I recently joined the rest of the world on Twitter to broaden my weight loss support system. I’m SO glad I did! I can’t begin to describe it’s awesomeness. To truly be able to “follow” a blogger that you already follow? Awesome. But there is a serious learning curve! It has taken some getting used to, but I’m getting more comfortable with it. Hash tags. Hash tags are the answer! These little words and phrases preceded by a pound sign. Those little hash tags can create chat rooms. Virtual cyber chat rooms! Technology never ceases to amaze me. At any rate, there is a specific hash tag that kept showing up: #7daychip. I kept seeing it come across my timeline. WTF is a #7daychip? So I do what any self-respecting web surfer would do – I googled it. And it led me where? To the blog of Brad Gansberg, someone I already follow on Twitter! So I read all about the #7daychip. A 7 day challenge of whatever I want. And if I complete it, Brad will give me a #7daychip. It’s amazing how something so simple can motivate the hell out of you. I want my #7daychip!!! At first I was going to make it about exercise or drinking 64oz of water every day for 7 days. But I’d already started typing this blog and I already had a challenge for this week. I’m cooking dinner every night for 7 nights. Big whoop, right? Ha! WRONG! I’m planning the meals in advance. And to make it even better? I’m cooking meals from different parts of the world. Yes, indeed. For my #7daychip, I am cooking 7 meals over 7 days from 7 different parts of the world!

I *LOVE* to travel. What I like the most about traveling is experiencing the culture through talking with people, listening to music, and most of all, trying new foods. It is my favorite thing to do when I travel. After all, I am a fat girl at heart. I am currently too broke to travel, so I decided to bring the world to me via my kitchen. This week we are going to Morocco, Alaska, Latin America, India, Greece, Mexico, Spain, and Italy. Fun, right? Let me tell you what led me to this idea. I have some Gourmet Garden herbs that I want to use up. I have Garlic and Ginger. I normally use the fresh form of each, but I had a BOGO coupon for these and figured I’d give them a try. I’ve never seen the Mediterranean blend and all of that, just boring herbs. Anyway, their website has some recipes I want to try, one of which is Moroccan. Then I remembered I have some masa harina (Maseca brand, corn meal that’s ground fine like a flour) and wanted to see if I could use that to make polenta and if not, what could I use it for. I came across some recipes from Mexico and Latin America. So I figured, might as well make a week of it. Let’s make it fun! The biggest challenge is going to be making each recipe WW friendly, documenting the meal, and blogging about it. Good times! Ready to see what’s on the menu? Welp, take a looksie!

1) Moroccan Meatballs with Couscous

Obviously, I won’t be adding zucchini to my couscous. Spinach and peppers are enough. And what is up with the terminology on this site? Capsicum? They’re fuckin’ peppers! Remember, I only have garlic and ginger, so I’ll have to make my own Moroccan blend using my Gourmet Garden Ginger and Garlic along with some ground coriander and cumin. I’m sure they’ll be fine. I’m excited to try them! I love lamb!

2) Baked Salmon with a Basil & Parmesan Crust with a Garlic Potato Bake.

Can’t think of what part of the world this is from? Duh! ALASKA! It’s not part of the continental United States, so to me, it’s fair game. Plus my salmon came from there, wild caught! It was meant to be. I have my own fresh (frozen) basil, so I’ll be using that instead of the GG blend. I’m not sure what I’m going to do with those potatoes. I may just mash them. Or maybe I’ll make them like the recipe. Except with mild cheddar cheese. And fat-free yogurt instead of sour cream. Likely asparagus for the veggie.

3) Empanadas

I eat kosher, so I won’t be using chorizo. I’ll be mixing turkey sausage with ground turkey. No sides.

4) Chicken Tikka Masala

I am hoping this turns out yummy and not disastrous. I’m not good at cooking Indian food. I love it, but it’s something I have to get at a restaurant. This week, I’m giving it a try because I have a McCormick Recipe Inspirations seasoning packet. I’ll have it with rice, maybe peas, and I have some naan bread in the freezer from Trader Joe’s to have with it.

5) Tacos! Not just any tacos, no no no! I’m going to make my own tortillas. Yes, press and fry my very own taco shells. I’ll use ground turkey, of course. I’m so excited about this!

6) Greek Tilapia Burgers. I got a recipe card from the grocery store and they just sound delicious. Can’t wait to try them! I’ll make a cucumber sauce to go with them. No buns, likely rice and veggies.

7) Lentils, or lentejas in Spanish.

This is almost a cheat meal, because they eat lentils the whole world over. But I’d never heard of them until I studied abroad in Seville, Spain. My señora made them with carrots and we would eat them with fresh bread. So good! I didn’t even know what the English translation for them was. I actually can’t remember the first time I saw them here in the states. But the first time I cooked them was about 3 or 4 years ago. I’m hooked. I try to make them taste like my señora’s did! They don’t, yet, but they are always so good! And perfect for Meatless Mondays!

8. Polenta w/ Italian sausage meat sauce

I’m including an 8th dish because that’s how many I had on the list I wrote down. Plus, I need to spread the meals that are heavy in PP values out over the week. One of them (lamb, salmon, or empanadas) will be next Wednesday’s dinner. Polenta is representing Italy in our world tour. I’ve never had it and it will count as this week’s new food. I will be making it from scratch.

So that’s the dinner menu, not necessarily in that order. The only reason I don’t really plan lunches is that I usually eat the previous night’s leftovers for lunch the next day. If I were working and left the house each day, I’d plan lunches more often. Seeing as how I’m at home with my son, lunches are pretty easy. Worst possible case scenario is I can’t think of anything to have and end up with a sandwich. Breakfast is typically easy; I have a few things that I choose from on the regular:

Omelet (4PP): 1/2 cup Egg Beaters, 1 slice WW cheese, 1/3 cup Jimmy Dean Turkey Sausage Crumbles
Bagel Thin (3PP)
WW cream cheese (1PP per tbsp)
Scrambled egg w/ cheese (3PP)
2 slices Morningstar Farms Veggie Bacon (1PP)
1.5 cups cereal & 1/2 cup Almond milk (8PP) (Multi-grain Cheerios, Honey Chex, or both mixed together)
1/2 grapefruit with 1 packet Truvia
Fruit

Sure, sometimes I might have pancakes, but that’s a special occurrence. With the syrup, it’s too high in points to have often. Sometimes I make a breakfast bowl with eggs, cheese, sausage, and grits. Sometimes I just have a smoothie and call it a day. 1 cup of plain non-fat yogurt (3PP), 1 banana (0PP), and 1.5 cups frozen fruit (0PP), 1 packet of Truvia (0PP). Here’s a pic of Monday’s smoothie in my 24oz COPCO tumbler that I love:

blender
smoothie

So that’s that! I’ve got my upcoming week all planned out as far as food goes. How awesome is that? I have no excuse but to be successful because I have a plan and a goal. Here’s to my #7daychip!!! Are you challenging yourself this week? Why not try to earn your own #7daychip? If you decide to do so, please comment and let me know! And if you’re on Twitter, comment and let me know that, too! Have a great week!

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