Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Sleep Elusive Sleep

As you may know from reading this blog, Silent Sam and I have sleeping problems.  It seems there is an official term for it - sleep maintenance insomnia.  It means that we fall asleep just fine but we wake up during the night or early morning and can't get back to sleep.

Since we fall asleep just fine, most of the insomnia or sleeping problem tricks don't work for us.  So, I have done some more research.  Apparently they tie this type of insomnia to stress.  Yes, I think they are right. 

So here are some new tricks for us to try.

1.  If you wake up and can't fall back to sleep within 20 minutes, get out of bed and read (but don't use a bright bulb use a lower wattage bulb so that you don't stimulate your brain to totally wake up)  Do not watch TV or use a computer as the light emitted by screens is stimulating to the brain.

2. Stay out of your head - hmmm...  this one means that you shouldn't concentrate on how you aren't sleeping but rather think about the feelings and sensations in your body.  

3.  Make relaxation your goal, not sleep - try mediation or deep breathing or visualization techniques  to relax.  While this is not as good as sleeping, it is better than making yourself crazy by just laying there thinking about how you are not sleeping. ( I am so good at this!)

4.  If you wake up with something on your mind, write down your thought and re-visit it in the morning when you are really ready to work on a problem or prize winning thought.  Write it down and forget about it so you will go back to sleep.  (This actually earned a guffaw from Silent Sam)

Silent Sam and I discussed these options.  I will tell you that he is extremely dubious about these techniques.  Despite the look on his face, I pushed forward with the discussion.  He has reluctantly agreed to try one of the relaxation techniques.  He has selected progressive muscle relaxation.  With this technique, you start at your toes and tense the muscles as tightly as you can and then relax them.  Then you work up to your feet, tense and relax.  This continues up through your entire body.  I have also asked him to make a list before bed of the things he will work on the next day.  The thought is that if you make a list then you will not think about it and let it disrupt your sleep.  (I think pigs will be flying if he tries this one....)

I will try the deep breathing and meditation approach.  At least we know that two of the techniques will be tried....

What do you do when you can't sleep?  Do you have a great technique for us to try?  Let me know!

Thanks for reading.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

The Versatile Blogger

Wow, I am so surprised and thankful!  A wonderful fellow writer had awarded me the Versatile Blogger Award.

Kristi Carver of the Colorado Girl Writes Blog (please check it out at was so nice to do this.  We are part of a group of bloggers that are banding together and will have a new blog soon that will feature a different one of us each day.  I will let you know when that is up and running so you can preview lots of other people's writing.  (But don't leave me....)

Winning this award comes with responsibility.  First off, I have to thank Kristi - how could I not! The next step is to tell Kristi seven things about myself.  Well, this will be interesting.

1. I am the youngest of five children.
2. I met my husband in a bar
3. I think the frosting is often better than the cake
4. My dog is named after the vacuum cleaner
5. I like wine and margaritas
6. Don't tell anyone but I am thrilled that a new season of What Not to Wear is about to start.
7. I think that if you pass up a fattening food that you should have the calories deducted from your daily calorie count.

Now my last responsibility, which is actually a pleasure is to nominate 15 other blogs.  These blogs then are awarded the Versatile Blogger Award.  So I am very happy to suggest you read these 15 blogs:

1. Letitia Suk, Hope for the Best,
2. Karen Graffeo, Bitter~Sweet,
3. Colleen, dmeanderings,
4.Karen Stack King, Mom-Mom-Mom,
5.Celine, Running on Carbs,
6.Lara Britt, Writing Space,
7. Linda G. Hatton, Mouse Tales Press,
8. Michele Pond, Writers Who Kill,
9. Jeannine Bergers Everett, Mobyjoe Cafe,
10. A. Melody Galloway, Reading to Write,
11. Claudette J. Young, Claudsy's Blog,
12. Mel Walsh Jones, Life in the Country,
13. Ann Kimball, Life on the Funny Farm,
14. Khara House, our lost jungle,
15. William Quick, D is for Diabetes,

If you would like to read about the Versatile Blogger award, please go to

Thanks again to Kristi!

Thanks for reading!

Monday, May 21, 2012

Shake It Up - a New Goal

Diabetes Blog Week is over and I should be thrilled. Now  I can go back to blogging on the topics that I pick rather than topics picked for me. Unfortunately, I am a complete blank.

 How can this be? I usually have some idea what I would like to talk about but tonight I am staring at the computer screen.

 I think that Silent Sam and I need a pick me up. I think we have both lost a bit of our enthusiasm. We need a swift kick to get going and excited again. How can we do that? Usually you might pick food as an incentive but that is about the opposite of where we should be right now. So what will get us moving enthusiastically again?

 I think that we need to pick a new goal. We are in the time between 5Ks - we finished the one and the next one isn't until the fall. That is actually on purpose - I am not interested in walking in the heat. I really hate to sweat. The thought of paying to walk in the heat makes no sense to me.  No, I will wait until fall and then walk a few 5Ks.

Since Silent Sam is not exactly of fan of me setting goals for him, I suppose I need to set one for myself.

  I think I will set my goal to get on my bike. Specifically, riding my bike to the medical building that I manage. It is about 5 miles away and I have not been on my bike for a  L O N G    L O N G time. I did get the tires filled a few weeks ago and I got on for a minute. I felt really shaky so this will take some work.

 All right, we are set - I have my new goal that will in turn bring new enthusiasm to my life. If I keep saying it it may come true, you know.  I will see if Silent Sam wants to set a new goal for himself. 

 Thanks for reading.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Day 7 - Wild Card - Red Potatoes Parmesan

It is Day 7 of Diabetes Blog Week! The last day is upon us. Today's topic is our Diabetes Hero. I think that my readers know (ad nauseum)that Silent Sam is my hero.
So.... I am going to take a wild card and give you a recipe today. This is one of the first recipes I made when we started changing our diet. It is fast, easy, and has been very popular.
12 oz. red potatoes cut into 1/2 inch cubes
2 tablespooons light tub margarine
2 tablespoons snipped fresh parsley
1/4 cup minced green onions (green and white parts)
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons shredded Parmesan cheese
1. Set a steamer basket in a small amount of simmering water in a saucepan. Put the potatoes in the basket. Cook, covered, for 8 minutes, or until tender when pierced with a fork. Drain.
2. In a medium bowl, gently stir together the cooked potatoes and the remaining ingredients except the Parmesan.
3. Gently stir in the Parmesan.
This recipe serves 4 - there is 1/2 cup per serving.
Exchanges - 1 starch, 1/2 fat
Calories 106, Calories from fat 29, Total fat 3 g, Saturated Fat 0.5 g, Polyunsaturated Fat 0.6 g, Monounsaturated Fat 1.6 g, Cholesterol 3 mg, Sodium 218 mg, Total Carbohydrate 17 g, Dietary Fiber 2 g, Sugars 2 g, Protein 3 g
This recipe is from the Diabetes & Heart Healthy Cookbook by The American Heart Association and the American Diabetes Association. This is my favorite cookbook. The recipes are simple to make and very tasty.
Thanks for reading!

Saturday, May 19, 2012

A New Day

Diabetes started us on a new day. Not every day is as beautiful as this but then we wouldn't enjoy this as much. Each day is a day full of opportunities.

Thanks for reading!

Friday, May 18, 2012

Helping Type 2 Diabetics and Pre-Diabetics

So today's post is about some diabetes misconceptions that I would like to see cleared up.

Hmmmmm... I was catching up on my "light" reading this afternoon and happened to see and read an article in O Magazine. The article was by Dr. Oz. If somehow you live in an alternate universe and have not run into Dr. Oz, I might like to live with you. Dr. Oz is one of Oprah's finds. He is a cardiac surgeon and TV personality. One might think that the cardiac surgeon gig would be rather fulfilling and time consuming but not for the ever energetic Dr. Oz. This month in O Magazine, he decided to take on preventing Type 2 Diabetes. He is offering a rigorous 4 week plan to change the life of the possible future diabetic. I am not going to knock his plan (okay, I really really want to but I would have no sound basis to do it - we are going for mature here.)

My problem with his approach is the problem that I have with some medical personnel. First of all, he strongly suggests that most people who become diabetic are fat slobs who got the disease because they are fat slobs. This might be a bit of oversimplification. There is a hereditary component to the disease that cannot be overlooked. Also, do you really want to be helped by someone who tells you that you are heading toward this disease because you are a fat slob? It really doesn't do much for me as far as bedside manner.

Perhaps an alternate approach might be to explain the health problems associated with the disease and start the patient with a nutritionist. A great approach also might be to have the spouse present at the meeting. Discuss the team approach with the patient and the spouse or significant other. I think that finding out that you can lose your sight, your limbs and your life can have an impact on a person especially if you explain why that happens. Ask the patient to incorporate the changes slowly. Try to get them to start a reasonable program that could sound like it would be easy. Ask them to start with easy changes that don't sound like their world is coming to an end and that they will be eating twigs and berries for the rest of their lives.

I guess it all comes down to encouragement rather than threats. Bringing the patient's lifestyle into balance not condemning them to the "bad child chair".

Okay, this is more than enough of a rant for the day. Happy Day 5 of Diabetes Blog Week! I hope you are enjoying it. Tomorrow is picture day! This will be interesting....

Thanks for reading! Have a great weekend!

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Three Fantasy Inventions

So tonight's topic is the fantasy diabetes invention that would change our lives. We actually have three votes in this category.

The first is Silent Sam's idea. He would like a hat that has an arm extending out the back. Every time he did something that he wasn't supposed to do - eat something that doesn't fit into his day's scheme for example, it would hit him in the posterior. It would also remind him of the things he is supposed to do - take his readings and medicine. It would remind him by smacking him upside the head. (If he had that, I might be tempted to tell the hat he didn't take his reading even if he did....)

My first vote (I get two votes because I am the one writing this...) would be for a chip to be implanted in our brain that would program us to love exercise and HATE non-nutritious foods. Just think, we could turn up our nose at cake or ice cream or candy or COKE.... Free will be damned, we would be model patients.

The last idea that we have is for a magic wand to make this all go away. I will be honest, I don't really want to go back to where we were. I am happy that we are making the changes that we are making; I am sorry that we are making them because Silent Sam has this disease. We are doing what we should have done and in reality, it feels pretty good. I just find the disease to be pretty scary and could easily use the magic wand to make it go away.

Do you feel that we copped out on this one? Not really, it is just that we are fortunate that we don't have to worry about so many of the things that some diabetics worry about. Because of that, our wishes can be for bigger - non every day - things. When our son was little, he used to play a game called "If everything were a penny". The point of the game was to talk about the things you would have (real or imaginary) if they only cost a penny. He had quite a list... Even with that game, you could not buy your health.

So, tomorrow we are going to talk about "What they should know". I will be posting about what I wish people knew about diabetes.

Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

An Aid to Help Remember

Let me just say that this Blog Week is great. I don't have to think up a topic for the day. Except for the thinking about the topic and then writing about it - it is a piece of cake. (yea, because the thinking and writing are so easy...)

Today's topic is "What one thing would we improve."

This is so easy compared to yesterday. One thing that we need to improve is for Silent Sam to remember (and for us to remind him) to take his levels before dinner. We had a similar problem when he was supposed to "shoot up" before dinner. I wrote about this once and received a great suggestion. That suggestion was to put a reminder note in the cabinet on top of the dinner plates. This would probably really work if one of us would actually put the note in the cabinet.

So, I have done it - I have made a little sign and put it into the cabinet on top of the dinner dishes.

Hopefully this will help us with this one problem. Thank you, Karen, from www.Bitter~Sweet for having me write about this. By bringing it to my attention again, we might have found a way to help.

My mind is already reeling for tomorrow's topic. A Fantasy Diabetes Device. I cannot guarantee it yet, but I think that the device may involve electric shock therapy.... Just kidding!

Thanks for reading!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

One Great Thing

Okay, obviously everyone else doing this challenge was smart enough to work ahead. At 7 a.m. this morning there were posts already. I don't seem to be on the right schedule (one might say "as usual"....)

So here we go. Today we write about the one diabetes thing that we do SPECTACULARLY. That is daunting. I don't know that I have ever done anything SPECTACULARLY. Except maybe fall. I am really good at falling. Embarrassingly enough, sometimes I can burp SPECTACULARLY but I could never admit that about myself. That would not be very ladylike, would it? Okay, so forget that.

Silent Sam and I had a conversation about this topic. We were both scratching our heads about what I could say that we even do right, forget SPECTACULARLY. Of course we were being a little hard on ourselves.

SS and I did come up with what we think we do right. Are you ready? Here comes....


It sounds simple but I don't think that it is, especially for Type 2 diabetics. He is concerned and follows the "rules" as best he can. Acknowledging a disease that one can't see or feel is hard. Diabetes is a long term problem and long term is daunting.

So hats off to you Silent Sam. I am so happy that you have done this so well. I think I will have to make you a crown to wear tonight. (I do crack myself up sometimes.. I can just see him giving me the "look" for handing him a crown to wear.)

Thanks for reading!

Monday, May 14, 2012

Diabetes Blog Week - Find a Friend

So this week we will be doing something new at The 9 Inch Plate. I am joining fellow diabetes bloggers in the Third Annual Diabetes Blog Week. This is a week that over 200 Diabetes bloggers join together to discuss the same diabetes topics.

To make this a bit more complicated, today I am also writing my blog using HTML. Why, you ask? Well, I wanted to get that banner across the top of today's post and I could only get it there using HTML. Here is the secret - I don't really know HTML. I am trying to learn about it so that I can do a web site. If I keep this incredibly simple, we might just be okay.

Today's topic is Find a Friend. We are to go through the list of fellow participants and find blogs that we weren't reading yet and connect with a new friend.

I started going through the list. Wow, there are a lot of blogs. I started just picking at random and reading. There were some that were very interesting. The only thing was that most were Type 1 diabetics or Moms of children with diabetes. They all have quite the stories to tell. I was trying to find a friend that would also interest people who read my blog. That way we could both find a friend.

I found someone that I thought was interesting. While she is a Type1 diabetic, which in my book makes her really very admirable, she is also athletic (we are trying....) and she has a great sense of humor. One of her posts told diabetic jokes. Okay, here is the blog for me!

Running on Carbs is the blog I would like you to check out.

Celine's blog is about running, diabetes, and life. She also talks about swimming and shopping. Check it out - I think you will enjoy it.

Let me not forget to talk about Karen. Karen is the one who started Diabetes Blog Week. She has a blog that I also really enjoy. So check it too Bitter~Sweet.

Tomorrow, I am supposed to talk about One Great Thing - the one diabetic thing we do spectacularly well. It will take me hours to come up with this one....

Thanks for reading!

Friday, May 11, 2012

And They Said It Wouldn't Last

Yesterday, Silent Sam and I celebrated 32 years of wedded bliss.  Yea, right.  We celebrated 32 years of loving each other in spite of...

We will be the first to tell you that our lives have been truly blessed. We have had some hard times but not compared to most people.  We have always said that the secret to our marriage is that we are both so shallow.  We have always been able to depend upon each other.  We have two children that are really good people.  They have made us proud too many times to count.  The thing that warms our hearts the most is that they love each other and get along together.  What more could we want? (okay, supporting us in our old age would be good...)

Yes, there have been some problems.  Mostly health related problems.  But even then, we were blessed.  When our son was diagnosed with a brain malformation (his brain is too big - oh, so many jokes...) it was diagnosed before anything that could have gone wrong went wrong.  We never lived the parent's nightmare of having something wrong that it took forever to discover the problem.  Three neurosurgeries later and he is fine.  (he is dying right now - I made that sound like it wasn't anything - it was, don't worry)  When our daughter had six weeks of painful headaches, we found the specialist who could solve the problem and we could move on.  When I didn't really think about the ramifications for my family and I moved my parents so that they were closer to us, they have not held it against me.  Between the four of us and my parents, I have been in almost every cubical in the emergency room.  (the hospital has a big emergency room)

We have been able to find humor in the various situations.  We cope.  We love, we laugh, and we move on.  (although we are not beyond continuing to tease about certain things...)

The rock (is that a compliment - yes!) has been Silent Sam.  He has been there to keep the ship steady.  So it did shake it up a bit to have him be the one with a health issue and a serious heath issue.  Once again we are blessed that he could acknowledge the issue and decide to be a good patient.  He is working on his health and that is what counts.

Diabetes is a serious disease but it will not change the fundamentals of our family.  It has caused shifts that are good changes.  It has made us pay attention and not just drift health wise.  Like times before, we adjust and move on.  I will admit that we have not found a lot of diabetes jokes but give us more time.  Someone is bound to say something inappropriate.  

So at 32 years, we are just starting.  No, I won't even calculate how old I will be after 32 more years. (let's see, I was 12 when we married....)  Bring it on - what fun to discover what will happen next!

Oh and a note for those who regularly follow this blog - Yes, we married 2 years and 9 days after our kissverary.  

Thanks for reading!


Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Interview with a Podiatrist

Dr. Hussain performing a foot exam

I know I have mentioned several times how important foot care is for diabetics.  To further the point, I met and talked to Dr. Tayeb Hussain of Evanston Podiatric Surgeons P.C.  I had the chance to ask him some questions about diabetic foot care.  

Why is foot care so important for diabetics?
There are two main reasons.  The first is that diabetics are very prone to foot complications due to decreased circulation in the feet.  What looks like a simple callus can be the start of a problem.  A callus can lead to an ulcer (infection) which can lead to the loss of the toe, foot, or even leg. 

There are 15 MILLION amputations on diabetic patients A YEAR!

The second main reason is that diabetics can lose sensation in their feet and this loss of sensation makes them at increased risk. For example, a diabetic patient with loss of sensation in their toes can accidentally nick the skin while trimming their nails, not feel it, and that can lead to infection. 

Should diabetics have a daily foot care plan?

Yes!  First thing every morning, a diabetic should check their feet with a mirror for sores and signs of infection.  This means thoroughly looking at the whole foot (top, bottom, sides, and between toes) for any indications of a problem.

The foot check should be repeated again at the end of every day.

Is there anything in particular to watch for when checking your feet?

Calluses are a big issue.  If you have calluses, you should use a moisturizer.  Do not try and pare calluses  down yourself.  Because calluses can lead to infection, a diabetic is much better off having the doctor treat the callus than trying any self treatment other than moisturizer.  . 

How often should a diabetic patient see the Podiatrist? 

This depends on their age and how stable they are.  A healthy diabetic patient who is under 50 years old should see the podiatrist every six months.  A diabetic patient who is over 50 should have their legs and feet checked every three months.  It the patient is over 65, they should come in every 2-3 months to be checked and also to have their toe nails clipped. 

What happens at a visit to the Podiatrist?

The Podiatrist performs a Comprehensive Diabetic Foot Exam (CDFE) which is a non-invasive examination of the feet and legs.  The exam evaluates the condition of the skin and checks the circulation of the leg and foot.  It also looks for neurological changes in the sensations of the foot.

Diabetics are told to exercise - is there an exercise that is better for diabetic's feet? 

 Any exercise that increases the circulation to the feet is good.  Walking is great exercise and is easy to do.  While circulation can be helped, the sensory changes cannot be helped by exercise.  Controlling your blood sugar level is really important for maintaining your health.

Is there anything to be careful of when buying shoes? 

There are two important things about buying shoes.  The first is that the length of the shoes should be longer than the length of the foot.  You should be able to press your thumb in between your toe and the top of the shoe.  The second thing is that the shoe should have extra depth.

In summary, what is the one thing that every diabetic patient should know?

Every diabetic patient should have their feet checked each time they go to the doctor.  This is not something that physicians did on a regular basis in the past.  Increased education both for the doctors and patients has helped with implementation of this necessary exam.  The diabetic patient should take off their shoes and socks and make sure the doctor checks their feet.

Dr. Tayeb Hussain is the founder of Evanston Podiatric Surgeons, P.C. in Evanston, IL.  His web site is  He is licensed for Podiatric Medicine, Illinois and Wisconsin, Board Certified in Podiatric Orthopedics, Board Certified in Primary Podiatric Medicine, a Certified Wound Specialist, a Fellow, American College of Foot and Ankle Orthopedics and Medicine, andCertified in Pulse-Dye Laser and Carbon Dioxide Laser Technique. 

Thanks for reading!


Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Race Review and Letdown

I know now where my race planning was off.

You see, when I was working toward the goal of walking the 3.1 miles, I was not thinking about all the other walking involved with a race.  Right now, I drive to the lake, get out of the car, walk about 10 feet and start the walking path.  On the day of the race, we parked, walked 3 blocks, waited a half hour, then walked to the starting gate and started walking.  Also, since I was so used to my walk, the new route seemed REALLY long.  There was a slight hill at the end of the route, which seemed unnecessarily cruel.  I kept thinking that the finish line must be around the next curve and it wasn't. 

Also adding to the cruelty was that Silent Sam was walking beside me NOT EVEN SWEATING!  The man I married can sweat in a refrigerator.  Not when he walks with me apparently.  I was sweating so much that my glasses were steaming up and he is having a nice walk in the park.  (You could see my self esteem plummeting.  I think it was a visual thing!)  It was 50 degrees and foggy and I was out of my sweatshirt and down to my tee shirt before half way through the race.  His hands were still cold. 

Then we finished the race and had to walk 2 blocks or so back to our meeting spot (some people finished faster than others...) and then go through the lines to see what kind of race goodies were available.  We picked up some water, gatorade, apples, oranges, frozen bananas and jelly bellys.  Not sure that the last two were the healthiest but they were good.  Then we had 3 blocks back to the car.  This is the part that worried me the most - would I be able to get out of the car when we got home?  I did.  It seems that someone (who shall remain nameless) slept in the car on the way home.  Maybe I wasn't the only one tired from the walk....

On Sunday morning, I was stiff but I got up and walked again.  I will say that after I walked, I felt better.  It worked out a lot of the stiffness.  That was good.

Monday rained. Walking was a wash out.

Then we get to today.  I no more wanted to walk then fly to the moon.  Really.  I didn't care that the sunrise over the lake might be beautiful or even spectacular.  I didn't want anything to do with it.  I was stiff, my sinus's are bothering me, and I am behind in my work. 

I went anyway and did the whole 3 miles.  I was slow.  I felt cranky. AND I STILL DO.  So for those of you who wanted this to be a lesson in "see how much better she feels after exercise", you lost out.  It just was one of those days.  They happen.  The walk did not raise my spirits.  It was slow and sloggy and blaaa.

But I went.  Sometimes you just have to work through those days and hope that tomorrow will be better. 

And now if you will excuse me, I think I might take a nap.

Thanks for reading! 

Saturday, May 5, 2012

We did our 5K!

May 5 Walk 2 Remember - Before

May 5 Walk 2 Remember - After

We did it!  Everyone is tired and a bit sore but we all made it.  Some walked, some ran, some skipped (?) (seems there was a bet involved...)  It was a foggy cool morning.  We were not the final people at the finish line.  All went well. (It will be ever better if we keep moving.  Oh... my knees don't want to work)

Thanks for reading!

Friday, May 4, 2012

It was called Bacon and Sun-Dried Tomato Alfredo Pasta

I moved into dangerous territory.  We had decided that I would make Bacon and Sun-Dried Tomato Alfredo Pasta for dinner.  The recipe calls for Light Alfredo sauce which is to be purchased from the grocery store.  Unfortunately, Silent Sam could not find Light  Alfredo sauce.  I looked up a recipe for Light Alfredo Sauce online and thought I would use that instead.

Since our daughter has moved for her internship, I am cooking for two.  I cut back recipes like this one because I am not sure that these would be the best leftovers.

So, this means I am tampering with a recipe before I ever even made it.  This is not good.  This can lead to trouble.  Picture this scene - Silent Sam tasting dinner and making a face.  "What is in this recipe?" And there I sit trying to look innocent.  "Well, I didn't quite follow the recipe...". SS is a great guy and wouldn't say anything but I would be dying that I screwed up dinner.  (Okay, this could probably get into a whole discussion about how crazy I am but that is not the point - now)

I did it.  I changed the recipe.  It just looked like it needed more and less.  More veggies and less bacon.  Especially for two. 

Light Alfredo Sauce

2 cloves of garlic chopped
1 cup skim milk
1/2 cup Chicken Broth - Low sodium
1 1/2 tbs. flour
couple grinds of sea salt
grind of black pepper
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese

Spray pot with Pam (or similar spray) and brown the chopped garlic.
In a small bowl, combine milk, broth, and flour.  Try to get the flour mixed in and fairly smooth.
Add to pot with garlic.  Add salt and pepper.
Continue to heat over low heat, stirring frequently until sauce is thick.  Stir in cheese.

What was supposed to be Bacon and Sun-Dried Tomato Alfredo Pasta 

4 oz. multi or whole grain pasta
Light Alfredo Sauce
1/4 cup sun dried tomatoes cut into julienne strips (we found them in the produce aisle at the grocery store)
4 slices bacon
1/4 pound of mushrooms

10 oz. fresh spinach
1/2 red pepper cut up

 At the same time,
Cook the bacon. When it is cooked, cool it and then cut into small pieces.
Start the Light Alfredo Sauce. When it is thickening, add the sun dried tomatoes.
Start the water for the pasta.  When boiling, add pasta

Once these are on the way then
Spray a pan with Pam (or other spray) and start the mushrooms.
(Balance plates on sticks because you are now cooking 4 things at once and this is beyond my limit)
When the mushrooms are looking like they are cooking, add the spinach.  When the spinach has cooked down a little, add the peppers.  Then add the bacon in to warm it up a bit.

Combine the Light Alfredo sauce with the mushrooms, spinach, peppers and bacon (pour the sauce into the vegetable pan).  Drain the pasta and put the pasta on the plates.  Pour the sauce/vegetable mixture over the pasta.

You did it!  For those of you who can cook, I know this is a nothing.  For those of you cooking impaired - like me- this is a pretty good dinner that if nothing else can impress yourself. 

As you might guess, you can put any veggies into this recipe.  I do think that the bacon and sun dried tomatoes are supposed to be the stars so you might not want to overload it.

Let me know how it works for you.  I welcome changes.

In case you are interested, this is the list of past posts that have recipes:

New Recipes for the Non Cook                           4/ 24/12
Easter Dinner Revamped                                      4/10/12
Meatless Mondays                                               3/12/12
Apparently My New Best Friend is Pam               2/28/12

Thanks for reading!

Thursday, May 3, 2012


Today I am thinking about terms that you hear so much that you think you know what they are but perhaps if you think about it you are not sure.

What Is an Antioxidant?

Since I am not a doctor nor a dietician,  I have turned to the internet for the answer.  This is a dicey proposition (a bit of a reliability issue...) but since the sources I found all agree, I think I am on safe ground here. 

An antioxidant is a substance (vitamin, mineral, or other nutrient) that seems to protect your cells against free radicals.

A Free Radical?  Is that some kind of dirty hippy? 

When your body breaks down food or even oxygen, there is an internal by-product which is called a free radical.  They are like the Styrofoam peanuts that come with your new plates.  They are great when they are part of the package but when you have the plates out, they are all over making a mess. Free radicals are blamed for lowering your immune system and can play a part in chronic diseases like diabetes, arteriosclerosis, cancer and arthritis. 

So these free radicals are wandering through your body looking to be loved and feeling sorry for themselves.  They are like a 3 year old throwing a tantrum.  Along come antioxidants and they envelop the free radical in love so it doesn't have to be alone any more.  Ahhhhh...

Where do I find Antioxidants?

The most commonly known antioxidants are Vitamin A and Carotenoids, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Selenium and Zinc.  Which is easy to follow if you are up on your vitamins and minerals.  (Which shockingly enough, I am not)  To find the foods that contain these vitamins and minerals, your first stop is in the produce aisle of the grocery store.  Think color.  Think reds, yellows, greens, purple, and orange.  Go with apples, peppers, carrots, tomatoes, squash, broccoli, berries, red grapes, eggplant, sweet potatoes, and peaches.  Then you can move to the whole grains, nuts and seeds, and dairy products.  Finally, you can visit the meat aisle and check out beef, chicken, and seafood. 

Gee, this is beginning to look like eating a balanced diet....  Remember the idea of dinner plate division?  The concept of 1/4 protein (beef, chicken, seafood), 1/4 starch (whole grains), and half vegetables?  Add a glass of skim milk and you are hugging those free radicals and improving your immune system. 


Can I just take a pill?

Really?  What are you eating?  The answer is that you can take a pill but it is not as effective for your overall health.  You also have to be careful taking individual supplements.  For example, Vitamin A is stored in your body so if you take too much in a pill form, it can be toxic.  The foods mentioned have other nutrients that help your body so it is best to follow what your Mother always told you - eat your fruits and vegetables.

Thanks for reading!