Thursday, August 11, 2016

Here We Go Again

It all began when I tore this page out of last November's UK Homes & Gardens. Isn't that pretty?
(Ignore my scribbles on the left.)

It looked like more of a summer dessert than a November one and also looked simple to construct if I did not go to the trouble of actually making the ice cream sandwich, so I made this a couple of weeks ago.

I bought Skinny Cow ice cream sandwiches because I could not find Klondike Ice Cream sandwiches anywhere here.

This was to be a trial run for an easy company summer dessert when I would use non-skinny Klondike sandwiches, if I could find them.

The caramel corn part was easy too; I was not going to go to the trouble to make that.

The strawberries were easy, even if they didn't look as pretty as what was in the picture--nothing ended up looking as pretty as in the picture.

Strawberry Sauce: 1 lb. organic strawberries, 1/4 cup sugar, 1/4 cup water, juice from 1/2 a lemon. Heat to boil and then simmer for 20-30 minutes. (And with my gas range, don't turn your back on it.)

I drew the line at whipped cream from a can and whipped my own--almost to the point of it becoming butter. (Note to self: don't turn my back on my mixer either.)

Is this not pitiful?

I pictured this ironstone platter holding enough ice cream sandwiches, strawberries, caramel corn and whipped cream to serve to 4 people, but my trial run dissuaded me. 

I thought I would achieve the effect in the magazine picture by just casually tossing the caramel corn on it, but I understand now why food stylists use tweezers, and have lots of talent.

Mine looks like I intentionally tried to make a smiley face of the caramel corn. Not.

Why am I posting this "recipe" that I will not repeat?

Some of my blog friends--and my family--know that I went from Christmas week until the end of April this year without eating desserts.

And I brought my A1c (for those of you who are familiar with this diabetes term) down from 7.1 to 6.5 in 4 months and lost 12 lbs., which made my doctor smile.

I've fallen off the wagon some these past few months and while my recent lab results showed my A1c was still the same, my triglycerides were a different story.

So back to no desserts and other dietary changes to work on that. But a lifetime of no more baking? Impossible, as I love baking! Can I do it for others and resist it myself? We'll see.

I'll let you know and more about the other steps I'm taking in future posts.

Speaking of steps, guess what I began this morning?

The first of 3 months of visits to a vein specialist to get rid of horrible varicose veins. And what is the doctor's prescription following all these procedures?

Steps, lots and lots of steps. Walking, it's called. So I'll close and get up to take more of those. And I'll try not to indulge in a pity party about giving up desserts. 

Because my dear husband is lactose intolerant and he couldn't even eat a Skinny Cow (it tasted terrible anyway) or the whipped cream. Breyers lactose-free ice cream for him and berries with caramel corn on the top.

I know some of you are trying to avoid sugar too. How's it going for you?

When I did it for 4 months this past winter it took 6 weeks for the cravings to stop. 

How about you? Or are you one of those who follows the rule of two bites only, and you keep to it? Or is a juicy peach your favorite dessert? 

And yes, I know that many of you don't have a problem with this, either from genes and metabolism or lots of exercise and balanced eating.

And my other goal is not to hate you.


  1. I think you know that my hubby and I gave up processed sugar in April 2015. Neither one of us is diabetic, but we both have it rampantly in our families. Not only that, but one of my passions is healthy eating and I read a ton on this subject. After all I've read about sugar and how bad it is for you (causes inflammation in the body - and inflammation is what causes disease), we decided to give it up. Both of us had some weight to lose anyway (I still need to lose about 10-15 more lbs) and had slightly high blood pressure. Neither one of us have had much of a problem giving up sugar. It took maybe a week or two for the cravings to go away. We both lost weight, our blood pressure went down, and this is very cool...the psoriasis I've had on my knees since I was 16 (many years!) totally cleared up.

    When we sometimes have a craving for something sweet, I bake using organic pure maple syrup or organic raw honey. I have recipes on my Pinterest board, if you're interested.

    Also, we are far from perfect. Once in a blue moon, we will have something with processed sugar in it. It was my birthday yesterday and I had a few Mint Milano cookies. ;-)

    You can do it, I know you can! :-)

  2. I actually think yours is more appealing! Good for you for using organic strawberries. I read just today that the 'conventionally' (aka sprayed) grown ones top the list of foods contaminated with pesticides.

  3. I've had to cut way back on cholesterol-filled foods, including my favorite -- cheese! So I know how hard it is to give up what you love (at least a great deal of the time). I could never give it up totally! I don't think your dessert looks bad - I bet it would be good with a good-quality ice cream sandwich!

  4. There was a time when I had to stay away from sugar for a few months, Dewena. It was not easy, but there was fruits. Boy, did I miss the chocolate. Your dessert looks scrumptious. Who doesn't love caramel corn? I didn't know you loved to bake!


  5. I think your plate is very pretty - lots of color contrast and texture. I restrict sugar, but haven't sworn off of it entirely. I have about one dessert per week. I do bake, but try to make things that I can easily pass up. My husband takes baking to work in his lunch every single day - and he weighs less than 170 pounds. I like little bites of dessert - nothing too big.
    Good luck on the walking!

  6. I am in awe of you that you were able to give up desserts for four months. I have a major sweet tooth, and I know that I would be better off eating fewer sweets and cutting back on sugar. But, I'm like a spoiled child. Reading Melanie's comment above and your post make me want to do better. I have been much better about exercising in the past year, but I know that healthy eating is key. So, now that I've berated myself in front of God and everyone here in your comment section (haha!), I should be ashamed of myself!

  7. Been a walker for decades. Do my best thinking walking.

    Added trash pick up once moved last year. Am now the Trash Lady, in addition, have met so many people. Who knew, pick up trash to meet people and learn all the town gossip, or at least a lot.

    Sugar. Oh dear. It's my crack.


  8. I have been avoiding rich desserts for a few months. Once in awhile, I will take a bite, and I am happy when it doesn't really taste all that great. I do eat a small dark chocolate/chili bar every day that I buy at Aldi. That really satisfies my sweet tooth.

    I have also been eating much healthier meals and limiting carbs. I have lost a little over 30 pounds and feel so much better, and my clothes feel better on my body! I hate "tight"!

    I am interested in the treatment you are receiving for your veins; mine are getting worse and worse and are so UGLY! Please keep us updated.

  9. I am still reeling at the thought that Klondikes are not sold there, even though I haven't had one all summer anyway :)

    I learned long ago that I'd do better with a wee bit of chocolate when I was craving it than going crazy. So I'll usually have a hershey bar or something on hand and I don't eat the whole thing. I can usually break off one row and have that after lunch and be fine.

    If I bake ( not in THIS hot weather ) I usually give most of it to the kids down the street so that sort of stuff is not around much.

    Ice cream..always want a small scoop after dinner...this has to have come from visiting my grandparents who lived next door when I was a kid and I'd go down there for my ice cream all of the time :)

    My weakness is more of craving salty snacks so I just don't buy them. About two months ago I thought I'd PERISH if I didn't have some nachos and cheese dip. So I went and got a bag and got the dip and made a nice plate for myself, indulged in the craving, then right after took the bag and dip to the kids :)

  10. I'm very impressed with your A1C! Did you make any other changes besides giving up desserts?

    1. Hi Frances, thank you for visiting! No, for the 4 months I didn't eat desserts I didn't really do any other food group restrictions. Just goes to show how much sugar does effect the A1c.

  11. ohmygosh.
    first. i'm so glad you'll be able to walk comfortably again when it's all over! that's the only exercise i take now.
    this recipe covered most of my favorite foods! icecream and strawberries and popcorn. especially caramel corn!
    throw in a slice of pizza and you'd have covered them all.

    like you i've got to watch now. i'm pretty good. but my problem isn't sweets so much as carbs... like a baked potato or pasta. AAAGGH.
    what are you talking about??? i see no smiley face!
    you're too hard on yourself. i think it looks great.
    at least it made me WANT SOME!!! and THAT is the test!

  12. I cracked up more than once reading this post Dewena! Smiley face?? lol

    My motto is 'life is short, eat dessert first', so I'm probably not the kind of person you'd want to hang out with now :/. (Don't hate me!).

    And what do you mean no Klondike bars??! That's it, I'm not coming to St. Augustine. Lol

    1. No Eskimo Pies here either, Doreen. What's this world coming to?

  13. "And I brought my A1c (for those of you who are familiar with this diabetes term) down from 7.1 to 6.5 in 4 months and lost 12 lbs., which made my doctor smile."

    That is brilliant news ... and so important to keep blood sugars in the lower ranges.

    All the best Jan

  14. Organic strawberries have been a major staple of my summer menu, especially since having read that strawberries are one of the most popular fruits to be sprayed with pesticides. You have created a scrumptiously appetizing seasonal treat with yours, Dewena!

    As far as sugar goes, kudos to you for being so diligent and disciplined for such a long time! And, besides, you can't get back on the wagon, if you don't fall off every once in a while, right? Anyway, as long as you ARE off that wagon, make good use of it and keep walking - there's no better way to keep those varicose veins at bay!


  15. I love desserts and yours look so good, Deweena!
    I have had some health issues that have required me limiting myself to mostly fruit and vegetables for the last six months. It's not been easy:>( Fortunately my husband doesn't like sweets one bit so I don't have to have any in the house even.

  16. My problem is similar to yours, but different. I don't give a hoot about sweets and desserts. BUT I do have food weaknesses, foods that I crave, foods that are not good for me, foods that wreak havoc with my weight. Those foods are starches---French fries, potato chips, tortilla chips, popcorn, crackers. Two bites will not satisfy, so I need to abstain completely, lest I eat my weight in those things.

    Blessings to you,

  17. Well, I thought your dessert looked very appealing.
    I try not to make or buy desserts from one end of the week to the next, unless we have company. Having the grands here for the summer has made a lie of that and I have been indulging my sweet tooth!

  18. I definitely need to wean myself off sugar again - it's amazing how strong the cravings can be, ridiculous really! Good luck on your journey, Dewena!

  19. Congrats on your accomplishment. Not only losing weight but controlling Diabetes. I love to bake too but not in a kitchen with no air conditioning. I am currently trying to avoid desserts too. It's slow going. Why does the scale seem stuck?

  20. Dewena,
    I totally am with you on getting off the sugars. That is my downfall. I love sugar especially when stressed. So my thing I am trying is not to go cold turkey but to limit what amount of sugar I have. So far so good. Good luck.

  21. We walk alot. (good!) I drink alot of sweet tea. (BAD, VERY BAD!!) ha ha lOL

  22. I think you're being way too hard on yourself about that dessert. It looks very pretty. And I would eat it -- haha! Although I need to really watch it after gaining some weight back. I am not one of those people you have to worry about hating :)
    Good for you for doing so well managing your diabetes. I'm glad you're getting some good results. Keep at it! You can do it. xo Deborah

  23. I love salty and crunchy like you love sweets. Nothing's good for us anymore!

  24. Through this post you have reminded me that I need to get off my toosh right now and walk!
    So proud of you and your diligence.

  25. Sending a HUG!
    I know how hard change of diet can be.