Healthy Snack Ideas (Weight Watchers Friendly)
Jan18

Healthy Snack Ideas (Weight Watchers Friendly)

My girlfriend asked me for healthy snack ideas, so I quickly threw together this list… and I thought you all might find it helpful too! (Well… do you? Please pin it, share it, and leave a comment below!) Remember the old diet myth that you should have three meals a day and no snacks in-between? Well, that is total and absolute nonsense! You should make sure to eat something every two to three hours and NEVER let yourself get to that point of being so hungry that the best goals and intentions fly out the window.  The key is to learn the difference between a snack and a “treat”. A snack tides you over to the next meal and is healthy and balanced. A treat is… well, you know… a “treat”. When you have a choice, always choose fresh, natural, unprocessed snacks (and food)… but I’m including other options for when you can’t get to fresh. And always try to include some protein which will keep you feeling satisfied for longer. Check labels for sugar and avoid ingredients that you can’t read or understand. If you’re following Weight Watchers, use the (new and improved) handy-dandy app to calculate the points. FYI: SmartPoints are now calculated by calories, SUGAR, protein, and saturated fat. (They used to be calculated by fat, fiber and protein) So some bars that were a good choice before aren’t the best choice now.  Here are some of my go-to snacks—hope you find them helpful. And please tell me yours! Just add them to the comments section below, or on my OrnaBakes Facebook post  >> (you ARE already following me on FB, right?) Remember—don’t leave your house without arming yourself with some healthy snacks! Many of these items are available on Amazon Prime—I’ve linked to them when possible. (I LOVE Amazon Prime!!!) Click here for info on 30-day FREE trial for Amazon Prime >>  Look out for part two COMING SOON: Favorite Night Time Snacks xoxo     Yogurt I always have tons of different yogurts in my fridge. The best choice is a plain, fat free or low fat Greek yogurt and add your own fresh fruit, but when I don’t have time for that… I love Dannon Light & Fit (My fav flavor is Coconut) I heart Eli Quark (which, believe-it-or-not, actually isn’t yogurt – it’s German-style cheese!) (WW Simply Filling) Add some sliced bananas to the Caramel one for a delicious treat. Or bulk up the Strawberry (my fav) with fresh strawberries. You get the idea. Lovin’ thick and creamy Icelandic yogurt which seems to be popping up everywhere. My favs are Siggi’s Acai and Mixed Berries –...

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Orna weighs in on CNN about Weight Watchers
Mar01

Orna weighs in on CNN about Weight Watchers

What’s your perception of Weight Watchers? Are they keeping up with the times? Are they doomed to fail? Have you tried the program multiple times? Do you think of Weight Watchers as a diet? I was recently interviewed by Richard Quest on CNN’s Quest for Business about my Weight Watchers experience. Pretty awesome to watch this in Los Angeles while my dad was watching it LIVE in South Africa, and friends were watching it in Hong Kong and Brussels!! I had way more to say, but I appreciated the opportunity to express my opinion.     A friend said that it was “brave” to show my before pic on TV, but I’m proud to share my story and hopefully inspire others who didn’t believe that real change IS possible.      Thank you all for the outpouring of support on Facebook. Please keep commenting and sharing! If you’re a YouTube-r, please leave a comment and give a Thumbs Up if you’d like to see more interviews from me.   If you or a loved one is struggling with their weight, make sure to download my book, “The Yummier You: 7 Secrets to a Happy, Healthy, & Yummy Life” while it’s still FREE! Click on the link to download the book: http://www.ornabakes.com/freebook/ If you prefer holding a real book in your hand, it’s now available on Amazon >> (If you’ve read it, please be so kind as to WRITE A REVIEW!)  ...

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Best Weight Watchers Travel Snacks
Jun05

Best Weight Watchers Travel Snacks

Do you feel like when you’re in an airport… or in the air… or in the car (fill in the blanks)… the calories (and points) somehow don’t count…? A little planning can stop you from making poor choices—en route and at your travel destination. Stay happy, healthy, and in control on your vacation! Here are my Top Healthy Travel Snacks Please PIN, SHARE, TWEET it! Remember, sharing is caring. 🙂   Corazonas Mini Oatmeal Squares (My #1 Travel Snack!) This is my favorite packaged snack—period. I especially love the minis because they’re just big enough to satisfy a craving, and only cost 2 – 3 points. (Try a Peanut Butter Mini with a cup of tea or coffee… mmmhmmm good. You’ll think twice before purchasing a pastry!) 2 – 3 Weight Watchers PointsPlus per bar Where to Buy: Corazonas.com Use coupon code ORNABAKES25 for FREE SHIPPING over $25! Amazon Corazonas Minis at Costco Corazonas Oatmeal Squares (full size) at Ralphs/Kroger, Whole Foods Market, Gelsons Market (California)   BelVita Breakfast Biscuits I’m pretty much ready to eat from the minute I’m awake, so if I’m in some hotel room and have to wait for hours till we’re in a restaurant eating, I’m… shall we say… not my most pleasant self! That’s why I always pack something to tide me over. 6 Weight Watchers PointsPlus for 4 biscuits (It’s always less points if you share!) Perfect for sharing with hungry cousins on Safari in South Africa. (Sorry to those of you in the back who never got any.) Where to Buy: Costco, Target, pretty much everywhere   Or NEW from Kellogg’s – To Go Morning Biscuits  (only 4 WW PP for four delicious biscuits) Where to Buy: Amazon, Ralph’s (Kroger)    Blueberry Oat Bran Muffins Make these delicious, healthy muffins ahead, pop them in the freezer, and you’ll have portable breakfast for the whole family. 3 Weight Watchers PointsPlus per muffin Click here for the super-simple recipe >>   Luna Fiber Bars These are not the sexiest bar around, but they are tasty and satisfying, and get you to the next meal. (What is the sexiest bar around, you might ask…? For me that would have to be a PureFit Peanut Butter Crunch, but I don’t usually spend 6 points on a bar when there’s food to be eaten!) 3 PointsPlus per bar Where to Buy: Target, Ralphs/Kroger/Whole Foods What’s your bar of choice?   Peanut Butter Sammy There’s nothing worse than spending 20 points on a BBQ Chicken Sandwich and greasy chips that you don’t even like, so I always pack an emergency meal. A teaspoon or two of peanut butter (1 WW...

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Top 10 Weight Watchers Power Foods
Mar03

Top 10 Weight Watchers Power Foods

Weight Watchers Power Foods are good for you, keep you feeling satisfied, and they’re delicious! Weight Watchers is encouraging members to eat more Power Foods with their new Simple Start Program (brilliant if you ask me).     WW Fact: Power Foods are selected not only because of their fat, fiber, protein, and carb content (which = points value) but also by their abuse potential (i.e. they’re less likely to trigger food cravings and derail you!) Here are some of my favorites…   Fiber One Original Bran Cereal My go-to breakfast—and TOP WW Power Food. Only $3.69 at Target ( Click here for my Target Shopping List) Mix it with fat free Greek Yogurt and milk for a long-lasting, super-satisfying breakfast. Add frozen blueberries for extra antioxidants. You can even crush it up to make breading! (My hubby would NEVER eat that, so it’s not something we do in my house, but many WW peeps do.) BTW: Fiber One 80 Chocolate Squares are the best non-power-food nighttime snack—only 2 PointsPlus for 3/4 cup.   Greek Yogurt (not just a food fad) Greek Yogurt has double the protein of regular yogurt, and even the fat free versions are thick and creamy, and very versatile.     Mix your favorite flavor with fat free milk to make Zoku Mini Pops—100% guilt-free fun! (Or puree strawberries, bananas, and plain Greek Yogurt) Adding it to my morning cereal gives me at least an extra hour before my stomach starts to growl (see above) Best mid-morning snack: Dannon Light & Fit Greek Yogurt Blends (my fav is Toasted Coconut Vanilla) Sour Cream Substitute: Top Butternut Squash & Apple Soup or Quick Mexican Chicken & Hominy Soup for added protein and creamy tang.   Oats Don’t think of Oatmeal as just another breakfast food; it’s great for those times when you just need a warm bowl of comfort! Four of my Top Costco Picks involve oats. Microwave Quaker Oats with chopped apples, Splenda and cinnamon if you’re craving sweets at night. Minsley Organic Cooked Steelcut Oatmeal: BEST WW Breakfast-To-Go, or emergency office desk food. Coach’s Oats: Nutty, hearty, Steelcut Oats without the loooong cooking time. Corazonas Mini Oatmeal Squares: 2 WW PointsPlus for one heart-healthy delicious square. I’m obsessed with the Peanut Butter ones—don’t go anywhere without carrying one in my purse!  If you’re nowhere near a Costco, have no fear—you can purchase all of these oaty gems on Amazon! Got Prime? 🙂  -or- Try Oat Bran for a change! (It’s like Cream of Wheat meets Oatmeal) You can find delicious Toasted Oat Bran at Trader Joe’s >>   Polenta Love, love, love, polenta. It satisfies that carb craving without breaking the points bank....

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Weight Watchers Simple Start Works!
Jan06

Weight Watchers Simple Start Works!

Weight Watchers just released their two week, kick-start-your-metabolism program that is guaranteed to work! (If you follow it, of course.) This past Saturday I caught the last meeting of the week (WW runs Sunday through Saturday) where the new Simple Start program was the meeting topic. (Don’t worry, if you’re just joining—or returning—they’ll be happy to go over it with you after any meeting.) Happily, I already dropped three of the FIVE pounds that I gained in the last month—after following Simple Start for just one week. (See, I told you it works!) I’d been struggling to get back on track, after giving in to emotional eating in the unsettled weeks following our incredible trip to South Africa. I can only imagine how many points I inhaled night after night—while listening to my jet-lagged toddler yelling that she will NEVER EVER go to sleep! (Now my hubby understands why I gave him a hard time about bringing all those slabs of chocolate back with us.) It didn’t help that we returned smack-dab in the middle of the holidays (after oddly missing Thanksgivukkah)—landing in Christmas pandemonium and a changed season. No wonder I was out of sorts! And this after being out of my exercise routine for a month—and then getting sick, blah blah blah. (But I don’t have to tell you… you know how it happens.) Each pound that I watched the scale creep up made me feel a little worse and a little more out-of-control, but when I entered a whole new decade, I knew it had to stop! Enter “Simple Start” program I dragged myself to a Weight Watchers meeting, and got on the scale even though I knew it was an all-time hideous high. But like I used to tell my members way back when I was a Weight Watchers Leader: If you don’t like the number you see on the scale, that’s okay because you never have to see it again! Once you’re in the habit of eating chocolate or other full-fat, high-sugar “trigger” foods, it’s hard to break the cycle. That’s why Simple Start is so brilliant: when you focus on wholesome, quality foods, your body miraculously stops craving all that other stuff.  Simple Start is basically Simply Filling (which is how I live my life and how I’ve managed to keep my weight down)—choosing from a list of Weight Watchers Power Foods, which are healthier and more satisfying.     Now, even white potatoes and reduced-calorie breads are included.   The difference is that with Simple Start you get 7 PointsPlus a day for “indulgences”—but they don’t carry over if you don’t use...

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Starbucks and La Boulange: Picks and Points
Nov07

Starbucks and La Boulange: Picks and Points

I’m not usually tempted by full fat baked goods at Starbucks (evil!), but ironically, since they partnered up with San Francisco’s La Boulange—which they now own—the “reduced fat”, artisanal options have brought up some serious cravings in me for pastries! Do labels like ‘low fat’, ‘whole grain’ or ‘oatmeal’ make you more likely to give in? I was surprised to find that the “Wheat” Spinach Croissant was higher in fat and calories than the Tomato & Cheese Croissant, after assuming the opposite. (That’s clever marketing for you!)     I managed to stick with my Skinny Caramel Latte (yay me!) and inhaled a Corazonas Oatmeal Square Mini as I got into my car. (One of my favorite Costco items.) This small victory inspired me to compile this guide—with nutritional information and Weight Watchers PointsPlus values—to empower us in the upcoming holiday season! I’ve included my Top Ten Best and Worst Choices, but you’ll find the complete guide below. Even if you’re NOT a Weight Watcher, this list will help you make good choices. Print it! Pin it! Bookmark it! Have a plan before you’re staring longingly through the glass. FACT: All calories are not created equal Weight Watchers does not consider calories at all to calculate points. (Surprised?) By comparing the points versus the calories, you’re automatically making better choices, because PointsPlus values are based on fat, carbs, fiber, and protein—which affect how long you will feel satisfied, and what food choices you make for the rest of the day. TIP: Take something delicious with you, and compare points and “worthiness” to it!  Ask yourself… Is that Lemon Pound Cake really worthy of all those points? You can’t expect a banana or a fruit cup to stand up to the temptation of a 14-point pastry. But if you have something with you that you consider a special treat (not your usual protein bar or Apple Chips), you’ll be better equipped to resist.  My Top 5 Bring Along Snacks Corazonas Oatmeal Square Minis – 2 PP (The regular size Corazonas Oatmeal Squares are 5PP per chewy square of whole-grain, oaty goodness, with 6g protein to keep you feeling satisfied! My fav is the Peanut Butter. Great to keep in the car because they don’t melt. Check points for different flavors!) Vitalicious Vitatops Muffin Tops – 3 PP belVita Golden Oat Breakfast Biscuits – 3 PP for two biscuits Luna Fiber Bars – 3 PP (my fave is Peanut Butter Strawberry) Bobos Oat Bars – 5 PP for half the bar, so a little decadent, but sooo delish and all natural ingredients. Does the ritual of buying something in a little paper...

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