Friday, April 30, 2010

5 Question Friday

Good grief, since I started doing 5QF I have a better perspective of how fast my weeks go by!!

1. If you could, would you go back to high school?
Oh my goo'ness absolutely. I would go back, do it all over again and this time pay attention and get something out of it, rather than day dream and piddle it away.

2. If a genie appeared and granted you two wishes, what would they be? (And, no saying "more wishes".)

To not ever have to worry about money again. It's so stressful these days, money is. I would love to be able to know that our future is secure as far as finances go.

To receive a degree in Medical Sciences. This has been a dream of mine for a long time.

3. What kids show do you secretly like?

We don't watch kids shows any more so I couldn't really say.

4. What is your beverage of choice?

I had to start drinking massive amount of Gatorade G2 a couple of months ago in attempt to stay properly hydrated (an issue I have even when i'm not pregnant), and at first I hated them, but now I am a little sad that I don't have to drink as many as often. 

I'm also not known for turning down a Root Beer.

5. What is something that you would change about yourself (or are working to change in yourself)?

My self-discipline. I'm not very disciplined at all. I tend to be very lazy, and I don't want that to continue. I have been this way my whole life, so it is hard work to change, but after this baby is born I'm determined to be more active and physically healthier.

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Last Day of April

I can't believe it's April 30th already! This month has gone by so quickly for me. Time is so funny, isn't it? It seems like just a few weeks ago I was complaining because it was only February, and May seemed so far away. While the time is passing, it seems to lag, but once it has passes, I realize how fast it went by. I sometimes wish it were the other way around, that the time flies as it's happening, then later I would say how it seemed like forever ago that it happened.

In any case, May is at the door, and I'm so ready for it!! Starting this month Dominick will no longer be going on any business trips, and we are going to be taking me for more walks to encourage my cervix to ripen and start dilating, that way when I start labor there is less work to be done. I can't believe there are only 3 more weeks until I'm to term. Wow.

I'm trying not to dwell on everything that still needs to be done. Dom says that he'll put the crib together this weekend, and today we are going to the Mart of Wal to return a few odd items and purchase some things for Oz. That will make me feel much better, I'm sure. Then all we will really need is a car seat and I'll be able to breathe easier still.

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Thursday, April 29, 2010

Gettin' Smarter, yo.

I am always bothered by the fact that I rarely have the time to exercise my brain these days. Being a SAHM means that my time is spent cleaning up messes, mediating arguments, cooking, playing, cleaning again, yelling for rooms to be picked up or books to be put back on the shelves, disciplining, cleaning, stopping another fight, cooking, cleaning and bathing. Not a whole lot of time to sit down and read a novel or put a puzzle together.

I had a decent I.Q. as a teen, 142, but since having my kids, I feel like my brain is slowly turning into pond scum. When I was doing school for getting my degree in Medical Transcription I felt great. I was engaging my brain in everything from math to reading to memorization. I began to feel like a normal human once again. Unfortunately since graduating I haven't been able to find any work (small town, one hospital) and I feel the brain cell dying each day.

So i downloaded this game on my phone, More Brain Exercise by Namco. It has daily exercises for different parts of your brain using a variety of games, and it tracks your progress and tells you what areas you need to work on the most. It also has daily "brain age" assessment. Yesterday was my first day and the brain age assessment tool was all cryptonite. It said my brain age was 68......I don't care how you look at it, that's just down right depressing. So first thing this morning I got out my phone and took the assessment again. This time it was an exercise for the parietal lobe. My brain age this morning : 20.

That's right. A whole 5 years younger than my actual age. Who knows how accurate this thing is, but honestly, with numbers like that, who cares?? It makes me feel better about my noggin, and the more I do the exercises, the more comfortable i will become with math again. (You don't understand how much I loath arithmetic)

So now me and my 20-year-old brain are going to go clean something....'cuz that's how I roll....

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Wednesday, April 28, 2010

34 Weeks

-How far along? 34 weeks.

-How big is baby? I'm guessing a but over 5 lbs at this point

-Weight gain/loss? blah

-Maternity clothes? Even those are starting to not fit. My belly peeks out from EVERYTHING!!

-Stretchies? Nothing new, thank goo'ness!! But I do have several PUPPPs

-Sleep? What's that??

-Best moment this week?Oz beating the snot out of Dom's hand while we were trying to go to sleep the other night

-Movement? oh boy, yes!!

-Food cravings? OREO Stix and JELL-O whipped

-Gender? BOY

-Labor signs? Yesterday was a bit nerve racking. I had four major contractions about 20 minutes apart in the morning, but I laid on my left side and guzzled a bunch of liquids, and they went back to normal BH.

-Belly button in or out? Out. My son is constantly trying to rub it.

-What I miss? As odd as this might sound, I miss being able to get on the floor to clean up messes from my kids. Right now I have to cry for my mom to come down and do it for me........

-What I am looking forward to? getting all of the rest of the things we need for him and setting up his bed this weekend!!

- Milestones? We are at 34 weeks, so officially we don't have to worry about going into labor, our local hospital can handle it from here. Any earlier and we would have been MedEvac'd to either Denver or Albuquerque.

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Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Simplicity of Bubbles

I just got done blowing bubbles for my kids. It always blows me away (no pun intended) how bubbles can make anything better. No matter what, take out that wand and wave it around in the breeze and the thrill of trying to catch the bubbles as the gently drift away takes you over. I couldn't help but smile, as I do every time, and the best part is listening to to squeals of delight coming from those little faces, smiling even broader than me. I wish someone would wave a bubble wand for me so that I could chase the bubble alongside my kids. To experience that carefree feeling again, and the pure satisfaction that comes when you pop one, or the excitement of catching one on the wand and watching the iridescence float around the circumference.

Oh the simplest things in life are the best, aren't they?

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The Cheap Way to Eat Healthy

I know I've posted several negative articles about food. Articles that depress me because as much as I want to be healthy, let's face it, I love me some crap food as long as I don't know the details of how crappy it is. Unveiling some facts about the food we eat is just downright evil in some ways, but I'm glad I've done it because now I think twice about what I order to eat.

I thought that I would lighten it up, though. So here are some tips on eating healthier, and doing it CHEAPER. Always a good thing.

Eating well has never been so expensive. Over the past two years, the cost of vegetables, meat, fruit, and other high-nutrition, low-calorie foods has increased by an average of 19.5 percent. But junk foods? Their prices have actually decreased slightly, by 1.8 percent. Our economic outlook isn’t only making it harder to make ends meet—it’s making it harder to make the two ends of our belts meet. In fact, researchers recently estimated the cost of a diet based on high-calorie foods versus one based on healthy, low-calorie foods. The high-calorie diet you could eat for $3.52 a day. The low-cal diet? A whopping $36.32 per diem.
That sounds pretty bad—unless you factor in the long-term costs of bad eating habits. Overweight people are 25 percent more likely to be hospitalized for heart disease than slim people. Their hospital stays are 16 percent longer. Their risk of high blood pressure is 44 percent higher; the risk of developing kidney cancer is 42 percent higher; the risk of high cholesterol, 33 percent higher. And those numbers only get worse if you’re obese.
In the end, your best bet is to eat the healthiest, most nutrition-packed food your money can buy. Fortunately, Eat This, Not That! 2010, serves up an indispensable list of smart, healthy swaps that you can buy for less than their equally healthy, more expensive equivalents. So instead of saving money buying junk food, you can save money buying healthy food. Now that’s a deal.
Eat This!

Not That!

The best breakfasts for all-day productivity are high in protein and low in refined carbohydrates, so even if there were no price difference, eggs would be a much better choice over a bowl of cereal (especially if it's one of the sickly sweet varieties). That said, there is a substantial price difference. Say you can scrounge five bowls from one box--that's 90 cents a meal (without the milk). A dozen eggs, though, makes six meals--each for an average of 27 cents. When you think of it that way--by eating cereal over eggs, you're spending three times the amount of money on a meal--the choice is that much easier. Plus, all cereals aren't created equal anyway; find out how they compare in this slideshow of The Best and Worst Cereals.
Eat This!
Canola Oil

Not That!
Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Save the pricey olive oil for dressing salads or drizzling lightly over grilled vegetables. Canola's neutral flavor is great for cooking, and it happens to have an even better ratio of monounsaturated to saturated fat than the vaunted extra virgin. Olive can cost as much as a dollar per ounce, while high-end canola costs about 25 cents. Or, if you buy an average of each, you'll save over $5 a pound on canola.

Eat This!

Not That!
Red Delicious Apple

If you bring your lunch to work every day, it's smart to toss a fruit in the lunch sack. But which one's most worthy of your hard-earned money? An apple will give you 14 percent of your day's Vitamin C and 4 grams of fiber, but a banana, at half the price per pound, offers more Vitamin C and just 1 less gram of fiber. To instantly improve your diet with more tips like these, memorize this list of The Best Healthy Foods in America.

Eat This!
Frozen Blueberries

Not That!
Fresh Blueberries

The price of fresh fruits out of season is significantly higher than when they're in season, due to transportation costs. And if you want to get your money's worth, you'll need to eat them within three days of buying, so they don't spoil. One cup of frozen blueberries gives you just as much fiber as the raw variety, and a handful fewer calories. While fresh blueberries offer 18 percent more Vitamin C, that difference isn't worth the extra cost.

Eat This!

Not That!

If you're looking for a super healthy, low-calorie snack, you'll get more of a nutritional punch from carrots than celery, at practically the same cost per pound. One serving of carrots has twice as much fiber as celery--and 43 times as much Vitamin A!

Eat This!
Chicken Leg

Not That!
Chicken Breast

Eat This, Not That! developed a matrix where we compare all major cuts of beef, pork, poultry and alternative meats through a rigorous equation to assess their core nutritional value. The criteria? High protein-to-fat ratio; density of 10 essential nutrients commonly found in proteins; and low saturated fat concentrations and cholesterol levels. Light chicken meat won out handily over all other cuts, with chicken breast being the best you could buy. But for an almost equally healthy chicken alternative, a dark chicken leg will save you 89 cents a pound—and it scored higher in nutritional value than all cuts of beef except for kidney and liver.

One more thought: You can also opt for a frozen chicken breast, which contains almost identical nutrients at half the price as the fresh breast. In our Eat This, Not That! taste tests, we found it nearly impossible to tell the difference between fresh and frozen.

Eat This!
Pork Chops

Not That!

It's a little strange to us that ham is one of the least nutritious types of pork you can eat, but it's a little more expensive than chops--the second most nutritious. While you're only saving pennies per pound by opting for loin chops over ham, you'll benefit hugely from the extra nutrients, and more healthful protein-to-fat ratio.

Eat This!
Round Roast

Not That!
Sirloin Steak

When it comes to protein-to-fat ratio and density of 10 essential nutrients commonly found in protein, Eat This, Not That! found that round roast scores slightly better than sirloin. The prices, however, differ significantly: choose the round, and save nearly a dollar a pound.

Eat This!
Farmed Catfish

Not That!
Pacific Halibut

You know you should be eating more fish, but do you know which kind is healthiest? Eat This, Not That! also analyzed a dozen of the most popular fish choices and ranked them from first to worst. Our favorite sea creatures are rich in omega-3s; relatively low in mercury, PCBs, and dioxins; have decently high protein content; and are ecologically sustainable. With these qualifications in mind, both the Pacific Halibut and Farmed Catfish rank well. But opt for the Catfish, and you'll save an average of $1.50 a pound.

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Panic Ensues

I have at most 5 weeks until Oz makes his debut, but in reality it could be any time, especially since my uterine irritation seems to be increasing every day. I'm so excited and anxious that I can't even put it into words! One thing that is seriously driving me crazy though: We have almost none of the essentials.

We have the crib (but it's not put together
We have crib bedding
We have diapers and wipes
We have some clothes
We have blankets

That's all we have.

No car seat.
No bath tub
No breast pump
No stroller
No burp rags
No pacifiers
No gas drops
No swing
No bouncer


For our previous two kids nearly all of these things were given to us by my sister-in-law or other friends, and of course this baby wasn't planned so we got rid of EVERYTHING when we moved from California. I can handle not having the bath tub, stroller, swing or bouncer yet, I can work without them for a little while, but the car seat, burp rags, breast pump, and especially the CAR SEAT (slightly important) and GAS DROPS (death will occur without them) are the things that are seriously making me want to pull my hair out.

With my oldest I had the entire nursery and every thing we needed set up and ready to go by the time I was 7 months pregnant. With my second we didn't have anything set up (He was 5 weeks early and we needed what would be his nursery for my sister to sleep in while she stayed with us for a little while) but we HAD everything. It was all in bags just sitting in the corner of his room and in his crib. (He slept in the bouncer or the bassinet for the first three weeks of life because he was so sick)

I have this fear that we won't have what we need by the time Oz is born, and my hormonal baby-brain won't let it go. I go online nearly every day and look at prices for all the things we need and panic pours over me in waves. I should probably avoid this by NOT looking anymore, but I can't help it.

Are we seriously going to be ready for this baby?? How are we going to afford all this crap?? Why the dickens does this crap cost so much when it gets used for a max of 10-12 months before you have to get the next grade up??

Does a car seat really need to cost 150 bucks?? And how does a Universal Stroller (the ones that are just frames, and any car seat can click into it) come out to 60 bucks?? Why are babies so stinking expensive?? How is it that the cheapest thing we need is a breast pump??

Even now as I am writing this post I can feel my body tense up and my mind is starting to go in circles. This is going to drive me mad.

As if my lack of sleep and hormones aren't making me senile enough.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Oh The Pain

I am at the final 5 weeks of my pregnancy, and I don't know how I'm going to make it to the finish line. Things are starting to get painful quickly.  My skin is so tight but it's not stretching fast enough, so what I get instead is not stretch marks is broken blood vessels. I have them all over my belly, and some of them make their way to the surface of my skin, so I have to wear bandaids. (attractive).

On top of that my sweet Oz is now so cramped that it literally feels like he's trying to claw his way out. He rolls a certain way and his knees poke out so far in my right side that it hurts like the dickens. You can actually see them. In my side. Sticking out.

My Braxton Hicks are also getting more frequent and more intense. I'm having anywhere from 4 to 8 within an hour, even at night. I haven't had a decent night's sleep in a long time.

All this complaining, I know. "Pregnancy is a beautiful thing". It is, and I love it, no matter how much I complain. After every child I've wanted another, I do truly enjoy being pregnant, but anyone who's been here knows: The last month is always the most difficult.

I am so looking forward to being able to have normal mobility again....and not have to pee all the time.....and roll over in bed without needing a crane for assistance.

Friday, April 23, 2010


Ok peoples, here we are again on another Friday and 5 questions to go along with it!!

1. What was the first car you owned?
A Toyota Tundra 4-door V-6. It was my favorite. I love trucks. I shared it with my dad until I bought my Corolla so I guess it wasn't all mine, but I did help make payments on it!! The Corolla was the first car that I was responsible for full payments, but my dad still paid for my insurance and gas and maintenance. . . come to think of it, I don't think I've ever been entirely responsible for a car and the financial tags along with it. Now my husband pays for all of it!! Wow.....I'm spoiled..
2. What song are you embarrassed to know the lyrics to?
I'm sure there must be at least one, but I honestly can't think of any right now.....I don't know the lyrics to too many mainstream songs these days because I don't have a radio......I'm trying to think of something maybe a bit more old school, but nothing comes to mind.....
3. Have you ever had stitches?
3 times. The first was from my appendectomy, the other two were from birthing my kids. All I can say is thank God for disintegrating sutures.
4. What was your first job?
Working as a Hostess for Figaro Figaro Italian Cafe, a restaurant owned by family friends. That was my first real job anyways. I had been working as a music coach for one of my orchestras for about two years before that, but I was paid under the table....sssshhhhhh
5. Who is your favorite Sesame Street character?
Is Beeker on Sesame Street?? Or is he just a Muppet?? I can't remember. Beeker is the only character of like that I enjoy. Probably because Beeker is my nick name from my dad. 

Best and Worst Breakfast cereals

We have always been a cereal family, but we try our hardest to avoid the cereals loaded with sugar, despite their advertisements for having a full serving of vitamins and minerals. As a child my sister and I were never allowed to choose cereals like Lucky Charms or CoCoa Puffs, and the same rule applies to my children. Here is a list to help you make wiser cereal choices for you and your family.

 Let’s face it: We’re rushed. Especially in the morning. Often we're running out the door a few minutes behind schedule as we stuff our bags and pray that we haven’t left anything behind. (Did I pack my lunch? My gym clothes? Do I have that file I’m supposed to give to Roger? Wait! My pants!) Yeah, mornings are messy, which is why breakfast is so often placed on the back burner. The problem is we sometimes forget to ever turn that burner on.

We’ve all heard the studies that show breakfast consumption is related to weight loss. For those who haven’t, the results are pretty clear: Breakfast eaters carry less body fat than non-eaters. Yet surprisingly, nearly 40 percent of us still skip breakfast, according to a poll conducted by ABC News. For those who do eat breakfast, about a third choose cereal. That makes it America’s favorite breakfast food. But whether that’s a good thing or not pivots on the choices we make in the supermarket.

Every box of cereal lives in one of two worlds: the world of fiber or the world of sugar. The first world pairs perfectly with freshly sliced fruit, while the second is already pushing the sugar threshold through a combination of marshmallows, sticky oat clusters, and frosting. Obviously you want to choose a cereal from world No. 1, but with all the marketing hype on cereal boxes, that’s not always easy to do. Especially when you’re speed-walking through the grocery store in the usual hurry to get home. (Why is everything so rushed these days?)
But fear not; we’ve got you covered. Here are the grocery store’s worst cereals and their more nutritious counterparts. Get your bowls and spoons ready.

Bonus Tip:
Learn to improve lunch, too, by avoiding these 30 Worst Chicken Dishes in America.

Kellogg’s Raisin Bran (1 cup)
190 calories
1.5 g fat (0 g saturated)
7 g fiber
19 g sugars

It'll be hard to find a more sugar-loaded cereal than Raisin Bran. It’s sweeter than even Lucky Charms, Reese’s Puffs, or Cocoa Krispies. Some of that sugar can be attributed to the raisins’ natural blend of fructose and glucose, but the real culprit is the sticky white armor of sucrose that enrobes each piece of fruit. Both Kellogg’s and Post are guilty of this raisin mistreatment, so what should be a legitimately healthy bowl of fruit and grains pours out closer to a candy-coated dessert. 

Eat This Instead!Kellogg’s All-Bran (1 cup) with a tablespoon of raisins
150 calories
0.5 g fat (0 g saturated)
7 g fiber
13 g sugars

General Mills Chocolate Chex (1 cup)
174 calories
3.5 g fat (0 g saturated)
1 g fiber
11 g sugars

First, let’s get this out of the way: Chocolate-flavored cereals should rarely be part of your morning routine. That said, they can make decent desserts. One study published by the American College of Nutrition found that among late-night snackers, those who chose cereal took in fewer calories than those who made other choices, and ultimately they wound up losing nearly half a pound of body fat per week. That doesn’t mean you should switch to an all-cereal diet, just that cereal is a better evening snack than you might think. Of course, not all are created equal, and surprisingly, the worst of them is the one that seems geared toward mature eaters. So the rule is, if you’re going with chocolate cereal, let your inner kid free. Per bowl, Chocolate Chex packs in more calories than Cocoa Puffs, Cocoa Krispies, or Cookie Crisp. 

Eat This Instead!Cookie Crisp (1 cup)
133 calories
1.5 g fat (0 g saturated)
1.5 g fiber
15 g sugars

General Mills Chex Multi-Bran (1 cup)
210 calories
2 g fat (0 g saturated)
8 g fiber
13 g sugars

Chex might seem harmless, but it’s the only brand that holds down two spots on this list. The slip-up with this box is the heavy load of sugar. (Notice that it’s even sweeter than the chocolate-flavored Chex.) General Mills calls it a “hint of sweetness,” but really it’s on par with some of the most indulgent boxes on the shelf. In fact, one bowl of this cereal has more sugar than a scoop of Edy’s Slow Churned Fudge Tracks Ice Cream. We applaud the fiber, but the sugar won’t cut it.

Eat This Instead!Post Shredded Wheat Original Spoon Size (1 cup)
170 calories
1 g fat (0 g saturated)
6 g fiber
0 g sugars

Kellogg’s Smart Start Original Antioxidants (1 cup)
190 calories
0.5 g fat (0 g saturated)
3 g fiber
14 g sugars

Of all the cereals on this list, this is the best example of inflated marketing. This box is littered with words that attempt to make you think you’re getting a wholesome breakfast, but in reality you’re getting a run-of-the-mill bowl of highly sweetened cereal with a multivitamin tossed in on top. Don’t let the added vitamins persuade you into thinking that the sugar isn’t a problem. It most certainly is.

Eat This Instead!Kashi Vive (1 cup)
135 calories
2 g fat (1 g saturated)
10 g fiber
8 g sugars

Quaker Oatmeal Express Golden Brown Sugar (1 cup)
200 calories
2.5 g fat (0.5 g saturated)
3 g fiber
18 g sugars

Sure it’s convenient to have your oatmeal pre-packaged with a serving bowl, but is it really worth the love handles? Because that’s the likely result of eating this much sugar every morning. Sure, there’s a small shot of fiber, but in terms of the sweet stuff, this bowl is worse than eating a Little Debbie Marshmallow Pie for breakfast. Instead, leave an old coffee cup at work, and every morning load it with a packet of Quaker’s High Fiber Cinnamon Swirl. With that swap you’ll earn more belly-filling fiber and eliminate the blood-sugar surge. You’ll never even miss the plastic serving bowl.

Eat This Instead! Quaker High Fiber Cinnamon Swirl (1 packet)
160 calories
2 g fat (0.5 g saturated)
10 g fiber
7 g sugars

Quaker Natural Granola, Oats, Honey & Raisin (1 cup)
420 calories
12 g fat (7 g saturated)
6 g fiber
30 g sugars

You’re in big trouble if your mornings include a bowl of this stuff. One cup eats up 20 percent of your day’s energy needs and saddles you with as much sugar as a Snicker’s bar. That’s indulgent even by dessert standards. The culprit in this box is the combined impact of brown sugar and coconut oil, which together add loads of calories with scarcely any nutrients. What you want to do is switch to a lighter granola like Kashi’s GoLean Crunch!, and then instead of eating it by the bowl, use just a handful as a topping for unsweetened whole grain cereal or oatmeal. Now that’s a recipe for a good breakfast.

Eat This Instead! Kashi GoLean Crunch! (1 cup)
200 calories
4.5 g fat (0 g saturated)
8 g fiber
12 g sugars


Thursday, April 22, 2010

Worst Salads

Ok, here is my article input about the worst salads out there. Try not to get depressed, even I had a hard time a couple of them....

Worst Fast Food Salad
Wendy's Chicken BLT Salad with Honey Dijon Dressing and Croutons
790 calories
53.5 g fat (14 g saturated)
1,735 sodium
A little bacon on your salad is one thing, but this bowl of lettuce packs the saturated fat equivalent of 14 crispy strips of swine. Not the model of health most people bargain for when they opt for a pile of greens. You can improve matters significantly (to the tune of 160 calories and 18 grams of fat) by swapping the recommended Honey-Dijon for Balsamic Vinaigrette. Better yet, opt out of this salad entirely and grab the more reasonable Mandarin Chicken Salad. Or a burger; believe it or not, most burgers on Wendy's menu are considerably better for you than this bowl.
Eat This Instead!
Mandarin Chicken Salad with Balsamic Vinaigrette
470 calories
22 g fat (2.5 g saturated)
1,270 mg sodium

Worst Cobb Salad
Quizno's Classic Cobb Flatbread Salad
910 calories
58 g fat (12.5 g saturated, 0.5 g trans)
1,890 mg sodium
61 g carbohydrates
Cobb salads are popular because they're so tasty. And it's no wonder-they're packed with bacon, egg, and tomatoes. Together they bring protein and other important nutrients to the table, but in the case of Quizno's Cobb, they team up with the pile of flatbread to bring a reckless flood of calories. When 4 Krispy Kreme original glazed doughnuts have fewer calories than a pile of greens, you know something is wrong. Ell entrée-size salads from Quizno's are problematic, so stick with the smaller serving or pick up a few Sammies instead.
Eat This Instead!Side Salad with Raspberry Chipotle Dressing
225 calories
6 g fat (1 g saturated)
515 mg sodium
43 g carbohydrates

Einstein Bros. Bistro Salad with Chicken
940 calories
71 g fat (12 g saturated)
810 mg sodium
Chicken, mixed greens, walnuts, raspberry vinaigrette: Sounds like good eating, right? Too bad the walnuts are candied, the leaves are strewn with hunks of Gorgonzola cheese, and the dressing alone has 14 grams of fat. All told, this salad packs the caloric equivalent of 6 Twinkies and gobbles up half of your day's recommended intake of saturated fat. As is too often the case with chain restaurants, you'll need to order a half salad just to ensure you don't blow half a day's worth of calories on what should be a stellar lunch option.
Eat This Instead!
Half Chicken Chipotle Salad
360 calories
21 g fat (4.5 g saturated)
970 mg sodium

P.F. Chang's Chicken Chopped Salad with Ginger Dressing
940 calories
68 g fat (10 g saturated)
2,225 mg sodium
The ginger dressing gives this salad a tangy Asian-style kick; it also packs in a whole day's worth of sodium. Order this salad as a starter and you'll be consuming the caloric equivalent of 3 ½ Snickers bars before your main meal even hits the table.
Eat This Instead!
Spinach Stir-Fried with Garlic (large)
136 calories
6 g fat (1 g saturated)
895 mg sodium

Worst Sodium-Packed Salad
Chili's Boneless Buffalo Chicken Salad
1,070 calories
77 g fat (15 g saturated)
4,380 mg sodium
This twisted concoction earns the dubious distinction of being America's Saltiest Salad, packing more sodium in a single bowl than you'll find in 58 cups of Pop-Secret Movie Theater buttered popcorn. It's a feat accomplished by mixing fried chicken with some of the food world's most sodium-riddle conspirators: wing sauce, crumbled bacon, blue cheese, and fried tortilla strips.
Eat This Instead!
Side Salad Caesar
350 calories
31 g fat (6 g saturated)
550 mg sodium

Worst Seafood Salad
Romano's Macaroni Grill Seared Sea Scallops Salad
1,170 calories
94 g fat (27 g saturated)
2,680 mg sodium
Macaroni Grill manages to take two normally healthy foods-salad and seafood-and turn them into the caloric equivalent of 26 Chicken McNuggets. Not to mention more than 1 day's worth of sodium, fat, and saturated fat. The Caprese offers a delicious reprieve from the Mac Grill mayhem.
Eat This Instead!
Mozzarella All Caprese (3)
250 calories
21 g fat (7 g saturated)
410 mg sodium

IHOP's Grilled Chicken Caesar Salad
1,210 calories
IHOP serves up plenty of savory bites beyond the breakfast hour, and unfortunately, most of them hover in the same stratospheric calorie range. (How does an 1,850-calorie plate of chicken strips sound for a nice evening out with the family?) The salad section may be the worst section of the entire menu (noticing a trend here?). Caesars, with their fatty dressing deluges and Parmesan flurries, are never a good idea, but this particular heap of greens is as bad as we've seen (blame it on the elephantine portion). In fact, hailing Caesar or any other salad at IHOP will get you into trouble; opt for a chicken sandwich instead.
Eat This Instead!
Simple Chicken Sandwich

Worst Steak Salad
Baja Fresh Charbroiled Steak Tostada Salad
1,230 calories
63 g fat (17 g saturated, 2 g trans)
2,380 mg sodium
While the charbroiled steak doesn't do this salad any favors, it's the calorie-heavy Mexican-theme add-ins that really sink it into a nutritional void. The 2 grams of trans-fatty acids meet your daily limit of the heart-harming junk, and there's as much salt as you'll find in 9 orders of McDonald's French Fries tangled up in this leafy loser. Choose a Baja Ensalada over a Tostada Salad and opt for the salsa verde as a dressing, instead of the fat-spiked Ranch or Vinaigrette.
Eat This Instead!
Baja Ensalada Charbroiled Shrimp Salad with Fat-Free Salsa Verde
245 calories
6 g fat (2 g saturated)
1,480 mg sodium

Worst Chicken Salad
T.G.I. Friday's Pecan Crusted Chicken Salad
1,360 calories
Turns out Friday's monster salads aren't much better than their burgers. Six out of the 7 we analyzed topped out with more than 900 calories, which means that lunchtime can be the start of something big-namely, you belly.
Eat This Instead!
Cobb Salad
590 calories

Worst Mexican Salad
Chevy's Fresh Mex Tostada Grande Salad with Chicken
1,551 calories
94 g fat (37 g saturated)
2,840 mg sodium
Steer clear of Mexican-theme salads; they invariably suffer from the caloric impact of fried tortillas, shredded cheese, and ice-cream-size scoops of sour cream. This particular mess has nearly 2 days' worth of saturated fat and more than an entire day's sodium, putting it on part with the brackish bites that round out our list of the 20 Saltiest Foods in America.
Eat This Instead!
Santa Fe Chopped Salad (no cheese or bacon)
318 calories
11 g fat (2 g saturated)
412 mg sodium

Worst Salad in America 2009
On the Border Grande Taco Salad with Taco Beef and Chipotle Honey Mustard
1,700 calories
124 g fat (37.5 g saturated)
2,620 mg sodium
The dismal dawn of the 1,700-calorie salad is upon us. With as much saturated fat as 37 strips of bacon and more calories than 11 Taco Bell Fresco beef Tacos, this abdomen expander earns a well-deserved spot on our list of the Worst Foods in America.
Eat This Instead!
House Salad with Fat-Free Mango Citrus Vinaigrette
255 calories
12 g fat (3.5 g saturated)
280 mg sodium

So think again before you order that salad thinking it's the healthier choice!!

10 Kid Favorites Made Healthy | Eat This, Not That

10 Kid Favorites Made Healthy | Eat This, Not That

Here is a link for all you health-conscious mommas. Kids 10 favorite dishes made healthier. how can you resist??

Has anyone Seen...

My ankles?? Seriously, if you have, then point me in their direction because I would really like them back!!

I've managed to go until now without any swelling or edema in my hands and feet, then yesterday I decided that the inside of my car was just too gross to continue (nesting?) and I cleaned my whole car. Inside and out. Perfectly. I mean I even got down to the door frames, people. I scoured and scrubbed that thing until it shone. It rained after wards, but that's another post for another time.

I was so proud of myself. Doing that kind of work while 8 months pregnant!! And I didn't die!! (I almost killed my son for taking a rock to the drivers door and the passenger side back door, but luckily my dad came to his {and mine} rescue)

I went about the rest of my day feeling pumped and full of energy. Then last night while I was sitting and flipping back and forth between American Idol and Message in a Bottle, I looked down and realized that my right ankle was literally gone. No bone was identifiable. I hoped that going to bed and sleeping would make it all better, but this morning when I arose it was just as bad, and the left seems to be following suit.

I know it's natural, especially this far along, but c'mon!! I've done so well with drinking lots of water and not spending too much time on my feet at once, couldn't nature excuse this one little detail of pregnancy for me...just this once???

I'm trying to spend the day with my feet elevated and drinking even more water (if that's even humanly possible), but if anyone knows of any other tricks that might help me out, please disclose them!! I feel like I'm being over-taken by cankles!!!!

Spring time in the Four Corners

For the last week or so we've been getting rain storms in the afternoons, accompanied by lightning and thunder which makes it all the more fun. When these cells hit us it remains around 54 degrees outside, so we like to keep the door open because I love the smell of rain.

Last night was no different. It rained a bit harder than usual, but still, the more rain the more green and we all love green. Anyways, I went to bed and snuggled in my bed letting the flashes of lightning and roll of thunder lull me to sleep. It was very nice. Much to my surprise, I woke up to snow!!

Of all things!! We've had weeks of 40, 50, even 60 degree weather, and then all of a sudden snow?? Seriously. I went from Southern California ( a place where seasons simply do not exist) to here, where season not only exist, they last forever and get confused as to when their time is up!!!

How ironic that this anomaly would happen on Earth Day. Way to go.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Upside Down Perks Installment #3

Today's upside down perk:

 Wonderful little Oz rolling around......on my bladder. No matter if my bladder is full or not, it still makes me feel like I'm going to pee myself, along with causing a sharp, nearly electric sensation. Fun.

33 Week Update

-How far along?
33 weeks

-How big is baby?
around 4 pounds or so

-Weight gain/loss?
starting to gain more each week, but I'm supposed to do that. I'm still well within the acceptable weight gain.

-Maternity clothes?
Even they are starting to not fit. The belly is just getting too big!!

All old ones from the first two, although they are starting to get darker...grrrrr

I seem to be doing okay in that department, although I'm getting more and more tired each day.

-Best moment this week?
Every moment is a good one

He's starting to slow down quite a bit because he's running out of room. Not as many harsh kicks any more, mainly just knees rolling around. He has discovered my hip bones, though. That tickles like mad!!

-Food cravings?
bread. All I want is bread.


-Labor signs?
Braxton Hicks are getting more frequent and more intense, but nothing to alarm us yet
-Belly button in or out?
Half and half. It never really pops all the way out.

-What I miss?
General mobility. Oh how we take for granted such things as being able to pick something up off the floor, or put on our own shoes.....Or walk without our 4-year-olds chanting "waddle waddle waddle!" behind us as we go....

-What I am looking forward to?
Getting all of his stuff set up and ready for him.

-Weekly wisdom?
Don't plan on an entire day of shopping and running around when you know that you can't be upright for more than 10 minutes before your butt and thighs go numb, and when you know that you start needing a nap an hour after you wake up in the morning...

None this week, really, next week will be the marker for not needing to MedEvac to Denver or Albuquerque if he is born....

Monday, April 19, 2010

Vitamin K shots at birth...maybe not so good

This is an article my mom sent to me about some truths behind the Vitamin K shot infants get immediately after birth. We will not be doing this shot, nor will we be letting Oz get the Hepatitis B vaccine at birth, either.  Take from this what you will, I am not trying to convince or judge anyone, just informing. My husband and I do not agree 100% with what this article says, but there are a few things that have convinced us to go with administering orally rather than the shot. Some points of view we find a bit dramatic.


It has been standard practice in the U.S., and most western countries, since 1944 to welcome babies into the world by subjecting them to a variety of medical interventions, one of which is a painful jab with a syringe full of vitamin K.
This injection is routinely done to almost all newborns, unless you, as a parent, refuse to consent.
Birth is an overwhelming sensory experience for your baby. He has never before experienced cold or hunger, been blinded by artificial lights, or felt the touch of hands or metal instruments, paper or cloth. Even gravity is a foreign sensation.
A needle stick is a terrible assault to their suddenly overloaded sensory system, which is trying to adjust to the outside world.
Is this injection really in your baby’s best interest? Is vitamin K really necessary immediately after birth? Or is there a more compassionate alternative?

Vitamin K Shots are Completely Unnecessary for Your Newborn!

I recently had the pleasure of interviewing the foremost expert in the world on vitamin K, Dr. Cees Vermeer, PhD, Associate Professor of Biochemistry at the University of Maastricht (in The Netherlands), I am thrilled to be able to share with you some of the latest information about vitamin K that he shared with me.
The rest of the interview is scheduled to run later this year but this information was so vital and of public health priority that I had to share it with you now.
The great news: Vitamin K shots are completely unnecessary for your newborn.
While this painful injection is inappropriate for reasons I will cover in detail, vitamin K is necessary. But there are other safer and non invasive ways to normalize your baby’s vitamin K levels that don’t have such damaging effects.

Why is this Shot Given in the First Place?

Vitamin K is necessary for normal blood clotting in adults and children. Some babies (in fact, most of them) are born with insufficient vitamin K levels.
In some newborns, this deficiency can lead to a serious bleeding disorder, typically in the first week of life, called Hemorrhagic Disease of the Newborn (HDN). Internal bleeding occurs in the brain and other organs, leading to serious injury or even death.
While this disease is rare (incidence of 0.25 percent to 1.7 percent[i] ),it is has been standard practice to give injections of vitamin K as a preventative measure, whether or not risk factors are present.
Your newborn can be at increased risk for Hemorrhagic Disease of the Newborn if he or she has any of the following:
  • Preterm delivery
  • Low birth weight
  • A forceps or vacuum extraction delivery
  • Mother’s use of antibiotics, anticoagulants, anticonvulsants, and some other medications during pregnancy
  • Undetected liver disease
  • Extremely fast, or extremely prolonged labor, particularly during the pushing phase
  • Delivery by C-section
Unfortunately, the current standard of care regarding Hemorrhagic Disease of the Newborn and vitamin K was put into practice without adequate research to determine what was best for the newborns. These shotgun approaches were certainly convenient for the physicians but lacked any sort of consideration of side effects for the baby.
Increased rates of circumcision immediately after birth, before infants can develop their vitamin K levels naturally, has undoubtedly contributed to making vitamin K injections routine, to lower the risk for increased bleeding from these early circumcisions.
As pointed out by one Mercola reader, it is interesting to note that a newborn’s natural prothrombin levels reach normal levels between days 5 and 7, peaking around the eighth day of life, related to the buildup of bacteria in the baby’s digestive tract to produce the vitamin K that is necessary to form this clotting factor. Day 8 is said to be the only time in a baby’s life when his prothrombin level will naturally exceed 100 percent of normal.
As it turns out, Genesis 17:12 of the Bible mandates the circumcision of infant boys on the eighth day after birth—a recommendation pronounced long before we had the science to back it up. 
I will leave any conclusions to you about the significance of this anecdote, but it is nevertheless interesting.
As far as I know, only one state has a law mandating vitamin K injections—New York State, which is notorious for restricting and preventing exemptions to vaccinations and other mandated medical treatments for children.
However, you can find specific instructions about how to get around this, for New Yorkers and residents of other states, at Vaccine Liberation Organization, which has a page specific to New Yorkers who wish to avoid the Hepatitis B shot, vitamin K injections, or the application of silver nitrate into your newborn’s eyes.
The organization urges you to consider the option of hiring legal counsel to assist you in exerting your rights as a parent, due to how challenging it is to get an exemption in New York State.
Fortunately, subsequent research has revealed that there are safer, better practices that will protect your child from Hemorrhagic Disease of the Newborn just as well.

The Dangers of the Shot They Don’t Warn You About

There are three primary areas of risk associated with these injections:
  1. Probably the most significant is Inflicting pain immediately after birth likely causing psycho-emotional damage and trauma to a newborn, which is totally inappropriate, and unnecessary. It just creates another emotional wound that the helpless and innocent baby needs to overcome to achieve health and wellness. It is bad enough they will have to overcome unintentional traumas along the way but to mandate this practice is the 21st century is simply unconscionable.
  2. The amount of vitamin K injected into newborns is 20,000 times the needed dose[ii] . Additionally, the injection may also contain preservatives that can be toxic for your baby’s delicate, young immune system.
  3. An injection creates an additional opportunity for infection in an environment that contains some of the most dangerous germs, at a time when your baby’s immune system is still immature.
It is, however, also important to correct the record about one myth that has been propagated for years about the dangers of vitamin K injections in newborns.
It was suggested some years ago that vitamin K injections were associated with cancer and leukemia. However, that conclusion was in error. There is NO known association between the two.
As mentioned above, these injections are absolutely inappropriate for your baby -- but the increased risk for cancer is not a legitimate concern.
Although premature clamping of the umbilical should be avoided as it can result in brain damage, there is insufficient evidence to say that this can lead to lower vitamin K levels in newborns, although you will occasionally see this claim made.

Inflicting Pain Just After Birth Has Long-Term Effects on Your Newborn

For more than a century, many physicians have maintained a denial of infant pain, based on ancient prejudices and "scientific evidence" that was long ago disproven. Many have made claims that newborns don’t feel pain, or remember it, the way adults do.
In fact, not only do infants feel pain, but the earlier they experience it, the more damaging and longer lasting are the psychological effects.
Dr. David B. Chamberlain, psychologist and co-founder of the Association of Pre-and Perinatal Psychology and Health, wrote in his article “Babies Don’t Feel Pain: A Century of Denial in Medicine[iii] ”:
"The earlier an infant is subjected to pain, the greater the potential for harm.
Early pains include being born prematurely into a man-made "womb," being born full-term in a man-made delivery room, being subject to any surgery (major or minor), and being circumcised.
We must alert the medical community to the psychological hazards of early pain and call for the removal of all man-made pain surrounding birth.”
Back in 1999, Science Daily published an article[iv] about the findings of a research team at the Washington School of Medicine that newborns who are exposed to a series of painful treatments display a variety of long-term effects as older children, including an altered response to pain and an exaggerated stress response.
A 2004 study[v] found that very early pain or stress experiences have long-lasting adverse consequences for newborns, including changes in the central nervous system and changes in responsiveness of the neuroendocrine and immune systems at maturity.
Similarly, a 2008 study of analgesia in newborns and children[vi] concluded:
“Healthy newborns routinely experience acute pain during blood sampling for metabolic screening, injection of vitamin K or hepatitis vaccine, or circumcision.
Acute pain caused by skin-breaking procedures can lead to physiologic instability and behavioral distress, and it has downstream effects on subsequent pain processing, development and stress responsivity.
Because of these detrimental effects, reduction and prevention of pain are worthy clinical goals that are also expected by most parents.”
In addition to the above, the possible trauma from the injection can also jeopardize the establishment of breastfeeding, which is detrimental to both mother and baby.

ORAL Vitamin K is a Safe, Effective Alternative

Fortunately, the alternative to these outrageously unnecessary newborn injections is amazingly simple: give the vitamin ORALLY. It is safe and equally effective, and devoid of any of the previously mentioned troubling side effects.
Oral vitamin K is absorbed less efficiently than vitamin K that is injected. However, this can easily be compensated for by adjusting the dose. And since vitamin K is nontoxic, there is no danger of overdosing or a bad reaction.
If you are breastfeeding, which I hope you are, your baby can be given several low oral doses of liquid vitamin K1 and receive the same protection from Hemorrhagic Disease of the Newborn as he would receive from an injection.
Ultimately, you should consult your pediatrician about the dose that is appropriate for your baby.
However, midwife Ronnie Falcao uses the guidelines formulated by an international committee of physicians called the Cochrane Collaboration. They have determined the following dosing schedule, which results in very similar rates of protection from HDN[vii] :
  • 1 milligram liquid vitamin K weekly, OR
  • 0.25 milligram liquid vitamin K daily
In the future, research is needed to better pinpoint guidelines about the oral vitamin K dosing for newborns. However, remember that there have been no adverse effects observed in adults or babies who receive vitamin K doses much higher than what is actually required. And the dose given orally will be far less than the megadose given by injection!
So for now, there is no danger in overshooting the mark somewhat to make sure your baby is adequately protected until precise dosing guidelines are made available by science.
You can also increase your infant’s vitamin K levels naturally if you are breastfeeding by increasing your own vitamin K levels.
The milk of lactating women has been tested, and most milk is low in vitamin K because the women themselves are vitamin K deficient. If women take vitamin K supplements, then their milk becomes much richer in vitamin K, as you would expect.
According to Dr. Vermeer, mothers who are adequately supplementing themselves with vitamin K and are breastfeeding should NOT need to give their infants additional K supplements.
But you must be cautious here that your vitamin K levels are optimal, and for most women, the vitamin K absorbed from foods is typically insufficient, so a supplement might be needed.

What You Need to do BEFORE Your Baby is Born

Ultimately, the choice about whether or not to consent for your baby to be given a vitamin K shot is yours. At least now you have the information with which you can make an informed decision.
How do you want your baby’s first few moments of life to be?
There are plenty of unavoidable pains that you can’t prevent, no matter how much you might want to shield your child from all pain and suffering. Why not eliminate one source of pain that is absolutely unnecessary and under your control?
If you choose to not expose your child to vitamin K1 as a shot and would prefer to have it given orally, you will have to make it VERY clear to not only your OB physician but also ALL the nursing staff, as they would be the ones that actually administer the shot.
During the excitement of the delivery it will be very difficult to remember that your baby was not supposed to have the shot. So it would also be helpful to have someone like your spouse at the delivery reminding them that your child should NOT get the shot.
Please note, that is the same strategy I would suggest using if you reach the same conclusion I did about hepatitis B vaccines given to newborns. I believe this is clearly the most unnecessary and inappropriate of ALL vaccines and should be avoided like the plague.
But remember you HAVE to be proactive. Typically the nursing staff will NEVER ask for your permission to give this vaccine or vitamin K shot as it is STANDARD practice so they don’t need your permission. So you have to be VERY diligent in your request.
I know because this happened to my nephew, (my sister’s son) and that was the ONLY vaccine either of her children ever received. I am very close to my sister as she started my medical practice with me in 1985 and ran the office for many years. Now she is an editor for this newsletter, and on the executive team for our business.
I never had any children of my own and her kids are very dear to me so it pains me to not have been more diligent in preventing this shot.  We are both convinced the vaccine caused some side effects to this day, more than 12 years later.
Please remember, YOU will have to exercise extreme diligence in making your wishes known. The system will fight you tooth and nail as they sincerely believe they know better than you.
It is so worth it though to take the extra steps to protect your newborn. I would strongly encourage you to make the additional effort.

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