Wendy UnBrOkEn

Without the Dark, We'd Never See the Stars...

Friday, August 24, 2012

Green Smoothies

What's green, tastes great and is so good for you?  Green smoothies! Green smoothies are quickly sweeping the nation as the best health drink that anyone can make at home.  I personally have been making and drinking green smoothies for the last year.  I started out with a regular blender and it was pretty good at blending up the ingredients but it left some pieces that I would have to chew up.  I dealt with that because I love green smoothies and the positives outweighed the negatives.  I finally bought myself a new blender specifically made for blending up greens and fruits and nuts called The Nutribullet.  It is by far the best blender I have ever owned.  It is able to blend greens,fruits and nuts into a smooth silkiness that would rival even the Vitamix (another blender brand). 

Let's take a look at how green smoothies are so easy to make and incorporate into your life: Borrowed from the Raw Foods Witch website 

1. All you need is a blender and an open mind.

The great thing about green smoothies is that it doesn’t require much to get started. (You could invest in a Vitamix for silky-smooth shakes, but that’s totally optional.) My biggest suggestion is to give green smoothies a try before you get a better blender. That way you’ll be convinced of their effectiveness.

2. Green Smoothies are quick to make.

If you’re in a rush you can get a green smoothie ready and blended in less than 13 minutes. You can just blend and go while you drink the green smoothie on the run. You could even make a green smoothie ahead of time. Then store half of it in the refrigerator using a glass mason jar and it will still taste great one day later.

3. You get a steady stream of energy. (No crashing!)

You won’t experience the up-and-down spikes that you might from an all fruit smoothie when you make it a green one. That’s because the fiber rich greens slow down the absorption of fruit sugars, providing you with just the right amount of energy and nutrition at a pace that your body really loves.

4. Green smoothies can be enjoyed year round.

When your garden is overflowing with greens, just whip up a couple of batches of green smoothies and enjoy these inexpensive nutritional drinks. You can also benefit from green smoothies in the winter, by using frozen fruits and greens that you might have preserved from the summer. Green smoothies provide you with a lot of options all year round.

5. Green smoothies are ideal for weight loss.

Whenever you feel a craving coming on, make yourself a green smoothie instead of indulging your craving.  Green smoothies help cut cravings because they are satisfying and provide your body with tons of nutrition.

6. Greens are the most Under-appreciated Superfoods.

We all know green tea is great as an antioxidant. What is green tea made of, if it’s not greens? Skip the middleman and just increase your intake of greens. Green leafy veggies are great because they have tons of cancer fighting properties, immune system boosting vitamins and minerals. Upping green leaf intake has been shown to reduce heart disease and prevent other degenerative diseases. That’s what I call super. 

7. Satisfy every taste bud.

If you have a sweet tooth you’ll enjoy making green smoothies with lots of fruit. If you want something a little edgier, you can add some Raw Chocolate powder and make it a nutritiously devious dessert. If you want to replace a meal, you can make savory green smoothies using ingredients like tomatoes, cucumbers, celery, and even spices to make it a satisfying hearty meal.
Green Witch's Goop

The Basic Green Smoothie Recipe

Feel free to use this basic green smoothie base and experiment. 
  • 1 Banana
  • 1 Peach
  • 5 Strawberries
  • Handful Spinach (increase greens gradually over time, and you’ll find you crave more of them!)
  • 1 cup water
Taken from the Living in the Real World website, we can see how wonderful green smoothies are for people of all ages:   

- Green smoothies promote weight loss. Naturally if you exclusively eat one thing for a few days, you’re probably going to lose weight simply because it’s difficult to over-eat on one type of food – you get tired/bored of it. But green smoothies are particularly good for weight loss because the high water content and the potentially high fibre content fill you up. They provide a lot of sustenance, and depending on the ingredients you use they can also be a very low-calorie snack/meal. I’ve had trials of green smoothie “fasts” several times now, and each time I notice a weight loss of a couple pounds within just a few days. The weight will stay off as long as you eat normally in the days that follow. If you overeat, you’ll regain the weight. If you eat proper-sized portions of foods, that weight will stay off.

- Green smoothies help the body stay hydrated. Hydration is so important for keeping our energy levels up, for good brain and muscular functions, to help the immune system, and to help get rid of any toxins and waste in the body. Unfortunately, most people don’t drink nearly enough water. If your urine isn’t an extremely pale yellow or nearly clear colour, you likely aren’t drinking enough water. If you’re thirsty, that’s the body’s way of telling you that you’re already showing the first signs of dehydration. The reasons for not drinking enough water are numerous, including that people don’t like the taste of water, they don’t have time to drink water regularly throughout the day, they forget to drink water or that they consume too many other things which are dehydrating. Green smoothies can help with that! Generally if I use one cup of water in a smoothie and add some fruit and leafy greens, once blended the volume increases to about 1.5 or 2 cups of liquid. Drink green smoothies to stay hydrated and you’ll find that you feel a million times better.

- Green smoothies promote good digestion. They help to break down the food so that our bodies can access nutrients. Some scientific research points to the reality that many people have poor pH levels in their stomachs. This means that, due to evolution, dietary patterns or changing health in general, our bodies may not be as efficient and adept at breaking down food to acquire nutrients as they once were. Plants are made of extraordinarily strong materials and if we cannot properly break down the greens in our digestive system, we will not be extracting all of the precious nutrients. That’s where the blender comes in. By drinking our leafy greens, the cells have already been broken down so that the nutrients will be more accessible. Awesome! This also means that if you find it difficult to eat greens because they make you bloat or cause indigestion, the green smoothies will be much kinder on your system and you will be able to consume leafy greens without any uncomfortable side effects.

- Green smoothies provide a ton of nutrients. As a general rule, we don’t get enough leafy greens in our diets. Some health professionals even suggest that leafy should be an entire category on their own, separate from the fruit/vegetable food group, because of the bountiful nutrients that they provide. Victoria Boutenko provides detailed analysis of the nutritional profile of greens, offering an impressive amount of evidence that leafy greens “are the primary food group that matches human nutritional needs most completely” (Boutenko, 35). And yes, leafy greens provide a lot of protein as well. If you continue to rotate the types of leafy greens that you use in your smoothies, you will be getting all of the essential amino acids into your diet. They’re the single most important food to include in our diet, and yet they are incredibly under-used in the Standard American Diet.

- Green smoothies are an appealing way to eat greens. Okay, so this isn’t so much a “health” benefit, but it’s still a beneficial way for people to consume their greens! We should be consuming a pound or two of leafy greens every day to reap amazing nutritional benefits, and green smoothies can help us to meet that goal. Many people dislike salads or find it just plain challenging to eat large quantities of salad or other forms of greens. Smoothies, however, can be mixed with fruit, cocoa powder or flavoured protein powder and the like to turn it into a sweet treat. In this way you could have a smoothie for breakfast, a smoothie as a pre- or post-workout snack and a smoothie for dessert in the evening. Three smoothies right there! You can add any kind of leafy green, or different kinds of powdered sea greens and herbs for a good variety.


Some of my favorite green smoothie recipes are so simple, anyone can do it!
Just follow these basic 4 steps:

  • Fill blender with 50% leafy greens (kale, spinach, romaine, Swiss chard, collard greens, ect...)plus 50% fruits (apples, pears, berries, oranges, plums, strawberries  blueberries, ect...)

  • Pour water or almond milk or coconut milk to the top of mixture

  • Add a teaspoon of nuts/seeds if you desire (sunflower seeds, chopped almonds, cashews, ect...)

  • Blend until smooth! ENJOY!!! 

National Registry EMT Exam

On Monday, I got up early and went to the Pearson-Vue Center in downtown Texarkana to take my EMT National Registry exam.  I had to sign in and show 2 forms of I.D, do a finger print and do a palm vein scan!  They are serious about security there!!  I also had to pull out my pockets in my jeans to prove I didn't have anything with me and I had to swear that I wasn't taking anything inside the testing center that wasn't allowed.  They must be worried about cheating.  I do not blame them!  I can see some people trying to sneak in notes and calculators.  Those medical exams are tough.  

I finally got seated at computer number 1 and the examiner turned on my exam.  I read through the directions and hit BEGIN.  Question after question I felt like I was answering wrong.  I started to feel sick and beads of sweat were popping out on my forehead.  I stared to make horrible mistakes that I knew were wrong, but my clicky finger hits NEXT before I am ready.  I thought I was about to pass out.  I had to concentrate on breathing normal or I might have hyperventilated.    One question for sure I know I answered wrong... I gave nitro to a man with a pressure of 88.  I don't even know why I did that.  I know better.  I'm blaming it on my trigger happy clicky finger getting overly excited.  Right then... The test shut off.  OMG!  The test shut off!  I was only on question 50 something... OMG! I sat there in shock for what seemed like eons when finally the examiner came and got me.  She said "Wow, that was quick!" 
I knew I had failed the exam.  I should have studied harder, more, or with someone.  I went out to my truck and thought I was going to throw up.  I am not sure how I even made it home.  I was in a depression fog.  I was so upset.  At home I fell into my bed and just stared into space.  

National Registry posts the results on their website within 1-2 days.  My paramedic friends said I would probably have mine within 6-8 hours.  I pulled up the site and signed in.  I turned on the TV and started watching a movie.  I think I watched a Tyler Perry movie:  Why Did I Get Married?  I got up from time to time to refresh the website  checking my results.  Time after time there was nothing there.  Nothing to tell me if I failed or passed.  I was about to have an anxiety attack!!  

I finally clicked refresh AGAIN and there it was... a new screen!  Did my eyes see what I think they saw?  The words "Congratulations Wendy!  You are now a Nationally Registered EMT!"   HOLY SMOKES!!!!  How?  I thought I was failing miserably the entire time, but really I was doing quite well!  I passed that exam within 50 questions!  I think there are 150 questions.  If you are doing really well it shuts off and passes you, but if you are not doing so well it keeps questioning you until you pass or fail.  But, it also does that if you are failing badly at 50 questions, it will just fail you.  THAT is what I thought happened to me!!!  

So, I passed!  No one was home for me to share my good news with.  I had to text people and post it to my Twitter and Facebook pages!  I was so happy!!

Yesterday, my NREMT patch and certificate came in the mail.  I am official!!  

I applied last Friday at Lifenet ambulance services for a part time EMT position.  I will keep you all updated on that!  I hope they call me.  

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Night Out

Friday night, Julie and I and some other girls went out to Fat Jacks Bar and Shooters Bar. 
I took the time to do my hair extra curly (it is natural, but I have to dry it very slowly for it to look nice) and do my make up just right, especially my eyes.  I washed and dried my favorite jeans (almost too big for me now!!) and wore my best black shirt.  I thought I was looking pretty cute!  Julie picked me up at 8:30pm and we headed to Jacks. 

 As soon as we got a table I saw this guy that I had gone out with years and years ago walk into the bar.  Let me just say, I cannot stand him.  He is so obnoxious I just want to slap the shit out of him every time he opens his mouth.  Lucky me...he ended up knowing all of my friends that I was there with.  What did I do to piss off the universe this time? He sat with us the entire time we were there!  I had to suffer through his loud mouth and him trying to touch everyone.  We finally left and went to Shooters Bar and I really thought he would come out there, but he never did. Thank goodness!  

Shooters was DEAD.  I guess people don't go out on a Friday night anymore.  It was not packed at all.  There was, however, a very strange man there.  He was randomly dancing with every woman.  Just going up to her and dancing beside her or behind her.  If you have ever seen the Ellen Show, she had a contest called Dance Dare.  Please, if you haven't seen it...watch this video!!! Ellen Dance Dare Winner
Funniest thing EVER!!  Here are a few more must see  videos:  Video 1 Video 2 Video 3

So, back to the random dancing guy...  Girls were not impressed by him or his moves.  He finally came over to my friends and I and tried to dance around and behind us.  I pressed my body against the bar so he couldn't get behind me.  He told us that his daddy was the richest man in America and that he was the richest guy to even set foot in that bar.  He told us his name, which sounded very rich indeed... something like Preston Wallace Thorn-dyke Wales the 3rd or something equally rich and famous sounding.  He even had an odd rich kid look to him.  He was clearly an escaped psych patient that decided to stop there and dance...randomly...with every girl there.  To make things even funnier, this really tiny old lady (in her 70's at least) came in and started doing the same thing this man was doing.  They never spoke to each other as far as I could tell, but she randomly danced with everyone, men and women.  I finally said "Is this randomly dance around people you don't know day?"
Security finally made him tab out and leave. What a weird guy.  He was obviously mentally ill.  The whole thing reminded me of Ellen's Dance Dare contest.  Please watch the videos!

After we left Shooters we went to IHop.  Julie and I shared a meal.  We are lap band sisters, ya know? We had eggs, sausage, bacon and hash browns.  It was so good!  It came with red velvet pancakes, but we can't eat bread products like that.  It might gum up and stick in the band.  I boxed up the pancakes and took them home to my children. We had an awesome waiter named Michael.  He was a pretty funny guy.  He kept making fun of us because we wanted him to hurry and get our food even though we had just gotten there.  We were so sleepy though, we just wanted to hurry and go home to our beds!

We made a side trip at 2am to the ER (Julie and I  work at the ER) to pick up some sheets that Julie had left in the monitor room... I had to run in there and get them for her because she thought she smelled to much like smoke.  We had acquired this horrible smoky bar odor...  it was nasty.  I hate that smell.  I used to be a smoker, but I quit about 3 years ago.  Now, I hate the smell of cigarettes.  

After I got home, I put my smoky clothing in the washer and closed the lid.  I sprayed body spray all over myself in an attempt to kill the stench.  I finally got into bed around 2:30am.  

What a night!! 
Looking fwd to doing it again soon!! 


Friday, August 17, 2012

Gonna Drop It Like It's Hot Tonight!

...OK maybe more like luke warm...but it's going to be a blast either way!

My friend Julie and I and a few others are going out tonight!  I am so excited!  Thinking Fat Jacks first, then Shooters (Texarkana, Arkansas).  A few non carbonated drinks for me because I deserve them, but not too many!!  Empty calories, they are!!  It is possible there could be dancing!  Watch out Texarkana, Wendy is going out on the town!!

Will post an update tomorrow with possible photos!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

8-15-12 Pictures

Guess what?  I forgot that I will be at work Saturday and so will my son (he takes the photos).  So today is picture day!!  

These are my ONE MONTH after lap band photos!!

August 15, 2012

August 15, 2012

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Almost One Month Post Op

I am 3 days shy of being one month out from lap band surgery placement.  I started all normal foods today.  I had a slice of pizza for dinner.  It was small, but I feel like I ate 5 slices!  In 3 days I will be taking my 1 month photos.  I know I took the before photos on July 5th, but the surgery was on July 17th.  People have told me that I look smaller, so I am excited to see the new photos and judge for myself side by side with the before photos.  It is hard to tell since I see myself daily and don't really notice change yet.  So, be on the lookout Saturday for 1 month photos.  

Feel free to follow me on Twitter:  @WendyUnBrOkEn 
Facebook:  Wendy Sterling Carr

Oh and I weighed today!  2 more pounds gone FOREVER!!!

Friday, August 10, 2012

Post Op Appt * EMT Test

I had my first post op check up yesterday (8/9/12) and everything is right on track.  I have healed up nicely and I am pain free now.  I go back in 2 weeks for my first fill! I am very excited about that even though they will be sticking a 5 inch needle through my abdominal wall and into the port.  Owww!  It will be worth it though!

When I got to the doctors office the first thing I noticed was how hot it was in there.  I saw people fanning themselves and sweating.  My mom went up to the desk and asked why it was so hot and they told her that in the middle of the night someone or a group of someones climbed over an iron fence and through barbed wire to get to the buildings air conditioners to steal the copper wiring from them!  It just makes me so mad that people like this are even on the planet.  I want to scream, "GET A FUCKING JOB like the rest of us!". 

I had to sit through a nutrition class (in the blazing heat).  I can now start to transition to regular foods as tolerated.  I am not supposed to drink anything 30 min before I eat, while I eat or 30 min after I eat.  That is SO HARD!!!! If anyone has any tips please share with me!

  Because of the heat, it was the most miserable doctor appointment I have ever had.  I know the poor staff  were miserable, too.  They did not even have fans in the back.  They had one fan out front, but it was doing very little to cool that huge waiting room off. 

Starting weight (first day of liquid diet) 7/05/12 :  257 pounds
Weight on surgery day 7/17/12 :  253 pounds
Weight as of 8/09/12 :  245 pounds
Total loss as of 8/09/12 :  12 pounds


August 20, 2012 I will be taking the National Registry of Emergency Medical Technology test.  I guess I should start studying to refresh myself!
Wish me luck!!

Sunday, August 5, 2012


I stopped weighing.  I get too emotional about it if I don't see a drop.  I am going to wait until my doctor appt to weigh again.  I go August 9.

My incisions are healed for the most part.  They are still pink and raised, but are no longer painful or itchy.  I only have minimal upper left sided discomfort due to the hernia repair. 

I have not had heart burn or vomiting or nausea in 19 days!  I've had bad heart burn since I was 19 and vomiting and nausea for the last year because of the hernia.  I was so miserable.  I literally ate an entire bottle of Tums every week.  It barely touched it.  Nexium controlled the heart burn the last 3 months, but not the vomiting and nausea.  I didn't even know what it was not to have that horrible burning sensation in my stomach, chest and throat.  It is NIIICE to be heart burn free!  No more vomiting! No more nausea!! My risk for esophageal cancer is less now.  YAY!

Everything in my life seems to be going according to plan.  I am just very impatient and want it all RIGHT NOW!  I want to be skinny NOW.  I want a relationship NOW.  I want to graduate school NOW.  I think you get the picture...
Patience... I need patience.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

~Sleep Apnea~

I saw my internal medicine doctor yesterday to go over my sleep study results.  I was really hoping that I was OK now since getting the hernia repair.  I have felt better, slept better, and my kids say I am not snoring very much at all now.  So, when I went to the doctor I was hopeful that I would be able to get another sleep study to prove that I am better, but no...

Some background:

For the last 2 years I have had trouble swallowing food.  It would get stuck right at the base of my sternum and it felt like the food was growing and stretching my esophagus. It would be so painful at times that I would have to go make myself throw up.  I was also getting very nauseous every day, especially at night.  I would also vomit nightly, sometimes several times a night.  I had terrible heart burn and acid reflux as well. Acid reducers worked most of the time for the heart burn but I still had reflux/vomiting nightly and nothing would help that.  I started feeling very fatigued and weak about a year ago.  I couldn't seem to function beyond work and had to force myself to go to EMT school and go to EMT clinicals.  On my days off I'd stay in my pajamas and stay in bed all day sleeping off and on or reading.  Just walking to the bathroom exhausted me. Lifting my arm to turn on a light wore me out.  Having a conversation made me tired.  When I would go to work, I took caffeine pills to keep me awake and give me some energy. I was neglecting my kids needs.  I felt bad about that, but it was just too miserable to get up and do things. I was in a constant state of depression and had a lot of guilt.  I am sure my family thought I was lazy.  Hell, I felt lazy!  I didn't go out with my friends anymore because I just didn't have it in me to do so.  If I did go out with a friend, it was not for very long.  I got to where I'd have to call into work because I had not slept at all and I just couldn't function.  My whole entire body would ache and burn, also.  I couldn't even touch my legs.  They felt like they were one big bruise.  My neck and lower back hurt so bad at times that the only relief I had was when I was in bed being a still as possible. I had stiff joints and my bones cracked and popped all the time.  I suffered from headaches  several times a week.

One day about 4 months ago I posted on Facebook that I was having all these issues.  A friend/co worker of mine saw it and told me I should see her doctor.  She said she had some of the same problems and that her doctor made a huge difference in her quality of life.  So, I made an appt.

When I went to this new doctor, she made an impression on me right away.  She spent 2 hours with me going over my entire life worth of medical history before deciding what tests to run.  She questioned me about everything, even things I didn't think of as significant...she wanted to know about them all. She finally decided to do some blood work and a home oxygen level test.  She also diagnosed me with fibromyalgia.  I take cymbalta for that.

My blood work showed I was deficient in vitamin D and I was anemic (low iron).  That explains some of the weakness and tiredness.  She started me on vitamin D therapy, 5,000 IU  a day.  I started on vitamins with extra iron, also.  My home oxygen test showed that when I was asleep my O2 levels fell down to the low 80's.  I was at work when my doctor called and told me I had to do a sleep study that night. After work I went up stairs and got hooked up to a million different wires and they put me to bed.  Trying to sleep during a sleep test is hard but I did manage to get 400 minutes of sleep.  Enough for the study to be conducted. 

As you know, July 17th my surgeon went in and placed a lap band and while in there she found and fixed a major hernia.  Since the surgery I have not had any more nausea or vomiting/acid reflux. 

Back to present day:

So, yesterday I saw my doctor for the sleep study results.  The results were very very bad.  Basically, I have profound sleep apnea.  I have obstructive and central sleep apnea.  Sleep apnea is when a person stops breathing while sleeping.  My sleep apnea is so serious I will have to see a specialist on Aug 13, 2012. No wonder I was tired and weak...I wasn't sleeping!! 

Although  obstructive and central sleep apnea are both serious, central apnea happens when the brain stem doesn't send messages to the muscles that help you breathe.  Sometimes, the cause is an infection in the brain stem, a tumor or a spinal cord injury (I did have spinal surgery C5-6 in December 2010).  As you can imagine, I am a bit scared and worried.  My doctor literally looked me in the eyes and said I could die without treatment.  That was terrifying, to say the least... 

Please see this website for more information on sleep apnea.