How Am I Doing, You Ask?

Rather well, I must say.

I think I made a rather bold proclamation at the beginning of the year and it had something to do with weight loss.

If you think my silence indicates failure, you would be WRONG.

As of this writing, I have lost 14 pounds since January 1, and some of it is actually fat! OK—so I’ve got 11 to go, but I am more than halfway toward my goal. (Even though I’m starving and can’t do math, I can still figure out half of 25.) How did I do it, you ask? Let’s start with the best weight-loss program around, in my book: Weight Watchers. Although it is more of a “lifestyle” than a “diet,” it is a program that makes complete sense to me. You start your day with a certain number of points, and every time you have a meal or snack, you subtract the number of points you consumed (1 point = around 50 calories) until you have none left for the day. And then you have these floating points—around 35 a week—that you can use for anything you like. I’d like to say that most of my floating weekly points are consumed by melon or cantaloupe or the “good fats” but in reality, they are used for something that starts with chard and ends with “onnay.” Let’s let that be our dirty little secret.

I do have a few things that have helped me reach this weight loss milestone, though, and I’d like to share them with you:

1. Trader Joe’s Chocolate Yogurt. I know. It sounds counter-intuitive. Chocolate yogurt? I’m here to tell you that while it’s no slice of Junior’s chocolate layer cake, it is pretty darn satisfying. It packs 25% of your daily calcium requirement into one small container, and in WW world, is only 3 points. A little more than I would use for a snack, but in a pinch, it’s great. It satisfies those chocolate cravings, and is good for you! What could be better?

2. Campbell’s Select Harvest Soups. These are a lifesaver. Not to mention delicious. The most highly-caloric of them only burns 3 points and the lowest? 0-1. What could be better than a 1-point lunch? Maybe a slice of Junior’s chocolate layer cake, which incidentally, carries a 20-point rating. Since I only get 21 points a day, that would eat up a bunch of points, no pun intended. But if I stuck to Select Harvest Soups, and didn’t drink any wine, I would have enough points to splurge on a piece of chocolate cake. Hasn’t happened yet, but might. You never know.

3. Black beans. Love, love, love them. And they are low pointage. My good friend Jolene, also known as “City Pixie” in the online world when she blogs about homemade baby food, told me to sauté up a little garlic and oil, dump in some black beans, add chicken stock, orange juice and some salsa and let the whole thing come together in a simmer. Yesterday, besides a little peanut butter on toast, this is what I ate all day. Beans are great because they fill you up, are healthy, and don’t require too much pointage. In my new world of eating less and moving more, they are the perfect energy food.

I’d love to hear what you do to eat healthy. What tricks do you have? (And I’m looking at you, Vicky, because I know you’ve got a few up your sleeve.) Help me out with some of your favorite healthy recipes. Because although I’m loving the black beans, woman cannot live on them alone. And if anyone has the secret to making low-cal chocolate cake, I’m all ears.

Maggie Barbieri

9 replies
  1. Vicky Polito
    Vicky Polito says:

    Well, no pressure from Mags!

    I may not have time later and I didn't want to forget, so I'll at least list right now my favorite:

    Real oatmeal. Not the insty-kind, unless you're really in a time jam, but the kind you have to cook for about 10 minutes. Bob's Red Mill makes a great one and they have tons of other healthy and tough to find grains/flours, too, just FYI. (Lots of our grocery stores here sell the oatmeal, but Whole Foods carries pretty much the whole Bob's line.)

    Make up that oatmeal with some dried Montmorency cherries (from TJ's) or raisins, maybe chop up a fresh fruit like a banana, an apple, or even a pear. Also, a bit of walnut or pecan in it is good. My spouse likes his with a splash of maple syrup on top, but I can eat mine plain. Oh, and a splash of vanilla in the cooking really adds good flavor.

    Good fiber, tasty, etc.

    Actually, nuts for a snack are handy to keep in your bag for the day. I can avoid eating poorly when out and about if I have just a little quarter cup of walnuts (and maybe some of that dried fruit I use in oatmeal) in a baggie in my bag to grab and tide me over.

    That and staying hydrated is all I got, for now. My bigger problem is actually following my own, or anyone's, good advice and KICKING TAIL ON THE WEIGHT LOSS LIKE THE FANTASTIC MAGGIE HAS DONE (AND WILL DO)! Good for you, Mags. I knew you'd do it. You are one determined and disciplined gal.

  2. Susan McBride
    Susan McBride says:

    Good for you, Maggie! I am a health food nut, although my weakness is cookies (I love the Trader Joe's peanut butter chocolate chip–ah, heaven!). I usually snack on lightly roasted sea salt almonds (addictive!), and I love the Wallaby Yogurts. They have a Chocolate Underground (which is similar to the Trader Joe's), but they have lots of lowfat yogurts that are great, too. Also, I love to melt dark chocolate (higher than 65% cacao) and dip organic strawberries. Yum! What else? Ed loves the Kashi Peanut Peanut Butter granola bars, and I love the Cascadian Farm Organic chewy Chocolate Chip granola bars. They're high in fiber (4 grams) and they don't use corn syrup, which is great. Sometimes I just make a smoothie with a fresh banana, frozen organic strawberries, and vanilla soy milk. So those are my healthy-ish snack tips off the top of my head! Keep at it, lady! You're doing great!

  3. Susan McBride
    Susan McBride says:

    Oh, oh, roasted red pepper hummus is yummy! I go for whole grain pita chips (whichever have the most fiber). You mentioned black beans, and black bean burgers are great. You can get them frozen, add fresh slices of tomato and red onion, plus a little baby spinach on a whole grain bun (or without). It's better than a Big Mac (well, I think so!). Veggie or chicken and veggie quesadillas with low-fat organic cheese with guacamole and salsa (organic is best!) is healthy and fantastic. Okay, now I'm hungry. Must go eat breakfast!

  4. Marilyn Meredith a.k.a. F. M. Meredith
    Marilyn Meredith a.k.a. F. M. Meredith says:

    Good for you, Maggie. I think it was ironic you posted about your diet right after I wrote about eating my way through the French Quarter in New Orleans.

    When I was much younger, giving up potatoes and bread was all that was necessary for me to lose weight.

    Now that I'm a great-grandma I've quit worry about such things.


  5. Jean W
    Jean W says:

    Great Afternoon snack is baby carrots and a wedge of Laughing Cow Light Garlic and Herb Cheese (wedge is only 35 calories)

  6. citypixie
    citypixie says:

    Thanks for the mention Maggie and CONGRATS on the progress! Whoo Hoo!
    Vicky, funny enough, I'm posting about oatmeal tomorrow on my blog citybaby.

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