FRENCHIFAL's SparkPeople Blog FRENCHIFAL's Blog on SparkPeople, home of free diet plans and a healthy living community How a person with a cat eats? A friend just posted this to my Facebook wall...and in my case, it's true if I'm eating anything milk or cream based! My parents dogs are worse, though. They will literally snatch food right out of your hands! <BR> <BR> What about your pets? Do they steal your food? <BR> <img src=""> Thu, 27 Mar 2014 09:44:27 EST Falling a little behind on mini-marathon training Despite my best efforts, I've started to fall behind on my training schedule. <BR> <BR> The treadmill at my apartment complex' gym is STILL out of order, and has been for almost a week. So I've been running, and getting in some great times and mileage...but only when the weather cooperates. <BR> <BR> And I've been getting a few twinges in my knee - likely old war wounds aching with the weather changes - so I haven't been pushing myself as hard. For most of my runs, I've been fine, an... Tue, 25 Mar 2014 10:31:00 EST 5% Challenge Results I'm really happy with the results from this challenge! <BR> <BR> Here was where I was at the start of the challenge: <BR> Weight: 167.8 <BR> Bust: 40.5 <BR> Rib Cage: 32.5 <BR> Waist: 34.5 <BR> Hips: 42 <BR> Thigh: 24.5 <BR> Body fat: 35.62% <BR> <BR> I didn't manage to lose the full 5% - in fact, I lost exactly half of the weight I set out to lose. <BR> <BR> But I've made a lot of real progress! Here are my measurements today: <BR> Weight: 163.6 (4.2 lbs lost) <BR> Bust: 40 (-0.5") <... Sat, 15 Mar 2014 09:08:17 EST ADVICE NEEDED: Nutrition for Running/Training? I've been working really hard to keep up with this half-marathon training program...but I'm starting to run into a wall. <BR> <BR> And it's definitely what I'm eating! <BR> <BR> After my birthday, I cut out alcohol and processed sugar. I've also increased my protein intake over the last few weeks, so I'm eating about 90-100 g every day. And I'm working to get my sodium back into normal ranges...but I REALLY crave salty foods after a long run! <BR> <BR> It's definitely helping! <BR>... Fri, 14 Mar 2014 11:13:31 EST Some mornings are just brunch mornings! When I woke up, the sun was shining...the forecast was mid-40s by this afternoon, and I'm planning a long run today! Great reasons to indulge! <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> Mmmm...buckwheat and cottage cheese pancakes with baked apples, and a potato roasted with basil! Sun, 9 Mar 2014 11:21:34 EST How a housecat hunts squirrels... Miss Kitty cracks me up! <BR> <BR> My apartment complex has squirrels nesting in the attic, and they drive poor Miss Kitty crazy! <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <img src=""> Sun, 2 Mar 2014 08:03:08 EST Six Month Anniversary - and my reward! As of yesterday, I've officially been a non-smoker for six months!! <BR> <BR> I've been keeping track of my estimated savings, and I've already saved over $550! My main distraction - and motivator - has been running. I managed to push myself up to the holidays...and it started getting harder to stick with my goals (since my parents both smoke, there was a lot of temptation, and I was running less). <BR> <BR> So I started following a half marathon training program, with the idea that it wo... Tue, 25 Feb 2014 14:26:27 EST Today's reminder to run <img src=""> Mon, 17 Feb 2014 11:31:41 EST Thanks for your support! I feel bad that I haven't blogged in a couple of weeks - but it's that time of the year where I really don't have much to say that isn't political! <BR> <BR> My job right now is all focused on the Indiana State legislature, and I can't even talk about some of the proposed bills without getting fired up! Grrr.... <BR> <BR> It should all be over in early March. But for the last month and a half, it's been 12-15 hour days at the office, working a full day every Saturday and at least a few ho... Wed, 12 Feb 2014 09:34:35 EST Pardon my math..but I was too excited to keep this to myself! I hate the treadmill. I would assassinate a treadmill Office Space-style if I could, I hate running on treadmills that much. So I've focused on the math to keep myself engaged, and push myself to put in the extra work. I HAVE run 7.5 miles before. But it was part running, part walking, and lots of rests along the way. <BR> <BR> It was two weeks ago when I first got up the motivation to push myself into running without a walking break, and I made it 40 minutes without slowing down! Tod... Sat, 1 Feb 2014 21:57:22 EST Advice Needed: Planning classes, want to know what sounds good! I'm planning out events for the food cooperative, but I'm starting to run out of ideas! <BR> <BR> Here's what I have so far: <BR> <BR> For February, I'm aiming to have a couple of Valentine's Day themed events. I've booked a foods teacher for a "Healthy Hearts" nutrition class, and set up a DIY Edible Facials spa day. We also have a fermented foods class - focused on raw sauerkraut. <BR> <BR> For March, I've got a St. Patrick's Day brewing demonstration - with a focus on "green" beer (i.... Fri, 31 Jan 2014 20:50:31 EST Can't Sleep - Clown Will Eat Me.... Okay, not really... <BR> <BR> I've suffered from insomnia for most of my life, and I've always had an issue with nightmares and night terrors. So my brother got me a magnet, as a joke. It says "Can't sleep. Clowns will eat me." <BR> <BR> It makes me laugh, and reminds me just how silly most of the things that keep me awake really are. <BR> <BR> I really haven't slept well since the holidays. Part of it is stress. Part of it is my diet - I WAS doing better...and then I worked late yes... Tue, 28 Jan 2014 11:16:25 EST Today's achievement: Miss Kitty gets a bath 2 <BR> <link> </link> <BR> <BR> I'm not sure if this video link will actually work...but I got some assistance from my dad (because no one else loves me enough to endure THIS!!) and he retaliated by taking a video of Miss Kitty and posting it on Facebook! <BR> <BR> It was an interesting way to spend my three-day weekend! <BR> <BR> <img src=""> Sun, 19 Jan 2014 12:51:38 EST 5% Challenge: Day 1 It's been a roller coaster for the last few months...but I'm finally back on track, and seeing the first sign of progress! <BR> <BR> For me, the first sign that I'm getting stronger: my weight goes up, my waistline (barely) shrinks, and my hips and thighs get a little bigger. It's a side effect of starting to build more muscle. <BR> <BR> I virtually gave up through the holidays, but I don't really feel like I'm starting from scratch with running and cardio - but it's been months since I ... Sat, 18 Jan 2014 11:03:36 EST Rewarding myself along the way After Christmas, I decided to give myself a personal gift: I ordered a water kefir kit! <BR> <BR> I've had water kefir before, and I really enjoyed it - plus, it's a great source for natural probiotics. And the grains last for a really long time, so I can make water kefir juice and/or soda for months off of the one starter kit. So...I figured it would be a good gift. <BR> <BR> And then, I had my first-in-a-long-time exercise streak.. I worked out for at least half an hour for the past ... Sun, 12 Jan 2014 18:45:37 EST My Inner Dialogue... <img src=""> Thu, 9 Jan 2014 15:34:08 EST The most inspiring quote I have ever heard... <img src=""> <BR> <BR> On those days when my motivation is flagging, every time I want to skip a workout, or eat that extra piece of cake, I remind myself: I want to be GREAT! Tue, 7 Jan 2014 10:11:50 EST It's not instantaneous... It's a hard lesson to learn. You can't change overnight. <BR> <BR> Last year, I decided that I didn't want to set resolutions for New Year's. Instead, I "broke up" with some of those trigger foods, deciding that they needed to be banished from my diet. <BR> <BR> So, of course, I had to have a "last" meal...for all of those trigger foods... <BR> <BR> <em>4</em> <BR> <BR> You know the story. If it hasn't happened to you, you're lucky - and it's probably happened to someone you kn... Fri, 3 Jan 2014 12:31:58 EST The most epic playtime ever recorded.... The worst part of the holidays, for me, is the clean-up. I have wrapping paper, ribbons, bags, and boxes scattered around my living room for several days after making it through Christmas. <BR> <BR> This year, though, we turned all of that debris into a playground for Miss Kitty! <BR> <BR> And after she ripped the feathers off of her new toy (I dubbed this one "feathers on stick") I tied the leftover curling ribbons to the end...and the results were EPIC!! <BR> <BR> I'm talking a poss... Thu, 2 Jan 2014 11:01:55 EST HAPPY NEW YEAR!! I decided to greet the new year properly - with a brunch party at my apartment. <BR> <BR> Hey, I love to cook! And it's a great excuse to use the fancy serving dishes (and champagne flutes) that I almost never pull out of their boxes. <BR> <BR> And most importantly, it's a great way to prevent friends and family from eating the traditional "hangover" breakfast from McDonalds.... <BR> <BR> So yesterday I confirmed that my parents and a few close friends would be coming, and planned out a... Wed, 1 Jan 2014 13:26:37 EST I am Furniture... Miss Kitty goes through phases. Sometimes, I am THE SERVICE. I am not allowed to touch her. Or I am allowed to pet her, but only where she wants and for a prescribed period of time - and if I violate these limitations, I will be bitten or clawed. <BR> <BR> And sometimes, I get the cold shoulder, and I am not allowed to violate the rules of the cold shoulder...or worse, fail to notice that I am receiving the cold shoulder or attempt to appease her with treats. <BR> <BR> Typical cat, I... Wed, 11 Dec 2013 14:18:49 EST Is it really December? I can't believe how fast 2013 has gone! <BR> <BR> I've been seeing reports that the first big winter storm of the year will be hitting Indiana tonight. It seems like it should be summer still, but it's time to put away the shorts and tanks, and pull out the sweaters and coats for another winter. <BR> <BR> I'm looking at this, and reminding myself that I wanted to accomplish a lot in 2013. The first goal I made was related to holiday weight gain - I went from 155 to 166 through Thanksgivin... Thu, 5 Dec 2013 10:47:15 EST Happy (belated) Thanksgiving! Thanksgiving at my house is usually pretty tricky. My parents and brother are solid meat-and-potatoes people. They don't want to give up Hawaiian bread beef dip (with chipped beef, mayonaise, and sour cream), turkey, mashed potatoes and gravy, cornbread dressing, green bean casserole, or fluffy white dinner rolls. <BR> <BR> I'm a vegetarian, trying to transition to a healthy vegan diet, who has a sensitivity to gluten. We're very different, to say the least. So usually, my parents make... Fri, 29 Nov 2013 11:17:03 EST My Lowest Weight, and Strongest Body I've been thinking a lot about some of my healthier habits from when I was at my lowest weight...and how those healthy habits have really fallen off my radar in the last several years. <BR> <BR> My lowest weight was 142-145, about 4-5 years ago. I had quit smoking the previous November, and I was at my highest weight ever at New Year's - about 215-ish. I was depressed, self-conscious, and I wanted to change. <BR> <BR> It was July of the NEXT year when I hit that goal weight. I know t... Mon, 25 Nov 2013 21:56:05 EST Happy Cranksgiving! If you don't know what Cranksgiving is - that's okay! A year ago, it was brand new to me too!! <BR> <BR> Today was the annual Bicycle Lafayette Food Finders donation drive. We pick up donations, lead a quick workshop on all of the ways to carry groceries by bike, and then bike it all to Food Finders! <BR> <BR> This year, we hauled a little over 300 pounds...and I was late to the event, so I didn't have much to carry. But altogether, I biked about 16 miles today...getting to the start poi... Sat, 9 Nov 2013 14:02:16 EST Miss Kitty got a bath Thanks to my allergies, Miss Kitty gets a bath with dander-reducing hypoallergenic shampoo every couple of months. It should probably be more often...but I just can't make myself go through it that often! <BR> <BR> The first time I gave Miss Kitty a bath, it was the most horrific experience imaginable. I'm talking a truly epic battle, where I triumphed despite being scratched to pieces and having a shower curtain shredded. She pulled the jar of utensils that sits by the sink INTO the sink... Sun, 3 Nov 2013 19:09:51 EST Happy Halloween! We had a Halloween event at the food of course, I wanted to make some spooky - but still healthy - treats for everyone who came! <BR> <BR> Here was the buffet table - which consisted of a 5-layer bean dip, a cat made of veggies with a black bean dip face, an ogre made of veggies with a guacamole face, a big plate of hummus and another plate of extra veggies, a bag of baked multigrain chips, and the basket of caramel popcorn I made this morning. <BR> <BR> YUM!! <BR> <img ... Thu, 31 Oct 2013 23:52:07 EST One little mistake...and you end up with a big mess! The food cooperative is having a Halloween social tonight, and I decided that caramel popcorn (using the co-op's popcorn, butter, sugar, etc.) would be a healthy and easy-to-make treat for the kids. <BR> <BR> Of course, the first time you make something you have to expect a few mistakes. Mistake 1: I've never popped popcorn on the stove...and didn't think to cover the pan! Poor Miss Kitty ran yowling into the bedroom. And I got to clean popcorn and oil off the walls, the floor, the counte... Thu, 31 Oct 2013 09:49:00 EST You know your family "gets" you when... ...they post this picture on your Facebook page. <em>104</em> <BR> <BR> <img src=""> Wed, 23 Oct 2013 09:27:17 EST Food experiments, and a little help from Miss Kitty It was a very long, and very full, weekend! <BR> <BR> Saturday was the weigh-in for the 5% challenge - and I had lost 1.7 lbs that week!! Which puts me at a total weight loss to date of 5.2 lbs since September 23!! <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> Then I went for a long run. Best run so far in 2013!! For the first time, I actually ran the entire thing! I think it was the temperature, it was cool enough that I didn't overheat, and that mak... Mon, 21 Oct 2013 13:07:21 EST Desperately needed laugh for the day! If you have a Facebook account and check it regularly, you've probably already seen this...but it's worth a second (or third) view! <BR> <BR> The old link went's the new one! <BR> <BR> <link> </link> Thu, 17 Oct 2013 14:14:27 EST The First Run with the Spark - 5% Challenge Day 1 It's been a good day! <BR> <BR> The community garden held a work day today - so I did a lot to clean up my plot! <BR> <BR> Before: <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> After: <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> I've still got a couple of peppers, about a dozen large tomatoes, and about 3-4 dozen green cherry tomatoes on the vine! <BR> <img src=" Sat, 12 Oct 2013 16:25:58 EST The Next 5% The fall 5% challenge officially kicks off tomorrow. I'm starting at a much different place than I really wanted to - in the last couple of weeks, my weight finally stabilized and has started going down, but I'm a lot heavier than I was at the start of the last challenge! <BR> <BR> This time around, I'm starting at 169.5 (on October 12) - and I'm aiming to lose 5% of that (8.5 lbs) by December 6. <BR> <BR> I KNOW I can do it! I just need to stay strong and motivated...and not check out ... Fri, 11 Oct 2013 11:06:29 EST Update from the Garden Not much has been happening at the garden lately. I harvested the last remnants of my greens today - all of the plants had bolted, so there wasn't much else to do. I've planted seeds for a fall round of greens, but so far they haven't sprouted. I'll keep watering, and hopefully I'll have fresh greens again in a few weeks! <BR> <BR> The tomato and pepper plants are actually still doing great! I've still got dozens on the vine, that aren't ready to be picked yet, so I think I'll still be g... Sat, 5 Oct 2013 13:33:15 EST Any thoughts on Candida? After talking to a friend/former board member about the health problems I'd been having and the doctor's prognosis, she told me that it sounded a lot like Candida. <BR> <BR> I looked it up, and got some very mixed information. The CDC mentions that the primary symptoms are fever and chills (which I do not have), but the information my friend sent me gave a list of symptoms that match me to a tee! <BR> <BR> Here is what the CDC says: <link><BR>ive/ ... Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:26:42 EST Fresh from the doctor's office, with good and bad news... This morning, I went in to meet my new doctor (my old doctor changed specialties), and get my annual physical. <BR> <BR> In March last year, I was diagnosed with IBS...and the condition has not improved over time. And between vacation, my quit efforts, and everything else, my weight was - according to them - 173, putting me firmly in the OVERWEIGHT category. So depressing.... <BR> <BR> The new doctor has recommended that I go back on a low-dose anti-anxiety medication. And I'm going to t... Mon, 23 Sep 2013 09:29:26 EST Last night, I rewarded myself...a bit Thanks to the class-action law suit against Bank of America, I received a refund check last week. <BR> <BR> My brother gave me a 32" flat screen TV about 6 months ago - because the TV I already had dated back to my freshman year of college (aka, 2001), and it's age offended his high-tech sensibilities. <BR> <BR> Never mind the fact that I don't have cable, and the TV only gets turned on so I can do fitness DVDs...or occasionally watch a movie... <BR> <BR> But the TV he gave me didn't fi... Wed, 18 Sep 2013 11:09:05 EST Worried no more! Some of you might know this, but I quit smoking on Monday. <BR> <BR> I'm already feeling better. I have more energy. I'm breathing easier. And according to SparkSavings, I've already saved $20! <BR> <BR> But I was worried. REALLY worried. <BR> <BR> The last time I quit (for almost a year and a half), I gained A LOT of weight. That was what tipped the scales, and got me up to 215. <BR> <BR> So...I knew it was the right choice. I knew I would be healthier and happier, and that ... Fri, 13 Sep 2013 08:09:08 EST Vacation Pics Part V - the final batch! Kayaking with the dolphins and manatees We went kayaking twice in Charleston - on Saturday, we did the Shem Creek tour at Coastal Expeditions, and on Monday we did the Salt Marshes tour with Charleston Outdoor Adventures! <BR> <BR> I tried SO HARD to get pictures with the dolphins, but the most you'll see is the tip of a fin making ripples. They were FAST!! <BR> <BR> And the birds were hard to photograph. Every time I got close, they'd fly away. But we saw a lot of birds, including herons, egrets, wood storks, and a few osprey... Tue, 10 Sep 2013 10:36:50 EST Vacation Pics Part IV: Sullivan's Island By far, the BEST workout of the trip was at Sullivan's Island! <BR> <BR> When we first arrived (went twice, I only took pictures the second time), I just floated for about 10 minutes. Only to put down my feet and realize I'd drifted about 50-60 yards away from my brother! <BR> <BR> So I started swimming toward him, and after about 15 minutes I put my feet down...only to realize I was now about 75 yards from him! <BR> <BR> <em>46</em> <BR> <BR> I caught my breath and struck out agai... Mon, 9 Sep 2013 10:43:34 EST Vacation Pics Part III: Great Smoky Mountains Hiking along the Kephart Prong Trail: <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <img src=" Sun, 8 Sep 2013 20:39:20 EST Vacation Pics Part II: Chimney Rock State Park On my drive home, I stopped at Chimney Rock State Park, planning to hike for an hour, take the elevator to Chimney Rock, then hike up to Exclamation Point. <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> Of course, I then found that the elevators were broken...but I stuck to my plan! The starting elevation - according to the Chimney Rock Park website - was 1,965...and the highest elevation I reaches was 2,480 ft. So I managed to climb 515 ft! <BR> <img s... Fri, 6 Sep 2013 11:09:56 EST Vacation Pics Part I: Downtown Charleston At the harbor and (is it called a boardwalk?) the sidewalk along the harbor. <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> Here are the pictu... Thu, 5 Sep 2013 11:10:49 EST Quick Vacation Recap It's so nice to be home and in my own bed, with Miss Kitty! Who apparently was not very welcoming to my parents while they were watching her....typical cat! <BR> <BR> Anyhow, it's been a very good week, and I do promise to post some pictures soon! <BR> <BR> For now, here's a quick recap of what I did! <BR> <BR> I drove down to Charleston on Thursday. Unfortunately no friends were in the area and available, and it was raining, so I only stopped for dinner in Asheville. <BR> <BR> Friday... Wed, 4 Sep 2013 23:07:44 EST Progress - just not mine! I've been SOOOO BUSY with the food cooperative! <BR> <BR> For the last 6+ weeks, I've been spending at least 3 hours a night working on a project for the big move. Our new storefront is more than twice as big as the old, and it's been tough with our limited volunteer pool - and I've been finding myself picking up more of the slack than I can handle! <BR> <BR> Sunday, I organized about a dozen volunteers for 6-ish hours, and take a look at what we accomplished!! <BR> <img src="http://photo... Mon, 26 Aug 2013 13:03:58 EST Quality vs. Quantity? I know that quality matters when it comes to sleep...but does it matter for exercise too? <BR> <BR> I've been getting lots of minutes. But it's been low-intensity exercise - painting, sanding, cleaning, And of course, moving the product - which hauling around heavy food pails and equipment IS a bit higher intensity, but I'll move stuff for 10 minutes and then start cleaning or painting. <BR> <BR> And I'm feeling the difference. I feel weaker and more tired than I did a couple ... Tue, 20 Aug 2013 09:14:00 EST My first woodworking project! On Sunday night, I finally finished my very first woodworking project - refinishing a 20-foot-long, historic counter top for the food cooperative. <BR> <BR> I love antiques, and learning how to refinish wood has been something I've wanted to do for some time. So I was REALLY excited to take on this project, and learn how to sand and varnish from someone with a lot of experience. <BR> <BR> Woodworking means a lot to me because I have two pieces that were made by my great great grandfather... Wed, 14 Aug 2013 13:00:50 EST It doesn't look like progress until you step back to see the whole picture! Do you think of your weight loss as the numbers on the scale and the tape measure, or in terms of the miles you log and the strength in your body? And do you remember to look at your journey in terms of WHO you want to be and what you want to be able to do with your body, rather than just the number on a scale? <BR> <BR> It was a very physically intensive week! The kind that just doesn't come along often, where you're moving all week long and challenging yourself every minute of the journ... Sat, 10 Aug 2013 11:47:40 EST Pics from the Paddlers Rendezvous! The only two regrets I had about this weekend's rendezvous: <BR> 1. That I didn't reapply sunscreen. I'm not just burned, I'm crispy-crittered!! <BR> 2. That I'm still carry that spare tire. I wasn't comfortable going in just my bikini top (in retrospect, probably a good think or I'd have a very red back and tummy!) but I wish that I had worked harder to get into shape! <BR> <BR> Anyhow, here they are...and I have to give credit where it's due, I didn't take these myself, it was a member... Sun, 4 Aug 2013 22:04:26 EST Where did I go wrong? Last night, I attempted to water bath can my first batch of salsa. <BR> <BR> It did not go well... <BR> <BR> I found a recipe with vinegar designed for water bath canning, and followed it exactly. I boiled the jars and lids, made sure the salsa was bubbling away, used a funnel to protect the mouths of the jars and wiped them when I was done. I put the lids in place, and screwed on the lid holder - but left it a little loose. Nothing spilled out of the jars, so I definitely didn't leave... Tue, 30 Jul 2013 10:02:17 EST