TORTISE110's SparkPeople Blog TORTISE110's Blog on SparkPeople, home of free diet plans and a healthy living community Five More Things All About Me So, continuing on my mission to be a little more 'blog-worthy.' Here are 5 more things about me and then I will be on to another question. Interested in the prompts? Here is what I posted in my last blog: <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> My Sparkfriend, Swede Su, recently started following a group of prompts that she said she got from strongdawg. She is blogging every day answering a series of questions. Here they are: <BR> <BR><BR>post/3703878... Tue, 13 Sep 2016 08:56:42 EST Inspiration from Swede Su: Following Prompts to Write More Blogs I've been in a blogging drought lately. Can't think of a thing to say. Meanwhile I am a Community Advisor with a commitment to blog at least once a week... So I better get to it. <BR> <BR> My Sparkfriend, Swede Su, recently started following a group of prompts that she said she got from strongdawg. She is blogging every day answering a series of questions. Here they are: <BR> <BR><BR>post/37038785277/december-non-fiction-<BR>writing-challenge ... Fri, 9 Sep 2016 10:42:43 EST Ad Free Spark - Calmer Already I've been a Spark member since 2012. I thought I was fine with it. Well, I WAS fine with it. But this morning when the offer came to try Premium I jumped in. Now I know why. <BR> <BR> My experience on Spark this morning checking in feels focused and calmer. It has taken me less time. I am not distracted by the dress I looked at a month ago and decided not to buy, nor do I see the dress I did order a month ago and own. They are no longer scrolling and re-scrolling on the edge of my spac... Wed, 3 Aug 2016 07:56:17 EST Worth Sinning For As Nora Ephron, humorist and writer, was dying of pneumonia related to leukemia, she said she would miss her husband and children the most, and that she would also miss pie. <BR> <BR> Pie! Imagine that being among your last thoughts. Well I could imagine it myself--particularly lemon cream. Fortunately no one can make lemon pie quite like my mother did, and it is also an unusual pie, so I am not often tempted. I do hope to have another piece at some point. <BR> <BR> While I struggle with ... Fri, 22 Jul 2016 14:14:07 EST Fruit & Veggie Inspiration It's easy to like fruits & veggies in the summer. So much fresh produce, so much beautiful fruit. This year in our area we have had mouth watering sweet peaches and strawberries. And always there is an abundance of zucchini. <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> Tonight I'm making something called Garlic Parmesan Hasselback Zucchini. It's from a magazine called Eating Well. It looks completely yummy. I'm putting ... Tue, 12 Jul 2016 09:49:05 EST An In-House WO to Try: Update I picked this up from this morning. It's a day I don't usually go to the gym, so I'm going to try this. I think I can, I think I can... <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <BR> Update: I did it yesterday! Felt so accomplished and worked out some muscles I've been neglecting. I like it, didn't take long. Can't say that my push ups are pretty, but I did something like a pushup! LOL <BR> <BR... Wed, 29 Jun 2016 08:32:13 EST Heavenly Summer Cooking and Eating I love to cook and in summer get excited to have fresh produce, more company around--which inspires me, and a bit more time to fuss with food. But I also like to be outside and active more. So the challenge is always menu planning and simple recipes. <BR> <BR> This week on my weekend grocery shopping trip I picked up a package of pre cut stir fry vegetables. I consider that a luxury, because of cost, but figured it would make an easy summer dinner. Then I stopped at the fish counter and ... Sat, 25 Jun 2016 06:10:33 EST Sparking at Our Local Community Market Our local country market is such a winner. Today I bought fresh green beans, Napa cabbage, radishes, lettuce and cucumbers fresh from the farm. And for a few minutes we chatted with the 'sales force,' kind people offering food and craft items every Saturday. My husband took this picture. What a nice day! <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> Sat, 18 Jun 2016 11:55:00 EST Our On-Line Friendships For those of us who show up day after day on Sparkpeople this may not be a shocker. I have friends, both virtual and in person from my time here. But I wanted to share this story because it is sweet and amazing and makes me glad I am alive an on line. <BR> <BR> I play Words with Friends with a couple of people I know well (they know who they are) and one stranger. Several years ago when I was just starting/learning to play, I was matched with someone with whom I was 'evenly' matched. Our g... Mon, 23 May 2016 19:41:00 EST How to Celebrate Mother's Day (-: <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> I think Mother's Day is the day for all mothers (and anyone who ever had a mother) to push the pause button. So here's my 'gift' to anyone reading this: push pause and enjoy this spring day! Sun, 8 May 2016 06:57:41 EST Good Morning from Colorado Many of my Spark friends know I have been in Colorado to help our son who broke his leg a few weeks ago. He had surgery last Friday and came through it. It has a terrifying twist because in the surgery he had an allergic reaction to the anesthesia. It turns out he has a genetic condition called Malignant Hyperthermia which means he cannot have gas anesthetic. The good news is the doc recognized the rare condition and stopped using gas AND that we now know. He spent a scary night in the I... Thu, 28 Apr 2016 09:11:24 EST Time to Renew My Focus It's been a harder week for me than usual. My son broke his leg skiing and will have surgery next week. He's making his career in Outdoor Education so this leg deal is key but all news points in a positive direction (leg is fixable), though he will need to spend the summer recovering. <BR> <BR> As we set out to support him it will be important to hold my own routine a bit, at least in terms of self care and self control around eating and moving. He's not demanding and will want to spend... Sun, 17 Apr 2016 07:27:48 EST Activity Takes Many Forms Just sharing a family shot from Easter morning. It was chilly, thus the coats. It was drizzling, thus the plastic bags. Still, we had fun. Can't beat that! <BR> <BR> Two of my grandchildren with my husband and I, after the scamper around the yard. How many calories does one burn 'scampering?' (-: <BR> <BR> <img src=""> Thu, 31 Mar 2016 07:49:45 EST It's Blooming Springtime! I've been impatient for my Forsythia to bloom, but here they are, lighting up our side yard. Looking at the stand gives me an energy surge. It's time to get moving again! <BR> <BR> Happy Spring to all and Happy Easter to those who celebrate. <BR> <BR> <img src=""> Fri, 25 Mar 2016 07:39:43 EST A Sweet Clip on Why Mindfulness Is So Helpful I loved this little youtube video on mindfulness. It reminded me why being mindful is so important. To view, copy and paste the link below into your browser. It's called How Mindfulness Empowers Us. <BR> <BR> (I could not get the link to work with a 'click through' which is why you have to copy and paste!) <BR> <BR> <BR><BR>4ss <BR> <BR> Thu, 10 Mar 2016 06:24:42 EST The Gym Is Not Calling It's going to be a pretty day here and while it's my day to hit the gym, I'm playing hookie. Call it spring fever, call it common sense, but when it's nice (and sometimes when it's not) I just want to be outside. You? <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> One of the things I love about Spark is that it encourages us to try new things. But my love for the outdoors comes from my childhood. In the Pacific Northwest... Tue, 8 Mar 2016 06:36:55 EST Distorted Body Image: A Little Turnaround Last week I was able to ski in Colorado with my family. It was the first time I'd been on skis for 8 years and I skied one full day. At 68 I hung out with my family, had a few thrills, no falls and felt like a million bucks. Then I saw the picture. <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> Don't I look a little fat? <BR> <BR> Well, I'm not a little fat. I am standing next to a 100 lb grand daughter and her 110 lb ... Sun, 21 Feb 2016 07:38:16 EST A Memoir about Binging I just read It Was Me All Along: A Memoir, by Andie Mitchell. I enjoyed this book, a story about a young woman who grows up overweight and continues to put on pounds through college until she becomes morbidly obese. <BR> <BR> The story about what lead Andie there and the journey that takes her out is hard to put down, especially after about 1/3 of the book. It IS painful to read about her binging at times, but I doubt anyone who has ever struggled with food will not understand, to some d... Sun, 7 Feb 2016 07:44:48 EST A Little Straight Talk to Self My weight spiked up this week and my first thought is to buckle down, give myself some tough advice, and feel bad. Because I do. This is not a path I want to walk. <BR> <BR> I showed up this morning to check in and recommit to my goals. That's a good thing. Some serious attention to detail works for me, but it won't be fast (like overnight--would be so nice) and I feel my impatience with myself growing right here and now like a tropical vine. <BR> <BR> But you know, that's just one ... Thu, 4 Feb 2016 05:32:09 EST What Are We Posting? I hope it's not too political to say that I think this US election cycle for the presidency is just too darn long. But perhaps that isn't so much the problem as the vitriol and high emotion that is so common in almost all reporting right now. I find it EXHAUSTING. <BR> <BR> And reporting is just a part of it. The rest of us can now take to the "airwaves" about everything we care about. At their best, posting and reading posts can be so fun. We get informed, we laugh, we share experiences... Thu, 28 Jan 2016 07:44:02 EST My "Go To" Smoothie Recipe I've discovered that if I drink a high protein smoothie after strength training I have minimal initial soreness and DOM (delayed onset muscles soreness). Of course pacing my workouts so I don't over exert is also important, but I do like to think I push that and need this nutrition. <BR> <BR> What do you do to recover and not get too sore? <BR> <BR> Meanwhile, here is my recipe: <BR> <BR> 1 banana <BR> 1 cup of fruit - usually mixed berries <BR> 1 cup of unsweetened almond milk <BR> 1 s... Thu, 14 Jan 2016 07:40:45 EST For Everyone Who "Sparks" Before Dawn I think this is why I so need a quiet morning to jump start my day! Happy Friday everyone. <BR> <BR> <BR> <img src=""> Sat, 9 Jan 2016 07:14:05 EST We Gotta Laugh So here we are with cookies still around, chocolate gifts, and hey, a whole half quart of whipping cream for... Hmmmm <BR> <BR> Well it's gotta go. All of it. <BR> <BR> Ho, ho, it goes... <BR> <BR> Where do you take your goodies when you need them out of the house? Sadly I sometimes redistribute them in my office. I feel guilty about this. No one needs 'em, right? Sometimes I just dump them. I feel guilty about this. Waste. So I have come to accept that guilt is the pric... Tue, 29 Dec 2015 08:57:51 EST All I Want For Christmas I found this picture on line and for me, it rings so true. To be present on this amazing planet with people I care about is such a gift. To be active and healthy and committed to doing the best I can in life is grand. Those are my most heart felt wishes now at holiday time. <BR> <BR> <img src=""> Tue, 22 Dec 2015 09:17:41 EST I've Been Gifted I feel so fortunate right now. Last week we traveled to St John with our daughter and 9 year old grandson. He has a busy life, like most young people these days. Lots of activities and lots of homework. Until this past week I felt like I hardly knew him even though we live just a few miles apart. But his dear mother pulled him out of school to spend 5 days with just us, his grandparents. We snorkeled, paddled (see how proud he is of his paddle in this picture), swam, talked, ate sushi (... Sat, 12 Dec 2015 09:40:19 EST Is Sparking an Ordeal or an Adventure? I have to admit that when I started Sparkpeople I wasn't in a good place. I felt defeated and resigned to my fate: I needed to get to work. And work it was--and still is--to stay focused, be consistent and do the healthy thing. But at some point Spark has also become an adventure. <BR> <BR> For the most part, I look forward to time I spend on Spark. It is the route to health and most importantly more energy. Since I've joined I've learned to paddle board, and kayak. This winter I will s... Wed, 2 Dec 2015 06:05:34 EST Old Dog, New Tricks I'm changing things up. It's Fall and the holiday season is spinning towards me. Because it's harder to get outside, even though I am mostly committed to getting outside, I need variety to keep my spark (and my Spark cred). <BR> <BR> So here's the deal. I started a yoga dvd that I am doing once a week. I know finding a class would be a good idea, but this is inside and handy. So yoga once a week in the middle of my other stuff. <BR> <BR> One or two serious gym workouts a week. <BR> ... Tue, 24 Nov 2015 05:15:41 EST For the Next Time We Fear Speaking Up, Some Wisdom This quote from John Lennon is new to me and I love it. <BR> <BR> <img src=""> Sat, 21 Nov 2015 12:18:55 EST Mixing It Up It's been a good week for me fitness-wise. I've been consistent and active. I'm feeling good. <BR> <BR> But the biggest thing I did was try something I'd abandoned for a long time: my yoga practice. I popped in a Jillian Michaels yoga DVD yesterday with some trepidation. She tends to be very quick paced and hard. But bottom line is that I loved her DVD, loved getting back to some yoga and felt great for cracking my "forward moving" routine into someting that stretched me out all over. <... Thu, 12 Nov 2015 06:49:33 EST Never Too Old? It's Not That Simple. Every so often I read a post or a blog on Spark about feeling too old to lose weight, or change lifestyles. Often I pick up that concern when I read the Introduction posts on the Message Board. My first reaction is that we are never too old. But that's too easy an answer. Making the switch ups we need over a lifetime is not easy and certainly gets more difficult as we age. We need to find courage just to get started and lots of patience to perservere. <BR> <BR> This is a story about me an... Wed, 4 Nov 2015 08:34:29 EST Happy Halloween! Sharing a pic of our youngest grandson to celebrate the fun of Halloween! <BR> <BR> <img src=""> Sat, 31 Oct 2015 07:07:22 EST Fall Herbs & Veggies Garden <em>376</em> <BR> <BR> Yesterday I cleaned the basil out of my herb garden--just a big pot on my front porch where I keep some essential herbs. For me these are parsley, chives, thyme, oregano and in the summer, basil. I added rosemary to replace the basil yesterday. In our moderate climate near Washington DC I will probably have these herbs throughout the winter months--though I may have to cover them on hard-freeze nights. <BR> <BR> I also planted seeds for lettuce, spinach and char... Fri, 23 Oct 2015 09:26:12 EST Prank It Forward I found this amazing story on video today and want to pass it along. It is about a young woman who suffered from an eating disorder and then turned her life around to help others. And then someone who knew her played an amazing pay-it-forward kind of 'prank' on her. Prepare to be delighted, as well as to think about how we might do more for others as we achieve our own goals on Spark. <em>252</em> <BR> <BR><BR>t-it-was-a-normal-day-until-a-hid... Sat, 17 Oct 2015 08:54:05 EST Just for Fun I picked this up on social media today and laughed out loud. Any Sparker knows better! But still... <BR> <BR> <BR> <img src=""> Wed, 7 Oct 2015 17:50:08 EST How Do Others React to Our Changing? Ever notice that when we step out of a pattern to pursue our dreams or state a strong opinion it is common that others exert pressure to keep us as we always have been--or as they have always seen us? I think it is "common" because it is just human to be unsettled by change and to resist it--even when we need it to grow. <BR> <BR> On our Spark journeys the reactions of others are not always supportive. I think the resistance we get is often not mean-spirited, but just fearful. <BR> <BR> ... Sun, 27 Sep 2015 08:15:00 EST My Consistency Streak I go along with Woody Allen who is often quoted as saying that showing up is 80% of life. But still, my 518 day streak for checking into Spark surprises me a little. That’s pretty dang consistent. <BR> <BR> Checking in with Spark has become a daily ‘touchstone’ for me, to remind me of what I aim for every day. Of course there is maintaining a healthy weight, and keeping active, those fundamental Spark goals. But there is also showing up to chat with folks who know what I’m trying... Sat, 26 Sep 2015 06:56:19 EST A Little Note to Self about Staying Out of Other People's Business I don't know why I sometimes think other people's problems are mine to repair. I don't actually believe that, but sometimes I act like that. So here's my "note to myself for today. <BR> <BR> <BR> <img src=""> Tue, 1 Sep 2015 07:37:14 EST Thinking of School Starting, Fall Coming... I could feel Fall in the air as I slipped through the water on my kayak this morning. It is coming all too soon. But I do look forward to crisper weather, jackets and sweaters and maybe a fire or two in our fire pit. <BR> <BR> I want to give something fun to each of my grandchildren who are starting school this coming month. I'm thinking of filling mugs with their name or initial on it with little goodies. Maybe some hot chocolate mix, a fun pen and note pad, some great socks. Something... Fri, 28 Aug 2015 09:05:54 EST Slipping Away to Be Outdoors & Active When I get back from the beach I always long to hold just a bit of 'beach life' in my mind and heart to take me through fall and winter. Beach life for me is activity. Slipping away to swim in the ocean, jump in a boat, ski, walk. Sometimes it is only to be briefly outdoors and to return then to cook a simple summer meal or read a book. But it is always active. It seems like the right thing to do surrounded by all that water, beach front. <BR> <BR> I want 'slipping away' to be the 'right... Tue, 18 Aug 2015 08:18:10 EST A Funny Passing this along to my Spark Friends who try to run or work out in any way every day. Loved this cartoon passed along to me by a friend this morning. Enjoy! <BR> <BR> <BR> <img src=""> Fri, 24 Jul 2015 10:31:16 EST Building a Life with Peaceful Practices Sometimes I get so busy I forget how important it is to build in 'peaceful practices' into my days. Reflecting on that this morning got me thinking about what I believe about such activities and here's what I came up with: <BR> <BR> I believe a peaceful practice is like a balanced meal I feed myself to sustain life. A basic. Not a luxury. Not "me time" in a selfish sense. A peaceful practice serves a real need I have to restore my life, replenish my energy stores and build up the reserve... Sat, 18 Jul 2015 06:32:28 EST Sharing a Beautiful Photograph from Spain Good morning, Those of you who know me know my son has been walking the El Camino de Santiago for the past month. This weekend he and his girlfriend finished the 500 mile trek and we were able to catch up some. There was a part of the 'way' that our son walked alone. His girlfriend was not feeling well and so needed to use transport. This is the picture--he says it is the best of his collection--taken at sunset on the Meseta, an arid stretch of the El Camino. <BR> <BR> It is wonderful ... Mon, 13 Jul 2015 06:48:13 EST Enough With Trying to be Perfect Passing along a quote from blog I like alot, Marc and Angel Hack Life: <BR> <BR> "The quest for perfection always ends in devastation. Thinking you have to do things perfectly is like strapping an extra 500 pounds to your back – it absolutely crushes you. Perfection is correlated with depression, anxiety, addiction, and life paralysis or missed opportunities. The fear of failing, making mistakes, not meeting people’s expectations, and being criticized keeps us outside the arena where ... Fri, 3 Jul 2015 08:02:17 EST What It Takes Is Not Boring at All Outside of Spark I don't talk much about weight or eating (just cooking, LOL!). Since we are all 'at it,' Spark is a safe place to vent and smile, complain and celebrate this particular road. So much diet talk away from here is about fad diets or how folks 'should diet,' etc. and frankly the subject I spend so much time on here, bores me in casual conversation. <BR> <BR> I make exceptions when someone asks me what I do to maintain. I tell them I use the fitness site SparkPeople. I know tha... Fri, 19 Jun 2015 06:24:27 EST I Count Gardening as an Activity I came back from my travels to a garden path overcome with weeds. I decided to tackle that instead of a gym workout. It was complely satisfying and while it did not race my heart I moved (!) for many hours. <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> In the right corner is my pot of 'porch herbs.' In the fall when it starts to get just a bit cooler I'll fill it with lettuces too. I'm so glad I can do that on my front p... Thu, 11 Jun 2015 05:58:27 EST How Much Should We Sit Each Day? "Metabolism slows down 90 percent after 30 minutes of sitting. The enzymes that move the bad fat from your arteries to your muscles, where it can get burned off, slow down. The muscles in your lower body are turned off. And after two hours, good cholesterol drops 30 percent. Just getting up for five minutes is going to get things going again. These things are so simple they're almost stupid." <BR> <BR> This quote is from an article in the Washington Post today covering research on how m... Thu, 4 Jun 2015 07:13:16 EST Are We Starving Ourselves? A friend of mine posted this on fb today: <BR> <BR> "Just thinking...we spend a lot of thought, effort and money on making sure that the foods we put into our bodies are mostly wholesome, healthy and free from toxins. I wonder how life would change if we developed the same rigor and concern for how we feed our souls and minds?" <BR> <BR> We are careful about the ingredients in our food, what about the ingredients in our day? What makes for a nourishing day? <BR> <BR> Food and activities ... Thu, 21 May 2015 08:19:17 EST Remembering Mom on Mother's Day Sharing a picture of my mom on this Mother's Day. It was taken during a hospital stay a few years before she died. <BR> <BR> It's fitting Mom should be on a Spark blog. She cooked well and cooked with all fresh ingredients. At retirement and until very late in life (she lived to be 93) she walked 2 miles a day, every day. While she was a master pie maker, pie was a special occasion thing in our home, and we did not have dessert every day. And not surprisingly, her weight did not vary mu... Sun, 10 May 2015 06:06:56 EST On Living a Messy Life "All those beautiful, spotless rooms on Pinterest? Nobody lives in them." Patti Digh <BR> <BR> This quote reminds me of things I've done in life to stop myself from living. While I'm not a fan of a completely chaotic house I am trying to be more flexible about inviting people in even when the house is not PERFECT. <BR> <BR> I don't know about you but when I go into a home where everything looks perfect I get downright nervous. I feel like I'm about to make a mis-step at any minute. Wh... Sat, 9 May 2015 07:17:57 EST How Can I Be Kind to Me Today? Not many of us would debate the importance of being kind to others. We know it’s a better world and a better day when we are. But how often do we ask ourselves, “How can I be kind to me today?” <BR> <BR> When I ask myself that question honestly I find the answer that comes is usually something small and doable. Here are some of my ‘answers’ from this week: <BR> <BR> I can sit down and call my friend Karen for a good talk. <BR> <BR> I can drink water because I always feel a lit... Fri, 1 May 2015 08:32:55 EST