Are You Losing the Diet Game?

“The fad diets that many Americans are on are perfect if you want to be hungry all the time and miserable.” – Nathan Pritikin…. That quote really does kind of sum it up, right? Now, don’t get me wrong – I don’t think every program out there is bad. Not at all. I’ve had great success with both Weight Watchers and Nutrisystem. My best friend has lost 100 pounds using the Omni drops. I know several success stories from Isagenix and Advocare. But, the basic way to lose weight, get fit, and be healthy is the same as it’s always been – a diet based on real, whole foods, exercise, and a positive attitude. A diet like Weight Watchers is great – if you use it as a way to jump start learning about nutrition and healthy choices, and make it a lifestyle. But the simplest way to weight loss isn’t “going on a diet,” it’s changing your diet. Check out the tips in the infographic below, and leave me some comments to let me know what you think….. [Read more...]

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Losing Weight is Easy with a Simple Start…

I was given a free one month subscription to Weight Watchers to try their new #SimpleStart plan and write about my experience.Though I was compensated for my time and commitment, all views, positive and negative, are my own, as always.

“Happiness is a choice. Why not be happy all the time? Being unhappy doesn’t get you anywhere.” – Jerry Bruckner If you’ve ever met me in real life, know me just  from social media, or have read more than a couple of posts on this site, then you’ve probably noticed that I’m one of those annoyingly optimistic “glass is half full” type of people. I don’t let obstacles get me down or discouraged, I use them as motivation for finding new solutions to challenges. I haven’t always been this way, but since becoming a mom a few years ago, I swear I was changed with some type of “post-partum optimism” or something. {So far as I know, that’s not a real thing. But a post describing my experience with it is coming up one of these days… :)} And, as I get started with the new adventures of 2014, I’ve been excited to see how small changes are adding up to make me feel even happier, healthier, and more in balance {my word of the year.}

Super healthy, super loaded, stuffed baked potato recipe from weight watchers

One big change already this year has been diving into the Simple Start plan from Weight Watchers. I’ve talked about it a TON the past two weeks, as I’ve followed this plan to jump-start my goals of getting healthier – from sharing super yummy recipes ideas like this Stuffed Baked Potato, to the awesome motivational quotes I tweet out after seeing them each day when I log in – I’ve definitely shared a million updates on my personal Facebook and Instagram encouraging my friends to try this out too. It’s pretty clear that I’m a believer. {Not to be confused with the term “Belieber“, which I am emphatically not. Lol.} And I’ve been really excited to see how many of my friends have now joined me in the Simple Start plan too!

Partial #SimpleStart Grocery Shopping List [Read more...]

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Super Healthy, Super Loaded Baked Potato – #SimpleStart to Weight Loss

I was given a free one month subscription to Weight Watchers to try their new Simple Start plan and write about my experience. Though I was compensated for my time and commitment, all views, positive and negative, are my own.

“I may not be there yet, but I’m closer than I was yesterday.” – from Weight Watchers free #SimpleStart app… Ok ladies. Last week I told you guys about a super awesome way to kick start your weight loss – a totally free app from Weight Watchers called Simple Start. It’s pretty much what you’d expect from the name – a simple way to just jump in and get started, not just with losing weight, but with getting healthy. For two weeks you focus on WHAT you’re eating, not how much. No points to add up, no portions to measure. Just a big ol’ list of good-for-you foods, and some rockin’ recipes that make those foods totally shine. And – they don’t believe in “guilty” pleasures. They believe that every day needs a small indulgence, so they guide you to adding those daily, in a smart way. Skeptical? Well – take a look at what I’ve been eating this week:

Super healthy, super loaded, stuffed baked potato recipe from weight watchers

Super healthy, super loaded, stuffed baked potato recipe from weight watchers

I showed you guys some examples of the recipes you’ll find on the Simple Start app last week. And this one is kind of adapted from one of their amazing lunch recipes – to fit what I had on hand, and the mood I was in. The lunch recipe on the app includes a loaded baked potato, a bowl of vegetable soup, a side of salsa. Well, I skipped the sour cream on the potato, and nixed the soup. Instead, I added just a bit of grilled chicken breast to my potato, and a side salad to get more veggies in. And I have to tell ya – I’m not usually much of a veggie eater. But the creative recipes on the app truly inspired me, and have had me eating things I usually don’t. Broccoli? Crazy. But this was the second time in a week I ate a potato stuffed with piles of broccoli! Yum. And me suddenly loving broccoli is kind of a big deal.

Low fat super loaded stuffed baked potato recipe

Low fat super loaded stuffed baked potato recipe

I mean – look closer at this bad boy? Does that look like a “diet” food to you? No way. Didn’t taste that way either. But I’m learning that making simple swaps is easier and tastier than I thought… I didn’t put any butter on this tater. I used reduced-fat Weight Watchers cheese. {Who knew there were so many Weight Watchers branded foods in the grocery store? Makes it even easier to follow this plan. And easy is what I’m all about.} But – I ramped up the flavor with things like some freshly ground black pepper, a bunch of red pepper flakes, and a little bit of southwestern seasoning on the chicken. OhmyYUM.

How to Make Weight Watchers Veggie Soup

Another amazing recipe I’m loving right now is the Simple Start Vegetable Soup. It’s just about the easiest thing ever, but I’m addicted. The basics are that you add some healthy oil – {it suggests Olive Oil, but I use my new fave, LifeOiL that I use in everything lately} – heat it up in a pan. Chop up some veggies, and throw ‘em into the oil. Add some chicken broth and canned diced tomatoes, cook it all up with some seasonings, and ohmyheck – enjoy. {See a bowl of the Weight Watchers Simple Start Veggie Soup here.}

Weight Watchers Breakfast - Fat Free Yogurt with berries

Weight Watchers Breakfast – Fat Free Yogurt with berries

I didn’t get a pic of it, but one of my fave breakfast ideas from the Simple Start app so far has been the “Toast with Cheese and Fruit.” And, before I get to that one, or the one above, let’s chat: I was super skeptical of these recipes at first. Like I said last week – I’m an extremely picky eater. And by that, I mean plain as heck. Boring.  I was a vegetarian for 6 years in my early 20′s. I still can’t really cook meat – do not even ASK me to cut a chicken breast into slices, ohmyheckohmy. I also don’t like many veggies. {Weird for a vegetarian. Heard it before. I know.} There’s no kind of fruit I’m not in love with though… Or carb. Oh baby baby, I love me some bread. Potatoes? The only way the world can make me not love them is making them au gratin. {You mean, “au grossness?”} So, it’s always a challenge for me to find a healthy eating plan that works for me and my quirky preferences.

Woah – Surprised face!

But almost every recipe on the Simple Start app works for me – even when I didn’t believe it would. So, like I mentioned above – Toast with cheese and fruit. One of the breakfast options is a couple of slices of reduced calorie whole wheat bread, topped with some fat-free ricotta cheese, and fresh blueberries. {Disclaimer: They also add some sugar substitute, which I don’t do.} You put it all on your toast, put it under the broiler with a couple other ingredients, just until the blueberries burst, and then totally devour with a surprised look on your face as you realize you like ricotta cheese in something other than a fat-loaded pasta. Oh – the possibilities! :) Which is why I’ve now been using blueberries on everything – like topping my fat free Greek yogurt with berries for breakfast! Again – yum. This is not a weight loss plan that makes you feel deprived. For reals.

Super healthy super loaded stuffed baked potato

Super Healthy, Super Loaded Baked Potato – #SimpleStart to Weight Loss

Ingredients

  • 1 potato
  • 1/2 tsp healthy oil - olive oil or LifeOiL
  • 3 oz grilled chicken breast strips
  • 1/4 cup fat-free cheese
  • Fresh Broccoli, as much as desired
  • Red pepper flakes - as desired
  • Fresh ground black pepper

Instructions

  1. Wash a medium sized baking potato, and rub with a healthy oil like olive oil, or my new fave - LifeOiL. Place on a baking sheet and cook at 400 for approximately 35 minutes, or in the microwave for about 6 minutes.
  2. Once cooked, make a few slices to open the potato, and top with grilled chicken breast strips, cheese, and broccoli.
  3. Heat again - either in the microwave for 30 seconds to 1-minute, or in the oven for another 5-10 minutes.
  4. After removing from oven, top with some freshly ground black pepper, and if you like it spicy - add some red pepper flakes to taste.
  5. Eat and love :)
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If you’re ready to have a super simple start to getting healthy, fit, and fabulous this year, I can NOT recommend the Simple Start app enough. {Seriously, my friends are sick of me talking about it and showing it to them.} Get more info here: Weight Watchers Simple Start App.

And let’s chat ladies: Do you have weight loss goals? Plans? What are you doing – what are your goals? Leave some comments here, tweet me your goals at @sunandsipcups with the #SimpleStart hashtag, or post to my Facebook wall – photos, questions, motivational quotes, anything. Let’s help keep each other on track!

 

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Get Started on the Paleo Diet – 100′s of Recipes & Free eBooks

“The greatest wealth is health.” - VirgilIt’s true, if you don’t have your health, nothing else really matters, right? And January is that time of year when we’re all kind of burned out on eating so many huge holiday meals, plus the loads of sweets and treats from the past couple of months, that we’re all pretty darn ready to commit to eating better in the new year. I’ve been using the new Weight Watchers Simple Start app to help get me motivated, and am always for new healthy recipes to add to my meal planning. One trend I’m really liking lately is the Paleo diet….

Tons of free Paleo recipes and tips

Getting Started on the Paleo Diet – Free Paleo Recipes and Tips [Read more...]

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Simplify Your Weight Loss Plan – #SimpleStart

I was given a free one month subscription to Weight Watchers to try their new Simple Start plan and write about my experience. Though I was compensated for my time and commitment, all views, positive and negative, are my own.

Motivational quotes - "We cannot do everything at once, but we can do something at once."

Weight Watchers Simple Start Plan – Free App

“We cannot do everything at once, but we can do something at once.” – Calvin Coolidge This quote comes from the Weight Watchers Simple Start plan app, and I can’t agree more. It’s similar to one of my all-time favorite quotes, “How lovely to think that no one need wait a moment, we can start now, start slowly changing the world.” And by changing the world, that doesn’t have to mean the whole big ol’ world – it can mean your world. I know that I have a bad habit of thinking I’ll make a change “tomorrow,” “next week,” or “next month,” – “when I have time.” But man, isn’t “tomorrow” the busiest darn day of any given month? Instead of thinking of something like getting in shape, eating healthier, and losing weight as a great big giant project – what if I told you I have a great way to just get started? Don’t worry about all of the details – joining a gym, overhauling your pantry, buying workout clothes, and counting calories. Just get started. Easy peasy. That’s where I’m at and I’d love to introduce you to what I’m up to. I think it’ll help some of you other busy ladies too. Check it…

Small healthy swaps lead to HUGE results

Start Simple – Healthy Ingredients and Delicious Meal Ideas

If you’re reading this, I’m gonna guess that you’ve at least thought about losing weight a time or two. {But really, who hasn’t, right?} If you’ve followed this blog for awhile, you’d know that I’ve been struggling a bit with my weight for the past few years. I’d never ever given much thought to my weight until I got pregnant – and gained over 70 pounds. Woah. I’ve been making simple swaps {like adding an extra veggie to every meal}, and a having “slow and steady wins the race” type of attitude – Which is why I’m very excited about the new Simple Start plan from Weight Watchers. I’ve never tried Weight Watchers, but know friends who have. I like that it’s not a diet – it’s a lifestyle. It teaches you healthy eating habits – YOU choose your foods, and it helps you realize how eating better foods means getting to eat more food.

Well, the Simple Start app eases you in to the program, so that it doesn’t feel like a burden, sacrifice, or obstacle. It’s a free app that guides you along, and helps encourage you, as you switch from chips and cookies for snacks, to things like fruits and veggies. And trust me, it is so seriously easy. Even if you don’t plan right now to join Weight Watchers, I cannot recommend the app enough – you will LOVE the healthy recipes and helpful tips.

Weight Watchers Recipes

Download the Free Weight Watchers App Today – Simplify Weight Loss

To get started, just take a minute to download the free app. You’ll get a huge list of free foods you can eat, with no portion restrictions. {Why? Because they’re total rockstar foods. Filled with nutrition, filling, and yummy.} Then the app gives you great recipe ideas using those foods, like the uber yummy ones above. Breakfast pizza, grilled cheese and veggie soup, roasted turkey and potatoes – plus TWO snacks a day? Sounds do-able to me :) You can use the app to create your own meals, track what you eat, get recipes, and more. It gives you a list of foods to buy at the grocery store, and so many other totally free tools – to give you a two-week jump start towards your new weight loss goals, without a huge commitment or crazy sacrifice. It rocks my socks – and I know you’ll love it too!

Don’t take my word for it, check out what other awesome women have to say about the plan by following the #SimpleStart hashtag on all of your fave social media. And then be sure to follow Weight Watchers for new products, promotions, and cool ideas – Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram.

 

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Weight Watchers “Gets” Busy Moms – Launches MomFeeds & it Rocks My Socks

Thank you to Weight Watchers and The Motherhood for sharing Weight Watcher’s new digital magazine - MomFeeds - with me, and allowing me to share it with you guys as part of this sponsored post. I received a 3-month trial subscription to Weight Watchers Online, love it, and know you will too.

You know what I need? A time out. A mommy time out. Where someone sends me to my room – and I have to sit, quietly, and no one can come and “play” with me. But, as a mom we don’t even get to pee alone, right? So I have to try and carve out little bits of me time during the day. And one of my favorite ways to kind of zone out and un-stress {is that even a word? Well, in my world it is..} is to sit down, grab my iPhone, and browse some cool stuff. I’m a total social media junkie, so I love catching up on news and gossip, picking up clever new tips and ideas that make my crazy mom-life more manageable, or finding new recipes for busy weeknights. Which is why I’m crazy excited about a new app that helps me do all of those things in one super cool place. The app is called Flipboard, and then you add MomFeeds to it for the total awesomeness. And it’s all going to rock your socks.

Free App for Busy Moms - MomFeeds MomFeeds is a brand-new digital magazine from Weight Watchers that features content geared towards moms. It’s all displayed on Flipboard – an app I’ve been hearing about forever, but just haven’t made the time to check out until recently. For moms who don’t always have time to read their favorite magazines cover to cover, Momfeeds has recipes, tips, deals and news, all served up in bite-sized portions – or as I like to say, “mom-style.” Because everything we do all day is bite-sized, right? We cut meals we cook into bite-sized portions, we get to watch only bite-sized portions of our favorite shows as the kids interrupt us 237 times, we get bite-sized minutes to do housework. A mom’s life is hectic – no matter what type of mom she is. So, a bite-sized piece of entertainment is often all I can get :)

Love it, right? It’s like, everything we’re looking for, in one place. Because – you never know when your 5 minutes of peace will come. You don’t have time to run to grab your favorite magazines to browse – but you always have your smartphone at the ready, and can browse cool stuff on MomFeeds instead. In the carpool line, waiting at the doctor’s office, or during the kid’s naps. Cool stuff.

Mom Makeover: Fab hair tricks that make a big difference

First of all – the techy in me is really in love with the way this app flips with the flick of a finger, almost like a real magazine. Very clever. Second, I love the topics covered. As I literally flipped through the app for the first time, I found SO much good stuff. This is one – Mom Makeover: Fab hair tricks that make a big difference. She has some amazing suggestions that are totally inspiring me for my next salon visit.

Funny face kid's recipe - funny face burgers

I also found really fun kid’s recipes – like this one for funny face burgers. Abby isn’t a picky eater – she loves almost everything. But she’s a stubborn eater – she gets bored having to sit still and finish a meal. So I’m always looking for fun ideas like this!

Easy oven fries

I also found “mom treat” recipes – just for me :) I love carbs. {You can tell when you see the size jeans I buy… Lol.} And there’s nothing you can do to a potato that I don’t love. {Ok, except scalloped potatoes. I don’t hate them, but I don’t love them. It’s the only potato-ness I don’t love.} Anyway – this delish recipe for Easy Oven Fries looks perfect. Thanks for the great find, MomFeeds!

Make the most of your clothing budget by analyzing your colors

Speaking of great finds – this is my fave that I came across on MomFeeds today – Make the most of your clothing budget by analyzing your colors. Such a smart idea! It links to an awesome site where you go through a mini-quiz, and it tells you what your “color season” is. Then, if you know that, it’s easy to only pick clothes in that range, which means everything in your closet co-ordinates. Plus, it means you’re only buying shades that are flattering on you too. I’m admit it – I’m now totally addicted to MomFeeds. And I’m not at all surprised that this super smart site comes from Weight Watchers. I’ve seen some fantastic results from friends who’ve followed the Weight Watchers program, I love their products, and I really love the way they’re not just a diet, they truly teach you better lifestyle habits. And they “get” the busy lifestyle that we have as moms, and create their products, programs, and cool features like MomFeeds to fit that lifestyle. LOVE.

Ultimate Chicken Cookbook

And… It’s not just me with the love here, guys. Weight Watchers loves YOU too. They’re so excited to have you guys join us all on this sweet new app, that they want to give a big thank you by giving a couple of you ladies their {seriously amazing, by the way} their cookbook: Weight Watchers Ultimate Chicken Cookbook: More than 250 Fresh, Fabulous Recipes for Every Day. {Weight Watchers provided the prizes but did not design and is not administering the giveaway.} And – if you guys want to find a seriously H-U-G-E amount of rockin’ Weight Watchers recipes, I have a friend who has put a few really cool lists together. Why? Because moms stick together, right?

Use the easy peasy Rafflecopter form below to enter – have fun, and good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Make Fitness a Lifestyle: Put This On, Set a Goal, & Go!

Learn How Busy Moms Make Fitness Part of their Everyday Routine… I’m a busy mom. Which is a silly phrase, really, isn’t it? I mean, have you ever met a mom who wasn’t busy? There are a lot of different things needing to be squeezed into my busy days – meal prep, housework, potty training, family time, blogging and business work… Plus errands to run, events to attend, and trips to plan for. And oh yeah – fitness. Having a mom means {for most of us} that our figures aren’t quite the same as they used to be. I called it “baby weight” for a long time. But she’s three now. I have to start calling it the “toddler tons” or something. So a few months ago I committed to a serious mission to get in better shape. It’s not all about appearance – it’s also for my health. I’m not severely overweight or anything, but I’m about 30 pounds more than I should be. And recently I found out that I have crazy-high blood pressure, as well as high cholesterol. This BLEW.ME.AWAY. since I’m a really healthy eater, and in decent shape. But, it made me realize that I really need to kick my activity level into high gear, and get more exercise into my life.

How to get fit with the FitBit Flex: Put it on. Set a goal. Go! [Read more...]

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