Jun 24 2016

Loving the BLUETOOTH connection!

There is something very magical about having the ability to sync your glucose readings automatically. It makes your life a million times better. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve gone to see my endocrinologist and had some readings in a traditional logbook and some readings on an app on my phone, but the majority of the readings were still inside the glucose monitoring device waiting to be transferred.

Bluetooth connection changes all of that. As a new mom trying to balance it all, I have greatly appreciated having the opportunity to test the FORA TN’G Voice Glucose Monitoring System

IMG_0400Here’s my experience:

When it first arrived, I was most eager to try the Bluetooth feature so I jumped right in. My personality type is whatever type that does NOT like to read instruction manuals and that was… umm… a MISTAKE!

InstructionsAfter not getting very far, I had to go back and read the directions and guess what? I’m SO glad that I did. This GMS (Glucose Monitoring System) has many more features than I’m accustomed to having. I was able to set the time, a few alarms, the time of day for the readings, and the coolest of them all…set the volume of the TALKING Feature (or mute it).  This devise actually talks to you.

Although the talking feature wouldn’t be great during the times when I want to be discreet (during class or in meetings or in church) but at home this is perfect.  It’s also great for people who are visually impaired.

After getting it all hooked up, I struggled for a while trying to get the Bluetooth connection going, but once I found the correct button to press, it was SMOOTH sailing. (*It’s important to connect the Bluetooth via the APP on your phone and NOT the settings on your phone. This tip will spare you the unlimited amount of hours that I wasted without connectivity).

IMG_0404This is the app and setting it up was very easy.

IMG_0408I gave it access to WRITE and READ data.

IMG_0407Once it was installed… it was smooth sailing. I checked my glucose.

IMG_0411Do you see the light? This was so freaking cool. You’re able to check your glucose in the middle of the night when hypos hit without having to spend energy turning on the lights in the room. Furthermore…

IMG_0414The ENTIRE device provides EXCELLENT lighting and large numbers. This is my after meal reading.

IMG_0415When I finished checking my glucose, I didn’t have to touch the testing strip. I just pressed this button on the side and it popped out into the trash. It was like shooting a 3-pointer with nothing-but-net.

After some time trying out this GMS, here are the pros and cons.

Cons:

1. The size. It’s the biggest GMS I’ve ever had.

IMG_0413It’s bigger than my current accuCheck and takes up a large portion of my hand

IMG_04122. I checked the major stores here in South Florida (Walmart, Target, CVS, Walgreens) and they don’t carry the strips. So, you have to make sure you order enough online.

Besides that, I was very much pleasantly pleased by it. On their website, they do offer a smaller one that might be easier to carry in a small purse.

Pros:

  1. The BLUETOOTH!!!! (Allows you to sync your readings to your phone quickly and completely hands-free)

  2. The light (It’s so helpful, especially at night)

  3. The audio voice technology. When you insert a test strip it says aloud “Thank you for using Fora Health Products. Please relax during measurement. Please apply blood into the strip.” (I liked being reminded that I need to relax. Sometimes testing can be nerve-wrecking)

  4. The App (I can easily view my readings and give them to my Endocrinologist at my next visit)

  5. Bluetooth (just had to say it again because it’s just so darn fantastic!)

If you’d like to try it, it can be found HERE

*This review contains my honest opinion. I have not been paid for this review. I did receive the glucose monitoring device to test out at no cost.

 

 

Apr 16 2016

Qatar Airways has the BEST Diabetic Meals!

I travel a lot.

I am blessed to have have flown on more international flights than I can count and with a variety of airlines. I’ve traveled to 21 countries but I have NEVER had a diabetic meal as balanced and delicious as I have on Qatar Airways.

Last week, on my flight from Houston to Doha, I was given the following meal for dinner.

IMG_0067This meal consisted of: Salmon, rice, veggie sauce, a small green salad, fruit, and water. This was not only tasty but filling. The “regular” meal choices were chicken or vegetarian options which made me appreciate my fish option even more. Who doesn’t love salmon? It made me feel as special as my meal was.

Then before the descend, we were given breakfast.

IMG_0069This meal consisted of: Egg omelet, sauteed spinach, pink grapefruit, plain yogurt with a strawberry, a rice cake, and orange juice. I asked for the roll and butter.

If there was ever a time I got excited about a rice cake, it was last week on my flight. Why? Well, I like rice cakes but it was another one of those things that made Qatar stand out…what airline gives you a rice cake? Moreover, an apple cinnamon rice cake? I saved it for my snack and it was the perfect pick me up a couple of hours later.

Hands down, no hesitation, Qatar’s diabetic meals are the best that I have had on any flight. No Shade to other airlines…well maybe just enough to encourage them to step up their game. I use to fly (an airline that I will not name) frequently and I stopped requesting diabetic meals because they were not balanced (either too many carbs or not enough), they were not appealing, or tasty. It is a horrible feeling to get a “special” meal and look around at the “regular” meals and want to beat yourself up. The last time I flew on (an airline that I will not name) I ended up telling the flight attendant that I didn’t want the diabetic meal once I saw it. Sadly, she looked at the meal and understood.

The next time you flight internationally don’t be afraid to order the diabetic meal on Qatar Airways.

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*I have not been paid for this post, I am just so thankful that there is an airline that gets our dietary needs that I think you all should know.

Mar 16 2016

Never Forget: Diabetes is Bigger than You

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.IMG_0035

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.

IMG_0036 IMG_0038 IMG_0040 IMG_0041

Mar 09 2016

If Your Skin Could Talk? TriDerma’s Competition

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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.

Information:

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.

About TriDerma:

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

My Struggle With Rice Dishes and The Plate Method

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

Chicken briyani

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?

chicken biryani

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

Pregnancy Weight Gain: Secret to Staying Under 20lbs

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.

DSC_0519

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.

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Dec 01 2015

Dry Skin, Diabetes, and TriDerma’s “Foot Revival” Cream

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.

triderma-samplesOf 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:

triderma-feetMY LEFT FOOT: After drying from the shower and as you can see it’s ashy!

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).

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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.

IMG_0255My 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

World Diabetes Day “Let’s Talk about Type 2”

Here’s a snippet of my presentation given on World Diabetes Day.

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Nov 13 2015

My Not-So Pinterest Pregnancy Announcement

Screen Shot 2015-11-13 at 11.26.37 AMAlmost 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.

But…this is what REALLY happened…

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 heard the beeping sound of the test.

I took a deep breathe.

I inhaled serenity.

I exhaled all my desires.

I opened my eyes.

I saw this…IMG_0387I picked up the test and held it. I looked again. I looked harder.

In an instant, I wept.

I just broke down with gratitude that God had given me this gift. I smiled. I laughed. I jumped up and ran…

into the bedroom and waived that test in front of my husband’s sleeping eyes and started screaming…

“I’M PREGNANT” (jumps on bed)

(So much for the perfect pinterest announcement)

“What?” rubs his eyes and opened them.

“TURN ON THE LIGHT, I’M PREGNANT SEE” (shoves test further in his face)

“Let me see” (he tries seeing but was probably dreaming and now has an over exuberant wife in his face)

“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.”IMG_0389Next 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.  IMG_0388

Oct 13 2015

Deciding on Motherhood while Living with Type 2

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.

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