Thursday, March 29, 2012


My "I can make that!" mojo is in full effect, my friends!

During my detox, as a replacement for all the other naughty stuff I eat, I became addicted to LARA Bars. I know the purpose of a detox is to eliminate the physical dependency on food, but what can I say? I'm an anomaly! 

In case you've never seen or heard of a LARA bar, they are fruit and nut-based bars that have no artificial ingredients, additives, or sugars. In fact, I don't think I have seen a Lara bar with more then five ingredients on the label. My favorites are Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough, Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip, Cashew Cookie, Ginger Snap, and Lemon Bar. Are you noticing a cookie trend here? 

Once my detox ended, I was a little hesitant to keep LARA bars as a substitute for my daily Kashi granola bars. On the one hand, LARA bars are much higher in fat (because of the nuts) and carbohydrates (because of the dates) then my usual granola bar. On the other hand, my Kashi bars also have a lot more then five ingredients and definitely includes a sugar additive.

Then, I found out that dates, the primary base of LARA bars, are good for you! Dates are an excellent source of carbohydrates, contain no cholesterol, are high in fiber, and boast a wide range of nutrients. They aid in digestion and help to regulate blood sugar levels. SOLD!!!! Sign me up!

Except they come at anywhere from $1.29 to $2 a pop. Ouch. 

I decided to make my own to see how cost effective it is. The judges have yet to weight in. 

I'll share my recipe, but there is this great post that goes into significantly more detail on how to make the LARA Bars. Hop on over to Enlightened Cooking for more info. 

Cashew Cookie LARA Bar
Makes 3 large bars

2/3 c chopped dates
1 c raw cashews
cinnamon, to taste

1. Place the dates in a food processor and pulse to a paste. Transfer dates to a medium bowl (don’t clean processor).
2. Add cashews to the processor and pulse until finely chopped. 
3. Add the nuts, along with the cinnamon, to the bowl with the date paste. 
4. Use your fingers to knead the nuts into the paste.
5. Divide mixture in thirds (or fourths, if you're really stingy!) Place each one on sheets of plastic wrap. 
6. Wrap the plastic around each bar and start squishing into a bar shape form, 3 and 1/2 inches long, 1 inch wide and 3/4-inch thick); press against counter top to flatten bottom side, flattening top side and ends with flat of hand. 
7. Tightly wrap the plastic around each bar and store in the refrigerator.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012


After coming to the end of my detox, it didn't take long for me to retox. It started with beers and brains (yes, actual pork brains) on Thursday night at my favorite Japanese street food restaurant followed by the sharing of three completely unnecessary desserts on Friday night! The retoxification of my system was punctuated with a Saturday morning blood sugar of 375. Awesome.

Well, really, not awesome, since it ended up making me a moody, cranky bitch for the next few days.

One thing that is very clear to me, but I never really want to admit, is that my personal self image and weight are very much intertwined. I feel more attractive and confident the thinner I am.

There. I've admitted it. I'm one of those girls.

With diabetes in my life,  my focus on health and fitness are even more intense! Rather then view one night of overeating as an accidental indulgence, I (sometimes) see it as a failure of character. If only I had better self-control...if only I  ordered the healthiest item on the menu...if only I said no to dessert and didn't eat that piece of bread...I would be a better diabetic. I'd be thinner. I'd be happier.

I beat myself up. I put myself in a crappy mood. And it sucks.

I know all is not lost. I know that whatever weight I put on over the weekend can be lost. Whatever crazy blood sugar numbers that happened can be changed. Whatever bruises I inflicted on my self-esteem can be healed.

I thought I'd share these thoughts just so you know it's not all happy workouts and detoxes over here. And because I think we all have these thoughts at one point or another. We're not always happy with what we eat, how we look, and the way we treat ourselves. Sometimes, I think it's good to hear that. Just so we know we're not alone.

So, hey there, you're not alone.

I'll have a more uplifting recap of my detox soon.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Desperately Waiting....

In Week 3, I am able to add gluten-free grains and dairy back into my diet. I have know idea what grains are gluten-free and which aren't, so I'm taking my ignorance to mean that I can eat whatever grains I want. That logic works, right? Your lack of response tells me you agree.

If I thought that gluten was a problem in my life, then I would be a more conscious about not adding it back in. That whole "Never want to stop eating" thing is really my life's problem.

Either way, I have been desperately waiting for Week 3 so I could make this dish for lunch!

I've changed some of the ingredients slightly to fit what I had in my kitchen, to be more diabetic-friendly (more veg then carbs), and what is in season. I found vine-ripened tomatoes grown in MA at Whole Foods!

And, by the way, the dressing for this recipe is fucking amazing!

Protein Power Bowl

3/4 cup uncooked green lentils
3/4 cup uncooked farro
1/2 tbsp olive oil, for sautéing
1/2 large red onion (~1 & 1/3 cups), chopped
1-2 garlic cloves, minced
1 red bell pepper, chopped (not seasonal, I know!)
2 tomatoes, diced
3 cups spinach or kale, roughly chopped
1/2 cup fresh parsley, minced

1 batch of Lightened Up Tahini-Lemon Dressing (recipe below)
salt & black pepper, to taste
lemon Wedges & lemon zest, to garnish

1. Cook lentils and farro (or grain of choice). I did this the night before to save time.
2. Prepare the Tahini-Lemon dressing in food processor (see below for recipe).
3. In a large skillet over low-medium heat, add your olive oil and sauté the chopped onion and minced garlic for a few minutes, being careful not to burn.
4. Add in the chopped red pepper and tomato and sauté for another 7-8 minutes.
5. Stir in the chopped kale or spinach and sauté for another few minutes, just until tender.
6. Stir in the full batch of tahini-Lemon dressing, the cooked & drained grains and lentils, and simmer on low for another few minutes.
7. Remove from heat and stir in the minced parsley. Season with salt and pepper to taste and garnish with lemon wedges and zest.

Tahini-Lemon Dressing

1/4 cup tahini
2 garlic cloves
1/2 cup lemon juice
1/4 cup Nutritional yeast or a bit more, to taste
2-4 tbsp Extra virgin olive oil, to taste
1 tsp kosher salt + freshly ground black pepper, or to taste
3 tbsp water, or as needed

1. In a food processor, add all ingredients and process until smooth.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Our House

I am not a romantic person.  I don't believe in fairy tales. A relationship is something you work at for happiness. I'm not one of those girls who have been waiting for Prince Charming and planning her wedding since she was 5. It's just not me.

With that said, I do still have a vag (as in vagina). I may get sentimental from time to time. Jerry might even describe it as hormonal, but I think that's a little exaggerated. Don't you? Well.....don't you?!

The other night, he and I were driving home from my parents' house when the song "Our House" by Crosby, Stills, and Nash came on. Jerry announced that this was his favorite song from when he was five and turned it up. It's a song that we all think we know the words to only to realize that there is more to it then "Our house is a very, very fine house." And that there's only two "very's" and not the three hundred we squeeze in there.

The next lines of the song is "With two cats in the yard./Life used to be so hard/Now everything is easy 'cause of you." Listening to the song, I let out an  "Awwww," paused and followed up with "With two cats in the yard!" Jerry pointed out the other (actual) sentimental piece of the song, which is that life use to be hard, but was easier now that they were together.

I let his comment sit with me a moment.

Then, I busted out laughing, realizing that tears had actually began to form in the corner of my eyes. I suddenly felt an odd connection to those lyrics. Of "our house" with our two cats and my life seeming so much easier because Jerry's in it. Okay, fine! Maybe I was mildly hormonal!

This is basically my long-winded, not exactly connected way of telling the few readers I have that Jerry and I are moving in together! Yay! The process has already started with the end in sometime in May.

Monday, March 19, 2012

New Favorite

I'm sad that it took me this long to find this detox plan because it has now supplied me with my favorite winter salad.

Except that it's no longer winter.

Now that we're on the cusp of spring and all my winter veggies are going out of season, I'll be craving this salad until November! Thanks, Universe!

If you're never thought to eat raw sweet potatoes, you should definitely give it a try. It's much more mild then its cooked counterpart. Bonus: This salad was pretty good on the ol' blood sugar!

Sweet Potato, Celery, and Apple Salad

2 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
2 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
1 small sweet potato, peeled and finely julienned
1 tart apple, cored and finely julienned
1 stalk celery, thinly sliced
2 scallions, thinly sliced
3 radishes, finely julienned
3 tablespoon TVP (for added crunch!)
1/4 cup packed fresh cilantro leaves

1. In a small bowl, whisk lemon juice, ginger, and oil. Season with salt and pepper.
2. In another bowl, combine sweet potato, apple, celery, scallions, radishes, sesame seeds, and cilantro.
3. Drizzle dressing over salad and season with salt and pepper.

Friday, March 16, 2012


Here I am posting about my second week of detoxing and didn't even update you on the first!
Here's a quick run-down.

What's Off Limits During the Entire Plan: processed food or beverages, added sugar, dairy, gluten, caffeine, and alcohol
What I Ate During Week 1: fruits, vegetables, and plant-based fats, including nuts, seeds, and oils
What I Added Back in Week 2: seafood, beans and lentils, and organic soy
What I Will Add Back in Week 3: gluten-free grains and dairy

How's the detox going so far?
So far, this detox hasn't been too bad. Except for getting a cold. Which really can't be blamed on the detox, but more on the booger-handed kids I work with. The majority of my cravings haven't been for what I was expecting, like desserts and other sugary treats, but for all food in general.
I. Just. Want. To. Keep. EATING!!!

It's not because I'm hungry. I just feel this incessant need to put things in my mouth! ::Insert dirty joke here:: I've also really missed my Friday/Saturday/"whatever night of the week it might be" glass of wine.  Ah, my mother must be so proud!

Overall, this detox has definitely made me more aware of what I have been feeding my body. Initially, I joked that I had a sugar addition, but I do truly believe that it is true. In fact, studies actually show that we can become physically addicted to fat and sugar. Our bodies starts to crave it the way it would coke or heroine. How fucked up is that?!

In the two weeks that I have been following this plan, I have had amazing blood sugar, more energy, and more restful sleep! I have developed a wicked addiction to Lara Bars, which is better then candy bars. I see that my portion control has definitely been out of wack. Lastly, I have realized how mindless my eating can be.

For example, I went into our supply closet at work where we keep snacks, juice boxes, etc. for the kids in our group. While I was sorting through it, I came across a bag of M&Ms. Immediately, my mind thought "Oo, M&Ms!" and I reached for the bag. I, then , stopped because I remembered I was on this detox. When I took a few more minutes to think about it, I realized how mindlessly I would have eaten that handful of M&Ms. I wasn't even hungry. I didn't need a chocolate fix. It was just there.

Oh. And do I need to point out that I'm a diabetic? Handfuls of M&Ms really shouldn't be in the daily repertoire.
If I walk away from this detox with nothing more then an increased awareness of what I feed my body, I feel this detox has done its job.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Lucky Me!

Lucky for me, red lentils are allowed back into my diet during the second week of my detox. Which is awesome since I've been craving the Red Lentil-Pumpkin Dal from my Lunchbox Challenge.

Lentils are one of those tricky little foods for diabetics. They're carby, like most beans, but also have a lot of fiber and a low glycemic index. Which in non-diabetes terms means I can eat them!
Unfortunately, gluten is still not part of the diet during this detox, but I'll share the 5-minute Naan bread anyway because it really is sooooo good with this dish.

Red Lentil Pumpkin Dal

3/4 c red lentils
1 medium onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 can tomato paste
1/2 c pumpkin puree
1 tbsp curry powder
1 tbsp tikka masala spice blend
1 c veggie broth
1 handful of cilantro
salt and pepper
olive oil
Plain yogurt (optional)

1. Heat up oil in pan over medium-high heat. Add onions and garlic. Cook until translucent.
2. Add red lentils and saute for a few minutes until lentils' color deepens slightly. Mix in spices and seasonings.
3. Add pumpkin, tomato paste, and veggie broth. Stir well. Turn down heat to medium low and allow to simmer for about 40 to 45 minutes or until lentils are soft and most of the broth has been incorporated.
4. Allow the lentils to cool down slight before adding chopped cilantro. Top with a dollop of plain yogurt to finish.

5-minute Naan
Adapted from Edible Perspective

1/2 large egg or 2 tbsp egg whites
4 tbsp milk of choice
1/4 c flour of choice
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp curry powder

  1. Heat a small sauté pan over medium heat with a little oil.
  2. In a bowl, whisk together the ingredients.  The batter will be runny.  Add more milk if needed.
  3. Pour into the heated pan and turn the pan so it’s evenly spread around.  Let cook for about 2-3min, until bubbles form on top and able to be flipped.
  4. With a large spatula, carefully flip and cook for another 2-3min, or until golden brown.
  5. Eat right away, or let cool, wrap tightly and refrigerate.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Doubled Over

On the first day of my detox, I was doubled over in pain.

It's not clear how much that had to do with the detox or my stupidity. I had a dull pain start in my back and slowly creep its way over to my side and lower abdomen. Intially, I tried to ignore it, thinking it was fleeting cramps or something.

But as the day progressed, it got more intense. I began racking my brain for possible causes. I googled different ailments and the locations of certain organs. Was this my pancreas trying to bust out? Figuring he wasn't working anyway might as well take a road trip? Seriously. I googled the location of my pancreas. No, pancreas was too high for this pain. What about an appendicitis? That sounds like it could hurt. Nope, wrong side.

Between my writhing and fruitless google searching, I gave in and went home. Only to realize in the car that I had eaten raw almonds on an empty stomach earlier that day. For some reason, I always forget that raw almonds will cause me to feel as though an alien is trying to escape into the outside world by ripping its' way through my bellybutton until the damage has been done and I'm trying to decide if I should pull over to the side of the road to take the fetal position in the backseat of my car!

And, of course, it always passes.

A couple hours after arriving home (or, rather, to Jerry's), I felt fine. And hungry. Keeping with this detox is hard, especially when you think it's trying to kill you...and you go to the diner for dinner.
Truth be told, I did pretty well by just eating the salad bar and a bowl of vegetarian-friendly lentil soup. Yay me.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Out of the Box

As part of my detox, I've been spending some time with my old friend, the Smoothie!

I use to be a frequent smoothie-maker. Until diabetes, that is!

I eventually cut myself off from them. It wasn't one of those "I have no self-control, so I'm going to take this jar out of the garbage and eat it" cut-offs. It was more of a "I'm a diabetic now and figuring out insulin for a smoothies seems too hard" kind of cut-offs.

My smoothie making ability was further impacted when I decided that I was only going to eat local and organic foods, which, unfortunately limits the amount of fruit you can put into a smoothie. When was the last time you saw a banana tree growing in the North East? I usually use bananas as a creamy base for my smoothies, but while on a trip to Coast Rica, I actually "toured" a banana plantation. I use the word "toured" loosely because really all we did was watch hard-working citizens of this third world country in the Dole Banana Factory while crazy gringos snapped souvenir pictures to bring home!

When I combine that image with the thought of how those bananas make it to our shelves here in the US, you can understand my hesitation of consumption.

However, this recent detox inspired me to think outside the box when it comes to my smoothies. Here's an array of "outside of the box" smoothie recipes that are surprisingly delicious! No. Really.

Sweet Tater Smoothie

1/2 c sweet mashed potatoes
1/2-1c milk (I used almond milk)
1 package vanilla protein powder
handful of ice
1/2-1t cinnamon
1t fresh grated ginger
1t vanilla
few shakes of nutmeg

1. Throw it all in a blender and let it go! Add more liquid, until desired consistency is met.

Carrot Cake Smoothie - Seriously good

2 carrots, steamed
1/2 apple, roughly chopped
1/2 - 1 c. milk (I used almond)
1 1/2 tsp freshly grated ginger (or to taste)
1/2 t. vanilla
1/2 cinnamon, nutmeg, cardamom (or to taste)
1 scoop vanilla protein powder (optional)
1/4 c. old-fashioned oats (optional)
sweetner to taste (though you don't really need it)

1. Throw it all in a blender and let it go! Add more liquid, until desired consistency is met.

Beet-Carrot-Fruit Smoothie - Doesn't it look pretty?

1 small beet, steamed
2 carrots, steamed
1/2 apple, roughly chopped
1/2 pear, roughly chopped
1 - 2 cups water
1 tbsp lemon juice
2 tsp freshly grated ginger (or to taste)

1. Throw it all in a blender and let it go! Add more liquid, until desired consistency is met.

Moldy Cake Batter Smoothie - Moldy, not because of taste, but because of looks! Live a little! Try it!
1 handful spinach leaves- I swear you can't taste it!
1/2 - 1 c. milk (I used almond)
1 scoop vanilla protein powder
1/4 c. old-fashioned oats
1 t. sunflower seed butter
1/4 c. organic cottage cheese
1/2 t. vanilla
8-9 ice cubes
sweetner to taste

1. Throw it all in a blender and let it go! Add more liquid, until desired consistency is met.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Squeezing One Out

Have no fear (OR don't be too disappointed, depending on your preference). This post is not about pooping.

It's about my blood sugar testing!

I realized that I need to post this post before the weather gets any warmer and it's really untimely!

Since the weather was colder and my fingers a little calloused, it's become slightly more challenging to get a usable drop of blood from my hands for testing. I've started to blow on my hands before testing, like I'm on the Arctic Tundra, hoping that my hot breath will be enough to warm my fingers into proper blood flow. Whoever thought of that as a viable option for warmth?!

When I see this on my glucose monitor.....

I have to stop myself from launching it across the room before throwing myself on the floor into a full-blown, legs swinging about temper tantrum! Probably because I had just pricked, prodded, and massaged what I assumed to be a usable drop of blood out of my poor fingertip only for it to be DENIED! When I was first diagnosed, not getting enough blood would send me into fit of sobs. Now it's just a fit of expletives! It is ridiculously frustrating!

My Endocrinologist and Certified Diabetes Education assure me that my fingers will not become so calloused that I can't use long as I switch up the fingers! Switch up the fingers?!?! How many do you think I have?! My pinkies don't count! They're so little and petite, like delicate baby fingers. I test at least 6 - 8 times a day, which means each finger is pumped for blood on a daily basis. They're covered in little bruise marks from being stabbed over and over again! It's like my fingers are working in third world country!
Poor little fingers. Stupid diabetes.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Spring on a Spoon

I have manage to find a recipe that is the closest thing to eating spoonfuls of Spring that I have ever tasted. With the exception of eating grass. Which I don't recommend. Smoking it on the other hand........

One of the reasons I chose my current detox is because it had recipes that looked pretty delicious. One of which was this Minty Pea Dip. It seemed fairly straightforward, simple and could easily be made from the overabundance of frozen peas in my freezer. I swear I buy frozen peas like I'm preparing for the zombie apocalypse. Which doesn't really make any sense since I probably won't have freezer access with it being an apocalypse and everything.

But I digress. Back to peas.

This dip is intensly pea-flavored. So you should only really eat this dip if you likes peas. Because it's made of mostly all peas.

Did you get that?

That there are peas in this dip?

Don't worry...the dip doesn't actually look that dark and depressing

Minty Pea Dip
Serve with veggies or crackers

3 cups frozen green peas
1/4 cup fresh mint leaves
Zest and juice of 1 lemon
1 clove garlic
1 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for drizzling
2 tablespoons tahini
Coarse salt and pepper

  1. Cook peas in salted boiling water until tender, 1 minute. Transfer to an ice-water bath; drain.
  2. Pulse peas in a food processor with mint, lemon zest and juice, garlic, 2 tablespoons olive oil, and tahini.
  3. Season with salt and pepper; drizzle with oil.

Monday, March 5, 2012


I believe I have one.

Mostly because I have an obsessive need to eat. I can't help it. It just happens. Before I know what I'm doing, I'm shoving food in my face! AND I'M NOT EVEN HUNGRY! It's almost like those people who take Ambien and start sleep-eating.

Except I don't take Ambien. And I'm fully conscious. But definitely similar.

Eating constantly without having an actual tapeworm does some very negative things to one's body. These are thing that I'm beginning to notice, like the uncomfortable way my thighs rub together or adjusting my jeans to allow for my muffin top to spill over the top of my jeans. So sexy.  My clothes are fitting a little too snugly. My energy levels are too low. I'm having less and less confidence. And I'm just generally feeling unhealthy. Even though it's just a few pounds, a few pounds really does make a difference.

In attempt to ween myself off "the junk(food)," I will be starting that long awaited detox. Which, ironically, is a food detox. I know. You're thinking "Hold on there, sister! You're detoxing from food by eating more food?" Yes. I am. Isn't it wonderful?

For this detox, I will be avoiding all processed food or beverages (which shouldn't be hard), added sugar (might be a little difficult), dairy, gluten, caffeine, and alcohol (let's call the whole thing off!). For the first week, I'll  be eating 
fruits, vegetables, and plant-based fats, including nuts, seeds, and oils. That shouldn't be too hard (except for that whole no booze thing) since this is essentially my diet anyway! If you're interested in following the same detox plan (and I know you are), you can do so here at 

Wish me luck!

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Sophie's Choice

As spring slowly creeps its way into view, we bid farewell to Hot Chocolate Season. But not without my sharing a homemade hot chocolate recipe. Because, unfortunately, Hot Chocolate season isn't exactly conducive to Diabetes Season, which isn't seasonal at all!

While I managed last year with a hot cocoa mix from Trader Joe's, which was only 15g of carbs per serving, it's a little expensive. $4.99 for the can! My cheap gene shows through when I'm clutching that hot chocolate tin in the check-out line, still not completely committed to buying it, but knowing that I'm going to have to make a decision soon! It's like Sophie's Choice on that line!

The other night I was craving some hot chocolate, but didn't have any of my overpriced TJ mix. I looked through the roomie's options of Swiss Miss, which still only had 23g of carbs, but also a crapton of chemicals in it! Not like my pure, delicious TJ's one.

I decided that I was just going to make it homemade. I do have a real cocoa sitting in my pantry, just waiting for diabetes to go away so I can start making delicious cakes and muffins and pies, oh my! This was actually pretty easy and much better then the processed, chemicalized SwissMiss version.

Pumpkin Pie Spiced Hot Chocolate - because you got to slip the pumpkin in every way you can!
Serves 1

1 1/2 tbsp cocoa
1-2 packets truvia (for the diabetics) or 2 - 4 tsps sugar - the less sugar, the more bitter the flavor
pinch of salt - helps to bring out chocolate flavors
1/4 tsp pumpkin pie spice or any flavoring of your choosing
1 c milk
1/2 tsp vanilla extra or any extract of your choosing

1. In small saucepan, combine the cocoa, truvia/sugar, salt, and pumpkin pie spice. Add a little bit of milk to help bind the cocoa. Put on over medium low heat. Stirring ingredients until sugar is dissolved or the mix comes together in thickish liquid.
2. Slowly add milk while whisking. Be sure to whisk up all the cocoa from the sides of the pan. Add vanilla extract.
3. Let come to a very low simmer before removing from heat, being sure to whisk several more times to incorporate the cocoa mixture.
4. Pour into a cup and enjoy!

As an aside, I love when I do spell check and it highlights "crapton" as an error. It makes me chuckle!