Thursday, February 20, 2014

Grilled PB & Apple Sandwich and a Better Bacon Cheeseburger

I want to share with you a couple of things I've cooked up this past week.  The first was something that I thought up for a quick lunch over the weekend; a grilled peanut butter and apple sandwich.  It was an absolute hit with my husband and daughter.


Ingredients:
  • 2 slices of Weight Watchers bread
  • 2 tbsp of Kraft Whipped Peanut Butter
  • sliced apple
  • light cooking spray

Spread a tbsp of peanut butter on each slice of bread, stick a few apple slices on there (I sliced my apple perfectly with the very handy dandy Simple Slicer from Pampered Chef), and close the sandwich.  Lightly spray the outsides of the sandwich with the cooking spray and grill in a frying pan until both sides are nicely browned.  That's it!  Quick, tasty and good for you!

You may be tempted to substitute the Kraft Whipped Peanut Butter with Kraft Light Peanut Butter.  Don't do it.  The light PB is more calories and carbs than the whipped.  The fat and protein are the same in both.  Whipped PB is your better choice for a truly light PB.


The second thing I want to share with you is Tuesday night's supper.  I have never in my life made hamburgers from scratch, and it's something that I really wanted to give a try since the majority of pre-prepared hamburger patties are shockingly fattening.  I tossed a few things together and the result was an absolutely delicious burger which is far more satisfying than any burger you'll find in a fast food restaurant or in the frozen section in your local supermarket.  Instead of fries for the side, I made Roasted Carrots & Parsnips, a Weight Watchers recipe.  They worked perfectly, because they are fry-like, but much more colourful, and tastier!


For 4 burgers

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb extra lean beef
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp Franks Red Hot sauce
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 4 Weight Watchers hamburger buns
  • 4 tbsp Helmann's Light mayonnaise 
  • 6 slices Maple Leaf Ready Crisp bacon
  • 8 thin slices of light marble or cheddar cheese 
  • mustard 

Throw the beef, egg, garlic powder, Franks Red Hot and black pepper together in a mixing bowl.  Smoosh all of it together and mix it up with your hands.  I use disposable vinyl gloves for this.  Shape 4 burger patties and throw them on the frying pan.  I cook them one at a time.  Lightly spray the frying pan first if needed.  I use Pampered Chef's Executive Cookware Saute Pan so I don't need the spray, 'cause nothing sticks to that baby.  Put a lid on the pan.  Keep an eye on the burgers and flip as needed.  The burgers are done when there is no more red -- poke a little hole in them if you need to.

Put the burgers on the Weight Watchers buns and top each with 1 tbsp mayonnaise, 2 thin slices of light cheese, mustard and 1 1/2 slices (all cut in half) of Ready Crisp bacon prepared according to the directions on the box.  Enjoy!


The benefits of making your own hamburgers at home are endless.  This is a true quarter pound of lean beef.  McDonald's Quarter Pounder is a quarter pound of beef before some of the grease is cooked away.  A fast food burger still tastes greasy.  A homemade burger is pure flavour.  

A typical restaurant bacon cheeseburger is around 24 PointsPlus, and the smaller fast food bacon cheeseburgers average 13 PointsPlus.  And the medium fries that you get to supplement the unsatisfying fast food burger averages 10 PointsPlus.   

Monday, February 10, 2014

I'm a Grown Ass Woman Who Loves Stickers

So, hi... it's been a while.  I'm gonna be honest with you; I didn't start the weight loss journey right away.  In fact, I gained a few pounds in between the last time I wrote and when I actually actively started trying to lose weight.  But that's okay.  It's okay because now I'm doing it, and it's better late than not at all.

I used to be a pack a day smoker.  I smoked all of the time: I smoked when I was socializing, I smoked when I was bored, I smoked when I was walking, I even took a smoke break when I was halfway done eating a meal.  I was a hardcore smoker, and I hated smoking.  I can't even tell you how many times I tried quitting.  There were times that I'd actually quit smoking for months, but the temptation to have just one cigarette was too much and I'd start all over again.  There were other times when I'd cut down to just a few a day, but I couldn't quite push myself to give them up completely.  For years, the cigarette was my best frenemy.  Then one day I decided call in some back-up and I bought the patch.  The patch gave me that extra push I needed.  I quit smoking, and I reached ten years of being a non-smoker this past October.  Giving up smoking was one of the hardest things I've ever done, but with a little help I was able to do it and not look back.  For this reason, I know that I can and will succeed at my weight loss.

Like quitting smoking, I've tried for so long to try to lose weight by myself.  My attitude was, "It's my weight, it's my problem."  But the fact is that there are so many people out there who are supportive, whether they are going through the same thing, have gone through it, or have never experienced it but support your efforts to change for the better. 

My in-laws have been on Weight Watchers for just over a year and they have lost 50 and 80 pounds so far.  Kinda awesome (and by "kinda" I mean "a lot").  So in December I asked my husband if he would join Weight Watchers with me.  On top of the support of the weekly meetings, we would support each other by doing this thing together.  Without hesitation he said yes. 

Adam and I each signed up for the Monthly Pass, which allows us to go to the meetings and use the online tools.  We go to the Thursday night weigh-in and meeting, the same as Adam's parents.  On the first Thursday of the month I have board meetings at the co-op where I live, so we go get weighed and come home before the meeting, and then go to the Saturday morning WW meeting that week instead. 

I think when it comes to anything, people have to find what works for them.  I know, it's cliche, but it's also true.  Not everything works for everyone, but something works for each person.  I love Weight Watchers because of the support and encouragement.  It's exactly what I need to keep on going.  Our first meeting was on January 23, so we are on our third week now.  The first week I lost 2 lbs, the second week I lost 2.8 lbs for a total of 4.8 lbs so far.  Only 0.2 lb to go to get my first 5 sticker! 

Yes, my 36-year-old grown-ass self just told you that I'm looking forward to getting a sticker.  At the meetings we get stickers to encourage us and give us little pats on the back for sharing our successes with the group.  And sometimes our leader just gives us a sticker when she feels we deserve them.  We are a room full of grown-ass people who love our stickers.  I got myself a little notebook that I can keep all of my stickers in, as well as write down what I got them for.  We don't love only the stickers in the meetings.  We also love the keychains and charms.  And the people and encouragement.