Thursday, June 30, 2011

Woohoo! More giveaways :)

It's time for giveaway blogs again! Yay! I'm really excited about the ones I have found this week.

Woodland Belle Tiny Twig Pins from Laura DeLuca
I'll be the first to admit, my hairpin collection is small. Okay, okay, pretty much non-existent. I've got plenty of clippies, but really cute hairpins are hard to come by. At least until Laura at Laura DeLuca introduced me to Woodland Belle. I love all things related to nature (which reminds me, I really need to post a picture of my evergrowing sweet potato vine - it's gorgeous!) Woodland Belle has 4 different collections, all of which are handcrafted by Mai McKemy. She does fantastic work, and you have a chance to win these amazing Tiny Twig hairpins! I also wanted to show off my favorite item, the Tiny Woodland Terrarium Mushroom and Blue Morpho Butterfly Necklace, which I hope to purchase soon :) Stop by Laura's blog, Laura DeLuca, to enter the giveaway, and check out Woodland Belle's site, Woodland Belle, to see all Mai has to offer!




Polaroid My Memories Suite from Got Love, Been Married, now where the hell's the baby carriage?

As someone fighting infertility, I am drawn to other bloggers dealing with the same thing. After reading the title of her blog, Got Love, Been Married, now where the hell's the baby carriage?, I knew I had to stop and read. Jenn and her husband have decided to adopt after some heartbreaking losses. My hubby and I have also been talking about adoption if using donor sperm doesn't work. Everything I have read talks about the Family Profile/Essay/Scrapbook. It goes by many names, but it's essentially the same thing. It's a book to introduce you to potential birth mothers. I have thought about doing actual scrapbooking, but then it hit me - if I have to make more than one, that'll take forever. Well, that's where digital scrapbooking comes in. Jenn used Polaroid's My Memories Suite, and she raves about it. In fact, she's doing a giveaway! Yay! So head over to Jenn's blog, Got Love, Been Married, now where the hell's the baby carriage?, and enter!

**My blogger template doesn't show links well. All names and titles in bold are also links.**

Crying happy tears

I don't normally blog several times in a single day, but I couldn't help myself today. I found a new blog to love, Hybrid Rasta Mama. I've never met this woman, but she is pretty much everything I want to be when I'm a mom. All-natural, patient, loving, and happy. As I was perusing her posts, I was drawn to one called Real Men Wear Babies. I had to read it. As I was looking at all the pictures of dads wearing their babies, I couldn't help but think of my hubby. I've often joked that we are going to have to have twins because I'm probably never going to want to put my baby down. After seeing this, and realizing just how cute Hubs will be wearing our baby, I think I might share. Enjoy all the wonderful pictures Hybrid Rasta Mama has on her blog, Real Men Wear Babies!

Hybrid Rasta Mama: A Natural Parenting, Healthy Living Blog


Oh, and here is Hubs with one of our nieces :) (It's hard to believe she's already 2 and a half years old)

What's Your Song? Thursday Link-up!

One of my favorite genres of music is reggae. When I started using last.fm for music at work, I was introduced to reggae from different countries - because it's not just Bob Marley and Jamaica. I'm particularly fond of German and Polish reggae. Oh yes, it exists. And wait until you hear it! It always puts me in a happy, bouncy, good mood. How about you?

This is Ohrbooten, Und-Tschüss!


Want to join the link up? Head over to Amber's blog, Goodnight Moon! It's so much fun!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

How to Lose Weight with PCOS

Let me preface this by saying I am not a doctor. What I say is solely based on personal experience and tons of research. If you try something I suggest and it doesn't work, don't hold it against me, please. Our bodies are individually unique, and what works for some doesn't work for others. (Oh, and I think I'm also supposed to say that you should consult your physician before starting a new diet or exercise regimen.)

The first thing you should know when trying to lose weight is whether or not you have Insulin Resistance (IR). There are a few tests that can be run by your doctor. One is the fasting glucose test, which checks your blood sugar levels after a long fast - typically overnight. Another one is the Glucose Tolerance Test, where they give you some yucky liquid to drink, then test your blood sugar at 1 and 2 hours post drinking. HOWEVER - not all women with Insulin Resistance can be diagnosed through these tests. We're just weird like that. A good sign of insulin resistance is the lack of menstruation and high levels of testosterone, which can be visible in the form of excess hair, especially on the chin, or male-pattern balding. I'll admit, I did not go to a doctor to diagnose my IR. I performed the test on my own, with a blood sugar monitor. I watched my blood sugar levels after different foods, and saw that I had higher levels for longer periods of time when I consumed simple carbs or sugars.

Ok, so we know now if you have IR or not. Next step, are you gluten intolerant? This is a little tricky to figure out as well. It's rumored that up to 85% of all women with PCOS have some form of gluten or wheat sensitivity. Do you have migraines or intestinal problems? Since high school, I've fought migraines on a weekly basis. They were so bad that my grandmother's phone number was on speed-dial in the nurse's office. I couldn't figure out what was causing them, and most meds didn't help. I just had to take naproxen and go to sleep. I went gluten free, and after about a year, I realized that I hadn't had any migraines. By eliminating one thing from my diet, my migraines disappeared. This is a little TMI, so skip the rest of paragraph if you don't want to hear this (although I'd suggest suffering through it, because it's really important if you have digestive troubles!)- I spent the last 5-6 years thinking diarrhea was normal. It wasn't like I had to stay by the restroom constantly, but anytime I did need to visit the restroom, I had diarrhea. I seriously thought that was normal, because I had lived with it for so long. I decided to take the gluten sensitivity test, and BAM! No more diarrhea. Seriously. I've been trying really hard to stick to a gluten-free diet for over a month now, and I have had normal BMs. I never thought I would be so happy about the consistency of my poop.

So how do I do take the gluten sensitivity test? It's simple, although you have to be very strict about it for 2 weeks. Eliminate all gluten from your diet. That means no wheat, barley or rye. (This can also include oats that are processed in the same facility as wheat.) This doesn't mean you have to stop eating carbs. Actually, that defeats the purpose of the test, because you don't want to see how your body reacts without carbs, you want to see how it reacts without gluten. Try your hand at baking a loaf of gluten-free bread. If you can make a cake, you can make bread. I personally recommend Bob's Red Mill Gluten Free Hearty Whole Grain Bread Mix. I love rye bread, but can't have it because of the gluten. This bread mix tastes JUST LIKE RYE. It's... AWESOME. (especially with swiss cheese and turkey slices) If you like pasta, see if you can find Quinoa Elbows. I get them in the bulk section at Central Market, and my hubby can't tell the difference. And yes, this test also means that you have to give up any grain alcohol and beer. It is possible to only have a wheat sensitivity, but not barley or rye. In this case, you'd simply cut out wheat products.

Alright - Now that we know if you have IR and/or a gluten sensitivity. What should you do now? As with any diet, watch your fat intake (but healthy fats like avocados are still an important part of anyone's diet).
 > The next step is to eliminate simple, refined carbs and sugars.
   - Switch from white rice to brown rice. If you are feeling particularly crafty, get a cauliflower and grate it, then substitute it for rice. I've done this on many occasions, and it is fantastic! Better yet, you don't have to cook it. And did you know that you can get green, orange and purple cauliflower? I like using the orange when I'm making a Mexican dish, and purple when I'm just feeling weird :)
   - Switch to whole-grain pasta, unless you are gluten intolerant, in which case I would suggest checking out the gluten free section of your grocery store for pastas made with quinoa or brown rice. Or switch to spaghetti squash! When cooked, the inner flesh peels away like strands of spaghetti. My husband loves it! We haven't had actual spaghetti in several months.
   - Shy away from potatoes and corn. These have high amounts of simple carbs. This does put some gluten free products on the 'limit' list, because they use potato starch and corn flour.
   - Experiment with new grains, like quinoa, millet and amaranth. I have to admit, one of the best things about my PCOS diagnosis was being forced in to trying new things. I have learned to cook so many more things that I like a whole lot more than what I was eating before. Eating healthy makes me feel better, mentally and physically.

Photo Credit
   - Start enjoying fruits and veggies! Yes, fruits have sugar and carbs, but they are naturally occurring. As long as you aren't eating an ungodly amount of fruit, you should be okay. This is where my love of farmer's markets come in. You can get beautiful, fresh from the farm, organic fruits and veggies. Better yet, you are supporting local farmers instead of large chains. Long live the American Dream! Are you a chocolate fanatic? Try melting just a little bit of chocolate and dipping strawberries or pineapple in it. Slowly reduce the amount of chocolate you use until you are just eating the fruits! Yay you!
   - Make sandwiches a lot? Try a gluten-free bread from your own oven or low-carb tortillas!
I'll be honest, I could probably continue writing for hours, and still not be done. That's the fun of changing your diet! There is so much you can do differently, so many new foods to try. Enjoy the opportunity!

I can't forget to discuss exercise. *boo hiss* I hate that word, exercise. Even when I was skinny I hated it. I was diagnosed with exercise-induced asthma in 9th grade, so finding physical activities that would help me lose weight were difficult, for a while. Here's how I work out -  > Yoga. Oh, I love yoga. It has done wonders for my body. It's such a relaxing workout. I have several different yoga DVDs I use, but I mainly use my Wii Fit. It tells me if I'm doing the poses correctly, which is awesome. I prefer Hatha Yoga as opposed to a flow Yoga. Hatha Yoga focuses on a single pose at a time, where as a flow yoga, such as Vinyasa Yoga, transitions quickly from one pose to another. With my asthma, flow yoga is too fast-paced for me, and I have to rely on my inhaler to get through a session. With Hatha Yoga, I focus on each pose and have plenty of time to breathe.

Photo Credit

 > Walking. From fall to spring, I love walking around the pond at a local park. The ducks are always out, and we take food with us to feed them. In the spring, the baby ducks start showing up, and it's just adorable to watch all of them. This past spring, we found a duck we lovingly named Michelle, who had 18 babies! (All of the pictures except or the last one in this post are of Michelle and her babies: Michelle) In the summer, because it's so hot here in Texas, I like indoor walking tracks. You can also walk around the mall, but I was born with the inherent need to spend money, so the mall is bad for me :)
 > Swimming. Ok, I'll admit I hate going out in public in a swimsuit right now, so I don't do this often. But swimming is great exercise without a lot of strain. Ok, I don't mean sitting in a pool. I mean actually doing laps, or using weights.
 > The trick with exercise is to find something you enjoy. Check out your local rec center and see what classes they offer. Zumba is a very fast-paced, dance fitness program that is super fun! My local YMCA has pilates classes as well. Want to do something really off the wall and sexy? Take a stripperobics class.

Have fun and enjoy yourself as those excess pounds start going away!

(I realize that there are no links to articles and research. I will be compiling those and updating this page later, I promise.)

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Fat Ass Friday (on Saturday!)

Ok, so I'm a day late, but better late than never! I decided that I wanted to start participating in a blog link up called Fat Ass Friday on Brandy's blog, You Don't Know.



Starting weight: 233
Current weight: 233
Weight +GAIN / -LOSS this week: +0.0
Total weight lost: 0

In all honesty, I was dreading my first weigh in, because at the end of the last Soul Cyster's Challenge, I weighted 235.8, and I haven't been any lower than that in 2 months. Even with diet changes and my attempts to workout, I gained weight. Well, to my surprise, I have finally lost weight! And I'm super excited about it, because I ate my favorite munchie food last night - Salsa Verde Doritos and all natural sour cream. And when I start eating it, I eat a lot.

I also decided that even though I have technically lost over 25 pounds since I started in Nov 2010, I wanted to start with a fresh weight for FAF.

If you want to join up with us, head over to Brandy's blog!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

What's Your Song? Thursday Link-up!

I almost forgot it was Thursday. I have a recurring cyst on my tailbone, and it came back, so I spent the day at the doctor. Taking a day off work in the middle of the week really screws up my internal schedule.

Today's song is one that my hubby started singing to me today. We were leaving the pharmacy, and he told me to walk in front, and he'd follow me. Then he started singing. It's been stuck in my head ever since. I love it when he sings to me :)

Here's Carole King's Where You Lead.



If you want to join up, head over to Goodnight Moon's blog!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

More about my smoothies :)

A week or two ago I posted about my morning smoothies. (Link: Smoothies!) They have been really good, but I knew they were missing something. Then it hit me - PROTEIN! I was getting no protein in the mornings because I was just drinking a lot of fruit. I hopped on Amazon and found Hemp Protein Powder and Hemp Oil by Nutiva.



Click on the pictures to make them bigger


I've really been on a hemp kick lately. This is mainly because I'm really trying to take control of my health and do what I need to do to make myself better. One of those is making sure I am getting my Essential Fatty Acids, like Omega 3s and Omega 6s. Hemp is full of it. 1 tbsp of hemp oil has a full day's worth of omega 3s and omega 6s. It's also my little way of 'sticking it to the man', since commercial hemp production is illegal in the United States, because the DEA is too dumb to classify hemp and marijuana as two different substances. The legalization of both should happen, but that's a completely seperate topic that I haven't decided if I want to discuss on my blog yet.

Anywho, back to the smoothies. If you have an aversion to drinking something that looks like it came out of a swamp, I don't recommend the Protein Powder. It is a dark olive green, and the smoothie was pretty much the same color. The Protein Powder has a serving size of 4 tbsp, which contains 15g of protein. A 16oz canister contains 15 servings, and I paid $10.67 for it. I decided that I didn't want to use that much powder, so I cut the serving in half, and just used 2 tbsp. That should still get me 7.5g of protein, which is much better than the 0g I was getting before. I also added 1 tbsp of hemp oil. I don't think I'll do that again. It has a very nutty flavor, but on top of the protein powder and hemp milk, it's just a little too 'hempy' for me. I'm going to switch back to using my flavored flax oil in the smoothies, and save the hemp oil for other recipes. Speaking of flax oil, I've got an order of chocolate flavored flax oil on the way. I LOVE the banana flavored, so I hope I like the chocolate as well.

Ok, so here's the recipe for my smoothies:
- 1 frozen banana (fresh works as well, but I buy in bulk)
- 1 cup milk (Regular milk is fine, but I prefer almond milk or chocolate flavored hemp milk. I've also got a vanilla flavored hemp milk I will be trying soon)
- 1/2 cup fruit of your choice (I've done blueberries, peaches, nectarines, apricots and mangoes so far. The mango was very stringy, and I had to spend 20 min straining before I could drink it.)
- 2 tbsp hemp protein powder
- 1 tbsp flax or hemp oil

Blend well and drink! This makes 1 serving.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Change is necessary.

I know I've said this before, but I'm going to change my life. I've started, and have been doing fairly well in the food department. I still have some foods I haven't been able to give up, like Doritos, but I'm getting there. I'm still useless when it comes to exercise. I don't get to walk anymore, because once summer shows up in Texas (like May), being outside is a bad idea. I can't walk in 90-100 degree weather. I've thought about going to the mall to walk, but I'd have to resist shopping, and that's a different problem for a different day.

I watched Extreme Makeover: Weight Loss Edition last night. Didn't even know the show existed. The guy on the show started at 651 pounds, and finished a year later at under 350. Holy crap. I wish I had the motivation and determination to lose 80 pounds in a year, and he lost over 300! He had intense 2-hour workouts every morning and evening. I haven't worked out in over a week. Then, by way of a new blog I found, Health Not to Health Nut I read about this girl named Tricia (link: Endurance Isn't Only Physical). She was almost 300 pounds, and lost 128 pounds in about a year. Her goal was to spend 21 days strictly adhering to her goals. If after 21 days, she didn't like it, then she could stop. It's been long known that it takes 21 continuous days to create a new habit. I know it works, because I went 21 days without soda, and didn't have another one for 6 months. (I'm upset that I have backslid on the soda.)

So that's what I'm going to do. Starting tomorrow, Wednesday June 22, I will spend the next 21 days sticking to the following goals:
> Workout at the Rec Center 3 days a week - walking at least one mile around the track or at least 30 minutes in the gym
> Eliminate all soda and refined sugar (agave nectar is ok, but in small amts)
> Eat low-carb, and when I do eat bread or pasta, it will be gluten free.
> Participate in 'Fat Ass Fridays' on Brandy's blog You Don't Know

Like Tricia, if after 21 days it isn't working for me, I'll change it up. If it does work, then I'll start another 21-day cycle with new goals.


Photo Credit

Monday, June 20, 2011

What's For Dinner? June 20-24, 2011

Oh my goodness, a meal plan? Yep, I finally got around to doing another one. I went to the farmer's market again this weekend and need to plan out the usage so I don't let anything ruin.

Monday: Chicken Enchilada Chicken and Garlic Brussels Sprouts
The chicken has been marinating in my freezer for 2 weeks now. It's just some chicken broth and Chicken Enchilada seasoning from Homemade Gourmet. The brussels sprouts, on the other hand, will be made using a Garlic Brussels Sprouts recipe from AllRecipes.com

Link: Garlic Brussels Sprouts
Courtesy of AllRecipes.com

Tuesday: White Bean Pizza with Tomatoes
This is a repeat from a few weeks ago. I made it with Bob's Red Mill Gluten Free Pizza Dough, and there wasn't quite enough bean puree. This time I'm doubling the puree recipe, but using a can of black beans because I only have one can of white beans.

Link: Pizza with White Bean Puree and Tomatoes
Courtesy of EatingWell.com

Wednesday: Spaghetti Squash with Homemade Tomato Sauce
There's one particular vendor at the farmer's market that has baskets full of tomatoes called 'Seconds'. Nothing is actually wrong with the tomatoes, they just aren't pretty to look at. These gigantic baskets cost $6. Every time I go, I get a basket for homemade spaghetti sauce. The recipe always changes slightly, so I can't post it for you. But I can tell you what I put in it:
Pomegranate Balsamic Vinegar
Homemade Gourmet's Spaghetti Sauce seasoning
Homemade Gourmet's Garlic Basil seasoning
Lots of garlic

I'll add ground turkey for some protein, and bake a spaghetti squash, halved lengthwise, for 30-45 minutes at 350. Mix it all up and top it off with plenty of parmesan cheese!

Thursday: Easy Pork Chop and Apple Bake with Boiled Cheesy Cabbage
The cabbage was another farmer's market find this week. It was beautiful! I love boiling it and covering it with cheese (although the house smells terrible afterwards). I have convinced the hubby to let me make cabbage this week, so I wanted to serve it with pork chops. I found this recipe at Cooks.com.

Link: Easy Pork Chop and Apple Bake
Courtesy of Cooks.com

Friday: I'm still thinking about it...

I'm not sure what I'm doing on Friday. I'll have to inventory the fridge and see what's available. I'll edit this with the recipe once I know.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Check out these giveaways!

I love blog giveaways. There's just something about free stuff that gets me excited :) I'm not at work today, so I decided to do some blog surfing for giveaways. Here's what I found!
(As always, the pictures link to the giveaway post)

"Holy crap, I have over 500 followers" Giveaway from Jen and Life, Crafts and Whatever

Hubs and I love trays. They make life a little easier, because you can carry a lot at once. This helps especially when you live in a townhome and have bad knees. One tray with everything on it is so much better than several trips up and down the stairs just using two hands to carry things. Jen is giving away a tray. But this isn't just any tray. It's got a beautiful damask design on it. I love the damask pattern! And if that isn't cool enough, she's making it custom for the winner. I would love, Love, LOVE to win this, so I can get a black and red one for my living room! Head over to Life, Crafts and Whatever to enter! Oh, and Jen, congrats on 500 followers! I look forward to the day I can say that as well! Just 480 to go :)




Kinnikinnick Foods Gluten-Free Personal Size Pizza Crust from Leslie Loves Veggies

I have been working on converting to a gluten-free diet. This means no more Pizza Hut and Olive Garden. I attempted a GF pizza last week, and although it was good, it felt more like a foccacia than a pizza. Leslie reviewed some GF Personal Size Pizza Crusts and after reading it, I decided I wouldn't mind trying them. The company that produces them, Kinnikinnick Foods, is giving away 4 boxes of crusts. Sinceeach package has 4 crusts, that will go forever in this house! Awesome :) If you want to enter, head over to Leslie Loves Veggies!




Fire Wire from New Age Mama

These are just the neatest summer accessories every grill fan should have. I love kabobs. In fact, finding out about this giveaway has got me hankering for the grill :) Fire Wire is a flexible grilling skewer. It is twice as long as the traditional skewer, so it holds more meat and veggies. Because it flexes, you can load it up, the put it in a ziploc to marinate. Isn't that just awesome? Head over to New Age Mama to enter, or visit Fire Wire!



Good luck!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

What's Your Song? Thursday Link Up!

This Sunday is Father's Day. Just like Mother's Day, this is a rough day for us. Every year Hubs hopes that we'll have a baby by the next Father's Day. This will make the 4th FD since we started dating - and yes, we did start TTCing before we got married. You know that feeling you get when you know something is perfect? Yeah, we knew. Anyways, This song fits my vision of Hubs as a dad to a tee. One day, he'll be a dad. I'll make sure of it. I just can't guarantee when. Here's Gary Allan with Tough Little Boys



As for my dad, our relationship has been tumultuous to say the least. The year my sister and I started school was also the year that my parents' relationship started going to sh*t. He missed pretty much anything I did in school until I moved in with him in 7th grade. While I lived with him, he attended all our school events. When I moved out at the end of 9th grade to live with my mom again, he told me I wasn't allowed to ever move back in. I'm still trying to work on our relationship, because it's been pretty rough since then. Not every dad is like Gary Allan describes, and I understand that. I just miss how my dad used to be. I can think of a number of reasons that have caused him to change, and most of them aren't nice, so I'll keep my mouth shut. But whether he's the greatest dad in the world or not, he's my dad, and I love him. (And he's not a deadbeat like my hubby's dad, so it's all good) And in honor of my Dad on FD, I offer you Queen. Not just any Queen song, though - this one he used to play for me and my mom when I was younger. Here's Fat Bottomed Girls



Happy Father's Day! If you want to join in on the link-up fun, head over to Goodnight Moon's page!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

GoBarStools.com Review

Norbo Wall-Mounted Folding Table from Ikea
I love giveaways. Why? Because you have the chance to win something that may or may not normally buy. My philosophy on saving money is this - "If you can get it free or discounted, why pay full price for it?" A month or two ago I wrote about a recliner giveaway. I didn't win, but that's ok. I received an email last night from one of the guys that works at that company, informing me of yet another giveaway they are having! All you have to do is write a 100+ word review over one of their many websites, and you're entered to win a $500 gift certificate. I can do a lot with $500. So Hubs and I surfed through the sites last night, picking out what we would want to use the money on - and that helped me pick the site to review. We bought a new dining table at Ikea a week ago, but didn't get chairs. We were going to use folding chairs, but if I can get bar stools for free, why use the folding chairs?

GoBarStools.com

I have fallen in love with GoBarStools.com. Why? The selection. There are dozens of chair designs, and most of them are... CUSTOMIZABLE! Not only to you get to pick out the style of chair, but you can pick out the frame color, the seat color, and if there is a cushion on the back, you get to choose it's color cover, too! And of course, just like their GoRecliners.com counterpart, they have sports team chairs as well. These are perfect for decorating a man cave, a sports bar, or just your dining room if you are big fans. The sports chairs come in sets of 2, so they make it even easier to purchase. As for the website itself - The website is very simple to navigate and the pictures are large enough to see the detail without having to open a seperate page. I hate websites that put tiny little thumbnails in their main listings so you are constantly going back and forth between pages. The colors are easy on the eyes, so it doesn't hurt to look at the page for a while. And as a special for Father's Day, there is no shipping and no sales tax until June 17. As always, I won't leave you without pictures!
(Word Count: 210)
Link to GoBarStools.com

Monday, June 13, 2011

Cortisol and Leptin...

Photo credit
I feel so run down. I felt like this most of last week, and ended up taking 3 days off work due to it. This weekend was better - We went to Houston. We spent several hours enjoying the Downtown Aquarium on Saturday, and I enjoyed my PCOS symposium on Sunday. But as soon as I got in the car to head home, this feeling came back. It was so bad that I tossed my cookies less than an hour after we got on the road. This was definitely not from being car sick. I don't get car sick. I was tired all evening, had stupid issues with my homework, and finally went to be at 2-2:30. I realize that was late, and it could explain why I'm tired, but it doesn't explain the run-down, crappy feeling. I got plenty of sleep last week and still felt this way. I think it could be a cortisol issue. I have high cortisol levels. I know I haven't checked with a doctor, but from the information I received at the PCOS symposium, as well as years of research, it fits. I did some more research, and it seems as though the large 'buffalo hump' on my upper back - the one I've had for over a decade, as well as my fat, puffy face, are usually caused by high levels of cortisol. I've known this for a few years, but it requires a doctor to test for cortisol levels, and then, if I have had such high levels for so long, it's probably caused by Cushing's Disease. But... I have to go to a doctor. And if it is Cushing's, it will require surgery to remove a tumor on my pituitary gland, adrenal glands, lungs, or pancreas. Definitely need insurance before I do that, so I can't get tested yet or the ins. company will call it a pre-existing condition.

I also likely have Leptin resistance, because it goes hand-in-hand with insulin resistance and off-kilter cortisol levels. Leptin is the protein secreted by your stored fat cells to tell your brain you aren't hungry anymore. In order to deal with the Leptin resistance, there is an intense, 21-day meat and veggie diet I can do. It's uber-restrictive, and I really don't think I could stick to it. As long as I feel this bad, keeping myself motivated to stay on track is just... impossible.

I realize that I could be making a mountain out of a molehill, but when you don't have access to a doctor, it happens. I am at a point where I want to quit my job so I can spend some time on me. With grad school, work and my family, there isn't much room in the schedule for 'me' time. My exercise time is not my 'me' time. I hate exercise, and it definitely doesn't relax me. I just do it because I have to. The weekends don't give me any time to relax, because I'm always busy doing something. Even just a month or two off work would probably do wonders for me. But Life says no. Ugh... I guess I'm used to it.

Ok, rant over.

Friday, June 10, 2011

What's Your Song? Thursday Link Up!

Aha! I just barely made it this time - seeing as how it's Friday. It's been difficult to pick a song because I've just been sick and watching TV most of the week. Ugh. But... there is this one song I was listening to Wednesday night, after a late-night trip to Walmart.

I love my town. After 10pm, it's just so quiet! There's not one on the roads or the freeway, so we roll down our windows, crank up the music and just enjoy the drive. One of my favorite songs to listen to when we do this is Super Massive Black Hole by Muse. And every time I hear it, I think of sparkly vampires playing baseball lol. (And no, I'm not by any means a Twilight fan. Haven't even seen the latest one out.)

So here's this week's pick - and the video even has the baseball scene from Twilight lol.



If you want to head over to Goodnight Moon and listen to all the other submissions, here's the link!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Smoothies!

I apologize for the lack of menu plans lately. I have been so busy that we've just been eating whatever we can find in the fridge. Thankfully most of it is very healthy stuff we made of Memorial Day weekend and froze. I don't think I put this in my Memorial Day post, but we made a ton of peach ice cubes. We had a lot of peaches, but they were getting too ripe, and couldn't be cut into nice little slices. We decided to take them all, puree them, and stick them in the freezer. Worked great! I made myself a smoothie for breakfast - banana, peach puree cubes, almond milk, and flaxseed oil. It was really good. I think I'm going to have to do that more often. It was quick and painless, especially since I have a Magic Bullet. Very rarely do I promote 'As Seen on TV' ads, but the Magic Bullet really is awesome. I got mine for 'free' last year for my birthday. I had a 20% off coupon at Bed, Bath and Beyond, so I bought my fabulous KitchenAid stand-mixer (I got tired of waiting for my dad to die and will me his lol - I love my dad and don't want him to die, I just wanted his mixer!). The discount I got from the coupon paid for the Magic Bullet set I also bought that day.

Anyways - I tossed all the ingredients in a blender cup, blended (obviously!), then put one of the thread covers on the cup and walked out the door. It's so easy! Tomorrow will be blueberry banana or mango banana - that's the fruit I need to eat before it goes bad...

Do you make smoothies? What are your favorite ingredients?

Thursday, June 2, 2011

What's Your Song? Thursday Link Up

This week has just been... rough. It started over the weekend. Mom and I spent a lot of time, money and effort in organizing my kitchen and cooking a ton of food. Sadly, cooking, as much as I love it, has become a major pain for me in the past couple of years, and even more so in the last 6 months. I have been dealing with a lot of back pain, and it is at the point where I cannot stand in one place for more than 10 minutes before I collapse in pain. And when I mean collapse, I'm not kidding. Knees hit the floor, tears start streaming down my face, and I lean on the object closest to me, hoping that the waves of pain along my spine will go away. Doctors have no idea what's wrong, x-rays don't show any problems, and the chiropractor claimed I had 4 pinched ligaments, but I can't afford to go to him twice a week to get adjustments (especially when the last time I went, I was in pain for a week afterwards). I did a lot of cooking while sitting down this weekend to ease the pain, but my back has been aching ever since.

Then I have been extremely busy at work, trying to get a project finished and 100% working. This comes right at a time when I have an interview with another company for a better job - more money and benefits! I had the interview yesterday, thought it went fantastic, and then got a call today from the recruiter saying that I didn't get the job. Well damn. At least I still have this job. (I was a little hesitant about getting a new job anyway, because the guys here are so flexible, and I love being able to wear jeans and a baseball hat.)

The hubby texts me today to tell me that he is really sick. He is a trooper when he's sick, but I have forced him to be that way. I don't have a driver's license atm, so he's my chauffer. He knows that he has to come get me from work, unless he's just dying - then I call my mom. He never complains. All he wants in return is to cuddle when we get home. Yes, ladies, my husband LOVES to cuddle. I got so lucky :)

And the worst part of the week came in the form of a text from my mom at 6:30 this morning. Back in September of last year, my 99 yr-old great-grandmother, Mamaw, passed away, just days before I was scheduled to take off work and visit her one more time. I hadn't seen her in 5 years. It made me feel horrible, and I was depressed for weeks. Mamaw was an awesome person. She had a huge garden, and worked in that until just a few years before she died. At 95, she was still getting on her roof to clean out her gutters. She also took care of her daughter, Bobby. Bobby had a laundry list of health problems, and couldn't take care of herself. She had difficulty walking, she was narcoleptic, and the list goes on. I'm not even sure what all she had. After Mamaw died, Bobby's brother and sister-in-law, Don and Shirley, took her in and cared for her. Sadly, though, that didn't last long. They got tired of the effort required to take care of her and put her in a nursing home. I would have brought Bobby to live with me, had I had the room and time to take care of her. I cried when I was told she was in a nursing home. A couple of months ago, Bobby was taken to the hospital. She had pneumonia, caused by the nursing home force feeding her Ensure. It was in her lungs. They were literally gagging her with food. No one else in the family cared that she was being mistreated - but I still couldn't do anything about it. Earlier this week she was back in the hospital, and on morphine. She had stopped swallowing, and instead of giving her a feeding tube, the hospital decided that they would just stop feeding her and pump her full of pain meds so she wasn't in pain. From that point, it was just a waiting game. I knew when I woke up this morning that something bad had happened. I could just feel it. I was right. For anyone that believes in Heaven, my Aunt Bobby is now with Mamaw. It's at times like this that I wished I believed in Heaven, so I could believe that she was finally at peace and pain-free.

So my song this week is in honor of my Aunt Bobby.




If you want to join in the blog hop, head over to Goodnight Moon and link up!