The Journey Of Juicing

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This blog post is a part of Williams-Sonoma Juice Week

About two years into my weight loss journey in 2012 I started juicing, I jumped on the juicing wagon when a co-worker of mine at the time was ranting and raving about how easy and tasty it was to juice so I decided to give it a try for myself. I got myself a Shaper Image Stainless Steel Supper Juicer 8021 and starting juicing and experimenting with all sorts of fruits and vegetables to find my favorite combinations. Needless to say I was hooked and was on a juicing journey. It’s easy, tasty, and a fun way to experiment in the kitchen.

Juicing is a great way to add fruits and vegetables into your diet. It is also a nice way to try certain fruits and vegetables you normally wouldn’t eat. Afraid to eat kale? Toss some in the juicer with apples or whatever you heart my desire and you’ll have a tasty drink. Your body will thank you! Juicing recipes are easily available online, cookbooks, or just have fun mixing up your own combinations of fruits and vegetables. That’s the beauty of juicing you are in charge what what goes into your glass and it gives you can to be adventurous. When you juice, one suggestion of mine is return some of the pulp, that is left over from juicing , to your cup before you drink your masterpiece. Not only does the pulp have healthy fiber and other important vitamins and minerals, but it can help fill you up! If you don’t want to drink the pulp save it and bake it into some muffins. The pulp is too valuable to waste in my opinion.

You can really juice about must anything! Some of my personal favorites and their benefits are:

-watermelon: studies have suggested that watermelon decreases the risk of obesity and overall mortality, diabetes, heart disease and promotes a healthy complexion and hair, increased energy, overall lower weight.

-strawberries: rich in vitamin C, potassium, folic acid and fiber.
-blueberries: contain antioxidants, which work to neutralize free radicals linked to the development of cancer, cardiovascular disease, and other age-related conditions.

-raspberries: anti- cancer benefits have attributed antioxidant and anti-inflammatory phytonutrients in raspberries.

-pineapple: a source of thiamin, riboflavin, vitamin B-6, folate, pantothenic acid, magnesium, manganese and potassium and antioxidants and polyphenols. Only known source of an enzyme called bromelain, which has been determined to be effective in alleviating joint pain, arthritis, reduce inflammation, and inhibit tumor growth.

-lemons/limes: rich in vitamin C, help eliminate kidney stones and strengthen your immune system, cleanse your stomach, and it is considered a blood purifier.

-apples: full of antioxidants, flavanoids, and dietary fiber. May help reduce the risk of developing cancer, hypertension, diabetes, and heart disease.
-carrots: loaded with Vitamin A and Beta-carotene. Help reduce cancer and cardiovascular disease risks.

-ginger root: ginger is widely used for loss of appetite, nausea and vomiting, flatulence, stomach upset, colic, morning sickness and motion sickness. Adds a spicy kick to your juice!

-mint leaves: mint has one of the highest antioxidant capacities of any food!

Obviously there are tons of other fruits and vegetables to juice out there. All of them have great health benefits and offer a different flavor to your juice. Just give juicing a try, I promise you’ll be hooked and prefer it over store bought anyway!

In need of a juicer to start on your juicing journey? Check out the awesome selection available at Williams-Sonoma

Trying To Keep My Head Above Water

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Sorry I’ve been kind of absent from posting. Most days I’m just trying to keep my head above water. One month ago I was officially diagnosed with fibromyalgia through I have been suffering from the problems since about February after suffering from a life threatening allergic reaction that started to shut down my kidneys and required me to have 11 blood transfusions. I also spent 13 days in the hospital and was out of work for 8 weeks. This year has really been hard. My depression comes and goes, the pain is consent. Two months ago I transferred departments at work as I was having huge problems doing my physical job effective. With my new job I still get to care for people but it is much easier on my body. However the 40 hours a week still exhausts me. Some weeks it’s too much.

Almost every day I ask “why me.” Life was going so well towards the end of last year and in an instance my life changed forever. I used to run and completed several 5Ks. I used to walk a ton. I could do planks and things I could never do before, all that’s a distant memory now. Just going out and walking now is a huge chore and hard on my body, but I try to do it because in the long run it is good for my fibromyalgia. I try to remain positive but some days it’s just too hard.

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Research Opportunity For WLS Pre-Ops

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Sharing for all the pre-ops out there!

Are you seeking weight loss surgery? Please see this research opportunity with Fordham University. It is 10 min online survey for pre-op patients. There is a $10 eGift card incentive.

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Ready To Move Forward Again

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I was taking to my husband yesterday and how this year seems like the worst year of my life. I’ve had other horrible years in my past thanks to crippling depression but something about this year just makes it feel so much worse. Strangely I am not dealing with severe depression right now even though I have never been through as much as I have been this year. Sure I’m a little down at times and frankly that’s to be expected. I’ve read that Fibromyalgia is rarely present without depression and anxiety. I am shocked that this is the least depressed that I have been in the last 5-6 years. The beginning of my year saw me hospitalized for 2 weeks and out of work for 8 weeks. My kidneys were failing me and I was severely anemic thanks to an allergic reaction.
Even though my kidneys recovered and my anemia is long gone, I’ve been left to deal with fibromyalgia for the rest of my life. Fibromyalgia is a condition where the sufferer experiences chronic, diffuse, aching pain all the time, disturbed sleep, chronic low energy, and a host of other issues. I have to visit yet another specialist on Monday. This time a urologist to be evaluated for a bladder condition called interstitial cystitis, which can commonly accompany fibromyalgia. I could let this depress me even more but I’m trying not to let that happen because there is nothing I can do to make it go away. I can just manage it and stay strong.
You’ll be hearing a lot more about my fibromyalgia and how it effects my life on this blog. I requested a book from the library about foods that help with fibromyalgia, I am waiting to get it but I’m interested to read it. I’m ready to move forward again with my life.

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Enlightened Ice Cream Review And Giveaway

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Enlightened Ice Cream is a new product, they call themselves “The Good For You Ice Cream.” For ice cream the nutritional stats are impressive. Products range from 70-100 calories and 7-9 grams of protein. For someone who has had weight loss surgery this is a nice treat and adds a little protein to their daily count. They are also low in sugar and high in fiber. You can either buy ice cream sandwiches in Vanilla Bean or Mint flavors. Or you can get yourself an ice cream bar available in 5 different flavors, Peanut Butter, Fudge, Orange Cream, Coffee, and Toasted Almond.

One box contains 4 bars or sandwiches and costs around $5.50 a box. I do wish more came in the box and that the product was carried in more stores. Since it’s a new product I know we will hopefully be seeing an increase in where they are available. I found the three different kinds I tried to be very tasty but had to drive 30 minutes to nearest store that carried them. I tried Vanilla Bean ice cream sandwich, the Fudge Bar, and the Toasted Almond bar. My favorite of the three was the toasted almond! Not a flavor you see too often so it was a lovely change from the usual flavors of ice cream bars you normally see. I had really wanted to try the peanut butter bar since I’m a huge peanut butter lover but sadly the store didn’t carry that flavor.

I suggest that you have the Enlightened Ice Cream brand in a store near you to buy a box and give them a try for yourself.

I’m giving away a free box to one lucky blog reader. To enter leave a comment on this blog post on why you want to try Enlightened Ice Cream and what flavor appeals to you the most. Also make sure to leave your email address so I can contact you if you are the winner! Contest ends at 11pm (EST) on July 31! Good luck!

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Fibromyalgia

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So I had my appointment with the rheumatologist this past Monday. She spent over an hour and a half with me. She was very thorough and went through all my symptoms and went through prior test results that I had done that ruled out other conditions that can produce the same symptoms. She concluded that I do have fibromyalgia. I am taking Cymbalta for it which I had already started on a few weeks prior for my migraines. Cymbalta is one of three medications that are approved for fibro. I was also give Tramadol for pain as needed. Also trying my best to get back into walking at least three times a week will also help. It’s a catch 22, you don’t want to exercise because you are in pain all over and exhausted but in the long run exercise like walking, yoga, swimming, etc are good for fibro. I’ve walked twice this week and will mow my lawn tomorrow or Saturday. This diagnosis gives me closure to the symptoms I developed after my allergic reaction. I couldn’t understand why my body hurt all over all the time, why my migraines got worse, why my insomnia worsened, and many other problems that I didn’t have just 7 months ago. It’s been just over 6 months now since my allergic reaction that landed me in the hospital for 13 days and required me to get 11 blood transfusions. It’s been a rough year but now that I have an answer to these new problems and a treatment plan I feel as though I will be able to tackle my future.

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Why I’m Not Ashamed Of My Body

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Despite losing 130+ lbs I am still a big girl, I know I always will be. I still get looks of disgust in public and face weight discrimination. People (medical professionals included) see my big body or the number 285 pop up on the scale when they weigh me, they like to judge. They assume I don’t exercise or don’t try to eat right. Sometimes people try to give you their “two cents,” but I smile and nod and remember that I am personally not ashamed of my body or the number of the scale. There is so much more to me than a number and I embrace that.
Why am I not ashamed? Because this body of mine has gotten me through so much. It’s survived childhood epilepsy and a rape. It has survived two major surgeries and years of crippling depression. It has recently survived a massive physical trauma and withstood 11 blood transfusions.
I love every flaw and every curve of my body because it has gotten me through so much. If this body had failed me I wouldn’t be here right now.
I will keep loving my body and everything it gets me through. I will keep it as healthy as I can so that it can continue to serve me. I will continue to not let the scale or numbers define me because they are nothing to be ashamed of.

A New Development???

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Asking for thoughts, vibes, prayers (whatever your choice of worship is) for an appointment of mine coming up.

I was at the neurologist for my migraines last Thursday and she is having me see a rheumatologist on the 14th which is Monday. She thinks I might have developed fibromyalgia which can happen after intense physical trauma like I went through in January with my bad allergic reaction to Topamax. I’m in pain all over all the time and I’ve developed other issues since then which fall in line with fibromyalgia. I’ve been tested for things like lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, and other autoimmune diseases but they were all negative. Things like exercise has been harder than ever before. I went from being active (even doing 5Ks) the last few years to unable to do much. Even walking a few miles seems like too much for me sometimes. But I’ve been trying to stay as active as I can. I had to take a less physical job at work because I was no longer capable of doing what I was doing. I’m always exhausted but my blood tests and vitamin levels have been fine the last several months. No amount of sleep refreshes me. This would also explain my worsening depression. I am trying to remain positive.

Anyway nothing is confirmed and I don’t know yet but just think of me during my afternoon appointment please. Thanks all!

Guest Post: BariatricDate.net

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Today’s post is a guest post all about a new dating site just for bariatric patients!

Lose Alone No More: New Dating Website Caters to Bariatric Dating and Friendships

On July 1, 2014 a brand new website opens especially for bariatric patients and those who are considering or have undergone weight loss surgery, such as gastric bypass. This website is open to any bariatric patient, whether you are seeking friendship or something more.

Gone are the days of trying to explain your plight on a profile page, or worrying about what potential matches will think about your photos. Here you can be yourself, and develop relationships with real people facing the same issues you are. No more attempts to explain your insanely tiny meals, or why you wear elastic pants or how you feel about stretch marks.

Want to establish a network of friends to support each other? Looking for a soul mate who has walked the same road as you have? Interested in finding out what life is like out there, now that you’ve created a whole new you? BariatricDate.net is the place for you!

This unique and innovative bariatric dating site was created by a woman and her daughter, both of whom have been through bariatric surgery and have developed new and adventurous lives as a result. They know the challenges associated with bariatric dating, and have crafted a site where bariatric patients can meet each other, chat together, join forum groups and meet a whole new group of exciting people.

You are not alone in your quest. Best-selling author Anne Rice, comedian Rosanne Barr, American Idol mentor Randy Jackson, weatherman Al Roker, blues artist John Popper, and many other celebrities have found life, love and fulfillment through bariatric surgery. [1]

It can be tempting to put off dating after such a major life change. What will people think? How can I explain what I eat? What will they think of my looks? At BariatricDate.net you won’t have to deal with any of these issues. Just sign up, post a photo, fill out your profile and start meeting people! Not ready to meet a romantic match just yet? No worries, you can also participate in the forum and chat groups and meet some buddies who share your goals and interests.

Studies show that bariatric patients with a solid support system of caring people are more successful in meeting their weight loss goals. They lose more weight, lose weight more quickly and make healthier choices in all areas of their life. Further studies show that online support is just as effective as in-person support. [2] BariatricDate.net is just the place to assemble this important social support network.

Visit BariatricDate.net to see how this bariatric dating site can open up an entirely new world for you, where your past is no secret and your future knows no limits.

For more information, please email Laura Conley and Alexandra Chambers at info@bariatricdate.net.

Sources:

1. http://www.toptenz.net/top-10-famous-people-who-have-had-a-gastric-bypass.php

2. http://phys.org/news124471522.html

Side Effects

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I’m sure you noticed in my last two blog posts that I seemed extremely depressed. I was but I think I determined a cause. About 3 weeks ago my neurologist started me on a medication for my migraines, this medication, Pristiq is technically an anti-depressant. Ironically one of the side effects is an “increased the risk of suicidal thoughts and behavior.” The medication had also kindly packed on about 7 lbs in just 2 weeks. That’s more than I put on in the 5 months I spent on Prednisone, a steroid. So I decided I needed to get off this medication soon before it all got worse. I started weaning down a few days ago and already feel back to my normal self and the scale is going back to what I was. Sometimes I wonder why we take medications, sometimes they seem to do more harm than good.