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Cruising with Confidence

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

I've been back from vacation for over 10 days and I'm just now getting around to a blog. Life has been really crazy since we got back - busy at work, my husband lost his best friend unexpectedly to a heart attack, my daughters college enrollment/orientation and working on my father's rental house, sheesh - I need a vacation from the past ten days.

Our cruise was fabulous. I ate within range, sticking with the plan of only sampling the desserts and I worked out daily, but I also did a heck of a lot of sun worshipping with fruitty umbrella drinks.



Sampling of delicious goodness :)

I worked out at the hotel gym as well as logging in a few miles jogging on the top deck of the ship, and lots and lots and lots of walking.


This was taken on our rooms balcony.

Our first stop was Nassau Bahamas, we enjoyed spending the day at the Atlantis Resort and got to swim with the dolphins. Such a fun day, I just loved the dolphins, they are such friendly, lovable animals.




I waited to get everyone souveniers from the Harley Shop and was so mad. They did not have a selection of any touristy things, only 3XL t-shirts, so I left empty handed :(



This is my daughter Katie and I at the Captains dinner. The photographer said to me "scoot over next to your sister" and that's why I had a huge smile on my face, he thought my daughter was my sister. And then DD has to ruin it and say... "Mom, he says that to everybody" - darn it, but I thought the pic turned out great anyway.

Next stop was Half Moon Cay - private island owned by Holland America and they share it with Carnival cruise lines, we had to take a tender to the island. Nothing but pristine white sandy beaches and lots of island fun. We went on the horseback adventure. Did a trail ride to the tallest point on the island, and WOW what a beautiful view and then they saddled up the horses for a water ride. It was so fun riding a running horse in the water, totally exhilerating, everyone needs to do that once in their lives.






Most of the time we were on the ship I enjoyed many hours of pure relaxation, enjoying the hot sunny weather.



(Yes, the tattoo is fake, I want a real one someday, but definitely not on my back, no one can see it there).

This is, by far, the best vacation ever. I felt so confident in myself. I knew I wasn't going to over eat, I was getting plenty of exercise and I felt great in a bikini. I didn't have to hide from the camera like I used to when I was overweight. I am happy to put on a cheesy smile anytime someone took out the camera. We had a blast, just sorry that it had to end, but certainly looking forward to another great cruise vacation in the near future.



  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

NOTHIN2IT 7/27/2011 6:23PM

    Great pictures! Sounds like you had a blast...I'm so glad. Sorry life has been hectic since you got back. That's not fun. But, I missed you and am glad to hear you are back! You look wonderful in your pictures! You should be so proud of yourself :)

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CHRISTINECAN 7/27/2011 8:58AM

    That looks and sounds amazing. As do you!

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777GRACE 7/27/2011 7:47AM

    You look amazing. Good for you. I showed the pic of you on the horse in the water. We are going on a cruize in November. Now I am getting excited, Thanks for posting. You look great, I am so proud of you and you should be too!!! emoticon

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SAMI199 7/27/2011 7:27AM

    Wow-wow & wowza!!! I coldn't be happier for you. You look amazing & I just shake my head when I look @ your before pics & you now! Happy-Happy - Joy-Joy! The smile on your face speaks more than words ever could! I think you look like sisters-so there... emoticon

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GRACIELA_ELENA 7/27/2011 12:45AM

    Great pics...thanks for sharing your vacation with us. You look great and like you were having a great time. Glad you got to do it and sorry to hear things have been so hectic for you, does seem like that is how things go when we get back so we almost need another one. Nice to have you back on SP!

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HALFFAST 7/26/2011 9:11PM

    I'm so glad you had a good time! Your pics are great, you look great! I'm so jealous!

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MZSLYDE01 7/26/2011 4:01PM

    WOW - AWESOME. It looks like so much fun. The DH and I are definitely going to have to take a cruise someday.
Glad you had a nice time and glad your back.

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SEEAMANDARUN 7/26/2011 2:25PM

    Looks like you had a Fabulous time!

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JLITT62 7/26/2011 2:16PM

    So much to love Herr! Love that you felt so great in your life! Love your outfits! So sorry for all the troubles on your return - hard enough gettingbback into the swing of things without all that.

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NATPLUMMER 7/26/2011 11:42AM

    Yes, you did need a vacation from the past 10 days ;-)
Beautiful looking food!!
Yay for lots of exercise. Love the pink top!!
Looks like you guys had a fabulous time!!
Looking great in your bikini!!


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1HOTMAMA2BE 7/26/2011 9:24AM

    WOW! What a wonderful trip you had AND you looked awesome!!! Way to go on the bikini! The pics of you and your family were great, especially you and your daughter. Now I wanna go on another cruise. It's been years since we've been on one. It won't be this year though. We are scheduled to renew our wedding vows in Negril, Jamaica, in October. It's a week in paradise, but I need to get my bikini body ready! You've just sparked me to lift a little at lunch to get my arms rockin'! Thanks, girl! You've done it again!

emoticon Ya think?

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SUEAZZI 7/26/2011 9:23AM

    An awesome vacation indeed! I would love to ride a horse on the beach; I mentioned that to my DH on our vacation... I rode horseback for the first time amongst other things... you'll have to visit my page. You look fantastic and I love the pic of you and your sister lol. Thanks for sharing your pics and welcome back!!

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ELAINEROSE5 7/26/2011 8:32AM

    Wow! loved the pictures and the blog! I love cruising too and swam with the dolphins when we went on our cruise last January. It was awesome. You look great and I love the tattoo. I have thought about one also, but don't know it I ever will actually do it!

Thanks for sharing your fun time!!

Elaine

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POLKADOTREVIVAL 7/26/2011 8:21AM

    Sounds like such a great trip...and, wait, hold up...IS THAT A BIKINI?!
Holey moley woman! Your waist is so small. You look fabulous, good job rocking it!

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DGIBSON02 7/26/2011 8:14AM

    Almost thought you got a tattoo for a second. I was going to be hot!!!! You are supposed to go with me to get that. Looks like you had a great vacation.

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GROEDER 7/26/2011 8:08AM

    GREAT picutres!!!!! It sounds (and looks) like you had a wonderful vacation!!!!
Of course, you have made me jealous!!! LOL I spent all of my vacation time recovering and doing rehab on my knee!!
Thanks for sharing the photos and your experiences on the curise. I'm glad you had so much fun!!

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A Crazy Week Ahead with 10 days of Fun in the Sun

Tuesday, July 05, 2011

This is a three day work week - woo hoo, but the negative is I have to finish this gi-normous pile of work on my desk by Thursday - it just keeps piling up, more and more and more.

I leave Friday morning for my 10-day vacation and cruise. So I will be out of Spark range until Monday, July 18th.

That seems like an eternity away from Spark. My mom gave me the cutest little note pad for my purse and it will accompany me on my trip so that I can write down my foods and fitness to log in when I get back.

And believe me..... no splurging on this trip. I have goals to accomplish and bad eating would spell sabotage and doom, so I will eat healthy, within range, and exercise everyday. Spark PROMISE !!!!! See ya'll when I get back. Will miss ya'll.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

GRACIELA_ELENA 7/18/2011 9:14PM

    Ooooooo, I cant wait to hear all about it. Have a great time!

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SUEAZZI 7/6/2011 9:09PM

    emoticon

Have a fabulous time Skinny!!

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JLITT62 7/6/2011 6:01AM

    Have a GREAT trip! remember, it's ok to splurge occasionally & rest days are necessary.

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1HOTMAMA2BE 7/5/2011 9:59PM

    I don't know how you can't have a great time! Enjoy every minute with your family and make wonderful memories! emoticon emoticon emoticon

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RIKKI572 7/5/2011 9:56PM

    Wishing you a fantastic time, and can't wait to hearl all about your vacation!!!

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NOTHIN2IT 7/5/2011 6:59PM

    Have a wonderful time and don't forget to post pictures when you get back!! emoticon

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SWELL10 7/5/2011 3:13PM

    May your week fly by quickly and then have an awesome time on your vacation! You deserve it!!!!

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TJBLEEKER 7/5/2011 2:33PM

    Have a fabulous time!

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MZSLYDE01 7/5/2011 2:19PM

    You can do it girl. I am sure they will have really great food on the cruise. Have fun and try to breath this week.
I can't wait - 3 more days - 3 more days. Vacation time......

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UNIONDIVA 7/5/2011 2:05PM

    wow... I admire your discipline,... have a great vacation... take lots of pics and post them for us!

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NATPLUMMER 7/5/2011 1:42PM

    Have a great time!! Just keep thinking about it and that should help get through the mountain of work.
I can't wait to hear all about it.

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Topless ??????

Friday, July 01, 2011

Wanted to do my own opinion poll today, see what my fellow sparkers think.

Is it ok to run topless? Runner's World says:

36 % think it's OK to run shirtless if you're comfortable with it.
10 % say it's acceptable only on a hot day
14 % think it's never OK

Personally, I think guys should keep it covered and women should wear tank tops, not just a sports bra.

What do you say?????????

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

GOODLIFEFORME 7/3/2011 9:06PM

    One day a topless jogger went past our car while we were sitting at a traffic light. My then 8 year old daughter said, "If I see one more top naked guy, I will scream!!!"

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DGIBSON02 7/2/2011 11:42PM

    Reminds me of something we saw in Pigeon Forge today. It was a sign that said

Men

No Shirt, No Service

Women

No Shirt...Want a Beer?

I say if you have it to run without a shirt, why not? If you are "fluffy" then no. I'm bigger and there is no way I would run without a shirt. However, if i was to drop down and had 6 pack abs and what not, I wouldn't wear a shirt anywhere. I would probably just carry a tank top in my glove box to eat somewhere, lol.

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CATS_MEOW_0911 7/2/2011 1:24AM

    If I actually went *topless*, I would be getting smacked in the face. I hope one day to be comfortable wearing a sports bra top, especially when working out in the stifling heat.

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LEONALIONESS 7/2/2011 12:42AM

    If it's hot enough and/or you're comfortable, go topless. It's just a dude's chest or a lady's tummy. We see worse at the beach! I'm about as far from a prude as one can get, though. It gets hot enough, I'm running in a bra only. Thus far, it has never been hot enough (totally intentionally, lol, though I HAVE walked in a sports bra and capris on a day when I was taken by surprise by the heat/humidity) - I tend to look at the weather well ahead and make sweltering days my rest days. Or run after dark. I'm almost comfortable enough to do it but noooot quite.

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NOTHIN2IT 7/1/2011 11:14PM

    I agree with you. Keep it covered is my vote!

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HALFFAST 7/1/2011 9:51PM

    I also think it's a matter of personal preference. Up until about a week ago I didn't think I would ever run without (at least) a tank top over my sports bra, but when I ended up in that sweltering garage on my treadmill, I barely made it 5 minutes before the tank had to go!

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2HAMSDIET 7/1/2011 8:58PM

    I say use sunblock not matter what... when I first read the title I thought it was for a clothing optional event. and thought ok??.. LOL

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CSIENK 7/1/2011 5:42PM

    Looks like it's fairly unanimous. I always work out with a loose fitting tee or tank over my sports bra.
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Comment edited on: 7/1/2011 5:42:54 PM

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MARLIZG 7/1/2011 2:21PM

    for me topless is without a hat emoticon

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BCARSON11 7/1/2011 1:07PM

    I think whatever you're comfortable with is fine. It's a personal decision.

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JLITT62 7/1/2011 11:10AM

    Really, I think it's what you're comfortable in. I'm probably never gonna run in a sports bra, but I'll swim in a bikini.

You sure got my attention tho!

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MZSLYDE01 7/1/2011 9:44AM

    I am with you on this. I think the sports bra with a tank is appropriate. DEFINITELY NOT TOPLESS... HOLY BUCKETS GIRLS KEEP THE GIRLS COVERED....LOL

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HANKENSTEIN 7/1/2011 9:41AM

    I'd always vote for covering up. It's just safer.

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NATPLUMMER 7/1/2011 9:34AM

    I say however you're comfortable is fine. I'm not comfortable in just a sports bra so I wear a top over it.

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MOM2HEC 7/1/2011 9:31AM

    I think a person should be comfortable. If that means topless, so be it. I live in a humid area. Even if the temp is fine, the humidity can be awful, so at least around here I don't think twice about seeing ANYONE topless.

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BIISHO 7/1/2011 9:08AM

    I couldn't agree with you more..!! :S

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TERJEGOLD 7/1/2011 9:07AM

    I say dress as you are comfortable, NOT topless for women. My preference is for folks with some "extra weight" to keep that covered but even then, if you are out running and you are not breaking any laws with your lack of clothing, I say run long!

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SUEAZZI 7/1/2011 8:52AM

    I'm with you Skinny ~ keep it covered ~ tank tops!

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JWAKJA 7/1/2011 8:46AM

  Topless!

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Strap on the Feed Bag

Thursday, June 30, 2011


Hey, hey.... strap on the feed bag - NOT !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I'm going on a cruise. emoticonExactly one week from tomorrow our family is going on a 5-day Bahama cruise. It's in celebration of me losing 100 pounds and my daughter's high school graduation, this may be our last big "family" vacation since our baby is going off to college and is now living the busy adult life, so we decided to celebrate in style.

Three years ago I would have said I couldn't wait to eat all the wonderful food cruise ships have to offer. But today, my outlook is a tad different. I no longer worry about what and how much junk I'm going to eat. My focus is NOT on the gourmet cuisine, the decadent desserts, the all night buffets, the endless supply of diet soda and the 24/7 room service, however all my travel companions can't wait to eat their hearts out, lol.

Food is available 24/7 and most of the time it's all you can eat. Food, food, food, food. Seriously, what is the obsession with food on a cruise ship?

emoticonI'm not worried about gaining any weight on the cruise - I am told the average person can gain anywhere from 3 - 5 pounds on a five day cruise. Well, NOT THIS SPARKETTE. I will eat as I normally do... HEALTHY. I've even packed my sugar-free, fat-free coffee creamer.

We love to eat in the formal dining room in the evenings, they offer some different types of food and I look forward to trying some new things. They have wonderful fruit buffets, I told hubby I was going to eat my weight in strawberries and pineapples, lol - and that's really not a bad thing. emoticon emoticon

Looking forward to a great vacation, and I can honestly say I am not worried about bad foods, I am looking forward to a smorgasbord of fruits and veggies - best part about it is that I don't have to cook, YEAH !!!!

I also can't wait to run on the top deck for my morning workouts, nothing like being in the middle of the ocean watching the sun rise while getting in a great workout, a super start to the day. And.... they have a fitness center onboard, it's usually crowded but I will check it out at some point. But definitely looking forward to morning runs on deck.

Funny how my outlook on life has changed along my journey - it's all about healthy eating and exercise. Eat healthy, move more.




  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BET212 7/3/2011 3:48PM

    I know you'll have a great time with your family on your cruise! Focusing on family time, activities and surroundings give much more enjoyment than to focus on the food.

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MARLIZG 6/30/2011 9:53PM

    love the shoes on ur page...73 & i'm on flats since knee surgery but have a nice 50 pair variety...enjoy the cruise & try the elliptical=lots of cals used / minute---good luck! emoticon

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NOTHIN2IT 6/30/2011 7:25PM

    Wow...that sounds heavenly! I know you will do great with the eating and exercising 'cuz you are just amazing! I hope you have a wonderful time and I can't wait to hear all about it! emoticon

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1HOTMAMA2BE 6/30/2011 1:51PM

    I want to come!!! Sounds like an awesome way to celebrate. You're going to have a wonderful and memorable time with your family. My baby moves out (again) today for college. The fall semester doesn't start until August 22nd, but they wanted to get a good month in at their new place beforehand. Right...

Regardless, enjoy the time with your daughter and the rest of your family. I envision you on the jet ski just like the commercial -- how'd they say it? Mom got air? My memory stinks today.

Don't forget to take lots of pics and share with us. We wanna see!

emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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STIPER23 6/30/2011 10:27AM

    I've never been on a cruise but it sounds like you have a great plan! All you can eat fruit?!? Awesome! I was going to mention running on the deck before you did. Do they have other activities on the cruise? Or is it just eat, lay around, and use the gym? Just curious.

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NATPLUMMER 6/30/2011 10:08AM

    I've never been on a cruise but it sounds like it will be a lot of fun. Morning runs on the deck sound like a great plan.
I've gotten to the point that when I book a hotel room, I make sure there is a fitness center to use ;-)


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SUEAZZI 6/30/2011 10:00AM

    Have a great time... your morning workouts on the cruise sounds energizing yet peaceful. I have no doubt you'll do great with your calorie range. Enjoy your reward!

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SEEAMANDARUN 6/30/2011 9:48AM

    Have FUN!!! If you end up in Nassau, I HIGHLY recommend the stingray excursion. It was one of the coolest things I have ever done. Take a cheapy waterproof camera from Walgreens. If you go through Key West, the kayak excursion is a must do. So many neat things to see! You're going to have a blast!

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DDOORN 6/30/2011 9:03AM

    Have never been on a cruise before...would love to enjoy one someday!

What a terrific reward for yourself! I've heard that there can be many opportunities for working out on cruises also...looking forward to hearing about your experiences!

Don

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JLITT62 6/30/2011 8:45AM

    Love cruises! Usually avoid the buffets like the devil - I think the food is much better in the dining rooms anyway. And I never take the elevators. Have fun!

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TJBLEEKER 6/30/2011 8:44AM

    What a great attitude! The run on deck sounds awesome. I've never been on a cruise.

Have a great time!

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Eat Your Water

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Had one heckofa workout last night - did the P90X Kenpo (kickboxing) - I gave it 100% only to be slightly disappointed that I only burned 433 in an hour, emoticonI was certainly hoping for a tad more, but I gave it my best and was soooo glad I did it. Some words of wisdom from Runners World again - I've really been into healthy reading these days, it helps keep me motivated and what the heck? I'm learning a few things along the way too.

Eat Your Water: Hydrating foods provide plenty of fluid and healthy nutrients to fuel hot summer runs.

Electrolytes: Cantaloupes, Peaches and Strawberries emoticon
Vitamin C: Watermelon, Kiwi and Citrus emoticon emoticon
Cancer Defense: Tomatoes, Broccoli emoticon emoticon
Recovery: Pineapple, Cherries emoticon emoticon
Immunity: Yogurt, Kefir
Digestion: Beans (One cup of cooked beans provides a half cup of water - I did not realize this - ah ha)

Beverages with Benefits:

emoticonChocolate Milk - Ideal ratio of protein and carbs helps speed postrun recovery.
emoticonCoconut Water - liquid in green coconut has fewer calories and more electrolytes than sports drinks
emoticonConcord Grape Juice - more antioxidants than other common juices
Iced Green Tea - compounds called EGCG give it anti-inflammatory properties.

So DRINK up my fellow Sparkers and Sparkettes or should I say EAT up emoticon

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KIKI0531 6/30/2011 2:03PM

    Interesting facts. Nice to realize that I already eat a lot of these foods !! Thanks so much.

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SAMI199 6/29/2011 11:23PM

    emoticon emoticon

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HALFFAST 6/29/2011 8:59PM

    Great info, thanks!

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2HAMSDIET 6/29/2011 5:20PM

    Great info... Thanks emoticon

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STIPER23 6/29/2011 11:45AM

    I read that article too. I love that chocolate milk is considered a recovery drink. When my preschool son runs his races, getting that chocolate milk afterwards is his reward and I don't feel too guilty! Sharing a post-race chocolate milk has become our tradtion.

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BAILEYS7OF9 6/29/2011 10:39AM

    thanks! I would love a 433 calorie burn!

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NATPLUMMER 6/29/2011 10:26AM

    Thanks for the info!!
Glad you did some Kenpo!! I'd be super happy for 433 calories in an hour.

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MMNICKS 6/29/2011 9:03AM

    Great blog, really great info. Coconut milk also has a higher water content than regular milk and makes great smoothies, the unique taste adds to the flavor of the smoothie!!!

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Comment edited on: 6/29/2011 9:04:08 AM

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BGEARY63 6/29/2011 8:59AM

    Eating your water. What a good idea. Good job on the kickboxing! emoticon

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DDOORN 6/29/2011 8:51AM

    So many great food choices!

Don

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MZSLYDE01 6/29/2011 8:50AM

    Hmm - Well I think that 433 calories burned is pretty great.
emoticon You rocked it girl.

Well that is some interesting info. I have always wanted to try the coconut water. Have you had it? Let me know. I love coconut.

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JLITT62 6/29/2011 8:33AM

    Interesting info - thanks for sharing!

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ERLYWA 6/29/2011 8:15AM

    Great info! I love that you are sharing with us what you are learning from this reading you're doing :) Thanks!

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