Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Better Late Than NEVER :)

Hi friends!

I am so sorry my email is late this week :(. Life has been a little "fuller" than normal and I am just catching my breath :) I hope all is well with all of you!

This weeks meeting topic is HOT!! How many times do we head out for dinner or order in take-out because the clock just hit 6:30 and everyone is going to STARVE??? This weeks we will be discussing strategies for overcoming the "what's for dinner?- and I mean NOW!" syndrome. With a few tricks up your sleeve, and a little planning, this "problem area" can see some major improvements- PDQ.

Now- last week I told you about a devil of a fantastic cake that was 8 POINTS per slice. I worked it down to about 3 POINTS per slice! Yes- bravo to me! It is posted on my blog, along with the black bean brownies. There is also a new link to all of the recipes that have been posted to the blog on the top right.

Have a fantastic week and see you in the meetings!!!

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Back by Popular Demand!

Black Bean Brownies Kayleen Howard
1 box- family size brownies (9x13 size)
2 egg whites
¼ C water
1- 15 oz can black beans
2 t baking soda
In the blender, puree the black beans (DO NOT DRAIN) and ¼ C water. In a mixing bowl add brownie mix and 2 t baking powder, mix well. Then add the pureed beans and water and the eggs. Mix with a wooden spoon until just mixed. DO NOT OVER MIX. Bake in a greased, 9x13 glass baking dish at 350 for 30-35 minutes. Do not under bake. When the brownies are done they will pull away from the sides of the pan. Let cool for about 10 min and them cover tightly with plastic wrap and let finish cooling. Cut them 4x5 to make 20,- 2 point brownies. YUMMY!!!

To DIE For Cherry Brownies
2 pkg, Hershey’s Kisses Brownie Mix (2 - 1 lbs 4 oz mixes) Costco has a 6 pack
1 - 15 oz can black beans w/ liquid, pureed in the blender
4 egg whites
¼ C water
12 oz frozen cherries, cut in half (about 2 ½ C)
Puree beans in the blender with their juice, and the ¼ C water. Once pureed, add the egg whites and blend to incorporate. Pour blender contents into a bowl with the brownie mix. Mix until just moistened. Fold in Cherries. Do not over mix. Bake in a large 9x13 (10¼ x 15¼), greased baking dish, for 40 min, 375 degrees, and 10 min with the oven off. Cut into 32 squares (4x8). 3 POINTS per brownie ( vs. 5 POINTS w/o modifications)

Monday, April 21, 2008

German Chocolate Upsidedown Cake

1 package German chocolate pudding-type cake dry mix
3 items egg white(s)
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
8 oz fat-free cream cheese
1 cup Splenda
1/2 cup fat-free sour cream
1 cup sweetened coconut flakes
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1 cup powdered sugar
Place parchment paper in the bottom of a 9x13 baking dish. Sprinkle the bottom of the pan with the coconut and pecans. Mix the German Chocolate cake mix with the applesauce, 3 egg whites, and water from the box instructions. Beat well and pour over the coconut and pecans. In a mixer, mix, cream cheese, sour cream, splenda and powdered sugar. Beat really well. Dollop the cream cheese mixture over the entire cake, 1 Tablespoon at a time. Bake at 350 for about 45-55 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Remove from oven and cool completely. Cover and let set overnight on the counter. It tastes a TON better the next day :) Cut and serve- turning over the cake, so the bottom is on top. 24 servings, 3 Points each. (The original is by Sharla Webb and DROP DEAD DIVINE at 8 POINTS per slice :) *note from the chef- "lower the oven to 320 and bake for 20 min, then raise to 335 to finish, it takes a little longer, but the cream cheese mixture has time to sink to the bottom. Otherwise, it sometimes doesn’t go all the way through (depending on the oven)."

Mango Peach Vinaigrette

1/2 C Mango Peach Salsa of choice (from Costco)
1-2 T balsamic vinegar
salt and pepper to taste
This is so great over any green salad. Add some grilled chicken (3 POINTS) to make it a meal :)

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Would you like fruit with that?

Hi Everybody!

The bulbs are blooming, the grass is greening, and the air is WARMING!! Yeah! Spring is finally here! (right?)

Now with all of the beautiful weather, we are all getting ready for the fruits of summer! What a perfect time to look at ways to help those around us, help us, to keep on track with our healthier life styles. This weeks meeting topic is all about how to covertly or maybe not-so-covertly get those around us on board. Lets face it, if we are going to make changes to our lives, those with whom we share our lives, really need to be a support to us. These shifts in our relationships can be a little rocky, but with some tools and helpful habits, we can make some huge strides in getting our co-workers and loved ones, extending the support we need.

Now, I do have a recipe for you, Upside-Down German Chocolate Cake, but it is the "DEVIL" right now- about a million points per slice. My sister-in-laws, sister-in-law, made it for us over the weekend in Denver and I am going to fiddle with it to come up with a "lower-POINT" version. I apologize for the teaser- but hey... when it is ready, it's gonna knock your socks OFF!

As for last week's meeting topic, how are those excuses to avoid activity going? Did you blast any of them out of the water, per my meeting challenge last week? I sure hope so. Remember- what and how much you eat is EVERYTHING- but activity is the magic that keeps it all together. Plain and simple.

Mike Huckabee said: "When people ask, "How do you find time to exercise?" I respond, "I don't find the time, I make the time! If you wait until you find time, you will never--hear me--never find it. You must make time for taking care of your body just as you would make time to go to work, to shower, to eat, or to take in a movie."

Monday, April 14, 2008

Spring Break has arrived and I just realized- I'd better send ya'll a note real quick before I disappear into the beautiful sunshine!!

This weeks meeting topic is so timely- it is nice and beautiful outside, and time to get going. We have all made every excuse to skip the exercise, but is that really going to do anything for us? Please come to the meeting this week where we will dissolve some of our standard excuses and reasons for not moving more. We'll look at ways to regain some motivation to move more and reap the benefits!

Have a great spring break and I'll see you OUTSIDE!!!- Don't forget to take the new poll and any old ones you may have missed!

Here is my new favorite quote- it just plain made me laugh!

"You're only given a little spark of madness. You mustn't lose it."
~Robin Williams

Tuesday, April 8, 2008


by: Michelle Bingham

Spice Muffins
1 C. canned Pumpkin
1 box Spice cake mix
1 C. no sugar added applesauce
Preheat oven to 400'. Mix pumpkin, dry cake mix and applesauce. Put in paper lined cupcake pans. Bake for 20 minutes. Makes 21 muffins, 7 servings, 3 muffins=1 point

Chocolate Banana Muffins
1 box Choc cake mix
1 can chocolate Slim Fast
3 Bananas
1/3 C water
Mix all ingredients together. Divide into 24 muffin tins. Cook at 350' for 20 minutes. Good for Chocolate cravings. Makes 24 muffins, 1 muffin=2points.

Choco-Pumpkin Muffins
1 Chocolate Cake Mix
1 reg. can pumpkin
Mix two together well and divide into 12 muffin tins. Bake 350' for 19-22 mins. Makes 12 muffins, 1 muffin=2 points. has some good looking muffin ideas:,1-0,low_calorie_muffins,FF.html

Lighten Up!!!

One of the my favorite things about Weight Watchers is that with a little modifications, most all of my own recipes can be tweaked to have lower POINT values. Now just so you know- there are some things that I have found ARE NOT WORTH changing. But in most instances, I have found that there are very good options that end up with a lower POINT value that we all can be happy with.

In baked goods (muffins, brownies and cakes) applesauce or pureed beans, can be swapped for all or most of the oil. The 98% fat free Cream of Mushroom and Chicken soups are nigh undetectable. In most recipes, light or fat free Sour Cream are also hard to tell from their full fat counterparts. In every instance, the Light cream cheese can be swapped for it's full fat brother, and in many recipes the fat free cream cheese works just as well. Corn tortillas are much lower in POINTS than flour tortillas.

Be sure to ask in meetings for specific substitutions you are looking for. All Weight Watcher members become quite resourceful in the kitchen to lower their favorite foods POINT values.

We are in this together- we are all looking for the most food for the lowest POINT values! Keep the ideas coming and bring them to meetings with you!

"What do we live for, if it is not to make life less difficult for each other?"
~George Eliot

French Toast

2 Slices of your favorite 1 POINT bread (2 POINTS)
2 Slices of Sara Lee Delightful (1 POINT)
1/4 C egg substitute or 3 egg whites (1 POINT)
2 T Skim or 1% milk
dash of Cinnamon (optional)
dash of nutmeg (optional)
1 t of splenda (optional)
Mix the liquid ingredients well. Dip bread. Cook in a pan sprayed with Pam. Top with yogurt, syrup or jam of choice. (The sugar free versions will have the lowest or no-est points :)

High Fiber French Toast with Yogurt Topping

By Dave Larsen
POINTS® value 6.5 Servings 1
3 tsp canola oil, Pour into frying pan (3.5 POINTS)
1 slice high-fiber bread (1 POINT)
1/3 cup light artificially sweetened yogurt (1 POINT)
1/3 cup fat-free egg substitute (1.5 POINTS)
Soak bread in liquid egg substitute. Fry in pre-heated pan with canola oil added. Carefully turn toast to fry evenly. Serve toast topped with artificially, fat free, fruit flavored yogurt. Add fruit as desired.

Dining OUT!

For most all of us, dining out is a regular part of our lives. We do it for convenience and mostly for fun! This article on had some great pointers about eating out! Enjoy!!!

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Episode III- Trigger Environments

What a great weekend! Nice weather! Yoo- Hoo!

I hope ya'll were able to make it to a meeting this week! What a phenomenal topic... the ever infamous Trigger Feelings! I hope you all took away some helpful strategies to begin to put a dent in emotional eating. We sure have a myriad of emotions that drive us to the pantry! Be sure to do your homework and really use the Reframing Worksheet you started in meeting. It is all about having an arsenal of ideas ready for use, at a moments notice. Be sure to let us all know how it went for you this week.

Now- this week is the third installment of our Trigger Trilogy. We will be taking a look at our environments. Are they healthy and supportive of your goals or do they need a bit of Detox? The places that we spend our time, need to be safe and friendly to our healthy lifestyles (NO SNICKERS ALLOWED :). Do we need to call in the Hazmat team, or maybe some teen aged boys, to eat up all of our leftover cookies? Maybe Extreme Home Makeover? Whatever hot spots we find ourselves in, either at work or home, this week in meeting, we will be looking at ways to make our environments as "Green" as possible. (You know, "Green", like environmentally friendly and "Green", as in green light foods- whoa, am I clever ;)

Be sure to have a fabulous weekend and a great week! See you soon!

People become really quite remarkable when they start thinking that they can do things. When they believe in themselves they have the first secret of success.
~Norman Vincent Peale

Tuesday, April 1, 2008


By: David Larsen
POINTS® value 6 -Servings 2
1/4 cup canned yellow corn
1/3 cup canned black beans
1/2 cup cooked wild rice
1/2 cup spinach
1/2 cup romaine lettuce
1/2 cup tomato(es)
4 tsp olive oil
3 tsp ground basil
18 items Nabisco Wheat Thins Baked snack crackers - tomato and basil
2 Tbsp rice vinegar
lightly crumble crackers, hold out the tomatoes, add other ingredients and mix. Garnish with tomatoes and add some parsley.