Tag Archives: carbohydrates

A Breakfast Believer!

Whether weight loss is your game or managing your diabetes (or both), you have heard, “breakfast is the most important meal of the day” at least once.  Most of us actually heard this at some point growing up or in the process of growing up our own family.  Back then it had to do with being at our best during the school day and hopefully having our brain function optimally.  These days, it has more to do with trying to jump start a metabolism that has decided to enjoy early retirement or trying to bring down a fasting blood glucose number that seems to peak first thing in the morning.

Breakfast.  Just the word conjures visions of french toast, banana nut pancakes, bacon, sausage links, biscuits, gravy, piggies in the blanket….. mmmmmmmmmm! For a weight loss crusader or a diabetic defender, these visions will stay just that….. visions.  As a faithful follower of Weight Watchers, I know that you can treat yourself to these every once in awhile, especially if you manage your allotted daily points in a way that allows it.  However, as a diabetic there is a question as to the definition of “once in awhile” and as for this diabetic….. treating myself once just creates a vicious craving that I would rather be without!  And, bottomline, although those breakfast choices are once-in-awhile options, breakfast is not.  Breakfast should be an everyday occurrence for an endless list of reasons; after all, it is the most important meal of the day!

Breakfast.  Just the word conjures a steady stream of excuses…… I don’t like to eat in the morning, I don’t have time to eat in the mornings, I am not hungry in the mornings, nixing breakfast helps cut 1/3 of the day’s calories, yada yada yada.  When I first started Weight Watchers in 2005 I was one of those I-don’t-like-to-eat-in-the-morning people.  After a few months I became very frustrated with losing an average of less than 1 pound a week.  My group leader re-addressed the topic of breakfast and its effects on weight loss with me. I decided, heck, if I could figure out how to enjoy exercise, I could figure out how to enjoy breakfast!  My new routine became ½ cup of original Fiber One cereal mixed into a 98% fat free Yoplait yogurt, 1 small banana and a large glass of water.  Within a month or so of adding breakfast to my day, my average weekly weight loss increased to 1.5lbs a week.  I became a Breakfast Believer!

So, my ½ cup of original Fiber One cereal mixed into a 98% fat free Yoplait yogurt, 1 small banana and a large glass of water became my daily breakfast.  The only part that varied was the flavor of yogurt. For 3 years – over 1,000 days that included a pregnancy – this was my Old Faithful of breakfasts.  When I received my diagnosis of type 2 diabetes in October 2009, I was left utterly dumbfounded.  Yes, Old Faithful was healthy; yes, it had contributed greatly to my weight loss (93 lbs) and to my efforts to maintain my loss; yes, it seemed responsible for keeping my “plumbing” in good order; however, in an instant, the arrival of diabetes turned my old friend to a new foe!

This value of this breakfast had been quantified for years as “3 points.”  This is fantastic in a Weight Watchers World.  Now, it was quantified as “65g carbohydrates.”  This is known as one big fat no-no in a type 2 diabetes world.  Every diabetic is different and their blood sugar responds to different foods at different times of the day.  I tried everything.  I tried Fiber One and water, yogurt and water, Fiber One and the banana, the banana and water….. you get my drift.  My blood sugar was just not on board with any of the combinations.  Now I was stuck.  I needed to lose 80 lbs, so I knew I needed to eat breakfast.  My mornings are CRAZY trying to get myself ready for work and my 2 year old ready for school.  I needed an new Old Faithful.  It needed to be delicious, fast, low carb AND low points.  How’s that for high maintenance??

Two fellow Weight Watchers turned me on to Egg Beaters.  Now, I had eaten them before and I loved them.  The key to this “turn on” was that they let me in on a little secret……. THEY CAN BE MICROWAVED!  Who knew?  Microwaved egg substitute out of a carton gave rise to my current Old Faithful.  Not only is it “5 points” and “18g carbs (11 net)”…… it can be prepared in less than 4 minutes and yes, I have timed it on multiple occasions!  The punch line – my blood glucose is routinely 120ish 2 hours after my 1st bite. I take the ingredients for the week to work every Monday morning so that i am never left empty handed and tempted to just wait it out until lunch.

A Breakfast Believer’s Breakfast Burrito – 5 Weight Watchers Points, 18g carbs/7g fiber

1/2 c Egg Beaters

1 Mission low carb small flour tortilla

1 Tbsp salsa

1/4 c Weight Watchers shredded cheese

1/2 small or 1/4 large avocado, sliced

Microwave bow of Egg Beaters for 2 minutes, stirring about every 30 seconds.  While microwaving eggs, place tortilla on plate and put cheese on tortilla.  When eggs are finished put on top of cheese.  Top eggs with salsa and sliced avocado. Breakfast Bliss!

Whether we are hustling ourselves to work or hustling children to school, breakfast is just an easy thing to miss.  However, once you experience the impact the most important meal of the day can have on your weight loss efforts or how the right breakfast may help decrease your blood glucose faster than skipping a morning meal, you  too, will be a breakfast believer!

Do you have an Old Faithful?  I would love to hear what made you a Breakfast Believer!

The Dishing Diabetic

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Take This Guarantee and Shove It!

If you are diabetic and have taken to the internet, then you know there is a TON of information out there. It also seems as if most diabetes websites have a “community” aspect to them where you can create your own profile, establish a blog, network with new friends and chat via message boards….. kind of like a diabetic Facebook! The sites are nothing short of a lifeline for both diabetic “rookies” and “lifers.” I troll through the many message boards observing the themes associated with the different stages of type 2 diabetes. I do occasionally comment with the intent to ask a question, answer a question, share a recipe, offer encouragement, etc. I do have 2 rules in the thoughts I put out there 1) no negativity and 2) no confrontations. Yesterday, I semi-broke #2.

I read a message board entry that stated that all diabetic will experience complications, especially if diagnosed young How do you NOT confront that statement? It is like it reached out of the computer and slapped me in the face. If that is true, why am I counting Weight Watchers Points, counting carbohydrates, pricking my find 4-5x/ day, exercising like a mad woman, and why is a blog like this even necessary? Well, I’ll tell you why…. because, despite what my precious 15 year old stepdaughter says, I AM young. I was 31 when I had borderline gestational diabetes and I was 33 when I was diagnosed with type II. I am young and I know diabetic complications are not guaranteed to be part of my future. And, young or old (aka young at heart), I want you to know that the same goes for you!

That statement, even in all its inaccuracy, did raise a few thoughts about the nature of diabetic complications and how we are instructed to prevent them. Many of us have WONDERFUL physicians, I personally have the BEST ; ). However, due to the nature of their job, they give us a glucometer and refer us to a class or individual nutritionist where we learn how many carbs to eat, what kind to eat, when to check our blood glucose and the recommended ranges for blood sugar. Many of us walk away with the assumption that managing our blood glucose is all we need to do to prevent diabetic complications, I know I did. Good thing I am married to a medical student!

Mr. Man, a 3rd year med student, attended a luncheon this week featuring a leading endocrinologist. This gentleman discussed how doctors must begin coaching their diabetic patients to do more than just manage blood sugar. The management of blood sugar is for 3 things in particular – preventing neuropathy, retinopathy and nephropathy. These are 3 very serious common complications of diabetes; but, there are many others and 2 biggies are heart disease and stroke. As a diabetic, preventing heart disease and stroke goes beyond just managing my blood sugar. I, personally, needed to lose 85 lbs (I have 35 more to go). I had to use both diet and exercise so that I would lower my cholesterol (now 150, down from 282 – without medication), lower my blood pressure (now 102/78 without medication), lower my A1c (now 6.1, down from 7.2 without medication) AND lose weight. I am lucky that I quit smoking 3 years ago or smoking cessation would have been added to my to-do list. Obesity, lack of exercise, hyperglycemia and smoking are huge risk factors for heart disease and stroke and managing blood glucose only addresses the hyperglycemia. The guest speaker’s point was received loud and clear: If an diabetic does not lose weight, lower their cholesterol, stop smoking, and/or start exercising they will die from a heart attack or stroke; but, hey, their blood sugar will be on target.

I was diagnosed 10 months ago and just learning to control my blood sugar was all I could handle. About 3 months in I began the weight loss and exercising. You have to start somewhere with baby steps, one at a time. Tackling it all at once would have left me feeling overwhelmed and frustrated…… 2 emotions that are not helpful in the world of managing diabetes and preventing its complications. This is a marathon, not a sprint, and it requires more than just monitoring your blood glucose. My suggestion is to create a timeline for your attack on diabetes. How many months will you focus on learning what foods you can eat and how they affect your blood sugar? When will you begin exercising (what kind, how often, etc)? Once you have that habit in place, when and how will you begin smoking cessation? Give yourself time to adjust to each new baby step and then take the next step. As you step in the ring to fight the good fight…. know there is hope; the proof is in the #’s….. 80% of diabetic complications are preventable! You will find many, many others at all stages of the marathon and most will want to help and encourage you; and, when you are ready to take the next step and add weight loss, exercise, and/or smoking cessation…… well, we will be here for that, too!

Yes, as diabetics we have to do so much more that just monitoring our BG to stay healthy and prevent complications…… but, the good news is that these complications, 80% of them, are preventable. I broke my #2 rule, no confontations regarding others’ posts….. but I felt the message was worth every word!

Have a wonderful weekend!

The Dishing Diabetic

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How About Some Pudding, Puddin’?

I must offer you all a confession.  I suffer from a serious condition known as DDS – Diabetic Deprivation Syndrome.  My DDS is brought on by a decreased intake of foods containing the main ingredient sugar, which gives these foods a sweet taste and gives my taste buds their very own rave party!  I have severe onset DDS in the evening, during my post-dinner hours.  I also have panic-induced DDS as I truly fear for my life if my day does not end on a “sweet” note!!  I have too much to live for that not rising to see another day at the hands of DDS is not an option.  I also have too much to live for that letting too much sugar cross my lips is not an option.  So, what is a girl (with type II diabetes) to do?

I do find some comfort in my suspicion that many of my fellow diabetics also suffer from DDS.  Although it may result from breads, pastas, potatoes or rice – we all share this terrifying syndrome.  What is it they say about misery loving company?  I am fairly certain, even in the absence of scientific proof, that I am not facing this condition alone (who needs scientific proof….. just visit one diabetic message board and you will see DDS running rampant!).

So, for all of you with my type of DDS…. the type resulting from a sugar deficiency….. try ending your day on this note –

How about a little pudding, puddin’?

1/2 c. Jell-o brand fat free, sugar free white chocolate pudding (follow prep instructions on box) – 1 Weight Watchers point, 6g carbs

1 Tbsp Heath toffee bits (found on the baking aisle with the chocolate chips) 2 Weight Watchers points, 9g carbs

Yep, that’s right…. toffee bits!!  Hello rave party for my taste buds (and hello on-target bed time blood glucose #’s! *Depending on what you ate for dinner of course).

Top the 1/2 c. of pudding with the 1 Tbsp. toffee bits and good-bye DDS (for tonight at least).

Another FANTASTIC topping your pudding – 1/2 c. fresh blueberries (10g carbs).

I wish you all the very best in your own personal battle with DDS.  Please share your success stories for defeating this “life threatening” condition.

Til tomorrow, puddin’,

The Dishing Diabetic

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Weigh Day Wake Up (and a Wal-Mart Surprise)

Well, well, well….. I might just have one foot dangling off the edge of my 4 week plateau.  So, hold off on heading to Home Depot, I may not need that ladder after all (https://thediabeticdish.wordpress.com/2009/08/07/this-isnt-the-spinach-your-mom-made-you/). The Great Oracle of Weight (the scale) granted a 1.6 lb loss this morning bringing the grand total to -49.4. Yipee-Kie-Aye!! I will consider myself firmly off the vast flatness also know as maintenance when (notice, I did not say IF) I log another loss next week; therefore, losing 2 weeks in a row and hopefully crossing the 50 lb mark!!

So, is a plateau a randomly occurring phenomena OR is it self inflicted?  Does your body really just hit a wall, no matter what you do?  Or has some change taken place that slows, or altogether stops, your progress?  Mr. Man loves to relentlessly taunt me with Ockham’s razor – the principle that “when you have two competing theories that make exactly the same predictions, the simpler one is the better.” How is that for some useless trivia? Hey….. it might just help if you are ever on Who Wants to be a Millionaire? or happen to end up in the Cash Cab in NYC! I do tend to make things more complicated/dramatic/chaotic than they really are, so Mr. Man feels this is a good theory for me to understand.  Anyway, back to my point – what is the most simple answer to the cause of a plateau – (a) that the cause is any one of an infinite # of possibilities or (b) we are simply not burning more calories than we take in and we are eating more carbohydrates that our bodies can tolerate?

I have to go with (b).  Not only because Mr. Ockham would say so, mostly because it is the only option I can evaluate and change. My wake up call came a week ago as I was sweating my “arse” off on my elliptical machine thinking about my plateau.  Do you want to know the truth about me and exercise?  We have a very one-sided relationship.  I like exercise and I enjoy it as long as it is doing something for me.  Sticking my finger multiple times a day falls in the same category – I don’t mind it much as long as I get the results I want.  Counting points (Weight Watchers) and carbs, writing it all down and turning down the foods I want the most (think sweets) works the same way as well – I don’t mind any of it as long as I get what I want out of it. See what I mean about one-sided?

I do not care for sticking my fingers 3-5 times a day, exercising 5-6 days a week and journaling my points and carbs everyday only to have high blood glucose readings and maintain the same weight.  I just do not like doing those things that much.  So, I have 2 choices – stop my fruitless efforts altogether or make the changes that will cause my efforts to bare fruit. Seeing as I am painfully aware of the guaranteed complications that will arise from not managing my blood glucose (of which losing weight is a critical component) and that 80% of these complications are preventable…. making changes is my only option.  My plan was to stick to my points (no matter what Mr. Man was eating), stick with the exercise and stick with the routine finger pricks.  Results – 1.6 lb loss this week and my fasting blood glucose readings were the only ones that were high.  Mr. Ockham is right, the simpler theory was the one that made the most since for the plateau question.  I needed to tighten the gears to get my machine running smoothly again.

Here’s the Wal-Mart surprise – stuffed chicken breasts.  Do you have a Wal-Mart nearby?  If you do, get there as fast as you can. Find the Sam’s Choice stuffed chicken breasts (http://www.walmart.com/catalog/product.do?product_id=10451529) and brace yourself to fall in love (even Mr. Man fell in love).  The jalapeno & cheese stuffed chicken breasts and the mushroom and swiss stuffed chicken breasts are downright sinful and they have 5 points/7 carbs a piece.  Trust me, you will want to sing from the mountaintops upon your first bite…. pair this delectable main dish with some mashed cauliflower (https://thediabeticdish.wordpress.com/2009/08/10/lets-do-the-mash-the-cauliflower-mash/) and you have an excellent start to finding the edge of your own plateau or just continuing on down the road of progress.  By the way, your blood sugar will love you for it!!

Are you a top your own plateau (weight loss and/or blood glucose)?  Have you just moved past your plateau?  Please share your stories with me……. I want to hear!

Go to Wal-Mart! Oh, and please let me know what you think!!

The Dishing Diabetic

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