Wednesday, April 27, 2011

the ever presence of diabetes

i just want to start by thanking you all for your support for my new diabetic youtube channel - i have been overwhelmed with your kindness and comments - and i'm so glad you all liked the new dark chocolate mousse recipe 

now onto today's topic: the ever presence of diabetes.

jasmine of wonderful diabetes blog silver lined recently wrote a post about how many times in one day she thinks about diabetes. she documented it for a day, just to see how frequently she had to think about something related to D. and the post is LONG. like seriously, very long. 

and i figured i couldn't help but agree - i probably think about it a similar amount of time. i can't help but be aware of it...each time my body twinges, or i get thirsty or tired, or am about to drive or do exercise, i think about my sugar levels. 

but i am SO glad that i do! i can't tell you how many other diabetics i've come across who pretend that they are non-diabetic and can do and eat whatever they like, but then end up in hospital or with a sky high hbA1c or with horrible complications at a young age. 

i tell you, i'd rather be aware of all that's going on, because when i am, i feel empowered, i feel strong... i think that it might be possible to have kids one day, and that i might live free of complications in the future.

and that's what all the work is for... it's investment into a healthy future.

so, no matter if i check my bg level every two hours, and i make sure i drink enough and spend time preparing meals so i know how much and what type of carbohydrate is in something. so what if i'm the person that orders oddly at the restaurant, or the guest who brings a salad to a host's dinner party, or the woman who has to go out for a walk when everyone else is sat relaxing.

there's a lot of people in the DOC and even doctor's that will tell you that you don't have to live a different life when you have diabetes. but my own experience tells me that this isn't true - the more i tried to be 'normal' the less healthy i became, and the more frustrated and depressed i was. 

it was only through accepting my diabetes, and managing it properly - to a point when it's actually a joy to check your level because you know it will be a good number not bad - that i have come to feel better, look better and not be afraid of what the future holds for me.

and yes, it can be annoying to live with it everyday - especially as it's pretty invisible to others - but i think all the effort you put in is totally worth it. so give yourself a pat on the back and feel truly blessed to be alive and thriving! and be grateful that you can walk, talk, eat, smile and enjoy life!

Monday, April 18, 2011

divine dark chocolate mousse recipe

hi everyone! today i have a very wonderful and low carb recipe for you all - it's been such a brilliant recipe to have in my own arsenal, and it's one that i love to use when other people come round for dinner, because everyone enjoys it!

it's rich and creamy, has about 10g of carbs a serving, 5g protein and 20g fat (that's me approximating...and it'll vary depending on what quantities and brands you use) and there's only 3 ingredients: dark chocolate, cream and eggs. you can add a little butter if you choose, and other flavourings or toppings to jazz it up a little.

the other thing i like about this recipe is just how easy it is to make! so so simple - you just need an electric whisk and a few bowls. and it's quick too - about 15 minutes, and then you can just keep it in your fridge until you need to serve it - how convenient?

anyways, without further ado, here is the recipe video on my diabetic youtube channel, notjustapples:

please leave me a comment and let me know what you think...

Friday, April 15, 2011

a diabetes camp for adults

so, i was wondering today about diabetes retreat centres and camps for adults. i never went to any diabetes camps as a child, but i always kind of wish i had - and i think of what an encouraging place it would be...

there's this post on tudiabetes about adult camps, and i just think that there's so many people looking for it, that it basically kinda warrants someone to come up with a solution...

during the past few months it's been wonderful to have the support of fellow type 1's on this blog and on tudiabetes, and i've learnt so much! and i guess i just wish i could meet other diabetics in real life to talk things through with even more. and a place where i could learn new recipes, or be encouraged to exercise more.

i've always liked the idea of a holiday where all my needs are taken care of, and i could eat EVERYTHING on the menu (how awesome would that be?). or like a cooking holiday in france which incorporated gentle bike rides to the local market to pick up fresh produce.

the only thing is that i'm not a dietician, or a diabetic nurse, or a landowner. at the moment anyway. so, even though i love the idea, it's not exactly within my power to begin it - as much as my entrepreneurial spirit might want to!

so, before i get carried away, and start searching for appropriate land space in france, please chime in and tell me your opinion... is there one in europe that i've just never heard of? or is there a great one elsewhere in the world that i should really visit?

and just for fun, in your dreams, what would you want the perfect adult diabetes camp to be like?

health and happiness 

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

weekly menu plan # 1

so, i thought i'd start a new series sharing with you the things that i've eaten throughout my week, linking you to tasty recipes and displaying photos for you to see what it looks like...

i was inspired by primal kitchen - i think it's really interesting to see how other people balance out their menus, and what they make with their produce... not that i'm saying i've got healthy eating 'sorted', i'm very much in the experimentation stage with how much carbs/protein/fat i feel best eating - but it's fun to figure it out. and i LOVE food... so what better post series to start?

i've also let you know how many total carbs i've eaten each day, what exercise i did, and what my control was like that day (and why)...

♥ day 1:
b - porridge (1/4 cup oats, 1/4 cup milk, 1/4 cup water) with a dsp homemade apple sauce with cinnamon
s - banana
l - chopped salad (tomatoes, cucumber, radish, spring onion, herbs) hummus, broccoli and oven baked sardines with thyme butter sauce. followed by two slices of tinned peach
d - homemade vegetable soup with 1 slice of homemade bread
s - homemade granola with greek yogurt, peanut butter and half a pear

total carb intake: 95g
exercise: dog walking 45 mins, shopping 30 mins, baking 90mins.
bg control: excellent! no levels over 10mmol/dl

♥ day 2:
b - 1/2 banana, 2 eggs, 2 rashers bacon and a mug of green tea with lemon
s - apple and a slice of homemade bread
l - tinned chilli pilchards with yogurt on top, and courgette + leeks with herbes de provence, and leftover salad from the previous day
d - sausage, broccoli + petits pois, sweet potato fries. 2 squares of dark chocolate.
s - pear sauce, peanut butter and homemade granola

total carb intake: 80g
exercise: dog walking 45 mins
bg control: went high in the afternoon due to set bruising

♥ day 3:
b - porridge (as before) with linseeds and a dsp homemade pear sauce
s - olives with anchovies and half a cheddar & watercress scone
l - sausage, sweet potato mash and mixed veg. yoghurt and 1tsp granola
d - 1/2 slice toast topped with scrambled egg, ham and mushrooms
s - yoghurt, granola and raspberries

total carb intake: 85g 
exercise: 2.5 hrs shopping, 1hr dog walk ( we also spent the day with a 18month old child, which took loads of energy!)
bg control: excellent! no levels over 10mmol

♥ day 4:
b - coconut flour banana waffles, cream and pear sauce
l - roast chicken, broccoli, cauliflower, courgettes and gravy. chocolate mousse.
s - leftover dark chocolate mousse
d - avocado salad with rocket, spinach, tomatoes, radish + bell peppers. olives, yoghurt and dill dip and dill pickled herring.
s - granola and peanut butter

total carb intake: 100g
exercise: 30mins singing, 15 mins dog walk
bg control: went up to 11.1 in afternoon (lack of exercise?!)

♥ day 5:
b - 1 slice homemade bread toasted with low sugar jam
>s - banana
l - mushroom and avocado salad at Pizza Express (the Bosco)
d - chicken stir fry with veggies
s - granola, yoghurt and banana

total carb intake: 60g
exercise: 45 min dog walk
bg control: horrific! went up to 19.9, due to a new set change that decided to fail on me, and a funeral in the afternoon that had me distracted.

♥ day 6:
b - 1 egg, 2 rashers of bacon
l - aubergine and courgette lasagna. yoghurt, granola and pear sauce.
s - cheese + hummus
d - chicken salad with sauerkraut, crispbread and hummus
s - homemade low carb chocolate brownies (these weren't great, but we still ate them the next few days!)

total carb intake: 50 
exercise: dog walking 30mins, baking 1hr 
bg control: slight rollercoaster due to previous day's disaster, which meant that i was so dozy i didn't have enough energy to do much and i forgot to bolus for dinner. 

♥ day 7: 
b - mushroom scramble with 1 egg, 1 rasher bacon, cheese and dill.
s - olives and cheese
l - lamb vegetable curry. yogurt and chocolate brownies (as before)
s - ham + hummus
d - mint, ham, avocado, mozzarella salad with sauerkraut. brownie
s - cheese, olives + hummus

total carb intake: 50g
exercise: dog walking 1.5 hrs
bg control: mostly good, though went up to 13.2mmol/dl before i changed my set in the afternoon.

so there you have it, a week in the life of me - hopefully that'll make you all feel more normal! and hopefully you'll see an improvement over the coming months...

Monday, April 11, 2011

dr bernstein's diabetes solution review

after having recently heard about the amazing Dr. Richard Bernstein (not to be mistaken with Stanley, as i did, oops) via the tudiabetes forums, we bought a copy of his book, the Diabetes Solution.

well, for starters, here's my full review on my new yt channel - read on for a written review:

there are a mixed variety of opinions on the great Dr B - but i undeniably believe that this book will be of help to all diabetics, no matter what type or what age, there is something to be learnt in there.

it's really helped me to straighten out my sugar levels. and even though i don't follow the strictness of his diet or exercise, i have found that reducing my carb intake (which is one of the key factors in his book) has been amazing for creating almost 'non-diabetic' type days.

in my research before reading the book, all the diabetics seemed to give exceptionally positive reviews, claiming lower hbA1c's, more energy and better levels. most of the negative criticism came from medical professional's, who criticised the book for being hard to stick to and unbalanced - i guess you need the motivation of bad levels and emerging symptoms of complications to get you to try something slightly out of the ordinary. but it is working for me - albeit in a slightly more higher carb way (he advocates 30, i eat about 50-100g a day, depending on my level of exercise)

he's got some great things to say about the chinese restaurant effect (or the sunday roast dinner effect, as i have nicknamed it), the law of small numbers and how to cope with exercise.

after reading his book, i felt slightly convicted at my overeating when i go low, and have changed my approach to this. which has been marvellously helpful - i sit, eat a dextrose sweet, then ascertain what sort of snack i need to raise my bg up just enough to bring it in range - a half apple? a crispbread with low sugar jam? a few raspberry liqorice? so, instead of eating everything in sight and then going high, which used to be the case, i now have a much more sensible approach.

i do take all 'health' books i read with a pinch of salt. i know it's not sensible to stuff my body with artificial sweeteners, or processed foods, or lots of meat - all of which he advocates. and i think it's still important to make sure i get enough calories (i can't afford to lose weight really!), although now it's more about good olive oil, fish, nuts, yogurt, butter, avocado, lentils, oats and eggs.

and thanks to all of you who have subscribed to my diabetic youtube channel already, and asked me questions, requested videos or commented, i hope this will turn into an awesome resource for other diabetics and their families, so you are all 's.

Friday, April 08, 2011

a happy doctor

i recently went for a visit at my local hospital to see my specialist. i've only seen him twice before, as i was previously at an extra-specialist centre a lot further away from my home.

i had my doubts about moving back to my local hospital - i had a few unpleasant experiences there as a teenager, and i was concerned that they wouldn't understand insulin pumps (or type 1 diabetes for that matter, if i'm honest) but, so far so good, my fears have not been realised!

the nurses weighed me (lost 3 pounds, uh oh) and took my blood pressure (it was perfect!) and inspected my chart results from previous tests (kidneys = fine, cholesterol = fine, etc, etc = all fine!)

then to see the specialist. i must admit that i have been so excited lately about how low carb has been going, that i was worried that i wouldn't make any coherent sense to the doctor, and that he would tell me off for reducing carbs, losing weight and having ketones once in a while. i got all my facts prepared, readied a speech for the moment when he furrowed his brow in confusion, and... it wasn't necessary.

the doctor was just generally happy with what i was doing - as long as i'm not going low too frequently, and i'm treating them properly when i am, he seems happy. i think i just must appear to be trying hard (which i am, but that's not the point) and i must seem to know what i'm doing (which is flattering, but still, that's not the point).

what about all those other people who appear to be doing well but actually aren't? i have some insight, because for basically a decade i was eating 'normally' and exercising very infrequently, and my doctor's would always be happy that:
a) i turned up to the appointment
b) i had my glucose logs filled in
c) i didn't have any major complications
d) i sounded like i cared

hey well, i suppose that as long as you are trying then there's nothing more they can do. i mean, they can't exactly follow you around your house doing your tests and measurements for you, right? nope, that has to come from you - doctor's can only help so far.

and so i conclude to like my doctor very much. his positivity gives me hope.

his thoroughness was good too. he answered all my questions simply, accurately and tried his hardest.

i only wish he'd recommend some books. and i also wish that when i mentioned Dr. Bernstein he hadn't have looked so puzzled and asked 'who?' (yes, seriously, just like Kev! - he had no idea about the Dr or the Diabetes Solution, hmm).

and bonus... i received a new bright pink OneTouch Ultra Easy ♥


i've recently uploaded a few pages on the top tab - check them out for more detailed info about my diabetes care. and especially have a look at the hbA1c graph which will hopefully give you an idea of my level of control... it's a work in progress.

Tuesday, April 05, 2011

breakfast scramble recipe

the perfect breakfast to start any day - a delicious vegetable and bacon egg scramble with dill and a little cheese. i've been having these fairly frequently at breakfast, but also at lunch and dinner - they are a perfect combination of flavours, and you can adjust them to whatever vegetables, herbs or spices you like - you can even add different meats, cheeses, or fish to the recipe too! all you really need are the eggs