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Artichokes, Vegetable of the Week

Friday, March 12, 2010

I always love artichokes as a child, my Mom is Sicilian so we always had them at every holiday and yes they were stuffed. I used to love them the way my Mom stuffed them. It was so simple but it tasted so good. She stuffed them with breadcrumbs, garlic, sausage meat, Parmesan cheese, and olive oil. They were really good but oh so fattening. My tastes have changed and I prefer just eating them plain – no stuffing and no dipping sauce. I never did understand why people would dip them in a mayonnaise type sauce or butter. Yuck.

As I was looking for the health benefits of artichokes. I was amazed to learn that these grow on plants up to 4 feet high and 6 feet wide. I never would have thought that. Silly me kind of thought they grew like brussel sprouts on a stalk.

Since ancient times, the artichoke has been used for liver and gallbladder conditions, 'cleaning' the blood, as well as the bladder. The Egyptians highly prized it as a health and diet food and Plinius described it as the 'food for the rich' because of the health problems contributed to a 'rich' life style - excessive in rich foods, fats and wine that led to liver illnesses (such as cirrhosis), gout and a general run down condition.

Today we know that the artichoke is very high in fiber, potassium, calcium, iron, phosphorus and other trace elements important for a balanced system. It is known to positively help poor liver function (thus helping to lower the blood cholesterol), arteriosclerosis, gout, supports the treatment of hepatitis and improves the gall secretions. It can slightly lower the blood sugar, improve the appetite and digestion, is diuretic and may help some migraine conditions (most especially those caused by toxins in the blood). As it helps the body rid itself of excess water and moves toxins it also has the added side effect of an improved skin luminosity.

As one of the most nutrient-packed vegetables on the planet, artichokes are hugely beneficial to our health. Diabetics who include artichokes in their diet can reap huge rewards from this vegetable because it contains a carbohydrate - in the form of insulin - which is a polysaccharide or starch that is handled by the body differently than other sugars. Thus artichokes are low in calories due to this carbohydrate, plus they are also extremely beneficial to diabetics. Insulin, as we know, improves blood sugar control in diabetes.

I can personally attest to the wonders of artichokes and diabetes. I usually just cook my artichokes in water, lemon juice, and some salt. I drink the broth that is left over after cooking. I will either drink it hot or save it for the next day in fridge. The day after I drink this “broth” my sugar levels are ridiculously low. I used to throw this out until my boss told me that his Mother always made his Father drink the broth for his diabetes. I said OK I’ll try it. It is kind of bitter and I really did not enjoy it the 1st time. The next morning when I took my sugar I was shocked at the huge drop. I learned to love this broth. Evidently an artichoke has 2% natural insulin in it. I always love artichokes as a child, my Mom is Sicilian so we always had them at every holiday and yes they were stuffed. I prefer just eating them plain – no stuffing and no dipping sauce. I was amazed to learn that these grow on plants up to 4 feet high and 6 feet wide. I never would have thought that. Silly me kind of thought they grew like brussel sprouts on a stalk.

Please go here if you do not know how to cook or eat an artichoke:

Eating artichokes is oh so much more than the now famous spinach artichoke dip. If you really need to eat this, try this slimmed down version for

Artichoke Spinach Dip – Slimmed
From Food Network Kitchens
This creamy and satisfying dip has half the calories and a quarter of the fat of traditional artichoke dip. To save even more calories, we serve it with cut-up vegetables instead of crackers.
Prep Time: 15 min
Cook Time: 45 min
Serves: 8 (1/2 cup) servings

Vegan Artichoke Pesto Recipe
By Jolinda Hackett, Guide

Vegan Artichoke Pesto Recipe. Have fun with vegan pesto by going beyond just basil! Artichokes add a unique Italian flavor to this easy vegan pesto recipe. You could always make this recipe more traditional (but not vegan) by adding some cheese and omitting the nutritional yeast. Related video: How to Make Pesto.

1/4 cup walnuts or pine nuts
1/2 cup artichoke hearts, drained
3 cloves garlic
2 tbsp olive oil
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
juice from 1/2 a lemon
one bunch fresh basil
3 tbsp nutritional yeast
salt and pepper to taste

Combine all ingredients in a food processor and process until smooth, adding more olive oil if needed. You can also add more olive oil for a creamier sauce-like consistency.
Serve over pasta or with crackers for an appetizer.

Millet-Stuffed Artichokes

1/4 cup (50 g) uncooked millet
1 cup (250 ml) hot vegetable broth
1/4 teaspoon salt (optional)
1/2 teaspoon oregano
2 large artichokes
1 tablespoon (12 g) kalamata olives pitted and chopped
1 tablespoon (2 g) fresh parsley, chopped
1/4 teaspoon black pepper freshly ground
1 cup (250 ml) vegetable broth
1 garlic clove, chopped
1 lemon, thinly sliced
2 garlic clove, crushed
2 bay leaves

Toast the millet in a small saucepan. When the first grain pops, carefully add the hot vegetable broth. Stir in the salt and oregano, turn down heat to very low, and cover tightly. Cook until all water is absorbed, about 20 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to sit, covered, for at least 5 minutes.

While the millet is cooking, prepare the artichokes. Cut off the top 1/2 to 1-inch with a sharp knife. Cut off enough of the stem so that the artichoke will sit upright. (The stem is edible; peel it and cook it along with the artichokes for an added bonus.) Remove any damaged leaves at the bottom, and cut off the sharp tops of each leaf with kitchen shears.

Use your thumbs to open up the artichoke so that you can see the purple-topped leaves.

Pull out the purple leaves (careful, they're sharp!) Use a serrated spoon to scrape the fuzzy choke off of the artichoke heart. After you've scraped out as much as you can, rinse the artichoke well and either rub it with lemon juice or dip it in a combination of lemon and water to keep the cut edges from becoming brown.

Once the millet is cooked, mix it with the kalamata olives, parsley, pepper, and chopped garlic. Stuff into the cavity of each artichoke.

Place the artichokes upright in a pressure cooker or heavy saucepan (try to find one that they can fit into snugly, so that they're less likely to fall over during cooking). Place a lemon slice over the stuffing in each artichoke. Pour the broth carefully into the pan (try not to splash the stuffing) and carefully add enough water to reach about 1 1/2-inches up the artichokes. Add the remaining lemon slices, the crushed garlic, and the bay leaves to the water.

If you're pressure cooking, seal the cooker and bring to high pressure. Cook for 15 minutes for larger artichokes, 10-12 minutes for smaller. Remove from heat and release pressure using a quick-release method.

If you're not using a pressure cooker, cover and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for about 45 minutes.

For both methods: Test the doneness by pulling at one inside leaf; if it comes out easily, the artichokes are done. If not, return to heat, cover, and cook for a few more minutes.

Use tongs or a slotted spoon to remove the artichokes. Serve hot or at room temperature, with lemon slices.

Servings: 2
Recipe courtesy of:Fatfree Vegan Kitchen

Spinach-Stuffed Artichoke Bottoms
Vegetarian Times Issue: May 1, 2008

2 Tbs. olive oil, divided
1 large leek, white and pale green part finely chopped (1 cup)
1 10-oz. pkg. frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
2 cloves garlic, minced (2 tsp.)
1 cup reduced-fat crumbled feta cheese
2 14-oz. cans artichoke bottoms, rinsed and drained, or 8 steamed fresh artichoke bottoms
2 Roma tomatoes, thinly sliced
2 Tbs. dried oregano
1/3 to 1/2 cup breadcrumbs

Heat 1 Tbs. oil in skillet over medium heat. Add leek, and sauté 5 minutes, or until translucent and soft. Stir in spinach and garlic, and cook 3 minutes, or until most of liquid has evaporated. Remove from heat, and stir in feta until smooth. Season with salt and pepper. Cool 10 minutes, or until easy to handle.

Preheat oven to 350°F. Coat baking sheet with cooking spray, and place artichoke bottoms on baking sheet. Fill each artichoke bottom with spinach mixture (amount will depend on size of artichoke bottoms), and top with tomato slice. Sprinkle each tomato slice with salt, pepper, and oregano, then with breadcrumbs. Drizzle with remaining olive oil. Bake 25 to 30 minutes, or until breadcrumbs are browned and crispy.

Grilled Artichokes with Parsley and Garlic
Recipe courtesy Giada DeLaurentiis /
Prep Time: 25 min
Cook Time: 22 min
Serves: 6 servings

Roasted Baby Artichokes & Garlic

This healthy, zippy Provençal classic is known as artichokes barigoule. Served over whole-grain brown rice or buckwheat couscous, it makes a lovely vegan main course.

12 mini artichokes, trimmed and prepped 8 - 10 cloves garlic
1/3 cup olive oil
1 tsp. coarse salt (like Kosher salt)
Preheat the oven to 400°. Toss the artichokes and garlic with the olive oil and salt in a casserole dish, cover with aluminum foil and pop in the oven for 30 – 35 minutes, or until tender.
Serves 2 – 4 as a side.
Recipe courtesy of

Braised Baby Artichokes with Tomato Coulis
Recipe by Alain Coumont courtesy of Food & Wine

2 lemons, halved
36 baby artichokes (3 pounds)
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
6 garlic cloves, quartered lengthwise
2 carrots, thinly sliced on the bias
1 medium onion, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon thyme leaves
2 bay leaves
1 teaspoon black peppercorns
1 teaspoon coriander seeds
3/4 cup dry white wine
1/2 teaspoon salt

Squeeze the lemons into a bowl of water. Working with 1 artichoke at a time, snap off the dark green outer leaves. Using a sharp paring knife, slice off all but 1 inch of the remaining leaves. Peel and trim the stems. Halve the artichokes, scrape out the hairy choke and drop them into the lemon water.

In a large, nonreactive skillet, heat the olive oil. Add the garlic, carrots, onion, thyme, bay leaves, black peppercorns and coriander seeds and cook over moderately high heat until the onion begins to soften, about 2 minutes.

Drain the artichokes and add them to the skillet. Cook until the onion is translucent, about 2 minutes longer. Add the wine and salt, cover and cook over moderate heat until the artichokes are just tender, about 10 minutes. Discard the bay leaves. Spoon the artichokes and their juices onto plates. Drizzle with the Fresh Tomato Coulis and serve.

Fresh Tomato Coulis, for serving

4 medium fresh tomatoes, quartered
4 oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, drained
1 garlic clove
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
5 basil leaves
Pinch of crushed red pepper
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

In a blender, puree the fresh tomatoes with the drained sun-dried tomatoes, garlic, olive oil, basil and crushed red pepper. Season with salt and black pepper. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Shrimp Scampi with Artichokes
2007, Ellie Krieger, All rights reserved / on

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

THINMOMMAGN 3/16/2010 8:00PM

    I just had dinner but am already looking forward to trying some of these recipes... thanks for sharing!! emoticon

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CHEERCHICA 3/14/2010 10:51AM

    I have four big beautiful artichokes sitting in my refrigerator right now literally taunting me. I'll try to tackle them tonight with one of these recipes!

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FITNESSFOODIE 3/13/2010 11:43PM

    Wonderful artichoke recipes! I love to eat them but always have trouble cooking them. I'm going to try some of these! emoticon

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LINGLINGBEAN 3/13/2010 7:35PM


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  I've never even seen an artichoke so I can't comment on whether I'd like it or not! LOL.

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CHATERJOY 3/13/2010 11:13AM

    Great info! I have to admit I really don't eat artichokes. This will be on my list. I am trying to expand my veggies and fruits that I eat. emoticon

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DEBBIEANNE1124 3/12/2010 7:48PM

    Way to go! I am going to try his. Cooking artichokes and drinking the broth. It might jsut work on my sugars like yours. Wish me luck!

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PRONTOPUP 3/12/2010 7:22PM

    WOW! Lots of wonderful information, thanks! I consider myself a pretty good intermediate level cook, but I have yet to tackle an artichoke. I love them but I've always been a little intimidated by them. DH hates them with a passion, so only me and my son would eat them, and I am not sure if he would like them or not. I don't think I would dip them in mayo or anything, but (as bad as it might be) the stuffing your Mom made sounds scrumptious! Maybe if only eaten on a special occasion or something...I would love the recipe! Thank you again for sharing!


Comment edited on: 3/12/2010 7:24:12 PM

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TOFUTONI 3/12/2010 7:20PM

    Artichokes are one of my favorite veggies. I like them just steamed too. I can't wait till I get don to the heart and I also love the steam. I am going to have to try the cooking broth the next time I make them.

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EGRAMMY 3/12/2010 6:31PM

    Sending to DD . She does amazing things with them and will appreciate this. Thanks. emoticon

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TEDYBEAR2838 3/12/2010 5:09PM

    Please pass the aritchoke........................To someone else :) ..

But it was a good read :)

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DEFIANTVEGAN 3/12/2010 4:53PM

    I didn't know all the good stuff in Artichokes and especially how it grew I would have thought they were weeds and would have chopped them down if I saw then in my yard. emoticon

I have to say I love them now I tried them 10 years ago at this Spanish Restaurant, they served them baked with bread crumbs and garlic in this light cream sauce they are so delicious.

I was not interested in them because when i was a kid I use to watch the "Little Rascals" and Stymie was given an Artichoke and he didn't know what to do with it so he just pealed it and pealed it until he got down to the heart and looked shocked at what he found. emoticonHe was disappointed it.

As an adult I was curious about them so I tried them and fell in love.. emoticon


Oki Doki Artichokie!!!

emoticon emoticon emoticon

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KAHALAPO 3/12/2010 12:54PM

    I did not know about artichoke plants until you showed a picture of it...thank you for I have always said, "I learn something new everyday! And thanks too about the information on diabetes....that's two things I learned from this blog.

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LINDA25427 3/12/2010 10:57AM

    I will have to try and learn to like them just can't acquire a taste for them have tried several times in the past .Glad you are feeling better.Take care .Thanks . emoticon emoticon

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EKKING 3/12/2010 10:54AM

    OMG! What a huge ode to the artichoke!

We planted 2 artichoke plants in our back yard last year. Not only do that make this amazing vegetable, but they are the coolest plant ever and the artichoke gets this amazing purple flower cap on it. Our plants have grown HUGE and have sprouted off babies! Our 2 plants are now 4 and I hope we get our first artichoke this year (first year is a growing phase).

I eat them steamed! Sometimes dip in a little mayo (low fat of course), but they are soooo good naturally they need NOTHING else!

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DAWNWATERWOMAN 3/12/2010 10:40AM

    Love them! Thanks for sharing Yvonne! Are you feeling better? You're in my prayers my friend. Love, Dawn

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USARUNNERGIRL 3/12/2010 10:12AM

    I actually never heard of an artichoke until last year, and since I had it in a dish I have wanted to use them. Thank you for the recipies. I will be sure to be using one of these soon.

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L*I*T*A* 3/12/2010 9:58AM

    great information and recipes about the wonderful veggie...................thanks so much for these great blogs..........blessings and hugs.................lita

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JBDIAS 3/12/2010 9:42AM

    Love artichokes, love your research, I don't have diabetes but I think I will try to drink the broth the next time I'm assuming it would be ok for me too. Thanks for the blog.

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This Week’s Biggest Loser; the Contestant’s Forced to Face Reality

Thursday, March 11, 2010

I waited a day before posting this blog for those that had the Biggest Loser taped to watch the next day. I made a big mistake by discussing this show in our Daily Chat thread in my Team last week as the show played on TV. I spoiled the plot line for those in later time zones. I learned my lesson, that will never happen again.

Do not get me wrong, I love the Biggest Loser. You will find me parked in front of the TV every Tuesday night. There is always something on there that is always inspirational to me or a new idea that I can use to help me on my journey. There however is one huge, unrealistic concept the entire show is based on. They compete to obviously as the show is entitled to see who the biggest loser is. The way they accomplish this is most unrealistic.

Tuesday night’ show made them face the real world. I loved the fact that they made them work an 8 hour day. That is the only thing I don't like about the Biggest Loser, it sends the wrong message, and not everyone can stay home and not work to exercise 24/7. Reality hit them smack in the face and some of the contestants did not like nor were happy about it. It threw them for a loop. Most of us work a job and have a family and household to take care of. We don’t get months off our “life” and have someone else take over those duties. We don’t receive paychecks for appearing on a Reality TV show so that we can pay our bills as we show the world how we are trying to lose weight. We work a job and fit in our exercise plan into our daily lives. We have the stresses of the everyday world to deal with. The contestants on Biggest Loser, not so much, they are living in a sequestered “world for the time they are on the show where their focus is to do what it takes to lose the most amount of weight. Their biggest stress they face inside that world is who gets along with who and how it effects their time in the Biggest Loser campus.

I constantly see people here on Spark People thinking the weight will fall off overnight. It will not if you are leading a normal life. You have to balance your work time with exercise time and with personal time. It is about time Biggest Loser dealt with that issue. It is not normal to be exercising 24/7 or even 3 hours a day. It is not sustainable. In my personal opinion is that more than 2 hours a day is too much. If I am not mistaken I don’t think Spark People even awards points for exercising over 120 minutes. There is a reason for that, Spark People is all about endorsing good health and exercise habits that become part of your daily routine.

Fellow Sparkers including many of my teammates get upset if they do not lose the weight as fast as they do on the Biggest Loser. They expect to see the huge numbers the contestants show when they weigh weekly. They forget that it took years for them to do this to their bodies and yet poof they expect it to magically come off overnight. I am sorry it takes time and hard work. Rome was not built in a day and your new healthier and slimmer body will not do it either.

They forget that it has been proven time and time again that the safe way to lose weight is no more than 2 pounds a week. It has been proven time and time again that a majority of those who lose quickly and in huge amounts will gain it back. The whole idea is lose weight safely and for good. The whole idea is to learn how to live a healthy lifestyle. You need to make healthy changes and turn them into habits so that it is not a diet but a new way of life.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MRHUGHES 3/28/2010 3:00PM

    I love to watch the show every week too!!! emoticon

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SUNFLOWERGRRL 3/27/2010 11:05AM

    I agree the show is pretty unrealistic about the pace of the weight loss--but, the hard work, mental toughness and dedication shown by the contestants is real. I'm glad they show how hard you have to work to change your life and your body. It's not easy, but oh-so-worth-it! Thanks for a great blog!

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LOVETOCROCHET5 3/18/2010 7:51PM

    I love the biggest loser!!!!!!

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DONNA2238 3/17/2010 10:48AM

    On a week where my weight loss was a mere .5 pound as a result of caring for an aging Grandmother, my hubby, 4 kids, etc. I was so thrilled to read this! I am NOT on a reality show and the ONLY one that is going to get in MY face about losing weight is ME! We all have a lot of things on our plates--or some have little but STILL struggle. A dose of "reality" for the Reality show was just what is needed. THEY are in a contest to lose weight but sometimes to reality of real health gets lost! Thanks for sharing this with us!

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FASTPHIL 3/16/2010 11:44PM

  Very Good Blog. I do watch the show ocasionally but my wife watches it all the time. It is very hard to reconcile how they do it with the 'Spark'. I will stick with the Spark. I don't see Jillian approving of jelly bellies. emoticon

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HOPEFULYNOW2010 3/16/2010 3:36PM

  I understand what you are saying, however I love that people with serious health issues loose weight so quickly through diet and excercise rather than having surgery. I love seeing their diabetes vanish, and blood pressure returning to normal, etc. There is/was another show - I forgot the name of it where it was on tv w/ a trainer and it was about a group of 5 friends living their normal life trying to loose weight. Very realistic but at the same time kind of boring. I agree - I love the tips I get from the Biggest Loser... If I could only follow them it would be better. I'm trying! ☺

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TRAINER_T 3/16/2010 2:53PM


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ELIZSIG 3/16/2010 2:25PM

    I completely agree with you. I loved the comment about "staying home and working out 24/7". Not very many people can do that, its not all that practical.

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GETTO10 3/16/2010 1:57PM

    Well said. I'm happy if a lose 1lb and happy if I lose more. My object is to get to that goal.

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MRSSHANNONC1970 3/16/2010 1:02PM


Here in the real world, I work full time, I have three kids, they have activities and I have to get up at 4:30 am to get in a work out, I only have an hour and half to do what i want and get home and get started with my day. Weekends don't seem to afford me the luxury they once did of a two hour work out. Its unrealistic to think you can pull out the same numbers as they do on TV when you cant use a gym all day 7 days a week. Those challenges alone are worth a weeks work outs in some cases.

I do LOVE the show. I do think it has inspired millions and saves some lives. I don't think its realistic - and think that shows like national body challenge where you live in the real world are more realistic, but its all about what sells on tv.

Ill still watch the show, but people needs to know - RESULTS NOT TYPICAL! this should be posted. LOL -

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ISHIIGIRL 3/16/2010 12:32PM

    I love TBL. I find it inspirational( if Ali can get down to 125 lbs maybe I could?) but not at all healthy or realistic. Finding a sustainable lifestyle is really what it is all about. Being able to balance your life and keep the weight off in the long run. Great Blog.

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MARYALINE 3/16/2010 12:22PM

    I need to get back in the habit of watching BL. My TV is not compatable with 'digital' and I have to use the converter box (which does NOT tune in NBC too well), so the only time I can watch is when I'm at the Y on the treadmill. I know I can watch it on the web, but my internet connection is slow too. I DO enjoy the show, but as you say, 'It is NOT reality'!

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48MYYEAR2014 3/16/2010 11:24AM

    I think i must have missed somthing are you all in America? because I cannot find the programme here in the UK. there was a seris last year and all the issues you are disscuuing here are exacly the same we disscused here last year lol!

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DIANAPHOENIX 3/16/2010 10:49AM

    Thanks for your insightful blog. I occasionally watch TBL, because it shows me two things: they are dealing with emotional issues, and the exercise does not kill them. While I know much of my eating, and food choices for that matter, have been emotional, I have also feared stressful exercise could be dangerous. While I don't plan to exercise eight hours a day, the show encourages me to work harder and be less afraid.

On the show issues, these are people who have agreed to have their bodies and weights bared on national television, and I assume this is because they want so much to get in better shape. As payoff, they should get to spend as much time as they want focusing on getting in shape. I, too, would be disappointed if I took time off to go to a fat camp, and was sent to work eight hours a day. But I understand this segment was sending us a good message: the shows usual environment is not real life, and the contestants' successes are not likely in real life.

All that said, I have seem AMAZING results on the spark pages, of people who only hoped to maybe lose 40-50 pounds losing 100 pounds and more. These are the results that keep me going, and have created optimism for the first time in years.

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SINGHJ16 3/16/2010 10:45AM

  Nice blog.. its good that the contestants got a taste of reality. I mean in real world its so difficult to lose weight with a job to manage, pay bills and taking care of your kids. I think they should go on that line showing to lose weight by managing their everyday job.

Thanks for the post.

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DIVAINGREEN 3/16/2010 10:06AM

    They did a Life after show not long before last seasons finale. Last years winner, Eric, had pretty much gained all his weight back. It was very sad and very sobering as to how they really approach things on the show. I agree, I love the Biggest Looser. It's inspiring to see that if these people who most are larger than I am can do this, then so can I. But I also think that the fact that they get to work out 24/7 and have a perfect kitchen with nothing but healthy foods for them is a little on the extreme side. I liked last weeks episode as well. It was nice to see them get a dose of reality again.
Thank you for this entry. It really is spot on.

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LVANCUREN 3/16/2010 9:31AM

  I'd love for them to have an "Life After the Biggest Loser" show to see how they are all doing.

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BIJOUX7 3/16/2010 7:20AM

  Great blog. I ove BL, but the environment is so artificial. I would have made my goal long ago if I exercised hours a day with Jillian screaming at me, dietitians, etc.

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SMILEY19651 3/16/2010 1:28AM

  I had never watched the BL until this season. I love to watch the show every Tuesday and actually was bummed during the Olympics!
I agree with you about it not being realistic and I further agree that it was great to see them working for 8 hours last week.
The show motivates me to continue with my own goals. I love getting to know the contestants.
I know its reality TV but when I see them pushing themselves and I know that they are a lot bigger then I am - then I know that if they can do it - I can too!

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WEZZYCHEESY 3/15/2010 11:40PM

    i too watch the biggest loser show, can't remember which magazine it was, but there was an article by one of constantants, and she told how she got really sick, because of the last chance workout, they had to do it for along time and in a hot room with the windows all closed and no air condition going. and not being aloud to have any water to drink on weigh in day. how healthy is that.

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LORING102466 3/15/2010 11:03PM

    You are so right! I would love to know if the people on Biggest Loser would be so successful if they had to do it on their own. I bet I could lose that kind of weight too if I had someone screaming at me to workout 6 hours a day and to make all my meals. Look at all the big losers that have gained back most of their weight. You can't tell me that is healthy.

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BRENDABJ 3/15/2010 12:59PM

  WOW! It's nice to know others see the weakness in the program. Anyone can lose weight when real life isn't in the mix. I know that not all of the contestants on TBL are independently wealthy. So I am always amazed whent they do that follow up on the last one voted off, how they are always at a gym. I don't know about you all, but the cheapest gym in our area is about $200 per month, some more. I can't afford that, I work 40 hours per week, get up at 5:30 a.m., go to bed at 11:00, have 3 children and a husband and a home to take care of. All 3 of my children are special needs, so there isn't that extra money to spend on a gym. How do they do it? Does TBL pay for that for all of those contestants? Do they quit their jobs to lose weight?

They also don't show a lot of what the contestants eat. Do they make their own meals, or is there a cook/chef to do that on campus? If it is a chef or cook, that isn't reality either. I would love that, someone to cook for my family so I don't have to think about it!

Thanks for bringing it up!

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BIANCAGRACE 3/15/2010 12:51PM

    I agree with everything you said. I watch BL every week and enjoy it but with a healthy dose of actual reality. I was glad they did a work week too, but even that was a far cry from reality of a real job and family and the stress of keeping that job.

Thanks for getting everyone talking...


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MOTIV8U 3/15/2010 3:47AM

    Excellent blog. I never thought about Sparkpeople's maximum on exercise (up to 24 pts, 1 for each 5 minutes) in that context. We are fortunate that the company behind this website has people who care and don't want to encourage unhealthy lifestyles. I struggle even on SP when someone seems to not eat enough or do other things that are hazardous in the mission to lose weight. I don't want to offend them, so am careful, if I say anything. Back to the show.... I love it because there is one thing on TV that is telling me, no, don't eat everything in front of you...think about your life and your goals and live for that.. don't hide it with food. That is what I've gotten out of watching the show for probably close to a decade.. and finally, this is that season where I DON'T sit down with ice cream and watch weigh-ins.. I finally own a scale.. and I am so happy to lose 1.5 pounds per week.. I know of some of the behind the scenes extremes participants have gone to, and I don't agree with that. I don't think people should try to replicate what they have seen on the show in terms of extreme exercise.. not unless you have all the trainers and doctors following you that the contestants do on set. However, I will say this.. when I wanted to train for my first half marathon (which took 4 months), I thought, hey, I've seen Tara, Sione, all those guys do this .. I bet you I could do it too.

All of this to say, I'm so glad you brought the show up for discussion. I hope that we all will learn from the good examples, and take the less glamorous (shall I say dangerous) learnings with a HUGE grain of salt.. let's aim to be the biggest losers in the reality of our daily lives.. let's aim to lose those feelings of low self esteem and self worth... and become gainers of the life that is before us today.

(Sorry so long, your blog inspired me!)

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    Congratulations on your Blog Award, well written. I love to watch TBL, I always learn something watching it. It has opened the door to Obesity and the fact, people can thru excersize and caloric control can change their lives.

Honestly it wasn't till I watched that show, that I even knew that a large person could rebuild there body with out surgery.

As far as reality, no..they are living in a BUBBLE, for the duration of the ranch, and then go home, to shrink even more for the finale show.

God Bless all you younger women, with families and jobs, I am now retired and have the time to work out, and even take a nap if I want too...Then again back then, I was overwieght, not obese as I am now. I spent my younger years in the military so there was no time to get fat..LOL

Thank you for the blog darling!

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BRENDY_28 3/14/2010 11:58PM

    I don't really follow the Biggest Loser, but when it's being shown on TV and I have the time, I watch it. Only last week, The Biggest Loser Asia edition ended. I read Women's Health Philippines and they featured one of the female contestants who was voted out. She said when she got home, she continued doing the same exercise regimen as when she was still in the show. She works out 8-10 hours a day! She has no work and live with her parents. She lost so much weight, but for normal people everywhere, that kind of lifestyle is not possible. It really is very unrealistic. Is it even healthy to lose so much weight in such a short time?

I love your blog entry. It really hits the nail on the head. The lifestyle change we need to build should be sustainable or maintainable in the long run. One that should FIT our everyday lives.

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TAYLORMARYE 3/14/2010 11:47PM

  I watch TBL often but I caught the end of the show. I find some of the stories inspirational but in reality, it is not healthiest way to lose weight. I lost 21 lbs but I am not living on a ranch in seclusion and I teach all day and sometimes stay over for meetings. I lost this weight but not in 1 week or 2 weeks. It took me a little over 6 weeks. Not only am I dealing with my job, I am involved in my church and other activities. I had to find the time to exercise and make it a priority. The contestants workout all day and have nutritionist as well as Bob and Jillian. I like the tips they give for weight loss. But face it. Reality shows do not deal that much in reality.

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RAYNEE43 3/14/2010 11:22PM

    I am a big fan of The Biggest Loser. However, when contestants aim to break records (ie: to lose more than 100 lbs in 7 wks. is absolutely ridiculous!!). I agree with you, weight loss should be slow and steady, that way it will be more likely to stay off. I watch it not to see the huge numbers that the contestants will pull at the end of the week, but to motivate me to get on the treadmill, do some sort of exercise each day so that I can lose even the slightest amount of weight each week...even if it's only 1/2 lb. Every bit counts!! But as I said...I completely agree with what you stated in your blog. :)

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    I never watch that show, mostly because of the points you make above.

It is setting unrealistic ideas for people. It is just like those ads for Jenny Craig, or Weight Watchers. "Results not typical"!

I really wish those shows would disappear. They aren't helpful, but set us up to fail.

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ANISIA1 3/14/2010 8:22PM

  Some of the contestants on BL are from our hometown. They have been an inspiration the path of healthfulness. They are an inspiration to so many and brought healthy eating and encouraged so many. More power to them!!

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ALOIWS 3/14/2010 7:45PM

    I agree!

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TEDDYSMOM58 3/14/2010 4:34PM

  You said it all.

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TEDDYSMOM58 3/14/2010 4:34PM

  You said it all.

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KIRSTEN 3/14/2010 4:26PM

    I do watch it (TBL) occasionally, and it can be inspirational. But: I have a hard time with it, for all the reasons mentioned here. It's just plain unrealistic. I especially don't like how hard they push these obese people to exercise sometimes, I am surprised that someone on the show hasn't dropped dead of a heart attack. I watched a show that talked about the guy that lost the most ever on the show had gained it all back. Besides being really sad, it shows that he didn't learn anything long term from winning the show.

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MOTIBOOST 3/14/2010 3:59PM

    Thank you thank You!! emoticon

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SHRIMPCHIC 3/14/2010 2:03PM

    One day at a time. Thanks for the remind. In a time of everything being done in an instant, I have to remind myself to be patient, It'll come. Good Luck to you and thanks again. :O)

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CATIPILLAR 3/14/2010 12:27AM

    This is so funny just today my sister and I were discussing the Biggest Loser and how it has truly messed up our perception of weight loss. You watch the contestants loose tons of weight and think you should see those same results or at least close. It makes it very hard to appreciate your 2 pound loss when you watch them drop double digits. We just need to remember that this is not real life and like everyone has said we have jobs and other responsibilities to maintain while we are on this journey.

Comment edited on: 3/14/2010 12:29:24 AM

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LBCHILTON 3/13/2010 11:44PM

    Well said! My husband and I were just discussing this tonight as we watched a re-run of the show.

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FITNESSFOODIE 3/13/2010 11:29PM

    "Reality" shows have little in common with the real world and even the Biggest Loser is no exception. I like the show too, but I have no expectation that I or others could lose so much weight so fast while living everyday life. I do as you do, copy some of the positive behaviors and tips that help me in my personal journey. I do feel bad that some who watch the show develop unrealistic expectations. emoticon

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DAWNFIRE72 3/13/2010 10:17PM

    While I don't watch the show I do think that how they portray weight loss is not realistic nor practical for the average person. I agree with you that it took you years to put the weight on so why do you expect it to come off faster than you put it on in the first place. Thank you for sharing your thoughts on this and your insight into what SP endorses as a good way to lose the weight.

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MONTE_MOMMA_3 3/13/2010 10:03PM

    I just started watching Biggest Loser this season and LOVE it! I've been "trying" to lose weight for a long time, and there was a point when I would absolutely hate myself for not losing 4 or 5 pounds a week. I was dangerously close to an eating disorder. Like you, I love the tips and inspiration it gives me. I watch it and think, if they can do it, why can't I?? I do admit, sometimes I think it would be nice to step on the scale and see 10 or 15 pounds gone, but I know it's a slow process and I want it to be for good. Right now, I'm trying to make myself realize that I only need to lose 1 pound a week to meet my goal. Yes, it would be nice to wake up one morning and be there, and someday, I will. But, it won't be tomorrow and I'm learning to be okay with that. :)

Great post!!

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CHARITI1 3/13/2010 9:38PM

    I have to be careful with this show. I love motivates me and there are so many tips. The flip side is that the biggest loser is not reality. Jobs, family and the real world get in the way of working out for 8 hours a day.

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POCKETLLAMA1 3/13/2010 7:59PM

    I've never watched that show, but I agree with you.

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MEGMENZY 3/13/2010 7:54PM

    I often have felt the same way. I appreciate you reminding me that this is a lifetime journey. I do NOT want this weight back on my body. I know if I were to do it the biggest loser way that I would put it back on.... and I have in the past. I am learning from my mistakes and are thankful that I have sparks to help me along the way :)

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LINGLINGBEAN 3/13/2010 7:35PM


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FAITHJOHN05 3/13/2010 6:33PM

  It is true but for those who watch it know how the weight comes off that fast. Plus the trainers say it as well but that is why they are there.

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ALLBW2U 3/13/2010 5:52PM

    I liked your blog as it told it like it really is!! TV depicts a fantasy world. In the real least my slice of it....I leave the house for work and get home 12-16 hours later depending on my schedule. Bills to pay, family to feed...those are the realities of life. I can't change some things, but there are others that I can change.

With the encouragement of family and SP friends, my life has changed dramatically. I look forward to eating right, drinking water, getting in some exercise and gradually watching some weight disappear. It took years to put the weight on and it will take a while to get it off.

I can do this....all of YOU can do this, too!! Stay focused, stay strong, stay committed. Encourage one another and accept encouragement from others. What a concept!

As for TV, I don't live in that world. I live right here with the rest of you!!

I wish you all the very best as you work towards your goals.

Best wishes always.....Bill

emoticon emoticon

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LOPEYP 3/13/2010 5:38PM

    How true. I always say it took me a while to get like this and it'll take me a while to fix it.

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CHARLEY9291 3/13/2010 5:36PM

    Thanks for this post. I am an avid fan of biggest looser and I know that the their CAMP is a fantasy land for almost all of us. The show is encouraging however, as long as we all keep focused and understand this is a competitive show and not a realistic way to loose weight. It is what it is, and I love to watch it for its entertainment value and I do learn something each week! emoticon

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ANJAUCH 3/13/2010 5:33PM

    Great thoughts yu have shared here. emoticon

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Winged Beans, the Bean of the Week.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

I bet most of you never heard of this bean because I sure haven’t. I know I only just learned of its existence on Tuesday night when I wrote this blog while watching the Biggest Loser. I do know I have not seen them here in the stores where I live so the next time I travel to Whole Foods or Wegman’s I will be on the lookout. I definitely will be scoping them out in the Asian Food stores when I visit my Mom in Virginia.

The winged bean is one of the newest Asian vegetables coming to market these days, and its appearance is long overdue. Known for centuries in tropical Asia, this attractive climbing perennial is more or less your total meal: all parts of the plant are edible — the pods, the beans inside, the shoots, the flowers and even the tuber. They are also known as Goa Beans.

This bean has been called the "one species supermarket" because practically all of the plant is edible. The beans are used as a vegetable, but the other parts (leaves, flowers, and tuberous roots) are also edible. The tender pods, which are the most widely eaten part of the plant (and best eaten when under 1" in length), can be harvested within two to three months of planting. The flowers are often used to color rice and pastries. The flavor of the beans has a similarity to asparagus. The young leaves can be picked and prepared as a leaf vegetable, similar to spinach. The roots can be used as a root vegetable, similar to the potato, and have a nutty flavor; they are also much more rich in protein than potatoes. The dried seeds can be useful as a flour and also to make a coffee-like drink. Each of these parts of the winged bean provide a source of vitamin A, vitamin C, calcium, iron, and other vitamins [1]. The seeds contain 35% of protein and 18% of oil.

Health Benefits Of Consuming Winged Bean

Winged beans have the highest calcium content among all legumes and as such, are very beneficial for the human skeletal system. The calcium present in these beans helps in the production and maintenance of the bones and provides strength to overcome diseases and weaknesses.

Winged beans are also a good source of natural minerals, vitamins (especially A and C), iron and enzymes.

As a legume, wing bean scores high on protein content. In other words, it proves to be a good source of protein for humans as well as animals.

The seeds and tubers have been getting a lot of attention in the scientific press because of their high protein content, which can be up to 20 percent — way ahead of potatoes and yams. But it’s the pods we generally see in Asian markets these days: long, flat and covered with frilly “wings” along four edges. Best of all, winged beans are fairly easy to grow and make a flavorful addition to stir-fries and grills. The taste of the pods is something between a snow pea and asparagus; they are terrific when grilled and served with dipping sauce.

Winged beans are so versatile. These beans and/or parts can be boiled, steamed, baked, fried, roasted and even made into chips. The immature pod, the plant's most popular part, can be eaten raw, pickled or cooked in water, coconut milk or oil.

I have not tried any of these recipes as I have never even heard about the been before yesterday. I will probably try a few before I can even find the bean and just substitute something else, it may even be asparagus since it has an asparagus like taste. I see most of the recipes call for coconut milk so of course I will be using the light versions. I actually love curries so this bean and these recipes are right up my alley. Plus, I love experimenting with new recipes.

Grilled Winged Beans With Miso Dipping Sauce

This recipe has been adapted by Corinne Trang for Mother Earth News based on a recipe in her recent book, The Asian Grill (Chronicle Books, 2006).

Miso Dipping Sauce:
1/4 cup shiro-miso (white miso)
1/4 cup mirin (sweet sake)
1/4 cup rice vinegar
2 tsp dark sesame oil
2 tbsp vegetable oil
1 tbsp finely grated ginger
1 scallion, trimmed and minced

Winged Bean Preparation:
1 tbsp vegetable oil
1 tsp dark sesame oil
1 pound winged beans
Freshly ground black pepper

In a bowl, whisk together the shiro-miso (usually found in refrigerated cases at natural food stores), mirin and rice vinegar until smooth. Add the sesame and vegetable oils, ginger and scallion; stir until well combined. Set aside.
In a separate bowl, combine the vegetable and sesame oil. Lightly brush the winged beans with the mixed oils. Sprinkle to taste with salt and pepper. Prepare a medium-hot fire in a charcoal grill, or preheat a gas grill to 400 degrees (medium high). Place the vegetables crosswise directly on the grill grate. Grill, turning frequently until just crisp, about 3 minutes. Serve the grilled winged beans with the miso dipping sauce on the side. Serves 4.

Mixed curry (Pods)

winged bean pods, sliced
1 potato diced
1 tomato
1 tbsp. chopped onion
2 tsps chili powder
1 tsp. curry powder
¼ tsp. turmeric powder
½ tsp. mustard, ground
curry leaves, rumpe*
1" piece cinnamon stick
½ cup thin coconut milk
½ cup thick coconut milk

1. Mix all ingredients except thick coconut milk.
2. Cook in a covered pan till winged bean and potatoes are cooked.
3. Add thick milk, simmer for 5 minutes.

Winged Bean Leaf Curry

Ingredients :
1 handful of tender leaves
2 tablespoons thick coconut milk
2 green chilies sliced
6 red onions sliced
pinch of turmeric
salt to taste

Cut the leaves, mix with all the ingredients and cook for 5 minutes.


1 cup soaked & boiled seeds (dehulled)
1 potato
2 tbsp. onion
6 green chilies chopped
½ tsp. pepper
juice of 1 lime
curry leaves chopped
1" piece ginger chopped
2 tbsp. flour
1/3 cup cold water
2 tbsp. bread crumbs
oil for frying

1. Fry & crush the seeds
2. Mash the boiled potato and mix the two together
3. Add salt, pepper & lime juice
4. Heat 1 tbsp. oil & sauté curry leaves onion ginger & green chili
5. Add winged bean potato mixture & cook for 2 minutes form into any shape.
6. Make a batter with flour & water.
7. Dip cutlets in batter coat with bread crumbs.
8. Deep fry and serve.

Yam Thua Phu - Spicy Winged Bean Salad
courtesy of: YumYum.Com - The Recipe Website For Everyday Cooks!

1/2 lb Winged beans
1/2 c Steamed pork sliced into small pieces
1/4 c Coconut milk
2 tb Fried sliced shallot
2 tb Coarsely ground roasted peanuts
2 tb Fish sauce
1 1/2 tb Sugar
2 tb Lime juice
1 sm Pan-roasted dried chilli
2 sm Roasted shallots
1 sm Roasted garlic bulb

Preparation: Immerse the winged beans in boiling water for 3 minutes and then cut into small pieces.
Bring the coconut milk to a boil and then remove from heat.
Pound the chilli, the roasted shallots, and the garlic well in a mortar; then add the sugar, fish sauce, and lime juice, mix thoroughly and transfer to a bowl.
Add the winged beans, pork, boiled coconut milk, fried shallot, and peanut, toss to mix well, and then place on a serving- platter.

I think until I find these winged beans I will try the Winged Bean Leaf Curry and use either spinach or kale. I think it will probably be kale and it will be a new way for me to cook kale. I am definately going to make the Winged Bean Salad and substitute asparagus till I locate the bean. Asparagus is starting to come down in price as it always does this time of year. I love fresh asparagus, the canned stuffed, well all I can say is YUCK!

So go out there and try something new. It is fun and you might find you like it and that is the point of all of these type blogs I write.

emoticon emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

TOFUTONI 3/12/2010 7:24PM

    never heard of it, it is kind of cute and interesting, all feathery

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    Definitely something NEW. I'll have to try this one out. I hope that you're feeling better my dear friend. Love ya, Dawn

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    I have never heard of this bean either. Very Interesting article. Thank you for sharing.

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TEDYBEAR2838 3/10/2010 7:53PM

    I never heard of them either, but I'll keep an eye out for them

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SWIM_2_SLIM 3/10/2010 6:28PM

    Really different and interesting! Never heard of them but as usual, another great blog!!!

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JENNY888 3/10/2010 5:53PM

    I have never heard of or seen these. Thanks for bringing them to my attention. I found a link
inged_bean.html where you can order the seeds. I plan to order some and plant them this summer.

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DEBBIEANNE1124 3/10/2010 5:34PM

    Thanks for sharing thsi information!

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FUNNYGRANNY71 3/10/2010 4:38PM

    Thanks for the information and the great recipes. Great blog.

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SUDEAUX 3/10/2010 3:41PM

    What an intriguing veggie. And a very nice presentation, I might add.


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ANDREA963 3/10/2010 2:32PM

    Intriguing. Never heard of them. Had to read the blog just see what they look like. :)


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CAWESTY 3/10/2010 1:57PM

    Wow - another great, informative blog. Thanks so much. I'm wondering if I will be able to find them at Boise's Whoe Food Co-op. Can't wait to try them.

emoticon emoticon

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MRDPOLING 3/10/2010 11:52AM

    How interesting...never heard of seen a winged bean before.

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L*I*T*A* 3/10/2010 10:49AM

    interesting i will be hunting these out for sure..................thanks for sharing such great veggies with us.....................blessings and hugs..............lita

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EGRAMMY 3/10/2010 10:48AM

    Lifetime learning from you. emoticon Happy Spring!

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DIETMEISTER 3/10/2010 10:04AM

    You certainly keep us on our toes. They look interesting.

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JBDIAS 3/10/2010 9:56AM

    Thanks for the info. I have never heard or seen them before, I think I would try it but not sure.

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MEOWMAMA3 3/10/2010 7:41AM

    Very interesting, I've never heard of them either. Kinda cool looking, and what a nutrition packed pod!!! Will look for them at the market. Thanks for the info!

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THENEWCINDY 3/10/2010 7:33AM

    I will def keep a look out for them....I want to try them

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Voted Popular Blog Post: View All Popular Posts


Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Time to some is precious. The time you set aside is not to be wasted, not to be given away. The question is do you set some aside just for you? Why not, you are worth it? The time you set aside allows you to invest in you. Again aren’t you worth it? There are so many gadgets out there to organize your time such as calendars, date books, things to do lists, sticky notes, those erasable boards people have on their refrigerators, and even palm pilots. I know you use at least one of these to try to manage your busy schedules. Do you pencil in some personal time? Do you block out some “Me” space? We need to start making the most of today because tomorrow is never a guarantee. What if it is too late for you to make some “Me” time?

How valuable is your time? Time properly invested in You is priceless. Time wasted can be devastating on a journey to a new you. I often shake my head in disbelief how many of the ladies who come to the pool in the morning really just hang out in a corner of the pool having a coffee clutch. We have glass walls separating the main gym floor from the pool. I often see the same thing out on the floor. Yes, there may be one person on the treadmill but then she is surrounded by a friend or two just standing they’re gabbing away. The person on the treadmill is not paying attention to her workout. She is holding onto the rails instead of pumping her arms to get a better heart rate going. The ladies on the floor could just as easily jumped on the treadmill next to them and start their workout.

There are a couple of things you really need to think about. The first one being Determination. Are you determined? Are you on a mission to get healthy or fit? Or sadly, do you always put yourself on the back burner?

The second thing would be Direction. Do you have a goal plan? You need to develop one if you do not already have one in place. Your goals are your roadmap to getting healthy. If you already have a goal plan please tell me you are using it to your advantage?

The third thing is Ambition. It is different that Determination. Do you love yourself enough to put your game plan into action? Or do you continually say “I’ll start tomorrow, One more day won’t make a difference, or the ever famous I’ll start my diet on Monday (for me it was always Sunday).”

The fourth thing is Faith. Do you have Faith in yourself that you can do this? Do you believe in you? Don’t let your past efforts hold you back. Don’t let past failures set the tone for you. Today is a new day and you have to look at it that way. You know the saying, Today is the 1st day of the rest of your life. Believe it! Embrace it! Put your entire heart and soul into it! Your heart may just depend on it, which brings us to the last thing to think about.

The fifth thing is Desperation. I don’t want you to get to this level. I don’t want you to wait till you are forced to finally do something. Don’t wait till catastrophe hits. It can be in the form of a heart attack, high blood pressure off the charts, blood sugar off the charts, gall stones, fatty livers, Lymphedema, immobility, etc. I am sorry I don’t mean to paint such a dismal picture but don’t kid, yourself keep procrastinating and this can happen to you. Stop thinking “Oh it won’t happen to me.” I’ll do something before I get to that level. Sorry, our bodies work on a timetable of their own. Our bodies decide when enough is enough. Life is too short to make excuses. Set your goals and pursue them.

Is the picture above drastic? Yes! Is the picture above you? I hope not! Are you headed there? Again, I hope not but if so, let's do something about that now!

Time is the coin of your life. It is the only coin you have, and only you can determine how it will be spent. Be careful lest you let other people spend it for you.
Carl Sandburg (1878 - 1967)

Time is what we want most, but what we use worst.
William Penn

Don’t be fooled by the calendar. There are only as many days in the year as you make use of. One man gets only a week’s value out of a year while another man gets a full year’s value out of a week.
Charles Richards

Never let yesterday use up today.
Richard H. Nelson

I don’t think of the past. The only thing that matters is the everlasting present.
W. Somerset Maugham

It’s how we spend our time here and now, that really matters. If you are fed up with the way you have come to interact with time, change it.
Marcia Wieder

Realize that now, in this moment of time, you are creating. You are creating your next moment. That is what’s real.
Sara Paddison

The time for action is now. It’s never too late to do something.
Carl Sandburg

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

TONISTRELEC 3/19/2010 10:19AM

    emoticon emoticon

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SUNNYDAYZ4ME 3/18/2010 12:23AM

    Great post, it gives us alot to think about and act upon...thank you! emoticon

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DEVENIRBELLE 3/15/2010 12:16PM

    Time for ourselves is priceless. I am taking the time to be healthy now! Thanks.

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FRIENDOFBACH 3/12/2010 11:26PM

  I find myself thinking about time all the time (no pun intended). When I started exercising, I was very worried about finding the time to do it. I feel like I have more now than whe I started. I do a lot of my thinking while I am exercising, and then when I get to work, I get loads more done in less time.

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TOFUTONI 3/12/2010 7:26PM

    I am here to learn how to invest more time in me and do the right thing by me. It is time to stop messing around. Great blog!

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KAITLYNSNAMMY 3/11/2010 2:32PM

    Reality......honesty.....the truth.

Thanks again for your wonderful blogs.

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AMAS92568 3/11/2010 9:31AM

    Thanks for the insight.

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-TAMI- 3/11/2010 4:14AM

    emoticon Great post, as usual.

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    Excellent blog. The picture COULD have been me. Glad that it no longer is. I would say that I am determined, ambitious, and that I DEFINITELY HAVE FAITH! Love ya, Dawn

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REBECKY44 3/10/2010 4:31PM

    Good blog! Thanks for sharing!

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    that was wonderful !!!!!!

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MARYHANNA 3/10/2010 11:06AM

    Very motivating!

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FRANRN76 3/10/2010 9:18AM

    another woderful blog. Thank you

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WHEREIS170 3/10/2010 8:07AM

    Wonderful Blog, you are right about how people get side-tracked at the gym, I have seen what you see many times.

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MEOWMAMA3 3/10/2010 7:42AM

    Glad I took time to read this! (I couldn't resist!)

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BECKYISHERE 3/10/2010 7:13AM

    Thanks for that!

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QUEENCAT25 3/9/2010 11:48PM

    This really put time in perspective. Thank you!

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ILUV130 3/9/2010 10:08PM

    I have this on my Spark page:

There is NO time like the present ... today is the only day that matters. Yesterday is history, you can't change it no matter how much you want to(now forgive yourself and move forward). Tomorrow, who knows what you will do. TODAY - What you choose to do today ... carries great consequences.


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AFTERMYKIDS 3/9/2010 10:03PM

    emoticon Thanks for sharing.

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TEDYBEAR2838 3/9/2010 8:56PM

    I try to make each day count, but I know I waste a lot of time, even with all the activities I am involved in. i will try to do better. Thanks for the wake up call, Yvonne

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DJS-DEBBIE 3/9/2010 8:47PM


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MRDPOLING 3/9/2010 8:44PM

    Wow! That was a great Blog posting!

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    great post!

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SHIRLEY2010 3/9/2010 6:34PM

    Great blog! emoticon

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FUNNYGRANNY71 3/9/2010 4:35PM

    Another great blog, Yvonne. Definitely food for thought.

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BADMAMMAJAMMA1 3/9/2010 4:31PM

    Thanks again Yvonne

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    Another keeper Yvonne - thank you! I especially like 'never let yesterday use up today'.
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    Awesome. Time is precious. Great awareness. Thanks for sharing this.

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WILLOW49 3/9/2010 11:28AM

    Another great blog! Thank you!!!

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SAMTHEMAN60 3/9/2010 11:00AM

    Message received and quite timeless. Great blog as usual. Come on Spark People emoticon

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NO_SNOW_BODY 3/9/2010 10:36AM

    very visual, time to take some "time" for me and getting off this newest plaateau.

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DEBBIEANNE1124 3/9/2010 10:33AM


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DEFIANTVEGAN 3/9/2010 10:09AM

    Yvonne thanks for sharing this.

Love this part of this quote: There are only as many days in the year as you make use of

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JBDIAS 3/9/2010 9:57AM

    Yvonne Thanks for sharing this great blog.

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GEORGANNE39 3/9/2010 9:55AM

    Thanks, Yvonne, for taking some of YOUR time each day for others!

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L*I*T*A* 3/9/2010 9:55AM

    another wondefrul true your words i see it all the time at the pool and gym i go to as well !!!
thanks for sharing...........
blessings and hugs...............lita

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CKENTFIELD 3/9/2010 9:38AM

    My sister shared this blog with me, she always steer me right.

When I first joined SP I felt like I was being REALLY selfish with my time. Working out had nothing to do with anyone but ME. ME, ME, ME, it was ALL about ME. Foolish thought. My husband is very proud of the efforts I take to get fit (not just starve myself thinner). My coworkers have been inspired and at least 2 of them have joined another 3 are teetering on the edge. My effort and TIME I have spent on myself have paid off, not just for me, but for those that surround me.

Nice blog. emoticon

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DIETMEISTER 3/9/2010 9:04AM

    You really know how to get your point across. Love the pictures.

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EGRAMMY 3/9/2010 8:55AM

    emoticonOn target again.

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MTNHIKER1971 3/9/2010 8:54AM

    THanks Yvonne.... great stuff

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    I think you may have been writing this to me. I don't think I am as bad as that picture but if I don't stop fooling around that could be me. emoticon

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ANDREA963 3/9/2010 8:18AM

    I think this is one of the best you've written!! The subject alone brought me in. Alloting time for ourselves is one of the hardest things we do, but once we start it makes us feel so good in so many ways! Thanks!


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LOOZINITNOW 3/9/2010 8:04AM

    Love this blog! A real wake up call! emoticon

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    Another good blog. Love the quotes too!
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Today is International Women's Day

Monday, March 08, 2010

Can you set aside a bit of time just for you ? Women on the whole usually do not do this and it is really important that we learn to make ourselves a priority. It is important for our journey here on Spark People so that we can be successful. It is important for your families and loved ones because if you don’t take care of yourself who will take care of you? Yes, we women are caregivers but we need to start including our selves into that care giving.



enough money within her control to move out
and rent a place of her own,
even if she never wants to or needs to...
something perfect to wear if the employer,
or date of her dreams wants to see her in an hour....


a youth she's content to leave behind....
a past juicy enough that she's looking forward to
retelling it in her old age....
a set of screwdrivers, a cordless drill, and a black lace bra...
one friend who always makes her laugh... and one who lets her cry...


a good piece of furniture not previously owned by anyone else in her family....
eight matching plates, wine glasses with stems,
and a recipe for a meal,
that will make her guests feel honored...


a feeling of control over her destiny...
how to fall in love without losing herself...


how to quit a job,
break up with a lover,
and confront a friend without
ruining the friendship....


when to try harder... and WHEN TO WALK AWAY...


that she can't change the length of her calves,
the width of her hips, or the nature of her parents..
that her childhood may not have been perfect...but it's over....


what she would and wouldn't do for love or more....
how to live alone... even if she doesn't like it...


whom she can trust,
whom she can't,
and why she shouldn't take it personally...


where to go...
be it to her best friend's kitchen table...
or a charming Inn in the woods...
when her soul needs soothing...


What she can and can't accomplish in a day...
a month...and a year...

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

DEFIANTVEGAN 3/9/2010 10:06AM

    Thanks for posting this it's beautiful, all woman need to be acknowledged. emoticon

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MEOWMAMA3 3/8/2010 11:47PM

    Great! How about that Best Director Oscar last night!
Here's my favorite Maya Angelou poem: If you get a chance to hear her recite it it's quite powerful! Enjoy!

by Maya Angelou

Pretty women wonder where my secret lies
I'm not cute or built to suit a fashion model's size
But when I start to tell them
They think I'm telling lies.
I say,
It's in the reach of my arms
The span of my hips,
The stride of my step,
The curl of my lips.
I'm a woman
l woman,
That's me.

I walk into a room
Just as cool as you please,
And to a man,
The fellows stand or
Fall down on their knees.
Then they swarm around me,
A hive of honey bees.
I say,
It's the fire in my eyes
And the flash of my teeth,
The swing of my waist,
And the joy in my feet.
I'm a woman
l woman,
That's me.

Men themselves have wondered
What they see in me.
They try so much
But they can't touch
My inner mystery.
When I try to show them,
They say they still can't see.
I say
It's in the arch of my back,
The sun of my smile,
The ride of my breasts,
The grace of my style.
I'm a woman
l woman,
That's me.

Now you understand
Just why my head's not bowed.
I don't shout or jump about
Or have to talk real loud.
When you see me passing
It ought to make you proud.
I say,
It's in the click of my heels,
The bend of my hair,
The palm of my hand,
The need of my care,
'Cause I'm a woman
l woman,
That's me.

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PENNYAN45 3/8/2010 8:41PM

    Thanks for posting this. I read it a long time ago and then forgot it. Maya Angelou is one of my favorites. I have read both of her autobiographical books: "I know why the caged bird sings" and "The heart of a women."

I am printing this out and keeping it.

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Comment edited on: 3/8/2010 8:41:57 PM

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EMSMOMME 3/8/2010 7:02PM

    Thanks for posting this poem! I needed to re-read it today! emoticon

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LOOZINITNOW 3/8/2010 6:11PM

    Beautiful! emoticon

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    If we all knew this and did this we would be better off. Thanks for sharing this poem.

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FUNNYGRANNY71 3/8/2010 2:56PM

    I am a great admirer of Mya Angelou and I love most of her poems. This one, I think, says it all. Unfortunately I did not learn that until I was in my 40's.
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HEATHERL219 3/8/2010 1:23PM

    I love that, thank you!! emoticon

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KWANDOGIRL 3/8/2010 1:15PM


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BADMAMMAJAMMA1 3/8/2010 12:55PM

    Happy Woman's Day@@

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    Loved this!

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WILLOW49 3/8/2010 11:39AM

    emoticon Thanks!

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L*I*T*A* 3/8/2010 11:06AM

    great...........thanks for sharing,.........blessings and hugs.............lita

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MRDPOLING 3/8/2010 8:34AM

    emoticon Happy Women's Day!!!!! emoticon

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RUN2MYDREAMS 3/8/2010 7:20AM

    Thank you Yvonne. I am definitely going to make a point of making time for me today!
Hope you are feeling better!

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JAPOPE1 3/8/2010 5:31AM

  I love this! thank you for sharing

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WAHINE_PUROTU 3/8/2010 2:59AM


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UNSURE 3/8/2010 2:36AM

    emoticon emoticon

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JENNDIGGY 3/8/2010 1:53AM

    And in Russia this is celebrated more than Mother's Day. Every woman is recognized, which I think is great because I always feel so left out on mother's day!

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DARKTHOR 3/8/2010 1:46AM

    Great poem.

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    Excellent! Thanks for sharing and reminding us to stand up and be proud of the women that we are! Feel better. Love, Dawn

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    This is really nice. Thank you for sharing.

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    Thank you! emoticon

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DEBBIEANNE1124 3/8/2010 12:21AM

    I loved that one. thanks for sharing.

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DRMOMB 3/8/2010 12:15AM

    Great sight! emoticon

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