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BLUE42DOWN's Recent Blog Entries

30 Day Blog Challenge: Day 17

Thursday, September 27, 2012

( Questions from TANYAP71's blog: www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_jo
urnal_individual.asp?blog_id=5038746
)

17. Do you have any meals/snacks that you repeat over and over? What are they?

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Absolutely, yes. I have a lot of meals / snacks that I repeat.

My go-to breakfast at work right now is a mug (12 oz) of pineapple orange juice, a stick of string cheese, and a fiber bar. On the weekend it is a serving of granola with milk.

My snacks may seem to be all over the place, but over a longer period they all get repeated. Puddings, fruit cups, apple sauce, fruit bar, carrots, celery, cherry tomatoes, cucumber, raisins, raisin bread, yogurt, fiber bar, ice cream, single-serve pies and cakes.

Lunch does bounce around, but similar to snacks many of them repeat. Sandwich with peanut butter and either honey and cheese or fruit preserves, egg on muffin with cheese, cottage cheese with pineapple or with pears, vanilla, and cinnamon, frozen dinners (I try new varieties, but only the ones I really like get repeated), and soup (creamy tomato).

Dinner is often ground beef, egg, or tuna in some simple form, or a packaged salad.

The biggest benefit to the repetition is that shopping weekly becomes fairly routine. I can add a new vegetable or try a new recipe, but otherwise I know how many and what I need to stock. If a new recipe is really good, it gets seamlessly added into my usuals. I might also drop a thing here and there if I replace it with something better. (I define better as BOTH healthier -and- tastier. I won't replace something just to have it be healthier if it's a failure as a taste substitute.)

I don't get bored of the foods I like easily. (I won't say "at all" because I did have to stop getting carrots for my snacks these last couple weeks. They'd begun tasting bland and feeling like a forced thing to eat rather than enjoyed.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SANDYB223 9/28/2012 7:08AM

    Yeah me too....I do a lot of food repetitions also. Then add in some variety here and there. It seems to work well. My fav snacks are cherry tomatoes sprinkled with basil, blueberries, strawberries, grapes, apples, small container of cottage cheese, nonfat yogurt, sugar snap peas, baby carrots.

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ILOVEMALI 9/27/2012 9:57PM

  You do a much better job than I do. It's easy for me to eat instant oatmeal at work at my, so I do ti, and it's convenient to have those granola bars in my purse. I need to change it up.

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DIET_FRIEND 9/27/2012 9:52PM

    I think repeating tried and true foods adds a bit of control and gives you one less thing to think about. Happy sparking!

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GOING-STRONG 9/27/2012 9:33PM

    I don't need a lot of variety in my diet to be happy. I could eat oatmeal every day for breakfast and be happy! A few simple meals is really the ticket to less hassle and food waste.

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SOULFISH80 9/27/2012 7:43PM

    Wow, I just looked at your pics, the first one then the last one, you truly have transformed yourself! You are truly a spark motivator. Congratulations!!!

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HOPEFULHIPPO 9/27/2012 7:22PM

    I don't get too bored either from food. Hubby, however, does. LOL

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HEALTHY-SPARK 9/27/2012 5:12PM

    Hey these are some great ideas -- I wish I had a better developed list of repeat meals/snacks like this, because I do think it would make things easier from shopping and staying on track points of view. I'm going to work on putting together some ideas like this to get started. Thanks!

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30 Day Blog Challenge: Day 16

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

( Questions from TANYAP71's blog: www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_jo
urnal_individual.asp?blog_id=5038746
)

16. Do you follow an eating 'plan'? (Vegetarian, paleo, South Beach, Atkins, yada yada yada) How has this helped you live a healthier life?

No, not at all.

The only structured eating plan I've really tried in the past - as in made a decision and actively followed the "rules" - was the Zone Diet. My brother, with whom I shared an apartment, wanted to try it and joint groceries made it easier to both do it together. We didn't really stick with it long enough to make a decision whether it helped, though, and with my young kids it wasn't as workable to get them to try it too.

Nor do I really think any of those plans would go very far toward me living a "healthier" life. I already ate things like whole grain bread and fruit spreads without sweetening. I just used two slices instead of one and slathered on the peanut butter and fruit spread thickly. Portion control has so much more to do with the healthiness of my eating and my life.

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Now, I say I don't follow an eating 'plan', but I am being specific about using that to refer to publicized plans - such as the question lists. I ~DO~ have a plan with regards to my eating long-term. I'm routinely changing things up to make the way I eat fit me better and fill all my nutritional needs.

For example, I do want to increase my protein consumption a little more. Given my workouts and intent to continue with my weight training for quite some time, the gram of protein to pound of body weight would indicate I should get up to 150-160g of protein. Even if I do it to my Lean Body Mass, I'd be looking at 110-120g of protein. I do actually hit in the upper 90s to low 100s pretty regularly, so it shouldn't be too difficult.

I do try to strip artificial sweeteners out of my regular eating. I don't begrudge the people who want to or even need to remove real sugars from their diets, but sometimes the "sugar is poison" / "we're drowning in sugar" obsession is too much. (It scarily echoes the over the top fat-aversion of a past decade to the point that some people would freak out at a cup of fruit juice's sugar content.)

I also try to strip out artifical flavors. Drives me bonkers to see so much food in the grocery store say things like "Vanilla" pudding and then in smaller print mention that it has artificial flavoring. Why?! Is a dab of real vanilla that expensive? And the flavor is usually overwhelming and not quite right anyway. Blech!

And the last thing I want to improve on - getting all my fiber from vegetables and dropping the cereal bars. I may love the taste of them, but I can get that without the less beneficial fiber type. I just need to weave more fibrous veggies into my day better.

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Bring on the good food!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LYNNRODRIGUEZ 9/28/2012 2:25PM

    Sounds like you know what your body needs and you're doing emoticon !

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JO88BAKO 9/27/2012 10:29PM

    Good job Blue! I agree, no eating plan but my own. Good for you for wanting to eat more veggies for fiber. I am a freggiesaures!

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DIET_FRIEND 9/27/2012 11:46AM

    This blog gives me a lot to think about too. I have tried to follow Atkins, South Beach and Weight Watchers in the past. All of them taught me something, but I don't think I can count points or avoid carbs long-term. Now I focus on portion control and mindless eating. I too struggle to get enough protein and have decided to drink a protein powder drink every other day as a meal replacement (breakfast). I am not into cereal bars because of my carb aversion, but I was into granola bars for quite a while until I had to admit granola bars are kind of high in sugar. I've thought about making my own a la Alton Brown. I always enjoy reading your blogs while you are on this challenge.

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MEH50BEWELL 9/27/2012 11:20AM

    Great plan - I try to watch my level of sodium too. Another reason to use the fresh fibrous veggies in our daily plan. emoticon

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GOING-STRONG 9/26/2012 11:07PM

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HOPEFULHIPPO 9/26/2012 10:28PM

    way to know what works for YOU!!

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ANANDA82 9/26/2012 8:09PM

    Seems like you're very much on track! Awesome!!
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ELAYNE39 9/26/2012 2:55PM

    Great blog. I'm with you on the protein. I need to bump mine, but I'm still figuring out exactly how to do it on a consistent basis. Even once you get to your goal weight there are still lots of things to work on!

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RUNNERRACHEL 9/26/2012 2:39PM

    I am with you on that! I don't like artificial sweeteners. I don't follow any "diet" or plan. I also believe in eating healthy, real, whole foods. And that satisfies our bodies and helps us reach and stay at our optimum weight. emoticon

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CRYSTLE4HIMTX12 9/26/2012 1:58PM

    Sounds like you have a balance plan in place. That is really what is healthiest. emoticon

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30 Day Blog Challenge: Day 15

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

( Questions from TANYAP71's blog: www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_jo
urnal_individual.asp?blog_id=5038746
)

15. What is your favorite weight loss, fitness, or wellness blog (or website or magazine) outside of sparkpeople?

I don't think I could really keep up with two sites very well, but a few that come to mind:

JEFit - I have JEFit PRO as an app on my phone and use it to track my weight lifting and cardio. The site was originally much more of a body-building focus and it still shows in certain things (like an expectation that we'll do barbell benchmark lifts), but has nice volume graphs that let me see my longer-term progress with each exercise.

Bodybuilding.com - I buy my Allmax IsoNatural Whey Protein Isolate from them because they have the 5 lb container. I've also been checking some of their different coaches, watching the videos and reading about the plans a little.

Nutridiary - haven't used this in a while, but maybe a decade ago I was trying out the Zone Diet with my brother and used their free food tracker to help see if I had the right ratios.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ILOVEMALI 9/26/2012 2:26PM

  Hey, you are doing so well! I am still "stuck" but have recalculated my thinking process and hope that this will re-energize me. I use the Spark apps on my phone (when I remember to do it) and track online -- xoxo

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SPARKFRAN514 9/26/2012 12:42AM

    I am with you why would you do two sites one is enough i tried a second site to track for two weeks it made me nuts so i here to stay two or more sites to me is like having two cars something you don't need. emoticon emoticon emoticon Spark people is packed with information and i have been her 9 mos and still find something i have not read every day.

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ANANDA82 9/26/2012 12:22AM

    I really like Bodybuilding.com! Once I reach my goal weight I'll def try one of their plans just to see how my body responds.

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AMANDASHRINKING 9/25/2012 3:36PM

    i have jefit on my phone too not sure I really used it much tho


There is an app called GYM WORKOUT snd its babyblue with a dark blue body builder
I love it because it takes you strait to workout videos and sites and like on the first page....SPARKS PEOPLE YAY!!

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BLUE42DOWN 9/25/2012 2:03PM

    Hee - I am doing it over 30 days, but sometimes I'm not getting them posted until after midnight - so instead of one blog on the 24th and one on the 25th, I end up doing two in the wee hours of the 25th.

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DIET_FRIEND 9/25/2012 12:42PM

    I love your series of pictures that shows how all the activities you engage in ARE WORKING! Keep it up.

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CIPHER1971 9/25/2012 8:01AM

    Is it me or are you doing this 30 day blog exercise in less than 30 days???

Have a terrific Tuesday

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30 Day Blog Challenge: Day 14

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

( Questions from TANYAP71's blog: www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_jo
urnal_individual.asp?blog_id=5038746
)

14. What life style changes have been easier than you expected? Why do you think that was?

Hmmmm, possibly increasing the number of freggies I consume. I started off with mostly juice in the morning, carrots in the afternoon, and maybe something with dinner. Now, I still have that juice in the morning, but then I have a variety of choices at work for morning and afternoon - apple sauce, pineapple, diced pears, carrots, celery, tomatoes, raisins - as well as another juice, frozen fruit and banana for my post-workout smoothie, and bell peppers, sweet potatoes, tomato sauce, cucumber, and more for dinner and evening snacks.

It was easy in my case because I've always loved vegetables, so even when I was eating to gain, I had salads and added frozen veggies to my pastas to make them "casseroles".

It was easier than expected because I managed to avoid the inaccurate connection of eating more servings of fruits and veggies with wanting to be vegetarian. The latter is a complete no go, not interested, on my part. But I don't think that makes me a carnivore - so eating vegetables (and fruit) along with my preferred meats makes for the appropriate balance for an omnivorous human.


Another that was surprisingly easy for me was tracking everything every day. It might have been easier because I'd gotten used to tracking my monetary budget in the prior year. It's also easier because I love the results. I love knowing that yes, I went over 500+ a few days ago, but my weekly total deficit is balanced out properly. I love being able to review day, week, month, or longer and see how calories in, calories out, and weight changes interact.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CIPHER1971 9/25/2012 8:00AM

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SANDYB223 9/25/2012 7:52AM

    I love my veggies also!! You are doing great! Thanks also for your support on my blog yesterday!!

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Whoa, Autumn?! Winter goal planning time.

Monday, September 24, 2012

First a review of my Autumn goals from three months ago:

== by Fall ==
1) Roller-blade once or twice. emoticon

2) Walk three 5k races. emoticon
Had a blast with these. My latter two were both "fun" races and the most recent showed me how much my walking speed has improved.

3) Talk to a career counselor / college counselor. emoticon
Well, I did get as far as starting to look into careers on my own. I'm also looking around at online colleges to see if that's a viable option. (Not looking that way since most of them seem to be very obsessed with a few course / career directions and "encouraging" toward those rather than seeing what a person really wants to do.) The Veterinary Technologist or Technician certainly has a good bit of appeal to me and I'm still doing some research on job postings in different areas. So while I didn't talk to a counselor, I have made some progress in this area.

4) Go hiking at least once. emoticon
Didn't happen. My brother (who I was hoping to lure into going with since he has a car) moved one month, then had someone offer him a better living arrangement and moved again a month later. I may try to get out there myself - doing the couple miles walk from the nearest bus stop before I even get to the park and hiking trails - or try again once he's more settled in. I definitely miss hiking a lot.


===================

Ponderings on what to do for Winter. I already have some goals set for the BLC#20 which ends in December. I'm already scheduled for three 5k races and happy with my current pace.

1) Have the framework of my mission statement (7 Habits) worked out by the end of this month. Keep it in mind and review how it has fit at the end of this season.

2) List out specific career questions I have and do the research. (More than just likely wages - stuff like typical hours, whether job postings want experience, turnover reasons, anything that could help make a decision clearer.)

3) Re-evaluate my budget as I come up on the end of the year. Things are stabilizing more, but still have dental work to get done, medical isn't happening this year, might end up with a tiny refund or owing a little, so better to plan now and control my numbers a little better.

4) Get out and do something that involves interacting with other people than coworkers, family or internet friends. Mystery dinner theater at local restaurant? Dancing at a night club? Volunteering around Thanksgiving? Not looking for ongoing involvement - just one-time for now.

5) Either have paid for personal training session to learn more free weight work, form, and benchmark lifts -or- have it planned into my budget going into the new year.

6) Vote. My voter registration address change didn't get done like I thought (I mailed it, but used my work address since I do that with all my money stuff - and they didn't send any notice that they rejected it for that reason), so I have to work a little harder to find out where to go vote and to find the information on the races and petitions I get to vote on.


There we go. Happy AUTUMN Sparklers! emoticon

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

APONI_KB 9/25/2012 3:53PM

    I like this idea.

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TAMPATINK67 9/25/2012 2:48AM

    Fabulous!

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SPARKFRAN514 9/24/2012 11:35PM

    Happy Autumn to you as well. I like your plans and out come you are doing great keep up the great job. you put a lot of time in to you planning you will do great when you get into school.

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RUNNERRACHEL 9/24/2012 11:06PM

    Definitely great goals. I especially like the last one--voting!

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TIMOTHYNOHE 9/24/2012 10:41PM

    Good job setting goals... and meeting them!

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KING_SLAYER 9/24/2012 9:59PM

    Well, having a plan is half the battle and you've laid out a fine plan here. Best of luck with all that you need to do!

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PKCTTS 9/24/2012 9:18PM

    Love you "whole life" planning. I do that annually, seasonally is a great idea.

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MNJONES2 9/24/2012 9:16PM

    WOW! You are so good at goal setting I wish you could do some for me!!

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KSCHRAUT 9/24/2012 7:50PM

    Sounds like an AWESOME plan!

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MUSOLF6 9/24/2012 7:39PM

    great plan... emoticon

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ILOVEMALI 9/24/2012 7:26PM

  Happy autumn!

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