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Weight Watchers Foodies -- No Fooling, It's the April Edition!

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Spring is here and lengthening and warming days should be nature's encouragement to us to get or keep on program. For those of us in colder climates, the earth is having a makeover, and that's our cue for doing the same.

How is the spring remaking your food choices this April?

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  1. Well, while in the desert we aren't climbing out of the cold, we are about to hibernate and this is a season of transition here too. Spring does bring renewal and here in the desert we also do our spring cleaning and other spring rituals.

    With this in mind, given my last few week of temptations and challenges, I'm renewing my spirit towards more healthy choices. Renewed focus on fruits and vegs as the center of my plate, Renewed focus away from bread and ice cream which have been my temptations in recent weeks. Renewed focus on healthy activity seeking to find an activity I enjoy as a counterpoint to running.

    This blog entry from MFP came across my Facebook feed yesterday. http://blog.myfitnesspal.com/2014/03/...

    It caught my eye and resonated a bit with me after the last month so I took the time to read . Reading it I think it actually had a lot a value, even it wasn't saying anything new. I really like item #3 which refers to the Buddhist saying that "the obstacles are the path." Isn't that the truth?

    3 Replies
    1. re: ziggylu

      Thanks for the link ... Don’t worry about the next mile, worry about the next step - resonates with me.

      So I'm 3 weeks in, and up until this weekend I haven't had an issue with cravings. I've been super motivated and focused. Well Sat/Sun/Mon that all went down the drain. Super mad at myself, I feel like I have such a long road I can't afford a misstep. I know that's unrealistic, but it's still in a loop in my head.

      So I'm back on the road this week and next, which is automatically harder. Right now I'm lobbying for my co-worker to choose Bonefish Grill which has nutritional info vs. a local steakhouse ... but I see myself losing that battle.

      Feeling better about getting my focus back today, but still down about how long the road is going to be.

      1. re: aimeekm

        I'm so impressed w people who do WW on the road.

      2. re: ziggylu

        Oooh, great blog post. Thanks for sharing it! :-)

      3. Ugh April has been v tough. Baby came down w croup on Monday night, so I've been sleep deprived since then. and when I'm sleep deprived, I want sugar. I baked cranberry chocolate chip oatmeal cookies w the thinking that better a homemade treat than store bought. I'm coming down w something and only wanted the cottage cheesy bechamel + cauliflower parts of dinner. Not sure how to point it.

        1 Reply
        1. re: relizabeth

          Baking is so dangerous. I had to bake for a bake sale, and for the arrival of a friend from Egypt who adores my chocolate chip cookies. Guess who wound up eating a bunch? So dangerous for me to have around.

        2. Miraculously down a pound this week, which is very motivating for me. I'm trying to make sure to track everything this week, no matter if I go off or not.

          4 Replies
          1. re: roxlet

            Congratulations! Long deserved step in the right direction :)

            1. re: herby

              Thanks. I am genuinely trying to build on it this week.

              1. re: roxlet

                And you will! I am sending good thoughts your way :)

            2. re: roxlet

              Congrats! It's motivating to be down.

            3. Down 1.8 this week. That's only half of the ridiculous gain that I had last week but I guess it's better than nothing?

              4 Replies
              1. re: Kontxesi

                Hey, mine was only 1/3 of my ridiculous gain, but I'm happy to whittle away at it, and certainly glad I'm not up!

                1. re: Kontxesi

                  Keep it up, Kon, and in no time you'll leave that gain behind for good. I am still sitting at the same....

                  1. re: Kontxesi

                    Hey, any loss is a loss!

                    1. re: Kontxesi

                      1.8 is good!!

                    2. I just saw this recipe on the Martha Stewart web site, and it seems like a very WW-friendly recipe. And it serves 1!

                      http://www.marthastewart.com/315344/p...

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: roxlet

                        Yum. I may just try this one! Looks great. I googled for copycat Chipotle recipes yesterday - made the chicken, cilantro-lime rice, the fajita veggies and black beans. It was delicious and very true to the originals! (Didn't calculate points or track, though! Whoopsie!)

                      2. Made this old staple for dinner and inhaled it.
                        http://www.nytimes.com/2009/04/15/hea...

                        (subbed firm tofu for soft, chipotle for Serrano, and forgot to add soy sauce)

                        1. I'm only down .2 this week. So disappointing. It wasn't a great week, but per MFP, my avg was 1500 cal/day, so I had hoped to be down more. I drank a lot of my calories last week, I wonder if that is part of it.

                          Still struggling w cravings and back on the road next week .... sigh ....

                          4 Replies
                          1. re: aimeekm

                            Yeah, drinking calories are pretty empty, plus when I've had a few drinks, I feel invincible and I think I can eat anything. More chips? Sure, pass the bowl this way.

                            1. re: roxlet

                              I actually brought a bag of carrots to Happy Hour on Friday, so I was able to withstand all the temptation of the wings, dip etc. But fast food is always my temptation on the way home!

                              I was thinking that maybe since since alcohol calories are so readily absorbed, that having them a high percentage of calories makes it harder to lose weight. On 4 of the last 7 days alcohol made up 33% of my daily cals on those days. This week probably won't be much better w social and work events.

                              1. re: aimeekm

                                It has to do with your body burning alcohol for fuel first so it suspends glucose and fat burning during the time it is metabolizing the alcohol. Essentially, when you drink you are postponing losing weight/ fat.

                                1. re: weezieduzzit

                                  Great! Guess it'll be another week of weight loss on hold!

                                  Thanks for the info.

                          2. Does anyone ever doubt nutritional information either official or on MFP or similar? I can't wrap my head around calories in items restaurant items, either high or low sometimes.

                            For instance, Portillo's Italian Beef - 451 cals on various non official sites, seems crazy low. But 2 oz of the jus, 220 calories, seems crazy high. The sandwich is packed full of beef and the jus seems a lot closer to broth than oily.

                            My fave dish at my fave Happy Hour place is Togardashi Edamame, official recipe here http://www.tasteterminal.com/2012/01/... Serving size at the restaurant is pretty approximate to the recipe, recipe has only 1 tsp of oil, restaurant probably uses more ... BUT per the nutritional info on the website, it has 720 cals?!

                            3 Replies
                            1. re: aimeekm

                              the recipe calls for 1 Tbl of vegetable oil AND 1 tsp of sesame oil.
                              about 200 calories worth of oil to cover 3 oz of edamame.

                              1. re: westsidegal

                                I always reduce the fat when I make recipes. Personally, I'd just use the sesame oil in this.

                                1. re: roxlet

                                  as would i.
                                  +1, roxlet

                                  ( i eat edamame all the time and even if i wasn't trying to control my weight, that extra tablespoon of oil would ruin the taste of the food imho)

                            2. I miss baking so when I found this recipe in Men's Health I had to try it at 70 calories a muffin. Real men do bake I guess. I wimped out on the sugar substitute (only had packets of sugar substitute so added 15 which was maybe an eighth of a cup- not a fan of this stuff). But I like the egg white and protein powder additions to my diet. Had to sample one and they are good.

                              http://www.mensfitness.com/banana-oat...

                              1. I go into my office 2-3 days a week and on those days, I always bring a salad for lunch. And for the past maybe 2 years, I have been using Newman's Own Low Fat Sesame Ginger Dressing. It's low in points (only 1 point per serving and you really don't need a lot) and I just like it.

                                Or I should say *liked* it. For the past 2 weeks or so, I haven't been happy with my salads and today I realized that I am officially over the Sesame Ginger dressing. I don't want to see it for a long time.

                                So now I need to find an alternative. Any suggestions for a salad dressing that's low in points and tasty? Yes, I could make my own, but I'd rather not...I make enough other things from scratch so I'm ok buying salad dressing.

                                11 Replies
                                1. re: valerie

                                  I never buy salad dressing(likely because my mom didn't ot be honest...)

                                  Anyway, that said, I was at a friend's house a few weeks ago and they used Annie's Artichoke Parmesan. It was actually pretty tasty. Not sure how it is points wise, 90 calories in 2 tablespoons. It had a lot of flavor so a little would go a long way...

                                  1. re: ziggylu

                                    Have you tried the Bolthouse Yogurt dressings? I think they're pretty decent and very reasonable points-wise.

                                    1. re: debbypo

                                      Thanks. I have heard people recommend Bolthouse dressings before. I just looked and most of the dressings were 1 point for 1 tbsps. which is good. I will look for them when I am out shopping today.

                                      1. re: debbypo

                                        Do they all taste like pineapple? I've glanced at many labels and they all seem to have it for some reason.

                                        1. re: fldhkybnva

                                          I haven't noticed any pineapple taste. I like to thin them with a bit of wine vinegar to help them flow better. I find they're the best low point commercial dressing out there.

                                          1. re: roxlet

                                            I just came back from the supermarket and I bought the honey mustard yogurt dressing. I tasted it and I certainly did not taste pineapple. I usually like to buy a vinaigrette type dressing since I feel like a little goes a longer way but I really needed a change.

                                    2. re: valerie

                                      If you have access to Trader Joe's and aren't one of the people who think cilantro tastes like soap or worse, then I recommend the Reduced Fat Cilantro Dressing. I love it. I use it on other things besides salad - it's delish on salmon.

                                      1. re: saturngrrl

                                        I love cilantro. How many points per serving, and how large is the serving?

                                        1. re: roxlet

                                          http://www.fooducate.com/app#page=pro...

                                          This lists the ingredients, too. Looks like it would be very easy to copycat.

                                          1. re: weezieduzzit

                                            Not bad -- 2 tablespoons is one point.

                                      2. re: valerie

                                        Hey! I'm always on a always on a salad dressing hunt as well. Here's something that worked for me recently. A) Bolthouse Yogurt Caeser something. If you like a yogurt tang, two points. B) Always loved Trader Joe's Goddess dressing (3 points for 2 tablespoons) but it's soooo needlessly thick. So I put one tablespoon in a little ramekin sized tupperware with some water, apple cider vinegar, and dijon mustard, Doubling the amount of dressing but not adding any points. Now I have 1 point dressing. C) Have you ever tried using hummus as a dressing? I've been doing that recently (with Sabra classic hummus, my favorite) and it works surprisingly well. The amount of flavor and the satisfaction of mouth feel are great!

                                      3. I was actually home for dinner tonight. Hubby was out so I kept it simple. Baked a piece of mahi mahi i'd seasoned with a rub of cumin, oregano, garlic, hatch chile powder and S&P. Mixed some of the same rub into some greek yogurt. Put the fish on a bed of spinach. Topped with the yogurt sauce and some tomatillo fresh salsa. It was a tasty, fresh, low in calories/points, and really satisifying.

                                        1. Almost another week gone by, and though I have been marginally more careful, I'm still not successfully on program. Mornings are not the problem; it's the afternoons. And I didn't track again this week except for the first couple of days. Ugh.

                                          3 Replies
                                          1. re: roxlet

                                            Remind yourself of the progress you have made! Even during rough times I tell myself that if I stop going, I will gain back all the weight I lost...and then some.

                                            1. re: valerie

                                              There are rough times. I kept going almost every week through a year and a half where I lost a whopping 5 lbs. See-sawed up and down a few the whole time. Now I've been back on a roll and have lost 10 since my hip replacement in early February. Stick with it! If I had not kept going I'm sure that, instead of maintaining I would have gained at least 20-30 back in that time.
                                              I think that part of why afternoon is harder for many of us is that we're getting tireder and it's a quest for energy. I've been buying really nice coffees and teas for that low energy time as a treat... maybe try it.
                                              Best to all. It's a long hard struggle but so worth it.

                                              1. re: debbypo

                                                I just realized that there is almost exactly 2 months to my son's HS graduation. One of my goals was to lose weight so that we could have a really nice photo taken of all of us on that day. In two months, I can lose 10 pounds if I really cut out all the cheating and excuses. That's my short term goal now.

                                          2. Bad, bad, no willpower week, in combo with traveling, up 1.2

                                            1 Reply
                                            1. re: aimeekm

                                              You're better than I -- I wimped out and skipped my meeting giving myself more time to get back on track.

                                            2. Seems like it's been a tough month for everyone. I hope everyone is doing OK. And not giving up!

                                              I had a good weigh in this week, down 3+. That said, I've had challenges lately. I finally realized it was work related....lots of self doubt creeping in was sending me back into mindless eating and food for comfort. It took a couple weeks for me to identify but once I did, verbalized it and owned it, I"ve been more back on track.

                                              The one thing I did do through the bad weeks was keep tracking. If you're struggling...if you do nothing else, keep on tracking. Even if it's tons of points and calories...try and keep tracking.

                                              3 Replies
                                              1. re: ziggylu

                                                Congratulations Ziggylu! You are a true inspiration - thank you for sharing. It really helps to hear that others struggle too and overcome:)

                                                1. re: ziggylu

                                                  You're my idol!

                                                  1. re: ziggylu

                                                    Thanks, ladies.

                                                    We're all in this together and I hope everyone is still doing well. Challenges are part of life in everythign we do, right? :)

                                                    I've discovered a snack that surprisingly keeps me really happy. Salted cucumber slices. I can eat these all day long!

                                                  2. I weighed in yesterday after staying away for a few weeks. I was down 2.8. Even thought it was for 3 weeks, it still made me happy to see the scale move in the right direction.

                                                    2 Replies
                                                    1. re: valerie

                                                      Absolutely! Listen, if you only lost a pound a week, you'd be 50 lbs lighter next year this time.

                                                      1. re: roxlet

                                                        This! yes!

                                                        A pound a week is nothing at all to sneeze at...that's a healthy but substantial loss!

                                                    2. Down 1.2 at weigh in yesterday, which was better than I had feared definitely (especially since I had a really nice dinner out with friends the night before). And then came home and got struck down with an awful stomach virus-a horrible 24 hours, especially since it was a beautiful saturday. Bright side-down 2 pounds since yesterday morning :) and feel better today, though only snacking on saltines so far.

                                                      We had friends over for a barbecue last weekend and made these chicken red onion and mint kebabs, which are one of my very favorites-turns out to be about 5 points a serving (I didn't count all the olive oil since it's a marinade and most of it stays in the bag). Served with brown rice, a little feta and salad and some homemade tzatziki.
                                                      Fabulous meal

                                                      http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/foo...

                                                      2 Replies
                                                      1. re: girlwonder88

                                                        Hope you are feelign better today! Be sure to rehydrate!

                                                        1. re: ziggylu

                                                          Recovered in about 24 hours...down a total of 8 at weigh in today from my start 8 weeks ago so feeling good about it!. I'm not tracking much-my vague plan is to be really thoughtful about my food choices most of the time, and if I gain, I make myself go back to tracking. Working so far. Now that the weather's nice, hoping to really up my activity level.

                                                          Favorite thing I made-or really, assembled-this week was using a chopped raw veggie mix they sell in a tub at Trader Joe's-super 8 or something? Anyway, combined a tub of those with brown rice, shredded chicken I had in the freezer (froze a bunch in one pound bags) and a vinaigrette...super tasty, filling, healthy, easy...even kids ate. Today I added the last little bit to a bunch of lettuce and tossed-still yummy :). Sushi tonight to celebrate DH's new job-new sushi place to us that's pretty high end, so I imagine I'll stay on track, partly because it's sushi and partly because it's expensive.

                                                      2. Had a very undisciplined weekend with eating out, drinking and delicious left overs.

                                                        I've noticed that when I put time and thought into a meal, like when I cook for my bf, I'm inclined to eat much less. It explains why I've gained almost all my weight since my divorce 10 years ago. For some reason I don't like to put effort into meals for one. I end up eating fast food or something junky at home. Unfortunately with traveling and kid schedules I only get to make a couple of meals a week for the bf.

                                                        So I'm trying to insure I have a good week this week. I prepped a lot of food so I have fast, healthy meals for lunch and dinner.

                                                        Lean Beef Stewed with Onions and Cumin
                                                        Roxlet, your WFD posts with your Egyptian houseguest inspired this, as it is an adapted recipe from my Egyptian ex-Stepfather

                                                        Cauliflower Rice
                                                        I really wanted to like this, intended to eat with the stew. But, blech, the only way I can eat it is in a highly seasoned "fried rice". I riced 2 heads, so I have a lot of fried rice in my future!

                                                        Asian Slaw
                                                        cabbage, shedded carrots, sesame oil, sesame seeds, rice wine vinegar

                                                        Fennel Bean Soup
                                                        More of a winter dish, but I had fennel, I had beans, voila

                                                        Hope having all this healthy food available keeps me away from McDonalds!

                                                        8 Replies
                                                        1. re: aimeekm

                                                          Down 4 ... YAY!

                                                          Just need to continue the momentum though the weekend with a party, Easter, then traveling next week.

                                                          1. re: aimeekm

                                                            Damn you, you gave those to me!

                                                            Another disappointing week, but I am resolved to dig in. Not going last week was a big mistake, which compounded the problem. With Easter coming up, it's Sunday will be difficult, but I will definitely try to track more religiously this week. Oy vey.

                                                            1. re: roxlet

                                                              Oops ... sorry about that! Let's find someone else to give them to next week ... I nominate my ex husband!

                                                              I wish I was hosting Easter dinner, the more work I put into a meal the less of an appetite I have for it.

                                                              1. re: aimeekm

                                                                I agree...when I host, I don't eat quite as much. Problem is that I like my leftovers! I hosted 2 Passover seders this week and the scale showed it today. I was up 1.4. If the dinners were earlier in my WW week, I probably could have recovered. But they were Monday and Tuesday so I couldn't recover for today. Moving on...

                                                                1. re: valerie

                                                                  Oh, I completely agree, but I have the perfect solution. I actually jointly host with my mom. I have the cooking skills and she has the big house and kitchen, and I get to leave all the leftovers!

                                                              2. re: roxlet

                                                                They might have come to me this week. My meeting is tonight but my scale at home says i'm up about 5 since yesterday. Couldn't get my rings on this morning even though they've gotten loose enough I need to think about resizing soon. How I wish I didn't retain water the way I do but there's just 2-3 days a month when I hold between 4-7lbs extra without fail. I can map them like clockwork so don't really worry to much but I hate having to weigh in on these days and wish it was possible to just go to the meeting and not weigh. I know it'll all be gone by the weekend, along with a bit more so it's just really annoying to have to go through the official process.

                                                                Hubby's out of town for the holiday weekend so I generally it's going to be a low key eating weekend. I'm makign Easter dinner for my family on Sunday but we aren't going too overboard with it.

                                                                1. re: ziggylu

                                                                  Ugh. What a drag.

                                                                  1. re: ziggylu

                                                                    Just think about the week after when you'll be down big time and stay the course.

                                                                    I had one of these bad-bad days; didn't feel like cooking last night and took manicotti out of the freezer with tomato sauce that needed to be used and a few gratings of Parm. Was practically falling asleep in the afternoon - reviewing badly written reports didn't help either. Then had to do some shopping in the afternoon and bought salmon steak since I thought that I need some protein and no more carbs. It was delicious but so very fatty :(

                                                                    I took a Paleo book out of the library and going to read it over this weekend along with another one on worm composting:)

                                                            2. So after a good week, I had a bad weekend. Party on Saturday night, a lot of alcohol calories. Then Sunday I ate only frosting ....but a lot of frosting all day, then arrived at Easter dinner starving. Exercised no self control.

                                                              Disappointed in my self after a big loss last week!

                                                              3 Replies
                                                              1. re: aimeekm

                                                                Drink lots of water over the next several days, cut back on some carbs and try to get a little extra walkign or other activity in. 2 days won't set you back weeks.

                                                                Unless you let it become a pattern like I have this month! I don't recommend that however. :-)

                                                                1. re: ziggylu

                                                                  Thanks, I needed to hear " don't let it become a pattern". I didn't start today off great, Easter leftovers.

                                                                  Now I'm sitting at the airport. I was contemplating picking something up for the plane from one of my favorite restaurants (yes in an airport!). But I'm not hungry, so I'm going to skip it! One little battle won, for now.

                                                                  1. re: ziggylu

                                                                    Good advice from Z, and DON'T miss your meeting this week no matter what. I made that mistake a couple of weeks ago after a bad week, and things went from bad to worse. Mostly on track this week.

                                                                2. Hope everyone had a Happy Easter!

                                                                  i've had a hard month. I'm up 3-4lbs despite running over 25 miles/week.,...so I'm doing lots of things wrong obviously. this is the first real gain I've had since starting last May.

                                                                  I've been really frustrated at work. Finally finishing my graduate degree this semester. My husband has been traveling. And just generally I'm down and stressed and lots of bad habits have come back...not the least of which is not tracking the last week and a half.

                                                                  The last two weeks have been particularly bad(note no trackign those weeks either!).

                                                                  I've been using MFP for the last few months but I'm switching back to WW points tracking for the next week or two to force me to think about what I'm eating a little more. I know I haven't been eating fruits and vegs the way I had been over the past years. Time to adjust the habits again and I do think the WW tracking is very effective for that.

                                                                  Trying not to be too down. But recognizing it's time to really start focusing back on being healthy and stop being complacent and assuming I'm burnign enough calories to make up for things I eat. Activity does mean I need to fuel my body but that doesn't mean I need to be eating 500 extra calories a day!

                                                                  Started this morning with a bowl of plain oatmeal and some berries. Back to salads at lunch when the time comes. Mostly no more snacking and grazing which I've gotten back into the habit of doing.

                                                                  3 Replies
                                                                  1. re: ziggylu

                                                                    Good start for today. I'm really impressed by the running, 25/mi week!

                                                                    I track every day, good or bad. It helps me gauge how far off program I've gone. I like in MFP the weekly calorie bar graph. It makes me feel like I can recover from a bad day.

                                                                    1. re: aimeekm

                                                                      I'm not sure running 25 miles a week is that impressive...but gaining 3 lbs while doing so might be. That's a lot of extra calories I put in myself the last couple weeks! LOL

                                                                      I actually prefer MFP overall for tracking....but I really need to focus back on some healthy eating guidelines so I'm going to back to WW for a week or two for now.

                                                                      Had to meet someone for lunch today at the campus Subway. Not my favorite choice at all but went with a veggie sandwich no cheese.

                                                                      Having some fish and leftover braised green beans for dinner tonight

                                                                    2. re: ziggylu

                                                                      Just keep tracking! It really helps.

                                                                    3. After a Lenten Fast I indulged in a restaurant Easter dinner yesterday and will be spending next weekend in Manhattan visiting the kids and there are plans for burgers and pizza. I want to get back on the wagon for good in May. No more excuses.. just entering all the numbers in the Sparks Program- it's free! I loved WW when we had meetings at work but now I'm retired and living in the boonies on a budget I'm not signing up for the plan. Looking for a better health club but the Sparks thingie has worked well - I lost about a pound a week until I hit the wall last week. Warm weather means free exercise and veggies on the barbie so I am hopeful that I will be back in my old clothes this summer. Smoking on the grill is fairly lo cal isn't it?

                                                                      1. I cancelled my WW membership last November after not regularly tracking for a couple of months and then got back on in February. I regained all I'd lost in the past year which admittedly wasn't a heck of a lot since I was being a bum (14 lbs.).

                                                                        Roxlet - you were right about the juice cleanse thing I was doing from Costco. Yes, I did lose weight (prob mostly water weight), but it was way too hard for me to be that disciplined every single week, eating vegan Tues-Thurs. I lasted 3 weeks and felt amazing, but my schedule doesn't allow me to eat at exact times which the cleanse required. I'd recommend it in times of desperate measures.

                                                                        I was just going through emails and saw the Hungry Girl email from today and decided I'd come say hello. The HG email had a few 2 ingredient recipes that looked like great snacks - 3 hard-boiled egg whites with salsa (1 PP), bag of coleslaw mix w/ 1/2 cup of seasoned rice vinegar (1/4 of recipe/1 c. = 1PP). What're you guys snacking on nowadays? I recently realized that my snacking on hummus has been adding up.

                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                        1. re: adrienne156

                                                                          I have heard the same thing over and over from members in my meeting (many of them lifetime members): Coming to meetings helps you stay on track, and helps keep a small gain from becoming a gain of all the weight you lost...and then some.

                                                                        2. Down 2 ... good considering I went off the rails Easter weekend.

                                                                          I can only hope I won't regain all of that in the coming week. It is looking bleak diet wise. Starting tonight, Bday Happy Hour, tomorrow Bday restaurant dinner, Sunday party (not Bday related!). Then next week traveling, 3 cities, including Vegas, and entertaining every lunch and dinner. Lots of food and even more so alcohol calories in my future. Under normal circumstances I would be looking forward to it all. Now it just feels like an obstacle!

                                                                          1. Let's continue the discussion here:

                                                                            http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/974207