BRAVELUTE   88,641
80,000-99,999 SparkPoints
BRAVELUTE's Recent Blog Entries

My Inner Child

Sunday, February 17, 2013

My inner thin girl is also known to me as my inner child because I knew her then, up until she was 10--wiry, always active, a monkey on the monkey bars, a bike, a hula hoop. She was skin and bones, with enough fat to keep everything going. I hope to find her somewhere under the current layers. I'm working hard at nutrition and fitness to let her venture out at the party where we kiss the outer fat girl good-bye, and let the inner thin girl have control once more.

Kenya Update:

My sister is home from Kenya. She requested the same meal she had before she left: Mom's pizza and my salad. And ice. Lots of ice. She sounds awful, coughing. Says is bronchitis from breathing fumes form the cement mixer. for over a week. We'll see. I'm working hard to just leave the driving to HIM.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CATHEMARIE 2/20/2013 2:53PM

    My hope for your sister emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
ANGEL1066 2/18/2013 9:54PM

    I can see the thin little girl in the later pic of you. Looking good! I envy you the bike, it looks quite doable. Where did you get it?

Report Inappropriate Comment
CHRISTINASP 2/17/2013 3:52PM

    Ah, what a lovely girl you were! And what an amazing woman you are now!
That's great that you knew a time when you loved to move and were a monkey. I never was like that.
I hope your sister will recover soon. I'm thinking good thoughts for her recovery.

Report Inappropriate Comment
ADAGIO_CON_BRIO 2/17/2013 12:52PM

    Look at you! Radiating confidence and joy and pleasure in life!

I hope that your sister gets better quickly.

Report Inappropriate Comment
SIMONEKP 2/17/2013 11:30AM

    Hope your sister feel better

Report Inappropriate Comment
LESLIELENORE 2/17/2013 11:06AM


Report Inappropriate Comment
JAE_HENNINGTON 2/17/2013 9:07AM

  I to have an inner child, I connect her at times, other times the my inncer voices drowned her out.. it is a slow process, healing her from her past, I am getting bertter at re-parenting her...loved your blog

Report Inappropriate Comment
SAGELADY2 2/17/2013 9:00AM

    Sorry to hear your sister is under the weather. Be careful about the dust, you can get nasty pneumonia from inhalation of dust (esp. cement!!!) so keep an eye on it.

I was thinking about the girl I used to be....the carefree and joyous little one. I miss those feelings. Cute picture. I think if we had more "unstructured" play time we'd see that little kid poke her head out more. Just a thought. :-)

Report Inappropriate Comment
40PUDDLEJUMPER 2/17/2013 8:52AM

    great blog as ever - its funny you should say that you were skin and bone, i can remember being called the tall skinny one when i was still at primary school then puberty hit me at age 9 and i filled out ... a lot and then some!!

i'm the same hight i was back then but NOT the same weight!! but that inner child is still there, she still loves the same things and seems to have woken up a bit! you never know we may see here again!

Report Inappropriate Comment
MJRVIC2000 2/17/2013 8:18AM

    God created more than just one inner person in us, and I'm glad for His in dwelling Spirit living in me. He is the One to whom I give control of my life. God Bless YOU! Vic.

Report Inappropriate Comment

You'd think this wouldn't be a problem.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

I have actually burned 4000 calories this week. And my fitness tracker is screaming to fix that goal. So I did. My minimum calorie score zoomed up 500 calories. You wouldn't think I'd have a problem eating 500 more calories.

But I have stopped eating donuts and cupcakes.
I eat what feels like a ton of fruits and veggies, with a little whole grain, legumes and yogurt thrown into the mix. With the last increase I had increased nuts and added cacao nibs and powdered cocoa.
When dinner time comes, I am forcing myself to eat because I'm not hungry but there's this thing that if you don't eat enough, your body shuts down the weight loss because it thinks you have hit hard times and are now starving, when I'm eating more food than I ever have in my life.

You'd think a woman who had 90 pounds to lose last July would have an inkling how to pack in the calories. Well, I do, but I'm not going there. So I adjusted the plan, but I'm not happy with what I did.

Maybe tomorrow will be better when I start the day with the knowledge that we will be consuming 500 more calories than I did yesterday.

But now it's cold again with 20 MPH winds. I'd better be going to the Y to swim or I'll be gaining weight instead of losing.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CHRISTINASP 2/17/2013 3:50PM

    I think dr. Fuhrman says to just eat more of the foods he recommends. But, do look it up!

Report Inappropriate Comment
SHARJOPAUL 2/17/2013 10:53AM

    On days I eat super healthy, but a lot of food, I am frequently amazed at how few calories I consume.

Report Inappropriate Comment
JULESRULES78 2/16/2013 9:20PM

    It's amazing how when you eat great it can crowd out all of the junk. Thank you for reminding me. This is once again my goal: Fresh wholesome foods.

Report Inappropriate Comment
NELLIEC 2/16/2013 7:47PM

    Well, when my fitness tracker yells at me every week, I ignore it since I know that in spite of doing all that exercise, I am a fairly calm person with a gerbil heartbeat (pretty fast). My normal is not another person's normal. I sometimes tweak the plan a little, but have discovered that if I up the allowed calories too much (more than a little bit), then I do gain weight. So I stick pretty much to my usual. I certainly would not try to eat more than I am hungry for!

Report Inappropriate Comment
BARBARASDIET 2/16/2013 4:39PM


Report Inappropriate Comment
POPSY190 2/16/2013 4:10PM

    Ironic, isn't it? I now find that the old bad choices are definite no-noes. It's mainly about healthy eating now, rather than just weight loss. emoticon emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
BRAVELUTE 2/16/2013 3:56PM

    Reply to Christina: ETL talks about athletes needing to eat more, especially when in training. I believe Dr. Fuhrman says to add more nuts, legumes . . . I'll need to go back and check and not rely on my memory ; )

Report Inappropriate Comment
LAURAAT 2/16/2013 3:28PM

    Oddly enough, it IS really tough to find healthy ways to add calories. Especially when you already feel like you're eating a lot. I wish I had some advice for you, but taking a look at your food tracker, I'm really stumped as to where you can add anything in. I'm sure you'll work things out, though. emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
CHRISTINASP 2/16/2013 3:27PM

    sorry double post

Comment edited on: 2/16/2013 3:27:48 PM

Report Inappropriate Comment
CHRISTINASP 2/16/2013 3:27PM

    I would not worry too much. I think that if you follow ETL you should be fine. Does that book talk about a mininum amount of calories you have to eat? (I don't think so).

Report Inappropriate Comment
SAGELADY2 2/16/2013 3:08PM

    It's hard to make the calories when you're vegetarian unless you do a ton of grains. I may give it a try when the weather warms up. I just am so conditioned to have meat in the winter time. I am eating mostly fish and chicken though.

Report Inappropriate Comment
LALMEIDA 2/16/2013 3:02PM

  emoticon emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
LESLIELENORE 2/16/2013 2:09PM

    I think I have been on a plateau because I am not eating enough, but it is hard to eat more as I just don't want to eat more. So I can relate.

Report Inappropriate Comment

Increase your Fruits & Veggies with an Everyday Cacao Valentine

Friday, February 15, 2013

This was yesterday's blog: 361 calories for a special, beautiful blossom of a valentine.

Now THIS is a Daily Cacao Valentine for your health:

I gave it to myself for breakfast this morning. 289 delicious and healthy calories. Start with a bed of 1 cup spinach. Mix 1/2 cup Chobani Nonfat Greek Yogurt with 1 teaspoon dry cocoa powder, sweetener packet, and vanilla if desired. Spoon on top of the spinach in a mound. Arrange 1 cup strawberries in blossom fashion as in the top picture, except the mound is smaller. Sprinkle with 1 Tablespoon cacao nibs and 1/2 ounce walnut pieces.

This is perfect for an everyday breakfast or lunch. If you can afford the calories, please substitute 1-2 teaspoons of honey or maple syrup for the sweetener.

I supplemented my everyday Cacao Valentine with a smoothie of spinach, swiss chard, almond breeze, frozen banana, and frozen cherries. Add the Everyday Cacao Valentine and I totaled 6 Fruits and Veggies for breakfast. That's amazing! (542) calories for breakfast

See yesterday's blog for info about Cacao Nibs.

I make my Nutrition Tracker public if you are interested in how I am going to incorporate 15 servings of fruits and vegetables into today's meals:

Visit my team for more ideas for your health:

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

POPSY190 2/16/2013 2:33AM

    Thank you. I just ordered some cacao nibs and I can't wait to try some of your ideas for using them.

Report Inappropriate Comment
ANGEL1066 2/15/2013 10:44PM

    sounds yummy! i'll try it on my dh.

Report Inappropriate Comment
LESLIELENORE 2/15/2013 1:59PM


Report Inappropriate Comment
LAURAAT 2/15/2013 11:24AM

    Very intersting, spinach and strawberries and cacao - never would have thought of that combo! Thanks so much for sharing. I especially like the smoothie idea. :)

Report Inappropriate Comment
CHRISTINASP 2/15/2013 10:07AM

    Looks nice! You MUST be in a warm climate to have frozen stuff for breakfast! :)

Report Inappropriate Comment

Assignment: share your quick and easy list of meal ideas for future use.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Well, here are my quick and easy goto meals. They are quick because I chop, steam, or roast and store veggies when I come home from the store. I always roast a bunch of carrots, tomatoes, a winter squash, a small casserole of peeled garlic, and beets if they are available. I always have Josephs pita bread (60 calories) or xtreme Wellness Spinach tortillas. Lots of fiber in either one. I also bake rice a cup at a time for 4 servings and store for vegetable plates or salads. I prefer aromatic brown rice mixtures from Lundberg. Christmas, Weihani, Golden Rose Brown, Brown Jasmine and Black Japonica are favorites.

Then during the week, most things are already cooked and are combined into cold salads or warmed for vegetable plates.

1. Salad of greens, strawberries, onions, cacao nibs, white kidney beans or chick peas, colavita basalmic vinegar
2. Salad of greens, 2 clementine cuties, onions, almonds, mini sweet peppers sliced into wheels, brussels sprouts
3. Salad of steamed edamame out of shell, tomatoes, black olives, onion, artichoke leaves
4. Vegetable plate of roasted carrots, winter squash or sweet potato, steamed broccoli, beets and an aromatic rice or beans or nuts.
5. Rice salad: 1 c. aromatic rice, 1 c. halved grapes or sweet cherries, .5 cup chobani no fat Greek Yogurt, chopped celery, cinnamon, nutmeg, walnuts
6. Breakfast fruit bowl: 1 cup of 2 different fruits, 1 T ground flax or chia, .5 - 1 ounce almonds or walnuts. If I microwave a frozen berry or cherries, I mix the juice with .5 c. Chobani no fat yogurt and add cinnamon and nutmeg before topping the fruit.
7. Pita Pizzas
Savory: spread roasted garlic, then roasted tomato. Top with sweet pepper wheels, onion, olives, gouda or jarlsberg light. Heat 10 minutes.

Fruit: spread with laughing cow swiss or yogurt mixed with cinnamon. Top with blueberries, apples, cherries, or grapes and chopped walnuts. (no cooking) Another option here is caramelized sliced pears and onions on the pita spread with LC swiss.

8. Spaghetti: Do a stir fry of lentil sprouts, onions, pepper wheels, roasted garlic and tomatoes. Heat already cooked spaghetti squash. Top. sprinkle with grated parmesan if desired. Serve with sprouted barley bread.

Remember the tea and water glass.

Note: It might seem a lot of work to do all that prep when coming home from the grocery store. But I fill the oven and roast everything all at once.
All the peeling, chopping, cleaning up mess happens once a week. I only have to clean up the cutting board and food processor once, only rinsing between each new veggie getting chopped. Steaming each vegetable is a little more time consuming, but I line up 5 bowls with broccoli, brussels sprouts, edamame, and asparagus. I cover 1 with a plate and zap for 4 minutes. While the next one cooks, I'm packaging the first.

By the time the roasted veggies are done, I have the other veggies chopped and stored steamed or raw. Then I package the roasted veggies and meals are a breeze.

Have you ever roasted your own tomatoes and onions? The first time I did that, I was just about ready to eat the whole kitchen by the time it finished roasting. So I mixed 12 roasted tomatoes with about 24 cloves of roasted garlic and ate them all for supper. I still have to eat that on grocery night, but I usually just use 3 - 4 roma tomatoes with some garlic for the meal and eat it on spaghetti squash with steamed broccoli and some black olives. Absolutely to die for.

I even think that's the easiest dip for a party: roasted tomato, garlic, onion, and black olives. Serve with those baked crackers from the health food store. Choose those wisely and it's all anti-angiogenic.

Use the links in the resources forum at my team page to learn more about anti-angiogenic foods and their benefits to your health.

I have also been saving my recipes and also some written by others at SP recipes in my Anti-Angiogenic Recipe collection at

Hope you find some easy healthy choices that you can add to your "Goto" collection.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SIMONEKP 2/15/2013 2:14PM

    Easy to make and store recipes are the best

Report Inappropriate Comment
CHRISTINASP 2/14/2013 3:14PM

    What a wonderful blog. I got hungry reading about your meals. I wish I could stay with you and learn for a week or so!
You could start food & cooking weekends / retreats for people wanting to learn 'Bravelutes's anti-angiogenic lifestyle'! :)

Comment edited on: 2/14/2013 3:15:12 PM

Report Inappropriate Comment
LESLIELENORE 2/14/2013 2:49PM

    Wow! You are more ambitious than me.

Report Inappropriate Comment

A Cacao Valentine for You

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, Snack
This special treat will keep you on TRACK!
361 calories, 48 carbs, 11 fats, 20 protein

Or share it with your special someone after your holiday meal.

And it is 100% anti-angiogenic. That's a good thing for you because food with anti-angiogenic properties help you defeat fat cells, cancer cells, heart disease, arthritis, and a whole lot more, according to Dr. William Li.

That sounds pretty amazing, but we tend to stay clear of food that older people tell us is good for us. I still remember spinach cooked beyond recognition.

So I'll tell you the other unbelievable part. This is a beautiful picture of chocolate goodness. And, at least for me, it does NOT launch a major attack of the chocolate binge monster!!

Want to know how to do it? You can just chop and combine everything. Or slice your strawberry hearts, mix yogurt with cocoa and honey, arrange in blossom fashion and sprinkle with cacao nibs. Serve with a cold glass of water and a pot of tea.

Slice 1 cup of Strawberries into lengthwise halves. (Hint: use your knife to cut off the cap leaving a "canal". Slice across the canal as you cut the berry in half so that it resembles a heart)

Mix well:
3/4 cup no-fat Chobani Greek Yogurt
1 Tablespoon honey
1/2 Tablespoon plain cocoa powder

Place 3 strawberries on your serving plate. Mound the Yogurt mixture over the top. Create the blossom by sticking the pointed end of strawberry halves into the yogurt. Start at the plate level working around the mound. Move up about an inch and alternate placement creating an petal or artichoke look.

Sprinkle with 2 tablespoons of cacao nibs. Give it a try! Give yourself a delicious Cacao Valentine. Enjoy!!

What's that? What are cacao nibs?? Well, they are the cacao bean chopped up into little niblets. Cacao beans grow on the trunk of the cacao tree, are harvested, fermented and processed into the chocolate you know in your candy, the chocolate you know that awakens that chocolate binge monster.

Cacao nibs are the whole food before the manufacturers get hold of it. I find mine at my local health food store. They haven't found their way into any grocery I have available yet.

Cacao beans have more of those healthy things that fight off cancer than any other food. And you get ALL of that in cacao nibs. At least half is lost through processing on the way to your chocolate candy that you crave.

Want to know more about chocolate and caco beans?

If you'd like to learn more about anti-angiogenic foods and what they can do for YOU, we have a team her on Spark People: Eat to Defeat Fat Cells, Cancer Cells, and More . . .

You can find links to Dr. Li's video at, and also a link to the anti-angiogenic food list at And you are also welcome to join us as we learn more about how to prevent lots of health issues with WHAT we eat.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

PHEBESS 2/14/2013 5:38PM

    Mmmmm, I love cacao nibs - I eat them straight!

I also make "brownie yogurt" - mix your nonfat Greek yogurt with cocoa powder and stevia, then add some chopped nuts - great snack or "dessert"!!!!

Report Inappropriate Comment
BRAVELUTE 2/14/2013 5:18PM

    Christina, the 6 petal plate is mine. I own 4. I found them at a local department store. They also had bowls you could purchase, but I didn't. I like to use them with my new way of eating. Everything always looks so bright and cheerful on the plates. AND you have lots of opportunities to use the 6 petals creatively!!

Report Inappropriate Comment
POPSY190 2/14/2013 4:58PM

    Looks wonderful.

Report Inappropriate Comment
CHRISTINASP 2/14/2013 3:17PM

    PS Is that your crockery set? I think it must be 'cause it's the same plate as on the pic on your sparkpage. It looks lovely!

Report Inappropriate Comment
LESLIELENORE 2/14/2013 2:47PM


Report Inappropriate Comment
CHRISTINASP 2/14/2013 11:49AM

    Oh, that's a cute idea! For today it's too late for me but I'll save this and make it for my honey later!
Very creative. Thank you for sharing !

Comment edited on: 2/14/2013 11:51:16 AM

Report Inappropriate Comment
SHARJOPAUL 2/14/2013 9:30AM

    Sounds wonderful

Report Inappropriate Comment

First Page  1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 Last Page