SUSANNAH31's SparkPeople Blog SUSANNAH31's Blog on SparkPeople, home of free diet plans and a healthy living community Inspiration from Google Images 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=""> <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photosa... Wed, 18 Nov 2015 10:53:56 EST Breakfasts 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 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 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=""> <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <img src="http://... Thu, 22 Oct 2015 17:06:59 EST A Good Plan for the Day 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><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 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 I am back. Hello to my Spark Friends. <BR> <BR> I am happy to say that my life since the summer has been very rich and full of visits with family, photography seminars and workshops, a new writing workshop, and lots of day trips with my husband. My emphasis has been on learning and living each day fully. <BR> <BR> And, while I have occasionally checked in with Spark People, I have not been tracking or blogging. My weight has stabilized at a new higher level, and I have been unwilling to take any st... Sat, 17 Oct 2015 09:43:33 EST In the interest of full disclosure... I wrote a blog yesterday about how I am relying more on the mirror instead of the scale. <BR> And I think it is only right to be completely honest here and say that these days I am not happy with what I see in the mirror. <BR> <BR> And I am working on that. <BR> <BR> What am I doing? I am following all the practices I developed here on SP: <BR> I am: <BR> --walking 3 miles a day on most days <BR> --eating smaller portions <BR> --limiting sweets and simple carbs <BR> --eating lots of ... Wed, 15 Jul 2015 10:13:00 EST Scale gives way to Mirror My scale has been declawed and defanged. It sits on the floor of my closet, an old sleeping lion. Gone are its earlier days of growling threats, roaring punishments -- or purring hard-won rewards. It has lost its power. <BR> <BR> I am no longer in a ‘race’ for weight loss and looking for signals along the way (from the scale) that the end is closer. <BR> <BR> Today I am focused more on how well I feel and how good I look. <BR> My good health, my feeling of well-being, and my physi... Tue, 14 Jul 2015 10:28:32 EST A delicious ratatouille After several years of unsuccessful attempts to make a ratatouille that looks good and tastes good, I have found a really good recipe. <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> You can find that recipe at the following link: <BR> <BR> <link><BR>d-ratatouille/ </link> <BR> <BR> <BR> For those who cannot access the link, the recipe goes something like this: <BR> Saute finely choppe... Sat, 27 Jun 2015 09:49:28 EST Pre-Fourth Barbecue Tomorrow There will be ten of us at our house for a barbecue tomorrow. It's a pre-July Fourth celebration among good friends. Most of us will be spending the actual Fourth of July with family members. <BR> <BR> (One of the benefits of being senior citizens is that we are all retired and can have a barbecue on a Friday instead of on the weekend. LOL) <BR> <BR> We are grilling steaks. There will also be shrimp with cocktail sauce. <BR> <BR> I just finished making a bunch of salads. <BR> <BR> To... Thu, 25 Jun 2015 21:04:21 EST Decorating and Learning about Myself Our master bedroom is looking a little tired these days. <BR> <BR> The same draperies have been in place for 30 years now. We really need some more storage space too - for sheets and towels that were displaced when we removed the linen closet to put a tub in the master bath several years back. Also the closet feels sort of crowded - bulging with clothing from both my husband and myself. <BR> <BR> My approach, true to form, was to do a complete overhaul of the room. <BR> <BR> My first pl... Sat, 20 Jun 2015 14:42:11 EST So far so good The additional pounds are coming off again- slowly. <BR> <BR> Slowly is how they went on - so it makes sense that slowly is how they'll come off again. <BR> I am happy with that. <BR> <BR> In the meantime, I am walking again.... <BR> <BR> ...and tracking my food. <BR> I don't track every day - but I do it often enough to know when I am generally within my limits. <BR> --total calories (1200-1550) <BR> --% of calories that are carbs (40%) <BR> --calcium (100-120% RDA) <BR> --5 servings o... Sun, 31 May 2015 10:52:24 EST Being in control Being in control -- for me -- requires energy. <BR> <BR> I need energy throughout the day, without experiencing low blood sugar dips. <BR> <BR> That can usually be accomplished by eating some protein at each meal, and limiting simple carbs -- especially early in the day. If I have a sweet, it is far better to have it at the end of the day - and preferably after a meal. In the late evening, if my blood sugar dips down, it's okay, because it's nearing bedtime anyway. <BR> <BR> (My go-to pr... Wed, 27 May 2015 20:20:42 EST Thank you Returning into the fold here at SP is like coming home again. <BR> <BR> I am visiting the pages of my friends, and it feels so encouraging to have them all here - carrying the torch, working hard, and doing what needs to be done. <BR> <BR> THANK YOU to all of you who make up this supportive community and who share so much of yourselves. <BR> <BR> Without you, I would not have had my many successes. With you, I will continue to succeed. <BR> <BR> <em>247</em> <em>223</em> <em... Sun, 24 May 2015 12:28:43 EST MAINTAINING. What is it, anyway? What is this thing we call MAINTAINING? <BR> <BR> For several years, here on Spark People, I have been LOSING weight. <BR> <BR> Throughout that process, there were lots of lessons for me to learn, and lots of new habits for me to develop -- and I did it! I was successful in taking off 30+ pounds. <BR> <BR> <BR> So now that I have entered the phase of MAINTAINING that weight loss -- I can see that there are new lessons to be learned. <BR> <BR> What exactly do I have to do to maintain ... Fri, 22 May 2015 09:14:18 EST Springtime tweaking For the past two years, I have greeted Springtime with a smile - feeling good about myself and how I looked. I have felt trim, and I have especially liked how I looked in my warm weather clothing. <BR> <BR> This Springtime, those clothes are a little tighter than they were before. I am having some old (and almost forgotten) feelings of guilt about my eating. <BR> <BR> Springtime isn't as much fun this year. <BR> <BR> Also, my energy is low. <BR> (One has to wonder if the 10-lb weig... Tue, 19 May 2015 11:23:42 EST Grandkids Taking care of a 3-year-old and a 6-year-old for five days without their parents requires a real comfort level with biology -- bodily functions. <BR> A lot of time is spent feeding, toileting, cleaning, and dressing the little ones. I will forever hear the loud call of my 3-year-old granddaughter from the bathroom, announcing that she needs to be wiped (pronounce that wi - ped). <BR> <BR> Add in a pool and a hot tub, and there are even more occasions for bathing, showering, shampooing, dr... Wed, 22 Apr 2015 17:09:10 EST Travel and my eating It is not a surprise that the scale is up a few pounds after that two-week tour, during which there was not a lot of control over our eating conditions. <BR> (And I was not able to walk regularly, other than the on-the-bus-off-the bus sightseeing we did. Although I did manage to sneak in a few morning walks when I felt safe in the city.) <BR> I am working on remedying all that now. - and getting back to normal. <BR> <BR> <BR> In the meantime, I learned some more about myself and eating. <B... Wed, 8 Apr 2015 11:47:02 EST South American Trip My husband and I have just returned home from a wonderful two-week tour of Brazil, Argentina, and Chile. <BR> <BR> It was our first time in South America, and even though we have traveled to other countries in the past, it was also our first time as part of a tour group. <BR> <BR> The countries we visited were all in the southern part of South America, and I was surprised to learn of the strong European influence in those areas. (In my uninformed mind, I thought most of South America would ... Fri, 3 Apr 2015 15:37:41 EST Hasta el próximo mes On Monday, my husband and I are leaving for a two-week trip to South America. We will be visiting Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Buenos Aires, Argentina, and Santiago, Chile. <BR> <BR> I look forward to sharing my photos and observations with all of you when we return at the beginning of April. <BR> <BR> See you soon.... <BR> <BR> <em>247</em> <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> Thu, 12 Mar 2015 19:56:21 EST A Snowy Grand Canyon Visit It was a good thing I had visited the Grand Canyon several times before, because during our trip this past weekend, there was a major snow storm - and there was little, if any, view of the canyon. <BR> These are some of the photos I took as we hiked along the south rim. (I did not carry my heavy camera with me for that hike; most of the photos were taken on my phone.) <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeo... Tue, 3 Mar 2015 17:52:35 EST The Final Days 27-30 with Siebold My 30 days of compliance with Siebold will end this coming weekend. <BR> <BR> It was not a straight run - mostly because of the family visit that pleasantly interrupted my life. <BR> However, Siebold was always there on my shoulder nudging me and talking to me. <BR> I think Siebold will be a permanent fixture in my psyche. His message is a strong one and it resonates with me. Just DO it! <BR> <BR> Sometimes a softer approach can be just as effective, though. And I am a big fan of that ... Fri, 27 Feb 2015 14:57:41 EST At the end of the day... At the end of the day is when the energy is drained, and the strength has waned. <BR> The physical and emotional muscles supporting commitment start to waver. <BR> <BR> The best remedies I find are: <BR> --lose myself in a good story- either in a book or a movie. <BR> --soak in a hot tub <BR> --do some Sparking <BR> --go to bed <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> Thu, 26 Feb 2015 13:25:02 EST Day 25: Comfort Clothing We are all familiar with the concept of Comfort Food. It’s that soup or stew or hot meal that fills us up and warms us. It ‘sticks to our ribs’ and makes us feel good, inside and out. <BR> <BR> Well, I am just now becoming aware of my need for Comfort Clothing. <BR> Comfort Clothing can give all the same soothing feelings of warmth and coziness – without any of the calories. <BR> <BR> Pajamas, of course, are my favorite comfort clothing – especially flannel pajamas in the wintertime. A ... Wed, 25 Feb 2015 01:01:35 EST Day 25: Photos I am feeling better today. My stomach has calmed down, and I am not so achey. <BR> I spent most of the day processing photos. Let me share some of them with you. <BR> <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR>... Tue, 24 Feb 2015 18:39:02 EST Day 24: Monday I felt under the weather today, with stomach issues, runny nose, and achey everywhere. <BR> It is no doubt leftover from my whirlwind grandkid time. <BR> So it was a quiet day, spent reading, and putting together some photos from the visit. <BR> My food intake was limited to mild, soft foods. <BR> <BR> <BR> The scale went up one pound while my kids were here. <BR> I'm happy to say, though, that my pants were all looser - a result, I'm sure, from walking every day. <BR> Overall, a good resul... Tue, 24 Feb 2015 11:56:10 EST Day 23: Family visit over - I've returned The last of my family boarded an airplane yesterday afternoon. My husband and I went to a restaurant for food, then came home and collapsed on the sofa, watching missed TV programs that we had recorded while everyone was here. <BR> <BR> And who was everyone? Two sons, two daughters-in-law, and three grandkids. Two grandkids were a 6-yr-old brother with his 3-yr-old sister from the west coast, and a 3-yr-old boy from the east coast. Everyone hit it off really well. <BR> <BR> Only the wes... Sun, 22 Feb 2015 12:44:12 EST Day 22 The day began with a 3-mile walk. Both my sons and one daughter-in-law also exercised for an hour this morning. <BR> <BR> The three grandkids were in and out of the pool all day. We took another long walk to check out a dead snake I saw on my morning walk. <BR> <BR> The toys I bought were a big success. The kids loved them. <BR> <BR> Best of all, the cousins interacted really well all day long. What a treat to watch them in action and to hear their little conversations. <BR> What do ... Sat, 14 Feb 2015 21:40:50 EST Just between us older bosom buddies When it comes to bosoms, mine have always been average. There was just enough to make feminine curves, not so much that they got in the way. They functioned perfectly when it came time to nurse my babies. <BR> <BR> Now, as I approach the celebration of entering my seventieth decade, I notice with some embarrassment that there is way too much movement -- especially when I'm walking. <BR> What bothers me is not that I have discomfort --because I don't -- but that it looks odd. <BR> <BR> W... Fri, 13 Feb 2015 09:22:01 EST Day 20 A craving This morning I have LOADS of cleaning and cooking and preparing to do for the arrival of both my sons and their families tomorrow night. <BR> <BR> But before I started any of the work, I took a morning walk. <BR> <BR> I actually had a craving for that walk! I really wanted the uplifting and energizing feeling I get from that walk. <BR> <BR> Then, for breakfast, I had a lunch menu, complete with half of a turkey and cheese sandwich and the leftovers of a salad from last night's dinner... Thu, 12 Feb 2015 13:11:42 EST Day 19 An Inspirational Friend I have blogged about this friend once before, but I'm doing it again because she sets such an terrific example. <BR> <BR> After two years of nursing her husband with ALS and just before his death, my friend was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. She immediately stopped eating sweets and most carbs. <BR> She decided she did not want to take any more medication than necessary. (She already takes medication for her rheumatoid arthritis.) <BR> She said that since she COULD control the diabetes wi... Wed, 11 Feb 2015 15:32:41 EST Day 18 Tuesday This was another good day. Unlike yesterday, though, I did today go to the top of the range again. <BR> The top is a very comfortable place for me, I see. <BR> And that's okay. <BR> <BR> If sustainability is a major theme these days - then the top of the range is sustainable for me. <BR> <BR> So I will take a little longer to lose the weight. <BR> But I will not feel deprived or uncomfortable while I'm doing it. <BR> will be easier for me to maintain at that level. <BR> <BR> And ... Tue, 10 Feb 2015 20:44:29 EST Day 17 Monday Blogging every day here on Spark People has the real benefit of keeping me focused on my diet and weight loss efforts - no matter what else is happening in my life. <BR> <BR> It doesn't matter how busy I get - I will, at some point in the day, have to sit down at my computer and write about what I did and how I ate. <BR> <BR> In the old days, I used to actually use 'busyness' as a reason not to 'stick to a diet.' <BR> I also would use feeling angry or upset or tired or - fill in the blank... Mon, 9 Feb 2015 10:31:41 EST Day 16 Sunday Tracking at the top of the calorie range is leading to a slower loss than I wanted. <BR> <BR> This coming week I will work on tracking closer to the middle or bottom of the range. <BR> That should help to move the scale down. <BR> <BR> My clothes are getting looser - it is just taking longer than I wanted. <BR> <BR> I remember during the holidays when I started to allow myself to eat over my calorie limits, I was surprised at how the scale was not affected for what seemed like a long tim... Mon, 9 Feb 2015 00:56:51 EST Day 15 - Saturday The day began with a 1 1/2 hour walk. (It feels really good to walk.) <BR> <BR> My food choices in the middle of this day included an ice cream cone - and some popcorn at the movies -- and they accounted for many of my calories on this day. <BR> <BR> I did have real, nutritious food for breakfast though, and then again at the end of the day. <BR> <BR> Most importantly, I did stay within my calorie limits for the day. <BR> <BR> Also, I am feeling really well. <BR> Sun, 8 Feb 2015 01:43:27 EST Day 14 - Walking and Tracking This day began with 25 minutes at the gym for strength training. Then I walked for 3 miles. <BR> The food was light all day. <BR> <BR> We visited an interesting site about 60 miles north of Phoenix: Arcosanti. It is an experiment in urban design, with spaces for residential, commercial, and recreational uses being blended together in multi-purpose units. Its founder was an Italian architect, Solari, whose vision was to make cities more accessible, without the need for automobiles. He fu... Sat, 7 Feb 2015 12:43:12 EST Day 13 - On track The day began with a 25-minute workout at the local gym. <BR> <BR> Lunch with a friend today was at a restaurant with an unusual approach to cuisine: Japanese and Mexican. <BR> The food was delicious, with an emphasis on small plates. That's good, for sure. <BR> <BR> Too many small plates can add up to too much food, though. <BR> I had 2 small cod tacos. Yummy. <BR> I also had some guacamole - a real favorite of mine. <BR> The tortilla chips were large and tasty. <BR> My friend ordered... Thu, 5 Feb 2015 16:00:57 EST Tuesday & Wednesday - Days 11 & 12 of compliance Tuesday began with a 20-min weight training session at the gym. <BR> <BR> Then I went to Toys R Us to get some toys for our three grandkids to play with during their visit in a week or so. I wanted something that was related to the west - cowboys and rodeos, etc. Unfortunately, there are a lot of guns and shooting, and cowboy and Indian toys that would not be appropriate. (I loved those toys when I was a kid.) <BR> <BR> So I decided the theme would be on animals. I got some small mod... Wed, 4 Feb 2015 15:37:05 EST Monday - Day 10 of staying within the range My husband and I went on a 5-mile hike this morning in the beautiful Arizona hillside. <BR> <BR> I planned and tracked my food carefully throughout the day. There were lots of delicious leftovers, so I did not need to do any food preparation, other than sticking a dish of food in the microwave to heat it up. <BR> <BR> It's a 100% compliance day! Mon, 2 Feb 2015 20:21:36 EST Superbowl Sunday - A Day of NON-Compliance Superbowl Sunday was a day of food preparation before the guests arrived - then more preparation just prior to halftime. <BR> <BR> The foods were all healthful - and tasty. I watched my portions carefully. <BR> But it was impossible to track throughout the day. I was way too busy. <BR> <BR> Then at the end of the day, i did have a small piece of that chocolate cake with a small scoop of vanilla ice cream. <BR> <BR> I ate very differently than I would have a few years ago before my weigh... Mon, 2 Feb 2015 20:19:04 EST Day 9 - Staying within range and preparing for Superbowl tomorrow I have put a pork tenderloin in the slow cooker - covered with root beer. (That's what the recipe called for.) After about 7 hours, I will pull it apart and add some barbecue sauce, then let it sit overnight in the refrigerator. This will be one of the main dishes for tomorrow afternoon's SuperBowl. Never made pulled pork before; we'll see how it goes. <BR> <BR> There will also be: <BR> quesadillas filled with cheese and refried beans <BR> a salad of fresh corn, black beans, and red pe... Sat, 31 Jan 2015 14:52:54 EST Day 8- Some observations about total compliance So here are some examples of what my commitment to total compliance translates into: <BR> <BR> -- If I am served French Fries with that sandwich I ordered, I will count each one I eat. (They are 10 calories per fry.) I will stop when I don't want to use up any more calories. When not compliant, I would eat an untallied amount -- too many -- and instead of counting, I would be feeling guilty. I am now aware of everything that goes into my mouth -- calculating in the back of my head what ... Fri, 30 Jan 2015 13:27:08 EST Moderation - responding to FEEDTHEHUNGER (This blog was written as a response to FEEDTHEHUNGER's blog about moderation in exercise.) <BR> <BR> Moderation takes some getting used to for perfectionists. <BR> I never liked the idea of moderation; used to consider it a cop-out, and would silently ridicule it. In my view, moderation lacked passion and energy. <BR> <BR> What it does have, though, is staying power. <BR> It is sort of like that tortoise. Given enough time, Moderation will, in fact, reach the finish line and win th... Thu, 29 Jan 2015 12:13:00 EST Day 7 - A Good Day This was a good food day, and I feel well as a result. <BR> <BR> I was particularly happy with the way I made a salmon salad for lunch. (That's canned salmon like canned tuna - made into a salad.) I mixed the salmon with some chopped onion, some fresh squeezed lemon juice, and some Greek yogurt in place of mayonnaise. It tasted great, and i felt really good about adding the nutrients of the yogurt rather than just the calories of the mayonnaise. <BR> <BR> Lunch was my biggest meal of the... Wed, 28 Jan 2015 21:17:11 EST Day 6 - Hungry but compliant I began yesterday with a 5-mile hike in the morning. It was my first hike of the year here in Arizona. There were beautiful sights all around. The next time I go, I will take my camera. <BR> <BR> After the hike, I was hungry all day. I ate 4 smaller meals throughout the day and went to the top of the calorie range. I made beef tacos to go with the leftover rice and beans. I do love Mexican food. <BR> <BR> It was a good day. <BR> <BR> This morning my clothes are feeling ever so sligh... Wed, 28 Jan 2015 09:33:44 EST Day 5 This day began when I went to the gym at 7:30am for some strength training, Curves-style. They have a room with about 12 machines, and I went around the room twice. I'm planning to do this 2-3 times each week. <BR> <BR> My nutrition is back on track - because I now have control over the food. <BR> <BR> I was happy to see that the scale went down this morning from what it was before I left. <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> Mon, 26 Jan 2015 15:49:57 EST Day 4 Within the calorie range Today we went to a farm with our grandkids - then off to the airport for our 2-hour flight back to Arizona. <BR> <BR> The quality of food today started out okay. Three quarters of a bagel with cream cheese this morning. After the farm, we stopped at Fuddruckers - and while everyone else had hamburgers, I ate a salad with grilled chicken on top. Finally, though, at the airport, I decided we were not going to eat once we arrived at home, so i ate pure junk while waiting for the plane: one... Sun, 25 Jan 2015 22:48:18 EST Day 3 within range. Today was another good day. <BR> <BR> I negotiated a buffet breakfast here at the hotel with the entire family. I filled plates for the grandkids with bacon and eggs and potatoes and other goodies like cinnamon rolls, while I limited myself to yogurt and nuts. <BR> <BR> Lunch was also light, followed by a trip to the movie, Paddington. I did splurge at the movie nibbling on some ice cream dips. So for Chinese takeout dinner, I only ate wonton soup. <BR> <BR> It was a rather unbalanc... Sun, 25 Jan 2015 00:17:27 EST DAY 2 On Track It was a successful Day 2. <BR> <BR> I had breakfast at home before we left for the airport, and I did not join my husband in getting something additional to eat while we waited at the gate. <BR> <BR> I also did not eat the chocolate chip cookie that the hotel traditionally gives to every guest as they check in. (My husband ate his, and I told him to eat mine as well.) <BR> <BR> We stopped for lunch at a Mexican restaurant, and I enjoyed every mouthful of a tostado salad with beans and ch... Sat, 24 Jan 2015 01:56:08 EST