ADARKARA's SparkPeople Blog http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal.asp?id=ADARKARA ADARKARA'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/ The Blog of Boredom http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5734660 So today I left my phone at home, and work is slow. I have things I can do but I just don't want to DO any of them. I've been feeling like that a lot lately - blah. Not sure if it's the summer heat, or just a desire to be lazy for a while. <BR> <BR> Things on the weight front are going fine. I'm eating 2,000 calories a day now, and I'm 3.6 lbs from my goal. I'm still losing a little at a time; this weight loss week I lost 1.4 lbs. If I lose that slowly I will hit goal before Christmas, whic... Tue, 8 Jul 2014 14:55:49 EST What I Learned From My Canadian Vacation http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5726257 1. My Mother-in-Law likes to show she loves us by buying us things, including food. <BR> <BR> 2. Never mention that you're saving up for a new car to MIL, she will demand you take her money. <BR> <BR> 3. MIL is right, eating like crap for 4 days will not screw up your weight loss, as long as you get back on track immediately afterward. <BR> <BR> 4. Eight McMuffins is way too many McMuffins for only 3 people. <BR> <BR> 5. Eating 2 Sausage McMuffins for lunch, followed by 2 donuts for l... Thu, 26 Jun 2014 10:05:09 EST Throwback Thursday http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5716538 Pic of me in Montreal about to get on a flight to the Azores in 2007. <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/6/7/l677320516.jpg"> Thu, 12 Jun 2014 13:55:55 EST The Ringing Rocks of Upper Black Eddy, PA http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5715026 After a little juggling and more than a little miscommunication, our plans did, in fact, go through! <BR> <BR> Bestie and I planned a double date for us and our hubbies to visit Ringing Rocks County Park in Upper Black Eddy, Pennsylvania, which is about an hour and a half drive from me. In short, there is this weird field of boulders, some of which ring when you hit them lightly with a hammer. (Want to read more? Click here: <link>www.unmuseum.org/ringrock.htm </link> ) <BR> <BR> <img src... Tue, 10 Jun 2014 14:06:53 EST People WILL Be Jealous http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5709817 I happened to mention to my coworker's wife (who has been "trying to lose weight" for about 2 years with gym memberships and personal trainers but is still as overweight as ever) that my stepsister was coming to visit and we were going out to eat, and I was really looking forward to a good burger. Now I had mentioned a few days prior that I had basically reached maintenance. Her response? <BR> <BR> "Planning on gaining back some of that weight you lost?" <BR> <BR> Uhm, no, I'm not planning ... Tue, 3 Jun 2014 14:27:11 EST On Heading Into Maintenance http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5702893 So... I panicked a little when my doc told me to stop losing. He didn't actually demand I stop losing, but he said he likes people to be between 24 and 25 on the BMI scale. As of yesterday morning, I am 6 lbs from the goal I set more than 2 years ago. I don't want to quit now. I'm so close. Going by HIS scale, getting to 160 on my home scale would put me at a BMI of 23.5. That is by no means underweight, so I'm going to go for it. He might tsk tsk me, but that's okay. <BR> <BR> The funny t... Sun, 25 May 2014 15:36:02 EST Things Change http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5692475 No! I am not leaving SparkPeople, do not panic! In fact I am writing this blog because I'm feeling great right now. <BR> <BR> I got on the scale this morning and it registered 166.6. With a snicker and a throwing of the devil horns with a huge grin on my face (I'm not superstitious, but come on, it's funny) I immediately came in here to track the number, after starting coffee of course. <BR> <BR> It's true, I only lost 6/10ths of a lb. But what makes it remarkable is that IT'S NOT WEIGHT ... Sun, 11 May 2014 08:41:45 EST Short Blog - What I've Been Up To http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5683063 The bad: <BR> I found out last night a former coworker is in hospice from a sudden and aggressive cancer. It's hit me harder than I thought. He would always talk about how much he loved his daughters, so he reminded me of my dad a lot. It's been 3 years since we've worked together, but he would stop in the shop every couple months. I really like him, and I'm going to miss him. <BR> <BR> A coworker was let go since my last blog. I understand why, but I'm still sad about it. My other coworke... Tue, 29 Apr 2014 10:32:42 EST Being Strong is Hard http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5674267 I constantly try to look for the positive in everything, as I know there are many people in this world who have life much worse than I do. I am just finding myself overwhelmed with the every day task of being an adult. It sucks, and I hate it. <BR> <BR> My 35 year old cousin just had a bilateral mastectomy and will be going through chemo. THIRTY FIVE. (She is my cousin by marriage so we're not blood related but she's so YOUNG.) We are not even close, but I am not coping with it well. <BR> ... Thu, 17 Apr 2014 10:30:29 EST Haven't Done This In A While! http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5671195 A menu blog!!! <BR> <BR> Tonight: Baked Ziti w/ Meatballs and Tossed Salad <BR> <BR> Monday: Ribeye, Baked Potatoes, Spinach Salad w/ Tangerines <BR> <BR> Tuesday: Chicken Tacos, Veggie-Infused Black Beans, Rice <BR> <BR> Weds: Pork Chops, Braised Fennel and White Beans, Crescent Rolls <BR> <BR> Thursday: Keftedes (Greek Meatballs) in Pita w/ Tzatziki and Greek Salad <BR> <BR> Friday: Teriyaki Chicken Thighs, Rice and Asian Veggie Medley <BR> <BR> Sat: Fried Fish w/ 3-Bean Salad <BR> ... Sun, 13 Apr 2014 13:40:43 EST Spice Up Your Weight Loss #5 - The Wonders of Fennel http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5667534 Pork. How I love thee, let me count the ways. <BR> <BR> Many of you have probably never eaten fresh fennel. I hadn't until recently either, mostly because it's often described as having an anise-like licorice-y flavor, of which I am not a fan. I tried it in a beef stew once, and had a bit of trouble with the crockpot that day, and I don't think it came out all that well. <BR> <BR> But the other day, my husband decided he wanted to make his version of his grandmother's fennel and bean soup... Tue, 8 Apr 2014 16:15:54 EST Question About Anxiety http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5664318 Ok, I'm supposed to get a visit from Aunt Flow starting this evening. My anxiety is *always* higher the few days before, and during ovulation is practically non-existent, so I *know* it's hormones, but why does ordering food at work give me such anxiety? <BR> <BR> People ask me to take control of the situation, so when I do, and people aren't pleased with my decisions, I get serious anxiety, like it's my fault they didn't enjoy their food that much. (On top of this, the boss paid, so it was ... Fri, 4 Apr 2014 12:47:50 EST DUDE - It's my Sparkversary! http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5663379 2 years since becoming serious on Sparkpeople and I still love it here. <em>334</em> <BR> <BR> I've lost 84 lbs with SparkPeople and 106 total. <BR> <BR> <em>236</em> Thu, 3 Apr 2014 10:40:45 EST Feeling Glum http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5661556 Nothing really bad happening, just having a meh morning. <BR> <BR> Had to get up at 6 to go to the dentist. Woke up at 5:30 unable to fall back asleep. Fine, had breakfast and coffee and got out the door by 6:30 no problem. I don't love the dentist, most people don't, but this morning while the doc was drilling out my old filling, someone was playing Jack Johnson. A lot of people like Jack Johnson. He is supposed to be chill and relaxing. For some odd reason, he has the opposite effect on m... Tue, 1 Apr 2014 09:24:40 EST Joan Rivers says Lena Dunham is Promoting Obesity http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5658385 “You’re sending a message out to people saying, ‘It’s OK! Stay fat! Get diabetes. Everybody die. Lose your fingers.’” - Joan Rivers <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/3/7/l371925331.jpg"> <BR> <BR> I personally am not a fan of either of them, but this is low even for Joan. In my opinion, Lena might be slightly overweight, but she certainly doesn't look obese or even unhealthy. <BR> <BR> Leave your thoughts here! Fri, 28 Mar 2014 08:10:09 EST Blogging for the Heck of It http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5657036 I haven't blogged much lately. In truth, I haven't felt much like it. Things are going fine, I'm not struggling, and I'm not having any crazy successes. I only really have one NSV from last week: I averaged more than 9,000 steps each day last week. But most of that was standing in front of my computer playing Hearthstone and jogging in place. <BR> <BR> Thanks for all the suggestions on the tiredness. I'm 100% sure it was just a midafternoon crash. I just ate lunch and I'm feeling sleepy aga... Wed, 26 Mar 2014 12:51:48 EST The Law of Inverse Squares - A Weight Phenomenon! http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5655110 I WEIGH 400 LBS......... <BR> <BR> ....on Jupiter! <BR> <BR> Curious as to what you weigh on other planets, and maybe some stars? Check it out: <BR> <BR> <link>www.exploratorium.edu/ronh/weight/ </link> <BR> <BR> I LOVE SCIENCE SO MUCH. <em>100</em> <BR> <BR> ETA: Please ignore the fact that the Moon is lumped in with the planets. Mon, 24 Mar 2014 07:28:42 EST Woo Hoo, I've Made It! Sexual Harassment! http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5648371 (Please note, I was not actually offended by this, and I only see this guy MAYBE twice a year, so I thought it was kind of funny.) <BR> <BR> I've made it to my sexy size! I just had a man say the following to me: <BR> <BR> "If you lose anymore weight there'll be nothing left to play with!" <BR> <BR> <em>246</em> Sat, 15 Mar 2014 11:39:38 EST The Universe Speaks! http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5645969 I signed up a while back for e-mails from THE UNIVERSE (it's a mostly silly life affirming e-mail) but today's struck me: <BR> <BR> <BR> A coincidence? <BR> <BR> Andrea, do you think it's just a coincidence that you look exactly as you do? <BR> <BR> Do you think your height, the color of your eyes, or the sound of your voice were accidents? <BR> <BR> Do you think your insights into life, your gifts of perception, or your sense of humor were the result of random genetics? <BR> <BR> No. Y... Wed, 12 Mar 2014 07:47:02 EST Fiiiiiiiiiiiiiish! Or, Where I Conquer my Uncertainty of Whole Fish! http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5643861 I've never cooked a whole fish before. I've cooked fillets, steaks, chunks, salt cod, fish stick, etc, but never a whole fish. So imagine my delight when I saw Norwegian cod on sale at H Mart (Korean Grocery Store) for $4.49/lb. Now I love cod, and so does my Azorean husband. Cod is my #1 fish! So we hauled our butts to H Mart and poked around the fish department. <BR> <BR> What I love about H Mart is most of their seafood department is self serve. The cod were sitting on a low case in a ce... Sun, 9 Mar 2014 19:39:28 EST Spice Up Your Weight Loss #4 - Turmeric! http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5642147 Turmeric, from The Spice House: <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/1/0/l1011307316.jpg"> <BR> <BR> Turmeric, essential to curry powder, is a member of the ginger family. It has a light, musky flavor along with a brilliant golden-orange color for which it is famous throughout the world. It contains the compound curcumin, which is a strong anti-inflammatory. In Asia, its main use for thousands of years was as a dyestuff. At one time, sun worshippers, whose sacred color w... Fri, 7 Mar 2014 11:56:01 EST 24 Hours of Bad Food http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5641225 No, I did not binge. I've just had really awful luck. <BR> <BR> Yesterday I got home from work to find raw chicken sitting in my crockpot. The crockpot was on and plugged in, but it had never heated up. I was mad because I had really been looking forward to chicken enchilada casserole. I had to throw away a pound and a half of chicken. I hate wasting food! <BR> <BR> We managed to scrounge up some leftover Italian bread, bottom round roast, cheddar cheese and some grapes for a makeshift "P... Thu, 6 Mar 2014 09:59:56 EST Never EVER give up. http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5635985 The word stubborn often has negative connotations. <BR> <BR> stub·born [stuhb-ern] <BR> adjective <BR> 1. unreasonably obstinate; obstinately unmoving: a stubborn child. <BR> 2. fixed or set in purpose or opinion; resolute: a stubborn opponent of foreign aid. <BR> 3. obstinately maintained, as a course of action: a stubborn resistance. <BR> 4. difficult to manage or suppress: a stubborn horse; a stubborn pain. <BR> 5. hard, tough, or stiff, as stone or wood; difficult to shape or work. <BR... Fri, 28 Feb 2014 10:51:43 EST PHEW http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5633186 The last week has been just about the most dramatic week I could possibly have without someone I love falling ill or dying. I have had the week of technology HE**. <BR> <BR> Last Tuesday after lunch I was pottering around on my work computer when all of a sudden *ZZZZZZZZZZAP* my screen turns to plaid and the computer freezes. (Ok, not actual plaid, but you get the idea.) I restart the computer manual and am unhappy to discover that the computer will not post. (For those of you who aren't a... Tue, 25 Feb 2014 08:16:25 EST 1200 Calories Article (PLEASE READ!) http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5627689 This article blows my mind with how good it is. <BR> <BR> <link>sophieologie.me/2013/09/26/1200-calo<BR>ries/ </link> Tue, 18 Feb 2014 20:34:01 EST Technology SUCKS http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5627488 I have been using the same computer at my house for more than five years. I have had to replace the video card and a power supply, but other than that, it works great. <BR> <BR> At WORK I am now on my FIFTH computer in 5 years. <BR> <BR> This wouldn't be a problem except for the fact that I have the "best" computer in the shop. I also have the only computer that has Quickbooks. I am also in charge of payroll, which needs to be done by Friday. <BR> <BR> Normally my computer acts up for a... Tue, 18 Feb 2014 15:27:57 EST Sexy Menu http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5625033 Ok, there isn't really anything sexy about it... but I'm listening to the Arctic Monkeys and I'm *FEELING* sexy so... there's that. <BR> <BR> Sunday: Leftovers! I have leftover Caldo Verde and Rajma Masala, and while they don't necessarily go together, I'm going to eat them together, damn it. <BR> <BR> Monday: Bourbon Chicken with Sugar Snap Peas and Rice <BR> <BR> Tuesday: Baked Pasta w/ Meatballs, Mushrooms, Peppers, Onions and Mozzarella <BR> <BR> Wednesday: Baked Porkchops with Stov... Sat, 15 Feb 2014 19:36:54 EST Healthy Eating Horoscopes Article http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5621416 Interesting reading! You can find it here: <BR> <BR> <link>www.sparkpeople.com/resource/nutriti<BR>on_articles.asp?id=848 </link> <BR> <BR> I'm a Taurus-Gemini cusp so I read both the Taurus and Gemini, and both apply. <BR> <BR> Taurus: April 21 – May 21 <BR> The physical, sensual side of life is very important to the Taurus, and meals are one way to express that sensuality. Good food and good wine are as essential as air to you, but don’t let yourself get stuck in the high-fat trap. W... Tue, 11 Feb 2014 13:49:25 EST Spice Up Your Weight Loss #3 - La-la-la-lemongrass!!! http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5615797 I lo-lo-love lemongrass!!!! <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/7/9/l793405631.jpg"> <BR> <BR> From Wikipedia <BR> Lemongrass is native to India and tropical Asia. It is widely used as a herb in Asian cuisine. It has a subtle citrus flavor and can be dried and powdered, or used fresh. It is commonly used in teas, soups, and curries. It is also suitable for use with poultry, fish, beef, and seafood. It is often used as a tea in African countries such as Togo and the Demo... Wed, 5 Feb 2014 10:35:50 EST Another Random Things About Me Blog http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5611982 Ten Random Things About Me <BR> <BR> 1. I have a bad habit of picking my cuticles <BR> 2. I have a crossbite as opposed to an overbite or underbite (it's an overbite on one side and an underbite on the other) <BR> 3. I've had minor arthritis in my left knee since I was four <BR> 4. I have had exacto blades pierce my body in two places - the bottom of my big toe (pulled it out myself) and between my left thumb and forefinger - both by accident of course <BR> 5. When I was a kid I used to des... Sat, 1 Feb 2014 10:54:19 EST Opposite Week! http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5611322 Remember how a couple of weeks ago I was bitching about being hungry all the time because I was ovulating? This week I'm barely hungry. I'm eating below my upper limit every day (ok except for one). <BR> <BR> Su -150 cals <BR> M - 225 cals <BR> Tu +1 cal <BR> W -151 cals <BR> R -113 cals <BR> <BR> <BR> I'm counting this as a good thing, even though I haven't been quite as active as normal this week because of the frigid temps. <BR> <BR> Last night I even planned to have one more snack, ... Fri, 31 Jan 2014 15:45:54 EST Pineapple Chicken Fried Rice Recipe (Kensho & MistyMountains) http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5610213 Ok, this was so yummy to me. Kensho and Misty Mountains expressed interest in the recipe but I hadn't invented it yet! Well now I have so here it is: <BR> <BR> I made this from leftovers from a previous recipe. <BR> <BR> 1 recipe Hawaiian Chicken Kabobs, chopped <link>recipes.sparkpeople.com/recipe-detai<BR>l.asp?recipe=2621794 </link> <BR> <BR> 2 cups cold cooked rice (I cooked rice the night before, laid it out on a paper plate to cool, then stashed it in the fridge. Hot rice will... Thu, 30 Jan 2014 12:28:36 EST Weekly Meal Plan http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5606291 Sunday: Homemade Chicken w/ Handmade Egg Noodles <BR> <BR> Monday: Pork Chops w/ Stovetop Stuffing & Steamed Veggies <BR> <BR> Tuesday: Beef & Squash Crockpot Stew w/ Rolls <BR> <BR> Weds: Pineapple Chicken Fried Rice <BR> <BR> Thurs: Pork Ragu over Polenta w/ Salad <BR> <BR> Fri: Beef Barley Soup w/ Salad & Bread <BR> <BR> Sat: Dover Sole Florentine w/ Veggies & Rice Pilaf (I am super excited about this, as I have been CRAVING fish for 2 weeks but hubby is resistant.) Sun, 26 Jan 2014 15:23:27 EST The Snark Must Come Out (Work Related) http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5605352 My jobs has an eBay rating of 100% and 5036 reviews. Yet on a daily basis, people ask me about the integrity of our listings. <BR> <BR> Uhm, people, if you lie or misrepresent your product on eBay, that WORKS AGAINST YOU. Why on EARTH would a reputable seller like us lie about our product?! YES it's 14k solid gold, LIKE WE SAID, and YES it's authentic onyx, LIKE WE SAID. WHY WOULD I LIE?!?!?!!? <BR> <BR> With 100% positive feedback, I would think it's pretty obvious that we're not in the h... Sat, 25 Jan 2014 14:19:39 EST Spice Up Your Weight Loss #3 - Cilantro http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5604496 In this bloggy blog I'm going to be focusing on Cilantro, known to some as Coriander leaves. I will not be talking about coriander seed. (Technical jargon-y stuff taken from the Wikipedia page.) <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/1/6/l1608738328.jpg"> <BR> <BR> The leaves of the coriander plant are known as cilantro in the US. The leaves have a different taste from the seeds, with citrus overtones. However, many people experience an unpleasant soapy taste or a rank sme... Fri, 24 Jan 2014 14:44:03 EST White People Problems http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5603404 I read this article and I just had to share because it made me laugh so hard. It's about food. <BR> <BR> <link>www.nwedible.com/2012/08/tragedy-hea<BR>lthy-eater.html </link> Thu, 23 Jan 2014 13:08:35 EST Spice Up Your Weight Loss #2 - Powdered Sumac http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5595937 Okay, I told you guys obscure, and since last week's wasn't that obscure, I've flip-flopped! <BR> <BR> So most of you have heard of poison sumac. This type of sumac is to be avoided at all costs. Like poison oak and poison ivy, it can cause your skin to burn, itch, blister, etc. However, there are varieties of sumac that are not only not poison, but delicious! <BR> <BR> Sumac has a tart flavor that is very nice sprinkled on fish, chicken, over salad dressings, rice pilaf, or over raw onion... Thu, 16 Jan 2014 12:49:29 EST A to Z About Me AGAIN http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5595777 A is for Age: 32 <BR> B is for Booze: Not a drinker. <BR> C is for Car: Scion Xb <BR> D is for Dad's name: William Paul Mitchell <BR> E is for Ego: Check it at the door <BR> F is for Favorite song or music: Anything at all basically except country and jazz <BR> G is for Goof off thing to do: Sing made up funny songs <BR> H is for Hometown: Blackwood, NJ <BR> I is for IQ: 130-ish last time I tested <BR> J is for Jam or Jelly you like: Grape. Definitely grape <BR> K is for Kids: I have a do... Thu, 16 Jan 2014 10:42:24 EST 100-lb Lost Progress Shots http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5592335 The Old Me: <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/5/0/l503572044.jpg"> <BR> <BR> 100 Lbs Down Me: <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/7/8/l782398143.jpg"> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/5/4/l548513098.jpg"> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/1/5/l1522302620.jpg"> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/3/5/l351838547.jpg"> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/5/7/l5799652.jpg"> <img src="http://photos-ak.spar... Mon, 13 Jan 2014 12:12:39 EST The Plan, Stan (Dinner Plan, that is) http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5591315 Tonight: Thai-Style Chicken Burgers w/ Peanut Sauce, Thai Cucumber Salad, Jasmine Rice <BR> <BR> Monday: Cheesy Potato Soup w/ Pumpernickel Croutons <BR> <BR> Tuesday: Pork Ragu over Polenta w/ Baby Kale salad <BR> <BR> Wednesday: Taco Salad <BR> <BR> Thursday: Monterey Chicken (chicken breasts w/ bacon, cheese, bbq sauce and scallions) w/ Mashed Potatoes & Steamed Broccoli <BR> <BR> Friday: Spaghetti & Meatballs, Salad <BR> <BR> Saturday: Polish Bigos, Cauliflower Sun, 12 Jan 2014 14:47:21 EST Cookie Dough Face Scrub http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5590462 Ok so... it isn't ACTUALLY cookie dough, but it sure SMELLS like it! <BR> <BR> Mix 1 part coconut oil, warmed to liquid, with two parts brown sugar until you get a thick paste. Use this to gently scrub a damp face, avoiding your eyes. It smells SO GOOD! Rinse off, then use a washcloth with warm water to wipe off the coconut oil residue. Don't use any facewash or anything, the coconut oil will absorb into your skin and leave it nice and soft. And you will smell like COOKIE DOUGH!!!!!!!!! Sat, 11 Jan 2014 17:05:15 EST Spice Up Your Weight Loss #1 - Bay Leaves http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5589347 You're probably thinking "Hey, Andrea, you said you were going to write about OBSCURE spices. Everyone's heard of bay leaves!" and you'd be right. BUT... how many of you use them in anything other than soups/stews? Most people use bay leaves as a flavor enhancer in a slowly cooked soup or stew. You grab a flat, crunchy leaf that's usually partially broken and just toss it in, then either fish it out later. Or if you're me, you just warn people it's in there and let them find it themselves. <... Fri, 10 Jan 2014 14:54:45 EST Tiny Rant About Human Beings http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5587504 Things that people don't do that they should: <BR> <BR> a) Take responsibility for their own actions. (A pipe dream, I know.) <BR> <BR> b) Realize that our gov't is a 3 branch system with checks and balances and that the president (no matter WHICH SIDE he's on) is not 100% responsible for ANYTHING. <BR> <BR> c) Stop catastrophizing so much. This country is not "going to hell in a handbasket". Violent crime is WAY DOWN since the 90s (it's called statistics, people) and the younger generat... Wed, 8 Jan 2014 22:55:04 EST A Few of my Favorite Things (Food) http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5585774 I read a blog this morning about branching out with food choices. I have never been afraid to eat a large variety of things, and the list of things I DON'T like would probably surprise you in their normalcy. I just figured I would share a few of my favorite meals/snacks as of late. <BR> <BR> Braeburn Apples - They are phenomenally good this year. <BR> <BR> Honey Graham Crackers w/ Peanut Butter - For some reason this has tasted SO good to me lately. <BR> <BR> Thomas' Double Fiber Honey ... Tue, 7 Jan 2014 14:27:29 EST Hey Andrea, Remember All This Good Stuff from 2013! http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5577547 It's 2014 now (HAPPY NEW YEAR) and I wanted to blog for myself to list all the good things that happened on my weight loss journey in 2013. <BR> <BR> 1) Made it into size 10 jeans and medium tops <BR> <BR> 2) Lost 32.4 lbs <BR> <BR> 3) Made it to 100+ total pounds lost <BR> <BR> 4) Made it to a normal BMI <BR> <BR> 5) Lost weight over the holidays for the 3rd time <BR> <BR> 6) Became a SparkPeople Motivator <BR> <em>236</em> <BR> 7) Went shopping in normal stores! <BR> <BR> I hope... Wed, 1 Jan 2014 09:15:51 EST Don't Make Promises You Can't Keep http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5576795 In a time of supposed renewal we are somewhat expected to give ourselves a "clean slate" and to make New Years Resolutions. <BR> <BR> How many of us actually keep them? <BR> <BR> How many of us in high school made ridiculous promises to ourselves we had no way of knowing if we could sustain? <BR> <BR> I had a friend in high school who liked to make promises. <BR> <BR> "I'll never smoke! I'll never drink! I'll never do drugs! I'll never have sex before marriage!" <BR> <BR> I think she ... Tue, 31 Dec 2013 14:23:43 EST Three Years in a Row http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5573720 It was October 2011 when I started working on losing weight. In January 2012 I had my first post-beginning doctor's appointment. I remember distinctly something my doctor said like it was yesterday. <BR> <BR> "You are one of only a few of my patients that lost weight over the holidays. I'm proud of you." <BR> <BR> Well if that isn't inspiration to continue to succeed, I don't know what is. <BR> <BR> In January of this year, he said something similar. <BR> <BR> "You've done it again, ki... Sat, 28 Dec 2013 11:06:58 EST When a Gift is not a Gift http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5573107 I spent quite a bit of time trying to figure out what to get my stepfamily for Christmas this year. I ordered it early, wrapped it when it came in the mail, packaged it up with a card and dropped both packages in the mail for before Christmas delivery. I picked out separate cards for my nephews and enclosed a ten dollar bill in each, in addition to the family gift. I wasn't expecting anything but a card from them this year, which is all I really want anyway, a card to show I've been remembere... Fri, 27 Dec 2013 14:13:06 EST I Gave MYSELF the Best Christmas Present Ever http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5571116 <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/6/5/l659464517.jpg"> <BR> <BR> <em>460</em> Happy Holidays everyone! <em>460</em> Tue, 24 Dec 2013 12:27:27 EST A Priest, a Druid and a Paladin Walk Into a Bar http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5568096 So Monday night I got a Facebook message from a woman who is a friend I only know from World of Warcraft. (For those of you who play, she used to be our Raid Leader before we all quit.) She was in the area for work and wanted to know if we wanted to meet up for drinks! We had made an attempt in August to see her while we were in North Carolina, since she lives there, but she was traveling for work and we couldn't coordinate any plans. So needless to say hubby and I were excited to have the op... Thu, 19 Dec 2013 15:11:43 EST