Parents Save Your Children From Honey Boo Boo and Type 2 Diabetes

The other day as I watched Honey Boo Boo slurp down spaghetti and eat cupcakes on some show or other I nearly threw the remote at the tv. Not just because I hate seeing a child exploited to satisfy our insatiable desire for train wreck entertainment, but also because Honey Boo Boo and Mama June are both overweight. It’s embarrassingly obvious The Learning Channel’s (TLC) latest breakout hit show’s popularity stem mostly from mother and daughter physical attribute.

It was pointed out the two were at a fancy restaurant. After the meal, perhaps before too, I didn’t see the whole thing, Alana signed autographs for other little kids who apparently look up to her. I don’t have a problem with Honey Boo Boo being a role model. What I hate is obviously no one cares about the child’s diet. The mother admits to giving her “Go Go Juice”, a potent elixir of Red Bull and Mountain Dew that supposedly contains as much caffeine as two cups of coffee, to get her pumped up for pageants.

Normally I’m of the opinion parents should be their children’s role model. However, speaking from the perspective of a Type 2 Diabetic, and knowing that childhood obesity is fast becoming an epidemic in these United States of America, TLC’s offering of Honey Boo Boo only perpetuates the problem.

It is a highly recognized fact that obesity is linked to Type 2 Diabetes, hence the reason it’s often referred to as ‘adult on-set diabetes’. People tend to exercise less as they grow older. The weight gain and other mitigating factors eventually cause the chronic disease to manifest later in life. Believe me I know from whence I speak.

Now days due to a high carb high fat content diet, often accompanied by a sugary beverage, and plain old lack of exercise, Type 2 Diabetes has become more prevalent in children. Type 1 Diabetes, something a child could be born with is one thing, Type 2, is a totally avoidable boo boo.

To make matters worse, recent studies are finding the disease is much harder to treat in children. Often their bodies quit responding to oral medication. Then if it hasn’t already, the big gun, insulin, enters the scene. Make no mistake, diabetes is chronic and must be managed. Type 2 diabetics of the mind they only had a ‘lil taste of sugar’ have suffered the consequences of their naïveté.

Health issues ranging from heart disease, eye problems, nerve damage, amputations, high blood pressure and kidney failure have schooled many a naïve diabetic the hard way. The longer a person has the disease, the greater the risk. So theoretically, people who develop diabetes as children may suffer its complications much earlier in life than previous generations who became diabetic as adults. The thought of children suffering such ailments earlier in life is sobering indeed.

A lot of folks are of the ‘Don’t Ask Don’t Tell’ school of thought when it comes to diabetes. Not me. Knowledge is power. If someone had sat me down and had given me the cold, hard facts, I would’ve fought harder to avoid getting diabetes in the first place. As disease goes, diabetes is chronic – I know chronic sounds so doomsdayish – but diabetes is controllable.

While Honey Boo Boo chugs ‘go-go juice’, sucks down garbs of spaghetti, and eats cupcakes, parents realize you and not TLC must be a positive guiding force for your children. Type 2 diabetes in children is an avoidable boo boo. Encourage children to eat healthy foods, get plenty of physical activity and maintain a healthy weight.

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Black Beans Brownies Are Oh So Good

Ummmm Good…

A year ago if someone had said black beans make brownies so delicious they’ll make you want to smack your mama, I wouldn’t have believed it for a second. But about three months ago a supermarket cashier asked if I liked brownies. She then proceeded to tell me next time I made them to use black beans instead of flour. The very thought of making something that disgusting would have made me gag. That was before my son introduced me to kale chips, meatless salads, and smoothies loaded with kale and spinach.

These days after downing such fare I say like the boy Oliver, “Please sir, can I have some more?” What a difference a year makes. Gone is the so-called picky eater and close-minded food snob who once thought in order for food to taste good it had to be saturated with sugar, butter, and salt. Now I realize being a good cook entails thinking creatively, thinking outside the box. Like instead of drilling for oil, investing in alternative fuel sources.

So after months of toying with the idea of making black beans brownies I decided to go ahead and give it a shot. Shoot, I had all but the black beans, walnuts and semi-sweet chocolate chips so why not. I don’t have a food processor but do have a high-powered blender. Most of the black beans brownies recipes on the Internet said a blender would do the trick. Mind you I was so absolutely starved for something nasty and sinfully sweet a decadent dessert sighting of any sort made me weak at the knees.

Prep time which included opening the can of beans, rinsing them off, and putting inside the blender along with all but the chocolate chips and walnuts took less than 20 minutes. If I’d had a food processor, it probably wouldn’t even have taken that long. With a blender you have to keep stirring and pushing stuff down to make sure those beans are pulverized. You want it to pour like smooth black silk into that sprayed glass baking dish.

Overall, the easiest dessert I have ever made. When I sliced the brownie and took a bite, the walnuts and chocolate chips floating on top tasted like a delectable nutty frosting.  Now if that isn’t creative I don’t know what is. Which leads me to believe trying different foods can be surprisingly rewarding. First the kale chips, now black beans brownies. Who knows what my next food adventure will be.

Here is the fudgy black beans recipe I found on the internet:

Description:

Sweet and chewy gluten-free brownies made with black beans. I tweaked the recipe to suit my taste buds. If you add more cocoa and beans you might want to add more sugar, another egg, more vanilla, etc. You get the idea. The results were still ummmm good.

Ingredients:

1 large can and 1 cup rinsed and drained black beans

4 eggs

1/2 cup melted butter (I mixed Canola oil with about three tablespoons of butter)

1/2 cup cocoa powder

3 teaspoons vanilla extract (added an extra teaspoon of vanilla)

1 cup sugar (added a 1/4 cup of sugar)

1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

1 cup finely chopped walnuts

Instructions:

1.    Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. In a food processor bowl or blender, combine the black beans, eggs, melted butter and Canola oil, cocoa powder, vanilla, and sugar. Stir with a large spoon then blend until smooth (or as smooth as possible).

2.    Grease a glass 8 x 11 inch baking dish. Pour the batter into the greased dish. Sprinkle chocolate chips and nuts (if using) over the top and push them down into the batter with a spatula. Don’t over do it.  They will sink some while the brownies bake.

3.    Bake at 350 degrees for 40-50 minutes, until brownies are set in the middle. Watch the edges for excess browning if you’re not sure they’re done.

Cool and then chill before serving! Store in fridge.

Munching on these only sinfully tasting brownies while reading author E. L. James’ ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ was so Ummmm good.

Uncle Drew – Funny

What a way to cap off a l-o-n–g hot Fourth of July. Sitting in front of the laptop  I swore not to open today right before midnight. Finding this little gem forwarded by a friend makes a broken promise to myself seem okay.  Missed it during the NBA finals.  Well worth the wait. Still wiping tears from my eyes.

The below message came with the email. The video was presented by Pepsi Max.

When you get a few minutes watch this video its very funny:
Kyrie Irving (rookie of the year from Cleveland that played at Duke
2010) is one of my new favorite players.
They dress him up in movie make up and make him look like an 80
year old man and he goes to the street basketball courts in NJ and
gets in a pick up basketball game with all these young guys. at the
beginning playing terrible and then starts playing for real and its
great.

http://devour.com/video/uncle-drew/

TIP O’ THE DAY: Kids not eating veggies. Here’s a good way to sneak some in:

1 kiwi(peeled), 5-10 strawberries(depending on size), couple chunks of cantaloupe,1 pitted peach, 1 small banana, toss in fresh spinach, kale, romaine

Toss all into blender. Child will be none the wiser.

Note: Feel free to use your fruit and vegetable of choice. I recommend freezing the fruit. It makes a better smoothie and you won’t need to use ice.

Rewarding Yourself With Food Is No Reward and Here’s Why

A daily reminder to live life fearlessly

So,  this time you not only went on a diet. You changed your relationship with food altogether. It wasn’t easy but this time you did it for all the right reasons. You did it for you. You did it because that piece of double fudge chocolate thunder cake doesn’t taste nearly as good as rolling out of bed in the morning filled with vigor ready to take on the world.  And you’re not an idiot. You know you have your food choice and daily exercise to thank. You’ve been diligently at it for months even though Lord knows it got hard sometime. But, it is now a part of your life. Gone is your old sedentary existence and suicidal eating habits. Until… you listen to others who tell you it’s okay to go back to your old ways once a week a month or whatever. It’s called rewarding yourself. Rewarding yourself by eating what you want is no reward and here’s why.

These last fews days I’ve been hearing various sources say it’s okay to basically sabotage yourself. The last straw for me was Paula Deen. She was on The View. As a Type II Diabetic I paid rapt attention to what she had to say. She came out last year or so as a Type II Diabetic and caught a lot of grief for failure to disclose. Anyone who watches the food network knows Paula Deen’s cooking isn’t the healthiest. I’m not sure she’s changed her cooking ways but she divulged  she had lost thirty something pounds. No mention if it was all due to eating less of the bad stuff or combined with a hefty side dish of exercise.

As the interview progressed, someone wanted to know if Paula missed the old food. To which she responded by saying she still had a buttery biscuit or two. In other words she still rewarded herself by eating the bad stuff. Don’t buy into it and I’ll tell you why. If you’re overweight to the point it has damaged your health, partaking in a certain food or foods is akin  to that alcoholic taking that one drink or that drug addict doing that one line or popping that one pain pill. It’s a dangerous chance to take for a food addict. And if you’ve really been disciplined for months, why take the chance?

For months with proper diet and exercise, I’ve never felt better. Yet I foolishly took the advice of Paula Deen and some of the others and my body punished me for it. First of all I was running on empty when I went to WalMart. I spent about two hours in there. On my way to the cash register, I made the mistake of wandering too close to the cooked food. It had been a couple of months since I’d eaten anything fried, so looking at the fried ranch chicken wings I decided why the heck not. Got a half pound which amounted to about six wings. To even things out, I got a half pound of honey glazed wings or something like that.

The ranch wings I ate right away. They were as greasy and salty and flavorful as ever. To heck with my diabetes, right? Not to mention other than parking on the far side of Walmart and walking briskly to the building and continuing to do so once inside, I had not exercised in several days. To make matters worse, I rinsed it down with a Pepsi Next and followed up with a bowl of Funyuns or whatever. A couple of hours later I ate the honey glazed chicken wings. I followed those with a heaping bowl of spinach, kale, and romaine, all nicely mixed topped with a few walnuts. See, I partially redeemed myself.

Around 1:30 a.m. the chicken and other junk food woke me from a sound sleep. The pain in my gut was excruciating. I won’t go into details but suffice it to say, I ran in and out of the bathroom all night. Trust me in the morning I didn’t roll out of bed with vigor. My day was very unproductive. The feeling of tiredness reminded me food is meant to fuel the body. To give it what it needs to get you through the day. When it fails to do that, more than likely you’ve rewarded yourself with something you never needed and could have done without.

Do you think rewarding yourself with food help or hurt when it comes to walking the straight and narrow?

The daily reminders I keep on my bulletin board to live my best.

The U in Jesus and The Second Coming by Yeats (Blend-Up)

THE U IN JESUS

Before U were thought of or time had begun,

God stuck U in the name of His Son..

And each time U pray, you’ll see it’s true,

You can’t spell out JesUs and not include U.

You’re a pretty big part of His wonderful name,

For U, He was born; that’s why He came.

And His great love for U is the reason He died.

It even takes U to spell crUcified.

Isn’t it thrilling and splendidly grand

He rose from the dead, with U in His plan?

The stones split away, the gold trUmpet blew,

And this word resUrrection is spelled with a U.

When JesUs left earth at His Upward ascension,

He felt there was one thing He just had to mention.

“Go into the world and tell them it’s true

That I love them all – Just like I love U.”

So many great people are spelled with a U,

Don’t they have a right to know JesUs too?

It all depends now on what U will do,

He’d like them to know, But it all starts with U.

This poem was emailed to me by a friend. Thanks so much for making my day, by the way. Don’t know who authored it. Not a poet myself so I really love it when someone gets clever with a poem as is the case above.  This poem got me to thinking about the first poem that touched me deeply.  A classic by William Butler Yeats.

This poem is so deep even to this day it’s taught in psychology classes. If you are a smarty-arty in high school, chances are this bad boy has manifested itself in your existence and could be standing between you and college. I, Mary Brown, am even considering using ‘Things fall apart’ as a possible book title. All over the net and beyond you can find some reference to this poem. And yet, put it together with ‘The U in Jesus’ and you still have a beautiful mix or blend of words. Words that may make you think and feel, oh, I don’t know. However, you end up thinking and feeling.

The Second Coming

TURNING and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.

Surely some revelation is at hand;
Surely the Second Coming is at hand.
The Second Coming! Hardly are those words out
When a vast image out of Spiritus Mundi
Troubles my sight: somewhere in sands of the desert
A shape with lion body and the head of a man,
A gaze blank and pitiless as the sun,
Is moving its slow thighs, while all about it
Reel shadows of the indignant desert birds.
The darkness drops again; but now I know
That twenty centuries of stony sleep
Were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle,
And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,
Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?

Kale Chips – Y-u-m-m-y

I’m up at the crack of dawn everyday. Not necessarily because I want to. Zoey usually starts meowing and clawing  at her and Tigger’s room door between 5 and 6. Mind you this is the cat that runs and hides beneath the bed for the slightest threat, real or imagined. But after being locked up without food, I guess she puts that fear of hers on temporary hold. Like until her belly is full. The cat is an eating machine. Good thing for her I’m either already up myself or getting ready to.

What with writing, reading, researching, and spending time with Tigger and Zoey, I need all the energy I can get. I’m Type 2 Diabetic so have to keep those carbs to a limit. Something that really gets me over the hump are kale chips. My son, Zeke, introduced them to me several months ago. I’ve been hooked since. When Zeke cooks them there’s a delicate balance of crunchiness, saltiness, and chewiness. The chewiness comes from the olive oil he massages into the leaves. It only takes a little  bit of sea salt and you have a snack that make you want to smack, well, you know who.

Crispy Baked Kale Chips

Ingredients
1 Bundle of Kale
2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon of sea salt

Prep work
Thoroughly clean each kale leaf under water and dry them.
Large bowl and pan ready.
Directions
1. Preheat oven to 340 degrees F.

2. Fold kale leaf together and slowly tear off the stem. Now tear each kale leaf into small individual bite size pieces and place them into a large bowl.

3. Drizzle 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil and sprinkle one teaspoon of sea salt over bite sized kale. Proceed to massage the kale together for 2 minutes in the bowl.

4. Once finished lay them on your baking pan with a little room available between each piece. Now place pan into oven and cook for 12 minutes or until brownish green.

Serve and enjoy.  Let me know what you think.

Photos below.