GINGERVISTA's SparkPeople Blog GINGERVISTA's Blog on SparkPeople, home of free diet plans and a healthy living community Spark Challenges I never realized what I was missing by not taking advantage of the Spark Challenges. Participated in one starting Jan. 18 & signed up for TWO spring challenges, one of which is wrapping up in another week. <BR> WANTING to get plenty of exercise minutes--both cardio & ST, looking forward to drop in weight, etc. And exercising has become SUCH a habit as a result of the challenges that I have to FORCE myself to take a day off. And sometimes, even then, I just go for a walk. <BR> So down 21#, am ... Sat, 10 May 2014 14:50:47 EST Strength Training I was NOT thrilled when this week's challenge focus was on strength training. Yes, I do ST 3x/week, but I couldn't IMAGINE possibly achieving the (seemingly) ridiculous goal of 150 minutes! I ALWAYS do more than that of cardio, but ST??? I'm lucky if I do 60! <BR> That being said, I have some videos that I do every day--both cardio & ST. What I happily discovered was that ST ALSO includes certain ab work, so found some KILLER workouts to do with Jessica Smith, sweated up a storm, <em>198</em... Sat, 3 May 2014 12:53:10 EST Dangers of Winging It-UPDATE I was NOT perfect, but instead of all the snacks & treats loaded with fats & sugars I had an apple, two Brazil nuts & a 1" square of the tiramisu I'd made, which I'd entered on my nutrition tracker. All in all....... <em>250</em> evening!!! Sat, 19 Apr 2014 23:21:42 EST The dangers of 'winging it' Am going to a gathering with 15-20 women or more tomorrow for a game night, with everybody bringing snacks & treats at 7pm. At first I wasn't going to have dinner & was going to 'wing it' by having maybe some cheese & crackers, a little dessert, fruits & veggies......... <BR> We ALL know how those 'little bits' always turn into more, so I made a decision: I'm going to eat a filling dinner before I go: maple salmon (a spark recipe, altho' that's just what I call it), 1/2 cup of brown rice & 2 ... Thu, 17 Apr 2014 23:00:23 EST ANOTHER Active Day! Don't know what's going on, but had another active day yesterday: 40 minute cardio workout with Jessica Smith (free on-line videos), then hiked with a friend for an hour, then needed a few things from the store, so biked 25 minutes round trip to get a few groceries! No WONDER I'm losing weight! And the more I do, the more I WANT to do! <em>26</em> that side-effect! Sun, 13 Apr 2014 15:31:25 EST Active Day! Didn't realize I was going to have such an active day yesterday! <BR> First I did one of Jessica Smith's ST free online videos, then I walked to work--2.6 miles round trip. I really forgot that I had Zumba class until after I got home, expecting to relax. That class is go-go-go, from the minute it starts til it ends & according to my pedometer, I burned 250 calories in that class alone! And......drum roll.......I put in 125 minutes of fitness by the time the evening was done. No WONDER my bo... Tue, 8 Apr 2014 21:33:12 EST Jessica Smith If you haven't checked out, I HIGHLY recommend it. Since SP ran an article with her in it, I've been downloading her exercise videos every week from an email I signed up for. Everything from HIIT, regular & low impact; various times, depending on how much time you have: 9-60 minutes; cardio, ST. And she's SO much fun & it helped me lose over 7% of my weight in a winter 5% challenge.....I actually came in first on our team, & I couldn't have done it if I hadn't been setting ... Tue, 1 Apr 2014 23:14:30 EST Son's crafts <img src=""> <BR> So I can share these with some of my SparkFriends, I'm posting some pendants my son made me for Christmas. It's like a glass-blowing process, only a torch is used. He's already being asked to sell them, but he's still learning & practicing. Thu, 23 Jan 2014 19:14:50 EST On the Menu: PB & J Had a photo, but wouldn't download. <em>24</em> <BR> <BR> I <em>26</em> peanut butter....especially natural crunchy. If it was calorie-free, I'd eat it by the spoonful. Like everything else, moderation is the key. I only eat half a sandwich, since a whole would be over 600 calories total just for lunch! <BR> My meal consisted of 1 tbsp natural pb, 2 pbsp Polaner all fruit strawberry spread (I like mine thick) on Healthy Life Farmers 12-grain bread, 90 cal. per slice. Included 2 cups ... Fri, 26 Jul 2013 17:05:57 EST On the menu: Parmesan Tilapia <img src=""> <BR> Made a great spark recipe of Parmesan tilapia <link><BR>l.asp?recipe=75983 </link> with sautéed garlic/spinach in 1/2 tsp olive oil & tri colored quinoa (1/4 c) with dried cranberries (10g) & slivered almonds (1/8 c). Absolutely delicious! Altho' my meals are usually 300-400 calories, I only had one snack today. <BR> <BR> CALS: 527, CARBS: 50, FAT: 23, PROT: 35 Thu, 4 Jul 2013 22:51:32 EST Dessert/Snack: SP's frozen banana pops <img src=""> <BR> <BR> I don't know if all these recipes actually have the right picture, but mine didn't look ANYTHING like the theirs. Maybe using regular peanut butter rather than natural makes it smoother. Regardless, my banana might not look great, but it sure tastes delicious! <BR> <BR> <link><BR>l.asp?recipe=133349 </link> Sun, 30 Jun 2013 21:08:26 EST On the Menu 6/23/13 <img src=""> <BR> <BR> Tonight for dinner I made seared cod with peach-mango salsa <link><BR>l.asp?recipe=2458626 </link> <BR> had along with brown rice cooked in homemade veggie broth, sautéed garlic & spinach plus had cantaloupe & yellow watermelon balls for dessert. YUMMERS!!! <em>4</em> <BR> <BR> Calories a little higher than I usually have per meal, but it still worked out. This also incl... Sun, 23 Jun 2013 21:32:56 EST FITNESS TRACKER QUESTION I just entered that I wanted to track my mies each week, especially since I always wear a pedometer, but can't figure out how to track it. On the page marked 'Other Goals, under 'Walk/Run 20 miles per week' it says 'Tracked on fitness page.' And when I click on that & go to fitness page, under My Exercises it has DISTANCE GOAL: Walk/run, etc. Progress: 0/20 miles, 2013: 0 Miles. <BR> Does anybody know how the miles get tracked on that page? According to my pedometer I did 6.5 today, but I do... Mon, 3 Jun 2013 23:26:49 EST Foods to help obesity scientifically/medically proven. Dr. William Li makes a presentation on TED Talks on how certain foods--naturally, fresh fruits & veggies--can not only help cure some cancers or prevent them from even occurring, but is also beneficial with obesity issues. <BR> <link> </link> Thu, 28 Mar 2013 00:54:10 EST Coach Nicole's Cardio Blast Recently received Coach Nicole's Cardio Blast dvd, which I won on one of my spins on the wheel! <BR> Today I did one section of it--just a 20-minute section--& thought it was GREAT! I highly recommend it! <em>198</em> Sat, 23 Feb 2013 13:36:21 EST Thanksgiving 2010 <img src=""> <BR> This was my daughter's & my dinner in 2010 after a turkey trot in Chicago: tofu cutlets w/ginger sauce, delicata squash, spinach & mashed potatoes. YUMMERS!!!!! Thu, 8 Nov 2012 08:15:57 EST POST OP Surgery a week ago Tu, stayed at friends Sat til today; finally on my own (with help from friends/ neighbors). Too bad my cats can't help. <BR> Am THRILLED so far to get about 1K steps a day (down from 20-30K), no lifting of ANY kind allowed, so awhile before I'm back to strength training. Still getting my two naps in every day. <BR> At least I've been fed healthy meals & have access to nutritionally sound food. <BR> Good to be back! <em>382</em> Fri, 3 Aug 2012 18:39:39 EST SURGERY So......have a semi-major surgery coming up, have gotten into shape, developed regular exercise routines, but now it's all going to be interrupted. Docs say I'll be in hospital minimum of 3 days if I heal quickly (I plan to heal quickly) & at least another two weeks before I get my stamina back. I suppose since they want you on your feet pretty quickly that I'll at least be able to obtain the minimum of walking around for 10 minutes. Haven't broken my streak in close to two years, if not more... Wed, 18 Jul 2012 07:55:39 EST FLASH MOB!!! OK, you've all been asking for it! (ok, maybe two of you), but here it is anyway!!! <BR> <link> </link> <BR> <BR> I'm the one in white shirt & jeans......HA HA!!! <BR> Actually, am the one in third line on the left. Mon, 2 Jul 2012 21:33:11 EST On the Menu 6/2/12 <img src=""> <BR> Went to farmers market today & got lots of fresh produce, including those (flash frozen) blueberries. Made salad w/green & red leaf lettuces, red onion, radish, sauteed baby Bellas & garlic w/olive oil & balsamic vinegar, carrots, blueberries, plus slivered almonds & pumpkin seeds. Topped w/healthy, fresh dressing made by one of the producers at the market. YUMMERS! <BR> CAL: 270, FAT: 15, CHOL: 0, SOD: 176, POTAS: 1066,... Sat, 2 Jun 2012 14:26:08 EST On the Menu 4/26/12 <img src=""> <BR> Today's lunch was anything but a 'plain cheese sandwich.' Sautéed about a cup shredded cabbage in about 1 tsp of olive oil. Then added some sweet chili sauce, about 1 tbsp & 1/4 tsp of dijon. Placed 1 deli sliced piece of swiss cheese on whole wheat bread, top with the cabbage & second slice of bread & voilà! a delicious cheese sandwich! Add crudités & fruit & there's your lunch! Switch out mango with more berries & you'... Thu, 26 Apr 2012 16:49:01 EST Question re: 7 Key Nutrients Vegetarians Need to Watch Being (mostly) vegetarian, finished reading the above article by Sarah Haan & Becky Hand with Nicole Nichols, I added the nutrients to my Nutrition Tracker to keep tabs on them, but I don't see where I can add Omega-3 Fatty Acids, or ALA. Anybody else know where they might be hiding? Tue, 27 Mar 2012 11:23:26 EST On the Menu 2/16/12 <img src=""> <BR> Tonight's meal was Crustless Spinach, Onion & Feta Quiche <link><BR>l.asp?recipe=308291 </link> <BR> Roasted Fennel with Parmesan <link><BR>l.asp?recipe=148024 </link> and corn bread (forgot to add the chilies) <BR> <link><BR>l.asp?recipe=153016 </link> <BR> Talk about filling & satisfying!!! <BR> <BR... Thu, 16 Feb 2012 21:57:53 EST On the Menu 2/9/12 <img src=""> <BR> Tonight's dinner was mashed cauliflower & potatoes, Coach Nicole's Vegetarian 'Meat Loaf,' sautéed Brussels sprouts & cantalope. <BR> It was a bit on the high end, calorie-wise, but I logged everything into my Nutrition Tracker ahead of time, so was within my limits. Still, you could eat half the cauliflower/potatoes & meat loaf to save almost 190 calories. It was good, tho'! <em>4</em> <BR> <BR> CAL: 420, CARBS: 84, F... Thu, 9 Feb 2012 22:22:02 EST TRAVEL Am leaving this afternoon for Portland, OR to visit my son, whom I haven't seen since last Christmas. He recently moved there; I've never been, so we're both excited for the visit. Should be a busy time: visiting a few high school classmates, celebrating a vegetarian Thanksgiving after running a 5K turkey trot & celebrating BOTH our birthdays--his tomorrow, mine Sunday. <BR> And my friend/landlady has a daughter there, so we're both flying out together. And the FINAL kicker: found a Bloomspo... Mon, 21 Nov 2011 10:34:45 EST On the Menu 11/10/11 <img src=""> <BR> Last night, as the major part of my meal I had two different soups, & on the advice of a friend, I served it "like a fancy restaurant would," altho' I had no clue what that meant. In any case, I fixed butternut squash and apple soup <link><BR>l.asp?recipe=1249865 </link> & topped with 1 tsp or so of Greek yogurt & parsley; the other was Chef Meg's loaded potato soup <link>file:///... Fri, 11 Nov 2011 22:52:55 EST On the Menu 11/3/11 <img src=""> <BR> Tonight's dinner.....probably should have posted food on Nutrition Tracker BEFORE I ate it, but still.....I stayed within my nutrition guidelines. <BR> Vegetarian black bean cakes w/orange-basil salsa <link><BR>l.asp?recipe=644 </link> Chef Meg's roasted root vegetables (I had two servings; next time I'd probably only have one, saving 82 cal), steamed broccoli & partially defroste... Thu, 3 Nov 2011 22:00:54 EST On the Menu 10/31/11 <img src=""> <BR> <BR> Lots of pumpkin goin' on out there! <BR> First we have 1/2 serving pumpkin frittata <link><BR>l.asp?recipe=12924 </link> 1/2 serving delicata squash crescents, salad w/1 c spring mix, onions, red peppers, tomatoes, 1/4 oz feta cheese, 1/8 oz pecans w/1 T. Newman's Own cranberry walnut dressing & 1/4 of a medium cantaloupe. YUMMERS!!! <BR> CAL: 323, CARB: 29, FAT: 16: PROT: 11,... Mon, 31 Oct 2011 15:39:49 EST Smoothie <img src=""> <BR> <BR> Breakfast smoothie with (frozen fruit): a small banana, 1/8 cup blueberries, 1/4 cup mangos, 1/4 cup pineapple, 5 large strawberries, plus 1 tsp raw cashew butter, 1/2 tsp ground flax seed, 1 tsp lemon-flavored fish oil (you'll never know it's in there), a tbsp of POM pomegranate/ blueberry juice & 1/2 cup of (I use Chobani) Greek yogurt. <BR> <BR> CAL: 332, CARB: 53, FAT: 8, PROT: 15 Mon, 29 Aug 2011 22:52:55 EST On the Menu 8/27/11 <img src=""> <BR> Believe it or not, there's a small baked potato under all this delicious-looking food! It's topped with 1 cup of homemade vegetarian chili, 1 cup of broccoli, 3 Tbsp Mexican blend cheese & 1Tbsp Bacos. YUMMERS!!!!! <BR> <BR> CAL: 414; CARB: 62; FAT: 13; PROT: 20; CHOL: 19 Sun, 28 Aug 2011 18:02:55 EST On the Menu 8/2/11 <img src=""> <BR> Today's lunch was a veggie BLT with 1 slice colby jack cheese, 1 tbsp baco's, 1 tbsp olive oil mayo, fresh Farmer's Market tomato & spring mix greens on 35 calorie whole wheat bread. Local broccoli, 1/2 ear corn on the cob with 1/2 tsp butter & dill pickle. <BR> CAL: 379, CARB: 49, FAT: 17, PROT: 18 <BR> <BR> I LOVE that I get to have this entire plate of food, including a sandwich, all for 300+ calories. <em>224</em> Tue, 2 Aug 2011 20:34:18 EST On the menu 6/21/11 <img src=""> <BR> Believe it or not, this is a Greek Pita, altho' because I'd made naan rather than pita & because they didn't puff & open up like pita, I placed the ingredients on TOP of the naan. <BR> Added 2 tbsp hummus, 1/2 cup lettuce (forgot to chop it), 1/4 small cucumber, 1 small tomato, 2 tbsp LF plain Greek yogurt, 1 oz FF feta, 1/8 cup raw onions & then did a dressing of 1 tsp each olive oil & white wine vinegar & 1/4 tsp Dijon... Tue, 21 Jun 2011 15:54:16 EST On the menu 6/20/11 <img src=""> <BR> Oh boy, this was a GREAT salad! From farmer's market: spring mix greens & heirloom tomatoes & freshly picked arugula from my OWN garden! Then moroccan sweet potatoes, hard boiled egg, colby jack cheese (1/8 c), 1T sour cream, 2 T Newman's Own salsa, dash of toasted hemp seed & little dish of cantaloupe on the side. YUM--MERS!!!!!! Didn't even need salad dressing! <BR> For entire meal~CAL: 356, CARB: 41, FAT: 16, PROT: 1... Mon, 20 Jun 2011 15:55:11 EST On the menu 6/16/11 <img src=""> <BR> Okay, folks.......saving salad for dinner, but today’s lunch was a homemade vegetarian chili with 1/8 c colby jack cheese & chives fresh from garden, SP recipe for cornbread plus 1/4 of a cantaloupe. YUMMERS & very satisfying! <BR> CAL: 403, CARB: 60, FAT: 14, PROT: 15 Thu, 16 Jun 2011 14:58:35 EST On the menu 6/15/11 <img src=""> <BR> OK, ladies & germs.......I am REALLY enjoying all these salads lately, & so FRESH from local farmer's market! Today I just threw on as many veggies as I had--spring mix, onions, radishes, red, yellow & red peppers, carrots, celery, tomatoes, asparagus, added blueberries, sunflower seeds, dried cranberries, clementine tangerine, colby jack cheese, a hard boiled egg, alfalfa sprouts, all topped off with a locally made sala... Wed, 15 Jun 2011 15:36:20 EST On the menu 6/14/11 <img src=""> <BR> Today's salad was short on protein, I saw afterwards, so will have to adjust for that next time.... add some edemame, hard boiled egg, sardine or something.......OR just make sure dinner & other snacks are chock-full of protein! <BR> Started with 4 cups of spring mix, scallion, strawberries, half a pear, 1 oz goat cheese & 1/4 oz. of chopped pecans with Newman's Own light raspberry & walnut dressing. <BR> CAL: 279, CARB:... Tue, 14 Jun 2011 17:54:41 EST On the menu 6/13/11 <img src=""> <BR> <BR> Tonight’s salad, which I made after I walked home from my zumba class, consisted of spring mix, strips of carrots & asparagus & scallions--all from local farmer’s market, plus a hard boiled egg, clementine tangerine & 1/8 c of chopped pecans with Newman’s Own (who else) Sesame Ginger salad dressing. <BR> CAL: 368, CARB: 16, FAT: 27, PROT: 20 Mon, 13 Jun 2011 23:11:43 EST On the menu 6/12/11 <img src=""> <BR> For today's lunch I warmed asparagus soup I'd made yesterday (using fresh asparagus & scallions from farmer's market) & a SparkRecipe for cornbread. Watched a chef make the soup at local farmer's market demo, saw he used bunch of butter, so based on his ingredients, I made up my own version using, per serving: 1 c 2 % milk (no cream! chef used whole; could even use 1%), 1 tsp butter, 1 tsp olive oil, 1 cup thinly sliced ... Sun, 12 Jun 2011 17:48:48 EST On the menu 6/11/11 <img src=""> <BR> Another great salad after picking up freshly-harvested items from local farmer's market: spring mix (greens), scallions, asparagus (strips), then added carrot strips, grape tomatoes, grilled veggies (onions, mushrooms, peppers), 1 oz dried cherries, 1 oz goat cheese, glazed walnuts (1/2 t. each olive oil & butter, 1/2 t. sugar, 1/8 t. cinnamon plus 3 halves, chopped coarsely) & topped with Newman's Own cranberry walnut L... Sat, 11 Jun 2011 16:51:37 EST On the menu 6/9/11 <img src=""> <BR> Today's lunch was a salad with lots of veggies from local farmer's market: spring mix greens, radishes & shredded asparagus plus grilled onions, mushrooms, peppers, hard boiled egg & 1 oz goat cheese topped with 2 tablespoons of Newman's Own LF Sesame Ginger dressing. <BR> CAL: 235, CARB: 17, FAT: 13, PROT: 15 Thu, 9 Jun 2011 15:29:27 EST On the menu 4/25/11 <img src=""> <BR> Meal consists of miso soup, Coach Nicole's Vegetarian "Meat" Loaf (<BR>ail.asp?recipe=759), cauliflower "mashed potatoes" (<BR>ail.asp?recipe=610934) & fruit. Both the 'meat' loaf & 'mashed potatoes' were FABULOUS!!!!!!!!!! Glad I have tons left over, some of which I've frozen. <BR> Total meal (a bit more than usual, since most meals are 30... Mon, 25 Apr 2011 11:35:39 EST On the menu 4/24/11 <img src=""> <BR> Even if someone's not vegetarian (actually, I USED to be & now eat occasional fish/seafood), the key is....lots of fruits & especially veggies & lots of color. I mean.....what fun would it be to eat a white-ish beige piece of fish along with rice--brown or otherwise. <BR> So there's cooked onions, zucchini, summer squash & tomatoes. Then on hummus sandwich there are tomatoes, balsamic grilled onions & alfalfa sprouts. A... Sun, 24 Apr 2011 14:48:59 EST On the menu 4/23/11 <img src=""> <BR> Well, this isn't one of the best pictures I've ever taken, still TASTED delicious! Again, a SparkRecipe of Quinoa with Spinach and Feta Cheese, except I only had about 3/4 oz of feta, so I supplemented it with 1/4oz of three cheese (parmesan, romano & assiago) & it was great! Rounded out the meal with broccoli, grapes & strawberries & it was a nice meal. <BR> Total meal - CAL: 308; CARB: 56; FAT: 9; PROT: 11 Sat, 23 Apr 2011 18:11:32 EST On the Menu 4/15/11 <img src=""> <BR> Today's sandwich is a SparkRecipe: grilled cheese pizza sandwich, starting with my 60 calorie slices of multi-grain bread, I used Newman's Own spaghetti sauce, mozzarella & parmesan cheeses, then added grilled veggies (onions, baby bellas), roasted red peppers, Italian seasonings & put sandwich in pan with no oil or butter--still browns! (who knew?) <BR> Entire meal: <BR> CAL: 386; CARB: 56; FAT: 11; PROT: 19 Fri, 15 Apr 2011 16:33:03 EST A Simple Meal 4/13/11 <img src=""> <BR> Feel like a hot dog? How about a healthy choice of turkey or chicken dogs (if they're considered healthy). For me, I had a vegetarian Smart Dog on a whole grain, 110 calorie hot dog bun by Healthy Life, topped with ketchup & onions. Surround it with pickle, veggie (I had steamed cabbage) & fruit & you've got yourself a complete, healthy meal. <BR> CAL: 289; CARB: 55; FAT: 2; PROT: 16 <BR> Wed, 13 Apr 2011 16:13:46 EST On the menu 4/9/11 <img src=""> <BR> This was yesterday's lunch: hummus sandwich & miso soup. <BR> Sandwich has 2T hummus, onions, lettuce, tomato & roasted red peppers on a ww sandwich thin. Miso soup is veggie broth, scallions, baby bellas & 1T miso w/little Braggs (healthy version of soy sauce). Plus the sides: pickle, baby carrots & strawberries. And I was STUFFED after this healthy meal! <BR> CAL: 251; CARB: 47: FAT: 6; PROT: 11 Sat, 9 Apr 2011 11:14:56 EST On the menu 4/6/11 <img src=""> <BR> <BR> This is strawberries & greens, a recipe I adapted from one served at a restaurant in TX. I replaced blue cheese with feta, since I don’t like it. And you can use any kind of greens--I usually use spinach & combo of red & green leaf lettuce. <BR> Feta 1 oz <BR> Strawberries, fresh 1/4-1/2 c halves <BR> Onions, sliced thin 1/8-1/4 c <BR> Spinach 2 cups <BR> Red/green leaf lettuce 2 cups ... Wed, 6 Apr 2011 13:46:23 EST On the Menu 4/5/11 <img src=""> <BR> This morning's breakfast, one I have often, is a fruit smoothie with fruits I've frozen & other nutritious ingredients. <BR> 1/2 c Greek yogurt <BR> 1 extra small banana <BR> 1/4 c mangos <BR> 1/4 c pineapple <BR> 5 large (or equivalent) strawberries <BR> 1/8 c blueberries <BR> 1 t raw cashew butter <BR> 1/2 t ground flax seed <BR> 1 t fish oil (I use Carlson's lemon flavored) <BR> 1 T POM (combo of pomegranate juice wit... Tue, 5 Apr 2011 11:44:21 EST On the menu 4/3/11 <img src=""> <BR> This meal consists of items made from two SP recipes: <BR> crustless spinach, onion & feta quiche <BR><BR>tail.asp?recipe=308291 <BR> and corn bread <BR><BR>tail.asp?recipe=153016 <BR> I usually add 1/2 t-1 tsp of butter to corn bread, but it's so good I sometimes just eat it plain. <BR> <BR> Delicious, simple & crowd-pleasing. Depending... Sun, 3 Apr 2011 14:35:37 EST On the menu 4/2/11 <img src=""> <BR> <BR> Today’s lunch was fresh grilled mozzarella sandwich, orange slices, steamed broccoli & grape tomatoes. The sandwich consisted of 1 slice ww bread with 1/2 t butter, 1 oz fresh mozzarella, 1T reduced fat pesto, 1T onion slices, sliced tomatoes, 3 basil leaves, grilled red & yellow peppers. Would have had dill pickle spear, but.....fresh out. CALS: 352; CARBS... Sat, 2 Apr 2011 17:35:10 EST