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How I survived a 12-day business trip without gaining weight - and in fact, losing some!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Travel while managing weight is tough for me. My fitness and food routines are disrupted, colleagues always want to meet over food, and conference food options are usually very unhealthy, at best.

Fitness is particularly a problem while traveling because with my arthritic knee I can't walk or run for exercise (the knee starts complaining after only a couple of miles of walking and then stiffens up and acts grouchy the next day). So getting a calorie burn away from home is more complicated than just throwing running clothes and shoes in my suitcase.

I have had several trips this past autumn and always managed to gain at least 6 lbs, even when I wrote everything I ate down and put it in the tracker when I got back, even when I exercised every day that I could.

So, after losing about 10 lbs over the holidays, I was TERRIFIED that I'd gain it all back during a business trip in January. 10 days plus a 3-day weekend is a long time to be without the comfortable routines that keep me on track.

I pulled out all the stops and used as much creativity and planning as I could muster for this trip, and it paid off. I actually managed to LOSE some weight while away.

Here's a list of all the things I did; before and during the trip.

BEFORE:

1) Bought an 8G iPod Touch, bought the standalone (offline) "Lean Me Pro" app and started tracking my nutrients on it and working out the kinks beforehand.

I've heard good things about free "Lose It!" but I like weighing my food in grams, so I opted for $20 "Lean Me Pro." This meant abandoning the SP nutrition tracker, because even the iPod version does not work offline. I might have used the spark mobile interface instead if my TracFone allowed me access to the internet (it only allows access to TracFone sites). The iPod cost less than $200 and given how much ELSE I've spent on this project, it seemed worth the money.

I also bought "True Weight" (it has a free version too, but I wanted the ability to archive my data).

iPod
www.amazon.com/Apple-touch-Generatio
n-NEWEST-MODEL/dp/B002M3SOBU?tag=manif
olds-20


Lean Me Pro
www.leanme.net

Lose It!
www.loseit.com

True Weight
www.madeupsoftware.com/trueweight/ho
me.html


2) Used Google Map to search for gyms near my hotel(s). The day before leaving I signed up for a free trial membership at some of them. (You have to do this close to the travel date because otherwise they expire before you actually get there.) I downloaded the fitness class schedules for each of them.

This was especially important because the hotel where I'd be staying most of the time has a really pitiful "fitness center" as part of their "spa" that you have to pay extra to use.
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It was also important because internet access is sketchy in the rooms, and I didn't want to have to pack or buy weights and a stability ball to work out in the room.

3) Packed all the necessary fitness gear: gym shoes, SPD spinning shoes, iPod arm harness & headphones, underwater SwiMP3 player, swimsuit, goggles, bike shorts, workout clothes, sport bras, water bottle, etc.

4) Packed sufficient protein bars & water-based whey shakes (Syntrax nectar), bran, and psyllium to feed myself when there weren't healthier meals available.

5) Packed a selection of herbal teas, TrueLemon, TrueLime, TrueOrange, and pepper packets for seasoning water and meals. I like to have a cup of herbal tea at the end of a meal when others are indulging in desserts. Most restaurants are happy to supply a cup of hot water and charge you for "tea" even if you bring your own.

6) Packed some envelopes of light tuna in water for emergency protein.

7) Removed the batteries and carefully packed my Tanita body fat bathroom scale in the middle of the clothes in my suitcase.

8) I should probably mention that I always carry a small food scale in my purse. I used it a lot on this trip, both at restaurants and for weighing out whey shake ingredients, etc.
www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00
4O76DLU?tag=manifolds-20


DURING:

1) Made my rounds of the local gyms and got the tour and passes, class schedules, etc.

2) Hit the local Target/Walmart and grocery stores for more tuna packets (these became essential for eating at restaurants), protein bars, and canned protein drinks. After looking at the labels I discovered that Pure Protein brand has some pretty low-calorie, high-protein products. It's probably the best thing I've seen out there on retail shelves. (I usually buy my supplements online.)

Also bought spritzer-type salad dressings, Kashi GOLEAN (I would have been better off bringing my soy-based cereals, oh well), and individual nonfat Greek yogurts (FAGE 0% is a good standby. Discovered Voskos out there, which has even MORE protein.)

Bought swimmer's shampoo & conditioner and a swim cap (that I somehow forgot to pack) - I couldn't find Ultra Swim so I went with the Loreal kids "swim & sport" shampoo and conditioner, and they seemed to de-chlorinate just fine.

3) PLANNED out my exercise for the next few days, fitting in swimming, spinning classes, etc. around my conference responsibilities. In most cases this meant switching from my customary nighttime exercise schedule to an early-morning one.

4) Once I knew my exercise schedule, I could plan out my food. (Lean Me Pro takes into account exercise when calculating the daily calorie quota.)

5) At most restaurants I shamelessly played the "I've lost 180 lbs" card and got them to bring me custom salad ingredients. In some cases they had suitable protein like steamed shrimp or sashimi. In other cases I added my own tuna. In all cases I used my own dressing.

My companions and servers were all supportive and helpful about it. Not one complained or sneered or acted put out with all my weighing and tracking, as I'd been afraid they might. I didn't even have to flash my "before" picture for all of them (I put it on my iPod just in case).

6) At night in the customary after-dinner room parties I brought my herb teas and indulged in them while everyone else drank alcohol. I used the in-room coffee maker for hot water (just ran a few pots through at the beginning to rinse most of the coffee and caffeine flavor out). I was perfectly content as long as I had something tasty in my hand to sip.

Since they are an indulgence, my rule with these teas is that I can have as many as I want, and I never have to re-use a bag unless I want to. I even have a special "tea squeezer" to get all the flavor out. And yes, I brought it. LOL
www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000I1X45O
?tag=manifolds-20


7) During travel and during the conference if I wanted something to snack on during a boring talk and didn't have water handy (to which I added the TrueCitrus packets), I'd have a stick of sugarless gum (and track it).

8) I washed my workout gear lightly with shampoo while showering in the room after each fitness episode and hung it up on the shower rod or rolled it in a dry bath towel to wring most of the water out.

9) I tracked my weight and percent body fat on my scale every morning and logged it in "True Weight" and "Lean Me Pro" on my iPod.

SO, HOW DID I DO?

Here are the numbers:

January 8, 2010
157.8 lbs
(159.61 average according to physicsdiet.com)

27.2% body fat
(29.64% average according to physicsdiet.com)

January 20, 2010
157.4 lbs
(157.66 average according to physicsdiet.com)

22.6% body fat
(25.01% average according to physicsdiet.com)

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

IZADORA 2/17/2011 2:11AM

    What great ideas! Way to plan ahead!

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DOREEN1562 6/17/2010 8:45AM

  Thanks for some great ideas. I'm getting ready to take a business trip to Vegas and I've already been warned by my co-workers that all they do is the buffets. I'm already planning out my menus..guess it'll be fruit and veggies for the most part. I already planned to bring protein bars for breakfast, and salad spritzer as you suggested. Wish me luck!

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THEWEIGHTSOVER 6/9/2010 6:35PM

    What an amazing job planning everything. Its truly a show of dedication that I aspire to. Keep up the great work and thanks for sharing your journey and experience. emoticon

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THINWITHIN18 2/17/2010 11:38PM

    That was a very inspirational blog: thanks for the tips and for giving us all a model for good planning and healthy living.
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CHANGEDIN09 2/1/2010 9:47PM

    This is JUST what I needed. I just accepted a new job and will be gone for two weeks of training. Just found out they do NOT have a fitness center at the hotel. I can't believe it. But I love the idea about the free passes at local places. These were all great ideas. CONGRATS on your huge success . You are an inspiration.

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KARENE10 1/28/2010 9:15AM

    You are one dedicated lady! emoticon

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S318830 1/27/2010 1:16PM

    Nice job! I like the tea idea.

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TIOGA123 1/25/2010 4:18PM

    Great job!!! emoticon

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ABBYLU 1/24/2010 10:06PM

    Wow, what great info! I just looked at your pics~your journey is simply amazing. Thanks for sharing!

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WALKWITME 1/23/2010 10:49AM

    You Have Done It Again My emoticon

You are Dedicated !

As Always, I'm Proud Of You

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Comment edited on: 1/23/2010 10:55:56 AM

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TRAVELINGIRL68 1/23/2010 9:55AM

    Thank you so much for sharing this - I too have to travel for work and it has tripped me up in the past, this was really helpful and inspirational!! emoticon

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ZESTYLADY 1/22/2010 6:34PM

    Okay...you just made it really hard for the rest of us to find some excuses about why we did not do what we needed to do! Sheesh! Thanks a lot! LOL.

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CARRIE1948 1/22/2010 9:19AM

    Planning really does work. I wasn't nearly so creative when I went to England, but I managed to lose .8 pounds and go to high tea

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LAFTERSFREE 1/21/2010 9:30PM

    im totally impressed. I have a 5 day conference coming up and I dont know if i could ever be as committed as you were. that is definitely awesome!!! i do have some things in mind to make sure I stay focused on fitness, and thanks so much for sharing the details of your preparations and planning, i'll be keeping these in mind.

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JHADZHIA 1/21/2010 8:09PM

    Wow that is mind-boggling! All that stuff to pack too. I was wishing I had brought my meal replacement shakes and protein supplements with me on a recent vacation -I gained 9 lbs when I went from an all raw fruit and veggie diet to high carb blow out (my relatives choice of places -McDonalds, burger places and Ihop). I can't afford all the high tech stuff, don't even have a cell phone. No access to the internet. In Canada lots of hotels provide free access to the internet, they call them business centers. I wish the US would learn this hospitality. Love the idea of taking out trial membership at gyms -good one! I did find a Curves, but it was an hour commute every time I went.
Good for you finding a solution that works for you!
emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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FRECKS96 1/21/2010 6:28PM

    That's fabulous! Congrats!!

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PUDDLE_JUMPER 1/21/2010 5:39PM

    WOW!!! emoticon emoticon emoticon

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WALKINGANNIE 1/21/2010 5:00PM

    Brilliant! What a great example. I'm going away overnight tomorrow and was just thinking about emergency food, etc. but you've taken the planning to a whole new level. Thanks for sharing your experience.

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ALYFITN 1/21/2010 3:22PM

    This is exactly why I subscribe to your blog. Lot's of great ideas here. Thanks for sharing and congratulations! emoticon

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TURBOAMIE 1/21/2010 3:06PM

    wow - great detailed plan and I am IMPRESSED about doing this while traveling. I used to travel a lot too and that's when I got my heaviest. I wish I would have had this back then :)

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NANCERELLA 1/21/2010 2:59PM

    Wow, you really put a lot of thought into this. I am impressed. I will use these tips for my next out of town trip. emoticon

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SUNSHINENHOPE 1/21/2010 2:40PM

    you have really taken it to a whole 'nother level!!!! I never thought about asking for a trial membership to a gym in a town where I will be attending a conference. Great idea!! Your planning paid off and I am so impressed and inspired by it!

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TIKITAMI 1/21/2010 2:39PM

    You are my HERO!!

I'm on day 4 of a 21 day business trip in Manila, you are really inspiring me to keep on track. Like you I packed a lot of foods and items to help me stay focused. The one great thing I can say about this trip is that I'm 3 blocks away from a great market with tons of precut fresh fruits and veggies.

Congratulations on getting through your trip, I know how hard that can be. emoticon

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TELERIE 1/21/2010 2:12PM

    Woohoo! So impressed with all the preparations and sticking to your tracking. I often guesstimate at restaurants. Perhaps a mini food scale would be good.

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DDOORN 1/21/2010 1:58PM

    Wow...talk about SUPER prepared! Building success right into your travels...! Way to GO! :-)

Don

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NWCOUNTRYDANCER 1/21/2010 1:56PM

    Great job!

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Wild Animal sPark Rally

Monday, January 18, 2010

Met up with Deb (S318830) and her kids at the Wild Animal Park this morning, saw a giraffe tussling with a big antelope from the tram, watched gibbons, watched human children, and finally took a photo at the "park" her kids like.

Pictured (from left to right):
4A-HEALTHY-BMI, HAVASUROSE, their sister, S318830, and her two kids.

Afterward my two sisters and I did some more consignment store shopping, investigated a Carhart retailer (for our sister who needs work pants with lots of pockets), and a Chico's where some of us got shells on sale. Then we had dinner with HAVASUROSE's friend Dotty (and her daughter and granddaughter) at Soup Plantation, shipped a 20x20x20 box of clothes to NY via FedEx, and did cardio in the hotel fitness room for an hour.

Now we're wrapping up the evening in the hotel room with some wine (yes, mine is measured out, LOL) and logging stuff on our computers and checking email, etc.

They will drive home tomorrow and I will move to a hotel downtown tomorrow night and fly home on Tuesday. Back to the Land of Cold.
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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

S318830 1/27/2010 1:17PM

    LOL! So exactly how many times did you guys wind up eating at Soup Plantation that trip? My mental count is about 5, right?

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PUDDLE_JUMPER 1/19/2010 12:11AM

    What a blast!!! emoticon

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TELERIE 1/18/2010 6:11PM

    Sounds like a lovely day! Enjoy and have lots of fun!!

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MOMMAROLEMODEL 1/18/2010 8:07AM

    Looks like you had loads of fun! Glad to see you are enjoying life to the fullest!

Love,
Timberlee

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DDOORN 1/18/2010 5:39AM

    Well...we had ONE day that wasn't cold...I remember it fondly...lol!

Looking like a lot more fun! Soak it up so it can tide you through till Spring...! :-)

Don

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BAYSIDE07 1/18/2010 4:13AM

  emoticon

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Am I done?! Really?! Yikes. :-o

Sunday, January 17, 2010

My initial goal has been 150 lbs or 25% body fat, whichever came first.

My Tanita scale has been indicating anywhere from 22% to 26% body fat for the past week or so.
www.amazon.com/Tanita-BC533-Innersca
n-Composition-Monitor/dp/B0007Y6BS4?ta
g=manifolds-20

UPDATE: In "athlete" mode it says 19.7% Thanks to S318830 for advising me on that! (And also for finding the DXA place in San Diego.)

I suspected I was close, but wouldn't know until I had it measured by a more accurate method.
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Body_fat_perce
ntage


On Thursday through a DXA scan I found out my body fat % is actually 19%.
www.cohp.sdsu.edu/index.php?page=tes
ting

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Are you freaking KIDDING me?! That's actually in the "athletic" category. Last year at this time I still weighed over 300 lbs...

This means, technically, that by at least one measure I am done. I have been processing this information for the past couple of days - I actually cried a little in the car on the way back on Thursday, because I was just so overwhelmed. I wasn't expecting this. I wasn't really ready for it.

If you've been following the thread where STEVIECAT4 and I are trying to reach 150 you'll already have read some of my mulling over this issue. tinyurl.com/race2onefifty

Anyway, I have been lightening up on the calorie restriction but continuing with the heavy exercising, with predictable results. This morning I'm up to 158. So I'll be pushing back down on the restriction a little more.

In the meantime, realizing that I'm probably going to be close to this size for a while, and having my two sisters handy, I've been indulging in SHOPPING. Me. Who has historically H.A.T.E.D. shopping. With a Passion.

In the interests of public service, here is a rundown of the thrift and consignment stores we've investigated:

1) American Cancer Society Discovery Store, Rancho Bernardo
16787 Bernardo Center Drive, San Diego - (858) 385-0479

Small store, Salvation Army-type prices & selection. Found the sparkly $18 dress on sale there that day for half off.

2) Girlfriend's Consignment Boutique, Poway
12222 Poway Road, Poway, CA - (858) 679-1222

Upscale. Lovely selection. Found a really nice workout top and leather pants ($26).

3) Plato's Closet, Escondido
1220 Auto Park Way, Escondido, CA - (760) 233-0002

Geared toward 20 year olds. Found some really nice workout gear there. Lots of colors and styles and the ability to be picky.

4) Deborah's Next to New, Escondido
1624 E Valley Pkwy, Escondido, CA - (760) 743-8980

Large selection. Similar items scattered throughout the store. Quality ranges from Salvation Army to upscale. Found an awesome lined suede long skirt there for $29.

I'm going to have to get a box and ship this stuff home...

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MOM5INFL 1/26/2010 6:01PM

    I somehow lost my subscription to your blog so I totally missed the results of your DEXA. 19 percent, holy cow! That's awesome. You are so done with your weight loss. The extra skin is obviously adding a significant amount of weight. Do not beat yourself up for not getting to a number that may be too stressful to maintain. You are done with losing fat...unless you are planning to compete in a bodybuilding competition. Now focus on reshaping your body through weight training. Congratulations! emoticon

I think I need to do the DEXA or BodPod or something. I need to know my bodyfat percent so that I can stop those nagging thoughts that maybe I could do better. Again, congratulations!!! Birdie.

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WALKWITME 1/20/2010 6:27AM

    I am so Happy For You!

I actually pull up your photo at work and show you off

You are so Inspiring!

I am Spreading Your Spark around

CONGRATULATIONS ! emoticon emoticon emoticon

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MOMMAROLEMODEL 1/18/2010 8:13AM

    Way to go on the 19% body fat and how fun to go shopping with your sisters. Can't wait to see pictures of all your finds!

Love,
Timberlee

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CARRIE1948 1/18/2010 8:05AM

    That's fantastic

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MURSPERZ 1/18/2010 7:46AM

    Congratulations! emoticon

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YARELL 1/17/2010 6:37PM

    That is awesome!!! Isn't that the oddest thing, it sticks at a point... whatever number your chasing... seems to be cemented in place... then
without even realizing it.. bam!
you hit it and past! What the heck!!!

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DBALZER 1/17/2010 2:40PM

    Truly Inspiring! I look forward to my DONE post. That will be a while but with inspirations like you I know I can keep at it.

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GINGER_LOSTALOT 1/17/2010 2:36PM

    That's truly inspiring!

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DAYHIKER 1/17/2010 2:29PM

    emoticonYou look wonderful! And you positively glow with good health! emoticon

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GEE-KNEE 1/17/2010 2:05PM

    Hooray, 19% body fat says it all. Good for you. Now that you're done losing weight, what is the next goal?

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DDOORN 1/17/2010 12:28PM

    I *knew* the 19% had to be a BIGGIE from your message...WOW! No WONDER it inspired tears! The numbers have certainly been your "friend" as you pointed out in your message thread with STEVIECAT4 , folks like us...and I can certainly relate!...lose touch with our bodies and appetites. How do we *KNOW* when we are hungry or not...? Now THAT would be a challenge: to somehow re-learn, re-gain confidence in having our bodies *KNOW* when we are TRULY hungry, vs. all the other distortions we have picked up along the way to cloud our sense of appetite!

Love your new pic...you are finding some "gems" out there! :-) Don't know if you knew that there is a Plato's Closet here on the Vestal Parkway...? Not sure if there is something special about this consignment shop...have never been there.

Of course your journey continues through the challenges of maintenance...! Who knows what discoveries may be yet ahead? :-)

Don

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TELERIE 1/17/2010 11:53AM

    You're just a-mazing and an inspiration and I'm so happy I have "met" you here! Congratulations and happy shopping. Now to keep on with the great work you're doing on maintenance.

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RAYLINSTEPHENS 1/17/2010 11:44AM

    I just love it when a plan comes together!

SparkPeople works!! You are living proof!!

Love,
Linda

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THOMS1 1/17/2010 11:12AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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Rancho Bernardo Spark Rally

Friday, January 15, 2010

My sisters and I met with Deb (S318830) for lunch today at the Soup Plantation near the hotel. So, since there were three SparkPeople (TM) there, we're calling it a "Spark Rally" LOL.

Here are the photos afterward, taken by the one sister who isn't (yet) on this site.

OK, photos don't seem to be uploading properly, so I'll add 'em later.
...Looks like I need to use IE instead of Firefox.


S318830 smiling for the camera while 4A-HEALTHY-BMI tells HAVASUROSE to put down the rabbit ears. LOL


HAVASUROSE giving attitude.


4A-HEALTHY-BMI giving attitude.

More pics together at the Wild Animal Park on Sunday morning, when we'll include the other sister!

Then afterwards HAVASUROSE had a dentist appointment, S318830 went back to work, and 4A-HEALTHY-BMI and her eldest sister (not pictured) went to consignment stores and thrift shops and played in clothes...

'
NEW fully-lined LEATHER PANTS! ($26) and jacket from a skirt suit ($11)
[I was intrigued by S318830's account of HER new leather pants, both in the original blog and at lunch today. Not just intrigued. Jealous. LOL]
www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_jo
urnal_individual.asp?blog_id=2639424



New dress ($9) that I saw on the manniquin and thought would be fun to try on. My boss retired on the 30th and his dinner is coming up.

Then we tried re-staging the "fat pants" photo with HAVASUROSE from November, and this time they ZIPPED UP! LOL

This is the SAME EXACT PAIR OF PANTS in each photo.

March 2008:


November 2009:


January 2010:


4A-HEALTHY-BMI with her eldest sister in "the pants."

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

WALKWITME 1/20/2010 6:32AM

    I Know the Feeling Too

You Have Done An AWESOME Job !

You all Look Great !

emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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MOMMAROLEMODEL 1/18/2010 8:16AM

    What fun, I love the pants photos! The dress looked amazing and glad to see you got some sister time!

Love,
Timberlee

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KALISWALKER 1/17/2010 2:25AM

    What a great photo! looks like you know how to have fun.

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S318830 1/16/2010 1:08PM

    YEAH!!!! LOVE the new red leather pants! And congratulations on being able to zip up the old pants now! That's awesome!

Comment edited on: 1/16/2010 1:09:15 PM

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CARRIE1948 1/16/2010 8:57AM

    Love the photos

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DAVEOZ 1/16/2010 2:25AM

    I can feel your joy. Great job. Leather pants!!! I want a pair along with big hair and bright red boots to tuck the leather pants INTO (can you say 80's)

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Keep up the great work!!!!!!
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DDOORN 1/15/2010 6:04PM

    Can't wait for the pics! Wish I was THERE!

Also can't wait to hear all about your friends and family's reaction to the NEW YOU!

Love your news of 19%...woo hoo! :-)

Don

Comment edited on: 1/15/2010 6:24:46 PM

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S318830 1/15/2010 4:23PM

    Photo tease! That was great! I really enjoyed meeting you guys. I just posted my own blog where I mention our lunch too.

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THISMISSLINZI 1/15/2010 4:07PM

  I live in SD too! Awesome!

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More Enabling (food) Technologies, part III

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

1. Dixie diners crunchy apple soy rocks protein bars

I've written about protein and mentioned protein bars before.
www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_jo
urnal_individual.asp?blog_id=2536501


This is my new go-to favorite bar and has one of the best protein / calorie ratios at 10 g protein and 81 calories. They are crunchy and satisfying and at less than half the calories of most protein bars they are suitable for a snack to get you by until a real meal will be available.

You can also get a version with flax seeds in it that has 90 calories and 10 g of protein. I prefer to just get my omegas via capsule.

There's no weird melty chocolate layer that will go funny if it gets hot in the car, so you can stash them everywhere for emergencies. I have them in my glove box, my life vest, my desk at work, my gym bag, etc.

I buy them online directly from Dixie Diners' Club:
www.dixiediner.com/crunchy-apple-roc
ks-barbox-p-3.html


2. Freeze-dried fruit

Most "normal" dried fruit has added sulfates, sugars, and even sometimes oil. Freeze-dried fruit has none of those additions and is fantastic with breakfast cereal or yoghurt (or just about anything else to which you'd add fruit). I even like just snacking on it - it's crunchy and has a nice tart / sweet kick.

You can get freeze dried blueberries and strawberries at Trader Joe's, or you can order a bunch of different kinds from nutsonline.com - they have a referral incentive so if you want 10% off your first order, contact me with your email address and I'll have them send you a code. (I would get 10% off my next order, too)

You can also get freeze dried vegetables - the broccoli has the highest protein / calorie ratio of any of the fruits and vegetables. Of the fruits, the freeze-dried sour cherries win the nutrition contest with the boysenberries a close second. (Boysenberries resulted from crossing blackberry, loganberry and raspberry and are the basis of the Knott's Berry Farm empire.)

www.nutsonline.com/search_results.ht
ml?q=freeze+dried&t=&sort=popularity


3. Wasa crisp n' light crackers

I found these while visiting a friend recently in Alexandria, VA. At 20 calories and 11.7 mg of sodium per cracker I think they actually taste pretty good, and are a great alternative to more fat and sodium laden crackers. I plan on bringing some to the New Year's Eve celebration I attend every year.

It turns out you can order a case of ten online from Amazon.com cheaper than you can get them from the store:
www.amazon.com/Wasa-Crisp-Light-Grai
n-4-9-Ounce/dp/B000EUJLHE?tag=manifold
s-20


4. Laughing Cow Cheese (Extra Light)

I discovered this spreadable low-fat cheese while visiting LAFAGG in England.

In one wedge (17.5 g) there are:

20 calories
0.6 g fat
131.3 mg sodium
2.6 g protein

Compare this with the Laughing Cow Light available in the US:
(21 g per wedge)

35 calories
2 g fat
260 mg sodium
2.5 g protein

I don't know about you, but I'd prefer to eat the UK version. Or TWO of them, since that's about the equivalent in calories to ONE of the US wedges - and more than TWICE the protein... To me it tastes just as good. On my Wasa Crisp n' Light crackers, LOL.

For this one, unfortunately, you have to either know someone in Europe who can send it to you, or know people traveling there who can bring it home in a suitcase.

I emailed Laughing Cow and asked why they don't sell Extra Light in North America. They replied that it is because they're marketed here as a "specialty cheese" and don't think there would be a market for it.

I think they're wrong and referred them to www.hungry-girl.com/girls/biteoutdet
ails.php?isid=1012
as an example.

5. Kauffman's fruit butter with no sugar added

If your tastes run more to sweet than savory for your cracker or toast toppings, here's something I recently discovered in the local Mennonite store. The pumpkin butter in particular stands out, at 5 calories per tablespoon and a short list of ingredients (pumpkin, apple cider, lemon, cinnamon, citric acid).

If you can't find a local store that carries it, you can order it direct from the Pennsylvania:
www.kauffmansfruitfarm.com/index.php
?main_page=product_info&products_id=17

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KARENE10 1/13/2010 9:50AM

    Thanks for all the great info. I do not live that far from Kaufman's---it would be doable to go there on a weekend day that I have off. Roadtrip emoticon Thanks for doing all the research for us!

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PUDDLE_JUMPER 1/10/2010 2:58AM

    emoticon

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PATTILYNN224 1/7/2010 10:10AM

    Thanks so much for opening up a whole new world for me. I live in a small town and it is very difficult to find dairy free products.

Comment edited on: 1/7/2010 10:11:09 AM

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STEVIECAT4 1/5/2010 5:18PM

    I'm going to send you my email address through Sparkmail. I LOVE cherries, and I want to order the freeze dried cherries from nutsonline.com. A coupon will be great!

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CHELLEBELLE104 1/3/2010 11:11PM

    that is great info... you are just amazing and I am going to have to look into that stuff! Thanks.

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DARA52 1/3/2010 2:58AM

    Thank you!Great info!

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MPLSLINDA 1/2/2010 4:26PM

    I'm going to write to Laughing Cow and tell them they could develop their market for Extra Light "specialty cheese" right here on SparkPeople! Thanks for all the tips. Because of the info you post, I'm reading The Hacker's Diet, signed up for Physics Diet today, and am investigating Lean Me for my iTouch.

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ZESTYLADY 12/31/2009 3:16PM

    I sure love having you do my research for me! Thanks

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DDOORN 12/30/2009 11:36PM

    My DW made a KILLER apple butter this past fall without sugar. Some great sounding items here to check out...thx for passing along your discoveries!

Don

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ZELLAZM 12/30/2009 6:13PM

    What a great list of things to try! Makes me feel like going shopping right NOW! Thanks for posting this info. I've especially been on the lookout for a good protein bar/snack since the company I bought from discontinued their high-fiber version.

Thanks again!
Michelle

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4A-HEALTHY-BMI 12/30/2009 4:31PM

    @ WILLOW49
You might not be able to eat the Dixie Diners' products - you can't have soy, right?

For other protein bar options, check out my blog on protein...

http://tinyurl.co
m/bmi-protein

Comment edited on: 12/30/2009 4:32:22 PM

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WILLOW49 12/30/2009 4:20PM

    I'm going to have to try those Dixie Diner's protein bars! I don't think I ever eat enough protein :( This might be a good answer for me. That dried fruit is right up my alley, too!

Thanks!

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CARRIE1948 12/30/2009 4:19PM

    As usual, a font of information

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