AKASHA66   67,832
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AKASHA66's Recent Blog Entries

Lost a friend to colon cancer today--only 45 years old.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

I've lost my first friend ever, older family members have died, but until now, never a friend my age. Dave was 45, died of colon cancer he had had for 5 years. He outlived the time they gave him, but it was a terrible disease.

Death always brings people together, and this is no exception, the emails flying around from people all over the world, the Facebook posts--who knew FB could be good for anything?, the old pictures from high school people have found, the old funny stories, it is all a real tribute, but a bittersweet tribute given the situation.

Dave was a 6'7" giant bear of a man, always with a smile, always ready to help a friend, always silly, always loving. He didn't deserve this end, no one does.

This is a new kind of pain for me. 90+ year old grandparents who have lead full lives dying and leaving us we expect, even if it hurts. A young friend dying is just plain old pain.

I can't go to his funeral, I am thousand of miles away on another continent, the emails, Facebook posts and sending someone to the funeral in my place will have to be enough. It doesn't seem like it though.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BECKA525 6/19/2010 1:54PM

    I'm so sorry for your loss. My prayers are with you
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BECKA525 6/19/2010 1:53PM

    I'm so sorry for your loss. My prayers are with you
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AKASHA66 6/19/2010 1:43PM

    Thanks for the comments everyone. It turns out my friend had left directions, no funeral, no wake, but there is a party planned in July. I won't be able to go but I can have my own little celebration of his life right here.

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GONNA_BREAKAWAY 6/19/2010 11:53AM

  I'm so sorry for your loss. emoticon emoticon

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    I have gone through this many time and know how you feel. emoticon

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SOHOJOSE 6/15/2010 8:24PM

    I'm so sorry for your loss. You're right, it doesn't seem right that someone so young should be gone. My condolences to you and his family...

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JOYLJL 6/15/2010 10:07AM


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TURTLE_MOM 6/15/2010 8:51AM

    I'm so sorry. I know it can't be easy. Hugs and my thoughts are with you.

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SOFTPRO 6/15/2010 7:19AM

    I am very sorry to hear about your loss. Losing a loved one to such a terrible disease is heartbreaking and seems so unfair when their life is cut so short. But may you find some comfort knowing that it warms your heart thinking of the fond memories you two share. Stay strong and my sincere condolences on your loss. emoticon emoticon

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VANESSAM123 6/15/2010 6:41AM

    Sorry to hear of your loss...
Stay strong

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PICKIE98 6/15/2010 6:19AM

    Dave knows who his real friends are, he understood.. yet another reason for that nasty old rule of "forty years old, get a colonoscopy".. Sometimes these things happen to wake us up, shake us up to the numbing reality of death in life,, to take extra steps to take time out of our busy lives to get those tests..
I lost my first good freind when I was 21,, ,, it does not get any easier,,
vent it all out here, that is what we are for,,, to help each other over teh rough spots of life.. Linda

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MONGO2TEN 6/15/2010 6:12AM

    I am so sorry. I lost a dear friend to colon cancer a few years ago as well. She was in her mid 50's. It's hard.


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KAKIPOPUP 6/15/2010 5:27AM

    I am so sorry.

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RUBYCLAIRE 6/15/2010 5:19AM

    I am so sorry for your loss. You are so very right when you say it doesn't seem right to lose someone so young. It's an unbelievable hurt especially when you live at such a distance that you cannot go and say your "good byes".

Nothing can ever replace the love of a dear friend, but I hope you may find some comfort in the knowledge that your Spark Friends are right there with you giving you so many BIG hugs. I hope that some day soon those beautiful memories of his laugh, sensitivity and warmth will bring a much needed smile to your face.

Please accept a hug or two from a stranger who reads your pain.
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Creating Eating Routines

Wednesday, June 02, 2010

Detail from stained glass in local cathedral.

I'm thinking about making MORE routines. I usually have one of a couple of breakfasts and very frequently exactly the same, saves time, shopping, even $.

Example: on breakfasts, my raspberry-cocoa-yogurt smoothie, oat bran-wheat bran galette, my high fiber chocolate chocolate chip muffins, regular yogurt, fromage blanc, assorted fruits, scrambled eggs. I almost never eat anything different from those, one or a combo usually.

I often have one of a few possible snacks, but would like to get that down to an actual acceptable list and go from that.

In an ideal world, I'll create a sort of personal cookbook-plan, with about 60 lunch or dinners and rotate mostly through that for the next bit of time. I need to stop spending so much time organizing, finding recipes, logging in SP and shopping, I think it could be streamlined a lot and less creative and save trouble. I could also more easily predict for more protein and fewer carbs which remain trouble spots.

This could gain me exercise and relaxation time and save $ too. Think if it was all in SP and all I had to do was click the right things to log, or at least minimize tracking to fewer things.

I cook from scratch a lot and live in a country where not a lot of premade stuff is not as readily available. So I have to enter a lot of food from scratch into the tracker.

I think I'll look into this. Starting now.

Does anyone do this type of thing?

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

AKASHA66 6/3/2010 10:46AM

    Thanks for the input everyone. I'm going to look at what I already have added to the recipe site, take into account husband's tastes, check out some of the many cookbooks I have and try to get a plan going.

Yesterday a desperation lunch that was GREAT--

a can of good white tuna plopped in a tupperware with a chopped cucumber, a plop of hummous and balsamic vinegar
Apple and cherry tomatoes on the side.

Tasty, brillant, high protein, low calorie, easy, almost 4 fruit and veg servings in one go...

I need more of these ready to be used.

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JLBRIGHT3 6/2/2010 9:43PM

    Planning too far into the future doesn't work for me. Unexpected things happen too often and throw me off track (not good). I feel lucky when my daily plan works. Right now meals are simple or from SP recipes. I add a food and save them to my favorites. Makes it easy to put into the nutrition tracker. Not sure what will happen when entres get more complicated-haven't gotten there yet. I'm still learning and there may be a simple solution around the corner. So for now, I'm sticking to routines.

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JENSHAWN 6/2/2010 5:35PM

    I wish there was a fine line. I did to not eat any routine meal plan. I think that is part of my down fall...I think I need to incorporate more of a routine. oh well

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BECKA525 6/2/2010 5:24PM

    You can do your recipes in the tracker. Just put the recipe in the recipe calculator and then save it and it can be accessed on the nutrition tracker. I've done this to a few of mine it makes it a lot easier to just hit the recipe and it adds all the nutrition.
I find myself eating the same few things for breakfast bt lunch and dinner is usually different. Good Luck!!

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TURTLE_MOM 6/2/2010 3:50PM

    I plan my dinners out now a month at a time, didn't used to though. I also am usually thinking about breakfast and lunch in the morning, trying to get an idea of what I'm going to eat that day. When I shop, I try to have all my items I need to be successful, but I still end up staring in the fridge wondering what to eat!

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    I am so with you. I eat the same thing every day for breakfast and lunch and just vary snacks and supper. It helps me stay on plan.

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Attempt at Organization--June Goals

Tuesday, June 01, 2010


Statue in local park, roses are also all in bloom there right now.

Attempt at getting down June goals, not being naturally organized, this is new for me.

-eat 25 + grams fiber a day
-alternate strength training exercises: arms day, waist-stomach day, legs day every three days. Keep this up for month of June and take stock of situation. I don't give enough importance to ST.
-stay in calorie range, but OK to be on high side
-2100 exercise points per week--mostly walking cardio
-at least 50 Spark points per day to be taking part on site and using educational info
-Too many carbs-sweets lately, be aware!
-do not allow T's problems to affect your or your husband's life.
-try to get at least 7 hours of sleep a night

OK, that's the plan. I'll give it a month, no major changes there except the ST and I really do have to up the protein and down the carbs. Sleep remains the biggest problem.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KALISWALKER 6/1/2010 11:30PM

    You are so smart to plan your month.

Have a great month.

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STAROFD00M 6/1/2010 1:44PM

    Awesome goals- keep us posted on how you're doing!

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    Great goals!!! emoticon

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    Best of luck with your goals for the month!

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The cool, cloudwrapped heaven of a new pair of tennis shoes. - R.Bradbury

Monday, May 17, 2010

New Balance shoes today, new ones. After running all over town looking for a decent pair at a decent price I wound up at the running shop near the train station. Personal service, 115 euros, not cheap, but shoes fitted to my feet by a professional. It turns out I don't do anything weird with my feet and I'm not lop-sided. I'm neutral. Like Switzerland. Nice to know.

Ray Bradbury, in a beautiful little book called Dandelion Wine that people don't necessarily know but are really missing out on if they don't, writes about being a child and the pleasure of 'firsts' of each new year. Douglas Spaulding, the main character, discovers that nothing makes a boy fly weightless through his summer vacation better than slipping his feet into the cool, cloudwrapped heaven of a new pair of tennis shoes.

Slipping my feet into those expensive New Balance shoes brought back that scene from Dandelion Wine. I can't wait to fly weightless through the summer.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MORTICIAADDAMS 5/20/2010 10:35AM

    My favorite tennis shoes. I love them!! enjoy!!

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STAROFD00M 5/18/2010 11:25AM

    I swear, there is nothing like a new pair of running shoes. Have fun putting them to good use!
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TJARRARD 5/18/2010 8:18AM

    Sounds awesome! You made me smile this morning... thanks!

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KIMCATUS 5/17/2010 12:50PM

    Woo hoo on the new tennis shoes! That's actually a book that has been recommended to me over and over and have yet to pick it up. Gah. Must do that!!!! :)

Congrats on being neutral..... ;-)

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BECKA525 5/17/2010 11:56AM

    It's so much fun getting new shoes, especially if you can find some that fit perfect. I found that in fitness shoes ( you know the ones that are suppose to work your legs and rear) that are so comfortable that I don't take them off all day. Have fun in your new shoes. emoticon emoticon

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At least I haven't opened the Mint Milanos!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

This is the Pont du Gard, an old Roman aqueduct not far from where I live.

Yes I live in a place with a lot of nifty things, but I was hoping to go back to the States for a visit and now it looks like a volcano will be standing in my way. I've had this trip planned for 8 months, tickets bought eight months ago, visits set up with family all over the place. I haven't seen my grandparents, who aren't getting any younger! in almost 4 years or my parents in 2. As of today, most of France is still closed to flights, Europe too. I have six days for the situation to change.


I wouldn't have considered myself an emotional eater but I have been starving lately. I'm still trying to figure out if it is due to stress or not. So far I have been trying to deal with it reasonably, eating half of whatever I want, doing exercise instead... the exercise thing lead me to whopping blisters on both feet from walking in a pair of shoes I'm not used to so that is no good at all.

So far I haven't opened the pack of Mint Milanos my non-thinking husband brought home about a week ago. Unheard of in France, a real treat. If I open the bag, I'm doomed. Closed, it is no danger, almost not even a temptation. Woe to me though if I open it.

If my blisters didn't hurt so much, this would be a perfect time to evacuate stress with serious cardio.

Not sure what comes next. One the one hand, I'd MUCH rather be on the ground wishing I was in the air than in the air wishing I was on the ground.

I'm old enough to be able to see things from a reasonable point of view, and I'm disappointed in myself for being so childish about this whole volcano thing. A lot can change in six days, I need to practice a little patience.

Wish me luck!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SKINNYROBIN100 4/25/2010 2:31AM

    emoticonGreat blog, Great photo. You are so lucky though, that you weren't ON a plane as the ash problem became worse and worse. Good luck in the states staying away from all those thousands of bags of Milano's!!! emoticon I liked your page and your blog about cookies caught my eye. I'm a cookie girl myself and I do NOT have any in the house. So I'll leave you with these words...When life gives you ash, make gray your favorite color! emoticon

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NATHELESS 4/21/2010 2:35PM

    Don't beat yourself up for being unhappy that your long-planned and eagerly-awaited trip is in danger - that's a perfectly natural way to feel!

That said, I do hope you're able to go on your trip!!

Cheers & applause, too - you've really been doing great!

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BEAUTYEYES 4/20/2010 10:27PM

    I hope you get there. Eight months is a long time and something is their to stop you from enjoying your trip. I hope it changes in six days, hopefully, so you can go ahead as planned. Good Luck and dont open the Mint Milanos. emoticon emoticon

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4MEIWILLDOIT 4/20/2010 8:07PM

  Oh wow....I too would be stressed. I would be a little down in the dumps too. Hopefully you can get to the US and visit. I will keep you in my thoughts. Good luck

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JWENZEL723 4/20/2010 3:28PM

    "One the one hand, I'd MUCH rather be on the ground wishing I was in the air than in the air wishing I was on the ground." - haha good point!

but you're right, a LOT can change in six days. i would really be surprised if it was still shut down by then.

i picture emotional eaters as crying over a breakup with a box of bon=bons...so yea, i didn't consider myself one either. then i read an article that says emotional eaters are also people that eat when stressed or when bored. so i guess i am!

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BECKA525 4/20/2010 2:16PM

    Put the cookies in the freezer and allow just a portion each day.
Good Luck on your trip plans hope everything works out well.
Can you do your cardio barefoot? I do DVD's barefoot, my shoes stick on the carpet and it hurts.

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    Well.. I can Tell you at last the flights Out of Washington are operating to Europe after bing cancel since Thursday... I hope get better for you to be able to do you Well planned trip...

Hope your blisters go away soon...


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SPARKARINO 4/20/2010 10:38AM

    Sorry that your travel plans have been hijacked by the volcano, that sucks -- but just think of it this way -- thank goodness you are at home and not stuck on a cot in some airport! Hope the sky clears and you are able to make your visit to the States real soon.

I really wanted a sweet yesterday, so bought some wafer cookies -- purposely got the smallest package I could find. I so know what you mean about 'once the package is opened'. Luckily, although these are good, they aren't as tempting as some, so there are actually some still left. Stay strong...!
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    They are allowing some planes to fly today so maybe there is hope you can get out. Don't eat the Mint Milanos!!! Great picture!!

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DIANE929 4/20/2010 3:54AM

    lUCK TO YOU! emoticon emoticon

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