SOAPSANDROPES's SparkPeople Blog SOAPSANDROPES's Blog on SparkPeople, home of free diet plans and a healthy living community The season of "and salad" Good produce is starting to show up in the store. Something about the extra sun, the (sometimes) warmth, and the ease of acquiring good fruit and vegetables makes me want to eat more colorfully. I love a good salad but in the winter it can be a bit of a challenge to eat a cold side dish. Lettuce with stuff on it is good, slaws with tangy dressings are delicious. What other types of salads am I missing? Wed, 18 May 2016 11:47:30 EST A weekend of bread failures, not discouraging yet Two loaves of failed bread this weekend. One was only suitable for eating the crust. Cooking some of the flour, specifically the oat flour, is giving the dough some elasticity and structure (got a loaf to rise). Now I need to tweak the moisture and fat amounts to get rid of the gooey interior. Mon, 25 Jan 2016 11:47:25 EST It's cold what's a scientist to do but experiment with bread I think that this is my 5th year being gluten free. The thing that I really miss the most (besides the occasional doughnut) is good bread. Not sliced sandwich bread but a nice rustic loaf with a crispy crust and chewy but airy interior. Unfortunately, most of the interior architecture is brought to you by the magic of elastic strings of gluten. I have tried a number of recipes that promise the best gluten free bread ever! only to be disappointed. I figured that I would try and find my ow... Thu, 21 Jan 2016 08:12:58 EST this about sums up my attitude recently Perhaps I am getting bolder as I age but I heard this quote today on the Writers Almonac and I liked it. So, I thought that I would share. <BR> <BR> "The moment we begin to fear the opinions of others and hesitate to tell the truth that is in us, and from motives of policy are silent when we should speak, the divine floods of light and life no longer flow into our souls." -Elizabeth Cady Stanton <BR> <BR> Be true to yourself, don't obsess about what others think of you, and don't be afraid... Tue, 12 Nov 2013 15:53:23 EST conflicting feelings about fitspo I like a good inspirational picture, my friends will tell you that. However, sometimes I look at some that I see posted around the internet and feel unnerved. Then I found this blog post that highlights a few of the underlying issues that I have with some of these motivational pictures. Yes, the author has his own opinion and I don't entirely agree with him but he does make some valid points. <BR> <BR> <link><BR>ockingly-irresponsible-fitspiration-ph<... Thu, 12 Sep 2013 10:46:57 EST something that resonated with me today <img src=""> <BR> <BR> I generally am not a big fan of exercise inspiration graphics. A lot of them make me uncomfortable because they imply that you must look like the incredibly lean person in the picture to have met your fitness goals. This one, however, I can get behind. We all have those moments that we feel discouraged, but you are winning if you keep making progress. So don't give up, keep moving forward. Wed, 7 Aug 2013 13:49:02 EST Crossfit week 3 I have been lazy about blogging. Today is the last day of official classes. I really enjoy crossfit, it is very challenging but I have the tools to modify and work up to full speed. Today is our mini strongman games. We have been promised giant tires to flip and I know there might also a sled to drag around and some sand bags to carry. I am stupidly excited, and tonight I will probably be exhausted. <BR> <BR> This was the thing that I needed to get out of my rut. Some days it is wond... Fri, 24 May 2013 14:19:21 EST Crossfit day 6 (AM edition) Went to the 7am crossfit class this morning, there were only three people (all part of my regular afternoon group). I guess the insane fog scared away the regular class. Today was intro to dead lifts. I like dead lifts, I feel strong and in control with them (I am sure that would change if I had used more than 55lbs). I think that it will be an exercise that will come in handy at work. We also did some pull ups and other challenging abs stuff. The down side to morning workouts: I get c... Fri, 17 May 2013 09:54:37 EST Crossfit day 5 Introducing Kettlebells! We reviewed handstands (sweet) and did some pushups and then learned how to swing the kettlebells around WITH OUR LEGS. Well, actually we were holding the kettlebells with our hands but you sue your legs to generate the momentum to lift the KBs up. Surprise, surprise, another squatting leg motion. It was interesting though. I really enjoy learning the techniques behind proper form. Found out that at the end of class after, we learn Olympic style weight lifting, ... Thu, 16 May 2013 08:36:37 EST Crossfit day 4 Yesterday was the start of week 2 (of 3) of classes. We learned thrusters (squat and push press rolled into one) and wall ball (a squat followed by throwing a medicine ball against the wall, catching it and squatting again). I will have legs of steel after this (which is kind of what I was hoping for). One of the things that I didn't expect was to like the mobility movements that we do at the start of class. We use foam rollers or lacrosse balls to work on muscle groups, it often hurts in... Tue, 14 May 2013 08:03:24 EST Crossfit day 3 and yoga on Sunday I forgot to blog about my day of handstands and pull-ups on Friday. Ever since I was a tall spastic child, I have had a fear of handstands. I have never been good at them and I don't really like being upside down. Gymnastics lessons were pretty awkward when I was a kid with no coordination who was taller than the college kids running the classes. So, I was nervous for handstands during crossfit. However, I had promised myself that I would try everything in class even if I was wasn't good... Mon, 13 May 2013 09:14:51 EST Crossfit day 2 Yesterday was day two of crossfit intro class. We reviewed squats (ouch) and then started on shoulder presses. There is a mental check list of things that I need to focus on for proper press technique, it is actually a little distracting. However, I am sure that if I practice enough it will be easier to have good form. Friday is gymnastics and handstands. I don't really do upside down well and I am very leery of "gymnastics". On the upside my legs are finally starting to hurt less from ... Thu, 9 May 2013 12:08:08 EST Crossfit day 1 I decided that I need a new challenge. I want to build functional/practical strength. I used to be an athlete, two sports in high school and club sports in the off season. Now that I am well over a decade removed from that I miss it. Fortuitously, a new gym opened up just down the street from work. I could walk there if I wanted. They specialize in defense and fitness (Krav maga, BJJ, hit fit, and cross fit). They offer a three week introduction to crossfit, three classes a week. I ha... Tue, 7 May 2013 09:44:14 EST Spring? I am sitting at my desk at work and I am cold. It is almost the end of March and there is snow on the ground. All I want to do is build myself a blanket fort and hide for the rest of the day. However, I will be an adult and when I get home rather than sitting on the couch I will put on a work out video and get moving. When that is done I will tackle one of the many things that needs attention around the house. Maybe transplanting my tomato seedlings to bigger pots will help me think of s... Mon, 25 Mar 2013 12:23:51 EST I have made a team! At the prompting of my lovely coworkers I have started a team. A team for people who don't do sugar substitutes, for people who enjoy sugar occasionally and think that life is better with moderate amounts of quality sweetness. Feel free to join and discuss your love of real foods and sugars. <BR> <BR><BR>s_individual.asp?gid=59331 Thu, 31 Jan 2013 11:30:07 EST Please let this month be better My hope (or maybe wish) for this month is that it is less crazy than October. Work is never good when is it some looming hulk of a thing that you can only escape for 12-14 hours at night. <BR> <BR> Two 5K races this month to look forward to, and all the Halloween candy is gone. The month is already looking better. Fri, 2 Nov 2012 13:55:55 EST Friday Morning Dance Party (at my desk)! Today has started off well. Let's keep the good times rollin' with some upbeat music to rock your socks off! Fri, 24 Aug 2012 08:58:43 EST It is suddenly fall like This morning I woke up underneath a blanket. Got up, went for a run then mowed the lawn, opened all the windows and then left them open for the entire day! Oh, temperate weather, I missed you so much. Sat, 11 Aug 2012 20:19:09 EST maybe this running thing isn't as horrible as I thought I no longer feel like my lungs and heart are going to explode when I jog for more than a few minutes. I have signed up for a fun 5K next weekend and have started a 10K training program. I like jogging outside, if I keep moving there is a little breeze and there is always stuff to look at (and avoid). Who knew? Wed, 8 Aug 2012 14:45:33 EST May is going to be interesting I have been waffling in my resolve to exercise. I started off really well, then fell down a little, now I feel like I am back on track. I figure that with enough attention and practice I will find a nice happy medium between the two. <BR> <BR> Last night I read an interesting quote that I am going to have to post at work and at home, that while written about art, I think is applicable to many things in life. <BR> <BR> "Quitting is fundamentally different from stopping. Stopping happens ... Mon, 30 Apr 2012 12:50:05 EST the best of plans Well, I plan and I plan and then things don't go according to plan. Fortunately, I almost always have a plan B. Plan B doesn't always work either. So now I will do my best to enjoy life as it goes along. Fortunately there is usually a chance to clear my head with a walk or a glass of wine (if it is raining wine only, or both if it is nice). Sounds like I am starting to babble, must be time for bed. Wed, 18 Apr 2012 22:12:45 EST Keeping it simple One of the things that I struggle with at work is people making things unnecessarily complicated. Either they are over thinking something, not focused on the actual problem, or in too much of a hurry. Sometimes the simple answer/path is the right one but you have to slow down and think critically for a minute or two just to make sure. Maybe it is my inherent laziness about things, but I want to figure out how to get the answer in the most efficient, way possible. This might not always ... Mon, 26 Mar 2012 13:11:21 EST Dear Solar Flares You are impressive and awe inspiring. However, please do not mess with my interest or cell phone connection tonight while I talk to Chris. I don't get to see him as often as I would like and it is pretty rainy outside so I can't even go for a walk to amuse myself. That is all. <BR> Thanks, <BR> Jess Thu, 8 Mar 2012 09:24:25 EST Spring showers It is almost spring. I can smell it in the air (sometimes). I have started a couch to 5k running plan with some friends and I really want to walk/jog outside. I wanted to do the program, even though I know that I could skip the first few weeks. However, yesterday it was in the 30s and snowing, today and tomorrow are supposed to be nice, and then later this week it is supposed to rain constantly. What is good for the yard is not good for me. <BR> <BR> This weekend is my sister's baby s... Tue, 6 Mar 2012 08:42:55 EST Weigh-in day, dum dum duuuummmm. I get too frustrated if I weigh myself on a regular basis. Instead, I do it once at the end of the month (obviously I am a day late). We had a scale at home but it broke and not replacing it has been important to my motivation. So, today I will go to gym to exercise and I will weigh myself. Not really expecting any big changes, or really even a loss. At this point it is just about keeping on track. Thu, 1 Mar 2012 10:35:59 EST don't call me lazy I just want to sit at home, preferably with my cat and my boyfriend, and loaf. I don't want to have to drive 6 hours to visit him, or 6 hours to visit my sister. Perhaps I am lazy or maybe I am just embracing the hermit lifestyle that I am called to. Tue, 28 Feb 2012 08:06:27 EST Last few days of February Well, I don't think that I am going to make it to 1,000 fitness minutes this month. I gave it a valiant effort, but life got a little distracting. On the plus side I have moved up my plans to visit Chris so March is going to start off on a high note. Makes me grateful that I have some flexibility in my work schedule and a great friend to cat sit. Fingers crossed that spring is just around the corner, next week it is time to start prepping the garden. My, this is a little disjointed. E... Mon, 27 Feb 2012 08:52:49 EST How many emoticons can I use? I have noticed in reading other people's blog posts that the number of emoticons that I use is woefully inadequate. <em>39</em> So today I will blog with many emoticons! <em>104</em> I have to do some cardio today but my legs are really sore, so I have decided that I will box , it is always a good workout. <em>91</em> I have been keeping up with the housework this week, go me. <em>345</em> The only thing that I really have to do this weekend is vacuum and clean the bathroom, the <em... Fri, 24 Feb 2012 10:44:34 EST Finally got outside this week! I went for a jog/walk today. I am hurting, I forgot that jogging is hard. I get embarrassed by hearing my own breathing and I feel like people are staring at me as I jog by (slowly and red faced). So I made myself a rule, I could walk for as long as I could jog, so if I jogged for 3 minutes then I could walk for three minutes. The threatening grey clouds were a motivating factor for me to run a little more. Feeling pretty good about myself right now. Wed, 22 Feb 2012 18:01:58 EST I want to go walking outside I really would love to go for a walk today, either after lunch or this evening. However, it is raining and that is not terribly conducive to walking outside in an enjoyable way. So instead I am going to go to the gym. If I am lucky then one of the good treadmills will be open and I can walk/jog on that. If not I will stationary bike, I think that it is time to bump up the resistance level. Tue, 21 Feb 2012 08:32:47 EST To the gym! It is much warmer today! All the snow that fell yesterday is gone. My sisterly duties regarding baby shower invitations have been dispatched. I am going to eat leftovers for dinner so I can spend some extra time at the gym (probably not an hour like Rachel) but at least 40 minutes. Then it is home to start cleaning so the house is nice when Chris comes home for the weekend. Wed, 15 Feb 2012 15:16:32 EST Hey Nature, what's up with the snow? It is snowing. I don't want it to be snowing. I dislike shoveling (although it is good exercise) and my boyfriend needs nice driving weather if I want to see him this weekend. Tue, 14 Feb 2012 09:04:57 EST Sleepy because of my brain So I had to get up early this morning, needed to be at work around 6am. I went to bed early and I was tired. So maybe around 9:30-9:45 I can convinced the cat that it was time to go to sleep, lights out by a little after 10. Couldn't sleep, kept thinking about experiment, thought of another control that we needed, worried about not waking up in enough time. Woke up at 11:45, 12:57. sometime after 2, and 4:30 and a few other times when I didn't check the clock. So my alarm goes off, the c... Wed, 8 Feb 2012 09:46:27 EST I pick things up then put them down I am starting the process of insulating two unfinished walls in my garage. For the most part is it easy. However, I have done the really easy accessible bits. Now I have to tackle the wall that is behind the work bench and the storage shelf. This is not an ordinary shelf, it is probably about 4 feet high and at least 3 feet deep, I store my bike under the shelf. On the shelf are piled all of our storage totes, easy to move but heavy. Part of me thinks that it would be less work to shuff... Wed, 1 Feb 2012 10:25:30 EST checking out early for the day So, my brain seems to have given up on work this morning. Not terribly helpful since I really did want to try and get some stuff done this morning. I will plow along in an effort to be a productive employee. If only it were sunny out today that would make everything better. <BR> <BR> On the bright side I have a nice weekend of family and friend visiting planned. Not a lot of exercising is planned but I will be conscious of what I eat (and drink). I am pretty sure that there is a wine fl... Fri, 27 Jan 2012 09:43:49 EST You know who's going to find you, some old man fishin' That is all. Bonus points for anyone who knows the reference. Thu, 26 Jan 2012 13:33:32 EST coldness setting in So it seems to be officially winter (with random nice days to get my hopes up). The worst part about this is that it is unexpectedly sapping my will to go to the gym. I don't want to wear pants at the gym but I am afraid that my legs will freeze if I don't and multiple outfit changes just to go to the gym is not happening. Good news, I can actually workout at home, and only the cat seems to mind (her vote on this doesn't count). If only I could find some exercise to improve circulation to... Mon, 16 Jan 2012 14:40:50 EST avoiding the gym The crowds at the gym are bothering me. So, I am still exercising, just at home. I have had a library of videos for years, but now I have a reason to use them. The January Challenge is good motivation for me. I figure in a week or two I will head back to the gym, but for now I dislike people. Tue, 10 Jan 2012 10:21:53 EST Caaaaaannnndddyy We have extra candy, and oddly enough I don't want to eat all of it. This is not to say that I have behaved and not had any candy this Halloween season but I have tried to exercise what little will power i have and so far it seems to be working. Tue, 1 Nov 2011 08:35:24 EST Halloween is coming! I really need to get myself in gear, there are some Halloween decorations that I need to finish before Monday night. Hopefully it won't be cold and rainy for the kids. I think that this year we will be joining our neighbors on the drive way handing out candy, seems so much more social than staying in the house waiting for people to ring the bell. The hardest part has been not opening the Halloween candy. I figure that as long as the bags stay closed I won't eat all the candy. Thu, 27 Oct 2011 09:02:26 EST UUUUUURRRRRR AARRRGGGGG For the first time in years I have visible dark circles under my eyes today. This is either due to my ever progressing aging, lack of sunshine depressing me, or in inability to sleep until my alarm goes off in the morning. But Jess, you might say, you go to bed at a reasonable hour why can't you sleep until your alarm goes off? Well, the answer is very simple..... <img src=""> <BR> It might be a combination of things but it is often eas... Fri, 21 Oct 2011 13:28:03 EST Rainy day blahs IT is terribly grey and rainy outside. All of a sudden my windows at work aren't as warm and sunny, but I can still stare out of them. The cure, lots of cups of delicious teas and random cat picture! <img src=""> Wed, 19 Oct 2011 13:21:28 EST taking a day off It was raining, my cat is still grumpy from the vet, and I have lost a little motivation. I am taking a night off. Tomorrow is not going to be dietary wise, all you can eat sushi. However, I think that a little celebration of my dating a great guy for 11 years is worth the extra exercise that I am going to have to do this weekend. <img src=""> Wed, 12 Oct 2011 19:03:36 EST Friday Rockin' Nothing like some ridiculous dance music to get your day started off right! Gratuitous cat picture! <img src=""> Fri, 7 Oct 2011 09:53:26 EST an opportunity for points To my friends who are competing, please comment on my blog post, it might earn you points if you haven't already earned them for the day. Thu, 6 Oct 2011 14:20:43 EST I feel accomplished Well, I finally sat down and did the work that i have been putting off, yeah me. Feels good, perhaps it is the sun and the upbeat music on the computer. I should reward myself somehow (not with food). Wed, 5 Oct 2011 15:13:33 EST it's wednesday The fog of this morning has burned off and it looks like it is going to be a nice day. I need to start on my Halloween decorations, milk jug jack-o-lanterns to line the driveway. I was also thinking about trying to find a nice hiking trail for this weekend, to keep the momentum of vacation up. I really like a long hike with trees and things to look at, so much better than making loops around my neighborhood. That's it, nothing inspiring or witty. Wed, 5 Oct 2011 11:02:12 EST back to reality You know, fitness would be so much easier if I didn't have a job and if I lived in a place with scenery like Maine. It was easy to be excited about hiking up mountains that over looked the ocean. Much harder to get excited about mowing my lawn which is now about 8 inches long (thanks to lots of rain and vacation). Mon, 3 Oct 2011 13:57:17 EST Vacation, so close Tomorrow, at far far to early in the morning we start our vacation. I hope that it doesn't rain the entire time but I am prepared for it just in case. The bad thing is that my brain has already checked out for the day. This is a real shame since I still have work to do, sigh. Now the next big challenge will be to motivate my boyfriend in the early am hours tomorrow. Tue, 27 Sep 2011 08:43:32 EST It is flannel sheet season! The start of fall brings cooler weather, changing leaves, delicious squash, and best of all flannel sheets. <BR> <BR> Trip to the gym went well today, but I am finally parting with one of my exercise shirts. After getting it in 2003 (it is dated) I could no longer stand the smell of the shirt. For some reason it was fine for years when I just wore it to work once a week but exercising is a whole other story. Sat, 24 Sep 2011 13:59:17 EST