Thursday, August 27, 2015


"Change your thoughts and you’ll change your world"

 – Norman Vincent Peale

Are you familiar with the author Anne Lamott? If not, I think you should read one or all of her books. She writes about faith from someone from the perspective of one who has hit rock bottom, found God, and remembers what rock bottom feels like. While she does talk politics and religion it is not in any preachy way – in fact I think when she talks politics she is preachier than when she talks religion. (Oh and if you find 4 letter words offensive, she may not be exactly for you.) But she has some great quotes. She talks about the negative tapes that play in our heads and bring us down. Those self-doubt tapes we plat that keep us feeling bad about ourselves. She is very open about the tapes that play in her head and that is part of her charm.

“I thought such awful thoughts that I cannot even say them out loud because they would make Jesus want to drink gin straight out the cat dish.”

- Anne Lamott

When a person has diabetes, it is easy to be hard on yourself. You have a meter that will pass judgement on you several times a day. You will go to the doctor and have you A1C checked and your weight. I don’t think anyone looks forward to going to the doctor but that A1C is a killer. 

And here is the thing – it is not completely your fault. Okay if you drank a liter of pop then perhaps you do bear the responsibility but there are times that you didn’t do anything that you thought was wrong but still the results aren’t what you think they should be.

Let’s just say it – this disease stinks.

But when you have diabetes, you need to practice some positive thinking along with all this checking. You need to remember that you are human and that you will do better the next time. Maybe it is just me but sometimes I can get a bit stuck on all the things I have done wrong and forget that I am not a horrible person. Flawed but not horrible. So when you are feeling down, you might want to have something to fall back on that will remind you that you are a good person. (I sort of remind myself of that Saturday Night Live skit with Al Franken when I say this but I mean it.) 

So the next time that you are listening to a voice in your head that tells you that you are not good enough, just remember –

“Not forgiving is like drinking rat poison and then waiting for the rat to die.”

                                                                                                                             Anne Lamott

Thanks for reading!

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Are you a food cheater?

What? A foot cheater?  Yes, I bet you know what I am talking about.  When you are alone, do you eat things that you don't eat in front of your partner or anyone else?

Still don't get it?  Let me give you some examples.  The company Silent Sam'worked for closed in December.  He was home for awhile looking for a new job.  During that time, we were together for three meals a day.  Funny when we were both there, we behaved pretty well.  When Silent Sam came home from his first day on his new job, he told me he wasn't that hungry because he had a big lunch (french fries, and fried chicken).  Then on Wednesday, I was out and stopped and picked up an ice cream bar.  While I didn't really not tell Silent Sam, I didn't exactly shout it from the mountain top.  (Okay, he will find out when he reads this.)

We have some friends that the husband (who has diabetes) was home for several months due to a knee replacement and some complications.  He lost a a lot of weight during his recovery.  Why? Well, it seems that he had a habit of having perhaps a few things he shouldn't eat for breakfast each day.  Somehow now that he is back on his feet, he has gained back some of the weight.

I think we all do it.  We all have to break loose and have something we shouldn't every once in a while.  It can happen because it is a bad day or because it is a good day.  The important thing is that it isn't EVERY DAY.

If you lived your life and thought that you could never eat (fill in the blank) again then you would just crave it all the more.  But if you decide that once a year you can cave in and have whatever your foot soft spot is then you might not feel so obsessed by it.  You may even find that when you do have it, it isn't as good at you thought it was.

I have found that with ordering out.  We used to order out food a lot.  Then when Silent Sam was diagnosed, we cut back.  Then when he lost his job, we pretty much eliminated.  When we rarely did order out, I was looking forward to it so much.  Funny, it wasn't that good.  Now that is disappointing!  But it was also a lesson.  I had built it up so much in my mind that I was not thinking about the taste of the food - just the pleasure in ordering out.

So, what food makes you a food cheater?

Thanks for reading!

Friday, August 14, 2015

Dogs and Diabetes

I don't know if you know but it is really
 hard to photograph a black dog. 
Silent Sam and I recently adopted a rescue dog from the Chicagoland Lab Rescue organization. Sadie is about two years old and is afraid of everything. There is some part of her that is a Lab but we are not sure exactly what part. She is better than she was when she got here but she obviously will need a lot of love and consistency to bring out all her good qualities.

When we have adopted dogs in the past, we have also had children in the house so the new dog never got as much attention as Sadie has had. It could be said that she is a bit spoiled. Not terribly but we have never allowed a dog to sleep in our room before and somehow Sadie has a bed on the floor in our room.

When I sat down to write this post today, I was thinking about Sadie and I wondered about dogs and diabetes. I remembered that there are dogs trained to help people with diabetes. In looking up information about it, it seems that some dogs can just naturally smell the chemical changes in a person with diabetes and can alert them to either highs or lows. There is an organization named Dogs for Diabetics trains dogs and handlers to work together so that the handler is warned about  diabetic highs and lows.

From the web site, the mission of Dogs for Diabetics is: 

“Provide quality medical alert assistance dogs to insulin-dependent diabetics through programs of training, placement, and follow-up services; and to,
Develop, promote and advocate standards of quality, performance, support and disclosure for all medical assistance dog teams.
Our Vision includes the enhancement of our own work through evaluating, researching, and monitoring our dogs and clients to continuously improve our processes and the outcomes for our clients. We also hope that by advocating high standards for all medical assistance dog providers, medical assistance dogs will become more accepted, respected and available around the world.”

There are many stories of how much the dogs have given handlers back their life. It gives them the chance to get back out doing things without worrying as much about their diabetes. If you know someone whose world is growing smaller because of their diabetes, this organization might be able to help. There was even a story about a dog diagnosing another person in the handler’s office. The woman told the handler that the dog kept pawing at her knee. The handler checked the woman’s glucose level and it was high. The woman went to the doctor and was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes.

Dogs truly can be man’s best friend.

Thanks for reading!

(Okay, I will also do a commercial here for adopting a rescue dog.  There are so many dogs that could use a good home and they will be great companions. If you are going to get a dog, please consider a rescue.)   

Thursday, August 6, 2015

10 Worst Diet Choices

You may find this hard to believe but I do not always have a lot to say. There are times I can be quiet. And there are times the I wonder what I have to tell you on this blog.

Yes, you guessed it. Today is one of those days. To try and trigger a thought, I went on a quick google tour of the internet.

And I found a really interesting article.

Now, I could re-phrase the article and re-work it and make it mine but I don't think I will do that.  I am instead going to send you to read that article. (I know, I'm lazy so you have to click and read on another page. Is that what you get for loyalty?)

The article is on 10 foods you should avoid if you have diabetes. This is usually not my kind of article. Let's all say it in unison - "You can eat anything in moderation!" And that is true but there are some things that just really can't be redeemed. Come on you can't be surprised that sweetened drinks are at the top of the list. The list just pretty much makes sense but it is a good refresher none the less.

Top 10 Worst Diet Choices if You Have Diabetes

Even though the title doesn't say it, there is also a list of 5 of the best foods. At least they give you foods to eat when telling you what not to eat.  

And it you want a real laugh, look at the list to the left of the article on "Most Popular Posts" and check out the article on What the Color of Your Urine Says About You.  I particularly like what it says about having purple urine.  

(Made you look, ha ha!)  

Have a great week!  

Thanks for reading!  

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Going Back in Time - the Bread Maker

When we were cleaning out our house recently, we found our bread maker. Okay, if you had asked me, I thought that we had given it away years ago. Silent Sam and one of his friends always referred to it as "the plant stand" because they never saw bread come out of it.

I hate to admit that they were right but they were. I know that I bought mixes at the grocery store and made bread a few times. It was not enough to justify the expense. So, I was surprised to see it still in the basement. Surprised but I still did not get rid of it. Somehow it made it through that round of purging.

Several weeks later, I noticed that Silent Sam was throwing away a loaf of bread that we had bought at the grocery store. We don't buy bread often. We both like bread but feel that we should be more careful and so we rarely buy it. This past winter when we were having our "Sunday night soup nights", we would buy one loaf to go with the soup. We would then have it for several nights with dinner. It seems we did not have the meals with bread as planned and the bread went bad before we could eat it. That is when I had an idea.

What about making the bread in the bread machine?

Okay, now some of you could be laughing at me but I didn't know if they still sold the mix in the grocery store. I was talking to a friend and asked her if she knew. (She had gotten rid of her "plant stand".) She then told me that she had never used a mix that she used the recipes in the book that came with the bread maker. This led to a new issue - did we have the book? Silent Sam found the book in his stash of instruction books.

I also looked on Pinterest for recipes and found quite a few. Okay, I found the knockoff recipe for Starbucks lemon pound cake first. Amazing what will draw our attention, huh?  But there were many recipes available. (You are welcome to check my Pinterest board.)  

Since it was sitting there, I decided to look at the instruction book for the bread maker. It seems that the bread maker that I owned can make different size loaves. This was great. It meant that I could make a 1 lb. loaf that would be for just the two of us. No, we didn't eat it all at one sitting...

I have now made bread several times. (Probably tying the number of times I had made it in the past.) The results have been good. In fact, I made the Garlic-Herb bread last week. We agreed that we will only make that occasionally because IT WAS REALLY GOOD. It did last several days but I was careful wrapping it up. I wrapped it in saran wrap and put it in a container. In case you don't know, without any preservatives, the bread does not last long. It dries out quickly and gets stale.

In checking the recipe, it looks like one serving of the bread is about 34.5 carbohydrates. Depending upon the rest of the meal, that is not bad. And it is very tasty.

If you have a "plant stand" hidden away in your house, you might want to bring it back out and check out some recipes.

Thanks for reading!

Thursday, July 23, 2015

How Big is Your Plate?

You've seen this before - it is THE 9 inch plate
I was flipping through Weight Watchers magazine the other day. In the "Full Plate - news you can use" section, they had the following:
"92% is how much food the average adult eats from his or her plate during a meal, according to a new Cornell University study.   In other words, if you plate it, you'll eat it.  So whatever you plate, make it great." 
My first reaction was that adults only ate 92% of what was on their plate?  That would imply that the "clean plate club" concept has gone the way of the dinosaur.  I am surprised about that and also that 8 percent of the food is in the garbage.  Okay, I suppose people may save it for leftovers.  
The new standard in American plates, the 12 inch or larger plate, holds a lot of food.  It is amazing how much the size of the dinner plate has grown over the last 65 years.  Back in  1960, the standard dinner plate was 9 inches.  That growth allows for a lot more real estate to fill on a plate at a meal.  You would almost hope that we weren't filling a 12 inch plate and eating every bit of it.  But most are filling and eating.  (I am sure I would do the same.) 

The yellow plate is a 9 inch plate.  The other plate is 13 inches.
When Silent Sam was first diagnosed, there was a lot of information thrown at us.  The suggestion to switch to a 9 inch plate was one of the only suggestions I remembered.  Everything seemed so complicated.  Besides, I might have a bit of a shopping bug and it seemed like a mandate to buy new plates. 
We have used 9 inch plates for years now and I don't think anything about it now.  There is plenty of food on a 9 inch plate. The switch to a 9 inch plate is not a magic pill.  It did not stop us from overeating.  I wish just switching to a smaller plate had done that.  But I am sure it has helped.  

What is your favorite movie snack?

The magazine also reported on another study from Cornell.  In this study they looked a people's eating while they watched movies.  They found that people watching comedies ate less than people watching heavier themed movies.  Sad movies also cause more eating.  So the healthy snack you pick when watching a move should depend on the type of movie.  The heavier the movie the lighter the snack. 
Have a great week.
Thanks for reading!

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Do You Wear a Medic Alert?

If you have diabetes, you should wear a medic alert band or a neck chain. I know that many of you are resistant to wearing a medic alert.  It is really in your best interest in case you have a problem. 
There are so many styles available these days that you can almost look at it as a piece of jewelry rather than a medical band. If you are still not wearing one, why don’t you check out some of these sites to see if you can find a piece that you like.

The Medic Alert Foundation

Hope Paige Medical ID Marketplace

Lauren’s Hope Medical ID Jewelry

The American Diabetes Association

medic alert neck chain
This medic alert neck chain is from the American Diabetes Association

In this month’s Diabetes Forecast magazine there is a pull out section that has wallet cards and a card for you to keep in your car (or on your person) that explains about diabetes in case you have a problem when you are driving or out and about.  Okay, so easily the problem is that if you have an issue, the person trying to help you has to read the card.  Not everyone wants to stop and read the card when the person in front of them is having a problem. But, I suppose it it better than nothing. 

If you would like to print a copy of the card for yourself, it is available on line.  It is a two sided card. 

This is what the medic alert wallet card looks like

The other side of the card.

I really urge you to consider wearing a medic alert in some form.  It is in your best interest.

Thanks for reading!