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"Grace in the struggle..."

Wednesday, February 09, 2011

That is a quote from Paula, our MEZZOANGEL...thanks, Paula, it fitted perfectly for the blog I have been working up to writing! emoticon

I realized today that I've totally neglected my overall fitness tracking (under Other Goals, where I list fitness minutes & what I did during those minutes) and that it went off track after one day when I maxed out on Bollywood and also walked quite a bit outdoors, but didn't get a very high step count or mileage because Bollywood doesn't make you move your feet a lot.

However, this was irrational, since you move your other body parts to the MAX with Bollywood & I had done a VERY energetic session, the entire DVD, 50 minutes. emoticon emoticon

This happened at the end of January - a month in which I wanted so much to be back in France, to indulge myself, to avoid "work" as much as possible, etc. etc. etc. I was dreading the scheduling and planning that I must do for Lent and Holy Week and Easter. I was procrastinating. emoticon
I was drinking wine! emoticon
I was not really getting emoticon because I was pushing myself to exercise. In fact, I was pushing myself to get back to more strength training since I have neglected that of late.

Pushing and dreading - two bad syndromes for me. emoticon
Plus indulging, as a reaction to the other two syndromes. emoticon

OK, not really complaining here, I have a very fortunate life...I may not make lots of money & I may work strange unpredictable hours but I do fundamentally enjoy what I do and consider it useful. I dread its planning and paperwork, but I have some control over how I work that into my day. I count my blessings most days and feel very grateful. emoticon

And I'm glad I even have time to exercise during the day! This is a great blessing. emoticon

I'm also grateful that I've managed to reach my goal at least once - although I have not seen that 135 again since I reached it the first time. Not the most important thing in the world, I'm happy with how my clothes fit - but I would like to maintain in the 133-137 range and get down to 130 by May if I can.

Which brings me to my new Initiative - I nearly said "Intention" but that is a Catholic word for "prayer request" & it's nice to keep things non-sectarian here. But I like the word intention because it is not a Project, a Plan, a Resolution, or any of those intimidating things that make me add to the internal pressure that I am well-known to put on myself about "getting things done." However, Paula gave me the perfect way to say it - I'm just hoping for some "grace in the struggle" and hoping to be open to that.

The Initiative - yeah, I'm getting there! emoticon

I like the new spark page because it puts your daily calorie burn & fitness minutes right there where you can see them. I think it has definitely helped me be more consistent in my exercise.

BUT I must face the fact that one reason my weight's now oscillating between 136 and 140 (depending on when you catch me, and I don't write this down because it's a crashing bore) is because I have not confronted my own tendency to snack, especially at night, and I have been compensating for this by maxing out on exercise, especially indoor cardio.

Had to recognize this when my calf muscles began hurting from doing so much Leslie marching and intervals.
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I realized just how much I had been doing when I finally recorded my steps for the last 2 1/2 weeks. (HATE record-keeping, but it's the only way to see the big picture) emoticon

I've upped ST and cardio miles in February but I'm paying a price in tiredness and in some beginning muscle strain. I know I need to balance this out with stretching and I'm working on that.

BUT the fundamental thing that MUST change is the snacking habit. Working at home, it is easy to just emoticon something all day long. It especially eases the dullness of paperwork. BUT...no excuses...continuing to snack keeps me in the mindset of using food to deal with boredom, which is my major eating trap.
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I also want to cut down on wine. Empty calories. Delicious though they may be. emoticon emoticon

Evening is the worst time. Getting home from a tough rehearsal, it's so easy to say, "I NEED a treat, I deserve a treat..." and I still do think of special things to eat as treats and I think I always will, even though I know that that is a no-no.

But my intention/initiative is to have 3 delicious satisfying meals a day, with one afternoon snack and one bedtime snack. These meals will include something treat-ish for "dessert" whether it be a special piece of fruit or even a cookie, if calorie counts are ok. I think I have finally reached the point where I WANT to break the snack addiction. emoticon

So I'm INTENDING to do it!
The last two days I have done it, even coming down with a cold - which always tempts me to "stuff the cold" a la my mom.
It feels right and doable. And less about the weight than about discarding an unhealthy habit that I really don't need.

I'll need all the grace I can get!

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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SARAWALKS 2/19/2011 5:57PM

    A little update here in the interests of full disclosure...

I'm doing better with night-time snacking AND with emoticon
Being on antibiotics right now really helps me say no to the latter.

I'm trying "not tracking food" again, to see if I can stay on track without writing it all down. If after 1 more week, I am not doing well, I'll start tracking food again.

But for a while, I want my main focus to be on the new 5K training thing, which gives me a little more variety in the daily workout. It would be nice if food would just fall in line. I do feel that I'm less subject to the real pigout cravings & managing better from day to day.

And that's it, folks! emoticon
emoticon all for your comments and support!

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CHIPPEE 2/12/2011 8:16PM

    Sometimes, it's all about balance and you seem to be finding yours. I'm so proud of you. emoticon emoticon

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ESLTEACHER1 2/11/2011 6:38AM

    It sounds to me like you've applied some of the key elements of Spark to your plan and that's the best foundation you can establish. Think of this as your latest adventure! You can do it!!
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55WALKER 2/10/2011 5:06AM

    emoticon

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SARAWALKS 2/9/2011 8:21PM

    Thanks, everybody! Cello, I've tried not keeping emoticon and emoticon around and I just end up pigging out on other things, so I've decided better to eat what I truly want and learn to stop at a reasonable amount.
As for the emoticon I think I'm going to keep it to one 8 oz. glass roughly every other night and see how that works. That should allow me to have a glass on Tues. and Thurs. and possibly Sunday which are my big rehearsal/mass days.
Claude, we actually have lots of nice fruit this time of year so that's no excuse for me. I just have to choose it, and then choose moderate amounts of other stuff...at appropriate times...
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KAKIPOPUP 2/9/2011 6:43PM

    It is a good thing that grace abounds -

emoticon and you are not alone-

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CELLO23 2/9/2011 5:22PM

    Well done on getting your plan together! I think lots of people have had a lapsed January (me included) - it's become a lot easier now that the days have started to get longer, though. Hopefully for you too!

The boredom-and-snacking syndrome is v familiar - the only way I found to solve it was to avoid having emoticon and emoticon in the house. The emoticon syndrome too emoticon, but I've imposed a weekend-only rule, and that seems to be working...

Hang on in, and shake off that cold! emoticon

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CJWORDPLAY 2/9/2011 2:40PM

    "Grace in the Struggle"! What a wonderful way to say what we all need every day. I am impressed with your insights into what is happening for you. Isn't that a wonderful gift? To be able to see what is going on - name it - and develop strategies to deal with it. It's not easy walking with balance and your plan looks not only hopeful - but, as you said, doable.

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CJ

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CLAUDECF 2/9/2011 1:37PM

    Hope this will work. Identifying the problem is good. Now what to do about it is another thing. I find that winter is more difficult than summer because of the lack of variety in the things I like, like fruit and veggies. But it's still winter for a good while.

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SDKENT79 2/9/2011 12:39PM

    Great post!

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STARTINGINLIMBO 2/9/2011 12:14PM

    Great blog. I know you will come up with a great new plan that works well for you!

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Things about me...maybe more than you want to know!

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Things about me

(It is fun to learn different things about our friends!! Stolen from MAMADWARF...Thanks, Jan! My answers aren't as fun as yours though!

The names I go by:
Sara
Dr. Sara - my kids at church call me this
Miss Picky - my friend Diane calls me this, she knows me too well!

Three places I've lived in the past:
Chicago, IL
Miami, FL
Greenbelt, MD

Three sports I have played:
Horseback riding
Softball
Ballroom dancing IS a sport!
(what on earth is knee boarding, Jan?)

Three things I love to watch:
People
Dawn
Twilight

Three places I have visited:
France (Love it!)
The Grand Canyon & Four Corners (Loved it!)
Guatemala (Loved it!)

Three (living) people that I love:
My friend Diane
My friend and neighbor Mickey
Lots of people all over, sometimes that I only know a little bit or for a short time, but I still love them

Three people that I love who are no longer on this earth:
My mom
My dad
My grandma

Three things I love to eat:
Cheese!
Oysters!
Cookies! (I will never be over it!)
and to be quite fair I should mention Bread!

Three things I am looking forward to:
Retiring with enough to live on
Losing the schedules...see no. 1
Having more time to spend with friends & cousins here and around the world...see no. 1

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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

TIMELESSCRONE 2/4/2011 2:22PM

    Thanks for stopping by and leaving such kind words. Wow! I lived in Hyattsville - graduated from Northwestern high school! Small world!

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CELLISTA1 2/3/2011 1:00PM

    Oh, Sara, you have to come visit. They sell fresh oysters in my local farmers market -- shucked to order. Two bucks apiece. The guy who sells and shucks is French! He recognizes me now, for the three oysters I slurp down every Sunday, and says, "Bonjour, Madame! Wheech ones do you like today?"


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TEENY_BIKINI 2/1/2011 11:19AM

    Wow. You rock. Ballroom dancing is indeed a sport. Yay you!

How fun!

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CELLO23 1/31/2011 2:22PM

    Have you ever tried cheese, oysters and cookies all at once? Maybe Claude's personal chef could make you a bespoke recipe... emoticon

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SARAWALKS 1/30/2011 8:52PM

    Jan - don't you get a lot of water up your nose? That always gives me pause with water sports...

Robin, thanks for reminding me you can "fry" oysters with no breading and just a bit of Pam! I tend to make stew myself...they are so yummy!
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ROBINTRACKS 1/30/2011 7:04PM

    Under 3 things you love to eat, you mentioned oysters. Thanks for a reminder that these are a tried and true GREAT low calorie food (lightly fried w/ spray Pam & no breading). I live in the PacificNorthwest, where they're plentiful, but alas haven't taken true advantage of these in years.... Thanks for sparking the inspiration Sara!

-- Robin
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MAMADWARF 1/30/2011 3:18PM

    lol, Knee boarding is like water skiing but you are on your knees on a board. My knees no longer allow such things however. it used to be alot of fun!

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SARAWALKS 1/30/2011 2:39PM

    Thanks, Claude, Janice, Donna, Kaki, CJ!
Please feel free to copy and share your own things! I forgot to put that in. emoticon

Yes, ballroom dancing can be both a contact sport and a dangerous sport, depending on your partner(s)! But worth the risk, in my opinion!

Have a great week, emoticons!
emoticon and emoticon

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CJWORDPLAY 1/30/2011 1:51PM

    I love the ballroom dancing comment. It is a sport. I got PE college credits for it!
Thanks for sharing about yourself. Can we borrow the idea?

CJ emoticon

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KAKIPOPUP 1/30/2011 4:40AM

    Thanks for sharing - emoticon

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ESLTEACHER1 1/30/2011 2:49AM

    Awesome way to get to know you better, thanks for sharing, cutie!

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CHIPPEE 1/29/2011 6:23PM

    emoticon emoticon

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CLAUDECF 1/29/2011 6:06PM

    emoticon emoticon

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Too warm in 18 degree F. weather...

Saturday, January 22, 2011

I am in serious need of advice, from all you serious people who get out there and walk/run in all weather, even weather COLDER than this...I realize that this could be considered mild for some of you...

I don't know what to wear! emoticon

I am not often clothing-challenged. The task of traveling light to Paris in the winter didn't faze me, I tested my layers numerous times, and was SO pleased when I was actually more or less comfy all the time, even when the weather was like this...



True, no snow, but the wind in Paris can be brutal and the temperature can drop very fast.

Today several inches of snow have fallen and we are looking forward to more weather between zero and 17-18 F. I tried out walking on Friday, with flannel-lined jeans, regular boots & socks, balaclava, and 2 layers of gloves (silk liner & regular leather with thinsulate). It was windier, true, but my hands and feet and legs and ears all got very cold, uncomfortably cold, even though I was walking at a good pace.

So today, I had on balaclava, puffy jacket with puffy hood, cotton layer, fleece layer, two layers of pants, waffle-soled winter hiking boots with 2 layers of socks, silk gloves plus padded puffy gloves.

I looked like a short Michelin man. emoticon but imagine this all the way down...

TOO HOT!
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OK, I'll ditch the fleece under the puffy coat, and maybe the balaclava (try scarf instead?). maybe the puffy gloves too...funny that if your body is really warm, your hands seem to benefit from the spillover...

But it started me wondering, what do you guys who run wear when it is this cold? How about walking which doesn't build up as much body heat from just the activity?

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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ALGALL7 2/7/2011 6:37PM

    i am 72 and smart and lucky. i live in elderly housing and have real long hallways on each floor {7 stories, i'm on the 5th}. i do pole-walking every night after supper in the hallway. it's a real good cardio workout. i do 8 laps up and down. love walking. can't wait for better weather. i live in mass. emoticon emoticon

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KAKIPOPUP 1/26/2011 4:40PM

    I'm a walker; I have winter sneakers which are insulated and waterproof, wool socks, polyester wicking longjohns, sweatpants in one form or another, [wind pants (waterproof/windproof) if it is windy or precipitating], polyester wicking undershirt, cotton turtleneck (or t-shirt), pullover sweatshirt, zip-front sweatshirt, [neck gaiter] baseball cap with LED's in visor, blinking safety vest, lined mittens, flashlight....

I have been comfortable as far down as 4 above in this getup - it wasn't quite enough for below 0. When I get too warm, I start unzipping/taking off - once I'm cooled off, I rezip and re-don -

I am thinking of purchasing better winter wear this spring, when it goes on sale, so I will have it for next winter....

There are two important concepts: If your hands and feet are warm, you will feel warm and cover exposed skin to avoid frostbite if it is that cold out (including the wind chill factor).

Comment edited on: 1/26/2011 4:41:53 PM

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SARAWALKS 1/26/2011 10:09AM

    Thanks for all the comments, emoticons!
I'm trying more and lighter layers under the coat and that does seem to help. Silk underwear & sweats on the bottom. Temp is up now so no problems but it will be plunging again soon...
Happy walking! emoticon emoticon emoticon

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MRDPOLING 1/26/2011 9:46AM

    I am a walker. I dressed in layers.

For my lower bits: Sweat pants under a pair of regular pants, 1 pair of regular socks and my walking shoes.

For my upper bits: t-shirt, long sleeve shirt, quilted flannel jacket w/ a scarf. I recently bought a jersey hood (Like a ski mask style) as I was having problems with my cheeks getting too cold.

I find that by the end of a 5k walk, I have just begun to work up a sweat wearing those in teens and twenty degree temps.

I won't walk outside if the temp dips into the single digits. That is just too cold for me.

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TEENY_BIKINI 1/26/2011 9:36AM

    Hm... I have walked only once since the blizzards started here - and I was burning up.

I wore a long coat, 2 layers underneath, a hood, a hat and 2 pairs of gloves, a long scarf [they were all wind resistant - but it seemed I needed multiple layers of wind resistance.]

Good luck.

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SUSANS111 1/22/2011 6:57PM

    I'm not a runner, but I keep those little hand warmers in my pockets or tuck them into my gloves. They can also be used in boots as long as the boots aren't too tight. Tight shoes make your feet cold, so wear the roomier ones for really cold weather. To keep my ears warm I use a hat or scarf plus some little ear warmers by the name of "Ear Bags" They fit right over your ears like ear muffs, but without the thing that goes over your head and messes up your hair, or twists making the muff slip off your ear. That way I don't have to over heat my core with too many thick layers.
Good luck staying warm. It sounds wonderful, even if cold.

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CLAUDECF 1/22/2011 5:49PM

    I'll get cold no matter what I'm wearing if I can't walk fast, but running or brisk walking always makes me break a sweat... (when my knee wasn't acting up of course) so I quite understand what happened to you!

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KAREN42BOYS 1/22/2011 4:55PM

    not a cold winter person, but my understanding for dressing for running is to dress how you would for 20 degrees warmer.

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AMALIA8 1/22/2011 4:34PM

    Unfortunately, I cannot help you with this one as I workout indoors when it's cold and I'm not a runner. However, I do think you're on the right track and trial and error is probably your best bet! Keep up the great work!

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Losing weight in Paris! Yes, it can be done!

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Well, I lied. Or rather, exaggerated! (sounds so much better) I didn't lose weight in Paris, but I didn't gain weight either, which translates to me as losing weight, considering that it was Paris and I really ate exactly what I wanted.

55WALKER is bugging me for a blog so here goes. (I have to warn you, Anne, there is meat in some of these photos...hope that is OK!)

It will actually be multiple blogs, this is the food chapter, just because I LOVE to torture people! emoticon emoticon

But relax, because some of the best food I ate didn't have its photo taken. I was in too big a hurry to eat it!

Here is my sparkfriend CLAUDECF at Le Petit Pontoise, my first night in Paris.



Rats, I just discovered I am going to have to crop all of these so Spark will accept them. Pooh.

We had a lovely meal with vin rouge - leg of hare (lievre) for me and duck with orange sauce (magret canard) for Claude. But I forgot to photograph it!

The following day, we went to Chez Clement near Place St. Michel and I had sardines for an entree and a lovely saucisse for the main course. Will try to put these in...may have to do a weird crop...



Here is the sausage...



This is a lovely restaurant, all in red velvet and gilt frames and mirrors and chandeliers, but not terribly expensive. It's also a nice location, right across the Seine from Notre Dame!

On New Year's Eve, our celebration was quiet but delicious! Claude roasted some quail from her freezer and added celeriac with figs - utterly delicious, don't believe her when she says she can't cook! We had some red Cote de Bourg with that and then proceeded to watch BBC mysteries on French TV, since French TV is truly horrible on New Year's Eve! I had taken the metro to Claude's earlier and gotten a taste of the merrymaking - it was very crowded out there and even the night before, there were relics of merrymaking deposited on the streets. I'll leave you to figure out what I mean...

There was a festive accordion player on the #10 metro who played Jingle Bells on the accordion - his small son went around collecting contributions in a tambourine. I thought this was in honor of New Year's Eve, but I heard him playing a few days later as well so I think he's a regular!

On New Year's Day, I walked back to my hotel from Claude's place in the 15th arrondissement - my hotel is in the 5th, a good little walk, but doable. Not many restos were open, but one of my favorites was, and lo, it was not terribly crowded! Au Vieux Colombier in St. Germain is a GREAT place to go for lunch or dinner, and quite reasonable too.

I had tartare saumon with frites and salad.



Yes, it's ground raw salmon with onions, herbs, etc. mixed in. If you love sushi or sashimi, you will love it! The frites did up the calorie count, however...but so worth it! Yum! Great way to start the new year!

The next day I had lunch with my friend Fabien. He knows a good creperie on Ile St. Louis, Au Lys d'Argent, so we went there and had cider and of course, buckwheat crepes. I must confess I have forgotten what mine contained - I was more focused on talking to Fabien half in French, half in English, than I was on the food! But I did take a photo of my lovely endive salad, and you can see Fabien's entree crepes at the top...



This is a tiny resto, very crowded on Sunday, and the service was slow, so just be warned, better to go at a less busy time unless you are feeling quite relaxed...

Here is a photo of Fabien looking very French! I met him when he came to work at Penn State a few years ago and joined our choir - then I stayed with his mom when I made my first trip to France in 2008. It was wonderful to see him again!



The next day, I explored rue Mouffetard, which is a very fun street with great people-watching and wonderful shops and restos. It was SO cold that day and I just had to have that famous French specialty, onion soup. I'm sorry I didn't take a photo of my Greek waiter who was tall and such a flirt! But here is my onion soup...



and here is my boeuf bourguignon...



This was the heaviest meal I had in Paris. But the cold weather seduced me and so did the flirty waiter... That evening I had a lighter meal at a great place called Gaudeamus, on rue Montagne St. Genevieve - salad and pork ratatouille. Well, maybe not that light. But lighter! My photos of this meal did NOT turn out well so you are spared.

Street markets are wonderful in Paris.
I will share two photos - one of Alsacian dried fruits and candies on New Year's Day - this was near St. Germain des Pres.



The next is the regular street market at Place Maubert, near my hotel.



The fruits and veggies are so incredibly fresh and delicious and you can find almost anything.

Ok, now I nearly didn't include this one. But if you want the best fresh-made potato chips you've ever eaten, you must go here - Hippopotamus, across the Seine from Notre Dame, and down the street a bit. This is their cheapest lunch. I ate about half of those frites. (I never eat fries in the States but these are irresistible...)



After THAT meal, keeping balance and moderation in mind, I opted for salade nicoise at a little place called Reglait, on rue Jean de Beauvais. THE BEST salade nicoise I have ever had! Again, the dejeuner special...



That afternoon, Claude and I met up at Cafe Malongo - she took a few days rest from outdoor walking to take care of her knee - and she indulged in that delicious orange cake you see before you, as well as some cappuccino.



She didn't save me even one bite! emoticon
And I seem to remember that she was unrepentant! emoticon
But I don't hold it against her... emoticon

Since later on that evening, she took me to her favorite sashimi place and we had the most melt-in-your-mouth salmon sashimi that I have ever experienced. We didn't take photos, we were too hungry, we took it back to eat at her place...miam miam miam!

The next afternoon, we walked around St. Germain and happened to come upon a shellfish cart which looked like this...



I really hated to crop that one...and this one, of the cheerful man selling the shellfish, who posed for his photo...



And now I fear we have come to my last memorable meal. But it was wonderful! Breizh Cafe is a Breton creperie in the Marais. I tried crepes with andouille and fromage for an amuse-bouche and they were delicious! (do you know what andouille is? It tastes a bit like scrapple, if you know scrapple)



My main course was crepes filled with artichokes, cheese, ham, and a lovely egg sunny-side up right in the middle of the crepe. Absolutely wonderful.



And with this, I had some lovely pear cider. In Brittany, the cider comes in as many varieties as beer, and this was special.



Now how on earth, you may ask, did I manage to eat all this without gaining weight?

Well, here is my step record for the trip, recorded by my trusty Omron pedometer...

Thurs. Dec. 30 - reset time - 11686 steps (3841, incl. 22' on Claude's elliptical)
Fri. Dec. 31 - 20626 steps (6223 aerobic)
2011: Woo hoo!
Sat. Jan. 1 - 11971 steps (4494 aerobic)
Sun. Jan. 2 - 17628 steps (5240 aerobic)
Mon. Jan. 3 - 13510 steps, zero aerobic
Tues. Jan. 4 - 19194 steps (4986 aerobic)
Wed. Jan. 5 - 14760 steps (1123 aerobic)
Thurs. Jan. 6 - 16225 steps (2085 aerobic)
Fri. Jan. 7 - 5844 steps (flew home)

On Sat. Jan. 8 I weighed 139, which was up a bit, but on Sun. Jan. 9 I weighed 137, the same as when I left. So as you can see, exercise, even if it's "only walking," can make an incredible difference. Plus, when you are paying for every bit of your food in euros, it does make you think twice when going for a small snack! I did buy some things at the market to eat in my room - kiwis, almonds, pears, cheese and bread. Yes, some lovely 2007 Vieux Comte cheese, Cello! Cheese comes in years, just like wine...

So that's it! My wonderful vacation of eating what I wanted! I did do some other things. I WILL blog about them. Gotta think where to go with this, I have SO many photos. I may put some on my page before I blog again.

Bonne annee (happy new year) and walk/rock/shred/bollywood/zumba/spark on, everybody!

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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SARAWALKS 1/24/2011 1:59PM

    Thanks, Esther and Janice! I wish you could have been with me (us!), it was truly magnifique! I will try to blog more, Esther - just running into work stuff here at home, you know how it is!
emoticon to you both!

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CALLIKIA 1/24/2011 1:36PM

    Ahhh! It all looks magnifique! I want it all (and all the experiences of being in Paris that come with it)! So glad you had such a great time (and YUMMY too!). I hope to see more pics from your trip!

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CHIPPEE 1/21/2011 10:21AM

    Sara,
Thank you for such an enjoyable blog. Your photos are beautiful and the descriptions wonderful. I feel like I just spent a bit of time in Paris.
It's true how great walking can be. We visited San Francisco about 15 years ago. After maybe 4 days I had lost 5 pounds. Ate whatever I wanted, but walking the hills everywhere did the trick.
Thrilled you got to take such a terrific vacation!
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SARAWALKS 1/17/2011 5:07AM

    I DIDN'T stay on track, Cello, I ATE! But then I walked and walked. The main limitation on what I ate was my budget...
And I didn't have the stress from work that I am tempted to release by eating...
Well, Toto, we're not in Paris any more...
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CELLO23 1/17/2011 2:38AM

    Sara - am swooning and salivating (sorry!) at all that lovely food and the atmosphere you've conjured. Dreamy cheese... and how nice to see a pic of Claude too! What really strikes me compared with UK is the freshness of everything. How on earth you managed to stay on track with all that temptation around, I can't imagine! Respect!
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SARAWALKS 1/15/2011 7:07PM

    Yes, at any age, Cellista! One reason I joined sparkpeople and am working on my body strength and fitness is because I want to be able to schlep my suitcase around Paris until I am 90 years old. Don't know if I'll make it but I'm sure going to try! emoticon emoticon emoticon

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CELLISTA1 1/15/2011 6:29PM

    MMmmmmmmmm, mouthwatering........
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Ah, I once was in a show in Paris for a whole summer, a long, long time ago when I ate whatever I wanted and Paris was cheap... (now you can really believe it was a long time ago).

But I weighed about 130 or so and walked endlessly every day, just like you did. Sara, you are living proof that it can be done at any age! Thanks so much for sharing this delightful saga -- can't wait for more!

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SARAWALKS 1/15/2011 6:16PM

    Hi, Laura, yes, I thought that sparkies would enjoy knowing that!
Walking is just irresistible in Paris. I like it here too but it's not nearly as interesting. So much to see on the Paris streets... emoticon

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HIKETOHEIGHTS 1/15/2011 5:55PM

    What a nice Blog! You outdid yourself with this one. Nice to see vacations souvenir don't have to include extra pounds! You are raising the bar!

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SARAWALKS 1/15/2011 5:50PM

    Jenn, Jan, Jami, Claude, Donna, Kaki and "Mission," thanks for your comments!
Donna, it sure is what life's all about, Charlie Brown! emoticon
Jenn, where did you stay in the Marais? I'd like to stay there sometime when I go, love the Marais so much.
Claude, you ARE such a good friend and such a great TEASE! emoticon emoticon
Jami, I hope you can go soon. Who knows, maybe even when I am there too! Wouldn't that be fun.
PASTTHEMISSION, baguettes and brie are what it's all about and walking is just so wonderful. I could leave my car parked forever...
Kaki, I've always loved scrapple too and now I know I love andouille!
Unusual for an American, says Claude...
Donna, reliving it in my memory is almost as good as being there...but not quite! Wordsworth was onto something with "emotion recollected in tranquillity..."
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Comment edited on: 1/15/2011 5:52:31 PM

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ESLTEACHER1 1/15/2011 4:59PM

    Oh. my. word. What a wonderful opportunity you had and how wonderful that you got to experience it so fully! Thank you for sharing too, that's the best part, seeing what you were able to see and live it in your memory. Wow. Just wow!
Donna

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KAKIPOPUP 1/15/2011 4:39PM

    I know scrapple....and I love it...and turkey scrapple from the Allentown Farmers Market tastes great, too -

Oh, to be in Paris again - maybe someday...J'aime tellement la Rive Gauche, les environs de l'eglise St. Germain des Pres -

Not to mention the food.


Thanks for awakening some very happy memories!

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PASTTHEMISSION 1/15/2011 3:56PM

    It's true! I went to Lyon and while I gained 5lbs it was much less than I would have gained eating the same amount of food at home. Why? We walked EVERYWHERE. And seriously, how can I not go to France and eat more than my fair share of baguettes and brie?

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BECOMINGJAMI 1/15/2011 3:55PM

    Dearest Sara, I loved reading about that. I haven't gone to Europe in so long, and I was last in Paris in 2003, but I have VERY fond memories of that food. Good for you, doing so much walking and moving! I'm so glad you got to go and experience that - and to see Claude as well! So, so happy for you. I hope that someday soon I can revisit Paris as an adult. I think I would appreciate it more now than I did at seventeen as a part of 120+ high school music students.

Such an amazing experience. But I'm glad you're home safely!

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CLAUDECF 1/15/2011 3:39PM

    You know why you didn't put on weight? I spared you that bite of pound cake that you were silently coveting! emoticon
I am such a good friend! emoticon emoticon
I sure hope that by the time you take your next trip to Paris, my knee will be repaired and I won't be such a sissy.
It was great seeing you here and I'm glad you had such a good time!

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KITHKINCAID 1/15/2011 2:32PM

    OMG. Drool. You're making me want to go back to Paris SO BADLY!!! I stayed in the Marais when I was there and actually saw some of the places you ate in. So delicious. The crepes...the wine...the cheese. I need lunch!

Glad you had a wonderful trip and walked off all those calories. Same for me in Germany. As long as you plan a vacation with a ton of sight-seeing and walking, you've already done half the work!

Bonne Annee!

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MAMADWARF 1/15/2011 12:49PM

    what a fantastic vacation. Thank you sooo much for the pictures of all the delicious food! It made me feel like I was there and when I go (someday), I will have a good idea what to eat. By the way, your best line was when you were talking about your "Heaviest meal" and you said the cold weather and the waiter seduced you...I did literally LOL.

I am so proud of you for enjoying your vacation and still maintained your weight. Isnt that what life is all about, charlie brown? ***** (5 stars). Thanks for sharing.

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Merry Christmas to all - a bit late!

Saturday, December 25, 2010

OK, I'm late! But I worked last night!
What better way to work on Christmas Eve than with choirs of young and old!

They were wonderful -- and my camera's batteries held out for the children's mass, and then gave out. so I can only show you

Mary, Joseph, and a donkey...



The angels and the shepherds...



and one chorister, about halfway through the homily...



But then, Christmas is all about the people anyway, isn't it?

Merry Christmas to all!

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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CELLO23 12/28/2010 5:54PM

    Such cute pics - LOVE the donkey with its forlorn ears! Hope you have a great trip and safe arrival! emoticon (couldn't find a plane...) emoticon

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TEENY_BIKINI 12/26/2010 5:22PM

    emoticon

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ANDYINBC 12/26/2010 1:39PM

    Looks similar to our Christmas Mass, where I was the proud father of a singing angel!

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CLAUDECF 12/26/2010 1:04AM

    Thanks for sharing and a Merry Christmas emoticon emoticon emoticon

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CJWORDPLAY 12/25/2010 11:06PM

    Thanks for taking the time to upload these pictures. I agree - I don't know a better way to spend Christmas Eve. You have helped create wondrous memories. You are a gift to all who know you.
emoticonCJ

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