Thursday, January 31, 2013

Something New - Some Web Sites

In my attempt to have fascinating things to share with you, I signed up for Google Alerts.  Google Alerts are one of those things that have probably been around forever and I just didn't know about them.

With Google Alerts, you sign up for a topic and once a day they deliver news references on that topic to your inbox.  If you are interested, you can sign up at google/alert

I have now seen more information on diabetes than I knew could be generated each day.  I will say that I think some of it is a bit suspect but that is not Google's fault.

But isn't that a good thing?  Okay, the suspect articles are not good but I am hopeful that with all the press that there will be progress.  There seem to be some new drugs that have been approved the by FDA and some bad news about liver disease in diabetics.

There was some hopeful news about a new prevention  program for those at risk for Type 2 diabetes.  The YMCA has joined forces with the National Institute of Health to offer classes for at risk individuals to make lifestyle changes to avoid becoming diabetic. If you are interested or know someone who is interested, you can go to the YMCA and find out more.

There are also classes for those with Type 2 diabetes that have been far more effective than was anticipated.  It seems that while the researchers were not sure that adults, especially older adults, would feel comfortable learning in this setting, that the group setting helped people feel more comfortable asking questions and learning more about how to take care of themselves. It is very encouraging news.

I have also signed up with a new site that you may find interesting.  The site is Quora.  On this site you can research the answers to questions and find out what is new and trending on a vast variety of subjects.  For example, on my home page right now, there are questions about being able to absorb Vitamin D through a window, questions about interior design and questions about feeling better about ones self.  The questions on the home page run the gamut  but you can also research a particular topic.  Sometimes it is fun just to see what questions people are asking.

People are fascinating.

So today instead of a recipe, I shared some web sites that you may find interesting.  I hope you enjoy looking at them and finding information.

Thanks for reading!
On this cold day in the Midwest, here is a tulip to warm you up!

Side note - if you click on the words in grey, they will take you directly to the web site discussed.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Resolution - First Recipe 2013

As we left off in the last post, I was going to try and give you a new recipe at least every two weeks.  This sounds so altruistic, right?  Yes, I am doing it for you but I am also doing it for us.  We need some inspiration to keep going (who am I kidding, it should read - get going)  on this eating right thing.    

This is a stern look from the endo

It might be hint that we aren't when Silent Sam turns in his numbers and the response from the endo is as follows:
"I assume the high numbers are due to dietary indiscretions."

Ya think?

So, I have actually - hold your breath here - tried three new recipes this week.  I know it is pretty shocking.  I even screwed one up and tried it a second time.  Unfortunately, I screwed it up the second time also, which is yet another indication of my culinary skills.  BUT I think that it merits another try.  I do think that it is a worthwhile recipe.  I just need some modifications.  It is so good for you that I hate to give it up.  And the recipe is for one of my favorite categories of food - snacks.

So my problem recipe  is the recipe that I am going to share with you this week.  I will tell you what I did wrong and what I intend to change the next time I try to make it.  Sound fair?  This recipe is from Diabetic Cooking the November/December 2012 issue.  I have seen a recipe for this from many sources and I had been meaning to try it.  It seems really simple.

Kale Chips

1 large bunch of Kale (about 1 pound)
1 - 2 tablespoons of olive oil
1 teaspoon garlic salt or other seasoned salt

This is where I start to editorialize.  If you are not familiar with kale (I was not), kale is a green leafy plant that has a thick inedible stalk.  So, if you buy whole kale, you need to clean and remove the stalk.  It is thick and you can't miss it.  You just want the leafy parts.  Six months ago, I looked in the grocery store and did not find kale.  Now not only do they carry it but they carry it in a 1 lb. bag that is cleaned and (despite what they may say) most of the stalks are gone.  

From my experience, one pound of kale is a lot of kale.  I suggest that you start smaller.  You want the kale in a single layer on the baking sheet which means that you will need several (I think close to 4) baking sheets for a pound of kale.  

Basically the recipe is very simple.  You start out by lining the baking sheet with parchment paper and pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees.  Then you take the kale, toss it with the olive oil and garlic salt.  Put the kale on the baking sheet in a single layer and bake for 10 - 15 minutes.  If after 15 minutes the kale was not crispy enough you should turn off the oven and just leave it in there for another 10 minutes. Sounds so simple, right?  Are you wondering how I could screw this up not once but twice?  

First mistake - I used 1/2 the amount of kale but did not adjust the amount of garlic salt.  Oh, it was HORRIBLE.  If you could have gotten past the garlic, then I did not cook the kale long enough because I was too concerned about not burning it.  

Second mistake - I again did a 1/2 batch. This time I reduced the garlic salt to a 1/4 teaspoon.  We like our salt around here but a whole or 1/2 teaspoon is a lot of garlic salt.  I did not spread out the kale on the baking sheet enough.  I probably should have used two sheets.  I also did not let the kale bake long enough. You want the kale to be crispy.  I missed the direction that said that if after 15 minutes the kale was not crispy enough that you should turn off the oven and just leave it in there for another 10 minutes.  

So, how does it taste?  The crispy parts that I tasted reminded me of the vegetable chips that I had bought at the store.  Is it as good as a potato chip?  Not at all...  Is it a good little snack that happens to be good for you?  Yes, it is.  I don't think you would eat a whole pound in one sitting but as a light snack it fills the bill.  

Here are the  the nuts and bolts for the crisps - the recipe for 1 lb. of kale is 6 servings.  Each serving has 43 calories.  (compare that to potato chips) the total fat is 3g, protein 2g, carbohydrate 5g, cholestrol 0mg, dietary fiber 1g sodium 180mg. (Note - if you cut the garlic salt in half, the sodium would go down) 

The thing with this is that you want the kale to be crispy.  The soggy pieces are not that good but the crispy ones are enjoyable.  

There you have my first recipe of the new year.  I hope you enjoy it.  

Thanks for reading!

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Are Your Feet Thirsty?

I am thinking about feet.

This is not entirely unusual for me.  No, I don't have a "thing" about feet.  It just so happens that I also write a blog for a podiatrist.  So, I have to think about feet several times a week.  (If you want to check it out, you can find it at We Care For Your Feet.)

I am thinking about the "winter white" look that my heels are sporting. It is dry skin. I usually let them get so dried out that it carries over to summer.

Now,  as you know, people with diabetes have to be careful with their feet.  I clearly remember Silent Sam's first appointment with the endocrinologist where she checked his feet.  She told him that they were a bit dry and that he should moisturize them.  I don't really think that Silent Sam is the only man who would NEVER think to put moisturizer on his feet.

Yes, it is easy to take care of this problem but I usually don't do what I should about it.  I know that I should -on a daily basis - moisturize my feet.  I know that on my way into bed I should put on moisturizer - really grease them up - and then put on a pair of socks.  The moisturizer can then soak in and do its thing while I sleep.  I can then wake up and the birdies will be singing happy songs about my soft feet.

I have tried many moisturizers over the years.  A few years ago, I read a comparison of products specifically for moisturizing your feet.  The highest recommendations came for a really innocuous product called "Heel Rescue".  It is not fancy.  It is not expensive.  It does a pretty good job - especially if you use it and use it regularly.  I just checked some prices on line.  The price ranges from about $6 to $9 for the 16 oz. pump jar.   It is available in most of your local chain drug stores.  (Walmart, Walgreens, CVS) You can also order it on-line from several companies.

I find it helps to know what you are looking for if you want to check it out

The skin on your feet can get so dry that the skin thickens and splits.  When that happens, you then have an opening for bacteria to get into your feet.  This is not good for anyone but especially those who are diabetic. So if your feet are dry you might want to try the moisturizer and sock combination at night.  I know that it is best to put moisturizer on right after you shower (your pores are open then and they drink in the moisture better) but the nighttime application helps also.  Of course, you could do both and have lovely moisturized  feet.

You can also get a pumice stone at the drug store and use that in the shower to rub off some of the dry skin. I have had mixed feelings about this but once again, I may not have given it a fair shake.  I also think that I did not use it correctly. ( Really, did you know there were instructions for using a pumice stone?) I didn't know that you were supposed to make sure the pumice stone was wet and soapy when you used it on your wet feet.  I will give it another shot.

So now that winter has captured all of us in its grip, take a few minutes to give your feet a drink.  They will show their appreciation. (For you Aussies, your time will come.  We will be soaking in the sun and you will be cold.)

How do you keep your feet from drying out in winter?  Please share any hints or thoughts in the comment section below or on Facebook (The 9 Inch Plate - and if you could take a minute to "like" me, I would appreciate it!) or on Twitter (@9inchplate)

Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, January 9, 2013


So what do you think about resolutions?  Since the new year has started, the topic is everywhere.  I have read about how to make and keep them, about not calling them resolutions, and that you should start by making the change into a very small step and build from there.  

Do resolutions work for you?  

When I think of new year 's resolutions,  I think of people making broad statements like "I am going to eat healthier" or "I am going to lose weight."  I know that those are too all encompassing and the don't have the narrow focus that you would need to really change behavior.   

I think that I have confessed to you before that it seems that whenever I set a specific goal - I will lose 20 pounds by March 1 - that it is the surest way to sabotage myself.  I suck at goal attainment.  I don't know why.  I don't want to suck at goal attainment but I do.  

Are you thinking that I need a shrink?  Yea, that is possible but it isn't going to happen - at least not right now.  

It is also supposed to help that you confess your goal to the world so that you will be too embarrassed not to succeed.  That doesn't work either.  

So how am I - and you, my friend - going to make the changes that need to be made in life?  

Let's pick one thing.  How about - I am going to cook one new recipe every two weeks.  I will then  share the recipe with you. It gives me something new and different and gives me something to share with you.  See, I am thinking about you!

How do I go about doing this?

Step 1 - Find a new recipe
             A.  Look in cookbooks with recipes adjusted for those with diabetes
             B.  Look in the magazines that I get with recipes and see if they will work
             C.  Look on-line - Pinterest is a great source 
                                          there are numerous sites with recipes for diabetics.

Step 2 - Edit recipes for ease of preparation and ability to find ingredients

Step 3 - Put recipe on our schedule for the week

Step 4 - Put all the ingredients on shopping list

Step 5 - Actually make the recipe 

Step 6 - Critique - note changes that might improve the taste or wad up recipe into a ball and drop kick it

Step 7 - Share with you. 

Is it just me or does this seem like a lot of work?  I know, it is worth the effort.  I think that part of the problem is that I don't like to make food that doesn't taste good and when you try a recipe, you just don't know how it will work out.  I don't think it is a fear of failure as much as a fear of wasting time and money.  

I need to get over it.

So, how about if we make that a resolution for the year.  I will pass on to you a recipe every few weeks.  I hate to commit too much because if my every other week recipe stinks, I am not passing it on.  (Did I ever tell you about the cauliflower recipe that was supposed to replace mashed potatoes?  Oh, what an utter smelly failure!)  

Does that sound fair to you?  I will make sure that the recipe has the nutritional information.  Could you use some easy new recipes?

Let me know what you think either in the comments below or on Facebook ( The 9 Inch Plate) or Twitter (@9inchplate)  If you can take a minute to "Like" me on Facebook or "Follow" on twitter, that would be great!  

Thanks for reading!

Friday, January 4, 2013

When Things Go Wrong

I ran across this poem the other day.  It seems that the poet is unknown as is the title.  
I thought it would be good to share with you.  

When things go wrong, as they sometimes will,
When the road you’re trudging seems all uphill,
When the funds are low and the debts are high,
And you want to smile, but you have to sigh,
When care is pressing you down a bit,
Rest, if you must, but don’t you quit.

Life is queer with its twists and turns,
As every one of us sometimes learns,
And many a failure turns about,
When he might have won had he stuck it out;
Don’t give up though the pace seems slow—
You may succeed with another blow.

Often the goal is nearer than,
It seems to a faint and faltering man,
Often the struggler has given up,
When he might have captured the victor’s cup,
And he learned too late when the night slipped down,
How close he was to the golden crown.

Success is failure turned inside out—
The silver tint of the clouds of doubt,
And you never can tell how close you are,
It may be near when it seems so far,
So stick to the fight when you’re hardest hit—
It’s when things seem worst that you must not quit.
Poet Unknown

I was talking to a friend last night.  She was telling me that she had gone to the gym that day.  She was determined to start out right.  She then said that she knew she would "fall off" but that then she would just start again.  She is right.  At least she knows that she will then go back again.  One the the things that the "professionals" say is that you should plan for failure with your goals.  Know that you may encounter problems and decide how you will deal with them.  We all slip - we just all need to start again.

You must not quit.

Thanks for reading!