DDOORN   232,066
200,000-249,999 SparkPoints
DDOORN's Recent Blog Entries

Joining In The New Year Re-Set

Thursday, January 02, 2014

I usually do my utmost NOT to join in with the crowd as I've always disliked the I'm-doing-it-cuz-everyone-is-doing-it mentality.

As a result I've never been a fan of New Year's Resolutions.

Well, this year will be an exception as I have backslid too much during the "dark months" and it is time to declare *ENOUGH!*

Some of the thoughts / factors influencing me are:

---Reaching the upper end of tolerance for tight clothes. Thank goodness I gave away all my "fatter" clothes...! :-)

---Feeling the pounds tugging at my cardio performance. Going slower against my will? Not at ALL tolerant of THAT!

---News of upcoming cycling events for 2014 and just not at ALL wanting to beat myself up for dragging along extra pounds that I coulda/shoulda/woulda sent to the curb.

---One of the retail therapy "indulgences" I've allowed myself over the past few months has been to gradually pick up deals on camping gear for some more self-supported cycling trips. I've got my tent/footprint, sleeping bag, super absorbent towel, inflatable pillow, powerpack for cell phone...all that's left is the air mattress and a waterproof stuff sack. All these material investments in my cycling fun has me thinking it's way past time to kick it in the pants for some physical investments into my body!

So my plan? First & foremost: no self-bashing! I've done enough of that! Now *learning* a thing or two about relapse prevention? I'm two thumbs way UP on that!

As always I've gotta keep it simple. Two critical factors will bring results for me as they always have:

1) Dial the processed carb way WAY down. In fact my hope is to only allow for perhaps one serving of fruit per day and at times legumes in soups and hummus. All sugar/flour-based carbs...fuggedaboutem!

and the REAL BIGGIE:

2) Tracking my food intake. Duh...what a shocker, right? Nothing has brought me the results and satisfaction with my efforts like tracking and being highly aware of the types of calories (fat/protein/carbohydrate) I'm consuming.

One thing I like about my past accomplishments is that without tracking, just eating what I *KNOW* and have learned over the years is "good" food for myself I am able to maintain my weight around 240 pounds. Which is no small thing given the heights my weight has reached in the past.

But: I know that is not enough to satisfy me over the long haul. I still think 200 is going to be a weight which will be an acceptable goal for myself. Who knows for sure until one gets down around that range as to whether or not this will be live-able and maintain-able...but I'd like to give it a serious shot. I succeeded once back in March 2010 and I know the critical factor which enabled this success was tracking.

Another accomplishment I feel good about is my rock-solid commitment to being physically active and working out at least 5x a week with maybe one, at most two days off.

Another thing I'm going to try short-term as a way of jump-starting my efforts is to limit my eating to roughly between the hours of noon and 8 pm. This results in a limited "fast" for the other 16 hours. I'm intrigued by this idea as it "keeps it simple:" no thoughts or concerns about eating during a good part of the day! Will it be sustainable? Dunno. I'll maintain awareness of my inner deprivation / resentment barometer...if it kicks up too much of a fuss I'll ditch this pattern. If nothing else, it sorta shakes things up which appeals to me. Let's not just get outta the rut, how about taking some DYNAMITE to the rut?!

So let's get this 2014 thing kicking, shall we? :-)


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:


    thanks i really needed to read this today as I'm about to reset my self for all the same reasons , all the best for 2014

Report Inappropriate Comment
CARRIE1948 1/5/2014 8:01AM

    Isn't it funny that it generally comes back to the basics?

Report Inappropriate Comment
ERLYWA 1/4/2014 9:41AM

    I love how you made "no self bashing" your #1 goal! When we talk that way to ourselves, it's very difficult to stay on target with the other goals.

Sounds like 2014 will be a great year for you! :)

Report Inappropriate Comment
VALERIEMAHA 1/4/2014 8:19AM

    As always beautifully articulated...and you're talkin' to ME! I love ONEKIDSMOM's comment, "It's not really a start... it's a remembering." Soooooo...I'm right there with you, Don. Let's track our ways to the goal together.

Ready! Set!

Report Inappropriate Comment
HILLSLUG98239 1/3/2014 10:17PM

    Get kicking!

Report Inappropriate Comment
_VALEO_ 1/3/2014 5:08PM

    You've been building your way to success!
I also wonder how we can have no thoughts or concerns about eating, it seems like we think and talk a lot about it... especially on this website! I am very interested in hearing more about your own experience.

I wish you a great year for cx skiing and biking! (it is also a selfish thought because I like reading your biking adventures!)

Comment edited on: 1/3/2014 6:02:48 PM

Report Inappropriate Comment
L*I*T*A* 1/3/2014 12:54PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
HIPPICHICK1 1/3/2014 12:19PM

    Man, I am STARVING when I wake up in the morning. I have to eat something. I eat many small meals throughout the day.

It's cool to hear that you've been buying the gear you need for your self-supported bike tours. Today I'm going to be buying some long johns...if I get up the courage to leave the house with the -32 C windchill. Brrrrrr!

Report Inappropriate Comment
DAISYBELL6 1/3/2014 10:53AM

    If anyone can do it, you can, Don! I'm in there with you.

Report Inappropriate Comment
JUST_TRI_IT 1/3/2014 10:46AM

    Your first paragraph rings so familiar!!! Way yo go on dynamiting yourself out of the rut!!

May each choice bring you closer go your goals.


Report Inappropriate Comment
GREENGENES 1/3/2014 9:14AM

    Lot's of good incentives and a reasonable plan. I don't know if I could stick with the eating between noon and 8 plan though. I need my breakfast. Good luck!

Report Inappropriate Comment
ONEKIDSMOM 1/3/2014 7:25AM

    It's not really a start... it's a remembering... I hope you'll tell us all about your self-supported cycling tours, because that's something MOBYCARP and I used to dream about as kids. By the way, he's in your neck of the woods, "almost"... up in the Rochester, NY area.

Dream big. Do big. You're going to ROCK this year! emoticon emoticon emoticon

Comment edited on: 1/3/2014 7:26:12 AM

Report Inappropriate Comment
SAM60SUMTHINK 1/2/2014 11:25PM

    You've have transformed your lifestyle and are staying on top of it, so I know you will meet your goals! And, oh YES!! I agree: ENOUGH! is the right approach to 2014!
Am ready to go for it, too!!

Report Inappropriate Comment
WATERMELLEN 1/2/2014 10:51PM

    I hear your determination. So glad you've been treating yourself to the equipment for your extended bike tours!

One thing that might help with the weight stuff is the new Steve Siebold ebook download: FatLoser! I'm pretty thrilled with it and just blogged about it . . . a big whoosh of renewed enthusiasm!!


Report Inappropriate Comment
MS_SWEETHEART 1/2/2014 10:10PM

    Don you are emoticon and emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
SLIMMERJESSE 1/2/2014 10:01PM

    I agree and have never gone along with the crowd. Wishing you the best in 2014.

Report Inappropriate Comment

Car Maintenance Success!

Saturday, December 28, 2013

What? Me work on my car? Not on your life...I'm woefully all-thumbs with most things mechanical as my wallet well-knows!

But: the one thing I enjoy about taking my car to have work done is that the shop is just a few blocks from the upper end of one of my favorite and most-well-traveled local park with it's trail. I "almost" decided to attempt to cx ski, but figured with temps heading for mid-40s the snow would be too skimpy...and it was: I kidded with a fellow who was there doing some cx skiing "You're making me regret not having brought my skis!" And he smiled, saying it was really "sticky" and not very pleasant skiing.

My plan was to walk / jog through Otsiningo, then a few blocks beyond the southern end I could connect to another park / trail at Cheri Lindsay which would take me along the river downtown where there was a blood drive today as I hoped to finally get around to donating blood. As some of you may know earlier this year in Feb. I "flunked" the Red Cross test for donating blood as my heart rate was too low, in the 20s & 30s. But since the cardioversion my heart's been bumped into a stable and healthy rhythm. So let's get back to the donor drill! HOWEVER, I mucked it up and thought the drive would run from 12 to 3 when it really ran from 8 to 1. I arrived 20 mins too late! I was pretty steamed over my mis-cue, but the last fellow there from the Red Cross said that they would've screened me out anyway as they look for a year to elapse after a health issue such as mine prevented me from donating. So put it on my list for Feb/March!

It was a PERFECT day for getting out with BOATLOADS of sunshine, lots of folks out using the trails (which always makes my heart sing!) including a few friends I caught up with along the way by surprise. However at 9 miles for the round trip I have to admit to feeling a lot more sore than I would like to be feeling...ugh! But it will pass...the sunshine and Vitamin D boost will linger through the deep freeze that lurks around the corner as the bottom drops out and we head for single digits by the mid-week.

A thought I had percolating during my walk is how focused we here at SparkPeople are over re-inventing ourselves physically and incorporating many lifestyle changes which support our "new" version of ourselves. This seems for myself and I think for many among us to lead toward broadening our re-definition of ourselves beyond the physical. Like gardeners, pruning, weeding making choices over what we want in our lives and what we don't...not only for our bodies, but our emotions, our social life, our spirituality. Working and nurturing our soil, choosing what to plant and how to foster deep, healthy roots and flourishing flora that speaks to our heart's content.

I have to credit Mary Chapin Carpenter here as a few of her songs inspired my thoughts along these lines during my walk today. She admitted to never wanting to be pigeon-holed as a country artist and has taken some bold, creative steps herself toward re-defining herself as being a singer-songwriter which speaks much more to the heart of her music:

What to Keep and What to Throw Away

Don't Need Much To Be Happy

Soul Companion (with special guest James Taylor!)

As we near our year's end many of us reflect on where we've been and what we want more of in our lives. My wish for myself and for each of you is that we listen to our hearts and follow through as best we can to breathe as much LIFE in our living as possible!


ps...on the lighter side...here is a fun link you might try. By answering these questions this website can tell what part of the country you are from. It's fun. I was a little disappointed that it appears I've lost my mid-west Chicago dialect and am pretty thoroughly upstate NY in my dialect:


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CHANGE4FIT 1/2/2014 3:14PM

    As always, you inspire with your writing. Now I am challenged in 2014 to increase my walks beyond 5 miles. Keep Sparkin!

Report Inappropriate Comment
WOMANWITHGRIT 12/30/2013 3:55PM

    And thank goodness we can grow and, as you say, "reinvent" ourselves inside and out. In fact, what becomes more obvious on this path is the degree to which these are connected. You put this so well.

Every day is a new beginning and we have this one day -- here and now -- presenting an opportunity for further growth. I think growth is life -- I just got stuck along the way and SP provides a multi pronged vehicle to get "unstuck" and to grow - and therefore -- for me -- lose this defended heavy self.

Each day a new beginning. Its a sacred path - determined intention to care for ourselves.

Report Inappropriate Comment
RAINBOWFALLS 12/30/2013 8:19AM

    Great job getting out in that fabulous weather we had. I too enjoyed the sun, but mostly through my sun roof. However, while we shopped at several stores I did tell hubby it was all about the steps!

Report Inappropriate Comment
SASSYCHRIS1952 12/29/2013 6:23PM

    emoticon emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
ZELLAZM 12/29/2013 4:03PM

    Your blogs are so rich in info sometimes! Will listen to the tunes later, but took the quiz and found that I'm still dead-center Midwest even after 29 years in Germany!

Report Inappropriate Comment
VALERIEMAHA 12/29/2013 3:45PM

    You are a constant inspiration for me, Don. I NEED some re-invention to help me with exercise through the winter. It's such a conundrum for me. BTW, I love the titles of the songs, e.g., "What to Keep and What to Throw Away," though I can't listen to them (over my KBytes with Sprint [damn them]).

My! the dialect quiz was spot-on...Northern California for me. Thank goddess I have not picked up any smidgen of a southern accent in the (heaven forbid) almost 17 years I've lived here, since I find it most unappealing.

Now here's a quiz for you! I missed one, in Grammatically Speaking:


Comment edited on: 12/29/2013 3:49:15 PM

Report Inappropriate Comment
_VALEO_ 12/29/2013 1:08PM

    Thanks for sharing these songs! I wish you to reinvent your way to stay healthy in the upcoming year. And to go cx skiing on fresh snow!

Without any surprise, I am a Californian "valley girl'... though when I speak, I can't fool anyone with my foreign accent! emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
GREENGENES 12/29/2013 11:03AM

    Well said! Wishing you all the best!

Report Inappropriate Comment
SLIMMERJESSE 12/29/2013 10:27AM

    Great blog. You inspire me.

Report Inappropriate Comment
ONEKIDSMOM 12/29/2013 9:16AM

    LOL... thanks for the reminder of the parks out there... miss 'em!

As for the reinvention... yep, it's part of the big picture of LIFE, which we're all journeying through. You've done amazing things with yours, and I love your blogs.

Also... about the dialect quiz? I took it twice, because I use more than one of some of the terms it offers up, depending on mood and who I'm talking with at the time! Both times my answers were honest.

First time it gave me Madison and Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and Rochester, NY. The second time it gave me Louisville, KY, Richmond, VA, and Washington DC. It didn't seem to recognize where I grew up at all (Nebraska, Kansas, Iowa)... guess it's a testament to moving around a lot, having an open mind and liking to learn new language? emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
SLAYINGDRAGONS 12/29/2013 9:02AM

    Reeeeallllyyy enjoyed reading about your visit to the car mechanic!!!
Thx for sharing all of your thoughts on this wonderful day. I am looking forward to continuing my healthier journey in 2014 and beyond!

Report Inappropriate Comment
KANOE10 12/29/2013 9:00AM

    That was a great blog. You are right about re-inventing ourselves on Spark, beyond the physical. We are working on nurturing ourselves in all aspects of our lives. Thanks for sharing the songs and encouragement to follow our hearts and to live life fully.

Report Inappropriate Comment
L*I*T*A* 12/28/2013 11:52PM


Report Inappropriate Comment
PATRICIAAK 12/28/2013 11:48PM


Report Inappropriate Comment
UMBILICAL 12/28/2013 10:24PM


Report Inappropriate Comment

New Holiday Tradition!

Thursday, December 26, 2013

I think I've started a new holiday tradition! What a super way to spend my Christmas!

Community celebrates Christmas at Bandera family dinner:

(hope this link works)


I was one of the zillions of volunteers hustling to put together the meals that were delivered to the homebound. Pouring gallons of soup or gravy from bubbling cauldrons into smaller buckets from which we ladled servings into small styrofoam servings we then lidded and assembled into styrofoam packs with turkey, stuffing, cranberries and all the trimmings and volunteers would stream in and out with sacks of styrofoam dinners to deliver across the county to home-bound elderly and / or needy people. All the food was home made and prepared by volunteers who were up all night in shifts turning out such an incredible volume of food with such incredible efforts of so, so many people!

It was such a wonderful time being a part of this monumental effort of caring and generosity of spirit! I was truly blown away by the outpouring of so much hard work from such smiling, beautiful people! There were many children helping out as well. People were working in shifts literally around the clock in order to pull off such a beautiful feat.

I've always been so down on the commercialism of the holiday season and have to admit feeling a bit Scrooge-like about it all...what a relief to find something about the holidays to be FOR, instead of AGAINST and to tap into the vein of what I believe the holiday season has always been meant to be: a time of connecting, sharing, giving and loving!

Recently I've enjoyed the wisdom shared at:

www.gratefulness.org and VALERIEMAHA noted one recent essay shared by Brother David which is so relevant and beautifully stated:


Cheers & Sparks to everyone out there...loving the passing of the solstice and treasuring each days' extra sliver of sunlight!


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CHANGE4FIT 1/2/2014 3:09PM

    Catching up in the blogasphere...sounds like a wonderful event and I have to agree on your assessment of its relevance to the true spirit of the season. I get really grumpy about the whole gift giving thing-why on earth should we be buying gifts for family who have everything and buy what they want if they don't have it? UGH.....
I prefer giving gifts to those in need-be it food, clothes or helping out with Christmas gifts for young children-much more fulfilling.

Report Inappropriate Comment
SASSYCHRIS1952 12/29/2013 6:20PM

    How great is that! Thank you for sharing and (almost) Happy New Year!
emoticon emoticon emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
ZELLAZM 12/28/2013 7:48AM

    Did something similar this year on Christmas Day and will definitely be making it a regular thing.

Report Inappropriate Comment
GREENGENES 12/27/2013 6:47PM

    Fabulous! Something to be very proud of.

Report Inappropriate Comment
L*I*T*A* 12/27/2013 1:20PM

    thanks for the links...........

emoticon emoticon emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
MOTHEPRO 12/27/2013 1:17PM


Report Inappropriate Comment
RACEWELLWON 12/27/2013 10:36AM

    Very nice , yes with so many people in need over the Holiday Season and really all the time now ! I volunteer for the homeless shelters and women's shelters here in the City if I am uncle to physically attend to volunteer I prepare a dish or donate clothing that I or my DH can no longer ware but that is good condition . Thanks for sharing Don , Wishes for a Healthy New Year ! Karen

Comment edited on: 12/27/2013 10:37:49 AM

Report Inappropriate Comment
VALERIEMAHA 12/27/2013 9:50AM

    It's exactly what I would expect of you, my friend. You're always pushing the envelope, expanding your horizons, stepping ever further outside that proverbial box. Goddess only knows what you'll discover and share next, Don -- LOOK OUT WORLD!!!

Report Inappropriate Comment
KANOE10 12/27/2013 8:50AM

    That is a great new tradition. How happy the housebound people must have been to receive dinner on Christmas. I liked the article and loved that picture of the boy. The joy of a child is beautiful. That is one reason why I like teaching.


Report Inappropriate Comment
WATERMELLEN 12/27/2013 8:36AM

    So happy that you've found something that speaks to you and fills a huge community need. Sounds like a great tradition!

Report Inappropriate Comment
FERRETLOVER1 12/27/2013 8:31AM


Report Inappropriate Comment
ONEKIDSMOM 12/27/2013 7:03AM

    Now THAT's a proper way to "keep Christmas"! Thanks for sharing (and of course it gave me twinges of homesickness for the geographical region)!

Thanks for sharing it!

Report Inappropriate Comment
PATRICIAAK 12/27/2013 5:43AM


Report Inappropriate Comment
_VALEO_ 12/27/2013 4:19AM

    That's the most perfect tradition that you could start! I am not surprised, coming for you! emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
MS_SWEETHEART 12/27/2013 3:12AM

    emoticon Absolutely wonderful! emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
DREAMINGOFNEWME 12/26/2013 11:39PM

    Fantastic thing to do. Well done!

Report Inappropriate Comment
STRIVERONE 12/26/2013 11:31PM

    I'm not surprised. You're a giver - not a taker. Merry Christmas.

Report Inappropriate Comment
FITFRIT 12/26/2013 11:19PM


Report Inappropriate Comment

Hummus My Way

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Another member was curious about my home-made hummus which I posted about yesterday in my status.

Well, I got sorta yacky in my response and figured why not share with others? :-)

I found this recipe in SparkRecipes:


I liked the simplicity of it and the fact that it was a recipe that didn't require tahini as many of them do. Tahini can be hard to find and pricey. AND since it is really a nut butter made from sesame seeds it can add a significant caloric punch, albeit of a healthful variety most likely.

Following recipes has never been my forte, however...I take many liberties as I have with this one...but I DO appreciate it as a base plan for my own hummus.

Here are some of the things I do:

Forget about canned chickpeas...who knows what additives there are, salt, BHA or whatever that stuff is. I buy the dried chickpeas, soak them overnight and boil them up. The whole bag...forget, 12 or 16 oz? Something like that. Plus the OTHER fun thing I do is vary the bean of choice. As I figure a chickpea is just another bean why not substitute black beans? Pinto? Northern? Even the variety pack of dried beans which they use for soups? Done 'em all, love 'em all.

Variations to boiling: I ALWAYS add fresh onion and garlic...sometimes I overdo it and we all wilt each other with our breath afterward...lol! I have tried variations of adding these as well. Sometimes I add them fresh after I'm done boiling the chickpea (or whatever bean I choose). I've found that you need to tone it WAY down on the quantity of onion and garlic if you do it this way as they are in their MOST potent form. Sometimes I will sautee the garlic and onions in olive oil before adding them. And then the OTHER variation is to boil the garlic and onions with the bean of choice. I pour the water off into whatever homemade soup I've got going...most recently leftover turkey / barley / carrots/ celery / spinach...yum! Anyhow ALL variations work.

Next: what to do with all these ingredients? The recipe calls for "smashing" it. And certainly you can do that and keep it simple. However I love a yummy smooth texture so I use my food processor to pull all the ingredients together. I imagine a blender could do a respectable job as well.

Note on the sour cream: I substitute non-fat yogurt. I suppose one could use non-fat sour cream or Greek yogurt as well.

Note on spices: I don't bother with salt but love to go crazy jazzing it up with crushed red pepper, black pepper, sometimes use lemon pepper, even chili powder! And of course lots of cumin which gives it the distinctive hummus-flavor we all know & love.

Note on onion & garlic: nope the original recipe doesn't call for onion. Oh well. IMHO, one can't have garlic without onion! :-) I take great liberties with the quantities of these ingredients as well...as in LOTS!

Other variations: As a mentioned in my status yesterday I varied this recipe by tossing in a handful of cranberries and an apple which contrasts nicely with the lemon juice to give it an added touch of sweet tangy-ness. I've added tomatoes sometimes for another variation. Yams for another. Probably berries would be cool. Have fun and play with it...see what you come up with!

It's sorta funny how the original recipe was titled Hummus My Way, cuz that's what I sure DID with it! :-)


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

EOSTAR_45 12/25/2013 10:01AM

    Just had some great chickpea & kidney bean w/ sesame seeds hummus yesterday for a co-worker's going away (breaking free!) party. I loved it! Interesting variations on yours. I like to soak and boil all type of beans--I do even for making soups or bean stews. Today, I planned to make a black-eye peas stew but I forgot to soak overnight. May have to opt for a quick soak during the day and then make towards the evening.

Report Inappropriate Comment
VALERIEMAHA 12/24/2013 7:18PM

    I also always use dried beans. Like various beans, but tend to return to chick peas for this spread. I go with or without tahini, but I definitely concur that it provides added nutritional density.


Report Inappropriate Comment
ZELLAZM 12/24/2013 3:22AM

    Great tips! I'm a hummus fan, all the way. Have to make my own in Germany so I'll be using some of your ideas.

Report Inappropriate Comment
2WHEELER 12/15/2013 8:30PM

    Love your inventiveness. I make hummus, too, from dried chickpeas. It's so easy. I love it really garlicky! A friend makes it with edadame beans--it's very good.

I imagine you're not getting much cycling in unless you've added studs or chains. I have to get the trainer set up--too much ice and gravel right now to ride outside.

Report Inappropriate Comment
WATERMELLEN 12/15/2013 11:32AM

    Wow!! The Hummus Meister for sure!! Hummus is definitely a staple in our household, and I really like these ideas, especially eliminating the expensive and calorific tahini. (We've bought a President's Choice wasabi ginger variant recently which was very popular . . . )

Report Inappropriate Comment
KANOE10 12/12/2013 8:43AM

    Thanks for sharing great ideas on making hummus. I love that food. I also add tahini to mine.

I like your idea of not using the canned beans.

Report Inappropriate Comment
ROMANTILLY 12/12/2013 3:01AM

    Thanks for sharing.

Report Inappropriate Comment
SAM60SUMTHINK 12/11/2013 11:16PM

    Great timing and wonderful blog, Don!
Worthy of the SP blog pages!!
The linked recipe is one I've read and re-read. Not sure why I haven't made it yet!! You inspired me! (wonder whether plain Greek yogurt would be good substitution for the sour cream; should be... and would up the protein count!) Also, I totally agree about using the dried beans. I use assorted beans and whole grains (quinoa, bulghar, etc) a lot amid my piles of veggies. Found that once I started using the dried beans the preparation became a breeze, though for years I'd thought "it's a lot of trouble...". Duh. Y'know? Stay warm!

Report Inappropriate Comment
STRIVERONE 12/11/2013 5:51PM

    Hummus was probably the farthest thing from my mind a few minutes ago. Now I'm just wondering how soon I can get some dried chick peas.

Report Inappropriate Comment
MOTHEPRO 12/11/2013 2:05PM


Report Inappropriate Comment
JOYCRN 12/11/2013 1:26PM

    Thanks for sharing! emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
_LINDA 12/11/2013 12:36PM

    Very interesting! In my humble opinion I have always felt North Americans have too bland a diet and never spice up their food nearly enough! I had store bought hummus that said extra spicy and left me wondering where it was ;-P Seems like you got to make your own and your ideas sound wonderful! Not liking the suggestion a blender won't work though :(
emoticon emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
L*I*T*A* 12/11/2013 11:36AM

    love love hummus many ways too......
great creative ideas....
thanks for sharing.........

Report Inappropriate Comment
CHANGE4FIT 12/11/2013 10:40AM

    Great ideas here-love some kitchen creativity. How about roasted red peppers?

Report Inappropriate Comment
HIPPICHICK1 12/11/2013 10:29AM

    A blender is a bad idea for hummus. It just doesn't work. The shape of the carafe is to blame. A food processor is much better. I knew someone who used to mash chickpeas by hand!
And you've gotta have garlic!!
emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
RAINBOWFALLS 12/11/2013 9:11AM

    I also usually take many liberties with my recipes. It is all a matter of what a person likes. This all sounds so good that now I'm hungry.

Report Inappropriate Comment
_VALEO_ 12/11/2013 8:57AM

    Like you, each of my hummus is a new experiment and creation!

Report Inappropriate Comment
BAZOOKABOBCAT 12/11/2013 8:46AM

    This is super creative! Love it.

Report Inappropriate Comment
SLIMMERJESSE 12/11/2013 8:39AM

    Love hummus.

Report Inappropriate Comment

Contra Dance: Time for Some REAL Swinging!

Friday, November 15, 2013

I keep waiting for a pocket of time to do this blog justice, however things are hopping such that I KNOW if I don't share it now my weekend is gonna just run away with itself and who knows WHEN I'll catch up with all of you! :-)

First of all a follow up to my "workout weirdness": turns out my son has noticed the same thing happens to him when allergies kick up working out quiets them down. He said that pumping up our bodies during a workout just over-rides the allergies while our heart and blood is revved up.

In the meantime the allergies sorta come and sorta go...at least I finally remembered my old buddy the neti pot. It really helps to quiet the symptoms.

Now onto the FUN STUFF! I can't thank 4-A-HEALTHY-BMI enough for her friendly "nudges" to join in the fun of contra dance! PLUS although another local member of SparkPeople (ANNIEMAC_98) and I have caught up with each other via the website, this was the first time we had a chance to "make it real" and meet each other at contra dance since I posted to our local group to encourage others to join in the fun.

Check out 4-A-HEALTHY-BMI's blog with all the pics and links to "fill in the blanks":

I was so glad to have pushed through my reservations and apprehensions over trying contra dance! Not that I wasn't daunted by the challenges! Unlike swing dance in which once you a a few basic steps and variations you're good for a night of dancing, with contra dance there are MANY different moves to learn. And because the moves are called out by the "caller," it required one to a) listen carefully, b) know the taxonomy of the various moves (do-si-do, allemande, etc.) and / or c) follow the crowd and do what THEY do!

My hearing isn't what it should be (especially with live music, conversation and many audio distractions) so I pretty much opted for c) throughout my time dancing. Tricky though as while one is constantly moving you can't always keep your eye on what others are doing. Sometimes there was guesswork, which wasn't as reliable as I would've hoped!

But there was lots of repitition, so eventually I would get it down and get through the steps without too many mishaps. And the people were OH-so-friendly and helpful...often pointing me in the right direction when I looked lost or headed the wrong way.

Some of the dances requires one to swing your partner and the swinging in contra dance is WAY more cool than the swinging in swing dance! After having danced with a few different gals, 4-A-HEALTHY-BMI asked for a dance which I gladly obliged! I was about to find out what REAL swinging was like! It had been pretty tame with the others but with 4-A-HEALTHY-BMI (always a full-throttle sort of person, which is one of many great qualities she has!) it almost felt like *I* was being swung...lol! So I quickly learned to reciprocate in kind and soon we were whirling away just *this close* to being disorientingly dizzy...but not quite! What a blast!

It was a blast in another way too: we all heated up that gym in a hurry! I was sopping with sweat by the time I wrapped up!

The live music was extra special also, playing folk from uptempo to elegant waltzes. Excellent musicians!

I found out that there is a group that gets together for contra dance in the Binghamton area on a regular basis and hope to continue to push through my reticence and join in again soon.

Pushing the envelope and being "alive in the world!" That's what it's all about! :-)


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

WATERMELLEN 11/26/2013 6:49PM

    Love this blog . . . just sounds like a whole lotta fun!

Report Inappropriate Comment
ZELLAZM 11/26/2013 3:07PM

    How did I miss this blog! I love how you continue to try new things and enjoy your healthy lifestyle, Don! WTG!

Report Inappropriate Comment
CHANGE4FIT 11/20/2013 12:55PM

    Glad you took another opportuntiy to "be alive in the world"! Things we never regret!

Report Inappropriate Comment
HIPPICHICK1 11/19/2013 6:05PM

    Wow!! Sounds like sooooo much fun!!
emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
_VALEO_ 11/17/2013 12:39PM

    That's awesome that you went back to the dancefloor and tried Contra dance.
Having fun while going out of your comfort zone is great.

Report Inappropriate Comment
4A-HEALTHY-BMI 11/15/2013 10:57PM

    It was great seeing you guys last weekend! Hope to meet up with you again on the dance floor. I emoticon a good swing. LOL

emoticon emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
GHK1962 11/15/2013 4:54PM

    Well good to know about the allergy / exercise thing. No wonder when I am feeling sniffly and I go out biking I feel better.

As for the Contra dancing ... HIGH-5!

I have never been ... but wifey and I used to do Irish Ceili dancing. And while the steps are different, the pace and style sound the same. A caller, partners, and a ripping great time.

Report Inappropriate Comment
RACEWELLWON 11/15/2013 10:24AM

    Wow sounds like a ton of fun - I just might have to give a Swing!!! What a fantastic way to meet an enjoy life emoticon . I love the neti - glad to hear your found comfort - Keep swinging !! Karen

Report Inappropriate Comment
OUTDOORGIRL69 11/15/2013 9:28AM

    Sounds like a lot of fun & you had a lot of fun. It also burns calories. Do it works both ways. Fun & exercise to burn calories.

Report Inappropriate Comment
SLIMMERJESSE 11/15/2013 8:54AM

    What fun!

Report Inappropriate Comment
L*I*T*A* 11/15/2013 8:50AM

    sounds like you had a great time................ emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
KANOE10 11/15/2013 8:03AM

    How fun to discover another activity in your life. That sounds like a great night with friendly people,,plus you got some exercise in!


Report Inappropriate Comment
FERRETLOVER1 11/15/2013 7:40AM

    Sounds like fun and lots of great exercise at the same time - totally a win-win!

emoticon emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
SLAYINGDRAGONS 11/15/2013 7:17AM

    Wow what energy! So fun to read about your exciting and weird exercising!!!

Report Inappropriate Comment
PATRICIAAK 11/15/2013 5:18AM

    sounds like fun

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 55 56 57 58 59 60 61 62 63 64 65 66 67 68 69 70 71 72 73 74 75 76 77 78 79 80 81 82 83 84 85 86 87 88 89 90 91 92 93 94 95 96 97 98 99 100 101 102 103 104 105 106 107 108 109 110 111 112 113 114 115 Last Page