You CAN Eat Peanut Butter and Lose Weight! | Healthy Eating All The Time and Go Bars

Peanut butter is something that I have loved all my life, but let’s be honest when you’re on a diet and trying to lose weight peanut butter is basically one of the first things to go. At least this is the case for me. I honestly don’t remember the last time I had a good old fashion peanut butter and jelly sandwich or didn’t eat peanut butter without mourning how many Weight Watchers points and calories the small 2 tbsp serving ended up being. I pretty much resigned myself to a life without peanut butter unless it was powdered PB (While it gets the job done, it in no way compares to the real deal). Sad day.

You guys all know I love my bars. Quest Bars, No Cow Bars, Dive Bars, and everything in between. Especially when I’m pressed for time, there is something wonderful about having my nutrients all packed into one little portable bar. As per usual, when I discover new brands of bars, I have to give them a try. I’ve seen this brand on Instagram for quite some time now, with many Weight Watchers and healthy lifestyle accounts posting photo after photo, raving about this delicious bar. I finally decided I had to give them a try. 

I ended up with the complete Healthy Eating All The Time and Go (which I will from this point forward call HEAT bars for the sake of length) collection, both purchased by me and sent to me by the owner of the company.  Once I sat down and calculated the Points for all of the bars, which ranged from 6-8sp and 4-6pp, I opened up the one that seemed to be the most popular (cranberry peanut butter granola) and took a bite. 

..and then I died and went to a peanut butter filled Heaven.

I’m not even joking. This bar, which is only 4 PP (I’m currently following the old WW plan), was a delicious mouthful of REAL peanut butter flavor. It was the most delicious bar I had ever bitten into, and I’m not exaggerating. 

Wholesome, REAL Ingredients

Let’s talk about the ingredients for just a second. In a world of processed food that contains ingredients that sound anything but natural, the ingredients in HEAT bars are plain and simple: things like oats, natural peanut butter, sunflower seeds, coconut flakes, almonds, honey, chia seeds, pumpkin seeds, dried apple, and the occasional 60% cacao chip or whey protein. Clean, whole ingredients that are easy to read and more importantly, are easy on the body. In a world of sugar alcohols and artificial everything, this was a very welcome change.  Read more

Smart Sweets Gummy Bears

 

Gummy Bears are a classic when it comes to candy. These tiny little guys will bring a smile to your face and joy to your taste buds.  However, for those of us trying to lessen our sugar intake, gummy bears aren’t always something we can enjoy. Until now.

Did you know there is a gummy bear out there that is fruity, chewy, and delightful that contains only 3g of sugar per serving?? It’s true! They’re called Smart Sweets, and they’re most definitely the smarter way to enjoy gummy bears. 

What Are Smart Sweets?

Smart Sweets gummy bears offer all of the joys of eating this tasty, fun treat without all of the crazy sugar that gummy bears typically come with. While they aren’t completely sugar-free, they contain a whopping 3g of sugar per bag. While this would normally be alarming, fear not! They don’t contain any sugar alcohols or artificial sweeteners either! *happy dance*

Smart Sweets are sweetened with plant-based, non-GMO stevia.  This means that there shouldn’t be any icky side effects in your digestive system because of artificial sweeteners. I mean, have you seen the reviews for Haribo sugar-free gummy bears on Amazon? It’s hilarious to read, but absolutely NOT hilarious to experience. You see, those are sweetened with the sugar alcohol maltitol, which can cause major issues for a lot of people. Thankfully, Smart Sweets has nothing like that in their ingredients list, making them an ideal candy substitute. 

Ready for another nutritional bonus of Smart Sweets? 28 g of dietary fiber! Read more

How To Follow Weight Watchers Points Plus In A Smart Points World

As you may or may not know, at the beginning of April I switched from Weight Watchers Freestyle back to Weight Watchers Points Plus. While I have a love for the Freestyle program, and I understand that WW is trying to encourage an overall healthy, maintainable lifestyle, the truth is I wasn’t losing weight on the Freestyle plan. My feelings for Freestyle haven’t changed, but I felt that the switch back to Points Plus was the right move for me because I had already had success on that plan previously. While Freestyle isn’t right for my body to lose weight, I feel it is the perfect plan for weight maintenance.  Ultimately, it’s up to me to make the choices that are right for me, so Freestyle is taking a back seat to good old Points Plus for now. 

Once I announced I was switching back, questions came pouring in about how I was following Points Plus when the WW app doesn’t have that option.  I ultimately put together a video for my YouTube channel that explains everything, and I decided to post it here on the blog as well since the video will explain it in less time than writing everything out would. 

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Saying Farewell To Freestyle… For Now…

I know. This title is probably shocking to all of you. I’m saying farewell to Weight Watchers Freestyle?  It’s true, and while part of me is a little sad about it, I’m not actually abandoning Weight Watchers, but just the current plan. Allow me to explain. 

I love everything about Freestyle except one little detail: I’m not really losing weight! As an experiment, I took the season of Lent as an opportunity to step away from the scale and to focus on what I’m putting into my body more than the number on the scale. Healthy living is not always about the number, and I needed to regain sight of that. So for 47 days, I didn’t weigh myself. Instead, I focused on eating the right foods and staying on track. I had a few indulgences and a few days where I consumed a little bit more than I would have liked, but I tracked everything and in those 7 weeks I didn’t go over my weekly Smart Points allowance once. Not a single time! This means I stayed on track and balanced throughout the entire Lenten season.  I was really proud of this, and I was certain the scale would reflect my almost 7 weeks of effort and focus. Then I stepped on the scale on Easter morning… Read more

10 Tips To Help You Bounce Back After A Gain

We’ve all been there. It’s weigh-in day, we get on the scale thinking thin thoughts, fingers and toes crossed that the number goes down, and while we can hope all we want the scale does the exact opposite and decides to tell us we gained weight this week. It’s happened to every single one of us. Trust me, you’re not alone.   This happened to me not too long ago, and it got me thinking about what I can change and do right now to help make sure the following week wouldn’t have the same result. I ended up coming up with 10 things to do to help me (and you) bounce back after we see a gain on the scale. 

 #1: Assess What Happened

The first thing you need to do is reflect on the week and figure out exactly what happened to cause your gain. Of course, there are some cases where a gain happens despite the fact we did everything “right” all week long. Perhaps we had a little too much sodium or hormones are messing with us. These situations are unavoidable and will sometimes result in a gain despite our best efforts, but these tend to be the exception when it comes to seeing a gain, not necessarily the rule. Odds are we can find something that happened in the past week that might have helped the scale out a bit. Maybe we didn’t track a whole lot of BLTs (bites, licks, and tastes), which would have added up, or maybe it was not tracking entire meals that contained Smart Points, which I know I’m guilty of.  Did you eat different, less nutrient dense foods? Is working out typically a part of a week resulting in a loss and you didn’t move as much? Just check in and see if you can figure out what happened. Then think about what you can do to turn it around.

#2: Take An Emotional Inventory

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9 Weight Watchers Instagram Accounts You Should Follow

 

I love Instagram. I spend a lot more time on there than I really should on a daily basis. While there are plenty of Weight Watchers related blogs and Youtube channels out there, Instagram actually has it’s very own WW community filled with members that aren’t necessarily blogging or making YouTube videos. While I’m on IG to help grow my own following, I love following, engaging with, and becoming friends with fellow members of the Instagram community.  While there are a ton of great accounts out there, I wanted to share a few of my favorites with you. If you’re not following them, you should be! 

9 Weight Watchers Instagram Accounts You Should Be Following

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My Top 10 Weight Watchers Friendly Items @ Trader Joe’s

Trader Joe’s ranks pretty high up there on most people’s list of favorite grocery stores, and I’m no different. I often say that Trader Joe’s is my happy place. There are so many food offerings at decent prices for the outstanding quality you get. Often times they also have unique food options, which makes going to Trader Joe’s more fun than just heading to the Walmart down the road.

While Trader Joe’s had amazing food selections across the board, what I am most pleased with is how many items I find on Trader Joe’s shelves that are Weight Watchers friendly. I have an entire list of favorite things that I am sure to purchase pretty much every time I’m in that store. Since the rollout of WW Freestyle, a handful of my favorite items have decreased in Smart Points value, making it even more amazing than before.

Here are my top 10 Weight Watchers friendly items from Trader Joe’s.

Everything but the Bagel Seasoning:
If you shop at Trader Joe’s odds are you have tried this miracle spice given to us by the TJ’s gods. This magic creation adds everything bagel flavor to anything you put it on. Since I’m someone who has never eaten (more wanted to) an everything bagel in her life, I was skeptical as to if I’d like it, but since it was all the rage, I figured I’d give it a try. I am HOOKED. This blend of sesame and poppy seeds, garlic, onion, and sea salt adds an incredible flavor to pretty much anything. I use it in my eggs, my mac n cheese, on top of roasted squash, and anything that needs some extra flare. It takes things to a whole new level and I’m utterly obsessed. For 0 smart points and at only $1.99, I restock several bottles at a time because this is something my pantry will never be without. Read more

That Time When Eating Got Easier

I wasn’t entirely sure how to title this, but I wanted to sit down and write about it anyway.  While this isn’t a weight loss tips, tricks, or advice post, it still involves my weight loss journey in a very major way. I just have no way to explain or classify it.

Eating magically got easier 

The past few weeks I have experienced this weird phenomenon where my appetite has seemed to disappear. Out of nowhere, I have noticed that I’m no longer craving sweet things (I will sing a loud Hallelujah to that!), and in general, I don’t really have the desire to eat much anymore.  Before any of you panic, don’t worry. I am most definitely not starving myself.  I’m making sure I eat enough and supplementing plenty with protein bars, but I legitimately don’t have the desire to run to the pantry or fridge and hunt down something to eat.

Okay, let me modify that a little bit. I do in fact give in to the urge to go to the pantry and fridge and browse for something to eat, but after looking around for 15 seconds, I see nothing that jumps out at me as something I want, so I close the door and walk away empty handed.  That’s the significant detail here.  Nothing is sparking my interest enough to motivate me to make a poor choice. 

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5 Weight Watchers Smart Points Pumpkin Spice Overnight Oats

Pumpkin Spice!  Pumpkin Spice is EVERYWHERE!

Pumpkin spice season is here, and with it comes a ton of grocery store finds and pumpkin recipes popping up everywhere.  This year I have been so intrigued by the overnight oats train that everyone seems to be a part of, I wanted to combine the two and come up with some pumpkin oats that are Weight Watchers friendly.  

After exploring some basic overnight oats recipes to understand things like the oats to liquid ratio and the general idea of how to build an overnight oats recipe, I finally came up with one that I love, and have made many times this year already.  It has several ingredients for flavor: cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice, vanilla, stevia, and even sugar-free maple syrup (game changer). While it seems a tad elaborate, the flavor this mixture brings promises to start your brisk fall morning with a filling breakfast that screams “it’s fall! Hooray!!”

A few things to note:

  • I tend to make this in batches, so I’ll fill 4 or 5 Mason Jars at a time.  Even if they are sitting in the refrigerator for a few days, they still taste great.  It just lets the flavors blend even more
  • There’s no rule that says you have to eat them heated up. It’s just how I prefer to consume my oats.
  • I use cinnamon crunch Quest protein powder, but you can use other flavors like vanilla or salted caramel.
  • You can also use other brands of protein powder if you wish, but changing the brand might change the Smart Points value of your oats.  Adjust your tracking accordingly.   

That’s it!  I hope you enjoy my recipe 🙂 

5 SP Pumpkin Spice Protein Overnight Oats
Serves 1
Overnight oats are a great way to get your mornings started off on the right track by making your breakfast ahead of time. These Pumpkin Spice oats are filled with protein to keep you full, and are only 5 Weight Watchers Smart Points.
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Prep Time
10 min
Prep Time
10 min
Ingredients
  1. 1/2 C Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Milk (0 sp)
  2. 1/2 C Old Fashioned Oats (4 sp)
  3. 1/2 C Canned Pumpkin (NOT pumpkin pie filling) (0 sp)
  4. 1 Scoop Quest Protein Powder (I use Cinnamon Crunch, but I imagine vanilla or salted caramel would work well too)(1 sp)
  5. 1 Tsp Pumpkin Pie Spice (0 sp)
  6. 1 Tsp Cinnamon (0 sp)
  7. 1 0 Calorie Sweetener Packet (I use Stevia)(0 sp)
  8. 1 Tbsp Sugar Free Maple Syrup (0 sp) *This makes it a bit creamier and oh so good*
  9. Vanilla to taste (0 sp)
  10. A Mason Jar (or some other container to store it in)
Instructions
  1. Mix everything together and put in container (It's really that easy)
  2. Let container sit in refrigerator overnight (Note: I actually make several jars at once, so some sit for a few days. It's totally fine.
  3. Remove lid and microwave oats until they reach your desired temperature, stirring occasionally (I typically microwave for a minute a time, stirring after each one. 3 minutes usually does the trick)
  4. Sit down with your cup of coffee or tea and enjoy a protein packed breakfast that brings fall to your table.
Notes
  1. Tip: While it really is as simple as mixing everything together, I have found it easiest to mix things outside the jar (in a bowl), starting with the almond milk and pumpkin first and adding the oats last. This makes sure the protein powder and spices are mixed thoroughly and evenly throughout.
Diva and the Divine http://divaandthedivine.com/

45 Ways To Reward Yourself Without Food

I’m not going to lie to you.  I love earning rewards. I am most definitely motivated to get things done by the fact I know there is a special treat waiting for me at the finish line.  It doesn’t matter if the task is getting a blog post up, getting the house cleaning done, or hitting another 5 lbs lost, I will always do a better and more efficient job with my tasks if I know there is something I’m working toward.  I know, getting the thing done should be reward enough, but I’m a huge sucker for positive reinforcement, and lately, I’ll do anything to help me avoid procrastination and get things done.  
 
If you know me, you know that weight loss is one of my long-term, big deal goals.  For many people (myself included) it isn’t uncommon to have the reward for a job well done be a food related treat.  While this is great in theory (and some days it’s totally worth it), when one of your major goals is weight loss and healthy living, rewarding yourself with food is as counterproductive as it gets.  If you reward yourself with a big old piece of cake and ice cream for seeing a loss on the scale this week… it just doesn’t make sense!  That being said, I want to have plenty of options for how to reward myself without adding to my calorie intake, so I came up with a whole list of ways to treat yourself without food.  
 

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