Summer Thai Chicken Stir Fry

Summer Thai Chicken Stir Fry

Makes about 4 servings

4 Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts, sliced in 1″ strips

2 C Snow Peas (rough estimate)

2-3 Yellow Summer Squash (about 2-3 cups chopped in quarters)

2-3 Carrots, Sliced in thin 2″ strips

2 Tbsp Peanut Butter (preferably natural, no sugar added, maybe just some salt)

1-2 Scallions, chopped (about 1/2-1c)

1-2 Tbsp Fresh Ginger, minced or grated

2 Garlic Cloves, minced

1 Tbsp Coconut Oil (preferably organic unrefined)

1 C Fresh Cilantro, chopped (about a handful)

Chicken broth (preferably organic low sodium, don’t use a can full of salt water, you’d be better off using just water)

Salt and Pepper to taste

  1. Marinate your Meat. Pound chicken inside a ziplock bag to tenderize.
  2. Add Peanut Butter, 1/2 of the Scallions and 1/2 of the Ginger to chicken ziplock and close bag. Work it through with your hands, making sure to coat all the chicken. Place in fridge while you prepare the veggies.
  3. Rinse and Chop the Carrots and Squash.
  4. Heat a very large frying pan or skillet on medium heat. Add a little broth, about 1/4 C. When it’s hot add the rest of the Scallions, Ginger and Garlic. Saute for about 3-5 min til soft
  5. Add Carrots to the pan and cover for 3 minutes, put a little more broth or water in the pan if its dry, but not too much.
  6. Add the rest of the veggies and season with just a touch of salt and pepper.
  7. Add the Coconut Oil and stir to make sure the oil is well distributed. Cook about 5 more min til squash is just softened. Remove from pan and set aside in a bowl.
  8. Add chicken to pan. Cook about 3-5 min, until browned then flip and do the same on the other side until cooked through.
  9. Add the veggies back to the pan, along with the cilantro and stir well to mix all flavors.
  10. Once heated through (about 1 minute), remove from heat and set aside to cool about 5 minutes. This will allow the flavors to melt together for an unbelievable dish.

You can substitute any of your favorite veggies here, or just use the vegetable portion of the dish for a meat free meal, or side.

Get more Diabetic Friendly Recipes here.

**All Recipes are Property of The Diabetic Life**

Reaching Your Goals

I hope everyone had a nice 4th of July. I was lucky enough to spend the day with wonderful family and friends and listen to music synchronized with the fireworks while we ate, drank, and laughed with each other.

Luckily I drank plenty of water before bed last night, but I had a bit of uncomfortable headache this morning. Nothing that more water didn’t fix, thank God! But I felt very droopy and lacked energy. I wanted nothing more than to stay in my warm bed under the covers, even though the morning light was eagerly coercing my eyes open.

My routine typically involves coffee usually before anything else, followed by dressing and mentally preparing for my gym workout. The coffee wasn’t helping much, so I decided to have my breakfast first. With fuel for the system, I would normally be ready to go, but not this morning. I sat after I ate, reading the news on my phone, reluctant to move for anything. I was tired, and did not want to go outside or to the gym and exert any energy whatsoever. But I’ve done that before and I know the repercussions: I only feel like a lazy slob afterwards, and I usually wind up eating much more food than I need, because for some reason, the couch seems to take all my energy and my body’s ability to feel a full or even just satisfied stomach.

As hard as it was I got my A** up, got dressed and dragged myself to the gym. I began my warm up as I usually do- 10 min of cardio, and it went very sloooowwwlllyyy. That was the longest 10 minutes of my day, but then it got better. I was physically tired and not able to push myself as hard as I usually can, but I did it. I went through my entire workout routine without skipping even a rep. And though my muscles were certainly fatigued I bounced out of the gym to my car as I listened to an upbeat song that further brightened my day.

It was a great day! As hard as it may be, no matter how late you were up, or how many beers or skinny girl drinks you had, get up and get your butt out! Go burn some calories and get your blood flowing. The hardest part is leaving the house. I’ve had a day or two that I have gone as far as dressing for the gym with my kicks on and everything, and just not made it out the door because I gave in to that little lazy voice that was so loud in my head, telling me how good it would feel to stay home, sleep an extra hour, and eat that extra ____. UGGH. It always makes me feel crappy, and I have to remember that on those days when I just don’t seem to have the energy.

YOU WILL FEEL BETTER WHEN YOU GET OUT AND GET MOVING! JUST GET OUT THE DOOR. Besides, I know I had some extra Skinny Girl Margarita’s* to work off this morning after last night’s celebrating, and you probably do too. Here is your MOTIVATION: After a workout not only will you feel better, but you’ll be less likely to eat foods that are unhealthy because you don’t want to waste all your efforts. In addition, you’ll be closer to reaching you goal, be it weight loss, fitness or just good ol’ mental health. So keep going, no matter what you did last night, or how little you ate yesterday. Your perseverance will pay off!

 

*I’m a fan of these drinks because they’re good, low calorie, low carb, and they help me to enjoy nights out without the guilt by supporting my healthier, lower calorie diet. And I don’t get paid for saying that.

How to Eat Ice Cream

Ahh the Diabetic’s forbidden fruit: Sweets. And it’s summertime so I have to mention the foods we will all be around at the barbeques and summertime events.

Do you remember your Mother telling you at some point NOT to do something. And it did not matter what it was, the fact that it was prohibited made you want to do it. Curiosity, and the feeling that you would experience sensations you’d never had before, made the forbidden desirable.

Our shared forbidden fruits make appearances in our lives all the time, especially on special occasions. So can we indulge our senses? We are human. We do strive for perfection, but are not perfect. I believe an occasional indulgence is ok, as long as you eat responsibly!

We all know what drinking responsibly means: don’t drink and drive, don’t drink too much, don’t act out in public, etc. What does it mean to eat responsibly? Here are some basic guidelines:

  1. Eat in moderation. Easy to say, hard to do.  Stick to just one serving, whatever it may be. Make sure that you are not starving so you don’t overindulge and stress out your body, and it’s ability to handle the carb/sugar load.
  2. Eat a good, filling,  healthy meal before eating your treat, like ice cream. If you have had a good meal beforehand, you will be less likely to overindulge in your treat.
  3. If your indulgence is your meal, like pizza, eat a salad or some veggies with it to get the extra healthy fiber and help to fill your belly.
  4. Drink a large glass of water before you eat. This will help a bit to make you feel full so you won’t want to eat as much.
  5. If you use an insulin pump, make sure to take advantage of your extended bolus settings like “Square” or “Dual-Wave” boluses. This is the most important part to avoid an after meal high blood sugar. Not sure how to do this? My best advice is to see your Doctor or nurse practitioner for insulin pump education. I’ll explain how I bolus for a meal or snack like this:

Dual-Wave Bolus

When I eat a high-fat, high-carb meal it takes longer to get digested, and it needs insulin right away, and a little later to handle the breaking down of the combined fat and sugar. You can administer shots the same way, it’s just a bit more tedious. It is essential for you to know what your carb ratio is: How many units of insulin do you need when you ingest 1 gram of carbohydrate.

For example: If I have a ratio of 1/10, Meaning I need 1 unit of insulin for every 10 grams of carbohydrates I consume.

My treat is one serving of ice cream equal to 40 g Carbs. I will need 4 units of insulin (some now and some later).

Using my Dual-Wave Bolus setting I will probably need anywhere between 1/2-2/3 of my insulin right away, and the last 1/2-1/3 of my insulin dispersed over the course of 1-4 hours (this depends on your body’s specific response to the food). I can tell you how it works for me, but it may be very different for you!

That’s 2 units now+

2 Units over the next 2.5 hours

This works much better than overdosing on insulin after a splurge, needing more sugar to get back to normal, only to find yourself way over normal blood sugar levels in a couple hours. That’s what happens to me if I don’t spread out my dosage in a square or dual wave bolus. Not only do I feel crappy afterwards, I feel like an idiot for not dosing my insulin appropriately.

As I mentioned before, an occasional indulgence is ok, but sometimes you may want to look for an alternative, or lesser evil, to such an indulgence:

  1. Single servings are available in the local grocery store, so you are not tempted to eat more than just that 1/2 Cup. Haagen Dazs is one of my favorite brands because it is just real stuff- no preservatives or colors, just good old cream and sugar with natural flavors.
  2. I just discovered an ice cream made from whey protein that is very low in carbs and calories. It is called Arctic Zero. There are only 37 calories in one serving of their ice cream, and 7g carbs; 150 calories for the whole pint! The  bars with vanilla or chocolate ice cream dipped in chocolate are 85 calories with 8g carbs. Visit them at MyArcticZero.com  where you can search for local grocers that carry the products and view all they have to offer (site may have some technical difficulties, if so visit Amazon to have it shipped directly to your house). The ice cream bars I like the best so far because they have a thin chocolate shell on the outside that makes me feel like I’m eating the real thing!
  3. Make some homemade real fruit popsicles (not fruit juice)- Yum!

Want to Make Breakfast in 1 Minute? You Must Check Out This Recipe

I had heard about trying to do this with eggs and just never got around to it. Well now I am so glad that I have because it will make many mornings so easy and quick with very little clean-up.

Egg Omelet Muffin

  • 4 Egg Whites (organic preferably)
  • 1 Whole Egg (organic preferably)
  • 1/4 Cup Almond Milk (regular, or soy is also fine)
  • Tiny sprinkle of Salt, Garlic Powder, Onion Powder, and Oregano (my little secret for my tasty omelets)
  1. Preheat oven to 300 Degrees.
  2. Mix all ingredients well in a bowl.
  3. Spray a Muffin or Cupcake pan with cooking spray.
  4. Add 1/4 of mixture to four muffin cups.
  5. Bake at 300 for about 30 minutes or until set.
  6. Allow to cool enough to safely remove from pan without burning yourself- about 10 minutes.

These tasty cuties (they are cute) can be enjoyed immediately, but the best part about making them in the muffin pan is that they store in the fridge very well for an easy morning breakfast or protein packed snack any time of day!

Any variation can be made with these omelets, another reason why they are so great! You can saute up some onions, spinach or any filling you enjoy in your eggs; they can be made with all whole eggs, or all egg whites. The best part is that they taste good cold so they don’t have to be heated, or you can place in a small pan for about a minute or two on medium heat- just be careful not to burn the eggs since they are already fully cooked. Of course microwaving is always an option, but it is not something that I recommend.

Review of Dr. Bernstein’s Webcast

I am so inspired by Dr. Bernstein, who has been able to control his Diabetes so well that blood tests would not show that he has Diabetes at all. It is something we should all aspire to. And why not? As he put it, “Diabetics should have the same privilege, or right, as a non-diabetics in attaining good blood sugar control and perfect, non-diabetic A1C results.”*

Below are some highlights from his last webcast:

  • Ideal Blood Sugar is 83 at all times: before, during and after meals. Though this is much more difficult to be so precise with a Type 1, who takes insulin, as opposed to a Type 2.
  • What is Gastroparesis? Delayed stomach emptying, which many Diabetics experience, and will affect blood sugars. The digestion of food becomes delayed as nerves are damaged over long periods of time with elevated blood sugars. Some symptoms include heartburn, nausea, constipation and.or diarrhea, and just about any other symptoms associated with poor or irritable digestion.
  • Many think that fruit is a necessary part of any diet. However, “Fruit does not contain any phytonutrients that vegetables do not. Therefore there is no reason to choose fruit, which only contains one thing that vegetable do not, SUGAR, over vegetables.” What are phytonutrients? According to Glyconutrients Reference, “Phytonutrients are nutrients derived from plant material that have been shown to be necessary for sustaining human life.” And what is it that we Diabetics are not supposed to eat…SUGAR! So veggies are the way to go. YAY VEG!
  • “Eating a couple pounds of cheese per week should not increase your cholesterol when you follow a low carb diet.” Huh! I found this very interesting. Dr. Bernstein said he eats about a pound and a half of cheese every other day, and his cholesterol numbers are almost non-existent!
  • Januvia can be given to a young child to prevent beta cell burnout if you fear he/she will develop diabetes. This is definitely something you would need to discuss with an endocrinologist, and one who is proactive.
  •  Deiodinases & T3- I don’t recall the exact question that was asked, but this mention of Deiodinases and T3 made me curious. Deiodinases are enzymes that work with thyroid hormones, at the cellular level, to make different things happen depending on what the body needs, and the body’s present conditions. According to the National Academy of Hypothyroidism, because the deiodinase enzyme works at the cellular level, a typical thyroid test, testing serum levels, may not be accurate for what is really happening inside the body. See this site for more information about Hypothyroidism and why a regular TSH test result may not be telling the whole story.
  • Less T3=Higher LDL: According to Cornell University, T3 stimulates the receptors for LDL. Therefore if the receptors are not stimulated (T3 is low) to take in the LDL, there is more floating around in the blood causing a higher LDL count.
  • What are the best tasting protein shakes? Many like Atkins, or Jay Robb and it can flavored with Walden Farms sugar free chocolate dip.

Don’t forget to tune into the next Webcast on Wednesday June 27, 2012 at 8pm. Click here to register for Dr. Bernstein’s Free Live Teleseminar and Webcast. You can send a question to ask! Click here to read more about Dr. Bernstein’s Diabetes Solution.

*Dr. Bernstein was quite frank about why the common medical community in the US does not encourage A1C’s at non-diabetic levels: as the test result is an average, it is assumed that there will be some highs and lows, and to obtain an A1C that low, doctors fear patients will be experiencing too many low blood sugars, for which they can be sued if a patient dies. The doctor cannot, however, be sued because his patients’ blood sugars are too high resulting in any number of complications. Interesting…

Diabetes Support

After more than 20 years with my sister-friend Diabetes, I decided to attend  a local support group meeting last night. I am happy to announce that it was quite a pleasant experience, and I would recommend it to everyone out there- whether you have Diabetes, have a loved one with Diabetes, or wish to discuss things with any other group that connects with your life. You may walk away with more knowledge than you went with, and maybe a new friend or two.

I have had my prejudices in the past about going to a group meeting for Diabetes, but I did not want that to stop me. I went in with an open mind knowing it may or may not be the thing for me, and I was pleasantly surprised. We ended the evening laughing about our clever sugar-free dessert creations.

I have recently moved to a new location and I’m anxious to meet new people. Although attendance at our group meeting was slight last night, it was a good way to get out and be social. In addition, here are some other highlights:

  • Learning what others have experienced and how they handled certain situations
  • Discovering research that I have not been exposed to in my umpteen hours at the computer each week
  • Recommendations for further education and medical support (especially helpful when you’re new to the area)
  • Being a part of your community where you share common interests, successes, plights, and discoveries.

I personally discovered three new very important things for me to pay attention to improve my overall Diabetic health: (It’s important to keep in mind that everyone is different; foods and medications will affect one person slightly differently than the next)

  1. Steak can take longer to break down, and you may require insulin, and/or an extended bolus, with a steak meal. Not something I ever paid much attention to, but I will be testing my blood sugars after a steak meal next time to see how I react.*
  2. Where your insulin is injected will affect how well it is absorbed  and utilized by your body. Certain types of insulin work better when injected in fatty tissue (like your belly), whereas others do not need the fatty tissue (as in your thighs).*
  3. Fructose may be a cause of Diabetes and can have negative effects because it is broken down in the liver. This article about sugar substitutes by Kenneth Chang briefly mentions this possible negative effect of fructose.

*The best thing to do is talk to your doctor and/or Diabetes educator to find out how these things might have an effect on you, and what the best treatment is for your health and Diabetes.

Zucchini & Charred Corn Salsa: A Side Dish

Zucchini & Charred Corn Salsa

2 Medium or 4 Small Green Zucchini diced into 1/4 inch cubes

1/2 Onion, diced

1 Clove Garlic, minced

Cilantro

Juice of 1 Lime

2 Small Ears of Corn, oven or grill charred

Vegetable or Chicken Stock

Preheat oven to broil and  place rack on top shelf, making sure there is enough room for corn underneath broiler.

  1. Husk the corn and rinse. Place onto aluminum foil covered baking sheet and put on top shelf. Check every 10 min or so. Once corn begins to brown, carefully turn the corn over to brown other side. Total time is about 30 min.
  2. While corn is in oven cut up zucchini. The easiest way to do this is first to cut width-wise where the zucchini goes from wider to narrower. Then cut in half lengthwise, then in quarters, slicing in the same direction. Slice lengthwise in quarters, the opposite way. Finally chop width-wise into 1/4″ pieces. place in bowl
  3. Sprinkle zucchini with salt, pepper, onion and garlic powder to taste.
  4. Chop a handful of cilantro, add to zucchini and stir everything together
  5. Dice the onion and saute in broth (on Medium heat), adding only very small amounts every couple minutes, totaling about 10 min.
  6. Then add the minced garlic and cook another 2 minutes.
  7. Add the zucchini and cook for a total of about 8-10 min. Do not allow the zucchini to become totally transparent. You want it to have some crunch left to it.
  8. When corn  is done remove from oven and allow to cool a bit so it can be handled.  c
  9. Cut corn off the cob and place in serving bowl large enough for zucchini as well.
  10. Chop another handful of cilantro and juice the lime over the corn.
  11. Once zucchini is done mix into bowl with corn, cilantro and lime juice. Allow to sit for a minimum of 10 min to allow flavors to meld. Can be served warm or cool, so this can be refrigerated and made ahead of time.

Enjoy!

You may enjoy some other Diabetic friendly low carb recipes.

**All Recipes are Property of  The Diabetic Life**

Salsa Chicken

Salsa Chicken

4-6 Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts

1 Jar Salsa (about 16 oz) or use Homemade Salsa

Cilantro

1-3 Tbsp Cholula Hot Sauce to taste (optional)

  1. Rinse chicken and place in large ziplock bag. Pound to tenderize and thin out each breast.
  2. Chop a good sized handful of cilantro and mix it with the salsa, and hot sauce.
  3. Place in large rectangular Pyrex dish and spoon salsa over top of the chicken, about 3-4 Tbsp per breast.
  4. Cook in oven for about 30 min at 400 degrees, or until done. *

*Make sure all poultry is fully cooked before consuming.

Enjoy!

Click here for more Diabetic friendly low carb recipes.

**All recipes are Property of The Diabetic Life**

Why Choose Organic?

During my weekly trip to Costco, I was picking up organic eggs, as I usually do, without any thought at all. A gentleman who was examining the eggs asked me, “What is the difference between the organic eggs and non-organic eggs?” Sometimes I take for granted that I have done so much reading and research in this area about our food supply that I was surprised someone could not know the answer to this particular question. However, I was delighted to answer him.

Here’s  the summary:

  • No Antibiotics
  • Cage-Free
  • More Nutritious
  • Better Taste
  • Price
  • Brown not White shells

The chickens are cage free, as opposed to caged. This means that the chickens are able to get more exercise producing a healthier chicken and healthier egg. “Cage-free”, however, does not mean “Free-Range”, which is ultimately the best environment to produce the healthiest eggs and chickens. Most egg/chicken farms in this country contain their chicken in cages where they cannot get any exercise at all. The chickens become unhealthy and fat. This produces a less healthy/nutritious egg. Also sometimes in this environment, there are far too many chickens with not enough space. Therefore they would have a tendency to get sick, which brings us to the next topic of antibiotic use on the chickens.

The chickens that produce these organic eggs are not given antibiotics. Why is this important? What many of us forget is that we consume what has been given to the foods we eat. So the antibiotics used on the animals that we eat can lead to our inability to fight off infection. The more antibiotics we eat or use, the less effective they will be when we need them. We are seeing this with many people and infections: the low-grade antibiotics can no longer fight their infections because they have ingested so much of the medicine through their food supply that they will require more of a stronger antibiotic to get better. And at times this does not even work. Our bodies were made to heal themselves. And with proper nutrients they can do just that. There are times when medication and antibiotics are necessary, but this is not for every sniffle, and we shouldn’t  be eating it every day. This is a sensitive topic for many people, I realize that, but it is important to know what we are eating.

These chickens are fed a better diet consisting of vegetarian feed, not animal feed. They are fed a diet of healthy grains, fat and vegetables, “…No animal fat, animal by-products, and no recycled or processed food” (EgglandsBest.com). This means that these eggs are healthier and more nutritious than those fed a less-then-desirable diet. In addition they actually taste better! Did you ever eat out or at someone else house and think, “Wow it always tastes better when someone else cooks it.”? This is just the opposite- in my house we do like to go out to eat quite a bit, especially for breakfast. But I can tell you for sure that my eggs at home have a richer and better flavor than any eggs I’ve ever eaten at any restaurant.

Organic, cage-free, or free-range eggs are generally more expensive than conventional eggs. The price will vary, but in this store the cost was double that of the other eggs. Why is this? The cost of raising the chickens is higher because of the feed they use, and there is usually less volume (not as many chickens and eggs). That higher cost is passed along to us, the consumer. Inquisitive-Buyer-man was more than happy to pay the price if he knew he was getting a better, higher quality product. My thoughts on this are I would rather pay more for healthier foods now and keep my body as healthy as possible, than pay for high medical costs later because I did not take care of myself, and the foods I fed my body.

As I walked away from this gentleman, after he decided to try the organic brand, he yelled out, “Oh no! But these are BROWN eggs!” I chuckled a little to myself as I assured him that there was no difference between brown and white shelled eggs. He was convinced that they were going to taste bad, or be too liquidy, or not cook like other eggs. But this is simply not the case. Brown eggs are the same as white eggs. They say that the color of the shell is determined by the breed, or species. The color of the shell does not determine the nutrient value or the taste, or the age. You can check for yourself, Wikipedia has some info on eggs, as well as this UK site about Egg Color. The only reason to choose one color over another for an egg is serious prejudice. Lol, and that is just personal preference.

So care for Yourself. Care for your Family. Care for your food. Choose Organic.

Click here or more information about Eggland’s Best eggs and their production.

Follow Through

Last post I set a goal for myself to post new recipes each week. That was a pretty ambitious goal for the holiday season. I have, however, been working on it even though my new recipes haven’t all been posted. I have taken many pictures while I’m cooking and actually broke my camera. lol Not so funny but I forgot to move it while I was tenderizing my chicken and the hard pounding jammed the camera lens so badly it won’t close, open or respond to any buttons being pushed. Soo, back to iPhone photos.

Last night I was out late and didn’t get a chance to eat before I got home. It was after 9pm and I didn’t want a heavy meal, besides the only food I could get besides pizza (not on my diet) was Chinese, and I just could not talk myself into eating whatever they serve and call it chicken. Instead I came up with a quick and light meal that was super easy to prepare. I recently discovered lentils in a can. Doesn’t really sound so appealing, I know, and lentils don’t take as long to cook as regular beans, but they are super convenient when you don’t want to spend, or can’t spend, an hour in the kitchen. Lentils are part of my diet that I have been following- I’ll explain later, but the short of it is protein veggies and beans/legumes at each meal. Here’s my new creation:

Lentil Salad

  • 1 can lentils
  • Large handful fresh cilantro
  • 2 capfuls apple cider vinegar
  • 2 ribs celery
  • Sprinkle of Celery Salt
  • Sprinkle of Onion Powder

Mix together, and allow to marinate in refrigerator for sever hours, if possible. Can be served right away, but will have more flavor later.

To this I added:

  • 1/2 Avocado
  • 1/2 English Cucumber, quartered lengthwise, then sliced
  • 1-3 tsp Olive Oil

Mix all together with about 1/2 the lentil mixture for a nice nutritious salad, side dish or even main entree. I was surprisingly satisfied!

Today I used the leftover lentils in my lunch salad. I added:

  • Fresh Bibb Lettuce
  • 2 Handfuls Grape Tomatoes
  • Handful Pumpkin Seeds
  • 1/2 English Cucumber
  • 1/2 Avocado
  • Juice of 1/2 Lime
  • about 1 Tbsp olive oil, maybe less

Mix thoroughly, but gently as the Bibb lettuce is delicate. Any lettuce can be used for the salad.

It’s good to have something like this in the fridge that can be added to different dishes. If I had made eggs this morning they would have been included in my omelet. I know it sounds strange but it is surprisingly good!! And it fills you up even better than a piece of toast or fruit would because the starch in the beans digests more slowly. I hope you enjoy!

Click here for more Delicious Dishes!