Tuesday, January 3, 2017


by karen 

I hope everyone had a truly happy and peaceful Christmas and that everyone is facing 2017 with optimism and a fresh outlook on life. 

So everyone makes new year's resolutions.  Last year I had resolved to live a healthier lifestyle and clearly I did not because mid way through the year I was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes.  As most of you know from reading this blog, it took a little getting used to, and while my posts have been few and far between (read non-existent), I am resolving to ensure that I post at least once per week. This time with recipes on my wholesome living and what I am doing in terms of exercise, living a stress free life and just making sure that I stay in the moment. 

When I was first diagnosed my HBA1C was about 8.9 to 9.  That is very high.  I recall having fasting readings of 178 and I was in a state of shock.  My weight was hovering over the 300 lb mark and my blood pressure was sky rocketing. Only the good Lord knows why I am still here but I am going to use this as a second chance to try and educate my fellow human being who may be struggling with this disease. 

So in December I went back for my 3 month check up and not only did I lose 29 lbs over 3 months but my HBA1C is down  to  6.5 and my doctor is understandably amazed at my performance.  My blood pressure has also gone down to the point that I only take one-half of my tablet per day.  I continue to exercise (walking) and this year I will be adding a bit of cardio to my workout routine. 

So what did I do to make such a drastic turnaround.  I have gone back to cooking and portion control. The more I read about diabetes and what it can do to your body, the more I am determined to ensure that I live a very healthy lifestyle. 

One of the things that I have always enjoyed doing is cooking, but it is hard to cook for oneself, but I have now begun to learn to appreciate me, so much so that I enjoy making tasty and delicious meals for myself.  

Over the Christmas holidays I had to exercise great resolve especially when it came to Christmas cakes and puddings.  I indulged and each morning I was amazed at how my blood sugar had stabilised to the point where not only did I not feel hungry, but that my readings were fantastic. 

Just like anything we do in life, moderation is key.  And so, rather than filling up my plate with lots of rice and peas, curried goat etc., I made sure that I filled my plate with salads, and not just lettuce and tomatoes, but salads that were crunchy, rich in fiber and involved lots of chewing. 

 I realised then how much I love green beans and asparagus.  Cherry tomatoes are coming into season in the Cayman Islands and I have ensured that I made large salads or just bought them in bulk, just to be able to munch on them with some goat cheese or feta.  Below are my recipes for green bean salad.  Enjoy 


1 lb green beans (can be French cut or regular)
2 cups water
1/4 tsp salt
1 clove garlic
1/4 cup + 1 tsp olive oil (if you have infused olive oil that is really good here)
1/2 tsp unsalted butter 
1 tbs fresh lemon juice
1/4 tsp herb de provence
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup slivered or sliced almonds (toasted)
1/2 cup plain feta or goat cheese 
1/4 cup sherry, red wine or white wine vinegar (you can use balsamic here)
1 tsp grainy mustard (spicy)
1 tbs honey 
Freshly ground pepper 


Trim and clean green beans.  
Bring water to boil.  Add salt.  Add green beans and cook for 2 minutes.  Remove and place in a bowl of ice cold water to stop the cooking process.  In a large sauce pan place the 1 tsp olive oil & 1/2 tsp butter to melt along with crushed or finely minced garlic.  Saute on low until the garlic has infused into the oil.  Add green beans and swish around for a minute.  Remove from heat.  In a separate bowl, add 1/4 cup olive oil, mustard, lemon juice, honey, vinegar and whisk together.  Pour green beans into a large bowl, along with feta and cranberries.  Pour dressing over green beans and gently use your hands or a wooden spoon to stir.  Try and keep the beans whole.  Cover and place in refrigerator for 2 hours before serving.  You may if you want, add your cherry tomatoes at this stage, but do not cut the tomatoes as they will release water which will take away from the dressing.   Prior to serving, toast almonds just until they start to release their aromas.  Serve on the side with the green beans.  Serves 4

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