Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Weekend Fun + Food Prep

Heeeeeey!!

How’s everyone doing?! Things are finally getting back to normal around here. I’m feeling much better this week and Mikey is too. He’s still wearing that silly cone, but he has a follow-up appointment on Saturday to *hopefully* get his sutures out and then he’ll be cone-free at last! Other than that, he’s pretty much back to his old self. Still my little purr-monster and my trusty side kick. I’m so glad that everything turned out okay.

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Sorry, but that cone does NOT look comfortable!

So you’re probably ready to read about something other than my cat. Well, after a somewhat hectic week last week, I had a great weekend to balance it all out. My friend Melissa drove up from downstate and we hung out a whole bunch! We actually ended up running a St. Patty’s Day 5K on Saturday morning.

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We didn’t go too over the top with our attire, but we saw lots of people who did.

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I’m pretty sure I need one of those belts Winking smile.

Anyway, the race itself was sort of a bust for me. It was FREEZING. I was also severely undertrained as my workouts have been slacking the last couple weeks with my stomach flu and everything that’s been going on with Mikey. I know I know, excuses excuses. I ended up doing a lot of walking and was just glad to be out there getting some exercise in. I need to start getting serious about my weekly runs again though – I still want to rock a 10K this summer!

After the run I relaxed at my apartment for a while before meeting up with Melissa again and our other high school BFF Curtis for a fun dinner date!

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We ate at one my of my favorite restaurants, Apache Trout Grill, and had a great time chatting for almost two hours. The three of us to be inseparable when we were in high school and I love that we’ve remained friends for all this time. We don’t get to see each other very often, but when we do we can always just pick up right where we left off.

When we were done eating Melissa and I headed to the local theatre to see a fabulous production of Legally Blonde: the Musical. All of actors are there on a volunteer basis, but they did a fantastic job! Legally Blonde is one of my all-time favorite movies and I absolutely loved the musical. I would love to see it in a big city sometime!

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In other news, I finally got my act together and actually did some food prep this week! I got in the zone on Sunday and after a sweaty afternoon yoga class, I hit up the grocery store and stocked up on produce for the week.

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I ended up making a batch of my baked oatmeal with cinnamon and cranberries to eat for breakfast all week:

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I cut it into fourths and reheat a piece in the microwave with a splash of milk. So good!

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And for lunches, I decided to try out Anne’s Mediterranean Pasta Salad.

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It turned out great! I used whole wheat pasta and mixed it with artichokes, black olives, chickpeas, spinach, and feta cheese. I’m not a huge fan of balsamic vinegar so I was a little hesitant about that part, but I loved it. I’ve been packing it up with a Greek yogurt and a piece of fruit for lunch everyday.

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Alright, time for me to hit the hay – I’m exhausted. Hope your week is going well!

Thursday, March 14, 2013

An Update on Mikey (and Me)

Look who’s finally home!

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Okay, let’s back track a little. I have lots to catch you guys up on!

First of all, I wanted to thank all of you for the well wishes for Mikey. It was really nice reading your comments and it feels good to know you care! He went in for surgery on Monday morning and the vet did end up finding something balled up in his small intestine that was causing a blockage. It explained Mikey’s lack of appetite because there was nowhere for the food to go. Here’s what she found:

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At first we had no idea what it was, but after looking closer I realized that it’s actually a piece of one of his Christmas toys. It’s a long ribbon-like string and I seriously cannot believe that he swallowed that whole thing. It had to be ten inches long! Oddly enough, I can’t find the toy anywhere. I’m not sure if he hid it somewhere in my apartment, or if that piece of toy has been sitting in his tummy since Christmas time!

He had a to stay at the vet’s overnight, so I stopped by to visit him a couple times before picking him up yesterday afternoon. Here he is shortly after waking up from surgery. You can tell that he’s still pretty groggy!

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He was feeling much better when I came in to see him yesterday morning. Still a little sleepy though.

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“Mom, why you takes pictures?”

Poor guy had to wear a big cone on his head so he didn’t chew his IV. You could tell he was so uncomfortable. Luckily he perked up a lot when I stopped by and he even ate quite a bit of his breakfast.

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The vet kept him around for most of the day yesterday to make sure he didn’t vomit again, and then she called me in the afternoon to let me know that he could come home! He was pretty stoked.

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As you can see, he still needs to wear that cone on his head. He has a huge incision on his belly that is stapled shut and without the cone, he licks and chews on his staples and tries to pull them out. He totally hates it and has trouble walking around, jumping, and sleeping, but the LAST thing I need is for him to not only give himself an infection, but to eat a staple!

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I know I need to take a chill pill, but I am still so worried about him. I’m worried he’s going to slip his cone off while I’m gone (he did it once at the vet’s already), but I’m also worried he’s going to trip over himself while he has it on. Sometimes he slips and I can’t keep him from jumping when I’m gone and it just has me all stressed out. Last night I let him sleep in my room and he kept me up ALL night. He kept getting up and moving around and his darn cone is so loud. It disturbed me all night. I felt too bad and was too worried to kick him out though. He has to have his staples in for at least ten days; I’m not sure if I can deal with this for that long!

I have to say, it really has been a rough couple of weeks for me and I’m physically and emotionally exhausted. When I got home from LA, my dad and my sister were both in and out of the hospital for various reasons (everyone is fine – my dad had a slight complication from a medical procedure and my sister was violently ill with the stomach flu), then I got the stomach flu and had to miss work, then this whole ordeal with Mikey happened. I’m still not completely over the flu, I haven’t had any appetite, and I haven’t been sleeping. Work has been stressful and I’ve had to work the late shift almost every day this week. On top of everything, I’m really missing Eric right now and I won’t get to see him until next weekend. I know in the grand scheme of things life could be a lot worse, but I’m just really ready for my life to get back to normal. I’m ready to start eating and working out again, get some sleep, and I want Mikey to get better. Okay – end sob story.


Well, there ya go. A Mikey update and a little insight into my mind lately. I’ll try to limit the drama to just this post Winking smile.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Mikey Goes Under the Knife

Man, the past few days have not been very fun.

It started on Saturday when I got really horrible stomach pains at work, which ended up being some kind of stomach bug and got worse as the night progressed. I didn’t get any sleep on Saturday night and had a fever on Sunday morning. I ended up calling in sick to work for the first time ever and stayed in bed all day. I went to work yesterday, but I still don’t have much have an appetite. I’m hoping this passes soon!

But anyway, enough about me – I have some news about Mikey that I want to share. It started a few days ago when I noticed that he had vomited some kind of elastic string from one of his toys. He was acting fine and eating normally, so I didn’t think much of it. Well, yesterday when I came home from work I discovered that he had vomited up his breakfast, and when I fed him dinner he didn’t even eat half of it. This is totally unheard of for him because normally he does not mess around with food. He typically wakes me up in the morning to feed him and can’t shovel it in fast enough.

He ended up vomiting two more times throughout the night and when he didn’t touch his breakfast this morning I knew something was wrong. I made an appointment right away and took him in to the vet first thing this morning where they did some blood work and took a couple of x-rays. His blood work was normal, with the exception of a few abnormal values that could be explained by dehydration and vomiting. Upon going over his x-rays though, the veterinarian found some gas bubbles in his small intestine that she said were not normal. Given his recent history of vomiting up a piece of a toy, she said that she was concerned enough to recommend surgery. Unfortunately you can’t see foreign bodies on x-rays unless there is metal attached, so there is no way to know for sure unless we open him up.

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I have been going to my vet for years – I even used to work there when I was in high school – and I know that they would never recommend something so drastic unless the doctor really thought it was necessary. I really didn’t see any other option. Even if they don’t find anything, at least I know that I did everything I could to help.

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My little guy is in surgery right now and I’m praying that everything goes well. I have all the confidence in the world in my veterinarian, and I’m really hoping they do find something because it would explain his odd behavior. I hope to have him back home this afternoon or tomorrow! I can’t believe how easily worry sets in when your pet is sick. I completely broke down at the vet when she brought in the anesthesia consent forms. He’s my little baby Sad smile.


I’ll be sure to update you all on the blog, but for more frequent updates you may follow me on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook. Thank you all for your support!

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Ugli Fruit: Tastes Better Than it Looks

I am suffering from a serious case of Jello arms this afternoon. I did Julie’s Upper Body Superset Workout and it definitely got the job done. By the time I got to the chest presses in the last superset, I ended up having to significantly decrease the weight from what I usually use for presses. I could hardly even feel it in my chest at this point – my arms were just shaking as I went through the movements. That’s a sign of a good workout!

Before completing my upper body workout, I did some cardio to get the blood flowing. The original plan was to run three miles, but I’ll be honest: I sort of broke my long run streak and it’s been a few weeks since I’ve run further than a mile. Well, I underestimated how easy it would be for me to bounce back and I was already tired about half a mile into my run. I ended up running two miles and then walking for a bit to bring my treadmill time to about forty minutes. I was pretty pleased with this, given the fact I had zero motivation to get myself to the gym in the first place. I know I always feel better and have more energy after a workout, but why is it so dang hard to find motivation to get it done sometimes?! It seems like it’s worse when I’m on vacation, too. Once I sit down on my couch it’s hard to get back up when I know I have nothing to do all day. Please tell me I’m not the only one who’s this lazy sometimes…

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(Mikey is quite happy with this lifestyle.)

Anyway, I made myself a fantastic lunch when I got back from the gym.

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I prepared a three egg omelette with spinach and goat cheese:

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And sides included a Pear flavored Chobani Greek yogurt as well as this new-to-me fruit.

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Any guesses as to what it is?

 

Hint: It’s not an orange, but it tasted a lot like one!

 

Ready for this?

 

It’s an UGLI fruit.

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The name is very appropriate, too. That thing is ugly!

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I ended up picking one of these up on a whim at the grocery store earlier this week. I always walk right by all sorts of unique fruits and vegetables when I’m shopping, but I never bother to try any of them. When I saw these ugli fruits out on display, I thought it might be fun to start buying a new produce item every couple weeks to try and blog about.

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I had no idea how to pick out an ugli fruit, but a quick Google search led me to this website which said, “Pick fruits that are heavy for their size with no signs of drying on the exterior. Fresh uglies should dent slightly under pressure.” Though it didn’t mention anything about color (they ranged from bright yellow to a nasty puke green color), I ended up picking one out that matched closely to the physical description. I must have done a good job too because the fruit was pretty tasty!

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To eat, I just peeled it like an orange. It had a thick skin, but it was pretty easy to peel off. The fruit is also much larger than an orange so it produced more and bigger slices.

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My favorite part about the ugli fruit was the fact that the slices were FULL of juice. Seriously, they just explode with every bite you take. I’ve certainly never had an orange that did that before. Other fruits on my list that I want to try out include prickly pear cactus fruit, star fruit, and all the fruit on this list.


While the rest of my grocery store finds were not nearly as exciting as the ugli fruit, it has been nice to have a full fridge again. On Tuesday evening I prepared some ground turkey on the stove top along with some refried black beans and brown rice to make Mexican taco bowls.

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I used those three ingredients as the base of my bowl, and then added salsa, guacamole, plain Greek yogurt (it’s an excellent sour cream substitute), and a little cheddar cheese. Delicious!

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And while we’re on the topic of bowls, I also wanted to share my latest breakfast obsession with you.

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1/2 cup oats, 3/4 cup skim milk, and 1/2 banana (mashed) stirred and cooked up in the microwave; topped with cinnamon, blueberries, and a big blob of cashew butter.

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I have forgotten how much I love raw cashew butter so I’m glad I picked up a jar this week. Flavored nut butters don’t stand a chance, but I’m pretty good about making plain nut butter last a while in my house. It’s delicious mixed in oatmeal, smoothies, and toast, but it’s just not as appealing straight off a spoon.

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And now I’m craving some cashew butter pancakes. I think I know what’s on the dinner menu tonight Winking smile.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Recapping Our Trip to LA

Hello!

Dang; long time no talk! My apologies for the delay, but it’s been a hectic couple of days. We flew back from Los Angeles on Monday morning and landed in Detroit at about 5:00 pm. By the time we got back to Eric’s apartment in Lansing and made dinner, it was nearly 8:00 and I was completely exhausted. I made the drive back to Traverse City yesterday morning and then spent the day running errands, hitting the gym, and grocery shopping.

We had a fantastic time in Los Angeles, but a lot of the pictures that I took were either at the convention center (more or less all the same stuff – and probably super boring for others to see), or of all the delicious FOOD we ate while we were there! Seriously, I spent sooo much money on food. My wallet and I are not friends right now. I also did a lot of Instagramming while we were gone – follow me (healthyberg) or check out my Instagram feed on the right hand side of my blog to see my recent pics.

Anyway, I definitely want to share more about my trip with you, but I also want to get back to blogging about the “here and now” stuff so I’ll try to keep it to one post. I already talked about Thursday's activities so now it’s time to recap the rest of the trip, starting with our stop at the hotel gym on Friday!

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We only managed to hit up the gym one day while we were out there, but it was very nice. A long wall of cardio equipment (treadmills, ellipticals and bikes) and lots of machines and free weights; plus a stretching/ab work area. We were surprised how many people were there at 6:30 in the morning (we were stuck on Eastern time and couldn’t sleep), but it was quite busy!

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Later that day, we also went down to check out the pool. I only ended up taking one picture while we were there, but I stole this one from the hotel website. Isn’t it gorgeous?!

image It was absolutely glorious laying out and soaking up the rays in the middle of winter Smile.

On Friday night, we tried out a neat Italian restaurant that was a short walk from our hotel.

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We had calamari, wine, pizza, and tiramisu. Doesn’t get much better than that!

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Eric also found THE perfect wine. Have any of you seen the episode of How I Met Your Mother where Marshall searches everywhere for that perfect burger? Yeah, this was that wine for Eric. It was a red zinfandel and it was pretty much love at first sip.

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We shared a glass and he ended up purchasing a bottle to take home with him. Definitely saving that for a special occasion!

We spent most of the day Saturday at the conference, which was at the Convention Center just a couple blocks from our hotel.

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We went to the opening session in the morning and then in the afternoon I walked around and checked out the exhibit hall while Eric did his poster presentation. All of the community pharmacy residents (read more about Eric’s job in this post) have to do a research project and those in attendance at the conference printed out a large poster of their findings so far. They were all displayed in a large hall where fellow pharmacists and students could see them, and the residents stood by their posters for a two hour period on Saturday to answer questions that people had for them.

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I didn’t want to embarrass Eric on Saturday by taking pictures, but here’s one that I took on my phone on Friday after he set his poster up. It looked fantastic!

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The exhibit hall was fun – much bigger than the one at MPA.

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I walked around for two hours while Eric did his presentation and then we swung by the blood drive before leaving the convention center. It’s been years since I’ve donated blood but I was glad I did. Even though you just lie on a table, you kind of feel a sense of accomplishment when you’re done! Plus I got a nifty sticker to put on my name tag, and that totally makes it worth it.

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On Saturday night, we attended a social for all of the Michigan pharmacists in attendance at the conference and after that was over we went to dinner with some of the MPA (Michigan Pharmacist Association) employees. Eric knows the CEO of MPA from previous pharmacy rotations and various residency projects, so I was pretty excited when he invited us to join them for dinner! It was at a nice restaurant with really good food, too. Pretty cool!

Sunday was a lot more low key. We walked down to the fashion district and I picked up this little gem as a souvenir:

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And then we went to the Wolfgang Puck restaurant to celebrate our last night in LA.

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I loved the cool vibe of the restaurant. Perfect for a fun date night.

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We had a great time on the trip, but it’s good to be home. I have been doing so much travelling lately and frankly, I’m just sick of it. My car needs a break and Mikey needs a mom who’s actually home once in a while (yes, I missed him like crazy). I’m actually still on vacation until Saturday, so I’m looking forward to enjoying these last couple days and getting my diet and exercise regimen back on track.

Catch ya later!

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