End of May Flowers

Today I ran my fastest 5k since..well, since whenever my Nike GPS app started stalking me. It felt nice. It was 30 mins, something seconds. I’d like to do some sub-30s soon. Truth is though, after my run, you could barely tell I had ran.


Kidding! I was a lovely sweaty mess. As per usual!

Any other people blessed with Diabetes who frequently eat meals out of containers such as this?:


Yeah, I measure a lot of things (things being food). For those who don’t know, type one diabetics like myself determine insulin requirements for meals by looking at the carbohydrate component in their meal. That’s what I was doing this morning when I measured out my vanilla greek yogurt. No need to dirty two dishes!

I took a few photos today as I watered our flowers:


One of my faves is this purple clematis.


I also like this tiny rose tree. I have no idea what it is actually called. Maybe some sort of crab apple? If it is in fact a crab apple tree, than it is quite humorous that I have been calling it a “tiny rose tree.”

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I did play around with the color of the lilacs. They are definitely pretty without any altering but I wanted to make them even more vibrant!


The kids, hanging out.


Some Irises. I didn’t alter the color of these at all. They are beautiful!

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Lastly, a couple petunias.


Ever notice how nature mimics the human body? Every once in a while I look at trees and think “those really do look like lungs,” or I’ll look at a walnut and think “Yup, looks like a brain, totally one hemisphere of a brain.” For example, the above petunias; when I look at the darker purple lines I think “veins…obviously.” If you thought I was going to mention the irises, you are wrong.

Closing thought. If April showers brought us May flowers. Then what is May to June? May ______ brings June _____. ???

I know that for me, June is again a month about showers. 3 wedding showers. Wow.


Long time No See

Well hello there,


..long time no see!

I’ve been busy (a phrase I will continue to say, frequently, for the next 50ish days).

Wedding business has been the epicenter of my days off. I picked up this little thing called a marriage licence today. Apparently, it’s “important.” Pish-posh I say.

I’ve had some good workouts lately, which is nice because my first wedding dress fitting is June 10th! Eek!

I’ve also made some yummy suppers, including but not limited to: pork souvlaki pitas with tzatziki sauce; pasta with spinach, sundried tomatoes, mushrooms and a cheesy white sauce, and a yummy rice dish (actually I used quinoa) which includes dates, cinnamon etc (recipe via Sharon) Smile. It is an awesome mix of sweet and savoury. Note: souvlaki & tzatziki are both words that necessitated Google for correct spelling.

I’ve also had my fair share of one of my fave treats:


Once, I ate a whole container in 1 day. Bad Idea. Not only does this stuff have a substantial amount of sugar in it. It also has a substantial amount of fire power. It may be too much information, but after eating a full container in one day, I spent most of a night shift in the little girls room. Explosive. Yeah.

Also, speaking of sugar. I have had a ridiculous amount of difficult to explain high blood sugars in the past few days. Whoa. I’m pretty sure my sets are clogging and kinking easily. Since I have started wearing my new pump I have had a few diabetes mix-ups. I’m pretty sure it’s not the pump, but it {the pump} has taken a verbal beating over the past few days. I was annoyed after a “No Delivery” alarm, after eating a delicious breakfast. The subsequent bg? 25mmol/L.  I was perturbed after discovering a bg of 19mmol/L soon after starting a night shift. I was frustrated this morning when I woke up to 17mmol/L. What the heck???? Highs don’t happen this often for me.

I changed my set and reviewed the potential causes. If my insulin were bad than I probably wouldn’t have had control like I did the two days previous. Pretty sure the set was the problem. I used to get away with 4 days using the same infusion set. Now I think 3 is my max. What is the world coming to Winking smile. I think I’ll live. I always do!!

This morning I went to get my hair re-foiled, and to have a wedding day hair consult. T’was fun! I can’t wait to hang out with all my bridesmaids that morning Open-mouthed smile!


Lookin’ fab and gettin’ foiled.

Has anyone read The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold?


I know it was a phenomenon quite a while back, when the movie came out and whatnot. I avoided reading it because I thought it sounded a bit dark and depressing. However; I did just finish it, and actually really enjoyed it. I thought that Sebold’s writing was fantastic!

Has anyone read a  great book lately? I’m in reading mode, and am looking for suggestions Nerd smile

Counting Saucy Carbs


It’s now day 3 of D-Blog week and today’s post is the “One Thing to Improve” post. As in, one thing I could do better in terms of my ‘betes. Well, considering I had an experience with crappy carb counting on Monday night, I think that this post topic came at an opportune time.


image via Google.com

Reggie and I went out for supper and a movie with his aunt (HI SHIRLEY Open-mouthed smile), uncles and friends. I had a Chicken Sesame Seed Salad. I thought I would be risqué and order something with a little spice, a little sauce. You see, I tend to stick to sauce-less foods at restaurants. I normally do salmon, roasted veggies and so on because they are low in carbs and I’m less likely to have to deal with high blood glucose later on.

This day I wanted to be adventurous with the salad plus thai sauce. I ordered it up, ate it, annnnnd bombed my carb counting. Totally under-did it, and when we got home from the post-supper movie (Dark Shadows) my sugar was 19.1mmol/L. Oops.

I think I could get better at carb counting, and I may even make an appointment with the dietician at my next diabetes appointment. I just recently learned to subtract the fibre content from my total carbs when carb counting. How the heck did I not know this?? What else do I not know!?

I never ask the waitress/waiter about nutritional info when eating out, and maybe I should start doing so. Truth is though, I need to live a little too. At least I got a yummy salad….Right?

Here is a link to a little Carb Counting Info Sheet from the Canadian Diabetes Association for your viewing pleasure. It’s pretty basic stuff, but we all get a little cocky in our old diabetes age right? A little review never hurts: Basic Carbohydrate Counting for Diabetes Management

Dextrose to the Rescue


again, image via Karen @ bittersweetdiabetes.com

D-Blog week Post #2 “One Great Thing”

Today we have been asked to write about one thing that we do great in relation to diabetes; kind of a “toot your own horn” kind of post, which sounds good to me.

The first thing that popped into my head is that I do well at getting exercise (aka sweatabetes) in each day (unless it’s my two 12 hour days at work; I count the many steps I take as my workout on those days). However; I wanted to mix it up and skip the exercise convo today. I’m going to talk about how fabulous I am at carrying a sugar source in case of lows! I have got dextrose tabs floating around all over the place: my nightstand, my purse, my car, my bra when I run Surprised smile etc.



Aren’t you glad I didn’t show a shot of them in my bra while running? That would have been slightly scandalous….and sweaty (alliteration much?).

I think I am the most well stocked with dextrose tabs that I have ever been (due to a recent trip to Costco). The tabs are sooo much cheaper at Costco! I tend to use them not only when I am low, but also prophylactically (ahead of time, to prevent a low; such as during or before a workout). A girl can only drink so much juice in her lifetime, and my ability to down another juice box left me over a year ago.

Here’s to me and my incredible, “compliance” when it comes to carrying a source of glucose for lows! Rolling on the floor laughing

Have any of you found a great alternative for treating lows that does not involve glucose tablets or juice?

Diabetes Blog Week Virgin

image via Karen @ bittersweetdiabetes.com

Here I am, taking part in my first Diabetes Blog Week. Over the past few years I have gleaned tons of info from blogs written by other diabetics. It is so nice to read a fellow diabetic’s blog and subsequently experience moments of “I totally get that” and “OMG me too!”

The plan is that I will post a diabetes related blog each day this week (so if you aren’t down with my diabetes-related posts, you may want to take a week-long vacation from Sweetest Motivation). This first post is the “Find a Friend” Post, where we are to write about a d-blog (diabetes blog) that we read. Here goes:

To tell the truth, I am just now branching out in my diabetes blog reading. I started out reading mostly sixuntilme.com, which I love! I am overwhelmed by the amount of amazing d-blogs I have been discovering.

I chose to focus on www.canadiandgal.blogspot.ca AKA Canadian D-gal.

Firstly, the blogger, Scully, is a Canadian. I found this intriguing because I have searched and searched for Canadian D-blogs and they seem few and far between. I thought I was a Google mastermind, but apparently not. Please, fill me in if any of you know of any other Canadian D-blogs!

Scully loves exercise, and it is a common thread in many of her posts; Especially in terms of cycling. I’m drawn to the blog because of the emphasis on physical activity, since I too share the interest.



Future Medtronic “Look I Can Exercise Despite Diabetes” ad campaign?

I am more of a semi-runner/free weight kind of gal but I find cycling interesting. My fiancé just began biking to work (20 some km). He is using a mountain bike and we both think a road bike may be in his future for efficiency’s sake.

I also feel like I can relate to her (Scully’s) diabetes ups and downs. The crazy lows, the annoying highs. I get it. It’s just so nice to know that it’s not only me who finds the diabetes/workout combo DIFFICULT. Do I need a temp basal of 40 or 50%, should I bolus, should I not bolus? Should I just skip the workout today because nothing seems to be going my way in blood sugar land? I think the occasional F-bomb dropped by Scully emphasizes how I sometimes feel. Sigh… it’s a constant battle.

I gotta say, it’s nice to see a few bg readings in the ol’ mmol/l form too. I think I need to suck it up and wrap my head around the mg/dl form. I’m getting better at it!

Bottom-line—> I think it’s a great blog and you should check it out!

Happy D-blog week Smile

Diabetes: Evoking Emotions much like those of a Romantic Comedy

Disclaimer: This is a longer post, but stick with it! You may understand me a bit better after.

Last week I went to a routine diabetes education appointment. First off, let me say how awesome my CDE (certified diabetes educator) is. I’m ultra hard on myself when it comes to diabetes and Janice always brings me back to reality with some perspective.


My A1C was 8.3. For those of you who don’t know, that is higher than the recommended range for blood glucose control. As I mentioned before, the A1C is a measure of your blood glucose control over the past 3 months. The Canadian Diabetes Association recommends an A1C less than 7. Honestly, I haven’t been less than 7 since high school. Let me tell you, this is not for any lack of trying.

I find it hard as a health care professional myself to divulge that my A1C is not picture perfect. It’s hard to reveal to anyone who reads this blog that my A1C is not stellar. I’m laying it all out in the open! Janice reiterated the importance in not worrying so much about what others think of me in relation to my diabetes. I’m pretty sure I could use this advice in other aspects of my life, not just in relation to the diabetes.

Our convo went from serious to funny, and back again. Man! a diabetic appointment is a bit like a cheesy romantic comedy; I laughed…..I cried. Honestly, I come close to tears in a lot of my diabetic appointments, but this one was the first that the river flowed freely. I was a bit embarrassed, but couldn’t really help myself. Thank god for Janice though. She calmly reminded me:

  • “Ciara it’s just a number.”
  • “There are so many factors.”
  • “It’s obvious how much effort you put into this.”

Hmmm.. could she be referring to the 10-14 somewhat obsessive blood glucose checks a day Disappointed smile

Janice empathized with my frustration about high and low blood glucose levels after exercise. All I’m trying to do is workout to be healthy and in turn my sugars are out of whack! Ugh. We are trying a few new things and hopefully these will help with my control during workout sessions.

I also declared that maybe I really just don’t eat healthy enough? Maybe I have too many little indulgences here and there? Maybe my carb counting sucks?

She offered up the point that really,as long as I can count the carbs in the food, I can eat it. Technically speaking, I don’t need to be eating any differently than a non-diabetic, but I need to be more careful. Both types of people should be following Canada’s Food guide. Next time you want to ask a diabetic “oh I see your eating ______, are you cheating?” think to yourself “am I following the recommended guidelines myself?”

Janice stated “Ciara, the difference is that your pancreas is on your hip and more difficult to control.” Good point Janice Smile But I still think I could do better Embarrassed smile.



Exhibit A and B-  A Pancreas located on hip. B Pancreas located within, somewhere around the posterior abdominal wall.

If I wake up at night, I check my sugar. It’s a security thing. If it’s a bit up I treat it. I have had nights where I wake up 3 or 4 times checking and treating. These nights involve little sleep. Again, Janice pointed out the necessity of quality of life: “It’s ok if your sugars are 10 or 9 sometimes at night, you need to sleep too.” She makes many a good point. Reggie also needs to sleep instead of hearing the constant robot beep from my pump!!

This post could go on for a while, but I think I will summarize with some of the things I am taking away from this appointment.

  1. Diabetes IS a disease, there IS a reason why glycemic control is difficult for me compared to people with regular functioning pancreai . Damn you ! Winking smile(not sure about the plural form of pancreas).
  2. I am trying to do better. Maybe too much sometimes.
  3. I am doing a good job.
  4. Quality of life is important too.
  5. Sleep is important. Do it!
  6. Shift work does influence my glycemic control. I don’t want to accept the fact, and I won’t let it stop me. I do need to acknowledge it though.
  7. I will figure out how to exercise and avoid the ups and downs.
  8. I have too many low blood sugars. I don’t worry as much about them as I do my highs. This is bad. Lows can go south a lot faster than a high can take you there.

On positive notes, there is no sign of diabetes related damage to my eyes and kidneys. Although I think my psyche has taken a hit.

It has been 12 years that I have had the ‘betes. It’s difficult to stave off complications forever. I’m going to fight hard against it though. Always.

Road Trip

I travelled to my homeland (New Brunswick) for a weekend visit with family and friends. I had not made the journey home since August last year, so a visit was probably slightly overdue. 


Safety Note: Do not take pictures while driving. It is unsafe.

The drive to my first destination, my sister Jill’s apartment, was about 5 hours and just before arriving my insulin pump decided to go on the fritz. When I tried to dial in an amount of carbs I was eating it would scroll like a maniac through 0-300 over and over again. Then one of the buttons stopped working completely Disappointed smile I did not have back up syringes either. Oops. Typical me. I know better, and have actually gotten better at bringing back up supplies along (excuses, excuses).

When I got to Jill’s place I called the Medtronic Pump peeps, who were super helpful, and I already have the new pump at my disposal. The button problem cannot be fixed. The pump is also no longer under warranty. So it looks like I’m in the market for a new pump. I have been researching the Medtronic Paradigm VEO pump. It has automatic low suspend, handy for if you go low in the night and don’t hear/feel your alarms. It will suspend your basal for a period of time. Cool!

We picked up some syringes, to keep me going until my backup pump arrived, and then headed to The Snooty Fox for some eats. I had salmon, veggies and rice. The salmon was topped with pesto and goat cheese with a drizzle of maple syrup. I had not had this combo before but it was soooo good. I will be trying to replicate it at home for sure.



Jill had her fave, nachos topped with pickles. I sampled it a number of times. I really liked the pickles idea.

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I took the picture a bit too early.

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There that’s better!

So, to mix things up I decided to interview my “little” brother, Jake. He has recently become a fitness fiend. I figured it’s an interesting way to have a look into the 16 y/o psyche Laughing out loud


  • What is your favourite thing about being fit?

“Hmmm…. I had this memorized last night, just give me a minute. The feeling you get when you leave the gym is probably one of the best feelings in the world. I love how I don’t have to get motivated, like, when other people find that they have to make themselves go. I love going, it just comes naturally. I get mad when I don’t get to go on a day I planned to.”

“You could go to the gym with something bothering you, having a bad day, or stressed out, and you leave feeling a lot better.”

  • What initially made you start gyming it?

“A couple of summers ago I lived with my sister and trained with a professional trainer to get better at hockey, and I basically fell in love with the gym.”

  • Gym pet peeve?

“People with bad form. Ahh.. Or something getting in the way of your workout.”

  • What’s your favourite exercise?

“Ohhh…I’d say…Can I say a group of exercises?” “Compound exercises, barbell squats, and deadlifts. ‘Cause they work better than isolation exercises. For example a barbell curl.”

  • What does “compound exercise” mean?

“It’s where you use a combination of muscle groups to do a movement. Isolation means where you are focusing on one muscle.”

  • Can you teach me how to deadlift? I hurt my knee trying to the other day.


  • How much can you deadlift?

“Like my one rep max? Umm like 325 lbs”

  • What is your least favourite exercise?

“Isolation exercises. They aren’t as great for mass”

  • What is your favourite healthy food?

“My favourite pre-workout is probably some type of pasta, and my favourite post-workout is probably steak and taters. My favourite snack is probably cottage cheese”

  • Do you have a favourite protein shake mix?

“When I’m in a hurry I usually just throw in water and protein. If I have time I usually put like frozen berries, egg whites, oatmeal, ahhhhh, protein ahhhh, sometimes almonds.”

  • Favourite workout song?

“Probably the good ol’ classic..Oh what’s it called….the one by Eminem. Lose it?”

  • Who is your favourite athlete?

“P.K. Subban. He plays defence for Montreal. He is flashy. I play defence too. He plays on my favourite team. He’s good.”

  • What are your post-high school plans?

“Lately been thinking about going into Kinesiology. I don’t know what to do with it yet. Maybe a trainer or something”

And there you have it! A little Q&A with Jakey-poo.

That’s it for now! I know I have been lacking in posts lately, but I haven’t had a decent internet connection for the past few days.I may post again very soon!

Diabetes Easter Haul

Good Morning All.

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I mean Good Afternoon. Don’t I look like it’s the morning despite this though? Note* this photo was actually taken a couple days ago, but I look a lot like this now. My hair may be a tad more on the grease-tastic side though.

Back to the post—>I remember my first Easter with Diabetes. I had just been diagnosed in March, and was 11 years old. How cruel of nature to spring this on me before one of childhood’s best holidays. I survived though. Then, come October, I survived Halloween.

I thought I would share with you my diabetic friendly Easter 2012 gifts from Reggie.

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What a good man he is, buying me all this diabetic friendly stuff. A banana, an apple, a juice box, urinalysis strips, Splenda artificial sweetener, glucose tabs and a gift certificate for the Wilfred Brimley’s Online Diabetes store. All basic everyday needs for us diabetics on Easter. We do not touch the chocolate. It is not part of our strict diet.

Who am I kidding. This is my REAL Easter Haul.

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I’ve been wanting this cookbook for a while, so I bought it the other day and suggested Reggie add it to my Easter stuff this morning. He picked up the fitness mag, and yummy chocolate treats for me. Now that is a good man; not falling inline with the stigma of “no sugar ever” diabetes.

You see, I will not eat large amounts of this chocolate at once. It will likely last a long time and be shared (especially that large Reese egg). I feel I am usually a healthy eater. I have “treats” or I “cheat” (as some like to say Thinking smile) on some occasions. I don’t think anyone should call it “cheating”. For example, there is natural sugar in apples. Am I cheating if I eat one of those? Do you follow Canada’s Food Guide to a tee? HA! You too are cheating my friend.

I’m not perfect. I’m pretty sure the perfect diabetic does not exist. If he or she does, that is AWESOME, but I hope he or she loosens up and has some fun once in a while!

You can see my Easter weekend continuous glucose monitoring has hovered a bit above or around the upper limit of my set range for blood glucose levels. photo (45)

Could be because of a little too much awesome Steven’s Family “Birthday Cake.”

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It is so so good. So glad I am entitled to know the Secret Recipe.

On a healthier note, I completed a good workout today including treadmill running and a total body workout. I made sure to stretch adequately and eat some protein at breakfast to ward off post-workout partial paralysis.

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The protein was in egg form. I scrambled two eggs and mixed in some green pepper, onion and shredded cheese. Next I placed the mixture on a wrap and topped with salsa. I must say, I truly wanted to top it with ketchup. I ended up ditching the wrap because the eggs were a little on the runny side and I couldn’t stomach a damp tortilla. The scramble was still satisfying on it’s own.

Hope you all are having a lovely weekend. Reg and I are going to have a chill night, involving a viewing of the Muppets and last night’s SNL featuring Sofia Vergara. Love her. Reppin’ for the curvy women around the world Smile