Friday, July 23, 2010

D-Feast Friday - Leftover-Chicken Tortilla Soup

Welcome to D-Feast Friday.  I am sharing a recipe I made up after trying Chicken Tortilla Soup for the first time at a restaurant.  It was so good (except for the corn kernels floating around in there, which I left out of my version), so when I got home I thought about what was in it and came up with this recipe.  It's a great way to use up leftover roasted chicken or rotisserie chicken from the grocery store.

Leftover-Chicken Tortilla Soup

1 yellow onion, diced
2 cubanelle peppers or 1 bell pepper, diced
Chicken breast, cooked and cut into small pieces
1 tablespoon grill seasoning blend (I like McCormick Grill Mates Montreal)
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 cup rice (I use organic brown rice)
1 14.5 oz can of diced tomatoes with green chilies (such as Del Monte Zesty Mild Green Chili)
2 quarts chicken broth (I use Pacific Organic broth)
Toppings: tortilla chips, shredded cheese and sour cream or plain Greek yogurt

Heat a large soup pot over medium heat.  If I'm roasting a whole chicken at home, I roast the onion and pepper right along with it so it's ready to go for the soup.  If using leftover rotisserie chicken or leftover grilled chicken, add some olive oil to the pot, dice the onion and pepper and sauté until they begin to soften.

Now dump in the chicken pieces and spices.

Next, add the rice and the can of tomatoes.  I always add the stock last.  Why?  Because if I put the stock in first and then try to dump in the rice or tomatoes, there is major splashage and I make a big mess of the stove-top!

Now, turn the heat all the way up to high until the soup comes to a gentle boil.  Then turn the heat way down low and put a lid over the pot loosely, leaving a crack for the steam to escape.  Let the soup simmer until the rice is cooked and tender.  The longer the soup is left to simmer, the better the flavors will be.  (This soup is also even better the next day.)

When it's time to eat, gather your toppings.  I used baked tortilla chips and non-fat Greek yogurt in order to eliminate some of the fat and calories.  I use full fat cheese though, because I just don't like low-fat cheeses.

Ladle your soup into your bowl.  Sprinkle the cheese on top, and then add as many crumbled tortilla chips as you'd like.  (I tend to use a lot, making my soup not-so-low-carb.)  Spoon a dollop of yogurt or sour cream in the center.  And enjoy!!

This recipe makes about 8 servings of soup.  (Although when we have it for dinner, we usually eat two servings each.)  Before adding the toppings, each serving of soup has about 12 grams of carbohydrates if you use the Pacific Organic chicken stock.  (Each quart of stock has 4 grams of carbs - if you use a different brand you'll need to check the carb content and adjust accordingly.)  I weigh out my tortilla chips on a food scale before adding them to my soup so I can get an accurate count of the carbs I'm eating.

Click here to download this recipe in .pdf form.

Do you have a recipe you'd like to share for D-Feast Friday?  Post it on your blog, then come back here and click the D-Feast Friday button to add your post to the link list. Put the name of your recipe in the "Your Name" box and the URL of your blog post in the "Your URL" box.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Sweet Surprise

I will be the first to admit that I don't drink enough water.  So I've been making caffeine free herbal iced tea to tempt myself into not getting dehydrated - especially since we're "running" about three times a week in the terrible heat and humidity.

Today I tried a new flavor.  Celestial Seasonings Bengal Spice.

My cat does not like tea! **

I took my first sip.  Mmmmm, spicy.  And . . .  oh no . . .  sweet.  Quite sweet.  I could taste the sugar in there.  Or perhaps it was honey?  I wasn't very happy because I usually chose drinks I don't have to bolus for.  (Kindly refrain from pointing out all past martini mentions.)  What exactly was in the tea?

Actually, what is in the tea is exactly what the box lead me to believe.  A blend of herbs and spices.  No sugar or honey.  No carbs.  So I must give a tip of my hat to Celestial Seasonings for a delicious cup of tea with a yummy honeyed flavor.  And not having to bolus for it was a very sweet surprise.

** Seriously, it took FOREVER to get that picture of K.C. next to the tea. Every time I put the box down near her, she got scared of it and ran off. (Because yes, a box of tea is terrifying! I would've thought she'd dig the tiger on the front.) I followed her around the house until, I guess, she got too tired to run any more and let me take my stupid picture.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Chatting about Diabetes

Just when I think there are no fresh ideas left for the D-OC, someone surprises me with a brilliant new one. This time around, the great idea was thought up by Cherise.  Tonight Cherise will launch a weekly chat about diabetes that will be held on Twitter on Wednesday evenings.  The official Twitter hashtag for these chats will be #dsma.  Cherise was kind enough to let me interview her for today's blog post.

What is a Twitter Chat, particularly the Diabetes Chat you are launching?
The diabetes social media discussion via Twitter is in an organized discussion with various topics tweeted in question and answer format.

What inspired you to start a chat of your own?
I was inspired by Dana Lewis - she leads the Healthcare Communication discussions on twitter on Sunday evenings. I have participated in a few #hcsm topics but I usually lurk. I had my A-HA moment watching the mental health social media discussion on Twitter last week. I was in bed, hoped out of bed, ran downstairs and told Scott (husband) my idea about having an organized diabetes discussion once a week.

As a community, we tweet a lot. There was something missing. I knew we needed an organized discussion for diabetes about all things diabetes. Having a discussion once a week would not only help us grow as a community but would make us stronger while enriching the lives of others around us. Everyone doesn't read blogs or comment on them. I wanted to bring the most blogged about topics to Twitter in a Question and Answer format. I enjoy tweeting, very passionate about diabetes and people living with it. It's time to take it to the next level.

What does the #dsma hash-tag stand for?
Scottie ( said "The hash tag must be short and sweet, but meaningful." I agreed. My first thought was the hash-tag #dsm (diabetes social media) but the hash-tag was taken for another group on twitter (not diabetes related).  The next morning I came up with Diabetes Social Media Advocacy or #DSMA. People with diabetes use social media every day to communicate their advocacy, feelings and life with diabetes, it fit the D-OC. I hope the rest of the community likes the hash tag and the meaning behind it.

What will be discussed in this chat?
The discussions will be about health, food, exercise, pumps, oral medication and meters just to name a few things.

How can someone participate?
Participation is easy. Log onto Twitter every Wednesday night at 9 pm EST, follow @DiabetesSocMed or the #dsma.  The discussion will last an hour.  If you have questions you would like me to ask please feel free to e-mail me at

There will be a total of 2-3 questions tweeted throughout the hour. All questions will be twitted via @DiabetesSocMed if you want to respond/answer the question.

@DiabetesSocMed: Q1: What type of diabetes do you have? #dsma
@Karen_mst: Q1: I have Type 1 diabetes #dsma

I need the diabetes communities help to make this successful. If you have questions you want me to tweet, e-mail me at

I'm very excited to tweet about diabetes in an organized chat every Wednesday.  I'll be following along using my Twitter Chat tool of choice, TweetChat.

Thank you, Cherise, for coming up with this great idea and working so hard to make the chat happen.  And thank you so much for letting me interview you about @DiabetesSocMed and #dsma - even after I told you I hadn't done a blog interview before.  (Cherise made me look like I knew what I was doing though!)  I hope to see chat with you all tonight.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Join us for a D-Feast!

I've heard people badmouth Twitter, saying it's only good if you want to hear drivel about what people are eating for dinner.  To me, Twitter is an important Health Activist tool and a source of diabetes support and information.  And yes, there are often Tweets about what people are having for breakfast, lunch or dinner.  But that isn't necessarily a bad thing.

For instance, one day Lorraine was cooking up a wonderful stir-fry and tweeted a picture of the pretty veggies cooking in the pan.  Then she tweeted a picture of the finished dish and a link to the recipe.  Soon we were having a cooking conversation and Elizabeth mentioned how happy she was that she had the ingredients for the stir-fry recipe in her fridge.  And then, Elizabeth tweeted a wonderful idea . . .
Maybe we should have a d-blog day where we all post our favorite carb-friendly recipes.
And the idea was born.  After some discussion and fine-tuning, we are happy to announce . . .

We invite you to join us for a D-Feast by blogging about your favorite "blood glucose friendly" recipes next Friday, July 23rd. Your recipe might be low carb, but doesn't have to be.  We know that everyone’s blood sugars react differently to foods, so unfortunately there are no guarantees every recipe will work for everyone. But hopefully we can each walk away with a few new wonderful recipes that do work well for our blood sugars.

Feel free to include pictures of you cooking and of the final meal, and any special techniques you use. Have fun with it! (If you’d rather simply link to a favorite recipe that’s already online, feel free to do that as well.) Nutritional information is always welcome, particularly carb counts with defined serving sizes, but also calories, fat and protein if you know it. If your recipe is low carb, gluten free, low calorie, vegetarian or vegan, please indicate this in your title so that people looking for these types of meals will be able to reference pertinent recipes quickly.

Link to your D-Feast Friday blog post next Friday by coming back to my blog or to Elizabeth's or Lorraine's.  We will each be posting a button for you to click on to add your recipe post to the link list. 

Want to add a recipe but don't have a blog?  Just contact us and we'll add your recipe to the list.

Next Friday is the official D-Feast Friday, but feel free to continue posting and linking to recipes whenever you feel the urge. The list will be ongoing, and the more recipes the better.

Now lets get cooking!!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Test Strip Containment . . .

I am convinced that I've gotten some of the best ideas ever from other diabetes bloggers.  Last week I came across Natural Born Cyborg's McGyver Moment post.  The minute I read about using a pill box on a key chain to hold used test strips, I knew I had to try it too.  So off I went to the drug store, where i found this pretty silver test strip pill holder.

Perfect!  Attaches right to a zipper in my meter case.  And has plenty of room for dead strips!

Pretty cool, right? No more trail of test strips following me!  Thanks, Virtue, for a great tip!!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

True desires are revealed in dreams . . . .

You know those dreams where you wake up and it still seems real?  Those dreams where you are disappointed to wake up?  I had one of those dreams just before the alarm when off this morning.

In my dream, Pete and I had slept over at my parents house.  (That is the first clue that it was a dream and not real.  You see, my parents only live two miles away, so no matter what, we can always make the trip back home.)  Anyway, in the dream, I was just waking up and my mom was making breakfast.  I found myself trying to figure out the proper bolus for what she was serving.  I was also trying to figure out just how many calories this breakfast would cost me and how to plan it into my day.  What was this breakfast??

Toasted French baguette smothered in Nutella.  I swear, my butt got bigger and my blood sugar spiked just from dreaming about it!

And no, the protein bar that I ate for my real-life, fully awake breakfast just didn't measure up.

Monday, July 12, 2010

30 years later . . . .

Remember when Type 1 Diabetes was called Juvenile Diabetes?  At 11 years old and freshly diagnosed, I was one of the juveniles.  But what happens 30 years later?  I grew up (sort of, although I'm still a bit of a kid at heart).  I live my life.  A lot of us do.  But a part of me feels forgotten.  A Juvenile Diabetic who isn't so juvenile anymore.

What if there was a place we could all meet?  What if Type 1s of all ages, including adults, were in attendance?  Some of us diagnosed decades ago and some of us diagnosed in the past few years?  What if it had some sessions to help us with the new issues we struggle with now that we are no longer children?  What would it be like to hang out with a bunch of people who really get it?  How great would that support system be?

Scott Johnson posted today about just such an event.  He talked about the possibility of some Adult Type 1 sessions being added to the Friends for Life conferences organized by Children with Diabetes.  Go on over there to read all about it and leave your feedback.  Pete and I have been planning to attend next July anyway, and the news that there could be more sessions for adults is very exciting!

Friday, July 9, 2010

Weekend Reading - Diabetes Style

If you are like me, you are always interested in finding new diabetes blog and sites that you haven't read yet.  That was one of the delightfully unexpected benefits I discovered during Diabetes Blog Week.

So I was delighted when I received an email from Paul Hench about the list he put together of the Top 50 Diabetes Blogs.  I'm already a big fan of many of these blogs.  There are also quite a few listed that I hadn't discovered yet, and I'm looking forward checking them out.  I'd also like to thank Paul for including my blog on the list.

Have you discovered any new or new-to-you diabetes blogs lately?  Have you just started one yourself?  Leave me a link in the comments, I'd love to check it out!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

How do you say "I'm Low" in German?

Sprechen Sie Deutsches? Nein?  Me either.  But hopefully diabetes is bi-lingual, because my ballroom instructor gave me some sugar tablets straight from Germany to try out.

Juliet has watched me chomp down Smarties when I'm low, and she remembered these energy tablets that runners in Germany use.  They are made from fruit sugars - with no high fructose corn syrup.  So she had some friends back in Germany send some over for me to try.  Of course, the nutrition information is all in German.

No worries. There are 1.3 g of Kohlenhydrat / glucides pro Stück, or 1.3 grams of carbohydrate in each little piece.

They have an odd, chalky lime taste that I find delightfully weird.  I haven't really given them a test run yet, but I'm anxious to see how quickly they bring me up.

Who would have thought my hypos would go international?  Auf Wiedersehen pesky low blood sugar!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

The Good, the Bad and the . . . Kinky??

The Good?  Well, that's easy.  The Good is a vacation trip to Cape May, NJ to celebrate our 6th wedding anniversary.  AND stopping along the way for lunch and a few hours walking around town with an awesome D-OC friend!!
Kelly and me in Ocean City!!
Don't let me forget to mention the Nutella crepe was shared for dessert.  That was beyond Good!

How about the Bad?  Well, as you can see in the picture above, the Bad is what happens to my hair when I walk around all day in temperatures that would have Beelzebub turning on the air conditioner.  My poor hair is flatter than the crepes we ate for lunch!

Want more of the Bad?  How about the drinks Pete and I ordered during Sunday lunch in Cape May?
My banana daiquiri and his Hurricane!
Seriously, drinking at lunch on Sunday?  Bad!  But the drinks were oh so Good.  And my blood sugars handled the afternoon drinking quite well with the help of a long stroll around town after lunch.

Unfortunately, those blood sugars got really Bad on our long long ride home from Cape May.  We stopped for lunch, where I bought a $7(!!!) tuna fish sandwich and then found my blood sugar was way too high to even think about eating.  Correction after correction did nothing to bring me down.  It was the worst feeling in the world to realize I was stuck on a 5 - 6 hour car trip with insulin that had gone bad from the heat.  I wasn't even able to eat a thing all day.

As it turns out, my insulin wasn't Bad.  Nope, the highs were actually Kinky.
A cannula should not resemble a backwards letter r!!
I know I haven't even been pumping for three years yet, but I've never seen a cannula kinked like this!  It caused quite a panic when I realized I had taken 12 units of insulin by injection - thinking that the insulin was barely working.  Of course, I didn't discover that my careful handling of the insulin bottles had actually protected them from the heat until after I had thrown them (both) away.  (One was brand new and one had only been opened during my site change that morning.)

So the moral of the story is - don't assume it's Bad . . . . because it might just be Kinky!!

Not enough Kinky in this post for you?  Well, okay.  Take a look at this blog (LINK IS NOT FAMILY FRIENDLY THOUGH!!!!) that someone (who I won't call out here) Tweeted a link to recently.  Then look at this smokestack we saw on our drive and tell me what you see . . .