Mother’s Day — my FAVORITE!

Very delayed posting — my apologies.

I love Mother’s Day, thanks to my two children. 🙂

For many years, we’ve been having Mother’s Day “Events,” meaning — no present needed. God knows I don’t need anything! What could be better than time with my kids? It’s an awesome day; they plan it, tell me what to wear, and I meet them in the city, or they pick me up. It’s one surprise after another.

Every year is a mystery of culture and epicurean delights. Where we dine and what we eat is always surprise, but my children are very “diabetes-aware,” so the choices are typically in line with good health. Thanks, kids!

One year it was a visit to the Morgan Library and Museum, in NYC, for the Bob Dylan Exhibit — I’m a major fan, so I loved every minute. The exhibition was packed with his compositions, writings, instruments — it was spectacular! They recognized and shared my respect for this musical genius. It was a wonderful day.

Another year we went to the Butterfly Exhibit at the American Museum of Natural History, which was sheer joy. Butterflies are the symbol of serenity and who doesn’t need more of that? [Don’t panic! Lunch did not include a butterfly entree.]

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The expectation was to move through the Butterfly Room, enjoy the beauties, make our way toward the exit and leave the exhibit. I “may” have cheated a tad when we got to the end.

Instead of exiting, I turned, moved back to the beginning of the exhibit and made my way through again. (I just couldn’t leave — they were too beautiful; dressed in bright yellows, oranges, reds and blues, with black accents.) My chickadees followed suit and we laughed as the exquisite butterflies flew around us, landing on our shoulders, arms and legs. It was amazing!

A Yankee Game was the scene of yet another Mother’s Day — more laughter. Hot dogs made me very happy.  (I know! I know!) Only one.

I adore the Bard, so on one special Mother’s Day my kids took me to the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens to see the Shakespeare Garden. It was outrageous. The names of plants, flowers, and herbs are weaved throughout his writings and no less than 80 of them were in bloom. It was outrageous. Both interesting and beautiful!

THIS year I was treated to a stop at the New York Historical Society, where my favorite presidential idol stood on the steps in bronze, hat and all! Lincoln is a major favorite of mine.   IMG_0025

Knowing that I’ve been talking about going to Cuba, my children filed that information away for this occasion. So, when we arrived at the Museum of Natural History,

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I realized that was our destination. It was obvious, because an enormous sign hung from the side of the building proclaiming the “Cuba Exhibit!

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What an outstanding exhibit! There were so many components. There were displays related to music, art, food, the Coral Reef, cigar production, and the list went on.

The produce cart (above) was filled with fruits and vegetables. It seems to me that on a trip to Cuba, I’d be able to stay on the T2D track in terms of dining options! Can’t wait to go!!!

Colors flashed around the exhibits, and it was obvious that the Cubans appreciate art in every form. Modes of transportation were on hand — most of the visitors had an interest in the “old cars!” VERY cool.

We were hoping to eat at a Cuban restaurant, in keeping with this Mother’s Day theme, but we spent so much time “in Cuba” and missed our reservation. Some examples of Cuban food that was displayed at the exhibit are:

We ate vicariously!  🙂  In fact, we had a late lunch at the museum and yes, I stayed on track. Didn’t even have dessert — which for me is HUGE!

Museum-going is also a great way to get in those steps. That was a 10K day!

We’ve had some great Mother’s Days in years gone by — the Tenement Museum, the Rubin Museum, Museum of Art and Design. One year we ate at “The Burger Joint” in Le Parker Hotel Meridian, (Hard to make healthy choices there, but a glass of water ahead of time definitely helped.), THAT was crazy and a LOT of laughs. I dare you to find it! If you’re successful, be sure to sign the wall.

These are only a few of our many adventures but, they’re always a surprise and mostly healthy food choices. GREAT fun!

I’m convinced that drinking water before eating reduces cravings and helps me to make proper choices. I seem to feel “fuller” after drinking eight ounces of H2O.  I think that feeling of NOT being ravenous, helps to keep me sane when perusing the menu. What are your thoughts on that?

 

 

 

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.

 

“Tick-tock, tick-tock — Excuses, excuses, around the clock”

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Are you a procrastinator? An excuse-maker? A clock-watcher?  Join the group! I try, I really do try to make the most of the time I have each day. NOTHING frustrates me more than to look at my list (Yes, I’m a list maker too!) at the end of the day and see that I haven’t accomplished what I set out to do! It makes me crazy.

My brother used to say that we have the “procrastination gene.” We were a family of last-minute doers! When I was in school, I thought it was the rush to get a paper done that gave me a “rush.” Now, though, I’m not interested in that; I want completion. Period.

I listened to a wonderful TED Talk on the subject of making the most out of the time we have. Funny, but true; it smacked me right in the face with the fact that I waste time. I detest the thought of that — I feel strongly that we’re put on this earth for a purpose and wasting time is the worst thing I can do. The TED Talk helped to set me back on track — including in terms of my ” life with diabetes.” SO many things are important to fit into my day, to care for my T2D. They bear repeating:

  • PREPARE MEALS  a h e a d  of time. Cooking two meals and freezing one may seem like it takes a lot of extra time but, that’s simply not true. It’s such a pleasure when, a week later you can defrost the (second) meal, heat it up without the rigamarole of the chopping, cooking, etc., that you did the first time around. Give this gift to yourself — you WON’T regret it. I promise. If you’re working full time and can devote a couple of hours on a weekend, you can probably get four or six meals done and frozen for the weeks to come. Sheer joy. 🙂
  • MONITOR my blood sugar. Two to three times a day “depending,” is what my doctor suggests. It’s so annoying, I tell myself. Put your big girl pants on and just DO IT! is my next thought. I’ve devised a chart and just fill in the numbers. There are also websites that accommodate this issue, but I believe in keeping mine simple. I include the date, times of testing, and the resulting blood glucose number. I have, at times, included the food that was consumed. Discuss it with your doctor. My purpose in bringing up the subject of monitoring is that, for ME, it keeps me aware and pushes away that damn denial. The NUMBERS DON’T LIE! 
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    Monitor glucose regularly
  • EXERCISE. The time I spend walking keeps me a lot healthier than time vegging out in front of the t.v. When I schedule “hoofing it” into my calendar, I KNOW that I’m doing the right thing for me.

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    Start WALKING!
  • TICK-TOCK folks — let’s make the BEST use of the time we have!

IMPORTANT: If you didn’t listen to the TED Talk, noted above, I strongly urge you to do it now. Take the “TIME!”   🙂

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.

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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!

 

 

 

 

 

Attitude…

Saturday, November 12, 2016

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…and TODAY, mine stunk!

Blah, blah, blah. The attitude of gratitude. Blah, blah, blah. Today, I didn’t want to hear about it, didn’t want to know about it, didn’t even want to think about it.

Today was one of those  B A D    A T T I T U D E  days. Why? I have NO clue. Sometimes you just want to pull up the covers and forget about it. This was one of those days. So, what did I do to change my attitude? I went to get my hair colored (good move!) and came home hating the way my hair looked (bad move!).

I have a friend who’s a DIYer, as am I. She’s working on a credenza; I’m 1/2-way through refinishing a table. Looking for motivation to finish mine, I decided to stop at her house to see how she’s progressing (good move!) She had painted just one of the drawers, as a test case, to be sure she liked the finish, before continuing. It was gorgeous! Light gray base coat with a darker silver distress. Just beautiful. Did it motivate me? Absolutely. (Yea!!!)

On the ride home, I thought about my project. I’ll work on it this afternoon, I told myself. When I pulled into the gas station to fill up, I remembered why that wasn’t going to happen. As I got out of the car, a stabbing pain shot down the right side of my butt and leg and reminded me that today was NOT going to be the day I’d be working on the table. [Last Wednesday I went out to my garage to grab the paint supplies to complete my table. As I leaned over to lift the carton, I coughed REALLY hard, and ZAP — sciatica crept back into my life. If you’ve ever had it you know — it smarts! I left the carton right where it was, grabbed an ice pack and a heating pad, and spent the next two days trying to get the inflammation down. SCIATICA SUCKS — I’m gonna get a bumper sticker.]  I shouldn’t complain; four days is nothing and it’s MUCH better. But, I didn’t remember that, when I went into the gas station and bought a package of Twinkies (bad move! — really bad move).

photoContinuing my brief drive home, I told myself, In the meantime, I’ll work on Carrie’s quilt. I can do that. Carrie is friend of my daughter’s who’s having a baby and the shower is the day after Thanksgiving. HOLY PROCRASTINATION! Hurry up, Kathy!  I wasn’t going to give her the quilt until the baby is born but, if I do it NOW that’ll be many hours of keeping my hands busy and not thinking about cravings. (Back to my Grapefruit Oil)  🙂

 

Well, when I got home, after I downed the Twinkies, I set up the table to lay out the quilt, got out the fabric and started. NO! Of course I didn’t start!!! I told you I had a lousy attitude. Instead, I grabbed my laptop and wasted about two hours watching YouTube videos on “How to Make a Rag Quilt.” It was very relaxing to watch someone else do the work. I know how to make that style quilt — I’ve done it four times!

WHY then, was I wasting the time??? Probably because my miserable attitude told me to AND probably because of the sugar rush to my brain from the freakin’ Twinkies. Ugh.

It’s 11:51 p.m., so nine more minutes until Sunday.  My GOAL for Sunday?

  • Eat correctly
  • Walk first thing in the morning
  • …and with a renewed and refreshed ATTITUDE, work on the quilt.

I feel better already!  Night folks.

This T2D needs some  ZZZZZzzzzz’s

Great Snack Ideas for T2D’s!

November 7, 2016

As promised, here’s a list of some great snack ideas with only 15-20 grams of carbohydrate per portion! 

One of my biggest issues with T2D is that I’ve believed that less is better.  UNTRUE! Skipping snacks can be likened to skipping meals. It disrupts the balance of our blood glucose levels. Therefore, it’s important to include appropriate snacks in our daily food intake.

Maggie, my Registered Dietician and Certified Diabetes Educator, gave me the following ideas, regarding those all important snacks:

  • 3 cups popped popcorn (no fat added) or 94% fat free mini microwave bag
  • 1/2 cup sugar-free pudding
  • 3 cups of any combination of baby carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, cherry tomatoes, celery, cucumber, pea pods, belly peppers, radishes, tomatoes, or zucchini with 1 tablespoon of dip     IMG_4416
  • 25 Soy Crips
  • Kasha TLC Bar
  • 15 Kellogg’s Special K Cracker Chips, Sea Salt, Cheddar, or Southwest Ranch
  • 5 Reduced Fat Triscuits with 1 teaspoon Almond or Peanut Butter
  • 1 Pack Special K Pastry Crips (various flavors)
  • 1 cup Edamame beans
  • 41 Gold Fish Baked Snack Crackers
  • Skinny Cow No sugar added Fudge Bar or Blue Bunny brand
  • Fiber One 90 Calorie Brownie
  • Nature Valle Dark Chocolate Granola Thins
  • Weight Watchers Dark Chocolate Raspberry Ice Cream Bar
  • 8 oz. Vanilla or Chocolate Almond Breeze Milk

That’s 15 delicious snack ideas! Visiting your Diabetes Education Center will reap many more snack ideas, along with lots of helpful information. What have you got to lose?

P.S.  Important Information:  NO FRUIT AT NIGHT!  I can’t believe I didn’t remember that. Obviously, it’s important NOT to eat fruit and other sugar-rich foods before bedtime.

REMEMBER:  Always check with your physician before making ANY changes to your Diabetic Treatment Plan.

 

 

What’s on Your Plate? (#2)

Saturday, August 13, 2016

“Plate” #2

As stated in my prior post, I read a great article in Everyday Health, titled “Sizing Up Your Plate:  Why Portion Control Matters.” This post (#2) is a continuation of #1!

Along the course of my (diabetes) blog journey,  the topic of dining/eating out has come up a few times. Because this was discussed in the article in Everyday Health, I’d like to revisit it. Some important bullet points that were brought up–

  • NO Supersizing!  You and I know this is common sense, BUT — sometimes the challenge of the “good deal” gets in the way. It’s obvious, right? If you can get double the size of an item for only a few cents more, why not do it?  Why not? Because it’s a deadly decision. More food, more carbs is NOT what we need. It will cause weight gain and elevated blood glucose.
  • NO Entree, Please — A great tip to help with portion control, calorie consumption, and monitoring blood glucose, is to order a combination of soup and an appetizer — skip the entree. Trust me, it will be enough. I’ve had some wonderful meals by exercising this tip.
  • “Doggy Bag” WHY is the take-home container called that???  When I was kid and my parents went out for dinner, oftentimes they would bring home the proverbial “doggy bag.” Funny thing — the dog never got the contents. Why then, was it implied that the contents of the container was for the dog? I think it was a way for people to bring home their leftovers, without being embarrassed. Was it a case of “waste not, want not?”  OR was it a case of “I’m no millionaire; I can eat that tomorrow!” (They’ll just throw it out.)  My theory is that the “doggie bag” originated to save face — feed the dog; no embarrassment there. What’s your opinion?          Diabetics would be wise to look to the “doggie bag” (or take-home container) as a way to cut down on calories as well as carbs. Here’s a tip that my sister gave me a long time ago and I found it to be very helpful.  Ask the waiter/waitress for a take-home container, when placing your order. That way, when the food arrives at your table, you can immediately place half into the container. Voila! Out of sight, out of mind. (Thanks, Jean!)  It works perfectly. The following day, you can enjoy your leftovers for any meal you like. [See my next post for a history lesson on doggie bags  🙂 ]
  • The Dreaded Wedding (or other catered affairs) — Why do you dread them? Obviously, catered affairs are the Sodom and Gomorrah in the life of the Type 2 Diabetic. Seriously, it’s an orgy of food. Every catered affair that I’ve ever gone to has included an open bar, followed by food, food, and more food. Between the cocktail hour, the smorgasbord, and/or the sit-down dinner, you’re counting 17 courses topped off with a flaming Viennese table!  🙂  Ugh. They pull out all the stops — there ARE NO stops, no boundaries.  Here are some tips to help you get through these unavoidable fiascos.  Plate #1 — Choose low calorie, low carb foods (shrimp, raw vegetables, etc.). Plate #2 — WAIT! Gauge your time. Remember it takes 20 minutes for the brain to get the message that you’re full. Whether you decide to venture forward or not, remember NOT TO PILE FOOD on your plate. Take a reasonable amount. It’s better to go back a second time, if you really want more food. Take your time.  By the way, nowhere is it written that you HAVE to eat the wedding cake. A bite of it is all the “good luck” that the bride and groom will need.
  • My last and most important tip for the wedding-goer is DANCE!!! Dance, dance, dance — you’ll burn calories, lower your blood glucose, and you’ll feel really good with those endorphins “dancing” through your body.