Monday, April 25, 2011

My Digestive Health and TMI

Ryan from No More Bacon recently posted on Attune Food's blog about digestive health in your overall health. He posed the question to readers, when did you become aware of digestive health and any effects on your overall health. 

My response was: 
  1. I was diagnosed as “Lactose Intolerant” in my early pre-teen years. It sucked… you see I love ice cream, but I learned early on that you have to give and take in this world, and you can’t always get what you want (cue song!)
    Later on, my doctor said that my intolerance was more of a sensitivity, and that I could have some lactose products, but to keep it to a minimum and in moderation.
    5 years ago, I had my gallbladder removed and my whole digestion system was thrown off kilter, it took nearly a year before I was finally able to get “regular” again.
    I’ve learned over the years that you’ve got to adapt and listen closely to what your body is trying to tell you, don’t always use medication to cover those symptoms, if your body can’t handle it, you’ve got to have to know it all to stop eating it.
    Thank you for this inspiration, I feel a blog post coming on!

    Being a kid, a kid who LOVED dairy, especially ice cream, being diagnosed as lactose intolerant, my gosh, was like a death sentence.  I thought that life was over. Then I got introduced to a medication that would allow me to enjoy some dairy products, I still couldn't drink milk, eat cheese and then wash it all down with ice cream, but I still could enjoy the occasional dairy product. 

    And this may be too much TMI, but if I did consume too much dairy, well then it was several quick trips to the bathroom, which I then would also treat with yet another medication. 

    A few years later, my body was apparently over it's Lactose Intolerant stage, and I could once again freely consume lactose without medications. This wasn't by some diagnosis, more trial and error, I would forget to take my pills, but then have no after effects, etc. 

    While in college, I had what is now known as a gallbladder attack, at the time they thought it was food poisoning.  I had another attack after I graduated from college, I was home, and drove myself to the ER. It was there that they performed a ultrasound of my gallbladder and saw that I had stones there. After meeting with some more doctors, I elected to have my gallbladder removed. And let me tell you anytime you have abdomen surgery, you feel that every part of your body is connected to your abdomen/abdominal muscles.  Laughing hurt!

    After I had my gallbladder removed, my doctor told me that it would be trial and error as to what I could eat and I'd have to see. Some people had no effects, and could continue eating as they normally would. Others, found that their diets would be restrictive.  For the next year, I couldn't travel far from a restroom, especially after eating.  Again my doctors would recommend a medication to help with the frequent bathroom visits. 

    It took about a year for the bile to regulate in my digestive system. You see, instead of having a gallbladder than can store the excess bile that is created, bile is just free flowing in my digestive system. So when I eat fatty meat or a fatty meal, there usually isn't enough bile to help break down the food.  And my system ends up dumping a lot of it before it's all been properly digested. 

    Since that time, I've learned that I simply cannot eat any breakfast meat... this includes BACON, I feel for you Ryan! And that I really have to limit fried foods. Also I've realized that I cannot eat large meals first thing in the morning, that I can typically tolerate a light to moderate breakfast, but nothing really heavy.  If I want to eat french toast, I typically have to have a piece of fruit or something small about an hour before. 

    Trust me, I've taken a lot of crap from the guys that I work with (firefighters) about being picky. It's not that I am picky, but I'd rather not be stuck in the bathroom when a call comes in!  The guys will sometimes cook eggs or homefries in the bacon grease, and I've realized that I cannot eat food cooked that way. It's really been a trial and error, and VERY frustrating at times. 

    During this time, I realized that I didn't really want to be on any medication that was in regards to my digestive health, if my body says I shouldn't be eating it, well then, I need to not be eating it. Not taking pills that mask my problems so I can eat certain foods. I think I would be better off not eating breakfast meats, fried food, etc, in excess. It's not good for my digestive or my overall health ;-) 

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Progress & Attune Foods

Well after last week, I guess that was the a$$ kicking I needed. Not only did I restart the C25K program, I also went to the gym, and yesterday my workout consisted of helping out on the farm (including off loading hay bales). I also tracked my food for the majority of the week (I think I missed 2 days).

And my efforts paid off, as I am happy to report that the my scale read 311.8 this morning, still not under the 310 mark, but way better than where I was last week. Now I just have to keep this momentum going.

Let's face it tracking my food is helping. I need to suck it up and do the work. I am the only one to blame for where I am at today, and I am the only one who can change it.

I think part of my problem, is that I work, a lot. And almost always never say no to overtime. Let's face it, in this economy, I should be happy I have a job, but also have a job that still has overtime available. But I think it may be doing more harm than good, and I haven't been taking care of myself as well as I could have been. This past week, I not only didn't work any overtime, but I also made use of my time off to make sure I got some activity in.

That being said, this upcoming week won't be the same case, as I took 2 extra shifts this week. I am also going to be out of my element, as I am staying at my parents house while they are on vacation. These are just obstacles, and I will overcome them, I am still going to track my food, and get any activity in when I can.

I realize now that I need to be able to take time for myself, not only does it recharge my batteries, but allows me to better take care of myself.

In other news, Kerri tweeted at me the other day that Attune Foods is hosting a giveaway, and a big one at that. The giveaway is a ticket to FitBloggin' but also $500 for travel or hotel. This would be huge for me! Right now, I am not able to go, with my wedding less than 6 months away there just isn't enough money in the budget for me to go.

It's great that Attune Foods is so supportive of our weight loss blog community, in addition to this awesome giveaway they are also sponsoring several other aspects of the FitBloggin' conference. I've never tried any of their products, but given their supportive nature of something dear to me, it's worth a try. I took a peek at their website and they offer many Gluten Free breakfast items. Not going to lie, the mint chocolate bar sounds delicious!

I am hoping that Attune picks me to go to FitBloggin' I'd love the opportunity to learn more about healthy living and building a better blog. Also the chance to meet several individuals who I've become dear friends with would also be a huge super bonus!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Oribe Hair Masque Review

Some of you may know that I listen to Cosmo Radio on Sirius/XM. I am addicted to the channel, Ben can tell you that a lot of what I say and do, comes from the channel and the personalities on the different shows. They are like my real life (fake planet) friends.

Anyway, Victoria recently got her own show called "Cosmo Life with Victoria" and several weeks ago, she was talking about hair masques and said that Oribe was one of the best masque's out there.

So I went to see what it's all about. The Signature Moisture Masque, the first thing I balked at was the price $59 for a jar (5.9 ounces)! I had a credit on Amazon, and since I could purchase it on Amazon, I decided to take the plunge and go with it.
From the Oribe website: A super-rich indulgence. This crème de la crème deep-hydrating masque transforms even the driest, most over-it hair, leaving it supremely soft and irresistibly touchable.

I have to say, I totally agree with Victoria, I have super thick hair, and since I am growing it out for my wedding, it's really super long. I've been noticing that the ends have been getting a little dry, even though I use a daily conditioner and also use a heat protector serum, I still was noticing how dry my hair was getting.

I've now used the Oribe product twice (one per week), I use it instead of my daily conditioner and let it sit in my hair for at least 10 minutes. The product is really rich and thick, you only need a little dab. I would say with my thick long hair (below shoulder length) I would only use about a quarter size of product. My hair is also natural color, I do not color my hair.

For me, even though it's pricey, I am not using much product so the jar will last longer for me. And the masque lasts the full week for me, obviously my hair isn't as sleek and smooth on the last day as it was the first day, but there is a lot more moisture in it, and a lot more sleek/shiny than just using the daily conditioner and heat serum.

I have to agree with Victoria that this product is well worth the money. I've tried other drug store types of masques and the results don't last as long, or don't moisturize as well as Oribe does.

FTC Disclosure: I was NOT paid to review this product, several people asked me to post my opinion about the product. All opinions are solely my own. I purchased this product on my own.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Today I ran...

I had written on my "to-do" list for today that I wanted to get to the gym. When I got out of work this morning, I realized how nice of a day it was going to be and how the gym just didn't entice me. I wanted to be outside and enjoying the fresh air! And yes, I am a list girl, don't judge, my memory isn't what it used to be!

Anywho, I got home and changed, and set off outside. It was fantastic! I so made the right choice. In fact, in honor of today being Marathon Monday (the Boston Marathon was held today) I decided to restart the C25K program.

The first few intervals, I really was regretting my choice, my legs hurt, but I was working muscles that hadn't been used in awhile. About halfway through I finally was getting some form back and could focus better on my breathing techniques.

Between the C25K session, and the walk I did before and after it, I ended up being gone for 45 minutes and did 2.5 miles. When I was talking about it on facebook, one of my friends commented that the mileage was 10% of the Boston Marathon. Not a bad way to think about it!

And now I'm here daydreaming about signing up for another 5K this year, possibly finding a 10K for late summer / early fall?

Also, I mentioned on twitter the other day that I was thinking about purchasing a new bicycle, a cruiser bicycle rather than my mountain bike, I hate being hunched over, I'd rather be able to sit up and ride. (Again, I'm getting old!) So I've been doing some research on bikes and trying to find something that can fit my height (5'10") and weight (300). A little girly would be nice, but I know my options may be limited. If anyone has suggestions, I'd be open to seeing them!

I've also been tracking my food using SparkPeople (find me! itsmecassieb) and although I was over my calorie range yesterday, Saturday I was in range and today I was under! It's make me very aware of what I'm eating.

Kerri noted in the last post, that SparkPeople is great, just starting out at first can be challenging, because you are manually entering in a lot of foods. But once your lists are established, it's easy-peasy to use. Kerri also gave me a shout out on her blog today, so check her out! She's wonderful and offers many great opinions about products!

Today, I ran. And I am pretty proud of that fact. The gym can wait for a rainy day.

Saturday, April 16, 2011


I'm a WIP or a Work in Progress... these last two weeks have been crazy. Lots of traveling and lots of unregulated eating. This week was training week. As I had a class on Monday and Tuesday. Then Wednesday through Friday I had a state conference. Ugh!

Although I am happy that I got a lot of training done, I think it was almost too much information in a short period, I would have like to have broken it up over a longer period. I guess I'll know not to do THAT again.

And my weight shows.... I am up to 315, that my friends is a gain of 7 pounds from last week. Now, I know that part of that is water weight, but still my heart SANK when I saw that number on the scale. That makes me officially heavier than when I started Weight Watchers.

Something has got to give. I need to start journaling again, I'll be using SparkPeople, my user name is itsmecassieb please come find me and check up on me! I will either be posting my food here, or there on SparkPeople. I hope to use SparkPeople, but I know that I won't have the time to enter in all the food labels.

I finally have my days off this week and I don't have anything planned! I hope to get my gym on as well as perhaps going for a horseback ride.

Monday, April 11, 2011


Last night H2B and I and along with another couple went to Fenway Park for the Red Sox / Yankees game. It was a fantastic game, obviously the Sox WON! Which was awesome in itself to see. I also crossed another thing of my 101 things in a 1001 days list, which is super awesome.

But the BEST part of the night, I fit in the seats... like so much more better than last year!!!!! If you read my last post, I was concerned about it. It was SO uncomfortable last year, I actually had bruises on my thighs from where the seat arm rests were digging into me.... well not this year!!!

I was in shock, because I know I am heavier than I was last time, but for some reason, I fit better this year. I guess my weight is shifting and my body is changing...

I still had trouble fitting with my legs, but at 5' 10" it's just bound to happen.... the seats at Fenway are not really conducive to tall people in general. 

I am really excited about this, for me, this is so huge!

Saturday, April 9, 2011

6 months to go!

Six months from today will be my wedding day! I can't believe we are 6 months away! I feel like we've got a lot of the planning done, and it's just going to be some of the smaller details left. Ben has been super helpful with coordinating the larger things (like venue and catering) which allows me to focus on the smaller details like flowers and colors, and such. 

On Wednesday I got back from a quick trip down to Georgia. I went to see my cousin (maid of honor) Amy, I haven't seen her in nearly 2 years, it was great to sit and chat and get caught up on everything. But we also did some wedding stuff, like find her a dress to wear. It was a lot of fun and both her and I agreed that we wanted to lose some weight between now and the wedding. 

It was a great trip down south and the weather was fantastic. I came home to New Hampshire to some cold weather! Thankfully, today seems to be much warmer and the forecast is looking great. 

Tomorrow, I am crossing another thing of my 101 things in a 1001 days list, as we are going to a Red Sox/Yankees game at Fenway (number 100!). It's going to be a chilly night, but so worth it. My only concern is I've never fit well in the seats at Fenway (but then again most average adults have a hard time with it) but I can't let my weight hinder my life and what I'd like to accomplish. It does drive me to want to lose the weight so it wouldn't be as uncomfortable. 

So speaking of weight, I hoped onto the scale this morning, and it read 308.0! So down 2 pounds from last time.  Pretty excited about that. Just got to keep plugging away. 

Yesterday, I tweeted this: 

And, I am proud to say that I did just that, took 10,000 steps, I was walking all over work, but I did it. 

Even though I've been really busy this week (and next week) I am happy to report that I am still making time for me, and even though that I cannot always be focused on being active, I can at least control what I eat. 

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Day Zero Project Update

So I know I am a couple of days late on this update, honestly the days just kind of got away from me, and I cannot believe that it's already April.

Every quarter I update the progress of my current Day Zero project list (101 things in a 1001 days).

For the original post, click here. For the last update, click here.

Current List:

Starting Date: Friday January 1st, 2010 Ending Date: Friday September 28th, 2012

1) Spend a rainy day watching films in my PJ's
2) Try two new cookie recipes this Christmas
3) Attend the midnight premiere of a movie
4) Get married (got engaged! This will be completed in October 2011)
5) Go skydiving
6) Learn to knit
7) Organize my closet
8) lose 15 pounds
9) Go on a cruise
10) Go whitewater rafting
11) buy a house
12) See a Broadway show
13) spend a day at the spa
14) Lose 5 pounds
15) Own an iPhone
16) Try a new (and possibly frightening) food
17) Watch two movies at a cinema in the same day.
18) Influence a person to make a day zero list
19) go fly a kite
20) Pay off at least one credit card
21) Have a housewarming party
22) Floss every night for a month
23) Tie a note to a balloon and let it go
24) Go sledding
25) Lose 10 Pounds
26) start a family
27) help a stranger
28) Have a sleepover party
29) Have a friend choose a complete outfit for me
30) Play a new board game
31) Travel by train (Did the Conway Scenic Railway Trip, but I'd like to do another)
32) Make homemade bread
33) Go to a casino
34) Take at least 5 photos a day for a month
35) Eliminate non-fitting clothing from my wardrobe
36) Save $5000
37) Read 100 books (5/100)
38) Compose a new list of 101 things to do in 1001 days
39) For every task I do not complete, donate $1 to charity
40) Put aside $5 for every completed task
41) Go to a Patriots game
42) Drink nothing but water for 2 weeks
43) Watch the sunrise at the beach
44) Host a giveaway on my blog
45) Organize photos and get and stay caught up with my scrapbooking
46) Climb Mount Washington
47) Attend a hot yoga class
48) Do 100 situps for a month (0/30)
49) Ask for someone else's advice and take it
50) Give a stranger a compliment
51) Write down something positive about myself for 30 days straight
52) Have “date night” one night of the week for 1 month (4/4)
53) Work out faithfully 3x a week for 2 months
54) Take a trip to Las Vegas
55) No swearing for a day x12 (0/12)
56) Play a game of 18-hole golf
57) Put change in someone’s expired parking meter
58) Take the Cat ferry to Canada
59) Have a weekend getaway for SO and I
60) Start our own Christmas tradition
61) Get my HAM radio license
62) Participate in a 5K (run/walk)
63) Make my own candles
64) Climb Cadillac Mountain
65) Learn at least 50 ASL signs
66) Go one weekend "Unplugged" no phone/Internet
67) Send/Give 100 cards “just because.” (12/100)
68) Leave SO a love note/note of encouragement/surprise email 1x a week for 2 months
69) Complete 3 – 1500 piece or more jigsaw puzzles (0/3)
70) Visit 5 new states not previously in (driving through doesn't count) (1/5) - NJ
71) Participate in a 10K (run/walk)
72) help a friend in need
73) take a class (work related)
74) Have one day off per week for 1 month
75) Make SO breakfast in bed
76) Bring coffee in for the boys at work
77) hang pictures/art on walls
78) Buy flowers/edible arraignments for someone.
79) Be able to buy clothing in the regular women's section
80) Invest my money better
81) borrow books from the library; instead of buying them
82) get a makeover to include makeup!
83) Try a new recipe once a week for 1 month
84) Call one cousin per week until all Bridle Cousins have been spoken to (Kenny / Bill / Amy / Kelley / JR)
85) Host a girls night at my house
86) Host a couple's night
87) Prepare my will
88) Take a pole dancing class
89) Travel to Nantucket / Martha's Vineyard
90) Visit my grandmother at least once a month for a year (12/12)
91) plan a couples camping trip
92) Play Bingo with friends
93) Host a transit party
94) See an old friend once per month for one year (5/12)
95) See Rocky Horror at midnight showing
96) Go and shoot a gun at a firing range
97) To get a physical each year (Done for 2010)
98) To see a UNH/UMaine Hockey Game
99) To kiss the Cat at UNH
100) To go to a Red Sox / Yankees game
101) To complete this list in less than 1001 days

So 23 tasks "completed" with many "In Progress". I haven't been focused on this list as much as I would like to have been this quarter, but I am hoping to be more focused on it in the future.

Reality Check

Ok, I weighed in this morning at 310. I feel like a freaking failure. I don't know where my head has been lately.

I want more for my life than to be heavy. I want to be healthy, I plan on starting a family and I want to be healthy for that. I want to look beautiful on my wedding day. I want more.

This is all me, I know what I have to do.

My goal, is to loose at least 30 pounds before the wedding, which is in October.

Time to get serious...


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