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Archive for June, 2008

Good morning!

Good morning world on a Saturday! I am feeling very good today, even though I have been feeling poorly. “How can that be?” you may ask. Well, lucky you – I’m gonna talk about this phenomenon this morning!

The last few months I’ve had spells of feeling super, super tired. I could not figure it out. I would be sure to add extra steps to these days, because exercise can give energy. I was sleeping OK and getting in as many hours as I had in the past. On the mornings I could sleep as long as I wanted, I would still only take in six to seven hours. Just didn’t seem to me that lack of sleep was the reason for my dragging.

This really tired feeling would most often hit me in the afternoon, but sometimes it could be all day. I would pay attention to my routine with particular attention to my meals. It did not seem to me that I was overeating. I had a bad bout with bronchitis in April that lasted in a minimal context until June, so I began to think that maybe my hemoglobin levels were low (have been in the past). In three weeks I am planning to have lab work done just to check on all that.

But in the meantime, I have decided that there is a good chance I need to reduce the dosage of one of my diabetes medicines. Yesterday I felt pretty good until I was about to leave work for home. That weak feeling came over me, but not the ol’ “sugar lows” I use to experience. I walked through the door of my apartment and began the task of making supper, I ate a few bites of fresh fruit while I was preparing in hopes of feeling better. [I also made sure I took the medicine that decreases my chance of a sudden drop in blood glucose and truly manipulates food sugars to enter my blood stream at a slower, more normal rate.] I ate a supper of shrimp, avocado, squash, and a white-flour roll with butter. Still feeling bad, so I added a cookie and a glass of milk. And then it occurred to me to check my glucose level. Only 73! If it was only 73 after all that food, what the heck was it before I ate?!??!

I had not eaten an afternoon snack. I take my snacks to work, but most days I don’t get hungry and don’t think to eat them. I will try to make sure I do get in my snacks from now on. And I’m going to cut one of my pills in half. It is Saturday and I cannot call my endocrinologist, but on Monday I will call to verify this change with him. I can check my readings more closely as I make this change, and I have an appointment to see him in August.

I am going into work today for four or five hours to work on a research project. But before that I will be hitting the farmer’s market! I am planning on feeling better today than I have lately since I’m reducing my medicine. But, as I said, I will be testing glucose levels on a more regular basis as I make this change – to be sure it works the way I hope. Of course, I remember reading the other day an article about how life throws us surprises when we least expect it. After all, that is life. The article then stated, “You want to make God laugh? Tell him your plans!” Oh how true!! When She /He sees us making our plans for life, and He knows what is ahead, does She laugh? Oh my goodness what does God think?!? Another reason to stay in touch with our Creator. [OK, you may not believe in intelligent design. Or God. I do, and I love living in a country where we can each state our opinions on this subject. As angry as I get with our government sometimes, I am grateful for that freedom of thought. I hope we never lose it.]

Now, make yours a great day, too!

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Well, I seem to have broken through that weight of 150. Maybe. I think. It is Wednesday and I have not seen 150 since last Saturday. I don’t want to decrease my food intake anymore for fear of lowering my metabolism even further. [It’s already pretty sluggish.] Keeping up with the walking, adding a few extra rounds weekly on my weight machine, and taking stairs instead of elevators as much as possible should help. I’m trying to stay away from junk food and make sure that most of my carbs are whole-grains and fresh fruits. I won’t announce an “ah ha!” at this point, though. I’ll give me another 10 days or so to see if I can keep the scales down below 150.

Even as I struggle with the weight loss, my glucose readings are fabulous! Who knows, maybe if I get down to 130 I can stop another medicine!!! I doubt I will ever totally be without diabetes meds, since my father and his father both had the disease. But maybe do better? I surely hate taking medicines. As a younger woman I was always a little too boastful about being so healthy and never having a cold nor even a headache. Another time in my life I should have kept my mouth shut!

I’ve got homemade potato soup in the refrigerator that I will finish up in the next day or so, and last night I cooked pinto beans I had soaked all day long. Mmmmm I cannot wait to get to those! However, here in Kansas I cannot find the brand of chow chow (what a funny name!) I always liked on my beans. This Saturday at the farmer’s market I will see if there is any homemade for sale that I could try. In the meantime I’ll use a little Heinz ketchup and chopped onion. Oh my goodness I’m drooling already!

Breakfasts this week have consisted of either fresh fruit and cottage cheese or whole-grain cereal (topped with extra wheat bran and brown flax seeds) and fresh fruit. I buy the bran and flax seed in bulk at the co-op and ground the seeds in my coffee grinder every few weeks. And there have been salads topped with peanuts and Swiss cheese (oooh cheese!!), peanut butter, fresh squash, new potatoes, etc. etc. Oh my goodness did God bless us with a tasty variety of nutrients! And this time of year when local fresh produce is available? Man on man what a time to be alive!

I surely miss my mother-in-law’s garden, though. Now there is a woman who knows how to garden and cook! Her green beans, butter beans, and cabbage are the best! My grandmama who lived in Asheville, NC before she passed over had the grandest garden I knew of during her time. She and my mother-in-law could have been in quite a competition! However, their gardens were a little different, as the soils and temperatures were different. Mother-in-law in the piedmont of Virginia, and Grandmama in the mountains of North Carolina. My grandmother grew delicious okra, yellow tomatoes, squash, and a green bean that I have not seen since she died. I’m not sure of the correct name of the bean – she called them “shellies”.

Our closest neighbor in Virginia grows quite a garden, too. And he and is wife are always sharing with us. When I travel back there in a few weeks I’m sure he will share some of his tender Virginia corn with me. Can you tell I love food? I adore food! But why not appreciate God’s bounty? Why not celebrate a very basic part of life – nutrition? I personally think it is important to celebrate our every-day gifts. Let’s face it, there are many, many parts of this world that do not get to experience the variety and abundance of the food we have here in the United States. I don’t have to go out and buy new shoes or a new purse or new curtains to celebrate. My dinner at night is a celebration (yes hubby, I said dinner at night! – inside joke). As it should be.

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A new week

Today is a good day for me as I look back over the past week. I added up my daily walking miles and just exceeded a total of 30 miles for the week. My fasting glucose this morning was 92, but my weight is still stuck in the same place it has been for six months. Well, almost. I hit 149 lbs. in December, and then kept going back and forth between 150 and 157. For the last two weeks I am hovering at 149 and 150. Maybe I’m going to break that 149 soon? And see 148? That is still awfully high for someone only 5 ft. 2 in., but considering for several years I weighed over 190 lbs., I’m feeling good about 149.

About the meat thing yesterday? I cut my 3 ounces of meat in half and only ate 1.5 oz. I’d say that hardly even counts, but considering that a cow still went through a horrible end (this was a regular feedlot bull) just to give me that little bit, I still consider it.

I went to the local farmer’s market on Saturday, but just as I was leaving the apartment a childhood friend of mine called and we talked and talked. By the time I got to the farmer’s market there was very little left, even though out here in Kansas the fresh produce is just beginning anyway. But am I complaining? Absolutely not! It was so wonderful to hear from my friend that the lack of the little produce I missed was a very, very small price to pay. And truly worth it. I did purchase some little beets and turnips. Turnips left from last year? Living in a root cellar all this time? I’m not sure, but I cooked them the way my mother-in-law taught me, and they were delicious! Honestly, she cooks them even tastier, but I don’t think I could ever conquer her mastery of the kitchen. But I do pretty well. Anyway, the beets and turnips were gone by Sunday morning, so when I went to People’s Co-Op, I bought more beets and pickled enough to fill a large jar (using some raw sugar mixed with Splenda).

Well, today my breakfast will consist of a little fruit with cottage cheese and am planning to walk into work early, so I will complete the meal there with a second cup of coffee and a granola bar at my desk. I’ve got plans to walk to Aggieville for lunch, and I have several healthy options in the refrigerator for supper.

I really have to plan my food ahead of schedule, otherwise I eat the “bad” stuff and don’t get the variety I need. A mixture of good fat, carbohydrates, and protein throughout the day is best for diabetes. And if I keep that combination with my little meals and snacks, keep a variety of choices available of each category, I eat less. And I feel better. Plus, so far I don’t seem to need a vitamin or mineral supplement, except for the. . . ahem. . . .calcium the more mature woman needs.

Off to work!

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Healthy foods

This beautiful morning I have a long-term goal in mind: Become a pesco-vegetarian. Last time I accomplished this change I kept it going for two years almost exactly to the day. OK, so I cheated at times with organic roaming-freely chicken broth for a cheese soup I adored. And then there was that time I prepared a turkey for the family at Thanksgiving, and as I pulled out the turkey from the oven and saw the gizzard, I ate it because I knew no one else wanted it. As I swallowed the last bite I remembered it was meat! So much for advanced education.

I write this out to the world as a way to say, “Ah ha! People know. People may watch. Get your act together.” I do not plan to start right away today. Totally. The two-year change I mentioned above took many, many unsuccessful tries before that. A vegetarian friend of mine in Chapel Hill suggested I take it slowly and gradually remove meat from my diet. And it worked better than any other method I had tried in the past. So, I plan the same method today. There are several portions of meat in my freezer and I plan to eat it.

One positive consequence from my past pesco-veggie life is that I really still cannot eat much meat. Give me a delicious steak that my husband grills (and believe me, no one grills a steak better than he does!), and I still can only eat a few bites. At least I keep my meat consumption to a minimum already.

The main reason I went back to a more fatty diet is I eventually began to eat way too many carbohydrates, which is not good for an over-weight diabetic. All of a sudden I was hungry all the time, and I was so tired of nuts, couldn’t find tofu prepared a way I could enjoy, so I found myself reaching for awful junk food simply because it had no meat. Thankfully, through the last few years I have lost a lot of weight, and even though I still have 20 pounds to go, I’m much better now. Yes, I need to watch my intake of carbs, but it is not as serious an issue as it was at that time.

I will try to go for variety, color on the plate, and attempt to keep my carbs to a healthy minimum. After all, diabetics really do need carbohydrates! Before the day is over today I will have a 3 oz. beef steak. At least I froze my meat in 3 ounce servings so I already know what will be on my plate!

Even though it is Sunday, and I prefer not to shop on Sunday, I will walk to People’s Grocery (the wonderful little co-op about a mile from my apartment) and purchase a few salad greens, more fruit, and yogurt. Not shopping on Sunday was very important to my father, and I took his practice close to my own heart. And it is surely not bad to have at least one day a week when I do NOT practice this awful consumerism habit! But today…sigh….I will make George W. happy and spend money and consume.

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