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. 🙂

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ONE MORE DAY!

Yep, the Fourth of July is tomorrow! I’m grateful for the liberties we enjoy in the USA — life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. We’re incredibly fortunate. The Founding Fathers certainly knew what they were doing, that’s for sure.

How do we celebrate the 4th? We raise the FLAG, think PATRIOTISM, and fire up the GRILL!

This can be a great holiday for T2D’s. Grilled foods are in abundance. The choices will be extensive. If you’re hosting a BBQ, you can make sure that the healthy choices are on your table. Google healthy salads — you’ll find some recipes you didn’t expect. Be sure to have a colorful bowl of  fruit on hand. Then, you’re all set!

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If you’re going to someone else’s feast, don’t go empty-handed. To keep yourself (and your blood glucose level) “safe,” arrive with one of those salads you googled and some fruit (just to be sure).

CAUTION: It’s not the fruits and vegetables that will “get” you. It’s the dressings. So use your trusty computer to find some fat free/sugar free choices.

I make sure I drink LOTS of water to stay hydrated.

You’re going to have a great time! I NEVER remember, so I’m saying it OUT LOUD: Remember the SUN SCREEN. 🙂

 

 

 

 

Dr. Visit…

Ugh. I’ve not been looking forward to this.

Last week I went for my blood work so my doctor would have it prior to my visit. Friday was my appointment.

She was thrilled. My blood work was great. A1C = 6.6. She was happy, I was disappointed, actually, amazed!  “If you saw what I’ve been eating, you’d never believe that’s accurate.” Dr. G responded, “It will catch up to you, you know that.”  Yeah, yeah. I didn’t respond — she’s ALWAYS right.

For awhile now, I’ve been taking two Metformin instead of three. My goal is to get off them completely. The ONLY way to do that is to stay on track — no diversions. Lately, I’ve been the Queen of Diversions! 

A little over a week ago denial crept in (with a vengeance). I actually ate potato chips and onion dip. 😦  It didn’t kill me, but what a stupid decision. And then there was the pie…cookies… Yes, I didn’t fall off the “wagon” I took a deep-dive plunge. Ugh.

The good news is, I’m back to healthy choices. If I have to have desserts, I’ll be heading to my sugar free Jello or small portions of fresh fruit.

Just remember there is such a thing as TOO MUCH OF A GOOD THING (fruit can fall right into that category!)

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Monitor glucose regularly

Obviously, I didn’t do too much damage, or 6.6 would have been WAY higher. I absolutely do NOT want to go back to 3 Metformin/day, so I’m re-committing myself again to staying on track — DAMN IT! It’s all about accountability, as always. There’s no hiding those numbers and not taking my blood sugar, is just plain irresponsible. I’m determined.

I know that when I’m dedicated and determined, I get involved in a project using my hands. I know when I do the artsy/craftsy thing, I won’t snack/eat the wrong foods.

I know that when I sit and watch TV, I’m putting myself at risk. Gigunda risk!!! I become bored and troll the cabinets for something “bad.” Rarely do I find anything, because I don’t buy the foods/snacks that I know I shouldn’t be eating. I wish I could tell you that I give up and go back to watching the tube. That would not be true. There are times when I cave. I’ve walked and driven to the corner store or the gas station for a candy bar to “tide me over.”  (I sound like a drug addict. Well, sugar IS a drug!) .

Diabetes sucks. Yes, it does. BUT, there are worse diseases, that’s for sure! So, I’ll be grateful and get back on the bike and do the right thing — one day at a time.

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This disease is one heck of a roller-coaster, that’s for sure. Better days ahead.

Back to 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?

 

 

 

Mindfulness! …or not.

Sometimes we just get involved in doing whatever nonsense we’re doing. In other words, not paying attention to what’s important (good health, for instance). I was just online, checking my e-mails, Facebook, listening to a TED Talk, etc., etc.  NOT doing more important things — like making dinner for instance.

All of a sudden, I felt like garbage — you know the feeling, if you’re diabetic. When I got up from the table, my legs felt heavy. I looked at the clock — 7:30. When was lunch? Did I eat lunch? Ugh. Of course, I checked my blood sugar immediately because, like any long-term diabetic, I knew where it was. The glucometer read 68! Now, for many of you, that sounds great, right? For me, when I go below 100, I feel crummy — weak, clammy. I couldn’t care less what the “norm” is. I know what’s right for me. Low blood sugar is no joke.

I don’t know when the last time was that I had orange juice in my refrigerator. WAY too high in sugar. However, I bought it last week because I had a hankering for Chicken a l’orange. The remaining OJ has been sitting in there ever since. So, I drank a glass and almost immediately I felt like myself again.

As soon as my glucose level rose, I cooked dinner — salmon, spinach and beets. I’m back to “normal.”  🙂

The topic of this post is MINDFULNESS for a reason. Not being mindful about what I’m doing is usually what gets me in trouble. We all do it — misplacing things, losing track of time. The importance of mindfulness, I’ve learned, can’t be stressed enough. Focusing is imperative. I’ve learned that being aware — acutely aware — makes for a more balanced life.

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That lack of mindfulness is what caused my blood sugar to drop. NO excuse for that. The good news is that, because it happened, I’m reminded to pay strict attention and be mindful in EVERY area of my life. Scheduling healthy meals and staying on track HAS to be uppermost in my thoughts. Get with it, Kathy!

Gotta go — my salmon’s ready! Yummmmm.

 

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.

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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.