Sunday, July 28, 2013

So I guess it wasn't a fluke....

Pin It I lost again this week!  Another pound and a half gone - thanks to the WW Simply Filling Technique (SFT)!  I do admit, I'm loving this. 

This week my "One Small Change" was to have my usual Pete's Frootique salad, but to make it 100% simply filling (minus the dressing).  My salads are truly an adventure when I go to Pete's.  Normally they "cost" me 6 points+ when I get the fat free raspberry vinaigrette dressing.  On Friday, my challenge was for it (other than dressing) to cost me no weekly points.  Challenge accepted.  Challenge complete.  I left out my usual bacon bits, craisins and feta cheese (sadly) and added extra lean fresh roast beef on top.  The beef was so yummy that I ate it first :) 

In this little adventure (if I can remember it all!) you will find cucumber, spinach, peppers, tomatoes, mushrooms, onions, chickpeas, beans, eggs, cabbage, mandarin oranges, red onions, cauliflower, broccoli and likely more that I've forgotten.  I got the balsamic vinaigrette on the side (this location doesn't have my raspberry).  I admit... I did not miss my bacon, craisins and feta....much.  Feta really does make the salad :)  I think next time I will use a couple of points and get some feta thrown in.

This coming week we were challenged to try something new - a lot of folks were going to try to be adventurous with their salads.  I think I've got that task complete already - I'm always being adventurous with salad (not a fan of plain old boring green salad).  I'm a big fan of a huge salad that doesn't cost a lot of points - so long as it's got flavour, that is!  My new try this week (not necessarily on salad) is passion fruit.  I bought one at Pete's on Friday and am going to give it a try - it had better be good for the price I paid!  Another try is going to be more challenging... I'm going to a party at someone's house this afternoon and I know there will be nibbles.  I want to try to keep my nibbling primarily SFT.  Wish me luck!

Saturday, July 20, 2013

No longer a skeptic

Pin It I admit it.  I was a skeptic when it came to the Simply Filling Technique.  I looked at the foods I ate all week and in the back of my mind, I kept thinking "This won't really work..."  I followed it 100% - it was probably the most on program week I've had in about a year.  I didn't deprive myself from food at all - I just made Simply Filling choices over non-Simply Filling ones more than I normally would...why not?  They were "free", afterall.  When I discovered that the 95% Fat Free Cool Whip was one of those Simply Filling should have seen my face!  Love that stuff.  And potatoes...white ones! Yep, SF food... not that I eat a lot of them, but still... Light English muffins...yep, they're on the list!  Surely I can't be eating all of this food AND lose weight.  Surely there's something I'm missing or some trick in the system that I don't know about.  Oh, and I didn't work out as much as I would have liked, so surely I wouldn't lose this week.  Please God, let me just stay the same... only I didn't stay the same... I LOST... THREE whole pounds!!!  You'll note from my tracker above that this means I'm back into the 100s for pounds lost (yay me!)

A couple of thoughts and notes about my week that I want to share (besides the ramblings above):


  1. Planning is key, no matter what program you choose - counting points or calories, Simply Filling Technique, Whole30 or Paleo.  No matter what you do, you must plan.  I'm not saying to sit down and plan out your meals for the whole week (unless that's your "thing").  What I did this week was to buy all of my produce, wash, cut and store it appropriately.  I also made a large salad of sorts (black beans, corn, onion, tomatoes, etc. - see last week's post for details) that lasted me all week.  It was so much easier when I got home from work to grab a handful of pre-washed, pre-cut veggies to toss in the grill pan than to contemplate cutting and washing them... I also had my fruit cut up - some done up into a fruit salad (nothing added, just fruit), so this made it easy to just toss some fat free cottage cheese or yogurt into a container and add fruit and run out the door.  Also, when I did cook my veggies on the grill pan, I cooked enough for 3 servings so I would have some leftovers to bring to work for lunch.
  2. after
  3. Eat until you are satisfied.  No, really.  Leave food on your plate.  It's OK - honest.  Nobody is going to come and tell you about starving children in Ethiopia (or whatever your generation says).  You know what - it's OK not to clean your plate.  I did this a couple of times and both times I just put the remainder of the food away for another time when I really was hungry.  It was nice not to stuff myself, but to just stay satisfied.  I think that in the past I've eaten everything on my plate because...well, because it was there AND I had already tracked and pointed it and how would I figure out how to re-calculate the points if I didn't finish it all.  It was, afterall, my entitlement to eat what was in front of me.  Following Simply Filling helped me to let go of that sense of entitlement and realize that on this plan, it's not necessary.  Not sure if this makes sense to anyone else, but for me it was an "aha moment" to quote Oprah.
I realized that Counting Points vs Simply Filling is like outlet shopping on a budget vs having the freedom to shop at quality stores without caring as much about the bottom line.  Sure I'm going to look for the best bang for my buck, but I don't have to count every single buck as I go along.  I might splurge and get something fancy (aka a treat coming out of my 49 weekly points) from time to time, but overall, I just coast along and enjoy the ride.

Well, I'm off to Dave's Fruit & Veggie stand to stock up on produce and to Costco to get some essential items with Mom (best place to get FF Greek yogurt and frozen mangoes!).  I think I might have to get some little containers for my lunches too (I've already ordered some more Tupperware Fridgemate containers from my friend Shirley so I can prepare even MORE produce at a time). 

Wish me luck as I follow the same plan (different foods, of course!) this week.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Simply Filling Begins

Pin It Yesterday began my week (or longer) of following Weight Watcher's Simply Filling Technique (aka SF or SFT).  When I started reading more into it, I was shocked and awed at what I CAN have!  I got my large (larger than normal) grocery order today and tonight I began prepping for the week.  The first thing I threw together was a corn, black bean, etc., etc. salad to keep on hand:

There are no exact measurements involved here.  I simply piled a bunch of SF foods in a bowl - green and orange peppers, red onion, black beans, corn, chickpeas (aka garbanzo beans), cucumber, tomatoes, cilantro, lime juice and some balsamic vinegar.  I added some Epicure Alder Smoked Sea Salt Blend (so yummy) and some Epicure Chipotle Chili powder.  Toss together and store in the fridge.  I have it divided up into single-serving sizes and will use it for lunches this week - I saw a similar recipe online this weekend that had tuna added, so I think a serving of this with some tuna may be a very filling lunch.  It may also be good on top of tilapia...oh the possibilities!

Next I decided to make myself some egg omelets in the oven.  These will be quick and easy to grab for lunch with a light English muffin (which is also SF!).  The egg mixture is just peppers, onions, tomatoes, spinach, extra lean ham, eggs, skim milk, salt & pepper as well as a bit of Epicure French Onion dip mix.  They are cooking now - perhaps supper for this evening since I had a big meal at lunch today (thanks Mom and Dad!).

So far this plan seems very do-able.  I'm still trying to see what the "catch" is.  Most of the non-SFT foods are foods I don't normally eat (hot dogs, sausages, olives, etc.).  The only one on the list of non-SFT foods that I may eat is avocado.  They don't say you can't eat these foods - you just have to use your 49 Weekly Points Allowance (aka WPA) if you do.  Same goes for any other foods that are not SF (they don't list all of the obvious ones on the website - chocolate bars, cupcakes, etc.  I think they expect us to use common sense!)  Sweet treats will also come from my 49 WPA.  I am going to try to stay away from sugary treats this week and try to focus on eating the SF foods outlined in the plan.  I will have to use some WPA for "incidentals" such as margarine or dairy items that are not fat free, but I'm OK with that.

Stay tuned this week to see how things progress and then tune in on Saturday for the verdict. 

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Whole30 vs Paleo vs WW Simply Filling

Pin It
After many months of (barely) skating by, I've come to a realization.  I need a change in how I approach things.  For me, at this very moment in time, the standard WW program is not a good fit.  I am NOT saying that it does not work - my over 100lbs lost proves otherwise.  What I am saying is that the honeymoon is (and has been for some time) over, so I need to spice/shake things up a bit.

A friend of mine has done the Whole30 program as well as Paleo.  The draw for both of these plans for me is that they help you eliminate the sugar demon cravings.  I have started reading the Whole30 book It Starts with Food and it is quite interesting.  I am also going to do some reading up on the Paleo diet.  The sensible part of my brain loves the idea that with both programs you are eating whole/real foods (I'm sure that's the way God intended it!) rather than packaged/fake foods that have so many odd ingredients/chemicals listed that I think we'd be hard-pressed to call them food at all.  I will admit though, that I have a problem with eliminating whole grain foods such as quinoa, which Whole30 does (although it's only a 30-day plan, so possibly doable).  Whole30 also eliminates all dairy products - as a woman in her 30s, I feel dairy is a an important part of my diet for calcium intake.  If I decide to do Whole30 I will have to investigate how much calcium I am getting in the rest of my diet and may have to take a calcium supplement. 

Given my lack of control over the sugar monster - especially when on vacation, I have been doing a lot of thinking on these two programs this week.  But in doing so, I realized that there is a WW option that I have never explored before - the Simply Filling Technique.   The difference between Simply Filling (SF) and Tracking is that you focus on a list of Simply Filling Foods which you eat in until you are satisfied.  It really is an extensive list.  You don't count the points for these foods, nor do you weigh and measure them (except your 2tsp of healthy oil).  There is an option in the online tracker to still track (I have yet to investigate that).  You still get your Weekly Points (49) and would use these for anything not on the SF list (extra oils, starchy veg, treats, etc).  I think this program is much more forgiving than the other two above, but it may offer me a bit too much freedom. 

As I am writing this blog right now, I think I have come to a conclusion though.  I am going to give SF a try starting when my week starts over on Saturday.  I will plan to keep my food selections within the SF list and, in honour of eating whole foods, will try to "Whole30 it up" a bit along the way.  I will try and have a chat with WW Fiona and see if she can offer any insight.  One thing I really need to do is to eliminate my intake of artificial sweetener.  I don't add it a whole lot, but I do use it daily in my oatmeal and I'm sure there are food products in my kitchen that contain artificial sweeteners. I will give SF a try for a couple of weeks, but while doing so will still continue to investigate the other two programs above.  I think by starting with SF, I can ease myself into trying a Whole30 in the near future. 

As you can probable surmise from this post, my food on vacation (yet, again) was a disaster.  I admit that I didn't track at all.  I was conscious of what I was eating most of the time, and I did make some good choices, but overall it was a bust.  I will face the scales on Saturday (if I am brave enough) and will suck it up and move on with a plan in place.  I really need to get a handle on things before I take another vacation.  Vacations will come every year (some years more than once!), so I really do need to find a way to deal with them.  I am so tired of getting on the scales every week and knowing I will stay the same or go up - and knowing it is completely my own fault.  What I am doing is the true definition of insanity - doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results... it just doesn't work that way.