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    6.05.2008 ||>   If it's not food... what is it?

    I worked at McDonald's for three years, and I usually defend it against people that say it's styrofoam. Well, not any more.

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    Sepra was livin' easy on 8:23:00 AM || Site Feed ||

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    5.09.2008 ||>   I'm 24!

    After looking at those web advertisements for a long time, I finally took the test at RealAge. Apparently, while I am 28 years old, my body is in fact 24. That's good news!

    Although, I really think the test is lacking and some of the age calculations are completely arbitrary. Like, did you know that going over the speed limit can age you? Yeah, neither did I, but my habit of going 5 miles over means I am .3 years older than I could be because "going over the speed limit shortens your life expectancy." Which is okay, but it wouldn't age me, that makes no sense. This isn't supposed to be a life expectancy test, it's an aging test.

    Also, the nutritional analysis isn't there. They keep saying I get too much saturated fat. But, I don't eat meat, and very rarely eat dairy, so where is all this saturated fat coming from? Nowhere, that's where. But they didn't ask, and there isn't an "are you a vegetarian" question on there, which really makes me wonder about the whole test.

    I liked the test, because it was okay after all, I just wish they wouldn't be so shady and arbitrary.

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    Sepra was livin' easy on 11:21:00 AM || Site Feed ||

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    1.30.2008 ||>   Ode to Greens

    my green smoothie!Mmmm... my morning smoothie! I promise it tastes better than it looks. Today's smoothie has:

    1 cup strawberries
    1 cup blueberries
    1 tbsp flax
    1 cup water
    3 dates
    rest of the blender full of spinach.
    (About 4 cups)

    All in all, it's the complete Recommended Daily Intake for fruits and vegetables for the day. So, the rest of the day is just gravy with the soups and salads that usually make.

    Snuggles has been on the smoothies since he became ill last month and is in much better health since he started. I completely skipped cold/flu season so far, and it doesn't look like I will be getting sick at all.

    It's weird because I thought the idea was terribly gross before I tried one out. And now, I feel deprived without my morning smoothie, with a banana and some nuts or seeds.

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    Sepra was livin' easy on 5:48:00 PM || Site Feed ||

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    10.31.2007 ||>   Other Scores

    In addition to my GMAT scores, I also received some blood test results from my doctor this past week. When I took the test two years ago, I weighed 141 pounds and had a total cholesterol of 199. Which was horrible, considering I was only 26 and had been a vegetarian for 13 years at that point.

    So, when I weighed myself at the doctors, it turns out I have lost 16 pounds, and am now back again to being my high school weight of 125, but even better, my cholesterol is now 163! My goal is to get it down below 150, of course, but I am definitely on my way.

    I'm very happy to have passed this test.

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    Sepra was livin' easy on 9:54:00 AM || Site Feed ||

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    10.12.2007 ||>   Semi Healthy-made

    Veggie Eggplant Florentine
    I do most of the cooking in the Snuggles-Sepra household. In the summertime when we have fresh produce, I usually cook from scratch because it's actually easier for me to do that than cook with processed food because it's the way I learned. And the more I hear about eating processed foods, the less I like, so it's a good thing I cook this way.

    But some days, I am hungry, with a full freezer and just want to throw something together. I read on my new favorite site, a recipe for Eggplant Pancakes Florentine that looked good awhile back, but a bit too complicated. On this night, I had eggplant patties and creamed spinach in the freezer, fresh tomatoes and garlic on the shelf and I was too hungry to care about how processed dinner was.

    I baked the eggplant while microwaving the creamed spinach and chopping the tomatoes. I mixed in the garlic while everything cooled and layered the eggplant and spinach, topping with the tomato-garlic sauce. We also had some corn on the cob, so I boiled some of that and viola! A semi-healthy, semi homemade dish that Snuggles and I could eat fast.

    It was tasted great and even met with the highest honor for Snuggles: "You can make that anytime you want." Hell, who needs the Nobel Peace Prize when you get those kinds of accolades!

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    Sepra was livin' easy on 10:07:00 AM || Site Feed ||

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    6.06.2007 ||>   Shooting myself in the foot

    So earlier last week, I got down to my goal weight of 125 pounds, which is a 15 pound weight loss from what I weighed in March. I have not weighed this since the year 2000, when my father died and I ate myself into a diabetic coma on a regular basis with crap college food. I didn't even weigh this in the Peace Corps, when I got food poisoning on a regular basis and threw up 3% of all my meals.

    Because of this weight loss, whenever I see all those weight loss ads on TV that try to get you to be a trimmer, slimmer you, I roll my eyes and think about how happy I am that I was able to do it and how I don't need to listen to that stuff anymore. I actually enjoy getting on the scale or looking at myself in the mirror. I enjoy trying on size 6 pants at Ann Taylor Loft, and having them fit like a dream.

    So, of course this week I have eaten a pack of six oreos for lunch every day this week and today even had two packs. This last weekend I also had a small dish of Cold Stone ice cream. I need four words to describe how I feel now: I am blowing it. The thing is, that this is not the first time I have blown it. I remember in 1998, when I was a slim 119 pounds, that I got a love for chocolate milkshakes. I had one everyday until I was back up to 128. This time, will I shoot my goals down with Oreo bullets? Will I not be able to maintain?

    By posting this, I am hoping that it will shame me into getting back on track with my maintenance diet. That I will make more vegetable-only meals and not eat processed snack food. That I will be able to get my cholesterol down to at least 150 by my next doctor's appointment. That I will reach all my goals.

    Wish me luck, and feel free to scold. Apparently, I need it.

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    Sepra was livin' easy on 8:26:00 PM || Site Feed ||

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    5.24.2007 ||>   The best idea ever

    The bf and I have joined a CSA - which is short hand for saying that we bought food shares at a local farm cooperative in Lancaster County. For approximately $20 per week (paid in full upfront), we get 8-10 food shares, which this week are:

    1 1/2 pound bag of baby lettuce mix
    1 bunch French breakfast radishes
    1 head bok choy
    1 bunch pea tendrils
    1 1/4 pound bag baby red Russian Kale
    1 8oz package cremini mushrooms
    1 1/4 pound bag mustard greens
    1 bunch scallions

    It's cheap, it's organic and it supports local farms in the area. But of course, there is the taste, which is absolutely divine. They harvest everything 2 days before we get it, so everything just has a richer taste that you can't buy in stores, or even some farmer's markets.

    My only regret is that I think we should have bought 2 full shares, and doubled up on everything. With the way that we are eating veggies on our new diet, all the stuff that we get will be gone by Sunday or Monday.


    Sepra was livin' easy on 6:53:00 AM || Site Feed ||

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    4.21.2007 ||>   Victory!

    Ever since I was a teenager, it was always difficult for me to gain or lose weight. I stayed at the same weight from the 8th grade until my junior year of college. The only exception being during my senior year of highschool when I weighed 119 pounds for about 5 months. That was destroyed by my obsession with chocolate milkshakes.

    In 2000, my weight shot up, and has been steadily growing, but I still could not lose weight. Portion control and counting calories just made me very hungry and didn't help me lose weight. And the point is, vegetarians shouldn't be overweight, and I was worried about that.

    About a month ago, I picked up Eat to Live, which is a book by a physician in New Jersey named Dr. Fuhrman. It's a book about how to reduce cancer and heart disease wrapped up in a diet book package that helps youlose weight.

    In the three weeks that I have been on it, I have lost about 5 pounds, and I seem to be losing about a pound and a half a week. It has been... incredible. I have never lost easily, but now it is coming off and I am not hungry. It has been frustrating sometimes, and my boyfriend has been coming along kicking and screaming and whining. But we are both looking better and I feel better.

    The diet is really just common sense, and I can't believe that I had to read a book to tell me this stuff: it was like being hit with a clue-by-four. The trick is to fill up on stuff that is nutrient-dense and low calorie first, and eschewing fatty, calorie-rich things. Duh. If you are full from salad, there is no room for lasagna. Makes perfect sense.

    The diet for the first six weeks is this: You can eat as much as you want of green, leafy vegetables, low starch veggies (carrots too!), fruits and beans. The goal is to eat 1lb raw and 1lb cooked every day. You can only have a cup a day of whole grain starches (brown rice, potatoes, corn, and whole grain bread), 2oz of avocado and 1oz of nuts. You cannot have animal products (meat or dairy), juice or dried fruit.

    You also cannot have added salt, sugar or oil, which has been tough since I traditionally use all three in small doses on all my meals. For that, Trader Joe's Fat Free Balsamic Vinaigrette has been great. On the salt front, I have cheated, as it is sometimes too difficult to flavor sometimes without it. I have not had any oil, and maybe there was some hidden sugar or juice that I didn't see.

    The first week, I felt... great. Like my body was saying, "Finally, I get all the vitamins!" I still feel good, but now it seems normal to not get sleepy after lunch. As I said earlier, the bf has not fared so well. He is going through some serious meat withdrawal, and has been saying that all he wants in the world is a cheeseburger. Of course, all he wanted last week was a pretzel, and then he didn't like it, so we'll see what happens in another three weeks.

    In three weeks, we move on to a more relaxed diet. We'll see how that goes.


    Sepra was livin' easy on 2:11:00 PM || Site Feed ||

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    11.13.2006 ||>   Not Only Ointment

    I went to GNC yesterday to get more protein powder for the aforementioned protein diet. I was pretty excited, as the powder I found was about 100 calories for every 20g of protein and less actual mix. Less powder = easily consumed milkshake. This morning, I cracked it open and opened it. I shook it around a bit and saw something that looked like the edge of a scoop. I grasped the edge and pulled it out.

    It wasn't a scoop.

    I really don't know how a fully formed fly can actually find itself perfectly preserved in a powder. Like many parts of bugs in average food, it shouldn't it by all rights get mashed in the mix, leaving me blissfully ignorant? But no, it was whole and lightly dusted with protein powder.

    Many thoughts went through my head in the instant I plucked it from its grave. Had I still been in the Peace Corps, I would have probably just shrugged, chucked it, and made myself a shake. For a second, I thought of doing that. However, I have other, more squeamish people to consider. My second thought was one of frustration , as I only had the higher calorie shake mix to use today rather than this low calorie powder.

    Tonight, we are taking it back to exchange. I'm not outraged or anything, but I do want a new canister. And maybe a coupon for something else. That would be nice.

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    Sepra was livin' easy on 12:25:00 PM || Site Feed ||

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    11.07.2006 ||>   Choking it down

    Next week, I have a doctor's appointment with the doctor that told me to lose weight last year. So, for the past three weeks, I have been dieting in order to get a seal of approval from the doctor that I am healthy. Also, I have been wanting to lose weight since I came back to America and I seemingly got all my lost weight back at Customs.

    For the first week, I just exercised and ate like usual, but I only gained a half pound. Now, I am still exercising and doing the LA Shape Diet, which consists of two high-protein meal replacements and a protein-rich dinner. Supposedly, I am to consume 100 grams of protein a day. Each shake is to have 35 grams of protein in them, and is by far the hardest thing about this diet. Not because I'm hungry (believe me, I'm not), but because getting a thick, protein-laden shake down my throat makes me want to throw it right back up. Yesterday's strawberry kiwi shake almost killed me. Today's pumpkin-banana was better, but was still hard to take.

    On the upside, I do think I'm losing weight this week. I can see a hint of cheekbone, which is always a good sign. Also, for the first time in years, I can run 10-15 minutes straight without having to stop. I am weighing myself on Thursday, so hopefully I have met my goal by then.


    Sepra was livin' easy on 7:34:00 AM || Site Feed ||

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    11.01.2006 ||>   The Halloween Diet

    The diet on this day consists of:

    200 calorie cereal
    200 calorie lunch
    400 calorie dinner
    400 calories in candy
    200 calories in cookies

    Can't wait for Thanksgiving!


    Sepra was livin' easy on 11:43:00 AM || Site Feed ||

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    8.20.2006 ||>   Fatty McFat

    I have been dieting for the past month. 300 calories worth of Cheerios for breakfast, 300 calories of lunch and 600 calories for dinner.

    So, if I've been eating 1200 calories per day (which is the bare minimum), why did I gain three pounds in the last month?

    On the upside, I learned that the word "zaftig" meaning pleasantly plump, derives from the German for "juicy." So hey, that grape is juicy and so am I!


    Sepra was livin' easy on 10:34:00 AM || Site Feed ||

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    7.19.2004 ||>  

    The other day I looked in the mirror and came across two old friends that I haven't seen in three years.  I blinked, but they didn't go away.  I moved from side to side, thinking that it was just a trick of light and shadow.  But no, my cheekbones have finally made a reappearance.  I rushed out to hold them, making sure they were real, and felt the prick of tears in my eyes.  I told them how happy I was to see them again, and they assured me that they wouldn't leave me this time. 
    Now lets rewind.  In high school and college, I was a highly stressed overachiever who was always trying to lose that elusive five pounds.  Because I wasn't an anorexic supermodel, I thought I was dumpy-looking at best.   Then, in my junior year of college, I fulfilled my own prophecy by gaining weight until, by the time I was in Peace Corps, I was 10-15 pounds heavier.  No more cheekbones. 
    Stories ranging from the boring to the gross describe my yo-yoing Peace Corps weight.  Last year, when I was about 15 pounds heavier, I would have given anything to get back to my high school weight.  I look around me here and see nothing but anorexic supermodel-types and I realized that I was curvy and attractive, not fat.  And well, now I'm here again and for the first time in forever I look in the mirror and like what I see.  I am a bit sad at all the self-esteem I squandered before.  So what if I wasn't a size 6? I was still hot. 


    Sepra was livin' easy on 6:08:00 AM || Site Feed ||

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