COLLEENROSTE's SparkPeople Blog COLLEENROSTE's Blog on SparkPeople, home of free diet plans and a healthy living community fajitas - who knew? It is always a challenge for me to entice my teenage son to eat more veggies- in his mind the 4 food groups are Tim Horton's, Pizza hut, Taco Bell and Subway. Supper last night was fajitas , made at home, with lots of pepper and onion strips combined with thinly sliced chicken breast lightly seasoned with some milk on the side. DH and DS have both requested these make a regular appearance in the menu rotation, and it was no problem to have some extra filling left in the fridge to satisfy ho... Sat, 11 Jan 2014 06:58:19 EST eating on the clock Today's spark coach challenge is eating on the clock. Due to diabetes, this is not new to me. What I did do though is take time to prepack one of my favorite work snacks. Measured out t baggies of Chex cereal and walnuts. Easy to put in my bag with a couple servings of freggies, add my water and tea at work and life is good. Sun, 5 Jan 2014 10:44:28 EST my Christmas card to you I still send greetings to friends and family at Christmas. In fact I make my cards to send. The time spent allows me to think of how each of these individuals have added to our lives over the years. This year we have felt the loss of a number of friends and family members, and there is a void in my heart as I go through our list. But the circle of friends that has enhanced my life has also grown by way of the spark community. I can not send you individual cards, but I do want you to know I ap... Tue, 24 Dec 2013 04:37:52 EST out of the deep freeze yesterday I met my daughter for lunch- she lives 3 hours south in Calgary, so we met in the middle, ate. visited, shopped and enjoyed some pre-Christmas time together. We both needed the outing because our province has been under an arctic high pressure air mass for the past week- cold- blizzardy- sunless. Today I found blue sky and sunshine <em>67</em> <em>224</em> the temperature came up to just below freezing, road conditions were fair, although there was evidence of many victims... Sun, 15 Dec 2013 04:40:18 EST random musings this month has been a struggle to be active outside- cold, colder, coldest...windchills the other day were -32C with blowing snow. Time to get creative with indoor cardio- housecleaning makes me work up a sweat ; one errand took me to Home Depot- I needed some spray paint and some replacement leg caps for stack stools- managed to a walk more than a mile backtracking up and down the aisles but I was warm <BR> <BR> another mall errand took me to the fabric store, while cutting the cloth fo... Thu, 21 Nov 2013 15:23:11 EST update on Leif and Bryn just wanted to share a link to an interview with Leif's mom. They are in Toronto for a combination of radiation and naturopathic treatment right now. Megan shares their story best and the family still appreciates your prayers <link><BR>2013/11/19/holding-out-hope-for-5-year<BR>-old-leif-maier/ </link> <BR> <BR> with Bryn, the saga of her leg continues- the cast is off for now, some parts of the bone are filling in but it is still very fragile. absolut... Wed, 20 Nov 2013 02:47:09 EST I am a champion! flipping through magazines on a break at work can often bring inspiration, get me thinking, AND after I internalize the words, get me moving in the right direction again. <BR> <BR> progress for me is SLOW, I am the ultimate <em>134</em> . Some days it takes dynamite to get me moving out the door. Excuses are easier than lacing up my walking shoes So this week (after the magazine inspired pep talk) I have walked ~ outside ~ everyday. Didn't matter that we had fresh snow and icy sidewalks... Thu, 7 Nov 2013 07:52:28 EST finally decided a new activity goal I read an interesting article over the weekend, and after mulling it over have decided to take up the challenge. It involves transforming from a "newbie swimmer" to someone with the strength and endurance to swim a mile. I can swim and do enjoy the water, but over the past 20 years have not done any serious swimming. The article lays out a 4 week, 3 times a week training schedule- I am giving myself to the end of December to achieve the goal. A co-worker asked me to join her as an accounta... Mon, 4 Nov 2013 21:39:15 EST please pray this month has been a challenge of physical and emotional frustration for our family. I will blog about myself later but tonight I am asking any of your who are inclined to join in praying for 2 very dear families. <BR> <BR> First is 5 year old Leif and his family. Leif is the grandson of hubby's cousin. He was diagnosed with a brain tumor last week and after extensive testing it has been deemed untreatable. His parents made the difficult decision to take him home and love him through th... Thu, 31 Oct 2013 02:06:34 EST family today we celebrated my father in law's 85th birthday. the last living of 10 children born of hearty Norwegian stock. It was good to gather together with 4 generations to honour this man who has instilled a legacy of faith, clean living and hard work. Even amongst the in-laws, there are no outlaws. The only downfall of time spent together is the food, there is always an abundance, no of it low calorie, but all made with love. Fortunately, no one takes offense if a dish is passed over. Memo... Sun, 13 Oct 2013 21:52:28 EST getting to know my fitbit flex one of the reasons I took the plunge and got an electronic tracker was because I was frustrated by the various pedometers that had "let me down" over the years. Yes there is a large discrepancy in steps recorded between the two. <BR> likes: <BR> -it syncs to my fitness tracker and records my active minutes- something that I have been lax about <BR> -it can also track my sleep, but if I am working nights and sleeping days it doesn't always accept the am/pm adjustment I input so I have had som... Wed, 9 Oct 2013 14:22:11 EST still waiting this morning as I was getting ready to leave for my long awaited appointment the phone rang, family emergency- doctor is rebooking all his appointments that were scheduled for today. new date is January 10. Yes, next year. and so I wait. I'm still not good at waiting, but I'm learning to do it better. and as I blogged yesterday- this is not idle waiting, but watchful waiting, active waiting. the kind of waiting that sees me getting enough sleep, pursuing healthy food choices and seeking opp... Fri, 4 Oct 2013 16:13:43 EST apprehensive it has been a tough week physically battling migraines and double vision, emotionally counting down the days until "the appointment". Tomorrow I see the neurologist. I have my journal up to date, my notes and my questions ready to go. In some ways I hope to get a definitive answer as to what is causing my grief, in other ways, I know there will be more tests before an answer will come. As with most things in my life- I don't wait well. This is a season where I feel God is calling me to wa... Thu, 3 Oct 2013 17:50:59 EST remember I am stronger than my stomach gives me credit for being! Wed, 2 Oct 2013 03:39:40 EST waterlogged today's spark coach challenge is to carry a water bottle with me every where I go- this is probably the easiest task I face day to day. every morning I fill up 4 water battles - 24 oz each. by the end of the day I have easily drained each of them , plus some tea and diet pepsi as well. I am thankful that I don't need to be on a fluid restricted diet for my health. I would never survive <em>194</em> Thu, 26 Sep 2013 20:45:51 EST adding a new challenge 9/23 marked a milestone for me- 2 years of spark under my belt. the first year spent reading, learning, refining, defining and putting the wheels in motion. slowly I moved from lurking around the message boards and reading but not commenting, to actually interacting and looking forward to cheering on my spark friends. the weight loss journey has been very s l o w but I have always said "I only plan on losing this once" so if it comes off slow and stays off that is okay with me. year 2 sa... Wed, 25 Sep 2013 03:51:16 EST frosty mornings yes. we've had frost.... three more days of summer and I am not going to let it slip by without a fight! there is lots to do in the yard to get ready for the cool and drier days to come so my next few days will be spent watering in the evergreens, pulling back the tangle of annuals and trimming the perineals , need to sweep out the garage and winterize the van. oh and clean the furnace filters.....time to pull out the woollies and make sure the kids have gloves in their pockets.....and swi... Fri, 20 Sep 2013 06:30:19 EST a walk on the wild side <img src=""> <BR> one of the things that brings me pleasure as I go about my day is spending time with the critters in my yard. I have a number of squirrels and blue jays that frequent my front door feeder. nuthatches and chickadees opt for the feeders in the fir trees. every once in a while there are more exotic visitors such as this little owl. <img src=""> <BR> yesterday afternoo... Mon, 9 Sep 2013 06:53:48 EST mri update/ neuralgia I can't believe so long has passed since I last blogged- vacation over- back to work- trying to get back into the routine of switching back and forth between days and nights while maintaining healthy eating (not such a problem) and a healthy balance of activity- ALWAYS A PROBLEM . Tonight I am taking time to blog because my body is sending reminders that neuralgia still is a problem. I had my MRI done in July before leaving on vacation and saw my doctor when we both returned form our respecti... Sun, 1 Sep 2013 06:57:38 EST armored food a funny sight greeted me when I got home from work this morning. Still has me giggling as a I wake from a fair day's sleep so thought I'd share. <BR> we picked up a bunch of different shells while beachcombing on vacation and displayed them along our side step thinking that Lucus, the 2 year old next door, might like to see them. our side steps have a southern exposure, and we have enjoyed many hot sunny days of late, so those shells are beginning to smell mighty fine. there are sand dollars... Mon, 12 Aug 2013 19:10:11 EST celebrate something read on our journey - just wanted to share <BR> <BR> Celebrate <BR> <BR> -life: every day is a gift waiting to be unwrapped <BR> <BR> -dreams: when you need to feel like your heart has wings, dream big <BR> <BR> -you: it's your time to shine <BR> <BR> -love: celebrate those who fill your cup and love you unconditionally <BR> <BR> -being somebody special: the headlines you make in this life will be based on the difference you made in the lives of others <BR> <BR> thank you my... Sun, 11 Aug 2013 16:51:19 EST pulling back the veil of cloud Friday was another day of flexible plans., The sky was not so heavy but the temperatures were still cold for August- not what we were prepared for. It is unusual for the cloud mass to be pushed up against the east side of the mountains, and very unusual for the wind to be absent- normally those clouds should be gone in a matter of hours. <BR> An amusement park is NOT amusing with cold people so we opted to drive to Canmore for lunch. Southern Alberta has a lot more ranch land and rolling hi... Sat, 10 Aug 2013 18:42:39 EST cloudy skies again- visibility 0 So, all good Canadians know,you never let the weather stop you from doing something, just change your plans. <BR> Our purpose for coming to Calgary is to drop off DS. he has the opportunity to participate in Junior Police Academy next week as part of the cops for kids program. He will be staying with our married daughter and son-in-law for the week. Bonus activities are going to Calaway Park - an outdoor amusement park, and shopping at one of the outlet malls. We woke this morning to a cold... Thu, 8 Aug 2013 21:35:08 EST buckle up! yup, this family is back on the road. woke up to rain and no motivation to get moving so we got off to a very late start. fortunately today the drive only requires 1 rest stop for the momma <em>224</em> good thing, I was tired of rain <em>27</em> <em>27</em> <em>27</em> got the kids to take some pics as we were driving because this time of year the fields are busy growing and the colours of the different crops are pretty amazing. <BR> to the east <BR> <img src=" Wed, 7 Aug 2013 23:11:53 EST allergy update high pollen count outside again today, even staying inside my eyes are itchy and sinuses working OT. Walking was confined to the air conditioned mall where I was able to get my son outfitted with 2 pairs on new jeans, a couple of shirts and a hoodie for back to school. He is done! Indoor walking was 1.5 miles, also did 2 SP videos and some work with the resistance band. We are packing up again- heading south for a few days to see our daughter and other family in the Calgary area. It will be... Tue, 6 Aug 2013 21:26:31 EST clover and alfalfa the fragrance in our neighborhood is sweet. walking today was pleasant, light cloud cover, moderate temperatures. set out at a brisk pace and walked for 3 miles before calling it done due to allergies. forgot to take my extra antihistamine and didn't take tissues. lesson learned. tomorrow will be better prepared. Mon, 5 Aug 2013 22:57:23 EST home sweet home part of the push to come home early was to get back on track- we had been too long out of a normal routine- and missing the taste of home water. Funny how something as basic as water can change so much from region to region. Yesterday was spent doing laundry and restoring order to the van. Today I went for a walk and an oil change- then headed to the market to lay in fresh produce and supplies for the next few days at home. Now I'm taking a Spark break before getting supper started. I think i... Sat, 3 Aug 2013 18:22:07 EST on the road again August 1. As a family we decided to take the familiar road and turn our van towards home. Yes, this picture is still BC- not the vibrant greens of the other posts, but around Kamloops - <BR> <img src=""> it is a high and arid area that has lots of dust and scrub brush. 10 years ago the area was also devastated by a massive forest fire that has left scars on the land and the people alike. <BR> <img src=" Fri, 2 Aug 2013 04:24:11 EST this and that in the Fraser Valley a few last glimpses of the time on the west coast. Today is July 31- they have just completed a whole month with no rain- we have been very blessed by the gorgeous weather that allowed us to be out and about. I( the fair skinned norse girl) am starting to look as dark as my Indian children. We enjoyed the Public Market at Granville Island <BR> <img src=""> <BR> an abundance of berries <BR> <img src=" Thu, 1 Aug 2013 01:35:24 EST view from the mountain top today we ventured up Grouse Mountain, a popular winter ski hill on the north shore of the Vancouver region. I stood and just made 90 degree turns to let you see how far we can see. Unfortunately it was a hazy day, so the pictures aren't crisp. <BR> <img src=""> <BR> to the west-far background is Vancouver Island, near background gulf islands, foreground English Bay with ships anchored waiting to offload goods <BR> <img src="http://photo... Mon, 29 Jul 2013 23:38:43 EST views from the dyke Richmond is a city of islands 'below sea level' so a series of dykes have been built around to protect from flooding. The dyke system is a great source of recreation, and restful watching of the river and boat activity. Cyclists, walkers, joggers, kite fliers, dragon boaters sport fishermen to name a few all use the dyke as a launch pad for their activity <BR> <img src=""> <img src=" Mon, 29 Jul 2013 01:21:50 EST fitting in fitness on the road being out of a normal routine can be a good thing sometimes. sometimes not. I struggle to be diligent about getting my fitness minutes in. I have certain dvds I like to use routinely. There is an order to how my day works and if anything gets in the way oh well- it is easier to just skip. Vacationing gives lots of opportunities to try new things. Like stretch and walk breaks every 2 hours when we have drive days. Spark Guy likes the 10 minute bites of fitness- we got them and we have seen s... Sat, 27 Jul 2013 18:39:15 EST totems, museum and the inner harbor from New Hazelton to Victoria we have seen many stories told through wood carvings of the coastal Indians. Their work is exquisite and an artform of its own <BR> <img src=""> <img src=""> <img src=""> <img src=""> <BR> <img src=" Fri, 26 Jul 2013 20:50:43 EST Victoria It has been 32 years since I lived here. There have been many changes, surprisingly, much is still the same. Today I drove my family to many of the places I walked or biked to as a student. They have all decided it would be a wonderful place to live ~ they have only seen it in sunshine. The winter storms with unending rain and powerful winds can wear on one's mind. At least in Edmonton we see blue sky (at least a glimpse) every day no matter how cold it gets. <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak... Thu, 25 Jul 2013 23:04:48 EST shore <img src=""> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> dropped by the community beach to view the results of last weekends sand sculpture competition- the work was pretty amazing. then we turned the kids out on the beach to "do the same". the tide was out so there was plenty of sand. <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople... Wed, 24 Jul 2013 11:48:35 EST shade our adventure yesterday took us inland. In Port Alberni we explored the quay and the maritime museum <img src=""> <BR> It fascinates me that debris from the tsunami in Japan has been located here. The local artisans also are amazing working in everything from stone and textiles to carvings and stained glass <img src=""> <BR> <img src=" Tue, 23 Jul 2013 12:18:28 EST telegraph cove established during the early 1900's as a fishing village and cannery the telegraph was brought in during world war II to aid in communication along the west coast as the north tip of Vancouver Island was the perfect point of entry for invading enemy from Japan. Now the village has been restored in favor of tourism, whale watching, sea kayaking and fishing outfitters. It is still very quaint, built on stilts above the bay <BR> <img src=" Mon, 22 Jul 2013 12:30:52 EST 500 miles that is what my GPS tells me we travelled today, and I only drove about 45 minutes <em>41</em> reason being- much of our journey took place on a 15 hour ferry ride from Prince Rupert to Port Hardy on the north end of Vancouver Island. <BR> tonight we are a family of weary travellers after an 0530 start to our day <BR> <img src=""> <BR> left Prince Rupert this morning with a fine mist hanging over the area-what it usually looks like <B... Sun, 21 Jul 2013 03:39:14 EST beat the heat with a do it yourself neck gel pack these water soaked tubes do go a long way to keeping you cool and are quite easy to make. <BR> <BR> what you need: <BR> - lightweight cotton fabric 5" x 45 " <BR> - silicone gel crystals from a floral shop (I found some at a dollar store) <BR> - needle and thread or a sewing machine <BR> <BR> what you do: <BR> -make a tube by stitching the long sides of the fabric together with a 1/2" seam allowance - -*turn tube so fabric is right side out when done <BR> -measure off about 8" from one e... Fri, 19 Jul 2013 15:27:00 EST more about Prince Rupert Prince Rupert is Canada's northernmost Pacific port city. It has an average precipitation of 3111 millimeters, most of which is rain. (3.1 meters ~ 10 feet yikes!) so far the skies are holding back for us, it is overcast, but dry and comfortable at 16C (low 60'sF) the trees look like they are on steroids, the vegetation is lush and in summer the daylight hours are long <BR> <BR> here is my third try at uploading photos from our day yesterday <BR> <img src=" Fri, 19 Jul 2013 13:58:08 EST road trip days 2 & 3 Prince George to Prince Rupert 2 of British Columbia's main industries are fishing and forestry so we have seen a LOT of rivers, more shades of green than I can begin to describe and mountains that could rival many European ranges in terms of beauty- unfortunately I don't have those pics because I was busy behind the wheel. We travelled over 3 different mountain ranges- 2 passes were higher than a mile above sea level. It has been 35 years since I visited this region, and it is every bit as beautiful as I remember. <BR> ... Thu, 18 Jul 2013 23:38:58 EST road trip day 1 yesterday was day 1 and we were off to a late start. Left the city at 10 am which in retrospect wasn't too bad. Spent a total of 8 hours "trapped in the minivan" as I am the only driver, (with a 53 yr old bladder, I know TMI) I get to choose how often and where we stop <em>20</em> I'm hoping my techno fingers work and this pics upload <BR> <img src=""> <BR> wild rose the provincial flower of Alberta <BR> <img src="http://photos-... Wed, 17 Jul 2013 09:49:04 EST pre-workout fuelup Favorite "pre" - usually a piece of fruit <BR> <BR> Favorite "post" - yogurt or cheese and crackers Tue, 16 Jul 2013 21:56:11 EST posture Today's SC challenge focusses on improving posture and how that affects ones overall wellness. Yes, l am carrying myself with more attention to posture as a result of habits learned on SP. Yes, l have lost significant weight. 60 odd lbs down. It has been a year since l saw my parents (20 lb) and my mom's first words. Colleen, you're getting taller. Posture. Sat, 13 Jul 2013 04:21:35 EST safe I got the spark coach app for my phone and the community task today was write a 1 sentence blog about how I was feeling. Why write a sentence when a word will do?- That word today is SAFE. Being wordy, my app timed out and the blog didn't take, so I decided to post it the old fashioned way. <BR> reasons I feel safe <BR> #1- in light of recent events where my DH circumvented financial safeguards I purchased a safe, Two of them- large one for in the house, smaller one tethered in the van, both... Fri, 12 Jul 2013 11:08:47 EST recovery mode First off, thank you for the listening ears of those who read my blog yesterday and took time to offer suggestions and support. After a restless sleep, I have picked myself up, taken a deep breath and started to batten down the hatches so to speak. <BR> The brain is complex, and understanding the workings of an injured brain even more so. Whether the damage is organic or traumatic really doesn't matter . the fallout is the same. There is permanent impact on the individual and their families.... Sat, 22 Jun 2013 04:43:39 EST breach of trust right now I feel like I have been punched in the gut and my world is spinning. At home I shoulder the financial decision making responsibilities in addition to being the cook, cleaner, laundress, bread winner, bill payer, mom and wife. My husband suffers from a degenerative brain disease and also suffered traumatic brain injury in November 2007 when he was struck by a hit and run driver while crossing in a marked crosswalk near our home. <BR> Physically, he has recovered well, to look at him... Fri, 21 Jun 2013 06:27:58 EST letting go of the "skinny jeans" again articles by Nancy Howard tend to strike a chord with me and this morning was no exception. How could anyone have timed my finding her article "5 reasons to get rid of your skinny jeans" for this morning? In it she talks a lot about that cache of clothes that are either too good to give away, or maybe represent hope of returning to a size and time in life that was more ideal. In my case, that cache just served to mock me yesterday. <BR> I needed to dress up for a school function honourin... Sat, 8 Jun 2013 09:18:57 EST results of some kitchen NEAT minutes The Spark Solution is not only responsible for jumpstarting my diet and fitness goals for 2013, but it also inspired me to apply 'beat the clock' strategy to some cleaning and upgrade projects in different rooms in the house. Closets, drawers, cabinets, the ironing.... it has all been fair game. Upstairs even saw the repainting of upstairs. I hired out the walls and ceilings but took on the cabinetry, trim, curtains and finishing touches <BR> <BR> here are some before and after pictures of ... Fri, 31 May 2013 12:09:27 EST Spark Coach challenge- always carry your water bottle Today's challenge is not much of a challenge at all for me. I always carry a water bottle- in fact I have a set of three that I fill every morning- they hold 24 oz each so that puts my daily water total at least 72 oz (9 cups) Often , I will refill all bottles at least once. The bigger challenge for me this week is to balance water in and water out- right now my feet are not cooperating- overnight, they have decided today is a good day to retain, so it will definitely be a one fill only... Tue, 21 May 2013 07:19:14 EST