Monday, May 30, 2011


Jeez! The borage of comments and threats I received after my "Diabetes Makes You Stupid" post. My mother went out and bought me a lifetime supply of skittles! Jerry is threatening to sew bells onto all of my clothes! Had I realized that this was the response I would have received, I might have played it a different way! Like....

I went to the gym this weekend, started to run, and felt a little funny. I checked my blood sugar and realized, "Shit! I don't have my diamond rings with me! Damn it! How could I forget my diamond rings? Should I tell the instructor? Will I be okay? I really could have used my diamond rings!"

Any takers? Any one? Any one?

After giving everyone the speech about how I'm still learning diabetes, still working on accepting it, knowing and allowing little mistakes to happen, trying to find the balance between being obsessive and being lax to the point of dangerous, diabetes decided to throw me a curve ball this morning. Shithead.

I went to bed last night with a 141 blood sugar, which is pretty good for preparing to go to bed since my blood sugar tends to drop in the middle of the night. My dinner was not all that carby as I just ate a veggie wrap and low carb brownie. I did not have anything else to eat.

I woke up this morning to, what I realize now, is a test. Diabetes is trying to see if I will actually practice what I preach (or vehemently type) to others. That mistakes happen, that I'm not going to get upset over every high blood sugar, not going to cry at every low, accept that diabetes just is.

I check my blood sugar and it's 256!! What the fuck?! That can't be right! I check again, 250. Huh? I check again 214! Even though they're all different numbers, I think I can average them out and see I'm in the 200s FOR NO FUCKING REASON!

I calm myself down, trying to repeat all of the defenses I just used with everyone else. Remember, not getting upset over every high blood sugar. Accepting that mistakes happen. Blah blah blah. Whatever!

Stupid fucking pancreas!

But I get it. I see it. I see the test.

Touché, diabetes. Touché.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

$.99 a pound!!!!

My bargain shoppa side got the best of me a few months ago when I was shopping in a local natural foods store by my apartment. In the bulk aisle, they had oat bran for $.99/pound! $.99/pound!!! I can get a whole pound for a dollar!

I filled up my little plastic bag and proudly held it up to Jerry, who looked at it and said "What is that?!"
"It's oat bran." I said with a smile.
"Oh, okay," which is Jerry's usual response when he's confused or deciding if he wants to question/disagree with something. He paused for a moment, "What the hell are you going to do with it?"
"I don't know. It's $.99 a pound!" I said slowly because he was totally missing the point! "I'll figure something out!"

The oat bran has been sitting in my pantry, untouched, for the last 3...ahem...okay, really 6 months. Until now that is! I have noticed on a few of the other blogs I read (yes, I'm a blog dork and so are you, it would seem!) that people have been using it in place of oatmeal. I decided to try it and was pleasantly surprised by the results! It is a bit creamy then usual oatmeal and has less carbs, which means less impact on blood sugar!

Look at that picture!!!!

Creamy Oat Bran for One!

1/3 c. oat bran
1/2 c. water
1/2 c. milk,
1/2 t. cinnamon
Sweeten with honey, sugar or truvia to taste. I personally go for the truvia because of that whole diabetes thing.

1. Combine all ingredients into a small pan over medium high.
2. Stir occasionally until most of the liquid is gone and mixture looks creamy! It shouldn't take more then a few minutes.
3. Top with whatever toppings you like. I usually put peanut butter and fresh fruit on mine.

You can also try this in the microwave. Add all the ingredients together and microwave at 45 second intervals, stirring in between.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

The Middle Child

When I say I have a retarded sister, some people would laugh because they thought I was playfully teasing my sister. Others would disapprove as they thought I was being mean. Usually, I have to clarify "No, really, she's mentally retarded. I'm not making it up" and everyone feels silly.

Today is Tara's 31st birthday. It's hard to believe that she is older then me (or the same age as my boyfriend, weird).

Tara came up in a recently conversation about God. It sounds random.

When I was younger, much younger, like 7 or 8, I had an interest in religion. I started attending this Friday night arts and crafts activity at a local church. Though I went mostly for the crafts (b/c that's what Jesus would do!), I learned different songs and prayers. It was a really weird thing for an 8 year old to do! Eventually, as adolescence started to take over, I started questioning God more and more. If he really existed? If he was really all-knowing and powerful? Or was that just the Wizard of Oz? By the time I was in my full-on oppositional, bratty teenage stage (which didn't last long, right Mom?), I decided that God didn't exist. One of the reasons I believed that was because of Tara. Because if there was a God, then he wouldn't have given Tara all of her challenges.

As I matured and that bratty adolescent faded, my perspective on God and Tara began to change. I am not fully committing to the idea of God, but now, I look at Tara and think the exact opposite. If ever I were to believe in God, it is because Tara exists. Because only something greater than us could put Tara on this earth to teach us lessons otherwise overlooked. She is the picture of innocence and happiness. The challenges she has presented only added to the strength, sense of humor, and uniqueness of my family and who we are.

I am grateful for who Tara is and her presence in my life. I would not be who I am today if it wasn't for Tara. The things I like most about myself can be traced to patience, my compassion, my witty sense of humor, and my undying love to my sisters and parents.

Happy Birthday Big Bird.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Detox Me!

I am not sure why, but I have always been interested in doing a detox. There is something about cleaning out my colon in a controlled situation that is appealing! I don’t mind the idea of spending a few days on the crapper. I think I would feel…lighter (or sore).  For at least two years, I had a detox from by Gwyneth Paltrow on my fridge, just waiting for me to get my shit together - har, har, no pun intended. 

While the commitment to detox is intense, figuring out how to do it while being a diabetic is even more of a challenge! Many of the detox I have seen involve the consumption of juice to help the body get its nutrients. Since becoming diabetic, I have been told that juice should only be used to treat hypoglecmia. While I am sure I can drink juice whenever I want to, I’m not sure a whole week of just juice would fare well with my busted pancreas.

However, after back to back weekends of overindulging, resulting in several food babies, I am in need of something to cleanse this colon (besides beer!). I decide to use some of my recent inspiration of raw food to help aid in this process.

I have seen a lot of recipes calling for “raw pasta.” (It’s zucchini people! Let’s call a spade a spade, shall we?) Whatever, I’ll try to go along with it. The result….a yummy, light salad.

Detox "Pasta" Salad

Salad Ingredients
1 large zucchini
1 large carrot, shredded
6 – 7 cremini mushrooms, sliced
4 -5 radishes, sliced (not present in picture, but would be damn good!)
¼ c. peanuts
small handful of cilantro, chopped

Dressing Ingredients
1 inch piece of ginger
¼ c. rice wine vinegar
¼ c. canola oil
½ to 1 tsp brown rice syrup or other natural sweetener (or use to taste)
1 tsp lemon juice
a shake or two of red pepper flakes
salt and pepper

  1. Wash all your veggies. It sort of defeats the purpose of detoxing if all your vegetables are covered in pesticides.
  2. Use a good vegetable peeler to peel long, thin slices from the zucchini.
  3. Put all veggies together in a bowl.
  4. Grate ginger into a bowl of mini food processor. If using a food processor, add all the other dressing ingredients (even the oil). Turn on and let emulsify (30 to 60 seconds). If doing by hand, add the ingredients to the bowl with the exception of the oil. Slowly whisk oil in to emulsify.
  5. Dress salad and feel that colon cleanse coming on!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Diabetes Makes You Stupid.

Okay, maybe diabetes doesn't make you stupid. But it definitely makes ME stupid.

Since becoming diagnosed, there are times I think "Well, that was just stupid." I am sure there were plenty of these times before diabetes, but we're not talking about that. Usually, these moments are in regards to diabetes preparation of sorts. Like having juice on hand or leaving my insulin pens somewhere.

I had a "just stupid" moment at the gym this weekend. On Saturday mornings, I attend a sports conditioning class. It is basically circuit-training with different cardio and strength training moves. It's a challenging class, but I enjoy it. I enjoy it so much, I usually recruit others to be tortured, I mean, take it with me. This time, I took my friend Laura. 

Because I have attended this class for almost two years now, the instructor knows me pretty well (in the fitness sense anyway). He usually has the people who are most familiar with the class start off an exercise drill. This week, I start off the run. I start running and feel pretty good at the start but as we end the run, I feel a little funny. Nothing I can put my finger on, just funny. I decide I need to check my blood sugar before going onto the next set of exercises. 

I check it and I'm at a 54. Eek! How the hell did that happen? I had a banana and glass of milk before coming to the gym! I check my purse for the juice box I thought I put in there, but can't find it. I figure I'll just go buy a Gatorade from the vending machine...except I spent my last dollar on wine last night. How about Laura? Does she have any money? Nope, she doesn't either. 

All while this is going on, the instructor is looking at me, trying to gauge if I am okay as I usually don't just stop in the middle of class and make this scene of walking in and out. It is decision time. Do I tell him I'm diabetic? Do I tell him I'm hypoglycemic? I decide to err on the side of caution and tell him. 

As I struggle to figure out how I am going to treat this low and still participate in the class, Laura pulls a granola bar out her bag! Yay! I quickly shove the granola bar in my mouth, give myself a few minutes to let the carbs kick in, and re-join the class. I was fine through the rest of it. 

At the end of the class, I realize that it was just stupid. I should have had a juice box or something in my bag. It ended up being okay (you can breath now, Mom) but it was unnecessary drama that could have been avoided if diabetes didn't make me stupid. 

Saturday, May 14, 2011


I love sauces. Sauces I can dunk into, pour onto top, eat with a spoon, smear onto a loaf of bread, rub all over your body....there's not much more to this post other than that!

Here is one of my new favorite sauces, Romesco sauce. It's Spanish! :)

Spanish Romesco Sauce

1 large red pepper, roasted, peeled, seeds and membranes removed
3 medium tomatoes or 4 Roma tomatoes
2 thick slices baguette, lightly toasted (in a pinch I’ve used Trader Joe’s Whole Wheat English Muffins)
2 large garlic cloves, peeled
1/2 cup toasted almonds
1 to 2 teaspoons pure ground chile powder or red pepper flakes, to taste
1 tablespoon chopped fresh Italian parsley
1 teaspoon sweet paprika or Spanish smoked paprika
Salt and pepper to taste
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1/4 to 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil, as needed

1. Preheat the broiler and cover a baking sheet with foil. Place the tomatoes on the baking sheet, and place under the broiler at the highest setting. Broil for two to four minutes, until charred on one side. Turn over and broil on the other side for two to four minutes until charred. Remove from the heat, transfer to a bowl and allow to cool. Peel and core.
2. Drop garlic cloves into food processor and chop until garlic adheres to sides of the bowl.  
3. Add the toasted almonds, bread and chile powder to the bowl and process to a paste.
4. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and add the pepper, tomatoes, parsley, paprika, salt and pepper. Process until smooth.
5. With the machine running, add the vinegar and olive oil in a slow stream, beginning with the smaller amount of olive oil and thinning out as desired.
6. If possible, allow the sauce to stand for an hour at room temperature before using. Serve with fish and/or grilled vegetables, or on crostini.

I will put this shit on just about anything! It’s friggin’ delicious!

Friday, May 6, 2011

Zoinks! The Fanta!

My very first episode of hypoglycemia scared the crap out of me. I was in the hospital and woke up to use the bathroom. The feeling reminded me of those drunken college nights where 10 cent beers and $1 tequila shots seemed like such a good idea! Only this was worse. My head was fogged and spinning. I was in a deep sweat. My thoughts didn’t quite make sense and my legs felt like jelly. I thought that, at any moment, I was going to crash.

I swore that night I would NEVER experience hypoglycemia AGAIN! (TRUMPETS BLARE)

How naïve I was! Hypoglycemia is a part of diabetes. Granted, my goal is to reduce the number of incidents I have (and never be as low as that night in the hospital), but to think I will never be hypoglycemic is unrealistic. I have accepted it. Sometimes, I forget that others around me aren’t quite as comfortable.

This occurred to me this past weekend when I was at a beer festival. We had rented a house for the weekend and this was our first night up. At first, it was just Jerry, Tom (J’s bro), and me. Jerry and I had bought some prepared frozen food to hold us over until other people got to the house. We had bought a Kashi roasted vegetable pizza and an Amy’s tofu lasagna. Pizza…lasagna…can you think of anything more carby?!

I took the units I thought appropriate to the meal. As Tom and I talked in the kitchen, I could feel “the slow down” kick in, the mind slow down that is. Where developing coherent thoughts and linking them to actual words becomes challenging.

I take my blood sugar, 48. I’m not proud. That’s pretty low, but it happens. I ask Tom to go to my car to get me a juice box. I would have gone myself, but I thought it would have put a damper on the weekend if I passed out while walking to my car. Tom quickly comes back with the juice box and starts to question me about the hypoglycemia. Why is it happening? Why do I need juice instead of taking more insulin, etc.? All questions I would normally not have a problem answering if it wasn't for the slow down.

Suddenly, Tom stops talking (remember, this is Jerry’s brother. It’s a real event when they stop talking!). “Are you okay?” he quickly asks.

“Yeah, I’m fine." I quickly take a seat.
"Are you sure?" he asks again.
"Yeah, I just need to lie down. Come check on me in a few minutes to make sure I don’t die” I joke as I already feel the affects of the juice kicking in. Eventually, Jerry comes into the room to check on me. I’m feeling better and he somehow convinces me to do a headstand. Sure, why not?

Later, Tom shared that all the color drained from my face. When Jerry came to check on me, I said "I think I scared Tom." I knew I would be okay. And Jerry knew I would be okay. But Tom wasn't as sure.  It is only because Jerry and I have been through the experience before. I forget how scary that first hypoglycemia was for us. And it is a good reminder of how scary hypoglycemia can be, especially if it is enough to silence a member of Jerry’s family for a few minutes. J

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Japanese Pancakes!

Some of you may have recalled my talking about okonomiyaki from the Japanese Street Food post (because that was the most memorable part of that post). They refer to it as the "Japanese pancake" though my version has no resemblance to a pancake besides that they are both round.

Usually, okonomiyaki are served with a variety of toppings, such as bonito flakes, pickled ginger, seafood, etc., but my favorite is the barbecue sauce! The way I feel about barbecue sauce is the same way I feel about cheese. It can make anything taste better. Whenever I am in doubt about a recipe, I'll add cheese. If I think a recipe is too dry, barbecue sauce, here I come!

For this recipe, I didn't use any of the more "conventional" toppings, but I did have my barbecue sauce. If you're looking for a more authentic replication at home, you can purchase a variety of specialty food items at your local asian food market. But who has time for that crap?! Here's my americanized version of okonomiyaki.

American Japanese Pancake

2 cups cabbage, finely shredded
1 medium onion, sliced thin
2/3 cup whole wheat pastry flour
a couple pinches of fine grain sea salt and pepper
2 eggs, beaten
1+ tablespoon olive oil
Garnish: barbecue sauce!

1.      Combine the cabbage, onions, flour, and salt in a bowl. Toss until everything is coated with a dusting of flour.
2.      Stir in the eggs and mix until everything is evenly coated.
3.      Heat a large skillet over medium heat and add a generous splash of olive oil. Scoop the cabbage mixture into the pan, and using a spatula press it into a round pancake shape, flat as you can get it.
4.      Cook for 4-5 minutes, or until the bottom is golden.
5.      To flip the okonomiyaki, place a plate on top of the skillet and flip over. If you need a bit more oil in your skillet, add it now, before sliding the okonomiyaki back into the skillet.
6.      Cook until golden on this side - another 3 -5 minutes.
7.      Sather in barbecue sauce….or other accoutrements!