Saturday, January 21, 2012

Maybe I Should have Taken the Flu Shot

I'm sick.

But, there is something different about this time.  This is the first time I'm sick as a diabetic.  Sometimes I feel like I'm experiencing everything all over again because things are so different with diabetes.

First, I have to ignore all the "good" cough syrup and look for the ones designed specifically for diabetics.  Gone are the days when I can take tablespoons of Dimetapp because it reminds of the sweet taste of Kool-aid.

Here's my new cough syrup.

SUGAR FREE = taste really nasty.
It doens't have the best in the world, but for now, it's the only cough syrup the pharmacist recommended when I informed her that I was diabetic.  And, the last thing I need is for my blood sugars to spike over some cough syrup (I'd much rather eat an oatmeal cookie).

Also, running into the store and quickly grabbing a bag of cough drops was almost mission impossible yesterday.  Just when I grabbed my favorite "Lemon Drops by Ricola," I remembered that I can't do that anymore.  I need the Sugar-free cough drops.

I could have sworn that Ricola makes a sugar-free one, but this store didn't have it.  So, I bought Halls.
They actually taste pretty good
I chose Honey Lemon because I was in the mood for that flavor, but I was really impressed to see three different flavors of Sugar-free cough drops by Halls (Cherry and Menthol were the other two)

I'm really glad that I read about being sick with diabetes before now.  I hadn't know that most cough medications are loaded with sugar or that your glucose levels rise because your body is fighting off an infection.  The combination of those two things could go wrong quickly-and I don't want that!

So far, my numbers are good (130 two hours after dinner last night and 93 this morning before breakfast).  Now, the problem is...I don't feel like eating.  I feel miserable and just want to lay in bed all day curled up with my laptop, Kleenex, and sugar-free Halls.

Since I don't get sick that often, I'm wondering...Maybe I should have taken the flu shot.

I'd love to hear how you get through sick days.  What do you eat when don't feel like eating to avoid having "a low." 

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

2012-The Year of Herbal Teas

Now that I'm a med-free diabetic, my goal is to stay med-free for as long as possible.  I'm thankful to Bob Fenton for sharing with me that it is possible to live 40+ plus years as a med-free diabetic.

I've decided that in my attempt to stay med-free for life, I'm going to rely on three main things...1) Diet, 2) Exercise, and 3) Teas (and other natural remedies) that are known to benefit diabetics.

The first tea on my list is called Bitter Melon tea.  Bitter Melon is well known in Asia and India for helping diabetics.  Since first reading about bitter melon in an herbal medicine book in the Caribbean, I've been surprised at how well known this vegetable is in certain communities.

I saw the tea at a Chinese corner store in Paris and I asked the woman at the register if it was good for diabetics.  For ten minutes she explained that it is excellent for reducing blood glucose and that the tea could be drank hot or cold.  She also led me to the back of the store to the freezer section where she sells bitter melon pieces cut, frozen, and ready to cook in soup.  This was an impressive conversation because the woman had taken time to not only show me what bitter melon was, where I can find it, and how to prepare it; but she also made sure that I understood her.  While I'm not fluent in French just yet, I only missed about 10% of what she said.

She told me that each bag makes tea four times, but I didn't understand how much water to put in the teapot, oh well.  Below are the steps and the results.

Bitter Melon tea.  This bag makes tea four (4) times.

Opened the bag and this is what it looks like.

Tea is in, next is the water.

It has a good color--I like that.

Pouring my first cup

Here I go...tasting the Bitter Melon tea

Taste (3 of 5): Not as bitter as I thought.  It has a smooth start and an earthly aftertaste that's bearable.  I usually don't add sugar/Splenda in my tea, but I tried it in my second cup to see if it would eliminate the aftertaste.  It did the opposite, the mild flavor became bold and I hated it so much that I didn't finish the 2nd cup.

Effects (5 of 5): This tea is known to increase insulin sensitivity (similarly to exercise).  While it won't and shouldn't replace my workout routine, this is perhaps the closest I'll get to "exercise in a cup."  :-)  

Overall (4 of 5): I'll add more water next time to lessen the robust aftertaste rather than add a sweetener.  This tea can easily become a part of my weekly tea indulgence.  It's tasty, healthy, gives a good color, and has a nice aroma.