BOSTONMARGY's SparkPeople Blog BOSTONMARGY's Blog on SparkPeople, home of free diet plans and a healthy living community Eliminate Sugar Week? Huh, We'll See About That I may have to give this one a week to fulfill, since I'm behind a few days and have already had some servings of chai tea with a bit of added sugar. I'm not going crazy with it, though. I'll finish out the week with my regular habit of unsweetened tea in the morning. I'll also try to find energy bars that contain less sugar. Wed, 13 Sep 2017 16:25:03 EST Avoiding a Minefield A few nights ago I was hungry at the end of the day. My husband often takes cookies to work with him and they were sitting there in their container in the pantry, tempting me. However, I also had a peach, the last one, sitting in a pretty blue bowl. I'd already used up my allotted fruit servings, but ate the peach anyway. Better that than a higher-calorie cookie with questionable nutritional value. Mon, 11 Sep 2017 15:54:07 EST Sugar, Sugar Everywhere As I mentioned, the hubby and I eat "low on the food chain." He prefers processed grains - white rice especially. For him it's a taste and convenience thing. I always try to substitute whole grains - brown rice and quinoa especially. Mon, 4 Sep 2017 14:40:45 EST A Drug's Hidden Costs I take medication for a number of things. After a hospitalization last summer I was put onto a drug that, it turns out, is notorious for promoting weight gain. I noticed what was going on a few weeks ago and have been trying to cut back to get to a reasonable weight again. I'm working with SparkPeople, along with a nutritionist and my doctor. I might also do some cognitive behavioral therapy if I decide it's warranted. <BR> <BR> So far I've been losing weight slowly. When things get hectic o... Mon, 4 Sep 2017 14:25:35 EST To Sleep, To Dream I'm a chronic insomniac. It's hard-wired into my brain. I've had trouble with sleep since I was a little kid. I remember hating nap time because I had to lay there, bored, for what felt like hours. Other kids slept, I could see that. But, not me. <BR> <BR> This condition is playing fast and loose with other aspects of my physical and mental health, which is why my doctor referred me to a sleep therapist (I didn't even know they existed). I'm starting with her on Monday. It'll be a hassle to ... Mon, 2 May 2016 16:15:13 EST Spark.TV Eh? What a great idea! A whole workout series right in the same SparkPeople package! I love it. Thanks, SparkPeople. Fri, 22 Apr 2016 13:14:50 EST Crunchy Cookies I'm recovering from a root canal procedure last Friday. Crunchy, hard stuff is still a challenge but it's definitely easier to eat overall. I laid in some fiber rich foods and will try to fit them in as I can. I can certainly eat beans and cooked veggies! I guess you never really appreciate your teeth until you can't use them. Mon, 29 Feb 2016 14:10:24 EST Happy New Year and All That! Happy January 1 to all of you sparkers! I haven't been able to come up with a set of new year's resolutions, so I've chosen the 30-days to declutter article as my inspiration. You can visit the page here: <BR> <BR> <link> </link> <BR> <BR> This will be a challenge - my husband is a clutter-bug and I'm constantly awash in last week's mail and clothes strewn around. Well, at least I'll get my messes under control. <BR> <BR> Wish me luck! Fri, 1 Jan 2016 12:46:25 EST Holiday Times and a Wellness Check <img src=""> I'm getting into Christmas, for the first time since my mother passed away in late 2013. I've got a tree I love looking at and decorations I've enjoyed putting up. I chat regularly with my sister and we're both feeling nostalgic for earlier Christmases. We used to go to a local drug store on Christmas Eve, to get stocking stuffers for our parents. Then we'd wrap them and put them out later in the eveni... Fri, 11 Dec 2015 13:18:55 EST Peace <img src=""> Sun, 27 Sep 2015 16:35:47 EST Doing Some Mental House Cleaning It's been a long few weeks, culminating in an unexpected injury to my rib cage. It feels like a pulled muscle, and it's painful enough to put a serious crimp in my daily activities. I finally broke down and called a doctor to request physical therapy, since it doesn't seem to be getting any better after a week. <BR> <BR> But, today is going to be a calm and reflective one. I want to get back to my familiar practices and habits. It will be a way to center myself and keep all of my life in tra... Fri, 17 Apr 2015 14:11:57 EST Prep Time <img src=""> This will be a challenging week. I have to readjust my diet to prepare for a medical procedure early next week. Strictly low fiber foods, no corn, no fresh fruits or vegetables. No whole grain anything. So here I am with cottage cheese and canned peaches. Wish me luck! Wed, 25 Feb 2015 14:55:33 EST Half Full My glass is ( almost) always half full. On occasion I'll lose the forest for the trees, but I tend to wander back to the right track. I've learned not to beat myself up too badly. That helps. Sun, 28 Sep 2014 14:53:38 EST Five words for today I feel tired and headachey Sat, 27 Sep 2014 15:18:32 EST Pain in the Neck At my age, I get aches and pains. This is made worse by computer work, which requires long periods of sitting and extensive use of my hands. I often end up going to bed and not being able to sleep on my back because I'm so sore. <BR> <BR> I'm trying to mitigate the problem, both with more frequent breaks, ibuprofen and exercise as well as with regular massage sessions. It's expensive, but I do end up feeling better. Thu, 7 Aug 2014 14:05:41 EST Happy and Healthy? Wow. I had a doctor's appointment this morning in Cambridge. I woke up tired to get to it in time and on the way back had a craving for a sweet meal. I stopped in at a Panera bakery and bought myself a cinnamon roll. <BR> <BR> I took a long walk when I got home, to get some errands done and then logged into SparkPeople. Yikes! That cinnamon roll was over 600 calories! That brought me back to reality, and made me think more about my relationship with sleep. I am a chronic insomniac and alway... Fri, 23 May 2014 13:50:16 EST A Slow Reentry <img src="">My health is almost back to normal. I'm still struggling with pain from a strained muscle in my left shoulder. I think I strained it by coughing so hard and so long. I went for a massage last week, which helped for a disappointingly short amount of time. Other than hat, I'm taking it easy and popping aspirin or ibuprofen. Very frustrating. <BR> <BR> But, I'm well enough to keep up with my SparkPeople commitment. I gave myself... Mon, 24 Mar 2014 13:03:03 EST Hacking My Way Through Today That's hacking as in coughing, not doing something to computers. I seem to have the cold that's felling Boston. On the bright side, my coughs are "productive," so at least my body's moving towards health even if it's inconvenient for me. <BR> <BR> I haven't been tracking anything over the last few days, since I've been bed most of that time. Hope to resume more today, even though exercise will have to wait. I can meditate and stretch, though. Mon, 24 Feb 2014 12:49:24 EST Me? Exercise? I'm a disaster waiting to happen in a gym. I'll start with a lot of enthusiasm and commitment, only to be driven out of the gym and the mindset by one set of physical problems or another: achilles tendinitis, knee problems and more. <BR> <BR> So, I resorted to just walking, which is a great thing to do, by the way. Then I found a set of seated exercises on SparkPeople that let me get cardio and strength training without hurting myself. I still love to walk, but not when it's eight degrees o... Wed, 22 Jan 2014 15:00:51 EST Struggling With Sleep I tossed and turned last night. I didn't sleep until after 2:00 am, which hasn't happened in a long time. I walked for 45 minutes, which usually knocks me right out. I did watch a movie - Yentl, not exactly a high stress movie - and wondered if tv at night might be the culprit? Sun, 12 Jan 2014 12:47:50 EST Today Feeling kind of sad after taking down my Christmas decorations. Sat, 4 Jan 2014 16:07:36 EST Now Thats My Kind of Exercise I love to walk. It calms my mind and tires me out enough to sleep better. I had more self discipline once and I've fallen away from the habit. I'm consciously building that habit back up, though. Sun, 29 Dec 2013 15:11:58 EST Home Heading home today after a week away. Looking forward to resuming my regular schedule of eating healthy food and exercising! Thu, 26 Dec 2013 09:43:39 EST Merry Christmas! I hope you all have a great day. I'm Polish, so our big celebration was yesterday, December 24. Today we'll enjoy a quiet day with the family. Tomorrow, we're heading back home! Wed, 25 Dec 2013 12:25:23 EST Different Places I'm enjoying Christmas with my family in Western New York. My mother passed away in early November, so it's important for all of us to enjoy our time together. The weather has been crappy - pouring rain, cold and then freezing to create dangerous ice slicks the minute you walk out of the door. <BR> <BR> My family's emotional health is paramount right now. I'm watching what I eat and am not beating myself up because I haven't had much of a chance to exercise. I'm doing what I can and will try... Mon, 23 Dec 2013 11:32:44 EST Hmmmm. Restaurants. I love visiting the family, but that also entails temporarily adapting to their food preferences. My husband and I are more like the Mediterranean Diet types. Everyone else seems to worship cholesterol at public shrines throughout the city. <BR> <BR> <img src="">I'm hoping this year will be a bit better. My brother's trying to drop a few pounds, so we might be able to go on the lighter side, at least when we're together. Tue, 17 Dec 2013 18:30:40 EST Happy Thanksgiving! I intend to enjoy this day.I will indulge in food and friends.I've always believed in a two-pronged approach to health: mind and body.I will be good to myself. This month, I need it. Thu, 28 Nov 2013 10:45:10 EST Motivation My motivation and energy took a dive earlier this month, for very good reasons. My mother, who had not been in great health for a few years, finally passed away in early November. I'm coming to terms with the loss in what I consider to be healthy ways and am not expecting to bounce back overnight. <BR> <BR> I just joined SparkCoach for a little extra boost of support since my own motivation levels are uncharacteristically low right now. I'm taking things as they come and cutting myself a li... Sun, 17 Nov 2013 14:40:28 EST It's Just Common Sense I thought I'd share an interesting article I came across on the Huffington Post. Of course, SparkPeople advises the same things, but it's all in one, neat place here. <BR> <BR> 7 Diet Habits You Should Drop Now <BR> <BR> <link> </link> Thu, 31 Oct 2013 18:54:22 EST Happy Halloween! Will I give myself a little Halloween treat? We'll consider the calories in/out thing and decide then! <BR> <BR> <img src=""> Thu, 31 Oct 2013 18:51:07 EST I Slept. How Could This Be? Amazing. I woke up at 6:30 am, on my own and didn't feel tired. I'm feeling it now, in the afternoon but I'm pretty amazed that I managed to sleep. I usually don't. Tue, 29 Oct 2013 16:28:56 EST Tired But, Hey, It's Good! I've been walking like crazy these days. I haven't really planned it, but found myself running a bunch of errands, all on foot: meetings at Town Hall and the senior center, farmers market and, to top it off, lots of walking at work. I was constantly out of my chair, getting photocopied materials to the right folks and generally setting up before leaving for the day. My feet were tired at the end of a four-hour day, then I walked another 10 minutes to get home. <BR> <BR> I'm not as hungry as ... Thu, 3 Oct 2013 21:40:14 EST Virtue is its Own Reward I've been good. Really. I saw a nutritionist yesterday and told her about my weight loss goals, then got more information about healthy ways of doing that. She also told me that, overall, part of the goal had to be taking care of myself. Stress and lack of sleep are major drawbacks, so I'm thinking about getting back into some healthy old habits, like better sleep hygiene and mindfulness meditation. <BR> <BR> I went shopping this afternoon and decided to enjoy myself while doing it. Visited ... Tue, 17 Sep 2013 19:14:52 EST Dinner Is Such A Wonderful Tradition I love food, everything about it - growing it, finding it at farmers markets and farm stands and, of course, cooking with it. My family never got into the fast food thing so I have no cravings for McDonald's or Kentucky Fried Chicken. In fact, they give me heartburn. <BR> <BR> My husband and I eat relatively low on the food chain. We love vegetables and fruit, and also enjoy moderate amounts of fish and meat (mostly chicken). We do lots of grains, too, and I'm trying to get back to more comp... Tue, 20 Aug 2013 21:09:17 EST Okay, So... So far, so good, for the most part. I'm learning more about what I'm eating and have a better idea of where I can modify current habits to cut back on the empty calories. Mind you, sometimes empty calories can be lots of fun, but at the very least I can enjoy them a bit less regularly. <BR> <BR> I've been psyching myself up for more exercise, too. I walk, basically. I want to get more distance into that practice. At one point, when I was younger, I could walk for hours at a time. Not a bad w... Thu, 15 Aug 2013 19:42:58 EST