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TRAVELNISTA's Recent Blog Entries

The Power is Yours!

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Attitude Is everything in regards to your journey here on Spark People. I read a lot of your blogs and/or posts and you say you are powerless. That is so far from the truth. Yes, you may have failed in the past and I can count myself in that club too. Things have changed for me and they can change for you. The more you Spark the better you will do. The more you Spark the more you will learn. The more you Spark the more people you will meet on here that will impact your journey.

Everything starts with you. As you spring forward (Spring arrived yesterday) and recommit to your goals, you have to start with what is going on upstairs. Stop beating yourself up. Stop replaying the same record in your head “I can’t do this.” “I have always failed in the past so what makes me think I won’t fail again.” “It is useless.” “Why bother?” Stop the chatter in your head! Yes you can! emoticon

You need to change your mindset. Your mind is a powerful thing. It can make or break you. Success is a state of mind. Kick the negative thoughts to the curb. Whomever it is filling your head, it can be you, loved ones, friends, co-workers, that you are telling you that you are weak, lazy, stupid, useless, worthless, make you feel as though you have low self worth and then you start believing them – STOP LISTENING! Many of you in your blogs tell of being bullied like being called thunder thighs, lard bucket, tons of fun, fat cow, whale, etc.

emoticon You are strong! You do have self-control! You are worth it! You can do this!

“Your attitude is either the lock on or key to your door of success. “ Dennis Waitely

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MARATHONGIRL29 3/22/2010 9:30AM

    Thank you so much for the reminder. We all need that day to day. I have been getting mentally stronger, but its still a challege. Thanks for the motivation. I Decided yesterday that I am going to push myself this week. I am wanting a 7 pound weight loss by the end of the month, so I am planning on dotting my i's and crossing my t's. Watching everything. Probably should do this all the time, but I am still loosing, slowly but surely. I know this is a doiable goal. That will put me at 25 pounds down. Its a good start.


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MTNHIKER1971 3/21/2010 8:55PM

    Love it Yvonne! We are EMPOWERED!


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    I always look forward to reading your blogs. They always put me in good spirits. Wishing you a wonderful Monday.

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FITNESSFOODIE 3/21/2010 7:41PM

    One of my favorite quotes from the movie Bull Durham is "Women are strong and powerful. We do not get lured." Seems appropriate here too. emoticon

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TORNADO40 3/21/2010 7:33PM

    Great blog. You are so right. We do have control. emoticon

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EGRAMMY 3/21/2010 7:26PM

    I cited today the I can eat 1 piece of candy. SP has helped me to eat 1 piece of candy. Not the pound. Not the whole thing......but 1 piece.

This may not seem big to others, but it is to me.

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TOFUTONI 3/21/2010 7:02PM

    I guess I need to fine tune mine and buckle down. emoticon

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DEFIANTVEGAN 3/21/2010 6:39PM

    thanks for motivating us! It's really needed daily to make this journey of ours possible.

emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

Comment edited on: 3/21/2010 6:39:49 PM

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KIMBEEJ16 3/21/2010 6:00PM

    Yes and Yes!!! The journey to lose weight is 90% mental and 10% physical if you ask me. Your mindset must change before you can expect your body to change. We are definitely NOT powerless....and we do need to stop believing that and saying that. Negative thought patterns will lead to failure every time. Change your thinking...change your life.

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LADYSUNBEAM 3/21/2010 4:29PM

    You are so right on the money! Thanks Yvonne!

Sandra emoticon

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DYNAMICDEB53 3/21/2010 3:59PM

    Right on!!!! It is up to me, I am the one in control and need to believe in myself. We all need that to BELIEVE.
Hugs and thanks

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L*I*T*A* 3/21/2010 1:46PM

    fanatstic blog................
thanks for sharing............
blessings and hugs..............lita

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    Very motivating blog yet again!

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GEORGANNE39 3/21/2010 10:57AM

    You are so right! Thanks, Yvonne!

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FOREVERBT 3/21/2010 10:27AM

    very true, just because we have slipped up or made bad choices in the past does not make us failures, we are very powerful and we shouldn't forget it.

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SAMTHEMAN60 3/21/2010 9:52AM

    another hit out of the ballpark. Your blogs are on fire.

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    emoticon as always!

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BARBARAROSE54 3/21/2010 8:19AM

    emoticon Yvonne, I needed to hear that this morning

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MRDPOLING 3/21/2010 7:59AM

    emoticon Blog!

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DJS-DEBBIE 3/21/2010 6:50AM

    I know I definitely need my Sparking. I was not on much this week for various reasons and I really felt the loss. The less time here the worse I felt about things in general. I also feel bad because I missed things with Spark Friends and the longer you are away the harder it is to catch up with everyone. I know people talk about wasting too much time online but for me it is critical. This is my daily 'me' time and I need and deserve it.

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LOOZINITNOW 3/21/2010 6:38AM

    Just what I needed to hear right now...thanks!

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RUN2MYDREAMS 3/21/2010 5:31AM

    Changing mindset is key my friend! Thank you for the reminder emoticon

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    Thanks Yvonne for yet another great blog!!!

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    Thanks Yvonne for yet another great blog!!!

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DEBBIEANNE1124 3/21/2010 1:22AM

    Way to go. this was wonderful!

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    As a 12-stepper from way back I would say that your blog has validity for many but misses the point for others. Yes, we all have the ability to find the strength to overcome and to move forward and improve. Obviously this is true of I wouldn't be here today. Not only am I recovering from my current addiction of emotional/ compulsive over eating... but have almost 22 years of sobriety under my belt. I have to say however, that it was only after I admitted that I was POWERLESS that I was able to receive the power that I needed to stand up and get well. There is a Power greater than ourselves that helps us over come. For some it's God, for others it may be SPARK PEOPLE, but there is a POWER and when we accept that help that is so freely offered to us... THEN we can move on, embrace our power and MAKE IT! One Day At A Time.

You're right.. WE CAN DO IT.. but we are NOT doing it alone. It's about TOGETHERNESS! Love ya, Dawn emoticon

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DARKTHOR 3/21/2010 12:48AM

    I completely agree with this. Let's go people, we CAN do this.

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KRISTYLC8878 3/21/2010 12:12AM

    I agree, great attitude.

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Spring is a time of Renewal, Rebirth, and Hope…

Saturday, March 20, 2010

In the US and Canada:
Saturday, March 20, at approximately midnight is the official first day of spring for 2010 in the Northern Hemisphere (Vernal Equinox).

Spring arrives today! emoticon Happy Days! As I walked outside yesterday to get my mail I noticed all of my crocuses were up. My irises were starting to break thru the ground, so many new green little shoots. I can hardly wait for the beautiful purple flowers. I love this time of year.

Spring is a time of:

With Spring
As the sun shines brighter and longer on our days
The earth begins to awaken.

Like a sleepy, stretching child
She slowly sends her shoots, tiny but strong
Reaching upward out of the darkness
Into the light.
Author unknown

Let’s all brush off the cobwebs, open up the windows, let the sun and warmth in, push out those winter blues, and embrace the season. Let’s do the same with our journey here on Spark People. Jump for joy and start anew. Rededicate yourselves to the journey you started here on Spark People.


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

DEFIANTVEGAN 3/22/2010 1:43PM

    emoticon I love the Summer but one day it was just a beautiful day the flowers were blooming the wind was light and refreshing and the sun was out it was perfect. I found a new love for the Spring Season!

emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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TOFUTONI 3/21/2010 7:02PM


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MEOWMAMA3 3/21/2010 4:40PM

    Amen to that! It's like a special holiday on the East Coast this year!!!!!
Happy sprouts to you!!!! emoticon

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    emoticon blog

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MRDPOLING 3/20/2010 9:31PM

    That is awesome!

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SUSAN134 3/20/2010 8:52PM

    Yvonne, great poem! Yep, Spring is here. Even though our weather here in Ontario was not great today, all last week was sunny and warm (around 55F). Definitely made me think that Spring had sprung!

Time for renewal and hope!



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PEGGO45 3/20/2010 6:35PM

    emoticon for this wonderful reminder of spring and renewal. I did have some extra spring in my step today... pun intended. early am dvd with balance ball... laundry.... 11:30 Yoga class my van is clean and we are cooking out steak and sweet potato fries on the grill... aaaahhhhh spring..... emoticon

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SWIM_2_SLIM 3/20/2010 3:01PM

    I thank the Lord for 4 different seasons. Just think, we could have winter here all year long. Praise the Lord for Spring time and new veggies growing for us to eat. Yum!!!

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FUNNYGRANNY71 3/20/2010 2:44PM

    I loved your blog. I wish you a happy springtime. This is one of my favorite times of the year. The last few days it has been sunny and beautiful. I got my walking in outside. It seems to rejuvenate me. Thanks again for sharing.

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    Another great blog! I am doing some cleaning today and getting rid of a lot of junk. Hope you have a nice day.

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L*I*T*A* 3/20/2010 12:08PM

    happy spring to you !!!
great blog...........
thanks for sharing....
blessings and hugs............lita

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EGRAMMY 3/20/2010 11:36AM

    emoticon beautiful, thanks.

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DEBBIEANNE1124 3/20/2010 11:23AM

    Great blog!!!

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DIETMEISTER 3/20/2010 11:20AM

    Very motivational. Hope this jump starts everyone's diets.

I guess from your message on your Spark Page I now know why you did not come for the pool class this morning. I hope you enjoy the 1st day of Spring when you wake up.

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JEANNETTE59 3/20/2010 11:05AM

  What to do, what to do? Spring cleaning is calling, but the garden needs turning over in preparation for Spring. The garden wins it's sunny and going up to 70 degrees. thanks for the inspiration.
emoticon emoticon

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SUNNYH99 3/20/2010 10:13AM

    Thanks, Eve! A great blog, and I love the crocus and word pictures. Your blogs are always right on!

But, in case readers think they may have "missed" the coming of Spring, I wondered earlier today when it comes so I can "celebrate" so I Googled vernal equinox and found several sources that said it starts at 1:36pm today Eastern Standard Time, so all of us can enjoy it here in North America, 'cuz it hasn't happened yet! Here's a link:

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DEVORA4 3/20/2010 9:45AM

  Thanks again for a blog that we all needed emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

Comment edited on: 3/20/2010 9:45:44 AM

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DEBMORSE1 3/20/2010 8:32AM

    My thoughts on Spring are exactly the same as yours - it is a time of renewal and rebirth. All things are new again! Thanks for a great blog!!!

emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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FITNESSFOODIE 3/20/2010 8:32AM

    I'm in for a sunny Saturday and we're putting the deck furniture out and raking the flower beds! emoticon

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EMSMOMME 3/20/2010 8:19AM

    Great positive, uplifting blog.. I need to spring clean today -- as Debbie said my mind, attitude and my house!! :-)

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DJS-DEBBIE 3/20/2010 7:53AM

    Yes, it is time for spring cleaning - my mind and attitude as well as my house!

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RUN2MYDREAMS 3/20/2010 6:53AM

    Happy Spring! Time for some spring cleaning emoticon

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ANNESTARR 3/20/2010 2:13AM

    Another great blog... renewal, rebirth are wonderful things! Thanks for reminding me of this. Hugs, Anne emoticon emoticon emoticon

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SHIRLEY2010 3/20/2010 1:19AM

    Happy Spring! The picture of the crocus is gorgeous just like your iris on your Spark Page.

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    There is a wonderful celebration that you might be interested in... Ostara... The Spring Equinox.... it's all about celebrating renewal and spring.... it's where Egg hunts originated... celebrating the earth as it opens it's sleepy eyes and begins to burst forth with new life. Bright blessings to you my friend. Enjoy your springtime celebrations! Love ya, Dawn

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GLAMNGLOWDIVA 3/20/2010 12:52AM

    I know Spring is coming, but unfortunately for me its snowing right now. No Spring on Saturday for me.

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WILLOW49 3/20/2010 12:50AM

    No one is happier to see Spring arrive that I am! emoticon emoticon

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Why you are never hungry when you eat Raw...

Friday, March 19, 2010

emoticon Boy have I created stir since blogging about Raw but that is a good thing. It is always good to learn about new ideas and concepts although the Raw Foodism has been around since Biblical times. Many do not know that prior to the days of Noah and the aftermath of the flood did Man start eating cooked food. Think about that one for all of those out there that are poo pooing Raw Foodism.

In the Raw Food World you are considered a Raw Foodist if your diet consists of 75- 100 % raw foods. You are eating whole foods that are uncooked and unprocessed. You are eating nutrient dense “ live foods” opposed to “ dead cooked foods” that are missing the necessary enzymes to be able to digest themselves. A raw food diet is an organic diet consisting of 'living' uncooked fruit, vegetables, nuts, seeds, sprouted grains, beans, raw dairy, and some meat, fish and eggs. Many practice it as a Vegan diet, but do not mistake Raw Foodism for Vegetarianism. A Vegetarian may also be a Raw Food Enthusiast, but a Raw Foodist is not necessarily a Vegetarian. There are differing schools of thought on exactly what makes a strict raw food diet, including some differing opinions on the nutritional and/or ethical values of consuming honey, fish, meat, raw milk and other dairy products. Some rawists will eat small amounts of raw or seared meat to get the necessary B vitamins.

Do I eat organic food ? No! Do I eat raw cheese? Yes! Love it! Do I eat raw fish or meat? Love my sushi and sashimi, raw meat NO!

When you start eating a diet high in raw foods, you'll be eliminating high-fat, high sodium and highly processed foods. You can eat a lot more, because the foods are naturally low in calories - no more chemical sweeteners to lower calorie counts. Eating more raw vegetables and fruits, along with drinking plenty of water, will help you have more energy and feel less tired. All those processed, high fat foods take so much energy to digest; they leave you feeling tired and sluggish. Eat Raw and you will have more energy for every aspect in your life.

Cooking causes the food you eat to change chemically. The proteins in the food react with the carbohydrates and results in all kinds of havoc in your body.
When food is cooked above 118 degrees F for three minutes or longer, its protein has become coagulated, its sugar has become caramelized, its natural fibers have been broken down, which means it will take longer to move through the intestinal tract, 30% to 50% of its vitamins and minerals have been destroyed and 100% of its enzymes have been destroyed. Cooked food depletes our body's enzyme potential and drains the energy we need to maintain and repair our tissues and organ systems and shortens our lifespan.

Raw foods are easily digested, requiring only 24-36 hours for transit time through the digestive tract, as compared to 40-100 hours for cooked foods. This increases the threat of putrefaction and disease. When you eat cooked carbohydrates, proteins and fats, you are eating numerous carcinogenic by-products caused by cooking. This is where all of the diseases, cancer, allergies, arthritis, etc. come into play.

Cooked foods quickly ferment and putrefy in the intestinal tract. They literally cake themselves on the sides of your intestinal tract. It has been said that when John Wayne died from complications of Colon Cancer and autopsied, the doctor who did his autopsy commented that he had found 40+ pounds of undigested fecal matter stuck in his colon. Now does that mean you have that much, NO! At least I hope not. However, I am quite sure that you have several pounds caked on your intestinal walls. Common sense tells you that if when you drink that awful liquid you have to drink before a colonoscopy and drink nothing but clear liquids and eat only certain colors of jello you lose between 5 and 10 pounds by the next day. The weight you lost was all of the crap that was caked on your colon walls that were flushed out by that yummy concoction you had to drink (NOT, I hate that stuff). Your walls have to be clean as a whistle to do the colonoscopy

Start eating Raw and your colon walls receive a natural cleansing as all of the fiber pushes through in digestion over the course of time. Think of these raw fruits and veggies as one big giant sponge scrubbing these walls. This doesn’t happen overnight but as long as you are no longer eating “cooked” food there will be no more putrefied build up in there. You don’t need to pay for those “Colon Cleansers” your body can do it naturally if you give it the right tools, raw foods.
When your colon walls are clean, now you body can absorb all of the nutrients it needs. Remember these raw foods are nutrient dense and now your body is finally being fed and nourished for the 1st time in years. I am rarely hungry when I go Raw. My body now realizes it has been nourished and doesn’t require the huge amount of food I used to eat. My body takes what it needs and eliminates the rest.

Some of my favorite Raw Food Sites and/or sources for this blog:

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

DEMONA 4/7/2010 9:28PM

    i was watching this "reality show" and David Wolfe was on it and thats how my intrest in Raw foods came about so far i haven't gotten too far it's just been and idea that has floated around in my head for a while. i just wanna learn more about it, that's my Hunger lol

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  This is interesting. Yesterday I ate a huge plate of raw vegies for lunch and again for dinner and I couldnt beleive how full I felt. Again for lunch today and I still feel real full and I didnt have any junk mixed in. Hmmm if I keep this up I might actually reach my goal

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GODZDESIGN95 3/23/2010 11:43AM

    Is this really true??

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DEBMORSE1 3/23/2010 5:21AM

    Hmmm. Interesting concept, but I'm going to need to check into it further.

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MAURAK 3/23/2010 2:13AM

Page 2?
What a novel concept!
Sorry to be so thick + thanks for your help, Yvonne!

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    I don't think I could give up eating hot cooked food. I could start to eat more things raw though to be healthier.

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EGR2BEME 3/20/2010 9:03AM

    Great information...thanks for sharing. Just wish I could have a chef that could prepare all of my meals for me each day!!

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TRAVELNISTA 3/20/2010 12:57AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon Not sure what you are asking. There is that statement in my blog in paragraph 7 and then someone made a reply on the next page of comments. So what are you asking that I can clarify? emoticon emoticon

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MAURAK 3/20/2010 12:33AM


Wasn't there a comment here yesterday about the 40+ pounds of fecal matter supposedly found in Wayne's autopsy? Or did I just imagine I read it here?

- Maura

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JESSICA_0029 3/19/2010 10:43PM

    How interesting all this info is. I will be checking more into this and try to incorporate it in my diet even if it is a couple days a week. Thanks emoticon emoticon

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SWIM_2_SLIM 3/19/2010 9:31PM

    You keep batting a 1,000 with your blogs! Excellent material. Please keep it coming. We are learning so much from you. Thank you!!!

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EMSMOMME 3/19/2010 8:38PM

    Thanks for sharing all the info on the Raw Food "diet"!

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FUNNYGRANNY71 3/19/2010 4:10PM

    Thank you so much for sharing all this information. I find it all very interesting and it answers some of my questions about the state of my GI tract. You are a great provider of information and education. emoticon emoticon emoticon

Comment edited on: 3/19/2010 4:10:26 PM

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    Thanks for all the information Yvonne. You're just a wealth of info & suggestions. I am so grateful that you are my friend. Lead the way my dear... together we're going to be healthy & happy... you're already wise... now can we shoot for wealthy? LOL Love ya, Dawn

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DEFIANTVEGAN 3/19/2010 12:28PM

    Thanks Ivonne for this blog it's awesome love the rawfoodlife website very informative. emoticon emoticon

Yesterday I ate Breakfast, Snacks & Lunch Raw. Dinner I ate vegan the only bad thing I ate was a coffee ice cream pie. emoticon emoticonI regret it though because as I was entering it manually into my calorie tracker I noticed how many calories it had and how much fat It was pathetic.

I think I can do it, having 2 snacks and breakfast raw will be a piece of cake . I can throw in Lunch on occasions depending what produce I have in stock, I know with how I get paid (once a month) will be difficult I usually runlow on funds before next pay check so instead of having fresh fruit I use frozen.

I want to at least be at 75% raw daily. Breakfast, lunch and snacks seems the easiest to make this happen.

Most people can manage this by having Breakfast as a smoothing ( fresh squeezed juices with frozen fruits and ice), If eating 2 snacks make it fresh fruit, and lunch have a salad with loads of veggies, if you're concerned about dressing and lemon is not something you want to use then you can use Avocado and lemon juice in a food processor and you have your dressing.

I've been eating 1 banana for breakfast and I'm fine, not hungry at all. I think the problem with people is when they eat they need to feel stuffed/full in order to feel satisfied and not hungry. It's a conditioning of the mind to say that's enough if 2 hours later you feel hungry have some nuts or fruit again.

guarantee you will speed up your metabolism and lose weight and you won't feel tired or sluggish. emoticon emoticon emoticon

emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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EGRAMMY 3/19/2010 11:16AM

    For Dr. Oz on raw food, check his website or

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L*I*T*A* 3/19/2010 10:52AM

    always something new to learn............great information.........thanks for sharing...........blessings and hugs...............lita

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DIETMEISTER 3/19/2010 10:14AM

    I remember the last time you did the Raw Diet years ago when your Sister 1st was diagnosed with Lymphoma. You thrived on the diet. Your skin was clear, your eyes were bright white, and you were a ball of fire as far as energy was concerned. You were always happy and in a great mood. Now you are always so stressed out and going in a million different directions. I remember that the weight just seemed to melt off of you. I always wondered why you never returned to that way of eating. I think that becoming a leader on your new team was the best thing you could do for yourself. You used to always glow and I can't wait to see that return. emoticon emoticon

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NONIE_C 3/19/2010 10:14AM

    Great blog!!! I have a friend who completely turned her health issues around by switching to raw food. She is alive, when they said she wouldn't be, and she is at a healthy body weight for the first time in years. I always feel a difference in my energy when I go raw, even if it's just for a few days. I can't do it as a lifestyle, don't want to, but if it was more the norm for me, I sure don't think that'd be a bad thing...
Thank you!!!

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WAHINE_PUROTU 3/19/2010 9:19AM

    With raw foods & take out the bad fats & eat the right fats... Who needs to diet your body will melt away! emoticon

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ELISADEL 3/19/2010 9:09AM

    There are some good things about a raw food diet, but it would be a good idea to look more closely at any claims being made by people who also claim that someone had 40 pounds of anything inside their colon.

Picture the size of a normal colon, and picture how much it would actually have to stretch in order to pack 40 pounds of nearly anything in there. It's not very plausible.

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DEBBIEANNE1124 3/19/2010 8:26AM

    Back to my cabbage salad...

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GOLDENGIRL88 3/19/2010 8:06AM

    As a new member to this group, I really appreciate the information in this blog!

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Kidney Beans, the Bean of the Week

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Kidney beans are my least favorite bean (along with Cannelloni beans) but I know a lot of you in Sparkleland either love them or use them as a staple in your diet. They get their name from their shape and color – they look like kidneys. After researching these beans I may have to force myself to start eating them and maybe learn to like them. I am having a problem as many of you know with my memory. It seems this little bean may be able to help me out in that area. Who knew?

Maintain your Memory with Thiamin (Vitamin B1)

Thiamin is critical for brain cell/cognitive function. This is because thiamin is needed for the synthesis of acetylcholine, the important neurotransmitter essential for memory and whose lack has been found to be a significant contributing factor in age-related impairment in mental function (senility) and Alzheimer's disease. Alzheimer's disease is clinically characterized by a decrease in acetylcholine levels. Don't forget to make kidney beans a staple in your healthy diet: a one-cup serving of cooked kidney beans provides 18.7% of the daily value for thiamin.

Other Health Benefits Of Eating Kidney Beans

Major source of protein, kidney beans provide all the eight basic forms of amino acids or the eight essential amino acids. These amino acids act against a number of diseases and are important to maintain a healthy immune system. It is estimated that a single cup of uncooked beans provides around 85% of the daily protein requirement.

Certain natural antioxidants present in these beans also have a number of beneficial health effects. Studies have revealed that the darker the color of the skin of the beans, the higher these antioxidants.

The soluble fiber present in the kidney bean regulates the blood glucose absorption from the body. This is done by forming a gel-like substance, by absorbing water from the intestines. This gel-like substance slows down the metabolism of carbohydrates in the body, thereby regulating the blood sugar levels and preventing their sudden elevation after meals. It is a smart idea for diabetics (insulin resistance) to consume kidney beans on a regular basis.

The dietary fiber in these beans also helps lower the blood cholesterol levels in the body. The risk of certain diseases, like stroke, high blood pressure and coronary heart disease, are considerably reduced eating kidney beans.

A high source of certain nutrients involved in the process of detoxification, kidney beans reduce the risk of a number of inflammatory, degenerative and cardiovascular diseases and also help promote and maintain optimal health.

As these beans prove to be a high source of iron, their regular intake helps in the process of respiration at the cellular level, by synthesizing hemoglobin to aid in the carriage of oxygen to the cells.

Kidney beans also have considerable amount of the mineral molybdenum, which helps in the detoxification of sulfites from the blood.

The copper present in these beans aids in the reduction of inflammatory conditions like Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA). They also act as an important factor in promoting certain enzymatic activity that is required to maintain the normal elastic properties of ligaments, joints and blood vessels.

The magnesium in kidney beans helps relieve fatigue by relaxing the muscles, nerves and blood vessels. This, in turn, prevents the adverse effects of conditions like asthma, muscle soreness, and migraine headaches.

Eating kidney beans can help in the prevention of conditions like stroke, heart attack and PVD (Peripheral Vascular Disease). The folic acid present in the plant lowers the levels of homocysteine.

Take caution of these 2 issues:

1· Kidney beans have considerable amount of the naturally occurring substance called purines. So, people suffering from purine-related conditions, like gout and kidney stones, should avoid excess consumption of kidney beans.

2.Red kidney beans are high on phytohemagglutinin (another naturally occurring substance). High amounts of this can lead to the disruption of cellular metabolism, which can have very toxic and harmful effects.


Ok , so the recipes I share are ones I usually have created, tried, or saved because I intend on trying the new recipe. These recipes my friends I have never made because I just googled all of these to put in the blog. I always give recipes for the ingredient of my blog and this will be no exception. I will even go on record to say I may try a recipe or two myself. Did I mention I really don’t like them. They say kidney beans take on the flavors/spices/ingredients of what they are cooked in – I guess when ever I had them in the past the way they were cooked never tickled my taste buds. Sorry Mom! I hate chili if it is made with kidney beans but that is perhaps the most popular application for this bean. I need to find different ways to use this bean other than chili.

Kidney Bean Coconut Curry

1 medium onion, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1-2 Tablespoons red curry paste (found in Asian grocery)
1/2 of a medium eggplant, cut into cubes
1 medium russet potato, peeled and cubed
1 zucchini, diced
1 15 oz. can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 15 oz. can coconut milk
1 15 oz. can diced tomatoes or stewed, with juice
1 Tablespoon soy sauce
2 Tablespoons lime juice
salt and pepper to taste
water if needed

Sauté onion, bell pepper and garlic in a bit of oil in a pot. When the onion is translucent and the bell pepper gets soft, add the curry paste and stir it around. Add the eggplant, potato, zucchini and sauté some more about 3-4 minutes. Add the rest of the ingredients: kidney beans, coconut milk, diced tomatoes, soy sauce and lime juice. Stir.

Bring to a boil, then let simmer, partially covered for 30 minutes or so. Add a little water if you want it to be more soupy. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve over rice.

Serves: 8

Jamaican Rice and Beans

2 cloves garlic
1 stalk scallion (green onion), if not 1/2 white onion
1 vegetarian bouillon
1 scotch bonnet pepper (or any pepper )
salt to taste
1 cup Red Kidney Beans
2 cups Brown (white can be used)
2 0z. of dried coconut milk

Boil the beans in water until tender. Add water, coconut milk, rice and all seasonings. Be sure when adding the water that it covers the rice by 1 inch. (this will ensure that there is enough liquid to cook the rice). Bring to a boil then immediately turn down to a simmer until rice is soft.
Serves: 8
Preparation time: 20 min

Spiced Indian Kidney Beans

1 can (14-ounce size) red kidney beans
1/4 cup vegetable or olive oil
1/4 teaspoon cardamom powder
1 medium onion, minced
2 teaspoons crushed garlic
1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
1 teaspoon minced red chili
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/4 teaspoon turmeric
8 ounces canned crushed tomatoes
1 large green chili, minced
2 tablespoons minced fresh cilantro
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup water
1/4 teaspoon garam masala

Place beans in mesh colander and rinse under cool water. Set aside to drain. Heat oil over medium flame in medium saucepan. Add cardamom and onion, and cook until soft and golden, about 5 minutes. Add garlic, ginger and chili or red pepper flakes, and cook 3 minutes. Reduce heat to low and add coriander, cumin and turmeric. Cook for 2 minutes.

Add tomatoes and cook another 2 minutes. Add green chili, 1 tablespoon of cilantro leaves, salt and water. Increase heat to medium and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer uncovered for 10 minutes. Add kidney beans and a pinch of the garam masala. Simmer another 8 minutes.

Transfer to a serving dish and sprinkle with remaining cilantro and garam masala.

This recipe from CDKitchen for Spiced Indian Kidney Beans serves/makes 4

Dr. Dick's Lean and Mean Kidney Bean Hash

2 Tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
1/2 green pepper, chopped
1/2 red pepper, chopped
2 to 3 boiled potatoes, chilled and diced with skins still on
1 15-ounce can kidney beans
1/2 cup water
dash of salt
dash of pepper
dash of garlic powder
dash of Tabasco sauce
dash of Mrs. Dash seasoning

Heat the olive oil in a large frying pan. Sauté the onion until it's soft. Add the green and red peppers and sauté briefly.
Add the diced potatoes and mix well. Cook for 10 minutes, turning with a spatula every 2 minutes.
While the potato mixture cooks, rinse the beans well to remove the "go," then mash 1/2 to 2/3 of the beans with a potato masher. Mix the beans into the mixture in the frying pan, add 1/2 cup water, and cover. Cook over medium heat for another 5 minutes.
Season to taste. Serve.

This serves two or maybe just one very hungry person.

Kidney Bean and Quinoa Burgers

kidney bean and quinoa patties
1/2 c dry kidney beans
1/2 c dry quinoa
1 tsp salt (divided)
1 tsp pepper
1 tsp basil
1 tsp oregano
2 tsp cumin
1/4 c corn starch
1 tbsp olive oil (plus some for frying)

Soak the kidney beans a few hours ahead of time so they soften up and are easier to cook. The longer they soak activates their enzymes and starts breaking down their complex carbohydrates to help you digest them better.

Cook the beans with the quinoa in 2 cups of water covered on low heat for about 20-30 minutes until most of the water has cooked off and the beans and quinoa are tender.

Let cool for at least 10 minutes.

In a medium sized bowl mash the beans with a potato masher or fork so there arn’t big chunks. Mix in the spices, corn starch and oil.

In a medium-sized frying pan heat up some olive oil (i used 1 tablespoon per patty) over medium heat. fry the patties until they are brown on each side, which should take about 1-2 minutes.

You’ll notice the patties will turn a nice toasty brown, not unlike the color of an actual hamburger. Serve immediately or keep warm on a plate in the oven at 200F.
yields 6 patties

Veggie Burgers with Mushrooms
Food Network Magazine

Open this recipe it looks good! emoticon

Portuguese Kale Soup
Recipe courtesy of Gertrude’s Gallery

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon finely chopped garlic
1/2 cup diced onions
1/2 diced turnips
1/2 cup diced carrots
1 bunch kale, stemmed and roughly chopped
6 ounces chopped chourico (spicy Portuguese sausage), or chorizo
3 bay leaves
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves
2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme leaves
6 cups beef stock
1 cup kidney beans
6 ounces diced tomatoes
10 ounces diced potatoes

In a large stock pot, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the garlic, onions, turnips and carrots and cook for 5 minutes. Add the kale, chourico, bay leaves, parsley and thyme and mix well. Add the beef stock, beans and tomatoes. Bring the soup to a boil, and then reduce the heat to low and simmer for 30 to 40 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan, bring salted water to a boil and add the diced potatoes. Cook until tender, about 10 minutes. Drain the potatoes and add them to the soup.

Remove the bay leaves and serve hot.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:


    Usually love your recipe blogs but I don't like kidney beans either. I am going to try the recipes but substitute beans.

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SAMTHEMAN60 3/20/2010 9:57AM

    I can n ow see they are really healthy for you but I don't like them either.

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DIGBOI 3/18/2010 9:38PM

    emoticon For all those yummy recipes. I see you are a great cook. You are so sweet sharing it with all of us. emoticon

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NO_SNOW_BODY 3/18/2010 8:55PM

    looks like I need to eat more kidney beans

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SWIM_2_SLIM 3/18/2010 8:50PM

    I love them! When I was little, I thought my Mom had put mashed potatoes in the middle cause that is what it looked like to me! Just pretend that is is good for you potato that has extra protein in it!!! emoticon

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FITNESSFOODIE 3/18/2010 7:11PM

    Kidney beans are my least favorite also, but I appreciate all the info and recipes! emoticon

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FUNNYGRANNY71 3/18/2010 7:10PM

    The kidney bean is my least favorite bean also. I can eat them in chili and my sister-in-law makes a taco soup that is delicious, kidney beans and everything. I am going to have to try some of your recipes soon. Thanks for sharing all of that information.

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JWENZEL723 3/18/2010 2:58PM

    i throw some kidney beans in my salad from time to time - yum!

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DEFIANTVEGAN 3/18/2010 12:08PM

    I love Kidney beans I don't want to try the Canelloni Beans for some reason. lol

Most people don't like them because of there grainy texture I can handle the kidney beans but I really don't eat them often only when I go to a Salad bar and they are there I have them.

They are very healthy from what you posted they help with high blood pressure, they regulate your blood sugar and heart disease.

They have B1 vitamin and folic acid they have lots of nutrients that's a plus, I think I'll start eating them more and during the summer on salad for a more healthier and refreshing meal. emoticon

thanks for the post this is great to hear. emoticon emoticon emoticon

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TSWARTHOUT 3/18/2010 11:54AM

    I love kidney beans are my favorite though. Thank you for the recipes. I am going to try some of them just for something different. I also thank you for the information. I knew they were good for me but....geesssh. Anyways...I hope you grow to like them:)

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TEDYBEAR2838 3/18/2010 11:49AM


I picked a head of cauliflower which I have in the car with me to share with sis.

origianlly posted in wrong place. .UGH

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SKFEREBEE 3/18/2010 11:37AM

    Had these in chili last night. Great source of fiber! Can't wait to try the hash recipe. emoticon

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L*I*T*A* 3/18/2010 9:53AM

    what a wonderful bean of the's one of my favourites.......thanks for sharing...........blessings and hugs...............lita

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EGRAMMY 3/18/2010 8:41AM

    Could you put your blogs into a book I could buy for family members?

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MTNHIKER1971 3/18/2010 7:31AM

    I love these in salads. Thanks for the recipes. The kidney bean hash sounds interestingly good.



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DIANE929 3/18/2010 3:36AM

    I got into them years ago when my x~mother in law would add them to her cole slaw...yummmm..... emoticon

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    Okay, so here's my question..... how does one eat kidney beans.. or any other bean, RAW? Do you soak the dried beans, then rinse off and just eat them? I used to eat them straight out of the can, but I know that they have been cooked in order to be canned and now I don't eat anything out of a can anyway. SCOOP me my friend. Love ya, Dawn

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PATTK1220 3/18/2010 1:49AM

    I LOVE kidney beans (and cannelini beans, which are white kidney beans)! I like them plain. Soak them overnight; drain and replace the water. Cook for an hour or so, until tender. Don't salt until they're cooked. Add salsa, ranch dressing, or anything of your choice when serving ... I usually serve with brown rice to have a complete protein. They're delicious in salads, chili, soup. Just be sure you don't overcook them. Canned kidney beans are also good, but they're usually high in sodium. They also cost about 3x more than dried.

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IMVEGAN 3/18/2010 1:47AM

    Kidney beans are perfectly safe when cooked. Raw kidney beans can make you very sick. They should not be sprouted and eaten in an uncooked state. Cooking kidney beans take out all of dangerous substances. So don't worry about them just cook them and enjoy. (Canned kidney beans have been precooked.)

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DEBBIEANNE1124 3/18/2010 1:40AM

    I pretty much love kidney beans. they are my favorite. I like adding a handful of them to a good salad for some extra protein and fiber and theya re great in chi8li.

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DEVORA4 3/18/2010 1:17AM

  As usual, you have done us all a huge service for your excellent blog. I have one problem, I don't know which receipe to make first emoticon

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    I like Kidney Beans too and I am having them in my salad tomorrow.

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WILLOW49 3/18/2010 12:33AM

    LOVE kidney beans, especially with rice. Yum, yum!

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Voted Popular Blog Post: View All Popular Posts

Make Friends With One of the Best Tools Available Here on Spark People

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

I have read so many posts where members are not using their Nutrition Trackers and they wonder why they aren’t losing weight. One of the 1st things we as Sparkers do; to try to help them, to give them an answer is to go to their Spark Page to take a peak at their Nutrition Tracker. Most times than not, guess what - they have no Nutrition Tracker showing. Why? They ask for suggestions on what to do but how do we help them if we don’t know what they are eating.

Knowledge is key in our journey here on Spark People and if you don’t know how many calories you are consuming how can you expect to be successful? Two to one if you are not utilizing the Nutrition Tracker you don’t have a clue as to the number of calories you are eating.

Now before you say, “Maybe they just have their Trackers set to private.” Again I will say, two to one they don’t use it. If you are using your Tracker you know by looking at it what is going on unless of course you are on the dreaded plateau. You will already know why you aren’t losing weight.

The Nutrition Trackers give you a caloric range that you should be eating every day based on all of the data you entered in on your Start Page under the My Goals section on the left side of the page. When you go to the Nutrition Tracker you can track the glasses of water you drink as well as the food you eat.

So what is the problem? I keep hearing, “ I don’t have time to log my food in the Tracker.” Or, “ It doesn’t have all of the foods I eat in the database to track.” Unfortunately the 1st time you use it, it will be time consuming. However, if you take the time to sit down and enter the foods you eat the most and save them in your Tracker, your next time in will be a breeze. Foods that you do not find in there go to another site like or try You then can enter the information you find into your Nutrition Tracker and remember to save it.
emoticon I can’t tell you how many times I forgot to save it and the next time I ate that food I had to do it again.

If you have a lot of favorite recipes you make all of the time do yourself a favor and enter it into the Recipe Calculator under Spark Recipes. Yes it takes time the 1st time but pays off big time each time you cook that recipe.

Set up Food Groups in your Nutrition Tracker. This alone saves tons of time if you always eat the same breakfast or lunch. I often make a huge salad for dinner and I throw in everything but the kitchen sink. I sat down and put all of the ingredients down in one lump group and now every time I make a salad I just hit My Food Groupings and I am done. There are times when I might not have one of the usual ingredients I put in the salad so I just go down to that meal and remove that one food. When you hit My Groups it enters that food group under the meal you chose and lists it as individual ingredients, so it’s easy to remove or add a food from my salad list for the day. I may add avocado one night or pumpkin seeds for instance and rather than type out all of my ingredients I hit one button for my salad and one more to add lets say the avocado.

I will let you in on a secret I used to hate it when my Doctor told me to keep a Food Journal and I fought it tooth and nail. I made some of the same excuses some of you make as to why you don’t use yours. Sometimes I would break down and I would do it for a week and quit.

It was only after I got serious here on Spark People that I started using mine and that did not happen for a few weeks. I goofed off for the 1st 3 weeks. I love it now. It is like my best friend now. I can’t say enough good things about it. I will not eat anything till I log it in to make sure I have calories left to spend.

Now my tracking is super simple, quick all because I took the time out to load it up with what I normally ate. Don’t you think you are worth it to set aside sometime for you to do the same?

PS: Yes you hve to track all of those green beers you drink today. Happy St. Patty's Day! emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

EVILKLOWN 3/28/2010 4:18PM

    Yes, it's funny. I have very little compassion for someone who doesn't track but still complains. Most times I won't even leave a comment on someone's blog/page if they have their tracker or ticker hidden. I figure they're not really interested in taking action anyway. Today is my 430th day in a row of using the tracker.

After years of trying different things ... fad diets, exercising like crazy etc etc I had an epiphany ... if you eat less than you burn you WILL lose weight. It's just like the doctors have been saying for a hundred years ... no reason to go ape, no magic pills or diets ... just eat less than you burn.

So I went looking for a way to count calories. I didn't have the slightest idea of how many calories my body needed to maintain it's current weight or how many I should be eating etc -- so I Googled and found Spark and the nutrition tracker. It was the greatest find ever.

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FARLEY_GIRL 3/24/2010 12:07PM

    I am in a constant battle for tracking my food. I've come to realize that if it's not something I can measure the amount and nutritional info....I get off track and give up for several days. When I've been able to stick w/ the tracker, it has opened my eyes..

Thanks for the great tip about the Food groups....since I'm still really learning the system here, this tip will really help keep me going!!! emoticon

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KLONG8 3/23/2010 5:57PM

    Gee, do you think everyone fights the tracker for 3 weeks? I did. But once I tried it, I couldn't believe how it simplified things. And then when it reviews my day to tell me what I did right...and where I could make some positive changes? Well, it had me then for good!

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    Okay, okay, I will start using the food tracker again..... tomorrow!! emoticon

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ACCT1908 3/23/2010 4:38PM

    Wow! This is the 3rd blog (including my own) I have read about the importance of tracking and nutrition as a tool for weight loss. Thank you for sharing!!

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NIKI778 3/22/2010 11:44AM

    The tracker is awesome, I use it everyday!! Using made me realize that I regularly was not eating enough protien, so now I make a much larger effort to get more protien everyday. I think it is THE BEST tool to use to see what changes need to be made in eating habits.

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RUNNING_LUCY 3/22/2010 12:51AM

    I love the tracker - it really opens your eyes to what you are taking in not only in calories but also sodium, carbs, fat, etc. I have only been using it for about 3 or 4 weeks now, but I can say that I am more aware of what I'm eating because of tracking my food intake. I'm not perfect and have only met the four main tracks (calories, carbs, fat, protein) a few times, but as I go from day to day I can tell that for the most part I am making better and better choices.

I would encourage all to use this great tool!

Thanks for your post. emoticon

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    Right on!

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RUNNERRUNNER 3/21/2010 3:41PM

    I love the tracker too!

I really related to this blog entry because my sister is also trying to lose weight and she refuses to track her calories and she keeps 'wondering' why she isn't losing weight! And the real kicker is her doctor had her on a well balanced diet where she was tracking calories before and she lost 20 pounds, but now she says it's too time consuming and she doesn't want to do it. I guess I'm just frustrated that she keeps asking me for help and doesn't understand why she isn't losing weight when the answer is so obvious to me.

Anyway, thanks for your blog, as you can tell it really hit a nerve with what I've been dealing with.

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SHIRLS2010 3/21/2010 1:22PM

    After three days of using the tracker I was amazed at just how much fat I've been eating. And too little protein. It really forces me to confront my eating habits head-on. Also it's great to be able to export the day's meals. Helps with making menus later on.

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PAPAMIKIE 3/21/2010 1:02AM

    I do not use the tracker here, but that is only because I start with WW and then CalorieKing and have a pattern of tracking my food and exercise there, it a way that works very well for me, and also I then have the data on my side of things so I can do anything I want with it.

Frankly, Sparks has a better model than either of the other two. Both have kind of a bartering system that you put in a base range and then get adjustments up for exercise you have done. The problem with that model is it leave people with the impression if you pig out you can just chase it with exercise, and so the obsession with tracking, Wii Bowling, and other calories that do not really mean much, as if by putting the calories into he computer will help your body to forget what it was stuffed with.

I always know what I ate, and how much, and it is still one of the standard questions when someone seems to be have a problem with the process working.

I am suspicious of statements like I am working out fairly hard and I think I am eating much better, but I am still not loosing weight. I say, how many and how of what do you mean by eating much better.

Gramie Leanna laughed that I weight the vegetable that went into my big bowl of cut up vegetables. Yeah, I weighted the carrots, the celery, the green pepers, the cucumbers, the zuccinie then stired it all up and took an estimate so that I had a good read on the make up of a cup of mulch. However, I lost weight consistently, because I know in detail what I ate and where I was at.

I agree the food tracker is one of the many great tools here, although I do not use it, I do track everything I eat, I just started using a different system and had it working well before I found sparks, and I figure why mess with what is working, but I do track my food in detail.

Again, I think the Spark model is better than he model I started with, but I made adjustments to that system so that it works well for me.

Thanks for the blog.

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FLYINGTIGER 3/21/2010 12:16AM

    I use it all the time. It's way better than the one I used in another system. No wonder, there are so many people in SparkPeople contributing, I am continually shocked at what has already been entered.

Though I generally keep my calories around 1,800 or just above, it's great to see when I really overdo it. I learn.

But a deeper analysis shows a couple of things: despite a lot of workouts and calories "in the ballpark" I'm not really losing weight. The second thing is that I'm eating too much sugar. I think my body is hanging on really tight to the high glycemic stuff. I haven't transitioned to the Stage 2 of the SparkPeople Diet, so maybe some of my portion estimates are off.

But the value of the SparkPeople System is people like you discussing all of this in an informed way. IT'S VERY HELPFUL!!!

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CHEFGIA1 3/20/2010 5:08PM

    I think the tracker is the most important is at times a surprise how many calories are really in food! It keeps me on track! emoticon

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NOWEAPON 3/20/2010 4:38PM

    This tool is my best friend. I use it all of the time. It has helped me to develop a god habbit. If I don't know the numbers, it doesn't get eaten by me. I know several foods by heart.

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ALYFITN 3/20/2010 4:18PM

    The food tracker is one of the best features of SP. It is way better than an old-fashioned food journal. It's easy.

I got a friend to join SP and she complained about the tracker. I forgot about the initial effort to create favorites in the drop down menu and make food groupings. I love trying new SP recipes and the ease of entering them. I enjoy searching what other sparkers have entered for my occasional restaurant meals. The tracker is great! Great blog. emoticon

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GOBSTOPPER1 3/20/2010 3:13PM

  I love it i have never seen a print out so thorough before i love being able to type it all in and see where i'm going and what i need to do, thanks for such a great websight. emoticon emoticon

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DEBRABUF 3/20/2010 2:34PM

    So right on..thanks for taking the time to share!

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JULIEB45 3/20/2010 1:43PM

    You are so right..taking the time to enter all your favorite foods you eat again and again only takes a little time. Even grouping foods is a time saver..I eat 3 different breakfast meals..makes it easy and quick to add it. Tracking nutrition is something I believe a lot of people do not want to take the time to can be daunting. but it sure takes the guessing out of gee how many calories did I eat today. There have been many many times where I thought I had calories to spare..its a wake up.
Its really a wake up when your having a bad eating day and you log that candy you ate , or those cookies!

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VIRGOGURL4 3/20/2010 2:17AM

    I used to hate the idea of having a food diary. And guess what? I STILL do. But I have the Nutrition Tracker now, which is WAY better. I find it fun to put in all the info, because the SparkPeople web designer made the tracker so easy to use and practical. Plus, the color scheme is pretty. Woo-hoo for the Tracker :-D

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JESSICA_0029 3/19/2010 10:52PM

    Thanks for always being helpful. You were the one to help me when I first started. You told me I should use the food tracker and I have been hooked ever sense. Thanks for always helping everyone. You are soooooooo emoticon

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SHRIMPCHIC 3/19/2010 10:36PM

    some days I go way under and some way over!

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VICTORIANUT 3/19/2010 8:21PM

    I'd be lost without the tracker but no lost pounds that's for sure, love it!

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ABALOGH 3/19/2010 8:53AM

    I use mine every day and boy was I surprised the first day it made me realize just how much I actually eat. HOLY MOLY. No wonder I am overweight. Now I can track and LOOSE IT...

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ILOVESP 3/19/2010 7:27AM


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LEOLO_1 3/19/2010 1:07AM

    This is great info! I use my tracker faithfully but have it set to private because I put every bite in there and might be embarrassed to put that handful of chocolate chips if I knew someone besides me was going to see it... so it is private but I attempt to remember and log everything...

I want to do a big salad food group - thanks so much!


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JESSICA11327 3/19/2010 12:58AM

    I couldn't agree more! I think the tracker is key to losing weight! I couldn't believe the nutritional value of some of the foods I was eating previous to my sparkpeople experience!

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ANDI_3K 3/18/2010 10:54PM

    I'd love to use it...but I have not figured out how yet! I think I need them to write a book called "SparkPeaople for Dummies"! I do think the suggestion is a great one tho'

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MIS2101 3/18/2010 10:29PM


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DOITB450 3/18/2010 10:13PM

    I really think the tracker is the key to losing. No telling how many calories I was eating prior to tracking. A friend once told me to count calories and I didn't know where to begin. The tracker is so easy and once you put in your favorites it is simple. I just started using on my Blackberry this week and absolutely LOVE IT! So easy to track no matter where I am. Very good blog:)

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GREENSCRAPCAT 3/18/2010 9:56PM

    I love the nutrition tracker, although mine is set to private. I can't believe what I was eating before! YIKES! emoticon

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NANASNOW 3/18/2010 9:46PM

    My tracker is private for the time being as I am still in the infancy stage and am not always sure of the foods I am eating. I am using the tracker everyday for meals and so on. I still measure everything, boy did you ever think that you might be eating soo much?! We stopped at a local restaurant and the salad they gave me will feed me tomorrow too! Got the box up front and packed it up! DH said, you didn't eat much, my reply, that is the idea. Did sneak a couple fries, ok four!

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SEMUSPARK 3/18/2010 8:03PM

    I think the tracker is the key to real results on spark. I only see the pounds drop when I'm deliberate about tracking everything I eat.

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JEANETTEST1 3/18/2010 5:29PM

    I love the nutrition tracker even though I don't have mine public. It has been an eye opening experience this first week at Sparkle people, a HUGE eye opener for me!! I am so grateful to have found this website!!

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COYOTESFAMILY 3/18/2010 5:26PM

    The nutrition tracker got me through a rough time after surgery where I couldn't workout or even lift a thing for 6 weeks. I was so freaked out I was going to gain the weight back that I had already lost. That is when I found again...I dove in and use it religously! I eeven got my hubby into tracking his food after he saw it working so good for me.

So I guess basically, I am just giving this blog a great big DITTO! emoticon

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TEMPEST272002 3/18/2010 4:29PM

    I looked at the tracker - and felt overwhelmed. I've just finished my first week here at SP. After your post, I'm going to give it another shot. Thanks.

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SALLY4ORTH 3/18/2010 2:15PM

    Just knowing that I will have to "admit" to eating something I shouldn't on my publicly available tracker will keep me on track!

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SCAVARET 3/18/2010 12:45PM

    I find that using the Nutrition Tracker really motivates me. Everytime I log in to enter what I eat, I find that I browse through some blogs or check some Sparkpages. It keeps me on track with the mindset of eating healthy. I know it sounds lame, but I get a thrill from entering in my food choices and seeing if I'm staying in range each day. It's kind of a game, but with a wonderful award. It helps me "keep my eyes on the prize" - a healthier and happier me!

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TEDYBEAR2838 3/18/2010 11:48AM


I picked a head of cauliflower which I have in the car with me to share with sis-n-law

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A_LITTLE_TLC 3/18/2010 9:31AM

  I use the tracker all the time and when my husband saw me using it he wanted to start SP too. He has become a tracking fanatic. I didn't know about the food grouping thing you can do. I need to figure out how to do that.

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A_LITTLE_TLC 3/18/2010 9:31AM

  I use the tracker all the time and when my husband saw me using it he wanted to start SP too. He has become a tracking fanatic. I didn't know about the food grouping thing you can do. I need to figure out how to do that.

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A_LITTLE_TLC 3/18/2010 9:30AM

  I use the tracker all the time and when my husband saw me using it he wanted to start SP too. He has become a tracking fanatic. I didn't know about the food grouping thing you can do. I need to figure out how to do that.

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KITERLOU 3/18/2010 6:17AM

    I am a faithful user of the Nutrition Tracker, but I learned something new from your post. I did not know about the Recipe Calculator. Thanks so much!

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SWIM_2_SLIM 3/17/2010 11:26PM

    I was on here 2 1/2 years soaking up all the great info on here plus doing even more research on everything that I was learning, but until I got serious about the food tracker, I was getting nowhere fast with weight loss. It is a very important tool to start to use. And like everyone one else, I wanted to be lazy and not do it but I found out that I was under eating and was always fatigued. So using the tracker became a win-win situation!!!

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MIMAWELIZABETH 3/17/2010 10:09PM

    Entering my food data on the Spark tracker is PRIORITY NUMBER ONE! Keeping a food diary in the past was the most valuable tool I used, but it was a LOT of work, both mentally and time-wise. Discovering Spark's tracker was a thrill! It eliminates most of the work involved, doing the calorie and nutrition research, and adding up the numbers - PLUS tracking nutrients and preparing a variety of reports!

I agree, if people are serious about eating healthier - not just for those who wish to lose weight - keeping accurate food records is absolutely ESSENTIAL. Your blog is very informative, and I hope people who read it who aren't tracking now understand how important it is!

However, I do want to say I disagree with the necessity of making the Nutrition Tracker public. If someone wants help specifically with their food plan, then YES, I understand the need. However, I believe there are many Sparkers who DO do their trackers, but want their food records to be private. Don't forget, people who chose to make their trackers public allow ANYONE with access to the internet to see those records.

I personally would never make my tracker public, but I enter my data unfailingly. There are many reasons why a person would feel the same way, without there being a lack on their part as far as recording. Especially when someone has emotional issues with food - such as shame and abuse, which is my case - it gets complicated.

I know that I can be completely honest, no matter what I did or didn't eat, because I am the only person who sees my tracker. I have kept painstakingly accurate records on Spark - no fudging, adjusting, shifting, rationalizing, or whatever! If I do need to share the information, such as with my doctor, I can print out whatever I need or want.

On this point, however, there is NO DOUBT:
emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
Nutrition Tracking is the way to go!

emoticon Elizabeth~

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CKENTFIELD 3/17/2010 9:41PM

    Yes, I love the typing up my recipe so I can track them. Also don't forget to update your goal on the start page every 10 lbs or so or else SP will not update your cal range (figured that out the hard way). emoticon

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    I began to use Daily Plate at Livestrong just a short time before joining Spark. By then I'd put the effort into learning DP and chose not to go through the process again here, as I'm something of a technidiot with low tolerance for high-tech frustration. Livestrong has revised DP and will be phasing out the one I'm adept at, so I may bite the non-caloric bullet and transfer the balance of my affections over here.

Shh, I'm usually steadfast in tracking, but when I fall off the wagon, I skip. And those are the times when it's even more important to track. Hmm, a cowardly technidiot.

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TOFUTONI 3/17/2010 7:28PM

    emoticon after reading this I do see how important it it is. I am going to try to set up food groups like you said. Didn't know I could do that. I will also go in and log everything into my Food Log too.

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EMSMOMME 3/17/2010 7:20PM

    Thanks for this blog! On my spark page it says I have been a member since 08 or something crazy like that.. that is only because my friend, CJBBUGS, started using SP and told me about it and wanted me to join. Well I did and I took one look at that Nutrition Tracker and thought... hell no am I doing this every day and logged off the site! LOL Then in February '10 I had been working out since October and hadn't really been losing any weight another friend AXM19something (LOL) mentioned she had just joined SP... I went to the website, logged in, and have been tracking my food intake ever since :-) I still think they have my calories set too high but other than that I love having a log of my food! I also am loving all the super sweet, super smart people I have met!!

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DARA52 3/17/2010 6:54PM

    Going out there now to update for today! Thanks, Yvonne. I have gotten lazy about it.

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TEDYBEAR2838 3/17/2010 6:48PM

    After reading your blog, I hope a lot more people start using the tracker. You are right, it takes a bit to get all your foods in there, but once you do, it takes almost no time at all. It tracks the nutrients that are so essential to keep in balance and this way I know to adjust and what to adjust.

It's a great tool.

emoticon for that post!

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