SAPHRAEL   58,752
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SAPHRAEL's Recent Blog Entries

Open Registration for Biggest Loser Challenge Round 27

Thursday, December 18, 2014

If you are a new or returning member to the BLC, now is your chance to enroll in the next 12 week round scheduled to begin in January! Head over to the registration team and take a gander at the teams!

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2BDYNAMIC 12/20/2014 4:46PM

    I just tried to leave a comment on your page and lately 1/2 the time, they flip out! So decided to try here! Congratulations on the 2# wt loss. Here is a pedicure to celebrate! Thanks for commenting on my blog today!

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Morning Rituals and My New Nutritional Landscape

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

I should be walking, not blogging. I can tell because I feel groggy. I'll take a walk as soon as I get a few words down. The week is young, but so far, so good. I'm down 1.5 pounds from last week.

I'm eating clean, clean, clean, though I'll admit I ate more turkey chili than I needed last night.

I'm fine tuning my morning ritual. I wake between 3 and 4 a.m. Nodding off at 8 p.m. may have something to do with that. I was going to correct it, but I kind of like having some quiet time. I start off with a detox tea and a green smoothie. I make my rounds to my Facebook groups and Spark teams while I have breakfast. Then, I hit the elliptical. Mind you, this ritual has only been re-instituted since Sunday, but this is the routine as it stands! After 30 minutes on the elliptical, I use my skin brush before I hit the shower. I don't know if the benefits are substantiated, but it feels good, and I'm all about that! Today, I did all those things PLUS I made time to polish my nails, a true spa day!

Now it's lunch time and I've finished my second smoothie and a boiled egg and am working on my lemon tea. For some reason, I'm feeling blue. I think I need that walk!!

Now that I'm done with the smoothie cleanse, I've been thinking about adding foods back that I haven't had much of since July. I bought a loaf of whole grain bread this week and had a sandwich Sunday night. I could take it or leave it, which is saying a lot. I have food issues and breads and pastas are near the top of the list.

Dairy is another thing I am not sure I need back in my life. The only dairy I have a healthy relationship with is cottage cheese. It's such a great pairing with just about anything, despite the weird looks from my family! I tend to over indulge on all the other dairy products, so I'm thinking I'll continue to keep them off the buy list.

This week, I've also decided to ban Stevia. Why? Well, I spent the last year eliminating sugar and sweeteners. Even though Stevia may be a healthier alternative to the pink, blue, and yellow, why would I bother with this additive if I'm okay with the natural sweetness of things?

Please comment on your morning rituals, if you have any, and your experiences tinkering with or eliminating foods from your nutrition. I used to be a believer in moderation. I still try to follow that principle when it comes to portions. But this year has been a year of exploration for me in terms of the types of food I eat, expanding, and in some ways contracting, my nutritional landscape. I've enjoyed redefining my acceptable food parameters. I like where I am right now and I'm curious to see what 2015 will bring.

I'm on track to have a loss in December. This will be the first year since I joined Sparkpeople that I did not gain in the month of December. In order to pull it off, I must remember that food is not the focus of our holiday gatherings.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

2BDYNAMIC 12/20/2014 4:51PM

    emoticon for the reminder to get my green drink going; It is waiting for me to blend in the fridge; I drink them daily. My morning routine is waking up about 3:15 as I leave for work @ 5:00 sharp ........... Lately I have been doing T-Tapp for 20 min before work (helps tremendously w/ some pain issues) .............. And my job is very physical so I do much walking and stair climbing. (I made note of some changes in the "Small Changes--Big Difference" blog .............. that thankfully, you read today. Also the loofah is supposed to help (dry brushing) to release toxins from the lymph glands .............. Thanks for THAT reminder as well. (I will not add emoticon as they have been flipping out bad) ................. Good blog!

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PKCTTS 12/17/2014 9:02PM

    I'm not, and never have been, much of a morning person. I like a really slow start. LOL I tend to get between 7 and 7:30. I have a tea w/lemon while I watch financial/market news, check my email and then take a shower. My day does work best of I find some time for yoga and meditation between the shower and getting dressed. And more often than not breakfast is a greens, fruit and rice protein smoothie.

The best exercise time for me has always been in the early evening while I watch TV. I have a nice home gym set up in the family room.

Your routine sounds great and like it's really working for you. Keep it up.

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A_RARE_BEAN 12/17/2014 6:24PM

    Morning ritual is very important to me, if it goes wrong my day kinda sucks. My routine when I have things under control, up at 4, the very first thing I do is dance, I can't help it, I always seem to wake with a song in my head, so I stick my music on and have a 5 min dance party to wake up properly. Then drink a lemon water (normally use half a lemon into 500ml of off the boil water), then get dressed for exercise time, start composing a blog or journalling, then once it hits 5 I'm out the door for my walk, when at home in London this is a two hour walk so I can watch the sunrise over the river and avoid the commuters, so I'm generally home by 7. Then it's breakfast which is always fruit, I prefer oranges sprinkled with cinnamon. Continue writing, then about an hour later I have a green juice and the day begins! Oh I forgot to mention that I shower the minute I get back from my walk.

Being at my mum's house my routine has really taken a hit, the walk is cut down to half an hour - hour, and I've been getting up way later than 4, which I don't like one bit. I always feel like I'm 'chasing the day' when I start after sunrise. But there are good things, like here I can switch out the shower for an epsom salt bath after exercise which always helps my pain levels. I dry body brush too.

I like your routine, I also like getting in the exercise before the day starts up with everyone else in it!

I've played around with food alot too. Here's what works best for me, plants. I am at my best when I spend the morning on juice and fruit and the afternoon on plants, raw or steamed. I seem to have most problems with, dairy, grains, red meat and all sugar outside of fruit. I am coming to the conclusion that simple is best, outside of nightshades I pretty much live on fruits and vegetables and can have moderate amounts of legumes and seeds and white meat.

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INGBADEN 12/17/2014 5:57PM

    i wake up around 5, have a cup of coffee, check in on Facebook and sparkpeople. Starting Saturday I am going to be incorporating a minimum of ten minutes of meditation

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MRSP90X 12/17/2014 4:47PM

    I need to change my morning ritual since I am getting up to late!! I plan on getting up, reading a few chapters of my bible with coffee (what I use xylitol for) and then check in my teams and post what I resolve to do for the day and plans. Do some KB swings in between my bible and SP!! Sounds good to me! Moderation is killing my goals. It just doesn't work for me if I am serious about making progress.

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TRAVELGO 12/17/2014 3:52PM

  What a GREAT blog!! My morning ritual includes a walk (2-3 miles usually) and I try for 4-6 days a week. Then I do my Spark People and then get on with my day. Thanks for sharing with us!

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Prepping for Success

Monday, December 15, 2014

Here is my motivation / action mantra since I began this journey has been "Eat fresh, move often."† I created this for a contest on JJ Smith's VIP group on Facebook.† Three years ago, long before I knew of JJ and the work she's been doing, I was already a disciple, focusing on two legs of the DEM (detox, eat, move) system! I'm still a skeptic about some of the suggested detox methods, but I'm tolerant and willing to listen.† Have you ever heard of or used Castor oil packs?† Warm Castor oil compresses are said to assist in detoxing the liver.† Hmmm...the ladies are using the packs over night and claim to be losing inches.† Hmmm...Here's my dilemma: who am I to knock something if it works for you? However, why do you think the liver is so I'll equipped to do the job on its own? I think the human body is an amazingly resilient system. Being kind to it is easy if you move it regularly and feed it good food.

Anyway, this board is ready to go.† Day 1 of JJ's 30 Day Challenge is marked on the calendar and I have my star stickers to give me credit for every successful day completed.

On January 1, I'll be competing against myself to accomplish 10k steps per day, clean eating,† and portion control. I'll also do strength or yoga 3x week. I'm still working through that plan.† It needs to be simple.

But I'm not waiting for the perfect day on a calendar. I've already started!

I'm not one to do progress pics, but I decided to do this. The before pic on the left is not at my heaviest. I don't think I have any! The progress pic on the right is earlier this month at my daughter's baby shower.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ZANNACHAN 12/15/2014 11:54PM

    Great plan and I love the pics! I'm not familiar with JJ Smith but I'm pretty skeptical of detoxes in general, I confess, so I'd be inclined to do a lot of research (and think critically about my sources) before I'd consider doing one, personally, but that's me. I love the idea of eat fresh and move, though!

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52BINCE 12/15/2014 4:28PM

    Looks like you have set your goals for health n fitness.........I cheer you on to success and I am sure you will meet your goals.....

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MRSP90X 12/15/2014 1:56PM

    emoticon emoticon
To be honest, I am sceptical about JJ Smith. She has a degree in mathematics and executive management. Most liver cleanse can be done with tea and lemon water, and usually only needed with fatty liver disease. It is all up to you, but I always research everything before hand.
emoticon board!! emoticon

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VEG954 12/15/2014 9:48AM

  emoticon emoticon emoticon

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2BDYNAMIC 12/15/2014 8:39AM

    I LOVE this blog; (funny--I've got mine going too--why wait for Jan 1?) ....... I give this a big VOTE and love your motivation poster!!! ........... Keep us posted! ......... :)

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OSDOWNS 12/15/2014 7:20AM

    Sounds like you have a great plan! Great pics!

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Day 10, That's a Wrap!

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Today is the final day of my 10 day smoothie cleanse. How did I do? I didnít take measurements because I couldnít find the tape measure. I did take my weight, almost daily. I dropped 3.5 pounds at one point. Today, Iím down only Ĺ pound. So, Iíll do a final weigh tomorrow, but Iím not expecting a big change.

Once I tire of being disappointed, itís time to face facts and figure out why this didnít work. I wasnít able to stick to the plan, not even for a single day. The cleanse is a serious discipline exercise, requiring mental fortitude I just didnít have. I need to think long and hard about trying it again because I donít know if itís worth the low morale. Itís weird though. Although Iím not seeing results on the scale, the plan gave me such clarity of mind, it felt really good to be working toward something. It was just the feeling of failure that sucked! Forsooth, I canít blame the cleanse. Iíve had this evening food spectre hanging over my head since I began this journey. The plan works. I need to break some habits.

The first few days, I went without protein powder, so I thought that might account for the ravenous feelings at night. Maybe. Then I got the protein powder and I tracked all my food. I was on the low end of my calorie and macro nutrient ranges. Eating higher in my range and consuming more calories earlier in the day mightíve helped. But itís still the elephant in the room that I really need to confront: my evening habits are conducive to overeating. Am I ready to stop eating in front of the TV? Are my husband and I ready to make changes to the evening routine? Until I make changes to this aspect of my life, Iím stuck.

Iíll tell you another thing I thought of as I was driving into work this morning. It seems I have this thought at the end of the day that since I hoarded calories earlier, now is the time to fill up. Ugh! I need some strategies for pushing down those crazy thoughts and setting myself up for success. I need to plan out some overwhelmingly satisfying meals. I need to really slow down when I eat so I donít go back for seconds before my husband even touches his meal (he talksÖa lot). I need to apply the ďhands off the snack cupboardĒ rule to the evenings, as well as the rest of the day, when itís rarely a problem. Iíd remove the junkfood snacks entirely, but I have other family members that eat it. It also wouldnít correct the problem. When we have no junkfood, I get really creative at satisfying a craving!

Maybe at the beginning of the year, Iíll redeem my hot yoga groupon. If I workout after work, that will take up some of that idle evening time. The only problem with that is Iíll have even less waking hours with my husband. I need to work with him to figure something out. Iím hating food right now. Itís such a struggle!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SUSIEGKORN 12/13/2014 10:13AM

    I'm doing Dr. Mark Hyman's 10-day detox right now (I'm on Day 4) and I really like it. You only drink a smoothie for breakfast and the other meals/snacks are all veggies, nuts and seeds, and fish or chicken or grass fed beef. Very healthy and I always feel full. The book is called The Blood Sugar Solution: 10 day Detox Diet. It's an interesting read and has me motivated. I've gotten rid of all my canned goods, pasta, bread, cheese and other processed foods. The book includes a menu plan for the 10 days and recipes, too. It also allows you to change your meal choices and has several detox shake recipes. There is plan for what to do after the 10 days, and even has a few pages dealing with "What if you didn't lose weight or feel better? (p. 213) I'm always skeptical of "cleanses" but this is more of a healthy way of eating than just a cleanse. There are a lot of supplements listed to take, but I'm just sticking with my multi-vitamin. I did buy a fiber capsule, but haven't taken it yet. For now, I'm getting a lot of fiber in my diet. Good luck figuring things out.

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MRSP90X 12/11/2014 1:29PM

    To be honest, I am really not to crazy about cleanses. The low protein will cause more hunger as well as too little healthy fats (also with muscle loss). I make smoothies, but I make sure I have protein and a little fat in it too. The protein and the fat bring the hunger hormones in check as well as insulin. Try eating more protein and fat with veggies during the day and see how you at night. Are you measuring your bodyfat percentage? If you measure your body fat percentage (Navy formula), then you can see if you are having a loss of lean body mass (your muscle) each week. Low protein will do that especially on a cleanse.

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ZANNACHAN 12/11/2014 12:25AM

    2 thoughts to consider... I don't know if they will be helpful for you, but it might be worth thinking about.

1) I find that I snack very little in the evenings, even when watching tv, because my hands are always occupied (often with crafts). Can you find something to do in the evenings that distracts you from eating or otherwise keeps you from eating? It could be anything from picking up a craft, going for a walk, or even drinking a glass of water instead of eating.

2) I know that I generally have no appetite in the morning (I can barely eat 150 calories for breakfast most days) but I have a big appetite at dinner (600-800 calories is the norm, depending on my activity level, or roughly half of my daily allotment of calories). Now, I'm still within my calorie limits over the course of the day, so maybe I shouldn't worry about it, but I have read that evening-appetite is often really common if 1) you don't get enough sleep (as your body is trying to find energy somewhere) or 2) you are really stressed. So maybe it would help to make sure you are getting enough sleep and doing things that help relieve stress, rather than bumping up your protein powder or whatever. (I know, easier said than done!)

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VEG954 12/10/2014 9:43PM


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KENTUCKYMEL14 12/10/2014 4:28PM

    I totally understand your struggle. I've been there, done that more times than I would like to count. What really helps me is to really focus on my water intake. I'm not good at drinking enough water so focusing on that gives my brain something to do and it helps me work towards a bigger goal. It's a win-win. Good luck on all that you do and I wish you well! :)

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1MIN17SECB412PM 12/10/2014 4:26PM

    HILARIOUS little dog face!! emoticon Can I just say one word? Weights. You lift weights, so you're building muscle. You exchanged the fat/water for muscle, hence, no lumpy cottage cheese, but smooth sliced HARD cheese. Looks much better.

Uh oh. I am a mindless grazing muncher at night!You've got some seriously GREAT ideas for fixing this though!! I need to make up some go-to snacks I can graze on that won't mess with my calories but won't take away that slice of enjoyment either. Though, sometimes, padlocking *me* in the dog carrier has crossed my mind. LOL!!

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I'm All About Them Weights

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

I am frustrated to say I still have a cough that's slowing down my workouts. I'm anxious to get back to health, cuz...

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

1MIN17SECB412PM 12/10/2014 4:10PM

    That's what I want to get into. Not major body sculpting (yet - grins) but the continual use of light weights until I can build up my endurance for more - more - MORE!! LOL!! I hope you're on the mend. Check your air filters. I always forget to do that and it wrecks my breathing - breathing in all that dust. LOVE your ocean!! Where is that? I could just stare at that color of aqua forever. emoticon

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GINGKO711 12/10/2014 11:21AM

    Yes, big results with weights! It's a shame so many people (especially women) are afraid of strength training.

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ZANNACHAN 12/10/2014 10:59AM

    Love the tank! I need to get back into strength training more consistently, but I confess I do enjoy my forms of cardio (walking, biking, fencing, dancing, etc.) but I *hate* the treadmill. Only thing worse than the treadmill is the elliptical, because I always feel ill when I use it. Get me out doors, get me doing things that are intellectually engaging, and I enjoy cardio.

Feel better soon!

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MRSP90X 12/10/2014 8:23AM

    emoticon I am still sick too. Yes, weights are better than traditional cardio physiologically on many levels!!

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FORZACHANDMATT 12/10/2014 7:38AM

    This is great - I haven't been doing weights as much lately and boy do I miss them

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SCOUTMOM715 12/10/2014 5:45AM

    Love This!! Hope you feel better soon!

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RASPBERRY56 12/10/2014 5:08AM


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PAULAAUTUMN 12/10/2014 5:02AM

    emoticon I hope you feel better soon and back to doing what you love for exercise.

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KLH702 12/10/2014 1:58AM

    I'm all about the treadmill no weights lol :)

Hope you feel better!!!!

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