My Pumpkin Favorites

Since today is Halloween and there is only 1 month left of pumpkin season I decided to share my pumpkin favorites. I have been eating/using most of these for years now. Some, like the Noosa Yogurt are new additions. As a self proclaimed “pumpkin queen” I consider myself an expert on all things pumpkin. ? As a Type 1 Diabetic that likes to stay fit and eat healthy, low carb, diabetic friendly meals/snacks – I am very picky about my pumpkin treats. Pumpkin stuff tends to be very sweet and loaded with sugar. But not all of it! I hope you enjoy and try some of these yourself.

My Pumpkin Favorites

Trader Joe’s Canned Organic Pumpkin: The Basic, I love that Trader Joe’s sells organic pumpkin. Most health food stores do as well. I use this in SO MANY recipes including smoothies, my pumpkin cottage recipe (coming soon!) and pumpkin custard to name a few! Sometimes I even mix it with some full fat ricotta, vanilla and stevia – creamy, sweet and low carb!

Torani Sugar Free Pumpkin Pie Syrup: They also have pumpkin spice syrup but I am a pumpkin pie kind of girl. I mostly use this in my smoothies and in my pumpkin cottage recipe coming soon! I actually do not like it in coffee like most people do. I hate syrups in my coffee – I am all about half & half. ?

Trader Joe’s Pumpkin Waffles: I eat these one way – one waffle toasted  with a huge slice of provolone, mozzarella or muenster melted on it. This is SO GOOD – its the perfect sweet and savory treat – try it!

Andalou Naturals Pumpkin Honey Glycolic Mask: All natural, smells great and it burns a bit when you apply it. I like the burn because I know it is working.

Trader Joe’s Pumpkin Spiced Pumpkin Seeds: I almost didn’t get these because they are higher in carbs but I made it work. I eat half a serving (I weigh it on my food scale) with a big piece of mozzarella and some beef jerky. Its one of my favorite snacks. Sweet and Savory!

Noosa Pumpkin Yoghurt: This is also nigh in carbs but again, I make it work (I do not like to say no to myself when I really want something!). So, I have half a serving of this too (It’s a big container) and I add walnuts to it. This Yogurt is so creamy and delish.

Have your own pumpkin favorites? Let me know, I love to try new pumpkintastic treats!
Happy Halloween!

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The Bionic Pancreas

A coworker of mine is a type 1 diabetic. He deals with a person at another company that is also a type 1 diabetic. This person had the opportunity to work with Edward Damiano – he is the creator of the the Bionic Pancreas (the iLET to be exact). This guy is absolutely amazing.  His goal is to have the bionic pancreas available to the public by the time his son goes to college (his son is Type 1 Diabetic).

Everything is explained in the video – enjoy!

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My Carbohydrate Story

This is My Carbohydrate Story

Carbohydrates, carbohydrates — the villain in our diabetic story.

I remember the early part of my T1D days. Everything was “SUGAR” (or the “white devil” as I call it).

You can’t have that Eva, it has sugar.

Count the grams of sugar on the label!

Can you have natural sugar?

What is the difference between sugar-free and no sugar added?

I am not allowed to eat sugar.

Thankfully in this day-in-age we understand that it is a carbohydrate that counts. In case you aren’t privy to this information I will break it down for you in a super simple way. Every Carbohydrate turns into sugar. So if you take a piece of bread (10 carbs) and add a tablespoon of sugar to it (15 carbs) guess what? You actually have 25 grams of sugar not 15 because the carbohydrates turn into sugar. Yes there are different kinds of carbs meaning a piece of white bread turns into sugar much quicker than oatmeal. So the oatmeal won’t raise your blood sugar as fast but guess what? You still have to cover for it.

I was diagnosed with diabetes at the age of 6. In my early years I was under tight control thanks to my mother. I was also a kid and did what I was told so when they said I couldn’t have sugar I didn’t eat it. I would only have sugar when I was low and I would savor every single bite. Things changed as I got older.

When I was about 15 my blood sugars were out of control. I remember a nutritionist telling me I could not eat carbs. I asked her what carbs are. She explained that they are foods like bread, candy and fruit. I looked at her and said: “So you are telling me I can basically only eat veggies and meat?” I walked out of there and just accepted that I would never have control over my blood sugars.

When I was 21 I tried the big diet craze – Atkins. I was in heaven thinking about endless amounts of cheese, chicken salad and well… basically cheese and chicken salad. I figured I wasn’t eating sugar so I should have great blood sugars. I stopped testing and barely gave myself insulin. This lasted about a week. I was hospitalized with my first and last case of ketoacidosis. It was horrible to say the least and I vowed to never get it again. After that I moved onto the South Beach Diet because it had some carbs. I made sure to test myself and give myself the proper amount of insulin. Once again I wound up in the hospital. I actually didn’t have diabetic ketoacidosis but I had the same symptoms. After that I told myself I would never go low carb again!

I remember telling people throughout the years why I wouldn’t go on low carb diets. “They can kill me!” I would say. I was very passionate about it. I had no desire to reduce my carbs. In fact, it was the opposite – i ate high carb – in fact most times carbs were the only thing i ate. Why? Because I was STARVING! During this time I was at the height of my disordered crash diet, binge cycle that would last over 15 years. (Read about that here) Plus I really thought carbs were good (don’t be too hard on me – it was the early-mid 2000’s when carbs ruled!) I tried carb counting but I found it to be hard and tedious so I gave up on that and continued guesstimating my insulin for years.

Fast forward to 4 years ago when I started to recover from my disordered eating. I was feeling great, eating clean, taking in the calories my body needs AND I had energy. I was eating protein, carbs and healthy fats. I felt like I was finally getting it right but I knew I wasn’t quite there yet because i still didn’t have full control over my sugars. About 2 years ago I started researching carbs and diabetes and knew I had no place to go but down —- in carbs!

I started following people like Vinnie Tortorich and Stephanie Keto Person. I also read Dr. Bernstein’s book called the “Diabetes Solution”. First I cut out grains then slowly but surly I went down, waaaaay down to less than 20 carbs a day. (Please note: I did this very slowly and carefully with many low blood sugars – it wasn’t easy). This was not good for me. Yes my blood sugars were easier to control and I was only giving myself 5-8 units of Lantus a day and 6 units of Humulog but i SUFFERED. This goes down as the worst time in my life – i was TIRED, I was LETHARGIC and I was MOODY. People say that if you are doing low carb correctly and getting everything you need you wont feel like this but I was eating healthy, taking supplements and using MCT oil. I was only getting my 20 carbs from some veggies. Oh and to top it off I didn’t even lose weight – nada!

Finding Balance.

After this I stopped low carbing. I took a while off and then I went back to the drawing board. At this point I truly found my balance. A balance where I can have a fruit or a piece of chocolate. I now eat a diet of 2,300 calories a day (My TDEE) and around 150 carbs a day – sounds like a lot? Its not – just look at my posts. I used to eat well over 200 carbs a day. Want to hear the crazy part? I don’t miss any of those carbs because I am nourished and SATISFIED. Because I get my full amount of calories and enjoy everything I eat I don’t feel any urges to binge or overeat. If I want something I either find a low carb recipe or figure out a low carb recipe. I also get to eat things I love like cream cheese, butter and PEANUT BUTTER! The icing on the cake is my blood sugars! They are better than ever. Because I keep the amount of carbs I eat the same at every snack and every meal its so much easier for me to maintain control. Even though every day is still different – consistency is definitely key when it comes to maintaining blood sugars. To me thats the secret. I eat around 40 carbs at breakfast lunch and Dinner. Around 8-15 carbs per snack. I say I am low-mid carb since I am not a super low carb or ketogenic.

In the end its up to you to find your balance. There are many people I have seen and read about that thrive on ketogenic diets but I am not one of them. I am happy with the way I look, feel and most importantly with my blood sugars. I am not saying I never cheat because I do but I am not perfect and this blog is not about being perfect.

Thank you so much for reading my story <3

Low Carb Diabetic Protein Shake

Low Carb Diabetic Protein Shake

1 Scoop Vanilla protein powder (I use Tera’s) (110cals/4carbs)
1 Cup Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Milk (40cals/2carbs)
1/2 Cup Pumpkin (I use Trader Joe’s Organic Pumpkin) (50cals/10carbs)
1.5 TBSP Pumpkin Pie Syrup (I Use Torani)
1/4 tsp Cinnamon
1/4 tsp Pumpkin Pie Spice
1/8 tsp Nutmeg
1 TBSP Walnuts (8g=50cals/1carb)
1/2 Small Banana (50g=45cals/11.5carbs)
1/8 tsp Xanthan gum
1/2 TBSP Hemp Seeds (25cals, .5carbs)
1 tsp Chia Seeds (25)
Total: 345cals/29carbs

This is a winner all around. It is SO GOOD! It tastes like a thick milkshake you would get at an ice cream store. It’s also very filling. It actually amazes me sometimes how good a diabetic friendly, low carb recipe can be. You just need to be a little more creative ? I hope you make this protein shake and enjoy it as much as I did!

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Low Carb, Diabetic Friendly Burrito Bowl

As promised from last weeks WIAW post – here is how I made my burrito bowl:

Low Carb, Diabetic Friendly Burrito Bowl.

First I seasoned 1 Lb. of very lean ground beef with: Salt, Pepper, 1tsp garlic powder, 1tsp cumin and 1tsp of chili powder. Then I cooked it until no longer pink.
Next I I put 1oz of Spinach in my bowl as the base & added a serving of the beef.
I topped that with:
1 oz Shredded Mexican Cheese
2 TBSP Cup Trader Joe’s Fire Roasted Corn
1/4 Cup Black Beans
1oz Red Onion
Cilantro + Scallians
Splash of Lime Juice
1oz Avocado (or 2 TBSP Guacamole)
2 TBSP Salsa (I used Trader Joe’s Salsa Verde + Salsa Authentica)
Dab of Sour Cream
My meal total was 450cals/27carbs

I hope you try this. It is so flavorful and tasty. I truly do not miss one single carb from rice, chips or anything else. My husband and I both agree its actually one of our favorite dinners!

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Yesterday was great!

OK well this was not fun but the rest was ?

I started the day with a trip to the lab to get blood taken for my next doctors appointment. I am actually pretty nervous about this one because I got married in July (woo hoo) then went on my honeymoon for 2 weeks. Lets just say things were crazy during this time and my blood sugars certainly reflected it.

After I was done having blood taken I drank my shake. I am used to eating breakfast around 7am so I was starving by the time I was done! I made a tiramisu protein shake which included this: Vanilla Protein /// 1 cup coffee /// 2TBSP Mascarpone cheese (120cals, 0carbs) /// 1/2tsp Rum extract /// 1/2tsp cinnamon /// Hemp seeds (25cals, 0carb) /// Bee pollen /// Heavy cream (50cals, 0carbs) and a blob of PB on the side.

Lunch – Avocado love <3 need I say more?

Brian and I are finally putting together a grown up bed! Meaning no more 10 year old queen sized mattress and target sheets lo.l We got a kind sized bed, a pillow top, high end sheets and comforter. For the mattress we decided to try Leesa – Its one of those new online brands that people rave about. You can’t try before you buy but according to reviews they are more comfortable than the ones in the store that cost thousands. They come in a tiny box and when you open it they expand. I can’t believe how small the box actually is – look at Robert Moses next to it! I am so excited to use it ? ?

Take a look at my outfit – I am wearing bell bottoms for the first time in YEARS and I love them! I got mine from Express. They run long but I still had to order them online in a long length.

Off to Volleyball – last game of the season

I had a Grey goose and club soda with a lime – my go-to low carb cocktail.

The only damper was a low blood sugar in the middle of the night which made me eat half a banana with about 8 HUGE spoonfuls of peanut butter. I hate middle of the night lows – they make me crazy ?

Other than that yesterday was great!

Have an awesomely fantastic day!

WIAW – What I ate Wednesday 10.07

WIAW – What I ate Wednesday 10.07

Hey! I hope your week is going swimmingly! I know that doesn’t even sound like a real word but it is!
I am officially in “fall mode” with all my meals and cooking. Even though today it is about 70 degrees out. It is absolutely gorgeous! Its so nice to have this kind of weather in October. I started out yesterday with a LISS run. LISS is the fancy term for Low Intensity Steady State. I ran for 40 minutes but kept it to more of a run/jog. I started this new workout program that I am loving right now but I want to do it for a few weeks before I write about it.

I started out yesterday with one of my favorite breakfasts of all time: the WAFFLEWICH!
2 Vans Multi-Grain Waffles /// 3 Egg Whites /// 1 Big Slice of Provolone Cheese /// 2 Applegate Farms Organic Turkey Sausages. I love this sandwich – it never gets old for me.

My first snack is my new favorite – I eat it at least 3 times a week. Ricotta /// Unsweetened Coconut Shreds /// Cacao Nibs /// Walnuts //// Grapes

For my lunch this week, I was in the mood for a huge fall salad. This one included: Spinach /// Broccoli Slaw /// Walnuts /// Pumpkin Seeds /// Apples /// grapes /// Shredded Cheddar /// Avocado /// Trader Joe’s Grilled Chicken

My Second snack was a simple one: Blueberries /// Macadamias /// Mozzarella

Dinner was so good I can’t even tell you! Actually i can tell you but I am going to wait until next week.

My dessert was one Wasa Crisp’n Light /// Peanut Butter /// Dang Coconut Chips

I hope you had as many good things to eat as I did yesterday ?

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No BS Blood Sugar Friday – 10.02

I call this “No BS Blood Sugar Friday” because these are my exact blood sugars from the day before. The highs, the lows, the good and the bad with no bullsh!t! No going up, down or making up a number to make myself seem like a perfect T1D.

Yesterday I definitely ran low. Lately In the mornings I always kind of have a catch 22 because if I don’t give myself one unit of Humulog my blood sugar goes as high as 190 1.5 hours later. If I do give myself one unit of Humulog it runs as low as 60 (like it did yesterday) I always choose to go with the lower blood sugar. At night it was low because I shopped and then got home and tried on a BUNCH of clothes. We all know that can take a lot (of sugar) out of you! lol

One thing I have to say is low blood sugars don’t bother me as long as they are not below 60, as you can see I was right on the edge. I find that in the 50’s is when I start to get very shaky and have trouble functioning. From 60-80 I definitely feel it but I can kind of ignore it. I guess I try so hard not to go high that when it runs low I am internally a little happy. I am not even sure how low blood sugars effect the body long term because in general people are so hyper-focused on high blood sugar complications.I am going to ask my endocrinologist next time I go.

So here they are:

5:30am – 103
7:00am – 61
11:00am – 107
2pm – 69
4:30pm – 75
7:00pm – 111
9:30pm – 61

Have an awesome Friday and weekend! Its raining here in NY so I plan on watching movies and TV. I love a weekend like this every once in a while!

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Zucchini Bread Protein Shake Recipe

This shake has fall written all over it. Especially for those of you whose idea of fall doesn’t revolve around pumpkin everything. ?
I myself do love pumpkin but there are so many other fall flavors to enjoy! In this recipe I included my calorie and carb count along with the weight if I weighed the ingredient. I find weighing things to be so much better than eyeing it. I like to be exact! I hope it helps ?

Zucchini Bread Protein Shake Recipe

1 Serving of Vanilla Protein Powder (I use Tera’s) (110cals, 4carbs)
1 Cup Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Milk (40cals, 2carbs)
1/4 tsp Cinnamon
1/8 tsp Nutmeg
1/2 TBSP Hemp Seeds (28cals, .5carbs)
1 TBSP Walnuts (8g=50cals, 1carb)
1 TBSP Peanut Butter (95cals, 3carbs)
1 SMALL Frozen Banana (100g=90cals, 23carbs)
1 SMALL Zucchini (120g=20cals, 4carbs)
1-2 Ice Cubes (I only used 1)
TOTAL: 433cals, 37.5carbs

I use a NutriBullet to blend everything up
MMMMMmmmmm so good! Enjoy!!

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