If you have diabetes and live in Australia, it is highly likely that at some point you would have received some information, support and/or education from Diabetes Australia.

These services range from the provision of information via websites, blogs, magazines, information sessions and webinars. They also involve activities such as camps for children with type 1 diabetes, peer support groups, targeted information sessions which look at issues including men’s health, women’s health (including the very important topic of pre-conception planning and care), programs for young people with diabetes, programs for older people with diabetes, including those in nursing homes, working with culturally and linguistically diverse groups, delivering programs to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities and the training of health professional training.

More? Well, there is also a huge body of advocacy work – both at an individual and policy level – that takes place, as well as representation on expert panels and working groups. In Victoria, initiatives such as the Australian Centre for Behavioural Research in Diabetes are supported by Diabetes Victoria.

Yesterday, it was announced that the Government has signed the 6th Community Pharmacy Agreement (6CPA). This agreement covers the supply of PBS medicines and, more broadly, pharmacy remuneration for dispensing subsidised medicines.

A significant change in 6CPA from previous agreements is that from July 2016, NDSS products will be distributed through the pharmacy wholesaler distribution network. This is where it starts to affect people living with diabetes.

Basically, the NDSS is broken into two parts. There is the product supply and delivery component and then the support services component. The latter is where all those things I listed earlier in this post fall.

Okay – let me get the disclaimer palaver out of the way. I work for Diabetes Victoria (formerly Diabetes Australia – Vic). I also have a national role where I work for Diabetes Australia. I am a long standing member of the Diabetes Australia family – something of which I am incredibly proud. My work involves providing information and support services to people living with diabetes in Victoria, and managing a national project about young people and diabetes. I am a spokesperson for the organisation – especially about diabetes technology and social media. I do all these things backed by a team of health professional and consumer experts.

Right – with that out of the way, I will also say that I have no more information than what is available in the public domain, so this is not an opportunity for me to be sneaky in trying to get people talking about this to promote Diabetes Australia’s work. That’s not what this is about. This is about what it means to people with diabetes living in Australia. Because I am one of those people.

The 6CPA clearly outlines that product supply and delivery (that is, all the consumables we use to help manage our diabetes) will now be distributed through the pharmacy network. As a person with diabetes, I am confident that this means that the supply of these products is protected (along with the subsidised prices) and that I won’t be expected to pay more for my strips or pump supplies.

But what about ongoing education and support services? Diabetes Australia has a long history of providing evidence-based information. In recent years, there has been a very strong focus on patient-centred care, and most programs now have some sort of consumer input. Engaging people living with diabetes is considered just as important as engagement with healthcare professionals. I know this is true – I am frequently asked to either be a consumer rep, or (perhaps most pleasingly) assist with finding someone to be a consumer rep.

The provision of diabetes information needs to be done by people who ‘get’ diabetes. I am a really strong believer of this. I believe it to be true of all health conditions – there need to be experts (and that doesn’t only include clinical experts) at the helm. And there needs to be a strong link to the community.

These services Diabetes Australia provides change lives – I hear that every time I speak with a parent whose kid has been to a camp. I heard that – repeatedly – on Saturday at the Diabetes Expo where I was emcee.  I hope this carries on.

Last week, I tweeted/Instagrammed/Facebooked this:

iPhone

Because it is the best cartoon ever. Ever. Ever.

My iPhone could, in some ways, be considered my primary-care physician. It has the ability to manage everything about my diabetes. All in one little hand-held device with a cute Kate Spade cover.

It has the contact details of my real-life (i.e. non-iOS) healthcare team. I don’t even need to dial – I just have to ask Siri to connect me! And she does. Or else she connects me to the Japanese restaurant from where we frequently get Friday night takeaway. Either is good.

It has apps that can do all sorts of things – produce pretty graphs, tell me the time of day that my BGL is the highest (and therefore showing the time of day that I am most likely to have eaten doughnuts) and remind me that I’ve been doing hardly any BGL checks. Judgemental little thing.

It keeps appointment times and, if I was the organised type, could remind me when I need to fill a prescription or am overdue for something. (Note to self: book in pap smear.)

It has all my different social media platforms, easily accessible, so that I can see what is going on with everyone I have ever known and not known, see photos of what people are eating, and get links to videos of dogs and cats being cute. Which make me smile and feel happy which is good for my mental health.

It connects me to people with diabetes at all times of the day. It’s a 24 hour, 7 day a week, 365 day a year peer support group full of people who are able to provide reassurance, humour and love. And teach me to swear at high or low BGLs in all the languages of the world!

It contains vital information including my pump basal rates. Which is good because I am sure that information will come in handy one day.

Dr Google lives in there and she is able to give me information about pretty much anything whenever I like. For example, at 3am when I wake up with a headache and need a diagnosis of the likelihood of some sort of tumour.

Everything I need. Doctor, counsellor, friend and comic. No wonder I start hyperventilating when it’s not in sight!

Consultation time

 

I have a love of words that stems from a love of reading and a love of conversation. I love learning new words and discovering new meanings. Clever conversation makes me swoon. My favourite TV shows become favourites because of the banter between characters. I read cookbooks by Nigella Lawson as much for her prose as for the recipes.

People who know how to use words are my heroes and I envy them enormously.

Language is a thing of great beauty and power. But with power, there comes an ability to destroy and misuse and oh, oh, oh, how words are misused!

I don’t like abbreviated words. ‘Awks’ is not a word. And ‘totes’ as a noun refers to a bag and as a verb to carrying something around. It is not a substitute for ‘totally’. (Also, it’s possible I am an 82-year-old woman called Beryl who is about to call 3AW and complain about ‘the youth of today’.)

But most of all, I despise made up words.

So it’s a little odd that one of my favourite Tumblrs is all about made up words.

The Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows invents words that fill a gap in language. Creator of the Tumblr is John Koenig and he is incredibly clever in the way he comes up with these new words. He has a Facebook page to explain the etymology for each word (often made up from existing words jumbled together) and YouTube clips, exquisitely telling the story of the word.

Some of the made up words are strangely beautiful, although I wonder if that is because what they intend to describe is beautiful. Unsurprisingly, vellichor is my favourite.

Sometimes, there are no words to describe a feeling or an experience. This is often the case when trying to explain diabetes – especially to people who do not live with it.

Here are some things I wish there were words for:

That feeling when you know you are low but refuse to acknowledge it. Your brain is foggy, yet at the same time your mind is defiantly in denial. 

The frustration you feel when you are desperately trying to play by the book, yet still not getting the diabetes results you would like to see – that you expect.

The love you feel for diabetes technology which is often coupled with an absolute hate of it.

That feeling of meeting someone with diabetes who you just click with and know that you will be friends forever – not because of diabetes, but just because, although kind of because of diabetes! (Ping: These girls. And this one.)

And adding to that – being in a room full of other people with diabetes and hearing the beeping and vibrating and alarming and clicking of a hundred meters/pumps/lancets/pens/CGMs and being absolutely oblivious to it all because it just feels so ‘normal’.

The anticipation of digging a spoon into a new jar of Nutella.

The superciliousness you feel – and the exaltation you feel you deserve – when you change your lancet more than a couple of times of year.

The rare, unusual and yet liberating feeling of being completely, truly, utterly, entirely, wholly naked – no cannula; no sensor; no tape on your body.

The appreciation, gratitude and indebtedness you feel towards your loved ones who are forced to deal with diabetes that one step removed, and love you no less for it.

The realisation that a diabetes blog post you are reading is so perfectly true, so accurately precise and tells your story so honestly that you feel that you wrote it yourself.

Being high and all that comes with it.

I wish there were words for these things. I wish that there was a way that I could express what diabetes is about – how diabetes feels – in a way that is more than just multiple words on paper and a (frequently ridiculous) stream of consciousness that is often nothing more than an unintelligible mess!

I’m not sure that I would ever use Koenig’s words in a sentence – spoken or written – and he is certainly not the first person to make up words. Shakespeare made up words in his writing. Edward Lear did too – really, just what is a runcible spoon? But nonetheless, it is somewhat magical to see – and hear how – random letters come together to create words that seem to somehow, suddenly, make complete sense and give a name to things that we absolutely feel.

I got to Saturday evening and felt like I needed to collapse! I was more than a little diabetes-ed out. The end of last week and the beginning of the weekend were huge – attendance at a health professional event on Friday, the Diabetes Expo on Saturday and, of course, the gift that keeps on giving, the television thing on Thursday.

When diabetes is so front-and-centre, it is really tough to think clearly and about all the information that has been shoved into my itty-bitty mind. Stopping and searching around for some things I have learnt and taken away can be difficult. Which is why Twitter is good!

Here is what I learnt over the last few days.

People want information about diabetes. There is still so much misinformation out there that people living with diabetes sometimes have a hard time cutting through the noise and working out what is valuable info and what is made-up-psuedo-science-crap-from-some-idiot-trying-to-sell-you-magic-beans-to-cureall.  So it’s good to have sensible people saying sensible things! (Hashtag – Evidence)

WeekendTweet4

 

WeekendTweet5And I also learnt that diabetes is still seen and considered by too many as a clinical condition and there is not enough attention given to the emotional impacts of living with it.

WeekendTweet1

Thankfully though, I was reminded that there are people out there who can help with this!

WeekendTweet3

I learnt that Twitter trolls will latch onto hashtags that are getting some attention and try to infiltrate it with their nonsense. These trolls should be ignored. Except, of course, I didn’t. (However, I will not share your Twitter handle here!)

WeekendTweet8

And these nutters will try to discredit you by challenging your Nutella addiction. Fools!

WeekendTweet2

I was reminded why the Herald Sun is not the place to go for credible diabetes information.

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And promised baklava from one of Australia’s leading researchers in diabetes. Thanks Sof!

WeekendTweet7

I learnt that it’s surprising who watches morning magazine television shows. Like the uber-cool waiter at Marios who announced loudly as we walked into the café yesterday, ‘I saw you on TV’!

I remembered that people walk away from these sorts of events feeling positive and rejuvenated and connected. Which makes them worth it in a million different kinds of ways.

WeekendTweet9

 

WeekendTweet10

 

And I learnt that after a hugely successful few days of work activities that hanging out with my family, listening to Carol King and drinking coffee in my favourite café and then watching the Eurovision song contest final will make me feel energised and ready to face the new week.

Hello Monday!

I know it’s not Friday, so here is something for your MONDAY listening pleasure!

Today, I am at the Diabetes Victoria and Baker IDI Health Professional Symposium and the first session has me thinking – and sitting down the back of the auditorium banging out this post.

The keynote presenter for the Symposium is Professor Herzel Gerstein talking about hypoglycaemia. He made a wonderful point in the Q and A portion of his presentation, one that I think is frequently overlooked.    

IMG_0783

The language (yes, I’m talking language AGAIN) we use around hypoglycaemia is misleading at times. Generally, we have severe hypoglycaemia and mild hypoglycaemia.

Severe hypos refer to those we need assistance to treat. It may inolve unconsciousness or seizures. Severe hypos sometimes need paramedics’ assistance, or a trip to the hospital.

Mild hypos are those that we can manage ourselves without too much hassle.

The problem with using these two terms is that it makes it sounds as though mild hypos are nothing. They’re just a part of living with diabetes, deal with it, off you go.

That may be the case in practical terms. A so-called mild hypo may mean grabbing a handful of jelly beans, waiting a few minutes and then off you go. Or it might be slightly more than that and take longer. But whatever it is, it’s termed ‘mild’ because no assistance was required.

But the thing with ‘mild hypos’ is that they do have the potential to weed their way into your psyche and suddenly become very significant.

If those mild hypos mean that you are often running late for things, you start to wonder if others are questioning your reliability. If those mild hypos have you needing to sit things out for a moment, you worry your friends or your kids or your family think you are disengaged, not wanting to participate. If those mild hypos result in you being a little vague for a while in work meetings, you start to fear your boss or colleagues think that you are not paying attention, not interested, don’t understand.

These are not ‘mild’ things. These are really significant and mean worrying and stress and anxiety and anger and sadness and fear and guilt and all the other things that diabetes makes you feel. There is nothing mild about it!

I think this is a really important issue for healthcare professionals to remember. By brushing away mild hypos as just a short-term-complication-everyone-has-them notion, the actual impact on the person living with diabetes is ignored. it’s minimising just how big a deal mild hypos can be and not providing any strategies for coping and managing with the emotional side of these episodes.

A mild hypo may not necessarily be terrifying in the moment, it may be quite manageable at the time, it may not affect anyone else or draw too much, if any, attention to the person having the hypo. And this is good!

But don’t for a minute think that it doesn’t mean a silent feeling of dread (and possibly a silent word of thanks to the hypo gods that it was nothing more!) or feelings of significant distress afterwards.

I went to TV Land today to do an interview on a morning show about the artificial pancreas. I am always excited to see type 1 diabetes in the spotlight. Actually, I am always excited and pleased to see any diabetes in the spotlight, provided the reporting is accurate and the information devoid of any myths. And they don’t use the word ‘sufferer’.

I was a little anxious to speak about the artificial pancreas. It was being hailed as a ‘diabetes breakthrough’, which is a little misleading given that the trials for this technology have been underway for some time now. I am always very careful when talking about research and emerging technologies, making sure whatever I say is in context – I don’t ever want to be accused of promising something will be here, available for all, in ‘five years time’. In fact, I had made it really clear when speaking with the producer prior to the interview that this is NOT a cure and that it would probably be better that the word ‘cure’ not even be mentioned.

So, I was asked about how the AP would change things for people and what it would mean and gently speculated (based on a few things I’d read recently about current trials) as to when it would be available. I was a little hesitant at the ‘and what will it cost?’ question, because 1. Who knows? and 2. The answer is most likely ‘Out of reach for most people. Which sucks!’ and I didn’t think that would be a good thing to say on TV when I was doing my best to sound professional.

Big hair. Big make up!

I’ve not seen the clip from this morning yet. Trying to focus on a camera, and listen to people I can’t actually see (they were in Sydney, I was in a dingy box of a room in Melbourne) and not wipe my Bold and the Beautiful-esque make up off whilst flattening my big hair was really not ideal for coming across as poised and professional. But I didn’t giggle uncontrollably. And managed not to swear. So, I think (hope) it was okay!

I got into a cab outside the studio when it was all over and the driver asked me if I was famous. (I would suggest the need to ask that question would also provide the answer, but whatever.) ‘Ha! Ah, no. Really. No,’ I said to him. ‘I was interviewed about diabetes research.’

‘About a cure? My son has type 1 diabetes,’ he turned around to look at me.

I looked back at him. I looked at the desperate look on his face. I know that look – I’ve seen it thousands of time. I’ve worn it thousands of time.

‘No. I’m sorry.’ I said. ‘It was about a potential breakthrough in technology – a new device that may be available in coming years. It will make things easier. But it’s not a cure.’

He looked away, disheartened.

‘I’m sorry. Really. I’m sorry.’

I looked out the window as the cab sped through the city, the buildings all shiny from the rain. And right at that moment, I felt as despondent as my cab driver looked.

UPDATE – You can watch here.

 

It’s kinda ingenuous to refer to today’s post as ‘Wordless Wednesday’ given the image below is full of words. Plus I’m typing words. So I may as well keep typing a few more.

Inspirational quotes give me the shits. Whether it’s posters on the walls of corporate offices or on the walls of my social media feed, they annoy me.

So here’s one for today!

Know the difference

This one, (found on the Diabetes Support Facebook page), I actually rather love. I am so guilty of referring to myself as a failure because I am not managing my diabetes as well as I would like to be. But at no time have I decided that my health is not worth the effort. And certainly, at no time have I thought that I am not the effort.

But I have slipped up. I have screwed up. I have lost focus and caved. I’ve given in. I’m busy. I’ve become lazy and I have been so, so, so, so distracted. This is a set back. Nothing more. Nothing less. A set back.

Pop over to the Diabetes Victoria blog for my post about this Saturday’s Diabetes Expo. It’s going to be a jam-packed day of diabetes information! If you’re going, make sure you come and say hi to me. I’ll be emceeing throughout the day.

This is my study.


It’s just one of the rooms in our home that is filled with books. There are books everywhere throughout our house. The front living room has shelves on either side of the fireplace and they are filled with our collection of music books. The kidlet has built-in floor to ceiling shelves in her room, almost completely full of her books – from her first board books to the books she is reading now. There are cookbooks on either side of the wood-fired stove in the kitchen and, in our bedroom, our bedside tables are piled high with books; another tower of books about New York is stacked on an antique cupboard; on the blanket box a pile of fashion books and illustrations sits, ready for a quick flick through.

I have a routine when I buy a new book. I open up the cover, and write my name and the month and year I bought (and usually then read) the book. This little tradition has provided me with a kind of living history of my reading habits.

New York-based (but raised in Melbourne) Lily Brett – one of my all-time favourite writers. I re-read this book just before we went to New York last year.

So with this life-long love of reading, it was with complete and utter confusion when, a couple of years ago, I found myself incapable of finishing a book. I would start a new book eagerly, and after a couple of chapters, I would stop. I found myself distracted, unable to concentrate. I would read the same paragraph over and over and lose track of what was happening. I couldn’t get a hold on the characters and was confused at the plot. I’d go to bed at night, anticipating reading a few chapters and then simply couldn’t focus. So I’d put the book down on the ever-increasing pile of half-read books on my bedside table. And not finish it, starting a new book, only for the same thing to happen.

I tried everything – pulling old favourites down from the shelves and trying to reread those. I tried different genres. I tried easy, brainless, fun chick-lit novels that didn’t take any real brain power or concentration to get through the enjoyable fluff. But I still could not make it through a whole book.

Instead, I would grab my iPad and mindlessly flick through social media sites, looking for and at I don’t know what. But whatever it was, it didn’t take attention. It didn’t take concentration. It didn’t take focus.

I was burnt out with reading. Just as I was burnt out with my diabetes. The lack of motivation I was experiencing when it came to managing my diabetes was flowing into other areas. I had never before lost the motivation to read and it was somewhat confusing and startling. I would buy new books but I stopped writing the date in the beginning of them because I knew that I would’t get through it and that the date would prove nothing.

It continued until the end of last year when I started to give a name to what was going on. I stopped making excuses for the burnout and tried to work through it; I looked at what else was going on and set up strategies to manage the situation.

Admittedly, these strategies haven’t worked on the diabetes burnout – it’s persisted (but I’m getting help for that now!) but naming it and owning it certainly did help in other areas.

And I started reading again.

Today, I’m back to the voracious, desperate reading that has been a character trait throughout my life. On sunny days, I can be found on the wooden bench under the front veranda, reading. As the days have gotten cooler, I am frequently curled up in front of the fire in our living room, or at the kitchen table, the room warmed with whatever is baking in the oven. I’ve been dealing with a relentless sinus-y cold the last week or so and have been taking myself off to bed to relax and read – even managing a couple of afternoon reading sessions followed by naps over the weekend.

I’m so glad I found my reading mojo! Being able to escape into a great book is one of life’s simple pleasures. One that I am enjoying once again.

The other day, I did something I’ve not done for over seventeen years. I picked up my flute and played it.

I used to be a flute player. This is former life stuff, but from the age of eight until I was 24, I played pretty much every day. I studied music from grade three, right through secondary school and at University.

And then I stopped. Until last week.

I’m not sure what compelled me, but the other day, as I was listening to my daughter play the piano, I decided that I wanted to play. ‘Would you like me to play with you?’ I asked her. She nodded and I searched around the music room and found my flute, which is actually now my husband’s flute, which he plays all the time.

I opened the box, put it together, asked her to play me an ‘A’ and tuned up. ‘Okay,’ I said. ‘Start playing; I’ll jump in.’

And I did.

When the piece finished, the kidlet turned around with a huge smile on her face. ‘Wow, Mum, that was great! You are really, really good.’

No, I’m not. I’m really, really bad. The tone was grating to my ears and there were a couple of low notes that I couldn’t even get out because I couldn’t cover the holes on the open-hole instrument.  But I remembered where to put my fingers and I could still read the notes and I knew the pieces.

And it was fun. Really fun!

‘Let’s play something else. Choose another piece,’ I said.

We played through all of her repertoire, laughing at mistakes, picking up where we left off and smiling at each other when we got to the end of each piece.

‘I’ve never heard you play before,’ the kidlet said to me. ‘I didn’t know you were so good.’

I loved her for saying so. I really did. I gave her a huge hug and thanked her for being so lovely.

‘You need to play more, Mum. You should start playing again. Why did you stop?’

I shrugged and promised that we would play again together soon.

I stopped playing the flute around the same time as I was diagnosed with diabetes. It also coincided with stopping teaching music. I wanted or needed a change – and that was it.  I can’t remember the last time I played – there was no ‘this is it’ announcement. I just never took the flute from its case again to play.

I’ve not stopped ‘being musical’ if there is such a thing. I still love music; I still listen to a lot of music and go to a lot of gigs. Our house is full of music – instruments in most rooms, artwork featuring musicians or music halls or music or concerts cover our walls. There are CDs and music DVDs and music books scattered throughout the house. It is a house of music and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

But me as a musician – that ship sailed. I’m okay with that. I really am.

‘So, I played the flute today.’ I told Aaron when he got home from work. ‘I played along with the kidlet while she was practising the piano today. Maybe I’d like to do some playing again.’

A couple of days later, I walked into the kitchen and there on the table was a pile of flute music. Aaron had brought it in for me from the studio in the back garden. Since then, every time I’ve walked past it, I’ve looked at. And once, I sat down and flicked through some of the pages, reading the notes, remembering the tunes.

I thought to myself ‘It seemed like a different life’, but actually that’s not true. It is all the same life and I don’t think it helps to divide my life into pre- and post-diabetes. It’s all on the same continuum. My life changed – significantly – when I was diagnosed with diabetes. But then again, it also did when I met my husband and when we had our daughter.

Perhaps it’s wrong to refer to my time as a musician as ‘a former life’. Instead, it’s just one chapter in this life. One that keeps evolving and surprising me.

D blog week 2015 banner

It’s Diabetes Blog Week! Thanks to Karen from Bitter~Sweet Diabetes for coming up with and coordinating this exciting annual event. It’s a great chance to discover other diabetes bloggers from around the world. Here’s my fifth entry for the week!

I have been looking forward to this #DBlogWeek post all week because, well, food is my thing. I still believe that growing up in a family where food is considered important and dealt with in a positive, healthy way is why I have such a balanced, appreciative attitude towards the food I eat and the food I prepare for my family and friends.  And I hope that this is being instilled into the mind and heart of the kidlet of the house.Food quote italian food

I love to cook for people and our new home is the perfect entertaining space. We have a huge kitchen with heaps of prep space and a view over the garden. There is an old Aga stove which, when we get around to having a chimney sweep clean it out, will be used for all sorts of things including making bread and pizza.

On Saturday night, we had some friends over for dinner. Although I love cooking, I can be a lazy cook. I make no apologies for that, nor is it a negative trait. I made a chicken, chorizo, lemon, garlic thing that took a whole three minutes to throw together. The oven did the rest. (In a baking tray – chicken pieces, chopped chorizo, sliced lemon, bashed garlic, a bit of chicken stock in the bottom of the tray, sprinkle the top with paprika, sea salt and black pepper and shove in a 180 degree (Celsius) oven until the chicken is all golden on top and the smoky chorizo has infused it all; about 30 – 45 minutes.) I made a couple of yummy vegie-based sides and a salad using quinoa and that was it. Dessert was a crumble because it’s crumble weather.

Crunchy apples easily become soft, cinnamon-y and comforting (especial with crumble topping!)

Crunchy apples easily become soft, cinnamon-y and comforting (especial with crumble topping!)

A story of crumble...

A story of crumble…

While we’re talking crumble, I always make double or triple the quantity of topping to keep on hand in the fridge. That way, it’s always easy to throw together a simple, yet scrumptious dessert. Stewing apples or pears takes no effort and if you want to be super-lazy, open a tin of peaches or apricots or whatever floats your boat, drain some of the juice and sprinkle the crumble-topping-already-in-the-fridge over the top. Twenty minutes in the oven and you’re done. (Basic crumble recipe – rub together a cup plain flour and about 100 grams of butter; add a couple of tablespoons of brown sugar, a cup of oats, and then whatever else you have that you think will work. Add cinnamon for apple crumble, dark chocolate for pear crumble, coconut when you have rhubarb, almonds for stone fruits. Walnuts always work in crumble. Always!) According to my husband and the kidlet, crumble must come with ice-cream; I prefer King Island double (or triple) cream. Plain Greek yoghurt works well too.  

Baking biscuits and cakes is one of the most therapeutic and calming things I know how to do. Yesterday, I decided to try something new and found a recipe for Nutella drop biscuits which were just a buttermilk scone recipe with Nutella swirled through. Great concept; super easy, made the house smell like a bakery and tasted great. Plus, they can be frozen and then thawed, heated and served with some salted butter for a speedy afternoon tea.

Last night's dinner.

Last night’s dinner.

Vegetables are a big deal in our house. I love veggies and at this time of year, my favourite way to eat them is in a thick chicken stock-based soup with added barley. Again, this is a lazy cook thing because not only is it a great way of using up almost-past-eating vegies, a huge vat will do a couple of meals. (It freezes really well too.) I usually serve with some toasted crusty sourdough. Last night, however, I used up some leftover risotto and made crunchy rice croquettes to go on the side.

This morning at Stove Top (my favourite café near work).

This morning near work at Stove Top.

We eat out quite a bit. For me, the plethora of workday meetings are often more palatable if there is a coffee, a pleasant café and, possibly, a little cake (Or fairy cake!) involved. Weekends involve catching up with friends at local cafés and regular catch ups with the girls are another excuse to go to Marios.

Food is a thing of joy. It is a thing of love and it is a thing of celebration. It should taste wonderful, it should be evocative and it should not be full of angst, but I know that is not the case for a lot of people. I really do believe a big part of that is the current focus on ridiculous diets and eating plans and rules instead of enjoyment, moderation and joy.

Food quote 3At the moment, it’s a rare day when the oven is not on, baking or stewing or roasting something in its warmth, intensifying flavours and delivering, at the end of the cooking process, a wonderful hearty dish. It’s probably my favourite thing about this time of year and there is nothing better than settling in for the cold night on the couch, fire lit, with a delicious, hearty bowl of something.

I am so pleased that diabetes hasn’t stripped me of my love of food, because many people do think that those of us living with diabetes have a strict, flavourless, boring, repetitive diet. It doesn’t need to be that way.

 

Food quote 1

I’d add eating after cooking!

 

Friday tune – Fats Waller with ‘All that meat and no potatoes.’

Read about Renza

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