Monthly Archives: February 2013

Sweet Dreams are Made of…Bread

I need carbs.  There.  I said it.

There was a brief moment in time about eight hundred years ago where, for some misbegotten reason, I agreed to do Atkins with a friend to help keep her motivated.  For two weeks of my life, I couldn’t think.  I became a mental zombie.  When you rely on your brain as much as I do, this is a huge problem.  These days, I try to keep my carb intake higher on the complex side and pretty low on the simple side.  (What can I say?  Christmas cookies happen…)  Voilà!  My body and my brain are both happy.

Fast-forward eight hundred years.

I may have mentioned once or twice (or twenty) times that I have gestational diabetes again with New Baby.  I may have also mentioned that I’m taking one of my last upper level classes.  These two things don’t mix so well.  My carb intake is so low that it may as well be nonexistent.  My brain is back in zombie mode.  In the past month, my fruit intake has consisted of one banana and half of an apple because of the alarmingly impressive heights my blood sugar levels reach after I ate them.  I miss fruit.  I miss bread.  And carrots.  And milk.  And my brain.

I’m writing an average of two big papers a week.  Normally, this isn’t a problem.  I may be introverted, but I have never had an issue expressing myself through pencil and paper.  (Well…Microsoft Word and my keyboard.)  However, this non-carb thing is throwing off my groove.  What should be a simple task of knocking these papers out…especially since I’m not exactly a newbie to the overall topics under discussion…is proving to be excruciatingly difficult.

Today’s writing session went something like this:

  1. Sit at desk.
  2. Scribble outline of thoughts.
  3. Erase the random “muffin” that appeared under the heading “OSI Model.”
  4. Can’t remember catchy acronym for the seven layers learned in C school, so look it up.
  5. Apparently, it’s “Please Do Not Throw Sausage Pizza Away.”
  6. Mmmmm…pizza.  Six more weeks until I can have pizza.
  7. And cake.  Because Donkey reminded Shrek that cakes have layers, too…not just the OSI model.
  8. Look!  Shiny!!
  9. Rinse and repeat.

I’m at the halfway mark for this class already.  So far, I have an A.  Here’s hoping that I can keep it that way.  And here’s hoping that the dancing PB&J sandwiches have the decency to stay out of my dreams tonight ’cause that was just plain mean.

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Adventures in Almond Land

So, this ride on the gestational diabetes merry-go-round, I decided that I wanted to go even lighter on the whole dairy thing than I did when I was pregnant with Baby.

Okay.  I don’t really want it.  But, with my numbers looking like they live on a pogo stick in spite of the insulin shots, I’m willing to try nearly anything.  (I refuse to try eel.)  This isn’t that big of a deal.  I limit my dairy intake to tiny amounts of cheese, cream cheese, and margarine.  The killer is that I’ve been craving ice cream.  I want cold.  Creamy.  Yumminess.  It may be less than 40 degrees outside, but I want it.  Plus, I got my ice cream maker for Christmas, and I want to use it, dang it.

So far, I’ve tried making three different recipes for actual almond milk ice cream.  The first one I made came from the first recipe of the three listed and consists of almond milk, greenish bananas, cocoa powder and Splenda.  That one’s really good…although it’s more of a sorbet than ice cream in my opinion.  I’ve made it twice with the bananas, and then yesterday, I substituted 15 ounces of pumpkin purée for the bananas.  (Pumpkin has a lower sugar content + higher fiber that seems to = lower blood sugar for this girl.  However, the side trip to Pumpkinville is a topic for another post)  That tasted pretty good as well, although I probably could have (read should have) made it a little sweeter.  Pumpkin is pretty mild, but apparently when mixed with unsweetened cocoa, it morphs into an almost coffee-like flavor.

I’ve also made the “normal” vanilla ice cream base in my Better Homes and Gardens cookbook just substituting almond milk for the dairy stuff.  Good, but I still wasn’t terribly happy with the texture.  Almond milk makes weird custard, apparently.  Who knew, right?

Remember how I was pondering how to make instant pudding with almond milk last post?  No?  That’s okay…neither did I.  Anyway, I gave it a shot today.  Apparently, if you halve the liquid called for, it instantly achieves extra-thick pudding-y goodness.  I made a double batch of white chocolate pudding using that method, then decided upon reflection that it was a little too thick.  (It started strangling my blender, so…)  I added an extra cup of milk, plus a teaspoon of almond extract and 2 tablespoons of Splenda, and BOOM!  Great flavor without the wateriness of almond milk.  I let it set for about 10 minutes, and then ran it through my ice cream machine.

My husband was really happy about his dessert tonight.  So was I.  I have all kinds of pudding boxes with various flavors in my cabinet…let’s hear it for finding a use for them!

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