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My 5 Mile Walk & My Mystery Pants

Sunday, November 28, 2010

My 5 Mile Walk & My Mystery Pants

My Walk Today:
I was out shopping today and ran into a ‘new to me’ Leslie Sansone DVD on sale.
It’s her “5 Mile Fat Burning Walk.” You can choose 1 Mile, 2 Mile, 3 Mile, 4 Mile or 5 Mile.
What was I thinking? The most miles I have ever walked at one time with Leslie in the past was 3. That’s her Walk Slim – 3 Fast Miles!
I have been wanting to move up to her Walk Slim – 4 Fast Miles or her Walk Slim – Fast & Firm – 4 Really “Big” Miles! But just haven’t felt like I was ready to try that yet. What made me decide to buy her “5 Mile Fat Burning Walk” today?
1. It was on sale.
2. I like to walk with Leslie.
3. I have been wanting to add a new DVD to my collect to ‘shake things up’ a little.
Well, I did it! I walked the entire 5 Miles at one time! Yes, for me it was a real work out! But I did it and now I have another ‘exercise tool’ to use to help me get fit.

I did this DVD today because tomorrow I don’t know if I will be able to commit to exercising.
You see, here in Minnesota we are starting a recount of ballots for our new governor. The race was too close to name a winner in the November 2nd election.
I am a precinct election judge – this was my first year. It was an interesting experience – the training, the primary & the general election. I never thought that I would be “called in” to help with the ballot recount. Our county auditor called me a couple weeks ago and asked if I could help out. They needed 6 election judges to help from our county. So tomorrow I will learn how this recount process is done and I will be helping to do that here in my home county. I do hope to get home and get some exercise in tomorrow – even if it’s just a mile. I would be happy with that effort.

My Pants:
I am sure some of you also have 2 pair of pants hanging in your closet where they are the exact same pants – just 2 different sizes.
I went to pull out my charcoal gray dress pants for tomorrow’s ballot recount.
I was a bit disappointed when I put the pants on. They weren’t as loose as I had hoped they would be. But that was alright, at least they fit me.
I was going to press them up a little when I noticed the size tag.
It was my smaller pair – size 14 – not the size 16 I thought I had pulled out.
That was a pleasant surprise!
I guess I am thrilled to be wearing a size 14 pants again!
Small steps are helping me get to where I want to go!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

PRETTYLILHEFFER 11/30/2010 10:53AM

    Congrats Maria, size 14 is the new 18 in my eyes! Can I ask where you got the 5 mile DVD? I need to push myself more!

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1BEACHWALKER 11/29/2010 3:06AM

    Good for you Maria! I walked almost 4 miles straight in the outdoors the other day and it about killed my knees, feet and legs! Most I have walked in a long time. Hope you won't be suffering like I did after doing more than I normally do!-which is around 2-2 1/2 miles. I know what you mean about the trying on clothes -I have gone into my closet and pulled out a smaller size and think this won't fit and it does! Now they are getting baggy on me! I love it! Keep going! Stay strong-don't give up!

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NPDSLEUTH 11/28/2010 8:14PM

    WOW -- You are doing SO WELL! I have to check out that DVD. That sounds fantastic. Also as terrific as your Size 14 pants. WOO HOO!!!!

Just think where you'll be NEXT year at this time!


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ROSEWCI 11/28/2010 6:04PM

    emoticon emoticon on 5 miles w/Leslie!!! emoticon for size 14 pants!!!

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HOT4FITNESS 11/28/2010 5:45PM

    Congrats!!! So many positive steps! That DVD sounds awesome, may have to checkout Amazon later. Have a good week and keep on walking!!

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SYDNEY_DE 11/28/2010 5:39PM

    Congrats on the pants and the 5 miles! That's awesome!! Good luck tomorrow and hopefully you'll have time to exercise!

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BRIGETTEK 11/28/2010 5:32PM

  Congrats! Its the little things in life emoticon

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MYSTERY4EVER 11/28/2010 5:29PM

    What a nice surprise! Have a good day tomorrow.

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IMEMINE1 11/28/2010 5:14PM

    Good for you.
Nice surprise fitting into those smaller pants.

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SHELLEY147 11/28/2010 5:07PM

    emoticon I'm so excited for you :) I can't imagine wearing a 14 yet...but one day I will!! ~huge hugs~ to you for your wonderful success with Leslie! I think I have one of those DVD's somewhere, I'll have to find it and give it a go!

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DRAGONFLY_RUN 11/28/2010 5:05PM

    The ballot re-count thing sounds interesting.

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MRSBENNETT2 11/28/2010 5:04PM

    Good for you on the walking dvd! I had to laugh about your pants - that generally happens to me only in the opposite size direction which leads to much moaning and groaning and consternation...I was glad for you it was a smaller size that just about fits! Yay!


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Is eating healthy during holidays really possible?

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Is eating healthy during holidays really possible?

I have been reading some of my Spark Friends’ blogs about how they plan to navigate thru the holidays as they continue to eat and move in healthy ways.

I had to ask myself the question: Is eating healthy during the holidays really possible? I believe it is. But I also acknowledge that it can be challenging. It’s these challenges that we all want to be prepared to handle to the best of our abilities.

When I was a child, I remember the holiday eating season kicking off with Thanksgiving. My grandmother would come for Thanksgiving and stay for several weeks helping my mother bake for Christmas. We would have containers of cookies and candies that lasted well beyond January 1st. Often times, we were still eating Christmas cookies on Valentine’s Day. I still remember that time fondly. To this day, I associate eating favorite home made dishes with comfort & warmth. Food means love, to me. But I am learning that I can enjoy the company of family and good food – without overeating.

My mantra for the next weeks especially will be: All things in moderation.
I was reading an article written by the American Dietetic Association about how to eat healthy during the holidays. It repeated several points that my Spark Friends have mentioned in their blogs. Number One being: You should eat prior to attending a social gathering – you will eat less if you are already some what full. Makes sense to me. Weight Watcher’s used to suggest that too.

It was also suggested to re-make your favorite recipes by substituting healthier versions of the original ingredients. The ADA also recommends reducing fat, sodium and total calories by swapping a few ingredients such as egg whites for eggs to reduce fat and cholesterol. To reduce fat and sodium, use low sodium, fat-free chicken broth for foods like mashed potatoes and cornbread dressing. The ADA also recommends using fat-free or reduced fat dairy for salads and casseroles.

ADA acknowledges that unfortunately, fat, sodium and sugar enhance taste and texture, so any degree of change may be noticed. One should keep in mind if substitutions are applied correctly, minimal changes can be pleasing to the palate. The ADA also recommends replacing cakes, pies and bread pudding with fresh fruit dishes to reduce calories. This is easier said than done. If I really like a traditional dish, I probably will make it using my original recipe, but will use portion control to enjoy it.

ADA suggests that if you are guest, eat meats and vegetables and reduce starches. Choose only 1 dessert that is no more than 2 inches in diameter. I will be using this tip tomorrow when my family will be guests at our nephew’s home for Thanksgiving. I will also use it on Saturday when I will be doing the cooking for my extended family’s Thanksgiving get together. I will have control over how these dishes are prepared and I will choose what I really want to eat. Keeping in mind that meats and veggies are my best bets.

ADA also says moderation is the key for everything. Moderate fat, sugar, sodium and alcohol will not ruin my holiday season.

Happy Thanksgiving to all! I hope you have a day full of blessings and great company and conversation. And also, good, wholesome food!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ROSEWCI 11/27/2010 7:31AM

    emoticon Maria for a very timely blog! I also grew up in a very ethnic Italian family where food was love! Talk about festivities! Pasta, pizza, breads, cookies, & candy were everywhere! Oh, how I LOVED to go to my grandma's house for Thanksgiving & Christmas! It was a nonstop food fest! So, my fondness for goodies began A LONG TIME AGO!

Ahhhh, such sweet memories! emoticon

But, alas...if I want emoticon, then I know I must use restraint & eat in moderation...more emoticon emoticon emoticon & do more emoticon & eat less emoticon emoticon emoticon

emoticon Rose

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NPDSLEUTH 11/25/2010 9:25AM

    I don't know if I can add much to the good points everyone else posted but I'll just try! I know that eating healthy is possible because I'm starting to do it. Moderation is the key, of course, but so are all the things you mentioned such as lightening recipes, lots of veggies, etc.

The toughest part for me -- still! -- is to make sure I'm not mindlessly eating. Most of us can do that as kids or young adults but I sure can't now.

There was an article -- I think on here -- about learning from kids how to eat during the holidays. It had some good tips about about not eating anything you don't want, running everywhere (yeah, won't be happening for me but I appreciate the thought) and things like that.

For me, it made me realize how far away from the real nutrition -- and in a lot of ways fun -- that food offers beyond comfort.

Thanks for a great blog and hope you and yours have a wonderful holiday!

xx emoticon

Comment edited on: 11/25/2010 9:26:09 AM

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NORASPAT 11/24/2010 9:05PM

    Everything in moderation. Measure even if it is your mind think about the amount you serve yourself. Pat In Maine.

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1BEACHWALKER 11/24/2010 8:46PM

    It's called strong willpower and a little of this and a little of that! Watch out for the sauces, butters and creams. and 2nd helpings. You have good tips there. Thanks for sharing. emoticon

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SHELLEY147 11/24/2010 8:31PM

    Happy Thanksgiving to you as well! Hope you have fun with all the family gatherings!! I am planning on making it through healthy and happy with how I've done. I am planning on exercising control over my portions and not letting others influence me into eating things I don't really want or need. ~hugs~

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BECKYLYNNE77 11/24/2010 5:25PM

    yes just eat healthy foods emoticon

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Sweet & Sassy Mixed Nuts for the Holidays

Monday, November 22, 2010

I mentioned today that I am making Sweet & Sassy Mixed Nuts for Thursday - Thanksgiving and was asked about the recipe.

I have posted it in the Recipe section of Spark People if you are interested in the Nutritional Information.

Sweet & Sassy Mixed Nuts

23 min | 5 min prep

SERVES 16, 4 cups

•1/4 cup brown sugar, packed
•1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
•3/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
•1 egg white
•3 1/2 cups mixed nuts (I use deluxe mixed nuts with no peanuts)
•1/2 cup dried cranberries

1. Preheat oven to 300°F and prepare baking sheet. I like to line a jelly roll pan with parchment paper, but you can grease your pan if you like.

2. Combine brown sugar, cinnamon and cayenne, set aside.

3. In a bowl large enough to accommodate nuts, whisk the egg white; add nuts, cranberries, sprinkle with sugar mixture and toss to coat. Spread onto prepared baking sheet.

4. Bake for 18-20 minutes or until golden brown, stirring once. Cool completely.

5. Store in an airtight container up to a week.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

1BEACHWALKER 11/24/2010 8:44PM

    Oh, my gosh you are now making me salivate! You have picked one of my favorite snacks-now I need to raid the refigerator! LOL-just kidding. A yogurt right now doesn't sound all the interesting after reading this! emoticon

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REEDSKI 11/23/2010 12:58AM

    I'm going to put a recipe on a blog.
It's really easy and they taste good.
I made them last night and took them to school for the accreditation team.
My kind of recipe. Easy. Come check it out!

I need to make these sweet and sassy nuts.
My friend (visiting from California) and I went shopping after school tonight and she wanted cranberries (dried fruit kind). I told her about your cookies with chocolate chip cookies and cranberries. (that was you wasn't it?) She didn't care much because she has juvenile diabetes so she has to really watch her carbs. Someday (maybe over Christmas break) I need to make those cookies because they sound soooooo goooooood to me! So do these nuts!!!! You and your cranberries and dates!!!! Always tempting me.

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DONNACFIT 11/22/2010 10:47PM

    Sounds yummy..thanks!!

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ROSEWCI 11/22/2010 9:28PM

    Thanks for the post Maria! I'm gonna pick up some nuts & dried cranberries & make this tomorrow! Yummy!

emoticon Rose

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NPDSLEUTH 11/22/2010 9:20PM

    Wow -- these sound fabulous! Thanks for sharing the recipe. xx

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A Quick, Powerful Quote to take with You for the Week!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Here is a quote I came across today and wanted to share with all my Spark Friends...may it help to carry you on your journey this week!

"Believe in yourself!
Have faith in your abilities!
Without a humble but reasonable confidence in your own powers you cannot be successful or happy."
--Norman Vincent Peale

Happy Thanksgiving to all!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

1BEACHWALKER 11/24/2010 8:22PM

    emoticon emoticon

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REEDSKI 11/23/2010 12:59AM

    Thanks, M!

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LESLIES537 11/23/2010 12:16AM


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MYSTERY-LADY 11/22/2010 11:57PM


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LADYBUG513478 11/22/2010 8:38AM

    It certainly is powerful. Thank you for sharing it with us. May God pour out a blessing on you as you bless others!

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BIGMAMAT 11/22/2010 6:47AM

    I love it!! Thanks Maria! emoticon

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SHELLEY147 11/22/2010 6:43AM

    Powerful, indeed! Thanks for sharing Maria!! Hope you have a blessed Thanksgiving week!! ~hugs~

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ROSEWCI 11/22/2010 6:10AM

    Powerful message! It's sooooo true! Thanks for the post!

Happy Thanksgiving to you & your family, Maria! emoticon

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NPDSLEUTH 11/21/2010 9:20PM

    Thanks for sharing this. Have a GREAT week. xxx

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A Pot of 4 Bean Chili & Blue Ribbon Applesauce Cornbread

Friday, November 19, 2010

What's cooking for dinner tonight in my kitchen?

A pot of chili - I used both extra lean ground beef and round steak today. I also added pinto beans, black beans, & both light and dark kidney beans. My chili also contains beer, coffee, beef broth & cocoa...along with the traditional seasonings. Oh, and I like to add some cumin too.

I wanted to make some cornbread to serve with the chili tonight. So off I went in search of a new, interesting recipe. I have some unsweetened applesauce in the refrigerator and thought that there must be a recipe for applesauce cornbread. Well, when I searched the internet, I of course found many recipes.
I settled on one called: Blue Ribbon Applesauce Cornbread. It was made with everyday ingredients that I had in my pantry. It mixed up quickly - maybe took me 5 minutes. It baked in 25 minutes.

I know that this recipe could be revised to make it healthier. I did make it in it's original form today. One could use egg substitute instead of the egg. A combination of flours could be used instead of regular white flour. Honey could be used instead of the sugar. And olive oil might be used instead of the butter.

* Note: For nutritional information, I have entered this recipe in the Recipe Section of this site.

Here is the original recipe:

Blue Ribbon Applesauce Cornbread

•1 1/4 cups cornmeal
•3/4 cup flour
•1/3 cup sugar
•1 Tbsp. baking soda
•1/2 tsp. salt
•1/2 tsp. cinnamon
•1 egg
•3/4 cup milk
•3/4 cup applesauce
•1/4 cup margarine or butter (melted)

Sift together all dry ingredients. Add egg, milk, applesauce and melted margarine. Mix until dry ingredients are well moistened, NOT SMOOTH. Bake in greased 8 inch square pan in 425 degree F oven 20-25 minutes or until golden brown. Makes 9 Servings.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

1BEACHWALKER 11/24/2010 8:42PM

    You sound like a fanstastic cook, even getting awards- I envy you, because I hate to cook! Now I think I need a snack! emoticon

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ROSEWCI 11/22/2010 6:08AM

    emoticon I'm in!

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BIGMAMAT 11/20/2010 10:40PM

    Wow! Talk about secret ingredients! I have never heard of those things in chili! wow. I think I will spice mine up next time!!
I always cheat on the cornbread. Jiffy all the way! hahahaha. emoticon

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REEDSKI 11/19/2010 8:39PM

    We're making cornbread in class next week. I've made it from scratch before but our secretary likes it better the years I cheat and use Marie Callendar's. I just realized I bought the Lowfat M.C. cornbread mix. Hope she likes it.

We'll shake jars of cream to make butter. Miss Pat is making squash with brown sugar and butter to bring in. I figure they'd try it if it was sweet.

I'm bringing my two apple peelers from Pampered Chef and they can peel apples just to eat. Even kids who don't usually like apples eat them when they peel them into thin swirls.

I am going to save your recipe. I like the idea of applesauce and I'm not afraid of using eggs. Do you think the regular flour makes the cornbread softer? I bet that is what my "from scratch" recipe was missing. And the cinnamon sound good.

I made brauts and sauerkraut last week. Did I spell any of those words correctly? My son was happy. It is one easy thing I can do that he loves. I am not a big cook.

Comment edited on: 11/19/2010 8:40:46 PM

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THINRONNA 11/19/2010 5:50PM

    Maria, I just bought polenta...closest thing to cornmeal that we have the ICA Maxi today. Yay! I am going to try your cornbread recipe!

Thanks so much for sharing this today!

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DARBOYMOM 11/19/2010 4:49PM

    My boys LOVE cornbread, as do I. Thank you for sharing. I am going to save this and use it soon!
emoticon emoticon

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DIANA_IS_BACK 11/19/2010 4:47PM

    I have always used chocolate also... have never tried beer though. My husband would probably not object. emoticon

your dinner sounds so good! thanks for sharing the recipe.

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SHELLEY147 11/19/2010 4:31PM

    sounds like a great dinner! Our 'secret ingredient' in our chili is peanut butter! :) Makes the tomato less acidic. I sometimes use a can of 98% fat-free Cream of Mushroom soup in chili too, to make it easier on my acid reflux :) emoticon

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    My co worker was just talking about putting beer, coffee and cocoa powder into her chili too. Definitely going to have to try that next time!

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COOKWITHME65 11/19/2010 4:17PM

    Just love chili Maria. Sounds yummy. Would love the recipe. emoticon

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PSKIPPY7811 11/19/2010 4:11PM

    Sounds yummy


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SOPKAMANJU 11/19/2010 4:08PM

    emoticonsounds like a yummy dinner emoticon

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CASJ57 11/19/2010 3:59PM

    That sounds delicious, thanks for sharing!

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