Thinking about the Simple Start Plan from Weight Watchers? #SimpleStart

So, if you are here, you’re probably thinking about the Simple Start plan from Weight Watchers.  I was given a free one month subscription to Weight Watchers to try their Simple Start plan and write about my experience. Though I was compensated for my time and commitment, all views, positive and negative, are my own. I have just finished 2 weeks on the Simple Start program and what do I think?

simple start

It’s simple.

It’s easy.

It’s convenient,

It’s REAL food.  You can indulge.  You like salty? Have some salty.  You like sweet?  Indulge (a little).

It’s worth trying.  And here’s why.

It’s not different food than you normally buy.  Or maybe it is- maybe it’s some healthier options.  But it’s “regular” grocery items.  It’s not different, more expensive or specialty.  So it’s accessible to anyone.  There’s even a whole 2 weeks of menu plan ideas and choices so you can really do almost nothing at all for planning.  Choose your meals, buy the ingredients, and voila.  Plan.  There’s even indulgences built in.

I’m happy with it.  I’d do it again.  But instead, I think I’ll continue with Weight Watchers for a while. I haven’t yet tried any of the Weight Watchers Smoothies but I intend to pop in to a center and grab some because I think I’ll like them. I’m feeling super motivated because I did so well for the Simple Start 2 weeks….and I’m feeling a bit more energetic and positive about the direction I’m heading in.

That’s a win in my book.

The ease of this program and what comes with it really gives you tools to jump start the program- 2 easy weeks- 14 days- it was worth a shot, just like I said. Now I’m looking forward to the next 2 weeks (seriously, I’m not even dreading them)!

I’ve even done some fun Weight Watchers recipes for my family that have been pretty popular with you all, including my Weight Watchers Chicken Pot Pie

WW Chicken Pot Pie

and Weight Watchers Tortellini Soup.

weight watchers tortellini soup recipe


Weight Watchers Friendly Tortellini Soup

Given that we’ve all been sick, it’s been a week of soups in the house.  This recipe was an instant hit with all 5 of us and we’ll definitely be making it again.

 If you want to crock pot this, check below the instructions for stovetop.  Easy, peasy.

Love this recipe? Check out this Parmesan Spaghetti Squash Recipe!

weight watchers tortellini soup recipe #simplestart 

A delicious but light soup with an Italian flavor simmered right in. Heavy on veggies and low in calories but not low in flavor this Tortellini Soup is perfect for chilly days or nights. I first found a recipe similar to this on but I didn’t care for the huge stewed tomatoes and felt it was missing some flavor, while this version is a little higher in calories and fat I think that it is still an amazingly healthy choice. Even though there are a lot of ingredients this is a very simple recipe to prepare and all the  flavors blend well together to create a filling and tasty lunch or satisfying dinner for any night of the week.  My husband threw some cooked Italian Sausage into his bowl- I’m thinking next time I make it if the family wants a meat-filled meal, I’ll add some Turkey or Chicken Italian Sausage for a little extra protein for them.


8-10 oz. package Tortellini pasta-dried, frozen, or fresh

3 cups chicken broth (we use low sodium)

1 cup water

1-14 oz. can diced tomatoes

3 carrots

1 small onion, diced

2 stalks celery

1 ½ cups fresh spinach,chopped

¼ cup Parmesan cheese (use reduced fat for less calories)

3 cloves garlic,crushed

 1 tsp. Basil

1 tsp. Oregano

1 tsp. Rosemary

1 tsp. Black pepper

1 Tbsp. olive oil

tortellini soup ingredients #simplestart


Saute olive oil, onions, carrots, and celery in a large saucepan over medium-high heat until onions start to become translucent. Stir in garlic until heated through.

Stir in diced tomatoes, broth, water, Basil, Oregano, Rosemary, and black pepper- simmer, stirring occasionally for 5 minutes.

Add in tortellini pasta, spinach and Parmesan cheese- simmering for an additional 15 minutes, stirring several times during simmer.

OR, toss onions, carrots, celery, garlic, broth, water, Oregano, Rosemary and black pepper into your crock pot.  Cook on low 3-4 hours.  Add tortellini, spinach and Parmesan cheese and cook on low another hour.

Serve and Enjoy this 3 point per cup soup!

5.0 from 9 reviews
Weight Watchers Friendly Tortellini Soup (With Crock Pot Instructions)
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Weight Watchers Friendly Tortellini Soup Recipe with a crock pot and stovetop method included
Recipe type: Soup
Cuisine: Weight Watchers Friendly
Serves: 8
  • 8-10 oz. package Tortellini pasta-dried, frozen, or fresh
  • 3 cups chicken broth
  • 1 cup water
  • 1-14 oz. can diced tomatoes
  • 3 carrots
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 2 stalks celery
  • 1 ½ cups fresh spinach,chopped
  • ¼ cup Parmesan cheese
  • 3 cloves garlic,crushed
  • 1 tsp. Basil
  • 1 tsp. Oregano
  • 1 tsp. Rosemary
  • 1 tsp. Black pepper
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  1. Saute olive oil, onions, carrots, and celery in a large saucepan over medium-high heat until onions start to become translucent.
  2. Stir in garlic until heated through.
  3. Stir in diced tomatoes, broth, water, Basil, Oregano, Rosemary, and black pepper- simmer, stirring occasionally for 5 minutes.
  4. Add in tortellini pasta, spinach and Parmesan cheese- simmering for an additional 15 minutes, stirring several times during simmer.
  6. Toss onions, carrots, celery, garlic, broth, water, Oregano, Rosemary and black pepper into your crock pot.
  7. Cook on low 3-4 hours.
  8. Add tortellini, spinach and Parmesan cheese and cook on low another hour.


Weight Watchers Simple Start Program #SimpleStart

It’s the New Year, which inspires new resolutions by  many to lose weight, be healthier, and so many other things.  I was given a free one month subscription to Weight Watchers to try their Simple Start plan and write about my experience.Though I was compensated for my time and commitment, all views, positive and negative, are my own. I made a decision about a month ago that it was time to get serious about my weight.  Not just to look better, but because I want to stick around for a really, really long time. I need to BE healthy and LIVE healthy to set that example for my kids.  I owe it to myself. SO. 

I think part of the reason so many don’t keep resolutions is that doing something for 365 days can seem like a really, really long time.  For those who haven’t ever exercised, promising yourself you will exercise every single day for a year can kind of feel like all or nothing. And most of us  know how easy it is to miss a day for illness, and then when you are better, to have to catch up on other things in life, and well, that’s 2 days gone, and then you have fun plans the third day…. it’s easy to slip OUT of the mindset of that resolution once life happens.

There are countless programs out there designed to help regular folks like you and like me to help meet fitness and weight loss goals. One thing I really like about Weight Watchers’ Simple Start program is that it’s 2 weeks to start.  It’s not a year long commitment.  It’s 2 weeks.  2 weeks, and you get all kinds of tools to help you be successful.  Most of us can handle a 2 week commitment, right? Sign up is so easy, and takes a minute at most.

weight watchers simple start

Once you’ve created your information, it’ll double check that your info is correct.

weight watchers simple start 2

Once you are signed up,you can start following the Simple Start plan which makes things SO simple for us.

weight watchers simple start 3

You can also make customizations and set smaller goals for yourself. I really liked the “My Routines” section.  I’m great about having fruit with lunch and veggies at dinner.  But veggies at lunch?  Fruit at breakfast? Notsomuch. Also…I’ve fallen off my Fitbit wagon and need to start. So that was added in.  Putting my fork down is something I REALLY want to work on. So for a start, these are my routines I want to work on. Once they are more habit than conscious decision, I’ll change up my routines.

weight watchers simple start routines

Simple Start gives you a FULL 2 weeks of recipe ideas and suggestions.  Really, all we have to do is make sure we have ingredients and a bit of time to make them. Each recipe seems to have some “swaps” ideas so you can add protein, make it a vegetarian meal, dairy free, vegan.  This isn’t even all of the lunch options offered in the Simple Start!

weight watcher simple start lunches

If you look at the photos, those aren’t teeny tiny little meals!

Simple Start is exactly what it says it is.  A simple start to kick off your decision (I’m not saying resolution) to be healthier.  For whatever reason.  It’s a plan designed to give you a full set of tools to have a successful 2 weeks on the program to see what you think.  There is, of course, an app for Simple Start, so you can keep track and check in no matter where you are.

2 weeks. 14 days.  THAT is an attainable goal to give a weight loss plan a try, don’t you agree?

Do you have a decision (formerly known as resolution) to be healthier this year?  Have you tried Simple Start?

Home Workout Programs

When I am looking for home workout programs I want one that does not take too much time, has a flexible schedule and will give me results.  Beachbody has programs for anyone’s fitness needs.  We have several Beachbody programs and my husband believes in them so strongly that he recently became a Beachbody coach.

home workout programs

What does it mean to be a Beachbody coach?  Anyone can become a coach but it takes passion and commitment to be a good coach.  My husband, Spencer, wants to help people meet their fitness goals and maintain them. He will provide support, accountability and motivation through challenge groups and personal emails.   He started out doing P90X and was so pleased with the results that he decided to do the same program a second time.  He lost weight and toned muscles.  He gained confidence and he feels younger.  Spencer wants to share this experience with you.


A Note From Spencer

“One of the biggest concerns about fitness programs is schedule. Beachbody has been listening and geared their latest programs to fit into our busy schedules. I just completed Shaun T’s (from Insanity) Focus T25. This is a fantastic, upbeat program that focuses mainly on cardio and core strength for just 25 minutes a day, 5 days a week. And if you follow Tanya, you can do the low impact, modified moves and still get the same results.  When you join and stick with one of my facebook challenge groups, you will see weight loss, increased energy and support from a group of great people that will help you stay on track! I have just started replacing one meal a day with Shakeology, it’s an awesome shake with a daily dose of superfood nutrition that helps reduce cravings and gets the best results from your fitness efforts.  I love helping people improve their lives. It’s just amazing to see your own progress, and see others doing the same.”

My Beachbody Experience

I completed the TurboFire program and I am thrilled with the results.  I also lost weight and toned muscles that I though would never be toned.  Currently I am using the Les Mills Combat program and I love it.  The workouts are 30-45 minutes, fun, high energy and they have great music.  Between working full time, house work, soccer practice and all the usual mom duties, I often don’t have a lot of time for exercise.  Being able to workout at home for 30 -45 minutes a few times a week is something I can commit to.  I adjust the program schedule to fit my needs and Spencer checks in to see if I have done my workout, if not we talk about when I will do it.  Having someone check in with me helps to keep my focused and motivated.  Spencer does it in a supportive way and never makes me feel bad if I miss a workout but he won’t let me quit either.

So, are you interested in finding out more about BeachBody programs and challenge groups?

You can talk to Spencer on his Facebook page, BBCoachSpence, his Coach page or on Twitter.

Motivate me, please. Weight loss programs? Help!?

This is a sponsored post about finding a way to motivate myself.  Opinions are my own. So here’s the thing.  You know the “wagon” that I fall OFF of a lot?  Well, I’ve been off it so long I’m not sure I could find it again.  I actually kind of started a new one.  But it’s time, and I need to figure out some kind of something so I can MOTIVATE ME and kick my rear into gear.  Push my derriere into the air.  Move my feet to some kind of beat. I have been eating better.  MUCH better.  That’s helping. I have more energy.  But it’s time for me to look into some weight loss programs again.  Or have a personal someone come over and scream in my face and make me do the loathed 8 letter word E-X-E-R-C-I-S-E.  I have to.

So here’s where you come in.  And you.  And you and you and you and your cousin….neighbor…whoever.  I need the help.  I need real life, dragging through the mud stories of people like you and me who don’t have a trainer but who have honest-to-goodness real life before and after weight loss/weight loss success stories.  My friend A recently lost 53 lbs in just a few months and she’s looking- and feeling- downright fabulous.  And I am so so so SO proud of her!!  I don’t know how I feel about doing “shakes” and stuff.  I have a hard time with food textures.

Summer will be trickier for finding time to get things done, I have all three kids all day long right with me… Quite honestly, I have been moving a lot more- I’m in almost constant motion walking kids to and from things at the swim club and swimming a lot there and here in our pool at home. .  If I could get my littlest one to remove her tentacles I could maybe swim laps.  Or figure out how to swim for a few laps with her on my back (I have tried this, I’m not sure that’s a great idea…). The motion and having to snack on and drink only what we’ve brought with us for the day has also cut way back on caloric intake so I’ve definitely started moving the scale in the right direction but I want to FEEL better.  All around.   There are water aerobics classes 2 afternoons a week at the club for adults, I’m hoping to find a way to keep the kids busy and still let me participate.


I’ve done the Couch to 5k program successfully in the past and will do it again-I just don’t actually like the running part.  (Truthfully, I’m more a perky walker, and I think I’ve admitted that before….slow and steady is my pace!)  So maybe that.  Weight loss programs aren’t my favorite thing.  Not always my cup of tea.  Plus, there are so many to choose from.  SO Many. How do you know what to choose?

Really, I’m just tired. I am tired of hating how I feel.  Tired of hating how I look.  Tired of feeling “blech” more often than not and tired of my own damned excuses.  So let’s play a motivate game.  Please? Thank you? Let’s motivate me to find the right from the many weight loss programs out there that may WORK for me!!!

Eat Smart’s Precision Tracker Digital Bathroom Scale (Giveaway)

Affiliate X – Software, Systems And Signals..” alt=”eat smart precision tracker digital bathroom scale” width=”500″ height=”500″ />I have a new scale and even if the numbers on it are horrifying, the scale itself is really cool and with all of the features it has, it’s almost like it’s become my own personal motivator. The Eat Smart Precision Tracker Digital Bathroom Scale does what all good scales should do- it tells you what you weigh (accurately), but this one does a little bit more. It’s able to tell who you are which means your information can be private to you and only you (which matters to ME!). Perhaps this will be the kick in the rear I need to keep going with this journey I’m on!

The EatSmart Precision Tracker is an essential tool in weight management – giving users the ability to track their weight over time. After each use, the scale will display three readings: current weight, weight change from the last weigh in, and total change from the starting weight. For those working toward a healthier weight, keeping track of your progress can be the motivational tool needed to achieve success. The touch screen interface and automatic person identifier makes the Precision Tracker one of the most unique and user-friendly bathroom scales on the market today. Track progress, stay motivated and achieve long term weight goals!


  1. Measuring Functions: Short Term and Long Term Weight Tracking Capabilities
  2. Proprietary Automatic User Identification Technology; Stores personal data for up to 8 users
  3. EatSmart “Step-On” Technology – Get instant readings!
  4. Large, 3.5″ LCD display with white backlight – Easy to read.
  5. 4 High Precision Sensors – Consistent and accurate measurement
  6. Measurement Modes: Pounds / Kilos
  7. Graduation Increments of .2 lbs. / .1kg
  8. Ultra thin, sleek design with high quality tempered glass platform
  9. Max Weight: 400 lbs / 180 kgs
  10. Auto Calibrated; Includes 4 AAA batteries

I am glad this scale can store info for up to 8 users, because my kids have a love of weighing themselves. They get so excited to see if they grew bigger every night. At least there’s room for all of us in there.

I also like that this scale goes to 400 lbs. With obesity being so prevalent in our society, we have to be able to have products in our homes that we can all use- and how frustrating would it be to be over 250? lbs which is what I think most scales are at that I have seen- and not be able to weight yourself to track progress at home.

One reader will win a EatSmart™ Precision Digital Bathroom Scale

To Enter:

Leave a comment below telling me which of the Eat Smart products is your favorite!

Leave a comment for each entry method you do and either leave your username or the URL of your “share”)


*Share this giveaway on any social networking site- can be done 1x/day but leave the url of each share in it’s own comment!

This giveaway will end on December 18th, 2012 at 11:59pm EST.

Turbo Fire Workout Week 10 results

turbostretch turbo fire fitness HIIT beachbody beach bodyI have not given up on the Turbo Fire High Intensity Interval Training, I just have fallen behind on writing the posts about it.  I made it through another 2 weeks of Turbo Fire for a total of 10 weeks.  That means that I only have 2 more weeks left to the program.  That realization is bittersweet for me.  I have been losing weight and toning up and really enjoying the routines. Soon, I will be on my own for workouts.  I really enjoying walking and biking and I plan to supplement with some of the Turbo Fire routines.

So, what does this picture have to do with Turbo Fire? Stretching!  I love to stretch and do yoga.   I believe that it helps to avoid exercise related injuries.  Many Turbo Fire workouts are followed by a 10 minute stretch routine that focuses on all the muscles that Turbo Fire works on.  In just a couple of weeks I was able to see a change in how deep I could get in to most of the stretches.

I am down another 2 pounds for a total of 12 lbs so far.  Losing those 12 lbs has been amazing because I had almost given up on the thought of losing weight ever again.  I did not realize how lazy and uninspired I had gotten.  Between Turbo Fire and tracking my food, I found hope.  It has also been helpful that my husband is on board with the Beach Body programs and very involved with our plant-based diet.  Beach Body has a very strong online community and I joined a group of people that all started Turbo Fire on the same date.  Anyone can go there and look around, ask questions.  The people on the boards are very helpful and supportive.  I stick to programs best when I am being held accountable.  I have been doing that through these blog posts and the Team Beach Body community.  Honestly, the 10 weeks has gone by faster than I expected and seeing results each week is also motivating.

Stay tuned because the next and final Turbo Fire post will have my before and after pics.

What is your favorite way to burn calories? Leave me a comment.


If you have not been following my progress so far, here are the previous Turbo Fire posts.


I was provided with the Turbo Fire program to facilitate these reviews.  All opinions are my own.


Back to Fit Biggest Loser Giveaway

Calling all Biggest Loser fans and anyone wanting a jump start or kick in the motivation! We’re taking part in the Summer Back to Fit Giveaway hosted by Average Moms Wear Capes and This Mama Loves Her Bargains!

Are you serious about getting back in shape, losing a few pounds and in serious need of support? I am trying to be!  Now you can get personalized support from Former Biggest Loser Season 11 Contestants Austin Andrews and his dad, Ken from the Brown Team!!

We’re giving away 8 exclusive spaces for their next 6 week coaching session that starts in September! The value is $150 per person. The whole package for 8 people is worth $1200, so get your family and your friends to enter too!

During the 6 weeks, you’ll receive:
-Personal coaching from Austin and Ken to keep you on the right track
-Personal support and guidance in your weight-loss and fitness endeavors and goals
-Weekly Google+ hangouts and emails with Austin and Ken
-Tools from the Biggest Loser Ranch, including exclusive recipes and tips
-Infinite valuable support!

The last group they coached lost an average of 2% in just 6 weeks, which is fabulous! The next session begins at the end of September. This giveaway runs from August 11-August 25.

Leave a comment below telling me what your fitness or weight-loss goals are and how you need help and then fill out the Rafflecopter form below!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

If you don’t win the online coaching package, you can still workout with Austin and Ken! They’re hosting a week-long, all-inclusive retreat at the Biggest Loser Ranch in Niagara from September 30-October 7 that includes Biggest Loser-style workouts, hiking and yoga in breathtaking upstate New York. There are still spots available so check out the packages available for that week!

Check it out for yourself!

Disclosure: I was not compensated for this post. All opinions are my own.

TurboFire Cardio Program Week 4

turbofire high intensity cardio program from beachbodySo, I have to say I am kind of proud of myself.  I have stuck with the program for 4 weeks and lost 5lbs so far.  I am feeling stronger and more confident.  Not really confident enough to show pictures of my progress but I said I would so they will be in this post.  The program continues to challenge me and the schedule changes up enough to keep it fun and interesting.  Chalene, the instructor, is very motivational and often says “Guess what??, You are not tired!”  Well, sometimes I am but she pushes me to keep going.  She also reminds me that I have to put aside some time everyday to do something for myself.  It is not always easy between work, housework, karate, soccer, and family time but it is so important.  I have stuck to the 6 day a week schedule and I enjoy my rest day but I am always anxious to get back to it.  I decided that this is the time in life to get the extra weight off and after this my goal will be to keep it off.

The music is each workout is really fun and I find myself humming some of the tunes when I am not working out.  Turbo45 remains my favorite workout but, there are none that I dread! So at this point I am really just rambling and putting off showing the progress pictures.  The first picture was on day one, the second from the end of week two and the last from the end of week four.

turbofire progress week 4  It is hard to tell but my stomach is less “bloated”, my legs are more toned and from the side my face looks thinner.  So, seeing some progress is very encouraging for the rest of the program.

The next post will be about weeks 5 and 6 and how I managed while on a week long vacation to Virginia Beach.  What are your eating and exercise expectations while on vacation?  Mine is to just not gain any weight.


TurboFire Intense Cardio Conditioning DVD set

turbofire high intensity cardio program from beachbodyI made a 90 day commitment to the BeachBody team and I am starting the TurboFire Intense Cardio Conditioning program.   As a busy mom who also works full time, I can find many excuses to not get to the gym.  I recently lost 20 pounds  and now I need a push to drop 20 more pounds and tone up.  This is where TurboFire fits in to my schedule.  The workouts are 15 to 55 minutes long and because they are high intensity, they burn loads of calories.  The program also includes core workouts, stretching and sculpting.  So, here I will post pictures of my progress and let you know how things are going. I will post updates of my progress every 2 weeks.   If you want to see the progress other Turbo Fire user have made, go to their website HERE.

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