Posts Tagged ‘food’

12 of 12 – November: Food

12 of 12 was created by Chad Darnell (you can find his website and a bunch of 12 of 12 links here), and has bloggers worldwide taking 12 photos throughout the day on the 12th day of each month.

If you missed them, you can check out my 12 of 12 for previous months here!

Usually my weekend 12s are a bit easier to do, because I’m not sitting in an office all day.  This time, though, my day was too busy for photo variety – but not busy with interesting going-out kinds of stuff.  It was mostly busy in the kitchen and with children.  And since I like the children in my life to remain anonymous on my blog, it didn’t leave me with a lot of photo opps other than….food!  (There are a few exceptions.)  So take a look…but don’t blame me if you’re hungry when you’re done!

1. We had my mother-in-law, sister-in-law and nephew (in-law?) over for the weekend, so I decided that fresh, warm cinnamon buns (of the pre-packaged bake-and-serve variety) were in order.  Since the morning is my prime bloodsugar-spike time, this did not end up being my breakfast, but later in the day I did have a convenient low (actually a few – it was a day of lows), and was able to indulge in one.  Delicious!

2.  We babysat our nephew in the morning while his mommy did some child-free shopping.  He was a very good boy, and looked so cute in his winter PJs.  Our two-year-old sure loves her little cousin, and gave us good reason to believe that she’s going to be a fantastic big sister!

3. For lunch, chicken salad…uh…salad.  One of my favourites!  For those of you who are interested, this one was made with rotisserie chicken (not recommended for low-sodium diets, unfortunately), red peppers, celery, green onion, tomato and Miracle Whip (I usually also add Bold & Spicy deli mustard, but forgot this time).  I tossed some of it in with some romaine and some spinach, added some grated marble cheddar cheese and chopped apple, and voila!

4.  Had a post-lunch low and treated with a delicious mandarin orange.

5. Still low after the orange, so I resorted to leftover Halloween candy.

6. Nap time.  Lows and pregnancy and cooking and company tired me out.

7. Supper prep.  This is hashbrown casserole in its pre-oven stages.  Doesn’t look too appetizing, does it?  Trust me, it’s fantastic when it’s done!  This was another non-low-carb part of our company-menu.  It was a good day to be struggling with lows – I got to eat more of this than I anticipated too. 🙂

8.  A pre-dinner appetizer for the group.  This is flammekueche.  I was introduced to it when I was living in France, and recently the family I lived with contacted me to tell me that they are now available in Canada!  Of course, we had to try one…and we were not disappointed!  The crust wasn’t quite as crispy as “the real thing”, but the flavour took me right back to 1999 and my summer in France.  Yum!

9. Side salad for supper.  This one is my mother-in-law’s favourite: mixed greens, feta cheese, dried cranberries, walnuts, (usually red onion, but I left them out this time), and my “secret” dressing. 🙂

10.  My husband wanted me to take a picture of the meat, so here it is – seasoned, BBQed pork tenderloin.  So…darn…good.

11.  This is totally unrelated to food.  It’s my daughter’s curly ponytail.  My hair is poker straight, so sometimes I can hardly believe I produced a child whose hair could do this.  I love it, but I seriously  have no idea how to style curly hair.  I guess I’ll learn.

12.  And lastly, the classic “pregnant shot in bathroom mirror taken with iPhone”.  Perhaps I’ll include a belly photo in each month’s 12 so you can watch me grow!  I’m currently about 16 weeks.  With my last pregnancy it took until about 5 months for me to have a belly this size.  Oof.

That’s all!


Some Randoms

I haven’t done a random list of unrelated (or partially related) stuff for a while, so here’s one for you….

1. This was my lunch today.  It was a-maz-ing.  Two slices of Weight Watchers 100% whole wheat bread, a bit of light Miracle Whip, sliced grilled seasoned chicken, grated marble cheddar cheese, and some italian seasoning…..toasted to perfection in my toaster oven.  My husband always makes this delicious sandwich, and today it was my turn.  With my special bread, it was only 15g (net) of carbs (that’s 20g CHO less 5g fibre)…plus maybe 1/2 a gram for the Miracle Whip (I only use a bit).  YES!!!

2. I was recently introduced to almond milk by another woman with diabetes that I know.  (This is a different brand than she recommended, but the only one I could find in unsweetened.)  Cow’s milk tends to spike my bloodsugar a lot, so I tend to avoid it in drinking quantities.  This stuff (unsweetened) has only 3g of CHO and 1g of fibre for 2g net CHO per cup.  And if it’s not sweet enough for ya…add a bit of Splenda!  It’s not bad for a milk substitute.

3. Okay, this isn’t 12 of 12, so no more pictures.  The last time I was pregnant I craved things like salmon and eggs.  I was lucky.  What pregnant woman has healthy cravings like that – let alone one with diabetes?!  This time I haven’t been so lucky.  For a while it was salt, and I was managing okay, but lately it’s been all the worst NSFD (not suitable for diabetes) sweets – lemon meringue pie, chocolate fudge, massive bakery muffins, donuts….aaaaaaahhhh!!!!  I haven’t given in yet because I’m too scared of the impact on my bloodsugar.  So today I’m trying to appease my cravings in two ways: (a) really thin pieces of really dark chocolate (b) these low-carb lemon poppyseed muffins that I’m about to make.  I haven’t made them yet, or you’d have another picture here.  (My dietitian assures me that baking quantities of Splenda are still safe during pregnancy.  Whew!)

4. On to something other than food…. I recently had to have my Contour USB meter replaced because it was acting up on me.  Every now and then, after counting down to zero, it would stall out on me and then give me an error message instead of a bloodsugar reading.  Bayer was great in replacing my meter and also giving me some extra test strips to make up for the wasted ones.  But now, no more than a week after starting the new one…it’s not working either!  When I put the test strip in, there’s a funny click and it doesn’t turn on like it’s supposed to.  Sometimes it still does, but most of the time it doesn’t.  (The battery is fully charged.  It’s not that.)  So it looks like I’ll be replacing this one now too!  Disappointing.

5. This pregnancy is making me more tired than I ever remember being with the last one.  So tired.  I need about 10 hours of sleep per night to be fully functional – and that’s completely impossible during the week.  I don’t have anything else to say about that.

6. This past week I had the pleasure of sitting down for lunch with a woman who works for the same company as me who is a diabetes veteran and has retinopathy.  I hadn’t actually met her before, so she joked when we met up that we were having a “blind date” (LOL…retinopathy humour).  It’s typically been pretty easy for me to find people with diabetes around me to connect with, but I have to be honest that connecting with someone else with diabetic retinopathy is really something special.  Not to downplay diabetes at all, but to be able to talk to someone who truly understands what it’s like to have that first retinal haemorrhage, and truly understands the fear of more bleeds, more lasers, more proliferation, and more vision loss (temporary or permanent), is sadly comforting.  I’ve been lucky enough to meet other people like this online – through forums and through this blog – but this is the first time I’ve been able to meet one of these people in person.  Hopefully some day I can have some more “blind dates”.  🙂

All for now.  I have an appointment with Dr. Ophtho this week, so I’ll probably have some more on the topic of retinopathy for you before long.

The Carb Struggle

Sometime around June of this year it occurred to me that I had been eating a low(ish) carb diet for about six months.  It also occurred to me that, if I had gotten used to it and was happy with it after six months, it should be smooth sailing to continue with it.

Not so.

I’m going to be honest with you.  I’m heading down that slippery slope again.  I don’t know if it’s the fact that being back at work makes me busier and makes it harder to do the “proper meal” thing, or if it’s the colder fall weather that makes me want to hibernate and ingest mass quantities of carboliciousness (which doesn’t bode well for the upcoming Winnipeg Winter), but either way this is getting harder and I’m getting worse at it.

The thing is, I have every reason to continue with it!  Well, three reasons, anyway:

  1. Lowering my carb intake, and thus my insulin, has led to a pretty dramatic flattening of my bloodsugars.  The bad highs and lows are virtually non-existant now.  I’m very happy with my improved control of my diabetes!
  2. Lowering my carbs has led to my dropping a few sizes.  I wasn’t overweight before and I’m not underweight now, but I have to admit that I’m enjoying my new size.  I have an “ideal weight range” where I want to be, and low-carbing is helping me keep it in that range.  I feel great!
  3. In the process of changing my diet, I realized that I feel better if I don’t eat wheat (it’s the gluten, likely) and I feel better if I eat primarily “natural” foods.  I don’t mean specifically “organic”, I just mean “natural” – fruit, veggies, meat/fish/poultry, etc.  I’m eating foods that are naturally low in carbs rather than buying “Atkins granola bars”, etc.  I have some exceptions, of course, but it’s what I’m striving for.  The result is that my stomach feels better than it ever did before!  I didn’t even realize that it was a problem until I discovered how great it felt to feel better!

I’d say those are three pretty good reasons.  So why am I still struggling?

Three words: I love carbs.

I love them and I miss them.  At first I was substituting with foods that were similar to carbs – celery root for mashed potatoes, spaghetti squash for pasta, grated cauliflower for rice.  It worked for a long time (well, not so long with the celery root), but then I just started getting really tired of them!  I can eat pasta day in and day out, and I can eat rice day in and day out, but I cannot eat spaghetti squash, celery root or cauliflower day in and day out.  I can’t.  No matter how much I try, I will never like these poor substitutes as much as the real thing. 

So, Plan B was to eat some of the “real thing”, but only in small quantities, and then fill up on other things like protein or veggies.  This is still easier said than done.  I try to keep to about 30g of carbs at a meal, and since I like to have some fruit and/or yogurt with a meal, it means sticking to about 15g of carbs with the main course. 

Do you know how much rice makes up 15g of carbs?  Do you know how much gluten-free spaghetti makes up 15g of carbs?  Do you know how much of a baked potato makes up 15g of carbs?  I’ll give you a hint: not much. 

The other complicating factor is that most dinner veggies (e.g. corn, carrots, peas, etc.) have more carbs than you might think, so that limits the rest of the meal if I’m working for 30g carbs total.  I think what I may have to do is keep the fruit and yogurt to breakfast and lunch (when I have a salad), so that I can use my full 30g carbs for the main course at suppertime.  Breakfast and lunch aren’t a problem when it comes to sticking to 30g – it’s supper that kills me.

Part of my problem is clearly the combination of low-carb/gluten-free/natural.  That doesn’t sound like it should be a problem, but if you aim to eat a diet that’s low in artificial sweetener and gluten-free, it’s really difficult to add the low-carb aspect to the mix.  The three don’t go well together unless you’re eating mostly meat and vegetables…which is how I started, and what worked, but also what I grew increasingly tired of.


Regardless, while I”m keeping my breakfast and lunch in check pretty well, my suppers are getting a bit out of hand and I need to reign them in.

The other thing getting out of hand is snacking.  I also blame that on the weather and being busy.  Food is comfort for me.  I wish it wasn’t, but it is.  So I crave food a lot.  The challenge is keeping those “appropriate” snacks on hand – nuts, cheese, hard-boiled eggs, veggies, avocados. 

It’s easiest for me when I don’t keep anything in the house that I shouldn’t be eating.  The problem with doing that, though, is that my husband also lives here and I don’t want to force him into eating (or not eating) like I do (or don’t).  He’s a healthy eater, but he needs treats from time to time too! 

The other problem with that scenario is sometims I do need sweet options for treating lows – I don’t always want glucose/dextrose tabs or juice or pop.  I like to stock a bit of “fun” stuff for those low “opportunties”…but then it’s tough to stick to eating them only during lows.

So….as you can see, I’m struggling. 

I’ll let you know when I’ve got it figured out.  (But don’t hold your breath….)