TORTISE110's SparkPeople Blog TORTISE110's Blog on SparkPeople, home of free diet plans and a healthy living community My Basics I've been an active Spark member since 2012 and in maintenance since the end of that year. Lately I'm at the high end of my happy range. I want to change that. <BR> <BR> Often on the maintenance team we say..."we know what to do." And we do. We know how to get started again, although for each of us it is different. <BR> <BR> For me, the basics of restarting and recharging my commitment are consistent exercise, consistent food tracking and water. And scale check ins. If I get those fou... Fri, 21 Apr 2017 08:51:39 EST Surprise Treat on a Sunday Walk in Spring Last Sunday I walked a stretch of blacktop in our neighborhood. It's surrounded by forest and on this trek I didn't see another person or a single car. <BR> <BR> We're inching into Spring here, and last week, except for the warm air, it still looked like winter. The branches of trees showed hints of green, but I could look through the woods for acres it seemed. <BR> <BR> I noticed dots of yellow on a tree in the distance. The colorful points caught my eye and then as I got closer, the p... Fri, 14 Apr 2017 06:45:06 EST Wardrobe Shift: Dressing the Part <img src=""> <BR> <BR> What's your style? Do you have one? <BR> <BR> For years I dressed the part of a professional. Blazers and suits, dresses, pumps. What fun. I always liked clothes and enjoyed looking my best in work settings. <BR> <BR> Nowadays I see those very items pass into the donation pile one by one. Sure I have a couple of pieces that still give me that look when I need it, but mostly I have a... Fri, 7 Apr 2017 07:47:21 EST Spring Maintenance <em>375</em> <BR> At our house Spring is the season for maintenance. Seems like we're always opening the door to AC/Heating people, pest maintenance folks, window cleaners (a luxury and what a treat). It's also my season for personal maintenance. <BR> <BR> Time to declutter my closet as I turn over winter to spring/summer clothing. <BR> Time to get a pedicure and manicure as my feet in particular come out of boots and shoes into sandals and bare feet. <BR> Time to eat cleaner. It's ea... Tue, 21 Mar 2017 06:58:51 EST Just for Fun Ran across this on Facebook and knew it had a Sparkpeople audience who would love it! <BR> <BR> <img src=""> Mon, 13 Mar 2017 14:08:02 EST The Power of Off and Mindful Living I'm reading a book that has me thinking a lot about my social media use. It is, The Power of Off, The Mindful Way to Stay Sane in a Virtual World, by Nancy Colier. I recommend it. <BR> <BR> As I make my way through the chapters I am thinking a lot about how to stay on top of my goals each day--health and fitness goals, as well as life goals. What I am coming to realize is that it is paramont that I make choices about how much time I spend on line and how I use the very helpful sites I vis... Sun, 12 Mar 2017 08:29:40 EST Spring is coming - What's New with You? What's new with you? <BR> <BR> That little phrase is one of my favorite conversation starters. As Spring begins to show itself, I'm asking that of myself too. What will I do that is new? <BR> <BR> I've already picked up a few new spring clothes. I notice that they are active clothes--things to work out in, lighten up with (shorts!), and be outside wearing. Lucky for me I work from my home office and these are 'work clothes' too! <BR> <BR> I want to start a new 'herb' pot on my front p... Fri, 10 Mar 2017 09:15:12 EST Happy On the Slopes Last week I was on the slopes with many of my family members. Unlike many older skiers, I am not a person who has skied often. I have however always loved it. <BR> <BR> I learned first at 25 and was able to ski for a week then. Over the years, every five or ten years I've had a chance to go back, take lessons, and ski again. <BR> <BR> Last year our son became a ski instructor in Colorado. I decided I wanted to try it again. But at 60-something I knew it would be a challenge. While I a... Tue, 28 Feb 2017 07:30:28 EST In It For the Fun There are so many reasons to join SparkPeople, and more importantly to persist in using the site. There is the accountability, the great information, and the spirited and informed advice from other people working on similar issues. <BR> <BR> And then there's the fun. <BR> <BR> The fun in checking in with other people and learning how other people live their lives in healthy ways. <BR> <BR> The excitement in hearing and sharing stories of achievements, big and small. <BR> <BR> The delig... Sun, 12 Feb 2017 08:23:28 EST The Sugarless Life I have been propelled into low sugar eating this month because my DH, also known as my personal Cookie Monster, has given up eating too much sugar. <BR> <BR> At the advice of an acupuncturist he started a "detox" process that involves eating cooked vegetables blended into a smoothie or a puree once a day. He is not allowed dairy on this diet, but plenty of other vegetables and protein and gluten free bread in moderation. According to the advice he is getting, cooking makes nutrients in v... Mon, 30 Jan 2017 05:54:48 EST A Marching Adventure My theme for the year is Adventure. <BR> <BR> This week one presented itself to me in the form of the Women's March on Washington. No worries, this is not a political blog. <BR> <BR> Friends and family worried that I was in danger. They were concerned because they know protests can go violent and they care about me. But facing fear is part of adventure, so I planned on. <BR> <BR> But I am not reckless. I read the organizational plan and felt assured this would most likely a very peac... Sun, 22 Jan 2017 08:44:31 EST Coffee Experiment I just whipped up a cup of coffee with some vanilla protein powder in a blender and the results aren't bad on this chilly day. And meanwhile I've jumped my protein up 16 grams. <BR> <BR> It's nice to shake my snacking up a little bit around my favorite beverage. <BR> <BR> Has anyone else changed up a food or drink to make it more on target with your Spark goals? <BR> <BR> <em>106</em> Fri, 20 Jan 2017 13:52:49 EST Adventure Calls My 'word of the year' going into 2017 is ADVENTURE. <BR> <BR> In December, as many of my Spark friends know, I challenged myself to get back into snow skiing. With the help of my very adept skiing son and his lessons (ski instruction is actually his job), my own fitness routines and persistence, I did it. I look forward to heading the slopes again in February, this time with less fear and more excitement. Skiing was an ADVENTURE, and going after it has left me feeling hooked on doing mo... Sun, 8 Jan 2017 07:55:01 EST Here Comes 2017 So let's get started to make this an awesome year! Happy New Year to each of you, my Spark friends! <BR> <BR> <img src=""> Sun, 1 Jan 2017 08:12:47 EST Scaling the Holiday to Suit Ourselves On my maintenance team thread yesterday there were lots of comments about 'scaling back' holiday plans. It got me thinking about how 'scaling' the holiday to suit ourselves is really important. <BR> <BR> I've had years when Christmas seemed to explode into too many events, too many people & gifts, and too much food. It was like everyone's expectations and desires to meet others' expectations exploded into one big OVERBLOWN series of days; more circus than celebration. <BR> <BR> I've old... Fri, 16 Dec 2016 06:52:55 EST Goal Met on the Slopes! My son teaches skiing in Colorado. He's happy in the mountains and is thrilled to be working at a job he loves after college. Months ago I decided I wanted to get good enough at skiing to be on the slopes not only with him, but the rest of our family. <BR> <BR> This was tricky. I am not a kid anymore. While I am fit, I am 69. And I am not someone who skied a lot in the past. I have had opportunities to ski for a week at a time...but those stretches were spaced out in years. As in 8-10 ... Mon, 12 Dec 2016 06:54:31 EST First Morning Fire Ah winter's blessing - this morning I lit my first morning fire of the season. It's such a treat. <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> Now it's time to use my journal and check into Spark! Wed, 23 Nov 2016 05:31:27 EST What I Learned in Cooking Class I've been cooking for a long time and still really enjoy it. But last week I took a cooking class with a friend. We really just wanted to hang out together and thought it might be fun to take a class. <BR> <BR> It was. <BR> <BR> And I learned some things. Who knew, that all my life I have been holding my knives incorrectly! It's hard to describe this but the new way which involves pinching the blade at the dull end and then gripping the shaft with the other 3 fingers really does work ... Sat, 19 Nov 2016 14:38:39 EST Sunday Morning - Namaste This is the peaceful view down my driveway that greeted me yesterday and calmed my frayed nerves a bit during these turbulent days for our country. <BR> <BR> <BR> <img src=""> Sun, 13 Nov 2016 07:55:23 EST Slowing Down In September my DH and I traveled to Italy with our son and his girl friend. We all enjoy interesting food and most of us like to cook. One of our adventures together was to take a cooking class with a chef in Tuscany. <BR> <BR> The day started at 10:30 when we cut herbs and mixed them into some ricotta and rolled a small amount into a 'sheet' of grilled eggplant. Later these little rolls would appear with arugula laced with balsamic as an appetizer. To make a very long story short, we c... Mon, 7 Nov 2016 06:26:28 EST Up Early in the City I so enjoy the early morning hours, and this week I had the special treat of sitting in a window seat, 14 stories above the Chicago River. This was the sight below as the city came to life: <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> I've been checking into Spark since 2012 at about this time--5 or 6 am. Spark is part of my 'begin' routine. I get some perspective on my day, particularly the healthy living part when I do... Sun, 30 Oct 2016 08:04:55 EST Spirit Time Just a thought this morning as my day starts and I think about the season ahead. <BR> <BR> Halloween is approaching and it might be fun to take a 'night walk' in the spirit of the season: vampires and trick-or-treating both happen then! I won't be hunting for blood or candy, but the feeling of being in crisp night air and waiting until my 'night vision' kicks in so I can see clearly. <BR> <BR> And on the night of Halloween, weather permitting, I'm thinking of another fire in our fire pit. ... Thu, 27 Oct 2016 06:29:04 EST Three Things That Are Keeping Me on a Healthy Track This morning I am thinking about things that are keeping me motivated right now. <BR> <BR> <em>192</em> One is that the scale is up a bit and I want to see it drop. So I am weighing in daily just to keep 'my eye on the prize' and not let my goal get lost in the distractions of my busy life. <BR> <BR> <em>329</em> Another is that I plan to ski in December with my son in Colorado. He lives there, teaches skiing and is fun to be with. I've been a decent intermediate skier in my life,... Sat, 15 Oct 2016 07:18:07 EST Closet Switch-Up <em>465</em> <BR> <BR> It's time for me to store summer clothes and move fall and winter duds back in. This weekend I realized it was too chilly for sandals and all I had were sandals. That was my clue! <BR> <BR> I like this job. I get to see 'old friends,' things I love to wear, as well as take note of those things I just never get around to wearing and would be better off letting go. <BR> <BR> So I'll take coffee and my water and have at it for the season ahead. Mon, 3 Oct 2016 06:46:56 EST 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