MARITIMER3's SparkPeople Blog MARITIMER3's Blog on SparkPeople, home of free diet plans and a healthy living community Virtual Walk Update... Have Reached Scotland Hi all, <BR> It was difficult tracking my mileage while we were travelling as I lost my Fitbit just before we left home. I estimated, and feel quite sure that my estimates were low, and last night I got out the maps and added up the miles while we were away (73) and added in the treadmill miles since coming home, and realized that I have finally crossed the England/Scotland border and am about 7 miles south of Jedburgh, one of the cities in the Scottish Lowlands known for its ruined cathedr... Mon, 21 Jul 2014 10:32:49 EST The good and the bad... ... of being home... <BR> <BR> Of course it's nice to be home. I love our home, garden, cat and routine... but when I was away I didn't snack in between meals and I seldom ate before going to bed. <BR> <BR> So why is it, now that I'm home, that every time I sit down I want to eat? I wasn't hungry when we were travelling, and I was eating 1200-1300 calories most days. Now I'm eating 1400-1600 calories each day and nibbling. Granted I'm exercising more, so I suppose it balances. <BR> <... Sat, 19 Jul 2014 14:54:25 EST Home again, home again, woo hoo! The cat and the garden both missed us. The cat even slept with us last night, which is quite unusual. <BR> <BR> We had a wonderful trip. I think everyone, if possible, should drive across the country, simply to see how vast it is and to see the wide diversity of countryside. <BR> <BR> I think the prairies (Canadian name for the plains) are beautiful. I loved the wide-open-ness and huge skies. We had a great visit with our oldest daughter and family in Calgary and enjoyed the Stamped... Wed, 16 Jul 2014 20:25:12 EST Montana In a word, spectacular! Yesterday we drove from Calgary, Alberta, to Shelby, Montana. We drove the 52 mile "Going to the Sun" highway, which snakes its way through high mountain passes and 2 tunnels. At the summit, the banks of snow adjacent to the road were 20-30' high. In other places, waterfalls of melting snow came down onto the roads. We saw a number of people on motorcycles and several open convertibles. The people must have been drenched, and the water would be icy to say the lea... Mon, 7 Jul 2014 02:12:49 EST Leaving for home tomorrow morning Tomorrow we leave Calgary and go down into Montana to start our trip home. We were looking at maps tonight, planning our trip, and there are many things we will see on the way, all new to me, but most of which Peter has seen before. <BR> <BR> We will start by driving the "Going to the Sun Highway", which is in Glacier National Park, and will be very spectacular. Later we will visit a museum about the Lewis and Clark expedition, and perhaps visit the home and studio of Charles M. Russell,... Fri, 4 Jul 2014 23:28:10 EST Should explain... Losing weight while on vacation isn't adding stress for me. I almost always lose a few pounds when we travel, because I'm away from my fridge and cupboards, and don't eat "simply because the food is there". <BR> <BR> Generally it's easy for me to choose a healthy option from a menu. When we're away, I seldom eat in between meals and don't eat before going to bed. At home I plan afternoon and evening snacks. <BR> <BR> I do recognize that restaurant meals are usually higher in sodium tha... Wed, 2 Jul 2014 22:18:43 EST Too many meals out! We are eating way too much food! My daughter and her husband are both overweight. Both travel extensively for business, and seem to eat out quite a bit when they are home. <BR> <BR> Calorie wise, I'm staying within my range, but it is taking a lot of self-discipline when everyone else is having cakey muffins, bagels and desserts. Then, because they should be eating carefully but aren't, I feel like I'm being priggish by not just giving in and eating everything. Last night I went to be... Tue, 1 Jul 2014 23:58:22 EST Staying on track on a driving vacation Today is the first day of our 3 1/2 week driving trip from Toronto to Calgary via Northern Ontario and the Yellowhead Highway, a week with our daughter & family in Calgary, and then driving back through the Northern U.S. <BR> <BR> We will have a number of long-distance days (600-700 km), or 7-8 hours. I packed food for picnics along the way including low sodium cold cuts, home-made bean salad for me and potato salad for Peter, mini cucumbers, cherry tomatoes, dried apricots and prunes, and ... Sat, 21 Jun 2014 22:31:37 EST "The Mulch Lady" That's probably what my neighbours call me, whispering behind their hands, as they watch me pull yet more jumbo bags of mulch from the trunk. Three bags, 9 cu.ft. each, completely fill the trunk of our Hyundai. I've lost track of how many trips I've made to the garden centre the past two weeks, but I know I'm not finished yet. I will empty at least one more of the bags I have on hand this afternoon (the 3rd today) and make trips again tomorrow and Friday so that I have my stock on hand for... Wed, 4 Jun 2014 14:20:56 EST Catching up on my walk... ... spring has been busy with the bridal shower, sale at church, wedding and grandson's high school graduation, but I've managed to walk another 42.53 since I last wrote, and am now 98.12 miles from the Scottish border and roughly half-way through my walk from Land's End, Cornwall, to John O'Groats, Scotland. <BR> <BR> Britain is well known for its long-distance walking trails, and today I crossed the Coast-to-Coast walk which goes across Northern England from St. Bees Head in the west to Ro... Tue, 27 May 2014 15:43:48 EST When I was a little girl... we lived in a fairly big but very run-down house on a large lot at the end of a dead-end street. There were lots of kids my age and it was safe enough back then, that we were allowed to play outside until the street lights came on. <BR> <BR> My mother worked very hard. My father was often ill and out of work, and my mother supported us by sewing for better off families. She even made drapes for some of the historic houses owned by the Province of Nova Scotia. <BR> <BR> Her garden was... Wed, 21 May 2014 11:46:21 EST Best advice i've read today One of the articles I read today was about being inefficient. When I was working, I was proud of being able to multi-task. As I got older, it got harder to keep all the balls in the air. <BR> <BR> Since I got my Fitbit One for Mother's Day, I've been learning to be inefficient. I keep two baskets by the stairs. One at the bottom for things to go upstairs, and one at the top for things that have to come down. As the basket got full, I would take it with me when I was going up or down. ... Sun, 18 May 2014 09:19:55 EST Still slowly walking across the British Isles I haven't given up on the walk, but I must admit that I'm not enjoying it much at this point. Perhaps it's because I've been busy lately with wedding preparations, and with the big sale at church, or perhaps it's because my walking partner hasn't been able to continue... But I must admit that I'm just plodding along, and not meeting my 20-mile/week goal. <BR> <BR> However I haven't given up, and am just past Skipton, on the Yorkshire Dales, and have completed 510 miles, with another 150 mile... Sun, 4 May 2014 19:32:57 EST Groomzilla I have 3 daughters, and the third one is being married in 11 days. <BR> <BR> I thought the first one was too young, and was giving up her dreams (finding a job as a chemical engineer which would allow her to live in another country). They are happily together after 25 years, have 2 university-aged children, and she is doing lots of travelling with her job... so I was wrong. <BR> <BR> I thought the second daughter had the sort of romance seen only in movies. She was 29, well established i... Tue, 29 Apr 2014 13:27:56 EST Giving myself a break for a couple of weeks The wedding is 2 weeks from Saturday, and company starts arriving a week Thursday. <BR> <BR> I'm getting stressed trying to get everything ready, and not sleeping well. When I can't sleep, I get up and eat. I joined a challenge to burn 3500 calories each week, and have been trying to have a 500 calorie/day deficit. <BR> <BR> It just isn't working right now, so I'm giving myself a break until things quiet down after the wedding and company has all gone home. <BR> <BR> The most importa... Thu, 24 Apr 2014 21:32:54 EST Blessing of the baskets I just got Peter out the door - late as usual - for the traditional Easter blessing of the baskets at the Ukrainian Catholic church. Since the Julian and Gregorian Easters are the same day this year and I'm reading at tonight's Easter Vigil, I can't go with him. I helped him get ready as much as I could, but he was late starting, and of course late leaving. It's really frustrating! He leaves in a bad mood, I think he's mad at me (he's really annoyed at himself for being late), and I end u... Sat, 19 Apr 2014 17:58:41 EST Good Friday I've always wondered how Good Friday got its name. If you've wondered too, I'm sorry, but I don't have the answer. My husband's Ukrainian Catholic Church calls it Holy Friday,which makes more sense to me. <BR> <BR> I try to go to church each day of Holy Week. There is a definite progression with a simple prayer service on Monday, stations of the cross on Tuesday, Taize music on Wednesday, Maundy Thursday's simple supper followed by communion around the table, then the silent stripping of... Fri, 18 Apr 2014 14:23:46 EST My Pumpkin Soup Needs Help! I tried a recipe for pumpkin soup today that was recommended by Dr. Oz. It wasn't very good, and I'm looking for ideas on how to modify the rest of it... it's either that or throw it out. <BR> <BR> The recipe called for pumpkin, carrots, green apple, onion and garlic tossed in olive oil, cumin, coriander and turmeric, and roasted for 30 minutes. The cooked vegetables went in a blender with vegetable broth and coconut milk, pureed until smooth and then heated. <BR> <BR> It tasted really bl... Mon, 24 Mar 2014 21:37:28 EST How to be successful even when you're overly busy ...but actually that's okay. This will be our last child married, and 8'm going to enjoy the preparations and the wedding even if it does get crazy at times. When I think of the years I've wasted when I could have been losing weight, what's another 7 weeks? I'll eat carefully, but will enjoy a few treats too. I'll exercise when I can, but I know I'll miss some time too. I'm not going to beat myself up about it. <BR> <BR> Yesterday we had a surprise party at church for our priest's 40th ... Sun, 23 Mar 2014 13:19:21 EST Virtual Walk Update... March 2, 2014 Where has February gone? It's been 3 weeks since I last posted, but in that time I've walked 67 miles from Penkridge to Edale, where the Pennine Way starts. But before I tell you about Britain's first long-distance walking trail, let's go back tp Penkridge and do a quick catch-up. <BR> <BR> The names of the places I passed through, or near, were for the most part more interesting than the terrain, which was mostly farmland, often soggy, and at times almost requiring a mask... or full bre... Sun, 2 Mar 2014 15:35:41 EST Think I'm Getting Old! This month has really tired me out! Seems like I just haven't stopped all month, and yet I don't feel like I've accomplished anything significant. <BR> <BR> There have been some routine medical/dental appointments, lots of snow to clear, meals, laundry, shopping... all the usual stuff. <BR> <BR> Church has been busy with study groups, book club, all the regular services, ACW and vestry meeting... then minutes to be done. Organizing our Easter/Spring sale and coordinating table rentals. ... Sat, 1 Mar 2014 21:24:40 EST Meatless Monday I try to have one meatless main dish each week, and this week I made a macaroni and cheese dish with lots of added vegetables. I used whole wheat rotini, drained stewed tomatoes, sauteed onion and celery, and some frozen peas. I always save the water I cook vegetables in, and used it as part of the liquid for the cheese sauce (low fat cheese and skim milk). We had broccoli and cherry tomatoes with it, for a nutritious, colourful dinner. <BR> <BR> Knowing that tonight would be meatless, ... Mon, 17 Feb 2014 23:32:52 EST What will I wear to the wedding? Siobhan's wedding is less than 3 months away, and it's time for me to decide what I am going to wear. I waited until Sarah, Siobhan's maid of honour, chose her dress. If she had gone with a long dress, I would have too, although I preferred a short one. Happily, Sarah found a short dress that both she and Siobhan loved. The groom's mother was pushing... hard... for a long dress. I hope she will follow my lead and wear a short one now, but that's a story for another day. Let's just say sh... Sat, 15 Feb 2014 12:50:34 EST Best Laid Plans... We went out for dinner tonight with Siobhan and Will, and had a very pleasant evening. <BR> <BR> As we were going to a new restaurant, I spent some time studying their menu and nutritional information online, and planned exactly what I would have. I was especially careful with the sodium count because I have high blood pressure, and try hard to keep my daily sodium intake below 1500 mg. Very hard to do when eating out. <BR> <BR> I was proud of myself for planning so carefully, and ever... Wed, 12 Feb 2014 00:00:55 EST Virtual Walk Update to Sunday, February 9: This week's walk totalled 30 miles and took me along the Staffordshire Way, another of Britain's long-distance walking trails, and in part followed the Shropshire Union Canal. It was interesting to see more Telford-designed bridges and aqueducts. <BR> <BR> Three counties, Staffordshire, Shropshire and Cheshire together form the "Staffordshire Knot", a tourism and industrial area named after the Stafford family. <BR> <BR> This area is known for the pottery and ceramics industry, formed ... Mon, 10 Feb 2014 20:31:43 EST Last Night's Tribute Show Peter and I went to the Ed Sullivan Caravan of Stars last night. It featured a group of tribute artists doing songs made famous by Jerry Lee Lewis, Ritchie Valens, Buddy Holly, the Big Bopper, Johnny Cash and the Everly Brothers, all introduced by a man who did a wonderful impersonation of Ed Sullivan's voice and mannerisms. <BR> <BR> The show was sold out, and there was hardly anyone under 60, with many in their 70's. Surprisingly, the show went on for 3 hours, with a half-hour intermiss... Sun, 9 Feb 2014 22:50:58 EST Sometimes I Get Tired of Working So Hard To Be Good I've battled being over-weight since I had my first baby. Sorry, Jenn, I'm not saying it's your fault, just establishing the time line. I've done WW probably 6 or 7 times. I spent a small fortune at Herbal Magic. I took diet pills back when they were legal. I tried to do it on my own more times than I can count. <BR> <BR> I've belonged to SP for just over 3 years, and am having some success. It is a great program, and I'm definitely learning more than I learned with any of the other ... Thu, 6 Feb 2014 18:26:51 EST Souvenirs and Family "Treasures" I consider myself a practical person, so when I travel, I usually choose a small, useful souvenir to remind myself of the places I've visited. Two of my favourites are coffee mugs and tea towels. DH buys a lot more souvenirs than I do; but lately, since we've started travelling with only carry-ons, he's begun to buy shot glasses. <BR> <BR> We also choose one Christmas ornament each from our trips. I choose angels or crosses, he prefers something with the name of the place and, if possib... Tue, 4 Feb 2014 15:16:37 EST Virtual Walk Update, Sunday February 2 This week's walk was not one of my favourites. I've been following the Severn River since Gloucester, and it's been a boring, flat, muddy trek most of the time. Fields in some areas are fenced right down to the river, with stiles at each trail intersection. Sheep and cows graze in many of these fields, requiring the walker to watch their footing. <BR> <BR> In other areas there are vacation chalets and caravans (cottages and trailers to us North Americans). Some are tidy, well maintaine... Sun, 2 Feb 2014 14:22:35 EST Virtual Walk Update, Sunday, January 25 This week's walk was in Gloucestershire, along the Severn Way, between Tewkesbury and Worcester. Tewkesbury is a lovely upscale town with lots of tea shops, an impressive Abbey and beautiful half-timbered houses. <BR> <BR> There are many riverside pubs along the Severn Way, some with accommodations, and this week-end they are all celebrating the birth of a daughter, Mia Grace, to Zara Phillips and her husband Mike Tindall. The couple live on the Gloucestershire estate, Gatscombe, owned by... Sun, 26 Jan 2014 17:54:32 EST Having a cooking day I came home from today's grocery trip with lots of great specials including a sirloin tip roast which will make 2 meals plus left-overs. The first will be a traditional beef stew with lots of winter vegetables. The second will be a fancier boeuf bourguignon. <BR> <BR> Large packages of chicken legs, also on special, will be simmered, the broth cooled and fat removed for soup or casserole bases, the meat used for casseroles, soups or sandwiches. <BR> <BR> Shoulder pork chops were a grea... Fri, 24 Jan 2014 16:25:26 EST Virtual Walk Update, January 19, 2014 Last night I ended my walk at a B&B in the southern end of Gloucester, a city of 121,000 people,and best known for its magnificent cathedral and as the setting for Beatrix Potter's "The Tailor of Gloucester". Needless to say, the house pictured in the story is now a Beatrix Potter store. <BR> <BR> Gloucester was founded by the Romans in 97 AD, and was given its charter by King Richard I in 1194. in the middle ages, wool from the Cotswolds was processed in Gloucester before being shipped ... Sun, 19 Jan 2014 12:45:07 EST 3 Years on Spark I joined SP in January, 2011, to lose 10 lbs. for my son's April wedding. I lost the weight, felt good at the wedding, and decided to lose another 15 lbs. After some ups and downs, I've done that too. My next goal is to lose another 15 lbs. by June 30. If... no, when I'm successful with that one, my final goal will be to lose 10 lbs to reach my goal weight. <BR> <BR> Things that I've learned, and which I know I have to continue for the rest of my life include: <BR> - stay within the calo... Sat, 18 Jan 2014 19:45:05 EST Saving Mr. Banks DH and I saw this movie this afternoon and enjoyed it, but would warn people with young children not to expect this to be a children's movie, although it was made by Disney. It's a two-part story, switching between the work leading up to the production of the movie, and the childhood of the author. It includes alcoholism, a suicide attempt and the father's death from tuberculosis. Well done, but not for small children. <BR> Gail Mon, 13 Jan 2014 22:22:21 EST Virtual walk update, Sunday, January 12: Walked 26.91 miles this week and am just two miles from Cam, a large Gloucestershire village. Cam is only one mile off the Cotswold Way, the long-distance walking path I'm following for this part of my walk. Today's temperature in Cam was 7, with clear skies. <BR> <BR> The Cotswold Way twists and turns, climbs and then descends, but there is always something to see. To the west, since I am on an escarpment, the ground drops sharply, while to the east the lovely honey-coloured stone villag... Sun, 12 Jan 2014 22:35:17 EST Follow up... Today at church (very crowded, 4 baptisms), both he and his wife ignored me. <BR> <BR> Downstairs at coffee hour I sought them out and said that I would have done exactly the same thing if someone had talked to me about them, because i would feel that they had the right to defend themselves. I also said that I hoped they would do the same thing for me. <BR> <BR> I hope that's the end of it. <BR> <BR> Gail Sun, 12 Jan 2014 14:08:58 EST Think I Made an Enemy Today Someone at church was talking about our priest behind her back. When he approached me, I advised him to speak to her directly. When he didn't, but continued to spread his falsehoods, I told our priest what was going on. This resulted in a meeting where he denied having any intention of making trouble, although he continued to accuse her of "misleading" the congregation because of something she reported at a meeting. <BR> <BR> He then resigned from the Advisory Board. I am not looking f... Sat, 11 Jan 2014 20:59:48 EST Trying hard to keep protein, healthy fats and carbs in balance For the last little while i've been doing a good job of keeping my calories, carbs, protein and healthy fats within the range SP gives me, but I haven't been checking every day to see how close I come to having 50% of my calories coming from carbs, 30% from healthy fats and the remaining 20% from lean protein. <BR> <BR> Earlier in my Spark journey I used to check these figures mid-afternoon almost every day, and then plan my dinner and evening snack so that I came as close as possible to t... Thu, 9 Jan 2014 22:50:22 EST Ukrainian Christmas Eve Dinner Some people have asked about the menu for Ukrainian Christmas, so here it is... the main meal is eaten on Christmas Eve, starting when the first star appears in the sky. It consists of 12 traditional courses, and cannot include any dairy or meat. <BR> - kutia, wheat or barley cooked with poppy seed and sweetened with honey <BR> - borscht, beet soup with carrots, onion, celery, cabbage and tomato juice <BR> - kolach, a 3-tiered braided bread topped with a candle <BR> - cabbage rolls stuffed ... Tue, 7 Jan 2014 14:00:14 EST Virtual walk update, January 5/14: Finally, I am out of the South-West and starting on the Midlands section of this walk. I'm 6 miles north-east of Bath, heading toward the Cotswold Way, a 100+ mile National Walking Trail. <BR> <BR> Britain is criss-crossed with such trails, and they open up some of the most beautiful parts of the country to those wishing to explore beyond the main roads and smaller by-ways. <BR> <BR> Sun, 5 Jan 2014 22:53:29 EST Has anyone been to Castle Combe? In 1992, on my second trip to Britain, my daughter and I flew to London, took the train to Bath, and rented a car to explore Somerset, Devon and Cornwall. The trip was to celebrate my daughter's university graduation, and took place in late May, early June. <BR> <BR> I love to research the places i'm going to visit, and especially enjoy finding little out of the way places. My research started off with a trip to the British Travel Centre which at that time was very conveniently located on ... Fri, 3 Jan 2014 16:36:42 EST Scared me, part 2 Several people have asked if i am afraid that my life will change if/when I reach goal. I don't think that's true, but i probably didn't explain myself properly. <BR> <BR> I'm relatively good at losing weight. Heaven knows I've had lots of practice. What scares me is that I don't know how to maintain a weight loss. I've always re-gained the weight i lost, and more. I don't want to so that again. <BR> <BR> I know that I have to trust SP to lead me through the process. I know the progra... Thu, 2 Jan 2014 11:14:11 EST I've just written something that scared me... I just updated my feed to read, "This is my year to reach goal". <BR> <BR> Then I sat back and thought about what I'd written. I haven't thought much about reaching goal. It's been all about tracking, exercising, learning new ways to cook, reading labels... but now the goal is actually in sight... still 17 lbs away, but in sight. <BR> <BR> Can I do it? Yes, it's possible. Will I do it? Only time will tell. <BR> <BR> I've lost weight many times. I've never learned to keep it off. S... Wed, 1 Jan 2014 14:03:34 EST Virtual Walk Update, December 30, 2013 I didn't manage to meet my goal of 20 miles this week, but walked a bit over 16 miles, putting me in the vicinity of Glastonbury, famous for the Tor, King Arthur, and the Glastonbury Festival, though not necessarily in that order. <BR> <BR> This week i will be pushing on to Bath, and am looking forward to some Indian food at a restaurant i discovered last time i was there. <BR> <BR> Thanks for reading, <BR> Gail <em>521</em> Mon, 30 Dec 2013 10:23:37 EST Sometimes I Lie... I take pride in being honest. I value honesty above many other character traits. I admire people who admit their mistakes rather than lying to cover them up. But sometimes I lie, to myself or to DH... <BR> - when I get up at night and eat something that I shouldn't <BR> - when I sneak food that I've asked DH to keep downstairs, or in his office, so I won't see it <BR> - when I buy a bar on my way through the grocery check-out and eat it on the way home <BR> - when I shred the bag from a bag... Sat, 28 Dec 2013 14:57:25 EST Virtual Walk Update, December 21: This week I walked on the treadmill all 7 days, for a total of 30 miles! <em>244</em> <BR> I am very proud of myself, considering that it's the week before Christmas <BR> <BR> I have passed Taunton, and am near Bridgwater, near the Bridgwater and Taunton Canal. The area is mainly agricultural, and there seem to be irrigation canals everywhere. <BR> <BR> I've walked 203.60 miles since starting this virtual walk, about 20% of the total walk, and I've set a goal of completing the walk... Sat, 21 Dec 2013 23:18:56 EST Virtual Walk Update, Sunday, December 13 This was my best week yet. I walked a total of 25.57 miles. Both the treadmill and my knees are getting creaky! <BR> <BR> I've just crossed from Devon to Somerset, and am approaching Taunton, having walked a total of 177.55 miles. <BR> <BR> When DH and I were in England 3 years ago, we used Taunton as a base to explore the surrounding countryside, which is more agricultural than Devon, and particularly more so than Cornwall. Each county has its own beauty. <BR> <BR> I've followed the ... Sun, 15 Dec 2013 21:10:41 EST Try again...virtual walk update I've tried this twice and lost it, so will be brief... <BR> <BR> Walked 22.37 miles this week, skirting the northern edge of Dartmoor National Park. Walking mainly on secondary roads and some trails can be lonely, especially as the cold weather sets in. Temperatures have been +2 to +4 with rain and winds, but we missed the storms that hit the coast. Recommend the Tom Cobley Tavern at Spreyton, Devon. <BR> <BR> Walk on! Sat, 7 Dec 2013 23:54:41 EST NSV which should lead to an SV! No, not an SUV, but a Scale Victory. Twice in the last 24 hours I put food back in the fridge even though I had already tracked to make sure that it was within my daily allowance. <BR> <BR> I made a one-piece-of-bread turkey sandwich, and planned to have about half-a-cup of sweet potato and raisin salad. After eating the sandwich and a bit of salad, I put the rest back. It was delicious, but I wasn't hungry. <BR> <BR> Last night I ate a small brownie that our neighbour brought over. It w... Sat, 7 Dec 2013 13:29:41 EST Virtual walk update This week I walked only 17 miles rather than the 20 I planned. The treadmill is in one of our extra bedrooms, and I usually choose to use it for 1 hour in the evening when there is something I like on TV. I find the treadmill boring, and don't usually stay on it very long unless there is a program I like. <BR> <BR> This week the times didn't work out very well. I know, that's a pretty weak excuse. I was also getting a cold. Another weak excuse. From what I've read, if the illness is from... Sun, 1 Dec 2013 21:08:45 EST