When I was first diagnosed with high blood sugar a dozen years ago, my first endocrinologist (diabetes specialist) sent me for nutritional counseling and suggested I eat more vegetables, fewer desserts, and walk 45 minutes - or 10,000 steps - a day. I also began the daily ritual of testing my fasting glucose levels before eating my first meal of the day.
In the ensuing years, I've continued to monitor my eating and test my blood. I've read books on dozens of approaches that may help control insulin resistance, which type 2 diabetes is sometimes called.
For a few years, I read nutritional labels to make sure every snack included 10 grams of protein and every meal contained 20 grams. I also read that every snack should be a protein snack (not a carb-heavy one, like a cinnamon bun!) but recently I read that too much protein is bad... What is now considered "too much" protein? Is it the massive amounts of powdered protein that body builders consume? I try to keep my foods "natural" and "real"!
A few months ago, another diabetes specialist sent to a nutritional counselor who recommended a vegan diet - no meat, eggs or dairy... Just vegetables... I tried it and consumed lots of homemade vegetable bean soup. The first time I tried it for three days, I had impressive results. My blood sugar levels dropped dramatically. The second and third times, there was little or no change in my daily fasting glucose readings...
What happened? Was I not committed enough?!
Unfortunately, because type 2 diabetes (or insulin resistance) is affected by food, I tend to blame myself a lot. All my eating experiments have taught me that that I really can't stick to an eating style that doesn't include the foods I enjoy. Also, those I eat with (usually my family) have to go along with my food choices, or the plan won't work for long.
Having read books with opposing ideas, I know that researchers aren't completely clear about what makes up a healthy diet, especially for those of us predisposed to insulin resistance. But I do think that my first doctor - now long retired - was right when he suggested more veggies and 10,000 steps a day. I'm glad that warm weather is here so that I can go out walking again!
Early spring flowers are fully in bloom in various parts of the yard.
White helleborus in the front yard...
Yellow in the side. Both plants seem fuller than in previous years. They'd make more impact if I had more of them in different parts of the yard... I'm pleased that they are facing up - rather than down - this year.
My next quest is to find some in other colors. I've seen photos of pink ones, but I'm not sure they're suitable to our cold northern climate.
I'm amazed that these are tough to thrive through the cold winter - and bloom as soon as the snow is gone!
I started this Mary Maxim sweater kit a while back.
I loved the picture on the sweater - but the pattern didn't provide a clear description of the length of the sleeves (which are pushed up in the picture). Or exactly where the collar starts in the front.
I struggled with the collar, knitting it twice.
(I still don't think it looks like the one in the pattern photo.)
Then when I cast off the collar off, it didn't lie flat, so I took the last row apart and cast off again, using a larger needle to make sure I wasn't tightening the seam.
Eventually I sewed on the buttons. But when I tried it on, I found the neck too open.
I prefer the collar closed up, so I added a button and crocheted a loop to hold it shut.
Now that it's done, I like the look - though it's not really like the picture in the pattern! (Not sure what I did wrong!)
A sure sign of spring - in our neighborhood - is the deflation and removal of the plastic dome that covers the soccer field all winter long.
It's a lot of work to put it up and take it down annually, but it maximizes use of the space. In summer it's an outdoor field. In winter, it's used for indoor sports.
A few miles away is another plastic dome, this one owned by the city. It usually stays up all year long. In winter it provides the community with indoor walking space and a driving range. I'm not sure how busy it is in summer.
Recently it sprang a lead and deflated. That must have been a shock. It's tied down now - probably to prevent it from blowing in the wind until repairs make it fully functional again.
Last week I officially ended my winter pottery "season" by heading to the studio to glaze the last items I had made. Some of the potters continue all year long but, for me, spring, summer and fall are busy enough with gardening and outdoor activities.
Heading home, I stopped in at the Dairy Queen for a mini chocolate "blizzard" - to celebrate spring...
I know - the name is a bit of a paradox! But blizzards aren't available there in winter. Our neighborhood DQ stand is closed from Thanksgiving until spring break.
When it opens, it's a sure sign of spring! So it's a fitting way to mark my moving into a new activity season!
I love walking by the water - even when it's a little chilly, as it was last week in Toronto.
The wind by the water often makes it cool.
But there is something relaxing and refreshing about a calming expanse of blue!
When I lived in Kelowna, BC, as a teenager, the Okanogan Lake was part of our family's live. My father bought a small boat, and we'd often go out on the lake, drive to the middle - and then simply sit.
Ever since then, I crave being near the water.
Its peacefulness does something wonderful for my soul!