DONNAKOVAC's SparkPeople Blog DONNAKOVAC's Blog on SparkPeople, home of free diet plans and a healthy living community 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 Proof That Spark Habits Work... I'd been without internet for about a month but have been with SP for a few years. Today is the first day that I could actually get on and post my day so far. It's not even 8 am and I've already done my strength training, tracked my breakfast and a handful of other goals, posted a few things, checked my Spark emails and am ready to take off on my bicycle and then for a short walk to actively "recover" (cool down). <BR> <BR> I certainly would not be this motivated nor organized if it weren'... Mon, 8 Jul 2013 07:13:46 EST Baby Steps To Keep Me Sane - And Healthy! July 1 - Happy Canada Day to all my fellow Canucks. It's our first day fully out of our apartment and my first of a few night shifts all scheduled in a row. A huge sigh of relief to be done with the apartment and a giant shout-out of gratitude to my hubby, mom and kids for all their help. <BR> <BR> Now, I'm faced with a wall or two or more of boxes that need to be sorted out and put away AND continuation of these night shifts, with me being far too much of a farmer to be able to sleep we... Mon, 1 Jul 2013 15:48:34 EST It Must Be Time To Level Up! Anyone who's been following my blogs knows I'd been struggling with the new strength training format - and I still haven't really been able to bring my strength training back to where I want it to be so I've decided to once again make lemonade out of this lemon. It's time to "Level Up". :) <BR> <BR> I switched my workout generator to "advanced" and chose "under 30 minutes", and "full body" just to give it a test drive and WOW! what a work out! :D THIS is what I want! The only downfall ... Sat, 1 Jun 2013 08:45:00 EST Looking "Cool" Anyway! Samantha, SparkPeople community moderator, says: <BR> Life is too short to care about looking cool. <BR> <BR> I disagree! (to some extent, anyway!) I'm sure I need to explain further, though. <BR> <BR> First off, yes, life is short! Way too short! There is no good age to lose a friend or loved one. <BR> <BR> That being said, I enjoy being "cool", looking "cool". Sometimes I even enjoy "dressing up". How each of us defines "cool" is as individual as we are. I consider being comfo... Tue, 28 May 2013 08:16:52 EST Woohoo! Massive Workout- With Pay!!! Back to work today and again tomorrow. A lot of my co-workers are grumbling because we were told it will be a 12-hour shift and it turned out to only be 8 hours. Most of them will refuse work if it's only 8 hours. NOT ME! :D <BR> <BR> Today was more work that was like climbing monkey bars but with the added intensity of having to step over rollers and other hurdles that are 8 to 24" off the ground. <BR> <BR> Burn baby, burn! (Let's just watch that fat burn away! :D) <BR> <BR> edite... Tue, 14 May 2013 19:17:59 EST I May Have Discovered The Secret!!! If anyone's been following my posts, you know that I've been trying to sort out the new Strength Training tracker (or lack thereof) for the past few days. Today, starting with my Strength Training already set up for 7 days per week, I found the Workout Generator BEFORE posting my Cardio, so I used it! I was then able to also post my Cardio, so now I have both Strength training AND Cardio workout tracked! <BR> <BR> Sadly, it seems I can only pick one workout per day and the one I chose on... Mon, 13 May 2013 07:02:05 EST Workout Generator - I Saw It, And Now... It's gone AGAIN! Honestly, has anyone seen my marbles?! <BR> <BR> I saw a link for the workout generator THIS MORNING, but now that I've posted 600 min of Cardio, maybe some little Spark fairy decides I've done enough today?! <BR> <BR> ARGHHHHH! :( <BR> <BR> I'm not crazy! (but if I get there, it will be thanks to SP.) <BR> <BR> I'll try to remember to post my Strength training first and then my cardio and see if that helps. Now to find my marbles... :p Sun, 12 May 2013 08:05:12 EST Strength Training is Totally Gone?! I went to try to put together my strength training for the day and it's totally gone now! I don't see any link to put together a strength training routine, except maybe groupings, which looks like it takes a bit of work to do - not the kind of thing I want to do now, while I wait until hubby is ready for bed (after the hockey game). :p~~~~~~ <BR> <BR> Sparking used to be easy, almost fool-proof and I used to promote it, even when I was a certified personal trainer! I'm hugely disappointed... Fri, 10 May 2013 21:31:22 EST 13 Minutes to Really Look Good (the title is half-jokingly; certainly not out of vanity or arrogance) :) <BR> <BR> I'm not a frilly princess and never have been. I grew up on a farm with my brother and two male cousins being my closest companions. I have no use for artificial anything. Even now, I just finished another shift working with "the guys" as a Millwright (industrial mechanic). I had an issue this week over a particular t-shirt that I wore - it was a little too feminine (low cut). :p I've been asked to try... Thu, 9 May 2013 07:58:52 EST Eating On The Run, Half Price Success! I stopped at the store, as planned, and the cold deli salads weren't all put out, yet. I moved past them only to discover a great assortment all marked down to half price and already portioned out! Saves me time and money!!! From knowing how tired I was (first shift is the hardest), the stop probably saved my life, too! :D <BR> <BR> Now, I've had a bite to eat, I'm going back to bed, because two hours of sleep is just not quite enough to keep going on! ;) Tue, 30 Apr 2013 13:00:29 EST A New Kind Of Eating On The Run... I'm still learning to juggle two full-time jobs, with one being mostly scheduled to my needs and the other being on call, starting and ending new contracts, various shifts, no hours to long hours... I worked a couple of shifts, last week, 12-hour days, driving into the sunrise and into the sunset each day. When I got a day off, dh and I went to the grocery store and I remembered how fondly I love the cold deli. I felt like a kid in a candy store for the first time, it seemed so long since ... Mon, 29 Apr 2013 08:48:33 EST New Fitness Tracker (What Happened?, part two) It's not quite the end of the world, yet, but it may seem close. I tried, instead of picking "whole body workout", the "basic upper body workout", and well, it's about eight exercises short of the custom routine I had programmed into the old tracker, but it will do. It will take some getting used to, but it can work. I would really like to see the old tracker made available to us again, but if we have to use this, then we can still be ok. There's a few options available, so maybe I'll hav... Sun, 28 Apr 2013 20:48:22 EST What Happened?!? I went to use my Fitness Tracker tonight as I use the suggested exercises for my strength training and it's gone! :( I tried to set up a new workout and it's not what I'm looking for at all! :( I used to have it so that I did core one day, upper body the next and lower body the day after that, repeated for the rest of my life - and my life isn't over yet! (maybe I should smile for that one) :) But I'm sad and disappointed and way too tired when it's this far past my bed time to just ... Fri, 26 Apr 2013 22:22:52 EST I Give Up! Bouncing back and forth from days off to 12-hour shifts, trying to eat accordingly, whether I have time and internet access to track or not and I just plain give up! <BR> <BR> How on earth do you count a 12-hr shift that includes down time, but for the whole time, I'm wearing workboots that must weigh at least five pounds, coveralls, hard hat, ear muffs, sometimes a body harness, yesterday even included (was that yesterday or today?!) wearing a retractable tether, which has to weigh another ... Tue, 23 Apr 2013 22:16:03 EST It's Not An Olympic Sport, but... getting in and out of my harness and coveralls, several times per day certainly does help burn off a lot of Calories! LOL They need to be a snug fit as a lot of our work is high risk. Next celebration will be when I go down from a 2X size! :D At this rate, it should not take long! 600 minutes per work day of fairly strenuous cardio work that may or may not include the coverall workout = approximately 3996 Calories burned on the job!!! :D Thu, 18 Apr 2013 22:20:46 EST Wear A Team or Athletic Shirt In Support Such terrible tragedy in Boston, yesterday. (((hugs and prayers to all who are affected))). My cousin suggested today we wear a team or athletic shirt to show our care and I'm going to add that we also show our support against this terrorism and any future attacks! We are one big team in total and may we stand together! :D <BR> <BR> <em>196</em> <em>361</em> <em>321</em> Tue, 16 Apr 2013 07:10:14 EST Slimband Ad Here, Really?! :( Before even seeing the Slimband ad on SP, I actually was looking it up today, with the differences between it and gastric bypass surgery. I know someone who just lost probably at least two hundred pounds fairly quickly and it seems that surgery was involved, though it was not specified which surgery she had. <BR> <BR> The reason I was looking it up, though, was not because I'm interested in surgery - at all. I don't even like going to the doctor for any reason though I've just gone throu... Mon, 8 Apr 2013 09:19:15 EST Free Food Has To Be Best... especially if it's home-grown produce! :D I picked up a magazine that had an article about this. Thankfully some of the info is also available online. This particular article also included cabbage, which wasn't in the magazine article. Cabbage can require great amounts of pesticide to keep cabbage moths away. Grow it indoors might be a great and much safer alternative. :) The magazine article also included garlic and white potatoes, though any variety will sprout from the "eyes". <BR>... Sat, 6 Apr 2013 16:04:13 EST