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AMBERBREEZE's Recent Blog Entries

Chia Seed Popsicles and Low Carb Cheesecake Muffins

Sunday, July 06, 2014

So I made a few low carb snacks for the week ahead for my fiance and I to eat. One was chia seed popsicles. You just use any liquid you find refreshing- tea, juice, flavored water (natural or artificial) etc... and add some chia seeds and freeze in popsicle molds. You can have iced tea chia pops, or even iced coffee ones, or even some lemonade one with fresh lemon juice, steiva and chia seeds. They make a nice treat and an easy way to get chia seeds into your diet.

The next thing I made was low carb cheesecake muffins. These are great hot from the oven, but also taste great cold the next day out of the fridge. I have added berries or cocoa powder to them when I have made them in the past. These were just the standard version. You can find the recipe here: www.apinchofhealth.com/forum/vbb/sho
wthread.php?5632-Low-Carb-Cream-Cheese
-Muffins-%28Cheesecakes%29
. I used vanilla flavored stevia in my version, and one egg, one pack of cream cheese and cinnamon to taste. It made 8 muffins.

LC Cheesecake muffin ingredients- but only 1 egg... not 6!


Cream cheese & egg mixed first, then I add the stevia & cinnamon and mix again


Into the muffin cups, boy do they look yummy!


Fresh out of the oven


The house smelled wonderful as they cooked and they tasted great too. I stuck the rest in container in fridge for enjoying later in the week. They are quick & easy to make. As I said you can add berries, cocoa powder, flavorings or even nuts to give yourself some variety. Anyways I want to wish everyone a wonderful week. Stay focused and stay on track because we are all worth it.
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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KITT52 7/7/2014 3:08PM

    looks good
where do you find vanilla stevia??

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WOUBBIE 7/7/2014 12:23PM

    Great looking food! It makes it so much easier to stick to a plan when it tastes divine!!!

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SMITHKRISTI 7/7/2014 9:09AM

    I have made them before and they are terrific!!
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TWESTEN1 7/7/2014 6:39AM

    Those muffins look amazing... I think I'll be making a batch when I get home from work tonight :) Thanks!

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JAMBABY0 7/6/2014 9:19PM

    good for you and thanks for sharing

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Update

Wednesday, July 02, 2014

Yesterday we went in for the results of the lymph node biopsy- the cancer has spread. The doctor spouted off survival rates at 5 & 10 years, said they could operate later this month and remove more nodes. My fiance's last surgery was rough and he had breathing issues, so they want to do a full respiratory work up & some other thing about his heart. They will be contacting us later with appointments.

I cry, I stop, I cry again. Each step they told us it was small chance. Small chance the first one was cancer, it was. Even smaller chance the second one was cancer, it was. Very small chance it had spread to a lymph node, but they would take out a few and biopsy them. And now we find it has spread. He will be in the hospital for week, have a drainage tube for 6 weeks. The doctor is worried about the surgery, but the survival rate without removal of the rest of the nodes in the area is 40% at 10 years. 60% survival at 10 years with the removal. I don't know what to say or type. So now we have to go back to all these appointments, consults, labs etc... to give him the best chance at pulling through surgery and then recovering. The hospital called in a cancer counselor and patient advocate. She was really nice and gave us some booklets to read. She will talk us through everything, be there for support and questions. Even after the operation, she provides support and counseling for us. I am just focusing on him getting through the surgery. I want more time with him. My heart wants to shatter in so many pieces, but we have to go on. We have to prep things here. He wants to move and be closer to his family so they can help as things progress. So while he rests up (he just got the stitches out from his last operation), the rest of us will be trying to pack things up.

I want to give a warning to any of you reading, LOSE WEIGHT. One of the biggest issues of this surgery is because he is so overweight. The doctor tried to tip toe around it, "Well, because he is such a big guy..." I came out and said we knew we were morbidly obese, tell us what is wrong. So he said on a normal weight person, there was less risk of infection and other complications, mainly because the incisions, tissue removed, fluids involved were much smaller than in an obese person. So yes, this operation would be a lot less risky if my fiance weighed less. I realize I am in the same boat. Any operation on me would be as complicated and difficult at my weight. Besides illness, accidents can also mean surgery. If I want the best chance of pulling through any surgery, I need to lose weight too. My fiance has thrown sugar out of the house. Cancer feeds on that. He hates salad and green veggies, but he said he wants to be here as long as he can and if that means eating salads, he would. In the back of our minds is the question are we too late? We don't know, but we have to try.

I don't know what the future holds, none of us ever do. I do know I need to really not make matters worse by gaining more weight. I will try to log into Sparkpeople everyday. I may not post or blog everyday, but I will do my best to stay on track health wise. I will try to respond to comments and posts when able. The next weeks are going to be busy and full of stress. I gladly accept prayers & warm thoughts for my fiance to pull through the surgery without complications. I deeply appreciate all the support, encouragement, prayers, warm wishes and thoughts, thank all of you that give them. This is all just hitting us hard, and maybe after a few days we will feel less shock and more focus on getting all of us healthier and ready for his operation. It isn't all doom and gloom. The surgery can go smoothly, no complications and be a success. We might have many happy years ahead of us together. I want that, and now we have to try our best to make that happen.
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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

EDDYMEESE 7/9/2014 10:27AM

    I am so sorry to hear this update :( So much changes and advances through the years and I hope that something more will be done for him. I can't even imagine and everything I want to say to you just sounds so stupid. So all I can do now is send you a massive virtual hug...
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SIMPLELIFE4REAL 7/8/2014 7:10PM

    Amber, I just happened across your blog. As someone who has been dealing with breast cancer the past 9 months, I'm all too familar with the roller coaster of emotions that go along with cancer. I don't know if your fiance has had his surgery yet, but I wish him the very best.

I completely changed my eating habits after getting diagnosed and lost a lot of weight without trying. I agree about getting rid of sugar. It was the first thing I did. I have also gotten rid of all processed foods. What a huge difference those two steps make!

Cancer is a huge motivator for changing eating habits!

I sometimes joke that the day I eat ice cream is the day I give up. Whenever I think about eating something like a candy bar, I just remember the nightmare of fear that overtook me when I first found out I had cancer ....I don't want to go through all that again or any more chemo, surgery or radiation. It's all doable, but for me, it would mean that my cancer is back. I'm doing everything I humanly can to keep that at bay.

I hope you both are able to make the eating changes that you need to move forward to a healthier life. It is so worth it!

Hugs,
Kay

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1MORNINGWALKER 7/2/2014 7:25PM

    So sorry emoticon

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MAUITN 7/2/2014 7:16PM

    I am so sorry that this struggle is upon you. I will add you both to my prayers for healing, comfort, and strength!

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WOUBBIE 7/2/2014 6:59PM

    Oh, sweetie! Cry when you need to!

(((hugs)))

Trust In your good angels to see you both through this.

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Eat as "clean" as you both can, not just for the weight loss, or to outwit the cancer. but to feel great and to make the most of every single day both of you have. Make it both of your personal challenges to astound his doctors!!!

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Comment edited on: 7/2/2014 7:00:12 PM

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TWESTEN1 7/2/2014 6:18PM

    I'm sorry that you're both going through this right now. Sounds like it was quite a shocker and never good to hear cancer has spread. I will continue to pray for him & pray that the treatments work and give you both many more years together. Certainly a wake up call for all of us to take care of our bodies. Yes, we all screwed up by allowing ourselves to gain the weight, but we all have the chance to do something about it. I'm glad you're not planning on stress eating! Cry as much as you need to & let it clean out your body. Lean on God, your fiancÚ, family and friends for strength... not food. I wish I was close and could help you with packing & friendship. Well, the friendship will always be here & even though we're across the ocean, I am here for you. Hugs and prayers coming your way.

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EVRLNGFOO 7/2/2014 4:51PM

    you are both in my thoughts. emoticon

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JTREMBATH 7/2/2014 4:12PM

    emoticon My prayers and thoughts for you both.

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KITT52 7/2/2014 3:30PM

    emoticon

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SYNKYTTEN 7/2/2014 3:28PM

  I am so sorry to hear about your husband. I hope everything turns out ok. I can not even fathom the stress you are under right now.

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Woohoo for the weekend

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Although it has been a miserable and rainy Friday, I am so glad it is here. I feel like a lot of the stress of the past few months have caught up with me. I feel a good need to unwind. So, despite the dreary and stormy weather, I plan to read a book or two over the weekend and possibly watch a movie at home. I might even make some nice low carbed treats like peanut butter cups (with coconut oil) or pumpkin bake. Maybe even some nice mashed cauliflower as comfort food. This way I treat myself with things that don't make me feel bad later. I also plan to ask the others what they want to do to unwind this weekend. I would like to do something nice together with all of us. Maybe a nice dinner or lunch out. Maybe an indoor picnic, or even each of us chose a movie and have an afternoon movie marathon. Last weekend we were busy Saturday and just used Sunday to relax, but this weekend I think we should really enjoy the whole weekend.

Anyways, those are my hopes for the weekend. Next week my fiance should be getting the results of his node biopsy. Although the doctors are confident that it will most likely be negative, they were also so sure the second cancer was a benign growth. So we are apprehensive about it and it has us on edge. I admit I have been snappy this week, we all have. It is horrible to have it hanging over our heads, especially for him. I think that is why it is so important to relax and reconnect this weekend. Sometimes that can be as important as the work, chores, appointments and errands we do. So with that said, I hope each of you has a great weekend. Enjoy it, even if it might be too hot, too wet, too cold, too rainy, etc... do something for yourself and do something with your family or with your friends if family isn't near. But do your best to find some time to enjoy life. Remember that when we have long journeys, there are rest stops, layovers and other breaks. Weight loss and life are definitely quite the journey, so make sure you make some time to rest and enjoy also. We all deserve it.

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Lunch- chili lime chicken & salad

Have a wonderful weekend everyone!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

WOUBBIE 6/29/2014 11:54AM

    (((hugs))) Hope all goes well.

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KITT52 6/27/2014 8:04AM

    the chicken looks yummy

do your best

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EDDYMEESE 6/27/2014 12:13AM

    I'm so sorry you have so much stress on you - that is scary to wait for biopsy results :( I hope it all turns out well. Definitely pamper yourself this weekend. You deserve it :)

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1MORNINGWALKER 6/26/2014 11:26PM

    I too hope things turn out well, sure hope you get the needed relaxation for stress relief, big emoticon

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TWESTEN1 6/26/2014 9:57PM

    Sure hope he gets good results...glad the weekend will be a relaxing one for you all! It is important for us all to take time to relax and unwind - do enjoy!!

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Could less mean more?

Monday, June 23, 2014

Yesterday the NZ Herald had an interesting article about Brazil's latest proposed nutrition guidelines. Gone were the suggestions for servings, calories and specifics. No, Brazil has an idea for a more open and general set of guidelines. The focus is more on eating whole foods prepared at home. Enjoying meals with family and friends and in a good setting (I am guessing they mean at the table with family & friends as opposed to munching in cars, at desks, or on the couch). They also tell people to be aware of advertising gimmicks used by many manufactures to get you to buy their processed products. Again they are focusing on making your meals yourself, at home, with less processed food and enjoying your food with others. In other words, make eating pleasurable without having to feed yourself crap, or mindlessly eating while doing other things, like watching TV. I suggest you read the short article here:

www.nzherald.co.nz/lifestyle/news/ar
ticle.cfm?c_id=6&objectid=11279840
It also has the 10 proposed guidelines at the bottom of the page. While I have no problems using heart healthy fats & oils in and on my food, I know that some oils are not good for the heart. Also for those on calorie restricted diets, fats & oils pack quite the calorie punch. In general I think their proposed guidelines might be an improvement on the current ones most countries use. I will continue to use some pre-prepared sauces and seasonings when I am short on time, but I think on whole I like what they are suggesting. What do you think?

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

TWESTEN1 6/23/2014 6:42PM

    That is fabulous! The US won't change though b/c there's too much money in processed food ...sadly. Guess it's up to each family, but that's definitely the way to go :)

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KITT52 6/23/2014 3:11PM

    very interesting..thanks for sharing

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POSITIVEHOPE 6/23/2014 2:37PM

    Loved those guidelines. Growing up in the 1950's, this sounds like our family meals. Recipes didn't call for a can of this or a package of that. How refreshing.

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No, I haven't fallen off the edge of the Earth

Saturday, June 21, 2014

I know it may seem that way, but things have been flat out busy, crazy and stressful since April. As some of you may know, my fiance was diagnosed with 2 cancers. The first at the end of March, that was removed surgically without any issues. Then a second one was found that was deeper and more aggressive. That happened mid-April. Since then life has been various appointments, consults, lab tests, etc.. to get him ready for a bigger surgery this month and a lymph node biopsy to happen at the same time. Both procedures happened Tues. and he is recovering at home now. In the midst of all that our passports (not his) were due for renewal, and kids require a visit to the embassy so we had to get that all sorted.

Then my sisters ex-husband who she hadn't seen in 15 years, tried to break into her house last month. It made her a nervous wreck. Thankfully the police found he wasn't supposed to have left the state he lived in and he fled when he found out a warrant was issued for him. She is still nervous as he used to beat her. The whole family has been giving her emotional support while she deals with that. Between all the appointments and scheduling things here, then staying up to be able to talk to my family in the US as they dealt with their issues meant I was getting fractured sleep and quite stressed.

Despite all this, stayed mainly on track. We ate out a lot. I didn't binge though, which was great. Before I would have caved and eaten lots of junk food and felt worse physically for putting crap into my body. That isn't to say I didn't eat an occasional junk item. I ate a few snack size candy bars, I also every now and then had fries and once I had shake. I think allowing myself the occasional junk item kept me from binging on them. It also meant I didn't lose weight like I could have, but considering all that was going on, I did well and I did lose a few pounds during these past two months.

So, that brings me now. Now we have to wait a week and a half for the results of the biopsy. Hopefully it will be clean. But for now, life goes on. We are able to have more normal days now. Things will move more to our regular schedule. I might be a bit lazy a few days, just to let myself have a mental break but I plan to stay on track as much as possible. This morning we went to the fruit & veg market, then to the butchers. I really want to get back to having nice, nutritious food in our bodies. Hopefully I will now have the time and energy to get back to regular meal making. I will also try to get back into regular posting & checking in on my Spark Teammates and Friends. So I haven't fallen off the planet, I have just been dealing with life. Sometimes it can be like weathering a storm, but hopefully once that storm passes you find flowers booming, the skies clear and the sun shining brightly. I wish all my Sparkies clear skies and sunshine. Have a great weekend all.
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Fruit and Veg for the next few days

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

TWESTEN1 6/21/2014 8:41AM

    Oh my gosh - it has been crazy for you! Wow, I didn't realize there was still so much going on with your fiancÚ. I'm glad he got thru the surgeries well & will be praying for a clean bill of health & clean biopsy report. Let's hope they find your sister's ex soon too ... that must be a very stressful time for her. Ugh. However, I am glad that you've been taking care of yourself thru all of this too. Yep, an occasional treat is much better than a binge so kudos to you! I've been having an occasional treat too - and they're usually full of carbs & sugar so that is NOT good!!! I do a liquid day about once a week now - I actually enjoy it. But, if I want to lose weight again I need to stop the treats I've been having!!! Time to get back to very low carb and no sugar again. The knee is still bothering me and I've been letting it have the upper hand & I need to stop that too - have to get back on my advil regiment so I can continue my walks! Anyway, glad to hear from you & am definitely keeping your family in my prayers!!!

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KITT52 6/21/2014 4:59AM

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