look back, evaluate, and adjust if necessary. We still have time to make a huge difference in someone's life by helping ourselves. It's a winning situation all around!

Here's how you can get involved:

Losing weight

Weight Watchers will donate 1 dollar for each pound lost up to a million. We want to pass last year's total of 4 million pounds lost. We are doing good and we can so do it!!

Connect with the Lose for Good Community

Look them up for support, inspiration and motivation:

There is still time to make a huge difference, set your goal, plan ahead and GO!

Have you ever tried the Weight Watchers Smoothies?

They are high in proteins, count as a milk serving and of course they are delicious!

You can have them cold with water, with milk, you can throw in frozen fruits, or fruit and ice! My favorite way to use them is to throw a package of the chocolate smoothie in 2 cups of coffee. Instant Mocha!

Did I mention that they are also low PointsPlus? Only 2 P+ for the mix itself! Keep an eye out for the new Creme Brulee flavor!! How delicious does THAT sound?

Etools first log in:

People who use Etools regularly lose 50% more weight than people who don't. Knowing that, Weight Watchers encourages members to select the monthly pass; not only it's cheaper, but Etools is included in the price.

You don't have to be a computer wiz to figure out how to use Etools, it is very user friendly, if you can log in that is! We've found that many members are finding it challenging to log in for the first time after purchasing their Monthly pass.

Comes in Bg the wonderful, who came up with a simplified list of instructions to log on Etools with the Monthly pass and registration number. I thought I'd put it on here for you to refer to in case of troubles:

Setting up your eTools for the first time:

Go to

Q. Where do I find my temporary eTools username?

It’s your Monthly Pass number, located on the back of your temporary Monthly Pass card. The Receptionist placed the computer-generated bar code sticker on the back of the card. On that sticker will be the member’s name, Monthly Pass number, & expiration date.

This Monthly Pass number starts with either an “M” (if you bought it at the center) or a “W” (if you bought it online), followed by numbers.

Q. Where do I find my temporary eTools password?

It’s your registration number—found either on the sticker on the bottom of your registration card (or printed on the barcode sticker) that is on your Weight Record or Pocket Guide. (It’s a series of numbers.)

You won’t need to memorize these numbers—these are temporary until you create your own username and password.

Thank you Bg!! You're da bestest!

In the Kitchen

This is a fall favorite for me. Once September comes to an end, and it starts smelling like fall, I bring up this soup and make it almost once a week until January. It's simple, it's easy, and it's DELICIOUS!

Spiced-up Pumpkin Soup
6 servings, 2 pts/serving

2 limes
2 tsp olive oil
1 large Spanish onion, chopped
2 tsp ground cumin (roast and grind yourself, so much better!)
½ tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp cayenne (I put more)
5 cup vegetable broth
2 cans (15 oz) solid-pack pumpkin puree (not pie filling!!)
½ cup unsweetened apple sauce
1 TBSP sugar
¾ tsp salt
3 TBSP fat free half & half*

Zest one of the limes, then squeeze enough juice from the limes to equal 2 TBSP. Set zest and juice aside.

Heat the oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat. Add onion and cook, stirring frequently, until golden about 6 minutes. Add cumin, cinnamon, and cayenne; cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Remove the mixture from the heat and let cool about 5 minutes.

Transfer the onion mixture to a food processor and add 1 cup of the broth; puree. Return to the Dutch oven; add the remaining 4 cups of broth, the pumpkin, the apple sauce, sugar and salt. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Reduce the heat and simmer, covered, about 2 minutes. Stir in the reserved lime juice.

Ladle the soup into 6 bowls. Drizzle each with ½ TBSP half & half (or yogurt) and swirl lightly with the tip of a knife. Sprinkle with the reserved lime zest.

That soup is truly delicious and keeps well for a few days!

*I use plain non-fat yogurt instead of half & half just because fat free half & half sounds spooky to me. If you like it use it!

Source: Simply Bueno, Weight Watchers p.41

Move It!

Wednesday at the evening meeting we were joking about people getting all made up to go to the gym. I rarely do any people watching at the gym, I have too much to think about to bother, but I have to admit that when I see someone walk in with 2 inches of make up and a push up bra to work out, I fail to take them seriously. Really? Working out is the goal here? Really?

This being said, I spend a fortune in workout apparel. I do. I shop bargains for my work clothes, for my every day clothes, but will not cut back on my workout clothes. I make sure that the WO pants and top I’m wearing flatter my behind and show off my shoulders and upper back while hiding my tummy. It’s my shameful little secret (well, not anymore) I’m vain and like to look good as I’m enjoying torturing myself.

Apparently I’m not the only one! Read all about it on the Move It! blog.

Have a great week

It's fall! Time to get outside! We're having our summer here in San Francisco, the fall vegetables are coming out, the apples and pears are wonderful, enjoy it!!

As always I'm only an email away, I answer any question except "How many PointsPlus is this?" ;op

See you in the meeting room!


He who has a why can endure any how
Friedrich Nietzsche

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Maximize the Minutes

How did your Magical Week go? Were you 100% on plan? How did that work? What lessons are you taking out of it?

I learned a lot and enjoyed myself, but I have to admit that my biggest challenge was time. There never seems to be enough hours in the day to do everything.

It takes time to plan ahead; it takes time to eat right, it takes time to work out. We can't just put everything aside: work, family, social life. So what to do?

This week we will discuss how we can make time so that we can do everything that we need to do to be successful without having to put everything else aside. It's tricky, but it IS feasible!

Recipe Club

I am so happy to have the first meeting of the Recipe Club this week! I've been wanting to do this for so long, and here it is!

We are meeting this Wednesday (Sept. 21st) at the Stonestown Center at 7pm. Here's how it works:

This month the theme is Soups & Stews

 You need:
  • A soup or stew recipe that you love.
  • The source (very important for legal reasons!)
  • The PointsPlus value (of course!) and serving size
  • Any additional information you think we need to know to make the recipe.

We want everybody to have a chance to share their recipes, so we need to keep it short. We will make sure to have time for mingling after everybody presented their recipes, so you'll be able to ask any questions you might have about a given recipe!

It is the very first time we do this, so we will learn as we go. I'm hoping to have this become a monthly thing. Wouldn't that be fun?

Don't be afraid to email me if you have questions. This will be so fun! I can't wait to hear what everybody brings in!

Lose for Good

It's week 4 of the Lose for Good Campaign! Lets keep the momentum going! We have committed to 5 days of tracking, and 4 days of moving this week. How are you doing?

Remember that when we say tracking, it means however you can make tracking work for you, from Etools to sticky notes, going around by the clicker. It's all good!

We also said moving 4 times, again don't over think this. When we say moving, we agreed that it means get ready and do something active 4 times in the week. It can be 5 minutes, it can be 2 hours. It all counts!

Here's the different ways to get involved with the Lose for Good Campaign:

Losing weight

We have done very well on the weight loss, but we can always do a little better! :o) Remember that for every lb we lose, Weight Watchers gives a dollar to the kids who need it. Help others by helping yourself. It cannot get cooler than this!

Plug in for Lose-A-Palooza

It's tomorrow!!! Monday September 19th. Find information here: http://loseapalooza,com

Connect with the Lose for Good Community

Look them up for support, inspiration and motivation:

Food Drives

There are also be food drives at the centers! It's time to help others by helping ourselves! I know times are hard for a lot of us, and money isn't exactly raining. It's not about giving a lot, it's about giving whatever you can afford to give. Every little bit counts!

Travelers, I will be taking donations this week and bringing them to the Center. If you can't make it to a center to give, bring it to the traveler meeting (JCCSF, Century Club) and I will put it in my super Matrix and bring to to Stonestown.

Tool of the Week

When I don't have time to make it to the gym, that's when I make sure to wear my Pedometer so that I can keep track of how many steps I'm taking.

Not only it's a good way to monitor myself (number of steps, miles, Activity PointsPlus earned) but it's also a great motivator. If I know how many steps I've taken, I can set a goal for the day.

In the Kitchen

One of the many things Weight Watchers has always been good at is coming up for ways of making cooking quick and easy. A few years ago, the cookbook "Shortcuts" came out, and my husband and I have used it extensively. Still do!

Those are not Foofy cuisine, but quick and easy satisfying meals for those days when you just don't have time for anything else.

Scallop and Vegetable Stir-Fry
4 servings, 4 P+/serving

2 tsp canola oil
1 1/2 pound sea scallops
1 tsp dark asian (dark) sesame oil
1 12 oz bag assorted fresh vegetable cut for stir-fry
1 TBSP minced, peeled fresh ginger
2 garlic cloves minced
1 1/2 TBSP reduced-sodium soy sauce

1- Heat a large nonstick skillet or wok over medium-high heat until a drop of water sizzles on it. Add the canola oil and swirl to coat the pan. Add the scallops and stir-fry just until opaque in the center; about 3 minutes on each side (do not overcook!). Transfer to a plate.

2 Heat the sesame oil in the skillet. Add the vegetables and stir-fry just until tender; about 1 minute. Add the ginger and garlic; stir-fry just until fragrant, about 1 minute. Stir in 1/4 cup water and cook, covered, until the vegetables are crisp-tender; about 1 minute. Stir in the scallops and the soy sauce; cook, uncovered, stirring frequently, until heated through, about 30 seconds. Serve at once.

Note: It always cracks me up when a recipe says to serve "at once", I feel like I have to run to the dinning room as soon as I turn off the fire. "Quick, quick! It has to be served AT ONCE!" ;o)

Source: Shortcuts, Weight Watchers, p. 27

Move it

I live in the Richmond District, a few blocks from Golden Gate Park. I love walking/running in the park, having picnics, reading under the trees, but I had not realized how much stuff is going on in there! Isn't it funny that we sometimes fail to see what's right in front of us? This week is going to be beautiful, the sun is out FINALLY! Why don't we head to the Park and see what's out there?


Ok, I played golf 1 time in my life, took 86 hits to do a 9 hole. Lets just say that it's not my thing. If it is your thing though, did you know there's a 9 hole golf course at the western end of the Park? You can rent equipment and everything! It works on a first come first serve basis, so no need to call ahead or anything!

Volley Ball

There is the Monday Volley Ball at Kezar Pavilion on Mondays (7pm-9pm, $2) but have you thought about taking it outside? Sharon Field is a great place for it (and for many other things). Gather your buds and head for the South-west end of the park.

Of course, with a net with good anchors (it's windy out there! Don't let your net fly away!), Ocean Beach is always neat for beach volleyball. With the wind, the sun and the waves, what can be better really?


There's always the choice of playing at Sharon Field, or other big open areas in the Park, but Big Rec Ball Field at 7th Avenue and Lincoln is THE place to play some ball. Bring your own equipment and to make sure you can have the spot, make reservations by calling 831-5510.

Remember that you don't want to park near the field, but rather on the street, and be careful for kids while driving around there!


There's always indoor at the Kezar Pavilion but if you want to shoot some hoops in the sun, what about the playground at the Panhandle? The playground is between Stanyan and Masonic, and is fairly easy access with public transportation!


I've posted about this before. Lindy in the Park is there, free every week and fun!!

Walking, Running, Biking

The Golden Gate Park counts a massive amount of trails, paths, paved and not paved. It's a beautiful setting,  most of it is sheltered from the wind and mostly flat! It's the perfect place to get moving, without being overwhelmed with traffic, noise, fuel smells and whatever else that sometimes makes exploring the city a little less fun.

Be Safe

Sadly things do happen in the Park. You want to be safe and aware of your surroundings. Things like reflecting clothing and staying in the paths can go a long way toward protecting you from the drivers who use the Park as a commute short cut.

If walking/running at night, stay on the well traveled, well lighted paths. I like to wear only 1 of my headphones, that way I can still hear the music AND hear what's happening around me.

Golden Gate Park (along with Ocean Beach) is my favorite part of San Francisco. There is always something to do, if only sitting down and listening to the wind in the trees, and things to see. The museums, the gardens, the pedal boats at Stow Lake (hilarious! They sink one every other week!), the Windmill (they repaired it!!).

Just go in there and enjoy yourselves!

For more information go to:

Have a Great week!

Remember that the Recipe Club meeting is this Wednesday!! Also, we are about midway into the Lose for Good Campaign, it is not over yet! We're in this together!!

As always, email me if you need anything. I am here for you!!

Your leader,


“Don’t count every hour in the day, make every hour in the day count.”

But then again:

"How long a minute is, depends on which side of the bathroom door you're on."
~Zall's Second Law

Sunday, September 11, 2011

One Magical Week

How many days this week were you "on program" 100%? What does that even mean to be on program 100%?

Everybody have their strength and their weakness when it comes to following the PointsPlus program. Be it food choices, portion control, activity or stick-to-it-iveness. Am I somebody who follows the plan a little all the time? Or someone who's perfect 3 days out of the week?

Do I work out 2 hours a week, all on Monday morning? Or do I have a routine that spreads through the week? Are my Friday evening portions twice as big as my Monday night portions?

What if I told you that you can do anything for a week. That you can, for an entire week, follow the PointsPlus program successfully?

Lets get together to figure out how to make that magical week happen. Here's a hint, magic has very little to do with it!

Recipe Club

The Recipe Club is finally starting! Tired of cooking the same old, same old week after week? Out of inspiration? Come with us on Wednesday September 21st, 7 pm a the Stonestown Center to share your favorite soup/stew recipe and see what the others have to share.

Here's how it works:

September Theme: Soups & Stews

Where: Weight Watchers Center Stonestown (577 Buckingham Way)

When: Wednesday September 21st at 7pm

You need:

  • A recipe relating to the theme (keep it simple, ideally a favorite that you know well)
  • The source (where you got it from)
  • The PointsPlus value and serving size
  • Any comments (difficulty level, tools needed, shortcut you've found, substitutions, etc)

We want everybody to have a chance to share their recipes, so we need to keep it short. We will make sure to have time for mingling after everybody presented their recipes, so you'll be able to ask any questions you might have about a given recipe!

Don't be afraid to email me if you have questions. This will be so fun! I can't wait to hear what everybody brings in!

Lose for Good

It's week 3 of the Lose for Good Campaign! What are you doing to help other by helping yourself?

We are doing great, but we can always do better!! Keep it up!! Here's the many ways to get involved:

Losing weight

How cool is that? Weight Watchers will donate 1 dollar for each pound lost up to a million. We want to pass last year's total of 4 million pounds lost. We can so do it!!

Plug in for Lose-A-Palooza
It's happening September 19th. Find information here: http://loseapalooza,com

Connect with the Lose for Good Community

Look them up for support, inspiration and motivation:

There are also be food drives at the centers! It's time to help others by helping ourselves!

Sale - Sale - Sale

From September 4th through the 24th all Mini Bar, Oatmeal, and Smoothies will be on sale for only $4.95!

It's time to stock up on those goodies!

Tool of the Week

This little tool is great for crazy times! Yeah ideally you want to write it all down in details, break it down, make an analysis... Sometimes you just don't have time for that, or you plain don't feel like it! Enters the Weight Watchers Clicker!

It's a tiny tool that fits anywhere.It's the simplest thing to use, you set it to your Daily PointsPlus Target and click down the PoinstPlus as you use them. That's it! How much simpler can anything get?

In the Kitchen

I have so many cookbooks that it takes me some time to work my way through new ones. Last spring we got the Fresh Fabulous, Fast cookbook here at Weight watchers, and I am now working my way through it. Here's my favorite so far:

Chicken and Broccoli with Black bean sauce
4 servings, 6 P+/serving

3/4 pound chicken tenders, cut lengthwise into 1/4 inch slices
4 cup small broccoli florets
1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
1/2 cup plus 2 TBSP water
2 TBSP black bean sauce
1 tsp sugar
1 (8.8 ounce) package cooked brown rice (about 1 3/4 cups)

1- Spray a large wok or skillet with nonstick spray and set over medium-high heat. Add chicken and stir-fry until browned and just cooked through, 2-3 minutes. Transfer to plate.

2- Add broccoli, bell pepper*, and 1/4 cup of the water to wok; stir-fry until vegetables are crisp-tender, about 3 minutes. Add chicken, black bean sauce, sugar, and remaining 2 TBSP water; stir-fry 1 minute.

3- Heat rice according to package directions for microwave. Serve chicken and vegetables over rice.

* You can add more vegetables to this and bump the volume and the taste!

Source: Fast, Fresh, Fabulous Weight Watchers p. 129.

Move it

Since we are trying to lose weight, or maintain our weight after a weight loss, we often put a lot of focus on cardio when it comes to our choices of activity. It makes sense after all, cardio burns more calories, earns more Activity PointsPlus, so evidently we tend to deduce that it's a better choice to make it to our goal weight in a hurry and stay there. Cardio absolutely has its place in a healthy lifestyle, but so does resistance training!

Resistance training by itself burns less calories since it is less taxing on the cardiovascular system, but it certainly has definite advantage when it comes to reaching our goals. Studies show that building more muscle mass speeds up your metabolism (at rest even, the more muscles you have, the faster your metabolism) so that your body will burn more calories while you are doing nothing! Resistance training also makes you look better, at any weight, by helping you maintain a better posture, and help us fight off the effects of time and gravity on the body.

You can do all sort of resistance training: Yoga, pilates, core training, anything really that makes you work your muscles until they are too tired to go on. My first choice when it comes to resistance training is, by far, lifting weights. I've talked about it before, but I still see members, generally women, who are intimidated by the idea of pumping iron. There are so many myths and misinformation about weight training, here are the main ones debunked:

The Weight Watchers website has some good articles about weight training:

Free weights or machines?

Here's a few article from my go to website about weight training ( that might help you get started. Those are from Krista's website and her language/humor is particular, still the information she gives is very helpful and interesting! I have learned a lot from her, even if her site really is geared toward women, I think anybody can learn a lot from her.

Still have weight to lose? Look up this article:

Think you're too old to lift weight? You are NOT!

Here you can find other articles she has written over the years for people who are just getting started:

Yes weight training burns less calories while you are doing it than a cardio work out would, but it increase the calories you burn at rest, it helps fight off bone mass loss over the year, and it makes life easier (I can open my own jars thank you!). This is all very good and pretty, but honestly to me the biggest advantage of resistance training is that it significally slows down the effect of gravity on the body.

I do want to be healthy, of course, but here's what I'm really pumping iron for: To keep my weight down... and my behind up where it belongs!

Have a great week!

There is so much going on! Lose for good, Bike-o-rama, the Recipe Club starting, sales, Success Stories Live on the 18th, Wow! It IS a great time to be a member! Make sure to look up the Event Blog to keep up  with everything that is going on.

We are working our way back on the way to our goals, as always I'm only an email away!

Have a skinny, healthy week everybody!


Saturday, September 3, 2011

Getting Re-Started

Summer has its own rhythm. Kids are off school, vacations interrupt our routine, and summer just has this feeling of "I want to take it easy a little bit". This doesn't mean that we are not trying anymore, but rather that our efforts are maybe a little less focused, and maybe not as constant as they should have been.

Now that the kids are back to school and that, hopefully, we have recovered from the scramble of getting them ready for it, it might be a good time to hit the reset button and refocus our efforts for greater success.

To do that the overall theme for the September meetings is "Refresh and Renew". What best way to refocus our efforts than starting right at the beginning with the basics of the PointsPlus program.

Together we will review and reaffirm our knowledge of the plan and see where we might need to focus our efforts.


There's a lot going on at Weight Watchers in the San Francisco/Upper Peninsula and in the rest of North America! Here's what's going on in September (check the Event Blog for further events in our territory). Very exciting! It's a great time to be a Weight Watchers member!

Lose for Good

Lose for Good has started and started in a good way! We have a ton of ways to get involved and help others by helping ourselves. How cool is that?

Losing weight

How cool is that? Weight Watchers will donate 1 dollar for each pound lost up to a million. We want to pass last year's total of 4 million pounds lost. We can so do it!!

Plug in for Lose-A-Palooza

It's happening September 19th. Find information here: http://loseapalooza,com

Connect with the Lose for Good Community

Look them up for support, inspiration and motivation:

There will also be food drives at the centers! It's time to help others by helping ourselves!

Sale - Sale - Sale

From September 4th through the 24th, all Mini Bars, Oatmeal, and Smoothies will be on sale for $4.95
It's time to stock up!


You might have noticed the bikes in the centers lately. I see you downtown members laughing as saying "Of course we did, you tripped over it enough!" True!! Well, here's what it's all about:

Follow YOUR Path Contest
When: Sept 4th - Oct 30th

What: 3 Ways” to be entered into the contest
  1. When you Bring a Friend who enrolls and they buy a Monthly Pass,you will get a ticket to enter.
  2. Stay and Succeed - When you attend 6 out of the 8 meetings,you will get a ticket to enter (your location will bravo or punch your special card).
  3. When you attend ALL 8 out of 8 meetings, you will get another ticket to enter (even when you travel, go to a meeting then let us know).
* drawing to be held on Oct. 30th - each winner will then be notified One winner per center!

Lots of exciting stuff going on and more coming but I can't tell yet (it's KILLING ME!!! I want to tell SO BAD!!). Keep coming, bring your friends and stay tuned!

Tool of the Week

If you want to refocus your efforts, and get your plan back on its tracks, it's important to have the right tools. The Member kit has everything you need to follow the plan successfully without breaking your head in the process.

It contains the Complete Food Companion, the Dinning Out Companion, the 3 Month Journal, a Fabulous cookbook, a coupon for a free calculator and a little booklet of coupons to save money on all sorts of Weight Watchers products (including a discount on a food scale!).

All of this is packaged in a convenient little binder that is perfect to keep all your Weight Watchers stuff together and out of the way.

In the Kitchen

If we think basic recipe when following the Weight Watchers program, what do we think of?

Yup! The 0 PointsPlus soup! Here's a few variations found on the website. The possibilities are endless. Feel free to modify!

Fresh vegetable soup
12 servings, 0P+/serving

2 cloves garlic, minced (medium)
1 medium onion, diced
2 medium carrot, diced
1 medium sweet red pepper, diced
1 stalk celery, diced (medium)
2 small zucchini, diced
2 cups green cabbage, shredded
2 cups Swiss chard, chopped
2 cups cauliflower, small florets
2 cups broccoli, small florets
2 tsp thyme, fresh, fresh, chopped
6 cups vegetable broth
2 Tbsp parsley, or chives, fresh, chopped
1/2 tsp table salt, or to taste
1/4 tsp black pepper, or to taste
2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice, optional

Put garlic, vegetables, thyme and broth into a large soup pot. Cover and bring to a boil over high heat; reduce heat to low and simmer, partly covered, about 10 minutes.

Stir in parsley or chives; season to taste with salt, pepper and lemon juice. Yields about 1 cup per serving.

Asian-Inspired Vegetable soup
12 servings, 0 P+/serving

2 cups bok choy, chopped
2 cups chinese cabbage, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced (medium)
1/4 cup ginger root, thinly sliced and julienned
4 small raw oyster mushrooms, chopped
2 cups scallion, chopped
1 cup canned water chestnuts, sliced
1/2 cup sweet red pepper, thinly sliced
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
6 cups vegetable broth
2 cups snow peas, stringed
2 Tbsp low-sodium soy sauce
1/2 cup cilantro, finely chopped

Put bok choy, Chinese cabbage, garlic, ginger root, mushrooms, scallions, water chestnuts, red pepper, red pepper flakes and broth into a large soup pot; stir to combine. Cover and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to low and simmer, partly covered, for about 10 minutes. Toss in snow peas during the last 3 to 4 minutes of simmering.

Stir in soy sauce and cilantro. Yields about 1 cup per serving.

Mexican-Style Vegetable Soup
12 servings, 0P+ serving

2 cups green snap beans, fresh, cut into bit-size pieces
3 cloves garlic, minced (medium)
2 small zucchini, cubed
14 oz canned diced tomatoes, Mexican-style preferred
1 medium spanish onion, chopped
1 medium green pepper, chopped
1 cup chopped tomatillos
1 medium jalapeٌno pepper, finely chopped (don't touch seeds with bare hands)
1/2 medium poblano chile, finely chopped
1 tsp fresh oregano
1/2 tsp ground cumin,
6 cups vegetable broth
1/2 cup roasted red peppers, water-packed (about 2 peppers)
1 Tbsp canned chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
1/2 cup cilantro, fresh, chopped
2 Tbsp fresh lime juice
3/4 tsp table salt

Place green beans, garlic, zucchini, tomatoes, onion, green pepper, tomatillos, jalapeno, poblano, oregano, cumin and broth into a large soup pot. Puree roasted peppers with chipotle in adobo sauce in a blender or food processor; stir into soup. Cover and bring to a boil over high heat; reduce heat to low, and simmer, partly covered, for about 10 minutes.

Stir in cilantro, lime juice and salt. Serve. Yields about 1 cup per serving.

Italian-Style Vegetable Soup
12 servings, 0P+/serving

2 cups escarole, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced (medium)
1 cup onion, chopped
2 cups spinach, baby leaves
2 small zucchini, cubed
1 medium sweet red pepper, chopped
1 medium fennel bulb, thinly sliced
6 cups vegetable broth
28 oz canned diced tomatoes, preferably fire-roasted
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
2 tsp fresh thyme, finely chopped
1 tsp fresh oregano, finely chopped
3/4 tsp table salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/4 cup parsley, fresh, chopped
1/4 cup basil, fresh, leaves

Put escarole, garlic, onions, spinach, zucchini, red pepper, fennel, vegetable broth, diced tomatoes, red pepper flakes, thyme and oregano into a large soup pot. Cover and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to low, and simmer, partly covered, for about 10 minutes.

Stir in salt, black pepper, parsley and basil. Serve. Yields about 1 cup per serving.

See how easy that is? Fat free broth, 0 P+ vegetables, and fat free seasonings. One basic recipe, endless possibilities!


Ah September in San Francisco! The worst of the tourists go home, the sun comes out (well, hopefully), the kids are back in school, and the vacations are done for the most part.

With most of the distractions out of the way, it's the perfect time to set a new routine. The Good Health Guidelines tells us that we should move at moderate intensity most days of the week and that is for health, not necessarily to lose weight. It might be a good idea to aim toward a little more than that.

In theory that sounds beautiful, but in practice sometimes it's not that easy to achieve. Playing taxi driver for the kids, work meetings, house work, emails, homework, everything seems to get in the way. That's where setting a routine becomes extremely helpful. If you do the same thing, at the same time everyday, it becomes almost automatic. We don't forget to brush our teeth before bed because we do it every night, so if we don't something is missing. Getting your work out in can become as natural to you as brushing your teeth before bed is, if you stick to your routine long enough.

There's a few things to consider when setting up your routine:

What do I want to do? 

It's a good idea to have a basic work out (or a basic activity) that you will do regularly. You can add to it on the days that you have more time, or when you are feeling bored, but the basic routine makes it easier to build a work out in which you don't have to reinvent the wheel every time. It is also a time saver on those week when you don't have time to be overly creative. You just go and do it, without having to think about it too much.

When do I want to move?

That's the big question! Are you a morning person? Can you work out after work? What about a Lunch time work out? There is no right or wrong answer to this question. The best answer is the answer that works the best for you. If the thought of getting up early in the morning gives you nightmares, then maybe you want to think about stopping by the gym on your way home after work. If you hit a wall every day at 4:30 and body and mind just stops functioning, an after work work out might not be ideal.

What can I realistically commit to do?

You are far better to start small and build up your routine than to commit to a huge work out 7 days/week and feel like a failure 4 days into it because you couldn't keep up. Depending on the kind of activity you decide to practice, and the intensity of each work out, you might want to start with 2 or 3 work out per week, and then add to that when you are ready.

The bottom line is that you want to be very honest with yourself and realistic about your expectations. Nobody goes from couch potato to  athlete overnight. None of us, I think, is getting ready for the next Olympics, the old adage of "No pain, no gain" does not apply to us (or to anybody else anymore for that matter). So set up a challenging but realistic routine and see where you can go from there. Take your time, and of course enjoy yourself!

Have a good week

There is so much going on right now and all of it is good and exciting! As I said earlier it is a good time to be a Weight Watchers member! Make sure to come to your meeting so that you can be part of the Lose for Good campaign and take advantage of all the promotions we have going on.

As always I'm just an email away if you need me. Not that I have added an "Email me" link just under my picture (top right of this page) to make it easier to contact me.

It's September, time to take ourselves in hand. So let's hit the reset button and start this fall with great gusto!

I will see you in the meeting room,


Life is not about how fast you run or how high you climb but how well you bounce. 
~Vivian Komori