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Friday Five: Halloween Candy & Calorie Showdown

Friday Five:  Halloween Candy & Calorie Showdown

Happy Halloween! There’s a little motivation for conscious indulging below! Also here are some of my favorite Halloween treats. What are yours?

1. Mini Caramel Apples: This is just genius and depending on the caramel you use, they come in around 35-50 calories each and 1 PointsPlus®

2. Peeps Pumpkins: 16 calories each, 8 pumpkin peeps 3 Pointsplus® – for a delicious treat consider popping them in the freezer!

3. 3 Musketeers Minis, 35 calories, 1 PointsPlus® – another treat that tastes great cold or frozen

4. Whoppers Malted Milk Balls 3-piece tubes, 35 calories, 1 PointsPlus® – crushed up on some low-fat ice cream makes a delicious treat

5. Treat Size Candy Corn, 50 calories, 1 PointsPlus® – probably one of my favorite all time Halloween snacks

Need some motivation! Check this out!

Candy calories and exercise
Image courtesy of The Way To Healthy Living.

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Roasted Maple Balsamic Brussels Sprouts

Roasted Maple Balsamic Brussels Sprouts

Brussels sprouts are one of my absolute favorite side dishes this time of year. Crispy, crunchy, and packed with flavor they make a delicious side dish or base for a complete meal when topped with poached eggs or a grilled protein. This spin on simple roasted Brussels sprouts adds a delicious twist with tangy balsamic and sweet maple syrup.

Roasted Maple Balsamic Brussels Sprouts
Servings: 4
Serving Size: 1/4 of recipe
Nutritional Information: 94 calories, 3.1g of fat, 13.9g of carbohydrates, 4.3g of fiber, 3.9g of protein, 5.5 g of sugar
Weight Watchers® PointsPlus®: 3 *
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* PointsPlus® calculated by Slender Kitchen; Not endorsed by Weight Watchers International, Inc.

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Healthy Hiking with LÄRABAR & a Giveaway!

Healthy Hiking with LÄRABAR  & a Giveaway!

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of LÄRABAR. All opinions are my own.

LÄRABAR have always been at the very top of my list when it comes to bars. Filled with completely natural, healthy, whole ingredients – they are a natural choice for anyone looking for a healthy breakfast, snack, or meal replacement and most come in at just around 200 calories and 5-6 PointsPlus®.

What’s even better? The flavors! LÄRABARs come in the most amazing flavors. Carrot Cake, Lemon Bar, Coconut Chocolate Chip, Blueberry Muffin, Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough – I could go on and on. Seriously the flavors are amazing and live up to their tempting names. And each is made with under 10 ingredients, which is a refreshing change from many other bars that have mile long ingredient lists.

Larabar coupon

So with all that said, when I got the opportunity to not only try a bunch of amazing LÄRABARs, but also try their brand new gluten and grain free RENOLA AND share information about National Hiking Day; I jumped on board immediately! What could be better than a beautiful day spent outside hiking with my favorite Carrot Cake LÄRABARs for fuel.

National Hiking Day

National Hiking Day is November 17th and encourages everyone to get out and spend the days outdoor enjoying nature. Not only is it a great excuse to explore somewhere new, it’s also a great way to burn some calories and get active.

The Giveaway

For a chance to win an amazing a full case of LÄRABARs and assorted RENOLA, just follow the steps below. The winner will be announced on Sunday, November 10th!

  1. Head over to the LÄRABARs product page and check out the amazing flavor options. Let me know in a comment which flavor you are most excited about!
  2. Head over to check out the new grain free and gluten free RENOLA and let me know which flavor you would choose and how you would use it in a separate comment.

Ready to try LÄRABARs for yourself, find a store to purchase and use this coupon to get $0.50 off any bar!

Updated! We have a winner! Congratulations to Allison H.!

Renola Larabar

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

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Sunday Slow Cooker: Butternut Squash Soup Three Ways

Sunday Slow Cooker:  Butternut Squash Soup Three Ways

Nothing screams fall more than butternut squash soup in my opinion and lately I have been making buckets of it. Considering I can pick up a butternut squash for under $5, have all the other ingredients on hand, and can make it in the slow cooker – it’s a favorite meal and freezer item around here. Usually I like to stick to the classic fall butternut squash soup with apples but sometimes I go for a spicy version or curried version. Indian curry works but I actually prefer Thai curry paste for my soup. The sweet and spicy combination is hard to beat.

Slow Cooker Butternut Squash Soup
Servings: 6
Serving Size: 1 cup
Nutritional Info: 117 calories, 1.1g of fat, 23.8g carbohydrates, 3.5g dietary fiber, 4.8g of protein, 9.3g of sugar
Weight Watchers® PointsPlus®: 3 * (more…)

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

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Friday Five: Delicious Fall Sides

Friday Five:  Delicious Fall Sides

With November almost here, it’s seems like the perfect time to switch up my side dish game. Normally I get into a bit of a rut when it comes to side dishes and end up making the same dishes with slight variations for weeks. So in that spirit, here are some of my favorite side dishes celebrating fall ingredients. What are yours?

1. Roasted Brussel’s Sprouts, 49 calories, 1 PointsPlus®

2. Honey Roasted Carrots with Balsamic Vinegar, 88 calories, 3 PointsPlus®

3. Butternut Squash and Quinoa Salad, 210 calories, 5 PointsPlus®

4. Roasted Cauliflower and Pomegranate Salad with Honey Sesame Dressing, 129 calories, 3 PointsPlus®

5. Mashed Sweet Potatoes with Goat Cheese and Chives, 112 calories, 3 PointsPlus®

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Weight Loss Wednesday: Carrie Lost 55 Pounds!

Weight Loss Wednesday:  Carrie Lost 55 Pounds!

Name: Carrie Carroll
Height: 5’8″
Starting Weight: 200 lb
Current Weight: 145 lb
Pounds Lost: 55 lb

How long did it take you to lose the weight? After graduating high school (2003) I starting working out at Curves and lost about 25 lb in about 6 months. I was fine with this for a while, but then really wanted to lose more. In 2006, in college, I started working out more, and counting my daily calorie intake and lost another 15-20lb. Finally, in 2010 I joined Weight Watchers after my weight fluctuating 5-10 lb. To be honest, I wasn’t FULLY focused on weight loss. But 2014 was my year. I lost another 10 lb to bring me to a grand total of 55 lb lost since high school!

Lightbulb Moment: I had been overweight and uncomfortable with my appearance for most of my life. Clothes not fitting was just the norm. But, after graduating high school, my aunt asked very casually if I wanted to join Curves and start working out with her and my mom. I said yes, that sounds fun- UNTIL I learned they weigh you and take your measurements. I didn’t want that to happen. But I swallowed my pride and did it. Working out was very new to me, but the atmosphere was so fun and supportive. I would wake up at 5am and be proud to be one of the first ones at Curves! It became a healthy addiction! I loved working out and seeing results- losing weight was SO new to me. I’m a nurse, and I want to portray a positive, healthy image for my patients!

How did you do it? First step was Curves. Working out was fun there, and I felt comfortable. Creating a routine of exercising (almost every day) was and is essential. I still wasn’t eating the way I should. Weight Watchers has been an absolute blessing and necessity. It taught me how to eat, basically. Fruits and vegetables are now cornerstones of my diet. Counting points/calories is essential for me- I can’t just “wing it.” Weight Watchers meetings, counting points, and regular exercise is the only way that works for me! Weight Watchers is so flexible.

What was the biggest challenge you faced? How did you overcome it? Alcohol. Going out with my friends and husband and drinking too much. I would ruin very healthy days with too many calories spent on drinking! To be honest- I had to stop drinking. Alcoholism runs in my family. I tried for years to moderate my drinking but truth be told, it was too much. I’ve been sober since mid-January this year… and trust me, that is something I never thought I would say. I’m happier than I’ve ever been- happy and proud of myself. The negative talk I used to tell myself has decreased so much, it’s unbelievable. I know most people don’t need or want to give up alcohol. But I needed to!!

What was the single thing that helped you most along the way, especially when things got tough? Looking at before and after pictures- of myself and of others. Telling myself even though I don’t eat perfectly, I’m much better and stronger and happier than I used to be.

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