Monday, December 27, 2010

Just one thing after another

I hope everyone had a great Christmas!!

Ok so here's what's been happening:

* I didn't have my revision because 3 days BEFORE my scheduled surgery, the insurance denied my appealed request for coverage stating that it's not medically necessary. They didn't feel that we presented them with any new information.

*My insurance wants me to write out a new letter with why I feel that the surgery should be covered and why I feel that my claim is medically necessary. I'll be getting the original letters and information sent to them from my surgeon so that I can see exactly what my surgeon's office said.

As I'm sure you all can guess, I am so extremely frustrated. I have until the end of January to write my personal appeal, so for now I'm just trying to recover from the holidays before I start stressing about that.

If anyone has any good pointers or tips on what to put in my appeals letter, PLEASE let me know.

Happy New Year!!

Thursday, October 28, 2010


Thank you for patiently waiting for this update. Let me start by saying "ugh."

Ok so I went in for my appointment with Dr. Blackstone (the surgeon) and she was very excited about my decision to revise to the DS from the lap-band. She re-assured me over and over that this is not going to be very risky and that she is not at all concerned about my health in regards to potential surgical complications. She really made me feel better about my concerns with being her first DS surgery.

I feel like the ball got dropped once it was out of Dr. B's hands because it seemed to take forever to get my insurance submitted. Only after numerous calls did something finally get submitted with just barely a month until my proposed surgery date.

Now comes the bad news. I literally, just 2 minutes ago, got my letter from my insurance (BCBS of AZ) DENYING my surgery revision request. They said that they did not receive any information from Scottsdale Bariatric that deemed my revision "medically necessary." It's after office hours but FIRST THING tomorrow morning I am going to call to find out exactly what was submitted. Melissa specifically said that she would have my info submitted to insurance with the claim that I had one of the medically necessary reasons for revision. Technically, I don't. But there are approved reasons that don't really have to be proved other than my surgeon's say-so. *Long deep sigh* I knew this wasn't going to be easy. But obviously I haven't even begun to fight back so this isn't over. I will dispute it and have Scottsdale Bariatric re-submit my info with the "medically necessary" reasons that I was originally told they would. I'm just annoyed because my proposed surgery date was November 17th. Yeah...that's not going to happen at this rate.

I'll post any updates as soon as I get them. Thanks for checking back and reminding me to post ;)

Wednesday, August 25, 2010


Sorry about my previous post...I know it left a lot to the imagination, hopefully you made it interesting.

A brief explanation for the madness:

I have been trying for forever to get my surgeon to give me some info on my revision, and I wasn't getting it.

An update:
Having had it up to HERE (if you could see where here was, you'd know how pissed I was) with being ignored, after being promised I was a "v.i.p. patient" I decided to discard my halo and send a very un-Steph-ish email to the surgeon's office through their new patient email section. In not so many not nice words I expressed my intense dissatisfaction at my treatment of late and gave them until this Friday to make me feel better or else the next time I contact them it will be with a new location they can send my files too.

"Coincidentally" my surgeon's assistant (Melissa...I've explained her in prev. posts) just happened to get more information to give me today and actually called! Amazing how it just happened to be right after I sent the email that she didn't bring up. (I'll confess now, I still love her even though she drives me crazy sometimes.)

Long conversation and lots of eye rolling short, they FINALLY have an exact date for their training, and that means I have a time frame for my actual surgery date! Their training date is November 15th, so that means my surgery date should be within the following week. At first that bummed me out, but I realized, after much rational and grown up non-temper tantrum throwing thought, that really even if I went through someone else at this point, they wouldn't be able to get me in any faster. And it would cost a lot more and I'd have to take way more time off work to travel out of state. No thanks.

So it looks like the ball is finally rolling and I am excited about that, even if it's later than I had hoped. All is on the well-ish side...for now :)

Monday, August 16, 2010

Blog Update...


That is all.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Off Topic Rant (long...needed to vent!)

The SERIOUS Lack of Movie Theatre Etiquette:

We went and saw Despicable Me tonight. It was an absolutely wonderful movie and I can't wait to own it. However my experience was completely ruined because of how RUDE people are these days!

Problem #1- People talking on their cell phones:
OK people... you are at the movies. You are presumably there to watch a movie, not get on your cell phone with your best friend. Everyone SHOULD set their cell phones to vibrate or silent or just completely shut them off when the previews start. It would be the smart thing to do. That way if someone calls you, you do not disturb everyone around you who paid the same money you did to enjoy their night. Tonight this little teenager behind me answered her loudly ringing phone during the movie!!! "Hello? Hi Mom, no I'm at the movies with my friends. Well what do you need? Oh...oh ok. Yeah that's fine. Ok. No I'm in the movie right now. Yes, it's on right now. Ok. Alright, I'll call you when I'm done. I don't know, maybe another half hour? Yeah. Ok. Love you too. Bye." ARE YOU EFFING KIDDING ME?!?!?!?! And she wasn't even whispering...just talking full volume as if she were sitting at home and didn't have 100 other people trying to hear the movie and not her! How do people just flat out not know how insanely RUDE that is?!?

Problem #2- People who TEXT on their cell phones: Our theatre has stadium seating (as I'm sure most do these days) and we like to sit toward the top. The problem with that is that we can see down the entire theatre and there is constantly little lights popping up in what is supposed to be a sea of black. Not just once, but MULTIPLE times from the same people. Apparently the guy sitting a couple rows down from us got bored during the movie because he actually started playing a game on his cell phone during the movie! WTF?!?! You pay $8.50 for a movie ticket to sit and play a game you can do for free OUTSIDE the theatre? I just cannot FATHOM how people don't "get" that we can ALL see that glow from your phone, and it is very distracting! Even for 1 second, even if you hunch down over your phone, even if you keep it in your purse...if you can see it, every single person sitting behind you can too.

Problem #3- People who talk: It is completely understandable and reasonable that people will talk before the movie starts and even a little during the pre-views. But once the house lights are turned down and the rest of the theatre gets quiet, take that as your queue to SHUT THE HELL UP! No, your story about how your son's hockey game is not important enough to keep talking at full volume about it as the movie is starting. The proper way to abruptly end a conversation is "Oh the movie is starting, I'll tell you after." And during the movie, if you need to comment to your friend about what just happened, WHISPER!!!!! Lean your head over to theirs and point your mouth toward their ear and WHISPER what you need to say. Do not loudly announce that the scene you just saw was stupid or that you don't get it. Trust me, there are clearly a lot of things you don't get if you can't understand the 2 inch voice rule!!!

Problem #3- People who bring their very young children to movies that aren't appropriate for children: Obviously seeing Despicable Me, I expected that children would be there, and they were. And for this particular audience, I have to say the children were much better behaved than all of the teenagers and some of the parents. But I've been to movies that were rated R and were just absolutely not good for kids. Like the movie "Taken." If you don't know, that movie is about a teenage girl being kidnapped while abroad on vacation and being sold into an underground world of drugs and sex. Some guy brought is little daughter to that movie, she had to have been about 7 or 8. And when one of the girls in the movie was dead, strapped to a bed and had semen all over her, and had clearly been on drugs and this little girl asks her dad, without whispering, "Daddy is that girl sleeping? What's that stuff on her face?" that is exactly when he should have realized NOW would be a good time to remove my daughter from this movie that I clearly didn't research before subjecting her too. But no...she sat there w/him through the entire movie. There were so many kids at Get Him To The Greek that I thought we had walked into the wrong theater. And not like 10 year old kids, I'm talking like toddlers and kindergartners. These are all parents of the year...taking their children to watch a movie full of swear words, drugs, alcohol, and sex...a movie glorifying ALL of those. And while I absolutely loved that movie, I felt very uncomfortable sitting next to these kids who were soaking in all the drug scenes and sex scenes. It's just so wrong.

Problem #4 (Last but not least)- Parents who do not REMOVE their screaming/crying children from the theatre!: I cannot tell you how many times a child started screaming or crying during Despicable Me. It completely disrupts EVERYONE and makes it so that none of us can enjoy the movie. Is that the plan? What...if you can't enjoy the movie because your kid is screaming and you might have to leave then NO ONE should enjoy the movie they paid for? Do these parents actually think that their child's ear piercing shrieks don't bother the rest of us? Are they so selfish that they refuse to miss part of the movie to do the right thing and leave with said screaming banshee? I just don't understand this. And has any parent in the HISTORY of time ever actually gotten their very upset child to stop their wailing by saying "shh!"??? Has that really ever happened?!??! I'm thinking NOT! And it is NOT ok to let your kids go running up and down the stairs for their entertainment. Every single person they pass is immediately interrupted by small children going up and down and up and down and up and down those blasted stairs just because you refuse to get off your ass and do something about your kids! So if you can't find someone to watch your kids, then cough up the $5 the daycare at the theatre costs and leave your kid there while you watch your movie. And if you can't afford the $5 then you probably shouldn't be paying for movies and extra large buckets of popcorn in the first place.

It is experiences like this that really ruin going out for me. I remember back in the day when everyone knew the "law" of the movie theatre, and that was to sit down, shut up, and watch the dam movie! Can we PLEASE get back to that?? If not, can I PLEASE have a marshmallow gun to shoot at causers of the above mentioned problems?

Friday, July 23, 2010

A Sign of Things to least that's what I'm telling myself:

I think God gave me a sign that I'm meant to be thin and healthy :) lol.

Last year's Victoria's Secret swimsuit collection had a bikini that I absolutely fell in love with. I've never had a bikini in my entire life, but I'm bound and determined to be able to wear a bikini someday, and I really don't care about surgery scars! And it had to be THIS bikini because I seriously could not stop thinking about it for over a year. It's just a black halter style bikini top, but the "straps" are more of a wide fabric, not strings, and my favorite feature is that in the middle of the top, where the two "triangles" come together in the middle in between your boobs, it's held together with a metal heart :) It also has an additional strap that goes under the boobs and connects with the other straps in the back . The bottoms are also just basic black bikini bottoms, but they have the fabric being held together with 2 metal hearts, one on each hip bone basically. And for whatever reason, I just LOVE that bikini more than I have ever loved an article of clothing before. But I could never bring myself to buy it because each piece was like $60 and $120 for a bikini that I was not even close to being able to wear just seemed a bit superfluous to me.

However...(I know you all knew this was coming)...
Yesterday I was browsing the VS clearance section online for super good deals to add to my thin boxes (because I still refuse to buy myself clothes in my current size, but hey...a girl's gotta shop!) and I found a couple other bikinis that were on killer sales that I decided would be good motivation. I didn't even bother looking for the black heart bikini because I'd looked when this season's bathing suits came out and it wasn't there, so I figured it was discontinued. Then I was just about to check out and saw one more thing I wanted to look at, and when I added it to my cart a bunch of pictures of things they thought I might also be interested in popped up. And guess what the first item was....YEP! It was my black heart bikini!!!!!! I swear I had looked through every single page of bathing suits and never once saw it. So I called in to place my order and asked the phone rep about 20 times if she's SURE that bikini is in stock because I will be crushed if it's only up by mistake. She said the computer system confirms that it is (although I know all about "computer systems" lol). AND it gets better....the bottoms were on sale for only $37 and the top was on sale for $30! So I absolutely couldn't refuse. BUT WAIT...that's not all! (said in my info-mercial voice)... I just happened to find it on the very last day of their extra swimsuit discount of 20% off the sale price!! So I got both pieces for a total of $56.78. More than half off the original price!

And the spookiest part of my story is that I've been TRYING to find that bikini again on their website today so that I can show you a picture of it...and it's absolutely not there. I even did a search for the item number that is shown on my order confirmation and it's just not anywhere to be found.

So I'm convinced....God wanted me to have this bikini as a sign that good health and a good body are on their way!

Good news though, because of my obsession over this bikini, I apparently saved a photo of it to my computer last year :) So I do have a pic for you! I also posted pics of the other two I got for my thin box. Someday I'll post pictures of me wearing them :) And I promise I won't look even half as good in them as the VS models, but as God as my witness...I will never wear old lady one piece again!

This one is just super cute, I love the "tattoo" design and it's just such a summery yellow.

I HAD to have an itsy bitsy teenie weenie yellow polka dot bikini...that I'll wear for the first time someday... ;)

And here it is ladies!! My heart bikini!! I don't care if you don't love was meant to be.

My Apologies

Sorry everyone...I didn't mean to neglect my blog for so long. I'm going through some drastic "family issues" that have been keeping my mind elsewhere. I'll go into detail later. Thank you to those of you who reminded me to blog :)

As far as my revision surgery goes...

I didn't fly to WA to have my consultation. Because of said family issues, money got really tight really fast and then job issues came into play. With the uncertainty of my job I did not want to risk taking the time necessary to have an out of state surgery. I did not feel confident that I would still have a job when I would have gotten back. However money was really my biggest deciding factor.

As it turns out, my AZ surgeon called me, literally one week before I was supposed to leave for WA to meet w/that surgeon, and apologized for the "confusion" in translation. She received an official letter from the Johnson & Johnson surgery center in New York (I think...the specifics are foggy) and they (my surgeon and her assistant) will be flying out "for sure" the end of August or very early September for the DS training. Once they get back after a 3 or 4 day training, they will be ready for me.

I decided after MUCH deliberation to give her another chance and wait the few extra months to have her do my surgery rather than spending $3000 more, missing a lot of work and therefore possibly not having a job to come back to, hours of work trying to file for FMLA and temporary disability (which just sounds like a pain in the ass), having to stay in very uncomfortable conditions during recovery, and having to re-do all of my tests to have my surgery in WA. The pros for waiting just far outweighed the cons. And really, in a couple years from now, will these 3 months really make that much of a difference? I mean TRUST ME...they certainly do now! Every single day seems like an eternity, but once it's all said and done they will have been nothing.

SO...that's what's going on with that.

In somewhat related news...I have SOME restriction with my band. That's good...I guess. The bad news of it though is that it's too much and it's not right. Sometimes I can eat whatever and it's fine. But more often then not, after just a bite I start PBing and I get that insane burning in my chest and I've thrown up a few times. But it's over things like scrambled eggs or broccoli or applesauce...yes, I'm not kidding, applesauce! I mean it does it for other things too that I would kind of expect, like bread or pasta or even chicken if I forget to chew it up enough. But this is just crazy. It is extremely uncomfortable and just because I have restriction doesn't mean I'm not hungry. In fact this morning I was absolutely starving ( know what I mean) and so I made some Weight Control banana bread oatmeal. First small bite...fine. Second small bite...stuck a little and then went down fine. Third bite...OUCH!! It sat in my chest for like 5 minutes at least. And so I couldn't eat any more, but I was still HUNGRY! 3 tiny bites of oatmeal is not going to last me more than 10 minutes before I'm hungry again.

It's things like this that make me so excited to have this band out of me. I want an honest feeling of being full after a smaller amount of food intake, not just feeling like I'm going to die after a few bites. Oh well...I'm about a month and a half away from my new surgery! Bring it on!

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Revision Update

So I've FINALLY made some progress with my revision, so I thought I'd share :)

First the bad...

My Lap-Band surgeon's RN (the one who I always see who gives me fills), she lied to me and completely caused me BUCKETS of stress this last week. The last time I went in for a fill (along with the fluoroscope) she told me that even if I needed to go to a different bariatric surgeon to get my revision surgery to the DS, that she would "absolutely" write me a letter of medical necessity for the insurance company. Without that letter, my insurance company won't approve my request for this revision. Well, I called the other day to get said letter that she promised me, and I was told that she would not write me one!

I broke down into a million little pieces and cried for about half an hour. I have been working SO hard arranging this other surgeon who can see me soon and get my surgery scheduled soon. It's going to cost me SO much money in airfare and time off work, which I consider a small price for my health, but one second she just ruined EVERYTHING I have spent the last couple of months working toward. I am so angry at her. Clearly she is only concerned with her own practice that she doesn't have her patient's well being in mind if they aren't going to be statistics for her surgeon.

Now for the good news...she can kiss my butt! I called my insurance company and told them what happened and they said that I can have my referral letter written by any bariatric surgeon, such as the one I am going to go to for my revision! And of course he'll write it because he wants me as a patient! I called the new surgeon and he fully agreed that he writes the referral letters all the time and will absolutely write mine unless he finds some medical reason that I should not have this surgery. As I am not at all worried about that...a huge weight has been lifted off my shoulders!

I bought my airline tickets last night (first class to avoid the utter humiliation of them possibly asking me to buy a second seat! To me that's worth the extra cost, and really if I had to buy 2 seats it's only like $50 more and saves all the embarrassment..AND it's for medical reasons write off!) for June 17th...I'll spend Friday the 18th in appointments and consultations ALL day.

I'm hoping to come back with an estimated surgery date!! So, of course, I will keep you all posted!

Thursday, May 27, 2010


THANK YOU all so much for your support! I very much appreciate it :)
So a lot of you have asked to hear more about the DS (duodenal switch), so instead of trying to type it out myself and bore you to death, I am going to insert a lot of the documents I've found that led me to this decision.
**I also want to make myself clear, I am NOT anti- any specific surgery. I do not think that one surgery is better for everyone than another...I am simply demonstrating why I PERSONALLY am going with the DS and why this is a good choice for ME. Please do not let me influence anyone one way or the other, it is important that everyone research all of their options and decide what is best for them!**
This article does a very good job of explaining the DS vs RNY: click
This article is why super obese patients should have DS (which I am considered super obese so I enjoyed this article): click
One of my fellow OH members has a post on her profile that is very helpful and lays out myths and facts about the DS too: click
Basically...if you don't want to read all of that stuff...MY reasons for converting to DS, in a nutshell, are this:
*I am not going to be successful with restriction alone, I need the malabsorptive features as well.
*I do not want to have dumping syndrome. Some people use this to keep them from eating sweets, but I want to eat some sweets, sometimes...I enjoy it and I should be able to enjoy my food.
*I want a fully functioning stomach. I do not want a stoma that will eventually stretch out anyway.
*I love high fat foods. Why should I have to give up everything if I don't have to? Since when is having WLS a punishment? DSers only absorb 20% of the fat they eat.
*I want to be able to take advil or motrin if I have a headache...I cannot remember the FULL list of NSAIDs that I can't take!
*I LIKE being able to drink with my meals and use straws.
*Ultimately, it comes down to you want to spend your time worrying about your food or vitamins? I'd rather deal with the vitamins...I've spend plenty of time worrying about the food.
Now...having said all of that...I know many people who have been completely successful with RNY and don't have near the problems I'm trying to avoid by going the DS rout. I also know MANY of you who have the band who have been very successful and not had any of the problems I've experienced.
This post is not intended to try to sway or encourage anyone one way or the other, PLEASE do not get into a surgery war on my blog...that's not my goal. I am simply presenting another option that I wish I'd heard about before getting my band.

Monday, May 17, 2010


OK so I suppose now is as good of a time as any to make my announcement.

I am having my lap-band removed.

This isn't exactly a "bad" thing...although it kind of is. The main reason is because it is FULL and I still have NO restriction! You are all witness to my many posts after my many fills and saying that I still don't feel any restriction. It's also been causing a lot of other problems though. I have seriously bad acid refulx lately, caused by my band. And my port hurts ALL the time. Not contstantly, but multiple times a day, for no reason just out of the blue I'll double over in pain from it causing muscle cramps. It's just making my life miserable, especially since I'm not even losing weight with it.

I went and had my fluoroscope over a month ago and they couldn't find anything wrong. The weird thing is that my port has moved about 5 inches down from where they originally placed it. The Dr's are baffled, they have no idea how that happened, because it's not flipped, it's not loose, it just moved.

So next month on the 18th will be my 1 year band-iversary and I have only been able to maintain an overall weight loss of about 15 lbs. I've re-gained everything I originally had lost but those 15 lbs. And I lost those before my surgery, so they don't even count.

The good part of it though, is that I'm not just giving up. I'm having a revision surgery to the Duodenal Switch (DS). I've not a LOT of research and I've decided that this is CLEARLY the best surgery for me. It's what I should have had in the first place.

I don't want to discourage ANYONE who is thinking about getting the band, and I am not in any way bitter or resentful and I will never trash talk the Lap-Band. It works very well for MOST people. I just happen to be one of those rare few who just can't get any restriction at all.

I really hope that my fellow bandsters who follow my blog will stay with me. Our over-all goal is the same, we will just have different tools now.

There will be more posts to follow were I will talk more about the DS, but I wanted to make my announcement.

I'm not upset, so this isn't a "boo-hoo" post, this is a "moving on in a productive way" post. I'm actually very excited for my revision surgery. It's in the VERY early planning stages, but I'm 110% decided on it. So I hope you can all be happy for me :) I am ashamed and embarrassed that the band didn't work for me, but like I've told a few the end of the day I have to do what's best for me and not worry about what didn't work. I tried, and it just didn't work.
So all I can do now is move on and keep working toward my goal of health and happiness!

I'll keep you all posted :)

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

**Screams like a little girl**

No your eyes are NOT deceiving you! Those ARE sugar free effing Oreos!! And guess what? They TASTE like real honest to goodness full sugar Oreos! I think world peace is upon us.
Here's my Oreo smile :) Don't act like you all don't get them too...I know you do!

So what I want to know is...
are you a twister or a dunker?

Me? I'm a twist, scrape the icing off with my teeth, then dunk the cookies :) Of course I have to make it complicated.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

My WA Trip

Here are some pics from my vacation to Washington State last week. I had a blast and surprisingly didn't gain any weight!! And let me tell you I wasn't being health conscious!!

My daddy and me on the docks in Seattle:
The view of the Space Needle from my room! I SUPER loved my room!

The city view from my room, idk why the Space Needle looks so much smaller and further away in this pic...but it's still beautiful!

Repping the Diamond Backs (Arizona) even though I'm a die hard SeaHawks fan :)
My room service came with a daisy and I decided that it would look better in my hair than on my plate :) lol...hey, everyone needs vanity shots ;)
I'll post more later...I'm super tired and have to upload them still.
Also...I have some BIG news coming up...but I'm waiting for a few more things to be confirmed before I announce it...but just be's coming!!

Protein Donut Holes!!!

Protein Donut Holes (I got off an OH posting, but have seen on other sites too)

oil (I used olive oil)

1 large egg
1/4 cup melted butter
2 TBS splenda (or 2 packs/tubes of Stevia- I use Purevia)
1 tsp vanilla
1 scoop vanilla protein powder


Start heating about 1 inch of oil in a frying pan over MEDIUM heat. If your oil is too hot then when you drop your batter in it...this is what happens:

The batter will just spread and not maintain a "ball" form and will burn the second it hits the bueno.

While the oil is heating, beat the egg and butter lightly. Add the splenda/stevia, vanilla, and protein powder, beat well, and then let sit for a minute. Then beat again until the lumps are gone. Using a tablespoon drop (don't drizzle) the batter into the oil in small batches. BE CAREFUL! Also have ALL of your "tools" on hand because you will need to flip them almost immediately to prevent burning...flip when they start to brown. After the other side is browned, remove from oil, drain, and sprinkle with the cinnamon and splenda/stevia. As you can see below, I sprinkled mine w/powdered sugar. I understand that doing so negates the sugar free aspect, but that's just what I was feeling tonight.

A few other people who have tried this said that they get more of a round, real donut hole shape by spooning the batter into a baggy and snipping the end to "glop" out balls of batter instead of spooning it in. I didn't try that, but go for it :)
Also...if you're finding that your batter is still spreading too much when you plop it in the oil, add another 1/2 scoop of protein powder to thicken the batter up a bit. I had to do this and it worked perfectly!
Since this is fried...this should be a "sometimes" snack...but hey, when you are craving something fried and sweet...this gives you a nice protein punch and doesn't have any flour :)

Toasty Oat Protein Balls

Shelly's Toasty Oat Protein Balls (click here for the original recipe and posting from EggFace)

1 cup oatmeal (I use steel cut, it's a different texture but the same thing)
1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut (I actually found this by the regular coconut!)
1/4 cup peanut butter (you all know I use the freshly ground stuff)
1/4 cup Vanilla Sugar Free Torani syrup
1/4 cup chocolate protein powder
a hand full of sliced almonds

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Spread the oats, coconut, and almonds over a baking sheet and place in the oven. Toast for about 8 to 10 minutes or until lightly browned, stirring occasionally.

Mix peanut butter and SF Torani syrup until well combined. Add in the toasted oats/coconut/almonds to the mix and then add the protein powder. Stir until well blended.
If your mixture is loose/a little on the soft/runny side then add a but more coconut or almonds. If your mixture is too stiff/dry then add a little more syrup.
Shape into 18-20 cocktail meatball size balls.

Refrigerate for a few hours before serving. They are great in the fridge for a few days.
I have been really loving popping one of these into my mouth when I'm craving something sweet or need a little protein boost. I haven't tried it yet, but I think these would be super yummy with some sugar free chocolate to drizzle on or dip these in.
Other variations instead of the almonds, or in addition to...could be:
*SF chocolate chips
*minced apple (ooooh yumm!)
*other kinds of nuts
*dried fruits


I'm having a major sweet tooth tonight! I have 3 recipes that have just been sitting here patiently waiting for me to try I am in the process.

Just had to share how funny Google is :) I usually LOVE how it corrects me. If I type in "orange high hells" my Google will politely suggest "Did you mean, orange high heels?" and I'll say "Yes Google, as a matter of fact I did!"

In tonight's quest for a Stevia conversion rate for one of the recipes you will be seeing in a bit, I typed in "if a recipe calls for splenda, how much stevia do I use?" and Google (poor, naive google) suggested "Did you mean, if a recipe calls for splend, how much saliva do I use?", not this time Google. Maybe next time I need to whip up a batch of saliva cookies I'll come running back to you.

Friday, April 2, 2010



Click on the link...please, I'm begging you :D

Once you've opened the link, in a new window or tab, scroll down a little and look to the right for the pictures with the words "if it's edible, it's better with Squeez Bacon" and notice the squeez bacon on top of bacon...LOL!!!! There's a super funny video too, be sure to read the sub-titles :) Then let me know what you think...I think you'll enjoy this.

64 slices of bacon per bottle!
A shelf life of 12 years!
No refrigeration needed!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Seriously now...

Well so much for keeping up on my blog...thanks for sticking with me though :)

I'm going in tomorrow for a fluoroscope to see what the heck is up with this band and why I have no restriction. I'm tired of being fat! :(

I'm going on vacation to Washington (state) next week and I'm driving up- a 28 hour road trip- all because I'm too afraid to even try to fly and then be told I have to pay for 2 seats!

Have you guys seen this: Kevin Smith Is Too Fat To Fly (click it)

I just couldn't bear that kind of humiliation! So bring on the coffee and 5 hour energy drinks!! I'm driving!

To ease all of your minds, I am actually stopping off in CA overnight to break my journey...I promise I'm not driving 28 hours straight! :)


April Fools :D


it's the little things in life, right? ;)

Tuesday, March 16, 2010


Hello my fellow bloggers :)
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If I've posted more then it's __________/\ up there :)

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Coming Up...

I will be posting a few other recipes later tonight or tomorrow, so stay tuned.

I have a question for anyone who might have an answer:

Do any of you know any good tips/tricks for de-shelling hard boiled eggs? Or would it be shelling hard boiled eggs? Idk...removing the shell from an egg that has been hard boiled :)

I was making egg salad today and, seriously, about 1/2 of my egg whites peeled off w/the shell. It is ridiculously annoying. So if anyone has any tips, I'd love to hear them! Just leave them in the comments section.


Shrimp & Squash Packets

Here is yet another WONDERFUL recipe created by eggface that I wasn't going to try at first. One of the many things I have to give her credit for (like all of these delish meals!) is her ability to combine and create flavors out of things I normally would never have tried, and now I love them!

This one is "Shelly's Shrimp & Squash Packet" (click the link if you want to see eggface's actual recipe, the one below is my own variation)

Ingredients (FOR 1 PACK...multiply by how many packs you're making):

1 TBS pesto sauce (I found mine in the spaghetti sauce isle)

1 TBS olive oil (I didn't have lemon olive oil)

1 TBS white wine

7 raw shrimp, peeled and deveined w/the tales removed (I used prev. frozen tiger shrimp)

1/2 zucchini, sliced

1/2 yellow squash, sliced (I forget what those are called!)

1 or 2 green onions, diced (depending on your taste or if you forgot to double the recipe like me)

1 tsp pre-minced, jarred garlic (or 1 clove fresh)

1/2 tsp Kosher salt

a few twists black pepper

Peel and devine shrimp. Mix the pesto, wine, and oil together and let shrimp marinate in the mixture while you slice the squash and onions. (DON'T forget to multiply the marinade ingredients like I did at'll wonder why there's hardly any liquid!) Also, as eggface mentions, don't leave the wine really does make the flavor about 100% better. The alcohol will cook out so it's not like you're going to catch a buzz from 1 TBS white wine.

Place all ingredients in the center of a piece of heavy duty foil...if you are using the cheap-o kind like me, double it.
Fold the foil over and seal each packet. From personal experience, it's a good idea to keep in mind that you will nee to be able to open the packet easily to check if the shrimp are done, so don't just crinkle the edges like I did, making it impossible to open w/out tearing the entire packet! :)
Now, eggface BBQ'd her packets, but I don't have an easy bbq and so I cooked mine in the oven and it was a bit of a time game. I started out at 350 for about 15 minutes. My shrimp were still raw and veggies were still hard. So I turned the heat up to 400 and cooked for another 5 minutes. That seemed to work for me. Feel free to give that a try...just be sure that your shrimp are cooked through.

I give this recipe 5 gold stars! I was apprehensive about pesto and shrimp and squash...but it blended SO well and was a deeply satisfying dinner :) It was also quite fun to make! I'll also be adding this to our camping recipes since it's a packet dinner.

Playing Catch Up

Sorry I've been neglecting my blog so much lately! I'm trying to change, I really am!

Ok let's go back to February 5th, shall we? :
I went in to get a first since OCTOBER! I've been bumped back, re-scheduled, and cancelled on enough and my surgeon's office KNOWS it now. My regular fill lady (sorry, I'm not sure what her exact title is?) wasn't available again so instead of being re-scheduled once more, I agreed to see their newest surgeon in training for my fill. * sigh * I feel bad for being mean because I know he's learning, but even learning surgeon's need to know that I am NOT a human pin cushion! He stabbed me 9 times trying to find my port! 9!!!!! And STILL couldn't find it! The entire time I'm in tears, because it hurts so bad when he pushes down trying to find it, and then he's pressing on my ribs so I can't breathe and I'm trying to tell him my port is NOT in my RIBS! Then I'm trying not to throw up on him because he's pressing down on my stomach, my actual port is NOT on my STOMACH! So he keeps saying "it's impossible, it's impossible" and I'm just like "really??? because Melissa has never had a problem finding it the 4 times she's done it before you!" Again...I know he's new and trying to learn and doesn't have as much experience but holy cow. So I asked if we could do it under x-ray instead and he was very enthusiastic about that so I said "great, where do I go to do that?" and he said I'd have to schedule that. NOOOOO!!! I live almost 2 hours away from my Dr's office, I have to take time off work (sometimes) to go there, and I have to pay a co-pay every time. AND I had not had a fill since October and I STILL have NO restriction. I lost it...I broke down and started sobbing uncontrollably, I was a mess. I was shuddering and, it was quite a scene. So I got my co-pay back but still left with nothing but 9 new holes in my stomach. If he had put some ink on the fill needle I'd have about half a tattoo. On my way out the appointment setter said she'll call me to schedule the fluoroscope.

Now let's cut to February 16th:
After about 10 calls to find out when my fluoroscope will be scheduled, I'm told that Melissa (my normal fill girl) wants me to come back in for her to try to fill me. I asked if we could just skip this BS and go straight for the fluoro and she said no. Ok then.

Moving on to March 1st:
I had my fill with Melissa and got in really fast. I vented all my frustrations and she said that she was going to completely un-fill me and see how much is still in my band, and then re-fill me with the intention of it being way too tight to see if it is filling properly. Well, she un-filled me but by the end of the visit, I only had 1 more cc put in, and I was no where close to choking on my water. So I guess that puts me at 9 ccs in an 11 cc band :( She did go ahead and schedule my fluoroscope right then and there and told me if this fill does the trick we can always cancel the fluoro. Oh...also, the tenita scale in my Dr's office (the kind that print out the little receipt that tells you all your body stats) said I gained 5 lbs...but I've been going to the gym for about 2 months now so I asked her to check if any of that was new muscle. She goes "WHOA Steph!" and I misunderstood and started crying, thinking it was all just fat as usual :( But she showed me the screen and what actually made her go "whoa" was because in one month I had lost 21 lbs of fat and gained 26 lbs of muscle! So I should be happy right? my brain I still gained 5 lbs and am 5 lbs closer to being back at my starting weight :( And how can someone lose 21 lbs of fat and still look the exact same? My clothes aren't looser, nothing is thinner...I don't get it.

Cut back over to today, March 16th:
NO RESTRICTION!!! Not even a tiny bit!! UGH! So all I can do now is keep trying to not cheat (which is so ridiculously easy when you're not restricted), keep working out, and try to keep a positive attitude until April 2nd when I have my fluoro scheduled. I'm actually hoping that they DO find something wrong. At least then there'd be a reason why it hasn't been working, you know? And then I'd have hope that when they fix it, things will be on track for me and I'll start losing once again!

In addition to all of this nonsense, I've been really depressed about my upcoming birthday. I'm turning 25 on the 20th :( I KNOW I KNOW 25 is not old. In fact I'm actually the youngest out of all my friends and most of my family. But's really bumming me out because I'm no where NEAR where I wanted to be by this age. I KNOW most people aren't ever where they want to be...yadda yadda yadda...but is, after all, my party and oh yes...I will be crying.

So I've just been moping around for the last week and haven't done a darn thing. It's amazing how if you skip laundry day just ONCE all of a sudden by the time next laundry day rolls around you have to wash every single thing you own. One basket of laundry turns into five somehow. It's a mystery.

Sunday, March 14, 2010


Sorry I haven't posted in so long. Apparently I like to blog in waves. Anyway I have like 3 or 4 great posts coming up so check back tomorrow!

Monday, March 1, 2010

Spaghetti Squash? Interesting.

So I picked up a spaghetti squash at the store the other day to see what the deal is with it. I love spaghetti, I like most kinds of squash...why not try a combination?

I got really nervous when I cut this thing open, a huge blast of Halloween hit me in the face. Spaghetti squash looks, feels, and more importantly SMELLS exactly like a pumpkin. Understandable, right? They're both part of the squash family. But this scared me just a bit, as I do not like pumpkin anything other than carving and making a super huge mess.

Anyway...the overall dish was delish once you get past the texture violation. I'm very sensitive to texture, and this was completely unnatural(ha- squash is more unnatural than processed noodles), but it tasted very good.

So if you're interested, here's what to do:
Get yourself a spaghetti squash and cut it in half lengthwise.
Scoop out all the stringies and seeds (if you love roasted pumpkin seeds, you could probably roast these with the same taste results).
Place squashes insides down in a glass pyrex dish and bake at 375 for 30 to 40 minutes.

Once baked, let cool and then take a fork and start scraping out the guts, horizontally, into a large bowl. This part is fun :) You'll see exactly why it's called spaghetti squash, it does look exactly like spaghetti noodles :)
Then add your favorite spaghetti sauce! I used Ragu's no sugar added kind and it worked great.
I also added some parmasean cheese to mine.
You can add meat balls or whatever your heart's desire. I added grilled chicken strips to mine. I got lazy and didn't grill my own chicken but tried this instead:
As you can see it packs in the protein :) And it only takes about 3 minutes to microwave!

Throw your meat/protein on top of your faux-spaghetti and viola!
As you can see on my plate, it gets really watery, so drain well and don't tip your plate!
If you are texture sensitive like me, this will not be the easiest adjustment. But if you also LOVE spaghetti like I do, you'll be willing to make the sacrifice in order to enjoy a post-op friendly meal that does satisfy that craving :)

Sunday, February 28, 2010


My wonderful mother surprised me with my very own Bento Box this weekend! I'm so excited! If anyone else follows eggface then you know where I got the idea to get one :) She always posts pictures of her lunches that she packs in her bento box and they're just perfect for portion control. Also, I'm one of those super picky people who can't eat something if it's touched a different food...weird, I know. So this helps keep everything in it's own designated spot :)

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Tacky Pants

One of my fellow bloggers posted the most inspirational blog a while ago... Tacky Pants (please click the title to read her original posting). In short, she turned a pair of her "goal jeans" which I know we all have, into a bulletin board of sorts! Great idea, right?! Instead of letting her goal jeans be hidden away in the dark depths of her closet, she decided to hang them on her wall as a constant, in her face reminder of her goals. Using her "goal jeans" as a bulletin board she pins anything inspirational and motivational to them. I so super love this idea, I had to copy :)

My jeans I hung up aren't actually my final goal jeans, they're just my FIRST goal jeans.

I'll be pinning much more to them as I find things that will motivate me and encourage me to stay focused and stay strong :) I highly encourage everyone follow suite if you need a good idea for motivation :)

Wednesday, February 3, 2010


A lot of healthy recipes I find include dips to help accent (or cover) the flavor of the foods they're featured with. Personally, I've never really been a dip kind of gal, and I usually don't have, or want to make, the time to puree, blend, grind, or otherwise make the dips.

However...last weekend whilst out and about with my mother in law at a craft expo, we found this:

Watkins "Natural Gourmet" Snack and Dip seasonings. (

These are only a few calories per serving and fat free but pack a LOT of flavor! We sampled the bacon & cheddar, the cucumber & dill, and salsa flavored. I bought the first 2 mentioned because I was just amazed at how good they were. I'm not a salsa fan, but for those of you who are...there ya go!

Basically you just mix a couple tablespoons of this powder mix into 1 cup of your base of choice. The samples were made with sour cream. So you could use that, or if you wanted to lower the fat you could use a low fat or fat free sour cream. I, however, mixed mine with my newly found (and loved) Greek yogurt, which has the taste and consistency of sour cream but gives you a TON of protein.

For something that tastes so exactly like bacon and cheese but has absolutely no fat...this stuff deserves it's own blog post.

Try the mixes with toasted flat breads, veggies, naked nuggets, use it on salads, or whatever else you just need a little extra flavor. Each jar has a shelf life of up to 5 years...but I doubt it'll ever see the 1 year mark ;)
Tonight's dinner was a twist on a previous EggFace invention that I posted. I took her Burrito Pepper recipe and molded it into what I'm deciding to call Spaghetti Peppers :) Sounds fun, right? It's the same basic concept, all the yummy stuff without the carbs. I'm not sure if she has her own version, I wouldn't be surprised, but this is what I came up with on my own. It was a huge success...if I do say so myself.

*This made a may want to cut some of the ingredients in half according to your taste/preference, or increase the number of peppers being filled*

2 peppers (I used 1 red and 1 green), stemmed, seeded, and cut in half lengthwise
3/4 lb ground turkey (or beef if you prefer)
1 can diced Italian tomatoes
1/2 jar spaghetti sauce (you're choice...but for this I used Italian Garden)
2 Tablespoons low fat grated Parmesan cheese
1/3 cup shredded low fat mozzarella cheese
4 slices low fat provolone cheese

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Place peppers in a lightly oiled Pyrex style baking dish and bake for 20 minutes. Remove peppers, drain any water that pooled up and set the peppers aside. Increase the oven temp to 400 degrees.

Brown the ground turkey in a non-stick skillet until brown.
Mix all of the ingredients other than the provolone cheese in a separate bowl and then add the browned turkey.

Spoon mixture into the peppers, as much as you can fit in each pepper and then cover with a slice of provolone cheese. And I just now thought that it would have been yummy to sprinkle some Italian seasonings on top of the provolone cheese before baking. Clearly I didn't, but I'll try it next time :)

Bake at 400 degrees for about 20 minutes.

And you're done! These are really good, but kind of messy. They definitely cure my spaghetti craving, and that is why they are so named :) Like I mentioned, the "filling" quantities left me with a lot of left overs but I'm not good with modifying recipe sizes yet. Give it a try and see what works for you, these are well worth it :)

A Recipe of My Own!

I am SO excited over this recipe! A couple years ago at my supermarket they were doing a demo for this but the way they made it was really not healthy and so this was a once in a while food. But I've done some experimenting and made it healthy!!!!! And it tastes 99.9% the same, or else I wouldn't even bother posting it because I don't like when things don't taste close to the original un-healthy version. Here it is...I hope you like it! ***The recipe below is for 2 servings, I always double it so that my husband and I have left overs so the RECIPE is for 2 servings (2 people) but the PICTURES are doubled, for 4 servings. My motto is cook once, eat twice!***

Bronzed Salmon in a Basil-Wine Sauce (don't be afraid)

2 salmon fillets
Mediterranean Blend seasonings grinder (or a Seafood blend would work)
1 tablespoon olive oil (I use organic) **DON'T DOUBLE if you're going to double the recipe, just add one more TEASPOON**
2 tablespoons dry white wine (I always use the cheap-o $3 from wal-mart white wine, it works)

1 heaping tablespoon minced garlic (I use the kind in a jar, so much easier)
1/4 cup dry white wine (if you splash a little extra it's ok;) )
1/2 cup Plain Greek Yogurt (original recipe called for heavy cream)
2 heaping tablespoons Gourmet Garden Squeeze
Basil (click the word for product info- it's found in your produce section and is essentially herbs in a tube but makes life SO much easier!)
Salt to taste
1 lemon wedge (I never use this but my husband does)

Heat a large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat for 1 minute.
Make sure to remove the skin/scales from your salmon:

Here's all the "stuff" I used:

Season the salmon fillets to taste with the Seasonings grinder (coat heavily on both sides):
Add the oil and the salmon to the pan and bronze for 2 minutes on each side. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook, turning every 2 minutes, until done. Remove from pan and set aside but keep warm:

For the sauce:
Place the same skillet (un-washed...keep all the "bits") back over medium-high heat and add the garlic and the wine. Simmer the wine to reduce to 2/3 (I personally have no idea what that really is, so I just eye it and when there's less liquid I call it good):

Add the greek yogurt and the basil and mix well:
Let that simmer just a little bit, stirring constantly. Season to taste with salt and lemon juice from the wedge, if you like:

Sorry this picture is so bad, it doesn't look near as good with the flash washing it out...but basically you just spoon the sauce over the bronzed salmon fillets and serve with a nice salad or some veggies:

Please let me know if you try this and how you like it! Or if you have any modifications you made that worked really well :)

Breakfast Idea!

Sorry these are late! Hold tight because I'm going to be posting about...oh...maybe 3 super yummy posts :)

Up first (or last by the time you get down here) is Bacon Cheeseburger Bites (a la eggface and then a la me!) :
These are WONDERFULLY satisfying and full of protein.

1/2 Yellow or sweet onion, diced ( I used a walla walla sweet)
2 green onions, diced
1/2 lb ground beef (I used left overs from a roast I made and ground the already cooked meat myself)
5 eggs
2 TBS bacon bits (eggface used bacon bits, I used low sodium no sugar added bacon, cooked, drained, and chopped up myself- much tastier in my opinion)
1/2 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
dash of seasoned salt ( I just used regular Kosher salt)
a few twists of black pepper

Saute onions (both yellow and green) until the yellow ones are soft and golden.
If you are using raw ground beef, add that to the onions and cook until there's no more pink.
Then set aside to cool:

Mix all the other ingredients together (shown below is with the pre-cooked self-ground beef sans eggs):
Make sure the onions have cooled slightly before adding the egg mixture (otherwise you'll get some cooked egg chunks early and that's not good) and then mix it all up.
Spoon into lightly greased mini muffin tins and bake for 30 minutes at 350 degrees. One batch makes 24.


These also refrigerate and re-heat very well. I was a little worried about re-heating egg...but it's just fine :)

Wednesday, January 27, 2010


UGH! My surgeon's office called me again today to re-schedule my already re-scheduled fill appt! :( I knew she was scared to tell me, lol, she was very apologetic, but don't they realize that I am NOT FILLED enough and every single week they push me back is one more week I have to loose control again. Luckily I'm still on my "gym" high and am doing pretty good. But still, this better be the last time I get re-scheduled. *evil glare*

But on the gym note, I'm having a great time! We met with another personal trainer today (we are keeping it mixed up so we don't get into too much of a "routine") and we love him! His name is Jude and he is BUILT! I like him :)

New recipes coming tomorrow!! I hope you all have a GREAT rest of your week!

You may not know it, but I read and keep up on all your blogs and some of you give me SO much inspiration from posts that maybe don't seem that keep 'em coming!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Pizza Fix

Last night we were craving pizza, but we knew we didn't want to splurge for it. We just hired a personal trainer at the gym we just joined (major $ ouch!!) so we didn't want to spend the money and we didn't want to undo our progress so far with pizza so early in the game.

Once again, thanks to EggFace I was able to find a quick, easy, and super tasty alternative that really satisfied our craving without the guilt or expense!

I didn't follow her recipe so I'm not sure how they will differ, but I did get the idea from her blog so I want to give her due credit.

Easy Cheesy Pizza (my version)

1 Flat Out flat bread (from Costco)
drizzle of olive oil
2 TBS store bought pizza sauce
1/2 cup cheese

This is kind of the basic pizza "base." The toppings you want are up to you.

For the photos shown, one is a Hawaiian pizza and one is pepperoni.

The Hawaiian pizza has:

4 thin slices of low fat deli ham
a little more than 1/8 cup fresh pineapple, diced
a little more than 1/8 cup sliced black olives (just regular canned)

The Pepperoni has:
Turkey Pepperoni

Preheat oven to 350.

Brush a little bit of olive oil on the top of the flat bread and then place directly onto the oven rack and bake for 7 minutes.

Remove and place on a foil lined cookie sheet and add your desired toppings.

Increase oven temperature to 400 degrees and bake an additional 5 to 10 minutes, depending on the amount of toppings and how you prefer your cheese.
Since I am not restricted properly yet (fingers crossed for Friday!!) I can easily eat the full pizza paired with a side salad. However if you are properly restricted, I would guess one pizza would be about 2 meals.

It's VERY good and fun to make. This would be a fun dinner to make with kids to let them "decorate" their pizzas with their toppings. You can also cut the flat bread into shapes for added whimsy :)