Monday, March 29, 2010

Just Desserts

As a diabetic, the holidays can be frustrating. The phrase "are you allowed to eat that?!" gets thrown around even more often than usual. Whether it's Christmas or St. Joseph's Day, everything I eat is scrutinized by onlookers. I received my diagnosis in May of 2008 and as the holidays got closer, I was dreading them. While some may disagree with me, I feel that it's ok to have a treat. I don't feel that stressing over everything I eat is any way to celebrate. However, I also don't want to spend a holiday (or any day, for that matter) sick from being irresponsible.

I had a conversation with my trainer about this around Christmas time and told her how fearful I was of all the treats that make Christmas dinner what it is. Then something completely unexpected happened; she offered to make me a diabetic friendly dessert. (I should probably point out here that my trainer is an amazing woman and a true asset to my life, with or without offering me baked goods.) I was shocked, and skeptical that it would even taste good, but she assured me that it was great. Needless to say, she was right!! ALL of the Abnormals who had some (which, I'll admit, I didn't share with many people; I hid pieces of it in the freezer so I could have them later) had no idea it was a diabetic friendly dessert. So I present to you, the recipe for the best chocolate cake I've ever had:


* 1 (18.25 oz.) Devil's Food Cake Mix
* 1 small (1 oz.) box sugar free, instant chocolate pudding mix
* 1 cup nonfat vanilla yogurt
* 1/4 cup canola oil
* 1/3 cup skim milk
* 1 large egg
* 3 large egg whites
* 1/3 cup Kahlua liqueur
* 1/3 cup semisweet chocolate chips
* Cocoa


1. Preheat oven to 350F.
2. Coat a 13x9-inch baking pan with nonstick cooking spray and dust with cocoa. *Note: I've found it's best to use mini bundt pans knowing that each small cake is 2 servings*
3. Place all ingredients except chocolate chips in a large bowl. Beat with mixer for 2 minutes or until well blended. Stir in chocolate chips.
4. Pour batter into prepared pan and bake for 50 minutes (if using bundt pans, adjust time accordingly), or until toothpick inserted in middle comes out clean. Cool before cutting.

Nutritional Information (Per Serving)
Calories: 205
Protein: 3 g
Sodium: 209 mg
Cholesterol: 13 mg
Fat: 8 g
Carbohydrates: 31 g
Exchanges: 2 Bread/Starch; 1-1/2 Fat

If memory serves, this recipe is originally from Diabetic Gourmet magazine. Personally, I serve it warm (it can always be heated up gently in the microwave) and top it with the Chocolate Cool Whip.


P.S. The picture above has homemade strawberry sauce on it. I'm still hunting for that recipe but as soon as I find it I'll post it!

Saturday, March 6, 2010

A small victory...

After the test incident, it was great to get some good news. It was even better that the good news came in the form of the results from my latest round of blood work. I get certain tests done every 3 months, and the tests that most people should have done yearly (cholesterol, blood panel, etc.) I get done every 6 months. These tests are done after a 12 hour fast. This time around, aside from thinking everything edible on TV looked DELICIOUS, it wasn’t too bad. Of course, I was cranky, but that wasn’t really my problem as much as it was everyone else’s.

But I digress.

The first important number is my glucose. As I mentioned previously, it should be 99 or less when fasting. It was 82.

I also need to keep a close eye on my cholesterol. Since a complication of diabetes is heart disease, I adhere to some different guidelines than Abnormals. My LDL (bad cholesterol) should be below 100. It was 88. HDL (good cholesterol), has protective qualities so the higher the number, the better. Because of this, a number lower than 35 puts a person at an increased risk whereas a number over 60 puts a person at a decreased risk for heart disease. Mine was 64. My total cholesterol and triglycerides were both also well within the healthy range.

The BIG test, though, the one that I focus on is a test called the Hemoglobin A1c (or hbA1c, or A1c). This number is important because it reflects the average blood glucose levels over the previous weeks and is not impacted by daily glucose fluctuations. Some sources say it covers the previous 8 weeks, others say the previous 3 months, but either way, it’s the most important test an Addict can have done. This number is usually the one that gets us our diagnosis in the first place. Having an A1c below 7.0 greatly reduces the risk of diabetes related complications and mine was, thankfully, below that magic number.

It was great to know that even though I still have my moments where it feels like everything's going wrong, I really am doing everything I can for my body and for my health.