Friday, January 28, 2011

Lazy Cold Cure

I think everyone on the planet knows someone who has had this nasty cold/flu that is going around -- the one that threatens to -- or indeed does --- worm its way from head to chest, and makes people miserable for weeks on end.

Well, I am surrounded by people who have been sick over the last three months. It's been hopping around from body to body, friend to friend, and I've almost caught it twice.  Yes two times I have narrowly escaped its clutches.  Each time at the onset of symptoms I have started taking this herb that my accupuncturist gave me a few months ago -- Astra Isatis:  I take a few tablets every few hours and within 24 hours each time I am symptom free.  This time I was out of town so I didn't start taking the remedy until I was about 24 hours in but it worked again!  I am almost symptom free about 30 hours after starting it.

Not every remedy works for every body, but whenever I find something like this I like to share it because most of us can't afford to get sick -- there's too much life, too much fun to miss if we get sick, right?!!! 

On the other hand, one very Lazy thing I do to stay well and avoid flu seaso is I give myself old movie days in bed.  When I know that I am going to get sick just to get some alone bed time, I circumvent the process and give myself the bedtime.  These days are priceless because they allow me to hop back into action after the soul and body nurturing is done.  

It's important to know what you need to give yourself to avoid having to stop your life by getting sick.  A lot of times, we get sick to just stop life.  So, what do YOU need to GIVE to yourself, to nurture you, so that you don't have to make your body suffer?  It's very Lazy to get a handle on this stuff.  But, if you don't catch it in time -- try Asta Isatis!

Happy Healing Lazy Days!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Trader Joe's Tuesdays -- More WWgasms (Weight Watchers Foodie Bliss)

One of the most delicious, divine, wonderful, amazing things about Weight Watchers is that you can have as much (probably within reason of course! LOL!) fruit as you want! 

When I was in my 20's I read a lot about food combining, and was a huge fan of Harvey and Marilyn Diamon'd book "Fit for Life" because it really made me feel so good.  I was full of vibrant energy and thin when I followed their plan.  One of the habits I cultivated after reading the book was starting my day with fresh fruit.  The book talks about breakfast being literally what it says a breaking of the fast that occurs while you sleep.  It says that your body needs things that are easily digestible, like fruits which don't need much help to move their way through your digestive system.

Weight Watchers really doesn't demand me changing much about my eating except remaining accountable for the amounts that I eat when I sit down to eat!  Having the fruit being zero points, i.e., FREE!!!!, is just fabulous.

And, having Trader Joe's makes it so easy.  My favorite combo for the morning is watermelon, pineapple and blueberries.  Generally all three of these items are in TJ's too.  But, Trader Joe's has a plethora of fruits to choose from -- mango, several kinds of apples, at least a couple melon choices, oranges, at least a few berries, etc.  

So, do yourself a favor -- even if you are the most perfect weight -- give your body the gift of fruit in the morning, break your fast gently, take in the many vitamins and nutrients...and have a delicious meal!  If you need protein in the morning, add yogurt and/or nuts!

And, while you are stocking up, grab a bunch of bananas, peel them, break them in half and throw them in a big baggie, for a sweet frozen treat any time of day or night!

Buon Fresh Appetito!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Laziest Workout in the World! (No Joke, No Hype)

I have to tell you, my brilliant amazing genius Accupuncturist, Marsha Connor (she cured me of a year long battle with plantar fasciitis in one session!) literally has never let me down with her advice.  The last couple of sessions I've had with her she has mentioned INTERVAL TRAINING as an effective, quick weight loss solution.

I heard her but I didn't really listen because:

1.  I'm scared of running because I seem to always get injured.
2.  I feel like I work out as hard as I can/want/etc. already. 
3.  I have never "felt" like a sprinter -- like only athletes to that kind of stuff!
4.  I thought -- it's not the workout I need to change, it's the food going in!

Well, last week I was on a website that had a link to an interval training sample workout.  I clicked on the link and found a super cool 42 minute workout that started at 3.5 speed and went as high up as 7.0.  I thought I'd give it a shot, but didn't know if I would succeed.  It was incredibly fun!

I've done the workout every day since because it makes me feel so good.  Today, though, my calves were so sore -- the soreness didn't start until yesterday, oddly -- that I didn't push myself as hard, and I only had time to do 30 minutes.

But, I'm actually going to be working toward just doing 20 minutes of interval training a day.  If you google interval training you'll see that lots of workouts are just for 10 or 20 minutes.  Twenty seems to be the average.  And this is precisely why my accupuncturist suggested it -- it's a quick way to get powerful results.

I will tell you at 48 years old I have literally never in my life had more dramatic results in a one week span of time.   Interval training is touted as a belly fat buster and I can literally see the belly fat melting away -- in a very different way than I have seen in the past.  Yes, I'm on Weight Watchers, but healthy weight loss (up to 2 pounds a week) doesn't usually cause dramatic body changes in two weeks.  This training HAS.

Listen, you don't have to be super fit to do interval training.  I have pretty much always worked out 7 days a week (except when injured or ill) so I am pretty fit.  You can start at whatever level you are comfortable.  You can start slow and increase gradually as you see where your limits are.  The bottom line is you have short periods of working at your maximum capacity (push yourself very hard) and then rest, push-rest, push-rest.  It's the least boring workout I've ever had, and I always feel so proud of myself at the end of the workout.

If you want fast results, a fulfilling workout, in a minimal amount of time -- give interval training a shot.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Lazy Weight Loss

Weight Watchers works!  I've lost 4.2 pounds in two weeks and have had many, many WWgasms, i.e., foodie-gasms while on Weight Watchers.  I even ate at two of my very favorite restaurants -- Indian and Italian (cornmeal crust pizza oh my god) -- and simply didn't over-eat which is what I tend to do when sitting in front of a lot of amazing food.  And, I literally NEVER felt deprived in these two weeks.  If I had a craving for something I got it -- either in a less-egregious form or in smaller quantities or just as it always was. 

I only just now -- minutes before writing this -- had the first thing I've eaten in these two weeks that didn't truly please my palate.  The Weight Watchers Chocolate Caramels -- only two points -- and I bought them because they come in individual cute little packets and are far fewer points than their mainstream candy equivalent, and I thought they might be a good thing to put in my bag or car if I had a burning sweet tooth.  But, they have an undercurrent of protein bar flavor.  I can't bear that flavor.  So, that's a no starter.

But, this is a great reminder of the wonder and magic of Weight Watchers - that I don't have to compromise my foodie palate.  I can have a piece of fine dark chocolate or even a tablespoon of yummy chocolate chips.  (I love gourmet chocolate chips!)  In other words, I'd rather have a small portion of the real thing -- or even a big portion and use my extra Weekly Points -- than not have my foodie WWgasm.

I can be a FOODIE and lose weight on WEIGHT WATCHERS.  And, I definitely don't need to give up literally any food on the planet.  I just fit it in and make it work.

I hadn't had Spicy Tuna Rolls in a while.  I was trying to stay away from tuna for several reasons.  And, I only need to eat fish about once a week.  But, this morning I knew I had to have TWO spicy tuna rolls for lunch.  That's 13 points which is nearly half of my daily points but I can absolutely -- with great ease and LAZINESS -- accomodate that in my day's eating.

For me -- Spicy Tuna Rolls -- give me a major WWgasm with their spiciness, texture, a bit of crunch from cucumber (at the sushi place I go to), creaminess, chewy seaweed and perfectly cooked rice. 

I couldn't even finish two rolls even though I wad been ravenously hungry. I took 4 of the 12 pieces home and had them as my afternoon snack. 

I don't have a good track record of leaving food on my plate.  I rarely leave a morsel on my plate.  And, I wasn't even told by my mom as a kid that I needed to clean my plate in honor of the children starving worldwide!  I simply have an aversion to wasting yummy food -- as if the trespass of overeating and hurting my body is better for me and the world than throwing away some delicious food. 

I am really getting how being overly-full -- being anything other than satiated -- hurts me and my body.  Somehow I have equated overly-full with comfort, but it is anything but comfort-able!

People who overeat don't love food more than people who eat to satiation.  People who overeat -- WE -- ME included -- love food more than we love our bodies and the pain, dis-comfort, dis-ease, dis-tension, dis-orientation that overeating-food-coma-bloating-craziness causes.

Lazily losing weight is more than adjusting the intake (food) and the outtake (exercise).  Lazily losing weight is working through the inner and outer layers of fat-producing thoughts and behaviors.

Putting boundaries on my eating with Weight Watchers is opening up lots of layers.  Also, Marianne Williamson's CD "Meditations for Weight Loss" is spectacularly loving and supportive and eye-layer-opening.

Lazily lovingly losing weight...


Friday, January 14, 2011

Lazy Baked Treat -- WWgasm #342

I loooooooooooove to bake, and because I've been baking since I was a little kid none of it seems daunting to me.  Some recipes are more complicated than others, of course, but even the most complex baking tasks are fun to me.

I've actually always pooh-pooh'd baking mixes.  Never understood why another five minutes wasn't worth it and/or had a major judgment that it would never be as good as the real thing in terms of flavor.  But, recently when BBIW (Best Boyfriend in the World) and I were going to Los Olivos to stay in a guest house for the New Year's Weekend, I thought it might be fun to have something hot and freshly baked one cold morning.  When I was doing the final Trader Joe's shopping I happened to pass by the mixes and one caught my eye: Triple Berry Bran Muffin Mix.  I looked at the ingredients which looked great and then the instructions.  I just needed two eggs and one cup of water.  I thought "That's worth trying!"

Well, I ended up making a different egg, potato, toast extravaganza on New Year's morning and the mix sat in the cupboard until I thought "Let me check how many POINTS that is on Weight Watchers."  Lo and behold it is only THREE -- yes 3 -- that would be one, two, THREE points.  So, I made them last night and they are DEEEEEEESCRUMPTIOUS!

They really taste pretty darned homemadey, have a great texture.  I had fresh blueberries to throw in but decided to make the first round without to test the mix, but next time I will do blueberries and maybe banana too.   But, they are truly fabulous just in their purest form.

BBIW who is definitely NOT on Weight Watchers and usually is not a bran muffin kind o' guy really loved them too!  So, it's a win-win-win-low-points-treat!

Buon Bran Appetito!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

WWgasm #234 = Rockin' Quesadilla

I know I've talked about both quesadillas and Mr. George Forman but oh my god I just have to mention them both again.

First, the George Forman Grill is the best LAZY tool for your kitchen for the following reasons:

1.  It is FAST -- it heats up fast and works fast -- without overcooking.
2.  It takes NO FAT -- you literally put no fat on it!
3.  It gives you TEXTURE -- for instance if I want a crunchy quesadilla I leave it on longer ...if I want a warm, soft, gooey one, I take it off sooner.
4.  It's SUPER EASY to clean -- super easy to take the grills off, super easy to clean.
5.  It's CHEAP -- look around for best deal but it is never going to be an expensive proposition.
6.  They come in all SIZES -- Teeny tiny to family size.  Name your size, he done got it!!!


Now, I'm on Weight Watchers, as we all know now and the best thing about WW is it's not a diet.  You get to eat anything you want -- WITHIN BOUNDARIES.  I need boundaries.  If I don't have them I run wild.

The new WW Points Plus System is slightly irritating to me because it's clearly a low carb plan.  As a vegetarian, I tend to do a lot of carbs.  I'd rather count calories, which always works for me.  But, the calories boundary has its own pitfalls -- eating stupid food being the biggest! LOL!

I had a craving for a quesadilla last night, went to Trader Joe's and started calculating the points for my favorite quesadilla ingredients -- Yogurt Jalapeno Cheese, Ezekiel Tortillas and/or Corn Tortillas.  The total with one slice of cheese and two corn tortillas was going to be 6 points.  So, I started looking around and found a LITE cheese and a LOW CARB tortilla.  I brought them home, made a quesadilla and while it was totally fine to eat.  It wasn't DELICIOSA which is important.  I refuse to eat sub-par food to lose weight.  I have to be having WWgasms at every meal.

So, tonight I made the real deal and made my new favorite salad:

A few cups of Lettuce
Pearl Tomatoes (the big deep red ones)
2 tablespoons of Bob's Big Boy Lite Blue Cheese Dressing
4 tablespoons of Salsa (my new favorite is Trader Joe's Serrano Fresh Salsa)

It has the perfect mexican-y salad to go with a quesadilla!

This is one fulfilling WWgasm meal -- at only SEVEN (7) POINTS!


Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Trader Joe's Tuesday Spills Lazily into Wednesday -- WWgasm Hit & Miss!

I went to Trader Joe's after the gym tonight...I have Pilates at 7:30 p.m. on Wednesdays so I end up eating dinner late on Wednesdays since doing pilates on a full or even slightly full stomach really doesn't work.

During Pilates I realized I had a huge craving -- and plenty of points left today on my Weight Watchers plan -- for a quesadilla.  Well, the shelves were 1/2 empty and my favorite little corn tortillas weren't there.   So, I thought I'd try the Low Carb Sonora Tortillas.  They looked sooooooooooooo delicious! 

I then checked the points on my favorite Jalapeno Yogurt Cheese and compared it to the Lite Cheddar and thought "Heck, let's try that too!"

And, then I found the find of finds:  Serrano Fresca Salsa.  I love it when TJs comes out with a new salsa, and I'm really loving -- across the board in cuisine -- roasted peppers.  The salsa looks and tastes nice and roasty-toasty.  Layered flavors, good bite.

So, the WWgasm (Weight Watchers "Taste" "gasm") of the night was the salad I made to go with the quesadilla.  Best kick:  a couple tablespoons of Bob's Big Boy LITE Blue CHeese Dressing and a few tablespoons of the Serrano Fresca Salsa.  Deliciosa!

The quesadilla -- well I'm going to go for the higher points next time because I think it's simply not forfeiting tastebud delight to lose weight.  I'd rather "spend" a few more points and have a normal corn tortilla or Ezekiel tortilla and my favorite jalapeno yogurt cheese. 

I don't regret it.  I think it's worth trying everything and knowing if there is an alternative out there that can thrill the tummy and tastebuds.

I think I can declare myself my own Quesadilla Master. I know all the options and will continue to play. For now, Lite and Low Carb don't belong in the Land o' Quesadillas!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

WWgasm # 532 = Lazy Ass Dessert Treat

I am in heaven.  I'm not kidding.  And, it's so easy.

Frozen Banana. 

Zero Points.

I go to Trader Joe's and get a big bunch of bananas, wait for them to be just ripe enough -- which for me is still with a wee bit o' green -- then peel, break into two or three pieces into a big baggie.  Put in the freezer.

When you need a sweet, grab a piece o' banana.

My favorite treat at Disneyland has always been the chocolate covered banana.  I have to say that what I've discovered is that even though I am a chocoholic I really find this treat so incredibly delicious and satisfying.

Someone tweeted an amazing recipe for banana ice cream.  Put frozen bananas in a Cuisinart, add a little almond milk and voila banana ice cream.  I can't wait to try it but I'm so digging the texture and taste of just eating frozen bananas that it's on temporary hold.

Banana Heaven at Zero Points = WWgasm!

Sunday, January 09, 2011

Lazily Lovin' Weight Watchers -- WWgasms Galore

This was a big WWgasm night.  I love The Hamburger Hamlet and Best Boyfriend in the World loves it now too...we go to the one in Pasadena where you can sit in big leather armchairs by the fire.  It's fabulous.  I had a fabulous Mediterranean Salad and Baked Potato...salad and a baked potato has always been one of my favorite meals.  And, there's somethin' about having it next to a fire that takes this comfort food to a new level. 

We at really early though and I'm on prednisone for my nasty case of poison oak.  Prednisone always makes me super hungry.  I recently heard from my nurse neighbor that they give it to people to increase their appetites.  Well, it works for me.  Not so great when you are trying to lose weight.

I also wanted something sweet a little while ago.  When I logged in to the WW site to clock my points it kept kicking me off and every time I got back in I would see the recipe for 1 Point Chocolate Chip Cookies.  So, I made them.  Very satisfying and took only a few minutes to make and FOUR MINUTES to bake! 

But, after eating them I was really hungry!  I'm at the Best Boyfriend in the World's House.  He has Ezekiel bread and peanut butter but no bananas.  But, he has a tangerine tree!!! And boy are they delicious tangerines.  Well toasted Ezekiel with 1 T peanut butter with slices of tangerine on top is a glorious mixture of textures and flavors and very satisfying.

A triple 'gasm night! 

Friday, January 07, 2011

Yet another WWgasm!

I think I just figured out why I love Weight Watchers.  Because my attitude around food is very child-like and this child needs BOUNDARIES!  Weight Watchers gives good healthy boundaries.  You literally eat whatever the heck you CHOOSE.  So, if I "wanna" spend 4 of my 49 daily points on an ice cream candy bar, I get to. 

So, WWgasm #1 was the Weight Watchers Ice Cream Candy Bar which tastes nothing like a diet anything -- it even has full crunchy salty peanuts in it!  It's to die for.

WWgasm #2 was last night when I went to one of our favorite pizza places on the planet.  They make CORNMEAL CRUST pizza!  Oh my god.  But, I had 1/2 piece of pizza.  It's so rich and so good that it was really satisfying.  I also had about a cup of Pasta Puttanesca AND my favorite beet/gorgonzola/toasted nut salad.  I left not feeling disgusting like I usually do.  I left feeling light, happy, satiated and like that little girl had a bunch of really amazing treats -- three things I absolutely adore.  

I used some of my extra 49 points I'm allowed for the week -- and highly encouraged to take -- and I absolutely know yesterday was a loss day. 

Little girl taken care of - CHECK!
Boundaries still in place to ensure she remains taken care of -- CHECK!
Foodie desires still met -- CHECK!

Takin' care o' weight loss business The Lazy Way!

Thursday, January 06, 2011

Lazy Woman Loses Weight with Multiple "WWgasms"

I coined a new term:  WWgasm.  That's when a food item that happens to be low points on Weight Watchers is so extraordinarily delicious that it gives you a "WWgasm."

Last night: reheated Garden Vegetable Soup with 1/4 cup mixed Italian cheeses = 2 points = WWgasm.

End of story.  No more needs to be said. 

Wednesday, January 05, 2011

Lazy Woman Loses Weight the Lazy Way!!!!

This Lazy Woman has gained 10 pounds since meeting BBITW (Best Boyfriend In The World, Aaron) so it's time to get it off plus some.  I'm muy excited about the new Weight Watchers I should be since I just got back from a meeting!

I went straight to the store and piled up on fruits, which used to be my go to sweet things until I fell down the deep well of a-little-sugar-a-day-keeps-the-waistline-away. You can eat as much fruit as you want!  Well, within reason, but still!  It's all zero points. 

And, Weight Watchers has always had their 0 point soups. The recipe for the GARDEN VEGETABLE SOUP -- the first recipe listed in the Getting Started book is super simple. I added a big can of crushed tomatoes, garlic salt, and chili flakes, which made it pop and gave it a little more robust feel.  I'm telling you it's delicious and filling! 

What do you think?  Maybe I've lost two pounds already -- since I made the soup and all?  LOL!

I love cooking anything and the healthier and lighter it's going to make me feel the better!  I'm going to make the second recipe in the Getting Started book later -- Creamy Tomato Sauce.  I haven't even cracked the WW Cookbook yet... 


Monday, January 03, 2011

Lazy New Year's Eve Dinner -- Blessing the New TAGINE!!!

We were staying at a guest house on the Demetria Vineyard that has a mostly furnished kitchen, but definitely doesn't have all the tools we are used to having so we always have to go with the flow and have an adventure when we cook there.  We sipped their lovely wine as we cooked and just enjoyed the New Year's Eve ride with our new friend:

The new member of our cooking family: Tommy Tagine!  We got him at Sur La Table.  He was the last one on the shelf, perhaps the runt of the litter but we loved him immediately and had to take him home. 

So, we started with this recipe from the book TAGINE SPICY STEWS FROM MOROCCO by Ghillie Basan which we also got at Sur La Table.  I found tons of amazing recipes online for future Tagine Tommy meals but Aaron really wanted to make this recipe, so I let him have at it.

I was his sous chef and I cooked up the supporting cast -- Smashed Cumin Potatoes and Salad with Cumin Roasted Garbanzos.   I made these last two things up but they came out really delicious, if I do say so myself.

Cumin Smashed Potatoes = New Potatoes smashed with olive oil and butter (not a ton of either), chopped Italian parsley, a couple tablespoons of Preserved Lemon, probably a couple teaspoons -- maybe a tablespoon of Cumin, salt, pepper....DELICIOSA!

Cumin Garbanzo Salad = Mixed fresh lettuces, lemon, olive oil, salt, pepper and Roasted Garbanzos (drain and rinse can of garbanzos, let them dry, then toss with cumin, salt, pepper and olive oil in 350 to 400 degree oven -- watch them to not overcook)

Dessert was VERY LAZY because any time we are in Los Olivos the ONLY DESSERT to eat is wine-infused cupcakes from ENJOY CUPCAKES.  Oh my god if you are ever in the vicinity or can afford to have them ship you a batch, I highly recommend that you do so without a second's hesitation.  Unbelievable light rich moist cakes with not-too-sweet rich lovely filling and again not-too-sweet flavorful divine frostings.  And, they are gorgeous!

It was a magical way to bring in the New Year! 

We are looking very forward to a lovely year with Tommy Tagine.  You guys, the unbelievable news is that you use barely any fat in cooking these tagine recipes....and they are so incredibly flavorful and nurturing.  But, more than that -- they LOOK GREAT -- colorful, colorful, colorful!

Buon Moroccan Appetito!

Sunday, January 02, 2011

Lazy Relaxing New Year's in Los Olivos

Our waiter "Fad" (short for Fadrique) serving Aaron his lucky Sambuca on the rocks (Aaron was told to drink it this way when he lived in Greece)-- with three lucky coffee beans!  

I can't believe I forgot to photograph my salad...please forgive.  We were at PETROS which is our favorite restaurant -- which, by the way has the BEST -- absolutely best -- service of all the restaurants in Los Olivos.    I had my favorite Greek Salad decomposed -- honestly best Greek Salad as far as I'm concerned.  This is the description from the menu on their website:

Petros Horiatiki Salad = Vine-ripe tomatoes, cucumber, Epirus feta- the mother of all feta, Volos olives, avocado, onions, capers, EVO* and oregano*The great news is there is a PETROS in Manhattan Beach too if that's more convenient.   The service and quality at both restaurants is impeccable.   Last night was the first time we weren't unbelievably happy with a dish -- Aaron's chicken and potatoes were overly oily.  But, they quickly comped the dish and offered to make it again.  We literally were never -- up to that point -- even slightly less than exquisitely happy with our meals.  Very elegant that they comped us at the first sign of displeasure.  Class act all around.

Aaron had his usual:

Roast Chicken = Half chicken stuffed with Epirus feta and mixed herbs. Served with fingerling potatoes, Romano beans, sprinkled with fresh lemon juice and oregano*
We have also ordered lots of hors d'oeuvres over the years, sharing bunches of flavors and savoring them all.  The owner/patriarch of Dimitria Vineyards told us to order the Shrimp Saganaki, and he was right.  It's a must-have -- rich, but you don't need a lot to be profoundly satisfied.

The bars in both places are great as well.  That's what first hooked us when we first went.  We were staying at the Fess Parker Inn where Petros is nestled, stopped for a drink before dinner and ended up cancelling our reservations.  We ate three meals in a row there!  And, have been back several times since.  It's Greek cooking at its most inspired, fresh, nurturing, nourishing and light. 
And, with the impeccable service from lovely servers like Fad, the experience on every level proves fresh, light, and relaxing.