POINDEXTRA's SparkPeople Blog http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal.asp?id=POINDEXTRA POINDEXTRA's Blog on SparkPeople, home of free diet plans and a healthy living community SparkPeople.com http://assets2.sparkpeople.com/assets/nav/logo_spark.gif http://www.sparkpeople.com/ Recipe Review: Cooking Light Slow Cooker Chicken Bacon Potato Soup http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6438884 Someone at hubby's office left October's Cooking Light magazine laying around, so he brought it home for me. The cover recipe, <link>www.cookinglight.com/recipes/slow-co<BR>oker-chicken-bacon-potato-soup </link> , looks scrumptious, so we decided to make it today. <BR> <BR> The verdict: Delicious! <BR> <BR> It's a very hearty soup - almost a stew. This recipe takes 4 total hours in the crock pot with a little work at the 2 hour mark to add the potatoes and at the end to cut up the chicke... Sat, 9 Dec 2017 20:09:54 EST Thanksgiving Cooking Adventures, 2017 http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6434685 This year I made 1 tried and true recipe, and 3 new ones as well. <BR> <BR> First, the tried and true: Red Velvet Chocolate Squares: <link>https://recipes.sparkpeople.com/reci<BR>pe-detail.asp?recipe=1736213 </link> . I LOVE these, and should make them more often. They're an almost flourless "cake" based on red kidney beans and cocoa powder. My version of this uses the entire can of beans, and a little less agave than the original recipe called for. When I make it again, I'll try reducing... Sat, 25 Nov 2017 20:27:33 EST Recipe Review: Rachael Ray Beef Noodle Soup http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6301611 Today we tried this recipe: <link>www.rachaelraymag.com/recipe/beef-no<BR>odle-soup </link> . It made the house smell wonderful, but taste-wise wasn't anything special. Here are our impressions: <BR> <BR> 1. The recipe calls for 8 ounces of beef, meaning 2 ounces per person. We would have preferred twice the beef, or at least 3 ounces per serving. <BR> 2. The recipe calls for a whole pound of noodles, meaning 4 ounces (2 servings) per person. I used only 7 ounces of rice vermicelli instead ... Thu, 19 Jan 2017 21:28:05 EST Recipe Review: Rachel Ray Chicken Teriyaki - slightly modified http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6295864 I made this recipe yesterday: <link>https://recipes.sparkpeople.com/reci<BR>pe-detail.asp?recipe=3183719 </link> . My Spark version includes a half cup of cooked brown rice in the nutritional calculation, and leaves out the chili pepper. It also includes a link to Rachel Ray's original recipe. <BR> <BR> This was delicious, and very easy to make - I actually cooked it while chatting on the phone with a girlfriend.I used Soy Vey low sodium teriyaki sauce (love that brand), and the recipe cam... Wed, 11 Jan 2017 08:34:57 EST Recipe Review: PureWow Corn Bread Tamale Pie http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6293410 Hubby and I love Mexican food, so I decided to try this recipe from PureWow: <link>www.purewow.com/recipes/Corn-Bread-T<BR>amale-Pie </link> . I knew immediately that it would be too rich, so I used 2% milk and 2% cheese instead of the whole milk versions. <BR> Here's the link to my modifications: <link>https://recipes.sparkpeople.com/reci<BR>pe-detail.asp?recipe=3179175 </link> . <BR> <BR> We think this needs a little more tweaking to make it a viable recipe for us. Now we have portions... Sat, 7 Jan 2017 18:59:55 EST Recipe Review: Pumpkin Brown Rice Pudding http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6293391 I LOVE rice pudding, and learned about making it with brown rice from the venerable Laurel's Kitchen cookbook. Last week I made a variation on the brown rice pudding theme recipe from the Washington Post: <link>https://www.washingtonpost.com/recip<BR>es/pumpkin-rice-pudding/14553/?utm_ter<BR>m=.1ef74c941ddd </link> . I did make one modification, which was to use only 1/3 cup of maple syrup instead of the 2/3 cup called for by the recipe. My recipe modification for tracking purposes is here:... Sat, 7 Jan 2017 18:28:47 EST Recipe Review: Blue Apron Harissa Chicken Skewers with Khorasan Wheat & Persimmon Salad http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6281462 We made the Harissa Chicken Skewers: <link>https://www.blueapron.com/recipes/ha<BR>rissa-chicken-skewers-with-kamut-persi<BR>mmon-salad </link> for yesterday's dinner. It was delicious! Here are our impressions: <BR> 1. Once again, the instructions say to add salt and pepper very often - I was very careful and conservative when salting/peppering the dish. <BR> 2. Neither hubby nor I had tried persimmons before. It's an orange fruit with a pulpy inside, and has a pleasing earthy-sweet taste.... Thu, 15 Dec 2016 21:31:57 EST Recipe Review: Blue Apron Spicy Shrimp and Bucatini Pasta http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6281454 We got three free Blue Apron meals via a current subscriber's referral. On Tuesday we made this recipe: <link>https://www.blueapron.com/recipes/sp<BR>icy-shrimp-linguine-pasta-with-garlic-<BR>chives-kale </link> . It was very tasty, but we made some modifications to the original recipe. Here are our impressions: <BR> 1. As specified, this recipe is almost 800 calories. Way too much for my own dinner, and even too caloric for hubby. The main culprit is the quarter pound of (white) pasta per p... Thu, 15 Dec 2016 21:18:15 EST Recipe Review: Slow Cooker Beef Burgundy http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6278021 We found this recipe in the "Cooking Light Slow Cooker" cookbook from 2006, and also in "Weight Watchers In Good Time" cookbook from 2001. Both cookbooks have many of the same recipes! I couldn't find the recipe on the Cooking Light site, but did find it here: <link>www.food.com/recipe/ww-beef-burgundy<BR>-8-points-85248 </link> . Hubby and I both thought this was delicious. It took about half an hour prep time before putting everything in the crock pot, but the time was well worth it. He... Thu, 8 Dec 2016 09:38:40 EST Recipe Review: BHG Quick Sausage MInestrone http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6274898 I made this yesterday - it was delicious! <link>www.bhg.com/recipe/quick-sausage-min<BR>estrone/ </link> . Here are our observations: <BR> 1. The recipe calls for a 19 oz. can of cannellini beans, but I've never seen that size. The 14.5 oz. can we used was plenty. <BR> 2. I should have cut the sausage and potatoes smaller than I did - I recommend about a quarter inch dice. <BR> 3. The recipe calls for Italian style stewed tomatoes, but I accidentally bought the plain ones. The soup was delic... Thu, 1 Dec 2016 14:28:27 EST Recipe Review: 30 Minute Red Lentil Soup http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6270887 Today I revisited a recipe that I first tried several years ago, that I found in the Washington Post: <BR> <link>https://www.washingtonpost.com/recip<BR>es/30-minute-red-lentil-soup/6908/ </link> . This soup only takes about 30 minutes (not including chopping the onion and cilantro), but tastes MUCH better after sitting in the fridge overnight for the flavors to bloom. Here are some observations. <BR> <BR> 1. Just use the entire pound bag of lentils. The first time I made this, I had a tin... Tue, 22 Nov 2016 21:36:04 EST Recipe Review: BHG Barley Beef Soup http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6269972 Yesterday I made this recipe from BHG Soups specialty magazine (Fall/Winter 2012): <link>www.bhg.com/recipe/beef/barley-beef-<BR>soup/ </link> . Here are our impressions. <BR> <BR> 1. Hooray! It's a crock-pot recipe. The house smelled great when I came home after a day of doing errands. <BR> 2. It's not clear what kind of mixed vegetables are supposed to be used for the recipe. I picked a mix with corn, string beans, potatoes, and some other stuff. <BR> 3. The recipe calls for "regular" pe... Sun, 20 Nov 2016 20:25:32 EST Recipe Review: One Pan Roasted Salmon with Potatoes and Romaine http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6264481 Tonight we tried this recipe from the PureWow web site: <BR> <link>www.purewow.com/recipes/one-pan-roas<BR>ted-salmon-with-potatoes-and-romaine-r<BR>ecipe?media=print </link> <BR> <BR> It was delicious, even to hubby's discerning palate:). This one is definitely 4.5 stars (I subtracted the .5 star for #3 below). Here are our observations: <BR> <BR> 1. I halved the recipe to yield 2 servings. I used a half-pound of potatoes, and added some carrots and onions from the fridge that needed to... Wed, 9 Nov 2016 19:41:20 EST Recipe Review: Slow Cooker Marinara Chicken and Vegetables http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6263996 Today I made this recipe from the SparkPeople Cookbook. <link>https://recipes.sparkpeople.com/reci<BR>pe-detail.asp?recipe=770577 </link> . <BR> <BR> It was tasty, but not spectacular. I give it a solid 3 stars. I ate mine over a little whole wheat pasta, and hubby had his with some pita bread triangles. We also had a romaine lettuce salad on the side. Here are our observations: <BR> <BR> 0. Once again, the nutrition info for the recipe on-line is slightly different than in the cookbook. <B... Tue, 8 Nov 2016 19:12:00 EST Recipe Review: Orange Chicken http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6261096 Tonight I made this: <link>https://recipes.sparkpeople.com/reci<BR>pe-detail.asp?recipe=871143 </link> . I give it a solid 3 stars; hubby said it was just OK. Here are my thoughts: <BR> <BR> 1. Once again, the nutrition info in the cookbook doesn't match the on-line info. This time it's closer, though: Cookbook 209.9 calories, web site 220. <BR> 2. I didn't know that thyme is such a strong herb. With 1.5 teaspoons to a pound of chicken, the thyme flavor was very strong. Next time I may red... Wed, 2 Nov 2016 20:52:16 EST Recipe Review: Braised Mexican Beef with Crispy Corn Tortillas http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6260500 I made this for dinner tonight. I found the recipe in the SparkPeople Cookbook, and here's the on-line link: <link>https://recipes.sparkpeople.com/reci<BR>pe-detail.asp?recipe=1877292. </link> . I give it 4 stars, but hubby only gave it 2.5. Here are my thoughts: <BR> <BR> 0. The cookbook advertises this as 338.4 calories/serving, but the on-line recipe is about 400 calories. I entered the ingredients myself into the calculator, and it came out at 400. <BR> 1. Where do they get 10 minutes... Tue, 1 Nov 2016 19:16:59 EST Bonus Bike Ride Today - 12 miles, and best speed yet! http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6189521 Hubby is off with a friend of his today, and my friend was unable to visit. So I hopped on my bike to get some extra miles and cardio in. I've done 3 round-trip bicycle commutes this year so far - 7 miles one way, with an 8-hour break for work in between:). I wasn't sure how far I would ride today - I plan to bike commute again on Wednesday, and want to be conservative in increasing my weekly mileage. <BR> <BR> I felt good at 4 and 5 miles, but was getting a bit winded and leg-sore by mile ... Sat, 25 Jun 2016 18:05:34 EST Surgery Recovery - one week out http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6097473 Last Tuesday, I had one ovary and 2 fallopian tubes removed via robotic assisted laparoscopic surgery. I'm recovering well, though not as quickly as I had expected. I''ve been feeling better each day, and have been keeping a log to track my progress. I think the numbers are interesting (I couldn't get an image to load properly - I apologize if the numbers don't line up nicely below): <BR> <BR> Date Weight Steps Stairs Cal In Cal Out Fiber Protein Notes <BR> 2/9/16 123.6 ? ... Tue, 16 Feb 2016 16:11:21 EST Recipe Review: Slow Cooker Salsa Chicken (from Sparkpeople Cookbook) http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5998744 I made my first recipe from the Sparkpeople cookbook tonight, and it's as delicious as everyone says it is. <link>http://recipes.sparkpeople.com/recip<BR>e-detail.asp?recipe=871817 </link> <BR> <BR> I put everything in the crock pot this morning, and hubby and I left the house at the same time. He was off work today, and e-mailed me later on to say that the house smelled so good when he got home that he wanted to eat the chicken then and there! <BR> <BR> The house did smell fabulous whe... Wed, 16 Sep 2015 20:00:57 EST Food Review: Have you tried Siggy's skyr? http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5917076 A while ago, I discovered Siggy's Icelandic Skyr (like Greek yogurt only thicker, and with very little added sugar) at our local grocery. I tried the coconut flavor, which is absolutely amazing, though so rich I use it more as a topping for fruit than as something to eat by itself. <BR> <BR> The stuff is expensive, though - usually $1.79 per 6 oz. cup. The lowest I've seen it had been for $1.50 per cup, on sale at Giant. But last week, Siggi's was on sale at our local Harris Teeter for an u... Fri, 24 Apr 2015 16:21:38 EST Baked Salmon Dijon - What's Cookin', Good Lookin' Challenge http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5898452 We didn't try any new recipes last week, but I made this one tonight: <link>recipes.sparkpeople.com/recipe-detai<BR>l.asp?recipe=676122. </link> It was super-easy to mix up the creamy sauce (hard to believe it's fat free), and the fish cooked perfectly in 15 minutes in the toaster oven (I halved the recipe and made 2 servings). <BR> <BR> The sauce tastes mostly of dill in a tangy sour cream base. I couldn't taste the mustard at all, and my husband said that the Dijon mustard taste was ... Mon, 23 Mar 2015 21:56:22 EST Another way to look at streaking http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5785725 I've been working on getting ten thousand steps a day since July 22, 2012, but my streak has been broken many times for various reasons. I'm currently 35 days into attempting another streak; this time I hope to beat my longest streak, which was 81 days. Unfortunately the screen capture below isn't very good: <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/1/8/l1878026636.jpg"> <BR> <BR> It says: <BR> Current Streak 35 days (from 8/19) <BR> Longest Streak 81 days 4/12 - 7/1 <BR> 3... Tue, 23 Sep 2014 20:49:14 EST A productive weekend http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5306414 It has been a really nice weekend of taking care of ourselves and doing enjoyable things. Yesterday we drove to Old Rag and walked on the fire road for almost 2 hours. We drove there via Sperryville and home via Culpeper, so it was a lovely drive both ways. <BR> <BR> We were going to go outside walking today, but it's been raining, so I've spent time in the kitchen instead. I made the Red Velved Chocolate Squares I love so much: <link>recipes.sparkpeople.com/recipe-detai<BR>l.asp?recipe... Sun, 31 Mar 2013 15:13:37 EST One piece of cake is always better than two ... today's NSV http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5295561 I can't take credit for that one - it's one of INDYGIRL's "indyisms" (thought the original may be about pizza:)). Well, today it worked for me. <BR> <BR> Our customer brought in a big cake from Wegman's to celebrate someone's retirement, and after the big meeting, there was almost half a sheet left. So, I cut myself a reasonably sized piece and really enjoyed it. Of course, it was a side piece, and I scooped up some extra icing, too - after all, cake is really just an icing delivery veh... Thu, 21 Mar 2013 22:20:26 EST Brown Rice Triscuit - Part 2 http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5292895 Well, I sent Nabisco an e-mail telling that we were disappointed with the product (see my previous blog entry for why), and got this response today (only 3 days later). This could tempt me to try them again (perhaps a different flavor, though). We'll see: <BR> <BR> "Thank you for visiting our site. <BR> <BR> I'm sorry for your experience with TRISCUIT BROWN RICE SEA SALT & BLACK PEPPER CRACKERS 9 OZ. The problem you described sounds like there was a possible mechanical failure at our faci... Tue, 19 Mar 2013 21:08:52 EST Food Review - Brown Rice Triscuit http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5288575 We saw these at the grocery store last night and decided to try them. Unfortunately, what's inside the box doesn't look as good as on the package. <BR> <BR> We bought the Sea Salt & Black Pepper variety - there were several flavors to choose from, but I didn't see a plain option. <BR> <BR> I took one cacker out of the box and ate it. It had a strange greasy sheen to it, which I could feel as well as taste. The salt and pepper seasoning was OK, but I really didn't care for the oiliness... Sat, 16 Mar 2013 09:03:37 EST Bertucci's Cod al Forno http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5288259 We went to Bertucci's tonight for dinner, and I wanted to have a lighter dinner, so I ordered the Cod al Forno, which means Baked Cod (literally from the oven) in Italian. The menu said that it was sprinkled with bread crumbs, and served over marinated tomatoes with roasted potatoes. The picture showed large chunks of tomato surrounding the fish. <BR> <BR> I asked the waiter if they could go light on the bread crumbs, which they did. It was served in the baking dish nestled into a large bo... Fri, 15 Mar 2013 22:51:48 EST Really enjoying my FitBit http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5217590 I really like that fb sends me weekly e-mails on how I've done, and also how long the little thing holds a charge! I really wish that their mobile app allowed syncing with my Android phone, but hopefully that will be added in the near future. Today I got an e-mail telling me that I've walked 50 miles since I've started using it! With my hectic schedule right now, it's wonderful not to have to manually log these things. <BR> <BR> I still haven't taken the time to measure my stride so it'... Mon, 21 Jan 2013 20:16:13 EST My New Toy - the Fitbit One http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5197694 I'd been wanting a Fitbit for a while, and Hubby got me the One for Christmas. I must have been using it for just a week, because today I got an e-mail with my weekly stats in it - I wasn't expecting that! So, here are my stats for 12/31/12 - 1/6/2013 <BR> <BR> 20, 326 Total Steps (Daily Avg. 2904, best day 6262) <BR> 8.49 Total Miles (Daily Avg 1.21, best day 2.61) <BR> 11, 753 Total Calories Burned (Daily Avg. 1679, best day 1725) <BR> 10,560 Total Calories Eaten <BR> -1183 ... Tue, 8 Jan 2013 21:01:31 EST Could protein be the key? http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5152050 I've always tended to eat more carbs, and recently decided to try getting more protein in my diet, especially at breakfast - I was getting hungry two hours after eating a very generous bowl of oatmeal, milk, and fruit. See my "Tale of Three Breakfasts" blogs if you're interested. So, I decided to make egg sandwiches for breakfast instead for the protein and fat. I've alternated several things, but this work week I ate my egg sandwich breakfast every day (332 calories): <BR> <BR> 100 calo... Fri, 30 Nov 2012 21:28:17 EST I tried a new food: Burger King Apple Cranberry Chicken Salad http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5107271 I lost 50 pounds eating a lot of fast food (by choosing wisely), so I'm always excited to try the new healthier options that many fast-food restaurants are offering. <BR> <BR> Today DH wanted to lunch at BK, and I remembered that I've been wanting to try their new salads. So, I had the Apple Cranberry (Grilled) Chicken Salad, and it was quite good. <BR> <BR> This salad has grilled chicken, craisins, blue cheese, and apple slices on a bed of mixed lettuces. It comes with Ken's Apple Cide... Sun, 21 Oct 2012 16:31:26 EST Getting back on track - Again! http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5107265 Well, our customer event was a success last week, but the pace is really intense, and invariably, the quality of my diet deteriorates as the week progresses. I did better this month than last, though; I only missed 2 days of exercise, and my eating was on-plan until the first day of the event. Then the call of Costco pizza and candy was too much to resist - I had not one, but 2.5 days of excessive eating, <BR> <BR> Fortunately, I'm at a point where this doesn't derail me for the long-te... Sun, 21 Oct 2012 16:23:59 EST Soy Milk vs. Skim http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5098034 In my recent quest to find the perfect breakfast, I decided to calculate my breakfasts with both skim milk and soy milk. I originally started using soy milk instead of skim when I discovered that I wasn't getting enough fat in my diet. I settled on Silk Unsweetened because I didn't want the added sugar that is in most soy milks, and because it had about the same calories as skim (80/cup). In addition, it has almost as much fat as 2% milk, making it really yummy! <BR> <BR> The drawbacks we... Sat, 13 Oct 2012 22:00:30 EST A Tale of Three Breakfasts - Continued http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5098016 So, I did my breakfast experiment this week - 3 days I had my home-made egg sandwich , 1 day I had almond butter on toast, and the 5th day I had a Dunkin Donuts Ham/Egg/Cheese Wakeup Wrap. All breakfasts also included 100 grams of apple and 1/4c. or 1/2 c. skim milk in my tea (some days I had 2 big mugs of tea in the morning). <BR> <BR> Well, it's been a little difficult to tell the results because the time I ate the main part of the meal varied depending on whether I had my Physical Therap... Sat, 13 Oct 2012 21:48:53 EST A Tale of Three Breakfasts http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5089758 Gosh - I haven't blogged in so long - my work life has been hectic, so something had to give:). Anyway, I'd been eating the same oatmeal breakfast for it seems years, but I always get hungry a couple of hours later. So, recently I decided to experiment with some other breakfasts which are higher in protein and fat, to see if that would keep hunger at bay longer. So far I've tried one option, and am gearing up to try another this week. <BR> <BR> For those who don't know me so well, I'm ... Sun, 7 Oct 2012 09:10:00 EST One Small Victory - Avoiding the Caffeine Temptation http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=4994977 This afternoon after lunch, I felt really sluggish and started to develop a headache. I really wanted to make a cup of coffee, but past experience has taught me that medicating with caffeine and/or sugar is NOT a good idea - it only makes me feel worse later on. <BR> <BR> So, instead I took 2 Excedrin Migraine (store brand - I know it has some caffeine in it) with a big mug of water, and ate my slice of healthy pumpin/coconut pie. Lo and behold, the headache has mostly subsided. <BR> <BR>... Tue, 31 Jul 2012 15:14:39 EST Walk Across America Final Stats http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=4973322 My office held a Walk Across America challenge - here are my results: <BR> <BR> Dates: 4/23 - 7/13 2012 (12 weeks) <BR> We counted 2000 steps per mile, to make the contest about steps taken, and to event things out between the tall, short, etc. <BR> Total Miles: 446.94 <BR> Lowest Week: 25.92 <BR> Highest Week: 43.94 <BR> Weekly Average 37.25/week <BR> <BR> Our team of 5 walked a total of 1876.48 miles - not enough to make it all the way across the country, but pretty respectable. I'v... Mon, 16 Jul 2012 18:39:54 EST Back in the swing of things http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=4959801 After my last blog, we had a really intense few of weeks at work getting ready for a customer event to be held the last week of June. I'm happy to report that I kept tracking my food throughout, and even kept up with my exercising until the final week. Surprisingly, I even came in slightly under my calorie range about half of the days in the final week. (And the event went really well, which was nice:)). <BR> <BR> I was really suprised that my back didn't hurt at all during the week, even... Sat, 7 Jul 2012 22:05:55 EST Pain Free Progress Report! http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=4920449 Gosh, it's been a while since I've blogged - life has been HECTIC! However, I'm happy to report that I've reigned in my eating since my last post, and have been sticking with my workouts. We left home for our neice's high school graduation on Thursday, and have done a LOT of walking ever since. So, I'm happy to report the following: <BR> Thursday - walked quite quickly in the airport, since we were running behind schedule, and more walking on our destination end. <BR> Friday - sightseeing ... Sun, 10 Jun 2012 17:48:13 EST A totally erratic week! http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=4901799 Let's see - this was the week of food events, and I simply was unable to restrain myself. It started last Saturday with our guild pot-luck. Then, Thursday we had an all hands meeting at work, followed by an ice cream and pizza social. Yesterday, I went to a friend's where there were lots of chips and ribs, and today I just didn't even bother to track (and ate way too much, too). <BR> <BR> On the plus side, I kept up with my morning exercise, and even got some extra walking in, though my t... Mon, 28 May 2012 21:14:39 EST A totally erratic week! http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=4901798 Let's see - this was the week of food events, and I simply was unable to restrain myself. It started last Saturday with our guild pot-luck. Then, Thursday we had an all hands meeting at work, followed by an ice cream and pizza social. Yesterday, I went to a friend's where there were lots of chips and ribs, and today I just didn't even bother to track (and ate way too much, too). <BR> <BR> On the plus side, I kept up with my morning exercise, and even got some extra walking in, though my t... Mon, 28 May 2012 21:14:35 EST Tried another new food this weekend - TSC All American Breakfast Wrap http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=4891195 We've been enjoying going to Tropical Smoothie Cafe lately, so Saturday we decided to try their breakfast. We checked the nutrition info on-line first, and discovered that the All-American Wrap (Junior Size) had 376 calories. Hubby and I both ordered it, and both had the same reactions: <BR> <BR> Minuses: <BR> a. It was REALLY small for the number of calories in it (and 210 of those calories came from the not-whole-grain tortilla). b. It was sort of bland. It contained Egg, American Ch... Mon, 21 May 2012 11:49:35 EST Walk Across America, Week 4 Report http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=4890891 This week I totaled 35.89 miles - less than last week, but still respectable considering the my continuing limited exercise capabilities. I even got in 14,144 steps on Sunday, which is my 2nd-highest day so far (the first high day was when I was over-doing it!) <BR> <BR> A bright spot in the week was Saturday evening's walk with my husband. We walked for a FULL hour, at what felt like a normal pace, and I had NO back pain the entire time. I wonder if walking on the dirt path instead of th... Mon, 21 May 2012 09:18:08 EST Saturday Report - a mixed bag. http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=4889036 OK, I'm going to confess. I only tracked a couple of food items today because I really have no idea how much I ate. It's the first time since I had to resume tracking on the weekends that I haven't tracked every single thing I put into my mouth. I'm going to give myself a "pass" for today, and won't even attempt to track it. I just need to not let weekend slippage become a habit again - tomorrow I get back onto plan. <BR> <BR> I actually had planned to have an "off program" day today, be... Sat, 19 May 2012 21:27:51 EST Our tastes they are a-changin ... http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=4881109 It's funny how sometimes things we say come back to bite us in the fanny: <BR> <BR> A Sparker whose blog I follow wrote an entry about trying the McDonald's Filet of Fish after making major changes in her life, and finding that she didn't like it at all anymore. I replied that my DH and I still considered the FoF to be one of our favorite treats, but that we did practice moderation by a) purchasing only when we had a $1 coupon, b) bringing FoF home and eating with a salad and tomato soup, t... Mon, 14 May 2012 15:07:22 EST Walk Across America, Week 3 Report http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=4880393 This week I totaled 38.6 miles, which is much better than I expected to do while giving my back a break. It was definitely helped by my weekend high-steps days - lots of errand running both days, and an almost hour-long walk with hubby on Sunday helped. My back is feeling much better. I just need to start out really slowly and LISTEN to what it's telling me. <BR> <BR> <BR> M 3.92 / 4.95 / 6.16 <BR> T 6.94 / 7.62 / 5.93 <BR> W 6.02 / 6.62 / 4.32 <BR> R 6.55 / 6.34 / 3.74 <BR> F 5.57 / 6.34... Mon, 14 May 2012 08:22:34 EST I think I've found a to-do system I like - Kanban http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=4879927 The past month or so, the weekends have seemed like we've been doing nothing but running running running errands, but at the end, I never felt like I had accomplished much (though I know in my heart that that's a lie that my incarnation of All or Nothing Girl likes to tell me). <BR> <BR> Recently I read about an on-line to-do tracker called Kanban Flow (kanbanflow.com) on Lifehacker, and just started using it this week. I did a little research on the site personalkanban.com, and discovere... Sun, 13 May 2012 21:37:18 EST Walk Across America, Week 2 Report http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=4871911 I increased my mileage a little this week, totalling 40.99 miles: here are my daily #s compared to last week: <BR> M 3.92 / 4.95 <BR> T 6.94 / 7.62 <BR> W 6.02 / 6.62 <BR> R 6.55 / 6.34 <BR> F 5.57 / 6.34 <BR> S 5.70 / 4.40 <BR> S 5.21 / 4.71 <BR> <BR> I'm sure Week 3's mileage will be considerably less, now that I realize I was abusing my poor back:(. It's a shame, because I was really enjoying the feeling of speed. Oh, well, hopefully I'll get there one day with enough time. I'd be THR... Tue, 8 May 2012 09:16:44 EST I tried a new food today - Bob's Red Mill Organic Buckwheat Creamy Hot Cereal http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=4868182 I LOVE hot cereal, and saw this mentioned in someone's blog, so I thought I'd try it. <BR> <BR> I followed the microwave directions, using 3/4 cup water to 1/4 cup cereal. The directions said to microwave for 3-5 minutes, but after 2 minutes the water was already almost all absorbed. So, I added another 1/4 cup of water, and nuked for the remaining 3 minutes. Then I added 86 grams of blueberries, a teaspoon of honey, and a 1/4 cup of unsweetened soy milk. <BR> <BR> I'm sorry to say th... Sat, 5 May 2012 21:30:25 EST Listening to my Body (and the consequences of not!) http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=4868046 Well, I was so excited that I had gotten up to a 15/15 minute split between the treadmill and elliptical at the gym in the mornings. I was even finding the elliptical so fun that I would often go in time to whatever music was playing, often getting up over 5 miles per hour. I was also trying out short stints at 2.4 mph on the treadmill. <BR> <BR> Then, this week my back started hurting more, and I've determined that while I thought I was increasing slowly enough, I was increasing too fas... Sat, 5 May 2012 18:59:33 EST