Tag Archives: Weight Watchers

Looming New Year


“Nobody can go back and start a new beginning, but anyone can start today and make a new ending.”

Maria Robinson

I heard this quote during my wonderful Weight Watcher’s Meeting with Michelle Jacob last Saturday, and though I have heard it before, this time it sunk in.  I have been thinking about positive ways to move on, move forward and what I want to change for the New Year.  This is often a time of reflection, my usual pastime, which is accentuated during this time of year because so many others are putting energy in the same place.  I am creating a list of changes and here is the beginning of my list:
1.  Write more:  I am happiest when I do this and actually have begun to crave writing time, which must mean it is really something I need to do for my soul.
2.  Practice Yoga (more often):  This is another happy place for me and one that has great physical and emotional benefits.  Turning off my incredibly active “monkey mind” for an hour a day….
3.  Letting go: This is a general category that includes stuff, emotions, weight, and habits.
4.  Look for more natural ways to heal:  A concerted effort to investigate better health through more natural solutions like Save Our Bones, meditation, and a better, plant-based diet.
5. Create what I want:  which includes manifesting, doing, writing and discovering what is important to me.
The past is a magnet, pulling at us to look back, go back and revisit old stories, but really, once we have learned the lesson, and gone through the emotions, what good does it do to revisit?  The quote about the past is gone, the future is unknown and today is a gift (present) is a bit overdone, but the message is clear.  For one who thrives on control, I am coming to the conclusion that I can only control myself.  My mission for this new year is to offer the gift of change to myself and see what happens.


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Filed under change, Life thoughts, New Year's, writing

Learning to love cooking….again.

So I really love cooking but what I mean here is that I am learning to love cooking new recipes, specifically, healthy, lower calorie, or “Points Plus” recipes.  I decided that we should use my nifty new Weight Watcher’s cookbook, Tastier Than Take Out to find inspiration.  Gary and I browsed through the book this morning and decided on a Mediterranean meal.  We selected the Lemon Oregano Grilled Mahimahi and Sweet Onions and a Greek salad.  We headed down to Trader Joe’s and got our provisions and came home to create a 10 out of 10 dinner for two.  Gary the grill-master found new inspiration for grilling fish and sweet onions.  The salad was a combined effort of preparation, but I must admit that with a bit of encouragement and a couple of great recipes, the team of Amy and Gary once again succeeded! When looking at the photo below, you will note the addition of garlic bread and Pinot Noir.  It is important to create a meal that satisfies and this one really did the trick.  As we sat gazing out of our sky-high kitchen nook window, we realized that we are our favorite cooks and our meals never disappoint.  Maybe we are on a roll and we can dabble in Weight Watcher cooking heaven.  Eating so well and staying on my points “budget” was the perfect end to a lovely, long weekend.

Dinner for two courtesy of Weight Watchers.


Filed under food


I went to the Topanga Film Festival this morning to see the documentary Happy and I started thinking about happiness, the concept, the reality and the possibilities. I have been following The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin for about a year now and enjoy the daily quotes and reflections, but I wondered,  how can I spread happiness, encourage happiness and find areas in my life to insert happiness? 

Encouraging signs are popping up everywhere, for example, my husband was given the book Stumbling on Happiness by Daniel Gilbert awhile ago and it was mentioned in the movie today,  and this quote that showed up today on Facebook from Weight Watchers:

                                “Life has no remote. You have to get up and change it yourself!”

So I know what I can do to make myself happy: 

incorporate a healthy lifestyle into my daily life,



allow creativity to be a priority

spend time with my family

connect with my close friends

practice kindness and tolerance

Now I want to expand by giving more happiness:

sharing what I have to give

helping worthy causes

creating more happiness in my home

creating more happiness in my classroom

It is a commitment, but also a choice, to surround oneself with happiness.  It is a road I am choosing to walk.

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Filed under choice, Family, Focus, Life thoughts

Soup’s On!

I was inspired by my wonderful Weight Watcher leader, Michelle, to cook roasted vegetable soup last Saturday and I thought I would share both the recipe, and my documented soup-cooking journey.  Michelle shared the recipe at our meeting and although you will never notice, this soup has only 1 Points Plus point!  It is amazingly delicious and fairly easy to make.
Step 1:
Spray 3 baking sheets with non-stick spray ( I also lined mine with tin foil because I really don’t like to scrub baking sheets).
Step 2: 
Chop the following vegetables into chunks:
10 Roma tomatoes
6 stalks of celery (peel the fibers off with a vegetable peeler first)
3 yellow onions
3 yellow peppers
5 zucchini

Aren't the veggies beautiful?

Step 3:
Put all of the vegetables on the baking sheets and add rosemary and thyme sprigs (a few) and lots of cloves of garlic!  Mist each baking sheet with olive oil (or drizzle if you don’t have an oil mister, but I suggest you get one. 

Mmmmm, lot's of garlic!

Step 4:
 Roast the vegetables at 400° for one hour.
Step 5:
Meanwhile, put one box of low-sodium vegetable broth, and one box of low-sodium tomato soup in a large pot and warm.  When the veggies are done, put them all in the pot and blend with a nifty Cuisenart Smart Stick. 

I love my Smart Stick!

If you don’t have this handy blender, you can blend the vegetables in a regular blender first and then add to the broth.  After the veggies are blended, at 2 more boxes of vegetable broth and one more box of tomato soup.  Bring to a simmer and enjoy!
If you would like the traditional grilled cheese with your soup, try this:
40 calorie bread or 80 calorie double fiber wheat bread spread with Laughing Cow lite cheese mixed with a drop of Greek yogurt and diced tomatoes.  Spray a grill, panini maker or other type of sandwich press with non-stick spray and grill.  Just a couple of Points Plus points for a yummy meal.
Thanks Michelle!


Filed under food, Life thoughts

Summer in My Shoes

The real me.

     The day starts out gloomy and gray but I get up early, committed to the 5k I’ve signed up to walk in today.  My feet are hiding in my sneakers, nestled in my extra-cushioned peds, my exercise clothes hugging my newly thinner body. I am motivated and slightly excited as I meet up with my group to begin our walk and more than pleasantly surprised by the ease of the walk after my weeks at the gym.  We finish the walk and I head home, thinking to myself that my shoes felt a bit flat and confirming the need to get a new pair of sneakers for next week’s 10k. 

     Through all of this, my toes ache for summer’s warmth and flip-flops.  I give in to temptation and the desire to feel a warm foot bath, foot massage and splash of color.  After my pedicure, my toes smile up at me with their extravagant flowers.  Sure enough, the sun peaks out from the clouds and when I exit the salon, it is actually warm.  I figure it is a little early for painted toes, but I kind of like the idea of the little secret in my shoes.  As the school year winds down slowly, and the work piles up, I can imagine the purple toes with flowers and the warm months ahead when I can slip on my flip-flops and head to the beach.


Filed under Life thoughts, Walking


The rain is dissipating, the clouds are blowing off to other regions and though the ground is still damp the wisteria have decided to burst open filling the yard with fragrant, lovely lavender blossoms.  The bees aren’t interested in us anymore, they are drunk on the sweet-smelling nectar oozing from these springtime visitors.

It has been seven years since we planted these wisteria plants and I’ve grown used to their arrival with the sudden explosion of lavender perfume and the following lush green foliage.  It is a treat every year and a pleasure I look forward too.  In other areas, the seasons bring radical differences of shocking red, orange and yellow leaves, dramatic weather, snow, blizzards or tornadoes, but in California, we delight in the smaller changes:  actual creeks, small waterfalls, lupines and wisteria.  It reminds me that there will be warmer weather to look forward to.


Our wisteria is a simple pleasure, but one I can enjoy free every time I open the sliding door to the garden.  It brings tears to my eyes, as do many sensory experiences that elicit memories of other Springs when there were more of us here in this house, and times were not so uncertain.  The scent of spring flowers is an expected indulgence that I have shared with my family and even my dog seems to wallow in the heady blossoms that litter the patio.

Spring is a time for new beginnings,  and as my Weight Watcher leader said at our Saturday meeting, “We can’t create a new beginning, but we can create a new ending.”  We have a chance in the Spring to start again, to look forward at the ending we want to create and begin now to walk that road.  The wisteria remind me that there are possibilities and there is still hope.  I hope I see them blossom again next Spring.


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Filed under change, Life thoughts

Create 2011

Dreams and a Plan 2011

My New Year’s Day tradition is to create a collage visualization of my hopes, dreams and plans for the New Year and so this afternoon I sat down at the kitchen table with my husband and youngest daughter (who is 19)  and spent a pleasant couple of hours scanning magazines for inspirational words and photos.  My 2011 collage has a theme:  Create.  That is also the word that popped into my head during a Winter Solstice meditation with Diana Lang two weeks ago.  I take it to mean that I can create the life I want, and it doubles as inspiration to create art and the written word.  My plan has three categories:

1.  Create health & peace of mind

2. Create and maintain relationships

3.  Create art

I will create a more healthy lifestyle by developing the habit of exercise at Equinox and Curves and integrating it into my daily life.  I have chosen the 10,000 Steps walking program and I have my spiffy new pedometer to track my daily steps.  I have realized that if I walk (either on the treadmill or an extended walk with Charlie, my dog) for an hour, I can rack up the steps fairly easily.  I am also committing to yoga at least twice a week.  This also helps with creating peace of mind, but is definitely a good strength training routine as well.  I will continue with resistance training to help build bone strength.  The big news is my recent re-acquaintance with Weight Watchers.  I am attending weekly meetings and making daily use of eTools to track my food. I have come to the conclusion that tracking creates the discipline I need to succeed.  I am proud to say that In the past month I have really become mindful of the food I eat and am excited with the 5 lb. weight loss!

Charlie, my walking buddy, on the way home from his bath. Note the cute scarf?

I will create peace of mind by tracking my spending and saving habits too, and will continue my money education and devotion to becoming money-wise.  By tracking my habits on mint.com I will have a realistic visual of where my money is going and how I can gain control even in these tough economic times, taking into account  furlough days and the cutbacks imposed on education by lack of State funding.

I am open to creating new friendships and devoted to maintaining those I have.  I will continue to nurture the friends and family I am blessed to have in my life presently and appreciate these relationships.  I am taking a positive path to relationships and plan to focus on positive aspects of relationships while attempting to eliminate gossip and other negative habits that are detrimental to honest friendships.  I will practice patience, support and giving.

I will create art by focusing on my writing through my classes in the UCLA Writers Program, this blog, a daily 2-minute journal and various writing experiences.  I will expand my creative experiences through any art form that becomes available and will be open to opportunities to  express myself through music, art and crafts.

This is my new nifty 2-minute timer.

2011 is a blank slate, a new beginning and a chance to “Embrace the art of living.”  My vision is clear and my plan is in place.  Feel free to share your plan for the New Year!  May it be a truly happy year for us all.


Filed under Life thoughts, New Year's