Holiday Cookies- What’s your favorite?

Holiday Cookies – What’s your favorite?

M&M’s® Cookies

Ingredients

Directions

  1. In a large bowl, mix sugar, eggs, shortening, and vanilla thoroughly. Add flour, salt, and baking soda to creamed mixture. Blend well. Add 3/4 cup candies.
  2. Drop dough by teaspoonful onto baking sheet. Slightly push a few candies on top of each dough ball with remaining candies.
  3. Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 9 to 11 minutes.

Soft Gingerbread Cookies

Ingredients

Directions

  1. In a medium bowl, mix together the molasses, brown sugar, water and butter until smooth. Combine the flour, baking soda, allspice, ginger, cloves and cinnamon, stir them into the wet mixture until all of the dry is absorbed.
  2. Cover the dough and chill for at least 3 hours.
  3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
  4. On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough out to 1/4 inch thickness. Cut out into desired shapes. Place cookies 1 inch apart onto ungreased cookie sheets.
  5. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes in the preheated oven. Remove from the cookie sheets to cool on wire racks.
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HELLO MY NAME IS AWESOME! -WW

HELLO MY NAME IS AWESOME! (YES, YOU!)

Even on days that don’t go as planned, you have something to be proud of! Think positive: It can help you stay the course.

The power of positive thinking isn’t a myth. In fact, people who believe they will succeed at weight loss are more likely to do it. It’s especially helpful on not-so-good days. (Yes, even then you’re likely to find a bright spot.) Focusing on the steps and actions that keep you moving forward can help you deal with setbacks, stick to your Plan, and maintain weight loss. Take a moment or two to walk through your day yesterday, opposite, and see how you were awesome!

Daily Report (fill in the blank)

Yesterday was a _____________(GOOD/NOT-SO-GREAT) day for me. Some events were typical for a ____________(DAY OF THE WEEK): I did ______________(ACTION), ______________(ACTION), and______________(ACTION). As for my Plan, I found it ______________(Adjective), to stick to my points plus budget; i ate mostly __________________(FOOD CATEGORIES), and I am pretty ______________(EMOTIONAL ADJECTIVE), about my choices. Thinking back over my food choices, I am glad that I do ______________ (ACTION). It’s something I might not have done before I joined Weight Watchers. I plan to build on this positive step by doing ______________ (ACTION) in the future. When it came to activity, yesterday I ______________(VERB), which felt _______ __________(EMOTIONAL ADJECTIVE). One thing I’m proud of is ______________(noun/verb); it helps me realize ___________ _________(helpful thought). If I compare yesterday to a day before Weight Watchers, I can see ______________(sign of change). Every small step I take – even on the bad days – brings me closer to my goal. And that’s awesome!

Try doing this exercise (just a quick mental scan) each day. To keep in mind your everyday awesomeness, create a short personal phrase or affirmation.

Weight Watchers Fitness

HOW DO YOU FIT ACTIVITY INTO YOUR LIFE?

Great Ideas from Members

  • “I bundle errands together, plan routes for them, and walk from place to place.”  – Rachel from Napa, CA.
  • “During TV commercials, I get up and walk or jog in place. This helps me avoid the kitchen.” – Kshatriya from Santa Rosa, CA.
  • “I don’t like traditional exercise, so I park far away, chase my kids in the yard, and walk the dog.” – Christie from Greensburg, PA

 

 

WHAT’S YOUR NEXT FITNESS?

Great Ideas from Members

  • “Rappeling 480 feet made me feel invincible! I’m planning my next rappel.” – Tory from Point Pleasant, NJ
  • “I  always have a race scheduled. It helps keep me motivated.” -Stephanie from Decatur, GA.
  • “I want to be able to press 30 kg with a kettle bell.” – Isaac from Bellevue, WA.

WHAT ARE YOUR TV-WATCHING MOVES?

Great Ideas from Members

  • “During commercials, I alternate sets of lunges and squats.” – Rachel from    Metairie, LA.
  • “I love my dumbbells. They make it easy to do a quick workout!” -Jonathan from Steubenwillie, OH.
  • “I do a circuit of crunches, push-ups, and squats. Sometimes I go into a plank position during credits.” -Tamiko from Englewood, NJ.

 

WHAT’S YOUR FITNESS ACHIEVEMENT?

Winning Moves from Members

  • “I started wearing a pedometer and hit 2 million steps in 6 months” -Kathryn from Santa Fe, NM.
  • “I earned 77 Activity PointsPlus values on my last vacation!” – Barb from Runnemede, NJ.
  • “I did 3 days of 3 races at a run Disney event; a 5k Friday, a 10k on Saturday, and a half-marathon on Sunday!” – Meghan from Simi Valley, CA.

WHAT HAS EXERCISE DONE FOR YOU?

Thoughts from Members

  • “I love the definition of my body, but more importantly I love how I feel inside!” – Jenna from Sticklerville, NJ
  • “I can tackle stairs without pain and I have more energy!” – Donna from Camrillo, CA
  • “Now that I swim 1.5 miles a workout, my wedding ring fits again and I’m more confident wearing my swimsuit.” – Dawn from Minooka, IL.

THE EXPERT

Allison Warrick, Personal Trainer, Wello.com

“I used to have a list of areas to ‘fix’ on my body instead of appreciating it for being alive, capable, willing, thank your body for all that it is and does.”

“Don’t take any fitness achievement for granted, write it down. At goal you can look back at all you’ve done to get there.”

“Set daily goals; then you won’t be overwhelmed by the time or effort it can take to reach your long term goal.”

Riss Giuffre, Personal Trainer, Wello.com

“Need a fast workout? Climb stairs! You’ll work lungs and heart, tone legs and glutes. (Descending stairs is great for you, too.)”

 

Dahri Myers, Personal Trainer, Wello.com

“To get me off the couch, I do standing leg extensions in different directions to strengthen my hips, glutes, and legs.”

Anywhere Activity – Weight Watchers

Anywhere Activity

Wherever the season takes you, keep moving! Here’s how.

Airport:

  • Stretch your calves, or do wall push-ups (use a window frame so you can watch the planes taxiing).
  • Climb a set of stairs two steps at a time; descend and repeat.
  • Use the waiting to board downtime to walk the terminal. If it is not too crowded, try walking, treadmill style, in the opposite direction on the people movers;  position your near one end so you can hop off easily if travelers come through.

Car:

  • Tighten and release your buttocks; do the same with your abs – this can help strengthen and tone these major muscle groups.
  • If you’re a passanger, flex your legs, rotate your ankles, and do some triceps stretches.
  • take a break every couple of hours to shake out your legs, walk a bit, and stretch.

Relative’s Place:

  • Volunteer1 Go shopping, move tables, carry in luggage …..
  • Round up the kids and head to the yard to play tag or touch football.
  • Put the emphasis on “active” with group activities: local trails, indoor tennis, bowling.
  • Help out in the kitchen before and after the meal so you’re on your feet and moving rather than sitting at the table.

Hotel:

  • Hop in the pool; even if you’re not a swimmer, walk in waist deep water delivers a decent workout.
  • Carry your own bags instead of having the bellhop do it.
  • Use the stairs as much as possible.
  • Take an early morning run to become more familiar with the sights.

The Portable Gym: Throw these items into your bag and you’ll be able to get a good workout in anywhere.

  • Sneakers
  • Fitness bands: super stretchy for resistance work; weigh hardly anything and tuck into your suitcase.
  • Water bottle
  • Jump Rope

***Find walking paths at airports, malls, parks, and neighborhoods across the country; startwalkingnow.org

For the Love of the Ice part 2

Second Day in the house

Breakfast

Brooklyn woke to the sound of pots and pans moving around in the kitchen and the smell of bacon. Adrian was still passed out, so were Chris, Anthony, and Mark. She didn’t see Liam or Logan. So she grabbed her blanket and carefully climbed over her brother to get to the other side. Wrapping her blanket around herself she snuck over to the kitchen door and peered in to see what was going on. Liam was at the stove making eggs, sausage,  and home fries. Logan had both of the griddles going, bacon on one and pancakes on the other. Brooklyn loved all these foods.

The floor creeked under her and the both looked over and laughed loudly. “Logan look it’s the adorable puppy. She must of smelled the food.” He laughed “why are you comparing her to a puppy? B come bring a stool in and talk while the others sleep.” She goes and grabs the stool at the table and puts it near the fridge. “Why are you two up so early?” “I woke because Liam doesn’t know how to quietly move around the house. By the way you talk in your sleep a little.” “What did I say?” “Nothing that was understandable. Did you guys pick up chocolate chips?” “Cabinet closest to the window on the second shelf.”  They were quiet for a couple minutes until Anthony and Chris appeared in the door way. They looked confused then grabbed plates and utensils and set the table.

“How long have you been up? And why did you call me an adorable puppy?” Brooklyn asks as she sits on the stool in the corner of the kitchen. Liam laughed, “Probably forty-five minutes and I have no idea why I said puppy. It was the first thing out of my mouth.” Logan looks up from flipping food to say, “Brooklyn hold on to the stool Adrian is gonna drag you and the stool into the other room.” She grabs hold tightly as she feels a jolt from behind her. “Why are you dragging me backwards?” With a groggy voice Adrian says,”because it was easier than asking you to get off the stool to walk. You’re a slow walker sometimes.” He dragged her to the table then sat next to her. “You’re very pretty in the morning.” Brooklyn couldn’t help to giggle when she said “Thanks at least someone thinks so.” Chris sat down on the other side of his sister and said “how you slept okay last night.” Logan and Liam put all the food on the table and sat down. They all started in on the food when Brooklyn answered Chris’s question with “I slept okay, I was kind of cold though. Might have to sleep in a sweatshirt tonight.” She started eating the pancakes Logan put on her plate for her when she noticed that there were hearts in them made from chocolate chips. Brooklyn smiled and quickly took a picture of them before Chris noticed to make fun of her. Anthony suddenly asked “How were you cold last night? I woke up sweaty this morning, and did anyone make coffee this morning?” “I don’t know how I was cold last night and you were also crazy man last night running around drunk before we went to bed so that is probably why you’re sweaty and in need of a shower.” Mark laughed as he said “she is right and I’ll go put the coffee pot on.”

Midmorning Adventures

After a while when the guy were all done eating and either playing video games or unpacking Brooklyn goes up to her brother’s room and changes into running clothes. Once she has her clothes on she opens her Macbook to see what the surrounding area looks like. Then there was a loud thud on the door and yelling. Brooklyn opens the door and looks out with concern. Chris, Anthony, and Liam are sledding down the staircase. She walks over to the top of the stairs, “Seriously guys it’s barely 10 am can you at least wait until after I leave the house to destroy the staircase!?!” Adrian tilts his head while looking up at Brooklyn “where you going dressed like that?”  She laughs awkwardly, “For my run, how else do you think I got my body like this?”

Recipes that I Enjoy

Grilled Cheddar Cheese Sandwiches with Pickles

serving size:4 Weight watchers Points: 5

A quick-and-easy cream cheese spread elevates your basic grilled cheese to something special.

Ingredients

  • 1⁄4cup(s)low fat cream cheese
  • 3 Tbsp uncooked shallot(s), minced
  • 4 tsp mustard grainy
  • 1Tbsp unsweetened dill pickle(s) or bread and butter pickles, minced
  • 8 slice(s)reduced-calorie bread
  • 3⁄4 cup(s) low fat shredded cheddar cheese sharp variety
  • 2 spray(s) cooking spray

Instructions

  1. In a small bowl, combine cream cheese, shallot, mustard and pickles; spread about 1 tablespoon cream cheese mixture on one side of each piece of bread. Top 4 slices of bread with 3 tablespoons cheese each; cover with remaining bread slices, cream cheese-side down.
  2. Off heat, coat a large skillet with cooking spray and heat over medium heat; cook sandwiches, 2flipping once, until lightly toasted and cheese melts, about 2 to 3 minutes per side. Yields 1 sandwich per serving.

Pan-Fried Flounder

serving size:4 Weight watchers Points: 4

This crispy-coated fish fillet is better than fast-food. Serve with homemade fries for a real treat.

Ingredients

  • 1 pound(s)uncooked flounder fillet(s)
  • 1Tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 large egg white(s)
  • 1⁄4 cup(s) yellow cornmeal
  • 2 tbsp grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 tbsp fresh thyme, finely minced or 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 1/2 tsp table salt or to taste
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper, freshly ground or to taste
  • 2 spray(s) olive oil cooking spray
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 medium lemon(s), cut into 4 wedges

Instructions

  1. Rinse fish; pat dry. Place fish on a plate and spread both sides of fish with mustard; dip into egg white and set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine cornmeal, Parmesan cheese, thyme, salt and pepper; dust fish with cornmeal-mixture, making sure to cover both sides.
  3. Coat a large oven-proof skillet with cooking spray and set over medium to medium-high heat; heat oil until shimmering. Add fish to skillet and cook for 2 to 3 minutes on one side; flip fish and cook until done on other side, about 2 to 3 minutes more.*
  4. Serve fish with lemon wedges. Yields about 3 ounces of fish per serving.

Quinoa salad with corn and peppers

serving size: 6 Weight watchers Points: 4

This grain side dish is packed with citrusy flavors and fresh summer vegetables like juicy, sweet corn.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup(s)uncooked quinoa
  • 1 medium yellow corn on the cob, kernels removed
  • 1⁄2 medium sweet red pepper(s), diced
  • 1⁄2 medium yellow pepper(s), diced
  • 1 1⁄2 Tbsp orange zest
  • 1⁄3cup(s)unsweetened orange juice, freshly squeezed (or less to taste)
  • 1 tsp canola oil
  • 1⁄4 tsp table salt or to taste
  • 1⁄8 tsp black pepper or to taste
  • 2 Tbsp chopped almonds, toasted

Instructions

  1. Boil 2 cups of water over medium-high heat. Add quinoa and simmer, covered, for 15 minutes; cool to room temperature.
  2. Stir corn, peppers, lemon juice, orange zest and juice, oil, salt and pepper into quinoa. Transfer to a serving bowl; sprinkle with almonds and serve. Yields about 3/4 cup per serving.

Pesto, Ricotta, and Tomato Tortilla Pizza

serving size: 4  Weight watchers Points: 9

These individual pizzas take just minutes to prepare thanks to easy whole wheat tortillas and store-bought reduced-fat pesto.

Ingredients

  • cup(s) fresh tomato(es)chopped
  • 1/2 cup shredded part skim mozzarella cheese
  • 1/2 cup part skim ricotta cheese
  • 1/2 cup reduced fat pesto sauce
  • 4 medium whole wheat tortillas
  • 2 sprays cooking spray

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 450 F. Coat two baking sheets with cooking spray.
  2. Arrange tortillas on prepared baking sheets; spread each with 2 tablespoons pesto. Top each with small dollops of ricotta cheese (2 tablespoons total per tortilla); sprinkle each with 2 tablespoons mozzarella. Bake until bottoms of tortillas are crisp and cheese is melted, about 5 to 7 minutes.
  3. To serve, sprinkle each pizza with 1/4 cup tomato. Cut each pizza into 4 wedges. Yields 4 wedges per serving.

Be Your Best Self – Weight Watchers

Be Your Best Self.

Embrace your possibilities and live your dreams! Discover – and unleash – your inner AWESOME!

“If you can imagine it, you can create it; if you can dream it, you can become it.” – William Arthur Ward

Consider all the things that make up you: your characteristics, habits, beliefs, strengths, responsibilities, relationships, and so on. If those things were separate pieces of  luggages, what would you take with you to the future? What would you leave behind?

We can all imagine idealized versions of ourselves. There’s power in that self creation; it’s the first step to actually owning that identity. When you change how you see yourself, you change your world. Being your best self opens you up to so many possibilities: healthy living, loving relationships, and fulfilling work.When those parts of your life are thriving, positive choices become second nature. As the saying goes, “Happy people make healthier decisions!” Meet your best self, opposite.

Best Self Portrait

THINK ABOUT YOUR “DREAM” SELF. HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE IT?

My best self is ________________ (positive adjective) and __________ (positive adjective). My best self likes to __________ (healthy action) and ____________ (healthy action). When faced with a challenge, my best self thinks ______________ (encouraging thought) and _________________ (effective action). On a typical day, my best self chooses to eat __________ (healthy food) and __________ (healthy food). In a typical week, my best self gets in a few workouts, including  ____________ (exercise/activity) and _____________ (exercise/activity). My best self takes time out for relaxing, restoring breaks such as ___________ (enjoyable action). Over all, my best self feels _________ (positive emotion) about life. If a new weight watchers member asked for my definition of success, my best self would say  “____________”(positive motto).

Community – Weight Watchers

Community

What special strength has helped you lose?

“I kept tracking during a four month laps; when I rejoined, I hadn’t gained weight!” – Janet from Pickerington, OK.

“I created an inspirational list in my Success Handbook from A to Z: each word represents why I’m on my journey or how I can succeed.” – Betty Sue  from Tomball, TX.

“I tweak my daily habits based on what I learn at each week’s meeting.” – Lisa from New York.

Thoughts From a Leader

Andrea: “Being creative in the kitchen. Experimenting with food, tastes, textures, and spices helps keep my Plan fresh and my taste buds happy!”

What helps your recover after a slip?

“I tell myself that a gain doesn’t define me. It’s a just a bump in the road to my goal.” – Jenna from Santa Rosa, CA.

“I keep tracking, even if i’ll go over my points plus allowance. Mindfulness has changed my eating habits!” -Lizz from Takoma Park, MD

“I re-read my weekly issues. It lifts me up and reminds me why I began this journey.” Sandi from Cleveland, OH.

Thoughts from a Leader

Debbie: “I remind myself of my ‘why’ when I fell back into my ‘old’ ways. That  helps me quickly return to my healthy lifestyle – and to my weight goals, too.”

What’s your (non-weight) goal?

“My first goal was to fit in a roller coaster seat again. Done! My new goal: be a healthier me.” – Jessica from Cleveland, GA.

“To get more adventurous with my activity. Next up: Skydiving!” – Allison from New York, NY

“When I’m unhappy I overeat. So I am working on increasing my happiness.” – Don from Centuria, WI.

Thoughts from a Leader

Chrissy: “It’s easy to get caught up in the numbers. Setting a non-weight goal shifts our focus off the scale and make out journey happier.”

90% of weight watchers members want to set their own weight goals.

What’s your favorite weight-loss triumph?

“I found the confidence and stamina to volunteer at a maximum security juvenile prison.” -Linda from Springfield, IL.

“I finally fit back into this vest – and in the pocket I found movie ticket from 1993!” – Alicia from Gladstone, OR.

“When I was locked out of my house, I got through the dog door and saved myself the embarrassment of yelling for help.” – Cinda from Peoria, AZ.

Thoughts from a Leader

Janine: “Any time you’ve had success, stop and reflect on the choices that got me there. When we reflect, we’re learning skills for the long term.”

How is your home Plan-friendly?

“We write the PointsPlus values the packaged foods so we don’t have to look it up each time.” -George and Becky from Alpine, OR.

“I have dumbbells, a jump rope, medicine ball, resistance bands, and a stability ball so I can catch 15 minutes of exercise  at home.” – Sharon from Jericho, NY

“The fruit is out on the counter; the family’s favorite snacks are in the pantry.” – Adrienne from Peoria, AZ.

Thoughts from a Leader.

Elizabeth: “Using the food scale at home supports truth in portions. I always say, ‘Your eyes and mouth  don’t know what a portion is, but the food scale does.'”

How do you avoid mindless eating?

“When I’m not hungry but feel like eating, I head outside and ride my horse. I breathe the fresh air and stop thinking about food!” – Christies from Oceanside, CA.

“I share a healthy entree with my husband at restaurants. I don’t eat more than I want (and there are no tempting leftovers).” – Stephanie from Coupevdlle, WA.

Thoughts from a Leader

Dana: “I now look at Thanksgiving leftovers in a new light  . . . . . I ask myself, ‘Is that pie worthy of me?’ if the answer is no, into the trash it goes!”

How Do You Make Time For Yourself?

“I schedule exercise, and work my errands and meals around that time.” -Elizabeth from Irvine, TX

“By being social, I work out with friends, which I enjoy a lot more than sitting and looking at a screen by myself.” – Cheryl from Reno, NV

“I spend 12 minutes each night planning my next day and how, what, where, and when I will eat.” – Marcus from Bellevue, WA

Thoughts from a Leader

Keli: “I’m worth an hour a day! I take 15 minute in the morning to plan my day, 15 minutes in the evening to reflect, and 30 minutes of activity where it fits.”

2% THAT’S ALL 30 MINUTES TAKE OUT OF A 24 HOUR DAY, 

(NOT VERY MUCH, AFTER ALL!)

WHAT DO YOU SEE IN THE MIRROR?

“I love looking at all this sexiness! People say I have a glow about me now.” – Shaundeal from Euless, TX

“A smiling face. What isn’t visible is how great I feel inside and out!” – Amy from Greeley, CO

“My strong legs! I appreciate hoe they carried me through my first 10k!”   – Christine from Atlanta, GA

THOUGHTS FROM A LEADER

Debbie: “It’s not easy to see a difference in your body; even after I lost weight I still ‘felt fat.’ It took awhile for my self image to get on board with how I’d changed.”

76% THAT’S HOW MUCH MORE WEIGHT PEOPLE LOST WHEN THEY IMPROVE THEIR BODY IMAGE.

HOW ARE YOU AWESOME?

“I started a WW Facebook group, so I’m accountable not only to myself but to other members.” – Sandra from Axtell, TX

“My attitude has changed. Now I focus on good food and healthy choices rather than defeat and self loathing.” – Amy from Oshkosh, WI

“I pre-track my indulgences, like a piece of cake I bought and put it in the fridge for later. (Then I forgot to eat it!)” – Marc from Wilton Manor, FL.

THOUGHTS FROM A LEADER

Abby: “I celebrate my small successes everyday (like remembering my water bottle). When I do that, it leads to more good choices, and they add up!”

“OUR GREATNESS LIES NOT SO MUCH IN BEING ABLE TO REMAKE THE WORLD AS IN BEING ABLE TO REMAKE OURSELVES.”

– Mahatma Gandhi

 HOW DO YOU STAY CONNECTED TO YOUR PLAN?

“I punched holes in my weeklys and put them in binders so i can read them in the doctor’s office instead of old magazines.” – Sister Erin from Springfield, IL

“My Weight Watchers ‘team” – other members support me when my plan feels tough or I need an extra boost.” – Tess from Vista, CA.

“Every day I wear a necklace with a charm that says ‘Believe.’ I touch it, read it, and use it as an anchor.” – Katie from Enfield, CT.

THOUGHTS FROM A LEADER

CHRIS: “During the busy holiday season, I try to schedule at least 15 minutes into my day for a brisk walk. It’s only 1% of my day and I can do that!”

The Blue Bistro – Elin Hilderbrand

So I just finished the book The Blue Bistro. I absolutely loved it except the end chapter which made me want more to read. But each character was unique and seemed like they could match the personalities of some of my actual friends.  Elin Hildebrand is one of my favorite authors and this was the third books of hers that i have read in its entirety and it’s my favorite so far.

http://donttalkjustread.blogspot.com/2006/10/blue-bistro-by-elin-hilderbrand.html