Signs Your Blood Sugar May Be High

The holidays are especially laden with sweet treats.

Signs Your Blood Glucose Levels May Be High.

  • Fatigue
  • Increased thirst
  • Frequent Urination
  • Headaches
  • Blurred Vision
  • Brain fog/confusion
  • Nausea
  • Recurrent infections (such as yeast infections, are common)
  • Tingling in the hands and feet
  • Loss of appetite
  • Adopt low inflammation eating habits

Of course these symptoms also cross over with nutrient deficiencies and symptoms of chronic illness but if you experience an onset of these symptoms, it could still be triggered by increased blood sugar.

What You Can Do Now

I don’t like to pose a problem without some solution. Here are a few things that you can do now to get your blood sugar back down.

  • Stop with the sweets for a moment
  • Increase water intake
  • Supplement with minerals to replenish the system
  • Limit the amount of fruit you eat for a couple weeks
  • No juice
  • Reduce alcohol consumption
  • Balance your diet with the Glycemic Index Chart
  • Go gentle on the simple carbs

You do not have to take on all of these. This is just a list of your options if you choose to take action. Reducing sugar intake is always a fabulous idea. If the symptoms persist, it may be time to talk to a healthcare provider. It may be a good idea to discuss a CBC panel with your doctor.

Glycemic Index Chart

If you have been wanting to reduce your blood sugar levels then this is your list! Screenshot it hun, and reference all the time. It will become second nature in just weeks. TIP: Always ingest some form of protein to help balance out sugar snacks.

A SIMPLE PLAN:

WEEK 1: Only eat below 80
WEEK 2: Only eat MEDIUM Column
WEEK 3: Only eat below 60
WEEK 4: Only eat Low Column
WEEK 5: Congratulate yourself DARLING! You just lowered your blood sugar in 4 WEEKS!!! YAYYY!!!

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome: What you need to know post diagnosis

Heavy muscles, sore bones and exhaustion and weakness that just won’t quit- yes, My Friend, you may have CFS.

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome is a phenomenon that plagues millions of Americans. Seemingly possible to diagnose and with little offered in the way of treatment, it can be challenging to adapt to constant exhaustion. Being newly diagnosed can be depressing and lonely. Here are three ways to make the transition a teeny bit easier.

Top 3 Things To Do Now

  1. You now have to be extra aware of how you feel physically. Check in with yourself and be ready to tweak routines and habits that require too much energy. Tweaking your schedule to allot for your pain or fatigue will be the first and one of the most important aspects of your new reality. Do not wait until you have overdone it before implementing these changes. It will take time to assess what work best for you.
  2. Pain relief is major when it comes to CFS. Look for natural solutions. Pain is a constant of this disease and taking a liver or organ-destroying pain reliever everyday is simply not a good idea. Reserve Tylenol or Advil for super doooooper bad days. I recommend a CBD oil and topical or oral Arnica.
  3. Join groups on Facebook. There are so many groups for Autoimmune Disease, Chronic Illness and CFS. It may seem like you are not interested BUT having a community is very important. You have people to ask questions, vent to and also support. By joining a group you will feel less alone on this journey.

For more information on Chronic Fatigue Syndrome visit this post.

Chronic Fatigue: An Antique + Sucky Syndrome

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome has been floating around under a various names and assumptions for almost two hundred years. Yet we still do not know enough about it.

A Short History

In the 19th century an illness with Chronic Fatigue-like symptoms was first noted. Later disputed and labeled as psychiatric issues (Spoiler Alert: This happened a lot, even still to this day). In 1950’s pathology findings it was concluded that the illness was caused by inflammation of the brain and spinal cord.

Even still the 1960’s and 70’s saw plenty of blame placed on psychosis and depression. New light was finally shed when Hippocrates magazine referred to CF symptoms as “Raggedy Ann Syndrome” to note the exhaustion and muscle weakness. Research gained speed but still through the 90’s the findings in medical journals were refuted. Arguments ensued, journal essays were redacted and no one could agree on anything.

In 2006 the CDC recognized CFS as a serious illness and launched an awareness campaign in June of that year.

Some Quick Nitty Gritty

A virus is the probable cause but in my professional opinion, Mitochondrial Dysfunction is a huge problem caused by the virus. You do not have to know science, I will explain this part- the Mitochondria, in short, is super important for our bodies to make energy. Let me drop some Mitochondrial knowledge on you real quick. 🙂

The Mayo Clinic Explanation

Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) is a complicated disorder characterized by extreme fatigue that lasts for at least six months and that can’t be fully explained by an underlying medical condition. The fatigue worsens with physical or mental activity, but doesn’t improve with rest.

The Diagnosis

There are currently no tests for diagnosis. Without abnormalities in the blood results, doctors are often left either scratching their heads or even telling the patient that there is in fact nothing wrong. This makes a strain on the doctor lacking proper diagnosis or treatment. The patient has it even worse as they leave without answers and without hope.

***If you have recently been diagnosed with CFS you may be interested in this post.

Sweetzels Cookie Hack

Here is a recommended recipe from a Philadelphia native, found in the New York Times and listed as Swedish Ginger Cookies. A close runner up I was told. I was also informed that 2 batches were made. A thick and a thin. I was told the thin was better, for the record.

Ingredients

2 sticks soft unsalted butter
1.5 c sugar
3 tbsp Molasses
1 large egg
2 tbsp milk
3 1/4 c. all purpose flour
2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp cinnamon
1.5 tsp ginger
1/2 tsp cardamom
1/2 tsp cloves
*all spices are ground*

Preparation


1. In the large bowl of an electric mixer beat the butter, sugar and molasses until mixture is light and smooth. Add egg and milk, blending well. In a separate bowl mix together the soda, salt, spices and flour. With mixer on low speed gradually beat the flour mixture INTO the butter mixture. Beat just till combined. Remove and knead with your hands, divide into 2 pieces. Wrap both in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for one hour or up to 2 days.

2. Preheat oven to 350 degress. Line 4 cookie sheets with parchment or foil. Remove dough from fridge one package at a time. Let it soften just a bit if it is not malleable.

3. On a lightly floured surface roll out dough 1/8 to 1/4 inches thick. Dip cookie cutters into flour and make the shapes. Place the cookies 1 inch apart on cookie sheets. Bake for 9 – 11 minutes until set. Remove sheets from oven and let stand for one minute. Transfer cookies to cooling racks. Let cool completely before storing or stuffing your face.

4. Store cookies in single layers, separated by sheets of wax paper. Store at room temperature in metal tins or heavy duty foil for up to a week. But we both know they will not last that long.

Enjoy!

A Secret of Pennsylvania

How does one truly define the essence of Autumn? In America, it can pretty much be summed up in two words:

PUMPKIN SPICE

This phenomenon hits people in more ways than a latte. It transcends a coffee flavor and far beyond candles and breads. So what does this have in relation to Pennsylvania? Well, if you have not been paying much attention, Pennsylvania is the home to numerous amounts of incredible snack foods. The best pretzels, Snyders; the best chips, Herrs or Utz, depending who you ask (Utz Crab Chips are the best); the classic chocolate company, Hershey; just for a few choice examples. Honestly Pennsylvania is Snack Country.

No snack food will ever turn me into a monster roaming the house looking for food except cookies. I had been on the wagon for months. As long as I don’t imbibe with cookies I remain on good standing, guilt free sugar intake.

Then family came to town. Fresh out of the car from Doylestown, Pennsylvania, arrives my man’s mother and pops. I hear her repeatedly bring up these cookies she brought for him. I continued to ignore the situation. I was not falling of the wagon. I heard about the cookies, knew they were open somewhere in the house and I remained steadfast. Until the metaphorical wagon hit a pothole, and I went tumbling off. Back off gingersnaps, you are no….

Sweetzles

Heavily spiced, and dense wafers with Blackstrap Molasses. I will never be the same.

The origin of Pumpkin Spice craze starts with Pennsylvania. I had no idea these cookies were a thing. Many of us are ignorant to anything outside of Ginger Snaps. Well let me tell you, we have been missing out!

Are you an Ivin’s or a Sweetzles family? This answer matters greatly, apparently as it has been relayed to me. They only grace the shelves of groceries for two months; October and November. Then as quickly as the leaves fall, the cookies disappear along with the red and yellows of the trees. They are a PS commodity.

There are only three cookies of this particular genre. The others that I have googled have been thin and wafer-esque. This also applies to the Williams Sonoma Moravian Spice Cookie. The one exception is Stauffers Original Pumpkin Spice Snaps, which I now have to try. Whatever I ingested can only be described as an Autumn Shortbread cookie. It is dense enough to actually fill you up. Luckily this helps balance the gorge worthy flavor profile. I suppose one could say it is in the “Moravian Cookie” family but much more hefty than the traditional. Naturally this means it is best paired with coffee, tea or more traditionally, apple cider.

Now back to the Rivalry

See the source image
See the source image

Ivin’s is the OG. It came first and without me having tried them I do not get to have an opinion. I do not believe it is in my best interest to have anymore of these cookies. But what I do know is that Acme Supermarkets bought Ivin’s and contracted Sweetzles to produce them. Don’t worry, they kept the recipes separate. I suppose this is so the people in Pennsylvania can still argue over which is better.

All I know is that shortly after the family left, a shipment of Sweetzles came to the house that I may or may not have instigated the purchase of. It only seemed fair since we had not partaken in Girl Scout Cookies for a couple years- ok maybe it was just 2020 but still.

Also, if you have ever found yourself pondering the intricacies of Autumnal spices you may want to read the Spice Showdown.

“Sweetzels® is a household name in Philadelphia. Mention warm apple cider, a glowing fire, or pumpkin picking on the farm, and you’ll have any East Coast native craving a box of our original Spiced Wafers. Family owned and operated Sweetzels has been baking and packaging all of our products in the United States for over 100 years.” Sweetzels is based in Flourtown. Yes, Flourtown, PA. Is that not over the top cute? I mean, COME ON!

Ginger Snap VS Spiced Wafer

As I mentioned earlier, the spiced wafer has a much more dramatic flavor profile. This sets the stage for ginger snaps to suddenly become lack luster. Poor guys. I implore you to treat yourself to the epitome of the Autumn essence and have a delivery sent to your house too. Maybe not six boxes but no less than 2! One bite and instant visions of large, colorful Maple leaves, carved pumpkins and quaint Northeastern towns will flood the mind. Enjoy!

PS- Here is a recipe for a Sweetzels hack. I have yet to try it but I have it on very good authority that it is legit. DIY Spiced Wafers

Happy Fall!

Pumpkin VS Apple Spice & the intricacies of Autumn flavor

The contenders: Apple VS Pumpkin- what we have here is a showdown of similarities.

The ingredients are similar between these sister spice blends but the result is distinct. When it comes to the flavors of Autumn it is all in how you mix it.

Your Autumn Spice Guide

Pumpkin Spice
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp. ground ginger
1/8 tsp. ground cloves

Apple Spice
1.5 tsp ground cinnamon
1.5 tsp ground nutmeg
1 tsp. ground allspice
**frequently you can find ginger and/or cardamom added**

Chai Spice
4 tsp. ground cinnamon
2 tsp. ground cardamom
2 tsp. ground cloves
2 tsp. ground allspice
6 tsp. ground ginger

I observed there are many variations of apple pie spice and chai. In contrast the pumpkin spice blend seems to be almost unanimously agreed upon. If you are obsessed with the flavors of Fall then I recommend you consider buying the whole spices and blending them yourself. Store in small jars. Imagine how much better the fresh blend will taste!

10 Autumn Fruits: Not Apples

Eating seasonal is very important and can easily become a priority with just a short list to keep in mind.

  • Lemon
  • Lime
  • Orange
  • Plum
  • Grapes
  • Persimmon
  • Banana
  • Pear
  • Pomegranate
  • Cranberries
Just a reminder: Other fruits do exist.

Apples get all the attention during this season. Do you think the other fruits get jealous? Pears are super versatile and deserve more glory. Plums are insanely delicious and create a sauce that truly rivals the traditional (and sometimes boring) cranberry sauce. When it comes to Autumnal baked fruit desserts, let’s give pears and plums a chance to shine! Who’s with me?

Becoming Moderately Minimal

In 2015 I decided to shed myself of the extra weight of possessions. I had never planned on getting rid of everything. I also never planned on how many years it would actually take. Here are some of the lessons I have learned along the way to becoming, my degree of minimal.

A Crash Course in Minimalism

  • It doesn’t mean you get rid of everything.
  • It doesn’t happen overnight.
  • The less excess I have, the less stressed I feel.
  • Cleaning and organizing becomes massively easier.
  • Taking inventory of your belongings is important.
  • Choosing and limiting what to collect is helpful and empowering.
  • You should enjoy even mundane, everyday tools.
  • Learn from the French.
  • Minimalism doesn’t have to be stark.
  • Or scary.
  • Minimalism makes the process of organizing simple and smooth.
  • It is really about simplicity.
  • Possessions truly can weigh you down.

In short, minimalist has a very severe connotation. But it doesn’t have to be like that. You find the right balance of simplicity that feels good and works for you. Maybe you have felt like it is time for a refresh of your space (after more home time in 2020 than ever before) or that you could do without some of the excess. I will highlight easy methods for clearing out and cleaning up.

I enjoy helping people in every way possible. I have worked as a professional organizer for many clients. My favorite aspect is that compared to interior design (which I have also done for clients) the process is about letting go instead of buying more.

When Careers Meet Hobbies

Years ago I coined the term- career hobbyist. This title was needed because I have such diverse experience with jobs, platforms and whatnot. I felt this title encompassed my lack of desire to do the “9 to 5” route and instead fail massively multiple times at creating my own career. It has not been a glamorous ride but it has been jam-packed with individuality and perseverance.

To better understand here is a list of jobs/gigs/hobbies/faux careers I have held/loved/survived/endured.

  • That time I was a DJ – which I frequently forget.
  • Manager of a dance company.
  • Ballet, tap, jazz, gymnastics instructor
  • Salsa dance teacher
  • Bartender
  • Assistant Wedding Planner
  • Almost all the various restaurant positions, including manager, which I will never do again.
  • Children’s Librarian
  • Adult Librarian
  • Yoga Instructor (children and adults)
  • Tai Chi Instructor
  • Children’s book author
  • Published author of historical essays
  • Barista
  • Professional Organizer
  • Interior Designer
  • Chakra Therapist
  • Holistic Health Coach
  • Event Coordinator
  • Recycling Pick Up Service
  • Fine Jewelry Retail
  • Freelance content creator
  • Social Media manager

Many people do not find this to be a respectable way of life. Obviously, those opinions matter none to me. I view my business ventures as pieces of pasta- one will eventually stick to the wall. This is my risk taking side, my adventurous side.

Can you hear Frank Sinatra singing “I did it my way” or is that just me?