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Learning "Traditional" Cross Country Skiing. We liked it so much we went back the next day!

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Day 2 of our Cross Country Ski Fandango Weekend (2-6-11)


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I have made a lot of bad decisions and bad choices. Now i’m not feeling great about that. So I’m starting over yet again. I’m the heaviest I’ve ever been. I live just outside of Chicago and I work in the city. My mom recently passed away and my daughter is at Vet school at the University of Minnesota. I’m dealing with a challenging job, arthritis, high blood pressure, and i’ve had back surgery. I’m learning to relax and how to sleep. I’m an insomniac but I’m trying different things to deal with that. My husband is also restarting his program. Edited 8/5/19: My goal is to lose 50 pounds. I’ve managed to lose more ground but I’m starting phone conversations with a weight loss coach through my health insurance company. I’m researching weight loss physicians. Do they exist? How does one find one? I’m also going to look and see if the research hospitals near me have any group programs. I need to start moving forward at least a little bit.

Member Since: 12/26/2007

Fitness Minutes: 95,371

My Goals:

Re-Restart 10/6/16 194.2 lbs
Restart 4/11/15 176.25 lbs
Short Term Goals:
175 by 4/30/15 by consuming 1700 calories per day and walking 25 miles per week.

Mid-Range Goals: Ride my bike to the train at least 3 days per week. Go to gym for strength training at least twice per week. Yoga twice per week for flexibility.

Long range goal: Loose 10 pounds by November 2015. Goal is 166.25.

My Program:
I'm currently on a voyage of discovery over here. I am in search of my program. I think I need to get my eating under control first.

Personal Information:
Countryside, Illinois - Western Suburbs of Chicago.

Mom and wife.

Bike rider and walker.

Community Gardener.

Finished a Warrior Dash and a very hilly 5k called the Bullfrog Run.

Other Information:
Rheumatoid Arthritis for the past 25 years.

spine surgery Laminectomy L5-S1.

Family member with severe lactose intolerance.

Read More About KARENISASTAR - Profile Information moved here. (Updated August 5)

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    Our neighbors have dogs but we have a fence around the garden. We have clay soil here too and make tons of compost to amend it. We are not packed in but have tall trees. I think the community garden idea is an interesting one.
    1338 days ago
  • v JUSTYNA7
    Our favourite way to cook vegetables is to roast them. Put spices in a zip lock (chili, garlic, salt and pepper; or cumin, tumeric, chili flakes; or soy sauce, garlic, salt and pepper) and then add popcorn size chopped vegetables and drizzle with olive oil. Close bag and shake until well coated. Spread in a roasting pan or on a cookie sheet (parchment lined if you don't want dishes) and bake 350 F for about 20-30 minutes. We love cauliflower, brussel sprouts, mushrooms, carrots, broccoli, zucchini, peppers, parsnips... any of these either on their own or a mixture. They can turn a little black. I've used kale or spinach in the mix too. Another spice mix would be morrocan with cinnamon cumin curry... and just garlic and salt and pepper is fine too. You can just mix it all in the pan if you prefer not to use the zip lock bag but if I prepare the vegetables and refrigerate them then they are ready to throw in the oven at dinner time. Best if it is a single layer or they take longer and you need to stir every half hour. If there are leftovers they make a great soup.

    1355 days ago
  • v JUSTYNA7
    Power doughnuts (I am sure I could use muffin tins)

    .75 cup oat flour (I pulse rolled oats in the blender until it turns to flour)
    .5 cup chia seeds
    1.5 tsp. Baking powder
    .25 tsp. Sea salt
    .25 tsp. Cinnamon
    .33 cup maple syrup or other liquid sweetener
    .33 cup non dairy milk
    1 tsp. Pure vanilla extract

    Coconut lemon Whipped Cream to drizzle on top if desired.

    1. Preheat oven to 300 F. Lightly grease a 6 cavity doughnut pan with oil. Set aside.
    2. In a large bowl combine the oat flour, chia seeeds, baking pwder, salt and cinnamon
    3. Add the maple syrup, milk, and vanilla and stir until combined. Batter will be runny.
    4. Spoon the batter int eh the prepared doughnut pan, filling each cavity to the top.
    5. Bake the doughnuts for 22-26 minutes, until firm to the touch. A toothpick inserted into a doughnut should come out clean.
    6. Cool the doughnuts in the pan for about 10 minutes, and then carefully invert the pan onto a cooling rack. If they don't pop out cool them a bit longer first.
    7. Drizzle with lemon whipped cream.

    Whipped cream from coconut milk:
    1 14 ounce can full fat coconut milk
    1-2 Tbsp. Sweetener to taste
    1 vanilla bean

    OR for lemon whipped cream add 1 Tbsp lemon juice and 2 Tbsp sweetener
    OR for chocolate add 3-4 Tbsp sifted cocoa and 2 Tbsp sweetener and a pinch of sea salt

    Chill the coconut milk overnight or at least 9 hours.
    Chill a bowl in the freezer
    Flip the chilled can upside down and open with a can opener, pour off the coconut water (good for smoothies)
    Scoop out the solid coconut cream into chilled bowl.
    Beat the cream with an electric mixer until fluffy and smooth.
    Add sweetener and other flavourings from above
    Will last in fridge in a sealed container up to 2 weeks. Firmer when chilled and softer at room temp.

    1355 days ago
  • v JUSTYNA7
    You mentioned you are not cooking with oil? Just frying or no oil at all? Hmm. I cook a lot in olive oil as a healthy fat. I'm diabetic and fats are a big part of controlling my blood sugar and stopping me from being hungry. I'll let you look at some of the recipes and see what you think.

    Tahini Thumbprint cookies

    2 cups brown rice flour
    1 cup ground almonds
    .5 cup ground pecans
    1 cup sesame seeds
    1 tsp. Sea salt
    2 tsp. Cinnamon
    1 Tbsp. Vanilla extract
    .5 to .75 tahini (if it is very runny you need less)
    3/4 to 1 cup maple syrup

    Apple butter or jam (we use no sugar raspberry)

    Add all dry ingredients in a large bowl and mix thoroughly. Add the tahini and maple syrup an mix thoroughly. Massage cookie mixture with hands to release the oils of the round nuts until mixture sticks together to form a ball. If after massage the dough does not form a ball, add a small amount of water. Take cookie mixture and spoon out with an ice cream scoop into ball on a non-stick cookie pan. Flatten ball with a fork and form a “thumbprint” in the middle of cookie and fill with apple butter or jam. If making smaller cookies (bite size) use the end of a wooden spoon to make the hole and fill it.

    Bake at 350 F for 10-12 minutes or until golden brown.

    Recipe says one serving has:
    High in calcium (one large cookie = 1.5 cups milk.
    281 calories
    14 g fat
    1.6 g saturated fat
    0 cholesterol
    128 mg sodium
    227 mg potassium
    25 Total carbs
    4 g fibre
    12 g sugar
    6 g protein

    1355 days ago
    Thanks! The results are not unique to me though. There are a lot of people who have had the same results. R.A. is an immune disorder and some experts think the trigger is in the bowel - specific food intolerance. I had the advantage of having progressive doctors. They tried meds first and I don't do well with meds. I had significant side effects with even the mildest ones. Due to my mom and dad both suffering severe complications due to arthritis meds - mom got renal failure, dad had a heart attack, plus my son's kidney problems when he was a preschooler - my mom's and son's nephrologist felt that I needed go another route than meds which are usually either liver toxic or kidney toxic. So it was worth a try and it worked for me. There is a lot of info online about diets helpful to R.A. I don't know that they work for everyone but they are healthy and lead to weight loss, and I loved the foods as I love fish, eggs, fruits, veggies, seeds, nuts, healthy fats. I don't know any doctors who don't approve of at least this part of the diet. Most of them are moving away from added sugar and highly processed foods. A diet strictly with plants is great for some people but it tends to raise some of your inflammation markers. Many vegans have low blood levels of vitamin B-12, vitamin D, calcium, and essential fatty acids and due to the latter they have higher levels of homocysteine and lower levels of HDL. If you end up not being able to handle the meds you might find a doctor who is into this approach. I'm really glad I found it. I was in a wheelchair a lot before I did. Once for a month and a half straight. My knees were a huge problem for me. I am no longer going broke from paying for doctors, meds, P.T. Nightmare! They don't make much money off of you when you are healthy. This diet also helped my B.P. and other things too like seborrhea. I hope you can get some relief soon!!! Good luck!
    1368 days ago

    Comment edited on: 1/23/2017 8:59:42 AM
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