A New Year, A Lifetime of Change

January 1, 2011 was the beginning of a New Year.  I did not realize that my ‘year’ would last three.

Today is January 1, 2014.  It is traditionally the beginning of a New Year.

Thoughts, discussions, intentions and commitments for change shared. Summaries spoken and written of the year gone by.  Sentiments of regret and thankfulness for the past year or for the start of a new one expressed.

The thought of taking one year out of my life, summarizing it as a huge event and determining what the sentiments of regrets and/or what I am thankful for seems like such a small measurement of time in the 44 years I have been on this earth.  My ‘year’ is defined as a stage as opposed to a calendar year.

My last ‘year’ began in 2011.  Many events and themes which I did not want and which I thought would never happen occurred.  These events and themes have been on the front lines of my life since 2011.

My Mom and Dad gave me this coffee cup for Christmas.  When I opened it I fell in love.  It will be my ‘go to’ cup for my new ‘year’ because since I was a little girl it is who I am.

In my ‘year’ I have experienced death of a marriage, loss of a six figure income job, multiple, costly court hearings, moving 3 times, unemployed with no income for 2 years, major illness, major surgery, a sick parent, new love, the purchase of 3 houses, selling 2 houses, new job, managing a rental property, becoming engaged, living with my fiancé, moving my daughter twice back and forth to Toronto, my daughter living out of province in a remote area that provided little communication for 8 months, my son’s up’s and down’s as 20 year olds do, ‘adopting’ another son, on-line harassment for the past 2 years by my fiancé’s ex, commuting 2 hours a day, acquiring a puppy and a 4-year-old kennel dog and finally, living with Type 1 diabetes for 38 years and being a Mom of a young adult living with Type 1 diabetes.

In my ‘year’ I cried, I cursed, I have been so angry and so sad that I said things to people I didn’t mean and regret.  I made decisions that I regret.  I beat myself up daily and wish I could say and do differently in certain situations.

Why do I write this and open myself to you?  I do believe that I need to share my experiences to help others.  I have decided this is the end of this ‘year’ of events.  I want to move on.  It’s time for a new stage in my life.

Even though I feel it is time to start a new year and celebrate this, based on the events and experiences of the past 3 years I have learned some very important lessons.

1.  Change is inevitable.  Despite posts and quotes online about the fact one CAN control their life and think themselves into the perfect life, I don’t.  I can plan all I want but my plans are not God’s.  That is different then having a cup half full attitude.

2.  Acceptance creates change.  Acceptance of what I can’t control allows for freedom to focus on what’s important and what I can change.

3.  Let go, selectively.  In my life, I have experienced 3 lives.  My childhood, my first marriage with my children as a family and my current life with my fiancé Steve and blended family.  Advice is abounding, telling us that if one doesn’t let go of the past and move forward then one will never grow.  I refuse to ‘forget’ my past and ‘move forward’.  If I did that I would be letting go of the experiences my children and I have had that are important to us, good and bad.  My past has made me and my children who we are today.  When I dwell on a moment and it creates an emotion, I have learned that it is time to decide why I am dwelling on it.  What is the lesson?  How can I use that moment for my present life?  I believe past and present are a marriage which promotes personal growth.

4.  Always know there is a Plan B.  I am a dreamer.  Dreams come true.  Dreams stay dreams.  When the dreams don’t come true, know there is another way or leave it as a dream.  Not all dreams come true.

5.  It is okay not to be spontaneous.  Spontaneity is fun and I will always be a spontaneous person.  BUT, I have learned that when I really think I have a brilliant idea I want to carry out NOW, it’s time to step back and give it 48 hours.  I have a team of people I trust that I consult with.  I get their thoughts which gives me a different perspective which allows me to make the right choice.

6.  Be thankful everyday.  After I think of all the people and ‘things’ in my life, I imagine all of those that are less fortunate than me.  Those that are lonely, abused, destitute, unloved, sick, dying and sad. I have met those living in such circumstances and they are thankful for what they have.  They have a ‘cup half full’ attitude.  I ask myself, what reason do I have to think my life is anything less than abundantly blessed?  What reason do I have to express less than a ‘cup half full’ attitude?

7.  Act on it.  What I have learned in my past ‘year’ is by delaying action on deadlines not only causes inconveniences for others but consequences for many levels of mine and my loved ones life.  I have learned in this ‘year’ that the stress I have caused over the years by choosing to delay the demands of life has been far more painful than acting on it right away.

8.  Move.  From 1992 to 2011 I have taken very good care of my body by moving.  Through various sports and activities I kept myself well and in good shape.  In this ‘year’ I have put that on hold.  I conjured up many excuses as to why it was okay not to keep the commitments I made to my body.  I am only blessed with one body.  I may think it feels good to sit around and relax after all of the stress is laid before me instead of moving but after a few years my body has sent me a very different message.  I am re-learning that if I move my face glows, I sleep better, my muscles ache from stressing them from movement, they become stronger, my thoughts flow easier, my mood is brighter, my motivations increases.

9.  Try to keep it simple.  Living in this day in age is so complex. I’m learning in this ‘year’ it’s okay to let go of what isn’t important.  It’s okay to do nothing.  It’s okay to not always be thinking about something.  It’s okay to turn off the radio in the car and have it silent.  It’s okay not to worry.

10.  Love.  Don’t let past experiences stop you from falling (in love) again.  It feels so good AND yes it hurts sometimes.  And some loves that are no longer will cause sadness to the end of time OR until you cross paths again.  Don’t hold grudges over past loves unless you are committed to change it, they don’t know you are.  It only takes up space in your mind and robs your energy.

11.  Own a hairy or furry pet that is not nocturnal.  I have always had dogs and cats in my life.  In February 2011 I had to leave my dog behind but took mine and my children’s 3 cats.  I thought that would be enough.  It was not the case.  In October 2012 we brought 8 week old Samson into our lives.  In May 2013 4 1/2 year old Belle became the newest addition to our Samoyed husky family.  With 4 cats & 2 dogs our home can be a hairy circus but the personalities and activities that entertain us every day keeps us laughing and counters the work involved.  I can feel the stress leave my body as I see their excited faces looking for me as I ascend the steps to enter through the door returning home.  As I walk into the house and see their ‘smiles’ I feel an overflow of joy swell up within me by their unconditional greetings.  As I pet or hug one of our pups any stress I have experienced melts.

This is my ‘year’ in summary.  These are the lessons I have learned.  I’m looking forward to the next chapter of my life.  I open my arms to the events that will unfold and the lessons that will be re-enforced as well as the new ones I will learn.

Happy New Year and Cheers to you and yours, Tracy

An Unexpected Anniversary

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An Unexpected Anniversary

October 30, 2000 I am in the kitchen baking up Halloween treats for the kids Halloween parties at school. I loved these moments. The excitement, the energy, the creativity. Halloween was so much fun.

But…that day transitioned into a life I never thought I would ever entertain on October 31, 2000. That was the day I learned I would become the parent of a child with Type 1 diabetes.

On the morning of October 31st I got the kids ready for school. I packed the plastic containers with Halloween baked goods & saw them on the bus.

That afternoon as the kids unloaded off the bus & I walked them in the door asking how their day went & how their Halloween parties went, Kurtis say’s the words a parent does not want to hear.

“I didn’t eat any treats today because I felt sick to my tummy & drank & peed all day.”

I felt the energy drain out of my body. I didn’t even have to test him. I knew.

I asked Kurtis if Mommy could poke his finger like Mommy does to test her sugar. He flat out refused. I was on my own so did not have the help of another adult to convince him otherwise. Luckily I happen to still have Keto-Diastix in the bathroom. After I dipped & confirmed what I already knew with 4+ sugar & negative ketones, I placed the call to my GP’s office. He reassured me that based on the fact he had no ketones, take him out for Halloween as usual but don’t allow him to eat any treats loaded with sugar & bring him in first thing in the morning. At that point we would begin the transition to insulin with education to be a parent of a child with Type 1 & subsequently living with it.

Initially, the next 2 nights were the hardest. Halloween involved me trying to portray it was a normal night out with the kids trick or treating. With the exception that my 7 year old baby had just learned he had diabetes like his Mom. He would have to take needles & poke his fingers & have low blood sugars that didn’t look nice. As we walked up the road, from house to house, Kurtis would throw himself on the side of the road belly first & wail “I don’t want diabetes” or “I hate diabetes.”. I would leave him briefly then say as I tried not to cry “Okay Buddy, l know it sucks. Let’s go to the next house & trick or treat.” I honestly didn’t know how else to be. I knew he had to grieve even though it was about something he didn’t quite understand in it’s entirety but knew starting tomorrow he would begin to learn the essence of what living with diabetes was about. He only understood the external ‘bad’ things with diabetes….severe lows, needles & finger pokes. He didn’t yet understand the other side….how he’d feel being low, high, going to the Dr’s the next day to have blood drawn or the complexity of counting carbs, the demand it would have on his body & mind 24-7-365 & the ridicule he would receive at school for years to come.

The next day was emotionally distressing for both of us. I was the only parent present. His father refused to come home from out of town to support this critical event or his family.

While Cayla went to school, Kurtis & I made our way to the GP’s office. After a lot of coercion we finally tested Kurtis’ sugar by finger poke to determine his fasting sugar was 13.5 mmol/L. I blamed myself. I felt guilty. What have I done to my child?

The GP called the Paediatrician’s office & the hospital to arrange an appointment at the Adult Diabetes Clinic as there was no Paediatric clinic at that time.

We knew the Paediatrician from 6 years prior when Kurtis had an anaphylactic reaction to Benadryl & severely ill with chicken pox in which he almost died at the age of 1. We chatted briefly & said to me…”Mom, you have Type 1 & you’re a nurse, you know what to do. I’d rather not put him in the hospital so here’s the prescription for the insulin.” He gave me the dose to give him & sent me off to the hospital to learn how to carb count.

Once at the hospital I sat with the dietician as she taught me how to carb count. The entire visit Kurtis had marker in hand. Standing in front of a flip chart he wrote time & time again in big 7 year old letters “I HATE DIABETES” “I HATE DIABETES” “I HATE DIABETES”. It hurt so much to watch but I knew it was good for him to get it out. Me? I was on robot mode. Survival. Take it in. Learn it. Function. Sacrifice emotion for taking good care of my baby. Helping him through this time so that he accepted & transitioned into such a terrible diagnosis.

Once home, I explained to Cayla what had happened during that day. She was 9 & a mature 9. She grasped it fairly easily & knew she had to step back & let me care for Kurtis for a little while. Closing into supper time I explained to Kurtis that just like Mommy he will test his blood & take a needle. That’s where it didn’t go so well. Testing his sugar was a bit of challenge but doable. He tested at 32 mmol/L. I explained to him that he really needed his insulin to bring his sugar down as I didn’t want to have to take him to the hospital & have someone else do it. He didn’t care. He just didn’t want the needle.

After about an hour of trying to convince him, going into another room & having a little cry on my own, I called my Mom. Knowing she had been through worse then me with my diagnosis, I asked for her help. When Mom arrived my head was spinning, Kurtis was crying & Cayla was trying to keep the calm in a whirlwind of frenzy. I was also angry because his father wasn’t present in a time we all needed him.

In my mind I can still see Kurtis sitting on the kitchen chair on an angle from the table explaining to me in tears how he doesn’t want the needle & his rationale as to why he doesn’t need it. His eyes swollen with tears pleaded to me & it broke my heart. Thankfully my Mom had already been through the heartache of my diagnosis at age 5. She had raised a child with Type 1.

In her calm, she finally convinced Kurtis to let me inject in his arm.

After I got the kids settled to bed, I cried & cried. I felt it was my fault. I caused this.

How did I move forward? My Mom asked me a question that changed my attitude which helped me transition to a Mom accepting she has a child with Type 1 diabetes. “Would you have had him if you knew he would get Type 1?”

No regrets. It sucks but attitude & the choice to transition to a new life is essential to living life with Diabetes Beyond Borders. This year is another Diabeteversary. October 31, 2013 Kurtis has lived with Type 1 for 13 years. The transition continues.

Losing and Loving It

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Losing and Loving It

Eden is SO busy!! This incredible young lady has energy abounding!!

Only a few days from the finish line of finishing her University Education, she has her nose to the grind. BUT….she has made the time to share with us more of her tips & tricks on her journey to losing weight in a healthy way while living with Type 1 diabetes.

Here is some more insight & inspiration….thank you Eden!!

“Hello Everyone,

Since I had an eventful couple days, I have not been able to post (after Saturday you will get one from me daily I promise!) So I weighed myself today and I lost 1.5 pounds….after a major plateau for a couple weeks and I am finally 172 pounds!!!!! SO HAPPY! Let me tell you I am learning a lot from about my own body on this journey!

I even learned a couple things this week.

First thing, I learned that cutting your sweetener intake ACTUALLY reduces your waist line. Now I am sure most of you use Splenda on EVERYTHING…believe me I did. On average I would use anywhere from 3-12 packets a day. In the last couple of months, I have been losing weight one week and having a plateau for 4…but as soon as I started using Truvia (Stevia) and using 1 Splenda with it, I started to see a change again. So if you can mix the Stevia and Splenda up, or just use Stevia.

Second thing, cheat days! Now lets talk about those glorious days ha ha. I follow a program where I do not eat very much gluten, and I eat 2 carb choices a day (these are usually a grain or sweet potato etc). On my program I should not have cheat days, and most people say it’s a lifestyle change and you can never have another regular cookie again. YEA RIGHT! For me (like today) I need a day sometimes to give my body something it wants because it makes me follow my program and see progress. Today I had 3 carb choices, a piece of cake and a small brownie (a bit too much sugar, but oh well). I NEVER have this every single day, and I haven’t had this much since Christmas. You do not gain all your weight back on because you had one bad day. You gain weight because you are not eating right the rest of the time. So if you splurge, do not quit! Get back on that horse the day after!

Third thing, people are so uneducated about Diabetes. Yet again in my town, I was taking insulin (by pen) in my stomach before I had my lunch on Friday…and someone came over to me and asked why I was doing a needle in public (I have actually been asked this a couple times). I explained I was Diabetic thinking she was curious, so I explained it further. During the first couple seconds of my speech, she looked like she wanted to hit me! After my speech she apologized, and thought I was taking a form of illegal drug in the local coffee shop when her child was present. I was like nope and kind of laughed it off, but I was shocked! I also have had the stupid arguments with people I know who were trying to educate me about my own disease saying it’s because I was overweight and ate too much sugar….Anyone else have this? Yes I could slap these people. If you have friends and family who know you have diabetes, maybe start educating them so they can educate others!

Sorry I had a long rant today HAHA.

Eden”

March Break Travel Tips & Tricks

For those anxiously awaiting for March break…are you travelling away from home? How do you plan for travelling with diabetes?

Since 50% of our family had Type 1 diabetes, back in the day when my kids had March break, to keep organized and sane I created a standard packing list which also included everything imaginable for diabetes supplies. If we were going away for 1 week, I would pack double the supplies.

I gave both of my kids their own packing list. Kurtis’ list also included the diabetes supplies he needed. I would encourage him to pack it himself. I reviewed the list with him to make sure it was all in his suitcase and carry on, if flying.

A few tips:

1. If on an insulin pump, call the company and ask for a back up pump about 2 weeks earlier (or find out from the company how much notice they need)

2. If on an insulin pump, bring enough insulin, syringes or pen and pen tips to sustain you or your child for the entire vacation IF by chance your pump malfunctions and you have to go back on multiple insulin injections.

3. Make sure all medication are in its original containers.

4. Have your family doctor or diabetes specialist write a letter stating you have diabetes and the specific list of supplies you will carry with you. (Kurtis & I have been pulled over by Customs. We have had to pull the list out and go through the bag taking inventory with list in hand.)

5. Wear Medical Identification such as a bracelet, necklace or tattoo.

6. Pack a water proof container where sugar tablets can be placed for any activity that they may come in contact with water.

7. If packing insulin, make sure to keep the insulin between 2-8C when in transit. It can be exposed to temperatures between 15-25C for up to 28 days. The best product to use for travel to keep insulin safe to use is a http://www.frioinsulincoolingcase.com

8. Buy Travel Medical Insurance

9. Pack a Glucagon kit.

10. NEVER leave your diabetes supplies on the beach. (I had a young client I sold an insulin pump to just before he and his family went on vacation. Carefully folding his pump in his towel on the beach, upon his return from playing in the water to hook back up he realized it was gone!)

11. Bring an empty water bottle if you use needles. You can place them in the water bottle and safely bring them home for appropriate disposal. Make sure to put the bottle with sharps in your check in not the carry on.

12. Make copies of travel documents, doctors letter, and contact information. Give it to one or more of your family members and/or friends if you lose any of this information.

If you would like an example template of the packing list I have used and still use, let me know, I will post it.

Home Away from Home

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Home Away from Home

Everybody needs a holiday
Everybody needs a holiday
Everybody needs a holiday

Close your eyes
And hit the sack
While your asleep
I`ll watch your back
Grab a chair
Have a seat
I`ve got the wheel
Rest your feet

I`ll stand guard
And keep the wolves at bay
Watch the fire
While you dream away
Earned a rest
I know you worked all day
I know
And everybody needs a holiday

Take a break
Shake that frown
Re-assess
What`s going down
Spare a thought
While you sit
Reconsider
And admit

I`ll stand guard
And keep the wolves at bay
Watch the fire
While you dream away
Earned a rest
I know you worked all day
I know
And everybody needs a holiday….

(taken from the lyrics & song by B.a.d. Big Audio Dynamite – Everybody Needs A Holiday)

My home is everything I have dreamed of since I can remember. My home has the characteristics of another era, a history that is rich. We have considerately and lovingly decorated it to portray the past but accommodate for the present. Colours on the walls are thoughtfully placed and abundant.

Friends and family come into our home and comment how warm and cozy it is. They express that they become so relaxed once they sit down they don’t want to leave.

With the comforts and reprieve of our home are also the stresses of outside forces attempting to penetrate the walls of where we find peace. With social media now at our finger tips and its essential use to promote career, the loosening of boundaries as far as working from home and the blurred lines of when work begins or ends, taking a holiday is essential for health and well-being.

Blessings abound when it comes to vacation options. We have a dear friend who has a home 45 minutes from ours. The picture posted is a brief glimpse of his beautiful abode. This earthy, eclectic, rustic home sits on 200 acres with trails, pond, cabin and a lake. We are so blessed as we are welcome anytime.

This weekend we decided to go on a holiday. With food, drink, dog and warm clothes packed, we headed to our home away from home. We ate, drank, walked, snowmobile, gathered wood, took pictures, shared stories, ideas, laughs and learnings. We go there and we feel like we are worlds away. The stress melts.

We are returning this week for a few days. The sap will be flowing from the maple trees and its time to make syrup.

Although it was so good to walk in the front door of our home and take it all in, I look forward to staying at our home away from home again.

Keeping it Even

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Keeping it Even

As a parent do you worry about how being fair with your children?

What parent has not heard these phrases ring in their ears, “It’s not fair” or “You love him/her more than me” or “But you let/paid for/told/ agreed that ________________could so why can’t I?”.

It is difficult to learn what is ‘fair’ or how to keep it ‘even’, for that matter, if we should.

Not only am I speaking of rules, decisions, result, how many gifts, how much to spend for Christmas, Birthdays and the multitude of special events throughout the year, failing or passing grades. I think of all these things that I am mentioning and I will say that quality time is the one that is and has been a concern for me.

Why?

The attention required in a family with a child living with Type 1 diabetes is quite demanding. Add to that, the attempt to keep the balance ‘normal’ with their siblings.

I have written a few Blogs about my son Kurtis given that Diabetes Beyond Borders intention is to write about life living with diabetes.

Pictured in this blog is my 21-year-old daughter Cayla at her graduation from Sound Engineering. She has also lived with diabetes. Her life involves looking in from the outside and living with the demands it has on our family.

Cayla is the first person that will email me a link to pictures, articles and studies related to Type 1 diabetes. She has been an impetus for some of the writings I have posted.

I have felt guilt over the years as she saw her brother unresponsive and rushed to the hospital by ambulance from a severe low. She has watched her Mom being carried out of the bedroom with a severe low on the morning of her 5th Birthday. She could write a book of all the events she has experienced living with diabetes. Events and situations I hoped I could protect her from but eventually accepted I could not. She has been a part of it all as much as her brother and I have.

I tried my best to protect her. Give her what she required as a child living with her Mom and brother having diabetes. I tried to keep it even when it came to parenting despite it all. Upon reflection, I don’t think it was the balance I realistically dreamed achieving but I think I did okay.

In the past two summers Cayla has experienced episodes of low blood sugars. It concerns me. During one event, by the time I was able to test her, she was 3.2 mmol/L. She had just eaten. That worries me.

With that being said, all we can do is wait and watch. She is well-educated to the signs and symptoms of the onset of diabetes. She is miles away from me in Northern British Columbia now, but I am confident in the facts with her experiences so far and her education, that she is aware, intuitive and pro active in whatever comes her way. I am happy for her that she can take a break from living with diabetes. I pray that she continues to have that.

I am a Mom living with diabetes, I have 2 children that live with diabetes as well.

An Old Love Renewed

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An Old Love Renewed

I have arrived at the resort in Honduras. We have ‘about’ a 3 hour wait before we can gain access to our rooms. We have not had lunch yet. All 7 of us (2 adults over 40 & 5 young adults 19-22) have been up all night. With a combo of fatigue & little food during our trip, the  suggestion by front desk to make our way upstairs to the buffet and have some lunch is quite welcomed.

Upon entering the ‘mess hall’ I graze over the 4 sections of food presented before us. I saunter slowly over to the first section of warming trays….nope. Deep fried, sitting in gravy, simple carbs. Ugh! Potential havoc on my wheat & lactose intolerant stomach as well as my blood sugars. Not good. I slouch a bit in disappointment, take a big sigh. I have 2 left, something, anything.  I have already automatically excluded the dessert table.

As I apprehensively approach the next section of warming trays, what do I see?? A big ‘cauldron’ full of soup! There is hope…if its not cream based…. I can’t see inside but when I lift the ladle I see what is a broth based preparation with chicken, potatoes & veggies. Bliss!!

As I stand there taking in the moment, memories bring me back to my childhood. Every week my Mom would take my sister, brother & I into town to my Great Grannies. My Great Uncle Neil & my Granny would always, always have a big (it seemed to me) pot of home-made chicken or turkey soup simmering. Not home-made as in a can or store-bought stock at the grocery store with some added poultry that needs to be cooked before hand.  This was the real deal!! Granny & Uncle Neil would take the carcass of the poultry with all its accompaniments & boil them down to make stock. From there, left over veggies & seasonings were added. Oh, it was so, so good!! Now that is comfort food! I always looked forward to going to Grannies house to eat her soup & hear Uncle Neil play songs for us on whatever instrument he felt inclined to play that day…piano, mandolin, ukulele.

I think that making delicious soup from scratch is genetic.  Definitely not something everyone can do.  With the creative mind & culinary tools I have, Easter, Thanksgiving & Christmas turkey transform into what tastes like the very same soups Granny & Uncle Neil made for us. I bask in the talent I have, the preparation, the outcome. I take pride in deboning the poultry, boiling it all down to the perfect broth that will be the base of my creation.  I want to share with everyone. But, for whatever reason, I just can’t seem to justify making it more often than three times a year…until last week during our family vacation in Honduras.

Each lunch & dinner the soup ‘cauldron’ was full. The ladle would introduce me to another episode of excitement. The tastes were incredible. Seasoned, spicy at times, tender meat, healthy veggies, it filled me, met the nutritional requirements, if so inclined, in one pot! I was teased when I left to get second helpings, but, I just couldn’t help myself!

As I relished in the pure ecstasy of the tastes & simplicity of these culinary delights, at times, I would flash back to 10 years ago. I would fondly recall from then a period of time when I was in the best shape of my life. I have a picture that was taken then which I had posted on my fridge until a few years ago.  I still look at it on occasion & say to myself…how did I do it? I wasn’t certainly some crazed, obsessed exercise guru that needed the rush & couldn’t get enough and as a result it burned my body fat down & built muscles up to this admirable shape….I was raising 2 children, working part-full time, 12 hour shift & shift work. Although I was active playing ball hockey, floor hockey, long walks with my dog & karate a few times a week, I did not have time for hours and hours at the gym lifting heavy weights.

As with any relationship I reflected on what made it so good & what made it difficult to ‘stay’. What were the key factors to creating a svelte, lean, healthy, muscular body?  Honduras probed me to reflect further. Reflecting more deeply into the relationship I once had with food 10 years ago I wanted to recall the key factors that made it good & provided such great results, I feel at peace with what didn’t work & what I could do to improve in my future relationship with healthy eating!

Of the many ‘habits’ I developed, of which I will blog about others separately, in this I will share, I recall ingesting a lot of soup. A lot! Before every meal. Even when I ate out. Always broth based, never cream, always veggie protein & veggies. If I made it at home it consisted of very basic ingredients. Sometimes it was just broth or miso. It was my tummy filler before the main meal. I never used it to replace my meal but it satisfied me enough to slow the main course to a pleasurable gastronomic enjoyment. AND…never gulped or inhaled without awareness.  I never regretted my meal 20 minutes or 1 hour later because I was uncomfortably full.

In that time, my blood sugars & blood work were amazing! Few lows, even fewer highs!

With that being said, I have just finished an amazing meal with Garlic Soup to start followed by a main course of Shrimp Stir Fry consisting of kale, broccoli, sweet peas, bean sprouts & carrots prepared in heated olive oil, salt & pepper. Learned satisfaction, no regrets. I am in love with soup once again.