Archives For health

my short hair

Time to examine my thoughts on my experiment with Weight Watchers 360, the online version of Weight Watchers. First of all, I want to stress that this is my opinion. While the site and the mobile apps had interesting and useful features, I just did not use them very much and I never felt like I enjoyed the online community.

For example, I had a lot of trouble finding all my foods in the online food tracker and I rarely could get the barcode scanner to scan my stuff.  I also joined a group in the community, yet never got more than one message from the group. I think I was supposed to visit the group site more and chat up people. I am just too introverted and busy to mess with that.

As I am already on the computer as a blogger and involved in forums, I suspect I personally need to get away from the computer and spending time online in order to really change my lifestyle. As I mentioned in Day 7 of my Weight Watchers Diary, I feel like using the fitbit to keep you honest about your true exercise habits and being more active on a daily basis will help me more than just watching my food intake and changing some habits. All of those together of course, are great, but I already know much of what WW 360 is telling me, I am just not DOING the things. I did just notice that Weight Watchers looks like they are promoting a new item that will track your movements, called the activelink. Interesting. I may have tried the Weight Watchers 360 too early.

Anyway, if you are interested in using Weight Watchers and Weight Watchers online, I really recommend doing a trial of the online version but also visiting a local weight watchers group. You can see if you really need to be in a physical group for support or if the online fits your lifestyle. You can also do both an online and local support group at the same time, and the cost varies depending on what you choose.

I do like the Weight Watchers magazine, so I ordered that. I like the recipes and the how to prepare food videos that are available on the ipad app, that is part of the WW 360.

So, I guess my final thoughts on this are that they do have some really useful information, especially on how to prepare food in a healthy manner and how to make changes in your habits. Yet, I did not feel supported by the online forums and I didn’t love the food tracking app available for smartphones.

In the end, I think Weight Watchers 360 has lots of good information and decent apps, but I need more live accountability, myself.

Right now, there is a two week risk free trial showing up on the Weight Watchers site. So, now would be a decent time to try and see what you think!!

*I received a complimentary 3 month subscription to Weight Watchers Online.“People following the Weight Watchers plan can expect to lose 1-2 pounds per week.”

Weight Watchers Diary Day 7

Heather —  February 6, 2013
food, cake, family birthday, butternut squash, snacks

The past few days have been a weird mix of doing well and totally failing!


Weight Watchers Diary — Login Day 7

Well, I have been doing pretty awful on my Weight Watchers challenge. I have been relying on the Weight Watchers mobile app, and that just isn’t helping me stay on track. It did not help that in the past few days, we had the SuperBowl and a family birthday.. Those two events ruined my plans to be cautious with eating.

On the bright side, prior to the SuperBowl and making a (fantastic) Ina Garten Carrot Cake, I did make a really good roasted butternut squash and parsnip casserole. It was very low in points due to the vegetables, and I was proud I tried parsnips.

Overall, though, once you have an IPA, your food budget is pretty shot. The day after, I also talked to a friend who uses a FitBit and swears that is a great item, so I am going to look into that. I need to increase activity. I know I cannot just count on reducing calories to get fit again. I am in my {ahem} 40’s, and accidental calories really count these days.

So, to help succeed the rest of this week, I plan to

  • login to the Weight Watchers online–no use counting on the app, I need more support, maybe some chat?
  • add some activity. Anything is something
  • think about going to a WW meeting. I’m not super thrilled with this online stuff. I like the recipes and knowing the points and serving sizes but that’s not stopping me from overindulging.
  • Read up on the FitBit

Anyone have any ideas? Thanks!

“I received a trial of the Weight Watchers 360 program to facilitate this review.” “People following the Weight Watchers plan can expect to lose 1-2 pounds per week.”

Weight Watchers Diary Day 2

Heather —  January 31, 2013
weight watchers 360 app

Getting used to planning what I will eat


Weight Watchers Dairy — Login Day 2

Well, today was my true kick –off day! I was ready, after trying out the Weight Watchers 360 and the app last night. So far today, I am doing super well.

At 8 am, I was a bit shocked to realize my “bit” of milk in my coffee was actually a ¼ cup of milk and worth 1 point. I often have about 4 cups of coffee throughout the day, so there’s a cup of milk. I had a few light bulb moments like this as the day went on.

I did sit each time, while eating. I KNOW this will help me, because I am bad about eating little bits while fixing the kids meals. This way, nothing goes in my mouth unless I am sitting (except water/coffee!) I do better choosing all or nothing goals like this.

I had one frustration today.  I hate to be a Debbie Downer but I want to be brutally honest so others can see this from all angles. My frustration was with the barcode scanner. Many of my foods were not recognized by the scanner.

I have used My Fitness Pal before and I liked that scanner. For now, I figure it may be user error and I will keep at it, but I want to be able to scan and enter bar codes, not figure out every detail of a food myself. Even for some Natura Cabernet Sauvingnon…I could not find any calorie information even on the Natura website. I have not asked for help on the forum, so I should probably do that.

I guess my biggest wish right now would be that I could scan everything more easily. I’m about to make some homemade chili and I want my true calories not what someone else thinks may be in this. Hmmmm. This will take a bit of time.

But, nevertheless, I sit here today knowing I have eaten less and been more aware of my intake. I also did some cleaning, so a grabbed 1 extra weight watchers point for that. Tomorrow I hit the new Kinnect exercise video I got for Christmas.

I also got some things at the store to try a new recipe. This was a featured recipe on the app and is only 1 point!

weight watchers 360

weight watchers featured recipe

Another plus is that my children are watching and becoming more aware of portion sizes. I have always taught them that, but it is true that they learn what they see me do…not always the same as what I say.

“I received a trial of the WW online program to facilitate my review.” “People following the Weight Watchers plan can expect to lose 1-2 pounds per week.”

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Weight Watchers Diary

Heather —  January 30, 2013
weight watchers online community profile

all set up!

So…my blog is looking so empty lately! I made a decision back in late Fall to pay attention to mainly the holidays and my family, rather than mess around with the blog.

I do love sharing things when I hear about great educational tools, or super deals, or a neat new organic product…but my family was missing me. So, I had a fantastic holiday season, and posted all my opinions and deals on facebook, then sat back and wondered what I wanted to do with this blog. Honestly, I am still not sure. BUT, I do want to share more about healthy living, from organic eating, to making sure our children are protected from environmental toxins, to just being fit through exercise. So, I will be making sure that things I post on the site are worthy for that end goal.

I also want to take care of myself better. And I have zero discipline apparently. Enter Weight Watchers.

Weight Watchers Login, Day 1 (1/30/13)

Put starting off all day. I wanted to start when I felt rested, relaxed.  To start on a day when I had already eaten perfectly and exercised. Finally, at about 8 pm, I just grabbed computer and started, no really good time to do this.

When I first logged on to Weight Watchers (WW) online, my browser made it impossible to upload a photo for my profile. This made me so frustrated. I actually thought about crying for a minute. Then, I got a grip and I changed from Firefox to Chrome and got a picture uploaded. I hate looking at those grey shadow boxes.

Well, that done, I logged in all my personal information, weight, and got all set up. A mediator for the site welcomed me, which was nice, but I still felt overwhelmed. There were so many places to begin!

I began to read some of the stories and articles. I watched a few “how to” videos on how to use the point system. I really liked the portions of the site that gave me great big visuals. (lame, I know) but I felt more relaxed choosing to add a new “routine card” to my file than reading about routines. I immediately chose three routines that I know I need:

  • To eat breakfast
  • To eat at a table (yes, I like to eat and blog) GASP
  • To eat free of distractions, Yes, no more eating while I feed the kids or clean the kitchen.

The first goal the site gave me for actual target weight loss is to lose 9 pounds at a rate of ½ to 2 pounds per week. Not sure why the site chose that, I’m sure I will figure this out as I go.

After all that, I uploaded the Weight Watchers mobile app and the barcode scanning app. You can download lite versions of these free, by the way.

I wanted to share about this on the blog, in the hopes that someone finds it at least interesting, if not helpful. I did get a free three month subscription to the online Weight Watchers tools in return for posting once in a while. I plan to post very often, mainly in dairy, journal form, because this is easy for me.

So, let me know if you are on any similar healthy journeys, whether eating organic or starting an exercise program or losing weight with a particular program. If you’re on Weight Watchers, comment and I’ll look for you in the online community.

Well, let me know if anyone has any questions about how this all works as I go, I am excited. I just decided this because there is actually a group doing this: my goal is to lose 26 pounds by July 4th.

*I received a complimentary 3 month subscription to Weight Watchers Online. “People following the Weight Watchers plan can expect to lose 1-2 pounds per week.”


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Applegate Natural Deli Meats

Heather —  October 25, 2012


I recently sampled Applegate natural deli meats through Moms Meet.  

 Ordinarily I really try to stick with purely organic meats, and I was familiar with Applegates organic line. I do feel that Applegate has an understanding of healthful practices I care about and I was interested in the lower price point, so I tried their Natural Roast Beef, Smoked Turkey and Roasted Turkey.

12574I was most impressed with the Roast Beef. I thought that was delicious. The meat had good flavor and texture and was sliced a bit thick compared to what I ask for at the deli (a more slivered cut), still for the roast beef I liked the thicker cut. One slice was perfect for a sandwich. The kids also loved the roast beef. It was moist, but not wet and had little fat.

With the Natural Honey and Maple Turkey, I liked the flavors very much, but I didn’t like the thickness of the slice. I really like turkey sliced very thin. The turkey texture seemed too moist for me and the one package had a vein running through it that ruined that package for me. I just pulled all that off and used the other half. Sometimes, that happens with deli meats, but I usually ask the slicer and if the meat is not nice, I’ll try a different one. I do think this was random, because another package I got was fine. Next time, I will check the packaging more thoroughly.

I also have purchased the pepperoni and I like that one very much. The flavor is good and the size is perfect to make a pizza or two.

The price point runs about $3.99 to 5.99 at my stores and I think these are a good buy for my family as I trust this brand more than others when it comes down to being free of nitrates, nitrites, and other artificial ingredients, and of course, without antibiotics.

My daughter and I love having lettuce wraps with Applegate Turkey slices, carrots and cheese, dipped in a bit of blue cheese dressing. I feel that a slice of deli meat is a great source of protein in the middle of the day for all of us.

In fact, one day, while running errands, we realized we had forgotten to eat. I was near our local coop store, so we ran in and grabbed a bag of Applegate roast beef and the kids and I ate that in the car. We felt much better and I was glad to have that healthy option for a quick bite.

Guess what? I get to offer a giveaway of Applegate product for two readers thanks to Applegate and Moms Meet!

To enter, visit and then come back here and leave me a comment about something you learned on their site.

(The giveaway will end on October 31, 2012. Two commenters will be chosen via, limited to U.S. residents only)

Find out more about Applegate online: and

Curious about Moms Meet? Visit their website at

“I received this product for free from the sponsor of the Moms MeetSM program, May Media Group LLC, who received it directly from the manufacturer. As a Moms MeetSM blogger, I agreed to use this product and post my opinion on my blog. My opinions do not necessarily reflect the opinions of May Media Group LLC or the manufacturer of the product.”

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Yoplait and Weight Watchers

Heather —  October 24, 2012


Did you know that Yoplait is the only yogurt endorsed by Weight Watchers®? Yoplait Light and Yoplait Greek 100 now offer 20 Delicious Flavors for only 2 Weight Watchers® PointsPlus®value each.

  • Yoplait is the only yogurt endorsed by Weight Watchers®
  • Yoplait Light and Yoplait Greek 100 offer 20 Delicious Flavors for only 2 Weight Watchers® PointsPlus ®value each

Yoplait Weight Watcher gift pack

Enter to Win a gift pack!

  • Yoplait Light VIP coupon*
  • Yoplait Greek 100 VIP coupon*
  • Yoga ball 
  • Water bottle
  • Work-out towel

*The coupon offer for Yoplait yogurt is not valid in some states, including Louisiana, Nevada, New Jersey, North Dakota and Tennesse

 I am having trouble with html tonight, so to enter, please just leave a comment. I will choose a winner on 10/31/12.

“Disclosure:  The product, gift pack, information, and additional sample have been provided by Yoplait through MyBlogSpark.”

From Dad’s Desk:

I am the son of a dentist and brother of a hygienist.  Good Oral hygiene has been a part of my life from day one.  Before using the Oral-B Professional Care SmartSeries 5000 with SmartGuide, I was using an Oral-B toothbrush with soft bristles.  How would the switch from a manual to a power toothbrush go?  Each package contains a handle, a wireless SmartGuide, a charger, a base station, a floss-action brush head, and a handy travel case.


Package from Oral-B

After opening the box and examining the contents, it was time to take this toothbrush for a spin.  This toothbrush by Oral-B provides their most advanced cleaning technology for ultimate plaque removal.  The accompanying wireless SmartGuide provides real-time feedback for how you are brushing.  It shows which of the four custom brushing modes you chose (daily clean, whitening, sensitive, or massage and deep clean).  It also times how long you are brushing in each quadrant (upper/lower, right/left) of your mouth.

I brush my teeth at least 2 times a day, and each year I get two teeth cleanings/dental check-ups.  I have not had any issues with either my teeth or gums for decades.  One of the biggest challenges I face is how to keep that “just cleaned” feeling after leaving the dentist’s office.  It seems like that first snack or meal “coats” your teeth despite regular brushing and flossing.  Well, with my first use of this power toothbrush my teeth felt super clean–like I just left the dentist’s chair clean.  The 40,000 pulsations and 8,000 oscillations per minute helped to really attack the plaque.  With those numbers you have the potential to prevent or even reverse gingivitis (gum disease).  The design of the brush head causes each tooth to be surrounded for a tooth-by-tooth clean.  For the first two days I alternated between my manual brush and the Oral-B Professional Care SmartSeries 5000.  Consistently, the clean I felt after using the power toothbrush was better and lasted longer.

So, I have officially switched over.  And you can too.  For a limited time, Oral-B is even offering a $10 mail-in coupon on some of its models.  But this offer only lasts until June 16, 2012.



“I wrote this review while participating in a blog tour by Dad Central Consulting on behalf of Oral-B and received a product sample to facilitate my review and a promotional item to thank me for taking the time to participate.”

Are you trying to eat more healthy these days? I went gluten free this past June. Between eating whole foods and making that change, I feel great. I think real food tastes incredible!

When my sister went gluten free recently and she was worried about making changes and not being able to eat her favorite comfort snack foods of chips and salsa. I told her no worries! Take a look at all the options at Wholly Guacamole and Wholly Salsa along with Garden of Eatin’ chips!

I think they are delicious and a super fast and perfect appetizer for company. I just found out you can even freeze their organic guacamole packs, so I can hide a couple in the freezer.

This past weekend, my in-laws flew in for a quick visit and really enjoyed the Wholly Guacamole, Wholly Salsa and Garden of Eatin’ Blue tortilla chips. I liked being able to share in the appetizers as everything was gf. So…my kids like it, I like …and my in-laws like it…and it is nutritious, with many gluten free and even some organic options. I especially like their little 100 calorie snack packs of guacamole–that saves us from wasting any and I can toss them in lunches.

My favorite? The Blue tortilla chips from Garden of Eatin’ paired with the Wholly Guacamole Pico de Gallo.  (My FIL thought that was homemade:)

Little healthy changes can add up and make a big difference and with snacks like these, you won’t be missing anything!

See Wholly Guacamole’s website:, for recipes, newsletter, coupons and more. Take a look at their FAQ page. This stuff is healthy for so many reasons. You can also “like” the Wholly Guacamole Facebook page at: (they often have contests and coupons!)

Love chips? Then you’ll adore gluten free, GMO free and organic chips. Visit Garden of Eatin’ website:, for recipes, newsletter and online store. The chips are so crunchy and tasty.

Are you into social media? You can even find your favorite snacks on twitter and Pinterest!

  • WG Twitter: @eatwholly
  • WG Pinterest: Wholly Guacamole

Get Some! Monday, February 27-March 2

Go to the Wholly Guacamole Facebook page and print an exclusive coupon for both!
Coupon offer: Buy one Wholly Guacamole® product and one Garden of Eatin’® product and get a dollar off both! ($2/2)

Win Some!

Win a Wholly Guacamole and Garden of Eatin’ Prize Pack right here. Includes:

  • Free and BOGO Wholly Guacamole product coupons
  • 2 Garden of Eatin’ product coupons
  • Wholly Guacamole chip clip and other fun goodies

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