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Raisins in My Oatmeal

Wednesday, June 02, 2010

I am celebrating a big accomplishment! A streak of one day may not be particularly impressive to most people, but I think this one may be significant. I did something yesterday that I haven't done for at least 35 years. I went the entire day without any artificial sweetener. No diet soda, no Crystal Light, no packets of yellow or blue or pink, no diet pancake syrup, no sugar free pudding, no sugar free Klondike bar, etc.

In December of 2009 I started counting my artificial sweetener. It felt like just paying attention to it may have reduced my use, but I used about 12 colored packets (Splenda, Equal, Sweet n Low) per day plus other artifically sweetened products. I tried to gradually cut down. I had some success. But it was harder than starting strength training, harder than my cardio exercise streak, even harder than managing the number on the scale, and definitely harder than drinking 8 glasses of water. I got down to about 8 packets per day and then stalled.

So I decided to go cold turkey. Yesterday I succeeded. I'm going to try to keep the streak going at least a week. Long range I am aiming for 4 or less packets or equivalent per day, the recommendation of SparkPeople.

Every positive streak starts with a first day.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SWEATONCEADAY 6/3/2010 4:20PM

    keep it up marsha!

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WILD4STARS 6/2/2010 5:46PM

    I cook my oatmeal in fat free vanilla soy milk. It does have some sugar in it, not much. Gives it just that little bit of sweet that I like. I also use raisins and some cinnamon. Congratulations on day 1 of a long and healthy streak!
emoticon emoticon
Happy Sparking,
emoticonVikki

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AQUAGIRL08 6/2/2010 2:54PM

    Raisins in oatmeal are very sweet! I occasionally drink a diet coke but somewhere along the line I pretty much stopped (except for an occasional exception) using artificial sweeteners. I'm not even sure when it happened but reading your blog made me realize that about one and a half years ago (shortly after I started on SP) I suddenly stopped. Since water is my main drink, I usually have little use for any kind of sweetener. Perhaps that's why I stopped using artificial sweeteners.

Kudos to you for going a whole day without. I know that is a big milestone for you and that it's hard. You are making so much progress Marsha. You should be proud of yourself. I know that I'm proud of you! emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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EILEENV3 6/2/2010 1:35PM

    emoticon
Except for Diet Coke, I like Stevia if I sweeten teas.
I also like raisens in oatmeal. For me, they are enough.
I had a thought as I read your post. I use unflavored yogurt (I have sugar issues). Sometimes I add sugar free choc. pudding (however-that does use the artifical sweetner) AND sometimes I add nut butters (almond, tahini, or peanut butter) to the yogurt. I wonder if the nut butters would work in yogurt.
Anyway, keep up the good work. emoticon

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WALKINGANNIE 6/2/2010 1:14PM

    Well done on this accomplishment Marsha!

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KALIGIRL 6/2/2010 1:06PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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FREELADY 6/2/2010 10:45AM

    This is fantastic! A very courageous step! Now I am reminded to be strong myself!!

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PHEBESS 6/2/2010 10:18AM

    Good job! And a little cinnamon in the oatmeal makes it sweet without artificial sweeteners!

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SLIMMERJESSE 6/2/2010 9:09AM

    Congrats! If you can continue this streak, you will be absolutely amazed at how much better you feel. Best wishes for continued success.

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DONNABRIGHT 6/2/2010 9:03AM

    I love raisins in oatmeal - dried apricots are also wonderful. Juat a few make such a difference.

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JOHAL52 6/2/2010 8:30AM

    That's terrific Marsha! The only artificial sweetener I "use" is my daily can of Diet Coke. I am trying to cut that out as well and now that school has finished I am going to go every other day and then to once a week.

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WATERMELLEN 6/2/2010 8:14AM

    Yay raisins! I don't use much artifical sweetenr (certainly fewer than 4 packets a day) or products (a can or two of diet soda, maybe) but have to applaud your determination to go cold turkey . . . Well done!

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_COSMOPAULATAN_ 6/2/2010 7:52AM

    You know what? It's YOUR accomplishment... by no one else's standards but your own! I'm celebrating with you!! emoticon

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JHADZHIA 6/2/2010 7:51AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
I think that is great!! Good for you Marsha!! I have never used artificial sweeteners or sugar at all. Its not something I can fathom using. I just like all my tastes to be natural. When I first started drinking herbal teas, I had them black. Its all I drink other than water and one cup of unsweetened, unflavored soy milk. After what happened with that one sweetener, I don't know if I would trust any of them!
Here is to living a natural, healthy lifestyle!

emoticon

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KOMA0603 6/2/2010 7:50AM

    great job keep up the great work.

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Don't Burn the Beans

Monday, May 31, 2010

The good news is I got 9 hours of sleep, awaking without an alarm, feeling very energetic. The bad news is that I forgot about my beans cooking in the crockpot - no salt added pintos. Instead of cooking 6 hours, they were on high for 15 hours. Yuck.

Hope you remember the big things and the little things this Memorial Day! -Marsha

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KALIGIRL 6/1/2010 12:52PM

    Don't sweat the small stuff.
emoticon for the reminder.

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JAY75REY 5/31/2010 11:17PM

    Oh yes, my mom with her 10 kids was occasionally guilty of burning the beans too which she cooked on the stovetop in a big pot. Also, don't burn the rice either!

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MEXGAL1 5/31/2010 10:03PM

    Glad you got a good night's sleep....too bad about your beans.

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JHADZHIA 5/31/2010 9:37PM

    Sorry about the beans:( Wow NINE hours sleep!! I can't imagine what that would be like! Lucky you!!
Enjoy your evening!

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SLIMMERJESSE 5/31/2010 4:38PM

    Oh well about the beans! But great about a good night's sleep. Have a wonderful day.

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WALKINGANNIE 5/31/2010 3:56PM

    Well I gues that you were full of beans one way or the other!



Glad you had a sound sleep and hope that you enjoyed the rest of the day. emoticon

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MERALO 5/31/2010 3:26PM

    I hate that smell when you leave something on all night...it wakes you up in the middle of the night, wondering what on earth just died in the kitchen!

Glad you had a good night's rest, hope you have a great day!

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MONTY68 5/31/2010 12:21PM

    Hi Marsha
I guess the true way of knowing if we have had enough sleep is waking up without a alarm. That is wonderful. I have a question, I don't have a crockpot, Do they not have a timer that would shut something off? If, they don't it would be a good idea. Sorry about the beans.

Enjoy your Day, the weather is sunny but of course expecting the afternoon showers. but that shouldn't interfere with a good day.
We really do need to remember why we celebrate this day, to many just take for granted what we have.

Monty




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Hungry Week

Sunday, May 30, 2010

All last week I was hungry -- extra hungry. I actually went over my calorie range 4 times -- 3 times just a little and I balanced it with extra activity; one day I overate at least 400 calories. Yesterday, though, the extra hunger wasn't there. I don't know what was different. Today my hunger seems normal again.

Perhaps the lesson is to remember when I'm extra hungry to do the best I can and it will pass.

Perhaps there is something I am eating that triggers the extra hunger.

Perhaps it is emotional.

One mistake I made last week was in tracking. I tended to quit tracking when I was out of calories. I think if I would track everything, it might help me figure out what triggers the extra hunger. I could analyze just what I ate. I might need to note other stressors as well. I think it would be worth the effort.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MONTY68 5/30/2010 9:56PM

    Hi Marsha
I didn't realize that you weren't tracking everything. I have experienced that feeling of hunger from time to time but fortunately I have calories that I can use. There have been times within a short period after eating that I feel hungary and shouldn't be. Annie suggested looking at the chart and see f like she said carbs were off. I can't go back because I don't remember now when they were but can go forward.
Thanks for sharing your feelings of hunger.

Monty

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WATERMELLEN 5/30/2010 7:31PM

    It's the excess carbs thing for me too which triggers hunger: gotta get enough protein (without getting too much fat).

Yay Nutrition Tracker for helping me realize where to "spend" the last calories of the day most wisely . . .

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DONNABRIGHT 5/30/2010 4:49PM

    I always thought if you didn't track the food you could pretend it had no calories!!!!!! emoticon

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THERAPIST2 5/30/2010 2:21PM

    Great job taking a good look at your week and figuring out some steps to take!

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WALKINGANNIE 5/30/2010 1:37PM

    I'm so glad that you're back on track Marsha. It's good that you blog, track and update your status as you will be able to check back on what you did if you develop any theories later on about why you were extra hungry.

I think I've worked out that I get hungrier if carbs dominate too much on any day. I seem OK if I eat carbs within the recommended carbs / fat / protein balance but if I go over - even within the overall calorie range - I feel hungrier.

I don't know whether this resonates with you or not.

It's very helpful that we're looking for answers and experimenting within this supportive group.

Hope you have a more satisfying week this week!

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JHADZHIA 5/30/2010 1:34PM

    Glad things are back to normal for you! That is the same thing I do too. Eat more exercise more, don't bother counting either of them. I know if I exercise more, I need to eat more and vice versa. I am just a little tired of the time it takes to record every little thing, its taking up too much time. My sister never records anything and she is doing great (and looking great too!)
Keep up the good work!

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AQUAGIRL08 5/30/2010 1:06PM

    I do the same thing. When I do track, I tend to skip the extra calories. I'm glad you're back on track. Good job!

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5K Commitment -- All Wet

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Today my WW meeting was all about exercise and activity. I found myself re-energized and motivated to take it up a notch. I went to the Y from WW and did my hour long Zumba class, my strength training machines, and then another 25 mintues on the stationery bike. I probably would have done more, but I needed to get home to take care of Natalie at 12:15.

The WW group is doing a 5K on June 5th in the evening. I signed up. My SparkTeam is doing a walk that morning, I'm pretty sure. I can do both! I may jog a couple times, but primarily I am going to walk. Don't want to stress anything. Every once in a while, though, it feels so good just to go as fast as you can.

It poured down rain this afternoon. We had lightening flashes and lost our electricity for a while. Natalie and I sat on the glider on the front porch, but that didn't last long. We had to catch drips in the plastic containers. And then we had to run around the magnolia tree, just like we do when the sprinkler is on. At first we just got a little wet, and then a little wetter. By the time her mom came to get her, we were both absolutely soaked. And happy. And her mom wasn't even upset. Good day!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

AQUAGIRL08 5/30/2010 1:05PM

    I used to love to watch the rain when I was a kid. We had a glassed in room at the back of the house. I'd crank open the windows just a little bit.... Good memories. You and Natalie sure had fun in the rain yesterday. You didn't even melt in the rain! lol You'll be doing a lot of exercise next Saturday. Please don't hurt yourself! Have a great day!

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DONNABRIGHT 5/30/2010 7:15AM

    Great fun!

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JHADZHIA 5/29/2010 11:57PM

    Good for you Marsha! Fun times with the amazing Natalie!
I did a brisk walk in the cold blowing rain for an hour and twenty minutes, went 9000 steps, but it was nice to see so much greenery along the river with the bushes and branches hanging over the pathway, reminded me, just for a minute of warmer climates!
Have a nice Sunday!

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MONTY68 5/29/2010 10:17PM

    Hi Marsha
What a beautiful blog, congratulations on signing up for the 5K. I Know that you WILL be able to do both. What I thought was nice, is that you had the opportunity to have your granddaughter and had a great time playing in the rain.
Thank you for sharing your day.

Monty emoticon emoticon emoticon

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LAURIE5658 5/29/2010 10:12PM

    You two have the best times!!! We have a big, deep front porch and love to sit there while it rains. There is nothing like the fresh air during and after the rain. Wonderful stuff.

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WILD4STARS 5/29/2010 8:33PM

    It was a horrendous storm. I was glad to be home, safe and sound.
Make it a great weekend.
emoticonVikki

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BRIGHTSPARK7 5/29/2010 7:51PM

    Just singin' and dancin' in the rain ... doobey doob doob dooo ... emoticon Sounds like you had fun with Nat.

And I LOVE the new 5K goal with the WW group. emoticon You are rockin' it!


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Amazing "Sweet" Vegetables

Thursday, May 27, 2010

It was an amazing revelation. As I enjoyed a fresh ear at supper last eve, for the first time I understood why they call corn "sweet corn." As I've cut back my sugar and sweetener I can begin to taste the sweet in corn, peas, and carrots. Sometimes when you try to get and have everything, you miss a lot of subtle goodness! Hope you find some unexpected sweetness today. -Marsha

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

DONNABRIGHT 5/28/2010 9:50AM

    We had sweet corn last night, also and I have found that a sprinkle of parmesan cheese adds an interesting flavor since I no longer put butter on it..

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FREELADY 5/28/2010 2:00AM

    This is so true. And I love your application! I'm going to be "chewing on" this thought!
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TBRANCH2 5/27/2010 10:28PM

    Yum, yum, yum!!! Good for you....again!! hahahaha emoticon

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ARTYMISS 5/27/2010 7:50PM

    I couldn't agree more!!

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WATERMELLEN 5/27/2010 7:03PM

    Good point: "unexpected sweetness" on our menus and in our lives! Nothing unexpected about the sweetness of a bag of Oreos now is there?? I'm going to be looking for "unexpected richness" and "unexpected saltiness" as well! Nothing subtle about potato chips either!!

Re-education of the taste buds is an ongoing task!!

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MNNICE 5/27/2010 5:20PM

    Very good point! Just like we need to take time to smell the roses, we need to take time to taste the sweetness!

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WILD4STARS 5/27/2010 5:20PM

    As a kid I was known for my ability to eat corn on the cob in huge quantities!! It is so very good, and I haven't fixed it in ages. I'll be looking for some my next trip to the store. Thanks!
emoticonVikki

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MONTY68 5/27/2010 4:13PM

    Marsha
great blog, 3 of my favorite veggies, which by the way, I was not permitted to have when I was on my program until I reached my weight goal and back they came.
Just a point, growing up in PA, where the corn tastes just a bit different then here, we use to pick a ear and actually eat it raw, talk about sweet. Thank you;you always have such great blogs.

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AQUAGIRL08 5/27/2010 3:42PM

    I just did Marsha, simply by reading your blog!

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SLIMMERJESSE 5/27/2010 3:35PM

    I read about your 70 minutes on the elliptical with utter amazement. I really have a mental block with that piece of equipment and feel victorious with 1 couple of 10 minute sessions. Good for you!

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WALKINGANNIE 5/27/2010 3:35PM

    Great observations!

Sparking, better nutrition and mindful eating have made my tastebuds much more sensitive too.

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