Thursday, December 27, 2012

Starting Over

The new year is about to dawn.  It is the time for new beginnings.  I am looking forward to the beginning of 2013.  As with other years, it will bring some happiness and some sadness but the beauty of a new year is the hope.  While it cannot be a clean slate entirely, it can be a chance to change our outlook.  We can decide to look at the same issues with a uplifted view.  

So rather than making resolutions, let's try hope.  It sounds more positive than making resolutions, doesn't it?  I am thinking of hope in a more concrete way than just "I hope this happens and I don't have to put any work into it..."  In looking in the dictionary, we see that the definition of hope is as follows:

Definition of HOPE

intransitive verb
: to cherish a desire with anticipation <hopes for a promotion>
archaic : trust
transitive verb
: to desire with expectation of obtainment
: to expect with confidence : trust

I like that - to expect with confidence.  That is what I need to put into my life.  I hope to correct my bad eating habits in the new year.  I therefore expect with confidence that I can and will correct my bad eating habits in the new year.  Of course I will have to have a plan to implement my hope but I do like the positive way of looking at the changes. 

What are your hopes for the new year?  If you take some time to think about your hopes for 2013, make sure that you include that you hope to have fun or that you hope to be happy.  After all, you don't want to weigh yourself down with changes that are not fun or things that will not make you happy.  I think that a 2:1 ratio would be good.  Two fun hopes for every hope to change your actions.  

1.  See some friends that I have not seen for awhile (fun)
2.  Write more (what I like to do)
3.  Eat in a more healthy way (a change I want to make)

See, by putting in two things that sound like fun or will make me happy, I can look at the third change in a better light.  

What do you think?  Would it help you to think of "hoping for change" rather than "resolving to change"?  Let me know either in the comment section below or on facebook (The 9 Inch Plate) or twitter (@9inchplate). 

Thanks for reading!

Thursday, December 20, 2012

I Have Missed You So...

Happy to be with you!

I am so happy to be writing here again.  I am sorry that I have not written in such a long time.  I will try to make sure it doesn't happen again.

Besides writing to you, I have a job.  I am in property management.  For the past 20 years, I have managed a medical building.  Yesterday, the building was sold.  The work it took to put that sale together was amazing.  Don't get me started on lawyers....  I had some really terrific people working with me but it was a lot of work.

Today for the first time in over 20 years, I don't have to worry about the upcoming snow.  It is now someone else's problem.  It is bittersweet.  While I am glad that I won't have to worry about things, I will miss the amazing people that I have met and worked with over that time.  It has been a really great experience.

But the main question is how are we doing in the world of diabetes and our health.

We are a mess.  We have broken most of our rules and have done some backsliding.  I was tired.  I was stressed.  I was working 14 hour days and had no inclination to make dinner.  I could have cared less about what we were having.  Throw in the rest of life where things can go wrong occasionally and it is the recipe here for backsliding to our old ways.

I am an emotional eater.

So, the clouds are beginning to clear and I can see that in a day or so, I will be able to pull it together again.

They make movies about starting over, right?

Silent Sam, while better on some fronts than I was, is right there with me.  Exhaustion and stress just blew us out of the water.  His numbers, while not bad, have not been as good.

So back we go.  Discouraged about our mistakes but we know that we can do better.  Time to get back up.  I don't think we will wait until the new year starts.  I think that we will try and start again this weekend.

Slow and steady wins, right.  Slow really means moves slowly and sometimes backward but then goes forward again.

So, if you have had fits and starts, you are not alone.  If you do more than fits and starts, you are not alone.  We can do this journey together.

After all, we have so much to catch up on. I have missed you.

Thanks for reading.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

How Did We Get Here?

As you may notice from the picture to the right, November  is National Diabetes Awareness Month.  As part of the awareness month, there are some d-bloggers (diabetes bloggers) that are writing a post a week on a selected topic.

I am not one of the bloggers in that group but since I do read other diabetes blogs, I can cheat and find out the topics from those blogs.  There are an amazing number of diabetes blogs.  Through these blogs, one can  connect with other diabetics. The people who write these blogs are very helpful and willing to answer questions.

From reading Karen Graffeo's blog, Bitter~Sweet (  I know that this week's topic is as follows:

 The Beginning: Share a story from when you (or the person you blog for/about) were first diagnosed.

We are coming up on Silent Sam's first anniversary of being diagnosed with diabetes.  He had been warned for a few years by his doctor that he was pre-diabetic.  He had barely mentioned it around the house.  To be perfectly honest, I knew nothing about diabetes.  I knew I should be worried but he wasn't saying much and we were busy and well, life just moved on.  I don't think that our story is out of the ordinary.  We simply ignored the unknown and pretended that it would go away.

On the Monday after Thanksgiving, Silent Sam decided to admit that he had a lump on his thigh.  He further admitted that it had been there a few days but now it really hurt.  He tried to go to his doctor that morning but his doctor had stopped allowing drop in patients and would not be able to see him for several days.  We ended up going to the ER.  It seems that he had a pretty serious leg infection that needed to be drained. While in the ER, the doctor told him that he needed to go to the doctor because his blood sugar levels were too high.  "They will put you on pills. Not a big deal."  were the words that were said.  They hooked SS up to an IV antibiotic and left us for awhile.  When the doctor came back, he had decided that SS, because of the size of the infection would do better with another dose of IV antibiotic and that SS was being admitted to the hospital.  This was our first shock.  This went from not appearing to be a big thing to being admitted to the hospital.  Once up in the hospital room, the doctors quickly came to the conclusion that SS had diabetes and needed to go on insulin.  We received a lot of information in the hospital. There was just so much to learn and I wasn't absorbing all of it.  Fortunately, SS did much better than I did and we were able to start stumbling through.  

What did I remember from all the education they threw at us?  Why I remembered that American dinner plates had grown over the years to our current size of 11-14 inches in diameter and that we should have

a 9 inch plate!

The other take home was that the plate should be 1/2 salad and vegetables, 1/4 protein, and 1/4 carbohydrates.

That was our start down this path to a more healthful life.  

And if you have been following this blog, you know that I am now behind (again!) on my thankfulness posts.  

I am thankful for the other diabetes bloggers who have been so helpful to me during the past year.  If you can take a minute to check out their work, I am sure they would welcome you.  There is a list in the left hand column of some of the blogs I follow.  They are not all diabetes blogs.  Check them out.  You may find a new voice that you want to welcome into your life.  (Besides mine - don't dump the old for the new.  I like you too much....)

Thanks for reading!

 P.S. Part of the reason for the special November blog posts is to not only raise awareness but also to raise funds for the Joslin Diabetes Center.  If you would like to find out more, please click on the following link

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Behind Already...

I seem to be a day behind already.  Great way to start, huh?  There is so much to be thankful for but I ran out of time yesterday.  Really, I ran out of steam.  By the time I could come in to write,  I was very  happy to just sit.

So, I will be doubly thankful today.  As I said in the last post, I am not thankful for Silent Sam's diagnosis of diabetes.  I am thankful that his diagnosis has changed some of our habits.

I am glad that we are eating better.  When I look back and see the changes that we have made in the last year, I am proud of us.  If you had told me eighteen months ago that I would go to a restaurant and order a turkey burger, I would have told you that you were nuts.  We have mostly embraced eating lower calorie and fat alternatives.  Oh, we still slip up but that is okay.  We have made improvements and I am thankful for those changes.

I am also thankful that we have increased our exercise routine.  I have really enjoyed my walks at the lake and we have now found a new gym.  It is only $10/month.  That seems too good to be true, doesn't it?  So far it is great.  It has not been busy and it is clean.  The gym is open 24 hours a day.  While I am sure I won't be testing many of the evening hours, I can go really early in the morning.

So today, I am thankful for improved eating habits and improved exercise routines.  We seem to be on the right track.

Thanks for reading!

Friday, November 2, 2012

Thankfulness Project Day 2

On day two of the month of thankfulness, I am so thankful for my husband.  He is the light of my life and so many good things have come from knowing him.

In case you were wondering, I am not thankful for his diabetes.  But in the following days, I will tell you the things that I am thankful for that have come from him having diabetes.  That is looking at the upside, isn't it?

So I hope that you are thinking of your blessings this month.  It does help the spirit soar.

Thanks for reading!

Thursday, November 1, 2012

30 Days of Thankful

I got up early this morning because I have decided to do a writing challenge.  The writing challenge is to write 50,000 words in the month of November.  Most people are using the month to write a novel.  I am not that ambitious.  I want to do the challenge just to get in the habit of taking the time to write every day.  I am shooting for 2500 words a day.

But before I could start, I had to procrastinate a bit and check out my email and Facebook.  Facebook is probably the world's most used procrastination tool.  I am pretty sure it is THE writer's procrastination tool.

One of my fellow writers has a different challenge for November.  She wants people to join her and write a "Thankfulness" blog post a day.  While I shouldn't take this on too, I am going to try.

I was thinking about it when I took my daughter to the train this morning.  When I got home and got out of the car, this is the view I saw.  How can you not be thankful when you have a scene like that in front of you?

So, today I am thankful for life and all it's beauty.

Thanks for reading!

Sunday, October 28, 2012

It is a Matter of Attitude

I thought I would write about being kind to yourself.

We have had a rough few weeks.  As you know, I was sick.  It lasted two weeks.  Really, two weeks. It seemed endless.

I will admit that I was sick enough that I did not care what I ate.  Or drank.  Yes, I went back to my old ways and drank Coke.  I was so thirsty and somehow got really sick of water and light tea with lemonade that I sunk back into my old ways.  At first, I wasn't eating much so that wasn't a problem but as I felt better, I ate more.

Next confession, I didn't exercise for the two weeks.  Now that I have been better for a week, I have not exercised much this week either.

This has left me in a place where I feel sluggish, sore, and dying for a Coke.  Great - just the inspiration everyone needs.  As I was starting to feel better, I had to take a trip.  When I got back, Silent Sam left on a trip. Without him here, I made poor food choices.  It is so bad that I am happy to cook this week because I am sick of ordering out food.  You know it is bad when...

So, I could really be sad that I have been so awful and tell myself what a jerk I am. "How stupid can you be for falling so far off the path?"  That voice in my head could really go to town on me.  Every negative thought could be right there on an endless reel.

But I am not going to do that. I was sick and blew it. I lost three weeks.  I can start over tomorrow and know that I am back on track.  I was human. I made a few mistakes and I will get over them.  If I beat myself up, I will just perpetuate the problem be feeling lousy about myself.

Instead, I think I will celebrate my humanity.  To err is human and to forgive divine.  I think I will be divine.  Besides, if I am that hard on myself, who will be nice to me?

As a bigger note - by looking at how I treated myself while I was sick (breaking every rule possible) I now know that it is really important to get prepared for sickness.  To take the time to know what we are going to do if Silent Sam gets sick.  I can see where being prepared would make a huge difference for him.

Oh, and Silent Sam hasn't even had a sniffle.  I am so glad that I didn't make him sick.  It wasn't much fun and we weren't ready for him to get sick.
Forgiveness - a gift I give to myself

Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

And Then I Got Sick

The last two weeks have been a bit of a blur.  I have a cold.  There maybe more to it but the bottom line is that it is cold.  I even broke down and went to one of those clinics in a drug store.  I was given some antibiotics but I don't think they have done a thing.

This makes me think about how we were supposed to be prepared in case Silent Sam got sick.  Since I love the "get prepared" thing, it was right up my alley.  We were supposed to have supplies ready so that if he got sick we would know what to do.  We were told that even getting a cold could affect his levels so that we needed to be ready.

It is now 11 months later and we are not prepared.  It was another one of those instances of me wanting to move ahead but not wanting to push him about it.  As with many things, there is a delicate balance.  As I have talked about before, you need to pick your battles.   (a lesson that applies to all of your life)

Not only are we not prepared but now I don't even remember what we were supposed to do.  I can still see the video in my mind but not the specifics.  Luckily, I have the internet at my fingertips and there are articles to help.  (Okay, the standard warning applies on internet articles - if they don't sound right, they probably aren't. ALWAYS look at the source and see if you can find several articles that give the same information.  Information from the American Diabetes Association is a good source.  Information from Joe Blow's I can eat all the food I want and my diabetes isn't affected blog probably (absolutely) should be ignored.)

It seems that just having "the common cold" can affect your blood sugar levels.  When your body is busy fighting the invasion of germs, it is hard for it to also regulate your insulin.  You might want to start by checking your levels every few hours just to see how they are affected.

It could be that you are not interested in eating (oh, I do dream of feeling that way).  You still need to eat and stick to your meal plan.  You may need to have foods that have carbohydrates but are soothing.  You could try a Popsicle or fruit juice bar.  The world renown cure of chicken soup is also a good idea.  You need to keep the fluids flowing so that you don't get dehydrated.

Also, if you take over the counter medicines, you should check the labels or ask the pharmacist.  Some medicines are high in sugar and that is just not what you need.  Look for the words "sugar free".  Those cough drops really need to be checked.  The reason they are so good is that they have sugar.

Also, have a list of your diabetic team's phone numbers.  Don't hesitate to call and ask questions.  Keep track of when you started to feel sick, how your levels have been and what you have taken so that you can give them the best information when you call.  They want you to be well; let them help you.

So, I think when I am feeling better, I will put together a plan.  It is easier to figure out what medicines would be good when you are not desperate to find them.  Yes, I just have to get well first. A clear head will prevail.

Thanks for reading!


Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Is Alzheimer's Diabetes Type 3?

My son sent me an article from The Guardian a few weeks ago.  It was a article talking about the concept that Alzheimer's Disease may actually be diabetes type 3.

I read the article and was really taken back.  The first question in my mind was "Is this science or it is propaganda by a group to scare people?"  I have let the thought sit uneasily on my mind for the last few weeks.

Here is a link to the article

One of the first things that grabbed me was the purported correlation between diabetes (particularly diabetes  type 2) and Alzheimer's.  I had not heard of this before and it was alarming.  Upon further research, it appears that there can be a link but that scientists are not completely sure of the "whys" yet.  Please see an article from the Mayo Clinic

Perhaps because I have a father who is suffering from vascular dementia and Alzheimer's, this information has an impact on me.  I see the effects on almost a daily basis and  I know the toll that it takes on the individual and the family.  The thought of this affecting my husband or children horrifies me.

I let this all percolate in my brain for awhile and then decided to do some more research.  There seems to be a fair number of articles on the subject of diabetes type 3.  I certainly cannot debate the merits of the science that is discussed.  I don't know if it is right or wrong.

I know that the numbers they are talking about both in predictions of the growth of diabetes and the growth of Alzheimer's is incredible.

I think it is scary.

All the written information does seem to agree on one point.  The bulk of the blame for this problem is the way that we eat and the lack of exercise in our lives.

 In an interview in the Boston Globe with Deborah Kotz, Dr. Suzanne DeLaMonte, the Brown Medical School neuropathologist whose 2005 initial studies connected that Alzheimers could be diabetes type 3, states that, for now, prevention lies in making lifestyle changes.  ( )

In reading these articles, I feel that I have ventured into the area of the old "Scared Straight" movies and propaganda.  It is truly frightening.

It is also a great incentive to eat right and exercise. While I am still sneaking some candy corn, I am not falling back on all my bad habits.  I guess a bit of scared straight isn't so bad....

Thanks for reading.


Sunday, September 30, 2012

Diabetes Research in Evanston, IL

We all know that there is research going on all the time.  We hear about research studies results in the news and touted in ads.

I have discovered that there are research studies going on right in my town.  I met with Jeff Geohas, M.D. to talk about the research he is currently doing.  Dr. Geohas is the the Medical Director and Principal Investigator with Evanston Premier Healthcare & Research, LLC.

Dr. Geohas started being involved with research studies when he finished his residency and was starting his private internal medicine practice.  While he had always been interested in research, he found that doing research studies worked well with his medical practice.

Dr. Geohas has witnessed the exponential growth of patients with the diagnosis of diabetes.  He is concerned by the effects that the diagnosis has on his patient's life expectancy.  People with diabetes are at high risk for heart complications.  In fact, people with diabetes have the same risk for a heart attack as someone who has already had a heart attack.

Current research studies that are being done by Evanston Premier Healthcare & Research involve medicines for Type 2 Diabetes.  In one study, they are testing a new oral agent and in another they are studying new medicines that are added to insulin therapies.  Other studies currently being done involve a treatment for urinary tract infections and a study by a psychiatrist on depression.  All studies hold great hope for new treatments that can help people.

If you think that you would be interested in participating in research studies, you can contact Evanston Premier Healthcare & Research.  They will be happy to talk to you, take down some medical history and then you can be part of their database and they will call you if you fit into one of their studies.  If you are chosen for a study, your study medications, laboratory tests (including but not limited to EKG and blood work), and medical examinations are all paid for by the study.  Depending on the study, you may be compensated for your time and travel.

Please call (847) 869-1191 to discuss participation in a research study.

I don't know if we ever consider that research is being done right in our own backyard.  It is nice to know that researchers are everywhere and that they can be as nice as Dr. Geohas.

Thanks for reading!

Monday, September 24, 2012

Diabetes Art Day

A new day starts at the lancet farm.

Okay, I really never claimed to be an artist.  But I could not let Diabetes Art Day go by without trying.  

Have a great day.

Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Walking for and with Hope

Listen to the mustn'ts, child
Listen to the don'ts
Listen to the shouldn'ts, the impossibles, the won'ts 
Listen to the never haves
Then listen close to me
Anything can happen, child
Anything can be
Shel Silverstein

What is hope?  

According to Wikipedia, it is an emotional state which promotes the belief in a positive outcome related to events and circumstances in one's life.  To cherish a desire with anticipation.  

It is said that the concept of hope can be found as early as in Greek Mythology.  Prometheus stole fire from Zeus.  Zeus, being the BMOC (Big Man on Campus), was very upset.  To retaliate, he sent down a jar filled with all manner of evil.  Then Pandora, despite being told not to open the jar, opened it.  All of the evil escaped into this world.  Hope was caught on the lip of the jar and Pandora closed the lid before it could come out.  

So, you may think of Pandora as being an internet radio station but in reality Pandora started out in mythology as a curious person who let evil loose in the world.  

To me, one example of hope is the over 1,000 people who have signed up to walk for the Step Out: Walk to Stop Diabetes on October 20th in Chicago.  

You see, those walking live in hope for a cure for this disease.  They live in hope that the funds raised will make lives better.  

We will be walking along the lakefront in Chicago enjoying the fresh air and sunshine (another hope).  Just imagine the spirit of a crowd all believing in one goal and being willing to work toward that goal by raising funds for research. I have confidence that the atmosphere will be happy and enthusiastic.  It will be a fun place to be.   

If you would like to join us, please do.  We welcome you.  If you are not in the Chicago area but would like to walk, please check out when the walk will be in your area and sign up.  You can check for a local walk at 

Thanks for reading!

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Alcohol and Diabetes

Wow!  I have been gone for awhile, huh?  Sorry!  There has been a lot going on around here and I have slipped up.  Well, I am re-invigorated and will be back strong now.  I appreciate your support in reading this blog.

We have been discussing the effect of alcohol use on blood sugar levels.  Silent Sam was under the impression that he needed to be careful because drinking could raise his blood sugar level.  I was under the opposite impression from my reading.  So, it seems that some research was in order.

After all, this is an Irish German household and there certainly seems to be a place for a beer or two.  SS and my son are, what might be considered, beer snobs.  They do not drink any of the light beers.  I think it can be termed that they like to "chew" their beer.  Yes, Guiness is a favorite.  (Irish mother's milk)

As can be said of the general population, drinking is viewed with positives and negatives.  With diabetics, the issue is a bit more clouded.  While diabetics can use the cardio benefits from moderate drinking (generally, for women 1 drink a day and men 2 drinks a day) due to the disease they also have more to consider.

The first consideration is whether your blood sugar levels are under control.  If you are experiencing frequent highs and lows, you might want to get it more under control before you have a drink.  Alcohol will lower your blood sugar.  Why? Alcohol moves quickly into your blood stream and from there to your liver.  If your liver is busy cleaning the alcohol from your system then it cannot work on regulating your blood sugar.  You can slip into dangerously low blood sugar levels.

Alcohol also is not a good mix with some of the medicines prescribed for diabetics.  If you are taking a medicine to lower your blood sugar level then adding alcohol to the mix can be a recipe for hypoglycemia (low blood sugar).

If you want to have a drink, here is a checklist of things you might want to consider

1.  Check with your diabetes care team about the interaction between your medicine and alcohol.

2.  Check your blood sugar level before you have a drink.  If it is low, eat something first.

3.  ALWAYS eat while you drink.  But don't let the alcohol influence your choice.  Remember to eat foods that are more in the healthy range (salsa and chips) than the unhealthy range (chicken wings soaked in blue cheese dressing).

4.  Avoid sugary drinks - use diet sodas or tonics as mixers. The American Diabetes Association reports that light beer and dry wines tend to have less alcohol, carbohydrates and calories.

5.  Wear your diabetes alert bracelet.  If you have low blood sugar, it can look like you are drunk and you may not get the treatment you need.


There are more complications but we can save those for another day.  I am happy to be back writing to you all and I will promise to be more consistent.

Thanks for reading!  

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Is He Cured?

I live in the Midwest.  I have noticed over the years that while we are very friendly, we seem to suffer from "chicken little syndrome".  IF the weather is nice, you will find most people you talk to will say "Oh but what will winter be like?'   We have had a long warm summer.  It has been so nice for so long that we are all confused. It has been very dry.  For once, we appreciate the rain when it comes.  But we all seem to feel that there will be a payback for our nice weather.

We had GREAT news over the weekend.  Silent Sam is now off all his diabetes medications.  He has worked so hard and has succeeded with the goal he set at the very beginning.  I am so proud of all he has accomplished.

Is he cured? No. He is not.  He cannot be cured of diabetes.  It is a life long disease.

We actually wonder if the hardest part is about to happen.  Now he really has to depend on his food intake and exercise to keep his numbers where they should be.  Like good Midwesterners, we are waiting for the other shoe to fall.  Can he keep it in check now that he doesn't have any help?

The good news is that the week before we had reaffirmed that we needed to be more vigilant.  We needed to eat more carrots and less sweet potato chips.  More veggies less protein.  You get the drift.  So at least the mindset is in place.

Diabetes is a funny thing.  You cannot predict how your body will react all the time.  It is not consistent.  What works today and has worked for months may not work tomorrow.  Silent Sam, like many other diabetics that I read about, can't predict what will affect his blood sugar.  This makes it even harder than just behaving ourselves.  All we can do is keep on keeping on.

So give a silent cheer to SS.  He deserves it.  Then give him a hearty "Good Luck" because he is going to need it.  We have gotten to the top of this hill but there is still a long way to go.

Thanks for reading!

Monday, August 13, 2012

A Color for the 9 Inch Plate

I read a tidbit today in a magazine that said that not only should you use smaller plates when you eat (9 inch anyone?)  but that the plate should be red.  RED?!  According to the tidbit, research was done and found the you will eat less when using a red plate than you would when using a blue or white plate.

Not only that, but supposedly studies show that if your tablecloth matches your plate you will want to eat less.

So that means that we will eat less eating off a red 9 inch plate on a red tablecloth or place mat.

Isn't that amazing?  Don't you wonder why anyone thought to study this?  

Also, forget those romantic candle lit dinners if you are trying to lose weight.  It seems that studies show that you will eat more by candle light than you will by having the lights on.  (Maybe people just could not tell what they were eating....)

Despite my love of buying things,  I don't think I am ready to test the red plate theory.  I was the doubting Thomas with the 9 inch plate theory and I had to give in and agree with it.

Do you think my orange plates are close enough?  Obviously I will have to give the blue ones to guests and keep them away from Silent Sam and myself.

Beyond thinking of these studies, someone actually pays to have them researched.  Maybe that person will buy me some red plates.... (They would probably like to sell me some red plates.)

Have a great week!

Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Pizza Pasta

In our unending quest to find and eat healthy pizza (really, we just want to eat regular unhealthy pizza) I tried a new recipe called Pizza Pasta.  The original recipe was in the August/September issue of Healthy Cooking Magazine.  I made it the magazine way first and then made adjustments.

I think that this is one of those recipes that you just adjust each time according to what you have available or what you want at the time.  The prep time for this recipe is really pretty fast but it takes a long time to bake.  (Please really note that - it is a 65 minute baking time) By adding other ingredients, you may expand the prep time.  For example, I made the recipe the second time with turkey Italian sausage.  I decided that the sausage should be cooked at least part way before putting it in the oven.  Between the grease that would come off during cooking and the fear that it would not cook all the way, I cut it up and heated it in a frying pan for 5 or 10 minutes.  Just until it was browned.

I know that it is best when I can give you the nutritional information also but since I have altered the recipe, I am not sure about it.  I have put the nutritional information for the original recipe.

Enough talking - here is the recipe

Pizza Pasta

4 cups uncooked multi grain bow tie pasta
2 cans (14.5 oz) fire-roasted diced tomatoes undrained
3/4 cup water
12 slices turkey pepperoni, quartered
1 tbsp. prepared pesto
1/4 tsp. pepper
3/4 cup shredded italian cheese blend cheese

Changes I have made so far -
dropped the turkey pepperoni - couldn't really taste it
added 2 turkey Italian sausages - I think the next time I will add three
added mushrooms - 1/2 package
added spinach - I did not add enough - it cooks down I would say you could add a whole package of fresh
added olives - black sliced - one small can.  We talked about adding green next time for more taste

Prep -
Place all ingredients EXCEPT THE CHEESE in a big bowl and mix them together.

Use a cooking spay to coat the inside of  a 11 X 7 X 2 inch baking pan.  Put all the mixed ingredients from the bowl into the baking pan and cover.

Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes.  Take off the cover, stir the ingredients, put the cover back on and put back in the oven for 15 minutes longer.  Then take the cover off, sprinkler the cheese on and bake for another 5 minutes or so until the cheese melts.

Serves 6

Nutrition facts for original recipe - 1 1/4 cup serving equals 318 calories.  7 g fat (2 g saturated fat) 15 mg cholesterol  584 mg sodium, 47 g carbohydrate, 5 g fiber, 16 g protein.

Dietary Exchanges- 2 1/2 starch, 1 medium-fat meat, 1 vegetable 

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

A Diet Tip?

So I have been a bit off with my posts lately.  I have been busy but beyond that I have been bogged down trying to think of something really great to write.  I have to remember a few things.  First of all that this does not have to be the world's longest post.  The second is that any tidbit I pass on might be of interest.

I read an article the other day about having dessert with breakfast as a diet tip.  Okay, this is right up my alley.  The article talked about a study done in Israel with a very small sample size of people.  The study broke the sample into two groups.  Both groups were allowed the same number of calories a day but the one group was given dessert with breakfast.  During the first period of time (a month or so) both groups lost the same amount of weight.  During the second month, the dessert group lost 75 percent more weight.  It was speculated that this was because the dessert group did not feel as deprived and therefore did not start cheating on the diet.

I am ready for this!  I like dessert.  I can eat it for breakfast.  After all, if I could start my day with a Coke, I can start with dessert.  (By the way, we are at 8 weeks without a Coke or any soft drink.  I  appreciate your applause.)

So what do you think about having dessert for breakfast as a weight loss tip?  Do you think there is any merit in this concept?  Let me know your thoughts.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

If it was a Honeymoon, it is in DANGER

Oh, it's the honeymoon, he said as he laughed a bit.  I sat with my mouth open.  

I was at the annual meeting of the ownership of a medical building and had just told the doctor sitting next to me about Silent Sam being diagnosed with diabetes.  I was telling him how great SS was doing.  I was stunned by his comment.  Here is the worst part - he is the nicest guy.  He is the kind of guy that you know was a great doctor because he was so nice. 

I did not tell Silent Sam about the "honeymoon" comment.  I did look on the internet to see if this was a common term.  It seems that it is a term used with Type 1 diabetes. It refers to a period after the diagnosis that the Type 1 can eliminate or reduce the need for insulin.  This is a temporary phase.  The insulin injections will become necessary as the body stops producing insulin again. 

I can see that perhaps it could be said that we have been in a honeymoon period.  We made so many changes when SS was diagnosed and we find now that we are lapsing a bit.  Sort of like a young bride not being as fussy with cleaning as she was at first.  It is very hard to change so many bad habits and think that you won't have days of weakness. 

In this house, one of the weaknesses is with snack food.  We have a rule about how to eat snack food.  You are supposed to take out a small bowl and use that to measure a portion of the snack food to eat.  We have slipped up on that a few times lately.

We seem to have gone back to having a cocktail time before dinner.  Okay, it does not mean that we drink - it is time that we have something to drink (tea, water, wine) and a snack.  We had been really good about that snack being carrots or sugar snap peas but a few times the bag of pretzels or sweet potato chips made it to the table. 

The thing about cocktail time is that it is not about the drinking and eating.  It is a chance to talk over our day and our thoughts.  A time to reacquaint after a long day of work. I like this time.  It also means that dinner is pushed back a bit.  All too often after dinner, we separate and go to our home offices to work until 9 p.m.  So that cocktail time is our best chance to talk about what is on our minds. I think that we will just have to work on how we handle our cocktail time.

How do you handle your version of cocktail time?  Do you have a favorite snack?

Thanks for reading!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Lunch with the Ladies

Last week, I went to the town where I grew up and had lunch with a group of women. I had gone to high school with these women and a few of them had gone all through school together.  Some of the women had stayed in the town and raised their children there and most of us had moved away.   

In high school, we all knew each other but we were not necessarily friends.  There were some that you wanted to be friends with, some that you knew better than others, and some that you didn't necessarily want to be friends with.  It is the high school way.  It is a rough time but somehow you make it through and move on. 

How did we all manage to end up at a table together for lunch so many years later? 

I know is it because one of the women orchestrated it but I think it is bigger than that. I think that after so many years, we could all get together because we have all been bruised by life.  Life's bumps and bruises are great levelers.  Some had marriages that didn't work out as planned, some have illnesses that have affected their life, some have children whose lives were not as smooth as one wished, and some are taking care of aging parents.  Instead of being perhaps as judgmental as we would have been back in our school days, we are more empathetic. Our experiences out in the world have opened our minds and hearts to the people we grew up with and have allowed us to see them as real people - not as we saw them before.

Now there are those that feel that the people in my hometown can be snobby.  Yes, that is possible but I think that with this group, there was a warm feeling of seeing those you had not seen for a long time.  We wanted to know each others stories and find out where we are now.  There was laughter and a bit of reminiscence but it was the stories of who we are today that were the most compelling.  It was the realization that we could all use the support of the group in our lives, whether it be for the moment or on a regular basis. 

When you are dealing with a chronic disease like diabetes, either as a patient or a parent or a spouse, the support of others can make the load seem light.  I think it is important to get out and see people - keeping your spirits up makes your day a bit brighter and makes it easier to deal with the obstacles when they come along..  

Have you ever gone back and met with people you went to high school with?  How did you find it?

Thanks for reading!

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Big Goals and Capers

I do have a subject on my mind today. Okay, there are many more but I don't think you are interested in my review of the Chamber of Commerce meeting that I attended. I will put that on a blog that is a review of amazing human beings.

 The subject is about books. I read. Since I started this blog, however, I have been reading an entirely different kind of books. I was usually reading "popcorn" books. The kind of book that you can read quickly and it isn't a huge investment in brainpower. (You can stop judging now...) I have now been reading books about writing and social media. Somehow, those books have led me to also do some reading in the "positive thinking" genre.

One of the books that I have not yet finished - because I seem to have book ADD and keep switching from one to another - is Platform by Michael Hyatt. Michael Hyatt is a very interesting person. The part of his book that I have read so far talked about goals. His theory, which really rang true to me, is that you need to set BIG goals. Really big goals. Why? Because if you set really big goals you will work to achieve big things. Gee, it makes sense, right? How can you accomplish big things if you don't try?

So, even at my advanced age (you better be laughing) I have decided that I should set some BIG goals. The trouble is that I need to be able to sit down and figure out the goals and then work out what I need to do to accomplish them. Therein lies the problem. But now that I told you that I was going to do this, I will count on you to keep me accountable. Are you wondering how you can do this? Well, you can ask me how it is going every few days until I am so tired of it that I take the time to work on it. Just leave me a note in the comment section. (If you are one of my siblings, don't waste your comment.  I have learned to ignore you)

The next book that I am going to talk about that I haven't read yet (a dangerous thing to do) is Fully Alive by Ken Davis. This is a new book - it was just released this week. Just learning what the book was about interested me and caught my attention. This book is reportedly about how feeling comfortable is not exciting and you should strive to keep yourself feeling alive by trying new things and changing your attitude to a more adventurous mindset. Let's hope it is about that because that also makes sense to me.

My friend, Ann, and I used to have what could be called "capers". (Not that stuff that goes with fish - an adventure.) Like the time we moved the statue of Mary (Blessed Virgin) around in the Church before her step-daughter's wedding. It is a long story but just go with it was a caper. We were not disrespectful to the statue - we just moved it so it was front and center during the wedding.

We haven't pulled many capers lately. I think we may have been too busy with the sad/unpleasant things going on in our lives. I think I need to change back into the caper gal. It really was more fun. The thing about a caper is that you can laugh thinking about it, then doing it, and then afterwords. That is a lot of laughing. All good and good for you.

Have fun - go plan a caper. It is great for the attitude.

Have you ever had a caper? Are you still laughing about it? Please share it in the comments section. Everyone can enjoy it then.

Thanks for reading!

Monday, July 9, 2012

There May be Slow Talking but This is Slow Walking

I am back on the walking trail.

It feels good to say that.  I have missed my morning excursions. 

I have to warm up before I hit the trail.  This is not as much fun as it sounds and I know it doesn't sound like fun.  Now I roll out of bed and start stretching.  After being sidelined with the ITB problem, I am not interested in doing it again.  So on the floor I go stretching away.

Actually, I am pretty impressed that I can get down on the floor (and I don't fall to get there) and get back up.  That could be an Olympic sport. 

I started on the trail yesterday.  I have listened to the PT and was only going to walk for 20 minutes.  It was a beautiful day.  Mostly because it wasn't 105 degrees.  It was in the upper 60's and there was a nice breeze off the lake.  It felt good.  I was stupid. (quit with the "again")  I walked for 35 minutes.  Not the best way to start back.  It felt great most of the time.  I was glad when it was over and I was back at the car stretching.  AGAIN.  (catch the theme here?) 

My knee seems to think it is a shark.  WHAT?  One of the times I took my Mom to the Emergency Room, (she was probably 90 at the time) the doctor told me that old people are like sharks - if they stop moving they die.  Nice, huh?  Anyway, he was probably right and I feel that way about my knee.  If I keep moving, it feels better. 

Maybe I need to use one of those treadmill desks. 

I really get in trouble when I stop and sit and work at my desk.  If I don't pay attention to the time, I have a hard time moving when I get up.  I am going to have to put a timer on my desk to remind myself to get up and move every 20 minutes or so.  Then again, I would have to remember to set the timer. Problems, problems....

Anyway, back to the walk.  It was good yesterday and today I was careful and only walked the 20 minutes.  It is still good but it is hard to stop when I know that a month ago I was going much further. 

Have I told you that I am the SLOWEST person out there?  It would be humorous if it weren't so sad.  Yes, every old lady out there walks faster than I do.  It doesn't matter - I am out moving and that is what counts. I try to convince myself that I get to enjoy the walk more because I see so much more of it than they do but I know better.

So if I can be the slowest one out there and I still want to go, WHAT IS YOUR EXCUSE?  Come on, join me.  Go for a walk.  You really never know what you will see.  Yesterday, I saw the man who takes his dog out in a baby carriage.  Really.  He doesn't look crazy or anything.  He just walks along like it is normal.  Think of the new conversations that you can have that start with "You should have seen what I saw on my walk today..." 

I have to go.  It is time to move again.

Thanks for reading!

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Pizza, Coke, and Walking

Do you ever go to a restaurant that has a bit of everything on the menu?  There is just an amazing selection of food that covers many nationalities.  It is actually hard to pick out your meal because there are so many choices.

Today's post is a bit like that.  There is not one cohesive theme.  It is a collection of ideas.

Okay, what we really need around here is a "good for you" pizza.  Maybe this is impossible but I think there must be a way.  We both crave a pizza occasionally and so far we haven't really liked the ones we have made.  Someone must have a good  recipe to share.  Please share it!  We broke down Tuesday night and ordered out a deep dish pizza.  It was very good but we both found it a bit rich.  So please help! 

As of today, it is one month since I have had a Coke.  I certainly hope that you are standing cheering for me.  It has been hard - maybe not as hard as I would have thought but it is hard.  The other day, I felt a migraine starting and was paralyzed.  In the past, I would have run to get a Coke for the caffeine.  So now I am almost caffeine free.  I have been drinking organic decaffeinated green tea and water.  When we were on the road one day, I had an apple juice from the oasis.  It had more calories than a Coke!!!  I miss my old friend.

I have been off the walking circuit for the past month.  I hurt my iliotibial band.  I didn't even know that I had an iliotibial band.  It runs from the hip to the knee.  I went to the doctor - which is proof that it really hurt - and have been in physical therapy for the last month.  I was released from physical therapy today!  That part is good.  The bad part is that my knee is not in very good shape.  It seems that Arthur Itis has come calling and has moved in.  The good news is that I can go back on the walking trail.  I think that is really a mixed message.   I can get back because I can't damage my knee any more than it is.  I have a topical drug to try to see if it helps.  Let's hope!

In a prior post, I had told you that I don't enter into weight loss competitions because it seems to have the opposite effect for me.  Okay, I did enter into a competition with my daughter. It was even my idea! As you might have guessed, the first week I gained a pound.  Really....  The second week, I lost two pounds which means that I am really only down one.  I know you can't tell but I am gritting my teeth.  This is not going to be pretty. 

In the meantime, Silent Sam lost 5 pounds.  He has been able to exercise while I have been sidelined.  He has taken up running.  It has been awfully hot this past week, so he is a bit off in his training but he still lost 5 pounds.  Sigh....

I think we have decided on our next walk/run.  It will be on September 15 - at night!  It is the Firefly Run (you can walk it).  If you would like information about it, here is the link -

It looks pretty fun.  It might even be cool enough outside to move by then. 

Please pass along any "healthy" pizza ideas!  We need your help!

Thanks for reading!

Friday, June 29, 2012

The Non-Cook's Rosemary- Garlic Pork Tenderloin

My cooking skills are not legendary.  If a recipe has too many parts, I don't make it.  So, the recipes that you will find here are easy.  Today's is really easy and it tastes better than I ever thought it would.

Let me explain.  I read the recipe, thought it looked good and decided to make it.  While making it, I decided that this was a mistake and was going to be terrible.  I was wrong.  So, if you get concerned, just keep going.  It works out.

This recipe is from Weight Watcher's Five Ingredient 15 Minute Recipes.  It is a magazine from 2009. I have no idea if you can still get a copy.  I have searched and have not found one online.  There did seem to be a cookbook from Weight Watchers from 2002 that had the same title.  I checked the Weight Watcher's web site and did not find the recipe on the site.  (It must have been drummed out of the corp.)

This recipe has two important parts before you go to make it.  The first is that it is to be cooked on a grill outside.  The second (which is why we had it for dinner Thursday instead of Tuesday) is that  it has to chill with the ingredients for 2 hours in the refrigerator.  I prepared it Thursday morning and left it in the refrigerator until dinner time.  

Rosemary-Garlic Pork Tenderloin

(Just another quick aside - I did not read the recipe to find the number of servings before I made it - as a result I made 8 servings for the two of us.  DUMB!  So please note - THIS SERVES 8)

1/4 cup minced fresh rosemary
1/4 cup minced garlic (about 10 cloves)
1    tablespoon olive oil
2    teaspoons kosher salt
1    teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
2    1 pound pork tenderloins, trimmed

1.  Combine the first 5 ingredients in a small bowl, mixing well to make a paste.  (Mine did not look like a paste - just mixed together garlic and rosemary.  This is where I was sure I had made a mistake)

2.  Make several 1-inch slits in the pork and stuff each slit with 1 teaspoon rosemary paste. Spread any remaining rosemary paste into the top and sides of pork.  Cover and chill for 2 hours.

3.  Prepare grill

4.  Place Pork on the grill rack coated with cooking spray.  Grill pork 23 minutes or until a thermometer registers 155 degrees, turning once.  Remove pork from grill: cover and let stand for 15 minutes.

Per serving:  Calories 154, Fat 5.6g (sat 1.6g), Protien 222.8g, Carbohydrate 1.8g, Fiber 0.3g, Iron 1.4mg, Sodium 516mg, Calc 17mg.

The recipe also suggested that you can use the same paste mixture on chicken.

There you have it.  Really easy and very tasty.  Oh, I did go out to my (new) trusty garden to harvest the rosemary.  In case you were wondering, a 1/4 cup of rosemary is A LOT OF ROSEMARY.  I ended up using 1/8 cup fresh and 1/8 cup dried - which was practically the entire container.  Also, I was not in the mood to mince 10 cloves of garlic.  I used the jar of minced garlic that you can buy in the produce section of the grocery store.

So enjoy.  We still are - only two meals of it to go....

Cheer me up and let me know some of your cooking errors!  Let me know I am not alone...

Thanks for reading!

Monday, June 25, 2012

New Products for Us

If you have been following this blog, you know that we have been trying to change the way we eat.

We are trying to eat more natural foods and we are moving to try the gluten free life. Since we have changed so much of the way that we eat, this is just another experiment. Going gluten free is really hard. So many of the foods that we eat and enjoy contain gluten.

We had been eating pretzels and some snack crackers. In moving to gluten free, we would have to give them up. As an experiment, we have tried sweet potato chips. The first kind that we tried was from a company named Food Should Taste Good. I thought they were very good. Then I saw sweet potato chips by Terra. The Terra chips are ruffled. In comparing the two, the Terra chips have less ingredients (sweet potatoes, canola oil, and sea salt) but more calories (160 per servings vs. 140 per serving) Interestingly, the Terra chips have less carbohydrates - 15 vs. 18. I think they both taste good - I like the ruffled chips but that is a person preference. We have also tried and liked Dippers - 3 seed veggie dipping chips by R W Garcia. (140 calories and 18 carbohydrates per serving.)

I have a new hummus recipe to try that uses a lot less olive oil than the recipe I tried before. I will get to it next weekend and let you know how it comes out.

One of my newest finds is dill mustard from Dillman Farms in Bloomington, IN. You can see their web site at I found it at a local store (Shaker Traditions in Evanston, IL). A few weeks ago, we had grilled chicken breasts for lunch. I noticed that Silent Sam put some mayonnaise on his bun. I certainly wasn't going to be the calorie police (since he is doing so much better than I am it would be silly) but I thought that there should be something better. And then I saw the dill mustard. We tried it on grilled chicken breasts last week. It was very good. Last night, we had salmon on the grill and SS put some dill mustard on the salmon during the last few minutes of grilling. It was really good. So much better for us than the other recipes that I have seen. Easy and really tasty. The dill mustard has 5 calories per teaspoon. Dillman Farms also has a honey mustard that I picked up and it has 0 calories. I like honey mustard as a dip with pretzels and on pork as a glaze. I am looking forward to trying it.

I swallowed hard a couple of weeks ago and asked SS to pick up some turkey smoked sausage. This is a product that I know we should use but the idea of it didn't do much for me. On the appointed evening, I cut it up and put it in the pan with lots of vegetables and made it into a stir fry. It was FINE! I can't tell you that I noticed a big difference from the smoked sausage that we normally bought.

We are making these changes slowly but they are for the better. We decided that instead of our normal Saturday lunch of brats or polish, we could substitute the turkey smoked sausage. At least we would not feel as guilty....

Have you made eating changes that you thought would be questionable but turned out good? Please let me know in the comment section below. 
Thanks for reading!

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Spinach, Artichoke, and Mushroom Toss

It is recipe day!  If you are new, you need to know that I can't cook.  So you are pretty well guaranteed that this recipe is EASY. 

Today's recipe comes from my favorite cookbook, Diabetes and Heart Healthy Cookbook from The American Heart Association and the American Diabetes Association.

Spinach, Artichoke, and Mushroom Toss

3/4 cup uncooked brown rice
1 large onion chopped
8 oz sliced button mushrooms
2 medium garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon dried oregano, crumbled
1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
2 oz. coarsely chopped fresh spinach leaves (about 2 cups)
14- ounce can quarter artichoke hearts, rinsed, drained, and coarsely chopped
1/2 cup chopped roasted red bell peppers, rinsed and drained if bottled
4 ounces feta cheese, crumbled
1/4 cup snipped fresh parsley

1.  Prepare rice per package directions - omitting salt and margarine

2.  Meanwhile, heat a 12 inch skillet - spray with cooking spray (my friend Pam) and start cooking the onion for 4 minutes or until it starts to brown slightly. Stir frequently.

3.  Stir in the mushrroms, garlic, oregano, and red pepper flakes.  Lightly spray with the cooking spray.  Cook for 6 minutes or until the mushrooms begin to lightly brown.  Stir frequently.

4.  Stir in the spinach, artichokes, and roasted peppers.  Cook for 1 minute, or until mixture is hot and the spinach begins to release moisture, stirring gently.  Remove from the heat.

5.  To serve, spoon the rice onto a platter.  Top with the vegetable mixture.  Sprinkle with the feta and parsley. 

Serves 4 - 1 cup vegetable mixture and 1/2 cup rice per serving

Exchanges:  2 Starch, 3 Vegetable, 1 fat

Calories:                  274
Total Fat:                     8 g
Cholesterol                25 mg
Sodium                    579 mg
Total Carbohydrate    42 g
Dietary Fiber                5 g
Sugars                          8 g
Protein                        11g

We had this as part of our New Year's Eve supper.  We loved it!  I thought it was much better than I thought it would be from the recipe.  Enjoy!

Do you have a recipe that you think is better than you thought it would be?  Please forward it so I can try it too!

Thanks for reading!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

5 Things that Scare Us About Diabetes

Silent Sam and I were talking the other morning.  I asked him what 5 things scared him most about his diabetes.  His ability to answer quickly indicated to me that these things really concern him.

1.  The long term effects on his heart. 

2.  The long term effects of the medicine that he takes.

3.  The threat of losing body parts.

4.  A change in his quality of life due to any or a combination of #1, 2, or 3.

5.  How his choices affect those around him.

He then asked for my list.  While we share some concerns, I have some that are different.

1.  The long term effects on his heart.

2. To go with his fear of losing body parts, I have a bit of a foot obsession with him.  I am so worried that he will get a foot sore and it will get infected and cause problems.  While I feel bad about it, I have asked him to please wear shoes all the time.  I am crazy (yea, I know!) but when I see him in his bare feet, I just cringe. 

3.  Because we have come to rely on our health insurance over the years, I worry about the insurance changing and the expenses associated with the disease.  And yea, it is another area where I can show how crazy I am. 

4.  I worry about our kids.  While a component of the disease is hereditary there is a strong component connected to lifestyle choices.  We did not really demonstrate the best lifestyle to our kids as they were growing up.  We can only hope that they see the effect of our previous lifestyle and the changes that we have made.  (I do have my doubts that we will ever talk them into turkey sausage or sweet potato chips, though)

5.  I worry that we will go back to our "old ways".  That we will slide down that slippery slope and not keep his health (and mine!) at the forefront of our thoughts. 

So there you go.  What  scares you about diabetes?  How do you face that fear?

Thanks for reading.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Let Me Tell You About My Friend

I want to tell you about Ann. 

When Ann was 4 years old, she got sick.  She had an infection went to her hip and effectively ruined her right hip.  She spent years growing up with crutches or lifts in her shoes, or other aids that make a child feel that they are odd. 

As she grew up, she got used to the pain and the limp.  She had a great circle of friends and they were there to support her.
By the time Ann had her 34th birthday, the pain had really escalated.  She found a terrific doctor that she trusted and he replaced her hip.  The hip replacement was a success although she did not have feeling in her right foot. This did not stop her - she would swim, walk, ride an inter-tube off the back of a boat and  in general get around just fine. 

This went on for 18 years and then it was time to have her hip replaced again.  She went into the surgery looking forward to being pain free.  That was two years ago.  Her recovery, due to all she has been though, has not been as smooth as most hip replacements. 

She has not given up.  She still uses a cane to walk although it is sometimes more for security than a necessity.  She meets with a trainer each week to work on getting better.  She swims. She rides a bike. She walks. 

When she started working with her trainer, they set the goal that she would do a triathlon.  The trainer was familiar with a female only triathlon that would be held in June of 2012 and they used that as their training goal. 

In the meantime, she heard about an small local triathlon in May of 2012 and she and her husband entered to participate.

She also joined us when we did the 5K in May. 

All three events have taken place and Ann finished all three.  She did it!  I am so proud to be her friend. She made a decision that she would finish a triathlon and she did the work to be able to do it.

Ann is an inspiration. She set a goal and then worked on each of the pieces that, when put together, pushed her past the finish line. 

I think it is time to decide what I would like to accomplish.  How about you?  Do you have a goal that you have set and are working toward?  Please let me know about it and I will be your cheerleader!  

  Thanks for reading!

Monday, June 11, 2012

5 Things About Diabetes that I Find Interesting

In reading about diabetes, I have found things that I find fascinating.   I thought I would share some of them with you.  Most of the information can be found through the American Diabetes Association web site -

(Here is that general warning - I am not a physician.  I cannot dispense medical advise.  Please check with a physician if you have medical questions.)

1.  Genes are not enough to cause diabetes - Having the predisposition is one part of the disease but the other is that something in your environment triggers the onset.

2.  If you have Type 1 diabetes, the risk to your child depends on a couple of factors.  If you are a man with Type 1 diabetes, the odds of your child getting Type 1 diabetes is 1 in 17.  If you are a women, it depends on your age when you give birth.  If you are under 25, the odds are 1 in 25.  If you are over 25, the odds are 1 in 100  - the same as in the general population.

3.  In contrast, with Type 2 diabetes, your chance of a genetic link are higher if your mother had Type 2 diabetes.  Also age plays a factor - if the parent was diagnosed before the age of 50, the odds are 1 in 7.  If the parent was diagnosed after the age of 50, the risk drops to 1 in 13.

4.  The research indicates that while someone may have the risk factors to get Type 1, it is felt that there is some triggering event that sets the disease in motion.  This triggering event can be a virus or in some cases they think it can be something that causes trauma to the body, like a car accident. 

5.  There are actually three types of diabetes.  There is Type 1, Type 2, and Type 1.5 or LADA.  Type 1.5 is often thought to be diabetes Type 2 because it typically is found in adults.  The expectation is for the person to have Type 2 but upon further testing, it can be found that the person has the presence of autoantibodies, which is indicative of Type 1 but not Type 2 diabetes.

There are 5 things I find fascinating today. What do you think?  Do you have an interesting fact about diabetes?  Please share it in the comments section below.

Thanks for reading!

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Do the Shoes Make the Man?

Okay, so maybe I am harping on the foot thing a bit too much but it is really important.

About a month ago, we had a discussion about  Father's Day and what to get Silent Sam.  I had gone out that morning with him for a run/walk.  He runs.  I walk.  I noticed that he was wearing his regular old New Balance shoes that he has worn for a long time - the same model not the exact same shoes. 

It came to me that we should get him some new running shoes.  It was suggested that we go to this sports store in  a neighboring town because do all this "fancy" stuff to fit the shoes.  So off we went to surprise SS for Father's Day.  (Yes, we went early - schedules were busy...)  At the store, you can see that there is this special platform that you stand on and they can see the pressure points on your feet.  They also have treadmills so that you can run in the shoes to make sure they are comfortable.  It all looked really high tech. They did not have many shoes out on display but most of the ones on display were in neon colors.  I was really chuckling to myself and just dying to see Silent Sam in neon shoes. 

It came to be our turn (the store was busy) and the salesman started with SS.  He didn't do any of the fancy stuff!  I was pretty disappointed.  He did, however measure SS's feet and get him fitted in new shoes.  It seems that they measure, talk to you about how you use the shoes, and then bring out pairs that they think would be appropriate for you.  SS ended up with a black pair with red accents.  Not quite what I had hoped - I was really pulling for neon. 

What I didn't know until later was that the shoe size was different from his normal size.  He had always gotten a 4E width -he has flat little feet.  It seems that these shoes were a D width.  I think that this change made both of us nervous.  I think he didn't want to get blisters from tight shoes - although he thought that they fit fine. I, of course, was weary of anything that can cause foot sores for him.

We are now a week out with the new shoes and he is thrilled.  They fit great.  I won't go as far as saying that his running is vastly improved but he likes his new shoes. 

Lesson learned - you really need to get your shoes measured so that the fit is the best that it can be for you.  You really should go to a shoe store that knows the products - especially in sport shoes - to get the best fit for your foot - not only size-wise but the correct shoes for your method of exercise.

I'm looking around the the store that sells the best shoes for sitting on the couch.  I think they are called slippers....

Thanks for reading!                                                                                                

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Quinoa Spaghetti

If you have been following this blog, you know by not that I can't cook.  I have had to change and branch out since Silent Sam's diagnosis but it is still only the simple recipes for me.  

The following is an easy spaghetti recipe.  The original recipe was in the April/ May 2012 issue of Healthy Cooking Magazine but I have made a fair number of changes to it so I call it my own.

Quinoa Spaghetti

1 lb. ground turkey
1 3/4 cups sliced fresh mushrooms
1 medium onion cut up
3 cloves of garlic minced
3 cups tomato juice
1 can (14 1/2 oz) no salt added diced tomatoes
1 can (8 oz.) no salt added tomato sauce
1/2 tsp. ground mustard
1 tsp. Italian seasoning
1 tsp oregano 
6 oz. quinoa spaghetti noodles broken into pieces

In a large pot, cook the ground turkey, mushrooms, onion, and garlic until the turkey is fully cooked.  Add the tomato juice, diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, mustard, Italian seasoning, and oregano. Stir.

When the mixture starts to boil, stir in the quinoa noodles.  Cover and simmer for 15 - 18 minutes.

Garnish with some shaved Parmesan cheese, if desired.

Serves 6  

Since I changed the recipe, I don't have the exchanges or nutritional info.  Sorry!

Not only is it easy to make but it only takes one pot!  Clean up made simple!   This is my kind of recipe. We serve it with a salad and we are good to go. I am sure it would be even better with bread slathered with garlic butter but those days (seem to be) behind us. 

The original recipe called for lean ground beef (90%) so if you want to you can use that instead of the turkey.  

And let me give a big CONGRATULATIONS!!! to Silent Sam.  The doctor reduced his medicine again last week.  He is down to one metformin a day and one "prick" a day. I am so proud of him for all he has done to make changes.  Hip Hip Hooray!

Thanks for reading!

Monday, June 4, 2012

We are thinking of making more adjustments....

So we are thinking of trying a gluten free diet.  I am not sure that is the most accurate way to say that. It might be better to say a more natural food diet.

Does this sound a little hocus pocus?  A little "earth mother"?  In other words, not like me at all?

You are right. This is a bit of a stretch for the people who got themselves into this mess.  But as Silent Sam says, "we've changed so much already, what is a little more?"

I will have to give up my beloved Coke.  (audible shudders)

How did we get here?  It may have been in the back of my mind for awhile but it was brought forward by a reader who suggested that I read the book Wheat Belly.  The book is written by a cardiologist from Wisconsin and from the cover, you would think that he wants you to give up wheat.  Turns out he wants a lot more than that.  He is kind of a no carbs guy.  The reviews of the book are great but I just don't see it as a long term alternative.

Then our local public broadcasting station had a show on Friday night about the Blood Sugar Solution.  The show featured a doctor who, besides making up words (diabesity was a favorite) was a proponent of going gluten free and other offensive ingredients like high fructose corn syrup.  One of the things I remember was that he wanted you to go through your cabinets and get rid of any canned good that had more than 5 ingredients or any ingredients that you cannot pronounce the name.

My impression of both of these physicians is that they were perhaps a bit full of themselves.  They are quite sure they are genius's and are there to save the world.  Yea, uh huh.

Setting that smarmy feeling aside, we think that they might have a point.  Especially the second doctor.  He really advocates eating fresh foods.  "Your pharmacy should be at the end or your fork" was a favorite quote.

To dabble into this world, I went to the local Whole Foods (Whole Paycheck per Silent Sam).  The store has quite a selection of gluten free foods.  I was looking at pasta in particular.  It seems that my new friend, quinoa, has several different pasta offerings.  I have been using the spaghetti noodles but they have several other shapes also.  I picked up a bag of gluten free pretzels.  They are fine but golly, they were pricy.  Also for some reason I cannot explain, I picked up two packages of gluten free cookies.  This was just idiotic since we aren't eating cookies anyway.  (They were okay)

Then Silent Sam checked out the pasta in our regular grocery store.  Turns out the quinoa pasta was at our regular store and even more surprisingly, it was about the same price. 

This is not a change we are talking about making tomorrow.  We have some cleaning out to do before we will make the change.  While doing a massive toss of all offending items works for the doctor, it doesn't work for us.

So what do you think of a gluten free more natural food diet?  Have you tried it?  Have you succeed?  What was the hardest part?  Any help would be gratefully accepted.  Please leave notes in the comments section below. 

Thanks for reading!