Monday, November 17, 2014

My Blessing in Disguise…… Diabetes!

November is Diabetes Awareness Month. I decided to blog about diabetes because I’m a diabetic. If you are on Facebook, you may have seen this photo. 

And in the beginning, when I was first diagnosed there was shock and fear. I shouldn't have really been so surprised because my late father and my brother both were diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes. 

But since I never showed any symptoms, I thought that this particular gene didn’t pass on to me. Boy was I wrong!

Now let me backtrack a little. That Sunday morning started off pretty routine. Among the many other things I had to do, my first stop was to the health clinic to do a routine blood test to check my cholesterol. 

Monday morning, I had an appointment with the doctor to get the results.

Although my cholesterol was high, he was much more concerned and very shocked to see how high my blood glucose was. “Must be a mistake,” he said to me. And with that he sent me to the nurse’s office to recheck my blood sugar with her glucose monitor.  My reading 410. Anything over 126 spells trouble.

Suddenly, my world came crashing down. “You have diabetes” he said “I don’t know where it came from. These reading are from out of nowhere.” 

My doctor is very kind and soft spoken. He called the diabetic counselor to come to his office and told me she will be my best friend.

Dalia, was wonderful. She gave me the ins and outs, showed me the glucose monitor and taught me how to use it and arranged for me to see the dietitian and the diabetic doctor.

Truthfully, when I went home, I couldn't remember one word she said.

After moping around the house for 3 days feeling very sorry myself, I decided to go to war with my diabetes. 

What exactly is diabetes? How did I get it? Is it really hereditary? Is it a virus? Do I have to stay away from sugar forever? Do I have to give up all my favorite foods? Am I going to have to stab myself for the rest of my life? So many questions that now require answers.

I parked myself in front of the computer and started my research. The Israeli, British, American & Canadian Diabetic Associations were my first stops. So much information was available. I printed out information that I really wanted to remember and made myself a handbook. 

Did you know that over 400,000 Israelis have been diagnosed with diabetes and the estimated number of undiagnosed Israelis with diabetes is 200,000?

In Hebrew, diabetes is called sukeret. The Israel Diabetes Association link is:  
and in English:

The association has a symbol on foods that are safe for me to eat. 

The truth is as opposed to many other illnesses, diabetes can be controlled. Proper nutrition, close and individualized follow-up, physical activity and an appropriate drug regimen can prevent complications and offer people with diabetes a better quality of life.

In other words follow your doctors instruction, do research, the internet is full of information, just be careful to take your information from reliable sites. There are loads of ‘quacks’ out there who want to sell you everything from A to Z and promise if you take their medicine or buy their product you will be cured of diabetes. 

Just remember, if the advertisement or information sounds too good to be true...take it with a grain of salt. 

Some hospitals have support groups for diabetics. Talking is a great way to learn and to deal with your diagnosis. 

Another way to find other diabetics in your community is to post a note on your community e-mail list looking for other people with diabetes to get together once a week or even once a month to talk, share recipes or share a shoulder. Keep a journal or write a blog. You will see your progress first hand.

Having diabetes is just one more thing that Hashem has put on my plate, but I see His Hand everyday helping me. 

Everything fell into place. The diabetic counselor was in her office the day I was diagnosed, the dietician had an opening for the next day. The diabetic doctor who only comes twice a month was going to be in his office a week later.

Baruch Hashem, my diabetes has been in complete control for the past 5 years and I am off all meds.

I am a very spiritual person and I believe that everything happens for a reason. And the reason for me being diagnosed with diabetes was to give me a wakeup call to get healthy, so that I can be around for my husband, children and thirteen grandchildren...And this week we will celebrate at our granddaughter’s engagement party…

That’s all for now..feel free to share and comment.


Friday, November 7, 2014

Shepping Nachas

Baruch Hashem, my husband Avraham and I have been blessed with thirteen precious Sabra grandchildren.

Since the day they were born, we have enjoyed their lives…the ups and down.. our little babies growing and becoming toddlers, the first haircuts, a preschooler, elementary school, Bar and Bat Mitzvot, Ulpana, Yeshiva, Sherut Leumi, chayalim, and higher education.

And this past Moetzi Shabbat we had another first in our lives as Saba and Safta…our first grandchild to get engaged and become a Kallah.

Our granddaughter Batel and her chatan Chanan announced their engagement. The happiness and excitement their announcement brought to our family cannot be expressed in words…

Last night was the vort. A vort is a Yiddish word that means ‘word’. At the vort 2 people traditionally give their ‘word’ and formally commit to marry. 

Our daughter and son-in-law, parents of the Kallah, invited the chatan’s parents, his siblings and his Saba to their home and we had the opportunity to meet Chanan’s wonderful family. 

The gathering was so relaxed and beautiful.  My daughter cooked up a storm and everything was delicious.  Around the table, brachot were showered on the happy couple.

Yesterday was my Hebrew birthday. Naomi announced it at the table and a chorus of Happy Birthday in Hebrew and English was sung. Without a doubt this was the best birthday gift I could have ever asked for.  

In a couple of weeks we will enjoy the engagement party and then look forward to the chuppah and dancing at their wedding.

Mazal-Tov Batel and Chanan! May Hashem grant you both a life filled with Brachas, happiness, good health and much nachas.

To the parents of the Chatan and Kallah, we wish you both Mazal-Tov and may you only have nachas and simchas from your children.

That’s all for now. Feel free to comment.

Shabbat Shalom

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Traditions, Traditions, Traditions.....

Traditions are wonderful and very important. We have personal and family traditions, religious traditions and country traditions. 

Israel is no exception. Come October, the chagim [Jewish holidays] are all over and life is getting back to a regular schedule with no more mid week days.  

Starting in November, we pray for an abundance of rain in Eretz Yisrael and on the grocery store shelves everywhere in Israel, a tradition is happening. Colored boxes of 10, 12 or more Krembos are appearing. 
If you are not from Israel, I’m sure you are asking yourself, “What is a Krembo?” 

Krembos are a very popular winter treat. It comes wrapped in a colourful aluminum wrapping. Krembos have a round cookie base on the bottom and marshmallow cream on top, coated with a thin layer of chocolate. Krembos also come in vanilla and mocha flavour.

The "krembo season" is very short, from October / November to February. More than fifty million krembos are sold each year. Krembos are a part of winter as ice-cream is a part of summer.

According to a study funded by Strauss, Israel's leading krembo producer, 69% of Israelis prefer to eat krembos from the top down (starting with the cream), and only 10% start with the biscuit at the bottom; the rest had no preference. 

In the Hebrew version of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, the character Dumbledore’s favorite sweet is a Krembo, rather than a sherbet lemon. The Krembo has become a national icon. While considered a children's favorite, researchers have found that it is eaten and enjoyed as a comfort food of Israeli expatriates in the United States.       
Krembos are so popular that they have their own Facebook page. KREMBO

And within the next day or so another tradition will be making an appearance to let us know that Chanukah is not far away.

This year, Chanukah begins on December 16th, and Jews observe the custom of eating foods fried in oil to commemorate the miracle of the Temple Oil lasting 8 days when there was only enough oil for 1 day.

In Israel, the tradition is to eat, sufganiyot [doughnuts.] Sufganiyot are sold from November up to and including the 8 days of Chanukah. The most popular doughnuts are the ones filled with strawberry jelly and have powder sugar on top.  


Bakeries and grocery stores sell sufganiyot individually and by the box, and they have become a favorite for school and office parties. One of the largest bakeries in Israel, fries up more than 250,000 sufganiyot every day during the eight-day Chanukah festival. Each batch uses 100 kilograms of dough and makes 1,600 sufganiyot. That’s a lot of doughnuts!

There are many homemade doughnut recipes. If you want to try your hand at making sufganiyot at home, just Google ‘sufganiyot recipes’ and dozens of recipes will open.

So whether you fancy krembos or sufganiyot, or both, relax and enjoy the sweet taste.

That’s all for now. Feel free to comment and share.