eat, move, think, feel


April 2009

Raw Dino Kale Salad… MMMMMMMM.

Here’s my first recipe!!  Some folks on Twitter were discussing kale today, and it reminded me of my friend Ericka Lutz’s awesomely delicous kale salad that she made for us one night. I used to be kind of kale-o-phobic, but this turned me into a true, true believer!

NOTE: It has to be the kind of kale that looks like this.images

Ericka Lutz’s Raw Dino Kale Salad

This is adapted from a recipe I found in the New York Times. We sometimes get a CSA box — this is AMAZING with the Dino Kale (otherwise known as Black Kale, or Lacinto Kale or Tuscan Kale).  Don’t try it with other kinds of kale, it will rip your guts out.  THIS recipe will make you groan — in the GOOD way.


1 head organic Dino Kale
Juice of 1 Lemon (pref. Meyer)
½ clove garlic — crushed and chopped
3 TBS Olive Oil
pinch of red pepper flakes
¼ cup really good parmesan cheese plus more for garnish
1 slice really good toast made into bread crumbs

Wash kale and cut off bottom two inches of stem, then slice crossways very fine to make little shreds.

Combine finely grated parmesan cheese, lemon juice, olive oil, chopped garlic, salt, pepper, and red pepper in a bowl — pour over kale and let sit for 5 minutes.

Toast and grind bread.

Garnish salad with extra cheese and breadcrumbs.


Last night I went to the second session of my meditation class. I love this class so much. I have gone to several meditation classes and retreats before, and always ended up feeling like it wasn’t for me, or I wasn’t doing it right, or something. It didn’t fully click somehow. But this class, and this teacher, clicked from the moment I walked in the door.  I love this place in downtown Oakland. The teacher fills me with a sense of calm. Her voice is just amazingly soothing, reassuring, peaceful. The sound of the bell at the end of the meditation is one of the most beautiful sounds I have ever heard.

Last week, when I went for the first time, it was a Monday night, the night before I went to my first diabetes class and started using my blood glucometer. I was wound up tighter than a spring. I was anxious, distraught, grieving the loss of my innocent health, and just a wreck. But I knew that I needed this. I knew that stress is one thing that has a definite affect on blood glucose levels.  It also has an effect on weight loss – if you’re stressed out, your cortisol levels rise, and that makes  you gain weight, or unable to lose it. So I felt like coming to this meditation class and learning how to de-stress was as important as taking my medication or exercising.

I loved it pretty much immediately.  Sitting there, I felt like my heart was breaking and I was just opening up in all directions. I felt like I had found an absolutely essential little sanctuary in time and place.  I needed it.

Last night the teacher opened with this poem by the poet Kabir, and that was it – I started tearing up right away.

You know the sprout is hidden inside the seed

We are all struggling; none of us has gone far.

Let your arrogance go, and look around inside

The blue sky opens out farther and farther

The daily sense of failure goes away

The damage I have done to myself fades

A million suns come forward with light

When I sit firmly in that world.

Whoo. Right? That line – the damage I have done to myself fades – just made my heart start pounding. The damage I have done. I really feel that now, the years that I overate and didn’t take care of myself.  The tendency to want to blame and punish myself for getting to the point of having diabetes.  It makes me want to howl sometimes. But then that other word – fades – is also true. It’s fading. With every thing I do to be good to myself, it fades. But wow, it is there.

The thing that I love about this meditation class is that it is all about love and compassion. Because I think truly that that is the key for me, it is the ONLY WAY out. Because when I was eating more than I needed, for so many years, it was because I was chasing love (in all the wrong places), I was hurt and rejected-feeling and all the food in the world couldn’t make that go away (although believe me I tried). And so while counting calories and points and exercising is all good and important, I don’t think there’s a shadow of a chance it can work unless I find a way to live with more love and compassion, for myself and for others.

8 is the new 14

Today’s post is about…clothes!!

I had a shocking and weird experience in a clothing store last week. I was checking out some jeans – I have really never had any “nice” jeans – just big, floppy “casual fit” Levi’s that sort of hung on me. The saleswoman came over and asked if she could help.  I said I probably needed a size 12.

I have worn pretty much a size 14 for the past 5-ish years, and before that, 12.  I have really never worn a size 10 in my adult memory, and NEVER anything in single digits.

She looked at me skeptically and said, “No way are you 12.” I said, “Yes way.” So she gave me a 12 and a 10. I went into the dressing room. The 12 was indeed, way big. The 10 fit pretty well. I was happy. I came out of the room. She appraised me and said, “You need an 8.” I started laughing hysterically. I said no. She shoved an 8 into my hands and thrust me back into the dressing room.  And… THEY FIT.

I didn’t buy them because I was in too much of a state of shock, and I also didn’t like how high the waist felt. They came up wayyy over my navel, which felt weird. So I didn’t get them. But I spent the rest of the day muttering to myself in disbelief, “I wear a size 8?!?!”

But I have remained dubious. My theory (not even a theory, it’s fact) is that clothing sizes have gone down, down, while remaining the same size.

And last night I proved it. I went on a romp through my closet, trying on everything I could. The good and crazy/happy news is that I could not find a SINGLE PIECE of clothing that doesn’t fit me because it’s too small. (several too big now) That was trippy. I mean really hard to even believe.

But I noticed that the OLDER that a piece of clothing was, the larger the size.

Finally, I found an old pair of shorts, maybe 15 years old. Tried them on. They fit me sort of snugly, but fit OK. JUST LIKE THE SIZE 8 JEANS in the store. I looked at the tag on the shorts. SIZE 14. I swear!!!!!!!

Another thing. I got married in a size 12 wedding dress. This was in 1988, 21 years ago. And guess what? I weighed 19 pounds LESS than I do now. There is no way that I could squeeze into that dress today. A size 12.

So, sizes have been shrinking while clothes stay the same. I find this incredibly annoying but of course I understand the marketing concept behind it. Women will be ecstatic to THINK they wear a size 8 when they are actually a 14 from 1988!! Ugh.

I really think they should abolish these arbitrary stupid sizes and just make everything the true number that it is, based on inches. Size 30. Size 35. Whatever.

If the numbers had stayed true to 1988, I would have probably been up to a size 20 or something, which would have alarmed me a lot earlier. But I think I felt like 14 was “bad, but not TOO bad” – ie I could still shop in “regular” instead of “plus sized” stores.

The whole thing is just weird. So while I am mildly excited to be fitting into those size 8 jeans, part of me knows it’s just bogus.


Easter is my favorite holiday, ever. Hands down. I am not a regular church going person, but something about the story of Jesus’ suffering, death and resurrection does not fail to move me. I used to go to a Unitarian church and when they told this story it was just so universal and moving.

A friend once told me (very insightfully) that they would notice me “going down” in the fall, sort of falling into a dark place, maybe a little down, but that I never failed to experience this rebirth in the spring, right around Easter. So this weekend was very moving for me – I had just received this diabetes diagnosis, and part of me was so freaked out and sad and worried that Life As I Knew It was really over. It was truly like a little death in many ways, death of a kind of life I had become so used to.

I planned out this huge Easter brunch feast for today. I am normally all about the potluck, and having friends bring dishes, but today I was determined to DO IT ALL myself. I made a marmalade glazed ham, a poached salmon with cucumber dill sauce, scalloped potatoes, an asparagus quiche, a spinache quiche, a caramelized onion, sage and goat cheese frittata, a brown/wild rice & asparagus salad, a green salad, hot cross buns and Easter bread.  For dessert there was a raspberry swirl cheesecake, a fruit tart, a raspberry tart and strawberry shortcake. (we had a lot of people over!!)

It was probably over the top. Although I have to say we do not have a lot of leftovers!! I think I had something to prove to myself. That I could still celebrate and enjoy life. That I could make certain dishes and be okay with not eating them, or eating them in small amounts.  And a lot of other things I’m probably not even conscious of.

I was so happy at the table with everyone enjoying it so much. I had some ham (the inside part, without the marmalade), frittata (“quiche without the crust”), salad and salmon. It was so delicious. I felt completely satisfied and happy. After brunch we took a lovely walk in the park nearby, before dessert.  It was the most beautiful sunny day. After the walk I tested my blood and it was a very nice 110, AFTER DINNER.  I allowed a tiny sliver of cheescake, some coffee and strawberries with whipped cream. All SO GOOD.

I’m feeling very emotional now. Feeling like, this is possible. I can still have my life. And more.

More Numbers to Obsess Over

As if the scale weren’t bad enough, jumping on and off every day, the blood glucose meter is worse.  The thing is, if you’re getting too obsessive with the scale, they tell you to only weigh in every week, or every month or never. They NEVER recommend doing that for diabetics.  You’re supposed to test at least 3, if not 5-6x per day. But those little strips are EXPENSIVE – like $1 each! So I’m trying to conserve and also not get too obsessive over it. BUT.

It started all all good on Tuesday at the diabetes class. I had stellar numbers! I was so proud!! But then on Thursday they started getting wonky, kind of elevated, and I didn’t know why.

They’re still elevated. I don’t know why, and I don’t know what to do about it. Apparently there is something called a “dawn phenomenon” and sometimes you just wake up with inexplicably high numbers.

Apparently your glucose level can also rise when there is physical or emotional stress, and I think I’ve had some sort of cold or virus the past few days and haven’t been feeling well. I thought I was better this morning and had a really good couch-to-5k run, but … I don’t know.

It’s frustrating and a little scary because often if the scale shows me numbers I don’t like, I pretty much know why, and I also have a pretty good idea what I need to do in order to show an improvement. But with this little machine, I don’t understand it, or my body’s responses, well enough yet. Why did I have great numbers Tuesday and Wednesday, and then they have steadily worsened since Thursday. Wahh! I don’t like this!! I don’t know what to do.

Meanwhile, the scale continues to be my friend (thank you scale!).  I got my 10# sticker at Weight Watchers this morning. Still contemplating quitting though.

Thinking of Quitting…

Weight Watchers, that is. I realize that the high point of my attending meetings is getting on the scale and getting my little star sticker or whatever. I’m about 6 lbs away from my 10% goal AT WW (I already reached my at-home 10% and more) and for that I will get … a key ring!! OH BOY!!

The little “class” part of the meeting is not particularly inspiring me. I feel like I can get 100% better tips and ideas just by reading the blogs on my blogroll, and following people on Twitter. (my Tweet people are GREAT at inspiring!) And I’m feeling like probably 70% of the people at WW are SO not into it, are just coming back week after week because they don’t know what else to do. The level of conversation at these meetings feels like it is so dumbed-down that it’s frustrating.

I’m not counting points anymore. If anything, I’m counting carbs and watching my blood glucose meter, and I’m still losing weight. So that’s not particularly useful for me right now either.

Even at the discounted rate, it’s $9/week. Couldn’t I find something better to do with $36/month? I think so. Like – how about some new clothes?? 🙂

I’ll probably go to the meeting tomorrow (why? Because I’m anticipating reaching my 10-lb mark there and I want my sticker, dammit!). 🙂  But then I’m going to seriously consider stopping.

I’ve joined WW many times in the past before. And I’ve quit many times, too – because I’ve gained weight, given up and thrown in the towel. That isn’t what this is about this time – I’m not giving up on losing weight or my health in any way – I’m maybe giving up on something that I’m not sure has anything to offer me anymore.

Just thinkin’ on it right now.

No More Excuses

Not too long ago (not long at all!!) a day like this would have been one giant excuse not to exercise. It’s raining outside. My trainer is out of town. My running buddy is sick.

But I really wanted to get going on the 3rd week of Couch-to-5k. I remembered that back in the day when I was training for a marathon with Team in Training (this was 9 years ago, and I WALKED the marathon, didn’t run it), we would train even in heavy downpours. NO MATTER WHAT. I got a really great waterproof jacket then, and I still have it. It’s still waterproof!

So I put it on, put on a baseball cap and went down to the muddy little track at the bottom of our hill. I was sad to get my beautiful new white running shoes muddy and wet. But heck.

I set my iPod to C25K Week 3, Day 1 and set off. After the first lap I was still cold. But by the halfway point I was totally warmed up, pumped up, jacked up and ON. It was great. My glasses got all steamed up. (do I need to get contacts again??)  I did a little 3 minutes extra at the end and was DONE. It felt so good. The rain felt nice and refreshing. I got in my car and it also got all steamed up. Came home, showered, felt great. STILL feel great.

The thing that I don’t remember when I’m making all the excuses is that THIS feels so, so, so much better than THAT.


Twenty. Twenty twenty twenty twenty twenty!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I haven’t been at this weight in over twelve years.

That is all the news for today. 🙂

Star Student at Diabetes School!

Today I took my first class at the Diabetes Center. I have to say, it was really hard to wait for this because while I had the knowledge of my diagnosis, and I had started medication, I had NO IDEA what was going on in my body and it was all a bit crazy-making. I also was having these weird grief reactions while walking through the grocery store this weekend: omg CRACKERS (never again!!), ICE CREAM (never again!!!!!!!!) etc etc and just sort of flipping out but not really knowing why.

So finally I got to get some reality which I was sorely needing.

First, though: I got to the place and I was BY FAR the youngest person in the room. Most of the other attendees were 20 or 30 years older than me and looked pretty much a lot worse for wear. One woman came in, in a wheelchair, and was a double above-the-knee amputee. That was… sobering. I have no idea if this was diabetes related but I have been having nightmares about this for a week.

So we went around the room and were supposed to say our names, what kind of D we had, and when we got diagnosed. I was also the newest “newbie” at less than one week. It was interesting to me how many people got diagnosed 3-6 weeks ago and have not come in until now. (believe me, I took the FIRST POSSIBLE OPENING) Some people have had diabetes for 15+ years. One had had it for 40. I was really agog, like WTH? Really?

One guy sitting next to me said he’d gotten diagnosed 5 years ago, tested for a year or so, but never got a good result on his blood meter, so just gave up on it. Then he had a heart attack, and here he is trying to get back on the wagon again. That pretty much boggled me.

Then there was this woman who was sitting there chugging a bottle of GRAPE JUICE (ahem? and none of the nurses or dieticians said a word!!!) and she was saying how she couldn’t give up fried food because she grew up on it and it was all she was used to. And when the nurse was discussing that the range of blood sugar should be 70-120 she let out this hoot like, “That’s normal people!” and the nurse goes, yes, that’s the range we are aiming for and the woman was like, she aint’ NEVER seen those numbers EVER.

I do not think I could have that job. (teaching the class)

So there was a whole bunch of talk about what is diabetes, blah blah, which I’ve pretty much figured out, and then the all -important WHAT DO WE EAT question, and the diet they were discussing seems to be a lot more food than I am currently eating, and she said it all depends on what your Meter says. And I’m jiggling my knee going, when are we going to get the damn meters?

Two hours later. FINALLY. The meter people come and give out tote bags and a sales pitch for test strips and what-all and I’m like, LET ME TEST MY BLOOD!!!! I was so antsy at this point I was about to start shrieking and stabbing at myself with a plastic fork.  They showed us our cute little meters, and we all plugged in the needles and learned how to lock and load the stabbers, then we DID IT (yeah, I felt it and yeah it hurt for a millisecond) and I closed my eyes when I heard the beep just praying for something good, and it was…. 85!

EIGHTY-FIVE!!! WHICH IS WHAT NORMAL PEOPLE GET!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I was like, woo hoo, under my breath. Because everyone else was getting 106, 127, 135, 178, etc etc and I was SO HAPPY and relieved because that means that my Metformin is working! I haven’t had a reading of less than 100 EVER.  So I was very, very happy. And the nurse went around collecting our numbers and I said ’85’ and she had to look at my meter to be sure I wasn’t making it up. Ya the hoo!!

Then I went home and had lunch. (whole wheat English muffin with cheddar cheese, in case you’re interested) I came to work. After about an hour, I tested again and it was…. 109!!!!!! Which is freaking fa-bu-los-a!!

Thank you Metformin. Thank you exercise. Thank you blood glucose meter for letting me know that I’m not at death’s door, or on the verge of losing my feet, after all.

I am officially in love with my blood glucose meter now. Because now I feel like I can check it anytime I have a question about ANYTHING, and I can just… see what happens. I’m going to learn stuff. I am actually very, very excited.

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