Hi friends! This past weekend was not like other weekends,and here is why: I had gum surgery! Jealous?
I'm so lucky that I still live with my parents, because my mom went to the grocery store on Friday before my surgery and purchased all sorts of soft foods for me to eat for a week.
By this time on Sunday, I have cleared out all of the cheese blintzes.
They were great with raspberry Chobani
yogurt (although they were awkward for me to eat since the outside of the blintz requires some chewing).
I also got strawberry and green tea mochi ice cream from Trader Joe's.
And Garden Lites Grilled Zucchini Souffles from Costco.
They only require about 4 minutes in the microwave, and they are ready to eat.
I'll tell you about my surgery now, but I have to warn you that you may or may not like reading about it. If the idea of oral surgery (or any surgery for that matter) disgusts you, then you shouldn't read any more of this post! If you are curious and want to know more, keep reading. Just don't blame me if you get grossed out since I did warn you!
Thanks to a combination of genetics, brushing my gums way too hard, rotten luck and possibly braces (although I only had them on my bottom teeth for three months), I have gum recession at the age of 25. I knew for a while that this was an issue, but I figured that I could live with it for many more years. I proved myself wrong while brushing my teeth (probably too hard) a few weeks ago and suddenly felt an incredible amount of sensitivity on the bottom of one of my lower left molars. I went to my dentist, and he gave me desensitizing ointment and a referral to a periodontist (a.k.a. the doctor of the gums).
I saw the periodontist soon after that, and I learned that I had to get surgery. He scheduled me to get two procedures: a free gingival graft and a frenectomy. A free gingival graft involves taking a small piece of donor tissue from the roof of the mouth (which is the same tissue as our gums) and putting it on the areas of the gums with the severe recession. A frenectomy involves surgically reshaping the frenulum. The frenum (plural) in our mouth are the tissues that connect our lips to our gums (there are other types in our mouth besides those). You can feel it in front of your center teeth, top or bottom, with your tongue. My bottom frenulum is very tight and actually pulls down on my gums, so I needed to get it released (or cut).
I was very calm at the office as we scheduled the first of my appointments (I have to get the procedure two times). I felt great and super excited about having my gums fixed until I went home and browsed the internet for images and horror stories of free gingival grafts. Ooops. I spent the next 13 days pretending that the surgery wasn't going to happen, and I then I got a cold. I was sure that I wouldn't be allowed to get it the next day since I was having a respiratory infection and my mouth was surely a reservoir for spreading disease, but they told me the morning of the procedure that I could come in as long as I wasn't vomiting. Damn.
After that, my wonderful mother went out and bought me all of that soft food and then she took me to the office. An hour and a half later, I left with a smile on my face. Really. No joke. You would think that over an hour of being awake and alert while this doctor sliced apart my poor mouth would have been brutal, but it really wasn't. I was only scared when he pulled out the Novocaine needle (I've never had it before). That needle was the only pain I ever felt the entire procedure. My doctor was also so funny that I was laughing the entire time. I was never so distracted that I forgot what was going on in my mouth, but he (and his assistant) made the experience so much easier for me.
It's been almost three days now, and I've hardly been in any pain. The top of my mouth feels like a pizza burn (so not that bad), and my lower gums are only slightly uncomfortable at times. It's really awkward to eat since I can only chew on one side, and I have to make sure not to pull on my lower lip (or brush my teeth down there). The new tissue takes about 3-4 days to attach to the bone, and any tampering with that can make the graft fail. I'm also taking antibiotics three times a day for a week, and I have all sorts of pain meds (that I don't really use). My face is also a little swollen, but it's nothing terrible (or maybe it's because I'm eating so much ice cream!).
I'm going back to the office on Friday for a check-up and to remove any sutures that have not already dissolved. Then, I'll go back in a few months for one more graft on one of my upper teeth. I'm not scared about it, because this procedure was basically a piece of cake. Trust me, it sounds much scarier than it really is.
You just have to make sure that you have a good doctor. If anybody needs a recommendation for a good periodontist in the suburbs of Chicago, let me know!
There are (about) a million things I would rather be doing right now than studying for my organic chemistry exam that I have tomorrow at noon, starting with blogging.
First, Happy Valentine's Day! I got pretty spoiled this year. First, my mom brought me home a bag of chocolate covered pretzels yesterday from Long Grove Confectionery.
Then, while I was cooking dinner for myself tonight, my dad walked in the house with two bouquets of flowers: one for my mom, one for me.
I also got a wonderful gift from across the ocean: a nice spa treatment at a place near my house. I think Alastair beat me in the gift competition. I sent him a box full of eclectic and very silly goodies. It included a coloring book with a grizzly bear on the front, crayons, a pink heart-shaped water bottle full of candy hearts, Mike and Ike candies
, a bear-shaped loofah, a small box of chocolates, and perhaps a few more things. I also bought pink zebra-striped packaging tape and put it all over the outside of the box. I know it was a very close race, but I think Al can take the cake (but can I win for creativity?)
Last week was my last week of P90X, so I now need new ways to work my body six days a week. I decided that I'll do a workout similar to a P90X resistance week that will look somewhat like this:
Tuesdays: Intervals/cardio on treadmill
Thursdays: Intervals/cardio on treadmill or elliptical or bike
Saturdays: Yoga or pilates
I'm still sore from my chest/back/abs workout yesterday. I took a lot of the challenging moves from P90X, but I also added some of my own. I ended with an On-Demand abs workout. It lasted 15 minutes, and it kicked my butt! I'll do it three days per week, and I'll move onto something else when I get sick of it/don't feel it anymore.
This morning, I hit the basement expecting to do an entire 40-minute intermediate treadmill workout from FitSugar.
A few minutes into my warm up, though, my legs started itching insanely. This has happened to me before, but it's never been this bad. The itching continued to get worse and burn until it felt like there were fire ants crawling up and down my legs and biting me (granted that's never happened to me, but I think that's what it would feel like). By the time I hit 14 minutes on the treadmill, I had to jump off and splash cold water up and down my legs. It wasn't even just my legs that were irritated; it was all over my lower body and started moving up my stomach. It was so uncomfortable.
I finished my workout on the elliptical, and the itching luckily subsided soon after I got off the treadmill. I still have a hive on my left thigh, but at least I don't feel like clawing off my skin anymore.
I talked to my mom about it, and she said that I need to get an over-the-counter antihistamine (either a tablet or a nasal spray) to use before running. This happens to me when I run for the first time after not doing it for a while. I also get very itchy legs when I first go outside in nice weather after being indoors all winter. As I said, though, it's never been this bad! I hope that an antihistamine will help to calm my crazy immune system so that I can work on my intervals!
Okay, time to bore myself with chemistry. Wish me luck on my first exam tomorrow! It's been fun procrastinating with you.
Last Saturday was anything but NOT fun. Andi's birthday was last Tuesday, and her boyfriend Pat (you may remember him from that time I called him the Bud Light Monster
) decided to throw a surprise party for her two nights ago. I secretly dropped off snacks at his apartment on Saturday evening, parked at my brother's apartment, and then cabbed over to Andi's apartment for dinner (we ordered in Chili's). We made it to Pat's by ten, and boy was she surprised!
Sorry in advance if some of these pictures are blurry.
Everybody was hiding over in the corner. It was adorable.
We hung out at Pat's apartment for a few hours where we enjoyed drinks, snacks, and lots of familiar and new faces. We also played a few rounds of flip cup
, which I have not played since college. Lucky for me, I haven't lost my ability to flip a red Solo cup.
We left for the bars around midnight. The weather was in the 'teens or even colder (if you use Celsius, just know that it was very, very cold), so we didn't want to go somewhere where we would have to wait in line very long. We ended up going to Boss Bar
in River North, and then we went to Butch McGuire's
in the State/Division area. It was a great time. It's always a good time when I'm out with my girlfriends and we close the bar.
Nicole, Olga, Andi, Julie, Me
Me, Nicole, Andi
I think this was my favorite photo of the night: Andi seductively drinking her drink.
Since Pat with out with us, there were plenty of Bud Lights to go around.
We had so much fun! I also achieved my goal and didn't take any shots.
I'm proud to say that I've kept that goal for a long time now.
I hope everybody had a great weekend!
Last night, I went over to my friend Kate's apartment to eat. The idea for the night was to get a few girls together, and every girl needed to bring cookies. I didn't bring cookies, but I did bring most of the ingredients for a taco dip! I tried to make it as health-friendly as I could.
Bottom layer: black refried beans mixed with taco seasoning (which I forgot at home and had to run to Trader Joe's to buy). Second layer: light cream cheese mixed with non fat Greek yogurt (BEST substitute for sour cream). Third layer: salsa from Kate's fridge (since I left my salsa at home). Fourth layer: chopped tomatoes, iceberg lettuce, bell peppers and green onions. Fifth layer: low fat shredded cheddar cheese. On the top, I spread olives over half of the dip. I was going to buy black olives, but a nice man at the grocery store convinced me to buy green olives that he said tasted exactly like black olives but even better. He was right. They were actually the best olives I have ever had from a jar. Nobody complained about them being green, either.
Every dip needs a dipper, so I got multigrain Tostitos Scoops.
Kate made bruschetta on whole grain bread with peppers and shredded cheese. It was outstanding.
She also made a Valentine Punch with frozen strawberries, pink champagne and ginger ale.
Then, there were the cookies! Kate made two types of sugar cookies with Hershey's Kisses. One batch had some frosting, and the other batch did not. I helped her out by eating the batter.
Once everybody got there, the table was full of plates of cookies. We went to town on the heart-shaped plate.
Somewhere during the course of the night, I compared hand sizes with my friends Danya and Betty. I usually have the smallest hands (when comparing with a fully grown person), but Betty always beats me. Her feet are also a size 5, so she can buy kids' shoes if she wants.
I slept over at Kate's, and we did the full P90X yoga session together this morning. It was a full 90 minutes, and her apartment was so hot that it felt like we were doing hot yoga. Regardless, it was a great workout!
I'm off to the city in a couple of hours to celebrate my girl Andi's birthday. I'll do my best to take pictures (and run away from any friend of mine who tries to make me take a shot. It's now a common pastime of mine when I go to bars, because this little girl cannot hold her booze like other people). I hope everybody enjoys their Saturday (or Sunday for you Aussies).
The steel cut oats that I made this morning were a success! They tasted just as good as they did yesterday, and my breakfast didn't explode all over the stove.
I guess supervising the pot is a good idea. I crumbled up an Aussie Bite
again (which sadly no longer exist in my house). Time to make more, I guess?
My mom and I both wanted a stir-fry for dinner tonight, so I made one with tofu and brown rice.
I cut a block of firm tofu into thin rectangles and sauteed them with a whole onion. Once everything was mostly cooked, I threw in frozen stir-fry vegetables and cooked them until all of the water evaporated. I also added low sodium soy sauce, wasabi mayonnaise from Trader Joe's
(just a small spoonful will give you a ton of flavor), and ginger powder. We ate it with brown rice. It was all very easy to make, and it was delicious!
I'm sorry that all of my pictures have been of food lately. I promise I'll make things more interesting!
...when you don't supervise the stove!
I wanted to make quick-cooking steel cut oats before going to class this morning. I could have just nuked them, but I've heard too many horror stories lately about steel cut oats exploding in the microwave. I thought it would be smarter instead to make them on the stove. As soon as I threw the uncooked oats into the boiling water and turned my back to raid the pantry and fridge for oatmeal toppings, I heard the sound that you only hear when a pot of boiling water is overflowing into the flames of the gas stove below it.
I turned the heat down. I then called my mom to ask her if she knew what that horrible unidentified beeping noise in the house could possibly be. I thought the heat was under control at that point, so I stayed on the phone with my mom while searching for the source of the sound (it was the electric fence control system in the garage). When I got back into the house, the water was once again overflowing into the flames. You would think that I learned my lesson the first time....
Luckily, my oats still turned out wonderfully well (I crumbled up a homemade Aussie Bite
and threw in fresh blueberries). I was also able to clean the stove once it cooled down. I ate my breakfast/lunch, and I still made it to class on time. I also learned a lesson. I'm sure worse things can happen with an overflowing pot of boiling water than a dirty stove!
If you haven't already jumped on the steel cut oats bandwagon, you definitely should. With such delicious texture, you don't even need 30 lumps of sugar to keep your mouth entertained. As somebody who once added her weight in brown sugar to her oatmeal, you can trust me on this one.
Have a great night!
A few weeks ago, my mom and I came across Aussie Bites while shopping at Costco. We tried them, fell in love with them, bought them, cleared the box, and then went back to Costco two more times unable to find any more of them.
I was very sad for a few days. Then, my adventurous mother realized that she could make them on her own. With a quick internet search, she found the recipe
. She baked them, and they taste exactly like the real thing!
Now, it's your turn. You will not be disappointed.
This is what my thumb looks like when I don't take off my polish for weeks!
Aussie Bites (recipe from grouprecipes.com)
- 2 cups regular or toasted oats
- 2 cups whole wheat flour
- 2/3 cup brown sugar
- 1 3.5-oz can of coconut (unsweetened)
- 1/2 cup sunflower kernels
- 1 cup dried fruit (raisins, dates, figs, cranberries, etc)
- 1/4 cup honey
- 2 sticks unsalted butter
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 2 tablespoons hot water
- 1/2 cup flaxseeds (not listed on this recipe, but was in original Aussie Bites recipe)
To make, preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Mix the first six ingredients in a bowl. Melt the honey and butter together in the microwave. Mix in the baking soda with hot water, and add butter to the mixture. Pour the butter mixture into the dry ingredients and mix well. Put the ingredients into a mini muffin or cupcake pan, flatten, and place them in the oven for ten minutes (or until golden brown).
This recipe makes about 48 Aussie Bites, but you will not be disappointed. My mom brought them to a Superbowl party last night, and people were flocking around them like vultures. Make these NOW!!!