Friday, April 30, 2021

What I'm Reading This Week #18

Howdy do!  Can you believe it's the last day of April?  I know I say that the last day of every month but probably because each month seems to melt into the next one.  I can't help but remember what I was doing 27 years ago...getting ready for a great day when I would go from being a girlfriend in the morning to a fiancรฉ at night.  Jeez, you think a month flies by, time in general is just a massive mind you-know-what.  

Here's a few nights of eats this week.

Monday was veggie stir fry with peanut sauce.

Workout was ChaLean Extreme Burn.

Tuesday was low sodium marinara over lentil pasta with zucchini.

Workout was a walk around the hood.

Wednesday was Caulipower veggie pizza.

Workout was a 3 mile walk.

Thursday was fish tacos and Brussels.

Workout was leg day- strength.

Well, I think it's about time we dig into...

How Anxiety Hides in Your Habits  (Interesting stuff)

How Friends Help You Regulate Your Emotions  (I know I couldn't get by without by two favorite people that should probably be paid past due therapy fees!)

12 Parts of Your Home You Need to Spring Clean ASAP (Anyone done with their spring cleaning because I'm thinking mine is going to end up summer cleaning.)

It’s time to spring clean your slow computer. 6 things you can do right now  (The house isn't the only thing that needs a good cleaning!)

14 Rustic Bedroom Ideas For a Relaxing, Laidback Sleep  (Some real beauties!  I know someone who won't like #10)

The Psychology of Listening to Music During Sex  (Tell me we're not the only one with a "shag mix.")

Netflix is trying to crack down on password sharing with new test  (Rut roh.  I know a lot of people this will affect!  Us not being one of them.  LOL)

The 45 Best Baby Shower Gifts, According to Real Moms  (My friend's baby is due this week!  Still no registry for that girl!)

We're digging into anniversary week and I'm so looking forward to next week and I know the Mr is too.  

Anything going on this weekend?

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Wednesday, April 28, 2021

El Hump Day Survey

I'm sure I didn't use the correct thingy there..."el."  Never mastered it and why you use male and female, etc.  Donde esta mi zapato?  That about covers what I retained from freshman Spanish.

Survey time, amigos!

What about becoming an adult caught you completely off guard?  How you really cannot go back, even for a day.  I remember when our pipes burst in the ceiling and it was about to drench us.  I called my aunt crying...I was 35.

How often do you dance?  Not nearly enough!

What’s the best cake you’ve ever eaten?  I've gotta say, when they're on, Cheesecake Factory had this chocolate mousse cake that was like AMAZING.

What does your perfect burger or sandwich have in it?  See Pungi Burger from Slabtown Burgers in Traverse City MI.

What was something courageous you’ve (in person) seen someone do?  Stand up to the childhood bully that lived with them.

What card or board games do you like to play?  Uno, Clue, Aggravation.

If the universe is just a simulation, what update or patch does it need?  Compassion and manners 2.0

What hard time in your life left you a better person after it was finished?  I suppose for as much as it did and still screws me up, my parents divorce.  I can't imagine my teen years would've gone well and I wouldn't have met the Mr.

What’s something you’re looking forward to?  Next week.  ๐Ÿ’•

Where do you get most of the decorations for your home?  A mix of vintage and online stores.

What food is delicious but a pain to eat?  Peel and eat shrimp or Cap'n Crunch.  God that cereal tears up the roof of your mouth in a way I don't remember as a kid!

Which celebrity do you think is the most down to earth?  Dave Grohl (Foo Fighters.)

What would be the worst thing to hear as you are going under anesthesia before surgery?  Are you sure you want to do it that way?

What’s the spiciest thing you’ve ever eaten?  When I was in CA for the summer, we stopped at this TRUE Mongolian place in the desert and I don't even remember the name of the dish.  I just remembered my lips were numb...I loved it!

What makes you roll your eyes every time you hear it?  "It is what it is."  BARF!

Your turn!  Pick a few or all questions to answer in the comments below!  Don't be shy!

What about becoming an adult caught you completely off guard?

How often do you dance?

What’s the best cake you’ve ever eaten?

What does your perfect burger or sandwich have in it?

What was something courageous you’ve (in person) seen someone do?

What card or board games do you like to play?

If the universe is just a simulation, what update or patch does it need?

What hard time in your life left you a better person after it was finished?

What’s something you’re looking forward to?

Where do you get most of the decorations for your home?

What food is delicious but a pain to eat?

Which celebrity do you think is the most down to earth?

What would be the worst thing to hear as you are going under anesthesia before heart surgery?

What’s the spiciest thing you’ve ever eaten?

What makes you roll your eyes every time you hear it?

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Tuesday, April 27, 2021

Nipple Pain That Isn't Related to Breastfeeding Part 2

Welcome back!  If you found this randomly, click here to see what symptoms led me down my rabbit hole and come back.  I'll still be here.

As a reminder, I am not a doctor.  I am relaying my experience and the measures I personally chose to do in order to attempt to heal.  Consult your doctor for the best course of action for you.

I got in to see my gynie who checked for signs of inflammatory breast cancer which there were none.  She looked at the nipples and said I wasn't 'presenting' with typical signs of Paget's Disease which was good but obviously she'd need to wait on the mammogram for more info.  She said that she would prescribe a compound to put on it that was a steroid/antibiotic in case anything bacterial was going on and to get the inflammation down.  I would need to go to a compounding pharmacy which I never heard of before but it's basically where they make the drug themselves to the exact specifications of the doctor.  There are only two and we're in a big city.  It typically takes 24-48 hours for them to make something like that so I waited.  

In the meantime, I got my mammogram two days later with the lady I got it from the last time who totally makes you forget you're getting your boobs smashed and I told her to turn them into crepes.  She used 35 lbs of pressure which is 3 more than the last time and I could tell by the scans I was good to go before I even got the official all clear. 

Within 24 hours I got the call to pick up the compound.  The potion she prescribed me contained 1% Mupirocin, .05% betamethasone valerate, and 2% miconazole nitrate.  (Basically an antibiotic, antifungal and anti-inflammatory trifecta.)  I had much hope that at least if there was an infection to blame, it could be cleared up as I was awaiting my 80th new bra to come in.  

I was hopeful but honestly, for my particular situation, I wasn't feeling a ton of relief.  I truly felt like the ointment was getting minimal time to soak in before either getting rubbed onto the cup of whatever bra I was wearing or on the sheets when I was free boobing it at night.  I spent a lot of time crying wondering if this was just my life now.  I spent more time than I care to looking at nipples, thinking about nipples and I'm sure much to the chagrin of my husband and best friend, talking about nipples.  It was all nipples, all the time and with no fun involving them.  

After a week, when I was told I 'should' be getting relief, it just wasn't as far along as I'd hoped.  I had one more week of the compound to use (any longer than that and it can cause yeast infections.  Aces.) so I began yet ANOTHER search to speed nipple healing.  I came across a breastfeeding site and it mentioned 'wet wound healing.'  I researched more and found studies as well and thought I had nothing to lose at this point.  I'd already gone the lanolin route which I felt rubbed off on the bra as well so I wasn't sure how much was actually sinking in other than at night.  The original site talked about using hydrogel dressings as a way to speed healing.  I was all over that because it would provide some cooling relief to angry nips as well as keep the ointment in place.  I would apply the compound to the nipple, cover it with the dressing and put on my "in-betweener" bra.  After we did our evening workout, I would gently wash the nipple with warm water and mild goat milk soap then let 'em breathe for a few hours.  At night, I didn't have the option to use the dressing because they wouldn't stay in place while I tossed and turned so I would apply the ointment an hour before bed and rub it in so it was moist but still free and easy.  I felt that 2nd week is when I had the most healing happen.  I was not fully recovered. not by a long shot.  But I wasn't in tears and constantly rubbing at my boobs from the pain.

When the compound was donzo, then it was time to figure out how I would keep the nips moist.  I wanted something that would continue to be anti-bacterial since it would be kept moist.  I found this tea tree oil ointment that people were raving over for all kinds of rashes and skin irritations.  Granted, no one said anything about using it on the lady lumps but I figured if it didn't work for that, I could use it for all kinds of other stuff.  Thankfully, it seemed to work.  I have sensitive skin so I wondered if it would burn or tingle and it did neither.  It was perfectly comfortable.  I would put it on before bed and again in the morning.  I continued that for 2 weeks after no longer using the compound for continued healing.  I tested whether I could go without and sometimes I felt fine, other times my sports bra irritated me so bad, I felt like I took two steps back.  I had to pad that with bamboo nursing pads because my skin was now incredibly sensitive to the cup material and that was after FINALLY finding a sports bra with no seams running across the nipple.  I finally got bras that fit properly so that the girls could be better supported to heal instead of being smooshed in an ill fitting bra.  Consult a bra chart and make sure you are wearing the right bra.  If you'd ever told me I was a DDD (F!), I would've told you that you were insane.  I don't look like a triple D at all so it was a shock.  I also went so far as to have a supportive bra made for me by this lady on Etsy.

I cannot stress the importance of having a bra that fits right.  With my pandemic weight gain, I thought it was only my band size that expanded since my boobs weren't spilling out of the cups.  Nope, they were being smooshed and that smooshing was causing major friction that got me in this position in the first place.  I can't begin to tell you the pain, irritation, frustration and terror of the mind spiral at my lowest.  It is beyond ridiculous that all you can find online for nipple pain is either 80% breastfeeding related, 18% runner's nipple (bloody and scabby) and 2% other.  The one thing that helped put me over the edge since I feel it was a crack at the edge of my nipple was using New Skin liquid bandage on the very edge.  Obviously, I didn't put it over the whole nipple but just the one problem spot to reduce the friction while my boobs adjusted to my new better fitting bras.

If you can relate to what I've described,  discuss your options with your doctor to get a plan of action for your particular situation.  This ended up being a 5 month ordeal for me and no one should have to suffer for that long.  A lot of tears, sleepless nights and anxiety that I didn't need.  My poor husband felt so helpless to do anything but I'm thankful for his support and hugs while trying to get through it all.

Lastly, sorry to use the words nipple and moist so often but there it is.


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Monday, April 26, 2021

Nipple Pain That Isn't Related to Breastfeeding

There.  I said it.  If you're here for a reason other than you have been following me for years, then that was probably the search that eventually led you here.  I am not going to lie, the past 6 months have been incredibly painful in these parts, on my parts.  This will be an ongoing post so that those who are/have gone through what I am, will be able to see that maybe they aren't alone.  It very much feels like you're alone sometimes.  Grab a drink whilst I tell you a story.  

Like many people, I gained pandemic weight in the form of 20 lbs by about 7 months into it.  Our already sloth-like existence was downgraded to houseplant which did nothing to help offset the justified ice cream in waffle bowls and banana bread.  I always felt like my weight went straight to my arms and gut with a side helping of thighs.  Well, I wasn't getting the memo that my boobs were getting suffocated in my now ill fitting bra.  Bra extenders!  That will solve the problem!  And they did as far as being able to wear one but I had not just gotten more inches around but out.  What I always assumed were C's (probably always D's) were now DD's being squished into C's.  So couple a few bras from Fashion Bug (you fellow larger gals now how long Fashion Bug Plus has been shuttered) I was wearing on the regular with too tight sports bras that, of course, have seams raking straight across the nips for months.  You follow that up with a rendezvous where 'roughing the passer' might've been called by the nip police in November and my girls threw up the white flag.  

I am on hormonal birth control and have never once had sore breasts.  Not during my period, not when I switched pills a few times, never.  So I noted the day I noticed pain on my One Happy Year (irony).  I chalked it up to the sex thing and just decided to give it a week or two.  I got some silicone nipple covers so that my bras wouldn't rub.  (I linked to a different set because I wouldn't recommend the ones I got)  Well, that almost felt like it made things worse with that particular brand.  I swear I felt like the adhesive they used was infiltrating my skin.  Long after I stopped using it, my nipples had this drag across them like there was stickiness there.  It was not fun.  I even used medical tape adhesive removal pads to try to get off what I felt was left over.  (Not gonna lie, those pads were a find!  Adhesive off of glass from labels and stuff like that!  Score!)

Then, I obviously consulted Dr. Google for signs of nipple pain, almost all of which related to breastfeeding.  I can't count how many different ways I entered "Nipple Pain That Isn't Related to Breastfeeding" hoping somehow the search results would change and I would find info that healed my suffering.  The most common reason was wearing the wrong bra.  Can I tell you how hard it is to find a f**king bra during a pandemic when fitting rooms are closed!?!  8 bras.  That's how many went back and forth in the postal service of me trying to find one that fit and as I type this in mid-March, I'm still awaiting 4 that I've ordered and crossing my fingers on and I'm having one made.  I consulted a friend and asked if she had boob pain like that (I was also having pectoral muscle soreness that I hadn't noticed before.)  She confirmed she did all the time so I didn't jump right to cancer or anything like that.

I tried to be patient especially since, to my eye, I'd swear I might have had a mild nipple fissue or crack.  This little part that stuck out was always the part that hurt most.  I made it through the holidays and most of January, trying and sending back or just throwing away cheap bras.  I started to have almost a PTSD like response if my nips would get hard because of cold because I knew it would hurt.  I used Lansinoh Lanolin Nipple Cream because it was the purest form and recommended to almost every breastfeeding mom crying about her split, cracked and war torn nipples in the land of never ending breastfeeding.  (I cannot even imagine.)  Most sites said if it was bra friction, the pain would go away on it's own and if it didn't...see a doctor.  Well, I still didn't have bras that fit well at that point, so I'd use it in the morning and then hoped it wouldn't rub off on my bra and at night and hope it wouldn't rub off on my sheets...both of which were happening.

When I realized it had been over three months and there was no improvement, my brain went on a nosedive to the depths.  I'd been doing self breast exams almost daily and never felt any lumps except the ones in my pec muscles after we'd do strength workouts.  Then I had to look up one of the things that would pop up on the nipple pain sites...Paget's Disease.  It's basically cancer of the nipple.  There can be underlying duct cancer involved which is detectable on a mammogram.  Some sites said it could be diagnosed with a mammogram, other sites said only through a punch or shave biopsy.  I started looking at Google images (as one does in this scenario) and while most pictures of Paget's Disease looked nothing like mine, there was of course one that did.  It honestly didn't look like anything other than a nipple.  Very light flake and small and a little red.  Nothing more than you'd get if your boob was constantly rubbing an ill fitting bra.  Well, that's what a person without anxiety would say.

I burst into tears, made a mammogram appointment which would be like 10 days away and then emailed my gynie about it and updated her and said I didn't know if she wanted to see me before the scan or after and expressed my likely unfounded but still swirling thoughts of Paget's Disease.  The nurse agreed I should be seen and scheduled an appointment for two days before the mammogram.  Then I was all "why does she agree I need to be seen?  What does she know?  I should be prepping for bad news." I spent that and the next day compiling lists of all of the things the Mr would need to run the household if I died.  Yep, went there.   Welcome to the anxiety ridden brain!  If you've never been there, consider yourself lucky and don't laugh because I assure you, it's not funny.  Ask the Mr, he will confirm.  But those things needed to be done anyway so I feel better knowing they're there for him.  Now he just needs to do the same for me because I don't know crap about computers or editing.


I freaked out for about two days then a wave of calm came over me basically telling myself I could not go the next 8 days like that so do what I could and try not to freak.  I went to the gynie and thankfully she did say I did not have any signs of inflammatory breast cancer which is outwardly apparent and I wasn't presenting typical hallmarks of Paget's.  She said that it could be a bacterial infection so she was going to send a script to a compounding pharmacy (which I'd never heard of) and they would concoct something in their cauldron for me to put on the girls and hopefully put me on the road to healing.  If I didn't get relief in 1-2 weeks, we could go the breast surgeon route for a biopsy to 'put our minds at ease,'  Yay.

I've rambled way too long on this but I think you needed the backstory to get an idea of how it could present should you have an issue too.

Swing back by tomorrow for the exciting part two that was actually written weeks after this initial post.

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Friday, April 23, 2021

What I'm Reading This Week #17

Knock knock.

Who's there?


Gladys who?

Gladys the weekend!

Oh roll your eyes all you want.  How long has it been since you read a good old fashioned knock knock joke.  (The Mr says...not long enough!)

It's been a pretty slow week around these parts which I will more than welcome!  

Let's get into some eats for the week.

Monday was Ricotta Lemon Ravioli with roasted broccoli.

Workout was 21 Day Fix Core.

Tuesday was veggie enchilada bowl...but on a plate.

Workout was MBF Lower Body.

Wednesday was shrimp stir fry with cauli-rice.

Workout was 10 Rounds Lower Body.

Thursday was Beef Bolognese Ravioli with low sodium marinara and spinach salad.

Workout was 3 mile walk.

Now let's dive into...

8 Things That Are Usually Cheaper Before Noon (Hmm, will have to remember a few of these.)

Lesser-Known Facebook Privacy Settings You Should Double-Check Right Now  (Good info if you don't want anyone outside of your circle of trust in your business.)

How to DIY a Faux Brick Wall ( afraid, be very afaid!)

Why Browsing Zillow Feels So Good  (Because 'anywhere but here.')

Play-Doh's New 'All Mixed Up' Product Preemptively Jumbles Your Clay Together  (There is nothing "irrational" about parents wanting to keep the playdoh their original colors.  You know damn well those same kids are going to meltdown when they want to play with it again and there's no consistent colors.  Buy them this hot mess instead.)

10 Timesaving, Money-Saving Hacks for Shopping on Instacart  (Kind of brilliant, particularly the last tip.  It would save $10 over the usual place I use!)

We're hoping to get out and about this weekend even if it's just for a drive.  We've gotta enjoy the weather before it starts getting gross hot which is going to happen sooner than I like.

Any shenanigans on tap for you this weekend?

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Wednesday, April 21, 2021

Le Hump Day Survey

I don't know why I went French with that but it's time to get started on some mindlessness, oui?

What do you wish your phone could do?  Send a notification when you're 10 miles from something awesome on a road trip so you could decide if it's worth seeing or ignore.

What’s your favorite international food?  Depends on my mood.  I love Hawaiian, Italian and sometimes Chinese.  (I do NOT like German food.  Hurl.)

Would you rather watch a movie on your TV at home or on the big screen in the theater, and why?  Pandemic aside...I would love to be able to be with others in a theater but people suck.  We have tried going to several films that they bring back to theaters like Grease, Jurassic Park, etc and people ruin it every time.  Between being on their phone with their huge glowing screens to reciting every line of dialogue (yes, we ALL know it and we don't want to hear YOU saying it), it's just not fun anymore.  The only theater I enjoy is the occasional drive in because you don't have to deal with them directly near you.

What’s the longest trip you’ve been on?  So far, Hawaiian Islands for a month.

What was something you thought would be easy until you tried it?  A pogo stick.  Not easy.  At all.

What smell do you hate that doesn’t seem to bother other people?  Greek food cooking.  It literally turns my stomach so you can imagine the fun when the Mr gets a gyro.

How well do you know your neighbors?  Well, one is a witch that has lived next to us for 25 years this moment and the other got SWAT called on him at the beginning of a pandemic for threatening his wife and 6 cops so yeah.  Too well.

What’s your idea of a great party?  One that has multiple dogs for me to focus on.

How good are you at drawing?  I wouldn't say good but I could play Win, Lose or Draw if I had to.

How do you feel about clowns?  I'm not scared of them but don't particularly like them.  They make my hand ball up.

What is your favorite genre of movie? Why?  Comedy.  Who doesn't want to laugh?

Where’s the most surreal area you've been to?  Probably either Badlands National Park or Devils Tower in Wyoming.

What are common misconceptions about your job?  That I make money from it.

What’s the most outdated piece of tech you still use regularly?  We still have and use the original iPod in the car.  It's not dead, why on Earth would we get rid of it when it still works?

What’s the weirdest food you’ve eaten?  Chocolate covered squid.

Your turn, je taime!  Pick a few or all questions to answer in the comments!

What do you wish your phone could do?
What’s your favorite international food?
Would you rather watch a movie on your TV at home or on the big screen in the theater, and why?
What’s the longest trip you’ve been on?
What was something you thought would be easy until you tried it?
What smell do you hate that doesn’t seem to bother other people?
How well do you know your neighbors?
What’s your idea of a great party?
How good are you at drawing?
How do you feel about clowns?
What is your favorite genre of movie? Why?
Where’s the most surreal area you been to?
What are common misconceptions about your job?
What’s the most outdated piece of tech you still use regularly?
What’s the weirdest food you’ve eaten?

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Monday, April 19, 2021

Good Vibes Weekend Recap

I have to say it was a pretty good weekend.  We got the grill grates all cleaned up and ready to roll for cookout season.  Usually we forget and when we want to grill, we then realize it's a hot mess.  Our future selves thank us.  We walked in the cemetery before the rain rolled in.  We don't usually like to walk when it's tippin' 80 but when it's windy and cloudy, it's a go.

Before Easter, we met my mom at a park for a socially distanced visit.  She had a few things for me including a sculpture that my great grandma made of this glamourous woman of the 40's.  I always remember it being on her dresser or bedside.  It was so beautiful and elegant.  One time I told her how much I loved it and she said I could have it when she was gone and put my name on the bottom.  When she died, my aunt saw my name on it and was a little bummed because I guess she always loved it too.    She wasn't the one who said anything to me anyway, it was my mom who let it slip to probably feel me out to see how much I actually wanted it, which was a lot.  My aunt has two rambunctious dogs and I knew it had the potential to get knocked over there so I felt like it would be safer at our place anyway.  

When it was handed over and I put it up in the bedroom, I had this weird vibe from it.  It was like it had seen some stuff with her disease and the year after she died.  I didn't get the warm fuzzies I used to get from seeing it in Grandma's home and it didn't feel like mine yet.  I slept on it for a night or two and went to the Mr crying and said I didn't think I should have it yet.  I got a strong feeling my Grandma wanted my aunt to have it as she has been taking on a lot having to do with Grandma's ungrateful husband, getting their condo ready to sell as well as dealing with the catfisher he was involved with.  I asked her to stop by because I had something for her.  I thought she was coming the next day but she came a day early even though she'd be in the same area the next day.  I slipped her a card explaining to her that I was giving her the sculpture and all I asked is she keep the note Grandma put on the bottom on it and that her kids know that when it's her time, I get it back.   She said "really?" through tears and gladly accepted the well padded box with the treasure inside.  I felt good about it and I got confirmation Grandma was happy too.  I admit, I do kind of wish I had tried it out on the nightstand in case it was just the height that was off for me but I took a ton of pictures of it.  I hope she keeps it safe and I look forward to visiting it on occasion when this crap show is over.  Until then, I hope she gets only good vibes from it and the comfort and love of her mom and the memories she has of it too.

What did you do this weekend?

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Friday, April 16, 2021

What I'm Reading This Week #16

It is FINALLY Friday!  Did you have a good week?  How's the weather by you- rainy, sunny, hot, cool?
There have been more days higher than I'd like but I'll revel in this time of year before flop sweat season.  The week has gone fast and slow much to our chagrin but the weekend is finally upon us and we are so down!

Guess who forgot to take dinner pics this week?

Anyhoo, let's get to...

How to Time Your Workouts Around Your COVID-19 Vaccination  (Good info to know if you haven't gotten yours yet!)

Break a Sweat With 17 Quiet, Bodyweight Cardio Moves That Won't Annoy Your Neighbors  (Um, if you're doing mountain climbers and plank jacks, you're annoying your neighbors which is why I'm doing this asap!  The rest are quiet though.)

Zoodle Stir Fry (This looks soo good!)

Honeycrisp Apple Broccoli Salad  (OMG, this sounds amazing!  I think I know what I'm making for cookout season!  I'd probably leave out the pasta though and cut back on the raisins and mayo)

What You Need to know About Cleaning the Vulva, According to an Ob-Gyn  (Man, those of us who grew up watching a woman skipping through a field after her douche sure feel jipped right about now.)

If anyone has any good products that remove pollen from concrete, give a shout.  That's the one thing we have constant struggles with this time of year is the pollen and I don't know maybe it's not pollen but it's green and it's in the grout of our patio stones.  Last year we had covered the patio with a canvas tarp hoping to thwart it and it did nothing.  It's not a job I relish doing but if we get the motivation, might tackle soon.

Any thrilling plans on your end?

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Wednesday, April 14, 2021

Hump Day Survey

Time to get over the hump and slide down to the weekend.  Here's your weekly boredom buster!

What social stigma does society need to get over?  Couples who choose not to have children.

What’s something you really resent paying for?  Feminine products.  I don't CHOOSE to have a period.  We need to get with other countries and start providing pads and tampons for free.  (Definitely not tax them!)

What movie can you watch over and over without ever getting tired of?  Stayin' Alive.  I don't care who judges me.  ๐Ÿ˜‹

When you are old, what do you think children will ask you to tell stories about?  What life was like before the internet.  (Blissful)

What inanimate object would be the most annoying if it played loud upbeat music while being used?  Enema

What animal would be cutest if scaled down to the size of a cat?  Elephant

What’s the most epic way you’ve seen someone quit or be fired?  That Jetblue flight attendant who had enough, grabbed a beer and deployed the slide on the tarmac and was like "tappin' out bitches!"

What actors or actresses play the same character in almost every movie or show they do?  I don't think he can help it, Jeff Goldblum.  There are just some people who bring themselves into everything they do.

In the past people were buried with the items they would need in the afterlife, what would you want buried with you so you could use it in the afterlife?  Toilet paper, toothbrush and water.

What hobby do you think would be a lot of fun to get into?  Kiteboarding.  (In a private spot where only the Mr could watch me.)

What pets did you have growing up?  Mostly dogs but I had a bunny before Mother Nature fried her in her cage with lightning and a kitten for 6 weeks before the divorce.

What was the scariest movie you’ve seen? Recently?  Girl House.  The rage that dude had was frightening.

What’s the best location to fully enjoy a good cup of coffee/tea?  Harney and Sons tea house in Millerton, NY

What weird thing do you have nostalgia for?  ORIGINAL Pizza Hut pizza.  Pillowy crust and cheese, zesty sauce.  Tastes like it was made with actual care instead of whatever they use now.  The Mr and I will wax nostalgic on that until we practically cry.  

How handy are you when it comes to fixing things?  Somewhat but I know when something is over my head and we should call someone.

Your turn!  Pick a few or all questions and answer in the comments!

What social stigma does society need to get over?
What’s something you really resent paying for?
What movie can you watch over and over without ever getting tired of?
When you are old, what do you think children will ask you to tell stories about?
What inanimate object would be the most annoying if it played loud upbeat music while being used?
What animal would be cutest if scaled down to the size of a cat?
What’s the most epic way you’ve seen someone quit or be fired?
What actors or actresses play the same character in almost every movie or show they do?
In the past people were buried with the items they would need in the afterlife, what would you want buried with you so you could use it in the afterlife?
What hobby would you be a lot of fun to get into?
What pets did you have growing up?
What was the scariest movie you’ve seen?
What’s the best location to fully enjoy a good cup of coffee?
What weird thing do you have nostalgia for?
How handy are you when it comes to fixing things?

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Tuesday, April 13, 2021

My Stint with Cabbage Soup and Did Any Weight Stay Off?

You all know how I feel about having gotten to the point that I even agreed to do this diet despite the success the Mr had with it 30 years ago.  I will start this off by saying I am reporting my own experience with doing this diet mainly because I'd always brushed it off when the Mr would bring it up when he was frustrated.  I was equally, if not more frustrated, when he brought it up at the point he did and I caved.  I am not condoning, supporting or suggesting this diet for anyone.  I am not a doctor and if you choose to do it, you're doing it at your own risk and need to consult your doctor before undergoing such a radically low calorie diet.

Plenty of nutritionists/doctors will say this isn't the way to get any weight off and sustain that loss.  Because of that, I did tweak it slightly to make sure we got our nutrients in, which surprisingly wasn't too hard.  We always take supplements only for the vitamins that we are chronically low on despite eating a varied diet with fruits, veggies, grains, etc.  I tracked in Cronometer so I could see what we were getting and what needed supplemented.  Even though the rule is "eat as much as you want of the soup/veggies" or whatever on your allotted day, it all still has calories.  So if you're slamming down 6 bowls of soup a day and all you can eat anything, I'd be right back at what my original calories intake was anyway.

(Double double, you're in trouble. No turning back when the cauldron bubbles)

I noticed on the days that there was no meat allowed that iron was going to be dangerously low (not that I ever excel at that nutrient anyway but worse than normal.)  I got the lowest amount of iron pills I could find then cut those in half and supplemented on the days I needed it.  I also wanted to allow for a bit of a brain equalizer because we were still doing light strength workouts (30 minutes tops) to maintain our muscle.  We could have a hard boiled egg and 15g of walnuts before and after a workout on non-meat days.  I'm not fooling myself, it didn't make this any healthier but I wasn't willing to take the kind of liberties I saw other people do and 15g of walnuts do wonders to bring you out of some side effects.  I wasn't willing to cheat on it like I saw some people were like "I had a muffin and some ice cream but I still lost weight."  I'm either doing this or I'm not.  I think an egg and walnuts to replace 75% of what I burned doing a workout isn't a sin in comparison.  I feel like anyone doing this would be doing a major disservice by not taking a multi-vitamin if they're not tracking.  This diet isn't to be done for more than a week.  You can seriously screw yourself up if you do and we had side effects which I'll discuss later.

Here's the recipe I followed which also gives you an outline of the diet in her post.  The tweaks I made were I used low sodium chicken bone broth to amp up the protein (not that it helped much) and used red onion instead of yellow and yellow/red peppers instead of green.  The idea is you can eat the soup and whatever your specified food combo is for that day.  

(I doubled the recipe and this is what two batches looks like.)

Let's get to it.

Day one: Soup and fruit day.

(not pictured: 1 egg, 15g walnuts)

Cosmic crisp apple for breakfast and tea.  Lunch: 1 ½ ladles soup, 3 oz grapes, 1 kiwi, 3 oz strawberries.  Right before going down to workout, I got lightheaded.  We had 15g of walnuts.   Dinner was soup, 5 oz watermelon and 5 oz of cantaloupe then had a clementine for a snack around 9:30pm when the edginess started.  It was actually pretty easy.

Nutrients for the day with supplements:


As you can see, iron was really low as I hadn't gotten supplement yet but everything else looked good.

Day two:  Soup and (non-starchy) Veggie day.  (This one SUCKED and made me very pissy!  Correction: Pissier than usual.)  

(not pictured: 1 egg, 15g walnuts)

Garlic green beans and tea for breakfast.  Lunch was 3 oz carrots, 6 oz roasted broccoli, tea and soup which I didn’t season and regretted it.  It needs meat.  Or cheese.  Or ham.  Huh?  What?   Dinner was soup and a 13oz russet baked potato (that thing didn't look bigger than 8 oz tops!) with a 1 tbsp of butter which I'm pretty sure I made love to and my brain was happy for some actual energy.  They give you the potato because they know otherwise this is the day you will say 'screw this.'



As you can see, iron was a little higher due to that potato which gave me 21% of my iron for the day. (Supplement hadn't arrived yet)

Day 3:  Soup and Veggie/Fruit day

(not pictured: 1 egg, 15g walnuts)

Breakfast was a cosmic apple and tea which tasted amazing and I was full after half an apple.  (But I still ate that mofo!  Glad I did too because I was starving by lunch)  Lunch was soup, 3 oz carrots, 3 oz strawberries, 5 oz cantaloupe and 3 oz grapes.  Dinner was swill in a bowl, 10 oz roasted asparagus and lemon juice and 6 oz of green beans with garlic and sprinkle of nutritional yeast (1g).


Got the iron supplement but didn't feel I needed it.

Day 4:  Soup and Banana/Skim Milk day.  

(not pictured: 1 egg, 15g walnuts)

I really looked forward to this day but honestly, it was not great.  I would say this is as hard if not harder than day two.  Breakfast was a 5 oz banana and raspberry yogurt which we saw quite a few people were allowing that day in updated versions.  We thought one yogurt wasn't going to spin the Earth off of its axis.  Lunch was soup, a banana and 8 oz of skim milk and dinner was the same with walnuts thrown in beforehand and an egg later for good measure.  I did take half an iron supplement (50% requirement) since it would've been low otherwise.


Day 5: 10 to 20 ounces of beef or skinless chicken/soup day.  

(I didn't figure you needed to see a bowl of swill with the burger by now.)

It was a gift from the coincidence gods that this fell on our normal high cal day and also the kitchen delivery day that they botched so hard I was ready to slam my face into a Reese egg in the basement.  We don't eat breakfast on Saturday's anyway unless one of us has a headache so lunch was 8 oz of 85% beef wrapped in iceberg lettuce for a bun and soup.  Dinner was a 10 oz chicken breast with some salt free hot seasoning and watermelon/cantaloupe.  We're not a tomato household so that didn't apply but since we had a potential of 420 calories of tomatoes we weren't eating, we skipped the soup for dinner and had 12 oz of watermelon and cantaloupe.  (Gasp!!  FRUIT!  But it's mostly water and a fruit like a tomato just with a wee bit o' natural sugar, so I'm not going to clutch my pearls over it especially since we're saving just over 300 calories on the tomatoes.)


Day 6:  "All the beef or chicken and vegetables you want"/soup day.  

(Not pictured: 15g walnuts)

Obviously, I'm not going to go this far just to bomb it with meat sweats and eat a hog on a spit because a typed piece of paper circulating from the 60's told me I could.  We did a salt free fiesta lime 8 oz. chicken breast over brussels sprouts and a salad with a squeeze of lemon juice.  Snack in between was a bowl of soup.  Dinner was a 6 oz steak on cauliflower rice with steamed broccoli and a ladle of soup.  Both meals kept us super full the whole day on just over 800 calories.  


Day 7: Brown rice (or quinoa), unsweetened fruit juices, and vegetables/soup day (aka- thank you Jesus, it's the last day!")  

We don't do fruit juices so we didn't have any of those.  Man, I really had to choke down the 1/4 cup quinoa for breakfast since I couldn't add milk or anything to give it a bit of sweetness since the ginger and pumpkin pie spice didn't help much.  (Pumpkin is starchy so couldn't use that.)  I wasn't in the mood for savory quinoa either so it was two bites with a hot tea chaser.  Repeat.  Lunch was a ladle and half of soup, 1/2 cup (cooked) quinoa which I put in the soup, 1/2 bag of roasted broccoli, and 2 oz carrots.  Dinner was the last of the soup with 1/2 cup of brown rice and brussels sprouts with garlic.  I thought I was going to yarf.  I really reached the end of my tolerance with the soup and we both gleefully poured the leftovers in the disposal.


Here's our summary of our experience.

Side effects:  

Day one: about an hour after lunch and my body realized what was up, I got lightheaded.  I had my 15g of walnuts which helped about 15 minutes later then the egg after our workout which helped keep me even the rest of the night.  I didn't experience any gastro distress because it's not too far off from what I normally eat (sans soup) but the Mr was peeing like a racehorse.

Day two:  On cue, about an hour after lunch, I got lightheaded and brain foggy.  Concentration was a little hard which I didn't like at all.  I literally looked at the remote and didn't know how to use it for a solid 20 seconds.  My brain tingled.  I can't describe it any other way and the Mr experienced the same the next two days.  That is a screwed up feeling.

Day three:  Cravings for meat or any kind of food with substance kicked in.  (This was likely because as I was checking emails, things popped up like a Chinese restaurant (which I rarely crave) and a meatloaf sandwich from a restaurant I know screws it up every time.)  Thankfully that didn't last all day and I only got mildly dizzy after our workout (light band workout) and ate an egg and it went away after dinner.  Today is the day the Mr's brain fog kicked in though.

Day four:  Pretty rough on the lightheaded front.  I woke up feeling great and was looking forward to some variety with the bananas but it didn't help much.  Both of us felt like crap when we'd get up from the couch.  We knew this is the last truly depriving day before starting to add back in something that would actually not screw us up from being too low.  I felt better after lunch on the dizzy side but then a little cramping kicked in after having a banana for a snack after lunch (3rd banana of the day.)  I didn't feel like I could exercise this day so we skipped.  (You're not really supposed to anyway)  What I also didn't like was since this was the highest calorie day thusfar, I really felt like I "should" exercise which was exactly the numbers obsession I was not looking forward to but knew would happen before starting it. 

Day five:  This was botched delivery day so I'm sure my anger at their ineptitude was heightened by no food since everything was in coolers.  This was the first day neither of us had side effects after eating though.  Score!

Day six:  No side effects today at all.  

Day seven:  Pure joy that it's almost over!  It wasn't too bad overall but I was surprised this day was as hard as it was.  I did get some shakiness in the evening.


There were a few things I expected but didn't materialize.

What I was surprised by is the main side effect everyone who has done it said would happen never did.


I actually farted LESS than I usually do.  Most people have the gas because they're not used to fruits and veggies but I eat those every day.  So actually, that was a weird bonus.  On the down side, I expected to crap like I was being paid (like the Mr was most days) but nope, same horrid BM schedule which was 3x week.  (I don't have an issue, it's just my system.  Always has been.)

I also thought that I would be dry heaving to get that soup down but I think the fact I made the version with bone broth and not the sodium bomb version with dry onion soup and tomato juice went a long way in that department.  Don't get me wrong, I wasn't craving it but the fact I wasn't holding my nose and swallowing it without chewing was surprising.

I was surprised at the energy I would initially wake up with which was a plus but it was very short lived and within an hour or two the lightheadedness would set in so I enjoyed it while I could.

Our joints felt better almost immediately which was unexpected.  

I was surprised I didn't wake up hungry.  I ate at my normal time which is late, 10:30-11am on the days I ate breakfast.

Some undies I ordered 6 months ago that always fit weird and were relegated to the "someday drawer", fit by day 3.  I consider it a win because they still fit a month later.

The morning after the final day (Tuesday) we both weighed in.  Here are our totals.

March 23rd

The Mr:  -12 lbs
Me: -8 lbs

His reaction:  

When I weighed in and saw that I had lost 12 pounds total I was happy but I have to admit a little disappointed that it wasn't something more eye-dropping like when I did the diet 30 years ago and lost (if memory serves) 21 pounds. I was hoping to see 15 or so at least but again, 12 pounds is nothing to sneeze at either. The interesting thing for me is that I now have more insight into how starving myself compares to how I was eating before the diet. I was eating the right foods and had just started doing a little better about tracking before this but now it has motivated me to track even more accurately and weigh ALL the food as I prepare it, not just eyeballing it. I hope to keep that up as it will be an added benefit, for me personally, from doing the diet and in a weird way that makes it just as worth it to me as the weight I lost on the diet. I know a lot of detractors say fad diets don't teach you anything but I do believe it reminded me of some of the extra attention I was no longer giving my day to day lifestyle eating before. I do recall gaining similar insight 30 years ago when I did it and that insight is what helped me lose more and keep it off until I basically just stopped about a year and a half later.

My reaction:

I'd be lying if I said I was less than pleased with those results given the claims of practically 'guaranteed 10 lb loss' and you figure with exercising in there to maintain muscle (even though it was minimal) that it should be more than than.  (I was also seriously regretting doing our hardest strength workout the night before weigh in because I was sore where I wasn't with any of the other workouts so I know there was inflammation that likely kept me 3 oz from being in the next set of numbers down.)  So yeah, wasn't a totally happy camper with my results commiserate to the amount of sacrifice and screwed up side effects I was having for a few days.  I was, however, grateful for the looser legs, slightly decreased gut girth (lost an inch).  I think I was also back down to pre-Vermont weight.  Don't get me wrong, I'm happy for the loss that would've easily taken me 2-3 months to get off given past history but that is assuming it stays off.


We went back to our typical eating and full on exercise habits for the week.  (1500-1600 cals for me/1800-1900 for him)  I was interested to see if weight would immediately come back on as the calories increased by a 300-600 or not since everyone always says "it's water weight".

March 27th ( Usual Saturday weigh in after 4 days of our typical food)

The Mr: +1
Me: +1/2

I know I should be happy with that but I wasn't.  I kept my calorie intake over the next four days 1425-1525 calories.  My calorie allotment for the day to lose 2 lbs on paper is 1535 before exercise.  Plus there was exercise in there between 300-400 per day.  Nothing crazy or slamming to the joints that should've produced any major inflammation either.  This is where some people are giggling.  "See, fad diets don't work." ๐Ÿ˜ Anyhoo.   

I also know that with burning off 400 from 1450 average, that means I'm netting 1050 calories which is way below what is acceptable.  I also didn't want to overwhelm my body coming off of 800-1100 calories per day so that'll be adjusted the following week and we'll see if that really blows sh*t up for the worse

The Mr was also disappointed there was a small gain after only 4 days but feels, at this point, that it did help him more than he was able to do on his own before.  That remains to be seen.

One of the first big tests would be a full week of our "normal" way of eating.  We did a high cal day with a 3000 calorie cap the first Saturday off the diet.  That is under a pound gain on paper and before anyone recoils in horror at that number, here's an example of how easy it is to reach it.  Let's say you skip breakfast since you know you're having a bigger lunch.  If you get McDonald's medium quarter pounder value meal with drink and a few ketchups for your fries, you're at 1150 calories.  For dinner, you split half a small pepperoni pizza from a place like Papa John's and a 12 oz soda.  1050 calories.  Then if you satisfy your sweet tooth with one cupcake from a chain cupcake shop that you work on throughout the day for 800 calories.  These are for mediums and smalls which are not what many people get so you can see how easy it is to hit that 3000 calorie cap.  (This isn't what we had, just an example.)  If you're eating at a sit down restaurant, your burger alone is 1000+ calories and the fries are 600+.   But we wanted to see what it would do, so we did that then went back to our normal healthy eating throughout the week.

April 3rd

The Mr: stayed the same
Me: stayed the same

11 days after going off of it, we did not gain any significant amount of weight back and that was with a high cal day involved.  In the full week after going off of it, my calories were 1700-1775 all week, 64 oz of pure water (which you guys know how hard that is for me) plus tea, and exercise every day with calorie burns between 300 - 450 most days and 600 one day.  He calorie cycled between 1800-2200.

April 10th

For me the following week would be the REAL proof in the pudding to either declare cabbage soup a total waste of time or not.  Easter was involved.  One thing we (I) go completely overboard on are Easter baskets and we already had our stuff bought well before the thought of the diet was put into my head so I thought that would be the true test because with ham and all of the sodium laden traditional food and the basket, we're usually an easy 1-2 lb gain and that's without having come off a fad diet.  Here are what I consider our "final final" results.

The Mr:  +1 (which is exactly what he would've likely gained in the past or actually a pound less)
Me: -4  (It was period week which always nets me sometimes my only loss for the month but yeah.)

He calorie cycled and thinks maybe 2200 might be too high so he'll cut his back to 2000 next week.  I think the fact that he didn't gain like 5 lbs means that the weight lost from cabbage soup is actually going to stay off since we're obviously not doing Easter every weekend.  (We even got out and walked a few laps for 600 calorie burn on the high cal day and we usually don't workout that day.)

I drank my water, poo'd like a champ (but I am on antibiotics so who knows) and my calories were between 1500-1700.  Workouts were butt kickers on strength days and pretty low key cardio like walking or a shorter modified Beachbody workout.  Four pound losses never stick around for me so it'll be interesting to see if that stays or not.  I almost always gain a pound back but hopefully my body will throw me a bone.

So.  There you go.

You may be asking yourselves...

I would not be totally against it, particularly if we're coming off of a vacation and the scale was done gifting our sodium weight loss and was stuck for a few weeks after getting back to normal.  I certainly wouldn't look forward to it but I would at least know that I need to have more non-starchy veggies for the second day to be able to make it through.  I would also need to make sure we hand picked the bananas for banana day because the jerk who picked ours basically gave us ripe ones to begin with so then they were 4 days overripe by the time we got to them. (I actually had to throw one bunch away.)   So yes, while it's not healthy, I think maybe doing it once a year if we feel like we need to as long as we supplement and plan better instead of ordering random crap during a crying jag is acceptable.  (But that isn't the goal and I don't plan on it because I don't want to screw up my metabolism.)  I would likely take the higher cal days on the diet and tweak those to fit in and maybe calorie cycle before going back to this.  At this point, I just wanted to try it once because I've heard about it from the Mr for 30 years now and wanted to be able to bash it with authoritah.  Right now if you told me I had to do it starting tomorrow, this about sums it up.


I will say this, it did inspire me to work in a lot more vegetarian meals into our diet and look up a lot of volume eating recipes.  If nothing else, I have to say it has given us a renewed sense of enthusiasm and inspiration to get out of our typical food rut.  We already have some new favorite vegetarian recipes we've made more over their meat counterparts.

What about him?

Right now I feel like it was worth doing because it did give me the boost I needed to get out of what has felt like a long pandemic plateau. It really boosts your willpower seeing results like that even if it is also a major drain on your willpower to make it through. I also find that it puts everything in perspective again too, in a way. What I mean by that is when you are eating healthy but have cravings for things it is easy to talk yourself into extra calories here and there and those add up. But when you go through a day like day 2 on this diet where you find yourself eating green beans for breakfast instead of perfectly good breakfast foods in your fridge then you know you can avoid any craving if you keep the right mindset. It also forced me to eat slower because you cannot eat that soup fast along with most other things.  

I will say that the adjustments the Mrs. made to the soup made it way more palatable every time I ate it than it ever was when I did this before. The chicken broth alone is a huge improvement. Also, adding in the walnuts and egg option helped a ton with side effects and I believe helps protect from muscle loss as well as the strength training we did. 

But would I do it again? Honestly I feel like I never want to do it again now that it is done but given the results, I feel like it could help in the future after a vacation or another plateau potentially so I won't say I never will do it again. I am just so relieved it is over now and want to relish in the fact that it is done.

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