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August 2009 posts

Focus 28 - Crispy Fudge & Graham Bar

Picture 3

I tried a new bar today from Focus28's offerings: The Crispy Fudge + Graham Bar.  (I was sorting through the selections we have in the cabinet from F28 - and Mr. was busy snagging all the choices HE wanted to bring to have at work.  I had to dig through and make sure he left the ones I really wanted to try, his reviews thus far have been, "That one is really good.  Let me see the box.")

F28 says:

"Our Crispy Fudge & Graham Bar has the old fashioned taste of graham crackers topped with sweet, silky fudge, just like a smores. For a quick and satisfying breakfast or a snack on the go, Crispy Bars are the perfect choice. They top the charts when it comes to great taste and innovative nutrition. Formulated with 15 grams of protein and only 160 calories, they make the perfect healthy snack anytime. Here is a perfect anytime snack for people controlling net carb intake. Focus 28 bars help subdue sweet cravings. They provide a balanced blend of slow and fast acting proteins for long lasting satisfaction."

Long lasting satisfaction.  I'll take it.  Now, I didn't catch any S'mores action, however, I never believe the descriptions on products anyway. ;)

This bar was GOOD. 

It's a protein crispy-nuggeted top (that's what I said, and I'm sticking to it) bar dipped in a chocolate coating, and I loved it.  The bar is crispy AND chewy, and quite sweet.  I'm a big proponent of sweet, and especially things that taste naughty, so this definitely hit MY sweet spot.  In fact, I would eat this instead of a more inappropriate choice, like a cookie, for less calories and more food with better nutrition.  (That isn't always the case.)

Soy Protein..........13g
Total Carbs..........18g
Available Carbs......12g
Saturated Fat.........3g
Trans Fat.............0g

I can haz moah?  Maybe, but I may have to fight the man off for these ones.

  • Product - Crispy Fudge & Graham Bar
  • Via - Focus28
  • Price - $9.99/box
  • Pros - 15 grams of protein and relatively decent carbs, tastes really good, like something I should not be having.
  • Cons - Tastes like something I should not be having.
  • Rating - Pouchworthy, MM.

Melissa Etheridge

Pretty much rocks.  That's about it. 


More later, I'm uploading and stuff.

Not my video, but it was a very nice tribute:

We went to the JFK Gardens first, where the flags were at half-staff for Ted Kennedy.


DJ AM Adam Goldstein, Dead at 36.

Th_384_f0940p Dj_am7
I know, it seems totally unrelated, but the one thing I remembered when I heard that DJ AM, Adam Goldstein was found dead, was that he had also had weight loss surgery. He also suffered from drug addiction before and after his weight loss.

People Magazine:

"Drugs became my identity," he said in 2005. "I would deejay until 2 a.m., go get drugs and stay up until 10 in the morning doing drugs alone in my apartment." During his early 20s, his weight reached 300 lbs.

A critical turning point in his life came in 1997, when Goldstein considered suicide. After a night of doing cocaine, Goldstein, 24 at the time, sat before a mirror and "could not move away from staring at myself," he said. He put a gun in his mouth and, sobbing, said, "God, please help me."

"I pulled the trigger, and it jammed," DJ AM said, recounting the story again at the TCAs last month. "And I remember sitting there thinking, 'You know, I can’t even kill myself.' " He said the next morning, a friend, who had managed to kick drugs, stopped to check in on him. "He said, 'Dude, you're coming with me. Let's go." And I just listened for once, and I went and I did everything he told me to do. That was 11 years ago."

After vowing to get off drugs and lose weight, Goldstein underwent gastric bypass surgery and dropped 115 lbs.


Adam Michael Goldstein (March 30, 1973 – August 28, 2009) was an American club disc jockey better known as DJ AM. Goldstein was a former member of the rock band Crazy Town, and scratched on albums for Papa Roach, Madonna, and Will Smith, among others. He collaborated with Travis Barker of Blink-182 at the 2008 MTV Video Music Awards, and has appeared in several television series. Goldstein's former fiancée was Nicole Richie.

On September 19, 2008, Goldstein was seriously injured when a Learjet he was traveling in crashed on takeoff. His ex-girlfriend, singer Mandy Moore, with whom he was still close, flew to be by his side at the Georgia hospital where he was staying.

He had battled a crack cocaine addiction and later had gastric bypass surgery. Goldstein was found dead at his New York City apartment at around 5:20 p.m. on Friday, August 28, 2009.

Who Says Americans Are Too Fat? Overselling the obesity epidemic isn't getting us anywhere. You can be big and healthy at the same time.

From Newsweek:

Who Says Americans Are Too Fat?

Overselling the obesity epidemic isn't getting us anywhere. You can be big and healthy at the same time.

Continue reading "Who Says Americans Are Too Fat? Overselling the obesity epidemic isn't getting us anywhere. You can be big and healthy at the same time. " »

Well, that was fun.

(A couple things - lined CROTCH?  Plus size or  'chubby'  is 10-16?  And, what is a gay clan plaid?  It sounds like a club.)

I swore yesterday was Saturday, all day long, because I have no concept of time, and I spent it out with my daughter getting her school schtuff and other erroneous activities, it felt like a weekend day. 

There were so many other parents and kids scouring the racks of JC Penney and Kohl's and making pigs of themselves.  (I think the messy shoppers only tick me off so much because it used to be ME following behind them refolding shirts, jeans, and spacing hangers.  Yes, at Lane Bryant five thousand years ago, we were asked to "space the hangers" on the racks, evenly.)  The messy shoppers unfold everything and fail to put it back, or pile 10-15 pieces in a dressing room, and leave them there, when we're out on the floor looking for That Size. 

And of course, shopping to find this child clothing, is near impossible anyway, and as she's asking "why doesn't anyone have a juniors plus section, there are so many big girls!"  I know you guys have given me good suggestions of online shops, and consignment shopping, she's still impossible.  She would like a piece here and there that is trendy enough, but not that she resembles a clown in the bright neons that have been popular.  It's beyond frustratng for her, I know it.  Two of her closest friends are overweight, and I can imagine they have a hard time shopping as well, and they wear very plain clothes, because, they fit.  We shop in the adult departments, because juniors' clothes make her want to gauge her eyes out.  Picking up a size 1 jean last night, she shows me,  "Who WEARS this stuff?"  Nobody I know, anyway.  She picks through the tee-shirts, all form-fitting and baby-tees, loves the designs, but she knows they're meant to be tight.

Again, why don't companies make the stuff to fit?  It's just reality - there are lots of overweight pre-teens and teens!  LOOK AROUND. 

Want a shock?  Go to Wal*Mart and look around.  No.  Really.  Look.  It's most obvious there.

For an example:

Look at the girls eye-ing the Miley Cyrus line that is out right now.  Super skinny zebra-prints, tight tee shirts and slick leggings.
It's not the girls that can fit into them.  You'd think a place like WM would take note of their clientele.  My daughter has blatantly said, "Don't think we're shopping there for clothes!"  But then she had to peek at the Miley line, and decided on the funky shoes, which she CAN fit into.


What's inside that Slim-Jim?  What's scary is, I know some post-WLS'ers live on this shit.

Slimjim beef&cheese

From Wired, who dared ask:

It's real meat, all right. But it ain't Kobe. The US Department of Agriculture categorizes beef into eight grades of quality. The bottom three—utility, cutter, and canner—are typically used in processed foods and come from older steers with partially ossified vertebrae, tougher tissue, and generally less reason to live. ConAgra wasn't exactly forthcoming on what's inside Slim Jim.

Mechanically separated chicken
Did you imagine a conveyor belt carrying live chickens into a giant machine, set to the classic cartoon theme "Powerhouse"? You're right! Well, maybe not about the music. Poultry scraps are pressed mechanically through a sieve that extrudes the meat as a bright pink paste and leaves the bones behind (most of the time).

Corn and wheat proteins
Slim Jim is made by ConAgra, and if there are two things ConAgra has a lot of, it's corn and wheat.

Lactic acid starter culture
Although ConAgra refers to Slim Jim as a meat stick (yum), it has a lot in common with old-fashioned fermented sausages like salami and pepperoni. They all use bacteria and sugar to produce lactic acid, which lowers the pH of the sausage to around 5.0, firming up the meat and hopefully killing all harmful bacteria.

Serves as food for the lactic acid starter culture. Slim Jim: It's alive!

Salt binds the water molecules in meat, leaving little H2O available for microbial activity—and thereby preventing spoilage. One Slim Jim gives you more than one-sixth of the sodium your body needs in a day.

Sodium nitrite
Cosmetically, this is added to sausage because it combines with myoglobin in animal muscle to keep it from turning gray. Antibiotically, it inhibits botulism. Toxicologically, 6 grams of the stuff—roughly the equivalent of 1,400 Slim Jims—can kill you. So go easy there, champ.

Hydrolyzed soy
Hydrolysis, in this instance, breaks larger soy protein molecules into their constituent amino acids, such as glutamic acid. Typically, the process also results in glutamic acid salt—also known as monosodium glutamate, a familiar flavor enhancer.

But I love those meat sticks you say, try Ostrim instead.

If the brain were so simple we could understand it, we would be so simple we couldn't.

School starts for the big kids next week, and last night I hit the middle school to grab paperwork and get the quick tour during the open house.  As it was, my daughter gave me the tour, she's already been in this school for a year.  Just getting in to the school it was a mad crush of little girls with neon colored knee socks and ponytails or the bangs over the eyes.  
They have their cell phones in hand, and they run to their friends.  I can't listen to preteens talk. They even txt talk.  " OH-EM-GEE!  Did you hear about my BFF and she's, like, totally..." 

My daughter is standing with me, she turns and says, "Yes, they're all like THAT."  Poor kid, she's never going to "fit in" -- but then again -- Mom and Dad didn't either.  And we didn't get into any trouble. (I am SHOCKED by the things I hear via Facebook about my high school years, I had NO idea anything was going on, aside from the various nasty rumours that spread that everybody knows that trickled down.  Sure it's everywhere, but there's a certain kind of ignorance if you're not in the know, you know?)

I must have aged at least ten years standing there, listening to 11-13 year olds and wanting to rip their eyeballs out.  I am now officially, if it wasn't official before, an Old Lady.  You can call me "Ma'am" at the store, like I said, it's official.  I may have been one of the youngest parents there with a nearly 12 year old child, even, but I wonder if that's part of the difference somehow.

I must have had a seizure with a lapse in judgment, because on the way out, I signed up to join the PTA.  I freaking joined the PTA?

OH WAIT, I did.

While we were upstairs just making rounds, my brain misfired and shut down.  I felt it coming actually, while we were on the way up, as I do many times, this is the issue that feels like it could be a hypoglycemic or low blood sugar event, but I can't get the brain-power to figure it OUT, so I just end up wandering for a minute or three, and then I find myself confused, with no memory of the event aside from the aura that occurred just before.  I definitely felt it coming, because I told my daughter that I needed to either get sugar or take a minute, but then I was cuckoo and clueless for a minute.

Seizures often begin with a brief aura (simple partial seizure) lasting seconds and then becomes a complex partial seizure. The type of aura is related to the site of cortical onset. Temporal-lobe seizures often begin with a rising abdominal sensation, fear, unreality, or déjà vu. Parietal-lobe seizures may begin with an electrical sensation, tingling, or numbness. Occipital-lobe seizures may begin with visual changes, such as the perception of colored lines, spots, or shapes or even a loss of vision.

Complex partial seizures of the temporal lobe often begin with a motionless stare followed by simple oral or motor automatisms. In contrast, frontal-lobe seizures often begin with vigorous motor automatisms or stereotyped clonic or tonic activity. Extratemporal-lobe seizures may spread quickly to the frontal lobe and produce motor behaviors similar to those associated with complex partial seizures of the frontal lobe. Tonic and dystonic arm posturing may occur in the arm contralateral to the seizure focus. Sustained head or eye turning contralateral to the seizure focus may occur immediately before or simultaneously with clonic or tonic activity elsewhere.

Complex partial seizures often last 30 seconds to 2 minutes. Longer seizures may occur, particularly when the seizures become generalized convulsions. Complex partial status epilepticus may also occur with prolonged episodes of waxing and waning of consciousness.

Before you freak (new readers) this is normal for me.  I have had these episodes on and off since 2005, it was one of the reasons I kept pushing to see a neurologist, I thought something broke in my brain. I have no diagnosis, it just happens, and hasn't been caught on EEG.  The medication kills the grand mal seizures but hasn't stopped ALL of these events.  And, I can't tell what's going on when it happens, I would venture to guess that at least 50% of them ARE low blood sugar, that hits fast, hard and leaves me stupid, because I have been pulled out of them with glucose before.  But, other times, it's just, not. 

Like the time I was in the Joslin Clinic, having several hour injected glucose test done, I was just sitting there, relaxing, and then, totally brain-dumb, I could not answer simple questions.  "Beth what are your children's names?"  "Um."  They tested immediately - 80 mg.  I live at 80 mg.  Not hypoglycemia!  I was not allowed to leave the testing until I got a ride home or signed into the ER.  I was too confused to understand, so I went home.  I didn't realize until LATER that the doctor had witness seizure activity, and she knew it, calling a neurologist in, I swore up and down that it was hypoglcemia, until she showed me the chart.

(It actually happened during my first visit to the Joslin as well, not as obvious, but still.  Makes me wonder about the connection between rise/fall of glucose and my BRAIN!)

So yeah, I'm used to it, but is it The SUCK!  You betcha.  No rhyme or reason, it's happened during vacuuming, watching TV, doing laundry, walking, writing a blog post, at the Apple Store (that was a fun one), at the school, etc, etc.  Luckily, I get a warning and since I "think" it's low sugar, I immediate seem to stop, head for a safe place and wait it out, even if I don't remember that part later, I do.

This post brought to you by the letter V...

…for Vitamins!

You know, I’ve never minded taking vitamins.  My stepmother used to set out a Vitamin C tablet for me every morning with my Flintstones when I was little.  In a household with two working parents, they couldn’t afford for my brother or me to be sick.

When I was on one of the Big-Name Diet Plans, I was taking a small handful of vitamins with every meal.  Calcium, Essential Fatty Acids, a Proprietary Mineral blend, and a daily Vitamin supplement, all two or three times daily.  The reasoning was that if one is consuming fewer than 1000 calories a day, then one needs to supplement vitamins, as one is not getting adequate vitamins from one’s food.  Good to know, huh?

I had heard from various sources that I’d be taking small mountains of vitamins after my Duodenal Switch in order to maintain my health.  I figured if I got to trade in prescriptions for vitamins, I’d come out ahead of the game.  You know what?  I totally did.

Here’s what that small mountain of vitamins looks like when I break it down into one week’s worth of doses:

Melting Mama 5 002

I’ve got Calcium Citrate (6 tablets daily), a multivitamin (one daily), Zinc (3 capsules daily), Vitamin A (one capsule 3-4 times a week), a Probiotic (3 capsules daily), Vitamin D (one capsule daily), and Vitamin K (one capsule daily).

I take the vitamins in the pink container at breakfast.  I toss the purple container in my lunchbag and take them at lunch.  The green container holds my bedtime vitamins.

All that’s left is to now wonder “is that it?!”  I mean, I was totally prepared to be making meals out of vitamins and all I’ve got is a few capsules to swallow before my meal?  That’s not even an hors d’œuvre for crying out loud!  But really, it’s not the number of pills that you take that you should look at – it’s the dosages.

I take some fairly high dosages of the fat-soluble vitamins, as those are the ones that DSers malabsorb the most: Vitamins A, D, E, and K.  Currently, I take 50,000 ius of Vitamin D; 10,000 ius of Vitamin A, and 1000 mg of Vitamin K.  I take more Zinc than the average DSer, too, because apparently, my body doesn’t care for Zinc and eliminates it quite quickly.  Sure, there are some DSers that are taking higher doses of these vitamins than I do.  There are also some DSers that require less than I do.  Really, with any surgery, your level of supplementation is going to vary with your individual body chemistry.  I have a very good friend who has an RNY and is very malabsorptive.  Had she had the DS, she may well have been consuming those small mountains of vitamins.  We’ll never know, happily.

However, with any malabsorptive surgery, be it the Duodenal Switch or the RNY, vitamin and mineral supplementation should be a top priority.  Tums and Flintstones are NOT adequate supplementation, and any bariatric practice that does not require further vitamin supplementation is ignorant at best and criminally negligent at worst.  Whew!  Glad I got that off my chest.  Who knew vitamins came with a soapbox?

As you can see, I’m passionate about those vitamins.  Did you take yours today?

Bariatric Advantage® Launches Highly Anticipated RECOVER® Program Through Obesity Action Coalition!

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"We are grateful that the Obesity Action Coalition has partnered with us to help bring a tremendous program, delivered during a historic time, to thousands of Americans that are suffering from the effects of obesity and that are ill and or in need", stated Thomas Kinder, President and C.E.O. of Bariatric Advantage.

The RECOVER® program is available through the Obesity Action Coalition website at obesityaction.org.  Click on the RECOVER logo on the home page to learn more or call 800.898.6888 and ask to speak to a RECOVER specialist.

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To increase obesity education, the OAC offers a wide variety of free educational resources on obesity, morbid obesity and childhood obesity, in addition to consequences and treatments of these conditions. The OAC also conducts a variety of advocacy efforts throughout the U.S. on both the National and state levels, and encourages individuals to become proactive advocates. Contact the OAC at (800)717-3117 or go to obesityaction.org.

Pure Protein Revolution

We were out and about today, I didn't bring anything with me to eat (typical) and I was hungry when I found myself in a convenience store WITH a Dunkin Donuts. I bought a Pure Protein Revolution bar instead of the croissants that might have called my name.

Continue reading "Pure Protein Revolution" »

Dad's on "vacation."


He's on vacation.  We hit the playground for our niece's birthday-day, she wanted "cupcakes at da playground," and it was ninetyhundred degrees there - so we stayed until the drinks ran out. 

Then off to do some super-fun school clothes shopping for my seven year old, who was thrilled that I picked her out the Sketchers light-up sneakers that want to give me a seizure.  

ETA:  I just emptied her room of all non-fitting clothes, filled another black trash bag, and she's down to bare minimums.  Whew.

So, how did I do today?  I'm low on calories, actually.  Even with the consumption of a Big Mac, minus the three bun bits and most of the sauce, I'm low.  I'm headed to bed, and I always eat something with my brain drugs, so I will be ending today at just about 1,000 calories, no exercise aside from some playground time, and walking in the heat to shop.  I'm pleased.