CSAGIRL's SparkPeople Blog http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal.asp?id=CSAGIRL CSAGIRL's Blog on SparkPeople, home of free diet plans and a healthy living community SparkPeople.com http://assets2.sparkpeople.com/assets/nav/logo_spark.gif http://www.sparkpeople.com/ This is my new life http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5204785 My new year's intention was BALANCE, and this past week I stayed especially mindful of whether (and how) I was balancing my parenting, nutrition, exercise, and work. As I reflect this morning on my past week, I'm realizing more of what balance means to me in my new life. Because this is my NEW life. <BR> <BR> Balance means using Saturday morning to plan the week's meals, always with a trip to the farmer's market and to my farm if it is a CSA week. <BR> <BR> Balance means my fridge always h... Sun, 13 Jan 2013 10:05:03 EST Early January planning love http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5192835 Only 3 more winter CSA boxes this year ... and then a very long wait until June. My next pick up is in two weeks, and the offerings show how our weather has gotten much colder and less hospitable to tender things that grow. <BR> <BR> Here's what I plan to do with yesterday's box: <BR> <BR> Salad greens: for a daily salad or two while it lasts. The bag is significantly smaller than a month ago. <BR> <BR> Beets: will be baked and topped with herbed goat cheese to go with the salads. <BR> <... Sun, 6 Jan 2013 10:10:53 EST Tea as an antidote to shopping http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5191596 Going home for the holidays, even in middle age (perhaps especially in middle age) stirs up so many emotions and memories. Like all visits home, this one was a mixed blessing -- one that will take me some time to unpack. <BR> <BR> So this is another blog about a friend of my mothers. They are a colorful bunch. You may remember the fudge friend from a few days ago (4 pounds?). This one is about my mom's shopping friend. They shop together. A lot. Many times a week. And they talk about shoppin... Sat, 5 Jan 2013 13:04:18 EST Resolution: Balance http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5189875 This morning, on the SP Class of Nov 4-11 2012 list, Dragonchilde asked about our resolutions. I'd decided on mine about a month ago: balance. I'd even blogged about it to make it real. <BR> <BR> Balance of nutrition, exercise, parenting, and work. <BR> <BR> Balance would mean not letting any one of those take over the others, but rather keeping all 4 alive and well. <BR> <BR> So, as I settled in with a nice cup of tea to answer Dragonchilde's prompt, I realized that I was settling into m... Fri, 4 Jan 2013 11:03:53 EST Srsly? 4 pounds of fudge? Really? http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5188393 Happy new year, SparkFriends! I'm glad to say I'm back home again, planning and tracking and sparking and no longer having to cope with the difficulties of Other People's Food. <BR> <BR> Or, as it turns out, Other People's incredibly insensitive gifts. <BR> <BR> First, though, the good news: the trip lasted 7 days, and I went to my mother's gym 3 times for excellent workouts. Another day my daughter and I took a beautiful hike with my sister, and on a different day we walked all over town f... Thu, 3 Jan 2013 14:50:06 EST Packing differently http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5174326 I've never packed a suitcase quite like this before. My daughter and I are heading west for the holidays, and packing for this particular trip has been an eye-opener. <BR> <BR> One suitcase is for gifts and stocking stuffers. Most of the gifts are handmade knitted items, and I felt a great deal of satisfaction as I realized I'd knit enough goodies for my family to fill an entire suitcase! There's a lot of love in that yarn. <BR> <BR> The second suitcase is for my daughter. She'll take care ... Sun, 23 Dec 2012 10:07:21 EST Seeking balance, seeking peace http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5171764 It has been a week of reckoning. Little holiday nibblies added up to another 1-pound gain. The good part: I never binged, lost control, or just chucked the whole SP thing out the window. The bad part: I had a little bite of this and a little sip of that all week, and my body's reaction was loud and clear. The lesson: I really can't do that anymore if I want to keep my energy high and continue losing weight. <BR> <BR> The nibblies started from my misguided sense that I could have more balance... Thu, 20 Dec 2012 07:28:53 EST Combating "Old Me" creep http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5168883 So I've been a little out of my groove this past week. I've been waking up feeling hung over, even if I haven't had anything to drink. My food choices outside of my home have been less than ideal. And I know I'm not moving as much as I should. On the other hand, I've been pretty darned good, too. <BR> <BR> But I don't feel good, so it's time to take stock. <BR> <BR> I think this week lots of little bits started to add up to some "old me" creeping back in. I was really starting to like the... Mon, 17 Dec 2012 09:04:24 EST Mid-December planning love http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5167979 Yesterday was the final CSA box pick-up for the month. As with the past few weeks, I went to my farm for the box first, then headed to the farmer's market to purchase anything else I might need. It has been weeks since I've been to a grocery store, but since I'm running out of greek yogurt and toilet paper, I'd better add a grocery store run to my errands! <BR> <BR> So, I'm planning until the 24th, when I leave town for a week. Here's what it looks like: <BR> <BR> Mesclun greens: Surprise! ... Sun, 16 Dec 2012 10:02:13 EST A SparkParty in my head http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5166311 Oh, Sparkfriends, how I appreciate your strong words and kind guidance. You were exactly the ones I needed to hear from before attending my work-related party the other night. With your help, and a little help from the universe, it all went very well. Here's the story. <BR> <BR> As several of you suggested, I went in with a plan: avoid the alcohol, avoid the haters, and avoid the appetizers. Probably in that order. Instead, you all reminded me, seek out the good folks and surround myself in ... Fri, 14 Dec 2012 09:51:28 EST A little nervous about tomorrow http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5163470 Actually, I'm more than a little nervous about tomorrow. Over the past few months, I've established a really nice routine at home. I plan, I spark, I cook, I exercise, I do the dishes. I work, too, but I don't let my work define me. For the past month, it has worked beautifully. <BR> <BR> Not only has that simple routine helped me lose my first 9 pounds, but it has also gotten me out of a somewhat debilitating depression. I don't dread each day anymore, because now I have a plan for each da... Tue, 11 Dec 2012 17:00:03 EST Weekly planning love http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5160980 It's that time of the week again: planning meals ahead of time to make the most of the fresh yummies from yesterday's farmers market and CSA box. Here's what's on the menu: <BR> <BR> * Mesclun greens. Of course. In spite of eating 1-2 salads a day, I didn't make it all the way through last week's bag, and I'm sure I won't make it through this one either. I'm going to see if one of the trainers at my gym would like 1/3 of my bag ... so it doesn't end up in the compost. <BR> <BR> * White tur... Sun, 9 Dec 2012 10:58:50 EST Progress and the quarter-pounder http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5160053 With another season of Biggest Loser being advertised on TV, I've had to remind myself that slow, steady weight loss is the safe and sustainable way to go. It's so important for all of us not to get seduced in to the sort of thinking that suggests anything less than a double-digit loss every week is a devastating failure. <BR> <BR> Only 5 pounds? Oh no! You are in danger of getting kicked off! Only 2 pounds in a whole week? Oh, the horror! <BR> <BR> We all know that's not right -- deep dow... Sat, 8 Dec 2012 10:02:24 EST The last time I was at this weight ... http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5157911 ... I was getting ready to go to my 25th college reunion, and I was upset because I felt like it was the most overweight I'd ever been in my life. To be honest with you, that's not actually true, but it's how I felt at the time. <BR> <BR> None of my clothes fit, so I did a quick shopping trip to buy a few things I knew would be "temporary." I was shocked at how large a size I needed, and how expensive they were. Boy, do I wish I'd had your advice to go to a consignment shop then! Anyway, I ... Thu, 6 Dec 2012 08:10:42 EST Sharing the struggles http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5155997 Counting down to my 1-month Sparkversary ... only three more days to go. <BR> <BR> Four weeks in, I'm keenly aware of some struggles I'm having. Don't get me wrong: there is a LOT on the plus side! I'm cooking more, eating better, getting regular exercise, reflecting daily, losing weight, and generally keeping a positive outlook. But -- like all of us -- I'm having some very human struggles, too. Any advice or perspective would be welcome! <BR> <BR> * Sore muscles are a constant. I've been... Tue, 4 Dec 2012 13:14:29 EST Honesty and the munchies http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5154786 Well, it was bound to happen some time. As I near my 1-month Sparkversary in just a few days, it was probably inevitable that there would come a day when I just wanted to munch and graze ... and munch some more. That day was yesterday. <BR> <BR> Honestly, the day started out ok. I ate a normal breakfast (eggs with black beans and salsa on a corn tortilla), worked out hard at the gym, came home to a greek yogurt and clementine for snack, and had a delicious salad with anasazi beans I'd just ... Mon, 3 Dec 2012 13:24:54 EST A little planning love http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5152625 Blogging is a pretty new experience for me, and the practice has taught me a few lessons about myself. One thing I've realized over the past few weeks is that meal planning brings me joy. It is a way I can express love to myself, and to my daughter. When I execute those plans, it feels like even more love. <BR> <BR> Today is Saturday, the day I pick up my winter share CSA box. This week, I made sure to go straight to the farmer's market after leaving the farm with my box. So, as a special tr... Sat, 1 Dec 2012 13:19:48 EST An enormous breakfast http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5151498 As I write this, I am eating a really, really large breakfast. As in, bigger than my head big. <BR> <BR> And you know what? It tastes and feels great. <BR> <BR> But let's back up a minute, to yesterday afternoon. To support my efforts in moving toward a more healthful life, I've set up occasional meetings with a trainer at my gym. Now, I know there are people who work with trainers on a weekly basis, but I'm not one of them. For one, I can't afford it; for two, I actually do prefer to work ... Fri, 30 Nov 2012 10:15:21 EST Why "We?" http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5150299 Yesterday it occurred to me that I've been doing a weird thing. I have been responding to SparkFriends' blogs and posts, especially those in which I was trying to say "congratulations," or <em>243</em> or "you did it," or <em>306</em> . I was either celebrating one of their victories with them, or encouraging them to keep on the right track, or sharing their hurt or frustration. The important point is that it was THEIR victory or journey. <BR> <BR> Right, CSAgirl: it was their individ... Thu, 29 Nov 2012 08:25:32 EST A quickie in the parking lot http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5148463 The universe worked overtime for me today. <BR> <BR> I had a number of errands to run this morning, in the icky-slushy-wet-can't-decide-if-it-is-rain<BR>-or-snow-really-unpleasant weather typical of winter in my area. I dutifully drove from place to place, gathering all I needed for the day and week ahead. <BR> <BR> You may know that I'm nearing the end of my 3rd week here, but you may not know that I've set a goal of meditating at least 10 minutes a day. That's not very much, and it does ... Tue, 27 Nov 2012 13:57:29 EST The strangest reward http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5147128 Little, frequent rewards for baby steps and mini-goals. Don't ask me why, but I seem to be more motivated by small, frequent rewards for meeting mini-goals than by the big vision thing. Huge goals are just so overwhelming, and my life as a working single mom is already overwhelming enough. <BR> <BR> I can make it work for the little things, though. A pound at a time, I can do. Over 40 sounds nearly impossible. So, I'll chip away at it a do-able pound at a time. <BR> <BR> This means that ri... Mon, 26 Nov 2012 12:56:35 EST On being present http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5145833 It is Sunday after Thanksgiving, and I'm hungry. This, I believe, is a good and natural and healthy thing. <BR> <BR> It is also a perfect time to reflect on whether my Thanksgiving plan of attack worked; after all, I may need it for Christmas! <BR> <BR> Let me start with the not-so-great news: I was over calories on Thursday and Friday -- and was way over on my fat allotment for 3 of the 4 days. But I had also gone to my relatives' house with the intention of being present, enjoying their c... Sun, 25 Nov 2012 10:24:15 EST T'Giving plan of attack http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5141171 Looming tomorrow: the onset of 3 days of visiting relatives, trapped in their home, eating their food. <BR> <BR> Don't get me wrong, I love my aunt and uncle. I adore their company, and I always enjoy myself when I am with them. But let's just say that their lifestyle and eatingstyle aren't very sparkable. Suggestions for how to prepare food differently are not taken kindly; I've learned much that in the past, so helping my aunt to lighten up her recipes is not an option. <BR> <BR> To sur... Tue, 20 Nov 2012 07:13:05 EST What to do with these veggies? http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5140079 Friends, <BR> <BR> It's that time of the week: figuring out what to do with the fresh veggies from my farm box. I'm hoping that by setting my intention here, and planning specific meals, I'll be sure to eat the wonderful foods from my local farmshare rather than foraging for nastier stuff in my pantry and the local quickie mart. <BR> <BR> First, an update on last week's box. If you read that blog, you might remember there were three particular challenges: a mountain of mesclun greens, an en... Mon, 19 Nov 2012 07:40:32 EST 7 middle-aged overweight women on a runway http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5139101 Did you hear the one about the 7 middle-aged overweight women on a fashion runway? I hadn't either ... until yesterday. <BR> <BR> The owner of a local yarn store in my area decided it would be fun to host a fashion show featuring products her customers had knitted. Some of these women have been knitting their entire lives, and produce absolutely gorgeous creations. Others of us (like me) have only fairly recently started this hobby, but even we newcomers have products we are proud of. It did... Sun, 18 Nov 2012 09:04:14 EST Eating Other People's Food http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5138171 It was bound to happen eventually. I knew this day would come, that some day I would have to leave my bubble of a spark-safe home and go eat somewhere else. I would have to eat Other People's Food. <BR> <BR> Cue the menacing music. <BR> <BR> Once a month, I travel a few hours north for an all-day board of directors meeting. We begin in the morning, work through lunch, and leave by mid-afternoon. Although I like each of the people individually, I do not enjoy the meetings or the group dynam... Sat, 17 Nov 2012 08:45:04 EST Water, water everywhere, but I still don't drink enough http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5136005 As I look back on last week, so many things went well -- but one thing did not. Water. Water will be the bane of my existence. On my *best* day, I only got up to 7 glasses. It appears I celebrated my 1 week Sparkaversary yesterday by drinking only 4. Hmmm. Think I need to change my approach? <BR> <BR> Here's how it breaks down: Morning tea = 2 glasses. Water bottle at the gym = 2 glasses. Afternoon herbal tea (most days) = 1-2 glasses. Water with dinner = 1 more glass. That's my best day. I ... Thu, 15 Nov 2012 07:13:50 EST It's just a number, right? http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5134831 Week 1 is done, and the results are in. I know it's just a number, and that in the grand scheme of things we aren't supposed to be ruled by an obsession with numbers. As I went to sleep last night, though, I couldn't help anticipate my first SP weigh-in with all kinds of feelings: excitement, hopefulness, fear of disappointment, pride, anxiety, even cynicism. It might be just a number, but it sure was the catalyst for all kinds of emotions. <BR> <BR> In my heart, I do know that you can do ev... Wed, 14 Nov 2012 07:27:55 EST But I really didn't want to http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5133611 Friends, <BR> <BR> As I close out my first week on SP, I want to thank you wholeheartedly for your warm welcomes, your encouragement, and your many inspirational stories. With you, I feel far less alone. Because of you, I've made different choices all week long. <BR> <BR> This is the story of Day 6: I really didn't want to, but I did something good. <BR> <BR> My daughter and I had planned to go up to the city to see a movie for her day off of school, so we headed up to the urban mall earl... Tue, 13 Nov 2012 07:13:56 EST Little bits make a lot of good http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5132404 Friends, <BR> <BR> First it was Superstorm Sandy. The next week it was a Nor'easter. To cap it off: starting SparkPeople. It was starting to look like there were 3 natural disasters in my home. <BR> <BR> I was really starting to get overwhelmed. The house still showed signs of the hurricane. Although we weren't hit as hard as our neighbors a few miles south of us, during the several days without power we camped in our house as best as we could. When the power returned, we didn't quite get... Mon, 12 Nov 2012 08:33:02 EST A mystery box of yummy goodness http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5131280 Friends, <BR> <BR> Yesterday, I got to pick up the first box of this year's winter farm share. Like many people, I subscribe to a local farm (if you are interested, search for "community supported agriculture" in your area). The farmers get paid upfront for what they do, and I get incredible fresh produce. During the summer, there are choices upon choices at their farm stand. For the winter, though, they load up boxes for each of their members and leave them in a walk-in cooler. You never kn... Sun, 11 Nov 2012 08:26:29 EST Choosing and Using the Tools http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5130289 Little did I know when I woke up yesterday that the lesson of Day 3 would be about choosing and using the right tools for the job. This week, my job is to begin this program and to build the habit of paying mindful attention to my choices. Turns out that calls for some pretty basic -- but powerful -- tools. <BR> <BR> The first tool turned out to be my crockpot. I'd loaded it with the ingredients for apple-cinnamon oatmeal the night before, so I woke on Day 3 to an aromatic and healthful brea... Sat, 10 Nov 2012 08:08:53 EST Making different choices http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5129224 It's my first week on SP, so I have all the enthusiasm and high hopes of any newbie. My goals for this week are simply to begin, and to attend with mindfulness. <BR> <BR> The beginning part is easy -- just sign up, and start participating. Follow the directions, read the articles, join some communities, and embrace the inspiration. <BR> <BR> The attending mindfully part isn't so easy, though. It means paying attention to things I really like to avoid -- like what I'm eating and how much. My... Fri, 9 Nov 2012 07:24:44 EST