Wednesday, April 3, 2019

Yummy Rice

[image description: rice in a red bowl. there is a dollop of sour cream in the center of the picture. Rice is red/yellow in color and has bell peppers and chicken throughout]

First of all, I eat high sodium because it helps keep my heart rate in the normal range, so you probably want to use low sodium substitutions if you are looking out for sodium intake.

This was approx 2 cups of dry rice which was enough for me to have a few days of lunches in addition to my dinner the day I made it. You can make more or less, just increase quantities.

2 c white rice

water sufficient for the amount of rice, so 2 cups of my rice uses 4 cups water/broth

1 can diced tomatoes

½ bag frozen pepper stir-fry vegetables (green/yellow/red bell peppers with onion. You can use fresh if preferred) you can add more than half the bag if you want,

½ pound protein. I used chicken.

Adobo seasoning to taste

Tomato bullion with chicken flavor, or similar amount of low sodium chicken broth with a can of tomato paste. Use the amount recommended for the amount of rice, so 4 cups of water would use 4 servings if that makes sense. You only need one can of paste for 4 cups of water.

Cut the chicken or whatever protein you are using up into small bite sized pieces, or cook and shred beforehand. Add a couple tbsp of oil to a large pot and heat on medium, adding the veggies and protein. Sprinkle with adobo to taste, and cook until the protein is browned/mostly cooked and onions are starting to get translucent. Add water/broth and seasonings, then add rice and stir well. Turn up the heat and bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer once boiling point has been reached. Add a lid and let cook until water is mostly absorbed. If you're using a caldero and want crunchy rice turn the heat up to medium around the halfway point of cooking, otherwise just keep on a simmer. It usually takes about 30 minutes total to be finished for me. Once most of the water is absorbed, turn off stove and remove from heat and let sit for 10 minutes.

Saturday, July 14, 2018

Medical Bills

Being chronically ill is hard. If you read my previous post about my frustration with FSAs, you will see I have been struggling a bit lately. 

Knowing that doing certain things helps with your conditions, but not having the energy to do the things is hard.

Knowing that certain things (like eating specific foods) helps exponentially, but not having the money to eat that way is hard. And when I do have the money, it seems like I don't have the energy. 

Not being able to get a diagnosis because all the testing that is required costs a lot of money is incredibly frustrating. Having your insurance deny certain tests because they cost more than the cheaper tests even though you'll end up having to have both done since the first one won't show what is needed is infuriating. And I end up paying for both, when only one was necessary. 

What tends to happen for me is that the doctors just shrug their shoulders and say well we don't know but maybe you can see a specialist. The specialist usually either doesn't care enough to go further after the one test they do is negative, or they don't really know where to start. I have been having chronic health issues for over 8 years. That isn't including my problems from my TBI and PCOS. 

Finding a doctor that actually cares and is trying to help you as much as they can, but not being able to see them anymore because your insurance stopped covering them is hard.

Fighting with insurance to cover services that are very obviously covered in your insurance, is hard.

If you can find it in your heart to help with some of my medical bills that would be so appreciated. If you can't afford to help, shares are just as appreciated. 

If you would like to see bills/screenshots of monies owed feel free to send me an email via my contact page. I can also email you a receipt showing I paid the bill once that is done. 

My current goal is $1500, to pay my primary care doctor and to get up to date on payments for my Gastroenterologist and the endoscopy costs. 

Cash App: $sylvyana

Tuesday, June 5, 2018

FSA "Flexible" spending accounts.

Lets talk about “Flexible” spending accounts and what a crock of shit they are.

So you save money on taxes; barely, you're basically just not taxed on it as income so it marginally reduces your tax burden. In order to get this modicum of savings on your no more than $2650 per qualified individual, you have to waste time jumping through hoops and getting stupid letters of medical necessity from your doctor. Using the money at a doctors office isn't enough proof that it is a covered service. No, you need to mail in a copy of every damn receipt of every service you use the card for. The only place that I haven't had to submit receipts for is the pharmacy, and I'm assuming that's because they denote anything that qualifies as a FSA item on the receipt.

So once they decide that they want to have a receipt for a service, they freeze the card. I find that I can usually pay a bunch of things off in the same day before it is frozen, but that isn't always the case. I try to pay the largest bills first. If you send in the receipts and they aren't detailed enough, they will request a letter from your doctor stating why the procedure or visit was medically necessary. Until all of this is done you can't use the card to pay for anything else, including prescriptions.

I know it doesn't seem like that big of a deal, but when you have to also fight the insurance to cover things that are deemed medically needed by your doctor but that they want to deny because it costs them too much money it is infuriating and frustrating beyond belief. Our healthcare system is a disaster and needs ground up reformation.

It's especially frustrating because there is no easy way to give them the receipts. I wish I could just email the receipt at the time of service, because that would make things much easier. 

I won't be doing another FSA after this year. There doesn't seem to be any benefit to it anymore. 

Oh, and our insurance rates are going up again! Lucky me with these preexisting conditions. Hopefully I continue to be covered. Hard to stretch the money when my doctors are chasing diagnosis and I need expensive tests. And I need another surgery but I am putting if off for as long as possible because again, $$$. if you feel like kicking something in to help pay medical bills. I pay it forward when I can but I'm really struggling right now. I was hoping that my credit would finally recover since I've been covered for a while now and we've been working hard to pay all the bills, but I still have quite a few outstanding things that need to be paid so they don't go to collections. I am looking for a job but it is hard to find something that either pays enough to cover childcare or allows the flexibility to work around my husband's schedule. I also have limitations as to what kind of work I can do, and standing for 8 hours is out.

Oh did I mention that my insurance no longer covers my naturopath? If I want to see her anymore I have to pay completely out of pocket. They don't even cover it as out of network, even though she is listed as in network on their website and I verified that before renewing our insurance policy last open enrollment.

Friday, September 15, 2017

The Little Gym

I had the opportunity to have tiny human try out a class at The Little Gym thanks to Moms Meet's Influencer program.

Sebastien, what was your favorite part of the class?

Doing that upside down thing!


Yes, the somersault was my favorite part.

What else did you like about the class?

I liked the people that was teaching me, like that person that showed me how to do the things.

Did you like the kids that were in the class with you? 

Yeah I did. I really liked gymnastics!

It took a few minutes for him to warm up when he first started the class, but he really got into it once he started. There were two teachers and the class was split into manageable groups so they could give a bit of individual attention to each child. We did the "Funny Bugs" class. You can learn more about The Little Gym here. The class was an hour long. He really seemed to enjoy himself, and we plan on going back once things settle down a bit in our personal lives.

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Gluten Free Birthday Cake

I made a gluten free birthday cake for my dad's birthday. Everyone said they really liked it and I think it turned out really well.

I used two boxes of the Betty Crocker gluten free cake mix. One yellow cake and one devil's food cake. I doctored them both just a tiny bit.

To each mix I added:
2 tbsp (approximately 1/2 a pudding cup) Vanilla pudding
3/4 tbst vanilla
2 tbsp almond flour (blue diamond brand)

I marbled the cakes a bit but could have done a better job on that part. I frosted the cake in homemade buttercream. My hands have not been cooperating with fine work so I used store bought candles as the only decoration. I couldn't find my turntable so the frosting job didn't come out as smoothly as I would have liked.

[Image description: partially pieced together layered cake. Cake is sitting on a plate for ease of frosting.]

[Image description: Cake layer being filled with pudding. There is a pile of pudding in the center of the cake with icing around the outside to keep the pudding inside the cake.]

[Image description: The pudding has been spread around the cake layer.]

[Image description: fully filled and torted cake waiting for crumb coat.]

[Image description: Cake sitting on a plate with crumb coat layer freshly added.]

[Image description: Completed cake sitting on the middle of a table. Candles saying "Happy 60 Birthday" have been placed on the top of the cake.]

[Image description: Cake being cut. You can see a cross section of a slice, and it shows a mixture of yellow and chocolate cake.]

Saturday, August 5, 2017

Prepping with Food Allergies

Did you know that an estimated 6 million children and 9 million adults in the US deal with food allergies? Food allergy diagnoses have been steadily  rising in the past couple decades.

Check out my post over at The Prepared about prepping with food allergies

I discuss:
Why you should have food storage if you are dealing with food allergies
Ways to find safe foods
Tips on foods that might be safe for people dealing with certain allergens
How to prepare safe foods for long term storage in your home.

I hope you enjoy the post. I was really excited to write about something I am so passionate about.