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Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Lisa's Story

One of the nice things about being on several forums is seeing the success stories. Ordinary people doing extraordinary things. Not Olympic athletes but people like you and I who decided that they were not going to become part of the abysmal diabetes statistics but that they would restart their lives for longer, healthier happier lives with less risk of diabetes complications. I have collected a limited selection and listed them on Other's Stories.

Today this story was posted on the ADA forum. Lisa graciously granted me permission to repeat it here.

Hi! My name is Lisa, I have type 2 diabetes and this is my story.

I am a working mother/wife with four grown children and one grandchild. I am not very athletic, and my most favorite activity is reading my Nook. (Just ask my darling hubby! Oh boy, is he ever sorry he gave me that thing!) Exercise is a challenge for me. I am not into marathons or trendy exercise programs, just old-fashioned walking and biking. I am active in my church and love to help out wherever I can. I love my five cats. Yes, five! I acquired them while working through my empty-nest phase.

My story begins like most of us: hearing that my fasting blood glucose (BG) reading put me over the “limit.” No prediabetes, do not pass go, go directly to full-on diabetes. No “get out of jail free” card for me.

This had been on my radar for quite some time. Oddly, it still took me by surprise. I am on medications for high triglycerides, cholesterol, blood pressure and allergies. My liver is slightly enlarged due to non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). I don’t take medicine for this or my diabetes, but I was advised to lose weight. Gee, that never occurred to me! Still, I sometimes joke that I am a walking pharmacy. The pharmacy knows me by sight. This can be a good thing, actually.

Six years ago, I managed to lose 40 pounds and kept it off two years by eating a very low-carb, high-protein diet and lots and lots of walking and biking. Then a series of unfortunate life events sort of took the stuffing out of me, and much of that weight crept back on. I might have forestalled my diagnosis a few years with all that. Little did I know that the low-carb/high-protein diet was perfect for a person with diabetes!

Since my diagnosis in December 2011, with an A1C of 6.4 and fasting blood glucose of 146, my doctor agreed I should try to manage with diet and exercise. I went home, cried, ranted and then threw out all my junk foods. I went back on my diet program and got to walking again at least for 30 minutes as many days of the week as I could manage. I lost 20 pounds in three months. I’m kind of stuck there now. But, the A1C went down from 6.4 to 5.9 three months later, and then 5.8 after the next three months. So that’s good progress.

The hardest thing to deal with is feeling ashamed for allowing this to happen. I can sometimes feel alienated from others and resentful of my situation when I have to say “no" to certain food—foods that I am, on the inside, drooling to devour! Also painful is that the media tends to focus on the questionable idea that diabetes is caused by being overweight . . . like it was my fault.

Within the American Diabetes Association’s online community, I have found hope and the knowledge that this was not my fault. I have realized that I can manage my diabetes and still live a full, happy life. I found necessary information on what BG levels I should be looking for in fasting, pre-meal and post-meal glucose monitoring. Test, adjust, retest (as my fellow members Alan_S and LizzyLou recommend). Most importantly, I found motivation due to the dreadful complications that can happen to me if I do not keep my glucose levels down.

The most morale-boosting, uplifting thing is chatting with people who understand what it is like to ride the roller coaster of high glucose, then go low, then feel cranky, sleepy, dizzy and just all-around crazy. Who knew food particles on our fingers could affect meter readings? Who else would understand our frustrations? Who else could we ask, “Why are my feet tingling? I only had one baby-size ice cream cone! You mean all that tingling and jack-hammer pains in my toes are from high glucose?” These people "get it" in ways I pray my dear family and friends never will.

So, I will endeavor to remain in the “5% club” without medications as long as I can. I have no problem taking them, if it becomes necessary, if it means keeping complications at bay. I will exercise, eat according to my meter and keep up with my new friends on this community. They offer so much inspiration, motivation and humor in our situation so I can laugh, learn and improve instead of cry, backslide and give up.

Never give up!

Take Care,


Thanks Lisa.

Cheers, Alan
Everything in Moderation - Except Laughter

Friday, August 10, 2012

Large New York Baked Low Carb Cheesecake

I owe thanks for this recipe to a great cook on the ADA forum who posts as Granny Red. She attributed her source as LowCarbLuxury.com. After baking it several times I have modified it slightly by experimenting. 



1 1/2 cups Almond Flour
6 Tbsp Splenda
5Tbsp butter, melted 


24 oz (750gm) cream cheese
¾ cup Splenda
One tablespoon of sugar
3 eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp lemon extract or a good squeeze of lemon
16 oz (600ml) sour cream

Note: the eggs, cheese and sour cream need to be at room temperature. If the cheese is too stiff to beat easily sit the containers in warm water for a little while until the cheese softens. 


Crust Base 

Use extra butter to grease an 8 or 9 inch (20-25cm) springform pan. I also put a circle of greased brown paper on the bottom to be certain the cake does not stick; this step may not be necessary if you use a non-stick pan. 
Mix the splenda and almond flour (sometimes I make my own coarse version from almonds in the blender; it works just as well) with melted butter, press evenly onto the bottom of the pan for a thin layer without holes and press any excess up the sides of the pan. If you don't have enough almond flour to go all the way up the sides don't worry, just go up as high as you reasonably can. It's not really critical as long as the base is covered. In that situation I use greased brown paper around the sides to minimise sticking. Set the pan aside while mixing the filling. 


Beat the cream cheese until light and fluffy, keeping the mixer on a low-medium setting throughout the beating and mixing process. Add the mixed splenda and sugar a little at a time and continue beating until creamy. The original recipe had more Splenda, but I found that a tablespoon of sugar with less Splenda improved the flavour for my non-diabetic wife without raising the carbs too much. You can adjust that to your own taste. 

Add one egg at a time and beat very briefly after each egg. When the eggs have been mixed into the cream cheese add vanilla and lemon extract or lemon juice and mix briefly until just combined. Add the sour cream last and beat briefly until incorporated.

Pour the mixture into the springform pan. Bake at 300 F or 150C for about 1 hour, then check to see if it is nicely brown on top. If not, let it cook for another 15 minutes. When it is cooked, prop open the oven door, turn off the heat and leave it in the oven for at least an hour. Then remove it from the oven and allow it to cool to room temperature before placing it in the fridge until the next day. 

Don't try to serve it on the day of cooking; it will not be set properly if you do. Do not be disappointed if it sinks slightly in the middle. That is normal, or, at least, it was for the ones I made. 

The result is 16 satisfying slices. I individually wrap some in clingwrap for the freezer; they freeze and defrost well.

Calories 340
Fat 32 gm
Protein 8 gm
Carbohydrates 6 gm

Cheers, Alan, T2, Australia

Everything in Moderation - Except Laughter