stevenpiziks: (Outdoors)
You're supposed to avoid sweets and simple carbs such as white flour when you're diabetic. And that bites.  There are workarounds, though.  I experimented with this recipe for cookies, and it came out pretty good:

BASIC DIABETIC COOKIE RECIPE

2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup Stevia white sugar substitute
1/2 cup Splenda brown sugar blend (which is part brown sugar and part sugar substitute)
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1 c white flour
1 3/4 c whole wheat or whole wheat white flour (for crispier cookies, reduce by 1/2 cup)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Cream butter and sweeteners together until well blended (about two minutes).  Beat in eggs and vanilla. Sift together dry ingredients and mix slowly into butter mixture until just blended.  Drop by rounded spoonfuls onto greased or parchment-lined baking sheet and bake for 11-13 minutes or until desired doneness.  Cool on rack.

That's the basic recipe.  To make them interesting, you add other stuff:

VARIATIONS:

CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES
Add 2 cups extra dark chocolate chips or chunks (the 60% cacao chips have less sugar)
OPTIONAL: Sprinkle each cookie with a pinch of kosher salt before baking

REVERSE COOKIES
Add 1/2 cocoa before adding dry ingredients
Reduce whole wheat flour by 1/4 cup.
Add one package white chocolate chips after dry ingedients (this will increase sugar content)
OPTIONAL: Add 1 cup dried cherries or dried cranberries (this will also increase sugar content, but the tartness breaks up the sweetness and is delicious)

OATMEAL COOKIES
Reduce white flour to 3/4 cup
Reduce wheat flour to 1 cup
Add 3 cups uncooked rolled oats after dry ingredients
If desired, add 1 cup raisins (though this will increase sugar content)

ESPECIALLY TASTY COOKIES
Reduce white flour to 3/4 cup
Reduce wheat flour to 1 cup
Put 2 cups uncooked oats into food processor with blade attachment. Pulse until the consistency of coarse flour.  Add after dry ingredients.
Add 1 more cup uncooked oats (not processed)
Add one package white chocolate chips after dry ingedients (this will increase sugar content)

Enjoy!
stevenpiziks: (Outdoors)
Since I've been bitten by the diabetic bug, I've sliced my sugar intake notieably.  I wasn't a huge sugar eater to begin with (though the American diet has an awful lot of hidden sugar in it, to be sure), but now it's even lower.

I've made some discoveries.

I can't drink anything but diet soda anymore.  Diet soda has been my caffeine source of choice for decades now, but it has to be ice-cold and cherry-flavored.  I didn't like it in a bottle--not cold enough--and restaurants rarely serve diet cherry soda, so whenever I went to a restaurant or bought soda to drink on the road, I got regular.  Now that I've gone off it entirely, though, I've found that, on the rare occasions I =do= have some, I can't handle it.  Even half a glass makes me feel sick.

The same goes for sugary desserts.  I can handle a bite or two, but that's it.  Half a dozen M&Ms or a fun-size candy bar or a donut hole is more than enough.  For some reason, ice cream doesn't bother me as much.  I can take a small scoop, if I eat it slowly.

I still like sweets, and I still need them for when I get hungry out of nowhere.  I've discovered protein snacks--those bars done up like granola bars or brownies that are higher in fiber and lower in carbs.  Many are under 20 grams of carbohydrate, which is nice, and I can eat one without overloading my fragile eco-system.

I made apple crisp a while ago.  This turned out to be a good choice of dessert.  It doesn't have a lot of sugar in it, and apples are a high-fiber fruit, which slows the absorption of fructose.

So many adjustments.
stevenpiziks: (Outdoors)
Since I was diagnosed with diabetes, it's been an merry-go-round of doctors and other medical people.  A diabetes specialist.  A dietician.  (Carbs are the Food of Doom for diabetics, but fats are the Food of Doom if you want to lose weight, so apparently I'm only supposed to eat proteins.)  A liver specialist.  A GI specialist.  I still have to hit up the medical supply company.

I supposed I should be glad that I have good insurance and access to good health care, and that I'm not writing right now, so I have more time to for all these appointments.  But it gets wearing, going through my medical history yet again (especially when each new doctor should have my records from my GP), explaining what's going on, and getting still more instructions.

It also feels like I take great handfuls of pills.  Metformin twice a day.  Lisinopril to protect my kidneys from the Metformin--and since Lisinopril is a blood pressure medication, I'm supposed to take my blood pressure three or four times a day to make sure mine doesn't drop too low.  (After a week of that, I stopped doing it--my blood pressure stabilized just fine.)  Topamax to keep my migraine headaches at bay.  Vitamin D tablets, a staple if you live in Michigan, where the sun doesn't shine enough.  My doctor suspects I should take Lipitor because no matter how much I exercise and avoid fat--I seriously don't eat much fatty food--I seem genetically disposed to have high cholesterol.

My new exercise regimen--running 6 times a week for 20 minutes--has lost me weight.  This is good.  My goal is to get off the diabetes medication altogether.
stevenpiziks: (Outdoors)
Everyone gets up in arms about artificial sweeteners. Whenever a new sweetener comes out, it comes under attack by the uber-granola crowd.  First it was saccharine.  Then aspartame.  Then sucralose. Then...

They cause cancer.  They cause diabetes.  They cause addiction to sweet foods.  They cause obesity.  They cause . . . they cause . . they cause . . .

Know what?  There isn't one shred of documented evidence for any of this.  Saccharine, for example, was indeed found to cause cancer in lab rats, but only when the rats were given nearly their own body weight in the stuff first.  But the headline SACCHARINE CAUSES CANCER got out, and suddenly everyone was screaming for it to be removed from foods.  Aspartame was used for decades and has absolutely no harmful side-effects whatsoever, as study after study after study has shown.  But thanks to the granola crunching crowd on the Internet, memes spread that it was somehow bad for you and the howling began.  Now the soda companies have removed it from their drinks and they're replaced it with Sucralose, which doesn't taste as good.

I really, really hate stupid people.

The only artificial sweetener Darwin can stomach in coffee or other mixed beverages is aspartame, largely because other sweeteners don't dissolve well. But it's getting harder to find thanks to the granola idiots.

And here's the thing: I'm breaking all kinds of granola idiot rules, to great effect.

DON'T USE ARTIFICIAL SWEETENERS IN BAKING, they howl.  Never, ever ever!

Yeah?  Bite my hairy long one.  Maybe you'll get a little protein out of it, granola ass-wipes.

A while ago, I bought a big bag of zero-calorie white "sugar" and zero-calorie brown "sugar."  The white is supposed to be used one-for-one as regular sugar, and the brown is twice as sweet, so you use half as much.

As an experiment, I made some chocolate chip cookies with it.  I followed the recipe pretty much as normal, but substituting artificial sweetener for sugar: 3/4 cups of white and about 1/3 cup of brown.  Because I was afraid of lost bulk, I added another 1/3 cup of white sugar.  I also wanted to reduce the amount of simple carbohydrates from the flour.  The normal recipe I use calls for 2 3/4 cups of white flour.  I changed this to 1 1/2 cups of white flour and 1 1/4 cups of whole wheat flour and used 1 1/4 t. of baking soda instead of just 1 teaspoon to ensure a decent rise.  I also used dark chocolate chips, which have lower sugar than semi-sweet or milk chocolate chips.

The recipe:

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
3/4 cup artificial white sugar
1/3 cup artificial brown sugar
1/3 cup white sugar
1 t vanilla
2 large eggs
1/2 t salt
1 1/2 cups white flour
1 1/4 cups whole wheat flour
12 oz. (2 cups) dark chocolate chips or pieces

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Beat butter and all sweeteners together until well blended at medium speed, approximately three minutes.  Stir in eggs and vanilla.  Sift together dry ingredients and blend into butter mixture until just combined.  Mix in chocolate chips. Drop by spoonfuls onto greased or parchment-lined cookie sheet and bake until golden brown, usually about 12 minutes.

They came out tasting delicious.  Darwin and the boys said they couldn't tell the difference between these and regular cookies.

Yesterday, I tried the same thing with banana bread, once again substituting artificial sweetener for the sugar and using half white and half whole wheat flour.  I got the same result--banana bread that was indistinguishable from regular bread, but something the diabetics in the house could eat without spiking their blood sugar.
stevenpiziks: (Outdoors)
To combat being diabetic, I'm working harder at losing weight. This isn't easy when you're 49 and your body says, "Nope--I'm done with that crap. We're good where we are."

However, I don't want to be on meds forever, and my specialist says I have a good shot at getting off them.

So I'm throwing food away.

It isn't easy throwing food away.  We're all raised to say, "Don't waste food!" If you throw a single potato chip away, a blue bolt from beyond will slice you in half like a salted ham.

But a bunch of foods I can't keep in the house.  Case in point: a while ago, Darwin and I were supposed to go out of town with friends, but the trip was canceled.  We'd bought some food to share, including a large amount of cheese dip.  It's perfectly good in that it's edible, but I can't eat it if I want to lose weight, and the boys show zero interest in it.  There's quite a lot of it, and we paid good money for it.  It's been sitting in the refrigerator because I don't know what to do with it.

Today I threw it all out.

Bye bye!  Gone.  Out!

I'm teaching myself more and more to throw food away.  The starving child in China will go without whether I keep it or toss it, so we can toss it.  No one will die.  If Americans throw out twenty trillion tons of food a year, no one will notice my extra pound and a half.

Out!

Me, Too

Aug. 23rd, 2016 08:06 am
stevenpiziks: (Outdoors)
It turns out I'm diabetic, too.

I got the diagnosis a week and half ago.  It's not a big surprise--my father and grandmother were diabetic, and were diagnosed when they were younger than I am now--but I was hoping to dodge this particular bullet.  No such luck.

I'm on medication so far.  No insulin.

Darwin reacts to being diabetic by ignoring it as much as he can.  He hates needles, so he won't check his blood sugar.  He wouldn't go see a specialist until I pushed him into it.  (The specialist's help made immediate improvements to Darwin's health after the first visit, which made Darwin a convert there, at least.)

I'm reacting by going crazy in the other direction. Needles don't bother me in the slightest, so I check my blood sugar half a dozen times a day.  I experiment with food and activity.  What's my sugar level after eating this food?  After drinking that liquid?  After doing this amount of exercise?  I monitor every feeling and sensation.  Why am I thirsty?  Is that a dizzy spell?  Where is this faint nausea coming from?  I downloaded an app to keep track of all the data.

Darwin, at least, is checking his blood sugar more often because I can do it for him.  I'll poke him fast and get it over with, whereas he always needs a long time to psych himself up.  I've become an expert with the lancet.

Some times I take it in stride: "Hey, you just have to take a few pills every day and cut back on sugary and starchy food, which you should do anyway.  What's the big deal?"

Other times I feel like I've been smacked in the head with a tombstone: "Fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck."

And now I have a new blog tag.

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