NIXY72's SparkPeople Blog NIXY72's Blog on SparkPeople, home of free diet plans and a healthy living community Photo Food Journal -- Now with Subscription Ability! Hey all, so I've added a subscription function to my new photo food journal on blogger -- you can choose Email notification or RSS. Just click on the RSS icon at the top right side of the blog page and it will give you the option there! <BR> <BR> Thanks for your comments so far! One of the reasons that I chose blogger is because I can create entries right from my phone so it takes no time at all. <BR> <BR> Please come and visit! It should be a fun journey. <link>freshphotoadventure.b... Wed, 4 Mar 2015 12:24:52 EST Trying something new: Food Photo Journal I've started a photo food journal -- but I've done it on the blogger platform... <BR> <BR> please please please come visit me here: <link> </link> <BR> <BR> Tue, 3 Mar 2015 16:55:59 EST Day 23 of starting again. The ups, the downs, the challenges, the lessons, the intolerances. It's Wednesday. A damp, cloudy, grey Wednesday in Autumn. I look out the window and sigh. Yup, another **fun-filled day skipping through the leaves, doing what I love, and taking care of myself**. Well, maybe. <BR> <BR> I have a full day ahead of me with work and appointments, and more work. And that's pretty much every day on repeat. For those that don't know, I work a part time job teaching yoga as well as own a full time (plus more time) business in primarily wedding & family phot... Wed, 15 Oct 2014 11:03:44 EST Don't Panic. Breathe. Start Again. It's nearly the end of September. I've been away from SP for the better part of 200 days. 200 days was enough time to undo all the good work I put in this past winter and gain more weight back than I lost. 200 days was enough to once again get stressed, go back to eating poorly, and be too busy, and too apathetic. 200 days of living -- sometimes fun, sometimes overworked, sometimes travelling, sometimes sleeping, and most days eating. <BR> <BR> So here is what I learned in the last 200... Tue, 23 Sep 2014 00:57:00 EST Day 51 - Time flies when you are a human guinea pig... Currently I have my favourite lamb stew simmering on the stove. It's been the first day since last Friday that I've gotten out of the house to do groceries (or anything for that matter). Most of the last week has been holed up on the couch, surrounded by Ricola lozenge wrappers, kleenex, many blankets, my new stuffed valentine's frog pillow (thanks big brother - you're super awesome), and my permanently plugged in iPad. In the last week I've watched two and a half seasons of Drop Dead Diva... Fri, 21 Feb 2014 21:22:47 EST Day 31 - Four and a Half Weeks DONE! Today is the day. The last day of eating bare bones on this elimination diet. My stomach has been doing well all week, no complaints from my digestion system. No more gas, no more discomfort, and the bloating... well ladies, it's just "that time" so we'll not talk about that. <BR> <BR> I am currently *almost* 15 pounds down from where I started January 1st. But the elimination diet wasn't started to lose weight (that's just a lovely side effect). It was to see what is causing me grief... Fri, 31 Jan 2014 22:33:38 EST Day 23 - Three Weeks DONE! <img src=""> <BR> <BR> Week three of the elimination diet has been the hardest by far. I had two days this week that my stomach completely rebelled to cause me anguish. I still have no idea what triggered it as I've been eating the same foods all along without any issues. I spoke to my friend (who is the family doctor) that recommended this diet to me and she suggested some probiotic tablets to help me through the initial cleanse. I... Thu, 23 Jan 2014 10:41:08 EST Day 15 - Two weeks DONE! Let me just say that my fridge has never looked healthier... :) <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> So I'm officially starting day 15 today. My master list has been updated with a few more veggies that I discovered were fine to eat and otherwise things have been going well. I've found it impossible to eat outside of my house however which has caused a few glitches but none that have been insurmountable. <BR> <BR> So far, here is how I... Wed, 15 Jan 2014 11:12:00 EST Day 7 - Addendum Today was the strangest day. One of the coldest days I can ever remember -- I haven't eaten anything all day but also haven't been hungry. (I have had lots of water and two teas though). Today I found out that a friend/colleague passed away a few days ago, and it struck me hard but gave me some clarity about myself and some fears I haven't dealt with and so I'm sending love and light to Pam & her family tonight. Today I took ownership of feelings that I've been harbouring for decades and ... Wed, 8 Jan 2014 01:21:24 EST Day 7 - Almost one week in Morning everyone. Hope everyone is keeping warm! It's crazy weather out there and I'm staying in for as long as I can today. Though the university has decided to stay open despite the bitter cold and winds which means I have to teach tonight. Not looking forward to battling this weather. (If you're joining me today and need the backstory, please go to my initial blog post here: <link> urnal_individual.asp?blog_id=5578103 </link> ) <BR> <BR> Today st... Tue, 7 Jan 2014 12:10:16 EST Day 3 - Cleanse and Curse So today is the beginning of day 3 on my FODMAP/Hypoallergenic cleanse. If you're joining me today and need the backstory, please go to my initial blog post here: <link><BR>urnal_individual.asp?blog_id=5578103 </link> <BR> <BR> Already, I am cursing the lack of food choices. But I have gotten creative so far, creating sauces from fresh herbs and salad dressings from homemade mayonnaise. I've discovered that though I enjoy wild, deep water fish, I ca... Fri, 3 Jan 2014 13:51:23 EST 2014. It's Time: Catch Ups, Cleanses & Clarity As of this bright, cold, but new day of 2014, I realize that I have no idea who is out there anymore in SparkPeople world... it's been 8 months since I've been here and despite missing all my friends here, I unfortunately have lost touch with all of you. But I'm hoping, like an old friend, we can just pick up where we left off... <BR> <BR> And so I wish you a Happy New Year. Hard to believe that another year has passed and I'm still exactly where I was at the beginning of last year. Well... Wed, 1 Jan 2014 15:01:18 EST Be Prepared for the Backlash (of Eating Healthy) Everyone here at one time or another has made the decision to get healthy. Some have stuck with it, some have given in to the difficulties that present themselves when you make a large life change, and some, (like me) have bounced back and forth between giving in to cravings/stress/time constraints/etc and coming round to try again. I am currently on the "trying again" road, but despite the obvious issues with getting healthy (again: cravings/stress/time constraints/etc), there is at least ... Mon, 13 May 2013 12:14:46 EST Starting Over... one LAST time. Today is day 5 of my last time starting again. Well, let's be honest, it's probably not the last time but one must stay positive, right? Since coming to Spark, a year and a half back I have started again a myriad of times, lost a bunch of weight and gained it all back, then I did it again. And again. I have in that time been buried under by my own business, faced and fought thyroid cancer, dealt (and dealing) with family issues, helping my brother move back to Canada after 20 years of liv... Sun, 5 May 2013 18:03:58 EST Unsqueezed I'm part of a 17 week spring/summer challenge that started a few weeks ago. My heart isn't quite in it yet but I'm biding my time until I can focus more. I haven't had a moment to complete any of the challenges so far (sorry guys) but when I read the challenge email for week 3 I knew I had to make the time. They asked us to make a vision board to picture where we want to be in the spring & summer and I started typing into Google Images words like "confidence, free flying, conscious eating,... Mon, 4 Mar 2013 19:56:04 EST Playing with the Gorilla So you may have noticed I've been missing for several months now. When my RAI (Radioactive Iodine) treatment after my thyroid cancer surgery was finished in august and I got the "all clear", my celebration was short-lived as I had a huge pile-up of work to get through. It's a blessing and a curse running your own one-person business as sick-leave or passing the work off to someone else is never an option. <BR> <BR> I'm almost caught up now... the light at the end of the tunnel is close and... Fri, 1 Feb 2013 16:39:21 EST And the Academy Award Goes To... <img src=""> <BR> <BR> Until this past February, I have never watched an entire Academy Awards presentation.  I never really got caught up in the red carpet fashions or the gala affair that was broadcast and watched avidly by millions of people. Perhaps it seemed an alien fantasy world full of glitter, star-shine, and a lifestyle that I could not relate to. To me, the Academy's were simply a way to find (online, the next day) the notabl... Mon, 20 Aug 2012 22:16:33 EST Next Week I Will Be RadioActive Girl... <img src=""> <BR> <BR> Next week at this time I will be setting off Geiger counters. Apparently if you want to stand within a 2 metre radius of me you will need a hazmat suit. You will not be able to eat the food I cook, nor use the same bathroom, utensils or dishes for a week as the radioactive isotope that they are giving me has a half-life of eight days. The booklet they issued me reads like how I would imagine the car manual from "Ch... Thu, 9 Aug 2012 23:48:58 EST Are You In Need of Motivation? <img src=""> <BR> <BR> In my never ending quest to motivate myself to lose this weight that I've packed on over the past too-many years, I have attempted a wide variety of methods to achieve this goal. I've praised myself, belittled myself, rewarded myself, taunted myself, made promises to myself, bribed myself, and convinced myself over and over (when all else failed) to keep trying. <BR> <BR> I am currently on the keep-trying track. ... Thu, 12 Jul 2012 21:40:14 EST A Pictorial Blog of the Garden: Part 2 (Week 3 to 6) Six weeks ago, My friend Vicki and I had a crazy notion to plant a 750 square foot garden... <BR> <BR> Did I mention that I'm a reluctant gardener?? <BR> <BR> It's been a pretty good success so far despite the fact that we haven't had more than two drops of rain for the last month... lugging water by hand is a great workout though! <BR> <BR> Here are the pics we have to show for our hard labour and sore muscles so far -- <BR> <BR> (For the whole story and photos from week 1-2 on the beg... Sun, 8 Jul 2012 19:30:27 EST The Belt (It's a Numbers Game) <img src=""> <BR> <BR> Numbers. <BR> <BR> It seems we live and breathe by numbers. <BR> <BR> It really shouldn't be this way. Life should be focused on feeling great, having energy, being confident, happy, successful, content. But life, despite everything, seems to be governed by the numbers all around us. Should we really be fighting it? <BR> <BR> We often live by the numbers on the clock... needing to be places/do things by a c... Fri, 22 Jun 2012 20:06:42 EST A Weekend Romance... With My FitBit I am unabashedly in love with my FitBit andI'm not ashamed to say it. <BR> <BR> Let me also make one thing clear: This review is a rave and I am not being paid or compensated for it in any way. However, should FitBit ever come across this review, I would not be adverse to getting any perks or beta testing any new products :) <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> I am not one to get up and hit the gym in the morning or be determined and d... Mon, 18 Jun 2012 09:55:39 EST Making Progress (I am a turtle, hear me... wait, do turtles make a sound?) <img src=""> <BR> <BR> I acknowledge that I am a turtle. <BR> <BR> That's okay though... turtles are strong and enduring creatures. They are able to carry their homes on their backs and to continue with the metaphor; able to take on the weight of the world and move with it. <BR> <BR> So, I'm a bit slow weight-loss wise. I had a great start way back in September when I joined SP but since then have been derailed. Damn you thyroid c... Tue, 12 Jun 2012 17:41:07 EST A Pictorial Blog of the Garden (One and a Half Week Old) Gardening has never been one of my strong suits - I love the idea of it but I just don't have the patience. But when my friend Vicki was lamenting a couple weeks ago about desperately wanting a garden despite her only having a small apartment with a tiny balcony, knew that I had the perfect spot for her... and so decided to help her in this project to help me get some sun, some time away from the computer, and some good "non-gym" exercise. Maybe we'll even get some exciting vegetables from ... Sat, 9 Jun 2012 15:04:13 EST Letter to My Mother I couldn't sleep last night until I got up and wrote the words that I was mulling around in my head... This is my letter to my mother for Mother's Day today. I thought I would share it with you: <BR> <BR> (this is an original work by me - Michelle Kauntz. If you wish to borrow or share it, please credit!) <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> Thank you mom <BR> for always attempting to keep me happy, safe, protected and nourished. <BR> Th... Sun, 13 May 2012 10:52:53 EST Letting Go of Expectations For every problem out there however big or small, someone has derived a motivational saying or attitude to get you through. We see them all the time... on posters, emails, greeting cards, and prominently displayed on other's Sparkpages. We are inundated by them every day through clichéd statements such as "it's always darker before the dawn", "Anything worth having is worth fighting for", "tomorrow is another day…", or "Quitters never win and winners never quit". <BR> <BR> <img src="http://... Thu, 26 Apr 2012 17:15:11 EST Retro Exercising and Still Nursing a Damaged Derriere Since the surgery I've been trying to find ways to get moving again, especially since my body is rebelling through my piriformis muscle. One of my best friends who is a professional yoga instructor calls it the "angry muscle" and I can see why. Once taunted, it just resorts to torturing me back. It's been challenging and painful but I do need to not only stretch out the "injury" but also start building back up the muscle strength. <BR> <BR> I've been a yoga instructor for seven years now s... Thu, 5 Apr 2012 00:11:27 EST A Foodie Three Ring Circus -- **Caution - Contains Food Porn** A word of caution to those who are strictly watching their calories... in this blog contains *gasp* food porn. Should you wish to not be tempted, please do not read any further... <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> Somehow, I always find a good reason to throw the calorie counter out of the window and simply indulge. This may explain why I've been losing the same 10 pounds over and over again for months. But honestly, although the skinny me that I ate somewhere along the way is trying to be free again... Mon, 2 Apr 2012 16:15:38 EST Pathology Report: Two For the Price of One This past Wednesday morning I went back to the surgeon's office and sat in the little white walled office waiting for my fate. It's amazing how much it felt like being called to the principal's office as a kid... not sure what was coming but I had an overwhelming sense of dread none the less. Was it good or was it bad? The official report was in... and no matter what, it would go on your permanent record, following you the rest of your life. They know how to scare you when you're small. ... Fri, 30 Mar 2012 10:22:21 EST When Evil Lurks in the Sofa... Two and a half weeks after surgery and the incision seems to be healing nicely, my energy is returning and I'm starting to get back to work. I get the official report back from my surgeon as to the prognosis in a couple days and am in a bit of a nervous holding pattern until then. My voice still has no tonality to it (I have a six note range which is driving me crazy) and my digestion system is very annoyed with me. I'm not sure if it is the supplements that is causing the bloating and gas ... Mon, 26 Mar 2012 12:25:18 EST Stitches, Schnitzel, and Succumbing to the Sofa. It has been exactly one week since my surgery and my sense of time is definitely altered. It's hard to tell how many days have passed as since I returned home from the hospital, I made myself a nest on the living room couch and have not moved much since. For the most part I've felt fine, with hardly any pain and I've had energy enough as long as I remained fairly prone for most of the time. <BR> <BR> Thanks to all of you who've enquired on my well being and are sending along healing thou... Thu, 15 Mar 2012 23:37:27 EST Home After A Narrow Pirate Escape... On what seems to be a beautiful beginning of spring sunday morning, I am happy to say that I am home and recovering from my unimaginable pirate attack. The Johnny Depp look alikes kidnapped me and left me, alas, with no pirate booty to speak of but instead, a 6cm gash across my neck when I refused to swab their decks and join their swashbuckling misadventures. This is my story, and I'm sticking to it..... <BR> <BR> In reality of course, I returned home from a much needed break before my impe... Sun, 11 Mar 2012 12:52:30 EST Surgery, gluttony, sunshine, SOBE, and Cirque. What seems so strange in this moment is how unbelievably hard it is to accept that I have cancer. Curable cancer, yes. The "cancer of choice" I've been told.  Like I should feel special that it bestowed itself on me.  <BR> <BR>  It seems so surreal. Almost six weeks ago I received the news and when I did, I went from utter fear and devastation to fighting mode in less than twenty-four hours. I found a mantra to keep me strong and buried myself in research. Since finding this dragons egg lodg... Sat, 3 Mar 2012 08:54:53 EST A Letter to My Family and Friends | Surgery Date Dear SparkFriends: I am forwarding you below the letter I sent out today to my family and close friends. Since it is also relevant to all of you, I send it to you as well, my cherished SparkFamily :) <BR> <BR> I want to take a moment first though to thank each and every one of you for your comments, support, stories, prayers, healing light, goodies, emails,... the list seems endless. I was completely OVERWHELMED this weekend by the sheer magnitude of caring and thoughtfulness that you hav... Mon, 23 Jan 2012 15:10:16 EST Four Scary Words A few days ago, when I was in the shower, a tune popped into my head and I couldn't shake it. I had no clue what it was but the the melody line kept haunting me. It was an old song, most likely remembered from my childhood days when my mother had the local easy listening station piped into our house by way of her beloved built-in intercom/radio. About an hour later, I was starting to remember a few words from the chorus and typed them into Google. Ironically, though the rest of the song h... Sat, 21 Jan 2012 09:32:48 EST The Hopefully-Anti-Surgery Box Has Arrived. First, thank you so much to everyone who sent me messages, goodies, and commented on my blog in the past week. It's meant the world to me to have so much support and well-wishes/prayer/energy/light sent in my direction. I cannot thank you enough. You are all so wonderful. :) <BR> <BR> <em>304</em> <BR> <BR> As you probably know, my biopsy was on Friday morning. Three small holes and a bunch of needle prodding into my thyroid later, and the waiting begins. What I don't understand is w... Mon, 9 Jan 2012 21:20:20 EST It's So Hard to Admit Our Shortcomings... (Health Update) We all believe we are Wonder Woman - able to finish what we start and in record time. Today was a lesson in priorities and humility... and licking a few self-imposed wounds. <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> I own my own business as a wedding photographer and I edit all my own photos. So there is a lot of time that is taken up by sorting, editing, and artistically processing people's photo packages. The timeline I gave myself to do so... Thu, 5 Jan 2012 17:20:16 EST It's just a waiting game, five long weeks to find out what's going on. I am calm. Really. I guess because right now there is no answer - at least not one that I am privy to. I saw the nose, ears, & throat specialist yesterday. My blood tests all came back without issue - my thyroid is otherwise functioning fine except for this eensy-weensy nodule on it... Right. Change eensy weensy to a a 5.5cm/2 inch enormous lump in my throat. As my doctor puts it, I have l large sized egg sitting on my right thyroid. Lovely. <BR> <BR> So the only choice apparently is ... Fri, 23 Dec 2011 12:36:55 EST On A High... Today is my three month SparkPeople Anniversary - and coincidentally, it is also the day that I am exactly 20 pounds down from my weight when I started this journey. This in itself makes me do a crazy happy dance around the house as I've been trying to lose this weight for the last 5 years very unsuccessfully... in fact, during most of that time I've just continued to gain more or go a few pounds down only to gain it all back. <BR> <BR> But now the tides have turned! I am giddy, have far... Mon, 19 Dec 2011 15:27:24 EST Keeping the Cookies at Bay and Trying To Stay Calm There are days that I admit that I worry about things I have no control over. There are days that I wish I could just sit back and let life unfold and roll with the punches. I already live a high stress life but am trying day by day to work toward something better. I love my job but... I love my bf but... I love my family but... I love myself but... there is - always - a but. The reasons behind them constantly change. What matters though is getting through the day with as positive an at... Sun, 11 Dec 2011 11:46:29 EST Is My Body Learning? Last week I was in Mexico capturing a destination wedding at an all-inclusive resort (for those of you who don't know, I am a wedding photographer). I was also at a resort three weeks ago for another wedding in Jamaica and will be at one next week in the Dominican Republic. For those of you who have travelled, I'm sure you know that all-inclusives can be anyone's nemesis: buffets that are pretty much open 24/7, a number of bars within reach, and just in case you can't squash that late night... Tue, 22 Nov 2011 11:13:30 EST Do Lower Calories actually equal healthier food?... (An Adventure at the Grocery Store) I am an avid cook, perhaps even an aspiring chef. So when I moved into my home six years ago, my boyfriend was kind enough to one day surprise me by building me a pantry in my kitchen so I could keep my kitchen stocked and at the ready for whatever inspiration may hit. <img src=""> <BR> (please forgive my incredibly messy cookbook shelf!) <BR> <BR> I am a farmer's market shopper and buy many of my bulk/dry items at Costco so I very ... Thu, 3 Nov 2011 10:43:55 EST When a few pounds come back | Dealing with client/peer-pressure So this past week I was in beautiful Jamaica at an all-inclusive resort with my clients. This was NOT a vacation for me but a work-trip for a destination wedding (I am a wedding photographer and specialize in destinations). I was trying to be so very careful for the first 4 days, tracking all of my food and keeping away from the pitfalls of all-inclusives - the desserts, snacking, fried foods and most of all, the alcohol. But I noticed that though I was being good to myself, I was actually... Tue, 1 Nov 2011 11:51:57 EST Calorie Counting On "Vacation" (an all-inclusive challenge and a thank you to spark people everywher Who wants to count calories while at an all inclusive resort in paradise? Better yet, HOW do you do it when you don't have access to measuring cups, spoons, a food scale, or nutritional information? Many people would probably just say that they're on holiday from food tracking, try to play it smart (or not) and make up for any gained weight when they return. It's a once in a lifetime (or perhaps, once a year) event... <BR> <BR> But I don't really have that luxury to just ignore what I inge... Sat, 22 Oct 2011 22:01:01 EST