Tag Archives: health



I don’t even know where last week went.

Yes, I do. I spent it sleeping, for the most part.

I don’t remember the last time I slept so much in my life.

I felt like I was hit by a truck with this cold. I’d go into work and suddenly become woozy. Then I went home. It happened every day last week.

Then the uncontrollable cough hit. Bronchitis? Perhaps.

Then the aches, the weakness, the hot and cold factor. The flu? Maybe.

I drank my fluids.

I slept. A lot. 

I thought that after taking a four hour nap in the afternoon, I would have trouble going to bed and sleeping through the night.

I didn’t.

I’m feeling much better now.

I have a feeling that nasty cough is going to stick with me for a while.

But as long as I continue to drink my fluids and get my sleep, I’ll make it through.

I’m not as productive as I would be if my health was 100%.

But I am alive and I have that to be grateful for today.

Besides, snuggles with my little Sophie Jean have increased.


And who can complain about that?

Cheers to your health!



Subscription Box Saturday

With a $10 deal, this new-to-me box was bestowed upon me.

Bestowed1With the disappearance of Goodies, this could not have come at a better time. Here’s a description from their website:

Get an assortment of FULL-sized healthy snacks, beverages, and more  — delivered to your door every month. All products are selected by nutritionist and author Heather Bauer and every box is loaded with expert tips, recipes, and advice! FREE Shipping.

Even better. However, it’s regularly $19 per month. Still I was surprised and thrilled by what was bestowed upon me!

Bestowed4And the well-thought-out booklet describing all of the contents really impressed me. This month’s theme was no GMOs:

And finally, the contents of the October Box:


From Top Left Clockwise:

  • Way Better Snacks Simply Beyond Black Bean Tortilla Chips – I had these with my leftover Crockpot Carnitas!
  • Ultima Replisher – Add this packet to 8 -12 ounces of water. There’s nothing artificial, but lots of nutrients. I guess it would be a good alternative to Crystal Light packets. Tasted just fine to me.
  • Enjoy Life Seed & Fruit Mix – Like trail mix without the nuts. It’s perfect for those with nut allergies.
  • The Good Bean Smoky & Chili Lime Chickpea Snacks – I had these in another box earlier this year. Surprisingly, they didn’t have much flavor, so I’ll either give them another try or give them away.
  • UNREAL Peanut Butter Cups – Rob and I split the package and we both agreed that these are better than the ones we all know and love! I adore that they are made with dark chocolate, too. Not a health food by any means; but if you are gong to eat one, you might as well have one that is better on your body and tastes better, too!Bestowed
  • Fiber Love Cinnamon Raisin Bar – A cinnamon raisin bar. There’s not much more to say.
  • Hemp Pro 70 Plant Based Protein Supplements (2)– I don’t use protein supplements or shakes because I prefer the real thing. But I’m willing to give this a try. Anyone got a good use for this?Bestowed10
  • Nature’s Path Love Crunch – Dark Chocolate Macaroon Granola – I’ve had Nature’s Path Love Crunch before, but not the dark chocolate macaroon granola. Now that I have some milk in the house, this will be on the breakfast menu this week.

And there was a special Bonus this month:


That was perfect timing because I just received a notice to renew my subscription!

I loved the healthiness focus of this box. My November box has already been shipped. I’m excited to see what will be bestowed upon me this month! However, I’m not sure if I can keep up with all of these snacks. There are just too many now.

Do you worry about GMOs?

What is your favorite non-GMO product?

Is there a favorite product of which you wish you could find a non-GMO version?


It Has Been a Week… and a New Addition!


It’s been an entire week since I last posted. That’s the longest stretch between posts since I’ve started this blog. It’s not that I have nothing about which to write. There are plenty of topics in the works. So where I have been?

I’ve continued to ride the post-op roller coaster. Mentally. Physically. Emotionally. It’s been a bumpy ride. And as I’ve mentioned before, on the outside, I look fine. I can walk normally. But I’m not 100%. And that’s frustrating.

A lot has happened in the past week. I got sick. The stomach flu or food poisoning, who knows. I haven’t been sick like that in years. It was rough. And I felt guilty. Guilty for missing more work. Worried that everyone is thinking I’m taking advantage of their understanding and generosity of which I have been so grateful.

I just want to be normal again. I just want to feel normal. I want to have one good night of sleep. {New moms out there are screaming, “Wuss!” right now.} I want everything to be okay. Or just someone to tell me it will. Or someone to stand beside me and tell me I’ll be okay, even if it will take awhile.

So that’s how I’m feeling as I write this. But every roller coaster has its ups as well as downs and I’ve certainly had my share of ups and spontaneity in the last week as well. For one, we welcomed a new addition to our family:

Meet Shamrock

Meet Shamrock!

Yes, we’ve adopted another pooch! This is something we had not planned to do until after we said good-bye to our beloved Benny Bear. But, no worries, we haven’t! We are a family of five now!

How did this happen, you ask? Well, as I was riding my post-op roller coaster, one of the ways Rob tries to cheer me up is by emailing me pictures of pooches. They can be ones he’s found on the internet doing searches of a particular breed, dogs that are in need of adoption, dogs that look like our dogs… funny dog photos. You get the picture. We talk about which ones are cute and “awwwwwwwwwwwww” becomes the phrase of the day in correspondence. We’ve been doing this for years. But we’ve never, never spoken about actually adopting one.

Until last week. After Rob sent me a link of Shih Tzu search he’d done, I was surprised to find this listing in the search. {The link has now been removed from the searchable site, but it should still work.} Basically, this:


Cocker Spaniel/Shih Tzu Mix

New addition to CS Humane Society.  He is a 5 month old puppy that loves everyone.  He is ready for his forever home to teach him all about being a good boy. He is neutered, current on shots, microchipped and tested negative for heartworm. For more information, please call the pet line at ….

What? A Cocker Spaniel Shih Tzu? That’s a Sophie-Benny blend! And how a-dog-able he is! In our usual fashion, I sent the link over to Rob and he responded with an “awww…” But then, five minutes later, he came back with, “Okay. I really want this dog.”

“Are you serious?!” was my response. After convincing me that having another dog would make things easier on Sophie when 17-year-old Benny passes, he made the call. And by the following evening, his foster parents dropped him off at his forever home. (Aka chez Cummins!)

Of course, it was a concern of mine to bring a puppy into our household when I’m not 100% well yet. And I didn’t get much peace while I stayed home from work throwing up. It’s not easy to have a hyper pup bouncing all over you, innocently just wanting to play!

But… He is a bundle of love. And Sophie is slowly warming up to him. She’s becoming less apprehensive and playing with him a little more each day. When it comes to dogs, we are all about adoptions and rescues. While I don’t particularly see the Shih Tzu in him (except for, maybe, his short legs), I do believe that is how he was brought to us… that he popped up into that search for a reason. My husband doesn’t believe that kind of stuff. But why else would he have been drawn to a dog that looks so much like a miniature Benny Bear? 😉

Benny or Shamrock?
When in search of a pet, please consider adoption first!

Post-Op Roller Coaster


Wednesday marked three weeks since my back surgery. Somehow it’s only been three weeks and it’s already been three weeks at the same time. I’m not doing as good of a job as I thought I would being positive. I’m impatient.

I went back to work last week Tuesday. I meant to go in only a couple of hours, but ended up there for six. I even got on the treadmill that night. Don’t worry, I hadn’t planned on pushing it. I walked just one mile.

And it took me 25 minutes.

That’s right, I was pushing myself to walk 2.5 miles per hour. Rough. But I told myself that I’d continue to do it everyday since walking is supposed to make my back stronger.

But I didn’t. I think that that pace and time may have even been too  much to start. I followed up the rest of the week working five to six hours each days. The sad part? I work at a desk all day, but by the time I got home, I was exhausted.

Physically exhausted. Every night.

The week was rougher than I expected. When I was at home, I felt like I should have been  outdoing so much more… that I felt okay, just a little sore. But then, when I’d leave the house, it just seemed to be too much. I have to remind myself that I feel much better than I did even one week ago. That this is progress. That I should be grateful.

Also, I think I tried to stop my meds too soon. I didn’t want to become dependent on them. I didn’t want to run out and worried that they might not give me another refill. What kind of thinking is that?! By the time I run out, I’d be feeling better than I am now, right? My husband and friends reminded me that I have them for a reason. So I stopped fretting about that. And in the last few days, I’ve tapered off a little bit each day naturally. Now I’m just taking them at night. Silly worry.

I think the hardest part, though, right now is that I look fine to everyone else, so I feel like I should be fine all the time. I can walk normally now – YAY! So I feel like I should be able to move and do just about anything. But instead, I still have a hard time focusing at work and I’ve gone in late a couple of days due to lack of sleep. The pain I have is not nearly as bad, but it is a different kind of pain.

My biggest problem right now may be my mental state.

It’s frustrating that while I can walk, shower, sit, stand and lie down on both my back and side now, that there are still so many things that I can’t do. I attempted the treadmill again tonight  and put the speed on 2.0. It took  me 30 minutes to walk a whole mile. And it was still difficult – over one week later.

Instead, I need to be grateful.

I need to remember that this is just the beginning. I’m going to start charting my walking so that I can see my progress. I think that will help. I need to focus on what I can do. Maybe I should note those things, too. I need to take things slowly and realize that this is a process. While progress is slow, it’s still progress. I’m just anxious and impatient! And the fact that spring is taking so long to come around these parts doesn’t help all that much either.

Phil, you were oh-so-wrong!

So I found a couple of quotes to help get me through this roller coaster of emotions and physical capabilities. Here are a few of my favorites.


And I think my favorite:

“Healing is a matter of time, but it is sometimes also a matter of opportunity.”



What kinds of opportunities have you experienced during challenges or times of healing?

To Your Health~


Quick Update…


I thought that it’d be hard to eat nothing after midnight before going into surgery at 2pm yesterday. But my nerves were enough that I couldn’t even think about it! I was more thirsty than anything, but I was advised not to drink anything either.

The staff at the University of Minnesota Medical Center (Fairview Riverside Hospital) was absolutely incredible. I can’t say that enough. Once my nerves were calmed, I started to get hungry!

The surgery lasted approximately an hour and a half. My only trouble was nausea from the anesthesia after waking up. They did everything they could to make me comfortable. I was told later that I was given the most meds for nausea possible and that this is something I should mention about my reaction to anesthesia if I’m ever to have surgery again!

After that recovery period, I ended up in another room where I Rob could visit me. They’d try to have me get up from the bed and into a chair. Basically, it’d be where I’d spend my last phase of recovery before going home.

Going home!

At that point, I couldn’t even imagine going home. I was so woozy and nauseous. They gave me some Sprite and I tried to eat some crackers, but it didn’t really help much. Eventually, anything that was in my stomach did come up and I felt so much better! The last step was to get me to go to the bathroom, change my clothes and get me out of there. Crazy, I know.

Surgery was at 2pm and I was out of the hospital by 7:30pm.

At home, Rob did everything to make me comfortable in bed. I turned on the TV, took my meds and drifted to sleep. I woke up like clockwork every four hours to take more meds, drink some water, go to the bathroom and I even ate a few crackers! Keeping Sophie off my stomach has been challenging, but I think she’s starting to get it.

This morning, I’m trying to get up and walk a bit. Sitting is the worst position and I’m sore and stiff in the lower back area. But I’m eating, taking meds, sleeping, icing, walking. Getting up is the most difficult thing to do and just sitting is next to impossible. I’m very stiff. But it’s just going to take some time, I know.

Oh! And the leg, foot and pain in the behind caused by the herniated disc is GONE! My big toe and part of my foot is still a bit numb, but nothing like before. They said it will take a bit of time for it to come back completely. I’m in good spirits!

I wasn’t going to post any of this on my blog, but since so many are asking and I felt up to it, I thought it’d be a good place where I can get back to everyone in one place.

And now for the the most original-looking flowers I’ve ever received! So cute….

Puppy Flowers, courtesy of my parents. A-dog-able, no? See his little band-aid?

Puppy Flowers, courtesy of my parents. A-dog-able, no? See his little band-aid?

And just for fun, here is my food journal (of the food I actually kept down) from yesterday!

4 saltine crackers

2 graham crackers

Thank you all for your continuing loving and caring support! Off to rest…



Today’s the Day…


First, here’s my food journal from yesterday:


90-second Breakfast Sandwich

I have no photo of this particular sandwich, but you can check one out here.

2 cups of black coffee at work


My South Beach Chocolate Peanut Butter Bar (not pictured) was nothing to write home about. I had a coupon, so I thought I’d try them out. I’d take a 35-calorie Dove Dark Chocolate over this 180-calorie bar to go with my coffee any morning.


Like the day before, I had veggies and hummus; however, a hard-boiled egg replaced the pulled pork as my protein:



Blueberries and Blackberries with a Greek yogurt and a 1/4 tsp sugar

Blueberries and Blackberries with Greek yogurt and a 1/4 tsp sugar

I also brought a couple of clementines as a snack, but I so busy trying to get loose ends tied up at work that I didn’t eat them. Overall, it was a pretty {unintentionally} low-calorie day that by the time I got home just after 4pm, I was more than ready for dinner.


My surgical nurse said that I could eat a normal dinner, just not eat or drink anything after midnight. So I asked Rob to pick up some take-out from Mediterranean Cruise Cafe. I’d been craving the Chicken Gyros there lately!


Greek Salad with Chicken Gyros

I normally can only eat about half or less of this, but I ate almost all of it! In addition, although I had already stocked my fridge with a tub of hummus as one of my post-op foods, Rob got me some from the MCC because he knows it is my favorite hummus of all time!

Creamy Mediterranean Cruise Cafe Hummus - post-pita swipe!

Creamy Mediterranean Cruise Cafe Hummus – post-pita swipe!

It’s the creamiest hummus I’ve ever had! He brought home some pita bread along with it. I should have counted how much triangles I had, but I didn’t. I was trying to be intuitive about my eating.

And later, I had a piece of Dove Dark Chocolate – Sea Salt Caramel flavor.

Late Snack

I ate a banana just before bed to help stave off any charley horses.


So Today is The Day. Surgery isn’t until the afternoon, but since it’s an outpatient surgery, I’m expected to leave for home late in the evening. While I’m told that relief from the back and subsequent pain is immediate and the only pain I should feel is post-op, It’s hard to imagine my back and legs feeling good again. It’s been over a month since I’ve felt my left foot and I’ll be so happy to have it back! The weakness in my legs, even though I’m doing nothing but sitting all day has been driving me batty. But you know what? I have been able to walk, drive, get around, work. For that, I am grateful.

A friend recently told me that her mom would say, “This is only for a season.” I like that way of thinking!

I don’t have any new posts prearranged. And I’m not sure how coherent I’ll be to put together a post right off the bat. So, don’t expect to hear from me right away.

But until then…

Cheers to healing!



Today marks the one year anniversary of Season It Already! Happy Blogiversary, SIA!

A lot has happened in the past year. This blog has evolved. It’s become an outlet for me for all things food, wine and health. After never ever believing I’d be a runner, I ran my first 5k. Then I ran eight more… and even one 5-miler. I reached a 35-pound weight loss milestone. I’ve tried to meld my husband’s love of dining out with my quest for a healthier me.

Recently, I’ve endured some severe back pain. I can’t run right now (nor can I do any sort of workout). I’m just about half-way through my weight loss goal and I fear gaining it all back.

Yesterday, I met with an orthopedic surgeon to discuss my options. After looking at my MRI, he said that it’s the worst herniated disc that he’s ever seen and that he couldn’t believe I wasn’t screaming in pain. {I seriously believe that I have my chiropractor to thank for that!} As a conservative surgeon, he really only suggests surgery as a last resort. But in my case, he couldn’t see any other option. And since I’ve lost feeling in my left foot and some of my lower left leg, he wanted to get me in ASAP.

I can’t tell you what a relief it is just to know and have a plan of action in place!

In the meantime, in terms of weight loss (or even maintenance) the only thing I can do is watch my eating. I have to be more diligent than ever before. To hold myself accountable, over the next week, I’m going to try to post all of my eats. You might think that you’ll be bored by this, but I’ve really enjoyed when other bloggers have done this because I’ve found some wonderful recipes and ideas for meals this way.

This week, I’d like to take a poll from all of you readers out there on what you like and what you’d like to see more/less of in the future on Season It Already!

I do apologize for all of my non-local blog friends, but I will continue to be posting about my restaurant experiences here in the Twin Cities. This has helped me remember what I’ve enjoyed and disliked so that I don’t make the same mistake twice. It also reminds me of what I want to try next time and why, or maybe what may have been a healthier choice. For those of you outside the Minneapolis-St. Paul metro, please stick with me. You just may be inspired to recreate a dish that I’ve had a restaurant! But… ultimately, this blog is for me. 😉

I’d love it if you’d post what you’ve liked best/least or what you’d like to see more of less of on Season It Already!