What’s better than Romaine?

What is it about Romaine Lettuce?

I can’t deal with the wraps that are sold in supermarkets, deli’s, restaurants. I’ve tried, and tried again. They’re tasteless. The consistency is dreadful — at least to ME. I just can’t use them as a substitute for bread. I need something, but wraps? No thank you. 😦

I searched for a healthy alternative to bread. Finally, it dawned me to try lettuce. This is certainly not a new idea. I started out with iceberg. I know — there’s no nutrition to be found there. It wasn’t the right consistency either — just a tad too thick. When I added the contents and rolled them up, the iceberg wraps “cracked under the pressure” of my expectations. Back to the supermarket — this time Boston lettuce. My hopes were rising!

As I peeled off the leaves, I thought the thickness and consistency of this vegetable might just meet my needs. My heart raced as I began. One leaf of the Boston, followed by one slice of turkey, then a slice of cheese (my fave, Alpine Lace Swiss (YUMMY!), topped off with another beautiful leaf of green goodness. I started to roll it, slowly, carefully. Disappointment ran across my face. There was no denying it — this experimental lettuce wrap did not make the grade. The leaves were just not long enough. They were too round. Just not right.

I took my search seriously, googling the various types of lettuce, determined to find the right “gem” for my purpose.

I searched the supermarkets and local farms, looking for just the right fit. It was an education to see just how many types of lettuce there are; never noticed them! Similar to roses: A rose by any other name is still a rose. Guess what? A lettuce by any other name is still a lettuce! Red leaf, green leaf, Boston Bibb, radicchio, arugula, rainbow chard, cabbage, endive and kale. Lots of different names, but all in the lettuce family. I considered each of them and tried the ones that I thought might live up to my ever-growing standards.

Finally, I noticed what was right in front of me the whole time — ROMAINE! How did I miss it? I took a beautiful head of fresh Romaine and started for home.

Success! The leaves were just the right size, thickness, color — perfect for forming a wrap. The green color, dark on the outside, was lightening as I peeled off the leaves, heading for the lighter center. I started the process: one long leaf of Romaine, one slice of fresh turkey, a slice of alpine lace, and one more leaf of Romaine. I began to roll it. Not one crack in the lettuce and the turkey and cheese were safe inside this outstanding wrap. Perfection!

Sometimes I add a condiment, for variety, but for the most part, I enjoy my wrap on the “naked” side. To glam it up, I might add VERY thinly-sliced apples, or artichoke hearts. For that matter, add whatever you like, as long as it’s not going to push up your blood glucose too much.

In the end — in my humble opinion — What’s better than Romaine? NOTHING! It’s the winner. 🙂

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.

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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!

 

 

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?

 

 

 

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!