Chicken Soup For the Soul For Diabetics.

CHICKEN SOUP FOR THE SOUL

You may wonder why this soup is called Chicken soup for the Soul for diabetics, when it does not contain chicken, however it is a hearty warming soup good for the soul. Leo called it chicken soup for the Soul because he grew up in an orthodox Jewish area eating chicken soup. The Jewish people call this recipe Jewish penicillin, and although it is lovely and I still make it once a year it’s not the healthiest soup in the world.

CHICKEN SOUP FOR THE SOUL The recipe given below is actually Dr Cabot’s recipe for cleansing the liver. As both of us have a fully functioning liver we have never needed to adhere to it 100%. From the first day I saw it I thought what a lovely fresh cleansing soup which is also warming and hearty fabulously healthy.

I just pour cold water in a big pan I don’t measure it, I add a couple of handfuls of whatever lentils I have to hand, red, yellow, or green,I add a handful of pearl barley if it’s really cold. I Cook this for about 20 minutes, or as it sticks to the bottom of the pan you can chuck the whole lot in the microwave and cook on half power for about half an hour and add to the soup at the last minute.

I then add a large can of tomatoes, may be a few sweet potatoes usually I just use carrots and butternut squash, about four stalks of celery with the tops, several onions, one large thumb sized piece  of ginger and cook until soft. You can add any other root vegetable turnips, swedes or rutabaga.

When the vegetables are soft, I add the pulses if I have cooked them separately, I had fresh or frozen spinach, kale, cauliflower or broccoli a few  canned artichoke hearts, a selection of wild mushrooms and fresh herbs. If fresh herbs are out of season I use either dried thyme or oregano and pop them in at the beginning.I also use celery salt and lashes of black pepper

Because they don’t measure anything and use different vegetables every time soup is different every time. Sometimes I add miso, sometimes tamari sometimes garlic,sometimes a Knorr stock cube.

When all this soup is cooked I add some cooked meat, this can be chicken, beef, pork or lamb, sometimes home-made sausages,sometimes a mixture of all of them. Of course you can add any bones to this soup is well. sometimes I don’t have any meat at all we just have the vegetarian variety, other times I add a tin of mackerel. It really doesn’t matter what you add protein wise as long as it is not smoked sausages or frankfurters.

This is my staple dinner three times a week in winter, it’s warm hearty filling comforting and above all healthy. It tastes even better on the second day.

Diabetics can try my soup or the one below and know that they can have two big bowls if they want and still stick  to the diabetic food plan. As you can see Chicken soup for the Soul is easy and varied it can be changed for the seasons. It makes a great soup for lunch and dinner or a snack – I have even eaten it for breakfast but it is a great diabetic meal.

If I don’t add meat I add a second type of bean such as chickpeas, fava beans, kidney beans, white beans, Tuscan beans, black beans and kind of bean or even a mixture. To be brutally honest my chicken soup for the soul vegetarian variety uses the first beans that fall out of my larder. As I said Leo named the soup because it reminded him of school dinners and Jewish food because it is delicious not because it contains chicken. ENJOY.

8 cups water
1-2 tablespoons of cold pressed olive oil
2 potatoes, chopped
3 tomatoes, chopped
2 carrots, chopped
2 beets, chopped
2 Stalks of celery (including the tops), chopped
1 large red onion, chopped
1 inch (30mm) finely chopped and peeled ginger root
1 clove garlic, minced (optional)
1 bunch sliced kale or beet greens
2-3 artichoke hearts (fresh or canned in brine)
2 cups shiitake mushrooms, fresh or reconstituted sliced
1 whole reishi mushroom (remove when cooked)
¼ cup arame or wakame seaweed, chopped
1 cup cooked beans or lentils
Celery seed, turmeric, pepper and miso (or tamari) to taste
In a large saucepan add the oil and bring to a moderate – high heat.
Add the celery (plus tops), ginger root, tumeric, tomato, potato, carrots, beets, onions, celery seed and garlic and some pepper. Stir continuously so the vegetables do not stick to the bottom.
When the vegetables begin to brown carefully add the water and bring to the boil.
Reduce the heat to a simmer.
Add the seaweed, mushrooms, artichoke hearts, lentils/beans and stir, then simmer for about 2½ hours.
Add the kale and beet greens 15 minutes before you serve.
Remove the reishi mushrooms.
Stir in the miso/tamari to taste.
Serve alone or with crusty bread and a side salad.

Jobs for Senior Citizens, – Managing diabetes

Leo was diagnosed as diabetic when he was 60, coincidentally the same time he gave up work. I thought that retirement would bring freedom, what I encountered was the harsh reality of Jobs for Senior Citizens, – Managing diabetes.
Jobs for Senior Citizens, - Managing diabetes
Very quickly I found out that managing diabetes and all its aspects can be extremely hard work. It’s hard work for the diabetic they will have to monitor the health 24 hours a day, seven days a week and 365 days a year. However, it’s a thankless task for the relatives of diabetics, they have no praise, no holiday and certainly no pay; to top it all they can’t leave.
As a job model it doesn’t have anything to recommend it, you want to know how to support and understand a person with diabetes to offer them practical strategies to help.

Unfortunately, you are caught up in a round of monitoring diabetic medication times, it’s not just the metformin it is cholesterol tablets, the high blood pressure tablets, the anti-migraine tablets and uncle John Cobleigh and all.

It’s the obsession with foot care. Suddenly my lounge seemed to have a permanent bowl of hot water on the floor,with a leg and foot in it! I do understand the importance of diabetic foot care, but it seemed to be every day.

Of course it wasn’t just me that couldn’t have a holiday, Leo was in the same boat. Living with the job 24 seven was bad enough, but there was always the danger that eventually because he was on the maximum dose of metformin he would become a type I diabetic.

Most people understand the physical aspects of diabetes, but there is a whole gamut of emotional and psychological problems which impact the well-being of the whole family.

When a diabetic’s first diagnosis they go through a process not unlike grief after all they have lost their health and will be on diabetic medication for the rest of their life. Modern medical research has found that diabetics are twice as likely to be depressed, yet no one has done any research on how depressing it is for the rest of the family.

Anxiety is common, Leo worried constantly about the long-term health effects, the fact that diabetes shortens your life by 10 years and of course the inevitable feeling of regret that it may have been self-inflicted. Perhaps you could have gone to the Dr sooner and been diagnosed as diabetic, but perhaps you should have gone even earlier been diagnosed as a prediabetic.

All of these collective anxiety attack counter-productive to managing diabetes.

When you are worried and frightened it is difficult to look to the future at all, never mind the prognosis of a productive future. To some extent healthcare professionals do not actually help the diabetic patient – telling a diabetic they have a lifelong condition they must manage with medication in some senses gives them a false sense of security.

They’ll could have become the road back to normal health much easier without the anxiety problems. It was three years before he began to face the fact that diabetes was not a death sentence it could be changed. He was lucky, we had no setbacks. From the day he decided he was going to curing diabetes he got nearer his goal every single day.

For other people there may well be setbacks. Setbacks aren’t really that important,as they say Rome wasn’t built in a day, but you have to take the Scarlet O’Hara mantra -” after all tomorrow is another day”. Not everyone can be as focused as Leo.

Our thoughts are often indications of how we will feel. If we feel there is nothing we can do to change diabetes, –  all we can do is take the medication then that is reflected in behaviors. Suddenly any motivation to eat healthily is lost after all we are already diabetic let’s eat something comforting and sweet to cheer ourselves up.

These behaviors then manifest themselves as physical symptoms such as irritability and fatigue. This has a negative effect on our emotions. Diabetics who are tired and irritable feel frustrated, fed up and more anxious.

As they say if you can believe it then you can achieve it! The pace at which you reduce your diabetic medication does not really matter, every little bit helps. You don’t necessarily have to go at it like a bull in a china shop all the time.

Aim to walk for 30 minutes three times a week, but if you can’t walk for 30 minutes then don’t give up and say that’s impossible. If you can manage a walk round the block, then do it, if you can’t and could only manage 10 steps the gate do that, but try to repeat it later in the day. Increase your exercise gradually.

I was always amazed Leo frequently took his sugar readings before exercise it was amazing to watch them plummet after half an hour of brisk walking.

Although you will have to change your lifestyle forever, you don’t have to change it over night.If you crave sweet things, cut down your portions and also investigate what else you could have for less carbohydrates.

Either way don’t give up, every single step to change your lifestyle forever is a huge achievement, go for it, and don’t forget to give yourself a pat on the back.

Who's That Fat Person in the Mirror Oh It's just a Fatty Liver?

Lifestyle Management

Fatty Liver

Today I would like to introduce you to my online friend Shirley, we met metaphorically at least when she contacted me with a fatty liver and asked me whether or not I thought that she could help herself by changing her diet. The long and the short of it is that we are in contact with other still and I stand behind her every step of the way because this is her story leading up to the diagnosis and then treatment for her fatty liver.

Who’s that fat person in the Mirror?

One day I was passing my dresser and glanced in the mirror and had one of those moments – you know the ones that take you back and wake you up. There was a very fat woman looking back at me from the mirror. I realized that I was the person in the mirror. My name is Shirley Dawson and as a friend of Catherine, I’m sharing my story for her blog and for you.

How did I get here?

I was never overweight as a child, teenager or all through my 20’s. I played and coached sports all the time and weight was never an issue – I burned so many calories every day I could eat whatever I wanted and not gain a pound. I weighed 135 when I married. However after I was married at age 33 I became pregnant with my only child, I gained 60 pounds and my back gave out the seventh month of my pregnancy. I was in lots of pain those last two months.

Things got worse before they got better

After my daughter was born, my back didn’t get any better and I couldn’t even lift her into the car seat because of the pain when bending over. Of course I was no longer able to do sports and taking care of an infant who never slept at night gave me little rest. After 5 months, I was a walking zombie. Finally she began to sleep at night around the 7 month period and I started to get a little rest. Needless to say, I was no longer playing sports. I worked full time as an employee of the Food and Drug Administration in a demanding job and was also a new mom with no time for anything else.

A slow and painful weight gain

Time passed and I never lost the weight I gained during my pregnancy and began to gain even more. I was almost 35 when I gave birth and life changed drastically. I went from being a tom-boy, jock kind of gal to a working mom, who was overweight and in pain most of the time. The weight piled on during the next few years and my back pain was kind of “come and go.”

Good and Bad Days

Sometimes I was okay and could walk and do more, but then I would have a major flare up and could barely lift anything. I remember one day in Wal-Mart with little Jennifer in her carrier in my basket, I saw a couple of teenage moms carrying their children on their hips while shopping. I though “no way could I ever hold Jennifer like that and shop.” More health issues Life went on, Jennifer grew up and I continued working at the FDA. I even managed to finish up my college degree after 5 colleges and 25 years of trying.

Weight Wise the More Things Changed the more They Stayed the Same

But I never managed to lose any significant weight, even though I tried all kinds of diets, even the meta-fast liquid diet (I lost and then gained it all right back). Exercise was still not possible because of my back pain. Soon I began to have aches and pains all over my body and I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia also. Oh joy! In my late 40’s I was also diagnosed with a blood disorder which made me a risk for clotting and bleeding (ET-essential thrombocythemia). I began to take a daily chemo-type drug for that and continue on it to this day.

My Blood Glucose Levels were a warning Sign I missed!

My doc began to watch my blood glucose levels and told me I was pre-diabetic and finally put me on an oral diabetic med (metformin). I took that for several years and then I failed a fasting blood glucose test and was labeled a full diabetic. The doctor kept me on metformin, just increasing my dose. Finally he gave up trying to get my blood glucose regulated with metformin and told the nurse to show me how to inject insulin, prescribing two injections a day. He also referred me to a diabetic specialist. This specialist began to see me every 3-4 months to adjust my meds and my insulin injections.

Full Diabetes

I was now on both a long term and short term insulin regiment with several injections each day. He advised me to lose weight and I tried but it seemed that nothing worked; I was stuck at 280 pounds. I was very obese, had several collapsed discs in my lower back, fibromyalgia, post menopausal (from a total hysterectomy at age 45), uncontrolled blood sugar levels and was finally told I had a fatty liver also. I had surgery for a large hernia which had formed after my hysterectomy and threw a clot which caused me to have a stroke.

The Long Haul Back

I experienced confusion and was unable to multi-task or do math. It was over a year before I recovered those skills again. Meanwhile I had a detached retina in one eye and had a major surgery to reattach it. Luckily I regained my peripheral vision in that eye. I saw a surgeon about my back and was informed that I would need rods, screws and bone grafts and with my medical issues (the blood disorder and the diabetes) I could end up worst that I was now. He advised me to never let someone cut on me again if possible.

Shortness of breath and Temper

I began to experience shortness of breath and was sent to both a cardiologist and a pulmonologist. After a heart ultrasound and a heart cath, my doc said there was nothing wrong with my heart. Also, after several lung tests and scans, the pulmonologist said there was nothing wrong with my lungs. Both told me I need to lose weight. The pulmonologist, a woman said she agreed that at my age (59 at that time) it was almost impossible to lose weight and I would have to starve myself.

I can’t Face Another Op

My metabolism was non-existent. Losing 2 pounds was a miracle, much less over 100 pounds. My diabetes doc recommended I go to the Cleveland Clinic and undergo bariatric surgery. However I did not want to undergo any surgery, fearing another stroke from a blood clot. So he continues to monitor me every 3-4 months and urges me to lose weight and exercise. I received the same advice from my cardiologist every six months also.

The Wake-up call

I am now 60 years old, with a new grandson and I looked in that mirror at that fat person, and realized that both my parents died at the age of 67. I may not live to see that precious little boy grow up.
I have decided I have to do something NOW.
I began to research diabetes and weight loss and fatty liver and slow metabolisms. I’ve learned that I really need to work on my nutrition. I found that with the proper nutrition, I can heal my fatty liver, bring my blood glucose levels under control, and lose weight which will cure my breathing issues and help with the pain in my legs, knees and hips.

The alternative is more disability, and even an early death. So I have a great incentive to change my lifestyle. The Changes I’ve begun to do water aerobics for exercise several times a week as it does not hurt when I am in the water. I’m also trying to work out on a recumbent bike at least once a week.

I’m eating more vegetables, some fruit, only lean meat, organic eggs, no wheat, and lots of raw salads. I’ve changed to using only olive or coconut oil for cooking and as a dressing and I’ve begun to make myself healthy smoothies. I do not drink any sodas, even diet ones; I drink pure V8 juice, water, unsweetened tea and some hot teas (green, milk thistle and black)

This week I started Dr. Sandra Cabot’s Liver Cleanse Diet which should help heal my fatty liver. It is an 8-week cleanse and supposedly after a couple of weeks my liver should be healed enough that I can began to lose weight again. I’m certainly working on my health right now and I am really hoping that in a year I’m going to look in that mirror again and see the Shirley Dawson I was in my 20’s except this time she will have silver hair.

Who’s That Fat Person in the Mirror Oh It’s just a Fatty Liver?

Lifestyle Management

Fatty Liver

Today I would like to introduce you to my online friend Shirley, we met metaphorically at least when she contacted me with a fatty liver and asked me whether or not I thought that she could help herself by changing her diet. The long and the short of it is that we are in contact with other still and I stand behind her every step of the way because this is her story leading up to the diagnosis and then treatment for her fatty liver.

Who’s that fat person in the Mirror?

One day I was passing my dresser and glanced in the mirror and had one of those moments – you know the ones that take you back and wake you up. There was a very fat woman looking back at me from the mirror. I realized that I was the person in the mirror. My name is Shirley Dawson and as a friend of Catherine, I’m sharing my story for her blog and for you.

How did I get here?

I was never overweight as a child, teenager or all through my 20’s. I played and coached sports all the time and weight was never an issue – I burned so many calories every day I could eat whatever I wanted and not gain a pound. I weighed 135 when I married. However after I was married at age 33 I became pregnant with my only child, I gained 60 pounds and my back gave out the seventh month of my pregnancy. I was in lots of pain those last two months.

Things got worse before they got better

After my daughter was born, my back didn’t get any better and I couldn’t even lift her into the car seat because of the pain when bending over. Of course I was no longer able to do sports and taking care of an infant who never slept at night gave me little rest. After 5 months, I was a walking zombie. Finally she began to sleep at night around the 7 month period and I started to get a little rest. Needless to say, I was no longer playing sports. I worked full time as an employee of the Food and Drug Administration in a demanding job and was also a new mom with no time for anything else.

A slow and painful weight gain

Time passed and I never lost the weight I gained during my pregnancy and began to gain even more. I was almost 35 when I gave birth and life changed drastically. I went from being a tom-boy, jock kind of gal to a working mom, who was overweight and in pain most of the time. The weight piled on during the next few years and my back pain was kind of “come and go.”

Good and Bad Days

Sometimes I was okay and could walk and do more, but then I would have a major flare up and could barely lift anything. I remember one day in Wal-Mart with little Jennifer in her carrier in my basket, I saw a couple of teenage moms carrying their children on their hips while shopping. I though “no way could I ever hold Jennifer like that and shop.” More health issues Life went on, Jennifer grew up and I continued working at the FDA. I even managed to finish up my college degree after 5 colleges and 25 years of trying.

Weight Wise the More Things Changed the more They Stayed the Same

But I never managed to lose any significant weight, even though I tried all kinds of diets, even the meta-fast liquid diet (I lost and then gained it all right back). Exercise was still not possible because of my back pain. Soon I began to have aches and pains all over my body and I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia also. Oh joy! In my late 40’s I was also diagnosed with a blood disorder which made me a risk for clotting and bleeding (ET-essential thrombocythemia). I began to take a daily chemo-type drug for that and continue on it to this day.

My Blood Glucose Levels were a warning Sign I missed!

My doc began to watch my blood glucose levels and told me I was pre-diabetic and finally put me on an oral diabetic med (metformin). I took that for several years and then I failed a fasting blood glucose test and was labeled a full diabetic. The doctor kept me on metformin, just increasing my dose. Finally he gave up trying to get my blood glucose regulated with metformin and told the nurse to show me how to inject insulin, prescribing two injections a day. He also referred me to a diabetic specialist. This specialist began to see me every 3-4 months to adjust my meds and my insulin injections.

Full Diabetes

I was now on both a long term and short term insulin regiment with several injections each day. He advised me to lose weight and I tried but it seemed that nothing worked; I was stuck at 280 pounds. I was very obese, had several collapsed discs in my lower back, fibromyalgia, post menopausal (from a total hysterectomy at age 45), uncontrolled blood sugar levels and was finally told I had a fatty liver also. I had surgery for a large hernia which had formed after my hysterectomy and threw a clot which caused me to have a stroke.

The Long Haul Back

I experienced confusion and was unable to multi-task or do math. It was over a year before I recovered those skills again. Meanwhile I had a detached retina in one eye and had a major surgery to reattach it. Luckily I regained my peripheral vision in that eye. I saw a surgeon about my back and was informed that I would need rods, screws and bone grafts and with my medical issues (the blood disorder and the diabetes) I could end up worst that I was now. He advised me to never let someone cut on me again if possible.

Shortness of breath and Temper

I began to experience shortness of breath and was sent to both a cardiologist and a pulmonologist. After a heart ultrasound and a heart cath, my doc said there was nothing wrong with my heart. Also, after several lung tests and scans, the pulmonologist said there was nothing wrong with my lungs. Both told me I need to lose weight. The pulmonologist, a woman said she agreed that at my age (59 at that time) it was almost impossible to lose weight and I would have to starve myself.

I can’t Face Another Op

My metabolism was non-existent. Losing 2 pounds was a miracle, much less over 100 pounds. My diabetes doc recommended I go to the Cleveland Clinic and undergo bariatric surgery. However I did not want to undergo any surgery, fearing another stroke from a blood clot. So he continues to monitor me every 3-4 months and urges me to lose weight and exercise. I received the same advice from my cardiologist every six months also.

The Wake-up call

I am now 60 years old, with a new grandson and I looked in that mirror at that fat person, and realized that both my parents died at the age of 67. I may not live to see that precious little boy grow up.
I have decided I have to do something NOW.
I began to research diabetes and weight loss and fatty liver and slow metabolisms. I’ve learned that I really need to work on my nutrition. I found that with the proper nutrition, I can heal my fatty liver, bring my blood glucose levels under control, and lose weight which will cure my breathing issues and help with the pain in my legs, knees and hips.

The alternative is more disability, and even an early death. So I have a great incentive to change my lifestyle. The Changes I’ve begun to do water aerobics for exercise several times a week as it does not hurt when I am in the water. I’m also trying to work out on a recumbent bike at least once a week.

I’m eating more vegetables, some fruit, only lean meat, organic eggs, no wheat, and lots of raw salads. I’ve changed to using only olive or coconut oil for cooking and as a dressing and I’ve begun to make myself healthy smoothies. I do not drink any sodas, even diet ones; I drink pure V8 juice, water, unsweetened tea and some hot teas (green, milk thistle and black)

This week I started Dr. Sandra Cabot’s Liver Cleanse Diet which should help heal my fatty liver. It is an 8-week cleanse and supposedly after a couple of weeks my liver should be healed enough that I can began to lose weight again. I’m certainly working on my health right now and I am really hoping that in a year I’m going to look in that mirror again and see the Shirley Dawson I was in my 20’s except this time she will have silver hair.