Wednesday, 13 February 2013

Wordless Wednesday: Spare a Rose, Save a Child

A quick reminder: buy one less rose this Valentine's Day, and donate the value of that rose to the Life for a Child program.

Monday, 11 February 2013

Spare a Rose, Save a Child

In case you haven't already heard, there is a pretty amazing initiative spreading through the DOC and around the world this week, called Spare a Rose, Save a Child. Put together by DOC advocates Kerri Sparling, Kelli Close, Manni Hernandez, Jeff Hitchcock, and Bennet Dunlap, with the help of some folks at Johnson & Johnson, the super simple idea is to buy one less rose this Valentine's Day and share the value of that rose with a child with diabetes in the developing world. How do you do that? Easy peezy lemon-squeezy. Simply click here and make a donation to Life for a Child.

So instead of buying that dozen roses for your sweetie this Valentine's Day, buy 11 instead and donate the value of the twelfth to a child in need. It's a simple, caring, but life-changing message.

Saturday, 9 February 2013

Thai Butternut Squash and Carrot Soup

The second in my new Saturday recipe highlight reel, is a Thai Butternut Squash and Carrot Soup. After snowshoeing with my husband and daughter Saturday afternoon, I came home craving comfort food - something warm, filling, and perhaps with a hint of sweetness. After a very brief search, I discovered this recipe at Fast Paleo, an online Paleo recipe sharing site. The soup did not disappoint, and not only is it totally Paleo, it's easy and quick to make, and absolutely packed with nutrients.

1 small butternut squash
1 small onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1-2 tsp fresh ginger, minced
3 carrots, chopped
1 tbsp coconut oil
1-2 tbsp red curry paste
1 cup canned coconut milk
2 cups low sodium chicken broth

Preheat the oven to 375. Slice the butternut squash in half, scoop out seeds and place face down in a baking dish. Cook until tender, approximately 35-45 minutes. Meanwhile, heat 1 tbsp coconut oil in a frying pan over medium heat, add onion, garlic, ginger and carrot, cook until tender. Stir in red curry paste. Set aside.
Once squash is done, scoop out 2 cups flesh, place in a blender. Add chicken broth, coconut milk and mixture from the frying pan (I had to do this in 2 parts to fit it all in my blender). Blend until smooth. Return to pot and heat through. Add salt and pepper to taste. Top soup with garnish of your choice, such as toasted crushed pecans, coconut, or cilantro. Makes 8 cups. 

Nutritional Information (per serving)
Calories 107.7, Fat 7.4g (Saturated fat 6.2g), Cholesterol 0.0mg, Sodium 215.8mg, Potassium 323.9mg, Carbohydrates 9.7g, Fiber 2.2g, Protein 1.8g.

Chocolate Banana Paleo Protein Bars

I've decided that each Saturday I am going to post a couple of my favorite Paleo recipes made during the previous week. This week I made 2 amazing things, the first of which is Chocolate Banana Protein Bars.

Since going Paleo, I don't miss bread at all (shocking, as i really thought I would), and I rarely crave sweets, but with all of the running I'm doing, what I crave is fuel. As the mileage gets longer, my desire for a protein bar gets stronger. Not to mention, protein bars are a great snack post-run because they're easy on the stomach and so dense with nutrients. So I took to the Internet and started searching for a recipe for a protein bar I could easily make at home. I found a few possibilities, and chose the following recipe for two reasons: I love chocolate, and I already had all of the ingredients in the house.

I found the recipe on an old blog that doesn't seem to be updated anymore, and the recipe itself was incomplete and had no instructions or nutritional information, so I played around with it a bit, and this is the final product. It is more like a brownie than a protein bar, so my search is not over yet. But hey, a chocolate Paleo snack with less than 100 calories per serving, 4.3g of fat, 9.3g carbs, and 5.3g of protein? I'll take it!

1/2 cup almond flour
2 tbsp coconut flour
1 tbsp ground flax seed
3 scoops Vi Shape shake mix (or other protein powder)
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tbsp cocoa powder
1/2 tsp baking powder
2 tbsp almond butter
2 tbsp honey
2 mashed bananas
2 eggs

Preheat oven to 350. Line an 8x8 square baking pan with parchment paper. Mix all the dry ingredients in a medium bowl and set aside. In a separate bowl, combine almond butter and honey. I quickly zapped them in the microwave for 10 seconds to soften them up for mixing. Add mashed bananas and eggs, mix thoroughly. Add wet ingredients to dry and stir. My product looked, and smelled, like chocolate cake batter at this point. After closer examination, it tasted like chocolate cake batter too!!

Pour batter into prepared pan and bake for 16-18 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool for 5 minutes, remove from pan (with parchment) and cool completely on wire rack. Remove parchment and slice into 16 small bars.

Nutritional Info (per bar)
Calories 95.3, Total fat 4.3g, Cholesterol 26.7mg, Sodium 41.9mg, Potassium 111.8mg, Carbohdrates 9.3g (Dietary Fiber 2.7g, Sugars 4.1g), Protein 5.3g.

Friday, 8 February 2013

"I Challenge Diabetes" Review

Yesterday I received an email from one of the nurses at the Diabetes Education Centre we attend, telling me about "I Challenge Diabetes." I clicked on the link to their website, and was instantly ecstatic. How is it that I've never heard of this organization before now? It is sooooo cool. The are a national not-for-profit organization founded in 2007 by Canadian Type 1 Olympic rower Chris Jarvis. Their mission is to support the needs of people living with diabetes, and their families, through online campaigns, experiential /educational programs, and events.

With a vision is to provide support to every Canadian living with type 1 diabetes, the organization and its staff want to show type 1 Canadians that blood glucose management, and living a healthy lifestyle, can be fun. By taking on the "I Challenge Diabetes" pledge, individuals are making a commitment to take on their diabetes management as a personal challenge.

How do they work? "Through events and programs that focus on experiential education and creative problem solving, I Challenge Diabetes provides a supportive community and learning environment that builds confidence and helps people to overcome the fears and frustration that come with managing diabetes. Using modern technology, education, and teamwork, we create programs that target common problems and develop new solutions to stabilizing blood sugars. Our team members, who all have type 1 diabetes, share a deep passion for staying healthy and positive, and deliver these messages through events, workshops, and speaking engagements."

And OMG, they have some totally awesome events all across the country. From snowshoeing and skiing treks, to self-defence and "Amazing Race" style community races, there are events for all ages, and all activity levels.

For info about upcoming events, and a full description of all of the "I Challenge Diabetes" programs, please visit their website at

Wednesday, 6 February 2013

Monday, 4 February 2013

Round 2

January, and now into early February, will go down as the sickest month for Dylan since diagnosis. For years, he has been the child that rarely got sick. He had a near-perfect attendance record at school, and got colds and flues much less often than his brother or sister. It was something I was constantly thankful for, because those rare times he did sick, he'd get VERY sick, usually requiring hospitalization with intravenous fluids to keep bg levels from plummeting. So the less illnesses, the better.

Well, we've gone full circle this season. After a week long achy feverish-coughing flu in mid-January, he returned to school for a few days, only to leave at recess last Tuesday vomiting. The stomach flu had arrived.  More vomiting that day, followed by no appetite, and moderate stomach pain for 2 days. By Friday, he felt up to returning to school, and then (remember, hindsight is 20/20) proceeded to have a very active weekend. Friday night he attended the Vancouver Canucks game with his dad (eating stadium chicken fingers and mini-donuts for dinner), then Saturday he played in a 70 minute soccer game, followed by a 90 minute performance class (singing). Immediately after the class we raced home so that he could don his snow gear and go tubing with a dozen of his classmates (followed by hot chocolate and popcorn). Sunday morning he lounged around the house, and walked up to a friend's house, before they went swimming for 2 1/2 hours in the afternoon.

I tried to balance out the day with a healthy Paleo dinner consisting of wild salmon pan-fried and served over an avocado remoulade, along with mashed sweet potatoes, and steamed vegetables, but I think the damage was done. He simply did too much too soon. When I woke up at 7:00 am this morning I had the nagging feeling that something wasn't right with him, and went to wake him up.

"How are you feeling this morning Dyl," I asked, expecting a response related to his stomach.

"Low," he replied.

Surprised, because he never wakes up low in the morning, I grabbed the kit and did a quick check while he was still in bed. 2.7 mmol/l (48.6 mg/dl)!! After 4 dex tabs and a 15 minute wait, he was up to 6.0 mmol/l (108 mg/dl) and complaining about how much his stomach hurt. So here we are again, home from school nursing a persistent stomach ache.