Weight Watchers Simple Start List of Power Foods

Oh….boy. Ever step on the scale after a LONG hiatus of not going near the god-forsaken thing (other than to trip over it) and are just utterly SHOCKED at the 3 numbers staring you in the face? Me either. Just kidding, nope, that was me just a few Get in my bellydays ago, after the December HOLIDAZE and month before of new love LaLaLand caught up to me and suctioned a spare tire to the body that just over the summer had been the least of me anyone’s seen in QUITE awhile. Let’s guesstimate a fun-ish 25ish lbs? Some of it water weight (hahaha, we all know better), some of it Homemade Portillo’s Chocolate Cake, most of it just an ocean of booze and fields of Christmas cookies. My entire lifestyle since Labor Day has basically been that of Austin Powers’ “Fat Bastard.”

One time, in grad school, I got really fat, then I moved to Chicago and decided to lose weight. I used Weight Watchers, and I went to meetings, and it really worked. I stayed motivated, I lost over 30 pounds, and it’s been a lifestyle I’ve been living at least 75% of the time since. I just…it’s just that I’ve been 25% really horrible in eating the last 25% of 2015. Oh, and remember when I used to get 10,000 steps everyday, obsessively, with my Fitbit for over a year and a half EVERY DAY?! I stopped doing that, and it was shockingly easy to just sit around and eat instead of side step like a lunatic while having conversations with people while checking my Fitbit every two seconds. Who would have thought? Ah, well, you win some, you lose some. 

It’s time to lose some. 

I’m going back on Weight Watchers, using the Simply Filling program, which a) works and b) is awesome for people like me, who somewhere along the way just get flat out resentful and tired of having to count the points of every little thing I eat. That shiz is tedious, yo. On the Simply Filling “lifestyle”, you get to eat foods off a list, as many as you want until you’re full, which coincidentally is probably not the entire box of whole wheat ziti. There’s protein, grains, fruits, veggies, light breads, and ooo, frankencheese, also known as fat free cheese, of which the only remotely acceptable kinds are cottage, cream and ricotta. Fat free shredded cheese is….well, it’s just awful, but when your cheese-starved mind and body are whispering devilish things to you regarding sneakily stuffing most of a full bag of regular fat shredded cheese into your mouth, just substitute it with fat free and you’ll magically eat about an 1/10 of the amount of cheese you were going to force down your gullet. Read on »

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Mmmmm, Cuban Sandwiches. The perfect sandwich? One might think so. Roasted pork, ham, pickles, swiss cheese, mustard. Yum. Ok, so turning that into a dip is clearly the best idea ever. Thanks, Dad What’s 4 Dinner, you’re officially the best Dad of the year!!

Hot Cuban Dip

Hot Cuban Dip

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Well, you got 23 days of blogging out of me for December, and that’s:

So, the holidaze were just that, and although I avoided the stomach flu this year, I was brought down by some other special plague, a truly horrid cold that left me zombie-like, but I naturally pushed through and burned the candle at both ends, clearly prolonging my misery. Today is the first day I feel like I’ve returned to the land of the living, and I was getting sick on the 23! That’s 8 days of awful. Is it possible that I would rather have the stomach flu?

Well, nothing like a little barf talk to ring in the New Year, and guaranteed not to make you barf (unless you eat nearly a CrockPot full of them…), are these 6 fabulous recipes for balls brought to you by some pretty awesome bloggers! I think we can all agree that meatballs are an easy go-to appetizer, and if you’re running short on time this evening, there’s always a CrockPot full of previously frozen balls in a vat of bbq sauce. You’re welcome.

Also, today I’m skipping the ingredients and sending you right on over to the bloggers for the recipes, so be sure to click the links.

Meatball 1: African Spiced Bison Meatballs with Cilantro Chutney and Tamarind Dip

Wow, Chrissy, that’s a mouthful. Coming to you from The Hungary Buddha Eats the World, is my Blog Wife, Chrissy (our anniversary is on January 20th), with a meatball recipe I’m sure never to recreate, unless it’s in her kitchen and I’ve polished off an entire bottle of wine. But seriously, they look awesome, and I think I tried the cilantro chutney once, although, yeah, I was likely drunk.

African Bison Meatballs

Go see Chrissy at the Hungary Buddha for the recipe for these African Spiced Bison Meatballs with Cilantro Chutney and Tamarind Dip.

Meatball 2: Crockpot Meatballs with Grape Jelly Sauce

Veering toward a much easier path, we’ve got a quintessential stand-by, for those of you who want something just a touch classier than frozen meatballs in bbq sauce, though Meggan of Culinary Hill assures us you can use frozen meatballs for this one.

Crockpot Meatballs with Grape Jelly Sauce

Visit Meggan for her classic Crockpot Meatballs in Grape Jelly Sauce.

Meatball 3: Spicy Asian BBQ Meatballs

Ooo, I love Asian flavors, and I love meatballs, so I’m 100% certain I’d love these super easy Spicy Asian Meatballs from The Plaid & Paisley Kitchen.

Spicy Asian Meatballs

Visit Chandra at The Plaid & Paisley Kitchen for the recipe for the Spicy Asian BBQ Meatballs

Meatball 4: Swedish Meatballs

I have to admit, growing up near Bishop Hill, Illinois, a small Swedish colony turned amazing tourist day trip, I’ve eaten my fair share of Swedish Meatballs…and I LOVE THEM. SO. MUCH. Sue over at A Palatable Pastime whipped up some from-scratch Swedish Meatballs, and they look absolutely amazing. This is one recipe I think I’m going to have to make.

Swedish Meatballs

Visit Sue at A Palatable Pastime for her amazing take on Swedish Meatballs

Meatball 5: Thai Style Pork Meatballs

Well, these meatballs look simply delicious. Combining Thai flavors into pork meatballs is Regina from Leelalicious.

Thai Style Pork Meatballs

Visit Regina for her recipe for Thai Style Pork Meatballs.

Meatball 6: Crockpot Buffalo Chicken Meatballs with Blue Cheese Dressing

Ha, a twist! You thought I was going to bring you just balls of beef and balls of pork, but you were wrong!! I’m sneaking in a chicken meatball, buffalo-style. I love buffalo anything, so these are just super exciting!

Crockpot Buffalo Chicken Meatballs

Visit Jo at Jo Cooks for the full recipe for Crockpot Buffalo Chicken Meatballs.

To pin all of these fabulous meatball recipes for the future, use this image:

Meatballs 6 Ways

 

 

 

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This recipe brings me back to the glorious days of my first job (which I only left this year, and still adore all the people I worked with). Each year one of our founders would play Santa Claus at the company Christmas party and pass out bags of whole pecans to all the employees on the nice list. Then I’d roast the pecans in the oven with a stick of melted butter and a bunch of sea salt and have a delicious, buttery nut snack.

Today, Erin, from Erin’s Inside Job, brings us something similar, but with maple and spice. I believe these may be the super buttery nut version of the Master Cleanse. I’m all in favor of a nut cleanse.

Maple Spiced Pecans

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I have this wonderful best friend who doesn’t live in the same state as I do, but I’m fairly sure I see her more often than most of my friends who live across town. She is the one I can count on to always be honest with me, even when it’s tough, and you should see her devil’s advocate routine. Spot on, that one. On a personal note, try to find that friend who is always honest with you, no matter what. I mean, sure, she’s going to lie to me and tell me I don’t look fat, but on the REAL stuff, matters of the heart and the like, R’s got my (considerably bigger) back(side).

Nutella-Stuffed-Peanut-Butter-Cookies
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I have to say, ever since visiting last March, I have quite the love affair with Prague going on. Prague is this beautiful, fairy-tale city, untouched by war, so all of the buildings and structures are original to the city. I happened to be visiting during Easter, when the Easter markets were in full swing, and I was taking full advantage of the cheap hot wine. Yes, by the way, Prague is very cheap to visit, so if you want to go to Europe and not spend a TON, visit Prague. Hey, my friend Becky lives there, and she’ll probably let you stay with her. Think of all the money you’ll save.

Today’s recipe is Vánočka, a braided brioche bread with raisins, typically served during Christmas in the Czech Republic. I haven’t actually tried this, nor have I made it, but I love Prague so much, that maybe I’ll whip this up for the C-Family during Christmas. I mean, how hard is it to braid 6 different raw bread dough ropes together? Psshhh, I got this, particularly when I have to wear a white apron and headscarf and not talk to anyone while I’m making it. And don’t mind me while I’m jumping up and down while the dough rises. All in a day’s work, according to Czech traditions, according to 196 Flavors, who is helping me bring this tradition to your house.

So let’s get down to business, and start making the brioche. Besides, jumping up and down will be the most activity I’ve done in a couple of weeks.

Vanocka

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