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The Fresh Diet – A Review for Gastric Bypass Patients – Preview

So, Melting Mama http://www.meltingmama.net/ reviewed The Fresh Diet a little while ago, and she made the whole thing sound incredible.  The fresh foods, delivered to your doorstep, portion controlled meals are a Godsend to someone like me, who tends to eat too large portions of all the wrong foods all the time.  Oh, and I hate that whole cooking and preparing foods thing.

But the cost of the diet (in the $1300 per month range) is out of my budget, absolutely unthinkable.

And then…a code.  I love me some codes!  Mama posted a code on her site for three free days on the Fresh Diet – you pay only for the delivery charges of $15.  Okay, now it’s thinkable.

The initial process wasn’t smooth.  I went to the website with my code, but couldn’t find an option for a three day program.  I entered all of my information, but when I did, I could only go to the full 7 day menu option, and still couldn’t find a place to put a code.  Because I started this 10 minutes after I was supposed to be out the door to pick the kids up at school, I ended up jotting down the phone number and racing out the door.  As I was in car line waiting for Eilis to come out, they called me.  It was a Big Brother moment as I gathered my wits to sort out why The Fresh Diet was calling me, as I couldn’t think of anything I had done wrong (Catholic school guilt).  She actually was very helpful, set up my account, and gave me a code to log back into the computer in an hour and order my meals.

As soon as I got home, I logged in, and sure enough, there was my three day diet!  Browsing the menu options was like browsing a menu in your favorite bistro, with options like Chilean Sea Bass and Asian style chicken salad.  There are snacks and desserts, and everything sounds like it will be delicious!

I place my order, and I am confirmed for delivery beginning on May 3rd.  I can’t wait to try everything, see if I lose anything, and let you know how it tastes and if it’s pouch-worthy!

Disneynature Oceans Review

Oceans.  Cold, dark, menacing beasts; powerful and unforgiving; unpredictable and dangerous. 

In one sentence, I summed up how I feel personally about the ocean.  At the same time, the mystery of it is enticing, drawing me in to any type of program that brings me some new knowledge of the creatures that live in the ocean or some confirmation that my feelings about the ocean are accurate.  I cringe as the waves crash over the bow of the Cornelia Marie on Deadliest Catch, but marvel as I watch programming on NatGeo that show us the tiniest of God’s creatures.  In the end, I am in awe of the beauty and the power of the Ocean, but still put off by the cold, dark nature of the beast.

The one thing Disneynature’s Oceans does NOT do that their spectacular Earth did is bring me closer, bring me feelings of warmth, bring tears of emotion.  In Earth, we are intimately up close to the animal families that they highlight, as we watch the playful polar bear cubs find their footing in the ice and snow, then suffer the devastation along with their father, who has traveled miles in vain to find food for himself and his new family of cubs.  We scream at the screen, begging the photographer to throw the poor thing a Snickers bar, a Starbucks scone, the sound man – anything so he doesn’t suffer the fate he ultimately faces.

In Oceans, we don’t get the up close and personal connection with the ocean or any of her creatures.  We see the unfortunate fate of some sardines with whom we have no bond; and we witness the demise of a few tiny sea turtles who are trying to make their way back to the ocean to begin a new life.  What we miss in this movie is the mother sea turtle, heavy with eggs, laboring away to create the perfect nest in which to trust the delicate babies until they hatch.  We don’t see her forlorn journey back to the sea, leaving behind a piece of herself, knowing she will never know the children she must leave for Mother Nature to care for.

We do see a brief moment of sentimentality as a walrus shoves it’s baby under the water, then joins the baby as she cuddles him to her.  But really, that is the only play to human emotion in the film.

It may be that the film makers want us to keep a distance – an emphasis to the dark and mysterious ocean that they are allowing us a peek at.  The photography is, as you would expect, magnificent.  There is no doubt that you may see things from a perspective you’ve never seen them, and get glimpses at creatures you have no knowledge of. 

But I had hoped to feel the love that I felt for the animals in Earth.  I wanted tears streaming down my face, causing me to reach deeply into my pockets to do something for oceanic conservation.  I didn’t get it.  The ocean is still scary, still menacing, and there wasn’t much effort put into making it more warm, fuzzy and approachable.

Victory cookies – a treat for the tastebuds

If there was ever a way to make Monday a happy day, finding a delectable treat from Victory Cookies in the mailbox definitely makes it happen.

I was lucky enough to have an opportunity to taste these amazing little bites of old fashioned, homemade goodness, and I’m so glad that I did! The sample box they sent featured four different flavors of cookie, each more wonderful than the one before.

The first cookie we sampled was the Original Victory Cookie, the company’s chocolate chip cookie. The cookie was the right combination of crunch and chewy, with crisp cookie edges and melt in your mouth chocolately goodness. This was a great version of everyone’s cookie BFF.

The second cookie we tried was my personal favorite cookie, the oatmeal raisin. The Victory variety is called Mr. Wonderful, and it certainly lived up to it’s name. And can I say, I’ve never seen so many sweet, plump raisins in any store bought oatmeal raisin cookie, adding to the homemade quality of this delight!

Our third bite was of the Victory cookie they call Shugah Browns – a brown sugar sugar cookie. This was a big hit with the girls, who thought this was the best cookie ever, as they munched through every bit of sweet Southern goodness.

By far, though, the most popular of the batch was the Beach Bum cookie. Pardon me while I wipe the drool from my keyboard so I can continue typing. This cookie is a trip to the tropics in every fabulous morsel, as it is loaded with pineapple and macadamia nuts, with a hint of coconut. Forget the pina colada, just pass the cookies!

You can find Victory Cookies online at www.victorycookies.com. Or you can place your oder by calling them at 877-995-0008.

You thought the best cookies ever came out of your Grandmom’s kitchen. Turns out, they come from Atlanta. Mother’s Day is coming – and these phenomenal cookies make the perfect gift for the women in your life who have shared their homemade goodies with you all these years.

Coco Key Water Resort – Birthday Party Review

Because we are the most disorganized people in the known world, a blizzard that had been threatened for weeks made it virtually impossible for us to host Eilis’ 9th birthday party at our house as planned.  So just days before the party, Jim came up with the idea to head to CoCo Key Water Resort in Mt. Laurel.  He had wanted to take the girls there before, but I am not a fan of water parks.  Hosting a birthday party there was downright terrifying to me.

To begin with, I worry about the basics.  Will there be enough food and drink for everyone?  It would be an absolute nightmare for me to host a party and run out of food.  Will people want to come?  Who knows what other parents have this irrational water park fear that I harbor?  And it’s the dead of winter.  Are there parents who won’t allow their kids to come because of the fact that they will be leaving in the sub-freezing temperatures with wet hair?  I worry about these things.

It turns out, that none of my worries were well founded.  Not that other issues didn’t arise, but the things I most worried about were well taken care of.  Eilis ended up with 18 children who’s parents didn’t care about the pneumonia they would get for walking outside with wet hair (that is how you get pneumonia, right?).  We also brought home two whole pizzas and nearly half of the birthday cake.  Honestly, the kids would have skipped the food altogether to spend more time in the water.  They really didn’t want to come when it was time to sing Happy Birthday.

The water park itself was awesome.  It seemed like all of the kids, from the adventurous to the Granuaile has something to do and enjoy.  The pizza was Pizza Hut pizza, and the cake was from a local bakery, so there wasn’t anything to complain about in the food department.  We had ordered an extra tray of fresh fruit, and it was delicious – but they failed to provide plates or silverware when they put the fruit out, so it was picked at by many hands.  They didn’t go home with pneumonia, and let’s hope the cholorine killed any nasties on their hands.

The kids loved the party, and Eilis thought it was, by far, the best party EV.ER.

My list of complaints –

Bathrooms were disgusting.  There wasn’t enough hand sanitizer on the planet to make me feel comfortable changing Granuaile in this bathroom.  I get it.  The park was crowded.  So’s Disney.  I never feel skeeved in a Disney restroom.

We didn’t have a party host for most of the evening.  We had kids without wristbands, parents wandering around not knowing where our tables were, and me running up and down the stairs to make sure people could find us and get in without their wristbands.

Other than that, this really was an awesome event for Eilis.  She loved it, from the minute she laid eyes on the place.

Now someone clue me in on how to break the news to Granuaile that she can’t have her birthday party there, too?