Flourless Chocolate Muffins…YUUUUUMMMMM

Excuse my muffin pan, it’s not very pretty is it lol.  But as mentioned in the last blog post, I have been working my way through various recipes, mainly found on Pinterest (if you aren’t a part of Pinterest, you really are missing out), trying to discover how to make some of my favorite foods, without the sugar spikes.  This has become increasingly more important with the addition of my pregnancy and the risks now to not just me, but my baby.

Enter these AMAZING muffins.  These pictures are from my first attempt and total pregnancy brain moment, I put 2 cups of zucchini instead of just 1, hence why they look a little deflated (they still tasted so good that I’ve made them twice since).

I have left the banana out of this recipe most of the times I make it (just as I get a ripe enough banana, someone goes through and eats it – sigh kids).  I’ve also left out the flaxseed since I never remember to buy it.  I did add salt to some of them from this batch on the top for a dark chocolate salted taste but I honestly I don’t think the salt added much and I haven’t included it since.  These took hardly any time to make too, just adding to their fabulousness.  In the time between finishing dinner and going to bed at 10 PM, including taking a walk, I had these muffins made.

For the record, I’ve tried 2 different chocolate chips in here and my absolute favorite is Kroger’s Private Selection Dark Chocolate Chips.  If you don’t have a Kroger near you, you could try a different brand, but I think the Dark Chocolate really delivers awesome flavor in these.

I seriously powered through these pretty quickly, and what’s even better is my kids liked them!  Although that meant less muffins for me…but if I can get my kids to eat muffins that don’t have refined flour or refined sugar in them, I’m going to take that as a win and keep serving them up as the calories and carbs are pretty drastically reduced from conventional muffins.

If you are like me, on the hunt for muffins that satisfy that occasional need for something decadent, but you can’t risk the sugar spike, I highly recommend you try this recipe out.  It will definitely satisfy that sweet tooth!  You can find this awesome recipe on Running With Spoons blog.  If you would like to follow me on Pinterest as I scour for more recipes to try, you can follow me here.

Until next time friends, good luck in your journey and let me know of any questions you might have!  We can figure this out together.

Love,

Kate

Little Bean

So I have these two amazing kids right?  They are funny and sweet and I could not be more blessed.  And then comes the curveball – Baby 3 is on his or her way!  (We don’t like to find out what we are having – it’s a great motivator through labor!)


Now I had gestational diabetes with both Luke and Reagan.  With Luke I was able to control it with diet and exercise until 35 or 36 weeks.  With Reagan, as soon as I hit 12 weeks I had to go on medicine.  This time, the diabetes existed prior to the baby.  I did not realize it but that presents new challenges like possible heart defects, preeclampsia and premature birth.  My A1C prior to conceiving was 6.5 and with a recent doctor appointment, when I asked about the increased risk of birth defects he said that 6.5 is a number he likes to see (YAY!!) and that he doesn’t feel I need to stress too much.  (Although looking back he could be saying that just to get me to not stress and try to ease my mind a bit…)

With finding out about this pregnancy, especially during the first trimester, controlling my sugar numbers has gotten increasingly difficult.  It is to be expected as the higher the hormone levels due to pregnancy, the more insulin resistant the body becomes.  I wonder if somehow that is to help the baby’s development?  So the mom isn’t getting all of the energy but the baby is getting some as well?  I’ll have to see what I can find on that.

Anyway, with this pregnancy, I decided to try something different.  I would like to stay on the lowest dose of medication I possibly can.  As of right now, the doctor has not increased my dose in 2 months (Double YAY!)  I’ve been through diabetes education multiple times, however, it never answered my question of “But if I stayed within my 45 gram limit, why is my blood sugar still high?”

I started cutting out what I saw spiking my sugar.  Pasta is no longer an option (so much for easy after work dinners), and as I’ve progressed, I’ve had to also cut out anything with wheat flour, corn or white potatoes.  This includes tortillas, pizza crust, muffins, you name it.  Pretty much everything I have been craving!  In my Pinterest feed, I saw Paleo and Keto diet items and up until now I never really paid much attention.  Then I read into these diets a bit more and realized I was already practicing them!  I have now found recipes for chocolate chocolate chip muffins (one of my absolute favorites) that only cost me 15 grams of carbs and even with those carbs, they don’t spike my sugar at all.  I plan to start linking to these recipes so you too can find something that works for you and allows you to still have a little fun in your diet!

I will be 100% honest that this has not been an easy journey.  I get mad about how much time I spend figuring out what I can eat and what I can’t eat and sometimes I just WISH that my body gets that we are straying off course for ONE BITE so maybe it could not overreact with a 150+ blood sugar number?  But no, evidently it doesn’t work that way.  At any rate, we are going to stay this course and pray that with all the hard work a healthy baby will show up in March.

I encourage you to take a look at Paleo and Ketogenic diets – I know they don’t sound fun but trust me in that they are effective.  I can definitely detail more in coming posts for all of you but this post is already pretty long!  Until we get deeper into that, I wish you strength in your journey to overcome diabetes – we can do this!

Love,

Kate

Control

I have practiced yoga for 5 years now, ranging from a beginners practice to prenatal with my daughter to a higher level vinyasa to my current favorite, paddleboard yoga.  Control is a fundamental part of yoga – learning to control your breath while the body is stressed and keeping the breath even flows into so many other parts of your life.  I have become a better wife, mother and employee, simply through my practice.  The thought occurred to me that even when I am working on a deep hip opener and focusing to control my breath, I can keep my breath steady and even, so why is blood sugar so much harder to control?

I have touched on the topic of control in some of my other blog posts, but recently I have been thinking that I should really look harder.  

I don’t have any sort of health, medicine or dietetics degree, so I fully admit that I don’t completely understand all the intricacies of the body.  I do understand that hormones and chemical reactions in the body can vary from day to day, but if I’m holding up my end and only eating my 30-45 grams of carbs at a time, shouldn’t my body have to hold up it’s end and not have high blood sugar?

That’s where I end up with the control questions.  What if you are doing EVERYTHING in your power to keep your blood sugar down?  What if you exercise and eat right and work on controlling your stress and there are still the high readings that you can’t explain?  There’s a saying that you can’t control what happens to you but you can control your reaction – well that doesn’t exactly work here either.  You feel like you are in a constant battle with yourself and your body is fighting SO HARD for that high sugar.  

You feel as if you have lost control.  How do you get that control back?  Will it ever come back?  Why, when you control every morsel that touches your lips, every step you take, every bead of sweat trying to drive your health level up, does it just not work?

I don’t know about you, but I struggle with these questions a lot.  I don’t just think about the average, but I experience guilt when I see that high reading because I let myself have a doughnut (approximately 33 carbs) instead of my 2 eggs and a slice of toast (18 carbs) for a breakfast treat.  I wonder if I will ever be able to just enjoy a slice of birthday cake instead of wondering what it’s going to do to my sugar today…

I understand that I could have it much worse, but it is a battle just the same.  I don’t want this disease to cut my life short or degrade my quality of life so that I don’t get to see or experience all that I have planned.

So I fight for control.  And I fight for answers.  And while I fight…

Breathe in…2….3….4

Breathe out…2….3….4

Where to start

Sooooo it’s been a while.  My apologies on that – I started a new job and I’m sure you know how getting into a new routine can be…
I meant to post about my Flying Pig time.  I have been running the half marathon since my son was born.  My best time was that year….until this year.  I beat my PR by 8 minutes!!  I was so excited, I could not believe I had not only accomplished that goal, but I had done so with such a large chunk taken off!  

I used GU during the race to make sure I didn’t have an issue with my blood sugar (although recently it seems my liver just dumps sugar whenever it wants so I am more than likely running high as opposed to getting too low).  I also trained with one day a week just seeing how fast I could run 2 miles.  The fastest I did it in was 18:30.  For the record I have not been able to recreate that speed.

At the same time, it makes me wonder what exactly my body is doing.  I exercise a good amount.  I run a half marathon once a year.  So how is it that my body doesn’t know how to use insulin?  If at 35 it’s forgetful…well we have a problem there now don’t we?  Don’t get me wrong, I’m curious.  By day I am an analyst – I ask why and find answers in data only to ask more questions and find more answers.  I just feel like these answers aren’t straightforward, nor do they make sense.

So of course I start googling (my doctor will probabaly regret taking me as a patient someday due to the questions).  I found this new technology where it takes a glucose reading every 5 minutes.  Doesn’t that sound amazing?  Think of what you could do with that data!  Especially paired with a fitness tracker (which I need a new one, mine broke)…think of what you could figure out about how your body works!

Then that leads to the question of if insurance covers it (probably not – they don’t even like paying for the non generic test strips am I right?) which then leads me to wonder what it takes to start an insurance company where the stuff that would help people be proactive would actually be covered….

But that’s probably another topic for another post…

I can see the finish!!


My forever running partner (except that he finishes usually 45 minutes before I do lol) and I!!  #itwasfreeeeeeezing 

Chip Substitute

Kinda – sometimes you need a salty treat.  My husband loves potato chips.  They don’t really work out so well for me.  I decided I would try to come up with a just as delicious alternative. (I know what you’re saying – “Get real Kate – a healthy substitute for the deliciousness that is potato chips?  Check your blood sugar hon!”). Hear me out.

Heard of daikon?  Maybe…have you used it?  I did once or twice in a stir fry – it was ok, pretty much took on the flavor of whatever I was cooking, but overall definitely doable.  Our CSA (community supported agriculture) Finn Meadows Farm recently had some and so it found its way back to our fridge again.

In pursuit of a salty snack that would not send my blood sugar sky rocketing for the rest of the day, I decided to give the daikon a whirl – after all people make chips out of kale.  Plus daikon is supposed to help insulin resistance – double win.


I sliced the daikon (in my second attempt I sliced thinner) and laid the slices on a single layer on a foil covered baking sheet.  I then drizzled olive oil over them.  For the entire sheet I used 3 table spoons of oil and honestly probably could have gotten away with 2 if I had not been rushing.  Topped with garlic powder and tumeric (you know that super spice you have been hearing about) I roasted them on 350 for a good 20 minutes and then kept checking every few minutes for when they started to brown.  Once they came out, I sprinkled sea salt on them.

Um delish.  I know I made them and everything but even if I didn’t they were still awesome.  I literally had to hide some from my husband so he wouldn’t eat them all!  The only piece I’m trying to work out is how to get them to dry out a bit more.  Any suggestions are welcome!

One radish does have ~15 grams of carbs per 7 inches according to a nutrition calculator I found online.  The glycemic load however is about 3 according to the same site.

In The Right Direction

I’ve been on this journey for what, 4.5 months?  September, October, November, December and now January.  I thought I ate healthy – but I was totally mistaken on my portion sizes.  Focusing on counting everything and determining safe go-to’s to get back on the delicate balance I’ve hit has been time consuming and sometimes frustrating.  My A1C in September was 6.9.

My results from Friday – 6.8.  Such a small change, but it’s so rewarding.  It means that the hard work and focus and talking myself out of a Grande Flat White have not been in vain.  It means that I can get back to a normal A1C.  But does that mean then that I’m diabetes free?

I probably won’t go back to my former eating habits – I notice a difference when my sugar is right.  I might give into an indulgence here or there – but nothing too crazy.  I will probably never consider myself diabetes free.  I would think that if I eat the wrong foods, I’m just as insulin resistant as I currently am while trying to get this under control.

After my son was born, my sugar seemed to go back to normal quite quickly, but after my daughter, it seemed like insulin resistance might be something to watch.  But I also didn’t exercise as much.  Running hasn’t been as much of a consistency in my life.  My sugar was amazing Saturday after my 3 mile run.  Even after this fantastic meal at 20 Brix with my super supportive husband.

So maybe the hard work is getting me somewhere.  Maybe I just can hit that A1C of under 6.5 I’m shooting for.  Even if it takes me another 12 months, I’m willing to try for it.  I want to be healthy, I want to feel healthy and I want to live until my 90’s.  Diabetes, you aren’t going to hold me back.

What has been your most recent achieved goal?

Love,

Kate

 

 

A Thimble of Pasta

I was thinking HARD about pasta today – but I learned quickly into gestational diabetes with baby #1 that I can have about a thimble’s worth.  I don’t know anyone who can eat a thimble’s worth and be satisfied.  I actually saw something that said most people eat about 3 servings – that’s more the group I used to fit in!

Both of my parents are diabetic and both of my mom’s parents were diabetic.  I had gestational diabetes with both of my kids, although it was much more manageable with the first.  They did tell me that it does get worse with each subsequent child, but with my son (firstborn) I didn’t need medicine until pretty close to 40 weeks.  I think I was actually around 35 when they started me on glyburide.  With my daughter my blood sugar was off the charts from the first day of 13 weeks.  I started on glyburide again almost immediately because I could not manage the condition with just diet and exercise.

I have done a lot of reading, trying to reduce my risk of developing diabetes.  I knew my chances were really high given my family history and my own history with gestational diabetes, but I also thought I had at least 10 years!  Or maybe I could push it to 20-30 years?  Evidently genetics doesn’t work that way – who knew?

My long rambling point to this post is the confusion, lack and even incorrect knowledge that exists surrounding diabetes.  We’re under the impression that it’s a disease you’re either born with or you get because you’re overweight and don’t eat correctly.  I eat a mainly plant based diet, I drink nut milks, I run, I practice yoga – I try to maintain the healthiest lifestyle I can – and I’m here, trying to understand it all.

Something I thought might be helpful is if I share my numbers when I post.  4 months ago, I started at 178lbs.  I’m now 174lbs.  I’ll look into posting my meals from myfitnesspal as well.  Here’s today:

Fasting: 126

After Breakfast:  138

After Lunch:  134

After Dinner:  149 (I also ran 2 miles after dinner)

Love,

Kate

 

Tailspin

Here’s what I know…

I’m 34.  I’ve been officially diagnosed with Diabetes (am I supposed to capitalize that?) for 4 months? Something like that.  But, I’m 34?  I really thought I had at LEAST 10 years before I got this news.  Now, my A1C 6.8 – not terrible – from what I’ve been told.  I’m kinda struggling.

Let me be honest.  My husband has been SUPER supportive.  He has been cooking and researching like mad.  And this isn’t our first go-around.  I had gestational diabetes with both of our kids…but that’s not the same?  There was an end there.  There isn’t one here.  I’m normally a positive “we’re gonna get through this” type of person.  But this is kinda big, and scary, and some days – I have no idea what to expect…

But let’s start at the beginning.  Like I said, I’m 34.  By trade, I’m an analyst (boy that’s descriptive huh?)  I have a BS in Computer Science, I’m 5’7″ and I’m pretty sarcastic.  I have a wonderful husband, two BEAUTIFUL babies, and two knucklehead boxer-great dane mixes that think they are human.  I grew up in northern Ohio, my favorite wine is Pinot Noir (despite the name of this blog), I love yoga and Friends is my all time favorite show.

You might ask the point of this site.

Over the past 4 months, there’s been a lot to take in.  I’ve been counting and checking, rechecking and recounting.  I don’t know how many appointments I’ve been to, but there has been a doctor, a nurse, and dietitians.  I’m overwhelmed, I’m unsure, but I’m here.

And you’re here – for whatever reason.  My goal here is for you to see my journey, and maybe, just maybe I can help you with yours.  This isn’t easy, it’s actually pretty big.  I’m going to travel this too though.  I hope to provide you with some recipes, guidance and support along the way.  We met for a reason.

Love,

Kate