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Posts tagged ‘food’

Food Reminders.

“Half a cup?  Let me get the measuring cups,” my mom would say, foraging around in her purse for the ubiquitous set of measuring cups she toted around.

She always knew what  “half a cup” looked like because she didn’t guess.  Her management of my diabetes was precise when she was in charge, back in the day.

I am admittedly not so precise. At diabetes camp, I knew exactly what “half a cup” of coleslaw looked like because we were forced to eat everything on our plates (rules and regulations of diabetes camp in the early 90′s).  And when I was pregnant, I measured the hell out of everything out of fear of blood sugars over 180 mg/dL.  But in the ebb and flow of regular, non-specific life, I forget what half a cup looks like.  Is that size portion supposed to be closer to a pack of cards or a baseball?  (I kept writing that as “pack of carbs.”  Appropriate.)  Is half a cup supposed to fill 1/4 of my plate or more like 1/3 and what if it’s mashed cauliflower – does that mean half a cup is more of a loose estimate – and if it’s mashed potatoes, if I spread it around with my fork, is it like half a cup gains more surface area and thereby the carb count is diminished?

Logic isn’t my strong suit.  What works for me is reminding myself every few months what proper portion sizes actually look like, using measuring cups and scales and taking a few minutes to actually portion things out properly.

I tried to do this the other day, but realized that the measuring cups we received for our wedding were so worn that the measurement specifics weren’t legible anymore.

“Is this the half cup?  Or the third?”  I asked Chris.

He leaned over.  “I think that’s a tablespoon?”

So, for starters, we bought some new measuring cups.  And for the last few weeks, I’ve been trying to refresh my portion size memories.  For some of my go-to foods, like hard-boiled eggs, avocado, and chicken, I’m not worried by the “how much?” quandary, but this reminder helps a LOT for higher carb foods like pasta and fruit.  (The banana conundrum forever haunts me – “one banana” is usually the noted serving size, but bananas range from five inches to like fifteen inches, so which size is best and does size matter that much when it comes to bananas and also get your mind out of the gutter.)

Knowing proper serving sizes helps me better SWAG (scientific wild-ass guess) bolus, which helps me make better diabetes decisions and improves my blood sugar outcomes.  Blah, blah, blah, right?  I just wanted another excuse to use the picture of Siah in a banana.

 

Gluten-Free Chicken Noodle Soup.

Here’s an attempt at gluten-free chicken noodle and vegetable soup.  It tasted quite nice, actually, and no one died as a result of eating it.  We’re marking that as a win.

Note to real cooks:  Don’t judge.  I use pre-made soup broth and frozen vegetables.  I’m so lazy I don’t even make my own insulin.  Sensing a theme?

Note re: gluten-free:  Make sure you read all the packages, etc. for the ingredients you chose, to make sure the soup you’re making is actually gluten-free.

Gluten-Free Chicken Noodle (and Vegetable) Soup

Ingredient List:

  • 3 chicken breasts (or 4, if you’re feeling symmetrical)
  • Schar’s Annellini pasta (so cute)
  • 3 containers of chicken broth (I used this Pacific Foods one)
  • 3 stalks of celery
  • 1/2 white onion
  • 1 package of frozen mixed vegetables (we used these)
  • 1 cup chopped green beans
  • 1 can cannelini beans (sounds redundant – “canned cannelini.”  We used Goya.)
  • 1 tablespoon of butter
  • Bouillon, salt, and other seasonings you’re into

Cookery:

Find a medium-sized stock pot in your kitchen stash and get that thing on the burner.  Fire up the burner to medium heat, add the butter, and then add the hacked up celery bits and chopped onion.  Then add the chicken (cubed, I guess?  Or whatever the cooking term for “chopped into bite-sized bits” is.)  Let the chicken cook fully before adding anything else.

Once the chicken is cooked, pour in 1 1/2 containers of soup broth and crank up the burner to high.  Add the mixed vegetables, green beans, and the drained-and-rinsed cannelini beans.

Oh shit – you should have been cooking the little pasta noodles.  Do that.  The recommended cooking time is four minutes for the Schar noodles, but I cooked them for three minutes (because they end up added to the soup stock anyway, cooking more).  After rinsing them off, dump them into the stock pot with the rest of the soup.

Once you have all your ingredients in the stock pot, add the rest of the broth (and any bouillon, salt, etc. that you’d like, to taste) and let the soup come to a boil.

Eat with your face.  Unless you’re my daughter, in which case, add a few ice cubes to your bowl of soup and be careful when you take a bite, sweetie.

Gluten-free chicken and vegetable soup.  (Not the shortest soup name.)

Looking Back: Domino, Yo.

It’s Deadline Week, and I’m in the process of red-penning a writing project.  Actually, I’m taking a red pen to just about everything in my house, including the cat.  (The cat needed her tail edited down – waaay too fluffy.) While I finish word-murdering everything in my house, I’m revisiting some earlier posts from the SUM archives.  Today, I’m looking back at the power of branding, written back in 2010.

*   *   *

Do you guys have Splenda or Equal or anything?”

The waitress leaned in to hear Chris asking over the din of the restaurant.  “What?”

We were at a hibachi restaurant with NBF and her husband, celebrating.  The place was dark, the music was pulsing, and the waitress was from another planet, I think.

“Splenda?  Or Equal?  Or something?  Do you guys have any of that?”  He gestured towards his tea.

The waitress nodded her head.  “Yeah, we have Sweet n’ Low and Domino.”

All four of us stopped and turned slowly towards her (Like in that StrongBad email when he’s at the movies and slowly turns towards the popcorn-eating Cheat.  Click the link – it will make more sense.  And it’s SFW.)  Chris shook his head.

“Domino?  What is that?  Is that like a generic Splenda or something?”

“Domino?  It’s sugar.  White sugar?”  The waitress twirled her pen between her fingers as she waited for Chris to decide.

“Oh.  Okay, I’ll have two Sweet n’ Low, please.”

She walked away, and the four of us held a quick conference.

“Did she seriously just call sugar ‘Domino?’ What is Domino?”  I asked, confused.

“I think it’s that brand of sugar.  Domino?”  NBF said, furrowing her brow.

A smile tugged at the corner of Chris’s mouth.  “I would have known what she meant if she had just said ‘sugar.’  Either way, I’m safe.  I asked for Sweet n’ Low.”

I couldn’t stop giggling.  Domino?  I have never, ever heard someone call it that before.  Who calls table sugar by its brand name?  (“Oh this?  This here is Stop & Shop brand table sugar.  Want some?”)  And it wasn’t so much that she called it by its brand name, but more that she said it all tough, like Domino was the street name for some sinister version of sugar.

By the time the waitress came back, we were are laughing too hard to order.  So she just plunked down the two packets Chris had asked for on the table.

Of course, she didn’t bring the pink packets.

She brought the Domino, yo.

Looking Back: Rocco Returns.

After staring into the refrigerator for several minutes this morning, debating what to have for breakfast, my stomach was growling madly before I came to an egg-and-avocado conclusion.  It’s been a while since I’ve felt sincerely and frustratingly hungry, reminding me of dear Rocco.  So today, I’m looking back to a post about the bear who lives in my stomach.

 *    *    *

I should have packed more food.  What was I thinking, bringing lunch only?  Oh man, am I hungry.

Internal Motivational Speaker:  Kerri, Kerri.  You have a delicious spread of portabella chicken and spinach for lunch, complete with a drizzled bit of balsamic dressing.  Can’t you just have your lunch early?

Stomach:  Give it up, Speaker.  It’s snack time.  Snack time never

includes healthy.  Snack time is ravenous.  Kerri, go downstairs and get a peppermint patty from the diner.

But I don’t even like peppermint patties.  I want a Nutrigrain bar.

Stomach:  I don’t care if you like it or not.  It’s almost ten-thirty.  You’ve given me nothing but coffee.  Rocco doesn’t like coffee, Kerri.

Growling from the pits of my stomach.  The chain rattles and I can hear him breathing heavily, scraping his paws along the floor. 

Internal Motivational Speaker:  (panicked squeal) Oh, hi Rocco!  I see you have a new chain.  That’s a lovely new chain.  (nervous laugh)  Have you done something different with your fur?

Rocco growls and leans against his chain, the links straining against one another.

Stomach:  Easy there, Rock.  It’s cool, buddy.  Kerri is going to go downstairs and grab you a blueberry Nutrigrain bar.  You like those, don’tcha?

Rocco puffs out his bear breath and plunks down on his haunches, waiting.  My stomach lurches a bit.  I need something to eat.  I get up from my desk chair and grab a dollar from my wallet.  Rocco starts to purr, as much as a bear can.

Internal Motivational Speaker:  Oh no.  No, no Miss Kerri.  Nutrigrain bars have high fructose corn syrup in them.  Not to mention almost 25 grams of carbohydrates.  You have that package of almonds in your drawer.  Why not snack on those?  Do you really need a high-carb indulgence right now?  I mean …

Stomach:  Lady, do you ever take a breath?  Let the girl have her Nutrigrain bar.  It’s not like she’s going to have a side of soft-serve ice cream with it.

Internal Motivational Speaker:  I am sick and tired of you bossing me around!  I don’t care that you have your fancy pepsinogen and that Pyloric sphincter.  (her voice crescendos to a vehement peak)  You aren’t the boss of me.  I have every right to my opinions!

Stomach:  All you do is nag!  Eat this, don’t eat this.  Spend all that money on organic foods.  Don’t drink too much caffiene.  Make sure you test.  Make sure you bolus.  Cripes, can’t she have a break?

Internal Motivational Speaker:  No!  This is full time!  Twenty-four hours a day.  I work long hours, you know, Stomach.  Some of us don’t have the luxury of taking our time to digest!

Rocco looks at me with pleading eyes.  “Growl, growl.”  I know, Rocco.  I’m starving.  Let’s go downstairs and get a snack while they’re arguing. 

Stomach:  Do you ever stop?

Internal Motivational Speaker:  Does your mom ever stop?

Stomach:  Don’t you be bringing my mom into this!

Dollar clutched in my hand and leading Rocco by his chain, we sneak out.  A few minutes later, I’m bolusing for the 25 grams of carbohydrate and Rocco is licking blueberry Nutrigrain crumbs off his paws.

Redefining “Diet.”

The concept of “diet” has been defined and redefined by diabetes throughout the years – is “diet” just tied to blood sugar?  Just tied to weight?  Can “diet” be healthy and consistent?  Why is my relationship with food so complicated by diabetes?

Yeah, there’s a video to follow.  Here it is, talking about the fact that diabetes has made me forever food-focused:

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