Monthly Archives: December, 2011

The Greatest Lesson my Parents Taught Me


My parents have taught me many things.  This is from my perspective as to what has been the most valuable lesson for me.  Now that I’m a parent do I even begin to understand things from my childhood.  Some issue will arise with my children and I’ll think back and go “Oh…I get it now”.  And only now do I really get what I would call their greatest lesson as a married couple.


Let me tell you a little about my parents.

My mom is the kind of person that will tell it like it is.  She stood up for me when my teacher picked on me while another parent might have avoided confrontation (I was embarrassed, relieved, and proud all at once).  Everyone I know likes being around her.  She’s energetic, bubbly, and fun loving.  People are always surprised that I’m her daughter and not her sister because she looks at least 10 years younger than she is.  My mom loves a party or social gathering.  It’s why I didn’t just have a father daughter dance at my wedding, I danced a samba with my mom, too.  She rarely loses at board games.  She always is ready to spring into action.  She has five grandchildren and I swear she has more energy than me when taking care of them.  She raised two children with type 1 diabetes and was the main pancreas for us both.  I don’t remember her getting emotional or upset over what we had to deal with.  She just did what needed to be done and continued to live life.  I know inside she suffered but I don’t remember seeing it.  I can recall her frustration when managing Ana’s low and my high all at once, as well as the needs of our three other siblings who needed her attention.  But overall her attitude of “you and Ana can do anything with diabetes and still be healthy” always reigned.  So I continued to play sports and do the things I enjoyed, regardless of how much more challenging diabetes made it all.  My mom was in the stands ready with water, juice, glucose tablets, our meters, all while chatting up parents and cheering on the game.  She helped us live as normal a childhood as was possible and looking back, I am really appreciative of that gift.

My dad is in many ways my mom’s polar opposite.  While my friend’s dads were drinking a beer and watching football on TV (nothing wrong with that) my dad was spending time with us.  He often talked to us kids about science, philosophy, religion, politics, health-heck every possible subject in the world, aside from gossip and small talk.  I don’t recall one instance in my entire life where my dad went out with friends or coworkers without his family.  He was with us or he was working, period.  I thought that was normal until I got older and realized that there were many dads out there who did very different.  I grew up thinking that everyone’s dad played the guitar for them before they went to bed and that everybody’s dad had taught themselves to play the piano.  Ana and I have a few favorite songs we share and they are original piano compositions by our dad.  My dad is our family’s moral compass.  He’s like a visionary, too, observing and looking ahead.  He taught us to do right by others and to dream big.  A family friend once aptly stated that if she was going to a party she’d call my mom and if she was on her deathbed, she’d call my dad.  Despite all his deep thinking and seriousness, I think my dad can be quite the character.  He worries for everyone and their wellbeing and takes his responsibilities seriously but sometimes he’ll break out with a random joke or do something utterly spontaneous.  When I was pregnant, I went to my parents house one day for lunch.  As my dad opened the grill to get it ready he basically freaked out over this:


He was genuinely angry at the birds (a hilarious stark contrast to the normally very concerned citizen of nature so this was a huge surprise to us all) and I can’t remember the last time I laughed so hard.

He managed our diabetes from a less intensive point.  He made charts and graphs and helped point out trends he noticed.  My dad was often the one to notice when Ana or I didn’t seem like ourselves.  My mom is naturally more hands on and did our shots and finger pricks and carb counts until we took those over.  My dad, a little further removed, was able to see the bigger picture.  He also served as the more emotionally available parent which is as valuable as anything else.  My mom pushed her emotions aside and reserved all her energy.  Anytime I needed something I’d automatically say “mom!”  I still do that and instead of call my parent’s house, I call my mom’s cell without even thinking about it.  I can’t imagine how much more difficult things would have been with my diabetes without either one of my parents.  I think Ana would agree.

My point of all this is that no parent of a child with diabetes has to be be able to do it all.  Together, parents and even family and friends can use their skills and areas of interest to help a child with diabetes make their way through childhood.  I think Ana and I were very lucky to have two very different people working together to meet so many of our needs.

Now that I’m a parent, I try to accept which roles I play in my children’s lives and try not to feel bad about what I can’t do or don’t do well.  I can accept that I’m the nerdy mom that is a bit of a control freak and is always thinking about everyone’s wellbeing.  I think it’s great that Alex is so different from me.  Every time one of us is struggling with the kids, the other takes over and is more equipped to handle the situation, thus saving the day.  I never want to be jealous of how Alex seems to usually be the fun, cool, and relaxed parent because when someone needs water or food or seems to have a belly ache, I am the usually the first to notice and that’s certainly valuable, too.

I hope that when my parents think back on the jobs they did with Ana and I and our other three siblings, they’ll see their short comings were simply an opportunity for the other parent to step in and to show us what teamwork is all about.  In fact, I like to think that’s their greatest lesson to us- teamwork.  I hope you both know you did a great job.  Thank you so much.

Is it Your Doctor’s Job to Motivate You?


I hope everyone’s Holiday weekend was grand.  Mine was full of wonderful memories, highly excited children, and some laryngitis.  I still sound like a dying squawking bird but luckily I can still write!

I recently read a doctor’s article on how health coaches are becoming more accepted and recognized for the service they provide.  His case was that doctors endure many years of medical school and get no training on human behavior and how to motivate others.  He says that really isn’t a doctor’s job.  He says that is why he “prescribes” patients a health coach, someone with the time and training to help get a person’s motives down to a nitty gritty and support them to follow through with lifestyle changes they want to make.

You know, I have always assumed it was a doctor’s job to motivate patients but now that I think about it, doctors really are trained in medicine and I doubt they get classes on perfecting their bedside manor and figuring out how to engage people.  I don’t think they’re trained in counseling.  Not to mention, most doctors have a very limited amount of time with each patient.  A former doctor of mine said he had about 7 to 15 minutes with each patient.  That’s barely enough time to figure out what’s wrong with a person let alone talk to them about how life is going and how they are feeling about their diet and exercise and the stress in their lives.

Ideally, health counselors or life coaches are built into the system and covered by insurance companies for widespread accessibility.  That is not the current state of our health system however and that means that so many people are left to their own devices.

I think that’s why I focus SO many of my posts somewhere inside the realm of motivation.  Every totally impressive person I know has locked into what personally motivates them.  They latch on to this and keep it in the forefront of their mind.  They eat, breathe, and sleep it.  There is no other way to be very successful at something than to know exactly why you want to do it.  Losing sight of this equals failure. The what, when, how, and where all sorts itself out as long as you know why you want to do something.

I’ll be taking on clients soon as a holistic health counselor and I am making plans right now to remember all those who can’t afford this service.  I’m thinking about giving local group sessions and seminars for free or at highly discounted rates.  Those with less money are probably those who don’t even make it to the doctor often enough and could use more support with their lifestyle habits.

Sometimes all some of us need is a little encouragement and attention to what motivates us and perhaps, in the current paradigm, it isn’t our doctor’s job to do all those things.

What do you think?

Five Ways to De-Stress this Holiday Weekend


You may not need to de-stress.  You may have a perfectly merry and serene weekend.  These tips are for those of you who have to face stressful people, loads of tempting foods, blood sugars outside of their restricted range (to bad we can’t arrest them) and screaming children (perhaps my little screamers!).  I’ve really thought these through, and researched them, and tried them out in spurts and I swear they work.

Five Ways to De-stress this Holiday Weekend

5.  Breathe.

The simplest, most obvious, yet most often neglected way to stay calm and happy- take deep breathes.  If you must wear a tight outfit that doesn’t permit much deep breathing because you’re focusing on sucking in your stomach (been there, done that) then wear that outfit for the minimum amount of time necessary and for goodness sakes do yourself a favor and change into something you can breathe in!

4.  Let go of expectations and go with the flow.

Part of what is so stressful and agonizing for many people during the Holidays is the pressure to meet our high expectations.  Step into this time of year with one goal in mind:  to just be.  Be you, be helpful, be a good listener, be kind, see how you can help out, take care of your health, don’t judge anyone, and just…be.  You’ll find that it’s pretty easy to be yourself and a lot more fun than trying to control things to go how you imagine they should.  Remember that beautiful things happen in the midst of chaos and spontaneity.

3.  Focus on what you can bring to the table.

I don’t literally mean food although that may be the case you talented chef you.  I mean focus on how you can help here and there, who needs your attention, what could use you and your marvelous gift, specifically.  You’ll be surprised how effortless this will feel once you try it.

2.  Be a little deaf and a little blind.

If you hear “Oh…what did you do with your hair?” in that tone or your family is arguing over how to properly cut the turkey, just do all the previous steps and be a little deaf.  Be a little blind and pay no mind to the agitating quirks of people you may be spending some time with.  Instead, choose to only see the things you like about them and focus on that.  A little ignorance is blissful.

1.  Be grateful.

You knew this one was coming.  It’s hard sometimes because maybe your health could be better or your bank account has been swept into a black hole, or there is some kind of family crisis happening.  However, some have worse health than you, others don’t have homes, and some don’t even have any family or friends.  So of course, the obligatory “be grateful” was included but only because it’s true.

I’m thankful for all of you!


Treato Offers Prescription Side Effect Help


I’ve learned of a pretty cool website called Treato which helps organize and combine different people’s experiences with prescription drug side effects.  You can go here to watch a short video that explains how it works.  It’s free and I tried it out with one of my prescriptions and was pleased at how organized and limitless the information that came up was.  For those of us with a chronic illness, I find that it can be overwhelming to deal with prescription drug side effects because we have to figure out how to separate those symptoms from the symptoms we sometimes get from our illness.  For example, I had trouble recently figuring out if high blood sugar was causing dry mouth or if the new prescription I was taking was the culprit and Treato helped clue me in.

I asked Noam Mantel, who works with Treato, a few questions to learn more:

Have you received any feedback from the medical community regarding the safety and efficacy of Treato?

We are pleasantly surprised to receive such positive feedback from the medical community. We genuinely thought the process of having the professionals on board with the idea would take much longer than it has. Today, Social Media plays such a big role in health that people are taking it very seriously, including the pharmaceutical companies. A great example of positive feedback is a blog post written by Andrew Spong which really blew us away ( .

One of the issues we have come across is info validation. We hope to start integrating medical databases with our personal experiences database so our users can benefit from the best of both worlds at once. We sometimes see raised eyebrows but, especially with professionals, once they see thousands of real patient experiences on one condition or medication, it’s extremely hard to ignore.

What are some practical ways someone might benefit from using Treato?

This is an interesting question because you can take the system to so many places and we hear about new applications all the time. The most obvious way is to get more information on a medication. If you’re already taking a medication and are getting side effects, the site is a great form of assurance that you aren’t the only one getting them. If this is the case, you can compare your medication to similar ones to try and find a medication that less people have said to cause your side effect. Once you’ve found a few potential alternative medications, you can read people’s experiences with switching from your current medication.

Now, this was just an example of people who are already taking medications. People use it to find information about medications they’ve been prescribed, look up medications for recently diagnosed conditions and so on. On a more personal note, I used the site this week for something much less serious. My eyelids were burning when I was exercising so I looked it up on Treato and found out what other people are calling it. This way, I can come up to my physician and say “I think I may have so and so”. This specific application may not have saved my life, but it did make it easier.

Let’s say I look up my medication on Treato and discover that many people have had the same reaction to the medication that I”m having and let’s say I read that several people found relief taking a different but similar medication. How should one go about mentioning this to their doctor for consideration?

We understand how much more difficult it is for doctors today. Patients are coming into their office with printouts of the research they did at home and we’ve heard that some doctors (not all of course) do not care for this. We think the best way to approach a doctor with this is to print out the general statistics you found and then a few specific posts that got your attention. Speaking with doctors, we found that they would respond better to people’s real stories as opposed to medical information from sites. If you show them a few posts of people doing better on a different medication, chances are they will listen.

Of course, if they’re not convinced, you can always show them to the site so they can research the matter further themselves.


Here’s to making sense of our symptoms and prescription drug side effects!

Clinical Trials from Home!


Clinical trials are an important part of the online health community but people have a hard time with distance and time limitations. Through WEGO Health, I just learned about a new type of clinical trial that can be completed by patients from the comfort of their own home and I wanted to make sure to share it with readers and fellow DOC members.

For those of you who aren’t familiar with WEGO Health, they’re a unique social media company focused on helping Health Activists – people like me who use the internet and social media to connect with others around health topics. WEGO Health’s mission is to empower Health Activists to help others, and they offer Health Activists the chance to get involved with video through, to learn and connect through webinars and chats, and to gain a voice in the healthcare industry through insight panels and the Health Activist Speakers Bureau.  In fact, I’ll be in Washington DC this Spring because of this Speakers Bureau and the opportunity it opened up. (I’m beyond excited!)

Now, WEGO Health is working with Mytrus – an innovative clinical trials company that is working to make clinical trials more accessible, convenient, and available to a much larger audience with more representative results. WEGO Health is working to bring these new trials to Health Activists and to give us a way to share them with our larger online community. I’m participating in a new Referral Program that rewards Health Activists for participants in the clinical trial.

The benefits of at-home trials:

  • Participants can join from anywhere in the country allowing trials to be run with a larger and more diverse group of patients
  • Participants can join from their home so are not limited by health issues or transportation issues that keep them house-bound
  • Trials can be run more quickly and efficiently because of a reduced recruitment period
  • Patients are given more of a chance to affect the course of their own treatment

If you’re interested in participating in clinical trials run at home and online and in impacting the course of new medications and treatments, take a brief survey to see if you qualify for any of the active trials. If not, you’ll be notified as new opportunities come up.

To see if you qualify, visit this page: At Home Clinical Trials.

I’m excited by the new option of participating in clinical trials from home (and online!) and I’m excited to share it with you. I hope you’ll take a minute to see if you qualify and share this opportunity with others. Click here to share.

Happy Monday everyone!

The Power of Thoughts Part 3


Part 1 and Part 2 in case you didn’t read them.

Today is Fabulous Friday where we focus on elements of self love.  One of those is positive thinking and positive internal dialogue.

D you remember that movie that came out a few years ago called The Secret?  It spoke of this miraculous Law of Attraction that we all have to abide by and all have equal access to.  I think it was a silly movie in terms of the way it was put together and how it focused on materialism.  I suppose that’s how it managed to get so much attention.

Anyways, I read about the Law of Attraction years ago in a place I don’t even recall.  Then I heard Oprah talking about how she absolutely believed in it.  Then I read about other ways people describe the same idea or force in nature.  Deepak Chopra, whose books I find really insightful, talks about this law as well.  When I tried to simplify it I saw that it seemed like common sense.  It’s just that everyone makes it sound so mysterious.

In the movie, The Secret, they say to think about what you want.  If you want more money, visualize checks coming in the mail.  Don’t think about how you don’t want more bills or how you don’t want to be broke because your mind will only gather that which you are obsessing about, bills and being broke and you will only “attract” more of that.  So instead, imagine receiving checks.  Feel all the associated feelings involved in actually receiving a check.  Feel gratitude.  Feel happy.  A year ago, I was talking to my husband about how I felt the movie explained that in a very superficial way.  And in doing so, who knows how many people were alienated from the overall powerful message?

My little brother has provided me a really great example of the power of thoughts in these last few years.  A couple years ago, he got into learning about guitars.  Electric guitars.  He spent time reading about the different types and branched out into learning about the equipment, terminologies, artists, and so on.  It looked like your typical passing childhood obsession.  A funny thing happened though.  Without really being a guitar player he began proclaiming that he was going to be an awesome guitar player.  I think he was like 9 or 10.  It’s hard to take a kid brother seriously so I thought, “aw how cute” and assumed this was a temporary interest.  He was so “into” his dream that he never stopped learning, he told everyone who crossed his path about his interest, and he made us all listen to his beginner playing.  He seemed to believe he had already made it and enjoyed playing for others.  He aligned his entire being with this goal which prompted my dad to buy him a guitar and my mom to enter him into a music lab for students, where they learn about music and are able to use recording equipment.  Fast forward a few years later, multiple concerts, dozens of appearances in local clubs and restaurants, play performances, mentions in the local paper, supporters and fans, constantly improving guitar playing, and friendships with well known artists.  He just turned 13.  I firmly believe he is “attracting” his dream by constantly thinking about it and therefore having the motivation to constantly learn about it and practice for it.   And this is just the very beginning of his story.

Back to a year ago when I was talking to my husband.  We talked about my little brother and how he really was a clear, non mystical example of how this works, I proclaimed that I was going to get checks in the mail.  Alex looked at me funny.  It seemed crazy.  A year ago we were having a tough time with bills and it was so uncomfortable.  So I started pretending in my mind that I had enough money and feeling how good it felt to not have to worry about not having enough.  Keeping this thought in my head and associating positive feelings with it pushed me to do something about it.  Positivity breads action whereas negativity breads procrastination and paralysis.  I wrote down my strengths and weaknesses and I thought about how I could be of use.  In a month I managed to get some part time work that I could handle from home and still stay with the kids.  Not only was this work something I enjoy but it  provided the exact amount we needed to make due without any extra help this entire year.  Checks literally came each month in the mail and I couldn’t help but think, “ohh, I get it!”

How might any of this relate to diabetes?  I think that too many of us get caught up thinking “I can’t do this” or “my blood sugars won’t cooperate” or “good blood sugar control is impossible” or “if only…”. etc.  I think that as natural as those feelings are, they are also really destructive.  If we can manage to turn our thoughts around and focus on what we DO want more of, such as great health, better blood sugar management, the ability to afford what we need, courage to live healthier,  help when we need it, and doctors that listen, I think we will experience more of those things.  We will “attract” or welcome more positive opportunities into our lives as people with diabetes.  The times I have felt hopeless are the times my thoughts (like recently) have spiraled down into negative ones.  It happens, but it’s time to turn those around and believe in more good things and in a better everything.

Remember what Henry Ford said, “Whether you think you can or think you can’t, you’re right”.

Keep your mind focused on good and positive things.  Don’t see misfortune, see opportunity.

Have a great weekend.


The Accidental Diabetes Social Experiment


Many of us with diabetes try to make a point to others that the social ramifications of living with diabetes are issues in need of attention.  Yesterday, I was thinking about how true this is while travelling back in my mind over the last few years.

Let me explain.

Three years ago I was two months pregnant with twins and starting to deal with major nausea that lasted for 3 months.  It’s hard to go out and socialize when a twin pregnancy causes you to throw up and fight a blood sugar of 30 or 40 every other night.  Then my belly size became an issue along with dislocated vertebrae.  It was hard to walk or stand or sit comfortably.  Worry also plagued me and by the time my kids arrived, I had really lost contact with the outside world.

It’s ok you know, I don’t really regret it.  I was super focused on the tasks at hand:  Choose amongst a boy and a girl list of baby names, keep blood sugars near normal at all times, eat healthy, buy two of everything, stay calm, meditate, pray, wish on every star.

While I don’t regret it because my kids came out great, the reality is that I was living an experiment in isolation.  This obviously continued through one of the hardest times of my life where I was so busy and so weighed down with post partum depression and therefore didn’t see people except once a week at the grocery store.  You should have seen the look on people’s faces as they stood horrified as I chatted them up in the check out line as if we were long lost best friends.  People wondered why I didn’t just have people over to the house.  This was difficult because during the first 4 months after giving birth, I was pumping breast milk round the clock and dealing with painful mastitis and basically wandered around like a topless zombie.  I didn’t want to scar anyone for life, you know?  After that, I was dealing with such a severe exhaustion and crippling carpel tunnel and tendonitis that I couldn’t fathom having anyone except my family, see me in a such a pitiful state.  The last time people saw me I was looking my best at my wedding and honeymoon and to show my new, contorted self was seemingly unbearable.  Looking back, I know that worrying about this was silly and superficial but in the moment, I was suffering and stuck in a fog of sorts.

The socializing has gradually increased as managing two of the same age has become easier and now it’s left me to reflect.

This experience made me feel that managing diabetes was easier.  How?  Don’t we all do better with support?  I had plenty of support I think.  My husband Alex, my parents and siblings.  I even have a type 1 support in my family-my sister Ana.

But here is what I touched on when I reminisced:

-When I tested my sugar in the middle of an important office meeting, the thought would run through my mind, “Are they wondering if I can keep up with the demands of this job?”

-When I drank juice in the middle of class in college, people who had seen me test and give insulin would often exclaim, “OMG are you ok?”

-While eating out at a restaurant, I’d occasionally get strange looks from nearby eaters while I injected my insulin discretely at the table.

-In the middle of fun dancing at a club, I’d think, “I don’t want to put my fun on hold and test…should I test?  How’s my sugar?” sometimes resulting in high blood sugars afterwards and a good self-scolding.

.And so many more…

So while pregnant and spending all my time at home, my parent’s house, and the doctor’s office I realized I could relax more.  I kind of welcomed the break to do all of my diabetes things in private or amongst those who were used to it all.  I didn’t know I had been a little exhausted of feeling self-conscious all these years.  But I was.

I was tired of trying to smile at people when testing my sugar so that they wouldn’t give me the pitiful “awww” look.  I was tired of telling my concerned soccer coach that I needed “a minute” to get my blood sugar up.  I was tired of eating candy in class and wondering if people would think that my weekly candy or glucose tablets were the reason I was a little overweight.  I was tired of volunteering for every teacher who asked for help to prove to everyone that I was capable.  I was tired of being out in a group of people and being a verbal ninja trying to explain why it really was ok that I was eating a cookie.  I was tired of worrying that someone would see signs of my diabetes and suddenly change their opinion of me.

These last 3 years, I have rested.  I feel recouped and re-energized.  I have mostly healed the young child and teenager with diabetes who suffered more psychologically than physically.  I am more mature and have more willingness to advocate for those with my condition than I did as a child, teenager, and younger adult.  I know how to advocate for myself, too.  I am ready to get back out there and mingle again.

I’m a little scared because it’s been a while and diabetes and isolation makes the shy person a little more shy.  But, you know what?  I try to remember there are millions of us out there.  Millions of shy people and millions of people with diabetes.

Most likely, the person taking extra notice of me and my huge purse, medical alert bracelet, and speckled fingers is just curious or possibly thinking, “Oh wow, she has it, too”.

Some Things about Me



A fellow girl with type 1 diabetes emailed me saying “You seem like a complex person, would you mind answering some meme questions on your blog just for fun and so we get to know you better?”  These were the questions.  I admit I can seem complicated, even to myself, and I think it’s sweet that someone would want to learn more about me so here goes:

  1. Were you named after anyone?  My dad got the idea for my name from reading about the Austrian empress, Sissy.  Sissy was her nickname, her real name was Maria Elizabeth.  Maria Elizabeth is my mom’s name.  So yeah :)  I believe that’s how the story goes.
  2. When did you last cry?  When I saw Aladdin.  I have this newly discovered problem of crying at every single Disney movie I watch.  So cheesy, I know.
  3. Do you like your handwriting?  You know…I really did until I started typing so much.  Now my handwriting is cramped and lazy like.  Chock it up to a condition of modern times.
  4. What is your favorite lunch meat?  Ham I guess…but it’s so slimy…eww
  5. Kids?  Two gorgeous two and a half year old boy/girl twins that couldn’t be more different.
  6. If you were another person, would you be friends with you?  I hope so!
  7. Do you have a journal?  Yes, have since I was 9.
  8. Do you use sarcasm a lot?  I do.  Sometimes, my humor is so dry people miss my jokes.  Oops.
  9. Would you bungee jump?  I don’t think so…
  10. What is your favorite cereal?  Cap’n Crunch or Honey Grahams or Muesli, but I never eat any.
  11. Do you untie your shoes when you take them off?  No, that takes too long.  Granted I have to untie my shoes before tying them on next go round.
  12. Do you think you are strong?  Sometimes.  My husband says that his favorite thing about me is my strong character.
  13. What is your favorite ice cream flavor?  I love them all.  Truly.
  14. Shoe size  6.5
  15. What is your least favorite thing about yourself?  How anxious and self conscious I can get around people.
  16. Who do you miss the most?  Kids from high school.  I took them for granted when I knew them.
  17. What color pants and shoes are you wearing?  No pants or shoes here!  Grey robe and grey and white striped knee high socks, I’m freezing!
  18. Last thing you ate?  Sardines with a piece of flat bread and some green beans and broccoli.
  19. Favorite drinks?  I love so many lol.  Water with lemon, tea, diet coke, eggnog, scotch whiskey, tequila, fresh juice, hot chocolate, milkshakes, coffee…I could live off of liquids!
  20. Favorite sport?  Soccer
  21. Eye color?  Dark brown with amber rings.
  22. Hat size?  I don’t know but I have a small head lol
  23. Do you wear contacts?  Yep
  24. Favorite food?  50 different foods tie for this honor and I can’t diminish the others by naming one.
  25. Last movie you watched at home (a VHS or DVD that you own)?  The Wedding Singer lol
  26. Last movie you watched at the theater?  Inception-yeah, it’s been that long!
  27. Summer or Winter?  Summer.
  28. Favorite dessert?  Quesillo.  It’s like flan but richer with more eggs and more burnt sugar caramel.
  29. What did you watch last night on TV?  New Girl, that show cracks me up, that ridiculous Schmidt is a keeper!
  30. Favorite sounds?  music
  31. Rolling Stones or Beatles?  Beatles
  32. Furthest you’ve been from home?  hmm…I suppose when I visited my old home, Venezuela
  33. What’s your special talent?  I have extremely good intuition, if I do say so myself
  34. When and where were you born?  3pm June 1st on the western side of Venezuela.
  35. What is the most romantic thing someone has done for you?  Stayed after I showed all my colors.
  36. What was your proudest childhood moment?  Looking back, something I didn’t think anything of then but am proud of now, is when I was 13, I started a girl seniority group with friends.  I still have the sheet of paper I typed up which stated our mission and purpose.  We called ourselves “The Sisters of Culture” because together we represented different cultures, races, ethnicities, socioeconomic levels, and religions, and yet we were all good friends.  We even met up once a month at someone’s house, ate chocolate cookies that we baked together, and discussed ways that we could spread our message.  It didn’t last long.  Some girls moved away, some no longer stayed friends.  But, I am still proud of us for coming up with that. :)
  37. Stay home or go out?  I used to say stay home but that’s all I’ve done for three years so let’s GO OUT!!!
  38. What type was your first car?
    Hyundai excell
  39. Name four jobs you’ve had in your life?


  1. GNC
  2. Chick Fil A (I took orders at the drive through)
  3. Customer service rep Miss Utility call before you dig!
  4. Training Specialist and Culture Specialist for manufacturing plant

40. If you could have any job, what would it be?

I’m doing it!  Oh and being a holistic counselor, which I will start doing really soon!

41. What are you most afraid of?

Something happening to one of my kids.

43. What are the best places you have ever been?
The woods in Damascus Virginia, Aruba beaches, I love Washington D.C, Cancun beaches were very pretty, too…

44. What’s your favorite new food?
goat cheese, avocado, sprouts, wrapped up with lettuce, mmm…

45. What’s your natural hair color?
the color of 60% cacao dark chocolate

46. Favorite CD?
Eric Clapton Unplugged

47. Favorite Restaurant?
This place I ate twice at during my honeymoon in Mexico, the BEST fish and salad ever, aughh!!!

48. Favorite sport to watch?
soccer and baseball

49. What four still-airing TV shows do you love to watch?

  1. Greys Anatomy
  2. Community
  3. Office
  4. Modern Family

50. Favorite TV show of all time?
Omg do you remember the show Ghostwriter??? Omg!  I loved that show so much!

51. How many pets do you have?

52. What is your favorite board game?
I hate board games, but I lose to Alex in scrabble and monopoly all the time.

53. Least favorite color?
burnt orange…and YET the other day I saw an Infiniti something or other and it stopped me dead in my tracks at the super market.  I was stunned by it’s beauty, shape, and color (burnt orange).  I’ve never admired a vehicle in my entire life before this.  Normally, I couldn’t care less about cars and what they look like!  Clearly, having children has wrecked my poor brain.

54. Do you like to drive fast?
Who doesn’t!?  Not that I do it…but if I could get on a race track…oh boy that’d be some fun there

55. Do you sleep with a stuffed animal?
That’s not a half bad description of Alex…come to think of it….(just kidding!)

56. What’s under your bed?
God only knows, that’s where I shove things while “picking up”.

57. If you could meet one person dead or alive who would it be?
Ben Franklin or Albert Einstein or Deepak Chopra.  We would drink scotch, eat hor d’oeuvres and talk philosophy for hours and hours.

58. Storms: cool or scary?

Well they cause destruction sometimes so that is scary and unfortunate but I’d be lying if I didn’t say I have always been in awe of them :)

Requested Pancake Recipe



I don’t have a picture because my hungry family gobbled these up before I could get to the camera, but they look like your average pancakes, only they have a lot less grain content simply because we’ve stuffed these full of protein and fruit.  They’re not very low carb but the addition of fruit adds fiber and sweetness (we don’t top these with syrup or anything) and fruit is lower glycemic than the wheat part of the pancake.

I also did this recipe with gluten free pancake mix from Bob’s Red Mill and it worked well that way, too :)


1 1/2 cups whole grain pancake mix or flour or pancake mix of your choosing

1/2 cup cottage cheese or ricotta cheese (I usually use low fat versions)

1 small apple, peeled and shredded against a cheese grater

1 cup blueberries (I use the frozen ones because they are cheaper)

3/4 cup of milk or soy milk or almond milk

Want to add more nutrition?  Substitute some pureed beets for milk and you’ll get pink pancakes that don’t taste like beets :)  Come to think of it, I should try adding fresh carrot juice one day…

Anyway, just mix the ingredients with a whisk (or spoon, I use a spoon) and be sure to cook them on low heat on a non stick pan, flipping when lightly browned.

You can also add an egg to the recipe for more protein.  I would do that except my daughter is allergic to eggs.

Sadly, I am really math challenged so I can’t figure out the carb content of these pancakes.  I will say that my insulin carb ratio is typically 1:15 and I gave one unit of insulin for one 4 inch pancake and ended up with blood sugar of 95, two hours later.  So although that’s not exact science, that gives you an idea there.  I could have had two :)

Happy Saturday!

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