Archive for January, 2012

“Hi, my name is Helen…”

And I’m a Type 2 diabetic.

Just like Paula Deen, evidently…

I was diagnosed about 6 or 8 years ago now.  I’m on medications and doing decently well, not as stellarly since I haven’t watched my diet and exercise as well.  But I’m no where near death or illness from what my doctor says… or doesn’t say!

My health problems (including diabetes and others) can probably be traced to a combination of genetics and lack of better habits.  The crux of the problem stems from the fact that I am 4’8″, which is specifically from my Turner’s Syndrome (TS).  (See my blog post “the girl who lived” under TS.)  Being so short makes is hard to lose weight and hard to maintain weight loss.  It also makes it easy to gain weight and to develop other problems that can come from that.

The diet I was instructed to follow, by an actual dietitian, is actually pretty easy and I caught on fairly fast.  (Now just to get back to sticking with it and throwing in some exercise?!!)  Her instructions to me were to only eat between 30 and 45 grams of carbs per meal and 15 and 20 per snack.  She even gave me a list of how some fruits and veggies count.  I even have a list from her of ones that DO NOT count!!  (They’re just so low, there’s no point trying to count them!)

The first key I picked up on is that it’s all about what you put together.  If you eat fries, don’t eat a bun or drink regular coke.  Well, don’t drink regular coke period.  I dropped all regular sodas like a hot cake after I heard how many carbs are in there!!  (I am NOT wasting my time/ carbs on that!)  I drink either diet sodas or water.  Sometimes I find tea sweetened with an artificial sweetener and I can go for that.

Let me give you a quick fill in on what the typical American consumes in one meal without even realizing.  (This is fast food, but I bet you do almost the same!)  The average person will go to a fast food restaurant and order a hamburger meal.  That bun is 33g of carbs.  The fries are 29g, and that’s a small order.  And don’t forget the drink at 66g  for only 20oz of regular Coke.  That’s 128g of carbs for one single meal.  Congrats… you just TRIPLED what you should have in one meal.

I highly recommend  It’s SOO helpful if you’re trying to watch what you eat.  FYI, it also has information for restaurants, so be sure to check that out.  Another thing I’ve noticed, is that if you know you’re going to eat out,  many restaurants now have their nutrition information posted online.

As always, please feel free to leave a comment or question… I don’t mind at all and will try to find the answer for you!!


A Tale of Tattoos and More…

((Notice first::  click on the links for more info from other websites… and


A year or so ago, I really decided to get back into reading.  I have a lot of down time at work, so reading a book is easy enough to put down when I need to.  I started out with the Harry Potter and the Twilight series (more on those later).  Those two I got finished, so now I’m on the the Hunger Games and the Millennium series.  Both of these series have movie versions of the first books that have either come out or are about to come out.  I’ve read the first of both and am working on the second of the Hunger Games (Catching Fire).  But I actually have now seen The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo in the theater now!

WARNING::  I’ll give you this warning BEFORE moving on to potential spoiler items.  THIS MOVIE IS GRAPHIC AND VIOLENT.  It’s rated R for a reason.  Now, if you want an idea of why and don’t mind of a bit of spoiler, continue reading.



In other words, don’t read any further if you haven’t seen the movie or read the book and don’t want me to spoil it by telling you something.


If you’ve read the book, you know what to expect (whether you realize it or not).  This movie does have both of Salander’s rapes by Advokat Bjurman and her revenge on him.  It’s a bit scarier to see these scenes playing out, but it wouldn’t be so bothersome to movie-goers if more of Salander’s past were revealed.  You still understand her anger at Bjurman without the back story on her.  There is also some nudity with the sex scenes between Salander and Blomkvist (pronounced “bloom-k-vist”).  The movie had been so graphic already, it didn’t seem as “gratuitous” as it could have otherwise.  I was very pleased to see a “familiar face” besides Daniel Craig, Goran Visnjic plays Salander’s boss, Armansky, who is one of the very few who actually seems to understand and find a way to work with and get along with the young girl.

The good news and bad news is that the ending is not the same as the book.  It’s much more simplified, so if changes from the book bother you, be aware!  Now, before you have too much of a fit, I really can approve of the change because of the way it makes the ending so much easier to follow and understand.  Finding Harriett is much simpler, as well as different.  First, Anita is not who is in London, it’s Harriet and Anita and her husband are dead already.  There’s no mention of Australia or any of that complexity.  (This also means they don’t go into the details about who’ll be running Vanger Industries and on Millennium’s board since Martin’s dead.)  Also, Salander only develops one single identity to pull off the bank moves rather than the two from the book that she uses.  (She does pay Blomkvist back after borrowing money from him though.)  I think if you’ve read the books and see the movie, you’ll agree that this ending makes it much easier for someone who hasn’t read the book to follow along.

Lunchbox Review… chicken nuggets!!

I eat lunch out pretty much every day.  I know, not the best health-wise.  I don’t have much of an option.

1.  I MUST leave work for one hour for lunch.  No eating at desk!

2.  We don’t really have anywhere for me to “go away” to eat that’s on campus and not outside.

3.  I’m not going home, because I always regret it and never want to leave the house again.

4.  It’s just simpler on me.

There are several places close enough for me to eat and be back on time.  A lot of my decision on where to eat at lunch is based on whether or not I have another errand.

Today I needed to go pick up my prescriptions, which is another story, but nixed my usual place when I have that errand, which is another story as well.  I decided to try out Chik-fil-A’s (CFA) new GRILLED chicken nuggets!

Am I wrong, or has anyone ever offered such a thing?  I don’t recall and am thoroughly disappointed now that we, as a society, have been deprived of such a thing!

I ordered the 8-count meal.  The $5.18, or about, was not a bad price and is about what you expect to pay at CFA.  I picked at the fries as I drove to get gas and finished up the meal back on campus.  The fries were good, as always.  But MAN… the nuggets were REALLY VERY good!  I was impressed at the flavor they had.  The juiciness was also just right, as well as the size of the bites.

I heard about them from a friend who’s daughter has Celiac disease and can’t eat gluten.  (The new kids meal with the grilled nuggets is actually gluten free!)  I liked the idea because it means no breading and no carbs.  It really just made for a perfect lunch for me today!

it wasn’t the best of times…

Today’s one of those dates that sparks a whole flood of remembrances.

Well, actually, my anniversary kind of starts it off.  Today just kicks it off.

Two years ago today, we had just walked into the wedding reception of one of my college and theatre classmates.  Anthony checked his cell phone and had a call.  He went and returned it, it was a former coworker.  Anthony’s other former coworker had passed away.

Fast forward about a month.  My cell phone rings, it’s Stephen.  My friend Dodd had come home and found my best friend Cliff slumped over dead.  It appeared to have been a heart attack.

More time passes, and I’m not sure the timing, but both Anthony’s uncle and another former coworker pass away from illnesses.

This past August, I managed to discover on Facebook that my other best friend, Jason, had passed away.  Another heart attack.  It was one of the hardest things I’ve had to do: trying to let our mutual friends know what’d happened.

Halloween, and my nephew is born!  But sadly, tragedy strikes again in my life the next day.  My former director and theatre professor, Stephen, who was the one who called me about Cliff and I’d just seen at Jason’s memorial in Bonifay, had passed away.

That’s all on top of the times I miss out on something with my family back in Montgomery… or just plain ‘ol miss them!!  Oh, and the usual crummy stuff in life that’s just “my lot in life”.

It’d be perfectly logical, at this point in your reading, to think there can’t be a decently, loving God if anyone has to go through this kind of loss or hurt in a two year span.  But notice I’m not done writing…

God’s blessed me and “held my hand” through all of this.  Namely He’s given me a wonderful man to stand by my side as my “best-friend-ever-of-all-time” and husband.  He’s given me friends to literally stand by me, hold my hand, or hug me.  Maybe all of the above.  He’s given me so many precious memories of these people and the chance to smile, laugh, and remember them fondly with friends to ease the hurt and pain.

So while life is pretty crummy, I’m trying to remember that with every storm there comes rainbows and plants that grow (flowers and vegetables alike).

“Then I look to You (then I look to You)
and the world’s alright with me (and the world is alright).
Just one look to You
and I know its gonna be (its gonna be).
I think its gonna a lovely day.”
Lovely Day by Out of Eden