Tell Me Something Good

Friday, September 28th, 2012 | Posted under Tell Me Something Good

 

Usually on Fridays you’ll find me sharing some of my favorite links from the week. But on the last Friday of the month, I mix things up by asking you to share with me something good that is happening in your life.

My Something Good for the month of September is that I’ve been making a lot of new friends lately and it’s been so much fun having a lot of fun things on our social calendar. This weekend, I’m having brunch with several diabetics who are in my Westchester support group, and then Erik and I are having a few people over from our Westchester Couples group for a pizza and game night!

What’s your Something Good?

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The CB Diet Week #6: Armband and Dangerous

Thursday, September 27th, 2012 | Posted under Health + Fitness, The Cardboard Diet

A couple of weeks ago, I wrote about how I was having a difficult time carrying around my various must-haves while running. When I run, I need: my iPhone (for music, my running app, and in case of emergency), GU or some kind of low blood sugar treatment, and keys. Because I’d like to get back into my apartment building when I’m done.

I had been using a SPIbelt for awhile, but had difficult keep all three items tucked away inside it. Mostly because the combination of all three items made it a heavy, awkward shape and I was always messing around with it if I wanted to change songs.

I asked around to see what other people did and I got quite a few suggestions. The one that I had been considering the most is an armband to hold my iPhone, while continuing to use the SPIbelt for the keys and GU. I ordered a Tuneband off Amazon and it arrived earlier this week.

I’ve gone out twice with it, and so far, I like it. It’s a tiny bit awkward wearing something on my arm, but so far it has not slid while pumping my arms. The main issue I have is the headphone cord, which seems to go flying everywhere. To get the cord where it isn’t slapping me, I have to rotate the phone so that it sits on my tricep. It’s actually something the Tuneband recommends in its material. Turns out, it works! The only problem is then it’s harder to reach around to look at the screen or change songs, although it is much easier than when it was in my SPIbelt.

Having an armband is definitely a great decision. The SPIbelt is much more comfortable on my waist now that it has just a couple of light things inside. I’m sure I’ll get used to the armband and figure out how to use it so it suits me. I do see a lot of people using them and I’m hoping it motivates me to work out even more now that I know I won’t be uncomfortable when I’m out. And that I’ll be safe with my phone!

 

Do you use an armband to work out? What’s your favorite workout app?

 

Weight: Almost a pound lost this week! I’m down .8, for an overall loss of 3 lbs in five weeks. Woot! I’ve also noticed that I’m feeling a lot less bloated lately, which is also nice.

Blood sugar: Blood sugar average dropped over 10 mg/dl! Of course, some of that was due to a few lows this week from my running. It was kind of surprising, because I don’t usually go that low, but I had two back-to-back lows on Sunday.

 

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Wordless Wednesday: Math Sucks

Wednesday, September 26th, 2012 | Posted under School

What I’m up to on this lovely Wednesday evening:

 

My first math quiz is due tonight at 11:59 p.m. Pray for me.

Do you like math? Do you want to be my tutor?

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Tuesday Wisdom

Tuesday, September 25th, 2012 | Posted under Tuesday Wisdom

Happy Tuesday!

 

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Big Dream Goals

Monday, September 24th, 2012 | Posted under About Me, Diabetes

On Friday night, my husband and I drove down to the city to have dinner with Manny Hernandez, who is the President of the Diabetes Hands Foundation, which runs the amazing TuDiabetes social networking site among other things. Basically, he’s a Very Big Deal. As we caught up on life, we chatted a little about my new back-to-school life and future career as a diabetes educator. After I explained the excruciatingly long process, Manny asked what prompted this change in course for my life.

I have thought about becoming a diabetes educator for many year, but this most recent revelation really happened at this year’s American Diabetes Association’s Scientific Sessions. The Scientific Sessions is the largest conference on diabetes, and it’s where most of the diabetes research, new technology, and theories in management are presented. Most of it is over my head, but there was one thing that I was undeniably clued in on: the diabetes management of young adults (what the scientific community calls “emerging adults”) is really, really bad.

I’m only 27 years old, which may or may not be considered an emerging adult. I’m married, have a retirement account, and haven’t lived with my parents in five years. But psychologically, sometimes I feel like I’m still trying to figure out this whole Life thing. In any case, as I listened to the stories from presenters about the difficulty in managing diabetes in teens and as I read the poster presentations of research on emerging adults (of which there was a lot!), I realized that young adults with diabetes need more help than they’re getting. They need targeted, focused attention on their specific life issues. They might be at an adult clinic, but 25-year-olds are not the same as 45-year-olds, who are not the same as 65-year-olds.

Overall, I feel like diabetes education is not really where it should be for most of the country, although I know a lot are well-intentioned. I also know a lot of talented CDEs. I’ve always been taught, and have always believed, that you have to be the change you want to see in the world. (Thanks Ghandi!) And I think for me, it was no longer good enough to just point out the things that need to be changed. I have to get in there and try to help too!

As I explained to Manny about my revelation at ADA, I told him about my dream career once I am a certified diabetes educator. He asked me if I planned to share any of this, and I told him I hadn’t, because it’s so far in the future that it didn’t seem like it made sense. Manny encouraged me to write about what I hope to do, to have a written record of my goals to see how they change and grow over the next ten or so years. I’m not really one of those people who believes that if you put it out there, the Universe will give it to you. There are plenty of things I have put out there that the Universe has not given me (like a cure!). But I think there is an element of accountability that is very important when you disclose your intentions to people, and so I’m hoping that by writing it here, it will help remind me and keep me focused on why I’m doing what I’m doing, especially when it comes to studying for my first big scary Anatomy & Physiology exam.

My career goal is to own my own diabetes education practice. I attended a session on being a CDE entrepreneur at the American Association of Diabetes Educators conference, where I listened to Gary Scheiner (who was my own CDE for many years) and how he launched his business. I think it’s brilliant how he is able to educate remotely and not be limited by insurance or location. My own dream, however, is slightly different. While Gary serves anyone who is on insulin, my goal is to serve anyone who is an emerging adult. Essentially that adolescents and teenagers through early adulthood, regardless of their type of diabetes. Patients normally have to jump from pediatric to adulthood, but I’d like to think of my practice as more of a bridge between the two life stages.

Although I don’t have type 2 diabetes and I know type 2 PWDs get a lot of flack for their condition (you’re fat! you’re lazy!), the truth is that the body is complicated and it’s not as easy to just tell someone who has type 2 diabetes that they need to lose weight.

I mean, come on. Have you ever tried to lose weight? It’s fucking hard!

I would love to work with young adults who are struggling to manage their diabetes while also struggling to manage their life. It’s not easy having diabetes and it’s not easy being a grown-up. Sometimes you only have the mental capacity for one or the other, but unfortunately, life waits for no diabetic. You don’t get to take a mental health day from diabetes.

Working with remote clients is very important to me as well. I personally think you should have the freedom to see any medical professional you want, and I don’t want to be limited with contracts and that sort of thing. Of course, I have no idea what the state of health care and health insurance will look like in ten years, but that’s what I’m envisioning right now.

I’d also love to have a team working with me that could focus on areas that I’m not as strong in. If I could, I’d love to hire or work with a nutritionist, an exercise physiologist and a psychologist, either virtually or in a brick-and-mortar office. Diabetes is complicated and I don’t think that people are given access to the people that they need, when they need them. Usually it’s “go find your own!” and that can be really overwhelming when you’re not sure what to look for.

So that’s my big dream goal! I don’t know if many people plan things out as much as this, and I’m willing to concede that it probably won’t look 100% like this when all is said and done. I don’t know how things will change over the years, or who I’ll come in contact with. For all I know, I could score a really sweet gig at a diabetes clinic at a hospital where I’m given the opportunity to work with a lot of emerging adults, in which case, owning my own clinic won’t be as important.

But for now, this is what I’d like to do once all the exams are passed and hours are accumulated.

 

Do you have any big dream goals for your career?

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Friday Finds

Friday, September 21st, 2012 | Posted under Friday Finds

Fall is the best. Duh.

These fake Romney bumper stickers are awesome.

Best fucking poster. (It’ll be funnier if you click the link.)

Tear-jerker alert! True love in pictures.

I wanna be this lady when I grow up: 102-year-old woman still changes the oil of her 82-year-old car. Now that’s devotion!

More speculation rises that Jesus had a wife.

Arrested Development meets Mitt Romney. Basically the next great meme.

Hipster neighborhoods! Pearl District in Portland and Williamsburg in NYC make the list. I have sadly only lived near, not in, both of them.

Have you missed me at DiabetesMine? I wrote about the connection between Alzheimer’s and diabetes earlier this week. Today is also World Alzheimer’s Day.

 

This weekend, we are having a BBQ with our local couples Meetup.com group and then on Sunday we are going to check out a festival at the historic home of John Jay, the first Chief Justice and a resident of Westchester County. Who says nothing fun happens in the suburbs?

 

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The CB Diet Week #5: The Joy of Meal Planning

Thursday, September 20th, 2012 | Posted under Health + Fitness, The Cardboard Diet

For the past few weeks, my husband and I have become big fans of meal planning. Now, before I continue, I have to include the caveat that this meal planning would not work if I was not married to a man who actually likes to cook and is also good at it, too. I have never liked cooking, and meal planning was never something I desired to do because it just seemed like so much work and I would get overwhelmed with ingredients, preparation, cooking, and then cleaning. This is why I always incorporated a heavy amount of restaurants and Trader Joe’s pre-made frozen food into my diet. Not necessarily the healthiest thing, but since my Inner Chef is on permanent holiday, it worked for me.

But there is something to be said for eating too much Trader Joe’s, despite how wonderful the place is. When you eat the same dozen or so frozen vegetables, packaged meals and marinated meats, you can sometimes get sick of too much of a good thing. We decided (well, I decided) to put the kabosh on our rotating TJ’s cast of food.

Luckily, as I mentioned before, my husband was game to start cooking real meals because he likes it. And I thank my lucky stars every evening. But it’s not just as simple as having someone to cook the meals. You actually have to have a plan. Hence the “planning” in meal planning.

We start off the week on Sunday, which is grocery shopping day. Just before Erik heads out, we take out our collection of cookbooks that we’ve amassed over the last couple of years. (We have six.) Erik’s favorite is Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution, because the recipes are fairly simple to make and we’ve liked almost everything we’ve tried so far. We also have a Crockpot cookbook, a cookbook I won at an NYC bridal event called The City Cook which is geared toward people who live in apartments, a vegetarian cookbook plus The Joy of Cooking and the set of Julia Child’s cookbooks. Whew!

I look at our schedule for the week to figure out how many nights we’ll be cooking at home. We usually eat out at least once during the week, and once on the weekend. Since Erik is the chef, he has first pick at the recipes because he’ll know what he can make. Then he shares with me his ideas, and I approve or veto them. If we need more recipes, then I take a look at the cookbooks to see if there’s anything I want to try.

This part is actually my favorite, because it’s like perusing through a giant menu! Although we obviously aren’t going to make some of the more complicated meals, I pretty much have the entire pick of the cookbook so it’s fun for a foodie like me.

Once we have our meals picked out, we start jotting down the ingredients. We cross-check with what we already have (and sometimes the meals we pick are influenced by any leftover meat or ingredients from the week before), and what’s left is our shopping list!

Then we add a handful of extra things for breakfast and lunches, but for the most part, I eat leftovers for lunch and Erik has his lunches covered if he works overtime (which he often does). Breakfast is fairly simple, usually some combination of eggs, fruit, granola bars, and string cheese. And coffee.

We still spend about the same amount of money grocery shopping, but the amount of nights we eat out has been cut down significantly. Of course, because I’m not working full-time, we had to do that anyway, but this has made it a lot easier. We always have exactly what we need, and we can swap meals throughout the week if we decide we’re in the mood for one thing versus another. It’s also nice because since I picked the meals ahead of time, I know what I can look forward to rather than being surprised the night of with something I don’t want.

The one thing we’re now working on figuring out is portion size. Not for eating, but for cooking! Most of the recipes call for ingredients for 4-6 people, but that usually ends up leaving us with way more food than we can handle, especially when you multiply that over several nights. We’ve had quite a bit of wasted food, so we’re working on dividing the recipes up better so that we don’t get overwhelmed with leftovers that go bad.

So far it’s been quite a success and I’m looking forward to trying more recipes, but also getting comfortable with some of the favorites we’re discovering. I’ll share some of those later!

 

Do you meal plan? What is your favorite way to discover new meals — cookbook, website, family member? 

 

Weight: Personally, I think last week is a bit of a fluke, and I’m tempted not to count it. If you consider the weight I gained last week, I have lost 4 pounds this week. But if you judge by the previous week, then I lost 1.1 lbs for a total loss of 2 lbs. Not a huge loss, but I held steady at a 1 lb. loss for about three weeks! So overall this is an improvement.

Blood sugar: Also a success this week! My 30-day average has dropped by 5 mg/dl! I’m still 13 mg/dl above where I started, but again, I’m heading in the right direction. I’m feeling pretty good about where I might end up by my endocrinologist appointment at the end of November.

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Am I the Only One?

Wednesday, September 19th, 2012 | Posted under Personal Thoughts

A couple weeks ago, I posted on Twitter, “Am I the only one who misses ABC’s TGIF TV line-up?” and it was retweeted and favorited for nearly a week! But that’s not the only thing I’m wondering about. Here’s a brief list of things that make me wonder if I’m the only one:

  • Am I the only one who thinks old people who lick their forefinger before turning the page is the most unsanitary thing ever?
  • Am I the only one pissed off with all the media slut-shaming of Kirsten Stewart, but nothing for her married director?
  • Am I the only one who cannot figure out what to do with Pinterest?
  • Am I the only one who has fingers that puff up like Michelin man after exercising?
  • Am I the only one who doesn’t understand girls who wear bras you can completely see under their thin white t-shirt?
  • Am I the only one who can’t get into all these apps and websites for organizing? Paper anyone?

 

Anyone? Anyone? Bueller?

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Oh the Places I’ll Go!

Tuesday, September 18th, 2012 | Posted under Travel

Now that I’m back in school, I’ve realized that my traveling days will be few and far between. If anyone else keeps track, you may notice that for the past few years, I traveled an average of once a month.

Last fall and earlier this spring, I did a stretch of travel to a bunch of new states: Maine, Missouri, Kansas, Utah, Texas and Arizona. That’s a lot of exploring! And they were so much fun!

This summer, however, I traveled to places I’d already been: Indianapolis, Orlando, Philadelphia.

Even though I won’t be making any trips for awhile, I’ve started thinking about some of the new places I’d like to go, given the opportunity.

Here’s what’s on my list:

Tennessee: One of my closest friends, Cara, lives in Tennessee and I have wanted to visit her for a long time. Between visiting her small town and then seeing the “Music City” — Nashville — I think visiting Tennessee would be really fun and different compared to where I have lived and traveled.

Colorado: You’d think this West Coast girl would have made to Colorado by now, but no! Denver and Boulder have been on my to-visit list for ages, and I still haven’t made it out there. Based on the photos of I’ve seen (especially Ashley’s Instagram!) it looks like an absolutely breath-taking location and I look forward to finally making it out there someday.

Louisiana: I would love to go to New Orleans! I have heard so many wonderful things about it. I love jazz and French culture, and I just think it would be a really fun place to go. I would also love to travel around more of the Deep South, maybe head over to Mississippi as well.

Kentucky: I guess I have a thing for Southern states these days! I don’t know much about what’s in Kentucky, to be honest, but I think that’s part of why I want to go there. A lot of my travel is around big tourist destinations or metropolitan cities, and as much as I’m a city girl at heart, it isn’t the most relaxing of vacations. I do know the Kentucky Derby is there, so that could be fun!

Texas: OK, so I’ve been to Texas, but it’s such a big state, I feel like it’s OK to count it again. Erik and I have several friends in Texas (his childhood best friend lives in Dallas, and a grad school friend just moved to Houston), plus I have about eleventy billion blogger friends all around Texas. I have floated the idea of a Texas roadtrip, but we’re a little tight on funds, so that might have to wait.

Wow – four Southern states. Well, I guess you can tell where I haven’t done much exploring. I also wouldn’t mind visiting Hawaii or Alaska, although they are quite a trek from New York!

 

What’s on your to-visit list? Any traveling tips for my top 5 places?

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Music Monday: Florence + the Machine

Monday, September 17th, 2012 | Posted under Music Monday

This past Saturday, I was thrilled to see Florence + the Machine perform at Nikon at Jones Beach Theater on Long Island. It was my first time seeing Florence, and it was my first time at this particular venue, and it was absolutely glorious. I am so glad I had a chance to see the show with one of my best friends, Caroline. Flo is one of the most fun performers I’ve ever watched. Despite her dark music, she is actually an incredibly friendly and bubbly person! She spent the majority of the performance skipping and twirling on stage, and at one point during “Rabbit-Hearted,” she even when skipping down one of the aisles, with a security guard running after her!

She played many of my favorites, but the one I wanted to hear the most was “Shake It Out.” Many people have their own personal theme song and this one is mine. They’re songs that for whatever reason seem to capture your essence or a season of life, and when you hear the song, you just think, “This. This is it.” Florence + the Machine have written a few songs that I find incredibly powerful and remind me of various parts of my life, but my current theme song song is definitely “Shake It Out.” To me, the song has such a hopeful element to it. Although dragged down through the dirt by circumstance and choices, we nevertheless can shake it out and start again, and I find that incredibly inspiring.

I’ve decided to start a new feature here, called Music Monday. It won’t be a regular feature, like Friday Finds, but every so often, when I hear a song that seems like it would be a perfect fit to my personal soundtrack, I’ll share it here.

 

Do you have a personal theme song?

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