Thursday, January 29, 2009

Yummy Recipes!

I just had to send you these two GREAT recipes. They both brought great joy to my life this week :)

Rinny's Rice and Beans
1 pound dry black beans
2 C salsa of choice
2 C brown rice, uncooked
1 bunch of cilantro, chopped
Cooks the beans overnight in PLENTY of water in the crock-pot. When they are cooked, drain and add salsa. Cook on low until dinner. Cook the rice to package directions in the broth of your choice. Just before the rice is done (or after if you miss the "just before" ;) stir in the chopped cilantro. 2 POINTS for a 1/2 cup of rice and 2 POINTS for a 1/2 cup of beans. I like it mixed together with a little bit of light sour cream :) My family likes it on tortillas.

Barbara's Lentil Leek Soup
1 pound of lentils
1 onion, chopped
3 large leeks, washed and chopped
1 bunch of cilantro, chopped
broth of choice
Cook onion and lentils in crock pot in PLENTY of broth on high until the lentils are cooked, about 4 hours. Add chopped leeks, cook for a few more hours. Add the chopped cilantro, cook for a bit longer ;) 1 POINT per cup. 3 POINTS for 2 cups. This can also be done on the stove in about an hour.

Saturday, January 24, 2009


One Step at a Time!

Doesn't this little "thaw" feel good? I am pretty excited about it !!! It gives me hope that spring is just around the corner! Only 55 days until the First Day of Spring! OK, I am a bit obsessed with SPRING
I sure hope you take a moment and plan your meeting for this coming week. You don't want to miss it!
Many times we become overwhelmed by the goals we have set for ourselves. It seems so far away and insurmountable. This week we are going to break it all down and discuss ways to make this seemingly giant mountain in to a mole hill that we can conquer. I can't wait to see you!!
Be sure to try the yummy recipe below. It looks GREAT!!!

Sauteed Shrimp

POINTS® Value: 3
Servings: 4

Fresh lemon juice and dried seasonings provide simple yet wonderful flavor for this easy sauté. It's a tasty way to season many types of fish and seafood.

1 spray(s) olive oil cooking spray

2 tsp olive oil

1 pound(s) shrimp, large, peeled and deveined

2 tbsp fresh lemon juice

1 tsp Spice Islands No Salt Lemon Herb Seasoning, or other brand

1/4 tsp table salt, or to taste

1/4 tsp black pepper, freshly ground, or to taste

2 tbsp parsley, fresh, chopped


  • Coat a large skillet with cooking spray and set over medium heat; add oil and heat. Add shrimp; sauté 1 minute. Add lemon juice, lemon herb seasoning, salt and pepper; stir to coat shrimp. Sauté until shrimp are bright pink and cooked through, about 3 minutes.

  • Remove from heat and stir in parsley. Yields about 3 ounces of shrimp per serving.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

My First 1/2 Marathon!

The 1/2 is about half way through and we are looking GREAT ;) The RED HOT PINK CHICKS rule the universe ;) (Kelli, Marion, & Leslie)
As some of you may know, 3 years ago when I began my weight loss journey, I set a few goals for myself. The first was to run a 5K when I was 37, a 10K when I was 38, a 1/2 Marathon when I was 39 and a full marathon when I am 40. I have been able to keep my goals, much to my own surprise :) I ran the St George 1/2 Marathon on January 17th, 2009. I'll be 40 at the end of April, so I made it in plenty of time ;)

This is in the last mile and a half. Jon 1512, came back after his amazing finish to bring me in. He is in the lead, "Come on Marion, keep up the pace, YOU CAN DO IT!!!" Kelli 2506 ran the whole race with Leslie and me. Kelli is a REALLY fast runner, but ran with us for the fun of it! She is right behind Jon, "La dee da, isn't this easy? You can do this Marion ;)", then there is me 2217, "Huff, puff, I, puff, am, huff, going, puff, as, huff, fast, puff, as, huff, I, puff, caaaaannnnn..." Scott is unseen next to me in the blue hat and sun glasses. He ran an amazing race and came back to bring us all in strong. Thank heavens for Kelli, Scott and Jon!!!

The FINISH! As soon as my husband found me I BAWLED like a baby! ;D I am still a bit overwhelmed by the finish. What an amazing day!!!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Is it my tummy or my emotions?

Have you ever found yourself in the pantry not knowing how you got there? Have you ever been "starved" and yet, you just had lunch an hour before? True hunger and emotional hunger can be hard to tell apart sometimes. This week in meeting, we will be figuring out some ways to distinguish the two and strategies to combat the emotional binges!
Filling Food Tip of the Week: Try a whole wheat blend spaghetti if you are new to whole wheat pasta. It is a great way to enjoy the whole wheat goodness if you are a bit nervous about it :) Let me know what you think.
I can't wait to see you all!

Pasta Primavera

Pasta Primavera

POINTS® Value: 6
Servings: 4


8 oz uncooked whole-wheat pasta, linguine

1/8 tsp table salt, for cooking pasta

4 tsp olive oil, divided

8 oz asparagus, woody ends trimmed, cut into 1 1/2- to 2-inch pieces

4 oz sugar snap peas, fresh, trimmed, large ones cut in half (about 1 1/3 cups)

1 small yellow summer squash, halved lengthwise, sliced into 1/2-inch-thick pieces (about 1 cup)

13 3/4 oz canned artichoke hearts, without oil, drained, quartered (about 1 1/2 cups)

1 medium garlic clove(s), chopped

1 cup(s) grape tomatoes, halved

1/2 cup(s) frozen green peas, thawed

1/4 tsp table salt

1/4 tsp black pepper

1/2 cup(s) basil, fresh, leaves, thinly sliced


  • Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil; add pasta and cook according to package directions.

  • Meanwhile, heat 2 teaspoons of oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat; add asparagus, snap peas and squash. Cook vegetables, stirring often, until vegetables are almost crisp-tender, about 4 minutes. Stir in artichoke hearts and garlic; cook and stir over low heat until fragrant, about 1 minute.

  • Stir in tomatoes, peas, salt and pepper. Scoop out 1/3 cup of pasta cooking water and add it to skillet. Cook, tossing ingredients, until tomatoes soften slightly and vegetables are crisp-tender, about 1 minute.

  • Drain pasta; return pasta to pot. Add vegetable mixture, basil and remaining 2 teaspoons of oil to pot; toss to mix and coat. Serve immediately. Yields about 2 1/4 cups per serving.


  • We used frozen peas and canned artichoke hearts to cut back on preparation time but if you don't mind the extra prep work, you can substitute 1/2 cup of shelled fresh peas for the frozen peas and 6 steamed, fresh artichoke hearts for the canned ones.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Too, TOO Funny!!!

Sorry friends- this just CRACKED ME UP!!!

Sunday, January 11, 2009

It's a Balancing Act!

How are you all this freezing cold morning? On Thursday, actual icicles formed on my eyelashes when I was out running. They eventually started to stick together! Good times!!
Have you ever felt like you were doing a balancing act as you made your way to a healthier you? There seem to be so many things to focus on. Are we getting our Good Health Guidelines in? Are we sticking to our POINTS budget? Are we getting some of our favorite foods in? Often times we may neglect to make sure that we are balanced. Maybe we are having too many treats and not losing at the scale like we had been. Maybe we are really doing great with our POINTS, but our satisfaction levels are VERY LOW and we are running out of "gas"- the ability to stay on the plan until our goals are met. Please come to meeting this week and find some great ideas and tips on how to keep our motivation up by keeping our plan balanced.
Be sure to check out the recipe below. I have been dreaming about Chocolate Cherry Oatmeal cookies and look, VOILA... here is a low POINT wish come true!

Chocolate Cherry Oatmeal Cookies

POINTS® Value: 2
Servings: 36

Moist and chewy, chocolate and cherries make these cookies sinfully rich. Make the cookie dough ahead of time, freeze it and then bake anytime for that fresh-out-of-the-oven taste.


3/4 cup(s) all-purpose flour
2 tbsp unsweetened cocoa
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp table salt
3/4 cup(s) butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup(s) sugar
3/4 cup(s) packed light brown sugar
2 large egg(s)
2 1/2 cup(s) uncooked oatmeal
1/2 cup(s) dried cherries


  • Preheat oven to 350ºF.

  • Combine flour, cocoa, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt together in a small bowl; set aside.

  • Place room temperature butter into bowl of a mixer and mix with a paddle attachment until smooth, or beat with an electric mixer. Slowly pour granulated sugar in an even stream into butter and mix on high speed until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Pour in brown sugar, mix until incorporated and then scrape mixture down from sides of bowl.

  • Slowly beat in each egg one at a time until incorporated. Slowly beat in flour mixture until incorporated.

  • Scrape mixture down from sides of bowl and stir in oatmeal and then dried cherries. (Note: Freeze dough at this point or continue to step 6 for baking.)

  • Scoop rounded teaspoonfuls of dough onto a nonstick sheet pan, a pan lined with parchment paper or a silicon baking mat about 1 1/2 inches apart.

  • Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, until edges are set. Cool completely. Either serve cookies or stack between sheets of waxed paper in an air-tight container and freeze for up to two weeks before serving. Yields about 1 cookie per serving.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Recipe Correction

Sorry to have to do this- but due to multiple misscomunications, the recipe I sent out last week was not correct. The previous recipe is still zero points, but this is the "correct" recipe... and it is still zero points for a 1/4 cup. This really is a "must" try!

Buttermilk Tomatillo Dip

1 pkg Hidden Valley "The Original Ranch Buttermilk Recipe Salad Dressing Mix (Be sure to get the BUTTERMILK recipe) JUST THE POWDER
1 jalapenos
2 tomatillos, de-husked and quartered
1 bunch cilantro
juice of one lime
2 cloves of garlic
2 Cups fat free mayonnaise
Starting with the tomatillos, blend in the blender. This is the most amazing dip ever. 1/4 Cups of the dip is ZERO POINTS :) 1/2 a cup is 1 POINT. 1 C is 2 POINTS. It's 7 POINTS if you eat ALL of it :) If you are leary of jalapenos, add a 1/2 to start with and then taste. Add more as needed. I have added the whole thing and find it very mild. It makes nearly 4 Cups.
***You could try 2 C of fat free sour cream for the same POINTS value***

Sunday, January 4, 2009

2009 WELCOME!!!

Have you all adjusted to the new year yet? How many times have you written 2008 instead of 2009 ?
I am really excited to see all of you in the meetings this week! All of our meetings are reopened and ready and waiting for you WONDERFUL members! If you are a bit worried about the scale- put it out of your mind. Come on in and get your new materials and a booster shot of enthusiasm and excitement. I am not sure if I have shared this with you before, but three years ago when I began this journey to a more healthy (and much thinner) me, I set goals for myself. I have to say that as I began, I was not sure I would follow through. I had never done it before. What would be special this time? Well, I started on my own as usual, and lost some weight, like I had a 100 times before...then I stalled as usual. This time my blessed best friend and sister-in-law convinced me to try Weight Watchers. I thought to myself, "Why not!" I had been wanting to try it for nearly 14 years. We started together, she was in California, and I was here in Utah. I was AMAZED at the results. I was stunned at the way the program "spoke" to me. I set a lot of goals for myself that January, 3 years ago, and you want to know what??? I have not only accomplished ALL of them, but I have surpassed many of them. With the tools I learned in my Weight Watchers meetings and materials, I not only reached my weight goals, but I have literally become the physically fit person I have always wanted to be. I have learned to make small goals and achieve them. When I get down on myself, I look back over the past three years and find great happiness in what I have already accomplished. I know now that I CAN DO HARD THINGS!!! I can make great choices, but more importantly, when my choices aren't perfect, I know that it will be OK. I will be better tomorrow and the next day.
I LOVE Weight Watchers and it's amazing programs. The new Momentum Plan is absolutely UNREAL! It is just plain BRILLIANT! Please be sure to get into your meeting this week and rekindle your excitement and commitment to a more healthy you!
See you soon!!!