A-NEW-TARA's SparkPeople Blog http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal.asp?id=A%2DNEW%2DTARA A-NEW-TARA's Blog on SparkPeople, home of free diet plans and a healthy living community SparkPeople.com http://assets2.sparkpeople.com/assets/nav/logo_spark.gif http://www.sparkpeople.com/ About mom http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5260563 This is Tara's son I know mom would want me to let people here know that she passed away last Sat. night. It is a shock to all of us and I don't know what to say except that she talked about her spark friends a great deal and how much help she got here so thanks for all you gave her. <BR> Fri, 22 Feb 2013 23:28:57 EST 28 Days of Gratitude - Day 15 http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5252155 And still sugar free <em>224</em> <BR> <BR> I came home from work feeling rather tired tonight, so I'm super grateful that it's Friday and I can sleep in a bit tomorrow if I need to. <BR> <BR> I know that my son is often on these blogs, but I really am so grateful for him. Last night when I got home I didn't see the card he had left for me for Valentine's until this morning. We don't usually do anything for Valentine's but he got me the sweetest card and wrote a wonderful message that... Fri, 15 Feb 2013 23:50:36 EST Friday Fitspiration - Tips from Bob http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5251553 &#65279;Bob Harper has written a book, "The Skinny Rules: The Simple, Non-Negotiable Principles for Getting to Thin," which gives his must do tops for better eating. Here are some of his favorite tips. <BR> <BR> **Drink Water Before Every Meal** <BR> Bob says, “Let me put this plainly: drinking water helps you lose weight.” Getting enough water improves digestion, helps you feel full, and can make your workouts more effective. He says that when you start making an effort to drink more wa... Fri, 15 Feb 2013 12:01:11 EST 28 Days of Gratitude - Day 14 http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5251093 And 14 days sugar free...even on this day of love! <em>244</em> <BR> <BR> I'm late getting home today, my brother's babysitter for tonight cancelled so I filled in and spent a nice evening with my niece. I'm always grateful to spend time with her, she's such a sweet girl and a wonderful blessing to our family. <BR> <BR> I picked up my PC after work before heading to babysit and I'm soooo happy and grateful to have it back. My computer really is a big part of my life. It's where I go... Fri, 15 Feb 2013 01:52:53 EST 28 Days of Gratitude - Day 13 http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5249772 And 13 days sugar free! <BR> <BR> I'm grateful to have heard about my computer and that it's a small issue that will only cost me about $100 to fix and none of my files etc. are lost...YAY!! I'll be picking up my PC tomorrow after work...bigger YAY! <BR> <BR> My brother and SIL gave me an Ipod last summer to say thank you for my babysitting my niece while they went away for holiday and I am so grateful for that gift. I use it every day, when working out I have my energizing music to list... Wed, 13 Feb 2013 23:25:02 EST 28 Days of Gratitude - Day 12 http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5248545 Well it's just about midnight, so I'm quite late tonight. Jonathan had a thing for one of his games online tonight and it just ended, so here I am getting my gratitude in before I go to bed. This really is a nice way to end my thoughts on the day before going to sleep. <BR> <BR> I am grateful for my pvr and now that my pc is down, I have a little more time to catch up on some of the shows I have saved. Between life, Spark and getting back to exercising I watch very little TV now.... <BR> ... Wed, 13 Feb 2013 03:00:48 EST 28 Days of Gratitude - Day 11 http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5247180 And still sugar free!! <BR> <BR> I'm not on my own computer, Jonathan is letting me borrow his so that I could get my blog up and spin the wheel. Something died in my PC so it's off being repaired. <BR> <BR> I'm grateful to have a computer shop that I trust where I can take my PC when it's in need of repair, upgrading, etc. and know they are going to do a good job and not charge me a fortune. <BR> <BR> I'm grateful that Jonathan has a computer and will let me log on and use it for an hour... Tue, 12 Feb 2013 00:18:17 EST 28 Days of Gratitude - Day 10 http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5245866 Still sugar free <em>334</em> <BR> <BR> I'm grateful that today the cravings were less, only really craved something sweet after dinner, so I had a beautifully sweet navel orange. It's really quite interesting to me how much sweeter fruit seems to be now that I'm not killing my taste buds with super sweet things. <BR> <BR> This afternoon I watched one of my favorite classic movies, The Philadelphia Story with Cary Grant, Jimmy Stewart and Katharine Hepburn, and as I watched it I though... Mon, 11 Feb 2013 02:20:23 EST 28 Days of Gratitude - Day 9 http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5244652 Plus 9 days sugar free! <BR> <BR> It's been a great week; it feels so good to be back on track. I'm grateful for that "aha" moment that helped me get my head back in the game so I could get back to moving forward on this journey to becoming fabulous Tara I know I am. <BR> <BR> If I'm completely honest, I'm not really a big city girl even though I grew up in a big city that has only gotten bigger over the years. But I am grateful for some of the advantages that come with living here, like ... Sun, 10 Feb 2013 02:28:57 EST 28 Days of Gratitude - Day 8 http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5243572 This is quite late getting done; I laid down to watch Criminal Minds and fell asleep. Just woke up and I didn't want to miss a day of gratitude, so here we go... <BR> <BR> Today was a nice quiet day, the phone didn't ring once and dad had a very calm day; I am very grateful for that kind of day. <BR> <BR> I am grateful that my cold is gone, coughed only a couple of times today YAY! <BR> <BR> I am grateful that Jonathan was able to fix our vacuum and save me a repair bill! <BR> <BR> A qu... Sat, 9 Feb 2013 05:32:53 EST Friday Fitspiration - What will you try? http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5243099 I read this article in Best Health and love some of the tips. <BR> <BR> ** Go Barefoot for Whole-Body Health** <BR> If you refuse to wear shoes in the summer, you may enjoy better blood circulation, a happier mood, stronger bones and better posture. According to 'Barefoot in Toronto,' a group that promotes a barefoot lifestyle, barefoot walking increases skin health, reduces foot calluses, builds arch strength and enhances sensory stimulation. Going barefoot also creates healthier toenails a... Fri, 8 Feb 2013 16:59:29 EST 28 Days of Gratitude - Day 7 http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5242311 And 7 days sugar free! <BR> <BR> Yesterday I mentioned my gratitude for ice cubes and as one of my friends said it reminds us of how fortunate we are for clean water, which I had talked about on day 2 after watching a documentary that talked in part about the problem so many in the world have getting clean water. But as I thought more about it today, I thought about how we are blessed in so many ways here in North America. I am so grateful to have been born in a country where as a female I... Fri, 8 Feb 2013 01:32:51 EST Thursday's Tips - Health Tidbits http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5241552 I can see the weekend from here! <em>18</em> <BR> <BR> Today's tips are a few general health tips. Some I know and have used and a few that are new to me. Hopefully there will be a little something for everybody here. <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/1/5/l1571468442.jpg"> <BR> &#65279;SIP OOLONG TEA: <BR> Research suggests that people with mild eczema who drink oolong tea three times a <BR> day may show improvement in itching and other symptoms. Compounds in the tea ... Thu, 7 Feb 2013 12:27:36 EST 28 Days of Gratitude - Day 6 http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5241002 And 6 days NO sugar!! <BR> <BR> Today my gratitude cup is overflowing, especially with the gratitude I have for all my Spark friends. You guys have been so kind and supportive; the way you encourage me and cheer me on with your comments on my blogs, my page, notes, email etc. means the world to me. This journey would be empty without you guys. <BR> <BR> I'm grateful for ice cubes, I know it sounds like I'm reaching to find things to be grateful for and thought about not including this one... Thu, 7 Feb 2013 00:39:28 EST Humpday Recipe - Turkey Meatballs http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5240081 Happy Hump Day, Sparkers! Today's recipe is a particularly delicious and versatile one that I'm sure many of you are going to love. The recipe calls for turkey, but you can just as easily use chicken, beef or even pork or a mixture of ground meat. I make this up in a huge batch, bake them in the off in the oven and then freeze in 1 meal batches. I use the meatballs for pasta dishes, meatball sandwiches, in a mushroom gravy over rice and we've even cut the meatballs in half and put on home... Wed, 6 Feb 2013 11:04:38 EST 28 Days of Gratitude - Day 5 http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5239633 Also day 5 of no sugar, I was really craving it today. So for a snack I had a banana with organic unsweetened and unsalted peanut butter and the sweetness of the banana helped curb the craving. But I'm grateful to be at the end of the day and kept sugar away! <BR> <BR> I'm also grateful for my business, the ability to set our hours and go at our own pace; it's nice not to worry about a boss telling me to go faster. It was so great to have Jonathan back today, but he's pretty sore and tired... Wed, 6 Feb 2013 01:26:30 EST In 100 Years http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5238612 My son sent me these this and they certainly give pause for thought and amazement, so I wanted to share them with you. <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/9/5/l952382647.jpg"> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/1/8/l18003171.jpg"> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/1/0/l1084072241.jpg"> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/1/7/l1707750548.jpg"> <BR> As always sending you all much love and many <em>247</em> Tue, 5 Feb 2013 11:15:21 EST 28 Days of Gratitude - Day 4 http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5238112 I'm grateful to have 4 full days free of sugar! <BR> <BR> I am grateful for my treadmill, which enables me to fit in steps and exercise during spare minutes throughout the day. <BR> <BR> I am grateful for my Spark teams, each team brings something different for me and fill this journey with love, joy and peace. <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/6/6/l662779077.jpg"> <BR> As always, sending you all much love and many <em>247</em> Tue, 5 Feb 2013 01:10:24 EST No Sugar Joy http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5237996 Today is day 4 of no sugar and I have to say it's not easy. I've had a headache and the cravings are intense...sounds terrible doesn't it? Ok, sure none of that is fun, but you know what I realized today? I feel better, I'm not feeling so blue and finding it easier to be positive and I have more energy...that's right MORE energy without sugar! I will admit that when eating sugar I get a boost, but it only last a short time, then the body starts screaming for more sugar and more and more..... Mon, 4 Feb 2013 23:09:07 EST 28 Days of Gratitude - Day 3 http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5236420 Today was a busy day of running errands so I found gratitude in many things. <BR> <BR> First I'm grateful for having a car that makes running errands much easier and faster. <BR> <BR> I'm so grateful for the technological advances we've made which means I don't have to carry cash, which always makes me nervous, but instead a simple card. <BR> <BR> Finally, I am grateful to all those who work on Sundays, which allows me to run all these errands on a Sunday. <BR> <BR> <img src="http://pho... Sun, 3 Feb 2013 23:44:39 EST 28 Days of Gratitude - Day 2 http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5235181 I am filled with gratitude for the beauty of nature. I spent a couple of hours walking along the Bow River today. The weather was fabulous, with the radiating sun glistening in bright blue skies and the air filled with fresh crisp air. <BR> <BR> I'm very grateful for fresh clean drinking water. I watched a documentary today that reminded me just what a blessing that is. <BR> <BR> I'm very grateful that Jonathan is feeling almost 100% and ready to get back to his regular routine. <BR> <B... Sun, 3 Feb 2013 00:43:50 EST 28 Days of Gratitude - Day 1 http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5233980 Today I am grateful for receiving clarity about my journey and the things I need to do to get back on track. <BR> <BR> I'm also so very grateful for SparkPeople and having a safe place to express my true self. To have a place to talk about my great moments is easy, but to have a place to talk about those moments of struggle, to talk about fears and weaknesses without judgement is a wonderful gift. <BR> <BR> Finally, I am so grateful for you, my Spark friends, who continually give me uncond... Sat, 2 Feb 2013 01:15:49 EST Time to be Honest... http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5233786 Here we are at February 1 and I've spent a great deal of time this past week thinking about the goals I need to set for the month and naturally the brain skims over some of the basics, exercise, lose weight, drink water, track food, stay in calorie range etc. There's nothing new in any of that from any other month's goals and they are all very valid and important goals, but I have to stop kidding myself. I'm struggling, I come on here and sort of blogged about how things are going but say I... Fri, 1 Feb 2013 21:28:53 EST Hump Day Recipe - Yummy Pasta Dish http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5230125 Today's recipe is one of our family meatless meals. It's good as is, but I often add hot chili flakes when I the tomatoes. Also, I don't cook it 10 minutes after adding spinach, I cook it for about 5 minutes. It's also delicious done with spaghetti squash instead of linguine. I hope you'll give this one a try and add it to your favorites. <BR> <BR> <link>recipes.sparkpeople.com/recipe-detai<BR>l.asp?recipe=40065 </link> <BR> <BR> ~**~**~**~**~**~**~**~**~**~ <BR> Skillet white beans... Wed, 30 Jan 2013 11:13:13 EST More Meds http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5229557 Sorry I haven't blogged since Sunday, but as I mentioned then I caught a cold, but by Sunday night I knew it was more than a cold. So I went to the doctor's on Monday and sure enough the infection has not fully cleared up; I'm on a new antibiotic for another 20 days and she wants more blood work done in 2 weeks and will evaluate then whether I need more. Blah! Have I mentioned how much I hate being on medications; I never feel good when on them, but meds are better than letting this get ou... Tue, 29 Jan 2013 23:52:26 EST Moving Forward http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5225753 Well it's the last Sunday in January, where has the month gone? For the most part I feel like I've been treading water just to stay afloat this month but then that's all part of this journey, isn't it. We need to figure out ways of getting through the difficult times with our heads still above water. I've not lost any weight since my last weigh in, but I didn't gain either so I'll take that as I get ready to move into a new month. The healing process has gone well, I'm off the antibiotics... Sun, 27 Jan 2013 15:09:30 EST Fitspiration - Clean Your Plate? http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5223138 I learned very young to ignore my hungry/full signals. I ate when food was given to me and I ate all that was given to me. Does this sound familiar? "Clean your plate, think of the hungry children in Africa that would love to eat that!" For me that was a daily saying, some times with every meal. Whether I liked what was in front of me, whether I was full or whether I just wasn't hungry, if it was on a plate in front of me I HAD to eat it ALL! Quickly you learn to ignore your body's sign... Fri, 25 Jan 2013 13:40:50 EST Thursday's Tips - Around the House http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5222022 Here's a few helpful tips for around the house; I'm sure everybody will find one or two of them useful. <BR> <BR> 1. Never put citrus fruits or tomatoes in the fridge. The low temperatures degrade the aroma and flavor. <BR> <BR> 2. When storing empty airtight containers, throw in a pinch of salt to keep them from getting stinky. <BR> <BR> 3. <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/1/8/l1808243599.jpg"> <BR> <BR> <BR> 4. Before you chop chili peppers, rub a little vegeta... Thu, 24 Jan 2013 18:21:19 EST Hump Day's Recipe of the Week - Black Bean Slaw. http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5220540 Before I go into this week's recipe let me tell you how wonderfully rewarding my day was yesterday. If you read my blog yesterday you know I decided to put a twist on temptation and tempted myself to do something to make 5 other people's day better. <BR> <BR> I have to say that it was much easier than I anticipated. My first opportunity presented itself quickly and right outside my door. Luckily I park in my garage so I don't have to scrap windows in the morning, but my neighbor parks i... Wed, 23 Jan 2013 18:21:43 EST Is it morning already? http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5218511 Am I ever tired this morning, didn't matter what I did last night I just couldn't get comfortable. I love my coffee, but there are days like today when I LOVE my coffee! <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/2/7/l27401187.jpg"> <BR> <BR> I've had several people asking how Jonathan and I are doing and how our healing is coming along. We're doing pretty good, Jonathan is still feeling "weak" as he puts it, but that's to be expected. I can see he's getting more and more back t... Tue, 22 Jan 2013 11:26:42 EST Nature's Goodies - Mint http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5217917 With all the additives and chemicals that are getting harder and harder to avoid these days, I thought I'd start a weekly blog on some of the health benefits of some of things brought to us by mother nature. <BR> <BR> ~**~**~MINT~**~**~ <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/6/4/l644881350.jpg"> <BR> <BR> For centuries mint has been an essential herb in the kitchen used for it's sweet and refreshing flavor. Mint is used in a variety of ways, but one of the most common usages i... Tue, 22 Jan 2013 00:13:50 EST Saturday Quickie http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5214467 I am off to babysit my niece this afternoon so my blog will be short and sweet today. First off I want to say thank you; I just noticed today I have the "Motivational Member" emblem on my sparkpage. I have no idea when that happened and I expect I missed the email with the mass of mail I had to deal with after the accident, but WOW! is all I can say. I feel like each of my friends here deserve that emblem because it's all of you who inspire and motivate me every day and it warms my heart ... Sat, 19 Jan 2013 15:29:06 EST Friday Fitspiration - Motivation http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5213179 How many of you made a new year's resolution that includes a workout routine? Well with my thoughts this week being focused on getting back to the basics I thought I'd take a look at how to get the excitement back into working out. Most people start off strong with an exercise program, and then within a few weeks they've got an excuse for not being there. <BR> <BR> A statistic I found interesting in a sad way is that the majority of people will stop participating in a new workout program ... Fri, 18 Jan 2013 14:34:42 EST Thursday's Tips - From TV Chefs http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5211999 &#65279;Do you watch lots of cooking shows? I love Food Network and almost always have the channel running in the background of whatever I’m doing throughout the day. I get so many of my recipe ideas from watching and there is always lots of helpful tips given. I thought it would be fun to post some of the tips from Food Network chefs. <BR> <BR> 1. It’s about the prep. Take away the stress by doing the prep the night or day before. <BR> Paula Deen <BR> <BR> 2. The smaller the item, ... Thu, 17 Jan 2013 19:36:37 EST Fascinated with Space http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5211419 I grew up when the space program was just a baby and have spent a lifetime fascinated by the idea of space travel and the idea of living in space. I came across a tour by Sunita Williams of the International Space Station. Because of my intrigue I was glued to the screen for the 25 minute tour and amazed at how life on the station is for the months that they are there. I let myself sleep a little extra this morning, so I don't have time to get my planned tips blog typed up, but I'll do i... Thu, 17 Jan 2013 11:21:22 EST Hump Day Recipe - Salmon http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5209918 Did you know that a single 3 oz serving of cooked salmon give you more than the recommended daily dose of vitamin D? Perfect meal for these cold winter days when the sun is hiding and we are bundled up beneath layers of clothing...well unless you live in a less wintery part of the world, but heck, salmon is always a tasty meal. <BR> <BR> Pistachio-Crusted Salmon is one of SP_Stepf's recipes and can be found here: <BR> <link>recipes.sparkpeople.com/recipe-detai<BR>l.asp?recipe=368798 </link... Wed, 16 Jan 2013 11:25:00 EST Back to Basics http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5209172 Well the best way I know to get fully back on track is to remind myself of some of the basics that had become habit the six months prior to the holidays. <BR> <BR> The Basics: <BR> <BR> 1) Have a meal or snack every 3 to 4 hours. This routine helps to fuel the metabolism and also helps prevent binges and blood sugar highs and lows. <BR> 2) Combine protein, fiber and healthy fats at every meal. When eaten together these foods take longer to digest and keep you full longer. <BR> 3) Drink... Tue, 15 Jan 2013 22:25:32 EST Quick Catch up http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5206829 I had every intention on blogging yesterday, but by the time I got home I was exhausted. I laid down for a nap and didn't wake up until 2 am, well I filled my water glass and went back to bed. <BR> <BR> Life gets back to a more normal pace here today; I went and picked dad up from his brother's yesterday. It was very nice of them to take dad in after the accident and then to keep him last week to give a bit of recovery time. I guess it went pretty well, they had a few issues getting him t... Mon, 14 Jan 2013 14:01:08 EST Feeling Better & Gratitude http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5202265 I took it pretty easy the last couple of days and feeling pretty good this morning. The migraine I've had since coming home has lifted making every thing else much more bearable. <BR> <BR> Yesterday I was thinking about how much easier this recovery has probably been than if I was still 300+ pounds and not as fit as I am now. Chances are my injuries would have been worse and the shock of it all would have taken a much worse toll on my body over all. I feel all the more grateful for bein... Fri, 11 Jan 2013 13:54:57 EST I LIVE! http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5195260 Wow! What a wonderful out pouring of love I find myself coming back to today and I promise to get caught up with everybody as best as I can. For now, let me catch you up to what has been going on in my life so far in 2013....well it started with a car accident on our way to work on Dec. 31st that put both my son and I into the hospital. I came home today and Jonathan came home yesterday; I wish I had a way to let people know why I wasn't able to get onto Spark so that you wouldn't have been... Mon, 7 Jan 2013 15:03:40 EST Getting Back on Track http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5179217 Where do I start, how about with the fact that I've gained almost 10 pounds! Weigh in day is tomorrow, but I weighed myself yesterday because I was feeling like I had gained. I'm hoping that some of it is water weight from eating out the week I was away, sure I chose healthier options, but restaurants tend to use more salt than I am use to. As you know I've been struggling with some depression since Lisa's death and I gave into those emotions over Christmas eating things in far greater qua... Fri, 28 Dec 2012 20:48:13 EST More than a Christmas Poem http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5175769 I first heard this poem on Oprah quite some time ago. When I woke up this morning and spent a few minutes reflecting on this holiday season I was reminded of this poem and I wanted to share it with all of you, because it so clearly reflects how I feel. <BR> <BR> ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ <BR> Amazing Peace: A Christmas Poem <BR> By Dr. Maya Angelou <BR> <BR> <BR> Thunder rumbles in the mountain passes <BR> And lightning rattles the eaves of our houses. <BR> Flood waters await us in our avenues... Tue, 25 Dec 2012 10:10:23 EST Time to Catch Up! http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5174471 I can't believe it's already December 23rd, I feel like I barely have time to catch my breath before the 25th. Today's blog will be a quick one as I still have to head out and finish off my shopping and get the groceries for the holiday and the week ahead. <BR> <BR> As everybody knows, a dear friend passed away last week. I've known her since high school and although she moved away after graduation we have always stayed in touch and visited when we could. She was killed when somebody brok... Sun, 23 Dec 2012 13:50:07 EST Going AFK for a few days. http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5169154 I hope everybody has had a good start to their work week. With this being the last week before Christmas try to relax when you can and take a few minutes of me time as you prepare for all the celebrations that will be coming next week. <BR> <BR> Late last night I received a phone call that a dear friend passed away yesterday, so I'm going to be travelling to the coast for her funeral. I'll be back Friday evening. I'm sorry I won't be able to get my blogs up this week, but very much look f... Mon, 17 Dec 2012 13:35:39 EST Week in Review - With a Sad Heart http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5167547 It's Saturday and the day I weigh-in and review how my week has gone, but today my heart is heavy with yesterday's tragedy in CT. My day has been filled with thoughts and prayers for the families who lost so much yesterday. <BR> <BR> It feels odd to look back at my week in a positive way after yesterday; but only by living our best life and setting an example to those around us can be bring more light into the world. <BR> <BR> The positives in my week include my fighting my emotional ea... Sat, 15 Dec 2012 18:25:47 EST Friday Fitspiration - Never Quit! http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5166467 I was watching Youtube videos looking for a inspirational video for today's blog, when I came across a story that really hit home. For me, I have spent many years just watching life go by and not fully participating in the world around me or even in my own life. Fear, confusion, anger, pain and betrayal were the feelings I let control the way I walked through the world for almost 50 years. I've been through years of therapy and I always believed that it got me as "healthy" as I was ever go... Fri, 14 Dec 2012 12:30:59 EST Thursday's Tips - The Salt Solution http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5165404 &#65279;Are you tracking your sodium intake? Well today I’m talking salt, but you don’t have to worry about tracking any of this stuff; did you know that salt has uses that go far beyond flavoring your meals? <BR> <BR> **HOUSEHOLD TIPS** <BR> <BR> Chill Wine & Champagne: <BR> OH No! It’s New Years Eve and you forgot to put the champagne in the cooler...give this trick a try. Place the bottle in an ice bucket or other tall plastic container. Add a layer of ice on the bottom and sprinkle i... Thu, 13 Dec 2012 11:37:56 EST Hump Day Recipe - This Week...Recipes! http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5163889 I'm putting this blog up late Tuesday evening as I have an early doctor's appointment for dad tomorrow before work, so wanted to be sure I got this up for everybody. <BR> <BR> I've been searching for some healthy recipes for the holiday season and found a few I'm going to try. I haven't gotten any of them put into SparkRecipe's database yet, but do have nutritional information. Hopefully something will appeal for you to serve at some of your holiday get-togethers. <BR> <BR> APPETIZERS <BR... Wed, 12 Dec 2012 01:34:29 EST Time to Stretch http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5163153 &#65279;I’ve noticed that a lot of us here on SparkPeople are walkers, it is something I have found a great love for, but when I first began I didn’t realize how important it is to include certain components to my walk. These components not only help reduce the risk of injury but they actually make walking easier. I am hoping to continue working my way up to running and these same practices will be just as useful as a runner as a walker. I found this information a few months ago when I fir... Tue, 11 Dec 2012 11:06:58 EST Super Food - The Acai Berry http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5162163 I don't know about you, but I have found since starting this journey there is so much about real food I didn't fully understand. Of course I understood that foods contain nutrients by body needs, that's basic high school health class; but I have been doing a lot of reading on various things and have learned some amazing things. I thought what might be fun is to pick one food a week to spotlight. <BR> <BR> So this week is the mighty acai berry, pronounced a-sigh-EE . There certainly has ... Mon, 10 Dec 2012 12:47:00 EST