Sunday, March 17, 2013

Germantown Half Marathon

Here's the skinny on the Germantown Half Marathon - 

Flashback - The 2012 race was infamous, to say the least.  I had trained up to 12-miles, some days easier than others. I felt good on race morning. I ate oatmeal, which probably sent my undiagnosed Diabetes into hyperglycemic nightmare-land. The rule of thumb is that you do not exercise if your blood glucose reads above 250 mg/dL, because you can often spike it even higher and spill ketones in your urine. I imagine this is what was happening to me. I ran 9-miles, some of which were faster than my training pace. I ate a Gu (25-carb shot of glucose that folks take for energy on longer runs) about an hour into it. I imagine that spiked my blood sugar even higher. At that 9th mile, I felt like death. My friends were passing me by, and I couldn't even muster the energy to keep running. I walk-ran the rest of the way, ultimately finishing at 2:31:00. Afterward, I felt worse. I was nauseated. I couldn't eat or drink. I drove home, forced down Pedialyte, and fell asleep for hours. I failed all of my goals, and I felt horrible.

Fast-forward one year. Now, I am an official Diabetic, and I have learned a good deal about what that means for me. Exercise is encouraged for us, but doing so safely is of paramount importance. Training season and the race could not have gone more perfectly. On race day, I had my Dexcom, two Gu packets, and my cell phone. I wore my Medical ID bracelet (just in case). The weather was fabulous. I'll take an overcast day in the 50s for a race any ol' time. I started off a bit slow. Around mile 3, I thought to myself,  I feel good. Mile 3 is about when my blood sugar starts to fall from breakfast. I ate two pieces of whole wheat toast with peanut butter this morning. My blood sugar topped off at 155 mg/dL and declined once the run began. Around Mile 5, my knees started hurting. I tried to ignore it. This year,  I found myself with the energy to smile at the onlookers and cheerleaders. Around Mile 7, I grabbed beer. Yes, beer. It is hardly any, but I thought it would be fun. The road back is pretty straight and flat. I picked up my pace a little. Around Mile 8, I saw Sheri and Dave Hogue (shout-out for the great support!), and that helped me pick up the energy even more. When I came across dreaded Mile 9, I felt this sense of intense relief. I felt so much better than last year. My body was working with me and not against me. Between Mile 9 and 10, I saw a bunch more friends, and that gave me the boost I needed for the final three miles. For that last mile, I decided it needed to be my fastest, and it was. I even mustered the energy to sprint across the finish-line. 

I can't tell you how amazing it felt. First, this is a goal that has been on my To-Do list for a while. Last  year did not even count for me because I had to walk some of it. Second of all, my goal was to run the race in under 2:30:00, and I ran it 15-minutes faster than that. Third, it was symbolic. I feel like an empowered person, but I also feel like an empowered Diabetic. I know tons of Diabetics run races all the time, but I wondered if I could be one of them. I can! For two-thirds of the race, my blood sugar hung out in the 80s. 

Do I want to do another one tomorrow? No. My legs feel terrible, and the training is time-consuming. Our next goal is to run a 5K per month. Working on speed with the shorter distances will be fun. 

By the way, Andrew ran the half-marathon in 1:34:00. For a new runner, I'd say that is amazing. For any runner,  it is amazing. 

What we earned: a medal (everyone does), the right to a 13.1 sticker, and I am about to buy us a 13.1 Tervis. Oh, and a heck of a lot of pride...

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Pizza Effect 2.0

It was an absolutely gorgeous day in Memphis yesterday, and it appears to be headed in that direction this Saturday morning. Last night, we had dinner at Aldo's Pizza. I've handled this well with insulin in the past, so I figured I would just bolus. Dexcom revealed no spikes immediately after consuming the pizza (and fro-yo). I bolused two units between pizza and fro-yo. I came home to go to bed and a blood sugar check revealed 89 mg/dL...nice, I thought. I should have known what would happen in the twilight hours. Here I am thinking I've dosed well, but I forgot about the dreaded pizza effect. Remember? I wrote about it in one of my very first posts of the blog. I have subsequently discovered that it is a common discussion among diabetics. The high-fat content of the pizza meal delays the digestion of the carbohydrates, so I had a good reading two-hours after my meal because the carbs had not even begun to do their thing. Well, they did their thing, and I was 240 mg/dL by 1:00AM. I never see that number, so I bolused two again. It came down, but by 5:00 in the morning (when the Novolog was no longer effective) it was rising to 180 mg/dL again. Crap. So, I corrected again, and it has done the trick. I woke up at 9:00AM with a reading of 94 mg/dL. I think I am out of the woods with the pizza-carbs. I had forgotten how much of a headache it can be to deal with pizza, and now I remember why I so seldom partake. I have to do insulin-gymnastics just to keep up, and it really isn't worth it.

You may have won the battle, pizza, but I will win the war.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

the anti-housewife dinner adventures

99% of the time, Andrew cooks. He likes it, and he is good at it. Better than I am, for certain. I saw a Pinterest recipe recently for tuna burgers that sounded relatively easy to make. Because Andrew is working tonight, I had a good opportunity to try out the recipe. I couldn't click through to get quantities, so I added as much spinach as I wanted. I won't like, the recipe calls for tomato and onion, but I just can't do it. 

This recipe is incredibly low-carb, so I hope you will try it and rejoice in happy blood sugars :)

Saturday, March 2, 2013

New Month: March 2013

I alluded to a lot of the exciting things happening in March in my last post. But it is a new month, and you know what that means? New goals! March is cool because it is a perfect transition into the Spring. It is snowing in Memphis right now, but 65-degree days are in our 10-day forecast. That is just the bipolar nature of our weather. Is it just me, or are warm temperatures an invitation for more jogs, more dog walks, more bike rides, etc? I make a similar argument for the transition into Fall. The leaves are crispy. Pumpkin spice everything comes out. There is a new chill in the air. Spring is different for many reasons. We aren't seeking the chill in the air. We want the warmth on the skin and the beginnings of new tan lines (don't lie, you love them). We want pollen-induced sneezes and greenery abloom. So, what of it? Do you have goals as we approach traditional "Spring Break" season?

Here are mine:

Finish the Germantown Half Marathon in under 2:30:00. Do Pure Barre, at minimum, three days per week. For goodness sake, eat less YOLO. Take Rosalyn on daily morning walks. Find a new coffee creamer. Less dependence on sugar. MORE WATER. At least five-days in a row without hitting 180 mg/dL. Keep up with my food journal. Don't stop jogging once the half is complete. Save money. best efforts and attitude at work. TURN 26 WITH GRACE :)

Oh yeah...and a perennial favorite: abs. 

I have been experimenting with new breakfast recipes. This one I call DIABETIC FRENCH TOAST. 
What makes it "Diabetic" you ask? Well, these slices of bread are packed with Fiber and are low in calories. I use almond milk instead of whole milk in the mixture. I use ground cinnamon with splenda rather than cinnamon-sugar. I top it with either agave nectar or Cary's Sugar Free syrup. Point is, you can substitute any which way you like. Maybe this recipe will work for you, or maybe it will still be a bolusing nightmare (isn't breakfast rough sometimes?) Or maybe you are a non-Diabetic who wants to cut some corners on the calories. I think it is delicious. 

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Long Time, No Chat

It has been a while, friends! I blame the dreaded Bar Exam, which is over by the way. I flashed back to July when I took it the first time. I left the testing place thinking, "Man, I am glad that is over. Never again." Even after I found out I didn't pass, I was thinking "Nope. Never." Shyeah. When people tell you to never say never, they mean it. 

This time, I mean it. If I don't pass, I really do think there are plenty of other things I would love to do just as much. I did my best last time. I changed strategies this time, so I guess that is a different version of my best. 

I still have Diabetes, though. Shocker, I know. It hasn't magically grown legs and exited my body. 

I do have some exciting things coming up:

My Birthday - Tuesday, March 5...I may or may not be turning 26. This sounds a bit unreal. I often feel 15. Maybe because the world around me assumes it, and I don't hesitate to play along. 25 had some rough patches, so there is a big part of me that is glad to see it go. 26 is a new year...with [[hopefully]] fewer surprises. 

The Germantown Half Marathon - Sunday, March 17. Am I ready? We will see. Last year, I stopped running at Mile 9 and did this awkward Walk-Run combo all the way to the finish line. I felt like death the entire rest of the day. I wonder why? Do you think running with blood sugars in the 300s might be a pain in the butt? But I didn't know. I had no way of knowing. This year, I have trained alongside rather than against Diabetes. We work collaboratively to make the long distances work. We have a team - Dexcom, Gu, and plenty of water. I have made it up to 10-miles in training. This weekend is an 11-miler. From there, there are no more long distances until race day. I want revenge on this one.

Doctor's Appointment - March 4. I won't give too many details about this, but I am sharing in the name of living transparently with Diabetes. I have a new OBGYN I will be visiting. Before we jump to any conclusions, no. I am not pregnant. Diabetic pregnancies, in an ideal world, are pre-planned and carefully thought out. That process starts with establishing a team of physicians who will dedicate themselves and encourage me up to and through a successful pregnancy. This appointment is an annual check-up, but I am starting to gather the information. What is the current status of my health? Where do I need to be in terms of numbers? Do I need to switch from Metformin to insulin (again)? Really, I just want someone qualified to give me the green light that I am healthy. But healthy and ready are two different things. The readiness is a constant discussion between Andrew and me. I promise that when and if the time comes, I will try to share (and not overshare) the ups and downs of a diabetic pregnancy. I won't be the first, and I am sure I won't be the last. Everyone's pregnancy is different. Everyone's diabetes is different. Maybe my insight will be unique and valuable to someone going through the same things. To me, that is what this blog is all about. Cheers to the preliminary stages! 

In other news, my eyes are still healthy. I still don't need glasses. So, Warby Parker and I will maintain our artificial relationship.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Meals Lately

I am still working on the recipes for these. Andrew is the chef of the house, so his Blackberry Chicken & Shrimp recipe is somewhat of his "secret", but I think I can pry it out of him. I do know that it involves Sugar Free Blackberry Preserves, actual blackberries, and perhaps Apple Cider Vinegar? I'll update this page when I know. That meal is carb-friendly, unless you eat a giant sweet potato like I did. The blood sugar suffered for that move. In my experience, if it isn't a tiny potato, it isn't going to be friendly. The rest of the meal is a healthy, and the whole meal is healthy if you know how to bolus for it or you happen to have a fully functioning pancreas. 

He also enjoys making chicken tortilla soup in our crockpot. That recipe is off of a website, so I will be snagging that from him too. 

So, here is a little photo diary of our latest indulgences. 

We are out of eggs in this house, so I my entire breakfast experience is all out of sorts. I just ate a wheat waffle with Laughing Cow cinnamon cream cheese. I topped it with Splenda and actual cinnamon. Pray for good post-prandials :)

Saturday, January 26, 2013

fajitas + smoothies, but not together

 One of my favorite meals at the Holt house is fajitas. I used to be more intimidated by them because it is hard to find a carb-friendly tortilla. We found a great Carb Balance variety by Mission. 6 Net Carbs? Yes, please! The recipe is easy. You can remember it just from this image. Once you purchase the flavor you want, you follow the directions on the back to marinate (usually water, olive oil, and the flavorings). Marinate for 15 minutes. Cook until browned - we added bell peppers. And VIOLA! Fajitas :)

make with
guacamole (recipe here)

The world deserves to see this clip in keeping with fajita night. Ross was having a bit of a hard time coping with Joey and Rachel's relationship...

I am also obsessed with berries. They are lower-glycemic than most fruits, so I can eat more with less of an impact on my blood sugar. They are packed with fiber, so they are perfect for a side or the flavor of a smoothie. 

Monday, January 21, 2013

Shall we Brunch?

There isn't a ton to do on a sunny Memphis Saturday in the dead of winter, but when friends invite you to brunch at Rizzo's go. And so we went. While mimosas are a fabulous drink of choice for  brunching, I am used to thinking of orange juice as a treatment for low blood sugar. I don't drink it recreationally. So, I opted for coffee. 

The champagne sure does look appetizing, doesn't it? I am glad that I caught Stephanie's expert pour.

We are really interested in the food, though, right? What did I order? Well, I had wartime flashbacks of Rizzo's diner. You see, the only other time I have been there was during a highly symptomatic time - Spring 2012 (diagnosed in April). We went on a lovely bachelorette brunch for a friend, and I ordered Bananas Foster French Toast. Y'all, it comes with a scoop of ice cream. I remember it being delicious. Andrew ordered it this time, and all I could see were glucose molecules when I looked over at his plate. It is strange how Diabetes can affect your perspective. I had never tried Eggs Benedict anywhere. So, I opted for the Vegetarian Eggs Benedict with a side of bacon (go figure). And yes, it tastes every bit as good as its presentation.

Andrew and I had a pretty active weekend. We took the dog on a four-mile walk through South Bluffs after brunch to take advantage of the sunshine. Yesterday, we each had a long run to do. His parents grabbed their bikes, and we all set out to Houston High School. His mom biked along for my 5-mile run, and Andrew's dad accompanied him on his 6.5-mile run. What's bad? He gave me a head start, and he still finished his longer run faster than I could finish my silly 5-miler. Whatever. I am just glad to have a fellow running enthusiast in the house these days. I feel like all we talk about is joint pain and the Nike+ running app. Ain't marriage so glam?

Friday, January 18, 2013

diabetes + irony + oops?

I have been on Diabetes overload lately...but in a good way. Stephanie and I went to the JDRF Symposium in Nashville last weekend, and it was so much fun. I learned a lot, and I was around people with whom I could relate. We even got to meet Kerri Sparling, one of the bloggers that Stephanie introduced me to while I was in the hospital.

Last night, Stephanie and I went to the JDRF Type 1 dinner at Salsa. Don't ask me about what Mexican food does to my blood really isn't fair. The speaker was a local endocrinologist, and he was a wealth of fabulous information and enthusiasm. I think it is amazing when someone who studies a disease day-in-and-day-out for decades is able to approach it with fresh enthusiasm no matter what. We diabetics don't get a vacation from it, so I guess it is only fair :)

I am enjoying staying plugged in and meeting new people. It would be easy to hide under a rock, but approaching my diabetes head-on is more my flavor.

Speaking of flavors, I just dropped one of my Torani Sugar-Free Mocha syrups. It fell behind the refrigerator. Then, I hear ::guzzleguzzleguzzle::. Yes, it is spilling out. The puddle creeps out from under the fridge, and my dog noses closer to it. Right now, all that is stopping an epic chocolate flood is an old brown towel and the hope that my dog doesn't realize that she can simply move the towel and partake any time until my husband gets home with more muscles than I have to offer the situation.


I was looking for my coffee this morning, and I found one of my freezer meals. I used to eat these Smart One's meals all the time pre-diagnosis. In fact, I don't know that I have touched a noodle since April 2012. Trust me, not all diabetics are like this. They simply figure out the carb-count in their noodles and bolus for it. I wasn't that brave on shots, and I am certainly not that brave on Metformin.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

From the iPhone

It is 2013, so I should know how to make a blog from a cell phone app. I have no idea what it will look like once it is published.

Here I sit in Republic Coffee, drinking one of the more fabulous sugar-free coffees I have ever tasted. Who knew I liked sugar-free caramel? It was my back-up to sugar-free raspberry, which I've never had. Doesn't that sound fabulous? I'm thinking of ordering it off of Amazon, because I am *obsessed* with raspberry.

Has anyone tried the Torani?

Is anyone out there?


- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Location:Walnut Grove Rd,Memphis,United States

Sunday, January 6, 2013

quickie post: project report

sometimes you just have to share a nice 24-hour block of obedient blood sugar...
this is especially surprising considering the amount of chocolate i ate yesterday!
thank you metformin...keep doing what you do!

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Wassup with Wasa?

A few months ago, I fell in love with Wasa Crisps. So far, in 2013, I have made pretty decent decisions regarding meals. I have only hit my Dexcom's high note (180) three times, and each time I can point to the food the caused it (Pita Bread, Fruit, and Mexican food). Here are two of my meals that incorporate Wasa. 

This is a breakfast staple. 2 Eggs + 2 Slices of Turkey Bacon + 2 Wasa Crackers with Laughing Cow Cinnamon Cream Cheese Spread with Light Cinnamon and Splenda sprinkled on Top (makeshift cinnamon toast). All of this is under 15 carbs.

This is a lunch option. 10 Berries (5 Raspberry & 5 Blackberry) + Carrot Chips with Ranch + 2 Wasa Crackers topped with Tuna, Light Mayo, and Tony's seasoning. This is under 25 Carbs. Those berries pack a lot of good fiber :)

So, I thought I would share some fun, quick breakfast and lunch ideas for those of you who may be wondering how to eat light in the New Year!

Also, just to check in - I have done 2 Pure Barres this week and have slacked on running. I am running 3-4 miles this afternoon. Long runs are on Sunday! Don't worry. After our NYE experience, Andrew bought Just Dance 4 and Hip Hop Dance for our Wii. We have spent a lot of energy on this game. It is a great workout and drops my blood sugar quickly! It will be my Winter equivalent to taking a post-meal walk!

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

new month? heck, new YEAR...

Capturing Diabetes has a feature entitled "new month". I started this series because I find that the first day of a new month is the perfect time to assess my habits and create new aspirations for the next 30-days. Well, January 1 is the grandaddy of them all! Not only is it a new month, it is a new year! It is a perfect time to make our monthly short-term goals and new long-term goals. It amazes me every single year how many people are inspired by the notion of starting anew. We all believe in the power of positive change, but our resolutions have a shelf life. Some of us last a matter of weeks...days, even, before we are back to our old habits.

Maybe you made a resolution to start running, only to be confronted with the realities of the cold weather. So, maybe you edit your resolution. Instead of running outside, you vow to go to the gym and hit the treadmill. Shortly, you realize driving to the gym takes time. Once you get there, it is so crowded with other inspired folks that you are waiting in line for your turn to sweat. The next thing you know, you are back on the couch promising yourself you will run when it is warm. Maybe you do, maybe you don't.

Maybe you resolve to save money. You even start your own budget on Microsoft Excel, allotting money for food, gas, and fun. Then, you get your first e-mail about Spring fashion, and you've typed your debit card number in faster than you can say "epic fail". <---Hoping this won't be me.

I love resolutions. I always have mixed emotions about whether they are effective, but I think putting a healthy amount of pressure on yourself is a great thing. In one swoop, you are forced to acknowledge your past weaknesses and strategize a method of attack to improve. The key is to make realistic resolutions. Don't resolve to run a marathon if you have never run a mile. Don't resolve to lose 20 lbs. if you only have 5 healthy lbs. to lose.

I know you can make positive changes and stick with them! We've only got one shot at 2013, so why not start out full-steam ahead in our productivity?

Here is a thorough list of my resolutions:

Keep my hba1c under 6%. 
Do a better job of logging blood sugar.
Stay aware of carb content just as I did when I injected insulin.
[Last year, I brought my a1c down from 12% to 6.3% to 5.9%]

Run the entire Germantown Half Marathon in under 2:30:00. <--March 17, 2013.
Do Pure Barre at least three times per week. Oh, and try yoga. 
Go on more post-meal dog walks.
[Last year, I trained for a half marathon up to 12-miles. I ran 9/13 miles on raceday and finished the race in 2:31:00.]

Eat fewer than 20 carbs at breakfast.
Find a healthier relationship with caffeine.
Cook more, eat out less. 

Keep in touch with my friends from out of town, even if that means talking on the phone.
Make a better effort to see friends who are in Memphis.
Send cards for special occasions and send letters just because.

Donate one garment for every garment I purchase.
Save $xxxxx by 2014 (sorry, that's private financial stuff)
Make an effort to find cheaper gas instead of convenient gas.

Study for and pass the February Bar Exam.
Continue to meet with people to hammer out a career plan.
Apply to the Journalism Masters program.
[Last year, I met with at least a dozen people to discuss career-related ideas.]

Learn how to use my camera's full capabilities.
Maintain blog post frequency.
Forge more blogger relationships.
[Last year, I exceeded all my blog statistic goals.]

Join a small group.
Regularly donate the excess "stuff" in our house.
Invest more in trusting God to achieve less anxiety.
[Last year, Andrew and I explored different churches to find a church home.]

Hug more.
Let the little things go.
Express due gratitude. 

Change sheets once per week.
Clean all countertops daily, including bathroom.
Sweep up pet hair twice per week, or as it becomes noticeable. 
[Last year, I made my bed nearly every single day.]

Work on sleep hygiene. Less TV. 
Don't let the gas light pop on. 
Sketch more.