I don’t make the focus of my having insulin dependent diabetes on the blog too often, for the only reason that it’s just so part of my life, I don’t even think of it. Well, that’s a lie. I think about it a lot throughout the day, from what my blood sugar is at any given moment of the day, to wondering how hard I can work out at lunch, etc. But like most people, I don’t like to have a lot in my stomach before working out, but it’s a necessary evil for me to fuel my workouts so that my blood sugars don’t drop.
Lately I’ve found that most protein bars make me sick to my stomach about 30 minutes after I eat them. I tried a few different ones in the last several weeks, from lower carb, to higher in protein, but in the end, it not only didn’t fuel my workouts but abruptly cut them short. (Photo credit to Hannah for this next pic – thanks Hannah!)
So when I saw that Tieghan from Half Baked Harvest make a chocolate honey nut bar, I thought – why don’t I try that?! I did alter her recipe just a tiny bit. I reduced some of the nuts, and skipped the flaked salt altogether because the salted nuts had plenty of salt. I also reduced the amount of dark chocolate. Um, and I also made them 36 servings. The WW recipe builder says these are 4 points, but the nutrition label says they are two, so I am calling them 3 points at 36 servings, but I think her original serving was 12-14 – which would be closer to more than half my allotted WW points for the day if I ate that portion!
- 3/4 cup honey
- 1 tablespoons coconut sugar or brown sugar
- 1 tablespoons coconut oil
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1/2 cup roasted peanuts
- 1/2 cup raw almonds
- 1/2 cup roasted, shelled pistachios
- 1/2 cup roasted cashews
- 1/2 cup raw pepitas
- 2 tablespoons raw sesame seeds
- 2 ounces dark chocolate, melted
- Heat oven to 350. On a large cookie sheet lined with parchment paper that has been rubbed with coconut oil, spread out the peanuts, almonds, pistachios, cashews, pepitas and sesame seeds and mix them around until they look combined. In a stock pot, add the honey, brown sugar and coconut oil and bring to a low boil, and boil for 3-4 minutes. I tend to like a crunchy bar – so if you like a soft bar, boil for 3 minutes. Remove from the heat, let cool for 1 minutes, then stir in the vanilla and spread as evenly as you can over the nut mixture. She’s right when you don’t have to worry about it being evenly portioned because the heat of the oven will melt the honey mixture and it will come out just fine. Bake for 25 minutes for chewy bars, or 30 for crunchy ones. I baked mine for 30 minutes.
- Important here – let it cool overnight. Only then will you be able to cut it into the bars and get a nice clean edge. Once cut, place the pieces in the freezer for 10 minutes. Two minutes before you remove the bars from the freezer, melt the dark chocolate. Dip each piece just to the top of the melted chocolate and place on parchment paper. Because the bars are now cold, the chocolate will harden almost immediately. I left my bars out for a day, but you can store them in the fridge if you like.
I tested one of the energy bars out before my Sunday walk. My blood sugar was 145, I took 4 units of fast acting insulin (in the morning my walk acts like food and raises my blood sugar) and walked a vigorous pace for 45 minutes. When I came back home my blood sugar was 157 – nice! The best part? I know exactly what’s in them – honey, mixed nuts and dark chocolate – no preservatives or anything I can’t pronounce! I have a feeling I’ll make a batch of these every couple of weeks.
Friday I was running errands and found myself at Wal-mart and wanted something grab and go. Not going to lie, the popcorn chicken was calling my name, but I found myself by the prepared salads. I ended up picking up this BBQ chicken salad and it was delicious! It came in at 9 smart points and was completely filling. These would be nice to have on hand to grab and go to work, or have handy in case you get home late and don’t feel like cooking. They have several other flavors too which I’ll try out next time.
Saturday I attended a baby shower. Tony’s best friend and his wife’s daughter is having a baby. I hadn’t seen many of these people since Tony died and it nearly made me cry a few times. One: I had to buy the baby a White Sox outfit because Tony would have wanted his Cubs fan friend’s first grandson to have one. I wrote a note on the card that said not to worry, that I would provide White Sox merchandise throughout her son’s life in honor of Tony!
A couple other women also came up to me after the shower and gave me their condolences, and it was right there at that moment that I realized Tony will never see his grandchildren, and it made me really sad. Obviously I knew that, but in that instant it was like a sucker punch to the gut and I may have shed a tear or two on the drive home. I am extremely happy for this almost new Mom though – she and her husband tried for a few years to get pregnant and I know she’ll be an awesome Momma.
I had also seen a Timehop earlier in the day and saw this:
I had to go back and read that post from February of 2011 to remind myself what he was coming home from the hospital for. I started to google “My Bizzy Kitchen” to find the right link quickly and was shocked to see that “My Bizzy Kitchen husband. . .” is the first thing that pops up. I guess new readers wanted to find out what happened to him.
However, I did feel him cheering me on though – one thing that I never tackled by myself was putting together furniture from a box. Like never. I would bring it home, put it in front of Tony’s recliner, give him any necessary tools that he might need and walk away. I’d come back a short time later and have the piece of furniture put together. So I am super proud that I put these shelving units together all by myself! I just needed Hannah’s help to stack one on top of the other. Each three shelf unit was $37 at Walmart, and each wire basket was $8. I had wide open shelving in my closet but it was too hard to keep organized.
So this is the first week with me not working! It doesn’t seem “real” yet – because we leave for vacation on Saturday and will be gone for a week. And I am headed to Chicago today. A few weeks ago when I met up with my sister for coffee when I was judging at Kendall College, I met one of my sisters co-workers who subsequently introduced me to one of her friends that works at a catering company in Chicago. I am having a “conversation and cocktails” meeting this afternoon to visit their facilities and see what their organization is all about. I have no idea if it will lead anywhere, but since I am open to anything, I figured why not! And because of the way my train schedule is (i.e. – I live in the sticks and there is a few hour gap in the middle of the day that doesn’t go downtown) I will be having lunch out with my sister! We are eating at Seven Lions, which has been on my list of restaurants I’ve wanted to try. Not a bad way to spend the day!
If you follow me on social media, you’ll know that with my new life came a new hairstyle! Actually, the grey hair was getting more pronounced, and I finally bit the bullet and got my hair highlighted – you can barely tell, which is what I wanted – it’s just a chestnut color one step up from my natural hair color. But I went really short! On the top left picture is how my hair looked after I straightened it before the shower on Saturday. The problem is my hair is super fine. Not sure how my twin sister got her thick hair, but you can really tell how thin it is when I straighten it.
I love it! I’ve never had my hair cut around my ear before like that, but I like that the part in front of my ear can be tucked behind my ear if I want it. It just seems so much thicker and healthier too. It was funny because when I showed the stylist the cut she said “wow, that’s pretty short, are you sure?!” and I said “Yep!” to which she replied – “If you don’t like it, it’s just hair and it will grow back. There are worst world problems.” So true!
And I have a new app Photofy that I forgot I had on my phone, and while I sat with foil in my hair for 25 minutes for the highlights, I played around with it for a bit. My twin sister is also kicking ass and taking names on WW. She’s down 12 pounds! She texted me a picture of her at the track at the high school near her, so I texted her my picture of me walking in my neighborhood – and then had to embellish the picture just a tiny bit.
And then I sent her this one – which I love, because it’s so true. The photo was from my walk yesterday morning – in 55 degree weather!
So that brings us to my weekly WI: Last week I was 167.3 (January 1 starting weight was 177.9). Today I am . . . (you’ll be happy to know that Hannah and I got pedicures yesterday!)
Whoop! Down another 1.2! That makes my total for the first two months of 2016 11.8 pounds lost. Jenn, I am trying to catch up with you!
Now it’s time to get my walking shoes on. I have two hours before I have to be at the train station. I think I’ll get used to this not having a job thing pretty quickly.
Make it a great day!