Bella Vida

Married for 6 years. Trying to have a baby almost as long. Living a Beautiful Life.

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Location: Maryland, United States

Married & Trying to have a baby for almost 4 years. Dealing with MF (male factor infertility).

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Day 17 Over halfway there

Baked Sweet Potatoes

Just cuz I think this is funny: "New Rule: Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas must be combined into one single super-holiday--called "Thankshallowistmas." That way, you only have to get together with your bat-shit family once. In a costume for candy, presents and a big turkey dinner. Then it's everybody into the den until you're drunken uncle calls your cousin a whore," from Bill Maher's New Rules.

I was talking with the hubbs last night about how we're feeling on this new "diet." He says he feels a lot better and has more energy at the gym. Also, his indigestion has disappeared. No more tums. The changes I've noticed are I'm no longer sleepy after meals and I'm never super-full. I'd say I've lost about 5lbs. Getting older sucks sometimes. Weight just doesn't melt away like it used to.

Tonight was Baked Sweet Potatoes from of course :)

Cubed the sweet potatoes and chopped 1 onion. Adding onion was suggested by a few of the reviewers and I think it was a brilliant idea.

Mixed it all in a bowl with an Italian herb blend, olive oil, salt and pepper. Again, I took suggestions from others and added extra olive oil and seasoning.

Into a glass dish and then the oven for 1 hour.

Voila! I did stir occasionally and broiled at the end for a little crispiness.

I really liked this and so did D. It was different from the usual sweet dish. I would definitely make it again.

Carrie and Susan mentioned wanting a Sweet Potato soup recipe. AllRecipes has a creamy one here . Got great reviews and some people substituted the sugar in it with Splenda. Let me know if you try it out.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Day 16 Feeling better

Thanks so much for all the well wishes and advice. Today was much better. I feel like I can actually wait until mid-December for an appointment.

So the challenge is going ok. I'd say well, but I really need to exercise. As far as food choices go, I'm doing a good job I think. I look most forward to dinner which is usually sauteed veggies or soup. Tomorrow I'm going to try a sweet potato recipe and I'll post pics. Short post again :)

Monday, November 26, 2007

Days 13-14...maybe 15 too

Hi Everyone. I'm still pecking away at the keys. My hand is killing and moving up my arm. It was a pretty miserable holiday at times. At one point I thought about going to emergency. Anyway, I'm still drinking the green and I didn't do too terrible over the holiday thank goodness. Had our drink daily and ate pretty sensibly.

I have a lot of catch-up reading to do and I need to find an hand specialist that has an appointment before mid-freaking December!!??

Also, to those of you waiting on bracelets--I promise to try and get them out by Saturday. I'll just swallow a few advil and get through the last few :)

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Days 9-12

Still here with the hurt finger. It's really my thumb and index fingers. I was looking up "crochet finger injury" and someone mentioned carpal tunnel. I'll have to go to the doc and find out. Thanks for the well wishes :)

D and I are leaving for South Carolina today for the holiday. I won't be posting while I'm gone :( Everyone have a great week! Keep up the good work and I'll check-in once I return.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Day 8 Pecking at the keys

My finger is injured from over-crocheting and it's hard to type. It's been like this for many months now. I can't finish my granny square blanket and it is easily aggravated. Ughhhhh. This is a short post. I made it through today. I didn't eat much though. Weird.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Day 7 Check your labels

Yesterday I watched a tivo'd special Dr. Oz had on DHC. I had no idea partially hydrongenated oils and enriched ingredients are so terrible for you. Actually, I didn't even know exactly what they were until the special and "enriched" always sounded like a good thing when reading food labels., I need to have a cabinet clean-out. Until then I'll be reading every label armed with new information.

Well guys, it's the end of week one. Whew! I can't believe I made it and resisted Bojangles chicken strips and UTZ cheese balls. Dr. Oz says it takes 2-weeks to form a new habit. 1-down, 1-to-go. It hasn't been as bad as I thought it was going to be. I can honestly say it's probably the easiest "diet" I've ever been on. I'm even getting used to the green goo :) The hardest part has been the cleaning and chopping of all the veggies, but I hate doing that stuff even when I'm making chicken pot pies and the like. Grocery shopping is also a bit of a chore for now. I think I need to figure out where the best places to go are and when. Anyone got any tips?

Good luck to everyone this week. I know it's gonna be tough with the holiday for those of us in the US, but do your best and don't feel guilty about enjoying a little stuffing on Turkey day :)

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Days 5 & 6 of Get Healthy

Yesterday was pretty uneventful. Today is shaping-up to be the same. I did make a great veggie soup last night for dinner. Here's the recipe:

Veggie Soup

2-cans vegetable broth
1-can chicken broth (If you don't want chicken broth, use another can of vegetable broth)
1-cup water
2-3 vegetable bullion cubes
1-can (or fresh) green beans drained
1-can navy or black beans drained
10-baby carrots diced or sliced
2-celery stalks
1/3-jalapeno sliced thin (optional)
1/2-yellow bell pepper (or green)
2-tablespoons dried Italian herbs
pepper to taste

Add broth and water to pot and all ingredients except for zucchini. Bring to a boil and simmer until carrots are tender. Add zucchini and cook for an additional 5-8 minutes. Until zucchini is tender, but not mushy.

This is the second time I made veggie soup this week. It's really tasty and easy to make. You can add any other veggies or substitute. The first time I used navy beans and the second I used black beans. Generally, I season "to-taste." You may want less bullion cubes, more water, etc.

I had one bowl and when I later went back to get's what my husband left for me:

I guess he liked it :)

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Day 4 of Get Healthy

Today was a bit rough. I think I'm expecting to feel more too soon and the fact that I'm not has got me a little bummed. I know it's going to take a little time to really feel and notice change. I have to keep reminding myself of that. The good thing is I'm not very hungry. My worst time is midday, but once I'm through it I feel better. The snacks are helping.

Thanks to everyone for all the support and encouragement. All the positive thoughts are so helpful to not only me but everyone participating. Thank You. Thank You.
And keep up the great work everyone!!

A word on the videos...
Ughhh. I'm having technical difficulties. Don't buy a Canon Elura camcorder!! We've had this thing for 4 years and used it all of 5-times and now it's doing this crazy-ass "eject cassette" bull all the time. Looking around online, I found out this is a known problem with this model and Canon doesn't care. Best believe I'm calling tomorrow and giving it my best shot at some kind of resolution. Why-o-why when companies put out a crap product won't they do the right thing?? Especially a huge company like Canon.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Day 3...a moving experience The colonic wasn't the most horrible experience I'm glad to say. Funny, after all the infertility exams and tests I've had to go through--this was the least invasive procedure ever. I experienced some cramping and wimped out after 60% was finished (about 35 minutes). The therapist told me it gets better with each session. I really wish I had been able to finish. I was in a room alone (using machine in above animation) and was able to control the water flow and see what was coming out. Wow...again.

It was totally worth it and like I said, I wish I had been able to complete the session. Some people go once a month, some once a year. I'm definitely going to give it another try.

If you're interested in getting a colonic (colon hydrotherapy) you can find a therapist here: Colon Health Network. I went to Naturally Clean in Maryland. I really liked the therapist and would definitely recommend this center.

I'll have to do a video blog on this tomorrow. I'm really tired--the colonic took everything outta me! LOL...get it? Um...yeah, it's time for bed. If anyone has any questions--ask away!

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Day 2 of Get Healthy

OK, so this morning I woke up with a headache. I still have it. I was trying to give it time to go away, but it ain't working. I think I'm going through withdrawal...craving UTZ cheese

So yesterday was weird. Like I said in my video, I seemed to experience a little high after the morning drink which lasted a couple hours. Then, like a ton of bricks--I was starving! I experienced the starving problem again a few hours later so I snacked on dried cranberries and sunflower seeds until dinner. Dinner was sauteed zucchini and onions and a huge salad.

Here's the new blender:

Today we decided to double the recipe, which turned out to be too much:

We used the juicer for everything except the parsley and spinach. Once we juiced, we mixed it all in the blender. The blender definitely helped--I think?--to get the spinach and parsley mixed up more. The drink didn't taste any different though. I'm drinking the rest of the juice for lunch.

I made an appointment for a colonic yesterday. I've never had one, so this will be interesting. I go tomorrow--wish me luck! Oh yeah...headache is gone.

Me on YouTube Day 2

Monday, November 12, 2007

Day 1...of a different kind *Updated*

UPDATE--Find out your Real Age HERE. Ummm...I'm coming in at 38.5 when I'm really 31. Ughhh. Also, here's my video for the day: Me on YouTube

Today is the first day of our 30-Day Get Healthy Challenge! Wooooo hoooooo! Below are the participants:
Ms. Infertile
K @ OurBoxOfRain
Me :)

Please visit their blogs and offer some support! It's not too late to join us. Leave a comment if you want to participate!

OK, I did it! I drank the green stuff!!! It wasn't bad at all. We used Dr. Oz's recipe and added 1 extra apple and some grapes. I did a video blog that I'll post on YouTube later today once I figure it all out :)

Here's the hubbs chopping the goods.

Here he is "feeding" the machine. I always let him do the fun parts :)

Voila! I grabbed any two glasses outta the dishwasher, but we had equal amounts. I drank 2 small glasses and he had the 1 tall.

This is the only part that is a pain. The clean-up took about 10 minutes just rinsing and pulling apart the machine. If we get our own, we may look for one that is easier to clean.

Honestly, it wasn't gross and the flavor wasn't as intense as I thought it would be. Nowadays, when you buy juice from the store the favors are strong and sweet. With this drink I could definitely taste the celery, cucumber and ginger. Much different than tasting added artificial flavors. I made my husband taste it Today I'm going to get a blender. The parsley and spinach didn't really juice and pretty much just shot out the back still intact.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Shopping for the challenge

After meeting with the lovely DC Metro infertility bloggers, I stopped by Whole Foods to do a little shopping. Can I just tell you I felt completely freaked? I love Whole Foods and I was a shopper back when it was Fresh Fields, but going there sometimes causes more stress than its worth. Why is everyone in such a rush in that store and why-o-why are the stores all so small?? Today was by far my worst experience ever. It didn't help that I had a list of items I wasn't all that familiar with. I just couldn't take the time to look around. I got a few things and finished my shopping at Giant. There are other healthy and organic grocers in the area like M.O.M., so I'm going to definitely visit other places.

Here's what my table looks like tonight. My car smalled like a veggie garden on the way I'm not looking forward to washing all this stuff. Again, I'm reading Raw Food Detox Diet.

Hope everyone is up for the challenge starting tomorrow!! Thanks to all that are participating and if YOU want to participate, leave a comment and I'll add your name. As Bean said--"Go Team!"

Click the 30-Day Challenge Button on my sidebar to learn more about this challenge.

Friday, November 09, 2007

Bracelets are GONE!! More info

Wow--this has been a long journey! Since August I've been giving away bracelets and I've finally reached my goal of 100 Free Infertility Awareness bracelets given away. I have "met" lots of new bloggers and non bloggers with many that have touched my heart by sharing personal stories. Thank you all so much!

Originally, I planned to start selling the bracelets with 100% of the profit going to Infertility Awareness after the freebies. However, it took quite a while to give away 100 so I just don't know there is a need for it. If you want to buy one, send me an email and I'll get a list going. If I get enough requests, I'll sell them:

Again, please visit the original post HERE to learn how this project started and what supplies you need to make your own bracelet.

OK, I've had lots of people wondering how to put the icon on their blog sidebar. I found a couple of articles that explain it:
Old Classic Blogger
New Blogger Version
I hope the articles are helpful! Good Luck.

Flor sent me an email asking me to post instructions on how I made the bracelets. Here you go:

1. Cut three 13.25" pieces of DMC 814 string/floss
2. Tie a knot 2" down
3. Secure the knotted threads to a pillow (can use anything)

4. Braid the threads

5. Be sure to stop at different points to untangle the bottom

6. Once you have a little over 7" of braided string, tie another knot. You should have 2" of unbraided thread on both ends.
You, of course, can make your bracelet shorter or longer. Good Luck!

One more thing. It's been interesting to read honest stories on blogs of people getting the bracelets and then being apprehensive to wear them. Coming out of the infertility closet can be really tough. Even if you never wear it, having it may just remind you at times that you are never alone in this struggle.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Getting to the Gettin'

I created a button/logo for the 30-Day Get Healthy Challenge. Feel free to use it.

So far, here are the participants:
Ms. Infertile
Me :)

I'm so excited! I know it's gonna be tough and I'm going to be grumpy, but I'm excited that you guys are doing this with me. I think having support will make such a huge difference. For anyone else interested in participating, we're doing a 30-Day Get Healthy Challenge starting on Monday, November 12. We're doing this "a-la-carte" meaning anyway you want to get healthy and feel better. I'm doing a raw-food detox and drinking the green If anyone else is interested in participating, leave a comment and I'll add you. Even if it's just 1 change you make like drinking a big bottle of water a day, it could have a huge impact. Let's feel better!!

So...does anyone have a plan of attack? Have a spouse/partner or friend that is willing to participate with you? My husband says he's going to do it with me, but you all remember the beet story...we'll see.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

National Infertility Awareness Week

November 4-10, 2007

Just a reminder: RESOLVE

Green Drinks

There are 0 Freebie bracelets left

Again, please, please VOTE for MEL: here

In preparation for the 30-day get healthy challenge starting on November 12, I'm looking for healthy drinks. Dr. Oz has been on Oprah talking about healing the body through healthy foods and as I mentioned in another post, Kris Carr is a real inspiration. So the green drinks are all the rage! I need energy desperately, so I'm willing to try it. Here is Dr. Oz's recipe:

Dr. Oz's Green Drink recipe

4 Celery Stalks
1 Cucumber
1 Cup Spinach
1 Lemon
1 Lime
1 Large Apple
1/2 Inch Piece of Ginger
1/4 Cup chopped Parsley

Mix everything together in a juicer/blender and add ice! If you're accustomed to drinking really sweet drinks like I am, you may want to start out by adding unsweetened fruit juice, a carrot, additional apples or a banana. Look how great it looks in a martini

If you can't see yourself making this, here are some other ready-made green drinks to try:
Green Machine by Naked (Nestle)--I've actually tried this and it's good.
Bolthouse Farms Green Goodness
Minute Maid Pomegranate Blueberry--Not green, but I just got this the other day and it's really good. Also, they are offering a money-back-guarantee if you don't like it.

Here's an article on introducing green drinks into your life.
Here's a great printable guide to pesticides and produce.
Here's info about the difference between a juicer and a blender.

I'm borrowing a juicer from someone that I will pick up this Saturday. As soon as I get the juicer, I'll let you all know how the "green crap" tastes :)

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Getting Healthy for All

There are only 2 Freebie bracelets left!

I was thinking about my post yesterday and I realized I don't want to exclude anyone. Instead of a 30-Day Infertility Get Healthy Challenge--Let's just call it a 30-Day Get Healthy Challenge. Ok? Ok :) All are welcome to participate.

Fergie asked if we can take a break on Thanksgiving day. I'm thinking yes. My goal is to feel better, healthier. Right now I feel like the bubbleman oompa-loompa. I want the energy everyone is talking about that comes from putting healthy foods into your body. I want to drink that green shit and feel like a new person! I definitely want to lose some of the poundage that is courtesy of infertility depression, but more important--I want to feel better. So do what you need to do in order to feel better during this challenge. If that includes Thanksgiving dinner--go for it! After all, if it makes you feel like shit to watch everyone else chomping down on "collard greens and corn bread, some candied yams, a little potato salad, fried chicken, peach cobbler and a few slices of ham" (anyone want to guess where that movie line is from?) then you're not feeling better :) Anyone else have thoughts on this?

Monday, November 05, 2007

30-Day IF Get Healthy Challenge

There are 2 Freebie bracelets left.

I'm so glad that some of you are interested in doing this together. Bean suggested an IF (Infertility) Get Healthy Challenge and I think it's a great idea. If you're interested, send me an email: or comment and I'll list all the bloggers and non-bloggers that are participating.

OK--now for the details. I'm starting Monday, November 12th. Today I got the The Raw Food Detox book (read reviews on Amazon), which I'm going to look through over the next week and grocery shop to prepare. Personally, I want to keep some kind of online video diary. Cuz why not? lol So I gotta figure out how to do all that within the next week as well.

I gotta say I'm really nervous! If you're a regular reader, you know how I roll in the kitchen. Honestly, I eat some veggies a few times a week and I don't eat fruit unless it comes outta a can. The fruit isn't my fault though--fresh fruit makes me vomit. I swear. If I'm eating well and exercising, I can eat fresh fruit--otherwise I can't tolerate it. So hopefully I'll get past that portion quickly. I actually talked to a nutritionist about it once and she confirmed there are other weirdos out there like me :)

I so hope I don't fail. I can't believe I want to do this over the holiday season, but I feel like I'm constantly waiting for the perfect time and putting it off. Hey, if WE can get through the holidays--WE can do anything!

I'm doing a raw food-detox for my 30-days, but, of course, anyone that wants to participate should choose/design their own 30-day health challenge. Blog about it!! Lets see where it goes.

Here are a couple of links:
4-week raw food cuisine
How to Get Healthy in 30 days
Diabetic 30-day meal plan
Dr. Oz 14-day plan

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Vote for Mel!

Mel at Stirrup Queens is in need of your votes for the Weblog Award for best Medical/Health Issues blog. PLEASE go over and vote for her once a day/every 24-hours.

Show your support for the INFERTILITY community!!

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Gimme a Break

There are 8 Freebie bracelets left.

This morning I woke up with the image of someone choking a scale, and I couldn't figure out where it came from. Finally, I remembered. Someone trying to send me messages?? LOL

"Gimme a Break"

Gimme a break, now I know what it takes.
I'm putting a new face on the old one
Ready for anything.

Playing with fate, not a moment too late.
I'm showing the whole world
Nothing can get me down.
Woo woo hoo!

Gimme a break,
Yeah yeah!
Gimme a break
'Cause I sure need one!

Gimme a break,
Yeah yeah!
I finally know where I belong.

Gimme a break,
Yeah yeah!
Gimme a break
'Cause I sure need one!

Gimme a break,
Yeah yeah!
I finally know where I belong.
Gimme a break!

Thursday, November 01, 2007


There are 12 Freebie bracelets left

Lately I've been thinking about doing something for 30-days. The something is kinda up in the air at the moment. I'm mainly attracted to this because I like the idea of an end-date and I need projects in my life. Short-term with quick results are best. Hey, what can I say? I know me and I may as well be honest if I want any chance of success. I'm thinking of doing something healthy that will make me feel good. I watched Crazy Sexy Cancer recently and I was really inspired by Kris Carr's story of healthy living through diet and exercise. Please watch the trailer for the film and visit her blog.

So I'm thinking a 30-day get healthy challenge of some sort. I have no idea where this will lead. Maybe I'll do video diaries. I dunno.

Funny thing. I was discussing this idea with my hubbs last night and I mentioned that I really don't like bean sprouts and didn't think I could see myself eating bowlfuls. He got all sanctimonious on me and said, "if you're going to do it then you have to do it it right." So then I mentioned beets which he hates and he says "oh, I don't think I could eat beets." He had a totally straight face too.

30-Day Get Healthy Challenge

Here's a list of all the posts about this challenge:

30-Day IF Get Healthy Challenge
Getting Healthy for All
Green Drinks
Getting to the Gettin'
Shopping for the Challenge
Day 1 of a Different Kind
Day 2 of Getting Healthy
Day 3 A Moving Experience
Day 4 of Get Healthy
Days 5 & 6 of Get Healthy
Day 7 Check your labels
Day 8 Pecking at the keys
Days 9-12
Days 13-14...maybe 15 too
Day 16 Feeling better
Day 17 Over halfway there
Days 18-19 Busy bee
Day 20
Day 21...A new juicer
Day 22...Back to basics
Days 23-24
Day 25...Show some support
Days 26-27...Expense of eating well