Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Win Free Stuff!! Give us your favorite WLS friendly recipe!

I'm still gathering those recipes!! Any recipe you've got that is a good suggestion for a WLS postop is welcome!

Desserts, main dishes, side dishes...YOU NAME IT!!

Anyone who shares a recipe (You can post a comment and list it there! OR, email it to me at wlsrecipes@yahoo.com) will be entered in a drawing for a box of goodies--protein samples, a protein shaker cup, product samples of other items, etc. And, when it is ready, you get a free copy of the cookbook too! It will be worth your time!! SO, share away folks!! Remember, it does not have to be suited to a very early postop person's eating ability! We're looking for things that are good food choices for someone who is postop at most any stage of the game...

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

WLS Cookbook

I'm in the process of compiling a cookbook for my county's 4-H
program... It got me to thinking that I'd like to do a WLS cookbook.
But, I need recipes!! I've been saving recipes for over 2 years now,
but it is just the tip of the iceberg! I need more! This cookbook
would be made available to anyone who'd like to purchase it--locally or
otherwise. And, I'd LOVE to include lots of recipes from our local and not-so-local
postops! Each recipe can list the contributor, so you'd get credit for
submitting it too!

I need ALL SORTS of recipes!
protein rich stuff
side dishes


Simple or not so simple...suitable for early postops OR those farther
out--any and all recipes are welcome! Low carb...high protein...good
source of fiber...if you eat it, we want that recipe!!

Please consider sending them in! Send them to me at
wlsrecipes@yahoo.com (created specifically for this project!) and I'll
put your name in the drawing I have going on right now for a box of
protein and snack goodies! (view info on current giveaway) I'm also going to put
together a basket full of other goodies--handcrafted soaps, body
products, and more. This basket will not be drawn for till the project
is complete, so ANYONE who sends a recipe will get an entry in that
drawing. One drawing entry per recipe--however many you'd like to
send! Then, when the cookbook is ready, we'll draw a few names to win a
free copy!!

What to send:
Recipe Name
Nutrition Facts (if you have them!)
Any notes about things you change or alternate, etc...

I will be working on this for a while yet. Send something now and then,
as you come across others, pass them on too!!
Thanks for your help and participation!!

Click to submit your recipe!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Reminder: Kay's Naturals ALWAYS 20% OFF and NEW Kay's products coming soon!!

Quite a while back, I got Kay's Naturals to give all my readers a 20% product discount... All you have to do is shop their site at
Then, after you shop and place the items you want in your shopping cart, use the discount code minichallenge during the checkout process.

By the way--the cinnamon toast pretzels which have been out of stock for quite some time now are due in VERY soon and will be 50% off when they arrive! And, several other products are currently discounted on their site! Check out their main page for that info...

I will include some Kay's Naturals products in the box of goodies I'm giving away right now (see post).

They do have the sample pack for $7.50 right now! Check that out if you are new to their products.

They also have several NEW items in the works. They are not on the site yet, but they include the following items:
sweet barbecue snack mix
salted pretzel sticks
hazelnut protein chips
almond cinnamon protein chips

Those ALL sound like winners to me!! Remember, you heard it here first! Be sure to stay tuned as I will have a giveaway with the new products once they are available for sale! I can't give them to you till I can buy 'em from them! LOL

As always, you can check my product reviews for some reviews of their products...

Monday, November 17, 2008

Share your best holiday recipe and WIN!!

Giveaway time again!! I am looking for any and all weight loss surgery friendly recipes that are suitable for the holiday dinners we're all contemplating cooking and/or eating right about now... Desserts, main dishes, side dishes...YOU NAME IT!!

Anyone who shares a recipe (just post a comment and list it there!) will be entered in a drawing for a box of goodies--protein samples, a protein shaker cup, product samples of other items, etc. It will be worth your time!! SO, share away folks!! Remember, it does not have to be suited to a very early postop person's eating ability! We're looking for things that are good food choices for someone who is postop at most any stage of the game...

What's for supper?? Crockpot is ready!

I was up at 5:15 this morning to shower and get ready for my day. The phone starts ringing normally by 5:45 if there are substitute positions for the day, so I wanted to be out of the shower by then since I didn't shower last night. I hate trying to listen for a phone while IN the shower and then potentially having to get out dripping and soapy to answer it! I am NOT normally a morning person, but I am gradually adjusting to getting up and staying up and this morning I just could not go back to sleep! After my shower and as I got dressed for the day (I have to get dressed to take Mandy to the bus, so I might as well be dressed and ready to work, right?), I made a big mug of my protein cocoa (posted recipe yesterday, so scroll down for that one!) and drank that while I checked email. That was almost 30 grams of protein in for the day!

I am apparently going to have the day off from work today as it is after 7:45 am and no call yet... Ahhh, the life of a substitute teacher--never knowing if you'll work that day or not...waiting on the phone to ring like a teenage girl on Saturday night! Of course I could still get called for a half day this afternoon too. SO, after I put my teenage monster (ugh, another post from yesterday!) on the bus this morning, I started thinking about what I could do or get caught up on around here that I just didn't feel like doing over the weekend.

I thought about cleaning out the fridge, but who really wants to do that? LOL I grabbed a cheese stick and pondered... While standing there with the door open though, a package of chicken breasts were staring back at me and I knew that it was close to time to use 'em or lose 'em. SO, I decided today was a good crockpot day! Heck, ANY day is a good crockpot day, but cold days are great crockpot days! LOL

I pulled out the chicken breasts and an open bag of baby carrots. Leaving those on the counter, I hit the cupboard for some cream of mushroom and cream of chicken soup. Finally, I grabbed a good sized yellow onion. With the crockpot ready, I laid the chicken breasts in the bottom. There were three of them--about a pound and a half. On top of the chicken breasts, I layered most of that pound bag of baby carrots and then peeled the onion and cut it into about 8 wedges that I dropped in there too. On top of this, I poured the cream of mushroom and cream of chicken soups and spread them around so that they covered everything. And, finally, I liberally sprinkled Everglades Seasoning (best everyday seasoning blend on the market!) over the top of it all. Around 10 am (if I'm still here--sooner if I get called to go somewhere), I will turn the crockpot on low and let that baby go till about 4:30 pm. At that time, I'll mix it up good to break the chicken up a bit and stir in about a cup of Barilla Plus elbow pasta and a cup or two of frozen peas. I will let it continue to cook (though on high) till the pasta is all done.

This will make for an effortless dinner meal that will be yummy on this cold, wintry day!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Pouch Rules for Dummies

This piece is one that you hear mentioned all the time but may not know where to find... I found it at

I'm not going to post the whole thing here.... It is 10 pages long. I am, however, going to share a few tidbits that I think apply to MANY of us who are postops! Click the link above and read this thing! It is worth your time and goes pretty quickly!

Rules are made to be broken. No biggie if the patient drinks with one meal - as long as the patient knows he/she is breaking a rule and will get hungry early. Also if the patient pigs out at a party - that's OK because before surgery, the patient would have pigged on 3000 to 5000 calories and with the pouch, the patient can only pig on 600-1000 calories max. The patient needs to just get back to the rules and not beat him/herself up.

1. Fill pouch full quickly at each meal
2. Stay full by slowing the emptying of the pouch. (Eat solids. No liquids 15 minutes before and none until 1 ½ hours after the meal). A scientific test showed that a meal of egg/toast/milk had almost all emptied out of the pouch after 45 minutes. Without milk, just egg and toast, more than ½ of the meal still remained in the pouch after 1 ½ hours.
3. Protein, protein, protein. Three meals a day. No high calorie liquids.

The first six months is the fastest, easiest time to lose weight. By the end of the six months, 2/3 of the regrowth of the pouch will have been done. That means that each present day, after surgery you will be satisfied with less calories than you will the very next day. Another way to put it is that every day that you are healing, you will be able to eat more. So exercise as much as you can during that first six months as you will never be able to lose weight as fast as you can during this time.

Recipe: Peanut Butter Chocolate Ricotta Creme

Got this one from a friend and HAD to ask permission to share it with you all!!

Peanut Butter-Chocolate Ricotta Crème

Two servings.

1 cup low fat or part-skim ricotta cheese
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 or 3 packets Splenda
1/2 to 1 tablespoon natural peanut butter
1/2 to 1 tablespoon baking cocoa (or 1 to 2 tablespoons sugar-free chocolate syrup)

Mix as desired, put in 2 serving dishes, chill, and serve. If using chocolate syrup, you can pour on top instead of mixing in, if desired.

Recipe: Protein Hot Cocoa

It is that time of year again... Time to have a nice hot beverage handy to warm you up, especially after going out for a walk on these nippy days! I am NOT a coffee drinker, so I concocted this protein cocoa to serve my warm beverage needs!

1 scoop chocolate protein powder
1 packet no-sugar-added hot cocoa mix

Mix scoop of protein powder into about 2 ozs of water that is straight from the tap or at room temperature. Mix it well so there are no clumps.
Add the packet of cocoa mix and again mix well.
Add another 8 to 10 ozs of very hot water. I usually have a pan of water warming on the stove before I start mixing the other stuff together.
Once the hot water is added to the cup/mug, stir it till it is smooth and well mixed.
Last step?? ENJOY!!

Notes about this process/recipe:
1) Do NOT mix hot water into protein powder. It will clump and be plain ole' nasty! You MUST mix the protein powder with the cooler water and get it mixed well first!
2) You can use ANY chocolate protein powder. I prefer the IDS Belgian Chocolate and it has 26 grams of protein per scoop!
3) You can also use two packets of cocoa mix and a scoop of unflavored protein powder.
4) I use a store brand (Krogers) no-sugar-added cocoa mix. Many companies have a no-sugar-added version or a "diet" version. Swiss Miss makes a good one. Check the labels and look for the sugar grams! Sometimes the no-sugar-added is not the one you want. Sometimes the better choice is actually labeled diet. Just be a good label reader! I like the Krogers mix and it goes on sale frequently for anywhere from a buck to $1.50 per box!

Working every day...and an update!

Working every day... Unique concept! Well, for some of us it is! I have not actually worked (outside the home) every day in over 10 years... And even then, I only worked 3 to 5 days a week, not every day Monday through Friday every week. Since I went back to teaching though, that has been the case. I have worked every day and for the first few weeks, it was pretty tiring and hard to get back into that work loop... I was used to getting my daughter off to the bus in the AM and then hitting the bed for a bit more rest as I was a night owl who stayed up till about 2 AM every night. I'd get her up and off to the bus (gets on bus at 6:50 AM) and then go back to bed till some time between 8 and 9 AM. Suddenly, I was getting up at 6 AM and leaving the house by 7 AM and not home again till 5 ish and required to stay awake and alert for that time span! Talk about a shock to your system! LOL

Now those of you who are used to it and work every day are thinking, "what the hell is she complaining about???" LOL I'm not really complaining, just finally getting my body's timeclock shifted to where I am in the bed (and asleep!) by 11 or midnight and am able to wake up pretty much on my own around 5:30 or 6:00 and stay up through the day without feeling like a kindergartener who needs a nap after lunch! It has taken me this long! And, now I really think that my thyroid meds are off kilter again as I'm sort of dragging and I am hungry all day long! I won't have new labs done till after Jan 1st (lovely insurance!), so won't really know till then, but in the meanwhile, I am trying to cope... I've been really trying to find better snacks to carry me through the daytime munchies and been really trying to say no to munching on something before bed or when I wake up in the middle of the night. Some nights, I feel sort of loopy and think it is low blood sugar (usually nights we've had an earlier dinner) and I do go ahead and grab a small snack. Other nights, I know it is just head hunger and just say no!

I'm also retaining water in my legs and feet and can see how much they are swollen by the end of the day when I've been on my feet at work. I'm not sure there's anything I can do about that as my doc keeps telling me no about the water pills and to "just stay off your feet..." LOL Yeah, don't I wish! LOL

Other than these minor complaints, life is pretty good (well, these minor health issues AND a pain-in-the-ass teenager!)... I'm still below 210 pounds (over 200 pounds lost) and I am more active than I have been since I was a young child. And I mean young--as in less than 10 years old. I climb the stairs easily several times a day at work. I'm never out of breath or even strained when I reach the top. I can be on my feet without the excruciating pain in my knees and lower back. I no longer have issues with high blood pressure... I'm not worried about being diagnosed as diabetic... The world is much better for me post-WLS!

Life with teenagers...UGH!

I have two of this animal--teenagers! Well, technically, I have 3... I have two daughters, ages 16 and 19. Then, I also have a son-in-law who, while actually 20, acts like a teenager most days. My older daughter and her hubby live at his parents' house and have no responsibility to support themselves, but we (hubby and I) aren't supporting them. My 16 year old, however, is another case. We support her. We love her, but honestly wonder if that emotion is reciprocated most days. She is rebellious and has a bad attitude despite being an almost straight A student who does well and doesn't get in trouble at school (thankfully). She just refuses to do anything that we ask of her at home without first fighting it and stalling. She puts more time and work into getting out of doing stuff than it would actually take to DO the task! And, she is getting worse about staying up way beyond her bedtime on the computer once I am asleep myself. She does NO household chores whatsoever. She doesn't sweep floors. She doesn't wash dishes. She doesn't wash laundry. She hardly ever even cooks anything. She does about 15 minutes worth of outside chores (feeding livestock) a day and acts like it is an all day task to do just that bit. I have to say that I am beginning to REALLY look forward to her turning 18 and going off to college. She is one of those kiddos who will be made move out if she doesn't go to college as you can only take so much disrespect before it wears you down!

Rant over! We now return you to our regularly scheduled programming! LOL

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Kay's Naturals--Everything 50% off!

As some of you may recall, not too many weeks ago, Kay's Naturals had a 50% off sale all weekend long. They're doing it again this weekend! Click over to the site for more info!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Elected President

President elected... Obama? McCain? Nope, ME! I was elected president of our county's 4-H Leaders Association last night. It is a one year term with the possibility of a second year. Most winners (aka suckers!) end up with two years... LOL I replaced a woman who'd served two years, gotten out of it--ugh, I mean finished her term, and then after about a month, the newly elected person backed out and she got stuck back in as president for another year! She was glad to step down last night!

What does it mean? Well, it means you chair the monthly meetings, chair any activity committees, and are responsible for a lot of the behind the scenes stuff that helps keep 4-H running in our county. Oh, and it means you are the number one person for 4-H camp. That is the biggest part of the job and most of the work happens over about a 6-week timeframe as camp is planned, fine-tuned and then executed... Camp is a week long and is held in June. We have had as few as 58 kids to a larger group of about 100. It can be fun though it can also be physically and even emotionally stressful... Just depends on what that one week brings!

I'm happy to serve now that my health allows me to do it. Even a year ago, I doubt that I'd have been able to keep up with it all. Now, I'm anxious to get started!

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Matthew & Grandpa

He is getting so big! Matthew is now 3 1/2 mos old and he is so alert and fun to be around! We finally got some decent shots of him and Grandpa this past week... It doesn't show quite how much he looks like Grandpa, but we'll keep trying till we get one that does show it well!

Grandpa sits and holds him and tells him how beautiful he is and how much he loves him and Matthew blows spit bubbles at him... Poor guy is teething something fierce now and the drool is just flowing like water! We've had to start putting a bib on him just to keep him from soaking his clothes so fast! We went to give him a bath the other day and he was soaked almost from his chin to his belly button!

Starting to catch up...

With going back to working away from home most days, I didn't think it would ever happen, but I am finally starting to get back on track... I'm getting somewhat of a routine worked out as far as cooking meals, buying groceries, washing dishes, washing clothes, etc is concerned so that all of these chores are not building up in wait for a day off...

My dishes may only get washed every other day, but there is just me and Mandy eating here most of the time and we're only eating dinner and warming up something for breakfast, so there are not a lot of dishes to wash.

Laundry--well, that is a different story! It took some doing to keep up with the laundry! What with clothes, towels, bedding and all, it piles up when you are not looking! LOL

Buying groceries is probably the easiest. When I wasn't working, I had to plan a couple of trips to town each week just to pick up necessary stuff both from the grocery and the feed store (livestock feed for our animals). Now that I am in town most days from Monday to Friday, it is easy to just run by the grocery store and grab whatever we need without the worry about getting every single thing we need in order to avoid needing an extra trip to town... I still have to plan my trips to Walmart and Sam's Club as those are both about an hour from home and are harder to just "get by..."

And, now that I've been having to get up and get out to work so many days, my body's internal clock is finally starting to come around to this new schedule and I'm staying up less at night and getting up easier in the morning. Now, don't let that fool you! I am still NOT a morning person! I never said I was liking it more...just that it was easier to get up and get going now that my inner clock is shifting gears a bit. I also didn't sleep away the day on Saturday this weekend and didn't even take a nap today (Sunday)! That alone is progress... Last weekend, I swear I could have slept soundly all day on Saturday!

Now, I need to start putting some creative thinking into planning lunch box lunches and packable snacks. I welcome comments about how or what you guys do in that sense. In many classroom situations, there is a fridge and a microwave available nearby, so that helps. But, I generally pack a lunch that would be okay if not able to warm something up. And, as I am finding that I really do need to be eating more calories per day (I lose a bit when I do eat more lately), I am really thinking hard on snack items. I've got a bag of nuts and a couple of protein bars in my bag at all times. I even have a spare bottle of water in my tote in addition to whatever I have packed in my cooler bag and the big cup I tote with me. I need to generate a list of healthy snacks and focus some on those that would be higher protein sources as I've noticed a bit more hair loss again lately and am not sure whether it is my thyroid or just me not getting enough protein...
Powered by WebRing®.