Monday, May 21, 2018

Exercises for Arthritis

For the past two weeks, I've been seeing a physical therapist.  My knee was killing me, and I was about ready for the thing to be chopped off.  They always have you rate your pain from a 1 to a 10, with a 10 being the worst.  I's an ambiguous rating, but with the pain I had, I rated it as a 9.  I couldn't do anything without being in pain.  The thing even throbbed at night.

I'd just changed doctors and went to see a physician's assistant (who's fantastic!).  She had them take X-rays right away but was sure it was lack of cartilage due to osteoarthritis.  She also sent me to see a physical therapist.

I didn't think anything would help, short of a knee replacement, or from the pain, amputation (I'm was that bad).  I saw the physical therapist for four sessions.

The outcome?  I'm down to a 1 or a 2 for pain, I can walk now, and can even use that leg going up and down the stairs.  It doesn't hurt to bend it anymore, and I'm doing strengthening skills to keep the pain away.  This is phenomenal!  I don't need a cane anymore, don't even have to wrap it, and it doesn't even hurt when I drive!  The difference is like night and day.  Even my husband is amazed.

So, if you're in pain, either see a physical therapist, or go to your favorite search engine and look up OA exercises for knee (or whatever part hurts).  OA stands for osteoarthritis.  From what I understand, arthritis is either osteoarthritis (brought about over time by wear and tear), or rheumatoid arthritis (like an immune disease, usually diagnosed in childhood).  OA means the cartilage has worn down and the bones are rubbing together, causing spurs and pain (from the way I understand it).

The exercises strengthen the muscles around the joint, which lessens the pain.  I see the orthopedic surgeon today.  I've been to that office many times for a hip replacement (my bones were so bad, it looked like a rat had eaten away at it), and spurs in my foot.  Now it's my knee, and my shoulders are getting bad, too.  Take it from someone who had OA...physical therapy (PT) does help.

Have a great week!

Monday, May 14, 2018

The Expected Outcome

Our daughter is losing weight.  She's doing an awesome job at it, almost at her goal.  But the closer she gets to the goal, the tougher it is for her.  So she's doing what we'd all do--cut back on carbs and calories.

On Saturday, we went out to eat for Mother's Day, since the restaurants are all crowded on the actual date.  She ordered a kiddie meal of grilled chicken and green beans.  She had that (about 200 calories or so) and a diet coke.

So what happened an hour later?  She was hungry--BIG time, and binged.  I saw it coming but didn't mention it to her.  I feel for her, but that's the way to learn.

Thus, she's now looking at the diabetic diet, to keep the energy up during the whole day.  Her sugar numbers are normal or a little low, so she's thinking she has hypoglycemia.  I had the same symptoms when I was a kid.

If you're thinking that some sort of fad is going to help you lose weight quicker, you'll get the expected outcome and binge or might even gain in the long run. 

Stay the course and be the 'turtle' in the race...slow and steady will win it for you.

Have a great week!

Sunday, May 13, 2018

Monday, May 7, 2018

In Honor of Cinco de Mayo...from last Saturday

Sometimes I'm a little late in celebrating holidays that aren't major holidays.  Cinco de Mayo is one of them.  However, I do like Mexican food, so we had Chicken Enchiladas yesterday (yes, it was the 6th).

This is a good one, though.  It's from  CHICKEN ENCHILADAS

No, it's not 100% Mexican, but for us, it's spicy enough.  Now, since I have to lose weight (again), I put it into, making one adjustment.  Here's the nutrition information without the tortilla:

The only thing I did differently was with the sour cream.  I used light sour cream.  For the tortilla, I used the one for light carbs:

That's not bad at all for one chicken enchilada.  I opted for 1.5 of those things, bringing my totals up to a normal meal total:

With a side of a bit of watermelon to cut some of the heat, it's yummy!

I hope you try this one.  It's pretty good!

Have a super week!

Monday, April 30, 2018

Getting Paid for Losing Weight

I saw this website the other day:  These Women Won Serious Money For Losing Weight and had to find out more.  They gave money each month to HealthyWage as a bet that they could lose the weight they wanted to in the time they determined.  At the end, they made money.

Now, I'm not endorsing this at all, because it just seems to be too good to be true.  I'm also not saying it's a scam, but I'm a little bit leery of anyone willing to give me money.

With that said, though, what if this became the new norm?  You get paid for losing weight.  I've heard of some insurance companies that do just that.  Would it be an incentive enough for you to lose weight?  It would for me, for sure!

What do you think about this idea?  Just thinking about it makes me wonder if I could do the same on my own--to pay myself for losing weight.  It would be a new way to get incentive to actually lose weight.

Have a great week!

Monday, April 23, 2018

Coconut Oil

Recently, I sat through an online infomercial about coconut oil.  I know...they take forever to give you information.  It was about a guy's wife who had horrible diabetes, but was helped by eating extra virgin coconut oil--like a tablespoon a day.  I saw testimonies about people who had horrible numbers for their blood sugar, but after using coconut oil for a few days or weeks, their numbers came down considerably.

I figured I'd try it out.  I had some regular (not virgin) coconut oil here. 

I eat pancakes every day for breakfast, but they're not just any old pancake.  I make them myself with whole wheat flour, oatmeal, flax, spices, leavening, orange juice,  applesauce, and skim milk (or the leftover juice from homemade yogurt that behaves like buttermilk).  I make them in bulk, then divide them up into small containers for one pancake a day.  I then make them with a few blueberries...delicious.

I used to fry them in butter, so they wouldn't stick to the pan, but now, I'm using coconut oil.  The first time I used it, the coconut oil sputtered and spit so much, my stove was covered.  I lowered the temperature to very low and it still sputtered when the blueberries hit the grease.  So, I put a lid on the pan...still sputtered.  I now add butter to the coconut oil and that seems to have helped with the lid.

As for the diabetic numbers, I only have used the coconut oil for about a week, and it wasn't virgin coconut oil.  But my numbers did come down somewhat.  I was averaging in the 140s for my numbers (70-100 is normal, but for diabetics, you can go up to 140), and now, I'm in the 130s.  I figured it would've gone up, because I lost a few pounds (my numbers go up initially when I lose weight...go figure).  But the blood sugar numbers came down.

I bought some virgin coconut oil and once this other stuff is used up, I'll try that.  I'm not using a whole tablespoon of it, but just about a teaspoon or so.

Anyway, if you have diabetes, check it out.  It might help you, too.

Have a great week!

Monday, April 16, 2018

A Monster of a Spring Snowstorm

This past weekend, we had a monster of a spring snowstorm up here in Wisconsin.  Here's a picture to give you a dose of winter.  If you notice, the snow comes to the bottom of the mailboxes from where the snow plow went through.  This was yesterday around three in the afternoon...and it's still snowing.

This is our backyard.  We piled up huge piles near the back porch, for the dogs.  That's Calvin being funny...he's actually running there.  We dug big paths for them to run on, but would have to dig out every two hours or they'd get stuck in the snow.

This was my weekend.  I burned off so many calories in shoveling, I really didn't gain any weight, which is normal for weekends for me.  However, with everything so white, it was rather depressing.  We stayed least most of us.  Our daughter went to visit her boyfriend for his birthday yesterday, and her car got stuck in the snow.  Three people stopped to push her out.

I'm tired of the winter, but spring will be here soon, I hope...and I'm not talking on the calendar.  Regardless, shoveling is hard work with this heavy, heavy snow.

I hope it's warm in your neck of the woods!

Have a super week!

Monday, April 9, 2018

New ideas can be a downfall

Our youngest daughter is doing a weight loss challenge online.  She keeps telling me about these new ideas for foods.  For example, people make ricotta cakes.

Here's an example of that:  Ricotta Cake Recipe

Or, she read you can use seltzer water in a cake mix, and it supposedly turns out okay.  I found out how here:  How to Substitute Soda for Water in Cake Mix

Now, when I lose weight, I don't eat much dessert.  Why would I want to derail myself by making all these new things when I know I'm going to eat the entire cake?  Granted, I might find something I like that I can add to my repertoire.  But on the other hand, I'm eating a lot more calories just to find out.

So be careful of new ideas for foods.  Sometimes, it can be your worst nightmare.

Have a super week!

Monday, April 2, 2018


I love chicken.  I don't know about you, but it's one of my favorite meals.  Every week, I'd make the following dish, until my family said, 'no more.'

Easy Chicken Stew


5-6 chicken thighs
3 potatoes, diced
1.5 cups mini carrots
(optional peas--about a cup)
salt and pepper
Italian spices
aluminum foil

Spray a baking dish (I use about a 9x12 inch one) with cooking spray.  Throw in all the ingredients with the chicken on top, adding salt, pepper, and Italian spices to taste (if you don't know how much, put about 1/2 tsp salt, about 1/4 tsp pepper, and about 1/2 tsp or so of Italian spices--I just shake it over the top of the chicken).

Cover with aluminum foil and bake at a 350 degree oven for about 1.5-2 hours.  I use frozen chicken, so I bake for at least 2 hours. 


The nice thing about this recipe is that you can add more or less of the ingredients, according to how many people you're feeding.  It has an earthy taste and is very rustic.  With a loaf of bread and jelly on the side, it's major comfort food to me.  It's also easy to count the calories by measuring what you actually eat.

Now that my family is thoroughly sick of this, I needed other ideas.  Here are a few websites with LOTS of chicken recipes:

35 Healthy Chicken Recipes for Weight Loss
Healthy and Easy Chicken Recipes
9 Flat Belly Chicken Dishes
6 Chicken Breast Recipes To Lose 6 Pounds This Week

Good luck and enjoy some chicken this week.


NOTE:  If you use like I do, beware that their database of users has been hacked.  Like many others, I've changed all my passwords that I use.  It's a pain, but useful if you haven't done so yet. 

Sunday, April 1, 2018

Tuesday, March 27, 2018


Someone contacted me this week, interested in a post on mesothelioma.  If you're like me, you only know about that disease if you hear the commercials.  But the email piqued my interest, because the person emailing is a survivor, with an entire writeup on advice for tech students (see Asbestos Cancer Victim Gives Advice on Workplace Safety for Tech Students)  That intrigued me, because I thought that disease was a bad one...and I was right.

Back in my childhood, no one knew what handling asbestos could do to a person. I know many buildings had it in their walls for insulation, when I was a kid.  In the 80s, the stuff was removed from buildings and I remember it being a big deal back then.

As it turns out, asbestos is bad.  According to Mesothelioma Facts, mesothelioma, which is a cancer, is caused by exposure to asbestos.  Even though it's a rare condition, life expectancy has gotten better for the disease, but it's still not good.  If a person gets the disease, they're usually dead before the five-year time frame.  It takes decades for the symptoms to appear, sometimes between 20-50 years after exposure.

If you ever worked around asbestos or want to know more, check out the above link to Mesothelioma Facts.  It includes signs, symptoms, causes, and safety.  Staying healthy is very important.  So check it out.

I'm glad the person emailed me about this and wish them the best.  I never would've known all of this.  If I ever have issues with my lungs, or have any other symptoms stated on the website, I'll know now what to have the doctors look for.

Take care and stay healthy!

Exercises for Arthritis

For the past two weeks, I've been seeing a physical therapist.  My knee was killing me, and I was about ready for the thing to be choppe...