A Farewell to Carbs

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

Plan to succeed … 03/06/2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — Diabetic Diva @ 7:32 am

After the incredible success I had on the scale last Tuesday, I had a hard time keeping it going.

I had healthy food in the fridge, but no time to eat it. Work interfered with my plans for the gym. I felt like all I was doing was responding to the next challenge and ducking the next punch.

I didn’t go to the gym as often as I wanted. Instead of packing the healthy food in my fridge, I grabbed $5 and vowed to “figure it out” when I got to the office. Yeah. That worked well … I ended up with a club sandwich and potato salad. And some chips. And a cupcake.

Then, I got home at 10 p.m. and realized I hadn’t eaten anything since 5 p.m. and my blood sugar was an alarming 82. So I *had* to eat something, which led to other somethings, until all those somethings were no longer on the shelf but in my tummy.

It’s frustrating because the week before was so awesome. I kicked ass, even had a couple of cheats and still ended up with a big win on the scale.

During a long drive Saturday night into Sunday morning, I started thinking about all the times that I’ve fallen off the wagon and all the times I haven’t acted the way I should act if I want to lose weight and get healthy.

In almost all cases, it’s a lack of planning that has derailed my movement forward. There’s that cliched saying that if you fail to plan, you plan to fail. It’s absolutely right.

For me, thinking that exercise time is non-negotiable is hard. I will and do take any excuse to skip the gym. I’d always rather have a bacon cheeseburger and fries than the salad I planned for dinner. And at least once a week, I get home and open the fridge and think to myself — there is nothing in here I want to make for dinner.

Planning is key for me, in all aspects of my life. I have two calendars that help me keep track of meetings, social events, work schedules and my extracurricular commitments. I make to-do lists on the weekend to make sure I’m using my time wisely.

But scheduling a workout or sketching out a week of meals and snacks? No thanks. I don’t like to be tied down, you know? Yes, it makes no sense. Yes, most things in my life are this way.

So I’m trying a different approach. Now my workout times are going to be right there in my dayplanner, along with my doctor’s appointments and the work meetings I need to attend. And the whiteboard hanging next to the fridge is going to be full of meal and snack ideas so I don’t decide to chuck it all and hit the drive-thru instead.

Your turn: Do you struggle with planning? What’s your biggest challenge and what strategies to cope with that?


Sweatin’ to the oldies 03/05/2012

Filed under: Uncategorized,Working out — Diabetic Diva @ 11:15 am
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Back in college, I took an advertising class where the teacher said that to market something to a particular age-group, use music they listened to in high school.

For me, that would be 90s alternative and rap. There’s just something about Coolio’s “Rollin’ With My Homies” that takes me right back to the parking lot of my high school, cranking the volume on that cute senior boy’s family Dodge before heading to a diner to eat french fries and smoke clove cigarettes. Mighty Mighty Bosstones and Everclear evoke memories of the all-day music festival I went to with a boy the summer before my junior year (and him rescuing me from a mosh pit that formed around me spontaneously).

Remember these? Neither do I ....

So when I read a story online last week about the ultimate 90s workout mix, I thought it was high time to make a new mix. Here’s what’s on my list:

1. Prodigy — Firestarter

2. Everclear — Santa Monica

3. Blind Melon — No Rain

4. Spin Doctors — Jimmy Olsen Blues

5. Garbage — Only Happy When it Rains

6. Coolio — Rollin’ With My Homies

7. Lit — My Own Worst Enemy

8. Harvey Danger — Flagpole Sitta

9. Toadies — Possum Kingdom

10. Reel Big Fish — Sell Out

11. No Doubt — Just a Girl

12. Nate Dogg — Regulate


Taking a break 02/21/2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — Diabetic Diva @ 2:14 pm
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I’m taking a week or so off from blogging to get my head on straight. I’ve been really struggling with dieting and exercise. So right now, I don’t have a lot of advice to offer. I’ll be back in a little while, hopefully with a lot more enthusiasm.


Human Guinea Pig: Blood orange-flavored Greek yogurt 02/16/2012

An occasional feature wherein Diabetic Diva reviews products that purport to help with a healthy lifestyle. She receives no compensation or sponsorship for these reviews. Curious about a product? Leave suggestions in the comments section or e-mail diabetic.diva79@gmail.com.

My brief relationship with a nutritionist back when I was first diagnosed with diabetes left me with a few take-away points. In addition to suggesting a carbohydrate maximum for each meal and snack, she told me to try and combine a carb and a protein for each snack I had. Great advice. She also turned me on to Greek yogurt.

Now, I was raised on Yoplait Light. Greek yogurt was pretty much a mystery to me. But my nutritionist gave me some coupons for Chobani brand yogurt that made it pretty much free. So I gave it a shot.

The first few flavors I tried were … not so great. The fruit-on-the-bottom kind of weirded me out because the texture was weird. There was a tang to the Greek yogurt that Yoplait didn’t have.

But fat-free Greek yogurt is creamy. It’s substantial. It feels like you are eating something decadent. So I bid farewell to ordinary yogurt and stuck to the honey flavor for years.

I eventually branched out into lemon and pineapple (which is a 2 percent Greek yogurt, so it’s creamy like WHOA! as the cool kids were recently saying). A friend had mentioned Chobani having a cinnamon-apple flavor but I’d never seen it, so I was treating it like an urban legend.  I also tried and rejected several flavors, including mango, strawberry-banana and pomegranate.

The other day, I saw my boss eating a cup of Chobani that looked a little like the pomegranate. Because I’m nosy, I asked her what flavor it was. She told me it was blood orange and that it was delicious. I was intrigued, though I stopped short of asking her for a bite.

My new BFF, blood orange

And when I made a brief trip to the fancy grocery store to get fancy tea, I walked past a display that had blood orange Chobani front and center.

I bought two. I packed the first one in my lunch Tuesday, along with some sliced strawberries and a handful of Kashi cinnamon GoLean crunch, planning to make a parfait of sorts.

Let me tell you, readers. Blood orange Chobani is AWESOME. It’s all citrusy and sweet and creamy and oh wow. I need a moment. I might have found a new favorite treat. Together with the strawberries, it was ah-may-zing. It’s worth a separate trip to the fancy grocery store once a week, and perhaps a letter-writing campaign to the corporate headquaters of my not-so-fancy normal grocery store.

Fat-free Greek yogurt has become the dieter’s darling because it has double the protein of regular yogurt, which makes you feel more satisfied and keeps you from getting hungry so quickly.

Each 6-ounce cup of the blood orange flavor has 140 calories, 0 grams of fat, 21 grams of carbs and 14 grams of protein. It’s a little too many calories to stand in for a snack, but I usually eat one as part of my lunch or as a quickie breakfast.

Rating: Four stars (out of possible four)

Cost: $1 per cup, which carries one serving

Availability/more information: http://www.chobani.com/products/where/


Give me some sugar 02/04/2012

Filed under: snacking smart,Uncategorized — Diabetic Diva @ 8:51 am
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One of my pet peeves since being diagnosed with type 2 diabetes is when someone says to me, “Ummm. Aren’t you diabetic? Should you be eating that [insert sugary treat here]?”

Hurts so good!

The myth that diabetics must cut out all forms of sugar for the rest of their sad little lives is a persistent one. And while I admit that I often go overboard on sugary treats, it’s frustrating that people think I am a “bad diabetic” when I indulge in a mini candy-bar.

Going right along with that pet peeve is another — people who think that a carb is simply sugar and high fructose corn syrup. A carb is a carb is a carb. And overdoing it on potatoes can be just as unhealthy as getting intimate with a bag of Jelly Bellys.

So when I came across this article on sugar and type 2 diabetes, I had to share. Feel free to pass it along to those misguided souls who wag their finger when they see a diabetic eating a doughnut.


Snack attack! 01/27/2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — Diabetic Diva @ 11:07 am

I’m writing this after consuming an ENTIRE BAG of combos in one sitting. Note: I feel awful after doing that. Just sluggish and tired and overly full. Bleh.

Gooey, chocolatey goodness, no fire required!

It also occurred to me as I was reading the article that makes up the point of this post that I write an awful lot about food. Go figure, right? But. BUT! On Sunday, a group of girls I hang around with are going with me to check out Zumba. I’ll definitely report back about that, if I don’t have a heart attack first.

And onward to what I meant to say when I clicked on “new post” just now. I read this article on SparkPeople.com and thought I’d share. It’s a slideshow of snacks that will satisfying your sweet tooth without busting your calorie budget. I’ve never thought about making s’mores in the microwave or stuffing a banana with peanut butter (how good would that be frozen??). But these ideas and 11 others are in the slideshow.


Your turn: What’s your favorite suggestion from the slideshow?


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?


Avoiding temptation 01/04/2012

Earlier today, I was minding my own business, making phone calls at work when I suddenly became aware of a plate of fudge sitting on a filing cabinet, directly in my line of sight.

I tried to ignore it. Every time I looked up, there it was, seeming to whisper sweet, loving nothings in my ear. “It’s only one piece, Diva. You have been working so hard, and I am so chocolately and full of walnuts and marshmallow fluff. Just give in.”

If you’ve ever worked in an office, you’ve probably had a similar scenario. So what do you do? Complain about the sugary treats in the office and you’ll be branded a killjoy. Give in and you could wreck your resolve for the whole day. And all those rationalizations about working it off at the gym aren’t really very rational at all. Depending on how much you weigh, a 300-calorie treat could take 40 minutes on the stairmaster to burn off. (Though I don’t know how accurate it is, I found this calculator online that tells you how much exercise it would take to work off certain treats.) Vowing to skip a meal isn’t very healthy, and that plan almost always backfires, doesn’t it?

So how do I resist the fudge’s siren call? Well, I looked up the calorie content of similar treats as a scare tactic. I did a quick analysis of whether the desire I felt for the treat was one caused by actual hunger or thirst. It wasn’t, but if it was, I would have broken out a healthy snack (like a cheese stick or a handful of homemade, low-carb, high-protein trail mix) or gotten a water or a diet soda from the vending machine.

I ended up taking a quick walk (very quick — it was about 10 degrees outside) as a way to redirect my focus. For me, that was enough to resist the fudge today. I’m not sure that I’ll always be able to resist the treats that sometimes appear in the office. After all, I’m still in the honeymoon stage of the getting healthy kick.

I’ve struggled most of my adult life with cravings and the aftermath of giving into cravings. When I “mess up” and eat something full of sugar and fat, I tend to consider the whole day a lost cause. All of a sudden, eating a piece of fudge or a handful of fun-size candy bars gives me license to buy the biggest sack of french fries the local fast food place carries and see how many I can cram in my mouth at once. And since I can’t seem to eat like a normal human being, I might as well skip the gym and resign myself to dying fat and alone.

What a ridiculous way of thinking. So I caved to the cookie plate. I should get back up, dust myself off and re-commit to all of the principles I’d been following. It’s a couple hundred calories. A blip, if you will, in a lifetime of healthy eating. People make mistakes.

So if you find yourself diving head-first into the cardboard box of doughnuts some well-meaning but misguided coworker has brought in, don’t despair. Get right back on the healthy bandwagon. And as revenge, bring in some carrot sticks for the whole office to enjoy tomorrow.

Your turn: What are some sugary treats that magically appear in your office? What are your strategies to resist them?