SP_STAFF   3,534
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SP_STAFF's Recent Blog Entries

SparkPoints for Blogging

Monday, December 29, 2008



Hi everyone

We are now giving 1 SparkPoint for your first blog post each day! We've found that members who blog get more support, both from other site members and from people outside of SparkPeople (if the member shares their blog).

If you have never blogged on SparkPeople, Coach Jen recently wrote an article about using SparkPeople's blog feature. The article covers both what you can blog about, and also technically how to use the blog. You can click here to read this article.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SAVINGHANNAH 1/7/2009 5:26PM

    Great idea! 1 of my goals for the year is to blog @ least 3 times a week!

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SONGSTER903 1/6/2009 12:28PM

    Great idea again, SPARKGUY!! Thanks!

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POUNDCAKES 12/30/2008 12:02PM

    I just turned over my 25,000 pts. today, a pretty gold trophy!

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BELLYFATPROBLEM 12/30/2008 7:36AM

    I'm mentally ready to tackle the new year. I've already started better eating habits. My problems been mostly eating in the evenings. ALL EVENING LONG!! I've slowly been weaning myself out of this habit. Trying to eat 6-7 small meals a day. About 200-250 per meal. Actually its been working out great!! I actually feel like I can't eat all this food. It's been good food though. I started a note pad of how many calories each good food item was in little boxes. Each page will be different items. One page is meats, another vegetables and so on. Whatever is in the house to eat at that time, I find it on my list and know exactly how many calories it is. I'm sure in time I will just know what everything is calorie wise and not need the list as much. It's a way of keeping me focused on actually what I'm eating. I was in great shape about 3 years ago. I went to a trainer and he told me that weight lose is more what you eat then exercise to lose. He wasn't saying exercise wasn't important, but that I should watch what I eat because it is more important for the weight lose. I wish you all the very best New Year!! emoticon

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LORRAANN77 12/30/2008 1:44AM

    Yay! I totally can do a daily blog...love to write! What a wonderful Idea! emoticon

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STEPPNURSE 12/30/2008 12:38AM

    I'm a relatively new member of sparkpeople and totally new to blogging. I just wanted to say thank you, from the bottom of my heart for being a wonderful person (Chris) and wonderful people (the sparkies) for creating this website. Blessings to You All. emoticon

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LOOKING_UP 12/29/2008 10:29PM

    AWESOME! I'll check it out!! Thanks;-)

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CRACKERMOM 12/29/2008 10:21PM

    I just posted my first blog a few days ago. I enjoy reading other people's blogs so this will be a new incentive for me to blog some, too.

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SHERI1969 12/29/2008 9:53PM

    I've been doing it a long time now and I enjoy it, even without the points. But thanks for the extra boost!

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FISHINGLADY66 12/29/2008 9:51PM

    How exciting.... I love reading Blogs of my friends and I have even made new friends by reading their Blogs.

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NUPATH 12/29/2008 8:26PM

    Great idea. I think that blogging is very good.

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KASSIANDORA 12/29/2008 6:11PM

    Thank you!

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AGOLDIE 12/29/2008 5:26PM

    This is a great added feature! Way to go Sparkpeople!

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COOLMAMA11 12/29/2008 5:15PM

    I blog, but not nearly enough, this is a great idea, it will encourage us to blog more often!

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REMSBABYGRRL 12/29/2008 5:12PM

  Thank You We all could use a little motivation now and again

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HELANEHILWA 12/29/2008 4:50PM

    thank you

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COLEMANSR 12/29/2008 4:39PM

    Thanks.

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ONLYTEMPORARY 12/29/2008 4:34PM

    This is great. Hopefully more people will get active again. I have visited over a hundred pages in the last 2 weeks and only a handful blog or were active in the last several months.
It will make me more active in blogging too as I don't do enough and it is part of our challenges.

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MARYANNE4403 12/29/2008 3:55PM

    GREAT idea, this might get more people to post a blog

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BEEJAY49 12/29/2008 3:40PM

    Great idea! I don't blog a lot, so maybe this will give me more incentive to do so. :)

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REDNECKFEMINIST 12/29/2008 3:05PM

    How very cool, especially since I love blogging! Is this point for just when we post in our blog, or does it also include when we post on other's blogs?

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RAYLINSTEPHENS 12/29/2008 2:27PM

    Way Cool! And I did blog today!!

Thanks SparkGuy!

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TAZ675 12/29/2008 2:26PM

    Awesome!!

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SASSY_QUEEN 12/29/2008 1:25PM

    Whoohooooo....another great idea from the Spark....thank you, thank you.....

The Queen

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WANDAH3 12/29/2008 1:13PM

  Yay, that's awesome. Thank you.


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MRS_TOAD 12/29/2008 12:51PM

    Yeah! It has been getting harder and harder to earn points since I have taken all the polls and read the vast majority of the articles!

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JEEPERSMOM 12/29/2008 12:26PM

    Thanks maybe this will get my butt in gear when it comes to blogging

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100LBLIGHTER 12/29/2008 12:16PM

    Maybe I can get into the blogging thing after the holiday. Thanks for the point.

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New SparkTeams Help Fight Economic Slump

Monday, December 22, 2008



Tough economic times make everything in life harder--including maintaining your healthy lifestyle.

Instead of dwelling on the negatives like bankruptcies, foreclosures, layoffs and cutbacks, SparkPeople is focusing on helping people maintain their healthy lifestyles and look to the future. We aren't trying to make light of the dour economic situation, but we are striving to be a ray of hope that can help people maintain a positive outlook.


SparkPeople has created two teams that will help you make lemonade from this lemon. Join the Beating the Recession Blues SparkTeam or the Laid Off But Staying Strong SparkTeam today.


Beating the Recession Blues


Money worries, job insecurity, high prices--all of these can make maintaining a healthy lifestyle harder than ever. You can let these worries and difficulties turn you into an emotional eater, sidetrack your exercise plans, and generally sabotage your weight loss or fitness efforts. Or you can use them to fine tune your healthy living skills and take your lifestyle to another level.


It's a lot easier to do this when you have some help and support--and when you know your own efforts can also help other people.


That's what this team is all about: sharing stories, tips, information, and strategies we can all use to solve problems, keep each other motivated, and reach our goals.


Laid Off But Staying Strong


Getting laid off, especially when it's unexpected or on short notice, can send shockwaves through every aspect of your life. The added stress of worrying about your finances and your future can make dealing with all your other responsibilities, goals, and projects (including weight loss and healthy living) quite a bit harder as well.



But this can also be a great opportunity to take stock of where you've been, where you are now, and where you want to go from here. It's an opportunity to establish clear priorities, set short- and long-term goals for yourself, and work out strategies for accomplishing those goals. The more you keep yourself looking ahead towards what you want, the more energy and creativity you'll have for making that happen.



For more information on these new teams and our other financial fitness resources, read this article.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SHERI1969 12/28/2008 12:05AM

    These are great teams, but could one be created for people who don't work, but are supported by a pension of some sort? Many on here are either on seniors pensions, old age, social security, disability, etc. Could a team be made for this group as the ones for people with jobs will not apply to this mass group?

Sheri

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TAZ675 12/26/2008 8:13AM

    Thanks!!

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KELSPRETTYGIRL 12/23/2008 3:12PM

    This is a great idea. Stress kills and causes cancer... so let's focus on the positive for sure!

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REDNECKFEMINIST 12/23/2008 1:16AM

    sO VERY COOL

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MARYANNE4403 12/22/2008 7:44PM

    those are GREAT teams, sure will help in the tough times that everyone is going through, you guys/girls are AWESOME here at spark people

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KIMUSH23 12/22/2008 6:37PM

    Great ideas!

emoticonSPARKENDOUSLY Your SPARKPEOPLE Friend Kim emoticon

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MEDIMAMA 12/22/2008 5:09PM

    WONDERFUL IDEA!!!!!
You guys are a Godsend!

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CARLI_MAE 12/22/2008 5:03PM

    Great idea!

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ONLYTEMPORARY 12/22/2008 4:47PM

    This is wonderful, so many are having hard times right now. Thank you.

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SASSY_QUEEN 12/22/2008 4:00PM

    This is another great idea...I am so inspired by your thoughtfulness.....Jo

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NJMYERSFAMILY 12/22/2008 3:41PM

    You guys think of everything! Thanks for all you do to help us live healthy lives!

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BEEJAY49 12/22/2008 3:34PM

    Although things are going well in my home, I think it's wonderful that you're starting these teams to help people! :)

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Find Recipes for the 12 Days of Holiday Cookies!

Friday, December 19, 2008

Baking cookies is a fun holiday tradition--one you needn't forgo once you adopt a healthy lifestyle. That's why we compiled some of our best, slightly healthier recipes for you this holiday season. Thanks to all of you who signed up for our 12 Days of Holiday Cookies email newsletters.

We shared recipes for these delectable treats:
Pumpkin Bars
Skinny Gingies
Christmas Meringues
Cranberry Almond Cookies
German Fruit Bread
Chocolate Emergency Cookies
Chewy Molasses Ginger Cookies
Coconut Meringues
Whole Wheat & Chocolate Chip Cookies
Pecan Cookies with Muesli
Soft Ginger Cookies
Zucchini Brownies

Did you miss one? Want to share a recipe with friends?

Not to worry. You can find all 12 of the recipes here.

Find these recipes and more any time of year at www.SparkRecipes.com
Happy Baking!
--Stepfanie

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

PENNEYV 12/22/2008 10:19AM

    Thanks for the recipes. I have already made several of them to take with me when I have to go to an affair. That way I can make sure that there is something there that is on my list of "go ahead and treat yourself without fear of blowing it."

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JAZZID 12/21/2008 3:09PM

    Thanks for sharing these recipes I will be trying out... emoticon ~ Dee ~

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KELSPRETTYGIRL 12/21/2008 11:17AM

    cool

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MARYANNE4403 12/20/2008 8:48PM

    thanks for sharing them, i am always looking for new and healthy things to make

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WHATAGRL42 12/20/2008 11:24AM

    I'm on it! emoticon

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IF-SO-GIRL 12/20/2008 12:30AM

    Wow they all sound so good. Not baking this year though just had to cut back it was gifts or baking and my grand babies come first.

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FISHINGLADY66 12/19/2008 7:36PM

    Thank you I have already picked out the ones I will make.

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MISSY372 12/19/2008 6:31PM

    thank you. will be useing these

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COLEMANSR 12/19/2008 4:22PM

    Thank you, I will be using these.

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COOLMAMA11 12/19/2008 3:56PM

    Thank you for all the wonderful recipes! Elaine

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TZH4145 12/19/2008 3:16PM

    Thank you for those delicious cookie recipes.

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KIMUSH23 12/19/2008 3:10PM

    YUMMO
emoticonSPARKENDOUSLY Your SPARKPEOPLE Friend Kim emoticon

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BEEJAY49 12/19/2008 2:28PM

    emoticonThank you. :)

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JEEPERSMOM 12/19/2008 11:59AM

   
Thank you wonderful recipes

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POSITIVELY_EB 12/19/2008 11:42AM

    emoticon

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WILDCARD1 12/19/2008 11:40AM

    thanks!

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SPARKLINGHOPE 12/19/2008 11:32AM

    Thank you!

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TAZ675 12/19/2008 11:29AM

    Thanks!

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Coach Nicole's Fitness Starter Kit DVD Now Available!

Thursday, December 18, 2008



When we first told you about SparkPeople's Fitness Starter Kit, your comments were overwhelmingly positive. But we noticed a trend: Many of you had all or most of the Kit's equipment already and wanted to purchase just the DVD, not the whole Kit. Loyal members, we heard you loud and clear. We're happy to report that you can now purchase the Fitness Starter Kit DVD in the SparkPeople Store!

The SparkPeople Fitness Starter Kit DVD is on sale for just $10. It contains two full-body workouts: one that uses a stability ball and another that uses a resistance band. These short and effective workouts are easy to fit into your day. Coach Nicole designed them exclusively for the SparkPeople Starter Kit, which means you can't get these workouts anywhere else!

Click here order the Fitness Starter Kit DVD today!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

FIRERAVEN9 12/20/2008 1:10PM

    This is great! Thanks a bunch.

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IF-SO-GIRL 12/18/2008 8:41PM

    Oh great! It's good to know and what a wonderful idea.

I wish you'd come up with pins to wear also. Another good way to spread the Spark.

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COLEMANSR 12/18/2008 8:14PM

    Thanks.

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TLAIR0468 12/18/2008 6:55PM

    Way cool! Thanks!!

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MARYANNE4403 12/18/2008 6:19PM

    thanks for letting us know

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WALLOWA 12/18/2008 5:31PM

    hi... wasn't quite sure where to put this suggestion but I think its timely... I'm seeing huge numbers of posts from emotional eaters and dealing with depression teams. Clearly it's good that the teams are there, but the number is so disproportionate to what I usually see that I thought I'd point it out. Likely you folks monitor such thing in order to plan articles, yet I thought that that might indicate a special need right now to revisit or feature existing articles or to address in coach blogs --

Just a thought. I myself am getting through a usually rough season with much more style thanks to the site and the efforts of the staff. Kathy

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MISSY372 12/18/2008 4:54PM

    emoticon emoticon

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SPARKLINGHOPE 12/18/2008 4:32PM

    emoticon

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KIMUSH23 12/18/2008 4:27PM

    Great!

emoticonSPARKENDOUSLY Your SPARKPEOPLE Friend Kim emoticon

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RD03875 12/18/2008 3:51PM

    Thank you! What a GREAT Christmas present from Spark People!

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TAZ675 12/18/2008 3:40PM

    Awesome!


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JUST__TURTLE 12/18/2008 3:38PM

    This is absolutely FABULOUS! Thank you so much...I am definitely going to be buying next paycheck! SP ROCKS!

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BEEJAY49 12/18/2008 3:25PM

    Thank you so much!

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AL_ROX 12/18/2008 3:18PM

    Thanks so much for making the workout short and (especially) for making it affordable. SparkPeople Rocks!

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ONLYTEMPORARY 12/18/2008 3:11PM

    This is fantastic! Thank you so much.

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3 New Features on Your Nutrition Tracker

Monday, December 15, 2008



Good afternoon, SparkPeople!

We're always listening to your suggestions and requests, and I'm happy to report that our Team has been hard at work adding a few Nutrition Tracker features that you're going to love!

Here's what you'll see on your newly updated Nutrition Tracker:

1. Subtotals below each section for breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks: This was a request from many of our members who wanted to see how their nutrients add up meal-by-meal and at the end of the day. You'll find subtotals in red for calories, carbs, fat and protein!


2. "Remaining" Values for the day: At the bottom of your Tracker, you'll now see how many calories and other nutrients you have left, in addition to how many you've consumed. This makes it easy to know exactly how much you still need to eat to meet your nutrition goals for the day!


3. Report for Nutrition Notes: Next to your Nutrition Notes, is a new button that reads "See Notes Report." When you click this button, a window will open that shows all the days where you entered any Nutrition Notes, as well as the calorie totals you tracked on those days. This report defaults to show the past month, but you can change it to show any date range they would like.


If you have any questions about using these new features, please post them in the Site/Technical Help forum to receive an answer. We think these new features are valuable additions to the site, and we hope you agree! Check them out yourself!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

PATRICE1539 2/9/2009 12:45PM

    Thanks for the addition. I love to compare my energy levels through the day with numbers for what meal I ate. emoticon

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S1HEENA 1/25/2009 10:31AM

  I like this new feature, too. It is really informative and helps to keep me on track. Thank you!

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SUMMARAH 1/21/2009 6:25PM

    This is awesome! I have seen the improvements to the site, and have been very grateful for all of them. I used to have to pull up my daily report to be able to see the totals per meal. This way, it's right there. Way to go!!! Thank you.

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JLF0744 1/21/2009 12:41AM

  I have a problem with sodium. The subtotals help me identify high sodium foods. emoticon

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DRLSMUTTI 1/19/2009 5:50PM

  Thanks for the additions. The only other thing I'd really like to see is somewhere to enter the time I ate what I ate.

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FUMANE74 1/12/2009 5:57PM

    Thanks for the additions to the food tracker, it has been very helpful. Now I don't have to do the calculating myself. emoticon

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DSCHRANK1 1/12/2009 10:53AM

  The new features are really user friendly. Great addition to the plan.

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CATKEEPER 1/10/2009 10:16AM

    Love the changes - they help so much. Thanks for listening to our needs!

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KATHYV65 1/7/2009 10:14PM

    Love the changes guys. What an eye opener. I eat as many calories in my snacks through out the day as I do my meals for the whole day. Must change some of my snack foods or choose to only have one snack a day instead of 2.

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MORE2ME 1/7/2009 9:39PM

    Sparkpeople,

I love this site and have been using it on and off since 07. I have told so many and they now use it too and LOVE IT!

I would just like to make a suggestion to help tracking food easier. Although I am loving that you can now copy an entire meal to another day instead of having to plug in each item in daily; how about making it even better so you can copy and individual food item to another day? Most days I eat a lot of the same things and would love it if I could just copy that 1 item instead of the entire meal then have to delete the other items I am not eating that day.

~Melissa

emoticon

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SCOOTERMAMA56 1/7/2009 7:50AM

    These features are AWESOME!!! Thank you thank you

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TRICIA08 1/6/2009 11:40PM

    I was beyond excited to see all 3! BRAVO!

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TWEETSMOM 1/6/2009 9:43PM

    i've been away for awhile - just discouraged & disgusted with myself. then our local ymca started a biggest loser challenge. hubby & i both joined - which has given me a new outlook & desire to lose weight for me - and also to get ready for our daughters wedding. so, trying to get it back together, i signed back on to sparkpeople. what a PLEASANT surprise to see the updates!! thanks so much for taking care of us & finding new ways to help us stay motivated!!!

emoticon

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MIZTALLDIZ 1/6/2009 8:25PM

    I like this! It makes it soooo easy! I was debating between using this site and another and what you've done with the nutrition tracker has helped me make up my mind! Thanks!
emoticon emoticon

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DEANAC20 1/6/2009 5:43PM

    I love the new addition of the totals! Helps to show where I might be eating more then I should during the day!

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BETHANNE1824 1/6/2009 2:37PM

    Thx for the remaining addition it halps cuz i was constantly doing math and getting frustrated lol! its a lot less stress thx

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BETAMOMMY 1/5/2009 7:55PM

    Well, I'm so new I didn't even know how much it had improved. All I knew, is that it was so easy. emoticon

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MRANDAISY 1/5/2009 7:48PM

    This site is great thanks so much. emoticon

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SUMMERPEN 1/5/2009 6:26PM

    You guys/gals are amazing. Thank you!

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SHANNON_G 1/5/2009 11:34AM

    XLNT ~ Sparkle - Updating the information we can actually USE to better benefit Ourselves....THX emoticon

Luv Spark

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BELLACUDDLES 1/5/2009 7:54AM

    This is soooooo cool! Thanks once again! Spark rocks!!

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MARYMW2 1/5/2009 12:09AM

  I also love the remaining today feature. Keeps you on track. Thanks emoticon

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SWEETTOOTH36 1/4/2009 4:56PM

    I love the "remaining for the day " add-on. Now I don't have to pull out my calculator emoticon

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MERTPTA 1/4/2009 2:38PM

    Thanks for the new features. They will really help in tracking my daily intake. emoticon

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QUEENLATIFA 1/4/2009 12:01PM

    It seems to me these additions to the nutrition tracker have already helped me keep up on what I'm doing better. I could have figured it all out before (and did some times) but now it is right there for me to see every day and I have to make a choice to go over my totals instead of being able to justify it by saying "oops, didn't realize I only had 100 calories to go".
emoticon

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223DAISY 1/4/2009 11:12AM

    I love the new features! Especially the break down of each meal. It's nice to know how much is taken in per meal. I can possibly add the needed amounts in another meal.

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ACCESSDENIED 1/4/2009 2:34AM

    I really like the new features, so much better, especially showing what we have left for calories and the others for the rest of the day. emoticon

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GETTO140 1/3/2009 6:57PM

    Great new features..I noticed them before I read this blog. WOO HOO!!

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PUMA020410 1/3/2009 2:35PM

    Its awesome, its so much better then the weight lose sites you have to pay for, THANKS! emoticon

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GOALIEGRANDMA3 1/3/2009 9:31AM

    I love the w ay it is set up. I am new, and don't know how it was before, but I like seeing my meal to meal progress. In tracking just two days I am able to see where I am eating too much of some nutrients ( carbs), and not enough protein and fats. This is so helpful.

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MKPQ51 1/3/2009 2:13AM

    I really like the new features; thanks for the additions! I especially like the nutrition sub totals.

Kat

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MGARREN 1/2/2009 2:01PM

    emoticon
I love the new features. Thank you for adding them in.
emoticon

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SLIMDERELLA 1/2/2009 10:11AM

    I like the new features on the nutrition tracker. I have four friends that have joined me on Sparks and they like it too

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KARENSHERE 12/31/2008 7:05PM

  Seeing the nutrition totals of each meal is an excellent addition. I have long wished that they would do that, but didn't think to suggest it. Thanks to those who suggested it and those who put it in place.
Way to GROW sparkpeople!

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HONEYGRAHAM11 12/31/2008 1:09PM

    I started out only using the exercise goals, but starting now I will also use the nutrition goals as well. The SparkPeople site is an amazing help to everyone and the newest changes in the nutrition tracker will only make the site better for all concerned. What an absolutely wonderful mission that reaches such a multitude of people!!
Thanks for all you have offered of yourselves for others!
emoticon

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O2BFIT34 12/31/2008 9:40AM

  Love the new additions!!

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JOYFUL_DEBBIE 12/31/2008 3:16AM

    I love the nutrition tracker especially the new features! It shows the impact of what I eat throughout the day in numbers that say it all.

Is it possible to add a section to track glucose readings through out the day? It would save having to keep two separate records. Right now I use the notes section, but having a section that shows "before meal" or "2 hours after meal" would link the results to the food eaten in a very visible way. Any hoo, after searching the web for a good nutrition tracker with all the categories it was my sister who told me about SparkPeople and now my daughters and friends are onto it. Thanks for having such a well designed site that is user friendly in all ways.

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MARGARETLOUISE1 12/30/2008 6:35PM

  This is great!

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DARAK. 12/30/2008 6:13PM

  I actually tracked my food today and told my husband about these exact features that you added. It helped me to feel good about what I ate when I looked at the totals. Plus, now I can use wisdom on my supper!!! Thanks. I usually think that I can't eat hardly anything when I am "behaving". Today, I saw that I could eat more!

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GOPIRATES! 12/30/2008 2:54PM

  The new features on it are so great to have! Thanks for making this such an easy-to-use site! emoticon

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MJPBOOKS 12/30/2008 2:28PM

  This is a wonderful improvement. I would also like to see a fiber tracker as well. emoticon

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MAMASLUGG 12/30/2008 12:41PM

  Thanks for these new features. You just continue to make this a user-friendly website.

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DEBORFUL 12/30/2008 11:20AM

    Wow! Those are all wonderful (and very useful) additions to the Nutrition Tracker. I always thought the SparkPeople website was extremely well constructed and very user friendly. The fact that you continue to improve and refine it only makes it a better place to reach all those weight and fitness goals! , emoticon

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JENJOE2002 12/30/2008 10:54AM

    Great!! I am excited to come back after a little bit of getting off course! I am ready for the new year with a new me! emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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SAILINGAWAY2 12/30/2008 10:30AM

    The subtotals are great. I love knowing where I am at during the day. :)

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36243657 12/30/2008 10:10AM

  I also think these new features are a very valuable additions to the site, the site was fantastic before even more fantastic now I'm addicted to it Thanks emoticon

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SHAY4HIM 12/30/2008 2:30AM

    Love the new features! Thanks again SP! :o)

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ANNIEMARIE6 12/29/2008 11:25PM

  I enjoy the new Nutrition Tracker because it gives me more information about my eating habits. I like at the bottom where it tells me how many calories I consumed and how many I have left. With the mtotal after every meal shows me which meal that I consume the most calories. Keep up the good work. emoticon

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IAMKELSEYH 12/29/2008 9:54PM

    great!

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BEADMARIE 12/29/2008 6:44PM

    This is GREAT! Just what I was needing. THANK YOU SO MUCH!!! emoticon

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