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. 🙂

 

 

 

 

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.

 

Nutrition Counseling with a Registered Dietitian– Defined as: One who is trained or expert in the field of food and nutrition and…

— who advises on matters of foods and their impact on one’s health. A registered dietitian promotes good health through proper eating. That’s what I need, I told myself, and off to The Diabetes Education Center I went!  I had an appointment with one of their dietitians and it was wonderful.

Diabetes is a disease and I needed/wanted a health specialist. It was an outstanding visit. (I’ve been there before, over the years; sometimes you just need a tune-up.  This was one of those times.)  I AM dedicated and determined, that’s for sure.

I’m trying desperately to get off the Metformin — and attempting to be realistic at the same time. Maggie, a Registered Dietitian and Certified Diabetes Educator, helped me step back into reality. Reviewing my file, she complimented me on my A1C and pointed out that we were having a conversation similar to some we’d had years ago, when I first started.  Oh NO!  

I have this (flawed) theory that less is better. In other words, less food (carbs, etc.) will help to keep me on track. Thus, I’m probably not eating enough!  Then, when hunger strikes, guess what happens?  IMG_4375

CRAVING ATTACKS!  She’s right, of course. That evil sugar beast  creeps into my head and won’t leave until I cave. An attack on my blood sugar levels!!! Ugh… If you’ve been there, you know what I mean.

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We talked about alternatives that will help the cravings to subside (I still use my Grapefruit Oil, which provides laughs for my friends. But, guess what? It helps me! See post dated: Nov. 21, 2015). This was a suggestion from a friend and guru of all things alternative.

Maggie helped me sort out a multitude of food choices that will get/keep me on track. I’ll get back to you with a TON of information that she gave me; tomorrow, if possible.  But for now — it’s dinnertime, and I have to move on with some healthy choices.  🙂

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Keep the faith, fellow T2D’s!  …and to Maggie, THANKS A MILLION!!!

IMPORTANT:  Check with your physician before making ANY changes to your diabetic treatment plan.

Up, Up and Away!

October 26, 20116

I LOVE to fly!

I have good, long-time friends — you know the kind; you haven’t seen them in eons and then, when you finally get together, it’s like time never passed. That’s Carol and Walter, my North Carolina friends. Due to life getting in the way, I haven’t been down there in probably three years. That’s crazy!!! To rectify that situation, I relied on my other good, long-time friend, Jet Blue. I hopped a plane and, in the blink of an eye, I was engulfed in a hug that made it all better. Charlotte airport is a piece of cake (hmmm, interesting analogy) and we were in their house within half an hour. There was a large basket of apples, staring me in the face when I walked into their welcoming home. Good friends.

Travel makes this Dedicated Diabetic’s life, well let’s say, “interesting.” Airports are wall to-wall junk food — at least that’s what I see! I know, I know, there are a multitude of concessions that carry clothes, jewelry, books and magazines, perfume, etc. But it’s the walls of junk food that call my name.

I needed water. Usually I bring an empty bottle to get through security and then fill it  once I’m through — not this time. No matter. I knew I’d pass five places, where I could buy a bottle, before I got to the gate. I chose one that didn’t have aisles of candy — Bravo, Kathy; good choice! You might think that but, while waiting on line with my ice cold aqua, I spied cookies. It was 7:15 a.m. and I had a quick breakfast before I left home, so there was NO NEED. This isn’t about need, crept through my mind. NO, NO, NO, was bouncing around in my head. I resisted. Then, just as I went to pay for the water, my left arm reached over (like a bolt of lightning) and grabbed a bag of chocolate chip cookies. Next thing I knew I was at Gate 4, waiting for the plane to Charlotte. I was like an alcoholic in a blackout!

I opened my carryon and there they were, looking up at me with their big, brown, chocolate-chip eyes, like a puppy with his head tilted to the side, wanting to be held. I can’t resist puppies, and I didn’t resist the cookies. I took the package out, my mouth watering, and attempted to open it. I said “attempted,” because with all the poking and prodding, pulling, trying to tear open the bag, it remained intact. It was like a castle, surrounded by a moat. There was no getting in.   😦

  • I could have walked back to the concession and switched the package out for one that might actually open.
  • I could have leaned over to the guy next to me and asked for help, I needed my DRUG!  
  • I could have tossed that bag into the garbage (where it belonged).

There is a list of actions I COULD HAVE taken but, instead, I placed the chips back into my bag. I started to read an article in The Times and the craving passed. You’ll be happy to know that while I was waiting for my flight back to New York, I reached into my bag, saw the package of chocolate chips, and placed it (reverently)  into the garbage!

I’m very fortunate. Carol and Walter are healthy eaters, so my visit wasn’t torturous. No one was pushing food down my throat. He grills most everything, so that helps and, they’re major veggie fans.

So, for the most part, it was a healthy trip.

Notice I said, for the most part…

Walter is a retired baker — retired is the operative word, resulting in NO leftovers from the bakery coming home. But, he does love his cake. Usually allowing himself a dessert once or twice a week; I’m not gonna lie, I joined in. Their food stores, as do ours, have a bakery department that you can smell a mile away. The good news is that besides whole cakes, pies and other confectionaries, they also have slices packaged separately — one piece per container. This made it easy to at least limit my intake. Twice while there I had one slice and walked it off.

You’ll NEVER convince me that sugar isn’t addictive! The reality is, it’s my drug of choice and is a constant battle. Not that I never cave at home, but when traveling, I admit — it happens!

Once on the plane heading north, I started to reflect on my trip. Health wise, it was fine. I walked, caved into my cravings only twice, and otherwise ate healthy, diabetic-friendly foods.

All in all, it was a great trip. There’s no better medicine than laughing with friends!

 

 

 

 

“FUNK” — U!

Saturday, September 10, 2016

So there!!!        IMG_4375

That’s how I’ve been feeling — in a funk.  Tired, aggravated with the world, you know the deal. We’ve all been there.

Not being a very patient person,…I want/need OUT of this feeling, NOW!  Ah, patience. Not one of my virtues. I guess I’m frustrated because I’ve been working hard at beating the hell out of my T2D, desperately trying to get off the medication. I expected to feel great by now (always in a rush…)  I have a B12 deficiency, so I had the blood work done yesterday to determine if that’s the issue at hand. I hope so. That’s an easy fix.

When I got up this morning, I headed for John’s Farms for some fishIMG_4422— “brain food,” right? Maybe that’ll help. I bought swordfish, which I LOVE grilled.  Next, I drove to my absolute favorite local farm — Meyer’s. I stocked up on some of their fantastic zucchini — the golden zucchini is amazing. I swear the attraction for me is the color, not just the taste. They’re such a rich, golden shade of yellow —  beautiful. 🙂

Thanks to my nephew, Keith, (I like to refer to him as “Farmer Keith”). He’s got some “Green Thumb!”  Thanks, Keith, for an outrageous supply of bright red, scrumptious, cherry tomatoes. Mouthwatering — OMG — they’re incredible! I could eat them like candy, but — oops, oh yeah, diabetes. I paired these jewels of his “farm” with some amazing zucchini, and the result was a casserole that, at this very moment, smells FANTABULOUS!!! Can’t wait ’til it comes out of the oven.

Do you hear a change in my “tone?” I do. Just taking the actions that I took today, are causing an improvement in my attitude. Music helps too — Hoping the “Funk” departs — SOON!

Watch for my next post. I’ll include a photo of the finished product. If it’s tasty, I’ll include the recipe!  🙂

 

 

 

 

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  🙂 ]
  • 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!  🙂  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.