Tag Archives: Superbowl Sunday

Bonus Post from a Guest Blogger and Weight Watcher Success Story: Debi

4 Feb
Football Helmet and Football

Don't let Superbowl Sunday be a loss for your diet!

One of the things I love about modern technology is the ability I’ve had to reconnect and stay connected with so many people, near and far. One of the people I’ve reconnected with most recently is my friend Debi from college. She is what I consider to be a Weight Watchers Success Story. She has lost 70 pounds while on the program and is now a Weight Watchers Meeting Leader, helping other people meet the same success she has had on WW.

When she approached me last week about using our chili recipe for her upcoming WW meeting, and computing the WW points for it, I immediately said yes and asked her if she would share her findings as to how healthy the recipe actually was (it seemed healthy enough to me) when she finished. I asked her to be a guest blogger for today’s post. Tomorrow is the Superbowl and I thought it was important to remind everyone that the Superbowl is just one day, but diets are a day in and day out commitment. Don’t let one day throw you completely off the wagon. Here is Debi’s post. Thanks Debi!

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Super Bowl – Beyond the Game: Let’s Talk Food!

Ah, the Super Bowl, what’s better than a day filled with football, friends and food? Of course, the day would be perfect if YOUR team won! I’m not so concerned with which team wins. I’m more interested in the game itself and how it’s played. I cheer when someone makes a good play and route for the underdog when they just can’t seem to get their act together.

With the Super Bowl just one day away, and not being concerned about the game, my focus here is on the food. I can’t help but think of all the extra calories that people across the country will be mindlessly consuming on game day.

While you’re hooting and hollering, do you ever stop and think why are you eating all those tortilla chips? Are you really hungry? Do you even know how many you’ve eaten? How many beers did you drink? Were you really thirsty? Better yet, do you even remember what the beer tasted like? Being mindful of what and how much we are eating usually takes a back seat to the excitement of the game.

But, it doesn’t have to play out this way.

A couple of years ago, I would have been one of those people mindlessly eating. However, after joining Weight Watchers and losing 70 lbs., I have a new perspective when it comes to food; even more so now that I am a Weight Watchers meeting room leader.

Earlier in the week when I started preparing for this week’s meeting, I immediately knew that the timing of this week’s topic was purposely planned to help members think about how to make better food choices during the Super Bowl. I remembered that Jen had posted a Chili recipe recently and asked her if I could borrow it to illustrate how making simple ingredient substitutions can make a dish healthier.

To help guide members’ weight loss, Weight Watchers assigns a numerical value called a PointsPlus Value (PPV) to all food and drinks. Combined with Weight Watchers’ proprietary, scientific formula, determining the PPV of a recipe requires you to know three things: the ingredients, the serving size and how many servings the recipe makes. Well, Jen posted the ingredients (refer to her Chili recipe posted on Jan. 27th), but when I asked her about the latter two, she admitted that she didn’t know.

After discussing the ingredients and comparing them to other similar recipes, we estimated that the Chili recipe makes approximately 24 – ¾ cup servings. Therefore, the Chili recipe calculates to 7 PPV per serving. By replacing the regular ground beef with either ground turkey or 95% lean ground beef, the PPV decreased to 5 PPV. However, this does not include the cheese (1/4 cup = 3PPV) or the sour cream (2 Tbsp = 1 PPV) that you put on top of it, or the tortilla chips (12 chips = 4 PPV) that you choose to have alongside it.

So, the Chili itself is relatively ‘low-cost’ item. But how many of you actually measure how much you are eating? And, is this the only thing that you will eat? If you documented what you actually ate and drank throughout the game, the quantity may surprise you. Also, how many of the recipes are made with lower-calorie or healthier ingredients versus the regular, full-fledged ingredients?

One of my members reported hearing that after Thanksgiving, the Super Bowl is the second biggest eating day of the year. How much food do you eat during the ‘festivities’ compared to a ‘normal’ day of eating? Perhaps you never thought about that before, but it is never too late to start looking at food differently.

Weight Watchers has taught me how to WIN the food game regardless of the event, holiday or circumstances in which I find myself. Only eat when you are hungry, be aware of what and how much you are eating, and take control of your game!

Some final pointers to get ready for game day include:

  • Sit or stand away from the food. Being closer to the food lends itself towards mindless picking. Stay farther away from it so you have to make a more conscious decision to go get the food if you want it.
  • Practice portion control. Be mindful of the size and quantity of the servings you consume.
  • Bring a healthier snack with you to the party. Modify your recipe with lower-calorie/fat ingredients. Or, choose to bring some fruit or vegetables that you can pick on.
  • Drink wisely. Liquid calories add up quickly whether it’s from beer, wine or even regular soda. Choose lite beer, diet sodas or even water! Drinking water (even if in between each beer) will help keep you hydrated, keep you from mindless snacking and help you feel full so you don’t over indulge when you eat.
  • Get into the game. Focus on the game and socializing with friends. The more time you spend watching the game and cheering, or groaning, the less time you’ll be eating.

We cannot control the outcome of the football game, so may the best team win! However, you can make healthier choices and control the outcome of your food game. Plan ahead and join the winning food team!

Good luck and enjoy the game!

Recipe of the day: Brown Sugar Brownies

3 Feb
Brown Sugar Brownies

These brownies melt in your mouth!

I found this recipe on the back of a package of Domino Light Brown Sugar a while back. The title alone made me want to try them. I love brown sugar. You can always tell if a recipe is going to be good by how the batter tastes, and this batter is delicious.

The recipe is quick and easy, and it will make a great dessert for the Superbowl game, or really any time you want a delicious dessert!

INGREDIENTS

1 cup packed light brown sugar

1/2 cup (one stick) butter or margarine, softened

2 eggs

2 oz. unsweetened chocolate, melted

1/2 cup all-purpose flour

1 cup coarsely chopped walnuts (we don’t like nuts so I never put those in.)

DIRECTIONS

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

Grease 8×8 baking dish.

In large bowl beat sugar and butter until fluffy.

Beat in eggs one at a time.

Beat in chocolate, then flour.

Kids can help with this recipe, which technically doesn't even need a stand up mixer.

Stir in nuts if using them.

Pour into pan.

Bake 25 minutes or until a knife inserted into the center comes out clean.

Cool in pan and cut into bars.

Makes 2 dozen bars.

Bonus Superbowl Week Recipe: Homemade Corn Bread

2 Feb
Homemade Corn Bread

Served warm with butter...delicious!

You didn’t think I was *really* done when I said I was done with Superbowl recipes, did you? Here’s a bonus recipe for you for Homemade Corn Bread. It goes great with the chili, or with BBQ or, just by itself. I usually double mine, especially if we have more than just the five of us to feed. Below is the single recipe.

I got this recipe out of the “Better Homes and Gardens New Cook Book” a few years back, and of course it’s super fast and easy. On the back of the cookbook it says “Updated for the 90’s.” Apparently this book was new to me about 12 years ago.

**As an added bonus to this bonus recipe, see the note about Honey Butter below.**

INGREDIENTS

1 cup all purpose flour

1 cup yellow, white or blue cornmeal

2 to 4 TBL sugar (I did 6 TBL for the double recipe.)

1 TBL baking powder

1/2 tsp. salt

2 eggs

1 cup milk

1/4 cup cooking oil

There's a wealth of information and recipes in here!

DIRECTIONS

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

In a mixing bowl stir together flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder and salt.

In a separate bowl beat together milk, oil, eggs.

Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients and stir til batter is smooth.

Pour into greased 9×9 dish (I used 9×13 for double batch)

Bake in 425 oven for 20-25 minutes or until lightly browned on top.

Single recipe makes 8-9 servings

**HONEY BUTTER**

For a single recipe of corn bread, soften- but don’t melt- about half a stick of butter in a small bowl. Add in about a teaspoon of honey, mix well. Delicious when spread on the hot corn bread! (In a last minute hurry? “Soften” your butter in the microwave by heating for 15-30 seconds or until soft enough to mix.)

Superbowl Week: Easy Apps

26 Jan

Apps as in appetizers, not as in for your iPhone or iPad. I thought today I’d share two easy appetizers that you can serve on Superbowl Sunday or any time you need an appetizer idea. One of them we make often when we are asked to bring an appetizer with us and the other one, Don makes all the time for dinner on Friday nights, which is usually his night to cook while I take the girls to dance and Girl Scouts. It’s a late night and they look forward to that night’s dinner as it’s more laid back than our other nights’ meals.

The first is Kielbasa Roll-Ups, something we’ve been making for years and years. Don has pretty much taken over making these as the years have gone by and he’s really, really good at them!

Kielbasa and Crescent Rolls

These only need two ingredients: the kielbasa and the crescent rolls.

You need just two ingredients: two tubes of crescent rolls and one package of kielbasa.

First, open up your package of kielbasa and cut the pieces into bite-sized pieces, about the size of your thumb. Cook them in a frying pan in a little bit of oil. Try not to eat lots of the little pieces while you cook them.

A few easy steps and this appetizer is done.

Next, open up your crescent roll dough and cut each triangle in half. Roll the cooked kielbasa right up in the crescent roll dough and place on a cookie sheet.

Bake in the oven at the temperature on the crescent roll container until they are golden brown, about 10 minutes or so, according to the container. The kielbasa is cooked all the way through so you’re just cooking the crescents around it. Serve warm or cold and with a side of mustard if desired. You may have more pieces of kielbasa then you do crescents to wrap them in, so those you can eat while you wait for the appetizers to cook!

Next up: Loaded Nachos…this is the one the kids crave on Friday nights. When we come home and they see that Don’s made them for dinner, they literally cheer. He often makes them along with another dish like a pizza or calzones, but I could eat a whole plate of just nachos alone.

Loaded nachos

The good thing about this appetizer is you can use whatever ingredients you'd like!

The only definite ingredient you need to make a Loaded Nacho appetizer is the chips. After that you can decide what else you want to add to them on top of the chips: meat (chicken or beef), veggies (lettuce, tomatoes, olives, chili peppers), cheese, guacamole, sour cream etc. You decide.

Layer your chips first, and then the cooked meat of your choice on top. Bake for a few minutes until chips are crispy and then sprinkle your cheese on top. Cook until melted. You can even broil them a little bit to crisp them up, as long as you watch them carefully so that they don’t burn.

Add cold ingredients to the top once your baking is finished.

Enjoy!