Monday, October 27, 2008

Vegan Cinnamon Chocolate Chip Biscotti | WW 1 pt

Ugh, I was traveling again last week and ate from a salad bar 4 out of six meals, so as much as I would have liked to have been cooking and baking, I was conferencing and trying my hardest to be healthy while "on the road".

When I got home I was pleasantly surprised to find that I had lost a few more pounds, yep; and then yesterday I ate eggplant parm (full fat), chocolate ganache cake (totally full fat) and a slew of other not so weight watcher friendly things. So, when I weighed myself on Saturday and Sunday morning, I was a full two pounds lighter than when I weighed myself today, for my actual weekly weigh-in that I have to record on the WW website. So, grand total from last week is that I'm still down a half a pound from last week and 9.5 pounds total, but had I not been such a little piggy yesterday I think the scale would have been a bit lighter. Was the cake and the eggplant parm worth the heavier number on the scale? Not at all, lesson learned.

I did however have time to make one little vegan low fat biscotti recipe yesterday morning. Each little tasty treat is only 1 point and I find that I really enjoy dunking them in a mug of sugar free hot cocoa at night after dinner. I again got this recipe from the Fat Free Vegan Blog I mentioned in my previous post. Check it out.

1 1/2 tbsp Energy Egg Replacer
6 tbsp water
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
3/4 tsp baking soda
2 cup(s) all-purpose flour
3 tbsp mini chocolate chips
3/4 cup(s) sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.Put the egg replacer and water into a blender and whirl for a few seconds, just to mix.

Mix this mixture with the other ingredients. Dough should be sticky but not runny. Turn out onto a floured surface and shape into 2 logs about 3 inches wide. Flatten the logs to about 1 inch high. Place on a lightly oiled or non-stick cookie sheet and bake for 30 minutes.

Allow to cool for 10 minutes and then cut into 1/2 - 3/4 inch slices. Place cut side down on cookie sheet and bake for 10 more minutes. Repeat on other side for another 10 minutes. When done, the biscottI may seem soft, but they will harden as they dry.

Rating - So Damn Good

Monday, October 20, 2008

WW Check In

Hey its Monday and I'm checking in with my weight loss post. I'm only down a half pound this week, which may be due the enormous amount of wine I drank between Friday and Sunday. It just seemed that I always had a glass in my hand, and it was never empty because I kept filling it back up. Good Times. I can't complain, I ate well and drank well and still lost another half a pound, am I a little more motivated for next weeks weigh in? SURE, but I'm not beating myself up or anything. So, my grand total weight loss is 9 pounds and I only have 4.5 more to my goal.

Also, can I please just share a little story about my Sunday morning. It was cold, very cold and windy and I didn't want to go for a run outside, but I bundled up with long pants, two long sleeve shirts, gloves and before I left CB put a hat on me (he was clearly thinking better than I was early in the morning). I left thinking this run is going to suck, it's cold it's windy, I'll probably end up cutting it short, blah blah. But as I got going and my legs warmed up I fell into a really nice stride and decided to take the long way back around the cemetery. This is one of the most beautiful cemeteries that I have seen, CB and I have actually gone through bike rides in it because it's so big and contains so many war memorial burial grounds, it's a pretty humbling place to go to see how many men and women lost their lives in the name of freedom.

As I was rounding part of the cemetery, there is an area where the tell tale white headstones mark another war burial ground; it's close to the street so you can see the tablets laying a path one after another as you go. As I was running, there was an older man in front of me with what looked like a naval cap on, as I got closer to him I realized that as he was walking down the street with almost a march to his step, his right hand was raised in salute to all the headstones making a path to his right. I was so moved by this, people passed him left and right, cars whizzed by coming and going, but he never took his eye off those grave markers and his right hand never dropped its salute.

I'm so glad that I took the long way home that morning or I would have missed this most amazing scene one loan veteran paying homage to those who fought before him on a random cold October morning.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Vegan Gingerbread Biscotti | WW 1pt

First, sorry the picture is so blurry, I took this literally as I was running out the door and almost missed my train this morning...

Second, finally I had some free time to do some WW baking, this actually didn't come from WW it came from a vegan blog that I've had good luck with for low fat baking ideas, Fat Free Vegan Kitchen. Here is a link to her recipe for Fat Free, Gluten Free Gingerbread Biscotti and HOT DAMN these were good. The recipe makes 24 and each is 1 point, so having a few at night with a sugar free hot cocoa is totally doable on the WW plan. AWESOME.CB had a few last night and if I hadn't raved about how they were "only one fucking point each can you believe it?" he never would have know they were vegan and low fat.

Third, yes, I'm psyched as all hell that the Red Sox came back and won the game last night. What I am not happy about is that it will force me to sit through another broadcast on TBS where ever damn commercial break is a Viagra commercial with that horrible terrible song...VIIIIIVVVVVVAAAAA VIIIIAAAGGGGRRRRAA, Viva Viagra, every time that commercial comes on I want to throw a shoe at the tv. And now, I'll need to be assaulted with that stupid commercial again on Saturday night. Humph.

Anyway - go to the website link above for the recipe and check out a few of her other ones too.

Rating = Damn Good (So Damn Good when dunked in hot chocolate)

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Tuscan Pumpkin White Bean Soup | WW 2pts

So, CB and I were up in VT for a few days so I wasn't able to do my Monday morning weigh-in. This will have to serve as that. So, as of today I am down another 2 pounds for a total of 8.5 since beginning the program three weeks ago. I have 5 pounds left until I reach my ultimate goal and then I will have to start learning the maintaining part of WW and not just the losing part.

Moving on from WW for a minute I have an observation. On more than one occasion, whether I be walking or out for a run or what have you, I have come across a person with one of those red and white sticks that blind people use. Now on more than one occasion I have seen people with these sticks, walking on the sidewalk and not using it, simply walking with it in their hand or folded up or what-not. I was running the other day and had to run under construction scaffolding and there was a person coming at me with one of these sticks and I became nervous because there is never enough room for two people to comfortably pass under one of these get ups, let alone when one is wielding a stick. But, it was all for not, the person never even put the stick on the ground, he just kind of walked with it in his hand. I spent the rest of my run trying to figure out if the person was blind, and if they were, why weren't they using the stick, and if the person could see fine (which it seemed like to me) was the stick just a prop? Does anyone have answers to this? I see this more often than not, seemingly sighted people walking with these sticks, not using them, simply walking with them.

Onto the recipe. Yes, the recipe was good, the second day. I do not recommend eating it as soon as you make it, I thought it was by far much better the second day. Also, because I love pumpkin and curry together I added curry powder to the whatever you feel like, it's your soup.

Tuscan Pumpkin White Bean Soup
Weight Watchers

1 spray(s) olive oil cooking spray, or enough to coat pot
1 medium onion(s), coarsely chopped
15 oz canned pumpkin
3 1/2 cup(s) fat-free chicken broth
15 1/2 oz canned white beans, rinsed and drained
1/4 tsp ground oregano
1/8 tsp table salt, or to taste
1/8 tsp black pepper, or to taste
6 tbsp grated Parmesan cheese

Coat a large soup pot with cooking spray and set over medium-low heat. Add onion, cover and cook until tender, stirring occasionally, about 6 minutes.

Stir in pumpkin, broth, beans and oregano; simmer 8 minutes.

In a blender, process soup in batches until smooth. (Note: Make sure not to overfill blender in order to avoid splattering.) Return soup to pot and reheat; season with salt and pepper.

To serve, ladle soup into bowls and top each with 1 tablespoon of grated cheese. Yields about 1 cup per serving.

Rating = Damn Good (the second day)

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

WW Check In

So, my Monday morning WW check-in was yesterday and I tipped the scale 1.5 pounds down from last week, so my total weight lost in the past two weeks has been 6.5 pounds. Not too shabby.

CB and I were away this weekend so I didn't get a chance to cook or bake anything. I will try to make something between now Thursday before I have to leave again...geez I'm a busy beaver.

Friday, October 03, 2008

Barley with Butternut Squash, Apples and Onions | WW 3pts

Easy Peasy Lemon Squeezy. That's what this recipe was to make. I think I whipped it together in about 20 minutes. I'll be honest. It was good, but I don't think it was as good as the barley asparagus risotto, or the squash bake, but it was 3 points and it did the trick for me. CB enjoyed it, but he had about 4 servings and a full side salad before he was full.
I didn't have a proper weigh-in on Monday because I was traveling for work and didn't have a scale in my room or in the hotel gym, so I'll use my Thursday morning weight as my Monday morning weigh-in, and I'm down another pound, so that's 5 pounds all together since I started just over two weeks ago. Not too shabby.
Do I feel a difference? Yes. When you are only 5' 3" the smallest amount of weigh gain can make a big difference in your body, you just don't have the height to hide any weight. My clothes are looser (thank Jebus) and my ring is not as tight, and weirdly enough, my watch fits me better.
Just being on the plan helped me make good food choices while I was away. Faced with hotel and conference food for 6 days, I was petrified to get on the scale when I got back. I was afraid that trying to eat healthy, but not knowing the food points of anything I was being served was going to be a recipe for disaster; but it wasn't, I guess I was capable of making the right food choices even when the points weren't given to me. That felt good.
So, I'm still happy with the plan. Is it tough sometimes, sure. Is it easier to say no to certain foods now that I'm knowledgeable about their point values, hell yeah.
I am still looking forward to baking with some of the weight watchers recipes. My little sister has a birthday coming up, so that may be my first foray into a ww inspired birthday cake.
Barley with Butternut Squash, Apples and Onions
Weight Watchers
3/4 tsp table salt, divided
1/2 cup uncooked barley
1 Tbsp olive oil
2 cup butternut squash, diced
1 cup onion(s), chopped
1/2 cup sweet red pepper(s), diced
1 medium apple(s), peeled, cored, diced
1 1/2 tsp minced garlic
3/4 tsp dried thyme - I USED DRIED RUBBED SAGE
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/3 cup fat-free, reduced-sodium chicken broth
Bring 3 cups of water and 1/2 teaspoon of salt to a boil in a medium saucepan; add barley. Cover saucepan and simmer barley until tender, about 30 to 35 minutes; drain. - IUSED QUICK COOKING BARLEY SO THIS STEP TOOK 10 MINUTES.
Meanwhile, heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat; add squash, onion and red pepper. Cook, stirring often, until vegetables are browned and almost tender, about 8 minutes.
Stir in apple, garlic, thyme, black pepper and remaining 1/4 teaspoon of salt. Cook, stirring, until apple is almost tender, about 2 minutes; stir in broth, scraping bottom of skillet with a wooden spoon to loosen any browned bits. Stir in cooked barley; toss over low heat to mix and coat. Remove from heat and serve. Yields about 3/4 cup per serving.
Rating = Good

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Four Years

It's amazing. I love you more today than I ever thought possible. Love indeed does grow. It does get stronger. You are the single most amazing person I have ever met. I thank you for trusting me to be your wife for the rest of our lives, it's the best gift that I've ever been given and you continue to give it to me everyday. You are my love...happy fourth.