November | 2014 | Charming Diabetes

November 2014 archive

Thanksgiving Sides to Charm Your Diabetes | charming diabetes.com

Thanksgiving Sides to Charm Your Diabetes

Thanksgiving with Diabetes is for the birds…so sorry. These things just pop into my mind and I can’t resist.

But seriously, Thanksgiving can be particularly hard on the blood sugars, so this year I’m switching it up. I’m on the hunt for recipes that are simple (since I have picky toddlers), easy on the blood sugars, and still comforting and delicious. That’s a tall order, I know.

I’ve spent countless Thanksgivings calculating carbs, choosing which foods I’d have to skip, and overall worrying about blood sugars. My family’s traditional Thanksgivng meals include things like casseroles, stuffings, rolls, and foods that in general are low on health and high on carbohydrates, plus really hard to count carbs for. And then I spend all kinds of energy just working around it, taking more insulin, and doing my usual “I can eat anything” song and dance.

And you know what? I can. I can eat anything. But sometimes just because you CAN do something doesn’t mean you SHOULD.

I had this lightbulb moment where I decided, you know what, it’s ok for me to adjust the traditions to make it easier on myself. There is no shame in admitting to myself, or to anyone else, that certain casseroles are just hard on me and the blood sugar. Or that sweet potatoes are just fine by themselves and don’t actually need marshmallows on top.  Or that the extra sugar in the cranberry sauce to make it palitable is just not doing me any favors. And dangit, it’s hard to guesstimate how many carbs are in that casserole topped with breadcrumbs…er, wait those aren’t breadcrumbs. What are those? Are those cheez-its?…

Yep, I’m still from Tennessee so these things do happen.

So I’m breaking up with traditions this year and making a Thanksgiving meal that isn’t loaded with breads and unnecessary carbs but is still comforting and delicious.

Here’s my criteria for finding recipes to Charm my Diabetes on Thanksgiving:

  • gluten free (I know, eye roll)
  • little to know added sugar (which, sadly, eliminates cranberries)
  • simple and easy to make (because, toddlers)
  • yummy (because, again, toddlers)

 

Yum Charming Diabetes2

Let me clarify: I am NOT gluten free. But the carbs coming from breads and bread based dishes were just too much. I’m cutting out the gluten so I have room for other carbs I love–like sweet potatoes, roasted apples, and maybe even grits.

And let’s not forget dessert. I love dessert.

I don’t want to confuse anyone–I’m not trying to cut out all carbs, or fat, or be particularly “health” conscious on this holiday dedicated to Giving Thanks and Eating. I’m just re-working some of the Thanksgiving regulars that don’t really work for me with Diabetes. I want to get rid of some of the carbs in my meal so that I can enjoy the others more, and dessert.

It’s like editing. And it’s a trade off. If you hate pumpkin pie but really can’t do without a bread based stuffing, then maybe your trade offs will be different.

Or maybe you do what I’ve done for SO so many years and say to yourself “SELF! I love you, but today I trade nothing”! And then proceed to eat all the carbs you want. I won’t judge you. I just know that this year, for me, I want to make some changes so I’m not stuck glaring at my glucose meter in frustration and disbelief later.

So there will be turkey, and there will be pumpkin pie. But where I really struggle with the carb counting is in the side dishes. I wanted sides that would feel traditional, but without all the guilt that normally accompanies my usual holiday side dishes. These are the ones I’ve found so far that look like they could make me a happy girl this Turkey Day.

Thanksgiving Sides to Charm Your Diabetes | charming diabetes.com

 

Best Green Beans Ever (Ree Drummond)

Green Beans With Lemon & Garlic (Food Network) I’ll have to choose between green bean dishes…

Easy Roasted Sweet Potatoes (Martha Stewart)

Roasted Squash with Red Onion, Oregano, + Mint (Food & Wine Magazine)

Cheesy Grits Casserole (Food & Wine Magazine)

Rosted Brussel Sprouts (Simply Recipes)

Sauteed Apples With Thyme (Martha Stewart)

That’s the short list of recipes I’m considering so far. There will be no rolls. That is CA-RAY-ZAY, I know, but I’m trying to reduce the overall carb numbers and save the gluten for dessert only. That means the rolls had to go. That also means these sides have big, carby, shoes to fill! Wish me luck!!

What about you? Are you going all out on a carb-centric or are you looking for ways to charm your diabetes too? Either way, I hope you find a way to eat all the foods you love this Thanksgiving, and enjoy them!!

what's cooking | charming diabetes.com

xo

Sara

p.s. those recipe cards are from Rifle Paper Co.

Charming Diabetes

Diabetes Birthday (and 4 warning signs you probably shouldn’t ignore)

Ok, so everyone with Diabetes has one: a Diabetes Birthday. That fateful day when they were diagnosed. If you’ve got Type 1 and were diagnosed as a young child, you may not remember it.  If you’re old enough to remember it, it is definitely one of those Before-and-After Moments– A cataclysmic event in your life where there is before that moment, and after, and nothing on the after side is ever the same. I know, I know, a little melodramatic–but it kind of is that way. So since I’ve got a whole Diabetes Blog thing happening here, I thought I’d paint you a picture of my Diabetes Birthday…it’s always easy for me to remember since I was diagnosed on my 16th birthday. Seriously.

4 diabetes warning signs you shouldn't ignore | www.charmingdiabetes.com

THE SIGNS

Throw back to 1995 (yeah, can you smell the grunge movement and doc martens?). I was about to turn 16 and get my driver’s license but was a little concerned because my vision had been sooo bad lately (Blurry Vision, sign #1). But that didn’t matter. I was turning 16! And my pants seemed to be fitting more loosely. Was I losing weight? That’s awesome! (yeah, not when it’s related to diabetes. Sudden weight loss, sign #2). I was carting around drinks all the time because I was noticeably more thirsty (excessive thirst, sign #3). I was even waking up at night bc I was thirsty. Hmm, that’s strange. And then again because I had to pee (frequent urination, sign #4). My mom suspected something was wrong, but I knew she was just being overly cautious (complete denial, sign #5?) and nothing mattered anyway because did I mention–I was about to get my driver’s license!! FREEDOM!! (in my William Wallace voice).

freedom

THE DAY

My 16th birthday was a busy day. Got to school late because I went to get my driver’s license. Omg! Omg! I passed with flying colors, blurry vision and all (miracle!). I can even remember the outfit I was wearing that day. It involved double denim and crushed velvet, and that’s all I will say (It was the 90’s, people).

I had a cake from Becker’s Bakery (if you’ve had one you know what a mouth watering prospect that is) waiting for me at home that I was pumped up about, but first I had a doctor’s appointment. I drove myself. Just a normal yearly well-check until they checked the pee cup and then BAM!

“you have diabetes”.

I’m sorry, what?

“Type 1 Diabetes”.

The words rang in my ears. I literally can’t remember many of the details after that. That’s what happens with those Before-and-After Moments; so many of those very first “after” details are fuzzy.

Just like that I was scheduled for outpatient training at the hospital the next day with a pediatric endocrinologist named Dr. Najaar, very kind woman and yet my mom never got her name right and always called her Dr. Jafar. As in, the villain from Disney’s Aladdin.

Jafar

Again, it was the 90’s, Aladdin was big. It is not lost on me that the first medical professional to treat my diabetes was (subconsciously?) vilified by my mom. Gotta love it.

THE AFTER

I vaguely remember a long drive down familiar streets. Not understanding. Wanting to cry.

And then home, to my birthday cake.

With my mom and a couple of close family friends who were there looking at me, and then at the cake, and then back at me, I just took a fork and dug in. I ate like 1/2 the cake by myself. I was not going to let anyone take this long standing tradition of birthday joy from me…

And then, yes, I was miserable. My blood sugar had presumably been high for a while (hence the blurry vision, weight loss, etc) so I must have been used to feeling kind of “meh”, but I do remember feeling particularly yucky after all the cake. But I was so afraid! So afraid that tomorrow they’d tell me I couldn’t ever have that again. I had to get my fill.

My relationship with Diabetes has kind of been like that ever since. A little bit fearful of the unknown consequences to come, and many, many episodes of loved ones looking at me, then the dessert in front of me, and then back at me as I dig in, defiantly.

There are so many other memories from that day that I’ll leave in the vault for now. I did gain some freedom with my license , but I also got dealt a big fat lifetime ball and chain with a diabetes diagnosis.  Isn’t it Ironic? There’s a bold-faced Alanis Morrisette reference just to make sure you remember the 90’s setting of this little tale. It’s stuck in your head now, isn’t it? It’s like raaaaiiin on your wedding day.  Sorry 🙂

Fear, Defiance, Loneliness, Misunderstanding, Feeling Judged, Feeling Guilty. It can be a monster, Diabetes. It’s one of the reasons I started this blog: to share what was working (and not working) for me as I try to live the life I want while dealing with all that this disease can hurl at you. But just as with any fear, facing it head on is often the best course of action. As I educate myself, and take control of my blood sugar, take responsibility for my food choices, and lay down my guilt, I find myself feeling less fearful, and more empowered.

And I’ve had my cake every birthday since.

you can have your insulin and your cupcakes too | www.charmingdiabetes.com

you can have your insulin and your cupcakes too

That’s how I was diagnosed. 1995 on my 16th birthday with a very 90’s soundtrack playing in the background. That means I’ve now had more “after diabetes” birthdays than “before diabetes” birthdays. And for that, I am grateful.

What about you? When is your Diabetes Birthday? Let me know in the comments. Or if you’d like to Share Your Story with me & the Charming Diabetes community you can do that here

If you’re looking for more facts and info on Type 1 diabetes and it’s signs and symptoms the American Diabetes Association is a great place to start. If you’re experiencing any of those warning signs and think you might be at risk, talk to your doctor or a medical professional.

Here’s hoping they find a cure, and until then, may there alway be enough insulin on board to cover your birthday cake.

xo

Sara

Want to Charm Your Diabetes? Get my favorite tips for living a happy life with Diabetes sent directly to your inbox, and follow me on instagram @charmingdiabetes to catch all the behind the scenes shenanigans. Need some diabetes Pinspiration? I’ve got you covered there too.

How Diabetics Feel On Halloween | www.charmingdiabetes.com

In Case You Missed It // Charming Diabetes

Here’s a little peek at what’s going on over on the Charming Diabetes Instagram feed, just in case you missed it. Here’s what’s been going on for the last month or so, plus a couple of images that I INTENDED to post, but never actually did. That’s called exclusive content, peeps. Check out the insta-madness for yourself here!

free wallpaper download

GIVE THANKS

Happy November, everyone! This is a big month for me—there’s Thanksgiving, plus I’m a Scorpio so my b-day is this month, my husband’s birthday is this month (he’s not lucky enough to be a Scorpio though, he’s on the Sagittarius end of the month), this is the month I was diagnosed with Diabetes all those years ago, AND this is national Diabetes Awareness month. So much going on!!

Out of all of those, the biggest thing for me is probably Thanksgiving. I love to cook, I love the traditional thanksgiving meal, visiting family and getting ready for Christmas. It’s just a fun Holiday. And despite the fact that I have diabetes, I still usually manage to eat everything I want on Thanksgiving. More on that soon (Thanksgiving Menu planning is underway!), but I just wanted to take a sec and give you the november iPhone Download. Grab it here (below), or if you need a little technical help, see the download page with instructions.

free November iPhone wallpaper download. Give Thanks. | www.charmingdiabetes.com

I know with all the food, the family gatherings, and diabetes awareness month, people may be talking more about it.  And you’re bound to run into people asking you what you can eat (eye roll, eye roll, sigh). Diabetes can feel like more of a burden this month with all the talk of food, and pie, and extra-carb-counting. But I try to remind myself that I’m the one in control here. This is my disease, I can decide what to eat and what to skip (no matter what anyone else says about it), and at the end of the day there are so many other diseases out there that people DON’T have that kind of control over.

I know there are ups and downs, but in an effort to stay positive I’d ask you to remember to be grateful for the little things. Whether it’s for your insulin pump, or for the small amount of carbs in turkey, or for the pie that you’re willing to get high blood sugar for.

Whatever it is, look for the good (even in Diabetes) and you’ll find it.

That’s what this download is all about. Enjoy!!

xo

Sara

PS… I own this image. I took this photo, and I created this graphic to be used as an iPhone wallpaper. It would be against US copyright law to copy it, pass it off as your own, try to sell it, or do anything with it other than use it on your own personal iPhone. Thanks!