JENNY888   72,147
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JENNY888's Recent Blog Entries

Using the Spark Nutrition Tracker with SparkRecipes Recipe Calculator for Home Cooked Food

Saturday, March 13, 2010

I have been adding ingredients for my home cooking in item by item in my food tracker or in the Food Groupings tab. This is very time consuming and has resulted in my not tracking everything in my nutrition tracker for the last few days.

I have entered recipes in SparkRecipes before, but if they are from another source they are not supposed to be shared and I found I could not save what I wanted and get to it easily if I didn't share it.

Today I found a solution. I put the recipe in the Recipe Calculator at SparkRecipes and calculated a serving. I ran the nutritional information, selected all, copied the information, and pasted the information into Microsoft Word. I found if I turned the document into two columns I could get all of the information on one page. I saved the information with my recipe and printed it.

From there I added the recipe serving as a food in my nutritional tracker. I labeled the food starting with Homemade and then the group and recipe name. Example: Homemade - Soup - Roasted Winter Squash. This made it easy to find in My Favorites.

I then saved it to my favorites. Now when I make the recipe again I only have to go into My Favorites to enter the recipe all at once. I found this much easier than combining the ingredients in the Food Groupings tab of my Nutritional Tracker.

Now I can go to the homemade section of my favorites, pick a recipe to make, and track it very easily. I think this will encourage me to make more of my own recipes from fresh ingredients. I am trying to limit salt and sugar and find pre-prepared food makes this very difficult to accomplish.

As an added bonus I noticed that I had much more complete information on nutrients in the recipe than if I copied from a package. I will be able to more closely monitor intake of nutrients not normally on food packages.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BHAM-MAMA 4/10/2010 12:17AM

    Thanks for posting. I'll try it now. Can't believe SP hasn't made this easier yet...every thing else is so intuitive, but this part isn't at all :-(

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JENNY888 3/15/2010 7:58PM

    You should be able to copy it into any word processing program. It helps if you can set it to two columns but otherwise it would just be on two pages.

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PAULA3420 3/15/2010 7:12PM

    What a terrific idea. I don't have Word, I wonder if there is another option to use? I've often wanted to have something like this available to us in the Nutrition Tracker.


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AMYLCRANSTON 3/15/2010 3:46PM

    Wow, what a great idea! I am going to try this. I'm keeping soups cooking and trying to stock up in the feezer. This will make the task of tracking so much easier. Thanks!

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LISAALLGIER 3/13/2010 9:44PM

  Thanks for the info, sounds like that is a lot easier to track, by the way you are doing it.

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MAWMAWTAMERA 3/13/2010 8:18PM

  I love the titling idea. Great info, thanks for the blog!

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DHALYIA 3/13/2010 8:13PM

    Thank you!!! I have the same problem. I cook so much at home...I find myself trying to put in single items that add up to what i cooked. Saving them in favorites isnt an option. The list would be huge!!!

And I was trying to make my own recipes and download a serving...which is difficult and not supposed to be shared. I am going to try what you did. I'll PM you if I get into

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Visualizing something you want to do rather than what it looks like

Friday, March 12, 2010

Somewhere in Spark I read a statement by TALIMAR that I copied into my notebook that I liked. The statement was "When I use visualization instead of focusing on what I want to look like, I focus on something that I want to do.

For instance, I love to dance. So, I visualize myself dancing on stage: What it feels like. What the music sounds like. How the rhythm of the music feels. The warmth of the stage lights. The color of the stage lights. The colors of the set. A smiling audience. I get really detailed. Like playing make-believe when I was a kid."

The statement must have come from a message board or another post because I could not find it on her blog.

This method of visualization is much better than using sight alone. The more senses we use, the better the visualization is, and the more effective it will be for us. Don't limit your visualizations to sight alone, but think of how it will affect all of your senses.

The things you visualize are very powerful motivation.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SASSIECAS 3/12/2010 7:09PM

    Great thought!

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MOOOOW 3/12/2010 6:59PM

    Good thought! emoticon

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SPUNKYDUCKY 3/12/2010 6:05PM

    I agree - using all of our senses and imaging what it feels like, sounds like etc is very important when we are changing who we are!

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KURVY_KAITIE 3/12/2010 5:54PM


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Taking a Look at Myself - Not Just My Weight

Thursday, March 11, 2010

The scale is not the only way to measure progress. It is the most black and white, quickly taken measurement, but there are other alternatives available.

Sometimes the scale is not moving but inches lost are. The scale shows nothing lost, but your health shows something different. There are other more subtle signs than the scale or tape measure that we can use.

Recently I have been looking at myself carefully in a full length mirror in the buff from all sides each morning when I wake up in addition to checking my scale. I find that I see little signs of loss even before the scale shows it.

For example the area of my abdomen right below my bust has started to get concave where it wasn't before. In addition my extra fat in the abdomen area is much softer and not as dense. The signs result in a weight loss soon after when I see them. If I start to gain a few pounds I see these things reverse a day or so before it shows up on the scale.

We can learn the subtle signs our body gives us whether it is a physical sign or just a feeling. When we do, it is much easier to keep track of our progress and react sooner to positive or negative signs.

We must learn to love the body we have. Years ago, in a yoga class I was in, a girl was saying how she hated her thunder thighs. The instructor told her that she would have to change her attitude towards them. She had to become friends with them and work with them to change or otherwise she would always hate them. He added that things that feel the hate do not change.

I often remember my yoga teacher's statement even now years later. We need to respect our bodies and not hate them. Nothing, including our bodies, thrives under negativism. Instead of hating the body, thank it for the changes it is making for us. Marvel at the fact it can do it. Respect the beautiful intricacy of our bodies. If we do our attitude will change and life will be a much more pleasant experience.

Look at your body carefully and marvel at what a work of art it is. Then work with it, as a friend, to change things you would like to change.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

DHALYIA 3/11/2010 10:27PM

    Exactly!!! Thank you. There is a movie I watched about quantum physics...don't remember the exact details. Knowing the effects we have on the processes of our body if we hate ourselves, our bodies, or parts...

I still remember the woman writing love notes all over her body with blue/silvery, at first I thought it was crazy, but now I get it.

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MIGHTYMUSSO 3/11/2010 9:28PM

  Thank you for the words.

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SPUNKYDUCKY 3/11/2010 8:54PM

    Beautifully written

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MOMNINJA 3/11/2010 7:45PM

    Absolutely right - and how weird is it that we wrote about it on the same day!!! emoticon

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HUNGRYWOMAN2 3/11/2010 5:36PM

Thank you so much for sharing your wisdom and experience. I have been fighting the battle of the scale lately, and I have found it not to be good for my health.
You are right on. I appreciate your timely reminder, remembering that we are always given what we need as we need it.
You have learned the lesson that so many of us fail to do.
Your positive attitude will keep you in good health for the years to come.
Best wishes as you continue your journey to health.

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Tasty Coconut Oil Recipe Ideas and Coconut Oil Use Progress Report

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Last night I made organic brown rice in my rice cooker and added in a tablespoon of coconut oil. I had heard of coconut rice before so thought why not try. It was extremely tasty. The oil coated the rice kernels much like butter would and the rice was very crunchy. The taste of coconut was not overwhelming, only being a hint. I had it with a piece of Panko Breaded Tilapia with a teaspoon of Paradise Pepper Sauce (spicy red pepper sauce) that I got from Trader Joe's, steamed carrots, and a large romaine lettuce salad with tomatoes and avocado followed by one dark chocolate truffle heart. Very delicious dinner!

This is my third day on the coconut oil. I am adding in a tablespoon of the oil somewhere in my cooking each day. I have tried it on toast with a light sprinkling of cinnamon and sugar, on my morning oatmeal, and once in my coffee. Yesterday I made a smoothie with soy milk, 1/2 a banana, 1/2 tbs of coconut oil, 1/2 an apple, a carrot, 1/4 of cup of pineapple, and 1/4 cup of low fat vanilla yogurt. Both myself and my husband loved the smoothie. Everything I've tried with the coconut oil has been good.

It's too early to determine the effect of the oil on my health or weight, but I do notice that I am not hungry as soon and my weight has dropped. A tablespoon has 125 calories so at first I was fearful of the effect, but I am still under my calorie recommendations and I am also, after all the research I have done, convinced that the high saturated fat content of the oil is not a bad thing and is actually beneficial because of it being a medium chain triglyceride (MCT). If you haven't read about MCT's I suggest you do. I have featured some of the research in my past blogs.

The link below is to a brown rice pilaf recipe from Weight Watchers that is pictured above. I plan to try this recipe the next time I make brown rice substituting the butter for coconut oil.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MOOKBALL 3/10/2010 5:57PM

    Coconut oil is highly caloric. Coconut water (not coconut milk or cream) as the water ingredient is much healthier than coconut oil, especially if you are trying to lose weight.

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MEGANC1988 3/10/2010 11:33AM

    That looks so yummy!

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Pride Comes Before a Fall

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

I am reminded of the old Proverb about pride coming before a fall when I recognize the tendency in myself and others who reach mini goals and become so proud of what they have accomplished that they lose sight of their ultimate goals.

This is something we have to be very careful about. Even if we have met our ultimate goals, we must remember the statistics about how few that lose the pounds actually keep them off in the long run. If we don't want to become one of those statistics we have to work just as hard once we have reached our goal to remain there. This also holds true of mini goals reached. It is so easy to backtrack if we let the pride take over what we do.

There has to be a balance between the delight or satisfaction we feel in what we have achieved and the determination we need to reach the ultimate goal. We can't rest in our accomplishments alone, but instead must continue on the journey.

I think the most dangerous time in the life of a "Sparker" is when they feel that sense of accomplishment. It is so easy to get lost in that wonderful feeling, but this is not a time to take a break, but instead a time to regroup toward reaching the next goal or maintaining what you have achieved.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KITKATSGRACE 3/10/2010 8:16PM

    This is so true!

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MOOKBALL 3/10/2010 5:59PM

    Weel put.

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