Going Back To Basics

I’ve experimented with making some changes in what I eat. You’ll find info on that in previous blog postings. I’ve been careful with what I eat and its time for me to get back to basics.

I’m not just getting rid of everything I’ve had in this experiment. There are some food items that I will continue to eat as they are still in my range of healthy and don’t cause me any problems. however, there are some things that I don’t plan to eat again.
Part of the issue with me is I’ve had issues with IBS ever since I went through cancer 20 years ago. Sometimes it doesn’t take much to totally throw things off balance and make things not so comfortable for me. I’ve learned which of the foods I’ve had lately that do this. High doses of radiation can have an effect on someone twenty years later.

So to help me get back to basics I’m doing the 5 day pouch test. I’ve done it before when I got off track and needed to sort of start over again. Its not a hard thing to do, after all its just 5 days with increasing the types of food you can have each day. So much easier than the two week liquid diet I did both before and after surgery.

So to help me with this I bought
The 5 Day Pouch Test: Express Study Guide
by Kaye Bailey

I know the basics of the information, its just good to have and get the tips and suggestions that are in the book.

I’m planning my menu for the 5 days, which I’ll start on Monday. This way I’ll only have the food I need for the test and the next time I’ll be going to the grocery will be on day 6.

I’m always happy to share things I’ve learned along my journey. January 2015 will be my 4 year anniversary of having gastric bypass surgery. I’ve learned allot and am always learning from my own mistakes and learning from things that others share about their experience. We all support each other in this lifestyle change. There is something to learn from that person who is going to have surgery next week as well as someone who had surgery more than 10 years ago.

Happy Thanksgiving

My Wife and I are going to Cracker Barrel for Thanksgiving dinner. No sense in making tons of food for just the two of us, no mess to clean up and no leftovers sitting around. I’ll be eating from the kid’s menu as Cracker Barrel welcomes kids of all ages to eat a smaller portion, which is just the right size to fill me up.

So don’t eat too much, my friends who have had weight loss surgery know what happens when you do. Also don’t let anyone talk or guilt you into eating more food or trying that extra special dish that they worked so hard to make. They may think they know what you can or can’t eat, or maybe they are the type that thinks a little of something isn’t going to hurt you. They won’t be there later when you are feeling the effects of their hard work.


Android 5.0 Lollipop with Talkback:

The following guide was written by a person who wants to remain anonymous and had someone post it on the eyes free list.

Android 5.0 Lollipop with Talkback:

There are a few changes that have been made to android since the advancement from Kitkat to Lollipop that concern talkback. I will detail the changes I have noticed so far and will attempt to describe how these alterations effect Talkback Usage.

Lock screen:
The first thing to notice is the revamped lock screen. Now any notifications will show up on the screen when you turn it on. These notifications can be interacted with as well. To dismiss the notification just swipe it to the left or right with two fingers. To unlock other options pertaining to the notification swipe down with two fingers. The options you get depend on what the notification is. At this point, after you have swiped down with two fingers on the notification, You can open it by double tapping on it to open it. Double tapping it normally does nothing as far as I have been able to tell so far. Also in Android 5.0 it is now possible to unlock the device by double tapping the Unlock icon. It’s located at the bottom of the screen, around the centre.

Notifications quick menue:
To access the quick menu options, simply slide down the screen with three fingers after you have opened the notifications menu.

Now something I have noticed on the internet quite allot. People aren’t sure about priorities and how they work. It’s not too complicated really and I will attempt to explain right here how to use it with Talkback. You can set which apps have high priority in the settings menu. In that menu you can also set which time priority mode becomes active. So you could have it turn priority mode on at eleven at night till six in the morning. When you have priority mode on, only apps you have set to high priority will notify you. Other apps will be totally ignored. Only when you turn on your screen will you see the notifications that you weren’t alerted to before. Pressing the volume up or down produces a small menu at the top of the screen. It has the ringer button, a slider for the ringer volume and below those three buttons. Non, Priority, and all. If you tap the ringer button in the top left corner you will go into vibrate mode. tapping the none button will put the phone in silent mode. Priority button puts the device in to priority mode, and tapping all will put everything back to normal. As far as I understand it so far. If you want to put it into vibrate mode tapping the ringer button will do just that. To go back to normal tap that button again. The same doesn’t apply with the options. If you put your device into none mode, silence, then to deactivate that you have to tap on the all button, not none again.

Music volume:
As far as I can tell, to change the music volume you can either change it when something is playing or put a finger on the screen and press the buttons to make the alterations. The strange thing is sometimes pressing the up or down volume will change the music volume and not the ringer volume. I haven’t worked out so far why this is the case but it’s something to be aware of.

I hope this quick guide will help answer some questions.
Thank you for reading.
** End Of Guide **

Reduction Missouri Blind Pension Program

Dear Missouri Representatives,

Thank you so very much for the $33 a month reduction in the Missouri Blind Pension Program. I have been a recipient of this great program for several years and it has allowed me and others to live a life without the need for other assistance programs or financial assistance from others.

I received a letter today that notified me as of January 2015 I will receive $33 less instead of an annual increase. This will be a total of $66 less each month for my family, as my Wife also receives Missouri Blind Pension.

We will continue to stay warm in the winter, we will still be able to afford food but the one thing that we will not be able to do is to forget this when it comes time for your reelection.

You are the ones who had the ability to change rules, procedures, and laws but chose not to.
So regardless of your party label, we will be voting against you and doing all that we can do, online, email, and in person to encourage others to support us as you have chosen not to.

If you live in Missouri, please contact your rep and share your thoughts. You can find your rep by going to: http://www.house.mo.gov/

Tracking Packages

My Wife and I have been using a great service to keep track of packages. We use Ship-Rack and love it.
They will keep track of your packages all in one place regardless of the carrier.

Before ship-rack I had an app on my phone for UPS, another for FedEx and tracked packages from the post office on their web site. I have the ship-rack app on my Moto X and they have an app for IOS users too.


Before you can start using this service you do need to install the app and give them your email address. This way ship-rack will know when they get an email from your address with a tracking number, where to send the data to. Its quick and simple, they don’t ask for your mother’s maiden name, your favorite food or your credit card number, ship-rack is free.
At least in the android app it is sponsored by ads. The ads never got in my way but I decided to spend 99 cents to remove ads, mainly just to support ship-rack and their great service.


Here is how I do package tracking now. When I buy something online and get a shipment notification from the place I bought something, I just copy the tracking number and paste it in a new message. The address I send the tracking number to is:






In the subject I write a short label for what the package is, coffee maker, wool hat, flavored coffee, etc..

If you get a shipment notification with the tracking number already in the email, you can forward the entire email to the same address, just remember to change the subject so you’ll know what the package is. Ship-Rack will automatically get the tracking number out of the email.


A few minutes later I get a confirmation email from ship-rack saying they are now tracking the package I just sent them.
A minute or two after that the app on my phone notifies me of the new package.

It has the number of days until delivery, the label I put in the subject of the email, the tracking number and the current status of the package.

As ship-rack gets updates on the package they update the data in the app. On my Moto X, I can double tap the listing and go to the carrier’s site using the browser on my phone with the tracking number already entered. When the package has been delivered I can double tap and hold on the listing to get more options. I double tap on archive and that package is gone from the main screen of the app.



This great service just makes it so much easier to keep track of packages, no matter who is delivering. We frequently buy from Amazon and we never know which carrier they will select for a package. With ship-rack we don’t have to go install apps for each carrier, sign up for an account either in the app or on the carrier’s web site. Its just simply taken care of all in one place.



My Wife and I have added each others email address as an alias in the ship-rack app. So when she adds a package to ship-rack I get it added to the app on my phone. The same goes for when I add a package, my Wife automatically gets it added to the app on her phone. That way we can both be aware of when to expect a delivery.

For more information please visit the ship-rack web site:





I wasn’t paid by ship-rack in any way, just sharing info about a great free service.

Eating More Carbs

A couple of months ago I realized that it was time for a change in

what and how I was eating. There are many things related to

having Gastric Bypass Surgery that I have learned on my own.

First, I want to remind everyone that just because something works

for me, that doesn’t mean that it will or will not work for you.

If you put me next to someone who had the same surgery, there are

big differences as we are all individuals. Our bodies all do

slightly different things, one person might tolerate a food item

differently than me. I might have a preference for something that

just isn’t appetizing to you.

One of the things that helped me in making changes to what I eat

is a study that looks at the amount of carbs someone should be

eating when they are a few years out from having Gastric Bypass


Here is a link to that study:


Right around that same time I had lab work done by my family

Doctor. I see my weight loss surgeon every January and get blood

work done. I like to get blood work done in the middle of the

year, just to check on things.

The report came back and I had elevated enzyme levels in my liver

and kidneys. I started thinking about what I had been doing

different in my diet. I did some research online and figured out

those elevated enzymes are because I was taking in too much

protein. I had gone crazy with protein drinks. Its not that I was

replacing meals with shakes, its just the number and way I was

having them was too much for what my body could handle.

So after reading that study, I started making changes to eat more

carbs in a day, making my goal around 130 g carbs and keeping the

sugars low.

On August 15 I weighed 174 pounds. This was 10 pounds more than I

was about a year before. It was at this point that I started

making changes. October 18 I weighed 169 pounds. I see the loss in

weight as a result of eating higher carb foods, still getting in

the amount of protein that I need and only having a protein shake

every other day or so.

Below is information on what I ate last Saturday including

nutritional information for each item.

Again, this is what works for me, so consider this before you make

any changes to what and how you eat.
Eggo Nutri-Grain Whole Wheat Waffles with Walden Farms Blueberry Syrup


Serving size: 2 waffles

Total Carbohydrate

28 g

Dietary Fiber

3 g

net carbs

25 g


3 g


5 g
Kahiki Chicken Egg Rolls


Serving size: 1 egg roll

Total Carbohydrate

20 g

Dietary Fiber

1 g

Net Carbs

19 g


2 g


5 g

I had two egg rolls so double the nutrition info if you are

counting the total numbers of what I ate.

Jose Ole Mini Tacos Beef & Cheese


Serving size: 4 mini tacos

Total Carbohydrate

19 g

Dietary Fiber

5 g

Net Carbs

14 g


1 g


7 g

I had six tacos so the actual numbers are slightly higher for what

I ate.

Big Train Fit Frappe Espresso

20 g protein

2 cups silk unsweetened soy milk 14 g protein

34 g protein total
Peanut Butter and JamPita Pocket

Oro wheat Pocket Pita 100% Whole Wheat

Serving size:

1/2 flatbread

Total Carbohydrate

20 g

Dietary Fiber

5 g


2 g


5 g
Old Home Creamy Peanut Butter

Serving size

2 tbsp

Total Carbohydrate

7 g

Dietary Fiber

3 g


0 g


8 g

I put 4 tablespoons in mine.

Smuckers Concord Grape Jam with Splenda, Sugar Free

Serving Size

1 tbsp

Total Carbohydrate


Dietary Fiber





Total net carbs for my PB&J:

28 g

Total sugars:

2 g

Total protein:

21 g

TotalsFor Day:

73 g protein

112 g carbs

I would have had something else to eat before bed but my allergies

were driving me crazy. I took some benadryl and went to bed early.

I still drink plenty of water with crystal light / store brand.

Usually around 60 – 70 ounces each day. I also drink about 3 or 4

cups of coffee too. I sweeten the coffee with sugar free syrup.

I go back and forth between Torani and DaVinci brands, depending

on which flavor I’m in the mood for. Lately I’ve been using the

sugar free sweetener syrup from DaVinci. Its the same that is in

their other sugar free syrups, just no flavoring. It adds some

sweetness to the flavor of the coffee.
I know some weight loss surgery programs frown on caffene. Some

are very strict saying never never never while other programs

don’t have a restriction. I waited until about 6 months after I

had gastric bypass surgery to start making changes. My surgery

program was one that was strict about caffene. So I chose to do

this on my own. I kept a food and weight log. I kept track of what

I ate, how much caffene I was drinking and my weight each week.

Guess what? My apetite didn’t increase as I was scared into

thinking that it would. My weight kept going down and so I decided

that my body was fine with caffene in my diet.

I’ve been searching around for different places to get flavored

coffee. After finding out that the coffee shop in my local grocery

can’t make any drinks sugar free, I knew it was up to me to make

coffee at home. This way I knew what goes into my coffee and I

could make varieties the coffee shop couldn’t.

I’ve tried a few bags I bought at the grocery but have found a

place online that has a wide variety of flavored coffee and its

made fresh.

This morning I had some EggNog Royale coffee with sugar free

vanilla syrup and a spoon of cool whip. It was very very yummy.

I bought it from CoffeeFool.com and encourage anyone who wants

some great tasting coffee from a family run business to give them

a try. They do have decaf too, for those who can’t handle the


Again, this is what works for me. If I can be of any help to you or someone you know who is considering weight loss surgery, I’m very happy to help. While gastric bypass was right for me, it may not be for you. It wasn’t for my Wife who has lost 250 pounds on the Slow Carb Diet and kept it off. I can share her experience and info as well.


My Favorite Flavored Coffee

I think I’ve found my favorite place for flavored coffee.


They are a small family owned business in Minnesota and have a wide variety of flavored coffee as well as unflavored coffee too.
I was searching for some Pumpkin coffee and wasn’t finding it in stores. I found it online from Dunkin Donuts but when I was ready to place an order, their site just had server errors for 4 days. When it was back online, there was no mention of the pumpkin.



Coffee Fool makes their pumpkin spice coffee all year long. So I tried a bag and loved it. I’ve been experimenting with adding sugar free pumpkin spice syrup and DaVinci’s sweetener syrup, which doesn’t have the flavoring of their other syrups, just sweetens what you are adding it to.

Both were very yummy.
I placed another order for the pumpkin spice coffee and found another that sounded good. EggNog Royale coffee.
Its amazingly yummy. I’ve made it with the sweetener syrup and also some sugar free vanilla syrup too and a spoon of cool whip.


So that is my favorite so far. There are many options on the Coffee Fool web site for how you want your coffee, drip grind, french press, etc.. Several options for shipping too. I chose UPS ground. It shipped on a Monday and it was here on Wednesday.

Here’s a related tweet I sent this morning while sipping on the EggNog Royale:

EggNog Royale Coffee + SugarFree Vanilla syrup + spoon of CoolWhip = Yummy Here’s the coffee: