Category Archives: Diet and Health

A Trip Down the Amazon

I began thinking tonight that I needed something to blog concerning something periodically that would get people to thinking or, at least, reading about that thing.  Many bloggers do this and I enjoy a lot of those blogs.  I tried to think of the things I do a lot of:  video games, scrabble, computer issues, spirituality, and all of that is important to me.  So, there may be the occasional posting topic.  However, I decided that the one thing I do that might interest most readers are the things and values I buy on Amazon.

I have simplified my life immensely by becoming immersed in the purchase of items I use all the time.  I buy foods, vitamins, herbs, and then general things I decide merit my attention or interest.

So, about once a week (or whenever my brain allows me to remember) I will post one of the above.  This week is the Magic Bullet Mixing System.

I guess I should say “Blender” instead of “Mixer” as that’s the wording at the site.  The above picture was found on Google and is, almost (If not), exactly the same as the pic in the link.

I had my first one, given to me by my daughter, for about 3-6 years (a reasonable guess).  She gave it to me when she got another system and had the one I got for about 3-4 years.  So, the system itself lasted, being well-used, for 6-10 years.  I never bought any new parts.  Don’t know what the warranty is/was.  I knew it worked, so good enough for me.  In fact, when I threw the old one away, it turns out it may have been fine.  It would not blend and I figured, since it had been stopping at times, it must have burned its 240W motor out.  I used it daily for the smoothies and other diet drinks I had (check out the blog posts on health).  It worked well and hard.  I know my daughter used it daily for smoothies.  Anyway, back to the story.  When I ordered the new one from Amazon it didn’t work the first time I used it.  I remember sighing with the thought of sending something I really used back.  I made my chocolate milk (Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Milk, Stevia, and Organic Cocoa Powder) daily (sometimes 2-3 times) with it.  Then I thought that, maybe, the new glasses worked better than the old with the new system.  It started right up.  Turns out there are 3 little plastic prongs on each cup and they all have to fit into the blender to work.  Well, one of the plastic prongs was broken.  In fact, I broke a second one about a week later.  It turns out you can buy spare glasses, but I imagine I am just a bit rough on mine, especially since I didn’t know they were THAT important.  It, apparently took over 6 years to break the first one, after all!

Digression seems to be deeply in my nature, so back to it.  The cups are about 16 oz (2 cups).  It takes almost 2 of those to fill my 30oz Big Bubba cup (perhaps, covered in another post someday).  I used it for many drinks – low carb ice cream, almond milk, and Cocoa Powder, for one.  The cost was just about $32 and my use of Amazon Prime to cover the shipping $.

I hope this prompts you to, at least, look at the link above and consider purchasing one if you are so inclined.  I think you can buy a cheaper set at Walmart, but I believe it is only a 7-piece (oh, and the instruction booklet counts as a piece, yeah, I looked for that 11th piece for a bit!

Namaste,

Scott

Looking Back Ten Years – What has This Decade Done

Looking at This Last Decade

by Scott L Vannatter

A decade, 10 years, 1/2 a score, about 365 days, each day with 24 hours, each hour with 60 minutes, and each minute with 60 seconds – what an amazingly long time for such a short period.

January 1st, 2010, I am certain, was just as important in many ways as was this one. We ate, slept, loved, got angry, cried, purchased, sold, worked, and did most other things…as a society, that is.

Individually, we each were different. For instance, in January of 2010, I had not yet had that life-changing blood vessel explosion of May 7, 2010. I was teaching special needs students at New Castle, not knowing it would be my last full year of teaching and my last productive one. I didn’t know what lay ahead and planning lessons and trying to date were the most important non-family things I was working on. I was still part of a full family, Father, Mother, Sister, and Me. We were living, working, loving, arguing (at times), and glad we were all together for what we hoped would be a long, long time.

My Father changed that on July 25, 2016 at 82 yo. (Richard Vannatter) .

Dad had a lot of physical problems, but it was during those last few months he and I learned to get along and understand each other. Dad and I had, mostly, been at odds over one thing or another for a very long time. It seemed to me that, during his last few months, he was starting to understand life and also how it appeared to me. I was understanding he was human and subject to everything that meant and we were father and son. We parted truly loving each other, which was very important.

We didn’t get too much time to really understand and come to grips with things as Darci (Sis) was just finding out she had cancer (I refuse to Capitalize that word). In fact, she would turn out to have 3 separate types of cancer, one of which was very rare and the other being in her brain. Having those two types of cancer at the same time proved to be too much for her and her passing on January 28, 2019 started this year by, once again, rocking the world of Mom and me.

(Darci Hill )

Darci had a lot thrown at her in life, but she, mostly, faced it with a smile, a laugh, and the attitude her God was watching over her and all. Her passing had taken two people from Mom’s home in less than 3 years and taken two people from my life in that same time.

Mom took the deaths hard, easy to understand, and worked even harder carrying on. To this day, she has problems with her back and hip, feels the stress of living alone, yet smiles and enjoys the time we spend together. I am very glad to have her here.

I have had many blessings and problems over the last ten years. The stroke proved to be extremely difficult and I came away changed and fighting. I was determined to live my life and not go out until I was ready. My spirit helped me along and I altered, greatly, my spiritual beliefs, I feel for the best. Life has been rough, but new and exciting. I have gained new friends, new hobbies, new goals, and a new look at life as well as at death. The stroke reset my brain, taking some things from me (my normal sight – now double vision with my eyes not changing as one is dilated and one never dilates, my balance is off quite a bit and I am a fall risk, and my short-term as well as long-term memories have been damaged some), and giving me some things in return (a life without the mental problems of OCD, most unreasonable fears, and a deep sense of trust). It is different each day and I rejoice in that.

I have also gained a new and relatively unknown problem (to us, anyway) in my diabetes complications. I do not look upon diabetes as something I have; it is not something I am; it is merely in me for now. The new complication is called gastroparesis:

Gastroparesis

It took a long time for me to find out all about the condition. The above article does an excellent job of covering all but one thing: diarrhea. I believe this is because to have that problem the food would have to move out of the stomach. In essence, it would have moved out of the “stomach stalled” area and would just be a normal result of bad food in the intestine.

Regardless, the condition appeared greatly about 1-2 years ago. I thought it was the flu, but 4 times in 4 months had me going back to the Internet. I was, pretty much, confirmed to have this last April when I went to the hospital and found I was dehydrated (a common problem). I went back to the hospital 3 more times by June and, finally, was able to piece together all needed to keep me out of the ER, anyway. I continued working on this and, by October 2019, believe I have it under control enough to function. This condition has been alleviated by changing my diet as follows:

  1.  Avoiding high fats (I eat food with no more than 6 grams fat listed on the label with 1 Hershey kiss or 2 a day separated by, at least, a meal)
  2.  Avoiding carbs (I did this, already, due to diabetes, but have increased my watch to be much more careful. I am also now on Insulin at night).
  3.  Avoiding fiber (I have cut back drastically on fiber as this is hard to digest)
  4.  Avoiding high protein foods (you need protein but I no longer overdo this as it also is slow to digest)
  5. Drink excess water (my goal is 2x what I eat.  This keeps liquids in my stomach allowing food to move better)

I also have made to med changes. I take a med to alleviate nausea, and thus, vomiting. It is a take-as-you-need-it med and works in less than 2 minutes. That leaves only one way for the bad food to pass – honestly, welcome as opposed to vomiting for 4 hours.

I have taken Omeaprozole for a long time, once in the morning. Now, if my stomach does not feel right, I take a second one.

I need to add to this regamine, exercise. That will come.

The one benefit I have seen from this condition: I have lost 28 pounds since April. I have also managed to keep it off as I don’t binge eat anymore. I have always prayed for my diabetes condition to leave. I understand keeping your weight under control and lower can help this to occur. At present, my sugar now seems to be regulated and remains fairly constant.

My daughter, Aarika, and I have decided to co-found a group on Facebook covering the Law of Attraction (Scott’s Group). This has allowed an open forum to help spread the idea and keep me learning more. The book “E Squared” by Pam Grout has helped me greatly and improved my understanding as well as practice.

Outside the family, the world has moved, also – affecting us as it turns. The general national (perhaps, world-wide) situations of Global Warming and the election and, now, impeachment of President Donald Trump have both done many things to change everything.

Global warming (If you don’t believe in it, then say the vast change of normal weather conditions globally) has surprised us this winter with warm weather, rain, and almost surprising snow a couple of times. Fall was warmer than normal and the trees did not lose their leaves in the normal timely fashion. My yard person was not able to rake up and remove my leaves until just in the last two weeks, something normally done in November. The world seems to be waking up to the fact we do influence things on a global basis, whatever areas you talk about, and also seems to want to help try and change them – good.

Mr. Trump presented something many did not see coming in total. I, myself, will admit to giving him my vote, though since that time he has not, at all, lived up to what I had hoped. Instead, this country is split and needs to take a good look at itself, both individuals and our government. Both seem a bit out of control and need a good idea or ten on how to straighten up. We will see. I know, whatever I thought he might accomplish is not going to happen. Still, as I believe in perfection in all things, I continue to hope for a great end, however that might come.

This has been rather long. I decided it would be suitable for a post on my Blog ( https://kindredspirit23.wordpress.com ), a letter to the family and my friends in email and on Facebook, and a reason for me to focus on this world and myself as we all need to do. Let this help to center you, set you on a good path, and enjoy the holiday for its wondrous timing – and I will have reached my goal.

Namaste,

Scott L Vannatter

Me, Myself, and I…Hmm…

It is one of those times when my soul longs to speak of things I, too often, try to hide, even from myself.

I am, of course, talking about being single and young enough to not be.  After my second divorce, I got, pretty much, back into dating as soon as I could financially and mentally afford to.

I didn’t date much as I decided to take on the task of getting my education degree and teaching.  This turned into a huge time consumer, even though I wasn’t working at the time.  It was, mostly, online, so I got to stay at home (living with parents at the time) and read, study, write/talk on computer.  There were trips to class a couple of times a week, for about 3 hours at a time, but it was enjoyable to be with new friends and having something in common with them all the time.  Of course, infatuations would happen and not just to me.  I never dated while in school, but did think about it.

So, after getting my teaching degree and beginning my beloved 7 year career in education, I still didn’t date for years.  See, I had to get another degree (online) for my special education license.  As my daughter put it when I was all done – “Dad, do you know that you have just about the same number of college hours now that I had to get for my Ph.D?”  Well, it, certainly, felt that way.

I got down to living a normal life when I moved into my Grandmother’s home (renting from Mom who was keeping Grandmother in her house), and buying it after Grandmother passed.  This “normal” life consisted of getting up at 6:30am M-F, going to work (about 15-18 mi away), teaching till 2:30p, then staying to prepare until about 9pm each day.  I was slow, but enjoyed it.  I had fun with the students, taught as best I could, and had a good reputation at the school.  I began a “Magic the Gathering” (MTG) card group after school 1 day a week, so I got some recreation.  My hip was terrible, I was in pain a lot and it got worse each year.  Finally, we were being moved to a new building to teach and I started that year there.  I was having difficulty walking and had to use a cane.  I had been dating a young woman and it had been becoming serious.  We broke up and I went back to being totally single again.  I soon, thereafter, began dating a woman from Indy I took out the first time on Valentine’s Day.  We were getting serious and knew it.  Then, I had my stroke and everything changed.

After my stroke, I tried to go back to seeing this wonderful woman, but I knew it was different.  I no longer felt the same; I had changed inside.  I had issues, of course, but the real change was my mental attitudes. I no longer felt emotions well, my imagination was stagnant, and my health was made more difficult.  We broke up rather suddenly and I truly wanted to begin dating.  What I found was that, when I went out, I didn’t care for the person as much as I thought I did.  It didn’t much matter “the who” I, simply, did not have those loving feelings I used to have pre-stroke.

Over the next 10 years or so (to now) I was never able to find that person I could really care for.  I was seeing a stroke counselor 2x a year.  She and I discussed this, really getting down to it in these last few months.  I have changed my spirituality and that has brought out a lot of valid conclusions.  I understand that all these “setbacks” were no such thing.  The Law of Attraction lets us know that all things are perfect and that we have the responsibility over all of it.  We even have control over all of it.  Problem is that, usually, we have been conditioned by society for so long that we have no control and just need to accept things that we just coast along.  I am learning how to take back control.  I have things happen all the time now in which I see the good in a “bad” situation.  I understand the forces acting for me in a world in which I, more and more, decide what will happen.  This is still all new to me, but I feel very comfortable facing my growing age now.  I expect good things and they happen.

I am not going to leave the point of this post to go off on a tangent about the Law of Attraction (LofA). I have a page on Facebook (group on LofA) and there are several books I will point you to should you be interested in seeing how this change works.  They are at the end of this post.

Right now, just let me say that I have chosen, now, to be alone and happy.  I lost Dad over 2 years ago and Sis last Jan 28th.  I help take care of Mom (she still does most of it), I have dinner with friends once a week and watch Netflix with one of those friends, eat dinner at Cracker Barrel with Mom a great deal, have most of the serving and hosting staff at Cracker Barrel on a first-name basis, am carrying on my Dad’s reputation as the “Candy Man” by passing out chocolates to the CB crew, play video games at home (one with an online friend), and play Deluxe Scrabble with my cousin 1x a week (He beats me a lot and I am not used to that in regular Scrabble).

So, I am happy, my blog friends here keeps growing and I love everyone now.  My Facebook friends have gone over 500 and I talk to a lot of people there, many of whom I had lost touch with.

Finally, there is my Cat, Tamika.  She and I have been together over a decade and have learned to “respect” one another’s differences.  Life is good…and Death, well, I don’t fear it anymore.

_______  Books to Read for Law of Attraction and a New Life _______

  1. Pam Grout – “E Squared”
  2. Pam Grout – “E Cubed”
  3. Marianne Williamson – “A Course in Miracles” – referenced often by Pam Grout – I have not read this one
  4. Anita Moorjani – “Dying to Be Me”
  5. Neale Donald Walsh – “Conversations with God – Book 1”

Numbers 1 and 4 (and 5) will absolutely change your life.

PS – I know I have left experiences and people I truly care for out of this post.  Know how much I care and never intend harm.

Namaste,

Scott

Why do Things have to Change?!!!

I remarked on another blog (Susannah Bianchi) that I needed to tell people more about my stroke and how it has changed my life.  She agreed and I said I would – and I will (promise), but I was watching one of those movies that “Guys” aren’t supposed to like – “13 Going on 30” starring Jennifer Garner and kept thinking the title of this post.  Why DO things have to change?  Now, that was a from-the-gut response to what I thought was a cute, wonderful movie that I enjoyed oh so much.  It only got a 6.1 rating of 10 but made 3x the money put into it.  I mean, does 60 some million dollars just not mean anything?  Guess not.  Anyway, the movie set in motion that part of me that always comes out at various unforeseen times.  It’s that part that wants a redo; I want to go back to about 10 and start over, knowing what I know now.

The sensible part of me says, “whoa!”, and it wins out in the end.  I realize that I love my two children (adults, I know) and wouldn’t trade anything to not have them around, but, if I knew what I know now and I knew they would be born, live, and be what they are now – then, I think I really would like to start over.  I am not certain what would happen, but it would be different.  There is so much I know and understand now that I didn’t have a clue back then (though, I often thought I did).  Can you imagine?  Pick your dream job, the one you always wanted and pursue it.  Don’t take much from anyone and take those chances you didn’t back then.

Now, I left out the part where I knew what stocks to buy when and how to end up a millionaire by 25, how to go to college and simply learn what you needed to get that job (if you wanted to work), and make sure you got up on accounting and business enough to handle your money.  In fact, working, probably, wouldn’t fit in very well with the life I would want to lead.  Imagine, buying stock (even a small amount to start with) in Microsoft, Amazon, Walmart, and Google!  Moving from stock to stock, shuffling hundreds, then thousands, then millions of dollars into sure-fire wins…  Now, forget that and just realize that you could grow up, be happy, and smart, and live that life you always wanted before/after/whatever.

I know I am not telling anyone anything new.  You have all thought about this in one way or another.  There have been a lot of stories written about similar things.  I may even do one myself soon.  But, the more I think about it, the more I love the idea, the very notion of what one “do over” could accomplish.  There has to be a downside…maybe having to suffer through high school again or live all those weekends in the country with little to do…but I don’t think so.  If I truly knew it was a do over, there would be so much to work on to get ready and I would have the benefit of already knowing the mistakes and the fun I had.  All those memories would exist.  Oh, and my stroke?  I wouldn’t need it to get on the right path again.  The stress would be manageable and I would be in different shape, think differently, and behave differently.  Would I marry?  Hmm, I doubt it.  Wouldn’t need all those memories either and I would know what to do with my life.  Philanthropist comes to mind…yes, and I wouldn’t have to do what Linus in “Peanuts” said when told about needing to be rich to be a philanthropist.  His comment:

I want to be a philanthropist with someone else’s money.

Nope, I could use my own.  And, if it all fell through?  So, I would know that, at 61, I could be disabled, bad memory, no job, — and still be happy!

Love you all,

Scott

My Life and Welcome to It (Old Show, new Meaning)

I was talking to someone the other day who told me about several people who were praying for my health.  Thank you all.  I did think, however, that a better explanation of my situation was needed.  I realized that it is normal day to me, getting there for Mom, and much less so for all others.

I have several problems.  I am not complaining.  I believe in all things working out for good and, though I may not like it, I can see most of the hows and whys of the entire deal.

I had a stroke on May 7, 2010.  It was a hemorrhagic mid-brain stroke.  That means that I had a small blood vessel burst in my brain (from BP too high 250/150 and aggravated by my Blood Sugar at 300).  This stroke caused me to have double vision, my right eye is always dilated and my left eyes is never dilated.  I also have balancing issues which are caused by my neuropathy (next) and my eyes.  I had had diabetes for over a year.

I have neuropathy. That is a condition in which the nerves in an area have bad circulation and, therefore, stop functioning as well or periodically as well.  I have 3 types of neuropathy.  I have neuropathy in my feet, causing numbness and loss of balance and occasional pain.  I do not take medication for the pain as it is short-lived, but intense.

The second area I have neuropathy in is (let’s keep it PG) my male reproduction system.  Nuff said.  Ask me if you want more info.

The third area of my neuropathy is my stomach.  Called Gastro Paresis (stomach stops), this condition comes when the Vegas nerve to your stomach stops or slows down transmitting to your stomach. This, in turn, causes your stomach to digest food slowly or not at all for a period of time.  If it is long enough, the food in your stomach goes rancid, sending a vile taste to my mouth and followed (in about 1 hour) by vomiting, then by diarrhea.  This lasts anywhere from 2-10 hours.  I have some very quick-acting medicine for under my tongue (3-5 minutes) which, if I get it in time, can slow or stop the nausea and prevent (hopefully) the vomiting.  I am told not to stop the diarrhea because the bad food needs to get out of my system and that’s the safest and quickest way.  I am getting better at doing things to help prevent or limit the occurrences of Gastro Paresis.  I have been told there is no cure, though sometimes it stops altogether.  I can help by:

  1. limiting my protein intake
  2. limiting my sugar intake
  3. limiting my fiber intake
  4. eating smaller meals
  5. drinking an increased (much) amount of liquids

All of the above keep your stomach emptier and allow it to flow better so it stays empty and food won’t spoil.  It has helped greatly.  I spent, literally, years eating much protein and fiber to help my diabetes, so 1 and 3 have been a big change.

I am now on insulin.  We don’t have the dosage exactly right yet, so it goes back an forth on readings.  However, we are getting there.

The good news is that since the stroke retired me (disability) at 51, I am home and can treat it the way it needs treated.  Being single has helped also.  I have a Mother who is getting older and needs my help and I have good friends, my blog, my Word with Friend games, my fiverr writing, my Amazon for the local library, and my video games to keep me occupied and happy.  Yes, yes, I have my cat, too.  She is a toss up as I wouldn’t want to do without her, but she, frequently, gets on my nerves. lol.

The Gastro Paresis has one advantage.  Eating less and having much less choices (say no ice cream or chocolate) has led to a loss of 23 pounds since April, most of it this May-August. It is a bad way to loss weight, right up there with, well, throwing up intentionally.  However, I am working to stop it and keep the pounds off as well.

The Gastro Paresis is not deadly at this stage.  The biggest problem is dehydration.  I had a few bouts in which I could not keep any liquids down for over 6-8 hours and had thrown all mine up, so I had to go to the ER for saline solution in my arm.

Thank you to all who know, who care, who now understand better.  You are all loved.  I am, often, amazed at how many wonderful friends I have here.  It is something I don’t mind being surprised at.

Namaste,

Scott

 

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