weight watchers, beer and chowder.

so. i joined weight watchers.

i know, right?

after almost a year of trying to lose weight, i faced the music a few weeks ago and realized that i may be one of those people who needs an external force to help me out. now that the twins are two, i technically can't get away with calling this 'baby weight' anymore. and although getting back into running this past year has helped, i've only lost about 15 pounds so far. there's another 15 that i need to get rid of in order to not be considered 'overweight' by those infuriating BMI charts, and i'd love to squeeze my ass into some size 8 or 6 jeans by summer.

i know i can do this, and they say the key to accomplishing anything is to tell yourself that you can do it... to picture yourself actually getting to your goal. i've gotten pretty good at visualizing myself 30 lbs lighter... but i seem to have a bit of a problem when it comes to beer. and cheese. and peanut butter. oh, and i have also developed a very comfortable cupcake habit in the past year or so.

a lot of people have had success with ww. and i found a killer deal through my workplace reimbursement program. AND, i don't have to go to any meetings and sit in a circle with a bunch of other fat people and talk about our problems and point out the childhood trauma which is to blame for why we can't keep that fourth slice of chocolate cake out of our mouths. i can log all my food and eating habits in the privacy of my own internet connection, and weigh-in in the privacy of my own bathroom.


it's been about two weeks since i've joined, and i've lost about a pound. the one thing that i'll say about ww is that it teaches you how to eat. i mean, i've always known that if i want to lose weight i should eat more vegetables and fruits and less bread and cheese, and that i should drink a ton of water and lay off of the venti mocha frappacinos with extra whip (thankfully, this is not a habit that i have... i like my coffee strong and black). but when you actually see your points adding up for the day, and you know that if you eat an apple or have some carrots, you're not going to use up any points and therefore can have that meatball marinara you've been planning for dinner? well, that's a pretty awesome way to fulfill the munchies and cravings without using up points on chips and cream cheese.

i'm also finding it fun and challenging to take a lot of my standard recipes and make them 'healthy'. i wouldn't say that i'm an unhealthy cook to start off with, but i do tend to use a lot of olive oil and butter in pretty much everything without paying attention. now that i'm measuring out my ingredients, i find that a Tablespoon of olive oil works just fine to saute vegetables in, as opposed to "just a few glugs" (which usually works out to be about 1/2 a cup).

with that said, i made some corn chowder tonight. my family recipe for corn chowder is so good that it makes you want to rip your pants off. creamy, sultry, oozing with blissy pockets of creamed corn, chunks of earthy potatoes and swirled with salty butter pads. my new version is none of those things. but it's full of vegetables and therefore VERY filling, and the creaminess from all the dairy in the original recipe (heavy cream, whole milk and half & half) is mimicked by pureeing part of the soup to give it that creamy texture without all the ass-fattening-calories. and if i do say so myself, the soup turned out pretty damn amazing.

recipe: corn chowder, skinny ass version

you will need:
2 Tablespoons unsalted butter
1 medium yellow onion, peeled (duh) and chopped
1 Tablespoon savory herb of choice (like parsley, thyme, marjoram, chevril, tarragon, thyme, marjoram or a mixture of any of these)
2 tsp kosher salt and 1 tsp pepper
2 carrots, peeled and coarsely chopped (yields about one cup)
1 stalk celery, scrubbed and coarsely chopped (yields about 1/2 cup)
2 Tablespoons AP flour
3 cups chicken or vegetable broth
4 cups frozen corn kernels
2 bay leaves
2 cups milk (i used 1%, but any milk would work, just make sure if you use soy or almond that it's unsweetened)
4 medium potatoes, scrubbed and set aside whole (if you cut them now, they'll turn black and you'll blame me for having black potatoes... just scrum 'em and leave 'em alone)
more s&p to taste

melt butter in a large stock pot. add onion, herbs, salt and pepper and cook until onions are soft, about 5-6 minutes. next, add the carrots and celery. cook about 4 minutes, until the carrots and celery have just started to soften but still hold their crunch.

next, sprinkle the flour over the vegetables and mix all around to coat the vegetables and cook the flour. cook just a minute to get rid of the ‘raw’ flavor of the flour. now add the broth, the bay leaves and the corn. bring to a simmer and cook the corn at a low simmer, about 10 minutes.

fish out the bay leaves and set aside. you’ll want to add them back into the soup in a moment. add the milk and using an immersion blender, blend about 1/2 of the soup. a blender would also work, just blend about 2-3 cups of the soup and then add the blended mixture back to the pot. doing this helps to thicken the soup and make it ‘creamy’ without using a bunch of fat ass dairy.

return the bay leaves to the soup. add the potatoes and bring the whole mixture to a low simmer (very low, don’t scald the milk). cook until the potatoes are soft, about 10-15 minutes.

once the potatoes are soft, you’re ready to go! just taste for seasonings and adjust as needed. i added about another teaspoon of flaky salt towards the end as the potatoes seemed to absorb some of the salt.


  1. Way to go girl! Very proud of you friend!

  2. Nice work! I thought that twin weight would just drop off.... and it didn't. I finally had to bite the bullet and start logging all of my food intake on SparkPeople, and I lost 10 or 12 pounds in about three months last year. It sucked, but once I got to my goal weight, my diet was cleaned up, and when I started eating to maintain I felt like I could have SO MUCH food. It was awesome.

  3. I'm not coming over to eat anymore. Too healthy. Ha. Your mother.

  4. ashley, popped in to say we did end up buying in northeast...and ABSOLUTELY love it. we simply couldn't have made a better choice. also, coincidentally, the new year finds me on ww as well...without twins to blame the weight gain on! i will be trying the soup...


    1. hi angie! we should hang out sometime... email me - ashley.rebekah.grinnell @ gmail

  5. i emailed you!



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