I'm sorry to say the pikins were pretty slim for this year's Top 10. That's where the confession comes in...
Back in February, I had a snowball of symptoms that temporarily threw my life into a tailspin. There was everything from wonky vision (I was practically blind for a while there), severe dry mouth, and leg cramps, all the way to a large portion of my hair falling out. Because my current job doesn't include benefits, I had no health insurance, so I was hoping it would go away. Wishful thinking! I signed on for a health plan through the state health exchange right at the cut-off. Before that, I hated the idea and was just holding on until my job became full-time, with benefits. I couldn't wait any longer!
The very first day my insurance went into effect, I had a doctor appointment scheduled. Turns out I not only have hypothyroidism, but I'm a Type 2 Diabetic. Ironically, it turns out to be one of the best things to happen to me in years!
After learning of my condition, I went home and immediately dumped all of the juice, popsicles, etc. that I had been downing to soothe the dry mouth. All that sugar was actually intensifying the effect. About two days after I started my medication, 95% of my page-long list of symptoms miraculously vanished! As a matter of fact, I'm doing so well, I was already able to stop taking one of my medications. 😊
I can still technically eat anything I want, I just have to watch my carb count, but I was totally paranoid about it for a while there, sticking mostly with yogurt, steel-cut oatmeal, lots of veggies, and hummus. It was easy to ditch my usual diet, which was pretty much Pepsi and Coffee all day, then dinner and something to munch on during TV time. The hardest adjustment has been making sure I eat three times a day. I've never been a morning person, so my breakfast was always a Dunkin Donuts coffee - same for lunch pretty often. I can't give up my Dunkies, but I did start ordering a smaller size and reducing the sugar. As for Pepsi, I haven't had a single glass/can since February! No looking back on that one.
In addition to the list of symptoms that resolved, I also started automatically losing weight. Two other symptoms I had for YEARS that I had no idea were related until they went away are edema - my hands and feet would swell up something awful when the temps would rise above 70 - and vertigo! I had a few really bad bouts of vertigo over the years, then for several months leading into last February, had a chronic mild vertigo. It suddenly occurred to me one day that I haven't had it at all since I started treatment. Go figure!
So, you can see why I haven't been doing much baking and have been steering clear of high-carb foods as much as possible. Now that I've gotten into a better rhythm with things, I'll try to do a better job of coming up with new, low(er)-carb recipes to post.
In the meantime, these were the Top 10 reader favorites of 2016 ...
- Coconut Granola Custard (have to admit I'm glad this was the fave)
- Pizza Dip with Pepperoni Chips
- Concord Grape Pie (color me surprised this made #3)
- Roasted Carrot Hummus
- Twice-Baked Spaghetti Squash with Spicy Tomatoes and Parmesan
- Beet, Carrot, and Apple Salad (I practically live on this)
- Greens & Beans
- Tabouli-Style Quinoa-Kale Salad with Lemony Garlic Tahini Dressing
- Chicken Taco Salad
- Roasted Red Pepper Hummus
As always, thank you for inspiring me and for following along with my kitchen adventures. I wish us all a healthy, happy, and prosperous 2017.