RUTHXG   44,804
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Exercise pants on sale!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

The other day I googled something like "exercise pants women tall." I have two pairs of sweats inherited from my daughter, both of which have holes in the crotch. I have one other pair I picked up in a bin at a grocery store; one leg is slightly shorter than the other. That's it! And now that it's winter, when I go out to exercise I NEED long pants.

My googling led me to the Volleyball America website, where they were selling full-length tall Asics pants for JUST $4.98 a pair! I was amazed. I bought two pairs (red, as the color selection was very limited), plus a $7 pair of blue Asics capris. They just arrived & they're great! I thought some of you might want to check out the sale--just google Volleyball America & you'll get to it.

This was my "sick" day. (1) First thing in the a.m. was my annual mammogram, thus today was my annual torture day. My tissue is dense & my boobs aren't very big, & those machines were NOT designed with an actual woman's body in mind. (Where are the women tech designers?? We need you!) The lab tech did a good job, though--it didn't hurt quite as much as it sometimes does.

(2) This afternoon I went to an ophthalmologist to have my retinas checked, to make sure the little flashes I see after coughing in bed at night are not indicating a retinal problem. He & the techs peered into my eyes with various bright lights, & he said my retinas are very healthy & there are no signs of macular degeneration.

So I have survived my annual torture day without major trauma, & now I have pants to wear when I go out walking tomorrow morning!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SUZYWM 1/26/2012 12:39AM

    Hey - you must be coughing very hard! I've had that happen on a rare occasion, it was scary. Hope the cough gets better!

Love hearing about the pants sale. A truly great bargain!

p.s. - glad you're taking care of the tatas, in spite of the torure!

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BEATLETOT 1/25/2012 2:46PM

    Glad you got some new pants for working out. It can be a real inspiration to get those workouts in!

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EYES_ON_THEPRAZ 1/24/2012 10:20PM

    Glad you are taking care of yourself, it is so important. Congrats on the pants!!! What a steal!

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SHANSHE 1/24/2012 9:05PM

    Woo hoo on the pants and yay on no eye problems and a less painful mammogram! I like red!

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COLLINSCJ2012 1/24/2012 7:48PM

    I am glad that your retinas are okay. Do they have an idea of what the flashes are? I am glad you brought up the mammogram, I have been meaning to set my 1st since I turned 40.

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RUNNERRACHEL 1/24/2012 7:47PM

    Glad you got some pants! That should be fun to use for your workouts!

And good job getting through your annual torture....I mean checkups!


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TICKLEBEE 1/24/2012 7:46PM

    thanks for the heads up on the pants!

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Yeah, I've gotta get back to tracking too

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Today's weigh-in was not pretty. Too many treats this past week! I'm still well within a healthy BMI (22.7), but I'm wanting to edge down, not up.

So it's time to get back to tracking. This is DIFFICULT for me because housemate & I eat nearly all our meals at home & cook almost everything from scratch (soaking dried beans, making our own cereal, chopping fresh veggies, etc.). And I love trying out new recipes! So to track, I have to laboriously enter all the ingredients, & track them down elsewhere on the web if they aren't in the SP database (what?? Sparkrecipes doesn't include fresh lemongrass??), & include number of servings & cooking times & everything else even to save a recipe privately on Sparkrecipes. (Since I've been using recipes from a published cookbook, I am not supposed to make them public. But I'll post links to where you can find my current favorite below.) I've just spent more than an hour doing that for ONE recipe! Granted, it was complicated because I made the curry paste from scratch & it has a ton of 1-teaspoon ingredients; then I had to save it to favorites so I could incorporate it as an ingredient in the Thai-style chicken-sweet potato mussamun curry that I made this week.

So please forgive my whining! The SP nutrition tracker is much more expeditious than it used to be, but it's still a big hassle when one's foods are not listed.

Anyway, I have now tracked for today, ahead of time, so I know exactly what I'm going to eat at each meal. I've also discovered along the way that my exercise today will have to involve going to Dominick's to get nonfat cottage cheese, as that is the only readily available food that will increase my protein (& calcium) to the appropriate level without raising my calories & fats past the healthy range. (It's snowing a tiny bit again! But not enough to add to the accumulation or slow me down much.)

I've cheered on MTULLY & others as they've been getting back to tracking food this past week, & now it's my turn to join in! I will try to track the night before, or after breakfast for the rest of the day, so I'm not recording a fait accompli but planning well to eat within range.

Here's the mussaman curry paste:

And here's the book itself--unfortunately I didn't find the individual recipe posted online:


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

EYES_ON_THEPRAZ 1/23/2012 2:18PM

    Yeah, a lot of my tracking is "guessing" but i feel better at least putting down an estimate, usually over-estimate a bit to compensate for any extra/hidden calories. It can def be a pain though!

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SUZYWM 1/22/2012 6:55PM

    I love that you do so much home cooking - although I understand the challenge of tracking your own recipes. I've used a lot of ready made freezer meals the past few years, but I like to cook andam making more of an effort now. I know it can be healthier! Thank you for sharing your recipes.

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BABY_GIRL69 1/21/2012 6:24PM

    Why don't you do what I do? Just say you have something from Chili's & its one of your favorite meals, then put that down as something ate along with lemongrass. That way it simplifies it a bit. Also, it will crunch time for you when entering in all those ingredients. I just find something similar & use that. You don't want to give away all your goodies & secrets....

God bless & you back on track! lol


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BEATLETOT 1/21/2012 4:10PM

    Lots of people make the recipes from cookbooks public. Maybe if you make sure to put a link to where you can purchase the cookbook on the recipe, it may help someone out!

With home cooking, I usually just make a wild guess. I'll search "macaroni cheese homemade wheat" and see what comes up. Hopefully someone's put in some nutrition information and I can just use that. I figure the numbers are never going to be EXACT-exact, even if I measure everything, so I try not to worry about it tooooo much. If I worried more than I do now, I probably wouldn't track at all!

Love to you! Hope you're having a glorious weekend!

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RAINBOWCHOC 1/21/2012 1:58PM

    I am not a great tracker as the British foods all have to be added, although several items have been added by members. You don't get Potassium or magnesium listed routinely so the numbers at the end of the day look low but you may be fine. I write mine in a diary, I usually know if I am over or under by teatime...years of practice! I know a chinese takeaway is a killer but a grilled burger in a bun won't do too much damage. Hooray for common sense, we'll get by with a good helping of that!

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SHANSHE 1/21/2012 12:54PM

    WOW, that is a hassle, but I am proud of you for making the effort to track again! Good job!

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Snow snow snow!

Friday, January 20, 2012

The snow started falling this morning around 10:00, I think. It's a little after 9:00 p.m. now, & finally it seems to have stopped . . . but apparently we may get up to 3 more inches tonight. Total may be as much as 8 inches (20+ cm).

Knowing that it would be very cold this morning & that snow was on the way, I planned to do strength training inside instead of a walk out in the weather. Happy to say that I did it (I've gotten lots of exercise this week, yay!), & then I performed my ablutions (a friend & I used to get a good chuckle out of dignifying showers or just handwashing with that long word), had breakfast, & took off on the L for work. I admit that before leaving, I did check my work e-mail a couple of times to see whether the director might have sent an e-mail telling us that given the impending storm, none of us needed to go to the office today . . . no such luck.

It was a pretty productive day at work, as I watched the snow fly outside my window . . . & fly & fly & fly. It was relentless! The design & production director started going down her hall around 4:00 telling her employees that traffic was already bad & they should leave early. Again, I hoped that my boss might do the same thing, but she didn't.

I happily decided to avoid the bus on my way home, as Lake Shore Drive was sure to be a huge snarl. I have a 10-ride pass for the Metra, a commuter train with a stop near my office; it's separate from the CTA system, so it would be expensive to use both on a regular basis, but it's a nice occasional alternative.

This is another reason that public transport rocks!--when it's available, of course, & specifically when it involves trains: it's SO much better than driving in a storm. Some road commutes between the Loop (downtown) & various outlying points were as high as FOUR HOURS! How miserable!

My only challenge was trekking through the fresh, unshoveled snow across the Midway (a wide green space) to the Metra station. It's the distance of just two blocks from my office, but it really taxed me, so much that by the time I reached the top of the steps to the train platform, I was panting deeply. But the train arrived soon, & the conductor kindly stopped with the door right in front of me (at this stop they usually open just one door for everyone to board, as there usually aren't tons of commuters waiting). From then on I got to just read & rest, then transfer to the L & read & rest some more.

Housemate & I just had a great supper of my mussamun curry chicken over brown rice, green beans, white wine, & a couple slices of pineapple. And I have made a pot of lemony tea, & after I finish Sparking I'm going to cozy up on the sofa with my book & sip tea & read till bedtime!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

EYES_ON_THEPRAZ 1/23/2012 2:20PM

    I do wish I could see snow, maybe once a year would be nice. But it does make traveling and commuter way more difficult - be safe!

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SHANSHE 1/21/2012 11:10AM

    WOW, what a day! Glad you got some peaceful time after everything was over, or at least you planned too. You also got some extra exercise in, it sounds like! Hope you enjoy snow since it sounds like you have plenty of it!

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TEXASTITCHER 1/21/2012 12:16AM

    You are more than welcome to the snow. I like living where winter is the optional season and you have to hunt somewhere else to find it.

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BEATLETOT 1/20/2012 11:04PM

    Hope you enjoy your relaxing night!!!

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CTEMPLE 1/20/2012 11:03PM

    Sounds like an excellent day in spite of the snow.

Comment edited on: 1/20/2012 11:04:17 PM

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IAMSUPERGIRL 1/20/2012 10:56PM

    I believe we were originally slated for around 8 inches here today too but they cut it down to around 5. It looked pretty coming down, tho. Sounds like a great, relaxing end to the night!

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OUTDOORGIRL70 1/20/2012 10:32PM

    It's OK we have had snow snow snow for the last 5 days. Dinner sounds like it was very good.

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The habit I'm working on

Thursday, January 19, 2012

What I've been working on hardest in the past couple of weeks is getting back to using public transportation to get to work. Last week I did a public-transport commute all four days that I worked in the office. This week I had MLK Day off & didn't leave home, but I have commuted on the L & bus both Tuesday & today thus far (Wednesday being my work-from-home day). And I took the L home from the Occupy the Dream event on Sunday.

Here are the benefits of public transport for me:

1. It's much better for the environment. My little Honda is not a gas guzzler, but it does use gas & emits pollutants--best to minimize driving.

2. It requires me to move more, whether I'm walking to the station or bus stop or marching in place to keep warm once I've gotten there.

3. It gives me much-needed time for reading, writing & praying. This is the ONLY time I normally take for writing poems--my writing withers up if I'm not sticking with my CTA commutes.

4. It goes with getting adequate sleep & not cutting corners. (Driving is faster, so I resort to it when I need to make up time.)

5. It provides a tax deduction. One of my workplace benefits is getting my Chicago Card Plus (permanent transport card) loaded every month with pretax dollars.

6. I get to hang out with fellow Chicagoans of many ethnicities & cultures every day, even if we don't actually exchange words. So it makes me feel more a part of my city.

Hope I can keep this streak going--SO many benefits!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SUZYWM 1/22/2012 6:46PM

    Ruth - you would fit in so well in Santa Cruz! Thank you for being a good steward of the earth's resources - and thank you for your continued encouragement! You are an inspiration!


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SHANSHE 1/20/2012 11:26AM

    Wow, we don't have public transport in my rural town, but i sure am glad with all the negativity you HEAR about it, that you have found so many positives for you in using it!

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TEXASTITCHER 1/20/2012 12:04AM

    I took public transportation when I lived and worked in San Francisco, but it had drawbacks as well. In the Dallas area, if you do not work in downtown, it is difficult to us public transportation.

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LINDABENEDICT 1/19/2012 10:45PM

    great !

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DONNACFIT 1/19/2012 10:16PM

    Great goal..I like to find ways to be more green, too..this week I started a compostpail !

Great blog!!

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BEATLETOT 1/19/2012 9:53PM

    I love your attitude towards public transportation! I used it for years, and when I moved further out from the city, I just found it toooooo unreliable and expensive compared to my car. It was maddening. I wish I had your attitude!

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KAYTIE22 1/19/2012 8:38PM

    Good choice - a lot of benefits as you mentioned. This is a great goal and habit to work on.

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EYES_ON_THEPRAZ 1/19/2012 7:28PM

    This is a great goal. I wish I could do this in LA... I've mapped out different ways and it just doesn't work. Makes me miss living in Philadelphia a lot!

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CTEMPLE 1/19/2012 6:16PM

    Loved the list.

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JMCADE 1/19/2012 6:07PM

    What a good goal to have. When I used to work in the city, I used public transportation all the time. You are doing a great thing for the enironment and yourself.

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SALSIFY 1/19/2012 5:54PM

    I try & use public transport when I can. It's amazing how much fitter I am when I don't use the car - just by increasing the amount of walking I do. I live in London so luckily it's easy to do.

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BABY_GIRL69 1/19/2012 5:47PM

    You are so much better than me Sweets. I don't have the patience for public transportation. I have to take my son to school & then its a nail biter all the way to work if I will make it on to time on the I290. I was born & breed on public transportation & in the summer it was really cool. Then comes the 12degree temps & I know I just can't deal with those buses & the waiting....YIKES!

God bless & enjoy everyday!


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MOMFAN 1/19/2012 5:34PM

    Yes, there are many benefits! Good for you, people laugh when tell them I often march in place for exercise. Sometimes things happen and it at least gets it done!

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MTULLY 1/19/2012 5:31PM

    Great goal for you and the environment! I take advantage of public transportation when I can, but you are inspiring me to see if there are more opportunities for me to explore.

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Curry + exercise = bliss

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Today is my work-from-home day, & I've started it out by cooking! I'm making dhal in the slow cooker:

So the house is fragrant with the onions, garlic, & spices that I browned before mixing in. Later I'll cook up some quinoa or brown rice--or both!--to accompany it.

I'm also going to make mussamun curry with chicken. There's no Sparkrecipe for that (yet!); I'm using one from Nancie McDermott's The Curry Book. We are missing one ingredient: lemongrass. My exercise today will be fast walking to Little Vietnam to get lemongrass in one of the Asian groceries. I'll probably come home on the L to save time--I do need to get in my work hours too!

(P.S. on the bookkeeping: One of my neighbors has supplied a couple of the figures I was missing; the other is going to check his records. So I will have that finished up this week!)

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

RUTHXG 1/18/2012 10:42PM

    Ha! I wish I could invite ALL the Starfish (& a few other wonderful Sparkfriends) over for a sumptuous curry meal!

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COLLINSCJ2012 1/18/2012 10:27PM

    I am coming over for dinner.

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LINDABENEDICT 1/18/2012 7:23PM

    Sounds yummy !!!!

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AMYLONGHORN 1/18/2012 6:35PM

    Today was my work from home day, too! Or, as we call it at my job, "WFH"! LOL! I love cooking in the slow cooker because the smells just permeate throughout the house throughout the day! YUM! Hope your meal turns out AWESOME and it sounds like you had a good balance of cooking, exercising and working today!

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MTULLY 1/18/2012 6:21PM

    You make the most interesting combinations of things, and I love that you can pretty much walk anywhere to get the ingredients you need. Glad to know the bookkeeping issues are being quickly resolved. That has got to be a good feeling!

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CTEMPLE 1/18/2012 4:55PM

    Sounds like a great day. I grow lemongrass in a big pot, it's so expensive!

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EYES_ON_THEPRAZ 1/18/2012 1:24PM

    Mmm sounds delicious!

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HELLODANAE 1/18/2012 11:46AM

    I love the smell of food when I am cooking, and when my husband says " I can tell that is going to be delicious!"

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BEATLETOT 1/18/2012 11:28AM

    Thank goodness you'll have the books all up-to-date!

Enjoy your lovely meals!

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RUNNERRACHEL 1/18/2012 11:24AM

    Mm sounds wonderful!

Glad you were able to locate the missing figures.

Have a beautiful day!

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SHANSHE 1/18/2012 11:16AM

    Sounds like a great smelling work day at home, lol!

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