Monday, February 16, 2009

February 1 to 21, 2009

B E L I E V E ! ! !

Weeks of February 1 to 21, 2009

Sorry for taking so long to get an entry typed up for February. Life got in the way, if you know what I mean!!

Okay, okay, I guess we’re going to have to wait just a little longer…Donny Osmond will NOT be a contestant in the 8th season of Dancing with the Stars in March. HOWEVER, my sources tell me that he WILL be on the dance floor in the 9th season….WAHOO!!

FOLLOW UP ON LAST FEW WEEKS: We’ve been reviewing some highlights of the new Momentum plan, and, hopefully, you’ve stepped “out of your box” to try to implement some new components of the program. Instead of saying “nothing’s change,” why not TRY to eat more filling foods OR why not track your feelings of hunger, satisfaction, and fullness when you’re eating??

THIS WEEK: What habits do you currently have the support your efforts to lose weight? What habits do you have that get in the way of your success? Learn to identify them, strengthen them, replace them, or refine them this week!


5% award: Maria from Direct Brands, Inc.; Denise, Barry, and Elaine from Tuesday PM Giant; Karen F, Julie F, Pat S, Joan K, Candy, Denise, and Angela S from Thursday PM Gateway; Beth and Beverly from Select Medical Corp; Terri from Travelers; Elaine and Pat S from Wednesday AM Gateway; Deb, Nellie and Sherry from Tuesday AM Giant; Melinda and Carol from Delta Dental
10% award: Jennifer from AMES True Temper; Dora M, Karen D, Becky S, and Joelene from Thursday PM Gateway; Lois H from Tuesday PM Giant; Cami and Jami from Holy Spirit Hospital; Pat U from Tuesday AM Giant;
Major milestones: Dena, Jonele, and Karen from Direct Brands, Inc.; Melanie B and Mary Ann from Tuesday AM Giant; Jessica W, Teresa W, Dottie S, Nicole R, Mark R, Bill M, Judy M, Joyce J, Jerry J, Gary G, Janet F, Christine E, Cheryl D, Alice L, Karen D, Claude L, Sue G, Mark R, Susan J and Dorrie B from Thursday PM Gateway; Janet Y and Gretchen S from Tuesday PM Giant; Dani and Barbara H from Wednesday AM Gateway;
Goal: Deb G from Tuesday PM Giant; Pat J from Thursday PM Gateway
Lifetime: Jane from Wednesday AM Gateway

If I missed your celebration in the chaos of the last few weeks, I apologize! Please email me at, and tell me your name, your celebration, and the location you attend. I’ll be sure to include it in next week’s blog.

UPCOMING EVENTS/ACTIVITIES: Team GI JOES will again participate in the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life on Friday and Saturday, June 18 and 19, from 12:00 noon til 12:00 noon at Trinity High School in Camp Hill. If you want to participate as a Team GI JOES member, email me at If you can’t participate but you’d like to donate, that’s cool, too!!

On Saturday, March 28, Kathy Wickert from the Camp Hill Giant Cooking School will return to our Gateway Center again for a FREE “Celebrate Spring” cooking event from 1:00 to 2:00 pm. Email me at if you want to sign up—registration is required!

RECIPES OF THE WEEK: I’ve included the much-requested Buffalo Chicken Wing Casserole that I made for the Super Bowl, as well as a few others for you to enjoy…

Buffalo Chicken Casserole

1/2 uncooked instant brown rice
1 Tbs olive oil
1lb boneless skinless chicken breasts (I use about 3) cut into thin strips
1 small onion - diced
2 medium stalks celery, thinly sliced (about 1 cup)
1 can (14.5 oz) diced tomatoes, undrained
1/2 cup buffalo wing sauce
1/4 cup low fat or fat free blue cheese or ranch dressing

1: Cook rice as directed on package. Meanwhile, heat oven to 350*. In 12-inch skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add chicken, celery and onion; cook 5 to 7 min, stirring frequently, until no longer pink in center. Remove from heat. Stir tomatoes and wing sauce into chicken mixture.

2: Spray 8-inch (or whatever you happen to have) baking dish with cooking spray. Spoon cooked rice into dish. Spread chicken mixture over rice (do not stir).

3: Bake 25 to 30 minutes or until hot in center. Drizzle dressing over top or let others put dressing on to taste (which is what I do.)

Corned Beef Hash

3 cups corned beef brisket – cooked
2 small onions – chopped
3 potatoes – chopped
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 cup lowfat beef broth

Run first three ingredients through food grinder (food processor?). Mix well with all the remaining ingredients. Press into well greased pot. Cover and cook on LOW for 8 to 10 hours.
Per serving: 297 Calories (kcal); 18g Total Fat; (52% calories from fat); 21g Protein; 15g Carbohydrate; 63mg Cholesterol; 589mg Sodium

Savory Beef Fajitas

Makes 12 servings
1 beef flank steak (2 lbs.) thinly sliced
1 cup tomato juice
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tbs. minced fresh cilantro or parsley
1tsp. chili powder
1 tsp. ground cumin
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. ground coriander
1 med. onion, sliced
1 med. green pepper, julienned
1 med. jalapeno, cut into thin strips
12 flour tortillas (7")
Sour cream, guacamole, salsa or shredded Cheddar cheese, optional

Place beef in a slow cooker. Combine the next 7 ingredients; pour over beef. Cover and cook on LOW for 6-7 hrs. Add onions, pepper and jalapeno. Cover and cook 1 hr. longer or until meat and vegetables are tender. Using a slotted spoon, place about 1/2 cup of meat vegetable mixture on each tortilla. Add desired toppings. Roll up. Per serving (without toppings): 225 cal 7g fat, 3g sat fat, 39mg chol, 254mg sod, 19g carb, 2g fiber, 20g protein Points: 5

Crockpot Sour Cream Salsa Chicken

4 skinless boneless chicken breast halves
1 package reduced-sodium taco seasoning mix
1 cup salsa
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1/4 cup light sour cream

Spray the crockpot with cooking spray. Add the chicken breasts. Sprinkle with Taco Seasoning. Top with salsa. Cook on low for 6-8 hours. When ready to serve, remove the chicken from the pot. Place about 2 Tablespoons cornstarch in a small amount of water. Stir well. Stir the cornstarch mixture into salsa sauce. Stir in 1/4 cup of sour cream. Per Serving: 170 Calories; 2g Fat; 28g Protein; 9g Carbohydrate; 1g Dietary Fiber; 70mg Cholesterol; 403mg Sodium. 3 POINTS per serving

South-Of-The-Border Lasagna
Makes 7-8 servings
3/4 lb. turkey sausage
2 tomatoes, seeded and chopped
3 fresh tomatillos, husked and chopped
1 (19 oz.) can green enchilada sauce
1 clove garlic, crushed
1/4 tsp. Salt
1/8 tsp. ground black pepper
8 oz. lasagna noodles
1 cup low-fat or nonfat ricotta cheese
1 cup shredded reduced-fat jalapeno jack cheese
Chopped fresh cilantro

Crumble sausage into a slow cooker. Stir in tomatoes, tomatillos, enchilada sauce, garlic, salt, and pepper. Cover and cook on low 5 1/2 to 6 hrs.

Preheat oven to 350* Grease a 13x9" baking dish. Cook lasagna noodles according to pkg. directions and drain. Spread about 1/2 cup turkey mixture in bottom of prepared pan; arrange alternate layers of noodles, ricotta cheese, and hot turkey mixture. Top with Jack cheese. Bake 25 to 30 min. or until bubbly around edges. Sprinkle with cilantro. Per serving: Cal 340 - Carb 36g - Prot 21g - Total fat 13g - Sat fat 3g - Cal from fat 117 - Sodium 817 mg

Hungry Girl’s Big Fat Blueberry Muffins
Makes 6 muffins at 2 pts each

1 cup whole-wheat flour
1 cup blueberries
1/2 cup light vanilla soymilk
1/4 cup sugar-free pancake syrup
1/4 cup fat-free liquid egg substitute (like Original Egg Beaters)
1/4 cup Splenda No Calorie Sweetener (granulated)
3 tbsp. brown sugar (not packed)
2 tbsp. light whipped butter or light buttery spread, room temperature
2 tbsp. no-sugar-added applesauce (get Mott's Blueberry Delight if you can find it!)
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/4 tsp. salt

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a mixing bowl, combine flour, Splenda, brown sugar, baking powder, and salt. Mix well. In a separate, large mixing bowl, combine soymilk, syrup, egg substitute, butter, applesauce, and vanilla extract. Using an electric mixer or a whisk, mix until thoroughly blended. (Don't worry if butter bits do not break up completely.) Add dry ingredients from the first mixing bowl to the mixture in the large one. Mix until completely blended. Then fold in the blueberries. Line a 6-cup muffin pan (or half a 12-cup pan) with baking liners and/or spray with nonstick spray. Evenly distribute batter among the 6 cups. Place in the oven and bake for about 22 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean. Enjoy!

Easy Peanut Butter Cookies
makes 48 cookies at 1 pt each

1 & 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
1 & 1/2 Tbsp cornstarch
1 & 3/4 tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda.
3/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup canola oil
1/4 cup creamy Peanut Butter
1 -1/2 Tbsp light Corn Syrup
2 -1/2 tsp vanilla
1 large egg
Cooking spray
3 Tbsp sugar

1. Preheat oven to 375. Combine first four ingredients. In medium bowl, stir well & set aside. Combine next four ingredients. In large bowl, mix w/electric mixer til well blended. Add the next three ingredients; blend well.
Stir in flour mixture. Coat hands lightly w/cooking spray & shape dough into 48 one-inch balls. Roll balls in sugar & place 2” apart on cookie sheets coated w/ cooking spray. Flatten balls w/ fork dipped in sugar( making criss-cross design). Bake for 7 minutes or til lightly browned.

GREG'S JOKE FOR THE WEEK: What do you call a pig who does karate? A pork chop.

THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK: Sometimes, in order to experience success, you need to make the hard choices. In your career, it might mean packing up and moving to accept the offer of your dream job, leaving behind friends, family, and security to experience nirvana. Sometimes, it’s making a sacrifice to get what you want, whether that sacrifice means going back to school while working full time (been there, done that…) or working a job you hate for a while so that you can accumulate capital to start your own business. I think you know what I mean. Well, on our weight loss journeys, sometimes we also have to sacrifice in order to achieve and experience success. We have gotten so used to eating what we want when we want that we don’t think about it—we just do it. Now that we’re trying to change, we begin to recognize our habits and realize that some level of change is necessary. When our day starts to spiral downward with bad news at home or at work, we have to challenge ourselves to NOT use food to deal with the situation. We are SO used to saying, “It’s just so stressful right now, I don’t have time to worry about what I eat” that we aren’t sure we can actually DO anything else BUT eat. Yes, we can!!!

Many of us also use the dialogue of “I just don’t care right now about my weight.” Again, we say it when we don’t feel capable of a healthy response to a challenge. Take it from me, kids…we ALWAYS care about our weight, but we have mental lapses in judgment sometimes that push the “play” button of those words. How do we change that? By recording a new message to replace the old one! “Right now, I would give anything for a chocolate donut, but in 5 minutes, the donut will be gone, and I’ll be more miserable than I am right now. I need to MOVE.” And then, instead of eating the donut, get up and walk to the bathroom. See what I mean?

Pay attention to your own dialogue this week. Do you find yourself saying any of the following?

“Well, I blew it. Next week will be a new week/Tomorrow will be a new day.”
“I just don’t have the time right now to worry about what I’m going to eat.”
“I have too much going on with kids’ activities to spend time planning meals.”
“I spend Saturdays at the hockey rink/basketball court/indoor soccer field/pool while my kids practice and there are no good choices there.”
“I can’t afford healthy foods/WW meeting right now.”
“I’m never going to lose the weight anyway.”
“I have diabetes/I’m going through menopause/I’m on steroids and it’s impossible to lose weight.”
“I’m not able to exercise so I’ll never lose weight.”
“I need to have cookies/Doritos/candy/ice cream in the house or my kids would kill me!”

If you can relate, then you’re using this dialogue to support your efforts to “cave” when challenged or when you don’t want to make concessions on your meals/snacks. Recognize it, and then you can change it. Ignore it, and you’ll continue using it to create your own barriers to success. Pretend it’s not you, and you’ll get the same results as “ignore it” gets. Thoughts predict behaviors. Think negative thoughts, and you’ll act in a self-sabotaging way. Think positive thoughts, and you’ll develop new, supportive behaviors. Only when you do an honest assessment of your internal dialogue will you be able to TRULY begin this journey as a lifestyle change. Have a great, honest, reflecting week!!

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