MILLIFRED's SparkPeople Blog MILLIFRED's Blog on SparkPeople, home of free diet plans and a healthy living community Health in a microwave? The past few days have been interesting; how to live in a motel for an extended period of time and maintain a healthy lifestyle. We are currently back in our Wi home town attempting to settle what to do about our home here which has been rented with option to buy but our tenant/buyer is not able to fulfill his contract. We will be stuck here for at least another month while we get him out and probably someone else in. In the meantime my only option for cooking is a small microwave in our r... Thu, 22 Aug 2013 06:47:20 EST For diabetics reversing diabetes I have had my blood sugars under good control for about 6 months now with a combination of weight loss, diet and exercise. Yesterday afternoon I kept noticing I was extremely thirsty and checked my blood sugar and was somewhat dismayed to find it was up to 220. Being the problem solving nurse that I am I tried to figure out why; <BR> <BR> We had lunch with friends after church so a morning that had been totally without exercise. It was a vegetarian lunch, most of which came from their gar... Sun, 11 Aug 2013 11:41:13 EST Do We Make Time for Family? This weekend was a family weekend with activities revolving around family. We are fortunate enough to have two of our daughters and 12 of our grandchildren living in a neighboring city. Saturday was spent with the whole crew going to a baby dedication, a potluck afterwards and an extended visit throughout the afternoon. On Sunday one of our daughters with her children and a friend visiting from Wi came over for the better part of the day. A great way to spend a weekend! <BR> <BR> How doe... Mon, 5 Aug 2013 11:29:57 EST Non Scale Victories! I am back off maintenance and attempting to lose just a few more pounds but am struggling a bit. <BR> <BR> I kept thinking there seemed to be less fat around my middle and I definitely couldn "pinch an inch";. Then this morning I decided to put it to the test. I have this pair of pants that I bought a couple of years ago when I lost some much weight from being sick. When I got them home and tried them on they were quite a ways from meeting at the waistband. Because I had bought them at a... Fri, 2 Aug 2013 10:01:36 EST How active are you really? Spark has a rather complicated formula they use to calculate your calorie range. Everybody is assumed to be sedentary. However you can find out exactly how many calories you need by first determining if you are sedentary, light activity, moderately active or very active. Then actual workouts are the "frosting on the cake for burning calories". <BR> <BR> Sedentary activity can be defined as someone who sits most of the day as in an office job. For a 150 pound woman who is sedentary and wa... Tue, 30 Jul 2013 11:08:34 EST Taking care of yourself Yesterday I set some very unrealistic expectations or goals for the day. By the end of the day I was totally exhausted! <BR> <BR> Our power company has was they call "Smart Hours" where if you use power during peak hours you are heavily penalized by the pricing. Between 2 and 7 PM on weekdays the price goes up from 6 cents per KWH to 36 cents. What this means is that if I cook dinner at the time we normally would eat I end up paying about $1.50 to cook a simple meal. In addition it heats... Mon, 29 Jul 2013 06:53:29 EST Choices We make many choices each day, both small and large and those choices will have an effect on our life <BR> <BR> Some of the large choices I have made lately have been: <BR> Deciding to move to Ar and making it a permament residence even though the home is Wi is larger and nicer. <img src=""> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <img src=""> ... Thu, 25 Jul 2013 10:47:42 EST Cooking with a teen I wanted to take this way of letting you know how I appreciate your suggestions and they are good ones. <BR> <BR> Last week Megan decided to go pick green beans in the garden. They had been left a little too long but she stuck with it a picked everything that needed picked, about 2 gallons. She then helped to prepare them for cooking and actually ate a large helping, saying how good they were! Mind you these were rather tough overgrown beans, so those who mentioned getting her involved we... Wed, 24 Jul 2013 15:21:22 EST Heart Healthy Deit for Teens Our thirteen year old grandaughter is staying with us and is supposed to be on a heart healthy diet. She has a heart murmer due to a defective pulmonic valve and last year she gained a lot of weight. I provide healthy meals such as my husband and I always eat but would find she was eating very little of her meals and then "pigging out" on any unhealthy snack she could find. I decided to do a search, first on Spark then on the web to see if I could get any ideas. <BR> <BR> As I guessed the... Tue, 23 Jul 2013 20:22:36 EST How accurate is your nutritional feedback? One of my major goals for the next couple of months is to try to not just look at the calorie content and the amounts of carbohydrate, fat, and protein I'm eating but to also pay more attention to the daily requirements for vitamins and minerals. On 1200 cals a day it is difficult to meet the RDA requirements and the daily feedback tells me I am falling woefully short in all of these. <BR> <BR> Yesterday I decided it was time to start focusing on the iron in my diet as I am anemic and have ... Sat, 20 Jul 2013 07:40:56 EST Why should I lose more weight? The summer 5% challenge starts in just about 11 days. If I join that challenge I will be committing myself to attempting to lose about 7 more pounds. Why would I want to do this after having already reached my goal weight? On thinking it over carefully I find there are many reasons, most of them health related. <BR> <BR> At my current weight I am about 3 pounds from a healthy BMI. If I were to lose 7 pounds this would put me well into the healthy range. <BR> <BR> I would like to increas... Tue, 16 Jul 2013 11:25:32 EST Commitment: Summer 5% challenge I have enjoyed reaching my goal and I think I have found my maintenance program. Basically I went up to about 1350 calories a day and reduced my exercise to about 1 hour a day. However, I have decided I would like to try to lose another 5 or so pounds. I have joined the Summer 5% challenge which would equal a weight loss for me of about 7 pounds. That sounds like enough to hopefully whittle a little more off my waistline! <BR> <BR> To accomplish this goal I well reduce my calories back d... Mon, 15 Jul 2013 15:35:11 EST Addendum to previous blog about the woman's role! I think I gave the wrong impression; in no way was or am I responsible for all the work. For example, our children by the age of nine were doing the after dinner clean up chores and by 12 were doing all their own laundry. The family shared in all the chores and during the time I was finishing my bachelors degree we would all spend the first two hours of our weekend cleaning so we could spend the rest of the time playing. Our children were in elementary school when I was in college. By the... Mon, 8 Jul 2013 17:14:41 EST A Woman's work? I posted in my status this morning that I had finished my outside chores and was ready to start on my traditional job as a wife and mother, making my home comfortable for my family. Are those words to start controversy? <BR> <BR> For 30 years I divided my energies, working as first a nurse and then teaching nursing at the university level. During that time I was also the main homemaker which is just as important a role. Recently I learned that one of my nephews, after earning a degree in ... Mon, 8 Jul 2013 10:34:07 EST Turtles and Tomatoes Those of you who read my blogs know my passion for gardening. First thing every morning I go out to see how my roses and other flowers are doing, eat breakfast, then go out to the vegetable garden. We were getting frustrated because each day we were finding two or three of our nicest ripe tomatoes with big bites out of them, sometimes half gone. <BR> <BR> I was suspecting the friendly bunny rabbit I would keep seeing around the garden. I knew he was great for trimming my petunias and impa... Mon, 1 Jul 2013 10:30:28 EST Heat Prostration This morning I got a late start on my gardening chores; By the time I got to the vegetable garden to pick the green beans it was really heating up. I had put them off for a couple of days and knew I had to get them picked so I just kept going and going even though the heat was really getting to me. I picked enough beans and other vegetables to fill a five gallon bucket and headed back to the house. <BR> <BR> It is uphill going back from the garden and a fair distance. Fairly soon I stopp... Fri, 28 Jun 2013 19:02:14 EST What are signs of returning health and fitness This was the Spark Coach assignment for me today but really, how much more important is anything on this journey than assessing your own progress? <BR> <BR> I have mentioned some of the more obvious things in recent blogs like getting off medications for diabetes and high blood pressure and improvement in kidney function as measured by serum creatine. In addition there are some less obvious signs of return to health. <BR> <BR> A few months ago I couldn't have imagined being able to spend ... Sun, 16 Jun 2013 14:26:37 EST EVIL in the Garden! We went out to do our usual gardening chores this morning and were checking to see what rows still were in need of soaker hoses to simplify the task; suddenly my husband gave a yell. "its a snake, a great big one!" A 3 foot cotton mouth (water moccasin) came crawling out from under the bean plants and he was not acting happy. Of course he looked just about like a hose lying under the bean plants.<BR>nakes_such/Co.. <BR> <BR> I was delegated to w... Fri, 14 Jun 2013 13:10:16 EST At Goal; At Last after 4 years Looking back in my records I find that on June 3, 2009 I had reached an all time high for me of 206 pounds. At 63 my health was suffering with such problems as diabetes, high blood pressure, etc. Now exactly 4 years later I have reached my goal of 150 pounds. My blood pressure is normal and my diabetes is reversed. Sounds like a success story and it is but there were some major bumps along the way. <BR> <BR> Just over two years ago I entered the hospital for observation with a diagnosis... Fri, 7 Jun 2013 11:50:57 EST A Plethora of Roses All of my gardening friends out there are familiar with the end of Spring "clearance" sales by plant companies such as Jackson and Perkins. I was getting these offers in my email box and succumbed to one of them to order some roses to complete my rose garden I started last week; there are very few varieties available locally. I placed an order with Wayside Gardens whom I have had good luck with before and after placing the order discovered that my plants wouldn't be shipped until spring. H... Tue, 4 Jun 2013 18:05:18 EST Making the most of a new challenge Yesterday I went to the University Hospital in Little Rock to do some balance testing. I had been having problems with balance dizzyness and severe vertigo attacks for several months. I went hoping for answers and yet afraid of what I might find out. As a nurse I knew of two things which could cause this type of problem; MS or Meniers disease of the inner ear which can also cause deafness. Neither sounded like a good answer to receive. I had already lost a good deal of my hearing after a... Fri, 31 May 2013 06:10:30 EST Wild fruit and wild life! We live on a seven acre property on the edge of town. When we bought it on a foreclosure sale we were very pleased because it had a pond which seems to be considered a very desirable feature here. We soon discovered one of the disadvantages; snakes! We have seen and killed rattlesnake, copperheads, and a cottonmouth as well as an innocent rat snake that decide to climb up three feet to a porch and enter the house through a door I had left open for fresh air! <BR> <BR> One of the nice thin... Tue, 28 May 2013 11:06:20 EST Changing out exercise - gardening My plateau busting strategy for today was to change out my cardio exercise. My exercise consists of gardening and yard work. This past week I cleaned up an unsightly area of weeks, dug up the ground, planted a new rose bed and mulched the roses. This was i addition to weeding and hoeing in the vegetable garden and dragging around long resistant hoses to water numerous flowers and shrubs around the property. This is certainly doing things at intervals and the work changes daily. I am gett... Sat, 25 May 2013 16:19:45 EST Eating Fiber to improve health and lose weight For a challenge I'm doing right now our assignment for next week is to concentrate on fiber in our diet bring it up to 25 - 35 grams per day. While I am excited about this part of the challenge, it may also be a problem. <BR> <BR> Fiber fills you up. Right now I am full at less than my 1200 calories a day and have to bring it up with a sweet snack at bedtime. I wonder what will happen when I double the amount of fiber in my daily diet. I love high fiber foods and already eat lots of meal... Fri, 24 May 2013 19:49:52 EST Changing Weight; Changing Nutrition Needs Since I went back on the Spark Program about 3 months ago I have lost about 10 pounds. I have been finding it increasingly difficult to lose another pound and even a half pound a week seems beyond reach. The Spark Plateau Busting program for today says to update my program to meet my new needs. I did that a couple of days ago and, because I am already at the bottom of the calorie range of 1200 to 1550 It didn't change. Then I went to my old diet site and it does change as your weight chan... Wed, 22 May 2013 04:07:44 EST KFC Sonic and fast food nutrition Yesterday I knew I was going to be on the road at dinner time. I hadn't had a KFC chicken dinner in probably at least a year so I looked it up for calories and found that the whole meal was way more calories than I wanted to "spend" on it. I still wanted the meal so I compromised. I ate the chicken minus the skin and ate half the potatoes and gravy. I gave the biscuit to my husband and threw away the cole slaw which is way too sweet for me. <BR> <BR> On the way home my husband wanted to s... Tue, 21 May 2013 13:58:08 EST Mix and Match meal planner review I ran across the new mix and match meal planner that was developed to go with the new Spark /Solution book. I thought Oh, this looks great so I tried it. <BR> <BR> You can choose what you want from drop down menus to plan breakfast, a lunch of salad and or sandwich, and dinner. I went through a planned a days meals and added them to my nutrition planner for the day. Pretty slick, huh! <BR> <BR> Then I went to my nutrition tracker for the day and every thing I had added in had went straig... Mon, 20 May 2013 06:00:40 EST Fitness that Fits week 1 Quite some time ago I pre ordered a copy of the Spark Solution; My copy arrived about 2 weeks ago. In the meantime I had completed an 8 week challenge successfully and was not sure I needed the book. I opened it and began reading and it is well worth the money and the time. <BR> <BR> I decided to go for the Fitness that Fits challenge concurrently with another challenge I am taking part in. I looked up the diet and shopping list for the first week and met my first big challenge; I am basi... Sun, 19 May 2013 21:17:02 EST Plateau time? My weight is essentially the same as it was a month ago. It went down briefly, then back up again and now is a pound higher than it was a month ago! This is extremely discouraging. I have been following my program without fail, eating at the bottom of my calorie allowance and getting more and more active each day in doing yard and garden work. I'm spending hours outside planting, hoeing, weeding, going up and down the hill to the garden several times a day. <BR> <BR> I'm not sure if I ... Fri, 17 May 2013 09:19:05 EST Do you consider the deaf or hard of hearing to be handicapped? As a young nurse I really hated to deal with the hard of hearing patient. I would make a real effort to enunciate carefully and patiently listen to them but it took so much extra time in a busy day that I would breathe a sigh of relief if another nurse got that assignment the next day. My father was extremely hard of hearing and my husband after years of working in auto body repair which is a very noisy occupation has a major hearing problem and will not get a hearing aid. He prefers to sa... Fri, 10 May 2013 09:24:21 EST Learn from your mistakes; what mistakes? Spark coach tells me today to think about a mistake and tell what I have learned from that mistake. The problem is, I have stayed consistently with my program for several months. So what mistake? <BR> <BR> OH, Iv'e got it; the mistake I made was to not stick with the program last fall when I came to Ar from Wi and all of a sudden I found myself surrounded by family and very busy. It was difficult and my own needs just gradually went by the wayside. Of course, I not only lost momentum but... Wed, 8 May 2013 14:05:29 EST Vertigo Today I am stressed because I am suffering from recurrent spinning vertigo which, when it happens spoils an entire day. First there is the initial phase with the spinning sensation, nausea and vomiting, then it is followed by about 12 hours of feeling headachey and dizzy. That's where I am right now! Not a good start to the day. Sat, 4 May 2013 12:22:37 EST Sleep Journal Day 5 Yesterday I had a very busy day with gardening and housework in the morning and then a trip to Fr Smith in the afternooon. I was able to do 60 minutes of exercise and more or less stayed to my nutrition plan but it was not what I would have normally eaten. I stayed within the calories but had a Wendy's junior deluxe cheeseburger for lunch which I normally would not have eaten and by the end of the day I realized I had no fruits and only two vegetables. My normal would have included several... Fri, 3 May 2013 11:19:40 EST Shoulder bones, panty lines and fat backs Have you ever looked in the mirror and noticed how you have "bra lines"? That is the result of too much fat accumulation on your back and is just as unsightly as panty lines. I have noticed recently that I no longer have this problem! I don't know about panty lines because my pants are too baggy to show them. I need to go shopping. <BR> <BR> Can you clearly see your shoulder and collar bones? That is such a thrill when you havn't been able to and now you can. Try it! <BR> <BR> There a... Thu, 2 May 2013 09:59:29 EST Sleep Journal day 3 After weeks of sleep problems I seem to be doing better. Last night I got a full eight hours of sleep. Of course I did wake up and 3 AM for a while and after about 15 minutes I gave up and turned on my reading light and read. As usual I had to wake up to use the bathroom and then couldn't get back to sleep for a while. I have been spending a lot of time outside each day so maybe that is helping. Tue, 30 Apr 2013 08:31:17 EST Hunger pangs with dropping blood sugars For the past few days I have been noticing that I'm getting hungrier! Then this morning I think I may have figured out why. My blood sugars which have been either high normal or in the "pre diabetic" range for years other than when on insulin have now returned to normal levels with no assistance! My blood sugar will get down in the 70's or 80's before meals and only go up to about 130 so after meals. My body isn't used to this and it signals me that it's time to eat even though I had a m... Tue, 30 Apr 2013 08:28:52 EST Sleep Journal In joining the Sleep Challenge I have been asked to use this means to keep a sleep journal. This is my first entry. <BR> <BR> Friday night I was only able to get 2 or 3 hours of sleep. This has been an ongoing problem that I need to do something about for my health and for my social life. <BR> <BR> Last night I followed my usual routine and actually slept about 9 hours. I went to sleep about 9:30 and woke up a little after 3 AM. I got up to the bathroom and then as I couldn't go back to... Sun, 28 Apr 2013 10:54:14 EST