Monday, February 24, 2014

You asked...

A reader asked me to talk about what I eat on a day to day basis.
She wanted simple nutritional Weight Watchers point friendly food ideas and menus.

I seriously recommend that you first talk with your doctor before embarking on any plan.
Thyroid problems are responsible for a lot of weigh gain by women in their later it is good to have a test done just in case your gland is not producing enough of the thyroid hormone. (like mine)
Once you get the go ahead to start reducing I would strongly urge you to join Weight Watchers.
It is a sensible regime and one that my physician enthusiastically endorses.

Breakfast is the easiest meal and takes the least amount of time to prepare, plus I like to keep it simple.
I alternate between fresh fruit and yogurt, eggs and toast.

I opt for a variety of fresh fruits and berries with 1/3 cup of Source Yogurt several mornings a week.
Poached or scrambled eggs with Silver Hills Little Big Bread are served on other days.
Two slices of crisp bacon are a treat and I will add these on occasion.
Often I will top two slices of bread with sliced bananas or low fat peanut butter.

To make meals quick and easy I roast a tray of assorted vegetables once a week and keep them in a container in the fridge.

I use yams, carrots, peppers, zucchini, onions, mushrooms, beets, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, whatever looks fresh at the market. I drizzle a small amount of olive oil and toss with the veggies before roasting them at 450 for 40 minutes.

They get a nice colour and have a nutty flavour when they are done.

Lunches are mainly wraps or salads.
I use these with Grimm Co. corn and flour tortilla wraps topped with roasted veggies or a scrambled egg with salsa for a quick lunch.
The roasted vegetables are nice topped with a sprinkling of feta cheese and a drizzle of balsamic vinegar which can be used as a side dish or a main course.
Salads are great for lunches and I always serve mine with a small amount of protein.
Lean chicken or turkey breast, leftover salmon, tuna, soft or a hard boiled egg.
Dressing is used sparingly, about 1 tablespoon, which you can serve on the side and dip the tines of your fork before each bite or dress your entire salad. I use Paul Newmans' lite Thai dressing as I love the flavour.

Dinners usually call for some lean meat, poultry or fish with a salad and lots of vegetables.
A bit of starch on occasion, a baked potato topped with salsa or 1/2 cup of brown rice with a bit of Braggs.

I like to drizzle some lemon juice and sprinkle herbs on top of white fish which I bake on parchment paper at 350 for about 20-25 minutes until done. If I cook salmon I use a wee bit of maple syrup and soy sauce or grated ginger if I have some fresh on hand.

Chicken breast is my preferred choice but Mr. HB likes thighs and wings which I rarely eat because they have skin and more fat than I like to consume. I cook him these when I have lean chicken breast.
Remember that the suggested 3 ounce portion is about the size of a deck of cards.

Steak is a good choice but we don't BBQ much in the winter and I don't grill in my oven so we might have some ground hamburger in burritos, chili or spaghetti sauce.
I severely limit the amount of pasta that I have because it is so high in points and serve a big salad with it so I am not hungry and tempted to have seconds!

I make a big pot of chili with beans, peppers, corn and ground turkey...this is nice leftover served in a wrap for lunch the next day.

Stir fries are a great way to get lots of veggies and a just wee bit of meat. I use vegetable stock to stir fry instead of oil so I save points and still get a tasty result. Bean sprouts are used instead of noodles and I aways add Braggs, red pepper flakes, freshly grated ginger and some Chinese five spice powder.
You can use a bottled stir fry sauce that is low in calories for added flavour if you prefer.

Homemade soup with a tomato base is great to have on hand. Make a big batch and freeze it in small containers for when hunger strikes and you do not have time to whip one up from scratch.
I saute onions, carrots and celery until soft then add water and fish or chicken bones and make a broth.
Season with dill, salt and pepper add a can of tomato paste and simmer. You can add leftover vegetables or some frozen ones if you like.
Homemade soup is very filling.

Snacks mostly consist of an apple sliced with 2 wedges of lite Laughing Cow cheese.

Fresh carrot sticks, peppers, pea pods, celery, cherry tomatoes with a tablespoon of lite Dilly Dip made by the Lighthouse company. Great for serving to company too, and look how beautiful it looks!

Popcorn is a good choice too but with no added butter!

Remember to eliminate or drastically reduce the consumption of sodas, sweet drinks, candy, cookies and pastries.
Drink lots of water and avoid alcohol.

I hope this helps and remember that the Weight Watchers have a website where you can sign up for a free newsletter to get recipes and ideas that help you eat nutritionally good food in portions that allow for weigh loss and maintain your health. Exercise is an important component when trying to lose weight. Walking just 20 minutes each day will help you to rev up your metabolism and aids in sleep. The more activity that you engage in the faster you will notice results.

One of the best things I did was buy the Walk Meter app for my IPhone which keeps track of my walk stats.
You can program it to talk and encourage you to step up your pace to walk faster if you need the motivation.

It is not a huge task if you start small.
Make a few changes a bit at a time and before you know it they become a habit.

Best of luck and thank you for posing the question.


  1. It's funny because I like to go to the Mayr clinic as a detox but some people use it as a fat farm and go to just lose weight and even there they say if you want to lost weight - go to weight watchers because they have the best proven track record above any other method!

  2. I can only echo your wise advice here -- it's much more enjoyable than we imagined before we started, right?

    1. It is an easy program to follow and I like the flexibility. The variety of food one can eat is a bonus too!

  3. Thank you for the suggestions! I've been on Weight Watchers since August and appreciate new ideas for meals. I love the idea of roasting vegetables once a week and then using them for quick meals. Since roasted veggies are a favorite of mine, I will definitely do this.

    I also add oatmeal with berries and a little maple syrup a few times a week. And my quick -before aerobics breakfast is Thomas' Bagel Thins (3 pts) with a smear of almond butter.

  4. Thanks for all these suggestions. The not having seconds is key, I think - seconds are my downfall, I'm afraid.

    Just a couple questions - what is Braggs? And, do you reheat your once a week roasted vegs or just eat them cold? Thanks.

    1. Braggs is an all purpose 100% all natural liquid soy seasoning. Available in health food stores and grocery shops, Braggs Co. is located in Santa Barbara California. It is GMO free, non fermented, gluten free, no alcohol and totally void of calories!

    2. I heat the veggies up when I put them in a wrap but as a salad I eat them cold with a spinkle of feta and a drizzle of balsamic vinegar.

  5. Thank you so much for this post. It must have taken quite awhile to put it all together! I appreciate all your advice. What I have had to give up is cheese, and since you mentioned Lite Laughing Cow, previously, I now use it and this now satisfies my cheese cravings. I have lost weight and now plateaued, a bit frustrating, but I will use your ideas and see what happens.
    Yes, exercise is the key,,walking for me. And, me too, what is Braggs?
    Linda C.
    Once again, thank you and I am going to put all your tips into action

    1. Please read my answer about the Braggs question just above your comment.

  6. What a delicious array of foods, mine is similar but with rice and whole grain bread as the base, I'm not keen on any animal protein, ( bar yoghurt) so that tends to be once a month or so for me.

  7. Thanks for your tips. I too have a thyroid problem. Last year I was given the advice to have my problem fixed once and for all by taking a radio active tablet to slow kill off my thyroid. I did do this and must say I haven't felt this good physically in a long time. The down side is that for along time I could rely on my overactive thyroid making my system race and therefore I'd lose weight. Mine you I felt terrible a lot of the time. Now I've watched my weight increase. I have to do something .I did start walking again ( walked and went to keep fit for 18 years Don't really know why I stopped )30mins at least 5 times a week and the weight just dropped off but I got lazy again. I'm not guilty of eating junk food but I do just eat way too much So I've started reducing my portions now I've just got to start walking again.

    Kind Regards

    PS: I love the roast veggie idea

    1. Karen I must say that I am surprised about your thyroid treatment. It must be wonderful to feel so much better now but the downside is the weight gain. 30 minutes a day is not a huge amount of time if it allows you to keep fit and maintain a healthy weight...having said that it took me YEARS to get to this point. It's obvious that I am a slow learner!
      You'll find that if you walk with a friend and chat that you will go farther, faster and the time will pass so fast that yopu will forget that you are even walking.
      Best wishes on your journey.

  8. Thank you for your inspiration. I am heading out tomorrow for that 4 month posting in Victoria and I am approaching it as a bit of a cocoon to refocus on myself. I hope to examine why I make unhealthy food choices (journalling), make better choices (the galley will help!), and get back to exercising (lack of snow will also help!).
    Keep that inspiration coming!! Your pictures are so luscious that I just want to reach for that salad and go out for a long walk.

  9. super tips...and you make all of the food look so good!

  10. Very helpful, and good advice. Congratulations for being so diligent! I do much of this myself, but I have to admit I have been struggling the last few weeks with all the cold and gray days here in Michigan. Comfort food is screaming my name!! Fortunately I am at least maintaining my weight, but need to get back on board. Thanks for the encouragement Hostess.

  11. We are very fortunate that we do not get snow very often ro walking would be a real challenge...shovelling the paths and sidewalk would be the extent of my workout as I do not like freezing cold weather!
    Maintenance is not a bad place to be...that is where I am at the moment and have a few more weigh ins before I get the lifetime membership at WW.
    Your book club tea table looked so a tea and book lover I would have been honored to be invited. Your guests must have appreciated your special touches.

  12. Thank you so much for this post. I need to lose weight, but my trouble is partly that I don't like to eat, so I skip meals and my husband says that I have messed up my metabolism. I will try subscribing to Weight Watchers.....and try to find a buddy to be accountable to.

  13. Such great ideas, thank you. I am also on WW and your suggestions are such a help!

  14. Your food photos are great. I just went and bought La vache qui rit cheese for snacking and am going to try a little harder with my exercise. Consistency is my Achilles' heel. I find your suggestions inspiring although I too am a bit of a slow learner in this area.

  15. Great post. I am currently trying to get my thyroid back under control. Looking forward to having more energy and interest in life to start cooking again and enjoying exercise . If it wasn't for neighbors who ask me to walk almost every day, I would be a lump on the sofa. Can't wait to lose the 10 lbs that is stubbornly sticking to my hips.

  16. Your meals look scrumptious! I honestly don't eat much different than this; except that I drink wine; but never have desert, and my weight keeps creeping up.
    I have yet to go for a thyroid test, as I feel fine; but maybe I should, as I can't understand why I can't keep my weight at bay?
    Thanks for this post.