There’s always a Silver Lining…

I’ve been sick. You know, “praying for death” sick. ūüė¶

Some evil “stomach bug” crept into my system and took over. You don’t want the details. My blood sugar was all over the place. I tried the “natural” route, but I was only able to live in one room in my house (…the room with the echo), so finally, I called my doctor who told me to only eat crackers, dry toast (if I’m hungry — which I’m not), and drink 1/2 water and 1/2 Low Calorie Gatorade for a few days, to avoid dehydration and to give my intestines a break. In the end (no pun intended), I was in the waiting room of a gastroenterologist. She sent me for a ton of tests, the results of which I won’t get ’til Thursday, if I’m lucky.

But, she also gave me a medicine that “calmed” everything down, in the meantime. Thank God!!! That pain was a killer — my poor body. She wanted me to eat more; the thought was disgusting. She added plain chicken, turkey, baked potato. Ugh. She was right, eating a bit more did help.

With every situation, we learn something, right? (Not that I haven’t learned this before…) When I have a stomach issue, I hate the thought of food — including, my addictive junk foods. It’s been 8 days now and I haven’t had a thought about (my drug of choice) sugar. Nothing, Nada. I feel like I’ve been in a rehab for carboholics/sugar addicts.

Do you know what? The Sugar Beast had nothing to do with my being ill but, I’m going to take advantage of this situation, grab onto my proverbial detox and hold on for dear life!

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Seriously, regardless of the results of the testing, I want to be done with sugar — SO DONE. Being sick just brought this to the forefront of my mind (again, I say again!). This Type 2 Diabetic’s plan is to do everything in my power to steer clear of it. I know, I know, we’ve all said it before.

I see this “Silver Lining” as a gift,¬†and I’m going to wrap myself in it — like a soft, satin, protective shield. It will be difficult — if anything, I’m NOT naive. I know it’s really hard (at least for me)¬†not to get dragged into a sugar feast, but, the way I’m looking at it, I’ve got a head start, and I’m grateful for it.

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I’ve got the motivation, now I have to get back to developing the habit...AGAIN. Every day really is DAY #1.

My sister’s birthday is coming and that will be my first “real” test. Wish me luck!

I take it back — no “luck” needed. ūüôā

If Vegetarians Can Do It, So Can I!

I recently read an article in¬†Prevention Guide.¬†The theme was Sugar Detox Made Easy — yeah, right! ūüôā

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I keep telling myself,¬†you’ve done it before, and¬†you can do it again. That’s absolutely true, so what’s my problem?¬†Maybe, my issues are because I’m doing the same things over and over and expecting different results. Isn’t that the definition of INSANITY!

My answer to that dilemma is to branch out, in terms of my research. I bought this magazine sometime in January. I’ll admit to skimming it; like that ever worked… This time around, I read it cover to cover and back again.

Author Aviva Patz wrote,¬†Your Step-by-Step Detox Plan.¬†In fact, she had a slew of helpful hints to formulate an action plan. Action Plan?¬†I didn’t sign up for an Action Plan. However, her program consists of things to DO to help in dealing with diabetes, to overcome the addiction. She talked about the importance of writing down a Manifesto.¬†WHAT?¬†C’mon, I’m a busy woman. I don’t have time for this nonsense! And then, the little voice inside me reminded me that I always have time to eat cookies, and cakes, and candy, Oh, My!¬†Developing a manifesto took about three minutes, and consisted of writing the pros and cons of quitting sugar, and the same for NOT quitting sugar. She recommends keeping your notes nearby for when that temptation creeps in.

Ms. Patz talked about replacing the addictive food with something palatable but not as unhealthy. Example: Fruit — still sweet, so it will stomp out the cravings, while eating healthy nutrients. (Be careful. There is such a thing as having too much of a good thing.) Easy does it — fruit will absolutely effect your blood sugar levels. The goal is to maintain a balance.

I’ll be writing about Patz’ article for a number of days. She presents some great healthy¬†alternatives to poor choices, and I’ll be passing them along to you.

Of all her suggestions, one jumped out at me — why didn’t I think of this??? She suggests that we don’t use¬†the words “I can’t” when sugar is offered to us. Sounds like my usual, “I can’t have dessert, I’m diabetic.” waaa, waaaaah, waaaaaah, poor Kathy… Instead of the “poor me” response, Patz advises us to simply say, “I don’t eat refined sugar.” Simple, to the point. She compares the dilemma to that of the VEGETARIAN¬†who easily states, “I don’t eat meat.” She’s right! It’s a choice — OUR choice! It makes perfect sense. It’s empowering. The decision is ours and the words, “I can’t,” give away our power and weaken our resolve. It’s brilliant! Obviously, this is an easy change in behavior and will likely end with the person offering the sweets to back down. Sounds good to me. No more pity party when the host cuts the cake. ¬†ūüôā

“I don’t eat refined sugar.” Period!

My sincere thanks to Aviva Patz for an article that was not only motivating, but also made sense.

Nutrition Counseling with a Registered Dietitian– Defined as: One who is trained or expert in the field of food and nutrition and…

— who advises on matters of foods and their impact on one’s health. A registered dietitian promotes good health through proper eating.¬†That’s what I need, I told myself, and off to The Diabetes Education Center I went! ¬†I had an appointment with one of their dietitians and it was wonderful.

Diabetes is a disease and I needed/wanted a health specialist. It was an outstanding visit. (I’ve been there before, over the years; sometimes you just need a tune-up. ¬†This was one of those times.) ¬†I AM dedicated and determined, that’s for sure.

I’m trying desperately to get off the Metformin — and attempting to be realistic at the same time. Maggie, a Registered Dietitian and Certified Diabetes Educator, helped me step back into reality. Reviewing my file, she complimented me on my A1C and pointed out that we were having a conversation similar to some we’d had years ago, when I first started. ¬†Oh NO! ¬†

I have this (flawed) theory that less is better. In other words, less food (carbs, etc.) will help to keep me on track. Thus, I’m probably not eating enough!¬† Then, when hunger strikes, guess what happens? ¬†IMG_4375

CRAVING ATTACKS! ¬†She’s right, of course. That evil sugar beast ¬†creeps into my head and won’t leave until I cave. An attack on my blood sugar levels!!! Ugh… If you’ve been there, you know what I mean.

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We talked about alternatives that will help the cravings to subside (I still use my Grapefruit Oil, which provides laughs for my friends. But, guess what? It helps me! See post dated: Nov. 21, 2015). This was a suggestion from a friend and guru of all things alternative.

Maggie helped me sort out a multitude of food choices that will get/keep me on track.¬†I’ll get back to you with a TON of information that she gave me; tomorrow, if possible. ¬†But for now — it’s dinnertime, and I have to move on with some healthy choices. ¬†ūüôā

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Keep the faith, fellow T2D’s! ¬†…and to Maggie, THANKS A MILLION!!!

IMPORTANT:  Check with your physician before making ANY changes to your diabetic treatment plan.

Up, Up and Away!

October 26, 20116

I LOVE to fly!

I have good, long-time friends — you know the kind; you haven’t seen them in eons and then, when you finally get together, it’s like time never passed. That’s Carol and Walter, my North Carolina friends. Due to life getting in the way, I haven’t been down there in probably three years. That’s crazy!!! To rectify that situation, I relied on my other good, long-time friend, Jet Blue. I hopped a plane and, in the blink of an eye, I was engulfed in a hug that made it all better. Charlotte airport is a piece of cake (hmmm, interesting analogy) and we were in their house within half an hour. There was a large basket of apples, staring me in the face when I walked into their welcoming home. Good friends.

Travel makes this Dedicated Diabetic’s life, well let’s say, “interesting.” Airports are wall to-wall junk food — at least that’s what I see! I know, I know, there are a multitude of concessions that carry clothes, jewelry, books and magazines, perfume, etc. But it’s the walls of junk food that call my name.

I needed water. Usually I bring an empty bottle to get through security and then fill it ¬†once I’m through — not this time. No matter. I knew I’d pass five places, where I could buy a bottle, before I got to the gate. I chose one that didn’t have aisles of candy — Bravo, Kathy; good choice! You might think that but, while waiting on line with my ice cold aqua, I spied cookies. It was 7:15 a.m. and I had a quick breakfast before I left home, so there was NO NEED.¬†This isn’t about need, crept through my mind.¬†NO, NO, NO,¬†was bouncing around in my head. I resisted. Then, just as I went to pay for the water, my left arm reached over (like a bolt of lightning) and grabbed a bag of chocolate chip cookies. Next thing I knew I was at Gate 4, waiting for the plane to Charlotte. I was like an alcoholic in a blackout!

I opened my carryon and there they were, looking up at me with their big, brown, chocolate-chip eyes, like a puppy with his head tilted to the side, wanting to be held. I can’t resist puppies, and I didn’t resist the cookies. I took the package out, my mouth watering, and attempted to open it. I said “attempted,” because with all the poking and prodding, pulling, trying to tear open the bag, it remained intact. It was like a castle, surrounded by a moat. There was no getting in. ¬†¬†ūüė¶

  • I could have walked back to the concession and switched the package out for one that might actually open.
  • I could have leaned over to the guy next to me and asked for help,¬†I needed my DRUG! ¬†
  • I could have tossed that bag into the garbage (where it belonged).

There is a list of actions I COULD HAVE¬†taken but, instead, I placed the chips back into my bag. I started to read an article in The Times and the craving passed. You’ll be happy to know that while I was waiting for my flight back to New York, I reached into my bag, saw the package of chocolate chips, and placed it (reverently) ¬†into the garbage!

I’m very fortunate. Carol and Walter are healthy eaters, so my visit wasn’t torturous. No one was pushing food down my throat. He grills most everything, so that helps and, they’re major veggie fans.

So, for the most part, it was a healthy trip.

Notice I said,¬†for the most part…

Walter is a retired baker — retired is the operative word, resulting in NO leftovers from the bakery coming home. But, he does love his cake. Usually allowing himself a dessert once or twice a week; I’m not gonna lie, I joined in. Their food stores, as do ours, have a bakery department that you can smell a mile away. The good news is that besides whole cakes, pies and other confectionaries, they also have slices packaged separately — one piece per container. This made it easy to at least limit my intake. Twice while there I had one slice and walked it off.

You’ll NEVER convince me that sugar isn’t addictive! The reality is, it’s my drug of choice and is a constant battle. Not that I never cave at home, but when traveling, I admit — it happens!

Once on the plane heading north, I started to reflect on my trip. Health wise, it was fine. I walked, caved into my cravings only twice, and otherwise ate healthy, diabetic-friendly foods.

All in all, it was a great trip. There’s no better medicine than laughing with friends!

 

 

 

 

WATER, Water, everywhere… (Addiction)

Saturday, July 23, 2016

I don’t even remember the last time I drank ANYTHING other than water!

I was a major soda consumer until, after many years, I realized that it wasn’t a healthy option. When I decided to get “off” soda, I also came to see that I was addicted to it. I cut back, cut down, but I couldn’t seem to cut it OUT. ¬†It was difficult. Research indicated that the amount of sugar and sodium that was in the soda, is why it was so hard to get off it.

It took time. First, I moved on to diet soda; the taste was awful; but, in short order, I was on the diet soda train. Further research showed that the diet soda mania might be even worse for the population. That’s when I learned, “If you can’t pronounce the ingredients, don’t let them pass your lips.” That diet soda was chock full of chemicals and finally I jumped off that train! After my release from the soda addiction, I moved on to caffeine — I stopped drinking coffee. ¬†It wasn’t easy; I loved it. Today — I’m soda free, coffee free, I don’t even drink tea unless it’s herbal.

Water, aqua, H2O, Adam’s Ale, aqua pura, seawater, tap water, rainwater, bath water, mineral water. It even has a beautiful sound, doesn’t it?

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If you’re traveling the world, especially in the summer, and need to stay hydrated, you’d best get your vocabulary in order. In France, the term for water is eau. In Croatia and Czech, it’s voda. The Danes refer to this magic liquid as vand. The Estonians and Fins call it vesi, while Wasser is what the Germans ask for when they’re thirsty. When in Rome, call out for acqua — they’ll ask you “still or fizz?” If you’re looking for bubbles (carbonation) in your acqua, fizz is your answer! The Norwegians who need to quench their thirst ask for vann, while right next door, in Sweden, they’ll give you a glass of vattan. ¬†Interesting, no?

Today, if I’m having company, perched on my table will be two large pitchers of H2O. One will be pure — just water. The other will contain cut up pieces of fruit, in addition to ice, and filled to the brim with aqua. Have you tried that yet? There are many ways to “enhance” your pitchers of water. A cucumber and mint combination is very refreshing, Fruit water is my all-time favorite! ¬†Strawberries, blueberries, oranges, OH MY! ūüôā ¬†Peaches, raspberries, watermelon, apples — you name it! Besides looking beautiful in a clear, tall pitcher, you’ll instantly smile, as these concoctions enter your mouth. I LOVE lemon and lime — careful, though, it can be bitter. I’ve learned to infuse the water with the taste and then remove the citrus rinds from the pitcher. ¬†The taste is divine!

Another great addition to water is fruit-infused ice! It’s wonderful. Besides using fruit-infused water to make my ice cubes, I place a strawberry, a few blueberries, or a sprig of mint to each one. Your water will have a spectacular taste; the cubes look beautiful, and the taste is ever-so-refreshing.

In terms of¬†DIABETES, sugar free is a beautiful thing. My homemade fruit waters” have literally nothing added. ¬†My blood sugar is not effected at all! ¬†Try it folks, you won’t regret it.

 

Enjoy folks ——– Cheers! ¬† ¬† ¬†ūüôā

VALENTINE’S DAY! :) OR :( ..?

February 14, 2016

So, how did it go? ¬†Take your blood sugar lately? ¬†ūüôā

If you feel you’re making all the right decisions — BRAVO! Good for you. ¬†If perhaps that’s not the way your day is moving along, remember — you can always start over. We are only human, so just do your best.

Hey! Maybe you’re not a sugarholic or chocoholic — count your blessings! But, if you are, ¬†you’ll relate to this post, and this time period may be rough for you. ¬†It’s interesting, I’ve found that many of my friends don’t crave sweets. Their “drug of choice” is carbs! Is their a difference? ¬† ūüė¶ ¬†[Too many links to post.] ¬†If you’re in this category, Google carboholic. ¬†You may be in for a surprise…

For those of us who crave sweets, please — BE ON GUARD¬†against the sales next week. ¬†All those bright, shimmering, pink and red heart-shaped containers, beautifully decorated square and rectangular boxes, that are left over and filled with shiny pieces of chocolate, will likely be 70% off! ¬†I LOVE a good sale, AND, I am a “chocolate addict,” so I know those boxes will be calling me.

Here’s this Dedicated Diabetic’s PLAN ¬†to avoid temptation — I’m simply NOT¬†going into the stores tomorrow. ¬†I just can’t. ¬†I know my limitations. That chocolatey odor will seep from the containers and I’ll hear my name being called — “Kathy, I’m over here. ¬†Buy me — 70% OFF — how can you resist?”¬†UGH! Torture. I seem to be most vulnerable around Halloween and Valentine’s Day, for obvious reasons. My plan is to take my “vulnerable” self as far away from those stores/displays, as is humanly possible. ¬†I have my trusty Grapefruit Oil, always at the ready, ¬†(IMPORTANT:¬†¬†Check with your doctor; this oil really should not be smelled directly from the bottle — could cause irritation in your nose. ¬†Instead, a drop or two on the palms of your hands, held away from your nose, is the more appropriate method. Check it out before using!). ¬†For the past week or so, I’ve been sniffing away when I even think chocolate, dessert, any tempting delight. ¬†I’ve mentioned it before — I think the odor of the grapefruit oil simply “detours your brain” away from craving the sweets.

My “HEARTfelt” (get it?)¬†suggestion to you, my fellow Type 2 Diabetics: ¬† Make the healthy choices — for yourself.¬†¬†Begin TODAY, right now. Do it for YOU — the effect will trickle down to those you love. you’ll see.

The good news is the stores will be sold out in two or three days, and “Satan’s Attack” will be over. Ended. Kaput! ¬† ¬†ūüôā

Whew!                              

“Slipped” on the ice…

O.K., maybe not on the ice. ¬†I “slipped” on some cookies ¬†ūüė¶

I went to the doctor for my 3-month Diabetes checkup today. ¬†Everything was great. No surprise to me — I’ve been eating correctly, monitoring my blood sugar, and walking. ¬†Things have been looking up! ¬†She was happy, I was happy.

So, why is it that when I went to the store to get ice melt (FREEZING here in the northeast), ¬†I came out with JUNK? ¬†Why, why, why? ¬†AND, why didn’t I take out my Grapefruit Oil and smell it, in an effort to avoid the craving. ¬†WHY?????

UGH, SO frustrating.

Driving home, I never gave a thought as to what I’d purchased. ¬†When I started to put the items away, that’s when the realization smacked me RIGHT IN THE FACE! ¬†I was really upset and disappointed in myself. ¬†But evidently, not enough to toss the cookies and those cheddar crackers that I like so much into the garbage. ¬†Nope — I had 4 — count ’em, 4 chocolate chip cookies and a small bowl of the crackers. ¬†Truth? They tasted great! ¬†That was around three o’clock. By 4, the carb coma took over, and I had a “nap.” ¬† When I woke up, dinner time was approaching, and naturally I wasn’t hungry. The rest of the night brought misery — you know the deal. ¬†Remorse, embarrassment, anger, blah, blah, blah.

“Get a grip, Kathy!” I yelled at myself. ¬†That’s when I tossed “Satan’s food” into the garbage. ¬†Guilt: ¬†“There are people starving in this world, and you’re throwing out food?” Phrases such as this ran through my head. ¬†Thankfully, my answer was a resounding YES! ¬†Guilt is a wasted emotion, negative and hurtful. There’s no positive purpose in feeling guilty. I’m over it!

It’s kind of interesting how the brain works. ¬†I seem to crave sugar if I’m down, bored, hungry; but also, when I’m “up,” — like today. ¬†I was happy that all was well in my diabetes realm, so I guess I let my guard down. ¬†Lesson Learned!

It’s 11 p.m. now, and I’ll be going to bed soon with the knowledge that tomorrow will be another Day One. ¬†I’ll get up, eat breakfast, go to the mall — and walk, walk, walk. The good news is that I’m confident that tomorrow will be a good day. ¬†I’ve already written two post-its that I’m going to put on the dashboard of my car. ¬†One is a reminder; it simply says, GRAPEFRUIT! to remind me not to “slip,” and to use the tools I have. ¬†Written on the other post-it is one word: ¬†NO! Also, a simple reminder.

At the end of each day, I reflect on what took place during the course of my day that was positive and what was negative. ¬†I’ll review my “slip,” learn from it, and then I’ll let it go. Tomorrow’s another day in the life of this dedicated diabetic, and it’s going to be a GOOD one.