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Starting fresh

Monday, January 16, 2012

Inspired by blog posts from AHEALTHIERJESS and HARMONYBLUE, I have started from scratch on my goals.

While I'm not where I once was, I am still down 26 pounds from when I started SparkPeople four years ago (!!!). It's a bit scary wiping that out to start again, but it's time for a refresh. I need to stop comparing me today with me from 2008. I feel differently, I eat differently, I need to have different goals.

Ready or not, 2012, here I come!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JUDGEDEBORAH 7/30/2013 8:28AM

    It's refreshing to see someone who is getting back into starting over after losing some of your weight loss gains. I lost 70 pounds and gained half of it back, and am trying to get back down to 130 pounds. That last 20 pounds is hard because instead of losing 20, I gain 20 and lose that 20, basically keeping me even at 150 lbs. I even hired a personal trainer at L.A. Fitness, and was doing good for 3 months. But I'm just not getting any traction. I'm working hard and losing weight, but gaining it back to have to lose it again. I want so badly to get that last 20 pounds off and keep it off! I was working part-time and am now working full-time, but I know I can do this! Thanks for sharing how you are starting over.

I'm excited that I finally got my gray Nike running shoes with the purple swoosh, and my purple Nike running outfit. I just mixed up my morning chocolate peanut butter protein shake, and am ready to go out and walk four miles on my day off work. My biggest motivator to losing that last 20 pounds again is so my fingers will fit into my bowling ball again. I really want to use my own bowling ball!

It's hard to believe I was 2 pounds away from my goal weight and then gained 40 pounds back. But I've lost 20 pounds since that weight re-gain. I'm only 20 pounds away from my goal weight. I can do this! We can do this together! emoticon

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KATYDID! 2/10/2012 6:06AM

    And so good to see you back as well! I am (again, we're aligned in many ways...) back at it as well...needing a reassessment. Will look at "wiping my slate" too today because I feel a lot like you do...ready to start again, but with a different perspective than before. Here's to the journey!

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WATERMELLEN 1/16/2012 6:27PM

    Good thought: fresh fresh fresh!!

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My sweet ride

Monday, August 15, 2011

I just realized I haven't posted a blog since 7/1 and nothing substantial since May. Eee!

But today I was inspired by the lovely Britt (BAM0827) to post something. She sent me this awesome SparkGoodie -

And it has prompted me to post a photo of my actual sweet ride -

I took the picture on Saturday morning before my 12.5 mile ride. I had just picked a couple pounds of blackberries and a pint of blueberries at a nearby u-pick berry farm (something I've done the last three Saturday mornings - I love it and I especially love the literal fruits of my labor!) and stopped at the bike trail on my way home.

The month-long heat wave abated earlier in the week and Saturday was just perfect for a ride. I was SO happy to be on my bike again. I'm really looking forward to taking our bikes to the lake next week on our vacation. I will ride every day we're there!

Make it a healthy week!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LIVINTODAY 8/21/2011 8:32AM

    I've nearly recovered from knee surgery and am ready to finally get my bike out for the first time this year. I know just how you feel!

Love YOUR sweet ride! Hope riding was just as sweet.
Wanda emoticon

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ANEPANALIPTI 8/21/2011 2:28AM


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BAM0827 8/18/2011 5:13PM

    I realized while I was running this morning, I read this blog but never commented on it! I think I read it a minute after you posted and didn't want to seem stalkerish!

Your weather is like ours - perfect for getting outside. I hope you have fun in Erie. I've never been but I know lots of people love it up there! Check out Presque Isle park for me - I'm doing the half marathon there in September and hope it's as flat as they say it is!

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A note from the Universe

Friday, July 01, 2011

Hi, fellow Sparkers! Things are going okay - still vegetarian, eating healthily - and not okay - I've not been exercising at all (gah) - so the scale isn't moving.

I've been meaning to share this recent note from the Universe that I love. I've written it on a post-it note and put in on my desk at work. I like reminding myself about this as much as possible.

"Think of every single thing that you "have to" do to get through a day, Sarah, as things you "get to" do... before your turn is over.

Everything's a gift,
The Universe"

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KTMAE2006 7/2/2011 10:34AM

    Such a great reminder, thank you!

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ANEPANALIPTI 7/2/2011 4:08AM


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WATERMELLEN 7/1/2011 10:52PM

    Love that, gonna remember it.

It's still my turn, and not over yet!!

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MADYANKEE 7/1/2011 6:54PM

    i like that, I usually mark it on my accomplishments calendar. I think you would laugh. Yesterday I had my first internal video made, both top and bottom. Now there is a picture I wouldn't want posted to the internet!! But then again how many people get to see it on the internet. LOL yes I am silly sometimes. But now that is not an every day accomplishment, hopfully it is one of my once in a lifetimes.

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The Lent Report

Saturday, May 14, 2011

I just realized I never reported back on my Lenten goals!

My plan was to give up all meat, artificial sweetener, alcohol and baked goods (cookies, cakes, pies, etc).

Guess what? I did it! And I lost 11 pounds!

I found that it wasn't really difficult. I had to spend a little extra time planning my protein and I did occasionally miss wine, but I didn't really struggle. In fact, I'm still meat and artificial sweetener-free, haven't had any baked goods since Easter Sunday, I think, and am drinking a lot less wine now than I was pre-Ash Wednesday.

That's all I really wanted to share as I don't want to dwell too much on the past and instead focus on what I'm doing today to get me closer to my goals (to that end, this morning I biked to work and back as a dry run for Bike to Work Week next week; I'm planning to do it at least one day - eee!).

I hope you are enjoying a healthy and happy May!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

WATERMELLEN 5/14/2011 10:25PM

    Wow!! You did great!! Well done!!

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Comparing protein supplements

Sunday, May 08, 2011

I've decided to continue the vegetarianism that I started during Lent, at least for the time being. I've been relying heavily on soy products for my protein - in a typical day, I'll have soy milk at breakfast, edamame and tofu at lunch, homemade soy milk greek yogurt for a snack and a soy meat replacement in dinner. I've read some things recently that concern me about soy and don't want to over-consume it, or anything else for that matter. Plus I'm ending most days at my minimum protein levels so I wanted to explore some options for additional protein in my diet.

Did you know that 1 cup of cooked lentils provides 18g of protein as well as 16g of fiber? Color me surprised on that one! I've had a bag of dried lentils in the cupboard for awhile, so I cooked it yesterday and bought this bag of organic red lentils today at the health food store. I often take cut up tofu to work to add to my frozen lunch entree; I can imagine adding lentils now instead. They're a whole food, not a supplement, and the price per serving is less than $0.30 for that organic bag, so lentils for the win!

Now, lentils won't work in every food scenario so I'd like to have some additional options. The large container in the middle is one we've had for two years at least and it's almost empty. I purchased the Aria container on the left at Trader Joe's and the brewer's yeast on the right at the health food store.

The big Naturade container is made from soy, so I hadn't planned on buying it again. I don't use it regularly and have never used it as a meal replacement, just as a protein supplement. I usually prepare it with ice and water in the blender so it's like a vanilla milk shake. It's pretty sweet and contains a lot of unpronounceable ingredients, but provides about 1/3 of lots of daily vitamins and minerals. It's 150 calories and 13g of protein per serving. We bought it so long ago, I have no idea how much it cost per serving.

The Aria product is 50% soy and 50% whey. I mixed it as directed with water and was pleasantly surprised by how quickly it dissolved (the Naturade doesn't dissolve as well, but when blended with ice it's not nearly as noticeable). I think I added too much water to it because the drink was watery, but not bad at all. It's not as sweet as the Naturade, which is a plus in my book, and I could see adding this to breakfast cereal or my beloved overnight oatmeal. I think I will also try it in my current batch of homemade greek yogurt. I used organic fat free cow's milk so it's not as sweet as the soymilk variety and doesn't have the vanilla flavoring. I think adding this premixed with some water, plus fruit, would be very tasty and be a great protein-packed snack. It uses non-GMO soy and no aspartame (looks like fructose and stevia extract are the sweeteners) and has a reasonably understandable short list of ingredients. A big bonus is that it's only 80 calories for 14g of protein. The cost per serving is about $0.60.

When looking at various vegetarian and vegan recipes over the last two months, I'd noticed 'nutritional yeast' mentioned a number of times. I had no clue what it was or where to get it (Wal-Mart certainly didn't carry it because I looked) but was intrigued. So while at the health food store today, I found this. It's not labeled nutritional yeast, but it's the same idea - a yeast product dietary supplement. Here's what the label says:

"KAL Imported Brewer's Yeast is primary grown on sugar beet molasses. This whole food source produces yeast flakes containing a full spectrum of essential amino acids and a balanced variety of B Vitamins. These fine flakes are unfortified, unsweetened, non-GMO and naturally low in fat and sodium. Traditional brewer's yeast is produced through the brewing process and can have a bitter aftertaste. Since KAL Imported Brewer's Yeast is primary grown, only the naturally delicious taste shines through. Experiment with the nutty, roasted flavor by adding these flakes to your favorite foods. Dissolves easily and brings added nutritional value to stews, casseroles, soups, meat loaf, broths, gravies, protein drinks, juices and milk shakes. It may also be sprinkled over green salad, fruit salad, yogurt, cottage cheese, and peanut butter."

Interesting, no? As you can see, it has a dark color and reminds me of ground flax seed. To try it, I ended up mixing it with some water and about half a cup of barley that I cooked yesterday.

It's another whole food that definitely has a nutty aroma and a toasted seed flavor. It reminds me a bit of bouillon for some reason - it's not salty at all but it has a concentrated flavor. I didn't find it yeasty at all. I can't image adding it to anything sweet (like the recommend fruit salad or milk shake), but can totally see adding it to soups, sauces and other savory items. Actually, I'm making a faux meat loaf tonight and this would be a great addition (I'll report back on that!). It's 60 calories, 10g of protein and $0.65 per serving.

I'm happy to have lots of options as I work to clean up my diet and make myself healthier!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MISSENG 5/11/2011 5:57PM

    Thanks for sharing protein supplements. Very interesting read.

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DREAMWEAVER1637 5/11/2011 3:29PM

    Interesting ideas here.

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ANEPANALIPTI 5/11/2011 11:42AM

    emoticon i love lentils

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CASSIOEPIA 5/11/2011 9:24AM

    Some great ideas here. For a team with lots if good info on this type of eating, check out the "Eat to Live" team here on SparkPeople. There is a link to it from my page.

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WATERMELLEN 5/8/2011 9:22PM

    Very interesting info summarized for everyone's use: thanks so much! I am not a vegetarian but do eat very little in the way of chicken and fish . . . generally no red meats at all. Chick peas, kidney beans, and other beans and lentils are ready for use in cans . . . always rinse them very carefully . . . combine with brown rice or barley or whole wheat couscous or pasta for improved/complete protein. Today I made a huge pot of French Canadian style split pea soup, low cost and yummy (celery, carrots, onion, thyme, red pepper flakes for seasoning . . . all whirled in the food processor!). Greek yogourt is a big go-to; also low fat feta and low fat goat cheese. Almonds and cashews and peanut butter and walnuts: love 'em all, but they are higher calorie . . . Almond breeze beverage, unsweetened vanilla or chocolate: I do keep the soy products to a minimum because of concern about estrogen stimulation (after fighting an estrogen positive breast cancer tumour).

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