My Diabetic Journey: First Three Months

So I briefly mentioned earlier in a Sunday Currently that I’m diabetic. The journey started last February at an annual physical checkup mandated by my office. In a great coincidence the doctor doing routine checkups for hundreds of APE goers recommended that I take a fasting blood chemistry test due to the possibility of me being diabetic. The symptoms she noticed? The fact that I’m overweight and that I have wounds on my arms and hands that, when asked, I said doesn’t really fully heal. If you look at the wikipedia article, these are but two of the many symptoms of diabetes, and these are symptoms that are not unique to diabetes. Thank the gods that she registered that recommendation, for it does turn out that I’m diabetic, specifically type 2 (adult-onset diabetes mellitus). For those interested in numbers, here are the relevant ones:

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What these basically mean is that I have thrice the normal recommended blood sugar and some issues with triglycerides, but strangely enough none with cholesterol. (Author note: If you guys are interested what these things are, I can talk about it in a separate post so let me know!). I got myself an internal medicine specialist and luckily I think I got a good one. His main thrust for my treatment was upfront: it will have to be a lifestyle change, and that meds will only be an assist. It is his goal to wean me off the meds completely if I respond well to treatment.

I can tell you that at this point I had not yet fully realized the implications of the treatment nor fully accepted the diagnosis. It was going to change my life and I didn’t know how much yet.

My doctor put me on Fenostat to address my triglycerides, and a low dosage of Metformin (any diabetic will recognize that) for the blood sugar. But more important than the meds is the lifestyle change. You know the old chestnut about healthy eating and exercise? Yup, that’s exactly what I needed to do, and laziness is no longer an option. My main drive back to health is my family. I need to stay healthy to be with them, and I don’t want any of the diabetic complications to develop.

Firstly, exercise: there is no set schedule, just a commitment to do anything active for 30 minutes straight at least twice a week. This for me is the difficult one, as I am dreadfully out of shape and out of time. Desperation breeds ways, and I managed to squeeze in walks, play time, and other things in my life. I should be doing more, and this is my goal in the next few months.

Secondly, healthy eating. As my main problem areas are sugar and fats, I simply eliminated these from my regular meals. In specific these are the changes I made:

  1. No more sugary drinks, specifically iced tea. (I don’t drink softdrinks and alcohol.)
  2. Switch to Splenda or Stevia to sweeten my coffee. (Sorry, I’m not ready to give up coffee just yet!)
  3. Any skin is off limits. Chicken skin, pork skin, they’re out!
  4. Avoid fried. My ulams are now usually grilled, steamed, boiled, or stewed.
  5. Avoid pork and beef as much as possible. I’m probably down to eating those maybe once a week. I focus on chicken, fish, and seafood.
  6. Incorporate fruits and veggies into meals. No explanation needed here.
  7. Cut down carbs, but not totally avoid it. Usually I only now eat half-cup rice instead of full cup, and avoid pasta and bread.
  8. If possible, switch to whole grains.
  9. Desserts? Almost none, unless it’s sugarfree, which is pretty rare.

It is now May, and my doctor scheduled me for another round of blood tests, to see how these problem areas are after three months. This is what came out:

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Great results! While I’m clearly still quite diabetic (I don’t really think this will go away, to be honest) as per the Hb1Ac number, I’m in much better shape than three months ago, most especially the big decrease in blood sugar. The doctor removed me from Fenostat as my triglycerides are now normal, while increasing the dosage of Metformin.

The happy bonus to this? I lost about six pounds and am able to keep to that weight! While a six-pound weight loss isn’t amazing, I’m quite happy with it and am aiming to shed a few more before I come back for another round of testing.

Best of all, I feel great! Even though occasionally I will have cravings for pastries or ramen (Hi Kira!) that’s not really often so it’s not such a huge impact to my health. I remain positive and ready to fight, and I’m hoping three months from now that I can report a continuing trend.

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Thanks for staying with me for the whole entry, which turned out to be quite a lot! I’m just very happy about this and wanted to share with you my journey.

Planner Tour: Midori in May

Let me bring you on a tour around my Midori passport setup this May.

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Let’s start with the cover. This right here is a planner bag that I ordered from Pink Paper Box, and it’s customized to my specifications. I asked for a bag for a passport-sized planner with a 1-inch thickness, and I got to choose the fabric. I’m very happy with this planner bag in general as it’s very sturdily built and holds my very-full Midori very well. My silver charms that are actually on the elastic that normally goes around the Midori are peaking out at the bottom.

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As you can see, it doesn’t lay flat anymore when opened up. It only has three notebooks in it! I have a Muji multipen in those pen loops that I sewed myself, as the planner bag didn’t come with any. The second loop is loose enough for a fountain pen.

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At the very front of the Midori is an A7 clear card file that I made into an insert (I’ll show you what’s on the other side of it in a bit). Inside this card file is a cute anime bookmark that I got from Landmark. I have a bunch of different designs so I can swap it out anytime, but I especially like this one because she reminds me so much of myself and how I used to dress a few years ago.

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Right behind my mascot is the first book, which is a Planners and Journals insert from the May Planner Kit. This notebook serves as my brain dump and catch all.

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Behind my brain dump notebook is a Midori Refill 004, which is a zip pocket on one side and a card holder on the other. This is the zip pocket side and it holds an ID card and some money, which is basically an attempt of incorporating my wallet into my Midori. I’m not quite sure yet if I’ll continue with this idea. You can see the yellow file folder insert, again from the Planners and Journals May Planner Kit, behind this zip pocket. The front is undecorated as of this writing, as I’m not yet sure what I want to put on it.

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The front part of the yellow file folder holds some medical papers that I need with me all of the time. The other side is the front of the second book, which is a Midori Refill 003 (unlined) and serves as my week-on-two-pages planner. The front cover holds some sticky notes.

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I just wanted to show you quickly what’s inside the inside of the front cover. It’s Pichu! I “commissioned” this from my daughter. I basically cut out a small piece of paper that I know will fit the cover, and asked her to draw me a Pichu.

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Here we have the back cover of the planner book, and the back pocket of the yellow file folder, both of which hold even more stick notes. Inside the actual pocket is my portable ruler with translucent sticky flags (bought from Daiso).

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Finally here we have the other side of the Midori Refill 004 which is the card holder. It holds my health card and a spare sim card sealed in with washi tape. There are some miscellaneous paper in the pocket behind the card holders. The opposite page is the front of yet another clear card case insert that I made. This is B7 sized, but I had to trim a bit on the top and side so it would fit so instead of a side-opening slip it now is some sort of secretarial pocket. I have in here a Midori passport pencil board.

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We have now arrived at the third and final book in my Midori, which is the second insert from the Planners and Journals May Planner Kit. This is my #listersgottalist book, which I’m pretty sure will be enough for both May and June challenges.

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At the back of the third book is the included bookmark/charm of the planner bag itself. I chose this teacup design, which I thought is apt for a coffeeholic like me. The opposite side is the other half of the B7 card case, which holds my May goals list.

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Behind that is my period tracker, and the other half of the A7 card case (which held the anime bookmark). Inside this A7 card case is a couple of cute cardstock that I cut down to the correct size, and in between that is a couple of band aids (because I always seem to have issues with my cuticles recently).

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In the inside of the back cover of the planner bag is a pack of Muji multipen refills, because I’m almost out of one of them and I want to make sure I have extras with me. There is also a brief glimpse of the Midori bookmark, which is that thin piece of cord. And there we have it! The very very full setup of my Midori this May.

Planners and Journals May Planner Kit

Yes, I found yet another planner subscription service! Planners and Journals is an online store specializing in customized planner inserts for ringed planners (Filofax, Kikki K, Franklin Covey, etc) as well as fauxdoris (non-Midori traveler’s notebooks) and their refills. They have recently expanded to planner kits, and this May Planner Kit is their first. I was a little confused at first, because I was expecting to get my kit in May (as the name suggested), but apparently it was so named because it will give you the inserts you will use for the month of May! Naturally it arrived before May so that you have enough time to set up your planner with the included stuff.

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My kit arrived in this nice kraft box, with a twine and a thank you tag. I have a very good idea of what was going to be included, because they released the list of contents on their facebook page. The only surprise I had was what form my refills were going to be, since I had a traveler’s notebook instead of a ringed planner; the inserts they previewed were for a ringed planner.

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What greeted me upon opening the box was a pretty lengthy welcome letter personally signed by Summer. Here are the rest of the contents, in order of my favorites.

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The Sunday Currently #13

It’s been an eventful past few weeks. The highlight is an unintended hospital stay (diagnosis was acute gastroenteritis) about two weeks ago which threw a wrench into several plans, but I’m really just happy to be out and about and back to work.

Reading

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Just finished reading these two books. Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard is a recently-published dystopian almost hunger games-ish tale of a girl who was supposed to have no powers (red-blooded) suddenly displaying the sort of abilities that previously only silver-blooded people had. It follows her perilous journey through what happens after that discovery, and the tale will take you on a heart-pounding ride. I honestly really liked the story, but I felt slightly cheated at the end, and only because I was expecting this to be a standalone book and it was showing all the signs of being a trilogy (or more). I am reserving my final judgment until I read the rest of the series.

The Handmaid’s Tale, on the other hand, is a classic. Published in 1985, it is one of the books that I always see on top-x lists of books to read. Again a dystopian setting (I love this genre!) this time of what could result if society decided to impose strict roles on women. Due to some problems with fertility, “viable” females are assigned the role of handmaids, and their main function, as you can guess by now, is to produce children. This story follows one such handmaid and her recollections of the past and what is happening to her at the time of the writing. It’s very emotional, but is definitely quite a good read.

Watching

"Daredevil-televison" by Source (WP:NFCC#4). Licensed under Fair use via Wikipedia - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Daredevil-televison.jpg#/media/File:Daredevil-televison.jpg

“Daredevil-televison” by Source (WP:NFCC#4). Licensed under Fair use via Wikipedia – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Daredevil-televison.jpg#/media/File:Daredevil-televison.jpg

Marvel’s Daredevil. I’ve only watched the first two episodes so far, and it’s a lot different than what I expected. Different, and much better! I love how it’s being portrayed as a crime drama rather than the ostentatious action films that the Marvel Cinematic Universe has been showing us so far. I am just hoping that the entire series won’t continue with Daredevil with just that plain black costume.

Cooking

Image credits: www.smartcouponing.com

My husband remembered that I once used to do Shake ‘N Bake chicken, and he requested that we try that again. It’s very simple to use! Just pour the powder mix into the included plastic bag, throw in your desired chicken (I use skinless chicken breast fillets, he likes chicken wings), twist the bag to seal and toss to coat, lay out in a baking pan, then bake away at the recommended temperature and time! Instant “fried chicken”-ish type dish without the actual frying!

Wearing

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A new haircut! This is my shortest hair yet and in this incredible heat I am loving it! I have to take care not to dress too masculine though, as I have this nagging feeling that I look like a guy otherwise. XD

Thinking

About all of the things I need and want to do. As I said, I’m on a huge catchup mode and I still have a lot on my to do list. I’m about to feel overwhelmed to be honest, but I’m taking it one day at a time.

Wanting

More than 24 hours a day! Why is a day super short?

Feeling

A bit confused, to be honest. It seems like my interest in makeup has gone onto the backburner at the moment, and most of my attention is on planner and crafting things (hence the recent flood of non-beauty posts here). I know that interests change, but it makes me a little sad as well to not be beauty-focused right now. Have you ever experienced anything similar?

 

Review: Pink Paper Box Spring Summer Fling (April)

Heads up, there’s a new subscription box in town! This is Pink Paper Box, a planner and crafting oriented monthly subscription box, and it’s very new. This month’s box titled Spring Summer Fling is only the second, but I’m already quite hooked!

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How does Pink Paper Box work? Sign ups happen over at the Pink Paper Box website (Facebook) and submitted through a google form. The subscriptions cost Php500 (1 month), Php1450 (3 months) or Php2850 (6 months), and this fee already includes the shipping. Owner and main girl Marrien is very hands-on and personal, and will keep in touch with you regarding your subscription.

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Want to know what’s in this intriguing April box? Read on ahead! (Warning, a LOT of images ahead!)

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Tuscany at McKinley Hill’s Summer Art Sessions

Summer is the time for workshops and not just for kids! Tuscany at McKinley Hill’s Summer Art Sessions, in partnership with Manila Workshops, is a weekend arts and crafts workshop series happening every Sunday beginning April 19 (this weekend!) and will run until May 10. Sessions are 1PM to 5PM. These workshops are for anyone who’s into arts and crafts, or who’d like to get started on them. They will be conducted by some of Manila’s finest artists, and will be held at several restaurants at Tuscany, the awesome strip of dining establishments at Upper McKinley Road.

One of the things you can learn is basic brush calligraphy, conducted by Mimai Cabugnason (check out her work at IG @chrrrmaine) at Marciano’s.

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Other workshops available include:

  • basics of doodling: Nelz Yumul of WeeWillDoodle, at Lucky’s Burger Bar
  • basic paper cutting: Hey Kessy, at Banapple Pies and Cheesecakes
  • rubber stamping: Manila Workshops, at Sophie’s Mom
  • acrylic and oil: The Artologist, at Sauceria
  • DIY tote bag designing: Nica Cosio, at Sophie’s Mom

Interested? Register for the Tuscany at McKinley Hill’s Summer Art Sessions at manilaworkshops.com or 09266167720. For Basic Paper Cutting, contact Hey Kessy at www.heykessy.com. For those taking part in the Acrylic and Oil Sessions, register by emailing theartologist@yahoo.com or by calling 09165673351.

Workshops are Php2000 per session inclusive of food, art kits, and materials. Only 10 slots are available per workshop, so register now!

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This is the press kit I received. It may or may not be the same kit you will receive in your brush calligraphy workshop.

 

Disclaimer: I was invited to the press launch of Summer Art Sessions, which included samplings of selected workshops mentioned above plus press kits.

What I Packed: Makeup (Palawan 2015)

Over the easter weekend I got to visit Palawan for the first time! I absolutely loved it there. Such a pristine place and not too commercialized. As we planned nothing else but to stay on the beach and do beach stuff, here’s all the makeup I brought.

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Pixy UV Whitening Two-Way Cake – the only base I brought. I figured I didn’t really need a lot of options, but I definitely wanted to bring one with SPF. I actually hit pan on this already! I’m just also using it up before I buy a refill.

Colourpop Super Shock Eyeshadow in Smash – it’s really the most abused base color I use in my stash, and it definitely went into my kit.

Pixy Eyeshadow in 01 Romantic Poem – I just brought this along for pops of color, and the fact that it’s quite small and it has a tiny sponge applicator.

Pixy Blush On in 02 Brown Tea – Again same reasoning as the eyeshadow, being compact and comes with its own tiny brush. I also like that it’s a brown shade instead of the usual pinks and reds, perfect for the beach!

Happy Skin Eye Love View Eyebrow Duo – Among my eyebrow products this claimed to be waterproof (which you’ll actually see in action below!). It also comes with a marker side, in case I really wanted a very polished look.

Fairydrops Platinum Mascara – I brought this for the waterproof factor, and the fact that this is on its last legs and I’m just using it up. Will be sad to see this go, as I can no longer replace this locally.

Burt’s Bees Tinted Lip Balm in Honeysuckle – My recent go-to lip balm, which never leaves my purse anyway.

Colour Collection Ultimate Wear Lipstick in Bellissima – The only red lipstick I brought (learned my lesson from my last trip haha!). Which, ironically, wasn’t used on the trip!

Ofra Lipstick in #205 (not pictured) – And the only pink lipstick I brought. This one was used more because I didn’t really feel like using red lipstick on the beach.

All of these were packed in an old small Clinique pouch that was probably a GWP somewhere. I liked that I brought very little makeup here, which matched exactly the use I wanted out of them. It also helped keep my packing light!

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I actually had eyebrows here! Kudos to Happy Skin! This photo was taken while IN the water, trying to take a selfie with the early moon. XD

 

Free Printable: Pocket Monthly Calendar

I’ve shown you a glimpse of my planner setup in the Alunsina Kislap Traveler’s Notebook. My planner is completely DIY, using a blank Alunsina notebook. I hand-draw the weekly layouts. At the beginning of each month, I put in that month’s calendar on one page and the opposite page is meant to be the receptacle for my monthly reminders.

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The monthly calendar is something I made on my own, as I wanted a nice clean layout that is clearly readable but will fit in a pocket notebook. I came up with this.

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This layout is entirely made in Excel, and exported to a pdf format. I just basically print it out on an A4 (or letter) paper, manually cut it out, and tape it to the appropriate page in my planner. Today I wanted to share with you the pocket monthly calendar layout that I made, completely free!

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Each of these is 13.3cm x 7.3cm, so you can judge if it will fit into your planner before you print and cut. I only included April until December since the first quarter is already done. You are free to share this as long as you don’t make money off it, and attribution is always appreciated!

Click the link to download the pocket monthly calendar! Pocket-Calendar-April-Dec-2015.pdf

If you used my printable, I would love to hear your feedback!

What’s New: Caronia Shades of Summer

A very sweet surprise greeted me upon coming home one day. Caronia very kindly sent over this very intriguing set of nail polishes housed in a very handsome looking box! This is Shades of Summer, six great colors that will definitely put you in the summer mood!

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Check out the colors! From left to right they are:

  • Summer Fling – a coral red tone that brings back that first blush and summer love
  • Rainbow Tan – a frosted skintone tint that brightens up your toe nails
  • Sun Kissed – a pumpkin orange glow that matches your wavy beach hair
  • Sweet Surprise – your favorite yellow shade that will remind you of those sweet summer moments
  • On-The-Go – an aqua green color that gives us an adventurous feeling to take on a new challenge
  • First Crush – the flawless rich lilac hue that sets out your youthful vibe

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Rainbow Tan is the shade I’m most excited to try! Next to that is a different-color-per-nail spread that just screams summer! Watch out for that as I’ll be sure to post swatches.

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Disclaimer: The set of six nail polishes and the box was kindly sent to me by Vibelle Manufacturing Corporation for my consideration.

The Sunday Currently #12

I’m back in the Philippines! It was quite a short trip for such a long travel time, but I loved every moment of it. I thought it was worth going, but I’m definitely happy to be home as well.

Reading

Image credits: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chew_%28comics%29

Image credits: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chew_%28comics%29

There’s quite a few things on my reading list right now, but the one that’s staying on my mind is the comic called Chew. The story follows the life of a US FDA agent who is able to psychologically read the history of things through… eating them. The idea is very interesting, and there’s actually a lot of action (and gore!) going on. The art is great (it’s colored!) and I’m enjoying the pace as well.

Writing

I’m pretty much on a roll here, with my journals moving splendidly along. I’ve recently started to experiment with my own version of Project Life, which is basically attempting to have a photodiary-slash-scrapbook of sorts. Once I get it going well, I’m going to write about it in more detail.

Listening

Still on a Manhid high, so I’m listening to their official soundtrack on repeat. It unfortunately only contains 12 songs. I would love to get a copy of the whole thing to be honest!

Eating

My new diabetic diet has been sort of compromised during my trip because of all the eating out I did with my friends and colleagues. There weren’t always a lot of healthy options for me, so I definitely need to do a lot of catching up. The biggest challenge is really to consciously make sure 50% of my meal should be vegetables and fruits.

Wanting

I got quite a few items ordered online which will not be arriving for quite some time yet, but I’m already getting quite impatient! I want to get them now!

Feeling

Quite a bit thankful for some nice news I got in my life. Let me be vague for a while so that I won’t jinx it, haha!

Happy sunday to you!