Wednesday, April 27, 2011

When I was Dying...

Sounds dramatic, no?

This is how I refer to the period of time before I was diagnosed with diabetes but was obviously sick (in ketoacidois). For the most part, when I say "when I was dying," everyone knows what I'm referring to. It was not until the other day did I realize how much this reference had been accepted by the people in my life.

The realization occurred when Jerry and I were talking about my hair (trust me, it was a thrilling conversation). I think my hair stopped growing "when I was dying." But instead of the usual reference, I started the sentence with "I think when I was sick blahblahblah..." (which is probably the exact way Jerry heard it). Jerry interrupted (which isn't unusual) and questioned, "You were sick? When you were sick?" (Are you noticing my fondness of parenthesis in this post?) (They're fun, aren't they?)

Umm, yeah, you remember the time that I drank water like it was my job, pissed like I had the bladder of a 5 year old, ate whole gallons of ice cream and still managed to lose 15 pounds. That time?

Instead of saying all that (which would have been sarcastic and sooooo totally unlike me), I reminded him, "Yeah, when I was dying."

"Oh" he said with full comprehension. The conversation continued. At least until the next interruption. :)

Monday, April 25, 2011

Fancy Pants

Crepes, my friends. It's my fancy pants dish.I find so many people think crepes are difficult to make, but they're really quite simple. It's all in the wrists!

And even though I love them, I have yet to make them since being diabetic. I guess we'll have to do a test run on the ol' blood sugar then. :)

Whole Wheat Crepes
1 cup whole-wheat pastry flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 large eggs
1/2 cup milk
2 teaspoons unsalted butter, melted, or neutral vegetable oil
1/2 cup seltzer water (preferred) or just water or more milk

1. Whisk the flour, salt, eggs, milk and butter (or oil) in a food processor or blender; process until smooth, scraping the sides once or twice. Transfer to a bowl, cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes. My need for instant gratification will force me to skip this step sometimes. It's not the end of the world if you do.
2.Slowly whisk seltzer water into the crepe batter. In a lightly oiled pan, ladle about 1/4 c. of batter into the skillet with measuring cup; immediately tilt and rotate the pan to spread the batter evenly over the bottom.
3.Cook the crepe until the underside is lightly browned, about 30-60 seconds. Using a small spatula, lift the edge of the crepe, quickly grasp it with your fingers and flip. Cook until the second side is lightly browned, about 60 seconds longer. Slide the crepe onto a plate.
4. Repeat until batter is gone.

You can refrigerate crepes between sheets of wax paper for up to 2 days or freeze for up to 1 month.

Best enjoyed sitting outside, with coffee or tea, in warm weather. The fillings we used on this particular day was homemade pumpkin butter, homemade peanut butter, and strawberry jam. We also had a savory crepe with onions and soy chorizo.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Ooo Baby I Like it Raw*.....

Time for another food adventure! No animal sexual organs were ingested this time. I know some of you are disappointed to hear this. Jerry sure was!  He loves to eat the penis.

Pure Food and Wine is a raw food restaurant, which means that nothing is heated above 118 degrees and no animal products are used. The belief is that eating food in its natural state preserves its vitamins, minerals, and enzymes. I had been to Pure Food before and thought it was interesting enough to go back. When a Groupon for $25 of $40 worth of food and drinks came up, I jumped on it!

My favorite raw food so far is definitely the nut cheeses. Nut cheeses are made with nuts (duh) and nut milk. We started with a sampler plate of three different cheeses made of macadamia, almonds, and cashews. For the record, Jerry has totally fed into my "I can make that!" philosophy by suggesting we try to make some! Thanks for believing in me honey!

Zucchini and Tomato Lasagna
Next, we had our entrees. Jerry ordered the Zucchini-Tomato Lasagna, which also happens to be Howard Stern's favorite. I know this because Howard and I are such good friends. This entree used zucchini in place of pasta and had basil pistachio pesto, sun-dried tomato marinara, and macadamia pumpkin seed ricotta. It was delicious! Not as delicious as real lasagna, but we're working with raw food here, people! I had the Sweet Corn and Cashew Tamales with Chili Spiced Portabella. There was an awesome cacao mole sauce on the plate that was chocolatey and cinnamony!
Dark Chocolate Trio

Dessert was the best part! Everything was covered in dark chocolate. We had the Dark Chocolate Trio, which consisted of chocolate cardamom coconut ice cream cone, pistachio gelato ice cream sandwich, and chai tea creamsicle. The ice cream sandwich was ridiculously good. Jerry preferred the chai tea creamsicle. 

Ok, are you ready for my soap box? Here it goes!

Since becoming type 1, I have had several people suggest to me that I can "cure" my diabetes by eating a raw food diet. I have a real problem with people who suggest they have a "cure." In my professional life, working with families affected by autism, I struggle with this all the time. It angers me when people play on others' vulnerabilities and hopefulness while disseminating misinformation that can be potentially dangerous. By suggesting that I will never have to take insulin again by following a raw diet angers me and my fucked up pancreas. He's working really hard to not function, you know!

While I occasionally enjoy eating raw, if it comes down to eating raw for the rest of my life or taking a unit or two of insulin to enjoy a slice of cake, shoot me up baby!

*Title cleverly suggested by Jerry

Thursday, April 14, 2011

All the Cool Kids are Doing it!

Since being diagnosed with type 1, the insulin pump has been in my purview.
Medtronic Insulin Pump and Constant Glucose Monito
In fact, it was one of the first things anyone related to diabetes (doctors, nurses, educators, diabetics!) would say to me. My limited knowledge of the pump and (let's be honest) diabetes, in general, left me a little clueless. A pump? For what? I had never heard of it before, let alone had the faintest idea what one looked like and how I would feel to have it attached to my body.

Either way, I gave myself the deadline of 6 months to get one. Why six months? Who the hell knows? It was an arbitrary number that I considered to be a milestone. I was creating a goal for myself, something to work towards and look forward to as I grapple with BEING A DIABETIC. Seems dramatic in all caps, no?

And now, 6 months has arrived. Hallelujah, I survived...and all my limbs are accounted for!

I went to the Certified Diabetes Educator for more information on the pump. I asked if I could borrow one, wear it for a few days, just to see how it felt. And, truth be told, it was weird. The cumbersome wire getting caught on things. The way that Jerry would double-check that I didn't have a bug on me each time his hand grazed the infusion set. The beeper-sized pump fitting uncomfortably in my pockets with no real place to be if I didn't have pockets or a waistband.

Despite knowing the other benefits of the pump (i.e. better blood sugar control, less intrusive injections, etc.), I still hesitate. My vanity is getting in the way. With summer approaching, I look forward to sundresses and bathing suits. Outfits without pockets or waistbands. Hours spent on the beach, in the sun, swimming in salt water.

I am going to be diabetic for the rest of my life. Give me one summer where it's not advertised on my body.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

My New Favorite Grain

Yeah, that's right. My new favorite grain. Is it dorky to have a favorite grain?

Well, I do. It is now farro, beating out barley in the competition.

I have been searching for farro FOR MONTHS! Seriously. No place has it. And, yes, I checked Whole Foods. I checked Trader Joe's. And Trade Fair. I left no bulk market unturned looking for this grain! Randomly, I found it in a small organic market in Hoboken! And now I'm hooked! It's nutty and chewy. Really good.

It's pretty simple to make too. Just throw it into a pot and boil for 20 to 30 minutes. I made a whole batch to eat throughout the week. This comes in handy when I walk into my apartment, ravenous, and start cooking dinner before I even take my jacket off!

Tuna Puttanesca with Farro

Yes, there is tuna on that plate!

1 ahi tuna filet
1/2 chopped onion
1 - 2 chopped garlic cloves

15 ounce can diced tomatoes
1 tsp anchovy paste (optional)
1/2 - 1 tsp crushed red pepper
1/2 - 1 tsp dried oregano
1 - 2 tbsp capers
2 tbsp chopped olives
salt and pepper
1 cup farro


1. Place 1 cup farro over medium heat with 2.5 cups of water and salt to taste. Once farro begins to boil, reduce heat to a simmer and cover. Cook for 20 to 30 minutes. Some residual water may be in the pot.
2. Saute onions until soft and translucent. Add garlic and cook until fragrant (careful not to burn).
3. Add red pepper, oregano, anchovy paste, and tomatoes to pan and bring to a simmer.
4. Place tuna in the tomato sauce, cooking on each side no more then 2 to 3 minutes.
5. Remove tuna from sauce and add capers & olives. Cook for a minute to heat through.

I like to mix the farro in with the sauce, but do what you like.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Food Rut

Every once in a while, I'll find myself in a food rut! Where I am eating the same uninspired fare, day after day. I know I'm in a food rut when the thought of eating another baby carrot makes me want to punch myself in the face! I'm all filled up on oatmeal and veggie burgers, especially since my beloved eggplant costs the same as gold! I was in need of some foodie inspiration and I found it at Whole Foods!

As I was searching through the prepared food aisle, looking for lunch, I came across their new salad shakers. Basically, it's a bunch of grains and veggies thrown into a container to later be shook up with salad dressing. I bought the Asian one, which had quinoa, barley, wheat berries, zucchini, tomatoes, edamame, and other mixed veggies. The dressing was a carrot-ginger dressing.

I hadn't even eaten it before deciding that this was going to be my next lunch creation! The combinations are endless!  You can do Mexican, Indian, Greek, Italian, Thai! Can you tell by my listing how excited I am? It's like a Super Walmart is moving into town!!!

For this week, my salad shaker was Mexican inspired. It included quinoa, farro, black beans, peppers, cilantro, tomatoes, and a few other things thrown in. However, it is the dressing that makes this! This is my all-time favorite dressing! I could drink this shit if no one was watching!

Cilantro Lime Dressing

1/3 cup seasoned rice vinegar
1/4 cup lime juice
1 garlic clove
2 teaspoons chipotle chiles in adobe sauce
2 teaspoons honey
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 - 3/4 cup canola oil
1 cup cilantro

1. Add vinegar, lime juice, garlic, chilies, honey, and salt into a blender. Blend together.
2. Slowly add canola oil to running blender until dressing is emulsified.
3. Add cilantro to blend and pulse until cilantro is desired size.

Go make this dressing now!

Monday, April 4, 2011

It's a Boy!

Nope, not pregnant.  My mom just felt a split second of panic and the need to throw up, but wasn't sure why. 

I'm actually just referring to my pancreas. Yes, my pancreas! He has a gender. And, apparently, it's a boy!
Generally, one does not often refer to an internal organ at all, unless it's to indicate some kind of pain or discomfort. Because, really, when was the last time you talked about your kidneys just for fun? 

Imagine my surprise when discussing my honeymoon period with my Certified Diabetes Educator (CDE) and I said "So, he'll just to decide to stop working altogether one day?" I paused and continued with "Not sure why my pancreas is a man, but I'll go with it." The CDE chuckled. But I couldn't stop there. I followed with "Maybe it's because he's refusing to work! Har har" -- Badabump! Thank you, thank you very much! I'll be here all week. Try the veal!

Point of the story (besides sharing the worst joke that I have ever told!), my CDE continues to think I'm insane and that my pancreas is a man.