PUSH that damn cloud away!!!

I’ve been doing THIS for a long time! You’d thing going out for dinner wouldn’t be a big deal. Ha! MOST OF THE TIME, it isn’t, but if I’m in a funk, I tend to want to eat dessert first —- life is short, after all… When I’m okay (thinking positively), it’s not a problem. Then, there are those days when I convince myself that I’m making much ado about nothing.

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“SUGAR BEAST”

Truth. It’s NOT nothing. T2D is not a joke, not something to be dismissed. So, in as much as I want to let that evil Sugar Beast in, I’m NOT going to.         Evil  *!@#!***

I really think that waaaay back, when I was first diagnosed, I convinced myself that I’d handle this “diabetes nonsense” and move on with my life. How naive was I? I knew then, and I still am acutely aware that Type 2 Diabetes is here to stay, and the harder I fight it, the worse I feel.

I used the word feel, because it isn’t only a physical issue, it’s also an emotional one. That’s the hardest part for me. I’m definitely a “stress eater,” My emotions send my appetite into high gear, when life hits the fan.

We all have choices! For me, making a conscious decision to choose wisely is where it all starts. I need to:

  • STOP —- Slow down and get a grip
  • THINK —-What outcome do I want from my decision?
  • BREATHE —-Deep breaths are imperative in order to stop and think before making an important decision.

Yes, eating that piece of cake is an important choice. It’s trivial to non-diabetics, but for me, it’s imperative to do the right thing. Most of the time, choosing to have dessert is not the end of the world (in my case), but importantly, I don’t want that decision to be the one that sends me over the cliff.

Seriously.  I’ve been able to treat my diabetes with diet, exercise, and one medication. Pretty good, I’m told. Here’s the thing — making a lifestyle out of eating the wrong things, lack of exercise, and failing to take my medication properly, WILL send me on the road to insulin. I don’t want that!

I don’t consider taking a little more insulin, or an extra pill, will make it okay for any diabetic to “cheat” on decisions regarding food choices. That’s a game I don’t want to play because, I know that I won’t come out the winner. I’m VERY competitive. If it’s between me and diabetes —- trust me, I’LL WIN!  I’ll succeed each and every day, by using the tools that I have.

Lately, I’ve been having difficulty with food choices. Ugh, it’s a killer. But, I’m living one day at a time, one choice at a time, and relief is on it’s way. I feel it. That cloud is starting to lift, if ever so slowly. I’m fighting to be able to follow the healthy road I’ve chosen for myself.

No need to rush —- slowly, carefully, I’m getting back on track. I CAN DO IT — and so can you.

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I CAN DO IT!

Life Got in the Way —

Ugh. Life doesn’t just “get in the way;” we LET it happen. (At least, that’s what I think.)

So during the month’s that I was otherwise involved, I wasn’t writing.  A+ was not a grade that I earned in Diabetes 101, during that time.  It wasn’t pretty — evidently, I’m a stress eater.

I admit it — I caved. Damn those cravings! SUGAR = addictive. 

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The good news is I’m back on track. Part of my “relationship” with Type 2 Diabetes, is my belief that every day is Day 1.

 

 

 

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! 🙂

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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.  🙂

“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.

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?

 

 

 

Just have to do the best I can do and then, DO A LITTLE BETTER!

Who’s perfect? Not me, that’s for sure. In terms of posting on my blog and reading others, I’ve brought procrastination to an art form. LATER, TONIGHT, TOMORROW — these are the nonsensical terms I’ve been tossing around, in an effort to procrastinate. My decision, is to TOSS THEM RIGHT OUT THE WINDOW, and get with the program.

Thanks to the blizzard in NY, I’ve hunkered down today (like I had a choice) and read some blogs (especially Bill’s, Simple Living Over 50 — his posts usually smack me back into the NOW of this crazy life). I finished catching up with his posts and will read others that I follow, after writing this post. First Things First, right?

The snow just stopped — YEA!!!! I have a guy who comes with a snow blower, a plow and a shovel to dig me out. I baked some cookies while he was de-snowing my property for the first time last year. I thought it would be a “nice gesture” — warm Oatmeal Chocolate Chip cookies on a cold snowy day.  OR was I looking for an excuse to eat some sugary delights? I prefer to believe that it was an act of kindness. 🙂  We Type 2 Diabetics know the truth! I’ve made it a tradition now, Matt plows and shovels while I bake. Damn those cravings!

I was talking to two friends this morning — BOTH were baking. What is it about the winter and/or a snow storm that pushes us to bake?  Is it the CARBS?  SUGAR?  img_4732

I don’t get it. Normally, I don’t care a whole hill of beans about cooking or baking. Seriously, those days are over. I get on a “kick” once in a while, but mostly I’d rather do other things. But today, oatmeal chocolate chip cookies and banana bread “took over my brain.” Considering how sugar effects the brain, there’s a LOT of truth to that. NOT funny, but true. Except for dinner (leftovers), I’m done with that oven for now. I’ll dust it off, if we have another storm! 🙂

I know that I just have to do the best I can do, and then, DO A LITTLE BETTER on this journey called diabetes!

Have to go take my blood sugar…

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!

 

 

 

 

 

“Confession” — 2016!

Posting a quick, last minute “confession” — to end 2016. Last couple of days have been difficult — wicked cravings — SUGAR everywhere! Ugh.  😦

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I think my “caving into the cravings” may be because I’ve watched the new year creeping up, and I’m panicking with the knowledge that most EVERYONE starts the new year with resolutions. I’m not a fan of that, mainly because I don’t want to fail at it.  🙂

At any rate, I’m saying good-bye to 2016 and looking forward with great anticipation to a HEALTHY 2017. I’ll be starting the new year by cleaning out my refrigerator and cabinets — starting fresh — healthy choices for this T2D.

All the best to you, in this new year!

Day #1 — One Day at a Time — starts soon!

 

Post Thanksgiving

I LOVE Thanksgiving! What could be bad? Spending time with those you love, food, gratitude — no gifts. It’s all good. The laughter is priceless.

Upon reflection, in terms of T2D, it was a very good day. Cooking the meal keeps me away from the h’ors d’oeuvres. It works every time. I can be in and out of the kitchen and still participate in the conversation without stuffing my face.

A turkey dinner with all the fixings is still my fave. NO Presidential Pardon for this bird! I had some of everything, but I didn’t overdo it. (Yea me!)  “All things in moderation,” a quote from my late dad. Choosing not having the usual array of sugar-filled desserts, this year we enjoyed a beautiful bowl of colorful, fresh fruit, thanks to my cousin, and a small, but luscious cake to celebrate my daughter’s birthday. Most importantly, everything was served up with a heaping portion of gratitude. After all it’s called THANKSgiving for a reason.IMG_3344

I’m thrilled to report that, for the first time EVER, I didn’t have my late-night (11 o’clock) sandwich. That’s usually a bonus — white bread (yes, you heard me right) with a little butter, turkey, cranberry sauce, and stuffing piled high! –my mouth’s watering, just thinking about it–but, I really wasn’t hungry, so I passed on it. I’m hoping to make this a new tradition. Normally, I have another turkey sandwich for breakfast the next morning 🙂  I can’t believe it; I passed on that too! It wasn’t a conscious decision, I just skipped it and had a normal breakfast. What’s going on???

Thanks to my daughter for not only taking home leftovers, but MOST importantly — the CAKE! It wasn’t calling my name quite yet, but we all know it would have been SCREAMING — “I’m over here!!!” — eventually. She gave it to some men who work in her building. I’m sure they were happy to have it, but not as happy as I was to get it OUT of my house.  🙂

My point? All in all Thanksgiving 2016 was a delight. Looking forward to next year’s Turkey Day! But alas, there are more holidays still to come. This is when I turn into Scrooge — my plan is to change that attitude this year.

The holidays have always presented a problem for me. Lots of reasons, but generically speaking, it’s the greed — you see and hear it everywhere. The television is a primary source of envy for kids — “Mom, look. Tommy has that!” It’s a killer for people who have young children. The whole money thing is another issue. It saddens me to watch people pouring money onto their credit cards to make their children “happy.” You want to make them happy? TAKE them somewhere. DO something WITH them — make memories. The laughter on those bonding days will stay with them forever. O.K., that’s MY feeling on the topic. Scrooge? Maybe, maybe not.

Happy Thanksgiving, dear Readers — enjoy the holidays — one day at a time.

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.  🙂

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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.   😦

  • 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!