PRAIRIEDAWNPAM's SparkPeople Blog PRAIRIEDAWNPAM's Blog on SparkPeople, home of free diet plans and a healthy living community Just Start Its difficult for me to blog and be truly genuine because as I read my own words, my advisor switch switches to "on" -- It's my job, it's what I do -- and I answer my own questions, or decide that some of what I'm saying is inappropriate and I edit it out (also part of my job description). The truth is that I'm not perfect, I only pretend to be on the Interwebs. <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> Although my family's "two years from Hell... Fri, 23 Jan 2015 00:30:05 EST Looking forward I am declaring "The Year from Hell" over. I'm a positive person and I need to stop being sad and stressed. My decision is that I will participate in the Ft. MacLeod Triathlon on my birthday weekend next August. It will be my first tri and I look forward to the training. I've enjoyed running and swimming in the past; cycling will be a new challenge for me. Local friends are very supportive and offering to train with me. I know my Spark friends are here for me, too. <BR> <BR> ...Pam Tue, 17 Sep 2013 23:05:51 EST Checking In Hi Sparkfriends <BR> <BR> My family has had eight deaths since the end of August last year. We are drained and not physically or emotionally healthy right now. Thank you for your well wishes. I'm slowly getting back to running because, as I used to always say, its better than Prozazc when I'm feeling down. <BR> <BR> Pam Mon, 26 Aug 2013 13:30:42 EST Easy Eating for Stressed Days? Friends, I need help. <BR> <BR> Tell me about the quick, portable and healthy foods you keep on hand for busy days and tired nights. I'm making my shopping list. <BR> <BR> Every weekend I try to visit Dad in hospital three hours away. He is not winning his battle against terminal brain cancer. My teen daughter is now in hospital six hours away, also fighting for her life. (I will blog about my experiences with her eating disorder another time.) Each day after work I climb into bed hoping... Fri, 1 Mar 2013 11:08:31 EST One Big Problem A few weeks ago I had a lot of little problems. So did Dad. Today Dad has one big problem. <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> Brain cancer. Its something he believes he can do nothing about and so, for now, he's put that problem squarely in the hands of his surgeon and God. The tumor was removed four days ago. It was bigger than a golf ball, we are told. The tumor is gone but it had tentacles that only radiation and chemo may treat. <BR>... Tue, 30 Oct 2012 13:46:54 EST Funny Farm Food This spring and summer I tried my hand at backyard food production. <BR> <BR> My container garden was an absolute failure. This was half of my potato harvest. No joke. <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> And then I cooked them. No joke. They were burned to the point of being inedible. I blame Pinterest. Or Facebook. <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> The second barrel of potatoes ... Wed, 3 Oct 2012 00:57:29 EST Taking Care of Business ...means taking care of the boss. And that's me. <BR> <BR> My fibromyalgia has been really bad for two years now. Stress agrivates my symptoms, for sure, and I think I took the running thing a bit too far (for me). I did not need to do a half marathon. Who was I fooling? Well that was two years ago and I'm on the road back to feeling better, thanks to <BR> <BR> - a naturopathic doctor -- vitamin B shots are delicious; they give me energy to make it through rough weeks (I also take B5 and ... Wed, 13 Jun 2012 17:02:00 EST Its Not 2007 When I think about loosing the weight I put on this year I sometimes feel that I'm starting over. But I'm not. I don't weigh 165 pounds and I already have the knowledge and ability to take pounds off the right way. My battle is half won. <BR> <BR> One month into my journey, November 2007, I wrote about living according to my values. <BR> <link><BR>urnal_individual.asp?blog_id=819532 </link> <BR> <BR> This year of health, financial, emotional and spi... Tue, 12 Jun 2012 09:59:17 EST Puppies, Chickens and Bunnies, Oh My! When life is overwhelming, I control what I can. I can control what I eat. I can control my exercise. I can clean til my house shines. <BR> <BR> I'm back to stay on track. What are my plans? <BR> <BR> Likely due to an overdose of stress, my fibromyalgia has been really bad. I've just started seeing a naturopathic doctor. Besides tracking my nutrition again, he wants me to take Vitamin B5 for adrenal support. I know eating well and exercising every day will help me, too. <BR> <BR> I am t... Tue, 27 Mar 2012 13:04:19 EST Smelling Meat Loaf (The food. Not the rocker from the late 70s...because that would be cruel.) <BR> <BR> I am one of those people who gets complimented for keeping it all together when the world around me is falling apart. I'm the strong one, they say, but I'd really like to try loosing it. Just once. <BR> <BR> My life has been over-the-top with stress since May. I am so overwhelmed that I have days that I don't know where to start or stop anything. I know you know what I mean. We've all been there. Or mayb... Thu, 27 Oct 2011 20:42:10 EST Critter Update Mike and Jelly Belly, our foster puppies, have gone to new foster homes. Whereas Corky loved one-year-old Tula, he did not care for yappy, bouncy puppies. <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> Jelly Belly <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> Mike playing in the hole that Corky started for him <BR> <BR> <BR> Our boomerang Devon Rex cats, Purdy and Izzy, have also -- finally! -- found forever homes. ... Wed, 17 Aug 2011 21:50:38 EST KISS - Make-ahead Menus I'm keeping it simple, Spark Friends! <BR> <BR> This year has been a rough one for me in many ways. I won't go into the details because I know that everyone has their "stuff" -- right? -- so suffice to say that I fell off the Spark wagon many times. Again and again I realize that even when life is very difficult, I can't eat junk. It simply does not make me feel better emotionally or physically. So I'm back at it. THIS is my lifestyle. <BR> <BR> Home and work are both very hectic, so I dec... Wed, 17 Aug 2011 19:14:49 EST More Puppies a Red Dress and Fat Clothes Tula, our blue pit bull foster dog, has gone to her forever home and been replaced by two puppies who were born in rescue. Mom is Lolli and her 10 babies are the lollipups. We have Mike (his brother Ike has a home) and Jelly Belly here for a while. <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> Mike (L) and Jelly Belly (R) <BR> <BR> Friday was Canada Day and, for the third year in a row, Hubby and I participated in the Red Dress Run. This time, though, I... Mon, 4 Jul 2011 10:39:41 EST Our new foster dog Meet Tula, a blue pit bull that was one of 34 seized by animal protection authorities at a puppy mill. She'll be with us until she is ready for a forever home. <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> ...Pam Fri, 3 Jun 2011 15:59:24 EST Save, Eat, Thrive To follow up on my idea of promoting healthy, inexpensive food ideas for the students and others in my community, I'll let you know that I started another blog. I've been sick with a head cold all week but I did manage to post twice. The concept is that I'll take what I already do for myself and share it with others. I scan the local fliers, plan where I'll shop and what I'll buy and then I search for recipes that optimize my purchases. It really isn't any more work to pass this information o... Mon, 23 May 2011 20:04:44 EST Good, Inexpensive Food for Students I've been thinking for quite a while about the number of students I see at the college who live off of KD and Mr. Noodles because they say they cannot afford to eat anything else. Then they guzzle Red Bull to stay awake and wonder why they feel sick and shaky all the time. Not all of them are young people, either. I taught a man at church how he could feed himself for about $30/week after he lost his job and then his marriage and home following a heart attack. I honestly think that few people... Sun, 15 May 2011 16:35:37 EST Windows 7 Phone, Jetted Bathtub, and Baking with Chocolate Today my blog is all about treats. <BR> <BR> Last weekend I bit the bullet and abandoned my 7.5 year old cellphone -- what can I say, I'm loyal and thrifty -- for a LG Optimus 7 Windows phone. Why this one? It was free with my plan AND, unlike an iPhone or most Androids, it does not require a data plan. I pick up wifi at work, at home, and the coffee shop and I don't see myself surfing while driving or running, so this seemed a good choice for me, plus it syncs with my work applications tha... Fri, 6 May 2011 12:37:11 EST What's in Your Smoothie? Yesterday, a friend of mine posted the following to her Facebook wall, <BR> <BR> "Sunday morning breakfast smoothie with cat food. I keep the cat food and the protein powder in the same cupboard. They are dispensed similarly: open the lid, fill the scoop, then dump on top of the spinach. I retrieved as much of it as I could but a good 20 or so pellets got down too far. I didn't tell Hubby until after he'd finished his!" <BR> <BR> <img src=" Mon, 2 May 2011 11:38:31 EST Preferred Isn't Ideal I'm finding my body has two "preferred" weights, one when I'm vigilant about food and fitness and the other when I'm just being "healthy me" and cheating here and there. My "ideal weight", on the other hand, takes a lot of work. "Ideal" takes more than vigilance, it requires some suffering, too. I simply can't maintain "ideal" -- the low end of my ideal weight range -- and work out, too, or I am painfully hungry and weak. <BR> <BR> How about you? Can you achieve and maintain your low-end... Mon, 18 Apr 2011 12:20:04 EST My Running Excuse Yep. This is what I woke up to this morning. <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> I'll be using my elliptical for cardio instead of running outdoors. Of course that will be AFTER completing some strength training (shoveling). <BR> <BR> If any of you are willing to pay my flight to Costa Rica, I have a condo on the beach we can use for free! Seriously. I need t... Thu, 14 Apr 2011 13:28:06 EST Soup Cans and Stair Cases Yesterday I had a meeting run late and so I missed the employer-sponsored lunch-hour workout. I knew I wouldn't be able to exercise in the evening, so I had to find a way to sweat for 30 minutes. Lucky for me I always keep cans of beans (and tuna) in my desk drawer for emergency meals. <BR> <BR> I did a strength training workout with just a can of No-name white kidney beans. Granted, I had to do many more reps to tire myself than I would have needed with a machine, free weights or even a re... Fri, 8 Apr 2011 16:25:47 EST CHALLENGE: 30 for 30 Yesterday my employer started a fitness challenge called "30 for 30". We must do 30 minutes of exercise every day for 30 days and enter to win prizes. I've initiated a mini-challenge to get the sedentary ladies in my office involved by adding some extra prizes for anyone on my team who participates. I love a challenge. Wanna join me? I have goodies! <BR> <BR> Last night I cleaned bathrooms and mopped floors for an hour and a half after supper. My arms are sore today so I know it counts! <BR>... Thu, 7 Apr 2011 10:56:24 EST Runs with Dogs Its kinda like Dances with Wolves. <BR> <em>211</em> <BR> <BR> The sun shone brightly today and everyone I met was in such a good mood. Even strangers were smiling and chatty and they just had to comment about the sunshine. It doesn't take much to make us happy these days. Its been a very long winter. <BR> <BR> Corky and I enjoyed our first run of the season, a 3K in the slush. I didn't need a jacket, just a sweat shirt. He was a happy boy. In fact, when I undid his leash in our front ... Mon, 4 Apr 2011 17:32:18 EST Goodness, Gracious, Great Balls of Snow! <BR> <BR> We are still "enjoying" winter here in southern Alberta. On Friday, while driving home past a school yard, Hubby and I were amazed to see that the acre-sized field was filled with massive snow balls. I can't help but wonder who started the activity, if they intended to stop with making snow balls or continue on to make forts or several snowmen. Regardless, I also couldn't help but think of what a great workout it is to push a mound of sticky snow across a field to make a big ... Tue, 29 Mar 2011 17:52:57 EST Your Seeds Feed the Hungry Do you eat melon, watermelon, sweet pepper, avocado, papaya, passion fruit, tomatoes, squash? Don't throw away the seeds! Rinse them and let them dry on a plate (not on paper) for 10 to 14 days and send them to Seeds for Food. UNICEF builds gardens. This group delivers your seeds. All it costs is stamps. I heard about this group on CBC National TV News this week. What a great way to give to people in need. They will take your leftover garden seeds, too. <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak... Fri, 18 Mar 2011 14:19:16 EST Self Denial? Today is Ash Wednesday, the first day of Lent. For Christian observers, Lent's purpose is to prepare believers for Easter through prayer, repentance, giving to the poor and self-denial. For the self-denial part, I've decided to go back onto Phase 1 of South Beach. Is it really self-denial, though? Maybe it is repentance for falling off the maintenance wagon and gaining some weight. Or maybe it is all just good self-care. Ask me in a few days as I withdraw from grains, starchy vegetables an... Wed, 9 Mar 2011 15:42:30 EST Why My Exercise Equipment Is In Storage The weight machine, free weights and elliptical used to be in our living room, but Corey has decided to renovate. He's doing this all himself. The dividing wall between the front hall and the living room is new. He's making a built-in library shelf in the living room, too. <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <img src=" Thu, 3 Mar 2011 18:20:43 EST What is Fibromyalgia? Some of my friends have asked me about Fibromyalgia. I'll do my best to explain my experience with it. Honestly, I avoid learning much about it these days because I do not want my condition to define me or to limit me. Most of the time it doesn't. <BR> <BR> On a typical day, I feel like I have overdone a workout the day before... even if I have been completely sedentary. Being hugged or shaking hands hurts. That is "normal" for me and I'm used to it. <BR> <BR> Fibromyalgia is a controvers... Mon, 28 Feb 2011 17:47:38 EST Struggling The fitness assessment I did two weeks ago kicked my butt. I felt like I had been hit by a truck. The almost unbearable fibromyalgia pain lasted for a week. I'm trying not to wallow in misery or complain (much). I will push through. I've done it before. I'm going to re-read my old blogs to remind me of what's possible. Just maybe they'll be inspirational. I really want my body and my energy level back. <BR> <BR> ...Pam Wed, 23 Feb 2011 21:10:41 EST Guinea Pig I have volunteered for the second year in a row to be a practicum project. An Exercise Science student who is in his or her final semester of diploma studies to becoming a certified personal fitness trainer will develop and implement a plan for me. I meet with Kyra in one hour. <BR> <BR> A year ago I was also struggling with a flareup of fibromyalgia pain and fatigue. With my trainer's help I got back to exercising and was able to train to run a half marathon in May. My goal is the same t... Thu, 10 Feb 2011 12:29:47 EST Stranded You are going to be stranded. You'll have a cabin with a basic kitchen and clean drinking water. What SIX food items will you want to have dropped off weekly so that you may continue to Spark to loose weight and gave good nutrition? Would you need a supplement or two, also? <BR> <BR> A researcher at the college and I had this conversation the other day. I thought I might want bags of peanut M&Ms on my list, but then I recalled hearing somewhere that a person could live off of peanut butt... Sat, 5 Feb 2011 14:37:31 EST Food, Fitness and Faith This is not a blog about religion. It is my hope that any of you who are uncomfortable with the topic of religion or who practice a faith other than Christianity will allow me a bit of latitude. You'll soon see where I am going with this, I promise. <BR> <BR> As many of you know I have a personal mission statement. I have plans for things I want to achieve beyond maintaining an ideal weight, being healthy, completing a triathlon and another half marathon. In an ongoing quest to find elusiv... Thu, 3 Feb 2011 14:10:05 EST Spark City I just noticed that approximately 81, 500 people have "liked" Sparkpeople's Facebook page. That's roughly the population of my city. What if there was a real, live city based on Sparkpeople? Wouldn't it be awesome? <BR> <BR> All the fitness classes would be free. So would an appointment with a dietician. Everyone you met would be supportive of your choice to be healthier and there would be no donuts at the office, sugary snacks on the grocery store shelves, or french fries at the drive-thr... Sat, 22 Jan 2011 17:40:55 EST On the Web: Learning from Michael Polan Heavy on the Butter -- A Week of Eating Like Its 1912 <BR> by Wency Leung, The Globe and Mail <BR> <link><BR>d-wine/heavy-on-the-butter-a-week-of-f<BR>ollowing-century-old-recipes/article1874954/ </link> <BR> Inspired by Michael Pollan’s advice to not eat “anything your great-great-grandmother wouldn’t recognize as food," Wency goes on and writes about this week-long eating experiment. She learned a lot about early Canadian cuisine. <BR> <BR> <BR> ... Wed, 19 Jan 2011 14:24:33 EST Eating Cheap n Beachy in Snow Town Yesterday's Daily Spark Blog proved the point that $20 can buy a couple a meal's worth of junk from the drive-thru, or it can buy several day's worth of healthy food from the grocery store. I noticed, however, that the healthy alternatives included foods that most of my South Beach teammates would avoid, like potatoes, orange juice and pasta. <BR> <BR> <link><BR>t_20_will_buy_at_the_drivethru_and_at_<BR>the_supermarket </link> <BR> <BR> I attempted to... Fri, 14 Jan 2011 22:35:08 EST Snow Pants I heard the most absurd thing on the radio this morning. <BR> <BR> "Its a great day to head to The Sugar Bowl with the kids. We'll be getting two or three more centimeters of snow." <BR> <BR> (That's about an inch for my American friends.) <BR> <BR> The Sugar Bowl is the local toboggan (sled) hill. What the announcer failed to mention is that, with the wind chill, its -40C outside (-40F) and exposed skin can freeze within one minute (one minute). Outdoor activity is dangerous now, acco... Tue, 11 Jan 2011 11:26:43 EST Calgary Half Marathon, May 2011 I subscribe to a daily email newsletter called "Walk the Talk". Today's email is called "How to Avoid Procrastination" and it was exactly what I needed. It sets out a simple formula for achieving goals. <BR> <BR> • STEP ONE: Decide exactly what you want. <BR> <BR> I want to run a half marathon. <BR> <BR> • STEP TWO: Write it down. <BR> <BR> I just did. <BR> <BR> • STEP THREE: Set a deadline on your goal; set sub deadlines if necessary. <BR> <BR> Calgary Half Marathon <BR> Saturda... Mon, 10 Jan 2011 13:56:02 EST I'm Not Stepping On the Scale <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> Happy first day back on track, everyone, unless you are celebrating with a New Year's meal, that is. Today marks my re-start of The South Beach Diet with Phase 1 (low carb for two weeks). <BR> <BR> My breakfast today is: <BR> 1 cup of vanilla yogurt (non-fat and NSA) <BR> 2 tablespoons of peanut butter (off the spoon, yum!) and <BR> ... Sat, 1 Jan 2011 10:27:12 EST "It is excited very good." My daughter is a foodie and I'm thrilled that she enjoys learning about nutrition, searching for recipes, cooking and eating healthy food. At 14, I thought the girl we nicknamed "Ladybug" would be too young to ask for food-related gadgets for Christmas, but she's found something that she's obsessing over. <BR> <BR> An oddly named company in Japan, Lube Sheep, has a line of bento boxes called "Clickety Click". They are decorated with childish animal characters and very poorly translated phr... Mon, 20 Dec 2010 17:41:37 EST On a Mission In the last two weeks I've started a half-time job, had the flu, kicked-off two big and new projects at my day job, participated in a cookie exchange, been to two Christmas events, survived a nasty blizzard, and nursed a sick cat back to health. To top it off I've just been asked to sit on the board for a not-for-profit organization I support. I know I need to respond to their invitation quickly. I want to say "yes". <BR> <BR> Like the organization, I have a mission statement. I've had it ... Fri, 10 Dec 2010 23:15:37 EST Work, Work, Work! Whatever Shall We Eat? Hubby and I will both be working two jobs for the next couple of weeks. We're doing a project at the college to make some money for the holidays and pay for yet more repairs to the Jeep. (He says that our '97 Grande Cherokee is going to live forever now because its all brand new. There goes my dream of a new car.) The kids will have to fend for themselves until we get home at bedtime, Monday to Thursday. I'm scrambling to come up with healthy supper ideas that will keep them from having to tu... Sun, 28 Nov 2010 00:48:04 EST Eating Frogs I've got lots on my to do list, but I admit to avoiding some of the more difficult tasks. In my case, as a manager, advisor, mom, sister, wife, and ex-wife, "difficult" often means dealing with issues that may not be liked by other people. Sometimes I wish I wasn't such a feeler type. The other things I sometimes avoid are the big housework jobs like purging, organizing, filing papers, etc. Don't worry, you won't see me on an upcoming episode of Hoarders (I've found homes for all but three o... Fri, 12 Nov 2010 12:19:30 EST Goodies! At Sparkpeople I quite enjoy receiving and giving Spark Goodies for all sorts of reasons. At work I've just been invited to choose a REAL goodie, my gift for 20 years of service at the college. In the past, all 20-year award recipients received a ring with the logo on it. I had assumed that this was what I was getting, too, but now I must choose. This is difficult. <BR> <BR> "Beside Still Waters" Framed Art Print by Kim Norlien <BR> "One to One" Framed Canvas Transfer by Carl Brenders <BR> ... Mon, 8 Nov 2010 11:48:56 EST Comfort Foods Yesterday we may have enjoyed our last blast of summer; it was 27C and I wore a skirt with bare legs to work. Today it snowed. I was in my windowless office when it happens, but I believed my friends' Facebook updates that reported the arrival of wintery weather. Thankfully, the snow melted as quickly as it came, but now my family wants pastries, pies and cookies. Why is it that when the weather turns cold we turn to sugar, bad carbs and fat? <BR> <BR> Mom's specialties are pie, butter tart... Sat, 16 Oct 2010 00:47:50 EST Happiness: Unhook Your Bungee Cord Happy Hump Day! <BR> <BR> Your personal psychological Bungee cords may be thwarting your ambitions, according to an article I read today. <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> (This is how Cargo Rack in the UK sells hardware.) <BR> <BR> For work I subscribe to the BNET (CBS Interactive Business Network) newsletters. Today's edition had some really good ideas to chew on for anyone who's setting and achieving goals in the persuit of happiness. Th... Thu, 7 Oct 2010 01:01:38 EST We Went for a Walk Inspired by my friend Mom2ACat, I decided to do a picture blog of one of the places I like to walk and run with Corky. I'm dealing with a flare-up of fibromyalgia these days, so I haven't been able to run for a while. Honestly, I haven't been doing much walking, either, so Corky was very excited when I grabbed the leash yesterday afternoon. We've been enjoying a return of summer weather and I just couldn't imagine staying inside to do housework. Besides, I had to test drive my new running sho... Mon, 4 Oct 2010 22:17:26 EST Keeping it Simple With Veggies Michael Polan said it right, I think, in his book "In Defense of Food". <BR> <BR> "Eat real food, not too much, mostly plants." <BR> <BR> <link><BR>f-food/ </link> <BR> <BR> Yesterday I did some fall clothing shopping and discovered that I've gained weight since July. The full-length mirrors in the change room don't lie and I blame my fat on my own choices, too much cake and emotional eating. <BR> <BR> I don't know about you, but I don't really ... Sun, 3 Oct 2010 15:47:20 EST Stunning Renovation On a Budget Hubby and I have struggled to turn our house into the home we envision because we are on such a teeny budget. It would be so easy to just go out and buy everything we want and hire expert help... if only we had the cash. In contrast, renovating our bodies was relatively inexpensive. Honestly, all we needed was Sparkpeople -- which is free! -- and to invest in really good athletic shoes. The total price tag? $150 each. Every other expense was an extra. So the next time you are thinking that yo... Sun, 26 Sep 2010 14:59:12 EST Holy Cupcakes Batman! "Birthdays are good for you. Statistics show that the people who have the most live the longest." <BR> <BR> Unfortunately, birthday cakes are not healthy. Not surprisingly, anniversary cakes aren't good, either. I've had a lot of cake this week. <BR> <BR> Friday was Ladybug's birthday. We ate cupcakes at Brat #1's tailgate party and then on Saturday her aunt and uncle visited from the big city and -- guess what? -- they brought cupcakes to share. <BR> <BR> Wednesday was my 20th anniver... Sat, 18 Sep 2010 10:58:33 EST Keeping With the Program While Changing Channels Its back-to-school time and so life is uber-hectic at Prairie Dawn Cottage. <BR> <BR> My work is at the college is a bit different than last semester plus, just today, I agreed to doing an extra, part-time contract to work with groups in the evening. I start that at the end of the month. I look forward to the new responsibilities and extra pay, but I do worry about the stress on my personal schedule. How will I keep Sparking? <BR> <BR> I MUST DO MORE TO PREPARE HEALTHY FOODS IN ADVANCE. ... Thu, 9 Sep 2010 00:25:32 EST