SAPHRAEL's SparkPeople Blog SAPHRAEL's Blog on SparkPeople, home of free diet plans and a healthy living community Open Registration for Biggest Lose Challenge Round 27 If you are a new or returning member to the BLC, now is your chance to enroll in the next 12 week round scheduled to begin in January! Head over to the registration team and take a gander at the teams! <BR> <link><BR>ndividual.asp?gid=64133 </link> Thu, 18 Dec 2014 05:32:18 EST Morning Rituals and My New Nutritional Landscape I should be walking, not blogging. I can tell because I feel groggy. I'll take a walk as soon as I get a few words down. The week is young, but so far, so good. I'm down 1.5 pounds from last week. <BR> <BR> I'm eating clean, clean, clean, though I'll admit I ate more turkey chili than I needed last night. <BR> <BR> I'm fine tuning my morning ritual. I wake between 3 and 4 a.m. Nodding off at 8 p.m. may have something to do with that. I was going to correct it, but I kind of like havi... Wed, 17 Dec 2014 15:20:33 EST Prepping for Success <img src=""> <BR> <BR> Here is my motivation / action mantra since I began this journey has been "Eat fresh, move often."  I created this for a contest on JJ Smith's VIP group on Facebook.  Three years ago, long before I knew of JJ and the work she's been doing, I was already a disciple, focusing on two legs of the DEM (detox, eat, move) system! I'm still a skeptic about some of the suggested detox methods, but I'm tolerant ... Mon, 15 Dec 2014 07:10:51 EST Day 10, That's a Wrap! Today is the final day of my 10 day smoothie cleanse. How did I do? I didn’t take measurements because I couldn’t find the tape measure. I did take my weight, almost daily. I dropped 3.5 pounds at one point. Today, I’m down only ½ pound. So, I’ll do a final weigh tomorrow, but I’m not expecting a big change. <BR> <img src=""> <BR> Once I tire of being disappointed, it’s time to face facts and figure out why this didn’t work. I wasn... Wed, 10 Dec 2014 15:14:17 EST I'm All About Them Weights I am frustrated to say I still have a cough that's slowing down my workouts. I'm anxious to get back to health, cuz... <BR> <img src=""> Wed, 10 Dec 2014 01:30:07 EST Day 8, Feeling GOOD Today is Day 8. I'm down 2.2 pounds from Day 1. I lost a bit more in between, but popped up a bit. We'll see how things shake out at the final weigh in on Wednesday. What ever the scale will say, I'm feeling good. Part of the reason is what I'm seeing in the mirror. My skin is clear, my face isn't bloated, though I still have an extra chin <em>29</em> I can see why people tell me I look like my daughter's sister, not her mom. <BR> <BR> I haven't been going gangbusters with the fitn... Mon, 8 Dec 2014 14:51:04 EST Day 7, Seeing the Forest My daughter gave me the best gift yesterday.  She told me I look like I'm losing weight every time she sees me.  And she sees me every day!  She has no idea what an impact her compliment had!  If you've been following my recent blogs, I'm doing this smoothie cleanse.  It's pretty restrictive, so its hard.  I rarely (never) have a completely successful day.  And of course, it's the shortfalls that I focus on.  My daughter's compliment allowed me to see the forest through the trees.  Despite th... Sun, 7 Dec 2014 12:01:35 EST Day 5, Getting Over the Mid-cleanse Hump Day 4 was solid until dinner. I caved and I had pizza with my husband *sigh* <BR> <BR> I seem to be dusting myself off every morning this week!  I'm frustrated but not discouraged.  Now is the time to stay positive. I'm going to use the elliptical after breakfast today. If I get 5k steps in by noon, I'm more likely to get to the 10k.  I need to get back on a fitness streak.  It always feels so good to declare victory on another day. <BR> <BR> Okay, time's a wastin'! I need to burn some cal... Fri, 5 Dec 2014 08:38:51 EST Day 4, Still Learning Day 3 ended a little higher in calories.  I was hungry!  I wound up having a little turkey, bread, and gravy, followed by soup and crackers, followed by an English muffin with peanut butter, probably in the span of 3 hours. <em>15</em>   My calories for the day were around 2000.  But I'm learning. I got my sprouted rice protein powder yesterday, so I'm hoping that will help keep me full. I also have a plan to spread out my protein during the day.  I ate most of it early in the day yesterda... Thu, 4 Dec 2014 09:29:53 EST Day 3, Speaking Success into Existence <img src=""> <BR> <BR> We’re here, we’re here, we’re here! I have no picture for Day 3. See my previous two entries. Today's looks very similar, except the smoothies are darker (kale and blueberry). <BR> <BR> I’m down 3 pounds from last week, all attributed to my laser focus on food. I know if I look back through my blogs, this is a common theme. Fitness is my foundation, and if I’m managing to exercise, I’m typically eating bett... Wed, 3 Dec 2014 17:39:49 EST Day 2 Cleanse-o-Rama I went off plan a smidge yesterday. I had some turkey and a flour tortilla. There it is, my confession. <em>246</em> I was awesome yesterday. The only thing I could've done better was fitness. I didn't move enough. I'm taking credit for a good day! <em>248</em> <BR> <BR> Here's today's food: <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> I did 30 minutes of a Jessica Smith video. If you haven't checked her out, do so. She has a ton of free w... Tue, 2 Dec 2014 12:00:42 EST Refusing to be a Holiday Statistic My <em>249</em> started at 3:00 a.m. I crashed last night at 7:00 p.m. So I guess that's about right.  I'm waking up to a roasted dandelion root tea.  <BR> <img src=""> <BR> The smoothie cleanse prescribes a daily detox tea that supposed to improve liver function.  I have no idea if it's actually beneficial, but in for a penny, in for a pound, as the saying goes. <BR> <BR> When I finish the tea, I'll have a boiled egg followed by so... Mon, 1 Dec 2014 07:01:44 EST Prepped for Day One I'm prepped and ready to do this.  Tomorrow is Day One of my green smoothie cleanse. <BR> <BR> <img src=""> Sun, 30 Nov 2014 21:50:40 EST Book Review: Counting Calories On a whim, I downloaded an ebook from Amazon, "Counting Calories" by Jane Olson. It's a relatively short book. I guess I should check the length before getting too one-click crazy! I don't know why I'm always surprised that these books never reveal anything new. Her acronym was DECC: Discipline, Exercise, and Counting Calories. That's how Jane Olson lost 120 pounds in 6 months and keeps it off. She talked about the vision board she created for herself and commented on the power of posit... Sat, 29 Nov 2014 17:05:41 EST Resetting the Fast I broke my sugar fast this week, but I'm back on it today.   I should have sent more leftovers home with my daughter! <BR> <BR> After a month of a lingering cold and bronchitis, I felt good enough today to do Leslie Sansone's 2 mile belly blasting workout.  My breathing isn't 100% yet, but it felt good to move.  As November winds down, I'm trying to get my December action plan in place.  I'm considering another run at Jamie Eason's Live Fit program.   I researched through Day 35 to identify ... Fri, 28 Nov 2014 16:13:21 EST Oh What a Week It's Been! <img src=""> <BR> Addee and me <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> Addee, Meg (and baby), and Gwen <BR> <BR> Shoot!  I hate when I forget to draft my blog somewhere else.   I almost always lose it when I draft it write in the spark page.  Ugh.  Where was I?  I'm going on Week 4 of being sick, but I'm juiced with antibiotics finally and am on the mend!  Woohoo! <BR> <BR> I took some time ... Sun, 23 Nov 2014 08:08:25 EST Hot Yoga I bought a Groupon to try Bikram hot yoga. I'm going to try it when I get back from Miami. What are your thoughts, experiences, and/or tips? I'll be curious to see how this goes. I'm a profuse sweater. Seriously. I think about working out and I start to sweat. Most of the sweat comes out through my head too, so it's never pretty! But I'm up for it! 30 days for 30 bucks was definitely worth checking out. I plan on going every day right after work. <BR> <em>401</em> <BR> Tue, 11 Nov 2014 19:10:33 EST 5 More Days! Today's Day 3 of my 10 minute Kettlebell training. It's a simple 10 round workout doing swings for 30 seconds and resting for 30. <BR> <BR> Today is also Day 1 of my 5 day green smoothie cleanse. <BR> <BR> 5 more days until I'm at the beach with my daughters!! Mon, 10 Nov 2014 09:42:44 EST Quick Check In I completed a 15x10 kettlebell workout this morning. After shopping, I have about 4300 steps, very low compared to previous weeks. I took more Nyquil as soon as I got home. I can't wait for the coughing to subside. <BR> <BR> I bought some detox teas to try out. I know many people don't respond well when they're healthy, so I might hold off on trying them! <BR> <BR> I got most of the items on my grocery list. It's a simple list when I'm doing the cleanse..crunchy veggies, greens, apples,... Sun, 9 Nov 2014 17:29:13 EST Still Out! I finally bought some Nyquil pills yesterday. I think I'm over the worst of it, which is funny because I sound worse! I won't belabor all the yucky details. I'm tired of sitting around. I did a 10x10 kettlebell workout this morning, nothing too strenuous. It felt good to get off the sofa. Now I'm back to surfing. I even downloaded a mindless plumbing game. I should probably download a Kindle book. Any suggestions? Sat, 8 Nov 2014 14:48:31 EST Trying Hard Not to be Sick Ruh official, real rest day.  It's been awhile.  I had a tickle in my throat this weekend.  Now, whenever I talk or breathe too deeply, I have a coughing fit.  Blech! I'm a horrible sick person.  Pre-Spark, my sick days resembled my healthy days.  I REALLY want to workout, but I know that's stupid and would only prolong the yuck. <BR> <em>527</em> <BR> <BR> Oh, I finally tried overnight oats! It's my new favorite breakfast! My Greek yogurt expired (stopped using it since the sm... Tue, 4 Nov 2014 11:07:17 EST Celebrate with Me! 215.8. I achieved my all time Spark low weight today! Yay! <em>236</em> I haven’t seen this number since 2007. I’m writing a new chapter here. The more I do it, the easier it gets. Maintaining a focus on my goals is key. Surrounding myself with like minded people working on similar goals is also key. I close my ears and eyes when I hear/read people talking about this little splurge and that little indulgence. NOooo! That’s the wrong attitude! When I lackadaisically work at someth... Mon, 3 Nov 2014 13:56:49 EST Keeping it Simple <em>52</em> Daily Affirmation: <BR> I make thoughtful decisions about nutrition and fitness that help me achieve my goals. <BR> <BR> Wow, that’s the most positive affirmation I’ve come up with yet. I like!! <em>250</em> <BR> <BR> I haven’t been blogging regularly because I’m a little out of sorts. I’m in resource overload and I’m trying to pick a path!! It should be a good place to be, but not if it stalls me out! <em>40</em> <BR> <BR> Nutrition <BR> What should my plan be? Som... Thu, 30 Oct 2014 18:58:29 EST Continually Refocusing Time to simplify the plan. <BR> <BR> I'm picking up a few groceries I missed yesterday to prep for another 10 Day Green Smoothie Cleanse. I'll officially start tomorrow, but I'm always striving to eat clean and in my ranges, so today will be no different. <BR> <BR> I prefer not to use protein powder because it seems contrary to my goal to eat foods close to their natural state. But if I'm to follow the GSC rules, I'll need to supplement to ensure I'm getting enough protein. <BR> <BR> Tra... Sun, 26 Oct 2014 07:22:06 EST My TRY-athlon aka Goals for the Week Back in 2005, I was a member of an online weight loss forum called Making it Mine. I searched for it and found it, which was cool because I was trying to find some weekly weigh in info I knew I posted. Was SparkPeople in existence back then? Anyway, one of our forums was called the TRY-athlon. The rules were simple: pick three (tri) topics you were struggling with and TRY to conquer them. <em>10</em> Witty, right? <BR> <BR> I thought I might try it again, so here's my TRY-athlon for ... Mon, 20 Oct 2014 14:21:41 EST My Reward System I went to Goodwill today and found two small hurricanes for my rewards system.  They were only 50 cents!  Then I went to Pier 1 Imports and there went my savings!  Haha! There, I got a Christmas gift, gems for the reward system,  another crackle glass hurricane, and some seasonal colored gems that had little jingle bells mixed cute! <BR> <BR> Anyway,  I'm rewriting this blog on my memo app since my brilliant phone reloaded the page and lost what I wrote earlier.  Argh! <BR> <BR> Thi... Sat, 18 Oct 2014 18:59:05 EST NSVs Galore Well, not a ton, but I have a few to share! It all started when a co-worker politely interrupted a conversation to ask if I was losing weight. This encounter, by the way, got me thinking that I need to work on my weight loss elevator speech! NSV #1: people are taking notice. <BR> <BR> She asked the obvious question, "what are you doing?" Again, I need to work on that elevator speech because humble ole me tends to downplay my hard work. My reply was something about it being simple math, m... Sat, 18 Oct 2014 10:02:10 EST Breaking 220 - Evening Eating is Key I stayed close to my Spark prescribed macro nutrient ranges yesterday. I'm not ready to tinker with those yet. For now, I want to focus on re-balancing WHEN I eat. I consumed half my calories at my dinner meal yesterday. I definitely need to add more calories to my daytime meals. It's a challenge because sometimes they get skipped entirely <BR> <BR> I just read a spark article about how to adjust and curb the night time feeding frenzy. I used to call it that, but it's not the same anymor... Fri, 17 Oct 2014 06:00:01 EST Today's Nutrition I feel like this is a pretty good ratio for the macro nutrients today. Feedback is welcome. The actual food is in my Spark tracker. I might swap more veggies with half the couscous at dinner. One whole cup seems like a lot. <BR> <BR> I need to laminate my daily affirmation and hold onto it tight at night, during my danger zone! It would be super cool to plan my day and follow through. <BR> <em>521</em> <BR> <BR> 1,417 / 183 / 33 / 102 <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeo... Thu, 16 Oct 2014 13:28:54 EST Day 3, A Reminder of My Struggle Area <em>52</em> Daily Affirmations  <BR> I am planning my evening meals and eating what I planned, not cheating myself out of my goals. <BR> <BR> I work out every morning.  <BR> I eat a healthy breakfast.  <BR> I walk at work.  <BR> I practice mindful eating, especially in the evening.  <BR> I track my food.  <BR> I am losing fat!  <BR> I am building muscle!  <BR> I plan my meals.  <BR> I eat REAL food.  <BR> I drink plenty of water.  <BR> <BR> October 15 <BR> Fitness <BR> One 20 minute rainy... Thu, 16 Oct 2014 06:28:12 EST Day 3, A Reminder of My Struggle Area <em>52</em> Daily Affirmations  <BR> I am planning my evening meals and eating what I planned, not cheating myself out of my goals. <BR> <BR> I work out every morning.  <BR> I eat a healthy breakfast.  <BR> I walk at work.  <BR> I practice mindful eating, especially in the evening.  <BR> I track my food.  <BR> I am losing fat!  <BR> I am building muscle!  <BR> I plan my meals.  <BR> I eat REAL food.  <BR> I drink plenty of water.  <BR> <BR> Fitness <BR> One 20 minute rainy walk at work. ... Thu, 16 Oct 2014 06:27:54 EST Day 2 Report Daily Affirmations <BR> I work out every morning. <BR> I eat a healthy breakfast. <BR> I walk at work. <BR> I practice mindful eating, especially in the evening. <BR> I track my food. <BR> I am losing fat! <BR> I am building muscle! <BR> I plan my meals. <BR> I eat REAL food. <BR> I drink plenty of water. <BR> <BR> No time to scrutinize yesterday’s food. I think I might have double counted the smoothie recipe. It's a pain to enter the recipe, halve it, and put it in the right meal slot. P... Wed, 15 Oct 2014 12:14:04 EST Goals and Daily Affirmations "Focus on what you want to achieve, not what you want to avoid" Tom Venuto <BR> <BR> I am becoming better than I used to be! <BR> <BR> My ideal body is 150-165 pounds. I'm strong, athletic and muscular. <BR> <BR> My goals <BR> 12 months - lose 20% fat (60 pounds). Don't fret over the math..I know body comp is tricky. Point is..The focus is to lose fat, not weight. <BR> <BR> 3 months - lose 6% fat (20 pounds). This also puts me firmly into ONEderland, which is no longer a pipe dream. <B... Tue, 14 Oct 2014 13:28:45 EST Rethinking My Goals Do I even remember what my goals are? Lose weight, get fit, clean up the diet...those aren't really goals! <em>234</em> Okay, so they weren't that poorly written, but they could use help. <BR> <BR> I'm going to spend some time this week to fine tune my goals. I was sparking around and found this spark friend's blog about goal setting. They're doing the 5% challenge, but I find that the tips he collected are really applicable to any challenge. Here's a link if you'd like to take a looksi... Mon, 13 Oct 2014 16:55:50 EST WHO Worked Out This Morning?! Oh yeah! I did! <BR> <em>315</em> <BR> <BR> I finally used the elliptical this morning. I haven't used it in a long time. It definitely helped clear my head in preparation for a big meeting I had this morning. I need to plaster this reminder in key locations around my house: <BR> <BR> <img src=""> Mon, 6 Oct 2014 16:03:36 EST Saturday Smoothie: Pineapple Upside Down Cake After only using water for liquid in my green smoothies, the creamy unsweetened almond milk is a new experience! Here's breakfast! <BR> <BR> 2 cups fresh spinach <BR> 2 cups almond milk, unsweetened <BR> 1 cup pineapple <BR> 1 cup cherries, pitted* <BR> 1 banana <BR> <BR> *Other fruit can be used, such as berries. <BR> <BR> <BR> <link><BR>hie-recipes/pineapple-upside-cake </link> Sat, 4 Oct 2014 06:30:04 EST Today's Smoothie: Kale 'n Cherry This recipe serves two, so share with a friend or family member!! <BR> <BR> 2 cups fresh kale <BR> 2 cups almond milk, unsweetened <BR> 2 cups cherries, pitted* <BR> 1 banana <BR> 1 tablespoon cacao powder <BR> 1 tbs chia seeds <BR> <BR> *can substitute cherries with berries. <BR> <BR> I substituted cherries for two different types of frozen mixed berries. Those cherries are really sweet! I used Hershey dark cocoa powder and subbed ground flax seeds for the chia seeds. I haven't had the... Fri, 3 Oct 2014 12:15:55 EST Desktop View If you logged on to Sparkpeople with your smartphone recently, you probably noticed the new mobile format that doesn't display everything you are used to seeing. For the android, you can select the desktop view in the browser menu (those three vertical dots to the right of the url window) to get the whole enchilada back. I'm told the iphone browser menu is at the bottom. <BR> <img src=""> Wed, 1 Oct 2014 09:43:52 EST 2014 Health Assessment I completed my health assessment this morning and I'm down 20 pounds since last year :) <BR> <BR> The cholesterol numbers didn't change much, but my triglycerides are down by half. Cutting out the sugar is definitely reflected in the number! <BR> <BR> For the record, here are the numbers: <BR> Height: 5'5" <BR> Weight: 218.4 <BR> BMI: 35 <BR> Body Fat Percentage: 40 <BR> Fasting glucose: 92 <BR> Blood pressure: 112/86 <BR> Total cholesterol: 201 <BR> LDL: 150 <BR> HDL: 37 <BR> TRI: 72 <BR... Tue, 30 Sep 2014 13:12:13 EST Fall is Officially Here... ...because I finally broke out my winter coat! <BR> <em>422</em> <BR> I have a pea coat that I had dry cleaned last year. Guess what? It fits me better! <em>244</em> <BR> <BR> I swear, getting down and staying down is the hardest thing. You know what I'm talking about! I have weight loss data since 2005. My weight graph looks like a long slow journey across some extremely rough terrain! Since the coat NSV, I needed to know how much I lost since last fall. I'm happy to say I'm ... Mon, 29 Sep 2014 15:53:42 EST Cheering Myself Up <img src=""> <BR> We sure are hard on ourselves, aren't we? I have been hovering in the high 210s for a few weeks now, so when I weighed in at 221.4 this morning, I was crestfallen. It was a 2 pound gain. Dang it! Wrong way! I'm sure you can relate to the frustration. Then I glanced at my motivation board on my Start Page. What a brilliant, yet gentle reminder that board is! If you don't use it, you should. For most of the year, ... Wed, 24 Sep 2014 14:30:59 EST Welcome to Fall! <em>465</em> <em>465</em> <em>465</em> <em>465</em> <BR> This is definitely my favorite season. I kinda like them all, now that we don't have to suffer through the horrible cold and snowy winters back east. But fall has always been a fave. The change motivates me to reset goals and keep working toward them. <BR> <BR> Did you know there are 100 days left in 2014? I hadn't realized that until a Sparkfriend blogged about her next 100 day challenge. I LOVE streaks! So, I'm going t... Tue, 23 Sep 2014 17:42:16 EST My BLC 26 Expectations <img src=""> <BR> I've already blogged about my goals. But I guess we could talk a bit about my expectations. <BR> <BR> I expect to continue the progress I made between rounds. <BR> I expect to continue to tinker with my food. Eliminating certain types of foods and understanding my body's response is helpful in determining what I want to include in my diet. <BR> I expect to maintain discipline not to overeat in the evenings. That... Mon, 22 Sep 2014 15:39:44 EST GSC Health Nuts - My Green Smoothie Cleanse FacebookTeam It's my pleasure to introduce to you the GSC Health Nuts, rockin' that green smoothie power from coast to coast! In 10 days, we smashed goals, made new friends, and created new lifelong habits. And we aren't done yet. Stay tuned to continue to be amazed! <BR> <BR> <link> </link> Sat, 20 Sep 2014 14:51:48 EST It's a Girl! Miss Elizabeth is on the way. Here she is, getting ready: <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> In girl-like fashion, she kept her legs crossed making it difficult to determine, but they finally figured it out. She'll have another photo op next month when my daughter visits the mid wife. Sat, 20 Sep 2014 09:00:26 EST BLC 26 Goals My weight loss goal for this round is 2 pounds per week. I lost 13 in the seven weeks between rounds, so I know it can be done. Here's how I'm going to get there: <BR> <BR> <em>401</em> <em>324</em> Fitness <BR> 30 - 60 minutes of fitness daily <BR> DDP Yoga, elliptical, walking, 30 Day Shred, Shred it with Weights… <BR> <BR> <em>368</em> <em>551</em> Nutrition: <BR> Modified Green Smoothie Cleanse (smoothies for breakfast and lunch. For dinner and snacks: veggies, fish, chi... Thu, 18 Sep 2014 12:36:56 EST Mt. Rainier Scenic Railroad We had a fabulous day for a train ride yesterday. <em>67</em>   We went to Elbe, Washington and rode the Mt. Rainier Scenic Railroad.  It's a 2 hour trip with a stop at a museum.  The museum has restrooms and picnic tables,  but no food vendors. If you ever go, check out Groupon for a 50% discount and bring some snacks. <em>191</em> <BR> <BR> We had lunch afterward and there wasn't much in the menu that was in my smoothie plan.  I settled on the portobello mushroom "burger" and side sa... Sun, 14 Sep 2014 07:59:21 EST Enjoying a Warm Fall Day by Train <img src=""> <BR> <BR> We're taking a train ride near Mt. Rainier today! Will try to remember to take pics! Sat, 13 Sep 2014 07:29:28 EST I'm A Grandma! I knew the time would come eventually. I have three beautiful daughters in their 20s. My eldest is expecting! She's 5 months along and finds out the sex next week. I'm so excited! <BR> <BR> <em>187</em> Thu, 11 Sep 2014 20:21:34 EST T-Minus 7 I've lost 13 pounds in the 7 weeks since we ended BLC 25. I only lost 2 pounds overall during the entire 12 weeks of the challenge. <BR> <BR> I'm completing Day 3 of my smoothie cleanse. Today was difficult because I'm on vacation, hosting my mother in law, who is visiting. I'm determined to complete the whole 10 days this time, 6 more than my previous attempt. <BR> <BR> Gotta run! Wed, 10 Sep 2014 22:46:39 EST