What we can learn from my puppy…
Dec21

What we can learn from my puppy…

Our new puppy, Scruffy (you’ve probably seen him plastered all over Facebook and Instagram!), never finishes all his kibble. No matter how much I give him, he always leaves just a little behind. What is that?! Here’s his gorgeousness on our first breakfast outing at The Commons in Calabasas. Fun! (Except when the one-year-old fellow Wheaten Terrier, Duffy, got off his leash and charged at him! It was all very innocent and friendly, but it wasn’t only Scruffy’s heart that was pounding!)   And here’s his bowl:   Do you belong to the clean-your-plate-club?   If you make ONE very small change, you will see a change in your thinking, and in your weight!   Here’s how to do it: Start with you favorite foods—don’t leave the best for last Keep checking in with yourself for whether you’re satisfied or still hungry for more When you feel satisfied—STOP! Tell yourself that any time you feel hungry again, you can eat again Congratulate yourself for not cleaning your plate and turning your body into a trashcan!   You’ll find more tips like this in my E-Book, “7 Steps to Permanent Weight Loss”—COMING SOON! It will sell on Amazon for $7.99, but will be absolutely FREE for download to all those who visit my website—for a limited time only.   Feel free to share my healthy holiday tips and my E-Book with all your friends! Oh, and let me know what you think of my brand new homepage! Lots of exciting changes coming in the New Year—stay tuned!  Happy, healthy holidays from our family to yours.  ...

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Do you Slowwwww Cook?
Dec06

Do you Slowwwww Cook?

I am obsessed with my slow cooker! I lie awake at night dreaming up things I could make in it… But it wasn’t always that way. In the (almost) eight years since I received it as a wedding gift, I had used it… oh… maybe five times tops! Probably because I used to keep it in the box in the garage, and the thought of schlepping it out, dusting it off, and then having to clean it after was waaaay more trouble than it was worth. But then the other day—while running around the block at Kellie Blackburn’s Bootylicious Bootcamp—my friend, Alisa, was telling me about the delicious chicken soup she made in her slow cooker—with a rotisserie chicken! I’m in the process of writing/releasing my first E-Book: 7 Steps to Permanent Weight Loss (COMING SOON!)… so I don’t even have time to shop for groceries—let alone cook something decent.  But Alisa inspired me to purchase a few chicken breasts and whatever pre-cut veggies I could find. (Zero washing or chopping required!) I bust out my crockpot—now conveniently located IN my kitchen—and literally dumped everything in the crockpot. Add some low sodium chicken broth, crushed tomatoes (San Marzano, of course) and some herbs and spices… and voila!   A few hours later I had a deeelicious home cooked stew/soup for my family. Well…um… that’s not completely true. I knew that hubby wouldn’t touch it, and my little one complained bitterly that she prefers granny’s soup—even though I used my handy-dandy Cuisinart Hand Blender (my other favorite kitchen appliance) to puree it for her. But… “I” LOVED it! And I now have a few healthy meals ready-to-go in the freezer. (Don’t you love that?) The chicken got so tender that I didn’t even need forks to shred it. And it couldn’t be easier: Dump Cook Eat   And this got me thinking about all the other possibilities… I think next on my list will be some kind of curry (you know I’m completely smitten with curried anything) and a ratatouille. Yum! I’ll be posting my recipes once I’ve perfected them, but in the meantime—if you don’t have a slow cooker, I highly recommend putting it on your Holiday Wish List!   This Cuisinart 6-QT Multicooker is fab, because you can brown your meat or saute your onions and develop flavor right in the slow cooker, and not have to dirty another pan! Only $129 on Amazon (4 1/2 stars from 559 customer reviews)     Click here to view the Cuisinart Cook Central 3-in-1 Multicooker on Amazon >>   You can even get handy Slow Cooker Liners so that there’s literally no washing. Click to...

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Friday Food Finds: Target
Sep13

Friday Food Finds: Target

In the past few weeks I’ve taken you to Costco and Trader Joe’s on Friday Food Finds. This week I take you to one of the best places to get wholesome food at a reasonable price. Any idea where yet? Bet you didn’t guess Target! Target has a wide selection of smart food choices, and lots of Weight Watchers Power Foods. This week I show you a kid-friendly, high-protein pasta, my go-to Weight Watcher’s Simply Filling Breakfast, and some easy meal ideas.             Don’t forget to give this video a big THUMBS UP! Also don’t forget to sign up for my newsletter, and YouTube Channel so you don’t miss a single installment of Friday Food Finds. Where would you like to see me go...

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Oatmeal Squares Giveaway & TWO Coaching Spots left!
Jul21

Oatmeal Squares Giveaway & TWO Coaching Spots left!

Peeps of all ages are telling me how much they looove Corazonas Mini Oatmeal Squares—which were right at the top of my Best Weight Watchers Travel Snacks post a few weeks ago.   My #1 Travel Snack because they: taste like home-baked healthy goodness remind me of my Traditional South African Oatmeal Crunchies (my most searched and shared recipe, and most requested by friends and family) are kid friendly don’t melt in the car are just the right size to tide you over to the next feeding (and fit in your purse) are only 2 Weight Watchers PointsPlus each are waaay more “worthy” than spending 10 points on baked goods (You probably saw them on my Starbucks & La Boulange Picks and Points post) are heart-healthy Today I’m kicking off a GIVEAWAY of a box of delicious Corazonas Oatmeal Minis. The lucky winner will soon have 11 Peanut Butter (my fav) and 11 Chocolate Chip squares show up at their doorstep. (Now that’s a fun package!) See below for details.   Summer Coaching Special I had a fantastic response to my Summer Coaching Special and have loved connecting with each and every new person. I only have TWO spots left, so if you’re interested make sure to contact me ASAP. I’m afraid I cannot take on more than ten new clients, so once the last two  spots are taken that’s it for the summer intake.   Here’s how to enter the Corazonas Giveaway (SO EASY): Subscribe to my OrnaBakes newsletters (if you haven’t already) Simply scroll to the top of the page and enter your email address (which I will NEVER share or abuse!) Visit my Best Weight Watchers Travel Snacks post and leave a comment with your favorite travel snacks, and let me know that you’re entering to win the Corazonas Giveaway and tell me where you shared the post. (see next) Share the Best Weight Watchers Travel Snacks post on Facebook or Twitter or Pinterest (only one is necessary, but the more the merrier!) The winner will be randomly selected on Thursday July 31st in a subsequent post. The winner will then have 24 hours to get in touch with me, or a new winner will be randomly selected. US-only So… what are you waiting for? Celebrate healthy travel snacks with me today… Go to the post and enter the...

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Get a Veggetti! (Fab Zucchini Noodles)
Jul17

Get a Veggetti! (Fab Zucchini Noodles)

I first saw Zinguini (zucchini “noodles”) on Caffe Delfini’s menu in Santa Monica—where they claim to have invented them. (Only in LA, right?!) But you probably know by now that I have a slight pasta obsession (okay, major), so I’m not about to order vegetables masquerading as spaghetti on date night.  But when I saw this Veggetti at Bed Bath & Beyond, I thought it would at least be fun to try with my four-year-old, and mayybeeee get her to eat more veggies. You’ll find this Veggetti Spiral Vegetable Cutter on Amazon for $13.05   It couldn’t be easier to use. You literally just insert the zucchini (aka baby marrow or courgette) or carrot, cuke—you name it—and twist…   and out come beautiful noodles! (Make sure to get large veggies or it won’t work as well.)   Okay, you probably realized from the face that Aja only made a couple—the rest was me.   Most surprising was that it felt like I was eating spaghetti!!! (Waaaaay better pasta fix than spaghetti squash or broccoli slaw.) SO yummy that I just couldn’t wait to share it with you. And it’s of course a Weight Watchers Power Food—fab if you’re doing Weight Watchers Simple Start or Simply Filling. (Or Gluten Free, Paleo, Mediterranean Diet, or any other kind of Low Fat, Low Carb, Clean Eating)   The plan was to plate it and take beautiful pics for you, but I just. couldn’t. stop. eating it… and so before I knew it there was nothing left to photograph. (Sorry) Plus, taking pics is the most tedious, painful process for me (does it look appetizing? will people want to pin it?) so this time I just decided to-hell-with-it, I’m just eating and posting.  Luckily I took a quick snap of it in the pan!   You could serve it as a side dish, or top with your favorite tomato sauce and parmesan. Yum!  I used Trader Joe’s Everyday Seasoning—a wonderful blend of mustard seeds, salt, pepper, garlic and just enough chili pepper for a slight kick—which happens to be from South Africa, but that’s not why I love it. But if you don’t live near a Trader Joe’s (sad as that may be), you could just as easily use S&P and garlic powder.     Next time I’ll try Trader Joe’s 21 Seasoning Salute which is my favorite spice blend. I use it in my Cauliflower Muffins which are aah-mayzing! >> Click here for my Trader Joe’s Shopping List (with Weight Watchers Power Foods and PointsPlus values) >>    Simple Start Dinner Idea For the ultimate low point, high-protein, Power Food dinner, serve with a tilapia filet sprayed with...

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Bikini Blues plus FIRST TEN get Summer Coaching Deal
Jul11

Bikini Blues plus FIRST TEN get Summer Coaching Deal

In two weeks (yikes!) we’re off for a three night mini-vacay with five other couples and our littles. It’s interesting what fear and panic three little days has instilled in me. The fact that Palm Springs will be like an oven, and we’ll basically be parking in the pool, isn’t helping. Plus, said friends are all a) gorgeous and b) much younger than me. After wasting hours and energy discussing this (with sister, trainer, friends, and—I know I’m not supposed to, but yes—hubby too), I’ve come to the conclusion that: Everyone feels self-conscious in a bathing suit. (Or “costume”—as we called it in South Africa. Took me a while to stop saying that one!) I mean, obviously I’m not referring to the godly workout freaks who count the days (with joy) until they get to bare their bods to the rest of us mere mortals. But even the skinny minnies beat up on themselves and feel scrutinized. (Why, oh why is that?!)   Do you feel self-conscious in a bathing suit? Has it stopped you from having the summer fun you deserve?   I decided that the first step to feeling better about the trip was to get a brand new bikini, because: a) I’m sick of squeezing the water out of the Vic Sec “Bombshell” bikini tops I already own—not to mention the extreme neck ache (and occasional bruising) from all that padding—especially once they’re saturated with water. (Though I’m pretty good at discreetly squeezing them out with my inner arms.) b) You know how they say getting brand new, cute workout outfit will inspire you to work out? Well, it’s the same with a bathing suit. If you have one that you love—that’s comfortable and flattering—you’ll feel better, hold yourself proudly, and look less self-conscious. And people will be attracted to your positive aura instead of staring at your body parts.   Bikini Buying I must say that Diane’s Beachwear at the Calabasas Commons made it far more bearable. (They have 21 branches nationwide) I’m thinking they probably (no definitely) have some special lighting that hides the lumps, bumps, and bulges. With the encouragement of sweet and sassy Mara, I didn’t even try on one black thing. And a one-piece? Not for me. Here I am attempting to take a selfie of a flirty, fun two-piece to send to hubby.  Unfortunately, when I pulled the cover-up over my head, I revealed more of myself than planned, so went with the safer orange bandeau—way less chance of a wardrobe malfunction when I pick up my four-year-old. Plus it reminds me of the “boob-tube” orange bikini that I had when I was a little girl. (And brings me the same joy.)...

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