Thursday, August 11, 2011

Absence Makes the Writing Harder

I have to say, it's been hard keeping up with my food blog this summer since I haven't been cooking as much or doing any blogging challenges related to this blog. But, I'm going to try to do better.

I have mentioned in the past that I am diabetic. I haven't been as diligent as I should be with maintaining a good diet, but I know I have improved compared to my old eating habits. I try to stay away from heavily sugar-laden foods and to eat more whole grain foods when they are available. I still eat the occasional sweet treat, but maybe only once a month. I've even taken to asking for sugar-free syrups in drinks when I want a flavored coffee or soda. I'm far from perfect, but I felt that I was treating my body much better than I used to.

Well, apparently I was right. I finally got back to see my doctor who scheduled long overdue blood work for me. When she got the results, she was happy to see that three years of no appointments hadn't thrown my numbers off the charts. My triglycerides were still high, but my LDL and HDL numbers were actually acceptable. My blood pressure was well within normal range and my A1C was 6.9, which is within therapeutic range for diabetics (maybe at the top, but I haven't been to the doctor for years!) 

The other thing was that I hadn't monitored my blood sugar for almost as long as I'd seen the doctor, mainly because I didn't have a clue where my monitor was after moving twice in a year and a half. So, a couple weeks ago, I went online looking to see where I could get another glucose monitor and found Abbott Labs were offering a free monitor if I registered for their MyFreeStyle Promise Program. It provides copay discounts for those with insurance so that they don't have to pay more than $15 for their test strips. I still have to call them to find out if they have any discount for those of us without insurance, but considering they will replace the monitor every three years for free as long as I am in the program, I think I can find a way to get the test strips along the way without complaining too much. 

When I tested my sugar, I was pleasantly surprised that my pre-prandial (before eating) readings were all under 110, which has never happened since I began testing my blood. I was shocked! I'm hoping it's because I'm doing something right and not because the meter is poorly calibrated. Now I need to get more strips so I can proudly show my doctor next month how well I'm doing!

Courtesy Wikimedia
To change the subject, do you like to grill? If so, which do you prefer? Charcoal or propane? It's funny how popular grilling has become. There's nothing quite as good as a steak or a burger cooked over an open flame! Yet, I don't particularly like to do it. When it's hot in the summer, I don't even like to cook INSIDE, let alone cook outside in the heat. I have done it, though, and can enjoy it when temperatures are right. I would take my kids and my mother-in-law to one of the city parks where grills were provided and we'd cook hamburgers and hot dogs with the charcoal we brought while the kids ran around the park playing. We always had a good time, but also plenty of shade trees and a nice breeze to go with it.

But, I've noticed just how elaborate home grills have become. There are so many different kinds these days, some even with separate burners for sauce pans. Sometimes I will go online and look at all sorts of different items just because I get curious. Well, curiosity hit me again and I decided to see what was up with the different kinds of gas grills that were around. I came upon a marketing site that showed both charcoal and propane bbqs. Wow! I thought the gas grill my parents had was pretty upscale since it also had a rotisserie (that they never used once), but some of these are big enough that they'd work in your kitchen (if you had proper ventilation, obviously). Others are more like the smaller versions I've used in the past, both table top and free standing. Some remind me of the old Coleman stoves, but on steroids. There really are so many choices out there these days. If you love to grill, I can't imagine not being able to find something to suit your personality.

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