Kicking off 2018 with Weight Watchers Freestyle Program

Hi everyone.  I’m Rachel, and welcome to my re-invented blog!

Welcome to Pilgrim’s Pantry Weight Loss Blog

Originally this site was going to house all of my recipes and emergency preparedness tips.  But along the way my site crashed and I lost nearly everything.

Flash forward to 2018, and I’m setting my goals for the year.  I have determined that this year I will restart my weight loss journey.  So I signed up for six months of Weight Watchers Online program, and am throwing myself into the new Freestyle program!

So why not use my “Pilgrim’s Pantry” blog to talk about my weight loss journey?

Here I will share my weight loss tips, struggles, recipes, reviews, motivation, setbacks, and more.  I hope you choose to join my on my journey!

My Before Pictures

Here is my “Before” picture, taken at church this past Sunday:

My "Before" picture as I start on Weight Watchers Freestyle program January 2018

My “Before” picture as I start on Weight Watchers Freestyle program January 2018

My "Before" picture as I start on Weight Watchers Freestyle program January 2018 - Side View

My “Before” picture as I start on Weight Watchers Freestyle program January 2018 – Side View


I signed up for Weight Watchers Online program today (January 10, 2018).  My starting weight was 336, as taken at work for my biometric screening (required for our health plans).

Now – it’s not as bad as my highest weight, which was 350 pounds about 15 years ago. But it’s a long way from my best weight as an adult, which was 175 pounds in college.

My Initial Goals for 2018

When you are facing a weight loss challenge of over 160 pounds, it’s hard to think about the finish line at all.  It’s too overwhelming!  So I have set myself some realistic short and medium term goals for 2018:

  • Double my fruit and vegetable intake (try to get to 6-10 per day)
  • Double my time at the gym (two times per week or more)
  • Lose 10% of my body weight (34 pounds)
  • Track my food daily (on the Weight Watchers App)

I will eventually add more goals as I reach these, but I think this is enough to start with.  If you set too many goals, you end up overwhelmed and drop most of them.  But I think I can manage these four.

I’ll share more of my journey as we go.  Welcome to my blog!


Wonder Flour Recipe

Have you ever wanted to use more whole grains in your recipes, but hate the taste and texture of whole wheat?  Then you should give “Wonder Flour” a try.  Wonder Flour is a blend of Spelt, Brown Rice, and Barley.  It looks almost like white flour, and has a very light and airy consistency.  It can be substituted for any recipe calling for white flour using a 1 1/4 cups of wonder flour for every 1 cup of white flour ratio.

This is not my invention.  I got the recipe from Chef Brad on his website and his Chef Brad’s cooking show on BYUTV – “Fusion Grain Cooking”.  But I’ve tried it out and loved it.  I’ve used it in baking and in things like gravy or to coat fried chicken – works well and is a good way to get more nutrition into my diet.

How to make Wonder Flour

You can buy Wonder Flour from Chef Brad’s store online, or you can easily make your own.  To make Wonder Flour – simply combine equal parts of Spelt, Barley, and Brown Rice and grind into flour.

I have a wheat grinder that makes this process easy.  But you might be able to use a high powered blender like a VitaMix to make your own at home.  But wheat grinders are pretty inexpensive, and it’s wonderful being able to grind your own grains fresh and use that flour in your cooking.  It’s an investment, but well worth it.

I have used a BlendTec Kitchen Mill Grain Mill for the past 15 years and absolutely love it.  It has held up well under occasional use (I only grind grain about once a month).  Replacement parts like filters are easy to order, and customer service is wonderful.  This is a good starter grain mill that you can use, with good capacity for an average sized family.

Try Wonder Flour in your next recipe – I think you will love it!

Whole Grain Chocolate Chip Cookies

One of my favorite recipes in the world is the one for my Whole Grain Chocolate Chip Cookies.  The recipe uses whole wheat flour, “wonder flour”, and oatmeal.  It sounds like it would probably taste awful with all that whole grain, but it’s scrumptious.  And it’s packed with whole grains nutrition, so it’s a great way to sneak in some extra fiber and vitamins in your family’s diet.

One of the ingredients is called “Wonder Flour“.  This is a whole grain flour that can be substituted easily for white flour in any recipe.  You just need to add an extra 1/4 cup for every cup of white flour called for in your recipes.  It’s not my invention – I got the recipe from Chef Brad who is an expert in whole grain cooking.  You do need a very high powered blender or a grain mill to make it – but it’s so worth it.  Give it a try!

Whole Grain Chocolate Chip Cookies


1 cup of butter, softened

3/4 cup brown sugar

3/4 cup white sugar

2 eggs

1 tsp vanilla

1 tsp salt

1 tsp baking soda

1 cup whole wheat flour

1 cup wonder flour or white flour

1 cup oatmeal

1 cup chocolate chips (or more to taste)


  1. Pre-heat over to 375 degrees Farenheit
  2. Blend softened butter, brown sugar, and white sugar with a mixer until thoroughly combined and fluffy
  3. Add eggs and blend thoroughly
  4. Add vanilla, salt, and baking soda and blend thoroughly
  5. Add whole wheat flour, wonder flour, and oatmeal and slowly combine
  6. Add chocolate chips and stir until just combined
  7. Drop by tablespoons or small scoop onto parchment lined baking pan
  8. Bake 10-12 minutes or until just done
  9. Cool on rack and enjoy!