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Food Planning Rambling

Thursday, May 23, 2013

I love food. There is definitely enough love to go around to all my food. There are certain times of the month I love food more than usual no matter how much I try to take a time out. So I have to plan my meals in advance, track in advance and hope that it keeps me in line. Lately it hasn't and I think I am missing the mark on my meals. If I make them too healthy then I won't eat them. There has to be a comfort aspect or I get bored. Finding that in a meal without breaking the calorie bank is really difficult.

I like to get on the interwebs and look for recipes. Recently, someone recommended to me. She has some great sounding recipes on there. I think for next week I am going to make Corned Beef and Cabbage Soup. Mmmm... I may even use the crockpot to save myself stove maintenance. That would help a lot. My goal lately is to spend as little time in the kitchen as possible, but still eat primarily unprocessed.

I am also looking for good ways to get in a high protein breakfast too. I have been falling back on eggs a lot, frittatas and hard-boiled mainly. Frittatas became another thing I had to cook and hard-boiled is getting old. I tried greek yogurt with frozen berries for a while and even though I love the taste, my body does not love the dairy. I really need breakfast to be simple, easy, quick and filling. Am I expecting too much? This week egg salad with a bowl of oatmeal has been successful, but I can already feel myself tiring of the oatmeal. I always wish it had sweetener in it even with cinnamon and vanilla to spice it up.

If anyone is reading this do you have any meal prep tips to save time? Go to low prep recipes? Breakfast ideas?

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

COMPUCATHY 5/26/2013 11:39PM

    I go to the egg whites for protein for breakfast also. Protein is always my biggest challenge. Hope you are having a great Memorial Day weekend! Keep up the good work! Thanks for the encouragement! Spark on! emoticon emoticon

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SHAPESHIFTER09 5/24/2013 8:28AM

    You've inspired today's question of the day! Thanks! I hope you'll get some helpful answers. As for me, I usually make some sort of smoothie, an egg and cheese sandwich, or have Greek yogurt with kashi and berries.

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On the Fence About Blogging and My Sparkpage

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

You may or may not have noticed I deleted a bunch of blogs and all pictures except one...and my old goals. My new goals are similar, but I thought I would wipe the slate clean and start fresh with a new page. Then I started reading some old blogs and found the information useful and motivational. I just stopped mid-purge. LOL

I feel like I really need to focus on the minimum necessary to achieve my goals right now or I will become overwhelmed.

Decisions, decisions.


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

HAT_WRIGHT 5/15/2013 6:43PM

    Me personally, I would say keep them. After all, your blog is for you, it is a great reflection tool. And if you are worried about what others think, remember many of us are trying to reach the same goal you are, better health.

Blogging isn't something you have to do, or keep up, but when you do have something that has inspired or motivated you, it is a great place to share.



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JIBBIE49 5/15/2013 4:55PM

    I'm reading Richard Bernstein MD's "The DIABETES DIET" which isn't just for people who have diabetes, but he says that all obese people are INSULIN RESISTANT and can benefit from taking Metformin. He also talks about THE LAW OF SMALL NUMBERS which he says makes life easy to manage. The MORE of anything you add to a problem, the MORE DIFFICULT it gets to be to manage it.
He uses the example of a road with six cars and the odds of having an accident. If you double the number to 12 cars, you don't just double the odds of an accident but it increases more. So, his point is to KEEP THINGS SIMPLE. You have the best idea in doing that. It makes it able to manage.

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SHAPESHIFTER09 5/15/2013 4:06PM

    I blog mainly for myself, so that I can look back and remember where I've been an how far I've come. Sometimes I struggle with the publicity of it all (especially when one of my posts was deemed "motivational" and I got 1000+ comments in a week).

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BIXASTARR 5/15/2013 3:03PM

    Starting with a clean slate is definitely good, but I agree that keeping old motivational blogs and photos is important. Sometimes we lose sight of what we were set out to accomplish because we pick up new ideas and goals along the way. Having reminders helps.

Either way, the most important thing is that you're *here* and you're working to do what you have to do to be healthy! That's amazing!

It's easy to become overwhelmed when we take on too much. Start slowly and don't add new goals or ideas until you're completely comfortable with working towards the ones you've set. You can do this!!!

Good luck!

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HIPPICHICK1 5/15/2013 1:42PM

    I agree that focusing on a few things is better than trying to do everything. Keep your blogs that are motivational and inspiring though. It's good to re-visit ourselves through old blogs because we are amazing beings that forget how amazing we are.

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MARCIEMCGOWAN 5/15/2013 1:20PM

    I think it is a good idea to start with a clean slate. also in your weight loss journey each day is a new chance to start anew.


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The Nutritionist

Saturday, September 10, 2011

I had my follow up appointment with my nutritionist. It's the session where she tells you what your body comp is and how much you should be eating, etc.... There have been some adjustments to our sessions because most people who go see her have not already been losing weight successfully on their own. They don't have as much knowledge about micro and macronutrients as I seem to have. I've often thought I should have been a dietician in another life as much as I have read over the years. I also have a pretty good grasp of research about insulin resistance, hormone balance and prevention of diabetes. This weight problem has been a long journey for me over the past 19 years - the first time I "went on a diet." I say all of this because sometimes she would look at me and say - you are doing everything right. I'll explain further.

How much should I be eating?

Given my exercise level and weight loss goals I am eating within a good calorie range. Frankly, she is not a huge supporter of counting calories as a general healthy approach, but the science of calories in and calories out is undeniable. She subscribes to the train your body to know what is good for it and then listen to your body approach. She also kind of laughs about it because she knows how difficult it is to trust your body after it seems to have let you down. So, she has given me portion recommendations and supported my continued efforts with calorie counting if it helps me with portion control. The way she would like me to eat on a day to day basis would make it nearly impossible to overeat calories, but I don't trust myself yet...and maybe I never will. Baby steps.

How should I control my eating?

The reason she believes people can be successful not counting calories is because her main goal is to help you solve emotional overeating. Most people who come to her feel they have no power to lose weight. She tries to help teach you coping strategies for overeating (she is a recovering overeater as well) and strongly believes that if you can figure out why you are eating so much you can have a healthy relationship with food. You have the power, but it’s so often not about food. You are feeling powerless or empty.

This discussion came with a book recommendation. Women, Food and God by Geneen Roth. I read some reviews and frankly I was unimpressed. She said it really woke her up to her eating habits. She said, you can overeat hummus and carrot sticks just like you can overeat cake. It’s not about what you’re eating it’s about why. She did mention that some of the things the woman said in the book were so ridiculous you just had to laugh at her. So I went in search of a book on overeating that I could read without wondering why I am reading it. I found a book called Shrink Yourself: Break Free from Emotional Eating Forever by Roger Gould MD. So far I am really enjoying it. I’ll update when I’m done.

We talked about being mindful when eating. I had already incorporated some of these strategies in getting myself to slow down and taste my food. Don’t eat in front of the t.v. or on the run. One cool thing she recommended is to try eating food you’ve eaten over and over like you’re eating it for the first time, like you are a food critic. Feel it, taste it, smell it and really enjoy each bite. I’ve tried it and it’s kind of cool!

What should I be eating?

I’ve been eating pretty on point with what she recommends to her clients - a whole foods approach. She has this really long questionnaire that she uses to determine your food type. She has you swish a liquid in your mouth and checks your tongue. In the end she tells you if you are a protein type, protein/carb or just a carb type and then she makes recommendations on what you should eliminate from your menu. Before you begin your new way of eating she has you do a 10 day detox which consists of refreshing your liver and ridding your body of inflammation and cravings associated with food sensitivities or allergies. I also have to keep a food journal during this time for her to review. She says many people crave foods that they are sensitive to and it takes your body 10 days to stop craving sugar. Many people feel like crap on the detox, but since I’ve been eating very close to her guidelines already I may not feel much different. The detox eliminates fried and processed foods, caffeine, sugar, grains, dairy and soy and is accompanied by lots of water, cranberry juice and lemon. After the detox we will add foods back in slowly to see how my body responds. Because of my hormone issues she has recommended I stay away from soy unless it is fermented. No dairy either since I know I am lactose intolerant. The regular eating plan includes “free meals” much like the 80/20 philosophy.


She has no complaints here, but does recommend that I not increase my exercise in length. If anything I could increase intensity when I am ready to step it up.

Body Composition Analysis

At the time that I saw her I weighed 262.4 lbs. This was the breakdown.

115.2 lbs fat = 43.9% body fat
147.2 lbs fat-free mass
49.1 liters total body water
23.9 liters intracellular water
25.2 liters extracellular water
BMI: 38.75
BMR: 1953
Approximate Daily Expenditure: 3125

Body fat is comprised of essential body fat and storage. Essential includes your brain and any fat surrounding your organs. She said that I could lose 65 lbs of solid fat and be in a great place and even half of that would be wonderful. She says I have a lot of muscle tone right now because my body is used to carrying around so much extra weight. Normally she recommends doing as much as you can to retain muscle mass, but that she would not be surprised if I lost some just because my body did not need it anymore. Technically I should have more intracellular than extracellular water. She doesn’t know if it’s an electrolyte imbalance, hormones or inflammation, but I seem to be carrying around an extra 15 lbs of water weight. The max recommended extracellular water is 19.1 liters for my body size and I have 25.2 liters. So my detox is also focusing on electrolyte balance with coconut water after cardio and a little pink Himalayan sea salt in my water.

I go back the day after the end of my detox for another body comp analysis and to go over the rest of my nutrition. There was a supplement evaluation as well, but nothing worth mentioning. Neat stuff!

When I came home I told my husband how much I weigh for the first time in 9 years. I think my emotional health, motivation, determination, body acceptance and pride are on a new level!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SHAPESHIFTER09 5/14/2013 3:03PM

    What a valuable assessment this was. I've been wanting to go to a nutritionist for a comprehensive assessment for quite a while now, but my only prior experience with a nutritionist was a nightmare (I'm a vegetarian and I really try to focus on whole foods as much as possible... she spent most of our one session trying to convince me that processed foods were okay... ugh!). Can I ask how you found your nutritionist?

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OLLYBIRD 9/12/2011 11:25AM

    I'm so glad you had a good experience with the nutritionist. I hope your detox goes smoothly and you keep feeling great. My sister has started seeing a nutritionist as well to help with her PCOS and she is excited about it as well. Although hers isn't a fan of SparkPeople which makes me sad.

Keep up the good work!!

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MOEMOORE 9/10/2011 6:11PM

    Thanks for sharing. When I got the email saying you posted and I saw the title, my thoughts were "Oh yea - she posted her experience with the nutrionist - awesome!" :)

Its interesting to hear her approach to nutrition. And its even better to hear how you're handling your differences. I certainly look forward to hearing how the book you've decided to read is!

And congratulations on telling your husband your weight. Sometimes verbalizing it to the ones we love can be yet another motivational tool!

Keep it up - you're doing great!

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BBORDEN86 9/10/2011 5:24PM

    Wish I could go see a nutritionist, and find out all that cool stuff. I'd love to know my body composition, as scary as it'd be. Good luck!! emoticon Sounds like you already have an excellent grasp on things, even according to your nutritionist!! WooohooO!

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EXENEC 9/10/2011 5:14PM

  Very interesting & informative post. I hope you continue updates on your journey. Best of luck!

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Goal Met = New Challenge

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

This is going to involve talk about my fertility so if it’s TMI one should back up ASAP.
Yesterday I hit a HUGE goal. I had a positive OPK. Only the second one in two years, the first one being in December of 2009…the OPK that eventually led us to the infertility specialist. Restoring ovulation and overall hormonal balance has been a huge motivator for me. Sure I can take drugs to make it all happen and in the end I probably will for the timing of fertility treatments, but it has been really important to me to get my body balanced. I want my body to be happy so I can feel good and not start off on uneven ground, so I can continue this fertility journey on a solid foundation.

Yesterday we decided we will wait two cycles before trying to get pregnant on our own…again…and hope that those positive OPKs keep coming every month. I have initiated a personal challenge. For the next two months I am going to live healthfully and consistently with positive choices.


Target 20 lb. loss
Weigh every 2 weeks & Measure at finish

Fitness and Nutrition Action Steps:
• 6 days a week between 1650 and 1800
• 1 day a week under 2500
• 45 minutes exercise at least 6 days a week
• Start Turbo Fire on 8/29/2011
• 8+ glasses of water daily
• Research and focus on foods high in Vitamins D, E, C, iron, calcium and carotenoids to boost immune system

Lifestyle Action Steps:
• 7.5 hours of sleep minimum
• Manage stress productively

Other Action Steps:
• Do a week by week summary on SP
• Continue reading The Spark and implement the plan
• Finish goals board and display
• Put up positive affirmations
• Post goals on fridge
• Create a positivity journal to redirect negative thoughts and feelings

Reward: A new outfit head to toe!

Starting Weight: 262
Starting Measurements:
Chest: 40.5
Neck: 16
Waist: 37.5
Navel: 46.5
Hips: 49.25
Thigh: 28
Calf: 18.5
Ankle: 10.5

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

REIKI_RAE 8/28/2011 12:00PM

    All the best to you on your new challenge!

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NATURALROCKS 8/28/2011 7:28AM

    Sounds like you have a solid plan and I wish you much success with it all!

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DANNIELLEFIT 8/28/2011 4:35AM

    Love the plan. Good luck with Turbo Fire. I really love that program, though I am not going to restart it until October. You will do it!

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MARVEEME 8/23/2011 5:48PM

    Congratulations, stay focused on your vision, and my prayers will go with you, Amen!

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APLUSGURL 8/23/2011 5:37PM

    I LOVE it!!! Great things are happening all around for you! The positive OKP is HUGE!!! Keep rockin it girlfriend!!! emoticon

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OLLYBIRD 8/23/2011 11:11AM

    OMG!!!!! I am so excited for your positive OPK!! I know how exciting those are as I have also struggled with ovulation. This is a really big step in the right direction. I bet you are over the moon! I love your new plans for your health and weight loss as well. Keep up the good work, my sweet friend! Good things are happening for you! emoticon

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BLC#18 Results and Reflections

Sunday, August 21, 2011

My first day back at spark coincided with the start of the BLC#18 Challenge. For the past 10 weeks I've been motivated and inspired by the weekly challenges and camaraderie of my team (go BLUE). I have been reading The Spark and trying to make the rest of my life go in the same upward spiral as the my weight loss. I wanted to place my results here so I can look back and remember how far I have come in just 10 weeks.

It has been a bumpy ride for me. I struggled with fatigue for more than half the challenge. Between sleep, my carbohydrate balance and remembering to drink my last glass of water at least 2 hours before bedtime I have made a huge impact on my overall well being. Most morning I don't wake up tired and if I hit a lull in the afternoons it's because I'm tired of doing work and sitting in front of the computer. A quick walk around my building perks me right back up.

I have given up caffeine. Yup. Done. The more I phased it out the more I realized how my slip ups every now and then were making me feel heart, anxiety, bleh.

I have gone from exercising 30 minutes a day 6 days a week to 45 minutes a day 7 days a week. I do take a day of rest (or two) when my body tells me too. That's another accomplishment. I am listening to my body more than ever and when I think about what to put in my mouth I ask myself what would be the best and most nutrition for my body. It feels awesome.

My biggest accomplishment most of all has been not letting myself slip too far backwards whenever I had a bad meal, bad thought, bad day, bad anything. I have made serious strides in my emotional eating. Nothing I do with one meal or even one day of bad meals is going to diminish the determination, energy and focus I have put into making myself a healthier person. I am going to succeed because I will not give up.

Some numbers:
SW: 290.8
CW: 262
Total Loss: -28.8 emoticon

Starting Measurements:

Chest: 42.25
Waist: 40.25
Hips: 52.5

Current Measurements:

Chest: 40.5
Waist: 37.5
Hips: 49.25
Total inches Lost: 7.75 emoticon

() = improvement over first week scores
Drill 1 - Count of Crunches in 2 min= 65 (+2)
Drill 2 - Count of Push-ups in 2 min = 36 (+3)
Drill 3 - Wall-Squat Hold Time = 1m 38s (+32 sec)
Drill 4 - Arm Hold Time = 3m 45s (+29s)
Drill 5 - 150 Step-ups Time = 1m 44s (-3m 37s) WOW
Drill 6 - Plank Hold Time = 1m 54s (+1m 12s) WOW
Drill 7 - Bridge Hold Time = 2m 9s (+1m 24s) WOW
Drill 8 - Count of Cardio Exercise in 2 min = 240 jumps (rope) (+90)

1) Did you reach the personal goal you set for yourself? Yes! I wanted to lose 10 lbs and exercise for 30 min 6 days a week. I've lost over 25 lbs and I work out at least 45 minutes 7 days a week (sometimes 6). Woot!

2) What are you most proud of yourself for accomplishing during this challenge? Consistency and not giving up. I pushed through a lot of really sleepy days before I got my carbs and sleep regulated. I'm feeling awesome these days! This really is a journey about finding my balance.

3) What did you struggle with the most during this challenge?
As stated above sleepiness! It took me several weeks before I got my sleep and carb ratio under control. I'm glad I finally made it a priority. The sleep challenge really made me focus on it.

4) Did you learn anything during this challenge that will help you on your weight loss journey? I've learned some great strategies for getting through the rough weeks. Break it down into smaller goals and you will succeed.

Thanks Blue team for being with me during the start of this journey!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

APLUSGURL 8/23/2011 5:32PM

    You are AWESOME go GIrl!!!

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BUTTERFLYAT38 8/21/2011 9:45PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon You are rocking it!! Love it!

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MAPLECANDY3 8/21/2011 1:01PM

    Sounds like you did a great job!! Is there another blc starting up? I'd love to join one!

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