GARDENGIRL54's SparkPeople Blog GARDENGIRL54's Blog on SparkPeople, home of free diet plans and a healthy living community Wanna try a treat that tastes like it's sinful? Oh man! I made a treat for myself that TASTES "sinful" but it's not!!! I took a half cup of frozen raspberries from my garden and added a half cup of Dannon lite and fit vanilla yogurt to it last night. Now it's thawed and ready to go. This is SOOOooo good! Only 83 calories but 4 grams of protein and NO fat!!! <BR> <BR> Try it, you'll like it! This is my new go-to treat! <em>334</em> Tue, 20 Dec 2011 17:53:03 EST Dealing with Holiday stress There is just no doubt about it. The holidays are much less stressful once the kids are grown and gone. It's also a little bit boring.... No excited faces, no eager questions, no reading holiday kid books.... <BR> <BR> When my kids were small I was in a constant state of stress over getting everything done that I wanted to do for the holidays. This included lots of extra baking, shopping, activities, etc. Now I am able to pick and choose what extras I will do and how I will focus my time fo... Mon, 5 Dec 2011 12:39:45 EST Empty Nester's Holidays Referring to myself as an "empty nester" is really kind of a misnomer since one of our sons is again living with us temporarily. But still, this is not the same as being in the full time business of raising kids 24/7. I find I am enjoying getting to know my sons as "near-adults" and to see them maturing their thoughts and values while out from under my constant care. <BR> <BR> What fun to have an adult conversation with young people I love so much! I am also finding it enjoyable to spend t... Tue, 29 Nov 2011 13:27:45 EST To Italy and back Someone here on Spark People reminded me I should blog about our recent trip to Italy goes. <BR> <BR> My husband and I joined 26 other fairly "fit" travels for a 17-day tour of northern Italy. I chose this tour b/c of the relatively small group size, the promise of hiking and other active "activites", plus the promise of both city and more rural destinations. We were SO pleased with our experience! <BR> <BR> We started our tour at Lake Como where the weather was not the greates... Tue, 25 Oct 2011 13:57:28 EST Plenty of positive influences It is so easy to find something to blame for bad health habits. The manufacturers pack transfats into enticing foods. Parking is close to work so you don't have to walk far. Jobs are often sedentary so we don't burn up calories there. No wonder many of us have weight issues..... <BR> <BR> I have been very fortunate in my life to have the positive influence of healthy women who I see as role models. I recently lost a good friend and neighbor to pancreatic cancer. She was 78 and until one ye... Wed, 7 Sep 2011 13:57:25 EST Summertime Just when I think I cannot stand any more oppressive heat and humidity, Mother Nature gives us a break. A low below 70, humidity also plunged, and I am met with a breath of literally fresh air as I enter the morning to give my pooch's bladder a break. My mood automatically lifts. <BR> <BR> I am tired of watering my pots and gardens, tired of fighting the weeds, tired of dead brown plants I had tried to nurture and failed. Yet, what a gift is a morning like this one. Cool with barely a breez... Wed, 10 Aug 2011 10:12:08 EST Is being selfish a BAD thing? I have been "sparked" to add this blog entry because of one of the Spark threads about feeling guilty taking time to exercise. The thread got many great comments about the benefits of exercise and how to work it into a busy day. <BR> <BR> As a recent empty-nester I feel like I have more time to dedicate to keeping myself healthy now than I did when my kids were all at home. We had SO much fun together yet times were stressful too. We hiked together, played kick ball in the back yard, di... Thu, 2 Jun 2011 12:26:49 EST Things that make you feel old. I have to admit it. I feel younger now than I have for a long time. I am more fit, have more energy, and weight less than I have for over 2 decades. I can keep up in exercise class with women much younger than I am and they think I am their peer. This is a great feeling! <BR> <BR> So why the title of my blog? In spite of all these good things going on in my life, I keep getting emails targeting "seniors". I remember the first time one of my patients called me "grandma". I was only star... Fri, 27 May 2011 14:54:33 EST Guilty Admission I have a confession to make….. I got up this morning fully intending to start my day right. Woke to my alarm at 5 AM and went to yoga class. The gentle sounds of rain and the twittering birds – along with the challenges of the yoga - created an enjoyable experience. Came home and had a healthy breakfast, then….went back to bed for an hour! <BR> <BR> I am so fortunate to be able to take some Fridays off and I usually try to get lots of tasks that pile up over the week done. The list of to-d... Fri, 13 May 2011 14:33:41 EST Aromatherapy Now that spring has finally hit the Midwest I just love to be outside! I feel like a kid who doesn't want to come in from the backyard for dinner. I believe that the special smells of spring have something to do with this. In my opinion there can be no better aromatherapy than a sniff of springtime! <BR> <BR> I recommend to all my friends and whoever else will listen to get outside and breathe deeply during this time of year. Sometimes as you are on your walk you may get a whiff of a sw... Fri, 6 May 2011 14:02:44 EST Encouragement What would we all do without this important part of life? Isn't this part of what keeps us going at work? Think about the last time you were having a bad day and then heard a simple encouraging word from a boss or co-worker... I'll bet it made a difference in your outlook for the day! <BR> <BR> Now think about how often you encourage those you love. Do you build up your family members with kind words to let them know they are appreciated? This may turn the tide in a relationship with a ch... Mon, 11 Apr 2011 23:11:07 EST