Diabetic Blues

   Not long ago, I was diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes.

   When my doctor showed me the results of my blood panel, I glazed over. I had been losing weight; 34 pounds of it slowly since March 2018, so how could diabetes have reared its insulin head [although I’m not on insulin]? Having gained back four pounds I attributed to the Holidays; my recent craving for Whole Foods’ Cardamom Citrus bread proved more difficult to explain.

   I was diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes.

   Perhaps if I chant it often enough, I’ll finally believe it. 

   The doctor immediately put me on a version of the Keto Diet from Duke University School of Medicine and medication. She also had me make an appointment with a diabetic nutritionist. No pasta, no rice, no bread, no wine. Immediately my Italian self went into a tailspin! 

   The next morning, I began taking the medication: 1,000 mg twice a day with meals. For the next 5 days I felt my body had been taken over by alien forces. It was like having a 5-day intestinal virus. It was brutal, absolutely brutal. When I met with the nutritionist, she informed me I should have contacted my doctor to have the medication changed, for it was the medication, not the Keto plan that turned my insides topsy-turvy. So much for listening to friends say it’s normal, it happens. Not it’s not, not 5 days worth.

   When I surfaced again, minus a few pounds I dragged myself to Whole Foods, I purchased foods compatible with the Keto diet. I engaged in a hardcore cleanout of my refrigerator and of the pantry. Now I keep avocados [to make my own avocado spread], Ezekiel sprouted whole grain bread [1 slice feels like 2], Whole Foods egg salad [It tastes even better than mine], firm tofu, chicken broth [I like making soup], Italian dried meats [prosciutto has always been my favorite], Kerry’s Gold butter [This is the real deal], Marcona Almonds [Thank you, Costco], La Croix Sparkling Water, assorted green vegetables [Roasted Brussel sprouts are the best], berries [Blackberries, blueberries, strawberries, and raspberries are major delicious]. 

   Within this litany of foods, there is no refined sugar or liquid sugar, low-low-low carbohydrates, and guess what?

After 4 + weeks, I feel like a new woman!

I no longer crave pasta, bread, chocolate, or rice! The arthritis in my hands troubles me nearly no more! The osteoarthritis pain in my lower back has diminished greatly! As my bone doctor reminded me several weeks ago, I still can’t lift more than 10 pounds due to disc issues in my back [and the scoliosis, and the bone spurs, sigh].

   In fact, I had several guests over for dinner on a Saturday night. I served and cooked an entire Keto-dinner: homemade cheese crisps, an Italian charcuterie and cheese board, a roast chicken, roasted Brussel sprouts, homemade pesto over zucchini zoodles, red grapes, and fresh strawberries with whipped cream. We imbibed lime sparkling water that made us feel we were downing Virgin Prosecco. I should add that this was done with the guidance of my Keto cookbook, Simply Ketoby Suzanne Ryan. The other day at Costco I purchased Southern Keto, by Natasha Newton. It even has a recipe for hush puppies! I am so happy!

   Yesterday I had my diabetic checkup with my doctor.

   I’ve lost 12 pounds in 4 weeks.

   Viva Keto and a low-carb lifestyle!

   Ciao for now!

New Year’s Eve

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This delicious chicken noodle soup I made could also work for a post-New Year’s Day repaste. – tangledpasta.net

By Mary Anna Violi | @MaryAnnaVioli

Tonight’s menu is planned: The Barefoot Contessa’s Fettuccine with White Truffle Butter and Mushrooms, Romaine salad with Tuscan olive oil-based dressing, vino bianco, and much good cheer. Finding Italian Truffle Butter is no mean feat; in fact, the only grocery that sells it in this area is Whole Foods, whom I would like to commend on yesterday’s samples of Saint Andre’s Triple Cream French Cheese, served with sun-dried tomatoes. This is one of my favorite French cheeses, so I naturally had to purchase a wedge, particularly since it was on sale, as was the Italian Truffle Butter.

For months I have wanted to make again the Barefoot Contessa’s Fettuccine with White Truffle Butter and Mushrooms recipe, but, alas, Whole Foods didn’t restock the 3.5 ounce Italian Truffle Butter. Now that it has magically reappeared, I will likely buy another. The Barefoot Contessa’s recipe calls for only 3.0 ounces, but I figure what the heck: it’s New Year’s Eve; let’s eat it all! I even viewed the video of Ina Garten making her recipe on the Food Network to make sure I am on track with concocting this delicacy. At the price of the truffle butter and Cremini mushrooms, I don’t want to pull a faux pas with the recipe.

In between times today, we will nosh on cold shrimp and a mild cocktail sauce. On New Year’s Day, a friend is coming over to dine with us. I’ll serve herbed pork tenderloin with baked potatoes topped off with a yogurt and low-fat sour cream, brussel sprouts, and fresh-baked ricotta cheese cookies for dessert. We might as well start 2017 off with nutrition in mind!

I’ve never felt the need to go out and get all liquored up on New Year’s Eve. Why usher in the New Year with a nasty hangover? Instead, I plan to watch a movie that takes place on New Year’s Eve: After the Thin Man, with William Powell, Myrna Loy, and  a young James Stewart. Before the movie spins on the DVD, I’ll be listening to Lena Horne crooning, “What are You Doing New Year’s Eve?” a sultry rendition that always draws a smile to my face.

With my New Year’s Eve plans in the works, I happily anticipate toasting my daughter with a glass of bubbly at midnight. May your New Year’s Eve be a safe and satisfying one too.

Ciao for now.