A Farewell to Carbs

A 30-something navigating the world of Type 2 Diabetes while remaining fun, fashionable and fabulous.

Moment of Truth: First weigh-in 01/24/2012

I no longer fear this object!

I joined Weight Watchers a week ago and had to weigh in for the first time this morning. I didn’t know what to expect because I went off the path a couple of times.

But it was good news! I lost 2.8 pounds!! Yay me.

What I found hardest last week is that I didn’t have the right kind of snacks — I was low on portable veggies and I had a lot of high-calorie snacks around (like nuts, avocados, chips and chocolate). I remedied that problem over the weekend and I’m looking forward to another great week of eating healthy food and working out.

Your turn: Share your successes over the past week!


What’s cooking: Anything goes

Filed under: cooking — Diabetic Diva @ 8:37 am
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Sunday morning, I had big plans for what I was going to cook for the week. I had Monday off from work and I was going to spend the day whipping up healthy, delicious food that I would be able to enjoy all week.

I went through my recipes, picked a couple and put together a grocery list. And then I realized — I’m BROKE. Payday is Friday and some poor financial planning on my part means there’s not a lot of extra money this week for elaborate meals.

Instead, I was reduced to planning a “whatever’s in the fridge and pantry” meal. Luckily, I’m a pretty smart shopper and stock up on certain items whenever there’s a sale and/or coupons. Boneless, skinless chicken breasts usually go on sale once a month or so. Ditto for frozen veggies.

After a brief expedition into the icy tundra of my freezer, I pulled out some chicken and some broccoli/cauliflower/carrot mix. A quick check of the fridge door uncovered some soy sauce and there was some corn starch in the back of a cabinet. I also had a couple of handfuls of cashews in a bag hiding behind the instant oatmeal. Are you thinking what I’m thinking? STIR FRY!!!!

Stir fry is a great dish for three reasons. 1. It’s fairly quick-cooking because everything’s in small chunks. 2. It’s all made in one pan, so it’s an easy cleanup. 3. There’s no wrong way to make stir fry. Add your favorite veggies, a meat or meat-substitute for protein and some sort of flavorful, low-fat sauce and you’ve got dinner.

To make my stir fry this week, I sliced defrosted chicken into thin strips (cook’s tip: slice it while it’s still slightly frozen and you’ll get really even strips) and threw it in a wok with some garlic and a couple of shots of cooking spray.

When the chicken was brown on both sides, I threw the frozen veggies and a teaspoon of olive or vegetable oil. I added a few shakes of soy sauce. I stirred it around until the chicken is cooked through. I added the cashews and stirred to mix in. Finally, I added a few pinches of corn starch and stirred it in (see why they call it stir fry??) to thicken the sauce slightly.

You can serve your stir fry over brown rice. I usually skip the rice to save on carbohydrates.

One word of caution: Don’t overcook the veggies, especially if you plan to reheat leftovers. Frozen veggies only need a few minutes to warm up, so make sure the chicken is cooked pretty well before adding them.

Nutrition facts will vary depending on the ingredients. The easiest way to figure it out is add up all the calories, fat, carbs, protein, etc. in the entire dish and then divide by the number of servings. A good rule of thumb is 2-3 oz of meat and a cup of veggies per serving.

Your turn: What’s your favorite ingredients for stir fry?


Smacking down snacking 01/23/2012

Filed under: snacking smart — Diabetic Diva @ 11:13 am
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I think I may have mentioned this before, but I like to snack. In front of the television, curled up with a book, hanging out with friends, driving, sitting at my desk — you name it and I see it as an opportunity for snacking. This might be why I have 75 pounds to shed.

To make matters worse, my favorite snacks are usually junk food. Every week, I buy fruits and veggies in an attempt to at least save on calories by snacking on fresh, healthy foods. And every week, I rummage through the cabinets and the fridge to find the high-carb, high-fat, no-nutritional-value-at-all snacks.

One question you may be asking is — Why buy it if you shouldn’t eat it? And the only answer I can give you is: I HAVE A PROBLEM, OK? STOP JUDGING ME!(I’m kidding. Kind of.)

So what’s a fat girl to do? Well, SparkPeople.com has a list of smart snack ideas. And I’m happy to say that some of my new go-to snacks are on the list: Pickles, hard boiled eggs and slices of lunchmeat.

But I think I’ll go one further and make this a new rule: Every time I get the urge to snack, I’ll start out with a piece of fresh fruit or some veggies and some protein instead of automatically reaching for the family size bag of Cool Ranch Doritos.

Your turn: What’s your favorite healthy snack?


More Paula Deen musings 01/21/2012

All week, I’ve been reading a lot about Paula Deen’s big reveal. I came across this Friday afternoon on SparkPeople.com and I think it made a lot of good points.

To quote from the article: “f you consume high-fat, high-calorie and high-sodium foods and snacks often, you increase your risks of heart disease and diabetes. This is true whether you are enjoying Paula Deen’s Southern cooking, frequently selecting fast-food burgers, or snacking on bags of chips.”

Too true. The article also has a lot of good tips for diabetics who are newly diagnosed or (like me) haven’t been taking the diagnosis very seriously. I know my A1C number isn’t great, but I didn’t know what the number is that I should be shooting for. (For the record, it’s anything under 7). There might be some of you out there that don’t know what an A1C number is.



Overcoming all or nothing 01/20/2012

I have a confession to make. I am a perfectionist.

Now, I know I don’t look like it. I need to lose 75 pounds and I could probably spend a little more time in the mirror before I leave for work in the mornings. Or, you know, at least make sure there aren’t any visible stains on my shirt.

I guess calling myself a perfectionist isn’t quite accurate. Really, I use the excuse of perfectionism to throw in the towel when I come up against any tiny setback or obstacle on my way to losing weight and getting healthy.

I’m sure some of you know what I’m talking about. Here’s a couple of choice quotes from the voice in my head:

o You already ate that bag of chocolate this morning. You blew it. So it doesn’t matter what you do for the rest of the day, you big fat failure.

o You can’t make it to the gym today. The day is ruined anyway, so why bother even trying to eat right?

And on and on. Here’s a little nugget of truth, though: It takes 3,500 calories to gain a pound. I’ll pause for a moment to let that … uh … digest.

Come to mama, you big doughy ball of calories

That’s a lot of calories. I’m trying to eat between 2,000 and 2,500 calories a day (I’m fat, so I get to eat more and still lose weight. Woo!). So to gain a pound (a pound!), you have to eat more than an extra day’s worth of food.

Let’s be honest. I can probably plow through 3,500 calories in a day. Take me to the boardwalk at Ocean City, Maryland and I could probably do it in a couple of hours. (Mmmhhh … funnel cake. Mmmhhh …. saltwater taffy. Mmmmhhhh …. margaritas….. Oh, you’re still here. Uhhh, hello.)

Knowing that 3,500 calories makes one pound puts that 300-calorie screwup between breakfast and lunch in perspective. I’m not saying I can screw up every day. But one screwup, especially one that I can defuse quickly, shouldn’t ruin my whole week. And I’m going to focus on that the next time I’m feeling defeated about that doughnut that jumped into my mouth at work.

Your turn: What’s one of your biggest struggles as you try to lose weight? What are some strategies you use to combat them?


Finding some friends 01/19/2012

I want to thank all of you readers for stopping by and listening to my musings about health, eating, working out and living life as a young diabetic. I appreciate especially the comments and likes. It’s nice to know I’m not just typing from a black hole in space.

One blog I’ve discovered through the comments is Diabetic in Denial, whose author is so similar to me and my experiences it’s scary. I hope she’ll continue to post about her successes and setbacks. It helps to read about someone who is in the same boat.

I’ve also really been enjoying Fat Chick Fed Up, especially a recent post about how much success she and her husband have enjoyed on the scales. She’s been an inspiration to me, and I wish her all the best.

Finally, Mindful Eating Mama has a lot of very thoughful posts about eating. Her post on keeping a food journal and not writing down the “bad food” she eats — like it won’t count if it’s not put to paper — is something I do ALL THE TIME.

Your turn: Are there any other health/fitness blogs out there that I shouldn’t miss?


Tackling breakfast 01/18/2012

Filed under: cooking,Goals — Diabetic Diva @ 9:06 am
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I am not a morning person. I prefer to stay up late and get up late. Luckily, I’m in a job that allows me to do this most days.

The drawback of keeping much the same schedule since my college days is that eating a healthy breakfast is a challenge. When I don’t get up and about until 10 a.m., it seems easier to wait an hour and just have an early lunch instead.

I also find myself rushing in the morning, so I don’t have time to cook breakfast. Most of the “grab and go” breakfast foods on the market are full of carbs and sugar, and I feel like I crave sugary stuff all day if I eat something really sweet in the morning.

I have a couple of breakfasts I enjoy, including Hungry Girl’s Egg Mug recipes (check ’em out, they’re terrific), and a double serving of trail mix (remember to watch those carbs). To stave off boredom, though, I thought I’d go on a hunt to see what else is out there. This is one of the recipes I found at Better Homes and Gardens.

A few notes: This serves two. I modify the recipe to cook it for one and use one large egg and 1/4 cup of egg substitute or egg white (I like Egg Beaters). By using only half the cheese and canadian bacon the recipe calls for, it ends up about the same totals for nutrition facts. I also add in some mushrooms, spinach or tomato to get at least a partial serving of veggies, which does change the calories and carb content a little.

Your turn: What do you usually eat for breakfast?

What you’ll need:

1 egg

2 egg whites

1 and 1/2 oz Canadian-style bacon, finely chopped

4 and 1/2 teaspoons of water

1 tablespoon fresh chives

pinch of salt

cooking spray

1 large pita round

1/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese

1. In a small bowl, beat together egg, egg whites, Canadian bacon, water, chives and salt.

2. Lightly coat a nonstick skillet with cooking spray. Over medium heat, add egg mixture to skillet. Cook without stirring until eggs begin to set on the bottom and around the edge. Using a spatula or large spoon, lift and fold the partially cooked eggs so the uncooked portion flows underneath. Continue cooking 2 minutes or until eggs are cooked through but glossy and moist. Remove from heat.

3. Cut pita bread in half crosswise. Fill pita halves with egg mixture. Sprinkle with cheese.

Servings: 2

Nutrition per serving

Calories: 233

Fat: 9 g

Carbs: 18

Dietary fiber: 1 g

Protein: 18 g