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Singing the White Cliffs of Dover

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Well we had a very interesting Saturday.

It started off nice, slow, & relaxing, watching the news, drinking coffee, getting caught up on Sparkpeople. Then we went out for lunch. I've written before how our boy, when he gets good grades, which he did, decides on our restaurant adventure.

Today he picked Fuji, a combination Chinese buffet, with hibachi grill and sushi buffet in Destin, about 15 miles down the Florida coast. Arrrrggghhhhh!

It wasn't so bad, just overly salty, but still about 500 more calories then I wanted to have by lunchtime.

SWMBO and I then had to put our heads together to plan the coming weeks through the holidays. We've got a bunch of events to go to, dinners to host, guests to invite and take care of. I've got a couple of big kahunas visiting in December, and oh by the way, I made plans Friday to go to Virginia and Boston the week of Thanksgiving on business, where I'll spend an extra few days to visit my my mom in Massachusetts. This of course leaves even less time to plan all of our December events, leaving a big chunk of it to SWMBO. Pray for me.

After all that, I made it to the gym around 3:30 where I got in a good solid hour of hi-tempo cardio on the bike, elliptical, and rowing machine. Came home, showered, shaved and got ready for our date night....the old folks home up the road. Let me explain.

Yesterday we went over to this assisted living facility where they have a lot of widows of veterans ranging from 50 to 95 years old. It was a nice little community service thing we like to do every Veterans Day and Memorial Day. Well while we were there they kept telling us about the Variety Show they were putting on Saturday night and wouldn't it be great of we could come.

It was like a bunch of puppies at the pound staring up at you, guilting you into taking them home. Finally, after the third human wave attack, SWMBO and I looked at eachother and said "Yes, of course, we'd love to come!"

So I wolfed down a smoothie (after the Chinese lunch buffet I had no room left for any more food) and we drove back over.

It wasn't so bad....they sang, they danced, recited poetry, played ukeleles and banjos, then corralled everyone into singing Chattanooga Choo-Choo, The White Cliffs of Dover, and God Bless America.

In the end, we had a good time. We laughed in the car on the way back joking that we might need to make reservations now to get on the waiting list for when we'll need to move in there!

That's all for now Spark friends, have a great night!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JULIAMOONCHILD 11/14/2011 2:31PM

    You and your lovely wife are one truly amazing couple! I love what you did for those precious 'puppies' - That you could carry the laughter home with you afterwards, rather than sulk on your drive home about time being wasted, would be admirable for any couple, but for someone who has a schedule like yours, well my feelings go beyond admiration for your deed. In fact, I salute both of you and hold you now in the highest regard of anyone I've met here at SP! (not that my regard matters all that much) emoticon

Wow, and even though you are actually abandoning your wife during Thanksgiving and leaving her with much of the December Holiday planning to take care of on her own (although I seriously doubt that you will do this), and that you are a 'MAN' who is actually aware of his inconsiderate and beyond thoughtless behavior, leaves me to believe that there really are miracles still occurring in this world today. How did she ever train you in such a short amount of time? I mean, you're not even 75 years-old, yet you act like someone who has been under the influence of a woman's guiding hand for a whole lot longer. Most men never reach your level of thoughtfulness awareness, and even the ones who do, reach it at a much later stage in life.

I think your wife should be writing some Spark Blogs of her own - We could all make use of her 'man' training techniques, I'm sure. emoticon

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EYES_ON_THEPRAZ 11/14/2011 12:49PM

    I need to make a plan of action too - the holidays are rough! good job at the buffet and not going totally crazy! The variety show sounds so cute - I love old people!

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TIME2BLOOM4ME 11/13/2011 4:42PM


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LULUTU 11/13/2011 10:29AM

    What a great post. Your Veteran's Day service (and beyond!) sounds wonderful. For Chattanooga Choo-Choo and God Bless America I would have been fine, but I would have been stumped on The White Cliffs of Dover after a few lines....

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BEATLETOT 11/13/2011 10:16AM

    Jeepers! How often does your son get graded? It seems like he gets to choose restaurants twice a week! =)

Glad you had fun and made GREAT CHOICES at a BUFFET! You are my HERO!!!

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HAKAPES 11/13/2011 1:20AM

    These buffets always need more vigilance! But if we look on the other hand, I am sure, before, you would have eaten 2000 kcal over without an issue. Now, only 500 kcal. And well done for the smoothie afterwards.
I find it great reward to be able to pick the restaurant with good greats! Must be a good motivation for him. ;-)

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JUNEBUG1944 11/12/2011 11:41PM

    Yeah, good idea to plan ahead...

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ERIKO1908 11/12/2011 11:27PM

    that sounds like a beautiful date night!!

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The Shadow

Friday, November 11, 2011

So I'm at the gym today, working on chest & shoulders, and as I'm doing some presses I look down and see a black mark on my forearms. Note to self, wipe off that scuff mark with a towel when I'm done.

I finish, put down the weight, grab towel, get ready to wipe....but the scuff mark is gone. Weird.

I start the second set, and there's the scuff mark again. A three inch long dark streak along my forearm. What the hell!?! OK, make a mental note and focus on the exercise.

Finish, grab scuff mark. Make a fist, rotate arm.....there it is!!

It's the shadow of some recently uncovered muscle groups, released from their epidural concealment, proudly projecting themselves out into the world and obscuring the rays of light along their path!

Well, well, well so all this hard work is paying off.....visually and mentally. More incentive to not miss workouts

All this was a nice top off to an already nice Veteran's Day. SWMBO and I took some time off to go to a memorial service at a local cemetery. There were about 20 people there, including a whole row of WWII vets and and even larger number of Korean & Vietnam vets. #2 son was off from school so we took him along, then went over to an assisted living facility in town that houses a number of veteran's widows and spent some time there chatting them up, drinking coffee, with me turning down multiple offers of freshly baked sweets & cakes.

All in all a very nice day.....have a great night Spark friends


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JULIAMOONCHILD 11/14/2011 2:36PM

    I am keeping a close look out for some of my own scuff marks to appear. I know they're coming ... I can almsot feel them coming to the surface. Seriously. I think. emoticon

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NEEBREW 11/12/2011 11:19AM

    That's so FABULOUS! I wonder if I'll ever see the day that my hidden abs come out? I'll be looking carefully at every little shadow....

That was a great thing you did for the veterans. It is an unimaginable risk and sacrifice they make for us :)

I hope you have a great weekend!!!


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BILL60 11/12/2011 9:16AM

    Girl?? I think that you're a guy, right. Anyway, congratulations on the great results from your hard work. Well deserved.

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ERIKO1908 11/12/2011 1:16AM

    sounds like a great day!! I was thinking about you and if you made it to the gym today...I like the answer that I know now!! :) Have a great weekend!!

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BEATLETOT 11/11/2011 9:22PM

    DAY-yum! Awesome! And good for you spending so much time with veterans and their loved ones today. Good luck with the weigh-in tomorrow! Go Starfishes!!!

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CHANGING-TURTLE 11/11/2011 8:18PM

    YOU GO GIRL YOU ROCK!!!!!!!!!! emoticon emoticon emoticon

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Annual Physical....Arrgghhhh!

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

Well I finally went to the doc and had my annual physical done. I'm always in a bad mood at the end of these things.

Had to do the standard fasting for the blood tests starting at 8:00 last night. They didn't get me to the lab till 10:00 AM (I showed up at 8:00), so I was hungry, dehydrated, and craving caffeine all morning....I usually have them draw blood first thing, but somehow the schedule got messed up.

Then I got poked & prodded, received my flu shot, left them some blood and other bodily fluids, squinted into the the vision tester, listened closely during the hearing tests, answered a million questions on family histories, allergies, smoking, drinking, and sex, then listened politely as the doc ran through his checklist. I finally walked out of there with a raging headache and a craving for food, fruit, water, and coffee around 11:00

All in all it went well. My pulse and blood pressure are quite good (62 pulse, 115/72 BP), weight is surprisingly good (Go STARFISHES!!), and apparently I'm doing all the right things that my parents never did in their 50s.

Detoured home on my way back to work, drank a 20 oz glass of water, blended up a smoothie, chugged it down on my way to Starbucks for some Joe, and jumped right in to the day's business. My headache finally went away around 3:00, but I tried not to inflict my pain on the people I had meetings scheduled with in the afternoon. I think I succeeded, but I'll have to ask them tomorrow...there was this annoying guy who was not very well prepared or articulate....

By the time I got to the gym tonight though, I could tell I was beat. May have been the flu shot or getting off my routine, but everything felt tougher today. Not that sadistic bastard trainer guy gave a rat's ass about how I felt. We went through our regular high-rep, short break routine with only minor modifications for my weakened state. ("OK Nancy, I'll take a plate off, but you owe me 15 reps"....What the hell, I'm paying this guy right?!?!)

But then again, what I left out above is that the doc, who I've known for about 2 years (we compared surgeries last year....he's a tri-athlete who's had both hips replaced, me, I'm a marathoner who's had one "re-surfaced") did say, "Hey dude, whatever you're doing, it's working, you're slimming down and you've got a good V-shape going" which I know he meant in a totally heterosexual way. I told him I started on a new modified push up routine in the evenings. Before I get totally stuffed at the dinner table, I push away from it with both hands. Nyuk, Nyuk, Nyuk, we're just a pair of cards!

I know I've been harping on my new little smoothie machine these past few blogs, but I've got to tell you, it's the best 20 bucks I've spent in a long time. SWMBO has stocked the fridge with tons of fresh and frozen fruit, and I just go to town chucking whatever the hell I spy with my little eye into that bad boy and it gets crushed into a deliciously sweet, tart, and frothy breakfast....I call it my "Mug 'o Love"

That's all for tonight Spark friends, have a great night.....and don't forget to thank a Veteran this Friday!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JULIAMOONCHILD 11/14/2011 2:40PM

    Glad you got such a great report and, finally, that much needed jo. I know they agony of a morning without caffeine. Pure hell!
Hey, the smoothie machine sounds awesome. May have to check that one out.

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FANGFACEKITTY 11/11/2011 9:03AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon
Good news on the physical, although I'm with you in that they are incredibably annoying. Every year I have to tell them that my family history has NOT changed (that is why it is a "history", it was in the past and CAN'T change) because they want to start in with the million questions which I already answered and which answers are right there in my record if they would only look.

I'm glad I don't have a personal trainer, I would probably wind up with my picture on the post office wall after one too many "drop & give me 50" type remarks.

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HEALTHIERKEN 11/11/2011 12:33AM

    Hate that 12-hr fast before bloodwork! You're a better man than I am, though. After my fast and bloodletting, I go out for a full-on bacon and eggs breakfast and all the caffeine I can consume then home to bed to sleep off the starvation-induced headache. That is, I sleep off the headache if I'm lucky. Sometimes I'm popping extra-strength tylenol and/or T-3's after the nap because the headache just will not subside. Glad bloodwork typically only happens once a year!!!!!!

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BILL60 11/10/2011 8:25AM

    You've more than earned your "Good Health Certificate". Keep it up.

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BELSNICKEL 11/10/2011 7:04AM

    sounds like you did well today. you are projecting a program that seems worth following. Even when you don't really want too.

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JUNEBUG1944 11/9/2011 11:56PM

    Of course your physical went well...did you have any doubts? Mmmmm, you're making me think I need to start having smoothies again, haven't had one for awhile.
emoticon Oh wait, I don't need a knife and fork, do I?

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W5VEOTX 11/9/2011 10:48PM

    Looking good - I don't think anyone likes going to dentist or medical doctor but we all should periodically. Good news is always good!

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BRADOS 11/9/2011 10:21PM

    great news at the physical - hard work paying off for you - congrats

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ERIKO1908 11/9/2011 10:19PM

    wow!! I had my physical today too along with my flu shot...I got home and couldn't for the life of me figure out why I committed to 60 minutes of cardio...felt more like giving 20 max!! gonna get it done though...say it = do it!!

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BEATLETOT 11/9/2011 9:32PM

    Great blog! I'm so happy you are loving your smoothie maker! And you are doing awesome!!!

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The Smoothie King!

Monday, November 07, 2011

So I'm digging the smoothie thing for breakfast! Maybe it's the novelty of my new "Smoothie Express", maybe it's the fact that I went through the rest of the day less hungry, or maybe it's the nice fact that I'm sitting here at 8:00 PM (Standard Daylight Time, btw) at 1400 total calories for the day, feeling quite nutritionally satisfied. I AM THE SMOOTHIE KING!

Add to that the fact that this morning I put on a pair of dress slacks I haven't worn in about 3 weeks and they're feeling wicked baggy! What the hell, all of a sudden I'm feeling like a circus clown in clothes I've been struggling to fit in to for the last 5 years!

It was quite cool to throw in a bunch of leftover cut fruit (pineapple, cantaloupe, watermelon), a banana, some grapes, a dollop of yogurt, and some frozen strawberries & blueberries, and watch the Big Red Smoothie Express churn it all up into a portable breakfast.

I think the 5% Challenge thing has gotten me nicely motivated, forcing me to make some hard choices in the interest of team goals and shared interests. I've had to think real hard, staring with a longing gaze at that jar of Jif late at night, saying "Sorry Mr. Peanut, not tonight" and telling my staff at work that we have a strict "No Halloween Candy Shall be Brought into the Office" policy!

The other cool thing I found out about (right when I thought I knew it all.....a precocious trait I've kept since early childhood), is to set and track personal streaks on the "Other Goals" tab of Spark people. So I wrote one down and called it, "Do not eat anything after 9:00 PM : 4x / week". I'm going to see how this goes for a while, then increase the frequency slowly up to 6-7 days/week.

That's all for tonight Spark friends, have a great night!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JULIAMOONCHILD 11/14/2011 2:43PM

    Baggy pants! OK, now I'm really getting interested in this smoothie machine stuff.

BTW, I am going through your blogs in reverse order. emoticon

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SPOOKYTHECAT 11/8/2011 10:55PM

    Smoothie Express! I am jealous~ I've been using our cuisanart, but it is really not so great for it.
Leaves big frozen berry chunks.

& emoticon about the pants! Way to go!!

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AKCHELLE 11/8/2011 8:27PM

    Very cool!

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BRADOS 11/8/2011 12:57PM

    Smoothie Express? - I am intrigued - I love gadgets

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JECKIE 11/8/2011 9:37AM

I had a smoothie for dinner last night. 1 banana, 1 cup milk, 2 tbsp. PB2 and 2 tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder. DELISH! Completely filling and I got in the dreaded banana (I hate bananas).

Next up is a pumpkin smoothie. Perhaps tomorrow...

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BEATLETOT 11/8/2011 8:49AM

    You are doing such an awesome job and are such an inspiration to all of us Starfish! The Other Goals tab has been my friend for a couple weeks now. I have some old goals on there from 2007 that are no longer relevant, but I like to keep them on there for...nostalgia, I guess. Anyway, I digress, I'm glad you're enjoying your smoothie maker! It makes a healthy breakfast so easier!

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SKINNYPOWELL1 11/8/2011 8:34AM

    Lots of great smoothie recipes on SPARK and in the SPARK Cookbook. Enjoy. emoticon

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BILL60 11/8/2011 8:02AM

    Sounds like you're on a roll. Keep it up.

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HAKAPES 11/8/2011 4:36AM

    Hey man, that's awesome!

I love smoothies, too! Altough, I was hesitating to drink too much, as I was still feeling hungry, due to the lack of chewing.

I love your no HW candy in the office policy. Here we had a huge Tiramisu in the fridge, and most of my colleagues like to bake cakes. Of course, even with moderation, yesterday, I was over my calorie budget, especially that I only did a mdoerate 30 min bike ride.

I track on the other goals sleeping, 8h, and going to bed in time.

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JUNEBUG1944 11/7/2011 10:26PM

    Good for you! I love smoothies for lunch. It's amazing all the fruit you can put in and the tastes you can come up with. I've even thrown peanut butter in for protein. Enjoy!

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EYES_ON_THEPRAZ 11/7/2011 9:41PM

    You are doing really awesome at your 5% and you're a great addition to the Starfish team. I looked up that smoothie maker on Amazon and was pleasantly surprised to see it is quite affordable and had a lot of good reviews - not to mention now I know that you like it so much. Good luck "streaking!"

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25 hours in a day!

Sunday, November 06, 2011

Man 'o man do I love Standard Daylight Time. And of course, its corollary in the spring, I hate Daylight Savings Time. But Sparkpeople is not the place for political discourse.

I totally forgot about it last night. Luckily the DVR gets a time signal direct from the cable company....hence my confusion when the clock read 5:30 AM and it was a bright, sunshiny day outside. Cha-ching!

Anyway, it turned into a luxuriously lazy Sunday. I lounged around drinking coffee, caught caught up on some reading, cooked up a kickass lunch with stir-fried spinach, some chicken breast, a little brown rice and assorted spices, SWMBO and I took a nap in the afternoon, and yet I was still able to get in a great workout at the gym all before 5:00 PM. There really should be 25 hours in a day!

On the healthy news front, I invested in a new health toy this week, tried it out yesterday and I'm getting ready to put it to good use this week.

It's called the Smoothie Express:

It's a Gucci little machine that blends up 26 oz of fruit in it's own little to-go glass.

I love smoothies, but have a tendency to make a mess in the kitchen once the big blender gets going. This bad boy promises to keep everything in a self-contained unit that I can just grab and go in the morning. You see I'm pretty much a coffee drinker for most of the AM, although since embarking on this healthy lifestyle adventure, I've made a point of eating a little something, like half my lunch sandwich, around 9:00 AM in the office. I've found this helps regulate my hunger better throughout the day.

So I'm thinking I can have myself a nice morning smoothie on the drive in to work, chugging down a few healthy servings of fruit by the time I pull up at Starbucks for my morning Americano. I'll figure out the mechanics of keeping this thing in the car all day and cleaning it out at night....nothing gets me off track these plans more than high maintenance requirements of my toys.

Since the Fall 5% Challenge community's goal for the week is to maximize "Freggie" intake, I'm hoping that this little mug 'o fruit will help us crush the competition! And with 25 hours in a day, who doesn't have time to work out!

That's all for tonight....have a great night Spark friends!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JULIAMOONCHILD 11/14/2011 2:47PM

    Hey, it really looks like it would be easy to use, and, very important to me, easy to clean up.
I am going to google it now and see who carries it.

Thanks for bringing us a visual, too, of this wonderful little machine. I think it would LOOK great on my kitchen counter. emoticon

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HAKAPES 11/8/2011 4:55AM

    I love these kind of gadgets for healthy life, too. Just makes it even more fun!

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PUGRAD1995 11/7/2011 8:12PM

    Yep, I like the 25 hour day too. Too bad it doesn't happen all the time! emoticon

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PROT358 11/7/2011 7:23PM

    Well if you move to where I grew up in northern Indiana, you have no time zone changes ... so no spring forward and time shift confusion! And no horror stories of setting the clocks an hour the wrong way. But yes, grateful for the extra hour. (And I read somewhere that humans are designed for optimal performance with a 25-hour day. Makes perfect sense to me!)

As a fellow smoothie-lover, I would love that blender. I would probably go a bit smoothie overboard, but what a way to do it. Yum!!

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HEALTHIERKEN 11/7/2011 5:48PM

    *really* like the 25-hour-day take on "fall back"!!!!!

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EYES_ON_THEPRAZ 11/7/2011 12:38PM

    Wow - great way to get in those freggies - that thing looks cool... not sure I need another kitchen gadget, but, oh... maybe just one more?

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FANGFACEKITTY 11/7/2011 12:10PM

    Sounds like a plan. Do they offer additional cups so you have extras to rotate? I have something similar, it came with 4 of the cups so while one is being washed I have aanother to use .

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BEATLETOT 11/7/2011 11:22AM

    You cracked me up with the last line! I got a nice workout in yesterday, too. And I get Eid Al-Adha off, so I have today and tomorrow off, too. 24 hours in a day is okay if you don't have to work!

Enjoy your new toy!

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ERIKO1908 11/7/2011 12:24AM

    I thought maybe you found the elusive 25th hour that was going to be present daily for you from here on out. I was going to offer to buy it from you for $100 (I'm a pretty big spender...LOL!!!)

Enjoy the smoothie maker!! My favorite morning smoothie is a Chocolate Banana Shake. 1 Banana, ice, 1 cup milk, 1 tblsp cocoa, honey (to taste), and I throw in a shake or two of cinnamon since it is said to help stabalize blood sugar...YUM, YUM, YUM!! So that is what I love...let me know if you come up with anything scrumptious & good luck getting it in from the car every day!! I use the Magic Bullet mini blender...4+ cups...don't have to do the dishes eveeryday...only clean the blade part of it...more my style.

Awesome having a relaxing day AND making it to the gym before 5...I did get the promised cardio in...YAY ME!!! Figured putting it out there raised my accountability...and it worked!!! Love it when it works!!

Have a great week!! Make it count!! Happy Sparking!!

Comment edited on: 11/7/2011 12:25:13 AM

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LVBIKER 11/6/2011 10:13PM

  Good luck with the "Smoothies"

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