Mother’s Day — my FAVORITE!

Very delayed posting — my apologies.

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

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! ¬†ūüôā ¬†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?

 

 

 

“Choose Wisely”

Thursday, September 22, 2016

“Choose wisely” were

…words my parents repeated on a regular basis to each of their four children. They were talking about our friends and my father managed to get his point across, usually with a simple phrase or two — and that look over his glasses. Oooooo, ¬†that deep, penetrating, look. There was no mistaking his intent. This man was serious!

The value of friendship was second only to that of family, in the heart and minds of my parents. They taught us well and the message was incessant, particularly during those important teenage years. There’s one phrase (among many) that stands out in my mind. “Kathy, water seeks its own level.”¬†¬†My dad would say it (in that¬†tone),¬†then pause, look me straight in the eye, turn and walk away, leaving me to contemplate what he’d just said. I knew, the “friend” I’d brought home that day had been given the “stamp of disapproval.” ¬†No argument, no criticism. But, the point was always made, and ¬†it was clear. ¬†Do the right thing — choose wisely.¬† Mom and dad were right; their instincts good. We learned early on the difference between friends and acquaintances. As a result of their guidance, the four of us have always had excellent friends and we’ve had them for a long time. ¬†My parents were outstanding role models — they’d tell us, “To HAVE¬†a good¬†friend, you need to BE a good friend.” Those words served each of us well.

WHY ARE YOU DISCUSSING FRIENDSHIP, you ask? ¬†Because the people with whom we break bread can be as important as the morsels that pass through our lips. I, for one, need all the help I can get in managing my T2D, and I do look to my friends for support — I admit it.

For the purpose of this T2D blog, I’ll be integrating the choice of foods, along with those with whom we share it.

A few days ago, I met some friends for lunch — this can be a nightmare OR sheer heaven for me, depending on where we decide to “dine.” I made the choice this time and we went to The Wild Fig — Mediterranean Grill. Why was that my choice? ¬†(GRILL is the operative word, and helpful to diabetics.) ¬†The menu is enormous (see link) and filled with a multitude of¬†healthy choices. ¬†

The grilled veggies were mouthwatering, ¬†IMG_4432complimented the stuffed fish, AND did great things for my blood sugar. The entree I chose included two portions of stuffed¬†flounder. One selection on the menu was filled with¬†crabmeat and another with spinach and feta — a friend and I shared, so we had one of each! (Is this becoming a tradition, Gerry?) ¬†My confession: French fries (it’s an addiction, I know). BUT, in the name of justification, we split those too, so we each had some fries and some grilled vegetables. My A1C will be happy. NO dessert — it was a beautiful thing.

“Choosing wisely” is¬†easy in this restaurant and, selecting this group of friends was a wise decision. I’m blessed. These ” Ladies Who Lunch”¬†are no less than divine! ¬†We share a strong belief in the “Sisterhood,” and this group is as supportive as it gets. ‚̧

Tell me — What could be better than sharing a delicious, healthy lunch and wonderful conversation with a delightful group of friends?

Bottom line = monitor those morsels carefully to keep your numbers at a healthy level ¬†and — just as carefully — choose your friends wisely! ¬† ūüôā ¬† There will be no regrets!

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Thank you ladies, and WELCOME to our newest member!   

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 ¬†ūüôā ]
  • 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! ¬†ūüôā ¬†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.

 

 

 

 

GRILLED = Exceptional dinner recommendation!

Today I met some friends at a Mediterranean Grill; a restaurant called the “Wild Fig.” ¬†Diabetics should run, not walk, to this eatery. ¬†Almost everything is grilled, no butter in sight. ¬†I ordered a combo special consisting of grilled salmon and a lamb and vegetable kebab. ¬†A friend ordered the shrimp and lamb kebabs. My sister ordered the shrimp and lamb kebabs, with a salad on the side. ¬†Mine came with steak fries and my friends arrived with grilled vegetables. ¬†We split both. ¬†In the end, I had not quite a third of the fries and half of the vegetables. Perfect. ¬†I was a little concerned about the fries, but when I took my post-dinner glucose, it was 118.

Every single dish that passed our table was a vision, and “ooo’s” and “ahhh’s” were heard throughout the restaurant. The grilled delights were spectacular, and the salads amazing (beware of the feta…). The presentation was exceptional, as was the service. I love the wedges of lemon on the side; squeezing them over the dish adds a zip! I’m not a food critic, that’s for sure. But, I know what’s good for the diabetic pallet, and I highly recommend Wild Fig.

Dining out can be difficult for a diabetic, but this time, the choices were easy. Bottom line — a fine meal was had by all!

“Dining Out v.s. Eating Out — How to Deal With It”

Thursday, May 14, 2015

“Dining Out ¬†v.s. ¬†Eating Out — How to Deal With It”

Is there a difference? Absolutely — at least to me there is.

“Eating Out” in my book means grabbing something to eat and moving along with the day. Often, no real thought goes into this. If I eat in a rush or because I’m hungry or it’s time, and I’ve got things to do and places to go, I’m usually in for a mistake.

Example: The #1 Meal at Nathan’s, a hot dog, fries, and a soda. There’s nothing healthy on that tray. (OMG, I love those dogs! Sorry, but it’s true.)

I’ve found that other fast-food places usually pose the same difficult choices for me. (Disclaimer: Some DO have a healthy choice or two and some even indicate the calories for each item — that’s a help). Do I make good choices when I’m there? No. My bad, I admit it. The smell of the fries overtakes my senses, my mouth begins to water, my breathing accelerates and a bad decision is usually ahead. Allowing that ‘rush’ to overcome my brain is frustrating! Do I cave? Sometimes. No one ever said diabetes was easy, but they did say it can be controlled.

My answer to this dilemma? DON’T go in. For me, I’m aware that eating in a fast-food restaurant will lead to disaster. I need to think about what I’m doing to my body. Slow down. Make a healthy decision. What would Spock do? “Live long and prosper,” of course. Now THAT sounds like a wise decision.

O.K., here’s the other end of the spectrum — “Dining Out.”
If I’m going to lunch or dinner with friends, or breakfast too, for that matter, my first line of defense is the Internet. I enter the name of the restaurant, pull up the menu, check out the choices and determine what the best decision for me might be. It’s easy to make the right choice ahead of time, sticking to it is the difficult part.

I’ve found that there are tools to help me follow through with my healthy choice:

1. Drink an 8 oz. glass of water, prior to leaving for the restaurant.

2. Consume a healthy snack an hour before going.

3. Remember that, even though there’s a menu, you can usually get any of the items on it grilled. Just ask.

4. Avoid the prix fixed choices. They may be a good deal money wise, but they usually include an appetizer and dessert. Do you really need that? NO, and try not to convince yourself that you ‘deserve’ it — you deserve to be healthy.

5. IMPORTANT: ¬†If at all possible, be the FIRST to order, and then hand your menu to the waiter. It’s not spiritual reading; no need to hold onto it. Consider your decision complete. Done! Finito!

6. Stick to your guns; don’t let anyone sabotage your decision. Here’s an answer to:

“You’re not having an appetizer?”
Ans: “No. Saving room for dinner. I’ve been looking forward to it all day. I don’t want to spoil my appetite.”

What, no dessert?”
Ans: “Are you kidding? I couldn’t eat another thing. Dinner was deeeelicious!”

Believe it or not, you will survive without an appetizer and dessert, and your friends will get used to you making healthy choices. With any luck, they’ll follow your lead!

The payoff at the end of the meal is that you will have made good decisions that will lead to a healthy life. Isn’t that all that matters?

Hey! Let me know the tools that you use to make healthy choices
–OR– Having difficulties? Want to share..?