Sunday, January 30, 2011

Shake it Up

Ever feel that the routine you had that was working so well a few weeks ago is not bringing the same results? To think of it, it's not nearly as enjoyable either?

Safe foods are a good thing to have, there are those things we know the PointsPlus value for, we know how filling they are, and we can prepare them with our eyes closed, even before the first coffee of the day!

However, after a while even our favorites get old. Shaking things up is the key to keeping our lifestyle enjoyable and effective.

This week we will pool our ideas for shaking things up. Bring in your food and activity ideas we need to hear them!

March Events

We have events coming up in March:

Etool Demonstration
Host: Joe Lagana/Peg Conley

Learn all you need to know to make Etools work for you! Joe and Peg will bring you tips and tricks to get the most of that super tool!

Date - Time - Location (2 presentations this month!)

Sunday 3/13 11:15 am at the Bayhill Center (851 Cherry Avenue , San Bruno)

Thursday 3/24 5:30pm at the Downtown Center SF (50 1st street, SF)

Recruitment meeting
Host: Jodi Litman

Come and see what working for Weight Watchers is all about. It's fun and enriching to be able to share this great program that changed our lives!

Date - Time - Location

Thursday 3/10 2pm at the Stonestown Center SF (557 Buckingham Way, SF)

Quick Cooking with PointsPlus
Host: Melanie Bourgeois (ME!)

Have fun learning about the tools, tips and tricks that will save you a bundle of time in the kitchen while cooking tasty healthy meals!

Date - Time - Location

Sunday 3/20 11am Stonestown Center SF (557 Buckingham Way, SF)

Open House
Host: Kathy Jeanneret

This is the perfect time to come and see what Weight Watchers is all about. Lots of fun, information, goodies to be found! Come check us out, or bring your friends to show them what Weight Watchers can do for them! ;o)

Saturday 3/26 12 to 3pm Pacifica Traveler (555 BUel Street, Pacifica)

Tool of the Week

Have you taken a look at our fitness kits? If the gym is not your thing, you might want to think about it!
Punch has weighed gloves (3/4 lb each) and Belly Butt & Thighs has an exercise ball. Those come with work outs (on DVD) and are a great way to get your moving on at home!

In the Kitchen

This recipe is for the grill, but I've used it in the oven also. You can make the sauce in double or triple batch and keep it in the fridge for up to 2 weeks. It's delicious with chicken, pork, even beef!

Spicy Molasse-Barbecued Drumsticks
2 servings, 5P+/serving

3 TBSP bottled chili sauce
1 1/2 TBSP plain or seasoned cider vinegar
1 TBSP light molasses
1 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp minced chipotle en abodo
1 garlic clove minced
4 (3oz) chicken drumsticks, skin removed

1 To make the molasses barbecue sauce, combine the chili sauce, vinegar, molasses, chili powder, chipotle en abodo, and garlic in a small saucepan; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer, stirring, until thickened, 2-3 minutes.

2 Meanwhile, spray the grill rack with nonstick spray and prepare the grill. Place the chicken on the grill and cook, turning occasionally, about 8 minutes. Brush the chicken with the barbecue sauce. Cook, turning the chicken, until deeply glazed and cooked through, 5-6 minutes longer.

On the Broiler:
Preheat broiler, broil chicken 5 inches from the heat, turning frequently for 12-13 minutes, brush with the sauce and broil 5-6 minutes longer turning once or twice.

Cooking times vary with the size of the drumsticks!

Dining for Two, p. 135 Weight Watchers 2004


This is the last week of the Step Challenge 2011!

How many steps/day this week?

What difference do you see between now and the first week of the challenge?

What will you do to keep the step count up?

Are you walking Bay to Breakers with us in May? If so how are you preparing for it?

Have a great week!

March is there already, can you believe it? It's time to think about how we are doing with the goals we set for ourselves in January? Are we on track? Did our goals change? Do we need to set a new Winning Outcome?

Don't let the spring fever draw you away from your meeting. Summer is coming!

Never be afraid of dropping me an email if needed. I will see you in the meeting room!!


“The cure for boredom is curiosity. There is no cure for curiosity.”
Ellen Parr

Portion Savvy

How good are you at eyeballing portions? Really?

It's no secret that portion sizes have exploded and that what used to be a meal in a restaurant years ago, is barely enough for an appetizer now.

That "bigger is better" mindset all around us makes it hard to keep our portions under control, and yet it is one of the key elements to weight managements.

Lets get together this week and talk about tools and strategies for easy and quick portions control.

Tool of the Week

I attribute most of my weight loss and weight maintenance success to one tool: My food scale.

The Weight Watchers Electronic Food Scale not only weigh the foods (DUH!) but it also has many very useful functions:

Tare: You can put on your bowl, use the tare function to zero out the scale, and weigh the foods without having to substract the weight of the bowl itself.

Food bank: You can put your food on the scale, start spelling it, and it will give you the PointsPlus Value of the amount of what you've put on the scale. 400+ foods!

Add: You can calculate the PointsPlus Value of a food, then use the Add function to add one more food, find it's PointsPlus Value, then add it to the previous food to get the total of all the foods in the bowl.

Calculator: You can put in a food, enter the Proteins, Carbs, fat and fiber for a set portion, the portion size (in grams) and the scale will give you the PointsPlus value for the amount you have on there.

In the Kitchen

I usually make this with leftover yellow split peas puree the day after I cook an Indian feast. However, it is a very easy dish to make on its own, and makes a great 1 pot lunch to carry around.

Like most Indian food recipe, this reheats very well.

Indian Lentil and Vegetable Stew
4 servings, 5 P+/serving

1 3/4 cup water
1/2 cup yellow lentils or yellow split peas, picked over, rinsed and drained
1/2 tsp turmeric
4 tsp canola oil
2 tsp mustard seeds
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 serrano chile, thinly sliced
1 (10 oz package) frozen brussels sprouts, thawed
1 cup canned diced tomatoes
1/2 tsp salt
1 TBSP fresh lemon juice
1 TBSP fresh chopped cilantro

Combine 1 cup of water, the lentils, and turmeric in a medium saucepan; bring to a boil.Reduce heat and simmer, covered, until the lentils are soft, about 30 minutes. Transfer to a blender and puree.

Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the mustard seeds and cook, covered, until popping subsides, 1-2 minutes. Add the garlic and chile; cook, stirring frequently, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Stir in the Brussels Sprouts, tomatoes, the remaining 3/4 cup of water, and the salt; cook, covered, until the Brussels sprouts are tender, about 10 minutes.

Stir pureed lentils into the vegetables; cook until heated through, about 5 minutes. Remove skillet from the heat; stir in the lemon juice and cilantro.

Stir it up, p 208, Weight Watchers 2006.


Step Challenge

How many steps/day this week? Is it getting easier? Harder?

What time of the day are better for you to walk?

What little changes have you made to add steps to your day?

We want to hear it all!!!

Bay to Breakers is coming! May 15th!

Are you in? Do you want to walk with us? Do you have great ideas for simply costumes that will not hinder our walking?

This will be fun!

Have a great week!
We are in this together! The more you bring to your meeting (ideas, strategies, food finds, questions) the more you get out of it. Be there!

I'm always only an email away. I have a Blackberry and I know how to use it!

See you in the meeting room!


“It is better to want what you have than to have what you want.”

D-I-Y Kitchen Makeover

When you look at your kitchen, what do you see? Are there foods in there that might lead you away from your weight loss goals?

Are there foods and tools that help you stay on track when the going gets tough?

This week we are talking about what we have in our kitchen that helps and hinders our weight management efforts.

A little do it yourself makeover? Is it really that hard? No it isn't! Come this week and we'll see how you can make your kitchen a helpful tool rather than a danger zone!


We have events coming in the area:

Etools Presentation: Learn how to get the most out of your Etools subscription.
With: Joe Lagana
Where: Stonestown center
When: Saturday 2/12 at 1:15pm

Healthy/Quick Cooking: How to get food on the table quickly and without fuss.
With: Melanie Bourgeois (that's me! that's me!)

2 Presentations:
Where: Downtown Center (50, 1 street, San Francisco)
When: Thursday 2/17 at 5:30pm
Where: San Bruno Center (851 Cherry Ave ste 23-24, just left of Mollie Stones)
When: Friday 2/25 at 2pm

Come and learn little tricks and ideas to make your weight loss journey easier and more enjoyable. Bring your friends too!

Tool of the week

As much as I love fruits, sometimes they just don't do it for me. That's where the Snack Bars and the Baked Snacks really help.

Those are delicious treats that give you that "sweet fix" or curb that "salt attack" without breaking the PointsPlus bank.
Only 3 PointsPlus of deliciousness!

In the Kitchen

This is a go to recipe for me when I'm in the mood for grilled food but the weather isn't cooperating.

It also makes great leftovers for lunch the following day.

Spicy Indian-Style Chicken Kebabs
4 servings, 4 P+/serving

3/4 cup fat free plain yogurt
1 1/2 tsp ground coriander
2 garlic cloves, peeled and halved
1/2 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
3 TBSP chopped cilantro
1 pound boneless skinless chicken breast cut in 24 cubes
1 each yellow, red, green pepper cut in 24 pieces (each)
1/2 tsp salt

Combine the yogurt, coriander, garlic, paprika, cayenne, and 2 TBSP of the cilantro in a zip top bag; add the chicken. Squeeze out the air and seal the bag; refrigerate, turning occasionally for 25-30 minutes to 1 day.

Remove chicken from the bag and thread evenly (along with the pepper pieces) on 8 skewers*. Sprinkle evenly with salt.

Spray broiler rack with cooking spray; preheat broiler. Place skewers on the rack and broil 5 inches from the heat turning frequently until chicken is cooked through (about 12 minutes). Sprinkle skewers with remaining cilantro and serve.

* If using wooden skewers, soak in water for 20 minutes before using to keep from burning.

Pantry to Plate p.160, Weight Watchers 2007.


The Step Challenge 20011 is on!

how many steps/day this week on average?

How are you maintaining your step count?

Keep it up, we are walking our way to a healthier us!

Bay to Breakers

My husband and I registered to walk the Bay to Breakers race. We are hoping that you will join us to face this challenge, and participate in the 100th celebration of this crazy San Francisco tradition!

The Theme of our outfit will be "my dream". Whatever that means for you should guide your outfit choice! Remember that you have to walk 7 miles with some steep uphill when you chose your outfit!!

I am all excited to be part of this! Don't miss it!! We will figure out a place to meet before race day.

Have a great week!

I hope you have a wonderful Valentine's day! Take that opportunity to celebrate love for your friends, your families, your partners and yourselves!

I'm always an email away, see you in the meeting room!


“Self-love, my liege, is not so vile a sin, as self-neglecting.”
William Shakespeare

Saturday, January 29, 2011

When is it truly hunger?

Do you ever eat something and then realize that really you weren't at all hungry?

Do you feel hungry all the time no matter how much you eat?

Is it really hunger? Or something else?

This week we will see how we can make the difference between hunger and all the other reasons that make us want to eat.

You can find satisfaction, and keep hunger at bay. The main thing is to learn to recognize what you are really hungry for. We'll figure it out together!


We have events coming in the area:

Etools Presentation: Learn how to get the most out of your Etools subscription.
With: Joe Lagana
Where: Stonestown center
When: Saturday 2/12 at 1:15pm

Healthy/Quick Cooking: How to get food on the table quickly and without fuss.
With: Melanie Bourgeois (that's me! that's me!)
2 Presentations:
Where: Downtown Center (50, 1 street, San Francisco)
When: Thursday 2/17 at 5:30pm
Where: San Bruno Center (851 Cherry Ave ste 23-24, just left of Mollie Stones)
When: Friday 2/25 at 2pm

Come and learn little tricks and ideas to make your weight loss journey easier and more enjoyable. Bring your friends too!

Tool of the week

Consistent tracking is the best way I know of to regain control of our eating.You can keep track of what you ate and it's point value, but also learn what your patterns are, which is a good way to start figuring out a solution for emotional eating!

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

Ok, I am the cook in the family, but the last year or so my husband jumped in and started cooking also. I'll be darned if he's not turning out to be at least as good a cook as I am.

This recipe is a little messy, but so worth it. It's delicious, makes tons of leftovers and freezes like a charm.

Home-Style Meatloaf
8 servings, 4 P+/serving

3/4 cup instant oatmeal
1/2 cup fat free milk
1/2 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth
1/2 cup shredded carrots
1/4 cup diced onions
1 large egg, lightly beaten
3 TBSP chopped fresh parsley
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tsp dijon mustard
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp coarsely ground pepper
3/4 pound ground skinless turkey breast
3/4 pound lean ground beef (7% fat or less)

1- Preheat the oven to 350 F. Line a 5x9-inch loaf pan with foil

2- Combine the oatmeal, milk, broth, carrots, onion, egg, parsley, garlic, mustard, salt and pepper in a large bowl. Gently mix the turkey and beef in a medium bowl. Add the turkey mixture to the oatmeal mixture; mix just until blended.

3- Spoon the mixture into the pan and smooth the top. Bake until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the center of the loaf register 160F, about 1 hour. Let stand 10 minutes before slicing.

Remove meatloaf from the pan and cut in half. Slice one half and serve immediately (that always cracks me up "Quick! quick! serve it NOW!"). Let the other half cool completely, cut in two and wrap the two pieces separately, keep in the fridge or freeze to use later.

Beat Eats, p. 66, Weight Watchers 2008.


Step Challenge is on! If you don't have a pedometer yet, get one!

You want to keep track of your total number of steps every day, find your average number of steps per day for that week, and report to us at your meeting.

Bay to Breakers

We want to put together a group for Bay to Breakers! If you are interested to walk with me, let me know! Bring your friend, your family. It's a great challenge and a lot of fun!

Have a good week!

Do not forget that the best way to stay connected to your program is to stay connected with your fellow WWers! Come to the meeting and let us know your challenges and your victories. We are looking forward to helping you, encouraging you and celebrating with you. That's what Weight Watchers is all about!

You know I'm always an email away. See you in the meeting room!


"If hunger is not the problem, food is not the solution..."

Stick with It!

Ever broke down and ate an entire sleeve of Oreo Cookies?

- Sat down with a bag of chips meaning to eat a careful 10 of them to realize the whole thing is gone 10 minutes later?

- Promised to go to the gym tomorrow until you realize it's been 3 weeks?

- Went to weigh in convinced that you did very well to discover that you gained 1.2 lbs?

What happened? How did your day go? Your week? Set backs are normal when we are trying to lose weight, not only they happen, but they can prove to be a blessing in disguise because of the lessons they bring us.

This week we will discuss how to overcome setbacks to keep them from bringing down our weight loss Mojo!

Tool of the week

Do you have your calculator yet? This little tool calculates the PointsPlus value of any packaged food, tracks your day, give you your daily target, everything!!

Not only that, but the first one you buy is at a greatly reduced price!

Note: You get a FREE calculator when you buy a Deluxe Member kit. Something to think about.

In the Kitchen

This is a favorite of mine that I've been making for years. I've also made it for my extended family and had to translate the recipe for them to use!

It's a great side dish, I have reheated it numerous times (adding a little broth), frozen it, ate it as a side dish, added proteins to make it a one pot dish. Anything, it's versatile, it's delicious, and it's easy despite the fact that it seems complicated.

Spiced Barley Pilaf
6 servings, 4 P+/serving

1 cup pearl barley
2 tsp canola oil
2 small carrots, diced
1 small red onion, diced
1 celery stalk, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 bay leaf
1 tsp ground cumin
3/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp turmeric
1/4 tsp ground pepper
1 (14 1/2 oz can) chicken broth
3/4 cup water

1- Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add the barley and toast, stirring occasionally, until fragrant, about 5 minutes (it should brown slightly, do not over toast!). Transfer to a plate and set aside.

Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the carrots, red onion, and celery; cook, covered, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5 minutes.

Stir in the garlic, bay leaf, cumin, salt paprika, turmeric, and pepper; cook, stirring frequently, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the barley, stir to coat with the spices, add the broth and water; bring to a boil.

Reduce the heat and simmer, covered, until the barley is tender and the liquid is absorbed, about 40 minutes. Discard the bay leaf before serving.

Stir It Up cookbook p. 211, Weight Watchers 2006


Step challenge

Ok, this time we are ON!

The Rules:

Every day you want to track the total number of steps you have taken that day.

You want to add up every day and divided by 7 to know the average number of steps you've taken each day.

When you come to your meeting, we want to hear all about it!!

You can also follow the Step Challenge 2011 on Facebook!

Bay to Breakers

I'm also planning on walking Bay to Breakers. If you want to come and join the fun, we'll be meeting somewhere downtown (TBD), walking (and people watching!) together.

Costumes? That could be fun!

Have a good week!

Do not let the January fever fade and disappear! We are doing great things together and need to keep going! The weight losses have been impressive, and we are on a good stretch, let's keep it going all year long!

You know I'm only an email away, I am here for you! See you in the meeting room,


“To overcome difficulties is to experience the full delight of existence.”
Arthur Schopenhauer

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Start Moving, Keep Moving!

Every time we talk about activity in the meeting room, the reactions are mixed. Some people love it, some people see it as a necessary evil, and others just cringe.

Activity is a major part of a healthy lifestyle, but also an essential tool for weight loss and maintenance. That doesn't mean that you have to hit the gym, or the pavement to prepare for the next Olympics! It just means that you want to see how you can progressively add activity to your daily routine so that you can enjoy yourself and feel better.

Oh, and lose weight too!! Let get together and share ideas for getting our working routine in gear and keeping it there!

Tool of the week

Did I talk about it enough? The PointsPlus Pedometer! Not only it counts your steps, but also your miles, activity PointsPlus earned, everything! There's a stop watch, an "active setting" (for fitness walks) and an "all day setting" for your total daily steps.

That tool is a great motivator. I can't tell you how many time I'll take an extra little walk just to make it to my 10 000 steps for the day!

In the Kitchen

Ok, this is a long time favorite, I've shared it many times and people are still asking for it. Here's my Lentil soup, a main staple in my family. It is a several time modified version of a recipe found on the Weight Watchers Message boards. I just process the whole thing and then freeze in 1 cup containers. :o)

Lentil-Tomato Soup
10 servings, 3 P+/serving

1 tablespoon olive oil
2 cups chopped onion
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon ground red pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
2 garlic cloves, minced
3 1/3 cups water
2 1/3 cups dried lentils
1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro
3 (14 1/2-ounce) cans fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth (5.5 cups)
1 (28-ounce) can diced tomatoes, undrained
Chopped fresh tomatoes (optional)
Cilantro sprig (optional)

Heat olive oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the onion; sauté for 3 minutes or until tender. Add the turmeric and the next 6 ingredients (turmeric through garlic); sauté for 1 minute. Add water and next 4 ingredients (water through diced tomatoes); bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer 1 hour.
Reserve 2 cups lentil mixture. Place half of remaining mixture in blender; process until smooth. Pour pureed soup into a large bowl. Repeat procedure with other half of remaining mixture. Stir in reserved 2 cups lentil mixture. Garnish with chopped tomatoes and a cilantro sprig, if desired.

(serving size: 1 cup)


How about a challenge?

Starting on your meeting day, keep track of your steps every day. When you come back to your meeting next week, we can report how many steps we did all week.

Who's in? I'm putting on my pedometer right now. HA!

Feel free to report in the comments (just below this post) during the week.

Have a good week!

I hope you can go out and enjoy this wonderful weather! Don't let it draw you away from your meeting though. We have a good start to 2011 and we have to keep it going!

Have yourself a wonderful week and remember I'm only an email away if needed!


“Enthusiasm is contagious. Be a carrier.”
Susan Rabin

“Enthusiasm is the mother of effort, and without it nothing great was ever achieved.”
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Eating in Real Life!

Daily PointsPlus Target: Check!
New PointsPlus Formula: Check!
New Activity PointsPlus: Check!

I got my New PointsPlus Food scale on the counter, my Deluxe Kit close at hand, a PointsPlus Calculator in the top drawer, my kitchen is like a Weight Watchers commercial!

Everything was in place to make 2011 the most successful year ever, and then… a platter of brownies showed up. What do I do???? I didn’t make them, there’s no PointsPlus value on the box, there is no box!

How can we make PointsPlus work in “Real Life”? In “Real Life” there is not always a scale right there, there is not always a box. In “Real Life” I don’t always want to eat fresh veggies, grilled chicken and whole grains. Sometimes I want a brownie!

This week we are discussing the art of Flexible Restraint. Why it is important to include little treats and goodies in our lifestyle and how we can do that without being derailed in our weight management efforts.

Hint: There is 49 reasons why it can work! ;o)

Tool of the week:

San Francisco has more restaurant per capita than most cities in the US, if not in the world! We love to eat out. Sometimes it can be challenging to go out, enjoy our favorites and still stay on plan. The Dinning Out companion is just the tool to help you do that!

It has all the major chains in the US and Canada, it has an ethnic & regional favorites list and finally an A to Z list of foods you find when eating out. It’s the perfect tool to help you keep on track when eating out!

In the Kitchen

This is a very basic version of a soup I make regularly. I sort of made it up as I went, and change if frequently. Feel free to switch vegetables and proteins around to fit whatever you have on hand :o)

Tilapia Miso Soup
2 servings, 4 P+/serving

Cooking spray
1 shallot, sliced
1 carrot sliced
6-8 asparagus, sliced
2 cup French green beans
2 cup chicken broth
1 packet Dashi mix (optional)
Dash soy sauce
12 oz tilapia, cut in chunks
1 TBSP white Miso Paste

Heat up a saucepan, coat with cooking spray and sauteed the shallot, the carrot, and the asparagus. In the meantime, mix the Dashi mix (if using) with the broth.

Add the broth and the soy sauce and the green beans and cook at lower fire for 5-6 minutes.

Add the fish chunks and cook until the fish is cooked (5 minutes or so). Take about ¼ cup of broth out of the pot and mix with the miso past in a little bowl, put back in the pot, turn off the fire and mix well.

Add on: you could add a tsp of dark sesame oil to each bowl (1 P+ added).

Note: Miso (and fish for that matter) does not reheat very well this recipe isn’t the best for leftovers. If you are making a bigger batch, I would not put in the Miso in the whole thing; add it to your bowl instead.


The sun is out! This week make sure to take some of your activity outside! Go walk, run, hike, bike!

It’s still winter, we might have more rain coming. Enjoy this while you can!

Have a good week

I’m always there if you need me! Email me at for anything. I’ll answer any question except “How many PointsPlus is this?” ;op

Have an awesome week! I will see you in the meeting room!


“Passion is energy. Feel the power that comes from focusing on what excites you.”
~ Oprah Winfrey

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Power Up with Power Foods!

How was the first week of 2011? What part of PointsPlus is working best for you so far? As you get to know the program better, I’m sure you will find little tricks and tips to make the plan work better for you. Please bring those in. We are learning together!

Speaking of which, how satisfying are the foods that you eat every day? Are they working for you? Do you get hungry 20 minutes after lunch? Or are you good to go until mid-afternoon?

Being satisfied with the food we eat is key to a successful weight management but sometimes it’s hard to know what foods are the best choices. We’ve solved that puzzle for you by putting together a list of Power Foods! Power Foods are the best choices in most categories of food.

This week we’re going to discuss how we can use the Power Foods to make every meal and snack much more satisfying. Bring your food ideas and discoveries!

Tool of the week

Satisfaction starts with breakfast! Only sometimes it’s a challenge to get breakfast prepared, and eaten, in the little time we have before having to run out. Here’s two quick fixes for a healthy filling breakfast on the go: The Weight Watchers instant oatmeal and the Weight Watchers Smoothies.

Both of them are easy, tasty, and greatly versatile. You can have them as is, or mix them with fruits, dairy, whatever else you can think up.

Hint: I have a chocolate smoothie mixed with 1/5 cup of coffee every morning!!

In the kitchen

As I said last week we decided to theme each week in January. Last week was Vegetarian week (mostly!), this week is casserole week. So everything we make is 1 pot casserole type dishes.

Here’s a dish that I like to do every once in a while, it sounds more complicated than it is really, and it’s delicious!

Poulet au citron et aux olives (Lemon chicken with olives)
6 servings 6 P+/serving

2 TBSP olive oil

3 lbs chicken pieces, bone in skin removed

1 onion, diced

3 garlic cloves, minced

2 bay leaves

1 tsp ground black pepper

1 tsp dried oregano

1 tsp dried coriander

1 tsp ground cumin

½ tsp salt

¾ cup chicken broth

2 TBSP lemon juice

½ tsp sugar

½ lemon thinly sliced

3 tomatoes cut in wedges

½ cup green or black olives, pitted

¼ cup fresh parsley, chopped

In a nonstick pan at medium high heat, heat up half the oil and brown the chicken on all sides (about 10 minutes, might need to work in batches) remove the chicken from the pan, set aside.

Add the rest of the oil to the pan and put in the onion, garlic, bay leaves, pepper, oregano, coriander, cumin and salt. Cook at medium heat, stirring every now and then, until the onions are softened, about 5 minutes.

Put the chicken back in the pan with whatever juice gathered in the plate. Add the chicken broth, the lemon juice and the sugar. Add the lemon slices on top of the chicken, lower the fire and let simmer for 15 minutes (pour a little of the broth on the chicken from time to time).

Add tomato wedges and olives and cook, uncovered, for 5-10 minutes or until the chicken is done. Remove bay leaves and sprinkle with parsley before serving.

From: Coup de Pouce a Table, 150 recettes simple comme bonjour Les Editions Transcontinentales, 2005 (translated by Melanie Bourgeois)


When talking activity, we always seem to want to think big and complicated. It doesn’t have to be. Walking is one of the simplest, easiest activities we can come up with, and it’s incredibly healthy!

Here’s what the expert at the Mayo Clinic had to say about walking:

Weight Watchers Etools has information and a walking plan for you:

You don’t need much to walk: layered clothes (it’s San Francisco!), a good pair of comfortable shoes and that’s about it.

Another nifty tool for the walkers is a pedometer. Here’s a few words from about using a pedometer:

One simple device that has been developed to keep track of the steps we take everyday is the pedometer. Compared to other fitness equipment that require vast amounts of space, the pedometer is a cheap, clip-on electronic device that you attach to your belt on your waist/hip area so you can measure your daily steps.

This might be a lowly device that do nothing else but record the steps you take, but research has proven that it actually has immense benefits. For starters, studies have shown that those who wear pedometers were actually more motivated to keep moving. Previously sedentary individuals who where given a pedometer to measure their daily steps, were encouraged to become more active and as a result reported more energy and vigor in their daily activities.

Another huge benefit derived from the pedometer is that it motivates individuals to achieve their goals because it makes them measurable. If a person knew that his usual number of steps in a day is only a thousand and if he sets to achieve two thousand steps in two weeks, he can measure his success consistently on a daily basis because of the pedometer.

Finally, because you can take a pedometer with you, it also plays a vital role in revealing your current fitness level. As a result, you become motivated to walk if only to increase your stamina, get rid of stress and be able to keep up with your energetic toddler.

How about that? Of course, the Weight Watchers Pedometer does more than merely count your steps, it counts distance, Activity PointsPlus, and can be set for an aerobic walk, or all day mode.

Any activity that gets you moving is good activity. Walking is easy, low tech, low gear, and incredibly healthy. Get walking!!

Have a good week!

If you can’t make your regular meeting, you can find my meeting schedule along with my before and after picture at:

As always I’m only an email away!!

Your leader,


“The secret to a rich life is to have more beginnings than endings.”
~David Weinbaum

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Tracking with PointsPlus

Here we go for another year! Are you ready?

Now that the holidays are over we have set our Winning Outcome and we have found the steps needed to achieve it. It’s time to get to the “doing it” part!

Following the PointsPlus program starts with tracking. Not only it’s a tremendous learning tool for success, but it’s also a perfect way to ground ourselves into the still unfamiliar PointsPlus program.

This week we’ll discuss the whys and hows of tracking and share out tricks and tips on making it easier to do on a daily basis. Be there!

Tool of the week

If you want your tracking to be accurate, you have to have the right tools! You can get most of them all in one neat package!

The Member kits have everything you need: Complete Food Companion, Dining Out Companion, 3 Month Journal, the Deluxe kit even has a cookbook!

What’s going on?

It’s January at Weight Watchers! A lot of people are returning to our meetings after taking a little break during the holidays, others have seen our commercials, hear about how absolutely wonderful the new PointsPlus program is and decided to give Weight Watchers a try.

For all those reasons, the meeting rooms will be crowded but have no fear, we are staffing up and making sure that everybody who walks in the meeting rooms have all the attention, help and support they need! Come in early and avoid the long lines!

In the kitchen

For the fun of it, we’ve decided to do themed weeks for January. This week we are eating Vegetarian. This soup is something I came across a few years ago and fell in love with.

I haven’t done it in a while but it’s on my list for “vegetarian week”. We eat it as an appetizer, so it lasts us for a few days. It is a little labor intensive, but it’s Delicious!

Curried Apple Soup
4 servings 4 P+/serving (counting the apples)

2 tablespoons Canola oil
2 cups onion -- chopped
3 large garlic clove -- minced
2 tablespoons ginger -- minced
2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons dry mustard
1 teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon ground cumin
½ teaspoon ground cardamom
½ teaspoon allspice
¼ teaspoon cayenne
5 cups tart apple -- peeled and chopped
4 cups water
2 sticks cinnamon
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
3 tablespoons honey or brown sugar (optional not included in P+)

Heat oil in a soup pot or Dutch oven. Add onion, garlic, ginger, and salt, and sauté over medium heat for about 5 minutes, or until the onion begin to soften.

Add the spices, and sauté another 5 minutes over medium heat.

Add apples, water, cinnamon sticks, and lemon juice, and bring to a boil. Turn the heat down, mostly cover, and simmer for about 10 minutes, or until the apples are very tender. Remove from heat.

Take out the cinnamon sticks, and puree in a blender or food processor-bit by bit, so as not to splash yourself. Return the puree to the pot.

Add optional sweetening, and taste to adjust salt. Serve hot or cold, with or without some or all of the toppings. (Even though the toppings are fun and delicious, this soup is also wonderful just plan.)

Optional toppings (not included in P+): Lightly toasted shredded coconut; lightly toasted slivered almonds; a drizzle of yogurt; a few dried currants.

From: "Mollie Katzen's Recipes, Soups" Ten Speed Press.


Now that the parties are over, it’s time to set our routine back on its wheels. It’s the perfect time to take a good look at your activity routine and see where you want it to go.

How is your routine working for you? Are you working out enough? Does it work with your schedule? Is it still fun? Do you need to add duration? Intensity?

Think in term of building a routine that will work long term. It has to be realistic, motivating, effective, but most of all it has to be fun!

If you are just getting started, look here for all sorts of articles, tips and tricks to get started:

If you are looking into trying weight lifting, here’s what is still the best weight lifting website for women (there are plenty all over the net for guys, but very few for women!)

Note: Miss Krista is very irreverent, if you are easily offended you might want to close your eyes to read her website (HA!) but her advices, ideas, demos are fabulous!

It doesn’t matter if you are just getting started, or if you are training for your 15th race. Take a step back, think about what you are doing already, think of how you can improve, make a plan, and GO!

Finish this sentence with your own Activity Winning Outcome:

This week, to get my activity routine on track I will ______________________________________

Have a good week!

I will be back to all my meetings this week. I have missed many of you and can’t wait to see how you did in the last 2 weeks. Make sure to come to your meeting. If you can’t make it, look me up at any of my traditional meetings in San Francisco at:

As always I’m only an email away!!

Your leader,


“The secret to a rich life is to have more beginnings than endings.”
~David Weinbaum