Monthly Archives: August 2008

Dawn Phenomenon

Dawn phenomenon. An intriguing word. In my world, this defines the aggravating habit of waking up way too early and not being able to get back to sleep. In the diabetic world, it is a simpler name for something also called the Somogyi Effect.

My friend Alecia has been trying to get her high blood sugar readings in the morning back in line with her more normal daily readings.

According to the “The American Diabetes Association Complete Guide to Diabetes”, a high morning reading may be attributed to the “dawn phenomenon”. The body has a normal mechanism that wakes you up and gives you energy to start the day. Your body responds to the wake up call with growth hormones. These hormones depress the activity of insulin, allowing blood glucose to rise around 4:00am and 8:00 am. This is called the dawn phenomenon. The dawn phenomenon can be the reason blood glucose readings that are quite high when you wake up. They make the suggestion of eating less the night before or less for the morning meal as a possible way to deal with it.

A really good article called Waking Up With High Blood Glucose Levels can be found HERE.


Mmm Monday (Peach Crumb Bake)

I love fresh peaches! I live in North Florida, where the vegetable stands have Georgia peaches. I would buy them just for the smell, but the taste is wonderful too. The grocery stores have California peaches that aren’t even close in flavor. I’m sure if you live in California, when you eat California peaches they are quite different than what is shipped to Florida. Vegetables and fruits that are vine-ripened are infinitely better.

Peach cobbler is a southern comfort food, but to me, it’s not worth the calories and fat. I actually like this recipe better than cobbler as it keeps the focus on the peaches rather than the breading. I found this at  Join me at the table by clicking on Mr. Linky below to share a recipe. Please link directly to the post that has the recipe so visitors don’t have to search for it. Enjoy!

Peach Crumb Bake


2 c sliced fresh peaches
vegetable cooking spray
1/3 c graham cracker crumbs
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
2 tsp reduced-calorie margarine, melted


Arrange peach slices in bottom of an 8-inch square baking dish coated with cooking spray. Combine graham cracker crumbs, cinnamon, and nutmeg in a small bowl, stirring well. Add margarine and stir until blended. Sprinkle graham cracker crumb mixture over peaches and bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Serve warm.

Makes 4 Servings.

Dietary Exchanges: 1 Fruit, 1/2 Fat

Nutrients per Serving:
75 Calories
2 g Fat
15 g Carbohydrate
1 g Protein
2 g Fiber
68 mg Sodium
trace of Cholesterol

The Journey

It’s been a month since I set a fresh goal to drop some of the extra pounds, exercise more, eat the right foods; in other words, to regain control of my health habits. (Which ultimately keeps my blood sugar in the normal range.)  It seemed like I was spiraling in the wrong direction. The good news is that the negative direction has been reversed.

I have strictly followed the Weight Watcher plan and I am happy to report I have dropped 5 pounds. Granted, I wish it was 8 or 10. But I refuse to be discouraged by the fact that the extra pounds stick to me like beggar ticks on flannel (or white on rice if you’re from the north).   If I carried around a 5 pound sack of flour with me every day to represent the pounds, I’m sure I would have more appreciation for the progress I’ve made.

It’s said that the journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. I hope you’ll comment on where you are on the road to better health. We can share travel tips and inspire one another to press on.

Mmm Monday

This recipe is so good that your only challenge will be to only eat one portion! I wanted to lick my plate clean the first time I had it. I love it leftover too.  I found this at the Diabetic Reference Library I use,  It’s also low-fat and tasty, so what’s not to love?  Please click on Mr. Linky below to add a recipe that you’d like to share. You can put it in the comments section if you don’t have a blog. Enjoy! 

Pollo Verde Casserole


2 boneless skinless chicken breast halves (about 4 ounces each)
1 teaspoon canola oil
1 medium onion, chopped
1/2 medium bell pepper, chopped
1 teaspoon chopped garlic
1 cup GUILTLESS GOURMET® Salsa (Roasted Red Pepper or Southwestern Grill)
1/2 cup low-fat sour cream, divided
Nonstick cooking spray
1 cup (3 1/2 ounces) crushed GUILTLESS GOURMET®  Unsalted Baked Tortilla Chips


Cut chicken into 1-inch cubes. Heat oil in large skillet over medium-high heat until hot. Add chicken cubes, onion, pepper and garlic. Cook and stir about 5 to 10 minutes or until chicken turns white and onion  is translucent. Remove from heat. Combine 1/2 cup salsa and 1/4 cup sour cream in small bowl until blended. Stir salsa mixture into chicken mixture. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Coat 2-quart glass casserole dish with cooking spray. Sprinkle 1/2 cup crushed chips into prepared casserole dish. Spread chicken mixture over crushed chips. Top with remaining crushed chips, then with remaining 1/2 cup salsa. Bake 30 minutes or cover with plastic wrap and microwave on HIGH (100% power) 12 minutes or until heated through. Let stand 5 minutes before serving. To serve, divide mixture among 4 serving plates. Top each serving with a dollop of remaining 1/4 cup sour cream.

Makes 4 servings

Dietary Exchanges: 1 Starch, 2 Lean Meat, 2 Vegetable

Nutrients Per Serving
250 Calories
23% Calories from Fat
6 g Total Fat
3 g Saturated Fat
29 g Carbohydrate
17 g Protein
45 mg Cholesterol
433 mg Sodium
2 g Fiber

Intentional Living

Intentional living is all about making conscious choices that keep life going in the right direction. Moving steadily toward goals is exciting and I want to live intentionally, every day.  Here are the four things that I will do today for my health:

1. Purchase a new exercise DVD. I need variety. Any suggestions?
2. Record all food intake in my food journal.
3. Resume exercise with at least 30 minutes today. No excuses.
4. Weigh only once a week starting today. No more obsessing with the scale.

If you would live to participate in Just 4 Today, make a post on your blog and go HERE to share your 4. Please take a minute to leave a comment here too.

Slow & Steady Wins the Race

Just Four Today has proven to be a successful concept for me so far. I have been posting 4 simple goals for the day on a weekly basis. Putting simple, incremental goals in print has provided me with a sense of accountability and I am happy to say I am accomplishing bigger goals by doing the daily things. I know that major progress is often not so much a result of major change of a few things, but the result of small changes in a number of areas.  In the past few weeks I have:

1) Consistently recorded all food and drink in my food journal and calculated points.

2) Discovered some new healthy foods. (Using popcorn salt and natural popcorn butter flavor has given me a new way to keep my favorite snack appealing with very low fat. More on that later.)

3) Scheduled and completed a colonoscopy exam which I had procrastinated doing for years.

4) Dropped 4 pounds in the past 3 weeks as a result of sticking with the weight watchers plan.

You better believe I’m going to keep posting Just Four Today. I would love to hear what’s working for you.

Mmm Monday

On a really organized week, I have a menu plan by Monday to take the stress out of getting to 5 PM in the afternoons and trying to figure out,”What’s for dinner?” Sometimes I think planning is the hardest part.

This is a great recipe – and good for you too! I found this at  I must confess, I don’t like the smell of fish, even though I enjoy eating it. I try to do fish on the grill to avoid the fishy smell in the house.

Grilled Salmon and Citrus Salsa


1 1.5-lb fresh or frozen salmon fillet (with skin), cut 1 inch thick
2 tbsp sugar
1.5 tsp finely shredded orange peel
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
non-stick cooking spray
1 recipe citrus salsa*

*Citrus Salsa:  In a small bowl, combine 1 tsp finely shredded orange peel; 2 oranges, peeled, sectioned and chopped; 1 cup chopped fresh pineapple or canned pineapple tidbits (juice pack), drained; 2 tbsp snipped fresh cilantro; 1 sliced green onion; and 1 fresh jalapeno pepper, seeded and finely chopped.** Cover and chill until ready to serve or up to 24 hours.

**Note: Because chile peppers contain volatile oils that can burn your skin and eyes, avoid direct contact with them as much as possible. When working with chile peppers, wear plastic or rubber gloves. if your bare hands do touch the peppers, wash your hands and nails well with soap and warm water.


Thaw fish, if frozen. Cut into 6 serving-size portions. Rinse fish and pat dry with paper towels. In a small bowl, stir together sugar, orange peel, salt and pepper. Sprinkle sugar mixture evenly onto salmon (not onto skin side) and rub with fingers. Place salmon, sugar side up, in a glass baking dish. Cover and chill for 8 to 24 hours.

Coat an unheated grill rack with nonstick cooking spray. Prepare grill for indirect grilling. Test for medium heat above drip pan. Drain salmon, discarding liquid. Place salmon pieces, skin sides down on the grill rack over the drip pan. Cover and grill for 14 to 18 minutes or until fish flakes easily when tested with a fork. If desired, carefully slip a metal spatula between fish and skin. Lift fish up and away from skin and discard skin. Serve fish with Citrus Salsa.

Makes 6 Servings.

Dietary Exchanges: 0.5 Fruit, 3.5 Lean Meat, 0.5 Fat, 0.5 Carb Choices

Nutrients Per Serving:
249 Calories
12 g Total Fat
2 g Saturated Fat
66 mg Cholesterol
457 mg Sodium
11 g Carbohydrate
1 g Fiber
23 g Protein

To post your recipe, click on Mr. Linky below. He will take you to a new page where you can post the link to your recipe and see the other links. Please link directly to your recipe post not your home page. And please be sure to link back to this blog so your readers can find new recipes to try. If you don’t have a blog, feel free to post your recipe in the comments.