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. 🙂

There’s always a Silver Lining…

I’ve been sick. You know, “praying for death” sick. 😦

Some evil “stomach bug” crept into my system and took over. You don’t want the details. My blood sugar was all over the place. I tried the “natural” route, but I was only able to live in one room in my house (…the room with the echo), so finally, I called my doctor who told me to only eat crackers, dry toast (if I’m hungry — which I’m not), and drink 1/2 water and 1/2 Low Calorie Gatorade for a few days, to avoid dehydration and to give my intestines a break. In the end (no pun intended), I was in the waiting room of a gastroenterologist. She sent me for a ton of tests, the results of which I won’t get ’til Thursday, if I’m lucky.

But, she also gave me a medicine that “calmed” everything down, in the meantime. Thank God!!! That pain was a killer — my poor body. She wanted me to eat more; the thought was disgusting. She added plain chicken, turkey, baked potato. Ugh. She was right, eating a bit more did help.

With every situation, we learn something, right? (Not that I haven’t learned this before…) When I have a stomach issue, I hate the thought of food — including, my addictive junk foods. It’s been 8 days now and I haven’t had a thought about (my drug of choice) sugar. Nothing, Nada. I feel like I’ve been in a rehab for carboholics/sugar addicts.

Do you know what? The Sugar Beast had nothing to do with my being ill but, I’m going to take advantage of this situation, grab onto my proverbial detox and hold on for dear life!

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Seriously, regardless of the results of the testing, I want to be done with sugar — SO DONE. Being sick just brought this to the forefront of my mind (again, I say again!). This Type 2 Diabetic’s plan is to do everything in my power to steer clear of it. I know, I know, we’ve all said it before.

I see this “Silver Lining” as a gift, and I’m going to wrap myself in it — like a soft, satin, protective shield. It will be difficult — if anything, I’m NOT naive. I know it’s really hard (at least for me) not to get dragged into a sugar feast, but, the way I’m looking at it, I’ve got a head start, and I’m grateful for it.

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I’ve got the motivation, now I have to get back to developing the habit...AGAIN. Every day really is DAY #1.

My sister’s birthday is coming and that will be my first “real” test. Wish me luck!

I take it back — no “luck” needed. 🙂

Cravings = Torture

Just when I think I’m under “control,” the SUGAR BEAST drops by. No, he doesn’t just “drop by,” he pushes his way in!

I’m trying to determine whether or not there’s a pattern. I think not. It’s just there — waiting right outside my thoughts. Just waiting and watching for an opening to seep into my T2D brain.

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“SUGAR BEAST”

I picture those “openings” as doors with titles above them: TIRED, HUNGRY, ANGRY, to name a few. If any of those doors crack open — even a tiny bit — the SUGAR BEAST is right their waiting to slither in and take over.

Good news:  Wednesday, I went to Meyer’s Farm to stock up on some fresh vegetables. When I got home, I put the green and yellow zucchini, the bright red onion, and the peaches  into a lovely ceramic bowl. Bad news: They’re still there.  😦

Well, now I’m really annoyed. Annoyed enough to do something about it?  YES! I’m going to stomp on the beast, cut up those veggies and transform them into a fabulous side dish for tonight’s dinner. I’ll let you know the result of my creation…

 

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. 🙂

 

 

 

 

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!

 

 

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?