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Drive Thru Only

Updated: 2015-09-16T22:09:26.109-07:00


DDR System for Nintendo Wii - Hottest Dance Party? Maybe.


This kid is just ridiculous!!!The biggest issue with transitioning to a new game system is always having to purchase a new library of games to use with it. The Wii somewhat solved that problem by launching a Nintendo based system that would play Gamecube games AND offer you downloadable Super Nintendo games, all of which can be played with alternate Nintendo controllers. While this is a great money saving option, none of those games take advantage of the wireless controller feature that is the big draw of the Wiii system. It seems they debuted the system with a limited number of available good games, so now it's a waiting game for the new releases. I bookmarked their DDR game and waited eagerly for it to premiere, because I was a huge fan of the DDR system for Xbox, but then our Xbox broke, and I had to decide whether to replace it with a refurbished unit, or just switch to the Wii game and buy new pads. I was really expecting the Wii DDR system to have wireless controller pads, but they are not wireless, however, they thankfully have super long connecting cables - much longer than the Xbox DDR controller pads. This is great because the Wii unit is so small and light that I was concerned about stepping on the cord and snatching it off the stand, something that we came dangerously close to doing with the Xbox, but with these long cords, that's no longer an issue.The game itself is available as a bundle with one controller pad - and you are not able to view the pad before your purchase because they're both packaged together - so I'll tell you now that that pad is one of the deluxe ones, its not the cheapie bottom grade generic pads that you can buy separately. I was really leery of this because I had the cheap pads with my Xbox system, and while they worked, they slipped all over the floor! And the sales clerk at Gamestop couldn't help me with my decision because the Wii ddr game was new and she had not even seen it herself. In fact, she couldn't even tell me where or how to get extra controllers as the game only came with one. I told her, I can't go home with one pad! There will be a fight! So I went home and did some searching until I found where other people mentioned using the old Gamecube controllers (from Mario DDR) with the Wii system, and they said they worked fine. I returned to the store and bought the game with one controller, then bought two universal controllers that were Gamecube compatible. However, as I said, the pad that came with the DDR game is deluxe so it is really nice, it sticks to the floor, has a nice cushion to it and overall great feel under the feet, and the two universals I bought are cheap and crappy, so now there's always a fight over who's going to use the "good" pad! Since I'm kind of stuck with these, I'm thinking of putting them on eBay, along with the whole Xbox system.Anyway, on to the game. If I had to choose between this one and the Xbox version - I prefer the old one. For several reasons:The control panels of the Wii game is set up with way too many layers, far too many clicks necessary to get to what you want. You know when you put the game on, you want to get started quickly, not stand there and go through three minutes of set up EACH TIME. It doesn't appear to save your settings from session to session, so each time you start to play, you have to go through the same setup. Because its for the Wii, it defaults to using Hand Signals which you would use with the wireless controllers. Nice feature, but I'm no J. Lo so I'm doing fine just keeping my feet on the beat, I'd fall over if I tried to bring my hands into the game, so I turn this feature off each time. The problem is, you have to click through several screens to turn it off for EACH player. There's Options, Hand Signals, then Player 1 (or 2,3,4), then the On/Off screen, and then, believe it or, Confirm!!! And there's NO option to just globally make these changes for all of the players, and there's usually myself and two of the kids playing, so we have to do this for each player. There's also two other [...]

Cranberries - the new raisin?


Are cranberries the new raisins?I know they're not new, but it seems like lately they're popping up everywhere. Maybe it has to do with the impending Fall season? I'm sure the California Raisin board is fuming now that the Cranberry Council has stepped up their game! Okay, I don't know if there's really a National Cranberry Council but when I searched, I did find several statewide cranberry councils! That must be fun, sitting around tasting cranberries all day, talking and writing about them. What else could they possibly do?Recently, I've tried oatmeal/cranberry cookies, white chocolate/macadamia/cranberry chip cookies, Cranberry Morning cereal. And I've got my eye on some trail mix with almonds, granola, sunflower seeds, and cranberries in place of raisins. Cranberries taste wonderful both dried and fresh, and even in juice blends. Why did I just have a vision of a turkey wrap with hot mustard and dried cranberries inside? I must be hungry, except I'm not. Let's compare about a serving of each:Raisins - 299 calories, 0g fat, 0g cholesterol, 11g sodium, 79g carbs, 4g fiber, 59g sugars. Your biggest boosts with raisins are in calcium, magnesium, and potassium, although that high level of natural sugars may wreak havoc with your diet if you're trying to avoid sugar. Although natural, it will still give your blood sugar a rush!Cranberries - 308 calories, 1g fat, 0g cholesterol, 3g sodium, 82g carbs, 6g fiber, 65 sugars. Not a huge source of any necessary minerals, but it does have one thing that raisins don't - Lutein, a beta carotene that seems to be popping up as an added benefit of a lot of vitamins and supplements. I noticed recently that quite a few are redesigning their packaging to tout their addition of Lutein, which is purported to be important for overall vision health.Years ago, I might have scoffed at that, but lately my vision seems to be not quite as good as it used to be - so I may have to start increasing my beta carotene intake!So its a tradeoff, looks like they're pretty close in nutrients, but cranberries are less sweet than the raisins and have less sodium and slightly higher fiber. If you're somewhat bored with raisins, try cranberries in their place for your favorite recipe. That seems to be what they're pushing on us anyway! But if you don't care for cranberries, these Cranberries are pretty cool too - and no carbs! I haven't listened to them in ages, but since I used the word cranberries at least 15 times in this post, I feel like hearing them again.... [...]

Kimkins former cover girl speaks out


Everyone, if you haven't already, please be sure to visit Christin's blog and view her touching and heartwrenching video where she discusses her health problems due to following the dreadful Kimkins diet. If this isn't a death knell to that Kimkins organization then I don't know what is. What else does it take to convince people that Kimmer aka Heidi Diaz is the devil personified??? Christin was the Woman's World cover girl, one of the real so-called success stories and not some pilfered photos from across the internet as are most of Kimkins' other Before and After phonies. Christin's photos are what Heidi used to sell Kimkins and pimp it across the nation to unsuspecting dieters. And now Christin has not only left the company and disavowed any connection to them, but she's come forward with very personal and intimate testimony about how much she damaged her health by following this diet and listening to this criminal, Heidi Diaz. If that's not enough, then go read Kimkins Survivors for more tales of illness and trauma brought about by this diet. It's too real to ignore. There are those who proclaim that they are doing Kimkins safely - "safe Kimkins" means NOT doing Kimkins, so basically aren't you just doing Atkins? Who are we kidding here? Why would you pay someone to do Atkins? Especially someone who obviously hasn't dieted successfully in their own lifetime?What is really fascinating about all of this is to consider what kind of psychological disorder one must have in order to pull this kind of scam. Does she get some sort of sick thrill out of making other overweight women suffer? Did she subconsciously wish she had the will to do a diet this strict, or any diet for that matter? Was she trying to do to them what she wanted someone to do to her, or perhaps what was done to her which resulted in her hair loss and thyroid problems? Or was it all just for the money? She saw an opportunity to run another scam and she went for it? I hate to think it was that simple but watch any news program and you'll see similar or worse stories of man's inhumanity to man, people committing wicked and vile acts against each other just for the money, so unfortunately, it is indeed possible. However, the fact that she targeted other women who were for the most part in the same boat as herself, and she deliberately mislead, manipulated and nearly destroyed them, that just speaks to a deeper psychotic problem of which we haven't even scratched the surface. We can trumpet that she's crazy until we're blue in the face, but its obvious that imprisonment alone won't fix Heidi. We need to dissect her (figuratively and literally) and get to the root of this mental deformation, and figure out how to cure it in our society. Maybe its just a symptom of everything else that's wrong with our world today, everybody is after a buck at any cost.It's funny that one of Heidi's associates, Jeanine Baltinger aka TippyToes, was also recently exposed as deliberately passing along a sugar-laden, diet stalling dessert recipe to a forum member who innocently requested a recipe for a low carb snack. Jeanine, overweight herself, gleefully revealed to someone else that she was doing this on purpose and wanted to see the victim's weight "blow up". Who would do this to another person? It appears that this type of behavior and desire to do harm permeates the entire Kimkins company and its not clear if Heidi infected those who work for her, or if that kind of evil heart just a prerequisite to be on her staff.Whatever the case, I don't mean for this to become another antiKimkins blog, however, I don't mind reporting on it as I see fit because its such an important warning and I definitely want to help spread the word. So I'll occasionally drop an entry here about the continuing efforts to bring down the Kimpire, and I encourage you all to stay up to date on this and help get the news out to your friends and loved ones, because Friends don't let Friends do Kimkins! [...]

Friends don't let friends do Kimkins


"Anyone want to do Kimkins with me?" That was the Subject of the new thread in the forum I hung out at. I knew the poster, and I knew she had been faithfully and successfully doing Atkins for at least a year, but her more recent posts bemoaned these last 10-15 pounds that she felt were haunting her and wouldn't budge, no matter what she'd tried. So I wasn't all that surprised that she was trying a different tactic, but I didn't want her to try THAT one. This was well before the whole scandal broke wide and all of the blogs popped up exposing Kimkins to be no more than a fraud and a very well organized scam put together by a morbidly obese woman herself. The whispers about Heidi Diaz, aka Kimmer, had already begun building momentum, but it hadn't yet reached the covers of Woman's World or the ears of 40,000 unsuspecting members about to be suckered in by this con game.I'd been trying to stay out of the fray, it was too draining, mentally, physically, sometimes emotionally. Not because I had anything vested, but because whenever I communicated with that woman, I wanted to go through my computer screen and rip her snarky little head off and toss her over a cliff. Seriously, she just pissed me off all the time. I hate for people to think they've gotten over on me, even in the cyberworld. It bugged me like crazy that she was always so nasty to people on the forum where we first met. It bugged me that her stories didn't quite add up, and the pictures always looked like someone else - a relative maybe, but certainly not her. And most of all, it bugged me that whenever I would bring this up, her fans would accuse me and others of being jealous or trying to start trouble. Or they would say stupid things like, "well, people look drastically different when they lose weight" and proceed to use examples like, "look at MY pics, I get told all the time that I look like my own daughter". Oh STFU. That is NOT what I was getting at. We all know that people look different, but certain things don't change unless you get your face cut off and replaced with another one. Kimmer's "After" pics were just NOT HER. Period. And even Helen Keller could see this woman was fake.On the left, the original Before pics that Heidi used when she posted on the low carb forums. On the right, the recent surveillance photos taken by a P.I. hired by Heidi's former business partner. Surveillance photo courtesy of Slamboard.When Kimmer (Heidi) put up her website and started charging a membership fee, the discussions about her authenticity started to increase, and every time, they would end the same way. The Kimkins fans would fiercely defend her and declare that we were all Jealous Haters and despite more and more people joining the other side, the devotion to Kimmer was eerily unshakeable, even in the face of such irrefutable evidence, such as when one member zoomed in on one of Kimkins' Success Stories' After photos and revealed that the lanyard around her neck bore an inscription that referred to the Universal Amphitheater's 30th Anniversary celebration which had taken place in 2002. Circumstantial? Maybe, but in light of all of the other suspicious looking Success Stories pictures, it really didn't help her case.I remember emailing her initially out of concern for what I thought was just a poor strategic attempt to market her new business, when I saw she had used Louise Vyent's photo as one of her After shots. It was so clearly obvious that these were not the same women. Clearly. Obvious. When I mentioned it on the forum, I was flabbergasted at how many people didn't believe me and tried to school me on how people look different in photos, after losing weight, etc. Back in the 80s, Louise Vyent was my Christie Brinkley, my Carole Alt, my Cheryl Tiegs. When black models didn't regularly grace the covers of Cosmo and Vogue, Louise Vyent was one of those ground breaking supermodels that helped break down those barriers and let young black girls see images[...]

The Biggest Loser is back!


I was excited about this at first, anticipating it returning. I searched for info on the past contestants and I admit that I was a little disappointed to find out that most of the previous "losers" and namely the first winner, had gained back most, if not all, of the weight lost for the show. Then I read an interview with one of the former contestants who revealed that all of them partook in dramatic weight loss activities in order to appear in the grand finale and win one of the prizes. Activities as extreme as severe caloric intake and even fasting, all so that they could wow the television audience and possibly win one of the runner up cash prizes. Not that they couldn't or didn't lose weight - they lost plenty! But when you're competing against another, especially for multi-thousand dollar prizes, even one pound can send you home with nothing. So even though they'd already lost 85 pounds, they'd force themselves to fast so they could get off 2-5 more for the ultimate weigh-in.With that in mind, its no wonder they've gained back the weight. It was really all an illusion. For both us and them. But what it really shows is that fast healthy weight loss is a pipe dream. Sure, you can lose fast, but what do you lose besides the weight? Muscle, healthy tissue, a healthy metabolic rate, your thyroid, your hair - the list goes on and on. If the whole pitiful Kimkins saga wasn't enough to turn your stomach, here's the Biggest Loser back on NBC to remind us that nothing worth having, comes so easily.This show also says alot about how desperate people are to lose weight. Why subject yourself to such embarrassment and humiliation on national television? It's no secret formula, what they're doing on the show, you could do at home in private, or form a group of friends who will do it with you. Why go on television and be forced to go shirtless - or bare your bulging waistline - for the titillation of the audience? We don't need to see the actual flesh, we know you're on the show because you want to lose weight, so why make these people wear those horrendous spandex suits for weigh-in? The only thing I can figure is that they think the shock value will equal ratings. After all, reality television has done nothing but sink lower and lower, and now even the ones that pretended to be altruistic have started scraping bottom for drama and filth.I was appalled at how the trainers pushed the people to near heart attacks. Whatever happened to starting slowly and building up your strength and resistance? Is there something we're not seeing behind the scenes? Because we've been told all of our lives not to just leap from a sedentary lifestyle to trying to be a marathon runner in one day, or not only will you risk injury but you risk heart attack and stroke. But here these people were being pushed so hard that they looked as if they were about to pass out. That can't be healthy, physically or mentally. We all know that if you overdo it initially, you'll just lose interest and want to give up and not stick with the program.Then the whole thing with the table full of food, and everyone's gagging and talking about how disgusting it is. Well, newsflash, if you take a table and fill it with ANY week's food all sloshed together, its going to look pretty disgusting. Well, unless you're a vegetarian, then you've got one big a** salad! But pretty much anything else is going to look gross. All of this is such overkill and obviously for dramatic purposes.Don't get me wrong, I love the Biggest Loser diet itself. I think its a wonderfully healthy and balanced program of high protein, high fiber, moderate carbs and consistent cardio and weight training - you can't NOT lose with that formula. But I really wish they'd retool the show and do away with the illusions and the magic tricks and just keep it real. Unless you're going to stay on the ranch for the rest of your life, then you've got to learn how to maintain that weig[...]

My first time at the Tropical Smoothie Cafe


I've just discovered a new favorite - Tropical Smoothie Cafe. I'd seen the sign on the little window at the strip mall, they moved in quite a while ago, but I'm not a big smoothie fan so it really didn't call to me. But my daughter loves smoothies, so she was always trying to get me to take her there. Finally, we were driving past and she begged me again so I told her that I'd take her but she had to pay for it. I know smoothies are thick and all, but me being such a cheapie, I can't wrap my brain around paying $5 for something in a cup! (And no, I don't buy beer at the stadiums either!) I need to stop equating smoothies with slurpies. Slurpies are less than a buck, smoothies are like a meal replacement.When we pulled up to park, I noticed another poster on the window of a Jamaican Jerk Chicken Wrap! Suddenly, I was interested! I actually planned on waiting in the car, but they had WRAPS! I love wraps, you could put asparagus and tofu in a wrap and I'd eat it! I think I beat her getting inside, lol.I had no idea this was anything more than a smoothie shop, but it's so much more. They have wraps, wraps, and more wraps! And not just wraps - but exotic gourmet wraps that are thick and filling and way too much for one person. The Jamaican Jerk Chicken that drew me in from my car has chicken, southwestern rice, corn, black beans, asparagus, onions, mozarella, and Jamaican Jerk sauce!! There's also a Chicken Mango Habanero, featuring chicken, crunchy wontons and Mango Habanero sauce along with cheese and veggies. I opted for a new one that wasn't even on the menu yet, they had it handwritten on a sign at the counter - Spicy Fajita Wrap. Pretty typical fajita ingredients, only with chicken instead of steak, and a chipotle sauce. It was AWESOME. DELICIOUS. I couldn't even eat it all, I ate half and saved the other half.Right now, I'm planning to try every wrap on their menu. Seriously. Chicken seems to be their main item, but they also have one with Tuna, one with Turkey, and a Veggie wrap that even sounds good - southwestern rice, corn, black beans, asaparagus, romaine lettuce, tomatoes, parmesan cheese, balsamic vinaigrette dressing in a garlic herb tortilla. I could definitely try that one.My daughter loved the smoothie, it just tasted like a smoothie to me, but they do offer them with Splenda, which is a nice option for low carbers! Their wraps are the same price as the ones at my job, but about twice as thick. I could buy one and have lunch for two days, something I will likely do soon (next week!).The wraps and sandwiches are supposed to be good for you, and I guess they are, there's nothing fried, everything is fresh and accompanied by veggies. They also have soup and really scrumptious looking salad, in addition to a kid's menu of wraps. Oh, and I can't forget about the fresh baked cookies - the wraps and sandwiches come with chips, cookie or fruit - the cookies are literally to die for. I said to my daughter, "what do they PUT in these?" She said with the straightest face, "crack". We walked out with an embarassing supply in my purse. So there goes the healthy aspect of it, but I couldn't leave without extra.If you haven't tried them and there's one near you, check out their website and then give them a try the next time you want something different than the usual. We're just about burned out on Subway but we've really been getting into sandwiches and subs for our "take out" lately, as opposed to pizza and burgers. It's good that the kids love it too. And even though I always get wheat bread for my subs, I was concerned about the carbs in the bun. Wraps aren't always much better but I don't stress over it as much. I figure, if I'm not enjoying what I'm eating, then I'll just end up sabotaging myself later. It's a mental thing, I feel better anyway when I have a wrap than when I have bread.Funny thing was, I woke up this morning thinking that I wanted [...]

The infamous "after the holiday" diet


I'm sure right now a huge portion of the US is either recommitting - or starting - some form of a diet. After a long holiday weekend that generally consists of irregular eating and sampling of goodies, its common to wake up the day after and make a decision to get back on track. This is actually the most popular time to start a diet - with seven major food-based holidays in the year, that technically gives you seven different times to undertake a new healthy way of eating - out of 12 months, that's not too bad! The problem is, for most people, that new commitment only lasts an average of two weeks before its tossed aside in favor of the old lifestyle.But if you look at it this way - if you really started a diet seven times a year, stuck to it for at least two weeks, losing even an average of 5 pounds - that's 35 pounds a year. The key is to fall off the diet without falling off the wagon. How do you do that? Well, you may slack off on your decision to eat only fruit and salad daily (who can stick to THAT?) but don't slack off on your dedication to MORE PHYSICAL ACTIVITY. Studies prove that adding even a small amount of daily exercise will increase your metabolism, make you look and feel better, and REDUCE your cravings for the unhealthy snacks. It's nice to get that initial weight loss that new diets give, but its difficult to stick to most. However, if you can keep up the daily 30 minute walks, and slowly add in some light weights along the way, perhaps pick up a weekend kickboxing class - you will find that while you haven't been 'dieting', you've unceremoniously adopted a healthier lifestyle, and it didn't even feel that hard. So you tried to do low carb but barely made it through induction? No problem, keep up the exercise, keep the good endorphins pumping, don't let your motivation slip - you'll soon find that you naturally crave less and less sugar. Maybe when the next "after holiday" rolls around, you can try the diet as written again - with the sugar cravings already out of the way, it will be easier to work on curbing the starch monster.The biggest thing is to stay committed to MOVING and BREATHING, and all of the rest will fall into place. Don't beat yourself up over cheats, just walk it off, pump it out, and keep it moving. I can't stress how important exercise is to any diet regime, whether its Weight Watchers, Nutrisystem or Atkins, don't let anyone tell you that its not necessary or that it doesn't matter. It makes the difference between temporary weight loss and long term body reshaping.To that end, I'm posting my favorite walking or workout mp3s! I zipped them all in one file but feel free to delete the ones you don't care for. Load them into your mp3 player of choice and take a long walk - I guarantee this will keep you going for at least two miles. This is the playlist:Sean Paul - (When You Gonna) Give It Up To MeRihanna - Please Don't Stop The MusicFergie - FergaliciousDMX - Get It On The FloorDaikenkai - (song from DDR)Blackalicious - Alphabet AerobicsCiara - Get UpBubba Sparks - Miss NewBootyKanye West - Workout PlanFatboy Slim - Weapon of ChoiceLinkin Park f. Jay Z - Numb/EncoureMissy Elliott - Lose ControlJustin Timberlake - LoveStonedVan Halen - DreamsFoo Fighters - The Best of You(Yeah, I went way back with Van Halen, but I could really work out to any of their entire albums!)Download Workout Playlist [...]

I've been tagged!


Thanks to Healthy Perspectives for the tag!The question is: List 10 Things You Like About YourselfI didn't realize how hard it would be to list 10. That's sad, there must be a psychological study in there somewhere!1. My ability to think logically - not a feat that should be taken lightly! How many forwarded emails do you get daily from friends who SWEAR that Bill Gates is going to give you $100 if you send that email to 10 friends? How many times do you hear on the news about someone who actually SENT their bank account information to their newly discovered cousin in Nigeria?2. My chili recipe - seriously, its the best. When my mother had given birth to my little brother (I was 16 then), she called me to make and bring to the hospital some of my chili. And I did. And she sat in the bed eating it, even though she had to breastfeed my poor baby brother. Go figure. It's THAT good.3. my nose - I used to HATE my nose from about age 12 to 20. I really thought I'd get it "fixed" as soon as I could afford it. Somewhere along the line though, I began to appreciate it, and love it. It makes ME, me. And I wouldn't trade it for anything.4. My ability to have fun with my kids - I like that we can really have a gut busting, roll on the floor good time together, but I am still the boss and they respect that. I know some parents who are so stiff and authoritarian, that they can't just laugh and get down on the floor and lose it sometimes. I guess they think that will make them lose power. You have to strike a delicate balance between running your family, and making everyone WANT to spend an evening with you watching dvds.5. My taste in music - I like pretty much everything, and I think that's a plus because I rarely find myself in a place where I think I'm going to stab myself in the ears if I have to hear one more minute of whatever is piping through the speakers. There is at least one artist of every genre that I really like, not just am aware of, but LIKE.6. My eternal youth - I don't know what my age is supposed to "feel" like, but I feel much younger inside and look much younger outside. I think the minute I start thinking like I'm old (as I hear some of my friends say), then I will, indeed, be old.7. My ability to figure things out - no, really, I'm not afraid to take something apart and at least try to fix it, as opposed to just not even trying and waiting on someone else to do it for me. I can't stand helplessness in anyone, man, woman or child.8. My eyebrows - now I'm getting superficial because I've ran out of things to list. I've had thick eyebrows my whole life, I arch them, but I've never gone pencil thin despite many people trying to get me to. I like them the way they are, although I wish I could figure out how to get those nice thin "tails" on the end, but I don't trust anyone to do it for me, one slip and I'm all messed up!9. My legacy - my children. I think they will do good things and make a difference in this world, so all of my hard work will be validated.10. I like that I got tagged! I feel so special! Thank you!I am going to tag Cleochatra because she is so doggone funny! [...]

Turkey Wraps and more


I love turkey. No, really, I love turkey so much that I wanna marry it and have its babies. Ha! Okay, seriously, I could eat turkey every day of the week, but for some reason, I hate Thanksgiving turkey, I never do turkey for Thanksgiving, I always do cornish hens. I only like deli style sliced turkey but I can't stand big chunks of turkey cut right off the bone.

(image) Anyway, someone who is aware of my turkey fetish sent me a great ebook of turkey wrap recipes, including one for a version of Monte Crisco which is the deep fried powdered sugar sandwich. I don't plan on making that one, but several of the others sound wonderful, like the Middle Eastern Turkey Wrap, and the Mesquite Turkey, Avocado and Bacon Wrap. Although I've never had avocado, I'd be willing to try it if its wrapped by mesquite turkey.

The ebook is from Cargill Food Services, which supplies meats for restaurants. I've never heard of but when I checked out their website, they had more free ebooks of other meat recipes like ribs, steak, and roast beef, plus a bunch of online recipes with a free membership for access. My son was just complaining that I cook boring dinners so I might check out the other ebooks later for some inspiration, but for now I'm excited about trying some of the turkey wraps.

I'll add this ebook to the list, or you can download it here.

Stopping Hair Loss


There's often mention of hair loss as an early side effect of beginning a low carb diet, and then I've also read that it's possible to experience hair loss with ANY drastic change in your eating habits. My hair started to noticeably thin several months ago, but it was always so thick that I figured I could use a little shedding. For such a long time, I was unable to swallow any pills so I hadn't had my usual supplements of calcium, potassium or even a multivitamin. I tried the liquid Centrum multi but it tasted horrible so I just waited until I was able to swallow before I went back to pill form.It was suggested in several forums that Biotin, a B Complex supplement, was very good at stemming hair loss and encouraging regrowth. The posters I'd read were taking between 2500mg and 5000mg daily, so I purchased the 5000mg capsules and started last week.I'm happy to report that a mere 7 days later, I can already see the difference. I'm a chronic hair picker, which really doesn't help because I pull my hair out nervously and it comes out from the scalp! After shampooing last night, I got just a small amount in the comb - just slightly above what would be a normal rate of loss when combing wet hair. Then I blow dried, a bare few strands came out in the blower comb. Today, I sat at work and pulled and twisted, and got only a few strands in between my fingers. Definitely a huge difference! At one point before I started the Biotin, I thought for sure I would pull out a bald spot from the way it was just breaking free of my scalp!I need to find out what foods I can add to my diet to substitute for taking the Biotin, or maybe its an age thing, perhaps I need the extra Biotin as I get older, regardless of what I eat? I've had super duper thick hair my entire life, so I'm not all that interested in growing all of that back, especially in the summer. But these Michigan winters will really make me want my thick hair back so I'd better stick with the Biotin at least until then.Another thing - I searched for it for a while before I found it. I'd looked in a couple of drugstores and neither had it, so I was all set to get it at GNC for upwards of $25 a bottle. Then when I was searching for another multivitamin at Walgreens, I just happened to look up on the top shelf and there it was by Nature's Bounty, 60 capsules for only $10.49. BIG difference! So be sure to check your local stores before you pay too much at health product retailers. [...]

Bootleg Fast Food & More


I was given this free eBook of copycat gourmet fast food recipes, so I'm putting it here as a free download. It's not diet, its not healthy, low fat, fat free, low calorie - nunna that! It's pure, delectable, luscious, indulgence - and I really got a hoot out of reading it! Actually, reading it didn't even make me want to eat any, it was just interesting to read the ingredients used to substitute for things like Krispy Kreme, and I could imagine how the recipe would turn out. Some things were hit and miss - like the KK one, you just can't duplicate that. But some others sounded like they might come close, like the Baby Ruth bars where you might get pretty close but at the worse, you'd end up with a bowl of delicious goop to eat with a spoon.

What I thought would be useful, is by seeing the actual ingredients (or impostor ingredients) of some of your favorites, you could figure out ways to substitute certain items for diet versions that fit within your eating plan, and end up with something you might love - and actually eat without guilt!

See the Free Download section to the left. I will add more free ebooks to this section soon.

Everybody do the MySpace spread!


No, its not a new dance or a hip hop dairy product - what I call the MySpace spread is what is commonly referred to as muffin top, its that roll of fat that curls out over the tops of your waistline when you're wearing pants, most notably, jeans. Why I call it the MySpace spread is because I don't remember this type of fat being around years ago - is it new and improved? I remember secretary spread all too well, which seemed to refer to an expanding butt and hips so that you appeared to be sitting down even when you were standing. And of course there's the regular hip and belly fat that's a little more uniform in its structure, you can successfully camoflauge all over that expansive area and nobody knows the wiser - they just think you like big clothes! But what is with all of these otherwise slim and shapely young women with that roll of flesh sticking out from under their tops, sitting above their pants? It seems to mostly afflict young girls between 13 and 22, and what's weird is that they will be mostly slim, flat stomachs, no visible body fat - except for this protruding roll. My daughter had it, and if I had to really guess, I'd say it started around the time she got her first computer, and I mean HERS, the one that went in her room so she didn't have to share and she could just sit there all day - which she pretty much did. Right after school, sometimes right before school, with snacks all around the desk.I started noticing this fat start to form around her waist, and she noticed it too, but she would come into my room and turn sideways in front of the full length mirror and point out how flat her belly was - and it was oddly very flat, so this roll around her waist was just bizarre. From the side, she was in perfect shape, but from the back, she was...well, a muffin. One of those big ones with the glorious crowns. And nearly all of her friends had it too. That, coupled with the newest fashion trend of low rise jeans and short baby tees, was a disaster to behold. Then you go out in public and you see young women everywhere with the same roll peeking out from the same type of clothing, like it was some college initiation thing and you were walking around on this never ending campus.I tried to reason that maybe it WAS the clothing that had become popular that just made the "muffin top" stand out more, whereas before, it was more cleverly concealed, but even as the styles relax a little and they return their waistbands to their actual waists - you can still see how the extra fat is causing a squarish look in the waist area.The only thing I could figure was that with the popularity of MySpace, YouTube and LiveJournal and other such social sites, millions of young girls are spending upwards of six or more hours per day, sitting in their chair, typing furiously on the keyboard - and snacking. Unlike most adults who have to get up frequently and tend to the household, they have no such responsibilities, so they can sit there for hours and hours, and instead of spreading out the way "we" did in our day, for some reason, their body fat is stopping at the waist line and then forming. Could it be the ergonomic chairs that is keeping the fat from going below? The lack of trans fats in their snacks (which makes them taste like crap but gives the impression that you can eat more of them because suddenly they're healthy!) I can't figure that part out yet, because I think the snacks are probably still very much the same as they used to be, but I'll crack that code eventually.This year is my daughter's Sophomore year in high school so she's suddenly discovered that she's beautiful and that boys are pretty hot! So even though she still spends way too much time on the computer, she started running and cutting back on sug[...]

LC Product Reviews, continued


Finishing up my reviews from yesterday before I got sleepy:Tumaros Low Carb Wraps: I began replacing bread for wraps as a result of my low carb diet, but years later, even when I'm not seriously committed to my diet, I still reach for a wrap before bread. But some of the wraps out there are just as bad as white bread, and even worse! If you're eating in a restaurant, you may not have any idea of what type of wraps they are using so you can't automatically assume that just because you ordered a wrap with turkey and lettuce that you've done a great thing. And a lot of the LC wraps are just gross, period, so if I'm going to enjoy my meal, I'll just up the fiber and carbs a bit and go for these Tumaros Low Carb Wraps in Sun Dried Tomato & Basil or Spinach. The Multigrain one is just a bit too grainy for me, but these two have a great flavor and texture and they hold up well under my toppings. I've had some wraps where, once the fillings are gone, I leave shreds of the wrap on my plate, but these, I will still nibble on the edges because they're actually GOOD. They also have a Green Onion, Pesto & Roasted Garlic, Salsa, Chipotle Chili & Peppers, and Jalapeno & Cilantro!!! Just typing that has my mouth watering. But my local store, at least the only one I go to, never has all of the flavors so I haven't been able to try them. I might have to order them online. There's a different brand of LC wraps at Sam's Club that's really low in carbs, but they're really moist and sweaty, yuck. And they taste dough-y. If you're not going to enjoy what you're eating, what's the point?Taco Shells: It's hard to replace the good old taco with any substitutes, so you really have to come correctly if you want me to give up my Old El Paso shells. Tippy Rosa's were about as close as I have gotten in years, and I've tried a lot on recommendation - but that company had the nerve to close up shop and go out of business last year!! That's surprising since they were widely hailed as one of, if not THE best LC taco shells around. Still waiting to hear the truth behind that fiasco. So anyway, I had to find an alternative, and Rosie's Gold were filling that spot - then THEY went out of business too! I had heard that a lot of the LC products were being discontinued and its really disappointing that there aren't enough competitors stepping up to the plate. For now, I'm just using tortilla wraps and having soft tacos until I find something better.Hard Cooked eggs: Eggs, the staple of the LC diet! And even though boiling them isn't really a big problem, I'm a sucker for convenience. If they make something that eliminates any portion of my work, I want it - in fact, I want TWO of it in case one breaks! So I dove for the small bag of pre-boiled AND preshelled eggs in the dairy section at the market. There were actually three brands, one was Bakersfield(?), Amish Farms and another one, so I guess it doesn't matter which one you get, after all, its an egg, you can't mess it up! It's one thing to sell me hardboiled eggs - but they peeled them too??? A product after my own heart, lol. I love that I can just grab two of these on my way out the door, and also with them already being peeled, you don't have that odor at your desk that emits from cracking the shell of a hard boiled egg, you can now eat in peace. I mean, sure, you could save the money and just boil your own and peel them before you leave home, but what fun is that? The price is comparable - they come in half dozen sizes for less than $2, I could probably spend that on two dozen regular eggs and get more Diet Wild Cherry Pepsi but it all balances out in the end. Since its a fairly new product, watch out for coupons and sale prices as they begin to push th[...]

LC Product Reviews


I've tried a few new products lately and they were surprisingly good for the most part. They're not induction level low carb, but they're low enough and healthy enough to fit in with the LC lifestyle just the same. I'm doing more of a modified LC regimen at this point so I don't try to stick to extremely low levels but instead I choose higher fiber products, as shown below.Chocoperfection: These bars are all the hype in the low carbing community, so I had to try them. Sugar free chocolate that won't give you the runs, won't cause cravings, and taste GOOD?? This couldn't be true! So I ordered them, waited anxiously for them to arrive, and somehow my kids got into them before I could. But that's really a testament to how they really taste because if the kids will eat them without gagging, then they must be good. I ordered dark chocolate as opposed to milk chocolate, because everything I read had the dark chocolate rating much higher for taste. I had just recently developed an appreciation for dark chocolate since I'd heard about its benefits, although, if I'm in one of my "not caring" modes or a freebie day, milk chocolate is still the king! You can eat an entire bar of this, which is amazing in itself. Mentally, it does something to you to have to always PORTION things off, so here you can relax and eat the whole candy bar - and its a normal size candy bar, not some little diet teeny weeny! My favorite way to eat them is with a handful of salted almonds, goodness, it's incredible. They can be a bit pricey so I highly suggest getting them from Netrition - and I'm not just saying that because I'm an affiliate for them! Compare the prices for yourself and see if Netrition doesn't have everyone else beat by at LEAST $6, and that's nothing to sneeze at!Go Lean! by Kashi: No, they're not technically Low Carb, but they're high fiber and don't taste like wood chips. I'm not at all interested in their "slimming system" but I have this thing for granola in yogurt, and most everything else I've tried just didn't work. I tried Grape Nuts but they were like gravel, no matter how long they sat in the yogurt, they were rock hard. I tried various other cereals but they were either too flakey or just veered too far away from my eating plan as far as nutrients, price, or taste. Go Lean, to me, is as perfect as it gets when it comes to my beloved granola/yogurt fetish. They have a wonderful balance of chunk size so I can enjoy a handful as a snack - I always hate eating cereal between my fingertips! They're slightly sweet, with something like 7 grams of sugar, but I'm not even eating a cupful with my yogurt so I don't fret the small stuff.Atkins Advantage Shakes: I have had these in the past but it was always a hit or miss kind of thing. I ordered a bunch of them after my surgery - again, cheaper from Netrition, they're $7.99 a pack at the store, only $6.25 each at Netrition with a flat $4.95 shipping, so I ordered 12 packs. Yes, 12!!! I was planning to drink only that, thinking that I would only be able to drink liquid for two weeks, but as it turned out, I was back to my normal eating habits rather quickly. So I ended up with a box full of shakes that I didn't feel like drinking -- so the kids started drinking them!!! They like them really cold, so I figured, I may as well get SOMETHING out of it since I bought them! They taste pretty good, I think. Compared to Slim Fast and EAS, I think these are my favorite. I prefer the basic flavors like Strawberry, Chocolate Royale and Vanilla, while my kids liked the Caramel Caffe Latte which is like a cold coffee drink. They seem to quell my hunger for a few hours but I couldn't subsist on these throughout the day, I'd d[...]

Just because its Natural, doesn't make it right


A lot of people are getting into holistic and herbal treatments for everything from skin care to weight loss, and they mistakenly assume that just because something says "all natural" that its safe, or better than another. I admit to falling for that sometimes, it just looks like it would be better, doesn't it?My mom was big on herbalistic treatments and concoctions, but I didn't learn much about it. The one thing I did take with me was the fantastic healing properties of aloe vera gel. She would use it for everything, and it really is a miracle. So why don't I have any? Because like most other things, I know what's right, I just don't always practice it. Go figure.Many herbs have a long history of use and of claimed health benefits. An herb, or botanical, is a plant or part of a plant that is used for its scent, flavor, and/or therapeutic properties. Although they are ‘natural’, herbal products are not necessarily safe or without harmful effects. They may come from plants, but many plants are considered harmful and poisonous. Poison ivy is natural too!Unlike prescription medicines, herbal products are not tested to certify their safety and efficacy before their marketing. Active ingredients in many herbal medicines and supplements are still unknown. Some have been found contaminated with metals, unlabeled prescription drugs, microorganisms or other substances. Without any safeguarding, you can't trust what the heck you're putting in - or on - your body.Since herbal products are not tested, they may cause certain health problems/complications. It may not be wise to take herbal products if you have any of these medical problems/conditions:• High blood pressure• Thyroid problems• Parkinson’s disease• Blood-clotting problems• Diabetes• Heart disease• Epilepsy• Depression or psychiatric problems• Liver problems• Enlarged prostrate gland• Glaucoma• History of stroke or organ transplant Women who are pregnant or nursing should be especially cautious about using herbal products, as well as with people who are about to have surgery. Always check with your health care provider, and do your own research before taking or using anything you're unfamiliar with. Outdated information might lead you to believe that something has been declared safe - and then new evidence may have surfaced that proves otherwise, so it pays to examine it closely, not just once but periodically, before you embark on any special types of treatments.It is likewise important to consult with your doctor before using herbal products if you are taking any medications (whether prescription or over-the-counter). Some herbal products are known to interact with medications in ways that may pose risks to your health.low carb diet [...]

Extreme Low Calorie Dieting


There's a lot of recent controversy over extremely low calorie diets, such as the Kimkins diet which is causing all kinds of problems in the low carb community. I'll elaborate more on this tomorrow as its very late and I just wanted to get some thoughts out there before I went to bed. But when I say 'low calorie', I'm referring to eating plans where you take in less than 1000 calories per day, and these can even go as low as 200 calories, if you can believe that. That's about the equivalent of two slices of bread, isn't it?It's incredible, but some people are just that desperate to lose weight. Of course it works, if you stop eating, you'll lose weight, that's a no-brainer - but at what cost? Followers of the Kimkins plan are eating from 200-700 calories regularly and although they are pleased with their weight loss, they don't appear to be thinking logically about the long term effects of this type of dieting.When I was recovering from my surgery, there were several days that I only drank water or nibbled pieces of cold soft fruit, or drank a shake. These days, I probably had less than 300 calories, but I knew it was temporary so I didn't fret too much over it. However, oftentimes when I stood up from sitting or laying, I was quite dizzy and weak and I could feel my heart beating in my EARS. It scared me, but I wrote it off to the Vicodin I was taking around the clock. Now, with all that I've been reading at this site Kimkins Survivors, I realize that it was likely more closely related to my not having enough food in my system. But I was able to convince myself it was temporary and no big deal - which is what desperate dieters do as they ignore the dangerous warning signs that their bodies want FOOD. Kimkins members even celebrate this unhealthy state by coining the phrase SNATT (for slightly nauseous all the time), apparently, over time, this produces some state of euphoria similar to what hunger strikers feel when they reach the point that they're no longer hungry.A very sobering realization is that most of us have the choice to eat so we don't have to suffer - but so many people in the world don't have a choice, and they live with hunger daily. In a future entry, I'm going to focus on some of the ways we can help ease hunger in the world for those that don't have a choice.Tomorrow, I'll present some facts about calorie restriction and the minimums that our bodies need to stay healthy. We get so caught up in trying to be beautiful, but we've got to be safe too. I think we as women fall into this trap probably more than men, but they are certainly slaves to the same mindset.low carb diet [...]

Walk it Out!


Walking is the natural means of transportation for most every living thing - except those that crawl on their bellies because they have no legs, lol. However, with today’s society full of vehicles, walking has become the thing you do for exercise, not because you have to get somewhere. Whenever I put on my shoes to go walking, my kids ask me - are you working out? Well, what if I was actually going to the store? Is that so unheard of? Not only would we save oodles of money on gas if we walked more, but the inches would drop off so quickly and easily that you wouldn't FEEL like you'd been trying.Walking has numerous other benefits in our lives. Besides being cheap, almost free, save for the cost of good walking shoes, but really, you can get started walking with just about any pair of comfortable shoes. The hardest part is getting started, if you've been the type that would rather not go anywhere if you had to walk. The weird thing though is that once you start, you won't want to stop!Health BenefitsWalking is a cardio vascular workout that can help reduce your risk of heart disease; aids in alleviation of depression and lower back pain; increase your muscular strength; improve coronary condition; reduce risks of infection and hypertension; aids in maintaining a healthy weight; and curbs the decrease in bone density. Likewise, it also helps in maintaining flexibility and coordination hence, reducing the risk of falls. Like almost all forms of exercise, it adds better health, zest and longevity to your life. If its not too hot outside and you can walk to work, you'd feel better at the end of the day. Hard to believe because you're thinking of how exhausted you'll be - but the opposite is actually true. The first few days might wear you out, but after you get into the groove of it, you'll have MORE energy at the end of the day.Social and Economic BenefitsAside from the obvious health benefits, walking can also have a very large social and economic impact in today’s society.In comparison to the cost of operating a car, which is approximately 5,170 dollars a year, walking will cost you little or nothing. In addition to this, walking alone will also give you more time to spend some time with self and THINK, ponder what's going on in your life and come up with solutions - without the distraction of a car radio or other people in the car talking to you, or worrying about traffic jams. Walking has been shown to improve self-esteem, relieve symptoms of depression and anxiety, and improve mood. Walking, particularly in pleasant surroundings, and also with other people, offers many opportunities for relaxation and social contact. Environmental BenefitsMoreover, walking is the only form of transportation that will not contribute to air pollution and oil consumption.Motor vehicle emissions represent 31% of total carbon dioxide, 81% of carbon monoxide, and 49% of nitrogen oxides released in the United States alone, and thus create 60 percent of air pollution. Although individual cars are much cleaner today than they were in the past, now our focus has turned to ways to reduce oil consumption, and less driving is one of the best - if not THE best way - to contribute to this reduction worldwide. Cars and trucks burn millions of barrels of oil, a non-renewable energy source, everyday. If total traffic continues to grow, overall air quality will also continue to deteriorate.Transportation BenefitsWalking will not contribute to traffic and requires less space than automobiles. Moreover, it reduces the risk of vehicular accidents on the road. Walking can help to reduce roadway congestion. Many[...]

The Downside of Super Quick Weight Loss


This is just my own personal theory, but I think our bodies KNOW what size we're supposed to be, and if we try to trick them, or shock them, into a new size, without giving it time to really adjust - it will fight back like crazy! That's why you see people who lose 20 pounds in two weeks, then it comes right back! Their body was like, whaaaaa?During my recovery from the tonsillectomy, I dropped 15 pounds in that first week. It felt GREAT. I felt great. I was in my closet trying on old clothes, fantasizing about how I would go back to work and everyone would be all over me, asking for my secret, lol. I didn't feel hunger or fatigue, I guess due to the IV and meds that were in my system. I even developed a plan to kepe the momentum going. When I was able to eat again, I started eating properly, strictly low carb, lots of water. I even ordered a bunch of Atkins shakes from Netrition since my throat was still pretty sore. I walked at least 2 miles every day, sometimes twice a day.The scale dipped for a moment, but then slowly, it started inching back up. No matter what I did, each day, the scale showed a slight increase. I was so frustrated, but I wasn't about to do anything drastic. At this point, the only thing I could do was NOT eat. And I love food too much to even attempt that!So today, two and a half weeks later, I've settled at about an eight pound loss. Not bad, considering I was sick and recovering and taking liquid Vicodin most of the time. I'm disappointed, sure, because I really wanted that 15 pound loss! But when I look at it logically, that's about 4 pounds a week - and that ain't bad!What does this tell me? My body knew that it wasn't right to drop 15 pounds like that. Even though I was already in a low carb consistent weight loss mode, there was no fooling the boss! However, I'm happy that it quickly settled back into my original program and still rewarded me with a loss. It was just mind boggling to workout so hard, eat well, and then get up and see a pound gain!Basically, don't let it control your life - its going to happen the way it should. Just stay consistent, stay motivated, keep your eyes on the prize, and all of the other cliches, lol.low carb diet [...]

The fat that doesn't end, it just goes on and on my friend!


Belly fat. What an ugly phrase. Those two words shouldn't even be allowed next to each other. It's almost a double negative - the word belly itself evokes images of St. Nick and hints at something huge and full.According to Andrew Bicknell, this is the hardest area to trim down, despite diets and exercise, most people have the toughest time getting their stomach and abs area to be flat, tight and toned. Here, he presents 7 tried and true ways to get rid of this stubborn fat and achieve the perfect stomach - some of them might surprise you!Getting rid of stomach fat can often be one of the hardest things to do. Diets, exercise, no matter what is done it stubbornly refuses to go away. Stomach fat can be hard to lose because it is the primary storage area for adipose (fat) tissue and is one of the last places that the body will give up its fat stores.This means of course that losing stomach fat is not something that can happen quickly. More of a long term approach is needed; and no, long term does not mean years. By using the body's own internal engine, its metabolism, we can burn off that excess stomach fat over a period of time and if our metabolism stays at a higher rate we can keep the fat off.Here are seven ways you can increase your metabolism and finally get rid of that stomach fat.1. Get more sleep - 8 hours is the minimum for everyone. Research done into the effects of sleep show that people who get less then 8 hours of sleep have slower metabolisms then those who get a good nights rest. People who do not get enough rest also tend to eat more throughout the day to try and keep their energy levels up.2. Exercise in the evening - This doesn't have to a full blown workout, just something to get the heart going and the blood flowing. The reason for this is that as the day wears on our metabolic rate declines. This means that we are no longer burning calories as quickly as we were in the morning.3. Get moving - Anytime you can sneak in any form of physical activity like taking the stairs instead of the elevator you will use extra calories to fuel your activity.4. Protein is good - Protein can help to stabilize how much insulin in the blood stream. Insulin levels that are to high or low can seriously affect your metabolism.5. Eat more often - By eating 5 or 6 smaller meals throughout the day you will keep a steady supply of energy flowing through your body all day long. A constant flow of calories keeps your metabolism rolling. Skipping meals will actually cause a metabolism slow down.6. Eat healthy - Those 5 or six meals should consist of nutrient rich, high fiber, high protein foods. A healthy diet gives your body everything it needs to run at its optimum level.7. Resistance training - Lifting weights builds lean muscle mass which in turn requires lots of extra calories just to maintain. This is where resting metabolism is higher, burning extra calories in the process.The key to getting rid of stomach fat is increasing your metabolism for a total body fat wasting effect.Use these 7 tips to get the firm trim stomach you always wanted.Good luck - and let me know if any of these tips work for you!low carb diet [...]

Changing my focus


I've been trying to decide what to talk about after I've completely healed from my tonsillectomy nightmare. I keep changing the focus of this blog, but I really like the name and it can mean so many things. I participate in a lot of weight loss/nutrition forums and that seems to be something that everybody loves to discuss, no matter what end of the spectrum you are on or what you believe in. So I think I might start to talk about weight issues, diets, nutrition, health talk - that kind of thing.

I'm a woman of a certain age, and that's certainly a top concern for me these days. Should be interesting. I hope its enjoyable and informative.

I'm feeling much better now


Nearly two weeks later and I'm almost back to normal. Throat is still sore a bit but I'm almost eating normally. I'm still a bit hesitant when I swallow, and I havne't been able to guzzle liquids like I want to. It's summer, and there's nothing better than taking a big bottle of ice water to the head! But alas, I can only swallow, pause, swallow, pause. That sucks.I return to work next week so I hope the soreness is gone completely by then. I did lose 15 pounds, but I think they're creeping back up on me now that I'm able to eat again. Figures. You can't lose weight that fast and keep it off, even if I tried, its just not normal. My body was in shock and now its like, ooooh, okay, you were just kidding around!!! I've been researching what life is going to be like without my uvula and it appears there will be some adjustments necessary. The uvula keeps your throat moist, so I can look forward to various episodes of dry, raspy throat irritation which can lead to minor illnesses like strep throat and infection (at least that's what I read). Did I mention already that apparently if you have no uvula, you will not be able to drink out of a water fountain because it will run out of your nose???? How horrible! I'm also reading that this type of surgery could cause scar tissue and another surgery might be necessary to remove it. I really hope that's not the case because I'm not down for another surgery. I've been advised to call a malpractice attorney just for a consultation because I was not aware that I was going to have a uvulaectomy and my doctor should not have done this without discussing it with me first. I'm not a big lawsuit filer (lol) so I don't know, but I do feel....violated. Like, I wish he had talked to me first, I can't even explain the feeling of going under anesthesia with one understanding, then waking up and finding out that something else took place and decisions were made while you were asleep. Decisions about your body - and things removed from your body. I could see if my uvula was diseased, but just because it was swollen???? Maybe it was swollen because my tonsils were swollen?I need to think on this more.Anyone else nervous about this upcoming operation, here's a great site I found that even has videos of the surgery - can you stand it??? I never watched the videos because I'm too squeamish, but they might help someone else. I dont' even want to see it now, I'm just glad its over! [...]

Uvulaectomy vs. Tonsillectomy


Today I'm having a bit of annoying irritation at the top of my mouth, and I realize its all coming from where the doc removed my uvula. (Did I mention that already?) There's virtually no pain with my tonsillar areas, but the top where I have the stitch is really painful and everything irritates it. I've had to go back to a soft diet, whereas I was ready to try things like eggs and toast and step it up a bit.In case I didn't mention it already, once the doc started the surgery, he "decided" to just take out my uvula too! No, we hadn't discussed it beforehand, and I didn't even give my consent, neither did my husband who was waiting in the family room. But for reasons unknown, the doctor thought it needed to also come out. It wasn't swollen, and it wasn't bothering me in any way. Prior to starting the surgery, the doc stopped to see me but he didn't even look in my mouth, he just talked to me about my prescriptions. Seems like at that time, he could have looked at my tonsils and then saw if there was a problem with my uvula. So I don't know when or why he decided to take it out.At any rate, he left me with just one stitch, supposedly dissolvable but I can feel it and it really bothers me. And everything I eat with a little bit of spice in it, burns. I tried Diet Coke and it burned. Beefaroni burned. Mashed potatoes with gravy burned (but not plain mashed potatoes, however, I lost my appetite for the white mush).I feel nothing about the tonsils anymore, but the uvulaectomy is causing me problems. A Google search found a lot of people that had both procedures at the same time, experienced much more pain and discomfort and required longer recoveries due to the uvulaectomy than the tonsillectomy.So now I've got to slow down my rush to recovery and go back to eating soft foods and liquids. I've ordered protein shakes, and I finally got my vaporizer, so I'm going to take it easy for the next few days. The mucus has cut down significantly, and for that I'm grateful! That was horrible, used to wake me up choking! I've got to talk to someone about why my doctor just up and decided to cut out stuff without my tonsillectomy [...]



I'm back! This is what, day 2 or 3, depending on how you count. The surgery was Tuesday morning, this is Thursday, and I'm finally able to stay awake for a few hours at a time.Let me start at the beginning - I was trying to assembly my list of products to help everything go better. I could not find the hypercal tincture! I stopped at the pharmacy on my way to surgery and asked the pharmacist about it, she'd never even heard of it. She even looked in the book and then online and couldn't find it. I told her that every reference I found for it online was in the UK, so she was really surprised about it. But she did recommend that I try some Viscous Lidocaine which is a pain numbing liquid that dentists use for major mouth surgeries. So I had to wait and ask my doctor for a prescription - he gave me the strangest look when I asked him! Then he says, did someone tell you to ask for that? I'm like, why? What's the problem? He gave me the prescription but goodness, why wouldn't he automatically be prescribing me anything that would help ease the pain? I don't get that. I was reading where someone else said their doctor warned them about all of the pain, then when they went back and told the doctor they couldn't stand it, he THEN gives them Viscous Lidocaine - why don't they just give it to you upfront?Anyway, my concern was that I have all of this stuff for pain relief, but nothing that actually promotes HEALING. The nurse said that just swallowing water would help with healing, but I feel like I need something else, aloe vera gel, vitamin E, something.The day of the surgery, I was really nervous. I wasn't scared at all when I went in for my gallbladder surgery, but for some reason, this surgery bothered me so much. The whole idea of someone working inside of my throat, was just unnerving. Then the nurses kept coming in to look at my tonsils, saying that I had the largest adult tonsils they had ever seen! They kept calling other people to come in and look at them, just grabbing random folks walking by, to come look in my mouth. The janitor, the family of the patient next door, lol. So basically, I really needed to get the tonsils out, despite trying to talk myself out of it. My throat was nearly completely closed up, and apparently I was in danger of a heart attack or some other issues.It went quickly though, one minute they were talking to me, the next minute I was in recovery signaling for more pain medication because the pain was pretty bad. I had to ask for two more blasts of the good stuff until it was bearable, then they let me sleep for a couple of hours. I could have just stayed there all day, sleeping, but the nurse made me open my eyes so they could discharge me. I was loopy from the anesthesia, and a little nauseous, but the painkiller was working pretty effectively.Luckily, my doctor did give me a script for liquid Vicodin, which I was prepared to fight for, because he had said he was giving me Tylenol with Codeine. I was sick for a while at home, I think just getting the anesthesia and blood out of my stomach, but that passed after the first night.All I've done is sleep. Take meds. Sip water. More sleep. The pain is only really bad when the meds wear off so I've tried to take before the last dose wears off. But its nothing I can't deal with. I'm still not hungry, just the ice water and occasional popsicles are sustaining me. I weighed myself and I lost 10 pounds so that must be water. I feel a little more tired today than any[...]

A Tonsillectomy at 40???


I've bounced around many different ideas for this blog, simply because I didn't want to let go of the name - I have a fondness for that drivethruonly title! It was supposed to be about signs, but it really takes too much effort to drive around taking pics of signs. I'm so focused when I'm driving that I get annoyed at having to document things. It's enough to just look at it and laugh.Then I thought I'd talk about food - food online, the gourmet stuff we actually order and wait to be delivered because its just THAT good. I may still do that. But right now, I want to focus on something else - my tonsillectomy.I'm a 40 year old woman having a tonsillectomy tomorrow, and I'm abso-tively terrified. I've done my research - probably over researched - and found a few really interesting links to message boards where they were discussing the horrors of this procedure on adults. This thread in particular has been incredible in keeping me both informed and up all night shaking in fear. But it looks like it got so long that it was closed and the last post was from April of this year. There's probably not much left to answer that hasn't been covered in there already, but I thought I'd document a bit about my own surgery in case there are others looking for information. What I'm trying to do is collect all of my remedies ahead of time, whereas most people go through the surgery, then start looking for help while they're in the throes of agony. So I'm trying to collect a list of things I will need immediately after surgery so I can keep the pain at bay.Based on what I've read, this is what I think I'll need:Nasal spray - one that alleviates the swelling that's expected from the trauma to my tonsils, since they're all connected back there. Apparently, it gets swollen pretty bad and makes you even more miserableHypercal tincture - this is an antiseptic/pain relieving mouth rinse made out of calendula and hypericum that's supposed to be really, really effective at numbing the pain. Problem is, I can't find it anywhere. All of the links I found point to sites in the UK, but the posts I read about it suggested that it could be found at health food stores, however, none around me have it. If anyone has upcoming surgery and has the time available, I'd say ORDER it online from the UK sites and just get it delivered. I didn't have that kind of time so I'm going to see if I can find a substitute mouth gargle. Don't know what that will be as of right now though....Chloraseptic spray - I do have some of this already. Get extra strength if you can, its always been pretty good at numbing sore throat pain and I imagine it will feel good to spray down my tonsils - rather, the site of my former tonsils. Then again, it might burn like hell at first....however, I'm willing to be the guinea pig on this.Penicillin or other antibiotic - make sure you get an antibiotic because apparently there's a high chance of infection after surgery. Your doctor should give you one, but just in case you don't, be sure to ask for one.Something stronger than Tylenol! They're giving me Tylenol with codeine, but Tylenol does nothing for me whatsoever. So I'm asking for liquid Vicodin, and if they turn that down, I'm asking for something else like Percocet or whatever else. Vaporizer - I'm told that the night air and especially air co[...]