NANCYANNE55's SparkPeople Blog NANCYANNE55's Blog on SparkPeople, home of free diet plans and a healthy living community Sugar-Free Chocolate Chip Protein Muffins I posted a picture of these delicious muffins I made last week. Since then, several people have asked me to post the recipe. These are fabulous enough that I feel like they deserve their own blog. And here we are! <BR> <BR> The trick to this recipe is two ingredients that I am pretty sure they will not turn out as good without- First of all, Chocolate UMP protein powder. Here's a picture: <img src=""> <BR> <B... Wed, 7 Feb 2018 17:05:26 EST So HOW did I give up sugar? Someone asked me, after reading my last blog about giving up sugar, how I did it. Did I ease out of it? Sub something else in for sugar? Go into a medically-induced coma until the time period for cravings passed? <BR> <BR> The truth is that I just quit cold turkey. And like I said in my last blog, it wasn't as hard as I thought it would be. <BR> <BR> But here's the thing- I'm not living without sweet things: <BR> - I put Stevia in my tea (I love tea! Both hot and cold.) <BR> - I have a... Sun, 4 Feb 2018 13:46:13 EST Giving up sugar..... I was told by a sweet Spark Friend that they wished I would start blogging again. The truth is that: <BR> 1. Now that I'm working 40+ hours outside the home a week, my time to blog is all but gone and <BR> B. I can't think of another darned fitness related subject to blog about. <BR> <BR> But I can talk about something I've mastered recently: SUGAR! <BR> <BR> Geez, Louise, I swear I'm addicted to the stuff. <BR> <BR> I am active in a Facebook group called Take Back Your Temple and they ... Fri, 26 Jan 2018 20:14:46 EST Middle Age is No Excuse This is going to be a controversial blog. I already know this, and am prepared for the backlash. :-) <BR> <BR> I have arrived at the conclusion that losing weight after 40 isn't really that much harder than losing weight when we are younger. I believe the challenge comes in where our mindset is, not what our bodies are doing. <BR> <BR> I don't know about you, but at the age of 50 I'm not as compliant with an eating program as I used to be. I'm not as likely to follow rules. I'm more s... Sat, 26 Aug 2017 08:59:16 EST Sitting With Intention When I was in California taking care of my mom for her knee replacement surgery I noticed something- She would just "drop out" when she sat down. About halfway down, she'd release all of her muscles and simply fall back into her seat. I knew it was because of her knee, but I pointed it out and told her that after surgery we were going to work on quads to help regain lost muscle. <BR> <BR> Anyhow, this had me paying attention to my own sitting habits and you know what? I sometimes "drop out" ... Thu, 8 Dec 2016 20:06:04 EST Home gym complete! With photo! This is an update to a blog I posted back in January titled "Bargain Basement Workouts". ( <link><BR>urnal_individual.asp?blog_id=6080486 </link> ) In that blog, I gave a "wish list" of things I'd like to add down there. I am happy to announce that, aside from a squat box, heavier plates, and perhaps heavier dumbbells as I need them, my home gym is complete! It's humble, but I love it. Here's a picture: <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photosaws.sparkpeopl... Sat, 27 Aug 2016 11:59:20 EST Bargain Basement Workouts So I haven't really lost any weight since I've started my journey to re-lose 30-ish pounds, but this week I HAVE started back to regularly working out in the mornings. <BR> <BR> I've made the decision that my workout time, which is limited, is best spent focusing on lifting weights. A brisk walk with our new dog on good-weather days will suffice for cardio for right now. I know that reestablishing my muscle mass will do more for my health as I age than cardio. <BR> <BR> I imagine eventu... Wed, 27 Jan 2016 09:57:53 EST Developing My Method Thought I'd give a quick update on my progress and journey thus far: <BR> <BR> When my daughter and grandson were here I didn't do so hot with my eating. But I DID manage to start exercising again. <BR> <BR> I came to the reality that if my eating wasn't going to be on point, I could at least add some activity to my life. So last Thursday and Friday I got in low-key workout sessions lasting about 50 minutes each, including dynamic warm-up and stretching to cool-down, before the rest of ... Sun, 17 Jan 2016 18:48:39 EST Killing the Beast I made it through yesterday, a work day, both getting enough water AND managing to not get overly hungry in the afternoons, thanks in large part to the responses to my last blog. So a sincere thank you to those who took time to reply- You saved my backside. Literally. <em>198</em> <BR> <BR> In that blog I think I unintentionally left the wrong impression about my boss and the set-up at work regarding my water situation. First of all, she's a very nice lady who would never desire my d... Sun, 10 Jan 2016 10:46:34 EST Afternoon Munchies Have I mentioned that we bought a new house and moved to it last week? Yeah...... I'm surrounded by boxes right now, and I work tomorrow, and I have a daughter and grandson coming in next week. But I felt like, with all of the supportive comments I got on my last blog that I'd post an update on my progress. <BR> <BR> And here it is: <BR> <BR> At this juncture, I am pretty much sucking at following my Weight Watchers plan. <BR> <BR> That's the long and short of it. I start the day off ok... Fri, 8 Jan 2016 11:10:07 EST From Fat to Fit at Forty-Nine I'm a little upset with myself. I've gained back about 35 of the 50 pounds I worked so hard to lose. And when I say a little upset, I really do mean just a little. If you care to read, I'll explain: <BR> <BR> I got to super-lean and super-fit back in 2010. I managed to maintain this for a couple of years. But then 2012, which I now refer to as "The year of grief", hit and I turned to food for comfort. During that year my first grandchild was given up for adoption and his adoptive paren... Sun, 3 Jan 2016 17:05:05 EST Banishing Post-Exercise Fuel Paranoia A lot of lifting types are concerned about eating the perfect thing pre and post workout to enhance muscle building. The common thought process is complex carbs, protein, and fat before a workout and fast-digesting both carbs and protein after a workout. This usually winds up looking something like this: <BR> Before workout- Oats with coconut oil and egg whites <BR> After workout- Whey protein and a piece of fruit <BR> <BR> Certainly nothing bad will happen to someone by following this pro... Mon, 24 Aug 2015 12:09:53 EST Baby Got Back (Muscles!) I had a request from one of my faithful blog followers, after seeing my last entry with a weighted ab routine, to do a blog with a back routine. I'd like to apologize in advance for this being so long- I simply like to educate as much as possible for those who want to learn. If you just want to get to a sample routine, scroll down to the bottom of this blog! <BR> <BR> One thing my follower pointed out is that it seems you hear a lot about rows for back, but not much more. So the first thi... Sat, 9 May 2015 12:59:30 EST A Manly Ab Routine I was advising a young man on how to get his abs to show the other day. Now, before we go any farther, let me clarify something: You can't spot reduce because you don't get to choose where your fat collects, or where you lose it. But there are some things you CAN do to make muscle more visible. <BR> <BR> The first thing I advised him to do is cut out all the refined carbs (namely while flour and all forms of sugar) possible. This can really help a person look less "spongy". He is yo... Sun, 3 May 2015 12:04:20 EST 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