Food | Charming Diabetes

Archive of ‘Food’ category

llama at blackberry farm | charming diabetes

How Blackberry Farm Changed Me Forever

I kind of have an obsession with this magical place:

Blackberry Farm

It’s amazing for lots of reasons, but here are my top 3:

100 year gardens. And a llama. And meals that will transport you to a land far, far away from GMOs or processed foods.

llama at blackberry farm | charming diabetesOne little trip to this HEAVEN completely changed the way I look at food.  See what I’m talking about here, and here.

And then go put Blackberry Farm on your bucket list. I promise you won’t regret it.

xo

Sara

 

Daring to Eat Organic | charmingdiabetes.com

Daring to eat Organic-ish with Diabetes and Toddlers

If you follow me on instagram, you’ve seen some of the adventure that is me going organic. It’s not easy, especially with 2 toddlers, and our pantry isn’t completely organi-fied (making up words) yet. I’m a little too practical to just throw everything out, so we still have some non-organic peanut butter left over, and oil and some random crackers around that we’ll use before we’re fully converted. So at the moment, we’re Organic-ish. 🙂

Daring to Eat Organic | charmingdiabetes.com

But WHY am I doing this?! Ugh. The short answer is : It’s been coming for a long time.

My mother suffered two completely unrelated cancers, the second of which(stomach cancer) took her life. I’m diabetic and I believe that food is powerful. The only part of diabetes that I can really control is the food I put in my body. And of course, I’ve watched a documentary or two in my day. I just had to make my health (and my kids’ health) a top priority. And after lots of research, I decided that the GMOs just aren’t for me. I want them out. I don’t want Monsanto to own me or run the world. Despite what they say I do believe it’s possible to feed the world with organic farming. It is time for me to vote with my dollars.

Overall, making a meal totally organic is not too difficult as long as I’ve done some meal planning, but it is complicated by the fact that I am not trying to be vegan, or vegetarian, or gluten free. I don’t mind eating that way every once in a while, but I love carbs. I love snacks. I love veggies too, but I can’t have all my meals be all veggie all the time. I need the bread and meat balance. I love to cook, and organic veggies are easy enough to find, it’s all the other things that can prove difficult. Organic meats are expensive and harder to find, and bread or grain based products are also tougher to find with organic whole wheat, etc. For the most part, packaged goods have had to go because if they are organic, they’re crazy expensive.  If I’m having a biscuit craving, I’m better off just making it myself. But I also have 2 little girls.  They  just don’t go for veggie or fruit all the time.

So it’s a bumpy road for now. For the most part, the girls snacks are where I struggle the most. Having to exert more effort on snack planning, as opposed to just grabbing a bag of goldfish or cereal for them when we’ll be out running errands is still tough. And to buy organic versions of those things is not cost effective. And I have one still in diapers, so let’s face it, we can’t eat raisins all the time!

But every time I’m tempted to think “this is impossible” and throw in the towel, I remember my trip to Blackberry Farm. The first place I recognized organic eating as exciting, inspiring, and bountiful—and not a complete hassle. Eating organic can be comforting, and beautiful and fun! Even for kids. Below are a few images of the trip that changed my way of thinking. Below I’ll list some other links that have helped me in this journey.

IMG_6092_BlackberryFarm IMG_6260a IMG_6092w

 

IMG_6273a IMG_6274w IMG_6302a

IMG_6333w IMG_6324w IMG_6306w IMG_6369w IMG_6377w

 

So gorgeous! Those heirloom tomatoes came from 100 year old seeds. The thing is, I didn’t even think I liked tomatoes, until I ate that one.

But then reality sets in and the sad fact is, I don’t live on Blackberry Farm..very sad fact indeed. So I have to do some leg work to get the organic goods.

It’s hard to pass up 2 regular grocery stores on my way to Whole Foods or Trader Joe’s. Keep in mind I do this with two toddlers in the car, so it’s like “cry myself to sleep” hard. It’s even harder to use up precious time out of my week to go to more than one store to get what we need. I’m not gonna buy paper products or bottled water at the organic stores–doesn’t make sense. We get things like diapers delivered, which helps, but I still feel like I spend half my week either in the store, or driving to/home from it! Not exactly the organic dream.

As tough as it can be, the payoff is worth it. The food is better, we feel better, and my blood sugars way way down. Always a plus.

Here are a couple of things that helped me out:

1. Blackberry Farm : I can’t say enough about the magic of this place. Go if you can. If you can’t, read about their 100 year garden and get inspired by their website.

2. 100 days of Real food : great resource for real food recipes, especially ideas to keep kids happy. Not everything here is organic, but it’s easy enough to get a recipe or meal plan or snack idea and make it organic.

3. Wildly Affordable Organic : a great cookbook and meal planning resource. One of the biggest obstacles to eating organic can be the cost. This book gives super easy to execute recipes and meal plans on a food stamp budget.

Especially if you’re struggling with blood sugars, I strongly encourage you to make a move towards organic eating. And definitely cut out all the artificial sweeteners if you haven’t already. No diet drinks, sodas, sports drinks–get it out of your system. I was SHOCKED at how my blood sugars dropped just by doing that one thing. But more on that later.

And if you’re looking for more pics from Blackberry Farm (a.k.a. Heaven On Earth), just head over to my photography site! I promise you will fall in love with this place. Or, if you’re like me, you’ll run home to plant a garden and eat organic forever and ever.

If you’re not as emotional as me, and prefer more scientific evidence, here is some of that as well.

xo

Sara

 

 

Super Simple and Diabetic Friendly Roast Chicken | www.charmingdiabetes.com

Best Chicken Ever | Diabetic Friendly Roast Chicken with Roasted Garlic and Sweet Potatoes

So having Diabetes is tough, but it can be especially difficult when juggling busy days, and kids, and dinner time.

To make things worse, I’m forgetful! I’m easily caught up in the chaos and before I know it, it’s dinner time and I’m unprepared and haven’t even checked my blood sugar.

Meal planning REALLY helps me with this. If I know what I’m going to cook, or can prepare things ahead of time, it makes everything that much easier. I can’t say enough about how much PLANNING in general is key to success with diabetes. When mealtime rolls around, I want to think about it as LITTLE as possible. This way I’m less likely to skip meals or make unhealthy spur of the moment mealtime decisions. We’ve all had drive-thru days, or “stand-at-the-counter-and-eat-whatever-I-find” meals. As a mom, some days that’s just self-preservation, but as a Diabetic it really is a recipe for disaster..and poor blood sugar control, highs, lows, feeling terrible, no energy, I could go on and on…

I try to make an effort to have a plan for mealtimes, but particularly for dinner. Here are my two secret weapons:

1. NO MORE TO GO — this is a great site that sends you weekly dinner meal plans. You get the shopping list, the recipes, photos, and even vegetarian and vegan substitutes. Every recipe I’ve ever made from no more to go has been simple, tasty, quick, and the kids usually like it too. In fact, some of these recipes have become “go to” recipes that I use at least a couple of times a month. It’s GREAT. I highly recommend you try it out, especially if you struggle to get dinner on the table in the midst of hectic weeks like I sometimes do.

2. ROASTED CHICKEN — this is by far my favorite busy-week recipe. I have two young children, who can be pretty picky eaters, but this satisfies them every time. I know what you’re thinking…a whole chicken? too complicated. too long. I can’t.

But I promise you, YOU CAN! If you haven’t cooked a chicken this way, it will change your life. I haven’t cooked a plain ol’ boneless skinless chicken breast in forever because once you eat this chicken you can’t go back to plain, dry, stovetop chicken breast. Let me break it down for you:

 

 

the anatomy of YUM: a super simple fall meal in one pot. Easy roasted chicken | www.charmingdiabetes.com

The best part about this recipe for me, is that I spend about 3 minutes getting the chicken prepped, and then everything goes into the oven for an hour. I’m HANDS-FREE in the hour before dinner time which is priceless. I can play with the kids, show them how to set the table,  do a couple of loads of laundry, give the girls early baths, check my blood sugar…I mean I can get a lot done in that pre-dinner hour. And it’s so much better than the usual routine of me standing at the stove, making a mess in the kitchen, playing referee for the kids while they roam the living room unsupervised and high on the freedom from said lack of supervision.

super easy roast chicken in an hour, diabetic friendly recipe | charming diabetes.com

look at that! I didn’t even tuck the wings, but guess what–DOESN’T MATTER! This is still the best chicken ever because I exerted virtually no effort to make it.

Here’s what you have to do.

Get a whole chicken ( a much better bargain than just buying individual parts, I might add). And cut out the backbone. Easy, but not the most glamorous part of the recipe. Here’s a video on that if you need a little convincing. I use a knife because I don’t have dedicated chicken shears (gasp) and it works just fine.. Or just channel Martha Stewart, or Jacques Pepin, or Julia Child. Whatever works for you, but get that backbone outta there.

Once that’s done, the rest is cake…er, chicken. I put a mix of butter, herbs, salt, & pepper, under the skin and on top. By “mix” I mean I literally just take half a stick of room temp butter and toss in whatever herbs I feel like that day, and mix it up. You can use other delicious add ins like hot sauce, dijon mustard, white wine, but I’ve got the toddlers so I keep it simple. They always clean their plates so why mess with a good thing?

I throw in two whole heads of garlic with the tops cut off, because I LOVE roasted garlic. I add a lemon (if i have one) and some fresh herbs to the bottom of the pan, then plop the chicken in there and it’s ready to go.

And I do sweet potatoes at the same time. In this picture I went through the trouble of cutting them up and putting them in the pan, but usually I just wrap them in foil whole, and put them in at the same time as the chicken.

That. is. it. After an hour at 425 degrees, Dinner’s done!

Sometimes I add a salad, or green beans (because something green on the plate makes it feel official), and bread to go with the roasted garlic cloves that I like to devour.

This meal is a total win for diabetes. The free-time while it’s in the oven gives me plenty of time to check my blood sugars pre-meal. And the sweet potatoes, even though they’re sweet, are easy on the blood sugar.

So easy!! Plus there are usually leftovers, which makes it a double win because lunch or dinner for the next day is taken care of.

Do yourself a favor–go get yourself a chicken!!!! Your family will ooh and ahh at the fancy factor, and they don’t have to know you didn’t break a sweat.

 

BEST CHICKEN EVER ROAST CHICKEN — hands on time: 5 mins TOTAL time: 1hr, 5mins

Super Simple and Diabetic Friendly Roast Chicken | www.charmingdiabetes.com

ingredients:

  • 1 whole chicken
  • 2 heads of garlic (tops chopped off–the whole head, not just a clove)
  • 2-4 small sweet potatoes (depending on how many your family will eat, cook as many or as few as you need. I usually cook 4 and have leftovers)
  • 4 tbs butter
  • 2 tbs fresh herbs, chopped ( rosemary & thyme are my go to but parsley, sage, or even just dry herbs if you don’t have fresh on hand). Plus extra for aromatics in pan if desired.
  • 1 lemon cut in half
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • olive oil

DIRECTIONS

  1.  preheat oven to 425
  2.  chop heads off garlic and set aside
  3.  chop herbs and mix into room temp butter, set aside
  4. fork potatoes and wrap them in aluminum foil
  5.  butterfly chicken (remove backbone)
  6.  turn chicken breast-side up, and pat dry. using a spoon or spatula smear half of butter mix under the skin (between the skin and breast meat). Spread the rest of butter mix liberally onto the outside of the chicken** (breast, legs, wings, etc). Sprinkle with Salt & Pepper  **I keep it simple for a kid friendly version, but for an added kick, you could add a few tablespoons of white wine, a tablespoon of dijon mustard, and/or a splash of hot sauce here.
  7.  In an iron skillet or oven safe pan, place any extra dry herbs, half a lemon, and garlic tops if desired. drizzle with olive oil and place chicken on top.
  8.  place garlic heads in alongside the chicken, and drizzle with olive oil.
  9. Put chicken and foil wrapped sweet potatoes in the oven for 1 hr or until potatoes are fork tender and chicken reaches internal temp of 165 degrees Fahrenheit.
  10. Take all the glory for a stress free, fancy meal.

Enjoy!

xo

Sara

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!

CharmingDiabetesHalloween

How To Do Halloween With Type 1 Diabetes

Fall is here, which means Halloween is around the corner. It’s that time of year when everyone with a faulty pancreas is forced to face their demons. Literally, there are demons out, it’s Halloween.

A holiday dedicated to the procurement of candy? Really? And my body doesn’t make insulin? I mean…are there cameras? Is this a joke?

How to Do Halloweeen With Type 1 Diabetes | www.charmingdiabetes.com

Halloween doesn’t have to be torture with Diabetes. This post is really dedicated to the young people with Diabetes, because lord knows I struggled with this day when I was still in school. One year I stressed about avoiding candy for weeks leading up to Halloween– I’d brainstorm how I’d play it cool, ways to say no thanks without mentioning diabetes, why smelling it would be enough. And then one year I decided, screw it. No one’s gonna take my candy. I ate without reservation, pumping myself full of insulin with one hand while tearing into wrappers with the other. That year didn’t go so well, for the record.

My point is that I’ve tried it all, but the bottom line is, I like candy. Turns out that despite my bionic pancreas, the insulin pump, I am in fact human and enjoy sugar. I can’t lie to myself about it. After trying everything under the sun, I’ve learned that there are a few key tricks to Charming your Diabetes during a candy-centered holiday:

1. DISTRACTION:

When I let my mind move past the candy obsession, I learned that there are lots of other Halloween elements that I enjoy much more than the candy.

–PUMPKINS. Love ’em. We paint them, we carve them, we visit them in the patch, I look at them on pinterest, we use them as decorations. Doing all the pumpkin prep work gets my mind off the looming day of candy. Not to mention the house looks fall-friendly!

–CRAFTS. Nothing distracts my candy-lovin mind like some good Halloween crafts. Great for the kids, great to give away. Great way to spend time together as opposed to obsessing over chocolate. Or sweet tarts. Ok I better get crafty.

Charming Diabetes Halloween Crafts | easy DIY spray painted skull

I love a good skull craft. I made this one–all you need is a cheap craft skull and some gold spray paint, which I also obsess over. When Halloween is over this guy guards my desk.

–DAY OF THE DEAD. If you don’t know about this mexican tradition you should look it up. It’s much more meaningful than Halloween and the decorations are even better. I love everything about El Dia de Los Muertos, and at our house this time of year has become more about having a dedicated time of year to remember and celebrate lost loved ones. I’m not singing songs around the cemetery or anything, but Halloween can be a great opportunity to teach kids about other cultures and traditions, and, if you’re not into altar making, talk about lost loved ones’ favorite things.

–FALL BUCKET LIST. For kids, this is so fun. Ours usually includes things like pumpkin painting, leaf collecting, wagon riding, and painting fall pictures (always hilarious with toddlers). It’s just a quick little list of fun fall things to do that DON’T involve candy.

2. REPLACEMENT

Cut the candy out and replace it with something else. Sounds painful, but in the long run you’ll be a lot happier for it. Finger puppets, vampire fangs, plastic bracelets, glow sticks, basically anything from the dollar bin at Target. Use these alternatives to pass out to trick-or-treaters and keep them around your house for fun…without the guilt that can come along with candy.

There is the option to “replace” candy with sugar-free alternatives, but I don’t really recommend it. The chemicals and artificial sweeteners are sometimes worse than the real thing, and the whole idea here is to get past the candy–not just exchange one unhealthy item for another. If you do replace with other food items, I suggest going for homemade treats (where you can control the ingredients–but don’t waste those on the trick-or-treaters because any good parent is going to make their kid throw it out), or real food treats like raisins.

3. HELP YOURSELF: BUY CANDY YOU HATE

If you know that you’ll be giving out good ol’ yummy candy for Halloween, do yourself a favor and pick something that you don’t like. I buy my candy for trick-or-treaters a day or two in advance–there’s no need for that to sit at my house for two weeks before halloween taunting me. And when I do buy it, last minute, I buy the stuff I don’t like. I’m a candy lover, but even I have a few less-than-favorites. I don’t want to call anyone out ahem, twizzlers, but there are some candies that I don’t crave , and therefore am not tempted to eat when they’re on my counter.

4. EAT THE CANDY

Um. ‘Scuse me, what?

Yep. That’s right. Eat it. Don’t do it like me all those year ago, diving headfirst into a bowl of Rolos, but if you know that you (or your child) really love(s) it, then PLAN for it.

–After trick-or-treating, pick 2 treats to eat right then and there. Count the carbs, and bolus for those.

–Go through the remaining candy and choose a few pieces to keep for later in the week–if you have kids this is a great time to get them involved in the decision making process and have them help choose the magic number of pieces to stay. I do this with my kids and they don’t have Diabetes.

If you need help getting that conversation going with your kids, the Switch Witch might be a good way to start. Like a Halloween Santa, she comes to your house to collect the candy on Halloween night and swaps it out for some other toy or prize. I just heard about it and haven’t tried it with my kids, but it seems like a good idea.

–The remaining candy goes away. Do not pass go, do not collect $100, just GET THE CANDY OUT.  Let the Switch Witch take it, give it to friends, donate it, throw it away . Don’t feel too guilty about tossing it out, you’re making a healthy choice for your faulty pancreas. I’ve found that the throw-away-guilt makes me keep it around, and when it’s just lying there I eat it with reckless abandon.

The idea here is that you (or you and your kids) are  CHOOSING to keep a few select pieces that you know you love. You no longer have the giant bag staring at you, begging you to eat it. You are no longer thinking about the giant bag of candy you have stashed somewhere that you shouldn’t be eating. You are freeing yourself. You have made a conscious decision to keep this select amount, and when you eat it you’ll bolus for it, and it will be delicious. None of the guilt, no closet face-shoving of m&m&m&m&m&m&m’s.

You’re free to eat it. Just do it wisely.

And here’s my last tip for Halloween–if you must buy Candy Corns, get the ones that come pre packaged in the small individual baggies, so that you have built in portion control, and you can get the exact number of carbs. I can’t tell you how many years I’ve fallen into the “I’ll just grab a couple of Candy Corns” trap! Those little suckers are dangerous!

Happy Candy Bolus, everyone!

xo

Sara

 

Heart Coffee_Charming Diabetes

Diabetes from 6 am to 6:03

Here’s three minutes of my morning with Diabetes. And also a good explanation of why I don’t drink coffee, and why no one considers me a morning person.

Heart Coffee_Charming Diabetes

[While I check my Blood Sugar the wheels start turning]…

I need caffeine. We’re out of Diet Coke. They say Diet Coke is poison now, anyway. Coffee it is!

I can’t drink it black. Just. Can’t. Do. It. Milk, milk, where’s the milk. How much?  A 1/4 cup? that’s about 8 carbs. Sugar? why bother? wasting carbs. artificial sweetener? Oh do you want diabetes and cancer, too? Plus I don’t have any. I’ve heard Truvia’s good, I’ll have to check that out next time I’m at the store.

Ok so coffee with 1/4 cup of milk, 8 carbs. My blood sugar’s 116. 116? that’s kid of high for first thing in the morning. I wonder why? What was it last night? Oh I can’t remember. Did I write it down? 132. It was 132 last night. I wonder if I need to change an early morning Basal rate. I’ll have to check that later. OK so 8 carbs for coffee. I’m starving. I’ll have toast b/c I’m in a hurry. What bread do we have in the pantry? Oh the good stuff, but it has 29 carbs in one slice. Ok twist my arm I’ll eat the whole thing. And I should have some fruit. Bananas. Aren’t these like, the perfect food? I’ll eat half of that and save the rest for the girls’ cereal. That banana’s not huge. I’ll call it…11?  So 8 + 29 that’s 37, plus 11 that’s 48. Getting up there. No jelly on the toast today! Darn coffee. So 12 into 48…ok 10 would be 4.8 so let’s call it 3.8. Enter it into the insulin pump and…Pump says 4.0. So close! ok, 4.0 units.

Why do I have this disease if I am so bad at math? Way to throw down a challenge, God. I have a long way to go. What the, wait did I use 1/4 cup of milk? That’s not 8 carbs that’s only 3. Pssh.

Ugh. Brain, where are you when I need you? It’s too early. I need caffeine for this. Ok so 3 plus 29, was it? 32 plus 11 for the banana that’s only 43 carbs so I just took about half a unit too much. Which will mean low blood sugar before 10am if I’m not careful. 

Wait–is someone crying? Is that one of the girls crying? I’ve gottta go get her before she wakes up her sister. I better drink some of the coffee first, no way I’ll drink it all if it gets cold, which means I just took too much insulin. I really don’t like coffee.

Ok forget it. I’ll just chug this milk, eat the whole banana, and stop for a diet coke after I drop off the girls at school.  

Oh my gosh is the toast burning?! 

 

Can anyone out there relate to hectic carb counting mornings?! I’m really working on being more organized in the mornings so I don’t feel so scatterbrained. Coffee always throws me off! I want to be a coffee drinker. I want to be cool enough to enter a coffee shop and have a go-to drink that I love to order, but it just doesn’t work for me and my faulty pancreas.  I just can’t make myself drink it black, and any other way is just too complicated for me to bother with.

I’ve pretty much accepted that my morning diet soda is probably terrible for me, and I’m trying to kick the habit, but so far I’ve been unsuccessful in finding a carb-free replacement that gives me the caffeine I crave.  I also just read about a study showing that Diet Coke and artificial sweeteners can actually raise blood sugars, which I’ve never noticed.

What about you? What’s your A.M. beverage of choice? Have any of you ever experienced a rise in blood sugar after a diet soda? How do you bolus for coffee?! Leave me a comment and let me know!

xo
Sara