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After several weeks of erratic dislocation, I find myself just where I'd like to be in my diet again, both in terms of Weight Watchers points and carbohydrates.
 
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This has been the way of it: I keep a daily log of what I eat in Weight Watchers' online log so that I know the points value of what I'm eating, and do a loose daily tally in my head to get a sense of how many carbohydrates I've eaten so far, and leave the detailed math on carbs to writing up notes on training day. That's today, so I'm going through my August food log to do the math.

I've been off on my carb counts. Way, way, way off.

How off? I'll tell you. The goal for someone in my condition is about 180g of carbs per day. What did I eat the first seven days of this month? 112g, 176g, 94g, 120g, 158g, 103g, 154g. Which is to say that on average I was about 50g short, and that adds up to some good generous servings of things I've been avoiding, including fruit and rice.

I'm deeply embarrassed by the magnitude of my error, but glad to know about it, and very glad indeed that it's a matter of having fallen short rather than overeating that much. And I think I'm going to do the math daily for a while.



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Counseling was really wonderful today. Cassie listened as carefully as ever, and had a lot of helpful pointers in the way identifying specific things grinding me down right now and going and ahead and dealing with them as genuinely serious, rather than brushing them off or trying to proceed just as if they weren't there. Long-time friends will know that I'm sometimes prone to a sort manic stoicism—when I first read Jacqueline Carey's Kushiel series, I found some familiar things in the Casseline Brotherhood's approach to personal challenges. There were some other things of note in today's session that I want to write up after I've assimilated them a bit more, too, particularly about reinterpreting some of the mysteries in my past. Great stuff.

As I wrote last week, I've been feeling resentful about the dislocations imposed by diabetes on my eating and particularly on my cooking, just as I was getting underway with a genuinely good routine for more or less the first time ever. So what does buddy Mark have for me today? A link to a collection of diabetic-friendly crockpot recipes, and then a link to a second such collection! Happy me! I am plotting shopping and cooking e'en now.

Last week was damn rough. But this week is looking up a lot.
 
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Tandoor Chef's kofta curry entree is 5 Weight Watchers points and has 6 grams of carbohydrates. Which means that with a glass of nonfat milk to soothe my intermittently burning mouth and some veggies on the side, the whole thing comes in at under 20g of carbs, or maybe 25g if I indulge and grate some cheese on top of the veggies.

Some reading this will be glad to know.
 
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This is just food porn, I swear.

This is my first time cooking with seitan, pronounced "say-Tan", which is basically wheat gluten. It's got a texture and consistency similar to a boneless skinless chicken breast, and slices up about the same way.

This particular dish starts with onions browned in oil in a skillet, and put into the bottom of the crockpot. A layer of potatoes follows, and a layer of yellow pepper, and then a layer of grated carrot. The recipe calls for zucchini, too, but I sometimes have trouble with that, so I just added more carrot. The seitan gets sliced into quarter-inch-thick chunks and browned too, and then goes on top of all that. Finally there's a classic barbecue sauce: tomato paste, dry mustered, molasses, soy sauce, vinegaar, brown sugar, and some water. That gets spooned on top of all.

The recipe says to cook it at low (200 F) for 6-8 hours. Having found that I like these recipes slightly more cooked, I ran it at 250 F for seven hours, with a walk to the library to help pass the time. Now I've got a cup of it sitting here while I figure out how many Weight Watcher points it is (6, if I'm doing my math right), and nibbling at it some. It is so good.

Visible in the picture: seitan, on the right, potato slices, onion curls at the back, and the sauce surrounding and embracing.


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This time I'm planning with last week's upsets in mind, and expecting some more in this coming week's appointments.

# Prepare notes and questions for counselor and doctor sessions. Go feeling prepared.
# Choose places to eat after Wednesday and Friday appointments. Enjoy two meals out.
# Shop for some shorts in preparation for time with compression devices. Allow myself one clothing indulgence.
# Check out vascular specialists; go to Friday appointment with a reaction and preference.
# Get clothes ready for donation to Goodwill donated.
# Read three books purely for pleasure, with no thought of work relevance.
# Do 5 hours' free writing, with no topicality constraints at all.
# Fight down the urge to do anything about Project N this week, except maybe finishing the research reading in progress. Respect the stress, dammit.
# Take 5 pictures I want to share.

And that should do it for this week.
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Oh boy did this turn out well. This, as previously mentioned, is from Fresh from the Vegetarian Slow Cooker, and comprises half of one of this week's tasks. :)

The recipe is very simple. Onions and carrots softened up with a few minutes on the stovetop in olive oil go into the pot with potato, chickpeas (garbanzo beans to me), frozen peas, and vegetable stock, with some soy sauce, salt, thyme, and savory. They cook for five hours at 200-250 F. Then a crust of flour, baking powder, baking soda, and milk goes on top, and it all cooks another hour at 300-350 F degrees.

The result, sitting here on my desk, is really tasty. The crust is puffy and flaky, and naturally broke up as I dished out a cup's worth. Nothing in here is hard or crunchy at all; it's almost like a highly variegated pudding.

Total fixing time: 10 minutes or so at the outset, and maybe 5 do to the crust and get it applied. (I am not good with pastry handling, but I think that experience will help.) This one's going into my repertoire for sure. I would be happy to serve it up for vegetarian and omnivorous company alike, too, it being one of those vegetarian dishes that has so much going on there's no sense of anything left out or substituted in a make-do-kinda-sorta way.

Mmmm.

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Turns out you can bake potatoes in a slow cooker or crock pot. Maybe you, Gentle Reader, already knew that, but I didn't. It's simplicity itself to do, too: wash a potato, prick it several times with a fork, wrap it in foil, and put it into the crock pot. My recipe book suggests 6-8 hours at low heat (200 F), up to about 4-6 hours at high (300 F). My best results so far are from cooking at about 250 F for 6 hours or so. The potatoes emerge so soft they almost flake apart with a glance, and they're very juicy. Mmmm.
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I'm feeling a little scatter-brained, just from having so many things I actually want to think about in my head all at once. Time to try a little goal-setting, I think.

# Call the doctor's office to schedule an initial appointment.
# Ditto with the dentist.
# Do 30 hours of research for Project N.
# Do 5 hours of actual writing for Project N.
# Get my old clothes definitively sorted, with a tally of what's to be donated, and get at least half of that to Goodwill.
# Do 5 hours' free writing on hopeful concepts, as per recent musings about good-news writing.
# Get players in my Soul Leverage pbem/pbp game the info they need to make characters.
# Take 5 photos I want to share.
# Get out for one purely fun outing.
# Make both of the new-to-me crock pot recipes I've got the ingredients for.

That'll do.
ceri: World War II-vintage woman at the mike (Natalie Reed)
Two rings of pineapple, grilled hot and a little crispy on the Foreman grill, make a swell evening snack.

That is all.

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Ceri B.

April 2010

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