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).

Day 2-5 of 45g carb meals

Day 2 through 5 – Unique Meal Circumstances

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Andrew and I left for a mini-vacation to Vermont this past Thursday. I didn’t bring my laptop with me to post, but that doesn’t mean I wasn’t taking pictures of my 45 gram carbohydrate meals.

Inside these pictures, there are some “challenge meals.” Over and over, I hear from my patients how they couldn’t eat well because they were on the road traveling. Or, they couldn’t help having that hot dog because they were stuck in the baseball stadium. Not to mention, the more common fiasco of trouble following a diabetic diet when celebrating a special occasion at a restaurant (and worrying about getting enough to eat!).

So, pay attention students. Learn from the master. (wink)

Day 2: Sarah wakes up early to be at work by 6:15a for a full day at work in order to get off early at 2:15p, hop in the Jeep with Andrew, and drive 6hours to a Bed and Breakfast in Vermont.

Breakfast

Diabetic Breakfast

2 scrambled Eggs, one handful of Arugula, 1 Tomato chopped, 1 handful Carrots, 1 High Fiber English Muffin (22g carbohydrate) with 1 tsp Butter, and 3 small “Cutie” Oranges (24g carbohydrate).

Lunch

Diabetic Lunch

2 Slices High Fiber WW Bread (26g carbohydrate), 6 ounces Pulled Pork, 1 handful Arugula -cooked, 2 Tbsp Goat Cheese, 1/2 C Cherry Tomatoes, 3/4 C raw Snap Peas, 2 small “Cutie” Oranges (16g carbohydrate), 2 Strawberries (6g carbohydrate)

Dinner

Travel Food

This meal was eaten in the car from containers on my lap. It was impossible to show each portion…. 1 Sandwich: Herbed Deli Turkey sandwich with Goat Cheese, Spinach, and 2 slices High Fiber WW Bread (26g carbohydrate), 1 handful of cherry tomatoes, 1 handful of sugar snap peas, 1 small handful of cashews eaten with 1 handful of carrot “chips,” 1/2 Cara Cara Orange (15g carbohydrate).

Proof I was eating in the car…

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Day 3: Sarah wakes up at a Bed and Breakfast with no idea what they might be serving (although she did request something with eggs the night before), leaves for the mountain for a full day of skiing, gets back, takes a nap, and gets ready for a fancy dinner with Andrew at a nice restaurant.

Breakfast

Diabetic Breakfast

This is food from our bed and breakfast. He almost gave me too few carbs the first day. I had to ask for the toast. Omelet with ham, onion, mushroom, tomatoes, and cheese; 1 slice toast – cut in half (15g carbohydrate), 1 C mixed berries and melon (15g carbohydrate), 1/2 Banana sliced (15g carbohydrate), hot mint tea with no sweetener.

Lunch

What to eat when Skiing

Water, Snap Peas, Cherry Tomatoes, 3/4 C Carrots, 1/3 C Cashews and Almonds, 1 Herbed Turkey Sandwich with Goat Cheese, Spinach and 2 slices High Fiber WW Bread (26g carbohydrate).

Dinner

Counting Carbs at Restaurants

This is from the Downtown Grocery – a great place to eat in Ludlow, VT. Andrew and I split the Cara Cara and Beet Salad with Cheese (10g carbohydrate) and the Roasted Acorn Squash with toasted Mushroom Soup (15g of carbohydrate). Then I ordered the Ribeye with creamed Spinach and Lincoln Log Potatoes (20g carbohydrate). Mmmm!!!!! So yummy.

Day 4: Almost the exact same situation as day 3: Bed and Breakfast mystery breakfast, lunch on the mountain, and dinner date.

Breakfast

Andrie Rose Breakfast

Ham and Potato Frittata (I estimated about a 1/2 C potatoes = 15g carbohydrate), 1 slice toast (15g carbohydrate), and 1 C mixed fruit (15g carbohydrate). Unsweetened Hot Apple Cinnamon Tea to drink.

Lunch

Ski Lunches

BBQ Pulled Pork Sandwich (45g carbohydrate) from a hut on the mountain, Spinach, 3/4 C Carrots, 1/2 C Almonds and Cashews, 1 handful Cherry Tomatoes, 1 handful sugar snap peas. Hot Tea to drink.

Dinner

Diabetic Fine Dining

Andrew and I split a soup, salad, and entree between the two of us. We had some kind of Salad with Blue Cheese, Avocados, and a few slices of Pear (5g carbohydrate), 1/2 wheat roll (15g carbohydrate), 1C lentil spinach soup (15g carbohydrate), Pork Shoulder, Green Beans, 2 spears of Asparagus, and 1/4 C of mashed Herb Sweet Potatoes (10g carbohydrate) and 1/4 C Parsnips.

SUNDAY: This is my day of rest. I think everyone should get one day off per week. Although, you should note that it’s not a day to completely blow it. I was not AS STRICT on this day, but I definitely DIDN’T blow it with something huge like a DQ Blizzard for 140g carbohydrate.

Breakfast – (not pictured) Bed and Breakfast decided to make pancakes, cereal, milk, juice and fresh fruit as a breakfast option. That’s a lot of carbohydrates. I skipped the cereal, milk, juice, and fresh fruit. I ate 1 1/3 6 inch pancakes (30g carbohydrate) and used about 1 Tbsp Maple Syrup (15g carbohydrates). I left hungry, went upstairs to my room and snacked on some nuts.

the hatchery Ludlow, VT

Lunch – Southwestern Chicken Sandwich at the Hatchery (Ludlow, VT). Two slices Sourdough Bread (30g carbohydrate), Chicken Breast, Salsa, Cheese, and sliced Avocado. 5-6 Lays Chips (8g carbohyrate -I normally would not even touch these, blame the pancakes for making me feel desperate).

Snacks on the Road- Almonds, Cashews, 1/2 Cara Cara Orange (10g carbohydrate), 1 slice of Andrew’s homemade Banana Bread (30g carbohydrate)

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Dinner – Roasted Chicken (reheated) with Pesto, 1 C Roasted Potatoes with Pesto, Spinach, and Parmesan (30g carbohydrate), 1 1/2 C cooked Sugar Snap Peas, 1/2 a Pear for dessert (15g carbohydrate)

Day 5: Breakfast with Andrew, leaving for work, forgetting cell phone at home, returning home during lunch break and reheating leftovers, Dinner with host family (menu decided by host mom who has very little knowledge on carbohydrate counting).

Breakfast

Diabetic Breakfast Ideas

A very delicious meal made by myself and Andrew. 1 WW English Muffin (25g carbohydrate), Scrambled Eggs with Spinach, Tomatoes, and Pesto, 1/2 Banana sliced (15g carbohydrate) and 1/2 of a small Orange “Cutie” (4g carbohydrate)

Lunch

Diabetic Lunch Ideas

4 ounces Beef Pot Roast, 1 C Sugar Snap Peas, 1/2 C Roasted Potatoes (15g carbohydrate), 1/2 C Roasted Onions, Carrots, and Mushrooms, 1 slice High Fiber Bread (13g carbohydrate), 1/2 C Grapes (15g carbohydrate)

Dinner

Diabetic Pasta Dinner

Note: This meal was not planned or made by me, but it was FOR me. Sometimes you’re going to be in a situation where you “do what you can to get by and be polite to your host”. This is one of those times. I chose to allot my carbohydrate like so:  2/3 C Noodles (30g carbohydrate), 1 1/2 C tomato sauce (unsweetened), 1 sausage, 3 C salad with Cheese, Pecans, and Berries (15g carbohydrate)

Forty Days of 45 grams of Carbohydrate/Meal

Happy Ash Wednesday!

I’m supposed to be going to bed right now because I have a really busy day tomorrow. You know just a normal day… going to Vermont (a place on my bucket list for the past 10 years) with Andrew for the weekend. (!!!) No big deal. (Totally a big deal!)

BUT, regardless of my plans for tomorrow, I just couldn’t go to bed without talking to you fine people.

Today is the beginning of lent. Some of you may practice lent and some of you may not. It really doesn’t matter. During the lenten holiday (40 days of preparation before Easter), I decided I would start a fun project for the blog.

Forty days of 45g carbohydrate meals!

Forty-five grams of carbohydrate is what I recommend to most of my female patients with diabetes. It’s a great way to control your blood sugars and lose about 10% of your excess weight. So, everyday I’ll be practicing what I preach and taking photos of my plates. A lot of people would be surprised to see how much food it can be (or how little depending on the situation). I won’t make any exceptions. If I’m out to eat with friends, at a party, or cooking at home – I vow to stick to 45 grams of carbohydrate. This could get interesting…. :)

I plan to post a fair number of them. If you’d like to copy-cat my meals – feel free!

Here’s our first day of meals…

Day 1: Forty Days of 45g Carbohydrate Meals

Breakfast – cooked at home

Diabetic Breakfast

2 scrambled Eggs, 2 C fresh Strawberries (25g), 1 High fiber English Muffin (20g), 2 Tbsp Almond Butter, Water to drink

Lunch – purchased from hospital cafeteria

Diabetic Lunch

2 slices Whole Wheat Bread (30g), 4-6 ounces shaved Chicken, Provolone Cheese, 2-3 pieces of Lettuce, 4 slices Tomato, 6 slices of Cucumber, 2 Tbsp Honey Mustard dressing (3g), and 1 small Orange (15g), Water to drink

Dinner – prepared by friend

Diabetic Dinner

6-8 oz Raspberry Chicken Breast (10g), 1/2 C Couscous and Peas (20g), Spring Greens with Plums and Maple Balsamic dressing (15g), Water to drink

Roasted Cauliflower Soup with Curry

As a blog writer, you should know that I also enjoy blog reading.

One of my favorite blogs is by a girl named Joy. Her blog is called “Joy the Baker,” but she does waaaay more than just bake. She’s like a mentor to me – even though she probably doesn’t even know I’m reading. (Seriously. I must get better about commenting.)

Anyways, I was catching up on some of my favorites when I saw this recipe for Roasted Cauliflower Soup with Cumin. Immediately, I emailed Andrew (my happiest kitchen helper) that we needed to make this soup ASAP. Of course, he agreed.

You see, Joy takes perfect pictures. They always look so good I have no choice but to commit. But, I didn’t know what I was committing to… Everything happened so quickly – I’m embarrassed to say I hadn’t even looked at the recipe before the making day.

So, I intended to make this soup, but in the process of making Joy’s soup something wonderful happened. I realized that the soup was more than just “with Cumin.” It was a soup “with Cumin and Curry.”

DO YOU KNOW WHAT THAT MEANS??!?! It opened up a whole new flavor palate! I love curry the most when it includes citrus, coconut, and cilantro. So, I adapted the recipe.

Here’s the Beetingheart’s version of an already great soup! (Thanks Joy!)

Recipe: Roasted Cauliflower Soup with Curry

Curry Cauliflower Soup

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 Heads of Cauliflower
  • 3 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • 2 Tbsp Curry Powder
  • 1 Tbsp Cumin Powder
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 1/2 Fresh Lemon
  • 4 C Chicken Broth
  • 3 Tbsp Butter
  • 1 Medium Onion
  • 6 ounces Coconut Milk
  • Cilantro

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Cut the cauliflower into medium size pieces and lay flat on a roasting pan (or a cookie sheet with raised edges).
  2. Drizzle olive oil and spices over cauliflower and roast with the 1/2 lemon for 25 minutes. Once finished, squeeze the lemon juice over the top of the roasted cauliflower.
  3. Multitasking – While the cauliflower is roasting, cook the onion in a pan with 1 tbsp of butter until soft. Remove from heat.
  4. Bring chicken stock to boil and add roasted cauliflower, cooked onions, and remainder of butter (2 T). Gently boil over medium heat for 10 minutes.
  5. Use a food processor/blender/or immersion tool to blend cauliflower to a somewhat smooth consistency. Return soup to pan.
  6. Add the coconut milk to desired consistency. Stir.
  7. Top with Cilantro and serve.

Along with this beautiful recipe, I recommend Curried Coconut Spinach as a side dish.

Recipe: Curried Coconut Spinach

Cooked Spinach

Ingredients:

  • 4-6 C Fresh Spinach
  • 1 tsp Olive Oil
  • 1 Tbsp Coconut Milk
  • 1/2 tsp Curry Powder

Directions:

  1. Heat pan with oil. Add fresh spinach and toss.
  2. Let heat until spinach is halfway cooked.
  3. Add coconut milk and top with curry powder.
  4. Serve immediately.

A Note to the Diabetics: This is a very low carb soup. I would estimate 2 Cups as 15g of carbohydrate. The spinach is also considered a non-carb. Therefore, this is the perfect meal to have bread, fruit or dessert in order to reach your carbohydrate budget (45-60g of carbohydrates per meal).

I’m pretty sure this is a meal that would help turn those hands yellow… Exciting!!!

Almond Butter and Hot Banana Sandwich

A New Sandwich

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To be honest, the only reason I even THOUGHT of making this sandwich is because Andrew said something about an almond butter banana sandwich he made a few days ago. I used to love peanut butter banana sandwiches. It’s only reasonable that almond butter and banana would also make a good combo.

After all, almond butter is > than peanut butter in my opinion.

I can’t say I’m wild for bananas though. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve noticed they’ve started losing their appeal. In fact, the only way they can still “wow me” is if I cook them. A hot banana is > than a cold banana.

With these brilliant ideas and revelations pouring into my brain, I had but one choice… to actualize the sandwich. It was up to me to make it happen. Luckily, the cosmos aligned and all the necessary ingredients were within reach.

Recipe: Almond Butter and Hot Banana Sandwich

Almond Butter and Banana Sandwich

I started by toasting my high fiber, whole wheat sandwich bread… When dealing with a banana (30 grams of carbohydrate) sandwich, one must cut carbs where they can. High fiber bread comes out to only 10-13g of net carbohydrates per slice compared to white bread at 15-22g net carbohydrates per slice.

Next, I got out my pan to heat the banana. One little of sliver of butter went to ensure the proper browning of the banana. Don’t feel guilty about this – it’s nothing in the grand scheme of things. Cook the banana on both sides for ~3 minutes or until brown. Sprinkle with cinnamon and remove from heat.

Banana

By this time, your bread should be popping out of the toaster. Collect the high fiber bread and lovingly apply almond butter. You can be generous and apply to both sides. I like the crunchy almond butter, but you’re entitled to your own opinion. Smooth might also be nice.

Almond Butter Sandwich

Once both slices are ready, carefully lay the hot banana across the toasted bread with almond butter. Take several pictures. Send them to your friends and family. Make post cards and send them around the world. Spread the word. Almond butter and hot banana sandwiches for everyone.

Peanut butter and banana

To round out this high carbohydrate and high fat sandwich, I added two eggs for protein. It was a quick easy lunch. You don’t haaaaave to cook eggs with this sandwich, but you caaaaaan. Remember, getting protein in your meals is important to help preserve my muscle mass. No fluffy girls around here. :)

A Note to the Diabetics: This sandwich would be 50 grams of carbohydrate if you use an entire 8 inch banana and two slices of double fiber bread. If you cannot find double fiber bread, my recommendation is to use only half a banana instead of a whole. This alteration would equal about the same 50g of carbohydrate. Other non-carbohydrate foods to have with the sandwich could be non starchy vegetables like baby carrots or salad.

Enjoy! Happy Thursday everyone!

Losing “Control” in Philly

Philly

How much of your life are you going to spend trying to achieve something that’s unachievable?

If you like to know what’s coming your way or if you get frazzled when situations don’t go as planned, then you might have a problem with control.

If you spend your days trying to change the people around you, or playing the victim, then you might have a problem with control.

If you like to tell God what to do in your prayers at night, then you might have a problem with control.

If you think your ideas are the best ideas or the only ideas that will work, then you might have a problem with control.

Here’s the problem with control…

Control is an illusion.

The only thing you have control over is the way YOU respond to life. That’s it. You have control over YOU.

You don’t have control over your situation in life. You can’t control how the people around you act. You can’t control the future. You can’t save up enough money to be safe. You can’t build up enough walls to keep from being hurt. You can’t bargain with God to get your way. You can’t choose how long you get to live.

We are small. We are independent. We are free.

You do you. Let God have control of the rest.

The Problem with “Control” as a Christian

When we act like we can handle our lives, or when we’re in control of our situation, then we act like we are our own gods. But are you qualified?

Personally, I wish I would stop pretending to be a god. I wish I would stop telling God to leave me alone. I wish I would realize that I’m not enough. But, I am just like you. I fool myself into believing my own bravado.

But, that’s all it is. It’s just bravado.

With my limited understanding and my limited perspective, I really shouldn’t be the one in control. In fact, when I try to be the one in control, usually I just end up making an even bigger mess than I started with.

Don’t forget to let go.

Some of the best things have happened to me when I let go of my imaginary control. As I passed by a Baptist church in Philly, I was talking to Andrew about my perceptions of the Baptist theology. He’s never been to a Baptist church, so I was trying to describe it to him. In high school, I had some friends who were Baptist and I remembered struggling to understand why it mattered so much to them that I would “be saved.”  I felt like God had always been there for me. Why did I need to have “a moment?” Why did I need to “be saved?”

But now that I’m older, I think being saved is just another way of saying “surrendering.”

I’ve had several “surrender” moments.

I “surrendered”my illusion of control when I agreed to move out to the East Coast.

I still don’t know all the reasons why I’m here. But, I’m four months in and starting to see some of the tapestry I’ve been weaving. It’s pretty cool. Looking back, I can start to see how God’s been planning something good for me all along.

Sure, I had to leave my great job with the patients and co-workers I loved. I moved out of my cute little apartment. I ended my relationship. I said goodbye to my family and friends. I left everything for something unknown. But, I knew it was okay because it wasn’t me in control. Trust me, if I was in control, I would have never left.

But, I did leave. And while there have been some challenging parts, overall I am so happy out here.

I’ve made great friends. I have a good job. I’m living with a wonderful family who has become my home away from home. I met Andrew – who is really great. I’m experiencing things I’ve never had the chance to experience. It’s okay. Everything is okay. Actually it’s better than okay.

Control is overrated. In fact, it’s not even a real thing. At least, not for you or I…

What would you be doing with your life if you let God have control?

Philly: Reading Terminal Market

Don’t ever go here on a date. You’ll like it too much.

Reading Terminal Market

So, Andrew and I decided to visit the Reading Terminal Market this weekend. It’s probably one of the coolest spots for any foodie in Philly. I went by myself once, but it’s a lot more fun if you go with Andrew. If anyone needs to have his number, just message me. I’ll get you in touch with him for the full experience. ;) (Andrew, When you said I should never hold back on the blog…you meant that, right?)

Produce

I’m obviously joking. You guys don’t have time to be going on dates. You’re too busy… reading blogs.

Anyways, back to the date. All I need to tell you is that it’s awesome. My favorite place we visited inside the market is this little olive oil and balsamic vinegar shop. You can try all these different variations of vinegar that you didn’t even know existed. It’s so amazing.

Reading Terminal Market

Oil and Vinegar

A lot of people don’t realize how easy it is to make your own salad dressing with those two ingredients. I didn’t know it either. I learned about oil and vinegar dressings when I went to France after graduating college.

I remember sitting at this cute little Parisian restaurant trying to order my food in French. (Side note: I am terrible at French and I swear 70% of people in Paris know how to speak English, they just refuse out of spite.) Anyways, I had given up on French and I was trying to ask, “What kind of salad dressing do you have?” I remember their response distinctly because it was so kind… they looked at me with this “I hate Americans” face and pointed to a little jar of oil and vinegar on the table, “That (pointing emphatically) is your salad dressing.” (I wish I could type a French accent.) After one last look of pity/disgust, they turned to leave me alone to get acquainted with my little oil and vinegar container.

“It’s you and me, guys” she says to the oil and vinegar containers. “We’re going to make this work.”

But seriously, that night changed my life forever. The response might sound a little rude, but I am thankful. If it weren’t for that kind soul, I would have never known how glorious a good oil and vinegar dressing could be… and really – to get back to my original point – neither would Andrew.

On our first cooking night, I taught him to make a very simple Maple and Balsamic Dressing. I can teach you too. You want to learn? Get ready to read the shortest recipe ever.

Recipe: Maple Balsamic Dressing

Homemade Salad Dressing

Ingredients:

  • 1 part Balsamic Vinegar
  • 1 part Maple Syrup
  • 1 part Olive Oil

Directions:

  1. Mix together.
  2. Shake well.
  3. Add to salad.

Gosh, that was hard right? Woo! I’m worn out just typing that recipe.

— taking a break —-

Okay, I’m back.

A Note to the Diabetics: I don’t always make this dressing. Sometimes, I’ll just put vinegar on my salad. If you’re worried about the syrup, you could use sugar-free syrup (yuck). Or you could count the carbs in the syrup (15g carb per Tablespoon of syrup or 5g carbohydrate per Tablespoon of dressing). Or you could just do oil and vinegar (for free!). All kinds of options… take your pick.

Enjoy!