Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Breakfast Mini Quiches

These are a snap to make and the variations are endless. Depending on the specific ingredients, they clock in at around 55 calories apiece. I use them for a quick breakfast on those hurried mornings (my kids LOVE them), or have even served them at a Mothers' Day buffet brunch! They freeze and reheat well in the microwave.

Breakfast Mini Quiches
-1 pre-made piecrust (I like Safeway's brand)
-Nonstick cooking spray
-1 cup diced mixed vegetables (Whatever's on hand. I usually use mushrooms, onions, and red and green bell peppers. Asparagus with onion is also good.)
-6 slices low-fat turkey bacon or center-cut bacon, cooked and crumbled
-2 ounces low-fat cheddar cheese, grated (or use the pre-shredded stuff if you are in a hurry; just make sure it is reduced fat)
-3/4 cup nonfat liquid egg substitute
-salt and pepper to taste

1. Preheat oven to 350F. Using a small cookie cutter (1.5" in diameter), cut circles from the pie crust. When you have cut as many circles as you can fit, re-roll the leftover crust and keep cutting circles until you have 36 in total. Spray 2 mini muffin tins with nonstick spray. Set a dough circle into each cup. Gently press down with fingertips.

2. Spray a small skillet with nonstick spray. Sautee the vegetables for 2-3 minutes or until softened. You may need to drain them in a sieve for a couple of minutes if your vegetables are watery. Distribute the vegetables evenly atop the prepared pie crusts in the muffin tin. You will use about 1/2 tsp. for each.

3. Divide bacon evenly among each, followed by the cheese.

4. Using a glass measuring cup with a spout, add salt and pepper to egg substitute and whisk until combined. You may also add fresh herbs if you like. Carefully divide the egg substitute among the 36 muffin cups. Don't worry if some spills underneath the pie crust in your cups - it doesn't matter. Cups should be from 3/4 full to all the way full.

5. Bake at 350F for 10-13 minutes, or until egg looks completely set and edges start to brown. The egg mixture may rise significantly during the course of baking, but it will shrink back down once you remove them from the oven.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Another Hearty Breakfast

My kids are tired of oatmeal. I allow them to put raisins, dried cranberries, dates, figs, dried apricots, cinnamon, vanilla, milk, berries, nuts, or any combination of those in it (endless options, if you ask me). But they just sit at the table forEVER lately when it's what's for breakfast.

I want them to get the health benefits, but they are just burnt out on it, I think. (Maybe this has something to do with the giant Costco-sized box we keep buying and the fact that I refused to buy cereal for about 6 months?)

Anyway, I decided to look at some different recipes to get them to eat oatmeal again. I read through about a million oatmeal recipes, and tried some really gross ones, before developing this Baked Oatmeal recipe. It comes out as bars, and we serve it in a shallow bowl with maple syrup on top. The kids will actually eat it! I like it because I can put it together the night before, pop it in the oven in the morning about a half hour before waking up the kids, and then by the time they are showered and ready to eat, breakfast is ready.

Baked Oatmeal Squares

4 cups old-fashioned oats (the kind that cook in about 5 minutes)
1/2 cup brown sugar (not packed)
1/2 cup Splenda
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg
pinch of salt
1 cup nonfat milk
1 cup water
2 Egg Whites
1 Egg
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup raisins

Combine oats, brown sugar, Splenda, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt in a large bowl.

Mix together all wet ingredients (milk through vanilla) in a small bowl. Pour over dry ingredients and mix until thoroughly combined. Gently stir in raisins.

Mixture will look dry. Spread in a 13x9 glass dish. Refrigerate covered overnight.

In morning, cook in a 350F oven for 35 minutes. Allow to set for a few minutes before cutting into bars. Makes 8 servings.

Chocolate Chip Banana Bread Pudding

My kids would eat cereal every morning for breakfast if I let them. But that just gets on my nerves for some reason. I like to mix it up - sometimes we do eggs and toast, sometimes oatmeal, sometimes smoothies.

I recently had some bananas that were getting a little overripe, and some big slices of Whole Wheat Nature's Pride bread that needed using. I decided to make a bread pudding using those. I had never made bread pudding before, so I perused MANY recipes (both online and in my Joy of Cooking cookbook) to get ideas.

This is what I came up with. Unfortunately, I didn't take a picture or figure out nutritional stats. But it was good! The bananas were sweet and went well with the brown sugar, and the chocolate chips made it feel decadent - like dessert for breakfast!

Chocolate Chip Banana Bread Pudding

8 slices whole wheat bread, torn into bite-size pieces
3/4 cup fat-free egg substitute
1 can Evaporated Milk (I used fat free)
1 cup water
2/3 cup packed brown sugar (could use substitute if available)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 pinch nutmeg
1/4 tsp salt
3 large bananas, peeled and sliced
1/3 cup mini chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350F.

Grease an 8x8 baking dish (I used nonstick spray).

Mix together egg substitute, milk, water, sugar, vanilla, nutmeg, and salt in a large bowl. Add bread pieces and stir until combined. (I used clean hands for this step).

Place half of bread pieces in pan; top with banana slices. Cover with remaining bread, pouring any leftover liquid on top.

Place pan on a baking sheet. Bake for 50 - 60 minutes, or until edges start to brown and egg looks set.

Allow to set for a few minutes before cutting into slices. Top each serving with a small handful of chocolate chips.

Makes 6-8 servings.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Why I haven't Blogged as Promised

So, really quickly, I ran the San Francisco Marathon on July 26th. I met my time goal of 5 hours (finished in 4:53). That is an hour and three minutes faster than last year!

I had to drive myself to and from the race because the husband had left that morning for a business trip to Wisconsin for a week.

A few hours after returning home, my husband's ex-wife, who had a weekend visitation with my three stepsons, brought back only 2 boys out of 3. She told me she was keeping the third. I was so confused and tired and delirious (Jeez, I had just run a marathon!) and I couldn't believe what she was saying and that she was pulling this crud while husband was away (in retrospect, I realize this was done intentionally). I frantically ran to the filing cabinet and started looking through 12 years worth of court paperwork pertaining to the custody orders.

Shoot! There was no signed order from 8 years ago when my husband got custody of that stepson. We have orders for the other two boys, but not the third.

To make a VERY long, complicated and frustrating story short, there never was an order created from when the hubby got custody of stepson #3. The judge ruled in his favor, and the minutes from that hearing state such, but we need an order to get my son back!

Of course, I went to the courthouse the very next day and started getting the ball rolling on what we needed to do to get that order. I had hubby Fed-Ex Overnight the paperwork and immediately filed it to get an order.

That was almost 4 weeks ago. The order still has not been signed.

Meanwhile, my family is in a state of chaos because one of our members has been missing for 4 weeks. Everywhere we go, I order 6 of everything. I cook too much dinner. I cut treats into 4 pieces - one for each child - and then have one left over. And I'm not the only one. My 8-year-old woke up in the middle of the night last night crying because he misses his brother.

I have been raising this boy since he was 3 years old. He is my son. Maybe not biologically, but I potty-trained him. I got up with him in the middle of the night when he had nightmares about dinosaurs. I taught him how to ride a bike. I don't see my 3 stepsons any differently than I see my own son. They are my kids!

My husband's ex is vindictive, spiteful, irresponsible, and uses every opportunity to trash my husband and I to the boy. She tells him we don't care about him. She tells him we don't love him. She tells him that his half-brother is not his "real" brother. I miss my son every minute of every day. I can't sleep. I can't focus at work. I worry about him constantly.

I sure as heck have not had any motivation whatsoever to BLOG.

I have sent the info about the case to every person I know to try and get help. People have called and asked for the order to get signed ASAP. We have called and left messages repeatedly. My husband has waited at the courthouse for hours in a suit trying to get answers. Nothing works.

Meanwhile, the ex suddenly decided (after 11 years of not caring) that she suddenly needs all three boys by her side. She has filed for custody of all of them, plus child support. The court date is in October. I despair of getting the order signed to get #3 back before that date. And then maybe the judge will decide to just let her keep him. And then why not the other 2, just to keep the three of them together? I am SO scared.

I hate family court. I hate the staff. I hate the paperwork and the confusing forms and the fact that nobody wants to help you when you go there to get help. I hate the judge who has not signed the order.

I don't know her personally, but I hate her none the less.

I know that they get dozens of stacks of paperwork a week and that we are just a number on a piece of paper to them. But this is my child! He is being kept away from his home and his family on a legal loophole - a mere technicality - and we are helpless to do anything about it! This feeling of powerlessness is so demoralizing.

I thought the people at the courthouse were supposed to be public servants. I thought it was their job to help people. All the information they need is right there in the building. All it takes is a minute for a judge to read a form and sign it. But these people just don't care. They don't return phone calls. They will get to it when they get to it, and it is just too bad for us.

I am tempted to go to law school just so I can be more empowered in the future.

If you are still reading this, it must mean you are very bored, or a very good friend. Thank you for taking the time.

I hope to get my son back soon, and get life back to normal so I can start BLOGGING again.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Holy Huge Breakfast, Batman!

This morning I was SO hungry when I woke up, I was tempted to just grab whatever was ready to shove into my mouth. That would usually have equated to packaged cookies, muffins, or the like. But not any more! I forced myself to cook (and used up some leftovers in the process. I love that).

I didn't take a picture. I forgot because I was so hungry.

Fajita Huevos Rancheros
2 tsp. olive oil
1 red onion, sliced
1 medium zucchini, diced
1 green bell pepper, seeded and chopped
1 roma tomoto, chopped
1 cup cooked Trader Joe's Brown Rice Medley
1 cup canned black beans, rinsed and drained
1 cup Chicken Fajita Chili (leftovers from 4th of July BBQ)
1 and 1/2 cups Egg Beaters
3 ounces Cabot 75% Fat Free Cheddar Cheese, shredded

Sautee the veggies in the olive oil until just softened. Set aside. Mix the chili and beans and warm in the microwave until steaming. Scramble the egg substitute in the pan from the veggies. Then assemble your breakfast in a large, shallow bowl in layers: first the rice, then the chili/bean mixture, topped with the veggie mixture and eggs. Sprinkle cheese on top. Makes 3 servings.

Couldn't calculate accurate nutrition stats because I didn't make the chili and had to guess on the points...but I guessed based on WW food listings. One serving of this is about 6 points. You can even add a small La Tortilla Factory Tortilla for 0 extra points!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

I'm back!

A trip to Pennsylvania, Summer Karate Camps, and Marathon training have kept me unbelievably busy for the past several weeks. I have been still cooking healthy meals and trying new recipes and products, but just haven't gotten off my butt long enough to post any.

There are just 18 days left until the San Francisco Marathon! Last year, I struggled with the hills and motivation and cramps and finished in 5:56, a disappointing time. This year, I am MUCH stronger and MUCH faster, but still worried about hills. (Oh, yeah, and let's not forget about 40 pounds lighter, too). I am hoping to beat 5 hours, but I realize that shaving a whole hour off my previous time is a lot to ask for...so we'll see.

The SF Marathon sends out a monthly newsletter for all registered participants. This month's version included an article about tapering (reducing the mileage you run in the last 3 weeks before a marathon). You can read the article here:

I printed it out and brought it to karate with me last night. Reading it got me SO pumped up (and a little nervous) for the race! It has plenty of tips and tricks and also has a section at the end for tapering for shorter races.

This past Sunday, I did a 23.85 mile training run as my last long run before the start of my taper. It was quite adventurous. At mile 21.5, I stopped to help a disoriented cyclist with chest pain until paramedics arrived. At mile 23, I got chased by a dog. If any of you have ever run more than 20 miles, you know that at this point, you become emotional and aren't thinking quite clearly. The cyclist and the dog just completely drained me and I almost cried! Nothing a hot shower, a bowl of cold fruit salad and a Slurpee didn't fix, however! If you've never tried a Slurpee after a super hard workout, I highly recommend it!

Stay tuned for more marathon training posts and hopefully some yummy recipes. The pre-marathon nutrition plan is in full effect as I try to detox some of the junk out of my system!

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Another contest!

Mom on the Run is giving away new Tyson heat-and-eat meat entrees! Check out their website and tell her which one you want to try to enter. Good luck to all the entrants!!

Contest over at Uncovering Food!

C.G. the Foodie has been raving about Garlic Gold on her BLOG at Uncovering Food. They make garlic-infused oils, salad dressings, and seasoning. She is having a contest where you can win a fabulous garlicky smapler as a prize. I want to win! (But good luck to everyone else who enters!) Go check it out!

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Recipe: Black Bean Polenta "Pizzas" with Eggs

This breakfast has a little of everything - healthy fat, a serving of vegetables, complex carbohydrates, and protein! That means it will keep you full for a while. This is one of those weird recipes - if I put the ingredients in the WW point tracker individually, I get 4.5 points. If I add up all the stats and put it into the point finder that way, I get 7 points. I'm going with 5 personally!

--Black Bean Polenta "Pizzas" with Eggs--

-3.6 ounces (or one serving) polenta (I used Food Merchants' Organic Green Chili and Cilantro flavor, available at Whole Foods Market or Cost Plus)
-1/4 cup canned black beans, drained and rinsed
-1 very small vine-ripened tomato, diced
-1 piece Weight Watchers Reduced Fat Cheddar Cheese Snacks, shredded
-Salt and Pepper to taste
-1/8 tsp. ground cumin
-1 tsp. olive oil
-1/4 red bell pepper, diced
-1/2 small yellow onion, diced
-1/2 cup fat free egg substitute (I use the Safeway brand)
-1 Tbsp. chopped cilantro
-1 La Tortilla Factory whole-wheat, low-carb soft taco size tortilla

Slice polenta into 4 rounds. Spray a small baking sheet with nonstick cooking spray; place polenta rounds on it and bake at 350F for approximately 10 minutes, turning once. Mash black beans and tomato in a small bowl; salt and pepper to taste. Divide bean mixture evenly atop polenta rounds. Sprinkle each round with a pinch or two of cheese. Bake for 6 more minutes or until heated through and cheese is melted and bubbly.

Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a small nonstick skillet until shimmery. Add onions; cook 2 minutes or until softened. Add bell pepper, salt and pepper to taste, and ground cumin; cook an additional 1-2 minutes or until bell pepper is just softened. Add egg substitute; cook and scramble 2-3 minutes or until firm.

Plate the polenta "pizzas" alongside eggs. Sprinkle all with chopped cilantro. Sprinkle any remaining cheese on eggs. Warm the tortilla for a few seconds and serve it alongside. (I like to make a little burrito with some of my eggs and the tortilla.)

Nutritionals: 349 calories, 10g fat, 13g fiber, 26g protein

WW Points: 7

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Product Review: Raw Organic Food Bar

One of the bars that I bought to try last time I was at Whole Foods was made by the Organic Food Bar Inc. in Fullerton, California. (Their One Bar in Raspberry Muffin Crunch had been recommended by C.G. over at http://www.uncoveringfood.com/, but I didn't realize that this one was made by the same people).

The flavor I got was the RAW Organic Food bar in Fiber Chocolate Delite. It states right on the front of the label that it has 14 grams of Fiber in it! Sweet! I don't subscribe to a raw foods lifestyle, but the cute packaging, impressive nutritional stats, and words "chocolate delite" made me give it a try anyway.

I have to admit that when I opened the wrapper, I was NOT impressed with first sight of the bar. It was sticky and hard to get out of the wrapper. It was a caramel-brown color and didn't even look like it had chocolate in it. No frosting, no coated bottom, no chocolatey drizzle on top...what was I getting myself into? I was a little worried about how this bar would taste. Upon first bite, the chewy texture was interesting but the flavor didn't knock my socks off. After my second or third bite, however, I started to appreciate the non-dairy chocolate mini chips that were sprinkled throughout the bar. Halfway through the bar, I was sold! The flavor really grew on me, and the chewiness kept me from scarfing it down in two seconds (which has been known to happen with bars).

I paired this bar with a bottle of water after a workout and then went shopping. The fiber kept me full until I got home for a late lunch.

Check out the Organic Food Bar Company's web site at http://www.organicfoodbar.com/ for all of their mouth-watering flavors. They have functional bars, kids' bars, and bars with specific dietary guidelines (vegan, for example). I think I will try the chocolate cononut flavor next!

Nutritionals: 200 calories, 9g fat, 14g fiber, 3g protein

WW Points: 4

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Recipe Contest: Cheesy Potato Casserole with Greens

C.G. the Foodie is having a recipe challenge over at http://www.uncoveringfood.com/2009/04/april-mystery-box-challenge.html based on the cooking show "Chopped". There are three random ingredients and contestants have to come up with a recipe that uses all three ingredients. I got to pick one of this month's ingredients! So naturally I felt compelled to try and make something using...drumroll, please...Ham, Beer, and Rosemary. (Rosemary was the one I picked). Ham and rosemary go together just fine about eleventy billion different ways, but what to do with the beer? And could I still make this recipe be healthy AND delicious? I looked around my refrigerator and pantry for inspiration. I had a ton of produce that needed to be used. I decided to come up with a casserole to use some of the produce.

How on earth do you use beer in a casserole? All I could think about was beer bread and fondue. I've heard of fondue recipes that use beer. Why not use a fondue-type sauce as the sauce for my casserole? Hmm, what about the "healthy" part? Ok, so use lean ham and reduced fat cheese. Ok, I had some direction now. This recipe is completely from my own imagination with no help. I didn't look in a single cookbook or online recipe for inspiration. I wanted to see if I could do it all by myself.

It took two tries (the first casserole came out delicious but a little too watery). The second result was much more visually appealing (and less messy to eat). The nutritional stats are impressive, too, for a cheesy and starchy casserole. I might still experiment with the right beer to make it perfect, but it's a good finished product for my first try at making up a casserole recipe using beer. I felt proud when my husband and kids ate it and said they liked it!

--Cheesy Potato Casserole with Greens--

-2 medium russet potatoes
-1 Farmer John lean Ham Steak, diced
-1 Tbsp. fresh rosemary, chopped
-1 tsp. extra virgin olive oil
-1 small yellow onion, diced
-3 cloves garlic, minced
-1 bunch collard greens, large stems removed and roughly chopped
-salt and pepper to taste
-4 tsp. extra virgin olive oil
-2 Tbsp. unbleached all-purpose flour
-1 bottle beer (I used Trader Joe's Bohemian Lager)
-8 oz. Jarlsberg Lite Swiss Cheese, shredded
-1 pinch ground nutmeg
-1 pinch ground cayenne pepper

1. Wash potatoes. Prick with tines of a fork, and microwave 3 minutes or until beginning to soften. Let cool for several minutes, then slice in thin slices, leaving the skins on. Spray a 2-quart casserole dish with nonstick spray. Arrange potatoes in bottom of dish. Sprinkle with rosemary.

2. Heat 1 tsp. olive oil in a nonstick skillet. Add garlic and onion. Cook and stir until softened, about 2 minutes. Add collards, continuing to sautee until just wilted. Drain off any excess liquid; spread evenly over potato slices. Sprinkle with diced ham; add salt and pepper to taste.

3. Heat remaining 4 tsp. olive oil in same skillet. Using a nylon whisk, stir in flour until well-combined and frothy. Whisk in beer; bring to a boil. Stirring continuously, cook until thickened, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat. Fold in the cheese, nutmeg, and cayenne. Pour the sauce over the casserole. (At this point, for a make-ahead dish, cover and refrigerate the casserole until you are ready to bake).

4. Bake at 375F until potatoes are cooked through and sauce is bubbly and browned around the edges, about 35 minutes. Allow to rest for 5-10 minutes before cutting for ease of serving. Makes 6 servings.

Nutritionals: 270 calories, 9g fat, 3.7g fiber, 20g protein

WW Points: 5

Weekends are hard.

Saturday night I got together with a bunch of people from karate. We were celebrating all the April birthdays. This included dinner at a Chinese Restaurant - it was a set menu. The only healthy choices were hot and sour soup and Deluxe Vegetables. I was tired and hungry from a long day, so I just went with it. I tried to only eat until I was no longer hungry (instead of cramming food in until uncomfortably stuffed, which is how I USED to do Chinese). The last dish that came out was Peking Duck. I was full by then, so I passed. 3 small glasses of wine accompanied my dinner.

After dinner, we went to one of the instructor's homes for drinks and desserts. Seriously, there was about eleven different kinds of wine, champagne, mojitos, Midori Sours, and 3 kinds of cake. UGH! I managed to limit myself to one piece of chocolate cake, one glass of champagne, and 1 Midori Sour.

After we got home, I had fully intended (with the help of a wine-champagne-Midori-induced buzz) to fall face first into the massive pile of leftover Easter chocolate that is in my room. I was going to eat chocolate until I passed out. After 4 pieces from a Whitman's sampler (what used to be "warming up" for me and only cost me 5 points), I was over it and stopped eating chocolate. I completely stayed away from the Reese's Peanut Butter Cup Eggs (we have regular size and King-Size) and the giant See's Bordeaux Eggs, and the "Ginormous Chocolate Egg" that JP bought for me (because the word Ginormous on a product is funny), and the dark chocolate bunnies, and the bunnies with extra big ears, and the M&Ms and Dark Dove Eggs. Yay! So even though I ended up being well over my WW points for the day, it wasn't entirely hopeless. I said I wasn't going to journal. Of course, first thing in the morning on Sunday when I woke up, I went through and journalled everything. I know, I'm weird like that.

Sunday morning my tummy felt gross from the excess of the day before. That didn't stop me from eating 11 points worth of breakfast, though. It was all healthy stuff, but come on, 11 points?! Seriously...

Guilty feelings about food leads me to work out a lot, even when I don't feel like it. Is that good or bad? I don't know. It gets the job done, though. I had run three days in a row previous to Sunday, so I wasn't sure how I would feel or how many miles I would want (or have time) to do. I talked JP and my 7-year-old Justin into coming with me for my first lap of 3.89 miles. Oy, they run slow! We did a 3:1 jog to walk ratio. It took us 50 minutes to do the 3.89 miles. It took some major convincing to get Justin to finish all of the jogging intervals. Especially when we saw a dead raccoon in the gutter. It freaked him out. LOL. Thinking about it now is making me laugh. I did a second 3.89-mile lap after dropping them off at home. That one took me 37 minutes. My stomach felt so gross, though, and I was sweating a good deal, so I decided to call it quits. 7.78 miles is nothing to sneeze at! I'll run tomorrow, too, as long as my knees aren't too tired. I'm still heavily considering signing up for the SF marathon again this year. I feel very confident that I'll improve my time substantially from last year. I am a lot stronger and a lot faster now.

Lunch was rushed as I had errands to run and things. One thing I DID have after my run, though, was a "Dark-Berry" flavor Mix1 High-Antioxidant Fiber Drink. I LOVED the orange-carrot flavor I tried the other day. The berry flavor has almost identical nutritional stats, and tastes just as good! I DEFINITELY need to go back to Whole Foods and get some more of those. At 2 points they are a nutritional bargain, and with all that protein and fiber in them, they really provide long-lasting satiety.

Dinner tonight after church was at Shari's Restaurant. It used to be Bakers Square. I am bummed that they don't have anything on the menu that is the same as Bakers Square except for some of the pies. No more dino tots or Honey Mustard chicken or fried cheese or stir-fry with rice pilaf. :( I ordered a veggie burger that came with fruit, and a side salad. It was delish! The bun the veggie burger was served on was dusted with cornmeal and just really hit the spot. I looked online to see if Shari's has nutritional info for their menu items. They have the calorie count, saturated fat, and a couple of other things listed. Not helpful from a WW point of view. Plus, it stated 713 calories for my veggie burger and fruit. The burger didn't seem to contain cheese. It was grilled, not fried, there was no mayo on the bun as far as I could tell, and the fruit cup was small. I have a hard time believing it had that many calories. I counted 8 points (7 is how many for Burger King's veggie burger with no mayo, which is comparable, and 1 for the fruit cup).

After dinner, I wisely opted for a cup of coffee instead of dessert. This was a victory indeed. Shari's has all the same pie that Bakers Square had, plus a variety of milkshakes, a chocolate lava cake, a turtle sundae, a banana split, and a cheesecake sampler on their dessert menu. Ohhhhhh, all of those things looked SOOOOO good. But I didn't want to negate the work I did running today. I had a 2-point WW ice cream bar when I got home instead.

Tomorrow my girlfriends and I are starting a month-long challenge where we set our own goals and earn points if we stick to them. I am hoping that we will have a good competition and push each other to do well. I am coming up on 1 year of being hard-core on WW this time around. I don't want to lose momentum! I want to keep going all the way to goal, and I think this challenge will help me do just that!

Friday, April 24, 2009

Product Review: Mix 1 Hi-Antioxidant Fiber Drink, Orange-Carrot Flavor

Another great find at Whole Foods Market!

This nutritious drink is made from all-natural ingredients like carrot juice concentrate, orange juice concentrate, Whey Protein, Organic Cane Sugar, and Extra Light Olive Oil. It contains an antioxidant blend that provides Green Tea extract, EGCG, vitamin E, and vitamin C. The label claims that an 11-ounce bottle contains 9 servings of fruits and vegetables in addition to 8 grams of fiber and 9 grams of protein! Seems to good to be true, doesn't it? Or else the taste is going to SUCK, right?

Wrong! Mix 1 tastes absolutely delicious! Almost like an Orange Julius (that is the closest thing I can compare it to). The tangy citrus flavor complements the sweetness of the carrot juice and the whey protein adds a creaminess that is a dieter's dream! I tried to savor the flavor so that I could accurately describe it to you all, but it was too good. I chugged it right down!

The drinks are available at Whole Foods Markets and other stores near you. The company's web site offers a wealth of information concerning its product, as well as a store-locator and Amazon.com-powered ordering. Their website is: http://www.mix1life.com/. This product is good for nine months in the sealed bottle, so if you order a case from Amazon (with free shipping, because it is over $25.00), it is sure to get used before it goes bad!

One bonus about this product: it is in the 2:1 carbohydrate to protein ratio that is ideal for replacing glycogen after hard or prolonged workouts (see my previous post on glycogen for more on that)! It also contains the electrolytes potassium and sodium. So this is a great drink for me to have after martial arts training or running!

I'm pretty sure I have another flavor at home in my refrigerator. I'll let you all know how good it is. Make sure you get the High-Fiber version; the regular one, although it offers more flavors, has more calories. 5 STARS!

Product Review: Heart Thrive Energy Bars

Last week when I was at Whole Foods Market perusing the bakery section, a cute package with a heart on it caught my eye. Colorful lettering and the words "Nutritious Meals to Go" sparked my attention. Heart Thrive Energy Bars come in a package of two heart-shaped cakes - they are so cute, which is reason alone to get them! I am always looking for energy bars that aren't too high in calories. I like to stash them in my purse and gym bag for use after workouts or on days when I am too busy to eat all my snacks and meals at home.

The "too high in calories" part gets to be a problem. Many energy bars out there have as many calories as a full meal! Which is fine if you plan to use a bar as a meal...But I usually don't. I'd rather have a meal. Bars to me are snacks. I don't waste 300 calories on a snack that most likely isn't going to keep me full for more than an hour.

What about the bars that have under 200 calories? Hmmm. Usually they are boring and small. I can eat one in 3 bites and be hungry again half an hour later. They usually don't contain a significant amount of protein or fiber. This is not the case with Heart Thrive. I was excited to read on the package's nutrition facts that each cute little heart is made mostly of oats and dried fruit, with a calorie count around 150! Perfect for my needs! They come in many different flavors; I purchased the date flavor to try. Now I am wishing I had bought one of each, because the bar was delicious! The flavor of oats and dates mingle pleasantly in this bar. It's sweet but not too sweet, with a smidge of cinnamon and ginger. It has a tiny bit of chalkiness from the soy protein, but I am willing to forgive that based on the superior nutritional stats this bar boasts. In general, this bar is like a denser version of an oatmeal cookie.

The date flavor bar clocks in at 158 calories per heart and offers 5 grams of fiber and 6 grams of protein. The Weight Watchers points (3) are printed right on the package! I ate my first one right after a hard run at the gym. I was on the way home in the car and had stashed these in my gym bag. Along with a bottle of water, this made for a satisfying and filling post-workout snack. It left me full for a couple of hours, and with only 11 grams of natural sugars, I didn't experience a sugar crash afterward.

I definitely look forward to trying some of the other flavors of Heart Thrive bars. The other flavors are: Raisin, Cranberry, Apple, Apricot, Poppyseed, and Chocolate Chip. You can order right from their website at www.HeartThrives.com. You may order individual flavors or a mixed assortment. Note that the chocolate chip has a slightly higher calorie and fat content than the fruity ones. These bars are vegan, Wheat free, Dairy free, low fat, contain no GMOs, artificial ingredients, or preservatives, and are high in calcium. All around a great addition to any healthy diet!

I ate my bars just pretty much right out of the package, but the web site has suggestions of other things to do with these bars. I think next time I might try warming one in the microwave and eating it with a spray or two of ICBINB and some sugar-free maple syrup!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

A whole lot about Glycogen!

When I trained for the 2 full marathons that I ran in 2007 and 2008, I trained with the National AIDS Marathon Training Program. It was a 6-month program that got us ready to run the 26.2 mile race in addition to raising funds to support the San Francisco AIDS Foundation. One of the coolest things about the program was that the coaches taught us a lot about running from every aspect, including nutrition for before, during, and after running.

During aerobic exercise, the body will use the most easily accessible energy it can. Our bodies are efficient (or perhaps lazy) in that way. Carbohydrates are much easier to break down than proteins or fat, so the carbs get utilized first.

The carbohydrates we eat are broken down by the body and one of the results is glucose, some of which is temporarily stored in the liver and muscles as glycogen. Only glycogen from the liver can be made available to other organs for energy. Once your body has used any available glucose that is in your bloodstream and liver from recent meals, it will look to other sources for fuel.

When we exercise for an extended period of time, and/or work out major muscle groups, the muscles involved will begin to use the glycogen stored there as fuel. Endurance athletes (such as marathoners, long-distance cyclers, competitive swimmers and the like) will eventually use up all the glycogen in the muscles and go into what is called "glycogen debt". Marathoners know this phenomenon well. We call it "hitting the wall" because the runner suddenly experiences great muscle fatigue and sometimes pain. It suddenly becomes excruciatingly hard to continue moving forward. The body is now in a state of hypoglycemia, which can become dangerous, and can be accompanied by diziness, weakness, and even hallucinations. This is why Olympic-level marathoners sometimes run with smelling salts.

At this point, the body may begin to cannibalize proteins from the muscles for fuel, and begin burning fat stores. Sounds good, right? Well, maybe not. I'd like to keep my lean muscle mass as opposed to using it for energy, wouldn't you? Adults tend to lose muscle mass over time anyway, as part of the aging process. I'd like it if my body could solely burn my accumulated fat stores (even after losing 80 pounds, I still have plenty). But it takes more energy to burn fat than it does to burn protein or carbs. It also requires more oxygen. After prolonged running, most runners are not able to consume enough oxygen to keep this anaerobic process going for long. Additionally, some experts believe that this type of stress on the body can be damaging to the immune system!

So what is the best way to keep from going into glycogen debt during exercise? Consuming carbohydrates before, during, and after exercise is the best way to prevent hitting the wall. Sporting goods stores, nutrition stores, and running stores offer a host of products that endurance athletes can consume easily while exercising in order to replenish the glucose that has been used.

Some of my favorite products to use during exercise are Gu Brand Energy gels, Clif Shot Bloks, Luna moons, and PowerBar Gel Blasts (especially the Cola flavor...just like a Coke Slurpee!)

Just as important as fueling DURING exercise is what you put into your body AFTER exercise. After intense and prolonged exercise (over an hour), the body will convert carbohydrates into glycogen to replace what was used up to 3 times faster than it does at normal times. This is called the "glycogen window". You want to take advantage of this period and get that glycogen back in there ASAP so you have it available for your next workout. If you don't, you will certainly notice the lack of readily available energy in the form of fatigue, sluggishness, and maybe even muscle pain.

In addition to consuming carbs after your hard workout, you also want to consume some protein to help repair any microscopic muscle tears. An ideal ratio has been suggested by nutritionists of 2:1 carbohydrate to protein ratio. If you have been sweating a lot, you will also want to consume some sodium, which is lost rapidly during prolonged exertion. Now, a big mistake that many people make is to eat a huge meal after working out. They justify their hard work as an excuse to consume huge amounts of calories. Regardless of your increased caloric burn after exercise, any EXCESS calories will still be stored in the body as fat, negating all the hard work you just did. And research has shown that most people tend to overestimate the amount of calories they burn during a workout.

So what are some healthy, great-tasting foods with a 2:1 carb to protein ratio that contain sodium and won't destroy your calorie budget for the day? Here are some great suggestions:

--A glass of chocolate milk, half a banana, and a piece of string cheese
--A hard-boiled egg, plus half a bagel with hummus
--Half of a peanut butter and jelly sandwich and a piece of fruit or glass of juice
--A Big handful of Trail mix (the type with nuts and raisins) and some sports drink
--A tuna sandwich with dill pickles
--An energy bar that contains protein, carbs, and some fiber, along with water or sports drink

Obviously, I am NOT a doctor or a nutritionist, so these ideas come solely from my own opinions and experience of what works for me personally.

Energy Drink Product Review + Recipe

Energy drinks are everywhere these days! In the gas station in Castro Valley where I frequently fill up after karate, they have about 4 refrigerator cases full of different flavors, sizes, and varieties.

Being a mom of 4, a wife, a teacher, and a full-time workout nut is tiring. Sometimes I drink energy drinks to give me a boost during the day. I don't drink the ones with sugar in them. I hate "wasting" calories on drinks - I would rather spend my WW points on food. That automatically cuts the selection of energy drinks available to me by about 80%.

Unfortunately, the 20% that are left for the most part don't taste so good. I choke them down because I want the functional ingredients in them. The only one I think I really enjoy the flavor of is Go Girl.

Imagine my delight when I was shopping in my local grocery outlet (AKA rainbow market) and stumbled upon a club soda-flavored energy drink. Club soda has no calories, and virtually no flavor. My mind reeled at the possibilities for mixing this thing and having an endless choice of flavors of energy drink that I wouldn't have to choke down!

The drink is called JetSet. It comes in 5 flavors: the club soda, original, diet original, ginger ale, and tonic water. I only saw the club soda flavor. I think they were 6 for $1.00 or some ridiculous price. I should have bought more than the 6 I got. Maybe I'll go back and see if they have any more.

The company that makes these energy drinks is in San Francisco. Supposedly they sell their drinks at Safeway, Vons, and BevMo! I'll have to check my local stores and see if they have any of the other flavors. Their website is at www.drinkjetset.com.

The club soda tastes like regular club soda. I was surprised that it didn't have a "vitaminy" taste like some of the energy drinks out there. If you put me in a blind taste test, I wouldn't be able to distinguish between this product and another club soda. It comes in a 10.5 ounce can (perfect serving size for mixing) and contains 120 mg of caffeine (about the same as a cup of coffee and more than an 8-ounce Red Bull), along with B vitamins, taurine, ginseng, and guarana.

The mixing possibilities with this drink are endless. I tried mixing this with half of an OceanSpray Cranergy drink (cranberry pomegranet, yum), half a cup of Minute Maid fruit punch (again, yum), and a couple of different flavors of Crystal Light (pink lemonade was especially tasty). The Jetset website has a bunch of recipe and serving ideas as well (including cocktails).

My favorite though, was this sparkling ginger limeade that I whipped up in an empty water bottle and took with me on a 2nd grade field trip (I didn't have time to make coffee, but I needed SOMETHING to deal with all those 7- and 8-year-olds!)

--Sparkling Energy Ginger Limeade--

-2 small limes
-1" piece of fresh ginger
-2 sweetener packets (I used Equal but you can use Splenda or Truvia)
-1 can Jetset Club Soda Energy Drink

Juice the limes. Peel and grate just the outer soft part of the ginger (the core is tough and stringy). Combine the lime juice, ginger, and sweetener in a tall glass; stir to combine. Carefully pour in club soda and stir. May be shaken and served in a cocktail glass over ice. Or give it a "kick" with a shot of vodka if you don't have to drive anywhere!

Nutritionals: 22 calories, 0 fat, 0 fiber, 0 protein, 80mg sodium

WW points: 0

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Product Review: GT's Organic Raw Kombucha, Botanic No 3

Today JP and I (along with our 4 boys and my niece and nephew) went to Whole Foods. I used to work there several years back. We don't shop there very often, though, because the closest one is about 15 miles from our house. Also, without the discount I used to have, it would be extrememly expensive to feed our family of 6 exclusively using their products.

Anyway, we had a great time perusing every aisle, rediscovering old favorites and also finding new things to try. I had been hearing a lot about Kombucha lately for its health benefits but had never tried it, so when I stumbled on GT's brand, I decided to give it a try. It was hard trying to pick which flavor I wanted to get! After some contemplation, I chose the "Botanic No 3" flavor, which contains lavender and elderberry.

GT's website contains a wealth of information about Kombucha and the products they make. It also tells the story of the founder, who started making Kombucha at home after his mother received a cancer diagnosis. I read all of the FAQs about Kombucha!

From GT's website at http://www.gtskombucha.com/:

"Our Kombucha is delicately cultured - some liken it to fermentation - for 30 days. During this period, essential nutrients form like active enzymes, viable probiotics, amino acids, antioxidants and polyphenols. All of these combine to create an elixir that immediately works with the body to restore balance and vitality. Kombucha has been used for hundreds of years throughout the world as a daily health tonic."

The color of the Kombucha was a lovely burgandy/brown color with grey strands of culture floating in it. The label suggested gently shaking the bottle (gentle being the operative word). Upon opening the bottle, I was surprised to find that this tea drink was carbonated. (This occurs naturally during the "culturing" process and can vary from bottle to bottle). The drink had a slight vinegar smell to it upon first opening - which was not unpleasant - with undertones of berry. The first sip was surprising - tart and tangy, with a slight effervescence that tickled my tongue! The more I drank, the further developed the lavender and berry flavors became. I had no problem polishing off this 16-ounce bottle while I drove home from the store. It was quite refreshing!

One thing I love about this drink is that it only had 60 calories (1 point on WW) for the whole bottle. It doesn't contain any added sugar - only the elderberry sweetens it and adds a mere 4 grams of sugar per bottle. It's a nice alternative to the junky, artificially-sweetened diet sodas I've been trying so hard to eliminate from my diet! I look forward to my next trip to Whole Foods so I can get some other flavors to try.

Recipe Review: Red Beans Over Spanish Rice

Another (and I think MY favorite) in the series of Fitness Magazine's "Seven Super-Easy Suppers". This recipe worked VERY well in the slow-cooker. The meat was so soft it fell apart in my mouth, and the balance of seasonings was excellent, although I DID add some salt on mine when I ate it. Also, I am a freak for cumin so I might add more next time I make it. Regardless, this is definitely one we will make again. It was pretty cheap to make (dry beans, onions, the rice was on sale...the only pricey thing was the meat but it didn't use a lot). The beans were done by not mushy. My children all ate it (as you might remember, my 7-year-old supposedly hates beans). I had a hard time finding a boneless pork shoulder at Safeway, so I got 2 bone-in pork shoulder steaks and removed the bone. You could possibly leave the bone in during cooking and remove it later if you like to get added nutrition from the marrow. I changed the way the beans were soaked to cut down on the number of dishes I would have to wash. I soaked them in the crock pot. We got WAYYYY more than 6 servings out of this one!

--Red Beans Over Spanish Rice--

Makes 6 to 8 servings

-2 cups dry red beans or dry kidney beans
-1 Tbsp. vegetable oil (I used 2 tsp)
-3/4 pound boneless pork shoulder, cut into 1-inch pieces
-2 and 1/2 cups chopped onions
-6 garlic cloves, chopped
-1 Tbsp. ground cumin
-4 cups water
-6 and 3/4 oz. package Spanish Rice, cooked according to package directions (you may need canned tomatoes for this, so check your instructions)
-Fresh Jalapeno peppers, sliced (optional)

Sort through and rinse beans, removing any small stones or shriveled beans; drain. Place beans in slow-cooker; add enough boiling water (use a teakettle if you have one) to cover plus one inch. Cover and turn the heat on to high setting. Allow to soak for one hour. Rinse and drain. Heat oil in a nonstick skillet over medium-high. Brown pork; drain off any excess fat. Add pork to slow-cooker along with soaked and rinsed beans. Add the onions, garlic, cumin, and 4 cups water; stir. Turn temperature setting to low; cook for 10 to 11 hours. Using a slotted spoon, remove beans and pork. Serve the beans over rice, and spoon liquid over the top. Garnish with sliced jalapeno.

Nutritionals (per 1/6th of recipe) : 344 calories, 1g fat, 17g fiber, 19g protein

WW points: 6

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Recipe: Breakfast Polenta with Eggs and Vegetables

I had a number of ingredients in the fridge that needed to be used - an open carton of Egg Beaters, some fresh Basil, zucchini, flat-leaf parsley. I whipped up this breakfast this morning in about 15 minutes. The kids and the husband all ate it. Although my 7-year-old didn't love it and took his time eating it, he didn't complain or make faces. So I'll consider that a win. :) This recipe could easily be halved or doubled depending on the number of people who are hungry. It would make a nice healthy brunch!

--Breakfast Polenta with Eggs and Vegetables--

Makes 6 servings

-3 tsp olive oil
-1 small onion, halved and slivered
-2 small zucchini, halved lengthwise and sliced
-1 cup canned tomato puree (I used Progresso Brand)
-3 Tbsp chopped fresh Basil
-1 Tbsp chopped fresh Italian flat-leaf Parsley
-1 Tube fat-free Polenta (I used Food Merchant Organic Basil Garlic Polenta - 5 servings to a tube)
-3/4 cup Nonfat Milk
-3 cups fat-free Egg Substitute (I used Safeway's "Best of the Egg")
-1 ounce Shredded Parmesan Cheese
-salt and pepper to taste
-1 Tbsp shredded Basil

Sautee onion and zucchini (with salt and pepper to taste) in olive oil over medium/high heat until softened and zucchini starting to brown. Transfer vegetables to a small sauce pan (reserving the oil in the pan); add tomato puree and chopped herbs. Stir and simmer over low heat. Meanwhile, heat the milk in a medium sauce pan over low heat until just warm. Slice the polenta into rounds and add it to the milk. Stir to soften. Use a potato masher to mash the polenta; stir until milk and polenta are combined and smooth. Turn the heat to lowest setting and stir occasionally to keep from scorching. Scramble the Egg substitute in the same pan in which the vegetables were cooked (the remaining olive oil in the pan will help keep them from sticking). Salt and pepper to taste. Place 1/6th of the polenta in a shallow bowl; top with 1/6th of the scrambled "eggs", 1/6th of the vegetable/tomato mixture, and sprinkle on 1/6th of the cheese. Garnish with a few shreds of fresh Basil.

Nutritionals: 195 calories, 3.6g fat, 2g fiber, 18g protein

WW Points: 4

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Recipe Review: Slow-Cooker Cajun Shrimp and Rice

Also from Fitness Magazine's "Seven Super-Easy Suppers". The rice was a tad bit mushy, especially the next day when reheated. Great flavor, though. It was a little bit spicy (but not too spicy). My picky 7-year-old, who turns his nose up at spicy food, tomatoes, and cooked green bell peppers, ate it without complaining. The house smelled wonderful while it was cooking and afterward!

--Cajun Shrimp and Rice--

-1 28-ounce can diced tomatoes
-1 14-ounce can chicken broth
-1 cup chopped onions
-1 green bell pepper, chopped
-1 6- to 6.25-ounce package long-grain and wild rice mix, such as Uncle Ben's
-1/4 cup water
-2 garlic cloves, chopped
-1/2 tsp Cajun seasoning
-1 pound cooked, shelled, and deveined shrimp
-Hot pepper sauce (optional)

Combine tomatoes (with juices), broth, vegetables, rice mix (with its seasoning packet), water, garlic, and Cajun Seasoning in slow-cooker. Cover; cook on low for 5 to 6 hours or on high for 3 to 3.5 hours. Stir shrimp into rice mixture. Cover; cook for 15 minutes longer on high. Sprinkle with hot pepper sauce if desired.

Nutritionals: 223 calories, 21g protein, 2g fat, 3g fiber

WW Points: 4

Recipe Review: Slow-Cooker Bean and Spinach Soup

I got this recipe from the Fitness Magazine Article I mentioned earlier. Mine came out pretty thick, so next time I will probably add more liquid. It was also a teeny bit bland for my taste, so I might add a little cayenne and maybe a little more salt. Good and filling, though, and all of my kids ate it (including my 7-year-old, who supposedly "hates" beans).

--Savory Bean and Spinach Soup--

Makes 6 servings (we got 8)

-3 14-ounce cans vegetable broth
-1 15-ounce can tomato puree
-1 15-ounce can small white beans or Great Northern Beans, drained and rinsed
-1/2 cup uncooked brown rice
-1/2 cup finely chopped onion
-1 tsp dried basil
-1/4 tsp salt
-2 garlic cloves, chopped
-8 cups coarsely chopped fresh spinach or kale leaves (or a mixture of both)
-1/8 cup finely shredded Parmesan cheese

Combine all ingredients except cheese and greens in slow-cooker. Cover; cook on low for 5 to 7 hours or on high for 2.5 to 3.5 hours. Just before serving, stir in greens and sprinkle with parmesan cheese.

Nutritionals: 150 calories, 9g protein, 3g fat, 8g fiber

WW points: 2

Monday, April 13, 2009

I am officially in better shape now than everyone in my family.

This includes my four sons.

This morning, I was feeling guilty from the millions of calories I ate over the weekend. (Easter party and a birthday party). I struggled out of bed (with a Food Hangover) at 7AM and made myself go for a 4-mile run. This meant I didn't really have time for breakfast. I nibbled on some snacks on the way to work. After running a morning camp (where I nibbled on some more low-calorie snacks), I rushed home because my husband had said that he wanted to run today, too, and make the kids go with us. It's their spring break and I'll be darned if they are going to sit on their butts all week!

We set out at a nice, easy pace. Approximately 4 minutes into the jog/walk intervals, my 11-year-old was whining and complaining and falling behind. 5 minutes later, my 7-year-old was, too. I didn't have enough time to walk the rest of the course and get back to work on time for afternoon classes. My husband told me and my 13- and 14-year-old to continue on ahead and they would finish at a slower pace. About 4 minutes later, the 14-year-old pooped out. He has the longest legs and should be able to run the fastest!

My 13-year-old and I are the only ones who finished at our 3:1 jog/walk intervals that we had started with. He was complaining of a cramp in his side but I encouraged him to run through the discomfort and finish strong. The last 3-minute jog nearly defeated him, but as he is starting his Jr. High School track team next week, he sucked it up and finished. I barely was breathing hard, despite being tired and sore from my morning run and the 11.7 miles I did yesterday.

Vinnie and I finished the course in 43 minutes (slower than my normal average of 37, but still pretty good). The rest of the stragglers trickled in around 55 minutes. My husband couldn't get my 11-year-old to jog any more past the halfway point on the course.

I am in complete shock that I am in better shape than my 4 energetic, skinny, athletic boys! It's not supposed to be that way, is it?

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Recipe: Slow-Cooker Eggplant Pasta Sauce

I got this recipe from the April 2009 Issue of Fitness Magazine, in an article entitled 'Seven Super-Easy Suppers'. All seven recipes are made in the crockpot (ideal for me since I work evenings and my husband HATES having to always figure out what is for dinner). Tuesday night we had Vegetable and Chickpea Curry (it was ok - a little bland, though). Last night was this Pasta with Eggplant. Tonight's dinner is going to be Savory Bean and Spinach Soup. I plan on making all 7 recipes. I'll post any that I think are worthwhile.

This eggplant pasta made a generous serving size. The sauce tasted fresh and vibrant. The eggplant was NOT mushy or overpowering (which is good because my 13-year-old has a thing against mushy vegetables). Everyone ate it, including my picky 7-year-old. For the pasta, I used Ronzoni's "Smart Taste" Penne. It has fiber and calcium in it and all the nutrition of whole wheat but to me tastes like white pasta.

--Pasta with Eggplant Sauce--

Makes 6 servings

-1 medium eggplant, peeled and cut into 1/2" cubes
-1/2 cup chopped onion
-2 14.5-ounce cans diced tomatoes
-1 6-ounce can Italian-style tomato paste
-1 4-ounce can sliced mushrooms, drained
-1/4 cup dry red wine
-1/4 cup water
-2 garlic cloves, chopped
-1.5 tsp dried oregano
-1/3 cup pitted Kalamata olives, sliced
-2 Tbsp chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
-Black Pepper to taste
-6 servings penne pasta, prepared according to package directions
-6 Tbsp shredded parmesan cheese

Combine eggplant, onion, tomatoes with juices, tomato paste, mushrooms, wine, water, garlic, and oregano in slow-cooker. Cook on low for 7-8 hours or on high 3.5-4 hours. Stir in olives and parsley. Season to taste with pepper. Pour sauce over pasta; sprinkle each serving with 1 Tbsp parmesan cheese.

Nutritionals: 346 calories, 13g protein, 4g fat, 9g fiber

WW points: 6

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Weigh-In Day! (and karate ramblings)

This morning I was a little out of sorts because I had to weigh-in early. I hate not weighing in at the same time every day. I was also scared because I had binged a little (on bagels, donuts, and Mexican food on Saturday).

Even though it usually works for me, eating too much junk and then trying to work it off with crazy amounts of exercise is not a recommended strategy for lasting weight loss!

Imagine my surprise when I stepped on the scale this morning and saw that I had lost 2.6 pounds. YESSSSS! Total lost is now 78.4. Sweet...

Then I went to my Grandmaster's karate school in Castro Valley and got WORKED by my instructor. We hadn't worked out in a while due to him traveling a lot. I think it had been 2 months? Anyway, even though we weren't going all-out on anything, I was really trying to focus on my form, stances, and extension. That put together with trying to remember material I hadn't worked on in 2 months was EXHAUSTING!

My instructor made a comment that I look "lanky". He said a little of my movement is awkward now because I have a different body type than I used to have. (Kind of like teenagers that grow a lot very quickly and then don't know what to do with those extra inches in their limbs)...Um, hello, I am trying to get ready to test for my next degree. I don't need an awkward phase right now!

He is really proud of me, though, and I just need to focus and learn how to move in my trimmer self. I'll just rework a few things and get used to a new mindset about how I move through space now that I am slimmer and stronger. If I am willing to put in the effort, he thinks I can move up to a completely whole new level of skill. That is exciting to think about! Pushing through this little weird patch will definitely be worth it to get the results he is mentioning. I owe it to myself to do it. What kind of role model would I be if I didn't?

Recipe: Bacon-wrapped asparagus bundles

Last summer at Disneyland, I sampled some bacon-wrapped asparagus bites on skewers. They were so good that I am still thinking about them. The other day I had some asparagus and some bacon that needed to be used. I was too lazy to cut the asparagus into tiny pieces and thread them onto skewers. So I made these instead. Obviously there is a lot of variation in the size of asparagus spears and your number may be different than mine. My stats are for 1/4 pound of asparagus made into 4 bundles and using 1/4 of the oil.

--Bacon-Wrapped Asparagus Bundles--

-1 pound fresh asparagus spears
-4 slices uncooked bacon
-2 tsp. olive oil
-Kosher salt to taste
-Black pepper to taste

Toss the asparagus in olive oil, salt, and pepper in a glass baking dish. This will both grease your pan and distribute the flavors evenly on your asparagus at the same time. Cut the bacon in half both long and short-ways so that you get 4 strips out of each slice. Use the bacon to tie the asparagus into bundles of 3-4 stalks each. Don't pull too hard on the bacon or it will rip, but you should be able to get a single knot. If your bacon is long, just tuck the ends under. Line up the bundles in the prepared baking dish. Bake at 375F for 20-35 minutes or until bacon is cooked to your desired level of "doneness".

Nutritionals: 106 calories, 7g fat, 275mg sodium, 2g fiber, 7g protein

WW points: 2

Recipe: Balsamic Veggie Bagel

This was so delicious, I shared it with my hubby and then wished that I hadn't. I wanted another half! We had leftovers from Noah's, but you could use any bagel and light cream cheese you like. Just be sure to adjust nutrition stats accordingly. The whole thing would be a great and filling post-workout meal, especially after a run. I wanted to make it again the next day but we were out of plain bagels. Wahh!

--Balsamic Veggie Bagel--

- 1 Noah's Bagels plain bagel, split in half (we have them do that for us at the store)
- 2 Tbsp. Noah's reduced-fat plain schmear
- 2 tsp. balsamic vinegar
- Several slices english cucumber
- 2 thin red onion slices
- Romaine lettuce
- 1/4 cup large grape tomatoes, thinly sliced

Spread schmear evenly over 2 bagel halves, then splash on the balsamic vinegar. Assemble vegetables in whatever order you like. Cut in half and eat both, or share (not recommended!)

Nutritionals for the whole thing (for the schmear and bagel only - vinegar and vegetables add a negligeable amount of fiber, calories, protein, and sodium): 330 Calories, 6g fat, 680mg sodium, 2g fiber, 11g protien

WW points: 7

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Today is a day off + Baked Stuffed Zucchini recipe

I hosted/ran a karate tournament today at my school. We had a bigger turnout than the last one! I am always really stressed out the day before a tournament and in the morning before it starts. The whole thing seems like chaos to me from start to finish. But somehow we pulled it off (as always) and the parents and students were all happy and complimentary. So I guess we did our jobs.

We always get Noah's bagels for everyone that helps set up on tournament day. I don't get lunch until well after 2:00 when the whole thing is over and cleaned up and everyone is gone. I decided to take a day off from counting points, journalling, or even trying to be good. It's a decision that might mean I am unhappy on the scale come Wednesday, but I have been really, really good for the past few months, so I figure one day off in the long run isn't that horrible. (Besides, I'll do a long run tomorrow, and that will help burn off some of the junk).

Public Service Announcement: the chocolate chip coffee cake at Noah's is a naughty little slice of heaven. I'm afraid to even look up the nutritionals on it, so I won't. I only had half and shared the other half with my 7-year-old. Oh, and the cinnamon sugar bagel "poppers" - also good.

Lunch was Baja Fresh. I was bad there, too, with 3 tacos and some shared queso dip. Oops. At least dinner will be healthy - baked falafel with hummus and lots of veggies and maybe a whole-wheat pita.

I made these stuffed zucchini on Thursday for lunch. I had zucchini that needed to be used, and one of those annoying less-than-one-serving-leftover-in-the-box situations with some whole wheat couscous. These were super filling and the stuffing was very flavorful. You could split this into 2 or 4 servings if you are having it as a side dish instead of a meal, although if you eat the full recipe, you get a healthy oil serving, 2 veggie servings, and 12g of protein! I let mine cool for about 5 minutes and then I was able to just pick them up and eat them with my hands. If you have company, though, you might want to use a fork and a knife. :)

--Baked Stuffed Zucchini--

-2 small zucchini
-1 tsp. olive oil (I used Basil-infused)
-1 tsp. minced garlic
-2 Tbsp. minced onion
-1 ounce shredded parmesan cheese, divided
-1 tsp. Mrs. Dash seasoning
-1 rounded Tbsp. whole-wheat couscous
-1/4 fat-free cup chicken broth or water

Preheat oven to 375F. Place couscous in a container with a lid. Add one generous Tbsp. of boiling water or chicken broth, stir briefly, and cover. Set aside and allow to sit for at least 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, cut the zucchini in half vertically. Use a spoon with a sharp poing to scrape out the seeds and pulp, leaving a 1/8 ' - 1/4" shell around the sides. Chop or break up the seeds/pulp. Heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat until shimmery. Add zucchini pulp, onions, and garlic. Sautee for 3-4 minutes or until garlic starts to turn golden. Remove from heat. Stir in the Mrs. Dash and all but a few pinches of the cheese (no need to be exact).

Spoon the filling into the prepared zucchini halves, rounding tops if neccessary. Place in a glass baking dish and gently pour chicken broth around the halves. Bake for 10 minutes. Sprinkle reserved parmesan over the 4 halves and bake an additional 3-5 minutes or until the cheese is bubbly and starting to brown around the edges.

Nutritionals: 220 calories, 12g fat, 4g fiber, 260mg sodium, 12g protein

WW Points: 5

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Recipe: Breakfast Tostada

My husband made tacos the other night for dinner for himself and the kids - one of their favorite dinners! We get the 80/20 ground beef at Costco and their big cannister of Taco Seasoning. The only other requirements here are tortillas or taco shells and then we serve it up with whatever other condiments and veggies we have around (shredded cabbage or zucchini instead of lettuce, no problem).

There wasn't enough taco meat left over for another dinner and it had been sitting in the fridge for a day or two. I have a "thing" about throwing away food (especially in this economy, hello!) so I decided to use the rest. Yesterday I made another mock "Meximelt" with La Tortilla Factory tortilla, some Cabot 75% Fat Free Cheddar, and Trader Joe's pico de gallo (they should win an award for that stuff, I swear). This morning I wanted a high-protein breakfast (I try to alternate protein breakfasts with high-fiber breakfasts like oatmeal), so I decided to use the little tiny bit of remaining taco meat with some eggs. The tostada was bigger than I thought it would be, and very tasty!

--Breakfast Tostada--

-1/2 cup Egg Beaters or other nonfat egg substitute
-1 La Tortilla Factory low carb whole-wheat tortilla, soft-taco size
-3/4 ounce Cabot 75% fat free cheddar cheese, shredded
-3/4 ounce taco meat made with 80/20 beef
-2 Tbsp. fresh pico de gallo

Scramble the egg substitute in a non-stick skillet. Meanwhile, set pico de gallo in a small sieve to drain out excess liquid (or you will wind up with a soggy tostada). Warm tortilla in microwave about 20 seconds. Top with scrambled eggs, taco meat, cheese, and pico. You'll want a fork and knife for this as there is too much filling to pick up and eat!

Nutritionals: 200 calories, 7g fat, 700mg sodium, 7g fiber, 28g protein

WW points: 4

Baja Fresh

Yesterday morning I managed to squeeze in a 4-mile run before doing a billion appointments and errands. This included lunch with my karate instructor. He had been in Japan for several weeks on business (not karate business) and missed Mexican food. He suggested Taco Bell. I countered with the suggestion of going to Baja Fresh. I love their food because they only use lean meats and fresh veggies. I didn't want to undo all the good work I did with running, so as much as I was tempted to get a burrito bigger than my head, a bucket of salty chips, and a gallon of delicious guacamole, I instead ordered the Baja Ensalada with chicken.

What I love about this salad is that they use romaine lettuce. Not one bit of iceburg in there. The pico de gallo, tortilla strips, and sprinkling of cotija cheese makes it flavorful and interesting but without breaking the calorie bank. This generously sized salad is a nutrtional bargain at just 310 calories (WW points 6 if you get the Nonfat salsa verde dressing) and it has 46 grams of protein and 7 grams of fiber! Now, I am a slave to convenience, and when I eat out, I typically pick places that are right near my home or work. Baja is all the way on the other side of town from me but I get a craving for this salad several times a year and happily go over there to get one (or even better, I send my hubby).

I deserve bonus points for not eating ANY chips at all. Just the salad. Surprisingly, it kept me full until I had time for a small snack about 3-4 hours later. Usually that doesn't happen for me with salad.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Wednesday is Weigh-In Day! (and running)

I weighed in this morning and was pleasantly surprised on the scale. Despite a rough weekend, I lost 2.1 pounds. My total lost is now 75.8! Too bad I don't go to meetings or I could have gotten a 75-pound award. That would have been super fancy!

Ok, so, probably the main reason why I had that big loss was because I earned 68 Activity Points (APs for short) for the week. But that's ok. I don't mind putting in those hours exercising. Exercise has many more benefits than just weight loss. It lowers cholesterol, helps you sleep better, increases heart health, reduces stress, and is good for the bones. I still journalled everything and stayed within my weekly points and APs. I am just scared that as I get closer to goal weight, I won't be able to "get away" with that so easily. I am scared of maintenance. I hardly ever just maintain. For me it is a gain or a loss. But I'm not going to cross that bridge until I come to it.

I think I am going to eat a banana now and then go squeeze in a run before I go to some appointments. I should have run Monday and didn't. I only have time to do 4 miles this morning, so I will have to run a little further on Friday. Then Sunday I don't know what I want to do for my long run. Should I bump up to 16 or do a shorter run for a recovery week? Maybe 8 miles?

Uncovering Food: Clif Z Bars: Chocolate Brownie Review and a GIVEAWAY!

Uncovering Food: Clif Z Bars: Chocolate Brownie Review and a GIVEAWAY!

Check out my friend Carol's review on Clif Z Bars - the organic energy bar for kids. She is giving away some bars. Oh, and I like 'em, too, even though I am allegedly an adult.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Ho-Hum week so far

So far this week has been totally ordinary. Work, exercise, kids, blah blah blah. Yesterday for my workout, I did a short one. I had stuff to do, so I did 65 minutes on the elliptical and then some abs and upper body. I heard over at www.Hungry-Girl.com that the company that makes the Lightfull Satiety Smoothie (a favorite of mine because it tastes amazing and is only 1 point) is going out of business. I remembered seeing some of the cafe latte flavor at my local Grocery Outlet, so I went over there and bought all they had (five cases of 12). I also bought 4 more cases at a discounted price on Amazon.com. So I think I have enough of those to last me for a while.

I also bought a new energy drink to try. Maybe I will post my first product review when I try it. Possibly tomorrow? Today I did an hour of group class at karate and then a half-hour private lesson. Boy, did I work up a sweat! For lunch I was totally craving the leftover taco meat that was in the 'fridge from my boys' dinner the other night. It wasn't lean ground beef, though. I have a hard time eating the fatty stuff! LOL. After much deliberation, I finally weighed out 1 and a 1/4 ounces (2 points) and heated it up on a La Tortilla factory tortilla with a half ounce of 75% fat-free cheddar cheese and some pico de gallo. It tasted like a Beef Meximelt from Taco Bell (YUM) and it was only 2.5 points!

I am leaving the karate school early tomorrow night to attend a band/orchestra concert that two of my sons will be playing in. We usually go out for snacks and dessert afterward. Not sure if we will this time. I'd better get an extra good workout in tomorrow morning just in case!

Tomorrow is my weigh-in day. I am excited but nervous (as I always am) the night before WI. I worked out hard this week, but I also indulged in pizza and desserts over the weekend. Anything could happen on the scale. I'm super close to having a total weight loss of 75 pounds. I want to get to that number really badly!

I love that I weigh-in on Wednesday mornings because I always watch "the Biggest Loser" on TV the night before...it's my little pre-weigh-in ritual. OMG, for anyone who watched, I would love to discuss tonight's show! I couldn't believe what all went down. This season's contestants are just so stupid and annoying, and they make bad decisions all over the place! I was seriously disappointed with the outcome of tonight's show. I find myself biting my tongue every week to keep from yelling at the screen.

I'll update tomorrow after I weigh in. Maybe I'll post some pictures if I can dig up a good "before" picture...

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Sunday long run Plus a 2-fer recipe!

Oh, the last few weeks have been filled with food-laden temptations. Friday night it was pizza, wine, beer, and 4 kinds of desserts at my grandma's house. Luckily the pizza was vegetarian (because everyone is Catholic and therefore not eating meat). Round Table's veggie pizzas are surprisingly not that terrible for you. I only had 2 pieces. That is impressive for me.

Saturday I mostly hung around the house after a half day of work. After a stimulating 40-minute bike ride in GORGEOUS weather, I cooked a healthy dinner of chicken stir-fry with two kinds of mushrooms, lots of ginger and garlic, and some crushed red pepper. Yum! But then I was sitting around a house that still has Christmas, Valentine, and now Easter candy hanging around (plus leftover desserts from Grandma's house).

Today, Sunday, is my day to go for a "long" run. This can mean anything from 4 miles to whatever. Today I decided to try for around 14. I ended up doing 13.93. Who would have thought that a piece of cake, half a banana, and a glass of milk would make a good pre-run breakfast? Well, it did! That particular cake was NOT leftover from Grandma's house. I made it myself for my son's birthday and there were leftovers. It was reduced sugar, reduced fat, no cholesterol. (only 3 WW points)

Anyway, it was very warm and sunny today on my run, but it was also WINDY. I capitalized that for a reason. At one point I was running hard and it seemed like I wasn't moving forward! I got my resistance training and my cardio in at the same time, I guess!

Usually on long runs, I run in intervals of 5 minutes of jogging to 1 minute of walking. Today I upped it to 6:1. It went well! I was so glad! Every 4 miles or so I stopped by my house to eat a Clif Shot Blok and drink a little electrolyte drink (also by Clif). I have a bunch of that sort of junk left over from marathon training. I'm all out of my favorites and just trying to use up the dregs now.

I made my 7-year-old come with me for the last 2.25 miles. He didn't really want to, but I talked him into it. It was such a beautiful day and he was just sitting indoors since his brothers were all gone for the weekend. He balked at the idea of doing 3:1 intervals (none of my boys can keep up with me when we run so I have to slow down, WOOT), so I lied and told him we would do 3:2. LOL, I fessed up the last half mile, though. He wasn't mad.

All together, my run today took me 2 hours and 29 minutes. Not bad! I averaged a 10-minute mile until I slowed down for my son. Afterwards I downed about a half gallon of water and a glass of milk for some carbs and protein. After my shower, I was craving salty food (lost a lot today in sweat). Since I am totally obsessed with Trader Joe's pizza sauce the past few days, and had some mushrooms that needed using, I whipped up some turkey-stuffed mushrooms. I had a lot of meat filling left over after I stuffed the caps, and I had already counted all the points for everything, so I just cooked it up into a "turkey pizza burger" and ate it with a fork and knife. Both turned out delicious, and it was actually a pretty filling lunch. You could serve the pizza burger on light bread or a bun if you like!

--Turkey Stuffed Mushroom Caps (with a bonus)--

-3 ounces extra lean ground turkey breast
-7 large white button mushrooms, stems removed and chopped
-1/4 cup fat-free pizza sauce, divided
-1 ounce lite shredded mozzarella
-1/4 ounce shredded parmesan
-1 tsp. garlic olive oil
-1 clove garlic, chopped
-2 Tbsp. diced onion
-Salt and Pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 400F. Sautee the onion, garlic, and mushroom stems over medium heat just until softened. Mix with ground turkey, about half of the pizza sauce, salt and pepper to taste, and mozzarella. Use a small spoon or your fingers to pack the mushroom caps tightly with meat mixture. Mound it up so the top is rounded; place a few shreds of parmesan on top of each one. Bake in a dish sprayed with cooking spray for about 15 minutes or until meat is cooked through and cheese is bubbly and starting to brown. If desired, top mushrooms with additional pizza sauce after cooking.

You can cook any leftover meat mixture in a nonstick skillet until cooked through - about 7 minutes per side. Serve with any remaining pizza sauce and parmesan cheese not used for mushrooms.

Nutritionals: Sorry, I was too lazy to calculate them. But the WW points are 4.5

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Recipe: Pepperoni Polenta Pizza Bites

Today around lunch time, I had a serious craving for Bagel Bites. Bagel Bites don't get brought into my house because I could probably polish off about 15 of them no sweat. I had most of the ingredients for pizza and some polenta that needed to be used, so I whipped up this recipe!

--Pepperoni Polenta Pizza Bites--

- 3 ounces store-bought firm polenta (I used the Organic Onion and Mushroom flavor by Food Merchants that comes in a tube - calories 71, fat 0, fiber 1)
- 1/8 cup fat free pizza sauce (I used Trader Joe's that comes in a jar)
- 1/2 ounce reduced fat mozarella cheese shreds (again from Trader Joe's)
- 4 slices Hormel turkey pepperoni, quartered

Slice the polenta into 4 thin slices. Spray a baking sheet with cooking spray. Bake the polenta slices for 4-5 minutes on each side at 400F. (This keeps it from getting too soft to eat with your hands). Place a spoonful of pizza sauce in the center of each slice. Distribute the cheese and pepperoni on top of the sauce. Bake at 400 for about 5 minutes, or until cheese is melted and edges start to brown. Allow to cool slightly before eating. Makes one serving.

Nutritionals: 126 calories, 2.5g fat, 2g fiber, 7g protein, 735mg sodium

(your nutritionals will vary depending on the polenta, cheese, and pizza sauce used)

WW points: 2

** note: 4 pepperoni Bagel Pizzas contain 220 calories, 7 grams of fat, and have a WW point value of 5 **

Friday, March 27, 2009

Recipe: Choco-PB-Banana Oatmeal

So I decided to run later and to make oatmeal for breakfast. Since I'm not sure how long it will be before I have lunch (gotta squeeze in that baby visit and a 4-mile run before then), I'm going with one of my favorite higher-point breakfast recipes.

You can cut the points down if you like by omitting the Fiber One, using less oatmeal, or less peanut butter. If I put the ingredients into the WW online point tracker individually, I get 5 points. If I add everything up and figure out the points that way, I get 7 points. So I guess I will count 5 and let you decide for yourself. Inspiration is owed partly to Lisa at www.hungry-girl.com who makes something similar (but without the PB).

I LOVE peanut butter. I LOVE chocolate. This recipe has both. It feels decadent and naughty but has a lot of good stuff going on in it. Fiber, Protein, and Potassium make this a smart pre-workout meal. I should have my kids try it and see if they like it. They get tired of plain Malt-O-Meal and oatmeal with cinnamon and raisins in it. (I decided I was tired of spending so much money on cereal all the time, so we hardly ever have it).

Admittedly, this looks like a bowl of dogfood in the picture, but it doesn't taste like it, I swear! (Hmmm, although, like a dog, I'm always tempted to lick the bowl clean when I'm done).

--Choco-PB-Banana Oatmeal--

- 1/2 cup old-fashioned oats, cooked to package directions
- 1 Tbsp. peanut butter
- 1/2 ripe medium banana, mashed
- 1/4 cup Fiber One Original cereal (you can use another high-fiber cereal if you don't like F1 or can't eat aspartame)
- 1 packet diet hot cocoa mix (I use Swiss Miss 'Sensible Sweets' at 25 calories)
- Splash of Unsweetened Vanilla Almond milk

Mix all ingredients in a large bowl. Easy, huh?

Nutritionals: 360 calories, 11g fat, 14g fiber, 285mg sodium, 12g protein

WW points: 7

Fridays mean running...

I typically run (either outside if the weather is nice, or in the gym) on Sundays, Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. I don't particularly love running. In fact, I used to say I hated it. I called people who did it "freaking nuts". I was always that one kid in Highschool P.E. class trying to fake an asthma attack or find some other way to get out of running the mile. But guess what, it burns a TON of calories, and is great for my heart, my lungs, and my muscles. So now I do it. In fact, I ran a marathon in 2007 in Florence, Italy and one in 2008 in San Francisco and have done 4 half-marathons.

The full marathons I ran were through the National AIDS Marathon Training Program. It is a great training program that teaches you a lot and gets you ready to finish a half- or full marathon. Go to www.aidsmarathon.com if you want to check it out. I'm not sure if I will do any full marathons this year. I am tempted to do the San Francisco Marathon again just to see if I can improve my time. (I am a LOT faster and a lot stronger now). But then I am reminded of last year around mile 22 when I came around a corner to see another HUGE hill, and proclaimed, "This is the last full marathon I'm doing!"

Last year I completely geeked out and made a spreadsheet to track all my running mileage for the year. I ALMOST made it to 600 miles. In fact, I would have if I hadn't gotten sick with the flu the last week of the year! This year I have set a goal for myself of 700 miles. I am on track to get there if I keep up my schedule of running four times a week. So far I am a little past 200. Who knows, maybe I will make it to 800 this year, barring any catastrophic injuries?

I'm not sure if I will go for my run now or a little bit later. I have a 2-month-old baby nephew that I am completely enamored of, and I think I need to go visit. It's way easier when his brother and sister aren't around hogging him.

What, then, should I have for breakfast? It needs to be sweet (because I am in a sweet mood). It needs to have both complex carbs and protein in it. Some potassium would be good to help prevent muscle cramps on my run, and fiber would help me stay full longer so I won't be tempted to snack while I'm out visiting. (That's what people in my family do when they get together - they eat).

Hmmm, I'll update when I've decided and see if it's anything worth posting.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Recipe: Berry Yogurt Sundae

So, I know that the idea of mixing plain nonfat Greek yogurt with berries is not new. But I was having some and decided to post my little spin on it as my first recipe post. It has a good tart/sweet thing going on, with some crunch. The antioxidants from the berries and protein from the yogurt make this filling snack or dessert a winner!

--Yogurt Berry Sundae--

- 1 cup unsweetened frozen berries (I like to use Trader Joe's 'berry
cherry' blend)
- 1/2 cup Fage total 0% Greek yogurt
- 1/4 ounce walnut halves, diced
- 2 tsp. sugar-free pancake syrup (I use Mrs. Butterworth's)
- pinch ground cinnamon

Put the berries in a bowl and allow to thaw slightly (about 5 minutes). Top with Fage. Sprinkle on walnut pieces, drizzle on syrup, and sprinkle cinnamon over the top. Let sit for a few minutes to allow the yogurt to get really cold and thick.

Nutritionals (yours may vary depending on the berries you use): 190 calories, 4.5 g fat, 5.5 g fiber, 60 mg sodium, 12 g protein

WW points: 3