Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Tuscan Chicken Skillet Recipe

I've been enjoying my summer and getting outside.  How about you?  My shoulder has been better (all though I still have days where it's a little niggle of an annoyance), so I've been able to do more this last month.  Yay!!!

This evening I tried a new recipe that I thought I'd share with you.  I've been watching my calories, so I can lose the last 20 pounds I need to lose for my BMI to be "Healthy".  So, I've been looking for low calorie, healthy dishes and I stumbled across a recipe for Tuscan Chicken.  I've changed it a bit below, because there are some things I just don't like (like sun-dried tomatoes) and I can't have a lot of onion.  I also don't like having to take things out of the skillet, then cook something else and then take that out etc... I want to throw it in and have it done.  Either way you do it... it's very tasty.

Original Recipe

My Recipe (a lot more soupy, but still very tasty).  I had a 3/4 serving of this with some salad, leftover corn, leftover parmesan broccoli and skillet potatoes.  Total calories for the dinner was 611.  Total starch carbs for the dinner was only 27 for the potatoes and corn.  Healthy, tasty and filling.  Feel free to substitute oil for the butter.  I've been cooking with light non-hydrogenated butter lately and enjoying it.

Nutrition Facts
Provided by
Servings 4.0
Amount Per Serving
Calories 278
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 5 g7 %
Saturated Fat 1 g4 %
Monounsaturated Fat 1 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1 g
Trans Fat 0 g
Cholesterol 120 mg40 %
Sodium 551 mg23 %
Potassium 314 mg9 %
Total Carbohydrate 6 g (non starch)2 %
Dietary Fiber 2 g7 %
Sugars 3 g
Protein 53 g106 %
Vitamin A5 %
Vitamin C6 %
Calcium2 %
Iron5 %
*Percent daily value is based on a 2000 calorie diet. 


2 Tbsp Butter
1/4 Onion
3 Cloves Minced Garlic
12 oz. Sliced Mushrooms
2 lbs. Chicken Tenderloin
1 Cup Diced Tomatoes (2 large Roma)
1 tsp Dried Oregano
1/2 tsp Dried Thyme
Sea Salt to taste
Pepper to taste

Step 1: Melt some butter in a large skillet placed over a medium-high heat. Add the sliced mushrooms and onion and garlic. Cook until soft, about 4 minutes. Add the chicken and brown for 3 minutes on each side.

Step 2: Stir in the diced tomatoes, oregano, thyme and season with salt and pepper to taste. Cover and cook until the chicken is cooked through, about 10 to 12 minutes.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

How to eat out and eat less carbs.

As you know I'm not a big fan of cooking.  So, I tend to eat out a lot.  People wonder how I eat out and stay healthy as a Diabetic.  There's a myth that Diabetics shouldn't eat out.  I say it's how you order that matters.  That's why I have several tricks that help me eat healthy.

1)  Ask for a half portion of carb foods.  I've done this with full dinners (like Spaghetti) and with side dishes (like potatoes) too.

2)  Choose upscale fast food instead of drive-thru.  There are a lot of restaurants that let you pick your toppings etc....  They have a wide variety of options and they put it together as you ask for items.  I usually ask for a small scoop or half scoop of carb-filled items and then ask for double meat and veggies.  This cuts my carbs and I get some really good food in the process.  It's still a meal that fills me up too!

3) Add an extra side of veggies - I think most people are aware that you can change out a side of fries for a vegetable.  However, I learned early on that I wasn't eating enough carbs when I did that and I also wasn't filling up.  So, I've started ordering an additional vegetable. Yes, I order the obligatory salad and I make sure I have enough carb servings to make a meal.  Then I order an extra non-carb vegetable, so I can eat the right portion of carbs and fill up.  The more non-carb veggies I eat, the better my numbers are.  So, ordering extra helps.

4)  Order a side of something special.  Spaghetti is another of my weaknesses.  It's hard for me to go Italian and NOT order it.  When I do order spaghetti, I ask for a "side dish," "small order," or "lunch portion".  Now, if I"m familiar with the restaurant and know even a small order will be more than I should eat, I still ask them to give me half!  The wait staff usually look at me like I have two heads, but I tell them I'll pay for a small order, just give me half of what a small order is.  They usually bring it, put it down on the table and look at me that all you wanted?  I usually look at them and say; "That's perfect!  Thank you." They let it go, but they still think I'm weird.

5)  Go ahead be weird.  I have accepted that I have to order most things "special order" and my requests are weird.  I get that wait staff are confused and don't understand.  I don't care.  It's my body and I'm going to do what I need to do to keep it healthy.  If they don't like it, then that's their problem.  Go ahead be weird.  In fact, make it a point to earn nicknames or get people to tease you about the way you eat.  Then proudly own that you are doing something different and brag about.  Watch as other people start joining in.  You'll be surprised!

Yes, I'm a Diabetic.  Yes, I can eat out and keep my numbers in their optimal range.  I just order to fit what I need.  What are your eating out tricks?

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

A consult with the Doctor helps.

For the last few years, I've been dealing with a shoulder injury from a car accident.  This injury flares up and prevents me from doing some of the activities I like to do.  This year, I'd had enough and really wanted to get rid of it once and for all.

I tried Massage Therapy, Chiropractic and Physical Therapy.  None of which made me feel like I could fully use my arm without a flare up. Every single one of these practitioners thought they could fix it and every single one of them ended up shaking their heads, not knowing why I still had pain and flare ups.  As a last resort, I went to a surgeon who diagnosed it as tendonitis.  He gave me some pills and referred to me to a pain clinic.  This made me really nervous.

For those of you don't know, most of what pain clinics do is give you a steroid shot into the joint or muscle to help alleviate pain.  These steroids are commonly known to make sugars go high.  Not that it happens with everyone, but it is a very common side effect.  Not a side effect any Diabetic likes to hear.

I wanted to go to the pain clinic armed with information.  So, I talked to my Endocrinologist.  He was very helpful.  He talked to me about where I am in the disease and what the risks are.  He gave me some sound advice on how to minimize a high.  He also defined what "high" means for me.  He mentioned that his office could help get me on insulin, if it goes too high.  He did NOT say "Don't do it."  In fact, given how in control I am and my plans for more activity if the shoulder pain goes away, he encouraged me to do one and see what happens.  Reminder: I AM NOT A DOCTOR and this is certainly not what works for everyone, but this is what was recommended for me.

I was still feeling a bit skiddish though.  Insulin?  I don't even know how to do insulin?  Do I want to find out in the middle of a high?  Do I want to push the limits...even if it means my glucose will come back down?  Eeeks!  Scary stuff, if you ask me.

Next step was to get information from the Pain Dr.  She, too, said the long-term gain is worth the short-term risk.  She said the glucose can be managed if we need to.  She also said one shot might just do it.  It's also going to be a shot next to a tendon, NOT in a muscle which is a lot less risk for high glucose.  That's 2 Doctors who have said it's worth it.  Was I convinced?  No.  I had to go ask my family Doctor.

What did the family Doctor say?  The long-term benefits outweigh the short-term risk.  Glucose can be managed.  I'm so well-managed that even if I do get a high, it's not even going to affect my A1C.  Do it!  She said.  Ok.  Three Doctors saying this isn't as big and scary as I think it is.  That's enough.

So, I decided to move forward with the shot.  I let my Endo know that I'm moving forward and I'm in contact with his office nurse.  So, I can call her if I need anything and they will help me from there.
This is why it helps to talk to the Doctor.  Now I know that my glucose can be managed and that I have a team behind me, if I need.  It also helps to have a Hubby in a medical field who is supportive of this decision as well.

I decided to do it in spite of my fear...because I have to live life and I can't let a painful shoulder slow me down...especially if I can get rid of said pain (prognosis is good).  I have visions of swimming, dancing and kayaking without pain and flare ups.  So, I did it!

Yesterday, I got the shot, I guzzled tons of water and took a couple walks (as directed by the Endo).  I'm not sure I needed to do that, but I'm happy with the results.   I'm over 24 hours out and my glucose is staying well within my usual limits, which I'm grateful for.  So glad I talked to everyone so I'd know what to expect and how to take care of myself.  I'm sore, but I'm good.