HAKAPES   43,394
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Saturday, May 21, 2011

The Netherlands is such a beautiful country. And so exercise friendly. There are bicycle ways EVERYWHERE, sometimes in better condition then the car-roads. And everybody bikes, there are bikes to use also in the hotel.

I slept today in sum 10h, good to catch up. I recommend to all my sparkfriends, sleep a lot. It is good. :-)

As planned, I went to the local supermarket to buy my food. It's not easy, new country, new products - took me almost an hour to find the right stuff. Fruits were extremely expensive.
However, I found new snacks, apple puree, a 40kcal/100g cottages-cheese-yogurt, puffed rice with chocolate/paprika/caramel (50 kcal/piece), and pre-washed raw baby carrots.

The breakfast in the hotel is a mix of fat-sugar-carbohydrate mountains. I found full fat milk, fatty sausages, fried bacon, heaps of white flour bakery, fully sugared dried fruit and cereal flakes, full fat hard cheese, butter, peanut butter, high sugar jam. Looks like they target the Ironman competitors.
Not a single piece of raw vegetables, skimmed or low fat items, or something different from white flour bakery.
I found some banana, orange, apple, and unripe kiwi.
I didn't plan to eat only my stuff at breakfast in the hotel, but seems no real better choice. Or I eat only small portions of these high calorie stuff.
Any ideas?

I lost 1.5 kg (3.3 pounds) between 14-21 May, during last week. I didn't plan this, and I think this is too much. In all articles in SP I read that I shouldn't loose more than 0.9 kg (2 pounds) in a week. And I have read in a Trivia answer that below BMI=30, even only 0.5 kg (1 pound) per week. I think the problem was that I have planned 2500 kcal exercise for this week, but I did in fact 3600 kcal.
I think I have to eat more, so I readjust the recommended calorie range for this. Just, I'm not sure weather I will be able to do this amount of exercise every day, every week. Maybe, I set it to 3000 kcal for next week.
What do you think, what would you do?

I took my bathroom balance as Bugqueen90 recommended, so I was able to weigh in today.
I also brought:
- a small kitchen scale
- big kitchen scale,
- tablespoon size measuring cup,
- and bought a small notebook that fits into my pocket to track food during the day.


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

PEGTIGER 5/23/2011 6:02AM

    I think it is ironic that they have all those healthy bikes all over but don't follow through with healthy foods! One would think they would also eat healthy there. I agree with the advice that you should add some protein. Peanut butter with banana sounds good, just know how much peanut butter you are using.
Great job working things out on your trip!

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NOILEDNWAD 5/22/2011 11:09PM

    I agree with the peanut butter banana combo. Love your pictures of where you run! Very cool!

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BUGQUEEN90 5/22/2011 10:23AM

    You did the best you could with breakfast, but you will have to eat some protein next time. Of the protein that was available, I would chose the peanut butter. Banana + peanut butter = very yummy!
Spark will adjust your calorie range for you, so it's good to estimate the amount of calories you will burn in the coming week based on your exercise plan for the week. I bet that you do need to eat some more.
You are doing GREAT!! emoticon

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KIMBERTA99 5/22/2011 12:56AM

    I am very impressed with how you are making sure to eat the right foods and getting in your workouts...that is DEDICATION!! If you have to eat the hotel food just eat a smaller portion....a little wont do much harm considering you are working out!! Good luck!!

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MUEHLBBO 5/22/2011 12:36AM

    You are really being thoughtful about this and making good choices. It's tough to be away and find th right things to eat. I am facing the calorie intake dilemna myself. I went way over on exercise this week because I did all the push mowing. I don't know how to set my range either. I think I will up my calories a little, but see what my vacation plans take me to. Have a great week.

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CONFIDO999 5/22/2011 12:13AM

    You are making very wise decisions on your trip. It is too bad that the hotel food is not healthier, but you have compensated very well with your purchases. I think perhaps you can eat small portions of the proteins available at the hotel--this will not be too unhealthy, and will also help boost your calorie intake to help with your worries of losing weight too quickly this week. I think actually you are fine in losing that much just one week--we all have ups and downs like that, and it is just a normal part of our journey.

Thanks for the pic!

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CUSH1932 5/21/2011 9:55PM

    emoticon You have made some very choices and making the best with what you have available. emoticon

I hope you enjoy your trip.

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Goede nacht

Friday, May 20, 2011

So here I am in the Netherlands near Utrecht, just back from running.

It's almost 1am. It was pretty cold, but no problem. I don't get why, but I was running fast, 5.15 min/km, I never did so fast before.

The trip was long and tiring, I almost didn't go, but then I thought would I stop tonight my 1000 days streak (of 10 min exercise each day). And all the team is out exercising, so I just took my gear and go.

During the run I have identified the shop where I can go tomorrow to buy fruits and vegetables.

Just before leaving, in Graz Airport, I bought some food. I started with a small bag of chocolate balls (Mozartkugel, 200g, 1100 kcal). But then, as I went around the shop, I started to think over, and in the end I changed it to a small bag of steamed chestnut (100g, 186 kcal). Of course, I ate the chestnuts during the trip in 3 portions.

Tomorrow I can sleep long, as much as I want.

Hopefully the internet will work, and depending on the schedule, I will continue to blog.

This at the Amsterdam airport, Schiphol.


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:


    I'm glad you arrived safe. I can't believe you went running so late. That is awesome!!!! emoticon

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BUGQUEEN90 5/20/2011 10:17PM

    Great start to your trip, and a very healthy start too!

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LAURIE9404 5/20/2011 10:02PM

    Woohoo! Awesome work getting that run in. You really are out late running. You think the getting up early is tough, but a run into 1am is just as challenging. emoticon

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KMICHA 5/20/2011 9:45PM

    WTG!!! Putting in time for the team!! Glad you arrived safely!

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DINGALLSTOO 5/20/2011 8:11PM

    wow, I would have kept the chocolate, you were so good!

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PEGTIGER 5/20/2011 8:00PM

    Glad to hear you have arrived safely. I think it is awesome that you have already gone out and exercised! You deserve to be able to sleep in tomorrow. Have fun on your trip, even if it is for business!

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18713 steps, and didn't run yet

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Thank you for the feedback for the trip next week. Each comment is so valuable, both new ideas, and reinforcing the existing ones. I feel much more confident to carry out these actions. It's great to have you, SparkFriends.

I've met a friend visitng this afternoon. We had a 4km walk in Pischelsdorf. Even nicer forests and landscapes.

When showing my Omron Jog Style pedometer, it turned out, my friend was about thinking to buy a pedometer. I could recommend mine, as it is very accurate, spark.

Now, I go to run.
Then I will have my 8h sleep, and have the reward of free morning tomorrow.

My Omron shows 18713 steps, so I am sure I will break my record.
Not just of this year, but ever.

My BMI is 24.3. I set foot in the healthy zone. I didn't plan a reward beforehand for this, but I need to figure out something, because this is a great milestone.

I also love short blogs, so I stop.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CUSH1932 5/22/2011 2:59PM

    emoticon on your step count. I also have an omron pedometer. I love the way it separates the aerobic steps and allows me to work on increasing them as well as the total. I make a game out of it.

And emoticon on the healthy BMI and I hope you have rewarded yourself. I have enjoyed your blogs as you make clear how important organization and being prepared helps with success. Thanks for sharing.

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FVHORVATH 5/20/2011 10:55AM

    Congratulations on all those steps! I believe that is one of my biggest motivators! I fI don't have my 10K I just keep going until I do. I try to bet the day before or the week before on total steps. I also have an Omron pedometer.

And you are succeeding in making the goals of a healthy BMI1 A wonderful accomplishment! Congarts on this too!

The picture is beautiful.

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ELLEYKAT 5/20/2011 9:24AM

    WOW! Congrats on the healthy BMI, and on your HUGE pedometer total! Way to break that record! =) Let's both try to go a little further every day!

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    18713 Wow!!!!! Great job. I've had mine up to 13,000 but that is the most. I love the photo. Enjoy your free day. You have worked very hard for it.

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BUGQUEEN90 5/19/2011 10:18PM

    Yes, enjoy your free day. You sure deserve it!

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PEGTIGER 5/19/2011 9:14PM

    I have tried several different step counters. Some have not worked for me, some have fallen off and onto concrete, ending its working, and the last one I am just afraid to wear for fear of it falling off and breaking.

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KIMBERTA99 5/19/2011 6:57PM

    Great photo..as always!!! Wow those are alot of steps!! I so need to get a pedometer!! Enjoy your free day...you deserve it!!

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CONFIDO999 5/19/2011 5:35PM

    You are spreading the spark even more! How great! Enjoy that free day tomorrow--you have worked hard and deserve it.

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HAKAPES 5/19/2011 5:07PM

    I've sent the link to the step counter on amazon, and apparently it has been already ordered. I'm really happy for this, as this can be the step towards a healthy life for my friend. Tracking is raising awareness, and awareness creates change. I think, my first step was a step counter, too. ;-)


Comment edited on: 5/19/2011 5:14:05 PM

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Challenge ahead - next week in a hotel

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Dear SparkFriends,

I am just back from running. I did 4 km - usually I do 3, and a bit more if I feel good. It was tiring, but I decided to do 4 km. And as I reached it, I also decided to reward myself.

We had a business dinner tonight. A colleague of mine, also a project manager, got a 1st place award for one of our innovation project, from TechForTaste. In Austria, healthy eating and bio-organic-natural products are very important and trendy. And especially here, in Styria (Steiermark), where there is a lot food and agricultural industry. There are lots of small and big companies developing new healthy products. It's really nice to want to eat and live healthy here, because I feel going WITH THE FLOW.
TechForTaste is a cluster initiative of the departmental government to network companies to innovate in the food industry. www.techfortaste.net/cms/1539

As it was already night when I was running (I love to run at night, it's so silent, calm, and relaxing), here's a pic of the band playing traditional Steirische Musik from tonight.

I was not planning to come for this dinner tonight, so in the afternoon I had only 5-600 kcal left in my budget, just enough for a light dinner, and before-after exercise nutrition.
The menu was tasty, the portions were perfect (small), and the food was healthy. However, as I promised myself, I tracked everything, although only by estimation, not weighing. So, I tracked all, and in the end, it is 240 kcal more for today than my budget.
Learning: small things add up, even faster then one big meal.

On Friday, I leave for a week to The Netherlands, for a training in organizational development. I like this topic, so I do it on my holidays and cost. Originally, I planned to work on Friday, and leave from work to the airport in Graz. However, I decided to give myself Friday as holiday as reward. So I can put down work on Thursday afternoon, have a good night sleep, and more time to prepare. I feel so much better knowing that my travel starts in a smooth way.

Next week will be a challenge. I will eat all meals provided by the hotel - breakfast, lunch, dinner, even coffee breaks.
Do you have any tips on how to deal with this?

I thought about the followings:
- bring my digital kitchen scale and measure

- bring some low calorie food with me like puffed rice, crisp bread, low fat milk
- buy fruits and vegetables to snack during the coffee breaks
- one calorie rich drink per day only (wine, soda, fruit juice)
- one calorie rich dessert per day only (chocolate cake and friends)
- drink water, cola light, tea during the day and coffee breaks
- ask for half portion, steamed vegetables from the restaurant if possible - maybe talk to the leader of the kitchen?
- inaugurate a fruit corner in my hotel room on Saturday

- if no internet, track things in my paper-food-diary
- announce in the beginning for the group that I have a limited calorie budget, so encourage me for drinking water, eating veg, and eating less in general
- bring my running gear with me, and still aim 10 min exercise per day, even if Beatrix is waiting for me in the lobby... (the queen in The Netherlands)
- ask in the group if someone wants to run with me

What do you think - any ideas, tips, experiences, how you deal with trips and hotel food?
Any feedback is well appreciated!
Otherwise, I hope to catch some nice tulip fields on my runs next week.

And thank you for your suggestions from last week and this week. I appreciate them a lot.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KIMBERTA99 5/19/2011 7:03PM

    Have a great trip!! Sounds like you have a good plan of attack!! I am sure that you will be able to find someone to go run with you!! Do you know if the hotel has a gym?? I am sure if you stick to your plan you will have a great trip and come back in good shape!! Good luck! Have a safe trip!!

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LAURIE9404 5/19/2011 1:06PM

    You really do have a great plan here. I know that when I went away for my last skating competition I hit the grocery store for some healthy, easy to eat snacks. I carried a bag full of fruit, apple sauce, granola, trail mix, and things that would be as filling and healthy as possible. Of course that's not to say that I didn't veer off course, but as long as you get that running in, you're on a great path! Does the hotel have a gym or fitness center? You could always try some new equipment to keep things fresh. I discovered the eliptical.

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FVHORVATH 5/19/2011 11:47AM

    I think that even withthe challenge you have next week you have it planned out so well! I know you will be successful in keeping those goals! I hope you do have internet as it will be interesting to see how you are doing!

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ELLEYKAT 5/19/2011 11:01AM

    I think those are all great ideas you have!! It sounds like you are ready to take on this challenge - good luck! =)

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CAPTHAMMER 5/18/2011 10:47PM

    It will be a challenge for you next week but I think your good attitude will see you through. Your plan is a good one. Take along something healthy packed into your bag. That will be a safe snack which may be hard to find.

Remember that it's wonderful if you stay within your numbers every single day but we all go over once in a while. Especially while traveling.

Certainly you need to keep up your exercise. Pack a resistance band for upper body work in your hotel room and, like you said, aim for continuing your 10 min runs. Beatrix looks fairly fit. And certainly Princess Maxima is familiar with exercise. I think they would approve of you exploring their country with a run. It would be excellent to find a running buddy among your workmates.

Good Luck! We'll miss you while you're away but I hope you have a great time.

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CONFIDO999 5/18/2011 10:04PM

    Your plan sounds great! You have thought of every possibility, and have a plan for it all. I think you will love seeing new sights as you run there.

The hotel and restaurants you eat at should have lighter options, even on the break tables. There should always be fruit and fresh veg available to you. Best of luck with your plan and have a wonderful time! emoticon

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BUGQUEEN90 5/18/2011 8:57PM

    You have a solid plan, and you will be successful in your goals during this trip. Last time I traveled (in February), I brought my scale with me to weigh myself daily. It's my way of staying on track. I can't think of anything else to add to your plan. You have everything covered! Keeping up with your running is key. Maybe the Queen will run with you?? emoticon

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PEGTIGER 5/18/2011 7:48PM

    Wow, you have really done a fantastic job of planning ahead. You have made such a marvelous list that I can not think of anything to add. Follow your plan and you'll do fine. Have a good time, and I'm so glad you rewarded yourself with Friday.

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NTSOHLTHNT 5/18/2011 7:28PM

    I'll be in the same boat in June--one whole week in a hotel. Though when I'm away, I usually stick to meals that are sure to be healthy, like fish with salad, or roasted chicken with salad. For breakfast I like to stick with protein like eggs, because it sticks longer, for lunch a nice salad or a sandwich will do, and for dinner I'll have a salad or vegetables with some protein--hold the potatos or noodles, please. I envy you--you get to run where others dream of running. What a great place to live! I used to go skiing in Austria and loved it.

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DAVISSTEVIE69 5/18/2011 7:05PM

    Realizing that this is a danger zone is the first step. You have some great ideas. When eating out, don't be afraid to customize your order a bit to make it more healthy. For example ask that cheese be left off. Another idea, if your hotel has a refridgerator, then order your dinner, ask for a take out box immediately. Package half of the meal and eat the remainder. Take the packaged portion back to the hotel and have it for lunch or dinner the next day. Good luck to you!

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Sitting like a log.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Yesterday, or rather today, I went to bed at 2am. I was doing my tax report for Hungary for 2010. I didn't plan to do, but I don't want to leave it for the last day either.

But somehow, today, I was still super active, and got a giga mountain of things done at work. Usually, Tuesday is my most active day during the week.
I think then, 17th May must be my most active day during the year.

Then of course, when I arrived home, I was feeling like the Duracell rabbit after the shootings are over.
I almost couldn't gather myself together to make any exercise. So, I just took my running gear as I promised for myself, and got down to the square. I was standing there, looking around for 5 minutes to figure out if I go North, South, East or West. But then, slowly I started to run. The landscape snailed by like a slow motion movie. I was not tired, just plafff mode.
Finally, after 2km (1.2 miles), I got the hang of it, and reached 3km easily, when I turned back. I had a very nice walk backwards.

Since I arrived back to my apartment, I am cemented into my chair. I am energized in mind, and tired in my body.

So, now, I stop reading your blogs and comments, and sleep.

By the way, 126 SparkPoints today.
New record.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BUGQUEEN90 5/18/2011 2:24PM

    I can just imagine how tired you were after staying up so late and then running. I hope you had a good night's sleep and feel rested today. Good for you for getting your taxes done!!

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FVHORVATH 5/18/2011 10:49AM

    Taxes are not my favorite thing to do but you have to gt them done. MY DH leaves everything to the last and then expects me to figure out everything. But I alway manage.

It's a good thing to get out and start the exercise. You may find you have more energy once you are out and if you don't at least you got in some!

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DORIS32 5/17/2011 10:50PM

    sometimes it takes a while to get into the groove of a run.. especially after a rough night. glad you found it. How awesome that you got out there, when you reallly didn't want to. I just went through that and know how hard it is.
BTW - how did you get 126 points?!! What's the secret?

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PEGTIGER 5/17/2011 6:37PM

    Fantastic that you got out and exercised after almost no sleep. That is such a hard time to make oneself get the job done. I hope you rested well afterwards.

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CONFIDO999 5/17/2011 5:56PM

    You should have a very good rest after all of that activity. It is so motivating to hear how you still made your run, even though you were tired. Way to go on your spark point record!

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DINGALLSTOO 5/17/2011 5:45PM

    I hate doing taxes, and my husband seems to like to wait until the last minute.

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