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Good Friday 2010

Friday, April 02, 2010

Hello everyone,

I am home from church and am full of thoughts and feelings of thanksgiving and blessings for all we have ben given. Holy Week has a great deal of meaning for me, and it is hard to believe that I am worthy of the gifts I have been given. It is also unbelieveable to know that someone gave His life to free me from my sins. I want to give back and know that I must try hard to be even slightly worthy. After all of that, I find it equally amazing that when I am in need, I can pray and will get what is best for me and my loved ones. All I have to do is ask...there is nothing else in life that is this easy and this good.

4 of my children went along on the cross walk today. I am going to try to include the photo(s) from our local newspaper in this blog--but if I can't, I'll put in the link. My 17 year old Mason is in a great photo as he took his turn carrying the cross. My pastor mentioned to me that my two older sons who walked with them took on a great deal of the burden of carrying the cross which helped out many of the older people who were there as well. My 14 year old daughter Marissa also took a turn and she and I discussed how it impacted her. They also bring along a smaller one that Micah and other younger children carry to participate in the event as well. They have measured out the distance for this, starting at City Hall and traveling by as many of the participating churches as they can to get to the Presbyterian church that puts this moving activity together. The distance is exactly the distance Christ carried the cross and the large cross matches the dimensions and the weight of the one He ws forced to carry. I couldn't figure out how to share the photos, but here is the article. It includes two of the photos and the one at the bottom is my son. If you click on more photos, you can get an even better picture of how this looked--as well as how beautiful the morning was. http://qconline.com/archives/qco/display.p
hp?id=486690 (My daughter was pretty surprised by the weather because Good Friday has been pretty wet and chilly around here for the past several years. It did rain this afternoon.

Tomorrow is a bit more lighthearted for my family--we have to boil and color eggs and my youngest really wants to have an Easter egg hunt here. I have a lot of plastic eggs because I bought two big bags to put trinkets in them for the kids at school. I'll have to go buy some trinkets for him as well--I have scaled back the amount of candy that is going to be here this year. There will be some, but it will be special treats like their big favorites and I am hoping they will enjoy it a bit more as well. I have to get to the pool and i have to go grocery shopping as well. Most of the kids' Easter basket goodies are at school, locked safely in my classroom. I'll go by there tomorrow and finish setting those up and bring them home for early, early Sunday morning. My husband actually gets Sunday off of work, so it will be a special day for a lot of reasons. If the weather is nice, I may get him to go with me somewhere for a walk--the pool won't be open on Sunday either and I am getting used to exercising everyday.

It will be hard to get back in the swing of regular work next week--the kids have one more day of their spring break and return to school on Tuesday. I have a lot to accomplish with my young students for them to be well-prepared for their coming year and new grade level, along with the daunting task of moving. Oh well, I will treat that like I am my exercise and weight loss--one day at a time, doing the very best I can do!!

Have a wonderful weekend. This is such a wonderful time and I hope it is meaningful for you too. emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

FUNNYGRANNY71 4/3/2010 10:31PM

    I r4eally enjoyed this blog. and the pictures are wonderful. I am a Methodist and when I was small we never had all the pageantry and traditions that you describe. It makes me jealous. Have a Happy Easter.
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LOULOUBELLE2 4/3/2010 7:28PM

    What a great description Sylvia, made me feel like I was right there with them...... its so interesting to see how others celebrate this most holy of Holidays. Thanks for sharing
Love Ya and Happy Easter.


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MORTICIAADDAMS 4/3/2010 12:35PM

    I really enjoyed the description of the cross walk and the pictures.

We scaled back the Easter candy as well and just bought a few favorites. The Easter egg hunt sounds fun.

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KKKAREN 4/3/2010 9:25AM

    I wish you a wonderful, joyous Easter Sunday.

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MTNGRL 4/3/2010 9:19AM

    This is such a wonderful way of visualizing what Jesus did for us. It must have been very special to have your children so involved and bless Mason for helping others. I'd love to see that in every town.

Have a fun day making eggs and being with family! Hugs!!

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JHADZHIA 4/3/2010 1:49AM

    How wonderful to honor the true meaning of this holiday, but still allow the commercial version of the holiday so your children can participate in both!
I will actually be getting together this Sunday with both my brother and sister, a rarity in their busy lives. Even though the day is to be raining and cold, we will enjoy it inside as my sister is into Sparks, and I expect some healthy food choices!
Enjoyed reading this and seeing the photos! You have a nice strong son there. Not the attire I would expect honoring this event!
We don't have anything like that here. At at Christmas every year though, a couple dress as Joseph and Mary on a mule going through the entire city, a lot of walking for Joseph!.
Enjoy your weekend!

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DAWNWATERWOMAN 4/3/2010 12:34AM

    What a wonderful way to celebrate as a family. Awesome. I will definitely go and check out the link. Bright blessings to you and yours for a wonderful Easter. Love, Dawn emoticon

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BLESSED2BEME 4/3/2010 12:08AM

    What an awesome Holy Friday your family experienced. Thank you for sharing it with us. emoticon

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YAIYEE 4/2/2010 11:43PM

    What a wonderful way to celebrate Good Friday. Happy Easter.

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LOVEYORKIES 4/2/2010 11:40PM

    Thank you for sharig your family's Good Friday activities with us. It must have been a very powerful experience for your children to carry the cross. I wish you a joyous Easter Sunday! emoticon

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Wednesday, 3/31 A strange day

Thursday, April 01, 2010

Hi there Spark Friends,

I think it is interesting how a day can bounce up and down between good things and not-so-good things, extremes and ho-hum. I seem to remember a time in my life when I was younger when if something went wrong, things escalated all day until all I could do was go to bed and pray for better. It started with a 7AM appointment for labwork that I fasted for. The staff at my doctor's office were so efficient today that I got to work over a half an hour earlier than I usually get there. I started my day at work with my morning milk and some cheese, and then got on track.

Our internet service was not working when I came home from work. It didn't matter at that moment because I got ready to go to the pool and worked out a detailed schedule with my kids--one of them joined me at the fitness center, one drove and ran some errands for me including taking his sister to her voice lessons. Then they were to meet us at the fitness center so I could take my daughter to a dentist appointment. The pool was really chilly today which made no sense to me. It was gorgeous here today with temps over 70 and beautiful sunshine!! The group at the pool were wonderful as well--there were a lot of older adults and the kids were teenagers who had fun playing volleyball without interfering with anyone else's activities. A gentlemen who walks in the pool everyday talked to me and I was surprised to recognize him as a doctor from the GP's office I go to who retired last fall. He and I reminisced about my spine infection and he told me that he was so worried that I would never have walked out of the hospital then. I have had 2 opportunities to revisit how awful that was lately...and it is no wonder that my back still complains. I knew that I almost died twce with that situation, but it still makes me uncomfortable to think about it after 6 years.

Anyway, our plan seemed pretty foolproof until, on the way to get us at the fitness center, the car had a flat tire. It wasn't a straightforward flat either--and it required extra tools and the like to repair it. My husband had to come and retrieve us after I rushed a bit, skipped the sauna which I have grown to love after being in the cold pool, and then went to the car and kids with the flat. Grr-rr. That messed up a number of things, starting with my daughter's dentist appointment. My husband took all of us but my son who drove home, retrieved tools and my "mechanic in training" son--and they went back to deal with this problem.

I came home and got some chores done in spite of the pain I am dealing with right now. This is really driving me crazy and I think the trouble in my back has induced a fibro flare that I surely didn't need. I can hardly stand to be touched right now, my skin hurts. I decided to try to lie down on the sofa whcih was a bad idea for me. There is a reason why I sleep in a a recliner--I can't lie flat. I developed a serious pain in my back and my right side--it was extreme and I couldn't get up. My kids were outside because my inactivity on planning dinner spurred them all to plan a weiner roast. My husband finally came in and rescued me. He helped me to fix some food that better suited me than the weiners as well. The internet was still out, so I reread some of "The Spark."

My husband did a lot of errand running after that--he went and got some small tubs at the dollar store for us to use as Easter baskets for the kids. He picked our daughter up from her long day at college. He ran to the grocery store and he also took our 20 year old son to work. He came home and was so sweet, wanting to help me. I feel bad that he is so worried about me--he is 9 yars older than I am and works 9 hours a day, 7 days a week repairing manufacturing machines. I feel badly that he has to help me as much as he does and I worry that he doesn't get enough rest.

Our internet provider is Mediacom, our cable company and our phone service provider. The entire time the internet was out, the phone was out as well. By mid-evening, our cable was out which bothered some of my kids, but that's one thing I can take or leave. Anyway, apparently there was quite a large area that didn't have service because there were several who came to fix it. Things finally came back on sometime before 9:30.

Now everyone--2 legged and 4 legged is asleep around here, but me. I want to get to bed soon, but there is so much to do here. Annteresting note, it is now 2:36 AM and I just woke up. This didn't get posted and yet, I started writing it at about 10:15 PM, I am thankful for any sleep I get, so this is not a bad thing. It is just another addition to the ups and downs of a strange day. Welcome to April!!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

DAWNWATERWOMAN 4/2/2010 11:14PM

    You and I have similar sleep patterns it seems. I hope that April is all that you hope for. I am so proud of you and your successes. One Day At A Time my friend. I am sorry that you've been dealing with ups AND downs... but that is life and isn't it grand? Love ya, Dawn emoticon

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MORTICIAADDAMS 4/1/2010 1:44PM

    I hope you have a better day today. You have had a lot to deal with.

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AMBER_MLE 4/1/2010 1:36PM

    Mediacom is our provider too, we always have problems with them. Used to be for internet and cable, but now just internet. So glad I just have the doggies and no kids, your schedule seems very hectic!

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KKKAREN 4/1/2010 7:07AM

    Wow that was a strange day. You really have some scheduling with all those kids.

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Monday, 3/29 Back to work and institute day

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Hello,

I am physically trashed today. I used my walker and went to our high school for the big district meeting recognizing staff for years of service, retirees, and last quarter motivation. Then, we went back to our own buildings for "team building." I took my wheel chair and my walker--I am so slow when I walk that it isn't efficient enough for work. I did walk most of the day though and left exhausted. On the way home, I needed to get some groceries--ooh, really yummy, juicy grape tomatoes (finally) and I gave in and used a motorized cart there. I did go to the pool this afternoona nd I also took a nap to make up for a long, restless night.

i'm keeping it short tonight--need to get some extra sleep. Take care my friends!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JRSWHIMSY 3/31/2010 12:25PM

    I'm very proud of you for the progress you've made. Keep challenging yourself and you'll be healthy before you know it!

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FUNNYGRANNY71 3/30/2010 5:31PM

    You are really showing me up. I am going to have to get with it. Hang in there.
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MTNGRL 3/30/2010 11:41AM

    WooHoo, you are really putting me to shame. Look at all the walking you are doing! Just don't over do. Glad you used some "wheels" at the grocery store. Yum grape tomatoes!! Love them!!

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LOULOUBELLE2 3/30/2010 11:27AM

    WOW, all that walking is great, but tiring. Glad you took the motorized cart for groceries.
Juicy Sweet Tomatoes are the best...I love to pop them in my mouth anytime.
Hope you got some sweet Dreams last night....... emoticon

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MORTICIAADDAMS 3/30/2010 10:33AM

    You should be proud. You got a lot of activity in. emoticon

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SMORSEBVR 3/30/2010 6:48AM

  I love a real ripe tomato... so hard to get in Illinois in the winter. Spring is on its way though! Hope the pain is less and you get some rest!

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DAWNWATERWOMAN 3/30/2010 2:13AM

    I am so proud of you for getting in so much walking. Wonderful! Please be sure to take care of YOU though my friend. Don't overdo. Love, Dawn emoticon

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SHELLPRO 3/30/2010 2:04AM

    Sounded like a rough day- hope the pool gets better for you and the pain soon gets more endurable. Yeah, from Ms. Pain it sometimes does get that way on good days.

The little Cherrie Toamtoes-NATURE SWEET CHERUBS, oh my goodness their almost a desert!

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Sunday, 3/28 Palm Sunday

Monday, March 29, 2010

Hello,

It has been a good day to end spring break with. It didn't start out quite right because I woke up at 3:30 with some terrible pain in my back. It was in its usual place, but it radiated up towards my mid back underneath my shoulders. That is a new place for pain and new sensations as well. I fell back to sleep some time after 5, but interrupted sleep is not quality sleep.

Church today more than made up for it. The Palm Sunday processional was moving. We had a short sermon that emphasized that the important part of Palm Sunday and Holy Week is "what happened next." I thought about that a lot and that is true with everything--SP and work and parenting. We had music from the African Pentacostal Group who are having worship services in our church in their home language--they provided a meal for us as well and I'll talk more about that in a bit.

The choir did a Cantata that really moved me--it brought tears to my eyes a few times. (Part of that is because three of my kids sing in the shoir, but part was the message.) They sang 7 songs with narrations of Jesus' journey during Holy Week. One of the narrators told the story from the Gospels and the other one talked about Jesus with a human response as He traveled that journey. The music was awesome--not only did our organist play, but she included several members who paly a variety of brass and percussion instruments. The final song was "come Walk With Me" and it was so motivating and moving.

The meal was interesting. I decided to pass because of my current needs when I eat in both quantities and food choices, but my children shared the meal. There was only one food that was clearly recognizable to me--plain white rice. Other foods included a cabbage dish, two different bean dishes, a yellow "sticky" rice dish, a spinach and peas dish, and a meat dish that I understood was goat. I am not sure where you find such an item, but the kids seemed to enjoy the food for the most part. I am proud of them for trying new items and being prt of this social event to bring our two Christian groups together. These immigrants are a small group--about 35 people, and it was no small thing for them to prepare ethnic foods for the 150-200 people from our congreagation who were in attendance. It was a wonderful experience.

I took a short nap when we got home, had some lunch, and then went to the pool, even though today, I wanted to stay at home and baby my back instead. I was fine once aI got to the pool, but it seemed awfully cold to me today. I got in my exercises and ten minutes in the steam room before showering and coming home. I've been using heat on my back for the rest of the evening and thinking a lot about tomorrow--our first day of the final quarter and the meeting day we have when we come back to work. I cannot decide if I am going to have to use my wheel chair or if I can try to walk with my walker. I am so slow and it is big labor for me to wqalk, but now that I am walking, I want to stay that way. I just cannot spend a lot of time trying to walk around, my schedule is pretty tight. I'll figure it out before we have children on Tuesday. We also have a Good Friday holiday.

My children have their spring break this week, so I plan to come home from work and pick up any of them who want to come to the fitness center with me each day (but Tuesday because I have a doctor's appointment.) I also am still waiting to hear from my back doctor's staff to find out when my bone scan will be. I assume it will be some time this week. I need to find out what is going on with me physically, so I can have a plan to get better. I did some research on Vitamin D deficiencies and it can really hurt bone and joint health as well as aggrevate fibromyalgia. It can cause fatigue and an overall lack of energy. I deal with this constantly and I hope that we get this issue fixed. I also need to find out if my iron and Vitamin B12 levels are appropriate. I was pretty anemic when I had surgery in October and it took 2 units of blood to bring me up to a low hematocrit. As much as these tests are annoying and time-consuming, they may unlock the answers I need to feeling better.

Have a wonderful week. If I am not around as much as I have been, forgive me--but my time for being online will definitely change. I care about each of you and will do what is reasonable for a working mother of eight.
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Focus on your goals during this tempting Holy Week with so many chocolate bunnies, jellybeans, and marshmallow eggs around!! Sending gentle hugs to all!!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

FUNNYGRANNY71 3/29/2010 8:26PM

    I loved reading this blog. I especially loved the part about your meal prepared by people from another country. I do not know if my children would have opened themselves up to a different kind of food when they were that age. I hope your back pain improves soon.
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MORTICIAADDAMS 3/29/2010 5:44PM

    I hope you back pain is better.

Your church services sounded great!!

Enjoy your week with the kids.

Comment edited on: 3/29/2010 5:44:41 PM

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MTNGRL 3/29/2010 5:30PM

    The church service on Palm Sunday sounds like it was beautiful. I am sure you were proud of your children. I had goat before, it was very chewy!!Good luck going back to work after Spring Break. Will be keeping you in prayer!















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JRSWHIMSY 3/29/2010 10:46AM

    I hope spring break was a relaxing time for you and that school this week will be nice and smooth! Hope your back gets to feeling better soon too *hugs*

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JHADZHIA 3/29/2010 12:35AM

    Some of that African food sounded pretty healthy, actually, especially the beans and spinach. I have heard African singing before and its beautiful. What a wonderful experience you had with all that music and good companionship there.
Tests may be a nuisance, but it is the only way to find out answers. Having been a human pin cushion since my RA started at age 6 1/2, I can say its really annoying until it actually helps. I had severe iron deficient anemia once, which was quickly found out by a blood test. My Dr. said she was amazed I wasn't haven't difficulty breathing with it. Only one in four of my red blood cells were able to carry hemoglobin. My disease and stress caused it, so I had to learn to not get stressed out over things. This led me to drop out of University as I couldn't handle the stress of exams and the workload as a mature student. I am actually a bit surprised they didn't catch you being low in your blood. Blood tests here are mandatory before any operations and they look for anything that could cause trouble in surgery.
One thing you must be careful with, is not to wear yourself out going back to work. Try to alternate days between a walker and chair for the first while and see how you feel. If its something that doesn't cause you more pain you can always increase the days with a walker and decrease days in a chair. If you know what you have to do in advance at work, you could always use a chair on those days that require you to move around a lot and a walker on those days that don't. I hope something works out for you! I will be thinking of you!
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Take care,
Linda

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Saturday, 3/27 Why SP is the best--Protein snack ideas!

Sunday, March 28, 2010

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Hello everyone,

A few days ago, I mentioned in a blog how my doctor talked to me about getting more protein in my diet. I got several wonderful suggestions from my friends here adn I am doing better with that. I don't think I mentioned that my GP is conserned about a lot of my major vitamins and minerals and I will get a report on that after a fasting blood work-up on Wednesday. He has already put me back on 4000 units of vitamin D a day because I have never had a higher amount than "19" when they tested and that is not so good--and he figures that with the winter, I probably haven't gotten enough sunshine to make a difference in that number. He is also very worried about my vitamin b12 and iron...I think he has some reason to be concerned and I suspect that someone here will have a suggestion or two for me on that topic.

Anyway, back to the protein issue...I did a search engine check on protein laden snack items and I was surprised to a) not find a lot of information that wasn't somebody selling some supplement and b) when I found articles, most only had 3 or 4 suggestions. I did find an article that can be found at: "Shape Fit" and they made some lists of suggestions. The site for the entire article is:
http://www.shapefit.com/quick-protein-sn
acks-meals.html

This author divided her snack lists into two parts--vegetable and animal protein sources. Those lists are as follows:

Vegetable Sources:
8oz soymilk
1oz soy cheese
2T hummus
1oz unsalted nuts (22 almonds or 10 walnuts)
2T all natural peanut or almond butter. Be careful because the nut spreads can lend a lot of calories in fat. A healthier product would be to purchase a non- hydrogenated nut spread where the oil is separated and sitting at the top of the jar.
c legumes (chickpeas, kidney, cannelloni, etc)

Animal Sources:
8oz non-fat or 1% low fat milk
1oz low fat cheeses (less that 5 grams of fat per ounce) such as part- skim milk
mozzarella (string cheese), Laughing Cow cheese, fat free American, soy cheese, Jarlsberg Lite cheese , 50% reduced cheddar cheese.
c nonfat or 1% cottage cheese
2T nonfat cream cheese
One container of low fat or nonfat yogurt
One egg or c egg whites
1-2 oz of sliced deli meats like turkey, chicken, ham, and lean roast beef
Whey protein powder (available in health food stores in health specialty stores)

Another quick option is to eat a sports bar for a snack. Check the food panel to make sure it contains a significant amount of protein and is high in fiber.
Author--Sophie Kamveris
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My point is that just as research that I have read (in at least one article that can be found here at SP), sites like this one with active member communities have members that provide quality information that can be relied upon. Look at this example and then check out my previous blog. It is easy to see this for yourself.
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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

FUNNYGRANNY71 3/28/2010 5:07PM

    Thank you for sharing the information. I am on a low protein diet due to chronic kidney failure. Sometimes I feel like I could eat a whole cow or a couple of chickens. This is a pain in the neck, but the alternative is worse. emoticon

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MALTIPOOMOM 3/28/2010 3:06PM

    Greek yogurt has about twice the protein of regular yogurt. Also, watch those deli meats. They are very high in sodium. See if you can buy low sodium deli meats or roast your own turkey breast, etc. and slice it up. I am having one heck of a time keeping my sodium down even to the highest limit. Some other good suggestions for protein: Oatmeal (mine has 7 gr. per serving) Tuna (about 25 gr. per can) and beef jerky.
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Comment edited on: 3/28/2010 3:17:54 PM

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LOULOUBELLE2 3/28/2010 2:09PM

    Think like Popeye and eat your Spinach, Kale and Greens for your iron. I put fresh spinach leaves in my fruit smoothie's. Gives it a bit more nutrition and doesn't change he taste unless you add to many leaves. So glad your intake of protein is better.
Your doing so good Sylvia...Keep it up.

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MORTICIAADDAMS 3/28/2010 1:18PM

    Great info. Thanks for posting it.

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HANGINON 3/28/2010 9:27AM

    emoticonfor all of the great information. Appreciate it! emoticon emoticon emoticon

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KKKAREN 3/28/2010 7:15AM

    I drink fat free milk with every meal. Arnold's Bread has protein rich bread. A rolled up deli slice of turkey and some cheese is a good one. A spoon of peanut butter is high on calories but rich on protein. I don't have much trouble getting protein in my diet, fat is the one I'm frequently low on.

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JHADZHIA 3/28/2010 1:26AM

    I have read so many good and informative articles on Sparks, and people are just confirming the information here is top rated and very helpful. I love almond butter, but unfortunately the calories are quite high with just a little even though its natural with nothing added.
Thanks for the goodie Sylvia! Appreciate your thoughtfulness!
Hope you sleep well tonight!
Linda

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FORU2C 3/28/2010 12:14AM

    awesome info, thanks and good luck on increasing your levels!

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