Prepare for the 4th!

It’s coming folks — the 4th of July! A great day for those of us in the U.S.A. who have so much to be grateful for.  Parades, ceremonies, and then the Sacred Barbecue! Who doesn’t like a good BBQ?  Fire up those grills.

IMG_3341

Get ready for the burgers and dogs, chicken and ribs, steak and grilled veggies. What’s better than that? Hmmmm. Maybe grilled fruit! Have you ever tried it? You won’t regret it, I promise — sliced peaches and pineapple are my absolute faves. But, take care T2D’s, there’s lots of sugar in dem dare fruit!  🙂 

Be sure to add a salad to your plate. I’m talking about a green salad — beware of the potato and macaroni salad, pasta salads that will shoot up your blood sugar. Not worth it — watch out for the carbs and add the proteins instead.

BEST THING TO DO BEFORE YOU LEAVE YOUR HOME TO GO TO THE BBQ = Drink an 8oz glass of water and have a healthy snack. By doing that, you won’t be “famished” when you arrive and overwhelmed by the temptation.

Have fun folks!

 

 

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.

IMG_3486
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.

 

Okay — I’ve been remiss —

The holidays are a crazy, busy, time of the year, and that’s what I’ve been! Crazy and busy. (Thus, I haven’t been blogging or writing) I imagine most of you have been running, buying, wrapping — all the “normal” holiday nonsense. For me, it’s over. I celebrate Christmas, and today I de-decorated my house. (Trust me — it took all of ten minutes!)  🙂  I’m done and moving on.

img_5843
Minimum!

Have you figured it out? This is NOT my favorite time of the year, for a multitude of reasons. Not unusual, I know. Many of us are not thrilled with all the chaos and commercialism attached to the holiday season.

Each year I try to make it better, do it “right.” This time around seemed to be more  difficult than those of the recent past; probably, in part, due to my brother’s death in April. We’re usually the two bah-humbugs at Christmas — compadres. We did laugh about it each year and I certainly missed him. We know that emotions have an impact on our eating and, as a result, on our blood sugar levels.

This blog is entitled, Diary of a Dedicated Diabetic, so I’ll move along and focus on T2D. How did you fare during this time of excessive goodies?

I can say that I did pretty well but, I confess it wasn’t perfect. there is NO perfect. I’ve learned over these years to simply do the best I can.

We had Christmas Dinner at my niece and nephew’s home (Thanks, Erika and Keith — it was nothing short of a feast.). It was great. I did have seconds of the sweet potatoes — OMG — they were outstanding! Easy on those carbs, Kathy… As I walked by my niece, carrying my second helping of sweet potatoes, I asked her who prepared them. Her sister-in-law admitted to the feat. Of course, I asked for the recipe — I was told that there were sweet potatoes and sugar. Period. Really bad. The casserole was topped with brown sugar and nuts, but there was a “ton of sugar mixed in with the mashed sweet potatoes.” My niece: “There’s no way you should be eating those.” TOO LATE! O.K., so that was a poor choice but, other than that, the rest of dinner was diabetes-friendly. Most important — I drank a TON of water that day and during the night and was sure to monitor my blood sugar.

Dessert, on the other hand, was insane. My nephew cut up a truckload of fruit. That would have been a good choice. Not the one I made, unfortunately, but good nonetheless. My sister-in-law baked, I’d bet ten different varieties of cookies. My mouth is watering, just thinking about it. All in all, I “probably” had a couple of chocolate chip cookies, I KNOW I had two pieces of fudge, and a couple of peanut butter balls. Thank God there was no cake in sight. Obviously, I slid right down the roller coaster — head first! But, you know what, in the scheme of things, I don’t think it was that bad. I left empty-handed. No dessert in my pockets or a plastic lined pocketbook, and so the night ended. December 26th = back on track.

One day at a time, folks. Every day is DAY#1!

Wishing you countless holiday blessings and PEACE in the new year! 🙂

 

 

 

Attitude…

Saturday, November 12, 2016

IMG_3214

…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

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???