BARBARA_ELL   15,493
15,000-19,999 SparkPoints
BARBARA_ELL's Recent Blog Entries

One-year SP anniversary!

Thursday, April 02, 2009

One year on SparkPeople
15 pounds (in those first five months)
10,000 Spark points
11,500 fitness minutes

and a new, healthier, happier lifestyle and body image.


Winter and the holidays were hard, but I maintained, +/- 2 pounds, and now I'm back at it. I want to be more fit, stronger, routinely eating more veggies, fruit, legumes, and whole grains, and seeking new fitness/exercise challenges, large or small. Here we go!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BAMATANYA 4/5/2009 10:39AM

    Hooray for Barbara! Keep up the good work!

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SHEENADEE 4/3/2009 11:58AM

Happy Anniversary & congrats on all your progress.

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MAMAO32001 4/2/2009 6:29PM

    Yay! Keep up the good work, eating healthy and all those exercise miles!!! Wow! emoticon

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DAWNO64 4/2/2009 3:31PM

    Wow!! Happy Anniversary!!

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TUCKDK42 4/2/2009 2:47PM

  Happy anniversary!! I'm glad you are back and better than ever!! Keep the Spark going!! Donna

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New Year measurements and January goals

Saturday, January 03, 2009

Thanks to portion control and a generally active lifestyle now, I have gained only a pound or so since our Sept-Oct vacation (I haven't walked for exercise since we got back, arrgh). Got my Wii Fit in mid-December, a few weeks after we got our Wii, and it has helped me get moving again. On New Year's Day I went on my first good walk in weeks, hurrah!

New Year, new measurements:

Weight 145.5 lb -- up 2.5 since September
Waist 31" -- no change
Hips 42.5" -- no change
Thighs 22 7/8" left, 22 5/8" right -- small losses
** Total inches 119", down 3/4" overall since August **

My baseline = 123 3/4" on May 1, 2008
June 16 = 119 1/8"
August 26 = 119 3/4"

It's not too bad. Not great, but not bad. I'll take it as a starting point for the year.

Today is the final day of a good week of SP team challenges: a balance-game and cardio minutes challenge on the Wii Challenge team, and a fat-and-fiber challenge on a private team. Tomorrow I start the SP New YOU Bootcamp with workout videos and all that stuff. This adds up to a great start to a new year, and I'm looking forward to what's ahead.

P.S. My goals for January and the SP New YOU Bootcamp are to...
- do two workout videos every week,
- stay consistent with at least 30 min of Wii Fit 5 days/week,
- stay consistent with tracking my food daily, and
- get to a consistent 30 min of cardio daily -- Bootcamp video, a walk, Wii Fit work, Wii Sports boxing, or whatever.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CTCLOUGH 1/5/2009 4:48PM

    The bootcamp sounds fun! I've yet to implement any type of portion control - perhaps I am part shark??? emoticon


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Planned meals, late summer

Friday, August 29, 2008

I sat down and planned dinners, snacks, and baked goods for the next two weeks or so. (I'm SURE we'll grill out over the Labor Day weekend, too.)

These are kid-friendly, including pastas, breads, ranch dips, and such things. We tent to be very light on the meat, and I offer several veggies/fruit to fill our plates. For me, I'll have very small portions of the pastas & breads, serve both brown and white rice (and eat the brown), skip the dips and cheese, and eat all of the fruit & veggie options rather than only, say, the carrots! The baked goods are things the boys want to learn to make and want to eat. They will be half white wheat flour (whole wheat flour that bakes up lighter than the standard), and my portions will be small.

On hand for snacks etc:
- Plums, peaches, apples
- Blueberries, maybe blackberries
- Tomatoes, bell peppers
- Carrots, celery, cabbage, lettuces, green onions
- Dried apricots, prunes
- Raw almonds, raw pecans, roasted peanuts, peanut butter
- Hard-boiled eggs
and of course some breads.

- Burritos. Homemade Mexican rice, refried beans, black beans, diced tomato or homemade salsa, and cheddar in flour tortillas. Served with a salad, and tomato wedges and carrots with ranch dip.
- Enchiladas. Our rice and bean fillings (above), rolled up in enchilada-sauced-corn tortillas, topped with a bit of cheese and more enchilada sauce, and baked. Will make these with leftover burrito fillings, and freeze. Served with a salad, and tomato wedges and carrots with ranch dip.
- Shrimp tacos. Cooking Light Aug. 08. With fruit.
- Big salad. Romaine lettuce, shrimp, tomatoes, shredded carrot, bell pepper strips, and dressings of choice; hearty bread.
- Spicy shrimp pasta. Broccoli, basil, crushed red pepper; replace oil-packed sun-dried tomato with lots of bell pepper strips, and generally triple the veggies. Better Homes and Gardens Sept. 08.
- Spaghetti and meatballs. With a big salad and Italian green beans.
- Meatball mini subs. With veggies with ranch dip: carrots, celery, bell pepper, tomato wedges.
- German apple pancake. With sausages. Cooking Light Aug. 08.
- Steamed rice, shredded tuna (canned), green beans, and (cooked) carrot coins.

Side dishes/lunches for me:
- Italian green beans and a few red potatoes. Cooked, then tossed with olive oil, seasoned bread crumbs, freshly grated Parmesan, sea salt, and pepper. Serve warm, cool, or room temp.
- My blackeyed pea salad. Diced bell pepper and onion, balsamic vinaigrette.
- Southwest Confetti Salad. Diced veggies, fresh corn, brown rice, black beans. Cooking Light July 08.
- White bean and tomato salad. Everyday Food Sept. 08.
- Avocado, tomato, and cucumber salsa. Cooking Light Aug. 08.

Breakfasts/lunches to make with the boys:
- My "Busy Mom's Coffeecake", preferably with yogurt or sausages, and fruit.
- Yogurt parfaits. Vanilla yogurt, mixed berries or other fruit, granola.
- Homemade cinnamon rolls/buns. Baker's Catalogue/King Arthur Flour recipe. Preferably with cream cheese or sausages or bacon, and fruit.
- Quick breads. Banana, zucchini, pumpkin? Delicious toasted and topped with a bit of peanut butter, or cranberry preserves (pumpkin). Or with a smear of cream cheese (not for me though).

The baking waits for the elusive nice cool night/early morning... and for my oven to be fixed, which should be this afternoon, if all goes well. Tonight we're having burritos; I'll make the leftovers up into enchiladas for the freezer tomorrow morning.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CTCLOUGH 9/1/2008 1:31PM

    Sounds yummy! We have tried some recipes from Cooking Light and liked them. Here's to our health!

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More healthy numbers!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

My physical checkup today was ever so boring (yay!), but I was delighted to hear that my blood pressure was a very nice 118/72 and my pulse was a very nice 72. In the past my BP has been around 130/80 or so and my pulse maybe around 90. I like this progress!

It was a nice bonus that their scale showed me at 146.8 -- my old analog scale has ticks every two pounds (so, 144, 146, 148...). I'll keep using my own scale's numbers, but that was a nice affirmation that it is pretty close to a "good" measurement.

I am really, really happy to get those very nice BP and pulse numbers. In the next few days I'll get blood drawn and then I'll get current blood sugar, cholesterol, LDL, HDL, thyroid, etc., numbers. It's wonderful to get some affirmation that my insides are being affected by the changes I've made over the last 10 months.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

5WOLFCUBS 8/28/2008 1:29AM

    YAY! emoticon to looking good inside & out!

I am actually having blood drawn tomorrow to check the same things. I've never had it done before, so this will be my baseline.


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TUCKDK42 8/27/2008 11:06PM

  I bet you doctor was pleasantly surprised, wasn't he. Way to go and keep up the good work!!

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Substitutes list, a quirky twist

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

I saw this list at the end of a SP article about using food substitutions. The suggestions were typical foods that have been highly processed to lower their fat and calorie content (skim milk, nonfat/lowfat frozen yogurt, etc.).

My perspective is that I would rather savor a very small amount of a full-fat food (cream, yogurt, chocolate), or have an entirely different food in the same sensation category (the salt & crunchy category, say, or creamy & cold). And of course grass-fed beef is just as lean as, tastier than, and has a much better Omega 3 v. 6 balance than regular turkey or chicken.

Personally, I would tweak the suggestions and end up with this:

Regular potato chips .... mini pretzels
Pudding .... vanilla yogurt (with a drizzle of chocolate syrup?)
Ice cream .... frozen yogurt or cold yogurt
Cream.... savor a much smaller portion
Whole milk .... much smaller portion, or drink water!
Nachos w/ the works .... tortilla chips topped with lots of beans & salsa but very little/no cheese
Chocolate .... much smaller portion of dark chocolate, or a tsp of chocolate chips mixed with 2 tsp peanut butter
Bagel w/ cream cheese .... apple slices with peanut butter -- I like their option!
Ground beef .... ground grass-fed beef

So, my quirky approach!

Of course the portion sizes are key, and if the cream and whole milk are ingredients in a recipe, I tend to avoid those recipes or serve them in VERY small portions.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

TUCKDK42 8/27/2008 12:30PM

  Nothing quirky about it. Sounds like you are on the right track to me!!

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