For the past two years, I have followed Weight Watcher point-counting very loosely. It started when my youngest was about 7 months old. I wanted to lose 15 pounds and by Summer of that year, I lost 16. I was thrilled. Then the holidays arrived and that’s about the time I usually ditch the point system. Spring looms near and I start re-counting. Rinse & repeat. I don’t ever have a massive amount of weight to lose but usually post-holidays, I have about 5-7 pounds I would like to see leave the building. Plus counting points is really a great way to stay on track of what you’re taking in. I write down everything I eat and everything I drink (because I am actually quite terrible at drinking and always bordering on dehydration it seems). Writing everything helps tons and keeps me hydrated.
As recent as this past Monday, I was still using the old point method (in case you don’t know, WW rolled out a new plan in 2011 called Points Plus). I didn’t want to change what I knew. After 2 years, I was great at knowing what point values were attached to what foods. But certain things started to entice me. I could eat many fruits and veggies for 0 points. Hmmm… this sounded good. Now I wouldn’t need to waste a point on a cup of strawberries. I could eat as many as I wanted, for free! I went from 19 points a day to being allowed 29. Yes, food items all went up in points but even so, I am seeing a ton more room to play with over here. I’ve tried many new recipes this week. I was starting to feel a little same-old, same-old stuck at 19 points.
I’m not a WW expert. I am not even an official member. But I know my points and I know what healthy choices are. I’ve lost about 8 pounds in the past 4 weeks counting my points and working out. If you ever want ideas or to chat, I am here to listen. :)
Before I go on, here’s a quick list of my exercise regimen. I rotate between these workouts about 6 days a week. I actually look forward to working out now. I was always a dancer and physically fit but working out (running especially) was never something I enjoyed doing. My husband fell asleep early last night and when we caught each other around 3am (still no clue why we both woke up at that exact time), he mumbled “Did you workout?” Why yes, I most certainly did. I told him I did my running. He said “Wow you’re really into this huh?” LOL! I am! I have a secret flab (that if I think about it, is not so secret at the publishing of this entry) of extra fat right above my C-section scar (that was cut 3 times mind you). It gets hidden nicely in clothing so really, who was it bothering? I got so used to it being there it didn’t bother me much. Until I decided maybe it did. Maybe it didn’t have to be there. I always assumed, after talking with many C-section Moms, that it was there for good. Don’t get me wrong: I have no plans to wear a bikini anytime soon, but you know what? The stupid thing is actually going away. Seeing results is one of the best motivators!
– For cardio, I do the Couch 2 5 K program. I have the iPhone app and it’s awesome. I just started Week 5 and can run for much longer than I could during Week 1.
– For stretching, toning, slimming and overall flexibility, I do Jillian Michaels’ Yoga Meltdown. I love this video! I’ve always been a fan of yoga but Jillian’s video is very different. She combines cardio with yoga poses so you really feel like you got a great workout in after. I go back and forth between Level 1 and Level 2. I really like the ab work in Level 1 because it does not involve one single crunch yet you definitely feel it.
– For muscle-building and strength, I do Jillian Michaels’ No More Trouble Zones. (yes I love her!) This video is INTENSE! I don’t want to lose any more weight. My goal now is to continue to count points to keep me on track and build up some small muscles. I do not want to be ripped. LOL! I do, however, want to feel fit & fabulous!
Ok, back to the reason I am posting. Once I decided to follow the Points Plus system, I decided to look for new recipes to keep things fresh. I made these cookies because I have a huge sweet tooth and I need to have sweets available on hand, and ones that aren’t going to cost me a dozen points. These cookies are just 2 Points+ each! And they are so, so good. Every person living in this house couldn’t get enough of them, so they’re WW, kid and husband-approved. The original recipe can be found here.
Today we’re making Lowfat Banana Bread Cookies!
My miniature assistant Grace as well as myself will now set forth and show you how to make these fabulous cookies. First, the ingredients:
Grace’s primary job is stirring.
Now, normally when rolling/scooping cookies, I don’t care if I make as many as the recipe says. Maybe I make more. Maybe I make less. I’m wild like that. However, since I was making these as a treat for myself and wanted to make sure each cookie was the 2 Points+ it said it would be, I made sure to scoop out exactly 30 cookies. I had 15 on each tray and some leftover batter so I went around to each cookie and added another little bit of dough. What can I say. I am getting as much cookie in for 2 points as I can!
Bake ’em up for 11-12 minutes and you’re left with soft, chewy cookies packed with oats, raisins and a hint of banana flavor. I actually hid these in the microwave so they wouldn’t all disappear the first night. =P My older kids took some in with their lunch today. I mean it when I say that they were a big hit!
LOWFAT BANANA BREAD COOKIES
2 Weight Watcher Points+ each
2 TBSP butter, melted
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 very ripe banana
1 teaspoon of vanilla
1 cup of flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 1/2 cups old-fashioned oats
1/4 teaspoon of salt
1/2 cup of raisins
1. Preheat oven to 350. In a bowl, mix melted butter, sugars, banana, egg & vanilla.
2. In a separate bowl, mix together flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt.
3. Mix flour mixture into banana/sugar mixture.
4. Stir in oats and raisins.
5. Scoop out TBSP-sized cookies and arrange on cookie sheets sprayed with PAM. This recipe makes 30 cookies.
6. Bake in the preheated oven for 11-14 minutes, or until golden.
7. After 5-10 minutes, remove from trays and cool on wire racks. Store in an air-tight container.
While you’re here and possibly heading into the kitchen soon, I wanted to share another fun & easy meal idea that I found on another WW-friendly blog. I went to Trader Joe’s just to see what healthy, WW-friendly foods I could find. One of the things I purchased was their Sweet Apple Chicken Sausage. Oh my. It is so good! There are only maybe 5 or 6 ingredients in it so you actually feel good about eating it (nothing fake). Plus there’s real Vermont maple syrup that you taste while you’re eating it. It was awesome! One link is 3 points so I cut each into three pieces. Each sausage piece then equaled 1 point. Each skewer below got three pieces of sausage with assorted veggies.
I used zucchini, red onion, mushroom and colored bell peppers. I tossed them with a little bit of olive oil and balsamic vinegar before threading them and the sausage on. Then I broiled everything until hot.
Enjoy the upcoming weekend!