BRAVELUTE   67,715
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BRAVELUTE's Recent Blog Entries

I love growing my own food

Saturday, February 23, 2013

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I can't help but think one or two packets of seeds could be the revolution that everyone needs to just start eating more vegetables. You don't need a lot of space. Find an old cloth shopping bag. Buy some potting soil and compost or use your own. Fill the shopping bag. Water the soil mix. Sprinkle on a mixture of lettuce seeds. Set in a sunny place and water once more. Lettuce likes it cooler. So do peas-do sugar snap peas. Soak them about 2 hours in room temperature water. and plant a grid of sugar snap peas in your bag two inches by two inches. Set this bag by a railing they can use for support. They will grow 4 - 5 feet tall. And then a tomato. Buy a plant already started. If you're going with the shopping bag, get a "patio" tomato, or one that is determinate. Transplant the small plant into another bag. Dig a trench as long as the widest part of your bag. Take your tomato plant out of its store pot. Lay it down in the trench with the root ball on one end, and the top of the plant at the other. Cover everything except the top of the plant with dirt. The stem is covered with hairs. Each hair becomes a root which helps to feed your tomato so you get lots of tomatoes.

You can use an indeterminate if that word seems to match your personality, but be ready because they are vines. They'll grow as tall as the support you give them. If that is only 5 feet tall, they'll grow UP five feet, and then head back down again.

Be sure you place the bags where you and your family can watch what happens every day. Give your bag a cup or two of water. You don't need to drag out the hose every morning.In about a month, you will be plucking leaves from the lettuce every other day for salads. In a month and a half, you'll have your own salad daily. In the third month you could have tomatoes and sugar snap peas to add to the bowl.

But the sugar snap peas probably won't make it to your salad. SOMEONE will be sneaking the pods as they plump up, and eating them before they ever get inside. Be sure to harvest them as they get plump so they will continue to grow and give you more delicious welcomes.

Be sure to share the wonder of your plants as they grow. Share with your kids, grandkids, the neighbor kids. If they ask questions you don't know the answer, hand them the google machine and have them find the answer.

Or better yet, say "Why don't we watch and find out."

You won't have enough food to keep from going to the produce market, but you will have an enriched life.

When your plants are done, pull them out of the bags, shake dirt off the roots, and plant some more seeds.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SAGELADY2 2/24/2013 1:47PM

    Sounds good, but we've got a bit more cold to get over before it's safe. I'm buying my tomato and peppers as plants. Not enough time to care for them from seedlings. Looking forward to spinach.

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LESLIELENORE 2/23/2013 2:23PM

    My dad mentioned today that it is about time to start his sets for their garden.

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NSTARSMITH 2/23/2013 11:32AM

    What a marvelous instructive blog this is. I hope lots of folks decide to try it out!

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JACKIE542 2/23/2013 10:01AM

    Can't wait to get my garden started. emoticon

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SHARJOPAUL 2/23/2013 9:00AM

    I really miss my veggie garden this time of year! I have some Swiss Chard growing in a pot by the window. YUM!

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BUDDHA33 2/23/2013 7:32AM

    Are you a square-foot gardener, Bravelute?

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Assignment: Excuses, Excuses

Friday, February 22, 2013

I am not from a generation that was taught to do a personal workout. 4 years of cancer therapy and surgeries was my workout that just about did me in.
Years of driving thru (the drive thru) was the extent of my workouts, along with eating all the calories that I picked up with untold reps.

So now, even though I have set the goal to be as healthy as possible, there are still times when the workout, as many people here in sparkdom define that, doesn't seem as important as you might think it should.

Instead of making excuses, I find work arounds.

My Yorkie, Jewels insists on going for a mile walk every morning. And if it's raining, she refuses to go. I get out my umbrella and go without her.

If it's a bad thunderstorm, I have a zumba DVD I pop in. I figure that will come in handy this summer if we don't get our walk in before it hits 100 degrees.

Social Security says they have overpaid me and that I owe them $6900 by May. And if that's not a hardship, I can pay them back at $596 a month till paid off. Either way you look at it, that is a hardship for anyone on Social Security. So the gym membership is going. That will also save gasoline because it's a 20 mile round trip. I've saved almost $100 a month by not going to the gym.

But I must take up the slack. And since I love going to my community pool, and I have a recumbent bike, I think I'll be okay on the fitness front. I can also walk on the bike trail and pretend I'm in a class with the Zumba DVD.

So excuses are handled by a switch in thinking, a switch in plans, a switch in time saves calories burned, and $.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

GEMLADYONE 2/22/2013 8:18PM

    Wow, what a great way to look at the unexpected hurdle in your path. It's a shame it happened, but I commend you on your appoach to it. I think I'll try to keep this in mind next time I feel like whining about some small annoyance! Thanks for sharing.

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POPSY190 2/22/2013 8:06PM

    Terrific approach to the unlookedfor problem. emoticon

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LESLIELENORE 2/22/2013 2:25PM

    What a great attitude and perspective.

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NSTARSMITH 2/22/2013 9:20AM

    Well, I might like to blister the bureaucracy that put you in the spot of "paying back" their mistake, but instead I will praise your positive determination! Work arounds are absolutely necessary in life - good grief, life tosses so much debris in our paths. If a person gives up because of an obstacle, they'll never get anywhere! work around it is the real life path. Way to go YOU!

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MAUITN 2/22/2013 8:42AM

    I hope you also make sure they over paid you and that it is not some mistake on their part. But good luck. We can always find some activity if we look for it. Even housework and yard work is exercise.

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Assignment: Blog about all the improvements

Wednesday, February 20, 2013


This picture says 500 words because it was taken about 3 months ago, and the other half of the story has continued.

In the bike pic, it says I had lost 35 of the 46 total pounds.
It says I'm happy.
It says I'm active, doing fun things.
It says I'm alive, with a blood pressure in the normal range.

The other half you can't see shows I'm eating healthy food, doing routines to go to bed earlier to get a good night's sleep. It shows I've started a team to share anti-angiogenic food concepts with others. It shows I've stopped drinking sugary drinks. It shows I eat a ton of fruits and veggies daily. It shows I've streamlined my menu planning, prepping, and cooking so I'm not in the kitchen all the time. It shows I'm in the pool 4-7 days a week. It shows I walk at least a mile a day. It shows I'm eating whole food which I process 90% of the time. It shows I'm even growing a lot of my own food organically in 4 raised beds on a small lot in a 55+ mobile home retirement community. The other half of the picture shows that I'm creating habits for a healthy life for the long term.

The last 6 months is the longest I've ever stayed on a diet program. That is because I finally get it, that losing weight fast is for the short term, because it doesn't give me time to set myself up for long term success. So, while my streaks aren't consecutive because of techie issues, I AM establishing a long running streak where I will continue to
drink the water,
eat 2 pounds of veggies and 4 fruits as the basis of my eating plan,
choose 10+ anti-angiogenic foods daily, maintain fiber intake at 30+,
avoid processed foods with lots of additives which I can't pronounce
avoid sugar
buy whole foods and process it myself
keep my organic garden growing veggies (and a little fruit)
take vitamin D3 supplement
do daily cardio,
get 8 hours sleep

And now, I must go start some seeds and set out some transplants.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LAURAAT 2/21/2013 2:46PM

    What an awesome, awesome blog! So inspiring. And, a lot of the things you said you can't see by the picture, you can, in a way. It shows in how happy you are, that you're making good choices, it shows in the glow you have.
emoticon

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CATHEMARIE 2/20/2013 2:51PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

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CHRISTINASP 2/20/2013 12:28PM

    I hope you take the time to feel and enjoy and celebrate all that you learned and changed! emoticon

Comment edited on: 2/20/2013 12:29:27 PM

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CHRISTINASP 2/20/2013 12:28PM

    I would say that it is 'incredible' be it that I DO believe it! You made huge, amazing changes! Congratulations!

Comment edited on: 2/20/2013 12:29:15 PM

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L_SADHANA 2/20/2013 11:38AM

    That is awesome - good for you!

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ANRU7695 2/20/2013 10:17AM

    What a great, positive blog! :) I enjoyed reading it. Celebrating your success is a sweet thing! Way to go, and keep it up!

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LESLIELENORE 2/20/2013 9:58AM

    emoticon Isn't it amazing what a change in mindset can achieve?!

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NSTARSMITH 2/20/2013 9:03AM

    You definitely deserve an "A" on your assignment! Counting blessings is an excellent mobilizer! Spark ON!

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Speaking of Water . . .

Tuesday, February 19, 2013



I think this bod will always refuel
Whenever I put it in the pool

It helps my body to transform
Just to have the water warm.

But if weather makes that impossible
I find the warm sauna absolutely to-die-ful!

Can anyone tell me what it means in the fitness tracker to tread water for 30 minutes and burn 447 calories? Now, I can tread water the way they taught us in high school swimming class. But that was to conserve energy if we were ever to fall out of a boat in the Gulf of Mexico. We learned to almost dead man float and exert a little effort when we needed a breath, just enough effort to raise our head out of the water to breathe, look around for rescue, and then go back down again. I call it the crocodile float today. What I know is I can float vertically all day and not move a muscle.
I'm sure that is NOT what is intended to burn over 400 calories in 30 minutes!!

So, I think I need a video. Because I'd like to go on doing this and benefitting with the calorie burn. The things I do with my legs also benefit them. I have no more leg pain, where it used to keep me awake at night. That is enough motivation to get to the pool daily and keep that pain away. But I also want to manage my calories in my Tracker goals properly for weight loss, not gain.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ANGEL1066 2/19/2013 9:59PM

    I used to run across the deep end standing tall and counted it as treading water. I envy you the lovely pool. Can't wait for summer.

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FUTUREHOPE49 2/19/2013 5:38PM

    When I did swim aerobics we actually had to run on the spot and it was very hard work. I think that or walkiing on the spot and lifting legs high is what counts as treading water.
Your pool looks fabulous, wish I had one. LOL! Swim about! That does the trick!

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CHRISTINASP 2/19/2013 4:40PM

    PS Your pool is SOOOOO (SO) nice! That is almost uncomparable to the dirty stinky moldy cold building that I have to go to if I want to swim!

Comment edited on: 2/19/2013 4:40:54 PM

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CHRISTINASP 2/19/2013 4:27PM

    Treading water to me means you are 'standing up' in the water, kicking your legs all the time, being upright. You have to kick pretty frequently to stay in that position. I was told in swimming class to keep my pointed fingers above water and use only my legs.

like this:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=
dEL1MScfqFA

and like the first 30 seconds or so of this video:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=
QiZ8XuBrBWc - BUT, we were taught to keep the fingers / hands above water while using the breast stroke movement for the legs. Not using the arms may make the exercise harder.

I also found this video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kFmO
tf_Ew1w


Comment edited on: 2/19/2013 4:39:00 PM

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LESLIELENORE 2/19/2013 3:13PM

    There are drills you can do while treading water that would up your calorie burn. Glad the exercise is helping with your leg pain!

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LAURAAT 2/19/2013 1:04PM

    I do not know the answer to your question, but! I would like to suggest the pool team here on SP. I can't remember the name offhand, but it's a great team, full of ideas. You may want to check it out. emoticon

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CBRINKLEY401 2/19/2013 12:52PM

    With the crocodile float, you are lying horizontal in the water and moving very little. Treading water usually means you are vertical in the water, with your head and shoulders above the water. Your legs are kicking and your arms move side to side, which keeps you above the water and constantly moving, but still staying in the same place. To me, the exertion is about the same that you would use if you were just slowly swimming, instead of trying to race.
You are kicking about once per second and your arms move forward for about 2 seconds, then back for 2 seconds.

Comment edited on: 2/19/2013 12:53:32 PM

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Water Is a Rainbow of Promise (Updated)

Monday, February 18, 2013

I was having difficulty drinking 8 cups of water. How about YOU? Here in Sparkdom, I found lots of tricks like keeping a wedge of lime in your glass, refilling the minute the glass empties, etc. to help me get the job done.

I didn't like to think of water as a beverage. It couldn't win when up against my sodas or McDonald's Iced Coffee.

So I switched my thinking. Since my body was 97% H20, I started thinking of it as food that my body required to keep my skin young, to carry all the great nutrients I'm now eating to all parts of my body in a swift bloodstream, to help all my brain cells remember.


I worked hard to melt away the fat. I followed Dr. Fuhrman's Eat to Live 6 weeks plan over and over and lost 45 pounds. I'm about half way to goal.

During the last 6 months as the scale went down a half pound or even a whole one, I have been visualizing 2 - 4 sticks of butter melting on a griddle and flowing down in to the bottom of the Grand Canyon where it could never flow back upstream and find its way back onto my body. And that visualization has worked for me.

But once I really thought about it, I realized that water that was carrying those wonderful fat and cancer fighting nutrients all over my body, was also the transport to move all of the unwanted fat molecules out. If I didn't provide the water, those fat cells just lined up at the corner of Overweight and Obese and yelled, "Where's the Bus??"

And then I argued with myself and said, "Well, they can just ride to their doom on my soda, or McDonald's Iced Coffee." But since I know a bit about how things work inside, I knew my body had to work hard to process the sugars or fats in those drinks first and carry those nutrients out to all cells in my body. More sugar and fat going to each cell before the unwanted fat molecules could board the raft that would float them to their doom.

I wondered if I was confusing my body. Probably not. It pretty much does all of its jobs without any thought on the subject. But still. It was ready to give up fat molecules, but I was sending it MORE unneeded sugars and fats. "What do you know that I don't know? Are they predicting a famine out there in the Junk Food Drive Thru?"

So I stopped Imagineering that quiet stream floating the nutrients to all my cells, and started Imagineering a raging flood of water clearing out the junk I had thrown out along the banks of the streams of unhealthy drinks I had been feeding my unhealthy body.

So I'm now thinking of plain water as an important part of my health program, NOT as a beverage.
At first I had to do little kid rules like, "No iced coffee until you drink 4 cups of water." or "Finish your 8 cups of water and you can have a soda."

My idea of beverage has changed and is pretty much iced or hot tea. This summer I might make an iced coffee as a treat on a hot day, figured into my snack for the day. I have stopped fooling myself. I know my body doesn't need those drinks, but it DOES need fresh water to stay healthy.

And if you still need help, the visual below might do it, because every glass of water is a rainbow of promise that you give to your body, a promise that you will never let it be parched again.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

FINAL4 6/16/2013 11:05PM

    You do have a way with words Bravelute :) The rainbow quote is especially motivating. Thanks for posting the link.

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AJDOVER1 6/16/2013 3:18PM

    Thanks for directing me to this blog! I missed it before.

I need another glass of water RIGHT NOW!

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CHRISTINASP 2/23/2013 3:54AM

    For some reason I missed this blog before. It's excellent. I'm laughing about the cells waiting on the bus!
I never count how much water I drink. I've been drinking lots of water for, I think a few decades now. When I was still a smoker I read that not drinking when you smoke increases the risk of bladder cancer and somehow I found that such a terrible idea that I started drinking water with my cigarettes! LOL. I quit smoking but I had become accustomed to drinking a lot of water by then.
So now I MUST HAVE a glass of water first thing in the morning. I can't start my day without it. Then I have herbal tea; I make a big can of herbal tea in the morning and drink from it in the next hours, make another in the afternoon, one at night. I have a bottle of mineral water on my desk and a plastic cup in a fancy color so I don't need to realize I'm thirsty and get up to get water.
I only drink decaf coffee when I'm out of the house and don't care much for other drinks /beverages except a hot cocoa as an occasional treat.
Believe me, once you get used to WATER you will realize that nothing compares to it! :)

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SAMMIESMOM13 2/19/2013 10:17AM

    I don't hate water, just 8 glasses is tough for me to swallow! LOL. I find that filling a glass and letting it sit at room temp. and sipping it in the mornings helps (I can't drink much water before noon, it makes me nauseous). So if I can get even 2 down I am better off. Then the rest I can drink down, refill and have again an hour later or so. The immediate refill thing is what helps me.

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ANGEL1066 2/18/2013 9:48PM

    Nice use of visualization. I've never tried that, but will give it a go.

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NELLIEC 2/18/2013 5:35PM

    I particularly like the wrinkly picture of the elephant. I do NOT want my skin to look like that!

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POPSY190 2/18/2013 1:28PM

    Great blog. I struggle with water intake too and plan to adopt your strategies. Thank you.

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LESLIELENORE 2/18/2013 11:49AM

    emoticon So true. Love the visuals!

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