Finally, an all natural alternative to chips that actually taste good!

I love potatoes, all kinds, shapes, sizes and preparations of potatoes.   If I suddenly woke up and found myself allergic to spuds I don’t know what I would do.  I seriously doubt I  could survive without some type of potato in my life.  I sound a bit melodramatic I know, but I seriously love potatoes.  They are my ultimate comfort food.  Some people go for mac & cheese, but I would take a big mound of mashers any day.  My obsession with potatoes has gone so far as to crush up potato chips and sprinkle them on chocolate ice cream.  Don’t knock it until you’ve tried it.  It’s the ultimate sweet and salty combo, but I digress.

Have you heard about Popchips?  I had seen a huge bag at my local Costco, but was not willing to buy a ginormous bag of something I had never even tried before and I would always forget to look for them in the grocery store.  Lucky for me they were a key sponsor at Fitbloggin’11.  Wow!  What a great alternative to your standard potato chip.  None of the grease of kettle chips and way more flavor than the baked kind.    I sampled the original, sour cream & onion, cheddar potato and sea salt & vinegar.  The sea salt & vinegar was my favorite by far.  They also offer barbecue, salt & pepper and parmesan garlic.   Needless to say I bought the ginormous bag at Costco the last time I shopped.  I really can’t wait to try the parmesan garlic variety.

Popchips are an all-natural chip.  They are not fried or baked.  They use a pressure/heat process to “pop” the potatoes.  The texture reminds me of Munchos, but the flavor is so much better and they don’t have any of that artificial crap.  They are just this great little vehicle for all your favorite toppings.   My sister’s family was in a few weeks ago and they were a huge hit.  I put them out with cheese slices, salsa, guacamole and onion dip.  I really think the sky is the limit for the original/plain flavor.  The chip itself is super sturdy so you could lay them out and top them as quick finger snacks at a party.

The single serving bags  contain about 18 chips and have 100 calories, 3.5 g of fat, no cholesterol, 16g carbs, 1g fiber and 1g of protein.  The sodium content varies by flavor but rages from 210mg to 240mg.   Each bag is 3 WW+ points.

So I’m curious, have you tried Popchips?  What’s your favorite flavor and your favorite way to top them?

Fine print:  Popchips has agreed to send me a free sample case in exchange for writing this blog.  That being said, I think you all know me well enough to know that if I didn’t really love them I would not write about them. 

Kiwifruit….who knew?

I was logging my weekly weight on Weight Watchers this morning (3 pound loss…thank you very much!) and I saw they had an article on kiwifruit.  Last week I went to Costco and bought way too may kiwis so I am desperate for ideas.  I was surprised by the stats.  Did you know that kiwifruit only has 56 calories per large fruit and is packed with vitamins C and E and loaded with potassium?  I guess I never really thought about it.  I was most surprised to learn that the skin, once washed, is edible as well.  Personally, I don’t think I’ll ever acquire a taste for the rough fuzzy skin, but good to know.

Kiwi’s are best when they start to soften.  You can leave them on your counter for up to 5 days to ripen, but then it is best to store them in a plastic bag in your chill chest.  They will last up to 2 weeks in there.  I could not believe how many uses they have.  The enzymes found in a kiwi act as a natural meat ternderizer, so remember that the next time you are smothering your favorite animal flesh with chemical tenderizer.  🙂

At this point I have so many, I’ve just been adding one to my morning GNC Lean Shake protein smoothie, but I’m excited to try some more adventurous options as well.  Weight Watchers has some great ideas so be sure to check them out.  I’ve created my own variation from their No Bake Fruit Tart recipe.  WW version has 4 points and mine only has 2.  I hope you enjoy it and let me know how it goes.

2 Point No Bake Fruit Tart
serves 2

2 whole graham cracker rectangles (that’s 8 smaller rectangles)
1 Tbls apple juice
1 large kiwifruit
4 strawberries
1 peach
1/4 cup blueberries

Pulverize the graham crackers into a fine crumb and add the apple juice.  Find a tin can out of your recycling and clean it really good after removing the top and bottom.  Use the can as a mold for the crumb base.  Press 1/2 of the crumb mixture into the can and press to compact.  Once you have made the base remove the can. 

Peel the kiwi and peach, hull and wash the strawberries and wash the blueberries.  Slice the kiwi, peach and strawberries into thin slices.  Layer the fruit over the base.  I think this order works best:

Kiwi on the bottom
Strawberries next
Peach on top of the strawberries
Blueberries on the top

I suppose you could add a small amount of whipped cream, but remember that adds calories, fat and POINTS. 

Enjoy and let me know how you love it!

Welcome Back

I feel like a bit of an imposter.  I haven’t written in so long and Fitbloggin is less than a month from now.  I want to write more, but I just haven’t felt like I had anything worthy to write about.  The past three months have been a rollercoaster ride for me, personally and professionally.  Mentally I am all over the place.  Bottom line…I lost faith in myself and I stopped believing I could reach my goals.  None of those things make for a very inspirational read.

I have to start over.  I don’t mean that I’ve gained all 40 lbs back and I don’t mean that I’ve stopped exercising, but I need to look at this differently.  This was supposed to be a healthy lifestyle change and it became a constant battle with the scale and I when I didn’t see the results I wanted I sank back into eating to make myself feel better which just made matters worse.  I pulled away from my friends and just wanted to stay home and feel sorry for myself.  Pathetic, I know.

So I need to pick myself up and dust myself off.  I need to focus on making better choices and not letting my inner critic rule my life.  I had a very successful week with my weight watchers and the gym.  I logged every bite and made it to the gym four times.  The results….a three pound weight loss and a much needed ego boost. 

So let’s consider this week #1 back on the plan.  These are my 4 goals this week:

1.  Log food each day
2.  Exercise on Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday
3.  Wake at 6:30 each day and eat breakfast at home…no rushing out the door
4.  I have two dinners this week so I need to make good healthy choices

Oh, I almost forgot ….I ran my first official 5k.  I completed it in just under 41 minutes.   Yay me!

Weight Watcher Wednesday – Mindful Eating

I said that Wednesdays were going to be when I talked about how Weight Watchers is helping me, so here it goes.  My name is Carrie and I’m a food addict.  No kidding.  What I’ve learned in the past three weeks is that I have very little control over my eating.  Sometimes I eat out of boredom, sometimes for stress and sometimes it’s just because I like the way something tastes.  I don’t even really think about eating.  That’s just scary.  Weight Watchers has made me super aware of the fact that I eat mindlessly.  Food is not nourishment first for me, it’s comfort first, at least it was in the past.

I’ve been logging my food for at least two years, but the points system really makes me see how the food I was eating was high in fat and low in nutritional content.  Just because something is low in calories doesn’t mean it’s good for you.  I know that seems like common sense, but in today’s world of 100 calorie packs, it makes it very easy to justify eating 4 of those packs over the course of the day and that can add up.  I was so focused on pre-portioned foods that when I tried self-control without them….up went my weight.

I honestly think this is because I wasn’t being mindful of my choices.  I wasn’t looking at how nutritious something was and how filling something would be.  If I had a choice between a 100 calorie pack of cookies or a bag of carrots, I picked the cookies and then I was hungry an hour later.  Now I know the carrots would have been much more filling and much healthier.  Again, I know this sounds like common sense, but when you have an enormous sweet tooth, common sense takes a giant leap out of the window.   

So my first “aha moment” on Weight Watchers is that I need to learn a little more about the practice of mindful eating.  I need to respect myself and food if I want to achieve my goal weight and live a long and healthy life.