Monday, August 12, 2013

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Sunday Cooking from The Kitchen Diva's Diabetic Cookbook

Month 1- The first Sunday of each month, I will post recipes from some various diabetic cookbooks. Since Sunday dinner is an important tradition in Black American culture, I figure this would be the perfect edition to my blog.

I had the pleasure of meeting The Kitchen Diva last year when I interviewed for my youtube channel (see video here) so much I couldn't resist trying something from her cookbook first.

I decided to make Black-Eyed Pea Cakes. I had never heard of them before, but the description made them seem tantalizing. Her book states that this dish "harkens back to Africa. Black-eyed peas are a West African crop made popular in America by George Washington Carver."

First, I needed 2 cups of thawed frozen black-eyed peas
I was suppose to mash them by hand, but I couldn't do it. I guess I need more upper body arm strength because I got no where with the plastic potato masher I had. So, I decided to move one to the next steps.

CHOPPED 2 green onions and 2 garlic cloves

1 red pepper
When you can't smash black-eyed peas with your use the food chopper. :-D

That works for me! Next, I mixed in the breadcrumbs, flour, egg, salt, pepper, and cumin seeds (the recipe listed ground cumin, but I love the full flavor that you get from the seeds).

Ingredients "mashed" together

Flour and breadcrumbs
I used whole wheat flour because of a personal preference.

ALL ingredients combined (including one egg)

The recipe recommended that you make six balls. The first ones I made fell apart. It was not easy getting the balls to stick together. I completely understand why these should sit in the fridge for a least 30 minutes or overnight (like the book states). I let mine sit in the fridge for 1 hour.

Frying patties

All done.
At first, I wasn't sure what color they be when they are done, so some are darker than others.

Wild Brown rice, sauteed vegetables (cabbage, green beans, squash, and carrots), Black-eyed pea cake, and curried vegetables (scallions and red and green bell peppers)

Black-eyed Pea Cakes: 4 out 5.
They were a lot better than I thought they would be, but I make some adjustments to the amount of flour I add next time so that I can make the patties easier. I am also going to make smaller balls as these were extremely filling and will work better as a main dish than a side dish.
They are PERFECT for my yearly meatless-month!!  I'm always looking for more vegetarian dishes to add to my list and these will be moved to the top. The ingredients were easy to find (which is important to me). 

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Living Diagnosed Not Defeated

During the month June, I take the time to do something that I have never done before. I began this yearly ritual over ten years ago when I was in Boston working at a very low-paying summer internship. I had very limited funds, was in a new city without friends, and wanted to make my birthday special. So, I put on some roller blades and took a stroll along the Charles River.

This year, I invited others to join me. I'd like to highlight Scott Johnson who decided to join me.

Watch his video HERE

I went snorkeling...

It was SO much fun. It took me a while to get use to breathing out of my mouth rather than my nose, but after a few minutes (or 30), I got the hang of it and LOVED it.  I was at Shell Beach in St. Martin (my first time there as well).


While in St. Martin someone broke the back window of our rental car and stole my bag which contained one of my swimsuits and my orthopedic insoles. As a way to stay true to my motto "Not Defeated" I went swimming in spanks (also something I've never done before). LOL

One of the most exciting things was seeing the first Statue of Liberty that France made for America. She was a black woman and because of that, she was not accepted. She resides in St. Martin.

One of the things that I wish I could have added to my NEVER DONE THAT BEFORE list was attend the Diabetes Fair that was happening two days after my scheduled departure.

June was a GREAT month for me. Full of my favorite thing to do....TRAVEL! Just before my week vacation ended, we took a ferry to St. Bart's for a day trip.


 Thanks again for joining me, Scott! Hopefully, more will participate next June.

Friday, June 14, 2013

Meatless Diabetic Cooking...Indian Style

I attend a weekly Diabetes Clinic and on the last Thursday of the month, we learn how to cook diabetic-friendly meals. Last month, I asked if I could showcase my cooking skills and Melissa (our Diabetes Educational Specialist) pleasantly agreed. We cooked Tofu Masala and had a BLAST doing it.
I brought my spices from home. Cumin seeds are paramount to Indian cuisine

Melissa shows the lemon before squeezing its juice for our meal

We made a yogurt marinade for the tofu

Melissa enjoying the aroma of fresh ginger and garlic chopped together

Now we're cooking!

Adding Tomato paste

Tofu to the left and Masala from scratch to the right

Serving our wonderful meal

We made a great team

Volia. Tofu Masala for Diabetics

The class (my biggest diabetes support team) loved the meal.

What a successful night
It felt so good to give back to the people who encourage me week after week. During my first meeting at Better Health two years ago, I wept so much that I couldn't even introduce myself. I was overwhelmed by the diagnosis but Melissa and my classmates gave me the best gift a person newly diagnosed with diabetes could have...friendship and understanding. I am truly blessed to have each of these wonderful people in my life.

Thursday, May 30, 2013


As you know from my blog, Diagnosed Not Defeated is the motto I created to help me get through managing diabetes. Dealing with diabetes can be taxing on the spirit, body, and mind. At times I may be exhausted, I may be overwhelmed, I may be emotional, or a host of other things, but I'm not defeated.

For many years now during the month of June, I set out to do something that I've never done before. The list of things are as small as eating caviar or walking across the Brooklyn Bridge or as wild as sandboarding or white-water rafting.

I'm encouraging you to JOIN ME THIS JUNE. Challenge your fear of heights, finally do a 5k, or just locate one thing on your Bucket List and cross it off. Pick something (legal) that you've never done before that expresses how you're not defeated by diabetes and tell me about it.

Twitter: #diagnosednotdefeated
Facebook: BlackDiabeticInfo 
My Blog: Here

Upload your pictures, blogs, and/or summaries of what you do from June 1st- June 30th to show that you're Diagnosed Not Defeated

I can't wait to see what you do in June (I'll compile your photos for a blog post on July 1st)

If you're not diabetic, but are living with another chronic illness, feel free to post as well. :-)

Last year, I went INDOOR Skydiving

Saturday, May 25, 2013

#dayofdiabetes Comic Book Style

So, my diabetes twitter family is up to something creative again and like always, I have to join in on the fun. This time, thanks to Chris S. , we're recording a Day of Diabetes and I decided to make my blog post extra fun by doing it as a Comic Book.  Hope you enjoy...

When I wake up in the morning, I thank God for allowing me to see another day. As a diabetic, we are at an increased risk of not making it through the night (google "Dead in Bed Syndrome" for info). I've had my share of near-comatose experiences to know that each day I open my eyes is a blessing.

Next, I immediately check my glucose, as I am still traumatized by the hypos I would get from too much insulin. Yesterday, I was 122. Which is great because last month I was running high in the mornings (140s).

Then, I weigh myself. Yes, I weigh myself every morning. I know there's tons of advice about not doing this. However, checking my weight everyday was one of the major indicators that something was wrong with me when I was first diagnosed with diabetes. I started losing 2lbs PER DAY! I was trying to lose weight and was averaging 2lbs a week (which is normal) and then all of a sudden my weight-loss increased rapidly to 2lbs per day. After about 5 days of this, I knew I had to see a doctor. So, I still weigh myself each morning. I was 208lbs yesterday which is 10lbs heavier than I was last year, but 50lbs lighter than I was six years ago. So, I am thankful.

Breakfast was a little different than my favorite. I love grits and eggs like any Southern sweetheart. But I opt for cold cereal, 2 boiled eggs, and I thought I would eat a half banana, but I was full. Along with breakfast, I take a vegetarian vitamin from GNC (because everyone should take a multivitamin), fish oil (for cholesterol), cranberry (for bladder health. Diabetic women have a higher frequency of bladder/kidney/urinary tract infections), Cinnamon (helps lower glucose), and Metformin (250mg twice a day).  Since I've been unable to regulate my glucose with diet and exercise alone these past couple of months, I'm back on the pill. The side effect of being back on medication is that my insurance will now cover 100 test strips per month. For the past year and a half, they refused to cover anything more than 50 because I wasn't on medication anymore. Of course this angered me because I'm still diabetic even if I'm not on meds. I smell a conspiracy, but I'll save that conversation for another blog.

Transformation Time--after breakfast, I get glammed up.

My day gets started. I'm leaving the house.

This is CLASSIC Dr. P. If I don't discover that I've left something in the house while driving to work, it's a miracle. This time, I realized that I left my glucometer on the dining room table and I'm too far gone to turn around, get it, and be on time.

Yesterday was one of those rare moments where I have lunch with a friend. Q and I ate at my favorite restaurant. I had eggplant parm (ate half of the dish and was successful in eating only 1 bread-stick and avoiding dessert). Today marked 2 months of a 1-month pescatarian diet. I was only aiming for a month, but managed to go two months. I thought that I would eat chicken today to end it all, but my facebook friends encouraged me to keep going. Not sure if I'll go three months though.

In the late afternoon, I headed to the gym for Spin Class.  This was my second time in spin class. The first time I lasted 15:20 minutes. Yesterday's instructor was SO nice and encouraging. She taught me how to adjust the bike and said "You don't have to do everything that we do. Your goal is simply to make it to the end of class." I really needed to hear that because after about 30 minutes, the exit sign started calling my name. However, I remembered what my goal was...and I made it!  I survived spin for the first time.

I was SO excited about having survived the 4:15pm spin class, that I went directly to 5pm Yoga.

Take that diabetes! I'm a champion.

Leaving the gym. Another successful effort in giving diabetes the beat down! Exercise is so important for everyone, but especially diabetics.

When I got home it was time to relax on the sofa. I tried to watch the Miami Heat game, but my cable company had issues with only TNT, the station showing the game. :-(

I checked my glucose before dinner, it was 110.  Dinner was also a little strange. I grilled some veggies and then realized that I needed some carbs, so I made two small pancakes. I discovered that putting cinnamon in the pancake batter makes the world a better place. LOL  It's SO delicious!  Plus, when I left the gym I was craving Dunkin Donuts so badly. I called four friends to talk me out of driving by there and getting a glazed donut, but none of them would answer the phone. Usually thinking about all the hard work I just put it in at the gym would smolder the craving--not yesterday. The only thing that helped was thinking about another food that I would enjoy as much. Thankfully, I love grilled veggies as much, so I drove past Dunkin and went home to grill.

After a long day of working and working out, I went to bed. THE END.

That concludes my Day of Diabetes Comic Book style, hope you enjoyed it.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

My First Health Fair

Earlier this month, I had participated in a Health Fair for the first time and it was AWESOME!!!!

I had an opportunity to talk to a lot of people, primarily older black women, about diabetes. This experience was so encouraging and fulfilling because it reassured me that I am doing the right thing by providing information to others. I had so much fun talking about diabetes in a common language. They could talk about sugar diabetes, hog maws, bacon, biscuits, and driblet gravy without fear of being misunderstood or judged. We shared testimonies about how God saved us and how He continues to watch over us. We spoke fluently at the intersection of our physical health and our spiritual well-being.

The Health Fair experience was communal. I was able to share my knowledge from a personal experience as well as direct them to the medical personnel at other tables who could check their glucose and provide other medical services. I'd like to think that by being able to talk about their experiences with me they were more open with their primary care physicians.

I spent more time listening, encouraging, and writing down lists of questions/statements that these women should discuss with their doctors than I did anything else and it was GREAT! So many of us deal with the daily struggle of caring for diabetes alone or in silence. 

I'm looking forward to attending another health fair.

Sister Monroe won a Black Diabetic tote bag. Congrats!