Why Weight Watchers Freestyle Will Have To Rethink Their Plan Basics Next Year

No: this is not “breaking news” or anything, this is just my observation from reading various Weight Watchers boards and groups.

Reading Amanda’s post:

  • “Hey! I’ve been on the new WW plan for a month and have gained 12 pounds! I am always under my points. What gives?”


  • “That’s ok Amanda, just stick with it!”
  • “What are you eating?”
  • “Maybe you don’t have any weight to lose?”
  • Is it that time of the month??

Amanda responds:

  • I eat zero point foods except for 1 meal a day.
  • I get 27 points, so my supper is a double bacon cheeseburger with fries and a drink or a 1 pound ribeye with a loaded baked potato and a diet coke. (here’s where someone chimes in with the whole “diet soda is bad for you” routine lol) Sometimes I have a piece of pie or cake to use up my rollover points.
  • The rest of the day I eat: 3 dozen eggs and 10 apples, plus a banana or 2 for the potassium, oh and some broccoli and carrots if I’m hungry, maybe 3 pounds of chicken breast.
  • I use my unused points on Saturday and I eat 20 pancakes covered in butter and syrup for breakfast, then a bucket of fried chicken for supper to make sure I use them all.
  • I’m within my points so why am I not losing??? This plan sucks!

You get the picture.

ANY plan can be abused, and this new WW one has a lot of room to screw up, even if you’re “within the guidelines”.

I think WW’s mistake is thinking that everyone will use common sense. lol.

I predict that there will be an updated plan within the next year to limit “free” foods to 2-3 servings.

Whether there will be an update or not, reading the various WW based discussions, there NEEDS to be.

That still allows for a LOT of food that you don’t have to count, but it does put some emphasis on using common sense and portion control. Which a lot of people seem to need.

For me, this is actually a really easy plan to do and stay low carb, under 50g a day.

I use my 26 points for healthy fats and lean proteins, and the occasional low-carb bread product, and then eat non-starchy veggies to fill my meals out.

I do allow myself 1 Activia light yogurt in the evening as a sweet treat and probiotic. At 2 freestyle points, it’s worth it to me.

I do use full fat mayo, half and half, real cheese, and real butter along with some avocado (not all in the same day), so I’m keeping my calories above 1000, which is surprisingly difficult to do on this version if you don’t use some full fat products.



Keto Shrimp Salad

This is a seriously easy recipe that comes together in no time and costs practically nothing.

When you see “salad shrimp” on sale, grab a bunch of bags. Usually in 6oz bags and frozen, major store chains like Kroger will have them on sale for $1 a bag at times.

If not salad shrimp, then any small or extra small shrimp will work. I also make this recipe and use 6oz shrimp and 1 can of crab meat, to change up the flavors and textures.

Keto Shrimp Salad (serves 2)

  • 2 med stalks Celery, chopped small
  • 1 Green Onion, sliced thin
  • 1 tsp Lemon juice (or more to taste)
  • 1/4 teaspoon seasoned salt, Old Bay seasoning, Cajun seasoning -whatever you like
  • 12 oz small or salad shrimp: cooked, peeled, rinsed and drained
  • 3 tbsp mayonnaise
  • 1 oz dill pickle chopped small (you can use dill relish)
  • 1 drops Stevia Glycerite or 1 teaspoon equivalent of your sweetener of choice

Mix the mayonnaise, lemon juice, seasoning and sweetener well, then add everything else and stir to coat.

Refrigerate 15-30 minutes for the flavors to blend.

You can add a little hot sauce, Dijon or spicy brown mustard, even chopped hard boiled eggs. I like a  combination of Tabasco and dijon mustard added to this.

Serve over lettuce or in a wrap.

Nutrition Facts
Servings 2.0
Amount Per Serving
calories 331
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 20 g 31 %
Saturated Fat 2 g 11 %
Monounsaturated Fat 4 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 11 g
Trans Fat 0 g
Cholesterol 345 mg 115 %
Sodium 1449 mg 60 %
Potassium 232 mg 7 %
Total Carbohydrate 5 g 2 %
Dietary Fiber 1 g 5 %
Sugars 1 g
Protein 37 g 74 %
Vitamin A 11 %
Vitamin C 50 %
Calcium 11 %
Iron 32 %

Eggs, Glorious Eggs

Very nearly the perfect food for low-carb, the lowly and often maligned egg can be a wonderful addition to your meal plan that’s healthy, nutritious and budget friendly.

From a simple scramble, to a sophisticated omelette, the versatile wonder food can be dressed up or dressed down to your own tastes.

Simple Egg Salad for 1:

  • 2 hard boiled eggs, chopped
  • 1 rib celery, chopped
  • 1 green onion, chopped
  • 1 small dill pickle, chopped
  • 1 Tablespoon mayonnaise
  • 1 teaspoon prepared yellow mustard
  • Mix well, add salt and pepper to taste

No Fuss Veggies and Eggs in a Pan (1 large serving)

  • 2 large eggs, beaten together with a little salt and pepper
  • diced or sliced (small) vegetables such as: zucchini, tomato, onion, jalapeno, spinach, artichokes, whatever you like or need to use from your fridge!
  • diced ham, leftover steak, sausage whatever you might want
  • 1 teaspoon each butter and olive oil
  • cheese, if desired

Heat the oil in a small skillet and saute the veggies until they are cooked however you like them. If you’re using a protein that’s cooked, add it now to heat through then: Pour the eggs over them, rotating the pan to make sure and cover the entire pan bottom. Cover and let cook on medium heat for 1 minute until the eggs are cooked through, then turn off the heat and add cheese, if using. Cover again until cheese melts.

Egg and Cabbage Carbonara-ish (1-2 servings)

  • 1-2 slices bacon, cut into small pieces
  • 2 cups shredded cabbage
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic, finely minced
  • 2 large eggs, beaten with 1 tablespoon heavy cream
  • additional 1-2T half and half
  • 1 Tablespoon shredded Parmesan or the green can is FINE
  • 1 sun dried tomato half, sliced very thin (optional)
  • salt and pepper to taste

Saute the bacon until it is cooked through and slightly crispy. Remove from the pan with a slotted spoon and add the olive oil and cabbage to the bacon drippings.

Cook, stirring often, for 3-4 minutes until the cabbage wilts, then add the garlic and sun dried tomato.

Cook for another minute and add the beaten eggs and stir until the eggs cook. Add the remaining half and half, reserved bacon and the Parmesan cheese, stir to mix in and serve hot.

Creamed Eggs (1 serving)

  • 2 hard boiled eggs, sliced or chopped
  • 1 slice cooked and crumbled bacon
  • 2 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/4 tsp dried parsely (optional)
  • pinch of paprika (optional)
  • tabasco hot sauce

Heat the butter in a skillet and add everything except the cream, stir until hot then add the cream and just bring to a simmer. Add salt and pepper and tabasco sauce if you want. Server this as-is or over a low-carb bread option.

Of course you have a lot of options with hard boiled eggs:

  • top with a little pesto;
  • sriracha;
  • pepperoni slices and 1/2 teaspoon marinara sauce(try this using either quartered pepperoni slices or the little mini ones!)
  • salsa;
  • a thin slice of avocado and 1/2tsp sour cream;
  • crumbled bacon;
  • pimento cheese(read labels, some brands have a lot of sugar and other garbage);
  • spinach that has been cooked, squeezed dry and mixed with cream cheese;
  • slice them and add to cooked green beans and saute with a little butter;
  • use a little truffle salt, the flavor it brings out it amazing.

And an over easy or sunny-side-up egg are fantastic on a steak or burger patty as well.

So the next time you’re thinking “ugh! eggs!” think outside the box… err carton 🙂

The New Weight Watchers Freestyle Plan

If you’ve read my blog, you know I love to read diet books. And fiction. And sometimes these two subjects are the same lol.

I have been reading blogs about the new WW Freestyle plan and it occurs to me they’re making an effort to include low-carb eaters in this new plan.

Well, low carb if you also do low(er) fats. Not Keto, you’re still pretty much the “red headed step child” for WW if you actually eat fats outside of the  “lean meats” and things they include.

But aside from that, many of the WW bloggers have included a lot of info on the new plan, which is great since many people don’t want to pay for the WW site or meetings only to find out it’s not really something we want to do.

So here are some blogs and some basics of the newest rollout:

  1. Lean meats: turkey, chicken, shellfish, even canned tuna in water, are now zero pts.
  2. non-fat yogurts, including Greek styles, are zero
  3. eggs are now zero (instead of 2pts!)
  4. beans and lentils, even canned, are included as zero pts.
  5. Your “points” allowance has dropped to compensate for the free foods (says most people went from 30SP to 23-25 freestyle)
  6. More fruits are zero including canned in water ones

All in all, it looks pretty do-able for basic low-carb, especially if you like eggs, tuna, chicken, etc -which many people do prefer over red meats. Not me. I love a good steak 😀

Here are some links for more reading:

Slender Kitchen

Life is Sweet by Design

Emily Bites

These are my personal favorites, but you can google for a lot more info.

Happy eating 🙂

Yet Another Green Bean Side Dish

Honestly, you could add cooked ground beef or grilled chicken to this casserole and make a “comfort food” meal out of it.

I love green beans. They really fit into any eating plan. They’re low calorie, low carb, paleo, primal, gluten free, (generally) allergen free, not a nightshade… You get the picture.

I was pinteresting (that’s not a word but it really should be) and smooshed several recipes together to get this, and I’ve been making it 2-3 times a month since then.

What I was looking for was an acceptable low-carb, gluten free green bean casserole to serve at gatherings and holidays, and this one is great for those, too.

It is not paleo because of the dairy,  but you can’t win them all :p

Creamy and Cheesy Green Bean Casserole

  • 2 cans french style green beans or 1 of the big cans, drained well
  • 1 can (8oz) sliced mushrooms, drained well
  • 1/2 cup sour cream (use full fat and a brand that doesn’t have a lot of chemicals added)
  • 3 Tablespoons heavy cream (or half and half, or almond milk if you like)
  • 1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese (smoked gouda works well, too)
  • sea salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
  • 4 tablespoons Kraft parmesan in the green can, yes that stuff

Mix everything except the Kraft parmesan cheese together until it’s all pretty uniform.

Spoon into a casserole and either: bake at 400f for 15 minutes until it’s all bubbly, then sprinkle the Kraft on top and cook another 5 minutes

OR: microwave, uncovered, for 3 minutes, top with the Kraft and microwave another minute until it’s all hot and bubbly.

You can probably get more than 4 servings from this, but we really love it so we only get 4 lol:

Nutrition Facts
Servings 4.0
Amount Per Serving
calories 278
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 20 g 31 %
Saturated Fat 12 g 62 %
Monounsaturated Fat 1 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0 g
Trans Fat 0 g
Cholesterol 65 mg 22 %
Sodium 1528 mg 64 %
Potassium 231 mg 7 %
Total Carbohydrate 12 g 4 %
Dietary Fiber 3 g 11 %
Sugars 4 g
Protein 13 g 26 %
Vitamin A 18 %
Vitamin C 11 %
Calcium 43 %
Iron 11 %


SoUPER Broth for Colds an Sinuses

Just a quick drive-by post.
With the cold, flu and allergy season in full swing, I keep this on hand in the freezer.

You know when you’re sick and you don’t want to eat anything? Drink this instead.

  • 1 whole chicken or parts(with bones) equal to about 3 pounds
  • cold tap water to cover chicken in a deep pot
  • 1-2 teaspoons sea salt (up to you, I use 2)
  • 1 tablespoon vinegar with the mother
  • 10 cloves garlic, peeled and bruised
  • a 2-3″ section of ginger sliced or chopped
  • 1-2 dried red chili peppers or 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes(to taste)
  • 1 tablespoon dried rosemary
  • 1 teaspoon ground thyme

Mix the vinegar and salt in the water in the pot.

Submerge the chicken and cook over low heat for 30 minutes for chicken parts or 1 hour for a whole chicken, turning the chicken over half way through the cook time.

Remove the chicken and let it cool enough to handle, then skim any scum off the broth before adding the garlic, ginger, peppers, rosemary and thyme to the broth and let it sit, off heat, until you can handle the chicken.

Once cooled, take the meat off the bones and add the bones back to the broth. Make sure it’s covered with water and bring to a simmer.

Cover and simmer for 2 hours, then strain and let cool.

Refrigerate for up to 5 days, or freeze for up to 6 months.


I always start with chicken parts instead of just bones, because I like  my broth to taste like chicken, and sometimes bones alone don’t do that.
I wrap the bones in cheesecloth to make removing them easier without having to strain the broth.

I found that these tea buddies work great for dried spices to keep them out of the finished broth. I also use them for garlic, pepper flakes, peppercorns, ginger and other loose spices for the same reason. I have tried a few brands but this one seems to work the best at keeping sediment out of the broth. And they’re great for loose teas, they hold a lot.

You can do this in an electric pressure cooker: same procedure except: place the starting ingredients in the cooker and cook under high pressure for 12 minutes, this should cook the chicken.

When you add the bones back in, high pressure for 1 hour then let it naturally release before removing the lid and cooling down.

Product Recommendation: Cut-da-Carb Flatbread and Honorable Mentions of Other Brands of Low-Carb Wraps/Tortillas/Pitas

UPDATE: I can not recommend the Cut-da-Carb Flatbread if you plan to freeze them. Even freezing them flat, with parchment paper between each bread sheet, they crumble and break upon thawing. 


Most of these are not gluten free products, sadly, but I do recommend them if a little gluten is not a problem for you.

I’ve found, for me, 1-2 servings of these a week are not a problem for my health or weight loss. If I have more than that, I can definitely tell with my fingers and ankles swelling, mild headaches and even stuffy sinuses.

I do NOT have Celiac, but I am sensitive to too much gluten, so “you do you” as the saying goes 🙂

If you’ve ever had the Lavash from Joseph’s Middle Eastern Bakery (available at walmart and Netriton.com), this is similar but even thinner.

The Cut Da Carb The Thinnest Flatbread Ever is super, paper thin, yet hearty and holds up well as a tortilla substitute, makes good baked (or microwaved) crackers, even as a dessert wrap(brush lightly with melted butter and sprinkle with sweetener and cinnamon, fill with equal parts cream cheese and sour cream beaten with a little sweetener, vanilla and berries to taste; cut the flatbread into 1/4’s, fill and roll).

I do not recommend this one for pizza, it doesn’t hold up well to heavy toppings. For Pizza, Joseph’s Lavash, Pita or Tortillas are much sturdier.

A bigger and higher fiber tortilla/wrap is Ole Extreme Wellness which you can find at walmart (by the case online at walmart.com). These are packed with a whopping 11g of fiber, making it a good choice.

I have tried many of the gluten free products, including trying to make my own. I just don’t get the right texture to call them a success.

Many gluten free products are extremely high in carbs as well.

If carbs are not a concern, I can recommend the Flatout Gluten Free Flatbread . The taste is really good, and the texture is a little bit spongy but, once baked, it firms up nicely.


Busy Week: a Quick Sweet Recipe

I wanted to take a moment to share a quick “keep on hand” sweet treat recipe.

16oz cream cheese, softened at room temp or warmed to softened in the microwave

the juice of 2 lemons and the zest of 1, you want at least 1/4 cup lemon juice

1 tablespoon, or more, sweetener of your choice dissolved in

1/4 cup milk of your choice (almond, coconut, dairy, non dairy, heavy cream, etc)

Beat the cream cheese until smooth then add everything else and mix well.

Taste and add more sweetener (or lemon) to taste.

Refrigerate until firm.

This is sort of a no-bake cheesecake, without any fuss.

I tried it with sugar free gelatin mix and I did not like the texture at all.

I’ll be back in a day or two with a real post,.

Until then: stay warm and safe!

Real Texas Chili

It’s cold here on the Texas Gulf Coast.

Do you know what that means?

Chili weather!

Ok granted, if you’re a Texan, even 100 degrees outside can  be chili weather lol.

But it’s just a lot more special when it’s cold out and we get that rare occasion to see actual snow!

Easy Home Made Texas Chili

  • 2.50 lb(s), Lean Ground Chuck
  • 1 cups, Onion
  • 1 can (1.3 cups ea.), Diced Tomatos and Green Chillis (Rotel, Hatch or Red Gold are the best)
  • 2 cans (15oz each) Canned Diced Tomatoes
  • 2 cup Tomato sauce
  • 2 cup, Beef broth
  • 3 ounces tomato paste *optional to thicken if needed
  • 1 Tbsp Hershey’s Special Dark cocoa powder (dark is best, but any cocoa powder without sugar is fine)
  • 2 tbsp, Spices, chili powder
  • 1 tsp, Ground Cumin
  • 1 tsp(s), Spices, onion powder *to taste
  • 1 tsp, Pink Sea Salt *to taste
  • 1/2 tsp Ground Black Pepper *to taste
  • 0.25 tsp (2g), Cayenne Pepper (Ground) *to taste
  • 1 tsp(s), Spices, garlic powder
  1. In a large pot, brown the ground beef, breaking it up as you go. If it’s not wanting to break up, add 1/4 cup very hot water to help break up the fat in it.
  2. Once mostly cooked, add the onions and all the seasonings. Stir over high heat for a few minutes until you smell the spices.
  3. Add the broth first and stir well to distribute the spices, then add everything else EXCEPT the tomato paste.
  4. Stir well, turn heat to low, cover and simmer for 1-2 hours to really blend and deepen the flavors.
  5. If it is thinner than you like, add a little tomato paste and simmer a few more minutes.
  6. I usually add 2-3 fresh jalapenos (remove caps without breaking open the top)to simmer with this. They break down during cooking and you can remove them whole, or break them up and eat them in the chili.
Nutrition Facts
Servings 6.0
Amount Per Serving
calories 493
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 39 g 59 %
Saturated Fat 16 g 78 %
Monounsaturated Fat 0 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0 g
Trans Fat 0 g
Cholesterol 167 mg 56 %
Sodium 1398 mg 58 %
Potassium 752 mg 21 %
Total Carbohydrate 19 g 6 %
Dietary Fiber 5 g 19 %
Sugars 9 g
Protein 51 g 103 %
Vitamin A 33 %
Vitamin C 33 %
Calcium 14 %
Iron 20 %

**Check your labels. I did the counts with generic products, but make sure you are not getting added sugar, MSG, gluten or anything else.

Some products are sneaky high in sugar!

If you want to give this a little different flavor, add some dark beer, simmer another 20 minutes, and add another tablespoon of tomato paste to thicken it up.

Ricotta and Spinach Stuffed Zucchini


Ricotta and Spinach Stuffed Zucchini

  • 10 ounces whole milk ricotta cheese
  • 2 ounces romano or parmesan cheese
  • 1 tablespoon Mrs Dash garlic and herb seasoning (or your favorite)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3 cups baby spinach
  • 2 large zucchini

Preheat oven or toaster oven to 350f.

Cut zucchini in half long ways.

Using a melon baller or carefully using a knife, hollow out each half to make “boats”.

Save the inside part for soup or something.

In a food processor, pulse the romano cheese to break up if you use a hard cheese not already grated.

Add the ricotta, eggs, and seasoning and pulse to blend.

Then add the spinach and process to incorporate it into the mixture.

Your finished filling should be pretty much all green.

Fill each zucchini boat with ¼ of the filling.

Bake at 350 for 20 minutes, or until zucchini has started to soften and the filling is hot and bubbly.

If you like, you can sprinkle mozzarella on top and bake an additional 5 minutes to melt.

Makes 4 boats.

**Note: the carbs are actually lower than this indicates because you’re removing over ½ the zucchini, but I didn’t weigh them so I have no idea how much to subtract. I’d guess since 1 medium zucchini with skin is 6g carbs and 2g fiber, you could subtract 2g carbs and be pretty close to the actual count.


***If you don’t want to fuss with the boats, slice the zucchini thinly and layer it and the filling in a greased casserole. I’d increase the eggs by 1 or 2 to get it to set more.