The Unknown | New Chapters and New Territories

We are all on a path in this journey of life, with goals and destinations we plan to reach.  Sometimes life has a funny way of getting us there, it may have some unexpected turns but we’re still on our path.

The above picture was taken on my way to teach my first class of the new year.  Remnants of confetti and celebrations scattered the street, full of excitement and anticipation of what this new year would bring!  New goals, new chapters – a world of possibilities with a clear path ahead!  Little did I know that shortly after, my path would take a very different course… this new route would be the path to Motherhood.

Yes, right after the new year I found out I was pregnant!  A very big surprise, and being someone with Type 1 Diabetes (T1D) this was to be taken quite seriously and there was no time to waste on getting my butt into gear to get my hemoglobin A1C (blood sugar average over 2-3 months) down where it needed to be.

(*Please be advised I am not providing any medical advice in this article, but simply telling my story).

T1D + Pregnancy = A LOT OF WORK.  For a quick general background, it is preferred for those with diabetes to plan out their pregnancy and have their A1C at a particular target level before “trying” to get pregnant.  Now insert my situation….my A1C was not in a desirable place (8.2 % to be exact), nor was the pregnancy planned.  (Generally the target range for an A1C is 5-7 %, however in pregnancy the target is as close to 6% as possible or less.)

It was time to kick it into high gear, and I was going to sprint to get back on track and do whatever it would take to get there.  This included making some very difficult (yet no-brainer) decisions.  To move quickly my doctors and I removed the  extra “variables” in my life to get on track.  My erratic schedule and workouts were unfortunately the ones to go.  The reality is getting myself on a regular schedule made tracking my blood sugar easier, both with eating and working out.  As a T1D, everything must be calculated. Every piece of food that goes in your mouth, to every step and movement you make – and this is especially heightened during pregnancy.  My hiatus from teaching is not so much physical, as it is more to do with blood sugar levels and stabilization.  Addressing both high and low blood sugars while teaching, is not effective.  Anytime blood sugar levels fluctuate and increase, it poses a risk to both me and the baby, and essentially I want to eliminate the unnecessary.  What most don’t realize is that, YES exercise is great for blood sugar control and lowering levels, but High Intensity Exercise can cause blood sugar levels to spike, (not fun).  Also, during pregnancy blood sugar target levels are held to a much tighter range much lower than I am used to.  Prior to pregnancy if I was 65-75 I would be chugging down some juice or popping some glucose tablets, but now I hang out and wait to see if I drop further…. this has been the BIGGEST adjustment for me.  It is this fear that my blood sugar won’t come back up.  This is what was causing a lot of my fluctuations prior to pregnancy, as I was always on the go and this would create a bit of a roller coaster effect – something I was working on fixing.  Although I’m learning to trust that the juice will kick in and that it may actually take longer than 10-15 mins to do so; there is no need to overtreat it.  I swear it is the longest 10-15 mins out there, and I still refrain from trying to consume the refrigerator, but I’m learning to have some more patience.

REAL TALK:  There is no science to Diabetes management, it truly is an art.  You can do everything right, everything the exact same way and things just happen.  Emotions, Stress, Hormones, being sick, Technology failure, it’s Wednesday, the sun is shining….. I think you get where I’m going.  It is work, it is a full time job on a regular day, pregnancy now doubles that.  My life is numbers, and although it can be such a nuisance (especially in the middle of the night :::BEEP BEEP BEEP:::) but technology is truly a blessing.  Having a continuous glucose monitor (CGM) really is a game changer.  The alarms may drive me bonkers these days (especially with the closer target ranges), but it gives a much clearer view of what is going on in real time, so I can make any adjustments more quickly and attempting to optimize blood sugar control.  It is consuming but obviously worth it!

My current A1C is now a 6.7% (still a work in progress) but it has taken a lot to get here.  Rather than negate all of the work that has been done (a big thank you to my doctors for their support) my teaching hiatus was the best option for optimal blood sugar control and health.  Although I’m a bit sad about it, I also know it is not forever and I will be back!  Now that I am feeling more like myself again (bye bye Nausea!) I am having fun incorporating new ways of working out, and creating new routines for myself and I welcome anyone to join me!  If you have a favorite low intensity exercise please throw them at me!  I’ve got some cool toys from Power Systems that I’m excited to play with and tell you all about!

We all have our path, we can only go forward and do our best along the way!

While I head into some unknown territory, this site is going into a major overhaul with new and improved features and content coming at you!  Always in food, fitness, fun and living the T1D life.  If you are curious about anything above don’t hesitate to ask!

Until next time – Stay Fit Stay Fly!

-SS

My Genteel (A Review for my T1Ds)

When talking about T1D I’m always in the market for the following:
Will it make my life easier?
Is it more comfortable?
Then the answer is – YES I want to try it!

For those who don’t know, although I wear a CGM (continuous glucose monitor) , T1Ds still have to test their blood sugar with a finger stick.  Using a CGM lowers this number, but I’m still testing 6-10 times per day.  After coming across some reviews on the Genteel, and looking at my callused/scabbed finger tips I decided that this new gadget was something I needed to try!

Did it meet the above criteria?  YES, and exceeded in many ways!

This gadget comes in a variety of colors and I decided on Playful Purple.  Upon ordering, I was sent a welcoming email with a “How to” video which was most helpful!

The box arrives a few days later, and I discover that I can PERSONALIZE my Genteel….. ok hold up…. I can decorate my diabetes supplies with stars and unicorns??? HECK YES!

img_1806        img_1808      img_1809
(Stars & Unicorns and of course “STEPH”! <3)
After putting my personal touch on it, in all seriousness this device is legitimately a game changer!  In simplest terms, the design does not allow for the lancet to penetrate the nerve cells, and uses a vacuum technology to draw out the blood!  Err go – no more sore fingers!  I have been using this for about 2 weeks now and I have noticed a difference in my finger tips!  Easy to use, pain-free, and the personalization makes it at least just a little fun! 🙂

For those curious – insurance does cover the genteel and they also supply a form for you to submit to your company if needed!  There is also a 120 day satisfaction guarantee!

Go ahead and check it out!!! My Genteel

What are some of your favorite D-gadgets??

Yours in living the D-Life,

-SS

Are You Ready for Some…..

SNACKS!  Yes, Superbowl Sunday is one of the most SNACKTACULAR days and there is nothing I love more then a reason to get your friends & fam together with bowls of cold creamy (and sometimes hot) dips, and all of the Crunchy things to dip in them! I may not follow football…. but aside from eating all the foods, I’m just really excited for the Lady Gaga concert happening on Sunday… just sayin 😉

As I always say, balance is key and food denial is not the answer, so let’s keep it real and of course TASTY!

If you know me, I have a savory palate. Give me all the chips and dip!!! I will take chips over cake any day!  So as I look to some of my guilty pleasures and favorites, here are some things I will be serving up this Super Bowl Sunday – nothing fancy just tasty, simple and healthy!

Generally when I think of sporting events, I think of fried foods….one of my guilty pleasures is Onion Rings!  I think the key is to keep them crunchy, and my preference is to use Panko instead of breadcrumbs, making them extra crispy – add any extra seasonings you like to give it an extra kick…. still contemplating what to add to today’s batch!

Now you know the Avocado and I have a love affair ❤ ❤ ❤ – so there is no question there will be Guacamole!  What is not to love about this delectable dip???  Although higher in calories, this dip is packed with lots of nutrients!  I like to add tomato, red onion, garlic, jalapeno and if I want a little extra spice sometimes a little Cayenne!

Would love to know – what do you put in your Guacamole???

Speaking of Dips, I found some inspiration and put a twist on this Ranch Recipe a while back and will be sure to put this out as well!  Ranch Dip is a bit of a staple.  From Veg, to chips, heck even to wings it is versatile fave goes well with all things crunchy!  I’ll be putting out some Veg with the Chips but as a side note, this universal dip is also great as a salad dressing!  All you need is Greek Yogurt (suggest 2% but you can still use the nonfat and it is good too!), Olive oil, garlic and Dill (I use dried – it’s easier, but if you have fresh all the power to you!)  A little parmesan can be added, but I have done without and it comes out just as good, so this is completely up to you!  The dip is extra thick and creamy, and although you can make this in a pinch, it is great if you make it a little ahead of time to let the flavors marinate!


Ok let’s get prepping!  Who are you routing for?
(TEAM GAGA!!! 😉 )

Keep it Tasty!

-SS

Is there Avocado in it? Then YES!

My love affair with avocado will never cease to exist.  This glorious, tasty green fruit brings so much joy and delight to my life in the most simplest of ways. :::swoon:::

In looking for new ways to incorporate my favorite fruit into something other than ❤ Avocado Toast ❤, I took some inspiration from IG and google and found Avocado Pesto! (There are a variety of recipes out there and I used one from POPSUGAR as a base)

Take note: I love to cook, I love eating fresh food (heck, I love eating 😉 ), but when you’re running around all day, time just gets away, and the priorties become: let’s eat something and eat something quick before the HANGER sets in!  I’m all about meals that are simple, quick, healthy and of course TASTY!  This recipe hits ALL categories!!!  The creaminess from the avocado almost makes this meal like a decadent, indulgent treat!

I’ve been saying this for a while now… Fat is your friend (the healthy fats to be exact) and the avocado is
P U R E  P E R F E C T I O N!  Great for your skin, full of fiber and good for you heart healthy fats!  This kind of fat is what will keep you S A T I S F I E D!

For this meal in particular I chose to go half pasta and half zucchini noodle.  Why, you ask?  Well, your bod does need some carbs – it is a part of the fueling process! Being a T1D, I choose Barilla Plus as it is high in Protein and Omegas – this slows the breakdown of carbs (whether you’re T1D or not, def not a bad option!).

Adding the zucchini noodles will help fill your plate, and is a great way to add some extra greens and good for you nutrients without packing on extra calories and carbs.  Your bod needs carbs, but unless you are running a marathon there is no need to overload!

*Here’s a little something…. if you’ve never truly measured out what a serving size of pasta actually is, I HIGHLY suggest doing so.  It will open your eyes to seeing what a true serving size is, and sadly it is a far cry from what you are served at a restaurant.  This is where I insert the Zucchini Noodle love 😉

What you will need:
Serving Size of pasta measured out (optional)
1-2 Green Zucchini
1 Avocado
Basil Leaves 1/3 cup (or dried – I used dried as I did not have fresh – 3 tbsp dried)
Olive Oil – 1 tbsp for sauce, 1-2 tbsp for Zucchini
Salt
Garlic (I prefer more so I used 2 cloves)
1/2 lemon (juice)
Tomatoes (optional – this is my add in)
Parmesan Cheese (optional – of course this is my add in… it’s Cheese and little sprinkle goes a long way!)

While your pasta water is boiling – get your zucchini noodles prepped and put off to the side and start on your sauce.

For the sauce: combine Avocado, Basil, Salt, Lemon, & Garlic.  Personally, I do not have a food processor, but use an Immersion Hand Blender.  Blend until smooth.
(SIDE NOTE – The Immersion Blender is one of my absolute FAVORITE appliances!  I use it for everything from Sauce, Soups, Smoothies – it takes up very little space and so easy to use!)

Saute your zucchini noodles in a little Olive Oil until done to your liking, then combine the Noodles and Zoodles together.  Pour in your sauce, add tomato if you like (I love tomatoes in this, it is a perfect filler, adds beautiful color to your plate and is another  heart healthy fruit!), plate and sprinkle a little parmesan to finish! (You know I had to add a lil cheese in there somewhere!)

Image may contain: food

And there you have it, minimal prep, minimal clean up, all good for you real foods,  & ready in under 25mins!!!

I’m looking forward to when it gets warmer out to try this one chilled!

Keep it Tasty friends,

-SS

Bye Bye 2016….

There is something about the new year that I just love. Having a fresh slate, a new chapter to unfold, endless possibilities… it is easy to see why we create resolutions at this time.

Resolution: A firm decision to do or not do something.

A resolution is a pretty bold statement, but does not have to happen once a year.  Every day we have the chance to commit.  Commit to ourselves,  our goals, to be our best self.

2016 has been a roller coaster of some really great moments in my life and to be frank some of the absolute worst.  There is one thing though that this year has taught me and I’m taking it forward.  To BE.  Not just taking and making time, but truly being in the moment. Opportunities to say yes, to talk a little longer, hug a little longer, maybe a little tighter.  There is always going to be “stuff” and there is always something that needs to get done (we all have that list), but we do not get moments back and unfortunately we don’t get people back.   In this crazy life we are in, it is easy to get caught up in the “stuff” and we put aside the things that are important to us.  Moments, people, health….ourselves.

So whether you are resolving, setting intentions or just ready to say goodbye to 2016….commit to yourself and your best self!

Sending out all the good vibes to you for 2017, may it be filled with lots of love and avocados!

Stay Fit Stay Fly,
-SS

HO HO HOLIDAZE

I sit here still processing my stuffing and pies and realize I have not caught up with the holiday season!  The days leading up to Christmas are my favorite, but it can also be exhausting!  I’ve been trying to get into the spirit with all my might, and I just can’t seem to catch up – so I’m making every effort to soak it in.

So if you’re like me tying up loose ends…finding balance in seeing family and friends, the fooding, the boozing and squeezing in some extra sweat, and most important – taking time to breathe…. here are some go to’s to get you through!

THE SHOPPING
Ok, this is a tough one – but remember you’ve got this and make a plan! There will certainly be some good sales – so set out on your mission and stick to it!

Squeezing (literally) in some extra work while running store to store, and waiting online is easy.  Whether you are at the Mall or streetside – keep those steps brisk and take the stairs whenever possible (if you wear a pedometer make sure you get 10,000+ steps and set a goal for each hour!).

Got bags? Awesome, now you can start adding some strength training into your shopping madness!  Add a Bicep Curl, start raising those heels for some calf raises – add that extra squeeze in your cheeks at the end and now you’re burning!

“SHOPPING IS MY CARDIO”
-Carrie Bradshaw

Now remember to BRING PROVISIONS!  Don’t get sucked into the food court, or a quick fro-yo. Bring some easy to eat on the go snacks!  I love a good protein filled granola bar (KIND is a great option!) and I love Halos! A quick dose of Vitamin C, easy to eat on the run and no need to wash – just peel and go!  As much as the smell of a buttery carb loaded pretzel can be luring…. your bod will thank you later, and that pretzel will leave you unsatisfied and hungry 30 minutes later.  No one needs that kind of relationship in their life! 😉
img_1712

You’ve made it through?  PERFECTION and time to celebrate!

So CHEERS to you!  Take some time, breathe, and if you’re like me, keeping spirits bright…..remember the 1:1 ratio!  1 Adult Beverage (My spirit of choice is Prosecco!) : One glass of H2O (Or as I prefer seltzer!).  I love all the bubbles! 🙂

Now this little elf needs to get bendy with some wrapping!

HO HO HO…
Stay Fit Stay Fly,

-SS

JAM OF THE DAY: Step Into Christmas
Elton John

Happy Thanksgiving

Healthy Lifestyle is year long, not “oh the holidays are coming so I should work out”.

Workout because it is good for you.  
Workout because it feels good and how it makes you feel.
It is a feeling not a numbers game.  Those endorphins, how your clothes fit – those mean more than any of those numbers.

Life is meant to be lived, enjoyed an tasted! with no regrets!

This holiday, instead of concentrating on calories, put that effort into TIME.

Time spent with loved ones, family & friends.
Time for you, to relax, meditate, workout…something good for you!
Time to disconnect.  This is a tough one, but take the opportunity to disconnect and truly be in the moment – LIVE!

Now I have had stuffing on my mind for the last week.  It is simply my favorite quintessential Thanksgiving food.  Savory, carb-filled, slightly crispy goodness covered in gravy. It could be that this is the only time of year I eat this glorious glutenous glob that makes it so good – but I am going to enjoy every bite!!!!  Oh yeah and a piece of pumpkin pie too!  (I’ve got my Bolus game face on!) 😉

It’s called balance 🙂

Wishing you nothing but good vibes and good food!

Stay Fit Stay Fly & Keep it TASTY!
-SS

JAM OF THE DAY: On My Mind – Ellie Goulding

 

 

It’s Bananas B-A-N-A-N-A-S

Maybe it’s the transition to Suburbia but I am embracing my inner Betty Crocker.  Adventures in cooking is a favorite, but Baking is new territory!

With a bunch of over ripening bananas staring me in the face I decided to do some searching.  Lo & Behold … a Banana Bread Recipe with options and inspiration thanks to Running with Spoons!

Now keep this in mind….. this is not low carb, but no added sugar and is sweetened naturally.  I’m a T1D (Type one Diabetic) I take chemicals in my coffee (and the occasional diet soda) but do not use them for cooking/baking. 🙂  In addition, I am also not afraid of carbs – we all need a balance of carbs, proteins and fats to fuel the bod.  We have choices and you’ve heard me say this before – knowledge is power!!!!

FUN FACT:  Did you know those brown spots on your bananas are actually a sign of an increase in antioxidants?!  Vitamin levels decrease ever so slightly when your bananas ripen, but your friend Potassium stays loyal and true!!

Image result for banana gif

Now, I tweaked this recipe a bit – added extra banana and I love walnuts (yay extra protein and good fats!), if I hadn’t run out of them I would have added my favorite source for a little extra protein and Omega 3s – Chia Seeds!!! Next time, next time….I’ll also try playing with different flour as well!

img_1592
All in all – this Banana Bread came out just as expected.  Lightly sweet, moist (side note: I hate that word), with the right amount of crunch from the walnuts.  Now, please take note this is an APPROXIMATION, but if you are counting carbs this is approx 23-27g carbs & approx 3-4g of protein per slice (10-12 slices in a loaf)

Now I’m not only happy this came out tasty – I’ve got breakfast for the next week!  What what!!! 🙂 Although this recipe does not use butter in the recipe, but if I’m feelin it I may add a shmear to a slice 😉

Tell Me: What are your go-to alternative sources for flour?

Stay Fit Stay Fly!

-SS

Jam of the Day: That’s What I Like – Bruno Mars

img_1602

Lessons in Suburbia

Well, it has been almost 1 month – a move, a horrible cold, a birthday and lessons on life in suburbia all squeezed into one!  While I embrace this new chapter of change and navigating my way through the suburbs in food, fitness and fun: here are few key points that stand out:

The value of TIME.  This has taken on a whole new meaning. Time is something you don’t want to waste, especially when you are in a long standing relationship with the LIRR!!  Although the commute time is not much different from before, it’s living by a schedule that is the wildcard! Just one minute can make all the difference!  Missing a train can tack on an additional 40 – 60 mins!  So if you see me on the run – hello, I love you but I gots to go!!!!

Being more MINDFUL.  Taking in the moment.  Having some separation and quiet has grounded me a bit. Just a simple inhale and exhale, no matter how brief it is, is well …calming.  The smell of the grass, the wind in the trees, people’s pumpkins on the stoop, the cricket’s chirping ….On that note… 

CRICKETS….. WTF?!?! I’m not talking about When You Wish Upon a Star, Jiminy….I’m talking those little brown, now you see me now you don’t critters.  They are EVERYWHERE!  There have been a few encounters indoors, and then there is the garage cricket squad …(they are no joke – like “We wear pink on Wednesdays, you Can’t sit with Us). Needless to say I have not spent much time in garage….As long as they stay outside we will be on good terms….

Last but certainly not least. COSTCO.  COSTCO ON A SUNDAY AFTERNOON.  Absolutely, No good will come out of this decision. The logic in you will say otherwise, but no matter what your intelligent brain tries to tell you…. oh we’re nearby, let’s just stop in…NO. As a good suburbanite you sign up and do as you should.  Then as you stare at the abyss of essential non-essentials “Do I really need this ginormous pack of Pirate’s Booty?”(granted the answer to that is always YES), “Do we really need this much Lysol?  Should I be thinking about Christmas lights right now?” …. these decisions can be made at another time, not on a beautiful Sunday afternoon, not with everyone else who lives on Long Island – oh and expect to be there a long time so last but not least NOT when you are hungry..er Hangry!

Now that we’re a bit settled and I’m no longer hacking up a lung, I’m pumped to get some of the exercise equipment unpacked and testing some outdoor workouts!

Stay Fit Stay Fly!

-SS

Song of the day: No No No Part 2 – Destiny’s Child 

It. Just. Got. REAL

I sit here, equal parts excited, a bit sad and well scared AF!

T-minus one week.  What had seemed so far away is now staring me right in the face.

For the next, now less than 7 days (WELP) my life will be not just in gym bags, it will be in Boxes…see the current view:


I told you there were lots of transitions in 2016 and the biggest one is here.  Moving from my favorite corner of Queens to taking on the Suburbs!!! (Yep, I said it).  Never did I ever think those words would come out of my mouth.  Although, I also learned this year to never say never 🙂

My class schedule will remain the same although I’m excited to bring some new additions soon!  Nothing but sweat and sweet jams as ALWAYS!

And now I leave you this evening with the letter P.  As in packing, purging, pizza & Prosecco!  Prost!

Stay Fit Stay Fly!

-SS

Jam of the Day:  Let’ Go Crazy
Image result