Menus — On-the-Run, as well as At Home!

November 6, 2016

In a recent post, I let you know that I’d gone to a dietician at the Diabetes Education Center near my home. I said I’d post information that Maggie (Registered Dietetician and Certified Diabetes Educator) had given me, in terms of monitoring my food, choices, and alternatives. Balancing our blood glucose levels is imperative, and eating the right foods at the correct times will help T2D’s to do just that!

BREAKFAST is touted as being The Most Important Meal of the DayNOT in my world!  I want it to be.  I recognize the importance, but I have some issues with it. I’ve got ISSUES!!!  🙂  🙂  🙂

  • I’m allergic to eggs. That leaves out a LOT of recipes.
  • I have a “thing” about the TEXTURE of some foods. Therefore, Oatmeal = I’d rather be shot!

That being said, Maggie helped me with some alternatives.  So that YOU get the full benefit of my appointment with her, I’m going to list ALL the choices (including the ones I won’t be eating).

First off, she gave me a brief list of some “At Home Menus” that contain 45-60 g of carb; less than 10 g fat; at least 8 g fiber. Perfect, right? O.K., take a look:

  • Oatmeal, 1 cup cooked  (Hope YOU enjoy it!)
  • 1/2 cup 1% milk
  • 1/2 apple

___________________________________________

  • 2 Kashi Go Lean Waffles
  • 1 T. Light Margarine/Sugar-Free Syrup
  • 1/2 cup blueberries
  • 8 oz. 1% milk

___________________________________________

  • 2 egg whites OR 1/2 cup, Egg Beaters    (NO CAN DO, per allergist; but, that’s just me. YOU can feel free to dig in!)
  • Low fat Sausage Links
  • 2 slices whole wheat toast
  • 1 T. Lite Margarine
  • 1 small orange

___________________________________________

Here are some “On the Run Menus” for those of us who are on-the-run!  They contain 30-45 g carb!  All good so far!

  • Cannon Lite n’ Fit Yogurt
  • BelVita Breakfast Biscuit — mixed berry  (7 g. fat)

___________________________________________

Deli:

  • 2 egg whites on Rye
  • 1 cup fresh fruit (10 g. fat, 15 g carb.)
  • Quaker Breakfast Flats (27 g. carbs)

___________________________________________

  • Special K Flatbread Breakfast Sandwich (egg, vegetable, Pepper Jack cheese)
  • small fruit  (7 g. fat)

____________________________________________

  • McD’s Egg McMuffin*
  • Apple Slices                     IMG_3716

(12 g. fat)

* In my case, I can eliminate the egg and have the McMuffin with sausage and cheese!

____________________________________________

I have a mini-confession:  I NEVER eat margarine! Nope, I eat the real deal. Butter makes everything better.  🙂   The truth is, I eat VERY little of it — no big deal.

So, my fellow T2D’s that’s it for some of Maggie’s breakfast suggestions. Whether we’re eating AT HOME or ON-the-RUN, now we have NO excuse!  (Thanks, Maggie.)

I believe I promised a list of Maggie’s great snack ideas, too. That will be for another post. However, in an effort to encourage you to meet with a Dietician/Diabetes Educator in your area, I won’t be giving you the entire list. After all, I’m NOT Wiki-leaks!!!!!

 

REMEMBER:  Consult your physician before making ANY changes to you Diabetes Treatment Plan.

 

 

 

 

 

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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.   😦

  • 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!

 

 

 

 

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???

 

 

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?

DSCN0467

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! 🙂  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!      🙂

Lessons Learned…(B)

Sunday, June 5, 2016

Some things take longer than others (note date of my last post).  Sorry about that.

I’ve been involved in extensive dental work (commonly known as torture), since April 20th! From that point on, it’s been difficult to chew so I haven’t been able to eat a whole lot.  Living on soup is not my favorite thing to do and certainly not for a diabetic.  I’ve lost 17 1/2 lbs.  Most people would envy me but, trust me, this is no way to lose weight. I feel like garbage — no appetite and no energy.  My blood sugar is out of whack. My attitude STINKS! 

I decided to try one of those protein drinks that so many people  rave about — HOW DO THEY DRINK THAT CRAP? I tried, gagged, and you don’t want to know the rest of the details. The bottom line is protein drinks are not going to do the trick.

Fruit Smoothies? There was one time when I thought I’d found the answer to my breakfast dilemma — fruit smoothies. When I told my doctor I’d taken 1/2 apple, 1/2 pear, 1/2 banana and some juice with ice cubes. Tossed it into the blender and enjoyed the results. I was so excited! She looked at me like I was on drugs and said, “Why don’t you just mainline sugar?” I swear, I thought this was the answer to my prayer.  🙂  “Would you ever cut up that much fruit and eat it in one sitting?” I thought about it. “No” was my reply. We both had a good laugh about it and that ended my smoothie experience. (This stupidity was early on.)

I’ve gotten a little better with this difficulty in eating.  Fish is easy to eat and a baked

IMG_4422

potato is progress. I still can’t get vegetables down, so I’ve been substituting V-8 juice. I do this with the knowledge that it is far from the answer, but it’s something…

 

This Wednesday, I have to redo some of the dental work

IMG_4427and hopefully this nightmare will be over. [PLEASE, God, I can’t take it anymore.] I’m praying that I’ll be able to chew properly and get back on the food train.

 

So, what does one do when you’re a diabetic and can’t eat “normally?” Any suggestions?

 

PROGRESS — One-day-at-a-time

Every day is Day #1, but progression, in a positive sense, feels great!

This morning, I took my blood sugar — before I put on my sneakers.  Post-breakfast, and Pre-walk it was 156.  Post walk = 67!

That’s an 89 point drop, PEOPLE!     A round of applause, please.  🙂

Worth celebrating, I’d say; but not with a cake, that’s for sure.  Instead, I poured delicious, clear, spring water, in a cold, frosted, stem glass, accompanied by half of a shiny, bright red, with a tinge of yellow, Gala apple — sliced really thin!  Refreshing and delicious, and I’m NOT being sarcastic.

Water in a "stem."           (Paris)
               Water in a “stem.”
                        (Paris)

Celebrating with a Gala!

Celebrating with a Gala!

Progress = one-day-at-a-time.    It’s all about attitude, right?    IMG_3214

 

GANACHE, GANESH? To-mA-to, To-mAH-to? What’s the Difference?

I had an interesting conversation with my daughter the other day.  She told me that a good friend had come to her home and brought her “a Ganesh.” My mouth started to water, of course; my reaction to all things chocolate.

“That’s wonderful,” I replied, “what kind?”

There was a silence.  “Mom, do you know what a Ganesh is?

“Of course!” I couldn’t believe she was questioning MY knowledge of anything in the chocolate family. “Was it cake, or truffles, what???”

She started to laugh. “Not GanACHE, Mom.  GanESH!  Ganesh is a Hindu God!”

Now, we were both laughing. I mean REALLY laughing.  My mouth stopped salivating. My ignorance was showing.  I thought back to my studies of Buddhism, remembering the Four Noble Truths, The Three Pillars, and The Eight Fold Path. I went through the rolodex in my brain to find Hinduism.  Ganesh slipped through the cracks; I just couldn’t recall it.

Our conversation ended with my daughter’s description of the lovely Ganesh her friend, Denise, had gifted to her.  (Good friends are hard to find.)     🙂

A
                 A “Gifted” Ganesh!

Although this blog is focused on diabetes,  I hope you won’t mind, if I take a “dive” into history — just for a moment.

When I hung up the phone, I immediately, went to the Internet and looked up this Hindu god.  Ganesh has an elephant head, four arms, and a huge belly, and as soon as I saw him, I recognized him from a visit that my daughter, son and I, had made to the Rubin Museum of Art, in NYC.  The Hindu god, Ganesh, has an extensive history, and is known as the god of obstacles.  Perfect to have around when things get in your way!  He is also considered the god of literature and learning  (I love him, already!), as well as the patron of the arts and sciences, intellect and wisdom.

Ganesh!
                                     Ganesh!

Obviously, there is NO comparison between the Hindu deity, Ganesh, and the mixture of chocolate and cream that we chocoholics know as Ganache.  Are you familiar with the history behind Ganache?

 The Eiffel Tower
 The Eiffel Tower

I learned, while in Paris, that Ganache was “born” at the Parisian Patisserie, Siravdin, around 1850. It seems though, that the Swiss take exception to that point of history.  They believe it’s theirs…  It matters not to me — it’s absolutely scrumptious!

 Chocolate Ganache
                              Chocolate Ganache

But, all things being equal, Ganache = POISON to Diabetics.  😦   Sorry…

Ganache is made with melted dark or milk chocolate and heavy cream.  Some culinary experts add liqueurs or almond or vanilla extract, as well as butter and/or sugar to the mixture.  There are a multitude of recipes, as well as uses for Ganache.  Some chefs use it cold as a filling or frosting, and some mold it into truffles.  Lastly, warm Ganache can be used as a glaze and drizzled over a cake.

 GANACHE, GANESH? 

To-mA-to, To-mAH-to?

 There’s a difference, a HUGE difference!  🙂

ENOUGH OF THAT — I have to get an apple — NOW — before I take a major plunge into an abyss of bad choices and run to the store to get something chocolate and yummy.  Thinly sliced apples, Galas,  my favorite, help to alleviate my craving for something yummy and crunchy. When eaten in moderation, they have little negative impact on my blood sugar.

A YUMMY and Diabetic-friendly snack!
         A YUMMY andDiabetic-friendly snack!

APPLES = YUMMY!  That’s my “mantra.

🙂

Diabetes, one day at a time, with a SMILE!