NANCYANNE55's SparkPeople Blog NANCYANNE55's Blog on SparkPeople, home of free diet plans and a healthy living community I Stepped Away from SparkPeople This isn't an advice blog. This is an "Explaining myself because it's too much for a status" blog. :-) <BR> <BR> I've been largely MIA here on Spark for several months now. What triggered this is that I was trying my darndest to get to level 20 with Spark points. At the time, it was the highest level. I really wanted to be able to reach the top and revel in that. When I was very close to it I posted something about being almost to the highest level and someone replied that Spark had a... Thu, 26 Mar 2015 11:46:45 EST Interview with The Healthy Habit Lady Many of you here on SparkPeople know of Debra Sue Higgenbotham (Spark handle HEALTHYHABITGAL). I had the honor and privilege of having her in my home. While the visit was short (she was called home early on medical emergency), we were able to squeeze in a video about her Selective Eating Disorder (SED), as well as some other points that can benefit just regular people trying to build a better body. :-) <BR> <BR> Here's the link. Please leave a comment on it! I love hearing people's tho... Thu, 26 Mar 2015 10:59:03 EST What About Those Days You Just Don't Want to Exercise? I know you've been there..... <BR> You've scheduled your workout time, <BR> You got your backside out of bed, brushed your teeth and your workout gear on. <BR> You are headed out the door, or plugging the exercise DVD in, <BR> but you just do NOT want to exercise today. <BR> <BR> Ugh! What to do? <BR> <BR> Hey! It happens to all of us. <BR> <BR> Here's what I tell myself "I will just get through the warmup. If at that point I still don't feel like exercising, I can quit with no guil... Mon, 9 Feb 2015 17:33:47 EST Bariatric Surgery: Not For Cheaters! You know how people say that getting bariatric surgery is cheating in the weight loss game? I disagree. <BR> <BR> I have a very good friend who underwent bariatric (gastric bypass) surgery several years ago. And let me tell ya: It's no walk in the park! <BR> <BR> Since she was going to stay with me for several days post surgery, she had me read up on the surgery and it's risks. Holy healing, Batman! This stuff was serious! And scary! The risks involved were downright frightening, the... Mon, 2 Feb 2015 16:32:15 EST Pillows and Purses So I've griped on here (and just about everywhere else) about my bum shoulder. I fell many years ago on the ice and severely hurt it. Then I further did it in by doing a bench press with too much weight and no spotter. Enter torn rotator cuff and months of rehab. It got a lot better, but THEN I had a distance trainer who urged me to do a rear delt flye with heavy weight while carb depleted. That did it. Like a dummy, I listened to him instead of my own niggling thought that it was a mist... Sun, 1 Feb 2015 17:34:07 EST It's Paid For Whether You Eat It Or Not. It's probably my most-used catch saying: "It's paid for whether you eat it or not". I say this when someone says they feel like they are wasting food by not eating it. <BR> <BR> Just a few minutes ago, after cutting off a big chunk off for my skinny teenage daughter, I put half of my husbands triple-layer frosted cake that I made for his birthday down the garbage disposal. Neither he nor I want it sitting around tempting us. But as I did so I was thinking to myself "My mom would think th... Sun, 4 Jan 2015 15:01:57 EST Your Trainer Did WHAT? Even wonder if what you trainer is doing is acceptable, or even grounds for letting him or her go? Here's my short list of what I feel you should and should not accept from a personal trainer, as well as what you can do to rectify the situation: <BR> <BR> - Your personal trainer should make a plan according to YOUR goals, not pull out a workout plan she's used with dozens of clients before you. This doesn't mean the trainer shouldn't have a template: We all do. It means your program does... Sat, 22 Nov 2014 18:21:15 EST Managing Pushy Hostesses You know how it is- You are at a dinner somewhere, and a well-meaning hostess decides that you just MUST try her special Batter-Dipped Double Fried Shortening that she ONLY makes for this particular occasion. You really don't want to derail your healthy eating plan at this particular moment, but this gal is just not giving up. How to handle it? <BR> <BR> The natural inclination is to tell the truth: "No thank you. I am trying to be careful with my eating right now." I encourage you to tr... Mon, 10 Nov 2014 20:16:40 EST Protein Shake Tips and Tricks I don't usually upload my video blogs here, but this is one I thought my fellow Sparkers might find handy, with ideas on how to custom make a protein shake to your own needs and goals. I also introduce my tail wagger! Sun, 26 Oct 2014 21:32:44 EST Whole Wheat Flax Bread Machine Bread Delicious and nutritious whole-grain bread with healthy Omegas from ground flaxseed! <BR> <BR> This is the last Vlog I am going to upload on SparkPeople. It's too time consuming and I'm not getting much feedback, so not sure how many it's really reaching. If you want to keep up with my healthy cooking videos, please feel free to either "lilke" my facebook page: <BR> <link><BR>odybuilders </link> , <BR> <BR> OR, subscribe to my YouTube Channel: <BR> ... Tue, 9 Sep 2014 14:15:35 EST Easy Oven Beef and Vegetable Stew Subscribe to my channel to be sure to get all of my FREE healthy cooking videos as they are posted: <link><BR>8j0TRTM </link> Wed, 3 Sep 2014 15:39:50 EST Protein Pancakes your whole family will love! What some people call "protain pancakes" are nothing more than whey protein powder and egg whites. Not very tasty. After much trial and error, I finally came up with a recipe that my entire family loves. Sat, 23 Aug 2014 16:55:36 EST If It's Working, Don't Change Anything! Anyone who has read my Sparkpage knows that I have recently gained more weight than I am comfortable carrying, and that a lot of this came from stress eating. But in doing the self-examination that comes along with the Spark Coach Program (which I highly recommend), I have started to think of something else that helped with my weight creeping up: I let the opinions of others change how I worked my maintenance plan. <BR> <BR> This was really pretty stupid of me, since I am acutely aware of ... Thu, 21 Aug 2014 14:09:20 EST Selective Amnesia Yesterday, or more specifically last night, I went off the rails with my eating. <BR> <BR> The problem started because I was genuinely hungry later in the evening. All I could think about was carbs. One trick I have to keep myself from eating once my daily food has been consumed is that I brush my teeth and put my retainer in. (I had braces a few years ago and am very interested in keeping my teeth strait!) I had done this, but the hunger was getting to me. So I did something I NEVER... Tue, 19 Aug 2014 11:31:37 EST My First Cooking Video: Blueberry Oatmeal Muffins We learned a lot making this. We know it's long and are looking into ways to make the upcoming recipe demos shorter. Some things I learned from watching myself: I need to stop saying "um" so much, I need to keep my hands off of my face (there was a hair tickling me), and I need to smile more! <BR> <BR> The story behind the Apron: My daughter brought this back for me from her mission trip to the Jamaican Deaf Village. It is the colors of the Jamaican flag. One of the residents in the village ... Mon, 18 Aug 2014 20:47:27 EST Trigger Foods In the Spark Coach program, today's community challenge is to blog about how today's personal challenge went. So, once again, you all are the victims of my Spark Coaching program. <em>18</em> <BR> <BR> The personal challenge for today was to get tempting treats out of the house, or at least out of site. This is actually how I already live- Rarely do I have anything that would tempt me sitting out where I can see it. The only visible food in my kitchen is a big bowl of fruit on the ce... Mon, 18 Aug 2014 12:36:25 EST 3 Positive Things....... As I mentioned in my last blog, I am currently doing the Spark Coach program (which, for the record, has been very helpful in getting my head back into a healthy place). <BR> <BR> Anyhoo, today's challenge was to write down 3 positive things that I've done recently. I did this, thinking "This is private, so I can write down whatever I want because no one will see." What I didn't know was that the community challenge was to blog this list. Sigh. <BR> <BR> Anyhow, again, the German in me ... Mon, 11 Aug 2014 09:09:27 EST Planning Meals for Tomorrow..... As many of you know, I changed the main section of my Spark Page to reflect the honest truth about what has been going on with me in the mental/weight gain area. In doing so, I arrived at the conclusion that I needed some help. After praying (literally) for an affordable way to get this help, I somehow tripped across information about Spark Coach, which is a paid service here on Spark People. It's largely a computer generated program, but you can also have access to an actual human via mess... Wed, 30 Jul 2014 12:09:07 EST A Few Quick Oatmeal "Recipes" I love oatmeal and eat it almost every morning. But I also like variety, and have found ways to spruce it up and make it a complete meal with protein powder. The only brand I use is Beverly International, since I know their quality is sound. And for my oats I use their UMP (Ultimate Muscle Protein), which is mainly casein. I am sure other brands of casein protein would work, too. Casein works much better with heat than other protein powders. <BR> <BR> Anyhow, here are a few of my fav... Wed, 11 Jun 2014 11:39:58 EST Only Undertake What You Know You Can Maintain One lesson I have learned the hard way in my fitness journey: Don't take on anything to lose weight that you aren't willing to do on a permanent basis. <BR> <BR> If you do a bunch of nutty stuff to lose weight, you are very likely to gain the weight back once the nutty stuff is ceased. Why? You didn't learn a darned thing about how to exist in your real, day-to-day world. <BR> <BR> I've been heavy and I've been very thin, and here is what I know: The stuff you did to lose weight is the... Thu, 5 Jun 2014 16:35:48 EST My 4-M Method of Goal Setting When it comes to fitness and weight loss, I have learned that if I have a specific and measurable method of both setting and looking at my goals it not only helps me with achieving and believing I an accomplish them, but also with visualizing and staying encouraged along the journey. I call it "My 4-M Method of goal setting". With this method, I break my goals down into four categories: <BR> <BR> Micro <BR> Mini <BR> Moderate <BR> Max <BR> <BR> For the purposes of this blog, and because... Tue, 6 May 2014 17:27:13 EST Miraculous Menopause! In case the title wasn't enough, any men reading need to be informed that this blog is about "the change". Should male-types choose to continue reading, consider yourselves warned. <em>40</em> <BR> <BR> In November or 2011 I posted this blog on not having the horrible side-effects of menopause since getting into shape: <link><BR>urnal_individual.asp?blog_id=4620611 </link> The blog you are reading now is "The rest of the story". <BR> <BR> A yea... Thu, 1 May 2014 11:56:12 EST Sugar is NOT My Friend! I won't say I gave up refined carbs for Lent, since I am not Catholic, but I will say that I gave them up for approximately the 6 weeks before Easter in an effort to become more of what I believe God created me to be. <BR> <BR> I'm a firm believer that God calls me to be a good steward of this body He has entrusted me with. The truth is that I hadn't been doing a good enough job of that in the eating department. I didn't particularly like the idea of giving up refined carbs (white flour,... Mon, 21 Apr 2014 12:20:17 EST Stability Ball Crunch Tips When doing ab curls on a stability ball (the big ones full of air), make sure you extend back over the curve of the ball, and only come up to where your head is just barely above parallel with the ground. <BR> <BR> I see so many people start with their torso parallel with to ground (or higher!) and wind up almost sitting up on the ball at the top of the movement This pretty much negates the advantage of having a ball. You'd get a more intense ab contraction if you did regular ab curls on... Tue, 1 Apr 2014 19:18:06 EST Links to Some of My Recipes I had someone tell me this morning that they searched Spark Recipes and couldn't find the link to my Chicken Noodle Casserole I'd just posted. Thought I'd do a blog with live links to some good, healthy recipes I've posted here on Spark and used regularly (most are my own that I created!): <BR> <BR> Chicken Noodle Casserole: <BR> <link><BR>l.asp?recipe=2711533 </link> <BR> <BR> Chili with Corn: <BR> <link><BR>l... Thu, 27 Mar 2014 11:11:48 EST My At-home Workout Setup Most days I work out at the gym, but on Friday I was doing my "Strong Curves" workout at home. I have a rather unconventional set-up to make it work, and thought I'd take some pictures to show that you don't need extensive equipment or copious amounts of space to get a good workout in. <BR> <BR> My exercise equipment has migrated it's way into my son's room. (Looks better in a boys room, as I am a very aesthetic person.) We have a "no shoes on the carpet" rule at our house that I try to f... Sun, 2 Mar 2014 12:57:29 EST Grocery List Template Sooooo...... I just did a SparkPeople Radio interview and said I would put a template in for my grocery list. Well, it just figures that SparkBlogs don't let you upload documents. So I've done the next best thing and copied and pasted my grocery list here. Now the whole world gets to see our menu for this month. :-) <BR> <BR> A few things to note: <BR> 1. Yes, I'm uber-organized. Call me OCD, if you'd like, but this makes menu planning and getting in and out of the store as quick and ea... Thu, 27 Feb 2014 14:35:57 EST You Can't Cliff Note Lasting Fitness! The other day here on Spark I posted this status update: "You can't 'Cliff note' fitness. If you only learn WHAT you should do without the WHY, you won't stick with it because you won't know why it's important." <BR> <BR> I have had many people tell me that they don't want to read a book or get informed about how to make their own diet or exercise plan. "Just tell me what to do and I will do it", they say. They'd rather not be bothered with taking the time to learn the details. <BR> <BR> ... Sat, 8 Feb 2014 13:00:06 EST It's a Crisco and Karo Kind of Superbowl! This morning I did some baking/cooking for the upcoming week. Two things I made were to help me stay on track with my eating plan: Chocolate PB Protein Brownies ( <link><BR>l.asp?recipe=2670894 </link> ) and No-Bake Protein Balls <link><BR>l.asp?recipe=2247792 </link> . (If you try either, I'd really appreciate it if you would rate and leave a comment!) <BR> <BR> The other two things I baked were for the Superbowl ge... Sat, 1 Feb 2014 16:55:15 EST 40-Year Key Study Flawed? I recently read a very interesting article in my IDEA Fitness Journal, which is for ACE certified professionals. (A great publication with cutting-edge fitness and nutrition information). I was so happy when I was able to find this article online so that I could share it with my Better Body group on Facebook. (If you want to join, search "Better Body" on Facebook. It's a private group, so you will have to request to join and see the posts, but as soon as me or one of my admins sees the re... Sun, 26 Jan 2014 15:14:21 EST Link to Great Article on Detox Diets I don't usually do this, but here is a link to a fabulous article on detox diets. It ties into my last blog post about juicing. <link><BR>demystified/ </link> Tue, 21 Jan 2014 12:01:20 EST No, I Don't Juice! This morning while purchasing frozen berries, my checker asked me if I juice. (And by this I mean make juice in a juicer, not use steroids.... which I also don't do!) She looked surprised when I told her I don't believe in it and asked why not. I explained because everything I've seen about juicers shows that they leave the good stuff (the pulp and peel) behind. <BR> <BR> Juicing seems to be the symbol of health and vitality lately, but in reality it's cutting one's self short of a lot o... Fri, 17 Jan 2014 09:25:16 EST Double Meat Cheapskate Here is a tip I use at Subway. This will REALLY apply now that they it is January and they are selling all foot-longs for $5. <BR> <BR> I like to get my turkey or ham 6-inch subs with double meat. This is usually an extra dollar. When I can get my sub in foot long for $5, it's less expensive than the 6-inch double meat. So I order it in the footlong, ask for a fork, and only eat half the bread. I either use the fork to move the meat and toppings over to the half of the bread I am going t... Sun, 5 Jan 2014 10:32:54 EST Evening Up Your Weak Side Almost all of us have one side that isn't as strong as the other. Usually this is our dominant (writing) side for the upper body and, interestingly enough, the opposite side for your lower body. This is because we tend to cross-brace with our opposite leg for our working arm. <BR> <BR> At any rate, it's not usually much of an issue until you start working out in the gym. Then, the difference can be frustrating, particularly when you look in the mirror as you progress and see more devel... Sat, 28 Dec 2013 19:59:04 EST Mental Prep For Weight Loss: Get Rid of Clothes That Don't Fit! With the New Year approaching and all of us beginning to think of our fitness goals for 2014, many are targeting weight loss. I have a simple suggestion to get your mind in the right place to finally get smaller: Get rid of your clothes that are too small you've been keeping around as "motivation". <BR> <BR> I know this seems counter-productive. Get rid of a motivator? Ummm.......... How's it worked for you, so far? In my experience, clothes that are too small just add to my guilt. And... Wed, 25 Dec 2013 19:43:22 EST A More Practial Approach to Batch Cooking It seems that everyone who is in really good shape recommends batch cooking, which means cooking up a whole lot of healthy stuff at once for meals in the upcoming week. This usually happens on Sunday. <BR> <BR> This simply isn't practical for my life. While I do have hours available, I don't want to spend them in the kitchen. Sunday is my down day and I like to keep it that way if I can. So instead, I have an alternative method that isn't brilliant, but works for me: I cook a lot at o... Sat, 21 Dec 2013 16:34:23 EST Don't Let The Holidays Rule You! So, here we are.... A week before Thanksgiving. Do you feel your healthy eating and weight loss plans slipping from between your fingers? Are you thinking "What's the use?", ready to throw in the towel already, because you've been here before and you know that it ends with a 5-pound (or more) gain on the scale once the season is over, even though you swore you wouldn't let it happen again? <BR> <BR> Well, guess what? You are not alone! It's a tough time of year for most of us to muddle t... Thu, 21 Nov 2013 17:56:44 EST Ever Wonder Why Personal Trainers Charge So Much? Been a while since I've blogged, eh? Like everyone else, life has been throwing me curves and loops lately. But I thought I'd take a few minutes and address something I have heard folks question: Why do personal trainers charge so danged much? <BR> <BR> In a nutshell, it's because our expenses are very high. Before you roll your eyes, bear with me: <BR> <BR> First of all, if we are working for a gym, they often get 50% of our client income. It can vary a bit, but in most gyms I've talk... Tue, 19 Nov 2013 21:29:17 EST For Moms With Multiple Young Children (or anyone else in a perpetually time-crunched situation) On a board helping people overcome eating disorders that I am a part of, a gal posted saying that she was on the verge of tears: She has three young children at home that she is homeschooling and simply can't find time to exercise. It sounded to me like she was suffering some guilt from this. She also stated that she is worn out all the time and concerned as to why this might be happening. This was my reply to her. I thought it might help some of my blog readers who struggle with similar ... Mon, 2 Sep 2013 15:39:17 EST Simple Social Solution: Pre-Eat So, you have a big party or event coming up, and you are wondering how in the Sam Hill you are going to manage to not eat everything in sight. Especially since you know they are having it catered in by your all-time favorite barbeque and cheesecake places. Feels like a social binge just waiting to happen, doesn't it? <BR> <BR> Trust me, you can still eat at your event and not devour everything in sight. Really. When you hear my solution, you are going to smack yourself in the head and s... Fri, 30 Aug 2013 14:48:06 EST Food Snubbing: Red Meat Wow! It's been a while since I blogged! Life has been coming at me full force, to include visiting my two beautiful new grandchildren out of state and dealing with injuries pretty much from the top (shoulder) to the bottom (sprained foot and ankle) of me. But I promised I'd finish up my "Food Snubbing" series with one on red meat, so here we are. <BR> <BR> Before I commence, here are a couple of pics of my beautiful little grandbabies. (Yes, I am taking advantage of a captive audience fo... Tue, 23 Jul 2013 12:44:10 EST Food Snubbing: Dairy So far I haven't received near as much flack as I thought I would for my Food Snubbing blogs, but I have a feeling that is about to change today as I blog about my refusal to snub dairy. <BR> <BR> I'm going to start this blog out stating that I am not a dairy expert. Far from it. The biggest reason I still eat and drink dairy is because I've never seen ANY conclusive evidence that any of the evil/scary things I've heard proclaimed about it are true. I make it policy to not blindly belie... Mon, 17 Jun 2013 17:17:30 EST Food Snubbing: Corn and Potatoes I want to apologize for taking so long to get to the next subject in my "Food Snubbing" blog series. Aside from my regular life of mother, wife, grandma, personal trainer, and homemaker, we've been dealing with the way-to-long installing of counters and back splash in a rather gi-normous kitchen (had no sink or counters in there for a week!), painting of said kitchen, plumbing emergencies, massive hail storm that required lots of insurance people and repairs, and trying to find a MIA ex-husb... Fri, 14 Jun 2013 13:52:55 EST Food Snubbing: Fruit I'm a big believer that eating foods as close to the way God made them is the healthiest way to go. So when people start villainizing fruit I get a little irritated. <BR> <BR> The biggest beef I hear people raise about fruit is that it has so many sugars. And of course it does indeed have a natural source of sugar in it, since it tastes sweet. But the key word here is NATURAL. It's sweet in the form sweet is supposed to be: In a food un-tampered and strait from nature. There are fiber... Sat, 4 May 2013 18:24:53 EST Food Snubbing: Wheat Poor wheat. And fruit. And Corn. And potatoes. And dairy. And red meat. They are all getting an unnecessarily bad rap. <BR> <BR> I don't know about you, but I have heard reports speaking against all of the above, even to the extremes of saying many of these shouldn't have been in the human diet in the first place and should be eliminated. I think this is, at least, very inconvenient (and expensive) and, at most, dangerous. My belief is that God put on these foods on earth for our consum... Wed, 24 Apr 2013 12:50:09 EST The Great Weigh-In Debate Do you ever struggle with how often you should weigh yourself? I've seen rather heated discussions on the subject. Everyone seems to have an opinion. It can get confusing. <BR> <BR> Personally? I don't think there is one answer for everyone. I think this has more to do with your own personality than anything else. And, to a lesser degree, your goals. <BR> <BR> If you are someone who needs constant accountability to keep your head in the game, daily weighing is what I would suggest. K... Wed, 10 Apr 2013 09:45:45 EST Gym Judgements I've heard so many people who are not where they want to be in their fitness journey worry about what others in the gym will think about them. I get this- I have been not fit and afraid to go to the gym, not fit and going to the gym, fit going to the gym, and a trainer who works IN the gym. Basically, all sides of the equation. <BR> <BR> And so, based on not only my own personal experience but from what I have polled other people of all categories, here is what people of various points ... Mon, 11 Mar 2013 14:30:48 EST Handy Dandy Gadget Blog #3- My Rice Cooker I really suck at making brown rice on the stove. White rice? I'm a pro. But Brown rice? The long-cook kind? Just about every time it comes out crunchy. <BR> <BR> I knew about rice cookers (Who doesn't know about rice cookers?), but I thought it would wind up being just another appliance that was more trouble than it was worth and after two frustrating attempts it'd wind up in a garage sale. That is, until I posted another whiney status update on Facebook saying that I, once again, brok... Sat, 23 Feb 2013 14:20:08 EST Handy Dandy Gadget Blog #2- Mini Coffee Grinder Yep. I said coffee grinder. And it's all Carolyn's fault. <BR> <BR> My friend Carolyn, of Fabulous Fitness fame, read me whining one day about having to buy ground flaxseeds in such large quantity that I feared they were losing their nutrients before I could use them. See, flaxseeds are wonderful little nutritional powerhouses, but you can't get absorb their nutrients in the whole form. They have to be ground. Here's where the problem comes in: They start to lose their nutrients fairly q... Fri, 22 Feb 2013 16:12:49 EST Handy Dandy Gadget Blog #1- My Bread Machine Do you ever look at a kitchen gadget or tool and think "I wonder if I'd use that?". Yeah.... me too. <BR> <BR> So I thought I would do a series on three gadgets I would have normally thought were a big, fat waste of money and kitchen space, yet have wound up becoming indispensable to me in my never ending quest to eat healthier. <BR> <BR> The first "gadget" (although it's really more of an appliance) I am going to herald the value of is my bread machine: <BR> <img src="http://photos-a... Thu, 21 Feb 2013 15:26:42 EST