Apr 16 2016
Mar 16 2016
It’s always a unique experience when you travel to a diabetes walk. Why? Because you get a real sense of just how global the epidemic is.
Sometimes we can get caught up in our little sections of the diabetes cause and remain focused on “our” issues be it race, age, type, nationality, or some other “otherness” category and forget that diabetes is affecting us all. It’s affecting the skinny as well as the obese, the blacks and well as the whites, the young as well as the older, the poor as well as the affluent, the Westerners as well as the Easterners, and the 1s and the 2s. Yes, there are some MAJOR disproportions that need consideration and attention. However, sometimes, it’s good to bond around 1 common issue: Diabetes.
I had the pleasure of attending a Diabetes Walk with about 95% Indian and Filipino population. I was alone, so it forced me meet people that I might otherwise not chat with. Additionally, it gave me another opportunity to see just how widespread diabetes is from a global perspective.
I had an awesome time, I would encourage anyone to take a break from your macro corner, get out and travel to a diabetes walk in another town or state, enjoy seeing different faces, races, cultures, ages, and types so that you too can be reminded that our fight is bigger than our differences.
Mar 09 2016
If you attended any of my recent Diabetes Awareness Seminars, then you most likely got a chance to sample TriDerma’s new Diabetes Defense Skin Care products. Here’s an opportunity to get more of their products because you, yes YOU, have a chance to win.
Each time a customer writes a product review during the campaign, they will be entered to win a cash certificate to TriDerma.com. The campaign is open to all reviews, and up to 16 winners will be randomly selected. One winner will be chosen to receive a $50 gift certificate, and fifteen other winners will be selected to receive a $15 gift certificate on April 19, 2016.
TriDerma began over 20 years ago when one woman set out on a mission to find something to heal her irritated skin quickly and effectively. The brand has since helped thousands living with skin conditions, without the use of harmful chemicals. Since its start, TriDerma has grown by keeping in close contact with its customers. Handwritten notes, personal phone calls and stop-ins to the Corona headquarters have helped expand the product lines and gain new customers over the years. After listening to clients’ feedback over the years, products have been reformulated, discontinued and even created to meet particular needs of the TriDerma community.
Click HERE to enter the competition.
If you missed my review, click HERE to read it.
Feb 26 2016
I like the plate method and do my best to eat by it and the carb exchange method, but I have to admit that I also enjoy one pot rice dishes such as
Yellow rice and chicken
Pepper steak rice stew
Stir fry rice
and many others.
When it comes to counting carbs, I struggle with these types dishes because it’s difficult to take apart the carbs from the protein because every spoon has a little protein and a lot of carbs.
Imagine, if you were eating Chicken Biranyi (the dish pictured below) how would you count carb? In this dish, there are chicken drumsticks, but in some dishes the chicken is de-boned and shredded…how do you properly account for the amount of protein?
These one pot rices dishes were very popular in my house but I avoided them because it’s hard to count carbs. However, this weekend I was craving my uncle’s yellow rice chicken and I made it. Sure enough it was a carb-counting/plate method nightmare… but SO YUMMY and DELICIOUS!!!
So, here’s my bottom line. I am looking for suggestions. Any advice? What’s your rule of thumb for one pot rice dishes or pasta casseroles?
Feb 02 2016
Recently, I was asked “So, how long did it take you to lose your pregnancy weight?”
I didn’t think about it until then, but I actually lost my pregnancy weight at birth. I gained only 17lbs and my daughter was 7lbs. If you add the water weight, the extra blood in the body, and the after birth, I shed that majority, if not all, of that weight in the delivery room.
I was then asked, “How did you do that?”
Here are the Top 3 ways I was able to do it
1. I walked. I did three races while pregnant and walked as often as possible. I would walk in the mornings or in the evenings or whenever the mood hit me. I walked until my walk became a slow waddle.
2. I didn’t believe that I was eating for two and I didn’t let myself go. I know some women feel that pregnancy is their time to eat like a pig and not have to worry. Kudos to them, but I didn’t work this hard and for so long to just throw caution to the wind. After all, I did lose 50lbs and was finally under 200lbs. As a Type 2, my days of eating uncontrollably and not worry about the consequences are in a distant past. I stuck with my life as normal-eat in moderation and exercised. Unfortunately, I had to quit Zumba and other high impact aerobics.
3. Because I wasn’t able to produce enough insulin for me and my growing fetus, I required daily insulin injections. No big deal, it comes with the territory. I took my medicine properly and ate balanced meals. My meals were on schedule (8am breakfast, 11am snack, 2pm lunch, 5pm snack, 8pm dinner). I believe that this schedule helped tremendously because I wasn’t hungry and didn’t feel the urge to over eat.
Below are typical meals.
BREAKFAST: Two eggs and toast
SNACKS: A piece of fruit and PLAIN yogurt (yes, plain yogurt is nasty and tasteless. I tried every brand under the sun and decided to just accept that plain yogurt is bland and undesirable).
DINNER: A protein, starch, and veggies. I ate by The Plate Method.
Every woman is unique and every pregnancy is different. What worked for me, may or may not work for you. But these three things help me maintain a healthy pregnancy, keep my weight in control, and feel good throughout the entire pregnancy–they might help you or someone you know.
Dec 01 2015
I have always had dry skin, that’s just my skin type. Some have oily, others have combination, I have dry.
However, I never thought about how my skin might be drier because of diabetes, I simply thought it could be the harsher water or age or me not drinking enough water. But, after trying some of TriDerma products, I realize that it could be all of the above.
My attempts to keep my skin moisturized has consisted of applying baby oil immediately after showering, then drying off, then applying lotion. I’ve used lotion with shea butter, lotion creams, sweet-smelling Bath&Body Works, inexpensive lotions, and even concoctions I’ve made. But, nothing seems to last all day.
I was asked to give TriDerma a try and I did.
Of TriDerma’s Diabetes Defense Line, I was most excited about the Dry Skin Defense Healing Cream. But to my surprise, I was most impressed by the Foot Defense Healing Cream.
Dry Skin Defense Healing Cream Pros:
It wasn’t greasy or thick, but worked well. It’s a cream-like lotion. Perfect for everyday use.
Dry Skin Defense Healing Cream Cons:
It’s unscented and I like my lotion to have a scent.
Foot Defense Healing Cream Pros:
They need to change the name of this cream to “Foot Revival: The product you’ve waited for all your life!” I was SO impressed by this, I wanted to put it on my whole body.
Texture: It’s not cream like, it’s looks more like Vaseline, but it does not have that thick greasy feeling like Vaseline. (A major plus factor) Anyone with cracked heels understands that there comes a point when the only thing that can penetrate that heel skin is Vaseline. Well, now there is something even better. It works well on those elbows too.
Scent: a hint of aloe.
Spreadability: (yes, I create new words as a hobby) A little does go a long way.
Like I said earlier, I was most impressed by this product and would HIGHLY recommend it to anyone (even without diabetes). Here’s a picture of my feet:
MY RIGHT FOOT: I applied Foot Defense Healing Cream. Now you can see why I call it “Foot Revival.” It is smooth and lasted the entire day.
Foot Defense Healing Cream Cons:
I love my scents, if they would make this product in a scented version maybe a Minty Mango or a Peach Peppermint, it would be better than awesome. I think that tingling sensation given by mint or eucalyptus would be a nice touch for us diabetics (especially those with nerve damage).
The people at TriDerma were also nice enough to send samples for my guests at the forum I did on World Diabetes Day. In the picture below, a few participants are seen here holding up the samples.
My conclusion about TriDerma products. I am honored to review their Diabetes Defense Healing Creams. Each lotion is targeted for a particular purpose. I have been applying the Bruise Defense Healing Cream on my hands where I had a small bruise. As you know, we heal slower than non-diabetics, so I think this is a good cream to have in the house at all times. I didn’t try the Ulcer Defense Healing Cream because I don’t have any ulcers. The Dry Skin Defense Healing Cream is a great all over cream. It cut down on my need to use oil AND lotion.
The Foot Defense Healing Cream is the BEST CREAM I HAVE EVER USED. It actually lasted all day. I am telling you, they need to change the name to Foot Revival because it gave my feet a renewed shine.
If you would like to purchase for yourself or a loved one, CLICK THIS LINK.
*I received the products for review, but I did not receive any money for this review. This is my honest opinion of their products.
Nov 15 2015
Nov 13 2015
Almost naturally, I found myself on Pinterest searching for “Pregnancy announcements” because I wanted my announcement to be “P.E.R.F.E.C.T.” when I told my husband. I thought about telling him over dinner where instead of dessert on the tray, it would be the pregnancy news. Or perhaps a puzzle or scavenger hunt. While, I wasn’t sure which one it would be, I knew it would be creative. After all, I am a creative person.
It was a Wednesday morning around 5am and I had awaken early only to relieve my bladder. It would mark the 4th day I had been awaiting a visitor to no avail and I was happy, but not too happy because the month before was similar. Except my monthly visitor arrived eight days late. So, although I was happy, I didn’t want to get my hopes up too high and experience the level of disappointment I had before. I knew it was almost too early to check, but I decided to check anyway. As soon as I sat down to rescue my bladder of its load, I heard the call to prayer. I paused to bring my mind into submission. I went through the motions of taking the test and while I waited the 2 minutes for the results…I prayed.
I don’t do heartache too well. I know it’s a part of life, but it isn’t an experience I care to partake in too frequently. So, because I knew the heartbreak of wanting to be pregnant only to find a negative result, I wanted this time to be different. Previously, I had tested once with the early detection test (negative), then waited to the right window and tested again (negative), used the test from Dollar Tree (negative), used the most expensive test in the store (negative), and yet still I held on to hope. Cause we’ve all heard/read about that woman who was actually pregnant when the tests said otherwise. That could be me, couldn’t it? It wasn’t.
So, because I wanted this experience to be different, I prayed a different prayer. Rather than asking to be pregnant, I asked God to help me surrender to His will for my life. My exhaustion from being disappointed wasn’t completely over the negative test result, it was partly about not getting what I wanted when I wanted it. I knew that I needed to find peace. In those two minutes while I waited for the result, while the call to prayer was echoing from all the nearby mosques, I closed my eyes and surrendered to His will.
I took a deep breathe.
I inhaled serenity.
I exhaled all my desires.
I just broke down with gratitude that God had given me this gift. I smiled. I laughed. I jumped up and ran…
“I’M PREGNANT” (jumps on bed)
“DO YOU SEE IT? PREGNANT! I AM PREGNANT” (Feeling a sense that’s indescribable)
I eventually went back to bed and a few hours later went to the hospital and it was “confirmed.”Next Post: I share my “Pregnancy Wish List.” Now that I was pregnant, there were surely somethings I didn’t want to experience like swollen ankles. Yes, I know I still need prayer. LOL But I figure, we have not cause we ask not.
Oct 13 2015
I am not the type of woman that felt my life would be incomplete without experiencing motherhood. For most of my life, I would even say, “I don’t want children.” I didn’t get a “tingling” feeling when passing the baby section in stores and “Baby Fever” was never something I caught. It was a distant thought but nothing that lingered in my face like a golden carrot like it does for some women.
I was a bona fide career-focused woman. I made no apologies for my feelings when family would ask “So… when are you going to have kids?” My quick-witted response was “When they come out with a check in their hands.” I wasn’t even moved when my grandmother said, “I hope you have children before I die.” We laughed, but I know deep down she was serious. I said, “Grandma, you have more than 40 grandchildren and more than 10 great grandchildren, ain’t that enough.” She smiled, “but not one of them is yours.” We laughed again.
Fortunately, my husband never pressed the issue and gave me the space to be me. To do me. To focus on US. To explore the world together and establish our bond.
My diagnosis with diabetes entailed me spending six days in the hospital alone and that was a life-changing experience! Due to circumstances, not one single family member could come visit and since I was new to the city I was working in, I didn’t have a tribe of friends. I had never spent one night in a hospital before and having to spend five lonely nights there was cause to pause.
I walked away feeling strongly about two things; 1-I didn’t want to ever be that alone again, I wanted a family and 2-I was doubtful that I could have a family with Type 2.
Will I pass Type 2 to my kid(s)? How can I add anything else on my plate with having to count the carbs in everything I eat and drink? If I need to cater a hypo and my baby at the same time, who gets the priority? How do I manage finger pricks and diaper changing? See the dilemma. I had finally reached a point in my life when I wanted to be a mother, but was now so rattled with fear, anxiety, and questions about diabetes that I couldn’t possibly seriously think about children. So, I didn’t.
3 years passed.
I had carb-counting down to a science, my life with diabetes was organized and no longer consumed me, I had a diet and exercise routine, and I was living by my motto… Diagnosed NOT Defeated. I remembered that Fear and God do not occupy the same space at the same time; so it was my time to try. I prayed for a family and my prayer was granted.
I had no clue, however, that living with Type 2 while pregnant would be one of the most difficult things I have experienced. I couldn’t write about being pregnant while pregnant but I knew if I survived the experience that I would share it so that others may be informed. Tune-in to this blog series because for the next few weeks, I will be posting about my challenges and joys.
Next Blog: How I found out, how I planned to tell my husband, and how the “perfect” announcement failed.
May 14 2015
Today’s topic: What I would most like to see change about diabetes.
That’s an easy one for me. I would like for diabetes management to be more affordable. I was diagnosed while living in the United States and over the past four years I have had the privilege to benefit from access to diabetes care in two other countries and the difference in shameful.
In France, insulin, oral meds, injectables, glucose strips are reimbursed at 100%. There is no cost for needles and lancets.
In the United Arab Emirates where I lived for a year as a Fulbright Scholar, I paid $0.00 for my diabetes related medications. I will repeat that…I didn’t pay ONE SINGLE DIME for my diabetes medications. My visits to the Endo were only $13 bucks, a big difference from the $70 that I was paying in North Carolina with Blue Cross and Blue Shield’s premium healthcare plan.
I can’t tell you how many times I worried, cried, paid bills late or not at all just to come up with the $300 a month (an average) for diabetes supplies.
So, I think we have a serious problem in the USA. It’s as if we are the last to realize that diabetes is a growing epidemic and without proper management the death toll rises.
When I walked into a pharmacy and saw THE EXACT SAME glucose strips that cost me $79.00 at Walgreens or CVS (for 50) were priced for the equivalent of $ 21.51; I nearly cried. Just thinking about all the times I skipped testing after a meal to make 50 strips last a month made me sad. Why are diabetes supplies so expensive in the USA? Aren’t “they” getting enough from us already?
I can’t express the totality of how it feels to NOT have the financial worry on top the other worries that come with diabetes management–it is a feeling that we all should experience. Not just once, but forever.
I would rapidly change the cost of management so that we can focus on LIVING our lives free from worries of debt or financial bondage.