8 Lessons in 8 Years

Today marks my 8th anniversary with type 1 diabetes. It’s been an interesting journey, one that ultimately led me to study nutrition and become a registered dietitian. I’ve had the unique privilege of experiencing diabetes as both a patient and a healthcare provider, and it’s taught me a lot. Here are a few important lessons I’ve learned over the past 8 years. I hope you find them helpful.

1. Find an awesome doctor, even if you have to shop around. It makes a difference.

Photo c/o bestclipartblog.com

I’ve been fortunate enough to have 2 great doctors over the past 8 years. My first endocrinologist made it a point to assure me that I could avoid all the scary side effects and complications if I managed my disease well and made available any resource she could find to help me out. She prescribed new forms of meds (lantus pens, etc) as soon as they became available and was quick to turnaround an expired prescription or return a call. She warned me early on that hypothyroidism could develop later on, but that it was easily managed and not something to fear. This turned out to be a huge comfort when I was finally diagnosed 2 years ago. My doctor in Boston has also been awesome.

Type 1 diabetics are dependent on insulin and, because we don’t make any insulin, can be subject to changes in blood sugar due to things beyond our control. Look for a doctor who responds to requests for prescription refills, returns calls in a timely manner, and spends time answering your questions. Continue reading 8 Lessons in 8 Years

Pumpkin Awesomeness

These days fall is almost synonymous with pumpkins, and October is National Pumpkin Month. Pumpkin spiced lattes, pumpkin bread, pumpkin muffins… one New York Times writer has even argued that pumpkin is the new bacon.

Not only is it fun to carve pumpkins and a delicious addition to any meal or snack, pumpkins and their seeds also offer some health benefits.

Namely, pumpkins are

  • High in key vitamins like vitamin A, C, and B complex
  • Low in calories and fat but high in fiber and antioxidants
  • Rich in minerals the body needs like copper, calcium, potassium, and phosphorous
  • Seeds are a good source of heart healthy fats
  • Seeds are also high in zinc (important for wound healing and immune system strength) and iron.

Pumpkins are also, as I mentioned above, delicious. So try this awesome Paleo pumpkin soup. I ate mine with grilled fish.

Paleo Pumpkin Soup

So good it was almost gone before I remembered to take a picture!

Continue reading Pumpkin Awesomeness

The Land of Motivation

Motivation can be tough. It can be hard to find your way to Motivation-land, and once you get there, it can be even harder to stay. It takes at least a month to turn a behavior into a habit, and that month will typically be rife with challenges. Because, you know, the minute you decide to give up sugar or beer the next three social outings your friends plan are a baking pot luck and outing to your favorite craft beer bar…

On top of that, some research suggests it can take up to 3 years to reset your body’s homeostasis (sense of balance) at a new weight. What this means is, if you lose 20 pounds, it can take 3 years before you body recognizes this as its new and healthy weight.

But all that aside, there are a few tricks you can use to help you get motivated and stay motivated. These include: Continue reading The Land of Motivation

Spicy Chili with Bacon

Awesome Paleo food can be hard to make sometimes. Changing how and what you cook can be a huge challenge, and a lot of first-time Paleo eaters end up eating the same chicken, vegetables, eggs, and fruit everyday. BUT, sometimes we forget that some of our favorite foods are already Paleo! One example of this is chili. And, since it’s October and finally getting cold again, it’s time for some awesome chili! Continue reading Spicy Chili with Bacon

Cuban Boiled Yucca

I have to give 100% credit for this one to my friend Niki  and her family. I asked her for a good recipe for yucca last year and she came through with this gem. It takes about 45 minutes to make but is pretty easy and goes great with this pulled pork recipe.I’ve made this twice and it’s been an out of the park hit both times.

Ingredients

1 1/2 lb yucca, peeled and cut into halves

1 lime (juice from) or 3 Tb lime juice

1 tsp salt

6 garlic cloves

1/3 cup lemon juice

1/2 cup olive oil

1/2 onion, chopped fine Continue reading Cuban Boiled Yucca