Could Big Lifestyle Changes Be Key to Managing Type 2 Diabetes?

Source: Could Big Lifestyle Changes Be Key to Managing Type 2 Diabetes?

Spoiler Alert

Yes.

My Father had diabetes which contributed to his early demise.

My youngest brother was diagnosed with the disease in his 20’s.  He is committing slow suicide by diet.

Way back last century when I was in my 20’s I was involved in a local professional group in Dallas TX.  The speaker I brought in was one of the country’s leading endocrinologists from UT Southwestern Medical Center.  After his talk I thanked him for his time and for enduring a dinner of rubber chicken and mushy vegetables.  But what I really wanted was free medical advice.

“Doctor, my father and brother both have diabetes.  Do you have any advice for me?”

The good doctor gave me a steely glare over the top rim of his glasses and said,

“Stay as thin as you can as long as you can.”

Boom.

 

garyskitchen.net

“You need to change the name of your food blog.”

“Why?”

“Because no one can remember Dea whatever it is you named it.”

“I didn’t name it.  Your daughter-in-law named it.  The blog name has some serious emotional attachments and…OK.  Let me think about it.”

What The Boss Wants The Boss Gets

So I’ve thought about this for around three weeks.  garycancook?  No, too long.  garysmess?  No, readers won’t know the blog is about food.  I was stumped until this morning.  I needed a new name that was bold, innovative, and easy to remember.

“What do you think about garyskitchen, no apostrophe?”

“I suggested that three weeks ago.”

Perfect.

I hope you’re not looking for this place.  Not me.  Kind of funny though.

 

 

Transformative Experiences — Quartz

Certain life choices are so significant that they change who we are. Before undertaking those choices, we are unable to evaluate them from the perspective and values of our future, changed selves. In other words, your present self cannot know whether your future self will enjoy being a parent or not.

Philosopher L.A. Paul University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Source: Transformative experiences: A philosopher who studies life changes says our biggest decisions can never be rational — Quartz

The Original Nicky Dip

When friends get together for food and drink, the conversation sometimes gets a bit quirky.  It was a small get together of six and somehow the conversation turned to dip.

“What’s in that cheese dip you guys made once.  It was awesome.”

“We didn’t have any dip tonight.  What are you talking about?”

“I had it one of the other times we were together.  It had cheese in it.”

Now that was helpful.

“What else was in it?  What kind of cheese?  What did it taste like?  What kind of chips were served?  Can you remember anything else about the dip?”

Imagine six people trying to figure out which cheese dip recipe it was based upon a single clue: cheese.  Then the quirky one who started the whole quirky conversation said,

“It also had chilies in it.”

“Oh, you must be referring to Nicky’s Cheese Dip.”

To The Box.  I found an email dated January 10, 2010 from one to all of us in the group.  There it was and here it is.

  • 2 eight ounce packages of Philadelphia cream cheese
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 four-ounce can of chopped green chilies, drained
  • 2 ounces diced jalapeño peppers
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  1. Blend the cream cheese and mayonnaise using a hand mixer.
  2. Stir in the Parmesan, peppers and chilies.
  3. Place mixture into an ovenproof serving or baking dish.
  4. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes or until bubbly and slightly browned.
  5. Serve warm with chips.

 

Random thoughts – For the chips use tortilla chips or Frito’s (if you’re into that sort of thing).  For some strange reason I always thought this dip had a few dashes of hot sauce in it.  Add a few drops of your favorite hot sauce (trust me on this).   He Who Asked the Question will probably play with this recipe by removing some fat and calories while preserving the original flavor profile.

Do it.  And if you come up with a tasty low cal version, please share.  Let the cream cheese soften a bit at room temperature.  Start the mixer at a slow speed unless you want cream cheese and mayo splattered on the wall.

 

Strawberry Mousse

  • One package unflavored gelatin
  • 1/2 cup cold water
  • 1 cup strawberries, crushed
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 cup heavy cream whipped
  • 1 drop red food coloring
  1. In a sauce pan soften the gelatin in water.
  2. Stir over low heat until the gelatin dissolves.
  3. Crush strawberries, stir into the gelatin mixture.
  4. Remove from heat and allow to cool.
  5. Beat egg whites until stiff.  Gradually add sugar.  Fold in strawberry mixture.
  6. Whip cream.  Fold into the strawberry mixture.  Add one drop of red food coloring.
  7. Pour into individual molds or bowls.
  8. Garnish with fresh strawberries and chill for four hours.
  9. Serves 6-8.

“I’m going to make something light for dessert.”

“Like what?”

“Strawberry Mousse and Forgotten Cookies.”

“You forgot what?”

“No, I’m also making cookies to go with the mousse.”

“Why?”

“You’ll see.”

Tips

I crushed the strawberries with a potato masher.  You don’t want puree.  Leave some chunks.  Serve with Forgotten Cookies.  You’ll see.

Another recipe saved from its original pen and paper format.  One down and several thousand more to go.

 

Forgotten Cookies

“Why do I always make the dessert?”

“Because you make wonderful desserts and our dinner parties would not be the same without one of your desserts.”

This cookie recipe is a recipe Grandma Beverly used to make.  I don’t remember The Boss ever making this cookie.  When the offspring were young there were always homemade cookies in the house.  Still I’m pretty sure I never had this cookie.  Until yesterday.  I was forced to sample one before dinner.  All I said was

“These things are dangerous!”

  • 2 egg whites
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • 6 oz semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • vanilla extract
  • dash of salt
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Add dash of salt to the egg whites.
  3. Beat egg whites until fluffy.
  4. Gradually add sugar and beat until stiff.  Add a few drops of vanilla.
  5. Fold in pecans and chocolate chips.
  6. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
  7. Drop by the spoonful onto the cookie sheet.
  8. Turn oven off and leave the cookies in the oven for a minimum of three hours or overnight.
  9. Makes about 30 cookies.

I learned the “forgotten” part of the cookie description is when you put the cookie sheet into the oven then turn the oven off.  Set it and forget it.

 

 

Intersection of Interests

I’ve spent most of my life working in various areas of the life insurance industry. Currently I am back where I started over 41 years ago as an underwriter specializing in mortality risk assessment. My job is to understand what kills people. Sounds simple but it’s not that simple. As a creative and destructive species people have figured out a myriad of ways to kill themselves. When someone applies for life insurance I figure out what is most likely to kill them and charge an appropriate rate for the risk. I really like what I do. Each and every day is another opportunity to learn and improve.

I also love to cook. The Boss has to declare a No Cook Night otherwise I will cook. This love started early watching my father cook supper every night. Dad was a great cook and I had a role model from the beginning. One day I asked him

“Why do you cook?”

“You’ve tasted your Mother’s cooking. Survival.”

Eat to live. Not live to eat. For me, this was a hard lesson learned. Before the age of 20 I weighed over 370 pounds. I’ve used 370 as my highest weight but it could have been higher. I stopped weighing myself because I really didn’t want to know how heavy I was. The story of how is for another time but suffice to say I managed to lose 200 pounds by the time I turned 21. As the years have passed my weight has slowly crept up. I’m proud to be near 190 pounds and approximately 180 pounds lighter than my personal peak. Eat to live, not the other way around. I’ve learned not only how to lose weight but how to keep the pounds off.

I’m a published writer. It’s been decades since I’ve published any of my writing but I’m still a published writer. I maintain two blogs and a journal. This short piece started in my journal and ended up public. This food blog got started to share family recipes. Over time it has changed to the point where I now describe this blog as a food memoir. Now I’m beginning to think the description should be changed again. There is a lot more space devoted to nutrition science which used to be posted on my other blog. For now though, food memoir still works.

One of the fascinating things about writing here is how the recipes are not the dishes I grew up with eating my Dad’s cooking. You also won’t find a lot of the recipes I made years ago for my own family. Some family favorites are here but not many Box Project recipes. For example I pulled one of my “favorites” from the box, handwritten on a white lined 3 x 5 index card. It’s an old James Beard chicken recipe that is delicious. When was the last time I made this dish? I can’t remember. I suspect that many of the recipes I considered to be family favorites I no longer make. What I’m learning is I don’t cook nor eat the same as I did when I was younger. As Dr. Wareham says you start with one good habit at a time. I say you also stop one bad habit at a time (but I did quit smoking, drinking Jack, and start running all at the same time).

The writing, research, and recipes that end up here are mostly where I am at now. And that’s fine. There’s a pot of Vegan Chili Beans on the stove as I’m writing. Defiinitely not a family favorite recipe from the past. But it might just become a family favorite for now and the future.