Tasty Tuesday: Personal S’mores Pies

I LOVE S’more!  I remember sitting at my best friend’s house in the summer, letting the kids make s’mores in the fire pit.  Of course, they were also a favorite treat when we were camping when I was a kid.

Being a Weight Watcher, I would love to have them more often but the problem is I can’t stop at just one.  One turns to two and then two… you see where I am going with this, right?

I was so excited to see this recipe from Hungry Girl – not only is it low in points (calories) but I can make then any time at HOME!  You can bet I will be stocking up on the ingredients…

Prep: 20 minutes     Cook: 15 minutes     MAKES 6 SERVINGS
1/6th of recipe (1 mini pie): 149 calories, 6g total fat (2g sat fat), 128mg sodium, 20.5g carbs, 2.5g fiber, 8g sugars, 3.5g protein.  SmartPoints® value 6*

Ingredients:

Crust
1 cup old-fashioned oats
1/4 cup light whipped butter or light buttery spread
1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
3 tbsp. powdered peanut butter
2 packets no-calorie sweetener (like Truvia)
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/8 tsp. salt

Filling
2 tbsp. mini semi-sweet chocolate chips
3/4 cup mini marshmallows
2 graham crackers (1/2 sheet), finely crushed

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray 6 cups of a 12-cup muffin pan with nonstick spray.
  • To make the crust, pulse oats to the consistency of coarse flour in a small blender/food processor.
  • In a small microwave-safe bowl, microwave butter for 20 seconds, or until melted.
  • In a large bowl, combine ground oats, melted butter, and remaining crust ingredients. Mix until uniform with the consistency of wet sand.
  • Evenly distribute mixture among the 6 cups of the muffin pan, using your hands or a flat utensil to firmly press and form the crusts. Press it into the edges and up along the sides.
  • Bake until firm, about 10 minutes.
  • Remove from oven, and set oven to broil.
  • Evenly distribute 1 tbsp. chocolate chips among the crusts (1 tsp. per crust). Top with marshmallows and remaining 1 tbsp. chocolate chips.
  • Cook until marshmallows have melted and lightly browned, about 1 minute.
  • Sprinkle with crushed graham crackers.

Want the perfect way to travel with your S’more supplies?  Try the Perfect Party Set.  An entertaining wonder! This thermal keeps your food warm or cool on your way to the party, with two compartments sized to fit 9” x 13” pans. Approx. 6″H x 16.25″L x 10.25″D (expanded)

Hope you have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

Let It Go!

This post is NOT all about the movie “Frozen“.  Although, I did see the movie and loved it.  This phrase has been coming up a lot lately for me.  It was the topic at a recent Weight Watcher meeting which of course sent me into emotional tailspin.  WHY? Because “letting go” is not something I do easily.  Then it came up in conversations with friends about business and personal lives.  Do you think God is trying to send me a message?

Do your emotions lead to food?  Whether we are happy, sad, stressed or angry – food seems to be solace for many of us.  We probably aren’t physically hungry but we find ourselves eating mindlessly and then wondering why the scale is not moving.  GUILTY!

Did you know between 35-60 percent of people who struggle with their weight claim to be emotional eaters.  It becomes a habit.  The two become so closely linked, we have a hard time separating them.  Yes, eating can provide temporary relief but then we never learn how to handle the emotion without eating.  Lately, it has become just the opposite for me – I don’t eat at all when I am upset.  Not good either since my body then goes into starvation mode and the end result is the scale doesn’t move.  Learning how to “let it go” is key to having balance in life (or at least in mine).  

Here are some steps to use when emotions trigger an urge to eat or when you need to let go of things in your life:

  1. Sit comfortably with feet on the floor and back straight but not rigid.  Let your gaze fall onto a spot which won’t distract you or gently close your eyes
  2. Settle yourself and focus on your breath moving in and out of your body.
  3. Imagine a blue sky with fluffy clouds lightly drifting across it (or actually watch them enjoying God’s beauty). Imagine each cloud passing by is a thought, image or feeling.
  4. Mentally step back to observe and label each cloud.  Maybe it’s a thought about work, a feeling of frustration, an urge to eat, or feeling alone.  You are not trying to change or stop the clouds, just watching, describing and letting feelings and thoughts pass by.
  5. Continue for two minutes.  Gently bring your attention back to your breath, slowly inhaling and exhaling three times and back to the present.

You can apply this same technique to other parts of your life as well.  Anger at a friend or family member.  Frustration with your business.  Feeling alone.  Hurt by someone’s unkind words.  Letting go of emotions is not easy but when we hold on to them, we feed those nasty inner gremlins.  As a result, the negative feelings build up and the inner gremlins grow causing a downward spiral which effects all aspects of your life, including the scale.

What unhelpful (or negative) thought have you had when emotions trigger the urge to eat?  Do a reality check?  You do not have to own those feelings, you can let them go and STOMP out those inner gremlins.  

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

Value Yourself

My weightless journey has been a journey.  Actually more like a roller coaster.  Last week at our meeting we talked about valuing ourself no matter what the scale says.  This was like a SMACK in the head for me.

The numbers on the scale have always played a factor in how I feel about me.  No, let me be honest, when I was at my heaviest I didn’t get on a scale.  I had no clue how much I weighed and being clueless seemed to be okay with me.  I liked myself as I hid behind the weight not letting anyone get too close.  Does this story sound familiar?

I walked into the doors of Weight Watchers seeing myself through different eyes.  The eyes of the scale.  It didn’t get really hard until I got closer to my goal weight.  As the number got lower, the insecurities of my youth came out.  No, I didn’t head to the nearest shrink to bare my soul – I began fighting the inner gremlins with some help of some really good people. I learned to start seeing myself as others see me.

I know what does all of this have to do with anything, right?  How many of us let the number on the scale define us especially when we are on a weightless journey?  We let our self-worth be connected to the number on the scale.  When it goes down, we are happy.  When it goes up, the inner gremlins join us in beating ourselves up.  It is time to stop the madness.

Recognizing and appreciating ourselves for our many gifts and talents is not an easy task. The reality is when we feel good about ourselves, we are more likely to have a positive outlook on life, take better care of ourselves and the end result is we lose weight.  The better we feel about ourselves, the easier it is to lose weight.  Think about your own journey….

I remember doing a VERY scary exercise when I began trying to squash my inner gremlins.  I was told to ask 5 friends and/or family what they thought my best qualities were.  In other words, how would they describe me?  YIKES!  I sent the message out and was definitely not ready for the responses I received.  I was told I was kind, generous, compassionate, determined, helpful and strong.  I didn’t see myself from their perspective. But on my worst days (seems to be quite a few lately), I go back to the list and repeat the positive traits over and over again.  Why?  So I can feel and believe them again.

What can you do to see yourself through loving eyes?  No, I am not suggesting you reach out to family and friends to ask for their input (unless you want); I am suggesting you find a quiet spot, grab a piece of paper and a pen, reflect AND…..

THINK about someone in your life who cares about you; a friend or relative, spouse or significant other.

FOCUS on the person for a minute and describe them in words or draw a picture.  What do they look like? Height? Eye color? Hair? Do they smile a lot? Do they have a soft or loud voice?  How would you describe their personality?

CONSIDER what makes this person special to you.  Does thinking of this person make you happy?  Excited? Loving? How do they make you feel?

IMAGINE you are this person who loves YOU and start to see yourself through their eyes.  What do you like about this person you see?  Write down thoughts, feelings and behaviors you love about yourself.  I know this is tough.  You may just start with “I like my eyes” – something simple.  Then dig deeper.  Think about the qualities you have down deep – are you caring? kind? passionate about life or a cause? hard worker? friendly?

COME BACK to yourself and read what you wrote.  You will notice a growing appreciation for how you feel about yourself.

Believe me, I get how tough this can be.  I struggle with it too. Do this once a week for one month and read the positive qualities daily.  You will be amazed at the difference it will make in your life.  Thirty days make a habit, right?

Change those negative, unhelpful thoughts into positive thoughts.  Changing your mindset is the first step to make a difference in your life which will give the ripple effect of making a difference in the lives of those around you.  Share you best qualities with us.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

Are You Spinning Your Wheels?

Throwback Thursday is when I look back on past posts, a time for reflection.  A time to see how far I have come (or where I am stuck).

After working with the AMAZING Britt Bolnick owner of In Arms Coaching, I have learned how important reflection is.  When I first met Britt, I connected with her.  I could relate to her struggles as a single mom since I was one.  I was in awe of how she used those struggles to build an amazing coaching career helping other women.

As a “bag” lady, I see everyone as a customer/ client. I mean who doesn’t need a bag, right? From purses to totes to thermals, we have them all at Thirty One.  As Thirty One returns to their “gifts” roots, the customers change a little bit. I know my customers have been buying gifts all along but now we have a broader base of products and with it comes a broader base of customers. I don’t want to leave any customers behind.

So, are you wondering who your customers/clients are?  Are you struggling to figure out how to get the “right” ones?  Here are some questions from one of Britt’s virtual retreats which might help you figure out your next steps:

1. What isn’t working for you in your business right now?

Think about it.  Put it on paper.  I don’t mean just “no one wants to party”, I mean be specific.  What isn’t working for you?  Not enough time to work your business?  Not enough new customers?  No time to schedule parties?  For me, what isn’t working is the lack of a full calendar for the summer months along with a steady flow of new customers.

2. What do you want SO badly for your business or work you’re NO LONGER willing to settle for NOT having it?

We all talk about our “why”, and for some it is stronger than others so it keeps them motivated.  For others, a vision board helps to keep them focused.  Make a list of the things you want in your business – just keep writing, let the feelings pour out.  When all is said and done, you can sum it up in a sentence or two.  For me, it is an action plan for consistent sales, parties which will bring me new recruits and expand my business.

3. What would the ripple effect be OF you having it? How would it affect your life, relationships, even your health?

It is like Andy Andrews says in “The Butterfly Effect”, one action creates a ripple effect changing not only your life but the life of others.  So, for me the ripple effect would be: If I grow my business with an increase in sales and recruits, it would mean a higher consistent paycheck every month. This would allow me to pay off my credit card debt.  Paying off my credit card debt would allow me the freedom from stress. Less stress would allow me to smile more which would make hubby happy which would help our relationship/ marriage.  In addition, less stress would allow me to focus more on maintaining my goal weight which would make me feel better.  Less stress would also help to keep health issues in check.  Expanding my business would allow me to give back to the community (it is about what the money can do).  Therefore, an expanded business = happy, healthy & wealthy Hope.

What is your ripple effect?

I love my Thirty One business. I love it pays my bills every month. I love I get to meet new people and share the gift of Thirty One with them. I am transparent with you when I am struggle because having your own business whether a storefront or direct sales isn’t always rainbows and sunshine. There is some rain along the way. You need to be willing to work past them to move forward.

What about you? How would you answer these questions? Be truthful with yourself. You know what isn’t working in your business. Own it so you can figure out the best way to move past it. I would love to hear from you.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

Fact or Fiction?

Today is weigh in… yes, I am still on the roller coaster weight loss journey.  I have been blessed with a loss every week since I started back to Weight Watchers so I am praying for another one today.  Some weeks are just a little (.2 pounds = a stick of better, right?) and then some weeks it is over 1 pound.  Would I like to see the rest of the 19 pounds (to goal) go away quickly – YES!  But the truth is, it isn’t going to happen quickly and I need to practice patience.  Definitely not a strong point of mine.

I came across an article by Jena Pincott in the Huffington Post with some good tips if you are experiencing some challenges on your weight loss journey.

Let’s see what you think…

  • Does your digital scale have ONE or TWO decimal places on it?  According to a study by the University Of Utah, when participants received a weight range instead of an actual number – they lost up to 4 pounds in just 3 weeks.  Exact number participants actually gained up to a pound on an average.  Okay, so now it is the scale’s fault. (I like the fact I can blame it on the scale.. LOL)  The fuzzier the feedback, the more room to interpret the information.  The lesson: If you weigh yourself daily, even normal fluctuations could throw you off. Instead, get on the scale weekly and use a range as a goal (“I’d like to lose 5 to 10 pounds this year”).
  • The wrong milk?  Really! A study led by Mark DeBoer, MD, a pediatric endocrinologist at the University of Virginia, found children who drank skim or 1 percent milk gained more weight than those who drank 2 percent or whole (full-fat) milk. He points out the same link — fattier milk, lower body-mass index — has also emerged in large, long-term studies on adults.) DeBoer’s theory is milk fat, compared with other calorie sources, makes us feel fuller, longer — so we consume fewer calories overall.  The lesson: If you’re a milk drinker, try whole or 2 percent in lieu of reduced-fat milk. A large Swedish study found among normal-weight women, those who drank one or more cups a day of whole milk had a significantly lower chance of gaining weight than those who drank reduced-fat milk.  Okay, so I don’t drink milk (no dairy with the current restrictions) and I use almond milk creamer in my coffee – can I blame that?
  • You Eat At A Crowded Table – This isn’t my problem since it is only Rob and I for dinner or I am eating by myself.
    The lesson: “Sit next to slow eaters, they can help you pace your eating, not the speed eaters who eat like they grew up in a family of 12.”
  • Bulk Shopping:
    This used to be my problem but now at the end of a week, hubby always says the fridge looks empty and it is.  The pantry is stocked but I moved it to the utility room in the basement so I don’t see everything at once.  I go to it when I need stuff for dinner.  Looking at ready-to-eat multipacks makes you overindulge. Stockpiled food is consumed twice as fast as other food in the house.  The problem is simple: Bulky packages consume too much kitchen real estate; we see them every time we open the cupboard, for instance. Visibility translates into impulsivity, and, before we know it, we’re eating more than we intended. The lesson: Out of sight, out of mind. Move multi-unit packs of food out of the kitchen and into the basement, freezer, underground bunker…wherever clusters of bright labels won’t catch your eye.

The truth is I have been sticking with what works – measuring everything and tracking. I’m afraid not to because it is when I stopped the pounds slowly crept on.   Yes, I have issues IBS as a result of the MS.  Yes, I tend to retain fluid for some unknown reason.  I have been pushing myself with my Fit Bit to walk at least 5,000 steps a day.  Not the ideal for weight loss but so far it is all I can manage.

What will you blame for not losing or maintaining your ideal weight?   The miserable winter weather? What is your excuses to justify your yo-yo scale.

I would love to hear what you have to say about all of this.. Share your thought.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!