Monthly Archives: March 2013

true2go: a cute fix.

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Husband and I went to Asheville, NC this weekend (where he grew up.. well, he grew up in Weaverville, but nobody really knows Weaverville). It was a dual purpose trip: 1) To celebrate his Grandpa’s 90th birthday, and 2) To celebrate our 2 year wedding anniversary. We were able to spend some time enjoying each other’s company (thank you Mama P, for taking care of the WILD HOUNDS!) and we were also able to get in some quality time with family. Needless to say, it was super busy – but an amazing mini vacation.

Amongst our busy-ness, I forgot my meter in our hotel room. I haven’t done that in so long, but my excitement about the weekend got the best of me and I was a bit absentminded. I realized I had forgotten it after a nice brunch chock full of carbohydrates. I was wearing my Dexcom but the adhesive was seriously losing it’s stick, as it does.. and I didn’t want to take the chance of not having any sort of bg readings all day. So instead of wasting 30-45 minutes driving back to the hotel, we decided to take the easy way out so that we could spend more time with the birthday boy and the rest of our family.

Introducing: the True2Go Meter. It’s probably the cutest $10 I’ve ever spent on diabetes care. I think I’ve bought one of these in years past, probably after making this exact same mistake. But it’s never come in RED and had a little COOZIE on it! It came with 10 strips, and the actual meter just clicks on to the top of the strip cansiter. The pricker could make my fingertips bleed for like 10 minutes too, it’s a bit intimidating.

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And the few times I had to use it, it seemed spot on (based on how I was feeling – accurate, right?.) I tested it tonight against my VerioIQ, and it checked out.

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Full disclaimer: I’m not getting paid a dime to say that I like this meter. It’s definitely not something that I’d use on a daily basis, but I think it’s really awesome in a pinch – especially for the price, and the fact you can get them at major drugstores (CVS, Walgreens – at least). I’ll definitely be keeping the True2Go in my backup diabetes bag that lives in my purse.

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stuffed bell peppers – a follow up.

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So husband and I are trying to save money while still eating well. Not an easy thing to do. We joined Costco and are having a blast making lots of meal variations with things like avocados, peppers, onions, quinoa, feta, shrimp, chicken, sausage, eggs, beans, chickpeas and some other bulk items we bought. It’s been over two weeks and we haven’t had the same thing twice. So far, our grocery bill seems to have shrunk (except for the initial one) as we are only going back to the store for various perishables every so often.

Our recent venture to eat well/spend less is what led me to this blog post and not having the brain capacity to figure out how to convert carbs in dry brown rice to cooked brown rice. The meal I was cooking, really just throwing together, ACTUALLY turned out well. I’m a recipe follower, so piecing together a nice meal like this is really exciting. So, here’s the recipe (as detailed as I can get..) for my creamy rice/chicken sausage stuffed peppers.

I was cooking for two, and we weren’t very hungry. You can always add a side salad or some fruit if you’re jonesing for more.

Here’s what you need.

1 large bell pepper (I used red, they’re my fave.. they were on sale for a buck)
1/16th of an onion. Husband doesn’t like onion, so you might want more.. or less.
1 dinner sausage (I use this brand of chicken sausage – jalapeno mango flavor. It’s absolutely amazing.)
1/2 cup dry rice, which should equal out to 1.5 cups of cooked rice. Come on, we learned this last blog post!
A dollop of plain greek yogurt (how much is a dollop? you tell me. how creamy do you want your rice?)
tad bit of feta cheese
some random spices. I threw in some thyme and maybe a dash of cumin. possibly some red pepper flakes. we like heat.

And preparation is easy!

Preheat oven to, ehhh… 350.
Start by cooking the rice by following whatever directions you might have. This step probably takes the longest.
Chop up sausage pretty thin. I sort of diced mine so I’d get a little taste in every bite. Warm up in skillet (It’s already full cooked) along with chopped onion and a smaaaalll splash of olive oil.
Cut bell pepper in half long ways. Take out seeds.
Boil a pot of water. Boil the bell pepper halves for about 5 minutes. This makes them softer. When they’re done, put them in a baking dish. I used a loaf pan so that they wouldn’t fall over while baking. I have a misto (it mists olive oil) so I sprayed a thin layer of olive oil in dish, to be safe.
When rice is done, stir in a bit of plain greek yogurt until it’s as creamy as you like – I just used a spoonful. Then add sausage and onion, a couple dashes of spices and feta cheese. Mix together.
Split your rice mixture in half and fill peppers.
Cook in oven for about 20 minutes, or until soft.

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Rice might not do well for every person’s blood sugars. I took guesstimated this to be about 40 grams of carbs, and my sugar fared well (about 145 post meal, actually coming down from 225 pre meal). Certainly not low carb, but it was delish.

orange friday.

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I’m getting so excited for the DiabetesSisters conference coming up in Raleigh, NC in May, so instead of blue friday, I bring you orange friday! Brandy Barnes and DiabetesSisters are working hard to make orange the official color of women’s diabetes.

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No I’m not wearing orange, but my tulips are, and they are blooming, and my giraffe mirror is the best four dollars I’ve spent in a while.

It looks like there are still spots available for this years conference, so check out everything they have to offer at DiabetesSisters.org. This will be my third year attending, with my also T1 sister, and it’s seriously amazing. PLUS, Kerri Sparling of Six Until Me will be there, and if you are reading my blog, you’ve had to have read hers. I’m pretty damn excited. There is also a program specifically for partners of diabetic women. Really, just go check out their site. 🙂

(please excuse typos and format errors, posting via phone. And it sucks.)

the rice conundrum.

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I got home today, all ready to decompress and cook up a nice hot meal – relax my brain just a little bit. Only my brand new 10 pound bag of rice wasn’t on the same page. The rice was determined to make my head hurt. Wanted to make by head hurt so bad that I’d start to personify rice. Well played, rice. Well played.

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If you look at the nutrition facts above, the serving size listed is for a 1/4 cup of DRY RICE. There are 35 grams of carbs in dry rice! Unfortunately, my recipe did not call for dry rice. It needed to be cooked. And if you know me, you know that math is not my strong suit (that’s a euphemism). I don’t think I learned how to convert dry food to cooked food in high school algebra. The math I know is insulin:carb ratios, sensitivity factors, target bgs – diabetic math. I’m sure those of you who cook a lot of rice would know that it triples in volume when cooked. I don’t eat much rice (before my 10 lb bag purchase), so don’t judge. I figured there would be much more complicated arithmetic and reasoning involved in this issue.

I NEEDED to know how many carbs would be in the cooked rice. So of course, I googled it.
Here is what I found:

1st suggestion I took the time to read, “Read Pam’s reply again. 1/4 cup of DRY rice, makes 3/4 of COOKED rice. Pam figures it the same as I do, but I count 1 cup cooked at 45 grams. It is the exact same as Pam’s calculation, because 45 grams divided by 4, is 11.25 grams per quarter cup of cooked rice. Pam’s calculation is better math wise, as the .25 is dropped – as it should be. If that calculation had been .50, then it would have gone to the next higher number, ie: 11.50 x 4 = 46 grams. It works the same as when dosing insulin, or figuring any math problem. By the way, brown rice and white rice – are the same as far as carb grams go. The only difference in the two rices, is that brown rice takes longer to cook.”

Probably, that statement makes lots of sense to lots of people. Still wasn’t quite clicking with me. Too many numbers, not enough straightforward words.

2nd suggestion I took the time to read, “Dry rice expands when you add water and cook it. When you cook 1/4 cup of dry rice, you will get 3/4 cup of cooked rice. The carbs are the same, since water doesn’t have carbs. So a cooked serving of 3/4 cup will have 34 carbs, the same as the dry 1/4 cup”

Oh. Of course.
Now I’ve made an adjustment to my brand new bag of rice, just so I won’t have to go through that again.

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Hard to read, but the serving size now says “3/4 cup cooked rice,” because no one eats dry rice.

So, there you go. Maybe we all learned something helpful today, or maybe it was just me.
And BG fared well, so I’ll post my cooked rice recipe soon (more than just cooked rice, obviously)!

relax. it’s about quality of life, too.

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Forgive my hiatus. We can call it a blog-sabbatical. Life has been absolutely insane over the past couple months, and that’s probably all I’ll say about that. I don’t have a smart phone anymore in hopes that we could save a little money every month, but it’s really hard to stay connected DOC-wise without one (twitter, anyone?). Also, my computer has given me the ‘blue screen of death’ multiple times in the past few weeks, so I don’t really have a reliable blogging outlet at the time. It keeps telling me that it’s CPU usage is at 100% so it’s shutting down to save itself. I think that’s why I haven’t been blogging, too – my brain has been at 100% usage for a while – simplifying life has been my equivalent of a blue screen.

So I went to the endo last month. It was a visit that I wasn’t particularly excited about. It used to be that I was NEVER excited about the endo (not that I usually throw a party or anything) but over the past few years, I’ve seen my A1C improve, so it’s been nice to get a little pat on the back as it continued to come down. This time, though – I knew it wasn’t going to be better than three months ago.

Let me preface by saying I’m a firm believer that NO ONE should EVER be judged by their A1C. We all do the best we can with what we have at this particular moment – and that’s that. Life: one A1C reading at a time. I’ve experienced many, many A1Cs in the double digits. Nothing I can do to change it, except to work harder for next time. About a year ago, though, I finally had my first A1C in the 6’s. Last visit I was at 6.1. I can be proud of that. It’s hard effing work.

Last month, I went up a half a point to 6.6. Still, not shabby – but I was disappointed about the increase. My endo is really great with the psychology of it all. She told me I was crazy if I wasn’t happy about that. She told me “Relax, Carlyn. You can’t stress yourself out about every number. You know, it’s about quality of life, too. You need to ease up on yourself.”

True story. She followed up by saying that this wasn’t the green light to stop caring – she doesn’t want me to be reckless. But I think she could see my next wrinkle creeping onto my forehead. She knew I was over thinking every last number – and eventually, it was going to cause me to enter full blow burnout mode.

Remember – I’m not a medical doctor. For me, at this very moment, I’m needing to take a step back – but it might not be the right thing to do for everyone. Talk to your doctor if you’re feeling overwhelmed and work out a plan that will benefit YOU in the long run.

As I’ve taken my step back, I’ve seen my control improve – probably because I’m not feeling so much pressure, which equals less stress, thus lower sugars (for me, at least). I’ve promised to relax a bit more in all areas of my life. Maybe I’ll see an improvement in my forehead wrinkles too?

I don't mean to frighten you, but.. DO YOU SEE THESE WRINKLES? Sigh.

I don’t mean to frighten you, but.. DO YOU SEE THESE WRINKLES? And yes, I lift my eyebrows up like this most of the time, to accentuate my wrinkles. : )