More Parfait!

Donkey in Shrek had it right, parfaits are just about the world's most perfect food.  Well, in my point of view anyway!  Here are a few delightful parfait recipes I picked up from First Magazine recently.  They're quick to make, and light on the calories.  These are a perfect breakfast or lunch on the weekend when you're dashing about.

Peachy-Keen Sunrise
(Makes 4 Servings)

  • 2 cans (15 oz. each) sliced peaches in light syrup
  • 2 cups low-fat vanilla yogurt
  • 1 cup thawed frozen whipped topping
  • 1 tsp chopped crystallized ginger
  • Pinch of cinnamon

Drain peaches in colander, but reserve 2 tbs. of the syrup.  In a medium bowl, whisk together yogurt, whipped topping, ginger, cinnamon and your reserved syrup.  Thinly slice 1/2 cup peach slices, set aside.  In food processor pulse remaining peach slices 3 times, or until finely chopped; divide evenly among 4 parfait glasses.  Divide yogurt-connamon mixture evenly among glasses and top with thinly sliced peaches.  Garnish with fresh mint if you like.

Per serving:  216 Calories, 5g protein, 39g Carb; 2g Fiber; 5mg Chol., 79 mg. Sodium;  4g Total Fat, 4g Sat. Fat; 0g Trans Fat

Bonus:  Ginger helps alleviate heartburn, and can calm the intensity of acid reflux by up to 40%

Razzmatazz Raspberry Mousse
(Makes 4 Servings)

  • 1 1/2 cups fresh raspberries, divided
  • 2 containers (8 oz. each) nonfat raspberry yogurt
  • 2 oz. low-fat cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1 cup frozen whipped topping, thawed
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 2 tbs. granola

In food processor, puree 1 cup berries and yogurt 1 minute.  Divide yogurt mixture evenly among 4 parfait glasses.  In bowl, combine next 3 ingredients; divide evenly among glasses.  Top with remaining berries, honey and granola.

Per serving:  221 Calories; 5g Protein; 40g Carb; 3g Fiber; 4 mg. Chol.; 75mg sodium, 5g Total Fat, 4g Sat. Fat; 0g Trans Fat

Bonus:  Raspberries may aid in reducing sun-induced age spots & freckles

Cool & Slim

How can you keep your cool and your waistline at the same time when the summer sun cranks up the heat?  Here's a few ideas from Medicinenet to stay cool yet slim during this summer.  According to their suggestions, if you allot yourself a treat of 100-150 calories (keep an eye on those calorie counts!), you're more likely to strengthen your resistance against the higher stake goodies out there.  Here are some quick ideas to keep you cool in the summer heat...

Frozen unsweetened fruits: Blueberries, grapes, strawberries, and raspberries are great by themselves or topped with a little low-fat yogurt.

Homemade fruit and cream pops: Fill small, Dixie-style, cups or a Popsicle mold with a blend of fruit and low-fat vanilla yogurt.

Banana chips: Slice and freeze bananas, 12 slices to a bag, to enjoy a cold, creamy treat.

Chilly chocolate chips: A tablespoon of chocolate chips has about 70 calories and offers a cool, quick chocolate fix.

Cold S'mores cups: Place a graham cracker, one large marshmallow, and a few chocolate chips in a small cup and microwave for a few seconds, then freeze.

Diet-friendly floats: Mix a scoop of low-fat vanilla ice cream with diet root beer for a root beer float.

Coffee Coolers: Blend ice with coffee, cocoa, and low-calorie sweetener to taste for a 15- rather than 500-calorie coffeehouse-style cooler. 

Chicken Enchiladas with Kid Appeal

Kids can present a unique challenge when it comes to weight loss.  While it's easy to deny yourself, change what you're eating, how do you continue to feed your family while you go through your own transition?  It can be tough, especially if you have picky eaters like my two little guys!  Generally, when I look for something to cook for my kids, I know what the deal breakers are.  Here's a good compromise.  If you pick up some cooked chicken from Perdue at your supermarket, this recipe can be made really quickly and easily.  


Speedy Chicken and Cheese Enchiladas

Yield: 4 servings (serving size: 2 enchiladas, 1 tablespoon sour cream, and 1 tablespoon cilantro)


  • Cooking spray
  • 1  cup  prechopped white onion
  • 1  cup  prechopped bell pepper
  • 1  (10-ounce) can enchilada sauce (such as Old El Paso)
  • 2  cups  chopped skinless, boneless rotisserie chicken breast (about 8 ounces)
  • 1  cup  (4 ounces) preshredded, reduced-fat Mexican blend cheese, divided
  • 1/2  teaspoon  ground cumin
  • 8  (6-inch) corn tortillas
  • 1/4  cup  fat-free sour cream
  • 1/4  cup  chopped fresh cilantro


Preheat broiler.

Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add onion and pepper; sauté 2 minutes or until crisp-tender. Add enchilada sauce; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 5 minutes.

Combine chicken, 3/4 cup of cheese, and cumin, tossing well.

Wrap tortillas in paper towels; microwave at high 30 seconds or until warm. Spoon 1/4 cup chicken mixture in center of each tortilla; roll up. Place tortillas, seam sides down, in an 11 x 7-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray. Pour sauce mixture over enchiladas; broil 3 minutes or until thoroughly heated. Sprinkle remaining 1/4 cup cheese evenly over enchiladas, and broil for 1 minute or until cheese melts. Serve with sour cream and cilantro. 

Lite & Lemony Cake

My five year old is just about to graduate from Pre-K, and this is the cake I'm planning to bake for the celebration in her honor.  Another winner from Taste of home magazine.  Light and luscious, this cake has only 161 calories per serving!

Light Lemon Cake


  • 1 package (18-1/4 ounces) yellow cake mix
  • 1 package (3.4 ounces) instant lemon pudding mix
  • 1-3/4 cups water
  • 2 egg whites
  • 3/4 cup cold fat-free milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon extract
  • 1 package (1 ounce) instant sugar-free vanilla pudding mix
  • 1 carton (8 ounces) frozen reduced-fat whipped topping, thawed


In a large bowl, combine the cake mix, lemon pudding mix, water and egg whites. Beat on low spread for 30 seconds. Beat on medium for 2 minutes.

Pour into a 13-in. x 9-in. baking pan coated with cooking spray. Bake at 350° for 23-28 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool.

Meanwhile, in a large bowl, whisk the milk, pudding mix and vanilla for 2 minutes. Let stand for 2 minutes or until soft-set. Fold in whipped topping. Spread over cake. Store in the refrigerator. Yield: 20 servings.

 Nutrition Facts: 1 serving (1 piece) equals 161 calories, 4 g fat (2 g saturated fat), trace cholesterol, 289 mg sodium, 29 g carbohydrate, 1 g fiber, 2 g protein. 

Load Up on Strawberries!

There's nothing better than the summer time to me. Of course, I've spent the last six months panicking over my weight relative to the looming prospect of wearing a bathing suit. Well, now that the sun has emerged and melted offf all the ice and snow from a rather harrowing winter, I can't help but smile as the sun shines down on me.

Summer is a great time of the year for foodies - especially those of us who are particular about what is going in ultimately against our waistlines! Fresh summer fruit and produce beckons. It's a great time for berries in particular. If you check out my blog this week you'll find a tasty recipe for strawberry salad. As a matter of fact, my kids and I had a 4 lb. haul of strawberries from a pick it yourself farm in Wayne, NJ. With temperatures in the mid 80's and a nice breeze cutting across the field, we couldn't have a better day! Not to mention all the delicious strawberries we brought home!  And at 49 calories per cup, strawberries make for a tasty summer indulgence!  AND, besides a naturally low calorie content, strawberries are a great source of Vitamin C, a good dose of the oh-so-important dietary fiber, and a satisfying burst of sweetness.
And the best part about upping your consumption of summer fruits and vegetables is that it really does very little to your calorie count. If you check out the Weight Watchers points system, you'll see that many vegetables have very low point counts. Best of all, they're a great way to fill full - it's easy to get away with eating a larger quantity of fruits and veggies, without sending your calorie counts off the charts. Not to mention, all the good you're doing your body in terms of fiber, hydration and nutrition.

My thought for this week? Get thee to a farm market for some fresh produce this summer season!

Strawberry Salad Forever

Strawberry season is about to kick off with the beginning of June, so here's a recipe to take advantage of this wonderfully sweet and delicious fruit!  Taste of Home magazine has plenty of really great, low calorie recipes that are bursting with flavor.  Enjoy!

Strawberry Romaine Salad


  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup slivered almonds
  • 1 bunch romaine, torn
  • 1 small onion, halved and thinly sliced
  • 2 cups halved fresh strawberries


  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 tablespoon sour cream
  • 1 tablespoon milk
  • 2-1/4 teaspoons cider vinegar
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons poppy seeds


In a small heavy skillet over medium-low heat, cook and stir the sugar until melted and caramel in color, about 10 minutes. Stir in almonds until coated. Spread on foil to cool; break into small pieces.

In a large bowl, combine the romaine, onion and strawberries. Combine the dressing ingredients; drizzle over salad and toss to coat. Sprinkle with coated almonds. Yield: 10 servings.

Nutrition Facts: 3/4 cup equals 112 calories, 7 g fat (1 g saturated fat), 2 mg cholesterol, 35 mg sodium, 12 g carbohydrate, 2 g fiber, 2 g protein. Diabetic Exchanges: 1 vegetable, 1 fat, 1/2 starch.

Out of Sight Out of Mind

Quick, what did you eat today?  Stop for a moment, and think about all the things you ate today.  Can you honestly recollect everything that passed over your lips today?  It’s funny when I get to thinking about these things, because in general, I can barely recall what I did about 30 minutes ago without smoke coming out of my ears from deep thought.  But one of my dieting dilemmas was the eating amnesia I suffered from.  I could pack away piles of cookies, and then an hour later, I’m answering the grumble of my stomach with yet another delivery of snacks. 

One day I stopped myself after reading an article on “zombie eating” and charged myself with the task of recounting everything I ate that day.  I think it was well into the afternoon when I was inspired to formulate this list.  Once I got to really thinking about what I ate that day, I was mortified at the list I compiled.  “There’s no way I ate that much” I thought to myself.  I was doing some serious “gratuitous grazing” throughout my day.  A tray of breakfast goods would arrive for a meeting, and despite having my own breakfast prior to that, there I was, taking a few choice selections for myself.  Shortly after that, there would be leftovers out from another meeting – cookies, salads, fruit, you name it.  Of course, I’d make my way out for lunch, pick up another 1,000 calories on a sandwich and chips, pick up a bag of chips or candy as an afternoon snack and then find myself starving by the time I got home for dinner.  After finishing off my kid’s left overs and rewarding myself with a bowl of ice cream as an after dinner treat, I’d brush my teeth and proudly head off to bed with my glass of water, with 0 calories!  Yeah, like that lousy glass of water was my redemption for all my insane excessiveness

Do we really take into account all the calories we consume throughout the day?  There are some people out there who will make me feel as though I’m obsessive thinking so much about what I’m eating.  I try my best to tune them out - I worked damn hard to get where I am today, and I’m not going to blow that on “just one little bite!”  I do my best to explain to people that I’m a “sugar-holic.”  Some people fall off the wagon with a cocktail, for me, it can happen with something as simple as one Oreo.  Just the thought of that ridiculous cookie is making me drool on my keyboard as I type this, that’s how bad a trigger they are for me. 

It was the effort to think about what I ate through the course of the  day that made me realize what I was eating, and I was astonished when I saw the frequency at which I was eating.  I’ve talked about keeping food diaries in the past, and as much of a pain in the rear end as they are, they’re really worth the effort.  I keep my little “Losin It” application going on my iTouch tracking my consumption and activity, and when that scale starts to creep up in number, l can look to that log and see my infractions immediately.

If you’re really serious about losing weight, then make the effort to be honest with yourself.  When you look at what you’re eating throughout the day, and are REALLY honest about it to yourself, you may be just as shocked as I was.  “I couldn’t be eating that much” is what I always thought – but my perception was diametrically opposed to the reality of my actions.  Make a point today to stop for 5 minutes and think about what you ate.  If it’s really out of whack, you can begin to mend your ways.

Lisa's Top 10 Summer Slim Tips

Eeek!  Summer is upon us, and I'm experiencing that last minute panic before swimsuit season officially hits this Memorial day weekend.  I'm passing along some of my top 10 last minute summer slim tips!

Lisa's Top 10 Summer Slim Tips

  1. Drink Water - Yeah, I've said this a thousand times, but it bears repeating.  Drink water until it comes out of your ears, or 8 glasses at 8 oz a shot, whichever comes first.  It makes your body function better, and aids in the transport of toxins from your body.  If you're an iPhone, iTouch user, get yourself a copy of the app 8 Glasses a Day, it makes tracking fun!
  2. Ice it Up - It's a medically proven fact that drinking colder drinks gives your body's resistence something to fight, thereby expending more energy (translation: calories).  Fill those 8 glasses of water I just mentioned with plenty of ice this summer - who can't use some bonus burn?
  3. Keep it Flat - Your drinks that is!  Carbonated beverages are notorious for bloat.  If you want to keep your tummy flat, stick with a glass filled with water, iced tea, or low calorie fruit juice.
  4. Popsicles are Hot - At only 40 calories a piece, you can't go wrong with these kiddie treats.  They're relatively inexpensive at your supermarket frozen section, and you have your choice of cherry, grape or organge, all at only 40 calories each.
  5. Veggies are Righteous - Whether it's a salad, grilled vegetables, fill your plate!  Summer is the season for fresh vegetables, and you can eat until you're full.  Keep it simple though, keep your eyes peeled when it comes to dressings and sauces.  Grilling veggies in a bit of olive oil, or making your own light salad dressings will give you results.
  6. No, Thank You - Put it into your vernacular and you'll see results.  A friend recently said to me that it's easy for me to wear cute clothes because I'm so skinny.  To which I replied, it's all in the "no" - how.  The more you do it, the easier it gets, and the prouder you'll become of your strength and resistance!
  7. Breakfast is a Priority - Think about what you're going to eat for breakfast ahead of time, and plan out your week.  I have a breakfast mix of 1/4 cup multigrain Cheerios, 1/4 cup granola and a handful of raisins which comes out to approximately 130 calories per bowl (before 1/2 cup of skim milk which brings the count up to approximately 175 calories).  
  8. Get Out - Find ways to get outside to enjoy the fresh air and outdoor activities.  I love to take my kids for miniature golf, and we get a kick out of croquet.  If it's tennis, beach volleyball or running on the beach, find a way to get out and get active!
  9. Fiber it Up - Studies show that getting your daily required amounts of fiber serves to not only aid in losing weight, but may help in the prevention of weight gain.  Keep your eye on the nutritional contents of what you eat to make sure you're consuming the recommended daily requirements of fiber.
  10. Ditch the Salt - Sodium has a tendency to make our bodies retain fluids.  Do your best to avoid salty snacks or sodium laden foods (condensed soups, cured meats, many processed foods). 


Low Calorie Potato Salad

Next weekend marks the "unofficial" beginning of summer, Memorial Day.  With the summer comes warm weather, picnics and barbecues.  And what picnic or barbecue would be complete without potato salad?  I've avoided potato salad like the plague due to it's high caloric count.  A warm version from Eatingwell.com has put this summertime delight back on my plate this year!  Enjoy!

Warm Chicken, Sausage & Potato Salad


  • 1 pound small potatoes, cut in half
  • 1 5-ounce bag arugula (about 4 cups, gently packed)
  • 12 ounces precooked chicken sausage, cut crosswise into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1/3 cup cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon whole-grain or Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • Freshly ground pepper, to taste


  1. Bring 1 inch of water to a boil in a Dutch oven. Place potatoes in a steamer basket and steam, covered, until just cooked through, about 15 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl and add arugula; cover with foil to keep warm.
  2. Cook sausage in a medium skillet over medium heat, stirring often, until browned and heated through, about 5 minutes. Add to the potato-arugula mixture.
  3. Remove the pan from the heat and whisk in vinegar, maple syrup and mustard, scraping up any browned bits. Gradually whisk in oil. Pour the dressing over the salad and toss until the arugula is wilted. Season with pepper.

Nutritional Value:

Per serving: 258 calories; 9 g fat (1 g sat, 3 g mono); 60 mg cholesterol; 27 g carbohydrates; 3 g added sugars; 15 g protein; 2 g fiber; 483 mg sodium; 103 mg potassium.  2 Carbohydrate Serving

Nutrition Bonus: Vitamin C (45% daily value).

Exchanges: 1 1/2 starch, 1 vegetable, 2 lean meat 

Tasty & Light Tostada Recipe

Mexican dishes are always a winner in my household.  I find them quick and easy to make, and my finicky kids are less likely to turn their nose up!  Tostadas are not only easy to make, but give you a bit of everything, vegetables, protein and calcium - an almost perfect meal.  Another tasty recipe from Cooking Light's website.

Chicken & Summer Vegetable Tostada


  • 1  teaspoon  ground cumin
  • 1/4  teaspoon  salt
  • 1/4  teaspoon  black pepper
  • 2  teaspoons  canola oil
  • 12  ounces  chicken breast tenders
  • 1  cup  chopped red onion (about 1)
  • 1  cup  fresh corn kernels (about 2 ears)
  • 1  cup  chopped zucchini (about 4 ounces)
  • 1/2  cup  green salsa
  • 3  tablespoons  chopped fresh cilantro, divided
  • 4  (8-inch) fat-free flour tortillas
  • Cooking spray
  • 1  cup  (4 ounces) shredded Monterey Jack cheese


Preheat broiler.

Combine first 3 ingredients, stirring well. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Sprinkle the spice mixture evenly over chicken. Add chicken to pan; sauté for 3 minutes. Add onion, corn, and zucchini to pan; sauté for 2 minutes or until chicken is done. Stir in salsa and 2 tablespoons cilantro. Cook 2 minutes or until liquid almost evaporates, stirring frequently.

Working with 2 tortillas at a time, arrange tortillas in a single layer on a baking sheet; lightly coat tortillas with cooking spray. Broil 3 minutes or until lightly browned. Spoon about 3/4 cup chicken mixture in the center of each tortilla; sprinkle each serving with 1/4 cup cheese. Broil an additional 2 minutes or until cheese melts. Repeat procedure with remaining tortillas, chicken mixture, and cheese. Sprinkle each serving with about 3/4 teaspoon of remaining cilantro. Serve immediately.

Nutritional Information:  Calories: 398 (30% from fat), Fat: 13.1g (sat 5.9g,mono 4.1g,poly 1.2g), Protein: 32.5g,  Carbohydrate: 36.7g, Fiber: 3.1g, Cholesterol: 75mg, Iron: 1.4mg Sodium: 799mg, Calcium: 236mg