Wednesday, January 7, 2009

week of January 4, 2009

January 4 to 10, 2009

Happy New Year to everyone! Remember, we are going to SHINE IN '09!! Whining about what you wish you had done in December is wasted energy; focusing on what you ARE going to do in January is energy well spent. Let's get to business...

Last week: Fittingly, we reviewed 2008 but focused on what we did WELL and identified the qualities that helped us to be successful. We also looked at what we want to have achieved when December 2009 rolls around. "I want to lose weight" is NOT it, kids.

This week: Remembering that we want weight loss to be easy to follow and sustainable for our lifetime, we looked at 7 steps that will help to achieve that. Hint: the steps are in new materials that you received in December, but we'll review them just to refresh your memory...

WAHOO and congratulations to...
* Jane from the Wednesday AM Gateway meeting, Charlene from the Tuesday PM Giant meeting, and Joan from the Tuesday AM Giant meeting who reached their goal weights in December!
* Claire from the Wednesday AM meeting who became a Lifetime member
* Mary Beth from the Tuesday PM Giant meeting; Rosemary, Bob, and Jim from the Tuesday AM Giant meeting, and Gary from the Thursday PM Gateway meeting who all reached major milestones

Greg's joke of the week: He's having issues right now, as he forgot his Social Studies book and can't get his homework done. Sorry for any inconvenience...


Marinated Vegetable Salad
makes 8 servings @ 1 pt each

2 2/3 C small cauliflower florets
1 1/2 C diagonally sliced carrots
1 1/3 C diagonally sliced celery
2/3 C sliced red pepper
1/3 C sliced ripe olives
1 (14 oz) can quartered artichokes, drained
1/2 C white wine vinegar
1 Tbs olive oil
1 1/4 tsp dried Italian seasoning
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper

Steam cauliflower and carrot, covered, 3 minutes or til crisp tender. Rinse under cold water and drain. Combine cauliflower mixture, celery, and next 3 ingredients in a bowl; toss gently. Combine vinegar and next 3 ingredients in a bowl; stir well. Pour onto veggies and toss gently to coat. Cover and chill.

Black Bean Soup
makes 8 servings @ 1 pt each

3 cans black beans
1 canlow sodium fat free chicken broth
1 jar salsa
cumin to taste

In a blender, puree 1 1/2 cans drained, rinsed beans with broth. In large saucepan, mix remaining 1/2 can beans, last can (with liquid), jar of salsa and broth mixture. Bring to a boil, add cumin to taste.

Eggplant Parmesan
makes 4 servings @ 3 pts each

1 eggplant (stop making faces and TRY it--you might like it!!)
(about 1 1/2 lbs, pared and sliced 1/2 inch thick
1 egg white, lightly beaten with 2 Tbs water
1/2 C seasoned italian bread crumbs
1 C reduced fat spaghetti sauce
3/4 C shredded 2% mozzarella cheese
3 Tbs parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spray 2 baking sheets with nonstick cooking spray. Coat eggplant slices with egg white, then bread crumbs. Arrange on prepared baking sheets; bake 30 minutes. Turn slices over; bake until browned on both sides, 10 minutes longer. Remove from oven; leave oven on. Spread 1/4 C sauce over bottom of 8 x 8 pan. Arrange half of the eggplant in a single layer over the sauce; top with half of the remaining sauce, then half of the cheeses. Repeat layers. Bake, covered, until heated through and cheese is melted, 30 to 40 minutes.

Snickers Dessert bars
makes 8 @ 3 pts each

2 C vanilla or chocolated low fat frozen yogurt (I use chocolate)
1 C frozen non-dairy reduced fat whipped topping (defrosted)
1/4 C crunchy peanut butter (low fat)
1 box (1.1 oz) sugar free, fat free instant chocolate pudding

Let ice cream and whipped topping soften at room temperature. In a chilled bowl, beat with an electric beater the ice cream, whipped topping, peanut butter and pudding mix until smooth (about 5 minutes). Freeze in an 8 x 8 pan/dish until sold, about 2 hours. Cut into 8 squares.

Southern Style Oven Fried Chicken
makes 4 servings at 5 pts each

1/2 C all purpose flour
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
3 oz buttermilk
3/4 C corn flakes crumbs
1 lb boneless skinless chicken breasts (4 4 oz pieces)

Preheat oven to 365 degrees. Lightly coat an 8 x 8 x 2 baking pan with nonstick cooking spray. Set aside. Combine flour, salt, and cayenne pepper together in a medium size bowl. Place buttermilk and corn flakes crumbs in 2 separate shallow bowls. Roll chicken breast halves in flour mixture and evenlycoat each side. Next dip chicken into buttermilk and then corn flakes crumbs. Place coated chicken breasts in prepared baking dish. Bake until chicken is tender and no longer pink, about 20 minutes (there's no need to flip the chicken during baking).

Thought for the week: It's hard work taking care of ourselves, isn't it? How many of us were sidetracked by the needs of others in December, so sidetracked that we didn't take very good care of ourselves at all? There is a certain vocabulary that accompanies this lack of self care and it sounds like this: "I was too busy to worry about what I ate. I don't have to cook so we ate out a lot. I have so many commitments that I can't worry about going to a meeting. There's too much to get done to try to focus on eating healthy." I'll stop there, because I think you get my message. That's just plain bull, and we know it. We say this things to EXCUSE ourselves from being healthy and to PERMIT ourselves to return to old habits. No time to run in for a weigh in? Give me a break...Now, if we said "I don't want to see the number on the scale," I might be willing to listen to the words. At least that would be honest...

Most of all, though, we chose not to take care of ourselves because, deep down, we WANTED to go back to the old ways. We WANTED to eat cookies when we were baking and not write down points values. We WANTED to go to the office party and drink and eat to our heart's content without "worrying" about how much we were consuming. We WANTED to join in our families' food fests so we didn't get questioned, cornered, and sidelined about what we were and were not eating. We WANTED to eat the boxed candy (caramels first, of course...) and not worry about how many empty papers were in the box. We WANTED to spend more time partying, socializing, and celebrating and less time working out, tracking, or attending meetings.

But...there's good news! 2008 is over! You can do NOTHING to change it. We can, however, start taking care of ourselves and realizing, through the reflection above, that choosing to not take care of ourselves is exactly what sabotages our efforts to lose weight each and every time we've tried unsuccessfully to do so. We think we're fooling everyone with our busy-ness, our overbooked calendars, our family food-laden feasts, and our sabotaging friends, family members, and co-workers. We know deep down, though, that they're our "smoke and mirrors" to eat what we want, when we want, in whatever quantity we choose. It doesn't work too well any more, does it? Oh, it works to permit yourself to eat, but it does nothing to help you develop habits to lose weight and to keep it off when challenged. And the guilt is horrendous.

Here's what we're going to do: file this information away, and remember on the 14th of February when the heart shaped candy boxes show up at work, in your house, on the grocery stores shelves, and in your kids' backpacks. Remember how you felt last week when the holiday was over, and remember the choices you made that contributed to those feelings. Then...refer to above and REFUSE to use the excuse-making dialogue. Learn from experience, people. Start learning some new statements to repeat to yourself when "it only comes once a year" starts reverberating in your brain! Think new thoughts and you'll perform different actions that will support you. Won't it feel great to feel in control when a holiday is over?

We can do this, but we need to do it together, and we can't take "breaks" if we truly want to be successful. What are YOU willing to do to take care of yourself when challenges arise this year? Are you ready to stop lying to yourself? Are you ready to stop hiding behind words that have become transparent? Okay then, let's get to work!!

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