Thursday, February 12, 2009


Here are the answers from last week’s questions post.

First was a question from Rikki: OK girls! I've been following weight watchers for the past 3 months (down 12lbs!) My biggest challenge with a lot of the desert recipes is that I am allergic to artificial sweeteners. I can't eat any of them, or anything that has them in it without getting nausea, any suggestions for sweet treats that are healthy and don't have the sweeteners?

Rikki, I did some exploring and found 4 dessert recipes that look delish! The recipes are below.
Pumpkin Angel Food Cake

You will need:

1 cup canned pumpkin

1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/8 teaspoon ground ginger

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

1 (16 ounce) box 1-step Angel Food Cake Mix

14 tablespoons Cool Whip Lite (optional)

Heat oven to 350 degrees F.In a large bowl combine the pumpkin, vanilla extract, cinnamon and spices. Mix well and set aside.In another bowl prepare the cake mix according to the package instructions. Fold the pumpkin mixture into the cake batter. Spoon into an ungreased 10-inch tube pan.Bake for 38-44 minutes or until the top is golden brown. Remove pan from oven and turn upside down to cool.Slice cake into 14 slices and serve with 1 tablespoon Cool Whip.3 points per serving1 slice with cool whip = 151 calories, 1 g fat, 33 g carb, 1 g fiber

Passionfruit Ricotta Cupcakes

500 g low fat ricotta cheese
3 tablespoons of sugar
1 tablespoon of plain flour
1 teaspoon of grated orange zest
2 tablespoons of orange juice
1 egg
1/2 cup of cream
2 passion fruit
This is what you do:
You've got to preheat your oven 320 F
Combine the ricotta cheese, sugar, flour, orange zest, juice and egg in a mixing bowl till smooth.
Coat an 8-muffin tray with cooking spray, and pour the mixture evenly into the 8 muffin holes.
Bake the muffins for about 15 minutes (or till firm). Let them cool down, and remove them from the tray.
To do the passion fruit cream you just whisk the cream and combine it with the passion fruit.
Pour the cream on each muffin/cake, and enjoy!

8 servings
2.5 points per serving

Oatmeal Cookies

1 cup brown sugar, packed

3/4 cup unsweetened applesauce

1 large egg white -- lightly beaten

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

2 tablespoons vanilla extract

1 cup raisins

2 cups rolled oats

1 cup sifted cake flour

1/2 cup whole wheat flour

1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon salt

Position rack in the center of the oven and preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper or coat with nonstick cooking spray.
In a large bowl, whisk together sugar, applesauce, egg white, oil and vanilla until smooth. Stir in raisins.
In a medium sized bowl, stir together oats, cake flour, whole wheat flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. using a wooden spoon, stir the dry ingredients into the wet, mixing just until blended.

Drop the dough by tablespoonfuls onto a prepared baking sheet, spacing cookies about 1 1/2 inches apart. Bake for about 15 minutes or until lightly browned. Transfer cookies to a wire rack and let cool.

1 point per cookie.

Gold Cookies

Very very good, especially at using up egg yolks
Hands-on time: 10 minutes to mix, 20 minutes to rollTime-to-table: 2 hoursMakes 4 dozen cookies but easy to halve
· 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
· 1-1/2 cups sugar
· 4 egg yolks
· 2 tablespoons milk
· 2 teaspoons vanilla
· 1-1/2 cups flour, fluffed to aerate before measuring
· 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
· 1/2 teaspoon table salt
· 1/2 cup coconut, preferably unsweetened, ground fine in a small food processor (or 1/2 cup finely chopped nuts, preferably toasted first)
· 1 teaspoon cinnamon

In a large bowl with an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the yolks, milk and vanilla, beat in thoroughly. Add the flour, baking powder and salt, beat in thoroughly. Collect the dough into a big ball, cover and refrigerate for an hour.
Preheat oven to 400F. Stir together the coconut or nuts and cinnamon in a small bowl. Form dough into small balls, roll in coconut-cinnamon mixture. Place on baking sheet with plenty of space between. Bake for 12 - 15 minutes. Let cool a bit, then transfer to a rack or a paper towel to finish cooling.
- 1 point

Question #2

What types of jobs do you each have, and how do you think that may help or hinder your weight loss? Many jobs require sitting behind a desk, and this may make it more difficult to burn calories throughout the day. Just wondering. Thanks!

Picture of my desk

Ryan-I’m in Investor Relations, which is marketing for a stock. My job is to get our clients stock in front of investors eyes. I’m behind a desk 5 days a week and 8 hours a day. I know it plays a huge roll in my weight. I’m working on changing my lifestyle and becoming more active at least 30 minutes a day. It’s something I have to do since I have a desk job. It sucks! I’m jealous of all the interior decorators out there that can do “HANDS ON” jobs all day! That’s my goal!

Picture of Allie's desk

Allie: I work in an insurance office, selling & servicing policies…picture the most boring grey cubical you’ve ever seen and paperwork and files laying in every square inch of the tiny grey cubical! I sit at a desk staring at dual computer screens all day long. I do enjoy my job, (although it doesn’t sound like it) but it’s not very good for the weight. I can feel my bottom spreading as I type this! Oh, and we have vendors and company reps bring in all kinds of treats on a regular basis; which again is fine…unless you’re trying to lose 30lbs those treats added to your body in the first place. I do get up occasionally to go to the big printer/scanner/fax machine, but a lot of what I do I can do via websites or email, so I don’t get up as often as I should!

Lesli: Here's an old picture of me and my boss. I sleep with my boss... and that is what I like to call benefits! Not that any of you would want to or should sleep with your boss, but my husband and I run a restaurant together! How's that for losing weight at work? Here's the deal, I have two ways of looking at our situation. 1. I can make this into an opportunity to better my health by making wise decisions, or 2. I can give into the pressures and indulge my every desire. As far as being active, on most days I find myself running in 90 different directions 100 miles per hour, lifting this, running up the stairs for that. THAT part of the job is great, but in the past I definitely used the activity as my excuse to eat whatever I chose. Now it's great, because it enables me to be active at work and also maintain a healthy lifestyle.

Christina: I am a Sales Manager at a boutique hotel in downtown Chicago. Anyone who works in the hospitality business can tell you its about the worst job you can have on a diet...especially when you work in sales. My job is to literally wine and dine clients and that includes eating at great restaurants, cocktails in our bar/lounge, and traveling to do this as well. They see it as a treat, and so they tend to indulge....which in turn makes me want to indulge too. When i am not eating out, we have a cafeteria here that offers free lunch and dinner everyday. However, the food is far from anything healthy....fried chicken, mashed potatoes, lasagna, french fries etc. As far as activity is concerned, one day i could be out and about visiting clients all day, the next day i can be sitting on my rear with the phone glued to my ear. Since i am not changing careers at the moment, i have to find a way to make this work. It has been all about pre-planning for me. I look at all my appointments at the beginning of the week, plan what restaurants i am going to eat at and what i will order, then plan my points accordingly. When i am going to eat in the hotel cafeteria, i bring a piece of grilled chicken to put over salad, or the left overs from my healthy dinner from the night before. A co-worker and i take the stairs to the 16th floor, and then jog down for exercise throughout the day when we know that food consumption is going to be an issue. It only takes 15 minutes and it gives a couple extra activity points. When there is food floating around that is just too good to pass up, i indulge and reach for my flex points...that's why they're there.