I was chopping veggies and making salad dressing yesterday morning and suddenly I looked up and realized I had to leave the house in ten minutes!  Thankfully, you all know I am low maintenance, and was out the door in 8 minutes.  Can I just be thankful that my hair is long enough to put back in a pony tail? šŸ˜€  But since I was spending so much time (okay, really it was only 10-15 minutes) on my lunch I quickly grabbed a Pommegrante Chobani and one of the oranges my MIL gave me.  I knew I had granola in my desk (the only thing that now resides there, thank you very much!) so yet another breakfast parfait.  I’ll explain the *** below.  By the way, I never thought citrus would work in a parfait – I was so wrong – it was delicious!

  • 338 calories, 3.28 fat, 62 carbs, 6.2 fiber and 18.25 protein ***
  • technically 7 WW points
  • total calorie points – 9 WW points

It was another hot one in Chicagoland yesterday, 81 when I left to run.  I ended up walking at a pretty good pace for 50 minutes, enough to sweat and raise my heart rate!  I saw lots of green!

And you can never get enough blue sky pics, right?

I have Smokin Chestnut to thank for my Mango Chicken Salad with Spicy Ginger Dressing.  I brought this to a co-worker to share, and he said “I’d Pay to Eat That in a Restaurant.”  Best words a cook likes to hear, right?

I did adapt it somewhat, based on what I had on hand.  I also reduced the amount of oil.  I am doing the dressing stats separately, since I thought the dressing was enough for 4 servings.  I just used a heaping tablespoon of the dressing and tossed it in a ziploc bag and the veggies were not over dressed in the least.

Spicy Ginger Dressing:  (4 servings, each one is 67 calories, 6.5 fat, 1.6 carbs, .2 fiber and 2.5 protein)

  • 2 teaspoons fresh grated ginger
  • 1 tablespoon sriracha (yep, a tablespoon)
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar (I didn’t have rice wine)
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon ginger pepper sauce ***

Mix well.  I put this in a baby jar with a lid to bring it to work.  Just a quick shake and a pour and I was good to go.

***  This is the ginger pepper sauce I used – I think Tony got it at Fresh Market or World Market – I’ll find out – its addicting!

Mango Chicken Salad (2 servings: 237 calories, 2.7 fat, 27 carbs, 5 fiber and 28 protein)

  • 5 ounces grilled chicken breast
  • 1 cup broccoli slaw
  • 1/2 cup carrots, chopped
  • 1/2 cup cucumber, chopped
  • 1/2 cup peapods
  • 1 chopped hot pepper (not sure what they are called – they were from my PIL) šŸ˜€
  • 1/2 a mango, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon fresh mint, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon fresh basil, chopped

I had the chicken in a separate bag (leftover from last nights chicken gyros) and when it got time for lunch, I separated half the chicken and half the salad into two ziploc bags, then tossed each with a heaping tablespoon of the ginger dressing, tossed and plated.  I borrowed Hannah’s tiny grater – she got it in a hot chocolate kit – it was meant to grate chocolate over cocoa, but I love using it to grate ginger and nutmeg.

I loved, loved, this salad.  It was bright, the veggies were crisp, the dressing wasn’t too overpowering and the chicken was still super tender.  And the hot peppers that my PIL gave me were a nice balance to the sweet mango.

I luckily was able to grill before the rain came through.  Before I met Tony, I never in a million years would have grilled a chuck roast.  I had always thought that cut of meat had to be cooked low and slow.   I cut the roast in half, put the second half in the freezer, and simply seasoned with salt and pepper.  This was relatively thick – I seared it on both sides for about 3 minutes a side, then set it on the top rack of my grill and it took about 30 minutes to get a nice medium rare.

I sliced 4 ounces of meat (eTools says 8 points?), served over chopped baby spinach, 1 cup egg noodles (5) and quick beef gravy sauce  (2).  This dinner was delicious – the meat was super flavorful and tender.

So if you’ve made it down this far, you are probably wondering what the hell my Calories v. WW Points conversation is all about.  After annoucing that I need to step up my game and that I plan on making some changes come April 1, my dear blog friend Helen sent me a long email.   She’s lost 20 pounds and reshaped her body these last few months following a Paleo diet.  She is an avid runner and is into muy thai (Helen, I know I didn’t spell that right!).  In any event, she reiterated in her email what I was already thinking about, and that is, calories matter.

She notes that I’ll say “1 tsp. of brown sugar is zero points” “2 cups of veggies is zero points” “3 servings of fruit is zero points!”  The truth of the matter is, that Helen believes there is really no such thing as zero point food.  Whether you do low carb, WW, Paleo, etc. calories do matter.  So after everything into eTools:

  • My total WW points for the day?  31 points.
  • If I use eTools calculator using the total calories consumed (1359 calories, 39 fat, 174 carbs, 17 fiber and 93 protein)
  • It is actually 36 points.
  • (51% of calories from carbs, 26% from fat and 23% from protein)

Not that 5 points is going to make that much difference in a day, but let’s just say I eat my activity points, that would be 4, which would be a total of 40 points for the day, or basically 14 over my daily points of 26 for the day.  I know I have my 49 flex points to take into consideration, but let’s just say this is my normal scenario, which it usually is, my 14 daily overage now is 98 extra points in a 7 day time frame, which is nearly double the 49 flex points allowed.  So the fact that I have maintained this past year really isn’t so much of a mystery to me.

Don’t get me wrong, I like the WW program, I like the weekly weigh ins, the accountability, the fact that they steer you away from processed food.  I just think I have to be a calorie counter first, a WW points person second.

What are your thoughts?  Danica, TJ, Renee, I am especially interested in hearing what you have to say!

I am still tweaking my plan for April – so far my goals will be to eat between 1400-1500 calories, under 100 grams of carbs, limiting my bread/grain carb consumption to just one meal a day and use the rest for fruits and veggies, keeping my percentage of calories from fat around 25% and try to up the fiber.  Oh, and exercise like a mo-fo! šŸ˜€

Oh, and Helen wants me to count points for wine – no fair! šŸ˜€