Happy Frappie!

Well, to celebrate a happy appointment today, I decided to be BAD! I wanted to indulge a little…. Chocolate, coffee, coconut….. You know what I’m talking about… Velvety deliciousness. Am I saying these things out loud on a diabetes blog??

…. Or did I?

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My delicious Treat was inspired by the Trim Healthy Mama book that I have mentioned before. It was only 7 carbs and completely delicious! Keifer, Whey protein powder, Hershey’s Dark Chocolate powder, ice, coconut milk, cold brewed coffee and Stevia to sweeten…. Plus a little secret ingredient called Glucomannan. When it mixes with Whey PP in my magical Ninja, it creates a frothy, fluffy deliciousness! In Trim Healthy Mama, it is suggested as a no carb thickener that can be used to make puddings, gravy, etc.. I love the addition. Best part…. Look what it did to my BG…

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Yay! I can have my chocolate and eat it too!! :).

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Little Steps in my Journey!

I am a list person!  For me, they are energizing, profitable, and heck… just lots of fun!  This list, is not one that will be crossed off, but rather laminated and used for wallpaper in my house!

Ben and I were driving this weekend,  and he helped me come up with a list of things I have been doing lately.  I am sure I will need help to remember them!  I also hope that they will be a to other diabetics out there longing for a lower a1c reading.  Mine went from 8.7 to 6.7 in 6 months!  Big news for this “most-of-my-life-in-the-double-digits” girl!

I made lots of changes in these areas…

My Pump

  • I changed it every 3 days instead of waiting until day 4 or 5.  This means I used more supplies, but the absorption is much better this way.
  • I used new areas for my pump instead of the same stomach locations; again, this also allows for better absorption.
  • I made use of both the “dual” and “square” bolus options.
  • I made adjustments to my evening basal rate.  I did not need a doctor to tell me what I was seeing was a pattern.  I trusted myself and did it!

My CGM

  • I faithfully wore my Continuous Glucose Monitor!  In the past, I would take it off and plan to put it back on in a day or two.  I NEED the constant feedback.  I would only take it off if I had time to changes sites RIGHT THEN.  If not, I did not take it off!
  • I changed the “low” and “high” settings on my CGM so I am notified the minute things start moving in the wrong direction.

My Highs & Lows!

  • I only correct with Skittles, and occasionally a spoon of peanut butter.   Before, I would use a “low” as an excuse to eat anything I had been eyeing up in the kitchen.. now, I only allow myself to use Skittles because I can predict how my body will respond to them.
  • My body has slowly become more used to the 70-90 range.  Before, I would correct if it were headed into the 70s.   I now feel pretty comfortable there, and feel no reason to correct, especially if a meal is right around the corner.

My Diet

  • I have read about health and diet recently.  Literally, thousands of pages… the most helpful have been a book called “Trim Healthy Mama” by Serene Allison and Pearl Barrett and also the “500 Low Carb Recipes” cookbook by Dana Carpender.  I also read a few doosies concerning low-carb living, but I won’t mention those!
  • I had a total epiphany about the correlation between blood sugar and diet.  It’s so simple, I don’t know why I never realized it before: if I don’t eat high carbs, my blood sugar can’t go high.   (Take a moment to laugh if you’re diabetic… because you know that there really is not way to say “can’t” about high blood sugar.)  I can’t prevent it, but I can at least have the science on my side!
  • Armed with this knowledge, I decided to eat generally low-carb, including little low carb switches.  The list merits its own post… so come back for that!
  • I try to limit myself to 30 carbs a day.  Generally spaced out evenly: 10, 10, 10 at breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
  • I do not snack on carbs.  Only at meals.
  • I do not eat carbs after 8.  For me, I have learned that if I eat any carbs late at night, I WILL have high blood sugar at night, regardless of how much insulin I take.
  • No food vacation days.  Before, I would say I probably took a little diabetes diet hiatus about once a week.. it just is not worth feeling sick!
  • I started weighing and measuring my dinner as I make my lunch.
  • I round up with I count carbs.
  • I am also trying to take insulin early if I know that I will be enjoying something higher in carbs than I usually have.
  • I keep almonds or walnuts in my purse for snacking
  • There is more to say on this, but I will stop here for now… :)

My Holiday

  • Celebrations being so prevalent in the past months, I had to rethink how I celebrate.
  • I had my first cookie exchange without eating a single cookie.  Whew.. that was rough!  I almost stayed home.  Glad I didn’t!
  • I can remember the two Christmas cookies I allowed myself to enjoy: a  Scottish Shortbread Cookie and a round little powdered sugar shortbread morsel.  Can you tell I love shortbread.  Please don’t ever bring Sandies to my house.  I will not be able to contain myself.
  • I tried to tell people ahead of time if I thought that I would need something different to eat or if I would not be eating at a gathering.  Sometimes this is appropriate, and sometimes it is unnecessary.
  • I tried to not think of the holidays in terms of food.  I actually went to my Grandma Drendel’s house without eating her thumbprint cookies.  It was hard!  So hard, but I knew that ONE would not be enough.  But you know what?  I still had a wonderful time with my Grandma Drendel & family.  I don’t need special food to celebrate!  I need special people! :)

My Team

  • One word: BEN!  He has been my biggest cheerleader throughout this whole process!  He literally said to me as I was trying to make wise eating choices, “Bri, if we spend all of our savings on groceries so you can figure this out, then that’s what we’re gonna do.  Get what you need!”  He has trusted me and supported me, and he is one of God’s most supreme gifts to me.
  • I have joined many diabetic Facebook pages.  They are SO helpful.  I wish I had found these about… oh, ten years ago.
  • My only true strength is Christ.  Anything right I ever want to do is from Him.  I am elated when I consider Him, grounded when I look to Him, and strengthened when fall before Him.

Not to us, O LORD, not to us, but to your name give glory, for the sake of your steadfast love and your faithfulness. Ps 115:1

This list is long and fractured, but it is some of the things that have been helpful for me recently.  I really needed to write some of them down.  The more I write, the more solidified it becomes in my heart.  I hope to continue to chronicle the journey.  I have been learning so much!  I can’t wait to share it with you!

Sci-Fynally a Delish Low-Carb Pizza!

Cauliflower Pizza!

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Classy Classic: Pizza & Redbox…

Tonight, it’s a double-feature: Star Trek, and Star Trek: Into the Darkness.   We had a plan: we were going to get a Redbox movie and a shrimp ring.  We love shrimp rings… its an occasional indulgence that isn’t too “carby.”  Not to mention delish!  Tonight, it ended up being super-de-duper expensive!  We walked from the seafood section down from the frozen section to pick up an old standby, Digiorno.  We were so close to just buying it because we just wanted SOMETHING…  reason and wallet protested, and we came home empty handed.

I remembered a pin that I had about making cauliflower pizza crust, and I decided to try it…

Here’s the link, if you’d like to give it a try: http://www.fatgirltrappedinaskinnybody.com/2011/06/basil-cauliflower-pizza/

Basically, I followed the directions exactly for the recipe.  Which is very unlike me, but I would not cook the pizza in the initial baking for as long as I did.  I would suggest maybe 12 minutes.  I also LOVED the basil ricotta!

Here’s Ben with his “slice”

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Seriously people, we didn’t miss our Digiorno for a second!

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Original {Horrible} Idea:  

Whole Digiorino Pizza –  240 carbs

Whole Cauliflower Pizza – 24 carbs

(that’s counting even the carbs in the veggies & sauce on the pizza!)

To make the comparison even more mind-boggling, and waist-whittling…

The entire cauliflower pizza, which almost filled my sheet pan, has less carbs than a slice of Digiorno.

I think the very best part is that I feel great!  And so does my blood sugar!

Gobble, gobble!

Yes, I sure did pose with a frozen bird...You bet I did!

I am here, in a candid shot with my new prisoner,  Senior Gobble.  Ben and I had a successful shopping trip today to Wegmans, and we picked this little guy up for .49 /lb!  Yes please!

This year, Ben and I have decided to have our first Holiday together with JUST us.  We have spent many cherished holidays with family and friends–and loved it, but this year we are going to have Turkey for 2.  

Here’s a little suspense — check in at More Than a Number over the next few weeks to see how I take a traditional thanksgiving dinner and make it delicious and diabetic friendly!

I’m also interested in any ideas or recipes you would like to share to help my holiday menu come together…

Bran Muffin Makeover

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One of my “roadblocks” on the journey with diabetes is breakfast.

I usually am not hungry in the morning.  That, coupled with the fact that I tend to run around like a crazy person on the way out the door, I tend to forget to eat it… or I just don’t want to!

Instead of planning elaborate morning meals that I would not follow through on, nor would I enjoy, I’ve landed at the conclusion that something non-fussy and fast is the way to go for me!  A friend suggested muffins.  At first, I thought that muffins would be too much carbs, therefore, not a good choice, but with a few modifications, muffins can be a great choice!

(If only those double-chocolate numbers from Whole Foods were a good choice….)

First, I made the traditional “Oven Ready Bran Muffins” from the back of the Hodgeson Mills Wheat Bran box.

With a few modifications….

  • I cut the called for 1 c. brown sugar down to 1/2 c.
  •  I used half Greek Yogurt and Half Ricotta Cheese instead of milk  (I ran out of greek yogi, so I used what  low-carb option I had on hand, ricotta)

After that, I saved 5 out for breakfasts now, and froze the rest to pull out some other lazy, crazy morning!

Tip: As you add ingredients to the bowl, write down their carbohydrate values; once you know how many muffins the recipe yields, you can divide by the total carb count and know the individual carb content of each muffin.

Then, write it on the box of wheat bran so you don’t have to do the calculations again!

 (Along with any changes you made to the recipe!) 

Eliminating half the brown sugar left the muffins needed a little something.  At first, I added honey, which completely defeated the purpose of reducing the brown sugar, plus, it’s very hard to be precise while measuring something so sticky.  Hard to account for the sweet nectar you lick off your fingers… :)

This morning, I knew that I did not want to use honey has I had previously, so I grabbed three fresh raspberries placed them on top of my muffin halves.   No other adornment, and the muffin was delicious.

Original Wheat Bran Muffin with 1T. raspberry preserves: 34 carbohydrates.

Makeover Muffin with Fresh Raspberries: 18 carbohydrates.

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With the addition of some plain chai white tea, this reluctant breakfast eater was satisfied, fueled for the day, and reduced carbohydrate intake by almost 50%!

Scrutinized and/or Criticized? Part Two

(Continuation of the previous post..) 

After reading Part One a few times, I agree with my husband that it was quite an abrupt place to leave things.  I agree!  There was no strategy in that—I just had to run and was too impatient to not post.

What is the “big picture” here?

I’d like to state right here and right now that the goal is to not bemoan thoughtful inquiry of others regarding my diabetes or complain about the person who is quick to point out that they “brought sugar-free jello to the church potluck so I would have something to eat.”  When I really, (with the right attitude) think about these instances, it is simply overwhelming kindness from people in my life that care about me.  It is boggling to have so many caring friends in my life that actually think of me while making preparations for a meal or potluck.   Thank you, to each of you who have considered my diabetes in this way.  Thank you for asking how I’m doing and thank you for being concerned what is best for me!

Through these kindnesses, I have a heightened awareness that others do think about what I eat and what I should be eating.  As I said before, this causes me to think twice about what I put in my mouth while I’m out and about with the masses, which has caused a bit of a dichotomy between food choices while alone and food choices while with others.  Is food the big deal here?  No.

The need to hide is.

There is a group of masqueraders in the Bible known as the Pharisees.  They were concerned about how they appeared to others, not about the inside–even though located on the inside is all the important stuff, like motive, intent, genuineness, and spirit-given or spirit-quenching desires.  It’s like the Oreo cream-filling of a person; what’s on the inside truly counts.  When Jesus addressed the Pharisees he said that they “outwardly appear[ed] righteous to others, but within were full of hypocrisy and lawlessness” (Matt. 23:28).  The comparison I want to apply to my own life is the lack of truthfulness that I evidence when I feel the urge or reserve the right to hide something.   Sometimes we intentionally hide, or practically hide.  For me this is less about intention to hide.  I want to appear to others as having it “all together,” but in my heart I do not have a true desire.

 Motivation for healthy living CANNOT be pressure to perform for others or please others.   

Guilt manufactures compliance for a season, while conviction yields true transformation.

I must not, and cannot seek an outward change in how I manage diabetes–how exhausting!  This battle rages within the thick walls of my heart–fortified by stubbornness and cranky-ness, and selfishness!  I need to stop treating my outside like prime real estate and my inside like a closet that only needs cleaning on special occasions.  Only as my heart is fully invested in diabetic responsibility, in conjunction with my desire to serve God and bring Him glory, will those outward gestures be meaningful.  And only in God’s strength and grace will my heart be changed!

“Change my heart, O God!  Make it ever true! Change my heart, O God!  May I be like YOU!”

“Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me.”

Psalm 51:10 ESV

Scrutinized and/or Criticized? Part 1

I started thinking about talking about this.  Then I decided it would be a bad idea—no need to be too transparent, even though that’s kinda what I’m going for here.  BUT then three different people on three separate occasions mentioned struggling in similar ways, so this is something that needs to be addressed, I think. Even bigger than addressing it, it is something that I need to be honest about.

The things that we hide evidence much about what we value, what we truly care about.  Let me put it this way, is there something you would NEVER even dream of doing if someone else were around, but enveloped in the safety of solitude, you constantly run to?  Details aside, this “something” could be anything.  What are they called?  Guilty pleasures?  Mine include actually enjoying “Zac and Cody” on the Disney Channel.  Would I ask a friend to stop on that show while channel surfing—No.  Would I secretly wish their kids would turn it on so I could ease drop?  YES.  Ben hates this one: I actually like to crack my knuckles.  I know, gross, right? I do.  He does not.

Anyway, I think we can all relate on some level…

…specifically, this is how I want to focus this concept of “guilty pleasures”

FOOD

There I said it.  I love food.  And I spend a LOT of time alone.  So I can basically eat any food I want without the shame of a witness.  Which is SWEET!  (literally and figuratively, people!)  As I have said from the beginning of blogging, guilt played (plays, sometimes) a big part in diabetes control.  From the beginning of my diagnosis, I have always felt that anywhere and everywhere I go people look at, study even, what I eat and comment, “Is that something a diabetic should be eating?”  “Can you have that?”  or even, “You can’t have that; YOU’RE DIABETIC!” At that time, I usually feel like, “Oh, thanks for reminding me that I’m not normal and automatically in need of your constant supervision now!”  GRRRR.  Other times, I am able to see those comments as what they truly are in most cases, love and concern.  People have not appointed themselves as my food-police, they are just concerned or curious about my health.  “Oh, I didn’t realize that you, as a diabetic, can eat that.”  Also, diabetes technology has come so far in the past 20 years that diabetics today can live a different lifestyle than those in the past. Then comes in the complication between Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes. (One day, I will try to clear up the confusion, but today is not that day!) So generally, people are not trying to condemn or shame me in comments about food, they are just curious.  I think.

Growing up “under the microscope” as a scientific specimen, a person with diabetes, I have come in ear shot of many comments regarding what I eat, what to eat, what NOT to eat; all the while feeling my food choices constantly scrutinized and most often criticized.

Hm… what does a person do in this situation?  This person just decided to not ever eat something in public that might be considered by some on-looker as inappropriate for someone “with my condition” to be eating.  Ideally, this would be the way I would always eat, making healthy choices, making diabetes-wise, nutritional choices.  Really, the choices that everyone should be making regardless of disease-label.  We all want to be healthy, right?  So I got in this mentality of eating one way in public and another way at Home, Alone. (I’m looking forward to watching this next week!)

A very anticlimactic place to leave it, but I need to get ready, and I want to keep you coming back.

(to be continued…soon, I promise!)