Mandy's Marvelous Meals

Recipes, tips, tricks, and my journey into cooking fabulous food!

Trying to Stay in the Groove


Wow, despite my best efforts I just haven’t been able to keep up with my blogging.  I’ve read quite a few blogs where this has happened…and the writer genuinely apologizes for not posting in so long and clearly it was simply that little thing  we call “Life” that got in the way.  For me, however, that is not the case (although I was really tempted to sit down and say that I just got busy and therefore could not blog…but a liar I am not!!!) I honestly just haven’t been feeling like it….despite my best efforts to plan out what delicious recipes or interesting tales I want to share I just don’t sit down and do it! So…today I am getting back into the groove.
Speaking of getting back in the groove, I’ve been pretty much staying on task with my Weight Watchers and eating pretty good (well except for those Curly Fries I inhaled last night!), but this has also been a challenge. Again, I have very good intentions and plan all of my meals, prepare all of my food in advance to make life easier, but still sometimes I just don’t feel like eating a salad…and so it is quite easy to bring on the french fries.
Anyway, earlier in the week Hubby took me to Whole Foods (stay tuned for my Whole Foods post) and all that fresh local produce and healthy stuff inspired me to make this delicious strawberry yogurt parfait for our dessert the other night.

 Hubby rated it a “5”!!! That’s right a “5”!!!! The best he could give me based on our little rating system. I was happy I made something so yummy, yet so easy and most importantly something healthy that we both enjoyed.  The Weight Watchers Points Plus value is 6, however you could replace the honey with artificial sweetener (such as Splenda) and you can use another kind of yogurt like Dannon Light & Fit Vanilla and it will help reduce the points plus value.  Also, I highly recommend you use “Raw Honey” if you can find it (Whole Foods carries it and a lot of Farmer’s Markets). It is sooooo much better than the regular honey you typically find in grocery stores. The first time I ever sampled it at a little store in Lancaster County I was totally hooked!! I guess like most foods…natural always tastes best.

Strawberry Yogurt Parfait (Makes 2 servings; 1 serving = 6 WW Points Plus)

1 cup plain non-fat Greek Yogurt

1 cup fresh strawberries, tops cut off and halved

1 tbsp. raw honey (more or less to taste)

1/4 cup granola with almonds (i.e. Bear Naked Fit Vanilla Almond Crunch)

  1.  puree strawberries and honey in a blender.

  2.  Add 1/2 cup yogurt to a serving dish. Top with half of the strawberry puree and 2 tbsp. of the granola.

  3. Serve and eat immediately.

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Chocolate Chip Yogurt Waffles


So yesterday’s post was for some really good waffles made with Carbon’s Golden Malted Pancake & Waffle Flour. Today is the “Slimmed Down” version I have promised you all. This recipe is so tasty and filling! This makes one large Belgian waffle, so I eat half as a serving and it is definitely enough. If you have a smaller waffle maker this may make more than one waffle, so you’ll need to adjust your serving size accordingly.

The key ingredient in this recipe is to replace the egg and butter with nonfat Greek yogurt. Greek yogurt is a great substitute for many things and is great in baking, as well as in pancakes and waffles (check out this substitution chart I came across on Pinterest). I do add just a teaspoon of olive oil, but this is completely optional. I think it gives it that little extra something and it doesn’t change the Weight Watchers Points Plus value. Also, you can omit the chocolate chips and have a plain waffle or add fruit to it instead.

If you don’t have Carbon’s you can probably substitute Bisquick or another pancake/waffle mix. When I don’t have any Carbon’s on hand, then I use this recipe for Almond Flour Yogurt Waffles as my next favorite waffle. It is also extremely delicious and it is low-carb and gluten free. This blog, All Day I Dream About Food, has a lot of good low-carb recipes, so I would definitely recommend checking it out. Another thing that I do that really comes in handy is that I make a big batch and then divide it into single servings and freeze (usually freeze in Ziploc freezer bags or my Foodsaver). That way, I can just grab one for breakfast whenever I want.

Which brings me to the “advice” part of this week’s “slimmed down” post…

This time around on my “diet” I make sure to eat something different for breakfast, lunch & dinner pretty much every day. From what I’ve read and now have experienced first hand, it is important to keep your body guessing what’s coming next varying the foods you eat and the amount of calories at each meal. This may be something you’ve heard before, which I had, but being the picky eater that I am…not to mention the food jags I experience from time to time, I never paid it much attention. For me, it became clear this time around because I had some comparison. This time around (using Weight Watchers) I have been consistently losing weight each week (except for this past week, but I already knew that was coming I’m just glad I didn’t gain!) and I have not been growing tired of eating the same thing or same types of foods. My comparison is from two years ago when I decided that Nutrisystem might be a good diet option for a lazy person like myself. The first month of food I ordered, I made sure to order all different foods and even try things that I normally wouldn’t eat (such as soup..ick!). Well, after a few weeks I tired of certain things pretty quickly (mainly because the food is just not that good) and when it would be time for me to place my next month’s order I would start ordering more and more of the same foods because I was having a hard time liking some of the other stuff. So, for example, the first month I lost 10 pounds right off the bat, but then the second month I started eating the same things for breakfast (usually muffins), lunch (chicken Caesar salad) and dinner (pizza) and barely lost anything (I think I lost about 2 pounds). My body got used to eating the same thing over and over not to mention that I just got fed up with the food and just quit even trying…and probably if I try really hard to remember I would end up just binging on food I wasn’t “supposed” to be eating in the first place. Although, at the time losing 15 pounds was a good amount for me (I only weighed 158 when I started that one…this time my starting weight was 174! Yikes!) it seemed ok that I only “dieted” for those 3 or 4 months. However, I never met my goal weight nor did I learn any type of good eating habits or how to change my lifestyle.

Even though I said early on when I started doing my “slimmed down” posts that my main focus right now was just getting the weight off and that later I’d worry about eating “healthier”, as much as I hate to admit it…I am learning healthy habits with Weight Watchers…just like the commercials said I would. My family & Hubby are probably shocked to hear me admit this…being the stubborn feisty woman I am…but it is true! I am much happier this time around and even when I am starving I usually reach for an apple or a fruit slushie rather than a candy bar…this may not seem like a big deal to some of you, but this is HUGE for me! I’ve never gotten to a point where I felt that I could just have an apple and be happy and fulfilled…in the past that apple represented being denied junk food and having to sacrifice.  (Who remembers “LA Weight Loss”? Of course I did it…I’ve tried EVERY diet…and it worked great, lost 25 pounds in 4 months…but I was miserable and would literally break down into tears because I was hungry…I just wanted a cupcake or something delicious! Anyway…) Now I never deny myself anything and I am able to only take a little bite of something that’s less than healthy (cheesecake anyone?) and if I’m still hungry fill up on fruits and veggies. I finally feel like maybe I can live like this for the rest of my life….and I’ll maintain a healthy weight, looking and feeling a lot better! I actually have “hope” that this will be the last time I have to lose an excessive amount of weight.

So, why do I share all of this with you?? Because I know there are probably some people out there who’ve felt like I have…that you’ll never be able to change that you’ll always have to do some sort of diet…that you will always have to be denied the things you love…but it’s not true…even the most stubborn junk-food addicted person can change…I am living proof!

Now, if I can just start exercising….. 😉

Baby steps!!

Chocolate Chip Yogurt Waffles (Makes 2 servings; 3 Weight Watchers PointsPlus per serving)

1/3 cup Carbon’s Golden Malted Pancake & Waffle Flour

¼ cup nonfat greek yogurt

¼ cup water

1 tsp. oil (optional)

1 tbsp. mini chocolate chips

  1. Combine the flour, yogurt, water and oil in a medium bowl and stir until well combined. Stir in the chocolate chips.
  2. Cook waffle in a waffle maker according to the manufacturer’s directions.
  3. Serve with a sprinkle of powdered sugar or 2 tbsp. sugar free pancake syrup.
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