Meatball Madness!

This past Saturday I made my quickly becoming famous Meatball Madness Meatballs, and again they received rave reviews, so I have decided to share the recipe with you all here on the blog.

Ingredients:

2 lbs lean ground beef

1/3 cup finely diced yellow onion

2 cloves freshly chopped garlic

1 tbsp Frank’s Red Hot sauce

2 tsp worchestshire sauce

0.5 tsp salt

0.5 tsp ground pepper

1 tsp oregano

1 tsp parsley leaves

3 large eggs

0.5 cups fine ground bread crumbs

Method:

Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees.  Mix all ingredients together in a large mixing bowl until 1 giant meat ball forms.  Break off small chunks and roll into approx 1.5 inch meatballs (makes approx 20 meatballs). Place meat balls on parchment paper covered baking sheets.  Bake meatballs at 400 degrees for 35-38 minutes.  At this point you can either serve meatballs as is, or you can add desired number of balls to pan of hot tomato sauce and serve over desired pasta.

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Bon Appetit!!

-Ben-

LASIK Has Changed My Life!

Last Friday I took the plunge and got LASIK!!!!! Eeeeeekkkk so exciting right???? I know, I know I sound like a 16-year-old girl with that, haha!

Now in all seriousness LASIK has changed my life.  Here we are 4 and a half days after the procedure and I will say I can see so good.  My vision I would say is now better post LASIK then it ever was even with glasses, and so convenient without the hassle of having to reach for glasses in the morning when I wake up, being able to fall asleep when and wherever I want without having to remember to take off the glasses and put them someplace safe.  Another HUGE convenience is not having to deal with the hassle of contact lenses which if you wear contacts you know how much it sucks if you fall asleep with the lenses in your eye, Yuck!

Pre LASIK.

Pre LASIK.

Now getting ready for LASIK was beyond easy, all that was required was attending a consultation with my LASIK clinic, and got tested to make sure that my eyes were suitable for the procedure, and setting up the financing payment plan (the cost is the hardest part of the whole procedure, lol).  The consultation for me was 1 week prior to the surgery.  Starting the day of the consultation I began taking lubricating eye drops 4 times/day as ensuring proper lubrication of the eyes prior to getting LASIK’d is imperative to the success of the procedure.

The day of the surgery I arrived at the clinic and was administered a final set of eye examinations, and was given all my after-care instructions, as well as my post-op antibiotics.

LASIK aftercare package.

LASIK after-care package.

After the final eye exams, and the post-op package, and antibiotics were explained it was off to the mighty LASIK operating room to get my eyes zapped, lol.  The procedure itself is beyond amazingly simple and 99% pain-free.  The surgery you are kept awake for as it takes about a combined 15-20 minutes in total.  You lay on the operating bed thingy with your head positioned under the laser machine, where the ophthalmologist drops eye numbing drops, followed by surgical tape taping your eye lids open (this is seriously the most painful part of the whole procedure.  After your eye lids are taped a small flap will be cut in your cornea creating your corneal flap (a doorway for the laser), next a small circular clamp is placed on your eye-ball causing your vision to go dark in that eye for about 5 seconds, followed by your vision returning but blurry and what you’re now looking at is a red dot light which you focus on as it turns to a red and green starburst this lasts for all of 5 seconds this is also the LASIK taking place.  The only thing left at this point is for them to repeat this process with the second eye.

About an hour after the LASIK procedure, both with and without the awesomely cool LASIK sunglasses.

About an hour after the LASIK procedure, both with and without the awesomely cool LASIK sunglasses.

 

Following the procedure I was kept for observation for roughly 30 minutes and administered my first set of antibiotic drops.  Now yes the rumors are true… after receiving LASIK you I was given this awesomely cool spaceaged sunglasses to wear for the first twenty-four hours post op at all times including while I slept, after the first twenty-four hours the sunglasses only need to be worn indoors while I slept for the next twenty-four and whenever I’m outside for the remainder of the first week, though after the first forty-eight I was allowed to switch to my own and less geeky Oakley’s, haha!  Saturday morning I did have to return to the clinic for my day after post-op check-up which I passed with flying colors, and my next appointment is scheduled for this Friday afternoon.  Also as of today I get to rid myself of two of the four antibiotic drops, woo-hoo!!

Again I will say that the whole procedure has changed not only my vision, but my life, and I would do it again without a moment’s hesitation guaranteed.  The most important part of the post-op/healing regime is following the after-care instructions, and keeping up with the antibiotic drops as prescribed, and attending ALL of your post-op follow-up appointments as directed by the clinic.

If you are someone who has ever thought about getting LASIK I’ll say this… Do yourself a favor and book yourself a consultation and if you’re eligible for the procedure GET IT DONE!! It will change your vision and you’re whole life, I promise.

For any further information I invite you to check out the website of the clinic where I got mine done: http://www.lasikmd.com (this is a Canadian company), or the website of your local LASIK clinic.

If you have any questions for me or if you’re looking for a personal opinion I would love to hear from you, and will be happy to answer any questions I can.

-Ben-

Total Knee Care!!

As both a hardcore and dedicated runner, and six-time right knee operation recipient knees are something i know a thing or two, or six about haha.  Knees are also a part of the body I have very strong feelings and opinions about.  I would like to share just a few of my stories, and tips for speedy and proper knee recoveries whether it be recovering from surgery or just soreness.

Those of us out there who are serious and longtime runners, no doubt have at some point already, or at some point in the future will experience some form of knee injury.  Heck even non-runners will likely experience some form of knee injury or inflammation during one life.  Injuries of the knees can range from simple strains to torn ACL’s to extensive damage requiring a total knee replacement.  Quite often the severity of the knee injury will be in direct correlation to your physical activities, as well as your physical body make up, for example runners, and heavy-set people are at a much greater risk for knee problems than say someone who’s main form of fitness is simply going for leisurely walks, or is a petite person.

My knee problems began just under 18 years ago at age 13.  Growing up I was HARDCORE into running, and skiing, probably two of the worst sports for contributing to knee problems.  I suffered my first and still to date largest ACL (Anterior Cruciate Ligament) at age 13 from a nasty ski race crash.  While the crash is what tore the ligament, I began damaging the ligaments and cartilage in my right knee from years of cross-country running in school and prior years of skiing.  Unfortunately the torn ACL I sustained at age 13 was just the first of TWO yes TWO times tearing the same ACL and one torn MCL (Medial Collateral Ligament) I have suffered. In addition to the three right knee ligament surgeries I have undergone I’ve also undergone three routine cleaning/maintainance surgical procedures on that same knee.

a comparisson of my left knee v.s my right knee. Notice how pushed inwards the right knee is from all the injuries, and surgical procedures.

a comparison of my left knee v.s my right knee. Notice how pushed inwards the right knee is from all the injuries, and surgical procedures.

You will notice in the photo to the left is a full on photo comparison between my left knee and my right knee currently.  The reason the right knee is so pushed inwards is due to the repeated injuries, and surgical procedures to it.

The recovery time from a ligament surgery can be weeks, or months typically depending on the severity of the tear and how fast your body heals after the operation.

Now I know that a lot of people are lead to believe that once you’ve suffered an injury be it a strain or a tear that you have to stop exercising and being physically active with that knee…. DON’T BUY INTO THIS! This is a false notion.  Yes you will have to ease off the intensity at which you work out with this limb but you don’t need to give it up completely, at least not without being instructed to by a physician.  The best way to  minimize the pain and swelling as with any other injury in the body is with ice, and rest, however keeping the joint mobile is imperative to keeping your range of motion in tact.  As well as ice, and rest, some other excellent activities for an injured knee are: stretching, light walking or even mild and short jogging pain permitted and approved by a physician.  Other activities can include mild strength training (increasing as the pain will allow).  In short pretty much any activity can be beneficial provided it’s done in moderation and with the approval of your physician/surgeon.

As with most any injury there are certain devices that will help minimize the likelihood of turning a mild or pre-existing knee condition into a severe or long-term knee problem.  Three of my favorites and most commonly used are:

The IT Band, which is worn wrapped around the top of the knee to help stabalize and minimize the the impact that your knee will suffer while running or walking long distances.

The IT Band, which is worn wrapped around the top of the knee to help stabilize and minimize the impact that your knee will suffer while running or walking long distances.

The common knee brace.  Designed to apply pressure to both sides of the knee to keep it from caving inwards or pushing outwards.

The common knee brace. Designed to apply pressure to both sides of the knee to keep it from caving inwards or pushing outwards.

The custom orthotic knee brace designed specifically for your individual knee to shift your knee inwards or outwards as needed.

The custom orthotic knee brace designed specifically for your individual knee to shift your knee inwards or outwards as needed.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

All three of these products I use whenever I am partaking in strenuous physical activity.  I use the IT Band on my left knee simply as a preventative measure as my left knee has had to bear much weight and strain over the years as a result of six operations to the right knee.  The two braces i switch out depending primarily on what activity I am doing, for running I certainly would be using the custom orthotic knee brace.

Again please don’t fall for the belief that just cause you have or have to have a knee operation your fitness days are done, cause they’re NOT.  I am living proof of this, last summer I completed my first two half marathon running races, and am currently beginning training for my first full marathon this upcoming summer.  You can and will likely continue to be very physically active during and after a knee injury, the only thing is….DO IT SMART!

If you have any questions or wish to share your story with me I would love to hear them.

-Ben-