DIABETES AWARENESS MONTH

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I’m sure most people are AWARE of the two types of Diabetes – there’s type one – which means that the pancreas has never worked and won’t – and there’s type two – which means that the pancreas is the laziest organ in the body and needs a swift kick to get going every day (through low carb diet and exercise)!

Both types have unique challenges – but please don’t confuse the types – that doesn’t help anyone.  God bless the type ones who need constant monitoring and for whom insulin is essential.  Do not pass GO, do not collect $200 – take an insulin shot!

Type twos test – we test in the morning to get a fasting.  We test before exercise and afterwards.  We test when we feel weird (for me that’s a lot).  Stop laughing.  Seriously – quit it!

Type ones are also helped greatly through diet and exercise.

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I am dedicated to creating a health and wellness community as a way of giving back all I learned along the way to be as mindful and physically and emotionally and spiritually in “balance” as I can be. Being emotionally and physically fit demands a dedication to quality in every aspect of your life that evolves and gets better over time. Join me as I provide you with all the ingredients and wisdom I subscribe to and practice daily in my own life. Age is only a number…you can be cool and fit even at 68 ….My aim is to teach you “how” and to “motivate” you to make this a part of all that you are.  – Ellen Sherman

Ellen has been an amazing facebook friend!  Her posts have motivated me to live a more healthy lifestyle.  I know the goal is to live longer, but really – I’ve learned that it’s important on a daily basis so you can feel good – just feel GOOD – present tense.  It’s worth it to take care of yourself for the sake of the present moment – not just for the future.

Type twos like me absolutely HAVE to get up and move every day.  Move, move, mooooooooooove!!!

just-mooooveI love that poem!  LOL!!!  Move…  move… moooooooooove!

I can’t emphasize this enough to all type two diabetics…  DIET & EXERCISE!!!  One without the other is not good enough – you can eat low-carb foods but without the exercise, you won’t lower your A1c.  The two must work hand in hand.

My friend John found this song – LOL!

I once had someone say to me, “Diabetes?  So what’s the big deal?  You just take your shot and steer clear of sugar!”  Well, we know different, don’t we?  November is Diabetes Awareness Month, and a good chance for folks like that to learn that, living with diabetes is not as simple as they may have been led to believe.  Diabetes is always there, in our minds, 24/7.  It’s like the uninvited guest that never leaves!  Let us continue to spread the word that, it is not only important to be aware, but this awareness will save lives too.  I remember having no idea what my symptoms meant, back in 1974.  The loss of weight, despite eating the same, the frequent urination, the dehydration, and just feeling draggy.  My Father soon became more concerned and got me to the hospital.  I was soon diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes.  A few years later, I noticed that a fellow worker was also showing these symptoms.  Like me, he was unaware of what was happening to him.  When I suggested to him that he should have it checked out, he just brushed it off with the fact that he had just been working too hard lately.  He kept feeling worse, and finally went to the hospital.  He was soon diagnosed with Type 1 also.  He later thanked me, and he was glad he followed through on my suggestion.  I hope everyone will help to spread awareness!  – John Manganiello

You know, the challenges for type ones and type twos are so vastly different, it would almost be a marvelous idea to come up with a completely different name for type two diabetes – because our bad press has cast a huge shadow on type ones that they do not deserve.

Type twos – we’re the ones who are generally overweight, lazy, and need to walk away from the dessert table with an empty plate.  We’re the ones that everybody seems to think we all are – but we’re NOT!  I wish type two diabetics had a completely different name – not associated with type ones at all.  Why?  Because our challenges are not the same.

Many people who are diabetic suffer from depression.  If you treat the depression it helps you with treating your diabetes.  If you treat the diabetes with a healthy lifestyle it helps you with the depression.  The mind-body connection is truly remarkable.  Do what it takes to increase your growth of brain cells which diminishes with poor diabetic control.  – Ellen Sherman

Type ones have done NOTHING WRONG – they were born with a non-functioning pancreas – yet folks for some unknown reason – stick them with the same stigma that type twos have to live with – it’s so unfair, people.  Be careful how you categorize diabetics!  Better yet – don’t label any of us – not even type twos.  It’s really mean because if you aren’t living the life – you just don’t get it.14611161_1596306397343706_3508515821361959285_n

Here’s my facebook friend, Alissa Podber, dressed in blue in honor of Diabetic Awareness Month!  Isn’t she pretty?  🙂

The type two struggle is real, people!  I don’t eat starches – do you know how much of the food group that includes?  I eat HIGH PROTEIN, LOW CARB.  It’s a disciplined lifestyle, but my A1c went from 9 to 6.3 in a few months…  so – it works!  I no longer have to take insulin.  But here’s the humbling truth – – – I know if I mess up my diet or skip exercise – I’ll go right back from whence I came – I’ve become scared of food.  Who is scared of FOOD???  What’s the name for that phobia?

I can’t eat beans in chili – that’s a tough one.  Beans are high in fiber but they also have a ton of carbs!  I can no longer put potatoes or pasta in soup – my vegetable soup is tomato juice, water, celery, kale, carrots and hamburger.  Yes, I’ve lost 25 pounds and have a way to go…  but it’s a real sacrifice.

No more bread…  I tried cloud bread – I don’t get what the big whoop is about – I didn’t like it.

SO…  I get a little 4-pack of that sweet Hawaiian bread – you know the kind – in the orange wrapper – KING’S I think it’s called.  I hide it from myself and eat one of those rolls (not the whole package) if I have a LOW.  I know a lot of people keep a tube of icing in the house – but I get so hungry for bread…  this works better for me.  🙂

Diabetes is a daily part of Aly’s life … day in and day out she deals with finger pricks, blood sugar testing, infusion site changes, high and low blood sugars, and treating low blood sugars. This will continue to be Aly’s lifestyle until the day a cure is found. #t1dlookslikeme #diabetesawarenessmonth  – Katrina, Aly’s awesome mom.

My little friend (but getting bigger every year) Aly, made some really cute memes for Diabetic Awareness Month.  Mom Katrina said it’s okay to post them – YAY!  I think Aly needs to give me some designing lessons – these are so very cute!14516447_10153986567143379_6359830083846122574_n

My super hero friend Aly – creative and personality PLUS.  🙂

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Stay strong, my young superhero friend!  My type one friends need a cure!  I need a stronger resolve to maintain a LCHF (low carb high fat) diet and exercise every day.  God bless us, every one!  🙂

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WORLD PASTA DAY

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TL 10-25 WORLD PASTA DAY (2)

Did you know there are over 400 unique types of pasta?  There are so many possibilities for amazing soups, salads and casseroles!  Which one will you create today???

Since I’m a diabetic, I have to be careful to pair pasta with lean protein.  I also try to use a whole wheat pasta when possible.  To be honest – I really prefer regular pasta.  The whole wheat pasta is heavier and an acquired taste.  I’ve not acquired a taste for it – yet.  I may never acquire a taste for it.  😦

I like Dreamfields pasta, especially the lasagna noodles!  I don’t always find it at my local grocery store, but every now and then I find it.

This is my favorite recipe.  Enjoy!  🙂

Ingredients:

12 Dreamfields Lasagna noodles

2 tablespoons olive oil

1/2 cup diced onion

1 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning

1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

1 clove garlic, minced

4 cups fresh spinach

2 zucchini, thinly sliced

1 cup peas (thawed if frozen)

16 ounces non-fat ricotta cheese

16 ounces whole milk ricotta cheese

1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

5 cups marinara sauce 1 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese

Directions:

Prepare pasta according to package directions; set aside. Heat olive oil in large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and cook about 5 minutes or until translucent. Stir in Italian seasoning, red pepper flakes and garlic. Cook 30 seconds; add spinach, zucchini and peas. Cook 10 minutes or until spinach is wilted, peas are cooked through and zucchini is tender. Remove from heat; drain off any liquid. In separate bowl combine ricotta cheeses and grated nutmeg. Preheat oven to 375 F°. Spread 3/4 cup marinara sauce on the bottom of a 9×13-inch oven-safe baking dish. Layer with 4 of the lasagna noodles (3 vertical, one horizontal). Spread 1/2 of ricotta mixture and 1/2 of vegetable mixture over noodles. Spoon 1 1/2 cups marinara sauce over vegetable mixture. Continue to layer with lasagna noodles, remaining ricotta mixture, remaining vegetable mixture and 1 1/2 cups marinara sauce. Top with remaining 4 additional lasagna noodles and remaining 1 1/4 cups marinara sauce. Sprinkle evenly with mozzarella cheese; cover loosely with foil. Bake 40 minutes. Remove foil; continue baking 10 minutes or until bubbly and hot. Makes 8 servings.

Nutrition information (1/8 of recipe): Calories: 490 Fat: 18 grams Carbs: 56 grams Protein: 26 grams Saturated Fat: 8 grams Cholesterol: 45 mg Sodium: 930 mg Dietary Fiber: 9 grams

Happy World Pasta Day!!!  🙂

NATIONAL KALE DAY

tl-10-5-national-kale-dayKale is the perfect companion for bacon and cheese as part of a healthy low-carb salad.  Anytime a vegetable is cooked, it takes some of the nutrients out of it, but I prefer kale a little wilted so I fry it up with my bacon to make it taste better.images-46Kale chips are pretty good.  They do provide that crunch that chips used to.  Are there really health benefits to eating kale?  Does it really give you a boost of energy like people claim?  My research tells me the answer to both questions is YES.

Since a low-carb diet allows many foods that have low or no fiber content, kale helps with a need for fiber, much like other types of lettuce and spinach.  It also contains an antioxidant called alpha-lipoic acid, which lowers glucose levels, increases insulin sensitivity and prevents oxidative stress-induced changes in patients with diabetes!  My ears perked up when I read that!  It also decreases peripheral neuropathy and/or autonomic neuropathy in diabetics!  This is good news for diabetics!!!

My theory is, if you can put enough stuff that actually tastes good (bacon, cheese, salad dressing) with the kale in your salad – it really sort of masks it enough that you can eat it without choking it down.  I’m being honest.  Have you tried to eat a piece of raw kale with nothing on it?  I rest my case.

I don’t juice because juicing is not the best choice for diabetics.  We need to keep the fiber intact rather than squeezing the juice from the fruit or vegetable.  The sugar content is found in the juice – and why would I want to ditch the fiber and keep the sugar?  That doesn’t make sense in my brain.kale

Kale is a super veggie, with more vitamins and minerals than spinach.  If you are lacking energy and seem to be dragging along, maybe you should try a salad with kale.  Use plenty of dressing – not a sweet dressing, but a blue cheese or ranch type dressing.  Read the labels before using – I prefer blue cheese but once in a while I use ranch.

Leafy greens such as romaine lettuce, kale, collards, Swiss chard, and spinach are the most nutrient-dense of all foods.  – Joel Fuhrman

My kale salad is not as “fancy” as most recipes you’ll find because I don’t eat dried cranberries or pour sweet vinaigrettes over it, but for what it is, I think it’s good.

Kale Salad

INGREDIENTS:

6-7 cups chopped fresh kale leaves

1 Tbs. Extra Virgin Olive Oil

6-8 slices cooked bacon, chopped

1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese

1/2 cup toasted chopped pecans

INSTRUCTIONS:

Basically, just mix this all together, tossing with your hands.

Add your blue cheese dressing and you’re good to go!

 

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A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

TL A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART (17)With regular exercise and a low-carbohydrate diet, I’ve lost 15 pounds already!  Believe it or not, that’s the side effect of this new lifestyle.  The best news is that I’m off of nighttime insulin and my dose of Metformin has been cut in half!  My next appointment is in October, so by then I will know if this is a lifestyle I can sustain, or one that is unsustainable.  But I can honestly say I’ve had no problem saying no to pasta, bread, potatoes, rice or beans (except green beans).

Folks have asked me what specific foods I eat.  So today, I want to give you a list of “go-to” low-carb foods that will reduce your blood sugar, help you lose weight and lower blood pressure and cholesterol.

I don’t know how you can eat fat and not raise your cholesterol…  I don’t know – but I’m sure glad you can!

  1. EGGS have no carbohydrates and are among the healthiest and most nutritious foods on the planet.  I make frittatas and omelets of all kinds.  Don’t get stuck in an “egg rut” because that rut will keep you from being successful.  Experiment with eggs and don’t be afraid to try new things.
  2. MEATS of all kinds have no carbohydrates.  How about a Spanish omelet?  Ah…  now you’re putting the puzzle together, right?  People used to feel guilty for eating a 3-egg omelet.  Don’t be afraid of eating too many eggs.  I can’t eat a 3-egg omelet in one sitting, to be honest, but I do make it and eat half of it, then the other half for lunch.  We also have a favorite restaurant that makes a New York omelet with Applewood Smoked Bacon and real Swiss Cheese!  Oh it tastes so good.  The only thing I have to do is pick cottage cheese for the side dish.  I can do that.
  3. FISH AND SEAFOOD has no carbohydrates and are actually packed with healthy oils.  I keep cans of tuna in my pantry all the time.  I know not everyone likes canned tuna, but I like to make tuna salad with some mayo and sweet relish (made with Splenda).  You can’t use regular sweet relish because it has sugar and carbs in it.
  4. VEGETABLES that are green and leafy qualify as legal, with the majority of the carbs in them consisting of fiber.  Fiber is a friend.  I like to fix a salad once in a while with either a spring mix or iceberg lettuce.  I top it with sliced black olives and shredded cheddar.  Even though there is a lot of fat in Ranch dressing, it is low in carbs – so I use it.  It’s my understanding that Blue Cheese dressing is also low in carbs, which makes sense because it is cheese.  One vegetable to avoid would be corn.  Another is peas.  Raw vegetables are more healthy than cooked and generally lower in carbs.
  5. CHEESE of all kinds is low-carb or no carb.  As I said, I’m not sure why foods like cheese can be eaten without raising bad cholesterol – and actually lowers it – but it can be and I’m so glad.  Since I don’t eat hamburgers on a bun anymore, I melt cheese over a hamburger patty and eat it that way.  I seriously do not miss bread at all.  I’ve eaten this way since April – and it’s the first time a diet has not felt like a sacrifice of any kind.
  6. FRUITS & BERRIES need to be restricted, but I was so very happy to learn that my favorite fruit, the apricot, is only 4 carbs per piece!  I nearly did the happy dance when I learned that.  Also, a 1/2 cup of strawberries is only 6 carbs.  Most fruits and fruit juices are double-digit carbs, but these two are perfectly fine to eat.  I also put a little Reddi-Whip on top – it doesn’t have any carbs either.  I allow myself a cup of low-sugar orange juice in the morning.  It’s still 12 carbs, but I’m careful the rest of the day.
  7. NUTS & SEEDS make a great snack.  They are filling and satisfying in-between meals.  Some say that almonds are better than the others, but I think any nut is pretty healthy.  I never thought I’d be eating macadamia nuts without the cookie and white chocolate…  but they are quite tasty by themselves.
  8. HEAVY CREAM & WHIPPED TOPPING is low carb.  It’s high in dairy fat, but it’s fine to use it in your coffee or in a recipe.  I like to put Reddi-Whip on my sugar-free Jell-O then mix it up.
  9. FATS & OILS are acceptable on a low-carb, real food-based diet.  You can use real butter, extra-virgin olive oil, coconut oil and even good ol’ fashioned lard.  I know, it’s not easy to believe that eating like this could lower cholesterol and cause weight loss!
  10. BEVERAGES that are legal include the basics – water, diet soda, coffee, tea, club soda.  Fruit juices are not low-carb even though there are some low-sugar fruit juices on the market.  Most of them are double-digit carbs.
  11. DARK CHOCOLATE with a 70-85% cocoa content is lower in sugar, therefore, lower in carbs.  I think anything more strong than 70% is bitter, so I don’t eat it.  Once in a while, a girl’s just gotta have a piece of dark chocolate!  This is also good information to have when considering a recipe with chocolate in it.

I hope this helps.  You’ll note that there are no cereals or grains on this list and there’s a good reason for that…  they are too high in carbohydrates!  The goal is to keep your blood glucose happy and a bowl of cereal or toast or a bagel won’t do that.  Yes, you have to tweak some things – and you may get a strange look from the waitress at your favorite restaurant the first time you order cottage cheese with your omelet, but do it anyway.  I’m not just saying this, but I never really cared for fried potatoes or hash browns with my eggs anyway.  They certainly were not worth losing my health over…  ya know?

I may be older…  but I’m still just as stubborn as ever and I’m sure not DONE yet.  God has helped me get this far and He’s not going to stop helping me now.  I’ve failed Him so many times, but He will never fail me!  Have a blessed day!  🙂

A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

TL A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART (30)LC KEY LIME PIEThis has been such a fun journey with my friends!  Thanks to Deanna Stalnaker for sharing this recipe on facebook!  Even though we have shared great main dish and side dish recipes, what is life without a little dessert?  I was so tickled to see this because believe it or not, Key Lime Pie is my favorite – yeah, it really is!

Deanna said that even though the recipe calls for a 0.6 oz. package of sugar-free Jell-O, she uses the 0.3 oz. package.  So make a note of that.  😉

All people with healthy physical appetites have a sweet tooth somewhere in their heads.  – Macmillan’s Magazine, 1887

How about a low-carb strawberry cheesecake???  Yeah!  I’m on a roll.

I’m starting to like those pies with the ground pecan shells, aren’t you?

I’ve never before eaten a dessert, then tested and had my blood glucose be HAPPY!  I’m so excited about this…  I really am!

Pie…it fills the cracks of the heart. Go away, pain.  – Kevin James, Mall Cop

Did you see the movie, Mall Cop???  Kevin James cracks me up – and that’s a great movie!

So far I haven’t gone completely Atkins, but I think legal donuts sound really good!  I like “fair food” – and truth be told, that’s the real reason I go to our state fair every year.  :-/

So on those days when you don’t think you can live on low-carb and low-fat, know that you don’t have to.  There are alternatives to traditional high carbohydrate foods.  Aren’t we thankful for “the way of escape” recipes that keep blood glucose numbers happy?  I know I am!

Don’t dig your grave with your own knife and fork.  – English proverb

What’s your favorite low-carb recipe?  Let me know in the comments below.  I believe we’re all here to help each other on this journey toward healthier blood glucose!  🙂

 

A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

TL A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART (22)I’m so thankful to God for guiding me in the right direction so I can manage my type 2 diabetes.  I’ve been committed to exercising 3 days a week and have embraced a low-carbohydrate, high protein diet.  I’ve lost 13 pounds so far and have not needed to take a shot of Levemir at night – for the most part.  My blood glucose has been consistently from 82-110 throughout the day.  I’m also thankful for the prayer support from friends on facebook and in the DOC.  Our facebook group, A Second Helping of Wellness…  with a Dash of Humor and a Pinch of Faith, has been so wonderful and supportive – thank you!

I want to share some of the recipes that have made my blood glucose happy.  I wanted to wait until I knew for sure that this would work before sharing.  I’ve seen positive results, so I’m going to post them here for you.

I love Mexican food!  I was so happy to find this recipe because even though it’s a salad, it is a taco salad – and I’ll be honest – I like that “taco” part!

LOW CARBOHYDRATE TACO SALAD

Makes 4 servings, (approx. 2 cups ea)

9g carbohydrates / 31g protein per serving

INGREDIENTS:

1 lb. extra-lean ground beef

1 pkg. low-sodium taco seasoning

3/4 C. water

2 Tbs. olive oil

4 C. shredded lettuce

1/2 C. chopped tomatoes (omit if you want to lower the carbs even more)

8 Tbs. sour cream

1 C. shredded cheddar cheese

INSTRUCTIONS:

With olive oil, brown ground beef in skillet.  Add taco seasoning mix with water.  Simmer until reduced.

Mix with remaining ingredients.  You can layer them in a big clear bowl – but I’m not fancy – I just mix it all up and serve.

Sometimes I pick up a little bag of Nacho flavored Doritos from the checkout line at Walmart to crush up and put on top.  Yeah, it adds a little carb, but you can add just a few for flavor.  It’s a small bag and there’s 4 servings – don’t sweat it.  I also add about 1/2 Tbs. of Catalina salad dressing sometimes.  Yes – I know…  I know.  Shh…  don’t tell.

I did say LOW carb – not NO carb, right?  😉

 

 

NATIONAL BLUEBERRIES MONTH

TL JULY IS NATIONAL BLUEBERRIES MONTHI’m the first to admit that most low carbohydrate blueberry muffins, while keeping my blood sugar in check, don’t taste as good as the real McCoy.  Today I want to share a little trick I’ve learned that will enable type 2 diabetics to enjoy the real McCoy and keep blood sugar in check.  It’s called “piecing” or “pinching”, and believe me, it works!

You can’t “piece” or “pinch” if you don’t work out.  If you are not exercising, this won’t work for you.  But you can have a little bit of real as long as you work it off.  After my workout at the gym, I headed over to my favorite breakfast spot, The Egg Crate.  They make the most wonderful blueberry muffins in Wichita!

IMG_1319If I were to dig in and eat this whole muffin, my blood sugar would spike – and that’s not good.  I will begin by eating an egg.  You can have whatever style egg you want – I just crack open an egg and whisk it up in a mug and microwave it so I can eat it quicker.  Add a little cheese if you want – it’s low or no carbohydrate so that’s fine.  Always eat protein first!

Eat just a pinch of your muffin and enjoy it with coffee or tea if you wish.  Then wrap it with foil so it doesn’t dry out.  Check your sugars in a couple of hours.  If they’re okay…  you can eat a cheese stick, then another pinch of your muffin.

Eating pinches of carbohydrate-rich foods is not a new concept, but it’s one that works!  I don’t know why eating protein makes carbohydrates nicer to my body, but I’m sure glad it does!

If you’re exercising on a regular basis and eating plenty of vegetables every day, there’s no reason you can’t introduce a complex carbohydrate following a little protein.  Maybe that’s why dessert forks are smaller than dinner forks.  The idea is that we can eat as much protein and vegetables as we want, but when it’s time for dessert, we need to dial back our enthusiasm a bit and try to think about what we’re eating and how it will affect our blood sugar.

I’d rather have a pinch of the real McCoy than live without it completely.  A wise diabetic educator once told me, “You can eat pretty much anything you want as long as you are exercising on a regular basis.”  I can eat as many vegetables as I want.  I can eat tuna salad until I turn into Charlie the Tuna.  I can go nuts eating nuts.  Black olives are my friend, as are other Mediterranean foods.  Those are the go-to foods.  But once in a while, I get a craving for a blueberry muffin.  Maybe it’s all this writing about blueberry month, I don’t know…  but I just had to get one!  But I know how to work it into my diet without spiking my blood sugar…  one pinch at a time.  😉

Slow and steady will win this race.  Exercise consistently and eat protein first.  I can do that!  🙂