SHARON10002's SparkPeople Blog SHARON10002's Blog on SparkPeople, home of free diet plans and a healthy living community Sweet Summertime: Team Up With Watermelon For A Healthy Refreshing Treat <img src=""> <BR> <BR> Did you know that July is National Watermelon month? What fruit could be more synonymous with summertime fun than watermelon? <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> You know summer has officially begun when you spot watermelons in the grocery store, or at your local farmer’s market. <BR> <BR> <img src="">... Sat, 12 Jul 2014 19:12:48 EST You're A Grand Ole Flag: Made In the USA <img src=""> <BR> Everyone loves celebrating the 4th of July! A recent poll found that 94% of Americans view flying the American flag a sign of patriotism and pride in their country. But one thing that you might not be thinking about is whether your flag is Made In the USA. If you are shopping for a flag - be it one to fly on a large 20 foot flagpole or a small flag to adorn your flowerpots on your porch - take the time to buy a flag ... Thu, 3 Jul 2014 16:00:58 EST The Great Swimsuit Dilemma: Squeezing the Right Stuff Into the "Right Suit" <img src=""> <BR> <BR> Well, it’s official. I have procrastinated long enough, it’s almost the 4th of July, and I can no longer ignore the fact that it’s time to go shopping for a bathing suit. <BR> <BR> According to a recent poll, a sizable proportion of women, almost half or 41% of them, would prefer sitting in the dentist’s chair for a root canal over going through the emotional hell of shopping for a bathing suit. I can believe th... Sat, 14 Jun 2014 17:18:52 EST Testing One, Two, Three: Test Your Nutrition IQ <img src=""> <BR> Which food gives you the most potassium? Which food would you choose to get the most Vitamin C? We all do lots of reading here on Spark People, and we are constantly trying to make healthy choices in our daily nutrition as we plan our meals. Think you’re knowledgeable about nutritional values in your food? Have some fun and take this quiz to find out: <BR> <BR> Nutrition Quiz: <BR> <link> Thu, 12 Jun 2014 18:46:09 EST Remembering Memorial Day: Some Interesting Facts You May Not Know Memorial Day is much more than just a three-day weekend and a chance to get the year's first sunburn. Here's a handy 10-pack of facts to give the holiday some perspective. <BR> <BR> 1. IT STARTED WITH THE CIVIL WAR <BR> <BR> Memorial Day was a response to the unprecedented carnage of the Civil War, in which some 620,000 soldiers on both sides died. The loss of life and its effect on communities throughout the country led to spontaneous commemorations of the dead: <BR> <BR> • Waterloo, N.Y.... Mon, 26 May 2014 00:18:13 EST Burn Baby Burn! Are You Eating the Right Foods to Lose Weight? <img src=""> <BR> Did you know that there are three different types of metabolism? Do you know which one you are? <BR> <BR> I always heard the terms fast or slow metabolism, and I figured it meant either you were skinny or you were plump. It turns out there are three different types. There's the Fast Oxidizer or "protein type" who burns up the food they eat very quickly. Next comes the Slow Oxidizer or "carb type" whose body burns ... Fri, 16 May 2014 18:14:45 EST Have A Crabby Mother's Day! <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <img src="http://... Sat, 10 May 2014 10:35:57 EST Let Your Voice Be Heard! Together We Can Make A Difference! <img src=""> <BR> I don't know about you, but I am not happy with the new look of Spark People. When I joined four years ago, this was a very user friendly site, and since then I have spent thousands of hours with all of you. <BR> <BR> In my opinion, this site is no longer user friendly. It is congested with ads, and whether or not you are aware, tracks your every move and desire. <BR> <BR> Gone are the team huddles, and it is replace... Wed, 30 Apr 2014 23:55:41 EST Wishing You All a Happy Easter! <img src=""> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <img src=" Sat, 19 Apr 2014 15:39:40 EST Let Spring Cleaning Help You to Put A Little Spring In Your Step <img src=""> <BR> Are you ready to shed the heavy, protective feeling of dampness and the darkness of winter?! Yes, it’s been a cold, dark, and long winter for most of us. Spring is here, and many of us are seeing the first small signs of spring. Have you done your spring cleaning of your house? <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> If you spring clean your house why not do the sa... Wed, 9 Apr 2014 17:03:27 EST It's Not About Your Lack of Willpower: The Science of Cravings <img src=""> <BR> Did you realize that taste receptors are not just limited to your mouth? Scientists have discovered that they are located all over the body. We also have, as you are probably aware, taste sensors in our nose. Smell is a huge factor in our response to food. That’s why when you have a cold, and your nose is stuffed up, your taste for food is greatly diminished. We also have these sensors in our stomachs, our small in... Fri, 4 Apr 2014 17:03:39 EST It’s Not About Your Lack of Willpower: Why You Can’t Eat Just One <img src=""> <BR> How many times have you criticized yourself for falling into the junk food trap? We’ve all been there with armed with our best intentions, feeling good about ourselves, and then before we can say, “Girl Scout Cookie Time.” we realize that we’ve fallen off the wagon once again. <BR> <BR> What if I told you that no matter how hard you tried, or how much willpower you have exhibited that it’s not your fault? <BR> <BR> B... Wed, 2 Apr 2014 18:36:12 EST How Sweet It Is Part 2: Test Your Sugar Smarts <img src=""> <BR> Do you think you're pretty knowledgeable about sugar and sweeteners? Are honey, and agave nectar healthier than table sugar? <BR> <BR> Understandably, those who are diabetic, have type 2 diabetes, or want to reduce their intake of carbohydrates likely choose a sweetener over sugar. We all are trying to eat healthier and make healthier choices in our diet, but how do all of the possible sweeteners we can use stack up?... Sat, 29 Mar 2014 18:23:49 EST How Sweet It Is <img src=""> <BR> The US diet has changed dramatically in the last 200 years, and not for the better. Our major dietary changes stem from one single factor - the industrialization and commercialization of the American food system. We've turned over the majority of our food preparation to professionals, scientists, and engineers whose interests are not aligned with ours, but with their bottom line. <BR> <BR> It's hard to appreciate j... Thu, 27 Mar 2014 23:26:17 EST Loving Yourself: Body Image Survey - Part 3 Our Insecurities <img src=""> <BR> During your morning routine, do you find yourself focusing on an aspect of yourself that you don't like about your appearance? Take comfort in the fact that you are not alone. Kathryn Gordon, an assistant professor at North Dakota State University says that it's absolutely normal to not be crazy about every single aspect of your physical self, especially for women. <BR> <BR> She goes on to point out that the trouble st... Wed, 19 Mar 2014 16:53:46 EST Happy Snow Patrick's Day! Here We Snow Again! <img src=""> <BR> We interrupt today's regularly scheduled blog for this special alert. . . <BR> <BR> Knock, knock! <BR> Who’s there? <BR> Snow. <BR> Snow who? <BR> Snowbody! <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> "Spring in four days." "Woo-Hoo!" <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> It's nearly Spring in the mid-Atlantic <BR> Everyone her... Mon, 17 Mar 2014 16:35:17 EST Loving Yourself: Body Image Survey Part II - Our Obsessions <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <BR> “We are constantly confronted with images,” said Ann Kearney-Cooke, director of the Cincinnati Psychotherapy Institute, who helped develop some of the questions on the TODAY/AOL survey. “It’s nonstop, and the ideals are totally unrealistic.” <BR> <BR> Women have been feeling this pressure for a very long time, and it seems that men are beginning to feel those same cultural pressures on themselves as well. W... Sun, 16 Mar 2014 19:36:01 EST Loving Yourself: Body Image Survey Part 1 Our Appearance <img src=""> <BR> What’s your first thought when you look into the mirror in the morning? Is it he bags under your eyes, your wrinkles, your hair, or that pimple on your chin? <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> Our obsession with our appearance starts almost the moment we wake. Most of us spend close to an hour every day getting ready, and yet, even with all the daily grooming and pr... Sat, 15 Mar 2014 18:40:57 EST Snow My Gosh! Is It Spring Yet? <img src=""> <BR> They say that spring is around the corner. <BR> It’d better come quick or I’ll need a coroner. <BR> I’ve got snow drifts filling up my head. <BR> Too much of this stuff and I’ll be dead. <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> Stuck in the heart with an icy splinter. <BR> Ladies and gentlemen, I’m tired of winter. <BR> I can’t take more, not one iota. <BR> I’ll fly my p... Thu, 13 Mar 2014 17:43:27 EST Loving Yourself: What Drives Me on This Self-Fulfilling Journey <img src=""> <BR> How are you feeling about yourself today? I know that the range of my self esteem meter spans the great divide between fabulous to failure and everything in between. I read a blog today about body image, and I realized that I am writing this series “Loving Yourself” for many of those same reasons. <BR> <BR> I began to write about loving myself and body image because I noticed that every day I was feeling worse about ... Sun, 9 Mar 2014 16:58:01 EST Loving Yourself: You Are Amazing! <img src=""> <BR> "YOU are one of a kind. You are lucky enough to have something that makes you different from everyone else. Embrace your individuality. Self-worth comes from one thing: thinking that you are worthy. So appreciate what it feels like underneath your own skin. You are amazing just the way you are." ~ Melchor Lim <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> You deserve to wear a smile ... Wed, 26 Feb 2014 23:29:35 EST Loving Youself: Surrender to the Struggle <img src=""> <BR> Do you ever feel like it's a vicious cycle of trying to control what you eat, feeling like a failure because the scale doesn't move, punishing yourself for not being "more in control,", thereby manifesting even more bodily stress that causes further havoc in your body? The next step is usually to binge or take our diet to a more extreme, and maybe less healthy step, and the cycle continues … <BR> <BR> <img src="http:... Thu, 20 Feb 2014 18:20:28 EST Happy Valentine's Day From Maxine <img src=""> <BR> V- "Valentine, Schmalentine What's the big deal?!" <BR> <img src=""> <BR> A - "Arouse your senses today; dabble in some chocolate." <BR> <img src=""> <BR> L - "Love is in the air - so that's what that funny smell is!" <BR> <img src=""> <BR> E - "My favorite... Fri, 14 Feb 2014 12:13:18 EST Loving Yourself: Every Body Is Beautiful <img src=""> <BR> We are all keenly aware that no body is perfect. Yet, the visual reinforcement of the media’s notion of perfection is constantly bombarding our visual senses everyday. <BR> <BR> Take a few minutes to watch this profoundly moving video that once again delivers the message we all nod in agreement to – that everyone is perfectly beautiful just the way they are. <BR> <BR> As part of a new campaign called “Because Who ... Fri, 31 Jan 2014 17:47:09 EST Loving Yourself: How Do You See Yourself? <img src=""> <BR> How do you feel about having pictures of yourself taken? Have you ever taken a selfie on your mobile phone? Do you run from the camera? You are not alone. <BR> <BR> <link><BR>6FLvlg </link> <BR> <BR> I avoid the camera and have never taken a selfie because I think a picture just magnifies my flaws and makes me look fatter than I am. Unfortunately when my picture is taken, I m... Mon, 27 Jan 2014 18:33:14 EST Winter Is Snow Phun: Part II <img src=""> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <img src=" Fri, 24 Jan 2014 18:09:08 EST Winter is Snow Phun: Part I <img src=""> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <img src=" Thu, 23 Jan 2014 17:43:43 EST Loving Yourself: In Need of A Body Advocate <img src=""> <BR> Wouldn't it be nice to have a friend by your side 24/7 that could talk a little sense into you in that very moment when you're feeling bad about something you just did, or failed to do, and your opinion of yourself is in the pits? Someone who's seen both ends of the body image spectrum, and can help you sort out those bad things you are feeling? <BR> <BR> Meet Taryn. <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeopl... Tue, 14 Jan 2014 20:15:46 EST Loving Yourself: The New Year - New You Conundrum <img src=""> <BR> A new year - a new you. I'm sure you have been giving this some thought since the new year began. This is a big one for the media during the month of January. It's on TV, in magazines, online - a constant reminder of what we are already feeling. <BR> <BR> I’ve been doing quite a bit of thinking too since I wrote my Healing Yourself to Wholeness blog last weekend. I've realized that am acutely aware of feeling my f... Fri, 10 Jan 2014 17:27:39 EST Loving Yourself: Loving and Healing Yourself to Wholeness – Part II <img src=""> <BR> The more I read and research, I am convinced that until we can heal these conscious and subconscious beliefs about our emotional selves and our relationship with our bodies, we will continue to struggle and sabotage our journey to a healthy lifestyle and a healthy body. I am aware that some of you may find it difficult to grasp this concept, as I am, but most of us can attest to the fact that it seems even tougher to i... Sun, 5 Jan 2014 17:54:45 EST Loving Yourself: Loving and Healing Yourself to Wholeness – Part I <img src=""> <BR> What could be more wonderful than to relax and be comfortable in your own body? Thus far, almost four years into Spark, I have yet to truly reach this place of peace, security, and joy or to have created a balance between who I am and my physical body, but then I know that I’m not alone in this. Loving your body is not about how you look, but about how you feel about having the body you have at every moment in your life... Sat, 4 Jan 2014 17:01:02 EST Happy New Year: A New Year's Wish for You <img src=""> <BR> My Happy New Year wish for you <BR> Is for your best year yet, <BR> A year where life is peaceful, <BR> And what you want, you get. <BR> <BR> A year in which you cherish <BR> The past year’s memories, <BR> And live your life each new day, <BR> Full of bright expectancies. <BR> <BR> I wish for you a holiday <BR> With happiness galore; <BR> And when it’s done, I wish you <BR> A Happy New Year, and many more. <BR> <BR> ... Wed, 1 Jan 2014 11:52:41 EST A Little Holiday and New Year's Eve Humor Here we are at the end of the year, <BR> I am wanting to send you some New Year cheer, <BR> So here's something that will make you smile, <BR> And begin your New Year's Eve in style! <BR> <BR> Here's some holiday humor to get you ready for tonight's celebration. If you are hosting a New year's Eve get together, or attending one, this should make you smile. I hope you enjoy it! <BR> <BR> <link> </link> <BR> <BR> Thanks for stopping by! <BR> Happy New Year! Tue, 31 Dec 2013 12:30:21 EST A Christmas Message Just For You <img src=""> <BR> A special Christmas message from me to each of you . . . <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> I’m wishing you a Christmas <BR> Full of laughter, love and light, <BR> With delicious holiday foods <BR> To excite your appetite. <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> I’m hoping you receive <BR> Delightful gifts to make you smile, <... Wed, 25 Dec 2013 16:07:23 EST A December to Remember Challenge: Day 23 <img src=""> <BR> <BR> I know from your comments that each one of us has experienced and received some remarkable "gifts" in the responses that we've received from those we have chosen to help us in our challenges. <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> Today's challenge is the culmination of saving all of our change during this challenge. <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkp... Tue, 24 Dec 2013 09:04:58 EST A December to Remember Challenge: Day 22 <img src=""> <BR> Our family has a tradition that's been a part of each Christmas that makes Christmas special every year. We make, or buy, a new ornament for Christmas, and hang it on our tree. It is so much fun each year when we decorate the tree to take a walk down memory lane as we remember each ornament. Some a happy times and others are bittersweet. Some recall time spent someplace special, or a loved one who is no longer with ... Mon, 23 Dec 2013 11:14:53 EST A December to Remember Challenge: Day 21 <img src=""> <BR> I’m really enjoying your feedback on how these challenges are affecting you. Also your comments are really positive and you are also really excited about these daily challenges. Thanks for coming along on this challenge with me. <BR> <BR> Today’s challenge will take a little more of your time than our previous challenges, but I would guess between 30 minutes to an hour total, but will be well worth your time and effo... Sun, 22 Dec 2013 11:34:06 EST A December to Remember Challenge: Day 20 <img src=""> <BR> We are all very busy running around and trying to get things done, and it seems like so is everyone else. Have you noticed how much more crowded the parking lots are these days? <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> Day 20: Help someone get your parking space in a crowded parking lot when you’re leaving, or give up a space you see to someone else. <BR> <BR> AAA give... Sat, 21 Dec 2013 08:21:04 EST A December to Remember Challenge: Day 19 <img src=""> <BR> For most of the population, a cashier is someone you interact with here and there during that dreaded trip to the grocery store. Sometimes you get nice ones, sometimes you get not so nice ones, and many times you probably don't even take the time to notice. <BR> <BR> But as someone with firsthand experience, I worked for 7 years as a grocery store cashier to in high school, and then to put myself through college. The... Fri, 20 Dec 2013 11:00:00 EST A December To Remember Challenge: Day 18 <img src=""> <BR> <BR> “If you were not cast into the abyss, you would have never groped, reached as far as you could reach, to grasp for anything that you could possibly touch, anything that you could possibly feel brushing against your fingertips! Funny how in the darkness, we come to find the things that we never saw before all the lights departed! It's like someone needed to turn the lights out, to make us find all the things that w... Thu, 19 Dec 2013 16:03:51 EST A December to Remember Challenge: Day 17 <img src=""> <BR> Hot Chocolate can warm more than hands – it can warm a heart, too. <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> 10 Things Salvation Army Bell Ringers Want You To Know <BR> <BR> 1. We aren’t judging whether you give…or not! I’ve always assumed some level of guilt if I didn’t put money in the kettle, that the ringers were judging me. This could not be farther than the truth! ... Wed, 18 Dec 2013 10:55:12 EST A December To Remember Challenge: Day 16 <img src=""> <BR> We're well on our way to making the season happy and bright not only for us, but for many others as well. <BR> <BR> KITT52 had a humorous story regarding the trash can challenge from yesterday. She wrote, "We just moved in to this new house and 2 months ago we changed trash companies. I was told to leave the old barrel at the street and someone would come by and get I did. In the morning it was gone, then I... Tue, 17 Dec 2013 07:00:20 EST A December to Remember Challenge: Day 15 <img src=""> <BR> Here's a little reminder for today: <BR> <BR> The unexpected kindness, <BR> From an unexpected place. <BR> A hand outstretched in friendship, <BR> A smile on someone’s face. <BR> <BR> A word of understanding, <BR> Spoken in an hour of trial. <BR> Are unexpected miracles, <BR> That make life more worthwhile. <BR> ~ Helen Steiner Rice <BR> <BR> Here's today's challenge. Since I'm late in posting this challenge today, th... Mon, 16 Dec 2013 07:02:52 EST A December to Remember: Day 14 <img src=""> <BR> Sometimes in the midst of all the Christmas and holiday bustle, you just need to sit down and take a deep breath. Sunday is a good day to do that. It’s a naturally together time before the new week takes off on Monday morning. <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> There have been so many holiday movies on, and there are many that are my favorites. I love a good fa... Sun, 15 Dec 2013 18:18:36 EST A December to Remember Challenge: Day 13 <img src=""> <BR> Nearly a hundred years ago, aviator Amelia Earhart observed, "A single act of kindness throws out roots in all directions, and the roots spring up and make new trees." <BR> <BR> I've been thinking of a challenge that wouldn’t cost any money for today. I have been posting challenges that have asked you to give monetarily, and wanted to give your pocketbooks and pants pockets a breather. I happened upon this idea purely... Sat, 14 Dec 2013 11:47:29 EST A December to Remember Challenge: Day 12 <img src=""> <BR> “The place to improve the world is first in one's own heart and head and hands.” <BR> ~ Robert M. Pirsig <BR> <BR> Here we are halfway through the days ‘til Christmas! Here are some of the comments from yesterday’s challenge. <BR> <BR> JMARIES51 said, “Our food bank is just a couple of blocks away from our house and I pass it everyday on the way to work. These past few years there are always cars lined up waiting for ... Fri, 13 Dec 2013 11:14:36 EST A December to Remember Challenge: Day 11 <img src=""> <BR> Well, we are almost halfway into the December to Remember Challenge. I have been getting lots of feedback from all of you, and it sounds like we are indeed spreading some Holiday Cheer! These last two days have been especially fun handing out the candy canes and giving out compliments yesterday. <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> Before I begin, thank you for all o... Thu, 12 Dec 2013 07:18:50 EST A December to Remember Challenge: Day 10 <img src=""> <BR> Words can be so simple, yet so powerful. Think about all the good cheer you can spread around today. <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> Picture yourself as the Christmas Compliment Elf who sprinkles magic elf dust everywhere you go, and just make people feel good! <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> So here's to... Wed, 11 Dec 2013 07:20:46 EST A December to Remember Challenge: Day 9 <img src=""> <BR> “You're never too old to do goofy stuff.” ~ From the television show Leave it to Beaver, spoken by the character Ward Cleaver. <BR> <BR> “A child's world is fresh and new and beautiful, full of wonder and excitement. It is our misfortune that for most of us that clear-eyed vision, that true instinct for what is beautiful and awe-inspiring, is dimmed and even lost before we reach adulthood.” ~Rachel Carson <BR> <BR> I ... Tue, 10 Dec 2013 07:53:42 EST A December to Remember Challenge: Day 8 <img src=""> <BR> “Sometimes our stop-doing list needs to be bigger than our 'to do' list.” &#8213; Patti Digh <BR> <BR> Let’s face it – everyone seems to be in an “extra” hurry these last couple of weeks before Christmas. <BR> <BR> This is the beginning of the second week of our challenge, and I hope that each of you is feeling more peace and contentment. I know, that for me, this past week has really helped me focus on what is impo... Mon, 9 Dec 2013 09:15:41 EST