BRIGHTSPARK7's SparkPeople Blog BRIGHTSPARK7's Blog on SparkPeople, home of free diet plans and a healthy living community Be who you aspire to be. It can be easy. I have always admired those women who carry around green drinks which they have made from scratch. It didn't seem as if I could be one of them. But all that is changing. I have discovered that it is really easy to toss a couple of handfuls of spinach, an organic apple, four inches of cucumber and a nub of ginger root,water as needed -- a couple of hey presto whirs later and voila! Green alkalizer drink ready. <BR> <BR> It's fast. It's convenient with ready washed spinach. it takes less time... Tue, 27 Sep 2016 17:03:50 EST Initiating green drink week This week, I am increasing my freggies. I want to go beyond calorie tracking into really deeply nourishing the body. <BR> <BR> 1. I tablespoon of brain octane in my morning tea. <BR> 2. Green alkaline smoothie before breakfast. Include 2 handfuls of spinach or kale. <BR> <BR> The theory is that if I add in more good stuff, I won't crave the junky stuff so much. I will be monitoring my energy levels, creativity, and brain performance during the day. <BR> <BR> This morning I had bread an... Mon, 26 Sep 2016 01:38:09 EST Blue screens off at sunset The latest experiment in getting a good night's sleep: Turn off the cell phone and the iPad at sunset. I was moaning to dear hubs that I like to read on my iPad. He said, "Get a real book." Oh. Real books. Yes, I do have a few of those! ;-) <BR> <BR> Two health commitments for this week: <BR> 1. Blue screens off at sunset. <BR> 2. Drink 6 to 8 glasses of water daily. <BR> <BR> As usual, I will track daily. That has become a habit now. I look forward to my daily spin of the wheel. <BR> ... Mon, 19 Sep 2016 22:00:47 EST Ahhhh.... Contentment. It has been a heavenly weekend in my world. <BR> <BR> I read a fantastic book by one of my favorite authors, Richard Bach. I read for about an hour every day and shoot for an entire book over the weekend. Writers thrive on reading. <BR> <BR> Hubs and I went out for brunch. He asked where I wanted to go and I immediately picked a place we hadn't been to in a while. It has little alcoves and poetic wisdom painted on the walls. One of their specialties is fresh spinach leaves dressed with ma... Sun, 18 Sep 2016 22:20:18 EST What would make this the best day ever? Two juicy clementines and an organic pear, ripe and fragrant. <BR> <BR> I placed them on my favorite ceramic plate, a mustard yellow hand-painted with red and green swirls. Then I went outside and sat in the gazebo with my feet up, the fruit plate propped on my belly. The sun was warm and I could feel the rays absorbing into my clothes and skin. I felt nourished and satisfied even before I peeled the clementines. <BR> <BR> Fruit tastes even fruitier when you eat it outside, as Dr. Seuss ... Fri, 16 Sep 2016 16:18:46 EST 66 Days to Install a New Habit It takes 66 days to create a habit. Not 21 days or forty days, as i have read some places. These are the latest research findings from the University College of London. After 66 days of doing something every day, you reach automaticity, The behavior becomes automatic. <BR> <BR> There are some new habits I'd like to install. <BR> <BR> 1. Modulate sleep cycle: <BR> Withdraw into the quiet of my bedroom at 9 pm. Enter the grand silence. Unplug from screens. Read, write my gratitudes, medita... Wed, 14 Sep 2016 13:48:13 EST Three days left and creating space for realization to happen Day 6 of nine day challenge to donate or discard 27 objects per day. <BR> <BR> Today I gave away a navy business suit that is now too big. I have only worn it a couple of times and someone will love it. Also piles of books. <BR> <BR> One aha I had was that in reality I am not giving anything. It is all God giving through me. I am participating in the recycling of abundance that is happening all the time, throughout all of the world, this continuous giving and receiving. <BR> <BR> Also, ... Tue, 13 Sep 2016 01:26:10 EST Quiet day of rest Day 5 of nine day challenge to donate or toss 27 objects a day <BR> <BR> Today, I donated my fleecy rust colored dressing gown. I have never liked the color. Yet I have settled for its cozy embrace, enjoying the idea of it more than the thing itself. I wanted plush softness, luxury. No more settling. <BR> <BR> I tossed out a nonstick pan that was beginning to lose its coating. Why oh why have I been hanging onto such an unhealthy saucepan! Also gone is a key ring made of shells that I pick... Sun, 11 Sep 2016 20:53:18 EST Releasing objects that no longer resonate with my soul Day 2/9. <BR> One of my mentors has challenged me to give away or get rid of 27 objects every day for nine consecutive days. I am on Day 2. I thought 27 would be difficult but it turns out I have lots of stuff sitting around that I am no longer in love with. You pick up an object and ask, " Does this resonate with my highest vibration, the kind of life I want for myself?" Does this resonate with who I aspire to be? <BR> <BR> As a writer, you can imagine one of the first things I thought o... Fri, 9 Sep 2016 01:31:53 EST Eat well to be well I am excited about the next three months. A new season always stokes my generative fires. Here are some mind-body shifts I want to ease into, based on the work of Eric Edmeades. <BR> <BR> 1. Check food labels for sugar. If it's one of the main ingredients, don't eat it. Eat foods with less sugar. <BR> <BR> 2. Avoid long named ingredients that are chemicals, including flavorings. Go for the real thing. <BR> <BR> 3. Eat plant foods that are in season locally. <BR> <BR> 4. Get enough of ... Mon, 5 Sep 2016 23:26:52 EST Goals to break into the 120s this season Now that I am at 139 pounds, how to carry on recreating my best bod-God-pod? <BR> <BR> A friend warned me against complacency. I admit I do get comfortable with things as they are. But I am heeding the warning and planning for an excellent autumn season. I have always loved September. I used to love going back to school, new books, new learning, growth and evolution. So, what is my curriculum for this fall? <BR> <BR> Over the summer, I held to a calorie deficit of 250 daily, and slowly w... Fri, 2 Sep 2016 18:19:38 EST Love every step I led a retreat for nearly two hundred women this weekend. Phew! Amazing stuff orchestrated by the divine field of all that is. But ... Even though I didn't take excellent care of my nourishment needs, I accept myself and love myself I see I have been judging myself for not nurturing myself enough over the weekend. No more. I put a great deal of thought into what I wanted to provide for others, in terms of healing and transformation. And the feedback was amazing. They loved it. Women wept ... Mon, 29 Aug 2016 22:38:49 EST Goodbye to the 140s and hello 130s! It happened. It really happened. The scale reads 139 pounds. Part of me is elated and part of me feels just the same. I was curious if my khaki trousers would now fit me. They have been hanging in my closet for years. I remember wearing them to visit Shakespeare's home in Stratford-on-Avon, England. Well. They zipped up and fit like they were tailored for me. Amazing. Thank you, Shakespeare, time to visit you again! To wear or not to wear, the question has been answered. Yes! <BR> <BR> I co... Thu, 18 Aug 2016 21:56:48 EST The small wins matter It was a day of celebrating small wins. <BR> The scale has not budged for three weeks but I am confident this is the breakthrough week. On the upside, I know what to do to maintain! <BR> <BR> This morning I decided to celebrate small wins all day long. That was the experiment of the day. You know I love experiments with my psyche (Greek for soul and butterfly). Lots of wins today: <BR> 1. Making the decision to practice the art of small wins. <BR> 2. Five minutes of yoga stretching first... Wed, 17 Aug 2016 02:52:47 EST Virtual model for Creating a weight loss vision for the next twenty pounds With some help from my sparkfriend WATERMELLEN, I found a virtual model online that shows you what you will look like after the weight loss. Here is a link to the site if you'd like to experiment for yourself: <BR> <BR> <link> </link> <BR> <BR> I have posted my Before and Afters on my Spark page. Seeing one's body as it actually is has been part of the challenge for me, The extra forty pounds piled on over about four years, ten pounds at a time, and I stopped seeing mys... Mon, 1 Aug 2016 00:39:30 EST The Best Body For Now Even though I am on my way down (weigh down!) and have lost 22 pounds, I feel a kind of contentment with this version of my body. It is the best body for now. There is not an ounce of resignation in that statement. Only acceptance. <BR> <BR> This past week, I've had two people comment that I look great, slimmer, and so on. Interesting to be witnessed but I also realized that it doesn't matter to me what they thought of me. This re-creation of the body is my own experiment that I am doing fo... Mon, 18 Jul 2016 21:54:40 EST The secret to feeling energized during my walk Even though my weight is now in the healthy range, I found a new reason to walk today. I'm walking to help myself but I'm also walking for the people I serve. I had this thought during my walk and suddenly found myself with a surge of energy, great posture, and a brisk pace. <BR> <BR> My clients expect powerful results. And I want to show up fully, as my best. It realized it's not just about what I do during consultations. It's how I show up for myself that allows me to better serve others.... Fri, 1 Jul 2016 00:22:36 EST Busting through the Pesky Plateau The tag line at the top of the Spark Coach page reads, "You can create your life." <BR> I have a pretty wonderful life. Today I met with three amazing women coaches who are each up to great things, helping people achieve their dreams. We masterminded about our businesses and I left the session feeling enlivened and excited. This evening hubs and I walked our loop round the neighborhood. <BR> <BR> And then there is this pesky plateau. Twenty pounds down in twenty weeks and now I have been m... Wed, 29 Jun 2016 00:36:03 EST Experiments with Being My True Self Confession: Last year, I spent nearly three thousand dollars on clothes trying to look good even though I felt overweight and whale-like. This is the first time I've owned up to it. I put it on my credit card, over a period of months. I hired two stylists to work with me. Two. I didn't like what I saw in the mirror and I just couldn't get enough of other people's opinions. They had all kinds of formulas and ideas about what beauty is and how I could be more beautiful. We didn't talk about my ... Wed, 20 Apr 2016 20:22:47 EST Experiments with Fullness Recently, I have been trying to tune into the physical feeling of fullness, regardless of how much is left on my plate. My goal is to stop eating when I feel full. Although I track my food with the nutrition tracker, I want my own awareness to be the ultimate tracker. The experiment is ongoing. After I've had a meal, I let myself feel the sensation of fullness, a full stomach, satiated senses, emotional contentment, satisfaction. The feeling of enough-ness. <BR> <BR> The other day, as I was... Sat, 16 Apr 2016 19:42:57 EST Not calling it exercise, nor training, so what is it? I really don't like the word exercise, though I do enjoy my walks, yoga, dancing, and hiking very much. I just don't want to call it exercise. Words are important to me, as is the meaning I make of them <BR> <BR> And I can't call what I do 'training' as I don't have a race or event for which I'm preparing. <BR> <BR> What I am doing is following my stream of most aliveness, vitality, Joie de vivre. Love is involved and sometimes love is not easy though it is always necessary. Should I just... Thu, 10 Mar 2016 02:47:01 EST Gaze of love When I look with love, Beauty arises everywhere. <BR> Tue, 1 Mar 2016 00:38:37 EST Walking along joyfully I really enjoyed my walk today. The key for me is not to walk like anyone else, or to try to think of how I should walk. I just find my own stream of most aliveness and follow that. <BR> <BR> For me this journey is not about losing or gaining. It is about vision and acceptance. <BR> <BR> Yes, I am weighing myself because I love metrics, but not more than the feeling of being energized, engaged, joyful. And that I can give myself right now, not when I am thirty pounds lighter. Yes, I plan ... Mon, 8 Feb 2016 23:43:02 EST Learning to walk again in my fifties: It's never too late. Dear Inner Wise Self, <BR> <BR> As i was walking today, I realized that even though I have been walking ten thousand steps daily, I mostly look down and shuffle along. I stare at the ground a yard ahead, as if I am looking for rocks, obstacles, things to avoid. My shoulders are up around my ears, and my chest is concave in an effort to protect myself ... from what? <BR> <BR> Today, as I was walking along, I had a memory of skipping along happily as a girl, curious and looking around at th... Sat, 6 Feb 2016 17:13:46 EST Some ideas for Rewards for every five hundred points earned Keeping a log of ideas here to keep me inspired. <BR> <BR> Earned: a faux mink hat for my daily winter walks. <BR> Earned: A music CD by Michael A Singer and Kathy Zavada. <BR> Earned: Goddess Oracle cards <BR> Earned: training with Sandra Ingerman <BR> <BR> <BR> Suggestions: <BR> a silk or mohair scarf <BR> Earrings <BR> Boomstick by Cindy Joseph <BR> A Yoga Nidra CD from Swami <BR> <BR> <BR> Lay on the sofa and listen to a favorite podcast with a shawl over me. <BR> Watch Miranda... Sun, 10 Jan 2016 01:07:48 EST How do you feel in one sentence? I am feeling a little disheartened tonight. Update: I am feeling much better. The winds of gratitude have blown away the clouds of disappointment. Thank you, all, for this rainbow of human feelings. Sat, 9 Jan 2016 21:41:01 EST Nutritious and delicious keepers Since I mentioned I'd like some help with cooking ideas a couple of days ago, the ideas have been coming. <BR> <BR> 1. Start the day with an omelette made from one whole egg plus one egg white. Add a tsp of extra virgin olive oil to the pan, then one cup of fresh spinach leaves. They will quickly wilt. Add the egg mixture. Before you fold it, place one ounce of cheese in it, then fold over and serve hot. <BR> <BR> 2. Healthy snack that tastes better than apple pie: <BR> Chop an apple int... Thu, 7 Jan 2016 23:40:50 EST 100% Effort during your workout? I did get out for a walk today, even though it was raining. Bundled up and took my red umbrella which always makes me feel like singing in the rain. <BR> <BR> I must confess that I like to stroll rather than push and walk fast. There is so much to see and think about that mind is not on how much effort am I giving it. <BR> <BR> I've read articles about interval training as a way of building stamina and strength. Recently, I was diagnosed with plantar fascitis, pain and stiffness in the ar... Wed, 6 Jan 2016 20:43:21 EST My biggest supporter is Me. <BR> Yes, my best self is urging me on day by day, choice by choice. <BR> <BR> I tell my husband every time I lose a pound and he says, " Great." But I'm the one who is enjoying the feeling of coming into greater integrity, awareness, love and wisdom. <BR> <BR> Truly, I have come to love the tracking tools on Spark. I was exercising five or six times a week but I was just eating too much. A little too much every day for three years adds up to forty pounds. <BR> <BR> I am so excited... Mon, 4 Jan 2016 21:09:39 EST How do I love thee, my body... Let me count the ways. <BR> I am grateful for my skeleton, my muscles, organs, tissues and cells, that allow me this joyful experience of life. My blessed bod, God-pod, took me to the creek today, where my amazing legs and feet planted themselves on the bridge. My awesome eyes looked out over the flock of mallards playing in the water. My ears took in the rush of the water. My hands rested lightly on the metal railing and felt the cold. I inhaled the expanded sense of the place and my spirit... Wed, 30 Dec 2015 19:28:24 EST When my clothes are too big... What will I do? <BR> <BR> I have some elegant, silk pants which I love to wear these days, in shades of mocha, black and cocoa. I plan on taking them to be altered, taken in at the waist, by a seamstress I know. The thing is, I have figured out the best way to dress this overweight body, so that she looks stylish and elegant. And I have invested in a beautiful wardrobe. It has been a part of loving myself as I am. <BR> <BR> I will take what I have learned into the future. <BR> <BR> My o... Mon, 28 Dec 2015 22:44:42 EST 5 Reasons that inspire me to workout 1. Yoga is like inner massage for the body. Afterwards, I feel so relaxed, alive and rejuvenated. <BR> 2. I am bringing more awareness into all of my body. This is improving my posture. Also, more awareness means better health, less tension, more skillful choices in the moment. <BR> 3. I like to look beautiful not in comparison to anyone else - just my unique expression of beauty - as a daily practice. I like giving and getting compliments. And I like to approve of myself. Even at my curren... Sat, 26 Dec 2015 19:45:50 EST If I had an extra hour in the day... I would read a good book by the fire. <BR> <BR> I would hold my Beloved in my arms. <BR> <BR> I'd write my next book. <BR> <BR> I'd go on a long walk and tune into nature. <BR> <BR> I'd meditate more. <BR> <BR> I'd phone my Dad in England and have a long talk, sharing from my heart. <BR> <BR> I can do all these things now and have the time of my life. Fri, 25 Dec 2015 01:18:52 EST Passing up on temptations A dear friend has invited hubs and I to a party at her house on Christmas Eve. I wanted to contribute something and I found myself saying, "I'll bring a salad." This feels like a win. For one thing, I enjoy making salads and serving them to everyone. Lots of greens, walnuts, grapes, cheese crumbled. And I will enjoy it too. <BR> <BR> My friend is a very good cook and fun to be with, stimulating and kind. And also health conscious as she is an integrative medicine doctor. This season, I am o... Tue, 22 Dec 2015 21:55:19 EST Health means ... A great blessing that I can cocreate with the divine. Yes, I can do many things to invoke it, eat right, exercise, drink water, and then there is surrender to divine will. Change me, Dear Mother Father God, into the best version of myself, that I might be a light in the world, have more fun, and serve others. Thank you. Om, Shanti. Mon, 21 Dec 2015 20:52:59 EST I know I've had a good workout when... I feel enlivened, rejuvenated, flexible, stronger. I stand taller, my cheeks are flushed, my eyes are bright, a pleasant glow suffuses my body and I feel more joyful. <BR> <BR> I want to remember this. Sat, 19 Dec 2015 22:24:28 EST It's the little things Saw the Star Wars movie tonight as a celebration of sticking with the trackers for three weeks solid. <BR> <BR> Great to see Harrison Ford and Carrie Fisher and a new generation of Jedi. <BR> <BR> I am making a list of nonfood rewards for every 500 Spark points earned. Of course eating for nutrition and exercising is its own reward. Yet I find giving to myself in other ways is adding a rejuvenating ooomph to life. The little things matter. Fri, 18 Dec 2015 23:27:12 EST What was the best part of the day? Lots of moments: <BR> <BR> Looking into my eyes after I got dressed for yoga and seeing how bright they looked. <BR> <BR> Three parcels arrived in the post, including new slippers from Vionics. They have excellent support for my arches. My feet carry me about all day so I want to nurture them. Love is in the details. <BR> <BR> A lovely meeting with my mastermind buddy, reviewing our themes for the year. Taking time to celebrate our successes of this year. Yay for women owned businesses!... Thu, 17 Dec 2015 21:15:14 EST How do you feel in five words or less? Optimistic. <BR> Glad I found Spark. Wed, 16 Dec 2015 19:30:00 EST What does health mean to you? This is the question from my SparkCoach. <BR> <BR> H having the freedom to be mobile, active, walk, make love, skip and dance. <BR> E ease in my body. <BR> A An opportunity to fulfill my dreams while in this body <BR> L Loving myself no matter what. <BR> T Thankful for all the blessings, grace and miracles I experience every day. <BR> H Having it all and staying humble. <BR> <BR> Also, my body has taught me today that good form, posture affects function. And that is something to pract... Tue, 15 Dec 2015 21:45:58 EST Relationship with food Assessing it dispassionately on a scale of 1 to 10, I would say it is a 6.5. I tend to choose taste first and think about nutrition as an afterthought. Having said that, I know I'm good at making changes. I gave up coffee several years ago when I saw that it didn't agree with my body. I have a passion for good food, for flavor, and I am rewiring my mind and behavior about what quality calories are. This reflection is an assignment from my SparkCoach. There is room for improvement. I am a vege... Mon, 14 Dec 2015 00:30:50 EST Inspiration from John Muir about walking Returned from a walk in the rain feeling invigorated and enlivened. <BR> I checked my email and found the following from John Muir, the founder of the national parks movement. <BR> <BR> "It was not like taking the veil, <BR> No solemn abjuration of the world. <BR> I only went out for a walk and finally <BR> Concluded to stay until sundown <BR> For going out, I found <BR> I was really going in." <BR> <BR> Wow. Going out I found I was really going in. Yes, going out clears my head, remin... Sun, 13 Dec 2015 18:51:12 EST Review goals after eight days back <img src=""> Inclined to rest this evening. DH and I went for a long hike in the woods yesterday. I was struck by the majesty of the trees. My friend Blue Jay called again and again, tracking us on the trail. Great, to be one with the forest. I read an article on Spark people that felt kind and compassionate to me. It suggested a weight loss goal of 10%, rather than a more difficult seeming forty pounds. So, bear... Sun, 6 Dec 2015 20:17:04 EST The time is now On Friday, a dear friend died. My heart has broken open into a new level of commitment to living without limits, full embodiment of my most cherished values. She was and is an amazing soul, a kindred spirit. <BR> So here I am again, after three years away from Sparkpeople. <BR> I used to think it was about embodying the light, regardless of the body. Now I see that the body is condensed light. How could I not love that? So now, the mission is to be love. <BR> <BR> I wrote this poem for my ... Sun, 29 Nov 2015 21:17:39 EST Today's walk The hubs and I walked three miles around the neighborhood today. The wild cherries and ornamental plums are in bloom here in Northern California. It got blustery and really windy at one point and I wanted to take the shortcut home. Having a walking buddy kept me going. As we rounded the corner a flovk of robins crossed our path, darting among the bushes, hopping along the path, flitting through the tree branches. Cheerful. I was filled with wonder to see them migrating through our community a... Sun, 19 Feb 2012 00:16:35 EST On the scale after a week A week passed without weighing myself. I'm glad I didn't check the scale every day. No change. I'm holding steady. Exceeded my walking goal today. <BR> Wed, 20 Jul 2011 23:26:35 EST To weigh or not to weigh? The past: I've been at a plateau for over three months. I have been weighing myself daily. <BR> The present: I have decided to not weigh myself for the rest of the summer and shift my relationship with my body. Less criticism, more acceptance. <BR> The future: I am in awe of all the things my body can do, and the miraculous way it supports me. I celebrate my health daily. I am in a state of wonder in relationship to my body. <BR> <BR> I still plan on wearing my pedometer and walking tall.... Wed, 13 Jul 2011 01:08:52 EST Start of a new streak I was listening to an interview with one of my favorite authors, Marci Shimoff, whose book, "Love for no reason," came out earlier this year. She suggested asking yourself a question throughout the day. "What's the most loving thing I can do for myself right now?" Or another version of the question is, "What's the most loving way I can be with myself right now?" <BR> I felt more prompted to be more loving to myself today and started a new streak of working out ten minutes a day. I'll do yoga... Fri, 3 Jun 2011 00:39:31 EST Expanding truth in my life I came across this marvelous quote from Mahatma Gandhi today: <BR> <BR> "Your beliefs become your thoughts. <BR> Your thoughts become your words. <BR> Your words become your actions. <BR> Your actions become your habits. <BR> Your habits become your values. <BR> Your values become your destiny." <BR> <BR> He is a teacher for me, showing me how one man can make a difference in the evolution of the world. My goals are modest in comparison. But I'm a fan of Gandhi's concept of soul-force... Sun, 29 May 2011 20:35:57 EST Mother's Day Flowers <img src=""> <BR> <BR> Roses, stock, carnations and daisies! My favorites from my daughter, with love. <BR> <BR> And a message in dominoes: <BR> <link> </link> Sun, 8 May 2011 22:35:45 EST