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 Cella's News

April 2005



It Couldn't Be Done

Somebody said that it couldn't be done

But he with a chuckle replied

That "maybe it couldn't," but he would be one

Who wouldn't say so till he tried.

So he buckled right in with the trace of a grin

On his face.  If he worried he hid it.

He started to sing as he tackled the thing

That couldn't be done, and he did it!

Somebody scoffed:  "Oh, you'll never do that;

At least no one ever has done it;"

But he took off his coat and he took off his hat

And the first thing we knew he'd begun it.

With a lift of his chin and a bit of a grin,

Without any doubting or quiddit,

He started to sing as he tackled the thing

That couldn't be done, and he did it.

There are thousands to tell you it cannot be done,

There are thousands to prophesy failure,

There are thousands to point out to you one by one,

The dangers that wait to assail you.

The dangers that wait to assail you.

But just buckle in with a bit of a grin,

Just take off your coat and go to it;

Just start in to sing as you tackle the thing

That "cannot be done," and you'll do it.

(Edgar Guest)

Diabetic Cooking - What Works?

This article is simply my personal experience. If you have diabetes, always seek qualified medical advice.

My dad used food to help control what I now recognize as diabetes, "weak spells" as he called it. He had low blood sugar or hypoglycemia for years and it was easy to see that so often he did not feel well. Whenever he would have "weak spells" he would eat candy. My dad was never one to go to the doctor and he was never treated for diabetes. In 1980 he went into a diabetic coma and was rushed by ambulance to the hospital. He died two days later, never coming out of the coma to tell his wife or seven children good-bye. A diabetic coma is an emergency condition. Risk factors include blood glucose readings falling below 50 or rising above 500. When my father was going into his coma, he was saying angry things that did not make sense and he did not know his family. His body was crying out for help, but the help came too late.

In 2004 I was diagnosed with Adult Type 2 diabetes (hyperglycemia) with a reading of 506 (normal is 80 to 120). I knew for months that something was wrong with me. I told my husband that if someone didnít help me, that I was going to die. I though I had cancer as I had a rash that four prescriptions would not eradicate. I was seeking medical help, but the doctors kept missing the diabetes. One Sunday I asked my diabetic friend to bring her glucose meter to church and test my sugar level. I asked this because I was worn out from the rash and I knew that I had various signs of diabetes which included not being able to see out of my eyes (blurry vision - I had to take my glasses off to read the type on my computer and to drive), and I was thirsty all the time. I could drink a gallon of water with no problem. When my sugar tested 506, my friend told me that I had better get to the emergency room before I had a heart attack or stroke. I went after church that very day. When my sugar came under control, the rash disappeared, as well as the continual hunger. The more I ate, the hungrier I became. I learned that my hunger was not from what was in my stomach, but what was in my blood. My body was unable to adequately process the sugar from the carbohydrates I ate.

I took my diabetes seriously, knowing that possibly I could reverse it by watching what I ate and by losing weight. At the time I was diagnosed in June with diabetes, my 3-month hemoglobin A1c reading was 12.5. (less than 7 is good) and my cholesterol was 230 (less than 200 is good). By September my A1c reading was 7.1 and by December, it was 5.5 with my cholesterol reading 180. I took my medicine, met with a dietician, and changed the way I ate. As a result, my sugar levels kept going too low, causing me to get shaky and weak. Within 48 days of being diagnosed with diabetes, I was able to discontinue taking my medication and today I am controlling my diabetes with diet alone. Just think of the money Iíve saved by not buying pills. It is frustrating when even though my sugar readings are in the normal range at night, when I wake up, because of the Dawn Phenomenon, where the liver dumps glucose into my blood stream to get me ready for the day, they are higher. When I test my sugar two hours after I eat breakfast, my sugar readings are in the normal range and I am able to maintain them throughout the day. My doctor was pleased to see my progress and suggested that I share my success in this column.

A doctor that I had years ago told me that I was a borderline diabetic and that a person in the throes of a diabetic coma was not a pretty sight. However, that information was not the preventative medicine I needed. I should have been given a prescription for a glucose reader, taught how to use it, and encouraged to keep a food log so I could see how the various foods I ate affected my sugar. I have been doing this every day since I found out I have diabetes. I have been struggling to get back the good health I once had. My untreated diabetes made me feel 10 years older. I implore you, for your own good health, if anyone tells you that you are a borderline diabetic, donít walk - RUN to get yourself a glucose tester, and keep a log of your sugar readings, and all of the foods you eat. Take care of your health. Itís something you canít afford to lose, and you canít buy it any where for any price.

As a diabetic, I needed to understand how the carbohydrates in the food I ate affected my blood sugar. In searching the Internet for diet plans, I stumbled across article after article on the glycemic index. The glycemic index ranks foods according to their affect on blood sugar. On a scale from 1-100, low-glycemic index foods are ranked 55 or lower, intermediate foods are ranked between 55 and 70, and high-glycemic foods are ranked greater than 70. Table sugar is given a ranking of 64. The majority of the foods I now eat are from the low glycemic index, along with meats, cheese, butter, heavy cream, and nuts. I can count on low-glycemic foods not to raise my sugar, unless I over eat. The high-glycemic foods are eaten sparingly. I know from studying my food logs that my sugar will rise quickly if I eat a high-glycemic food. I can still eat foods ranked 70 or above, but I never eat them alone, always in smaller portions, along with sufficient protein to keep my sugar from spiking. This means that I have a sandwich with only one piece of 100 percent whole grain bread, or half a potato if I have a burger of ground chuck (80/20) to balance it. I can even have a piece of cake if I get the correct balance between the protein and the sweet. Gone are the days I eat a piece of pie or a donut by itself.

Low-glycemic fruits include: prunes (15), grapefruit (25), cherries (25) apples (38), plums (39), peaches (42), oranges (43), grapes (46), and kiwi (52). High glycemic fruits include watermelon (72) and dates (103). Bananas (56), apricots (57), and cantaloupe (65) are intermediate.

Surprisingly, M&Mís Chocolate Peanut Candies (32), Snickers (41) bars, and chocolate bars (49) are listed on the low-glycemic index. I often have my Taco Soup for lunch with a Snickers bar for dessert. That meal doesnít raise my sugar, it lowers it. Old Fashioned Oatmeal was 48, All Bran (51), Special K (54), Frosted Flakes (55), Raisin Bran (73), and Cheerios (74). See how easy it is to use the glycemic index? Here are a few other favorite foods with their rankings: Popcorn. Light Micro (55), Potato Chips (56), Corn chips (72), and Pretzels (83). Pasta rankings: fettuccine (32), spaghetti (41), macaroni (46), cheese tortellini (50), and linguini (50). Root vegetables: yam (54), boiled white potato (63), French fries (75), and baked red potato (93). Here are some other rankings that you might find interesting: Rice Cakes (82), Long-Grain Rice (47), Instant Rice (91), Pita Bread (57), White Bread (70), and French Bread (95).

Recommended Web Sites that have been helpful to me:




Recommended Books that have been helpful to me:

28 Days to Diabetes Control! By Lance Porter (http://www.Amazon.com)

Eat Fat Get Thin! By Barry Groves (http://www.Amazon.co.uk)

Ground Chuck (80/20) is my secret weapon food against high sugar readings. It is the first food that I found that would take my sugar down if it was too high; chicken, fish, and low-fat beef will not do it. Another good food is three or four pieces of regular greasy bacon. An ideal breakfast for me is two fried eggs with 3 or 4 slices of bacon, or sausage and eggs. Sometimes I have a slice of toast or 1/3 of a cup of All-Bran with half and half as well. My snacks usually consist of an ounce of Cheddar cheese, a boiled egg, or four or five macadamia nuts.

Ninety-nine percent of my diabetes care falls upon me. I want to control my diabetes so that it does not control me. To ignore diabetes might result in loss of eye sight, heart attacks, stokes, kidney problems, nerve damage in the legs, feet, and hands; sores that will not heal, and infections that cause amputation.

Do I ever get discouraged? You bet I do. I want to be normal. When Iím discouraged, I get out a picture I have of a long-legged, large-billed white heron standing by a pool of water and cattails. The heronís eyes are angry in frustration. In its bill is a green frog. The frogís head is in the birdís mouth, its body in the bill, but the frogs legs are dangling down, and the frogs arms are stretched out to the birdís neck where the frogís hands are griped tightly around the heronís neck to choke it. The caption reads "Donít Ever Give Up!"  To view this picture, go to the following site, scroll down the buttons on the left hand side and click on Don't Ever Give Up!!! http://www.adoptioncrossroads.org.

I also have a poem I read for encouragement when things get tough - like Iíve gained back the two pounds I lost, or my readings are higher after eating a certain food.

Donít Quit

When things go wrong, as they sometimes will,
When the road youíre trudging seems all up hill,
When the funds are low, and the debts are high,
And you want to smile, but you have to sigh,
When care is pressing you down a bit,
Rest if you must, but donít you quit.
Life is queer with its twists and turns,
As everyone of us sometimes learns,
And many a failure turns about,
When he might have won had he stuck it out.
Donít give up though the pace seems slow,
You may succeed with another blow.
Success is failure turned inside out,
The silver tint of the clouds of doubt,
And you never can tell how close you are,
It may be near when it seems so far,
So stick to the fight when youíre hardest hit,
Itís when things seem worse,
That you must not quit.

(Edgar A. Guest)

Lo-Carb Taco Soup

1 pound ground chuck (80/20)
1 cup diced onion
Ĺ cup Salsa or Picante Sauce
14 1/2-oz. can beef broth

Taco Seasoning Mix (recipe below)
2 teaspoons Instant Minced Onion
1 teaspoon Chili Powder
Ĺ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (more if you like)
1/4 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning
Ĺ teaspoon minced garlic from jar
Ĺ teaspoon ground cumin

In a large frying pan, cook ground chuck and onion until no pink remains in meat and onion is translucent. If you are trying to lower your sugar, do not drain off the grease. Add salsa, beef broth and Taco Seasoning Mix and heat until hot. I find that the following Taco Seasoning Mix is milder than the store-bought kind. A cup of this soup with ground chuck 80/20 will take my sugar reading down. Makes 1 quart.

Lo-Carb Quiche Pizza

Pizza Base
4 oz. Ricotta cheese
4 large eggs
1/3 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup Parmesan Cheese, grated
1 tablespoon diced onion
Ĺ teaspoon Italian seasoning
Ĺ teaspoon minced garlic, from a jar
2 cups shredded Mozzarella cheese

Pizza Toppings
1 cup Marinara Sauce
2 cups shredded Mozzarella cheese
30 slices of pepperoni
2 (4-oz.) cans mushrooms, drained

For pizza base, combine all ingredients, except Mozzarella cheese. Place shredded cheese evenly in 9x13 buttered cake pan. Pour egg mixture over the top. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 30 minutes. Top with Marinara Sauce, Mozzarella cheese, pepperoni, and mushrooms. Bake for 20 minutes or until cheese is bubbly. Serves 6. Serve with a lettuce salad.

Send your letters and recipes to Marcella Stockin, 5200 Riceville Road, West Valley, New York 14171.  Visit my website to find out how you can order my cookbook full of delicious recipes for all occasions.