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Going to West Africa and I'm packing my NutriBullet!

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Okay, I'm way overdue on blogging and I'm back for the moment. I've been incredibly busy with work, life, commitment to ETL food plan and trying to stay in balance with all. I'll unabashedly give myself a solid B+ for determination even though results may lag behind a bit. At a later time I'll confess to the week I craved and indulged a sodium desire beyond all belief! Please don't ever tell anyone about the morning fruit smoothies that included a bit of soy sauce! Funny, I never thought it was salt that would take me off plan.. I'd have put my money on sweets.. must be all the fruits I enjoy that keep the sweets monster from taking over my commitment to make healthy choices.
Anyhow the cravings have passed, the resulting gain has passed and most happily the plateau has passed too!

Now, a big excitement is just around the corner for me.. I'm going to West Africa for a 3-12 week assignment! ( So happy that I will be fitting into that airline seat more comfortably than I would have four months ago!) I work in Admissions for a US college and I'm headed to Ghana to help open a very small extension in Accra. Honestly, it will be very long days 6-7 days a week to accomplish our goals, but I will be certain to do at least two sightseeing days before I leave. Please, if anyone reading this has been to Ghana.. I'd love to hear your tips. For six months I've been working via Skype, phone and emails with our local Ghanaian team and potential students, so in some ways I feel like I've already been there
I do need to find out if I can use an electrical convertor for my NutriBullet. Really hoping to take it with me as the Ghanaian diet is very heavy in starch and light on fresh raw veggies, I need to maximize all my nutrient intake. Of course I will sample and enjoy the local cuisine.. but I am a woman who can easily gain 10 pounds in a week and I am planning on not bringing back a 10 pound weight gain as a souvenir of my trip!

So dear Sparkers.. travel advice welcome and I am desperate to know if anyone has traveled with their beloved NB?

Happiest of Saturdays to all!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

DS9KIE 9/15/2013 8:57AM

    have a great time

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CAROLJEAN64 9/14/2013 1:05PM

    Have a marvelous time. Check with Radio Shack or a local electronics store about hte proper plug.
Do take advantage of the local cuisine.... I do when we travel, but I repeat over and over again to myself: Portion control, portion control, portion control.

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TAMMYAND 9/14/2013 12:12PM

    Safe travels, and God bless you on this most exciting journey. Can't wait to hear all about this amazing adventure!!


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LETHA_ 9/14/2013 10:55AM

    I love how you are are planning to eat healthy on your trip.

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ETLNOW 9/14/2013 10:27AM

    Hello 39Soon,
This is my first international trip in many years, but I have visited Western Europe and Great Britain.
Great suggestion about those freeze dried nuggets. I'll check out our local outdoor emporium.
Thanks and good luck on meeting your goal!

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39SOON 9/14/2013 10:05AM

    I've not been to WA but I do live overseas in a third world country. Things to consider are that you'll need to wash/soak all your fruits and veggies before eating and also take care of what water you use. If you are very busy, that could be tough. I wonder if you could find some sort of healthy powdered mix you could mix with bottled water to be able to get more nutrients in while away? Maybe something with green spiralina in it (I don't know how to spell that)? Perhaps even calorie dense "nuggets" of some sort (like hikers take).

I hope you enjoy your trip! Will it be your first time out of the country?

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I left my gall bladder at the hospital.

Friday, July 19, 2013

I am very happy to be home from the hospital. I had gone to the emergency room in the wee hours of Monday morning thinking that the excruciating stomach pain I had was food poisoning but was diagnosed with gallstones and an inflamed gall bladder that should be removed. So they did a laproscopic surgery. I was in great pain and didnt research the pros and cons.. From what I've read today maybe I should have tried to allow it to heal, but that's not what happened.. so I have no regrets. I believe that I will be fine. What does really surprise me is that I've been eating ETL Six Week Plan for two months, no processed food, no added fats, only 1 oz of nuts a day and that diet should not have disturbed the gall bladder.. Its usually fatty foods that cause problems there.
I'm on sick leave for a week, just suffering from soreness and a bit weary. So the plan is to take good care of myself, I will do some work from home and relax.
I'm glad to be back, I've made myself a green smoothie and will soon be better than before.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

TAMMYAND 7/25/2013 7:47PM

    I have been out of town and not reading or posting much on SP while away. Got back last night and read your blog today. So sorry to hear that you had to have surgery, but good thing that it is over and you are ok. I agree with Christasp above. I hope you can take more sick time if possible. Don't rush into too much activity. Let your body heal. Work can be stressful! (I know...I am retired.) Please get well and take good care of yourself.


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DS9KIE 7/24/2013 10:02AM

    I think you got lucky...cause my mom had the same thing and didn't get get the surgery right away like the doctor told and the gallstone moved around and she had two emergency surgeries and and third surgery for the gallbladder. All I know is that she was in extreme pain for a looong time and had two extra surgeries.

I would try to get more time off.

emoticon emoticon emoticon

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CALLIEZMOM 7/20/2013 7:42AM

  So glad you got immediate medical attention so you had a lesser invasive form of surgery than you might have faced otherwise. Take really good care of yourself and feel better soon! emoticon emoticon emoticon

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NOWYOUDIDIT 7/20/2013 5:22AM

    Feel better emoticon

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CHRISTASP 7/20/2013 3:28AM

    I think there is a thread about ETL and gall bladder problems on the ETL team forum. It happens more often that gall bladder problems surface AFTER a person makes the switch to a healthy diet, I believe. Weight loss can trigger gall bladder problems too. (Maybe because the bladder, and therefore the stones, get more of chance to 'move about' when the organs in the stomach area are no longer pressed together by excess fat).
The problems were there already I believe but the healthy eating may make it come out. BUT - I am no doctor or expert.
I had my gallbladder removed in 2008 by laparoscopy. If your gallbladder was infected you are lucky that it could be done that way; often when there's an infection it needs to be done through regular surgery and that is much harder on the body.
I tried to heal my gall bladder pains for three years before I had the operation done. In hindsight I think that may have contributed to the risks of it getting infected. I too was lucky that laparoscopy could be used!
Do take plenty of time to rest and relax. IF YOU CAN, take more sick leave! Two weeks would be more like it. It's still surgery and I know I needed to rest for two weeks, and then very gradually build up my activities. I tried to do too much at first and it caused one of the scars to 'tear'. So be careful! The doctors tend to be too lighthearted about this type of surgery, as if it's peanuts, but it's not.

Comment edited on: 7/20/2013 3:32:23 AM

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GEMINIGEM6 7/20/2013 12:41AM

    Bless your heart. I hope you feel better sooner than later. The title to this blog made me laugh. emoticon

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CITYGIRL27 7/19/2013 11:02PM

Hope you recover quickly!!

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    I hope you get to feeling better soon.

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LETHA_ 7/19/2013 9:12PM

    Sorry to hear you were in the hospital. Glad to hear you are recuperating well. Take care of yourself.

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    Hope you get to feeling better! emoticon

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PENNYPEARLS 7/19/2013 8:21PM

    I feel for you. I had my gallbladder removed earlier this year. You did the right thing to get it out. Once it is inflamed it just gets worse. Mine was very inflamed and he almost had to convert to an open surgery. You will feeel much better without it. emoticon

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I keep on trying....

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Alright, I'm not perfect, thought that's not news to anyone who knows me.
It's funny to me that I'm finding it a greater challenge to blog than to make good food choices!
Yesterday I came home from work absolutely exhausted. There was stress at 6:00am when I was doing my first scheduled 8 hour Skype session from home with a colleague in West Africa. We are interviewing potential students in Ghana for our college's Online Learning Center in Ghana. Everything was set up the night before and of course it was a major fail in the morning. I had to gather everything together, drive to our campus and less than patiently wait for the IT Dept to open to help me figure out what went wrong and get me set up in my office. Ridiculous as it may seem, by the end of the day it was exhausting just being on call through the hours to do the interviews as they arrived.
Today was much better. I got all the bugs worked out of the system and was able to
Skype from the comfort of my dining room. My dining room is temporarily a Skype Studio with a college banner hanging behind me as a backdrop and my laptop perched on an upside down Rubbermaid bucket on top of the dining room table. Once I found out I would be Skyping the first thing I did was google " how do I look better when Skyping". I discovered that I should be looking up into the lens and there should be light from behind the camera. I have to do this again next weekend, so I'll just leave this set up in place for the week.
It turned out to be a good weekend.
I lost some more weight, Skyped for the first time, met some great young people in Ghana from the comfort of my living room and finally got around to a long overdue
hair coloring. I wonder what adventures lie ahead in the upcoming week?

Today I am soooooo appreciative of air conditioning, it's very warm here today and for the rest of the week.
Most surprising about my foodstyle is that on these days that I'm very busy and there are two months of these busy days ahead..... I am satisfied with eating only two meals a day. When I look at the calorie count on these light days it's about 950 and I know that generally that is too low. Almost unbelievable to me is that I'll have to find a way to add some nutritious calories on my busy days. Looking to add calories is a first for me! Life is just full of surprises!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LETHA_ 7/14/2013 9:01PM

    I'm so happy things are going well for you. Your skype project sounds very interesting. I hope you'll share more about it.

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MARTHROID 7/14/2013 6:28PM

    ETLNOW, I have a LOT of experience with skyping. I skype for a part time job with students in Asia. I will tell you, if you don't already know, just don't get fascinated with yourself on skype. I can always tell when my students are looking at themselves instead of listening to me. I can also tell if they are reading something online and not listening to me. Apparently, I am not very interesting emoticon .

I like that you have a "skype studio". That sounds pretty cool.

Your calorie count does seem low, but hey, if it's working for you.

I really appreciate your commenting on my blog....and I don't think you should stick with short blogs...I like reading whatever you have to write.

Take care and have a great night. emoticon emoticon emoticon

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MAVERICK59 7/14/2013 5:54PM

    Nice, uplifting blog.
Thanks for sharing.


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Day 31 - 34 I will try..

Thursday, July 11, 2013

I will show up here more often. I was doing so well with this blog but now I see a trend of not making time to blog. I think that just the action of showing up and sharing a few thoughts will help me to not stray from my ETL foodstyle. My food choices continue to be good.. a bit of a stray today with a GOBITE treat that had nuts, cocoa nibs and some cane sugar. All was a good except the sugar cane... not so much.
I've done what I never thought I wanted to do or could do.. eliminated wheat, sugar, dairy and processed food and I've been feeling better than ever. So, GoBITES NUT FROM IPENEMA... you are now banned, never to return again. I'm sticking with your nut only choices from now on.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

DS9KIE 7/13/2013 1:25AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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MARTHROID 7/12/2013 10:27AM

    You're doing a great job! I think a short blog is a good idea to stay focused, too. I need to do the same thing. Have a great day and I expect to read a blog from you tomorrow. emoticon emoticon

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Day 30 ... I Am Becoming More Organized with My Prep

Sunday, July 07, 2013

Now that I've eaten, shopped and made over a months worth of ETL meals, I have become better prepared than when I first started out on this new food style.

My basic shopping list is created, the pantry is filled with beans, five types of nuts are in the refrigerator, the freezer is stocked with back up frozen veggies and edamame. I hope that I'll be able to make only one trip to the grocery each week.

I've managed to track down a few boxes of that Stash licorice tea that became a treat that I enjoyed so much the last time I lost a lot of weight. It's caffeine free and tastes really nice hot or cold. It has a naturally sweet taste, so I don't need any sweetener with it.

Buying the Magic Bullet was really helpful to my prep time. When I don't have much time to make a meal, I can whip up a smoothie really easily.

Also found these great little plastic atomizers that screw into lemons and limes to make the fruit their own spray bottle container.. love them.

The areas I still need to focus on are organizing recipes, learning specific nutrition of the individual foods that I eat, they're all nutritious but I want to know more specifics.. some study time will accomplish this.

I really need to get my refrigerator organized. It's not a big fridge and there's so much produce in there that it can't all be accommodated in the drawers and on the bottom shelf. I bought those green refrigerator bags that keeps produce fresh longer. Those will be a good investment.

Today's meals:

*1c almond milk with coffee (non food plan .. but I'm sticking with it )
*Smoothie with 1c mixed fruit, 1c baby spinach, 2c kale, 1/3 oz almonds, fresh ginger, fresh lime juice

Lunch Salad
*2c baby spinach, 1c arugula, 1/3 oz almonds, 1/3c pea shoots, 1c black beans, 1T real lime juice,1T flax seeds, 1 oz avocado, 1/2c grape tomatoes, 1/2 orange,
* frozen banana

Steamed Dinner
* 4oz string beans, 3 slices onions, 1c mushrooms, 3T minced garlic, 1c spinach,
1/3 oz almonds
* 1c licorice tea
*frozen banana
* pomegranate seeds

It's a process and little steps will get me there.. even when it's 2 steps back to make one step forward. I'll get there, not perfectly, but with determination.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MARTHROID 7/11/2013 1:40PM

    I'm impressed. It seems the longer you (generally speaking) stick with something, the easier it becomes. And you passed the 21 make a habit, yea! and congratulations.

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DS9KIE 7/11/2013 1:12PM

    emoticon job and your more organized than me.

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GEMINIGEM6 7/9/2013 12:36AM

    You're menus are so healthy! And yes, your organization IS impressive!

Comment edited on: 7/9/2013 12:37:13 AM

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LETHA_ 7/8/2013 9:28AM

    You are so well organized. Very impressive. Your menu looks great. I also like licorice tea. I drink Yogi Egyptian Licorice. Have a great day.

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CITYGIRL27 7/8/2013 12:33AM

    Bravo! You're doing emoticon

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KAT321123 7/7/2013 10:49PM

    It seems to me like you're doing more than "little steps"! Great work on getting so organized with your meal planning.

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