Saturday, 29 September 2012

Chocolate Banana Peanut Butter Balls

As you might have guessed from my blogroll, I'm a bit obsessed with food! I love experimenting with different flavours and ingredients. My newest purchase is Agave Syrup - and so far I love it! My ultimate dream for this blog is to turn it into a mix between diabetic and food experiences. Usually when I bake I forget to take photos or to even follow a recipe. I like to spend a night researching a particular recipe and find all the different variations out there. This is so I can get an idea of the ratios of liquid/ingredients/spices I should have and partly for my own inspiration. Armed with all the information from a night of researching I then embark on my journey in the kitchen and make it all up myself. It usually works.

The latest experiment was inspired by Chocolate Covered Katie - her mantra is healthy desserts which is definitely my kind of thing. The original recipe was Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Balls - but I thought adding banana in there would be yummy! While I am someone who enjoys sweet treats, for the most part I'm more of a savoury person. These peanut butter balls are rather sweet though - I can only handle one of them. So the result of that is that I haven't even tried the end result as of yet. This is because I tried the batter/dough mix instead! 

Anyhow, here's what I did:

Assembled the following ingredients:

Mixed in a bowl - the result is a very sticky gloopy mess. So I chucked it in some silicon baking cups and put it in the freezer.

Chocolate Banana Peanut Butter Balls
1 mashed banana
4T peanut butter
1/2C chocolate chips
1/2C rolled oats
1t Cocoa powder
2T Agave Syrup
2T flour - helps to take the stickiness out of the mixture. 

Mix ingredients in bowl - put in freezer to set - VOILA

These don't photograph particularly well - but they are tasty! Or so my flatmates tells me, I've only eaten the batter/dough mix so far haha. I was a bit worried they wouldn't set in the freezer but I checked just a minute ago and they have set pretty well!

Chocolate Covered Katie has some nutritional info over at her recipe but I'm not really sure about mine! There's no refined sugar in it and the carbs in it would come from the peanut butter and banana - I would guess about 5-7grams of carbs? No sure though. At the end of the day, they'll make a good treat in place of a cake or cookie which would have butter and sugar in it. 

EDIT: I put the recipe through the analyzer at and the end result was 12.5-15grams of carbs. Can't give an exact amount because I'm only guessing how many balls it made.
Here's a very rough nutritional guideline!

EDIT x2: These pretty much fall apart if you leave them out of the freezer for awhile so beware! Did that today for lunch at work and ended up eating it with a spoon. Still delicious though!

Sunday, 23 September 2012

Blood Tests Don't Lie

When I was younger I used to imagine up BSL numbers and add them to my log book. I quite clearly remember doing it. I'd fill in my log book with all my "real" numbers and then go through and add more numbers to show I was testing more often that I actually was.

I look back on it and just shake my head at 16 year old me. Making up numbers helps no one! And given insulin ratios are adjusted based on my numbers it could have been very dangerous. It wasn't something I understood back then but I do now.

But at the end of the day, blood tests don't lie. Not like imaginary log book numbers. Even though HbA1c isn't completely accurate and has to take into account you might be swinging between lows and highs to reach that number, it is the main measure of control that we have.

My HBa1c has never really been that controlled. I think I've jumped around 7 - 10 quite a bit. At the end of last year I had an incredibly shocking number (Cringe, 12) which was a result of an extremely stressful and busy year. The whole A1c numbers jazz has mixed opinions in the DOC. I've read some people that see at as incredibly personal and something that doesn't need to be shared. Juice Box Diaries has a really good blog post about it. For me, I do see it as a personal number but also something to share. The whole reason I started blogging was so I could document my experiences and look after myself better. I get inspired on a daily basis by those online who have numbers under 7 and feel hopeful for other people, who like me, are trying to look after themselves better. It's a constant battle of balance.

I'm very happy to report I had a blood test recently and it has jumped a lot lower than my last one. In NZ we are measuring with the new way - from percentage to mmols/mol and I've gone from a 112 (12.3) in November last year to an 81 (9.5) so I'm happy with that change. Very happy and relieved actually. I know it's not ideal but I feel glad to have a significant change. It was very much my win for the day/week/month. I don't feel as if that number entirely reflects what I have been doing, the average on my meter is 11 but that A1c reflects an average of 14.. So that could be for any number of reasons. But for now, I am just very happy to have that drop. I just feel as if I have a new burst of encouragement within myself to keep going with that constant battle of balance.

Wednesday, 12 September 2012

The Clubs That We Belong To

This post is inspired a lot by Tu Diabetes and is something I have been thinking about for a while. 

In my experience as people, we tend to belong to all these clubs. It's part of how we define ourselves. Personally, I belong to the the club of being Diabetic. It's something I haven't wanted to take ownership of before, I've wanted to pretend it's not me. I've wanted to hide away from it. But, delving more and more into the online community - I've discovered, as Kerri from Six Until Me would say - "Diabetes doesn't define me, but it helps explain me."

Being Diabetic is only a part of me. It's not who I am. I'm also a whole bunch of other awsome things:
  • Almost a practicing lawyer! - Currently undertaking a Legal Professional Course, which in NZ is a precursor to being Admitted as  Barrister and Solicitor - we join the two here. 
  • Someone who loves reading! My book case currently has about 10 books that are on my imminent "To Read" list. So, with that in mind I recently bought 3 new/second hand books off the internet. I'm addicted to buying second hand books. Seriously. 
  • Someone who enjoys helping others - I'm currently training to be a phone counselor with Youthline
  • And many others
But - these things aside. It occurred to me a while ago that saying I belong to the club of being "Diabetic" isn't really enough! When I began exploring the Groups section of Tu Diabetes it really began to open up my eyes to all these differences we have in being Diabetic! For example, I'm Type 1,  use a pen, use Lantus & Novorapid and etc.

After reading a bunch of discussions I felt so reassured, that even though these differences exist we still all have these wacky diabetic "clubs" which we belong to.

Recently I joined another one - one I read about on the forums and thought, man that's so stupid, how could anyone do that. It's really the inspiration for this entire post.

The "I've injected myself with way too much short acting insulin, because I thought it was my long acting stuff " Club.

I injected myself with 24 units of Novorapid (my usual Lantus dose) at 1am one day last week. It was single handedly the stupidest thing I have ever done as a Diabetic. I'd had a manic day and I picked up my Novorapid pen - which looks entirely different to my Lantus:

And bam injected! It was at that point I looked down and felt a sense of dread and shock going through me at this point. Something along the lines of "Oh wholly crap, I did not just do that."

But I did. It shows how exhausted I was. And then followed a VERY sleepless night of eating and rechecking my BSL over and over again. Right before an exam. Blergh. But I felt a little bit comforted knowing that others had done the exact same thing as me! Thank you DOC!

I don't usually take Lantus at 1am - That was just me renewing my membership to the "Oops I forgot to take my insulin Club"

I have many Diabetic related clubs - some wacky, some not, some serious and some light hearted. Here's a few:

  • The "I've woken up to Paramedics in my bedroom club"
  • The "I've eaten tablespoons of straight sugar to treat a hypo club"
  • The "I've been DKA club"
  • The "I've imagined up BSL numbers to make my log book look better club"
  • The "I've felt inspiration from others online club"
  • The "I'm addicted to Diet Coke club" - and then later
  • The "I'm addicted to Coke Zero club" - and now
  • The "I'm addicted to Pepsi Max club"
This can is from today, even though Pepsi Max is a current favourite, I still go back to my classic Diet Coke from time to time. Coke Zero or Pepsi Max wasn't even available when I was diagnosed!

We all have these little "clubs" that individually do not define us - but together make up who we are.

Sunday, 9 September 2012

A busy busy week

I've had a pretty full on week. I can't do any of it justice with my summary right now but just briefly - Monday - Study
Tuesday - Exam on Property Practice
Wednesday - Exam on Trust Accounting
Thursday - Exam on Commercial and Corporate Practice
Friday - Interviewing Clients Workshop & Travelling to Wanaka
Saturday/Sunday - Had my first experience skiing, and spent time in Wanaka, a popular NZ holiday destination.

All in all I'm a bit exhausted. 

As I've said before I'm trying to look after myself better. I have this go to move of not doing that when there are other things on my mind. So whenever I was stressed, busy, travelling it used to be that I would conveniently forget to look after my Diabetes. This was in different ways, eating less healthy food, injecting insulin probably too late to prevent a spike in BSL's, not testing etc. But this weekend and this week I have been trying to make a really concerted effort to ensure I knew what was going on with my Diabetes and I'm happy and healthier for it. 

I have this long list of blog post topics in my head and to it I will add talking about this week in detail!

Until next time,

Monday, 3 September 2012

Those pesky low blood sugars

I had one of those pesky lows last night. The ones that turn up at the most annoying of times.

I have exams coming up tomorrow - I'm undertaking my Legal Professionals Course, which in NZ translates to a 5 month course you do after graduating with your law degree. It turns you into an "actual grown up" lawyer. But in any event I've been spending the last wee while studying and making sure I remember everything! So, as I was finishing up the last of my study I noticed I was getting a head ache. I thought nothing of it and continued. I turned the light out and lay down to sleep.


My brain would not chill out. I felt my heart racing. I put it down to stress and tried to will my body to chill out. It didn't.

It suddenly occurred to me I might have a low blood sugar. And once that thought popped into my head I knew I was right. I checked.

1am = 2.8.

I lay there for a few minutes with this weird contemplation of ignoring it. It's an entirely stupid idea, but sometimes your brain just doesn't think straight. I eventually willed myself to get out of bed and get something from the kitchen. Laid back down, waited the 15 minutes and checked again.

1.15am = 3.4

Argh. Got back up again and retreated.

1.30am = 4.5

Got back up AGAIN and got myself a snack.

By that time I was thinking more coherently. It would have been much easier if I had just treated my hypo with the glucose tablets I had in my room instead of getting up and going to the kitchen three times. I could have gone once and just made myself a sandwich.

On a good note, I was happy to have noticed the hypo, I've been having too many lately that I haven't been feeling :S I'm hoping to get that sorted soon.

Sigh. So much for a good nights sleep.