Tuesday, November 30, 2010

PointsPlus- the new Weight Watchers program

Blah. That's how I feel about the "new" plan so far. Blah.

Here's what's new and different about
PointsPlus (vs. Momentum, the "old" WW plan):

1) It sucks.

Just kidding. Here's the real list:

1) I get more daily points now! Yay! I used to get 23 daily points, and now I get 29. That's 6 extra points every day, right?!

2) Almost everything that I consume regularly has a higher points value now... so, really, no extra daily points.

3) There are now 49 WPA, which is a lot more than 35 WPA... and I think that this one actually makes me happy, that definately adds up to more food. :-)

4) Activity points are now easier to get. I now earn 8 points for my Nordic Track workouts, where before I was earning 5 or 6. This is because 1 AP now = 80 calories, instead of 100 calories. So, again... more food!!!

5) Momentum points were calculated using calories, fat, and fiber. This meant that I could eat a lot of high fiber foods for few points. Things like beans, brown rice, and granola bars. PointsPlus points are calculated using protein, carbohydrates, fat, and fiber. This means that my favorite fiber foods are now increased in points. :-(

6) However... FRUIT IS FREE. Meaning, ALL fruit has a value of zero points.

How has this new plan changed my menu?

It really hasn't so far. But this is a funky week, since I started my Weight Watchers week on Saturday (down 1 pound at my weigh-in, WOO-HOO), and the new plan started on Monday. I did not have a perfect OP weekend by any means.

I was sick. I didn't track. I did the "eat whatever I want within reason and just assume that all of my WPA are gone" thing. It's not the best decision, but it's one that I make on occasion.

So starting on Saturday, I'll track my food on here publicly for another week, just to see if there really is a difference in the two plans.

My work week breakfast is usually a granola bar and a banana. The granola bar has gone from 4 to 5 points, and the banana is now zero points, so what was once a 5.5 point breakfast is now a 5.0 point breakfast. So it's about the same...

Basically, my feelings are mixed about the new plan. I love carbohydrates. I usually focus on complex carbs, but not always. One of the things that I loved about Weight Watchers was the freedom to eat as many carbs as I wanted, as long as I stayed within my points and followed the Good Health Guidelines. (Speaking of which, yes they are still there, but the whole grain requirement seems to be gone... what the what?!)

Is the new plan easier for meat and dairy eaters?

I think it is. Apparently the points values for meat and dairy all stayed the same. So if you eat a lot of meat and dairy products, instead of a lot of carb products, you will get to eat more, since you get more daily points. Not fair.

I will be following the new plan for as long as it makes sense. I've always said that eventually I'd like to go back to "Intuitive Eating", but that will probably be after I've maintained my goal weight for awhile. Time will tell...

P.S. A major NSV for me happened on Black Friday: I tried on clothes. I tried them on and loved the way I looked in them! There was not a tear in that dressing room... Well, maybe a happy tear or two. :-)

Monday, November 15, 2010

Vegan Sugar Cookies!!!

First off, I just wanted to announce that I'm down another pound... and am still on track to losing 50 in 2010!!!

Unfortunately, I ate every single WPA over the weekend. I went out to eat and baked cookies.

Still, I tracked every bite, and am still OP. :-) And, I brought the remaining cookies in to work today, to share.

It was the first attempt to make vegan sugar cookies, because I don't want to be left out of the holiday baking this year. It's a family tradition, decorating sugar cookies the week before Christmas.

(Of course, I will be opting out of the family tradition of gaining 10 pounds every December this year!)

Anyway, I thought that I would try out a new recipe every week until I found the one that tasted the most like Mom's.

I found the perfect recipe the first time around. These taste just like regular sugar cookies!

The frosting, I did badly on, and ended up having WAY TOO MUCH because I added too much soy milk to the mix and had to keep adding sugar and margerine until it got the right consistency again. But it tastes awesome. Here's the recipe:

Vegan Sugar Cookies (makes 25 cookies, approximately 2 points each)

- 3/4 cup vegan margarine
- 1 cup sugar or granulated sweetener (I used regular white sugar.)
- 2 egg replacer "eggs", prepared (I used Ener-G egg replacer)
- 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 1/2 cups flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt

In a mixing bowl, cream margarine and sugar together. Blend in egg replacer eggs and vanilla.

Add sifted flour, salt, baking soda. Combine to form a dough.

Cover with plastic wrap and chill about 1-2 hours.

Roll dough to desired thickness, approximately 1/4 inch thick, and use cookie cutters to form shapes. You could also just make these into rounds.

Place cookies on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. (I didn't have parchment paper, so I just baked on a greased cookie sheet). Bake at 350 degrees for 8-10 minutes or until just starting to brown. Cool on racks.

Frosting (cookie with frosting will be approximately 3 points)

-3 tablespoons vegan margarine
- dash of salt
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
- soy or rice milk (I used soy)

- Once cookies are cooled, make the frosting by beating the ingredients until they are fluffy. Add enough rice or soy milk to reach your desired frosting consistency.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Sharing my Journal, Day 5

This is the last time that I'll do this until after the new plan starts! (Which is scheduled for November 29, so probably will be sharing my new plan menu the first week of December)

November 11 Food and Exercise Journal
time- food/exercise (points)

8:15am- banana (1.5)

8:45am- granola bar (4)

12:30pm- wasa crackers (2), 1/2 cup ff refried beans (1), 1 tsp EVOO (1), steamed broccoli and carrots (0)

3:00pm- almonds (4), Hi-C juice box (2)

6:00pm- 1 cup brown rice (4), 1/2 cup black beans (1), 1 tsp EVOO (1), cooked veggies (0)

7:00pm- dog walk (+1)

8:30pm- 1 hour Nordic Track (+6)

9:35pm- graham crackers (4), 1 tbs peanut butter (2.5), 1 cup grapes (1)

Points Summary:
23/23 daily points used
6/10 WPA used
7 AP earned
0/35 AP used

GHG Summary:
fruits/vegetables: CHECK!
healthy oils: CHECK!
lean protein: CHECK!
vitamins: CHECK!
whole grains: CHECK!
activity: CHECK!
sugar/alcohol: CHECK!

Lessons Learned:
I am still LOVING planning for more points. It feels great to me; As long as the scale agress that this method works, I will do this again next week. This week hasn't felt like a diet AT ALL.

I am really looking forward to the "new plan" that is going to come out at the end of the month. I have heard some rumors about it, but really know nothing yet.

Today's Plan:
breakfast- granola bar (4), grapes (2)
lunch- wasa (2), beans (1), veggies (0), EVOO (1)
dinner- rice (4), beans (1), veggies (0), EVOO (1)
snacks- popcorn (4), popcorn oil (3), almonds (1), Hi-C (2)
exercise- Curves (+2), walk (+1), nordic track (+5)

No More Chips Challenge: update

I'm keeping it going. I have gone 3 full weeks without my #1 binge food: chips.

I'm going to try to go three full months, because that's (supposedly) the length of time that it takes to truly break a bad habit for good.

:-) So far, so good.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Sharing my Journal, Day 4

November 10 Food and Exercise Journal
time- food/exercise (points)

8:15am- banana (1.5), granola bar (4)

12:30pm- 1/2 cup ff refried beans (1), 1 tsp EVOO (1), salsa (0), 6 crisp n' light wasa crackers (2), 28 soy/wasabi almonds (4), 1 Hi-C juice box (2)

5:30pm- 3/4 cup brown rice (3), 1/2 cup black and kidney beans (1), veggies (0), 2 servings ore-ida fast food fries, baked (6)

7:00pm- salad (1)

8:30pm- 1 hour Nordic Track (+5)

9:35pm- steamed broccoli and carrots (0), 1 tsp EVOO (1)

Points Summary:
23/23 DP used
4.5/15 remaining WPA used
5 AP earned
0/28 AP used

GHG Summary:
fruits/vegetables- CHECK!
healthy oils- CHECK!
lean protein- CHECK!
vitamins- CHECK!
whole grains- CHECK!
activity- CHECK!
sugar/alcohol- CHECK!

Lessons Learned:
Still loving eating an "extra" 5 points every day. I can't wait to see how this style of eating has affected my weight, and I hope that it's in a good way. Because I LOVE it. Spreading the WPA out evening has felt amazing to me.

It's helped with my self-control and my appetite. Planning for 28 points instead of planning for 23 and then feeling as if I "went over" when I eat from my WPA, but still always eating them all anyway, was disheartening. This way, it's planned, I feel no food guilt whatsoever, and I'm satisfied.

Plus, go me for getting in that second oil serving last night! I really wanted peanut butter, but realized that I can eat some today. :-)

Today's Plan:
breakfast- banana (1.5), granola bar (4)
lunch- wasa (2), evoo (1), salsa (0), beans (1), steamed veggies (0)
dinner- rice (4), evoo (1), beans (1), veggies (0)
snacks- graham crackers (3), peanut butter (3), Hi-C (2), grapes (1), boca burgers (3), green beans (0)
exercise- Curves (+2), dog walk (+1), Nordic Track (+5)

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Sharing my Journal, Day 3

November 9 Food and Exercise Journal
time- food/exercise (points)

8:30am- granola bar (4), banana (1.5)

1:30pm- 6 crisp n' light wasa crackers (2), 1/2 cup ff refried beans (1), 1/2 cup salsa (0), 1 tsp EVOO (1), almonds (4), Hi-C (2)

5:15pm- Curves circuit training (+2 AP)

6:30pm- 1 cup brown rice (4), 1/2 cup black and kidney beans (1), veggies (0)

8:30pm- 2 graham crackers (3), 1 tbs peanut butter (2.5), almonds (2)

Points Summary
23/23 DP used
5/20 WAP used
2 AP earned
0/23 AP used

GHG Summary
fruits/vegetables: CHECK!
healthy oils: half check
liquids: CHECK!
lean protein: CHECK!
vitamins: CHECK!
whole grains: CHECK!
activity: CHECK!
sugar/alcohol: CHECK!

Lessons learned:
I probably should have added a teaspoon of EVOO to my dinner. That was my original plan, and I forgot to do it. So, I'm human and forget things sometimes, oops! :-)

Also, I had planned for an hour of Nordic Tracking, and instead listened to my body and went to bed early. This was probably for the best, since it's definately cold and flu season here, so I need my body to be operating on as much sleep as possible. But it also means that I am now behind on my exercise minutes goal of 1650 for November. So tonight's exercise is NOT optional.

Today's Plan:

breakfast- granola bar (4), banana (1.5)
lunch- wasa (2), EVOO (1), salsa (0), beans (1); steamed veggies (0)
dinner- rice (3), beans (1), veggies (0), EVOO (1)
snacks- grapes (1), almonds (5), graham crackers (3), peanut butter (2.5), Hi-C (2)
exercise- dog walk (+1), nordic track (+5)

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Should I go back to eating chips?

I have issues with chips.

I've mentioned it... oh, several times on here.

I even started a no-chips-for-three-weeks challenge.

And I've almost done it!!!

In three days I will have gone 21 days without eating chips.


I'm nervous about what that means. Do I go back to eating chips? Do I buy a bag to celebrate?

That seems counterproductive.

Maybe I should continue in a chip-free life? At least for awhile?

I don't know.

But I promise that I will figure it out by Saturday's grocery run.


Sharing my Journal, Day 2

November 8 Food and Exercise Journal
time- food/exercise (points)

8:30am- banana (1.5)

9:30am- granola bar (4)

12:30pm- 1/2 cup ff refried beans (1), 1 tsp EVOO (1), salsa (0), wasa crackers (2), leftover rice and beans from Sunday (3)

5:10pm- Curves circuit training (+2 AP)

6:30pm- 1/2 cup edamame (1), 1 cup brown rice (4), 1 tsp EVOO (1), salad (0)

7:00pm- 15 minute walk with Rose (+1 AP)

8:30pm- 1 cup grapes (1)

8:45pm- 1 hour Nordic Track (+5 AP)

10:00pm- 12 triscuits (5), salsa (0), apple (1), 1 tbs PB (2.5)

Points Summary:
Daily used: 23/23
WPA used: 5/25 (remaining)
AP earned: 8
AP used: 0/21 (remaining)

GHG Summary:
fruits/vegetables: CHECK!
healthy oils: CHECK!
liquids: CHECK!
lean protein: CHECK!
vitamins: CHECK!
whole grains: CHECK!
activity: CHECK!
sugar/alcohol: CHECK!

Lessons learned:
I did really well yesterday. I planned well and ate well. I love days like yesterday.

This week I am trying to stick with the "use 5 WPA every day" to spread them out evenly. Just to experiment with how that affects my weigh-in and my appetite. So far, so good. Those extra five points daily have felt luxurious. Usually I eat most of them on one or two days, and stick to my DP the rest of the week. I think that spreading them out like this will really help me to avoid any mini-binges this week.

Today's Plan:
breakfast: granola bar (4), banana (1.5)
lunch: wasa (2), EVOO (1), beans (1), veggies (0)
dinner: rice (4), beans (1), EVOO (1), veggies (0)
snacks: almonds (4), graham crackers (3), Hi-C (2), grapes (1), peanut butter (2.5)
exercise: Curves (+2), Nordic Track (+5)
Points Plan: 28/23

Monday, November 8, 2010

Sharing my Journal, Day 1

Time to share my journal on here again! Just feeling like it will help me stay on-plan.

This weekend went really well, points-wise, but I could have made some better GHG decisions. Here's what happened yesterday:

November 7 Food and Exercise Journal
time- food/exercise (points)

11:00am- 4 graham crackers (6)

1:00pm- 2 boca burgers (2), baked french fries (6), green beans (0)

2:30pm- long walk/jog (+5)

4:30pm- Hi-C juice box (2)

6:00pm- 1/2 cup brown rice (2), 1/4 cup beans (.5) 1/2 tsp EVOO (.5), veggies (0)

9:00pm- 1/2 tbs peanut butter (1), small apple (1)

10:00pm- redvines (3)

Points Summary:
Daily Used: 23/23
WPA Used: 1/26 (remaining)
AP earned: 5
AP Used: 0/13 (remaining)

GHG Summary:
Fruits/Vegetables- CHECK!
Healthy Oils- NOPE!
**Dairy- NOPE!
Liquids- CHECK!
Lean Protein- CHECK!
Vitamins- NOPE!
Whole Grains- CHECK!
Activity- CHECK!
Sugar/Alcohol- CHECK!

Lessons Learned:
**I'm not going to worry about dairy anymore. I have now experimented with both ways a vegan WW-er can handle dairy: Substitute with soy milk, or ignore it. Both ways result in the same results on the scale and in how I feel. I am now choosing to ignore it, so this won't appear in my GHG checklist tomorrow!

Also, I'm very bad at remembering my vitamin, but I figure that if I remember at least a couple of times every week, that's enough to fill any nutritional void that may be there.

Today's Plan:

breakfast- granola bar (4), banana (1.5)

lunch- wasa crackers (2), 1/2 cup ff refried beans (1), 1 tsp EVOO (1), salsa (0), steamed veggies (0)

dinner- 1 cup brown rice (4), 1/2 cup beans (1), 1 tsp EVOO (1), veggies (0)

snacks- leftovers (3), apple (1), 1 tbs peanut butter (2.5), 12 triscuits (5), 1 cup grapes (1)

exercise- Curves (+2), dog walk (+1), Nordic Track (+5)

28/23 DP
5 WPA used
8 AP earned

Friday, November 5, 2010

Vegan compliment

I think that I've mentioned on this blog that I belong to Curves. My mom and I go together at least three times a week most weeks.

Anyway, one of the ladies who works there gave me some pretty big compliments yesterday.

She started by asking for vegan book recommendations!!! I told her all about The Kind Diet of course. How it was the book that changed my life, literally. She wrote it down.
She told me that she has noticed that not only have I lost a lot of weight since going vegan, but I carry myself with more confidence and appear much happier and healthier.


This is the moment that I have been waiting for since beginning The Kind Diet. Not only have I noticed that I'm happier and healthier, but now I know that others are noticing, too. And apparently I carry myself with confidence now. Me. Confidence!


I don't even remember telling her that I was vegan, but I guess that back in April when I made the switch I was so proud that I told anyone who would listen.

My point is, hang in there. If you are newly vegan, or just considering it, (or "flirting", as Alicia says), what the book claims about the health benefits are true.

And I am not the only one who notices my improved health and outlook on life. It's obvious to everyone now.

And, I may have inspired someone to give veganism a try. To this vegan, there is no greater reward than that!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Lose 50 Pounds in 2010 (and other accomplishments)

7.4 pounds left/8 Weeks left in the year!
I can do it. I have 8 weeks left in which to lose 7.4 pounds. I can do this!!!

It has been a long ride, 2010. I can't believe how much I've accomplished this year (so far), and not all of it has been weight-loss related.

First off, it will be my first full year as a non-smoker. I quit smoking in July 2009.

Secondly, I have seen an advisor at The University of Memphis, and am planning on visiting financial aid later this week as well as registering for the spring 2011 semester next week. I'm so excited to start school again! This is step one in becoming the adult that I've always wanted to be, with a real career and everything. :-)

Third, I have finally overcome my depression. My therapist, Bob, says that I only need to check in monthly now. And that's just as a precaution. He is amazed at how much progress I've made.

Fourth, Stacey and I are in a great place as a couple. At the beginning of the year, I wasn't sure if we were going to make it. Now we are more in love than ever, and are more committed to a future together than we've ever been.

Finally, I have lost 42.6 pounds in 2010. How amazing is that?! Even if I don't make my ultimate 2010 weight-loss goal of 50 pounds lost, that is pretty amazing. 42.6 pounds since January 1, 2010. And I'm still going strong!

Sometimes, it is necessary to step back and look at all of your accomplishments, big and small. For me, finally, I have several BIG ones!!! Yay! :-)

Monday, November 1, 2010


... I lost two whole pounds last week.

Not complaining.

I don't know if it's because of "no chips" or what, but I'm pretty excited about it. And I still ate all of my favorite foods (outside of chips). And I still ate all of my 35 WPA plus a few AP. And lost 2 pounds.

Okay, I am going to do the exact same thing this week, and hope for simular results!! But I'm not going to expect to keep losing two pounds every week, that would be crazy... or would it?

Time will tell. :-)