Monday, February 20

Holy Land Artichokes

A Diabetic Delight!

My new obsession. I couldn't believe it. Now, I have been hearing about these Jerusalem artichokes for some time, I just assumed they were like regular artichokes but with a Holy Land pedigree. So, I never sought them out. Now I am kicking myself over all of the opportunities missed!!!
Oh, dear diabetic (or non) reader, have you yet discovered the miracle that is the Jerusalem aritichoke? If not, today, you will be enlightened.

This wonderful tuber is deceiving. First, it is not an artichoke, but rather from the sunflower family. Second, it is not from the Holy Land, but apparantly originated on the East coast of North America, probably Jersey. Just kidding, but you might find them growing there. Here is what they look like:

I know! It looks like ginger root! Who would have thought it was a tasty bit of magic wrapped in a plain and ugly package???? Not me! I don't know why I decided to pick it up today. I was at the market, and I had just learned the Norwegian word for it, and I saw it and somewhere in the back of mind, I remembered it was VERY low on the Glycemic Index, like a ZERO, and after getting over the initial shock that it wasn't an artichoke from the Holy Land, I picked a piece up and went on my way.

This is GREAT news for Diabetics and for those living a low carb lifestyle. Here is why:

"unlike the potato (where the carbohydrates consist of amylose and amylopectin), the Jerusalem artichoke's starch is in the form inulin, a polysaccahirde. So, a benefit of storing starch as inulin is that Jerusalm artichokes are very diabetic-friendly, and apparently Jerusalem artichoke flour is good not only for diabetics but also people with a wheat allergy" (Kara!!). Inulin?? If you are like me, you immedietly saw the similarity to insulin, but it really is Inulin. To credit where I got this information:
She has some great recipes for Jerusalem artichokes, including a yummy soup.

ANYWAY, back to ME!!
So, I bought ONE, and I came home and, after an initial examination, I chopped it in half and boiled it for 30 minutes. Then, I mashed it with some butter and sour cream, salt and pepper, and, WOW!!!! It really did taste a bit like artichokes! But they are a GREAT substitution for mashed potatoes! I still can't believe it! They were so good, I ate them all before dinner and had to have sugar snap peas instead!!
So what are you waiting for???? Go get some Holy Land Artichokes and rediscover your old favorites! Mashed potatoes! Chips (yes, you can fry them!!!) I just can't believe it!! It's a miracle!!!

Wednesday, February 8

And suddenly, my life changed...

I have been having an affair of sorts. Like some affairs, mine started out quite innocently. If you have been following this blog at all, you are now well aware of the fact that I have several names for myself including:

1. The Daredevil Diabetic
2. The Denial Diabetic
3. The Diabetic Disaster

These names are well earned. I am the first to admit that I have not been a Diabetic Poster Child. This has been very hard for me. Hard to change my eating habits. Hard to remember to take my medicine. Hard to start going to the gym.
And this is where it all began. Every weekend here in Norway, I look forward to the Saturday edition of the Dagsavisen because it has an excerpt of the New York Times in it! I read it cover to cover, even if I could care less about the subject content, simply because it is in English, and newspapers are one of the things that I miss tremendously! There was an article in the paper talking about the revolution of combining workouts with MP3 players. Where personal trainers record workouts designed for stationary equipment, yoga, pilates, ballet, sculpting, you get the idea. So, I went to, and I was hooked instantly. I read all of the reviews and downloaded Volumes 1-3 and uploaded them to my MP3 player. The next day, I headed for the gym, which in itself is a small miracle. It was there that I met Sean OMalley for the first time. His voice filled my head as I played Volume 1. Giving me detailed instructions on what to do and when. It was as if he could read my mind. At one point, I found myself wanting to lower the speed, and suddenly he said 'Now, I know you probably want to lower your speed, BUT DON'T'!!!
The entire workout took 30 minutes, but the time FLEW by! And at the end I was dripping with sweat! I was so excited! Even more amazingly, I couldn't wait until tomorrow to go back and do it again.
So, I went home and all my sweet husband heard was 'Sean this and Sean that and Sean says'. It had to have been annoying.
So each day I was faithful in going to the gym, for me, it MAKES a huge difference feeling as though someone is there watching me. I'm sure it all stems back to my performance issues, but that is another post.
Sean and I were happy for a time, but then I began to grow restless. It wasn't Sean's fault, when it comes to the gym, it takes ALOT, not only to keep me excited and focused, but also, just to keep me there.

And that is how I met Grace....
Grace was over at Grace Lazenby, trainer to the stars and now to Kathryn in Norway. I joined itrain for 9.99 a month and for that 9.99 I get 5 workout downloads amonth. I downloaded:
1. I tread with Grace
2. I sculpt with Grace
3. I ballet sculpt with Grace
4. I strength with Nick
5. TBD

So, Grace and I worked out the next day together. Actually, I worked out and Grace just yelled 'GO!!!' alot. But it was a good workout and I was throughly worked out at the end. Then I did the I sculpt with Grace, and let me tell you, I worked muscles I had forgotten I had. It was wonderful.
Since then I have been going back and forth between Sean and Grace, like a child from a broken home.
Now, Sean doesn't know about Grace and Grace doesn't know about Sean, and I actually feel a strange conflict about it. It is the same feeling I get when I switch hairdressers, kind of like I am cheating, but I think it's ok.
Now, this is the sort of thing that is WONDERFUL news for people like me! I am not a naturally 'sporty' person, so having these people coach me is so motivating. It has helped me take on another aspect of managing my Diabetes that I was dreading. On top of that I am having fun doing it! My blood sugar readings are getting lower and I am feeling better about myself, not to mention, dropping a few of those pesky pounds.

So, I have two new people in my life. Sean and Grace. I haven't worked out with Nick yet, I just don't have any room in my life for him and juggling 3 trainers might prove beyond my capabilities.
And my wonderful husband is very understanding and supportive because, as he says: 'Why would I be jealous when I am the one getting all the benefits?'

True. So true.