Tomorrow = a few days…

So, I’m not perfect. (You knew that.) In my last post I said, proclaimed, announced, that my attitude will be better “tomorrow.” Well my tomorrow took three days. Ugh! That’s the bad news. The good news is that my attitude is much better today!

I think I wasn’t eating enough. I ate and the food choices were appropriate, but my timing was WAY off. For instance, I may have skipped breakfast — I believe that it really IS the most important meal of the day. Eating that meal at ten o’clock is absurd, especially if you’ve been up since seven or eight a.m. That’s what’s been  happening. For some reason, I haven’t been hungry when I wake up, so I did some chores and then –POOF– it’s ten or eleven o’clock. Because it was almost lunch time, I decided to skip breakfast and just eat lunch instead. Then, later on when lunch time came around the corner, I wasn’t hungry…SO…I waited until around three or four and had a snack. Needless to say, dinner time came barrelling in and I couldn’t have cared less. Bottom line — I was eating dinner at eight or nine o’clock, if at all. THAT is not the route that a “Dedicated Diabetic” should be following. Okay, so that’s over!

I’m allergic to eggs, so breakfast has never been a nutritious meal for me, and since I was diagnosed, it’s been even more difficult. I actually spent years (pre-diagnosis) having a Boston Creme donut (or two!) to start my day.  It was an easy choice, terribly unhealthy,  but easy. 🙂

Breakfast is so important — it means BREAK the FAST! We need a nutritious meal in the morning to give our bodies the energy needed to start off the day. I’ve been so frustrated that the other day I bought a glucose daily diary/notebook. (Thank you Amazon.) Was that necessary? Not really, I’ve monitored my blood sugar with an online program, charts that I created, with tiny notebooks that fit into my purse, but didn’t have enough room to put the information I wanted to monitor. Oh, yes, I’ve been down this road before. Somewhere deep in the crevices of my brain, there’s a small voice that is SCREAMING, Why waste your time, you’ve done this before?  I scream back SHUT UP! and do what I think is necessary and correct. This journal/chart is about 6 x 9″ and will suit my needs. It  just seemed to be more coordinated, compact, and the information will be at hand when I need to make an entry.  Today will be my Day #One with this new “tool.” I’m laughing at myself, because I’m reminded of all the books on decluttering I’ve purchased — Do you know how much time I wasted reading those books instead of purging/decluttering?  🙂  🙂

Diabetes can often seem to be frustrating, even depressing. I think the only way to do battle with it, is to be prepared. An organized journal, healthy shopping list and a positive attitude might just do the trick. “Might” is not the appropriate term; it leaves space for failure. I’ll choose to say that these tools WILL do the trick.

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The time to start (AGAIN) is NOW!!!!

 

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“Tick-tock, tick-tock — Excuses, excuses, around the clock”

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Are you a procrastinator? An excuse-maker? A clock-watcher?  Join the group! I try, I really do try to make the most of the time I have each day. NOTHING frustrates me more than to look at my list (Yes, I’m a list maker too!) at the end of the day and see that I haven’t accomplished what I set out to do! It makes me crazy.

My brother used to say that we have the “procrastination gene.” We were a family of last-minute doers! When I was in school, I thought it was the rush to get a paper done that gave me a “rush.” Now, though, I’m not interested in that; I want completion. Period.

I listened to a wonderful TED Talk on the subject of making the most out of the time we have. Funny, but true; it smacked me right in the face with the fact that I waste time. I detest the thought of that — I feel strongly that we’re put on this earth for a purpose and wasting time is the worst thing I can do. The TED Talk helped to set me back on track — including in terms of my ” life with diabetes.” SO many things are important to fit into my day, to care for my T2D. They bear repeating:

  • PREPARE MEALS  a h e a d  of time. Cooking two meals and freezing one may seem like it takes a lot of extra time but, that’s simply not true. It’s such a pleasure when, a week later you can defrost the (second) meal, heat it up without the rigamarole of the chopping, cooking, etc., that you did the first time around. Give this gift to yourself — you WON’T regret it. I promise. If you’re working full time and can devote a couple of hours on a weekend, you can probably get four or six meals done and frozen for the weeks to come. Sheer joy. 🙂
  • MONITOR my blood sugar. Two to three times a day “depending,” is what my doctor suggests. It’s so annoying, I tell myself. Put your big girl pants on and just DO IT! is my next thought. I’ve devised a chart and just fill in the numbers. There are also websites that accommodate this issue, but I believe in keeping mine simple. I include the date, times of testing, and the resulting blood glucose number. I have, at times, included the food that was consumed. Discuss it with your doctor. My purpose in bringing up the subject of monitoring is that, for ME, it keeps me aware and pushes away that damn denial. The NUMBERS DON’T LIE! 
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    Monitor glucose regularly
  • EXERCISE. The time I spend walking keeps me a lot healthier than time vegging out in front of the t.v. When I schedule “hoofing it” into my calendar, I KNOW that I’m doing the right thing for me.

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    Start WALKING!
  • TICK-TOCK folks — let’s make the BEST use of the time we have!

IMPORTANT: If you didn’t listen to the TED Talk, noted above, I strongly urge you to do it now. Take the “TIME!”   🙂

What’s on Your Plate?

Sunday, August 7, 2016

“PLATE” #1

Do you live for a buffet/smorgasbord dinner? NOOOOoooooo! My conscience screams, DON’T do it! If you have issues with portion control, that kind of dining can be a downfall.

I read a great article in Everyday Healththe title was, “Sizing Up Your Plate: Why Portion Control Matters.”

Everyday Health does a great job in its discussion of diabetes and this T2D “listens” very carefully when they “talk.”  D. Wolter-Nitta, RD, CDE, nutritionist and certified diabetes educator at Montefiore Medical Center in Bronx, NY, was quoted on the topic of portion control. For the Type 2 Diabetic, who may be overweight, losing some pounds can lead to better blood sugar control and “possibly” less need for medication. Some of the information noted in the article will be familiar to you and some will seem like common sense. I read everything diabetes related. Truth is, there’s always more to learn and, if nothing else, reading the info will put it in the forefront of my mind. Can’t hurt, right? Everyday Health noted that Jill Weisenberger, RD, CDE, and writer, out of Yorktown, VA, stressed that “not eating proper carbs at a meal can lead to higher or lower blood sugars,” and we know what that can produce. Problems.

She, along with others, had some good points:

  • Weigh and Measure your food. LOL — right!  We’ll see about that.  🙂    Okay, I’ve never been thrilled with doing “the scale thing,” but she’s right. It’s really difficult to guess how much food is the right amount, and we know that portion control is imperative. That’s why…
  • Visual Aids are so important! I was having difficulty awhile back in my T2D journey, and I went to a diabetes educator for help. I thought I had portion control down pat but was stunned to learn that the fact that I was eating apples the size of a softball didn’t make the grade. She tossed me a tennis ball and informed me that THIS was the size I should have been consuming. “Really?” I queried, while looking at the small ball that seemed to be lost in my hand. I realized that the difference in size meant that I was eating what would be considered two apples at each sitting. AAArrrggghhh! That explained my weight gain.                 IMG_3716By the way, when shopping for apples, TRUST ME, the ones that come packaged in the plastic bags are the size you should be eating.   It’s called SMALL! At first, I was saddened by the fact that my beloved apple snack had just shrunken to about one-third of its size.  Here’s what helped a LOT:  I sliced the apple into very thin slices — VERY thin!  During that same appointment, the Diabetes Educator shocked me into realizing that I’d been overeating just about everything — without even knowing it. She showed me a plastic hamburger to demonstrate the portion that we should be eating.  It seemed so small and alone on the plate — probably one-third of the size I’d been scoffing down. Next on her agenda was the “deck of cards” — another visual aid to slap me silly into “getting” the world of portion control.  WHAT??? How many of us eat a portion of chicken, fish or beef that takes up one-third to half of the dinner plate? Well, get a grip! The deck of cards it is.
  • Read Food Labels!   Besides the obvious — carbs, protein, fiber, it’s important to check out the food labels for the SERVING SIZE.  You may be surprised to learn that a can or package contains more than one serving per person.
  • Use Smaller Plates.  This is an easy one. Substitute a luncheon-sized plate for a regular dinner plate. This tricks your eye, because it looks like you have a lot of food on your plate when, in fact, your plate is smaller.    🙂
  • Beverages. Again, read those labels. You may be surprised to see that the serving size information will force you to make a different decision. Drinking is the fastest way to get carbs into your system; therefore, for better blood glucose management, it’s better to eat your carbs than drink them.
  • SNACK, SNACK, SNACK! Tim Harlan, M.D. and Medical Director of Tulane University Group in New Orleans, states (in Everyday Health) that snacking is important for the diabetic. He says that snacking “controls overeating, controls cravings, and keeps blood sugar stable.” MAKES SENSE!  🙂
  • WRITE, WRITE, WRITE! Another common sense tip. Keeping a food log is important when managing blood glucose levels. Simply put, it keeps us on track and holds us accountable. Not a big deal.

    “PLATE” #2 — continued in next post — will focus on eating out and will include social events such as weddings!

So folks, WHAT’S ON YOUR PLATE???

 

 

Glucose-free Valentine “Alternatives”

February 9, 2016      5 more days until VALENTINE’S DAY  (just sayin’)

At the end of my last post, I promised to discuss alternatives to those sugary, sweet, delectable, delicious, chocolate delights.  You know the ones — that fill a box the size of New Jersey and are the shape of a beautifully wrapped red heart! Marketing gurus would have us believe that this product symbolizes LOVE, and is obligatory. You’re too smart for that.

 

LOVE is defined, in the Mirriam-Webster Dictionary, as “a feeling of constant affection for a person.”  Dictionary.com refers to LOVE as “a profoundly tender, passionate affection for another person.” Lastly, and MY all time favorite definition of LOVE is from the Urban Dictionary — “Love is nature’s way of tricking people into reproducing.” (Anonymous, April 7, 2003)   🙂   Now THAT’S funny!  🙂

So, I’ve given you a few of the ways love is defined and NOWHERE is a heart-shaped box of candy mentioned.     NOWHERE!

My goal in writing today’s post, is to speak to the issue of alternatives to candy, heart-shaped cakes, cookies, and the like.  I’ll give you some HEALTHY ALTERNATIVES to expressing one’s undying love for another that won’t raise anyone’s BLOOD SUGAR.

What says I LOVE YOU more deeply than showing someone that their HEALTH is more important to you than anything else? Here are a few GLUCOSE-FREE IDEAS that will fare as a much better symbol of your LOVE than a box of chocolates: (Drum roll, please) —

Starting out with some GENDER-NEUTRAL, GLUCOSE-FREE gifts:

JEWELRY always wins — a watch, cuff-links, heart-shaped locket (Get creative!)

PERFUME or COLOGNE

MASSAGE Gift Certificate  (Maybe a couple’s massage…)

HEART-SHAPED container filled with bright red, fresh STRAWBERRIES!

THEATER or CONCERT TICKETS — something you’d BOTH enjoy!

For the WRITER in your life, consider a RUBY-RED JOURNAL — maybe paired with a beautiful RED PEN!  (I see that as “gender-neutral”)

FLOWERS, of course. By the way, they don’t HAVE to be red but, for some reason, that color seems to get the message across on this “particular” day.

 

For the MAN in your life — you know exactly what his likes and dislikes are:  TICKETS TO A SPORTING EVENT, CAR/BOAT SHOW, MUSIC., etc., etc.  (I know you KNOW!  — and you can show you’re love by being sure they’re GLUCOSE FREE!

 

Some GLUCOSE FREE ideas for that special WOMAN you hold near and dear:

A beautiful, bright red, leather PURSE (or maybe GLOVES?  That will get you some Ooo’s and Ahh’s. What says LOVE better than leather???

LINGERIE — RED, of course.  (Hmmm.  Who’s that gift really for?)  🙂

A gift certificate for a MANICURE/PEDICURE — with a bottle of a beautiful shade of red nail polish (chosen by you) attached to it.

It’s easy to SAY, “I love you,” but not always as easy to SHOW it.  One important factor to consider is your budget — stay within it!  There’s nothing sexy about debt.

Oops!  I almost forgot.  If you have children (yours or someone else’s) to whom you wish to express your LOVE, there are a zillion ways to choose GLUCOSE FREE gifts for them.  Whether they’re diabetic or not, nobody needs junk food.  Cruise around any department store, there are hearts everywhere!!!  Oh, and remember, BOOKS are always a great gift for ANYONE!

For those of you who feel that Valentine’s Day is a bourgeois symbol of LOVE,  a Hallmark Holiday, or one created by the chocolate companies, you may be right! But, be careful — be sure you’re both on the same page… for   love — IS — in the air!

Get on it,  folks.  The “big” day is just around the corner.

Oh, and one more suggestion — a nice walk, with the one you love, at the end of the evening  =  sheer joy!

A Happy and Healthy Valentine’s Day, to all!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

IT’S COLD outside but, I went “fishing” anyway!

I yell at myself for complaining about the cold weather, after the horrific winter we had last year in the Northeast — it was the worst!

Today I went fishing — not in the great and wonderful Atlantic Ocean,

IMG_1578           — nor in a calm lake …       NOPE!

I took my “fishing rod” — or rather my wallet, and headed to the fish store!

I’ve been eating so much chicken lately, I’m beginning to quack!  A change of pace was definitely in order, so off I went, not in my boat, but instead in my nice warm car.

Later, I headed home with my “loot” — swordfish, salmon, and flounder stuffed with crabmeat.  I picked up a bright yellow pepper to add to the vegetables I already had,; the end result will be grilled or roasted veggies — not sure which, but I’ll let you know.

Have to go now; picking up my walking buddy — gotta get that blood sugar level down!  I’ll let you know later… (By the way, that link above will put you in touch with a very good article on this topic.)

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I’m BAAACK… and very happy.  My blood sugar dropped 56 points after walking tonight and 70 points after walking this morning.  It fascinates me, for some reason, that walking has such an impact on it.  Obviously, this is not new news; but, when I monitor/journal my numbers, the results never cease to amaze me.    🙂

If you’re not walking (yet), I strongly recommend that you try it, and be sure to write down the pre and post numbers.  No matter how long you walk, I can’t imagine that you won’t see a drop in your numbers. It’ll boost your confidence!

Go ahead, dust off those sneakers;

*** BUT,  if this is NEW for you — CHECK WITH YOUR DOCTOR FIRST.  There are do’s and don’ts for everything.  We’re all different, so talking with your doctor will get you the vital information that you need.

Here’s an example, as it relates to ME:    If my blood sugar is on the low side (and I know it will drop at least 50 points while I’m walking),  I’ll have a small snack or some crackers to bring my level up before I go walking.  Now that I’ve noticed that my levels are dropping regularly with exercise, I take along a carb (pretzels/crackers) in my pocket, for the just-in-case time that I don’t feel “right.” (Per my doctor’s advice.)

Talk to your doctor, and he/she will give you the advice that’s right for you!

GOOD    LUCK    EVERYONE!     🙂

 

 

 

 

 

BELATED HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Happy that 2016 has arrived?  I sure am.

My last post was December 4th.  I’ve been slightly distracted — a brief hospital stay (thanks to my wacko heart), and side effects of a new medication, kept me from posting.  BUT, I’m back in action and really happy and grateful to be writing again!   IMG_3344

So, dare I bring up Resolutions for the New Year?  If you made any, have you kept them?

Many moons ago I stopped making resolutions.  Why, you ask?  Simple. I rarely kept them and then suffered remorse, which resulted in doing MORE of what I had resolved to do LESS. 🙂   I decided that a more positive path would put more balance into my life. Focusing on BALANCE — that’s the answer!  Every area of our lives, food, exercise, family, work, all require balance.

The question is, How do we manage this juggling act, we call life?  I have some ideas on this topic. I’ve tried many methods to get this miss-mosh of a life in order. Some have been somewhat successful, others might be referred to as a dismal failure. What’s imperative is that we KEEP ON TRYING!  Here’s a suggestion, based on something that I always need to do:  MAKE A LIST…

There’s no way to have balance in our life, if we don’t know what it is that we value. So…

1.  MAKE A LIST— not in any specific order.  Do you value Work, Fun (recreation), Health, Friends, Spirituality, Family?  Any others?  Write them down.

2.   O.K., now take another sheet of paper and place it next to the list you’ve just completed.  Write PRIORITIES, at the top of this page.  Don’t rush.  Think carefully.

3.  Now, take your first list and write those things that you value, on your PRIORITIES LISTin order, of course, of priority! How important is each one to you, and where should it fit in on the list?  Don’t worry, you can’t make a mistake — this is YOUR list.  [Actually, I found this the most difficult part — What?  You don’t want FUN to be your #1 priority???]   🙂

4.   Next, take your list of priorities, and and create a chart that will allow you to manage your time in relation to your priorities.  Write the amount of TIME (hours, minutes) that you are willing and able to devote to each. Hmmm, is this exercise starting to make you feel uncomfortable?  Don’t panic, you’ll figure it out, and nothing is written in stone. Time is fluid, and sometimes we’re forced to make adjustments.

At this point, you’ve carefully examined your list of priorities — you’ve committed, in writing, those things, tasks, and people that you value the most AND, you’ve established the amount of time that you’re able to devote to each.  GOOD FOR YOU!        

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I CAN DO IT!

For ME managing my diabetes HAS to come FIRST on my list, and I imagine on yours, as well.  Most of us Type 2 diabetics have learned that, if we don’t put management of our diabetes first, nothing else falls into place.

Reflecting at the end of the day (I journal) has helped me to see what area(s) need to be improved.

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My journal helps to keep me on track!

Making time to do those things that make us happy, bring enjoyment to our life, is IMPERATIVE.

We only go this way once, folks!  At least, I think so…

HAPPY NEW YEAR, dear readers, and may 2016 bring laughter, love, and good health into each of your lives — Oh, and BALANCE too!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My Doctor and Me — A Partnership

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Feeling so much better. Got an appointment with my own doctor Thursday evening. By then, I was on the upswing but still not my usually fun-filled self.

“I need a cure,” I told her. She rolled her eyes, we have this “dance.” She did a chest x-ray and blood work, told me (what I already knew) that the Tamiflu wasn’t doing anything. I stopped it. Likely, my dilemma was probably an evil virus. She gave me a prescription for nasal spray that was miraculous — I can actually breathe. I kept taking the Tylenol, and within two more days, fever gone and, I was back in action. I realize that within a couple of days, it may have left me anyway, but her help certainly alleviated my symptoms.

EVERYONE deserves a good doctor. My mother was a nurse and she used to tell us to remember that, “they’re only human.” Over the years, I’ve learned that these words are true. Nobody’s perfect. I know that. But, I’ve become a “Doctor Snob.” By that I mean, I have insurance, and I know how to do research. I use the Internet to check out a doctors’ credentials. If I think he/she is the person for me, I try them. If I’m not comfortable, I’m out of there, and the search continues. I consider word of mouth recommendations, knowing that we’re all different. This method has served me well in way too many instances.

“Dr. G.” hates that I think she’s a magician. But, she has been exactly that for me. She is an incredible diagnostician and has never steered me wrong. She’s held my hand through a lot of “thrilling” experiences. Neurosurgery — if it wasn’t for her “investigative skills,” I don’t know where I’d be! She was persistent, relentless, and incredibly caring. Just knowing that she was there for me, was a huge support.

She diagnosed my A-fib and referred me to a wonderful cardiologist who texted her to let her know how I was, after he did my ablation. That’s how much she cares.

She found the diabetes. Of course, I argued that it was ridiculous and impossible for ME to be diabetic. She was patient and walked me through the process, and here I am still learning, fighting the fight, and dedicated to being healthy — even with diabetes. “Dr. G” has been my support. She’s relentless, monitoring me at every turn. Months back I was having a terrible time — out of control. I knew I needed more accountability. Dr. G. told me to journal my blood sugar every day, taking it before and after breakfast, lunch and dinner. (Later, we changed it to just breakfast and dinner.) I kept a chart and faxed it to her at the end of each week. It was great. I felt supported. Just charting it helped me to eat better! That extra form of accountability was really helpful. Then, during appointments, we discussed my numbers and figured out any areas of concern, regarding my eating. She cares, and we work together to keep me healthy. I’ll never leave her.

If you don’t have a doctor like that, keep looking. You deserve it! We all do.