Category Archives: weight loss

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!

 

 

72 Hours of Fear, then RELIEF!

I started bleeding on the way home from John’s jazz band concert Saturday afternoon. It worried me, since I hadn’t had a period in years and my labs had been in the post-menopausal range for two consecutive years. But I was too exhausted and in too much pain to really give it any thought that day. I’d had a really demanding week physically and mentally. A lazy week compared to my pre-constant pain life, but really tough compared to my current isolated, in bed twenty out of twenty-four hours life.

The next day the bleeding was heavier. I stayed in bed all day. But I used my iPad to Google possible causes for vaginal bleeding after menopause. When I didn’t find any answers I liked I started selecting my own causes and Googling them. “Hypertension causes vaginal bleeding” – improbable stuff like that. Then I pulled up a medication app on my phone and checked every medication I’m on to see if any of them could cause vaginal bleeding, even though none of my meds have changed in six months. All that was left was the answer to my very first search: Uterine Cancer.

Monday the flow seemed lighter, so I put off calling my doctor. I shaved my legs and did my nails, just in case. When my hair was mostly dry I put it in a sock bun. Out of the way for procedures, still looks nice when it comes out of the bun later. I don’t care what anyone tells you: Medical professionals appreciate a well-groomed patient. Then I made the call and they arranged an ultrasound for today.

After the ultrasound the nurse practitioner assured me that not only did I not have cancer, but that the bleeding was just a rebound effect from having my IUD removed a month ago.  She said to call if the bleeding kept going or stopped and then returned, but clearly did not expect that to happen.

I called my husband with the good news from the parking lot. I’d prepped him for bad news since I thought is was inevitable. His voice was shaking when he answered, as I’m sure mine was just a few minutes earlier.

So I now have shaved legs, OPI Cajun Shrimp nails, and my tummy is full of celebratory hamburger. I think that went well!

See other takes on this week’s writing prompts at Mama Kat’s.

2017 Resolutions and Prayers


2016 wasn’t a great year for me. There were some fantastic moments (like finding out I was going to be a grandmother!) but there were a lot more days full of frustration, anger, pain, and depression. I ran across my list of 2016 resolutions the other day and realized I hadn’t achieved any of them. With some I’d even moved further from my goals. So my 2017 plan will be completely different.

— 1 —

I will care my myself as I would a daughter, sister, or beloved friend. Remember the Golden Rule from Sunday School? “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” That’s great for little ones, but when we are adults we need to stop the negative self-talk. I won’t call myself fat, lazy, or selfish. I’ll think about what I would say to someone I loved if they felt that way. And I’ll pray for help seeing myself in a different light and making changes where I can.

— 2 —

I will accept my limitations. I can’t stand for more than fifteen minutes. I can’t sit for more than thirty. That’s on a good day. Taking a shower feels like what running a 5K used to feel like. I’ve got a new medication patch I’m cautiously optimistic about, but even with insurance it costs as much as a week of groceries. So I’m using it sparingly. My disease process is never going to get better, only worse. Hence the first word: Degenerative. I can only hope to slow it, because at the rate it’s going I won’t be able to bend my spine at all by the time I’m sixty. So I’m going to paraphrase St. Teresa and try to do small things with great love!

— 3 —

I will stay authentic. When I was having a bad day earlier this month I posted on FaceBook. Yes, I’m one of those people who shares both happy and sad moments on social media. I’ve been accused of “airing dirty laundry” on FB, but nearly all the comments I got on this post mentioned something about how “genuine” or “authentic” I was. There is no higher praise as far as I’m concerned. I refuse to be caught up in other people’s lies. Perhaps I have just worn out my filter after all these years working with doctors, but I enjoy being honest in all my interactions. Perhaps that will keep me from earning a Lexus selling Nerium with my husband, but I don’t think so. It may take me longer, but I know I’ll have earned it honestly and made no promises I can’t keep.

— 4 —

I will count my blessings. I keep a prayer journal, but in the warm months my entries are sporadic. If I feel up to it when the dogs want a potty break at 8 a.m. (my first pain med and muscle relaxer are at 6 a.m.) then I’ll stay up to check email, and perhaps have breakfast. But on a stormy or cold day I may need some time to make my way out from under the covers after seeing to the fur-babies’ needs. In the winter I always need my Happy Light, and that’s a great time to write in my prayer journal. Blessings I’m thankful for first, then prayers. I want to make this a habit every day, not just the hardest days.

— 5 —

I will continue writing. Again, it’s difficult with my physical limitations to write a blog post, let alone a novel. But I enjoy it, and it’s an outlet for my creativity. Hopefully once I’m ready to publish my books people will enjoy them. Being able to entertain others would make me incredibly happy!

— 6 —

I will become more organized. This one is going to take lots of prayers for patience on my part. Having my life, my home, and my thoughts disorganized is incredibly frustrating to me, and only worsens my depression. But spending hours sorting and dumping things, re-copying from one calendar to another, etc inevitably leads to me overextending myself and ending up writhing in pain in my bed for a day or two. Even after all these years I still need to use my timer every single day or I pay the price.

— 7 —

I will simplify my life. All the “stuff” that surrounds me is distracting and anxiety-provoking. Living simply will be easier, healthier, and much more rewarding in the long run. Yes, I’m going to finally buy the “tidying up” book that I’ve had in my Amazon inbox for forever. Or perhaps I’ll see how long the wait is at the library. That would force me to read it promptly to avoid late charges 😉

For more Quick Takes, visit This Ain’t The Lyceum!

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