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Archive for February, 2011

Yesterday I had the mole ground chicken, and the taste was just acceptable.  Today when I woke up, I notice that I have several small acnes forming on my face!!!  How horrible!  I have no idea what other 39+ ingredients that Mexican farmer uses to make the mole sauce besides chilies, but my skin is reacting to this sauce.   I think I will stay away from the mole sauce from now on.

Today is the 10th day that I have braces.  When I slightly open my mouth, I see my central incisors on the top are not situated in the center.  I am concerned about this observation.

Because of the build-up, I can’t completely bite down, but I do notice that the top row is getting closer to the bottom row comparing to when I first started wearing braces 10 days ago.

My teeth look fine from the front, and the gap in the middle of the top row is almost closed, which makes me feel worried about another thing: no space to straighten the crooked central incisors on the top.

My central incisors on the top are crooked inward, as it can be seen in the picture below.  When the gap is closed, I wonder how would my crooked central incisors have space to get straight?  The only spaces I have are between the canines and the first premolars.  I guess the first premolars would be moving closer to the canines eventually, but I think that logically my canines and lateral incisors should be moving a bit toward the first premolars to create space for the central incisors to get straight.  I don’t know if the wire would do the job itself or the orthodontist would need to somehow adjust the wire and brackets to make this happen.  I guess I should ask Dr. G this question, because I am really concerned about this issue.  I don’t want this to cause a prolongation of my treatment time.

The build-up on the bottom right second premolar is getting worn, while my teeth still can’t touch the build-up on the bottom left second premolar.  Because one of the build-up is getting worn, I am able to have more choices in what I can eat now.

I have never taken a picture of my teeth from this angle, so I think it would be nice to try.  In the picture below, the space between the top left canine and the first premolar is clearly visible.

Below is another shot from the opposite angle.  The space between the top right canine and the first premolar can also be seen clearly.  I wonder for a gap this size, how long would it take to close the gap?

On my first day with braces, I already thought about where to go to celebrate the completion of my orthodontic treatment.  My understanding is that my case would take 1-2 years to close, so if I will get it done in a warm season, I would want to go to a tropical place to celebrate; if the completion will fall in a cold season, I would want to go to Europe to celebrate.  (Well, they are just some thoughts.)  Around the third or fourth day, when I felt the most hungry since the start of the treatment, I thought that I should really go celebrate by eating delicious food when my treatment is done in 1-2 years.  I would want to go to Las Vegas to eat buffet.  And today, the 10th day into treatment, since I have been having rice porridge and tofu, I really want to eat something else.  I have a craving for noodles.  I can’t completely chew yet, but I would like to eat noodles soon.  Or at least I hope I can eat noodles soon.

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I haven’t had chicken for over a week, and I felt like having chicken. I thought that regular chicken meat would be too hard for me to eat, so I wanted to use ground chicken.

Because I bought the mole sauce from the farmer’s market a few days ago (this Mexican farmer said this mole sauce is his family recipe using over 40 ingredients to make, which includes chilies, and he promised me that it is not spicy), I thought that I could make mole ground chicken.

I had never had mole sauce before, so it would be interesting to cook this meal.  For ingredients, I had cut bean sprouts, Japanese eggplants, celery, mole sauce, ground chicken, eggs, and tomato.

So far, it is easy for me to eat rice porridge, so I was making rice porridge with vegetables again.

While I had the rice and vegetables in the rice cooker, I was cooking my mole ground chicken in a cooking pan.  Again, I didn’t use oil but only used water to boil my ground chicken.  After the meat was cooked thoroughly, I added in cut tomato.  Eventually, I added a few spoons of the mole sauce and salt to taste.

After my mole ground chicken with tomato was done, my rice porridge with vegetables was also done.

I got a good amount of the mole ground chicken from the cooking pan and added on to my veggies rice porridge.

And then I gave it a stir to mix everything together in my bowl.

After having my first bite on the ground chicken, I realized that chicken meat was still a little bit too hard for me to eat on the 9th day of having braces.  I had to consume slowly.  And maybe I didn’t have enough salt or something, this meal wasn’t as flavorful as it looked.

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After trying the spinach omelet that my brother made the other day and realizing that it is not too difficult to eat omelet, I thought that maybe I can make something like that too.  I had never made an omelet before, but it didn’t look too hard to make.  But I wanted more just spinach.

I decided to make salmon and veggies omelet.  For this meal, I prepared napa cabbage, spinach, mushrooms, eggs, and two slices of salmon.  I already marinated the salmon with soy sauce and Mrs. Dash’s original seasoning blend the night before.

First, I pan-fried the salmon in one cooking pan while boiled my cut veggies in another cooking pan.  After the salmon was cooked, I chopped them into small pieces using my cooking tool.

When both were done, I mixed the veggies into the cooking pan that had pieces of salmon.

The last critical step was to add in beaten eggs.  Even though I used four eggs, with the amount of ingredients I had in my cooking pan, there was no way to create a standard omelet .  So, I turned my originally planned omelet into a scramble eggs dish.

Although my first attempt to make an omelet failed, this salmon and veggies scramble eggs was still very delicious!  I was pretty satisfied of the taste.  This tasted really good and is something I would want to make again in the future.

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Okay, yesterday I was still hoping that my cracked mouth corners could get healed soon because it hurts to brush, and amazingly, today those cracked mouth corners miraculously are almost healed!  Today when I was brushing, it didn’t hurt as bad as before.  This is a bit surprising to me that in just one day (6th day to 7th day) I can feel such a big difference on the corners of my mouth.  I am happy about this because this is what I have been hoping for since I got cracked mouth corners.  And, yes, it does take me a total of one week to finally feel better.  I didn’t expect it to take this long, but, oh well, at least it does get better.

I know I just posted a few pictures of my teeth yesterday and probably not much has changed, but because today marks the first full week of my braces life, I feel I should take pictures of my teeth and post pictures of my teeth’s current condition as of today.

I will start with the picture taken from the front.  As what I have already noticed and mentioned before, the center gap is closing up gradually, but the top row and bottom row are misaligned still.

Next picture was taken from the left side:

I can sort of tell that my center two teeth of the top row are crooked from the above picture.  The gap between the left canine and first premolar on the top is still big (difficult to tell from the above picture).  I can’t tell if this gap is a bit smaller than on the first day because I don’t pay as much attention to this area as the center gap.  I think it is because the side gap is more difficult to stare at in the mirror than the center gap.

Next is my teeth looking from the right side:

Again, crooked center two teeth on the top row is shown in the above picture, but less obvious than two pictures above (I guess it is just the issue of picture-taking angel).  The gap between the right canine and first premolar on the top is also still big (difficult to tell from the above picture).

Next comes the picture of my top row.  In this picture I can clearly point out that the center two teeth are crooked inward, and there are two visible gaps between the canines and first premolars.

The last picture shows my bottom row:

Because in this one full week, the only part that touches each other is my right top first premolar and the build-up on my right bottom second premolar, it is noticeable that this build-up is worn, while the parallel build-up on the left side is intact.  (I wonder where does the disappearing build-up go?  Could it be in my stomach, consuming along with the food?)  The left bottom first molar is clearly off track comparing to other ones on the bottom row.

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Getting used to something is sometimes a good and bad thing.  Today I enter the 6th day of having braces, and unless I feel the occasional pressure on my teeth, I sometimes don’t feel I have braces.  Maybe it is a good thing that I am feeling this way, but it is the realization that how easy people get used to something that puts me into thinking….

Today I worked with a girl, L. B., at work.  I told her that I have braces and I may sound a bit weird.  She told me that she also had braces in the past, and she wore it for three years.  The funny thing is that whether people have braces or not in the past, they all seem to ask me one question: “Does it hurt?”  (Now I am thinking about this, I think I also asked another girl at work, who is having braces few months before me, the same question too.)  Well, as I am entering the 6th day, I told L. B. that it only hurts when I brush and eat.  This kind of becomes my standard answer to people when they ask me this question.

It is not really painful to brush.  What I mean by it hurts when I brush is that when I brush to a sore spot, it is uncomfortable, but it doesn’t stay long when I move my toothbrush away from the sore spot.  I feel what is worse than brushing on the sore spot is opening my mouth to brush.  I still have the cracked corners on my mouth, and it hurts when I stretch them.  That’s why I brush really slow since I have had cracked mouth corners.  Today when I was brushing my teeth after lunch, I accidentally touched the gonna-fall-off callous on my left mouth corner, and I guess I probably pulled it or something, and it really fell.  That hurt!  I was thinking that I really need to be extra careful when my toothbrush is near those cracked mouth corners.  It is good that it didn’t bleed.  It just looked a bit red, and that spot is still looking red right now.

Right mouth corner has a small callous on it, while left mouth corner is still red and cracked.

 

In terms of eating, I still can’t chew because even though my right build-up is worn down a little, it is not to the degree where my top row can touch my bottom row yet.  But I am making some improvement!  Before today, I had been eating my cut strawberries with cereal and bean drink (so the warm liquid could make the strawberries softer).  But today after dinner, I just chopped my strawberries into the same small chunks and ate those directly.  I feel really happy about this improvement because I finally sort of “chew” and swallow my fruit.  And also I have improved from eating extra soft tofu to soft tofu!  (I never knew I would feel happy about this kind of small thing.  People always take things in their lives for granted, and I am happy that getting braces can make me re-look at those small things again from a fresh perspective.)

And how are my teeth looking today?  Well, the center gap on my top row seems narrower but they are still crooked.  The center two teeth on the bottom look straighter but they are still sort of positioned inward more than the immediately two teeth on their sides.  I don’t feel much difference on the rest of my teeth.

I feel that I am not that obsessed with taking photos of my teeth now.  One thing is that although my teeth move gradually, there is nothing like, oh, this is such a big teeth movement and I have got to take a picture of this.  No, nothing like this.  Even though a few teeth look a bit straighter and the center gap is closing on the top row, my teeth’s position doesn’t have too much of a difference from the first day or two (duh… I am only entering the 6th day), so I am losing the excitement to take photos of my teeth every day.  The second thing is that even though I am curious to see how my cross-bite on the left side is doing now, it hurts to open my mouth wide to get a clear picture due to the cracked mouth corners.  When my mouth corners are healed, I would be more willing to take photos of my teeth from different angles more often.

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I had fish rice porridge for lunch and one yogurt (apricot and mango flavor) before my evening class.  By the time I got home, which was passed 9:00 pm, I was feeling hungry!  But I didn’t want to eat the same thing as what I had for lunch, so I decided to cook.

Since my meals had been pretty light in taste (no oil and close to no salt), I wanted something that has more flavor tonight.  I decided to cook Mapo tofu with vegetables and eggs.  (Still no meat, I know…, but I don’t have time yet to shop for the meat I want.)

For this meal, I used soft tofu (upgraded from extra soft tofu), eggs, broccoli, celery, zucchini, and Mapo tofu sauce.  By far, cutting vegetables into small pieces is the most time-consuming step when cooking my food.  Because I want to make my vegetables easy to cook and eat, cutting them into a decent small size is necessary.  (Also, I want to arrange them in the bowl to look nice for picture-taking purpose….)  My Mapo tofu sauce’s package actually said Mapo eggplant, but I thought I just wanted the “Mapo” flavor, so whatever ingredients I put in shouldn’t matter.

After the vegetables were ready, I boiled them first until water evaporated.  (Looking at all these veggie pieces in the cooking pan made me felt so healthy.)

Next, I boiled my soft tofu:

When my tofu pieces were cooked thoroughly, I added in my cooked vegetables and chopped eggs.

Next step was to pour in the Mapo tofu sauce and blend everything well in the cooking pan.  It looked delicious and it smelt so good!  I couldn’t wait to taste my super late dinner!

When I was at work, my dad already cooked the plain rice porridge for me (per my request), so by the time I arrived home after my class, the rice porridge was already cool.  After I finished cooking, I just heated up my rice porridge and added a few spoonful of my Mapo tofu.

I had to say that my Mapo tofu with veggies and eggs not only looked delicious, but also it actually tasted pretty delicious!  I was so proud of myself, even it took me a long time to cook this meal (I cooked until close to midnight…), and I was super hungry after I finished cooking.

In order to save space in the refrigerator, my dad suggested me to blend my Mapo tofu with the plain rice porridge.  I actually didn’t like this idea because I thought the blended combination would taste strange.  When I tasted my meal, I stirred my Mapo tofu and rice porridge, and the blended combination actually didn’t taste strange.  So I accepted my dad’s suggestion and heated my rice porridge on the stove while stirring in my Mapo tofu.

This blended combination might not look good on the picture, but it still tasted as good as if I just added my Mapo tofu directly on the rice porridge.  That’s the important part.

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Today, the third day into wearing braces, I have to say that the feeling I have had most often is: I am hungry!  And today this feeling seems to be the strongest.  I feel that I am limited to what I can eat currently.  I have been eating rice porridge, cereal drink, sponge cakes, and tofu soup for the past three days, and the only meat I have had is fish.  This is difficult….  (But back in my mind I am thinking that I can slim down this way, and it is understandable that slimming down is not easy.)

When I was checking the communication email that my company sent out at work, there was a link about a doctor blogging about and showcasing his cooking recipes in the email.  I clicked the link and learned that he was featured in the mass communication email because he works at my company.  I like to cook and watch food pictures, and also I was curious what recipes he would share on his blog, so I checked out his blog on the intranet.  Even though there aren’t many food pictures on his blog, mainly just words, just reading the recipes made me feel hungry!  I knew I shouldn’t read those when I was hungry but couldn’t eat much, but I still browsed through several of his blog posts that interested me….  The result was that I felt even more hungry.  I was thinking to myself that when I can chew normally, I will try cooking using the recipes that he shares!

After work, I went to Albertsons to get yogurts because I will need these on the days when I have my class after work.  (Which means I can’t eat dinner until after 9:00 pm.)  Shopping at supermarkets is always a fun activity for me.  I hadn’t been to Albertsons for some time, so I enjoyed shopping there for yogurts, but seeing all these food around me just made me feel so hungry!  Especially I hadn’t had dinner yet.  I felt like buying and eating everything!  But of course I didn’t.  I headed to the yogurt section and got three different flavors: blue berries, raspberries, and apricot and mango.  I am health-conscious so I got the light, instead of regular, yogurts.  I have never had those flavors before, but the brand is Yoplait, so I think they should be good.  I will know when I have them.

As for my teeth, I still can only eat soft food, and the middle six teeth on the top row are still sore when I brush on them, but my gap in the middle is slowly closing.  Not quite closed yet, but I can tell that the gap looks a bit smaller comparing to before wearing braces.  The corners of my mouth still have cracked skin, and it hurts a bit to brush and to eat when I use a slightly bigger spoon.  Sometimes it even hurts when I smile.  I don’t know when they will totally heal, but I sincerely hope they will get better quickly.

The above is a picture of my smile on day 3.  Since my top row and bottom row of teeth don’t touch each other, and the brackets are making my mouth look more protruding, my smile isn’t looking as normal as before.

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