Sunday, July 28, 2013

So I guess it wasn't a fluke....

Pin It I lost again this week!  Another pound and a half gone - thanks to the WW Simply Filling Technique (SFT)!  I do admit, I'm loving this. 

This week my "One Small Change" was to have my usual Pete's Frootique salad, but to make it 100% simply filling (minus the dressing).  My salads are truly an adventure when I go to Pete's.  Normally they "cost" me 6 points+ when I get the fat free raspberry vinaigrette dressing.  On Friday, my challenge was for it (other than dressing) to cost me no weekly points.  Challenge accepted.  Challenge complete.  I left out my usual bacon bits, craisins and feta cheese (sadly) and added extra lean fresh roast beef on top.  The beef was so yummy that I ate it first :) 

In this little adventure (if I can remember it all!) you will find cucumber, spinach, peppers, tomatoes, mushrooms, onions, chickpeas, beans, eggs, cabbage, mandarin oranges, red onions, cauliflower, broccoli and likely more that I've forgotten.  I got the balsamic vinaigrette on the side (this location doesn't have my raspberry).  I admit... I did not miss my bacon, craisins and feta....much.  Feta really does make the salad :)  I think next time I will use a couple of points and get some feta thrown in.

This coming week we were challenged to try something new - a lot of folks were going to try to be adventurous with their salads.  I think I've got that task complete already - I'm always being adventurous with salad (not a fan of plain old boring green salad).  I'm a big fan of a huge salad that doesn't cost a lot of points - so long as it's got flavour, that is!  My new try this week (not necessarily on salad) is passion fruit.  I bought one at Pete's on Friday and am going to give it a try - it had better be good for the price I paid!  Another try is going to be more challenging... I'm going to a party at someone's house this afternoon and I know there will be nibbles.  I want to try to keep my nibbling primarily SFT.  Wish me luck!

Saturday, July 20, 2013

No longer a skeptic

Pin It I admit it.  I was a skeptic when it came to the Simply Filling Technique.  I looked at the foods I ate all week and in the back of my mind, I kept thinking "This won't really work..."  I followed it 100% - it was probably the most on program week I've had in about a year.  I didn't deprive myself from food at all - I just made Simply Filling choices over non-Simply Filling ones more than I normally would...why not?  They were "free", afterall.  When I discovered that the 95% Fat Free Cool Whip was one of those Simply Filling should have seen my face!  Love that stuff.  And potatoes...white ones! Yep, SF food... not that I eat a lot of them, but still... Light English muffins...yep, they're on the list!  Surely I can't be eating all of this food AND lose weight.  Surely there's something I'm missing or some trick in the system that I don't know about.  Oh, and I didn't work out as much as I would have liked, so surely I wouldn't lose this week.  Please God, let me just stay the same... only I didn't stay the same... I LOST... THREE whole pounds!!!  You'll note from my tracker above that this means I'm back into the 100s for pounds lost (yay me!)

A couple of thoughts and notes about my week that I want to share (besides the ramblings above):


  1. Planning is key, no matter what program you choose - counting points or calories, Simply Filling Technique, Whole30 or Paleo.  No matter what you do, you must plan.  I'm not saying to sit down and plan out your meals for the whole week (unless that's your "thing").  What I did this week was to buy all of my produce, wash, cut and store it appropriately.  I also made a large salad of sorts (black beans, corn, onion, tomatoes, etc. - see last week's post for details) that lasted me all week.  It was so much easier when I got home from work to grab a handful of pre-washed, pre-cut veggies to toss in the grill pan than to contemplate cutting and washing them... I also had my fruit cut up - some done up into a fruit salad (nothing added, just fruit), so this made it easy to just toss some fat free cottage cheese or yogurt into a container and add fruit and run out the door.  Also, when I did cook my veggies on the grill pan, I cooked enough for 3 servings so I would have some leftovers to bring to work for lunch.
  2. after
  3. Eat until you are satisfied.  No, really.  Leave food on your plate.  It's OK - honest.  Nobody is going to come and tell you about starving children in Ethiopia (or whatever your generation says).  You know what - it's OK not to clean your plate.  I did this a couple of times and both times I just put the remainder of the food away for another time when I really was hungry.  It was nice not to stuff myself, but to just stay satisfied.  I think that in the past I've eaten everything on my plate because...well, because it was there AND I had already tracked and pointed it and how would I figure out how to re-calculate the points if I didn't finish it all.  It was, afterall, my entitlement to eat what was in front of me.  Following Simply Filling helped me to let go of that sense of entitlement and realize that on this plan, it's not necessary.  Not sure if this makes sense to anyone else, but for me it was an "aha moment" to quote Oprah.
I realized that Counting Points vs Simply Filling is like outlet shopping on a budget vs having the freedom to shop at quality stores without caring as much about the bottom line.  Sure I'm going to look for the best bang for my buck, but I don't have to count every single buck as I go along.  I might splurge and get something fancy (aka a treat coming out of my 49 weekly points) from time to time, but overall, I just coast along and enjoy the ride.

Well, I'm off to Dave's Fruit & Veggie stand to stock up on produce and to Costco to get some essential items with Mom (best place to get FF Greek yogurt and frozen mangoes!).  I think I might have to get some little containers for my lunches too (I've already ordered some more Tupperware Fridgemate containers from my friend Shirley so I can prepare even MORE produce at a time). 

Wish me luck as I follow the same plan (different foods, of course!) this week.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Simply Filling Begins

Pin It Yesterday began my week (or longer) of following Weight Watcher's Simply Filling Technique (aka SF or SFT).  When I started reading more into it, I was shocked and awed at what I CAN have!  I got my large (larger than normal) grocery order today and tonight I began prepping for the week.  The first thing I threw together was a corn, black bean, etc., etc. salad to keep on hand:

There are no exact measurements involved here.  I simply piled a bunch of SF foods in a bowl - green and orange peppers, red onion, black beans, corn, chickpeas (aka garbanzo beans), cucumber, tomatoes, cilantro, lime juice and some balsamic vinegar.  I added some Epicure Alder Smoked Sea Salt Blend (so yummy) and some Epicure Chipotle Chili powder.  Toss together and store in the fridge.  I have it divided up into single-serving sizes and will use it for lunches this week - I saw a similar recipe online this weekend that had tuna added, so I think a serving of this with some tuna may be a very filling lunch.  It may also be good on top of tilapia...oh the possibilities!

Next I decided to make myself some egg omelets in the oven.  These will be quick and easy to grab for lunch with a light English muffin (which is also SF!).  The egg mixture is just peppers, onions, tomatoes, spinach, extra lean ham, eggs, skim milk, salt & pepper as well as a bit of Epicure French Onion dip mix.  They are cooking now - perhaps supper for this evening since I had a big meal at lunch today (thanks Mom and Dad!).

So far this plan seems very do-able.  I'm still trying to see what the "catch" is.  Most of the non-SFT foods are foods I don't normally eat (hot dogs, sausages, olives, etc.).  The only one on the list of non-SFT foods that I may eat is avocado.  They don't say you can't eat these foods - you just have to use your 49 Weekly Points Allowance (aka WPA) if you do.  Same goes for any other foods that are not SF (they don't list all of the obvious ones on the website - chocolate bars, cupcakes, etc.  I think they expect us to use common sense!)  Sweet treats will also come from my 49 WPA.  I am going to try to stay away from sugary treats this week and try to focus on eating the SF foods outlined in the plan.  I will have to use some WPA for "incidentals" such as margarine or dairy items that are not fat free, but I'm OK with that.

Stay tuned this week to see how things progress and then tune in on Saturday for the verdict. 

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Whole30 vs Paleo vs WW Simply Filling

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After many months of (barely) skating by, I've come to a realization.  I need a change in how I approach things.  For me, at this very moment in time, the standard WW program is not a good fit.  I am NOT saying that it does not work - my over 100lbs lost proves otherwise.  What I am saying is that the honeymoon is (and has been for some time) over, so I need to spice/shake things up a bit.

A friend of mine has done the Whole30 program as well as Paleo.  The draw for both of these plans for me is that they help you eliminate the sugar demon cravings.  I have started reading the Whole30 book It Starts with Food and it is quite interesting.  I am also going to do some reading up on the Paleo diet.  The sensible part of my brain loves the idea that with both programs you are eating whole/real foods (I'm sure that's the way God intended it!) rather than packaged/fake foods that have so many odd ingredients/chemicals listed that I think we'd be hard-pressed to call them food at all.  I will admit though, that I have a problem with eliminating whole grain foods such as quinoa, which Whole30 does (although it's only a 30-day plan, so possibly doable).  Whole30 also eliminates all dairy products - as a woman in her 30s, I feel dairy is a an important part of my diet for calcium intake.  If I decide to do Whole30 I will have to investigate how much calcium I am getting in the rest of my diet and may have to take a calcium supplement. 

Given my lack of control over the sugar monster - especially when on vacation, I have been doing a lot of thinking on these two programs this week.  But in doing so, I realized that there is a WW option that I have never explored before - the Simply Filling Technique.   The difference between Simply Filling (SF) and Tracking is that you focus on a list of Simply Filling Foods which you eat in until you are satisfied.  It really is an extensive list.  You don't count the points for these foods, nor do you weigh and measure them (except your 2tsp of healthy oil).  There is an option in the online tracker to still track (I have yet to investigate that).  You still get your Weekly Points (49) and would use these for anything not on the SF list (extra oils, starchy veg, treats, etc).  I think this program is much more forgiving than the other two above, but it may offer me a bit too much freedom. 

As I am writing this blog right now, I think I have come to a conclusion though.  I am going to give SF a try starting when my week starts over on Saturday.  I will plan to keep my food selections within the SF list and, in honour of eating whole foods, will try to "Whole30 it up" a bit along the way.  I will try and have a chat with WW Fiona and see if she can offer any insight.  One thing I really need to do is to eliminate my intake of artificial sweetener.  I don't add it a whole lot, but I do use it daily in my oatmeal and I'm sure there are food products in my kitchen that contain artificial sweeteners. I will give SF a try for a couple of weeks, but while doing so will still continue to investigate the other two programs above.  I think by starting with SF, I can ease myself into trying a Whole30 in the near future. 

As you can probable surmise from this post, my food on vacation (yet, again) was a disaster.  I admit that I didn't track at all.  I was conscious of what I was eating most of the time, and I did make some good choices, but overall it was a bust.  I will face the scales on Saturday (if I am brave enough) and will suck it up and move on with a plan in place.  I really need to get a handle on things before I take another vacation.  Vacations will come every year (some years more than once!), so I really do need to find a way to deal with them.  I am so tired of getting on the scales every week and knowing I will stay the same or go up - and knowing it is completely my own fault.  What I am doing is the true definition of insanity - doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results... it just doesn't work that way.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

One small change - June 23, 2013

Pin It Sadly my hard work did not show on the scales this week.  I stayed the same :(  Onward and upward though.  I admit that I did go to Sobeys to visit my best friend in the bakery - she greeted me with "Sorry Honey, no red velvet today!"  Even though it has been several weeks since I've been to see her, sadly she still remembers me... I ended up with a peanut butter chocolate cupcake.  While very good, it was no red velvet...  Oh well....

This week we discussed VACATIONS vs vacations - VACATIONS being going away somewhere you don't go all the time (special occasions) vs taking time off and hanging around home (aka stay-cations).  My One Small Thing for this week as I prepare to head on VACATION is to make a concerted effort to track and stay on-point while I'm away - both with food and with fitness.  I will treat myself, yes, but I will not seek out opportunities to indulge myself (although a Beaver Tail in downtown Ottawa on Canada day may be in order...those of you not from Canada should Google Beaver Tails!).  My plan is to track while I'm gone and to keep my "at home" meals as healthy as possible.  Knowing the friend I'm going to visit, I'm sure that won't be an issue (she's a great supporter!)

On another note, I had my photos done yesterday... I'm not much for getting my picture taken, but I was getting my corporate head-shots done for a thing at work.  The photographer (Nicole Lapierre) was a lot of fun and insisted I bring a change of clothes for some less "corporate-y" photos (included in the fee, of course) mother will love these, I'm sure. Despite my hesitance to have my picture taken, I did have fun!  I'll post a pic or two once I get them from her.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Will she make it to the finish line?

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Well folks, today is day 6 of my commitment to tracking for a full week.  Yesterday I realized that it was our building's annual Ice Cream Day... not just any old ice creams though - they bring in the Nestle ice cream freezers full of delicious frozen goodness.  Now in my past life (you know, last week) this would have derailed me - I would have felt like I deserved it (there's that sense of entitlement again....) and would have probably not tracked it...or the rest of the week (why do these things always come up on close to the finish line?!)  This week, however, I tracked it.  Actually I took a guess that it would be 10 points and I plugged that in.  On my way home from work on the bus I decided to actually look up the nutritional info and calculate the REAL point value for my evil treat... guess what?  It was 9 points!  Sweet!  Sooooo, I have tracked all week and I still have weekly points left.  Here's hoping I don't blow it tonight!  Nope, nothing special on the go tonight - but I tend to have those out of body experiences on Friday nights where I look down and see myself chowing down on anything in sight - knowing full well that I have to weigh in the following morning.

My other One Small Change for the week was to try to implement some more/new power foods (green triangles).  I was reviewing the WW Power Foods listing the other day and I realized something - I eat a TON of power foods.  Looking at that list I realized that I eat nearly everything on there that a) we can get around here and b) that I'm not allergic to.  There are a few exceptions, but for the most-part, I think I'm in good shape when it comes to power foods.  I did have a power food that I hadn't had in a while - cabbage...yummm  I made my cabbage roll casserole...sooo yummy and it lasted me nearly all week! I still have half a head of cabbage left so if anyone has ideas on another recipe I can make for the upcoming week...let me know!

Stay tuned for tomorrow's update to see if I make it - and to see how a full week of tracking reflects on the scales.  I'll also bring you next week's "One Small Change".

Sunday, June 16, 2013

One small change - June 15, 2013

Pin It Last week's small change was to try and change up my breakfast.  As I mentioned before, I eat the same thing for breakfast nearly every single day (oatmeal, banana, peanut butter).  My plan this week was to try a different breakfast two times during the week.  On Saturday I made myself a delicious omelet with lots of veggies, some Canadian bacon and low fat cheese.  It was yummy, as I suspected it would be.  On Sunday I had Corn Bran Squares with banana and blueberries.  Another nice breakfast.  I learned two things - Corn Bran Squares do not keep me full as long as oatmeal, but eggs do.  The problem is...the omelet took WAY more time to prepare (hands-on prep) than I am interested in spending on a work-day morning.  Lesson of the week: eggs on the weekend, oatmeal during the week.  Small change of the week....done!

Next week I have committed to make a change back to an old habit: tracking.  I have been tracking for the first part of the week and then by late Wednesday/Thursday I stop.  I don't know why, but I do.  For three years I tracked faithfully, but lately I'm falling behind.  This week I will track for the full seven days - no matter what.

My other small change this week is to try and find a new power food.  For those of you are WW members, you know those foods - they have the green triangle next to them :)

Ok, here we go.. another new week with loads of possibilities!

Sunday, June 9, 2013

We've broken up...

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As I mentioned a couple of weeks ago, it has become necessary for me to break up with the bakery lady at Sobeys.  She just knows me too well and I am not comfortable with that level of closeness - especially when I don't know her name.  So the past two weekends have been... wait for it.... red-velvet-free weekends :(  Sure, I miss my friend at the bakery who knows my "usual", but sadly the fact that she KNEW my usual was an indication of a serious matter that I needed to get hold of.  I did have a "big" treat this weekend (cheesecake), but that's not something that is a) readily available to me and b) an item likely to send me over the edge.  Cupcakes, on the other hand, are a different story.

So I have managed to go to Sobeys two Saturdays in a row and have avoided the cupcake display completely.  I think I will try to go until vacation to have another red velvet.  After my trip to Ottawa, if I have not gained weight, maybe (MAYBE) I will treat myself to a red velvet when I return.

Nothing much to report beyond my two weekends sans red velvet.  Making an old favorite this week (Stuffed Cabbage Casserole) and am considering a Rhubarb Coconut Muffin (snagged some fresh rhubarb from Mom today!)  Will report back on the muffins if they turn out.

Oh, I nearly forgot.  Each week at WW, Fiona asks us to write on the back of our weekly one small change we will make for the week, based on the topic we discussed.  I am going to start blogging about my "One Small Change".  This week's change is to switch up my breakfasts a bit.  For nearly 4 years now, I have been eating (nearly every day) oatmeal with peanut butter and banana (sometimes I go wild and will swap out the banana with an apple... or throw in some blueberries if I'm feeling crazy).  I eat this because it keeps me full, it's low in points (5!) and it's quick and easy.  I do realize that I need t make a change though.  Perhaps I'll try an egg some morning this week.  I already mixed things up on Saturday by having an omelet rather than oatmeal...crazy, I know!  Today's was different too, but I'll leave you with some mystery.  I'll try posting each Saturday on the previous week's "One Small Change"... stay tuned!

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Have you missed me?

Pin It A good friend of mine mentioned to me this week that she missed reading my blog.  I didn't realize it had been so long since I'd posted.  Not a lot has gone on since I last posted in March.  Work and life have been crazy and I am still struggling to get back to goal. 

I haven't been to the gym much in the last month or so, but I've been walking my butt off ( butt).  We started a pedometer challenge in my office at the beginning of May (I'm on team Scrambled Legs), so I feel the need to walk, and walk, and walk again.  I never realized I had a competitive streak until this challenge :)

Last week at WW, the topic was Dining vs Eating.  We eat to survive (often mindlessly) and dining should be an enjoyable experience and we should be completely present when we dine.  As a single girl, I tend to eat alone most of the time (don't awwww, I like "me-time"!).  A side effect of eating alone is... sitting in front of the TV with a plate on my lap.  This prompted The Great Dining Room Table Challenge (you can see the pictures on my Pinterest board).  I went to the dollar store and got myself some cool (cheap!) dishes and last weekend I set the table for most of my meals (really, you should look at the pics...they look kinda cool!).  I had fun with it!  I found I paid more attention to my meals - both while preparing and while eating them.  I felt a bit special eating at the dining room table off of cool dishes with candles and flowers :) 

This week (again), I was up at WW.  Not 100% sure why, but I am not focusing on that this week.  I made good choices this week, I focused on dining instead of just eating and I also walked the equivalent of a half-marathon (a bit more actually)...not all at the same time - over 4 days.  This week coming I have a lot of challenges (food-wise) to face - a work function tomorrow night and another one on Wednesday night (that involves Chinese food...which I've been craving forever!!!) and I have lunch with a supplier on Thursday.  Those of you who have known me/read my blog for long will know that while losing weight, I avoided eating out.  I do better when I eat at home and avoid restaurants.  This week freaks me out a tiny bit, BUT I have gone into my online tracker for those three days and have pre-planned my days, allowing for my "wants". 

Speaking of people who know me well....  I have a Saturday ritual that I follow.  I go to WW, then I get groceries (sometimes I brunch in between the two).  I almost always get two items with my Saturday groceries:  a red velvet cupcake and sushi (I count the points, don't worry!).  Keeping in mind, I don't always go to the same grocery store (one has better sushi, the other better red velvet).  Well, today I went to Sobeys near WW and went to the baker counter - the lady looks at me and says "Red velvet, right?"  Oh my... my name is Tanya... and I'm a cupcake-aholic :(  Think I have a problem?  I think it must be bad when the bakery person knows my "usual"!!  Oh well.... could be worse I suppose!

I won't make any promises, but I am going to try to write more.  I miss you guys!

Saturday, March 9, 2013

You can't look back, you can only go forward

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Picture on the far right was when I lost 100 pounds (2 years ago)
I know I've been rather quiet here in blog-land this year.  This is mainly because I feel as though I've fallen off the wagon and have let people down.  As you'll see from my weight tracker, I am seriously over goal.  It's not that the program stopped working... it's that I did.  I'm still tracking...most of the time...until I get to a point of self-entitlement and then I blow it.  I won't go into details because I was given great advice today at Weight Watchers by Anne Marie - you can't look back.  Look at the total lost as of today (106.8 pounds) and go forward from there.  As of Tuesday coming (March 12) I will be celebrating two years of having lost 100 pounds.  I never would have thought that I would have kept 100 pounds off for two entire years. 

Now for the next several months (not saying how many), I will concentrate on losing the weight I have put on.  I am grateful that I have gotten a hold of this before it became 20, 30, 40 or even more.  I have an arrangement with a good friend of mine who also struggles to maintain and I am hoping we can encourage each other, while keeping each other accountable.

I was reading one of the Weight Watchers message boards on Facebook the other day and someone else posted about how difficult maintenance was and how they, too, had started to re-gain.  Someone said that they had come to the realization that when they first got to goal the compliments poured in at every turn.  For months afterwards you are running into old friends and it boosts you up time and time again when they "notice".  Eventually though, the novelty wears off, the compliments stop coming and real life sets in and people see the "new" you as just... you :)  I think my mistake, and many other maintainers, was not finding something in my own life to replace that euphoria of the compliments.  I'm not sure if this makes sense, but I totally got what this person was saying.  I'm not saying that I want people to continue complimenting me - the problem is with me, not the people around me.  It's something I need to work on.

So onward and upward (forward!).... stay tuned!

On another note, I'm trying Davids Teas in the hopes that the yummy flavours will keep me from snacking on sweets :)

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Epicure's Everyday Meatloaf with a twist

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Epicure's Everyday Meatloaf with a twist


  • 2 large eggs, beaten
  • 1/4 cup (60 ml) skim milk
  • 1/2 cup (125 ml) dry breadcrumbs
  • 3 Tbsp (45 ml) Epicure's Seasoning for Meatloaf
  • 2 lbs (1 kg) lean ground beef, chicken or turkey
  • Epicure's Sea Salt, to taste 
  • Large bell peppers (any colour), sliced into 8 thick rings (about 1 ") (the peppers are the twist!)

  1. Preheat oven to 375° F (190° C).
  2. Whisk eggs and milk in a large bowl. Stir in breadcrumbs and Seasoning for Meatloaf.
  3. Add meat and Sea Salt, and mix well.
  4. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper or tinfoil (spray if using foil!) and place pepper rings on sheet.
  5. Divide meat mixture between pepper rings and pat down.
  6. Bake approximately 40 minutes (make sure no pink in the middle!)
  7. Brush with Epicure's Chipotle Ketchup and, if desired, add cheese and broil until melted.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Un-ribs are...

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Here's the after picture, as promised.  Roasted squash and oven fries, broccoli and my version of "ribs".  Overall they are not bad, but unfortunately they've missed the mark with respect to tasting like ribs :(  Next time I might try the What's for Dinner for wings...without actual wings :)