Off the Dial

Junk Food – No Escape?

I try not to get on my high horse when it comes to food and nutrition. We're certainly not perfect and it's exactly when you start preaching about this stuff that you get busted in the drive-thru. 

I do have to rant for just a moment. I recently took my son to IHOP for breakfast. That's a big treat for him and he always gets the same thing, turkey sausage and home-made fries (he's five – that's his name for hash browns or home fries or whatever they're really called). This time, however, something made him actually look at the kids' menu.

Bad move.   

In addition to the chocolate pancakes with whipped cream and the cinnamon rolls with frosting, IHOP now features a red, white & blue lemonade with… sprinkles.  Because lemonade isn't enough of a treat. Do drinks for kids really need toppings now??

You can see the three-colored lemonade on the table in this (admittedly very cute) IHOP commercial.


We talk about this kind of thing quite a bit on Health Headlines: The Show.  Yes, a good diet has room for everything, even complete junk once in a while.  It's the steady stream of garbage that makes me worry. When did food become entertainment?  This isn't about my little boy having diabetes – this stuff is bad for all of us.

I'm getting tired of being the bad guy and fighting this every single day.  Have you given up? If not, how do you fight the good fight against junk food?  I'd also love to know if you've seen a "bad food" that tops this one. 

(By the way, I would like to tell you how many carbs are in the lemonade and the cinnamon rolls featured here, but IHOP doesn't list nutritional information of their menu items.)

A Better Button

What a change! We recently switched from the Cleo inserter to the Animas. As I've said many times before, changing Benny's inset (we call it a button) has been by far the toughest part of our routine. The inset is how the insulin pump attaches to his body, and it's like getting a big shot every three days. That's about as much fun with a little kid as you'd expect.

AnimasinsetAbout a month ago we learned the the Cleo was being discontinued – we had no choice but to switch. I was very nervous, especially because the Animas inserter is so much bigger! The inset itself is about the same size (whew!). Benny was excited right away because it comes in cool colors.   

We were even more excited after we started using it.  Benny says it doesn't hurt at all!  We think it's because you don't have to push on it like the Cleo.  All I know is that the last two weeks of button changes have been incredible. What a difference and what a relief.

I did have a little trouble at first – the tubing comes attached to the Animas (it's separate on the Cleo) and you have to unwind it before inserting the button. There's some twisting and pulling, them some placing and pressing. I wanted to watch a demonstration and thought this video would help. Yeah, it's in French. But she looks like she knows what she's doing, so I watched it anyway.


After two weeks with the new inset, Benny does have one demand. No pink buttons. Ever.

No problem, dude.


Mailbox Meltdown

It may be time to declare email bankruptcy.

I'm the electronic version of the hoarder who can't throw anything out and is eventually crushed by old newspapers, bottle caps and coffee grinds.  Email bankruptcy is the ultimate info dump - delete the entire inbox and start all over again. I'm very tempted. 

Emailoverload3Like so many of you, I'm overwhelmed by email. I currently have 1243 emails in my personal account's inbox.  5285 in "sent." It's to the point where I can tell my laptop is slowing down. The oldest message is from my friend Larry who sent me his new contact info when he moved to Savannah. In 2002! 

It took me a while, but my WBT work account is fine – I'm down to about 5 emails in the inbox and last week I finally realized I needed to delete the send. (Pro tip: It takes a few minutes for the computer to chomp through 3000+ messages!). 

I tend to use my personal email as an online library.  I search it whenever I need to find something and I hate to delete anything that I could possibly use.  It's full of PTA notices, teacher emails, religious school info, my parents' travel plans, pictures of my sister's kids and that article on diabetes my uncle sent two years ago. I help out with my congregation's public relations, so I have tons of information, articles and comments about that. I also get feedback about this blog and my book

The info overload came to a head recently when I searched for some upcoming travel plans. I pulled up our itinerary and saw that I had booked the flights on the wrong day of the week! After several minutes of panic – can I change that? How do I get a refund? What was I thinking?? – I realized I was looking at a US Airways flight I had booked in 2007. 

I know I've got to take the time to get this under control. Here's the advice I found:

-Dedicate a set period of time each day to go through email.

-Be aggressive with the delete key the first time around. About 80% of messages are never read twice.

-Sort email into folders, but limit yourself to five. It can be as simple as two: to-do and archive. 

-Start using social media like LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter instead of email. (Make sure you check the settings on these so you don't end up with even more email notices every time someone mentions you!)

-Opt out of any groups, message boards or retail sites you haven't used in six months. Those coupons are tempting, but if you never use them, they're just more clutter!

I've moved Larry's contact info to my address book, which leaves 1242 messages in the inbox.  How many are in yours? Would you be willing to delete everything and start all over again?

Hitting the Links for JDRF

I took Benny to the local Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation golf tournament for the first time. We usually play, but I wanted him to come out and meet some of the people supporting diabetes research. What a great day!

First, out on the driving range, Benny got to hit with the big guys.  Then, our pediatric endocrinologist walked up with his clubs. I think Benny was equally excited to see Dr. Mark as he was to meet Kurt Busch!  That was funny – Benny thanked the NASCAR star for helping JDRF and then said, "Are you a real race car driver?"  Kurt couldn't have been nicer. He laughed and said, "You bet!"  High fives all around.


The highlight for Benny, though, was seeing his "good friend" Coach John Fox.  They met last year at Panthers training camp. Benny knows Coach has type 2 diabetes (that's why he doesn't wear an insulin pump, of course). 

I wasn't sure Benny was going to let go! Thanks, Coach. You know I'll always be a Carolina Panther fan.