Wednesday, April 08, 2009
Some seasons are beautiful for their meaning, others for the activities that usually take place, and still others for the symbols connected with it or for the time of year when it happens. Easter includes all of these! How beautiful is the Springtime-the time of new life & beauty! And how meaningful is Christ's resurrection-when He became alive again after dying for the sins of the world. New life, new hope, new beauty...it's all ours-and for free!
What an appropriate time to renew our goals & determination to eat healthy, lose weight and...whatever else you would like to see happen in your life! May this season give you new hope, motivation & energy...sparked by the strength & courage that not only the Lord can give but that also our family & friends (especially Spark!) can give.
Blessings on our journeys!
Friday, December 12, 2008
To my extremely healthy spark friends, I am passing on to you what a fellow-sparker sent to me yesterday. Laughing is healthy so, go ahead...Enjoy (that's enjoy, as in, reading, but not following, these tips)!
HOLIDAY EATING TIPS
1. Avoid carrot sticks. Anyone who puts carrots on a holiday buffet table knows nothing of the Christmas spirit. In fact, if you see carrots, leave immediately. Go next door, where they're serving rum balls.
2. Drink as much eggnog as you can. And quickly. It's rare.. You cannot find it any other time of year but now. So drink up! Who cares that it has 10,000 calories in every sip? It's not as if you're going to turn into an eggnog-alcoholic or something. It's a treat. Enjoy it. Have one for me. Have two. It's later than you think. It's Christmas!
3. If something comes with gravy, use it. That's the whole point of gravy. Gravy does not stand alone. Pour it on. Make a volcano out of your mashed potatoes. Fill it with gravy. Eat the volcano. Repeat.
4. As for mashed potatoes, always ask if they're made with skim milk or whole milk. If it's skim, pass. Why bother? It's like buying a sports car with an automatic transmission.
5. Do not have a snack before going to a party in an effort to control your eating. The whole point of going to a Christmas party is to eat other people's food for free. Lots of it. Hello?
6. Under no circumstances should you exercise between now and New Year's. You can do that in January when you have nothing else to do. This is the time for long naps, which you'll need after circling the buffet table while carrying a 10-pound plate of food and that vat of eggnog.
7. If you come across something really good at a buffet table, like frosted Christmas cookies in the shape and size of Santa, position yourself near them and don't budge. Have as many as you can
before becoming the center of attention. They're like a beautiful pair of shoes. If you leave them behind, you're never going to see them again.
8. Same for pies. Apple, Pumpkin, Mincemeat. Have a slice of each. Or if you don't like mincemeat, have two apples and one pumpkin.
Always have three. When else do you get to have more than one dessert? Labor Day?
9. Did someone mention fruitcake? Granted, it's loaded with the mandatory celebratory calories, but avoid it at all cost. I mean, have some standards.
10. One final tip: If you don't feel terrible when you leave the party or get up from the table, you haven't been paying attention. Re-read tips; start over, but hurry, January is just around the corner.
Remember this motto to live by:
"Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, chocolate in one hand, wine in the other, body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming "WOO HOO what a ride!"
Have a great holiday season!
Monday, December 01, 2008
For my own reference, and for those who might be interested, I'm posting here a helpful website to facilitate searches for foods that have a higher/lower content of certain nutrients & minerals:
This is the USDA site. Not that they're necessarily "gospel truth" but it's certainly a guideline.
P.S. (to my Brazilian friends) This photo was taken to prove that you CAN have an almošo WITHOUT "arroz & feijŃo". I'm still amazed at this, after 6 yrs here in the South! This is not at my house but in a Brazilian one.
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
I titled my spark page with that and I'm still waiting around for it to happen! Kidding aside, I'm serious about that. But I realize, too, that it isn't going to happen all by itself, I'm going to have to put in more effort than I have been in recent months. Unlike a piece of a plant I had that was growing & blooming all on its own...no mother plant, no earth and sometimes no water ...the thing was still growing against all odds when I finally gave it away to someone. I want to be like that in one sense: against all odds, growing & blooming! On the other hand, I don't want to move away from my sources of life, nutrition, strength & growth. Those sources are many and it doesn't take long for you to imagine what they are, since they are the same as, or similar to, your own.
When I saw my weight creeping back up to almost my original starting point, I made the conscious decision to get back to business: eating smaller portions, less carbs (ouch!), more exercise and, especially, cardio. Cardio isn't anything fancy for me, no machines, Tae-bo, or what have you. It's walking fast or running, simple as that. And some of that is uphill so, right now, 30 seconds to 1 minute is about all I can comfortably handle if I'm running! I plan to keep doing that until I can endure longer periods of time, interspersed with just normal walking. I've read more than once that it's more effective that way.
OK, I've bared my heart-now I'm off to the race, the weightloss one. But I'm not competing with anyone except myself...my will, desire and self-control being my main competitors!
P.S. I had a photo of that "piece of plant" but can't find it. This photo is of the mother plant from which it fell. That piece, though, was actually producing flowers! Amazing.
Sunday, October 19, 2008
I've been doing some extra thinking about whole grains. I love them and try to be creative in what & how I eat them, but I'm finding it a bit difficult to keep them down to a low roar. LOL! Know what I mean? If they're so good for me(and I believe they are), how can I eat the amount of daily servings that I'm supposed to and not rack up the calories like crazy?!
First of all, I'm not sure about how many servings I'm supposed to have since I've heard of anywhere from 3 to at least 7 p/day. Three doesn't seem to be enough (not for me, the bread lover!) and 7 makes me easily imagine that I'm blowing up like a balloon. I need an official word about this. Anyone?
Secondly, there are extremely few whole grains that you can just eat by themselves(this, as opposed to fruits & veggies, for example, that you can happily eat w/o any, or extremely few, additions). I mean, it really doesn't appeal to me to choke down hard or dry grains, or cooked ones that are saltless, sugarless, fatless or white flourless. Does this make sense to you and do you see what I'm getting at?
OK, so there's brown rice, cooked & w/ a bit of salt, that's edible w/o adding too many extras-although a bit on the bland side. But when you think of all, or at least most, of the other options, you find yourself also having servings of: sugar, fat, white flour, and other undesirables. Take, for example, a slice of so-called whole wheat bread. You can't make a decent loaf of bread w/o also adding some white flour and a bit of sugar, shortening, etc. Remember, I said "decent". Even a just-right bowl of Goldilocks porridge has to have a bit of sweetener & milk. How many extra calories is that, I ask you? Not too many, you may say, if you add artificial sweetener(yuck!) and no-fat milk(yuck again!).
I'm not saying what the solution is here, I'd like to know myself! So I'm open to any suggestions that anyone has. How do you eat YOUR whole grains w/o also adding on the calories from other ingredients that have to go into them??
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