Season Three: Episode Seven

FEBRUARY 27, 2022

So far this nothing to report. I have a PCP appointment next week to refill my prescriptions and then an eye appointment later in March to check my visual field.

I have noticed my left eye’s periphery is starting to decrease but I’m still able to see okay. My left eye is definitely my concern as I notice my eyesight getting blurrier as time goes on. I’ve had to depend on my glasses more and more now when they used to be when I drive at night, now I need them during the day too.

My eye pressure has been elevated for the last couple of years and I’m sure that has to do with my diabetes. I have to get my diabetes under better control so the pressure in my eye hopefully can go down without the need of prescription eye drops.

Let’s see what else is there? I have a WordPress blog goal! I want to reach 300 followers with WordPress or email. Hopefully if I reach that goal, I’ll be able to set up a Patreon that way I have the ability to create even more content and reach even more people. I’d love to offer exclusive things to my patrons, including the freedom to choose what you want to read about as well as vote what sticker designs come next and I would love to send you folks stickers every month. Something to think about.

I have a 2022 reading goal of 50 books. Not going to lie, I think I’m going to reach that goal way before the end of the year. I read ten books in January and almost ten in February. I forgot how much I love sitting on my bed and reading a really awesome book. Of course, I also forgot about how it feels to come across BAD books. Like this one I just finished. I’m not even going to bother doing a review on the blog for it, it’s so bad.

My weight loss goal is to make it to 150 pounds by the end of the year. So far the first two months haven’t gone the way I want. I gained some weight, but this week I was able to get down to what I started at at the beginning of the year. So hopefully it keeps going down.

I’m on my last pen of Ozempic from my old insurance. I don’t think my new one covers Ozempic as far as I know. I still hate needles. Not looking forward to insulin that’s for sure.

I’m thinking I want to add something else to my physical activity besides just walking. I’m thinking about skateboarding. I like the idea of cruising down the road. My sisters used to have skateboards in school and they hardly used it so I’d go out and try them out. I didn’t know much and stayed on flat roads for safety reasons especially since I didn’t have a helmet or anything because I didn’t like their heads. But it’s been something I’ve been wanting to do since then.

The days are getting hotter in Hawaii and the nights are also getting warmer. I’m going to have to put away the thick blankets and sweatpants pajamas now. It’s going to be a hot summer.

Otherwise that’s pretty much it. I don’t think there will be much to report next week. Tuesday is Mardi Gras, Fat Tuesday, or in Hawaii, Malasada Day! My husband and I will be in Kona on Tuesday so I’m looking forward to getting malasadas from somewhere. Thursday is World Book Day and I will celebrate by reading. Check out my Twitter to see what I’m currently reading.

Hope you all had a great February and I hope you all have a BETTER March. Mahalo! 🌺

First Use of Insulin on a Human

Today marks 100 years since insulin was first used on a human being to treat diabetes.

A little history on the discovery of insulin.

Insulin was discovered in the pancreas by two German researchers, Oskar Minkowski and Joseph von Mering, in 1889. They also made the connection between polyuria (excessive urination) and diabetes, and tested glucose levels in the urine of animals. Mering and Minkowski also discovered that total pancreatectomy in dogs produces severe diabetes and could not survive very long without their pancreas.

In 1910, Sir Edward Albert Sharpey-Schafer suggested that only one chemical was missing from the pancreas in people with diabetes and came to call this chemical, insulin. From the Latin word “ínsula” meaning island, referring to the insulin-producing pancreatic cells known as the islets of Langerhans.

In 1921, a young surgeon named Frederick Banting and his assistant Charles Best figured out how to remove insulin from a dog’s pancreas. They were able to inject the healthy dog’s insulin in to a dog with severe diabetes and keep it alive for 70 days. The dog only died when there was no more extract to inject. Banting and Best worked with biochemists James Collip and John Macleod to develop a more refined and pure form of insulin from the pancreases of cattle.

A year later, in 1922, a 14-year-old named Leonard Thompson, was dying from type 1 diabetes in a Toronto hospital. On January 11, 1922, he was given an injection of slightly purified insulin and within 24 hours, Leonard’s dangerously high blood sugar levels dropped. However, he developed an abscess at the injection site and still had high levels of ketones.

James Collip continued his work on purifying insulin so it would be safe for human use and on January 23, 1922 Leonard was given a second injection and it was a complete success. Since the very first insulin injections, we have come a long way in diabetes care.

We have access to insulin pumps, continuous glucose monitors, oral medications, different varieties of insulin, diabetes phone apps, and better research in diabetes now. We also have access to pancreatic transplants. Though they may not be affordable to everyone now, we can only hope that one day it will be available for all.


References

Mayo Clinic Proceedings
American College of Cardiology
Diabetes.org.uk
Diabetes.org

What is the Glycemic Index?

Some of you may have heard the term “glycemic index” thrown around in the diabetes community and you have no clue what that means. That’s perfectly fine, here’s an entrance in to the topic of the glycemic index.

The glycemic index (GI) is a system that ranks foods on a scale from 0 to 100 based on their effect on blood sugar levels. The higher the number, the faster the food effects your blood sugar level. However, there is another term that goes hand in hand with glycemic index and that’s glycemic load (GL). The glycemic load is how much of that certain food will negatively or positively affect your blood sugar levels.

For example, watermelon is an 80 on the GI, but there is relatively low amounts of digestible carbohydrates in a typical serving of watermelon, usually 3/4 cup. The GL value of watermelon is then 5, meaning it’s high in sugar but if you control the portion size, it won’t affect your blood sugar too much. You’d have to eat a whole watermelon by yourself for you to experience a negative effect on your blood sugar levels.

The GI helps to categorize foods as either slower-acting good carbs or fast-acting bad carbs. This reflects on how fast your body converts carbs into glucose. The smaller the value, the less of an impact the food will have on your blood sugar levels.

Glycemic IndexGlycemic Load
55 or lower = Low/Good1-10 = Low
56-69 = Medium11-19 = Medium
70+ = High/Bad20+ = High

Food package labels might have the glycemic index for reference. If the labels don’t have anything, you can find a list of common foods online.

If you don’t find the food you’re looking for on the list the general rule of thumb is if the food is closer to its natural form it will have a lower value compared to a refined or processed food which would have a higher value.

There are other factors that can affect a foods GI value such as how it’s prepared, if the fruit is ripe, or what kinds of other foods you eat with it.

For example, carrots are fairly low in value. It’s best eaten steamed or raw. If you boil them, they lose some nutritional value and can break down in to glucose easier when digested than when raw making their GI value go up. If you eat raw carrots with ranch dressing, that increases the GI value. If you eat a whole bad of baby carrots, you can bet that’ll have an affect on your blood sugar.

Other factors that can affect GI is yourself personally. Your age, metabolism, and activity level all affect how your body reacts to carbs. So when looking at the Glycemic Index of a food, don’t take the number at face value just note that if it’s in the low category, then it’s good. If not, then be careful how much you eat.

Portion sizes really matter when it comes to Glycemic Index. Just because something is healthy, doesn’t mean you should eat a ton of it.

To recap, glycemic index and glycemic load should be taken with a grain of salt but do let it guide you to make the right dietary decisions in your life. Be aware of how the carbs in the food can affect your blood sugar level and don’t eat too much. Too much of a good thing can be a bad thing.


References

WebMD
Mayo Clinic


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30 Day Low Carb Challenge: Week 1

I would like to note that you don’t have to read these. They’re are my documentation of my journey through this challenge and it will be lengthy. Each one will be an entire week’s worth of entries. This is mostly for me to log and read. Thank you!


Sunday, June 21, 2020

For breakfast, I had 3 strips of bacon, 2 hot dogs, 2 eggs scrambled and 2 slices of toast with butter. Usually my tummy gets queasy when I eat this sort of greasy food without rice to control the grease, but this morning it wasn’t so bad. It came out to 33g of carbs. My limit is 45g. Oh but my grandma bought a Boston Cream Cake and I wanted to try a slice so I had half a slice, 1/16 of the cake, and that put me right at my limit: 45g. I was a little upset but at least it wasn’t more than 45g. Also this morning, I had a daytime detox tea which doesn’t say if there’s carbs in it but I should think it doesn’t.

For lunch, I had some hummus and cauliflower stalks with a BBQ Chicken Creations sandwich, again with white bread. That wasn’t so bad. I actually really like the cauliflower stalks and hummus together. Also, I had a Mountain View Stone Cookie as a snack which was a mistake. 200 calories and 29g of carbs in just one cookie!

Dinner was garlic butter shrimp. I was blown away that garlic butter shrimp has almost no carbs whatsoever. The only carbs I had was in the veggie rice medley I had with the shrimp in place of my usual white rice. Good thing my sister had a bag sitting in the freezer this whole time. Otherwise, I’ll be having quinoa as my rice replacement for the rest of this challenge.

In total, I have had roughly 125g of carbs which is a complete plus for the first day! My goal is between 90 and 175g of carbs per day. These are my choices for the rest of the challenge.

Downfalls: The slice of cake and the stone cookie were complete mistakes to have but at least I had them now in the beginning. It can only get better from here. My post-meal blood sugar after lunch was 199mg/dL so there’s still a lot of work to do. We didn’t get to walk the dogs today so we’ll see how walking the dogs can impact everything.

Upsides: I was completely in range as far as carb intake. And with this number, I’m 100% sure that I’m satisfied and not hungry. 80% full is 100% satisfied.

Calories Consumed: 1840Calories Burned: 2327Caloric Balance: +12 (over)
Protein: 80.1gNet Carbs: 125.6gFat: 111.7g

Monday, June 22, 2020

Today was rough. I was so hungry. But my husband made sure I didn’t give in. I had a detox tea this morning. I fasted 16 hours from the night before and that ended at 10:30am. I also had a Herbalife raspberry tea. Before breakfast, I had some roasted red pepper hummus and baby carrots. For breakfast, I had two hotdogs on two slices of bread and some baked fries (skin on). It wasn’t the best breakfast but it’s what we had until we can go to the store again. At least there was no ketchup.

Half an hour later, I got hungry again. I asked my husband if I could have ramen, but he said no and tossed me a protein pack instead. But I was still hungry! So I had some cauliflower and broccoli rice and some leftover shrimp from dinner. That kind of tied me over. I took my dog out for a walk, took us an hour. It was a good walk.

For dinner, my husband made slow cooked pot roast. I had quinoa with my dinner. Wasn’t that bad. I had a pretty decent sized dinner. Lunchtime was hard. It’s only the second day and it really sucked. I have to go out and get more alternatives to the carb heavy snacks in the house right now. I’m going to be week during this first week, I know it.

Downfalls: I had white bread slices again today. I need to get whole grain bread soon. I ate a lot more today just to feel full. I also forgot to take my blood sugar after all the food.

Upsides: I went out and walked my dog which was good. This experience will help me prepare for the next week. I had less grams of fat today than yesterday! I burned more calories today than I consumed so I’m on the path of burning one pound a week!

Calories Consumed: 1697Calories Burned: 2434Caloric Balance: -239
Protein: 100gNet Carbs: 126.8gFat: 82g

Tuesday, June 23, 2020

So today I cheated. Badly. I was craving beef stroganoff and we tried to do it as low carb as possible for dinner but we couldn’t find any alternative noodles for egg noodles ANYWHERE. Not even Safeway had any. So we had to get egg noodles. I also had furikake chicken for lunch. It was so good. But it came with rice and potato mac salad. No alternatives. Considering how much carbs I eat normally, I’m still pretty stoked that it took me two days before I went back to eating rice. However, I can’t make a habit of this. LOW CARB DAMMIT.

Breakfast was two hotdogs, two eggs, and two buttered white toast. We finally got whole grain bread! Today was a bad day but a good one too. We bought some great low carb alternatives. We bought veggie tots and sweet potato fries. We bought a lot of fruits too. We forgot to grab whole grain pasta at Safeway though, so we have to go back because I want spaghetti tomorrow. Either we get whole grain pasta or veggie noodles whichever one we can find. But, at Safeway, we found low carb ice cream! I know this challenge says no ice cream, but it was no ice cream high in refined sugar. Each bar has under 10g of carbs and is high in protein so I think it’s a plus. But we forgot to grab that too, so tomorrow we’re gonna grab those, pasta, and some shrimp, they go on sale tomorrow too.

I’m very upset about today, but I can only go forward from this and do better. I also did go over my carb limit today and I’m really sad about that. I was going to walk my dog today, but I fell asleep and slept for two hours! I’ve been really tired since starting this challenge. I think it’s because I’m not eating a lot of carbs so my body is working harder to burn protein and fats instead maybe. Also, I had diarrhea after eating the furikake chicken. My stomach was so upset with me. Was it the grease from the chicken or the rice and mac salad? No idea but it was definitely lunch that did it for me.

Downfalls: I was weak today and gave in to white rice. I went over my carb limit and I didn’t go out to walk my dog today. Today was bad.

Upsides: I did a lot of walking in the store today while shopping. Dinner was really good too.

Calories Consumed: 1684Calories Burned: 2347Caloric Balance: -164
Protein: 60.8gNet Carbs: 198.1gFats: 72.7g

Wednesday, June 24, 2020

So today was a little better but not by much. I’ve been weak. I had a slice of pizza and a breadstick with two mini cinnamon rolls for dinner. For breakfast, I had fruits and hummus and baby carrots. For lunch, I had a Subway sandwich on whole wheat bread. But I did get some exercise in today which was great.

I must be strong and not give in to the carbs! I’m really upset about it. My husband had been craving pizza while we were on this challenge. Today was just a bad day.

Downfall: I had too much carbs today.

Upsides: I got out and walked a lot while shopping and walking my dog.

Calories Consumed: 1753Calories Burned: 2334Caloric Balance: -82
Protein: 64gNet Carbs: 181.6gFats: 77.8g

Thursday, June 25, 2020

Okay so today we were out almost the whole day. I had simian for breakfast with three medium boiled eggs. It’s not my finest moment, but then I didn’t eat until dinner. Not because I was forcing myself not to eat, but because I wasn’t hungry. But because I missed lunch and didn’t have anything since breakfast, I was hungry at dinnertime and that’s where I lost it.

Dinner was teriyaki chicken and rice with a salad topped with a couple slices of blackened ahi. I also had some sort of salad dressing with it. We ordered takeout from a local restaurant so I’m not sure what the salad dressing was. The plate came with three teriyaki chicken breasts and I didn’t save any of them for later. I am ashamed of that.

My only compensation is that we were out in the sun for most of the day and it’s been super hot and sunny all day. We also walked the dog at the walking park after dinner so we got to walk off dinner a bit. There was no breeze but the clouds finally covered the setting sun so it wasn’t hot and sunny. We did a pretty good pace with my good old girl. We could only do 1.5 laps around the park because she was starting to get tired and panting a lot.

We’re planning to make morning walks without the dog a thing soon. We just have to buy my husband walking shoes so we can get some serious laps in. He only has his work shoes. It’s Hawaii, we don’t usually wear shoes here. Maybe we’ll get to run a bit, too.

Downfall: A lot of freaking carbs today. Too much.

Upside: We’re making plans to be more active. I got a personalized weight loss book in the mail that walks me through the best food choices to make and tips for beginning my weight loss journey. I’m really excited about it and can’t wait to make the necessary food swaps towards weight loss. ALSO, I now weigh 209 pounds. I’ve lost three pounds since starting this challenge. I’m sure it’s water weight but that’s still something.

Calories Consumed: 2203Calories Burned: 2368Caloric Balance: +334 (over)
Proteins: 148.4gNet Carbs: 221.3gFats: 72.7g

Friday, June 26, 2020

Today the cravings were non-existent. I had a blackened ahi salad from the night before for breakfast. It wasn’t that bad. I didn’t finish it so I gave it to my husband to finish. I had one serving of M&M peanuts, I actually opened the share size package and split it in to three servings. All for me of course. Then I tried out my Breyer’s ice cream. It was surprisingly very good and it helped on the super hot day we had.

For a snack, I had a pair of chicken sliders from Market Pantry – Target. They’re pretty good. For lunch, I went to Subway and had a 6-inch turkey sandwich on wheat bread. I couldn’t hear what the guy said but they didn’t have all the options available anyway so I went with wheat. Loaded it with veggies and had a little bit of mayo to make it not so dry.

For dinner, we had spaghetti with whole grain spaghetti noodles. The noodles were actually really good. I thought they were going to taste weird but they were actually really good. However, my tummy wasn’t having all the sauce and it was getting queasy, so I had a scoop of rice to help calm my tummy down. It helped but at what cost?

Downside: I had quite a bit of sweets and starch.

Upside: I ate a lot less than the other days.

Calories Consumed: 1550Calories Burned: 2266Caloric Balance: -217
Proteins: 67.5gNet Carbs: 170.7Fats: 64.9g

Saturday, June 27, 2020

Today was hectic. My sisters, husband, and I went down to our storage unit to find Crystal’s high school diploma so she can apply for grad school in Germany. The storage unit is crowded with crap and there’s no light or air conditioning. It was pretty hot. I sweated a lot.

For breakfast, I had leftover spaghetti and some rice. Not so great. I also had some Hello Panda candies, also not good. After we were done with the storage unit, I had a chef’s salad and hot dog from 7 Eleven not the best choice but it wasn’t completely unhealthy. And we went to the mall and I had a Gotta Guava Jamba Juice, so good, high in sugar.

For dinner, we ordered out and I had some mochiko chicken, white rice, and a salad. I thought I had ordered the mochiko chicken curry but turns out I was wrong. So I had a very carb heavy day but I did get to burn off some of those calories. Not really.

Calories Consumed: 2512Calories Burned: 2546Caloric Balance: +465 (over)
Proteins: 94.4gNet Carbs: 347.8gFats: 74.5g

Overview:

The first week could have gone better. I didn’t stick to the challenge very well and that is completely my bad. And I’m starting to pay for it. My blood sugar levels aren’t going down and now my insulin dosage is going up. It’s very frustrating. I need to try harder next week.