ANASARI's SparkPeople Blog ANASARI's Blog on SparkPeople, home of free diet plans and a healthy living community Splenda: spiking you covertly since 1998 Well, there goes that. According to this study, Splenda DOES have an effect on your insulin production; I am definitely avoiding Splenda now. <BR> <BR> <link><BR>333336/Could-artificial-sweetener-CAUS<BR>E-diabetes-Splenda-modifies-way-body-h<BR>andles-sugar-increasing-insulin-produc<BR>tion-20.html </link> Fri, 31 May 2013 19:39:54 EST It's definitely worth a shot! I came across this interesting tidbit today, and I'll link the whole article at the bottom of this, but wow, it's a very intriguing study/results about the power of positive thinking: <BR> <BR> In short, a researcher told half of a group of mostly-overweight hotel maids that their daily duties incorporated exercise which exceeded the surgeon general's recommended daily amount; the other half were not told anything. In a month, the first group saw weight loss and health benefit results, even ... Wed, 22 May 2013 12:01:26 EST Living seasonally - with bonus workout ideas I love this article, linked below. It's not necessarily anything new -- many savvy families grocery shop with the aim of buying what's in season when menu planning -- but I love how the article combines the concepts of not only eating in-season, but also seasonal frugality (we call this green living, but ask the people from a couple of generations ago, and they will tell you it was called common sense, back then :P), and even exercise as dictated by the various seasons: <BR> <BR> <link>ww... Wed, 22 May 2013 10:46:25 EST Double-amputee summits Everest For those days when you just can't find the drive to work out: <BR> <BR> <link><BR>archives/2013/05/20130520-192458.html </link> Tue, 21 May 2013 13:11:55 EST FDA petition for proper contents labeling of milk I got an email about this today, if anyone is interested in pursuing it. It is a group petition letter to the FDA about not allowing the food industry -- specifically big dairy -- to put the artificial sweetener aspartame in milk without specifying that it is contained therein. I haven't researched anything about this issue, but if you have any info to add, please feel free to comment! <BR> <link><BR>l_the_fda_to_reject_unlabeled_aspartam<BR>e_in_our_milk... Tue, 21 May 2013 10:03:49 EST Dear Americans, Don't eat healthy food Tongue-in-cheek "letter from the food industry" with some pretty good points about how they operate: <BR> <BR> <link><BR>log/2013/05/19/dear-american-consumers<BR>-please-dont-start-eating-healthfully-<BR>sincerely-the-food-industry/ </link> Mon, 20 May 2013 14:02:52 EST Quick survey on your best features I am not sure how much response I'll get on this, but I was thinking this morning about features. I have actually heard someone, in my lifetime, say "But she has such a pretty face!" about an overweight person. I always though that was a joke, and that nobody outside of a Hollywood movie would say that, but there it was. <BR> <BR> I really wondered what that had to do with anything at all, and why someone would even say that. If her face is pretty, whether she's heavy or light, should there ... Mon, 20 May 2013 10:36:38 EST Horoscope for today For Capricorn, Aquarius, Pisces, Aries, Taurus, Gemini, Cancer, Leo, Virgo, Libra, Scorpio, and Sagittarius: <BR> <BR> The coming year is likely to present challenges; these trials are when your true character will show. Trusted friends can provide assistance in particularly pressing situations. Make use of the skills you have to compensate for ones you lack. Your reputation in the future depends on your honesty and integrity this year. Monetary investments will prove risky; inform yourself ... Mon, 20 May 2013 10:00:25 EST Well played, vegetarians - I know it was you! Look at this... it's the FOURTH article THIS WEEK (and that's only the ones I've seen) about eating bugs as a dietary staple: <BR> <BR> <link><BR>s-insects-will-soon-be-staple-your-diet/ </link> <BR> <BR> You know who's behind it. It's the vegetarians. Cause I will be honest, here: given a choice between getting protein from bugs (because we can't sustain animal farming), or eating only veggies, well ...c'mon. The choice is pretty obvious! <BR> <BR> Yo... Sat, 18 May 2013 16:37:44 EST Inspiring reminders for today A random collection of notes I just found, that I made while watching the documentary, "Hungry for Change" some time ago. It's nothing new, really, except that I had never seen the visualization argument about it still impacting you. However, it's a bunch of good reminders of things you can do TODAY to be kind to your body and yourself. <BR> <BR> - Simple rules: real food (NOT food "products"), water, black coffee (the good stuff) and green tea <BR> <BR> - Watch funny movies, exercise, and ... Fri, 17 May 2013 08:48:55 EST Low-Carb Convenience and Fast Foods (long) I am so excited! This morning, I went to the grocery store, and -- lo and behold! -- "Lean Cuisine" has lived up to its name in a way that I can appreciate... they now have low-carb, no-grain-based-starch entrees! I just stared in disbelief for a moment, then grabbed a whole bunch! hah <BR> <BR> Look, I know that convenience foods aren't the best route to go, and especially my paleo friends are probably shaking their fingers at me right now, but I don't like to cook all the time. And while ... Thu, 16 May 2013 13:22:00 EST Freudian sylph I have always been interested in dreams, not as some sort of predictor of the future, but as a window into the neuroses of my subconscious. However, last night I had a rare dream in which I was able to see myself (that is, see my own body in the dream, which rarely happens), at least looking downward at it, and I think I may have found a telling disconnect: <BR> <BR> My subconscious thinks that I am thin. <BR> <BR> My brain recreated my body in my dream as how I looked in my early 30s, ra... Thu, 16 May 2013 08:41:55 EST Berry season saver I love fresh berries, and so this is getting on toward my favorite time of year. One issue with fresh berries, however, is that they are prone to deteriorate quickly. <BR> <BR> Something I learned, last year, was a great tip that has proven effective every single time, in extending the life of fresh berries: soak them in water and vinegar! There are various specifics on the web as to how much vinegar and water to use, but I usually just fill a cereal bowl about halfway with water, add a cou... Wed, 15 May 2013 13:10:14 EST Great frugal tips: coffee We roast our own coffee, NOT because we are hipsters and live in the Pacific Northwest, but because it is incredibly inexpensive. You can get green coffee beans for $5/lb at (the variety sampler pack), and then just cook them in a pan on medium heat, stirring constantly, for about 4-6 minutes until desired roast is achieved. Then let them cool for 3 hrs minimum on an aluminum baking sheet (to de-gas), and store in airproof container until ready to grind; you can get a chea... Wed, 15 May 2013 11:57:23 EST Allie Brosh is back! After 18 months off from a serious bout of depression, humor blogger Allie Brosh ("Hyperbole and a Half") has returned! If you aren't familiar with her stuff, here are some great articles -- a bit lengthy, but worth the read if you are looking for something new, different, and entertaining. Warning to those who dislike cursing that she does drop the occasional f-bomb in some entries, but doesn't make a running litany of it: <BR> <BR> Being an adult: <link> Wed, 15 May 2013 10:44:39 EST Move and donate $ to charity This was in a newsletter I got this morning, and I don't have a smart phone, so I haven't verified the information, but posting it here for people who might be interested. If legit, this could be a really neat added bonus for Sparkers who regularly walk/run/bike! <BR> <BR> "There is a free iPhone or Android app at that donates money to your choice of charity (from available choices) for every mile you walk, run, or bike. They donate $0.25 for every mile walked or run and... Tue, 14 May 2013 10:13:03 EST Photo project of fat mocking This was an interesting read, about a woman who exposed herself to public situations in order to capture the mockery that many of the overweight experience on a daily basis: <BR> <BR> <link><BR>_people_who_mock_me/?fark </link> Mon, 13 May 2013 11:37:19 EST Insect nutrition While I don't think this is an idea that's time has come yet for the US, certainly there are places around the world where denizens already do consume and even revere insects as part of their diet or as delicacies. <BR> <BR> Have you ever tried any? I wouldn't be completely opposed to the idea of trying some, but I would probably have to be drunk to actually try anything for the first time. Very much so. Though, in fairness, we do already consume bugs, and just don't know it (see US guideli... Mon, 13 May 2013 11:26:57 EST My new favorite meal We were SO close to being bad today. We had already talked ourselves into going out for lunch, and we were already starving enough to do so before I had started any lunch, but two things worked in our favor: <BR> <BR> 1) We hadn't dressed to go out, yet, and so we would still have to do that, and <BR> 2) then I remembered that I have a really easy chicken recipe that will cook in about half an hour, which would be quicker than getting dressed and going out. <BR> <BR> It worked! Frankly I th... Sun, 12 May 2013 17:38:33 EST Stay in school, kids! (World of Warcraft proof) We no longer live in a world where you don't need advanced math. Heck, dieting alone and doing all that calculating is enough to show that it's going to be important. Even if all you plan to do is spend your time playing World of Warcraft, you simply can't get by without it. <BR> <BR> Here's a fun little quiz, based on World of Warcraft, to demonstrate. I made this quiz two expansions ago, so while it hasn't been updated to reflect the Mists of Pandara expansion, you get the idea! <BR> <BR... Sat, 11 May 2013 09:46:59 EST Dragon fruit rice So, our local discount supermarket today had, of all things, some dragon fruit. I knew what they looked like, but I had never purchased one before, so I thought it might be fun to try out. <BR> <BR> They are a really pretty fruit, both outside and inside. I had some after dinner tonight, and, while it was definitely ripe, it is practically flavorless, and certainly not what I would call sweet. It was like a very mild jicama, almost. This really surprised me, since -- from higher-carb days -... Sat, 11 May 2013 00:28:12 EST Where we got the heart It probably isn't the first time this has been postulated, but only just recently, I realized where one of our best-known icons must have originated: <BR> <BR> Everyone, at some point, has noted that the "heart" symbol has no likeness at all to the actual shape of a human heart. However, the human heart is associated with feelings (including, most especially, love), and love is associated with a kiss on the lips. <BR> <BR> Next time you glance at your love's profile, you may look at it w... Fri, 10 May 2013 11:47:47 EST The most un-Spark thing I have ever seen From (original Facebook credit unknown): that is a Bloody Mary cocktail topped by the food apocalypse: <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> Here's the original link which gives a better photo: <BR> <BR> <link> </link> Thu, 9 May 2013 14:21:13 EST Bread: Bad for ducks, too <img src=""> <BR> <BR> From Failblog, the text, in case you can't read it: <BR> <BR> "Feeding bread to waterfowl increases malnutrition, encourages rodents, and breeds bacteria in the water, leading to "angel wings" (shown) and other deformities. Entire flocks have been lost due to polluted water from excessive bread. Many people feel they are helping when feeding bread to birds, but it does far more harm than good." Thu, 9 May 2013 14:14:59 EST Amazing budgeting inspiration Wow, this story really touched me. A little something for my frugalist friends today. My favorite quote, which makes me chuckle: <BR> <BR> Daughter: What about "fun money"? <BR> Mom: No fun! You find other ways to have fun. Go to the park and play on the swing. <BR> <BR> hahah :) Seriously though, this is incredibly inspirational, and I am so glad she shared it. <BR> <BR> <link><BR>9/how-my-mom-inspired-me-during-a-savi<BR>ngs-slump/ </link> Thu, 9 May 2013 10:25:13 EST Play today! Homemade super bouncy ball My mother sent me this today; not sure of her source, but cool! Makes me want to whip one up and spend the day like I am a kid again, maybe get a lot more activity than usual, too! *grin* <BR> <BR> HOMEMADE SUPER BOUNCY BALL <BR> <BR> - 2 T. warm water <BR> - 1/2 t. Borax <BR> <BR> 1) Stir to dissolve; add food coloring/glitter, if desired. <BR> <BR> 2) In another small bowl, place: <BR> - 1 T. Elmer's-type glue <BR> - 1/2 t. of the Borax solution you just made <BR> - 1 T. cornstarch. ... Wed, 8 May 2013 11:11:10 EST Corn on the cob for 1 - quick and easy Unfortunately, I can't figure out where I got this image originally. It isn't mine, but after trying to find the source on the 'net, it turns out this is hardly a unique idea (though the execution of instructions is pretty easy-to-understand in this image, as a plus). So my apologies to the original author for the lack of citation, but this is too cool not to share! <BR> <BR> <img src=""> Tue, 7 May 2013 09:28:15 EST Inspirational story from CNN There are a lot of good ones featured on SP, too, but here's one I came across today that I can really relate to: my sister and I also ate the same things growing up, yet I was always the one who gained, while she did not. Same activity level, too, so it was pretty frustrating to be "the chubby one." Kudos to this lady for finding what worked for her! <BR> <BR> <link><BR>-loss-fitness-studio/index.html?hpt=hp_t5 </link> Tue, 7 May 2013 07:10:20 EST Viridity for an old science Lately, I have taken to walking the unkempt wood located just across from my apartment. It is a beautiful and natural area, and I love to see signs of a more ancient epoch than ours. <BR> <BR> On these walks, beyond a satisfaction and wonder at the beauty of nature, I have also found my interest absorbed by the abundant variety of (primarily) native plant life. Often, I bring home one specimen or another, and carefully begin its preservation process, while I look it up online to determine... Mon, 6 May 2013 16:07:19 EST Potpourri of procrastination When I first began a blog as a sideline, prior to SparkPeople, I kept a draft email around to add all my ideas, recipes, interesting links, etc. to use as fodder for the blog as I got around to fleshing them out. Some of the items on there have been around for a very long time, and I never followed up, so it's time to put them all into a single post, in order to help turn out some new space for thoughts and ideas... here they are, in no particular order. <BR> <BR> (Incidentally, my real tas... Sat, 4 May 2013 23:15:41 EST Frugal tip for today I think everyone who takes over-the-counter (non-prescription) supplements realizes that, for the most part, their efficacy claims have not been evaluated nor approved by the FDA. There are many schools of thought that claim that supplements do nothing and are really just "snake oil," but there actually is some evidence that at least some of them do work as claimed. The trick is knowing which ones are legitimate, and to that end, someone has put together a chart of most available supplements,... Fri, 3 May 2013 10:20:30 EST Raw wilting So, yesterday I discovered something sort of amazing, but of course it's probably something that raw food enthusiasts already know about: raw wilting! <BR> <BR> This actually came about completely by accident. As anyone who's worked with kale before knows, it is a little bitter and also a very coarse green to work with. I personally feel that it's better suited to cooking than to eating raw, for these reasons, because it removes some of the bitterness and makes its texture better when cooked... Thu, 2 May 2013 10:48:52 EST Headaches saved my life Sometimes when you are wondering why you are plagued with a particular burden, it might help to bear this story in mind. I'm not prone to say "everything happens for a reason," but certainly in an anecdotal sense, there are some good examples. <BR> <BR> For most of my 20s, I had horrible migraines. I got the nausea, the inability to barely even move from a fetal position, the works. I got them probably 6 times a year, if I had to try to estimate (though they weren't cyclical at all), and ... Wed, 1 May 2013 11:43:37 EST Stop eating your way into debt The following excerpts are some really good points made today in an email newsletter I received from "Living on a Dime," by Tawra Kellam. One of the best ways to get out of debt is to stop dining out (even Dave Ramsey advocates "beans and rice" while getting out of debt, meaning slash your dining out to zero and your grocery bill to as near zero as you can get it), but she makes a good point about how many of us don't see how destructive a habit it really is. While I suspect the majority of a... Tue, 30 Apr 2013 11:38:03 EST Meatless low-carb eating I usually waffle between exploring low-carb vs. Paleo lifestyles, but I also often wish that I had a plan that was similarly successful but which would make a vegetarian diet work for me. <BR> <BR> Interestingly, on SparkPeople, I found this list of non-meat proteins which is definitely worth considering. Of course if I stay low-carb and/or Paleo, the beans and grains aren't welcome, but it provides some good options for trying to do at least the low-carb lifestyle via only non-animal sourc... Mon, 29 Apr 2013 09:21:08 EST Delicious and hilarious I have never heard of this site before today! The language is likely objectionable to some, so fair warning, but if you can get past that and if you find "thugs cooking" a funny idea despite it, you might love it, too! They have fantastic, healthy, and ingenious recipes that make me chuckle. :) It appears to be a vegetarian-based site, at least with the recipes I've seen so far. <BR> <BR> <link> </link> <BR> <BR> Here's an example of one of their teaser photos for a reci... Sun, 28 Apr 2013 22:27:30 EST 5-Ingredient crockpot meals For my frugalist friends! <BR> <BR> <link><BR>he-frugal-magic-of-the-five-ingredient<BR>-crock-pot-meal/ </link> Sat, 27 Apr 2013 09:15:19 EST Words for Women My daily "Futility Closet" email had the coolest thing, a while back: it's a discussion of the works of a woman named Suzette Helgin, who was a PhD in linguistics. She wrote a science fiction novel, with an invented language which was female-centric. If you want to read the full article, click here (that link also has a link to her full dictionary): <BR> <BR> <link><BR>e-right-words/ </link> <BR> <BR> Here are some of the more interesting words, man... Fri, 26 Apr 2013 11:44:25 EST Mock-ive Garden Gnocchi Soup One of our favorite activites for dining out before we began Atkins was to hit Olive Garden during their afternoon "All-You-Can-Eat Soup, Salad, and Breadsticks" event. In particular, we were hooked on their Chicken and Gnocchi Soup, which of course is offlimits to us, now. <BR> <BR> With a little research on the web, I found a copycat recipe for the soup, but it still wasn't Atkins-friendly. Here's a link, if that isn't important to you or if you don't do low-carb eating: <BR> <BR> <li... Thu, 25 Apr 2013 11:42:22 EST Easy Homemade Sausage If you've kept up with the news or visited a grocery store lately, you know that prices -- especially for meat and vegetables -- are going through the roof, which makes doing low-carb a challenge. A couple of years ago, the way I could determine if meat was a good buy was whether or not it was under $2/lb. Those days are all but vanished, barring a really good sale (which hardly happens anymore except for poultry or pork, and we don't eat pork). <BR> <BR> So, I've had to readjust my shoppin... Wed, 24 Apr 2013 19:49:12 EST Meal Repurposing (a.k.a - Not your average leftovers!) My mother actually gave me this idea long ago, and obviously it's a pretty universal concept: there are many meals that you can feature in new ways the second or third day that you are serving. <BR> <BR> However, this is sort of a renewed concept that I'm experimenting with, lately, to try to make it work with low-carb eating, since most repurposing involves heavy use of starches to stretch a meal over several days. Below is a first attempt to meal pl... Tue, 23 Apr 2013 11:21:30 EST One lump or two, Anasari? It is simply amazing how a little straying on Atkins can wipe out an entire several weeks' worth of good work. I don't know why I forget this every time, but ooh boy am I remembering it, today. <BR> <BR> It started with a gaming session (board games all night long) at a friend's house Saturday night. Earlier that day, my husband had made a case for us using this weekend as our reward weekend, so we could get a three-week run at our next one and really buckle down. Well okay, but we both knew... Mon, 22 Apr 2013 10:23:33 EST Stone Soup Potluck Party One of the fables I remember from the earliest part of my childhood was the one about a village who thought that they had nothing to eat, until a stranger came and introduced them to the magical recipe for Stone Soup (click here for link to the fable, which is slightly different from the one I was told, but still the same idea): <BR> <BR> <link> </link> <BR> <BR> In short, the only "magic" to it was that they already had all the ingredients (except the sto... Sat, 20 Apr 2013 06:42:45 EST Magnificent mung beans If you enjoy growing your own fruits, veggies or herbs, but don't have a lot of space, have I got something neat for you: bean sprouts! Many grocery stores have either the mung beans (dried) in their bulk bins or as a packaged version somewhere, if you check around; if not, you can probably get them at a more specialized store, such as Whole Foods. <BR> <BR> Anyway, they are the easiest thing in the world to grow. All you do is take 1 T. of the small dry beans, soak them overnight in water, ... Sat, 20 Apr 2013 06:37:00 EST Know Thyself Better I was reading an interesting article recently which got me thinking about really paying attention to our bodies, rather than taking them for granted. Among the things that struck me was their point that you should treat your body like an old friend, because the two of you have been through a lifetime together; I thought it might be fun to actually take an inventory, and remember various things related to specific areas, to help you better understand yourself and realize just how fantastically... Fri, 19 Apr 2013 14:16:27 EST Menu Wk 04/21 - 04/27/2013 Sunday 04/21/13: ~14g <BR> <BR> Breakfast: <BR> planned: 3 turkey sausage links (2g); 18 oz coffee with 1/8 c. cream (2g); 3 c. water; pills <BR> <BR> Lunch: <BR> planned: Leftover quiche (4g); green salad or kale with vinegar/oil dressing (2-3g); 3 c. water <BR> <BR> Dinner: <BR> planned: Cast-iron-roasted rosemary chicken (0g); asparagus (2g); green salad or kale with vinegar/oil dressing (2-3g); 3 c. water <BR> <BR> =========================== <BR> <BR> Monday 04/22/13: ~14g <BR>... Fri, 19 Apr 2013 08:05:28 EST Sketch artist brings harsh self-images to light Really interesting bit by the Dove Campaign for Real Beauty - I love how they show how much poorer are our views of ourselves than those that others have of us. <BR> <BR> <link><BR>l-beauty-sketches-campaign-gets-women-<BR>to-rethink-their-looks </link> Thu, 18 Apr 2013 22:25:50 EST How Salt Works If you are ever looking for an excellent documentary series, try "How Stuff Works." Netflix has it on instant-view, and I'm sure it's also available elsewhere. <BR> <BR> Just this past week, we watched the documentary on "Salt" (Season 1, Episode 2). Not only did it give us a lot of insight into the processes involved, but a segment of the show also delved specifically into the mechanisms by which salt causes hypertension, so that was especially interesting and worth the watch! <BR> <BR> T... Thu, 18 Apr 2013 11:31:45 EST Eggshrooms Desperate for an appetizer/snack the other day that would be somewhat healthy, we came up with the following quick and unique item that we just love. It's very easy to make, very filling, and would even be good tucked into a lunch bag as a snack - or a couple, as a meal, because they're quite hearty! It's such a simple idea, that it's probably been done before, but my husband came up with the name for these - enjoy! <BR> <BR> Eggshrooms <BR> 350 degrees for 30 minutes <BR> <BR> - 6-12 lar... Thu, 18 Apr 2013 11:24:09 EST You have burned 2000 calories! My aunt sent this to me. It's a bit suggestive, but really cute, and no actual lewdness. :) <BR> <BR> <link><BR>m4nN4 </link> Wed, 17 Apr 2013 21:05:53 EST