SAPHRAEL's SparkPeople Blog SAPHRAEL's Blog on SparkPeople, home of free diet plans and a healthy living community T-Minus 16, New Month, New Goals <img src=""> <BR> <BR> I love this time of month around Sparkpeople. Everyone is busy looking back at last month and resetting goals for the next. Woohoo! I've been sitting here myself trying to decide what to do in September. I had some good experiences tinkering with food In July and August. <BR> I'm doing the smoothie cleanse with a Facebook team on September 8, which is really bad timing because my mother in law is coming for a v... Mon, 1 Sep 2014 09:32:01 EST T-Minus 17 The long awaited Ninja arrived today, along with the Mag07 magnesium supplement. I'll let you know what I think when I make the next batch of smoothies! <BR> <BR> I definitely got my fill of animal protein this weekend. I feel like it's all sitting like a lead balloon in my belly! I'm back to smoothie and a piece of salmon for dinner tomorrow. Those sweet little filets are soaking in Chef Meg's Ginger Garlic Marinade. <BR> <BR> Taking a break from the extreme cleanse means getting bac... Sun, 31 Aug 2014 23:10:16 EST T-Minus 18, Full Cleanse Complete I'm declaring victory with 4 of 10 days complete. I may attempt the 10 day full smoothie cleanse again, but I think I'm ready to switch to the Whole 30. My husband will be happy to get fed again! <BR> <BR> Even though I didn't go the full 10 days, the experience was a breakthrough for me. I have the mental fortitude to take the more difficult path and come out the victor when an internal debate over food ensues. Big, big win for me. <BR> <BR> And today I shop for real food that's going ... Sat, 30 Aug 2014 09:56:12 EST T-Minus 19 I fell off my smoothie cleanse pretty hard yesterday. Ouch! I barely ate my veggies snacks during the day because I was so busy. When I got home, I had a boiled egg and my smoothie. Then I had a plain chicken bratwurst sausage, and another on a bun, followed by a thin sliced chicken breast on a toasted English muffin. I obviously reached my tolerance level for low animal protein! All of that was followed by a serious belly ache! On to Day 6! <BR> <BR> Did you know you can modify the in... Fri, 29 Aug 2014 08:51:53 EST 20 Days and Cleaning out the Spark Friend Closet 20 Days left before BLC 26 kicks off! Woohoo! If you saw a note from me today, I was looking at my 400 plus friends list and decided to pare it down a little. If you aren't active or we don't interact, I may remove you from my list. I need to make my Spark world a little more personal. Don't be distressed if you didn't hear from me. I ran out of time! <BR> <em>212</em> Have the best day today! You're worth it! Thu, 28 Aug 2014 09:58:59 EST T-Minus 21, Already Doing the Whole 30?! I've been thinking about doing the Whole 30 in October after I do a full cleanse or two. But my Bahama Mama girlfriend just made me realize that I'm already doing it! So, there you go. My smoothie plan is actually more strict than the Whole 30, so switching to the Whole 30 will give me more protein options. <BR> <BR> 6 days to go. I'm really looking forward to some fleshy, tasty salmon! <BR> <BR> Oh, and the big news for today that I almost forgot about: I'm 219.6, down 6.2 pounds from... Wed, 27 Aug 2014 13:51:21 EST T-Minus 22, Ain't Nothing Gonna Break My Stride Today is Day 3 of my 10 Day Green Smoothie Cleanse. It feels so good to be in control and feel the pounds melt away. I'm down 7.4 pounds since my weigh in on August 22, four days ago. I'll be in the 210s next week for sure, something I haven't done in 7 years! <BR> <em>9</em> <BR> <BR> Going into Day 3, I can see why they suggest taking a break in between cleanses. This is a huge mental challenge for me. It's also interesting to finally be tuned in to certain triggers, like how watc... Tue, 26 Aug 2014 14:05:09 EST T-Minus 23, Quiet Reflection I jokingly said to my Green Smoothie facebook group the other day that every day starts out as a full cleanse...until dinner time rolls around. I stuck to my guns (and the plan) yesterday and completed my first full cleanse day. I was on Cloud 9 until I checked my mail this morning and heard about one of my spark friends losing her son. What a horrible tragedy for any parent to bare. Worse yet, she blogged about it two weeks ago and virtually no one replied. The lack of response hurt her... Mon, 25 Aug 2014 16:27:14 EST T-Minus 24, Mental Preparation Yesterday was supposed to be grocery shopping day, but after we went to Applebee's and Payless, my husband's feet were already in pain (neuropathy that even hard core pain killers don't alleviate), so we came back home. <BR> <BR> I found a cute pair of shoes for work. I'm always on the hunt for a classic leather lace up Oxford that has a bit of a heel. I stumbled on a well made pair at a resale store once. They were amazing. This shoe has some elements that remind me of it. It's a slip... Sun, 24 Aug 2014 09:34:04 EST T-Minus 25, Smoothie Cleanse Begins Tomorrow Okay, this will be brief because I need to go workout. I owe my Fitbit peeps another 4k steps today! I'm just dropping in to announce that I'm taking off the training wheels and am going to attempt the full cleanse tomorrow. It's only ten days. <em>521</em> <BR> <BR> I'm also planning to finally spring for the Ninja blender I've had my eye on. <em>244</em> Sat, 23 Aug 2014 22:32:05 EST T-Minus 26, Virtuous Cycle Virtuous Cycle, don't you like the sound of that? I read it today in a new project Spark Guy is working on. Vicious cycles are what we are more accustomed with. But a virtuous cycle, well, that's just <em>345</em> Apparently, the term is nothing new. It has applications for consumerism, medicine, organizations, and pretty much anything that can get better with focused efforts and improvement. I personally like this adaptation from Praxia: <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.c... Fri, 22 Aug 2014 15:19:53 EST T-Minus 28, BLC Open Enrollment If you're new to or interested in returning to the Biggest Loser Challenge, the registration team is now open. <BR> <BR> Take a chance on YOU! You are worth it! <BR> <img src=""> <BR> Here's a link to the registration team where you'll spend a few weeks learning the ropes before you are assigned to a team: <link><BR>ndividual.asp?gid=63524 </link> Wed, 20 Aug 2014 22:31:38 EST T-Minus 30 <img src="">I'm contemplating doing the full smoothie cleanse, which is 3 smoothie meal replacements plus veggie and protein snacks (boiled eggs, seeds/nuts). I'm nervous to try it. I'm not adding protein powders to my smoothies, so a batch for the whole day usually doesn't exceed 500 calories. Maybe I'll do a trial run today and check my macro-nutrients at the end of the day. I feel like the cleanse has the potential to be under 120... Mon, 18 Aug 2014 19:07:14 EST T-Minus 32, I need to workout! Yikes! I need to step it up in the workout department! I kinda checked out this week for no good reason. I can catch up a little now. I love the weekends! <BR> <BR> My husband and I are considering relocating to Charleston, South Carolina. Is anyone familiar with the area? I'd love to hear from you! Sat, 16 Aug 2014 10:25:59 EST T-Minus 33, Cheesecake Factory I went to the Cheesecake Factory for dinner with the family. The last time we were there was 2 years ago when we saw my daughter off to boot camp. I think I might have ordered the same thing. I cannot pass up seared Ahi tuna! It was delightful! So were the few bites of the red velvet cheesecake we split four ways. Everyone got there fill and there was plenty left over. I was proud of everyone for not thinking they needed to polish it off. <BR> <BR> Now it's time to renew my sugar free ... Fri, 15 Aug 2014 23:01:44 EST T-Minus 34, What Will They Say in Your Eulogy? Oops, the day I declare to refrain from the white stuff, I had tortilla chips and graham crackers! I seem to have little meltdowns about every other day. I need to address that! I'm probably not eating enough earlier in the day. <BR> <BR> *deep breath* Find patience, Brenda. <em>306</em> It's not the day to day you need to worry about. It's the overall trend. <BR> <BR> I just read this quote and it reminded me (again) that I need to stop being so hyper-focused on my weight, nutriti... Thu, 14 Aug 2014 15:18:25 EST T-Minus 35 - The Time is NOW! Adopting changes in your lifestyle is hard. But it gets easier the longer you do it. That's profound, isn't it? But it's worth saying because so many people get stuck. They get mired in the uncertainty and need all the stars aligned before they feel they can begin to make change. What are you waiting for? A calendar date? A team kick off? The right groceries or workout? <BR> <BR> I'm here to tell you, do not wait another minute! Any change, no matter how small, gets you closer to yo... Wed, 13 Aug 2014 15:52:47 EST BLC 26 Countdown, T-Minus 36 I don't think a spot of hummus, hard boiled egg, and a handful of peanuts was enough to sustained me yesterday afternoon. That's what I had in addition to my lunch smoothie and veggies. I made a sensible dinner of chicken parmesan and spinach, but it wasn't enough and I eventually broke down and had a peanut butter wrap with honey. Worse things could've happened. Nonetheless, I went over my calorie range and did not workout. Lazy crept in and I excused myself because it was too hot. Yea... Tue, 12 Aug 2014 08:35:07 EST T-Minus 37 to BLC 26 Okay, so my countdown math was off a bit. I'm only an accountant by trade, cut me a break! <em>246</em> <BR> <BR> So, we have 37 days remaining until the BLC doors open and we take our before pictures and measures and provide our Week 0 weigh in. Are you ready? Will you begin the round in a better place than you ended the previous? If you answered no to either of those questions, think again! <BR> <BR> We CAN make progress without the team structure guiding us every step of the way. ... Mon, 11 Aug 2014 18:21:53 EST T-Minus 39 BLC 26 begins in 39 days. What can we accomplish by then? How much weight can we lose by then? That's about 6 weeks, so I'm going to shoot for 12 more pounds during this break. My initial weigh in goal is 211. <BR> <BR> How am I going to do it? <BR> <BR> <em>550</em> <em>91</em> Drink 3 12-ounce smoothies a day, eat fresh vegetable and protein snacks and a sensible dinner. Very little refined carbs and no added sugar or sweeteners. <BR> <BR> <em>314</em> <em>405</em> <B... Sun, 10 Aug 2014 11:03:04 EST Looking Back...And Ahead <img src=""> <BR> <BR> Pressure’s on! Time to buckle down and get psyched up, not psyched out! I haven’t been in the 210’s since 2007 and I wasn’t there long. The reason for the loss was stress. I almost lost my husband due to a serious illness. Seven years later, I’m ready to lose without any near death experiences! That is all! <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <img src="... Wed, 6 Aug 2014 15:33:06 EST Final Day of Smoothie Challenge I'm down 5.6 pounds at the end of my 10 Day Smoothie Challenge! <BR> <em>244</em> <BR> <BR> Here's a progress pic of sorts that shows my weightloss since 2011: <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> I'm so thrilled to be going in the right direction again. <BR> <BR> Now that my 30 days of awesome is over, I need a new challenge to focus on. Anyone doing anything fun to count down toward something? I'm going to Miami in November, but that's ... Tue, 5 Aug 2014 13:09:17 EST Glazed Salmon and Wrapping up the Smoothie Challenge I'm on Day 9 of my smoothie experiment. Yesterday went... <em>345</em> I had a smoothie for breakfast, an apple for a snack, cedar plank salmon at Applebee's for lunch, celery for a snack, and a smoothie, a small piece of broiled tilapia, and two crab cakes for dinner, followed by a few nuts for an evening snack. It doesn't sound like much, but it came to about 1450 in calories and was relatively clean except for the crab cakes. <BR> <BR> One of the things I love about my new eating pl... Mon, 4 Aug 2014 12:11:14 EST #30daysofawesome - Day 30 I did it! I checked in every day for 30 days. I found at least one thing to celebrate each day. I maintained my awareness on fitness and health. It truly was <BR> <em>345</em> <BR> <BR> I think I'll continue the blogging streak because it did help me stay tuned in. <BR> <BR> I had my breakfast smoothie today of spinach, banana, apple, blueberry, and flaxseed. I'm still trying to figure out what the calorie range is supposed to be. I added up the calories for a daily batch and it ... Sun, 3 Aug 2014 10:03:12 EST #30daysofawesome - Day 29 On Day 7 of my smoothie challenge and I'm down 5.4 pounds. This was an <em>345</em> discovery this morning because I had a bad evening of food yesterday. I ate too much chicken at dinner and I ate potato chips during TV time <em>2</em> <BR> <BR> But I'm aloud to be imperfect. My body is still responding positively to all the other ways I honor it. <em>380</em> <BR> <BR> I'm so stoked to restock the fridge for the next week of smoothies! Sat, 2 Aug 2014 13:12:19 EST August Goals <em>248</em> I had a net loss of 4 pounds in July and 2.6 in June. <em>244</em> Two consecutive months of losses. I'm on a roll! <BR> <BR> I'm keeping my August goals simple. Since I'm continuing with the smoothie challenge, I don't think I want to be too creative with the fitness routine. I'm considering my DDP Yoga workouts as strength, even though the goal is to get into target heart range like cardio. "It ain't your mama's yoga!" <BR> <BR> <em>417</em> <em>314</em> Fitness... Fri, 1 Aug 2014 14:12:58 EST #30daysofawesome - Day 28 <em>244</em> <em>9</em> <em>244</em> <BR> I'm on Day 6 of my modified green smoothie cleanse and even though I'm not adhering to it to the letter, I'm down 3.8 pounds today. I'm trying to eliminate most modifications today. After this round, I'd like to try the full 10 day cleanse. <BR> <BR> Not so heart rate monitor gave up the ghost, but not before emitting an annoying, continuous beep. I attempted to get the back off to pop out the battery, but no luck. I read th... Fri, 1 Aug 2014 13:56:59 EST #30daysofawesome - Day 27 <img src=""> <BR> <BR> Isn't that the sweetest thing? Are you as kind as you can be? I'm not, but I try to be. Peace to you all on this fine Thursday. I worked hard today and am happy to be powering down and heading home! <BR> <em>213</em> Thu, 31 Jul 2014 18:41:36 EST #30daysofawesome - Day 26 <img src=""> <BR> <BR> Tell me, what's awesome with you today? <BR> <BR> This is Day 4 of my smoothie escapade. I'm still enjoying it and trying to ignore the heckling from the peanut gallery. <BR> <BR> Oh, if my post office figured things out, my DDP Yoga package should arrive today. *fingers crossed* <BR> <BR> Design happiness NOW :) <BR> <img src=""> Wed, 30 Jul 2014 15:29:39 EST #30daysofawesome - Day 25 <em>244</em> We're coming down the final stretch of <em>345</em> ! <BR> <BR> In non-health related news, I met with my boss' boss about a leadership opportunity I'm interested in. It requires both their recommendations. I get to draft my own recommendation! It's gonna be stellar! <BR> <em>334</em> <BR> <BR> I've been down 2 pounds for the last few days. Looking forward to taking official credit for the loss tomorrow!! <BR> <em>9</em> <BR> <BR> I'm on Day 3 of my smoothie e... Tue, 29 Jul 2014 12:13:44 EST #30daysofawesome - Day 24 <img src=""> <BR> <BR> This is Day 2 of my green smoothie challenge. I haven't decided if I'm doing the 1-a-day for 30 or 3-a-day for 10, probably somewhere in between. I decided to try it because 1. I like playing with my food and 2. I realized I always have the ingredients. How <em>345</em> is that?! <BR> <BR> Yesterday's breakfast smoothie was spinach, baby kale, peach, and apple. Sounds pretty bland, right? It wasn't big on f... Mon, 28 Jul 2014 08:38:03 EST #30daysofawesome - Day 23 I didn't row yesterday. Instead, I did Day 5 of my PS3 workout. My little bit of awesome was not cheating on the reverse crunches! My abs are by far the weakest. Normal crunches are fine, but reverse crunches that dig into the lower abs, oh my word! But I did all ten of them with good form. I couldn't find any images for the exercise I did. You start on your elbows, as in 'b' in the pic below and pull your legs into your chest. It may go by a name other than a reverse crunch, but it ta... Sun, 27 Jul 2014 09:17:27 EST #30daysofawesome - Day 22 <em>244</em> I dusted off my first Walk at Home DVD last night. It's still relevant! <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> AND I just completed 3 of 6 of my Advanced Project Mangaement classes at Stanford! I was behind, so I planned to work on it this weekend. I wrapped it up with a bow before noon on Saturday! <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> Now, for a bit of rowing! <BR> <img ... Sat, 26 Jul 2014 13:28:25 EST #30daysofawesome - Day 21 Day 5 complete! Next time, I'm going to use dumbbells instead of the resistance bands provided. <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> Own your health! <BR> <img src=""> Fri, 25 Jul 2014 16:50:23 EST #30daysofawesome - Day 20 Wow, can you believe there are only 10 awesome entries left to complete this #30daysofawesome excursion? <BR> <BR> It definitely helped me to be mindful of all the awesome around and within me. Today, I recognize YOU! I've only spoken to one of you in person, so you may not realize that I say gosh alot, so this pic is definitely apropos. Plus, you really are!! <BR> <BR> <em>304</em> for reading and supporting me!! <BR> <BR> <img src=" Thu, 24 Jul 2014 18:20:58 EST #30daysofawesome - Day 19 I did yoga AND my Active 2 game on the PS3 last night. <BR> <em>334</em> <BR> <BR> I'm making spaghetti squash with Italian sausage and peppers for dinner tonight. Nom, nom! <BR> <em>4</em> <BR> <BR> Today is the last day of BLC25. BLC26 will begin in about 8 weeks. My plan is to stay active daily and do my best to eat sensible, whole foods. <BR> <em>521</em> Wed, 23 Jul 2014 19:06:56 EST #30daysofawesome - Day 18 Ugh, I ordered DDP Yoga on my phone and wouldn't you know, it wasn't until I received the confirmation email that it had been shipped that I realized that my phone "corrected" my street address. I googled the incorrect address and was grateful it doesn't exist. Then I sent an email to the post office to let them know. That was interesting. I had to get creative with their forms on the website to submit the issue. I hope it gets here okay. So, yeah, that's not so awesome. <BR> <BR> I ... Tue, 22 Jul 2014 15:21:59 EST #30daysofawesome - Day 17 <img src=""> <BR> <BR> Oh my! I did a fitness test yesterday: 1 minute each of crunches and pushups. My lats are making themselves known today! Mon, 21 Jul 2014 17:11:37 EST #30daysofawesome - Day 16 I completed my EA Sports workout on the PS3 before going grocery shopping this morning. Now that BLC is winding down, I created a new avatar to remind me that I'm not on vacation between rounds! <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> Plus, I found new reward stickers in the greeting card section at the store today! Now I need to revise my calendar system to use them! <BR> <img src=""> Sun, 20 Jul 2014 18:52:47 EST #30daysofawesome - Day 15 <img src=""> <BR> Paddleboating at Lake Wilderness this afternoon with my daughter. ..awesome! <BR> <BR> I also bought DDP Yoga. I know a few of you use it. Please let me know what you think and if you have tips on combining workouts, etc. <BR> <BR> Update: Oh, I'm so not feeling awesome! I just took some Day 1 pictures and measurements while I wait for the DVDs to arrive. Oh my word! Instead of asking someone else to take the pi... Sat, 19 Jul 2014 21:45:45 EST #30daysofawesome - Day 14 <img src=""> <BR> <BR> What an awesome Friday this is! My daughter applied to a local retail store for a seasonal position and they offered her a full-time department supervisor position! That’s pretty darned awesome! She wsa candid with them about her pursuing a job in medicine, and they were supportive of her efforts to continue her education. <BR> <BR> This is the final week of the 25th round of the Biggest Loser Challenge. This... Fri, 18 Jul 2014 14:22:56 EST #30daysofawesome - Day 13 Today's point of awesome is not health related. I just finished my essay answers for application to a 3 year leadership program at work. Fingers and legs crossed that I make the cut! Thu, 17 Jul 2014 09:58:12 EST #30daysofawesome - Day 12 Hmm, what's so awesome? Well, I guess I can start with my Last Chance Workout. We have two days to pick from (Monday or Tuesday). My Monday fitness minutes were 80 and Tuesday's was 75. That's pretty fabulous! <BR> <BR> Oh, but wait, I lost weight this week too! I am down 2.8 pounds from last week. That's a whole 2 pounds from 11 weeks ago when BLC 25 kicked off. I should be disappointed by that, but I'm not. Cumulatively, I've made a lot of lifestyle improvements. I'm cleaning up m... Wed, 16 Jul 2014 21:32:07 EST #30daysofawesome - Day 11 I did the sculpting section of the yoga dvd. It was a bit more challenging, but definitely something I can grow into. I'm at the dermatologist/skin cancer specialist today having a blemish checked out. My family physician tried freezing it off a year ago, but it just came back. It's small and barely noticeable, but I'd rather err on the side of caution. Tue, 15 Jul 2014 17:22:10 EST #30daysofawesome - Day 10 <img src=""> <BR> <BR> I did a fun yoga workout last night. It was a Denise Austin DVD, "Hot Body Yoga" that included the pose pictured above. There was another sculpting segment after the first 30 minutes that I didn't do, but will probably try later. <BR> <BR> <img src=""> Mon, 14 Jul 2014 14:54:15 EST #30daysofawesome - Day 9 <img src=""> <BR> <BR> I had a nice day with my daughter, Megan. We were surprised to find that the paddle boats were all checked out until 4 p.m. Neither of us were ready to try the paddle boards, so we made a reservation,ensuring us a boat next weekend. Instead, we got sandwiches from Subway and did a lot of catching up. She's at a transition point in her life, so I was happy to spend some time with her and help her with some deci... Sun, 13 Jul 2014 09:55:48 EST #30daysofawesome - Day 8 I decided what to spend my gift card money on after completing the Boeing on the Move challenge: a hula hoop! Yep. I sucked at it as a kid, but I think I'll give it another try. Do any of you hoop? Suggestions are welcome. To get me started, I'm going with a 40", 1.5 lb. Weighted hoop. I'll stick with waist hooping and see how it goes. <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <img src=""... Sat, 12 Jul 2014 11:05:03 EST #30daysofawesome - Day 7 At 7:30 last night, I realized I only had around 3200 steps on the pedometer. I briefly thought, "There goes my streak." Then I came to my senses and started marching in place while watching a Netflix movie. I can't remember the title, but it was about a teen with Leukemia, starring Dakota Fanning. I'm somewhere in the middle of it. I turned it off once I reached my step goal. The movie so far is decent. It's a good showcase of feelings one goes through when they are faced with a termin... Fri, 11 Jul 2014 18:40:49 EST #30DaysofAwesome - Day 6 <em>248</em> Achieving 10K steps yesterday was easier than the previous day, since I did a fair bit of walking at work. I only had to stare at the fitbit for 30 minutes instead of 50 to reach goal. <BR> <em>334</em> <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> I came in under budget on my calories yesterday..only about 100 calories. And I'm on track today. I stopped by the market on my way home and picked up some blackberries and Rainier... Thu, 10 Jul 2014 15:55:06 EST #30DaysofAwesome - Day 5 <img src=""> <BR> <BR> It's morning, barely! So, I have to make this quick. I have a stealth health walk waiting for me! <BR> <BR> I tore it up yesterday with almost 120 minutes of fitness between a walk at work, a kettlebell workout, and almost an hour on the elliptical. Guess what I learned? For you Fitbit users, you may already know this, but if you have the Fitbit app activated on your phone, it does a real time count for you. ... Wed, 9 Jul 2014 13:46:20 EST