Saturday, January 14, 2012
FAITH: Spend at least 15 minutes daily in the study of Godís word and complete at least two prayer shawls. My goal is to continue to make my faith an active verb Ė a living faith -- full of ways where my personal relationship with God is enhanced. I take to heart the words of Jesus when he forgives Peterís denial of him and says, ďFeed my sheep.Ē (John 21:17b)
FAMILY: When living within a hundred miles from my Father (WWII veteran), I strive to see him weekly. Before worship on Christmas Eve, we enjoyed a taste of Lake Superior:
FRIENDS: Iíd like to use Mrs Pís words here when I say, ďbe present ď -- During the holidays, I was able to meet NorthwoodsMom8 for coffee, wrapping her gently with a prayer-filled shawl.
FOOD: Track food daily while satisfying 4-7 of the recommend levels of: calories, fat, carbohydrates, protein, fiber, calcium, and sodium daily. It was here that I whipped up some sautťed onions, mushrooms, and tomatoes with some fiber gourmet pasta.
FITNESS: Track daily while averaging 70 minutes (or more) of daily cardio and strength training. Sometimes I think these winter trails are more about balance than they are about walking . . . as simply staying up is truly an art. This is one reason I post a lot of 30-minute miles!
FUN: Photography is one of my many hobbies. This winter has been extremely mild. HealthyBarb1 and I are getting ready to tramp in the woods (snowshoes are packed and ready) up the beautiful north shore of Lake Superior Ė I so want to show her all my favorite haunts! I can nearly always count on the incredible Amnicon Falls when I canít find snow around my own home.
Hope youíre having a FABULOUS week and FEELIN' the love on this site from your many Spark Friends!
Monday, November 28, 2011
After enjoying THETURTLEBEARís blog today, I understand that a trigger food is one that gets you off course for the next hour and you are not eating because you are truly hungry. I wish I could say Iím more like CROOKEDLETTER and donít have foods that I want to over-indulge in, but I know better. Besides, jealousy and envy are so unbecoming. (smile, smile) Because there is an ďandĒ in this definition, it may be more appropriate to admit that Iím food addict.
Letís face it! I have a voracious appetite! While my head knows better, I take the level of joy I find in eating, a little too seriously. Then again, I do enjoy a good challenge, too! Nevertheless, this means my version of trigger foods take on a whole new meaning: Nearly my entire food palette could become a part of my trigger list, sooner or later. When I exceed my calorie range, itís often eating relatively healthy foods! When I exceed my sodium intake, itís normally due to eating too many processed foods, condiments, and salt added to fried foods (or faux fried foods).
When I track my foods for a day, I may very well show a listing of 10 or more items for any one meal yet I know there are more people who eat one food item with perhaps one freggies on the side for a meal. Who knew!?! PAMAPPLE is my hero in this field. By adding groupings and recipes to my recipe box, I track my foods ten times faster.
To help me count my freggies during a weekly freggies personal ďbest of show,Ē hereís what my tracker looked like on the last day of the challenge: Mind you, I fell within most of the ranges as shown on my Weekly Progress (in case these graphics don't translate well here: my food log is public, so you can see this better on Fri, Nov 11).
Coming Soon: Confessions of a Food Addict . . . Trigger Foods (Pt 2: Pizza)
I look forward to reading more about the various strategies reported within the 5% Pre-Challenge Assignment #4.
I hope youíre getting a handle on your trigger foods.
Sunday, November 27, 2011
December 3 will be here in six days. Bring it on!
Assignment #1 Be Prepared
Clothes (I love those 80% off sales at Younkers)
Equipment (A minimalist here . . . body ready to work!)
Water (Lake Superior Water (or purified water) . . . ready to rock!)
Exercise (Dance, March, Walk, Tai Chi, Leslie Sansone DVDs)
Diet (Weight Watchers, SparkPeople, continued healthier eating (less flour, sugar, and more plant-based foods) to promote a flexitarian lifestyle)
Recipes (I continue to create and add new recipes to my recipe box for ease in tracking, like my moo shu veggies below . . . will try more Chef Meg recipes featured in the new Cookbook)
Food (already over stock and within walking distance of a supermarket)
Teammates (Theyíre grand and I appreciate my friends on other 5% teams)
SparkPage (just updated)
Assignment #2 Update SparkPage
Uploaded four recent photographs
Changed my background graphics (I Googled Free Winter Bear graphics)
Cultural Night in the Twin Ports is an annual signature event of the World Student Association. Renewed friendships, great food, beautiful fashion, and incredible talent show:
Assignment #3 What do you want to change?
Iím at my goal weight and about to begin Week 20 of Maintenance. Living the SparkLife (avid tracker) and Living The Good Life (LTGL) challenges are working! WooHoo! There are times when I do not trust my mindset to do the right thing. Straying, in moderation, is acceptable. Iíll likely never meet the health standards as promoted by Drs Oz or Esselstyn. More than anything, the biggest challenge and change that I want is to find balance.
Balance is a life-long learning element to living the good life with the joy I desire. Priorities get out of whack regularly and need tweaking and readjusting, so my goal is to remain in an active self-check mode, making the necessary adjustments, while contributing well to the teamís efforts.
Another kinds of healthy balance is achieved with proper strength training. I can already tell by some of the tai chi and life contortions I get into that my balance has improved. The first photo below is a creek and park off Lake Superior that my Dad and I drove by (the balanced rock art is a bit hard to see).
Assignment #4 Trigger Foods
This is such an extensive subject for me. Just thinking about trigger and comfort foods provide me with incredible joy. Iíve made great progress in being able to enjoy trigger foods in reduced quantities. Iíll likely address this more in a future blog as this is one of my favorite subjects: Confessions of a Food Addict! (I am a friend to these little rascals, like that below, but I cannot take credit for this particular photo.)
Assignment #5 Know your Numbers
Goal weight with 100 lbs lost = 161.2 with a 23.1 BMI
Beginning challenge weight = 156.6 with a 22.4 BMI
Ending challenge weight = Remain within two pounds of goal weight.
Exercise: I do low-impact walking for the most part
Two 30-minute miles for 1 hour = 173 calories
One 30-minute aerobic walk = 192 calories
Weekly: To burn 2,000 calories
Calories: 1500 - 1850
Fat: 32 - 68
Carbohydrates: 185 - 284
Protein: 60 - 153
Calcium, Ca: 120 Ė 200
Sodium, Na: 0-2300
Fiber, total dietary: 25-35
Assignment #6 Food, Fridge, and Pantry Planning
Being that this is my sixth 5% challenge, Iím so ready. I have an arsenal of good food on hand and within walking distance.
Iíll probably make a trip to one of several Asian Food Stores in Twin Cities in the next two months to restock those items (legumes, lentils and spices) not available in the Twin Ports. I tie this in with a visit with valued friends so it helps me keep my other priorities in balance.
I continue to add new recipes to my recipe box so that tracking continues to be made a little easier with each challenge. I know more people who enjoy plant-based foods and am so enjoying the addition of new recipes to my portfolio. I would never have thought I would cook up Brussels sprouts in two ways . . . and love them! Iím new to Brussels sprouts, so to enjoy and create a dish was pretty exciting!
From SWEETLIPS (team leader, Inspired by Joyce Meyer)
A dish I created as inspired by cooking with my Sri Lankan, Indian and Nepali friends:
In order to be totally prepared for Saturday, we should know what our first weekly challenge will be as freggies and fiber LTGL challenges require a little different shopping.
Ready and set! . . . just waiting for the GO! Hope your plans are coming together nicely.
Saturday, November 26, 2011
My very first 5% challenge that began in the Fall of 2010, was the start of a great impetus to lose the last half of my desired weight loss. Thank you, Ceri, for introducing me to such a great group of people. When I look through my Spark friends, Iím amazed at how many of my friends cross over into so many of the 5% teams of the challenge. Regardless of what team youíre on, Spark people rejoice in each otherís joy, are saddened when we fine a friend in mourning, and tend to offer a kick, nudge or other appropriate form of encouragement to help us and our friends become the best we can be. Iím in awe of the incredible strength of knowledge we have to offer each other. Thank you, my friends!
Hereís an update on the goals I set for myself for the Fall challenge:
Maintain a healthy BMI (130-174) within 2-lb of goal
Goal weight with 100 lbs lost = 161.2 with a 23.1 BMI
Beginning challenge weight = 158.4 with a 22.7 BMI
Ending challenge weight = 156.6 with a 22.4 BMI
Track fitness daily
70 minutes of daily cardio/strength training (average = 126 minutes)
Track food daily (with lots of favorites, groupings and recipes, this continues to get easier.)
Eat six or more servings of freggies daily (my average is about a dozen freggies (fruit and veggies) daily. During the week where freggies were the Living The Good Life, I averaged 28 freggies daily. WooHoo! I love a great personal challenge. )
Drink at least 12 cups of water daily (this is so easy with my natural thirst for water and I averaged 19.5 cups daily, while average nearly 22 cups during the Week One Living The Good Life water challenge.)
Satisfy 4-7 recommended levels of: calories, fat, carbohydrates, protein, fiber, calcium, and sodium daily (there were a few days where I barely made four levels. Whew! Whenever possible, staying within the calorie range in the one I may have exceeded on one or two days.)
Sleep 7-9 hours a night six days a week
Earn 75% (or more) in Living The Good Life weekly challenges (while a percentage is not an appropriate measure, I only missed getting the maximum points one or possibly two days and went hog wild on the water, fiber, and freggies.)
Spend at least 15 minutes daily in the study of Godís word
Do something fun at least three times a week (I canít help but find beauty around me in nature or in relationship with others: whether it be visiting Amnicon Falls earlier this month or celebrating the joy of Thanksgiving poolside with husband at his cousinís condo assn)
Knit one prayer shawl (I completed two prayer shawls (Charcoal and Strawberry Pink Parfait) during this challenge and today have begun another. Itís not very often I get to make a prayer shawl with the owner in mind before beginning it: It adds a wonderful new depth to the making of it.)
Iím so thrilled with making Michaelís Black Friday yarn sale, which this year took place on the evening of Thanksgiving Day. Being in a warmer climate for a bit helps me get a better selection, as fewer people resort to the warmer skills sets in paradise. Iím happy to pay half price for 64 skeins of Homespun yarn . . . saving me over a hundred dollars. This should keep me busy for the next year or so making 16 prayer shawls and two smaller projects (perhaps lap robes).
If I could change anything in my goals, it would be in the level of finding the BALANCE needed in all things. I donít mind that I get a little ďwackyĒ during some of our weekly challenges, as I know it is only temporary (and itís fun!): It ultimately teaches us ways of better incorporating our healthy living habits . . . something that over the long haul requires balance. Through proper balance, my JOY (as chosen at myoneword.org) is also made complete. (John 16:24).
Through the study of Godís word (Matt 37-39), I learn that my faith life is a relationship within three key areas: With God, with my neighbor, and with myself. Very often, we allow ourselves to only hear about God and neighbor (about giving sacrificially). We cannot neglect ourselves! (John 10:10). Yet, in all things, we must glorify God (Col 3:17 and 1 Pet 4:11). Within the Spark Community, we learn to take care of Godís creation (ourselves) with the respect we deserve. For the time I spend here (as long as it is not in excess) I have no regret.
Are you taking the time you need to properly take care of yourself and meet your goals? The fact that youíre even here -- I hope -- means a wholeheartedly, YES!
Saturday, November 12, 2011
My 5% SparkTeam Challenge encouraged the teams (Iím a Teddy Bear) to a week of freggies (fruits and veggies). I made it my personal best averaging 28 freggie servings over seven days by ending on my highest ever note of 43 freggie servings while remaining within my calorie, protein, and carbohydrate recommendations. WooHoo! Speaking of protein, I seem to be doing much better reaching the 60 grams daily while in maintenance mode. During this week's 5% challenge, I do not count my legumes or beans as veggie servings.
In combination with my team ďInspired and Challenged by Joyce Meyer,Ē we strive to celebrate and eat new foods and recipes. Combine the two challenges, and itís a lot of good eating for me:
1 Ė I found myself at the grocery store adding Brussels sprouts to a couple of my dishes. Iím not that crazy about the shape, so I shred it and make a delightful stir fry with black mustard seeds, onions, chilies, and light curry spices.
2 Ė I developed a black mushroom (vegetarian) Pho (Vietnamese Rice Noodle soup) that filled a large serving bowl with 14 freggies.
3 Ė Acorn squash was one of my recommended freggies for the week. This was an easy one to enjoy for two days.
4 Ė I discovered that my homemade yogurt curry (just a half serving Ė 4 oz) that I normally serve with steamed broccoli, cauliflower, or cashews, is also terrific when combined with three cups of beet greens with some sautťed onion. I liken this recipe to hollandaise sauce (made light and nutritious). Beets were a tremendous sale this week and nothing went to waste: I even fixed the stems of the beet greens for eating. What a great way to enjoy 4 freggies in one side dish. The first above dish with tomatoes, beet stems and pineapple represents a 10-freggie breakfast! Another day I enjoyed a beet greens breakfast with apples.
5 Ė This same yogurt curry went beautifully with 8 cups of shredded romaine. What a treat to up my good foods. I donít ever recall cooking with romaine before and got the idea from dining with one of my Nepali friends who happened to stir fry some shredded romaine as a side veggie. While I intended to save half the recipe for another day, I had to go back and finish it. Yum!
6 Ė I have also enjoyed pomegranates this week . . . something I havenít had for a few months.
7 Ė I have been enjoying a home-made pizza using the Flat Out Bread and used this week to tweak it a bit so each pizza (6 slices) contains 7 freggie servings (1 marinara sauce, 1 onion, 3 portabella mushrooms, and 2 red peppers). The center pieces definitely need a fork, Oops . . . I took a bite out before taking the photo. 8-))
Enough with the freggies! Iím now going to settle back to trying to get more like the 8-10 fruits and veggies I might normally get in any given day.
Have you been creative with your freggies?
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