Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Johnny Number 5!

People usually have a lot of questions about my insulin pump. The three most common questions I get are 1) do I still have to take my blood sugar or does the pump magically read it for me, 2) will the pump ever spin wildly out of control and overdose me with insulin, and 3) how /when do I change the infusion set or will it just fall out?

For a non-pump user, these all seem like intelligent questions, right? For a pump-user, it is hard not to snicker, roll my eyes, and pat people atop their little, questioning heads. Ah, so innocent, so influenced by popular entertainment that make us think that electronic devices will develop minds of their own and take over the world.

The answer to the first question is yes. I still have to take my blood sugar. The pump is just an insulin delivery device that is subcutaneously injected under my skin, which for the most part, doesn't even produce any bloodshed when injected. Bloodshed. Seems dramatic when it's said twice and bolded!

The answer to question number 2 is that my insulin pump isn't Johnny Number 5. Although...hmmm...hello new name for my insulin pump! Or should I say for my Johnny Number 5?!!!!! Awesome! Anyway, Johnny Number 5 only delivers the insulin its instructed too. It never goes rogue and does it on it's own. In fact, actually administering insulin requires the pushing of several different buttons to ensure I'm not overdosing myself every time I bump into a corner. And pushing several buttons can be quite complicated.

The answer to the third question is one that has recently changed. I need to change the infusion every two to three day, which is something that I do myself. No special medical degree or device (except for this bizarre, oddly sexual looking injector) required. However, my answer to the "Will it fall out?" question has just changed!

The Injector!!
Usually, I have to pry the adhesive tape that holds the site in place off of me. It's like when you were a kid and you left band aids on until they turned all gross and nasty and fell off themselves because peeling them off your delicate baby skin was too painful! Getting the infusion set adhesive off is similar to that stubborn band aid.

That was until recently.

I had just finished my Hot Yoga class and was putting on my pants to walk home. I must have also pulled the tubing when I pulled my pants up because I could feel the set rip out. I thought, "Wow, that's weird," but figured I had just been drenched in sweat and it needed to be changed anyway. Then, the very next day, again, pulling my pants up, I ripped out a second set! What the....?!

Either the infusion sets are weakening or I need start pulling up my pants less aggressively!

Sunday, January 29, 2012

What's the Deal?!

I know what you're thinking, "This crazy girl just posted about wanting to change her sugar-y ways and be healthy, but keeps putting up baked good recipes! WTF?"

I agree. It doesn't make much sense. Just as much as being a diabetic with a sugar addiction does. I'm trying to get some of these recipes posted before I start my 30-day/February challenges - more info to come on those!

Also, the world doesn't stop eating baked goods simply because I try not to. People still have birthdays that require some delicious, Nutella-inspired creations that, had they not been baked, would have sadly disappointed and ruin a friend's birthday! Is that what you want me to do, Readers? Ruin someone's birthday?! Leave them cupcake-less?! All in the name of good health? 

Yeah, I didn't think so! 

Sorry. I get a little irritable (and overuse punctuation) when I'm coming off the white stuff. 

Nutella-filled Peanut Butter Cupcakes

2/3 cup milk
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
2 eggs
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 jar of Nutella
1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and line one dozen muffin tins with cupcake papers.
2. In your stand mixer, combine the milk and vinegar, and let sit for a few minutes before whisking vigorously until frothy. Mix in both sugars. You can also use a handheld mixer or even a whisk.
3. Stir the peanut butter, applesauce, and vanilla into your mixer and beat until thoroughly combined.
4. In a separate bowl, add the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Mix until there are no more lumps, but be careful not to mix more than necessary.
5. Drop a dollop of Nutella into each cupcake. The Nutella will sink into the batter as it bakes.
6. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into a cupcake comes out clean. When testing for doneness, be sure to find a spot that is free from Nutella, as it may cause the toothpick to appear wet, even if the cupcakes are ready.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Impulse Control?

Just to prove my addiction to crap lately....

When I fall in love with a particular recipe, I have a hard time stopping myself from consuming the entire amount of whatever has been prepared. As was (notice the past tense) the case with these Cracked Pepper Cornmeal Biscotti this weekend. I prepared these biscotti, thinking I would serve them as a side to my Chipotle Pumpkin Chili. Let's just say I have a crap load of chili that is sadly missing a cornmeal partner.

This recipe uses prepared cornbread mix, primarily because it was on sale at Trader Joe's. You may be asking yourself "Self, why would I go through the hassle of twice baking cornbread into a biscotti shape when I could easily just throw all of this crap into a pan and bake it?"

Well, first, you lazy little baker, this recipe offers a completely different texture then your usual cornbread. These biscotti are lighter and have a nice crispness to them! Second, it's so much more fancy to say you've made Cornmeal Biscotti then cornbread, honky! Third, and most important of all, because it's awesome!

Cracked Pepper-Cornmeal Biscotti (small batch, which is really all can be prepared in my house at one time)

1 cup packaged cornbread mix (preferred Trader Joe's)
1/4 c grated cheddar cheese
1/2 tsp freshly cracked pepper
1 egg
2 tbsp canola oil
2 tbsp milk

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Mix all ingredients in a bowl. Mix will be thick and wet.
3. Pour mix onto parchment lined baking sheet. Don't worry too much about spreading it out as it will do it on its own. Plus, you don't want them to thin.
4. Bake for 20 minutes, or until golden brown.
5. Let cool on a baking sheet for 10 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 300.
6. After 10 minutes, slice cornbread loaf into 1/2 inch slices. Place on baking sheet.
7. Bake on each side for 15 to 20 minutes or until golden on both sides.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012


I'm addicted to sugar! I'm not sure if I need to tell you, but that's generally not recommended for a diabetic!

Ever since the holidays, I feel like my diet has fallen by the wayside. Carby foods and sugar has slowly been creeping its way. Sneaky, sneaky. I've even allowed myself to buy two kinds of flavored marshmallows!! It needs to stop.

While my blood sugar control has been okay, I've been feeling rather run down, unmotivated, and just bleh! Prior to the holidays, I had been feeling pretty good about my weight, eating habits, and workouts, but lately...not so much. I'm definitely eating too many carbs and not enough veggies, fruits, and lean protein. My portion sizes have become larger as my exercise regime dwindles. It's becoming a problem.  I am a MUCH happier, confident person the more fit and healthy I am.

While I think it's partial related to being weighed down by the food of the season (i.e. lots of starchy vegetables, hearty soups and stews), winter time blues are also starting to kick in. Cold weather and lots of time indoors has a way of messing with me.

Starting this week, I'm getting myself back on track!

First, I'm going cold turkey, man! No more sugar. Okay, okay...that's probably not completely accurate. But I am throwing away my flavored marshmallows (Chocolate Mint Jet Puff, how I love you!), no snacking at the junk people bring in at the office, and only ordering dessert as an occasional treat.

Second, I need to get back into a regular exercise routine! I'm investigating different programs to spark the motivation. I'm perusing BodyRock.tv to see if anything appeals to me, however, I think just getting myself to the gym on a regular basis will be an improvement.

Lastly, I'm considering doing very mild detox to help move along this sugar addiction. Nothing too crazy since lemon juice and cayenne pepper isn't enough to sustain this Diabetic, but something. More info to come on this one.

Wish me luck! Updates are sure to be fun!

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Single Handed.

I blame Trader Joe's for singlehandedly raising my a1c. Yes. It is all Trader Joe's fault.  With all of its holiday goodness and time-limited products available only during the Christmas season. Fucking Trader Joe's.

Let me tell you a little story about our frienemy, Cookie Butter.

Several weeks ago, while shopping at TJ's, I had noticed Cookie Butter staring at me, longingly, from his place on the "new products" shelf. Intrigued, I went over to read the label. Immediately from the description, I knew Cookie Butter was bad news. In one of my stronger moments, I resisted and put him back on the shelf.

Several weeks later, I was shopping in TJ's again and they were giving out samples of Cookie Butter. What could a sample hurt? Maybe I'd try it and hate it, right?

Bad decision. Of course it was delicious! This time, my willpower was weakened and Cookie Butter followed me to the checkout counter. I couldn't resist the urge and opened him up RIGHT THERE IN THE TRADER JOE'S PARKING LOT! It was so good. Thankfully, I was able to stop myself from eating the whole jar with my finger!

However, once I got Cookie Butter home, it was all down hill from there. In fact, it got so bad that one night, I actually threw him in the garbage. Twisted the lid on tight, tossed him in, never to hear from Cookie Butter again.

Until the next morning, when I took him out of the garbage and ate him on an english muffin for breakfast.

Definitely not my proudest moment.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

The Best Thing I Ever Made

The best thing I ever made has three ingredients and took less the 60 seconds to make.

I've made four course dinners, slaved over stoves for hours, and tested, retested and tested recipes again. Yet, Curried Ketchup is the best thing I have ever made! My life is forever changed.

I made Curried Ketchup as a spread for the Mini Turkey Sliders at Heather's birthday party. It was so damn good I find myself making meals simply so I can eat more of it. I had no intention of making veggie burgers this week...but I did! To eat more Curried Ketchup! French fries? Not really my thang, but if they can be used as a vehicle for shoving more ketchup in my face, then french fries it is! Scrambled eggs and Curried Ketchup. Pretzels dipped in Curried Ketchup. Rolls slathered in Curried Ketchup.

I think you get the idea.

You can thank me later.

Life Changing Curried Ketchup

1/2 c organic ketchup (I suppose you can use conventional ketchup)
1 - 2 teaspoons curry powder, depending on your preference
1 - 2 squirts lemon juice

1. Put all ingredients in a bowl and stir until combined

Monday, January 16, 2012

Deviant Tart!

What is this?
It's a galette.
A what?!
A galette. It's french for an open faced tart.

Take that exchange and multiple it by 10. That's how many times I repeated that conversation the night of Heather's party. Eventually, I gave up on all my fanciness and just called it what it was, an open faced tart. 

This recipe seems long and complicated, but it's actually pretty easy. If you wanted to save yourself some time, you can always buy pre-made pie crust instead of making your own. 

Potato, Mushroom, and Caramelized Onion Galette

Spinach-Feta Galette
Galettes Two Ways

Crust Ingredients:
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup whole-wheat pastry flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 – 2/3 cup water
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Seasonings of your choosing

Filling #1 (Mushrooms, Caramelized Onions, and Potatoes):
1 tbsp butter
1 large onion, chopped
1 tbsp sugar
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 12 ounces container cremini mushrooms, sliced*
1 large Yukon Gold potato, thinly sliced*
Freshly shredded parmesan
salt and pepper

Filling #2 (Spinach, Feta, and Olives):
½ large onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 bag frozen spinach, thawed
½ tsp oregano
½ c feta, crumbled
1/3 c kalamata olives, pitted and chopped
salt and pepper


For crust:
  1. Combine all-purpose flour, whole-wheat flour, baking powder, sugar and salt in a bowl.
  2. Make a well in the center. Add the water-oil mixture, stirring until well blended. Stir in seasonings. You should be able to form this into a ball and not be too sticky.
  3. Press the dough into a disk; if it seems dry, add a little more water. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes or longer. The unbaked crust will keep, well wrapped, in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.
For filling #1:
  1. Melt butter over medium heat. Add onions, sugar, salt, and pepper. Sauté over medium low heat until onions begin to brown and caramelize, about 35 – 40 minutes.
  2. In a separate pan, sauté mushrooms and garlic in olive oil until ‘shrooms are cooked through.
  3. Thinly slice potatoes
  4. Layer potatoes into galette and bake for 20 minutes. Add onions, mushrooms, and cheese for the last 15 minutes of baking.
For filling #2:
  1. Sauté onions and garlic in olive oil over medium heat until soften.
  2. Add frozen spinach and oregano. Heat until cooked through.
  3. Let spinach cool once cooked for 15 to 20 minutes. Add feta and olives.
To assemble galettes:
  1. Roll the dough into a rough 14-inch circle about 1/4 inch thick. Coat a baking sheet with cooking spray and place the dough on it.
  2.  Arrange the filling on the dough, leaving a 2-inch border all around. Fold the border up and over the filling to form a rim, pleating as you go.
  3. Stir egg and water briskly; brush lightly over the crust.
  4. Bake at 400 degrees for 30 to 35 minutes until the crust is golden brown. 

Friday, January 13, 2012

Catch 22

Diabetes is filled with catch 22s. Here is one I faced this past weekend.

We had just returned home from the bar portion of Heather's birthday celebration and did what any good drunkards do....hit up the fridge! Of course, I also did what any good drunk diabetic does and hit up the glucose meter! I simultaneously checked my blood sugar while shoving forkfuls of Pumpkin Mac and Cheese in my face, preparing to take a couple of units of insulin, only to be met by a 57 blood sugar.

What?! 57! How the hell did that happen? I didn't even feel low.

Prior to going to the bar, I had plenty of very-not-diabetes-friendly foods coupled with several glasses of wine and a dirty martini.  I figured that between the insulin, food, and booze, my blood sugar would be okay. In fact, I was expecting it to be high. Imagine my surprise to be at 57 and not actually feel it. A little scary. 

I was faced with a real dilemma. I wanted to go to sleep, but couldn't with my blood sugar at 57. However, I had just eated a heaping helping of mac and cheese. Did I want to take the chance of over-correcting for the hypoglycemia and wake up in the 200's? Or do I go to bed hoping the pasta would kick in and not raise my blood sugar too high?

It's the diabetic's catch 22.

For any diabetics who happen to stumble across this blog, my solution was to increase my basal rate on my insulin pump so that the mac and cheese would help raise my blood sugar without causing me to go too high. Generally, my CDE recommends an increase of 10%. Which I didn't know until this morning when I asked her if it was okay that did that....except I raised it to 30%. That was probably too high.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Party People

This weekend, My lovely roommate entered the last of her 20's. Such an event required a party! We're party people, in case you haven't noticed.

This party wasn't much different then our usual parties, which of course means it had crapton of food, booze, and maybe a drunken, impromptu toast to the birthday girl. Maybe. As usual, I thought I'd share the menu details.

Heather's Birthday Party

Cheese Plate - a party staple
Pumpkin Mac-n-Cheese -- the pumpkin obsession continues*
Spinach, Feta, and Olive Galette (fancy word for open-faced tart)
Potato, Mushroom, and Caramelized Onion Galette
Mini Turkey Sliders with Spicy Mayo and Curried Ketchup
Sweet Potato Fries - which never technically made it off the cookie sheet

Nutella Cupcakes
White and Chocolate Chip Cookies

Wine and Beer - no fancy cocktails this time around, didn't want a repeat of Halloween

Recipes to come!

*This is essentially the Winter Squash Mac and Cheese recipe only pumpkin replaced the winter squash.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Using it Up

I have a thing for pumpkin. Have you noticed? As soon as the leaves start to change, I want to start eating pumpkin and I don't want to stop until I look like an Ommpa Loompa!

However, most recipes I have that use pumpkin don't usually call for a whole can of pumpkin puree. Unless you're making a shit ton of pies, which generally isn't recommended for fat kid diabetics such as myself. I usually have a half used can of pumpkin kicking around my fridge....and I can only make so much pumpkin bread and pumpkin muffins!

I came across an interesting recipe to use up some of that leftover pumpkin. A Pumpkin Pie Smoothie! Doesn't that sound awesome?!?!

I modified the recipe from the one published on Peas and Thank You. One thing that she recommends you do, which I didn't do for my smoothie, but would want to do if I was a more organized person, is to freeze the pumpkin into ice cube trays. But I guess it depends on how many Pumpkin Pie Smoothies you plan on making yourself.

Notice my pretty NYS Jonagold apples!

Pumpkin Pie Smoothie

3/4 c pumpkin puree
1 c milk
3 - 4 ice cubes
3/4 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ginger
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp garam masala (optional, but good for extra spice)
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 - 1 1/2 tsp sweetner of your choice (optional)

1. Put it all in the blender and blend until combined!

Mama Pea garnished her smoothie with crumbled graham crackers. It looks delicious, but probably not worth the extra carbs for me. Maybe worth it for those of you with functional pancreas! Or is it pancreai? Pancreases?

Friday, January 6, 2012

Save Me, Pumpkin!

Apparently, there was a research study done in China on the effects of pumpkin and type 1 diabetes. Those crazy Asians! Some preliminary results suggest that ingesting pumpkin can help defend the lives of pancreatic insulin-producing cells that are normally killed off by the Big Bad Diabetes! Unfortunately, these preliminary results were from research conducts on rats. Mildly different then if they were on, oh, I don't know, say, a human!

I have decided to help out our Asian rat friends by testing this pumpkin theory myself by trying to squeeze pumpkin into almost every recipe I can think of making! So far this season, it's been 8 cans of pumpkin and counting!

Chipotle Pumpkin Chili

1 large onion, chopped
1 large green pepper, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1/2 package tempeh, crumbled - to give some meatiness or you can opt for real meat or TVP
1 can pumpkin puree
1 can kidney beans
2 - 3 tbsp tomato paste
1 can crushed tomatoes w/ green chilies (Trader Joe's brand)
1 tbsp cumin
1 tsp dried oregano
2 chipotle peppers, or more (with or without seeds stripped) with 1/2 tablespoon adobo sauce (removing the seeds will lessen the heat)
1 Pumpkin beer (or vegetable stock, but that's not as good to drink!)
salt and pepper to taste
olive oil

1. Heat oil in a large pot. Add onions and peppers. Cook for 5 - 6 minutes before adding the garlic. Cook for a few minutes longer.
2. Add crumbled tempeh and let brown. 
3. Add pumpkin puree, crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, spices, beans and chipotle peppers. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Add stock or beer.
4. Bring chili to boil over medium heat and turn to a simmer for about 2 hours.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Spring Cleaning Come Early!

I am taking the opportunity of the new year to clean out the draft box of GBP (Goodbye Pancreas...keep up, kids). I have over 100 posts written, waiting for their day in the GBP spotlight. Yet, forlorn, they sit in the draft box, losing seasonal appropriateness with each new recipe I post.

I have posts from last snowboard season.  I have posts from my trip to Mexico! I have posts written about Jerry that I never posted. Eek -- I said his name. You thought he was forever banished from this blog, didn't you? :) I have a shit ton of posts from when my pumpkin obsession took over and I made EVERYTHING pumpkin for a solid month.

Well, no more, I say!

I'm going to get some of these posts out of the draft box and onto the blog. This week, I will be inundating you with pumpkin recipes despite the fact that the autumnal window as since passed. You'll have to deal.

Pumpkin Pie Oat Bran for 1
Adapted from the Peas and Thank You Cookbook

1/4 c pumpkin
1/4 c water
1/2 c milk plus 1 - 2 tbsp
2 tsp pumpkin pie spice (I like my pumpkin dishes spicy!)
pinch of salt
1 - 2 tbsp sweetener of your choice
1/3 c oat bran

1. Combine all the ingredients through to your choice of sweetener in a medium pot. Cover and bring to a low boil over medium heat.
2. Stir in oat bran and cook for 2 minutes.
3. Optional - Pour contents of pot into a small blender and add the extra tablespoons of milk. Blend until mixture is desired consistency.
4. Top with your choice of nut butter!

Monday, January 2, 2012

Hola 2012!

Originally, I had this hippie-dippie post written about my new approach for the new year.

How instead of waiting for one day a year to make changes, I am looking at each day as an opportunity for a fresh start. Whether it be at work, in love, in relationships, or with blood sugar, beginning again is a moment to moment possibility. We all get off track in our lives, but tomorrow always offers another chance to right whatever wrongs, to move on, to move forward, to forgive, to heal, to conquer.

Rather then give myself a detailed list of resolutions to work on for this coming year, I am going to keep it simple. In this new year, my resolution is to be happy, enjoy life, love and be loved. 

Okay, okay...I can't resist the urge to also put down some concrete resolutions! But all the above applies too.

First, I would like to lower my a1c. Even though I know my current a1c is still really good, I'd like to get back down to where I was before. One way I'm hoping to do this is by trying to keep a food/insulin log at least one week every month and be more mindful of testing two to three hours after meals. Research shows that food logging and frequent blood sugar testing helps maintain overall good blood sugar control.

Second, I have been a bit off in my diet and exercise habits lately, mostly because of the holidays. I would like to get back to my regular eating and exercise routine. This also includes eating more locally grown foods, including ones I plan on growing myself!

Third, new year, new job. I don't think this one needs explaining.

Lastly, taking good care of myself, not just physically but also mentally, is probably the most important resolution I will make this new year. In this past year, I have made significant progress in taking better care of mental health. I'm less anxious, have more confidence, and liking myself more and more. While I have made great strides, self-care so easily falls by the wayside. Not this year.

I think I can handle that.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Sayonara 2011!

Dear 2011,

I'm not sure if you recall my particular dislike for your predecessor, 2010, but that was a really tough year. You started with me still needing time to recover from the shock of...well, everything that happened in 2010, that stupid douchebag.

This year, I spent a lot of time second guessing myself, my decisions, and those around me. However, as we come to the end of you, I don't have that anger and bitterness I once did. In fact, I find myself in a far better place then where I had once been. I'm actually...happy. It's a nice feeling.

But, I have to say, 2011, you weren't easy. While I could easily dwell on all the negatives, like rough times at work and the end of my relationship, I realize that there has been a lot more positive things to come into my life. That I needed those bumps in the road to regain my sense of self, to start new relationships, and be where I am right now. You brought some sorrow and anxiety to my life, 2011, but you also brought me awesome new friendships and reminded me of the love I have for all of my old ones.

As I start 2012, I am hopeful that things will only go up from here.

And if you put the word in for me, that would be awesome.