DONNAKOVAC's SparkPeople Blog DONNAKOVAC's Blog on SparkPeople, home of free diet plans and a healthy living community 3am Light Bulb Moment (Too Hungry To Sleep) I am sooo tired of being hungry, all the time - quite literally! :( I get so hungry in the night that I wake up and can't get back to sleep. :( I eat well, way too well. Maybe. If fat stores are an indication, then of course I eat way too much, but not always "well". Then it occurred to me, this morning, "Wesley". Yes, 3am, this morning. :p <BR> <BR> Wesley is my sweet, amazing 18yo. When I got up, his bedroom light was on, and he was sound asleep. I shut the light off. The firs... Fri, 10 Jun 2016 06:23:19 EST Rainy Day Dance, Old School Style... Busy road, no sidewalks, just had some icy rain, not exactly the safest combination for getting out and walking. What to do?! <BR> <BR> I have a VCR! Remember those things! LOL Mine's hooked up and working! I went to the basement to see if I still have any old dance videos. I do! Two! One is a belly dance workout and the other is country music hip hop! I was excited about both, started with the "easier" one, the belly dance. Ha! Not so easy! I did most of it, taking a few short b... Wed, 6 Apr 2016 14:13:12 EST Legumes: So Good and Finally, Too Easy! Over the years, I've battled with the idea of cooking any kind of legumes from scratch, and mostly lost. Even when the recipe was "fool proof", it still wasn't. Today, I tried something different and it was just too easy. I must be dreaming! LOL I made a mix of about half and half split peas/lentils and then mixed that with an equal amount of brown rice. I cooked it as if I was just cooking brown rice. It turned out perfectly! I also put in some cabbage, onion, and garlic while it coo... Tue, 9 Feb 2016 11:15:11 EST I'm Done With Acting My Age! I, like most other kids of the '70s and '80s, was as skinny as a rail, growing up. Then what happened?! Life and kids and slow down and hurry up and stress and ... everything but what I was doing through my childhood. Some things need us to be adult-minded, like showing up for work, getting those bills paid, and the kids off in the right direction. Some things, though, we might need to take back to our childhood drawing board. <BR> <BR> Difficult to believe, I wasn't really running my... Mon, 11 Jan 2016 10:48:45 EST Not Another Detox... All the magazines will be coming out in the next few days, and there's bound to be at least one or two that use the word "detox". Yes, we tend to (over) indulge, from Thanksgiving, right through to when ever the New Year's left-overs are gone. <BR> <BR> I'm not waiting. I've made myself some super healthy brown rice with tomatoes and baked beans and a little seasoning and also baked myself some butternut squash. These healthy foods are ready and waiting, quick and easy, along with some ... Sat, 2 Jan 2016 10:46:23 EST Starting a New Trend - Calling in Tired Just about everyone's had to call in "sick" at one point in time or another. My energy level's hit an all-time low, and I seriously considered calling in "tired". I drive school bus, so safety is totally an issue! I've honestly done better working 12-hr night shifts and existing on two to five hours sleep! (hm, I'd better keep that thought handy!) Lately, I seem to not be able to get anything done, I work a few hours and need a nap, just to get through the afternoon run! I do not sleep ... Sat, 12 Dec 2015 07:47:22 EST World's Silliest Way to get More Sleep - and it Works! Out of pure silliness, my 17yo son and I have been making a bit of a big deal about the time when all the numbers are the same: 4:44, 11:11, etc. Sometimes, it's almost freaky how these numbers show up in our lives. I can't even begin to count how many times I'd wake up and look at the alarm clock and it would be 2:22 (am), 3:33, or 4:44. So, how does that get me more sleep? Some days, I wake up just a minute or two shy of one of these silly times, so I figure I'll just close my eyes for... Tue, 24 Nov 2015 05:20:18 EST Squashed Pizza or Pizza'd Squash? I am so grateful for the opportunity to help my grandson's school, by buying seed packs that they offered as a fundraiser. I am thankful that they offered veggie seeds, some even easy to grow! I am thrilled to have harvested 15 (or 17) butternut squash, which happen to be my favourite, amongst other things. I have had enough squash to share with my mom, who's also so grateful, plus more than I need. I also have a land lord who produced insane amounts of squash, and he sells it so cheap. ... Wed, 18 Nov 2015 05:44:40 EST Achy Legs Every Night? For too many nights, now, I'd wake up with my legs just totally aching. All I had to do to make them feel better is get out of bed. Unfortunately, I wasn't getting enough sleep by the time my achy legs woke me up. I have to pass a physical every five years to maintain my driver's license. Other than that, I reserve doctor visits for emergencies only, so I considered the questions that a doctor would likely ask me. Most would likely be regarding diet and exercise. My diet is not bad, som... Wed, 11 Nov 2015 07:00:16 EST Addicted to Food? How's Your Cage? A friend had shared a slightly different report on this study, and it had me intrigued. This one includes the bit about addicts in Portugal - oh, how I wish other nations would follow that example! Very promising. Some of the comments do offer some interesting "food for thought", but I believe, and have seen personally, how this can be so very true for food addicts, too. I think the after dinner munchies in front of the tv might be the most notorious offences of all. We all know how that... Sun, 30 Aug 2015 20:59:19 EST Would You Like Veggies With That? We all know how important it is to eat plenty of fruits and veggies, but not always sure how to squeeze some extra into our menu planning without feeling like we're forcing ourselves (or the kids and hubby). Honestly, a tablespoon of sauce on a pizza really isn't going to cut it. Some things have veggies wonderfully as part of the main attraction - like veggie pizza! There needs to be more ideas! Please share your faves~! <BR> <BR> BTW, we love peas! Peas with mac n cheese, fish and pot... Thu, 16 Jul 2015 09:40:31 EST Big Night Tonight!!! eeek! Tonight's the night! One of the most important interviews of my life, and I only have half of my references lined up! I'm gonna have to step up my game! I could also be working today, but I mentioned the need to work a short shift. Will see how that goes! All ducks must be fully lined up before I accept any work today! Off and running, have a great day, everyone!!!!!! Tue, 13 Jan 2015 06:05:58 EST Too Late For Supper? OK, everyone... when you come home too late for a meal but really you still should have something for supper - what's your best or favourite go to food? Thu, 18 Dec 2014 20:38:43 EST Search Engine Fun I searched this morning for a pina colada smoothie recipe so that I could more easily track the nutrition. It asked me if I meant "pain called smooched". LOL Of course that's what I meant! How on earth did I spell it so wrong?! ;) Definitely puts an early smile on the face! <BR> <BR> Search engines and predictive text, not being human with critical thinking skills, can be quite amusing at times! What's the most amusing suggestion that you've seen? <BR> <BR> If you haven't had your da... Thu, 18 Dec 2014 05:49:50 EST Working off 5,000 Calories per Day! Do you have a physically demanding job? Do you count those Calories in your fitness tracker? I do both! My work, right now, is like doing a 20 minute workout for about 8 hours. I typically don't take breaks and the end result is approximately a 5,686 Calorie burn per work day! I have finally started taking foods that keep me satisfied - a packet of oatmeal is great for fixing a sweet tooth or need for dessert! :D I take a mixture of lemonade and brewed tea (black or herbal) and don't n... Wed, 19 Nov 2014 06:21:56 EST Beans Please! Beans are an easy way to add more fibre and vital nutrients to the diet. I searched "Bean" in Spark Recipes and got the top 500 recipes! There's lots to choose from! I love bean salad for my lunches though it's often a trick to find ways to keep that salad dressing from leaking all through the rest of my lunch when I'm on the road. My cell phones have each been "annointed" at least a couple of times! Adding some rice to the bean salad helps to absorb some of the dressing. :) Adding swe... Wed, 5 Nov 2014 05:57:17 EST Old Status is Still a Good Status! Posted 81 days ago, "DONNAKOVAC just sorted out all my size 20 and 22 pants and now I have to ditch a pair of size 18! Gravity was working against them, all day and half the night, yesterday!" <BR> <BR> I'm not in a hurry to change that one! :D Maybe when I go down another size?! ;) Mon, 3 Nov 2014 05:38:31 EST Making Take-Out At Home Vegetarian Whole Wheat Barbecue Pizza Pita- that's my breakfast today. It's good with chicken or beef, too, but I don't happen to have any on hand right now. I love Barbecue Pizza, but it tends to be super expensive as a specialty dish - and can be sooo inexpensive and easy to make at home! I just made four at once! Some for now and some for later! mmmmm And so easy; spread some barbecue sauce on a ww pita, sprinkle on your toppings (this one has sauteed yellow bell peppers & onion, wit... Mon, 20 Oct 2014 07:41:19 EST Veggie Surprise! I'm sure we've all heard that we need to eat more veggies. Dealing with food allergies, forever hungry and exhausted, plagued with the the most stubborn body fat, I'm always trying to figure out what I need to 'fix' to help me be the skinny and vibrant me that I used to be. I do remember learning about Scurvy as a kid. A Vitamin C deficiency that the Natives helped the New World settlers to overcome by teaching them how to get the necessary nutrients from pine needles. No, I'm not boiling... Fri, 30 May 2014 05:01:11 EST Where's the Nutritional Info for "Chef's Surprise"? Not sure what it is, but it's loaded with veggies! <BR> <BR> When I clean out the fridge, freezer, and cupboards, I tend to make a big pot of Chef's Surprise. It's a little bit different, every time and when I have eaten enough, I freeze what's left. This time, even after it thawed, I still wasn't really sure what all was in it. Spinach, carrots, corn, broccoli, pasta. I can identify those, at least! :) I gave it a little Mexican flair by adding some diced tomatoes and some baked bea... Fri, 9 May 2014 07:02:22 EST Part Time Detox I know SP isn't big on detox ideas and I do understand why. On the other hand, I'm allergic to all forms of sugar, including fruits, veggies, grains, dairy, and of course junky foods. I've learned to deal with my allergies enough to keep migraines away but I still struggled a lot with my health because of my allergies. Basically, the only time I would eat according to my allergies is when I had a migraine. I was so tired, all the time, I reached a point where I just couldn't function any ... Tue, 29 Apr 2014 06:35:44 EST Special Diets and Spark Nutrition Plan... Whether we realize it or not, most of us have food allergies or "intolerances". For optimum health, it is good to avoid these foods until digestive and immune systems have a chance to repair themselves, ie, until you can safely eat these foods again without negative effects. <BR> <BR> "BUT WHAT WILL I EAT???" <BR> <BR> When I was first dealing with food allergies, I was allergic to far too many foods - my son was allergic to basically everything. :( With the help of a naturopathic nutrit... Sat, 19 Apr 2014 03:58:01 EST The Importance of the Whole Truth... Years ago, I made a critical mistake. I learned and believed that you cannot target muscle groups for weight loss. It's true, sort of. What that lead me to believe, though, is that there was no point in working out at all. "If only I knew then what I know now". <BR> <BR> It is true that you, for example, cannot lose ab fat by working your abs. You CAN, however, strengthen and tone your abs by working out and the stronger muscles will help burn overall body fat. Where was that lesson ... Thu, 10 Apr 2014 07:00:17 EST Some of My Favourite Excuse Busters... Exhaustion: <BR> -Mat work (on my bed!) <BR> -Upbeat music <BR> <BR> No Time: <BR> -Increased intensity <BR> <BR> Boredom: <BR> -Intervals <BR> -Music <BR> <BR> What's holding you back? and what can you do to change that? Wed, 15 Jan 2014 18:59:12 EST Another Day of Spark Gratitude! Thanks again, Spark People! <BR> <BR> Yesterday, I was so down, I crawled back into bed and realized quite literally, where I'm at. Never think or say you've hit rock bottom as apparently there is still worse. At least I have my health! Sometimes, not. <BR> <BR> Today, I'm going through some Spark emails and one of them is 35 Mood Boosters. I read them to my son, who's also down. Our family is going through a really, really hard time, right now. <BR> <BR> I needed that email and I'm... Sat, 28 Dec 2013 06:32:36 EST Thanks Again, Spark People! Another holiday has come and gone and the weight scale? Right where I left it! :D I did not lose any weight over Christmas, but I didn't gain any, either! Enjoyed Holiday foods and friends, but also remembered to keep on working out and it paid off! :D THANKS!!! :D Fri, 27 Dec 2013 07:00:55 EST Excuses or Motivators? My legs ache so badly, I could hardly sleep last night. From walking yesterday? Not likely, I tend to walk a lot, every day. From doing some lower body exercises? Perhaps. It's been a while. I've been more focused on upper body and core, somewhere between the need to build those strengths more for work and the fact that I was doing fairly well with lower body, just in my day to day routine. Or so I thought. Yes, it's been a while since I've been out on my bike. The time has come to ... Sat, 7 Dec 2013 05:59:40 EST Oops, I Did It Again - Turns Into an Important Lesson There's no end of information on how we just simply eat too much sugar and the drastic effects this has on our bodies - many forms of cancer, vision loss, diabetes, weight management, liver problems, mental illness and "syndromes", etc, etc, etc. Yes, I'll say it right now, there IS such thing as a dangerously low carb intake, too. I won't have to worry about that today. :p Someone left a pack of Flakie pastries on the table and well, let's just say one is a full day's carb requirement. ... Sat, 30 Nov 2013 07:28:53 EST Patience Pays Off! Overcoming an injury or illness is NOT easy! Old school says "no pain, no gain". Old school is dangerously wrong! It's been a long time coming, but as long as my ankle and my lungs can behave, I'm back into running! It's been a very long time. I tried the old school system and that became a major set-back. I switched to learning the new style, rest and recovery. The biggest obstacle there is learning patience! So, if you are hurt or ill, I know how easy it is to become discouraged or ... Tue, 19 Nov 2013 07:46:49 EST Don't Be Afraid To Ride Another Wagon! I had my goals set, I was working hard towards reaching them and then life took yet another turn. Many of you are already aware that we've moved eight times in three years. That's not always easy to work around. I temporarily lost sight of my goals but I kept moving forward through Sparkpeople and the healthy habits that I've gained here. I remembered my goals (It's hard to forget a desire to serve one's country on Remembrance Day!) and jumped back onto that bandwagon only to find that I'... Mon, 11 Nov 2013 09:43:51 EST Why Some Are EXTRA TIRED Today For those of us who do not use an alarm clock to wake up and do not have the physical ability to sleep in, IT'S NOT TRUE! There is NOT an extra hour of sleep to be had! Instead the day will be an extra hour long. That is a bonus in some ways and some ways not! I will NOT be going to bed at 7pm to make up for it, though a nap today may be in order. This is not a complaint, this is simply an acknowledgement to prepare me (and all of you) for any slight extra fatigue and to show that *I* un... Sun, 3 Nov 2013 04:57:08 EST What a Blur! The past two weeks have been incredibly amazing but even doing all I can, I've had to pass up some opportunities. During this time, it was all I could do to check in to Spark People at all. There have been dinner meetings, potlucks, and a whole lot of fast food while traveling long hours with no time to stay home and prep any alternatives and no time for any exercise. I'm looking forward to getting back to some kind of normal, but also am amazed that the weigh scale hasn't changed a bit! ... Sun, 27 Oct 2013 07:22:07 EST Sharing... Because It's Important! Happy Thanksgiving to all my Canadian friends and those who choose to celebrate with us! <BR> <BR> A holiday weekend is a perfect time to share the post which will follow. Holidays mean family and friends and celebration, but it can also be a very hard and lonely time for so many for various reasons including distance or loss of loved ones, low funds, illness, and more. <BR> <BR> Here's the shared post: <BR> <BR> <BR> Asked by a Spark friend to copy and paste ..... <BR> <BR> We coul... Mon, 14 Oct 2013 07:18:34 EST Five Week Challenge Success! Five weeks are up and I'm down ten pounds and have kept them off! :D <BR> <BR> What can you do in just five weeks?! That would bring us super close to Christmas holidays, which bring enough challenges of their own! <BR> <BR> If the big picture is just too big, it's a great idea to break it down to a smaller, manageable size! Sun, 13 Oct 2013 07:26:34 EST 'Tis The Season... of fresh fruits and veggies! My father-in-law has been sending me Roma tomatoes and sweet peppers out of his garden and the tomatoes have made great chili, but it's time for something different before these things go bad or I have to put them in the freezer. <BR> <BR> FAJITAS!!! mmmm! I love fajitas and so does my one son. I'll have to get more onions as my last ones got used up in the chili. I think fajitas are my favourite way to eat sweet peppers, other than sliced raw with dip. m... Sat, 21 Sep 2013 07:18:55 EST Strength Training Schedule I've been trying (and not doing too badly) to ride my bike every day and I go for plenty of walks. I've got good strong leg muscles, so lately, I just otherwise work my strength training between my core and my upper body. Occasionally, my work demands extreme strength in upper body and core and so I need to be diligent, but muscle also needs rest to build, which is why it is best to alternate days for each. Yesterday, I was rolling steel and concrete rollers back and forth and what made it... Sat, 21 Sep 2013 05:46:49 EST Are You Winning? Do you feel as though you're winning, yet? <BR> <BR> Maybe you're new here, maybe you're stuck in a rut, maybe you've even experienced a set-back, or maybe you know you're on the winning team! <BR> <BR> Do one thing better for yourself, each day. You can do it. It all starts with Baby Steps! Little by little, you WILL reach your goal. If your goal just seems too far off, make it a smaller goal. :) <BR> <BR> Stay with Sparkpeople and you will win! :D Everything you need is here - t... Tue, 17 Sep 2013 20:52:31 EST Power of Positivity and Spark Recipes for Success I am so excited that I want to post two blogs, but instead, I'll just post one with the double title! Honestly, I'm on fire! Not physically, but emotionally super-charged! <BR> <BR> First of all, do you realize the power of positivity? Anything squared is mathematically multiplied by the exponent of, or to the power of 2; cubed to the power of 3 - now it's all coming back, right?! Positivity is infinite, multiplying itself exponentially. This is why it's so critical that we stay positiv... Thu, 12 Sep 2013 07:51:08 EST Personalize It! I was just re-reading the article about 10 signs that the exercise gadget could be a gimmick - or even a scam - and it makes me cringe, even if only slightly. <BR> <BR> Anyone who dressed '80s knows we sometimes fall in love with fads. Seasons come and seasons go and that is part of what keeps life interesting! <BR> <BR> The article mentions how we might have seen an ad on tv for some fantastic new gadget and one of the criteria mentioned is whether or not it exercises just one area of the... Sun, 8 Sep 2013 08:46:30 EST I'm Back Down Ten Pounds!!! Thirty-five pound weight loss, tracked and celebrated and then ... life happened. I went back up the scale. It happens. No idea the best way to track it so I didn't. Back up to 200 was depressing; up to 210, I knew the trend had to stop! <BR> <BR> I've been coming steadily back down the scale for the last week or two, so it's not just a random fluctuation. <BR> <BR> I've been being more careful of what I eat, eating more fruits and veggies and raw as much as possible and I've been bik... Tue, 3 Sep 2013 09:28:48 EST So You Want To Get Back Into... ... what ever it is that you used to do that was good and healthy, namely some form of exercise. If you're like me, three babies and several years later, the body just doesn't like to do what it used to. <BR> <BR> So, for me, I want to get back into riding my bike. I'd love to run but my ankles aren't ready for that yet, so I need to find an alternative. I used to live on my bike and at that time, I was skinny like a toothpick! <BR> <BR> I started slowly, just tiny little rides beca... Mon, 2 Sep 2013 21:23:12 EST It's Never Too Late... to get in some Strength training and stretches. Often, I go to bed and do some basic strength training and then stretches. It's great to stretch before sleep anyway, nice and relaxing! Now, if you're into more intense Strength training, then just before bed might not be a good time, but if you're that extreme, then your training routine might be a higher priority through your day, anyway! For most of us, though, a little will go a long way! <BR> <BR> One of the only downfalls I find is ... Fri, 30 Aug 2013 06:22:47 EST Five Week Challenge! Why journal? So you can see what's working and what's not. This is part of what makes such a success. We get on here and post and blog about what we did, what we should have done, what went wrong. We get support from each other and can even surprise ourselves when we help someone else with an issue. <BR> <BR> So, five week challenge? Journal for five weeks, one week at a time. How did the first week go? What was good, what needs help, what you ate, what you liked, what... Wed, 28 Aug 2013 20:52:25 EST It's a New Week... Time to go back to the drawing board, review previous goals, modify them as needed, set new ones if necessary and get ready for a great week! Do this as often as necessary - it helps to keep you on track! <BR> <BR> Many people have a long weekend coming up. It's a great time to be prepared for that, as well. <BR> <BR> We can do this, we're all on the same team! :D <BR> <BR> Have a great week, everyone! <BR> <BR> Keep on Baby Stepping! Mon, 26 Aug 2013 06:35:00 EST Another Trend Turned Around! That migraine didn't last long - one regular Advil was all it took to fight it off. The humidity is extreme right now, storm clouds are all around, and I'm good! I haven't been extremely strict about what I eat, just semi-strict and I've conquered the migraine! Hooray! I can keep on plugging away with healthy and raw foods, keep my energy high, keep the scale going down, and I've finally reached a point where I can control the migraines fairly well and not have to live on the strictest di... Thu, 22 Aug 2013 09:39:44 EST Yup, There It Is Yes, the scale is going in the direction I need it to, the raw foods have been fantastic, my energy level has greatly increased and yup, there it is, MIGRAINE. :( <BR> <BR> A banana (which needed to be used up) and an Advil and hopefully I can get this quickly under control. I have veggies roasted in the oven and veggie soup simmering on the stove. Some of the veggies are healing foods and some are allergens. What a vicious cycle! :( But I'm going to beat it and I'll be healthier for i... Tue, 20 Aug 2013 07:52:31 EST I've Turned That Trend Around! What am I doing differently? I'm eating more raw foods and I've bought some fruit and nut bars (KIND brand, but looking to try others, as well). Filling up on these healthier foods means less need for the junky foods that are wearing me down and fattening me up. :) Now the scale is going down again, instead of up and up. :) After serious thought, I think raw foods were a critical element to my 35-lb weight loss while living in the city, where I had daily access to fresh raw foods. They... Sat, 17 Aug 2013 07:01:20 EST The Cream-sicle Punch Experiment It's not always easy to appreciate protein too early in the morning, but we know our bodies need some as soon as possible upon waking. I just mixed a pitcher of cream-sicle punch that I made up. I've seen similar recipes and I'm just mixing what I've got right now: a batch of reconstituted orange juice, a cup or so of Activia probiotic blackberry yogurt and a quart or Litre of sparkling lime water. It's a bit tart - it might be good to add a bit of ginger ale, next chance I get and for so... Tue, 30 Jul 2013 07:57:11 EST Still Dealing With Spark Changes... Now, I nearly have it figured out how to use my Workout Generator, I can't seem to find any suggestions for Stretching, like what we used to be offered. Stretching is very important and often overlooked - I used to balk at the idea! It was through becoming a Certified Personal Trainer that I began to realize, both through knowledge and through practice, just how important (and relaxing) it is! <BR> <BR> I have a job that the shifts are sporadic, I might get one shift per week, one or two w... Mon, 22 Jul 2013 08:15:37 EST Start Your Healthy Habits as Early As Possible! Start every day as healthy as you can! It's a great way to jump start your day and may set the trend for the rest of the day. Even if something comes up to change the direction of your day, you're still off to a good start. <BR> <BR> Water in the morning - dehydrated from a night of sleep and the best way to drink it as far from the next bed time sleep as possible! <BR> <BR> Exercise in the morning - nothing gets the brain and blood pumping better and helps increase energy for the day! <B... Thu, 11 Jul 2013 15:55:00 EST