Are you up for the “Stair Challenge”?

by DanicasDaily on March 19, 2012

Happy Monday All!  As requested, I will definitely make sure I post my Weight Watchers E-Tools and Mobile Apps presentation this weekend.  I am actually pretty excited to share it since I have learned a bunch of fun new options in putting it all together.

Today’s successes included:

  • Getting back in my groove walking 2.5 miles to/from the train
  • STAIR CHALLENGE: Taking the stairs in our building even when I hiked up and climbed down 6 stories! It’s total fate that when I got to the top of the stairs out of breath, my co-worker was right there to ask me a ?
  • Tracking every single bite and picking healthy choices on a “hungry” day which includes cooking when I really wanted to get take out.

This morning started off with 3 of these….(5 points+)


1 of those…..


and 1 of these (2 points+)


Then, 2 hours later, I was starving and ate lunch! Maybe it was all that stair climbing lol….

Lunch started with a Trader Joe’s Lite String Cheese (1 points+) that I snacked on while I made up my cracker plate.

Trader Joe’s Spicy Ranchero Egg White Salad scooped up with 38 Trader Joe’s Salt & Pepper Rice Crisps (6 points+).


Served up with a melon salad.


4 hours later I was hungry again (some days are just like that!) so I snacked on 1/2 a package of Dill Pickle Cashews (3 points+)


The Husband said he pretty much wanted his corned beef straight up or on a sandwich and all I could think about was corned beef and cabbage soup.   What can I say, I am still STUCK ON SOUPS.

I couldn’t resist diving into these Trader Joe’s Baked Onion Rings when he opened them up to snack on. They are one of my top 10 FAVORITE items at Trader Joe’s.


4 Points+ for 14 curly cues.


I know I have to portion them out or I could easily eat the entire bag ~ they are better than any Funyun you will ever eat and just as addicting.


I can admit I am a bit of a soup snob.  I really ONLY like homemade soups because they are really easy to make and the fresh flavor cannot be beat.  I think what makes them amazing is the way the flavors of homemade soup really develop as they cook all day.

This super easy corned beef and cabbage soup lefts you transform your St. Patrick’s day Corned Beef and Cabbage leftovers into a completely different delicious meal.  You get all the richness of a soup that has been cooking all day by adding your leftover corned beef, cabbage (feel free to add the potatoes & carrots too) without having to cook this soup all day.  Add a splash of Guinness Beer into the mix for an even richer flavor.

Start to finish it takes less than 30 minutes ~ nobody will ever know you didn’t spend all day making this tasty Irish soup.




  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 carrots, sliced
  • 3 celery stalks, sliced
  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 4 cup low sodium chicken broth
  • 4 oz cooked lean corned beef
  • 2 cups cabbage
  • Freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 2 Tbsp fresh parsley, minced, optional


1.  In a large soup pan, preheat the olive oil over medium heat.  Add the carrots, celery, onion and garlic.  Sauté until slightly softened, about 5 minutes.

2.  Add the broth and bring soup to a boil  Cook for 10 minutes or until the veggies are crisp tender.  Add the corned beef and cabbage then cook an addition 3-5 minutes.  Top with black pepper, parsley and serve.

Makes 4 servings, 1 1/2 cups each, 3 points+ per serving

Nutritional information per serving calculated at


Dessert involved two Trader Joe’s Vanilla Bean Joe Joe’s Cookies (4 points+).  I honestly call them no-no’s because I can eat wayyy too many.


Tomorrow I plan on continuing my STAIR CHALLENGE ~ no elevators allowed. 

Anyone want to join in on the fun and take the STAIR CHALLENGE with me this week?

Night all!

{ 25 comments… read them below or add one }

Kristen March 19, 2012 at 9:44 pm

Yum – this corned beef and cabbage soup looks delicious. Can’t wait to try it.


Josie March 19, 2012 at 9:55 pm

thats what I am doing with the left overs tomorrow night!


Celine March 20, 2012 at 1:50 am

Yum! Looks so yummy ! :-) I love it !

I’d be happy to join you on your stairs challenge ! Do we have a certain number of stairs we have to climb each day or is it no elevators only ?

Happy Tuesday Danica !


DanicasDaily March 20, 2012 at 6:01 am

Hi Celine,

The choice is yours. No limit on the number but I am making sure I do not use the elevator in our building when I can take the stairs.



Frani March 20, 2012 at 8:13 am

I accept the stair challenge but our building only has 2 floors (is that cheating?). I work on the 2nd floor and the ladies room is on the 1st floor so I do get to travel the stairs quite a lot during the day because I drink so much water!


DanicasDaily March 20, 2012 at 8:26 pm

Nope every single step counts!


Barbara March 20, 2012 at 8:27 am

Soup looks great Danica. Might very well be in our very near future too. I too only walk the stairs in my office building and it’s funny but now have a large crowd doing the same. Only to the 3rd floor, but at least it is something.



Life's a Bowl March 20, 2012 at 8:41 am

All of your eats look tasty! I love soup myself, could eat it every night for dinner- so soothing and satisfying… I have only made a few batches myself, but I really like the Campbell’s Select Harvest line :)

P.S. I’ll def join you with the stair challenge but I don’t have many flights of stairs to climb but I’ll add a few stair workouts into my gym routine!


Cassia March 20, 2012 at 8:55 am

I love Trader Joe’s Egg salads. The nice thing for me is if you only eat 1/2 the container is only 1 PP. and sometimes it is the exact amount for a pita sandwich. Thank you for sharing again.
Love Trader Joe’s!


christine March 20, 2012 at 9:33 am

The day you get to the top of those stairs, running up and taking some two by two….you will feel like Rocky so do the dance!!

I too am a soup snob…..why oh why would you eat canned when homemade is almost as easy as opening a can?


Jen@FoodFamilyFitness March 20, 2012 at 10:33 am

The soup looks great, but I’m even more excited about dill pickled flavor cashews, where did you find those?!


DanicasDaily March 20, 2012 at 8:29 pm

Hi Jen,

I bought the Dill Pickle Cashews at Target for $0.99. The package has 2.5 servings and half of it is only 3 points+. They sell it in a big jar but I like the small packages better.



Shelby March 20, 2012 at 12:33 pm

Thanks for some of the delicious Trader Joe’s foods you shared! I am going to go check them out this week!

Also… DILL PICKLE CASHEWS??? I think I am in heaven… Can you tell me where you find these???

Thanks :)


DanicasDaily March 20, 2012 at 8:30 pm

Hi Shelby,

I bought the Dill Pickle Cashews at Target for $0.99. The package has 2.5 servings and half of it is only 3 points+. They sell it in a big jar but I like the small packages better.

I will try to remember to take pictures so you can see what the package looks like next time.



Shelby March 22, 2012 at 12:28 pm

Thanks so much Danica!! I just might have to try these tonight :)


Dianna March 20, 2012 at 12:36 pm

Dear Danica,

How many points plus did you have on this day?

What is your daily points plus allotted you each day according to Weight Watchers?

Personally, I was originally allowed 29pp, but then they dropped me to 26pp for the new 2012 program. Last year I lost 35 lbs in 6 months, then I got overhwhelmed with ‘life’ and haven’t had time for ‘me’.
You are my new ‘inspiration’ :-) I found you online a couple of weeks ago.

Thank you !!


DanicasDaily March 20, 2012 at 8:33 pm

HI Dianna,

Thanks for the comment and for following along. I had 28 points+ on this day. Every persons daily target is different depending on age, height, weight, gender, whether they are nursing, trying to lose or maintain. The 26 daily points+ target is the minimum, however, if you were losing at 29 points+ and at a rate you enjoy, then, you do not have to go down the minimum.

I typically shoot to eat between 26-31 points+ a day depending on my hunger levels and/or if I am having a treat. If I am genuinely hungry, I will eat more and I have no problem using my WPA. On days I am not hungry, I shoot for the minimum of 26. I really believe on listening to your body and letting that guide you.

Thanks for asking,



Tracy W March 20, 2012 at 3:52 pm

I absolutely love Trader Joe’s Baked Onion Rings! They are so good I can’t stop eating them. They are definately a trigger food for me and I also have to portion them out or I will eat the entire bag. They are by far better than the Funyons and is also one of my top favorite things to buy at Trader Joe’s :)


Martha@ Simple Nourished Living March 20, 2012 at 4:52 pm

I’m a fellow soup snob and fellow avid Weight Watcher. Your soup looks delicious. I have a pot of leftover corned been and cabbage soup simmering on the stove now.

Thanks for all the inspiration.


Lucia March 20, 2012 at 6:22 pm

I love homemade soups any day over canned… I would love to join the challange, but I do not have stairs, but where I work we have two parking lots, so I park at the one that is farthest from my building and I park on the last row…. I get more steps in.

Where did you get the cashews?


DanicasDaily March 20, 2012 at 8:33 pm

Hi Lucia,

I bought the Dill Pickle Cashews at Target for $0.99. The package has 2.5 servings and half of it is only 3 points+. They sell it in a big jar but I like the small packages better.



DanicasDaily March 20, 2012 at 8:54 pm

P.S. Parking in the other parking lot totally counts ~ it’s all about moving more and you are doing just that :)


ErinK. March 20, 2012 at 7:05 pm

I can’t find the spicy egg salad at any of our area TJ’s…anyway you have a copycat recipe for it? Or can guess at one? I love spicy food and am always looking for lunch ideas!


DanicasDaily March 20, 2012 at 8:34 pm

Hi Erin,

Do your Trader Joe’s have the Egg salad with Chives? Is it possible to have them order/stock the Southwestern? They usually stock ours in between the premade salads and pizzas.

You know I’ve never tried to re-create it but I definitely should! I’ll let you know when I do.




Erica March 21, 2012 at 6:42 pm

Thanks so much for posting the TJ salad and salt and pepper crisps. I bought them last night, and they are so good. I love your blog, such cool daily menus.


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