Saturday, August 11, 2012
My friend, HANAHSCLOUDY talks about Spark Coach in her latest blog. She said at first she wondered if Spark Coach would be redundant, but she's found that it helped her get her MOJO back!
I was also wondering if Spark Coach was redundant. Instead I found Spark Coach makes me more accountable. It also helps me to see the good things I'm doing. I never feel as though I'm good enough and I don't handle compliments well, so I never give myself enough credit for doing well. I'm very hard on myself, however, it really does help to have someone tell me that I'm doing a good job and Spark Coach does that. Oh, don't get me wrong, my Spark friends tell me that, too and positive feedback is always welcome! I believe it's something we all need.
I have learned how to use the Spark People site, so I don't need much help with that, but at times I have found that all of the information can be overwhelming. There is so much information about exercise that I occasionally find it contradictory and confusing and when I've asked questions on the community message board I get even more confused. Perhaps with Spark Coach I'll be able to get a more definitive answer since I will be able to ask an expert. I like that Spark Coach directs you to specific articles that complement the video of the day because it gives me a clearer picture and it's not so overwhelming.
I'm thinking of continuing to use Spark Coach! I never thought I'd say that. Spark People is such a positive place to be and I've been able to build a solid foundation of good habits. Spark Coach goes even further and takes that positive attitude and provides a positive environment that helps to reinforce those habits. Of course, now I have to wonder, what happens in 12 weeks? Do you start at the beginning all over again? Just what is the next level, because I started in May 2012 with 100 pounds to lose and repeating the first three months over and over might have me tearing my hair out!
Wednesday, July 18, 2012
Over the years I've been on many diets. What did I learn? All the things everyone else knows about diets, too. I also learned not to trust myself. I learned to tell myself that I can't. It didn't matter what it was, my answer was always the same. I can't. I can't lose weight. I can't exercise. I don't have to tell myself this, I just know I can't.
Ten weeks ago today I decided I can't. No, I mean I CAN'T DO THIS ANYMORE! I don't want to be the person who can't lose weight. I don't want to be the person who can't exercise. I don't want to be the person who seldom leaves the house. I don't want to be the person who can't believe in herself anymore, who can't trust herself.
Every week I worry that no matter how hard I work at eating right and exercising that it won't work. I tell myself if I can't trust myself, then I can trust SparkPeople. It works for other people, it can work for me.
Now I need to work at something else. Set a new goal: learning to trust myself.
I think that somehow, I need to get it through my thick skull that every step I take, every mindful choice I make is part of rebuilding that trust in myself. I'm strong. I know I am. In my life I've done things I never thought I could. I've faced those things and handled them well. Of course, I felt, at the time, that I had to face those things because it was the only way forward. This is the same thing, isn't it? I'm committing to a healthy lifestyle. That's not a frightening prospect, that's a joyous, momentous decision!
Thursday, July 12, 2012
I had intended to write a blog about tweaking my calories/exercise. I now know that if I eat the mid-range calorie value that SP suggests and walk 30 minutes at 3 mph with 35 minutes of ST six times a week I will gain a pound. Good to know.
But then my back started to hurt. It's been bothering me a little on and off and I could write about that. I have a chronic back problem. I'm mindful of the type of exercise I do. For the last five days it's been progressive more painful. So today I took a rest day. My planned rest day is Monday. I didn't plan on two rest days this week. The thing is, if I don't watch I'll be in constant pain. So I'm sitting here with my TENS and a heating pad. My husband does a pretty nice massage, too.
Who cares about that stuff anyway?
Have you ever tried Socca (su-chi-a)? It's a crepe made with gram flour (chickpea flour, besan), water, olive oil and salt.
There are 17-18 recipes right here at SP.
or you can try:
I like this one because the author, fingerstix, suggests that you make the batter and set it aside for an hour before using it. Some recipes suggest 30 minutes. It does help to eliminate any lumps.
David Lebovitz has a great description of socca. He calls it street food. This article makes me want to go to Provence! Plus, I know someone with a wood burning brick oven. Of course, they live in New Jersey and I live in North Carolina.
I think my favorite recipe is at:
Nicoise Socca (nee-swazh or nee-suaz su-chi-a)
They describe socca as ". . . something between a sturdy crepe and a soft flatbread. The chickpea flour gives it a tender, almost custardlike texture." Oh, yum. Their recipe adds nicoise olives, roasted red peppers, and anchovy fillets. What's not to like? I saw this recipe a while ago. My husband had gotten some tapenade for his book club meeting and had some left over. I'm thinking that I could either put the tapenade in or on the socca. Now don't get me wrong, you can make socca without any other additions except for salt and pepper, but adding anything salty tastes pretty good. I have to watch my sodium intake, so I can add my favorite spices and herbs instead of the salty stuff. And don't forget to grind some fresh pepper over it when you serve it hot from the oven!
While this is considered low carb, it certainly has enough fat and sodium. Especially when you serve it with additional oil and salt for dipping!
If you've never used gram flour you can find it at many grocery stores now. I buy it at my Asian market because I can get a bigger bag that costs less. Besides, my Asian market has a great selection of whole spices, including my favorite cumin seeds, which I'm planning on putting in my socca!
I like to use gram flour to dredge vegetables, fish and chicken. Instead of using seasoned wheat flour I use seasoned gram flour, although I have found that if I add 1 tablespoon of bread crumbs it sticks to the food better. You must add some salt to the seasoned gram flour, otherwise it's too bland. I wonder if you grind up gluten free bread really fine, would it work just as well as the bread crumbs? So, I dredge my food of choice, spray some oil on it and bake it or dredge the food and sauté it in a nonstick pan with a little olive oil until golden. The seasoned gram flour tastes so much better than seasoned flour to me.
Seasoned flour: For every 1 to 1 1/2 cups of gram flour add:
2 tablespoons garlic powder
1 tablespoon dried oregano or basil
salt and pepper (enough so you can taste the salt and see the pepper)
1 tablespoon bread crumbs (I use Progresso Italian Bread Crumbs)
for some recipes I add Hungarian paprika for color
occasionally I'll reduce the salt and add grated Parmesan cheese
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