What’s Old is New Again

Back in 2012 PS (Pre-Scoot), I found my magic combination for weight loss/better fitness/improved health.

Weight Watchers. Running. And Zumba.

This combo saw me down almost 60 pounds from my highest weight.

Me, at my lowest weight in years, hanging out with Mer in Jersey.

Me, at my lowest weight in years, hanging out with Mer in Jersey.

This combo saw me finishing my first race ever.

Beyond proud of myself post Atlantic City 7K

Beyond proud of myself post Atlantic City 7K


I was feeling better than I had in years.

And then, I decided to add jumping into the mix. As in jumping right off that wagon and fleeing into a field of cookies. (Poetic license there, but you catch my drift).

That’s the thing, though. The rational thought is, if something is working, why would you stop doing it?

Because, life.



And then, I convinced myself that this combo, that was working for me, must have been inherently flawed, otherwise it would have kept right on working. And then, I though maybe the combo wasn’t flawed, I was.

In the following four years, I tried a lot of other things. I went to experts who told me that ‘diets don’t work’ and ‘Weight Watchers doesn’t work’. I tried tracking on My Fitness Pal. On paper. In spreadsheets. Not tracking at all. I tried 30 day walking challenges, and squat challenges. I tried to start running again. A few times.

And then, about a month ago, I decided to try this combo.

Weight Watchers. Running. And Zumba.

And it’s working.




And I’m working it.

Me and my workout buddy, Pitbull.

Me and my workout buddy, Pitbull.


I don’t know if this perfect combo will stay perfect forever. But I do know that right now, it’s working. I feel accomplished, and proud of my efforts. I see the effects on the scale. I see myself finishing races (we’ll talk more about that later) with that beaming look on my face.

For now, I’m partying like it’s 2012, and I’m loving it.


Healthy Holidays?

Is that even possible? I mean, I know it’s possible, but does anyone do it?

I haven’t. And I don’t think I’ve ever really wanted to. But this year, I do.

Maybe it’s turning the big four-oh-my-god next month. Having a birthday smack dab in the middle of the holiday season means it’s one continuous party from the last week of November until New Year’s. A party with food. Lots of food.

What are the other challenges for me? Mainly, not getting a Starbucks red cup of wonder filled with the new Chestnut Praline Latte twice a day, every day. (I’m barely kidding here, have you tried it???? It’s amazingness in liquid form). And it’s cold here, so don’t exactly relish the idea of heading outside to work out. And I have ALL the shopping to do (my awesome husband actually does a LOT of the holiday shopping, but still, there will be trips to the mall). And there are 5 other birthdays in my family. AND I REALLY LIKE PIE.

But I also really want to at least maintain my weight, if not lose, by the first of the year Weight Watchers meeting (which, if you’ve never been, is very full!) Hence the strive for a healthier holiday season.

In an attempt to jump start this whole process, I started a  14 day pre-holiday challenge. That leads me right up until the Monday before Thanksgiving, which is the first day of the Holiday Sweat Challenge, hosted by SweatGuru and Run to the Finish.


 Learn about the Holiday Sweat Challenge

Are you joining? You should! And you should totally say Bec Pishkin referred you 😉


And since I am a crazy fool, and because my holiday gathering is going to be a lot smaller than usual, I signed up to do a 5K Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving morning.

But, since I’ve never really attempted to keep it in check during the holiday season before, I’m kind of working without a net here. When I was originally thinking of this post, I wanted it to be more of a ‘Healthy Holiday Tips’ post. And then I remembered that I don’t have any tips! So, I’m hitting you guys up for advice. Comment. Email. Text. Show up on my doorstep.

I NEED YOU GUYS. Help a chick out? How do you have Healthy Holidays?

Getting Bec to Basics

It all started with an Instagram post. 10 Day Back to Basics Challenge (#10dayB2B). Steph/@getting_2_goal over at Light Bites Done Right is one of my absolute favorite Instagramers. She posts beautiful pictures of real food, and talks about her weight loss journey. So when she posted the idea of a 10 day challenge, I was immediately intrigued.

The ‘what not to eat’ list was short, and looked simple enough.

No ‘white’ bread, pasta, potatoes, added sugar (white cane sugar)

No artificial sugars/sweeteners

No deep fried food, like chips, breaded and fried chicken or fish

No chocolate or candy

No cakes, cupcakes, cookies

No alcohol

Add in a couple of good, healthy ‘to do’ items.

Drink at least 64 ounces of plain water a day

Eat 5 servings of fruit and veggies a day

The idea was that people that wanted to would all do it together, for the same 10 days (9/22-10/1) and share pictures on Instagram using the hashtag above. (If you want to see all my food pics, of which there were MANY, you can check out my Instagram).

Having tried, and miserably failed, at Whole 30 earlier this year, this looked doable. It was only 10 days, after all, and this was far less restrictive. Grains were still fine, as long as they were whole grains. Sugars were not forbidden, just limited to less processed sugars like honey, real maple syrup and turbinado sugar. Dairy was still very much an option, which meant not trying to make ‘compliant’ coffee creamer out of strange ingredients. It also meant cheese was still an option, which meant less of me crying my eyes out. All good things.

I decided to do it. I found recipes that would work with the program, and made a shopping list full of healthy ingredients. With some sadness, I pushed the bevy of delicious, but highly processed, pumpkin flavored items I had recently purchased to the back of the cabinets. They’d still be there in 10 days.

Stocking up

Stocking up

From day one, I saw two similarities to Whole 30. I was going to do a lot of label reading, and I was going to spend a lot of time cooking my own food. That didn’t deter me. Whole 30 had already opened my eyes to just how many food items contain added sugar, and I really love cooking. So, I knew I’d be fine. This would help get me out of the cookie aisle and into my kitchen.

As I’m writing this, I am at the end of day 9. When I say that I have stuck to nothing for 9 days in a damn long while, I’m really not exaggerating. My Weight Watchers pattern has been pretty steady since rejoining in May; two or three days on, a week off, one day on, two weeks off, etc. And since May, I was down 3 pounds. Which hey, it’s down 3 pounds! Except no.

So, let’s be real. The main reason I embarked on this challenge was weight loss. I thought this could be the jump start that my floundering Weight Watchers efforts needed. A little push in the right direction. 10 days to give me a nice loss on the scale, and maybe get me out of the low points prepared food rut I’d been in.

It was so much more than that.

Physically, this challenge has been incredible for me. My taste buds are already adjusting to less sugar, and things the used to seem not nearly sweet enough taste fine, good even. I no longer feel like every night has to end with dessert. I pack plenty of food for work, so I’m not constantly hungry and searching for something. I’ve discovered how much more satisfied I am when I eat real, whole foods. Not full, satisfied. There is a difference. Not that I’m going hungry, I’m not. But being satisfied, for me, comes from things like having a smaller amount of full fat sour cream on my taco salad, instead of a lot of light sour cream. Label reading showed me that light sour cream is full of additives, things my body doesn’t need.


I have more energy, because I’m eating a balanced diet of good proteins and whole grains and plenty of fruits and veggies. I’m still tracking all my foods and counting my points, and this works well with Weight Watchers, especially considering the meeting last week was all about eating power foods.  My skin looks better. I’m sleeping better. I feel better. I feel lighter. Oh, and as of my Weight Watchers meeting last night, I am lighter. By 8.8 pounds. (Booyah!)



But those things were probably pretty predictable. Physically, if you are eating less crap, you should feel less like crap. Not rocket science, right?

What I didn’t expect was the ways this would impact me mentally. I didn’t expect to feel so much more hopeful that I could actually lose this weight once and for all. I didn’t expect the feeling of being in control of my diet, and my body, for the first time in a long time. I wasn’t anticipating how much this would change my feelings about food, about what I put into my body, and the direct correlation that would have to how I feel about myself.

I’m proud of myself for sticking with this. On some level, I don’t think I believed I would be able to do it. But that’s part of what got me here, anyway. Not believing in me, and in the fact that I can do anything I put my mind to. But I did do it. I even got through a birthday celebration for my husband at a Chinese restaurant. I passed on cupcakes. I did that!

Credit where it’s due, there is definitely another factor in my changing attitude towards food, towards myself, and in my changing behaviors. I’ve been working with a nutritionist for the past couple of months, one that specializes in eating disorders. She’s really helped me to see how disordered some of my habits and patterns of behavior are. She’s helping me learn to look at things in a less black or white manner, helping me understand that there are grey areas, that overweight does not have to equal unhealthy, that small changes will make a difference over time. Had I not already been working with her, I don’t know that I would have been in a good enough mental place to do this challenge.

I’m glad I was.

Tomorrow is Day 10, and I’m going into it feeling strong, and not a bit nervous about what happens the next day. A few people have asked me if I’ll stick with those guidelines longer. I thought a lot about that, and the answer is… no. Not all of them, all the time, anyway. I mean, no alcohol forever? Not reality. No cake or cookies ever again? Nope. I would, and plan to, repeat the challenge again, probably a few times a year, as a means of making sure things stay in check. But permanent? No.

With the exception of artificial sweeteners, which I can vehemently say will never cross my lips again (my nutritionist will be so happy), I will integrate those foods back into my diet, in a much more occasional manner. Because this wasn’t supposed to be a forever thing, really.

It was about getting Bec back to basics. Mission accomplished.

Hitting the Road

Tonight, I embark on a journey. I know that as I travel this journey, some parts will be smooth and others will be rocky. Some parts of it will fly by, and other parts will slow to a crawl. It will have its ups and downs. And at the end of the journey…I will never want to get in my car again.

That’s right. This isn’t a figurative journey. It’s an actual road trip. A six day road trip from Massachusetts to North Carolina, and back, with my husband and our two kids. (If you just got visions of National Lampoon’s Vacation in your head, I promise, you are not alone). My husband and I lived in NC when our daughter was born, but we moved home to Massachusetts when she was two and a half, and we haven’t been back since.

You guys, I’m scared. We’ve never done a vacation like this before and I’m really hoping we don’t all want to kill each other halfway down the Eastern seaboard.

Our typical summer vacation includes a three hour drive to North Conway, NH, where upon arrival, we unload into the family summer house, a condo with three bedrooms, two bathrooms and a FULL KITCHEN. This is approximately four times the driving hours, hotel rooms and a whole lot of eating out.

Which brings me to the oh-so-important part of this post. How the HELL am I not going to gain 47,000 pounds????

I don’t know if you know this about me, but I’m kind of control freaky. Wipe that shocked look of your faces. Part of having issues with disordered eating, for me, means that I really crave control when it comes to food. I don’t even have to be ‘on program’ to want this control. I pretty much always want it. But especially when I’m trying to stick to an eating program, which I am. And even if I had control over where we were going to be eating, and had a kitchen to prep my own food, my standard vacation mode means eating everything in sight, finding the stuff out of sight, and eating that too.

And as if that weren’t enough, we’re going back to the place where I got fat. I gained over 100 pounds in the almost five years we lived in NC. There was a time when I could tell you the exact location of every fast food restaurant in the Fayetteville area.


I’m a different person now, and I need to remember that. This trip is about the experience of taking my daughter to her birthplace, not a six day excursion to Krispy Kreme. I can make health(ier) choices even under less than ideal circumstances. I’ve made sure every hotel we’re staying at has both a gym, and a pool, so I can still get exercise in. I’m packing up a bag of portable road snacks so that I won’t get over-hungry and thus, more prone to bad choices. I’ve got the WW app on my phone, so no matter where we wind up eating, I can check the points and plan accordingly. I’m as prepared as I can be in this scenario. And if I decide to say the hell with it and eat whatever I want, points be damned, for six days? That’s okay, too. (Being totally real, I can see this happening).

My Weight Watchers leader said something last night that hit home, and was relevant to this. She said that when you feel like you’re slipping, you should ask yourself “Is this worth it?” Sometimes, you will find that the answer is no.  And sometimes, the answer will be ‘yes’, so you eat it and move on with your life. So, that’s what I’m going to try and do.

For the record? Sonic? So worth it.

How do you stay on track on vacation? Suggestions for healthy road snacks? Give Bec your tips! 

How’s It Going, Bec?

Well, since you asked…

I’ve been meaning to post a status update of sorts for a while. You know, the skinny (or not so skinny) on how things have been since I rejoined Weight Watchers, if the foot is healed, how the gradual walking to C25K to eventual half marathon running training plan is working out, how I’m enjoying the beautiful summer weather.

But every time I sat down to write said progress update post, it wound up reading a bit like this.

I’m still fat*. 

My foot hurts. 

That half is so far away, I’ve got plenty of time. 

Oh, I’m slightly less fat**! Oh wait, nevermind, I’m the same amount of fat again. 

Why is Massachusetts hotter than the face of the sun? 

Does anyone remember why I wanted to run a half marathon again? I forget. 

God, I’m fat***. I wish I had a cookie. 

I’ll never run again. Stupid foot, I loathe you. 

Oh, cookies! I love cookies! 

Walk? In this humidity? ARE YOU INSANE? 

You know what is awesome in the humidity? ICE CREAM. WITH COOKIES. 

So, while all very true things that I have said, out loud, over the past few months, they don’t exactly make for scintillating blog post reading. But at the end of the day, that has been the state of this particular union.

I don’t want to write one of those posts where I swear to you, and to me, and to everyone in the universe that THIS TIME is the time, that starting now, everything will change. You say those things too often, and I do, they start to sound cheap and hollow. I have, however, starting to realize some things about myself, so I figured I’d share those. with you.

I avoid things that are uncomfortable. Confrontation, weigh-ins I know won’t be in my favor, exercise (especially in the heat), any type of food restriction. 

I am a complete creature of habit. I don’t fear change, but I find the action of changing uncomfortable, so… see above. 

I am a sheep (baaaaa, Jess). I started running because all of my friends were running. I’m not even sure I like running. (There was a time when I was pretty sure I loved running, even though I agree with Jess that is is boring as all get out). A huge part of the reason I want to run a half marathon is because all my friends have. I don’t think that is the best reason, and I don’t think it’s enough to get me across the finish line. 

I kind of like being fat****. Okay, no. I don’t like being fat. But I understand being fat. It is what I know. I have functioned this was for years. Anything that strays from this is change, and thus uncomfortable, and thus… see above. 

I really like cookies.

So, it turns out this is one of those rambly posts that sort of goes nowhere. But I think those are okay sometimes? I don’t know, I’ve had a lot on my mind and it feels good to unload some of it.

If you’re curious, the actual status update is that I’m down 1.6 pounds since rejoining Weight Watchers (at week two, there was another 1 at the front of that number), the foot is better but not completely, walking happens when it happens, and I loathe the humidity more than I can talk about.

*Don’t freak out, it’s just a word.

** Seriously, I’m not being all self loathing over here. Just a word, not a weapon.

***Fat. I’m fat. I’m talking about myself, so that pretty much makes it okay to say ‘fat’. But if you want to call me fat, that’s fine too.

****Fatty fatty fat fat 🙂


What’s For Dinner?

I’m considering having my name legally changed to that. It’s what everyone calls me anyway. (I kid. Kind of.)

Are you the person in charge of meals at your house? Do you routinely get called ‘What’s For Dinner?’

And do you sometimes not know how to an answer?

This is what happens when I don't plan.

This is what happens when I don’t plan.

I feel you. I really do.

What’s worked for me over the years is to plan. It takes some time, but I figure what I lose in planning time, I make up for in getting to skip Wednesday night runs to the store because I didn’t have anything in mind for dinner. (I still make them. Just less often). I’m not going to get into the nitty gritty planning details. Pick your recipes, check the pantry for what you have, check the sale flyers, make a list, get thee to the grocery store. Or you can start with the sale flyers and the pantry and go at it that way to keep cost down. Either way.

This is more about WHERE to get the ideas. I get up on Sunday Sunday mornings, pour myself a cup of coffee, and sitt down in my dining room. From there, I’ve got access to my cookbooks. I have… a few cookbooks.

20140519_053343 20140519_053350

What? I like options!

All kidding aside, I have a major cookbook obsession. Last year, between my birthday and Christmas. between gifts and gift card purchases, I think I got nine new ones. But I use them, so it’s all good. Some get used a lot more than others. Some are for special occasions. Some are just to make the stacks look even (not really).

My babies!

My babies!


Pictured above are some of my favorites:

The Oh She Glows Cookbook: Oh my GOSH, I love this book. If you don’t know Oh She Glows, it is a website for vegan recipes. While I’m not a vegan, everything Angela makes looks amazing, and everything I’ve tried IS amazing.

Keepers: This is a newer book for me, and hasn’t gotten a lot of use yet, but the “Jump-In-the-Mouth’ Turkey Cutlets are really, really good.

Relish: I don’t watch The Chew, and I didn’t even make the connection that Daphne Oz was the daughter of Dr. Oz, but this book was reccommended to me and it’s fab. Part cookbook, part party planning manual (which I ignore because HA). I took this out of the library first (I do this a lot, I hate cookbook buyers remorse), but I’ve already added it to my GIANT cookbook wishlist on Amazon.

Weight Watchers One Pot: If you are on Weight Watchers, or if you are trying to eat healthier, or if you like FOOD, go get this. Everything I’ve made from here, from the Cinncinnatti Four Way Chili to the Chicken in White Wine (the one on the cover), has been incredible. It definitely does NOT taste like diet food.

The Food You Crave: Oh, Ellie. You’re my hero. I have every one of Ellie Krieger’s cookbooks, but this was my first and it is still my favorite. Baked Shrimp with Tomatoes and Feta. Make it. Trust me.

How to Feed a Family: Not pictured. Because I don’t have it yet. But it’s top on my list.

Skinnytaste: You probably know the blog of the same name. I’ve been waiting for this cookbook for a while. And there is still a while to wait, because it doesn’t come out until the fall, but if you’re a cookbook dork like I am, you can preorder it!

And even with all those cookbooks, I often turn to the internet. I will usually have something in mind and just start with Google, but these are the sites I wind up on most of the time.

Emily Bites: This site is newer to me but the tagline of ‘Lightened Up Comfort Food’ means it’s already a favorite. Make the Deep Dish Sloppy Joe Casserole. Trust.

Skinnytaste: There it is again. It was worth repeating. Recipes are healthy and have Weight Watchers point listed. This is NOT your mama’s Salisbury Steak with Mushroom Gravy. Unless your mom made that really well and healthy.

LaaLoosh: Weight Watchers Points included. Asparagus Goat Cheese Risotto. YUM.

And that is how I get here.




Anyone want to come over?

How do you meal plan? Favorite cookbooks? Website suggestions? 

Diet is a Four Letter Word

So is cult. Hmmm.

Last week, Meri sent me a link to this very interesting post from Triathlete Magazine’s website.

You should give it a read. I’ll wait right here.

*folds nine millionth load of laundry*

So? Did you spend half of that article nodding like a bobblehead? Because I did.

Now, keep in mind, I had just come off on my less-than-30 day stint on Whole30, a diet with a decidedly cultlike following. But Whole30 is certainly not the only diet that meets at least a few of those criteria. In fact, most of the ‘diets’ I’ve been on over the course of my life fall into at least one of those categories, most of them more than one.

Similar to religion, I’ve spent years trying to find the one diet that just fit. Except that I accepted years ago that no one religion fully encompassed my belief system, yet I’ve continued to try on diet after diet, looking for the perfect one.

But no sooner had I adopted a new diet plan, then I would immediately start feeling the chafe of the restrictions and questioning whether the principles of the diet were even based in sound nutritional science at all. What do you mean no fruit? Why is peanut butter forbidden, but almond butter is fine? What do you mean no substitutions, I hate beets! Why does everyone need me to drink the Kool-Aid? WE’RE NOT EVEN ALLOWED TO HAVE KOOL-AID!!

Clearly, the part of the article that really spoke to me, the part that gave me one of those elusive ‘A-HA’ moments, was where the author, Matt Fitzgerald, talks about “agnostic healthy eating.”

Boom. Like a ton of bricks. This made so much sense to me.

I’ve said to more than one friend over the years, and even my doctor, that I keep waiting for the ‘magic plan’ that will finally work. And really, I’m an intelligent adult. Logically, I know that unicorns don’t exist and that the rabbit was really in the hat all along and that any number of diets will help me to lose weight if I’m willing to do the work. Still, there is a part of me that likes to believe that magic exists. And that a magical perfect diet exists.

It doesn’t. When it comes to weight loss, there is no magic. There are no fairy godmothers, waiting around to grant our wishes of instant and lasting weight loss.

Sorry. I know, I’m bummed too. (Let’s hug it out, we’ll get through this together.)

The funny thing is, the fact that a diet that is loaded with high quality food and light on processed food is the best option? This is not news. Anyone I know that has had significant, lasting weight loss, has done so by eating more whole, natural foods and less (or no) chemical laden junk, regardless of what name their diet plan had.

It seems so simple when it’s broken down like this. And really, without even really realizing it, my head was already kind of going to this place. Immediately after giving up my quest for a Whole 30 halfway through day 5, I immediately bopped over to twitter and tweeted the following (in several tweets because I am wordy and 140 characters is not a lot):

So, in the wake of my opting not to finish Whole 30, I needed a new diet plan. Decided to come up with my own and I’ve got it! It is a combo of vegan, clean eating, Paleo, weight watchers, low Carb, and a few others. I’m calling it Eat Food That is Good for You in Reasonable Quantities and Don’t Go Off the Rails When You Occasionally Indulge. The name needs work, admittedly. I took my inspiration from the Michael Pollan quote, “Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.” Brilliant.

I’m a little sassy on Twitter sometimes.

Look at that. I’m cured! Now that I have had these realizations, the weight will fly off my body like magic!

Oh. No. It won’t. I will still have to do the work. I will still have to make the tough choices, like ‘Cookies for breakfast? No. Not today.’ And I know myself well enough to know that cult-like or not, I do best with some kind of a plan, something with structure. It doesn’t have to be rules, especially if those rules are ‘no ice cream shall ever pass those lips again’, but the support system and the community aspects? Those parts of diets work for me.

Enter Weight Watchers. Surprisingly enough, when I joined, confetti did NOT rain from the sky and I was NOT handed a free toaster for being the member that had signed up the most times. Hard to believe.

While Weight Watchers definitely holds some of the characteristics of a cult-like diet, the one thing it definitely does not do is make any food forbidden. So, while cookies can’t be an everyday thing, and most certainly should never be for breakfast, they are something I can indulge in on occasion.

Weight Watchers is not the answer for everyone. Heck, it may not be the answer for me. But it’s a place where I feel like I can have my agnostic beliefs, where I can do it my way, and still be part of the ‘cult’.

I really wanted to make a commitment, to give this long enough to start to feel ‘normal’, so I prepaid for six months of meetings. I went for my first weigh in on Sunday morning. It was nothing unexpected. The plan hadn’t changed since the last time I joined. The number on the scale was nothing I hadn’t seen there before.

But it isn’t one I care to see again. So, let’s get to work.

*blows an eyelash of my finger*

Just in case.

Recipe Box: Buffalo Chicken* Chili

*contains no buffalo. Or chicken. I’ll explain.

With my work Biggest Loser competition starting last week, I knew it was time to get back in the kitchen. After being waylaid by the flu and strep throat, I finally got down to business this weekend, and the first order on the agenda was making this chili. I came across the recipe in Weight Watchers Magazine and my entire being was like ‘YES!!’

Because chili. And buffalo chicken. And yum.

The original recipe called for ground skinless chicken breast. This is all-but-impossible to find, so I grabbed ground skinless turkey breast. I also had to make a special trip to buy beer, as this is not something I ever have on hand. The rest of the ingredients are typical panty staples at Casa de Bec.

This chili is GOOD, but I’ll say this. It’s not very chili-like. I don’t know if it’s the color, or the lack of beans (which you could totally add, and I think I will next time), but it doesn’t scream ‘CHILI’ to me. What it does scream is ‘HEALTHY AND DELICIOUS’. And really, that’s more important.

I hope you guys enjoy!

Buffalo Turkey Chili

Adapted from Weight Watchers Magazine, November/December 2013

Prep – 15 minutes

Cook – 30 minutes

Serves – 4


2 tsp Canola Oil

1 lb ground skinless turkey breast

1 onion, chopped

2 celery stalks, sliced

2 carrots, sliced

12 ounces light beer

1 cup low-sodium chicken broth

1 can (14.5 ounces) fire-roasted diced tomatoes

¼ cup hot sauce

¼ cup crumbled Gorgonzola

¼ cup light sour cream


Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add turkey and cook, stirring occasionally, until browned. Add onion, celery and carrots; cook, stirring occasionally, until softened.

Add beer, broth, tomatoes and hot sauce, bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until thickened (about 15 minutes). It doesn’t get particularly ‘thick’, so just cook until your veggies are how you like them.

Garnish each serving (about 1.5 cups) with 1 TBSP each crumbled gorgonzola cheese and light sour cream.



No seriously, enjoy. It’s really good. Not too hot, but hot enough. And if you’re doing Weight Watchers, the original recipe lists this as 7 Points Plus per serving. That’s a good deal for a big bowl of chili with toppings. I made this for lunches this week, but it would totally work for dinner with a side salad. Or hey, if your home team has a really good shot of making the Superbowl (Go Pats!), this would be a great addition to a Superbowl party.

We hope you guys enjoy this! What’s your favorite Superbowl party food? Any healthy recipes you want to share with us??

Recipe Box: Oriental Cold Noodles

It’s been the summer of cold salads in my house. The heat has been unbearable, and the only thing I like less than cooking hot food is eating hot food. Because yuck.

I’ve been all about Pasta Salad and Potato Salad and Quinoa Salad and Fruit Salad and Garden Salad and Mexican Veggie and Bean Salad (future recipe post to follow) and… I think you get the picture. I get up super early on Sundays, before the heat hits, cook and prep large batches of a couple of salads and then eat them all week for lunch or with dinner. This has been working out great in terms of time management and having healthy food at the ready, but flavor-wise, things had gotten a bit boring.

Until this Sunday.

In search of some flavor in my salads, I turned to the internet, and after a couple of searches for ‘cold dinner ideas’, I found the following recipe on LaaLoosh (an invaluable resource for healthy, and specifically Weight Watchers friendly, recipes).

Oriental Cold Noodles (adapted from LaaLoosh)


1 12 oz. package Whole Wheat Spaghetti
1 large cucumber, diced
1 cup carrots, diced
1 tbsp sesame oil
1/3 cup reduced sodium soy sauce
1/4 cup rice vinegar
1/3 cup cilantro, finely chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 tbsp brown sugar
1 tsp red pepper flakes
1 ½ tsp sesame seeds
Juice from 1 lime
Cook spaghetti according to package directions. Drain, and rinse with cold water. Place in a large bowl. Toss in cilantro, cucumbers and carrots, and set aside.
In a small bowl, whisk together the soy sauce, vinegar, lime juice, garlic, brown sugar, red pepper flakes, and sesame oil.
Pour dressing over noodles and toss to combine. Top with sesame seeds.

Cover and place in refrigerator for at least 1.5 hours.
Preparation time: 10 minute(s), Cooking time: 15 minute(s)

Number of servings (yield): 6
PER SERVING: 231 calories; 3.5g fat; 41g carbohydrates; 6g protein; 2.5g fiber

Recipe Source: LaaLoosh

Now, I’ve never met a recipe I didn’t want to tweak, but I stayed very close to the original on this. The only changes I made were to add some scallions and to usage Whole Wheat Spaghetti instead of Soba Noodles (because I had it on hand). Also, I measure nothing. Ever.

The result?

Ooooooodles of Noodles

Ooooooodles of Noodles


You guys, this was SO good. Aside from cutting veggies, the prep work was very minimal. And aside from the 20 minutes of boiling water and cooking pasta, I didn’t have to turn on the stove. WHICH MAKES ME VERY HAPPY.

This and some diced chicken breast were my lunch on Monday, and the rest will be a side dish for the Turkey Teriyaki Meatballs I’ll be making for dinner one night this week. You know, if it lasts that long.

If you’re a Weight Watcher’s member, I calculated this differently than the website did. Mine came up to 4 Points Plus for 6 servings or 7 Points Plus for 4 servings (I went with four servings because I was HUNGRY!)

So, whip yourself up a batch and set them aside for the next hot night. Which is surely imminent. SIGH.

When it’s hot out, what’s your go to cold dinner? Help Bec out. Her family is ready to mutiny if she serves sandwiches one more time.