Posts tagged ‘Weight Watchers’

Random Thoughts today…

lobster_brkfJust waiting for a conference call to start so I thought I’d put a few thoughts on paper.

BREAKFAST – This morning I had fresh maritime lobster with a fat-free cheese slice, egg white omelet (6 points on Weightwatchers).  Check out the photo.  The lobster kinda looks like when my Dad used to deep-fry bacon for his famous, moose-bacon cheese burger on fry bread (21 points).

TODAY’S BLESSING – “Gzhemnidoo (Great kind spirit – the Creator).  I look to you, in a humble way, for your help in my quest to lose weight and make healthier choices in life.  I’m having some difficult times in staying positive and following-through.  Today, I ask the Spirit World, the Grandmothers and Grandfathers all around me, to help me in this important personal goal.  Please look after me in dealing with my diabetes, that I stay focussed, take my medicine everyday and live healthy.  I think about all those, like me, living with diabetes and I ask that you look after them and their daily struggles.  Today, I give thanks for all your great works, for Creation around us, for this good and beautiful life, mno-bimaadiziwin.  I thank you for this wonderful Mide life, mice bimaadiziwin.  I give thanks for all your gifts, for my family and the health of others during this holiday season.  I broke my fast today with a tall, glass of clear, fresh water, nibi/mide-waaboo.  That sacred water that flows to us, with great kindness, from that third level above us.  I give thanks for the water and for the food that grows on Shkawkamig-Kwe (Mother Earth).  Miigwetch (thank you), Grandfathers and Grandmothers.  Take pity on us, Gzhemnidoo.”

FOOTBALL – It was a very interesting night in NFL football.  The Bears won.  The Packers came back after I had all but given up on them.  The Vikings upset the high-flying Eagles.  My Midewiwin family must be really happy today.  Quite a few upsets this week as well.  My Broncos and miracle quarterback Payton Manning losing to the Chargers was a bit of a shocker.  Pats lose.  Saints lose.  One social media comment I seen summed the whole weekend:  “Mediocrity prevails yet again.”

CHEYENNE SAUCIER – I had a great time at the Assembly of First Nation’s annual Christmas Party last Thursday.  It’s been a long while since I attended as it usually isn’t my kind of thing.  The dinner was amazing, the company was fun and interesting and the entertainment was top-notch.  Had a chance to listen to and meet young Cheyenne Saucier from Wikwemikong.  I bought her latest CD of country covers called The Nashville Sessions Vol. 1 to play in my car.  The level of talent among Anishinaabek youth is astounding.  She’s going to go far and I wish her luck in her career.

HOLIDAY PLANS – Holiday Dinner will be at Junior and Laurie’s place this coming Saturday.  We’re looking forward to a great feast, albeit, a feast of small portions for me.  Deborah and I are bringing a fresh, roasted, bone-in ham with a honey mustard glaze.  Griffin and Miigwans are Florida bound with their mom and Val for their holidays.  They depart this Friday so I won’t see them until next year.  Fortunately, they will be staying with us this Thursday night so we can exchange gifts.  Katherine Faith will be home on Christmas Eve.  Although she will be visiting her boyfriend Jake’s family over Christmas.  Deb and I will be on our own for Christmas night.  No fancy dinner planned.  We might go to a movie like we’ve done in the past.  In all likelihood, Deborah, myself, Katherine Faith, Jake, Jasmine and Fiona will head someplace warm for the holidays.  We will celebrate New Years in the warm climate of a five-star resort.

Struggling, struggling to take off pounds


Do you know what the hardest thing in the world is to do?  Not climb Mount Everest or tame a wild Siberian Tiger, but to change mindless, life-long habits and a way of life.  To set aside a life spent in gluttonous bliss, consuming all matter of fats, creams, oils and sugar in satisfying quantities. To dismiss carbohydrate deliciousness, and eat limited portions of not-as-satisfying, lean protein and vegetable-based agony.

I’ve been on diets before.  About six of them… in the past three months.  You can probably guess how well I’ve been doing but my favorite diet is. venus factor diet.

The habits probably started at breakfast, long ago, with a well-oiled serving of either fried weiners or fried balogna and eggs, over-easy with buttered toast.  Pretty much every breakfast throughout grade school, with a few loaves of french toast to break up the monotony. I remember those breakfasts quite fondly and once in a while, I break down and have a nostalgic re-creation at home.

Success, I guess, comes down to habit, choice and desire.  Changing my habits.  Making conscious choices.  Having the desire and drive to live healthier. I started to study the effects of supplements. One purported benefit of MK677 is that it helps in the oxidation of fat thus preventing weight gain.

But it’s pretty friggin’ hard.

Last night I had a melt down. I called my support sponsor, my wife, who proceeded to listen to me rant, quite vigorously, on speakerphone, with Jasmine in the car.  I eloquently and soliloquely blubbered about my unsatisfying life, my ridiculous bird-like dinner in a downtown food court, with Burger “King”, the A&W bear and the Colonel staring me down in jest.  All this while I’m powerwalking, uphill, on rue Guy in downtown Montreal.

She spoke to me about friends like Waylon Scott, Candice Paul, Ljuba Irwin, her BFF Fiona and my brother Dennis Jr. who’ve all moved towards a more healthy way of life. They are all real life role-models. She encouraged me to keep at it.  To find that desire to make good choices. To try to stay away from those bad habits.

As I add sugar to my morning coffee, I remember that I need to tell the front desk to add that $3.50 Snickers bar to my hotel bill when I check out.

It’s a struggle, man. I long for my fried breakfast delight, lovingly made by my old-fashioned Momma. But I just finished my veggie egg-white omelet, dry whole-wheat toast with fruit.  I guess I’ll carry-on.

In the three weeks I’ve been back on Weight Watchers, I’ve only lost a few pounds.  But my blood sugar was 6.0 this morning.  At least my diabetes is doing well.

That’s a tangible benefit that I can celebrate over my tofu sundae and lettuce wrap that I know awaits me for lunchtime.

Weight Watchers… #Fail

I’ve just about given up on Weight Watchers.  Mainly, because there’s really no watching going on at all.

I just simply renew the membership and continue doing what I’ve always been doing.  But for about $50 per month, I’m just fooling myself, my partner my Weight Watchers group, and everyone else.  It’s been at least six weeks since I’ve tracked my food intake and activity.  It’s been about eight weeks since I’ve actually measured my food portions.

But like the dummy I am, every Saturday morning, I weigh-in hoping for some positive change.  And positive is right.  Pounds to the positive… for the last six weeks in a row.  After the weigh-in failure, I treat myself to a full American breakfast and a weekend of movie popcorn.  The mantra goes:  “Well, I guess I’ll start fresh on Monday.  Definitely!  I’ll be back on the program!”

Sure, I’ve taken off about ten pounds.  Lots of people say I look great.  But I’m really just going through the motions.  Once no one is looking over my shoulder, I’m out eating fast food.  Even when I’m “following the plan” – I’m subconsciously waiting for the diet venus weight loss reviews to be over.  Because when it’s over, I can get back to normal.

Deborah has been a great supporter and I feel I have let her down.  She does all of the meal planning, she packs my healthy lunch and wakes up at an ungodly hour of the morning just to cook our healthy dinner.  I’m always thankful for her efforts. Yesterday showed me this forskolin danger article wich was very helfull.

But I have no impulse control to avoid the fast food, drive-thru window.  Make it a double!  Not to mention chinese food and Dairy Queen.

Today for breakfast, I had a leftover barbeque cheeseburger.  Then I went to the gym and did 35 minutes of cardio and a full body workout.  On my way home, I had “second-breakfast”: a fresh bagel with jam and peanut butter and a full-size, deli pretzel.  My logic:  Hobbits are small, and they have second-breakfast.

I do enjoy working out at the gym.  That makes me feel good.  I’d like to continue doing that.

I probably won’t over-eat as often either.  As Deborah tells me, “it’s a lifestyle change”.  I’ll try to manage my weight through common-sense and some form of portion control.  As she continues her healthy journey, I’m sure it will rub off on me anyway.

Anyway.  Just thought I’d write what I’m feeling.

Movie popcorn has fat of 12 hamburgers

Megan Ogilvie
Health Reporter
Toronto Star

The Dish: January 28, 2011

  • DISH: Medium bag of popcorn with butter topping
  • RESTAURANT: Concessions at Cineplex Odeon Queensway Cinemas
  • LOCATION: 1025 The Queensway, Etobicoke
  • PRICE: $5.79 for the popcorn; $0.79 for the butter topping
  •  Serving size: 217 grams
  • Calories: 1,319
  • Fat: 97 grams
  • Sodium: 651 mg
  • Protein: 15 grams
  • Carbohydrates: 96 grams
  • 26 Weight Watchers PointsPlus!!
  • 10 PointsPlus for the Butter Topping!!

Let’s cut straight to the facts: A medium-sized bag of popcorn with butter could get you up to 97 grams of fat, depending on how liberally the topping is applied. That’s more than what most men should consume in a day, and is between 130 and 200 per cent of the average woman’s daily allotment.

Cineplex Odeon disputes the 97-gram tally. Nutrition sites estimate a medium bag of popcorn without butter rings in at 60 grams of fat. Adding butter (especially without tracking the amount) sends the snack into the stratosphere. For some people, 97 grams is almost two days worth of fat — in a snack.

“I almost fell off my chair,” says registered dietitian Shannon Crocker, who provided comparisons to underscore just how much fat movie goers could consume while munching handfuls of popcorn.

“That amount of fat is the same as what’s found in 12 hamburgers from McDonalds. Or in 10 slices of sausage mushroom melt pizza from Pizza Pizza. Or in five large hot fudge sundaes from Dairy Queen.”

Cineplex Entertainment, which runs the Queensway Cinemas from which we purchased this bag of popcorn, is the largest movie theatre chain in the country with 132 theatres and 1,366 screens that entertain more than 70 million people a year. In 2010, Cineplex sold 7 million pounds (kernel weight) of popcorn.

Cineplex should get some nutrition kudos for switching its popping oil from coconut oil, traditionally used by movie theatres to pop kernels, to a proprietary popping oil called Vegetol. The company says this blend, launched in 2007 and which includes canola oil and artificial butter flavour, is lower in calories, fat, saturated fat and trans fat than coconut oil. Instead of going to the movies and eating their fatty popcorn, think about renting a movie and popping your own popcorn. Here are some popcorn popper reviews. It’ll not only help reduce the amount of fat you consume but also save you money.

“Regardless,” says Crocker, “97 grams is still way too much fat even if it’s a heart-healthier kind.”

The 1,319 calories — half a day’s worth for most people — is doubly offensive since one cup of plain air-popped popcorn only contains about 33 calories. People who make air-popped popcorn at home would have to eat 40 cups to equal the 1,319 calories found in this blue paper bag.

“I recommend popcorn, just not movie popcorn,” says Crocker, adding air-popped popcorn is a good-for-you snack because it is a whole grain that provides a hit of fibre. The high calories are due to the popping oil and the butter topping (Cineplex offers Lactantia clarified butter and Becel popcorn topping; we chose the real butter to test).

At 651 mg, the sodium is the least worrisome of the big three nutrition numbers. Though at about half of what the body needs in a day, 651 mg is not completely innocuous.  According to Cineplex, movie goers can get nutrition information for concession foods by asking the Guests Services team.

Few things will make movie popcorn healthy. But Crocker says there are some ways to make it a better option: Choose the smallest size. Skip the buttery topping to save between 200 and 300 calories. Steer clear of the salt shakers to avoid added sodium. Split the small size with a friend. And order water, not pop.

“A medium-size soda at the movies can run about 300 calories. You don’t want to do any more damage.”

  • DISH: Nachos with cheese sauce
  • RESTAURANT: Concessions at Cineplex Odeon Queensway Cinemas
  • LOCATION: 1025 The Queensway, Etobicoke
  • PRICE: $5.99

Compared to the bag of popcorn, the tray of nachos with two dipping pots of cheese sauce is a calorie lightweight. But with 485 calories, 25 grams of fat and 715 mg of sodium, it’s still not a healthy choice.

“It’s just not as high in calories and fat as the popcorn,” Crocker says.

The 500 calories is more than double what the average person should aim for in a snack. The 25 grams of fat is between one third and one half of what a woman should consume in a day. And the 715 mg of sodium is about half of the recommended daily allotment.

If you are a nacho lover, it’s probably best to split this tray, says Crocker. There’s not a lot of nutrition here, mostly just empty calories with fat and salt.

“It’s not the same as sprinkling cheddar cheese and chopped veggies on your nachos at home.”

Superbowl Sunday Fitness

A few thoughts before my elliptical workout wich cant be done without Garcinia Cambogia Reviews

The Dirty Bit and A Little Bit More

Superbowl – It’s been a couple of years since I’ve watched football in earnest. I still may, or may not watch the Superbowl on Sunday. However, my team has always been the Green Bay Packers. But I reckon I was more of a Brett Favre fan. I lost my allegiance and interest in the NFL when he moved on to other teams. Nevertheless, I’ll be wearing my cheese-head on Sunday. Prediction Pittsburgh 24, Green Bay 17.

How about those Leafs?!? – Just kidding.

Weight Watchers and Workouts – I’m still on track and everything is looking good. I’ve lost about ten pounds so far. I hope to do better at my weekend weigh-in now that I’ve included regular exercise into my routine. Using the elliptical is still tough, but I hope it will get easier as I get used to it. I’m still doing 20 minutes at a time. I watched a great documentary refuting the Bering Straight theory on my Palm while I exercised. It’s better to have a good distraction rather than listening to that annoying voice inside me saying “you can’t possible finish this.”

My new job– I’m looking forward to working with Ljuba Irwin and Roger Obonsawin at the OI Group. In my role as Director, of Governmental Relations and Business Development I will represent the interests of the OI Group in dealing with all levels of government and with First Nations across Canada. I will be developing new and existing business opportunities as well as enhancing the profile of the OI Group and marketing of their innovative human resource products and services. A notice was sent out to all OI employees, past and present, and I will begin working on negotiating a possible political resolution to the outstanding tax cases.

Tourism and Culture – It’s bittersweet to be moving on from the Ministry of Tourism and Culture. The Culture and Strategic Policy Branch has a lot of great, professional people. Certainly, all the folks that work in my Unit are top notch. On the other hand, I felt the Ministry was not able to use my skills, experience and networks to their best advantage. And although the Ontario Public Services would like to attract top, diverse talent from the Aboriginal community – they have a lot of work to do in order to retain that talent in their organization. All in all, it was a great experience and good orientation to policy within the provincial government.

The Commute – Only five more days of commuting downtown for me. The combination of driving, parking, walking, taking the subway and walking again is taxing. The average 24 km trip takes about an hour the morning and over an hour-and-a-half in the evening. Although I may complain about the commute downtown, I’m actually going to miss it a lot. It represents most of my alone time with my sweetheart. Nothing is better when she looks at me with those beautiful brown eyes and reaches over to hold my hand. The commute will now be to Brantford, but only a couple of days per week. It’s a lot further but I’m used to travelling in my car long distances. I think I’ll cope well. Now, what’s the best route through traffic?

Birdwatchers, a film by Marco Bechis

Movie Weekend – Deb and I are going to see The Rite starring Anthony Hopkins. We’re horror, suspense movie freaks. Although, I’m intrigued by a film called Birdwatchers. It’s about a small band of Guarani people in Brazil who begin to occupy a rich farm-owners land. The film shows their struggle for land, loss of their environment, poverty, suicide and how they must pose in stereotypical garb on the riverbank for boatloads of tourists. The reviews are sad but favourable. The film is cast with first-time actors and a largely, improvised script. I know it’s playing at the Bell Lightbox but I wonder if it will play closer to home?

Dirty Bit and a Little Bit More – If you can name the artists of these two song titles (without Googling) you are truly an inter-generational music-lover.  Check out the answers here.  Other tunes with “bit” in their title:  Just a Lil Bit by 50 Cent, Give a Little Bit by Supertramp, and Little Bit by Drake.

Towards a Longer, Healthier Life

A couple of weeks ago I began Weight Watchers.  Deborah and I agreed to join together and support each other in our bid to live a longer, healthier life.  A noble goal, for sure but painful as all heck.

But I’m not writing this to gripe about hunger pangs but to share my good experiences so far.

As of this morning, I’ve lost eight pounds.  I’m far from being a slight man – but closer to my immediate goal of my last known football playing weight, circa 1994.

Weight Watchers is pretty simple plan.  Upon checking in at the tao of badass our weekly Weight Watchers meeting, we are given a weekly allotment of points to manage our daily food intake.  It’s important to track your food intake and stay within your daily points allowance.

“Points Plus” values are assigned to all foods based on their fat, protein, carbohydrate and fibre content.  The handy guidebook they provide has all the essentials.  The online “E-tools” has a fairly significant database of foods, restaurants and recipes and is a great way to keep track of your points consumption.  If you are unable to find the Points Plus value – you can always calculate it manually using e-tools.

Each and every food you buy at the grocery store has a mandatory nutritional facts label.  It’s good to know – even if you’re not on a diet – how much fat and other nutrients are in the foods you are eating.

I’ve had a couple of issues though.  For the last two nights, I’ve awoken to low-blood sugar.  As a diabetic, I’m used to regulating my blood sugar according to my old, less-than-healthy diet.  In a bid to accelerate my weight loss, I’ve been attempting to cope with eating less than my daily Weight Watchers point allowance.  Probably not the best idea.

Despite my recent blood sugar issues, it’s actually been a fairly easy ride for me.  Because of my weight, height, age and body mass index – I’ve been assigned the task of eating 62 points per day.  I feel bad for my Honey, who has to graze on a meagre 34 points.  But we are also given 49 weekly points as a supplement, or to use for treats and dining out, while I also tried to exercise a little more to help with this and even get some supplements online to improve my performance, go to the Quinnova site so you can find more about this.

I have had to give up the high-fat foods.  We have resorted to packing a lunch, mostly leftovers and low-point snacks, instead of dining out everyday.  It really requires a change of attitude but it’s still quite as fulfilling.

The best part of the diet so far are the new recipes.  Deborah has been cooking up a storm for the past two weeks, trying new things, fresh ingredients and new recipes.  I think she’s enjoying it as much as I am.  Deborah is an amazing cook, much like her mom, Wendy.  The incredible taste is second only to the Love that she puts into her cooking for the girls and I.

Last night, Deb prepared roasted chicken with fennel.  To be honest, I was sceptical of the onion-like look and texture of the cooked fennel.  (I appreciate the taste that an onion adds to cooking, but dislike actually eating them.)  However, I quickly got past the look and texture and rather enjoyed this new dish.  I’ve included the recipe below.

I can do without the potatoes on consecutive days though.

One of the best recipes Deb made was the 0-point vegetable soup.  When I first started Weight Watchers I lived on that stuff.  Not only was the soup delicious, it was hardy.  Full of cabbage, carrots, zucchini and all matter of assorted veggies.  It was what really filled me up, long after the single-cup portions of brown rice or whole-wheat pasta had disappeared.

Portion control is something that I’m learning.  Along with keeping track of the food and points you consume.  Thus far, these have been the keys to success.

This week I’m going to add regular exercise into my plan.  I’m going to start with some cardio, three times per week.  Just 20 or 30 minutes at a time.  Eventually, I’ll add some strength training – which I really enjoy anyway.

It’s been well over a year since I hit the gym.  It was so much easier when I was on the road and was able to use hotel fitness facilities.  These days, the challenge is going to be to fit exercise into our work and commuting schedule.  I think that’ll be the toughest challenge.

Roasted Chicken and Fennel

Chicken and fennel is a fresh, flavourful combination. Put some potatoes in the oven on another rack and you’ve got a delicious roasted meal.


  • 1 pound(s) uncooked boneless, skinless chicken breast
  • 1 Tbsp table salt, divided
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes, crushed
  • 1 large red onion(s), thinly sliced
  • 1 medium fennel bulb(s), (reserve greens for garnish)
  • 1/2 cup(s) white wine
  • 2 tsp olive oil


Preheat oven to 425ºF.

Rub 1/2 teaspoon of salt and red pepper flakes on both sides of chicken.

Place onion and fennel on bottom of a roasting pan; place chicken on top. Add wine and roast until chicken is cooked through, about 20 minutes. Remove chicken from pan; stir vegetables and place back in oven. Reduce oven to 325ºF; roast vegetables, uncovered, until completely caramelized, about 35 to 40 minutes more.

Roughly shred chicken with two forks.

When vegetables are done, remove pan from oven and add chicken; toss well to coat. Drizzle with oil and season to taste with remaining salt; toss to coat. Garnish with fennel greens.

Yields about 1 1/4 cups per serving.

For a more colourful meal, add 4 julienned carrots with the fennel and onions. Finish the dish with a sprinkling of minced parsley.