Product Review

Time to share some favorites with you that are not readily available at some grocery stores, but are worth searching out if you want to take the time to do so. Lily’s brand chocolates are sweetened with stevia and are without the chemical aftertaste. My wife makes a chocolate chip cookie dough using this brand and it is delicious without the overload on the blood sugars. (I will be posting that recipe at some point) I found these items at Tailor Made Nutrition which is a store that is all about being gluten free, but I went there because they sell these products. The bars are 38 to 42 carbs for the ENTIRE bar (2.8 to 3 ounce). They can be eaten as is or chopped up into a recipe or melted to made other delicious treats.

We are just entering the spring time here and for us that means iced coffee, that is the reason for the stevia drops. Added to the glass first, stevia drops mix well when the coffee is poured over the ice. If you try any of these products, please let me know how you liked them.

 

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Yes, I am still here….

The tune of the blog is about to change here due to the requirement that information about the trials at Faustman be held private. My wife thought it a good idea to possibly talk about how our routine helps me to live life even with the constraints of having diabetes, share recipes for some of my favorites, and ask for your input on which recipes you would like made in a healthier manner without giving up delicious taste. Please feel free to respond to her here, she likes the input!

My wife has told me many times that my having type one has helped her to be healthier. Odd concept, I know, but her explanation made sense to me. She said helping me to improve my dad-to-day numbers and overall A1C meant she was healthier as well. Because my numbers are showing less fluctuation as evidenced by my doctor visits 3 or 4 times a year, this meant she was probably having less fluctuation as well. While she does not have either form of diabetes, her goals for health and nutrition have helped me to live a less drab life when it comes to her making food that is not only palatable, but delicious. Last night she made chicken-mushroom curry that was amazing, low carb, low fat, and extremely low in sodium (less than 300 mg for the entire batch!) She is currently working on a e-cookbook that will be low sodium and have full macros counted for each recipe. Again, feel free to respond to her with any requests for healthy recipes.

Below is a picture and the recipe of the chicken-mushroom curry with a few shreds of mozzarella atop. Somewhere below that is a small serving of Jasmine rice.

Chicken Mushroom Curry

Recipe for Easy Curry Sauce:

2 Butternut squash, peeled and seeds removed, cut into large cubes

4 Granny Smith apples, medium size, peeled and cut into cubes

3 Onions, medium, peeled and cut into chunks

Put all into a large bowl and toss with:

1 Tablespoon of olive oil

1 tsp black pepper

1 tsp of no salt seasoning (Mrs. Dash or Trader Joe’s 21 seasoning salute)

Roast for approximately 40 minutes at 425º until very tender

Remove from oven and puree in processor or high speed blender

Pour into a pan over medium heat and add:

1 cup plain, fat free Greek yogurt

1 cup unsweetened almond milk (can use coconut milk/water here)

Add more liquid if desired.

Add:

2 Tbsp curry

1 Tbsp garlic

2 Tbsp turmeric

1 tsp red pepper

1 tsp smoked paprika

Simmer on low for 15 minutes and add more seasoning if desired.

Enjoy!

 

 

 

 

How’s that change working for you?

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Hello everyone, indeed, I am still here. I have not yet traveled to Boston for my first appointment but have been assured I will be contacted shortly. They have requested that I do not share any confidential study information regarding what may or may not be occurring with these injections so I will not be able to share photos or my experience until the FDA discloses the results of the trial. That’s a bit of a downer, but totally understandable.

I included these two pictures in today’s post, one is of the fall colors  here in Minnesota, I love the fall here, but also know winter is coming….booo. This picture was sent to me by a friend who lives by the  Mississippi River, she did an outstanding job! The second picture my wife sent to me and because I thought it was hysterical, included it for you to enjoy!

As the seasons change here in Minnesota, my thoughts go to the idea of change. What causes such resistance in people to the idea they ought to participate  in change? What I mean by change is not changing the channel on your tv or changing your mind about what you want to eat, when you want to sleep etc. I am talking about sustainable change. One in which it causes you to shift your paradigms or even your dogma. In the diabetic world it is understanding that a cure for diabetes is not just a better treatment or transplant. That a lifestyle change is required for better management of the disease. Understanding and tolerating differing viewpoints and experiences. For those who do not have diabetes I liken it to our weird spiritual beliefs. Are we interested in learning the truth or more of the truth and change our beliefs than just vomiting our beliefs and leaving in a huff if others do not  conform to my beliefs?  Are we willing to walk away from a greater understanding of truth simply because it is too difficult to change our beliefs? Are we all insane? How does approaching the same problems in our lives, with the same ‘solutions’ expecting a better result fly?

I teach a master’s level class in Organization change management. I have challenged my students, all adult learners, to view change as an iterative, internal process, that eventually moves one to make external changes. I have learned through the years, sustained change requires my participation in the change process. What I mean by iterative is it repeats often. I am not to insist on conformity so I am made comfortable by others changes. I must change with everyone and understand where the fear of change comes from. I do not believe most adult learners comprehend participation in change, most just want to be shown a model of change and make external changes to comply, this is not change. It has been my experience in the change process that I must be made aware a change needs to take place, I then must understand that I have to participate in the change process to change, then I am ready to make a change, I am actively researching how I am going to make the change in my life, then I make the change, how well I surround myself with support through this critical phase determines if I am able to sustain the change, ultimately changing  my dogma or paradigm.

One of my paradigm shifts is in understanding the nature of my disease and the impact it presents itself on me. As I have crossed over the 50 year old plateau a few years back, I have noticed some changes in my disease. Notably, I am having more difficulty managing my blood glucose more frequently. At first I resisted the idea I am going to have to agressively treat my glucose spikes with different settings and elimination of certain items in my diet….something I continue to work on. But ultimately, for me, the older I get the harder it will become to adequately manage this disease. This works on my brain because I do not want to revamp my entire life to accomodate the needs of this stupid disease. However; change dictates I am to participate in the needs of my body to remain healthy. I so understand why so many people give up on managing their diabetes and chase their blood glucose readings each day. I have been doing this the past couple of weeks.  But it is not the healthy way to live.  Even though I “know” a lot about my disease, I do not hold all the truth about this disease and I must participate in changing what I have come to know about the effects this disease has on my body.

As the old Star Trek show said, “resistance is futile.” How I adapt to sustained change will literally save my life.  For you non-diabetics, perhaps re-examining your dogma might reveal some flaws in your understanding of what is and allow an opportunity for growth through a sustained change….you never know!

A short update…

Well, the waiting game still continues. I heard from Faustman Labs last week stating they are going to contact me sometime in the next few weeks to schedule a visit within the next year. Okay, that told me just about nothing. They are going to schedule a time to come out sometime in the future.  Big. long. sigh. I have been told that patience is a virtue…my question is for whom?

Overall it isn’t that bad, I am busy teaching graduate level courses and enjoy it very much.  I find the waiting becoming a bit easier as the days roll by; I mean what good does it do to become impatient? The phase 2 trials will start when they start. It was my birthday last week and as I zero in on my 20th anniversary of having T1D’s I really do feel pretty good. Other than getting older chronologically, my overall health is good, I am more content now than I have ever been in my life. One of my greatest struggles in my younger life was this issue of impatience. I wanted everything yesterday then was upset because I got what I thought I wanted…hmmm something fundamentally wrong with this picture.  However; having T1D’s has taught me that things just will be what they will be. Me getting uptight about it just adds to the stress in my life and in those around me. It has taught me to be so very thankful when my health is good and to be patient when my health stumbles a bit. I have slowed my life down to be able to enjoy the simple things in life.

I was walking down a walking path recently and came upon this:image

I stood still for about 3 or 4 minutes. These white tail deer did not see me or notice me. They just grazed and moved slowly about. It was an awesome moment of watching nature and not intruding in the lives of these deer. They, of course, finally saw me and ran into the woods, along with six or seven of their buddies just out of the frame. I was so close to each of them as they ran around me, my breath was taken away from me. I have never been this close to deer before. It was an amazing few minutes of serenity and peace. I have had several of these moments, a week or so ago I was walking this same path and an owl flew in front of me and landed in a tree just a few feet from me. I was amazed how huge these birds are and, again, it was an interaction between the owl and me. The owl just stared at me with those huge eyes wondering what this human was doing with his mouth wide open…stupid human probably! All of this nature in the middle of the town I live in, who knew?

When we are at peace with ourselves we tend to notice the things that thrive around us, I am so happy to have this opportunity to be peaceful and be able to interact and enter into the world of nature. I am no naturalist but it is cool when nature comes into contact with humans….I think this is how it was supposed to be, originally.

So I wait for  Faustman Labs, as quietly as I can! Be well everyone, take some time to be peaceful, you won’t regret what you notice.

Transition

Being from the northern part of the United States, it is no small thing to transition from summer to fall. Knowing that winter tends to last almost 6 months, I treasure the warm sunshiny days. I love this area of the country but, admittedly, the winters are quite brutal. With the transition to fall comes some preparation to make adjustments to my diabetes care. I am not outdoors everyday walking 5-6 miles a day, the dry cold air has its affects on my BG’s. It is the bi-annual reset of my basal rate as well. All of this is part of the planning for a smooth transition into winter. Even if I am doing it kicking and screaming.

As I think about these transitions, I can’t help but think about the pending clinical trials set to begin in October. For the past 6 years the date has always been in the future, somewhere, but now it has been added to my preparation list. How will my BG’s be affected by the trials? Will I receive the BCG or the placebo? How soon will I begin to see the effects of the injection if I do get BCG? I do remember when I didn’t have Diabetes and how I just did things without worrying about low or high readings or did I forget to bring my insulin or extra food or glucose tabs or or or or or…How will I deal with this transition? I usually go with the flow and adjust pretty quickly but the knot in my stomach tells me this will be a bit more than just a little transition and adjustment. Most people would not be bothered about these things and just take it as it comes. The  truth of the matter is T1D’s cannot afford to live this way, it represents too many complications.

Yet this big knot in my stomach is also filled with a renewed sense of hope. I have never had this much hope regarding a cure, not just a treatment or a transplant, but an actual cure for this disease.  When I read about BCG treatment years ago, I made the decision that I would not be a part of anything that just treats the symptoms or uses surgery as a ‘cure’. Nothing wrong with participating in these, mind you, but unless you find the root cause of anything negative and irradicate it, you have not found a cure, it will come back. This is true in life and it definitely true in this disease. My sense of hope is that BCG will deal with the root cause of type one diabetes, the beta cells that destroy insulin producing islet cells, I would gladly trade insulin therapy for BCG therapy if it meant I no longer had to count or guess carbs. If BCG turns out to be another treatment, then so be it, but what I really hope for is a cure, as do all of my T1D’s friends and acquaintences.

I look forward to the days when I do not have to think about medical transitions, although I am getting older, I guess I would like to have the normal ‘old man’ issues than have to deal with them along with the diabetes. I want to worry about the fact that my hair is falling out, I want to be concerned which will prevail, my hair turning completely grey or falling completely out, it has been a close race so far!!!  I want to worry about the middle aged spread and battling this terrible ‘disease’! I want to eat a diet that I only have to worry about cholesterol NOT CARBS!  I do NOT want the worries to raise my BG’s anymore.

I choose to enjoy each season here in Minnesota, they are so different from one another. I have little to no control over what comes at me, but I can and do control my attitude. We choose to worry about things to the point we forget to live life. I choose never to let T1D’s dictate my life, oh don’t get me wrong, it certainly intrudes in my life, but I can choose to not worry about the moments and concentrate on the transitions. Be well everyone!

 

Another recipe: Omelette time!!!

 

 

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Morning (or anytime) Omelette

One of my  favorite treats, very easy on the bg’s…give it a go! If you do not want to use real eggs, use egg substitute or egg whites.

2 eggs
1 egg white
85 grams fresh tomato
39 grams fresh mushrooms
11 grams red onions
14 grams shredded mozzarella
Seasonings to taste

Cut veggies and onion, saute in a few tablespoons of water and season to taste. (I used turmeric, garlic, Cajun, and black pepper), drain.

Whisk eggs and egg whites and pour into a sprayed pan on medium heat. When nearly cooked, add veggies and onion, and top with half of the mozzarella cheese. Let fully cook and fold in half or thirds. Top with remaining cheese.

Calories 208
Fat 12 grams
Carbs 6 grams
Protein 20 grams
Sodium 296
Fiber 2
Sugars 4

[ Can be topped with smokey peach salsa and served with low sodium bread and peanut butter. ]

I’m still here….waiting!

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Hello everyone, it has been a while since I last posted. The reason for the silence is, nothing new has occurred. I am still sitting at my computer, waiting to hear from Faustman Lab. Their communication is slow and irratic which is not so much a problem, but tends to make the wait seem longer than it really is. This picture is one of another type of therapy for me, a fire in the chiminea, it is very relaxing and centering to light a fire and sit with your spouse to enjoy good conversation. I was fortunate to have my daughter, son-in-law, and grandchildren at our house and we got to sit on our deck and have great discussion! This is one if the best things life has to offer a sense of community with family.

Since I last posted I have been going through some major spikes in my blood sugars/bg. There was a week which I averaged over 300/16.6 and nothing I did to remedy the situation worked. I tried adjusting my basal rate, eating differently, giving larger bolus’s, even changing the sights for the cannula often. All in vain, for whatever reason, a fly farted in Argentina maybe?, no matter how I treated my T1D’s the sugars would not come down. It puzzles me that my body resists insulin, no matter how much I give it. This occurs approximately twice a year and my Endocrinologist has no idea why this occurs. Very comforting I might add! The only way I could remain emotionally stable in my thoughts and actions was I had to remain calm and continue to treat the disease as I have always done in the past. I knew if I stayed the course I would, eventually, return to normal numbers. It was very difficult to remain calm simply because you feel like horse dookie when your blood sugar readings are high and you get a bit cranky when they refuse to settle down.

Well, after 5 days my blood sugars returned to a more stable range and I am feeling much better. I have learned through out the decades that you must stay the course no matter what your numbers say in order to manage, long term, your disease. I am not sure why my body acts the way it does or why it does not want to respond to insulin treatment, but if I know I am doing the right things I will gain control once more…sooner or later. It continues to chip away at my emotional infrastructure.  I am determined to remain as healthy as I can so I can continue to be there for my grandchildren, after a week like I had, it sways the determination just a bit. It is important to me to be healthy phsically and emotionally for them and more importantly for me. During the first 5 years of my disease I spent way too much time worrying about the daily numbers instead of focusing on healthy long term management, this discipline has helped me ride the strong emotional waves of frustration when the  numbers just don’t want to cooperate. I think all of us know this type of frustration!

This clinical trial is a lifesaver ring for my emotional and physical well  being, the sooner it starts the better. It will feel good to work towards a cure for everyone! Life is simply too short to be wasting it on worrying about daily numbers…it is time for a cure.