As I pointed out last night, I have this friend, who, as soon as she heard what my blood sugar was on Saturday, decided she would be my Dr. She will be forever called Dr. Evil. She messages me every day for an update on what my blood sugar is, plus what I’ve eaten, and if I’ve exercised. It’s very kind but I imagine it getting old quick.
I went on another walk to say during lunch, as you can see from the random artwork in the photo below. The Venice Canals are full of wonderful little finds like this.
I’m not sure why this person has their produce protected, but I love it. I wonder if they are protecting them from animals or random people picking the fruit.
Lunch and Dinner
Lunch was rotisserie chicken and leftover green beans again. Dinner was a salad with power greens, peppers, tomatoes, feta, and blueberries. I made a lemon vinaigrette to go on it.
It is getting better every day. My only fear is that I’ll eff it up this weekend when we go to San Diego. I’m going to do my best to make sure that it doesn’t. Dr. Evil will be with us, and I’m sure she’ll watch me.
When I was in my twenties I worked, briefly, on a fishing boat in Alaska. I was going through one of those times where I didn’t know what I wanted to do in my life, that is not an unusual phase for me to be in. Anyway, there was this one specific day when it was storming and we were out in the ocean, we could see land but it took hours to get there. The waves that day were twenty two feet. It’s really hard to imagine what twenty two foot waves look like until you’ve been in them. They are majestic, but frightening as hell. You can’t help but want to watch them but you also want to run from them. If you don’t ride the wave correctly then you smash down, water comes over the bow and you feel like you’re just getting beaten mercilessly. That day my brother insisted that I come up from the bunk and watch look at the waves. I did, but then I went back down in the bunk, closed my eyes and just tried to fall asleep. It’s like I didn’t want to see what was potentially coming.
This morning I woke up, after the debates last night, and I thought of that story. That’s kind of how I feel right now. I feel like there is a big wave coming towards us and no one knows how to steer the boat properly. I want to get into my bunk/bed and not come out until it’s all clear.
This is as political as I’m going to get here. Vote. That’s all. We are democracy and it doesn’t work if everyone doesn’t vote. Please make your voice heard.
It’s been extremely hot here in Venice Beach the last few days. You know when it’s in the eighties here it’s really hot everywhere else. I’ve tried really hard not to put the oven on the last few days. Today for lunch I had some leftover rotisserie chicken and some green beans.
I have loved living directly behind the Venice Canals for the last five years. Jean Valjean and I are moving in ten days, so I’m trying to spend as much time walking the canals as I can. I know we won’t be far away but they also won’t be right outside our door anymore either. I went on two walks today. One during lunch time and another with Jean Valjean after he got off of work.
For dinner I had the spinach salad that I love from Costco with some more of the rotisserie chicken. Once again, didn’t have to put the oven on and stayed healthy.
My blood sugar is trending down again, which is great. As stated above I went on two walks today so I definitely met that goal!
It’s close to bedtime so I need to run but tomorrow I’ll tell you about a new character. She is one of my dear friends but after she heard about my episode on Saturday she has been on me about my diabetes. She will be known as Dr. Evil.
I checked my blood sugar before bed last night. I wanted to end the week on a good note. My blood sugar had skyrocketed to a number that I’m too embarrassed even to tell you all. Let’s say it was way higher than 200mg, to the point where Jean Valjean wanted me to go to the hospital. I knew that if I got in bed, relaxed, and tried to get some sleep, it would get better. I was up most of the evening with stomach problems, and probably sugar too high to fall asleep. I did get little power naps in. I woke up at 2 am, and I think I finally fell back asleep at about 4 am.
Look at where I ended up in this two week comparison. I had an average of 176 mg of blood sugar this week and an average of 155 mg the previous week.
I’m afraid. I’m in a diabetes Facebook group, and a week or so ago, someone posted that their 49-year-old family member died of diabetes complications. It frightened me. Then last night happened, and now I’m terrified. I need to take much better care of myself with no cheat days.
Yesterday, I ate a keto burrito from El Pollo Loco, a piece of chicken, and then we went for a happy hour. I drank a vodka drink and then a vodka drink with peach juice. Once I did that it was over, we then got burgers for dinner; I ate the bun, the fries, and the bacon tots. I knew I was making a mistake, but since my numbers had been okay all week, I thought it would be okay. I was wrong.
Today we are going to a wedding celebration for our friend, Elle. There will be cupcakes, comfort food, champagne, etc. I’m going to try to be good. I’ll report back to you later on that. I still haven’t taken my blood sugar since late last night, so that we will see.
I call myself the Self Made Diabetic because I know that I had something to do this. In the last 46 years of my life, I’ve not taken care of myself, which caused this illness.
This morning Jean Valjean was in the bedroom watching a zoom funeral. He was sniffing and then laughing. It made me sad, and I immediately wanted a grilled cheese or piece of something fattening. I eat my emotions, for sure! I took a deep breath and went on with my regular lunch plan.
Lunch was left over casserole and some of the chicken from a few days ago.
I marinated chicken breasts and peppers in fresh lemon juice, tajin, garlic, and olive oil. We also finally finished the cauliflower broccoli au gratin.
My blood sugar average was a little higher today. I think it’s because my sleep was off a little bit last night. I did meet my liquid and meditation goal.
Tomorrow we are going to a happy hour with friends. I don’t know that I’ll meet my water goal. I don’t want to have to pee the whole evening. I will try, though.
I’m grateful that the basketball season is almost! Listen, sometimes you have stretch to find something. 🙂
A friend of ours told us about a DoorDash deal, you get an entree and a slice of cheesecake from The Cheesecake Factory for $15. We talked about it yesterday, but for whatever reason, it didn’t work out. Today was the day! Honestly, I was going to be really good, just get the Cobb Salad and let Jean Valjean and our roommate split my salad but then we started watching the news, and I said ‘f&ck it, I’m getting my own damn cheesecake and eating it.’ I got the lower-carb cheesecake with no bells and whistles. I did not get the usual chocolate chip cookie dough cheesecake that I love.
Jean Valjean and I talked about how Uncle Ben’s changed the name of their company to Ben’s this morning. That got me thinking about broccoli rice au gratin. My mom used to make it for us when we were kids; it’s that kind of comfort food for me. So, I decided that I’d try to make it with cauliflower rice. I looked up a few recipes, but they included cream cheese, which I did not have. I had a little bit of ricotta leftover from when I made that chicken lasagna, so I used that instead. I’ll do my best to write up the recipe tomorrow for this casserole cause it was yummy!!!!
It’s very strange to me, my blood sugar is always high in the morning. When I took it at 11:30 am in the morning, it was like 179mg, and then I took it an hour later, and it was 132mg. I don’t know why it jumps like that. I’m guessing maybe I should just not take it until after I drink a whole 64 ounces of water. It is bizarre.
I met my goal of drinking one gallon of liquid, but I didn’t finish it until just a little while ago, about 9:30pm. It will be interesting to see how often I have to get up and use the restroom this evening.
I’m going to leave the gratitude section out tonight. Yes, there is plenty to be grateful for, but instead, let’s all just take a moment to reflect on our own humanity. Let’s reflect on what positive things we can do to change the world that we live in.
Last Thursday my mother in-law invited us over to her house for a happy hour. At the end of the happy hour she handed me a fourteen pound beef brisket, ‘Ronald, can you cook this for us?’ She asked. There are times in life when it’s better to not ask that many questions.
I’ve got some brisket experience. Usually, when cooking in a professional setting, I’d cook it low and slow in a hotel pan in the oven, I’m talking all day. But, I’m not working in a professional kitchen anymore, just my home kitchen. And, because of the Rona, I’ve now discovered sous vide cooking. I knew about it before but I’d never used it. I can thank the Rona for bringing sous vide and air fryer cooking into my life.
While I’ve had the sous vide for four or five months now, I have never cooked with it over night. Listen, I have some anxiety issues, and if you’ve ever watched the crockpot episode on This is Us you’d be nervous to. I looked up a recipe and it said to cook the brisket for up to 50 hours, that was too much of a commitment. I decided that I’d commit to 36 hours of cooking in the sous vide.
I knew there was no way that this brisket was going to fit in the sous vide in one bag, so I cut it in three pieces. I also chopped off some of the fat. Jean Valjean shouted from the living room, “Fat equals flavor, are you sure you want to cut some off?”
“Trust me, I got this.” I shouted back to him. As you can see I still left a lot of the fat on.
After cutting the brisket, I seasoned it with the Kinders Seasonings. Then I double bagged them in ziplock bags and put them in the sous vide.
Once they came out of the sous vide after 36 hours I patted them down with paper towels and added more seasoning to them.
I put the liquid from the bags that were in the sous vide in a pot and then reduced it down to half. Once they were reduced down to half I put a bottle of bbq sauce in, stirring to make sure it all got incorporated.
Once it comes out of the oven, let it rest for 20 minutes or so before slicing against the grain. Finish it by putting the bbq sauce on it.
Depending on the size of your brisket, you may need to cut it into pieces. If needed cut into pieces big enough to fit in gallon size ziploc bags.
If needed trim excess fat from brisket.
Season brisket generously with both of the Kinders seasonings. Make sure you season all sides of the brisket.
Put individual brisket pieces into gallon size ziploc bags or vacuum seal your brisket if you have access to a sealer. I double bagged my brisket pieces because it was going into the sous vide for so long.
Put your brisket in your sous vide, which you have set for 36 hours at 150 degrees.
After the 36 hours, take your brisket out of the sous vide. Put the juice from each bag into a sauce pan, you’ll be using that for bbq sauce. Put your brisket pieces on a wire rack that is on a sheet pan, and pat dry with paper towels.
Pre-heat an oven to 300 degrees.
Season all sides of the brisket again with each of the Kinders seasonings.
Place in the pre-heated oven for three hours.
While your brisket is in the oven reduce your beef liquid by half, skim out as much of the grease from the top of the liquid as possible.
Once the liquid is reduced by half add the jar of Sweet Baby Ray’s and stir well to incorporate the bbq sauce into the liquid.
Once it comes out of the oven, let it rest for 20 minutes before slicing.
Make sure when slicing you slice your brisket against the grain. Serve with the sauce you made on the side.
Here is something you may not know about me, I love self-help books, guru’s, podcasts, etc. I’m obsessed with helping people; that way, I can ignore my problems and not help myself. That makes sense, right? This morning I was listening to an audible program by Mel Robbins. She is one of my favorite guru’s; she is a straight shooter and tells you how she really feels, and is often dead-on. I’m not sure that I have any interest in meeting her, because I don’t think I’d like what she would have to tell me. I know it would be somewhere around the lines of “get your shit together, Ron.” And, I would probably try, be dramatic, etc. That’s who I am, folks.
The program I was listening to was about toxic people. While I was listening I wrote down the following insights.
– People aren’t toxic, their behavior is.
– You must set up boundaries
-Your boundaries teach people how to respect you.
– the more you let toxic behavior slide, the more you’re the one guilty of being toxic. The longer you let it go, the more likely you will explode.
This spoke to me because I have a terrible habit of letting things go until they bother me so much that I explode. At least I am self-aware, right? I am learning as I get older that life is about how you react to things. I was watching Instagram stories one day, but Michael Buckley, he said ‘People don’t annoy you, it’s your thoughts about them that annoy you.” I thought that was one of the most profound things I’d ever heard. Someone isn’t toxic, it’s my thoughts about them that are toxic, does that make sense?
I know, profound thoughts for today. I’ve been in a really funky, angry mood all day. I’m not really sure why. I think a lot of it had to do with the fact that we went to bed late last night. My blood sugar was 189mg when I checked it about 11:30 am this morning; I’m wondering if that had anything to do with my mood. I laid down during my lunch break, drank a bunch of liquid, and retook it about 2pm; it was 138mg. It’s often that my sugar is higher in the morning; at one point, the doctor said not to worry about that because it drops in the afternoon.
I had two pieces of Babybel cheese and some salami to snack on at about 1:30 pm and then I made an egg scramble for lunch at 2pm with bacon, tomatoes, garlic, and cheese.
I had a salad for dinner with some chicken, peppers, tomatoes, feta and an onion vinaigrette.
As discussed earlier, my blood sugar was weird today. It’s still okay, but higher than it has been. I think it was because of the lack of sleep last night. We will see what tomorrow brings.
I met my goal of drinking 1 gallon of liquid. We got stuck on Before the 90 Day, so I thought I wouldn’t meditate, but I ended up doing it once the basketball game got turned on.
I’m grateful for knowing when I need to take myself out of the situation, meditate, and take care of my needs.
Saturday is supposed to be cheat day, and boy, did I cheat! I thought I’d be good and wait until 3:30 pm to eat. We were ordering tacos from this place in LA called Kraken Tacos. I dreamt about these taco’s all week; they are a real treat. They were supposed to arrive at 3:30 pm but did not arrive until after 5 pm. We were at my in-laws and the neighbor across the street was having a birthday party. She had a bunch of French fries left-over, so she gave them to us.
Jean Valjean and I were exhausted. We had done errand after errand, buying a fridge, searching for sugar-free pumpkin spice creamer, procuring vodka, and veggies for the week at Costco. I gave in and had fries.
Since Saturday was cheat day I had half a cookie from ’My Cookie Dealer, ’ a place in New York that one of my friends told me about. We ordered a bunch of cookies from them for my birthday back in August. We are eating through them and other batches our housemate has purchased. I can only have them on Saturday’s, so it’s hard to watch JVJ and our housemate eat them but I’m surviving.
For lunch today, Sunday, we had a brisket that I cooked. I literally cooked it for 39 hours. It came out so good. I may do a separate post about that at some point. We went back to the in-laws for lunch and I cheated a bit. I ate some crab mac and cheese as well.
For dinner, I had the brisket again with a salad.
My blood sugar was not great today. I’m sure it’s a reflection of what I ate yesterday. I pounded some water after we got home from lunch today, and I was able to get it in check. I did not end up recording my average yesterday.
My new goal is to continue with the water and meditate at least ten minutes for the next five days.
I started this post yesterday, on the 18th and then a bunch of things started happening, RBG passed away, and then we had an earthquake. The earth was quaking with sadness. You all, it was the weirdest thing. I was on the phone with a great friend who lives in Burbank; he said; we’re having an earthquake; two seconds later, I felt it here in Venice Beach.
I had leftover Taco salad for lunch today. I used the leftover taco meat, tomatoes, feta, and a Vidalia onion vinaigrette.
For dinner, I made chicken wings in the air fryer. I first marinated them in freshly squeezed lemon and lime juice with garlic. Then I took them out of the marinade and dried them off. I added some garlic olive oil and then tons of dry ranch dressing seasoning. Then I cooked them for 10 minutes in the air fryer at three hundred and seventy-five degrees. Then I turned them and cooked them for another ten minutes.
There is a great restaurant called Sage; they do mainly vegan food. I needed some sides to go with the chicken wings, so we ordered their cauliflower wings and fried artichoke hearts. I called them from Door Dash, scheduled it for between 6-6:30 pm, and came at 7:10 pm. The weird thing was that the driver picked them up at 5:50 pm and drove them around with other orders. By the time they got to us, they were cold.
Ok, my blood sugar was great yesterday until I took it before going to bed, then it skyrocketed. I think it was the fried food that I ate because I’m pretty sure the cauliflower and the artichoke hearts had flour. The average is still okay, but it’s not as good as it would have been if I hadn’t eaten unhealthy.
There is good news; this estimates my A1C as 7.0, the last test I took was 7.6, so I’m moving in the right direction!
I met the goal with no problem.
I’m grateful for RBG and all that she did for women’s rights. Also, for earthquakes that remind us that we are humans and life can change in the blink of an eye, as if we haven’t learned that enough this year. 🙂