Phones? Brownies? Not me!

My craving for a cheesecake brownie all started with…

“Look up from your phone.”

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I watched this video yesterday on Facebook that essentially said to “Look up from your phone because life is happening right in front of you.” This isn’t new information for me, but it’s good to be reminded of it.

Unfortunately, I know I’m guilty of this even though it’s SIMPLE for me to talk to strangers. I even LIKE talking to strangers… and yet I let that advantage go to waste on a day to day basis. I’m too wrapped up in my phone.

Not only that. I feel lonely, at times, from being in this social media/web isolation. In fact, sometimes I feel like my phone mocks me.

Yesterday, I felt like it was doing this from across the room – so you know what I did? I turned the thing off. And, let me tell you. I felt amazing afterwards. Finally, I felt like I HAD THE POWER… which of course, I’ve had all along.

One good decision leads into a bad decision…

With my phone off, I decided to “increase my power” and take some time away from it. I left the house for a walk to Starbucks to get a cheesecake brownie that I didn’t need – but they were all out when I arrived. I thought, “Oh that’s fine, I’ll go down the street to Panera. They probably have brownies.” There were people inside the Panera, but when I went to pull on the door it was locked. Just minutes after their closing time. So, I thought, “Well, hmm. How about that Whole Foods Market? It’s only 9pm. Surely, they’re open…”

Nope. They were closed.

Ever get the feeling that maybe you shouldn’t be having a cheesecake brownie after all?

Yeah. Me too.

Days 27-40: 45 Gram Carbohydrate Meals

Dinner at HackfitSo… I know I’ve been slacking a bit. But, I did stick to my goal of eating 45g carbohydrate meals (mostly). It just took me awhile to post them. And now I kinda forget what order they go into. But, here they are for your viewing eyes. Enjoy!

(Above Picture) Kale Salad with Raisins (15g), 1/2 Chicken Wrap (25g), 1/4 C Quinoa (10g)

Diabetic Lunch

Diabetic Breakfast

 

High Fiber English Muffin with Almond Butter (20g carbohydrate) + 1 Large Pear (30g) + 2 Fried Eggs

diabetic Lunch Good snack for diabetics Diabetic Italian Dinner

No control over this meal. It was fixed for me by my host family. Let me tell you. While it might not have been the most heart healthy meal I’ve had this lent, it was tasty. 1/2 Hoagie (20g), Italian Sausage, Onions, Salad with pears (10g), 1 C Cantaloupe (15g)

Diabetic Dinner

Diabetic DessertDiabetic Breakfast My sister came up for the weekend and I was going to take her out to eat… but then I remembered that I’m the best breakfast maker I’ve ever met. So, we decided to eat at home. This was some kind of yellow squash and green mixture, scrambled eggs with pesto and baby tomatoes, raspberries (15g), and 1 large pear (30g).

Pack your Lunch and go to the Park Fancy Restaurant

Diabetic Breakfast I ate this Breakfast a lot. I was addicted to it, I think. Nut and Grain Pancakes (44g), Maple Walnut Butter, Bacon, Egg, Baby Swiss Chard. (No syrup- not a hummingbird)

Diabetic Lunch at Hospital Diabetic Lunch Option Diabetic Breakfast

I loved pears this season. You can tell because they’re hogging the camera in every shot. Chicken, Hummus, Lettuce and Tomato Wrap on WW Tortilla (22g) + Pear (30g)

Diabetic Lunch Pear Diabetic Roasted Vegetable Wrap

Roasted Vegetables, Steak, Hummus (10g), WW Pita (15g), 1 large Pear (30g)

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Day 23, 24, 25, 26: 45g Carbohydrate Meals

Day 23: Saturday. A rainy day at home. Cleaning, getting my bike ready for spring, paying my taxes and signing up for health insurance. (woo!)

Diabetic Breakfast

Breakfast: 2 Fried Eggs over medium, 1/2 Avocado + 1/2 Tomato diced, 1 1/2 C Grilled Sweet Potatoes (45g carbohydrate)

Diabetic Lunch

Lunch: 4 ounces Roasted Pork Loin, steamed Asparagus, 1 C Strawberries (12g carbohydrate), 1 Clementine (10g carbohydrate) and 2 C Broccoli and Cheese Soup (20g carbohydrate)

Diabetic Dinner

Dinner: 2 C Southwestern Chili with Beef, 1 – 2″ Square Cornbread. 

Day 24: Monday. Work and then dinner with the host family.

Diabetic Breakfast

Breakfast: I was in a hurry. 2 Scrambled Eggs over medium and 2 Pears (44g carbohydrate).

Diabetic Lunch

Lunch: 1 Large Salad with Romaine Lettuce, Cherry Tomatoes, and Shredded Carrots. 1 Orange (15g carbohydrate), 2 C Southwestern Chili leftovers (30g carbohdyrate), Water and Herbal Tea.

Diabetic Dinner

Dinner: Roasted Chicken, Dandelion Greens with Green Onions, Bacon, Hard Boiled Egg and Balsamic Vinegar, Steamed Carrots with Nutmeg and Butter, 3/4 C Stuffing (45g carbohydrate). 

Day 25: Tuesday. Work in the city and then going to a market research event for a diabetic meter company. Talking to homeless people on the street.

Diabetic Breakfast

Breakfast: I know… you think I’m gross. But in my defense, I was in a hurry. This is a cold peice of homemade Pizza with Olives, Ham, and Mozzarella (20g carbohydrate), 1 Egg over easy, 1 C leftover Steamed Baby Carrots with Butter and Nutmeg, and 1 Pear (22g carbohydrate)

Drug Rep Lunch for Diabetics Lunch: This is the prettiest salad I think I’ve ever eaten. It’s a shame I couldn’t take more time to photograph it. (I was in the lunchroom of my new work… I didn’t want them to feel uncomfortable). Lots of little peices to this one: 1 Large Salad with Red Cabbage, Carrots, Cucumber, Cherry Tomatoes, Mandarin Oranges (5g carbohydrate), and Blueberries (5g carbohydrate), 1/8 Pita (4g carbohydrate), 2 Tbsp Roasted Red Pepper Hummus (2g carbohyrate),  1 1/3 C Chicken Salad with a few Raisins (7g carbohydrate), 2/3 C mixed Fruit (15g carbohdyrate), 1 Eggplant Bruchetta (10g carbohdyrate).

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And…

Baby Carrots

Dinner: 3 – 2″ Sandwiches from Subway (the food offered by the market research group) (45g carbohydrate) and 1 C Baby Carrots. 

Day 26: Wednesday. A great day of work, making dinner for the host family in less than 30 minutes. 3 mile run in the warm weather and a smile on my face.

Diabetic Breakfast

Breakfast: Another failed photo. Actually it was a failed breakfast too. This is 1 Habenero Tortilla (20g carbohdyrate) with Guacamole, Cheese, Scrambled Eggs and Lettuce, 1- 2″ square cornbread (15g carbohdyrate), 1 Clementine (10g carbohydrate).

Diabetic Lunch

Lunch: Load up your sandwich with Veggies! 2 Slices WW Bread (30g carbohydrate), 4-6 ounces Turkey, 2 slices Provolone Cheese, Lettuce, Tomato, Cucumber, Carrots, and Honey Mustard Dressing. 1 C Vegetable Soup (15g carbohydrate)

Diabetic Dinner

Dinner: 1 Mediterranean Turkey Burger, 2/3 C Grilled Sweet Potatoes (22g carbohydrate), Grilled Asparagus, 2/3 Apple Salad (25g carbohydrate).

Day 18, 19, 20, 21, 22: 45g Carbohydrate Meals

Sometimes it overwhelms me how many pictures I need to post. My phone is literally FULL of pictures depicting food that I’ve eaten in the past 20 days.

Day 18: Monday. The day I found out my mother would be arriving by plane the next day. I spent the rest of the night cleaning my room and being excited about her arrival.

Diabetic Breakfast

 

Breakfast:1/2 C dry oats (30g carbohydrate), 1 C water, 1/2 C Milk (6g carbohydrate), 2 tsp Butter, 2 tsp Sugar (10g carbohydrate), 2 Fried Eggs, 1/2 C Cherry Tomatoes. 

Diabetic Lunch

Lunch: My coworkers make fun of me for these sandwiches… and I must admit… it is a little hard to open my mouth that wide. 2 slices Wheat Bread (30g carbohydrate), 1 1/2C Chicken Salad with Raisins (15g carbohydrate), Lettuce, Tomato, Cucumbers

Diabetic Dinner

Dinner: This is a foreign concoction to me. But, I must admit, it was very tasty. Chicken Thighs, skinless with Curry, Coconut Milk, and Olives over a bed of 1C Cous Cous (45g carbohydrate).

Day 19: Tuesday. Work, a quick dinner with Andrew, and picking up my MOMMA from the airport. 

Quick Diabetic Breakfast

Breakfast: 1/2 C Fiber One Cereal (11g carbohydrate), 1/2 C Maple Mini Wheats (25g carbohydrate), 1 C milk (12g carbohydrate), 1/2 C raw Almonds.

Diabetic Lunch Options

 

A few too many carbohydrates, so I had to leave this…

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Lunch: 1/2 Chicken sandwich from Cosi (28g carbohydrate), Small Signature Salad from Cosi (45g carbohydrates – 30g left in the form of dried craisins and grapes), Carrots, Balsamic Vinegarette.

Diabetic Dinner

Dinner: 1 C Pasta with Red Sauce (45g carbohydrate), 4 ounces Chicken Breast with Marinara and Cheese over a bed of Spinach, 1 C Broccoli, 1 C Squash, Tomato and Onion. 

Day 20: Wednesday. MY 28TH BIRTHDAY! A half day at work, then fun in the city with my mom and a Mexican themed dinner party with my friends and family. Afterwards, ping pong and dance party in the basement. Sooooo much fun!

HEalthy Breakfast Options for Diabetics

Breakfast: 1/2 12″ Wheat Tortilla (20g carbohydrate), 1 scrambled Egg, 4 ounces of Ham, 1/2 Medium Apple (11g carbohydrate), an d 1 C Milk (12g carbohydrate)

Lunch options for people with diabetes

Lunch: 1 Habenero Tortilla (22g carbohydrate), Lettuce, Tomato, Grilled Zucchini, Grilled Steak Kabob pieces (leftovers), 1 Medium Apple (22g carbohydrate).

BDay Dinner

Dinner: I admit. I did a terrible job photographing my delicious HAPPY BIRTHDAY meal; AND, I didn’t take a photo of the homemade Guacamole and 5 Tortilla chips (10g carbohydrate) I had BEFORE this huge plate of food. 3/4 C Grilled Sweet Potatoes (25g carbohydrate), Romaine Lettuce, 1/2 C corn and beans combined (15g carbohydrate), Grilled Red Bell Peppers and Onions, Cheese and 6 ounces Grilled Chicken. 

Day 21: Thursday. Quick breakfast with my mom, then work for 12 hours. Lunch with my geeks and drinks friends (to which I was late and requested that they order something for me – exciting, I know!). Professional diabetes meeting at a restaurant with very poor lighting for taking food pictures… sorry.

Diabetic Breakfast

Breakfast: Whole Wheat Tortilla (38g carbohydrate), Roasted Peppers and Onions,1/2 Avocado, Lettuce, 3 ounces Grilled Chicken, 1/2 Chopped Tomato, and 1/3 C Roasted Corn (10g Carbohydrate).

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Lunch: Arugula, 3/4 C Navy Bean (22g carbohydrate), and Bread (20g carbohydrate) Salad. Cheese and Prosciutto.

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Dinner: This was at a Diabetes Educator meeting. Another terrible job photographing my food. BUT, to my defense, I was in a poorly lit room with only enough room for one plate. 2 C Caesar Salad, 1 Bread with Hummus (10g carbohydrate), 2/3 C Pesto Tomato Pasta (30g carbohydrate), Portabella Mushrooms with Brown Gravy and Mozzarella Cheese, 3 slices Grilled Zucchini. 

Day 22: Friday. Working during the day, then an Improv Show in the city with Neil.

Breakfast for Diabetic

Breakfast: 3 Clementines (45g carbohydrate), 1/2 Avocado, 2 Fried Eggs, 2-3 ounces Pork Loin (leftover).

Diabetes MealPlan

Lunch: 1 C Noodles (45g carbohydrate), Zucchini, Tomato Sauce, Onion, Romaine Lettuce, Tomatoes and Mozzarella, 1/2 Avocado, Carrots, Red Bell Pepper, and 4 Cucumbers. (I was really hungry this day).

Diabetic Dinner

Dinner: I told you I was hungry…. This is a salad + leftovers. Chicken Thigh with 2/3 C Cous Cous (30g carbohydrate). Spinach with Balsamic Vinegar Dressing, 1/4 C Pistachios, 1 C Strawberries (12g carbohydrate).

 

A Lenten Story: Love is not a “Feeling”

You know, there’s a lot of things people will like about you… until they don’t.

55I have struggled with the tendency of my generation and the generation before and after mine to only love when it’s convenient for them. They identify love as a feeling or as a way to happiness, but it’s not.

Love is a decision. It’s a choice. It’s a two way street.

There are a lot of things I can love that may never love me back. I’m not hurt by that. It’s part of life. That being said, it’s the most amazing feeling when love is returned. The two people who choose to love continuously feed each other what we’ve been starving for and life seems good. Life even seems hopeful. But even in the midst of these good feelings, we can get nervous – what if that feeling could be stripped away? What if it’s depends on me doing everything right? What if I make the wrong move or did the wrong thing? What if there is a part of me that is not loveable?

That’s a problem. It won’t ever be perfectly fixed, but it can be significantly helped.

Are you making people nervous?

Sometimes I find that “love” is being taken away from me because the “feelings have changed.”  Feelings are subject to change at any given moment. If love were a feeling (alone), I would be terrified of it. If love were a feeling, I would tell you “Monogamy is a joke. Life is about flitting from one flower to the next and taking what nectar you can before the opening closes up and the opportunity is over.”

But, we’re not flowers. A flower does not have it’s own willpower. Likewise, a hummingbird is different in the fact that they have limited amounts of discernment and introspection.

Humans are called to be different. Nature has equipped us to be different.

Why aren’t we acting differently?

It’s funny how timid we are about love. We don’t want to give it out to the wrong people or at the wrong time. We don’t want to seem needy or attached. But, isn’t that all just crap???

As I understand it, we don’t have any promises for tomorrow. We have today. One of the biggest teachings of Christianity is to love God and love each other. It’s that simple.

The popular Corinthians 13 verses that are read at most weddings end with these words, “When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known. And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.

We’re not kids anymore. When the end of life comes… when the world is finished… when all things are revealed and simple…when no more mysteries remain… three things will go on: hope, faith, and love – and the greatest of these is love.

Do you get it?

These are the things in life that are ETERNAL. They go beyond our existence here and now and live on forever. So, if that’s true… why are we avoiding eternal treasure???? 

Feelings are great. They have their place in life. But, you don’t get through 55 years of marriage on “feeling” alone.

Love is about making a choice to try to see the good in each other. To love is to be willing to experience the pain of letting one another down and forgiving them afterwards. It’s about not leaving when things get tough. It’s about giving second chances and fiftieth chances. It’s about serving one another. It’s about sacrifice. It’s about showing the other person you value them by being intentional during your time together. It’s about accepting a person for what they are currently while helping them to achieve what they could be in the future.

You can love better.

It’s going to take practice. It’s going to take a partner. Sometimes, it might even take a coach.

But you can do it.

And that investment… is going to go ON.. and ON… and ON. Even after your last breath in this world is finished… hope, faith, and love remain – and the greatest of these is love.

Day 14, 15, 16, 17: 45g Carbohydrate Meals

The Embarrassing “Hold on, I’ve Got to Take a Picture of my Food” Days Continue…

Sometimes, it can seem a little odd to people that I want to take a picture of my food before I eat it, but what is really weird is when  take a picture of the scraps left on my plate. THAT really gets people thinking… What is this girl up to?

The things I do for you… :)

Day 14: Quick! What can I make for breakfast and bring for lunch?

Breakfast: In a hurry and needing to rush out the door. 2 slices WW Bread (40g carbohydrate), 4 ounces of Ham, 1 fried Egg, and 1 slice Mozzarella Cheese.

Lunch: Making use of leftovers! 2 C Chicken and Eggplant Curry with Sweet Potato (30g carbohydrate), 3/4 C fresh Pineapple (15g carbohydrate).

Dinner: A dinner prepared for me by my host mom. Asked to portion my own bowl and passed up the bread to add veggies instead. 3 C Ham and Bean Soup (45g carbohydrate), 1 C Zucchini raw, 1/2 C Cherry Tomatoes, 1/2 C baby Carrots.

Day 15: A long day at work – but oh so much fun!

Breakfast: Making use of leftovers! 1 C Butternut Squash Risotto (45g carbohydrate), 2 fried Eggs, 1/2 Avocado sliced, and 1/2 C Cherry Tomatoes.

Diabetic Lunch

Meals you can eat in the car

Lunch: Eating on the go! While driving actually… Uh oh. Turkey and Hummus Wrap with Spinach (30g carbohydrate), 1 String Cheese, 1/2 Avocado, and 1 1/4 C fresh Strawberries (15g carbohydrate).

Diabetic Dinner

Dinner: Bought at a grocery store down the street from my new office. Romaine Lettuce, Parmesan, Lemon, 4 ounces of grilled Chicken, 1/2 C Croutons (8g carbohydrate), Caesar Salad Dressing, 1 Pumpernickel Roll (20g carbohydrate), Butter, 1 1/4 C fresh Blueberries (20g carbohydrate).

Day 16: A day off, exploring Philly, and a date with Andrew.

Diabetic Breakfast

Breakfast: A Wrap consisting of: 1 Spinach Tortilla (26g carbohydrate), 1/4 C Hummus (5g carbohydrate), 2 Scrambled Eggs, 1 Slice Cheese, and 2 C spinach raw – cooked down to 1 cup. 3/4 Medium Apple (15g carbohydrate)

Diabetic Lunch

Lunch: Stopping for lunch and a reading break at a cute restaurant in Philly. I had no idea what I ordered at the time… 10 thin slices of Pear (7g carbohydrate), 2 small slices of WW Bread (20g carbohydrate), Arugula, Cheese, Fig Preserves (15g carbohydrate), Honey Mustard Dressing.

Devils Alley

Dinner: Eating out with Andrew, his brother, and brother’s girlfriend. I wish I would have ordered what she ordered because she got a whole head of broccoli as her side. Roasted Chicken with Cajun Rub, Whipped Sweet Potatoes with Marshmallows on top (45g carbohydrate), and Grilled Vegetables.

Day 17: A day hanging out with the dudes.

Diabetic Breakfast

Breakfast: A joint effort by me and Andrew. He says, “Brussel Sprouts for Breakfast???” But then he loved it. Ants on a log x 4 (15g carbohydrate for the raisins), Roasted Brussel Sprouts, 1 Soft Boiled Egg, 1 C Butternut Squash with Crumble Topping (30g carbohydrate).

Diabetic Lunch in the Park

Lunch: This is our packed lunch for our “Saturday slacklining in the park.” 3/4 C Pineapple (15g carbohydrate), 2 slices High Fiber Bread (30g Carbohydrate), 1/2 C Almonds, 1 C carrots.

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Dinner: I know… the picture is not beautiful. This is what happens when you go out to eat with three “dudes.” Girl food isn’t really an option. So, at this “guy bar” I ordered a grilled chicken sandwich with spinach, marinara, and mozzarella cheese (70g carbohydrate for the whole thing, but I left some of the bread on my plate for 45g carbohydrate). The waitress asked me if I wanted “Chips or Fries?” I asked if there were any other options – this is what YOU might have to do if you go to a dude bar. She informed me broccoli was also an option. You see what I chose to eat… and what I left behind.

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SUNDAY: Weird food and Bananas Everywhere.

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Breakfast: I’ve had some weird breakfasts before, but this one tops them all. I’m almost ashamed to post it. I’m big on being able to “eat anything” for breakfast – not just the standard “breakfast foods.” This particular morning, I was running behind and wanted to reheat something with protein to pair with my cereal. Well here it is.. 2 C Corned Beef and Cabbage with 1/2 C High Fiber Cereal (11g carbohydrate) 2/3 C Shredded Wheat (30g carbohydrate) and 1/2 C Milk (6g carbohydrate).

Diabetic Lunch

Lunch: Salad with Cucumber, Tomatoes, fresh Mozzarella, Carrots, Balsamic Vinegar and Oil dressing. Turkey and Bacon Sandwich with Lettuce, Tomato, and Honey Mustard on two slices WW Bread (30g carbohydrate).

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Sunday Snack: This thing is called a “Banana Whip.” Its a raw dessert consisting of “whipped frozen bananas” topped with raw cashews, vanilla beans, dates, and chia seeds. I asked the guy how many bananas he put in this little cup and he said THREE! So, I only ate a little over a third for 40g carbohydrate. Waaaaaay too many carbohydrate for a snack – but remember it was my Sunday, so I was being lenient.

Dinner

Dinner: A very exciting meal of Peanut Steak Kabobs, Zucchini Kabobs and Garbonzo bean tortillas (made from Garbonzo Bean Flour with only 1/2 the carbs of regular flour). I ate 2 Steak kabobs, 1 Zucchini kabob, and 3 Garbanzo Tortillas (24g carbohydrate – 8g each). I saved some carbohydrates for the Banana Tart (Bananas, butter, cinnamon and puff pastry) below. I don’t count it as dessert because there was no added sugar besides the banana. 1 Slice Banana Tart (About 2/3 the size pictured below – 30g carbohydrate)

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Whew! That kind of catches me up… but I’ll have to post another big one later this week. I’m sure…

Day 10, 11, 12: 45g Carbohydrate Meals

The 40 Days of 45 gram Carbohydrate Challenge Continues…

I definitely have some interesting meals for you here. Lots of special occasions…. celebrating a new morning, new marriage, and new jobs!

Day 10: This was an interesting day. I made breakfast and lunch for me and Andrew. Then we went to a big fancy wedding with TONS of food. I ate pretty well on 45g of carbohydrate, but I did have to leave some food on the plate and skip dessert (apple dumpling with ice cream). 

Diabetic Breakfast

Breakfast: 1 Cooked Pear (30g carbohydrate), Spinach and Beet Greens with Cranberry White Balsamic Vinegar, 1/2 vegetarian “sausage” link (5g carbohydrate) and 1/3 C cooked Potatoes (10g carbohydrate) with Green Onions.

Diabetic Lunch

Lunch: Smoked Pork Chop (I accidently burned it a little on the edges… whoops), 1 C Brussel Sprouts with Balsamic Reduction (5g carb for reduction), and 1 1/2 C Butternut Squash with Crumble Topping (40g Carbohydrate).

Dinner: Several courses listed below. Andrew and I attended a very fancy wedding. I was a little embarrased to be taking pictures of my food, but I did it for you… so enjoy. :)Appetizers

Appetizer – Raw Vegetables, Meat Skewer, Mushroom Crossaint (5g carb), 2 Crackers and Cheese (5g carb)

Salad and Roll

Salad and Bread – Caesar Salad (5g carbohydrate) and 1/2 of a dinner roll (15g carbohydrate) with butter… I gave Andrew the other half.

Wedding Food

Dinner – Chicken Breast lightly breaded (5g carbohydrate), Carrots, Asparagus, and 1/3 C Risotto (15g carbohydrate) … I left the rest of the risotto on my plate uneaten (see below)

Risotto - left on plate

SUNDAY: I got up, made breakfast, headed to church, ate lunch with Andrew, and then we went “food shopping” and came back with lots of new goodies to eat for dinner.

Vegetarian Breakfast

A little closer view of the vegetarian sausage, potatoes and spinach…

Diabetic Breakfast

Breakfast: 2/3 C Butternut Squash with Oatmeal Crumble Topping (20g Carbohydrate), Sausage/Potato/Spinach Stirfry (10g carbohydrate) and 1 small slice homemade Bread (15g carbohydrate) with butter.

Corner Foodery

Lunch: Two six-inch hoagies (Andrew and I got two different sandwiches and traded half of each): 1) Eggplant, Mushroom, Roasted Bell Pepper and Mozzerella (saved for later) 2) Turkey, Spinach, Marinara (45g of carbohydrate), plus Chips (that I did not eat) and a Pickle!

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Dinner: I forgot to take a picture of my actual plate, but this is what we ate… 3 slices of homemade pizza with thin crust (45g carbohydrate)- this is a Pesto Shrimp and Goat Cheese Pizza. Andrew made it, very yummy.

Day 11: I was running late for breakfast, ate lunch at the hospital (provided by a drug rep – note what I did to fill up and not go over my carb limit), and St. Patrick’s Day dinner at home with my host family.

Pizza Breakfast

Breakfast: 2 slices of Vegetarian (cheese-less) Pizza (30g carbohydrate) and 1 medium pear (not pictured for 20g carbohydrate).

Diabetic Lunch

Lunch: This meal was brought in by a drug rep from a restaurant called “Cosi.” They were really good – but there can be some difficulty calculating carbs here. I had two half sandwiches (the Hummus Vegetarian and the Turkey and Brie with Honey Mustard) – which would normally be 28g carbohydrate EACH… but I tore off half of the bread for each one and left it on my plate.

2 sandwiches with half bread (28g carbohydrate), 2-3 C Salad with Blue Cheese, Pistachios and Pears (15g carbohydrate).

Diabetic Meals

Plus… I had some of this…

Carbohydrate Content

Dinner: Corned Beef, Cabbage, Carrots, and 2 peices of Potato (10g Carbohydrate) with Irish Soda Bread (40g Carbohydrate).

Day 12: My first day at the new job. A very early breakfast with Andrew and then I headed off to my new office in downtown Philly (!!!). It was great. They actually had food delivered there, but I had already packed my lunch – so I ate in my office. Later, I went out to eat with Andrew at a pub called “Good Dog.” Notice what I did with that meal as well.

Diabetic Breakfast

Breakfast: 1 WW English Muffin (25g Carbohydrate), Eggs with Vegetarian Sausage (5g carbohydrate),Cheese and Peppers, 1 1/4 C Strawberries (15g carbohydrate)

Diabetic Lunch

Lunch: Roasted Turkey, Spinach, Hummus, and Mustard Sandwich with one slice of Mozzerella Cheese and 2 slices of Whole Wheat Bread (38g carbohydrate), 3/4 C Strawberries (10g carbohydrate) and 3/4 C Baby Carrots.

Good Dog Burger

Dinner: “Good Dog Burger” Hamburger with Cheese and Carmelized Onions on a Brioche Bun (45g carbohydrates), Arugula Salad with light oil and vinegar dressing. (Not the most heart healthy choice… but you can have it every once and awhile….)

That catches us up for a little bit. More meals to come… I just keep eating… and eating… and eating…  :)

Day 8-9: 45g Carbohydrate Meals

Today was a very exciting day.

For the past two or three days, I’ve really been off my game. I wondered what was wrong with me. In my head I was: fat, crying, with no friends, a bad attitude, and a boyfriend who would probably break up with me at any second.

None of those things are logical. But, I didn’t know that at the time.

Anyways, I was beginning to think I was in the “pit of despair” until… I realized things (hormones) were about to start looking up. For anyone not familiar with the female hormone cycle, please educate yourself here.

the-estrogen-progesterone-wave

Now let’s get to business. My meals for the past two days…

Day 8: I was running a little behind for work, so I ended up making a non-traditional breakfast (really.. does it matter what KIND of food you have as long as you “break-your-fast?”). I met Andrew for lunch at Whole Foods. Dinner was a masterpiece made by Sherry – my host mom. (I swear, I am really getting into soups this winter. They are the perfect way to start out a meal).

Breakfast

Diabetic Breakfast

I told  you I was in a hurry. This is a Herbed Turkey and Cream Cheese Sandwich on two small slices of Homemade Bread (40g carbohydrate), Baby Carrots, and a handful of Cherry Tomatoes.

Lunch

45g carbohydrate meals

This picture could be a little hard to decipher. What you’re looking at is the “Plate Method.” 1/2 my tray is full of a non-starchy vegetable (Garlic Tahini Kale Salad), 1/4 my tray is a lean protein (Curry Chicken Salad – 15g carbohydrate for a few dried apricots), and 1/4 of my tray is a carbohydrate (1 1/3 C Butter Bean Salad with Eggplant and Roasted Red Peppers – 30g carbohydrate).

Dinner

Non-carbohydrate soup

A beautiful bowl of Sherry’s homemade Cream of Broccoli Soup. I did ask ingredients (broccoli, carrots, chicken stock, onion, butter, and a little bit of sour cream…. none of those ingredients have carbs. So I counted it as FREE!)

45g carbohydrate dinner

This is 1/2 C Butternut Squash Risotto (30g carbohydrate), 2/3 C Asparagus, 1 oven Baked Chicken Thigh with Light Breading – 10g carbohydrate. It can also be described as “delicious.”

Day 9: Early rising at 5:30a with some quality letter writing time. Breakfast, work, lunch with the co-workers, and coming home to blog before Andrew arrives to pick me up for our date. Who knows what I’m having for dinner… it’s not quite time for that yet.

Breakfast

45g carbohydrate breakfast

I know that looks like milk up there… but it isn’t. 1 C Kefir (11g carbohydrate), 1 C Roasted Beet Soup (10g), 1 High Fiber English Muffin (20g carbohydrate),  1 T Light Cream Cheese, 1 Fried Egg with fresh thyme, 1 slice Herbed Turkey Breast.

Lunch

45g carbohydrate lunch ideas

Leftovers from the night before… 1 C cubed Butternut Squash (15g carbohydrate), Asparagus, 1 oven baked Chicken Thigh (10g carbohydrate), 1 1/2 C Cream of Broccoli Soup, 1 Medium Apple (22g carbohydrate).

Dinner

 ???? Mystery ????

(I’ll fill you in on this one later. )

Happy Weekend Everyone!

A Lenten Story: Bargaining with God

I once had a friend named John. He was the most delightful soul.

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“I scope my 11 for bogeys while my partner T-bone refuses to notice that small metal sprite has landed menacingly on her nose; whatcha gon’ do?” -John’s reflection on the above portrait

John and I met in our 9th grade science class and instantly liked each other. His dad was a Methodist minister and so was mine – but neither of us lived with our dad anymore. Deep down inside, we were old souls that loved to be in an old church and sing from the old hymnal. We pursued God with a vigor. John was easily the smartest kid in class. Sometimes he would answer a question and you could tell that he was teaching the teacher instead of the other way around.

I always wondered why John chose me as his 9th grade science friend. Maybe it was because I was smart (although I was not nearly as smart as he), or maybe John felt a familiarity with me because of our similar backgrounds. Perhaps our friendship was sealed the day I held up a small sign in the front row of the classroom to say “STOP ROCKING” as he rocked back and forth on the balls of his feet during his science presentation (without breaking his stride, he caught himself quickly casting me a sideways look of appreciation). It could have also been because I would make him chocolate covered pretzels for Christmas – a treat he loved.

Who knows why? That semester would seal John and I as friends for life.

Back then, I never knew John would teach me one of my greatest life lessons.

Every super strength has a flip-side. With John’s brilliance came a bit of chaotic nature. John could go from an extreme high to an extreme low. Usually he was high. But, when he wasn’t – he really wasn’t. John’s fame grew in our high school as he became well known for his intelligence and talent on the speech and debate team. Mid semester, I stopped seeing John in the hallways. I heard word from some friends there was a disagreement between him and the debate coach. Word had it John had just packed up and transferred schools. He didn’t need a big school with lots of classes to be smart. He moved to his grandparents house in the country and attended a much smaller school where he likely self-taught, scored highly on the ACT, and moved out to any school of his choosing for college.

From that point on, my meetings with John were sporadic.

John was never meant for the small colleges in Missouri. When he graduated high school, I left for Mizzou and he left for Reed College in Portland, Oregon. Occasionally, he and I would come home for Easter or Christmas and we would see each other at church. He sat on the front right section of the congregation, so I always knew where to look. I smiled when I spotted his head full of crazy hair with the professor’s blazer.

A random note from John to me:

“HELLOOOO!!! I am so terrible when it comes to writing on these damned interweb things that I have no idea what a ‘wall’ is. Life is tres fantastique here at Reed, in lovely–but damn–Portland, Oregon. How is life for you, Ms. Burbee?”

My 9th grade science friend was growing up, and so was I…

I remember the last conversation we shared. John messaged me on facebook to ask if I still thought that God existed. He had been through some tough times with the recent death of his closest friend – a death John witnessed and could do nothing to stop from happening. Following this traumatic experience, John told me he had become an atheist.

I was shocked. John went to college to study Political Science and Religion. We had always shared a great faith in God and he was beginning to question it.  I told him, “I know God exists.” Instead of arguing with me, he asked “Tell me why you think so…”

I had just written an Lenten devotional on God working through my experiences in track that year. Rather than be verbose in trying to explain it, I asked if I could send it to him to read. He read it and messaged me back these words…

“Sarah Burbee, if God does exist, then God bless you.”

I remember replying, “I love you, John.”

I’m not sure which one of us had to go, but that was the last time I ever heard from John. I consider it one of my greatest blessings in life.

A few months later, I found out that John had killed himself. His funeral would be in three days.

Those three days were rough. I started to panic. Traditional conservative Christian faith would say that a person who takes their own life has given up their right to be in heaven. I think that is hogwash. But, at the time, I wasn’t so sure.

I began to pray fervently to God. I tried explaining to God that John may have not believed in his last hour, but that John was a good person and had been a good and faithful servant most of his life. I was sure John helped to build his piece of God’s Kingdom here on Earth. He lit up a room with his joy and pulled the best out of the people around him. Wouldn’t God reconsider? This was all just a big mistake.

After all, being with John on a good day was like being in a little piece of Heaven.

I needed advice, so I left work early and drove to the church John and I shared. I was out of touch with the church ministers/leaders after being away so long for college, but I figured I would just go into the first open office I could find. Unfortunately, all of the senior pastors were out of the office. I began to despair, but there was one door open. A new youth pastor who had recently moved to the Midwest. I squared my shoulders, knocked on his open door, sat on his couch and told him my dilemma.

Was my friend who committed suicide going to “hell?” As I talked, I explained to the youth minister that John was a good person. He didn’t deserve to go to “hell.”

The youth minister stopped me. He pointed out something so important I hope I never forget it. He said, “Listen to what you’re saying. You’re telling God about who John was… as if God didn’t know John. That’s not the God we serve. You’re worried that God might make the wrong choice with John, but our God doesn’t make wrong choices. He’s not like a judge who has to hear both sides of an argument to make a decision. God knew John and John’s heart better than JOHN knew himself. Much better than you knew him or even his closest friend. There isn’t a thing about John that God doesn’t know. And God will not make a wrong choice.”

He was right. I realized my pleading to God was ridiculous.It’s as simple as God will make the right choice. Every time.

It’s interesting that we tell Christians that Christ died for our sins, but not if we were weak enough to take our own life. That is such a lie.

I don’t worry about where John is, I attended his funeral with peace. John cannot be removed from God’s love forever because God is always there. Always ready to catch you when you fall. I know God is there for John.

It’s not our job to be the judge of who deserves what.

I’m grateful for John’s life. I’m also grateful for his doubt and his sacrifice (although I always wish I had more time with him).

John taught me that we’re not here to “bargain with God.” It’s our job to trust that God is working all around us and that His love is endless.

It’s that simple.

John’s funeral was one of those perfect days.

John was buried in his family’s plot next to his grandparents – who he loved immeasurably. So many of his smart friends from college drove all night from Oregon to attend his funeral in a tiny town in Mid-Missouri. It was a service of old hymns and sharing on a warm breezy summer day. I doubted whether I should be in attendance. Afterall, I was John’s 9th grade science friend, but our connection was always strong. I never stood up to share, but I heard so many great stories that made me feel even closer to John.

Even in his absence, John was there.

It was great to get a sense of John’s life in Oregon. I remember them saying how much they would miss John reading to them. He was an enthusiastic reader. They claimed his dog, Kuper, was the most well-read dog in the world. John read the classics, philosophy, and poetry to anyone who would listen – even if it was an audience of one canine. I love that story.

He’s a brilliant soul and his life shines on through his brief encounter with mine and so many others. There are no promises for tomorrow. Be all that you can be today because it’s the only guarantee you have for sure. And, never underestimate who you might be able to impact today – we’re more connected than we know.

Day 6-7 of 45g Carbohydrate Meals

These are the rules for 40 days. Each day, three meals, 45g carbohydrate each. No snacking.

Day 6: Started off great, went to work, and then attempted a challenging meal at Andrew’s apartment, shattered an entire bottle of red wine by accident and about had a melt down. Let’s just say I was calling this beautiful beet soup “Sarah’s Stupid Soup” for awhile. But, the only thing that’s stupid about this soup is how ridiculously good it is to eat. Now that it’s a new day, I am in LOVE with this soup.

Breakfast

Breakfast ideas

1 High Fiber English Muffin (22g carbohydrate), 1/2 Banana (15g carbohydrate), 2 Tbsp Almond Butter, 1 Orange “Cutie” (8g carbohydrate), 2 fried Eggs with fresh thyme.

Lunch

What to eat at work

I’m not too proud to eat the same thing twice! These are the lovely beef pot roast leftovers. 4-6 ounces Beef, 1 C Sugar Snap Peas, 1 1/2 C Mixed Roasted Vegetables (onions, carrots, sweet potato, white potato, mushrooms, leeks – 40g carbohydrate), 1 Small “Cutie” Orange (8g carbohydrate).

Dinner

Half Eaten Dinner

Really. This picture is hideous. But, that’s what I get for getting so flustered with this meal. I was almost completely finished with my plate when I realized I forgot to take a picture and I had no extra ingredients to restage. Luckily, Andrew eats much slower than me and this is his half eaten plate – which was very similar to what I consumed.

1 1/2 C Roasted Beet Soup (10g carbohydrate), 3/4 C Acorn Squash (12g carbohdyrate), 1 small slice of Homemade Honey Oat Bread (25g carbohydrate), Spinach, 6 ounces Ahi Tuna Steak, Water.

Day 7: I was in a hurry to get to work and left with only a few things to hold me over. Rather than set myself up for failure, I used my lunch break to eat breakfast in the cafeteria. Breakfast is the worst meal to skip because it sets the hunger tone for the rest of the day (for me…). Afterwards, I stopped by the store to pick up a few things to make dinner. I was told to “make something amazing with these eggplants.” What’s more amazing than eggplant curry??

Breakfast

Diabetic Breakfast in Hospital

Like I said, I left the house with an odd assortment of food: Beet soup, wheat bread, and almond butter. I decided to spend the three dollars and splurge on a hospital made ham and cheese omelet to go with it.

Ham and Cheese Omelet with diced Tomatoes, 1 large slice homemade bread (40g carbohydrate), 1 Tbsp Almond Butter, Water.

Lunch

Beet Soup

1 1/2 C Roasted Beet Soup (10g carbohydrate), 1 medium slice Homemade Honey Oat Bread (35g carbohydrate), Butter, Water.  Missing a protein… so I also ate these when I got back to the office. They count for something!

Almonds in hand

1 Handful of Nuts (Almonds, to be specific)

Dinner

Diabetic Dinner Ideas

1/2 C Lentils (15g carbohydrate with 14 grams of fiber subtracted!), Eggplant and Chicken Curry (15g carbohydrate) and 3/4 C fresh Pineapple (15g carbohydrate).