Diabetes Camp

A week ago from today I left for Camp Conrad-Chinook, a summer camp in the mountains that is for Type I diabetic children. I volunteered as a dietetic student and spent 5 1/2 long days there helping out. 

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It was really beautiful and the cabins and facilities were actually all pretty nice for a camp.

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This is my room that I shared with one of the dietitian students, Emily. It worked out nicely that all the nutrition students got to stay in the same cabin and we all became very close. They were all very sweet and probably my favorite part of the experience.

Dietitian Students

Emily, Adrianna, Christina, Me, & Celena (another girl Shannon was there too but was missing from this picture). Two of the girls, Emily & Christina, were Type I diabetics themselves so it was cool to be able to ask them some questions and learn more about it from them. We all got along really well and it was great to finally meet people from the nutrition major. We all instantly had that in common and they were also up for doing things like bike rides & running. If only they lived closer!!

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Here is one with Shannon on the far right.

The first two days were probably the worst- they were super busy and hectic and we were trying to just figure out what we were supposed to be doing. Shannon and Christina had both been there before as nutrition volunteers so they helped fill us in, but it was strange that we didn’t really have a supervisor letting us know our clear tasks. Our jobs were to be the bridge between medical staff and kitchen staff and help both of them out, but it got difficult at times when they would collide either by overlapping or each having different ideas/wants.

After the first two days though, I got into the swing of things. All the days were pretty much the same following the same schedule just different meals & activities for the kids. Here’s what I did most days:

6:45: Wake up

 

7:15: Write Breakfast carbs on white boards around camp. Go to my two cabins that I was assigned and help the girl campers record their blood sugar levels & count the carbohydrates they were planning to eat at breakfast. (I didn’t have to actually test their sugars, they did it themselves, just wrote down the numbers. We had a menu each day we wrote up & delivered to the cabins saying the carb count & I helped kids calculate it and figure out what they want to eat)

The doctors would also be there and they would be helping give insulin or telling them how much to bolus. 

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8:00: Breakfast

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Everyone would meet in the dining hall after they were done with me and the doctors. I’d eat at the tables with my girls and their counselors and switched off between my two cabins every meal. All of my girls were around 11-13 years old and were all very sweet. By the end, I knew all of their names and they all told me not to go. :-)

8:40: Check the carbohydrate cards from each of my tables to make sure the kids filled out the carbs that they actually ate for breakfast.

9:00 All Staff meeting outside to discuss all issues related to camp. From camper behavioral problems, medical issues, and dietetic. At the end of each meeting the campers would come and ambush us with water balloons and guns and the staff would get into it and get them back. I ran back to my room every day to avoid getting wet!

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10:00-11:00: Get mid-morning snack ready & write carbs on board. (Mostly a packaged snack like Cheez-Its or Teddy Grahams)

11:00-12:30: Do other tasks they needed us to do like make graham crackers with peanut butter in them & fruit juice (for when blood sugars dropped low)

12:30: Meet at cabins for lunch carb count & blood sugar testing

1:00: Lunch & check carb cards

2:00: Medical Staff meeting in infirmary discussing medical and dietary issues.

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The infirmary was always open where kids could go anytime they were feeling too low, too high or just not feeling well. A nurse/doctor/medical student was on call 24 hours a day.

3:00: After the meetings, we’d transfer our carb cards from the meals of what the kid actually ate into a binder with their medical folders; comparing it to what they said they were going to eat. This is important because they give the insulin injection BEFORE they eat and take into account the amount of carbs they are going to eat. If they eat more or less grams of carbs that they said they were going to, they wanted it to be recorded so they could explain why they had either high or low blood sugar later on.

3:45: Afternoon Snack

4:00-5:15: This is the time where I could usually sneak off and take a nap (And always needed it at this point) I’d usually only sleep for about 20 minutes and then feel totally refreshed. It was basically our only “free time” during the day and when I got to do some fun stuff like go on a bike ride with the kids (which ended up being a disaster because my bike was stuck in first gear and I would peddle insanely fast and not move!), or we’d visit the arts and crafts center where I made a frame, some friendship bracelets, and fun kids crafts. :-)

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5:15-6:00: Dinner carb count & blood sugar testing

6:00: Dinner (check carb cards)
7:00-8:00: Would be busy with miscellaneous tasks or got to hang out with the nutrition girls and talk.

8:00-9:00: Return to kitchen to make la st snack of the day. This one was most hands-on and involved cooking, but nothing too hard. We made super pretzels, quesadillas, english muffins w/pb, etc. The only hard part was making 140 of them, putting out juice, graham crackers, etc. It was pretty involved.

9:00-10:00: Cabins would come in for blood sugar testing & to eat snack

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10:00-10:30: Clean up snack & kitchen and lock up.

10:30-12:00: Sometimes relaxed and hung out with nutrition students, took a shower, called Chris/Mom. A few nights we played a game called “would you rather” which had a bunch of ridiculous questions. We played with some of the other staff in the cafeteria who were celebrating someone’s birthday with cupcakes (Yum! REAL sugar!!) We were told we were being too loud though so we had to call it quits by midnight which was fine since we had midnight rounds.

12:00: Midnight Rounds. We would go with a medical team to test blood sugars (I’d just record the numbers), and if the kids were too low (blood sugar below 100) we would give them juice or peanut butter crackers depending on what their sugars were. Then we’d have to wait 10-15 minutes and recheck them again. If they were still too low, we’d have to wake them up again to eat. Sometimes the kids woke up and tested themselves, other times the medical staff would just test them without waking them. I mostly held the flashlight, wrote down numbers, and woke kids up to test and/or eat.

12:30-1:00: Depending on how long midnight rounds took, go back to cabin and sleep until 6-6:45 the next morning.

Repeat.

So you can see why I was pretty exhausted when I got home on Sunday. I felt like I had been in a major whirlwind for 5 days and in some strange place.

Overall though, I am glad I went and definitely took stuff out of it. I learned a lot about diabetes and am thankful that my body produces insulin because I feel like I spend enough time as it is just preparing my food, let alone worrying about insulin, timing, injections, carb counting, etc. Then there were kids who had celiac disease (allergic to gluten in wheat, barley, and rye) so they could barely eat anything we had so we always had to make special things for them and be careful it wasn’t cross-contaminated with wheat. We also had some peanut allergies, milk allergies, and vegetarians so we always had to keep those kids in mind and prepare substitutes for them. Then there were the kids who were just picky and I didn’t blame them because I really didn’t want the meatloaf either :-/ Lucky for me they had a decent salad bar every night and I got to raid the fridge for fruit since I was on the dietetic team. :-)

So I survived and even managed to have some fun. I still don’t know if I would go back, mostly do to how unorganized they were and we sometimes felt unappreciated for all the hard work we did. Here are some more pictures of the trip:

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Diabetic Jeopardy

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Skits & Campfire

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The dietitian student’s “carb counting” session that went horribly since nobody wanted to listen.

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The girls from Cabin 6 who were 13, my mom thought they were the dietetic students… do they look 21 or do I look 13?!

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Twin Night: Cabin 6 gave me a t-shirt to match them for dinner :-D

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Girls from Cabin 5, slightly younger between 11-13

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Nutrition Students with head cook, Sue (in yellow) and the camp owners Rocky & Debby (Debby in Red, Rocky in Gray)

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The medical staff I worked with

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Christina’s knee injury after she fell on our bike ride- she was a trooper and wanted to keep going but the tire was flat and chain had broken off the bike.

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Me helping count their carbs before dinner at the craft table.

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Group Photo of Camp

As I said, overall I had a good time. I’m glad I went for the experience and met some really nice people. I can’t lie and say that I wasn’t stoked to come back to my own bug-free bed, kitchen, family & Christopher. :-D

Egg Hunt

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My favorite thing about Easter was always the egg hunts. I got really frustrated trying to find the plastic eggs, but always loved opening them up because they either had one of my 3 favorite things as a kid in them: candy, money or toys!

In the morning we would open Easter baskets & do an egg hunt through the neighborhood. We lived on a cult-a-sac where everyone was friends, so all yards were free game. It was always exciting to find one with your name on it.

In the afternoon we would go to my Grandparent’s house. My grandpa went to great lengths to make a great egg hunt for us. He would think of really tricky places in his big Arizona backyard to hide the eggs and would give us tons of hints to find them. He’d say “you’re getting warmer… nope, colder colder.” All of the eggs had our names on them with labels made from his label maker and they were filled with cash! The best ones were the ones with dollar bills, but we all knew we got the same amount of money as everyone else in the end. It was so much fun and I’m so glad I have those memories.

The picture is of my sister & I. Miss you today, Weeze!

This morning I made my bowl of oatmeal festive with an egg hunt. Much different than my childhood egg hunts, but still fun :-)

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This Easter will be celebrated by spending time with my family & going to a craft show/wine tasting.

What are your plans for Easter? Have a nice Sunday everyone!

Hey There, Sweet Stuff!

Today was another fun-filled day of baking. My aunt & grandma are in town visiting and I asked them what baking projects they could give me. My grandma immediately said brownies (actually, she was upset they weren’t already made upon her arrival ;-)) and my aunt said she’d like cupcakes. Score! I love reasons to bake.

Project 1: Brownies with walnuts

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These turned out moist & passed Grandma’s approval test. She said the only thing wrong with them is that you have to have more than one to make sure they are good. :-D

Project 2: Cupcakes

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These are chocolate cupcakes with butter cream frosting & Newman O’s crumbled on top. The only things I changed from original recipes was to replace the sugar with Splenda because my Grandma is diabetic and from what I’ve read your body doesn’t metabolize it like sugar. I know there are many people opposed to it for whatever reasons, but I think a little in moderation is fine. They haven’t found anything wrong with it from what I’ve read, though it might increase appetite.

Project 3: Peanut Butter Banana Bars

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I had 3 bananas that were begging to be baked with so I found the perfect solution :-) These were the only “healthified” things I made today. I’ve made these before and really liked them- they’re super moist & yummy. To me it tastes like they should be bad for you, but they’re not. No sugar in the recipe either.

I’m not sure where I originally found this recipe, but here it is:

Peanut Butter Banana Snack Bars (makes 16 squares):

Ingredients:

1 egg (or equivalent in egg substitute)
1/4 cup peanut butter, natural
1 cup banana, ripe mashed (3 medium)
1/4 cup skim milk
2 tablespoons sugar substitute
1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1.    Preheat oven to 350

2.    Spray 8 x 8 pan with cooking spray

3.    In a large bowl, combine egg, peanut butter and bananas

4.    Mix Well

5.    Stir in milk

6.    Slowly add wet mixture to dry

7.    Spread evenly into pan & bake for 20 minutes

Nutritional Information: Calories: 76 Calories from Fat: 30 Total Fat: 3 g Total Carbohydrates: 11g Protein: 2g

So that is how I spent the majority of my Saturday- in the kitchen. I love baking/cooking so much that time just flies by when I’m working on something. I had the company of my Grandma today while I was baking which made it even more fun than usual.

We just got finished with dinner which was deep dish pizza & salad. We’ve been having lots of great meals out since they’ve been here, all out of course. We had Mexican one night and Italian another. Tomorrow we’re staying in for both meals though, so that should be a nice change. We’re hitting up the wineries in the afternoon to do some tasting since I can now that I’m the big 21! It sort of feels sacrilegious to go wine tasting on Easter, but then again, isn’t wine God’s blood or something? Sorry, I don’t know much about religion but I like Easter for the candy, bunnies, & spring time!

Hope everyone has a wonderful Easter!

Whirlwind

Man, where have these past few days gone? They’ve flown by so quickly!
Where did I leave off? Oh yeah, Saturday night. These are the munchies I snuck into the movie theatre.

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Pistachios (from forever ago- they’re safe), grapes, and carrots. Great snacky foods- not so great movie. Skip Adventureland- all the funny parts were in the commercials and it was pretty boring & slow moving. I usually like movies like that, but not this one.

Sunday:

I honestly don’t remember much about this day, but here are the eats.

DSCN0489Breakfast: Oatmeal with Clif Bar crumbles

DSCN0493Lunch: Jamba Juice Strawberry Nirvana & Oatmeal w/banana slices

DSCN0498Dinner: Broccoli, Sweet Potato, and Cajun Catfish

DSCN0500 I’ve only eaten and like Salmon before, but felt like being brave and bought some catfish at the store. It was pretty good, I’m still not used to the fishy texture- but definitely could get used to it!

Snacks: unpictured, and I don’t remember what they were, but I’m sure it included lots of grapes

Monday:

DSCN0515Breakfast: Oatmeal with caramel chip trail mix

DSCN0516 Lunch: Cosi signature salad, tomato-basil soup, & 1/2 whole grain bread

DSCN0518 Snack: Fruit Bowl

DSCN0519 Another snack: Chocolate Chip cookie, Newman’s Own PB cookie, a few Trader Joe’s peanut butter cups

DSCN0523 Dinner: Applebee’s Apple Walnut Chicken Salad w/o bleu cheese

DSCN0525 Nighttime Snack: Grapes!!

Tuesday:

DSCN0526 Breakfast: Bear Mush Cereal. I had never heard of it, but saw it at the grocery store & thought it looked interesting. It’s hard red wheat & I cooked it just like oatmeal. The consistency was pretty mushy, but I guess that is kind of a given with the name ;-)

DSCN0529 I didn’t love it, but the verdict is still out- I think I need to get used to the texture just like I did with oatmeal.

I started school yesterday so lunch was eaten in my car before class.

DSCN0531 Grapes & Yogurt

DSCN0534Salad with grapes & carrots

DSCN0537  Apple while studying (It’s sooo true about being more hungry when you are using your brain!)

DSCN0538 Snack: Clif White Chocolate Macademia Nut Bar I had been reading about forever in blogland and finally found. It was very good like everyone’s said- but pretty sweet. Definitely a great treat to keep me entertained in class.

DSCN0542 Dinner: Everyone had already eaten or wasn’t hungry so I was on my own and tired after my first long day at school so I just made a turkey sandwich, sweet potato, & reheated Cosi soup.

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DSCN0546 Dessert: 2 bowls of unpictured grapes, Trader Joe’s flattened banana, & a yogurt pretzel

So, as you can see things have been busy and eats have been pretty boring. Times like these make me admire food bloggers more and more. My aunt and Gramma came into town today so we have been hanging out with them and don’t know what is up for the rest of the day. I just know I have some homework to do before the day is over- oh the joys of being back in school. It is good to be back though and now I’m moving on with my life! I am so excited to become an RD someday or be in the health/nutrition field, so I just have to keep that in mind and it will be all worth it. My statistics teacher mentioned RD’s and health professionals since it’s geared towards health science majors and that alone made me excited. I can’t wait to actually be in classes relating to my food science and nutrition major!

Well happy humpday everyone, it’s all smooth sailing from here!

I’ll leave you with pictures of the red velvet cupcakes I made on Chris’ request the other day:

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Unsuccessful

My clothes shopping ended up being pretty unsuccessful. The only pair of jeans I  liked had a broken zipper and no others in my size, ugh. It’s okay though, I did get 4 bras for $40 & realized my aunt and Gramma are coming next week and they like to go shopping so maybe they’ll go with me.

My gym workout was good- I did 45 minutes on the Stairmaster & 15 minutes of free weights for arms & abs. When I got home Nikki (Chris’ sister) asked if I wanted to go for a bike ride. Since it was a beautiful day & all I went with her on my crappy old purple bike that I keep at Chris’. Dang it was torture compared to my new bike, but we took it slow and it was quite enjoyable. I stopped at a grocery store on trip because I was having a hardcore apple craving.

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I was on my own for lunch & shopping since Chris went out with his friends for sushi. There was no food at the house so I stopped by souplantation and made myself a salad to go.

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  • spinach/dark lettuce/iceburg
  • green peppers
  • carrots
  • zucchini
  • radishes
  • chickpeas
  • raisins
  • wonton strips/croutons

I was craving salad really bad and this was great, except that I ate it in my car. I really need to get over my eating alone in public thing.

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I got a Strawberry Nirvana from Jamba Juice during my shopping trip. I ordered a small, but I guess it came out big. Hey, I don’t mind :-)

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When I gave up came home from shopping, I had a Sarah-inspired snack of yogurt w/granola & 100 cal kettle corn. I also had some carrots to up my veggie intake.

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And I couldn’t go a day without grapes. These were extra good and crunchy too.

Turns out I am going to get to see Adventureland after all! Chris and I are going in about an hour, yay! Hope it turns out to be funny, not just stupid. It looks like it could go either way. I’m sure I’ll be sneaking some more snacks into the theatre, I love doing that :-D

Even too ripe for me…

The timings of my meals have been pretty screwed up lately, but I guess that’s what happens when I don’t have a job or school schedule to stick with for now. (Only 3 more days until school… eek!) Dinner last night was simple but enjoyable. I wasn’t feeling too creative so I went with the classic dinner at my house: chicken and/or salmon on the grill, vegetable (asparagus), and sweet potato.

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My Plate, with no foods touching of course :-PDSCN0461

Sweet potato! I swear I could (and practically do) eat one every day.DSCN0463

Altogether, eaten at the “bar”/counter. My dad & I watched the end of Biggest Loser and Unwrapped while we ate.

I had been thinking about frozen yogurt all day, so after we cleaned dinner up I asked my dad if he’d like to come watch me eat some. I prefer to have company when eating, especially dessert. He just likes to go and sample all the flavors since it’s serve yourself and they don’t seem to mind. I made myself a delicious combination of my favorites.

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Yogurts: Peanut butter, Cake Batter, & Chocolate

Toppings: butterfinger, carob chips, reeses crumbles, cookie dough, mini-non perils, BANANA SLICES :-D

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It hit the spot and was the perfect ending to my relaxing Friday night. Afterwards, I headed over to Chris’ to spend the night there and may have snacked on some of his curly fries from Jack in the Crack. hehe.

Chris and I sort of have an odd living arrangement for the fact that we live together but switch off nights between his parents house and my parents house. It’s pretty cool but sometimes can be a pain when we forget things at one house or whatnot, but it works out the majority of the time. The last 2 weeks though his family has been out of town and their house is too big and creepy to stay there alone, so we spent every night at my house.

Well, this morning I was rummaging through my food cabinet they let me keep at his house (stocked with the essentials: Kashi cereals, oatmeal, a vast array of nut butters, & bananas when I’m there since they disappear super quickly at his house).

Don’t get me wrong, I love ripe bananas and love when they get spotty for their sweetness and softness. I also get excited when they get old because it’s instant baking opportunity. However, the banana I found this morning was even too ripe for my liking:

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I laughed pretty hard when I found this and thought it had to be documented. I completely forgot I had left a banana in there for 2+ weeks… oops!

Luckily, I had brought a banana perfect for adding to my oatmeal this morning.

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Much better :-)

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This morning (afternoons?) oatmeal had a nut theme goin’ on:

-1/2 cup oats, water, chocolate almond milk

-banana, cinnamon

-1/2 TBSP chopped walnuts, cooked in

-heaping spoonful of Barney Butter on top

-1/2 mini pb clif bar crumbled on top

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I’d definitely recommend this on top, it was perfect. Nothing better than the peanut butter/banana combo in my opinion.

Today’s agenda includes hitting up the gym after this post for a quick sweat session & then a day full of clothes shopping- yay! I need new clothes pretty badly.

Hope everyone enjoys their Saturday, any fun plans??

Call Me Betty

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I finally finished baking the apple pie that I started making the dough for two days ago. The only healthy thing about this pie is that it contains apples, but I was making it for my boyfriend and Dad and wanted to make sure they enjoyed it.

I felt like such the little Betty Crocker pulling this out of the oven. The top got a little burned, but it still looks pretty good. Nobody has tried it yet, but I’ll let you know what my critics thought when they do. I’m not a fan, so I won’t be taste-testing this one :-)

It’s amazing how much time baking takes, but I enjoy it so much time just flies by when I’m in the kitchen.

For lunch my dad and I went to Red Brick Pizza and I got my favorite, Chicken Caesar Salad. For some reason theirs is the BEST. It’s huge and their chicken is really flavorful & the croutons are awesome.

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I, of course, had no problem finishing it off :-) I can always take on a big salad.

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After baking up a storm, I was craving some fruit. I had a mix of pineapple, strawberries, and grapes. The strawberries are pretty “blah” so I’m trying to use them up. I also had some in my afternoon yogurt w/granola.

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I’m also finally getting around to watching Biggest Loser from this week & then it’s Dancing with the Stars after that! Man, I’m such a weird 21-year-old for spending my Friday night baking & watching TV. But hey, who cares, right? I’m happy. :-)

Buh Bye for now!