Woman loses nearly 80 pounds by cooking meals at home in an Instant Pot for one year

Brittany Williams(NEW YORK) -- A California woman lost 77 pounds in one year after she made a New Year’s resolution to cook all of her family’s meals at home.

“I turned to my husband and said for the first time, ‘I’m considering weight loss surgery,’” Brittany Williams, 27, of San Diego, told ABC News. “I didn’t think it was possible to lose all the weight by myself.”

“January was like my last-ditch effort,” Williams said of the resolution she made on the first day of 2017.

Williams, a mother of three, reached a peak weight of 261 pounds after suffering through several miscarriages in addition to her successful pregnancies.

She was motivated to lose weight when she realized she couldn’t sit on the floor or run and play with her kids, all under the age of 6.

Williams began using an Instant Pot her husband had bought her years before in order to fulfill her New Year’s resolution of cooking at home.

“I probably use it for five or six dinners a week but I’ll also use it daily for hard boiled eggs or to make a frittata for breakfast,” she said of the Instant Pot, a hybrid of a slow cooker and pressure cooker that has proved a best seller this holiday season.

“It made everything so quick and convenient,” said Williams, who has no affiliation with the product. “I’m one of those moms who would say, ‘Oh it’s 4:30, what am I going to make for dinner?’ So it fit into my life really easily.”

Before her New Year’s resolution, Williams said she would skip breakfast and eat tortilla chips covered in cheese and chili for lunch, a frozen meal for dinner and brownies or cookies for desserts.

The pizza delivery person also knew her by name, she said, because she would order dinner out so frequently for her family.

“Now I start my day off with water and always eat breakfast, usually either a smoothie or a frittata in the Instant Pot,” she said. “And lunch we usually do raw veggies -- so a salad with olive oil and balsamic vinegar -- and for dinner I’ll do something again in the Instant Pot like a vegetable lasagna or a beef stew or a chicken stew.”

In addition to the weight loss, Williams said cooking meals at home has helped her family’s budget. The family of five now spends about $250 on groceries every other week.

Williams began documenting her weight loss on social media and developed such a following that she started a blog where she posts tips and recipes, particularly for the Instant Pot.

“It’s just really neat to see the ripple effect that one person can have,” she said. “I don’t want people to get discouraged because it wasn’t that simple for me. It’s attainable.”

For Williams, the key to her weight loss success was when she said she realized she was not on a diet but making an adjustment to her lifestyle. On Jan. 1, 2018, after her New Year’s resolution is met, Williams said she will be back in the kitchen cooking healthy meals for herself and her family.

“I was so tired of being sick and tired and the challenge is really what pushed me,” she said. “Go at your own pace. If it’s totally overwhelming for you to think about cleaning out your pantry, just go one meal at a time.”

“Just give it a try.”

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


Dramatic video shows Georgia officer resuscitating 29-day-old infant 

Savannah-Chatham Metropolitan Police Department(SAVANNAH, Ga.) -- A Georgia police officer is being called a hero after resuscitating a 29-day-old infant this past Friday.

Dramatic body camera video shows Officer William Eng, 46, of the Savannah-Chatham Metropolitan Police Department, racing up apartment stairs and immediately performing CPR on baby Bella Walker, who became unresponsive after apparently choking, according to her mother, Tina Adkins.

"I didn't know if it was a seizure, if she was throwing up or what was going on. I panicked," Adkins told ABC News Monday.

She said she had one of her sons run to get a neighbor, who began doing chest compressions, while her other son called 911.

Eng was the first to arrive on the scene. “[Adkins] handed me the newborn baby and kept saying, ‘Please help, please help.’ [Bella] was like a rag doll,” Eng told ABC News Monday.

“I just took a deep breath and did what I was trained to do,” he added.

After about a minute of compressions, Bella opened her eyes and began breathing, Eng said. EMS arrived shortly after and took her to the hospital for treatment. According to a statement from SCMPD, she has been released from the hospital and is doing well. At this time, doctors do not believe there are any lingering effects.

“Officer Eng did not hesitate to jump into action. Because of his compassionate and quick response, he saved the life of this little girl,” said Sgt. Phillip Collard, Eng’s supervisor.

SCMPD Chief Joseph Lumpkin described Eng’s actions as an “exceedingly heartfelt, lifesaving performance.”

Eng has been a police officer at SCMPD for one year. Prior to that, he was a non-certified officer in South Florida.

According to Eng, he received CPR training through the police academy but had never resuscitated a real person until this past Friday.

“It feels great but it’s part of my job," Eng said of saving Bella. "It’s why I wanted to become a police officer in the first place -- to make a difference and save lives.”

"I am just so grateful," added Adkins. "I don't wish this on anybody. God put Officer eng in the right place at the right time."

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Jimmy Kimmel's son undergoes 'scheduled and successful' heart surgery, says rep

ABC/Randy Holmes(LOS ANGELES) -- Jimmy Kimmel's infant son, Billy, has undergone a "scheduled and successful" heart surgery, according to a representative for his ABC show, "Jimmy Kimmel Live!"

The representative added that this week, the late-night host will take time off to be with his family, and his show will be helmed by guest hosts.

On Monday, hosting duties fall to Chris Pratt, followed by Tracee Ellis Ross on Tuesday, Neil Patrick Harris on Wednesday and Melissa McCarthy on Thursday.

Kimmel has not yet commented on his son's procedure.

Kimmel, 50, announced in May that Billy, now 7 months old, had been born with a heart defect that required emergency surgery. The baby's condition compelled the late night host to delve into the national healthcare debate, with Kimmel arguing passionately for coverage for those with preexisting conditions.

"Before you post the nasty Facebook message saying I'm politicizing my son's health problems, I want you to know, I am politicizing my son's health problems because I have to," he said in September.

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Mom sounds off on why she doesn't always respond to text messages

Juggling the Jenkins(NEW YORK) -- Tiffany Jenkins has a message for the friend who wants to know why she didn't respond immediately to her text message.

"Because I don't have to," she said.

It's that simple, according to Jenkins, who manages the blog and Facebook page Juggling the Jenkins.

The video, Jenkins told ABC News, has struck a chord with others who also feel "shackled by technology."

"People feel an immense pressure to be available, at all times," the Sarasota mom of three said. "We are all at different stages in life and it isn't always possible to respond immediately. And I don't think it makes you a bad person for handling the real life things that are currently in front of you before answering the jingle of your notifications the moment they go off."

The video has been shared almost 15,000 times so far.

"Just because phones make it possible for people to connect with us anytime, anywhere, Jenkins said, "doesn't mean we are required to."

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Doctors behind 1st US baby born from a uterus transplant describe the 'beautiful' medical milestone

iStock/Thinkstock(DALLAS) -- The doctors who helped deliver the first American baby born from a transplanted uterus opened up about the medical milestone, one of them telling ABC News, "this little boy will stay with us for our entire life."

"It was a beautiful thing to watch," Dr. Giuliano Testa, the surgical chief of abdominal transplantation at Baylor University Medical Center in Dallas, told ABC News.

His colleague, Dr. Liza Johannesson, added that "all of us had tears in our eyes."

"This little boy will stay with us for our entire life," Johannesson said. "He's one of us."

The baby was born last month to a mother who had been born without a uterus, and received a transplant at Baylor University Medical Center, last September as part of an ongoing study. The woman suffered from Absolute Uterine Factor Infertility, a type of infertility affecting approximately 1 in 500 women, where the uterus is non-functioning or nonexistent.

"It was very special to look in the eyes of the mother, she was told when she was a teenager that she would never see this moment and then all of a sudden you see this happening and you think everything has meaning," Testa said.

The baby is now the ninth baby born in the world from a transplanted uterus, joining eight other babies successfully born from transplanted wombs in Sweden.

As part of the ongoing study at Baylor, researchers have completed a total of eight uterus transplants, including the one in the mother who just gave birth. While three have been unsuccessful and one woman is currently pregnant, the remaining four women are in different stages of the transplant process, and doctors say the baby offers them hope.

"This birth and this boy is giving hope to all these women out there who have this type of infertility and that is truly an amazing thing," Johannesson said.

Testa added that the successful birth "was really something that totally changed my mind about many things I thought were set."

"People like me, or men in general, don't really talk about this, because we don't know any better, but one thing that we all learned is that we should never have underestimated the need, the will, the wish, of the woman to carry their own pregnancy," Testa said.

"It's been humbling and I have a better understanding, I hope about these things and I can really say today that this is a solution, this is something that has value for this woman, for all of us," he added.

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CVS to acquire Aetna for $69 billion

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- CVS Health has agreed to acquire Aetna in a deal that could shake up the health care industry.

The deal, which still requires approval by antitrust regulators, is worth about $69 billion at $207 per share.

CVS Health President and CEO Larry Merlo said in a statement the merger "brings together the expertise of two great companies to remake the consumer health care experience."

"With the analytics of Aetna and CVS Health's human touch, we will create a health care platform built around individuals," he said. "We look forward to working with the talented people at Aetna to position the combined company as America's front door to quality health care, integrating more closely the work of doctors, pharmacists, other health care professionals and health benefits companies to create a platform that is easier to use and less expensive for consumers."

A merger of drugstore giant CVS with Aetna, one of the biggest health insurers in the U.S., could reshape the industry and change the health care experience as Americans face higher medical and prescription costs.

CVS said in a statement the merger will provide a "personalized health care experience" by connecting Aetna's network with more than 9,700 CVS locations and 1,100 walk-in clinics.

The pharmacy giant also said it envisions many locations offering a "community-based health hub dedicated to connecting the pathways needed to improve health and answering patients' questions about their health conditions, as well as prescription drugs and health coverage."

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FDA approves first monthly injection to treat opioid addiction

moodboard/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Health officials approved a monthly injection to treat patients recovering from opioid addiction.

The drug, Sublocade, is the first monthly injectable form of buprenorphine, which is used to treat moderate to severe opioid use disorder in adult patients who are already on addiction medication, according to a press release. Patients using the monthly injection must have been on a stable dose of buprenorphine for a minimum of seven days.

An independent advisory committee of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) supported the approval of Sublocade at a meeting held last month.

Until now, buprenorphine was approved to administer as an implant or as a tablet or a film that dissolves in the mouth. Sublocade provides a new treatment option for patients in recovery, which could reduce the burden of taking medication daily, the FDA said.

"Given the scale of the opioid crisis, with millions of Americans already affected, the FDA is committed to expanding access to treatments that can help people pursue lives of sobriety,” FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb said in a press release. "Everyone who seeks treatment for opioid use disorder deserves the opportunity to be offered the treatment best suited to the needs of each individual patient, in combination with counseling and psychosocial support, as part of a comprehensive recovery plan."

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Ten sets of twins take massive holiday photo on Santa Claus' lap

Stacy Kifer(CHICAGO) -- Ten sets of twins crowded onto Santa Claus' lap earlier this week, proving that Jolly Old St. Nick can truly multitask.

The mothers, all from the Chicago, Illinois area, are part of a group called the "Chicago Twin Moms," and meeting Santa was last Monday's play date for the twins, who are all under the age of 2.

Stacy Kifer, a co-founder of the group, instructed the moms to all dress their twins in red and green.

"All of us are really obsessed with dressing our children alike. That’s like a big thing," Deborah Knoll, one of the moms who created the group, told ABC News. She's mom to 18-month-old daughters, Grace and Meadow.

The twins and their moms -- Kifer, Knoll, Becky Raz, Jessica Ferguson, Terri Preston, Michelle Schroeder, Maureeca Lambert-Stefanski, Shannon Teresi, Olga Pakhnyuk, and Katie Leep -- descended on Woodfield Mall in Schaumburg, Illinois on Monday ready for Santa.

"We had a good turn out," Kifer, who parents 16-month-old sons, Kaleb and Kobe, added. "It was really crazy."

"We got in line early so as soon they opened, the kids got to run around in a real-life snow globe," Raz, who's mom to 16-month-old girls Ava and Gracyn, said.

Kifer added, "We had 20 toddlers running around with fake snow. It was nuts!"

"Santa was kind of surprised as one by one another set of twins came out of the snow globe," Raz continued. "He realized he had his work cut out for him," she added with a laugh.

Knoll, 36, told ABC News, "we try to get a group picture" at every play date. And this time was no different.

Still, the moms quickly realized that the twins wouldn't take a photo with Santa Claus without them posing too.

"Santa and the elves that took the picture were incredibly accommodating," Raz said. "We had very, very low expectations, but all but one baby was looking [at the camera]. We were really impressed and pleased with how it turned out."

The moms, who held their first official play date last Spring, have hosted a variety of monthly play dates at parks, each other's houses and they've even planned a Halloween party in the past, said Kifer.

These Chicago-area moms believe that not only is the group helping their twins, but themselves as well.

"We know that it’s a challenge, but we’re all there for each other to lend a hand even though our hands our full," Raz said.

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Scarlet fever cases at a 50-year high in England

iStock/Thinkstock(LONDON) -- In England, scarlet fever hit its highest level in the past half-century.

More than 19,000 cases were reported in 2016, the highest level since 1967, according to The Lancet.

The disease rate had been rising since 2014, but experts are not sure what the reason is. Figures for 2017 show a slight decrease, but experts are saying it may be too soon to tell.  

The highly contagious, bacterial disease can be treated with antibiotics. It most commonly affects children under age 10. Symptoms include a sore throat, headache and fever accompanied by a rosy rash that feels like sandpaper.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


FDA approves first biosimilar for treatment of certain breast, stomach cancers

Bet_Noire/iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved a first-of-its-kind drug for the treatment of breast or stomach cancer on Friday.

"The FDA continues to grow the number of biosimilar approvals, helping to promote competition that can lower health care costs," Commissioner Scott Gottlieb said. A biosimilar is a product, derived from a living organism, that is highly similar to a product already approved by the FDA with no meaningful difference in safety, purity or potency.

The drug, Ogivri, was approved based on its similarity to Herceptin, which was approved by the agency in September 1998.

Side effects of Ogivri are expected to include headache, diarrhea, chills, fever, infection, congestive heart failure, insomnia, cough, rash and low red and/or white blood cell levels.

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