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Sunday Slow Cooker: Simple Slow Cooker Pork

Sunday Slow Cooker:  Simple Slow Cooker Pork

Slow cooked pork ranks up there as one of my favorite foods. Tender, delicious, packed with flavor, and low in calories when made with lean tendeloin – it’s easy, versatile, and so so tasty. This basic recipe makes a tasty pork dish all on it’s own but crisped up in the broiler and then tossed with barbecue or honey and orange, and you have a killer combination. Use leftovers in tacos, burritos, a simple ragu, salads, or sandwiches.

Simple Slow Cooker Pork
Servings: 5
Serving Size: 2/3 cup
Nutritional Info: 205 calories, 4.5g of fat, 1.7g carbohydrates, 0g dietary fiber, 33.3g of protein, 0g of sugar
Weight Watchers® PointsPlus®: 5 * (more…)

* PointsPlus® calculated by Slender Kitchen; Not endorsed by Weight Watchers International, Inc.

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Friday Five: Healthy Pancakes

Friday Five:  Healthy Pancakes

Tough week? Pancakes. Breakfast celebration? Pancakes. Lazy brunch? Pancakes. No time for dinner? Pancakes. Seriously pancakes are the the perfect comfort food for almost any occasion and can be whipped up so many different ways, there is always a recipe to suit how you are feeling. So jump in the kitchen and whip up a big batch this weekend.

Since we can never have enough recipes, please share your favorites in the comments!

1. Banana Chocolate Chip Pancakes, 298 calories, 7 PointsPlus®

There is no better comfort food than classic banana chocolate chip pancakes.

2. Peanut Butter Protein Pancakes, 198 calories, 5 PointsPlus®

A peanut butter twist on the banana egg pancake that has been sweeping the internet this year. All you need are eggs, peanut butter, and a banana for this simple treat.

3. Oatmeal Pancakes, 258 calories, 6 PointsPlus®

These pancakes are packed with good for you ingredients and taste delicious. No one will know that they are made with oats, cottage cheese, and egg whites and pack 28 grams of protein.

4. Greek Yogurt and Flax Pancakes with Berries, 235 calories, 5 PointsPlus®

Low carb diets can enjoy pancakes too! This simple pancakes with flax and yogurt are packed with protein and fiber to keep you full all morning.

5. Blueberry Lemon Ricotta Pancakes, 250 calories, 6 PointsPlus®

These pancakes are dressed to impress with creamy ricotta, tart lemon, and tangy sweet blueberries. Perfect when you want to fancy things up.

Looking for more? Check out these delicious pancake recipes.

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Grilled Lemon Herb Chicken Thighs

Grilled Lemon Herb Chicken Thighs

Coming at you today with more chicken! This delicious recipe pairs juicy dark meat chicken with lemon, yogurt, and herbs and the results are delicious. It really is the perfect summer chicken in my opinion and pairs great with some grilled veggies. I recommend making enough for leftovers because it is perfect paired with veggies and greens, turned into a quick chicken salad (yum!), chopped up into tacos, or really served up any which way.

Grilled Lemon Herb Chicken Thighs
Servings: 5
Serving Size: 2 chicken thighs
Nutritional Info: 261 calories, 12g of fat, 3.7g carbohydrates, .9g dietary fiber, 27.2g of protein, 0g of sugar
Weight Watchers® PointsPlus®: 6 * (more…)

* PointsPlus® calculated by Slender Kitchen; Not endorsed by Weight Watchers International, Inc.

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Weight Loss Wednesday: Emma Lost 31 Pounds!

Weight Loss Wednesday:  Emma Lost 31 Pounds!

Name: Emma
Height: 5’2
Starting Weight: 170
Current Weight: 139
Pounds Lost: 31

How long did it take you to lose the weight? From February 23rd, 2014 to July 15th, 2014, I have lost 31 pounds! I still have 15 I would like to lose through Weight Watchers and incorporating more exercise into my lifestyle.

Lightbulb Moment: I am the maid of honor in my sister’s wedding this year on August 23rd. I was in my other sister’s wedding last year and was really uncomfortable about the way I looked. I knew this year I wanted to feel better about myself, but didn’t want to go on a crash diet a month before the wedding. I decided this year, 6 months before the wedding, I would join Weight Watchers and lose the weight in a healthy, steady way.

How did you do it? Weight Watchers! I had done the program before & it was successful. Weight Watchers doesn’t just teach you what to eat, but how to eat it. It’s all about portion control and making better choices. Something that I do differently in the program is that I try and stay away from processed snacks (80 calorie chips, 100 calorie brownies, etc). Those things are loaded with additives that many studies have shown trigger hunger. Whenever I would eat them I would feel sluggish and almost always have a headache. I try to stick to three solid meals a day that give me lots of fiber, protein and healthy fat. If I get hungry in between I eat! But I love having veggies with hummus, fruit with peanut butter, etc. I also try not to eat past 7:30pm. I was a late night binger before WW, so I slowly started to only have healthy snacks at night, to eventually only needing green tea. Feed your body throughout the day and it won’t work against you at night!

What was the biggest challenge you faced? How did you overcome it? Like I said before, I was a food binger. I would get home from work and eat burgers, pizza, ice cream, anything I could basically get my hands on. When you are in that cycle, it’s very hard to break it. You think your stomach is about to eat your entire body, and the first couple of days the cravings are insane. You need to remind yourself, why am I doing this? I was 21 and in a body that I was constantly trying to hide from the world. That’s no way to live! Little reminders of my overall goal of feeling fabulous at my sisters wedding, fitting into size 6 jeans. These things kept me going. Changing your lifestyle is never easy, if it was, everyone would be slim and healthy. Reminding yourself just how strong you are and believing in yourself is the best way to overcome those cravings. But another great tip? Don’t keep junk in your house! If its not there, you won’t eat it!

What was the single thing that helped you most along the way, especially when things got tough? INSTAGRAM (@funwithwwpoints), I cannot stress this enough! The meetings for WW that are in my town, are well, a little drab. I needed an outlet to express my ideas, thoughts, triumphs & frustrations. I had seen so many wonderful ladies on Instagram with awesome accounts, and I thought “hey why don’t I do that!” It started with about 25 people following me back in March to over 2000 today! They are my family and we help each other through our ups and downs. There are always great tips and recipes to be found on there and an outlet to voice successes or concerns throughout your journey. Its like a WW meeting, but is happening 24/7.

How has your life changed since losing the weight? There are no words to describe what its like to regain your sense of self. Before, I would just sit up in my apartment watching Netflix & eating takeout when I should have been out enjoying a Saturday night. When you have weight on, you always think people are judging you because of it. Living a healthier lifestyle has boosted my confidence & energy levels in ways I never thought possible.

Exercise routine: I’m working on incorporating more exercise into my lifestyle! I have a gym membership that I need to start to utilize more. I believe any movement is good movement. I love going for long walks with my boyfriend and his dog. I park further away from stores to get in some extra activity. I use to hate walking up the hill on my campus at school, and now it gives me a burst of energy in between class. Start small and work your way up!

Favorite breakfast: OATMEAL, I am a crazy oatmeal lover! Which is a little insane because I almost loathed it before starting WW. A good breakfast sets your whole tone for the day. I love making instant oatmeal with fresh fruit and milk chocolate chips! Oatmeal is so versatile; you can really do anything with it!

Favorite grab and go snack: Cheese sticks & fresh fruit! I love watermelon and pineapple

Favorite treat: Frozen yogurt with animal crackers!

Favorite quick dinner: Pita pizzas! So easy to make and a great use of points. Again, you can really create anything with them! My favorite is turkey peperoni with green pepper, pineapple and cheese.

Favorite healthy restaurant or fast food find: Wendy’s make fabulous salads that are high on flavor and low in points. Angels in heaven made the Cheesecake Factory Skinnylicious menu. Anything in a restaurant can be made healthy with a few substitutions (salad instead of fries, dressing on the side, no bun, etc)

Advice for someone just starting: When I first started WW I ate 3 solid meals with 2 snacks throughout the day (one 2 hours after lunch and dessert for after dinner). This will keep you full and feeling less deprived. Stick to whole food options (proteins, fresh veggies, fruit, etc) and you will start to get use to eating healthy options and learn to crave them. Water is key! Always count your points before eating something, I made the mistake in the beginning of doing the opposite and sometimes that granola bar you thought was 2 points is actually 5. And believe in yourself, sounds so simple I know but many of us are our worse enemies. Make sure to celebrate your victories (choosing diet pop instead of regular, turning down unhealthy food at a bbq, buying a new pair of pants the next size down). These are all great accomplishments and should be celebrated!

Anything else that you would like to share: Don’t wait for the day that you think motivation will come down and punch you in the face and kick you into gear. You need to want to be healthy for yourself. Small changes turn into larger ones. You just need to start. It could be at 11:34 a.m. on a Tuesday in March. It doesn’t matter when; you just need to do it! And trust me, if I can do it, so can you!

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Tomatillo Braised Chicken

Tomatillo Braised Chicken

Tomatillos rank among one of my favorite ingredients. The slightly tangy, slighty herbal, slighty sweet friend of the tomato brings something special to any dish in my opinion. It is traditionally used in salsas and stews like in this recipe where it is made into salsa and used to quickly braise chicken on the stove-top until it is tender and delicious. Use chicken breasts or chicken thighs depending on your preferences and adjust the heat to your liking. You can also making it creamy by adding a touch of sour cream, crema, or even cream cheese when you are finishing the dish.

Tomatillo Braised Chicken
Servings: 4
Serving Size: 6 oz. chicken
Nutritional Info: 231 calories, 7.2g of fat, 7.6g carbohydrates, 1.9g dietary fiber, 36.9g of protein, 0g of sugar
Weight Watchers® PointsPlus®: 5 * (more…)

* PointsPlus® calculated by Slender Kitchen; Not endorsed by Weight Watchers International, Inc.

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Friday Five: Energy Bars

Friday Five:  Energy Bars

Although I don’t eat a lot of meal replacement (energy) bars, sometimes they come in handy when you just can’t find the time for a meal. They can also be a great way to refuel during a tough day or after a hard workout. Usually when reaching for an energy bar, I try and pay attention to three things – total calories, whole and natural ingredients, and protein/fiber count. Here are my favorite bars. What are yours?

  1. Kind Blueberry Pecan + Fiber, 5 PointsPlus, 190 calories
  2. This bar is pretty delicious and is packed with a good amount of protein and fiber for staying power since the primary ingredient is almonds. I also love that it only has 10 ingredients – almonds, blueberries (blueberry pieces, whole dried blueberries), raisins, pecans, honey, cashews, non GMO glucose, crisp rice, chicory fiber, soy lecithin – instead of lots of laboratory made protein sources.

  3. Quest Coconut Cashew, 4 PointsPlus, 170 calories
  4. This is a brand new discovery for me and I have to say I am a huge fan of these Quest bars. Packed with 17 grams of fiber, 20 grams of protein, and only 170 calories they definitely do the trick when it comes to providing energy and staying power. They come in lots of flavors, but I like this as an alternative to traditional chocolate and fruit flavored bars.

    (more…)

* PointsPlus® calculated by Slender Kitchen; Not endorsed by Weight Watchers International, Inc.

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