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So many possibilities

Thursday, January 17, 2013

I saw an article today that was comparing a very low-carb diet and intermittent fasting. There were two terms it used that I found interesting:

Dietary Schemes

I really like this first term for some reason. When we scheme, we plot and plan - often with a hint of being sneaky or tricky / clever about it. So many times when someone wants to accomplish something with their food - whether it is burning fat faster or bulking up muscle or non-medically trying to improve their health or even making a statement about a moral or ethical belief or issue - they turn to one or another dietary scheme.

I think of it as different from fad diets for one key reason. In my mind a fad diet tends to be very unrealistic about long-term sustainability. No one ever plans to live on the grapefruit diet or the cabbage soup diet for the rest of their lives. People do plan to eat a vegetarian diet or a primal diet or other such schemes. In addition, fad diets often sound absurd and use anecdotal evidence as their whole proof. Dietary schemes, on the other hand, usually have at least some science or logic (right or wrong) on which they are based.

Demanding Diets

This was sort of defined as being a diet that goes counter to the way "most people eat" and often requiring "a drastic change in eating habits and priorities". For someone to eat a demanding diet requires rejecting food items that others consider normal. Eating out can become awkward as restaurants rarely cater to the dietary scheme. They also require a lot more attention to nutrient balances, a lot more planning and sometimes a lot more preparation.

This reminded me of trying to eat "health food" style -- following my mother's example. I remember rows of brown vitamin and mineral bottles, grainy seeds mixed into everything, so much focus on how modern agriculture produced food without much nutrition so we had to supplement it all in. To eat like that required pretty much baring the cupboards and starting fresh, replacing white flour with whole wheat and so on.

The time, effort and cost were demanding. (And the end result was not as appealing, though I don't consider that a flaw of the scheme so much as a lack of cooking skill on my part at the time.)


I think what I found intriguing about that was my own reaction to just about ANY dietary scheme.

The only named dietary scheme I ever really tried was the Zone Diet (guess it would be called a high-protein diet). The younger brother I was sharing an apartment with wanted to try it, so we figured out the menu. We had to do a special shopping trip to fill the kitchen with the necessary items and spend extra time checking recipes or using the ones provided.

Ultimately I've come to understand that I'm not willing to make drastic changes to my culinary comfort zone. Avoid gluten? Ain't gonna happen. Go low-carb? Nix meat? Dairy? All animal products? Unlikely to ever happen.

However, this doesn't leave me eating junk, junk, and junk.

There are so many possibilities in terms of what we can eat. I find it amusing at times to eat foods labeled as fitting within various dietary schemes. Vegetarian chili? Certainly! This omnivore is quite happy to include plant foods side-by-side with her animal foods. Gluten-free desserts? Chocolate meringue cookies and flourless domes are both DELICIOUS! I don't have to be on some sort of dietary scheme to pick yummy foods that just happen to fit within that scheme as well. Unprocessed foods? Have plenty of those ... right alongside my packaged and processed ones.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BMCKEOW1 1/18/2013 1:54PM

    Love this blog. I think you are right no one plans on doing the grapefruit diet for life. Being healthy, getting portions right, taking a walk, those are all things we can do for life. Those should be our goals.

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MISSUSRIVERRAT 1/18/2013 10:52AM

    Great blog filled with many good points. Thanks for articulating this point of view.
It shows that one size (diet) doesn't fit all and we each need to find our own way.

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IMELECTRIC 1/18/2013 8:33AM

    I always laugh when people say "What DIET did you lose your weight on?" I hate that. All I did was stop eating junk and make sure I was getting the proper amount of nutrients in my food intake. Food proportions is alot of my and other peoples problem. I still eat pizza...I just eat it without the pepperoni. I still eat cake...I just limit the portion and I don't eat it daily. If I had to stick to a diet and limit my favorite foods, I would not make it.

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COXBETH 1/17/2013 10:54PM

    I love both those terms - I work with some people who do seem to pretty successfully live on demanding diets. Some of them do it because they have conviction about why it's good for them, some others do it because they have wicked allergies or sensitivities that make life really really difficult if they eat gluten or dairy. I love trying new things, but I don't think I'm ever going to be able to commit to a true "dietary scheme".

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KING_SLAYER 1/17/2013 5:07PM

    Excellent blog. When people ask me what I've done to lose my weight, I tell them. But I always add the caveat, "you have to do what works for you". I try to eat fairly low carb, but I always use Saturday as a cheat day where I eat whatever I want (which is usually pizza!). This has worked for me because psychologically I know that I am not banning any foods, I just wait until Saturday to have some chocolate chip cookies and other various carb heavy foods.

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BROOKLYN_BORN 1/17/2013 3:55PM

    Thank you for writing this. We have a lot in common. I've never been a purist in diet or in type of exercise or in how to best measure "health". I understand those who have to modify because of medical problems and those following specific schemes, but fortunately, I've found what works for me - right down the middle of the road.

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ILOVEMALI 1/17/2013 3:46PM

    My general plan is to eat whatever I want, just little portions, and to keep within my calorie range. Some days I do better than others!

Chocolate meringue cookies??? Care to share the recipe?? YUM!


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HOPEFULHIPPO 1/17/2013 3:25PM

    I've been reading and learning that a lot from maintenance people. Their big tip is to find what works for YOU so you don't fall off of it when you do achieve your goals.

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SAMI199 1/17/2013 2:23PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

I like your approach & you certainly have had the results to prove that with determination
& hard work we can be the best we can be! You are such an inspiration!


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PARASELENIC 1/17/2013 1:52PM

    You and I share a moderation of food consumption, which I totally appreciate. The only exception is that I am a pescatarian (however, I was raised that way so it's kinda natural to me, and doesn't really limit me too much in relation to eating out).

I will note that I don't have any allergies or health conditions that regulate my diet.

I enjoy processed foods, and whole foods. I eat canned veggies and fresh veggies. I have enjoyed gf things, but don't pursue a gf lifestyle.

I also eat junk, rarely, but I eat it. Last night, I had chick-o-stick candy. It was AWESOME, and within my calorie and nutrient range.

I respect people that choose a restrictive diet: everyone has their own path to health and well being. I just know that I need moderation to make a successful lifestyle change- it includes ALL the foods.

Thanks for sharing and reassuring my path to health.

(Edited for a closed parenthesis. I always leave those dangling!)

Comment edited on: 1/17/2013 1:52:53 PM

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DIET_FRIEND 1/17/2013 10:29AM

    I was successful in losing weight by going low carb, but in the end the weight returned because I like carby foods. Your conclusion mirrors my own. I like foods from all the diets and eat them with gusto.

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CHRISTINASP 1/17/2013 9:28AM

    I have tried several of those 'demanding diets' (low carb, Fit for Life, Eat to Live). It was a good thing for me because it taught me A LOT about how my body (and mind) respond to certain foods or food groups.
It also taught me that indeed it takes a lot of time and effort to eat in a 'nontraditional' way. But I now know that I feel much better, have more energy, less colds and other complaints when I eat as litte processed foods as possible and as many vegetables as I can - within a certain 'convenience' zone.

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2BEABETTERME 1/17/2013 9:21AM

    Great attitude!

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SABLENESS 1/17/2013 9:20AM

    Whatever works, make me feel healthy, gives me energy. There is no one-size-fits-all approach, is there? emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon These are a few of my favorite things! emoticon

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SHERIO5 1/17/2013 8:27AM

    Moderation. emoticon

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RUNNINGWILD 1/17/2013 7:29AM

    emoticon I really wish I had your ability to write out my thoughts like this. Had to giggle at the mention of the cabbage soup diet. I've watched friends do this one.... What a waste of good vegetables.

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CRYSTLE4HIMTX12 1/17/2013 6:44AM

    Interesting emoticon

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DOVESEYES 1/17/2013 6:06AM

    What a great blog enjoyed it.

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MUSOLF6 1/17/2013 5:38AM


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WHISPERINGPINE9 1/17/2013 3:48AM

    emoticon blog emoticon

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YESCURLYCAN 1/17/2013 3:42AM

  emoticon blog. We do have a vast array of options out there which leads us to finding something that works best for us. You seem to have found a nice balance when it comes to eating emoticon I try to stay away from the processed food (read:try lol) because some of it triggers the "over indulge" switch in my brain; trial and error shows me that. See though even as I type this, I have a bag of skinny cow dark chocolate clusters on my desk emoticon Luckily I can handle them just fine. Keep up the emoticon work Blue.

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FIRED UP for Monday

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

(25) F = Had an OUTLAW Dance Party - I'm still playing some of the GOYBADs and dancing
(25) I = CICO (posted below)
(25) R = 6 hours sleep last night
(25) E = Dates (see below)
(25) D = Upped weight on my Leg Press and did a full 3x12 set of lunges (yuck!)
(25) U = My affirmation "I can recover from mistakes and learn from them."
(25) P = Today's plan is brought to me by how I felt when I got home -- like I wanted to just curl up under my blanket and vegetate. Not sick, not tired exactly, just my body saying "enough for today". The plan is to listen to my body, both when it's ready to push hard and when it wants an easier ride -- and to recognize the difference between that and the lazy emoticon voice.

Range = 2210 - 2560
Calories IN = 2487
Calores OUT = 355 (HR Monitor actually had 476 for the listed workout)
Differential = 326

Saw these at the grocery store on Saturday and realized that I have never actually tried them before. Maybe they've been in a trail mix or something, but not ever that I paid attention to and tasted them directly.

Dates are one of the oldest cultivated foods, with archaelogical evidence of them in Arabia in 6000 BCE. Apparently, one variety was successfully grown from a seed that was accidentally stored for 2,000 years.

The palms on which they grow have separate male and female plants. Many commercial growers only have one male plant or even forego the male plant and purchase the male flowers, with manual pollination being done by laborers or sometimes using wind machines.

They are a very good source of potassium, but they are also about 80% sugar (all natural, of course). In fact, the many varieties seem to have different amounts of glucose, sucrose, and fructose.

Sooooo, you'd think with my sweet tooth, these would be a delightful treat. My ultimate take was that while they were sweet, they just didn't have the appeal that raisins have. I'll finish them off, and would eat them again, but they aren't something I'll seek out except perhaps to try other varieties someday.

** BONUS **

(25) F = Definitely exceeded 40 minutes of Fun.
(25) I = CICO posted all four days
(25) R = I got 31 hours of sleep over the four days.
(25) E = Dates were new to me.
(25) D = 15+ minutes each of the four days

(25) U = Did my very first one. Will definitely keep the others in mind.
(25) P = I'm feeling really good about my plans because I want to achieve balance AND do well.

(125) FIRED UP Bonus
I was afraid I was going to botch the sleep one, but was able to sleep in late Saturday and Sunday.

FIRED UP Challenge 1000/1000

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

FRANCES-AGAPE 1/16/2013 11:42PM



Cute anacronym

Have a Terrific Thursday !

emoticon emoticon


emoticon emoticon
emoticon emoticon

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RG_DFW 1/15/2013 5:26PM


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COXBETH 1/15/2013 12:02PM

    I keep wanting to type , "I hate lunges!" but I know what I SHOULD say is, "Lunges are a challenge for me too!"


Almost as hard as learning to distinguish between necessary-rest and laziness. ;)

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HOPEFULHIPPO 1/15/2013 11:53AM

    Holy cow you are doing great. I much prefer dates over raisins...only downfall I can see to dates is they can be "sticky" LOL

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ELIZABETHDS 1/15/2013 11:15AM

    Dates are awesome in smoothies, and you can also whiz them in your food processor with nuts (and other dried fruits as desired) to make homemade Larabar-like snacks. (I like them on their own as a fuel source before and during long cardio workouts, too - I used to pack a few in my zippered pockets on runs longer than 8 miles).

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SHERIO5 1/15/2013 9:36AM


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PARASELENIC 1/15/2013 8:57AM

    you are rockin' this blc challenge, woman! way to go!

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MUSOLF6 1/15/2013 6:08AM


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NMSUSTUDENT 1/15/2013 4:07AM


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CAROL6X 1/15/2013 3:39AM

    Doing good keep it up!! sounds like you were having fun!!

Carol emoticon emoticon

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FIRED UP for Sunday

Sunday, January 13, 2013

(25) F = went to the park and had fun on the swing
(25) I = CICO (posted below)
(25) R = 9 hours sleep last night
(25) E = Bell Peppers (see below)
(25) D = Added Alternating Bent Over Dumbbell Kickbacks (tricep). Tried for a second military pushup, but not there yet. Upped a couple other weights (Lat Pulldown and something else)
(25) U = My affirmation is "I love my life!"
(25) P = I'm going to be making either chicken breasts or pork chops in the slow cooker (on the weekend) so that each week of the BLC Round 21 I have a healthy and tasty dinner throughout the week with a minimum of fuss. (I have trouble with thinking of cooking every night as a chore. By doing it once on the weekend, reheating is "easy" and I still get the benefit of having cooked.)

Range = 2210 - 2560
Calories IN = 2514
Calores OUT = 1202
Differential = -610

(I may eat more later, but doubtful. I thought I'd be hungrier, as about 700 of those calories were alcohol from going out dancing last night and today has been very active, but at the moment I haven't even had my chicken dinner yet and I'm not hungry.)

Swinging on the swings. I did not expect 10 straight minutes of pumping to be as much effort as it was. emoticon I grew up with swings a big part of my life. My mother had a passion for them and would find parks with amazing swings in them. (There's one out near Santa Cruz, or used to be, that was really tall and had an amazing view. When you swung high, it felt like you were lifting off and flying.) Remembering that made me realize just how active my mother was in general throughout our growing up years and even beyond. I'll have to talk more about that another time.

Bell Peppers! This is a vegetable I liked okay when I was younger, but now have a true love of. Raw, on salads and sandwiches, or cooked with foods or stuffed - YUMMY! emoticon Today's Slow Cooker Chicken Provencal calls for a Red and Yellow Bell pepper, but I used those AND an orange one. I regularly use a green one with my lean ground beef.

Some interesting facts (from Wikipedia):
** Red, yellow and green bell peppers. In some countries these three different-coloured peppers are sold in packs of three and are known as "traffic light peppers".
** Bell peppers are botanically fruits, but are generally considered in culinary contexts to be vegetables.
** The color can be green, red, yellow, orange and more rarely, white, rainbow (between stages of ripening) and purple,
** Compared to green peppers, red peppers have more vitamins and nutrients and contain the antioxidant lycopene. (And they're sweeter!)
** ... one large red bell pepper contains 209 mg of vitamin C, which is three times the 70 mg of an average orange.

Pretty great vegetable (fruit), if you ask me!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

DEBBIELCG 1/14/2013 2:26PM

    sorry i don't like peppers. my family does but not me so i always cut them big enough so i can remove them!

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ELIZABETHDS 1/14/2013 11:18AM

    This got me fired up as well :) I love red peppers and sometimes just eat them whole like apples!

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SHERIO5 1/14/2013 10:14AM

    emoticon emoticon

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GINGERD03 1/14/2013 9:12AM

  I've learned to like peppers-mostly green some red but don't normally have orange around to know how much I like that. "traffic light peppers" hm...interesting. I learned something :D The slow cooker can be wonderful-I keep wanting to get those slow cooker bags for easy clean up-the flour spray works great but thinking the bags would be even better. Have a great one~ emoticon

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YESCURLYCAN 1/14/2013 4:45AM

  I like your new FIRED up series and I love bellpeppers emoticon. They are so versatile, and go great with many things. Also my favorite part of being a kid was swinging with my brothers and seeing who could go the highest. We would actually jump out of the swing and go flying across the sand pit emoticon

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DIET_FRIEND 1/14/2013 12:03AM

    I like them too. Thanks for reminding me to eat more of them.

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DOVESEYES 1/14/2013 12:00AM

    Love those peppers and they are very filling too.

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RUNNINGWILD 1/13/2013 11:06PM

    I buy traffic light peppers all the time. I use the green ones in my cooking and the yellow and red in my salads. I love how sweet they are. Roo does, too.

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KENDRACARROLL 1/13/2013 10:50PM

    I like red and yellow, but not green.

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PARASELENIC 1/13/2013 10:45PM

    I eat one bell pepper every day.....usually half a red and half a yellow..... so good all alone but also a great vehicle for hummus!

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ROXYZMOM 1/13/2013 10:43PM

    Very nice! I love peppers too :)

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FIRED UP for Saturday

Sunday, January 13, 2013

(25) F = going out dancing tonight
(25) I = CICO (posted below)
(25) R = 10 hours sleep last night
(25) E = Bananas (see below)
(25) D = Recumbent bike - did intervals that were more resistance (12 when my range is usually 8 to 10) and speed (110-120 rpm when normal is 85 and pushing to 100)
(25) U = My affirmation is "I deserve to reach the best weight and fitness condition for my body and will do it!"
(25) P = Last BLC, I kept roller-coastering when I would overdo things to max challenges, then spending the unchallenged days blowing off my healthier eating or going easy on workouts. My plan this time around is to push myself only within reason for a challenge, maintaining a balance so I'm not off-track the rest of the week.

Range = 2210 - 2560
Calories IN = 2553
Calores OUT = 1068
Differential = -334

Did you know that the way we hang a bunch of bananas is actually upside down from the way in which they grow? Also, wild bananas actually have seeds in them!

(Image from Wikipedia article on bananas)

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ANGGEL40 1/13/2013 9:48PM

    I didn't know ..but I like bananas..Have fun dancing and thanks for sharing!

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PARASELENIC 1/13/2013 6:06PM

    "Last BLC, I kept roller-coastering when I would overdo things to max challenges, then spending the unchallenged days blowing off my healthier eating or going easy on workouts. My plan this time around is to push myself only within reason for a challenge, maintaining a balance so I'm not off-track the rest of the week. "

I've been on this rollercoaster before. While it's not necessarily unhealthy, it's a weird ride to be on, especially when you track and *ouch* see how you're off on nutrients etc. on the "dip" days.

I really like your plan. I think this BLC is going to be a really interesting one for you, as you have progressed so far already-- this is the BLC where I see your body making some changes that are more refined-- I'm excited to see the results!

I'm sure your team will rock it!

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SHERIO5 1/13/2013 10:20AM


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RG_DFW 1/13/2013 8:35AM


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CRYSTLE4HIMTX12 1/13/2013 6:23AM

    Interesting about bananas. Hope you had a blast out dancing.

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CIPHER1971 1/13/2013 6:20AM

    I like the factoid that bananas are actually a herb emoticon

Have a great day

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RUNNERRACHEL 1/13/2013 5:01AM

    Great that you'll be keeping a balance during challenge and non challenge times. Thinking about it that way is good!

Keep up the great work!!

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SHIROIHANA 1/13/2013 3:38AM

    You learn something new everyday, and I didn't know wild bananas have seeds in them. Wait, now that I think of it, I remember as a kid eating fried plantains with seeds in them. Didn't think of them as seeds. Thanks for sharing.
Have fun dancing, and keep up the great job!

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JESSERS22 1/13/2013 12:15AM

    Have fun tonight dancing and be safe!

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FIRED UP for Friday

Saturday, January 12, 2013

This is our last weekend on break between BLC Round 20 and BLC Round 21. Six of us on two teams (the OUTLAWS and the WARRIORS) agreed to provide weekend challenges for our two teams to help keep us "in the game".

This weekend was mine to create, and I spent a good amount of time in mid-December coming up with what I wanted it to be. I chose to get us FIRED UP for BLC Round 21 - giving us basic healthy habits we could focus on starting with the letters in FIRED UP. (For those curious what this sort of challenge looks like:

Some of the items ask for us to tell our teammates or blog, so I'm putting them here and keeping track of what I've done for the other items.

(25) F = walking Buster (I don't have to - I do it purely for fun)
(25) I = CICO (posted below)
(25) R = 6:05 hours sleep last night
(25) E = French vanilla yogurt (see below)
(25) D = Elliptical up to 7 (usually 6) resistance and upped my speed, pushing 145-150 strides per minute (usually 125-130)
(25) U = Decided and told myself "I can do ten minutes straight on the stair master. " and I DID it! (Max up till now has been 5-7 minutes.)
(25) P = Previous blog discussed my plans to adjust my calorie intake and some other changes to restore some needed balance.

Range = 2210 - 2560
Calories IN = 3251
Calores OUT = 1037
Differential = 395

I've gotten to really liking French Vanilla yogurt. I've always like French Vanilla ice cream. Today I looked up how French Vanilla is different from regular vanilla, realizing I only knew it seemed more yellowish in tone, sometimes had obvious specks of vanilla bean, and tasted yummier. The difference, in ice cream at least, is that it includes egg in the ingredients - basically a custard mixed into the ice cream. In other foods like yogurt it usually just means it has a richer flavor and/or creamier texture.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JO88BAKO 1/12/2013 8:03PM

    This is a great challenge!

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CRYSTLE4HIMTX12 1/12/2013 2:50PM

    Thanks for creating the challenge. It is definitely a challenge in some areas. I do not like sharing my calories but I did in the name of team spirit. emoticon Neat info on the french vanilla.

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RG_DFW 1/12/2013 12:09PM

    Way to go

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GOING-STRONG 1/12/2013 11:08AM

    You obviously put a lot of thought into the challenge and it shows. Great job!

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SHERIO5 1/12/2013 9:37AM


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CHRISTINASP 1/12/2013 5:01AM

    Nice challenge!

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