A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

a-commentary-from-the-heart-5

I’ve kept 20 pounds off for several months – and that’s a RECORD for me!  In the past I was the quintessential yo-yo dieter, making bargains with myself that I will get back on the horse, but when I start to climb the ladder to mount the horse, I slip and land on the proverbial ground instead.  Keto is different – it’s less of a traditional diet and more of a lifestyle change that uses common horse sense instead of rules, regulations and restrictions.  It’s a smart way of eating.  Yes, there’s portion control – there has to be – but I have not felt deprived like I have before.  I’m never hungry.  If I feel hungry, I can have all the fresh vegetables I want.  I get keto friendly veggie dip – and have a virtual feast at snack time!

But…  what about ice cream – for breakfast???  Hmm…  Lucinda thinks it’s perfect!  😉

ice-cream-for-breakfast

Thanks first to my Heavenly Father, of course, for without HIM – well – I’d not get anything done!  I’m thankful to my friend Dana for adding me to a great group on facebook called Keto 2nd Breakfast – and all the other meals!  I’ve gotten such help and support there – and then I turn around and share what I learn in my group (which is more or less health-related – well, we try)…  A Second Helping of Wellness…  with a Dash of Humor & a Pinch of Faith. 

Then, I’d like to thank the academy, and all the little people, for without the little people, I would not have had the stick-to-it-tive-ness to achieve success!  Okay, now I’m being silly.  Too much coffee maybe?  Oh…  surely not!  There’s no such thing!!! 

Of all the foods that are on the high carb side – I miss ice cream the most.  I pass the Braum’s store and nearly have a fit – I want ice cream – well, a twist frozen yogurt, to be exact…  so bad!!!  But I think there’s a wonderful solution – and I found a post from Amanda Balster in the group – about Halo Top.  I’ve decided that’s a great name for it, because it feels as though Halo Top is Heaven sent!

A 1/2 cup serving is 80 calories, 2.5g fat, 7g net carbs, and 6g of protein.  I call that a WIN!

Thanks Amanda for these photos!  🙂

16195856_10102165268262236_4125207851832379837_n16298581_10102165261994796_4571245357092043781_nEveryone says that all the flavors are good – except lemon.  I don’t know because I’ve not tried it yet.  I’m blogging without trying the product first hand, which I rarely do, but I trust my friends to steer me in the right direction – they always have.  Shoot, I’m just happy to hear about a legal ice cream alternative!  😀

 

 

 

 

 

 

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A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

TL A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART (2)Modern medicine has finally caught up with what I’ve said for YEARS…  no two bodies are alike – thus, to tell everyone that they can lose weight on the same plan is completely ludicrous and frustrating.  Doesn’t it make perfect sense that every BODY has individual DNA and needs to be treated for whatever (weight, health issues, etc.) as an individual?  I’ve shouted it from the mountain tops for ages – EVERY BODY IS DIFFERENT!!!  What works for me may not work for you.  My DNA is mine – just mine.  Your DNA belongs to you – just you.

Dr. Oz introduced a simple test to see how “tolerant” you are to carbohydrates.  Take 1/2 of a saltine cracker – pop it in your mouth and chew, counting as you chew – when the cracker changes in taste, write down how many seconds you chewed it.  The fewer seconds it takes, the less tolerant you are to carbohydrates – and the fewer you should eat in your diet.  If it takes less than 14 seconds, you have a low tolerance and should avoid them in your diet.

It’s called the 30 second cracker test:

http://www.doctoroz.com/

I’m raising my hand high!!!  I have practically NO tolerance for them.  It took that cracker 3 seconds to change taste.  It’s official…  my genes SUCK.  As I’m writing this, there is an advertisement on television for Sero Vital.  Yeah – can I just go get some of that???  LOL – it won’t change my DNA though, right?  Shoot!

Well, I know I’m not the only one who is in that unlucky group.  But here’s the good news…

I’ve cut carbohydrates from my diet and joined Planet fitness – and exercise three days a week.  My hemoglobin A1c is 6.3 which is normal.  I’ve lost 30 pounds and a couple of dress sizes – well, actually about 4 dress sizes.  I have more energy now and am happier than I’ve been in years!

http://www.carb-counter.net/

Is a new lifestyle worth starting???  Oh yes!  Is it easy???  Not always.  I ate a serving of ravioli at my favorite Italian restaurant on New Year’s Eve.  That is the first pasta I’ve eaten since April of 2015.  Will I be eating pasta again anytime soon?  Nope.

Has that little splurge affected my A1c?  I guarantee it didn’t.  It affected my blood sugar at the time, but it’s back on track now.  I got right back on the low-carb wagon and everything’s fine.

I love this diet because if you do give in to a food you shouldn’t eat – just don’t do it again for a long while.  Save those splurge times for special occasions…  Valentine’s Day, Easter, Independence Day, birthday, Halloween (if you’re into that), Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year’s Day.  My next planned splurge day is Valentine’s Day.  I have plans…  big – yummy plans!  It includes a little trip to the Russell-Stover candy store.  Yup!  complex-carbohydrates

You can do this.  If you have a low tolerance for carbohydrates, you are not doomed to a life of type 2 diabetes and insulin shots!  Just eat more lean meats, fish, vegetables (with no carb veggie dip if you want), an apple once in a while.  There are millions of low-carb recipes online.  There are support groups on facebook where you can post recipes to make the diet more interesting.  Nobody wants to be in a food rut.

On a funny note…  I keep a can of whipped topping in the door of the refrigerator.  When I want to taste something kind of sweet (but not overly sweet), I take a little taste of whipped topping – LOL.  I will say – it’s not a quiet sneak.  I always get “busted”.  But it’s okay – there are no carbs in whipped topping – it’s legal.

I eat a bit of cream cheese – I don’t put it on anything – I just eat it.  Not a lot, just a bit.  I take a bit of sour cream the same way.  A dollop – and it’s yummy.  Cream cheese and sour cream have no carbs.  Sometimes I fry up bacon to dip in sour cream – that’s pretty good too.

Have you ever mixed salsa and sour cream together?  I do that and put it on scrambled eggs once in a while.  Don’t knock it ’til ya tried it.

It blows my mind that I can eat cheesecake – real cheesecake!  But I need to say no to a baked potato – isn’t that crazy???  I know – who knew???  15878948_1869323266645468_1132251956_n

The one thing that has to remain consistent regardless of my diet is regular exercise – I can’t skip that or I’m sunk! 

gym

While physical exercise is beneficial for mind and body, we all know that there is an exercise that is good for the heart, as Lucinda reminds us:

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Death by Chocolate cheesecake from All Day I Dream about Food…  YEA!!!  But it’s not DEATH really – it’s helping me to LIVE!!!  Thankfully, I’ve figured out how to LIVE again – and live well.  Click on the link to find the recipe!  Enjoy!  🙂

http://alldayidreamaboutfood.com/2015/09/low-carb-death-by-chocolate-cheesecake.html

 

 

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!  🙂

EAT MORE FRUITS & VEGETABLES DAY

TL 5-26 EAT MORE FRUITS & VEGETABLES DAYWhen I stopped to look at this banner, I thought, “Oh, what pretty and vibrant colors!”  The more vibrant the color of the fruit or vegetable, the more healthy it is for us!  Why are fruits and vegetables so important?

Whether it is fruits or vegetables, fresh is always best.  Make sure you wash everything thoroughly before you eat it!  Some fruits & veggies need to be organic – the ones with a thin skin.  Those with a thicker skin that will protect the inside don’t need to necessarily be organic.  I try to buy organic apples, for instance – because I rarely peel an apple – in fact, I never peel an apple.  I always eat the skin, so I want to know it’s safe.  It costs a little more, but I think it’s worth it – at least I hope it is.THEY'RE GOOD FOR YOU

Even though fruit should be eaten with extreme caution if you’re diabetic because of natural sugar, there are a few that get the green light because they are lower in carbohydrates.  I’ll probably never get to eat grapes or fresh cherries again, but as I said a few days ago, my apricots are considered low in carbohydrates.  I’m still dancing on a cloud over that news…  lol.  Here’s a handy list of fruits and the carbohydrate count and calories.

http://www.weightlossforall.com/carbohydrates-fruit.htm

Vegetables are less tricky and we can afford to use them with wild abandon!  Again, if I’m buying an avocado, for instance, it doesn’t have to be organic because the skins on them are so thick and act as a natural protection for the inside of the avocado.  Thin skinned veggies like carrots, I try to buy organic.

I’m the first to admit I would refuse to eat a salad with no dressing on it, but if I can add about 2 Tablespoons of my lemon-poppy dressing, I will eat it with no problem!  If there is just a little bit of not so good mixed with the best and most nutritious foods, that makes it palatable.  Here’s a list of vegetables – just click on the one you want to use and it will tell you how many carbohydrates it has.

http://www.carb-counter.net/vegetables

I like to put fresh baby spinach in a bowl and top it with sliced radishes, strawberries or pears, feta cheese and a few pecans.  Then I top it with my Lemon poppy-seed Salad Dressing.  Here’s the recipe:

LEMON POPPY-SEED SALAD DRESSING

makes 4 servings

1 WW point per serving

INGREDIENTS

2 Tbs. Honey Tree sugar-free honey *

2 Tbs. Splenda

3 Tbs. apple cider vinegar

2 Tbs. olive oil

1/2 c. plain no-fat Greek yogurt

1/4 c. low-fat mayonnaise

1 1/2 Tbs. poppy seeds

1 Tbs. lemon juice (I like fresh squeezed, but the bottled stuff is okay too)

1 Tbs. low-fat milk

DIRECTIONS

Whisk all ingredients together.  Chill in fridge for at least 1 hour before serving.

*Our local Walmart recently stopped carrying Honey Tree sugar-free honey – sigh.  When we go out-of-town, we stop at the Walmart stores along the way and stock up – or…  the Honey Tree company sells their products on Amazon.  We love the internet! 

http://www.amazon.com/HoneyTrees-Imitation-Honey-12-Ounce-Bottles/dp/B000YSXDDY

I know it’s a bit pricy – but it keeps my D happy…  and if D is happy – everyone’s happy!  🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

TL A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART (22)How many times do we take everyday things for granted?  I know I do that way too often and I’m trying to do better.  My new diet has turned out to be more restrictive than I thought it would be.  I miss eating fruit because most fruit is extremely high in carbohydrates.  I recently typed in some of my favorites in a carb counter online – and my favorite fruit – apricots…  are only 4 grams of carbohydrates!fruit-808336_1920

I was so happy I did a happy dance all over the house!  Hopefully that burned a few calories – 😉

It sounds silly I know, but in my world it really was a pretty big deal.

Silent gratitude isn’t much use to anyone.   – G.B. Stern

On this journey I’ve also decided that turkey bacon doesn’t taste at all like bacon.  😦  It’s okay because I’ve started eating Canadian bacon!   It is a low-carb and low calorie choice and a serving size is 5 slices!  It’s so good on an English muffin with egg and low-fat cheese.breakfast-713112_1920

Some mornings I begin the day with a protein shake.  I found whey protein powder at Walmart in chocolate flavor.  It’s so simple and quick to fix – just put a cup of liquid (I use low-fat milk) in the blender and add a scoop of powder.  It’s not very cold at that point, so I add 2 ice cubes to make it nice and thick and cold.  It also gets rid of that protein powder smell that some folks can’t get past.  It’s like drinking a thick chocolate milkshake for breakfast.  I thought I might get tired of them, but so far I really have enjoyed them!shake-677437_1920 (1)

I’m going to the gym and it’s another big praise to God – I have not injured my leg or back!  Sometimes if I try to do exercise, I mess with the neuropathy (nerve damage) and end up worse off than I was before.  I’m happy to report I’m doing well so far!  I enjoy Planet Fitness so much because there are signs all over the place like NO JUDGMENT ZONE and NO CRITICS.  I’m thinking…  exactly!  We’re all here just trying to do better, right?

We can only be said to be alive in those moments when our hearts are conscious of our treasures.   – Thornton Wilder

The scale is moving – ever so slowly…  but in the right direction.  I pray that my appointment to get my A1c checked again in July will reflect my lifestyle changes.  I’m especially thankful to God that apricots only have 4 grams of carbohydrate each!  YAY!  Thank You, Lord!  🙂

 

NATIONAL CHICKEN CORDON BLEU DAY

TL 4-4 NATIONAL CHICKEN CORDON BLEU DAY

As you have undoubtedly noticed, I enjoy the “foodie” holidays!  If I was at a healthy weight, I could enjoy these days with wild abandon…  however, I have to put on the brakes when it comes to making the high-fat, high-carbohydrate versions of these dishes.  Fortunately, I’m usually able to do a little research and come up with a recipe even I can make without feeling guilty!

Here is a healthy recipe that takes hundreds of calories, fat grams and sodium milligrams out – but has all the great flavor of the original.  It goes from over 700 calories to under 300.  The original recipe has nearly 50g of fat!  Our recipe has just 10g of fat.  And instead of a whopping 850mg of sodium, we’ll have just 500mg.

Prep time – 30 min.

Makes 6 servings

CHICKEN CORDON BLEU

6 boneless skinless chicken breast halves (4 oz. each)

1/4 tsp. salt

1/4 tsp. pepper

6 slices deli ham

3 slices aged Swiss cheese, halved

1 cup panko (Japanese bread crumbs)

Cooking spray

sauce

2 Tbsp. all-purpose flour

1 cup 2% milk

1/2 cup dry white wine

1/3 cup finely shredded Swiss cheese

1/4 tsp. salt

1/8 tsp. pepper

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper; arrange in a greased 9×13″ baking dish.
  2. Top each with 1 slice ham and 1/2 slice cheese, folding ham in half and covering chicken as much as possible.  Sprinkle with bread crumbs.  Carefully spritz crumbs with cooking spray, keeping crumbs in place.  Bake 15-20 minutes or until golden brown and a thermometer inserted in chicken reads 165 degrees.
  3. For sauce, in a small saucepan, whisk flour and milk until smooth.  Bring sauce to a boil, stirring constantly; cook and stir 1-2 minutes or until thickened.
  4. Reduce to medium heat.  Stir in wine and shredded cheese; cook and stir 2-3 minutes or until cheese is melted and sauce is thickened and bubbly.  Stir in salt and pepper.  Keep warm over low heat until ready to serve.  Serve sauce with chicken.

Per serving:

285 calories, 9g fat (4g sat. fat), 89mg chol., 490mg sodium, 12g. carb, trace fiber, 33g pro.

Diabetic Exchanges:

4 lean meat, 1 starch

I hope this encourages you to celebrate around the dinner table with your family tonight!  🙂