Tuesday, April 27, 2010
Actually I think it will have a positive effect on my journey here on Spark People. I received yet another invite to join another team and I did. Yes I know I need my head examined, as I have no time as it is. I wrote back to the Team Leader who invited me and I will quote, “You are killing me!”
I am so stressed to the max and my health has taken a toll for it. I have had the shingles since the end of January. I thought I got rid of them but they only kept coming back. Most of it is my fault because I begged not too be on the steroids too long. So I was on for like 10 days, then off and then the shingles flared up again. I had to go back on the steroids, the shingles calmed down so I went off the steroids. Then the buggers came back again. At the end of March right before I left for Virginia to spend Easter with my Mom the Doctor put her foot down and she says I am staying on them for a couple of months till they are out of my system.
There are many reasons for my stress and it just keeps piling up and piling up. I have everyone pulling at me from all directions and not enough hours in the day. I hope to be able to announce something in a few weeks that should alleviate a lot if it, or at least one of the causes.
So why did I join yet another team? Am I glutton for punishment? I recently added to my list of duties to become a Co-Leader on the Raw Foodists. There was a method to my madness on that one. I have been trying to get back 100% Raw for a couple of years now. I figured that as I helped out the Team they would be helping me out as well. It certainly added to my stress level because there is more to being a leader than just a title. There is work to be done behind the scenes. However, by making that commitment I also made more of commitment to myself by getting back to Raw. You have to put your money where you mouth is. Am I there yet, NO! Not even close but I am getting there.
Back to this new team, it is called, " Fierce, Fabulous & Unstoppable Spark Warriors" ! How can you not want to join a team with a name like that? I went and visited the Team Page and was hooked after I read their Team Creed. I wrote a blog yesterday, “Do you Need a Shot in the Arm? Well I got mine yesterday when I joined this team. This hopefully will help get my stress finally under control. Now I had better not see a mass exodus from either of my teams to join this one. By all means take a looksee and if you like what you see then by all means join. But you better not drop out of my teams or I will hunt you down.
You can do both! The teams will compliment one another. No really, I will hunt you down because afterall I am a Fierce, Fabulous & Unstoppable Spark Warrior.
I should be so lucky to look like that pic. I can dream though as well as work towards it.
Here is the link to the Team if you want to take a looksee:
Monday, April 26, 2010
It seems as if a lot of my Spark Buddies are struggling. Their blogs or my Spark Mail are full of pleas for help and/or suggestions, some just downright want to give up and throw in the towel. They are either struggling to stay on their journey or they have fallen off and need to get right back on that old proverbial horse.
Sometimes reading a blog or a response to your blog isn't enough. I found this on YouTube and heck it made me feel good and I am OK with my eating and exercising. Sometimes hearing music in the background seeing a visual while concentrating on those words because the screen lasts longer than it takes you to read it, it sinks into your brain. Don't speed read the words - digest them.
You can't speed it up if you wanted to. The video is already times out and it goes at its pace. Sit back and absorb.
Saturday, April 24, 2010
We all know I love to cook. I try to share my recipes or the recipes I have found that will entice you to try new foods or ways of preparing them. Believe it or not there are many out there that do not cook or like to cook. My Spark Mail is always filled with questions on this and that. I am surprised at how many tell me they don’t know how to cook and are just learning. Well, now there is a new tool to play with here on Spark people.
I am so loving this new enhancement to our Nutrition Tracker. I have used my Nutrition Tracker ever since I put my Spark page together. Sssssssshhhhhhhhhh! I won’t say it took me 3 weeks before I finally did that though. If you have not read Spark Guy’s blog about it, here is the link:
There is so much we can do with our Nutrition Tracker…
SUNNYH99 is the one who taught me how to put my own recipe’s into the Recipe Calculator and I have been taking advantage of that ever since. Thanks Sunny!!!!!!!!!!!! How much simpler could it be to put your favorite recipes you make often into the Recipe Calculator and then in the future when you make them all you do is click on one button, the name of the recipe, add then just add it to that days menu.
Now when you go to your Nutrition Tracker you click on Add a Food and then the magic happens. I have been using the tab, Food Groupings where I would add things I ate with certain meals or certain salads I make and it is a breeze to add the foods to my tracker that way.
Wait till you start playing with and using the newest tab, the 4th tab- Recipes. You can now pull up on your Food Tracker your saved Favorite Recipes, Your Shared Recipes (your own recipes you have loaded into Spark Recipes), and Recipes You Have Reviewed.
All you have to do now is click on the dropdown box and all of those recipes populate, no more hunting for the recipes or trying to remember their names. It is so fast and simple.
There is no longer any excuse to say it is too time consuming to use your Food Tracker. I happen to think this is the best tool we have on here in Spark People. Load up the recipes you make the most. Start saving in your Favorites the Spark Recipes you make often. Start reviewing these recipes and it brings those into another box.
I will admit that it is time consuming to add in your own recipes but it is so worth it. You want to stay on your journey to a healthier You; well you have to make foods that taste good to keep you on it. You can eat well, not feel deprived or bored if you take the extra time to create these foods for you. Yes we should be eating to fuel our bodies but who says it can’t taste great at the same time.
You are really worth it to take the time to utilize this great new tool and you will thank yourself later on for doing so. I just love it!
OK so let's try this link:
Friday, April 23, 2010
This leafy green is an excellent source of vitamin K, vitamin A, magnesium, folate, manganese, iron, calcium, vitamin C, vitamin B2, potassium, and vitamin B6. It’s a very good source of protein, phosphorus, vitamin E, zinc, dietary fiber, and copper. Plus, it’s a good source of selenium, niacin, and omega-3 fatty acids.
Spinach is loaded with lutein. It’s a carotenoid found in spinach that is protective against eye diseases such as age-related cataracts and macular degeneration. The Lutein in spinach might be absorbed better if you eat it with a little fat, such as a small amount of olive oil, or the food that you’re eating it with contains some fat.
A carotenoid found in spinach and other green leafy vegetables fights human prostate cancer two different ways, according to research published in the the Journal of Nutrition. The carotenoid, called neoxanthin, not only induces prostate cancer cells to self-destruct, but is converted in the intestines into additional compounds, called neochromes, which put prostate cancer cells into a state of stasis, thus preventing their replication.
The nutrients in spinach can also help with conditions in which inflammation plays a role. For example, asthma, osteoarthritis, osteoporosis and rheumatoid arthritis are all conditions that involve inflammation.
Vitamin E-rich Leafy Greens Slow Loss of Mental Function
Mental performance normally declines with age, but the results of Chicago Health and Aging Project (CHAP) suggest that eating just 3 servings of green leafy, yellow and cruciferous vegetables each day could slow this decline by 40%, suggests a study in the journal Neurology.
Spinach contains choline and inositol, the substances that help to prevent atherosclerosis or thickening and hardening of arteries.
Spinach is also helpful in the following health issues : Anemia, Tumors, Constipation, Insomnia, Obesity, Neuritis (inflammation of nerves), Nerve exhaustion, High blood pressure, Bronchitis, Colon cancer, Prostate cancer, Breast cancer, Osteoporosis, Dyspepsia (chronic indigestion), Also helps ailment of the kidneys, bladder and liver.
Spinach salad with Strawberries and Pecans
8 ounces fresh torn spinach or baby spinach
1 1/2 to 2 cups cleaned and sliced strawberries
1/2 cup pecan halves or pieces
2 to 3 ounces goat cheese or blue cheese, crumbled, optional
1/4 cup Canola oil or Olive oil
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon dried tarragon
1/8 teaspoon each onion and garlic powder
dash dry mustard
Toss spinach with sliced strawberries, pecans, and cheese, if using.
Combine dressing ingredients in a jar; shake until well blended. When ready to serve, drizzle dressing over the salad and toss lightly.
Serves 4 to 6.
Potato and Spinach Soup With Lemon
By Anastatia Curley
The potatoes and parsnips give this soup body, and the spinach and lemon make it bright. It's sustaining, yet light and exciting.
Spinach and Pasta Soup
1 pound of turkey sausage
1 large onion chopped
3 cloves garlic minced
1 28 oz can of chopped or diced tomatoes
1 1/2 quart of chicken broth
3 quarts of water
1 pound of farfalle(bow tie pasta) or favorite small pasta
1 10 oz. pkg. of frozen spinach
2 15 oz. cans of small whit beans or canneloni beans
Heat an extra-large soup kettle over medium-high heat. Add the sausage and brown, breaking it up with a spoon. Add the onion and garlic, and saute 3 minutes. Stir in the tomatoes, breaking them up with the spoon. Stir in the stock and 1 quart of the water, and raise the heat to high. Bring to a boil, add the pasta, and cook, stirring, for 5 minutes. Then add spinach, beans, and remaining quart of water (add extra water, if needed), and simmer, covered, stirring occasionally, until spinach is tender. Add salt to taste.
Number of Servings: 12
(this recipe I put into Spark Recipes so it can be put into my Fodd Tracker)
Crustless Spinach Quiche
Recipe courtesy of Food Network Magazine
Vegan Spinach Linguine with Mushroom and Pepper Sauce
spinach linguine, enough for 2 people
1 red pepper
1 green pepper
1 small box mushrooms
2 tablespoons oil
1 medium jar spaghetti sauce
Wash and slice mushrooms. Cut peppers into 1/2 strips. Heat oil in pan. Add mushrooms and peppers. Stir fry over medium heat until peppers are wilted. Pour sauce over all and heat through. Put spaghetti on plate and spoon sauce over it. You can be very versatile with this recipe. You can use garlic and onion. You could also add a yellow pepper to make this very colorful. Serves 2.
Lentils & Spinach
1 bunch spinach, washed, drained and chopped
3 to 4 cloves garlic, crushed (optional)
1/2 cup chili peppers chopped
1/2 teaspoon ginger
1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
sea salt to taste
1 cup cooked lentils
2 Tablespoons virgin olive oil
Heat oil in a pan. Sauté crushed garlic, ginger & peppers for one minute.
Add chopped spinach. Cover and cook for 2 minutes.
Add cooked lentils, salt to taste and lemon juice. Cook and stir about 30 seconds
Serve on a bed of rice.
Chana Masala (Spicy Chickpeas) with Spinach
1 can chickpeas in water (also called garbanzo beans) or 1 1/2 cups precooked + 1/2 cup
1/2 onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, diced
3 tbsp olive oil
juice from one lemon, (approx 2 tbsp )
1/2 tsp curry powder
1/2 tsp coriander powder
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp garam masala
1 large bunch of spinach or two handfuls, rinsed
In a large skillet or frying pan, sauté onions and garlic in olive oil until soft, about 3-5 minutes.
Add chickpeas straight from the can, including all the water. Add spices and lemon juice, cover, and simmer about 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally, adding more water if needed, until chickpeas are cooked and soft.
Bay Scallops with Spinach
3 lbs of fresh spinach, stemmed and washed, not dried.
1 lb of bay scallops.
3 large cloves of garlic, peeled.
¼ cup of white wine.
2 tablespoons of fresh lemon juice.
2 teaspoons of olive oil.
2 teaspoons of salt.
1 teaspoon of grated lemon zest.
Freshly ground pepper, to taste.
Heat 1 teaspoon of olive oil in a large pot over medium heat.
Add the garlic and lemon zest and cook for 20 seconds, stirring continuously.
Add the spinach and toss occasionally until wilted.
Drain off the liquid and season with 1 teaspoon of salt and pepper. Keep warm.
Heat the remaining 1 teaspoon of oil in a large skillet over medium heat.
Add the scallops and sauté for 1 minute or until just cooked through.
Remove the scallops from the pan and add the lemon juice and wine.
Cook, scraping the bottom of the pan, for 15 seconds.
Remove from the heat, then toss in the scallops and season with the remaining salt and pepper to taste.
On serving plates, place a mound of spinach in the middle and surround with scallops.
Different combos for Spinach Smoothies:
handful of spinach
1 1/2 cups of fresh pineapple
2 cups of water
One package of fresh baby spinach
One frozen banana
One cup of frozen blueberries
½ cup of frozen strawberries
One cup water
Creamy Tropical Green Smoothie
1 large banana, ripe and peeled
1/4 avocado flesh
6 oz spinach, fresh
3/4 cup pineapple, frozen
3/4 cup mango, frozen
4 ice cubes
1 tablespoon coconut milk powder
1 packet of stevia (optional)
1 1/2 cup pure water
Pour water in first. Then place the banana and avocado closest to the blade with the rest of the ingredients on top. Blend until smooth.
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