Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Hell Week, My Way

A few weeks ago, some of my friends started talking about Hell Week at Orange Theory Fitness. The idea is that there are eight themed OTF workouts during the week, and they will try to do as many as possible to push themselves and sweat like crazy.

I really love the idea of making a hard workout push for a week. Even though I'm not an OTF member, I decided to create my very own Hell Week. My version includes 10 total workouts - a combination of Lose It workouts, WAC group workouts and Y workouts. I know I'll be beat by the time my Sunday rest day rolls around but I'm looking forward to seeing what I can accomplish!


Here's my plan for the week:

Monday: 20 min walk + WAC Sprints & Core + WAC Cardio Circuit
Tuesday: 20 min run + Y-Blitz + WAC Squat Til You Drop
Wednesday: 20 min walk + WAC Triceps Training + WAC Kettlebell Circuits
Thursday: 20 min run + Y-Blitz + WAC Small Group Training
Friday: WAC Pump It
Saturday: 30 min run + Y-Blitz
Sunday: Rest Day

And because results don't happen without a healthy diet, here's a sample day of meals/snacks:

Breakfast: Turkey Bacon & Egg Wrap + Banana
Snack: Raw Veggies + Light Babybel Cheese
Lunch: Tuna Sweet Potato & Corn Salad + Clementine
Snack: Popcorn
Dinner: Sausage, Kale & White Bean Soup + Honeycrisp Apple

Fall temps recently hit MKE making it perfect soup weather. I spent Sunday evening making a large pot of Sausage, Kale & White Bean Soup for dinners this week. It's a super simple recipe and calculates out to only 3 Weight Watchers Smart Points per serving!


Sausage, Kale & White Bean Soup
Serves 6 (3 Weight Watchers Smart Points per serving)

1 tsp olive oil
1 container Trader Joe's Mirepoix Vegetable Mix (onions, celery & carrots)
2 cloves garlic, minced
4 AmyLu Italian Chicken Sausage Links, diced
1 15oz can great northern beans, rinsed and drained
1 15oz can diced tomatoes
6 cups fat-free chicken broth
1 Tbsp Penzey's Pasta Sprinkle (basil, oregano, thyme blend)
10oz raw kale (cleaned, chopped, stems removed)
Salt & Pepper to taste

Heat oil in a large soup pot over medium heat. Add Mirepoix veggies and garlic. Cook 1-2 minutes, then add diced chicken sausage. Cook another 2-3 minutes or until veggies are soft and sausage is lightly browned. Add beans and diced tomatoes. Cook 1-2 minutes before adding chicken broth and Pasta Sprinkle seasoning. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer for 30-45 minutes. Stir in kale and season with salt & pepper to taste.

A little sprinkle of Parmigiana Reggiano could be amazing on top of this soup but it will add an extra Smart Point.

So that's it for me this week - it's just about grinding through the next few days and getting all my workouts in! Tell me:
  • Have you ever completed a workout challenge? What did you like/dislike about it?
  • Are you celebrating Halloween this weekend? If so, what's your costume?

Hope you all have a wonderful week!

- ST

Thursday, October 12, 2017

My Weight Watchers Foods List

My first few weeks on Weight Watchers were challenging. In the past, I've been more concerned about the number of calories in food and nutritional value. But on WW, foods are assigned a Smart Points value (based on calories, fat, sugar, protein, etc.). 

I quickly discovered even foods that are lower in calories can have a lot of Smart Points. For example, my favorite Kashi Go Lean cereal is off limits due to its high point value. I've also had to cut back on or eliminate many of my old diet staples, such as quinoa, farro, tomato soup, legumes, etc. All are too high in points to incorporate in my everyday diet. 

Fortunately, as the weeks have gone by, I've discovered a few lower point items to work into meals. This list doesn't include the obvious things like vegetables, fruits and lean meats. These are more little things I've found to create low-point meals or to eat as a small snack. 


0 Smart Points
Bumble Bee Tuna Pouches (My fave is lemon & pepper)
Dill Pickles
Turkey Bacon Bits
Egg Beaters
Whole Foods Nonfat Whipped Topping

1 Smart Point
Mini Babybel Light Cheese
Light String Cheese
Tumaro's Ancient Grain Wraps
Boca Vegan Burgers
Turkey Bacon
Lipton Cup-A-Soup Chicken Noodle 
Nestle Rich Milk Chocolate Fat Free Hot Chocolate Mix
Peanut Butter & Co Mighty Nut Original Powdered Peanut Butter

2 Smart Points
Sargento Ultra Thin Cheese Slices
Flatout Light Wraps
Halo Top Vanilla Ice Cream

3 Smart Points
Alexia Smart Classics Crinkle Fries
La Panzanella Mini Rosemary Crackers (half serving is 2 points)
Popcorn

Here are a few ways I've used these food items:

Cheese Plate (3 Smart Points): 3 La Panzanella Mini Crackers + 1 Mini Babybel Light Cheese + 1 Honeycrisp Apple 

Ice Cream Sundae (2 Smart Points): Halo Top Vanilla Ice Cream + Sliced Strawberries + Blueberries + Whole Foods Nonfat Whipped Topping

Breakfast Burrito (4 Smart Points): Tumaro Wrap + Egg Beaters + Turkey Bacon + Sargento Cheese Slice + Salsa

Cheeseburger & Fries (7 Smart Points): Boca Vegan Burger + Sargento Cheese Slice + Lettuce Bun/Wrap + Alexia Smart Classics Crinkle Fries + Dill Pickle + Ketchup & Mustard

It really comes down to how creative you can get. I'm still discovering low point items to add to my list and finding new ways to combine things to make tasty and interesting meals and snacks. 

Tell me: If you're on Weight Watchers, what are your favorite low-point foods? Or, if you're not on Weight Watchers, how do you keep your meals light & healthy?

- ST