ANNIEONLI   50,673
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A month since I blogged? Wow

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Wow!!! How time flies!!!!

Anyway, people around here are probably thinking that I'm looooong gone from Spark. Oh contrare mon frare!! While I have been quiet here, I have still been tracking like a nut. Keeps me sane, what can I say. And with that, things in general stay steady....which is a very good thing.

I can even say that EXERCISE has been up this past month!! I KNOW!!! WTH?!? WHO is this woman????? ROFL - again, it has kept me sane!

So school is back in session - I still have to finish up the other classes I started back in February (a goal for the fall) and I started another, more structured class....LOVE the professor. Probably my age by the way he talks (ie, writes), and he has a good sense of humor, which makes it cool and more light hearted. The entire family is now in school - so it makes for an interesting and busy fall...once you throw in soccer and practices, and religious education...and extended family stuff....That old chestnut. It's all good emoticon

My mother in law is still healing from her major surgery a month ago, but again, it's all good. She did lose about 30 pounds, and I thinkshe is on the road to losing more. Another family member is on her own journey, and is using WW...and from what we talked about, she has a good handle on things and a good outlook. She said that I inspired her in the way I completely changed the way I use food, view food, and never deny myself anything I want to eat. I think she has made her own breakthrough....which is what needs to happen (IMO). She sees that maintaining is hard, but doable too. I'm proud of her for seeing and saying and doing....she will be just fine.

I have to do a mini report on my husband here....he is TRYING to maintain between 160-165. Yes, through portion control, he went from 225 to 160 this past year and I cannot be prouder of him. I said "trying" because he is still experimenting with foods, still slowly losing because he body is in that mode. Maintenance is a tough thing to start and figure out, but he will do it. Now, I can hear some people saying "Well, why don't you just show him what to do?" Well, because I CANNOT. It is HIS journey. It is HIS body that HE has to figure out.

Well...that being said....I have to pop off to my local discout clothing store. We need some new shirts in this house, and when I say "we" - I mean EVERYONE!! The whole lot of us!!! It's starting to look pathetic and shabby - not the image to project! So off I go!! Wish me luck! I need clothes SO badly it's not even funny. So now, with NO kids in tow - I'm taking the opportunity!

hope all is well with everyone here! Wish it was more exciting on my end....but it is what it is...


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

YAMINOKODOMO 9/22/2010 3:06PM

    Have fun shopping for clothes!

Glad everything has been going well this month! I need to up my exercise.. lol

Congrats to your mother in law, your husband, and your other family member for doing well on their weight loss journey! Its awesome when you have family that are on their own weight loss journey and even more awesome when they say that YOUR the reason why they started.

Good luck with schooL! and enjoy!

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OAKBORN 9/22/2010 1:34PM

    So glad to hear your crew is doing so well! Quiet is okay! Quiet is good! Drama Llamas are BAD!

I love what you said about your hubby! It's so true. Every person's journey is there own journey... we cannot make them do "x", or tell them stuff. What we can do is live OUR best lives and hope we can help others by inspiring them to live their best lives... but the road they take (or not) is their own choice!

I also love how you mentioned that you don't deny yourself the things you love to eat... neither do I... I'd be nuts without my chocolate... and other treats I enjoy...

Hang in their girl! We've both made it over 2 years!!


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Your body is your temple - treat it that way.

Friday, August 27, 2010

I woke up with the thought Cleanse or not to Cleanse? That is the question! in my head. For me, that is a no brainer....the answer is simply "no".

I came across a bunch of blogs lately talking about this very subject...and in fact, last year my neighbor tried one (please note the word 'tried') and she gave me the paper instructions on it....which were enlightening on a few levels, and insane on all the others.

Here was her cleanse...concentrating on her liver and stones in particular. I will not go into detail, since I have forgotten them, but I will tell you this: it involved a day or so of fasting, drinking a water, ESPOM salt and olive oil mixture, and then laying down on the couch to let the "stones pass". Sounds so yummy, doesn't it. By the way, the end product of her 'cleanse' was 5 days of misery, light headedness, and starvation.... sure she lost weight (of course she did, she wasn't eating properly and was not drinking properly)....and guess what, she bailed on the last day to finally eat something proper and had diarrhea for 2 more days and today, she looks the same way as when she started. So worth it, huh?

Now, I am no food expert (yet), but I will say this - the body and the body's cells KNOW automatically what are good and bad things to keep in them and expel. It's on a microbiological level here. Forcing the issue with concoctions and potions that verge on the point of poisoning your natural system just does not make sense to me....or to nature. If you want to do one....go right ahead! just do it under the supervision of someone with experience with it....a LOT of an 80 year old monk from an ashram in Timbuktu who does one every month since he was 10. Have fun...enjoy.

Which brings me to a second pointed subject that I have come across, diet soda's in particular and what I see people putting in their shared food trackers (OH yes, I look on occassion). I KNOW they have no calories, but seriously, the other stuff in them is as good as drinking the stuff in the cleanse!! Chemicals that your body does not need, but hey since it is zero calories - have at it! 2 or 3 a day is just fine...right? ............ Right?

I want everyone who reads this to THINK about their diet. REALLY THINK about it. Sure, you can track all you want and be in calorie range, but if what you are eating is questionable chemically - maybe, just maybe, if you swap it out for a healthier product, you might drop those pesky pounds that have been plaguing you, or it might kickstart you OUT of a plateau. What can you substitute out for a healthier choice?
- White bread for whole grain.
- Diet soda or Crystal Light (all those Nutrasweet drinks) for just plain water.
- Creamer for lower fat milk.
- non-fat creamer (look at the sugar cals here) for non-fat milk
- beef for turkey or chicken or fish or pork
- fried for grilled or baked
- mayonnaise for extra virgin olive oil and spices
- mayonnaise for a pesto or chutney or salsa - all fat free

I can go on and on and on about substituting out stuff. I do it everyday, because I HAVE to now.... my body does not react well to over-processed foods. It came about that way over time...naturally. I never say never with food either....that is not the point of living life if you deny yourself...but when Spark talks about means, every once in a while with portion control, on special occasion, on holiday....heck on a particular day of the week even!

Which brings me to another subject that has been floating through my brain..and touched on by Maha in her blog. Organic vs. regular produce. Here's my stand on is better if you can get it....and afford it. BUT if you are in your grocery store, and are just starting out, and are all confused as to what to do there....just get some produce!!! ANY produce! #1 It is way better than the canned stuff. #2 it tastes better than the frozen stuff, which is great for some things, surely. #3 it's better than NOT getting it at all!!


Play with your food. Make your own chutneys and salsa's and pesto's. Cut it up and prep it when you get home. Make that a part of your shopping ritual. Rachel Ray has something there when she talks about it on tv. Besides, you are more apt to eat it if it is ready to rock than if you have to prep it when you are hungry! You will be SHOCKED at how proud you will be if you do this for yourself and make it a habit.....I promise!

OK - thanks for listening to my mini-rant. This is what floats around in my brain when I am alone with my 3 sons and no adult conversation to speak of. I might get slammed on a few things, but so be it. I can only speak for myself....and maybe make others think.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

OAKBORN 8/28/2010 12:38PM

    ah-men sistah!

emoticon emoticon

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ANNIEONLI 8/28/2010 8:10AM

    I can see what you mean with the herbal cleanses, again, if done with the correct guidance. I was mainly talking about the more crazy ones out there.

After holidays, I have a tendancy to really watch what I eat for about 2 weeks in order to right my system once again. I like to call it "detox"...but it only involves eating lower fats, lower cholesterol foods, fresh fruits & veggies and drinking my water, and abstaining from alcohol.

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KELPIECUTIE 8/27/2010 1:35PM

    I think there are two kinds of cleanses, one where you do insane things to confuse your body and metabolism and one where you follow good guidelines, knowing how to listen to your body.

I have done a total body herbal cleanse twice now and it is fabulous. They are herbs like marshmallow, slippery elm, oat bran and flax seed that help flush out areas in your digestive system that can get clogged up. I do it every time my system gets overloaded, like holidays and parties. As for dieting restrictions it only asks that you try to eat raw veggies and fruits as much as possible and try to make them organic, and don't drink alcohol. Which I think are good guidelines to live by most of the time, but a cleanse can be an extra motivation.

I totally agree that the extreme cleanes (like cayenne and lemon juice YUCK!) are very dangerous. But some of the herbal ones are really great and kind of act like a system reset button.

Just some food for thought

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ANNIEONLI 8/27/2010 10:42AM

    LOL - OK...the pesto thing...I make my own version with basil that has no oil. Making a puree of herbs, using parsley, basil, or cilantro with garlic and salt & pepper is a great "pesto" base that can be put on sandwiches, added to light sour creams as dip...water or lemon juice or lime juice is the only liquid I used...and you can sort of thicken it with nuts of your choice. THAT is my "pesto" that I am talking about. Probably should post the recipe now - LOL emoticon

Maureen...No, I didn't read that article, but I will check it out now. I read it on Spark somewhere long ago, and it just makes so much sense....and besides, the carbonation alone that causes the bloat, which then makes you feel so "not thin" is really a disservice to all the efforts you put in as well....IMO.

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YAMINOKODOMO 8/27/2010 10:05AM

    I totally and COMPLETELY agree with you! 2 years ago I did the lemonade diet. Idk if you ever heard of it. Its basically fresh squeezed lemons, water, grade b (I think...) maple syrup, and cayenne pepper. Sounds nummy right! Yuck! lol I dont know what I was thinking. OH I remember what I was thinking! I was going away to cancun in a month and I wanted to lose as much weight as I can before the trip because I knew I was going to stuff my face and gain weight on the trip. It sounded brilliant to me at the time...

The article I read on how to go about the lemonade diet was, you drink the lemonade concotion for breakfast lunch and dinner. If you get hungry, drink a little more. And then the only other liquids you can have is peppermint tea and water. On my first day of the lemonade diet by the time dinner time came around I HAD to eat something. My boyfriends mother cooked dinner, I basically inhaled the food... I did the diet up until we left for cancun. I can tell you right now I will NEVER do that again. I was basically starving. I had headaches every day. TASO actually pointed that out to me because at the time I didnt put two and two together, I just figured I was having headaches. And they were REALLY bad headaches. But she was like "Hey didnt you start getting those headaches after starting that lemonade diet?" So yes I lost weight, I lost about 14 pounds in about a month, and your only supposed to do the diet for a week because its a "cleansing" diet.

I would NEVER suggest to do anything like that. I did suggest it to me dads girlfriend, at the time, when she was asking me how I was losing weight. But now that I know whats good and what isnt and there is no quick fix to losing weight, I wont suggest it to any one anymore.

Ok now that I finished my essay to your blog, I think that everything you said in this blog is right and many people dont know the risk they are taking with these cleansing diets and then not knowing to well what is good for them and what isnt.

Well said!

Comment edited on: 8/27/2010 10:21:13 AM

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HEALTH4LYFE 8/27/2010 9:45AM

    Hey did you check this article out before you blogged, or are you just naturally that smart? emoticon

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IFDEEVARUNS2 8/27/2010 9:30AM

    Pesto fat-free? Not the pesto I've ever eaten. But I get your point.

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HEALTH4LYFE 8/27/2010 9:24AM

    Spoken like a true Nutritionist! It won't be too much longer now. Thanks for sharing, with a little bit of ranting, how important changes can be for all of us, no matter how small. Hopefully, with those changes, our momentum will take us by surprise and we will run with it! emoticon

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VENISEW1 8/27/2010 9:16AM

    emoticonSounds like you're trying to open some eyes out there. Cleansing isn't for me either. Love fruits and some vege's. Hope you have a emoticonday emoticon

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A big thank you for the prayers Sparkfriends!!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Mother-in-law update:
She is off of all tubes, gadgets, beeping devices and EVERYTHING!! The last thing to come off was the ventilator, and it took 4 days because of some complications, but at looong last, it is off. And to make things even better....EVERY SINGLE TEST THEY DID came back N E G A T I V E!!!!!! emoticon Clean bill of health!!

They are planning on moving her out of the ICU tonight. She is sitting up, and talking a bit too!!! SO glad she is on the up up up swing of healing now!!!

emoticon so much for all of your prayers and healing vibes! You are all so emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

YAMINOKODOMO 8/25/2010 1:53PM

    Awesome! I am so happy for you! And for your mother in law! emoticon

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OAKBORN 8/24/2010 10:15PM

    So glad that she is on the mend and out of the woods!

Hang in there! All will be well!

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TASOGAREBAN 8/24/2010 7:13PM

    Awww good stuff! Sending you tons of happy hugs and well wishes! :)

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MRE1956 8/24/2010 7:02PM

    emoticon news!

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    Praise The Lord!

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TC9731 8/24/2010 6:10PM

    I'm so glad that things are getting better for you and your family. emoticon

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Restaurant madness

Saturday, August 21, 2010

First and foremost, a MIL hospital update for those following: Status quo from the last update...slow and steady...still in ICU, probably for another week. If she gets out earlier, then it will be joyous gravy!! :)

OK - to the blog at hand:

I have to admit - I really don't eat out at restaurants for several reasons - #1 I have my own personal chef (my dear hubby is that good)---#2 small children and sit down restaurants don't mix (at least mine don't...until now)---#3 we never have a sitter to GO out (hahaha)

So today, I brought the kids to work with me, and I told them, if they were REALLY good, we would go OUT to dinner at a restaurant....and not McDonald's or BK. HOOK----LINE-----SINKER....I had them!! Oh boy oh BOY were they GREAT today!

...... and so, after this long and draining week that ended in the longest workday on record....with kids in tow to boot....we went out to dinner at Ruby Tuesday. Is it Ruby Tuesday, or Ruby Tuesday's???? Anywhooo. I digress...

Did you know that TODAY of ALL days, the nutrition info on the restaurants website was down?? was! I know because I looked! Eeeesssh! I have been SO good, and did not want to break my streak. OK, OK, OK - confession time...I have JUST GOT up into my calorie range each day...and by a hair. That is why I am tracking - so I can GET to that range, because stress now, makes me forget to eat. Talk about a 180!

Now in the place, I looked and drooled at the menu....buffalo chicken sandwich (the waiter was just describing the pretzel bun it was put on and all I saw was a scale wiht numbers next to his head shooting to the sky!), the quesadilla, decisions eye landed on the herb crusted tilapia. "HMmmmm," says I, "Maybe that is the way to go tonight - I never make fish for myself, and I've had this and that before, I can make them at home. But the others are SOOO goood and I have been underall week and blah blah blah blah....." you catch my drift. The menu debate...and a BLIND menu debate too! I have no idea what anything is, so I went half with gut/half with guilt on the decision....the fish.

Now, I like Ruby Tuesday because they give you the correct portion most of the time, the stuff is fresh, a good product...and my kids eat everything on their plates...because it is the correct portion size, even if it is french fries and chicken strips.

The food comes and In literally 5 minutes....we are done eating - we are fast eaters, what can I say. Waiters LOVE us too....not picky, not apt to complain, quick tip, and done! Whallah!

So I get home and start researching...Guess what WORKS now?!?!? The Ruby Tuesday website!!! Ta-DAH!!! and off I run to look things up..on there and on Spark.

All I can say is that I made the BEST choices I could, with the info at hand...probably could have done even better if I had the info I needed, but all in all...not too shabby. It was still a 900 calorie meal...but compaired to one that could have been 2000 or 4000?? I will keep my 900 cal meal, thank you very much.

Which brings me to why I blogged this. It is SO deceiving. What you think are not too bad, are HORRID 80% of the time. A quesadilla, for example was 1300 calories just for that! I could have had the buffalo chicken burger for LESS calories! and those don't even include the sides! Believe it or not, the sirloin was one of the better choices on the menu...and I always thought it was the chicken!

So this girl's lesson is some research first if you can and if not, do the following
- order the broiled fish
- order the sides plain b/c if you don't they will throw the whole hog on it if you don't specifically say not too
- stick to water (the drink alone was a treat, but 200 cals I could have axed easily)

I think it is safe to say that this will be my rule of thumb from now on...unless I am seriously craving something on that menu....THAT is a different story entirely!! and a different blog as well.........

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

DWEXCEL 8/31/2010 7:29AM

    Hey Girl!

You are so lucky that your hubby is the chef at your house. I get the honors here, and I usually don't mind it, but with the heat this summer, 30+ days of right at 90 degrees, with no AC, I have opted to go out to eat more this summer.

Everything you said reminds me of why I got to the weight I was to begin with. My old career job involved taking clients out to lunch all the time, and then after having a long day, I would stop at the drive thru on the way home. It was amazing how much weight I lost just by me doing the cooking at home, and skipping the restaurants!!!!

Another thing is that you expect the food you go out and pay a high dollar for to taste better than what you make at home. NOT! I can't tell you how many times my husband and I will sit down and look at each other and go....OMG if I were having people over for dinner, I would be so embarrassed if my meal turned out like that.

I, like you, started to order the fish, number 1, I knew I needed to eat more of it, and number 2, I didn't really know how to cook it.So that seemed like a logical choice for me. So last summer, I decided I would learn how to cook fish, and I've turned into a pretty good cooker of fish, too, I might add.

At any rate, not only is it hard to maintain good choices when you go out to a restaurant, it is also hard to get food that is better than what you get at home. No wonder people get so fat.......But this summer, I just couldn't take the heat and humidity, so I did get out of the kitchen.....a little bit....LOL

By the way, there is another web site called that you can look up nutritional content on, and it includes every restaurant you can imagine on it. Give it a try.

Take it easy girl!
Donna emoticon emoticon

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YAMINOKODOMO 8/22/2010 1:18PM

    I know exactly what you mean with the calorie intake for certain foods in the menu. I live in New York and a lot of the fast food places and most of the restaurants have the calories on the menu next to the meals. Its crazy how much calories certain things were! I went to a place called Famous Daves Bar B Q and Grill and honestly I dont think there is anything less then 2,000 calories on that menu..

Well with the information not at hand for you, you choose a pretty good meal! Good for you!

And glad to here your MIL is slowly but surely getting better!

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OAKBORN 8/21/2010 8:45PM

    I feel your pain... it's so hard if you can't look at the menu first!!

I had done great all week until I got weak last night and tonight... fried fish, chocolate cookies, ice cream, &c.

But with Army PT today and an extra walk this evening, I am okay and hey! I did better than last week.

You did okay. Tomorrow is another day.

Rah Rah Rah! from your personal cheer squad in MO!

emoticon Keep up the good fight!

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HEALTH4LYFE 8/21/2010 8:07PM

    I found out after I picked a turkey burger at (I think) Ruby Tuesdays as well, that it was about 800-900 calories and the fat content was unbelievable! And almost all of the nutrition information had 0 as the protein amount, which of course, couldn't be right. So, like you, I have learned to research first! and then order.
Have a great day! emoticon

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Thanks for the update

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Thanks everyone for the mother-in-law is still in the ICU, making progress every 2 days or so, that then stables itself off....which is very frustrating!! But I will not be upset, because slow & steady wins the race. emoticon

But seriously...sometimes it feels glacial, and I am not the one sitting in the hospital with her, I am just holding down the fort, but still....that uber-slow glacial feeling is there.

Tension is on the rise in that sense...I heard it in my husbands voice, and I am not the happy go lucky mom with the kids because now I just miss him terribly...and so do the kids. You see, this all happened while they were on the road en route to NC from NY...and now they are all stuck in Delaware - in a hospital and a hotel, watching and waiting for progress. My husband went to be with his dad & mom, and his sisters...thus me "holding down the fort" status (or is it stati - must consult my Latin again) the last few days.

Anyhoo - in the meantime, I have cooked more healthy foods at the kids' request (believe it or not), made more interesting foods, and have eaten very well with all things considered. I only ate chips as a snack one time, had some wine one night I guess the compulsive emotional eater is gone....but replaced by a healthfood zealot who is tracking her calories like her life depended on it. I know exactly where this is coming from - I can CONTROL that part of my life, so I am...ROFL.....might make it down to 130 after all!! Hahahaha! Now, don't go all "she has an issue" all over me...the tracking is actually making me eat, so I DON'T FORGET to eat - because that happens now too...and THAT is NOT good for me or my family that needs me so much now. See...told you I was fine emoticon

OK - I just needed to vent a bit. It's hard when there is no other adult to bounce conversations off of...I'm not used to it....I give single parents a heck of a ton MORE credit now than ever.

Keep praying!! and thank you!!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

IAMLION 8/20/2010 6:22PM

    emoticon sending hugs your way!!! emoticon

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TASOGAREBAN 8/20/2010 1:54PM

    Hey lady, hang in there, ok? You're doing fabulously plus eating is always good, lol! I hope hubby comes back soon, I know what it is to miss someone. :(

On the upside, you seem to be handling it well so stay strong! :) emoticon

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YAMINOKODOMO 8/19/2010 10:31PM

    I am happy to hear that you mother in law is doing a little better. I will keep sending my healing vibes her way, and like oakborn said, hang in there! You can get through this! I know this is a hard time for you and vent all you want. Thats what we are here for! The support you need to help get through some troubled times. emoticon

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OAKBORN 8/19/2010 9:59PM

    Hang in there! You have friends. I'm glad that your MIL is better and sorry it's taking so long. It's hard not to have your other half around to go through this with.


Prayers and good thoughts will continue for you and yours.

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