Jenny: Mistakes: A Good Thing

So I’m getting a handle on the whole diabetes thing, experimenting to see what works and what doesn’t.  Along the way, I’ve been developing this cookie recipe that is so healthy it practically has nine out of ten doctors recommending it on TV . . . until I put in the chocolate chips.  Of course, the reason I want them is the chocolate chips, not the whole wheat flour and oatmeal and the banana and the pecans–no, wait, I want the pecans–but after careful experimentation, I knew I could have one, possibly two with tea without spiking my blood sugar.

So yesterday I had six.

I’d love to tell you it was all part of the experiment, but really, I just wanted three cookies after lunch and then a three cookie-snack in the late afternoon.  And of course, they knocked me flat on my ass.  So I collapsed into bed and fell into a slight sugar-induced coma, and when I woke up, I thought, Yeah, can’t do that again, and was just so depressed, what with the diabetes and the blindness thing and my unfinished book and unfinished cottage, and how hopeless my life was, and how there was no point . . .

Which was when the sharp, still voice in my head that I like to call Agnes said, “You know, sugar causes depression.”  She didn’t add, “Dumbass,” but she’s the voice in my head so I knew it was there.

So I got out of bed and made myself a two-egg omelet with skim milk and red pepper and scallions, and then threw caution to the wind and put some cheese on it.  It was excellent, with no subsequent coma or depression.  And I thought, Mistakes were made, but we learned.  So this is good.  We’ll never do that again.  And Agnes said, “If you think that was your last chocolate chip, you have no self-knowledge whatsoever, so let’s just try not to pig out next time, okay?”

I’m glad I have Agnes keeping me honest and reminding me about sugar comas and depression, but I’m also glad about chocolate chips.  I think I might be glad I ate the six cookies because without them I wouldn’t have Learned, but I’m not sure about that one.  Still, a very productive day.  Can’t wait to see what I screw up so I can Learn tomorrow.

96 thoughts on “Jenny: Mistakes: A Good Thing

  1. Better Agnes than that freaky doctor she had in her head! We all fall off the wagon some days, and we all Learn from it for a while. Take me and the 6 chocolate chip cookies I ate for dinner on Monday because I had to drag the kids to Scout meetings. They weren’t even GOOD cookies. Some of that refrigerated dough crap.

    Felt like garbage after, stepped on the scale on Tuesday and immediately downloaded that app you were touting last month.

    We learn. And then we eat 1 cookie slowly with our tea and savor it. Baby steps! Learning a new habit takes 8 weeks. Keep going, you’re doing great! And, you should be about halfway there.

  2. You’re playing with fire. But sometimes there are days where you just want to break out. 😉

    I can cook a fabulous roast beef with roast potatoes and vegetables. And I have it on good authority my delicious gravy is world class. 😉 Everyone’s good at something!

  3. Micki says:

    I have been getting queasy when I get too much sugar lately. Don’t know what’s wrong; went to the doctor today, and not only is all my bloodwork good, my LDL cholesterol went down, too. All my numbers are good except the one on the scale and my BMI. And I feel like an exhausted slag heap.

    But, despite the queasy incentive, if there are chocolate chip cookies of any kind in the house, they Will Be Gone. And if they are Real Chocolate Chip Cookies, I have to fight the kids and husband for them, so at least we all get some exercise with our cookies. No will power, any of us. Le Sigh.

    So, let me send you a virtual apple — I think it’s an Akane, so it’s rosy-red on the outside, and impossibly white on the inside. The crunch sends vibrations of deliciousness all the way up your skull, and the juice . . . oh, Eve should have sinned for an apple like this. The juice is sweet, and good. This is a healing apple, a doctor-away apple, an apple that brings all good things.

    (-: And there’s a basket over there, so anyone who wants one, help yourselves! (I was on a chat board once where people brought virtual treats. And when the tension went up, there were food fights. Since it was a military SF board, the weapons got quite interesting (-:.)

  4. As an analogy, I am thinking of the person who indulges too much at a party because they have having fun and then has a hangover the next day and says “never again.” Riiiiiggghhhtttt….

    Not to say that you can’t and won’t over come the lure of sugar, but there will likely be better days and worse days. And recognizing that sugar is such a temptation for you, it might be better just not to go there. I for instance, always think I will only eat 3 Thin Mints and then snarf the entire tube before I know it (the box should say “Servings: 2”) It’s better for me not to buy them at all than to try and delude myself into thinking I can control that monkey.

    And never let me drink red wine with my BFF!

    Maybe you can find a different cookie recipe? Or only have a chocolate chip cookie when you are out someplace and then you can’t have more later in the day because you’ll have gone home! (That is how I deal with ice cream 🙂

  5. Andrea Klein says:

    When you start working exercise into your life you will probably find it helps keep your blood sugars down and will improve your spirits (even if you’ve eaten too many cookies.) I’m a diabetic trying to move from exercising once or twice a week to four or five. Marking off the calendars seems like a good idea for me.

  6. Could you please delete my above, single letter comment? My iPhone would not cooperate this morning. Thanks!

    Jenny, this all getting healthy thing is a process, not a one time event. It’s all about progress, not perfection. The other night when I went to the supermarket, I was completely seduced by the smell of crisp fried pork in the appy/deli/prepared foods section. They had chicharones which are fried pork rinds. I knew with every working synapse and cell in my brain that I should resist. I’m not even on pureed foods yet in my recovery and no way in hell should I munch a fatty, solid pork rind.

    Did that stop me? Hell no. In a moment when crazy food compulsion beat common sense unconscious, I bought one and took it home. About the only positive thing I can say about the experience is that I didn’t eat the entire thing. Thankfully, since my stomach can only tolerate tiny amounts of anything I had time for the godawful queasiness to set in and stop me.

    I then sprawled in my recliner with an aching, irritated stomach for the next two hours.

    Lesson learned. I’m going to absorb the lesson and remember it the next time I get a crazy food compulsion. Again, progress not perfection. You needed the reminder and I’m proud of you for recognizing that the sugar contributes to the depression. That’s a lot of awareness and some of us beat ourselves up so badly for our mistakes and human-ness that we miss the lesson.

  7. Cielkaye says:

    I think it is perfectly reasonably to get a bit depressed about health issues and big changes that have to be made. Sugar may be the reason, or it may not. We all take a while to adjust to new realities. Boring, but true.

      • THAT is really interesting. Not just the sugar causing depression, but the difference between happiness and pleasure. I never made that distinction before but it’s so obvious. Thank you!

        • “Pleasure is exciting. Happiness is transcendent. More importantly, pleasure is dopamine. And happiness is serotonin.”

          And an actual chemical difference, at that. Fascinating. (I studied neurobiology in a college advanced psych class–amazing stuff.)

          Sugar is definitely addictive. I used to have a major sugar “habit” (and yes, alcohol has a lot of sugar too, as do most pre-made foods, so just skipping desert won’t do it). Cut out all sugar for 6 months for medical reasons. Didn’t help the issue, but shocked me to discover that after a couple of months without it, I didn’t crave it at all. Back to eating it, and three days later–CRAVING. wow. Part of this is apparently because sugar causes yeast overgrowth in the intestines, and yeast craves sugar to feed itself. Vicious circle.

          Now I save sugar for a treat, and avoid it in main meals. One good piece of chocolate will do me. (As long as I leave the box behind. Otherwise…well…they do call to one, don’t they?)

          • No kidding! I had the same reaction when I stopped eating sugar as a yeast cleanse. I was having some SERIOUS yeast issues (no need to get into that here, right?) and decided that ENOUGH WAS ENOUGH, ALREADY. Holy cow, the sugar hangover! And then, poof! Just like that – the cravings disappeared and when I finally did start eating some sweet food (beets, of all things) 8 weeks later, I found them so sweet that I just about passed out. Your taste buds really do desensitize!

            And the fact that there’s a chemical difference between happiness and pleasure explains SO MUCH.

          • Read the article–it was v. interesting. I’m definitely craving sugar now, and the thought of not indulging it? Terrifying. It’s been my go-to self medication for so many years.

            So I have ask myself, “Self, do you think you can cut it out now? Or do you want to limp toward April 2nd?” Pause. “Self, can you stop with the tears? Here, take a kleenex. Now, how about slowly stepping away from the chocolate? Seriously, you can do it. Just put it down, and back up real slow…”

      • Robin S. says:

        I wonder what the medical community would do with my family? From my father’s side of the family we received very high metabolic rates. We’re twigs that fight just to keep weight on; gaining weight is work. And one of the things we all share is a serious sweet tooth. We adore sugar. No, we’re not eating it out of the bag. And I limit junk food in the house. But seriously, we could just sit and eat sugar by the bucket. We ‘need’ it in a way, but it doesn’t seem to affect us the same as others. And it sure as heck doesn’t help us put on weight. Sometimes I swear it does the opposite. I wonder WTF is going on with our metabolism?

  8. I didn’t know that sugar (or at least sugar in large quantities) caused depression! Oh lordy, that could sure as hell have contributed to the last year and a half as I sugar-binged my way through my grief and loneliness. I’m not quite bingeing now, but I’m still too sugar-addicted. It’s a real struggle and I sometimes lose while I am even paying attention.

    See? I Learned from your mistake. How happy is that? Thank you!

    • Hang in there, Skye. Honestly, at 18 months past my mom’s death, I was binge eating to try to anesthetize the grief.

      If you aren’t binge eating as much now, that’s a real achievement, so give yourself a hug. As far as the sugar and sometimes losing — progress, not perfection.

      Big hugs!

        • I’m pretty sure I mentioned it to Jenny years ago, but only in passing ;-P Probably in the middle of muttering about how I needed to stop eating so much fucking sugar because it just made things worse.

          One of these days I’ll take my own advice. Somebody kick my butt, please?

      • Micki says:

        (-: Sometimes it just has to be phrased a different way, and then suddenly the lightbulb comes on. My “oh god” moment was when I read Potatoes Not Prozac, but it had been creeping up gradually. It was an “oh god” moment instead of an “a-ha” moment, because like Leigh, the thought of losing my sugar buddy makes me want to cry, cry, cry.

        I go up and down; very hard to avoid sugar — it can even seem anti-social in some settings. People are always offering me cookies-in-a-packet, and I will take them to be “nice” and say, “I’ll give it to someone at home” — but most of the time I break down and eat it. So I need to do the Nancy Reagan, and just say no.

        Keep saying it, Deb. You may be someone’s “oh, god” moment . . . .

  9. I just finished Agnes again, and I know that voice… I love that voice too. I found myself making a series of to do lists.

    Your characters are such good company.

  10. Rose says:

    I need my own inner Agnes. I may have had one once, but I’ve pretty much got her cowed. Yesterday I was bored at work and feeling sorry for myself, because my I had taken an hour walk on Saturday and my foot, which is suffering a reinflammation along the site of an old metarsal break, was hurting from it. I have to bite the bullet and learn to swim, because I just can’t do weight bearing exercise until the fucker heals. I guess it’s Megaera who keeps going on about how I’m going to look like a whale floundering around in the pool, except whales are graceful in the water.

    Anyway, so I had packed a healthy lunch for myself yesterday, which I at at 10 because I needed to distract myself from my mood. Then at lunch I went out and got sushi and chocolate. Which sent my blood sugar soaring, and I’d been doing well for a few days. What I have to remember, and it seems you already know, is that when you get a flat tire, you pull over and change it. You don’t slash the other three.

    • Get a weight belt (they’re foam), strap it on, and walk your buoyant way from one end of the pool to the other. Grip foam hand weights just under the water and churn those fokkers too. Works! Bonus: no swimming. Smell of chlorine? Still present.

    • I baked them and put them in bags of six and froze them. They’re really too healthy to eat frozen, so I have to get them out and microwave them and by then sanity should return.

      Unfortunately I microwaved six at a time so the others would be thawed . . .

  11. collegiate betty / Kate says:

    It’s ok. Yesterday was Mardi Gras. A day designed specifically for over indulging. And now we’re all back on the wagon together.

  12. romney says:

    Thats the trouble with cooking – no point making just two cookies, even though thats all I should eat. Perhaps savoury things would be less tempting.

  13. julianna says:

    On a purely selfish note… would you be willing to share the cookie recipe? (and maybe the muffin one you mentioned working on?)

    • Yes on the cookie recipe although it’s not there yet. I’ve been using brown sugar splenda which has some sugar in it and which means Lani can’t eat the cookies because artificial sweetener does horrible things to her. So my next pass at the recipe is going to be with a different sweetener, probably applesauce. As soon as I have one that’s both healthy and good, I’ll post it here after Lani approves it. You wouldn’t believe how much banana bread that woman ate while I was trying to get Andie’s banana bread right.

      As for the muffins, so far they’ve been ghastly.

      • I don’t eat any processed or artificial sweetners (allergic to them all). I use apple sauce in recipes to replace part of the oil and maple syrup/agave or honey as the sweetner – but much less. Never more than 1/4 cup. Not sure these would work for someone with diabetes though. I add them to the liquid ingredients and the results have always been good.

      • I bought the babycakes recipe book. It has a lot of strange ingredients but I’m going to try it. The question is do other sweetners like honey and agave have the same impact in the brain? Because if they do I’m in big, big trouble.

        • From everything I’ve read, sugar is sugar is sugar. Artificial sweeteners don’t, but they’re probably doing something else horrible. The most natural sweeteners I’ve found are applesauce, bananas, fruit purees. They dont replace sugar very well in baking because it’s a texture/browning issue, but they do make things sweet.

        • Different in the liver and pancreas, more than the brain. Also, saw something recently that said some brands of agave nectar have high levels of arsenic. So one thing or another there. Pick your poison.

  14. All I can think of to say is ARGH. I just ate berries that I’m pretty sure had been sweetened with sugar (I’m in kindergartena again and a mom sent in snack.)

    Don’t tell anyone, I also drank the juice. I’ve got to ask my boss to keep me out of classrooms with snacks.

  15. On my list of things wrong with the universe, the fact that chocolate chip cookies don’t constitute health food is fairly high up.

    Is it possible to eat a bunch of protein with the (couple of) cookies and offset some of the sugar impact?

    • I used to do that. A strip of bacon and a chocolate chip cookie. It’s one of Lani’s favorite memories. Of course, I had no idea I was offsetting the blood sugar.

      The key is really moderation. Which was on my list of things to learn right after “tap dancing” and “the piano.”

  16. Kay says:

    I have a serious sweet tooth and when I first started to lose weight, I knew that I would have to do something about it. When you combine that with a love of baking, you have problems.
    I started to do what you’re doing, experimenting with recipes to make them healthier (including Andie’s banana bread-so thank you!) and giving away the non-healthy ones so that they don’t tempt me. I also do what someone else suggested and try to eat dessert only when out so that I’m not tempted at home.
    However, it still didn’t solve my basic daily desires so for that I have a nightly hot chocolate. I make it with cocoa, one sweetener and milk, which is good for you anyway. It works for me.
    You are such an amazingly strong person, I know this won’t stop you. The very fact that you are trying to find recipes that work for you shows how undaunted you are. You really are one of my heroes.

    • Thank you, Kay. If you only knew how shallow and bad-tempered I really am.
      So far I’ve been sublimating with sugar free fat free chocolate pudding made with skim milk (not the instant kind, the kind you cook in the microwave). You can put slivered almonds on top before you eat it. It’s not a cookie, but it’s chocolate and nuts, so that’s something.

      • Kieran says:

        Have you ever had that South beach “dessert” of ricotta cheese with a couple drops of vanilla and some splenda? Stir it up and you have this amazing concoction? You can add almonds to it, too, or use almond extract.

        I don’t do fake sugar except for this one thing. The texture is perfect for dessert, and you feel like you just licked the frosting bowl.

      • Maria says:

        I was just watching a show this morning or perhaps it was last night. Anyway, it was about a spa/resort in Tucson, The Miraval, and the chef, Chad Luethje, was being interviewed about his fabulous “healthy” recipes. He was saying that in his deserts he uses cocoa powder to give you the decadence of chocolate flavor without the extra sugar. It is something to think about when making your healthy cookies. Perhaps you could get your chocolate fix by adding cocoa powder instead of chocolate chips?

  17. romney says:

    Interesting article here about Sue Townsend – writer with diabetes who went blind. Thought you might find it well, interesting.

    “She hoots with laughter over the designer she heard on Radio 4…who designed a range of clothes for the blind. ‘I thought, great, a capsule wardrobe, all co-ordinated, things in black and white. But no. It turned out she’s got all these clothes that make a noise. Things with bells. Things that rustle when you walk. And they give off a fragrance as well. Very kind thought – but there we are trying to be normal, and we’re supposed to go around like a smelly wind chime.’ ”

    • They have braille tags for clothes and there are these things that you shine on the clothes like a flashlight and they tell you what color it is. I saw those only in passing because frankly, I don’t pay any attention to what I wear now, why would I start after I’m blind, but very ingenious just the same.

  18. JulieB says:

    I did not know that either, but I do know that last spring, when I cut out sugar drastically, I was able to get through a time that had started to become a depressive pattern. This made a lot of pieces click into place for me today. And, thank you Tracy for the link.

    • I read that. She can’t read scripts. I’m looking into stickers for the keyboard that both make the letters bigger and have braille dots on them in the hopes that I can learn braille while typing or something. There’s software that can convert computer files into braille so if I can learn to read braille, I can still read anything on a computer, and right now with all the e-books,that’s everything.
      Look on the bright side: she can still act and she’s brilliant. My bright side is that I’m not Terry Pratchett, who has the kind of Alzheimer’s that means he can’t type any more, so he has to dictate everything. I start feeling sorry for myself and think, “It could so much worse.”
      Plus Apple is all over the vision thing so there are lots of options there I haven’t explored. Because I’m trying to find a chocolate chip cookie I can eat. ARGH.

      • Micki says:

        Wait a minute . . . do you touch type or “hunt and peck”? Because if you touch type, there are already tiny raised bars on the “f” and “j” keys to orient you (at least on my computer). I don’t think you need the Braille dots.

        Terry Pratchett is living my nightmare: losing your mind and being aware that you are losing your mind. Words cannot express the sadness . . . . But he’s in there swinging, so it’s inspiring at the same time.

        • I touch type but I was thinking that since I know where the letters are on the board, if I had the Braille dots on them, that might be a way to learn Braille. I looked for books on how to read it and there wasn’t much, but I’m just getting into this. Apple also has some good vision-impaired stuff. I’m just starting this part. The diabetes came first because I could do something about that and because so many of the things I do for that are also good for my eyes.

  19. Well, I have to own up here. After posting about my week on Monday and how well I was doing, I went to Trader Joe’s to my lunches for the week (salads) and fell victim to their salted organic white corn tortilla chips and mild salsa. Yes, I did eat the whole bag of chips and all of the salsa when I got home. I am learning which foods are my gateway drugs, foods that I will eat until they are gone. Microwave popcorn w/parmesan cheese; Dove bars; Pringles (I ate an entire can of these yesterday in between the healthy meals); tortilla chips and salsa; ramen noodles and Trader Joes dark chocolate dipping cookies with chocolate chips. Joe has a lot to answer for.

    These are foods that I eat instead of anything else. And they are foods that I absolutely cannot have in my house, not while I’m working on getting healthy. On the other hand, I have found that I can just eat a square of dark chocolate and be happy. I need the taste to shut down the craving, not the whole bar. Now I have to read that article on the brain. It goes along with this book I am currently reading called The Happiness of Pursuit:

  20. After having left an enormous amount of comments above I am going to do it again. Here – because this is the place for whining and I need to whine.

    I’m worried about my eyesight too. not AMD, although my Grandma had that and I’m not sure if it’s inherited, but because my blood sugar has gone all wonky again and even with my glasses on faces go blury after about six feet. And at dusk or in the house without the lights on I already can’t see piss all.

    It’s scary. And I’m working hard on the blood sugar thing, but I’m not sure what’s going on. Going to the doctor this afternoon and he’ll probably increase meds, knowing him. Which is fine if my eyes stop going wonky.

    Okay. Done whining now.

    • Kat Peterson says:

      I have always enjoyed reading your comments over on Argh. But my dear, your comments here scare the crap out of me. I like you, and I want you to be healthy and happy. (I am going to apologize for being out of line, and then I’m going to let it rip. If I’m annoying you, read no further. I hope that was polite–scientist impaired social skills.) Sorry. But, you have diabetes. Diabetes affects all of your tissues and all of your organs. I want you to move heaven and earth to get your blood sugar measures under control. With regard to the vision; see a doctor without delay. Diabetes puts you at risk for diabetic retinopathy. Not the same as AMD, but just as good for destroying vision left untreated. I think that the wet-AMD drug Avastin is also used for diabetic retinopathy, so there is some treatment. Letting your self-care slide is just kind of killing yourself passive-aggressively. You know what to do. Do better, feel better. Please.

      • I’ve done all of that, truly. I’ve been to the Cincinnati Eye Institute and met with a retinologist for a full morning of tests. I don’t have wet AMD, I have advanced dry AMD, but I’m serious about checking that Amsler grid, and he knows exactly where I am so that if anything changes, I call him immediately. It’s all set up. I’m still talking with him via e-mail, I’m still reading up on it, and I plan to post about it when I’ve got the full story, but he basically said, “AREDS 2, sunglasses outside, and everything you’re doing for your diabetes is good for your eyes.” I’m still researching, I’m looking into learning the things now that I’ll need later, and the things you have told me have registered, I’m on it, truly.

        As far as the experimenting with food goes, I’ve found that what everybody says on the net is generally not helpful in the specific. I googled for diabetes and Chinese food, read a dozen things on it, figured out what I could eat, got that, and still had a sugar reaction. So no Chinese. I have to learn what I can and can’t do, and I’m doing it. But my glucose levels are high normal every morning, around 100 (should be about 83) and that’s in line with what my doc said a good result was for one month after diagnosis; she said fasting should be around 100 or lower in the beginning, and that non-fasting shouldn’t go over 140. Even with my Chinese crash, it’s not over 140. It’s under control. And my blood pressure is in normal ranges now.

        But this is also the time I have to learn what I can or can’t do. Most days, it’s salads, apples, fish, no-salt veggies, Metformin, AREDS 2, and sunglasses. I’m not having milkshakes to see what that does to my blood sugar because I already know. But I’m cautiously expanding my diet to see what I can legitimately have, and I think that’s smart. Also, mistakes really are the way I learn. If I post again about having six cookies, then everybody can yell (well, everybody can yell now, too). I still think that was a valuable course correction. It usually takes a sharp stick in the eye for me to change, and that was one.

        • Kat Peterson says:

          You know, the comment above wasn’t really directed at you; I’m guilty of a bit of hijacking. My comment is specifically meant for Ms. George. I think that you are taking this as seriously as it deserves, and I am both happy and relieved for you. What I’d really love to hear is that Ms. George is on track and resolved that delightfully ditzy and diabetes are not an appropriate combination. Because the risks from diabetes are not like the risks of crossing the street. Even if you’re (heaven forbid) careless you might well get away with a lifetime without being run over. No harm no foul. But taking risks with diabetes is like the risk from hitting yourself with a hammer. You may survive, but it’s going to leave a mark every time.

          The community you’ve (all three of you) established and nurtured is so lovely, and so supportive; I am very grateful. I am just hoping that a little bit of blunt will aid in effecting some positive change in the charming Ms. George.

          • Oh, hell, that’s what I get for reading comments on the Dashboard. I go there first to approve Pending posts and I didn’t see this was for Kate. Go for it. (g).
            Also, you’re not hijacking. It’s a community. Everybody gets to weigh in.

        • BTW, MSG can also seriously mess with your blood sugar, as can salt. Most Chinese food places, even if they don’t add MSG to their food, have MSG in one or more of their ingredients. It makes me cry.

  21. I’ve recently gone gluten-free so am practicing making cookies with oats, peanut butter, applesauce and trail mix. The carob replaces the chocolate chips. I’ll let you know if I ever perfect it. Meanwhile, I eat the disasters. : )

    • Poor Alastair got stuck tasting the worst of my mistakes. He’s a very polite man, but the look on his face said it all. I threw the whole batch in the trash.
      But I know what you mean about the ingredients. It gets grim.

  22. Carol says:

    A cookie needs chocolate chips.

    Judi Dench has both types, wet and dry. I believe it is the U of Mass who is experimenting with a microscopic microscope inserted into the affected eye. The news clips showed a gentleman who had the surgery and was able to see his wee grandchild for the first time. Hopefully there will be greater strides to a cure, probably through stem cell research. Here is the link to the news item:

  23. Jenni says:

    I’m 37, morbidly obese,and have been for nearly twenty years. I have flirted with diabetes in two of my three pregnancies, and had preeclampsia with all three. Last year I had to start taking meds for high blood pressure.

    I have tried many forms of diet voodoo, shakes, pills, etc. to no avail. However, last May I went to see a documentary called Forks Over Knives. It proposes that a strictly plant based diet is the most healthy one. I went as a skeptical skeptic, not wanting to believe any vegan nonsense for a minute. I was a Coca-Cola and Cupcakes with burgers and fries on the side kinda gal. I left a reluctant convert.

    I know it sounds extreme, and I can completely relate to any pooh-poohing or heavy sigh-eyeroll combos for a vegan life style, but it has helped me. I’ve lost weight, dropped the blood pressure meds, and feel better overall. I’m not a perfect vegan. Bacon and butter still have a tender spot in my heart and a sizzling spot on my plate. I won’t say it’s easy, but it has been worth it. My fellow movie-goers and I have gotten good results for weight loss, diabetes control and other ailments. Just throwing in my two cents, hope it helps somebody.

  24. merrymac says:

    The sugar article was illuminating. Truly, it was one of those light bulb moments. I honestly think it’s going to help with my sugar insanity. Pleasure vs. Happiness. Who knew? And speaking of sugar, I recently began a love affair with pumpernickel bread. The real German pumpernickel is a low glycemic food – one of the good, starch resistant ones that don’t cause a significant rise in blood sugar. Evidently, pumpernickel doesn’t break down in the stomach which is good news for diabetics. Because along with a cookie, sometimes you just want a sandwich.

  25. Pam says:

    Have you tried chocolate chips with a high cacao content? I have sugar issues, but I love chocolate, so I go for high cacao content. Ghiradelli makes chocolate chips that are 60% cacao, and Green & Black Organics makes chocolate bars that are 70-80% cacao that could, in theory, be chopped up into chocolate chips. I try to raise the fiber content of my goodies to offset the sugar, too. I’ve had good luck with adding wheat germ to the flour mix, and chick peas, when added with the chocolate chips at the end of the recipe, taste like nuts when they’re baked. I prefer them pureed and added to the batter. Then you end up with dense, puffy cookies that are oddly appealing, and neither look nor taste like chick peas. I’m also a big fan of nuts, coconut, and ground flaxseed.

  26. Kat Peterson says:

    Well done, spotting the sugar/depression connection. Our moods and emotions certainly don’t exist in a vacuum, but I am still frequently surprised at the interlocking Rube Goldberg machines that we are. Did you know that there is a clear link between bone mineral density and depression? A history of depression puts people (women especially, I think) at risk of developing osteoporosis. Here are links and I hope that you like me find that eating better really does correlate to feeling better, then your changes won’t just be about loss.

    There is interesting news from the World Ophthalmology Congress. Results from a pilot (read small sample site) study of patients with AMD indicates that early intervention using low-vision aids reduced the patients depressive symptoms. The trend actually went both ways. Patients who received early training had an improvement in scores from tests that rate depression, while the non-intervention group exhibited worsening scores. Results from these kinds of studies are always presented in terms of demographics, i.e. the average gain or whatever, while you as the individual will fall somewhere along the distribution, so they don’t have as much predictive value as we’d like. But, personally, (in case you hadn’t noticed) I am all about the intervention. Give me something sensible to do, and I feel better regardless. (Seriously, spent two weeks plopping alka seltzer tablets into my foot bath trying to heal a broken bone more quickly, because I’d read a study that showed increased CO2 levels on the skin improved bone suturing…all about the intervention. Maybe sensible was overstating.) Anyway, learning to use low-vision aids while your vision is still highly functional may be easier, and you may be able to judge which tools are most comfortable without the anxiety of exigency.

    Apologies if I’ve wandered off-topic here, but I thought you’d be interested. Aloha.

    • I am always interested in what you have to say, especially about AMD.

      So far I’m just taking mega-doses of AREDS 2 and wearing sunglasses outside. Just starting the AMD research since the diabetes is so complex. We had Chinese tonight which I had researched on the internet and only ordered the things that several experts had listed as fine, and it knocked me out for three hours. An hour afternoon nap, no problem, but this stuff elevated my blood sugar too fast. So no Chinese. It’s all experimenting right now. With the AMD, though, it’s just try everything anybody suggests and hope something hits. One of my calendars is to be in bed before midnight every night, which would be huge for me. Then I can move it back an hour once I start falling asleep at midnight.

      • Kat Peterson says:

        Sorry to hear about the Chinese. But I’m thrilled to hear that you are going to give the nighttime sleeping thing a try. Everything I’ve read indicates that it will be very good for your metabolism. The Rensselear Polytech has a lighting research institute They seem to have lots of well presented information about how to manipulate your lighting to improve your health and safety, including information regarding sleep. Sweet (but not sugary) dreams.

  27. Lulu says:

    I know I also need to get off the sugar train, it’s my biggest food weakness. (I have a healthy BMI but my blood sugar levels are in the pre-diabetic range.) I’m going to try these sugar-free banana chocolate breakfast bars to see if I can still have a treat while trying to break my sugar addiction.
    I’ll let y’all know if they’re worth the effort…

    And thank you, Dayna, for that article link. More good food for thought! Pleasure vs happiness…makes sense.

  28. Melanie says:

    So sorry you got whacked by your own cookies. Sugar is such a siren. Glad you have Agnes, though. That omelet actually sounded better than the cookies. As good as, anyway. Maybe you can put 2 cookies in each bag? In the freezer? Terrific post.

  29. RedwoodKim says:

    I don’t cry at the idea of giving up sugar – I get terrified. Which should mean something to me, but it’s a struggle. But ok. I’m going off of it. Haven’t had anything except jam today, so that’s good. I know I need to do this – don’t have the urgent medical reasons (yet) but there are plenty of important ones. You folks have got me all gunned up again, thank you.

  30. Annie says:

    I’m not sure if it’s any better than chocolate chips for diabetes, but have you looked into carob? That’s a common replacement. I’ve had it & it still tastes good.

  31. Ranch Girl says:

    Sugar is no problem for me – I don’t even have a sugar bowl. BUT, give me a carb and I will kill for it. Chocolate? Don’t remember the last time I ate it. White rice? Last night. Now my doctor is telling me that I am pre-diabetic and it comes from the sugar in the carbs. So now I hit the internet and start my research. And all the posts here have helped me make that decision. So I am starting my journey of education on moving away from so much white carbs. And if the sugar in the carbs do the same thing as straight sugar, then some of my depression has just been explained. Thank you – all of you.

    • German Chocolate Betty says:

      Yeah, carbs. My dad is diabetic (Type II, adult onset). In the early days he was tracking daily and found that if he ate a piece of cake yesterday, this a.m. his levels were a bit up — if he ate a helping of potatos, his levels were through the roof. Right now he’s on a sort of Atkins kick (virtually no carbs) and losing weight, which he desperately needs to do. Plus his blood sugar went down so that they reduced his insulin intake (he’s had it long enough that the pills no longer work).

  32. Mermaid Scribbler says:

    So sorry that you had a hard fall off the good wagon, but thank you! A few years ago, I did an intense yeast diet that started the process that “cured” me. Now, with baby – I have to make seperately meals (because he needs dairy and I can’t have it – and I can’t always find a recipe that does double duty). Anyway, I have, in moments of panic sustained myself on cereal and chocolate chips. *Hangs head in shame* Kat Peterson, you are speaking to me when you write “You know what to do”, so thank you. I remember when sugar was so far off my radar that taine lettuce really did taste sweet. Sigh. Anne of Green Gables has a line that I love, “Today is a new day with no mistakes in it”. Starting again. Thank you!!

  33. Just saw this little blurb on a sidebar in Health magazine (March 2012) and thought that you might appreciate it: according to a study at Mt. Sinai Med Center in NY, eating a high sugar diet causes fine lines in your skin. Just another reason to avoid it! The good news? Cut back on the sugar and you could see improvements in your skin texture in as little as two months.

    Two months – if you could stick it out that long, you’d be a long way toward ALL of your goals 🙂

  34. Ooh! Thank you for the linky love! I’m more severely myopic than anybody I’ve ever met and apparently it does weird shit to many things besides just focus… I’m always fiddling with lighting.

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