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…

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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%!

Rules are Rules…

…I don’t make them, I just enforce them.  

How many of us have heard this, thought this, or actually said it?  

In this case, I am both the maker and enforcer of “The Rules.”  After realizing sometime last Thursday that I needed to be in the driver’s seat here, I also knew that I needed a more concrete plan of how that was actually going to look.  I also know, as I discussed in a previous post, that when I am “on” baby, watch out, because I’m on fire… and when I’m “off,” well, you might as well not bother putting that brownie on a plate, just hand me the 9×13 and a folk.  

I needed a way to stabilize my peaks and valleys, if possible.  I already know my tendencies; I wanted to find a way to work with myself.  The idea was not original to me, nor is anything new under the sun, but a friend suggested a few weeks ago (thanks, Amanda!) that I make some guidelines for myself to add some structure to my decisions.  

Generally what happens is that I do really well during the week with food choices and planning, but then the weekend comes, or Ben and I go out, or we come in contact with any sort of frozen yogurt, and I fall off the wagon.  Oh, it doesn’t stop there, the wagon continues until it’s not visible on the horizon.. and then I run in the opposite direction.  This lasts 3 days, and I jump on the wagon again.. repeat.  I find that weekends are far harder than the weeks for obvious reasons.  So what happens is that I am either counting all the carbs, checking my blood sugar before meals / 2 hours after, and being mindful of diabetes {Perfect Country!}, or I am eating whatever and just “guesstimating” on insulin.  Checking my blood sugar occasionally {Fun Country!}.  

Here’s what I came up with. 

The Rules

Monday!  (Girl’s Night!)

  • MUST pre-measure anything and everything!
    • Maybe leave some snacks at Nahries?
    • Carbohydrate limit for the evening?  40 total. 
      • I need to think about this a little more.  This is a good place to start. 
      • No eating after 10 p.m. 

Tues – Friday

  • ONLY No-Carb/low carb (under 5g.)  snacks after work  / between meals
    • No Carb Ideas: Tuna, string cheese, NSA pudding, pickles, veggies, hard-boiled eggs, lunch meat, tomatoes
    • Low Carb Ideas: Hummus w/ veg, little pumpernickel squares, Adkins shakes
    • Eat all three meals a day!
      • 25-45 carbs each meal
      • This will take PLANNING when I want to go out somewhere..  BE THAT PERSON that brings a lunchbox…
      • No eating after 10 p.m.

Weekends

  • Saturdays
    • Eat breakfast by 10
    • Sweets / eating late allowed — as long as I know exactly how many carbs
    • Sundays
      • Eat breakfast! :) 
      • Only take an ABF snack occasionally.  
        • (Once every 6 weeks! Mark it in calendar.)

Eating Out

  • Try to look up nutritional information before going out & make a plan.  

 

I love this plan.  I’m sure it will morph over time, but for this snapshot of my life, it is helpful.  Previously, it’s like I had a switch in my brain.. Diabetes ON, Diabetes OFF.  This is destructive on many levels.  Emotionally, it makes me feel like a failure.  Physically, it really puts my body through the wringer–headaches, sleeplessness, and aches from too high BG.  Spiritually, it keeps me from glorifying God in my decisions and in my body.  Switching ON and OFF no longer being an option, I needed to know what ON looked like.

I have for over two years now enjoyed a Girl’s Night with close friends every Monday night.  Girl’s night is rarely cancelled, and a wonderful highlight of my week.  On Monday nights, I usually just flipped the switch, took lots of insulin, and ate the stress of the week away, one goldfish at a time.  (One goldfish swimming in chocolate, of course!)  I love Monday nights.  I love being with my girls & relaxing.  I love not feeling inhibited at all about what I eat.  Ah.  Love it.  But… the wee hours of Tues. morning most regularly find me awake, sick, and frustrated.  Frustrated that I’m sick, I caused it, and even more frustrated that I don’t ever want to stop having girl’s night the way that it has always been. 

But, you know what?  

I can’t just sit back and pretend that taking a huge dose of insulin and goring myself on Ghirardelli squares is okay.  Yes, my BG eventually comes down, and I’m in normal ranges the next day, but the lack of restraint is the problem.  Being annoyed by boundaries, that is the problem.  I am a rebel.  My rebelliousness must be checked.  While I cling to the believe that “you’re not the boss of me!  I’m an adult now and I can make choices without input from others” reigns in my heart, I will not live a life with diabetes that brings glory to God.  A life that praises Him and His good choice, no, His BEST choice to give me diabetes.  Not while I reserve the right to decide when I will or will not be controlled.

It was just a corner of my life, really, these Monday night divergences from diabetes.  I walked up narrow hallway to Nahrie’s house and left diabetes at the door.  It was just one night.  I still took insulin.  It’s not like I left my insulin pump in the car!  I was still diabetic.. I just wasn’t going to think about that for about 4 hours.  Ah.. what blissful hours I spend as a rebel.  It feels good.  I’m in charge. whew.

It only takes a minute of this kind of thinking to send myself into a tailspin of horrible decisions, depression, and hopelessness.  Really, it starts with the first whisper of defiance that says, “I will not be controlled.  I will not be restrained.”  I am realizing even as I type that I was allowing my Girl’s Night to become territory I was unwilling to surrender to God.  I place and time in my life where I would have no boundaries.  (Because everyone needs that little corner of the world that they call “mine,” right?) 

So, the answer is drink water and carrots at Girl’s Night.  THAT must be most pleasing to God. 

ABSOLUTELY NOT!  

See what I did with my “Rules” for Monday night?  I gave myself a carb limit that is high enough to enjoy a few squares of chocolate or a bag of the snack that smiles back.  I don’t need complete autonomy to enjoy myself. 

I’m thankful that God has given things for our enjoyment.  I can even enjoy Him in the gifts that He has given–but as I enjoy things apart from Him, in a heart of rebellion, that is when sin creeps in.  

I have been feeling a little bit like sin for me is different than a non-diabetic.  Probably every time I eat something delicious it is sin because God has given me diabetes. Oh, how wrong that perspective is.  Rebellion is sin; the need to control is sin; running from restraint–that is sin.  

Chocolate is not sin.  It is a gift from God.

(Isn’t that the news you’ve been waiting to hear???  Don’t forget, you heard it here first!!) 

The Perfect Doctor

… that’s all I need,

Someone who will answer all my questions, and care about me personally, and understand how my uniquely contradicting personality roles in diabetes care…

Yep.  He/She’s out there somewhere, and I just need to keep looking..

{We interrupt this search to bring you reality}

Last Wednesday, I drove to my NEW doctor in Willow Grove, filled with both calculated anticipation and trepidation.   This would be a step in the right direction, this would be the person who would understand me and politely listen and answer my questions.   I would have been better off hanging my hope for victory on a three-legged horse in the Kentucky Derby.  (Which I truly would love to visit for the sake of wearing a huge hat!)

I arrived early to my appointment at one of the quaintest little Dr. offices that I have ever seen.  It is part of a collection of cottage-looking professional offices set off the road surrounded by the color-stained Fall trees.  Idyllic.  THIS was the place where all my dreams would come true.  As I waited, I tried to think through a good explanation for why October was so horrendous for diabetes care… “I was SO busy, tired, etc…” “I usually do so much better, but…”

When I got sick of that, I just waited.

waited…

Finally, I was called back, weighed, blood-pressured, and what followed really doesn’t merit explanation.  It impersonal, rude, and condescending.

I bawled my eyes out in the parking lot like I have not cried for years.

Which is saying something.

So many emotions surging at once, how could I keep from crumbling under it? I had been hoping so high.  This would be the key.  The beginning of something wonderful.  But, it wasn’t.  Once again, a new doctor, and it wasn’t.

I called Ben and said things like, “I .. don’t.. want this!!” Waaa! “I feel so stupid” Waaa! “I will NEVER BE ABLE TO DO THIS.”  Waaa!  etc.. etc…

Somewhere in the middle there, I also said something like this, “I think all this was supposed to teach me that maybe a good doctor is not the answer.” (I’m still trying to hold on to the fact that good doctors might actually exist,.. but that is a conversation for another day.)  Couched in the lies I was telling myself about the situation was actually a bright beam of truth.   I thought about this truth during the days to follow, and it only became more concrete in my mind.

Who is the answer to great diabetes control?

I am the answer to great diabetes control.  I see a doctor every 3 months.  But I’m “in the trenches.” I’m the everyday go-to expert on myself–my motivations, my struggles, what helps me to be successful!  While other people join me–friends, family–the choices that I make, the food that I eat, the insulin I take, the carbs I count; these things are controlled by me.

Seriously, in the past week, I have been lovin’ the driver’s seat!  I have made intentional choices, intentional purchases, and intentional declines.

Who’s driving this thing?  This girl right here.

Hey, Where are YOU from?

Perfect & Fun

These are my people–this is “back where I come from.”  On the itinerary of my “personality passport” it says, “Hometown Perfection, Frequent Visitor of Fun Country.”

Ben and I took a personality quiz a while back–we answered questions about what pumped us up, what disappointed us, what made us crazy.   We also figured out things like our top motivations in life; not necessarily what you’re good at, but what you really enjoy.  I came to a startling conclusion while reviewing the results of the test: my personality’s “home country” as the lingo of the quiz labeled it, is FUN!  I want to hear “it’s gonna be SO AWESOME”  “You’re gonna love this!”

 “WOOHOO” is one of my favorite words!

Ben’s home country was PEACE.  He spends a majority of his time here.  A huge canyon of space separates his home country, Peace, from his favorite vacation spot, Perfection.  So, he’s a steady-eddy who likes things in order.  Agreed.  This quiz nailed it for my B.

When it comes to my favorite vacation spot, there is not a canyon of space between–more like a revolving door–because I spend so much time there.  Destination?  Perfect Country.

It was hilarious when we were talking to Paul, who helped us talk about the results of our quiz because he turned to me and said, “Do you ever feel that those countries (Perfection & Fun)  are at war?  And all of a sudden, SO MUCH made sense to me!  I often feel a conflict within me of competing desires.  “The things I want to do, I don’t! The things I don’t want to do, I do”  comes to mind.  Everyone has the flesh v. spirit conflict within them, but this is not what I’m talking about here.  There is nothing inherently better or less sinful about either of these dispositions, they just don’t tango together very well.

I can clearly see how each of these sides to my personality take over at different times.  Some days, my house is picture-perfect.  Everything is neat and orderly.  Picturesque.  Other times, even days (Moments?)  later, there is chaos!  I like both because usually chaos = crafts.  :)  But some days, I just love the crazy mess.  Other days, I long for the order.

Perfect & Fun

I see this being especially frustrating in my journey with Diabetes.  I have spent some weeks recently being meticulous with carb counting, testing, meal times, and collecting data.  I loved those weeks.  It was fulfilling to put myself into something completely.  I felt great!  I had energy and strength.  I slept well, and I was happy to be doing something meaningful.  BUT those two weeks were SO HARD!  I was able to do it because I knew there was an end.  I was collecting data for a specific dr. appointment, so I knew the end was in sight.

I can live in Perfect Country with Diabetes.

As long as I can hop a plane to Fun any time I want.  But that’s not how Perfect works, is it?

It’s War.

I am currently in the process of processing this.

On the Road Again!

Hello there, that is, if I have any readers left!  Things have been rather quiet around here recently for a variety of reasons.  It all started when I watched an hour and a half YouTube video on making WordPress blogs way cooler.  Not the exact title, but you get the gist.  Then, about 45 minutes in I had made so many changes that I didn’t even know where anything was and what to do with it!  — and I had a new vocabulary including things like “Widgets” “Embed” “Parent Pages” “Encoded” I knew about as much of this new language as I do of French.  The extent of my French is 6 words.

Anywhoodle, I guess I kinda just gave up on the whole blog thing.  Having every intention of coming back.. no really, I did!  As soon as I could figure out exactly what I was going for here.  Whew.  I think I have a better idea now, and I am so thankful!

I am happy to say that Diabetes did not take a hiatus, (though sometimes, it’d be nice if it would.  Or rather, if I pancreas would come hang out over here for a bit).

I have many things to report.

Stay tuned.

Missed you.