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?  😉

 

 

A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

TL A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART (23)

Pardon me if I’m about me today – but I have such good news to share!

If an anonymous comment goes unread, is it still irritating?  – Brandon Specktor

I got such a great report from the eye doctor yesterday!  Each year I walk in his office with a prayer running through my head – “Please God, let there be no retinopathy.”  For twenty years I’ve enjoyed wonderful reports and he always says, “If I didn’t know you had diabetes, I would not be able to tell by looking at your eyes.”  I have one thing to say – THANK YOU, LORD!

All the glory belongs to God.  As I said not long ago, it’s sure not due to my wonderful A1c, as it was a whopping 9.3 at my last appointment – yikes!  I’m now taking 40 units of Levemir every night – and my fasting blood sugars have lowered substantially – I’ve written them down for the past couple of months.  I’ve had nothing over 170, but this morning it was 80.  So, this is truly a balancing act.

I had a chiropractor ask me once why I don’t just lose all my excess weight and get rid of diabetes.  Hmm…  I never went back to his office.  I wonder why?  Newsflash…  when I hit my goal weight, I’ll still be a diabetic.  Yes, a controlled diabetic – but it will never go away.

Fitness – if it came in a bottle, everybody would have a great body.   – Cher

A big thank you to everyone who sends me messages of encouragement – facebook, twitter, email – the prayers and uplifting words really help me as I walk this path.  When you send encouragement, I find the next stepping stone.  I appreciate your prayers on my behalf.

Everyone has challenges in life – and I guess diabetes is mine.  It gets so frustrating because I go along thinking everything is fine – I’m eating right, exercising and drinking plenty of water, but check my glucose and it’s too high!  Or, as it was this morning – I think I’m in the normal range and check my fasting glucose and it’s down to 80.  I’ve stopped trying to apply logic to something so illogical.  I don’t try to explain why it’s high or low anymore.  I just try to fix it.

So many things affect blood glucose levels.  I understand that it’s more than just eating, exercise and water consumption.  Overall health and stress levels have an effect on it.  Are you good at avoiding stress in your life?  It’s tough, but I’m working on it.

MY INHERITED LIFE

Today I just need to praise God for His blessings in my life.  I’m so thankful for good eyesight and no signs of retinopathy!  It’s a big deal – and a big blessing.  There are three things I want to avoid on this journey – kidney problems, nerve damage and blindness.

Twenty one years…  and I’m still truckin’ along.  I guess God’s not finished with me yet.  🙂

 

IRON SHARPENS IRON… FRIENDSHIP

IRON SHARPENS IRON (2)

CONVERSATION ABOUT HEAVEN

Of all the poems I’ve written, this one gets the most comments! I am asked, “Did this really happen?” The answer is, YES it really happened! My college friends and I wanted to spend an evening vegging out in front of the TV with snacks and decided to go to our local IGA store to shop. We were so excited to have a study-free evening ahead of us and admittedly felt a wee bit crazy. It was the last weekend of our Christmas break and we knew if we wanted to unwind, this was our last chance to do so. We would be hitting the books again soon.

Motivation is what gets you started. Habit is what keeps you going.  – Jim Ryun

The lines were long at the store and we were reading the covers of the magazines and tabloids displayed at the check-out stand. My friend, also named LINDA (it’s a wonderful name) blurted out, “When I get to heaven I’m going to spend my time baking home-made bread and eating all of it!” Well, that started it all. Everyone standing around us, including the clerk, was more than anxious to add their two cent’s worth!

I can see where my friend Linda was coming from. She and I were the only type 2 diabetics in our group of friends. We seemed to be closer friends because of that common bond. Since we are not supposed to eat a lot of bread, we dream about eating it in heaven. Now, I know we won’t have any need to eat in heaven, but hey – whatever gets you through, right? Our other friends always said things like, “Wow, I feel bad eating this (fill in the blank) in front of you.” Of course we always said it didn’t bother us, and for the most part it didn’t.

But the idea that a little corner of heaven would smell like freshly baked bread, and we could just eat as much as we want and never gain weight or have issues with blood glucose again – wow, that would be awesome, don’t you think? Be honest – that really would rock!  Wink!   😉