PRAIRIE_MUM's SparkPeople Blog PRAIRIE_MUM's Blog on SparkPeople, home of free diet plans and a healthy living community Season of the Beast: Week 14 This week's challenge is about finding a healthy but comforting fall recipe. <BR> I love me some pumpkin, so I decided to find an alternative to the super yummy but oh-so-sugary Pumpkin Spice Latte. <BR> <BR> Here's what I came up with: <BR> <link><BR>-food/homemade-low-fat-pumpkin-spice-l<BR>atte </link> <BR> <BR> The recipe is simple and has the flavours I was after: coffee, pumpkin, spices and just a hint of sweetness. I don't drink milk anymore so... Fri, 20 Sep 2013 09:11:12 EST Walking! This week's Season of the Beast Challenge was just the motivation I needed to get walking again. <BR> <BR> On Tuesday I took my dogs ( a senior and a puppy) out for extra long walks instead of the lazy short walks that I've been doing lately. Yay! <BR> <BR> On Wednesday I took my son to a 'meet the teacher' day at his new preschool. I have to say, I was tempted to drive there even though it's in walking distance. Instead, I put him in his wagon and set off walking. It was cool, but nice so ... Sat, 7 Sep 2013 15:37:08 EST Mindful Eating... This week's Season of the Beast challenge is about eating mindfully. I took the quiz at <link> ful-eating-questionnaire </link> and as I expected, my results were not great. I'm usually quite aware when I start to go into emotional eating mode, but I don't often do anything to stop it. This week I've been doing my best to stop and take a moment to reflect on my feelings before I eat. <BR> <BR> I've been doing fairly well so far, but I have to admit th... Fri, 28 Jun 2013 08:37:23 EST Well, that was crazy!!! Hi there, <BR> I've been MIA since Thursday. I live in Calgary and we were evacuated due to flooding and just got back in our house on Monday. Power was restored yesterday. I'm hoping to get back into some kind of a routine today. <BR> <BR> The first news I heard about any flooding in Alberta was at 2:30 on Thursday afternoon. By 7PM there was a police officer at our door ordering us to get out ASAP. We had been watching the news and we had seen a series of emergency alerts which were gett... Wed, 26 Jun 2013 08:26:02 EST One hundred pushups! That's what I'm hoping to be able to do by the end of the Season of the Beast Challenge! I followed the link to <link><BR>dpbs </link> <BR> and tried the assessment test. Five pushups. That's really sad. So, week 1 of the program starts with five sets of pushups for my ability level. <BR> The reps for each set are as follows: <BR> 2, 3, 2, 2, 3+(as many as you can do on the last one) <BR> <BR> Let's see how this goes! <BR> <em>320... Wed, 19 Jun 2013 08:43:38 EST True Confessions - June 2013 Edition Well, I wandered waaaay off track in May. I abandoned Weight Watchers and fell back into some of my old emotional eating habits. I'm up 7 pounds from my lowest weight in the past six months. I've been eating some kind of junky food nearly every day. <BR> <BR> I'm stressed out about three things. <BR> 1. Major health scares for my mother and my sister. They both live on the other side of the country and the only thing I can do to help them cope is phone calls and emails. <BR> 2. Our ongoin... Mon, 17 Jun 2013 09:02:55 EST Springing to Action Challenge - Week Nine Oh my gosh I've had a bad week. I'm going to get the bad news out of the way and then move on to the more positive stuff. <BR> I have gained another three pounds. The reason? The usual suspect: emotional eating. I've also strayed way off course and haven't been following any kind of a food plan. I think it may be time for me to get back on Weight Watchers again. I'll give the Spark meal planner one more week but it just doesn't seem to suit my needs. I am putting some diet disaster recovery ... Sun, 21 Apr 2013 09:09:35 EST Springing to Action Challenge - Week Eight Ugh. It has been a bad week for me. There was a death in the family and I ended up waaay off track. We spent the week with out of town relatives and of course there was the funeral, reception, and lots of time spent visiting with family. I let the stress get to me and did more than my fair share of comfort eating. <BR> <BR> As for this week's challenge...I had a couple of really good days where I drank my water consistently all day long and I noticed that my skin looked really good. I also h... Sat, 13 Apr 2013 09:22:16 EST Springing to Action Challenge - Week Seven This week's challenge was about getting enough sleep. I'm usually pretty good about sleep so I managed this one without any trouble. I even managed to sleep eight hours a couple of times rather than my usual seven. I have to say, I can really feel a difference when I get that extra hour. I hadn't realized how much more energy it gives me! <BR> <BR> For the bonus challenge I did some spring cleaning in my studio. There is a big shelf where I've been dumping all of the odds and ends that don't... Sat, 6 Apr 2013 08:25:29 EST Springing to Action Challenge - Week Six This week's challenge to review my nutrition plan is perfect for me right now. I took a good look at the past few weeks and here's what I noticed: <BR> I rarely drink enough water. <BR> I am often at the high end of my fat range. <BR> I am often at or above the high end of my sodium range. <BR> I also have at least one day a week (sometimes two) when I go nuts on candy or chocolate. <BR> I do really well on the days when I stay away from the sweets. <BR> I am always on track with my fiber i... Sat, 30 Mar 2013 23:28:36 EST Springing to Action Challenge - Week Five It has been quite a week, and not in a good way. I had a terrible stomach virus which knocked me right out on Monday. It's now Saturday and I'm still not entirely back to normal. The virus caused me to become quite dehydrated but I got sick every time I drank water. I ended up drinking lots of flat gingerale and gatorade instead. It helped to get fluid into my system but all of that sugar made me feel pretty gross. I'm hoping to get back on track today. <BR> <BR> This week's challenge was a ... Sat, 23 Mar 2013 09:09:50 EST Springing to Action Challenge - Week Three I was really excited when I read about this week's challenge...I love making and looking at collages, so I headed over to the Oprah website to make one! <BR> I keep saying that I should do more yoga, so that's a big part of it. I've also been low on fresh produce in my diet lately, so I put that on there along with my garden plans for the year. <BR> I'm doing my best to start fresh this week and get moving towards my goals again. We can do this!!! <BR> <BR> Here is my vision board for a fre... Mon, 4 Mar 2013 09:25:38 EST Springing to Action Challenge - Week Two I can't say that I've had a great week...I've gained weight. Three pounds. Yup, that time of the month is just around the corner so hopefully it will disappear very soon. <BR> <BR> This week's main challenge was fun. The only show that I consistently watch every week is Coronation Street, so I used it for my workout game. For anyone who isn't familiar with the show, it's basically a British soap. It's full of lots of crazy drama and English slang. Most of the show takes place in the pub or p... Sat, 2 Mar 2013 08:03:35 EST Body Fat Percentage Calculator - Yikes! As part of this week's Springing to Action challenge I just did my body fat calculation using the tape measure method. <BR> The calculator in the link didn't work very well for me...I couldn't see all the results so I used a different one. (The link is below) <BR> <BR> All I can say about my results is YIKES! <BR> <BR> Body Fat 38 % <BR> Fat Mass 68 lbs <BR> Lean Mass 112 lbs <BR> Body Fat Category Obese <BR> <BR> I'm not happy about being in the "obese" category but it's somethi... Tue, 19 Feb 2013 10:05:28 EST Springing to Action Challenge - Week One Hello fellow challenge participants and my Bahama Mama's teammates! <BR> I'm very excited to be starting a new challenge! The Falling for Fitness challenge was lots of fun and I got to know some great new Spark Friends. I'm looking forward to spending the next four months with all of you. <BR> <BR> Here's a little bit about me. I'm Hilary. I joined Sparkpeople in 2009 and lost about twenty pounds within the first six months. I've struggled with various fertility issues over the past seven ye... Tue, 19 Feb 2013 09:56:43 EST Falling For Fitness Challenge - Week Seventeen Update Well, here we are. It's the last day of the challenge! I am very proud that I stuck with this! I showed up and participated every single week! Woo hoo! <BR> <BR> I have learned a lot during the course of this challenge. The most valuable lesson for me was discovering just how important it is to be part of a team. I love knowing that there are other Bahama Mamas out there doing what I'm doing. We share our victories and struggles together and we're exploring new ideas together too. I love rea... Sat, 16 Feb 2013 11:43:14 EST My goal is within sight... I've managed to get off the plateau that I've been stuck on for the past few weeks. I tried a new meal plan from Happy Herbivore and it did not work well for me. It was too high in carbs and too low in protein for my needs. I had a look at my trackers from a couple of months ago when I was losing consistently and I'm now using those as meal plan guidelines. I still feel like Weight Watchers Points Plus is easier for me to manage than just tracking calories etc. I have always hated numbers and... Wed, 6 Feb 2013 09:06:08 EST (Revised on Saturday) Falling For Fitness - Week Sixteen Update This week's challenge is about affirming our love for ourselves. I'm going to update this blog entry multiple times this week and add each day's affirmation and share what I love about myself through the week. I'll also share a few funnies here for the bonus challenge. Stay tuned! <BR> <BR> Sunday's affirmation is simple. "I love who I am right now." My self-love share for you today is: I love my quirky sense of humour! <BR> <BR> And today's laugh is for all of you Mr. Bean fans! <BR> <img... Sun, 3 Feb 2013 09:23:25 EST Falling For Fitness Challenge - Week Fourteen Update I can't believe that this challenge is almost over! I managed to lose one pound this week so I finally feel like I'm making a bit of progress again but I need to kick things up to really break this plateau. <BR> <BR> This week's challenge was to join at least three of the FFF team goals. I joined the goasl for: 500 fitness minutes in a month, eight glasses of water a day and pay it forward. This week I racked up 290 fitness minutes! I'm very happy with that and I fit in little bits of fitne... Sat, 2 Feb 2013 18:02:06 EST Falling for Fitness Challenge - Week Fourteen Update Well, it's been an interesting week for me. I checked out this week's links about different kinds of cleanses and I chose to do the Kitchari cleanse for one day. I had never heard of it before but it sounded good. It's a very old ayurvedic practice which is supposed to have similar effects to fasting, but instead of not eating, you eat a "mono diet" during the cleanse. <BR> <BR> Kitchari is a porridge-like dish made from basmati rice and mung beans. Rice and beans are the key ingredients and... Sat, 26 Jan 2013 12:42:33 EST Falling For Fitness Challenge - Week Thirteen Update The main challenge for this week is to write a letter to your future self about your journey so far. Here is the letter that I wrote to my future self. I hope this will be a valuable resource to turn to when I'm feeling stuck! <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> Dear Future Prairie_Mum, <BR> <BR> It's January of 2013 and I'm writing this letter as part of the Falling For Fitness Challenge. Since joining Sparkpeople in April of 2009 I have lost 42 pounds and I am three sizes smaller! I never thought that ... Fri, 18 Jan 2013 09:21:46 EST Falling For Fitness Challenge - Week Twelve Update The scale cooperated with me again this week and I'm back down to where I was before Christmas. I got out for a couple of nice long walks this week and I've been putting some extra elbow grease into my house cleaning on the cold days when I'm stuck inside. <BR> <BR> The challenge for this week was to research and use a natural remedy for something that ails you. I chose green tea for its ability to slow the absorption of glucose into the blood as well as its reported weight loss benefits. ... Sat, 12 Jan 2013 11:41:24 EST Falling For Fitness Challenge - Week Eleven Update Well, I made it through the holiday season and I tried to stay on track but I gained four pounds. Each morning I started off strong, but by late afternoon I gave in to "just one" little treat here and there. Those mini-cookies, chocolates and nuts really added up over the past ten days. It's time to turn it around and get back into the groove. If I stick to my plan I could be at my goal weight by March 1st! <BR> <BR> This week's FFF challenge put me in touch with some great meal planning to... Wed, 2 Jan 2013 09:37:54 EST Falling For Fitness Challenge - Week Ten Update Well, I can't say that I've been very mindful about my eating for the past three days. I didn't stick to my plan to track things ahead of time and I went a little overboard on Christmas Eve. Once again I felt so awful that I could hardly sleep. I'm not sure if it was the food or the vodka cranberry drinks (I had two of them), but as soon as it was time for bed I felt like I had a terrible hangover and couldn't get to sleep because I was overwhelmed by the sound of my thumping heart and angry ... Thu, 27 Dec 2012 09:25:39 EST Falling for Fitness Challenge - Week Nine Update Wow - we're already nine weeks into the challenge! I'm very happy with my progress since the challenge started. My goal is in sight! The trick is going to be to keep moving and burning lots of extra calories whenever I have a few free minutes. <BR> <BR> This week's challenge was pretty straightforward. I put together four workouts - two of them involved walking and the other two were made up of workout videos and dancing. I'm not one who normally enjoys standing in front of the tv screen wh... Sat, 22 Dec 2012 09:09:41 EST Falling For Fitness Challenge - Week Eight Update My week started off with a potluck on Sunday. It was not a good scene. I ate waaaay too much and I felt absolutely terrible afterwards. Then PMS took hold and I ate junk on Monday too. By Tuesday I got a grip on things and started to turn things around. I haven't been an angel by any stretch of the imagination, but I've been pretty good at ignoring that little red devil sitting on my shoulder telling me to chow down. <BR> <BR> I lost a bit of weight this week and I've been on the go every d... Fri, 14 Dec 2012 22:39:07 EST Back on track! I managed to turn things around this week and I'm now losing weight again! I'm still eating more than usual but I've been very active this week (doing everyday things) plus I've gone out walking a few times when it was warm enough outside. <BR> <BR> Maybe I'll reach my year-end goal after all! Fri, 14 Dec 2012 08:43:30 EST The slippery slope... It started on Sunday. We hosted a Christmas potluck at our house. I ate a light breakfast and lunch because I was saving myself for dinner. I ate a ton of everything and man, did I pay for it. I felt so gross that I hardly slept that night. I honestly felt as if I had a hangover. You'd think that would be enough to teach me a lesson, but no. As soon as I felt human again on Monday afternoon I started eating more junk! What's wrong with me? <BR> <BR> This is a very slippery slope and if I don... Tue, 11 Dec 2012 23:31:53 EST Falling For Fitness Challenge - Week Seven Update Wow, I can't believe that we're seven weeks into the challenge already! I didn't lose a single ounce this week, BUT that means I didn't gain either! The weather eased up a tiny bit and my running path was finally free of ice so I was able to get out for a run. Sadly, the temperature dropped again so I only managed the one run. It felt great to run again though and I'm looking forward to my next chance to do it again. <BR> <BR> This week I recommitted to two of my streaks. The first one is s... Sat, 8 Dec 2012 22:22:17 EST Falling For Fitness Challenge - Week Six Update Well this week I did really well with my eating - lots of salads, homemade soup and I stayed out of the snack cupboard. My exercise plan is not going so well though. I haven't been able to get out for a run for almost two weeks now. We've had cold weather and snow for ages now. We did have a few half decent days but I had to take my son to a few different activities. I tried to get out running twice, but the path was too icy to risk it. This week I need to enlist my hubby's help to get my tre... Sat, 1 Dec 2012 09:34:22 EST My "new" wardrobe! I used to have a really bad habit. I would buy clothes that are too small for me. For the past twelve years or so, my weight has fluctuated within a range of about 20 pounds. There have been a couple of times when my weight briefly went up higher than that, but for the most part it's been within those 20 pounds. That means that I have a stockpile of clothes (we're talking about sixty or so articles of clothing) in various sizes from the times when I've been at either end of that range. <BR> ... Mon, 26 Nov 2012 09:40:59 EST Falling For Fitness Challenge - Week Five Update It's Friday and I have to admit that I have been slacking this week. The weather has been terrible so I haven't made it out for a run since Saturday. I've been keeping up with my tracking, so I completed the main challenge but I totally missed the boat on the bonus challenge. I did look at a couple of the videos but I only actually did one. Well, if I'm perfectly honest I only did two thirds of the Tracey Anderson arms one. I spent the other third of the time wondering how the heck she moves ... Fri, 23 Nov 2012 16:33:20 EST Saturday Gratitude Today I am thankful for my education. There are many, many girls in this world who don't get to go to school at all. I grew up knowing that when I finished high school, I would be able to continue on and go to university. I took it for granted at the time but I'm very grateful for it now. <BR> <em>150</em> Sat, 17 Nov 2012 08:15:24 EST Friday Gratitude Today's amber alert (see my post below) makes me oh so thankful that my little guy is quietly sleeping, tucked in his warm cosy bed. I'm going to go peek at him now. <BR> <em>26</em> Fri, 16 Nov 2012 08:45:54 EST Update: Good news! Amber alert has been cancelled I just heard that this amber alert has been extended into Montana, Washington and some other US states. Check for alerts in your area and please share so as many people see this as possible. <BR> <BR> <link><BR>teNodeId=50&languageId=1&contentId=27820 </link> <BR> <BR> UPDATE: Good news! The child has been found! <BR> <BR> <BR> <link><BR>t+cancelled+allegedly+abducted+father+<BR>cancelled+with+video/7555999/story... Fri, 16 Nov 2012 07:54:40 EST Falling For Fitness Challenge -Week Four Update This week's FFF challenge is about giving up a processed food. I've been doing pretty well at avoiding packaged stuff except for the odd Lean Cuisine pasta dinner and the "fake meat" products that I eat. The Lean Cuisine dinners are my go-to when it's too late to cook anything for dinner. I usually throw the dinner in the microwave and put a quick salad together to have with it. I have to say that on the nights when I do that, I always feel like the salad is the best part of my meal. I decide... Thu, 15 Nov 2012 09:30:42 EST Thursday Gratitude Today I am thankful for SparkPeople! I found this site three and a half years ago when I was searching online for free diet plans. I was hoping to find free vegetarian weight loss menus but what I found was much, much better than anything I had imagined. The vegetarian meal plans on Spark don't always work for me, but all of the other tools on the site are incredible! <BR> <BR> SparkPeople has helped me get through some of the "roadblocks" on my journey to getting healthier. I have found fri... Thu, 15 Nov 2012 09:00:19 EST Wednesday Gratitude I am very thankful that I am able to stay at home with my son. I have lots of friends with kids the same age and some of them barely see their children on weekdays because their days are mostly taken up with working, commuting and doing housework. My husband works extra hard to allow me to stay at home. Every day I feel lucky to be able to spend as much time as possible with my little guy. Wed, 14 Nov 2012 07:28:55 EST Tuesday Gratitude I am very grateful to have my confidence back. It's been very cold and we've had a lot of snow here lately so I missed a run on Friday. Yesterday I headed out for a walk to check on the path where I usually run. It was in very good condition so I decided to start running. I thought I'd hit an icy part sooner or later, but I was able to run around the slippery bits. <BR> <BR> When I was about halfway through my run, I heard voices behind me. Great, I thought. Runners. Fast runners. I kept jo... Tue, 13 Nov 2012 09:08:24 EST Monday Gratitude With age comes wisdom. I have experienced many challenging events over the years but I am grateful that I have gained wisdom from the bad things that have happened to me. I am a much stronger person for having learned to cope with everything that has come my way. Mon, 12 Nov 2012 08:31:22 EST Sunday Gratitude It's Remembrance Day today in Canada. It's always a sombre occasion but every year it makes me think of everyone who has served our country. It also makes me thankful that my nearest and dearest are all healthy and able bodied. It's something that most of us take for granted until illness strikes close to home. Today I am grateful for good health and I wish for those who aren't healthy to get well. Sun, 11 Nov 2012 11:38:17 EST Saturday Gratitude This week's Falling For Fitness bonus challenge is about gratitude. I think that synchronicity is at play here, because the concept of being grateful for what I have has come up repeatedly for the past few days. For the next week I'm going to focus on the positives in my life. <BR> <BR> Today I am grateful for good friends who stick by me through all of life's ups and downs. True friends don't come along very often but when they do, they're worth holding on to! Sat, 10 Nov 2012 08:24:19 EST Falling For Fitness Challenge - Week Three Update This weeks challenge is to log in and spin the SparkPoints wheel each day. I've been on a good streak anyway, so I should be able to keep it up for the rest of the week. I hope I didn't jinx myself by saying that! <BR> <BR> The bonus challenge is to find 10 recipes on SparkRecipes that work for you. This was a good challenge for me because I've been in a bit of a slump lately when it comes to trying new things. It was good for me to spend some time seeking out new ideas that will work for my... Tue, 6 Nov 2012 15:50:04 EST What to do after C25K? I finished the C25K program in October and I have to say that I absolutely LOVED it. I would highly recommend it for anyone who wants to start running. When I started my Week One workout I wasn't sure if I'd be able to do it. A full minute of running seemed like too much for me. Since finishing the program I've been running 30-35 minutes each time and my longest run was close to 50 minutes! <BR> <BR> I liked using the C25K podcasts from the UK's National Health Service : <link> Tue, 6 Nov 2012 09:09:31 EST Falling For Fitness Challenge - Week Two Update The second week of the Falling For Fitness Challenge is almost over. I liked this week's challenge of drinking 16 oz of water first thing in the morning three days this week. I often have coffee or tea in the morning but I don't usually have my first glass of water until mid-morning or sometimes even lunch time. On the days when I drank the water I realized just how thirsty I am when I wake up! I think it really got me off to a good start to get the water into my system right away. One mornin... Fri, 2 Nov 2012 15:23:16 EST I ran 5K today! Woo Hoo!!! Whew! I did it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! <BR> This morning I checked the weather forecast and saw that things were going to take a turn for the worse tomorrow morning so I decided to head out for my virtual 5K Trick or Treat Trot today. <BR> <em>431</em> <BR> <BR> I bundled my little guy into his snowsuit and strapped him into the jogging stroller. I headed for my favourite running path and it was gorgeous. The sun was shining and snow was melting all around me. I was a bit worried that my son m... Tue, 30 Oct 2012 15:32:01 EST C25K - I think I graduated! It has taken me a while to get through the Couch to 5K program, but I think I can now safely officially announce that I've graduated! For those who aren't familiar with it, the program helps non-runners get from running for one minute at a time in Week 1 to running for 30 minutes straight by Week 9. In theory, this means that you are able to run 5K by the time you finish! I started doing the program on my treadmill back in January of 2010 but four weeks later I found out that I was pregnant s... Mon, 29 Oct 2012 11:30:43 EST Falling For Fitness Challenge - Week One Update I'm super excited to be participating in the Falling For Fitness challenge! My favourite thing about SparkPeople is meeting new friends and knowing that we're all here for each other through our ups and downs. It's going to be fun working together over the coming months. <BR> <BR> I've changed the background image on my Spark page to a sunset on a beach in the Bahamas. It looks like a magical place, doesn't it? I did it in honour of my team for the challenge - Go Bahama Mamas! <BR> <em>... Mon, 22 Oct 2012 16:13:59 EST Onederland, here I come! With only half a pound to go, I'm almost back in Onederland. I can't wait to get there! I spent a month or two there last year before my life went kinda crazy and it's going to feel so good to get back there. <BR> <BR> I can't believe how well the Weight Watchers online plan is working for me. Most days I track on both sites and I'm finally hitting the right calorie and nutrition ranges on my Spark tracker. I really don't feel like the Spark vegetarian meal plans work very well for me thou... Mon, 15 Oct 2012 09:36:08 EST Making progress! I've been doing the Weight Watchers online program for 11 days now and it's going really well. I don't know why, but it's easier for me to eat within my points allowance than it is for me to count calories. It's probably just because it's a change from my old routine. In any case, it's working. I'm 5 pounds down and I've been exercising diligently. <BR> <BR> I'm also pleased to announce that six (previously too-small) articles of clothing have rejoined my wardrobe! I can't believe how much s... Fri, 5 Oct 2012 15:40:21 EST