Friday, December 07, 2007

Stuff that makes my life easier

I almost named this post “Tools I Couldn’t Life Without”. That sounds a bit dramatic, but I swear it’s true. There are some things that I’ve been using that aren’t necessarily required, but they sure do make life easier.

7-Day Medication Organizer
They aren’t just for forgetful senior citizens anymore. I have 3 seven-day pill boxes that I bought at Wal-Mart. I used a magic marker and wrong “Morning”, “Lunch” and “Evening” on each box. If I had to buy them over again, I’d get different colors so it’d be easier to identify which was which. But each week I load up all my medications, vitamins and supplements into each box. This makes is fairly simple to remember what to take when and I can also identify at a glance if I’ve missed any meds.

Just a regular old blender – the one I’ve had for over 10 years – is great for making my protein shakes. I add a bit of ice and let the blender make it into a thick milk shake consistency. Protein shakes without my ice tend to be bland to me. Some people swear by the Magic Bullet – but so far I haven’t been able to justify spending $65 on that.

Disposable Dishes and Containers
Yep, I’m lazy. I hate doing dishes even though I have a dishwasher. So I use as many disposable things as I can. I draw the line at plates and bowls and drinking glasses, though. But these are some of the things I couldn’t live without:
  • Protein shake cups. Just disposable Styrofoam 16oz cups that I bought at Gordon Food Services (GFS). These allow me to have a shake on the run and just toss the cup when I’m done without worrying about washing a glass. Besides, protein shakes are messy, so I wouldn’t want to wash them anyway.
  • Plastic Storage Containers. Again at GFS I bought 5.5oz plastic containers with lids (like what you’d get to-go salad dressing in at a restaurant). This allows me to store individual serving size leftovers in the fridge easily. And if I don’t eat the leftovers (which is common) I don’t feel guilty about throwing the whole thing in the trash. They don’t microwave well, but that’s fine. But they do travel well. The other day I knew I was going to be out and about during lunchtime, so I grabbed a disposable container of egg salad and when I was done eating it, the container went in the trash. Easy! Just a note: I originally bought Glad 4oz. containers with locking lids. I thought I was so brilliant to buy these tiny storage containers. But I quickly discovered that I was washing them more than using them productively. And they didn’t do well in the dishwasher because there were so small (always turning right side up and not getting clean) and the lids didn’t ever fit anywhere. Blah! What a waste of money. Go disposable!

On-Time Rx or any type of electronic alarm program
On-Time Rx is a medication reminder program, but you can also input a Task List. You can use it on your computer (only works if you’re on the computer as much as I am) but the best way to use it is on your cell phone or PDA. I have a Treo 650 (phone/PDA) and it worked great. It’s free to use for 30 days, then only about $30 to purchase. Basically I inputted my daily eating/snacking/drinking schedule that was given to me by my surgeon’s office. Yes, it gets annoying after a while and I only kept it installed for about 3 weeks. But the constant alarm reminders helped to train my brain with a schedule of eating and drinking. An invaluable tool to help me get on track from the very beginning. I deleted it from my PDA 2 days ago and so far I’ve been doing well with sticking with my schedule.

That’s all I can think of at the moment. I’m sure as I progress I’ll come up with more great tools and I’ll share them as I discover them.

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