MICHCLEARY   60,453
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MICHCLEARY's Recent Blog Entries

Weekly Challenge - #35 Sept 2 - Sept 9t

Friday, September 02, 2011

emoticon Hey Spark Teams and any Sparkers who come across this blog, it's time for my weekly challenge blog.

Our quote for the week: You may never know what results come from your action, but if you do nothing, there will be no results. Gandhi

Our song of the week: One you can spin, run, jog, or dance to - Cobra Starship - You Make Me Feel Good
www.youtube.com/watch?v=5UQgcSwDyLc

Use it to workout and make your body feel good this week!



Remember this week that being challenged will always happen. What you do with that challenge will either build you up or tear you down.

Our challenge for the week: Measure your food. It's amazing how much we can underestimate how much we are eating. Many of you will be eating out for the labor day holiday. Be aware of what you're putting on your plate. Measure and stay on track.

Make it a great week sparkers!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

EBDARCY73 9/8/2011 9:32PM

    found the entry a alittle late, have been measuring/tracking for 3 days all real nothing hidden. It has helped me stay at my goal intake.


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GREASE31 9/5/2011 10:36AM

    Hi MICHCLEARY,

Ive just found/read your challenge blog, i liked it thanks for the reminder, my memory is absolutely lousy, as i always for get things like this. emoticon emoticon emoticon

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CWBTWINS 9/4/2011 11:54PM

  Measuring your portions sounds great! I've finally reached my weight goal and I believe watching my portions had a great deal to do with it!

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MSMEME29 9/4/2011 9:12AM

    Thanks for the tip this week! I love the quotes and the measuring of the food is essential for my success.

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IRISHGAL46 9/3/2011 6:30PM

    Thanks for the reminder. This is what I want to work on next!

emoticon

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KPLIFE2001 9/2/2011 9:33PM

  Measurements=Accountability

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CHATTIEGIRL 9/2/2011 7:05PM

    Hi Michelene;

You look fabulous and we can hit challenges straight on. I have never let anything win in my life and there have been a lot that meant how my life would be. You have meant your challenges on loosing your weight and now is the time to maintain and that is also a challenge every day. God bless you always. Stay with your healthy life style. Learn from Spark people each day.

Smile Joyce

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YIWEN39 9/2/2011 6:39PM

    I soooo love your blogs :-) Thank you emoticon emoticon

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SAC-6582 9/2/2011 4:00PM

    Thanks, your challenge is a great reminder for me not to get lazy in tracking my food. Especially on a holiday!! emoticon

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Voted Popular Blog Post: View All Popular Posts

2 Year Spark Anniversary - Amazing pics

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

I started SparkPeople on August 31, 2009, and that was one year after I really began in earnest to lose weight and get healthy. SP has literally changed my life, and I'm sharing a picture now that is difficult to share, because I want you to know that your life can be changed too.

I can't really talk about my spark journey without mentioning my BFF who is my running buddy (susiewhite1109) and spark comrade in arms. We've been friends for 25 years and have seen many sizes and weights in those years. The picture below was on a trip we took in around 2002 and neither one of know how much we weighed.



Here is a picture from when I started a biggest loser competition three years ago:



Now here is a picture of Susie and me at a race in May where we were crossing the finish line of a race and we were laughing our heads off because for the first time in all our races we were both actually trying to beat the other one.



The timing chip said she beat me by about 3/100's of a second. I think I was robbed!

Anyway back to the point of my spark story. I've lost 95 lbs and Susie has lost 85 lbs. I like to jokingly say we have each lost about as much as an average Hollywood actress.

We both ran a 5k in November of 2009 for the first time in about 20 years. In 2010 we ran 3 of them. So far this year we have run 7 races together. I have also completed my first half marathon ever, and a relay that I ran this summer. Here are a few of our racing pictures:


Dash Down Greenville - March 2011


My first racing medal for my first half-marathon


Independence Day 5k July 2011


Lady of the Lake Relay team: Jmerlau, spark coach Nancy, Brian Cooper, and me.


And one thing that makes me very happy - my youngest daughter runs with us sometimes - here at the Jingle Bell Run in December 2010.

Here are my top twenty tips I've learned along the way that I want to share with you:

1. If your diet is poor your progress will be slow. Eat healthy.
2. Can't is a state of mind that I won't entertain...and neither should you.
3. You get out of it what you put into it - don't do it halfway.
4. The two words that I say have impacted my journey the most - honesty and ownership. Stop blaming others and be honest about what you are eating and whether or not you are working out.
5. You're going to have ups and downs during your journey and that is not a license to quit, whine, or complain.
6. There is no license to quit.
7. Don't tie your success to any one person. If your friends or family quit - you keep going.
8. Don't be afraid to go against the grain and bring your own food to an event.
9. Overcome the setbacks - we all have them because no one's journey is perfect. Focusing on the setback doesn't help you progress.
10. Negativity isn't an asset, and will slow your progress. Let that go.
11. Being embarrassed about your size or lack of knowledge at the gym is a waste of time. You have just as much right to be at the gym as thin people and your have a great opportunity to learn.
12. Whining wastes oxygen. Trust me I know - I've wasted plenty.
13. Make it fun - when my trainer scheduled me for an appointment one week before Christmas, I wore Grinch pajamas to my training. :)
14. Shortcuts only put you farther behind. There are no short cuts on a journey worth taking.
15. Spot reduction doesn't exist in our time space continuum.
16. Failure is simply the opportunity to begin again, this time more intelligently. Henry Ford.
17. Saying I don't have time is the same thing as saying I don't want to.
18. Change is a good thing - vary your routine on a regular basis.
19. Incorporate flexibility into your thinking and lose the all or nothing mentality.
20. If you fall off the wagon, get on the horse - quickly and ride for help!

I want to thank Spark Guy Chris, all my spark friends, my spark teams, my BFF, and my family. Everyone has played a role of some sort in helping me change my life. SparkPeople has helped make me into a new woman.



Shout out to my husband who puts up with me running all over the place!



If you're reading this and want the solution...there is no magic pill. All of this came through Clean Eating, working out, and using Spark People day in and day out with an emphasis on not quitting when the going got tough. You can do this. One step at a time with all the tools and support on this site.

So where are you in your journey? Have you got a tip you can share with me? Has this story motivated you? If so, share it with others. Share your favorite workout song with me...I need some new ones for my playlist!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

PURPLELVR7 11/9/2011 8:13AM

    emoticon you look emoticon emoticon on you success

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PRINCESS1959 11/9/2011 12:55AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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TWILAQ1 9/23/2011 3:54PM

    Such an accomplishment!

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MRAASCH42 9/20/2011 11:32PM

    Well done, I want to be that person by next summer.

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AMBERNICHOLE3 9/20/2011 10:15AM

    Phenomenal!

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GYMRAT_AT44 9/20/2011 9:48AM

    Awesome success, thanks for sharing. Probably the hardest thing is staying in the groove, but I think with running you always have the PR's and the new races. That always helps for sure.

Songs: You and I (Lady Gaga) and Moves Like Jagger (Maroon Five) - good upbeat tempos

Sheri

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HISARTIST 9/20/2011 9:18AM

    Spot on! I love number 15! Wouldn't this whole journey be so much easier if it did exist?! Of course it wouldn't be anywhere near the learning experience! Congrats on your transformation and thank you for your inspiration!!

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PATTYJILL 9/20/2011 8:38AM

    And is that your dog in your profile? Love him/her, beautiful!

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PATTYJILL 9/20/2011 8:38AM

    You both look absolutely amazing and I love, love, love this blog! I'm going to staple it to my refrig! You are blessed to have such a wonderful friend. God bless and continued success!


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JESSIEJUICE 9/20/2011 12:56AM

    I would not have recognized you!!!! Both you and your friend look incredible and more importantly, SO happy!! I love your tips for success- I definitely know them to be true :).

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KERRYG155 9/17/2011 5:14PM

    Great job and great pictures! Keep on running emoticon

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CONNIER64 9/17/2011 3:26PM

    emoticon emoticon blog very inspirational emoticon emoticon emoticon

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BRAVEHEART4ME 9/14/2011 11:04PM

  Good blog!

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JACLYNWILL 9/14/2011 3:19PM

    Great story! Very inspirational and honest!

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SHOOPETTE 9/14/2011 4:52AM

    amazing

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MINIUM 9/14/2011 3:03AM

    So inspiring! Thanks for sharing!

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CAVEMOM 9/13/2011 11:06PM

    Awesome! emoticon

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CHUNKYMONKEY36 9/12/2011 9:27PM

    It was a moment like tonight when I was feeling defeated that I need stories like this most. Thanks for turning my can't oment into if she can so can I moment :)

You look amazing and glow with good health!


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DEBRITA01 9/12/2011 8:04PM

    I love the blog and I needed the inspiration...thanks! I plan on printing it out and re-reading it when necessary :) emoticon

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MCJULIEO 9/12/2011 2:10PM

    My BFF introduced me to Spark People! How sweet it is!

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PEACE39 9/12/2011 9:53AM

    Thanks for sharing. You are an inspiration!


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JWADDELL2 9/12/2011 9:46AM

    Congratulations!!! Loved your blog!! My main motto for my 121 lbs has been Winston Churchills" "Never,never, never, never give up."
Janet

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ARGYLE-RUNNER 9/11/2011 7:40PM

    emoticon on emoticon

great advice :)

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MYYEAR51 9/11/2011 7:31PM

    Absolutely love the Top 20. Worth saving so I can refer back to them again.
You are totally an inspiration! I like the final comments saying that there's no magic pill and that it can be done one step at a time. YOU sure are proof of that! emoticon

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ACCTGMAMA 9/11/2011 6:42PM

    Congratulations. Love the blog.

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BSEANACAIN 9/11/2011 12:33AM

    well said

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QTEALADY20031 9/10/2011 7:18PM

    Amazing....YOU are the Running Queen! Congratulations on your weight loss. What a wonderful journey you have taken! Writing down your tips....thank you. Have a wonderful Week-end! emoticon emoticon emoticon for inspiring me! June

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PURRRPY 9/10/2011 3:41PM

    Congrats - an what a HERO you are to me. I love that you mentioned that don't do anything halfway - that is my problem I am either exercising well or eating well but rarely to the two come together.

Thanx for showing it is possible and it not easy - but it CAN be done.

Purrrpy

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TRUCKER72 9/10/2011 11:00AM

    My new motto: Whining wastes oxygen. Thanks. I have a long way to go. I like listening to RockStar by Pink when I am doing Aquafit. For now anyway. You are inspiring.

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JMS823 9/10/2011 9:22AM

  You and your BFF are an inspiration. Thank you for sharing your story. Your top 20 list are words to live by and are so true.

Congratulation on your success.

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CAROLFAITHWALKR 9/10/2011 9:00AM

    Thanks for the inspiration and awesome blog.

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DEBRAC219 9/10/2011 6:45AM

    Love the list, I'm writing those tips down! Very motivational, and your success is an inspiration to all of us!

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1DRWOMAN 9/10/2011 5:19AM

    Love the top 20...and I personally agree with every single point! Well said! :) xo Congrats!
Patty

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BADMIDSECTION 9/10/2011 5:04AM

    Fantastic, inspiring and down to earth. Loved the list - so many good things to take away from it! emoticon

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NUMD97 9/8/2011 3:23PM

    I know I read this blog before. And I was certain that I had added my voice to the many below, but I cannot find it, so I'm taking a chance if I am commenting for the second time now.

It was well worth the revisit. Your journey and your positivity are beacons to the rest of us still struggling in the trenches, and I thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts with us.

Much continued success and thanks,

Nu

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MACKIEFISMOM 9/8/2011 11:19AM

    Congrats Mich!! Such inspiration and wisdom can only be obtained the hard way!! Great work!! Congrats!!

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APIRLRAIN888 9/6/2011 10:51PM

    So inspirational!! Thx for sharing your story

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HYDROQUEEN 9/6/2011 6:53PM

    "20. If you fall off the wagon, get on the horse - quickly and ride for help!"
LOVE this! Thank you for the inspiration and congratulations on your success!

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KKINDE 9/6/2011 6:34PM

    Thank you for sharing! You are amazing...both of you!

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GREENCAT1 9/6/2011 7:22AM

    Thanks for the encouragement and the inspiration!


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BBONET 9/4/2011 10:35PM

    Congratulations to both of you!! You are very inspirational and it gives me the motivation I need to continue!!! emoticon

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BARBIE779 9/4/2011 10:24PM

    Congratulations!

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FIT_MIRIAM 9/4/2011 2:24PM

    Hi! I loved your blog! Congrats on your success!

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CLWELSH 9/4/2011 1:39PM

    You are such an inspiration!!! emoticon

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DEBRUFFIN 9/4/2011 9:17AM

    Thanks for sharing your story. It is time for me to get back on track.

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JULESANA8818 9/3/2011 10:50PM

    Love ya girl. Let your inspiration fall on me. I'm chasing you now so look out.

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LESPOTTS 9/3/2011 4:06PM

  Thank you for sharing your wisdom, words and success with others. Having someone who has always been in shape to go to for advice is great, but seeing someone share who has been through the good and the bad is really what is motivational and inspirational. Thank you.

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LITTLEBJANET 9/3/2011 2:25PM

    I am so glad I read your blog today. You and your friend have made such changes in two years. Your twenty tips are very inspiring. Thanks for sharing the difficult picture. I know the feeling.

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MAKINANIMPACT 9/3/2011 12:01PM

    You are very inspirational and motivational! Thank you for the insight of your journey, awesome pics over the years and congratulations on your projects throughout the year! Thank you for sharing your story and congratulations!

Kelly emoticon emoticon

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JILLY814 9/3/2011 7:53AM

    You are a true inspiration and I hope I can share a story like this one day!

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Some great pictures

Monday, August 29, 2011



I saw this picture recently and it made me laugh out loud so I wanted to share it. It's smart to eat real food with real ingredients that you can pronounce and understand where they come from.


I stole this picture from YOOVIE's sparkpage. I love the "feel free to change" part. If something's not working for you, feel free to change it.


I saw this exercise and plan on trying it (slowly) so you start in this position, then stand on the ball, shift to the other side and squat touch. You could do this with no bosu ball, with a step, etc.









So just a few cartoons - but in the end all a good message - eat well, exercise, and make the changes today that you need to make to reach your healthy lifestyle goals.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MRSAKINS2005 9/2/2011 2:27AM

    Thank you for sharing made me smile....

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MSMEME29 9/1/2011 4:51PM

    Awesome! emoticon

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RUNNER4LIFE08 8/31/2011 10:50AM

    emoticon

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SAC-6582 8/30/2011 5:13PM

    Love the pictures. Thanks for sharing them. emoticon

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SUSIEWHITE1109 8/30/2011 9:32AM

    emoticon emoticon

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GREENCAT1 8/30/2011 9:21AM

    Awesome!

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JUNEAU2010 8/29/2011 8:23PM

    I love that first picture and the "feel free to change"!

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TMW54812 8/29/2011 7:42PM

    These were great...ESP. The one with the Dr. Asking about the fat guys schedule...lol emoticon

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VIAFREE 8/29/2011 7:32PM

    lol the last one took the cake..hehehe
i am learning to eat more clean foods, to be more aware of what is in the foods i eat,although I am nowhere near a diet of clean eating I am trying.
one of your food blogs inspired me to start making spinach omlets with egg beaters.
thanks for sharing
emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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CMHARRISON12 8/29/2011 6:55PM

    These were great!! I use the quote from Yoovie's page as my wallpaper! Have a great week! emoticon

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I82MUCHB4 8/29/2011 6:39PM

    I think these cartoons pretty much sum it up! It's good to have a reminder though for those times when you need to re-focus.

Thanks for posting these, I love the first two!

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MKPRINCESS007 8/29/2011 6:33PM

    Love these.............thanks so much for sharing!

Karen

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Food Blog 83 and some tips

Friday, August 26, 2011

I've missed a few days photo blogging my food. Can you tell it's been the first week of school? I can..my week has been somewhat psycho.

I tried a new breakfast...


About every 4 or 5 months I pick up a package of crepes. They are 50 calories each. I filled one with 2 oz plain greek yogurt mixed with organic maple syrup. I sauteed 1/2 a banana with 1/2 cup frozen mixed berries and 1 tsp organic cane sugar. I put that in the crepe on top of the yogurt and rolled it up.



I found out that Orowheat now makes mini sandwich thins that are only 50 calories each. One day this week I got my son some Jalepeno cheeseburger sliders and I ate two myself with spinach and avocado - side small apple.



Jack and Heather asleep on my desk.



here is one of my tips for saving money and eating well. There is an upscale market near where I live and they have a small section of meat that is reduced for quick sale. I've figured out that they load that up in the mornings. I went there this week after dropping one of my daughters at school and it had just been stocked. I got a nice Tri Tip roast for 60% off. I cooked that with salt and pepper on low in the oven for several hours then shredded it. It showed up in the lunch pictured above on a whole wheat tortilla with spinach, avocado, tomatoes, and fresh jalepeno. It's making about six individual servings and that is less than $2 a piece. Do you have a grocery store around that does that? I also nabbed two packages of organic ground beef, and two packages of the sliders. The sliders ended up being .44 cents a piece.



A shout out to my Team Edward buddies on the Twilight Challenge team...can you see my Rob calendar on my screensaver? I continue to love Muscle Milk cake batter flavor. This shake had that mixed with water, 1/2 cup frozen peaches and raspberries and then topped with some lime zest - served in the margarita glass of course. The beads hanging on my lamp are from my Mardi Gras 5k this year.


some more of my Tri Tip for lunch today with Green Giant veggies - quick microwave of everything and a nice meal.

In case you didn't get a chance to read the article I wrote for The Daily Spark that came out last week, here is the link:

www.dailyspark.com/blog.asp?post=you
r_words_weights_or_wings


I also want to share a link to a blog called The Gracious Pantry:

www.thegraciouspantry.com/planning-h
ealthy-meals/

For those of you who have expressed a concern for the price of the Clean Eating magazine not fitting in your budget, here is a website that you can get plenty of tips and meal ideas from at no charge. She had a great article today about tips for making a conversion to cleaner eating.

I weighed in this morning and have that pesky 1 lb to lose post surgery. Not complaining because this has been a long hard road and to pretty much gain 7, lose 6, and maintain is a positive!

New this week...I went to Pilates on Monday for the first time in 4 months. Nice but very sore the next couple of days. I got farther along in PT yesterday - but very sore afterwards.

Okay sparkers...share something with me. What tips have you got?

PS 83 days till Bella shows Emmett who is the boss.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

RUNNER4LIFE08 8/31/2011 10:52AM

    Yum...Yum...Yum! emoticon

I love how you drink your protein drinks out of a margarita glass!

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MSMEME29 8/27/2011 3:52PM

    I stole your idea. I will be posting my food blog. Only for 10 days though. It's for my Turbo Jam 10 day Kick Start. Doing this hold me accountable to my decision. It also makes me take time in my preparation of the food for the presentation emoticon You had an awesome idea and I needed to pull from your inspiration. Love the cats!

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MMPHELPS1970 8/26/2011 10:29PM

    Thanks for the website link! Love it!

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LAURALOVESSPARK 8/26/2011 6:07PM

    Thank you for sharing your food blog again with us!
I love to see what you are doing!
Your cats are so cute, and some of the dishes look yummy!
I also read your article and enjoyed it!
I can't think of anything to share, but if I think of something I will come back and let you know!

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ISHIIGIRL 8/26/2011 2:42PM

    I read your article, very good! Love it! What tips can I share? I have a million ways to save money on my grocery bill. I would say if you have any outlet stores in your area, check those out for great deals on healthy eating! I was visiting with a relative in California a few weeks ago and I found a store called Grocery Outlet. They had a lot of organic food as well as healthy food such as protein bars. They had greek yogurt, 3 for a dollar, no joke. We stalked up before we came home and just ran out of the protein bars.

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Food Photo Blog 86

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

emoticon It's 86 days until Breaking Dawn and it's fall in love with freggies week in our speed challenge. Thanks MovieWoman for coming up with that challenge.

I'm back in the track my food and photo blog it mode so here goes:

Breakfast - no picture - 1 whole wheat english muffin, 1 egg, 1 slice turkey bacon, 1 slice sargento reduced fat spicy pepper jack cheese and one orange. Black coffee.
Around 344 calories.


Mid-morning snack - 4oz plain greek yogurt, 1 cup frozen mixed berries, 1 tsp organic cane juice, 1 crushed nature valley dark chocolate and oats bar. 211 Calories. I put the berries, sugar, and 1 tsp of water in a bowl and microwaved it for 2 minutes.


Lunch - still finishing up the Turkey and Butter Bean Cassoulet from Clean Eating that I made on Sunday. I added 2 T chopped scallion and 1/2 cup chopped spinach to it and finished with a peach. About 368 calories.


Afternoon snack - champagne grapes, Quaker chocolate Rice cakes with 1 T natural peanut butter. 275 calories.



Dinner - cantelope and my version of Mexican Salad - romaine, butter, and radicchio lettuces, cherry tomatoes, avocado, cilantro, red onion, beef, salsa, newman's own balsalmic vinagrette. For desert, I'm eating one of my blueberry and greek yogurt freeze pops that I blogged about yesterday. Roughly 330 calories.

So I've still got a couple hundred calories to go for later to get into my range. Lately my night snack has been 1% milk, special K strawberry cereal and 1/2 small banana.


emoticon Today is a rest day for me. I have been doing some random yoga stretches throughout the day and I'll be doing my PT exercises for my shoulder after this blog. Instead of a trip to the gym, I enjoyed a hot bath and some reading time.

So what is your favorite fruit or veggie and how do you like to fix it? Have you ever photo blogged your food?

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JUNEAU2010 8/24/2011 9:23PM

    I'm too low tech to photo blog or vlog either. But the beauty of the community is we all benefit from each other's skills and talents.

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LOIDAEG 8/24/2011 3:10PM

    yummy!!!! looks good =)

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MSMEME29 8/24/2011 2:13PM

    I've got to look up clean eating... Food looks good

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ANEWLIFE4ME25 8/24/2011 10:47AM

    Delicious!

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PHEFEY 8/24/2011 9:52AM

    I have blogs with pictures of what I eat, but I take pictures of what I eat all the time. There is actually a website that will let you track what you eat instead of writing everything down (more for those who are only tracking for accountablity and not nutritional numbers).

My fave fruit right now is watermelon--straight up. And apples (plain, with PB2, or sprinkled with cinnamon) is always a go to.

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RUNNER4LIFE08 8/24/2011 9:40AM

    I love all the clean eating recipes you are always whipping up. Getting in all my freggies this week. I usually do on a daily basis so this challenge isn't hard for me.

I have so many favorite veggies and fruits it is hard for me to pick just one.

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FATHINSN 8/23/2011 11:57PM

    Your meals always so colorful and look so tempting!

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JESSIEJUICE 8/23/2011 10:30PM

    Mmmmmmmm that yogurt dish looks SO good! One of my favorite desserts ever is just a sliced banana with a light drizzle of chocolate syrup. MMMMM.

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CHBADILLO 8/23/2011 9:15PM

    I have never photoblogged my food but that's an interesting idea. I have to say that wouldn't eat half the food you blogged BUT it was very nutritious! LOL

I bet though if I had to blog my food and you all looked at it I would eat better. I've be sparked! :)

happy food-blogging :)

OH My fav fruit is PINEAPPLE, love it just fresh and cold :)

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