SUSANNAH31's SparkPeople Blog http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal.asp?id=SUSANNAH31 SUSANNAH31's Blog on SparkPeople, home of free diet plans and a healthy living community SparkPeople.com http://assets2.sparkpeople.com/assets/nav/logo_spark.gif http://www.sparkpeople.com/ Structuring My Retirement Days http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6413144 I begin each day with a list. <BR> <BR> Lists have been a major part of my life for years now, because my memory is almost non-existent. <BR> <BR> The list is written in the morning on an index card - and placed somewhere easily reached - in my handbag or wallet. Index cards are excellent media for lists because they hold their shape and don't crumple up easily. I can work off of one index card for several days, crossing off and adding items as needed, depending on how much progress is... Wed, 20 Sep 2017 10:08:12 EST Photography http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6411405 My retired life is very full these days. Aside from the usual family activities, I am immersed in photography. <BR> <BR> I am busy coordinating a new photo club in our town that I was able to get started. We are having monthly meetings, with photo shoots in between. There is a professional photographer who acts as a teacher and leader for the group. We have set up a small private group on Face Book for communicating and sharing photos with each other. <BR> <BR> I also belong to another p... Fri, 15 Sep 2017 08:05:36 EST A message from a stranger http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6402677 This past Saturday, I was shopping for clothing at a local department store. <BR> After trying on a few items, I was experiencing the usual post-dressing-room gloom, and my mood was low. <BR> <BR> Most of my negative feelings were in reaction to what my 72-year-old skin looks like after some fat has been lost from beneath it. (I was again wondering if it's even a good idea to lose any more weight because of the unappealing changes in my skin -- but that's a different blog altogether.) <BR>... Tue, 22 Aug 2017 09:33:19 EST Anniversary Celebration http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6400876 In two weeks my husband and I will be celebrating our 50th wedding anniversary. We got married on his first 3-day pass from basic training, because it was during the VietNamese war. Ours was a small wedding at the local church, with a reception at my mother's New York City home, followed by a two-day 'honeymoon' in Washington D.C. A few months later, my husband was assigned to a tech position at Fort Myer, Virginia, and we were fortunate to live in that area for the next two years until h... Thu, 17 Aug 2017 08:46:09 EST Mirror vs Photos http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6399099 Most days, I like the way I look in the mirror. <BR> <BR> But that is not true when it comes to photos. <BR> <BR> Either my mirror is too kind, or my own eyes and brain interpret the mirror image much too favorably. <BR> <BR> The photos tell an entirely different story. <BR> <BR> I just put together the annual book of photos of our family at the beach. <BR> And everyone looks good -- except for me, that is. <BR> <BR> These photos put me in a very negative place for a couple of days. <B... Sat, 12 Aug 2017 15:59:59 EST Random beach thoughts http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6395908 It was a good time with the three grandkids, and the two sons and their wives. It was a busy, exciting time filled with lots of fun activities. <BR> Now that it's over, my DH and I are taking it easy and feeling good about it all. <BR> <BR> We are both very proud of our sons - and the kind of fathers that they are. We told them that, too. <BR> <BR> <BR> I did hold my weight where I wanted it. It was not difficult. I did not deny myself much. I was satisfied with a taste of this, a m... Fri, 4 Aug 2017 10:32:22 EST Family Beachtime http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6387688 Okay, so I am now back down to that lower number with a .4 added onto it. <BR> <BR> My plan is to concentrate on staying within the calorie limits until I have reached the lower whole number with a .0 attached - and then to stay there. <BR> <BR> Hold that number on the scale! will be my mantra for the next two weeks as my three grandkids arrive here at the beach, soon followed by my two sons and their wives. <BR> <BR> That translates to: three meals a day, every day, with lots of snacks ... Sat, 15 Jul 2017 09:51:20 EST Blogging, Confessing, & Problem Solving http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6384416 This blog is a public confession. <BR> <BR> I am writing about some behavior that I really want to change. So I'm hoping that if I go public, maybe that will finally force me to do what I have to do. <BR> <BR> On the scale, I have been bouncing back and forth between three numbers for the past several weeks. Whenever I am near the top number of the three, I am very careful about watching what I eat. After a few days, when the number reaches the lower of the three, I go off my routine. I... Fri, 7 Jul 2017 10:30:34 EST July 4th http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6383558 My husband and I are at the beach - and we were by ourselves this July 4th for most of the day. <BR> <BR> When evening came, we joined some neighbors on our street to go to the beachfront house for a block party and a fireworks display. Lots of families were there - with kids and grandkids. <BR> Lots of food, drink, and making merry. <BR> <BR> I ate only a few items, drank only water, enjoyed the people and the fireworks. <BR> This morning, I was down half a pound. <BR> <BR> My energy ... Wed, 5 Jul 2017 09:18:00 EST Holding Pattern http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6379837 My weight is currently in a holding pattern. <BR> <BR> It is 10 lbs above my lowest weight achieved here on SP, and 20 lbs below the weight I originally started out at. <BR> <BR> I am happy to say that I feel comfortable maintaining this weight, and I've been doing that for several months now. <BR> <BR> These days I am focused on just holding this weight, and not gaining. <BR> It is almost as if my body is establishing a new normal. <BR> <BR> At some point, I will put in some more effor... Mon, 26 Jun 2017 08:40:23 EST Gardening http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6378431 I spent a large part of today and yesterday in gardens and in a farm field. <BR> <BR> There are huge bug bites on my neck (right where I put on perfume, I realized later). <BR> There's a small rash of poison ivy (or poison oak) on my arm. <BR> My shoes (inappropriate cloth ones) got so dirty they were beyond cleaning and had to be discarded. <BR> <BR> And right now - in the late afternoon - I am headed into the shower to wash the dirt and perspiration off most of me. <BR> <BR> Ahh.... but ... Thu, 22 Jun 2017 17:14:34 EST WHEN you eat matters http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6374405 Some research has shown that dieters who eat most of their calories earlier in the day lose more weight than those who eat their big meal at the end of the day. <BR> <BR> Just one study is mentioned below. (There are others mentioned in the article.) <BR> <BR> The following is a direct quote of just one study cited in USNews & World Report by <BR> Tamara Duker Freuman, MS, RD, CDN, a registered dietitian whose NYC-based clinical practice specializes in digestive disorders, celiac Disease... Mon, 12 Jun 2017 23:15:28 EST Summer Salad http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6373780 Salad is a real summertime lunch favorite for me (just as soup is a favorite for fall and winter). <BR> <BR> I'm always looking for ways to pack in the flavor and the nutrients to those salads. <BR> Here are some foods I regularly have in my salad: <BR> ---romaine lettuce, kale, cabbage <BR> ---broccoli, carrots <BR> ---apple <BR> ---walnuts or almonds <BR> ---sunflower seeds <BR> ---kidney beans or chick peas <BR> ---feta cheese <BR> <BR> Sometimes I include some canned salmon or tuna. <B... Sun, 11 Jun 2017 14:44:48 EST Motivation & Self-fulfillment http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6373034 My motivation to eat within the calorie limits every day can sometimes fade after a while. <BR> Being fit and liking how I look is important to me - yes - but there are some days when that desire alone is not enough to prevent me from eating more than I should. <BR> <BR> So what am I doing about it? <BR> <BR> I just recently purchased a new cookbook by an author that my SP friend, Watermellen, recommended in her blog. The dishes are meatless, and many of them look yummy in the photos. I f... Fri, 9 Jun 2017 17:02:38 EST Face Book http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6372136 My friend's blogs, Watermellen, got me thinking about Face Book. <BR> <BR> I am 72 years old, and I am on Face Book. <BR> Mostly I post photos - of wildlife that I come across, or of my grandkids. <BR> I don't put my own photo up there. And I would not put anybody else's photo up there either. <BR> <BR> Only those who are my friends can see what I post. My Face Book page is not open to the general public. <BR> <BR> I don't make political statements - no matter how strongly I feel. <BR> ... Wed, 7 Jun 2017 13:00:22 EST Wanna Wrestle, Grandma? http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6371270 My 5-year-old grandson will ask me every now and then, "Wanna wrestle, Grandma?" <BR> <BR> I never turn him down. <BR> <BR> I consider that to be one of the best invitations I can get. He then proceeds to jump on me, while I try to hold him off, and work at neither one of us getting hurt in the process. <BR> We generally roll around on the sofa, aiming small pillows at each other, and laughing a lot. <BR> <BR> It's fun. I like the tumbling around with him. <BR> <BR> It won't last mu... Mon, 5 Jun 2017 15:51:46 EST Home again http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6365532 We arrived home early yesterday morning on a sleepless redeye flight, and spent the day resting and napping. <BR> <BR> It was a demanding ten days babysitting our two grandkids. <BR> We were tired by the end, but glad to have done it. <BR> Our son and his wife had a great anniversary trip together. <BR> <BR> This morning the scale registers just where it was when I left. <BR> <BR> I couldn't be happier. <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> Tue, 23 May 2017 09:09:18 EST Prioritizing http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6362382 My husband and I are in California babysitting our two grandkids, age 8 and 5, while their parents are taking a 10-day trip to celebrate their 15th wedding anniversary. <BR> <BR> It's always a struggle for me to eat less when I am here. <BR> <BR> First of all, it takes me days to get used to the 3-hour time difference. Mealtimes and bedtimes are always way too late for me. <BR> I am ready for dinner at 3pm, not at 6pm local time (which is really 9pm for me). <BR> So I am usually tired an... Mon, 15 May 2017 19:29:02 EST Some chuckles about stress eating http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6360231 Stress eating: we have all been guilty of it some time. <BR> I certainly have. <BR> Here are some cartoons about stress eating that can help us laugh at ourselves. <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photosaws.sparkpeople.com/guid/4b39de21-bd3e-4f37-9df5-41f0f1afce7e.jpeg"> <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photosaws.sparkpeople.com/guid/4a219151-5740-42f1-870e-4e79688f64d0.jpeg"> <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photosaws.sparkpeople.com/guid/6d264e4d-9201-4cc9-b11f-f11b53b7e07a.jpeg"> <BR> <BR> <img sr... Wed, 10 May 2017 15:10:03 EST Walking benefits the brain http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6359234 I am happy to see that science finds even more benefits from walking: <BR> <BR> April 24, 2017 <BR> <BR> "You probably know that walking does your body good, but it's not just your heart and muscles that benefit. Researchers at New Mexico Highlands University (NMHU) found that the foot's impact during walking sends pressure waves through the arteries that significantly modify and can increase the supply of blood to the brain. The research will be presented today at the APS annual meeting a... Mon, 8 May 2017 09:46:22 EST Behaviors determine success http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6356540 It feels really good at the end of the day when I can say to myself: "I did everything I needed to do today to meet my goal. I walked for an hour and I stayed within my calorie limits." And it feels extra good the next morning because I know that I am making progress--no matter what the scale says. My behaviors are what determine my success. Tue, 2 May 2017 08:27:28 EST Taking charge of more areas of my life http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6354750 These days I have taken charge of my eating and exercising behaviors, and the results are rewarding: my energy level is up and the scale is moving down. <BR> <BR> There are some other areas in my life that have called to me, and I find myself taking charge of them as well. <BR> <BR> 1. Winter dry skin. Yuk! Every winter my skin dries out, flakes, and is very itchy. Winter skin dryness has always occurred - even before we started spending the winter months in the desert southwest. Now ... Fri, 28 Apr 2017 11:16:32 EST Avocado Toast - A favorite breakfast http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6353771 Just about a year ago, while visiting my son's family in California, I saw my daughter-in-law eat an interesting breakfast. <BR> <BR> She sliced up an avocado and put it on whole wheat toast. Then she squeezed the juice from a half of a lemon onto the avocado, and salted and peppered it. <BR> <BR> She offered me some, and I LOVED it. <BR> <BR> This is a particularly filling breakfast - and it keeps me feeling satisfied long into the day. The (good) fat in the avocado also stabilizes my b... Wed, 26 Apr 2017 11:14:48 EST A Maintenance Frame of Mind http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6350235 Something has changed -- for the better. <BR> <BR> I am no longer in a fight between would I WANT to do and what I SHOULD do. <BR> <BR> It is no longer the scale against me, or the tempting food against me. <BR> <BR> In times past, when I would have indulged in some forbidden dessert or treat, I would often think, "Oh well, I've blown it now, so let me just go ahead and enjoy some other prohibited food while I'm at it." <BR> It was THE RULES against me. <BR> <BR> Today I am not fight... Tue, 18 Apr 2017 14:29:53 EST Greek Cucumber Salad http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6346551 I love Greek tzitziki sauce, so when I saw this recipe online for a Greek cucumber salad, I knew I would love it too. <BR> <BR> GREEK CUCUMBER SALAD <BR> <BR> 1 cup Greek nonfat plain yogurt - place in a mixing bowl <BR> <BR> ADD the following to the yogurt and mix well: <BR> juice from 1/2 lemon <BR> 1/4 cup fresh dill, chopped <BR> 1 clove garlic, minced <BR> 1 tsp kosher salt <BR> <BR> Then ADD the following to the yogurt mixture: <BR> 1 cucumber, thinly sliced <BR> 1/4 red onion, chop... Mon, 10 Apr 2017 13:42:30 EST Delicious Turmeric Lemonade http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6344800 This morning my DH and I had breakfast at a new place that offers lots of interesting and healthful choices for breakfast and lunch. <BR> I saw turmeric lemonade on the menu and ordered it - having just recently heard about the health benefits of turmeric. <BR> <BR> And the lemonade was DELICIOUS! <BR> <BR> Ordinarily I don't drink a lot of lemonade because it is way too sweet for me. <BR> This one was not. <BR> <BR> I will definitely make it for myself at home. I looked online for a rec... Thu, 6 Apr 2017 19:39:55 EST When can I stop tracking my food? http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6342786 I always knew the tracker was a great tool. And I used it for the entire time I was losing weight. <BR> <BR> It was only afterward that I stopped tracking. <BR> <BR> This is what I told myself: <BR> I have been tracking so regularly that I now know the calorie content of my favorite foods without tracking. <BR> I have already lost the weight, and I am no longer 'dieting' so I don't need to continue tracking. <BR> I am finished with tracking; I do not want to be tied to this constant recor... Sun, 2 Apr 2017 17:34:32 EST Tracking: the best tool http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6341279 Tracking is the best tool there is for getting back to where I should be. <BR> <BR> Recording every bite that goes into my mouth eliminates all possible forms of self-deception. <BR> I can't forget what I ate earlier. <BR> I can't underestimate the number of calories I am taking in. <BR> I can't kid myself about how much I am eating. <BR> <BR> Tracking keeps the reality of my eating right in front of me every day. <BR> I am forced to look carefully at the portion size. <BR> I am forced to s... Thu, 30 Mar 2017 12:01:51 EST Here is my truth http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6335985 Here is my truth: <BR> <BR> I need to make a conscious effort to keep up my new eating habits, otherwise the old habits come back, and the old habits lead to weight gain. <BR> <BR> So it is up to me as to WHEN I make that effort. <BR> Will it be AFTER I have gained the weight back, and I am playing catch-up, trying to get it off again? <BR> Or will it be BEFORE I have gained the weight, and I am keeping it off? <BR> <BR> The timing makes a huge difference in how I feel about myself - an... Mon, 20 Mar 2017 19:44:09 EST Busy, Full Days http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6249822 Life has been full and busy these days, and I love it. <BR> <BR> I signed up for a memoir-writing seminar, and have spent a considerable amount of time writing down events from my childhood. It was an excellent exercise, and it cleared away some unwanted old emotions that were hanging around from decades ago. <BR> <BR> I am also busy with a new photography seminar and joining a new camera club. So I'm meeting new people and getting better at my photography skills. <BR> <BR> My DH and I ... Tue, 11 Oct 2016 09:23:33 EST Out of Irons http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6225024 I have wind in my sails again. Thank goodness. This was a summer that I mostly spent 'in irons' as they say. I made no progress with my weight loss - and just hung around the same high number on the scale --stalled. <BR> <BR> Now, though, the wind has picked up, and I have been heading again in the right direction. And there is nothing like a little momentum to motivate me. <BR> <BR> As I begin sailing along again, I am eating less again. I have started walking again. <BR> <BR> And gu... Fri, 26 Aug 2016 17:49:03 EST Telling Myself No Again http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6190610 Sometimes on a Sunday morning my husband will stop off on his way home from church to get a muffin for me -- a bran muffin, my favorite. <BR> <BR> I have most likely already decided on a breakfast with more protein and less sugar - but somehow when he brings that muffin for me, I start a monologue in my head that goes something like this: <BR> <BR> "Isn't that nice that he brought me the muffin. It is my favorite kind. I was planning on eating something else that is more in keeping with m... Mon, 27 Jun 2016 14:03:48 EST Summer Coolers to Drink http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6187750 Drinking water is a real staple with me. And especially in summertime, I drink a lot more. <BR> Sometimes, it is fun to add some flavoring to the water, without adding a bunch of calories. <BR> <BR> I have often made a pitcher of lemon water -- just water with sliced lemons floating in it. (No sugar) That can be very thirst quenching on hot days. <BR> <BR> I also have discovered some bottled waters (some carbonated or fizzy, and some not) in the supermarket that are flavored with berries ... Wed, 22 Jun 2016 16:52:04 EST Home from a holiday http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6179648 During these past 3 weeks, my husband and I went with another couple friend of ours on a river cruise from Amsterdam to Budapest (pronounced, I have now learned, "Budapesht). <BR> Then we flew to Barcelona for three days before returning home again to the U.S.A. <BR> <BR> Cathedrals and beautiful architecture were the most notable sights along the way. And FOOD was a large part of each of the different cultures we visited. <BR> <BR> My memories are a swirl of delicious chocolate, hard-cr... Thu, 9 Jun 2016 11:46:17 EST A week of triggers http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6159291 During this past week I encountered just about all my old triggers when it came to food. <BR> And today, at the end of that week, I am happy to say that none of them caused me to overeat. <BR> <BR> First off, during the week, I was physically feeling under par. My energy level was low. <BR> Fortunately, I had no real obligations, so I was able to rest a lot during the days. <BR> <BR> (In earlier times, when I would have to perform -either at a job, or with my family - I would not have bee... Mon, 9 May 2016 09:59:23 EST Understanding Maintenance for me http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6145365 YO-YO DIETING: taking action when the scale gets to an unacceptable point way beyond the desired weight. Then returning to the old eating habits until it happens again. <BR> <BR> <BR> In the days before joining SP, I believed that the hardest part of weight loss was taking it off. After I had done that, I could return to my old eating habits, and, somehow, miraculously, those old habits would not bring back the old weight again. <BR> That was some pretty fuzzy thinking. <BR> And that w... Tue, 19 Apr 2016 00:19:29 EST Reminding myself of a lesson learned http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6143646 I've been a member of SP for several years. And I've learned a thing or two about myself during that time. <BR> <BR> Avoidance behaviors are so easy to pull off: <BR> Don't step on the scale. <BR> Don't keep track of everything that goes into my mouth. <BR> Permit events to take priority over preferred eating behaviors. <BR> Allow emotions to act as an excuse for overeating. <BR> <BR> And avoidance behaviors usually work until there is a wake-up call of some sort. <BR> Usually the ... Sat, 16 Apr 2016 15:28:43 EST Writing http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6130976 Writing blogs here on SP has been one of the most helpful activities for me in my weight loss. The process of writing helped me to focus on both the big and the small issues that cropped up while I was trying to lose weight. I paid closer attention to my own behaviors, and I spotted patterns that had eluded me in the past. <BR> <BR> The writing also helped me to better understand my emotional reactions to food and eating. <BR> I gained insights through my writings that helped to change my b... Wed, 30 Mar 2016 13:20:58 EST A pleasant surprise http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6116675 Yesterday evening I was dressing for a meeting, and felt my black pants feeling just a little tight. It was discouraging, because I thought I was making more progress than that. <BR> <BR> I've been walking every day for an hour, and limiting my food intake, and the scale has reflected it. <BR> <BR> So why were these pants feeling a little tighter than usual? <BR> <BR> It wasn't until an hour later that I discovered the answer. <BR> <BR> These were not the pants I thought they were. The... Fri, 11 Mar 2016 09:00:09 EST Momentum and Commitment: Some thoughts http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6094290 First, I had to stop the food train that was chugging along in the wrong direction. Then, I had to turn it around to go the other way. Now it is slowly moving forward again. <BR> <BR> This was all happening during a time filled with many of life's distractions... and my priorities were often swayed to purposes other than limiting my food intake. <BR> <BR> It is my desire to continue to feel good about my physical appearance that has finally brought my focus back to where it needs to be. ... Fri, 12 Feb 2016 11:13:40 EST Emerging from denial and getting back into accountability http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6065776 So now it is double-down time - following the holiday overeating - and also following a year of being too casual about my weight. <BR> <BR> The first order of business, here in Arizona, was to replace an inexpensive full length mirror that was way too complimentary. Actually, 'complimentary' is too kind a word. The mirror was inaccurate. My reflection was much slimmer than I was. <BR> <BR> So now I have a mirror that goes the other way. My reflection is a little wider than I am. <BR> Th... Sun, 10 Jan 2016 12:47:58 EST Beginning The New Year http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6061380 We had a wonderful New Year party. All of the Native American activities were done with the children in the afternoon - and then just after dark around the fire pit. They were excited about it - and had a great time. (I decided to just do the adult stuff after the kids went to bed - and that worked out really well.) <BR> <BR> What a treat to have both my sons and their families together for the week! <BR> <BR> For the two days since everyone left, I have just relaxed and napped. It w... Tue, 5 Jan 2016 19:05:41 EST Borrowing from Native Americans to celebrate the New Year http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6051124 This year our family will be all together to ring in the New Year, so I am working on creating a celebration that will be meaningful and fun for the adults as well as the grandkids (a boy and girl age 4, and a boy age 7). <BR> <BR> My sons and their families will be staying with us - along with one daughter-in-law's parents who will be joining us from Texas. We will also have extended family and friends joining us for the evening. <BR> <BR> We will be in Arizona - so I decided to draw from... Tue, 22 Dec 2015 09:06:11 EST Pre-party jitters http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6047589 Yesterday we had our annual Holiday Open House. Usually we invite all the neighbors on our street (it is a circular street 1/2 mile long) with their kids. Last year, though, there were more and more kids, and it didn't feel like the kind of party I wanted to have any more. <BR> <BR> So this year, we invited all the neighbors without their kids ("Adults Only Please"), I changed the time to a later hour, and then I invited some of my other friends from around town. <BR> <BR> In total, the... Mon, 14 Dec 2015 21:27:51 EST Inspiration from Google Images http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6034176 Today, as I updated my Spark Page, reflecting my regained weight and new commitment to losing and maintaining, I looked at Google Images for some inspiration for achieving my goals once again. As always, I found it - and thought I would share some here. <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photosaws.sparkpeople.com/guid/5af9cd47-51c2-4ade-a5bf-e45f4e82fa71.jpg"> <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photosaws.sparkpeople.com/guid/717d7215-631f-4d33-a7cb-fb45a75e0cbc.jpg"> <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photosa... Wed, 18 Nov 2015 10:53:56 EST Breakfasts http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6027725 Breakfast must contain either a fat or a protein - and not a lot of carbs - if it is going to set me up properly for the day. (No fruit smoothies or pancakes for me!) <BR> <BR> Most egg dishes don't really appeal to me very much. The only way I eat eggs is if they are scrambled and well cooked. <BR> <BR> Omelets are good, though - especially those with lots of vegetables. I really like a Greek omelet with feta cheese, spinach and onions. <BR> <BR> A ricotta cheese pancake made with e... Fri, 6 Nov 2015 11:43:59 EST Vegetables: Focus for the week http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6025224 Yesterday, it was cod for dinner, so I made some heartier vegetables to go alongside the fish: cauliflower gratin, mushrooms, and butternut squash. The cauliflower gratin recipe, though, wound up tasting not quite as good as just plain old roasted cauliflower. <BR> <BR> I always feel so good physically - and emotionally - after eating a balanced meal. <BR> <BR> The focus this week will be on vegetables. The goal is to have three with dinner every night - other than a salad. <BR> <BR> B... Mon, 2 Nov 2015 08:37:24 EST Photos of fall http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6019468 I really love taking photos of those bursts of color - a few leaves that shine among all the others. So you will see I don't take many photos of whole trees. <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photosaws.sparkpeople.com/guid/5cbc8fa0-d52f-4fc3-b2ce-29b47c7d50c6.jpg"> <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photosaws.sparkpeople.com/guid/74f80944-99a8-4104-a6d1-f247e670f198.jpg"> <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photosaws.sparkpeople.com/guid/f374f522-8455-4acf-9cfd-4e265e99e90b.jpg"> <BR> <BR> <img src="http://... Thu, 22 Oct 2015 17:06:59 EST A Good Plan for the Day http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6019282 This morning, after breakfast, I put together a chicken dinner in the slow cooker, so it will be all ready for us this evening. <BR> The recipe was online - and I had all the ingredients in the house: <link>www.myrecipes.com/recipe/chicken-thi<BR>ghs-with-carrots-potatoes </link> <BR> <BR> Now, I'm grabbing my camera and my water bottle to head out into the woods and over to the pond. This is a glorious time of year in New England - with beautiful leaves everywhere. <BR> <BR> We'll s... Thu, 22 Oct 2015 10:20:55 EST Cooking and Cleaning http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6018268 Today I am cooking and cleaning. <BR> <BR> There are two soups simmering on the stove: split pea soup - and a vegetable soup. I even found a tiny cured ham that had no nitrates or nitrites, and I added some pieces to the pea soup. My husband will like that one. The vegetable soup is all MINE, with Brussels sprouts, broccoli, kale, and canned tomatoes - with some kidney beans added in too. (It's really a vegetable stew rather than soup.) I sprinkle it with grated cheese and make a mea... Tue, 20 Oct 2015 15:08:55 EST