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Destined to Become a Diabetic

April is a really tough time for me. It’s Easter and the caramel filled chocolate eggs are out. I have a wicked sweet tooth and always end up succumbing to it when I see these eggs! It led me to start thinking about my life and the factors that may have led to me becoming diabetic. Once I thought about it, I realized I was destined to become diabetic due to my questionable, uneducated food choices throughout my life.

It started in my childhood. This is when our eating habits are formed. My parents got divorced when I was eight. They had joint custody of me. My dad really couldn't cook. So that meant we ate processed microwave dinners and lots of sweets. We ate horribly.

We took it to the next level with all sorts of food competitions. The donut eating competition meant going to Dunkin’ Donuts and ordering a dozen. We paired it with a glass of milk. Dad and I could usually eat half of a box of donuts still at the store.

Who could eat more nutty bars? That was a race to see who could eat the most bars before the box was empty. The box held 12 packages with 2 bars in each pack. No, the peanut butter in these treats didn't do much to slow down a blood sugar spike because the peanut butter layer has additional processed sugar.

Dad and I shared a love of ice cream. We competed to see who could make the largest Neapolitan milkshake. We even had a grocery store competition. There was a reward for guessing the grocery bill accurately... The prize was sharing banana split with dad. So now we had natural sugar from the fruits mixed in with processed sugar in the ice cream. No wonder dad and I ended up with diabetes.

Later in life, I worked for Frito Lay. Before becoming a district manager, you have to learn to run a delivery route. Since the hours are long, it’s easier to grab a bag of chips for lunch and bill it out of inventory at the end of the week. It is hard work, but an additional perk is that you can take home potato chips. Frito realizes you will get burned out eating potato chips. So just imagine all the free carbohydrates you can eat!

Working for Bed Bath and Beyond was probably another steppingstone towards diabetes. I did a lot of stocking in that position and spent so much time going up and down on ladders. It tore up my feet and exhausted me and my blood sugar. Four days a week, I debated whether to go to Arby’s for a beef brisket sandwich and curly fries or buy some breaded concoction from Panera Bread Company. My eating habits were atrocious. I just kept piling on the inflammation by eating processed fast foods high in sugar and carbohydrates. My health was headed down a dark path.

Even my most recent job, working for a private company, led me down the path of eating fast food regularly as well. I worked doing family portrait photography. I would go to churches all over the eastern US and photograph many different families all in one location and for a two- or three-day shoot with up to 50 families in a day. Then I would drive back two weeks later to the exact same church, and show the results of the mini photo shoots. People could choose to purchase their photos at that time. I was on the road so much, 6-to-8-hour drives to reach my destination; it was just easier to stop at fast food restaurants. Just a reminder... a chocolate chip frappe a day does not keep the doctor away. It leads you to your own endocrinologist!

Four years ago, I finally realized I was diabetic. I started playing with fresh foods. It was a slow and gradual process, teaching myself new eating habits. One change per week was so hard at first. After the first year, I got to look back and be happy with the results. It was a sign that my health was on a better glide path and making changes became easier because I was able to build upon the new food habits. I discovered lifestyle change happens over time and the good changes stick!

This week's recipe comes from a vegetable that just stuck with me last summer. Yes, it is another butternut squash recipe. I have so many of them! A breakfast recipe makes sense.

The halves of butternut can be cooked in advance and stored in the refrigerator safe storage container. Then you just pull out the squash and reheat the squash in a microwave for 30 seconds to a minute. Just pick back up with the directions at number eight. Hopefully, this little trick will help you get ahead of your busy morning routine.

*** Take a look at last week's recipe for some excellent information on the health benefits of butter nut squash***

Butternut Poached Egg


- 1 small butternut squash

- 1 egg

- tablespoon olive oil

- 1 teaspoon butter

- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

- 1/8 teaspoon salt

- 1 chive sprig, scissor cut


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

  2. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil, shiny side down.

  3. Cut the top and bottom off of the butternut squash. Cut the squash in half.

  4. Scrape out the seeds and loose bits from the meat of the squash.

  5. Coat the inside and edges of the squash with olive oil.

  6. Place the squash open side down on the baking sheet and cook for 50 minutes.

  7. Remove the squash from the oven and allow to cool for 5 minutes.

  8. While the squash is cooling, fill a microwave safe bowl with water.

  9. Crack an egg into the bowl and microwave for 1 to 1 1/2 minutes to poach the egg.

  10. Using a fork, scrape out the butternut meat from the skin.

  11. Add butter, cinnamon, salt and stir into the squash.

  12. Top it with the poached egg and chive bits.

*** Take a look at last week's recipe for some excellent information on the health benefits of butter nut squash***

While I'm enjoying watching the different spring plants and trees bloom, I've been clearing out the pantry (full of butternut squash!) to make room for this year's vegetables...The pearl oyster mushrooms project turned out well. I cooked one batch of mushrooms with my sautéed mushroom recipe. I'll fill you in on the mushroom soup recipe from the second harvest when I'm done perfecting it. The pumpkin mashed taters were a nice surprise recipe that I developed yesterday. I'll share the recipe with you in the fall.

I've got a request for banana nut muffins. Thanks G! That will be coming out in the next few weeks. If you have a favorite dish, you would like to be diabetic friendly, just let me know by leaving a note below. Please comment, like, share, and come back next week for more recipes, ideas, and tips. Subscribe to the website, if you would like weekly email reminders to add more recipes to your recipe book.

Disclaimer: This is not medical advice, but a compilation of research from medical sites. Make sure to see your doctor and have up-to-date lab work.

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