Friday, February 18, 2011

Diabetes 101

Lets see how you guys do on my myth/fact diabetes quiz I use with my diabetes group class:
Myth or Fact?
1. Type 2 diabetes will turn to type 1 diabetes eventually
2. Taking insulin can cause complications of diabetes
3. There is no cure for diabetes
4. People with diabetes are not allowed to eat desserts unless they are sugar-free
5. Milk can raise your blood sugar
6. Being on insulin is a lifetime sentence
7. Eating too much sugar can cause diabetes
8. People with diabetes do not have a shorter lifespan if they control their blood sugars
9. It is best to treat a low blood sugar with peanut butter your answers?

Was it hard?

Think you got them all right?

Do you want to know the real answers?

In case you do, here you go:

1. Myth. type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease. People with type 2 will always have type 2 (unless they were misdiagnosed at first) even if they use insulin.
2. Myth. Insulin does not cause complications, it actually prevents them by controlling blood sugar as long as they are on the right amounts. Many people wait too long before agreeing to use insulin and already have complications.
3. Fact. There is no cure. Even people that are not currently taking medication are still considered diabetic.
4. Myth. People with diabetes can eat dessert as long as they keep it to small portions and fit it into their meal plan. Sugar-free desserts can often raise blood sugar just as much as the regular kind.
5. Fact. Milk does have a natural sugar, lactose.
6. Myth. Insulin is not a lifetime sentence. I have seen many patients make significant lifestyle changes and be able to get off of insulin. Some people only need it when they are taking certain steroid-based medications for a period of time.
7. Myth. I don't care how much your parents said it, sugar does NOT cause diabetes. Diabetes is a function of not producing enough insulin to keep up with the body's demand for it (often caused by insulin resistance, obesity, aging, or genetics).
8. Fact. As long as blood sugars are well controlled, diabetics live just as long as others.
9. Myth. If a person has a true low blood sugar, it is typically best to give them real sugar. Just a TBSP of honey/sugar or 1/2 cup juice. Usually you do not want to add protein (like peanut butter) or fat (like in chocolate) or it will take longer for their blood sugar to come up.

Did you learn anything?

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Hot Chocolate

I was pondering hot chocolate this morning. I know... who does that? Well, I do. I was drinking my hot chocolate while preparing my Gospel Doctrine lesson, drinking in the warm chocolaty goodness, and thinking of how it makes me happy. I decided that probably my favorite kind of hot chocolate is the Stephen's Raspberry Chocolate flavor mixed with Belgium Dark Chocolate flavor, 1/2 milk, 1/2 water. This comes in just above the Hazelnut flavor with a dash of cinnamon and the Dark Chocolate with a sprinkle of Chili Powder. Then I remembered a blog post from my friend's cooking blog ( about recipes for gourmet hot chocolate, and I vowed to try some of them soon. After those, you can never really be satisfied with Swiss Miss again. This thought brought me to think that I would like to try hot chocolate in Switzerland, made from scratch with good Swiss chocolate, that I could drink while looking out the Alps. Mmmmm, on so many levels, mmmmmm. I wonder if they make hot chocolate like us or like the Croats do... Croatian hot chocolate is more like warmed chocolate pudding. You literally have to eat it with a spoon. It is very rich and delicious. I ordered pudding once to see what the difference was, apparently pudding to them means something solid, like flan.
Anyway, go look at that website and see their beautiful pictures of hot'll want to drink some too after that.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Piano Lessons

I cannot say that I always loved taking piano lessons or the practicing involved. I had my moments just like any distracted child or surly teenager. But I stuck it out and kept it up, thanks to my overdeveloped competitiveness, need for praise, and the constant encouragement of my wonderful parents. I shall be forever grateful.
My mom was pianist herself and had set a rule in our house that each child would take at least 2 yrs of piano lessons (enough to learn at least to play the church hymns). My siblings all met the obligatory requirement, some needing a lot more effort on the part of my Mother to keep them on the piano bench than others. Most of our teachers lived quite a ways away, requiring even more time each week to make it to lessons. Those of us that took from teachers that taught Suzuki also had "listening time" where we had to listen to tapes of the songs over and over again so it would easier for us to learn and memorize. Unfortunately, most of the kids were on different songs so the whole family got to listen to the whole tape nonstop. Ask any of us still to this day, and we can sing you any song from book 1-3. How my mom ever did that with 7 children is beyond me. Even after that, she decided to start her own piano studio and teach other people's children. My father still gets to listen to those same songs. Patience of saints, I tell you.

I was always a musical child. I was singing before I could talk and learned to play the piano before I could read. I begged to take piano lessons when I was 3 years old. I remember loving the music and learning things easily but the drive to practice and get better was more related to competition in becoming better than the older piano students (like my brother). I soaked up the praise and surprise from people like it was sunshine. I played almost every day of my life until I turned 18. I outgrew 3 teachers and ended up taking from a University professor, was the first student in Cache Valley to graduate from the Suzuki repertoire, started teaching other students at age 14, and even started competing in High School. My parents were so supportive that they even made the sacrifice to buy a grand piano for me to practice on. (since my last teacher would not allow me to use our upright at home. I would drive to the college or church to practice for a while). I made the decision to not pursue piano as a career (for which I think my parents were relieved), but I am still grateful and use my talents/skills all the time. What is even more, looking back, I can see that I learned more from piano than just piano. This is expressed well in this talk from the Ensign in 1981 by Clayne Robison:

"We had a hard time figuring out why our parents were so anxious for us to learn to perform good music that they would assume the financial and emotional pressures involved...It is only today that I, begin to appreciate the vision of those two good people. We always joked about their caring more that we be good musicians than that we be good people; but for Mom at least, those two attainments were inextricably connected. Playing an instrument well led to that kind of discipline which would make a good missionary, a good provider, a good parent. Playing an instrument well would lead you into companionships with children who had also developed discipline, children who had a constructive place to spend their leisure hours. Playing an instrument well would lead you to appreciate the beauty of the rest of God's creations. Playing an instrument well would give you self-respect and confidence in the midst of people. If you could stand up to the roughnecks calling you a "Fauntleroy" because you played the piano and had to practice every afternoon, you could stand up to teenage friends who would tempt you by social pressure into smoking and drinking and throwing around casual caresses. It was a worthy testing ground for all of those preliminary Mosiac virtues of discipline, obedience, and sacrifice... Although I honestly feel that there will be many in the celestial kingdom who have no appreciation for a Chopin waltz beautifully played...I am convinced that my own chances of living close to the Spirit have been tangibly increased because of my mother's vision [of encouraging piano lessons]. "

Tuesday, February 1, 2011


I went skiing twice in 1 month. Record! Probably because I have been excited to use my new ski equipment that I got for Christmas. If I am really nice to the cute ski instructor I know at Deer Valley, I can score some free lift tickets so it is free for me to ski now! I know... don't you wish YOU had hookups like that?

My brother Mark and I went at the first of the month before he flew back to 70 degree sunny Hawaii. Then, last week, my sister Kimi and I skied together. I put her in charge of remembering to take pictures so we actually got some. We had fun trying to take them too. Except the ones when we found ourselves going down a very steep icy slope out of control.... best to delete those ones before the aforementioned ski instructor sees and shakes his head at my weak technique. I think I need another teaching ski day to get me back on track... how 'bout it Ben?

Thanks to my patient siblings in helping me get more comfortable on the blue runs now, even if I still ski slow sometimes. I had lots of fun!