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Eating healthy doesn't have to cost more...

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

I get several news feeds on my homepage (SP of course) and today one of them is an article entitled, "Eating healthy can cost more, but doesn't have to, experts say" from USA Today.

The article includes several links under "Dieting On A Dime" that I thought might be interesting.

I just wanted to point out this article for anyone that might have missed it.

I have discovered fresh fruit is having the lowest prices I have ever seen this season! I am buying fresh peaches and plums for $1 pound and this year fresh strawberries have averaged $2 pound. My fresh pineapples have been $2.88 each all season.

While some fruits have been high, starting with oranges, cherries have come down to $2 pound even though they are generally not available after July.

I am buying most of my fruits at Walmart's and Sam's Club - just to let you know where I am finding these prices.

I don't buy fresh veggies, partly because frozen is just a lot handier for me to use.

** It's nice to see we are all "fruity"

*** Thank you Carol_! That is a great warning about "Organic" coming from other lands!! I don't purchase organics, we grow them, but this is a wonderful warning for other sparkers! And I will be sure to "turn the bag over" in the future!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CAROL_ 7/17/2009 11:37PM

    I'm with you Linda, some of the best prices in produce I've seen in years!

The only caution I'd give you is the frozen bags of veggies, the Walmart brand, are from Mexico with very high pesticides. They even use chemicals that are banned in other countries. Flip over the bag and look in fine print on the back, it's hard to find but it will say Mexico, all of Walmart's GV brand are from Mexico. Chinese frozen veggies sold at the Whole Foods stores & labeled organic, were also tested by independent consumer labs and found full of pesticides. If it came from outside the US, then it has to state country of origin.

So I'm with you on the produce and frozen veggies. Just be careful of Mexico from Walmart & Sam's. Also if you pay the higher price for organic, make sure it's not an imported organic. The USDA has no regulatory authority over imported organics.

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ONMYWAYTOGOAL 7/15/2009 8:53AM

    I love both fresh fruit and fresh veggies! I roast the veggies and make wonderful salads. The veggies are great just cut up. I too am a huge fan of our local ALDI's. Their produce is much less expensive and better quality than our Wal-mart. It must be a store thing , because the Wal-mart we used to go to in MN was awesome. Here, the produce only lasts about 3 days and it's spoiling. I'm glad the prices have come down so we can enjoy more fresh fruits and veggies this summer!

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MSCANDICE25 7/15/2009 8:16AM

    I agree with with frozen veggies are handy and they are easier for me to do also since im not the best cook emoticon, I to have also been buying alot of fresh fruits and man they are so tasty I never thought I would eat fruit before ice cream but now days I do..
And thank you for pointing out that article out im going to have to check it out!! have a good day

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MARTY19 7/15/2009 7:21AM

    It's funny you should mention this. I have so much fresh fruit in my frig. I have never seen the cost this low and I am loving every minute of it. Following SP meal plans means I am eating alot of fresh fruits and veggies. Some it it I ahve never tried and many in new unexpected ways. It is fun.


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MSLZZY 7/15/2009 7:08AM

    I have my own garden and have lots of fresh veggies every day. But all the fresh fruit is cheaper this year. Must be the economy right now.

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CANDICE4861 7/15/2009 6:58AM

    i have been eating alot more veggies because i have my own garden but the fruits i have been getting cheap are at aldi's where i live in ohio emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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This works for me and is part of my program.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

edit: I have changed the title and put this into 1st person (I and me) mainly due to some of the comments.

I don't focus on food. I am blessed not to need a lot of variety with my foods.

We are here at SparkPeople because we all have a problem with food. We need food to survive but food has become The Enemy for a lot of us.

I need to take the focus off foods. For me this means not poring over cookbooks and recipes. Not planning and dreaming about "going out for dinner" every week.

I am always amazed when I visit the pages of new members and they have joined cooking teams. Cooking is not my main problem - eating the cooking is my big problem. So I have trouble understanding why anyone would join teams that revolve around cooking and trying new recipes if trying to take off weight in a timely manner. Note - I don't understand. I am not judging others who differ in their opinion. I have lost a lot of weight by not focusing on recipes and cooking - this works for me even if it won't work for anyone else.

My sister always said to me, "nothing goes better with a diet-book or cookbook than a bag of cookies."

For what it's worth, my mother was fond of saying, "pick a food, any food, and if you had to eat it every day for the rest of your life you wouldn't starve."

I have heard that diet foods are expensive. Well, cakes and candies aren't cheap either.

I think it all comes down to choices. I choose to eat healthier foods and I am losing this excess weight.

**thank you for your opinions JERSEYGIRL24 & ONMYWAYTOGOAL! truly!!
I hadn't considered that the cooking teams might be dealing with other issues as well.

My focus comes from the teachings of Overeaters Anonymous - K.I.S.S. (keep it simple sweetie) and they advised us about not reaching for cook books and poring over recipes. The belief in my OA group seemed to be that seeing the foods would also trigger the desire for them.

***More great points Marty & MIKIIO! Thank you my friends! All this gives me greater insight to what others are dealing with. I am a lousy cook but I have been surprised at how many rely on fast food these days. Thank you all for your opinions - I only know the environment that I grew up in.

I never had the luxury of growing up with fast food. I was grown before the 1st Burger King and McDonald's were allowed in Brooklyn, NYC. And even then we had to drive to them!

My "fast foods" were jewish delicatessens and chinese takeouts. My fast foods were knishes and hotdogs, fried rice and ribs.

We were poor so we didn't eat out much. And there was always bread and cake in the house since my mother worked in a bakery and my father was the Master Pastry Chef for Junior's Restaurant in Brooklyn, NY. They were allowed to take food home and it was always fancy pastries and breads.

****Since I am always being asked how I lost 88 lbs in 16 months, I was just explaining one facet of my program. Sorry if I upset anyone with my opinions.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

FORMYDARLINGS 7/15/2009 4:30PM

    Hi Linda. For me, cooking with a recipe adds those much needed herbs and spices that I never can figure out. I have no 2nd nature when it comes to cooking and if pressed to make a non recipe meal, it WOULD be hotdogs!LOL. I know what you are saying though, however, ALL the books I use are on the G.I. diet we follow, so all ingredients and recipes are fair game. I must tell you however that on 1 front you are absolutly right. Chocolate bars are expensive. I know because I bought 2 today!!!I don't crave fancy dinners, I crave crap!!


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GYPSYHEART1 7/15/2009 4:19PM

    Linda, I feel the same way as Elizabeth...I am glad you didn't delete this. I feel exactly like you. We were poor, but thank goodness we always had food on the table, roof on our heads, and clean clothes. Anyway, the way I was taught is to "eat everything on your plate". As a youngster I ALWAYS played outside, and burned the calories off. Now as an adult, I don't go out and work a long 9 hour day. I am trying to make healthy food choices, and totally appreciate you sharing what works for you. I can definitely live with your meal plans, without pouring over a cookbook, since I do live along, and have no one to cook for. I'm not a great cook, either...LOL! So thanks for sharing your opinion, (that I am in total agreement on), and thanks for sharing your meal plans. Your one smart "cookie"! Hugs, Pam

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MEADSBAY 7/14/2009 11:03PM

I'm glad you didn't delete this.
I don't see how you could have offended anyone.
You clearly marked it as your opinion, even in your title, and it is your blog, after all.
We are all mature people (most of us anyways) and should know how to respect opinions and ideas different from our own, and, judging by the response, this is a topic people have feelings about. I, myself, love to cook and, while I'm not on any cooking teams, I think it's great that people are putting effort into learning to be better (and I would assume, healthier) cooks.
You are a huge sparkpeople success story and I think it is just awesome when you share what works for you because there are a lot of us here who learn from hearing what has worked and not worked for fellow sparkers.

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I think that reaching out for the new cooking teams and new cook books is a natural thing. In my opinion, I needed to find ways of cooking that could reduce some of the fat that I was using in the beginning. The TV show, "Cook Yourself Thin" is a great example of just that. They show you how to cook meals that taste good, but hey have a reduced amount of fat and calories. I even ordered the cook book online. But, I haven't used it much either. I have used it some, just not harping on it and all it's recipes that "I HAVE to make". Just my take on it.

Ps. by the way, I have mentioned your screen name to several folks here at SP and thought that they might have reason to chat with you about their issues with weight loss and amounts to eat and exercise when they get stagnant on their WL journey.

Have a super day
Not fixated on food
just trying to eat a lot more fruits and veggies

your ol' buddy tony

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_VALEO_ 7/14/2009 5:20PM

    Sorry, I don't agree with you on this one, cooking can also be part of the problem for some members.
Linda, We both know how to cook food and healthy food, but keep in mind that some Sparkers have no clues when it comes to the kitchen, and don't know how to cook at all, some have never cooked, and have been relying on fast foods and food to go till they joined.
Even when you know how to cook exchanging healthy recipes is always good.
It's great that those teams exist, and that members take part of them. Knowledge is power.

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MARTY19 7/14/2009 4:56PM

    Many of us have grown up being taught that food = comfort or reward or whatever. I know this. I had to literally re-train myself to stopping thinking about food in this fashion. I need food to survive and what I try to put in my mouth is food that my body can consume to provide nutrients my body needs. It isn't easy.
When I look at cookbooks it is to find healthy meals that also provide visual interest. I enjoy eating food that looks good. I think that is my quirk. LOL


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ONMYWAYTOGOAL 7/14/2009 4:15PM

    I agree that there are a lot of interesting and different teams on SP, but whatever it takes to keep us motivated, moving and loosing the pounds is okay by me.
I was a member of a WW team for awhile, but I got tired of all the recipe's. I can only try so many new recipe's a week. I tried a crock pot cooking team and the same thing happened. I had to let go of something I love.....trying new things in order to focus my energies on things that need attending to...exercise and changing bad habits and simply eating less.
We all have different ways to cope with these changes we're trying to make. Sometimes, and I'm speaking from my own experiences, we camoflage our success and sometimes we ambush ourselves.

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JERSEYGIRL24 7/14/2009 3:54PM

    I'm not sure I agree with you about people who join cooking groups. Maybe they are honestly looking for healthier recipes including adaptations of old standards. I joined the Love to Cook group as well as another one early on, but I left both of them fairly quickly. I know that the Love to Cook group is very large.

That said, I agree that your priority should not be how to create lower calorie versions of high calorie treats like cookies, cakes or fries. I am sometimes amazed that when people embark on a weight loss plan, one of their first questions is something like "How long until I can have ice cream (or some other forbidden food)?" Or else they are unduly concerned about how they can adapt these things so they can have them (i.e. low calorie ice cream recipes). Well, no pun intended, but it is very hard to have your cake and eat it too. I think you have to find new, healthier substitutes.

As an aside, there are a lot of groups on SP that I just don't understand. For example, ones that have to do with your political views. I don't see what that has to do with weight loss.

However, I am a member of the New York Yankees fan group, and I enjoy the discussion that goes on there. I was a member of Spark Bookworms for awhile because I was hoping to get some ideas for some good books. I think the team would have served that purpose, but I left it recently because I haven't been reading much. I may come back to it though. With both of these groups, I look for friendly discussion more than I look for wellness advise. But the Yankee team does offer challenges as well, so it is a good group.

Comment edited on: 7/14/2009 6:03:49 PM

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Time to get back in the saddle again.

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

The family reunion has come and gone. I made my goal of 125 and was even lower!!

My dad's arm is finally showing some improvement!

It is time to get back on track and get rid of these last 6 pounds.

**edit: I am missing the extra couple of hundred calories emoticon but doing great!

**edit: I am walking 20,000+ steps and trying to keep my calories around 1800 daily - so far this is working great!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

_VALEO_ 7/12/2009 4:36AM

    Lot of good news here! Thanks for sharing them!

I'm glad your father's arm is feeling better.

Have nice Sunday,

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PALESEPT 7/11/2009 3:31PM


I think I just asked someone else this, but I'm trying to get opinions... which kind of pedometer do you use? I've had back luck with pedometers. They keep dying on me even though I change the batteries and everything. Oh yeah, and then there's the part where I through them through the washing machine. Ooops! *giggles* So, which do you use? Was it a good price?

I'm glad your dad is doing well!


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CAROL_ 7/9/2009 8:42PM

    Wow 125 is so great, after following your blogs for so long, you have come sooooooooo far!

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    Hooray on the news of your dad and yippee skippee on 125. You are blowing it all away girl. Keep going


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SOPHIADARE 7/9/2009 9:28AM

    Wow! It's SuperLinda!

With most people, I'd be saying they need to leave themselves more space, but you know, better than anyone else, how much you can do. Sometimes making a space to take care of yourself is the most effective thing, and if this feels right for you, I'm sure it's right for you.

I am VERY impressed!


I'm also thrilled that your dad is out of the hospital and doing better!

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    You are doin' it Girl!!! Isn't it so much easier to concentrate on our goals when "life" doesn't get in the way?? It's your time to cross the finish line...YOU can do it!!! emoticon emoticon

Hugs! Laurie

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MSCANDICE25 7/9/2009 6:06AM

    Well Im glad to here that your dads arm is doing better.. Im glad to also know that you have met your goal 125 and lower and I hope that you make that 6lb loss like you want keep up all the good work

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MSLZZY 7/8/2009 11:33PM

    I am glad your dad is getting better. You've done so well holding it all together and maintaining. When the time is right, I have no doubt you will rid yourself of those
6 pounds! You look great!

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JERSEYGIRL24 7/8/2009 10:50PM


I know you have been on an emotional roller coaster lately. I'm so glad things are settling down for you. I'm also glad that you've managed not to gain weight through it all. I guess that your good habits are too ingrained.

I think you look great, but if those last 6 lbs. are important to you then by all means go for it. But don't beat yourself up if it just doesn't happen or if it happens slowly. You really are amazing!!!!



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    Woo Hoo! Glad to hear your Dad's arm is doing better...that is great news! Even better news to hear you met and beat your goal. Very nice!!



Comment edited on: 7/8/2009 6:57:58 PM

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CICI510 7/8/2009 6:48PM

    emoticon You can do it!!!

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    I agree,
I'm getting back in the saddle again too.

Did you hear the begrudging sigh of my clydesdale?

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MARTY19 7/8/2009 6:22PM

    emoticon on all the good news. I think you look fantastic now but I understand that if you feel like you need to lose 6 more pounds than I am rooting for you.


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A typical Meal Plan for me.

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Today I was asked what my typical day's food plan is like and what I do for exercise. So I thought, maybe this will help others too.

10 Bing cherries
6 oz. Peaches
1 Cup Cantaloupe
6 oz. Strawberries
1 Cup Cottage Cheese 1%
4 oz. Dannon Light & Fit
442 calories

Marinated Salmon
9 Shrimp
1.25 pounds fresh cucumbers (munched throughout the day)
2 Tbl Cool Whip
1/2 Cup Cherry Vanilla ice cream
1/2 Cup Cheerios
628 calories

2.67 oz. Lean Ground Beef
1.34 oz. Breakfast Sausage
1-1/2 Cup Mixed Vegetables
1 oz. Vermicelli
6 oz fresh Tomato
489 calories

14 cherries
2 strawberries
2 Cup Cantaloupe
200 calories

Finished my day at 1809 Calories, 245 Carbs, 45 Fat, 122 Protein, 1872 Sodium

I try to eat my fruits in the morning with cottage cheese and yogurt. 3-4 oz of fruit equals a portion and the number of portions is up to you. A large apple can be 2-4 portions.

Lunch is protein with veggies. When I was trying to lose the bulk of my weight I also limited the amount of protein to the minimums. Now I am trying to max it out.

Dinner can be cereal with ice cream, added nuts if I still need fats. Or like today, I chose protein and veggies again.

For exercise I walk daily with my neighbor and we are now averaging 5.5 miles every morning, 311 calories burned on average. I try to do some Strength Training 3X week. And I am still using my Walk Away The Pounds videos!

This is pretty much what I have followed for the past 15.5 months with great success. When I was into more weight loss I kept my calories around 1550 and burned about 700 calories on the average day.

I hope this will help someone with their own program.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SOPHIADARE 7/9/2009 9:31AM

    Great plan!

Great mix of "tastes good" indulgences that people would think they couldn't have with "tastes good" indulgences that are good for you!

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GRALLEN 7/8/2009 3:33PM

    Glad you posted. It's neat to 'see' into someone else's routine. I still want to get a WATP video but haven't gotten around to it. I'd like to rent it from the library first then maybe buy it. We'll see.

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PALESEPT 7/8/2009 1:59PM

    MMMMMmmmmm... cherries!!! My personal favorite! I have them with either cottage cheese or yogurt. How do you buy your cherries? I buy them frozen and then microwave them for a couple of seconds. My other favorite is blueberries. I'm a fruity girl! heehee emoticon


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GYPSYHEART1 7/8/2009 10:36AM

    Thanks again, Linda for sharing this meal plan. It's simple, easy, healthy, and most of all affordable. You are the best, my friend. I can do this! I also get by with a little help from my friends...

emoticon emoticon


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MELTEAGUE 7/8/2009 10:21AM

    Sounds yummy ! I am drooling!
Have you tried Frozen yoghurt? there are some really delicious ones out there???

Nicley done, it is not always easy to fit it all in in a day ...good job!

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    Wowie! Very healthy eating...that's so awesome! I'm a little nervous about carbs. For me......I couldn't loose and enjoy as many carbs as you do even though I LOVE fruit. So, I load up on the veggies instead. You are emoticon!!!

Hugs, Laurie

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MEADSBAY 7/7/2009 8:41PM

    I want to be just like you, Sparky! emoticon
Thanks for sharing, Linda.
It's good for us to learn about all the different right ways to do things there are.

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DEBIPOGUE 7/7/2009 8:06PM

    I'm not up to that calorie intake yet ( not exercising that much though either) but this was very helpful and it certainly HAS worked for you. Thanks again.
Debi emoticon

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MARTY19 7/7/2009 7:11PM

    WOW. I am impressed! I'm not sure I could eat all that food but your balance of nutrients is incredible.


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I was so-o-o-o bad, but it tasted so-o-o-o good!

Sunday, July 05, 2009

I was so-o-o-o bad, but it tasted so-o-o-o good!

Started the day really good, nice normal Saturday other than it was the 4th of July and for the first time ever I had to take Dad to Dialysis on a Saturday (my sister had an opportunity to travel over the weekend!).

Good breakfast of fruit w/ cottage cheese and yogurt! Sampled 1/2 stick made by my dad, maybe 50 calories - I even shared it with his dog!

Wanted to grill some chicken but with a freezer full of chicken I couldn't find a single package from everything else being on top! No problem, I took out 2 Pork Sirloin chops. Even breaded and fried, I could work them into the day.

Went to Walmart's to pick up dad's prescription - pharmacy closed.
4th of July emoticon

Wanted to pick up Strawberries for neighbor that took time out of her day to buy Cream Cheese for me on sale with a limit - found Bing Cherries $2 pound! Yikes, I bought Bing Cherries for $2 pound and spent a small fortune!! Did you know you can freeze cherries?! Yup!! I now have loads of cherries on top of my hidden, never to be found again chicken!

Here's where the day got "oops-ed".

Got home and sampled quite a few cherries while attempting to make lunch. Do you remember me saying, "never allow yourself to get hungry?"

So I put the last of the fresh corn into a pot to boil, and thawed the pork the rest of the way and dredged them in a matzoh meal mixture and prepared to fry them. I had also found 1 chicken breast fillet and thawed it too. Yup, coated it as well - what do they say about "in for a dollar, in for a pound?"

Now is where it gets really scary - I never weighed my pork chop! Nope, just kept eating it!! So I estimated it to be about 12 ounces!! Yup, that is quite a portion. Had 2 ears of corn too, one before the pork, one after. It's ok, I cut the pork chop in half! But you guessed it, ate both halves.

Here's where the "in for a dollar, in for a pound," comes in. I wanted dessert so I had my regular dinner right after lunch - ice cream with cereal but this time topped with coolwhip! Believe it or not, at this point my day was still ok! A bit high, but not unacceptable.

So-o-o-o, what happened next you ask? DH was looking for crackers. OMG, I broke the 'cardinal rule' and didn't have a cracker in the house for him. So I opened a new box of Matzoh's and darn his hide, he only wanted half a board. I don't know what happened, but that other half a board just seemed to want me to put peanut butter and jelly on it! So, I made the matzoh happy and smeared it with pb & j and enjoyed! I think you can all see what happened next?! Yup, that half a board with pb & j asked me to get another board of matzoh ready! The only good news here is the board of matzoh is only 100 calories. The better news is by the time I had the 2nd board ready, DH said, "that looks good!" and I gave him half the board - the bigger half!!
The rest of the story is 2600 calories later and in the hole for my Calorie Deficit I got up off my butt and did a 3 Mile WATP with weights, followed by an 18 minute walk outside with DH. Finished my day with a Calorie Burn of 756 and a Calorie Deficit of 32!!

emoticon Don't you just love it when a plan comes together?!

Be careful out there, danger lurks in every bite!
Love y'all,

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MELTEAGUE 7/7/2009 8:55AM

    O my , I thought that by the title of the blog there was sure to be CHEESECAKE Involves, esp when I started reading about cream cheese and cherries! lol.....

But peanut butter and Jelly on Matzos...Oooo not so bad...but yes soooo good!

Thanks for the giggle, I can sooo relate!

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SOPHIADARE 7/7/2009 7:34AM

    Brilliant and hilarious.

So glad to read your dad is home safe!

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    LOL!!! You are the BEST!!!

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GRALLEN 7/6/2009 9:51AM

    Wow, you are so good.

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CAROL_ 7/5/2009 10:34PM

    You did very well! I think the key words, at least for me, were, "I got up off my butt and did . . . . ". Yeah, that's what I need to remember and to live by.

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    You're a wonderful story teller. You should write short stories. Take care,


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MSCANDICE25 7/5/2009 7:08PM

    Wow you are amazing you managed to eat and still get i that workout later in the day I would have thrown in the towel and called it a day like I have been doing on the days I feel I'm going over but what I like about you is that you keep it real and share no matter what and I like that about you so I have to say wtg on that

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DEBIPOGUE 7/5/2009 4:53PM

    LOL!!! I laughed so hard I cried. You are so funny and sooooo honest! Been there, done that! Glad to see that you were able to make up for it by the end of the day...GOOD FOR YOU! Bless you my friend.
Debi emoticon

Comment edited on: 7/5/2009 4:55:22 PM

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    What I want to know is how you got yourself into the exercise mode at such a late time in the day. I can see myself skirting disaster just the way you did by redirecting some of those "iffy" choices and recognizing that you had allowed yourself to get hungry. I have been there.

I have not quite gotten to the place of pushing or tricking or cajoling myself into exercise when it is late in the day and I am getting tired.
The 18 min. walk, yes, but the WATP 3mi. would be unlikely.

Please tell me your secrets!!! YOU ROCK!!!


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FINDINGREALME 7/5/2009 10:39AM

    Kudos to you -- your healthy habits are so ingrained, you can turn a potential disaster into a good day! Keep rocking it, girlie!!


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MARTY19 7/5/2009 8:36AM

    I love PB&J but don't have it often. But I do use the Skippy Light. I honestly cannot tell the difference.
I wouldn't worry too much. Your good habits are so ingrained that one day is not going to kill you. Even your bad days are better than some other people. lol

Lobe you

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_VALEO_ 7/5/2009 7:03AM

    emoticon darn Matzoh, peanut butter and jelly! Their callings are terrible!

Thankfully, you calculated your intake and get moving!

How are you going to freeze your cherries? I'm interested since my father always have lots of cherries and we never know what to do with all his crop.

You want to laugh: this morning, I saw my spouse all ready to go to work... when I saw him leaving with the bin liner and his bag, I asked him "where the hell are you going?"... He was going to work... on a Sunday!!! He thought it was Monday morning...

Comment edited on: 7/5/2009 7:04:10 AM

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