TWEETIEBIRDIE's SparkPeople Blog TWEETIEBIRDIE's Blog on SparkPeople, home of free diet plans and a healthy living community What would you wish for? <img src=""> <BR> Look at all these Magic Wands at Harry Potter World! There is a unique wand for each character! What would you wish for??? Thu, 28 Jul 2016 14:03:32 EST Sweet Shop at Harry Potter World! <img src=""> <BR> I have a sweet tooth! I would buy the licorice and jelly beans first. However, I resisted and bought nothing! Which candy would you buy first? Wed, 27 Jul 2016 09:25:39 EST Gigantic Doughnuts! <img src=""> <BR> For Sale at Harry Potter World in Los Angeles. Each doughnut is sold in its own big box. I wonder how many calories are in each one??? Tue, 26 Jul 2016 07:52:32 EST Would you like to climb this? <img src=""> <BR> My 3 year old grandson loves to climb this at the local mall in California. They need to build one for adults who like to climb too!😀 Sat, 23 Jul 2016 15:59:37 EST Bicycle Built for One! <img src=""> Isn't this a cool bike at the Mall in LA? Fri, 22 Jul 2016 16:33:57 EST Travel Food <img src=""> <BR> I'm waiting at the airport to fly and see my 2 children and 2 grandchildren! I brought a bag of salted almonds and pistachios for healthy snacks. I almost bought a protein bar, but it was 230 calories. What do you take for healthy travel snacks? Thu, 21 Jul 2016 05:00:48 EST Fast Food Can Be Healthy! For lunch today, I went to Elevation Burger. It is a chain with low cal, healthy alternatives. For a total of 180 calories, I had a Veggie Burger wrapped in lettuce (not a bun), and a Side Salad with Raspberry Vinegarette! Yummy!!! Mon, 18 Jul 2016 16:49:55 EST Trying to keep up with the Kardashians! OK, not the younger ones, but I have a lot in common with Kris the mom and grandma! <BR> <BR> 1. I have a new grandson too! His newborn photo is below and I will be visiting him for the first time in Europe where he lives! Maybe I will be invited to Kim's wedding in Paris. <BR> <BR> 2. I have another grandson who is 18 months old and I can't wait to see him in June! He lives in LA kind of near the Kardashians. <BR> <BR> 3. I work full time too and juggle my daily responsibilities without a... Sat, 22 Mar 2014 03:03:36 EST How can I get back on track? <img src=""> <BR> <BR> What are my motivators? <BR> <BR> 1. My grandson just turned one! I want to see him graduate from college. <BR> <BR> 2. I want to eat healthy food and get healthier. <BR> <BR> 3. I want my clothes to fit again. <BR> <BR> 4. I want to run for longer times and exercise regularly. <BR> <BR> 5. I want to reduce stress and enjoy life. <BR> <BR> "Don't compare yourself to others. Compare yourself to who you were y... Sat, 28 Sep 2013 10:46:57 EST To Do List Before Summer Ends 1. Eat an ice cream bar <BR> 2. Read more fun to read books <BR> 3. Get a manicure and pedicure <BR> 4. Go to a movie in a theater <BR> 5. Buy a new outfit <BR> 6. Sleep in and take naps <BR> 7. Walk more <BR> 8. When all is completed, start school Mon, 5 Aug 2013 07:43:40 EST What I learned during my vacation 1. I am a teacher and the summer is necessary to recharge! <BR> 2. I have time to walk and run when I like! <BR> 3. I am eating more than I need to! <BR> 4. I am reading for fun! <BR> 5. My stress level is down. <BR> 6. I am looking forward to the school year. <BR> ENJOY YOUR LAST DAYS OF SUMMER! <BR> <em>67</em> Sun, 4 Aug 2013 04:59:02 EST Positive Thinking Can Be Hard Sometimes... I am writing a Positive Blog even though I am going to complain... <BR> <BR> 1. My job has been stressful lately. The positive side is that Spring Break is in one more week and I need it so de-stress! <BR> <BR> 2. I am training to run in a Half-Marathon for the first time. Today I had to run my farthest ever on my practice schedule...and I wanted to quit with 15 minutes left. However, I gave myself a pep talk and kept running. The positive side is that now I am happy I did! <BR> <BR> 3. I ... Fri, 22 Mar 2013 06:04:16 EST St. Patrick's Day Splurge! Another holiday with the Green theme! <em>440</em> On March 17, I can wear a Green shirt and jeans to school! <em>244</em> <BR> Last night we went to a GREEN St. Patrick's Day buffet party complete with Green food, Irish corned beef and cabbage, with Green lights shining on the food, and shamrocks everywhere! Believe it or not it was in Saudi Arabia where I am teaching! It was at the U.S. Consulate with Irish music and lots of people in Green costumes! It was really fun! <em>439</em> ... Fri, 15 Mar 2013 10:07:48 EST Went on an Eco-Walk today! After reading a Spark People article on Eco Runs, I decided to try my own version today. I walked 17 minutes to the grocery store picking up litter on the way. I filled my grocery bag before I was even halfway there. Then I threw the bag in the trash can outside the grocery store. Most of the litter was plastic water and juice bottles. I even brought my own plastic grocery bags to reuse at the store. I am trying to make my surroundings a better place...thanks to Spark People! Fri, 8 Mar 2013 14:04:18 EST Cooking, cooking, cooking... and enjoying it! Every week I am trying out new Spark People Recipes. I try to make a bunch over the weekend and then have meals ready on weekdays when I come home from work. What are my favorites so far? <BR> <BR> Chef Meg has some excellent ones such as her Bulgar Lentil Salad, Sloppy Joes, Sweet Potato Fries, and Chocolate Mousse. <BR> <BR> On Spark Recipes, I have discovered Sweet Potato Casserole, Cauliflower Mashed Potatoes, Curry Lentil Soup, Flaxseed Blueberry Muffins, Salsa Chicken... Wed, 6 Mar 2013 03:54:28 EST Organized my cupboard today (with a photo)! Today my husband and I took our daily walk and found an Organic food store! What a great surprise in our Middle Eastern neighborhood! All the products are local. We bought two bags full and carried them on our walk home (extra strength training)! <BR> <BR> I put the lentils, brown rice, raisins, flax seeds, and spices into plastic containers. Then I labeled them with tape and a Sharpie pen I brought from the U.S. I am SO proud of my organized and healthy cupboard. Time to start cooking some ... Thu, 14 Feb 2013 08:17:18 EST A Walk a Day Keeps the Doctor Away! Off to a healthy new year! My husband and I are daily Sparkers again... <BR> We are... <BR> 1. Walking at least half an hour every night around our neighborhood! <BR> <BR> 2. Cooking Spark recipes every week and trying new ones which is fun! <BR> <BR> 3. Tracking our food and fitness on Spark People! <BR> <BR> 4. Earning lots of Spark points and trophies! <BR> <BR> 5. Enjoying our new energy and weight loss! <BR> <BR> Thank you Spark People for your daily tips to a better life! <BR> <e... Fri, 8 Feb 2013 11:55:25 EST 16 Days Left to Meet My Goals! LOL!!! I'm not going to make it by Jan. 1. I was just looking over my Spark Goals and it is not going to happen! <BR> <BR> *I did lose weight this year, but have slowly gained it back since June. <BR> *I haven't run a Half Marathon yet and am nowhere near one. I did run a 10K in July, but wouldn't be able to today. <BR> *I am trying to eat healthier, but have indulged in sweets this month big time! <BR> <BR> Oh well, I can't give up. There is nothing I can do but keep moving forward. May... Thu, 20 Dec 2012 05:06:54 EST Holiday Happiness! I am happy that... <BR> <BR> We had a teacher holiday potluck last night. Lots of candles, trees, and food in our apt. building hallway. It is in the 80's now in the desert and cool.. .I ate small portions of the food and desserts. <BR> <BR> I can run outside now in the cool weather around our compound in Saudi Arabia. There is even a breeze! <BR> <BR> I have my first grandchild this Xmas. He is almost 3 months old! <BR> <BR> My son got an extra part time job teaching film classes! He has... Fri, 14 Dec 2012 12:06:41 EST Trying to get back on track... And it is hard! Once I start eating sweets, then it is a slippery slope. Last night we went to an International Food Festival. I tried to pace myself all day. It was a day full of temptation! After a small lunch, I only had small bite size portions of food at the after school Baby Shower. The carrot cake looked so good, but I resisted! At dinner, I tried small portions of a lot of exotic dishes. I felt OK about my food intake. <BR> <BR> This morning I started right by running outside for 30... Thu, 13 Dec 2012 00:08:42 EST Holiday Treats in Saudi Arabia I am teaching in a Muslim country with more food temptations than the U.S. Everything revolves around food...and I am gaining weight! Help!!! I am still running, but not as much due to the heat and humidity. I need to get control of my eating. <BR> <BR> I have come this far and have been really good about eating healthy food and running every other day. I can't lose control now... <BR> <BR> However yesterday there were two birthday celebrations at school and I was given two pieces of choco... Mon, 10 Dec 2012 05:27:00 EST Let me count the ways.... that I overeat and make excuses to myself... <BR> <BR> 1. Take half a roll from the bread basket and half a pat of butter at the restaurant and then finish the other halves! <BR> <BR> 2. Tell myself I won't eat the baked potato with sour cream that comes with my meal and then I do! <BR> <BR> 3. Intend to have one bite of my husband's dessert and then eat way more! <BR> <BR> 4. Eat the ice cream on top of the cone and throw away the cone! <BR> <BR> 5. Eat a bowl of healthy cereal and then... Fri, 10 Aug 2012 08:30:25 EST Banana Milk Shake Down! Yikes! I indulged and ordered my favorite banana milkshake today. Before i ordered it, I made my husband promise we would go to the gym tomorrow. We didn't make it to the gym today. I enjoyed drinking it, but now I am feeling buyers remorse. How can I get over this food indulgence guilt? <BR> I keep telling myself that I went to the gym twice already this week. I even bought new running shoes on Monday that are super comfortable! It is summer time and soon I will return to teaching. So a fru... Wed, 8 Aug 2012 23:12:29 EST On the Move in August! <img src="">Hello Michigan Summer! <BR> It has been a time to relax and reconnect with family and friends. I am proud of: <BR> <BR> -Running my first 10K Race and getting a Silver Medal for placing second in my age division (50's) <BR> -Continuing to run this summer along the lake and at the local gym <BR> -Making healthy yogurt in a crockpot and adding MI blueberries to it! <BR> -Visiting my family and listening to their stories <BR> -M... Sat, 4 Aug 2012 12:10:59 EST Bye Bye Uruguay! How has my life improved during this year in South America? <BR> <BR> -I will never take heating and hot water for granted again! <BR> -I will appreciate air conditioning! <BR> -Saturday morning visits to the Farmers Market! <BR> -Becoming a runner thanks to the SparkPeople 5K Challenge last October! <BR> -Running on the boardwalk along the beach (even in 36 degree weather yesterday)! <BR> -Running in two 5K Races and one 8K race with the locals! <BR> -Training now for my first 10K at the en... Fri, 8 Jun 2012 13:31:00 EST Why run an 8K??? Why do they have 8K's in Uruguay? That is a good question. Everything is a little different here, but they do have 5K's and 10K's too! I guess that was all they could get out of the horserace track and the area around it for the big event. There were 3,000 crazy runners in the rain and cold wind. It is fall here and in the 50's. <BR> <BR> We ran against the elements through mud, sand, grass, and the woods. There were photographers and TV camera men everywhere. It was televised on the local ... Sun, 29 Apr 2012 14:28:07 EST Running my first 8K this Saturday! Wish me luck...I will need it! I have never run farther than a 5K. It will be on a horse racing track by a gambling casino in Montevideo, Uruguay. I am a teacher here at an American school. At least there won´t be any hills this time! I will be running with a teacher and mother from my school. We all ran the last 5K together in March. <BR> <BR> I love running along the boardwalk or Rambla as they call it here by the beach. I have been following the Jeff Galloway interval training and it wo... Thu, 26 Apr 2012 14:22:30 EST Sugar and Easter Can Go Together! OK, I admit that I LOVE Easter candy! It goes back to my childhood with my Easter basket full of jelly beans, marshmellow chicks, and chocolate eggs. I just got my Spark Trophy for the Tame Your Sugar Challenge. I have lost weight, am running more, and feel better! <BR> <BR> So, how did I handle Easter candy this year? I ate it, but in control. I stared at the doughnuts in the bakery and decided that the first bite is the best. I bought the jelly beans and my favorite meringue cookies. I a... Thu, 12 Apr 2012 09:02:51 EST Running Addict and Proud of It! Yes! I ran 55 miles since January to prepare for my second 5K yesterday. I ran with 2,000 women up and down hills in a park in Montevideo, Uruguay. It was so much fun! Who would think I would say that? It took me 57 years to enjoy running. <BR> <BR> My husband is wondering what has gotten into me. Now he is going to races with me to photograph the mob scene. We are seeing new parts of the city, enjoying the outdoors, and running with friends. I am still on a running high today!!! I am gettin... Sun, 25 Mar 2012 14:02:33 EST Sugar Addict? Yes, I am and I have a mouthful of cavities to prove it. My sweet tooth started at a young age. I have been paying attention to my cravings this week. I want to eat sugar after a meal, when I am bored, when I have to do paperwork I don´t want to do, after school, and at night. What other time of the day is left? <BR> I have been trying to replace my cravings with non-fat yogurt. My husband and I have been making our own yogurt in the slow cooker. It turns out differently every time. We add Sp... Mon, 19 Mar 2012 12:29:39 EST Coffee Addict? Italy is to blame... I didn't used to be one. I would sip hot tea all day long at work. Coffee was forced upon me when I taught in Italy for the last two years. There were cafes everywhere with tons of people gulping down their espressos at the bar. It was an Italian ritual beginning at 6am for a quick stop on the way to work. It was definitely not a comfortable Starbucks experience. The Italian concept is to drink it as fast as you can and hurry on your way, kind of like taking medicine! <BR> <BR> I had to carp... Sat, 3 Mar 2012 15:37:37 EST Glee Blog!/'On Our Way' episode Dear Highly Paid and Over Valued Glee Writers, <BR> <BR> I understand that life is not always a song and dance, but I do expect that from Glee! least. I watch Glee! to escape my daily ups and downs...not to add to them! This end of the winter season episode was jammed pack with Regionals, a possible early Wedding, and two (not one) life threatening tragedies. Come on Glee! writers...make my day!!! This script was overloaded in my book, and caused me to worry all day. <BR> <BR> Will Qui... Wed, 22 Feb 2012 16:36:17 EST 20 Ways to Get Good Karma by The Dalai Lama 20 Ways to Get Good Karma <BR> By The Dalai Lama <BR> Published 11/16/2006 Wisdom Rating: <BR> Instructions for Life by The Dalai Lama <BR> <BR> The Dalai Lama <BR> <BR> Ask The Dalai Lama a Question <BR> Take into account that great love and great achievements involve great risk. <BR> When you lose, don’t lose the lesson. <BR> Follow the three R’s: <BR> - Respect for self, <BR> - Respect for others and <BR> - Responsibility for all your actions. <BR> Remember that not getting... Sun, 15 Jan 2012 13:19:42 EST HAPPINESS Secrets for a HAPPY 2012! There has been a lot of research lately on what creates happiness. Do you know that 40-50% of people's happiness comes from VOLUNTARY choices we make daily? <BR> <BR> IF you have a HAPPY friend, your happiness goes up 15%. If your HAPPY friend has a HAPPY friend, it goes up by another 10%. If your HAPPY friend's HAPPY friend has a HAPPY friend-even if you don't know them-your happiness will go up another 10%. <BR> <BR> There are 3 things to practice daily to create happiness...Remember that... Sat, 7 Jan 2012 07:18:50 EST I joined a gym with a view today... I can walk to it in 10 minutes AND it is located on the beach. I have a view from the treadmill of the water and outdoor pool. We went swimming after working out today. It is like being on a vacation at a luxury resort without paying for the hotel room!!! <BR> <BR> <img src=""> Wed, 21 Dec 2011 15:23:57 EST Is cold weather a Xmas requirement? It is summer in the southern hemisphere where I live. I am an American teaching in South America and it is hot! The sun is shining, people are swimming, and fir trees don't grow here. We have to buy an artificial tree and no turkey for Xmas dinner. They don't live in Uruguay. However there are signs of Xmas... <BR> <BR> 1. I hear Jingle Bells playing in the grocery store. <BR> 2. My daughter arrived for the holidays!!! <BR> 3. My students gave me Xmas cookies and bread. <BR> 4. The neighbors... Sat, 17 Dec 2011 15:34:04 EST Photo of Farmers Market in Uruguay <img src=""> <BR> It makes me happy to buy freggies on Saturdays from the local farmers. It is half and hour walk from my home and I take a shopping bag on wheels to bring it all home. So I get 60 minutes of fitness and a bag full of healthy food! I also can practice my Spanish! <BR> Just saw a photo of Jennifer Lopez on filming her new talent TV show on the beach near me in Uruguay. Why am I the last to know? I could have ski... Sat, 10 Dec 2011 12:19:33 EST Cheese Fondue can be healthy! After living four months in a new country in South America, we asked a teacher couple over to dinner Saturday night. It always takes time to make new friends. I miss my old friends and compare everyone new to them. So this is a new beginning for my husband and I. <BR> <BR> I walked to the Farmer´s Market and bought fresh fruits and vegetables to dip into the cheese fondue. Fresh flowers too! Then I made two new cake recipes from the SparkPeople Cookbook. The Banana Honey cake had no sugar or... Mon, 5 Dec 2011 12:24:48 EST How can we feel happier starting today??? Did you know that 40-50% of your happiness comes from choices you make each day? <BR> <BR> The first choice is for personal pleasure, but that happiness is short lived as we all know (food, shopping, entertainment, etc.). <BR> <BR> The second choice lasts a lifetime. What brings you happiness is meaning and purpose and contribution and making other people authentically happy! <BR> <BR> During this week of Thanksgiving, look for ways to make other people's lives better and you will feel gen... Sun, 20 Nov 2011 14:09:21 EST Why Daydreaming is good for you... What? You are here already...sorry I was just daydreaming...which can be very beneficial to our daily health. <BR> <BR> Why? <BR> 1. Daydreaming is good for your brain! <BR> 2. Research shows that when you daydream, the highly functioning part of your brain is more active! <BR> 3. This is the part of your brain that solves problems, conflicts, and thinks of new ideas. <BR> 4. It also showed that brain activity is active when daydreaming during routine daily activities! <BR> 5. Have you notic... Mon, 14 Nov 2011 11:19:36 EST 11/11/11 A lucky day! <BR> My Positives Today... <BR> <BR> 1. It is my sister´s birthday. <BR> 2. My friend´s daughter is getting married today. <BR> 3. I made a healthy lunch to bring to work. <BR> 4. The sun is shining. <BR> 5. I am going to run after school. <BR> 6. It would have been my son´s 23rd birthday which is bittersweet. <BR> <BR> <em>337</em> <em>407</em> <em>44</em> Fri, 11 Nov 2011 10:49:39 EST Flat Belly Research! What is the key daily meal that will help you flatten your belly? <BR> <BR> The answer is Breakfast! Protein in the morning helps prevent snack attacks later in the day. Start with a high protein breakfast such as eggs! The new SparkPeople Cookbook has great recipes for egg frittatas and egg white omelets to start the day right! <BR> <BR> If you don´t like eggs, then try oatmeal with walnuts. Add some fiber to your protein such as whole wheat toast with peanut butter. If you start early in ... Fri, 4 Nov 2011 12:36:47 EST My First 5K in Uruguay with photos!!! Yea! I did it! I finished my first 5K today! I ran with over 1800 women from Uruguay and Argentina! I kept running and beat my personal best! The race was organized in South America by McDonald's (trying to be healthy) to raise money for Breast Cancer Research. Here are some photos and highlights of my big day!!! <BR> 1. Here I am on my way to the race and feeling very nervous! I made myself eat eggs on toast. <BR> <img src=""> <BR> 2. I ... Sun, 30 Oct 2011 14:58:16 EST What Drink Has Magic In It? Orange Juice? Skim Milk? Pina Colada? <BR> <BR> Give up? <BR> The answer is Green Tea!!! <BR> <BR> Green tea is healthy because: <BR> <BR> It protects your lungs! <BR> It has antioxidants to fight cancer! <BR> It helps burn belly fat! <BR> It cheers you up! <BR> <BR> So start the day the right way with Green Tea! <BR> <BR> <em>106</em> <em>106</em> <em>106</em> <em>106</em> <em>106</em> <em>106</em> Fri, 28 Oct 2011 14:12:00 EST What is a healthy snack for your heart? <em>26</em> <em>129</em> <BR> Nothing to chop, nothing to prepare, nothing to cook? <BR> A handful of almonds will help your heart more than you know! <BR> Just TWO ounces of almonds DAILY for TWO weeks lowered LDL Cholesterol levels and insulin resistance in a study with prediabetic patients. <BR> For people with normal blood sugar, almonds are also beneficial to reduce inflammation and lower LDL Cholesterol levels. <BR> So the next time Halloween candy tempts you, just reach for a hand... Wed, 26 Oct 2011 11:46:19 EST 5K in Uruguay!!! <img src=""> <BR> <BR> Here is the photo that inspired me to sign up for my First 5k! I took this photo of a 10K race along the beach Oct.1. I was still midway through my 5K SPARK Rookie Running Program. I decided that I would be ready to run this race next year. Then I saw I sign advertising a 5K on Oct. 30. So I signed up. I am on Week 8 of the training now and am enjoying it. Running makes me happy! <BR> <BR> I was always the slowest... Thu, 13 Oct 2011 12:43:04 EST Almost ready for my first 5K Run with... Spark 5K Trick or Treat Trot! <BR> <BR> I joined the Rookie Run to train slowly over the past 7 weeks with Spark. I am not and never have been a runner. So, at age 57 I decided to give it a try. Guess what, I like it. <BR> <BR> I have one more week of interval training to do. I started walking 4 min. and running 1 min. intervals. Now I do the opposite and can run 4 min. at a time over a period of 35 min. I even look forward to it. <BR> <BR> I found a 5K in Uruguay Halloween weekend that... Sun, 9 Oct 2011 11:37:39 EST I bought the new Spark Cookbook on my Kindle! Yea! I am so excited! Yesterday the new SparkPeople cookbook was published. I didn´t know if I could order it in South American where I am teaching. I gave it a try last night and it worked. Technology did it again! <BR> <BR> I kept reading the promos for the cookbook and wanted to pre-order it. I looked up the weight of the hardback color cookbook on It weighs 3.2 pounds. Hmmm...I wondered how much that would cost to send to a foreign country. Then I looked up the Duty I would h... Wed, 5 Oct 2011 12:22:43 EST What a discovery!!! Today I WALKED to the HEALTHY Farmers Market for the first time in my new neighborhood! It was full of South American vegetables, flowers, and cheese. I had to use my basic Spanish to figure out how to buy the food and pay for it. It was a challenge and I survived! It reminded me of my childhood in Michigan. My mom took us to the Farmer's Market every Saturday and the tastes and smells take me back to that time. <BR> <BR> It was actually fun to venture out and interact with the locals. Now... Sat, 24 Sep 2011 17:06:53 EST What magic food keeps the wrinkles away? Hint...chickens lay many of these a day. <BR> <BR> Humans only need to eat one a day to receive the benefits of an EGG! <BR> <BR> One Egg a day keeps the Wrinkles away!!! <BR> <BR> One egg has two Smooth Skin ingredients - choline and lupein! These are two key sources of Vitamin B that help keep your skin looking smooth and soft. They also prevent damage to skin cells. Milk and peanuts also benefit your skin. <BR> <BR> One egg a day is a great high protein meal or snack. You can hard boil... Fri, 23 Sep 2011 11:23:09 EST