MARCIAC10's SparkPeople Blog MARCIAC10's Blog on SparkPeople, home of free diet plans and a healthy living community Jessica Smith DVD's I just finished an invigorating 15 minute workout and it was fun and got my heart pumping and I felt the need to blog about it. I did the Power Pick Up from the Walk On 15 Minute DVD below. <BR> <BR> Jessica Smith was featured on Spark back at the end of May, right after I stumbled across her on Youtube. Spark has one of her workouts so you can search for her on Spark and try her out. <BR> <BR> Things I love about Jessica's dvds: <BR> I've done a lot of Sansone dvds and got tired of her ... Fri, 10 Jul 2015 15:38:22 EST Great Weekend and Birds at my Feeder DD decided Friday morning to make the long drive home after hearing the news of her cat's death. She had been wanting to come after hearing about her dog's diagnosis with the enlarged heart and heart based tumor so when the cat died that was the last straw, she wanted to come see Audrey just in case Audrey doesn't make it until the next time DD came make it here, which will probably not be until late fall. <BR> <BR> So she arrived early Saturday morning around 1:30 am. We had a good visit.... Mon, 27 Apr 2015 11:42:57 EST Friday: Pet update Hallie, age 13, passed during the night while at the vet hospital. We weren't surprised. When I visited her in the afternoon, after she had been on fluids and antibiotics for a day, and saw little improvement I knew there was a big chance she would not make it through the night. I'm just glad she went fast and didn't linger with a long drawn out illness. <BR> <BR> Poor Hallie was the oldest of the cats but one of the quietest ones so she was often overlooked and pushed aside. She was bud... Fri, 24 Apr 2015 17:02:43 EST Thursday: The Pets... Had a minor Crohns flare: started last night and continued this morning. Methscopolamine helped with that, thankfully. <BR> <BR> Audrey, the dog with the tumor, is doing okay. Has slept most of the day, I think. I haven't been home! Just got home, took her out, and she's back in bed and I can tell her breathing is not as good as it used to be (only one lung works properly, the other lung has extremely decreased function). <BR> <BR> My 14 year old dog was pretty active yesterday, but n... Thu, 23 Apr 2015 17:27:30 EST Tuesday Another cool day. Had to turn the heat on last night as the temps got down in the 40's. <BR> <BR> Got our license tags renewed today. Had to do it in person as it's our second year here and I had to go to the Tax Assessor and get a piece of paper to take to the County Tax Office to get a piece of paper saying we had paid our taxes which I took to the Revenue Office to get the tags renewed. Not sure why it's called the Revenue Office in Arkansas as it's the place to get your driver's licen... Tue, 21 Apr 2015 17:12:28 EST Book Club and Dog's xrays I got confused on my dates and thought I'd be out of town for book club until I got the email that it's Monday. Yikes! I started the book this weekend anyway but I have a lot of reading to do!! My former book club met the first week of the month which is what confused me. This one meets the last week of the month. <BR> <BR> Audrey had her digital xrays an hour ago. The spot the vet wanted to look at closer turned out to be a heart based tumor. It's at the base of the heart and the he... Mon, 20 Apr 2015 17:00:03 EST The weekend Saturday saw four eggs in our house sparrow's nest: <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> Bird laid egg #5 today but it was on the porch floor not in the nest. Maybe because DH was outside going in and out during that time. And I found the egg and tried to save it but had my hands full and the dog with me so the egg broke. I feel sad about that, but it had been out of the nest for a bit already by then. <BR> <BR> DH and I drove to Texarkana ... Sun, 19 Apr 2015 16:01:16 EST Friday: New egg in nest and no answers to dog health Took in a doggie urine sample this morning: nothing. It was perfect. So no UTI. Digital x-rays Monday of her heart and of her kidney. Until then I will keep cleaning up after the night time accidents. I have some waterproof baby pads that I put on top of the throw rugs but the amount she is doing has increased this past week so it's soaking through the pads. So every morning I check the three throw rugs and pads and throw the wet ones in the wash. Getting tired of this. If the xrays d... Fri, 17 Apr 2015 21:45:51 EST Updates on the dog, my exercise, & my bird nest Audrey's labs came back and were pretty good. Her liver numbers were slightly elevated but that was too be expected with the heart condition. Her creatinine (kidney) was normal, her BUN (also kidney) was slightly high but not a concern. So she is getting digital xrays Monday. My vet, the one my realtor recommended, is semi-retired and he does not have digital xrays so we are going to an associate in town and he is going to meet me there for that. He also asked more questions about Audrey... Thu, 16 Apr 2015 16:50:55 EST Monday Vet Visit Etienne, diabetic cat, had a glucose reading of 70 so we are happy with that. This is with the lowered insulin dose so that is good news. <BR> <BR> Audrey, the Boston Terrier, had blood taken for lab work. The specialist first suggested to our vet that she be put on Vetmedin, which is what we tried last week and proved to be too much for her heart. Also I called the vet to discuss her frequent water drinking and urination issues so he mentioned those to the specialist. So they are runnin... Mon, 13 Apr 2015 17:00:25 EST Weekend update DH left at lunchtime Friday heading to Illinois to visit his parents. The vet called to check on Audrey (Boston Terrier with enlarged heart) and had not heard back from the specialist yet and didn't expect to until Monday. So she's not on meds and that means the fluid that we spent a month trying to drain out of her lungs via diuretics (which didn't really clear out the lungs completely) is starting to accumulate again. And after the disaster of the heart medicine, vetmedin (which my other... Sun, 12 Apr 2015 17:18:06 EST My Boston Terrier has an enlarged heart Poor doggie is doing better now that we stopped the heart meds...better in that the heart meds were too strong for her weak heart. But she is having coughing attacks as she is in heart failure and the vet hasn't heard back from the specialist and won't until probably Monday. Meanwhile DH and I are in disagreement about how to proceed, without really knowing the options yet. I do know, from what I've read, that the end result is 6-24 months even with treatment, and I do know the poor dogs h... Fri, 10 Apr 2015 11:07:38 EST Golden Pollen and Goldfinches and a Pot of Gold Our gorgeous goldfinches have gone. We enjoyed seeing them at our feeders for the last month but they have moved on to head to their summer homes. I remember seeing only a couple at our feeders in Baton Rouge but here in Magnolia, Arkansas we had a bunch, at least 20 if not more. They went through a lot of birdseed but we really loved seeing their gold colors! <BR> <BR> Now they've been replaced by gold or yellow pollen, from our pine trees, all over everything! I swept the back covered ... Fri, 3 Apr 2015 16:57:48 EST Tuesday Had a good piano lesson with my one student on Tuesday. The day was beautiful so I opened some windows and doors (screened) to let in fresh air. The student's mom enjoyed listening to her child as she sat and waited in the car outside for the lesson to end. I went out and spoke to her about a schedule change for my vacation in May and she spoke of how pleased she was with the lessons, etc. <BR> I have taught piano since 1979, but we moved last year so I'm starting up again and in a sma... Wed, 1 Apr 2015 10:48:49 EST Monday was Book Club Day A year ago we closed on our house here in Arkansas and prepared to leave Baton Rouge. <BR> What a stressful time that was! DH had been working here since January and I was left in Baton Rouge with the pets and the house, supervising work being done on it and getting estimates on other jobs for it, etc. <BR> <BR> Anyway, here we are having a much more peaceful Spring! <BR> <BR> Book club was today. Our leader is a semi retired professor of English and is fabulous as he always makes me th... Mon, 30 Mar 2015 18:05:39 EST Lab results: Getting better. Low Carb not Low Fat! I have had high blood pressure and high cholesterol since my mid-40's. I have had two times where my glucose has been in the Pre Diabetes range. In my 40's I did the heart healthy diets and lost some weight. I was able to drop the cholesterol for a time but not the high blood pressure. Exercise helped dropped the glucose for a time, too. Each time though the lab results within a year went back to the higher numbers. I went low carb, finally at my sister's prodding in 2012. She is a ret... Tue, 24 Mar 2015 16:39:38 EST March I've been taking a Spark Break. Sometimes you have to take a break! <BR> <BR> I recovered from the Shingles. It helps to get on the antiviral meds as soon as you know you have them! And I had a mild case and was able to stop the pain meds about a week ago. soon as my insurance allows (age requirements) I will get the shingles vaccine as you can get them again! <BR> <BR> Although we have not been as cold as many parts of the country it has been a cold winter for me! Moving f... Fri, 6 Mar 2015 16:31:05 EST End of 2014, Beginning of 2015 I ended 2014 with Shingles. Not a great way to end the year, but better than 2013 when I ended the year with histoplasmosis and a lengthy hospital stay! <BR> Shingles for me started with itching on the back of my neck. I had been walking the dogs daily and thought I had been bitten by a mosquito or something (we have a lot of bugs here!!). The next day that area was burning. And I had pain, all on the left side of my neck. Years ago I had damaged the disc on the left side of my neck and ... Thu, 1 Jan 2015 14:52:30 EST Recap of My Life so Far I am going to try to blog a bit more. It helps me to put my thoughts down on virtual paper! <BR> Thanksgiving week was a wonderful week. The Monday of that week our house closing took place and we were so glad to have sold our former house! Also that day DD got a job offer, her second, and for the job she really wanted. <BR> <BR> Thanksgiving dinner was small but nice. Just DH, DD, and me. Ham (DH doesn't eat poultry), turkey breast, dressing, green bean casserole, gravy and rolls, and... Fri, 5 Dec 2014 10:57:01 EST First of Dec: Recap of November Nov. 1: Weight 161.2 pounds <BR> Dec. 1: 156.7 pounds <BR> <BR> 4.5 pounds gone in November <BR> <BR> August 18th I weighed 176.7 pounds! <BR> 20 pounds gone now!! <BR> <BR> Not bad at all. <BR> <BR> Plan: eating low carb. I love eating low carb and getting to eat fats again. After years of eating low fat, heart healthy diets which had little impact on my health, I'm seeing weight loss and have gotten to stop taking blood pressure medicine for the first time in over 10 years! That fe... Mon, 1 Dec 2014 09:16:38 EST End of Oct. Recap Oct. 1: Weight 166 <BR> Oct. 31: Weight 161.4 <BR> <BR> Total loss: 4.6 pounds (15 pounds lost since Aug 1st) <BR> <BR> Exercise: 30 a day most days <BR> Diet: none. Eating low carb instead. Under 30 carbs right now. Basically Phase 1 Atkins with some Phase 2 at times. Not quite ready to go into Phase 2 full time. <BR> <BR> I'm just saying it works for me and I've never felt better. Was able to stop taking blood pressure meds. <BR> <BR> Reading: Why We Get Fat and What To Do Abou... Fri, 31 Oct 2014 08:55:50 EST New Research: Eat More Fat <link><BR>re-fat-54828? </link> Tue, 28 Oct 2014 08:05:56 EST The cats, my low carb, For a nonworking person I sure have had a busy week! <BR> Diabetic cat has been the most work this week, starting insulin shots, figuring out how to feed him separately in a way that doesn't stress him, taking him to the vet to check his glucose levels. Taking other cat with UTI in for a recheck today to find there is still blood in her urine, getting a different antibiotic for 10 days and then a recheck. Taking DD's dog in Monday for a check on her glaucoma (very improved) and forgetting... Fri, 24 Oct 2014 17:44:12 EST Monday Aqua Exercise: <BR> The temps outside were low 60s when I left the house, which felt a bit chilly to me. The pool was heated but the air above was not, even though it's an inside pool. I felt chilled every time the upper part of my body was out of the water!! The temperatures here seem to stay cooler longer before heating up during the day, in comparison to Baton Rouge. And I'm not sure I will be able to keep doing the pool as the weather cools down, as I'm going to be adapting to a bit ... Tue, 7 Oct 2014 09:11:20 EST Adjusting to DD living at home DD returned home after two years overseas in the Peace Corps. She arrived home at the very first of September and spent a couple of days here then left for a "tour" of the southeast/midwest, visiting friends and family. After a month of travel she is back home. She is also job hunting and while on her travels spent time in DC networking, attending a job fair, etc as she has noncompetive status for a year for federal jobs. So we hope that she gets a job!!! In the meantime she is with us,... Mon, 6 Oct 2014 09:05:48 EST End of September 2014 Sept. 1st I weighed 171.5 <BR> Sept. 30 I weigh 166.5 <BR> <BR> Total loss: 5 pounds (10 pounds lost since Aug 1st) <BR> <BR> What have I done differently? Low carb. <BR> <BR> Low carb is basically more protein, veggies, a fat. No simple carbs. Right now my carb intake is below 30. And I'm not hungry. I cook. I keep a couple of Atkins meals (breakfast ones) on hand for emergencies) and I do use his shakes for one meal a day, since I'm not usually hungry. So if I do a shake for brea... Mon, 29 Sep 2014 09:46:25 EST Yoga I have never been a very flexible person!! I started yoga years ago, taking classes first, then dropping out after awhile due to time constraints. Years would go by then I would try again. I found some great podcasts a few years back for yogadownload and enjoyed renewing my yoga sessions with those and took a few more classes, which I loved, but again, driving across town (big city) to take an hour class meant over a 2 hour time commitment for a class which was not doable on a regular basi... Sun, 28 Sep 2014 17:47:00 EST Aqua Yoga Our aqua instructor started doing aqua yoga this semester on Wednesdays and I like it. It's a nice change from the aqua exercise classes on the other days! She does it in the morning and evening and I find I like the evening class best as it's a great way to end the day! <BR> <BR> I went yesterday and there was a young woman there getting in the pool when I was, we were pretty much the only ones at that time. She asked me how hard the class was and I said not hard. Well, it really isn't,... Thu, 25 Sep 2014 08:07:51 EST Midweek Update: Low carb going well I took a one day break from low carb yesterday! I said I would not let it interfere with any special events and I had one yesterday. <BR> <BR> I was invited to a fund raiser luncheon in this new small town I live in. My ticket was already paid for by the realtor we used when we bought our house. So I went and sat at their table with their administrative assistant and her friend and two other women. It was a big to-do with a silent auction. I worked the luncheon like this when I was in M... Wed, 24 Sep 2014 11:10:18 EST No longer obese I lost 20 pounds going low carb last summer. Then during Thanksgiving, when we found out we were being transferred, and Christmas and then the long months of living away from DH and house hunting and finally moving, then the big arthritis flare up and my back going out big time, plus three big summer trips, I gained back the 20 pounds and totally got back to junk food and carbs. <BR> <BR> So in reviewing the pattern of my weight loss and gain I realized it was time to go back to the low c... Tue, 16 Sep 2014 12:46:36 EST Sat. Life goes on: Diabetic cat and 5% Fall Challenge Low carb is going well. I'm not as strict as I should be, so my weight is holding steady but I'm cooking and eating much better than before low carb. I need to get back into my evening walks, which have been hit or miss in the last two weeks due to lots of different things. And aqua exercise starts back this week (was on hiatus since it follows the University's schedule). So I should make some progress this next week. <BR> <BR> My elderly dog seems to be doing well on the heart meds. Sh... Sat, 6 Sep 2014 16:15:45 EST Physical Therapy I got a call from the Physical Therapy place in town and started today. So much happier, not only to be a 5 minute drive away instead of a 45 minute drive, but the PT guy was so much nicer! He stayed with me the whole time, only left when I was doing exercises, unlike the other guy who kept getting interrupted and didn't seem all that focused on me. And this guy did a more thorough assessment, including measurements of my range of motions using not only visual but a measurement tool on occ... Thu, 28 Aug 2014 15:41:59 EST Tuesday TidBits (Low carb, PT, Aging Pets) Low Carb is going well. I'm getting back in the hang of shopping for produce and protein and cooking more! That's what I found when I did Atkins last year, I ended up cooking a lot and eating a lot of veggies!! So I am eating a much healthier diet now than the past 8 months. About time! My fridge is stocked with veggies and I have some in my freezer, too, as back up. I have frozen fish and chicken (hard to find fresh fish here) and eggs and cheese, sausage and bacon. Had some ground b... Tue, 26 Aug 2014 14:10:36 EST Sat: Update on my Low Carb progress Low carb is making progress. <BR> <BR> I'm not totally low carb yet but am eating much less than I was! Today will be the lowest carb day for me yet! Had dinner out last night and DH ordered a pretzel appetizer. They looked so good but I resisted. I ordered the salmon with potatoes and spring vegetables and asked them to leave off the potatoes and double up the veggies, which they did. Now, the spring veggies included peas, which are a higher carb veggie and not allowed when you start a... Sat, 23 Aug 2014 10:42:00 EST Visit to Rheumatologist and other odds and ends Went to Shreveport Tuesday to see the Rheumatologist. He discussed my arthritis issues and the possibilities of me having to go back on a biologic meds despite me telling him I can never take those again due to my history with histoplasmosis. My GI doctor had brought up putting me back on this stuff, too. Thank goodness my internist listens to me, as my Infectious Disease Specialist (who I no longer see) had told me firmly that I could never go back on those meds. <BR> <BR> Anyway, he x... Thu, 21 Aug 2014 16:20:33 EST Fall 5% Challenge: Sign Up Now!! <link><BR>ndividual.asp?gid=63518 </link> <BR> <BR> Fall 5% Challenge: a challenge where we aim to lose 5% of our weight during the 8 weeks of the Challenge. <BR> <BR> Do you like team work? <BR> Can you log your exercise minutes every day on your team's Challenge thread? <BR> Can you also log your Living The Good Life points every day on the same thread? (These LTGL's change each week, more in a bit about them). <BR> Can you weigh in each week and po... Sun, 17 Aug 2014 18:06:54 EST Summer 5% Challenge Wrap Up It's been an interesting challenge for me! I rejoined the 5% Challenge in the Spring after a bit of a break (almost a year, half of which I was either seriously ill or recovering). In the midst of the Spring 5% Challenge we moved out of state. In fact the week it started was the week before the move. I found it very challenging to work out during that challenge as the move set off a major arthritis flare up and my back went out. I ended up just over a pound higher than I started. <BR> ... Fri, 15 Aug 2014 14:54:08 EST Travels in Croatia: The End We drove the two hours to Zagreb and located a parking garage about a 10 minute walk from the Flower Square in the city where the apartment we rented for the night was located. Airbnb, you are so good! A two bedroom apartment in the heart of the city, with everything close enough to walk to, I mean right outside the door, and yet set just off the square so a bit quiet, for the price of one hotel room! And the hostess let my DD leave her luggage with her the next day as I had an early fligh... Mon, 4 Aug 2014 19:52:15 EST Travels in Croatia: Plivicka Jezera National Park We drove the 5 hour drive from Dubrovnik to Plivicka. This time the border crossings went faster, due to us leaving in the morning before the roads became too busy. One note on the roads in Croatia: they are in much better shape than the roads in America! Even the two lane highways are in good shape. When not on the two lane highways we took the toll road, four lanes, like an interstate highway. Drivers in Croatia are very courteous, like drivers in Germany. On four lane roads you drive i... Fri, 1 Aug 2014 16:26:01 EST Travels in Croatia: Dubrovnik We left for Dubrovnik, about a 3 hour drive if I remember correctly, mainly along a winding two lane highway on the coastline with beautiful views of the mountains and of the sea. We had to cross the border into Bosnia and Herzegovina, which took a little time, then after a short drive, crossed back into Croatia. That border crossing took longer as the line of cars was much longer. <BR> <BR> Dubrovnik is a smaller city than Split. We found our apartment and parked our car with help of o... Thu, 31 Jul 2014 18:30:31 EST Travels in Croatia: Split First let me recommend We used this site to book our stays in apartments in Croatia and got nice places to stay, two bedrooms, kitchen, family room, washing machines in bathroom, for the same price as a hotel room. At least in Croatia this was the case! Travel in Croatia is cheaper at this time than in other parts of Europe and it is a gorgeous country! <BR> <BR> We flew into Zagreb and rented a car and my daughter drove. Being overseas for almost two years (and only home tw... Tue, 29 Jul 2014 11:58:57 EST Travels: Part 2 More on Macedonia After visiting the Islamic Monastery we traveled to the Monastery of Lesok, just outside of Tetovo. This Monastery is Catholic, so we had the experience of two totally different styles of monasteries. My DD had attended a wedding at this historic monastery a couple of weeks prior, the wedding of a friend's sister, and while we were in the new church we saw part of the wedding decorations left from that wedding. <BR> <img src=""> <B... Sun, 27 Jul 2014 17:14:15 EST Trip to Macedonia: Travel and Arrival and First Impressions This was my fourth trip overseas and it never gets easier! The long flight overseas is hard, crammed in a plane with a bunch of strangers for 8 or more hours with a limited number of bathrooms, narrow aisles to walk up and down when the flight attendants don't have them blocked with the food/drink carts, and in my case twitching legs that about drove me crazy! I managed to nap in spurts, was lucky with my seat mate, a nice young woman, and we lucked out in earning a second pillow due to my ... Sat, 26 Jul 2014 17:22:34 EST Sweatin' to the Oldies 2 Now that my back and knee have recovered from the latest arthritis flareup, I decided to supplement my aqua wellness class with some workouts at home. I have exercises I can do at home, but I wanted something to add some cardio. <BR> <BR> My daughter sent me some YouTube links to some Yoga vidoes to try. I have some longer ones on my iPad, but these shorter ones are pretty good and have some that are tailor made for me (very stiff hips, etc). I mean, I can't even sit cross-legged on the... Mon, 30 Jun 2014 21:32:00 EST Follow up to my Dr. Oz blog Great editorial letter from the Food Safety News about Dr. Oz and Dr. Mercola <BR> <BR> <link><BR>r-from-the-editor-dr-oz-takes-a-beatin<BR>g/#.U6bq4xYtq24 </link> Sun, 22 Jun 2014 10:44:05 EST Aqua Class I went to the evening class for a change and it was much more of a workout than the morning class. I ached a bit last night, which was good, but don't feel sore this morning. I think for the rest of the summer I'll do the Monday morning slower class, then do the Tuesday and Thursday evening faster paced class. <BR> <BR> In addition to getting to workout three days a week, I also get to know more people since I'm new in town. So that works out great for me! <BR> <BR> No I'm thinking I'd... Fri, 20 Jun 2014 10:00:50 EST Updates on my life Tues. <BR> The detached apartment's ac broke: waiting for the repairman to come, which should be in a bit. <BR> Woke up fighting off a migraine and I think I'm winning the battle! <BR> Have already gone outside in the heat and pruned some bushes. The azaleas in the front yard were as high as my shoulders and over run with vines so after DH bought me a cordless hedge trimmer this weekend I started pruning them. Decided to go after them again today. They are about chest high now and a lot ... Wed, 18 Jun 2014 14:51:05 EST Dr. Oz versus Spark People: my humble opinion Dr. Oz was called before the Senate today for a hearing. <BR> <BR> "I am concerned that you are melding medical advice, news, and entertainment in a way that harms consumers,” Sen. Claire McCaskill scolded Dr. Oz during the hearing. <BR> <BR> About time. <BR> <BR> <link><BR>dr-oz-effect-senators-scold-mehmet-oz-<BR>diet-scams-n133226 </link> <BR> <BR> He has a platform (his tv show and the media) to use to help people in an honest and good way, an... Tue, 17 Jun 2014 21:36:49 EST Two months in AR, Summer 5%, and Photography It's three weeks since my back went out and I've made great progress. The aqua wellness class is great for me! I overdid it a bit Monday I think. Got up Tuesday and felt that shoot of pain in the back and was very stiff for awhile on getting up: overworked muscles. So later in the morning I took a walk, which maybe I shouldn't have done, and took a short nap, as allergies had kept me up for two nights, and on rising from the nap my right knee tendon was painful. Big sigh!! Had to put th... Thu, 12 Jun 2014 15:34:35 EST Getting back to normal Three aqua wellness classes this past week left me with some soreness from working out muscles that haven't been worked out in a bit! But the class is just what I need. And my knee and back are getting better, although I still have to be careful about how I move at times. I have a lot of stiffness on getting up so that is a danger time for my back, and going up and down steps and making sudden turns are danger times for my right knee. Slow and steady!! <BR> <BR> But I'm back to getting h... Sat, 7 Jun 2014 15:31:10 EST