Category Archives: frugal

Smoothie for YOUR Needs!

 

I received compensation from Bayer Consumer Health, makers of MiraLAX® to write this post. MiraLAX® is a laxative used to treat occasional constipation. All opinions are entirely my own. #ReliefMadeEasy #CollectiveBias

I was a Cardiology nurse for over twenty years. That means very low fat, vegetarian if you can do it. But I’ve seen all the diets (I refuse to call them ‘fads’ because they work for some folks) come and go. The Zone, Adkins, Keto, Gluten-Free, Vegan, Lactose-Free, whatever. But the words of a now-retired Cardiologist always ring in my ears when I hear about something wonderful, new, and healthy: “All things in moderation.”

That said, here’s a recipe everyone can modify for their own needs. Smoothies are great if you’re in a rush in the morning, but they’re also a great option if you aren’t able to take a lunch break (Hello, fellow, nurses!) or if you’re a parent shuffling between rehearsals, practices, meetings, study sessions, and whatever else. I don’t have that option since I must take in sixty grams of protein a day or I risk my hair falling out! How’s that for motivation? YIKES!


(Pardon my crappy photo-shopping – but you get the idea!)

So let’s down to business: I need a different smoothie Every. Single. Day. Some days I know I haven’t had enough protein, and I need to boost that. Some days I’m constipated (let’s just be real here) and I need something that won’t keep me in the bathroom all day. Some days I just feel queasy and need something tasty, tummy-calming, nutritious, and small.

So I read up a bit, and decided on a grocery list. I was going to Kroger – my usual stop at the end of my street – so I checked to see if there were any coupons to be printed. JACKPOT! (And this link is good everywhere, on any MiraLAX® product y’all!)

I already had some of my go-to smoothie items at home, so this is what ended up in my cart (plus some glucosamine for my elderly dog and husband. Husband and dog, I mean):


Now, not to tell my guys’ secrets, but fast food is not good for the gut. #justsayin  Nor is my lifestyle or most of my meds *sigh*.  So if you want to have something safe and easy to use for that occasional constipation we all experience now and then for whatever reason HERE is what y’all need: MiraLAX®


If you haven’t bought this before this is the aisle where you’ll find it:

Odds are, it won’t be far from the pharmacy.

If it is, or if you’re unsure if it’s safe for you to take with your prescription medications, ask the Pharmacy folks. They are your besties for not only your prescriptions meds, but for the non-prescription ones as well. #LOVEKrogerPharmacists They worked long and hard for their degrees, so they truly appreciate honest questions. Such as, “Is there a difference between the dosage of the MiraLAX® Mix-In Pax and the regular MiraLAX®?” Answer: “NO.” So put it in your morning shake, tuck in your messenger bag, whatever suits you best.

Once I got home, this is what I put together for my shake:

Here’s my recipe:

  • one cup vanilla yogurt
  • one medium banana (as brown as possible) – sliced
  • 1/4 serving chocolate protein drink (more if you’re a chocolate addict)
  • 1 Tbsp peanut powder (optional – I’m a PB addict)

Tip: You can add MiraLAX® for relief for occasional constipation.

Blend in a blender, shake in a big cup, do whatever you would do to get a smoothie. Some people like ice. I prefer not because it makes my teeth hurts and makes me grumpy. If you’re grumpy even without the ice add cooled coffee. Or your physician-prescribed morning meds. #justsayin.

NUTRITION INFORMATION:

  • Calories: 295 (WHAT?!)
  • Grams fat: 3.5 (WTCardiology?)
  • Grams PROTEIN *drumroll*: 21 (mic drop)
  • Grams carbs: 41 (from yogurt and banana)

printable version

I don’t often use my big blender because I’m lazy and it takes up too much space in the dishwasher. #lazybutt So I use this small one. But once it’s all said and done and I screw on the cover for drinking (as if I’ve never drunk out of a Mason jar before – LOL!) This is what it looks like:

Now this is scrumptious stuff, so why would you want to drink it out of plastic? Put in something pretty and garnish it!

OK, full disclosure here. I hadn’t planned a garnish. But there was more in the plastic container than would fit attractively in the glass, so I drank it. And it was WAY yummy! And that made me want more so I scrounged around in the banana peel. Since I’d peeled it from the bottom (like monkeys do) there were none of those little strings – ICK! There was just one perfect little slice. GARNISH!

So this summer keep your options open. Smoothies are super-easy and can be pre-prepped and put in zip-locks before blending. There are lots of yummy ripe fruits, plenty of non-dairy options for yogurt or milk, and a handy option for those “oh, bleh” days. WATERMELON! Does anyone else see a watermelon smoothie in their near future? #OHYEAH

Put a pack or two into your spouse’s laptop bag. Sneak a few of the Mix-In packets into your young adult’s first-aid kit before they return to college. They’ll be thankful, but they probably won’t tell you. #parentlife And since MiraLAX® isn’t a stimulant laxative that works by forcefully stimulating the nerves in the colon #majorICK there will be no rushing out of an important meeting/class or scampering to the restroom on the far side of the store/office. Just follow the directions on the bottle or box/packet  (i.e. Use only once a day and for no more than seven days in a row) and you’ll be, um . . . #GOODTOGO. Sorry, I couldn’t help myself!

 

 

Why Does a Stranger Get to Control My Life?

This is as close as I could find to a representation of my last disability hearing:

People who have applied for disability and not been approved at the two earlier stages end up with a hearing. There is a door at the back where the possibly-disabled and their attorney enter. The seats closest to them are where they sit, as if disability of any kind was contagious. There is a stenographer to my left on the square of tables, and a disability occupations adjudicator at the table to my attorney’s right. Directly in front of me is a dais. Once everyone is settled in the judge will enter from a door directly opposite the one I walked through. In his or her black robes, of course. My judge this time is male, and I suspect is the same judge I had last time.

So before a word has been spoken the stage is set. The judge, formally dressed, sitting higher than anyone else. The stenographer and adjudicator sitting close to, but lower than the judge and at an angle toward him. My attorney sits beside me. He doesn’t know me at all, even though we’ve been through a hearing together before and everyone insists he’s great. He was assigned to me by Allsup, a company I’ll be happy to pay since THEY jumped through all the hoops for me. If you need someone, call and mention my name. I think I should have frequent flyer points to share or something.They have a 97% success rate!

My judge has a documented 38%  approval on disability cases, which I found out yesterday. The adjudicator guy will do most of the talking. He’ll list all the jobs I could do full-time, since I clearly can’t return to Nursing. Pretty much I sit there and they talk about me between themselves. This time I’ll stand and tell my own story. No one in that room knows me or my family or what we’ve been through.

If they did they’d all give me gentle hugs, tell me I was in their prayers, and approve me for disability all the way back to the start date of 2009. My children, too, since my pain screwed up both of their lives, plus Michael’s. I don’t think they give compensation to spouses, but he deserves something for all he’s endured.

My hearing is Tuesday (the 14th) at 10 a.m. I would be incredibly thankful if my friends could pray for me, send some positive energy, or just think about me that morning, please. I’d appreciate it SO much! Even if I’ve been a bitch to you lately (as I have to most of those closest to me) just think back to the good times we’ve had and think fondly of me, even if it’s only a minute or two.

My Favorite Things (Today)

I could hardly believe it when I checked Mama Kat’s writing prompts this week and found a topic I’d already entered as a title during a sleepless night mind-mapping section. So here are my current favorite things, in no particular order. I have affiliate links with a couple of them, but certainly not all. Take this one, for instance:

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Non-slip tape. This is awesome! I bought the two-inch-wide clear tape, and my husband put it on the stairs down from the pantry to the back door. Our chocolate lab is thirteen and, um. . . more full-figured than she should be at her age. So the stairs were becoming a problem. After a few days of getting used to the tape she now hops up and down the steps like a pup! Thankfully, we had some left over. It came in handy when I slipped on our old bathmat and tumbled out of the shower. A wet, naked fifty-year-old woman wrapped like a burrito in a shower curtain is not pretty. Thankfully, my husband was home to unwrap me and help me get dried and into bed, where I stayed for forty-eight hours icing my hip and lower back. Now there’s tape on the bottom of the tub, too.

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Tiffany Reisz books. She’s been writing like crazy lately, which makes me incredibly happy. The Red is her latest, and it was simply perfect. It’s a book from within her books – a book her main character in the Original Sinners series wrote. So the whole thing is like an inside joke. Her newest, Michael’s Wings, comes out today! I can’t wait for my local bookstore to order it for me, so I’ll download it on Kindle and order it from Carmichael’s so I’ll have a copy for her to sign 🙂 She’ll be in Kentucky later this month, and I hope to get a chance to see her!

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Accupressure Pillow. The points on this thing are serious sharp to the touch, but I’ve slept more than one night with it under my neck or lower back and felt much less stiff than usual in the morning. And yes, they do make them in other colors. But when I have the option I always choose purple. I just noticed these are out of stock now on Zulily, but similar items are available on Amazon as well as most yoga supply shops. If there’s a locally-owned yoga shop near you this would be a great item to buy from a local business. I always #shopsmall when I can!

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Kiss imPRESS Nails. I swear I wouldn’t have even looked at this ad except for Christian Siriano. Yes, the youngest winner of Project Runway, the man who made the term “fierce” popular, and my second-favorite Project Runway competitor. My FAVE is Chris March, who was in the finals competing with Christian. He was snubbed because of his use of human hair in his collection on skirts and lapels. Seriously, it was gorgeous, and there wasn’t a celebrity there who didn’t have human hair extensions glued, clipped, or sewn into their scalp. Completely hypocritical. Anyway, the nails don’t require glue, and can be removed easily. In other words, even someone with a tremor like mine can have a nice manicure for about five bucks without apologizing to the nail tech fifty times. I haven’t bought them yet, but it will be happening soon!

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Sombra warming pain relief cream. Sorry to add yet another pain-relief item to this list, but you’d be surprised how many people on your Christmas gift list this year can use them. People who are doing hard physical work don’t have the time or energy to search out anything past Advil and a heating pad. It’s the people like me who pushed too hard for too long that have the answers. This is great because it doesn’t go on greasy, it smells like oranges, and it works for HOURS.

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