Yo! Gurt!!

MGB Food: I need to eat yogurt every day and thankfully I like yogurt so that is very good. I decided to do some yogurt reviews. This review is on Dannon's DanActive. This yogurt is not thick as average smoothie type drinkable yogurts but I like it because it is more like a drink than a smoothie. The flavors are all tasty and I like the pomegranate the best. The only thing I wish it had was a reclosable top. It has a peel back foil that, once removed, you can't close it and finish later. To a normal person this would not be a big deal as it is just about one gulp anyhow.. but I don't gulp anymore.

MGBMike Rating: 4 out of 5 stars (I would add one more star if it had a lid)

More info can be found here: www.danactive.com

Sushi MGB

MGB Reporter Michael Bonafede here at the Atami Sushi in College Station, Texas. I had my first pieces of Sushimi today and it was great. I ended up having a total of three pieces of tuna like the ones pictured here and I even ate the rice and wasabe. This is a big deal for me because I love sushi and was hoping I did not have to give it up. The quantity has considerably changed but I was full and satisfied with my three pieces when I left so that is what I call perfect! The dinner came with miso soup which was also delicious. I can't wait to come back and try out some different types of Sushimi. For those of you who are not familiar with Atami it is a very nice place to eat, has hibachi tables which are fun for parties and just so happens to be where I had my first date with my girlfriend Carol (who is amazing). Good things happen for me at Atami.. :)

Here goes.. I told everyone I would post my weight loss this week and am proud to say I am now at 42 lbs lost so far. Eleven of these pounds were lost in the liquid diet I forced myself to do in the 2 weeks prior to surgery which was March 11, 2009. From here on I am supposed to lose 10 lbs per month until I get to the target weight and I will post new weigh ins each month or so.. Thanks to all who are emailing with encoragement and well wishes..

MGB Food News: Breakfast is getting better.. I have been experimenting with eggs and have a really nice pan to cook them in that my cousin Nicole gave me.. What a thoughtful and very useful gift as it cooks just one egg which is enough for me.. The photo to the right shows my attempt at egg with asparagus which was tasty and went down nicely. Notice the handle of the pan has a smiling egg.. pretty cool and non-stick too. Nicole has made the one egg omlette fun with this cool new pan. Thanks Nicole!

Ah.. Soup!

MGB Food Notes: I am now qualified to be a professional soup reviewer. Today's soup review is about Campbell's "Soup at Hand" soup. It comes in various flavors and I am particularly fond of the Chicken and Stars flavor. It is cheap at about $1.20 and 2min in the microwave you have Soup at Hand. The taste is good and fills me up perfectly. I can't eat the cream flavors just yet but I bet they are good too. I would like to suggest they also do Spaghetti at Hand, Chili at Hand and maybe Chicken Pot Pie at Hand too. If they do this I get credit for mentioning it here first. Campbells please feel free to send me coupons or cases of soup.

For breakfast I changed things up a bit and had a scrambled egg. Notice i did not say scrambled EGGS (plural). The egg was good and went down very well. I topped it off with a new creation that my friend Jim gave me for taking in the necessary Whey protein. He mixes vanilla whey protein with sugar free vanilla pudding and then puts it in the fridge to make it real cold. It tastes like cake batter.. yum. Tomorrow I will try yogurt instead of pudding mix and add the citricel fiber stuff i need to take. It might just taste like a dreamsickle..

ok. that's it for the MGB Food Channel until next time..

Visit to Houston

While my Mother is still visiting I decided to take her to Houston to visit some friends. I have known the Gedeon's for about 35 years and it was great to have dinner and catch up with them. Our Moms have not seen each other in about 5 years so it was a nice surprise. Laura made some delicious tortilla soup and I had quite a bit of it (about 1 bowl) before I felt full. I even had one oatmeal raisin cookie. Yum. The trip was only 65miles which is great for weekend road trips.

Back to Work!

I went back to work on Friday and caught up with all of the things I could not do from my hotel room but I did not update this site until now.

MGB Update: I am feeling pretty good and have had no problems with food yet.. The only thing I dislike is the pepto-bismol that i must take for a few months until my stomach is back to 100%. I have switched to the swallowable pills instead of the chewables or liquid to see if that helps..

NEW UPDATE: 4/6/2009 The swallowable Pepto pills made a huge difference.. no more chewing and no more BLACK TOUNGUE.. (yes it makes your whole toungue black). If you need to take Pepto regularly ask your doctor if these pills will work for you too!

Alternatively and as a side note: The swallowable Citricel pills are NOT a good idea and have been abandoned.. For a normal person they would be great.. but for my MGB tummy they seemed to swell up and cause some uncomfortable feelings.

Jason's Deli

Soup is still on the menu so we went to Jason's Deli and had a nice dinner. While there we ran into Matt and Becky with their little one Mark. We had a good time visiting and playing with Mark. This photo is Mom playing "Pat-a-Cake" with Mark and he laughed and laughed.

MGB News: I can now eat just about any consistency soup and my favorite so far is Fire Roasted Tortilla Soup (without Tortillas).

Mark's web site can be seen here: www.monstermcgarr.com

I landed at 5:30pm on the 19th and was greeted by my own little parade of supporters. Brian was there as was JJ and Cherry and Katie.. The plane ride from Dallas to College Station was only 31 minutes and that was good because the smaller plane made it even more uncomfortable. I am so glad to be home and excited to see my friends..

Da Plane!

It has probably been more than 25 years since I travelled on an airplane with my Mom so it is nice that I am taking care of her instead of her taking care of me. I barely got her through the airport security! Just kidding.

On to MGB news.. I won't say yet how much weight I have lost but I will say the seat is noticably more comfortable. I want to use the scale at my house to be exact and I am anxious to see what progress has happened so far. We are about halfway to Dallas and the flight seems like it is taking forever. I can't wait to get home!

VIP Supporters

My Aunt Adele and Cousin Renee came by today to see me and visit for a while. It was great to get to see them and chat about my past week. They drove quite a while to see me so that was very nice. We did some backyard fruit picking before they left to go back home.

Lemonade Anyone?

My parents house has many fruit trees in their backyard. This photo is of their Meyer Lemon tree loaded with lemons. They also have a normal lemon tree, tangelo tree, naval orange tree, and a large tangerine tree. All are full of fruit. It is amazing how much fruit their small (california sized) backyard produces. I always make it a point to bring back some of the Meyer lemons and share them with my Texas family.

I am also including a photo of the tangerine tree as it was amazing..

Driving to SoCal

We are on our way to my parent's house in southern California and the hills are nice and green. Although I am feeling good, the car ride back is not very comfortable as I am crunched up in a small car and really "feel" every inch of the road. We are also stopping frequently to walk as per doctor's orders which just makes it take longer. I fly back Thursday so I will at least get one day in between without cramped travelling. This update is being made in the car via iPhone... Technology is cool.


This photo has no real explaination. We pulled over to get gas and next thing I know this thing is looking at me and I kept real still. I felt like I was in Jurassic Park and it was important to not make a sound or he would pounce on us. Then I realized it was not real and someone had made him out of metal. I took a photo so that if I ever wanted to tell this story i would have proof that it actually existed. I also photographed a few other dinasaurs while we were gassing up and their photos are here..

Leaving Henderson

The clinic went great this morning and my staples have been removed.. I was told I am doing very well and I feel great. I am leaving Henderson Nevada and am on my way back to California where I will depart to Texas on Thursday. It is strange that I have been to Nevada and have not seen Las Vegas yet.. For all of you who thought I was coming here for a vacation that should show you it has been all business. I am excited to now come home and start the rest of my new life.. This photo is my parents and me leaving the hospital for the last time..

Happy Birthday Mom!

As if this week was not loaded enough with good times for my parents it also happened to be my Mom's birthday on the 16th. We celebrated by going to Panera Bread and I (for the first time since my surgery) had SOUP at a restaurant! Oh boy was it an amazing thing. My Mom and Dad enjoyed Panera Bread's fine sandwiches and we then went to Whole Foods to pickup some more delicious yogurt. Did I mention I have the best parents?

This blog entry sponsored by:

Souper Familia

When I took this photo I was not going to post it because I felt it may be too personal. I decided to post it anyway to show the true character of my family and how they have always been there for me. Not only did they forgo sleep, give of their time and put up with me during some not so good times.. but they only ate the foods I could eat. When I had soup, they had soup,. When I had applesauce they had applesauce, and so on.. Saltine crackers, yogurt, Gatorade, etc.. You did not see them ordering pizza or sneaking out for some food. They all stayed with me and ate with me. God has blessed me with an amazing family..

He's my Brother!

He’s not heavy.. he’s my brother. Yes, my awesome brother Anthony came to visit and be a part of my support team. I had hoped I would feel so good that we could have gone sight-seeing to Hoover Dam or to nearby Vegas but it just did not happen. Anthony used his vacation time to be with his big brother spending quality time just walking the halls and making sure I got my meds and exercise when required. He gave my parents a break and I am very thankful that he came to see me. I do have the best brother in the world.. and you can tell from the photo he got the skinny genes. Oh, and I am aware that I look a little rough… I was keeping it real for the photos. It just so happened that Anthony was there for the worst days of my recovery. Thank you God!

After most surgeries walking is a good way to reduce blot clots or other ailments.

So, as a precaution, I am seen here at the Henderson Hampton excercise room. I did 15min just to be careful not to over do it on day two.

God is Great

This photo is from the hospital's chapel window. Similar to our St. Joesph's Hospital, St. Rose's Hospital is Catholic faith based hospital. Dr Rutledge's staff is amazing and their choice of healthcare provider fits perfectly. The hospital's staff/nurses were great especially since this was my first time to have surgery.

God put so many opportunities in my way to make this happen. The Doctors and staff were all able to make my experience a positive one and you could tell they were a faith based family. I believe nothing happens on accident and He has surely blessed me.

The Release

I was released from the hospital today (Thurs, March 12th) and I feel good. My middle section has some discomfort which feels like I worked out and did hundreds of situps and now the next day I am paying for it with muscle type discomfort. They have a pain level score sheet with 1(least) thru 10(most). The iv installation was a 2, the surgery pain (muscles and such) was a 4 and the pulling tons of medical tape from my hairy chest was a 6. I felt like the guy on 40yr old virgin when he went to get his chest waxed. Wow did that hurt. This photo was taken 29hrs from my surgery time.

After Surgery

The surgery occurred at about 9am PST and took only 37 minutes. When I awoke I was already in my hospital room. The new anesthesia medicine Dr. Rutledge uses has dramatically fewer side effects over normal anesthesia. Because of this, I felt great, had no headache and was in a great mood. I did, however, have a side effect where I was hallucinating and asking my Mom where my laptop computer was over and over again and did not comprehend that the surgery had happened already. I also found out later that I was singing "opera style" to the nurses and staff in the recovery room for an extended amount of time. I talked to two people who heard me and they said it sounded like Italian opera singing but both agreed it was not necessarily unpleasant to the ears.

This picture was taken 7hrs after surgery. So far it has been a piece of cake. Cake? did anyone say Cake?

Meet Dr. Rutledge

The clinic went very well and lasted about 3.5hrs. Many patients from last week were there to tell their experience for the past 7 days and it was very encouraging. It was great to finally meet Dr. Rutledge and his staff.. I felt like I already knew them and was just seeing them again. Basically very comfortable!

The good news is I am scheduled to be FIRST in the morning to have surgery and that is quite a lucky thing.. If you are not first you basically have to wait all day until the others go before you.

Free Soup!

The Henderson Hampton Inn had free chicken noodle soup this evening and it was pretty good. Don't get me wrong, this was not Mom's, Momma Cherry's or My Carol's homemade soup, but it was tasty.

It is sad when you are in Vegas where they have $5.99 ribeye all you can eat and I am excited about soup. Tonight will be a little nerve racking but after tomorrow it will all be good.

This mission would not be possible without my Mission Control Team. To keep my support team anonymous (because of the undercover missions they may be on in the future) I have given them each a nickname: Mom & Dad

"Mom" and "Dad" are shown here testing the food at the Hamption Inn and calling headquarters for more directions.

St. Rose de Lima

I am now at the hospital for the first day's class (aka "the clinic"). I
am ready to go and will update later with surgery time for tomorrow. Ciao!

Yea! We made it to our destination: Henderson, Nevada which is just outside Las Vegas and my temporary Mission Control Center. I am already online at the hotel and as I type this my Mother is organizing "the soups".. I am probably not going to like soups ever again.

All is good and tomorrow I meet with the Doc and get the details for Wednesday. Afterwards I will be attending Dr. Rutledge's class (aka Clinic) at about 9am PST (Tuesday). If anyone wants to watch the LIVE broadcast of the clinic you can do so by clicking here. It starts Tuesday @ 9am and can last a few hours. Who knows you may even see me or hear me online!

Thank all of you who have called, texted and emailed.. I am replying as fast as I can. Be sure to keep watching this site as the week progresses. My Mother has been assigned assitant blogger so that the site will have updates from her as well. Ciao!

On the Road

The trip is going well and the skies are very blue. Most of the road looks like the photo below. Dad is going the speed limit so we will get there when we get there.

I am all packed and on my way to Vegas with Mom and Dad. The drive is about 3hrs. Stay tuned...


My surgery is scheduled for this Wednesday the 11th in Henderson, Nevada.  My parents live about a 3hr drive away in California so I decided to fly to where my parents live and then drive with them to Henderson, Nevada.   I am getting closer.. tomorrow I will be in Nevada and will update the blog..

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