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!

 

 

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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.

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.

Food and Friendship

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Going to a friend’s home for dinner, who does NOT have diabetes,  and being served a diabetic-friendly meal, is the definition of FRIENDSHIP!

Friday night, whether you work, go to school, or are retired, is the night when oftentimes people are just plain pooped! That was me last night.

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Large crocheted afghan

Nothing would have made me happier than to curl up on the couch with an afghan, a cup of tea, and a book. Sound boring? Not to me; not last night. But, a commitment is a commitment. I dragged my body into the shower, got dressed, put a smile on my face and was off to an evening with some great friends.  I didn’t regret it.

As is with most times when I don’t “feel” like doing something, it was spectacular!    Good friends, fabulous food, and lots of laughter is the perfect recipe for a most enjoyable evening.

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I don’t drink anything but water with either lemon or lime and that’s what I floated in all night.  Iced cold H2O was sublime.

 

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Simplicity was the key. Tired friends gathered together to “break bread,” and have some laughs — simple.

It was perfect.

Our hostess served a colorful display of a variety of cheeses, thinly sliced, paired with Water Crackers. A basic hors d’oeuvres that appealed to this weary group of revelers.

Oh, how I wish I’d thought to take pictures of what was to come—

We moved on to an incredible dinner.  SIMPLE, really simple = wonderful! Are you ready? The entree consisted of two PIZZAS!  Wait.  I thought you said a “diabetes-friendly meal.”  Oh, it was!

There, on an enormous white oval-shaped platter, sat slices of two different types of mouth-watering pizza. The first was tomato based, sprinkled with a small amount of melted mozzarella, basil, and a touch of oregano. The second pie “wore” a coat of finely chopped spinach, dotted with tiny speckles of warm mozzarella. How is this a friend to the diabetic?  The secret was in the crust — the thinnest, crispiest pizza crust I’ve ever seen.  Like paper, browned to perfection!  Freshly grated parmigiana was served in a lovely, small glass bowl, that rested off to the side of the table — there for the taking, if you so desired.

Then, the piece de resistance.  A huge, white ceramic serving dish, filled to the brim with piping hot pieces of butternut squash covered with chopped kale, was placed, with a certain reverence, on the end of the table by our hostess. If I had been standing, I would have genuflected!  Ooo’s and Ah’s prevailed as we each took our share (maybe more).

Later, with tea, our hostess-with-the-mostess served dessert. Her homemade pound cake, gelato (I passed on that, I promise!), and something she’d never made before. Only a BRAVE person would serve an “untried” dessert to her guests, right? She is courageous, but also a Gourmet Cook, so not to worry — it was superb. Perfect for the diabetic guest, it was homemade sugar-free jello (not the boxed stuff I’d make). This was prepared on the stovetop with sugar free gelatin, water, unsweetened apple juice, and pureed strawberries.  After it set, our friend topped each individual serving with blueberries, raspberries and a small dollop of whipped cream. I THANKED THE GODS OF “DELICIOUS,” because that’s what it was!

It’s a real friend who looks out for the health of her BFF’s. Thanks, Jane, for an evening of good company, intelligent conversation, an incredible dinner, and LOTS of laughs!

 

Blood Sugar  =  98             Weight = 153.4    Nope — impossible considering what I’ve eaten! Time for a new ——->—–>—–>—–>IMG_4436

PROGRESS — One-day-at-a-time

Every day is Day #1, but progression, in a positive sense, feels great!

This morning, I took my blood sugar — before I put on my sneakers.  Post-breakfast, and Pre-walk it was 156.  Post walk = 67!

That’s an 89 point drop, PEOPLE!     A round of applause, please.  🙂

Worth celebrating, I’d say; but not with a cake, that’s for sure.  Instead, I poured delicious, clear, spring water, in a cold, frosted, stem glass, accompanied by half of a shiny, bright red, with a tinge of yellow, Gala apple — sliced really thin!  Refreshing and delicious, and I’m NOT being sarcastic.

Water in a "stem."           (Paris)
               Water in a “stem.”
                        (Paris)

Celebrating with a Gala!

Celebrating with a Gala!

Progress = one-day-at-a-time.    It’s all about attitude, right?    IMG_3214

 

SMOOTHIES and Diabetes…

I learned the lesson last summer.

I was smoothie-ING everything that wasn’t nailed down.  Vegetables, fruits, it was a beautiful thing.  Everyone was doing it — ‘It’s healthy,” they exclaimed!

I had done away with my blender years ago, so when I saw a sale at Macy’s for something called the NINJA, I jumped right in. A friend of mine, who’s a health nut, recommended it highly.   –That baby put every blender on the planet to shame.–    First of all, it has a commanding presence on my countertop.  When I first bought it, the rest of my small appliances headed for the hills.  They were intimidated. I WAS INTIMIDATED!  I actually read the enclosed NINJA Manual, before using it.  That was a first.     C A U T I O N  was printed on each page.  Hmmm.

The blades on that thing are HUGE.  With one gentle touch, you can demolish its contents in the blink of an eye!   This is no amateur.   Seriously, other blenders pale in comparison.

People, the NINJA is no slouch.  Proceed with caution —  This baby will do the job — in an instant!  🙂       NINJA is VERY powerful.

The NINJA!
The NINJA!
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The BLADES are     HUGE!!! BE CAREFUL.
Check out the BLADES on this baby!
Check out the BLADES on this baby!

Once I got used to it, I prepared my “healthy” breakfasts with ease.  Smiling that HEALTHY, healthy, healthy smile; I was happy.  Breakfast has never been my friend, so I was beside myself with joy — for what I thought was a great alternative.

I went to my doctor, all smiles about my answer to prayer.  So, imagine my surprise, when she didn’t respond.  She seemed cautious — not talking, just listening. I was thrilled to tell her how happy I was to have FINALLY found a way to have breakfast via this new, healthy drink. No smile.

“Smoothies.  They’re the answer. It’s awesome.”  I could barely contain myself, I was so excited to report in with the good news.  I told her about my new purchase, the NINJA!  I explained how fast it is to prepare my smoothies and how delicious they taste.  Again, I used my favorite new word — HEALTHY!

Still, NO smile.

“Tell me what you’re having each morning?”

“It depends,” I said, feeling very much in control of my diabetes. ”

“Ok, give me an example.”

“Well, this morning, I took 1/2 an apple, 1/2 a banana, a small handful of strawberries and another of blueberries.  Healthy, right?  Oh, and I added some apple juice too, so it wouldn’t be so thick.  Maybe I shouldn’t have included the apple juice.  That might have added sugar.”

My wonderful, compassionate doctor looked at me with sad eyes, telling me, before her words, that my new found passion was not good for a diabetic.  Not healthy for anyone, really.

“Would you have cut up all that fruit into a bowl and eaten it?” she said softly.

I hesitated.  “Well, no — but…”

Bells went off in my head.  Suddenly, I saw my new-found friend, the NINJA,  as my enemy.

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As soon as the realization flashed before me, she came over and said in a voice that had a smile attached it it, “You might just as well have mainlined sugar…”    I’m an idiot!

We both laughed.  As she sent me into her lab (STILL laughing, by the way) to have my blood sugar taken, she reminded me to take it before and after eating fruit…

I knew that.  O.K, I should have known better.  I did know better.

So much for my smoothies.  The NINJA?  Well, it’s gathering dust.

HAPPY “ALMOST” 4th of JULY!

Written:  July 3, 2015

It’s BARBECUE season in the northeast — FINALLY!  That long, dark, frigid, icy winter is behind us.  The sun is out and so far, so good, in terms of the heat index.  We’ve been really lucky! (Best not to say it out loud.)   🙂

This is a great season for diabetics.  Yes, there are a lot of parties, but grilled food can’t be beat. Of course, the fresh fruits and veggies are abundant and delicious!  We know that we can keep our blood sugar levels under control by skipping the carbs.  A fresh, juicy burger, is still a fresh, juicy burger, whether it sits atop a roll or not.  A slice of tomato and/or red onion on top? Mmmm. Add a salad of greens with red and yellow peppers scattered about, and I’m good to go. For dessert, a small serving of mouth-watering, colorful, cut-up fruit is perfect.

Skinless chicken and fresh fish hot off the grill, are a welcome change of pace. I like to add my (Penzey) herbs and spices Sunny Paris and Tuscan Sunset are my faves, with Chesapeake Bay for the fish.  What a difference a shake or two of these delectable additions can make to plain ol’ chicken or fish. Your guests will delight in your creativity.

Fresh Veggies
Fresh Veggies

DON’T LEAVE OUT THE VEGGIES — rows and rows of them laid out on the fiery grill. What could be better than hot, grilled peppers — red, yellow, and green? Slices of fresh green and yellow zucchini, and rows of sliced onions and tomatoes with those deep, dark grill lines — tell me that doesn’t make your mouth water. Seriously, they’re really good! I was never much of a “vegetable person,” until I tried them hot off the grill. A whole new world was opened to me with the first bite. What better way to keep your blood sugar in line? Healthy and delicious.

Enjoy the 4th, folks, and keep that A1C right where it belongs  —  D   O  W  N!!!