Category:

Health

air fryer, air fryer recipes, best air fryer, how does an air fryer work

Are you looking for a way to improve your health? Was one of your New Year’s resolutions a new you? Want to lose weight but don’t want to give up some of your favorite foods? Ever considered buying an air fryer? Then wonder to yourself, how does an air fryer work? What’s the best air fryer? Looking for all the best air fryer recipes? Well, you are not alone sister.

I’d been on the fence about getting one for a long time. I had no idea how it worked or which one was the best? BTW, how the heck do you fry with air? Is that even possible? More importantly, why would you want to? What kind of witchery is an air fryer?

Then one day on a complete impulse buy between drop off and pick up at ballet, I found myself looking squarely in the direction of an air fryer and something compelled me to buy the dang thing. With no idea what to do with it and absolutely void of any Pinterest research on air fryer recipes, I did it. I bought the damn thing.

In my gut, I assumed it would end up in the back cabinet with all my other expensive cooking impulse buys; the pasta maker, the ice cream makers and the panini press keeping the Belgian waffle maker company. But, we all know how much I love French fries. For me the worst part about fried foods (aside from the health risks) is the guilt so why not go the healthy route, especially if the air fryer recipes make the food tastes as good as their fried counterpart and, as hard to believe as it is, they do!

READ ALSO: Avgolemono Greek Lemon Chicken Soup Recipe

An air fryer is a game changer! For most of my adult life I’ve been teetering between baking everything and totally chucking my diet and eating all the McDonald’s French fries. But then we got the air fryer and we’ve made things like French fries, onion rings, fish fillets, chicken tenders and French toast sticks and it tastes great, crispy and has that crunch that I’ve been missing in my life all these years. Hard to believe, right?

Why Invest in an Air Fryer?

Well, you know the difference between frozen waffles and homemade ones or a cold cut sandwich and one on the panini press? That’s the difference. Who would believe that such a subtle difference can have such a flavorful impact? Who’d think that something as simple as a golden brown crunch can make all the difference?

Compared with deep-frying, air frying significantly reduces calorie intake. It can help reduce caloric intake by up to 70-80 percent.

Air fryers are time-efficient. You can actually bake a chicken breast faster in an air fryer than you can in the oven. Just imagine crispy fried chicken without all the grease. If you have picky eaters, you can make crispy veggies as snacks.

READ ALSO: Simple, Easy and Delicious Avocado Toast Recipe

One perk for me, because I hate the smell of fried foods in my house, air frying eliminates that odor.

Just because you are not using oil, you can still burn your food. The air fryer heats up really fast and it’s easy to burn yourself and char your food, so pay attention to time, as charred food is carcinogenic.

Bonus: Easy Clean Up

How does an Air Fryer work?

It uses hot-air circulation. The air fryer cooks your ingredients from all angles- with no oil needed. Compared to deep-frying, using an air fryer can reduce the amount of fat, calories and potentially harmful compounds in your food

air fryer, air fryer recipes, best air fryer, how does an air fryer work

Air Fryer Sriracha-Honey Chicken Wings via Karenskitchenstories.com

Best Air Fryer Recipes?

Any foods that are good when fried like potatoes and chicken cook amazingly in the air fryer. Sweet potato fries are a favorite of ours. Also, fish and chips come out lovely and delicious in the air fryer.

Air Fryer Coconut Shrimp and Apricot Sauce

Avocado Fries

Copy Cat Chik Fil A Sandwich

Mexican Street Corn/ Elote

 Air Fryer Donuts

 Air Fryer Sriracha-Honey Chicken Wings

 Air Fryer Fried Nashville Chicken

Easy Air Fryer Crispy French Fries

The possibilities are endless. Are you considering buying one now? Understand how the air fryer works? Have you tried a few of the best AF recipes out there?

I’m addicted to our Air Fryer and everything I can make with it.

I’m doing this new year, new me thing slowly. This is one of my favorite things to help make healthier foods crispier. This is NOT a paid campaign. I am just really addicted to my air fryer and moms of little kids or kids on the go who need snacks after school, chicken tenders, sweet potato fries, even crispy Brussels sprouts, and grilled cheese sandwiches can be made deliciously and with less fat in a matter of minutes.

I’m looking for new things to cook in my air fryer. What’s your favorite air fryer recipe? Please share a link in the comments.

 

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Avocado Toast Recipe, avocado recipes, how to make avocado toast, avocado recipe

Have you been wondering how to make avocado toast but just don’t know where to start? A healthy avocado toast recipe is super easy to make and we live in a time where avocado recipes are everywhere. It’s the new “wonder food” plus it makes the perfect breakfast ( especially if you add an egg) or really the perfect anytime meal or snack.

For many, the idea of avocado toast is a fairly new one but not for me. I’ve been eating avocados since I could chew. I’m not even sure I needed teeth because they are so smooth and creamy. I’ve been feeding my own daughters avocado since they were allowed to eat solids. Avocados are healthy and delicious, why wouldn’t I?

READ ALSO: Elote Casserole Recipe

If we’re being honest, my family grows avocados in Mexico. We had to, we eat too many of them not to grow our own. Of course, that doesn’t help me at all here in the Midwest but it gives me something to look forward to when I take my family to visit the place I spent my summers as a child.

 Avocado toast has become my new addiction.

It’s healthy, simple, and delicious. The  best part of all, it’s super easy to make and ready in like 3 minutes minutes. I’m pretty sure that it takes me longer to eat it than it does to make it. This avocado toast recipe is so simple and easy that it’s hardly a recipe at all. But sometimes the simplest pleasures are overlooked and I didn’t want you to miss out on how to make avocado toast.

 This avocado toast recipe isn’t one of those fancy, complicated avocado recipes. Some things are just better simple, like butter tortillas. Butter + a warm flour tortilla = crazy delicious.

This avocado recipe is simple but the possibilities are endless. You can make it into avocado toast or if you’re trying to keep it more keto-friendly, eat it straight out of the bowl. If you want to serve it without the bread to guests, you can present it on a crisp, clean piece of iceberg lettuce.

READ ALSO: Chicken Enchilada Recipe

Sometimes zest up our avocado toast and top it with jalapeños, siracha, tomatoes, bacon, beans, spinach, salsa macho or pretty much anything your avocado toast loving heart desires.

To begin, toast your bread. I like mine nice and golden. You can use any kind of toast or sliced bread you have but I like to use hearty whole grain or sourdough toast. 

Next, mash an avocado in a small bowl with a fork. Add cilantro, lime, diced tomato and salt + pepper. Then, spread the creamy, smooth mixture on the toasted slice of bread. For me, 1 whole avocado makes 2 pieces of toast. Sprinkle with pepper flakes, if you like, and serve!

 If you want a little extra protein, top the avocado with an egg cooked any way you like. We like it over easy and runny but sunny side up, scrambled, poached or sliced hard-boiled works too.

READ ALSO: Easy Recipe for Chicken Tacos with Avocado Cream Sauce

Avocado Toast Recipe, avocado recipes, how to make avocado toast, avocado recipe
Print Recipe
5 from 1 vote

Simple, Easy and Delicious Avocado Toast Recipe

If you love avocado recipes and want a simple, easy and delicious avocado toast recipe this is the one you want. Even a child can make it. I know because my girls make it. And it only takes 5 minutes with vegetarian ingredients. It's a healthy, delicious and amazing avocado toast recipe.
Prep Time5 mins
Total Time5 mins
Course: Appetizer, Breakfast, Snack
Cuisine: Mexican, vegetarian
Servings: 1
Author: Deborah Cruz

Ingredients

  • 1 medium avocado peeled with seed removed
  • 1/2 small tomato
  • 1/4 wedge lime
  • 1 tbsp cilantro to taste
  • olive oil drizzle
  • 1-2 slices whole grain ( or whatever you prefer) bread toasted
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1-2 eggs (optional) cooked to preference

Instructions

  • 1. Toast 2 slices of whole grain bread ( or whatever kind you prefer) in a toaster until golden brown and crispy.
    2. In a small bowl mash the avocado then combine cilantro, lime, tomato and salt + pepper to taste. Spread half of the mixture on each slice of toast. Drizzle with olive oil. Optional, top with fried, scrambled, or poached egg if desired.
    3. Serve with love! 
    4. Enjoy.
    Avocado Toast Recipe, avocado recipes, how to make avocado toast, avocado recipe

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5 steps for self reset break, meditation, introspection, self-care

As many of you know, I had surgery last week. It’s left me in a recovery state so I have invited a few of my favorite writers to write a guest post here. I think it’s a wonderful way for me to introduce you to some awesome writers. Today’s guest writer is my dear friend, Kelly Pugliano of Eatpicks and owner of amazing subscription box company RoosteCrate. She’s written something we all need to read, 5 Tips for a Self-Reset Break.

It is so important to give yourself a do-over every once in a while and I’m going to share 5 tips for a self-reset break. It’s like a self-imposed “easy” button, only better.

Life can sometimes feel a bit overwhelming with all the to-do lists and responsibilities that go into making days churn along. Ever feel like some days feel more productive than others despite having the same number of hours? I know one day is never the same as the one before and think it has a lot to do with the self-imposed expectations that it ALL has to get done- and now!

READ ALSO: I’m no Beauty Queen, I’m Just Me

When I start to feel that way, I give myself the permission to have a moment to “reset.” It helps me to feel less overwhelmed. I try to incorporate as many mini-breaks as needed and they really do make a difference.

When you feel like you’re on the never-ending hamster wheel, then incorporate these 5 tips for a self-reset break.

Meditate

I started this process over the summer and it has done wonders. Every morning I light a candle, find a quiet spot to sit and set a timer for 10 minutes. Deep breathing, or “belly breathing” is hard to practice, but once you get it, it is really relaxing. This practice can be done in the morning but is not limited to that time of day. If it works better for you at lunch or in the evening, then, by all means, fit it into where it works best for you.

Take a Walk

If feeling frustrated or stuck with a task, sometimes taking a walk break is all you need to get back in control. Take a walk around the block or even to the mailbox to get the blood flowing and stretch. Walking is great for fitness, but also allows you to clear your thoughts; it’s a win-win!

Change Location

As a person who works from home, being in the same spot day after day can be stifling.  If having writers block or finding that you are surfing social media for hours, try changing your location. Find a quiet spot in another room or sit on the floor near a sunny window, even if it’s only for a short while, it can do wonders for productivity to have a change in your surroundings.

Call a Friend

 Have a lot on your mind or need to get some things off your chest? Call a friend who is a great listener. It will feel so good to share your woes with a friend and have the time to connect with another person, laugh and visit. Sometimes hearing someone’s voice is all you need to help lift your spirits.

Enjoy a Glass of Water, Coffee or Tea

Feeling tired and in a slump can indicate dehydration. Be sure to drink plenty of water throughout the day. Love coffee or tea? Take a few minutes to really enjoy your cup of warmth while it is still hot. Close the computer and allow your eyes to rest. 10-15 minutes and you will feel refreshed to get back to your to-do list.

READ ALSO: Love Letter to my 13-Year-Old Self

These 10 minutes to hour tips don’t need to be complicated, just effective. It really is a self-guided way to take a moment to stop, re-group, and start again. Whatever you need to be able to take a moment to reset so that you can feel accomplished by days end!

What do you do to take a self-reset break?

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hysterectomy, last period ever, menstruation, uterine fibroids

When you’re young, it feels like waiting forever for your period to come. Then, once you start, it feels like you are going to have a period forever. I can’t tell you how many times I wished it would stop in my lifetime. But I never thought, and still don’t, about what it would be like to have your last period ever.

As many of you know, since I wrote about it ad nauseum as I was freaking out, I’ve been having some issues of late with my lady bits. A few weeks ago, it was a few hours before my birthday and I felt more like I was about to attend my own funeral. That’s what happens when you have a 38-day period, an emergency “poor man’s d&c” and you are on so many hormones that you don’t know whether to laugh or cry, so you do both.  Anyways, if you want to read about that..it’s all on this blog.

READ ALSO: Waiting for Biopsy Results

Today though, I’m here to talk to you about something completely different. Now, after 78 days of constant flow of the heaviest cycle, I’ve ever experienced, anemia induced by blood loss and generally not being sure what the heck is going on with my female parts. Today, with a hysterectomy on the horizon, I’m realizing that this nearly 3 month period will be my last ever.

Which is amazing in all kinds of All CAPs AWESOME ways but then it hit me, just now, in the shower, that this is probably my last.period.ever. I should be ecstatic. I mean 78 days is a long time. But so is forever.

Last year, when my doctor first came to me with the idea of a hysterectomy. I looked at her like she was insane. I’m too young for a hysterectomy. I’m not menopausal. I’m vibrant. I’m fertile. I’m every freaking 28 days, ovulating on day 14. I’m a reproductive machine. Only this machine has chosen not to grow any more humans. This machine is not a machine at all. It’s a woman with all the feels. I’m a woman who found out last week that my uterus and fibroids are conspiring to mess me up. They are doing medically unseen things.

READ ALSO: Why I Won’t get an Elective Hysterectomy

Last year, a hysterectomy was an elective opportunity to stop some nuisance heavy days. I knew I wasn’t going to have any more babies because when I lost the one, it broke me but I wanted the option. What can I say, my uterus makes me feel special. It’s like a superpower and I wasn’t ready to give that up. I’m still not BUT when you are hit square in the jaw with an emergency type situation and told that you might have cancer, well, then a hysterectomy sounds like a breeze; like clipping toenails or trimming fringe.  That’s how I came around to my current reality.

But now my period, this crazy long cycle, is my very last period. I mean she’s going out with a bang. 34  years of right on time cycles ending with a 78-day, Shining type of a rager, I’d say my uterus is the flipping Rolling Stones rock star of uteri.

READ ALSO: Why I’m having a Hysterectomy before the Fibroids Kill Me

Why am I telling you all of this? Well, many of you have been here since the girls were babies. You held my heart when it was broken into a zillion tiny pieces and duck taped that bitch back together when I lost my third baby. You’ve read all about the saga that is my reproductive mishaps, I thought you’d like to know when I played my farewell show. I don’t think there will be any more encores. There better not be. Geez, Keith Richards the uterus…go the fuck home.

But, I’m scared. Nothing about this has been “normal”. I’m constantly surprising my gynecologist and I really don’t know what to expect tomorrow. I may wake up with an incision and no ovaries but the plan is to have a robotic surgery and leave the ovaries. I’m not ready for menopause or any of the hormonal treatments that go with it. I’ve been on hormones for the past 78 days to stop the bleeding and it’s making my vision blurry, my moods all over the place, my blood pressure high and a host of other issues. I just want to be normal again. I just want to stop bleeding and feel good.

Pray for me. Keep me in your thoughts. I’ll be here on the couch for the next 6-8 weeks recovering with limited mobility. Apparently having your baby maker removed is a big deal. Pray for the Big Guy, he will be playing the role of Mr.Mom as I won’t be able to drive for at least 3 weeks. I need a mommy meal on wheels and a maid, STAT.

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hysterectomy, uterine fibroids, fibroids, endometriosis, gynecological issues, perimenopause , uterine biopsy, cancer, poor man's d and c, D&C

It stands to reason that since women’s superpower is that we can conceive, grow, birth and feed babies taking our uterus is like using Kryptonite on us. I never knew how vital my uterus was to my existence until I had children, then I knew it gave me miracles. I never realized that three little uterine fibroids could kill me. I never believed a hysterectomy would be my best case scenario. 

I also learned quickly with my miscarriage that my uterus could also bring me to my knees in prayer, pain and humility. When it’s supposed to work and it fails you, there is nothing like that pain and vulnerability. It’s indescribable. It feels like a failure and betrayal by your body against your soul.

With each of my beautiful children that I was fortunate and blessed enough to conceive, I was also given a uterine fibroid; a tumor. They’ve been monitoring my fibroids, Mo, Larry and Curly, since 2004 to be sure they caused no interferences with my pregnancies.  Each doctor made it sound like there was no cause for concern. So, we let them go…grow with estrogen, not with love. But as they grew, so did my uterus.

READ ALSO: The Surprise Biopsy

But then last year happened and this entire year has been a catastrophic menstruation disaster. Nothing is working right. I’m as about as anemic as I can be. They’ve just upped my iron again and apparently, my uterine fibroids, now more reasonably named, Jason, Freddie and Michael are trying to kill me. If you don’t believe me, explain a uterus full of blood?

You can’t. As I told you in the last post, not even my doctor can. I’m just this anomaly with a uterus like a swamp that needed to be drained. Whatever the hell that even means.

The thing is, as I was referring to women possessing the superpower of conception, gestation and birth, it makes me think that our uterus is pretty vital to our womanhood. It’s our essence. Or maybe that’s just my scared out of my wits that I have cancer, I just read the hysterectomy surgery pamphlet and all these hormones have me jacked talking.

I’ve had tonsils and adenoids taken out. I’ve had tubes put in my ears. I’ve survived a miscarriage and a D & E. I’ve Humpty Dumpty broken and shattered my leg into a thousand tiny pieces, had it put back together and then had the armor put in and surgically removed 3 times. I’ve dislocated my elbow and had it go back into place (both equally as painful). I’ve survived excruciating gallstone attacks and had my gallbladder removed. I’ve spent the better part of the past 3 years in hospitals, laid up and still paying the bills. But this surgery scares me and it’s not just that I might have cancer. Though, believe me, that scares the shit out of me.

READ ALSO:  The Poor Man’s D & C and Waiting for Biopsy Results

This entails a mandatory hospital stay. I may wake up with a couple robotic incisions or a cesarean like incision. I might get to keep my ovaries or she might take everything. I might go into menopause or onto hormones. I might have an oncologist in the surgery or I might not. There’s a 6-8 week healing period. My doctor says that’s very restricted. I have children and I have been here in this restricted position and it’s so hard to be so vulnerable and dependent on others.

There are so many uncertainties and that’s nothing to say of the fact that I just put myself out there and interviewed for a new job in a brick and mortar establishment.  I mean what do I say? What do I do? That’s if I even get the job.

My mind is a million different places this weekend and my sore uterus from my Friday office visit is a constant reminder that this is real. I’m still bleeding…day 29. I’m trying to stay calm for my girls but then all I can think of is what if these fibroids kill me?

I’m afraid of all the things I’ll miss. The milestones. Our 25th anniversary. Bella’s quinceanera. Gabi’s confirmation. Gabi’s quinceanera. High school proms. First boyfriends. College. First heartbreak. College graduation. Weddings. Babies. Becoming a grandma. Growing old with the Big Guy. So much life still to live; so much love still to give. Not enough time to change the world. Not enough time to love the people I love.

hysterectomy, uterine fibroids, fibroids, endometriosis, gynecological issues, perimenopause , uterine biopsy, cancer, poor man's d and c, D&C

So, I’m getting a hysterectomy and I’m waiting on biopsy results. I’ll never have another baby. I’ll never have another period. Bella and I, our periods sync up. Gabi and I will never have that. I know it’s stupid. I know that maybe everything might be all right but right now, I have to face the facts that these fibroids are slowly killing me and now, my uterus has become hostile towards me too. I just want to be ok and be here for the people I love.

So, if you are the praying kind, I’m asking for all the prayers you’ve got. Because, right now, all I can do is wait with nothing but prayers to keep me sane. And to think,  a few days ago, I thought early menopause was the worst thing that could happen to me.

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hysterectomy, uterine fibroids, fibroids, endometriosis, gynecological issues, perimenopause , uterine biopsy, cancer, poor man's d and c, D&C

What trumps a surprise uterine biopsy? A surprise poor man’s D and C. It’s not the same as a D and C in the hospital under anesthesia. My doctor’s words, not mine. It’s fall and the week before my birthday, so I must be waiting for biopsy results. Remember last year’s biopsy wait and see? It was the worst. I went in for my annual exam and ended up with a surprise biopsy. Damn uterine fibroids. Get off my lawn.

This year, I had a 28 day period and nobody knew why. Was I menopausal? Am I perimenopausal? Are my fibroids just the worst? Is it endometriosis? No, I’m not menopausal. Dr. says probably another 6 years before I’d start any kind of natural menopause. Perimenopausal? She said nothing of being there either. Not endometriosis, at least not that she mentioned.

What I did have was a surprise ultrasound to see if my uterine fibroids had grown. Last year, my uterus was the size of a 10-week pregnant woman’s due to the size of the uterine fibroids. This year, since we’ve come to the conclusion that a 28 day period for a severe anemic is not something I can withstand longterm without transfusion…a hysterectomy it will be. Yep, those days of being adamantly against it have given way to just wanting to be able to function in the upright position without feeling like my insides are falling out.

Well, talk about a surprise. The doctor and I were both surprised with the ultrasound results. It was my third time taking off my panties in one office visit and I was getting scared. But when the ultrasound tech nonchalantly asked me, “When was your last uterine biopsy?” I began to get a little squirrely. I asked, “Why? Do you see something?” To which she replied with her best poker face, “Oh, no just wondering. “

READ ALSO: The Menopause Spectrum

I knew that was bullshit. It felt like the day they told me they couldn’t find a heartbeat with my last pregnancy. I wasn’t getting a good vibe. It was hour 3 at the gynecologist’s office and I was beginning to really freak out. She sent me back up to my doctor’s office.

My doctor came into the room like a frantic ball of nervous energy and very quickly told me, “Debi, I need you to get undressed and on the table. Your entire, now, 12-week pregnant sized uterus, is full of blood and we need to empty it and do another biopsy.” As you might remember, last year’s biopsy was very painful and traumatic. A biopsy is not anything you want to be sprung on you.

Then all the blood began to rush from my head ( apparently to my uterus) and the room was spinning. All I heard was biopsy, cancer and uterus full of blood. Remember last year when I complained about my 5 days of heavy bleeding each month and it got me a biopsy and an entire year of horrible, no good unpredictable, heavy periods? Well, now if my options are cancer or menopause…. I’m praying for menopause.

If you’ve made it this far, the next part is going to be TMI so if periods, uterine fibroids and cancer are not your thing, leave now.

My doctor was so frantic, that it felt frenzied. I felt like she was acting under a code blue and I was an unwilling participant in the shit show that was about to happen to me in stirrups.

She put my legs in the stirrups. Asked me to please scoot down and then bright lights and speculums. The deepest one you can find because I have a deep cervix. There was no pain medication of any kind administered.  After trying several speculums, she finally found the one that fit.  I can hear her opening it up. It made me feel like I was about to get a tire changed. She is apologizing the entire time. My fibroids were recoiling while drowning in a uterus full of blood. My imagination is running rampant.

But worse, my gynecologist is talking to herself out loud and I am practically in tears. “I wasn’t worried about cancer but there is just so much blood!” “I’ve never seen so much blood in a uterus!!” “We’re going to do another biopsy.” “You might faint!” “Do you feel faint?” “Hold on to something, this is going to hurt….” “Oh but it’s dark blood, so it’s old blood so I’m not as worried. “ “Sorry, just talking out loud.”

hysterectomy, uterine fibroids, fibroids, endometriosis, gynecological issues, perimenopause , uterine biopsy, cancer, poor man's d and c, D&C

WTF??????

Then she proceeded to insert a giant syringe about 12 inches long and 2 inches around in diameter in through the speculum opening and began to vigorously and aggressively suck the blood and clots out of my womb. If my uterus were a hotel, I imagine that scene out of the Shining when the walls are bleeding and you can hardly see anything.  It was very painful. A surprise D and C is not ever a surprise that you’d want. She referred to it as a “Poor man’s D & C.” I dug my fingers so deep into my arm to stop from screaming that I am covered in bruises.

She emptied 5 full syringes of blood and clots into those cups they make you wee into to check to see if you’re pregnant. I was getting more and more faint with each syringe. Meanwhile, she is calling my attention to it, “Debi, look! Can you believe this? This is incredible.”

I felt hollow. I felt like someone had roto rootered my female reproductive organs. To be honest, I felt violated.  I understand she was doing her best impression of a caped crusader to eliminate the blood from my uterus and shrink it down to as close as possible to normal sized but I could see the vigorous movement of the syringe through the top of my pelvis and worse, I could feel it. It felt like labor pains or those pains you get right after you give birth and your uterus is shrinking down. Either way, it was PTSD traumatic.

READ ALSO: When Cancer’s on the Table

And now, aside from scheduling a hysterectomy that I don’t want to have but have to have and advocating to keep my ovaries so that I don’t go into early menopause and worrying that my uterus will be too big and robotic surgery will give way to a full stomach incision removal, I have to wait to see if I have cancer. Happy birthday week to me.

They’ve put me on meds to stop the bleeding but I’m still bleeding. Right now, it’s a wait and see, try not to throw up from nerves sort of week. I can’t think of anything else and all I want to do is distract myself. Did I mention that the Big Guy is out of town for work? Yep. He volunteered to stay home and cancel but I’ll need him when I have the surgery. I’m just praying it’s not cancer because I don’t want to be alone if that’s what they tell me.

Right before I left with my insides feeling like swiss cheese and my world flipped upside down, I was taking solace in the fact that she said, “It’s all dark blood, I’m not as worried. It’s probably just the fibroids and nothing more.” Then she stopped me as I was leaving, all the color left from my face and said, “If the results come back as cancer, I’ll have another surgeon in there to check your lymph nodes.” And all I could hear was Charlie Brown wah, wah, wah, wah and my mind has been in a very dark place ever since.  I hate the waiting.

Being a woman is hard enough with the whole world trying to stick their noses in our uteruses without having it turn on us and having to worry that the very thing that brings life into the world may in fact, take ours.

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endometriosis, fibroids, colposcopy, menorrhagia, hysterectomy, uterine fibroids

My birthday is next week. I’m turning 30 for the umpteenth time and hoping my fibroids don’t want to be part of the celebration. This month’s period has lasted….captains log day 28…TMI alert* do not pass go* if you are squeamish….I am on day forth box of super tampons. P.S. I’m anemic and I have 3 fibroids. I got one each time I was pregnant. I only have 2 kids so that’s another kick in the vagina.

My point is, and there definitely is one, I went in for my yearly gynecological visit last October, as some of you may remember, I was complaining about a “heavy 5-day period”. I was so stupid. My doctor did my pap, wham, bam, thank you ma’am and noticed, “Hey, Debi, you are spotting and I know you’re a freak so I’ll just do a biopsy. No Bigs.”

Yeah, my doctor and I are all extra like that. We’ve been through a lot together. I’ve howl cried in her office and went straight up looney toons the day of my D & E and refused surgery until they brought an ultrasound machine down to my prep room one last time…just to be sure. I’m sure that I looked as squirrely as I felt. She gets me.

READ ALSO: Why I Won’t Get an Elective Hysterectomy to Cure my Uterine Fibroids

I’m a super advocate for my own health and she knows I’m a little too smart for my own good. Forget WebMD, I consult actual doctors in my circles and ask them all the questions before I bring it to my gynecologist. I research. I weigh odds. I am a freak. She isn’t wrong.

Anyways, that biopsy caused a domino effect. I started a period, right after I had finished a period. Then, I went three months without a period. 3 months is forever in no period days.  I felt like a puffer fish. Then, she told me to start birth control pills to start my period. It worked. I started my period and it lasted forever. It finally stopped and then it kept starting again. Breakthrough all day, every day.

I stopped the birth control pills. I had a couple months of regular 4-7 day periods. Now, let me tell you my period always still comes every 28 days. Whether my period lasts 3 days or 15 days, on day 28 I will start my period again. Linings will be shed. My period somehow always sinks up with my vacations.

READ ALSO: The Gynecological Misadventures of a Millenial-ish Mom

If I am traveling, you can bet money that I will be on my period. It’s been like that since I got pregnant on an anniversary trip to New Orleans in which I got pregnant. I think either God’s got a wicked sense of humor or my body doesn’t like children.  Either way, if it even gets a whiff of a possible travel date…cramps start.

Anyways, we traveled a LOT this past summer and my period proves it. My period refuses to miss out on a good vacation. July’s period lasted for 2 weeks of heavy fibroid bleeding. It crossed the threshold from July into the first full week of August (I was traveling to the beach so of course, I needed to be bleeding in order to attract all the sharks.) Then we got home from the trip, 2 weeks later (28 days from the start of my last period. Wait isn’t that how the zombie apocalypse is supposed to start? Am I patient zero?) I started again and it hasn’t stopped yet. Wait. I have an appointment tomorrow with my gynecologist, I’m sure I’ll stop today. But it’s ok because Saturday is day 28, so I should do something special tomorrow like celebrate with some marital relations.

It’s become so bad that I had to raid my teen’s feminine hygiene products. Let’s just call it even for my disappearing box of tampons when they were toddlers. Seriously, sometimes it keeps me up at nights wondering where the heck all that cotton went. I never did find them. Is it shoved up into my teenaged girls’ noses still? Is this why we have all the sinus issues?

Maybe I should start a new blog called have uterus will travel. Or maybe broken uterus, who dis? Or Menstruation Never Interrupted? All I know is I can’t wait to see my doctor and find the root of this problem. Fingers crossed its hormones and not cancer or some sort of infection that’s gone untreated. Of course, my mind is going to the worse possible case scenario because that’s who I am. I expect the worst and hope for the best.

There’s been talk of a hysterectomy to alleviate the anemia inducing hemorrhaging that we call my period. I was adamantly against that course of action this time last year but after the last 28 days of a near-death slow bleed out, I’m seriously reconsidering it but I’d be lying if I said that I wasn’t scared because I am. Not only is my vanity taking a hit that I will be missing parts, I’m literally nervous about being cut open again but I don’t think I can continue on like this. The anemia is taking its toll on my health. My vision is blurry, I’m perpetually exhausted and there is anemia induced anxiety. It’s a thing. Who knew iron was so important?

READ ALSO: When God Shivs You in the Lady Bits

Plus, the pica is embarrassing. I am a grown woman who is currently chewing ice like it’s my job because when you are this iron deficit, it is. You crave it like air. Yes, I do take iron but apparently, I need to up the dose. In case you were wondering if I’m just over here chewing on ice, bleeding out and ignoring the situation. I’m not but thanks for the worry. Still, I just reached my hand into my cup and grabbed a piece of ice like an animal in front of a group of adults in public and so now, I’d say it’s a problem.

So here I am, somewhere on the menopause spectrum with no official diagnosis but here’s hoping tomorrow they give me a diagnosis and something to stop this never-ending period. If you are the praying sort, I’ll take them. If you only believe in positive juju, I’ll take that too. Hell, at this point I’m so desperate, you can do a stop menstruating dance for me and I’d be grateful.

endometriosis, fibroids, colposcopy, menorrhagia, hysterectomy, uterine fibroidsLadies, have you ever had something like this happen? What did you do? Have you had a hysterectomy? Do I believe all the rumors? Am I going to gain 30 pounds, grow a mustache and get a grammy paunch? Because I’m going to tell you, I’m not ready for all that. Why else do you think that I ’m turning 30 for the umpteenth time?

Do you struggle with fibroids or endometriosis?

 

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Kitchen appliances you need, 5 Kitchen Appliances You Need to Get Healthy, tips to live longer, tips to get healthy

I’ve made a list of  5 kitchen appliances you need to get healthy. I am, once again, trying to get my groove back. Well, not so much my groove, per se, but I am trying to see my feet again. Not that I’m walking around waiting for my spot on My 600-lb to air or anything. No one is coming anytime soon to airlift me out of my house with the jaws of life (knock on wood) but I could definitely be in better shape.

Yes, I’ve been here before. My never-ending quest for perfection. But this time, it really is different. This has nothing to do with perfection and everything to do with just wanting to look and feel good. It really isn’t so much vanity as just wanting to buy off the rack and have things fit correctly.  And if I could get rid of this Mother’s apron belly and my bat wings, even better. Okay, maybe I am a little vain.

READ ALSO: The Weight of my World is a Number on the Scale

The thing is this time, I really don’t care what other people think. The Big Guy is finally on board with trying to lose some weight himself. Like, it was his idea and he’s committed to it. I’m not embarrassed by my body. I love it. It’s a little broken but mostly, it is really strong. What I do want is to feel comfortable in my own skin, to be healthy and to not have to consider whether or not my body will be a hindrance to me in certain activities. For example, I just decided to skip an activity in Cozumel that would include me wearing a wetsuit in public.

To make it easier to get healthy, I wanted some appliances that could contribute to a healthier way of eating. Appliances that make eating healthy less cumbersome. I also wanted to be able to eat things that were recognizable to me and tasted good, just healthier versions.

This is my list of 5 kitchen appliances you need to get healthy

Hamilton Beach Rice and Hot Cereal Cooker, 5 kitchen appliances you need to get healthy, kitchen appliances you need

Hamilton Beach Rice and Hot Cereal Cooker

I don’t know how it does it but this magical appliance cooks rice (yes, even brown rice and whole grains) and steams vegetables perfectly simultaneously.  I’m telling you, it is magic. I can do pretty well with white rice and Spanish rice on my own but brown rice and whole grain perfection has alluded me.

It’s also pretty fantastic at making overnight oatmeal for a healthy breakfast in the morning for the entire family. It’s about to get really cold here in the Midwest and there is nothing that beats hot cereal for breakfast. Plus, why not eliminate some of the hassles of trying to do all the things, plus wrangle children in the morning? Did I mention cooks rice perfectly?

Disclosure: I was provided a Rice and Hot Cereal Cooker by Hamilton Beach for review purposes but all opinions are my own.

Juicer

I have a Breville but there are many options out there. This just happens to be the one I have and I love it. I like to juice for breakfast. It fills me up and gives me an energy boost. You may be asking, why not just drink coffee? While coffee is delicious, it is acidic and I’m pretty sure that the last time I was in the ER with my gallbladder attack, they told me that I had an ulcer. I’m 100% certain in this statement, as I could not hear over my own sobbing and vomiting of all the bile. Either way, I drink coffee in small quantities.

Too much caffeine makes this insomniac manic. Which reminds me, I don’t recommend a juice fast and the reason I only do breakfast juicing is that when I’ve done a juice fast, I became extremely manic. It takes a lot of fruit and veggies to make a glass of juice. Fruit has a lot of natural sugars. For me, sugar is sugar. My mania knows no difference. But still, for a healthy and delicious morning pick me up, juice.

Ninja Smart Screen Kitchen System with FreshVac Technology

One smart base, three high-performance appliances: the 72 oz. FreshVac Pitcher
(64 oz. max liquid capacity), 20 oz. Single Serve FreshVac Cup, and 40 oz. Precision Processor. It makes getting your daily smoothies in easy and quick. Kids come home from school hangry, smoothies in minutes. This is one of my favorite appliance buys. It does so much.

Airfryer

The Big Guy has gone on the Mediterranean diet so we are trying to reduce frying and incorporate a healthier option. Whatever you can deep fry, you can air fry, it is safer and healthier like having a portable convection-type oven at your fingertips. The Bella Air Fryer is a multi-functional unit with traditional fryer functions can air fry French fries, onion rings and chicken nuggets. PLUS, apparently, you can also bake small cakes, cook small chickens and meat roasts and even bread. Really simple and convenient to use you can cook a 1/2 bag of frozen French fries in 15 minutes using no oil at all.

Food scale

I have the EatSmart Digital Nutrition Scale. It’s a Professional Food and Nutrient Calculator that Calculate calories, carbs, fiber, sodium, fats, vitamin k and six other nutrients from thousands of packaged and 999 whole foods. It’s lightweight and stores easily under my counter.

Weighs in grams (to nearest whole gram) and ounces (to nearest .1 ounce); Max weight 11 pounds. It’s so simple but so important. Once you get those portions under control, you’ll be amazed at how your weight begins to level off.

READ ALSO: Fat Girl Walking

These are my 5 kitchen appliances you need to get healthy. What can you not live without in your kitchen? Do you think that the appliances you have in your kitchen are as important as the food you eat?

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dislocated elbow, broken bone, slip and fall

Have you ever felt like Samuel Jackson’s character Elijah Price in Unbreakable? I have; I do right now. A week ago today, in a fluke of epic proportions and yet another lesson in bad footwear, I lost my footing in a waterlogged yard and fell, not once but twice and something broke. Put it this way, on the second fall, I was pretty sure that if I had taken my coat off, I would have seen the bones in my arm completely out of their respective positions.

If you’ve been following along for the past couple of years, you know that I broke my leg at my sister’s wedding so severely that I had to have surgery to put my leg back together again. It’s what I affectionately refer to as my Humpty Dumpty Frankenstein leg.

A couple months later, I had to have a second surgery to remove 2 of the screws because all of the physical therapy in the world was not going to allow those screws to let me walk without a limp. It helped and I had an amazing surgeon through the entire ordeal so shout out to Dr. Beuchel who can perform surgical miracles and has the most pleasant bedside manner.

3 months later, my gallbladder decided it wanted in on the fun and I had 2 acute attacks in as many weeks. But since I was a week out from a Disney trip (the same trip I had cancelled the previous October due to the break) I went to Disney with a bum gallbladder and a restricted diet that nearly starved me to death and subsequent removal of a gallbladder that we found was not situated in the usual place. Thankfully, Disney is very accommodating to all diets but there were no Dole whips on that trip I did, however, find the soy shake at the Sci-Fi theater and the ratatouille at Be Our Guest to be uncannily delicious.

A year later, the swelling in my leg had finally gone down enough to remove the outer plate and screws from my leg. This was necessary because I was having pain wearing anything above a flat. I just had this surgery over Christmas break. It’s been feeling great, other than a little tenderness from the accompanying scope I had to remove all the built up excess scar tissue that was causing mobility issues. I was looking forward to going to Disney next month unencumbered. Then the unthinkable happened; a series of almost comedic if not almost deadly unfortunate events.

I went outside. The snow had all melted and I saw that Monday night’s storm had left a giant tree branch atop the girls’ trampoline. Afraid it might tear it, I got dressed went outside and tried to remove it from the netting. Let me explain, this is completely out of character for me. I usually leave all manual labor to the Big Guy because 1) I don’t particularly like it 2) I am accident prone and still, I did it anyway. The first mistake, going outside.

This was not well thought out. I still had my pajamas on. I threw on the first pair of comfy pants I found folded and pulled on my jacket and UGGS. Second mistake, UGGS. They are now in the flip-flop category of shoes that will never be worn again.

I went outside and saw that I could not move the log but instead of going in the house and accepting defeat, I soldiered on. I went to the front of the house to find something for leverage. Mistake number 3 and 4, not quitting and walking to the front of the house.

I spied a shovel by the front door and thought, hmm, this will work for leverage. I stepped off the front porch (next mistake) put my foot into the waterlogged, muddy yard and went down like a ton of bricks. When I went down, my first thought was, “OMG, the plate is out and this leg can break again. OMG, I broke the leg!!!”

I was at this point wailing like a baby and jumped up immediately. This was my 5th and fatal mistake because I immediately fell right back down, this time with my left arm outstretched searching for salvation but none was to be found.

I heard a pop and I knew, if I pulled off my jacket to look, the bone would be jutting out in the wrong direction. Covered in mud, I gingerly, while full on screaming and hyperventilating because at this point I might have been insane, pulled myself up to my feet. I was shaking uncontrollably and frightened. The pain was indescribable. I had to make it into the house without falling again but first I had to make it all the way to the back of the house, without losing my footing again because of course, the front door was locked. Instead of walking 50 feet in excruciating pain, I got to walk 500 feet.

dislocated elbow, broken bone, slip and fall

I made it, slipping and sliding and crying and screaming the entire way. It was around 9 in the morning so no one was around. I called my husband, who works on the other side of town, and told him to meet me at the hospital and I called my brother who lives a few blocks away and sobbed my way through telling him what had happened and asked for a ride to the ER.

By this time, I think my body was going into shock. I was shaking uncontrollably and feeling faint and vomity just like the time I broke my leg. Everything was hurting. I was just trying to get dressed and cleaned up before I couldn’t move at all. Swelling tends to do that to bone trauma.

Finally, we made it to the Emergency room where I had to wait for about ½ hour before they could get me back. After another 5 hours and several x-rays, they sent me home with a splint and the news that my arm was broke. However, they said they couldn’t see the break because of the swelling and they wouldn’t do an MRI. I had to follow up with my orthopedist. I left in pain and frustrated.

dislocated elbow, broken bone, slip and fall

Thursday, I saw the orthopedist. The verdict is that when I fell, I dislocated my elbow which, thankfully, went back into place on its own. While dislocating my elbow, the trauma from the impact and all the pushing and pulling taking place during the dislocation, I chipped part of my bone off. My doctor didn’t seem too worried about that. I, however, am concerned but thrilled that I don’t have to wear a cast to Disney this year or have surgery.

dislocated elbow, broken bone, slip and fall

I do have a horrific bruise and swelling to contend with today. I have about 3 months of recovery in front of me that includes another week or two of intense pain, a month of wearing a sling and a whole lot of physical therapy. But no cast or surgery, so I am thankful for the small wins.

Tomorrow, I’m going to buy some vitamin D and calcium because apparently, I am up for the role of Elijah Price in M.Night Shamalyns next installment in the series and I really don’t want to be.

The moral of the story kids? Beware life’s slick spots and make good footwear choices!

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American Heart Association, Hands Only CPR

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post written in partnership with the Anthem Foundation, however, all opinions are my own.

Do you travel a lot? I do and I love it, however, I hate layovers. They always seem to be either too short, where I find myself running through the airport breathing like I’m having an asthma attack to make my flight or too long, where I feel like I’m sitting around wasting my time when all I want to do is get to my destination. I’m all about a good journey but sitting in an airport feels like wasting precious time.

Sure, short layovers make for a good YouTube video but it’s not exactly fun for the poor person running through O’Hare bobbing and weaving trying to make their connection. It’s not particularly healthy for some of us. We’re not all marathon runners, most of us are average middle-aged parents living in the land of the biggie-sized and the home of the sit around and binge watch all day. One time trying to make my connection to a flight to L.A., I was convinced that I was going to have a heart attack right there in the airport. By the time I got on my flight, I was doubled over out of breath and all red in the face.

Speaking of heart attacks and long layovers, did you know that now people can learn Hands-Only CPR through Anthem Foundation supported training kiosks in about five minutes while they wait for their flights in many U.S. airports?  I had no idea this was a thing. Pretty awesome, right?

Each year, more than 350,000 cardiac arrests occur outside the hospital, and about 20 percent occur in public places such as airports. Hands-Only CPR has been shown to be as effective as conventional CPR for cardiac arrest when it occurs in public, and CPR can double or triple a victim’s chance of survival.

The interactive kiosks are designed to train large numbers of people on this simple, lifesaving technique. Each Anthem Foundation- supported kiosk has a touch screen with a short video that provides an overview of Hands-Only CPR, followed by a practice session and a 30-second test. With the help of a practice mannequin or a rubber torso, the kiosk gives feedback about the depth and rate of compressions, as well as proper hand placement – factors that influence the effectiveness of CPR.

Travelers can also select Spanish from the kiosk’s main touchscreen. The Spanish language capability along with closed captioning in Spanish is available on all Anthem Foundation-supported kiosks at airports.

Hands-Only CPR has two steps, performed in this order: when you see a teen or adult suddenly collapse, call 911. Then, push hard and fast in the center of the chest until help arrives. Remember anyone can save a life.

I can’t think of a more productive way to spend my layover than learning how to save someone’s life. Just as I can’t think of a worse way to spend my layover than by standing around helplessly watching as someone else dies from a heart attack, maybe some poor out of shape mom, like me, who had to run through the airport to make her flight.

 

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