Saturday, June 25, 2011

Coffee love


One of the first thoughts to cross my mind when I was diagnosed with diabetes was "Oh no! Can I still drink coffee?!?"

Answer: YES. Coffee and tea have essentially no carb content! (Just don't drink too much, because excessive caffeine dehydrates your body, which will lead to high blood sugars.)

Ahhh.. sweet relief. I'll be honest, I HAVE to have my daily bit of caffeine, and that usually comes in the form of a cup of high quality, dark roast coffee. (Fortunately, I've never liked pop/soda.. and that's definitely out). I also love tea, so on days that I miss my morning coffee, I usually end up with a cup of tea in hand by 10 a.m. 

While I'm usually content with my one cup of tea or coffee per day, and that being sugar-free or just lightly sweetened, sometimes a girl's gotta have something purely delightful... such as a cappuccino. Even after learning that I could still have coffee, I was convinced that I'd kissed the cappuccino days goodbye.

Until this:

I may have done a slight "happy dance" over this. Did you know... a cappuccino made with low-fat milk and sugar free syrup is, on average, only 9-12 carbs? Most specialty coffee shops, like my personal favorite, Stoney Creek Roasters, offer a variety of flavors of sugar free syrups. In fact, even McDonalds has vanilla sugar free syrup!

Sometimes, I still mourn the loss of the days when I could drink a large mocha shake without fear or shame. But with artificial sweeteners once again to the rescue, I'm so excited that there are quite satisfying alternatives.

Diabetics, rejoice. You can still have your capp and drink it too. 

Carb Counting: The CalorieKing

As most diabetics SHOULD know, counting carbs is essential to healthy blood sugar levels! Carbs may include sugar, fiber, starch, etc, but in the end, your body breaks all carbs down into simple sugars to be used for energy. Without insulin to transfer the sugars into your cells, the glucose builds up in your blood... thus, diabetes. A healthy body naturally matches every carbohydrate that you eat with the proper amount of insulin, but as diabetics, we have to figure it out for ourselves! That's why it's so important to know exactly how many carbs you are eating so you can give yourself the correct dose of insulin.

Unfortunately, many diabetics find carb counting to be difficult, time-consuming, and overwhelming. And to be honest, it can be at times. It does take extra time and dedication. Over time, however, you'll find yourself memorizing the carb content in different foods, which speeds the process up considerably.

As a new diabetic, this little book has been a huge lifesaver! The CalorieKing's Calorie, FAT &Carbohydrate Counter makes it easy to learn how to count carbs.

Ahh. Gotta love this. Here's my favorite things about this book:

  • It's small (only about 4x6"), and thus easy to slip in a purse or bag when you're on the go
  • It lists almost ALL common foods, arranged by categories such as fruits, vegatables, beverages...
  • For each food listed, it tells you the calorie, fat calorie, and carbohydrate content (remember, as diabetics, we need to be careful not to consume too much fat. It slows down how quickly our body can break down carbs, and places us at higher risk of heart attack and other complications)
  • It includes common restaurants.... you no longer have to be afraid of eating out!
  • There is a section geared toward diabetic eating
  • It's cheap! Find it anywhere, including!! 
Honestly, I couldn't make it without this book! I keep two.. one in my purse, and another on the kitchen counter so I always have a quick reference on hand. Whether you're a beginner at counting carbs or an old pro... or if you're a non-diabetic looking to eat more healthily, definitely give this book a try! 

Here's a quick peek at the inside... great formatting. So user friendly. Love.

Three columns of numbers, L-R: Calories, Fat Calories, Carbs

Friday, June 24, 2011

Coming Soon!

Check back for hints on managing diabetes while living life to its fullest!

Peanut Butter Cookies

Let's get our priorities straight.. dessert must always come first! I'm the sort of girl who could eat dessert with every meal. One of my biggest frustrations as a new diabetic has been finding substitutes sweet treats. Here's one of the first recipes I discovered online for a quick-n-easy, low-carb & sugar free cookie!


  • 2 cups smooth natural peanut butter (I like Smucker's Natural Creamy Peanut Butter.. only 6 carbs for every 2 tablespoons!) 
  • 2 cups no-calorie sugar substitute (I prefer Splenda or Apriva... I'll explain why in another post!) 
  • 2 large eggs 
  • 3/4 cup of oats 
  • 1 tsp. vanilla 

Directions:Preheat your oven to 350 degrees, and lightly grease a baking sheet. Thoroughly mix together all ingredients. Drop by spoonfuls onto pan. Bake until center appears dry, about 8-9 minutes. Makes about 3 dozen small cookies.

Total carbs in recipe: 137 
Carbs Per cookie (based on yield of 36): 3.8

**Note: These freeze really well! Make them in advance and store in freezer to stay fresh.

And there you have it! So easy, and so delicious. My family couldn't even tell that I'd used artificial sweetener. Enjoy!

About Me

I'm Sami, and I'm just average.

Really. I grew up in the cornfields of Ohio.. and that's where I still live, to date. My 21'st birthday is quickly approaching, and this fall I'll be a senior accounting major. I was diagnosed with diabetes on May 13, 2011. Needless to say, it's been a huge life adjustment in many ways. Thus the title, Curious Crossroads. It seems as though we spend the majority of life working through changes, good or bad. But, as I'm daily reminded,

"For God alone my soul waits in silence; from him comes my salvation. He only is my rock and my salvation, my fortress; I shall not be greatly shaken." (Psalm 62:1-2)

What a comfort! The twists and turns of life will not destroy me as long as I cling to God, who planned my life according to His perfect will. Because of Christ, I have hope, no matter what comes my way!

So what's this all about??

I've always loved food... making it, eating it, sharing it. In fact, I'm one of those girls that takes food to work and class all the time.. just because it's an excuse to bake! As a food lover, changing my diet was initially devastating. But as I get farther into this, I'm enjoying the challenge of discovering new recipes and a new approach to cooking and baking as a whole! My biggest priority right now is to find recipes that are quick and easy to make, considering I'll be a full-time student again shortly! Few of us have the time, energy, or resources to create masterpieces, so hopefully my In the Kitchen section will help you find practical alternatives for a busy lifestyle!

In my Journey section, I'll be sharing thoughts and lessons that I'm learning along the way. Being diagnosed with an auto-immune disease is an emotional journey! Laughter, tears, grief, and joy in simple things are all healthy and necessary emotions. Trust me, there have been plenty of tears on this end!

Look in Tips & Tricks for thoughts on managing diabetes and taking care of yourself (or your friends/loved ones). I'm no medical expert, but there is a lot to learn about diabetes, and I'm eager to share with you things I'm discovering.

Finally... Must-haves. That's right. There are plenty of great tools, resources, etc. that will help you manage your diabetes and enjoy life while you're at it! Check this section for updates on little things that may simplify your life.

I'm excited! Whether you have been recently diagnosed or have been managing diabetes for years, there's always something to learn. So journey with me through these curious crossroads.... together, let's find the sweet things in life!

The Start of a Journey

As a food-loving, active 20 yr. old, my world was shaken on May 13, 2011, when I was diagnosed with late-onset Type I Diabetes. Over the past several weeks, God, my family, and dear friends have been faithful to encourage me along as I seek a "new normal" in life.

Whether you personally or a loved one is diabetic, this blog is here to give you the support you need! From one diabetic to another, I know the lifestyle changes aren't easy. Diabetes can be an overwhelming disease, but with help, it is entirely manageable.

And perhaps you aren't diabetic... well, stick around! The recipes and tips in this blog are really for anyone who is interested in building a healthier lifestyle. 

Be patient with me.. it'll take some time as I put together the thoughts, recipes, and facts that I've already collected along the way. But as I'm learning, there is joy in the journey (and tears, too), and ultimately there is hope! I look forward to sharing with you... and all of your ideas and feedback are welcome!