Quinoa Pudding: Basics and Variations

Mango-Banana Quinoa Pudding

The fruit season is just upon us here in Canada, and I’m looking forward to expanding my list of quinoa puddings.

These desserts are a low-cal favourite in our family. Or to put it another way: the spouse eats them faster than I can make them.

These recipes are all variations on the same theme: cooked quinoa, puréed fruit or squash, milk, eggs, spices/extracts, and sweetener. Once you know the basics, it’s easy to try new ones.

I thought it might be useful to bring my favourite recipes together in one post so you can see how they work. I’ll keep adding to the variations as I make them and, if you create one worth sharing, let me know and I’ll post it here.

For Weight Watchers: The point value depends on the milk that you use, but the recipe makes roughly 10 ½-cup servings with a point value of about 2 per serving.

Continue reading

Gaining Weight on PointsPlus: Part 2

When I first began this blog, Weight Watchers had just shifted to the new PointsPlus (PP) system. Like many of you, I had gone from 22 daily points + 35 weekly bonus to 29 daily points + 49 weekly bonus. Theoretically, the results should have been equal because the new PP program gave a higher point-value to products that are heavy in carbs.

I had been very disappointed (see Part 1) because my weight loss stopped and I started gaining! I was advised by my leader to cut back on fruit which was now free. Theoretically, this should have made a difference.

But it didn’t. I didn’t gain any more weight, true, but I wasn’t losing weight either.

For a while I went back to the old Points program, but I could see that my paper calculator wasn’t going to last forever, and I was going to have to make peace with the new program.

I decided to track my food and point intake on both programs for a week. To ensure equality between both programs, I also gave a point-value to fruit (see Points Values of Fruits on PointsPlus). The result was “six of one, half-a-dozen of the other.” I was within the total point count on both programs.

So I moved myself and the blog into the PP era, started to really exercise, watched my fruit intake, and figured everything would be fine.

It wasn’t. I’ve been hovering around the same weight for the past two months or so.

Continue reading

Point Values of Fruits on PointsPlus

I found the nutrient values of these fruits on the website, Self Nutrition Data and then calculated their points value by using the Points paper calculator and the PointsPlus electronic calculator.  In my table below, I have provided, generally, one type of serving per fruit. 

However, please remember that I’m not affiliated with Weight Watchers in any way, and I can’t promise that the values are 100% accurate.  I’ve done the math as well as I can but you may consider checking to be sure. 

In the table below, I have provided, generally, information for one type of serving per fruit, except in the case of melons. If you are interested in other types of servings, go to a web site such as Self Nutrition Data and use your Weight Watcher calculator to figure out the points or use the formula.

Printer-friendly chart

Fruit Serving Points
Apple 1 cup chopped 2
Banana 1 medium fruit 3
Blueberry 1 cup, whole 2
Blackberry 1 cup, whole 1
Cranberry 1 cup, whole 5
Cantaloupe 1 cup, balls 2
Cantaloupe, small 4¼” diameter 5
Cantaloupe, medium 5” diameter 6
Cantaloupe, large 6½” diameter 8
Cherry 1 cup, with pits 2
Grapes, red or green 10 grapes 1
Grapefruit ½ medium fruit 1
Guava 1 fruit 1
Honeydew 1 cup, balls 2
Honeydew, small 5¼” diameter 10
Honeydew, large 6-7” diameter 13
Kiwi 1 fruit, medium 1
Mango 1 whole fruit 4
Orange 1 cup of sections 2
Orange, small ⅜” in diameter 1
Orange, medium 2⅝” in diameter 1
Orange, large 3 1/16” in diameter 2
Nectarine 1 medium fruit 2
Papaya 1 cup, cubed 1
Peach 1 medium fruit 2
Pineapple 1 cup, chunks 2
Plum 1 fruit 1
Pear 1 medium fruit 3
Raspberry 1 cup, whole 1
Strawberry 1 cup, sliced 1
Watermelon 1 cup, balls or diced 1



Gaining Weight On PointsPlus!

I am a lifetime member of Weight Watchers and have great faith in their programs.  I think they can not only help people lose weight but also teach us how to have a more balanced diet.

So, you can imagine my dismay when I discovered that I was gaining weight on the new plan, PointsPlus, that was introduced in January, 2011.  For those who are new to WW, this plan was similar to the Points plan, except that it increased the point value for carbohydrates but now allowed fruits for free.

Initially, I loved the program because I love fruit, but after several weeks, it was clear that the diet wasn’t working for me.  I was gaining instead of losing.  My group leader advised me to cut back on fruits and vegetables!  This was so counter-intuitive to my whole way of thinking about nutritional eating that I went back to the Points plan and started losing weight again.

Clearly, I have a limit to how much fruit I can eat before gaining.  My strategy now is to stay with the Points plan (no more gaining!), but also add up points as if I were on PointsPlus.  When I do this I won’t count fruit as zero, but assign each fruit a value.  (I can do this by creating a chart of the value points for fruit under PointsPlus, based on the formula that underlies the plan.)  This will allow me to compare the two plans.

I’ll keep you posted.