The end of another day of diverticulitis

Jul 9, 2011 by

It’s Saturday.  Day 10 or 11.

Still low energy. I’m hungry, but don’t want to eat anything because I feel full.

Diverticulitis sucks.  It sucks the energy out of your body.  It sucks time.  It sucks on your mind.

I want to be better.  I must be better.  I have so much more to do in my lifetime.

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A Stay In The Hospital–Daddy/Daughter Time

Jul 3, 2011 by

Not every hospital admission has to be a bad thing.  In what now is Day 3 of this adventure, which was caused by a flare up of diverticulitis, I remain hospitalized and my precious, eldest daughter, Chandler, remains at my side here in the Texas Regional Medical Center in Sunnyvale, Texas.

Who would have thought a bout with an affliction, that if had ruptured could have killed me, could have brought about one of the things she and I have been needing together–MORE TIME WITH EACH OTHER.

The typical modern-day dad often is fighting for opportunities to spend time with his kids.  After a series of acts of drama  my time with my kids over the past two years has been severely curtailed. I’ve had to completely change my way of living in order to get to the point where I am now.

I was admitted to this hospital Friday afternoon.  It’s now Sunday at 7 p.m. and the doctor was just in here at 4 p.m.  saying, “Maybe tomorrow you can begin to have a little more to eat.”  It’s been IVs and beef broth, jello and a pop-sickle for lunch and supper.  (The nurses also have been getting me chocolate pudding to snack on.)


And from the get go, Chandler, 14, soon to be 15, has been here by my side giving up some time with her friends, etc. on a historic weekend, and spend time here in the hospital with me.  Yes, she’s 14.  Did I mention she soon will be 15?

So many times she’s helped me by turning this on, and that off.  Through Facebook friends she was driven back to my place to pick up the Mac and a couple other items I’d not packed up in haste because when we left home Friday near mid-day, I sure didn’t anticipate being here three days later. Nor tomorrow’s fourth day.

But the true joy in all of this has been the opportunity to talk.

Friday night going into sun-up on Saturday morning, we just talked.

Time With Your Kids

From having seen Courageous last week in Dallas, (It opens in theaters Sept. 30,) it’s been reaffirmed to me of how little time we actually have with our children.  I didn’t ask Chandler to stay here at the hospital.  But I’m thankful to no end that she has. (Obviously I wish my twin daughters, 12, could have stayed, too, but that wouldn’t have worked here in the hospital.)

This afternoon Chandler’s “BF” has been here and they’ve been  visiting in the lobby.  About 6:30 she came up to check on me and tell me they’re about to walk down to the local Subway for dinner.  As they were injecting me with my latest dose of “pain management,” she was trying to decide if I was “high enough” to bring the boy in here to meet me.

What I have to talk to her about tonight is that I don’t want her to be thinking I needed to be on planet Pluto to introduce me to her friend.  Though what she also didn’t think about is that I might be souped up enough I might do the Martin Lawrence and Will Smith first date routine in Bad Boys II.  (He He!)

Okay, gotta stop.  You wouldn’t believe how hard this has been to write.  More later.

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DNA and Weight Loss

Jun 8, 2011 by

DISCLOSURE: Back in February, my client, Professional Nutrition Therapists of Dallas, under the careful attention of Carol Ireton-Jones and Donna Israel, conducted a DNA test on me to determine, based on my genetic makeup, what I have to do in order to lose weight.  This piece is going to reveal some very personal information about me, but I’m doing it so that those of you like me who have, as my friend Stacey E. R. Stakely of Montgomery  used to predict, have wound up with a tire around my waist can find some solid answers. (Ouch, that hurts.)  This post is designed to help you see, if you’re struggling with your weight, there are scientific answers and formulas that can be added to your lifestyle to hopefully turn things around.

My Weight Adventure Part Umpteen

On the 28th of February, Carol did a short DNA swab test of me.  She said it was going to check out my DNA, the fabric of life, and determine how my genetics and interactions with foods determined my weight. I took a stick with  some cotton on the end of it and wiped it around in my mouth for about 10 seconds.  We did two of them and then they were allowed to dry and put into a sterile bag for shipping.

In mid-March we received the information and sat down to talk about what I need to do.

The test was conducted through a system developed by Inherent Health, a CLIA-certified lab in Waltham, MA.

The Results 

Results present themselves in six categories based on genotype results and consumption and exercise required in order to burn fat in your body: 

  1. Carb Reducer-Moderate MET
  2. Fat Trimmer-High MET
  3. Fat Trimmer-Moderate MET
  4. Better Balancer-Moderate MET
  5. Better Balancer-High MET.

That’s only five.  Mine is a sixth–Carb Reducer-High MET.  Essentially, I have to cut my carbohydrates.  And, and this is a big and, I must have high-intensity workouts to make a difference.

This in part explains why I did so well with EA SPORTS Active the past two years.  It worked my butt off.

What I Need To Be Doing

In some ways it seems like common, clicheish sense.  Cut carbs. Whew.  Like I can turn on Dr. Phil, Oprah, and next year Catie Couric to figure that out.  Right?

Not so quick.

On page 5 of the report, there is a pie chart that shows if I want to lose weight, what the actual balance is for me when it comes to Carbs, Fat and Protein.  This formula isn’t the same for you necessarily unless you’re also a Carb Reducer-High MET.

According to my DNA test, my daily diet should be balanced this way:  45 percent carbs, 35 percent fat and 20 percent protein.

The report says that Carb Reducer-High METs are “prone to obesity and have difficulty with blood sugar regulation if their daily carbohydrate intake exceeds 49 percent of total calories.”   It goes on to say that carb reduction has been shown to optimize blood sugar regulation and reduce the risk of further weight gain.  If I keep high saturated and low monosaturated fats in my diet, my risk for weight gain and elevated blood sugar increases.  Essentially, I need to restrict my carb intake each day and shift the fat composition of my diet to monosaturated fats.

Top Tips For Me

  1. There is a listing of Glycemic Indexed carbs that show me which ones are bad and can cause high blood sugar and insulin levels.  High GI foods keep me from feeling full and worse, make me crave more.
  2. Read food labels and ensure in the list of ingredients that “whole grain” is one of the first few, not “enriched.”
  3. Include some protein with every meal and snack.
  4. Limit alcohol, fruit juice, caffeine consumption as these cause low blood sugar and leave me hungry and tired.
  5. Limit sweets following a nutritious meal high in protein and fiber to ensure I don’t overindulge or crave more sweets.
  6. Keep protein snacks handy so I don’t go craving a carb-loaded somepin somepin.
  7. Drink tons of water.
  8. Reduce my total daily consumption of calories.

You can learn more about this at, or by contacting PNT in Dallas.  They have a network of nutritionists throughout the world so your chances of finding one near you is pretty good.

I highly recommend this. It’s made me much more aware of what’s going on in my diet and after a day like yesterday where I weighed in with a four-lb increase, it’s good to be able to point my nose at the source of why that happened.

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1,800 Calorie Goal for June 8, 2011

Jun 8, 2011 by

EDITOR’S NOTE: I’m on a mission to cut my calorie intake from “out of control” to 1,800 per day.  Not going to be easy.  Just to show you how easy it is to get to 1,800, I’m going to show you the next couple of days.

Breakfast: Two cups of Cheerios, 1 cup of skim milk (okay, maybe two). Two pieces of whole wheat toast, a small dollop of lite margarine and a dollop of grape jelly–Almost 450 calories.

Going for 1,800 calories today with three “larger” meals and three snacks.  That’s going to be hard when with just that little bit I’m already a third of the way there.

Snack 1: 10:15 a.m. 1/4 cup of honey roasted peanuts.  High in Sodium, but only 170 calories.  That puts me at 620 so far today.

Lunch: 12:30 p.m. Low fat low calorie roast beef sandwich on whole wheat, a dollop of mayo, salt and pepper.  One serving of kettle BBQ chips.  Add 550 calories and 1170 for the day.  Two more snacks and dinner to go.  Ugh.

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Allens Green Beans and a Diet Update

Jun 7, 2011 by

Sorry for the break between posts.  Over on the Claxton Creative side of my life, things have been rolling.

Over the past two months I’ve been on a downward trend in weight loss.  Today marked three weeks since the last time I was in to see Carol Ireton-Jones of Professional Nutrition Therapists to talk about me, and to talk about their Website.

Bad News

Well, the downward trend stopped today.  I gained almost four pounds in the last three weeks.  Crap.

I think I can attribute that to a couple of things: Being on the road and traveling and eating at restaurants too much.  Though when I’ve been out eating on the road, I’ve tried to behave.

I’ve found myself eating later dinners, and well within the two hours before I go to bed realm.  (A no no.)

And when I haven’t been sitting in the car driving to and or from Alabama to Dallas, I’ve been at a desk or table working on something for my client, Digheon Healthcare, Inc.

Now that it’s hot outside, I have no desire to take a 10-minute break in the middle of the day and walk around the apartment complex.  It’s 96 degrees outside right now, plus there are bad air warnings, etc.

Before leaving today, Carol asked me what I’m going to do differently over the next two weeks.

Change of Plans

1)  A few weeks ago at The Dollar Tree, I bought some pills that are said to help burn fat and bring about weight loss.  Now that I’m up four lbs, those are going in the trash.

2) My friend, John Taylor, who I admire for taking some pretty significant steps to begin fighting his own weight battle, noted that the diagnosis for me includes, “More green beans.”  While in Alabama the past three trips, in staying at his parents’ house, Karen Taylor has been serving up some great and delicious green beans, which from Weight Watchers‘ days, you can “eat as many of them as you want and it doesn’t count.”  Except that Carol wisely pointed out today that each serving is about 50 to 60 calories, so if I’m on an 1,800-calorie a day mission, three, four, five servings of green beans are between 250 and 300 calories all unto themselves.  Throw in a few bread crumbs, a nice healthy piece of meat, and pretty soon, I’m at 1,800 and didn’t even realize it.

But John is right.  Green beans are definitely in my forecast.

Karen has a great recipe, too.  You get a couple big cans of Allens Italian Cut Green Beans and wash them off, put in a pot, cover with water and let them cook a couple hours trying to drain as much water as possible.  When they’re done, a purely subjective point, you add a tablespoon of Canola Oil (Go Omega 3s) and salt and pepper to taste, and watch it on the salt.

3) I’ve got to find a way to get some exercise in.  Unfortunately, after returning from my first trip to Alabama, I discovered that the Wii died.  No EA Sports Active right now, and that’s aggravating.

4) I’ve got to stop the later in the day meals.

5) I’ve been trying to keep my protein levels up so that I can keep a balanced blood sugar level.  I must keep doing that, but while I’ve been snacking on honey roasted peanuts (high in sodium) they have been helping with the blood sugar.  Only problem is, like with green beans, 1/4th a cup is 170 calories, so five or six of those a day in between meals and I’ve added almost 1,000 calories right there because let’s face it, you can’t just eat one handful.  (Hang on, I need to go get a second handful…..) Okay, gotta stop that.

6)  I’ve pretty much eliminated sweet tea from my diet.  It needs to stay gone.  And I don’t drink alcohol and it’s been 10 years and two months now since I had my last Coke, Pepsi or carbonated beverage.

7) Carol gave me a list of practical diet points and suggestions today.  Funny, there was no mention of a biscuit from Hardee’s/Carl’s Jr. or the breakfast I had this morning at Cracker Barrel with Ron Rose with two eggs, hashbrown casserole and a biscuit or two.  Okay, two.  Only one had gravy.

But on the list were things like Cheerios for breakfast, and I asked and got approval for Steel Cut Oatmeal.  (You can watch me and the girls making it here.) Lunch I can have a whole 3 oz of some sort of lean meat, which seems like almost wishing you were going to have some meat.  I probably could eat 3 oz in a bite.  And then healthy snacks along the way through out the day to keep my blood sugar happy.  PNT is coming with a recommended list of suggested healthy meals that are practical.  I’ll let you know when they’re available over on their site.

8 ) If you remember the Violent Femmes, “I forget what eight was for!”

9) Carol said if I’m going to have a salad, some how I’m supposed to eat it with about a tablespoon of a very lite dressing.  I told her that’s not even enough to get the salad wet.  To which she said, if it’s just plain ole lettuce, I might as well not bother.  I should be getting something with lots of Romaine in it because Iceburg Lettuce isn’t going to help.

10) I’ve got to keep trudging along and not get discouraged by the uptick.

What are somethings you might recommend?

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Upset about food choices

May 17, 2011 by

A breakfast is set up on a blue and white stri...

Image via Wikipedia

I’m having a hard time with food.

I’ve pretty much reached the point where little tastes good to me anymore.  Former comfort food?  Ugh.  All I see in them is carbs, carbs and more carbs.

Breakfasts?  Grease.  Cholesterol.  More grease.  Don’t have time to cook.  Have been gone a month and haven’t been able to cook.  And yet if I don’t get some protein in me, or have even a drop or two of sweet in my tea, I’ve got the shakes by mid morning and it negatively affects me the rest of the day. So I have to eat breakfast.  But if I don’t get that protein in me I’m sunk for the day, and I can’t stand the smell of peanut butter before 11 a.m.

And I know I need to cut down on eggs, but that’s in almost any breakfast out there!

Lunch–usually a time for me to take a break from the work I’m engaged in and have something good to reward myself.  Takes too long to go hunt down.  Takes longer than I want to cook it.  And again, anything I would go out to get is not good for me and expensive.

Dinner time–Again, don’t really want to invest the time to cook something. Too much is going on.  Don’t have the money to go out and eat for every meal and prices for home cooked foods and restaurant food is skyrocketing.  And I really don’t want wings, or burgers, or other fast foods.

And when I do go ahead and eat these types of things, I feel miserable.  I’ve tried to start walking again the past few days I’ve been home, but I’m overwhelmed with work and stress–all of which is making me hungry.

Any ideas?  I don’t like and probably never will like fish.  Can’t eat that much red meat so steak, hamburger is out.  Chicken is okay, but can’t eat it for every meal.  Pork, well, that’s not great for me either.  That doesn’t leave many opportunities.

Going to a salad bar like Jason’s Deli isn’t in the budget. And it’s too tempting to get more than I should.   If I go to Subway, I feel like I smell like a Subway store the rest of the day.

I’m in an awful state.

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I need help with SmartS3 and Add To Facebook WP plugins!

May 3, 2011 by

UPDATE May 17, 2011:  SmartS3 plug in developer John Morris reached out to me and helped me get this working.  Thanks John.   I’m going to start using this on this site and others, too.

Anyone out there using SmartS3 for videos off AWS and Add to Facebook plugins on WordPress?  I’m having issues the I’ve been wrestling with for several days and I’m getting more and more frustrated with it.  Can’t get ATF to authorize.  It’s working (on another site)  but I can’t get the msg to go away.

For S3, when I enter in the information it says that the pathway can’t be found.

Error msg from S3 not loading video.

Any suggestions?


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