SERENE-BEAN's SparkPeople Blog SERENE-BEAN's Blog on SparkPeople, home of free diet plans and a healthy living community 17 days! We're in the home stretch. I'm having the kid over this weekend to take all our extra pantry foods if she wants them. If she doesn't, I'll give them next week to a co-worker who has teenagers to feed. Then the following weekend, we'll have our going-away party, and the weekend after that, we're out of here. <BR> <BR> Exciting times! (Also hugely stressful. But that's normal, and it will pass.) Thu, 11 Sep 2014 10:35:58 EST 20 days In 20 days, we move to San Diego. We're going to live next door to my mom, who is one of my best friends. Whee! <BR> <BR> Once we get there, there will be challenges in the eating/exercise departments. But me? I have a plan for each one! <BR> <BR> CHALLENGE: Mom loves to feed us, and her foods are often not the stuff we want to be eating. <BR> <BR> PLAN: We have already told mom that we will be having dinner at her place one day a week, and other than that, we'll be cooking for ourselves. ... Mon, 8 Sep 2014 23:55:00 EST This week's meal plan Dinners for the upcoming week: <BR> <BR> S: taking my brother-in-law to the Ethiopian place <BR> M: vegan chili <BR> T: vegan chili (James's recipe makes a lot, and we tend to eat it the next day anyway, so I decided to just plan for that) <BR> W: whole-wheat pasta with sesame sauce, broccoli <BR> Th: split pea soup, whole-wheat croutons, salad <BR> F: vegan black-bean enchiladas Sun, 7 Sep 2014 09:55:18 EST Ways to keep moving I'm going to be moving in 24 days, so things are about to get really busy around here. I need a plan for keeping myself moving. For a start, I'm reminding myself: <BR> <BR> 1) Errands that are less than a mile away are for walking, not driving <BR> <BR> 2) That stationary bike isn't gonna ride itself <BR> <BR> 3) Canned goods make good substitute weights once the Bowflex is packed <BR> <BR> 4) Taking 10 minutes out of my day to exercise isn't a waste of time -- it's a way to make every da... Tue, 2 Sep 2014 10:10:48 EST Today's Tiara Today's Tiara Of Most Useful Comment goes to WISHICOULDFLY, who pointed me to Supercook, for help with using up what's in our pantry. Thanks, Connie! <BR> <BR> <link><BR>pes </link> Sun, 31 Aug 2014 11:26:47 EST Ah, summer! I'm going to make a produce run today. The best thing about summer, to me, is the fresh produce. Summer brings tasty, local, in-season (and therefore less expensive) bounty. Most of my favorite foods are summer fruits and veggies: <BR> <BR> Watermelon <BR> Tomatoes <BR> Fresh sweet corn <BR> Cherries! <BR> Zucchini <BR> <BR> Even my fave yukon gold potatoes are nicer in the summer -- younger, fresher, sweeter. <BR> <BR> Yay, summer! Sun, 31 Aug 2014 10:02:24 EST This week's meal plan We are moving in a month, so this next few weeks, we're playing at emptying out the cupboards instead of buying new staples. We're going to be eating a lot of rice and pasta, since we've got lots of those. Of course, we'll continue to buy fresh fruits and veggies, James's coffee, etc., but we're going to do our best to use up what's here. <BR> <BR> This week: <BR> <BR> S: big salad <BR> M: gnocchi <BR> T: tuna casserole <BR> W: pasta with peanut/sesame sauce <BR> T: veggie curry and rice <B... Sun, 31 Aug 2014 02:03:15 EST I keep getting back on the horse 7-day streak! <BR> You have logged in 7 days in a row. <BR> 317/327 days = 97% <BR> since: 10/6/2013 <BR> <BR> Thu, 28 Aug 2014 10:02:28 EST Favorite vegetarian meals? We aren't vegetarians, but most of our meal plans are veg, because we both feel better that way. <BR> <BR> I could use some ideas for healthy, easy veg food. Any thoughts? Wed, 27 Aug 2014 00:14:49 EST Meal plan I'm a little late planning my meals for the week. Here they are (not listing breakfast/lunch, because they don't change much). <BR> <BR> T: spaghetti (wheat), veggie meatballs, marinara <BR> W: hummus, falafel, pita, peppers <BR> Th: black beans and Spanish rice <BR> F: gnocchi, grean beans <BR> S: potatoes and chickpea gravy <BR> S: farmer's pie (veg shepherd's pie) <BR> M: whole-wheat spaghetti with veggie sauce and salad Tue, 26 Aug 2014 02:17:24 EST In my mailbox today Not my electronic mailbox -- the real box where packages come to. SparkPeople sent me a box of Meta products to try. James does use their fiber products, so we're happy to give them a try and report back. So far, I can say that the cranberry lemon fiber bar is fine. We both thought it tasted fine, and the nutrition is right for James's diabetic diet, even though the sugar's a little high. We (mostly James) will try out the other products and I'll report back. <BR> <BR> To see a their new pro... Sat, 23 Aug 2014 20:25:18 EST We're rich! I always feel so wealthy when there are lots of veggies in the house. <BR> <BR> James just started a loaf of bread, and we got quite a haul today at the Berkeley Bowl: <BR> <BR> Fruits: <BR> Oranges <BR> Grapes <BR> Lemons <BR> Guavas <BR> Cantaloupe <BR> <BR> Veggies: <BR> Lettuce <BR> Scallions <BR> Celery <BR> Tomatoes <BR> Cucumbers <BR> Onions <BR> Garlic <BR> Green beans <BR> Mushrooms <BR> Carrots <BR> Cauliflower <BR> Potatoes <BR> Bell peppers <BR> Hatch pepper <BR> <BR> Also: <B... Sun, 17 Aug 2014 18:56:36 EST This week's meal plan Breakfasts: oatmeal and fruit <BR> Lunches: salad or hummus sandwich <BR> Dinners: <BR> <BR> Sunday <BR> Boiled potatoes, chickpea gravy, steamed veggies <BR> <BR> Monday <BR> James's vegan chili and salad <BR> <BR> Tuesday <BR> Shiitake stir-fry and brown rice <BR> <BR> Wednesday <BR> James's vegan black bean enchiladas <BR> <BR> Thursday <BR> Whole-wheat spaghetti and veggie sauce <BR> <BR> Friday <BR> Falafel, not-hummus, whole-wheat (homemade) pita, veggies Sun, 17 Aug 2014 10:45:42 EST Moving My upcoming move just became really real to me when I introduced myself to the SparkTeam in the town we're moving to. SparkJunky, that's me. <BR> <BR> 32-day login streak as of today, and I'm feeling pretty confident that my slump is over. Now to get back on the exercise horse--er, bike. <BR> <BR> Happy Sunday, my dear Sparklets! Sun, 17 Aug 2014 10:36:19 EST The best thing I've ever seen on SP Ever. <BR> <BR> <link><BR>st=9_bodypositive_quotes_to_boost_your<BR>_selfesteem </link> Sun, 17 Aug 2014 01:00:56 EST Lovely Saturday so far So far today, we have: <BR> <BR> * gone to the Berkeley Bowl to buy lots of fruits and veggies, a little cottage cheese, and maybe one or two other things <BR> <BR> * dropped off the car <BR> <BR> * walked home from the car place (a mile and a half or so) <BR> <BR> * watched a new murder-mystery show (our habit when we're just hanging out) <BR> <BR> * eaten lots of yummy foods <BR> <BR> Not a bad day so far. About to walk back to the car place to pick up the car, and then I've made some... Sat, 9 Aug 2014 19:57:33 EST This week's meal plan I love meal planning. It takes some time, but I enjoy it and it keeps me on track. Thought I would share my meal plans for the coming week. <BR> <BR> Note: we don't eat much meat, but we're not vegetarians, and we eat a lot of carbs on purpose, so please skip if that's not your bag. Also, if you're a menu nerd like I am and want to see my portions and nutrition count, I believe my tracker is open to viewing. <BR> <BR> Breakfasts: either yogurt/fruit or cereal/fruit <BR> Lunches: unless othe... Sat, 9 Aug 2014 05:26:26 EST What I learned from BLC 25. More than a month since my last blog post. I was on a SP challenge that crashed and burned for me, and I lost interest in participating at all here, which is bad for me, so I'm going to talk about it a little here. <BR> <BR> I want to make sure everyone knows I'm NOT criticizing anyone who likes the challenges. Just deciding they're not for me right now. <BR> <BR> I have done 3 SP gigantic team challenges to date: 2 BLC challenges, and a 5% challenge. I think I need to stop doing them. Each... Sun, 27 Jul 2014 11:10:02 EST Look out, she's on the loose! Since I started taking these day trips to San Diego, I believe I've gotten onto some kind of TSA list. Usually, my mom wants to send me home with lots of stuff, so I go to San Diego emptyhanded, then come back with a suitcase. I expect that flags me (along with the one-day trip) as some kind of drug mule or something. The last two times I did the day trip, I ended up with TSA flags (yellow or red strips of paper, if I remember right) on my luggage. This time, when I went to print out my board... Fri, 20 Jun 2014 12:22:10 EST Doing great so far I'm happy with my reset. New goals, same five teams (I won't give up my teams; they sustain me!), new commitment to moving and eating well, and a shiny new hot-pink water bottle to keep at my desk. Thu, 19 Jun 2014 14:41:15 EST Hard reset Sometimes, I just need to start from scratch and toss old baggage. As soon as I figure out how to do it, I'm resetting all my SP goals and numbers and starting from scratch today. I'm not doing this to punish myself or to negate all the great self-love and hard work I've engaged in since October; I'm just doing it to shake myself up and give myself a boost. <BR> <BR> Have you ever done this? Did it help? Did it hurt? <BR> Tue, 17 Jun 2014 11:18:37 EST Sunday recommitment I was reading my friend April's blog today ( <link><BR>urnal_individual.asp?blog_id=5708005 </link> ) and she was saying she recommits to her goals every Sunday. This is a GREAT idea for me, because I find that if I keep my focus on my Sparking, things go better. So here goes. I am just putting my goal commitment out here for the world to see, but mainly for me to keep in mind: <BR> <BR> 1) Log on to SparkPeople every single day <BR> 2) Log every bite and... Sun, 1 Jun 2014 14:39:26 EST Plans Got my week's menus planned. Also decided to start planning my exercise. My life goes better when I have a plan. Sun, 1 Jun 2014 04:50:18 EST New streaks beginning As part of my reboot, I'm going to start two new streaks: <BR> <BR> 1) Stay 100% within my nutritional goals -- I'll go right now and make sure those are what I want them to be. <BR> <BR> 2) Do 60+ minutes of exercise, at least 6 days a week. <BR> <BR> I find that making these kinds of goals a little difficult can help to motivate me, especially if I stick to my #1 rule, which is never to be mean to myself. <BR> <BR> Do you have any new goals? Thu, 29 May 2014 02:03:08 EST Honor Today is the day we honor those who gave their lives for their country in war. I do honor the sacrifice that people are willing to make to protect their country and the people they love. Some of the best people I know, including my dear friend Kevin and my own father, are ex-military and deserving of my honor. <BR> <BR> However. <BR> <BR> On this day, I also want to affirm that it is dishonorable in the extreme to send people to die to "protect" the country from nonexistent WMDs, vaguely sc... Mon, 26 May 2014 13:16:38 EST Yay! 30-day streak! <BR> You have logged in 30 days in a row. <BR> 226/229 days = 99% <BR> since: 10/6/2013 Thu, 22 May 2014 20:22:19 EST Finish What You Started One of the motivational bits on my Start page says "finish what you started," and that is really speaking to me today. For me, starting something new is easy--it's sticking with it, following through, finishing the job that's hard. <BR> <BR> But I can do it. If I could spend my first six months back on SP totally in the zone, tracking everything and moving my body, I can do it now, too. It's no different. <BR> <BR> I need to finish what I started. Thu, 22 May 2014 12:02:27 EST Posting for EVER-HOPEFUL <link><BR>e-detail.asp?recipe=1889185 </link> These are some of my favorite buns to make, and I made them so that each bun is about an ounce, so it's easy to track. Mon, 19 May 2014 16:45:29 EST Lots of cooking this weekend Some really good experiences in cooking this weekend. <BR> <BR> 1) Excellent eggless avocado aioli from Vegetarian Times: <link><BR>e/spring-salad-dressed-with-avocado-ai<BR>oli/ </link> <BR> <BR> 2) Also excellent was this sauce over noodles: <link><BR>cha-soy-sauce-over-egg-noodles/ </link> <BR> <BR> 3) Apple-pecan tart today for Sunday breakfast: <BR> <BR> <img src=" Mon, 19 May 2014 01:40:20 EST What not giving up looks like. Helps to remind myself how a good day goes: <BR> <BR> When I'm hungry, I find something with fruit/veggies in it. <BR> <BR> When I'm thirsty, I reach for water. <BR> <BR> I move my body in healthy, happy ways. <BR> <BR> I refuse to be mean to myself. Ever! Sun, 18 May 2014 20:27:22 EST My mantra If you're tired of starting over, stop giving up. <BR> <BR> If you're tired of starting over, stop giving up. <BR> <BR> If you're tired of starting over, stop giving up. <BR> <BR> Yeah, that's my mantra. Gotta keep it in mind. <BR> Sun, 18 May 2014 00:40:42 EST Don't watch Biggest Loser! There are many, many reasons I don't watch The Biggest Loser on TV. One is that I don't like being told I'm disgusting because I'm fat, which is what the show does. Here are some more great reasons, from someone who knows: <link><BR>ils-they-cut-from-my-season-the-bigges<BR>t-loser.html </link> Thu, 15 May 2014 15:44:34 EST Emergency back-up plan In my challenge team, we have to blog about our emergency plan for rough days. I have found out recently that the worst thing I can do is decide to deal with it later, so here's what I wrote: <BR> <BR> My emergency plan is just this: Don't wait to get back on track. Just do it now. Every single bite is a chance to do something healthier for myself. I don't have to wait for the next meal or the next day or the next week. NOW is the time. <BR> <BR> <em>521</em> Sun, 11 May 2014 16:33:38 EST Whew! Friday, there were two big functions at work. By the end of the day, I was totally wiped, but I got my energy back in time for our yard sale yesterday. <BR> <BR> The yard sale itself involved moving a ton of boxes, and I carefully made each move by doing a squat in good form, so I did a LOT of squats yesterday, and my thighs are sure feeling it! <BR> <BR> Today, my kid is coming over (I don't feel like fighting the crowds at mother's day brunch time) and I'll make her favorite meal (pork c... Sun, 11 May 2014 12:28:45 EST No. Wait. You know, never mind. This day is NOT over. I am going to go hop on the bike. I don't have to wait until tomorrow to make better choices. Next thing on my feed should be "Serene tracked walk workout (60+ minutes)." (It thinks my biking is walking at first, but then I reclassify it.) <BR> <BR> I get to choose how my day ends. I choose activity, not apathy. <BR> <BR> Good night, Sparklets! (Again.) Sun, 4 May 2014 01:29:32 EST BLC 25 goals I have a very modest goal for this BLC, but it feels urgent to me: participate. <BR> <BR> I am letting myself talk myself out of exercise, of good nutrition, of doing much of anything. I know the job hunt is making things hard emotionally, but poor nutrition and sitting in the comfy chair all day are not going to make it better. <BR> <BR> Today was rough. Tomorrow is another day. I will participate in 100% of my weekend challenges tomorrow. Participation, not perfection. Right? <BR> <BR> G... Sun, 4 May 2014 01:14:45 EST Brief notes Just a few quick things: <BR> <BR> 1) got a perfect score on yesterday's strength-training challenge, yay! (I hate supermans and bicycle crunches) <BR> <BR> 2) new fruit for me: charentais melon, yum <link> </link> <BR> <BR> 3) I am behind on my fitness minute goal for the week, but 68 a day for the rest of the week will catch me up <BR> <BR> 4) work stress is lessening a bit. Super-yay! Fri, 2 May 2014 22:17:52 EST Fitness testing A while back, I did some fitness testing as part of a class at work. Today, I needed to do some similar testing as part of the beginning of BLC25 today. I like tests because they can show clear progress. <BR> <BR> There are 4 tests involved today. The first 3 I did at home; the 4th (a timed one-mile walk/run) will have to be on the track at work. I'm going to go at lunch and do that one if it's not a thousand degrees out. <BR> <BR> 1) One-minute pushup test: 6 regular, 23 modified (when I ... Wed, 30 Apr 2014 09:14:57 EST New challenge coming up! I'm getting kind of excited about Wednesday's BLC challenge start. I'm on a new team this time, and this one does things differently. I like the new way of doing things (not that I disliked the old way), so I'm feeling energized by it. <BR> <BR> Just remind me if I forget: only one challenge! No new challenges! Just one! <em>334</em> <BR> <BR> Tue, 29 Apr 2014 02:38:11 EST Moving I don't always love how exercise feels. However, sometimes, I find my groove and actually like it. Now that I have this great stationary bike, it's even better--exercise doesn't hurt, and I actually kind of like it. <BR> <BR> Weird. Tue, 29 Apr 2014 02:22:17 EST Gaining momentum I'm not taking it for granted, but the days keep getting better, and Sparking keeps getting easier. I think cutting back on all the extra stuff and just going back to weighing, measuring, and tracking was a really good idea for me. BLC25 starts in a few days; by then I hope to be on solid enough footing to handle one challenge, but if not, I'll figure something out. The challenge is not as important as my own program, but generally, if I can stick to just one challenge, I am really successful... Sat, 26 Apr 2014 11:23:02 EST Taking the step Sometimes it's hard to figure out what to do to make yourself take the first step to the healthy things you know you can do for yourself. <BR> <BR> This time, what I needed to do was shut everything else out. Yesterday was pretty good. Logged in, tracked everything. Ignored everything else. <BR> <BR> That tiny success (and I do know it's tiny) has made me feel like today I can log in, track everything, and maybe even make better food choices. <BR> <BR> I'll take it. Fri, 25 Apr 2014 10:18:16 EST Okay, here goes. Day 2 of logging in. Day 1 of tracking every bite, every sip, every exercise. <BR> <BR> Everything else must fall away. This is the most important thing in my life right now. I have to do this like it's my job, or it won't get done. Thu, 24 Apr 2014 09:27:38 EST Still trying to get my Spark back Back to day 1 of my logging streak. <BR> <BR> I had the Spark for 6 whole months, and then I dropped it and seem not to be able to find it for more than a couple of days at a time. <BR> <BR> Even a team challenge, which is my favorite thing, isn't able to get me on track. <BR> <BR> Frustrating! Wed, 23 Apr 2014 09:52:50 EST How it feels How it feels when I eat junk a lot: like my body is overfull and bloated. Like my head is full of salt and my arteries are full of fat. Like it's an effort to move. <BR> <BR> How it feels when I eat junk a little, among the mostly good stuff: fun and like it's no big deal. <BR> <BR> How it feels when I skip exercise for a week: like I'll never get my mojo back. Like my body is melting into my recliner. <BR> <BR> How it feels when I do a bunch of exercise: Mighty and powerful and like I can... Wed, 16 Apr 2014 01:31:43 EST Basics If you know me, you know that I frequently reset and go back to basics when I get overwhelmed. Tonight, I'm planning my food for the next week. I did 78 minutes on the exercise bike, and I'm starting a streak for exercise with that. I am on a 20-day login streak. So that's my basics: track every bite, log in, do exercise. <BR> <BR> I got this. Mon, 14 Apr 2014 01:47:42 EST Great day Finally, a good day, which compared to recent weeks is a great day. 100 fitness minutes so far (may do more). Ate well, but not great. Feeling better after yesterday's minor surgery. <BR> <BR> 15 days logging in. <BR> <BR> Now I need to catch up on team threads and make sure tomorrow is at least as good! Tue, 8 Apr 2014 23:49:16 EST Planning My dear friend TADZIO has drilled it into me: If you fail to plan, you plan to fail. <BR> <BR> So here's my plan for getting my Spark back today: <BR> <BR> 1) Log in (done!) <BR> 2) Go through all my SparkMails and actually read them before deleting. (done!) <BR> 3) Check in on all my teams. <BR> 4) Plan my meals for the rest of the week. (done!) <BR> 5) Look at my weekend challenge and see how much I can get done today. Then DO it. <BR> <BR> And of course, the plan always includes this: B... Mon, 7 Apr 2014 11:51:56 EST I think I've figured it out I think I know what made me suddenly screech to a halt after almost six months of steady, successful Sparking. <BR> <BR> I should disclaim before I start: this is stuff some people will not want to hear. Also, if you think all fat people should want to be thin, and that being fat is automatically bad, this post is not for you. <BR> <BR> About three weeks ago, I hit that point in my weight loss when EVERYONE suddenly noticed I'm getting smaller: the lunch ladies, casual co-workers, friends,... Sun, 6 Apr 2014 20:40:04 EST A little help, please My food and fitness choices the past few days have been really not good. Not sure what''s going on with me, but as of this moment, I'm going to take my own advice: each moment is a chance to do something good and healthy, and now is as good a moment as any. <BR> <BR> You can help me if you have a moment. Please comment with one or more of your favorite motivational phrases. Please none about thinness, but health and fitness and wellness are fair game. <BR> <BR> Thanks. I am so glad I have t... Sat, 5 Apr 2014 13:05:38 EST