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!

 

 

 

 

 

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.

 

 

 

 

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?

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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! 🙂  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!      🙂

Happiness is a plump, red tomato

Saturday, July 9, 2016

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Now tell me that doesn’t look AAAA-MAZING!

I ask myself, as I look at this photo, how will eating that beauty affect my blood sugar? Hmmm… I checked it out, and it’s a “GO,” folks.

Picture it, sliced with fresh basil — my mouth’s watering!

How about a  fresh tomato salad with basil and balsamic — maybe a touch of garlic?

The opportunities are endless.

The superfood, avocado, is incredible when paired with plump, red tomatoes!

O.K., you’re on your own! Grab a plump, red tomato and create an epicurean delight. You won’t regret.

Summer, ahhh. Gotta love it.