BREW99's SparkPeople Blog BREW99's Blog on SparkPeople, home of free diet plans and a healthy living community Fitbit Newbie: Worth the $? The last few months I have been MIA, thanks to a move to California and also a short break to clear my mind from digital advancements. Sometimes being connected to the world 100% of the time can be a bit stressful and lead towards changing a persons' mind. Now that I have had this pause, I feel more capable to continue on with my weight loss and fitness challenge. <BR> <BR> So on to the topic of the Fitbit. Yesterday DH decided to go out and purchase the Fitbit Blaze, it is supposed to wo... Tue, 5 Jul 2016 10:28:28 EST Anyone following IIFYM? So I've been hearing a lot about IIFYM from a log of other bloggers and I am really interesting in checking it out. I've been watching my calorie intake for a while now and tried going high carb, low fat vegan but to tell you the truth, I did not see any weight loss but I gained. Additionally I am gaining weight for some reason unknown at the moment even though I am eating healthy and exercising. It's very weird and am going to make a doctors' appointment sooner than later to assure there ... Thu, 23 Apr 2015 14:58:57 EST Almost 2 weeks with New Plan in Action I know I just mentioned I was testing out how my body reacted to the 80/10/10 lifestyle (otherwise known as high carb, low fat) but I have been testing it out here and there for about 2 weeks now. Years ago I went vegan overnight and couldn't have been happier but I am testing the waters with 80/10/10 because it does require one to eat a lot of uncooked meals. It being winter and all, for me can be a challenge. I'm glad I'm doing this right now but it takes a special person to go cold "tur... Thu, 12 Feb 2015 15:38:01 EST High Carb, Low Fat Vegan Trials Hi everyone! It's been so long that I have almost forgotten how to blog here. :) Almost... I have been working so hard at getting our house into order and getting everything setup for my personal blog that I have regretfully not made the time to talk and chat with everyone here. I was amazed after being out of our elements for about 8 months to find that I had not really gained or lost any weight. Hooray! It is amazing to get to that plateau while away! I've been stuck at the same weig... Mon, 9 Feb 2015 14:04:08 EST Finally Moved In It's been a crazy year already and it's only February 2015! Thankfully mostly everything has been positive and we can finally say that our condo has been completed and we were able to move in at the beginning of the year. So we are getting ourselves acclimated to living in the north once again and learning how to deal with the extremely cold temperatures. Thankfully we now have a real furnace (no more freezing thanks to the heat pumps in the southern states). Hooray! Additionally we are ... Tue, 3 Feb 2015 14:47:49 EST "Fighting" In many Asian dramas, especially Japanese, the characters go at something hard head on by stating "fighting". Sometimes all we have to do is get our adult panties on and say "fighting" to continue on when things get tough. <em>321</em> "Fighting" (said while placing first in air and a determined look on the face). <em>381</em> Sun, 2 Nov 2014 20:09:26 EST November 2014 Happy November! The year may feel like it's closing for the year but let's all continue to fight for our causes!!! <em>411</em> There's still time. Sat, 1 Nov 2014 19:38:44 EST No California For Now <img src=""> <BR> <BR> Oh it's a whirlwind right now in our life, you have probably noticed I have not been online lately. We were supposed to move to Lancaster, California as mentioned in February and we have been getting all prepared to move. We packed everything up, resigned from jobs on a certain date, setup our house lease to end and prepared for the movers to come on a certain date and time. As the date got closer to moving, the... Tue, 15 Apr 2014 08:55:02 EST Lancaster, CA! We're Moving!!!! <BR> <BR> For a few weeks I have been absent since DH and I have been planning and getting everything together for his new job. He has secretly been applying for positions and he got one of the first ones he applied. He had a few offers but he choice the one that he really wanted - in the High Desert! We're born/raised Michigan folk, turned Indiana for college, turned Illinois, turned Ohio, turned Virginia. Now we are going to move to the desert, an adventure! DH has be... Tue, 18 Feb 2014 15:11:43 EST 1/27/14 Food/Exercise Today we finally made it back to the gym after being out again for my back. My incision seems to have closed but when I stretch it too much, it breaks open again. My doctor said it was okay to workout, so I am listening to her and hoping it heals okay. Patience isn't my strongest attribute to the world. ha-ha Another nice feature was when we woke up, the temperature was around 40 and then rose to 54F just before lunch. It declined drastically after lunch going close to negative numbers bu... Tue, 28 Jan 2014 20:29:47 EST 1/22-1/26 Food/Exercise Recap Feeling so much better now! Last week I felt better for a few days and then after working out lightly, my back opened up again and the pain came back. It was very painful and doing too much just aggravated it. After a few days of rest and not working out, I think my back is healing once again. It's the problem with a cyst that has had to be "medically attended", it gets better and then out of the blue it's bad again. My antibiotic round is up and I think they are starting to work. They ... Mon, 27 Jan 2014 20:38:26 EST 1/21/14 Food/Exercise My back is doing much better today so I started to test it a bit more. Maybe this was good and maybe it wasn't, not sure just yet. But, thankfully we did get to the gym today as the weather was positive degrees. Food was a bit off again since my stomach is just fighting me since I'm still on my antibiotics for my back. I'm doing my best though. That's all we can hope for some days, a good attempt at doing the right things. <BR> <BR> Breakfast: Raw Meal Protein Powder Pancake. This is ... Wed, 22 Jan 2014 20:03:44 EST 1/20/2014 Food/Exercise <img src=""> <BR> The view from inside our house this morning as the sun was coming up... What a wonderful way to start the day. <BR> <BR> Feeling so much better today after taking the weekend off from working out for my back. My incision is getting much better and it is healing a bit. I still have some issues with it since it is still infected and inflamed but other than the lump, I can not feel it too much. Thankfully DH is there ... Tue, 21 Jan 2014 19:46:47 EST 1/17-1/19/2014 Food/Exercise This weekend was a whirlwind of emotions and struggles. Friday I struggled through the day getting past pain in my pain and working through not overeating while I watched my husband eat sugary items. I managed to get past the donuts on Friday morning and throughout the rest of the weekend as much as possible. There were some Popcorners though that got the best of me... oops! But I'm not too torn about it since I was eating within my calorie counts and not over doing it too much. Additional... Mon, 20 Jan 2014 19:30:42 EST 1/16/14 Food/Exercise <img src=""> <BR> I've mentally been working on how I need to work through less exercise until my back clears up (or before I have my cyst surgically removed - whimper). Today I took a nice slow walk with the pup outside again. It was so sunny and clear, it cheered my up. Sometimes the little moments really are the best ones. <BR> <BR> Breakfast #1: Banana with Peanut Butter, coffee and vitamins <BR> <img src=" Fri, 17 Jan 2014 17:44:44 EST 1/15/14 Food/Exercise Today was a really harsh day for me physically and mentally. I'm not sure if I mentioned it but I'm having an issue with my back again. It's been since High School since this happened once before but I have a benign cyst that grows on my backbone. Back then I had it surgically removed since it pushes against my nerves and creates lots of pain. Not only does it hurt when I have to move but it also pushes me to sit creatively to not put pressure on it. Since I've gone through this before (... Fri, 17 Jan 2014 17:36:13 EST 1/14/14 Food/Exercise Another rainy day in Virginia - pouring down in buckets more like it. We didn't get to go for a pup walk this morning since the rain deters us (pup doesn't do rain or snow). However DH and I did get back to the gym for another workout. Hooray! <BR> <BR> Pre-breakfast: Coffee, vegan vitamins and some more citrus infused water. <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> Breakfast: Back to the homemade bagels - yum! There's nothing like them on ... Fri, 17 Jan 2014 17:25:07 EST 1/13/14 Food/Exercise Monday, glorious Monday! (I do a day behind for photos) It was totally sunny today and it really motivated me to get some things done in the house while also procrastinating on some work I had to get done. It's okay though because I think those that work outside of the house also have these types of days. Take some you lose some... But I did get some things done with the housework and I also got some DH's blanket crocheted... Additionally I got out in the sunshine for reading and also o... Tue, 14 Jan 2014 20:48:25 EST 1/10 -1/12/14 Food/Exercise Hello Again! It's Monday and I'm back. It's hard on some weekends to keep updating on here with my food photos. But I try my hardest, this weekend we were all over the place so I wasn't able to get the photos that I had hoped. But I guess that is what happens on some weekends - I'll try harder next weekend. Thankfully we were active with walking the furry baby and doing some workouts at the gym. We also did a lot of walking around shopping on Saturday too - that counts right? I found ... Mon, 13 Jan 2014 20:16:56 EST 01/09/14 Food/Exercise Today was a better day for me. It was sunny outside and 30F. I have a rule that I don't take the pup out for walks under 30F so today we were able to get out for a walk. Hooray! We love walking in the middle of the day and stretching our paws/feet. Having a furry baby really does help get one motivated to continue working out daily when possible. She doesn't like rain or cold weather so we are a bit limited. Additionally I think I have kicked my cold all together and have just a slight... Fri, 10 Jan 2014 19:36:40 EST 01/08/14 Food/Exercise Feeling under the weather today is a bit off... Whether it be a bug or the bad weather but I woke up this morning feeling rather sick with a head cold and body aches (not from the gym). I woke up to get DH breakfast and get him out the door on time and went back to bed after trying to work for an hour without success. I feel asleep the entire morning so as you can expect I didn't really eat properly the whole day. I didn't skip meals, I just adjusted the time schedule for each one. <BR> ... Thu, 9 Jan 2014 20:38:49 EST 01/07/14 Food/Exercise Another freezing (literally) day in Virginia so not much to do as far as getting outside. Weather reporters have stated not to do much outside if possible due to the cool temperatures. So, that's what we did... I'm greatly missing the daily pup walks and outdoor workouts. But it's okay because it will just be extra special when we get back to them. Not much to say since I spent most of the day working on getting Christmas boxes packed for a likely move instead of the normal placing in th... Wed, 8 Jan 2014 20:44:33 EST 01/06/14 Food/Exercise Baby it's cold outside.... in the month of January... (it's okay to still sing Christmas songs right?) It's rather cold here today, even for Virginia. Thankfully we aren't getting the -36F that my parents have in Michigan but without a real furnace it's really cold in the house. At least we have heat (even if we will have a gigantic electricity bill) which some people may not have this time of year. But due to the cold temperatures, the weather reporters have stated not to leave our hou... Tue, 7 Jan 2014 20:00:21 EST 01/05/14 Food/Exercise Sunday is normally a calm day in our household, this weekend was no different. In the morning we managed to get to Walmart for some stocking up of our pantry such as dried beans. Normally we buy our dried beans from Whole Foods since they are organic but this week we decided to save a bit of money and go along with Walmart beans since not all of the types were available at Whole Foods this week. Are organic dried beans really necessary? Where do you buy yours? Just wondering... <BR> <BR... Mon, 6 Jan 2014 14:07:09 EST 01/04/14 Food/Exercise One of my favorite days, Saturday! This is the day I get to be greedy and spend the day with my DH. Yesterday we wanted to go to D.C. but considering the temperatures, we wanted to make sure we were home with our furry babies to assure the house was warm enough and safe enough for them. Just a little spoiled but that's okay with us. Thankfully we didn't get anything serious like the predictions! I hope everyone that did get the blizzard is staying at home safe and sound. My prayers are ... Sun, 5 Jan 2014 19:23:58 EST 01/03/14 Food/Exercise Day 3 of the year - I'm sure I will stop counting the days of the year right around February, don't worry. So finally it's Friday (I'm a day behind on posting in general) and we have the entire day off. Last night as we walked out of the gym, we were invited into a winter wonderland full of sleet which somehow turned into snow. We accumulated around a few centimeters but for me this is way too much. ha-ha No idea how I was born and raised in Michigan! It was a harsh night seeing as the ... Sat, 4 Jan 2014 20:01:39 EST 01/02/14 Food/Exercise Day two and I'm back again - hooray! Maybe 2014 will be a more productive year for posting blogs here on SP - kind of like I used to do over a year ago. Anyways, I'm doing pretty good with eating and exercising - the entire year! So maybe it's just two days but I'm still thrilled with any success. DH and I returned to work today for just one day this week, since he has Friday off with his every other free Friday plan for work. One work day this week, not bad. That meant that I was left... Fri, 3 Jan 2014 20:03:57 EST 01/01/14 Food/Exercise Hello Everyone! Happy 2014!!!! It's the busy season for me but I'm thrilled because there is something of starting fresh that gets me going even though the extra workload. I'm happy to be back and I'm going to try to post more often, especially with photos. Notice I said try because I have been bad about it the last year after moving states. Here's the first of the new year 2014 in photos. <BR> <em>411</em> <em>408</em> <em>411</em> <em>408</em> <em>411</em> <em>408</em>... Thu, 2 Jan 2014 20:50:48 EST Thank you Mother Nature: Sun Run <img src=""> <BR> <link><BR>1899/ </link> <BR> <BR> Hooray! The sun came back today and it warmed up the entire state of Virginia- I'm talking double yesterday's total temperature. So I laced up my shoes after a hard run in the 20's yesterday and went out again to the the pavement. I'm thrilled I was able to get out there today and soak up some sunshine - it felt wonderful getting natural vitami... Thu, 14 Nov 2013 16:07:36 EST Hello Soup & Gym Weather It's come, at least to the southeastern states of America. I've heard the Midwest really got hit with a storm and left some unmentionable white stuff - I'm so sorry mid-westerners. I'm thankful we no longer live in Cleveland, Chicago or even in Michigan. Whew! <em>465</em> <em>465</em> <BR> <BR> <em>362</em> Fitness: Today it turned cooler but I didn't let it get me down too much. It was around 39F with wind chill and boy was there wind! The furry baby and I went out for a w... Tue, 12 Nov 2013 20:33:30 EST Goodbye Jetlag <img src=""> <BR> Australia <BR> <BR> Jetlag really has never been an issue for me (guess all that moving between countries did something right). Australia and America are around 15 hrs different, a difference between night and day. The change in climate was my issue coming back from this trip. First we went from 90F in the USA, to 30C in Australia, and finally on our return we came all the way down the low 20's F at night! Yikes! ... Mon, 11 Nov 2013 20:17:47 EST Back on American Soil <img src=""> <BR> <em>652</em> <em>652</em> <em>652</em> <em>652</em> <em>652</em> <em>652</em> <em>652</em> <BR> <BR> Hello Everyone! We are finally back in the states from Australia. We had a nice time but we are thankful to be back in our own country once again. Right now we are working towards getting our bodies back into our time zone and into healthy eating. <BR> <BR> The first two days back, we took a ca... Thu, 7 Nov 2013 08:51:13 EST Oz! <em>676</em> <em>676</em> <em>676</em> <em>676</em> <BR> It's hard to believe I have not been on SP for such a long time, I truly miss you all. For a good portion of the summer, I have taken off from dieting - for some unknown reason I always tend to do this. Maybe it's because I'm just out and about enjoying the summer and running in the sunshine. Who knows? But I've missed all of you and hope to be back in a few weeks. It's fall and I intend to run outside throughout the en... Thu, 17 Oct 2013 15:53:45 EST WIAW #6: Warm Finally I had my doubts it would ever happen but it finally did, it turned warm. Hooray!!!! *dancing, dancing, dancing* My perfect day has warm weather which for normal people brings whimpers to their lips and promotes most to turn on house AC units. Yep, I’m the one sitting outside in 90’ish degree weather with a big smile on my face. When I was young my family did not have air conditioning so I’m not a big fan of forced air into a house – when heat is unbearable and we do in fact turn it on, I... Thu, 30 May 2013 15:04:34 EST Long Run Comparison Chart DH and I are following along with the Garmin Connect's training chart for running a 1/2 marathon. It's really challenging but we are trying to stick to the plan. This Saturday marked the second week of long runs so I decided to do a comparison chart to see how we were doing. Not only did we feel a bit better this week while running the longer distance (through our new hilly terrain) and did improve upon our average splits. Yay! DH and I both have Garmin GPS running watches which we wear ... Mon, 27 May 2013 16:32:06 EST WIAW #5: Stressed Wednesday’s are normally my hard work days, too much for too many hours in the day. Additionally it is the day I am conflicted with lack of motivation after seeing we still have a few more days left of the work week. This week beheld no shortage of stress and work… Without trying to say too much, our landlords have been setting up a lot of ‘maintenance’ appointments each month which we have to take off of work to meet them at our house (we rent in VA). So this last appointment we were tol... Thu, 23 May 2013 15:14:50 EST WIAW #4: Back to Raw Vegan, Kinda Every year around this time it always hits me, I become addicted to raw vegan food. Not that we don’t eat raw vegan in the winter too but there is just something about crunching into a large bowl of something fresh from the farmers’ market. Yum! The last two weeks I have had cravings for raw vegan salads and seem to not be able to get enough. Today was no exception and tomorrow won’t be either… <BR> <BR> Breakfast: Oatmeal, molasses (20% DV iron in 1 tbsp), coffee and an English muffin w... Thu, 16 May 2013 10:59:25 EST Weekend in Review: Groceries Galore Clothes shopping brings me just short of hyperventilating but grocery shopping turns me into a dancing geek of excitement. Our new residential area does not contain much international flare hence we have to drive 1 hour (3-4 in rush-hour traffic) up to Washington D.C. area for more options. It didn't take us long before finding some great stores that contain a lot of what we prefer to eat on a daily basis (if only it were closer-thank goodness for our Prius). Our favorite stores so far hav... Mon, 13 May 2013 11:25:12 EST WIAW: Boring #3 For so long I have watched WIAW blog posts from others and have been inspired. As I look at my meal tracker and photos, I am constantly thinking "wow, I'm a boring eater lately". <em>246</em> We all get in food ruts though, right? Guess that's why it is so important to eat healthy foods so when one does get in a rut, it's at least good for the body. <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> Two differences one might see in my food is basicall... Sat, 11 May 2013 20:41:32 EST WIAW: Snoop into my Kitchen & Workout Snooping around someone’s life is fun right? I’m sure I’m not the only one that loves the idea of looking around someone’s house during open houses or even thinks of taking a sneak peek inside a person’s fridge. You know you want to too! I’m not one to visit a friend and peek inside a medicine cabinet without a reason (I’m quite a whimp when it comes to the rules) but when someone offers… So that’s what these WIAW offer – a free invitation into my vegan life. I’m not 100% healthy with me... Thu, 2 May 2013 16:51:44 EST WIAW: Shall I Start This? <img src=""> <BR> Have you seen these “What I ate Wednesday” blog posts that people spread around the web? I’m always enthralled in them and have become quite addicted setting myself a place at other people’s tables. Sounds like I’m a stalker, right?! Ha-ha Normally I sit at my computer screen procrastinating and wondering what I should prepare for the next meal. Sometimes I make the mistake of stalking meal plates when I’m hungry bu... Fri, 19 Apr 2013 14:01:52 EST Hard Week, Hoping for Better Weekend Oh boy this week has been different to say the least. Sunday night we once again had snow so my "winter blues" returned for the two days it took for the snow to melt. Now thankfully the sun has showed its face once again but the wind here has been very strong and challenging. If only there were a magical pill to defend against the winter blues, am I right? This week I have run one day in total on Tuesday which was 3.80 miles in total. It felt great to get out there again and run with the... Thu, 28 Mar 2013 16:01:59 EST Meals Lately in Photos Today I finally had the time to take the photos off from my cell phone. I take way too many photos and then forget to put them on my laptop to put online. Ooops! But I thought I would still post everything that I have taken lately for food inspiration to you all. Not that everything has been 100% healthy but it is inspiration and you can take it for whatever you want... <BR> <BR> Lunch Vegetable soup <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> Home... Tue, 26 Mar 2013 11:36:10 EST Less than a Wk until Easter <em>452</em> <em>452</em> <em>452</em> <em>452</em> <em>452</em> <em>452</em> <em>452</em> <BR> Hooray! I love Easter because it is a time to really reflect on how ones' life is moving along each year. It's like a Christian New Years. This last 40 days of Lent I have been really thinking about where my weight loss has been going and how I want to correct it. Since we have moved to VA I have gained about 5-6 pounds which took about a year to remove last time. I do not... Tue, 26 Mar 2013 11:20:51 EST Snow, snow snow... <img src=""> <BR> <BR> I just wrote about my experience with the Snow Storm that hit us hard (yep, we live between Fredericksburg and Culpeper, VA). It was amazing how much snow can fall in just a few hours and then there I was 4'11" shoveling snow so my husband could get his car into the drive. ha-ha My neighbor nicely came out to talk for a few minutes and watch me shovel - so nice. :) But then again he knows how much I love to work... Thu, 7 Mar 2013 15:50:12 EST Biggest Loser: Be Yourself Episode <img src=""> <BR> You all know the show - how it's driving me crazy! <em>246</em> I love the determination of the trainers but the contestants I just wish realized the privileged they are being given - one that many people are literally dying to be given a chance. I always tell my husband that I would be the contestant that would be crying the entire workout session. It wouldn't be from fighting my inner demons though but rather lo... Tue, 26 Feb 2013 15:19:01 EST Tuesday Recap... It's been a while since I have done a daily recap but I hope to get more involved again. I've taken into consideration everyone's kind words and just feel better about posting photos again. I actually forgot to take photos of a few meals but I'm sure you all can use your imagination and create an image in your minds, right? <em>211</em> <BR> <BR> It was cold today and rainy so not really a day to run outside, grrr... I was totally involved in work so I didn't get to take some time of... Wed, 20 Feb 2013 16:21:36 EST Cell Phone Photo Drop I've been really busy with everyday things so I haven't gotten on here for a few days to post a blog. Hence, I have a lot of photos that I had wished to share with you but then changed my mind after not finding the time to post last week. I'll share a few now... <BR> <BR> Healthy Grocery Shopping is so gorgeous isn't it? This was this last week's purchase. <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> Shrove Tuesday - Pancake Tuesday. I made both a ... Tue, 19 Feb 2013 15:03:29 EST Happy Valentines Day! <img src=""> <BR> Hope you all have a wonderful day filled with love and happiness. <em>26</em> Thu, 14 Feb 2013 16:40:44 EST Hello Outdoors! <img src=""> <BR> Weather has turned for the better today and we are soooo unbelievably happy. The furry baby is a bit tired after two long walks (1.21 mile walks each) but she is totally absorbing the warmer weather. She's only 9 pounds and is 8 years old, so she uses that stats to take a bit longer to go down the road. (Yeah, I know pup you're just sniffing the ground.) It takes us around 29 minutes to go this distance - even with... Tue, 12 Feb 2013 16:41:19 EST