4th of July Sangria!

I typically always drink red wine – it seems to be as a person with type 1 diabetes, just about the only thing I can drink that a) I enjoy the flavor and variety, but more importantly b) it has zero impact on my blood sugar. Bonus, it goes well with cooking and Frank 😉

This 4th of July we had friends over, played yard games (dubbed the 1st annual Swanson yard game olympics), grilled (read: grazed on food allllllll day) and drank. It was such a fun day!

Because I didn’t want to drink red wine all day – too “heavy” and it was warm and slightly humid, I decided to try and make a more minimal-to-none, diabetes blood sugar spiking version. I’m also not a huge fan of sugary drinks in general, they give me crazy headaches and make me feel puffy and gross (especially the day after). I googled all sorts of recipes and didn’t care for any of them, so I ventured out on my own. The result was a light, refreshing, flavorful sangria that I loved and our guests did as well! Plus I got a new sangria pitcher out of it 🙂


  • 1 bottle merlot
  • 1 bottle raspberry road (Carlos Creek Winery – wine tasted here recently)
  • 1/2 cup blueberries
  • 1 cup quartered strawberries
  • 2 sliced oranges
  • Club soda

Combine everything above except the club soda into a pitcher and refrigerate for at least 6 hours (overnight would be fine). When ready to enjoy, pour into a sangria pitcher and add 4 (mini) 10 oz bottles of club soda. My family recently wine tasted at Carlos Creek Winery in Minnesota, so I picked up a bottle of their raspberry road for this recipe, but I think any fruitier flavored wine would work. [Disclaimer: I almost added some raw honey, but decided before I did to let the fruit sit in the wine and see how it tasted = result, no honey needed].

Light, refreshing, flavorful and especially on a warm summer day 🙂


Healthier Fresh Margaritas

I reference the healthier fresh margaritas with citrus in the Natural Air Freshener post, so make some margs and then make your house smell good!

I don’t have margaritas often because they’re typically filled with high fructose corn syrup, yucky mixers, etc. With type 1 diabetes, I can go from 80 to a blood sugar of 400 in no time flat, and I don’t like that, nor do I want to do that. Every now and then though, in the heat of the summer, an ice-cold margarita sounds really good (I really like salt, maybe that it’s it?). So I decided to just Google for fresh margaritas and see what I found. I reviewed a few recipes and then made these Skinny Margaritas from Cookie and Kate, but revised it just a bit 🙂

Healthier Fresh Margaritas

  • Coarse ground salt for rim
  • 3 ounces silver tequila
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • Juice of 1 whole orange (if it is more dry, use more oranges)
  • 4 teaspoons organic raw coconut sugar
  • 1 lime wedge or round, for garnish

I put the liquid ingredients and coconut sugar in a shaker over ice, shook, and then poured into the salt rimmed glasses. I didn’t measure the juices, but I opted to use far more fresh squeezed OJ than the original recipe because I love the flavor orange adds to drinks, and well, recipes in general. I am not a big fan of agave which is why I replaced it with coconut sugar.

A great drink, very little blood sugar impact, and not too sweet/syrupy! Oh, low-cal too if you count calories 😉photo (4)

Pumpkin Spice Latte

Fall is my favorite season, each year I look forward to boots, hoodies, and warm drinks.

One of my favorite warm drinks is the pumpkin spice latte (I love pumpkin anything), however, I get hung up on the ingredients in their latte, not to mention what it does to my blood sugar:

I decided to try making my own at home, and it was fantastic with no blood sugar spike (it also helped me feel a bit more Fall-ish drinking out of my Yosemite mug, since it was about 85 degrees outside-boo!).

Pumpkin Spice Latte

  • Pumpkin coffee of your choice
  • Organic Valley milk (I prefer whole, but they were out last time)
  • Cinnamon
  • Cloves
  • Stevia in the raw

Pretty simple, brew the coffee, add the ingredients to your liking, stir and enjoy! You could easily change the spices, coffee, and cream/milk you use, to tailor it to your taste preferences (heck, drop in a chai tea bag!) 🙂

My version has about 30 calories, Strabucks version has about 380.

Water and Staying Hydrated

I wanted to blog today, about the importance of water, and drinking it, which is inspired by how awful I’ve felt these last few days as a result of not drinking near as much of it as my body needs. I typically stay very hydrated, but every now and then for whatever reason, I drink other liquids, and it is amazing how much havoc it wreaks on my body, and my blood sugar.

I have headaches, my muscles are tense and won’t release, I’m sore and bruised feeling all over, I can’t think as clearly, I don’t sleep very well, my skin is dry, my eyes are goopy, and my blood sugar won’t budge for anything.

Here are six facts about drinking water and staying hydrated:

  • Prevents Dry Mouth: Water keeps your throat and lips moist and prevents your mouth from feeling dry. Dry mouth can cause bad breath and/or an unpleasant taste—and can even promote cavities.
  • Promotes Cardiovascular Health: Dehydration lowers your blood volume, so your heart must work harder to pump the reduced amount of blood and get enough oxygen to your cells, which makes everyday activities like walking up stairs—as well as exercise—more difficult.
  • Keeps your body Cool: Your body releases heat by expanding blood vessels close to the skin’s surface (this is why your face gets red during exercise), resulting in more blood flow and more heat dissipated into the air. When you’re dehydrated, however, it takes a higher environmental temperature to trigger blood vessels to widen, so you stay hotter.
  • Muscles and Joines Work Better: When you’re well hydrated, the water inside and outside the cells of contracting muscles provides adequate nutrients and removes waste efficiently so you perform better. Water is also important for lubricating joints. Contrary to popular belief, muscle cramps do not appear to be related to dehydration, but, instead, to muscle fatigue, according to Sam Cheuvront, Ph.D., an exercise physiologist.
  • Keeps Skin Supple: When a person is severely dehydrated, skin is less elastic. This is different than dry skin, which is usually the result of soap, hot water and exposure to dry air. And, no, unfortunately, drinking lots of water won’t prevent wrinkles.
  • Cleanses Toxins from your Body: Your kidneys need water to filter waste from the blood and excrete it in urine. Keeping hydrated may also help prevent urinary tract infections and kidney stones. If you are severely dehydrated, your kidneys may stop working, causing toxins to build up in your body.

Here’s to being reminded how important staying hydrated is for me, my body, and my health, cheers!