Recipe of the Week

I found this recipe on, and am totally hooked!! I've been having my Coconut Hot Cocoa every night before bed for the past week, and it totally hits the spot and soothes my sweet tooth! Enjoy!


Coconut Hot Cocoa

POINTS® Value: 3
Servings: 6
Preparation Time: 4 min
Cooking Time: 5 min
Level of Difficulty: Easy

Coconut milk adds delicate richness to this newfangled version of hot cocoa. It's a treat on a cold evening, a great dessert without too much fuss.


1/2 cup(s) sugar
1/3 cup(s) water
1/4 cup(s) unsweetened cocoa
2 cup(s) fat-free skim milk
1 1/2 cup(s) light coconut milk
1/2 tsp vanilla extract


Whisk together sugar, water and cocoa powder in a medium saucepan set over medium heat just until cocoa and sugar dissolve. Do not bring to a simmer.

Whisk in milk, coconut milk and vanilla. Continue cooking until mixture is steamy and slightly simmering around interior edges of pan, whisking occasionally, about 3 to 4 minutes. Pour into mugs to serve. Yields about 2/3 cup per serving.

Mental Monday

As I'm beginning to workout regularly (again), and start my half-marathon training, I realize I can come up with 100 different excuses NOT to exercise, when not to long ago, exercise was as brainless to me as breathing. I found this article while surfing and hope you find it to be useful and help you get your groove on, especially if you're in a rut like me :)


How to Make Exercise a Habit

For many, exercise has a perpetual position at the bottom of the to-do list. You know you have to do it. You know it will help you lose weight faster. You know you need it for good health. Here's how to fit it in.

For many, exercise is perpetually a low priority, something you only do for a few days at time, here and there. Many people also believe that exercise requires a large daily time commitment, or that it has to be physically difficult and demanding. But the truth is that even small amounts of light activity can make a big difference in your weight-loss efforts.

For many, exercise is perpetually a low priority, something you only do for a few days at time, here and there. Many people also believe that exercise requires a large daily time commitment, or that it has to be physically difficult and demanding. But the truth is that even small amounts of light activity can make a big difference in your weight loss.

Forget the myths.

First of all, these common misconceptions about exercise may be what's holding you back:

Myth # 1: Exercise is never fun.

Not only can exercise be fun (Do you hate playing catch with your kids? Hiking through the woods?), it can help fill gaps in your life.

For example, "if you're around people all day long, you can choose an exercise that allows you some alone time," says Robyn Stuhr, exercise physiologist and executive vice president of the American Council on Exercise. If you sit in front of a computer, exercise can be a social thing for you. If you never see your spouse, exercise together.

If you find something that works for you on a personal level, that will make exercise more fun. Plus, you'll be more likely to do it if you look forward to it.

Myth # 2: Exercise is a major disruption.

"The bottom line is that exercise, unlike diet, is something you have to make yourself do," says Stuhr. "Everybody has to eat every day, but you have to purposely set aside time to work out. And it's very easy to let other things get in the way."

But there's a bonus to working out that you won't notice until you do it. When you exercise, you get more energy. And when you stop (like many yo-yoers do), your energy level starts to drop, so it's even harder to jump back in. Sticking with it helps, even if that causes scheduling problems in the short term.

Make it a habit

Making anything a habit—from exercise to eating right—is a matter of having enough "want power," says Palma Posillico, vice president of training and development for Weight Watchers International. "Life gets in the way, so unless you do something proactively, it's very easy to make excuses."

One strategy for acquiring a new habit is to imagine the benefits of that habit. In the case of exercise, picture yourself in great shape. This will help inspire you.

Here are some other tricks for making exercise a habit:

Start slowly.

An hour-long high-intensity aerobics class on your first day will only discourage you, maybe hurt you, and send you back to square one.

Find an exercise buddy.

A workout partner can be immeasurably helpful, because you have a responsibility to your friend not to talk yourself out of exercising. Try to choose a buddy who's in about the same shape as you.

Pick an exercise you like.

Then commit to trying it consistently for at least three weeks. If you still think you hate it after that amount of time, give yourself permission to say, okay, this isn't working. Then pick something different and repeat.

Written by Melissa Sperl


Recipe of the Week

I found this recipe on the side of my Fiber One cereal box, and my son convinced me to give it a try. At 210 calories a pop, they aren't my first choice for a snack, but they're better than the ding-dongs and ho-ho's I used to scarf down without blinking an eye!

We bake up a batch at a time, then put them in individual freezer bags and pop them in the freezer. Then when I'm ready to indulge in a snack, I take one out, pop in the microwave for 30 mins, and voila! Pure indulgence!

Fiber One Double-Chocolate Muffins

Whole wheat flour and high-fiber cereal are the goodies tucked in a chocolate-lover's sweet muffin.

Prep Time: 15 min
Start to Finish: 35 min
Makes: 12 muffins

  • 1 cup Fiber One® original bran cereal
  • 1 1/3 cups buttermilk
  • 1/4 cup canola or vegetable oil
  • 1 egg
  • 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup Gold Medal® whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup Gold Medal® all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened baking cocoa
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup miniature semisweet chocolate chips

1. Heat oven to 375°F. Place paper baking cup in each of 12 regular-size muffin cups. Place cereal in resealable food-storage plastic bag; seal bag and crush with rolling pin or meat mallet (or crush in food processor).

2. In medium bowl, mix cereal and buttermilk; let stand 5 minutes. Stir in oil and egg. Stir in remaining ingredients except chocolate chips. Stir in chocolate chips. Divide batter evenly among muffin cups.

3. Bake 15 to 20 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Immediately remove from pan. Serve warm.

High Altitude (3500-6500 ft): No change.

1 Serving: Calories 210 (Calories from Fat 70); Total Fat 7g (Saturated Fat 2g, Trans Fat 0g); Cholesterol 20mg; Sodium 360mg; Total Carbohydrate 31g (Dietary Fiber 4g, Sugars 17g); Protein 4g Percent Daily Value*: Vitamin A 2%; Vitamin C 0%; Calcium 8%; Iron 10% Exchanges: 1 Starch; 1 Other Carbohydrate; 0 Vegetable; 1 1/2 Fat Carbohydrate Choices: 2
*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet

If you aren't on yet - check it out (and add me as a friend!) I just posted today's workout there and would love your support!


The Biggest Loser Diary

If I'm not mistaken, there's no Biggest Loser tonite due to the Olympics, so I'd like to encourage everyone to get out there and workout instead ... and as a special treat, check in with BL8's Shay Sorrell and see what she's been up to! She looks GREAT!

Hope everyone's being reeeeallly good on Fat Tuesday!


Mental Monday

I've been getting a few questions regarding my HIIT workouts on DailyMile, so I thought I'd post the following article that explains HIIT in more detail. Ever since I was introduced to HIIT by my former personal trainers, I've been a big fan! I also contribute HIIT to helping me get through my first triathlon and half-marathon :)

High Intensity Interval Training
Take Your Fitness and Fat Loss to the Next Level

If I told you that there was a way to burn more calories, lose more fat, and improve your cardiovascular fitness level while spending less time doing cardio, you’d probably reach for your phone to report me to the consumer fraud hotline, right?

Well, this is one of those rare times when your natural it’s-too-good-to-be-true reaction could be mistaken. If you want to take your fitness and fat loss to the next level—without spending more time in the gym—then high intensity interval training (also known as HIIT) could be exactly what you're looking for.

Before getting into the details, notice that I didn’t say HIIT would be easier, just that it would take less of your time. In fact, the HIIT approach to cardio exercise is very physically demanding and isn’t for everyone. If you have any cardiovascular problems or other health concerns that limit your ability to exercise at very intense levels, or if you are relatively new to aerobic exercise or not already in good shape, HIIT is not for you—at least for now. If you have any doubts or concerns about whether it might be safe for you, check in with your medical professional before trying HIIT.

What It Is and How It Works

HIIT is a specialized form of interval training that involves short intervals of maximum intensity exercise separated by longer intervals of low to moderate intensity exercise. Because it involves briefly pushing yourself beyond the upper end of your aerobic exercise zone, it offers you several advantages that traditional steady-state exercise (where you keep your heart rate within your aerobic zone) can’t provide:
HIIT trains and conditions both your anaerobic and aerobic energy systems. You train your anaerobic system with brief, all-out efforts, like when you have to push to make it up a hill, sprint the last few hundred yards of a distance race, or run and hide from your spouse after saying the wrong thing.

HIIT increases the amount of calories you burn during your exercise session and afterward because it increases the length of time it takes your body to recover from each exercise session.

HIIT causes metabolic adaptations that enable you to use more fat as fuel under a variety of conditions. This will improve your athletic endurance as well as your fat-burning potential.

HIIT appears to limit muscle loss that can occur with weight loss, in comparison to traditional steady-state cardio exercise of longer duration.
To get the benefits HIIT, you need to push yourself past the upper end of your aerobic zone and allow your body to replenish your anaerobic energy system during the recovery intervals.

The key element of HIIT that makes it different from other forms of interval training is that the high intensity intervals involve maximum effort, not simply a higher heart rate. There are many different approaches to HIIT, each involving different numbers of high and low intensity intervals, different levels of intensity during the low intensity intervals, different lengths of time for each interval, and different numbers of training sessions per week. If you want to use HIIT to improve performance for a particular sport or activity, you’ll need to tailor your training program to the specific needs and demands of your activity.

General HIIT Guidelines

HIIT is designed for people whose primary concerns are boosting overall cardiovascular fitness, endurance, and fat loss, without losing the muscle mass they already have.
Before starting any HIIT program, you should be able to exercise for at least 20-30 minutes at 70-85% of your estimated maximum heart rate, without exhausting yourself or having problems.

Because HIIT is physically demanding, it’s important to gradually build up your training program so that you don’t overdo it. (The sample training schedule below will safely introduce you to HIIT over a period of eight weeks.)
Always warm up and cool down for at least five minutes before and after each HIIT session.

Work as hard as you can during the high intensity intervals, until you feel the burning sensation in your muscles indicating that you have entered your anaerobic zone. Elite athletes can usually sustain maximum intensity exercise for three to five minutes before they have to slow down and recover, so don’t expect to work longer than that.
Full recovery takes about four minutes for everyone, but you can shorten the recovery intervals if your high intensity intervals are also shorter and don’t completely exhaust your anaerobic energy system.

If you experience any chest pain or breathing difficulties during your HIIT workout, cool down immediately. (Don't just stop or else blood can pool in your extremities and lightheadedness or faintness can occur.)
If your heart rate does not drop back down to about 70% of your max during recovery intervals, you may need to shorten your work intervals and/or lengthen your recovery intervals.

HIIT (including the sample program below) is not for beginner exercisers or people with cardiovascular problems or risk factors. If you have cardiovascular problems or risk factors should NOT attempt HIIT unless your doctor has specifically cleared you for this kind of exercise.

A Sample Progressive HIIT Program
Please adhere to the general HIIT guidelines above for this program. To maximize fat loss, maintain an intensity level of 60-70% of your maximum heart rate (RPE of 5-6 on the 10-point scale) during warm up, cool down and recovery intervals.

Week 1
Warm up: 5 min.
Work Interval (Max Intensity): 1 min.
Recovery Interval (60-70% MHR): 4 min.
Repeat: 2 times
Cool down: 5 min.
Total Workout Time: 20 min.

Week 2
Warm up: 5 mins
Work Interval (Max Intensity): 1 min
Recovery Interval (60-70% MHR): 4 min
Repeat: 3 times
Cool down: 5 mins
Total Workout Time: 25 mins

Week 3
Warm up: 5 mins
Work Interval (Max Intensity): 1 min
Recovery Interval (60-70% MHR): 4 min
Repeat: 4 times
Cool down: 5 mins
Total Workout Time: 30 mins

Week 4
Warm up: 5 mins
Work Interval (Max Intensity): 1.5 min
Recovery Interval (60-70% MHR): 4 min
Repeat: 2 times
Cool down: 5 mins
Total Workout Time: 21 mins

Week 5
Warm up: 5 mins
Work Interval (Max Intensity): 1.5 min
Recovery Interval (60-70% MHR): 4 min
Repeat: 3 times
Cool down: 5 mins
Total Workout Time: 26.5 mins

Week 6
Warm up: 5 mins
Work Interval (Max Intensity): 1.5 min
Recovery Interval (60-70% MHR): 4 min
Repeat: 4 times
Cool down: 5 mins
Total Workout Time: 32 mins

Week 7
Warm up: 5 mins
Work Interval (Max Intensity): 2 min
Recovery Interval (60-70% MHR): 5 min
Repeat: 3 times
Cool down: 5 mins
Total Workout Time: 31 mins

Week 8
Warm up: 5 mins
Work Interval (Max Intensity): 2 min
Recovery Interval (60-70% MHR): 5 min
Repeat: 4 times
Cool down: 5 mins
Total Workout Time: 38 mins

After completing this eight-week program, you can continue working to increase the number of work intervals per session, the duration of work intervals, or both.

You can adjust this training plan to accommodate your particular needs and goals. If you find that this schedule is either too difficult or too easy for your current fitness level, you can make adjustments to the duration and/or number of high intensity intervals as necessary. For example, if you want to train yourself for very short, frequent bursts of maximum intensity activity, your program could involve sprinting for 20 seconds and jogging/walking for 60 seconds, and repeating that 15-20 times per session.

You don’t need to swap all of your aerobic exercise for HIIT to gain the benefits. A good balance, for example, might be two sessions of HIIT per week, along with 1-2 sessions of steady-state aerobic exercise. As usual, moderation is the key to long-term success, so challenge yourself—but don’t drive yourself into the ground. Get ready to see major changes in your body and your fitness level!

Written by Dean Anderson, Fitness & Behavior Expert


Recipe of the Week

As I'm sure you all know by now, I'm a HUGE fan of Chef Devin Alexander. Even prior to meeting Chef Devin and working out with her during a fan date in Chicago last summer, I've loved her to pieces. Chef Devin has a fabulous monthly newsletter, with great cooking tips and tricks, recipes, contests, and more - just visit her website and sign up. I know you won't be disappointed!

Chef Devin Alexander's Chocolate Kahlua Parfait

This is the perfect Valentine’s Day dessert for those who want to make a little something special for their sweethearts without doing serious damage to their waistlines! The parfait is best served in champagne glasses – trust me, it’s adorable! Just remember when making these parfaits, don’t leave the marshmallow mixture cooling in the fridge for more than an hour or the remaining ingredients might not mix in properly.

  • 10-1/2 ounce bag mini-marshmallows
  • 1/2 cup fat free milk
  • 1 teaspoon instant coffee powder
  • 1/3 cup Kahlua
  • 3 cups defrosted, fat free frozen whipped topping, divided
  • 1 cup (about 6 whole graham crackers) crushed chocolate graham cracker crumbs or low-fat chocolate wafer cookies
  • 8 champagne flutes

In a large, microwave–safe mixing bowl (or large glass bowl), mix the marshmallows with the milk and the coffee powder. Cover the bowl with a microwave-safe plate or a sheet of waxed paper and microwave the mixture for 2 to 4 minutes on high or until there are no lumps remaining when it is stirred. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap. Transfer it to the refrigerator and allow the mixture to cool completely (up to an hour).

Remove the marshmallow mixture from the refrigerator and beat in the liqueur using the whisk attachment of an electric mixer. Then add 1 cup of the whipped topping and whisk it in. Next, using a spatula, fold in another cup of the whipped topping.

Spoon 1/2 tablespoon of the crumbs into each flute. Spoon a scant ¼ cup of the marshmallow mixture into each flute followed by 1-1/2 tablespoons of the remaining whipped topping. Top that in each with about 1 tablespoon of crumbs, reserving a total of 2 teaspoons of crumbs. Then divide the remaining filling among the flutes (about ¼ cup each). Top each with a dollop of the remaining whipped topping and lightly sprinkle the top with additional the crumbs. Cover each with plastic wrap and refrigerate them until the filling sets, approximately 2 hours. Can be made up to 1 day in advance.

Makes 8 (1 parfait) servings.

Each serving has: 271 calories, 1 g protein, 54 g carbohydrates, 1 g fat, trace saturated fat, trace cholesterol, trace fiber, 143 mg sodium
Traditional Chocolate Kahlua Parfait have: 538 calories, 4 g protein, 33 g carbohydrates, 37 g fat, 22 g saturated fat, 310 mg cholesterol, trace fiber, 44 mg sodium

You save: 267 calories, 36 g fat, 21 g saturated fat

Recipe by Devin Alexander courtesy of Healthy Decadence


The Biggest Loser Diary

We have a ton of clips from tonite: catch up with the episode with the two-minute replay, watch who was eliminated in the highlight clip and catch up with Melissa in the “Where Are They Now”!

A special bonus video is included one below; Olympian Speedy Peterson tries to help Michael with some motivational words. And, you can get some special advice from Speedy in this week’s Trainer Tips – those are below too!

Two-Minute Replay: Week Six (2/09/10)
The players get Olympic training from the pros. Catch up fast!

Week 6 Elimination
One player falls below the red line and is automatically eliminated.

Where Are They Now: Week 6 – Melissa
Check out how Melissa looks today!

Bonus Scenes: Week 6 - Michael's Challenge
Speedy Peterson gives Michael some motivational words.

Bonus Scenes: Week 6 - Heavy Thoughts
The players feel uneasy about two people going home this week.

Bonus Scenes: Week 6 - Julia's Training
The players train with Olympian, Julia Mancuso.

Trainer Tips 1 (2/9/10)
Speedy Peterson gives you a challenge.

Trainer Tips 2 (2/9/10)
Bob and Jillian want you to support this year's Olympics in Vancouver.


Mental Monday

I admit it. I've gained a few pounds this winter. I partially blame winter - the cold, dark, dreary days really don't work well with this girl that was born and raised on a beautiful island in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. BUT ... I know what I've eaten, and I know how hard (or not quite as hard) that I've worked out. Here's a great article I found useful, and hope it helps you too!

Preventing Winter Weight Gain

Many people tend to gain weight during the winter months. Some people joke that they are eating and sleeping more because they are getting ready to hibernate. But we do not get to crawl into a warm hiding place and sleep the fat away. In our sedentary culture, where more than half of all adults are overweight, factors that accelerate weight gain are a real concern. Those extra pounds acquired over the winter may stay on year after year, eventually contributing to health problems such as obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure and heart disease.

People gain weight during the winter months for different reasons. If you have a tendency to gain weight during the winter, it's important for you to figure out what factors contribute to this tendency, and then plan accordingly. Simple changes in behavior often have enormous health benefits. Following are some ideas for preventing winter weight gain. As you read, decide which would be helpful for you.

Make a Holiday Survival Plan.

Holidays can mean less time to exercise, more treats, and extra alcohol and stress that trigger overeating. You couldn't find a better recipe for weight gain. If your weight gain tends to come during the holiday season, consider making a holiday survival plan.

First, come up with a plan for staying active. Think about factors that have made exercise during the holiday season difficult in the past: loneliness, travel, busyness, lack of childcare, etc. Try to come up with some creative solutions to these barriers, then schedule them into your calendar the same way you schedule parties, meetings and family gatherings.

Second, if the holidays create excess stress for you, think of ways to reduce it. Exercise is the best stress-reducer around, and stress reduction is one of the best reasons to stay active, no matter what the season may be. Also important are getting enough sleep, focusing on your priorities and eliminating low-priority activities if you are too busy. Make time for those activities that give the holidays meaning, and that provide pleasure and opportunities to be with people you enjoy.

Third, eat defensively. Include occasional small portions of holiday treats that you really love, but balance this by eating more prudently at other meals. Avoid munching and drinking just because "it's there." If you drink alcohol, keep your consumption reasonable.

Make Friends With Winter.

Winter can cause a decline in physical activity, as shorter days and inclement weather can limit exercise options. If winter weather creates exercise barriers for you, take a closer look at those barriers and come up with some creative solutions. If early darkness forces you off the streets, how about some indoor options? Check out fitness centers and community recreation programs in your area, and move your exercise program indoors.

Are you uncomfortable in cold weather? Buy some warmer clothes and learn how to dress for cold weather. If it snows where you live, learn a winter sport. Cross-country skiing, ice skating and snowshoeing are terrific calorie-burners.

Winter Doldrums? Get Into the Light.

Many people experience mild to moderate winter depression. Severe winter depression, known as seasonal affective disorder (SAD), is marked by depressed mood, sleeping more than usual, increased appetite, cravings for sweets and carbohydrates, and weight gain. If depression is a problem for you, talk to your healthcare provider. Providers may recommend some form of light therapy, which relieves winter depression in many people.

Don't forget that exercise can be an effective treatment for mild to moderate depression. People who experience winter depression can try combining exercise and light therapy by exercising outdoors when time and weather permit.

Written by Barbara A. Brehm, Ed.D.
Barbara A. Brehm, is an Associate Professor of Exercise and Sport Studies at Smith College, Northampton, Mass.
© Fitness Management Magazine.


Instant gratification :)

I feel weird blogging about instant gratification, because it's instant gratification that landed me in a vat of hot fudge, with close to 300 lbs on my 5'4" frame.

But the kind of instant gratification I'm talking about is much, much better ... I'm sure you've noticed that I just haven't been blogging as much as I used to. It's not that I've dived back into that vat of hot fudge, it's that I have found a new lease on life, and find it very very hard to sit in front of my pc to blog every day. I'm out there doing the things I've always dreamed and desired to do, and as I'm sure all of my blogging friends can attest to, blogging can seriously take a chunk out of your day.

That's where instant gratification comes in. I have become somewhat addicted to my iPhone and the ease in tweeting a motivational quote, or what I'm thinking/feeling/doing/eating at any given time. I love the instant gratification I get of someone tweeting me, and feel like I'm able to connect to more people on a daily basis via Twitter.

I will continue to post Mental Monday, the Biggest Loser Diary (on Tuesdays), Recipe of the Week (on Thursdays), and Former Fat Girl of the Week (on Sundays). If you're new to my blog and want to see what I'm up to on a more personal level, I invite you to follow me on Twitter, as that is the best way to keep in touch with me and follow up with my healthy, new life.

I'm working on my final 45 lbs (gosh, the first 120+ came off so easy compared to the final 45), and I'm gearing up to start my half-marathon training for my 2nd half-marathon, the Chicago Rock n Roll Half-Marathon on August 1st (and potential first marathon in October!)

You can follow my workouts on Daily Mile, or interact with other healthy folks on my Facebook Fan Page, and of course, you can follow me on Twitter!

Thank you all so much for your support - past, present and future! I know with every fiber of my being that I couldn't have done this without you!


Recipe of the Week

Chef Devin Alexander's Baked Turkey Wontons


  • Olive oil spray
  • ¼ cup drained sliced water chestnuts
  • 2 medium carrots, peeled, trimmed and each cut into six pieces, lengthwise
  • 4 whole green onions, trimmed and each cut into thirds
  • 1 package (20 ounces) Jennie-O Turkey Store extra lean ground turkey breast
  • ½ cup finely minced sweet onion
  • 1 tablespoon cooking sherry
  • 1 large egg white, lightly beaten
  • 1 tablespoon toasted or roasted sesame oil
  • 2 tablespoons chili paste
  • ½ teaspoon salt + extra (optional)
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • 70 wonton wrappers (3 x 3-1/2-inches each)
  • Sweet and sour sauce, chili garlic sauce, or hot mustard for dipping (optional)

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Line a large baking sheet with parchment and lightly mist the parchment with spray.

Add the water chestnuts, carrots and green onion to the bowl of a food processor fitted with a chopping blade. Process until the ingredients are minced, scraping down the sides of the bowl if necessary. Add the chopped vegetables to a fine mesh strainer. Using a rubber spatula or a spoon, press out any moisture from the chopped veggies. Transfer the vegetable mixture to a large glass or plastic mixing bowl. Add the turkey, sweet onion, sherry, egg, sesame oil, chili paste, ½ teaspoon salt and pepper. With a fork or clean hands, mix the ingredients until well combined.

Fill a small bowl or ramekin with water.

Place a wonton wrapper on a clean, flat work surface. Spoon 1 tablespoon of the filling onto the center of the wrapper. Fold the wrapper in half diagonally, to create a triangle. Dip your finger in the water and lightly run your fingertip along one side of the triangle (inside). Gently press the edges of the wrapper, sealing the dry side to the moistened side, being careful not to leave any air bubbles. Press on the filling slightly to spread it out (if the mound of filling in the center is too thick, the wontons won’t cook evenly). Transfer the wonton to the prepared baking sheet. Continue filling and sealing the remaining wonton wrappers until all of the filling mixture and wrappers are used. Working in batches if necessary, place all the finished wontons on the baking sheet in a single layer.

Lightly mist the tops of the wontons with spray and sprinkle them lightly with salt, if desired. Bake for 5 minutes. Then gently flip the wontons, spray and salt the tops, and bake them an additional 2-4 minutes, or until the outsides are lightly browned and the turkey is no longer pink inside. Serve immediately with sauce for dipping, if desired.

Makes 10 servings. Each (7 wonton) serving has: 208 calories, 18 g protein, 29 g carbohydrates, 3 g fat, trace saturated fat, 26 mg cholesterol, 2 g fiber, 365 mg sodium


"Build upon strengths, and weaknesses will gradually take care of themselves." Joyce C. Lock

The Biggest Loser Diary

Tonite’s episode featured an elimination without a vote, watch the elimination clip below to see what happened. And, catch up with John in the “Where Are They Now” clip to see how he’s doing today. There is even more from the episode that you didn’t see last night in the bonus scenes – hear from Miggy about her addition to the ranch with the scene included below. Plus, Bob and Jillian are back with this week’s Trainer Tips!

The next Biggest Loser will take place in the US Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs. And, two Olympians will be lending a hand in training and the challenge! Get a sneak peek at the episode with 4 preview clips and hear from the contestants in the interview below.

Week Five – Two Minute Recap
The players welcome one more team to the ranch. Get caught up fast.

Week 5 Elimination
One player gets eliminated without the players voting.

Where Are They Now: Week 5 – John
Check out how John looks today and he what he does to get motivated.

Bonus Scenes Week 5 - Miggy's Update
Miggy is happy to see the latest addition to the ranch.

Week 5 - O'Neal's Strategy
O'Neal realizes he's entering a game on the ranch.

Week 5 - The Pink Team's Stress
The Pink Team confides in Bob.

Trainer Tips #1 (2/2/10)
Bob talks about working out and having fun.

Trainer Tips #2 (2/2/10)
How much money does America spend on Super Bowl Sunday?

Trainer Tips #3 (2/2/10)
Jillian tells you how much money America spends on Super Bowl Sunday.


Olympic Challenge
Alison brings out a special guest to show the players their pop-challenge.

Inspiring Story
An Olympic athlete shares her inspiring story with the players.

Motivational Workout
An Olympic athlete gives the players a motivational workout.

Olympian Interviews
Two Olympians inspire the players to push themselves further.


Mental Monday

Dr. Oz Reveals the Sneaky Sugar in Your Food

So it's no big revelation that you need to steer clear of sugary foods -- cakes, cookies, pastry, regular soda -- when you're trying to lose weight. The thing is, that's easier said than done because a little food additive called high-fructose corn syrup lurks in loads of products you'd never even think about because they're not terribly sweet! Things like ketchup, mustard, barbecue sauce, breakfast bars, jellies, yogurts, peanut butters. Even fat-free or low-fat foods, like salad dressing are often loaded with HFCS. The very salad dressing that you thought was helping you stick to your diet by eating more veggies may actually be sabotaging your weight loss efforts.

"Most anything with a sweetener in it that's preserved has high fructose corn syrup in it, because [regular] sugar won't preserve," said Dr. Mehmet Oz, host of The Dr. Oz Show and co-author of the recently re-released "YOU: On A Diet." "It's ubiquitous."

Indeed, a full 50 percent of all the sugar we consume comes from HFCS in processed foods. In as little as 70 years -- basically within a single generation -- Americans have gone from eating no HFCS to eating more than 63 pounds of it (about 128,000 calories) each year. "It was so inexpensive and had such a long shelf life, it became a very efficient and inexpensive way to sweeten food, and began to be added to all foods," noted Dr. Oz. Why does this matter? Because Dr. Oz believes HFCS is even worse for us than regular table sugar. "It's very difficult not to correlate the increase in HFCS over the last 50 years directly to the increase of obesity. It's not only the only reason we have an obesity problem, but it's one of the top reasons." Here's why:

• Your brain doesn't recognize the fructose in HFCS as regular food, so you can eat a lot of it and still be hungry, which means you eat even more. Our bodies have a nifty feedback mechanism -- a protein called leptin, which is released by our body's own fat -- that turns off our hunger signals, letting us know that we're satisfied and can step away from the buffet. But when we consume fructose in foods or drinks containing high fructose corn syrup, that feedback mechanism gets disrupted. So not only don't we get the message that we're full, but because the brain doesn't recognize this stuff as real food, it still wants us to eat.

• Sugar also sets us up for some wild swings in blood sugar highs and lows that make us crave -- you guessed it! -- more sugar, which in turn prompts the body to store more fat. Indeed, when people who are even slightly overweight -- in other words, most of us -- eat sugar, we store a whopping 35 percent of it as fat. All sugar does this, not just HFCS. But unlike regular sugar, HFCS is cheap and shelf-stable so you don't have to park yourself in the candy and cookie aisle to get a lot of it.

• The fructose in HFCS also seems to overwhelm your liver's ability to process it. "The liver doesn't particularly like it when there's fructose in there," Dr. Oz said. "It's irritating and the liver responds by producing inflammatory compounds." Among other things, like laying the groundwork for artery damage and heart disease, these compounds also encourage your body to store more fat. "You're literally turning the major organ responsible for detoxifying you into fat, which is hindering your ability to get thin," he said. "Fat people have a tougher time getting thin than thin people have staying thin. The odds are stacked against them because their livers can't keep up."

The obvious solution is to limit your consumption of HFCS -- no small task to be sure. Dr. Oz suggests four ways to get started:

Limit processed foods. "If you eat whole foods, real foods, foods that don't come in colorful packages, that come out of the ground looking the way they look when you eat them, they won't sabotage your natural ability to regulate your weight," Dr. Oz said.

Read your labels. If HFCS is one of the first five ingredients in a particular product (or there's more than 4 grams of sugar per serving), skip it. "Natural versions of condiments don't have HFCS, but the inexpensive, more customarily eaten versions usually do," he said.

Try natural sweeteners. Raw honey, agave syrup, or stevia (a powdery natural sweetener that you can use like regular sugar or artificial sweeteners), are good options. "Natural sugar in natural form is the best way to get it," said Dr. Oz.

If you drink soda, switch to 100 percent fruit juice. Even though juice has sugar, it at least offers valuable nutrients. Or better yet, opt for water. If plain water is too boring, add some fizzy seltzer and a squeeze of lemon or lime. Or try no-calorie flavored waters, made with sucralose (aka Splenda).

Written by Norine Dworkin-McDaniel
Published January 2010


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