Dr. Visit…

Ugh. I’ve not been looking forward to this.

Last week I went for my blood work so my doctor would have it prior to my visit. Friday was my appointment.

She was thrilled. My blood work was great. A1C = 6.6. She was happy, I was disappointed, actually, amazed!  “If you saw what I’ve been eating, you’d never believe that’s accurate.” Dr. G responded, “It will catch up to you, you know that.”  Yeah, yeah. I didn’t respond — she’s ALWAYS right.

For awhile now, I’ve been taking two Metformin instead of three. My goal is to get off them completely. The ONLY way to do that is to stay on track — no diversions. Lately, I’ve been the Queen of Diversions! 

A little over a week ago denial crept in (with a vengeance). I actually ate potato chips and onion dip. 😦  It didn’t kill me, but what a stupid decision. And then there was the pie…cookies… Yes, I didn’t fall off the “wagon” I took a deep-dive plunge. Ugh.

The good news is, I’m back to healthy choices. If I have to have desserts, I’ll be heading to my sugar free Jello or small portions of fresh fruit.

Just remember there is such a thing as TOO MUCH OF A GOOD THING (fruit can fall right into that category!)

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Monitor glucose regularly

Obviously, I didn’t do too much damage, or 6.6 would have been WAY higher. I absolutely do NOT want to go back to 3 Metformin/day, so I’m re-committing myself again to staying on track — DAMN IT! It’s all about accountability, as always. There’s no hiding those numbers and not taking my blood sugar, is just plain irresponsible. I’m determined.

I know that when I’m dedicated and determined, I get involved in a project using my hands. I know when I do the artsy/craftsy thing, I won’t snack/eat the wrong foods.

I know that when I sit and watch TV, I’m putting myself at risk. Gigunda risk!!! I become bored and troll the cabinets for something “bad.” Rarely do I find anything, because I don’t buy the foods/snacks that I know I shouldn’t be eating. I wish I could tell you that I give up and go back to watching the tube. That would not be true. There are times when I cave. I’ve walked and driven to the corner store or the gas station for a candy bar to “tide me over.”  (I sound like a drug addict. Well, sugar IS a drug!) .

Diabetes sucks. Yes, it does. BUT, there are worse diseases, that’s for sure! So, I’ll be grateful and get back on the bike and do the right thing — one day at a time.

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This disease is one heck of a roller-coaster, that’s for sure. Better days ahead.

Back to DAY #1!

 

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Monitoring Blood Glucose = #1

Seriously, what could be more fun than stabbing yourself three times a day???

Okay, nobody ever said it was going to be fun, but it’s important — no — imperative! If you’re new to this “game,” trust me, JUST DO IT! It’s the only real way to know exactly where you’re at, in terms of your blood sugar and, your glucometer WILL tell the truth. In truth there is no denial.

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Monitor glucose regularly

It’s easy to be in denial when you have Type 2 Diabetes —

  • you look like most people,
  • you sound like many people,
  • you think like your friends (or not),
  • you eat like everyone else…

WAIT!!!  You EAT like everyone else? You do? I sure hope you’re surrounding yourself with healthy eaters. 🙂

I’m meeting friends for lunch tomorrow, and there’s a routine I follow prior to going out.

  1. I go onto the website of the restaurant.
  2. Check out the menu and pay attention to the healthy choices. Usually, I decide what I’m going to order, but I also give myself the option of choosing one or two of the other acceptable alternatives. This process gives me a range of possibilities that will allow me to make a good decision. I IGNORE THE REST OF THE MENU!
  3. Remember: You’re in charge of your decision. Grilled chicken is usually an option in any restaurant and be sure to add lots of veggies to your dinner plate — it will be colorful and appetizing!   IMG_4432
  4. Before I leave home, I drink a glass of water and take my blood sugar. And then — I’m off, and destined to have a delightful meal with my friends.
  5. When the conversation turns to DESSERT, “No thank you. I’m full.”  [By the way, you will be full.]  GREAT decision, congratulate yourself! While they’re piling on the pounds, and adding toxins to their bodies while sifting through their dessert, feel free to enjoy a cup of steaming hot tea/coffee or an ice cold glass of water (something to look at, instead of their dessert). It’s also nice to ask the waiter to add a wedge of orange, lime or lemon, or even a strawberry or two to your water — you deserve it!

    I find that adding fruit to my water makes it look and taste so much more refreshing.

  6. Once home — sometimes, in the car before I leave the parking lot of the restaurant,  🙂 I check my blood sugar. If it’s elevated, as soon as I get home, I grab my sneakers and go for a quick walk, even if only for 30 minutes — walking will bring that number right down — never fails!

So there you have it folks. CHECK THAT BLOOD SUGAR — no matter what. NO EXCUSES! You’ll be glad you did.

I promise.

 

Day #2, 2017! 5 Steps to Keeping on Track

Can you believe it? 2017!

It’s so cliché, but time REALLY does fly. My plan is to make the most — on EVERY level — of 2017. This T2D will beat the hell out of her A1C.  🙂

Cleaning out my refrigerator and freezer is how I started my day. Then, I moved on to food shopping to be sure my cupboards are filled with healthy choices. NO excuses!

I made a batch of sugar-free raspberry Jello, in an effort to be prepared when the sugar beast invades my brain! Sugar-free jello seems to calm “him” down.

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“SUGAR BEAST”

I have visions of him “dancing in my head” — NOT “sugar-plum fairies,” the Sugar BEAST! But, it’s okay. I’m prepared to “take care of him” in 2017. BRING IT ON, BEAST!  🙂

Next on my agenda is to create a pot of piping hot Vegetable Barley Soup. It’s threatening to get colder here in the Northeast, and I’ll be ready.  I love to make soup and freeze individual portions. It just makes life easier, and the individual portions help to keep my blood sugar levels in check.

"WALKING BUDDY"
Exercise = IMPORTANT

My walking buddy and I conferred and we’re starting 2017 off on the “right foot” (pun intended)!  We’ll have to walk the mall, but it really doesn’t matter as long as one foot is planted firmly in front of the other! Walking is the #1 way to lower my blood sugar — works EVERY time.

Monitoring my blood sugar has to be at the top of my list, even though it’s a ROYAL pain in the butt. The bottom line is that I know when I write it down (my definition of “monitoring”), I have a MUCH better chance of staying on track.

 

So, here’s how 2017 is shaking out thus far. I will be keeping on track by following these 5 STEPS:

  1.  Keeping diabetes-friendly foods, not just in the cabinets but, prepared to eat at any time.
  2. Maintaining awareness of the SUGAR BEAST lurking around every corner.
  3. Preparing and freezing individual portions of foods. Portion control is imperative, if I am to succeed on this journey.
  4. Exercising: God bless my “walking buddy,” Maureen,  — she keeps me accountable. You too can have one — ask around!
  5. Monitoring my blood sugar.

There are MANY PATHS we can take on this journey

with lots twists and turns and forks in the road but, with the support of other Type 2 Diabetics, I believe we can make healthy choices and be successful.

There are a multitude of  choices — let’s take the right path towards a healthy diabetic life!

GOOD LUCK in 2017, folks!

 

 

 

 

 

Post Thanksgiving

I LOVE Thanksgiving! What could be bad? Spending time with those you love, food, gratitude — no gifts. It’s all good. The laughter is priceless.

Upon reflection, in terms of T2D, it was a very good day. Cooking the meal keeps me away from the h’ors d’oeuvres. It works every time. I can be in and out of the kitchen and still participate in the conversation without stuffing my face.

A turkey dinner with all the fixings is still my fave. NO Presidential Pardon for this bird! I had some of everything, but I didn’t overdo it. (Yea me!)  “All things in moderation,” a quote from my late dad. Choosing not having the usual array of sugar-filled desserts, this year we enjoyed a beautiful bowl of colorful, fresh fruit, thanks to my cousin, and a small, but luscious cake to celebrate my daughter’s birthday. Most importantly, everything was served up with a heaping portion of gratitude. After all it’s called THANKSgiving for a reason.IMG_3344

I’m thrilled to report that, for the first time EVER, I didn’t have my late-night (11 o’clock) sandwich. That’s usually a bonus — white bread (yes, you heard me right) with a little butter, turkey, cranberry sauce, and stuffing piled high! –my mouth’s watering, just thinking about it–but, I really wasn’t hungry, so I passed on it. I’m hoping to make this a new tradition. Normally, I have another turkey sandwich for breakfast the next morning 🙂  I can’t believe it; I passed on that too! It wasn’t a conscious decision, I just skipped it and had a normal breakfast. What’s going on???

Thanks to my daughter for not only taking home leftovers, but MOST importantly — the CAKE! It wasn’t calling my name quite yet, but we all know it would have been SCREAMING — “I’m over here!!!” — eventually. She gave it to some men who work in her building. I’m sure they were happy to have it, but not as happy as I was to get it OUT of my house.  🙂

My point? All in all Thanksgiving 2016 was a delight. Looking forward to next year’s Turkey Day! But alas, there are more holidays still to come. This is when I turn into Scrooge — my plan is to change that attitude this year.

The holidays have always presented a problem for me. Lots of reasons, but generically speaking, it’s the greed — you see and hear it everywhere. The television is a primary source of envy for kids — “Mom, look. Tommy has that!” It’s a killer for people who have young children. The whole money thing is another issue. It saddens me to watch people pouring money onto their credit cards to make their children “happy.” You want to make them happy? TAKE them somewhere. DO something WITH them — make memories. The laughter on those bonding days will stay with them forever. O.K., that’s MY feeling on the topic. Scrooge? Maybe, maybe not.

Happy Thanksgiving, dear Readers — enjoy the holidays — one day at a time.

REVERSING Diabetes? Progress!

August 26, 2016, Friday

The goal of this Type 2 Diabetic has been to GET OFF THE MEDICATION!!! Yes, I AM screaming — at myself.  My frustration level when my doctor increased the dosage of Metformin to three a day, was overwhelming. I did this to myself kept popping through my head, and it was true!  I had been playing games — how much can one piece of cake hurt?  The answer is…PLENTY!

FINALLY, I’ve been making progress. It is due in part to my “dental dilemma” — hard to gain wait, if you can’t chew.  The problem is that during that time period, I realized that cake’s easy to chew. 🙂

Bottom line is that I was determined to get my act together.  I worked on eating healthy foods, portion control (MOST important), and exercise.  Don’t get excited. In my world, exercise does NOT include going a gym.  Get a grip. No, there will be no sweating, weeping, and gnashing of teeth. NO, no, no — I walk.  That’s it — just walk. But, guess what?  It works!  Try it. Take your blood sugar prior to walking and then again when you return.  It’s pretty amazing. It’s been brutally hot here in the

"WALKING BUDDY"
Exercise = IMPORTANT

northeast, which gave me a great excuse to stop hoofing it. However, I let my conscience be my guide and got back on track. I’m not a 5-days a week yet, but I’m building my way back up. Truth is, I live near a mall which is air conditioned. It’s a perfect place to walk in the difficult weather of both winter and summer — so there is NO excuse.

When I’m truly determined to do something, I can move mountains — and believe me, I was determined. Here’s what happened:  I went to my doctor last week who was ecstatic. Why? My A1C was 5.8!!!! I practically jumped off the table, I was so excited. She shared my joy. She asked how I did it, and I told her. (Not wanting to take all the credit for my disciplined behavior, I explained the effect my dental dilemma had on my appetite.) She was thrilled. I explained that I had lowered the dosage of Metformin from 3/day to two, because the three, along with what I was doing, was too much and I wasn’t feeling well. For the most part, I was taking just two. She told me to continue consistently with two and, if that became too much (I’d know it), decrease it to one. In three months we’ll see where I am and what the next step will be. Here were her words, and they were MUSIC TO MY EARS — “At this moment, you are in a non-diabetic state.” Did she say non-diabetic?  YES, she did!

Of course, that doesn’t mean I’m not a diabetic — it simply means that the blood work indicated those results at that moment. What did this do for me? It made me even more MOTIVATED! Now I’m really on a roll. The thought that there’s a real possibility that I may be able to get off the medication, brings tears to my eyes. I have been working hard to hear those words, but I’ll be working even harder now.

Wish me luck!

 

Disdain for the “Doggy Bag…

Thursday, August 25, 2016

I’m grateful for the “Doggie Bag.” It helps this Type 2 Diabetic with portion control. If I ask for a container when I order my food, I put half in it as soon as my dinner hits the table.  This prevents me from “enjoying” it too much, gives me a meal for the next day and prevents waste. I just wish they wouldn’t use styrofoam containers (Our poor planet!); depending on what I’m eating, I often ask them to wrap it in aluminum foil.

There’s an interesting history behind the proverbial “Doggie Bag.” In many countries, asking for a take-home container is considered vulgar. In the U.S., this practice is commonplace and sometimes applauded — even in fine-dining restaurants. It’s looked at as a way to avoid waste and this is great in helping our environment.

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The Eiffel Tower

In Paris, the City of Lights, the practice of taking home leftovers after dining has long been a faux pas. Thanks to the 21st Century, Parisians are finally accepting this practice.  A law was passed and went into effect on January 1st., in an effort to cut down on the enormous amount of food waste. The French have replaced the term “le doggy bag” with “le gourmet bag.” 🙂

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On the Italian front, the “cartoccio” or Italy’s version of the “doggy bag” is finally being embraced. Combatting food waste has become a priority, as a result of a summit in Italy on global food sustainability.

Interesting, No?

What’s on Your Plate?

Sunday, August 7, 2016

“PLATE” #1

Do you live for a buffet/smorgasbord dinner? NOOOOoooooo! My conscience screams, DON’T do it! If you have issues with portion control, that kind of dining can be a downfall.

I read a great article in Everyday Healththe title was, “Sizing Up Your Plate: Why Portion Control Matters.”

Everyday Health does a great job in its discussion of diabetes and this T2D “listens” very carefully when they “talk.”  D. Wolter-Nitta, RD, CDE, nutritionist and certified diabetes educator at Montefiore Medical Center in Bronx, NY, was quoted on the topic of portion control. For the Type 2 Diabetic, who may be overweight, losing some pounds can lead to better blood sugar control and “possibly” less need for medication. Some of the information noted in the article will be familiar to you and some will seem like common sense. I read everything diabetes related. Truth is, there’s always more to learn and, if nothing else, reading the info will put it in the forefront of my mind. Can’t hurt, right? Everyday Health noted that Jill Weisenberger, RD, CDE, and writer, out of Yorktown, VA, stressed that “not eating proper carbs at a meal can lead to higher or lower blood sugars,” and we know what that can produce. Problems.

She, along with others, had some good points:

  • Weigh and Measure your food. LOL — right!  We’ll see about that.  🙂    Okay, I’ve never been thrilled with doing “the scale thing,” but she’s right. It’s really difficult to guess how much food is the right amount, and we know that portion control is imperative. That’s why…
  • Visual Aids are so important! I was having difficulty awhile back in my T2D journey, and I went to a diabetes educator for help. I thought I had portion control down pat but was stunned to learn that the fact that I was eating apples the size of a softball didn’t make the grade. She tossed me a tennis ball and informed me that THIS was the size I should have been consuming. “Really?” I queried, while looking at the small ball that seemed to be lost in my hand. I realized that the difference in size meant that I was eating what would be considered two apples at each sitting. AAArrrggghhh! That explained my weight gain.                 IMG_3716By the way, when shopping for apples, TRUST ME, the ones that come packaged in the plastic bags are the size you should be eating.   It’s called SMALL! At first, I was saddened by the fact that my beloved apple snack had just shrunken to about one-third of its size.  Here’s what helped a LOT:  I sliced the apple into very thin slices — VERY thin!  During that same appointment, the Diabetes Educator shocked me into realizing that I’d been overeating just about everything — without even knowing it. She showed me a plastic hamburger to demonstrate the portion that we should be eating.  It seemed so small and alone on the plate — probably one-third of the size I’d been scoffing down. Next on her agenda was the “deck of cards” — another visual aid to slap me silly into “getting” the world of portion control.  WHAT??? How many of us eat a portion of chicken, fish or beef that takes up one-third to half of the dinner plate? Well, get a grip! The deck of cards it is.
  • Read Food Labels!   Besides the obvious — carbs, protein, fiber, it’s important to check out the food labels for the SERVING SIZE.  You may be surprised to learn that a can or package contains more than one serving per person.
  • Use Smaller Plates.  This is an easy one. Substitute a luncheon-sized plate for a regular dinner plate. This tricks your eye, because it looks like you have a lot of food on your plate when, in fact, your plate is smaller.    🙂
  • Beverages. Again, read those labels. You may be surprised to see that the serving size information will force you to make a different decision. Drinking is the fastest way to get carbs into your system; therefore, for better blood glucose management, it’s better to eat your carbs than drink them.
  • SNACK, SNACK, SNACK! Tim Harlan, M.D. and Medical Director of Tulane University Group in New Orleans, states (in Everyday Health) that snacking is important for the diabetic. He says that snacking “controls overeating, controls cravings, and keeps blood sugar stable.” MAKES SENSE!  🙂
  • WRITE, WRITE, WRITE! Another common sense tip. Keeping a food log is important when managing blood glucose levels. Simply put, it keeps us on track and holds us accountable. Not a big deal.

    “PLATE” #2 — continued in next post — will focus on eating out and will include social events such as weddings!

So folks, WHAT’S ON YOUR PLATE???