Experimenting

Experimenting

I admit that I often get in a rut when it comes to food items. This morning a light bulb appeared above my head, just like it does in cartoons.

I decided to do something a little different, at least for me with my coffee. instead of doing my normal routine, which I had already done this morning, I’d make coffee and use it with vanilla protein powder and soy milk. I didn’t use any sugar free syrup, because I know that with the Fit Frappe Vanilla and unsweetened Silk Soy milk, it has a fairly sweet taste on its own.

So here is what I did…

I made 12 ounces of Dunkin Donuts Cinnamon Bun coffee.
The directions on the coffee says to use a heaping tablespoon of coffee grounds for every six ounces of water. I use a 3/4 measuring cup to measure the water I put into the coffee maker. Two of these is 12 ounces. I measured six ounces of soy milk and put in a Pyrex cup in the microwave.

This takes planning, especially as a person who is blind. I had everything measured and in the coffee maker and the soy milk in the microwave before getting things started. I also measured a scoop of the Fit Frappe vanilla powder into my Ninja blender. It also helps to plug the motor for the blender into the electrical outlet, so its ready to go.

I started the coffee maker and set the microwave to one and a half minutes. I knew the soy milk would be done before the coffee, but its fine for it to stay in the microwave, the beeping every thirty seconds or so just reminds me that its waiting to be added to this yummy drink.

So after the coffee was done I poured it into the blender, added the soy milk and blended for about a minute. The timing doesn’t have to be exact, just a matter of what feels right to you.

I poured the drink into one of my Bubba 24 ounce tumblers, attached the top and had a very yummy Cinnamon Bun Coffee Protein Shake.

I think next time, and this was so good, there will be a next time, I’ll sprinkle some cinnamon on top and maybe a pump of sugar free vanilla syrup, just for the fun of it.

So that was my experiment for this morning. There are many ways of changing up food and drinks to add some variety to what you have on a regular basis. If you have any ideas, feel free to add your comment.

Blind & have had Weight Loss Surgery or interested? Join the blind-wls list by sending an email to: blind-wls-subscribe@yahoogroups.com

Buying & Downloading Music From Amazon With A Screen Reader

Buying and downloading music from Amazon used to be pretty easy for a person who is blind and using screen reading software. I’ve let my Wife be the one to buy and download music lately, just telling her the name of a song I want.

I decided to try the process on my own the other day and while finding and paying for the song was easy with a screen reader, NVDA in my example, downloading the song to your computer is a pain.
I learned of the issue with help from my Wife, there seems to be some dialog that is on the screen after you click to download your purchased song. This dialog isn’t accessible by either NVDA or Jaws.

I found a solution, at least one that works for me. I have a first generation Moto X. I installed the Amazon Music app and in the settings selected to automatically download newly purchased songs.
The songs are downloaded by the app and placed in the “Music” folder on my phone. After the song is on my phone I connect the phone to the computer with a USB cable. Then its just a matter of going to the Music folder and finding the folder that the Amazon app made for the song.
Then just copy the folder or song from the phone to the computer. The song does need to be renamed, but that is just a simple press of F2 in Windows.

Some may not consider this process as accessible or right, but it works for me. I can once again buy music and download the song to my computer and put it on my phone too.

I don’t own any of the Apple devices and have no idea about downloading music in that environment, but maybe this will give you an idea of something to try.

Here is a link to the Amazon Music App for Android:
http://goo.gl/miZ7U

PB&J Waffles

PB&J Waffles

I had this for breakfast this morning and it was so yummy, I had to share the info.

This is a twist on my healthy PB&J that I’ve talked about before, just with waffles instead of pita pockets.

Eggo Waffles Nutri-Grain Whole Wheat
http://goo.gl/lyqygO

Old Home Creamy Peanut Butter
Serving size
2 tbsp
Total Carbohydrate
7 g
Dietary Fiber
3 g
Sugars
0 g
Protein
8 g

Smuckers Concord Grape Jam with Splenda, Sugar Free
Serving Size
1 tbsp
Total Carbohydrate
5g
Dietary Fiber
0g
Sugars
0g
Protein
0g

I put two waffles in the toaster oven for five minutes at 450 degrees.

After they were done I put them on a plate and put about a heaping teaspoon of peanut butter on each waffle. I used about the same amount of jam as a waffle can only hold so much without becoming a big gooey mess.

The Old Home peanut butter can be found at different stores. Our favorite grocery in Kansas City, Hy-Vee has it in their Health Market, I’ve heard that Super Target in the St. Louis area sells it too. Either way it’ll be in a refrigerated section as this peanut butter has three ingredients, peanuts, peanut oil, and sea salt. You won’t find any preservatives or strange chemicals in this yummy and healthy item.

If someone ever needed practice in eating slow, especially after having weight loss surgery, peanut butter is a good tool for that.

The info is there for anyone who wants to do the nutrition math, that wasn’t the purpose in this posting. I just wanted to share something yummy and healthy as part of my life after having Gastric Bypass Surgery.

If you are blind and have had weight loss surgery or if you are blind and are considering having surgery, please join the blind-wls email list. It is a list for support, sharing information, and helping each other in our journey to better health. You can join the blind-wls list by sending an email to:

blind-wls-subscribe@yahoogroups.com

Receive phone call when there is a change in status or news about Share-A-Fare

I just created a recipe on IFTTT that will call your phone and read a message about a change in Share-A-Fare status or news to you.

In order to be able to take advantage of this service you will need:

1. A twitter account.
2. Sign up for the free service from IFTTT and install their app which is available for both Android and IOS phones. 3 Enable my recipe.

IFTTT is a service that watches for a condition to be met and then does something based on that condition being met. These set of directions are called recipes.
I created a recipe that will watch twitter for the @KcATAMetro account to send a message about Share-A-Fare. Once that message is found IFTTT will call your phone and play the message to you. Here is an example of the message you would get over the phone:
“Share-A-Fare begins this morning in Phase A. Expect possible delays of 30-60 minutes. Cancellations being accepted.”
That was a message that the KCATA sent on twitter last week. If you had this service setup for your phone, you wouldn’t have to watch the twitter app on your phone for the message, you wouldn’t have to keep checking the KCATA web site for the info, and you wouldn’t have to call Share-A-Fare to get the info.

You’d get a phone call with the message read to you and then you could do what you need to do if you are waiting to go somewhere with Share-A-Fare.

To get more info and to sign up for IFTTT as well as access the recipe I created go to:

http://tinyurl.com/lwfb78o

To sign up for Twitter go to:
https://mobile.twitter.com/

If you need any help, please let me know.
Steve
blindbites@gmail.com

My Android Apps

Here is the current list of apps that I use on my 2013 Moto X.
Accessible means different things to people so maybe it is just easier to say these apps work for me with TalkBack.

Acapela TTS Voices
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.acapelagroup.android.tts

AccuRadio
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.slipstream.accuradio

Amazon Kindle
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.amazon.kindle

AquaMail
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=org.kman.AquaMail

Audible
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.audible.application

Beep Hourly
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=mst.android.beephourly

Call Control
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.flexaspect.android.everycallcontrol

CamFind
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.msearcher.camfind

chomp SMS
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.p1.chompsms

Commandr for Google Now
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.RSen.Commandr

Docs
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.google.android.apps.docs.editors.docs

Easy Answer
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.jim.bockerstette.easyanswer

ETI-Eloquence
TTS https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=es.codefactory.eloquencetts

Firefox
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=org.mozilla.firefox

Google Opinion Rewards
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.google.android.apps.paidtasks

Google Voice
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.google.android.apps.googlevoice

Hangouts Dialer
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.google.android.apps.hangoutsdialer

IFTTT
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.ifttt.ifttt

Location Monitor
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.redzoc.ramees.locationmonitor

Music Folder Player Full
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=de.zorillasoft.musicfolderplayer.donate

My App List
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.projectsexception.myapplist

NOAA Weather
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.nstudio.weatherhere

NotNav
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.smithson.notnav

OneDrive
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.microsoft.skydrive

Point Finder
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=au.com.picospace.pointfinder

Pro Weather Alert
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.globalcanofworms.android.proweatheralert

QuickShortcutMaker
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.sika524.android.quickshortcut

Ringdroid
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.ringdroid

Sheets
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.google.android.apps.docs.editors.sheets

Shiprack
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.shiprack.client

Skype
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.skype.raider

Total Commander
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.ghisler.android.TotalCommander

Touchless Notifications Pro
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=hu.viczian.notifications.pro

TuneIn Radio Pro
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=radiotime.player

Tweetings
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.dwdesign.tweetings

TWiT Pro
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=org.markhanson.twit

Vocalizer Voices
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=es.codefactory.vocalizertts

Happy Four Year Anniversary

Happy Four Year Anniversary!!!

January 25, 2015 was the four year anniversary of when I had Gastric Bypass Surgery. Its one of the best things I’ve ever done for myself.
Before I started the process and education at my weight loss center I weighed 336 pounds and wore size 48 pants. I was diabetic, had sleep Apnea, high cholesterol and was tired all of the time.

Here is a picture of me before surgery.

http://tinyurl.com/nsr5wbo

Currently I weigh 169 pounds and wear size 32 pants. I haven’t been diabetic since I left the surgery table and none of those obesity related medical issues. The only pills I take are multi vitamins, citracal, and vitamin D3. I have tons of energy, love life, the yummy foods I eat, and I also love me and the way I feel. Here is a current picture of me.

http://tinyurl.com/pfsgc4z

Gastric Bypass isn’t for everyone, but nothing is. It is a choice I made for me. I needed a permanent change in my life and not something that I could just give up and try something different. I was first aware that I was overweight when I was in the second grade. The only time in my life that I had any significant weight loss was when I was dealing with two very rare and very deadly forms of cancer in March of 1994. I lost about 80 pounds in about two weeks. That isn’t part of anyone’s weight loss plan.

That weight was put back on plus more after I became healthy again. I hadn’t given up on weight loss, I tried many different options, lost a few pounds here or there but put it back on plus more. The same cycle that I had been through my whole life.

The hard work was up to me as weight loss surgery is not an easy way out. There is no finish line in weight loss, regardless of whichever plan or option one chooses. Weight loss is a constant battle. You have to eat right, pay attention to nutritional info, work on making good choices, be able to learn from your mistakes, and then get up and do it all again tomorrow. You don’t just stop doing what you’ve been doing when you get to a goal or target weight. Weight Loss Surgery is just a tool to assist a person in becoming healthy. It is up to each person who uses that tool to use it correctly. The hard part of Weight Loss Surgery starts the day you come home from the hospital because now it is all up to you to make the right choices and to do what you are supposed to do.

The education you get from your center can’t make you do what you are supposed to do. They aren’t standing in your kitchen and blocking you from eating something that you shouldn’t have.

However, if you use the education about eating right, asking questions and having a great support network you can be successful. Part of this also requires that you do regular lab work and go to all of your scheduled follow-up appointments with your surgeon. They schedule the appointments so they can check on you to watch your progress, look for any problems, and to make any needed changes to what you are eating. They are there to help you, not just a reason to bill insurance for another appointment.
Also, if you feel that something isn’t right, call and make an appointment with your surgeon. They can’t help you unless you reach out and let them know you are concerned about something.

I want to thank all of the people that have supported me in my decision to have surgery, both the people who supported me before and the people who continue to support me. I include all of the people who blog or post on social media about their experiences with weight loss surgery.

I weigh the same as I did for my three year follow-up with my surgeon. My goal is to do the same next year. There is no magic involved in this, I have to pay attention to what I eat, get on the scale from time to time, and make changes as needed. There is nothing wrong in getting help or going back to basics to reset your brain and think about what you’ve been eating compared to what you should be eating.

If I can be of any help, please let me know. I am always learning and don’t know everything, nor am I perfect in any way. I am happy to share what I know and what I’ve learned.

Blind & have had Weight Loss Surgery or interested? Join the blind-wls list by sending an email to: blind-wls-subscribe@yahoogroups.com
Follow me on twitter: @blindbites

Update Healthy PB&J

Update Healthy PB&J

I thought I would update some info on one of my favorite things to have in my life after having Gastric Bypass Surgery almost 4 years ago. The anniversary is on January 25.

I’m using a different brand of whole wheat pita pockets for my healthy PB&J and thought I would share the info.
I like these pita pockets better than the brand I was buying. These are a little thinner, not so bread like. As with any of these pita pockets, be gentle when opening them to put something inside. Gently spread them open so you don’t tear the pocket.
These Toufayan whole wheat pita pockets are already split in half and are in a small plastic tray inside a bag.

Toufayan Bakeries – Smart Pocket 100% Whole Wheat
Total Carbohydrate
16 g
Dietary Fiber
4 g
Sugars
1 g
Protein
5 g

Old Home Creamy Peanut Butter
Serving size
2 tbsp
Total Carbohydrate
7 g
Dietary Fiber
3 g
Sugars
0 g
Protein
8 g

Smuckers Concord Grape Jam with Splenda, Sugar Free
Serving Size
1 tbsp
Total Carbohydrate
5g
Dietary Fiber
0g
Sugars
0g
Protein
0g

Totals for this PB&J
Total Carbohydrate
28 g
Dietary Fiber
7 g
Sugars
1 g
Protein
13 g
Net Carbs
21 g

The Old Home is the best tasting peanut butter I’ve had in my new life after surgery. It has 3 ingredients peanuts, peanut oil, and sea salt. It is very very yummy.
This is just one of the yummy things that I eat. Healthy eating can be yummy eating
Thank you so very much for reading my blog. If I can be of any assistance to you or someone you know, please contact me. blindbites@gmail.com

Blind & have had Weight Loss Surgery or interested? Join the blind-wls list by sending an email to: blind-wls-subscribe@yahoogroups.com
Follow me on twitter: @blindbites