Momma Told Me

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Monday, May 23, 2016

5 Diabetic Friendly Lifestyle Tips + My Personal Story

I have been compensated by Glucerna for this post; however, I am sharing my own thoughts. All opinions are my own. Talk with your health care provider about a diabetes management plan that’s right for you. #GlucernaHungerSmart #CollectiveBias
For most diagnosed with adult diabetes it can feel as though one's world has been turned upside down. Follow these 5 Simple Diabetic Friendly Lifestyle Tips to help support loved ones newly diagnosed with diabetes. #GlucernaHungerSmart (AD)
Momma Told Me: You won't be able to eat whatever you want forever!

When I was a little girl it seemed like I could eat anything I wanted. Of course, most of the things I could eat I had no desire to because my taste buds were far from developed enough to appreciate them. I remember sitting cross-legged on the floor in my nightgown, a hot fudge mustache on my face; my father and I unwrapping chocolate kisses and tossing them back like it was going out of style. I was born with my father's sweet tooth, and, because he worked so often during my waking hours, he was inclined to indulge the both of us with sugar and treats when he was home.

Of course my childhood was a slightly different era. Back when juice boxes and sports drinks were sent to school without a second glance of a label. When we passed out candy bars at holidays without concern for allergens, or behavioral issues. And the children who's parents monitored their meals and snacks were the minority. I simply was not raised to care much about what I ate in that sense-

And then I turned 28.
Generations of high glucose levels.
To say my lifestyle and diet has changed dramatically with strong motivation in the past few years would be a very mild way of explaining the transformation I've undergone. When my grandmother passed away on my mother's side I inherited a small life insurance policy which helped me pay off my school loans, buy a better car, and finally afford health insurance. Everyone is always telling me about how great it is to be young, that I'm still a 'baby' and how wonderful youth is to have.

This is true. But I'm far from too young to take charge of my health. And, while I did not feel or look unhealthy, my new physician was quick to explain my blood-work said otherwise. At 28 I was a pre-diabetic. I was crushed.

Immediately I began making dramatic lifestyle and diet changes. I joined a gym, I gave up nearly all beverages for water, allowed myself 'dessert' only twice a week (and on social occasions) and prepared special meal plans. My family thought I was going overboard- my father, who had once been my partner in crime, continued to give me massive sweets as gifts for holidays. And then, 3 months ago, his own doctor declared him diabetic. It was then I began digging deeper into my family history and discovered the genetic predisposition to diabetes that I'd already been struggling to fight the past several years. For generations back the adults in our family have ALL struggled with glucose levels, and eventually, diabetes.
Healthy Fruit Options For Diabetics #GlucernaHungerSmart (AD)
If you or someone you know has recently been diagnosed diabetic it can be tough to know where to start. For me, on my journey, just having the support of friends and family to encourage me to make smarter decisions about food and lifestyle has been invaluable. Adult diabetes often comes as a surprise, and can greatly interrupt the lifestyle of those diagnosed. So today I'd like to share 5 simple tips to help manage diabetes that have proved comforting for our family.

TIP #1: Replace Old Cravings With Fruit- It may seem contrary to reach for something naturally sweet when you're attempting to manage your blood sugar but there are a variety of fruits with positive sugars and carbs that the body actually needs, and digests much easier than processed or refined sugars. In addition, fruits often have additional vitamins and nutrients essential to a healthy diet!

Check out some of my favorite fruits for diabetic living-
  • Kiwis: High in fiber and vitamin C with minimal (essential) natural sugars.
  • Clementines: Low in fat with a low glycemic index and packed with Vitamin C
  • Peaches: Vitamin A + C, as well as rich in Fiber, making them great for hunger curbing smoothies!
  • Bananas: Bananas are high in carbohydrates, so they should be enjoyed in portions, but provide a great source of natural energy and potassium, perfect to start the day!
  • Avocados: This delicious savory fruit may be high in calories, but the fatty acids inside can also help bring down glycemic index levels inside the body. 
  • Tomatoes: When eaten raw, tomatoes are found to be low in carbohydrates, and tomato juice may even contribute to a better lifestyle. Just remember to avoid sugar ridden sauces, such as ketchup!
TIP #2: Get A Full Night's Sleep- Getting a good night's rest is a 'Pro' tip for anybody, diabetes or not, but studies have also found that those who get 2 or more hours less than the recommended amount of sleep per night may be at greater risk for developing diabetes, or suffering from increased complications. While the full link between increased glucose levels and less sleep on average is not completely understood, quite yet, waking refreshed and ready for the day will surely help you make smarter decisions, and feel more inclined to maintain an active lifestyle.

So what's the magic number? Ideally adults 25-40 will get a full 7-9 hours of uninterrupted rest, each night. For people who struggle with falling asleep, or making the time to sleep, dietary and lifestyle changes often associated with healthy diabetic living will often naturally extend the value of sleep gotten.
#GlucernaHungerSmart shakes at Walmart (AD)
Tip #3: Stay Fueled On The Go- For me, personally, the biggest threat to my glucose levels comes when I am out and about. When I am at home I know not to stock my pantries with tempting sweets and dangerous foods. However, when I go out there is an entire world of advertising, merchandising, and fast food bombarding me, no matter where I look. It's easy to feel the grumble of my stomach and want to swing through the drive through for a Tall Mocha Whatever, or a $.99 Frozen Cola. There are many times when I have to talk myself down, so I always keep an easy to consume alternate on hand- Glucerna® Hunger Smart™ Shakes, available in satisfying Vanilla and Chocolate.

Sold at my local Walmart, Glucerna® Hunger Smart™ Shakes (*use under medical supervision) have just 6 grams of sugar and 1 carb choice per bottle. They come in convenient 6 packs of individual 10oz, easy to reseal, bottles. And, with 15g of protein and 3g of fiber, they feature 55% more protein than leading weight loss shakes, which helps me manage my hunger longer. Their unique CarbSteady slowly digestible carbohydrates are even specially designed for those with diabetes. You can currently save up to $3 when you purchase 2 large packages of Glucerna® Hunger Smart™ Shakes at Walmart!

I keep a Glucerna® Hunger Smart™ Shake in my purse often, and especially when I'm planning on going out on a long day trip- not only is it a nice treat to have a sweet shake, but I don't end up giving into my hangry cravings for sugar ridden alternates. And, if you'll remember my father, who was recently diagnosed diabetic- well, he takes one on the road every day at work!
3 Ingredient Nourishing Lotions- Avocado, Cream + Honey #GlucernaHungerSmart (AD)
Tip #4: Nurture Your Skin: Staying hydrated is one of the most important things a diabetic can do- not only will great hydration help the body naturally purify, it will improve the appearance and health of your skin. Skin health is a high concern for those who have been managing their adult diabetes for years. Even with the best diet and treatment diabetes can cause circulation, nerve, and hydration issues that will impact the skin over time.

Having a regular skincare regimen will not only foster beautiful, hydrated, skin, but also reminds a diabetic to be on the lookout for any changes or skin-related symptoms that may be developing as an impact of their diabetes. Try this recipe for our 3 Ingredient Nourishing Lotion to help pamper and nourish diabetic skin:

3 Ingredient Nourishing Lotion

3 TBS Heavy Cream
1/2 Ripe Avocado
2 TBS Honey

Combine all ingredients in a blender and puree into a smooth cream. Apply directly to dry or rough spots and leave on for at least an hour. Rinse with warm water.
#GlucernaHungerSmart (AD)
Tip #5: Stay Fit And Flexible- My final tip, like many of the others, will benefit non diabetics just as much. Maintaining an active lifestyle is essential to not only heart health but regular sessions of even small activity can help lower blood glucose naturally. You don't have to bench press 300lbs, or start running marathons (though either would certainly be beneficial), in fact, relaxing and even easy activities such as yoga, water aerobics, and flexibility training can assist in managing diabetes. Promoting healthy circulation, while encouraging an active heart rate, is key to a successful diabetic exercise routine.

Managing adult diabetes is a lifelong commitment- While there currently is no cure, there is a myriad of lifestyle changes that can be made to make living with diabetes more tolerable. Personally, I've found eating and living better really isn't all that bad- in fact, I feel even better every day knowing I am fueling myself with more energy through a healthier lifestyle. If you or someone you love struggles to manage diabetes consider asking a doctor about adding Glucerna® Hunger Smart™ Shakes to their management plan. Sign up here for a money saving coupon!

What Daughter Says: These days I manage my diet so I can enjoy many more years of delicious food, and amazing memories.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Creating A New Generation Of Stains™ + D.I.Y. Color Toss Tutorial

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #ShoutSolutions #CollectiveBias
Momma Told Me: That stain's never going to come out!

I don't wear white.

It's kind of a rule I have. I respect white clothing, and, in turn, they respect me. We have a mutual understanding, white linens and I.

That's because I was born not only a klutz, but a color addict. I am drawn to vibrant, colorful, things much like a bride to a sparkly engagement ring. The number one stain nemesis my wardrobe faces? Food stains. I'm not going to lie, if something's vibrant AND delicious I'll make like a pig in mud and throw caution to the wind for fruit juices (Mmmm, juicy ripe, red strawberries!) rich bbq sauces, melting chocolate ice cream, robust marinaras and more. But, growing up, I wasn't called a 'stain magnet' just for the food I'd encounter- after all, Momma was smart enough to cover me in a tarp before letting me loose with a messy food. No, I managed to cover my clothes in everything from highlighters and paint to crushed flowers.
Still today, when I see something beautifully colorful I have to touch it- My wardrobe, organized on a color wheel scheme, has pieces in literally every hue, to match any given mood. And when you combine a yellow dress with a neon blue eye-shadow clump you make for a pretty formidable laundry stain.

Yes, I'm proud to say I'm still devising new stains today.

It's not that I don't care about ruining my favorite clothes. Well, I sort of don't. I know I have pretty good odds of removing just about any stain from my favorite threads with a secret weapon on hand. Shout® Trigger Triple-Acting Stain Remover from Walmart is an affordable single treatment laundry remover that goes to work on the toughest stains to cling, penetrate, and lift in wash. Naturally the sooner you treat a stain, the better it will work- just spray Shout® Trigger Triple-Acting Stain Remover on the stained areas, gently rub the solution in, let it sit 1-5 minutes, then wash the stained fabric in the warmest water it will accept. Shout® is suitable for all colorfast materials, so you can truly use it for a variety of stain solutions.
Speaking of a variety of stains- the Shout® brand realizes there's a New Generation of Stains™ and is challenging their customers to put their Shout® Trigger Triple-Acting Stain Remover to the test on whatever life throws at them. Discover some of these stains in funny videos on the brand's YouTube page. Over the past few years one of my most challenging stains have come from the variety of 'fun runs' I've participated in. These casual 5-7k events often involve unusual terrain, excess dirt and mud, or even thousands of gallons of colored corn starch.

Did I catch your attention there? Yes, I have literally rolled in colored corn starch during these events simply to see how close to a living rainbow I could become.
But a good old-fashioned modern color toss shouldn't be something reserved for a once a year event on city streets. No, I need color in my life, and I need it in a big way. How fun would it be to stage gender announcements with a color toss photo-shoot? Or host a color wars themed family reunion party? Heck, even the kids would have a barrel of a good time watching a cloud of color shoot through the sky for no reason other than it's Tuesday. So I bring you the very simple process for making your own Color Toss powder at home-

1. Begin with some basic materials- You are going to want 4-5 Cups of basic cornstarch, depending on how much, and how many colors, you are attempting to yield. You will also need stain resistant mixing bowls (1 for each color,) gloves to protect your hands from staining, gel based food colors of choice, and Water. Here is the supply breakdown for 1 batch (Approximately 1 Cup of Color Toss):

1 C Cornstarch
1/3 C Room Temperature Water
6-8 Drops Gel Based Food Color
Stain Resistant Mixing Bowl
Baking Sheet (For Drying)
2. Begin by placing 1 Cup of cornstarch in a mixing bowl. Add the water slowly, but steadily, stirring as you add. This may be easiest to do with a second pair of hands to pour as you stir. The mixture will want to seize and turn into a substance referred to as 'Oooblek'. Keeping the motion constant will help the mixture maintain its’ liquid-like properties and allow all of the cornstarch to be evenly absorbed. You may need to add more water if the mixture thickens beyond a rough slurry. You will know you have reached the correct consistency when the mixture oozes off a spoon rapidly, but with enough thickness to coat it in entirety.
3. If you are lucky, and have that second pair of hands, you can add your food color without ever stopping stirring. Make the color of the mixture significantly darker than your desired result as most of the liquid will evaporate out during the drying process and the powder will be several shades lighter when done.

4. Repeat this process for each color your desire to make. As you go you will quickly find a simple technique and water ratio that works best for you. By my 4th color I was a pro. Once all of the colors are mixed place the bowls in a dry place where they can rest for several days. If you are using large bowls and your liquid pool is shallow your colors will dry much quicker than smaller, taller, bowls. In most cases the colors will be ready for the next step in 2-3 days- you can 'drain' the excess liquid every few hours after the color has initially set, to help speed the process. Otherwise, set them aside and check back in several days for surface cracks. This is how you will know the color is 'done'.

5. Flip the color 'cakes' out onto a clean baking/cookie sheet. The color should crumble with light texture and will feel like soft, cool, red clay to the touch. The texture should remind you of chalk. Pre-heat your oven to 200F and crumble your color 'cakes' while you wait. Try and make the crumble as fine and even as possible, spreading it out in a thin layer along the sheet.

6. Bake your color in a 200F pre-heated oven for 45-60 minutes. Depending on how moist your color was upon crumbling, you may need to adjust this time more or less. The heating process will draw any remaining moisture out. It is important that you allow your color to 'cool' before the next step or any humidity from the heating process could make your final product clumpy or gritty.

7. For this last step you're going to want a nice food processor. Something meant to puree. Carefully add one tray's contents to the bin of a food processor or blender, securing the lid tightly- the color will 'puff' and 'smoke' around any open edge- you've been warned. Hit a quick 'pulse' then puree or blend on the highest setting for 30 seconds. Over processing can cause heat and, again, release any residual moisture, so be careful to take your time and check your product in between steps.

8. Now you should have a very fine, chalk dust, powder that steaks your hands when pressed between a few fingers. The color should lift from most surfaces with ease, unless moisture is added. While it is made with food grade ingredients you may also want to wear eye-wear, such as sunglasses, and be mindful of faces when tossing to minimize inhalation. Unless you don't mind sneezing colors for the next few days, that is.

You may be wondering what on Earth a person would do with colored powder, or why in heavens they'd want to stain everything in sight with it. If you are, then you and I are completely different people. This is okay.

One of the greatest things about this project is that the color can be stored in air tight containers for months. Pull some out for a photo-shoot, celebration, or simply to brighten an otherwise dull day. And yes, you could even smuggle it into your favorite color marathon event. I can only imagine the color combinations and color creations that are possible when one mixes all the beautiful vivid food colors at the local craft store!
If you're still on the fence- and if you read my blog you're probably ALL OVER THIS and making the shopping list now, but IF you are I have a few things to say...

Because this color toss recipe is made with simple food grade ingredients, children, pets, grandparents, neighbors, cars, and more can get in on the fun. Yes, the powder is VERY fine, and wind WILL give it a mind of it's own-but the majority of the color lifts WITH the powder and will wipe off of nearly any surface so long as moisture isn't involved. A leaf blower, vacuum, or box fan makes clean up a breeze- any residual color, outdoors, dissipates naturally within a few days.
I've had a lot of experience shooting color clouds and color events. We spent about 10 minutes on this photo shoot because my week has been bananas, and I captured some pretty fun shots. My best tips for staging photos is to use a high burst setting. If you're going to shoot outdoors obscured direct lighting is best- shoot for a background that is high contrast light or high contrast dark. The less going on, the more action your color will have. Cool tones, such as lime green and electric blue tend to pop the most on camera. The color will offer a beautiful cloud effect immediately as it hits a surface, followed by an entirely un-readable haze. Be fast.
One thing I really want to do is get our friends together for a cookout this Summer and play flag football, tug of war, and other team sports. I think it would be fun to kick our events off with a color toss to 'mark' our team. Can you imagine the group photos?
Okay- Remember how I said that this was impressively easy to clean up? While the color does wipe off of most materials and surfaces, and will pat fairly well out of clothing, cotton fabrics tend to 'inhale' the color into the fibers. Any area where you have perspired in the faintest, or simply come into contact with a high speed clump of color will be stained and discolored. Fear not- I have cleaned up much worse incidents and stains on clothing! Shout® Trigger Triple-Acting Stain Remover got every trace of color out of both our white shirts! Jay actually asked if I'd swapped shirts on him, his looked so remarkably clean! You really can't beat Shout® Trigger Triple-Acting Stain Remover from Walmart! Discover more fun messes on the Shout® Social Hub! Now, tell me, what event or who, would be perfect for a D.I.Y Color Toss event?

What Daughter Says: Shout® Trigger Triple-Acting Stain Remover gets the stains out so you can get back to enjoying the messes that create them!

Saturday, May 14, 2016

Visit Monterey To #GrabYourMoment- From Coastline To Aquariums

#GrabYourMoment in Monterey, CA AD
Momma Told Me: Vacations should enrich.

I grew up in Southern California.

While many families across the country planned all year for a single trip to my state the beautiful coastline, scenic attractions, and rich entertainment remained in my backyard. 'Weekend Getaways' were the thing to do. And why not when the beautiful Monterey County coastline extends 99 miles to encompass Big Sur, the famous Pebble Beach, and Moss Landing. But Monterey has been a favorite family destination for generations not just for the breath taking scenery and wildlife- As an adult I now enjoy an even greater appreciation for it's rich cultural history and bucket list events.
#GrabYourMoment in Monterey, CA AD
Whenever people from out of state ask me what my favorite part about living in California is, I don't tell them it's the weather, or the lifestyle, I tell them it's the vast stomping grounds I have to explore with just a simple drive up the coast. In my opinion, anyone who does not live here needs to work a trip up the coastline, to Monterey, into their vacation itinerary. Even better if a road trip can be planned- When Sabrina and I drove up to Oregon this Summer we spent 3 days in Monterey county alone. And we still drove off with a slew of "Next time we'll...." or "Wish we could've"s on our list. Of course, if you live in state, there's no excuse not to maximize the value of such a rich getaway destination, and plan your own trips as well.
#GrabYourMoment in Monterey, CA AD
Monterey often gives the impression of being a weekend getaway for lovebirds, a destination wedding locale, or a great place for retirement. In truth, as large as the county is it's full of an immense range of family attractions- one in particular I have been visiting since I was a little girl. The Monterey Bay Aquarium (and Monterey Zoo too!) are some of my absolute favorite family attractions in the country. And the Aquaium is located right on Cannery Row, so great dining is just steps from your afternoon activity. If you're looking for something a little more unique, check out the ghost ride trolley through Oldtown Monterey or the fast paced Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca.
#GrabYourMoment in Monterey, CA AD
#GrabYourMoment in Monterey, CA AD
I'd be lying if I didn't say the coastline, and the beaches lining it, is gorgeous. I live 5 minutes from the beach and I still look forward to Monterey sands every year. This Summer we were able to snag a little cottage right on the sand for less than $130 a night. The sunset alone was worth every penny, and I dare say Sabrina's sand dollar collection tripled that weekend. If you plan a visit late Spring you can still catch many of the early blooms lining the rest stops, and even see the locals wind boarding and flying stunt kites on the beach.You're never too far from an ice cream parlor, and pets are a common sight- so look into bringing yours whether you're camping or searching for a hotel.
#GrabYourMoment in Monterey, CA AD
For me Monterey County holds many childhood memories- and remains a great place to visit when I need to reconnect with simpler living and rediscover the smaller moments that make life more magical. That's exactly why I plan on taking a weekend getaway to Caramel-By-The-Sea when I return from Rhode Island. We're nearly halfway through the year and I say a little R+R is in order! Now, tell me, do you have a favorite stomping ground, or family vacation spot you still enjoy visiting today?

What Daughter Says: I enjoy theme parks and plane trips as much as the next person- but I also enjoy a vacation where I can truly unwind, recharge, and soak in a little bit of life's finer things.