Monday, May 30, 2011

May 29th - June 4th Menu

I saw the Endocrinologist and Certified Diabetes Educator last week. I found the visit with the endo to again be a waste of time and money. As of today, he's done very little my GP hasn't, can't, or won't do except confirm that I have LADA (Type 1.5 Diabetes) so I don't think I need him, though the GP probably won't agree. He did tell me that the recent blood sugar readings my sons had were way out of line and suggested they each get a Fasting Blood Glucose test and an A1c. Because of their ages, normal weights, and lifestyles he feels that if they're diabetic, they have LADA and not Type 2. He also gave credence to my suggestion that perhaps my diabetic relatives also had LADA rather than Type 2 and it's a genetic issue in our family.

I expected the visit with the CDE to be as much a waste of time as the endo but was pleasantly surprised. I told her up front that I eat a low carb diet most of the time but listened to her spiel with an open mind. In return, she didn't gripe about my way of eating but thoughtfully explained, complete with a white board and some great diagrams, why and how she believes low carb eating has actually harmed me over the last 11 years. Once I understood her perspective and the science behind it,  I agreed to a two week trial with the understanding that if I didn't see substantial improvement in blood sugar readings without large weight gain I'd go back to my way. She told me that my blood sugar might seem a little unstable for a few days but not to panic if it did and I might gain a few pounds but those issues would resolve themselves quickly.

In a nutshell, I now carbohydrate count, but for comfort and weight loss purposes my plan is modified to contain fewer carbs. I eat three meals a day of 30 grams of carbs and three snacks of 15 grams of carbs with the third snack being eaten right before I go to bed, whether that's at 8 PM or 3 AM. That's 135 grams of carbs, still much less than most people eat but much higher than the 30 to 50 grams I'm used to. It's not easy for me to eat those carbs and some days I simply can't eat them all but I try and do well most of the time.

I now eat breakfast within thirty minutes of waking in the morning. Sometimes breakfast is nothing more than 1/3 to 1/2 cup of dry cereal but it meets the 30 grams of carbs criteria. Breakfast is a major hurdle for me. I just don't want food most days before 11 AM so I made a rule for myself - no coffee before eating in the morning. Yeah, I basically bribe myself to eat that first meal but it works for me. In addition, it's enabled me to drink just two cups of coffee in the morning rather than the copious amounts of the past.

I started the new way of eating on Wednesday, May 25th and except for Saturday, when I over ate a little and ran around 150 all afternoon and evening, and a postprandial last night of 177 (see note below), I haven't seen readings under 75 or over 120. No panic stricken hypos in the middle of the night leading to werewolf eating binges, no rushing to bolus extra insulin because I've over eaten or under shot. It's been fairly steady between 85 and 100 for most of four days. In addition, I'm shooting substantially less insulin, sleeping better, feeling better in general, and have lost 2 more pounds. I'm puzzled by it all and four days aren't enough to convince me that this is the long term way for me but the results give me hope that I might be able to have a less restricted diet. Since the average American eats between 200 and 400 grams of carbohydrates a day, I'll never have the 'average' diet (and don't want it, thanks!) but something pseudo-average will wonderfully suffice!

With all that said, my menus now have meals that average 30 grams of carbs, sometimes a bit less, sometimes a bit more. Feel free to adjust them as needed for your own preferences and if you're diabetic, remember YMMV (Your Meter May Vary).

This week I'll have, in no particular order except for last night's dinner which is listed first:

Beef fajita salad with Ken's Lite Northern Italian Dressing and six Triscuit rosemary and olive oil crackers (My preprandial was 102 and postprandial was 177. Six Triscuits might be too many so I'll try four next time and if that doesn't work, they'll become a rare treat that requires a little more insulin)

Chicken breast seasoned with plenty of garlic and pepper, skillet cooked with olive oil, tomatoes, bell peppers, onions, and a side of wild rice with slivered nuts

Open faced roast beef sandwich with caramelized onions and a side of homemade vegetable soup

Cheese and skirt steak omelet, hash browns, and one slice of whole wheat toast with sugar free grape jelly

Baked cod with green beans, buttered beets, and half an ear of corn

Beef stroganoff, whole wheat noodles, green beans, and a large salad

Leftover night when I eat whatever is lingering in the fridge

And that's it for this week! By the way, my snacks are usually 1/2 a cup of fruit, yogurt, or four crackers with cheese. I'm going to have to get more creative with snacks and I'll update on those as I come up with good ones. If you have suggestions on snacks with 10 to 15 grams of carbs, please share them in a comment.

For more ideas on what to feed your family, check out Menu Plan Monday to see what others are coming up with.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Farmer's Market Haul

I went to the Historic Longview Farmers Market this morning, hoping to find some good tomatoes. Not surprisingly those sell out early and I missed them but I found some other goodies for my palate this week.
I left loaded with turnips, squash, leeks, onions, Daikon greens, and two kinds of goat cheese, plain and chipotle. I'd never had Daikon greens but prepared some and ate them with skillet cooked squash, onion, and fresh cilantro and it was a delicious lunch. As an added bonus, my blood sugar was just 85 two hours after lunch.

My menu for this week will be heavy on fresh produce. I love this time of year.

Monday, May 16, 2011

May 16th - May 22nd Menu

My sons came to visit from Austin this weekend and we had a great time. I wish they'd stayed longer but the oldest one starts a new job today and they needed to get back home in time for him to prepare for the new job. We went to my mother's house Saturday and did some work around her place. She was so happy to have two of her grandsons there. She's been pretty depressed over things with my stepfather and the visit cheered her substantially.

Before they headed back to Austin yesterday the boys humored me by eating high carb meals. I checked their pre and post prandial blood sugar and both sons had substantially abnormal results. Damn diabetes! I've been seriously questioning the assumption that all my diabetic relatives were Type 2s and the numbers on my glucometer did nothing to calm my fears that they were more than likely adults with Type 1. My sons are 27 and 26, neither is overweight, and they have relatively healthy diets though the diets are probably a bit high in carbs but they both had high FBG and way too high results one and two hours after their lunch. I'm concerned that I'm seeing a genetic tendency to some variation of Type 1 (LADA?, MODY??, Alien ancestry???) in my family. I can't change that but knowing it might help future generations. I sent those young men packing with glucometers, test strips, directions for testing and lower carb eating, and encouragement to see a physician quickly. Sigh.

Anyway, on to my menu for this week!

Tonight I work so I'll probably have a nice salad for dinner or chicken salad I made this morning. The rest of the week I'll have:

Mexican red lentil stew

Mushroom, cheese, and cilantro omelet with a small salad

Garlic-Lime chicken with sauteed green beans and mushrooms

Turkey asparagus roll ups, steamed spinach, and salad

Beef stroganoff over faux rice, grilled asparagus and artichoke hearts, and steamed green beans

Make sure you look at Laura's Menu Plan Monday. You'll find some nice ideas for your menu!

Monday, May 9, 2011

May 8th - May 14th Menu

And it's time for another menu to be shared! I've had a hectic week and another one is upon me and menu planning isn't really what I want to do in my small amount of spare time so I've put it off. But I finally worked on this week's menu last night after I got home from work. I was bone tired but if I don't plan for the week it becomes a haphazard grab what I can sort of thing (read that as trips to Long John Silver's, Carl's Jr., etc) so I dug through the freezer and fridge and here's what I came up with:

Sunday - I ate 6 small fish sticks and a salad. Not the most nutritious but it was all I could muster and  was actually good. I must have been very hungry, indeed! I took caution not to overeat and my blood sugar responded to that - 94 before eating, 85 two hours after.

The rest of the week I'll have, in no particular order, except for the first meal which is Monday's:

Broiled chicken with a delicious homemade mayo, garlic, and black pepper dipping sauce, my special green beans, and a salad

Chicken fajitas made with leftover chicken and an egg wrap, served with cucumber/tomato/avocado salad and fresh pico de gallo

Ribeye steak with a small baked red potato, broccoli, and salad

Very large salad with just about every vegetable I can find in it

Dinner out one night, probably Italian food

Beef and vegetable stir fry with a tiny amount of wild rice and a salad

By the way, I've been experimenting with grazing the last few days. No, I didn't buy a cow! Instead, I've been eating small amounts of food throughout the day. It's doing wonders for my blood sugar and my weight. Two more pounds gone and I haven't had a blood sugar result over 110 though I did get a 54 at work yesterday. Ooops!

I'm accustomed to eating two, sometimes three large meals a day with snacks that aren't always the best choices but after doing a lot of research I thought I'd give grazing a good try. So far it's doing what I'd hoped. It might not always work this way but it's definitely worth the effort to try it for awhile!

I carry a small amount of almonds, cashews, walnuts, and cheese in my apron pocket and when I feel the need for something but no break is on the horizon, I munch on those. When I take my meal at work, I eat 1/3 to 1/2 of it (thanks to the grazing I'm not very hungry) and bring the rest home for later. I rarely feel hunger and my blood sugar seems happy at the moment so we'll see what happens.

Here's what I took to work yesterday: stuffed mushrooms, steamed cauliflower, carrot, bell pepper, and tomatoes with homemade dip, sliced strawberries, and hamburger steak cut into bite sized pieces. Oh, and a cheese stick for my apron pocket. :)

About 2/3 of it came home with me!

If you're bored with your menus and would like to try something new, head on over to Laura's Menu Plan Monday and see what others are cooking up this week.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

A great day!

I woke up this morning with a FBG of 84, which is awesomely good. I was thrilled and have managed to keep the blood sugar between 84 and 110 all day.

I got a great pseudo surprise today - my mother, stepfather, two sisters and the boyfriend of one of them met me for lunch! I say "pseudo surprise" because I knew the sisters were coming to east Texas but I had to work and didn't think I'd get to see them. They left Dallas early, though, and although they were a bit later than I'd hoped we got to spend some time together before I headed to work. It was great to see them, even if it was for only a short time. This week has been really rough and I felt cheered by the visit and it just made my day.

And here we are at Cheddar's!

Left to right: Connie, Terra, and me

Thursday, May 5, 2011

It's officially official...

I'm definitely a Type 1.5 diabetic. I got the call while I was out and about today but talked to the endo's nurse, who couldn't answer any of my questions. Basically all she said is I'll have to stay on insulin from here out and see the endo every three months. I have an appointment with him at the end of May and hopefully he'll have more information for me. I hate being left with all these questions and no answers.

To say I'm upset is something of an understatement. I've suspected this and yes, the phone call last week with the GP's assistant pretty much confirmed my suspicions but to hear it again, in no uncertain terms, no 'we think' or 'it looks like' or 'you appear to be', was really not what I wanted. On the other hand, a lot of things make more sense to me now.

I have a lot of questions to ask, a lot. And no answers for awhile.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Just sharin'....

I was almost asleep last night when I started hearing weird sounds. I figured it was Sammy and tried to ignore it but the sounds continued and got louder until I finally had to get up and see what he was doing.

Here's what I found in the living room!

I guess he decided to use the box as a bed and what I'd heard was him scratching and pawing at it, trying to get it just right. 

Ha ha, gotta love cats! 

Have a great Wednesday. 

Monday, May 2, 2011

May 1st - May 6th Menu

This week's menu is a good one! I got some great deals at the grocery store and spent my weekend off resting and preparing dinners and lunches for this week. Other than the California Grilled Chicken Salad, there isn't much I can eat where I work so I do try to take lunches. However, sometimes I'm lazy about it or just forget to grab my lunch and if the salad isn't available or I'm not in the mood for it I end up eating chicken nuggets or chicken strips, both things I really don't need. I'm really trying to be more careful about what I eat and taking meals to work is a big part of that.

Last night I had oven baked beef ribs and salad for dinner. The ribs were incredibly delicious and much more tender than I expected. I'd found a large rack of beef ribs for a great price so I divided the rack into two sections. The first I seasoned with pepper, garlic powder, and a little celery salt, wrapped tightly in foil, and baked at 250 for about four hours. The second I pan cooked on very low heat for about three hours with plenty (15) of fresh whole garlic cloves. Both cooking methods produced meat that fell off the bones and there's enough for at least two more meals. 

The rest of the week isn't nearly as exciting but is still good and healthy. Here's my menu, in no particular order:

Vegetable and chicken soup with salad and green beans

Chicken Parmesan with sauteed parmesan spinach 

Salad with several kinds of greens, tomato, baby carrots, cucumber, bell pepper, and cheese

Chicken and vegetable stir fry with a bit of wild rice and mushrooms

Beef ribs with salad and 1/2 a small baked sweet potato 

Vegetable fajitas made with a slew of fresh veggies and low carb tortillas

And that's it for this week! It's all made at home, thrifty, and good for me.

What's on the menu at your house this week? If you're stumped for ideas, join Laura and her followers at Menu Plan Monday. I'm sure you'll get some nice ideas.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Where's my whip?

I still haven't heard from the endocrinologist and I'm just about ready to jump out of my skin.

I've spent quite a bit of time the last couple of days thinking about what I can do to get my blood sugar under better control. My last A1c was 7.1, a marked improvement from my January test but not close enough to the short term goal of 6.5 I've set. It does show that I'm on the right track, though, and that's encouraging.

After I had my little pity party Thursday I hitched up my big girl panties and was ready to beat the ever loving hell out of the Diabeastie. Where's my whip? Oh yeah, I don't have one so I guess I'll have to approach this differently. How about using common sense, planning, and forethought to gain the upper hand? How about putting to work the knowledge I already have and gaining more to help me overpower the dreaded creature? Yeah, I think that's a better plan.

In light of that, here are some of the things I must do/changes I must make to better manage my blood sugar:

Test more frequently - Depending on what's going on in my life, where I am, what I've eaten, and how I feel, some days I test only 3 or 4 times. Most days I test more often but when I've eaten something that's likely spiked me I'm more inclined to skip testing. I don't want proof that the 15 units of Novolog I shot weren't nearly enough for the two plates of food I ate so I just go on about my business. Trust me, that doesn't work well. I've returned to the test schedule that served me well as long as I faithfully kept it. I'll test before eating and drinking when I first get up in the morning, before each meal and two hours after starting the meal, before going to bed, when I eat something new to me, and when I don't feel good or feel like something is "off".  And I'll do this... Every. Single. Day. That's 10 tests on a good day. A bad day will mean 15 or more. At about $35 for 100 test strips it isn't cheap but it's a lot cheaper than a hospital stay, losing my vision, or having a leg amputated. To help with this chore, I've ordered 500 test strips to keep me going for a little while.

Multiple Daily Injections - Since a pump isn't financially feasible for me and haphazardly shooting when I think about it or when my glucometer freaks out over a high number isn't a good idea, I'm going to continue my MDI schedule with a little tweaking. Yes, it's something of a pain in the butt - I have to faithfully test, remember to take my glucometer and insulin everywhere I go, eat soon after shooting rapid acting insulin and for the amount for which I've shot, remember to take my basal insulin at the same time each night, and (arrgh, the worst part of all!) accurately count the carbs I eat. But MDI, when conscientiously performed, can produce very good results. Or so I'm told.

Count carbs - I admit I'm one of the worst carb counters out there. In the beginning and for quite awhile after my initial diagnosis I ate fewer than 20 grams of carbs most days, often eating 10 grams in an entire day, and if you aren't eating carbs, what's there to count? It was easier and quicker to eat a very low carb snack and pronounce it "about 2 grams of carbs" than it was to learn exactly how many grams of carbohydrates are in a serving of something,  measure or weigh to get that precise serving, and then consume just that serving. And that worked fine for awhile but I quickly needed insulin and still didn't properly count my carbs. Yes, I've been a horrible carb counter but I do know how to count carbs and I do it well most of the time. I simply need to be more faithful about it. So Friday I dug out my carb counting books, found a good food scale, and started putting them to use. No, I don't like it and yes, I can think of a lot of things I'd rather do than memorize carb counts of my favorite and not so favorite foods. But it is what it is.

Exercise more - This is another tough one because, well...I don't like exercise. However, I've increased the physical activity I get and it's already made a difference in weight and blood sugar so more should help. At least in theory. I don't have a gym membership. I just walk around the neighborhood and use my exercise DVDs. I simply need to do those things more.

So, the above things basically are my whip and I plan to fiercely use it!

I'll try to post updates on this now and then. Life is pretty hectic right now and I don't have as much free time as I'd like. At any rate, this week's menu will be posted later tonight or tomorrow. It's a good one!