AMBERBREEZE's SparkPeople Blog AMBERBREEZE's Blog on SparkPeople, home of free diet plans and a healthy living community My sanity break & up in pounds <img src=""> <BR> 18 lbs gained- not good. <BR> <BR> December was not a good month for us. <BR> I lost an aunt, then my fiancé was called in for a meeting at the Oncology unit at Auckland City Hospital. They had reviewed his PET scans of his lungs after being sent them by his respiratory therapist who had found them my fiancé's files. The PET scan was done in Oct. and the 2 surgeons and his GP had felt they were likely nothing more ... Mon, 12 Jan 2015 09:27:31 EST Sunny Sunday and things going well First, the big news- the rest of the nodes that were removed from my fiance came back clear. No more cancer! He will be monitored regularly to catch any suspicious activity early, but for now, things are looking up. I want to say a big heartfelt thank you to all of you who prayed & gave encouraging words. He will still have a drainage tube for awhile, but that is a minor thing compared to what could have happened. <BR> <BR> Today the sun was out and shining when I woke up. We had stor... Sat, 6 Sep 2014 22:37:09 EST UGH... rainy weekend and yesterday's meals I woke up to cloudy skies, rain and colder temperatures this morning. It had been nice, warm and sunny all this week, but now we are scheduled for a rainy weekend. I know some of the US is in drought, I wish we cold send some of this rain to them. Spring starts next month for those of us in the southern hemisphere, I am looking forward to the beauty and bounty of Spring. <BR> <BR> As was planned, I fasted from dinner Thursday night, until lunch Friday. Both meals I ate were the freshly... Fri, 29 Aug 2014 23:19:28 EST My Food Plans For The Next Month As some of you may know, I do intermittent fasting. Usually I do it a couple days a week, every week. This week was different. Because I was having to get up early and drive my fiance to appointments, I was skipping breakfast everyday. It wasn't an issue since I am used to fasting for 16-18 hours easily. This was different in that I was doing it all week as opposed to alternate days. My body did fine and my doctor has no issues with my fasting between dinner & lunch as long as I eat hea... Fri, 29 Aug 2014 00:57:54 EST NZ Daffodil Day & Reasons to Celebrate Tomorrow is Daffodil Day in NZ (I think the US discontinued it, but it is still a big day here in NZ). It is a day to raise awareness & funding for cancer research. Each year since I have been here in NZ, I have always donated. This year, with my fiance's own diagnosis it hits closer to home. I already donated earlier this week and I plan to get some daffodils tomorrow to celebrate his homecoming from the last operation. Speaking of... <BR> <em>375</em> <BR> His operation went smooth... Thu, 28 Aug 2014 01:51:51 EST Chia Seed Popsicles and Low Carb Cheesecake Muffins So I made a few low carb snacks for the week ahead for my fiance and I to eat. One was chia seed popsicles. You just use any liquid you find refreshing- tea, juice, flavored water (natural or artificial) etc... and add some chia seeds and freeze in popsicle molds. You can have iced tea chia pops, or even iced coffee ones, or even some lemonade one with fresh lemon juice, steiva and chia seeds. They make a nice treat and an easy way to get chia seeds into your diet. <BR> <BR> The next thi... Sun, 6 Jul 2014 21:13:54 EST Update Yesterday we went in for the results of the lymph node biopsy- the cancer has spread. The doctor spouted off survival rates at 5 & 10 years, said they could operate later this month and remove more nodes. My fiance's last surgery was rough and he had breathing issues, so they want to do a full respiratory work up & some other thing about his heart. They will be contacting us later with appointments. <BR> <BR> I cry, I stop, I cry again. Each step they told us it was small chance. Small... Wed, 2 Jul 2014 15:24:02 EST Woohoo for the weekend Although it has been a miserable and rainy Friday, I am so glad it is here. I feel like a lot of the stress of the past few months have caught up with me. I feel a good need to unwind. So, despite the dreary and stormy weather, I plan to read a book or two over the weekend and possibly watch a movie at home. I might even make some nice low carbed treats like peanut butter cups (with coconut oil) or pumpkin bake. Maybe even some nice mashed cauliflower as comfort food. This way I trea... Thu, 26 Jun 2014 21:36:02 EST Could less mean more? Yesterday the NZ Herald had an interesting article about Brazil's latest proposed nutrition guidelines. Gone were the suggestions for servings, calories and specifics. No, Brazil has an idea for a more open and general set of guidelines. The focus is more on eating whole foods prepared at home. Enjoying meals with family and friends and in a good setting (I am guessing they mean at the table with family & friends as opposed to munching in cars, at desks, or on the couch). They also tell ... Mon, 23 Jun 2014 13:55:33 EST No, I haven't fallen off the edge of the Earth I know it may seem that way, but things have been flat out busy, crazy and stressful since April. As some of you may know, my fiance was diagnosed with 2 cancers. The first at the end of March, that was removed surgically without any issues. Then a second one was found that was deeper and more aggressive. That happened mid-April. Since then life has been various appointments, consults, lab tests, etc.. to get him ready for a bigger surgery this month and a lymph node biopsy to happen at ... Sat, 21 Jun 2014 02:39:36 EST Feels good to be cooking again The past 3 weeks have been so chaotic that I seldom cooked full meals. So I was happy to have both the time and energy to fix dinner last night. Although it was a simple meal, it was great to be eating something that wasn't cooked by someone else. <BR> <BR> Chicken drumsticks prepped with rosemary & garlic ready for oven <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> The finished plate with lightly boiled veggies <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkp... Wed, 4 Jun 2014 23:01:52 EST The week is zooming by I have been super busy with so many things that my eating has strayed a bit the past few days. No overeating, just making some poor meal decisions out of stress or emotion. I picked up some fresh meats and groceries today to fix some healthy meals at home again. I just need to make time to prepare them. And I will make time. Eating poorly leads me to poor health and not operating as good as I should. I will fix lazy, easy meals that may not look great or be served in a fine restaurant, ... Tue, 20 May 2014 13:46:30 EST The weekend has been good so far The weekend has been great so far. The weather was good today & yesterday, some clouds moved in doing the late evening, so Sunday might have rain. With my week being so busy, the fresh vegs I bought earlier in the week were needing to be eaten. I started thinking about the half a head of red cabbage I had, so I cut that up. <BR> <BR> Red cabbage on the baking sheet <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> I thought it looked a little plain, so I... Sat, 17 May 2014 06:19:21 EST Weight loss is like walking After reading some posts from different team members and Spark Friends, as well as looking at my own struggles to lose weight I decided that losing weight is like walking. <BR> <BR> There are times you will slip or fall <BR> When we start out learning to walk, we fall and stumble a lot. As time goes on we get better at it, the falls are fewer and fewer as we learn what works and how to balance. The same for weight loss. Often many people stumble as they learn what works. As we discover ... Wed, 14 May 2014 03:29:29 EST Down half a pound, slow but steady So I hopped on the scale this morning and I am down half a pound. Not an amazing loss, but a loss none the less. Hopefully this week I will get the results of the blood work ordered by my GP. I am proud I have stayed on track. Before I would get discouraged with the slow losses or stalls and binge, but this time I am holding steady. Yes, sometimes I hop on the scale and see no or hardy any movement, and it is disappointing. I mean when you stay on track and the scale barely moves it is ... Mon, 12 May 2014 17:06:26 EST Mid-week wrap up So the last 3 days have been very busy. Monday was a planned IF ( intermittent fasting/ 5:2) day and that worked out well since I was so busy. Tuesday was busier then planned and without trying, it also became a 5:2 day also. Today I made a 3 egg breakfast with butter, lunch was 4 sausages and dinner will be something... yes I didn't get around to planning it. I didn't think much about meals with being so busy the past few days. After tomorrow, things should slow down and I can get back ... Wed, 7 May 2014 02:24:36 EST It is going to be a lazy day today It is a beautiful, sunny Sunday morning here. I plan to enjoy today and totally relax. Relaxing doesn't mean going off plan though. I won't be cooking today. Today is one of my 5:2 days, so I will be getting a salad for lunch and a small dinner. The others will be fending for themselves today. I may hop on the treadmill for a short walk in the evening. I think it is nice when you are able to take a lazy day. I know they can be as rare as hen's teeth, but that's why when we do get ... Sat, 3 May 2014 19:10:20 EST Wonderful Weekends Let's face it, not every weekend is wonderful. For me, it has started and been going wonderful. I slept in, slept good and then woke to the sun bursting through the blinds. With winter starting next month (NZ) I am always grateful for those springlike days. Now before I continue on, I did say I would get the photos of dinner last night. I bought a pre-seasoned, pre-stuffed bird and put in in the slow cooker at lunch time. Then about 20 mins before dinner I rinsed and broke the caulif... Sat, 3 May 2014 00:06:04 EST Just Checking In Briefly Today is just a short post. Dinner was great and I will put pics up in tomorrow's blog. The day just got away from me and after I finish a few things up, I want to head to bed and get a good night's sleep so I can focus on tomorrow and making the weekend a success. I want wish you all an awesome day and remember you are worth it. <BR> <BR> Carry Out Caesar Salad from a local restaurant <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <em>386</em... Fri, 2 May 2014 07:17:23 EST Yay for May! The sun came out shining today, on the first of May here in NZ. I woke up happy and refreshed after a full night's sleep. I didn't plan to go to bed early, but yesterday was chock full of things and before I knew it I was heading to bed early. This morning I had 2 slices of Jody's Pumpkin Bake <BR> ( <link><BR>tml </link> ) <BR> for breakfast. I fixed it yesterday, so it was a ready made breakfast. This is my second time making it. I agree wit... Wed, 30 Apr 2014 22:14:02 EST LC PB Pudding & Veggie Shop So yesterday I decided to try Magic Peanut Butter Pudding ( <link><BR>tter_pudding.html </link> ) With just 3 ingredients it seemed simple enough to make. I wasn't expecting much but it really was good. I made a double batch as snack, well I was so satisfied I skipped lunch, no snacks and only had a side salad with 2 eggs for dinner. I was pretty impressed. Unfortunately the picture didn't come out very good, but it did taste great. I used liquid s... Sun, 27 Apr 2014 22:18:28 EST Looking forward to a nice weekend I am looking forward to enjoying the weekend. I plan to do some baking, walking and more spring cleaning. Today was nice and sunny, hopefully the rest of the weekend will be nice weather too. I need to get back to taking pics of the food I eat and make. I find it helps me be more accountable and make better food choices. <BR> <BR> I hope everyone has a great weekend. Take care, stay safe and stay on track, because you are definitely worth it. <BR> <em>244</em> <em>306</em> Sat, 26 Apr 2014 05:26:01 EST The consult went well Good news: <BR> The first melanoma is all gone. Done & dusted. <BR> <BR> The second melanoma was removed, but they need to remove some more of the surrounding tissue to make sure it is completely gone. It only went as deep as the 4th layer of skin and it is unlikely that it reached his lymph nodes he said. They will also be putting radioactive dye & removing 1-2 nodes when they remove the extra tissue from his second melanoma. That is just to make sure that the lymph nodes are clear. <BR... Thu, 24 Apr 2014 04:23:14 EST Short Post This is just a short post. Weigh in today was the same as last week. I am hoping to lose at least half pound before May so I can be in the 270s. The next few days will be busy, hopefully they will slow down towards the weekend. I have stayed on plan, no binges or anything. Sleep has been a bit fractured. Mainly 3-4 sections for 7-8 hours total. I am hoping to get back to 7-8 hour sleeps tonight and the rest of the week. I think it is stress related since I am not drinking any sodas... Mon, 21 Apr 2014 18:45:50 EST On Plan Comfort Food- Roast Lamb Chops w/ Black Pepper Cauliflower Mash Comfort food. In times of stress, I like eating something that reminds me of Mom and home. Something that seems to feed the heart and spirit as much as feeding the body. While Mom was more prone to fix a roast or whatever meat was on sale instead of the lamb I used, she made the mashed potatoes the old fashioned way. Boiled potatoes, butter, cream and black pepper. Salt would be added if the butter was unsalted. The aromas would fill the house and you didn't need to be called to dinn... Thu, 17 Apr 2014 13:58:57 EST My Plans I will cook more homemade meals <BR> <BR> I will dance to at least one song 5x a week with my fiance (more if he let's me) <BR> <BR> I will try new recipes out that I think my son & fiance might like <BR> <BR> I will encourage my fiance to continue to walk with me <BR> <BR> I will call family or friends instead of eating when stressed <BR> <BR> I will focus on what I can do to get & stay healthy <BR> <BR> I will remember that each day is a gift and that I should celebrate by living it, ... Sun, 13 Apr 2014 11:53:11 EST Life's gotten bumpy Life's road has got quite bumpy as of late. I have indulged in occasional comfort meals but not binged. My fiance was diagnosed with melanoma at the end of last month. They had to check that his doctor removed it all. A surgeon had to do a wider excision and while he did that, we requested he remove another mole we didn't like the look of. The surgeon said it looked like a harmless basal -something or other, but he would remove it while doing the other procedure just to be safe. The or... Sun, 13 Apr 2014 11:06:03 EST Busy & weight the same So I've been very busy this past weekend, and all this week will be busy too. I have had some stressful issues crop up, but have surprised myself by not turning to food- yet. I hope to keep up that resolve. <BR> <BR> My weight stayed the same, stress hormones? water weight for tom? I don't know, but I won't let it discourage me. I will persist in staying on track and try to remember that I am doing this to prevent health issues, not just a number on the scale. Hopefully if I stay foc... Mon, 7 Apr 2014 21:59:12 EST Slow day Today was a slow day. I didn't get much done like I wanted, but I did stay on track. Tomorrow will be a busy day, so I guess it is good I recharged myself. I am hoping to get some more 'spring cleaning' done this weekend (it is actually autumn in NZ now). As for my food plans, I plan to make another batch of Jody's Pumpkin Bake & Candied Bacon this weekend. I also will make some more cauliflower mash to go with my dinners. My plain water consumption is also doing good this week. Fin... Thu, 3 Apr 2014 02:49:37 EST Low Carb Candied Bacon & down another 2 lbs I remember Googling some recipes for cooking bacon in the oven last year, one of the recipes I kept seeing was different versions of 'candied' bacon. You basically coated bacon in a syrup, brown sugar or honey mixture and baked it. While it looked great, my blood sugar would shoot up faster then a backyard weed. Not to mention the cravings that would likely see me devour a whole batch before ransacking the cupboards looking for more sugar like some beast from a horror flick. I needed a lo... Tue, 1 Apr 2014 17:27:57 EST My go to snacks These last few weeks have been very busy and usually that would have meant me eating whatever was convenient, whether it was on plan or not. That past attitude meant I struggled more then I should have with losing weight. Often what was convenient was NOT on plan. But this past month I have been using my "go to snacks", that I used when I was on bed rest with my injured knee & foot last month. Macadamia nuts and whipped peanut butter. <BR> <BR> A few will do (4-8 whole kernels) <BR>... Fri, 28 Mar 2014 14:47:02 EST Drinks, the good, the bad, the ugly... Yes, still busy here, but I am definitely getting a handle on better managing my time & efforts. (knocks on wood that it doesn't get even busier) <BR> <BR> Diet soda- not a good choice <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> Keeping my fluids up without relying on diet soda is a challenge. I am now down to having diet soda once a week. I used to have 1.5 liters of Pepsi Max a day. Replacing it was tricky. I did buy some sparkling water and ad... Tue, 25 Mar 2014 17:36:10 EST Pumpkin Bake & Down 2 lbs I lost two pounds this week, yay! Despite it being busy, I managed to make Jody's Pumpkin Bake finally. ( Recipe here: <link><BR>tml </link> ) After the Pumpkin Pound Cake not being what I wanted, I was pleased the Pumpkin Bake tasted pretty much what I was looking for. Although it was on my "To Try" list, those of you that made it before and gave rave reviews encouraged me to try making it last night. I am glad I did. I have to admit I didn't b... Mon, 24 Mar 2014 16:51:24 EST Been super busy So the past 2 weeks have been very busy. I have checked into SP everyday and tracked my goals and posted on my weigh in threads and a few other posts here and there. My blogging fell by the wayside but I stayed pretty much on plan. Some days I didn't do the treadmill because I was active and very tired at the end of the day, plus fighting a head cold which sapped a lot of energy earlier in the week. But as I said the good news is I didn't go charging wildly off plan. I am quite happy ab... Sun, 23 Mar 2014 04:37:53 EST My Weekend Wrap Up The weekend went by at the right speed, not too fast or too slow. I really enjoyed sleeping in the past few days. I made sure to adjust my clock so I would know the right time for my family back in the States. We don't 'fall back' until next month on the 6th. <BR> <BR> My eating was great. Breakfast was fresh sausage from the butchers fried in butter. For lunch I wasn't very hungry so I ate a LC peanut butter cup (peanut butter, coconut oil & dark cocoa powder) that I made last month... Sun, 9 Mar 2014 07:00:18 EST Berry Water So yesterday I stuck a bottle of water with a couple frozen raspberries in the fridge overnight. In the morning I added a few drops of stevia and had perfection. The water is tap water but the berries caused little bubbles to form when I dropped them in. I will do another bottle tonight for tomorrow. <BR> <BR> Frozen berries in water left overnight in the fridge= refreshing <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> A few people gave some sugges... Sat, 8 Mar 2014 06:46:57 EST Weight the same, tried new recipe & water intake This week was crazy busy but today things calmed down a bit. My weigh in on Tuesday was the same, my water intake has been down all week and I have been having issues with sleep, so those could be affecting my weight loss efforts. <BR> <BR> My water issue is I just don't like plain water in huge quantities. I have bought some lemon & lime juice, but after 1-2 cups of water with some of the juices in it, I don't want more. I had ordered some Crystal Light from an import store & that work... Fri, 7 Mar 2014 04:21:08 EST Looking forward to a better week Last week was very busy and chaotic. I didn't get on the treadmill, but was active in other ways. I am hoping this week will be better. Unfortunately it will still be busy, but hopefully in a more controlled fashion. <BR> <BR> I have a new scale as the old one finally gave up and was no longer working. The new one has been working great, so it will be the one I use on Tuesday for my weigh in. I have logged into SP daily, I just didn't blog as I was too busy or tired. My eating went a ... Sun, 2 Mar 2014 00:47:16 EST Saturday, short post I decided not to join a walking challenge for the moment. I have several other things I am tracking, and until those things are habits, I will withhold adding more to my goals. <BR> <BR> I woke up refreshed this morning after heading to bed early. I did 15 mins on the treadmill first thing and then another 10 in the evening to relax. I think I will have to double my treadmill goal of 10 mins a day to 20 for next week. Since I seem to be getting about that at the moment, although it has ... Sat, 22 Feb 2014 06:47:55 EST Loving the new treadmill Despite being tired, I hopped on the new treadmill last night and did 20 minutes before bed. It felt so good. I planned just 10 minutes, but did twice that. My fiance did 15 mins himself. I will do 20 mins today, more if I feel like it. I have been looking for a walking challenge to join and have found a few but will wait until the weekend before deciding which, if any to join. I don't want to over extend myself to the point I feel working out is a chore instead of something I want to d... Thu, 20 Feb 2014 18:33:20 EST Treadmill is ready <em>315</em> <em>67</em> <BR> After a big help from some neighbors, we got the treadmill into the lounge finally. We had given the neighbors the old sofa that was there as well as a small table. They then offered to move the treadmill (still in its box) to the lounge. I warned them it was heavy, but they said it was the least they could do and spent about 20 mins getting it there and down the stairs. I thanked them profusely as they thanked us for the furniture. So it worked out ... Wed, 19 Feb 2014 14:43:52 EST Weekly wrap up While last week had its ups & downs, I stayed on track. I feel good over all and my knee is nearly back to normal. The treadmill should be set up by this weekend & hopefully I can start using it immediately. I did my weigh in this morning and saw I lost 4 lbs. I will just stay on track, I have lost weight before, but I never really go past 25-30 pounds lost before I stall, then regain. So I am happy for the loss, but it needs to be an on going process. So I am focused on continuing to s... Tue, 18 Feb 2014 03:48:13 EST Sunday Been slowly catching up on the housework that went neglected during the injuries last week. I have nearly caught up with the laundry. I have been taking it slow so I don't aggravate my knee. I think by mid week I can return the crutches back to the clinic. <BR> <BR> I had fish for dinner & chicken for lunch and some nuts for a snack. Breakfast was coffee with cream and leftover wings from yesterday. Thinking of using the blueberries & bell peppers in my meals tomorrow. Hopefully the... Sun, 16 Feb 2014 06:59:07 EST On the mend, lesson learned So last Friday, I stepped on something that went into my foot. Despite numerous attempts to get it out it was in deep. So last Saturday I went to the clinic & it was removed (skip the rest of this sentence if you are squeamish) the doctor gave me a shot in the foot so I wouldn't feel him cut it out. It was wrapped in bandages, I was given a tetanus shot as a precaution. I could walk fine on the toe part of that foot and put most of my weight on my left foot. It all was going well enough.... Sat, 15 Feb 2014 02:53:08 EST Thursday using app to post. bed rest since yesterday. sprained knee ligament. crutches and rest with light movement. hopefully Will be able to get upstairs this weekend to do better blog. Thu, 13 Feb 2014 00:26:03 EST Tuesday Treadmill came today, unfortunately they didn't call ahead as requested, so instead it was dumped in the driveway and had to be pushed in the garage. It was supposed to be delivered to the living room so we could unpack it there and use it (it is a big and a very heavy duty one) but now it's in this big box in the garage. Hopefully this weekend we can unpack it and get it somehow down the stairs and into the living room. <BR> <BR> I got my weigh in & measurements done. So I have a new hi... Tue, 11 Feb 2014 07:08:14 EST Today Today I will get to bed earlier, last night I was up until about 2am- yesterday's post was posted in the wee hours of today. It is just after 9pm Monday here and I am hoping to be in bed by 10. As for the issues of yesterday- the corded phone is unpacked & plugged in and new phones for the house have been ordered- 2 for $40 total, not bad. The car goes into the mechanics mid week, hopefully it will be ready the same or next day (fingers crossed). Arm has recovered from the shot, air cond... Mon, 10 Feb 2014 03:27:30 EST Busy Day I am about to head to bed. Today didn't go as well as planned. The car broke down just after stopping by the fruit & veg stand. It had regular maintenance a few months ago, apparently one of the electric parts has failed and the car needs to get into the shop and get fixed. My foot feels much better, but my arm is super sore, red, and warm to the touch from the tetanus shot. I took a few pain killers and hopefully it will come right by tomorrow. Those are typical reactions to it, so n... Sun, 9 Feb 2014 08:05:32 EST Restart after a year away... <img src=""> <BR> I thought about deleting all my old blog posts, but I figured I might learn something by re-reading them. I had some things that worked, others that didn't. Same goes for restarting SP with a new profile, it wouldn't benefit me as much as I might pretend it could. Understand that I do believe sometimes a clean start is best, but I do not feel that I am in that moment yet. <BR> <BR> I will need to weigh myself, I ha... Sat, 8 Feb 2014 07:11:23 EST Week 9 Day 1 Still stuck. This is week 7 of no change, so as per my plan I will be selecting a persistence reward for the 8th week of my plateau for staying on plan despite the scale not budging. My measurements were no better, lost some inches in some places, gained in others. I will be switching my weight training up this week and might also change the cardio part. I am also thinking of adding some coconut oil to my diet to help. I will not let the plateau beat me, I will beat the plateau. So I wi... Sun, 24 Feb 2013 06:10:16 EST