TEMPEST272002   32,105
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Wild Food - Chantrelle Mushrooms

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Me with fresh cut chantrelle mushrooms

I've become fascinated, on my hikes in the woods, with the variety of mushrooms that grow here. I started taking pictures and doing internet research keeping an eye out for possible edible species. I was sure that I had found a stand of chantrelle mushrooms, deep into the woods... but I was reluctant to pick them because some wild mushrooms are deadly poisonous. I started spreading the word in my community that I was looking for someone who ate mushrooms from these woods - and today I found her!

Angela is a 90 year old German woman who has been collecting mushrooms in these woods for over 50 years. She looks just as you would imagine - small, white haired with spritely blue eyes. Hubby & I collected a large sample of the mushrooms and went & knocked on her door. She invited us in and was happy to confirm that these are chantrelles - and was even happier when we gave them to her! She explained that she isn't physically able to collect mushrooms anymore, so this was a real treat for her. When I asked if I could bring her other samples, she seemed really pleased. She says she's alone a lot now & always home... so I think I'll start dropping by with treasures from the forest. A little company for Angela & a mushroom mentor for me! We're going to have the chantrelles tonight with whole wheat pasta, prawns and white wine sauce. Yum.

On another note, the picture above sparked a discussion between hubby & me. I said that I was surprised by how small I look in this picture. The angle of the camera must be distorting the image. He snorted and said it wasn't the camera angle that was distorted - it was my image of myself. He said "You look just like that. THAT is what you look like." Really? I feel much larger than that. Much larger. I may be wearing size 14 - but I still feel like a size 22. C'mon brain - catch up to the body!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LINDAKAY228 8/23/2010 10:16AM

    That is so neat to meet someone like that! You're both going to be blessed by getting to know each other.
Yep, sometimes the brain doesn't see the progress we've made. You really do look small in that picture. You've come a long way!

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FRECKS96 8/23/2010 8:39AM

    How cool!! We had a wonderful neighbor for years that recently passed away, I regret that we didn't learn more from her before she passed. Enjoy your time with Angela AND your mushrooms, yum!

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JLITT62 8/23/2010 6:04AM

    Yes, that's you! It's very common to take a long time for your brain to catch up with your image.

How cool to find a mushroom mentor! And what a great friend you're cultivating. That's awesome.

And I sure wish I could've come over to your house for dinner last night!

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PRINCESS_TWISTY 8/22/2010 11:03PM

    Lol Momma_Little...I was having the exact same thoughts!
It's a great photo, you look gorgeous!

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JEMPOWER 8/22/2010 9:26PM

    You look like little red riding hood.


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LIBBYFITZ 8/22/2010 9:04PM

    You look really cute with you're hair down! Loved the story of the german woman. how lucky are you all to be able to help each other! emoticon
You're meal sounds scrumptious!

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LADYHUNTER82 8/22/2010 8:37PM

    I love the story! How wonderful! Sounds like you might have met a wonderful friend also. And your husband is right, you look beautiful.... I hope you have a wonderful week. Thank you so much for sharing.

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    OK, SparkSister, listen to me! I was reading your blog about the mushrooms, and trust me, I really was interested... But my EYES just kept going to that PHOTO, and your words were interrupted by the thought, "Gosh! She needs to change her PROFILE photo... this is GORGEOUS!"

THEN, I read farther down, and BEHOLD! Your husband verifies my reaction and the reason I couldn't pay attention what you were saying as much as your pretty picture!

Change your profile picture to this enchanting, beautiful one! You're lovely!

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BADGERDANCE 8/22/2010 6:32PM

    what a great story! And you look fantastic!

tried wild chantrelles for the first time a couple weeks ago: yummy! Very pretty mushrooms, too

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Huge Change In Perspective aka the REAL Impact of Changing My Lifestyle

Friday, August 20, 2010

Earlier today, I literally & virtually stomped my feet, p***ed off at the scale and the unfairness of the world in general.

Fortunately, I have some new tools in this old toolbox... so I put on my running shoes and dealt with my emotions the best way I know how. I ran hard. Faster than ever before. Pounded those feet into the earth. Ran until my breathe was ragged.

And then I felt better. Nothing, nothing, nothing beats running for stress relief.

After the run part, the dogs and I carried on hiking through the woods, stopping at the swamp so the dogs could cool off with a swim. I have Dooley (my in-laws dog) with me as my FiL is still in hospital. Now, Dooley is insane about water. If you let him off leash, you best expect to swim in to collect him because there is NO WAY that he will come when he's called. I am not wearing a bathing suit & I'm not planning on skinny dipping either!

So I create a long rope with 4 leashes (I carry leashes for my dogs - but hardly ever use them), tied one end to a tree and released Dooley to the water. I'm standing there watching him thinking "You fool. If you'd only learn to come when you're called, you wouldn't be frustrated with the confines of the leash."

Then emoticon pops up and says "You could learn a lesson from this dog. HE isn't capable of looking at the bigger picture and gaining a new perspective. He can only see what he wants right now & can't see how he's hindering his own desires. You have a bigger brain. Don't be a twit. Change your perspective, girl!"

Here is a pic of water-crazy Dooley in his favourite toy... his swimming pool!

I started thinking about what had led to my loss in perspective - the scale. You see, I'm soooooo close to being under 200 lbs that I can almost taste it. 203.5 today. 203 last week. All week, I've been thinking about getting into one-derland. Of how it will feel to pass that milestone. I used that desire to really be strict with myself in diet & exercise. Then to see I was moving backwards... I was devastated.

So how to change that perspective? How to change the focus? Where have my gains be made? How can I measure them to see progress?

One of things that came to mind was finding out if the changes I've made have had any impact on my "virtual age" or life expectancy. When I got home, I did a quick search on "real age calculators" and ended up here :


34 questions to determine your virtual and biological age. I did it twice. The first time answering the questions based on my CURRENT lifestyle & the second time answering based on what I recall of my lifestyle FIVE MONTHS AGO.


Biological Age: 40
Virtual Age: 29.9
Ave Life Expectancy: 75
My Life Expectancy: 85.1


Biological Age: 40
Virtual Age: 50.5
Ave Life Expectancy: 75
My Life Expectancy: 64.5

I needed a change in perspective and I just got it....

By changing my lifestyle - eating, exercising, de-stressing, sleeping - I have


Holy Smokes! That is utterly freakin' AMAZING!


In my last blog, I calculated that I had spent at least 600 hours of concerted effort, in the last 5 months, for a weight loss of 30 lbs - and questioned if it was worth it.

This blog, I have a new calculation....

20 years = 169920 hours
169920/600 = 2832

For every hour I've invested in my health, I have gotten 2832 more hours of life.

Now that's worth it!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

PRINCESS_TWISTY 8/22/2010 11:34PM

    Fantastic blog! I can't imagine how liberating this realisation must have been for you! Life's lessons can come from some strange places at times!

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JLITT62 8/22/2010 5:56AM

    Great perspective (and realage.com is another great site).

Now, give up the smokes and you'll be even younger!

I always know it's worth it. I know I don't want to go back to the person I was 30 lbs ago. I'm much happier now.

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VICIOUS421 8/21/2010 3:54AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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LIBBYFITZ 8/20/2010 10:10PM

    Wow that is amazing! emoticon emoticon
I just did the same age thing
Virtual age 34.4
Life expectancy 100.6!

Actual age 57 on monday!

Thanks for the website!

Just love that dog!!!1 emoticon

Comment edited on: 8/20/2010 10:26:38 PM

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JEMPOWER 8/20/2010 9:42PM

    My dear friend, run with the dog, swim with the dog, and let the dog love you because we all love you as you go after that golden prize.



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DVANDIE 8/20/2010 9:17PM

    Bravo! Your perspective has now become mine! It's not about the scale! It is about living!

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LINDAKAY228 8/20/2010 3:50PM

    Awesome new perspective!!! I really like that!

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    Oh, this blog is an AWESOME blog! I am so impressed! What a LIGHT BULB! emoticonA true Ah Ha! moment! emoticonThis blog should get an award! emoticonYou go, sister! emoticon

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P*ssed off beyond belief at that stupid scale.

Friday, August 20, 2010

I am so ANGRY. I've been swearing and stomping and sitting and glowering. I am so mad and frustrated and there's no where to put it or anything to do with it because it is all seemingly out of my control.

Stepped on the scale today. Up 0.5 lbs. No biggie right? Wrong!

I have pushed myself to exercise, even when I didn't want to.
I have stayed within - or under - cal range on a consistent basis
I have tracked and blogged and read articles.
I have worked to find low-cal recipes to satisfy my sweet tooth.
I have made healthy choices.
I've improved my attitude and stayed consistent.
I drink my water.
I get enough sleep.

I basically eat, sleep, dream healthy eating and fitness and tracking.


Every day, I focus on getting healthier and losing weight. On average, I spend
1 - 1.5 hours exercising
1 hour food prep
2 hours tracking, blogging, reading articles
and every other minute of the day THINKING about all of this!

So roughly a minimum of 4 hours a day for the last 150 days = 600 hours of concerted effort for 30.5 lbs weight loss. Is it worth it?

My sparkfriends will, of course, tell me that it IS worth it. I've written the same thing to support others. What is the alternative? Go back to the way I was living? No, I don't want to go there either.

But I'm so pissed off that I'm sitting here in tears. Am I defective? All this effort, barely any result. I can focus on all the positives all I want. But the truth is I'm working my ass off, feeling like a freak because I'm the only person I know right now (in real life) who is exercising and watching what I eat consistently. And the f***ing scale still won't move.

No choices today. I can't go back. I can't seem to move forward.

STUCK... and ANGRY... and SAD... and FRUSTRATED... and FED UP.

I've come too far on the fitness front to stop now. There is that, at least. But, SERIOUSLY, I can not continue to give it my all and not see results. Why bother? I'm sure I could be finding a much more PRODUCTIVE use for my time.

I am SICK AND F***ing TIRED of exerting all of this focus and energy on something that just isn't happening.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BRIAEL 8/20/2010 1:16PM

    I have literally just started the scale moving again after 3 weeks of very, very small ultimate losses, after swing gains and losses all the way through it. Up 0.5, down 0.2, up 0.9, down 0.4. For me, this is rapidly becoming a pattern despite eating perfectly well within range and varying it up with food and doing plenty of exercise and changing it up and around. I was also around the 30lb loss mark, if that helps!

What I did notice in this period was that I lost inches instead of weight. Clothes that I couldn't squeeze into 3 weeks ago now fit and a measuring session yesterday confirmed that everywhere is smaller. My trainer gave both of us a shock when she measured my body fat percentage, which seems to have plummeted.

My theory is that the body can't concentrate on doing everything at once. It needs a period of adjustment to consolidate what it's doing with muscles, tissue and fat and it's priority isn't how YOU choose to measure it.

So, when the scales stop showing you results, look for success in another way. Keep the tape measure and body fat handheld machine next to the scales. When one frustrates you, use the others. Don't be a slave to the scales, because those bustards lie occasionally. ;)

Have a great weekend. Stay strong!

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KNOWMOREBBK 8/20/2010 11:48AM

    I want you to perform the following steps..

1.) Go to the nearest Walmart or dollar store.
2.) Buy a cheap scale.
3.) Bring home the scale and take it out in the back yard.
4.) Take a sledge hammer and beat the everlivin crap out of that scale.

You may want to wear goggles for your own safety.

I ask you to do these things because it will put a huge smile on your face and you will burn calories at the same time.

If you want, you could make your existing scale watch the carnage....as a warning.

Please cheer up! You are doing so great! You know that all of your exercise could be resulting in inches lost but not necessarily pounds lost. You could also try increasing the protein and reducing the carbs... That's what I am trying to do to get me off of this plateau. We will get there.. KEEP THE FAITH!!


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THATS_LOVELY101 8/20/2010 11:26AM

    I think I have a bit of advice that is going to sound a bit backwards, but my spark friend and I have both tried it and it works every time for us. Try having a cheat meal. I don't know why it works but it does. Select a day every week to eat something a little indulgent. Have dessert, eat some pizza, go to your favorite restaurant and splurge a little.

I was feeling the same as you last week. Every single day for two whole weeks I tracked perfectly within my range, was working out really hard, and my scale actually went up a couple of ounces. Then on Saturday I ate way too much. But suprise, suprise I LOST 2.5 lbs in the following days.

After a while your body gets used to your calorie deficit. That's when you need to change it up. It keeps your body guessing and you'll be suprised how eating a little pizza can HELP your weight loss, assuming you do it in moderation. Try it and let me know how it works for you!

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LINDAKAY228 8/20/2010 11:17AM

    I really do know how you feel and have been there before. I'm glad that you still feel it's worth it. The scale is fickle and so are our bodies at times. Sometimes we retain just a little water for a known or unknown reason that can throw the scale off. There are just so many variables. But then the next time you step on it you may have lost more than anticipated. Or you may be in a plateau but it will break. I just read this blog and your last one and you said your ring is getting so lose you may have to take it off. That's where the proof really lies, in how much various measurements have changed. So don't let the scale get to you. Just keep on going forward with your plan and your rewards will come!

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    Oh, my goodness, I understand! I have to say I agree with everything RUCOBB said and can't think of a thing to add except that I'm here cheering for you! DON'T QUIT, my friend! You have come so far and the stupid scale has no clue sometimes! emoticon emoticon emoticon

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RUCOBB 8/20/2010 10:47AM

    So of course I'm going to tell you it's all worth it, as you knew all of us Sparky people would. But I think all of us have been (or will be at some point in the future) where you're at right now - doing everything right and not seeing the results. So you're definitely not defective or a freak or anything like that. But it's frustrating as hell. So some advice: change it up. Do something completely wacky for exercise. Play with your calorie range for a couple of days and see if eating more or eating less gets your body to shed a pound or two. Can't believe I'm saying this, but maybe take a day or two without SP just to refocus on yourself and your goals and your reasons without feeling the pressure to log absolutely everything and post to the boards and huddle and read articles and get sparkpoints and welcome new peeps. All of these things are wonderful, but maybe a wee break from them might help? Sorry this is such a long reply, but I have so been there and I know how upsetting it is. But in the end, all of this is definitely worth it. And 30 lbs ain't nothin' to sneeze at.

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Pushing Through the Blahs

Friday, August 20, 2010

I'm still feeling blah today, but giving myself kuddos for pushing through it. Today, I stood at the end of the warf for a very long time debating whether or not I'd swim today... but in the end, I dove in. Then tonight, I considered going to bed without finishing tracking food/exercise or blogging... but I didn't let myself off the hook. I tracked & now I'm here blogging.

It took me a while to figure out why my thighs are so sore today... it's that Dooley... since I'm resisting him pulling me forward, while moving forward... I'm working those muscles both ways!

Part of the reason I didn't let myself off the hook on tracking today was because I was sure I'd gone over my calories & I didn't want to sweep it under the rug. Turns out I was mistaken - under cal again today. Odd. I'm not worried about it, but I'm going to make more of an effort tomorrow. Lesson learned though about estimating calories - I'm not that good at it yet.

Non-scale measurements... my rings are getting so loose that I'm going to have to stop wearing them. I don't want to have them resized until I've lost more weight... but I'm going to miss them. Hubby works with machinery, so he wears his wedding ring on a chain around his neck... maybe I'll have to start doing the same.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

FRECKS96 8/20/2010 8:53AM

    Wow!! Congrats to you for pushing through and holding yourself accountable. That's awesome! I really hope the blahs move on soon. It gets tiring fighting through them everyday. Keep up the great work!

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LIBBYFITZ 8/20/2010 8:46AM

    You need fat knuckles! ........lol emoticonSo pleased you stuck to you're tracking! emoticon emoticon

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    You are AMAZING!!! I have so many of the same thoughts and stuff that you experience, it seems! My wedding ring is loose, too! I had to have it enlarged a few years ago, and now, I'm waiting to see how small it needs to go next! I do the same with those calories, too, but many times, I'm incorrect the other way, too!

Have a great day today! emoticon emoticon

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SLIMLILA 8/20/2010 12:36AM

    BTW, there is a little pice of metal that you can get, probably from a jewellery store, that you clip onto your rings to have them fit till you do something permanent.

I've not been doing at all well, but I too have come here almost every day. I will get back to it, when the stress levels go down again, but I'm doing what I can to hang around. Good for you, you pushed everywhere you needed to.... congrats!

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WORKOUTWITHPAM 8/20/2010 12:31AM

    Sounds like it is working for you! Keep up the good work, and best wishes in reaching all of your health and fitness goals.


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Feeling low-key

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

I'm feeling a bit off today. My FiL went in for surgery. He's out of surgery & recovering well, but has been on my mind all day.

I babysat my in-laws dog, Dooley. If you've read Marley & Me... well that's the kind of dog Dooley is too. Loveable... dooofus... not easy to control. Totally unsuitable for a 75 year old couple, but they adore him.

All I can say is THANKYOU to the inventor of halti's! My dogs go off-leash, but Dooley's a bolter... to the nearest swimming hole usually. Took Dooley with us on my 20 min run followed by 40 minute hike. He loves running and encourages me to move faster! But when we get to the long hill home... he heels like he was born to do it!

I've been tracking my food, but feeling blah on the food front. I'm having trouble getting the calories in today. Most days I'm in range, so one low day probably won't hurt.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LCORTEZ7 8/19/2010 2:32PM

    Dooley sounds like a handful yet brought excitement to your day. emoticon I've read that if you fluctuate your calorie intake it actually encourage weight loss. Enjoy your day; you deserve it.

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LINDAKAY228 8/19/2010 10:06AM

    Hope today you're feeling better. Hope fil continues to do okay. I have dog like Marley! She's 8 years old now and has settled down somewhat but still has moments and is a Houdini at getting out the gate if a bungee cord isn't wrapped tightly around it to keep her from opening the latch.
Have a good day today!

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JEMPOWER 8/18/2010 10:09PM

    I lost my comment because I've been having connectivity problems, but basically I told you I hope all is going well and I have found pineapple smoothies are a good way to brighten up your menu.


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JEMPOWER 8/18/2010 10:08PM

    Hope all goes well with you and dooley and fil. I have been making fresh pineapple smoothies and they are great. I take fresh pineapple and put it in the blender with one container of plain non-fat yogurt or 1 c. nonfat milk and 1 pack of truvia. It is delicious. The other day I was out of plain non-fat yogurt and added nonfat blueberry yogurt and no truvia and it was so gooood, but it was really ugly.

I have found that pineapple is really satisfying for breakfast or a midmorning snack. It seems to get me going. Not too hard to metabolize or something. Or maybe it just has the perfect amount of carbohydrates. I have been buying fresh pineapple and cutting it up into one cup servings and freeezing them in individual servings so when I make my smooothies they are like pineapple shakes. I tell ya' if I had some rum it would be a fun day. But, I don't drink anymore because it's too fattening.


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    I LOVED Marley and Me! It's one of my top favorite books! And I have a Halti! And yes, they're awesome! I think we're sisters and didn't know it! We have so much in common! emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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    I LOVED Marley and Me! It's one of my top favorite books! And I have a Halti! And yes, they're awesome! I think we're sisters and didn't know it! We have so much in common! emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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THINLIN07 8/18/2010 9:17PM

    Nothing like a dog to help you exercise. We cant have a dog where we live. I sure miss it from when we did. Dooley sounds like the black lab we used to have called Nicky she was always bolting for the water too.

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LIBBYFITZ 8/18/2010 9:02PM

    Hope you are not brewing something? Doesn't matter if you are down in calories for one day. Hope you feel better tomorrow. Love dogs, really miss mine! Had a pat of some darling little poodle tonight on the way home, really lifted my spirits!
Thank you for the goodie! will use it as it is my birthday on Monday, so well timed my emoticon.
Am enjoying the journey with you too! emoticon emoticon

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FRECKS96 8/18/2010 8:51PM

    Agreed, you did better today than I usually do on my low-key days. Enjoy the rest time and the company of the dog. Tomorrow is a new day.

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PRINCESS_TWISTY 8/18/2010 8:40PM

    Awww I wish I had a dog to exercise with!!

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RABAJOREK 8/18/2010 8:34PM

    Im sorry you are having a "low key" day. Its okay about your calories, have a light snack and be done with it for the day. Tomorrow is a new day...Enjoy that lovable dog!

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