50,000-59,999 SparkPoints
COACHPENNY's Recent Blog Entries

Dowtown Birthday Surprise

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Hubby told me on Thursday that he was taking me someplace special for my birthday on Friday. " Dressy or casual", I asked? "Dressy", he said, giving me no other clues. "Just be ready by 2:30pm".

The 45* weather was not typical for February in Northern Illinois. We caught the train to Chicago, then took a city bus to our destination. At the John Hancock Building we looked up, up, UP. And then we took the elevator up, up, the 95th floor. Dinner at the 95th overlooking the beautiful Chicago Skyline. Dave made sure the weather would be clear and our reservations were before sunset.

With our window seating, we were guaranteed a gorgeous view of the busy city, below. We could see the lakefront, unfrozen due to our very mild winter, Navy Pier and it's huge Ferris Wheel, the Sears Tower( It will NEVER be the Willis Tower to me), and off in the distance...planes were landing at the south side Midway Airport. To the west, the sun was going down and we watched the glowing orb setting over the steel skyline.

After dark, the city lights painted a blazing fire of luminaria. We lingered over our delicious dinner, not ready to leave our cozy table for the hubbub, far below.

The elevator took us back to terra firma and we exited into the crowds enjoying the springlike, Chicago night. We walked past the old of the only buildings to survive the Great Chicago upscale shops and fancy bistros. Looked up, up UP at the sky scraping metal and glass-scape all around us, hailed a cab and headed for home.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CITYZOZO 3/7/2012 12:48PM

    Fantastic birthday girl and her fantastic thoughtful date.. GO LIFE!

Report Inappropriate Comment
CEELEE53 2/23/2012 9:03AM

    Wonderful surprise! Tell Dave he did good emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
LINDA! 2/19/2012 8:23PM

    What a lovely birthday. I haven't been to Chicago in 30 years or so. It is a wonderful place to go.

Report Inappropriate Comment
EVWINGS 2/19/2012 7:53PM

    WOW!!! Beautiful description, Penny. And what lovely pictures of Chicago!! I have never seen it that way. You are a writer and photographer of the heart.

Report Inappropriate Comment

Clean Soup

Monday, February 13, 2012

Winter Doldrums and I am still struggling to get off this platform I'm stuck on. In a professional E-Newsletter, I received information about detox. Now, I am not a big fan of extremes which detox can be but, I also know I have to push my body and my brain to get with the program here. If I don't, the risk is that my weight will bump even higher.

This particular plan isn't too extreme, is basically cleaning up the food you eat in order to give your digestive system a rest and flush toxins through the system. Here is the link:

I have to say, it is one of the healthier detox plans I have seen. You do get to EAT but, it is plain, clean food. I am altering a bit to fit my capabilities and food on hand but basically, I'm following the plan.

Instead of just steaming veggies and eating them and drinking the water, I made a fresh soup, cooked just long enough to make the veggies tender but, not mushy. Ingredients are below:

My Clean Soup

32 oz carton of Trader Joe's Vegetable Broth (a very simple broth, not too high in sodium)
1-2 cups of water
1 large carrot, sliced
1 large celery stalk, sliced
1 leek stalk (with some of the green too), sliced and diced
approx 2 cups ea. broccoli and cauliflower pieces (small)
1 glove of garlic, chopped
sea salt,dried parsley,thyme, taste
1 tsp green curry paste
1/2 to 1 Tbsp ea, of butter and olive oil
a couple of handfuls of roughly chopped kale

Heat broth and water with carrot slices till boiling. Add all the other veggies except the kale. Add the spices, curry paste, oil and butter. Simmer until veggies are just tender, then add kale. Simmer another minute and serve. Makes at least four to five servings (bowls)

It's DE-licious!

My plan is to try this for four days, If I can go longer, I will....up to a week only. Since I am so active and my job is very physical, I will probably add some high quality protein during this week.

After that, I will try to stick with low glycemic carbs, lean protein, veggies and fruits. I will allow my self seem treats only if I am making progress. It will be similar to a South Beach plan as I will use the book as a guide.

I going to rehab my diet..........I'm getting CLEAN!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

COACHPENNY 2/17/2012 12:26PM

    Girls, I am four pounds down from my recent weight gain! WOO HOO! Today is my birthday so I'm sure this weekend, I will not be adhering. Come Monday, I will be back at it again!

Report Inappropriate Comment
CEELEE53 2/17/2012 12:17PM

    I have all the ingredients on hand but the Trader Joe's V.Broth and the curry, but I'll spice it up and see how it goes. Thanks Penny...and good luck to you!

Report Inappropriate Comment
SARAWMS48 2/17/2012 9:34AM

    My husband made his famous vegetable soup and I made a vegetarian pizza. Eating them helped me get back to 196.5 until I had Mexican yesterday. Your plan is motivating me to keep on cooking healthy food, instead of eating my favorite cheese dishes.

Report Inappropriate Comment
CITYZOZO 2/14/2012 9:13AM

    this sounds super.. good idea!

Report Inappropriate Comment
EVWINGS 2/13/2012 6:47PM

    Penny, that sure does sound like a plan! Good luck!!

Report Inappropriate Comment

Some Days It's Hard to Just Keep Moving....

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

I woke up today in a funk. The day was mine and I should have gone for a long walk. We've been having unseasonably warm weather for Chicago this winter and the sun has been shining so, no excuse there. I think I am just disappointed in myself for letting an eight pound loss slip away. It's easy to tell myself that vacation is supposed to be fun and indulging in good food and spirits is all part of the plan. It's easy to say that the holidays treats are just too hard to resist. And it's easy to tell myself that another injury has set me back further than I thought.

Truthfully, I just can't find the switch I've used before, to get me motivated to keep moving. To keep working until I reach my goal. It has to be here SOMEWHERE.....

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CITYZOZO 1/15/2012 6:45AM

    start out each day new and fresh, forget about the vaca.. today is today.. what's the plan? you are kicking the exercise.. go easy woman... are you tracking? i gotta track everyday for anything to work for me.... happy sunday queen!

Report Inappropriate Comment
COACHPENNY 1/14/2012 5:18PM

    Thanks girls! Yesterday was a GOOD day....the power of a positive workout is spectacular!

Report Inappropriate Comment
RUSTBUCKET1 1/13/2012 12:47AM

    Hey! Don't beat yourself up. (Besides you don't even get Spark Fitness minutes for doing that! emoticon ) Think of all you have accomplished. I know that I am trying to lose the 12 lbs I put on. And I finally said,"Just start. Do something." Try a funky workout (learn to dance, try Zumba, watch a new DVD, take walk somewhere and pretend you are a tourist, take the dog out or borrow a dog from the shelter, play with the kids (or grandkids)...). Just moving and doing something always helps me get out of that funk. I still don't recognize my body vs. last year but I am starting...and trying. And that's all I can do. Hang in there because you can do it too. emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
SADAMS26 1/10/2012 2:51AM

    First of all, your picture is hysterical!

As for finding the switch: I tend to be very visual, so for me looking through pictures seems to work as a major motivator - seeing "skinny" pics and "fat" pics both seem to motivate me. The fat ones make me realize where I'm headed if I don't get back on track and the skinny ones help me see the potential of what I could look like. If that doesn't do the trick, look at yourself in a full length mirror - naked. Assess what you see - the good and the bad. Perhaps this would work for you.

Otherwise consider trying something new or different.... a new recipe, a new type of exercise, buy a new CD, find an outfit you'd like to wear for something special coming up in the future....

Report Inappropriate Comment
CEKER9 1/10/2012 2:46AM

    The motivation switch is on all the time, all we have to do is recognize that it is on and doing it's work for us... you can get back into the swing of things soon!

Report Inappropriate Comment

More pics

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

RUSTBUCKET1 1/2/2012 2:43AM

    Great pics.

Report Inappropriate Comment
SARAWMS48 12/29/2011 9:14AM

    You made me want to go! Glad to have you back. Let's make this our year to make it to our goal.

Report Inappropriate Comment
COACHPENNY 12/28/2011 2:59PM

    These are some of the pics from our trip. The scenery is from the train. The crazy Christmas house is in Santa Cruz, CA. Every square inch of the house was decorated! The beach is nearby and the skyline is San Fran from across the Golden Gate Bridge.

Report Inappropriate Comment
KIMPY225 12/28/2011 2:33PM


Report Inappropriate Comment
TDWANDD2MYK9 12/28/2011 2:29PM

    Fantastic photos. Thank you. I hope your Christmas went well and here's to a prosperous New Year emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment

Back From Vacation And Holiday Stress

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

I've decided that coming home from vacation is almost as stressful as leaving for vacation.

Leaving.....must get all the bills paid, the house in order, bags packed, subs lined up and check in with the moms. Coming home.....must get the bills paid, the house in order, unpack the bags, thank the subs and check in with the moms.

I know I shouldn't complain, it IS after all VACATION. But, this vacation, coming home has been more stressful than usual. Taking a vacation just before the holidays is not always a good idea. Staying organized is not my strong suit and this just adds to the melee. Add to that hubby's leg injury...just before we left, he tore a calf muscle ...ouch! Things that were supposed to get done before...did not. So we hit the ground running on our return.

We managed to have a good time despite hubby's leg. The train ride was fantastic...a beautiful way to see the USA. GORGEOUS SCENERY right out our window. We had a roomette which is a large closet but, really quite comfortable and WAY better than coach. Big picture window, comfy seats.....meals and beverages included, peace and quiet when you needed it or you could go to the lounge or the observation cars and meals in the dining room. Hubby's leg was a bit of a problem on the way out...he had to maneuver around with a cane and the Doc gave him anti-inflammatory but, no pain meds. Our car attendant took pity on us and gave us an extra roomette for the second night and the third day...that way DH could leave the bed out and stretch out the leg during the day. On the way back we had a slightly larger accommodation with a day couch and a private bathroom....woo hoo! One thing to mention about the train...if my A$$ was any bigger, I might not have been able to sit in the cubbys they call bathrooms.

We stayed with our friends in Los Altos and got to see my cousin in San Fran, too. A rented wheelchair helped us keep the hubby going...taking it to the beach is NOT recommended......and we avoided steep hills (hahaha!). Called the Doc for pain meds (by this time his leg was black and blue) because...I couldn't sleep...because...he needed the meds. After a couple of days, DH was MUCH better (and so was I). We toured around the Bay area, mostly by car....didn't want to chance the trolleys. I've posted some pics and will try to post more soon.

Visited Sausalito and Santa Cruz, drove up Highway 1 and took in an Indie movie and saw "Beach Blanket Babylon" a hilarious, burlesque type, song and dance show.

Of course, eating was also a big part of our time there and the good news is that I lost weight before we left...because it's all back waiting to be lost again. Lost and Found.

Somewhere, in an earlier post, I may have mentioned....our long time neighbor passed away just before we got home. He had been debilitated for some time...since just before he retired almost ten years ago. I was glad we were back in time for his funeral. Then the day of our return, my mom fell at the mall and spent the night in the hospital....stitches and a concussion but, thank goodness, she's ok. She couldn't drive for a couple of weeks so, that meant I was on taxi duty. On Christmas day, my MIL was T-boned by a woman who ran a red light another thank goodness...she's ok but, the car is totaled. Could have been worse....she was driving a mini-van and the other car hit her's towards the rear. Talk about one thing after another!

Hubby's leg is doing much better, moms are good, we've made it through the holidays, I am slowly purging the house of the goodies and getting myself back on pun eating my veggies. It's good to be back!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CITYZOZO 12/28/2011 8:33AM

    great descriptive blog.. sounds like you had fun and met the challenges with style! pics are welcomed.. thanks! zo

Report Inappropriate Comment

First Page  1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 Last Page