OPTIMIST1948   27,277
25,000-29,999 SparkPoints
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New Foods

Friday, February 10, 2012

Thanks to the Foodies Unite & Crunchy People teams I have been inspired to try some new foods. Warning, some of them are a little ... silly.

1) Napa Cabbage. This is a soft leafy cabbage. I've really enjoyed it, but my two favorite applications were as an addition to soup (pour super hot liquid on top) and a fast stirfry with tofu.

2) Tofu. I admit, I bought it and then stared at it in the fridge for a few weeks. "You bought me, now what?" it seemed to accuse me. I really enjoyed it in the aforementioned stirfry (gigantic pile of food, 200 calories). I'm now staring at the next block and pondering my moves. Alton Brown has a recipe for "Bar-be-fu" in "I'm only here for the cooking" (his first book) that I think will be the next trial.

3) Skim Milk. Yes, I know, skim has been around forever. But you've got to understand - I grew up surrounded by dairy farms in upstate NY. We would bring a pitcher over to the farmer and dip it right out of his holding tank. I've been a 1% for a few years and finally decided to splurge on a 1/2 gallon of skim to see if I like it. I do. (Now I just have to stay out of the cookie jar.)

4) Cauliflower. Was never a big fan...actually let me rephrase. The only ways I had it and liked it were either covered with cheese sauce, or deep fried. Since neither of these are exactly healthy, they were definitely 1x per year treats. However, I had been reading alot recently about roasting. Well it worked for the sweet potato and I thought I would try this. Nope. Still not a big cauliflower fan. Cauliflower is such a nutritional powerhouse, I really want to like it, but ... meh. My last hope for enjoyment lies in trying mashed.

Next up on the list: Quinoa. Which as my Spanish Professor Mother informed me is pronounced "Kin-oh-ah" not "Kin-Wah" I purchase $0.88 worth today at the healthfood bulk section. (I know, don't break the bank!) I'm hoping to use it as a rice "replacement" Fingers crossed.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

RESCUE_NINJA 2/11/2012 1:40PM

    Good job on trying some new things!

I like to try new foods, but unfortunately I'm married to a guy who's prone to saying 'ewwww.....what's THAT?' when confronted with anything outside the norm. (And he doesn't like garlic -- TRAGEDY! -- but that's another story.) So I have to be VERY SNEAKY sometimes.

That being said, I have a box of quinoa in the cupboard that keeps calling my name...just can't figure out what's the best thing to do with it!

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MISSY994 2/10/2012 10:33PM

  These are awesome choices! Quinoa is all good, and Tofu can be fun as well. I laughed when you said you bought it and it just sat in the fridge - it's intimidating right? I am with you on that one.

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MISSIFISH 2/10/2012 10:24PM

    It is great to try new things! I know you already tried roasting the cauliflower, but this roasting recipe is something special. You might give it a try (if you like curry): http://almostveganchef.com/2012/01/

Also, since you mentioned you liked sweet potato, there is a recipe I got here on spark people that blew my mind - it might be a good way to use up that expensive quinoa.. http://almostveganchef.com/2012/01/

Oh my gosh. I'm salivating just thinking about it. Must make it again!

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BROOKLYNROSE 2/10/2012 9:35PM

    I think that is awesome you are trying new foods. I need to do the same thing because I am in a rut. emoticon

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Who to Believe?

Wednesday, February 08, 2012

Just a quick one today: I dont know who to believe, the machines at the gym or the SparkPeople computer.

I did 32 min on the Elliptical: 84 calories according to the machine, 462 according to computer. It only registered 1.5 miles but I know when I run on the road I can cover 2.5 miles in 35 min. And the elliptical I ran the whole time, but on the road I usually have to take some walking breaks.
Then I did 20 min at a pretty fast pace on the recumbent bike: 4.5 miles, 132 calories according to the machine, 338 according to the computer. No idea how fast I bike normally - I've never tracked it before.

I'll take my 52 minutes, but the machines seem way too low (calories and distance) and the computer seems way too high. Thoughts Sparkers?

(As I posted yesterday, I banged up my knee a little at the House of Bounce. I still wanted to get my exercise in, but I didnt think the joint could take the pounding of a run. I think it should be better tomorrow.)

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

DOGLADY13 2/9/2012 11:18AM

    I have used SP as a guide since the Y machines seem higher.

Does the elliptical ask for your weight? The more you weigh, the more calories your burn when you work out. (I know, I get frosted every time I think about it.)

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YDAVIS23 2/9/2012 5:47AM

    I have trouble with this too. Usually SP is lower than the machine. I tend to just estimate in the 75 or 80 cal for every 10 minutes range if I'm in an elevated heart rate zone. Not very helpful, I know, but I always want to under estimate rather than over estimate.

Good luck!

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AZCHICA2006 2/9/2012 2:12AM

    I have read that most machines overestimate your calories by about 25%.

I do wish that SP would allow you to enter other variables in: such as incline and resistence as well as heart rate info. My heart rate monitor tells me my heart rate based on my height and weight. Keeping it at 150 will burn approximately 450 calories per hour for me. The machine is always a little higher than this, and SP always lower.

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JLBRHW 2/8/2012 9:15PM

  Hi - I got into some trouble using the SP calories burned numbers (were too high I think, although the tracker kept telling me to bump up my calorie intake). Which I did and ended up gaining a bit. Now I reference SP, but also use a site I found online that seems to give a more realistic number. I suppose the best option is to use a heart rate monitor.

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CK-DUBYA 2/8/2012 9:05PM

    My gym is on the other end of the spectrum I did 45 mins on the eliptical and the machine said 1072 calories and SP said 696. I assumed it was somewhere in between, but maybe neither are close. I've thought about getting a bodybugg. I wonder if that would be any more accurate.

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    I read somewhere that the rule of thumb, as far as running is concerned, is 100 calories per mile run. I'm not sure how that compares to an elliptical trainer, though. Have you tried searching through SparkPeople's articles? I would there's one that would give you much better guidance...

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PLD519 2/8/2012 9:00PM

    I have a Nordic Trac Elliptical and I use it at least 5 times a week. I searched the web for the benefits of elliptical training and from what I read on the www, on Elliptical Machines, the distance is not miles, it is the distance per revloutions per minute and I would need my manufacutures book and a mathimatician to convert that to miles. I have worn a pedometer when I work out on it and it never says the same distance as the machine. It IS frustrating, if it makes you feel any better, the calories that my machine says when I am done are very close to the ones that Spark lists when I log my cardio. Elliptial, good or bad, I dont know, but it gives me a good sweat and cardio workout. Its gotta be better than sitting on the sofa :)

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EASTENDCLAM 2/8/2012 9:00PM

    I think Spark calories burned are always high. I also track on my computer a fitness program that's highly rated by independent reviews against similar programs This program calls my calories burned 20-26% below Spark ratings. That's not the spread you see but it's something to reflect on.

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A few thoughts from the past 24 hours

Tuesday, February 07, 2012

1) My Zumba/ Yoga gym is 2 miles from my house. Uphill. If the weather cooperates, I'm going to run/walk instead of drive. Really wish that calorie calculation took hills into account.

2) After eating nicely for 4 weeks, one night of party makes me an unhappy Optimist. I really like XRSize18's suggestion of a parfait tray. Gonna do that sometime soon.

3) Bouncing in the bounce house with your kid is WICKED FUN. (SnowAngelDiva gave me the courage to go play!) I wasnt able to run today because DH wasnt feeling well so we went to The House Of Bounce (Not its real name) so he could have some quiet. At one point it was just me and Child, so we had a height competition before I did some crunches. I may have messed up my knee a bit, which could affect #1 tomorrow. Decision pending ibuprofen and a good night's sleep.

4) Yoga at the House of Bounce: Surprisingly easy. (I wasnt doing anything tremendously elaborate - I wanted to get my 10 minutes) At one point a kid came over and said "What are you doing?" But mine was right behind her and just said "Oh, that's just yoga." So proud.

5) Van Halen "Right Now" should be the SparkPeople Theme Song.

Other nominations accepted in the comments.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

EUPHRATES 2/7/2012 11:13PM

    I think of Sparkpeople every time I hear "Firework" by Katy Perry (which is pretty often since it's on my work out play list).

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Surviving the Superbowl Party?

Saturday, February 04, 2012

I wish I was a football fan, because I honestly believe that football fans have more fun watching the game than anyone else. I don't have the patience to learn the strategies and to me it looks like grown men crashing into each other and fighting for a ball that doesn't look like a ball.

This all changes at Superbowl. I love a good Superbowl party and had the good fortune to be invited to one this year. I'm looking forward to it, and am giving myself permission to eat small portions of .... anything I want. That said, I still want to bring something more exciting than the veggie platter.

I'm going to bring "Caprese Skewers" - you get strong toothpicks and skewer marinated mozzarella balls with cherry tomatoes. (This is a big "seller" at previous parties.) Also, going to experiment with Peppadew peppers, stuffed with a mixture of fat-free feta, neufchatel cheese and garlic. I'm hoping it ends up something like a cold jalapeno popper: creamy & a little spicy.

Does anyone have other ideas for fun, lower fat/calorie snacks that are acceptable to the dieter and non-dieter football fan?

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

DOGLADY13 2/6/2012 10:21PM

    I often bring a shrimp tray since eating protein helps me to not overeat.

How did you do at the party?

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XRSIZE18 2/6/2012 12:33AM

    I always try to bring healthy snacks to game nights/parties/visits with friends because otherwise I just become TOO tempted and will nosh on anything that is put in front of me.
One of my favorite things to bring is a do-it-yourself parfait tray. Bring some granola, different kinds of yogurt cups and 3 different kinds of berries (I usually do strawberries, blueberries and blackberries). It's healthy, but still really yummy.

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MISSY994 2/5/2012 2:36PM

  I love party food, especially the unhealthy stuff. I tend to over-eat at parties.

You're right about the skewers, anything on a kabob on the grill can be healthy, cooked without oils and then served without white bread. (Ya know, as opposed to a chicken sandwich it'd be a chicken skewer w/ bell peppers and onions).

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My Spark Blew Out

Thursday, February 02, 2012

Really having a hard time getting myself motivated today. Change of weather (only 40 instead of 50 - in FEB!) very grey clouds, and I'm tired of the nutrition report telling me that I'm not eating enough calories. If I'm not hungry, I'm not going to eat any more.

Finally my mental trainer/ coach dragged me out of the house.
"Look, you said you wanted to explore a new route. We'll go over the hills and you can walk it. No running, I promise." (I wonder if the route tracker takes elevation into account?)

So I walked. I focused on keeping the pace fast so it wasnt a complete exercise washout. But I'm just so blah. I'm still feeling unmotivated. I tried reading some motivational blogs, but that just makes me feel like more of a loser.

Tomorrow I'm going visiting and I've mapped out a new route at their house. I'm going to bring my bike and hope that a change of scenery and method bring some inspiration.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MISSY994 2/4/2012 6:54AM

  This will pass, keep with your positive outlook and stick it out. Believe in yourself!

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XRSIZE18 2/3/2012 9:11AM

    Have you ever tried any kind of fitness classes? A lot of times you can get community education classes for fairly cheap. Something like spinning, cardio kickboxing or Zumba offers a lot of fun, in addition to excellent cardio. Not to mention, there are always people in the classes to relate to.

Just a thought.

You CAN do this!

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NIGHTJADE 2/2/2012 7:45PM

    It's hard for me to stay motivated, too. In fact I struggle with that daily. But it sounds like you're doing great! Changing your workout to something fun can help. Also, you could always try to schedule in a relaxing day once every couple of weeks so your mind and body can reflect, regroup, and recharge.

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RAINA413 2/2/2012 1:02PM

    Good idea to switch it up with a new route or a new way of taking that route...instead of going on foot bike it! Sometimes the change of scenery really helps.

As for the food, trust me. I know how hard it is to eat enough of everything your nutrition tracker says you need but it really does work!! Force yourself in the beginning if you have to and then you will soon realize that you are able to eat that much. I know it sounds (and feels) so backwards to eat more in order to loose more but it really does work that way. Try spacing out your calories into smaller meals and snacks throughout the entire day. That is how I manage to get them all in.

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DOGLADY13 2/2/2012 12:41PM

    I'm with PATTI2255 - I've been doing the "fake it til you make it" program for more than a month now. It has worked most days. On the hardest days, I give myself permission to quit, but I have to put in at least 10 minutes of hard work first.

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KSANDIEGO 2/2/2012 12:17PM

    When its cold outside, try using a DVD to workout with inside. There are so many DVDs that are worth trying! The new PACE series has 10-12 min workouts that really kick butt and do a bunch of programs on different areas that you work in progression - or - the spark program (I haven't tried that) or Jillian Michaels, hers are quite a workout and good too. I get the same burn out feeling you are talking about every few days, but once you are up and exercising it goes away very fast - you just have to get going and that voice in your head goes away - so get your butt up and at 'em and you will find results. Don't worry about that nutrition tracker saying you didn't eat enough calories - I am under almost every day, so I never pay attention to that thing - if I'm not hungry I'm certainly not going to eat more - and neither should you. Just focus on being sure the calories you DO eat are very healthy ones! No sugar, no processed food - the fewer labels on your foods the better! LOL And the only thing you shold be drinking is water (other than your morning coffee - I can't live w/o that *giggle*
If you like walking - do it when you can. And don't forget strength training. You need to build up that muscle every other day or at least 2-3x/wk so that you can begin to burn more fat over time. Get some weights and do the DVDs w/weights. There is plenty you can do inside to not be cold and so there can be no complaining girlfriend - get your butt up and at 'em and get moving! Consider this your big kick in the keester!

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GOOBERIFIC1 2/2/2012 11:28AM

  one day at a time! it's hard to push through the 'blah' days :(

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BAMBI31311 2/2/2012 11:24AM

  Just stick with the program, and do the best that you are able to do day by day.

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PEPPYPATTI 2/2/2012 11:22AM

    You can find your spark again. Sounds like you are doing great to me! You know the old saying "Fake it till you make it"!

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