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 NEUROPATHY AWARENESS WEEK

TL 5-12 NATIONAL NEUROPATHY AWARENESS WEEK

GOD LOVES ME WHEN I HURT

Neuropathy is the term used to describe a problem with the nerves, usually the ‘peripheral nerves’ as opposed to the ‘central nervous system’ (the brain and spinal cord).

The causes of peripheral neuropathy are:

  • Alcoholism. Poor dietary choices made by alcoholics can lead to vitamin deficiencies.
  • Autoimmune diseases. These include Sjogren’s syndrome, lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, Guillain-Barré syndrome, chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy and necrotizing vasculitis.
  • Diabetes. More than half of people with diabetes develop some type of neuropathy.
  • Exposure to poisons. Toxic substances include heavy metals or chemicals.
  • Medications. Certain medications, especially those used to treat cancer (chemotherapy), may cause peripheral neuropathy.
  • Infections. These include certain viral or bacterial infections, including Lyme disease, shingles (varicella-zoster), Epstein-Barr virus, hepatitis C, leprosy, diphtheria and HIV.
  • Inherited disorders. Disorders such as Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease are hereditary types of neuropathy.
  • Trauma or pressure on the nerve. Traumas, such as motor vehicle accidents, falls or sports injuries, can sever or damage peripheral nerves. Nerve pressure can result from having a cast or using crutches or repeating a motion many times, such as typing.
  • Tumors. Growths, cancerous (malignant) and noncancerous (benign), can develop on the nerves themselves or they can put pressure on surrounding nerves.
  • Vitamin deficiencies. B vitamins, including B-1, B-6 and B-12, vitamin E and niacin are crucial to nerve health.
  • Bone marrow disorders. These include abnormal protein in the blood (monoclonal gammopathies), a form of bone cancer (osteosclerotic myeloma), lymphoma and amyloidosis.
  • Other diseases. These include kidney disease, liver disease, connective tissue disorders and an under active thyroid (hypothyroidism).

On my journey with type 2 diabetes, I’ve developed diabetic neuropathy.  Most people know it by the term diabetic nerve pain from the advertisements on television.  It’s a shooting, burning pain that constantly reminds me of this disease.  It’s also one of the main reasons I need and want to keep this beast of a disease under control.  The closer in check I keep my sugars, the less pain I feel.  Over the years I have determined that being out of control is just not worth the price I pay.I TRUST YOU, PAPA GOD

In my research I’ve also learned that the popular drug metformin, used to treat type 2 diabetes, when taken over time can cause a vitamin B-12 deficiency.  As we see, a deficiency in B vitamins is a cause of peripheral neuropathy.  When I began to take a vitamin B-12 in addition to my regular multi-vitamin, my pain lessened dramatically.

Between hypothyroidism, arthritis and diabetes it’s a challenge to manage my neuropathy, but I’m determined to stay as active as possible.  On bad days I walk with a cane, but on good days I walk just as fast as my little legs will take me!  I’m thankful to God for the good days!  🙂

 

A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

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I got dogged for writing about HALLOWEEN yesterday.  I was called a sympathizer for the devil, uncommitted to Christ and a false witness for God.  Well, say what you will of me – but I was raised in an age of innocence when going door to door saying TRICK-OR-TREAT was a wholesome, albeit calorie laden activity.  I was not raised to have anything to do with darkness, I assure you.  When I was a kid – it was all about the candy, homemade popcorn balls and Mrs. Guffy’s famous Ghostie cookies.  THAT’S ALL it was about.  Now…  can we move on because boy do I have a testimony FOR THE LORD that will give the devil a BIG BLACK EYE!

You know I’m diabetic.  I try not to make a big deal out of it, but I’ve been a type 2 diabetic since 1994.  I’m all too familiar with the dreaded HIGH blood sugar, but hardly have a LOW.  Yesterday, however, I was battling low blood sugar!  Since I’m diabetic, we chose not to buy any Halloween candy because we don’t have that many children in our neighborhood who actually Trick-or-Treat door to door.  They get together and go to the mall.

So I’m thinking, “Oh great!  I could legally have a candy bar – and we don’t have any!”  I try to keep glucose tabs in the house or gel, but I didn’t have either one.  Everything in our house is diabetic-friendly.  We don’t even keep a smidge of sugar here.

I hate low blood sugar – I can’t think straight and I feel as though my insides are just going to fall apart – some of you can relate.  I drank a little buttermilk and ate a piece of bread.  Usually bread or a carbohydrate will raise it up.  It just was not working.

Then I did something really radical…  I PRAYED.  Don’t laugh…  but I asked God for a candy bar.

I want you to know that God can use ANYTHING and ANYONE to provide.  He used the fact that it was Halloween to help me out of a real bind.  There are little girls across the street (we call them our angels).  They occasionally bring nice little gifts to our door – ring the doorbell – and RUN away!  It’s so cute!

I’m not joking – about 2 minutes after I sincerely asked God to help me out – the doorbell rang.  We opened the door, and there was a bucket full of snack-size Milky Way bars.  Attached to the bucket handle was a mylar balloon with a happy face on it!  A sweet card was stuck in the side of the bucket.  Our angels came through!

So…  for those who think my post yesterday was somehow evil – you know what?  You don’t really know me, do you?  Isn’t it amazing in this day of faceless, impersonal cyber communication, we feel we have the right to completely judge a person for sharing a few precious Halloween memories from a bygone era???  Really???  Well, shame on you!

When I was a child – I enjoyed the day, the candy, the popcorn balls and Mrs. Guffy’s famous Ghostie cookies.  I refuse to apologize for the post.  I won’t.  God’s Holy Spirit has not checked me about the choice – and He won’t because He understands the MOTIVE behind what I wrote.  All you see is a kid in a costume.  I see myself and my dad having so much fun with my mom’s make-up and jewelry – trying to look like clowns!  Shame on anyone who would wag their finger at me for sharing childhood innocent fun!

I love the Lord with everything in me.  I intend to serve Him in any capacity I can no matter what circumstances I find myself in.  I wanted to share this special example of GOD’S FAITHFULNESS and HIS PROVISION in my life.  Thank You, Lord!  🙂

IRON SHARPENS IRON

IRON SHARPENS IRON (2)

I was with a group of women recently and the discussion came around to ways to streamline your routine and get to work on time.  The big issue seemed to be breakfast in the morning.  Everyone agreed that it just takes too long and that’s when Sylvia shared the best suggestion.

How about a fix-ahead breakfast that you just reheat in the microwave?  Here ya go!

Banana-Nut Oatmeal

Makes 8 servings

2 cups steel-cut oats

1/2 tsp. salt

3 large very ripe bananas, mashed

1/4 cup Splenda brown sugar

1 Tbs. fresh lemon juice

8 12-oz. Ball canning jars with metal rings and lids

1/2 cup milk

1/2 cup chopped walnuts or pecans

  • To prepare:  In a medium pot, combine oats, 5 cups water and salt; bring to a boil.  Reduce to a simmer and cover.  Cook 10 minutes (oatmeal will be very watery).  Remove from heat; stir in bananas, Splenda brown and lemon juice.  Distribute oatmeal evenly among glass jars; screw on lids.  Cool on countertop and refrigerate overnight.
  • To serve:  Remove metal rings and lids.  For each jar, stir in 1 Tbs. milk, 1 Tbs chopped nuts and, if desired, additional Splenda brown sugar.  Reheat in microwave for 1 1/2 to 2 minutes, until hot.  Let stand 1 minute.  Carefully remove, stir and garnish with sliced bananas, if desired.

Per serving:  266 calories, 8 g fat, 1 g sat fat, 8 g pro, 47 g carb, 6 g fiber, 165 mg sodium, 1 mg chol

You may see the number of carbs in this and decide it’s too high, but it happens that the one who suggested this is a diabetic nutritionist.  She explains the health benefits like this:

Because of its soluble fiber content, adding a banana to your daily oatmeal can also help lower your risk of developing diabetes. When you consume a carbohydrate-rich meal, your blood glucose tends to rise quickly, stimulating your pancreas to release insulin rapidly. Adding food high in soluble fiber, however, can slow absorption of sugar from your food, producing a more gradual increase in blood glucose and lessening the demand for insulin.

She said this breakfast has saved her family an average of about 5 minutes, and that means you don’t have to go over the speed limit while driving to work.  It’s also a healthy, hot breakfast on these chilly mornings for the kids (and for you).  It gets everyone started on the right foot.

Click image to enlarge

What a great idea to prepare these on the weekend and serve during the week!  🙂

 

A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

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It’s difficult to erase years of conditioning – but now at age 54, I’m learning an important truth:  SELF-CARE IS NOT SELFISH.  It’s not a sin to take care of this one and only body that God gave me!  There is a difference between taking care of yourself and being completely wrapped up in your own needs while excluding others.

I think a lot of baby boomers struggle with this same issue.  We were raised in church and learned that everybody’s needs come before our own.  To a degree I guess that’s true, but I’ve finally learned that you cannot care for anyone until you care for yourself.

Winning at weight loss taught me that I have control over my looks and my life.  – Diane Gurden

I SUCCEED IN YOU

With 12 pounds gone comes less body fat and yes, more confidence, I am still not comfortable with the idea of control – I want to always be careful to give God the glory for any of my successes.  Left to my own devices, I might fail – but when I give Him the glory, I remember to lean fully on His love and power – and especially His wisdom, which hello – is better than mine!

An important lesson I’ve learned is that carbohydrates matter.  It’s not only about the grams of sugar in food – in fact, I’ve eaten more fruit lately than snack crackers.  Even though fruit has natural sugar, it is just that – natural.  It counts, of course – but carbohydrates do more damage than natural sugar.

These days I do not use the word CAN’T.  I never say I can’t eat (fill in the blank).  I either say I don’t want it (if I think the nutritional price is too high) or I may eat that later – (and then don’t.)  Sometimes I have to psych myself into thinking I’ll revisit a food – and make myself get involved in something else to take my mind off of it.  I celebrate small victories, like when I manage to pass on a high-carbohydrate snack.

I’ve learned the importance of hydration and the early to bed advantage!  Drinking enough water helps diabetes stay in check.  For years I did not recognize the signs of dehydration, but now I know if I feel dizzy or weak – I probably need some water.  The way to combat those late night cravings is to go to bed early – then it’s easier to get up earlier and get my workout finished first thing – what’s the second thing?  COFFEE…  of course!  🙂

 

ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY

TL 7-11 ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY

On July 11, 1985, Dr. H. Harlan Stone, head of general surgery at the University of Maryland Hospital at Baltimore, announced that he had used zippers for stitches on 28 patients in order to re-operate more easily.

Um…  to begin with, I didn’t even know they could use zippers instead of stitches.  I know there are various kinds of stitches and types of silk…  but zippers…  really???

At first glance, this sounds funny, but the more research I did, the more serious this got.

Pancreatitis is a fairly common condition for diabetics and when severe, requires surgery to remove inflamed or abscessed parts of the pancreas.  This produces internal bleeding, so packs of gauze are inserted to stem the blood flow.  The packs must be changed daily for the first four or five days and every other day for the next five, requiring patients to face repeated operations in which their wounds are reopened and resewn.

He didn’t even use a special kind of zipper – but a common plastic zipper from the five-and-dime!

Doctor Stone was introduced to this technique during a 1978 medical meeting in Holland.  He watched a Dutch doctor sew a zipper to the tough membrane under the skin.  Conventional surgery to change the gauze pack took an hour or more each time.  Even though the patient still has anesthesia, the surgery is over in five minutes – zip-zip!  Just a dressing is needed to protect the wound and sterilized zipper.  When the pack-changing period is over, the zipper is removed and a permanent suture is substituted.

What color zipper does Doctor Stone use?  He admits that any color will do, but feels that he ought to have proper hospital white.

This makes me thankful for The Great Physician!  He is not invasive but helps us heal wholly and completely – mind, body, spirit! 

NO RE-OPERATION

Once The Great Physician performs surgery, there’s never a need for a re-operation.  🙂

A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

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Today I want to share a praise report with you!  I’m so excited and grateful to God that my Hemoglobin A1c is 6.4!!!  I’m so grateful for His loving kindness and guidance on this journey!

Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it.  – William Arthur Ward

This is an actual surgery using the di Vinci robot.  Using a single port, it’s an outpatient procedure.  I was in surgery at 11am and going home by 3pm.  Amazing!

I think I had such a sick gallbladder for such a long time – it was really messing with me.  Now that it’s gone, the struggle to maintain control of my type 2 diabetes seems to be so much easier!

Since surgery I’ve very easily lost 12 pounds and a few inches from my waist.  It’s not about looks with me – but hey, nice side effect anyway.  The best news was my lab report – I never thought I’d be considered a controlled diabetic!  My blood pressure also went back to normal after surgery.

The surgeon said my gallbladder was red, swollen and angry.  I probably waited too long to get it removed.  I wish I had gone in for surgery sooner.  If I had known then what I know now, I surely would have!

I still have to eat right and exercise every day, but I refuse to look at the long-term – I choose to look at the moment and take it one moment, one food choice, one exercise choice, one hydration choice – at a time.  I want and need to be smarter – and keep asking God for help when temptation comes my way.

The most impressive part of this journey has been the incredible amount of energy I have now!  I feel so much better – it’s hard to explain, but every time I think about how much better I feel – it makes me cry because I was blaming so much on age.

I SEEK YOUR WISDOM

Diabetes will always be with me, but it sure is a great feeling to know it’s finally under control!  I’m not saying that everyone with a high A1c has a malfunctioning gallbladder, but in my case – it seems that was part of the problem.

Who knew?  Wink!  😉