Dear John Burk, Let me introduce you to a guy that really cares about people’s health…

inclusion5kToday I listened to the viral video of the military guy yelling about, well, everything.  And it just seemed like an opportunity for him to stand shirtless in front of camera for millions of people to see.  So I saw an opportunity to introduce my friend Nic DeCaire.  He is the owner of Fusion Fitness, a passionate motivator and cares about wellness.  FOR EVERYONE.  AND he doesn’t yell.  This is how you motivate.  This is how you make a difference.  This is what needs to go viral. Make it happen, people.

Click on the link to see Runner’s World’s coverage of the first annual Inclusion Means Everyone 5k held in Newark, DE in July.


Why I’m doing it again…


The 10 mile Philly Broad Street Run is popular. Like 40,000 runners popular. Registration is by lottery and runners will not find out if they are in for another week. In hopes to channel motivation and a little luck, I thought I would post one more revised version of my 2013 experience in hopes that I can write a 2015, more successful version in May.

Sometimes the only way to win a race is to stop running.

I was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes shortly after my 4th birthday. I don’t have a clear memory of a day that wasn’t filled with blood glucose testing and carbohydrate counting. And while I try to look at this disease as somewhat of a blessing for keeping me health conscious, I’ve also spent the majority of the last 33 years trying to avoid it. As a teen, I rarely tested my blood sugar, I guessed insulin dosages and ate whatever teens eat. I blatantly ignored a relatively serious medical condition that can have serious complications. I was lucky enough to have suffered very few consequences, but luck only gets you so far.

And then I grew up. (Well, I meandered through my 20’s and THEN I grew up). I met the man of my dreams, married him, and recognized a newfound motivation to self-manage. I made the leap into insulin pump therapy, got pregnant (2 weeks after the wedding, much to our surprise) and starting managing my diabetes like an NFL defensive coordinator manages his linebackers. Every carb counted, every basal rate adjusted, every blood sugar recorded and analyzed extensively, nothing was breaking through my line. I was a professional diabetic with attention to every detail except for one. I still didn’t want anyone to know. I wanted to be normal. I wanted to be in control and avoided the acknowledgement of limitations at any cost.

As a mom of two kids, I wanted to be perfect but cold sweats, shaky hands and low blood sugar is not perfect. More often than I would like to admit, my husband forced me to sit down and drink orange juice after I would irrationally melt down over spilled milk (literally). That feeling of defeat is unmeasurable. Not only did I spill the milk, but I didn’t acknowledge that I needed help. I didn’t stop.

It took me until May 5, 2013 to truly realize that I was doing it wrong. The Philadelphia Broad Street Run is a 10 mile race and deemed the most popular in the country with upwards of 40,000 runners. The course starts and finishes on Broad St. cutting straight through the middle of the city. It’s the most energized race I’ve ever experienced. The Temple University football team cheers in full uniform, the United States military high-fives the finishers, and local church-goers take a break from service to clap and wave. It’s the most impressive representation of Philadelphia, in my opinion, and I was going to be a part of it. And I wasn’t alone. My best friend had agreed to run with me.

This was the my longest race to date and the first time I was running with a continuous glucose monitor or CGM (a subcutaneous sensor that monitors blood sugar trends and transmits data to a handheld receiver). After a 5am wake up and assembly at the starting line, I soon realized that my training regimen was not good enough to avoid a pre-race high blood sugar. Running with high blood sugar is comparable to running with the worst hangover you’ve ever experienced, minus the awesome party. As we waited in the masses and shimmied closer to the starting line, I continued to inject insulin via my pump to lower my blood sugar to a comfortable level for a long run. At the starting line I was relieved to see the arrow on my monitor pointing down indicating that my blood sugar was heading back to the normal range. At mile marker 3, I could see that my blood sugar was continuing to fall too quickly. I had over-treated the high and caused the opposite complication. After four running gel packs (a total of 88 grams of carbohydrates), there was no change. Panic was starting to set in, but not panic that I was going to pass out in the midst of thousands of runners, it was panic that I would fail to finish. More importantly, my potential to fail was a result of this stupid disease. Jenn knew what was happening and was keeping me calm despite her concern for my well-being. As we approached mile marker five and City Hall, there was an ambulance parked just before the bend and I was asked one of the most difficult question I’ve ever had to face as a diabetic.

“Do you want to stop?”

No, I didn’t want to stop. I wanted to be in control. I wanted to finish. I wanted the diabetes to go away. But just as quickly as those emotions pushed me to keep going, I realized that the only way to finish was to stop. The only way to beat this 31 year nemesis was to face it head on and admit that I do have a limitation. One that I can control and one that will not keep me from living a normal happy life. But only if I am accountable for it.

So we stopped.

I told the paramedic that I was a Type 1 diabetic, that my blood sugar was dropping, and that I HAD to finish. After an official glucose reading of 45 mg/dl (normal is 80 mg/dl), more glucose gel, and half of a bagel from Dunkin’ Donuts (that my best friend ran to buy during a race, by the way), I was given the ok to keep running.

That last 5 miles was not only the finish to my first long race, it was the first time I had given in to my disease and gotten stronger. The first time that I felt legitimately in control. It was also the first time my best friend had gone into a donut shop during a timed race, which I love her so much for.

We crossed the finish line together after 2 hours 1 minute and 4 seconds. Without a doubt, 2 of the most significant hours of my life.

I have since run two half-marathons and several shorter races and hope to run Broad Street again in 2015.

This time without the bagel.

7 days until runners are notified…stay tuned

Back to Broad

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It’s been awhile.  Life sometimes takes a little more time to attend to and the things that you love like running and writing end up in the back seat temporarily.

But today I headed back to the gym feeling very out of shape and very out of sorts…Since I was last at the gym, they have built a new wing and moved the treadmills to said wing.  So, not only am I out of shape but was totally busted when I had to ask where they were!

Have no fear, though, I quickly hopped on, set the machine to a slow pace and started moving.  I started with a blood sugar of 268 and 2 miles.  Remarkably, I felt pretty good after the run and my blood sugar was down to 174 upon workout completion.

Most importantly, I once again realized that  running fits right into the “riding the bike” category.  Except for the fact that I really don’t enjoy riding a bike, which is weird but true.  You’ve probably also heard that running is mental.  For me, working out in general is mental.  I have to get over the anxiety of going back to the gym after it’s been so long.  For the record, everyone at the gym is super nice and helpful, but I’m still self-conscious and feel like I have to explain myself and ultimately end up saying something self-depricating to make people laugh.  It’s my thing.  And I always think people are looking at my butt while I’m running, not in a “Hey girl, nice butt.” kind of way, but more of  a “whoa she has not been on a treadmill for awhile” kind of way.

And while I ran my slow two miles, I decided that I’m going back to Broad.  Lottery entries start February 1st.  In 2013, I spent the majority of the race chasing after my blood sugar with a short ambulance stop, but I finished. This time, assuming I get in, I don’t want to just finish, I want to conquer!  So I hereby declare today the start of training and I’m psyched to cross that finish line again.

There are some very specific goals I have for this race that I will share as I go.  Finishing without dying will remain number 1, but this time, I’m doing more.

Lucky for you, I need accountability, so you get to read all about it!  Stay tuned, people.  I have a lot of work to do!

Cut The Cheese – Part 2

Awhile back, I blogged about “cutting the cheese”. It was my most-read post and it was a very simple concept of being a little more snobby about the cheese when you indulge. Let’s face it, the cheese at McD’s is less than appetizing, we just eat it because it’s there and always has been. Like most quick drive-thru treats, we never question the way they are put together, we just pay at the window and move along. And for the record, I’ve never heard someone comment on the exceptional flavor of that rubbery, orange square of questionable dairy product.

So, I’m going to attribute our lack of standards to habit. We all have them, good, bad and otherwise. Habits can make us or break us. The orange cheese habit is definitely a breaker. Whether you are trying to lose weight, gain more energy, lower blood sugar, or all of the above, cutting the cheese is still a good habit to get into. Not entirely, of course, I think cheese is wonderful and should be enjoyed in moderation. But it needs to be respected.

I thought I would share a habits that I’ve gotten into that have helped me avoid the mediocre and enjoy the exceptional.

1. Anytime you are ordering fast food (not exceptional but sometimes necessary), skip the cheese. It’s typically the most expensive part of what you are ordering so fast food joints are always going for the cheapest option. So, not only are you getting a ton of calories, fat and preservatives, you’re also getting crappy taste. It’s not worth it. And while you may be immediately thinking of a hamburger vs. a cheeseburger (duh), I’m thinking more along the lines of a fast food breakfast sandwich. DD’s has flatbread wraps that are pretty good and they will leave the cheese off for you (in my experience). Eliminating the fat and keeping the protein from the eggs will help you digest smarter, make you feel better and save you from regret!

2. Switch the cheese out for something else. On mornings when I have time, I make myself a breakfast sandwich. It consists of an english muffin (Thomas’ plain, not low-fat or whole grain, I will not lower my english muffin standards under any circumstances), 2 pieces of Boca breakfast links, (before you turn your nose up and saw “ew, no way”, you have to try them. I’m not typically a veggie product fan. I don’t like the mushy texture of a lot of those products, but I hate the grizzle and mystery textures found in regular sausage links, not to mention the fat, cholesterol, calories, etc.) You have to cook the hell out of them (I microwave from frozen for 30 seconds and then pan fry them), but you get all of the flavor and none of the mystery or guilt, so just try them. And to be clear, I have a strong allegiance to bacon as well (NOT turkey bacon), so I won’t just switch out a breakfast meat arbitrarily. Back to my sandwich. English muffin, 2 Boca links, 1 fried egg, a little butter on the muffin and hot sauce. This kicks the egg mcmuffin’s rear end any day of the week. And what’s missing? The cheese! Try swapping out the cheese for hot sauce for 2 weeks. And if you don’t like spicy, there’s plenty of hot sauce that isn’t that hot. I typically use Frank’s Red Hot. It’s not expensive or fancy and brings a new flavor that is so much more impressive than melted cheese. And guess how many calories are in a teaspoon of FRH? Um, zero. Guess how much fat is in a teaspoon of FRH? Um, zero. I put hot sauce on almost everything and will probably start carrying in my purse soon.

3. I made this point in my previous post, but you really need to consider upping your standards when it comes to cheese. Just like chocolate, you get what you pay for. And there’s no reason to subject ourselves or our kids to the processed non-cheese cheese that we were all forced to eat as kids. I’m not talking about a full out transition to imported Manchego (even though it’s incredibly delicious with a glass of cheap Spanish wine), but maybe just a small jump from American to Muenster? My kids call it Monster cheese which is fun and at ages 5 and 8 they can recognize that Muenster actually has flavor, just like Gorgonzola and Gruyere. Am I creating cheese snob monsters? Maybe. But I’d rather start them early in learning how to appreciate food instead of just eating it, even if it does cost me a few extra bucks. Also, cheese with more flavor may be more expensive, but thanks to the flavor part, you can typically use less.

4. Whenever possible, make it at home, from scratch. The frozen meal packages in the grocery store are super-convenient just like the food in the window, but all too often, we have the time to do it ourselves. I will guarantee that even if you make the EXACT same thing in your kitchen, it will be better for you. Use a copycat recipe if you want to get it as close to the original but you will still be using real butter and real vegetables (I hope), and meat that hasn’t been preserved with weird chemical things. Unless you are heading out to a fine dining establishment that prides itself on farm to table and fresh ingredients, most quick service restaurants are going to use what is most cost-efficient. Ingredients that fill that list are not usually healthy (i.e., vegetable oil instead of olive oil or shortening instead of butter). I would also be willing to bet that you will enjoy it more. Not only because you made it, but because fresh stuff tastes better. It’s a fact. This will take more time and probably more planning but not as much as you think. I’m the worst when it comes to planning dinners for the week and somehow I manage.

I love to eat out, I love cheese and I don’t really like to cook all that much but the fact of the matter is that there always needs to be balance. If you take responsibility for what you are eating and make a change here and there, you will see changes without having to turn your life completely upside down. Live like a diabetic now so you don’t become one later!

When Life Trumps Bolus…


My last post was about the kids going back to school and having time to brunch with the ladies and organize myself into neatness oblivion.  Well, then we had an 8 year old with a salivary gland cyst and inevitable surgery, an unexpected visit to a cardiologist due to a benign heart murmur, and a gazillion things in between that made brunches and neatness seem oh so far away.

The kids are fine and healthy (thank God!)  and the craziness distracted me from how much I miss them at school.   It also made carb counting and blousing seem so unimportant and secondary.  My kids are the most important thing in my life, but that same life depends on that bolus.  The bolus that I would love to push aside when things are crazy.  It seems that the times when I would love to ignore the diabetes are the same times when I need to pay the most attention to it.  I can’t care for a post-op child when my blood sugar is low.  I can’t have a conversation with a cardiologist when I’m dehydrated and irritable due to a high.

So when things feel out of control and life seems like its working against my A1c, I go back to basics.  After 33 years of type 1, I sometimes get the idea that I don’t need the basics.  I can just guess because I’ve been doing this for so long.  I can figure it out later, right now I just need to eat.  And EVERY time, every singe time, I’m proven wrong.  EVERY time, I’m reminded that I need to stop for just two minutes and do it the right way.  And I’m not complaining or feeling sorry for myself.  I’m simply stating the obvious.  I’m a diabetic.  I have a responsibility to myself and every person that loves me, to stop, for two minutes and do it the right way.

No excuses.  Back to basics.  2 minutes.

Back to School!

This week was the first with both of my kids in school. FULL. TIME. And while so many moms are excited for the freedom and opportunity to breathe (which, I too, am thankful for), each time I put them on the bus, my heart sinks a little. But instead of crying into my Cheerios every morning, it’s time to focus on organization and productivity.
Which will start right after an amazing breakfast with two of my amazing girlfriends!
Assuming that I would be a mess all week, I pre-planned a breakfast with 2 of my favorite moms. I squeezed in a quick mile run (I ran as fast as I could for 1 mile, better than nothing!) and decided to throw something together with whatever was in the fridge. I have a bad habit of over thinking recipes and spending too much time searching online, so with about an hour to shower and create, I just started cooking with this one.
I’ve had breakfast pizza before but it’s always been a little boring . It usually consists of pizza dough, scrambled eggs, bacon, and cheese. All of which I enjoy but still feel like there’s something being left out, mainly flavor.
With this experiment I used pre-made pizza dough in the interest of time but I would highly recommend making it fresh or at least buy something better than the normal blue canister. It has a weird sweet flavor that I don’t like. Here is a recipe for home-made dough if you want to get crazy.
This pizza is really an assembly process. I cracked the eggs directly onto the dough and baked in the oven at 350F (this is so much better and prettier than scrambled). I cooked the sausage (chicken sausage with apples), sliced the tomatoes and grated the cheese (smoked Gouda), and added all of that after the eggs were almost done.
Finally added arugula and salt and pepper and voila! Super easy and super impressive AND you can change it up to suit your audience.
Finish it off with a peach bellini concocted by your bestie and eat and drink your back to school worries away with great conversation and many many laughs! XOXO p.s. This is the first time posting from my phone, so if this looks weird, you’ll know why! :)







10 Things You Are Stupid Not to Eat…


To continue my list format of writing and, this time, with a little less snark, I thought I would share a list of things you should include in your food repertoire whether you like them or not.  Everyone knows what they like to eat, healthy or otherwise.  I’m challenging you to force yourself to eat something you may not like, based entirely on the principle that it’s good for you.  Then mentally force yourself to like it.   Let’s be honest, there’s much worse things that you have mentally forced yourself to do/like.  Here is my list of the 10 things you are stupid not to eat. (Unless, of course, you have dietary issues/allergies that prohibit you from eating them. Duh.)

10 – Barley – Barley is kind of like rice on steroids.  The health benefits of this grain are ridiculous and the rich, nutty taste is delicious.  Barley also has a lower glycemic index than white rice (which makes sense to the diabetic peeps).  Use it in dishes like this ground turkey and kale soup (I used this Real Simple recipe but subbed the kale for the spinach.  Make sure you also add some chipotle powder and a little honey and lemon too!) that is souper easy (see what I did there?) and souper yummy!

9 – Boca Sausage – I love the taste of regular breakfast sausage but then there’s that one nasty bite of something hard and bonelike and the whole thing is ruined.  With Boca breakfast sausage, you get all of the flavor and none of the weird mystery bites.  You also get way less fat, calories and cholesterol.  They are not paying me, I really just like it.

8 – Eggs – I’m not going to reveal anything ground-breaking about eggs.  If you are worried about cholesterol, I would cut the butter, or some of the steak, or even the yolk but don’t cut the eggs.  I start almost every day with eggs in some fashion.  Except the days that my kids make me two pieces of rye toast for breakfast in bed.  Those days I will tell you (and them) that rye toast is the BEST thing to eat for breakfast.

7 – Kale – I realize that kale is super trendy right now, and you  may be annoyed with it.  But the nice thing about kale is that you can put it in soup (see above recipe) and it doesn’t get all slimy and snotty like spinach.  And just so you know, kale is full of iron, vitamin K, vitamin A and vitamin C.  So it fights cancer, autoimmune disease, cardiovascular issues, etc.  It CAN also make you gassy, so don’t eat it on date night.  Unless, of course, your date is your husband who probably won’t care.

6 – Salmon – If you don’t like salmon, then you should try it again.  Except this time, make sure it’s cooked properly.  In my opinion, salmon must be cooked perfectly to experience the glorious flavor of this incredibly healthy fish.   Also, if you are of the opinion that salmon is “too fishy”, you may need to try a different type of salmon, like sockeye.  It you are buying frozen, make sure you are buying from a reputable brand and thawing in cold water.   Salmon is full of omega-3 fatty acids.  These bad boys make your good cholesterol (HDL) go up and your bad cholesterol (LDL) go down.   There are a ton of vitamins and protein in salmon as well.  My kids eat it, so you should totally give it another go.

5 – Cauliflower- It’s not green, it’s not leafy AND it’s still good for you!  There are tons of “diabetic” cook books that will tell you to puree cauliflower and put it in stuff to hide it.  Or puree it and try to pass it off as mashed potatoes.  I recommend cutting a head into large pieces, brushing it with a little olive oil or grapeseed oil and roasting it for about 20 minutes at 450 degrees.  Give it a little sprinkle of salt and you will never want to mash it’s little brains again.  When you roast cauliflower, it caramelizes just enough to taste completely amazing.  So don’t hide it in other foods.  You will hurt its delicious feelings for no good reason at all.  Cauliflower is high in antioxidants,  has anti-inflammatory properties, and can increase blood flow.

4 – Avocado – It’s kind of like butter that is good for you.  Not to bash butter, but it doesn’t have a ton of good things in it, despite its utter deliciousness.  Avocados are full of healthy fats and they taste delicious.  There are a gazillion (literally) recipes for avocados because they compliment so many dishes.  From simple salads to smoothies to guacamole, you owe it to your table and to your body to get some green in there.  Don’t forget that the fat in avocado is still fat.  So don’t overdo it.

3 – Hummus – Chick peas, garbanzo beans, channa.  No matter what you call them, they are awesome.  There is a reason that there are 50 different flavors of hummus at the supermarket.  Number 1, hummus is really good.  Number 2, it’s super easy and inexpensive to make hummus so its not a big deal for large companies to make a bunch of varieties.  So why not just make it?  Well, I have a recipe for you right here (scroll to the bottom), thanks to the Nottingham Inn, LLC in Oxford, PA.  They graciously shared their recipe a few months ago for my other blog  If you didn’t already know, chickpeas are an excellent source of stuff like folate, fiber, and are low in fat (that’s enough f-words for now).  And you don’t just have to dip veges in your hummus (although cauliflower is awesome dipped up in there).  You can add hummus to your sandwiches and chicken salad and you can even find dried spiced chickpeas for snacking at stores like Whole Foods.

2 – Hot Sauce – Ok, so this is technically not a food, but I think it should be.  One of the trickiest things about changing your eating habits can be eliminating things like butter and salt or sauces that you think aren’t really that bad for you.  I hate to break it to you but buffalo wing sauce is primarily made of butter.   So, instead of getting take out wings or making dip with the buffalo sauce you bought from the grocery store.  Just buy the bottle of hot sauce.  Get creative with your ingredients (yogurt, low-fat sour cream, etc) and get close to wing sauce, or maybe even better.  And just for the record, I put hot sauce in and on pretty much everything.  It goes in my tuna salad, in my scrambled eggs, and sometimes on my pizza.  It adds so much flavor without any fat or calories.  It’s kind of a miracle.  That said, it doesn’t have any nutritional value.  So I have saved the best nutritional powerhouse for last!!!

1 – Beets!!! – DON’T STOP READING.  I saved beets for last for two reasons.  1 – I knew you would be so entertained by my wit and adorable writing skills that you would hang in there for the last one.  And 2 – beets really are the most amazing food ever grown in the ground.  Beets have been touted as “nature’s viagra”.  I mean, come on, do I really need to say more.  They detox, lower your blood pressure, boost your stamina, and fight cancer.  I will admit that beets are strong in flavor (you kind of have to be when you are fighting cancer and boosting stamina), but the trick to enjoying beets is pairing them with foods that complement the rich, earthy flavor.  My favorite is goat cheese and honey.  And before you scrunch your nose up (like my mom is if she is reading this), remember that some foods alone are just ok, until you find the perfect match that makes them exceptional.  How romantic, right?! (Nature’s viagra)  Just promise that the next time you go to dinner and there is a beet salad on the menu, talk someone into splitting it with you.  AND if it’s date night, you should totally order it.  Maybe you won’t even need to order anything else… wink wink.

Want more?  Follow me on Twitter at @t1runner

10 Things You Have Wrong About Diabetes…

There is a very active and passionate online community of people with diabetes.  I’ve only gotten to know them in the last year, but I can’t tell you how amazed I am at the number of caring, compassionate, sometimes pissed-off individuals that I share at least one thing in common.  There are often comments posted, complained about,  and laughed at that pertain to the misconceptions about diabetes.  I’m not getting super medical about all of this.  Usually diabetes misconceptions make me snicker because sometimes snickering is a good coping mechanism.  So here you will find a slightly snarky list of the top 10 things that you probably have wrong about diabetes.  Because after 33 years, I deserve to be a little snarky.

10 – I did not get diabetes from eating too much sugar.   My pancreas doesn’t work due to a laundry list of medical terms.  Not because I ate too many skittles or too many donuts or too much salt.

9 – You can’t have type 1 diabetes “real bad”.  When I tell someone I have an insulin pump and the immediate response is a grimace and “oh, you must have it really bad” I smirk.  If I ever smirk at you, you now know that I think you’re an idiot.  There are a lot of complications that are a result of diabetes.  But there is no level at which my pancreas’ lack of operability denotes the level of my disease.  There is no staging in type 1 diabetes because you either have it or you don’t.

8 – Cinnamon DOES NOT cure diabetes.  It just doesn’t.  Why in the hell would I have two medical devices attached to my body if I could be cured with a spice sold at my grocery store.  Seriously.  Have some respect.

7 – I CAN eat that.  My dad still says, “you can’t eat that, you’re diabetic!” and it’s cute.  But only my dad can say it because I’m 37 and he still thinks I’m 12 – which I love.  Diabetics who manage their diabetes appropriately can really eat whatever they want.  I might gain weight if I take insulin and eat candy bars a lot but that is the same as a “non-diabetic” which is what I try to come as close to as possible.  (I don’t eat a lot of candy bars, by the way).  But it’s not “cheating” anymore thanks to medical technology.  This isn’t Weight Watchers.

6 – Insulin makes the blood sugar go down, sugar makes the blood sugar go up.

5 – I don’t shoot up.  It’s not funny.  Especially when my small children are standing next to me.  I would rather they didn’t repeat what you just said to their friends at school.

4 – I DO look like a diabetic.  There are over 29 million diabetics in the US.  And we all look different.  All type 2 diabetics are not overweight, some type 1 diabetics are overweight.  I’m pretty sure that all gestational diabetics are pregnant.  But ALL diabetics need support regardless of what they look like, so stop looking for a reason to not support them/us.  And if you feel like it’s not your problem (especially if you are verbal about it) wait until someone in your family is diagnosed and feels embarrassed to talk to you about it.  That is not going to feel awesome.

3 – Diabetic-friendly.  Worse. Term. Ever. No one wants to be friends with diabetes.  The diabetic-friendly designation immediately diverts attention to the next recipe.  Just call it healthy or yummy and maybe include a carb count, then I’ll pay attention.

2 – Julia Roberts did it wrong.  ALL WRONG. We don’t all seize and cry and mess up or newly styled bouffant when hypoglycemic (low blood sugar).  I ramble and sweat a lot, but otherwise play it off well.  Don’t ever hesitate to ask someone with diabetes  if his/her blood sugar is low.  Sometimes it’s hard to stop and remember that I need to stop and remember.

1 – Diabetes IS a big deal.  It’s not a choice.  No matter the “type”, no one chooses to have it.  We all have decisions in life to make about our health.  When you are diagnosed with diabetes, it immediately becomes part of your life.  Not in a romantic destination, exchanging vows sort of way, but in a really terrifying, you could die sort of way.  We can choose to support, advocate and to care.  I choose that.

C’est Bon!

Me and my mini sous!

Now that I’m officially over my Dblog Week hangover, I’m back at it!

The title of this post reflects the exact amount of the French language that I learned while living in Ottawa, ON, Canada for three years.  Being that the city is officially bi-lingual, it made my transition very easy, but it also made it very unnecessary to learn a language that was so accessible.  But, c’est bon.

After being invited to teach in my daughter’s classroom (any topic I chose), I responded that I would teach them how to cook or bake something before I really thought through the process by which I would do so.  It’s typical Steph Tomko fashion to commit first and plan later.

The following are the details that needed the utmost attention in order to pull this off.

1. Dairy allergy in the classroom.  I had to find a good dairy-free recipe.  I am a mom that firmly believes in including every kid in every detail no matter the cost (literally and figuratively).  I was the only diabetic in every grade of school that I attended and I don’t remember a single parent (other than my cousin’s mom, who was also my aunt) paying any attention to my dietary limitations.  And that sucks when you are in elementary school.

2. Nut allergy.  Believe it or not, this one was way easier to figure out than the dairy allergy.  Nuts are not typically vital to a recipe (I can hear jokes now, so go ahead).  Dairy is a little more tricky but you just have to be creative, so read on!

3. No oven.  Anything that needed to be cooked needed to be done beforehand, also meaning that whatever was cooked needed to taste good the next day either cold or room temp.

4. I wanted the process to be something the kids could participate and actually learn from.

So, after considering all of those requirements and my thorough French background, I decided on crepes! My inspiration stems from many of my adolescent summers at the Rehoboth Beach boardwalk drooling at Le Crepe Suzette.  And to this day, I have yet to find a more perfect crepe than those butter and sugar covered delicate treats.  Definitely. Bolus. Worthy.


I found a dairy-free recipe (crepe batter is remarkably simple) and made a few adjustments and pre-cooked 60 of them the night before.  The day of, I scrambled and cooked 4 eggs (based on a rough estimate of how many kids would want them), and microwaved 1/2 lb of bacon.  Most 2nd graders do not yet know the magic of the cast iron skillet and the effect it has on bacon and it shall stay that way for now.

I arrived at school with a lot of stuff.  The kids were thrilled, as they are when anyone or anything new arrives, and the fun began.  I will immediately apologize to any parents of aforementioned 2nd graders if they came home demanding to be the executive chef of your kitchen and proceeded to boss you around.  I have no idea where they got that information.  We spent as much time as they allow talking about ingredients and the cooking process and then they wanted to eat.  My initial plan was to have them participate completely, but with two desks as a cooking surface and 24 kids on the floor, we quickly moved to plan B.  With my daughter as my sous chef, we prepped and assembled the crepes and had the kids fold and eat them.  As a quick and healthy bonus, I asked the class who had ever tried/liked avocado and 2 children raised their hands (one of which was mine).  I then asked who did not like avocado and the remainder of the hands went up.  I then asked who had never tried avocado but didn’t think they would like it.  I’m sure you can figure out how many hands stayed up.  Finally, I asked those kids, if they would be willing to try something new and I soon had 3 volunteers.  They were given a crepe filled with eggs, bacon, avocado and fresh basil.  2 of the 3 liked it and one said it was good and bad.  While we didn’t have time to discuss the details of response #3, they all got a pack of sidewalk chalk for being my newest mini foodies!  Our dessert crepe consisted of mini marshmallows, sliced banana, crushed graham cracker (M enjoyed cracking a ziploc full of whole crackers with a kitchen hammer in front of her peers), and chocolate sauce that the teacher produced magically.


My little sous then got to take orders from the other 2nd grade teachers and deliver crepes with her classroom bestie and we wrapped it up.  I hope they had as much fun as I did, because I would do that every day if given the budget and the permission!

Delish Dairy Free Crepes

  • Servings: 30 crepes
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

1.5 C all-purpose flour
1/2 C whole wheat pastry flour
1/8 tsp. sea salt
4 eggs
1 C soy creamer
1 C vanilla soy milk
1 tsp vanilla extract









Sift flours and salt into a large mixing bowl then whisk together
Whisk in eggs one at a time
Add creamer and vanilla soy alternately 1/2 C at a time until you have a thick cream consistency
Refrigerate for an hour
Heat pan to medium heat







Pour 3-4 tbs. of batter onto the pan (I filled a 1/4C measuring cup about 1/2 way to scoop and pour)
Immediately spread batter as thin as possible with the flat end of a spatula (wooden works best)








Cook for 30 seconds and flip (I used an inverted spatula, you should totally get one)









Allow alternate side to cook for 30 second and remove from heat
Fill with sweet and/or savory ingredients and enjoy!

Crepes can be refrigerated for up to 2 days

Making It Work…#DBlogWeek


Heading to NYC this weekend to celebrate an amazing woman and her 60th birthday.  I give myself credit for 33 years of type 1 diabetes while my mother in law fights Multiple Sclerosis, Myasthenia Gravis, and still manages to get a beautifully written thank you card out within 24 hours.  She’s my idol, she makes chocolate chip cookies that I can’t even attempt to beat and she is just an all-around wonderful human being.

Since all of my efforts for the next 3 days will be focused on her happiness, I decided to link to a previous hacking post that I published a few months ago.  I don’t really have any other tricks than hiding my pump, so here you go!  What’s funny about this post is that it was my most read.  For about 3 minutes I was impressed with myself until I realized that the title implied a totally different kind of article!  Ha!!!

Have a great weekend!!

Click HERE to read my best hacks!



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