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Recipe for Hummus - Walk It out Challenge

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

This is an easy recipe that goes well with veggies and pita triangles:


2 15 ounce cans of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
Juice of 1 small lemon
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon tahini (optional - I usually leave it out)
2 small or one large clove of garlic, finely grated
Water to thin out if needed
Sweet paprika (Hungarian) to garnish

1. Drain and wash the chickpeas, add to food processor. (You can use a blender if you have a strong one)
2. Add grated garlic, olive oil, tahini (if wanted), lemon juice, and about 2 tablespoons of water.
3. Puree until there are no whole chickpeas, and the hummus is a thick paste.
4. Remove from bowl of mixer and garnish with a sprinkle of paprika. You can also drizzle some olive oil on top but I like the look of the paprika.

Serve with pita bread triangles or veggies - also good on sandwiches.

Number of Servings: 14

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LOPEYP 9/18/2013 8:57AM

    I'd try this one. Thanks!

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JANTWO 9/18/2013 12:21AM


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BILLB000 9/18/2013 12:04AM

    Thank you for sharing this. I am going to try this. I am a big fan of hummus.

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FLAMENM 9/17/2013 11:18PM

    I like to add brined veggies and olives on top of the hummoues. Adds a nice flavor profile.

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FANNISHMOM 9/17/2013 7:43PM

    I'll have to try making this. My son adores hummus. Thanks.

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LAURAJ53 9/17/2013 7:40PM

    Another recipe I will have to try! :)

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15LOVEHARRY 9/17/2013 7:37PM

  funny thing is this is the third recipe for hummus I have encountered this week.

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MCFITZ2 9/17/2013 7:34PM

    Sounds delish emoticon

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What is my weight loss goal and other rambling thoughts.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Today when I viewed the Spark Coach video the question Spark Guy asked was 'What is your weight loss goal?' My first thought was 'well to lose weight and be fit of course'. But then he said there is always a bigger goal so find yours. Hum...it took all of 5 seconds to realize I want to lose weight and be fit for my family.

I got married in my mid 30s and had my children in my late 30s. When some of my friends were attending their kids' high school graduations I was attending to diaper changing. Aging is natural and I am ok with that but I don't ever want to feel too old to be there for them or want my fitness or lack there of to limit my involvement with my kids.

Getting into a fitness program has so many non-scale victories - like energy and more positive attitude. This benefits not only me but my relationships with my family. In my last blog I talked about walking with my daughter most nights. It not only makes the time and miles fly by but has brought us closer and I get to hear more about her day than if we spent the same time watching TV. So even without reaching my optimal fitness level I am already reaping benefits.

So got to thank Spark Guy for helping me move my focus from the scale to the bigger picture.

Hope everyone has a great day and take time to focus on the big picture-it is such a motivator!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ELISADENK 11/20/2013 7:17PM


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ALAINEBUG 6/27/2013 9:54AM

    I too enjoy walking with my kids; rewarding on so many levels. Welcome to the team

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TARANITUP 6/6/2013 9:49PM

    SO true! I started this journey for sort of the same reason - although my kids are young. I felt like I was spending time sitting on the sidelines watching their lives rather than participating in the game. You'll be very successful when you keep that big picture goal in mind!

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ALL-IS-AMAZING 5/20/2013 9:05AM

    I think knowing the big picture helps keep the motivation going emoticon

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SHRINK71 5/19/2013 2:20PM

    Yes! The big picture is truly all that matters. When you find that perspective it can be truly motivating.
emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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BELTONWALKER67 5/19/2013 10:05AM

    Most definitely...the big picture. Being healthy & having energy to live life daily is what it is all about. Great Blog! emoticon

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SNS1968 5/19/2013 9:59AM

    emoticon emoticon

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Week One of the Spark Solution Program

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Tomorrow will make one week on the Spark Solution Program. I thought I would blog about the program incase there were folks on the fence about buying the book and starting the program.

The book gives you a two week menu with recipes and an exercise program. There are some inspirational stories and many hints from Spark People members who have had great success with using Spark People. The book is an extension of the web site which I like. They aren't trying to give you a fad diet with impossible exercises. It is just a plan to get you on track, kick start you or help you over a plateau.

This week I have managed to stay within my calorie and nutrition ranges and stick to my goals. This week's goal was to start the exercises in the Spark Solution book to add to my previous goal to walk 10000 steps per day. Happy to report both goals were met this week-which surprises me a lot! emoticon

The new exercises are challenging due to my previous non-exercising self and I probably take more breaks than people in better condition but I can feel the results already just in energy.

There has been a lot of help on the Spark People web site to include a team where folks share their experiences.

We were asked a few questions about the program so I am putting them here to share in hopes they will help others thinking about the program.

What made you decide to try The Spark Solution Program?
I have been on Spark People for a couple of years but just recently got serious on becoming fit. The book just happen to come out around the same time so I ordered it. The menus and exercises are manageable - and what I mean by that is the food is normal food, I didn't have to restock the pantry. The exercises are explained well and I didn't need to buy a home gym to do them. So when I got the email that there would be a two week period to start the program, I was game.

Have you seen or felt any results in this first week?
Energy! Energy! Energy! I don't know who this person is who isn't tired all the time and wants to get up from her desk to talk to someone rather than send an email. I actually look forward to my walks now and schedule time to exercise which is so not like me or I should say the old me emoticon Other than that I am down a little over two pounds which is emoticon .

What do you like the most about the program?
It is easy and I feel comfortable substituting foods and exercises when needed. It teaches you a way of life rather than being a fad diet that has quick results but is impossible to sustain.

What was your favorite meal from this week?
The breakfast cookies (breakfast day 4). I have had four hectic mornings this week which I knew about in advance so I made a couple batches of the breakfast cookies and froze them. A zap in the microwave then grab a container of pre-measured Greek yogurt (substituted for skim milk) , some sliced strawberries (sub for apple) and I was set. I did my measuring the night before and placed everything in containers I could just grab.

Which Insider Tip motivated you the most this week?
'Keep an eye on the prize' - basically being a good example to your kids and others. I read this one when I first got the book and invited my daughter to walk with me. She said yes and now we have created this very special time together to talk about our day. I hope this will also make exercise a habit for her.

What is your goal is for next week?
Increase the reps on the swap strength exercises- especially the lunges which I am very ungraceful doing but can feel them working muscles my body didn't even know I had. emoticon Also to stay closer to the food plans to bring more variety into my meals. I am looking forward to trying more of the recipes. They sound very yummy (Thai Peanut Noodles, Banana Bread and Breakfast Casserole) and not too time consuming.

Week two starts on Monday so I will prep what I can on Sunday. To sum up I think the first week went well and wasn't at all difficult to follow. Looking forward to another week.
If you want to know more about it the book's web site is : www.sparkpeople.com/sparksolution

Have a great week everyone! emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KALISWALKER 5/19/2013 12:42AM

    Thanks for the update, I have the book and need to read it.

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LOOKINGUP2012 5/18/2013 8:56PM

    Just got the book today!

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MERRYMARY42 5/18/2013 7:58PM

    fantastic, and this is the reason I got the book, I just have to get going, so that is why I planned on Monday, now just not to procrastinate.

great blog. got my motivation back up

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LOPEYP 5/18/2013 7:28PM

    I have the book and have barely cracked it. Want to start it on Monday.
Keep up the good work!

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Friday, April 26, 2013

I am working with the virtual SparkCoach and today had a video about setting your SMART goals. Coach Nicole said writting them down was morepawerful then keeping them in your head so here they are:

Walk at least 10 minutes each day - this I am doing to help with stress relief
Exercise for 40 minutes at least 5 times a week.
Track my food intake and exercise in Sparkpeople every day - easier now with the Sparkpeople app on my phone.


Focusing On The Positive

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Today I am starting my sixth Spark week. Except for the first week when I lost 5 pounds my weight has not decreased. It has gone up a pound or two when I started a new exercise or ate too much sodium but no loss past the first week. So if I were to focus on the scale my only gain after 5 weeks is a loss of 5 pounds.

On all the fad diets I have tried there would be no way I would continue if the scale wasn't showing results. Those fad diets give you quick losses and a temporary feeling of being in control but soon the rigidness of the diet gets to be too much so I would stop and gain back the quick loss and a little more as I rewarded myself with second helpings to make up for the sacrifices of the fad diet.
So why am I continuing on and happy to start my sixth week? When I asked myself that question I realized it is the other stuff that I never considered before...the things following a healthy lifestyle and the Spark can bring you, all the positive results you read about in the Spark articles and in the blogs of fellow members. It is these positive results that keep me on track:

1. Sense of community: Complete strangers offer their support, share their struggles and victories, challenge you and let you know you are not alone on this journey. You also have the opportunity to support others and take time to give words of congratulations and a 'way to go' to other members.

2. Sleep: eating healthy and regular exercise has impacted my sleep. I sleep great! No stomach upsets from high fat snacks to keep me awake. After exercise the stress levels are way down so I can fall asleep quicker and not wake up at 2 a.m. worrying about a home or work issue.

3. Attitude: Something small happened the other day that ended up being a major eye opener for me. I was getting a container from the cabinet over the stove. As I grabbed the bowl, the lid fell out of the cabinet into the soup I was making. My daughter, having seen the accident, started to giggle. Six weeks ago I would have blown the small accident into a major issue, berated myself for being a big clumsy oaf and told my daughter to stop laughing. Instead I looked at the lid sinking into the soup, glanced over at my daughter and joined in on a good laugh.
It was about 5 minutes later I realized how my outlook on 'me' had changed and how I handled a trivial accident was teaching my daughter how to handle similar situations.
Overall I am happier, grateful for the blessings I have and becoming a more positive person overall.

4. Inches: My exercise consistency has been very positive. I am averaging one hour per day 5-6 days per week and although the scale isn't budging the inches are coming off. My biggest indicator is putting on my jeans after they have been washed and dried. I can pull up the zipper without sucking in my gut and doing the jeans wiggle to get all of me in there. Yesterday I took off my jeans and for the first time in a long time I didn't see the big red lines on my waist from the waist band cutting into me when I sat down.

5. Energy: I have it and am getting more done. Having a healthy snack around 2-3 pm has made a difference. I don't get that normal crash after having a candy bar or other high sugar/high fat snack. I used to say I don't have time to exercise, clean house, read etc. but now I realize I can make the time when I have the energy.

I could probably go on and on but you get my drift. The scale will no longer rule me, the weight loss will eventually come. In the meantime there are so many positive things to focus on.

Thank you fellow Sparkpeople. Hope everyone has a positive week too.

emoticon emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JKN049 8/21/2011 11:01AM

    You have reminded me what it's all about.....Taking care of yourself the right way and making a few friends along the way, isn't a bad way to go! Thanks for sharing. You've helped me refocus!


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TAMARA6905 8/15/2011 11:56AM

    And that is what Spark is all about!! It takes the body a while to get on board with your new healthy, lifestyle so patience is a virtue! We all preach measurements because there are a lot of times where the scale doesn't reflect the changes our bodies are going through, but the measuring tape always tells the truth! Keep up the good work, you're making great progress!

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TRI-TRI-AGAIN 8/14/2011 10:13AM

    This is an awesome blog! Thanks so much for sharing. I was so upset with myself when the scale didn't move from having a tough training schedule. I didn't focus on these types of changes and now I'm heavier than ever.

thanks for sharing.

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