Tremendous Trampolines

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It is definitively possible to have the best workout of your life… on a trampoline. My good friend MiLinda Zabramba introduced me to the indoor trampoline park SkyZone because her kids “love to bounce”. When we went there together her girls were just filled with adorable energy jumping around and having fun. But I loved it too! Jumping as high as I could, flying high in the air, reminded me of being a kid again. When we were kids we actually had a trampoline and would jump out of the second story windows of our house onto it (DON’T do that!!!!!). How we didn’t break our necks I’ll never know.
So SkyZone has a trampoline aerobics class. Holy shit. I mean really. It was the best and honestly most fun workout I have done in my life. Jumping up and down, side to side, on your butt, doing intermittent arm and core exercises all while burning a ton of calories…I have found my new workout ideal!!! It is a whole body HIIT style workout. Needless to say I am hooked! I look forward to going back next week and getting my ass handed to me by the goofy and intensely in shape teenager Bobby that taught the class.
I will say this- it is not a workout you should attempt if you aren’t in shape. Especially if you have any kind of knee issues, this workout is too intense- so start low impact and build up to it!

Reflections

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Today is a rainy day that makes for a perfect time for reflection. As I look back on my own personal journey and my struggle with obesity, I am comforted by the fact that we are all capable of change. Our community in Dayton Ohio is in the middle of an opiate addiction crisis the likes of which we have not seen before, but at our core the Dayton community is strong. Those that are grappling with drug addiction are our families, our friends, and our neighbors. I find that when I think about our similarities instead of our differences, it is easy to summon up compassion for their plight. Each and every one of us has an area in our life which is an affliction or a hardship for us. Trying to find the common ground between us instead of stigmatizing and pushing away drug abusers, will help us to strengthen the humanity and empathy this community was founded on. I personally am a living, breathing example of how any change is possible, and I remain optimistic that together we can overcome our struggles- no matter what they may be. We all go through periods of darkness in our lives, but that does not mean we cannot come back into the light.
Thank you to everyone in Dayton and elsewhere for your support. I am so grateful to have a voice in this community.

Squash, snow pea, green bean and farrow mason jar salad

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So I decided to take that delicious and nutritious salad recipe as a base from the Marley Spoon one I had and tweak it. I used farrow which has a higher protein content and added some more veggies, as well as changing up the dressing a little bit as well. It is super yummy and healthy!

Ingredients- makes four servings

1/2 cup dry farrow, cook per package directions. I like farrow because it is high in protein and has a good texture.

Mix of veggies to sauté- squash, snow peas, green beans (about 1 cup of each). Slice squash into rounds.

shredded carrots, 1 cup

2 ounces goat cheese

1/4 cup almonds

spinach- about 4 cups

dressing: to make dressing combine in bowl and whisk- one to two tablespoons olive oil (to your personal taste and consistency), juice from one lemon and zest from the lemon, 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar, 1 tsp honey, 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard, 1 clove garlic minced.

To prepare:

Sautee in 1 tablespoon olive oil the squash for 2 minutes each side. Add snow peas and green beans and sautée about 2 more minutes, until just softening.

Build the salad in the jar, from the bottom to the top:

2 tablespoons dressing

1/4 cup shredded carrots

1/4 cup of each sautéed veggie

1/4 of the cooked farrow

1/16 cup chopped almonds

1 cup spinach

1/2 ounce goat cheese

To eat dump into a bowl and mix together and enjoy!

approximate nutrition info:

316 calories per serving

11 G protein, 34 G carbs, 16 G fat

 

 

How I am Losing Weight and Getting Healthy

I get a lot of questions about what specifically I have done to lose weight and get fit… I’m going to write up a few pieces to give the details

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This one is about nutrition, first in the series
Getting started:
At the start of this journey in August 2016) when I topped out at 275 lbs I estimate I was eating 3000-3500 calories per day.
Most of that was at the end of the day and a large portion of that was snacks.
At that time my metabolism was slower than a tortoise, and I would often go 10-12 hours at work all day without eating.
I would binge eat when I got home usually shoveling in some animal crackers or chips while getting dinner together.
Dinner itself was fairly often take out from Q’Doba (nachos), Taco Bell (nachos and bean burritos), pasta (Fazolis or homemade), restaurant size salads with bread (Doubledays), pizza (Dewey’s or Papa John’s) or just going out to eat at any number of places around town.
You see what isn’t on that list? Fresh home cooked food full of fresh veggies and fruits and whole grains and nuts and beans.
So the very first thing I did was to cut back on snacks- eating one bag of animal crackers instead of two for instance. I also started to watch my portion sizes- eating a single portion or at most two portions instead of 2-3 routinely. And I started to make sure I was drinking at least 80 ounces of water per day.
With just these changes, no other diet, no exercise I lost the first 20 pounds. It was losing that first weight that made me realize I could do it and I needed to step up my game!

What It’s Like To Be A Doctor In the Heroin Capitol of the US

I am a practicing Hospitalist physician in Dayton, OH. Dayton has emerged in the last year as the city with the highest per capita death rate from opioid overdoses. When we measure the number of deaths here we talk about how many there are per DAY, not per week or per month. We have been inundated with heroin and other products laced with fentanyl or carfentanyl. Every other drug including, marijuana, is laced with an opiate in this city. Dealers stand on street corners and throw baggies of heroin into passing cars who have the windows open- free of charge- to get new customers hooked. A routine dose of narcan to revive someone here is not the standard 0.4 mg dose, but a minimum dose of 10 mg. Many people die and cannot be revived despite maximum narcan doses.
Our hospitals are overrun with opioid dependent patients. They take up a staggering amount of the healthcare community’s resources. When you are an IV drug user, there are many acute and chronic medical illnesses that come with it:
Hepatitis C
Bacteremia
Endocarditis
Abscesses of the skin and bone
Osteomyelitis
Pyomyositis
Rhabdomyolysis
And that’s if you are lucky enough to survive an overdose. Many of these conditions takes months to treat and will cost hundreds of thousands of dollars.
In hospitals and clinics in Dayton, the medical community is being tested. We do not have enough resources to help patients get clean- and even if we did the number of patients who achieve remission then relapse over and over and over is staggering. Instead we spend our days putting out fires. Reviving opiate users and patching them up so they can leave against medical advice only to return day after day in an endless cycle.
What you will see throughout the city is a community exhausted by opiate abuse. Our job is to take care of all patients, but you can clearly see over time a degradation of empathy and willingness to keep endlessly helping drug abusers. When day after day you are constantly verbally abused and threatened, and sometimes physically as well, it is very hard to maintain any kind of positive outlook and caring bedside demeanor. It wears on us day after day to be abused and mistreated by our patients and to even fear for our safety in caring for them.
Because the truth is that most of these patients we take care of are going to die of an overdose or a complication of their drug abuse. Right now things look bleak and a solution seems unreachable.
All I can do right now is keep trying to fulfill my duty to “do no harm” and treat each patient to the best of my abilities, but I’m not going to pretend that doesn’t get harder and harder for us healthcare providers each day. I hope we can work within the healthcare and the larger community to find solutions and help those many patients in need.

Southwest Sweet Potato Mash

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I’ve never been someone who has been really into sweet potatoes. I don’t get them, I guess. Many of the vegetarian recipes I’ve been seeing lately will feature this ingredient, so I’m trying to wrap my head around it and eat it in a way that tastes good to me. I get meal delivery services and this recipe started off as a Plated dish that I didn’t quite like, so I tweaked it for my own taste. You can eat this as a side or a main dish, make sure you have the chipotle peppers in adobo sauce- that is what makes this dish!
Makes 6 side servings or 3 full meal servings

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Ingredients:
3 sweet potatoes
1 can no salt added black beans
1 red pepper
1 yellow onion
1 can chiles in adobo
3-6 cups spinach (your preference)
1/2 cup Colby jack cheese
1 tablespoon mayo
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp cayenne

Instructions:
1. Poke holes in your potatoes and microwave until soft, about 10 minutes.
2. Assemble and prep ingredients. Rinse black beans. Chop red pepper and onion. Take 2 chipotle peppers out of the can and mince.

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3. Put 2 tablespoons olive oil in sauté pan on medium heat
4. Add bell pepper and onion to pan, cook about 5 minutes (my oil was too hot hence this face!)

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5. Add black beans, cumin, cayenne, and chipotle peppers to pan and cook another 5 minutes
6. While cooking bean mixture, scoop out the middle of the sweet potatoes and mash in a bowl. Add the mayo and the cheese and stir until soft.

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7. Add spinach to pan until wilted, take off heat

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8. Add bean mixture to sweet potatoes and stir
Serve and Enjoy!!!!

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Basic Nutrition Information
For one side serving (1/6 of total):
235 calories
7.8 grams protein
29.8 grams carbs
9.2 grams fat

Special thanks to Rob for the pictures!

Recipe adapted from Plated (initial recipe for twice baked sweet potatoes)

Meal Delivery Services- Ranked!

So I am lazy and hate grocery shopping and cooking! I just don’t have enough hours in the day to devote to that! Over the last year or so, I have sampled pretty much every meal delivery plan there is! I like the ones that deliver fresh food you have to cook (precooked or frozen are just not very good, so I won’t discuss them!). So yes, you still need to do some work, but having them delivered and prepped is a big help! Most of them cost about the same- between 10-14 dollars per person per serving. Cost difference wasn’t a factor when I chose a plan, the food and variety matters to me more.  When I think of all the groceries I waste from never having time to cook, it makes financial sense to do these meal plans!

Here’s my list, best first:

1. Plated and Marley Spoon. I like these two the best overall for one simple reason- choice! I am vegetarian and my husband Rob eats basically only meat, so we never eat the same food. These two services both let you choose your meals from a range of foods including meat and vegetarian options. They also have a lot of choices each week, so finding something you like is a lot easier! We currently subscribe to both of these and each week we can pick and choose what we like the most to be delivered, and skip if nothing looks good. Plated recipes are designed by different chefs, and Marley Spoon is tied to Martha Stewart.

2. Sunbasket, Green Chef, and Purple Carrot. I tied these three together because they all focus on organic clean food. Sunbasket and Green Chef offer both meat and vegetarian options. However, you can only choose one type, so I can’t mix my meals with my husbands. Not cool. Purple carrot is vegan. Great in theory, but I just didn’t like a lot of the food! If you are less picky it would likely be perfect for you!

3. Blue Apron and Hello Fresh. These are both kind of mediocre to me. I don’t like a lot of the recipes, you can’t mix and match veggie and non-veggie, and I feel like a lot of the meals are very similar over time. If Blue Apron offered more choice in options, I would try them again. They do have all their recipes online, and I’ve made a few of them myself at home. Hello fresh has some recipes by Jamie Oliver.

4. Home Chef, Terra’s Kitchen.These both offer meat and veggie options but again, I just didn’t like a lot of the recipes. Home Chef seemed overly boring and Terra’s kitchen didn’t offer enough variety for vegetarian options. Terra’s kitchen had this crazy little refrigerator that they use for meal shipping- it is less wasteful!

5. Hungry Root. This one offers vegan options but consists mostly of veggie noodles and sauce. I do like their snacks- vegan cookie dough, brownie dough, and carrot cake bites.

Local to Dayton Ohio only

Kates Plate. This is a place in Centerville that offers both pick up and delivery service. It is a great little business. If you eat meat I suggest you try this! But the menu only rotates every season, and there were not enough vegetarian options. So unless that changes I personally wouldn’t try it again. Great for people doing Paleo, too.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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