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