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April 2002 Issue
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by Rossana S. Tarantini
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So, here we are, another month upon us, a little bit older, hopefully a little bit wiser too. I sometimes find myself reflecting on the passage of time. I remember being a young adolescent and wishing time to go quickly, impatient for the days when I was an "adult" and could do as I wanted. Strange thing about wishes, they come true and then you wonder why you were in such an all fired hurry for them. Thing is, now that I'm an adult, I wish for my younger days when I "could do anything I wanted". Someone once said "Plus ça change, plus ça reste . . ." and it's quite true. The more things change the more they stay the same.

It's been a strange and hectic time in our household of late. My daughter is home visiting for a while, giving her mom moral and tangible support as we try to weather the storms of a separation fraught with stress and bewilderment. They say you never really know someone until you live with them. I'd change that to read "until you try to leave them". It has truly been an eye opening experience. My children and I will get through it, but the things we've learned along the way will stay with us for a long time to come. It's unfortunate too that the relationship that their father so wanted to grow and maintain is the very thing that's been affected by his actions.

I won't go into details here -- that's something for another place and time, but I did want to address something. The decision to separate is NOT something that anyone enters into lightly. It's usually a decision made after much self examination and thought, and most often it is the only way to resolve a bad situation. Rather than trying to brow beat someone into changing his or her mind, the best thing that friends and family can do is to remember that the outward appearance of any marriage is not the reality of it in most cases. What you see, when it comes to a marital relationship, is not always "what you get". The things that lead to most marriage failures are usually unseen by all but a very few people outside of the relationship. The best action anyone can take in these cases is to "be there". Whether you agree or disagree, whether you think the "soon to be ex" is a wonderful person or not, your friend, sister, brother, daughter or son needs you to be there to listen, support, hug, hold and just plain love. It makes no difference who instigates it, a separation is never easy for either party. There's enough stress and strife in a breakup without adding the extra upheaval of having no one to turn to. They've already made their decision and have likely already come up with more arguments pro and con than you ever could. Be a friend, be supportive, but don't set yourself up as the "marriage savior".

For those of you who tune in from time to time for more in the diabetes saga, let me say it's been interesting. The numbers are pretty much in control, though there is still some fluctuating. I'm happy with how things are going. More importantly, so is my doctor. Strangely enough, the change to my eating habits is almost unconscious now, and for the times when I simply want to drown myself in a plate of pasta, I thank medical science for gluconorm. I've learned more about my body and the way it reacts to the various things I feed it, in the few months I've been living with this disease, than I ever had before. But most important is the fact that I've learned that I CAN live with it. A reader summed it up nicely in a message she sent me, by saying that my article had inspired her to get back on track with her diet plan and she hoped that her few words had done the same for me. And that's the upshot isn't it?? We learn from each other. We encourage each other. We share with each other our successes and failures and some of the interesting stops along the way.

I want to stress here that one of the most important changes I made to my lifestyle and the one that has had the most beneficial effect, has been exercise. I joined a health club called "Curves", I think they're all over North America. It's low impact, circuit training done on nautilus type equipment, and it's been great. I sometimes don't go for a week or two if my arthritis gets real bad, but mostly my joints have been handling it well. It really isn't important to "go to a club" though. For me it worked because I needed the structure. Any kind of change to your exercise routine will be beneficial. Try a short walk each evening. Park further away in the mall or office parking lot than is your norm. Do something, anything, to get out there moving and you'll reap the benefits in far more obvious ways and more quickly than any but the most drastic diet changes. After the first few weeks I noticed a marked change in my energy levels. Found I wasn't getting as tired as quickly and was feeling much more positive too.

As far as my diet goes, I find that if I watch my carb intake, I'm okay. I usually try for low carb meals and snacks, but when I know I can't or don't want to, the gluconorm tablets make that decision easier too. It's not something I do often, but on an occasional basis I find it keeps me "on track" without feeling deprived food wise, and it helps keep my numbers in control health wise as well.

When I first found out about my diabetes, our editor, Ronda, sent me two great cookbooks that have been my guideposts for finding new, interesting things to do with my meals. I think next month I'll include a couple of recipes that are sure to become favourites. Remember to look for them right here.

Make sure to check out the recipe exchange this month. We have a couple of replies to some requests from last month and a new request as well. As always, there's a submission form in the column below, so it couldn't be easier to send us your request or recipe.

Amazing Grace

I'm still waiting to hear from you about your family favourites, so here's another from my collection in the mean time.

    Thank you Lord for this food in front of us, and Thank you Lord for always standing behind us.
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