Spring is Here!

Or it’s trying to be. And I discovered I haven’t really been telling you much about my diet and progress lately.

So let’s take a peek, shall we?

At my last appointment, my A1C was at 5.2 and my weight was just below 160. I still have about 10 pounds to go, but my doctor isn’t particularly worried, as long as it’s holding or going down.

And about a month ago, my stomach decided that a little bite of cheese or chicken wouldn’t be a bad thing, so I am finally able to add a little bit of animal protein back into my diet.

Not a lot mind you. We’re talking about half an ounce one day, and then maybe waiting two or three days–or a week–before I can eat any more. But it does prove my doctor right. Eventually I will be able to add things back into my diet. I won’t be able to go back to the diet I had before, but I can branch out a little for a treat now and then.

So what have I learned during the past year and a bit?

Potatoes only work for me if they’re boiled. I boil them in a lot of water until they’re about halfway done, drain and cover with water a second time, cook and drain. After that, I can eat about 1/4 cup of potato, or about 1/4 of a medium sized potato.

Beans and grains are about the same thing. Depending on the grain or bean involved, soak overnight and drain. Cover with a good amount of water and cook to about halfway done, drain, refill, and finish cooking. Drain and serve.

How much do I eat? That all depends. Some grains I can eat up to 1/4 cup with a big bunch of salad or salad and “stir-fry.” Others only about 2 Tablespoons.

What do I have the best luck with?

Millet, buckwheat (whole and raw), and hulled barley work well for me.

Not pearl barley.

Hulled barley. If it doesn’t have the fiber, it doesn’t agree with my system.

Rice–even whole-grain brown or red rice–doesn’t work for me. Wheat is pretty much off limits.

Oats, if I cook them carefully and eat only a tiny amount can work, but we’re talking by the tablespoonful.

For beans, I go back to The Zone, by Barry Sears, when it comes to figuring out carbs.

Take the total number of carbohydrates and subtract the amount of fiber in the beans to get the net carbs available.

If the net carbs are equal to or less than the amount of protein, I do better with them than others.

So, if I have some beans where the total carbs are 23 grams with a fiber content of 15 grams. The net carbs are 8.

In these particular beans, the protein is also 8, so I have pretty good luck with these, and can eat between 2 T and 1/4 cup, depending on what else I’m eating.

Some other beans I have have total carbs of 22 grams, fiber of 8 grams and protein of 7 grams.

Net carbs are 14 grams. Not so good. I have to be really careful with these.

Also remember, everyone is different. The foods that work for me may not work for you. Or some of the ones which don’t agree with me, you may be fine with. It can be a bit of a guessing game at first, but you’ll soon figure out the rules for you.

Where do I buy the different nuts, beans and seeds I eat? There’s a online place called Nuts.com. I am not affiliated with them in any way and make no money off this. I just discovered them when I was trying to find someplace to buy beans and nuts in bulk.

On their site, you can view the nutrition facts for the different items they sell, so you don’t even have to buy them first to figure it out.

I love their pink beans. They work well for me. They also have a variety of grains, seeds, and nuts. Since part of this diet includes eating nuts and seeds--chia and flax seeds are at the top of the list–it works out well. I also love raw sunflower seeds.

I’ve found a product that I love for BBQ time. I bought mine at an Ingles grocery store for a little cheaper than you can buy them online. It is a grilling bowl from Mr. Bar-B-Q. It holds a really good amount of vegetables that can go right on your grill, sort of like shish kebab without the sticks. It is non-stick, so clean up is easy, and I don’t feel left out of all the fun.

Again, I am not sponsored by this company and get nothing in return for mentioning it in my blog. I just love the thing and wanted to share.

So what’s for dinner tonight?

I haven’t made up my mind yet. But it will be tasty, nutritious, and it will keep my blood glucose where it should be.

Would I recommend this diet to someone else who’s having trouble with diabetes?

Yes. If you’ll stick with it, I feel it will work for you. If you’re not going to stick with it, nothing is going to work. It takes a little time, patience, and practice, but it has worked wonders for me.

Have a great one!

Hello February!

OK, so technically it isn’t February yet. But close enough!

2019 proved to be quite a year, with many ups and downs. But I think things are beginning to steady a little bit, so perhaps I’ll be able to come to you more often.

The diabetes diet is working! My A1c was down to 5.0 at my last visit, without medication! So if you’re battling the condition, please ask your doctor about it, or find a doctor who is familiar with the process and work with them to help you get off the meds.

Yes, it takes work and dedication, but I feel it is well worth it not to be tied to the medications.

Along with diet, I work out–usual by walking–for half an hour each day, and it works wonders along with the diet, for keeping my weight under control and my blood glucose down.

Eating out can be an issue, but if you’re careful and choose wisely you can go out and have a bit of a break from your kitchen. There is a little Chinese place here in town which has a large platter of steamed veggies for a really good price.

There is also a Mexican place that has a Veggie Fahita platter, with broccoli, spinach, peppers and mushrooms, slong with a small salad. Or you can get a taco salad, hold the meat and cheese! Just don’t eat the tortilla!

If you’re like me, your skin takes a beating during the winter months. But you like to use products which are more natural than not. So if you’re looking for alternatives to skin care that work, please check out the L’Bri company. They have taken the alcohol out of their lotions and body butters and replaced it with aloe vera.

I love the stuff!

They also have a full line of cosmetics which are on sale during February. So if you’re looking to brighten or change your look, give it a try!

Here is a what they have this month.

And this is one of the places I walk!

Stay warm and dry! We’ll talk again real soon!

A Preview of Winter

How is the weather in your part of the world? Winter decided to give us a preview of what to expect in a few weeks. We went from temperatures in the 80’s F to temperatures in the 60’s almost overnight. Our night time temperatures went from the high 60’s to the 40’s, with one evening down to 38 F.

Today it has warmed up a little after two full days of rain. I think they’re predicting temperatures in the lower 70’s.

What all this adds up to is sniffles and colds all around the area. With all the autumn grasses and flowers trying to bloom, the ragweed and all the other allergy aggravating pollen, adding this seesaw weather only increases the possibility of sinus issues.

And then there are the dry skin issues…

I have found a line of products I love during this time of year. They’re great year around, but they’re particularly wonderful with these changing weather conditions.

So if you’re looking for something to try, go over and look at this product line. They even have some scent-free products, which is great for my husband. When his allergies start acting up, scent is a big problem for him.

Hope you’re enjoying your autumn weather.

Don’t forget, it is still Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Get the girls checked out!

Ready for Autumn?

I do believe I am. This summer has been very hot and wet where we live. Of course, autumn will probably be dry, leaving my hair and skin flaky and itchy.

After chemotherapy and radiation therapy, my skin can’t take what it once could. Being diabetic can leave my hands dry and sore. But I have defences against both of them.

The L’Bri company has a fantastic line of skincare products that are much less drying for me than most other brands. They have replaced the water and alcohol in their lotions with aloe vera, which helps sooth as well as soften your skin.

Another thing I like is that they last a long time. It only takes a little bit to do the trick. The first time I tried the lotion on my hands, I had about enough to do most of my body!

I don’t endorse many products, but this is one line I really love. I use their lotion, body butter, and facial combos all the time. I also love the aloe vera gel I can buy separately.

They have recently added a line of fragrance free products as well, if you don’t like things with scent.

So check out the September Sale, browse the site, and give some of their products a try.

Let’s Go Out For Lunch

 

As you might guess, if you’re eating an all natural diet, it can be tricky to eat out, but we have a couple places here in town that work well for me. One of those is a place called the Peking Palace.

This is a small family run Chinese place near where we do our shopping. It’s not much to look at, but the food is tasty, and they have a couple things in their vegetarian menu I can eat with no problem. One of those is pictured below–a vegetable delight platter. It comes with rice, but since I can’t eat the rice, I usually just ask them to leave it  out. It also comes with carrots, which don’t agree with me at the moment, so they leave those off for me as well.

They also have steamed vegetables, which is roughly the same thing, only with no sauce at all. Depending on the day, I order one or the other.

The last item I have eaten there since this change began is their sauteed green beans. Whole green beans seasoned with onions and garlic, it is a welcome change to the broccoli and other vegetables.

We also go to Ruby Tuesday for the salad bar. They have a good variety of toppings I can eat, as well as vinegar and oil, so I can grab the vinegar and have a little something on my salad.

And if we’re in the mood for Mexican, La Hacienda has a good taco salad, and they will substitute beans or grilled vegetables for the meat for me. Or they have grilled vegetables, or a grilled vegetable fajita mix. I just eat the veggies and leave the tortillas alone.

Yes, it is tricky, but it can be done. I can eat any of the items above and still have my blood sugar down where it belongs.

Is it worth the hassle?

I think so, if it keeps me healthy. But it is a shift in lifestyle and it did take a little getting used to.

Hope you enjoyed your Labor Day weekend. See you next time!

Adjusting to Changes

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I have been in this new phase of life for nine months now, and while it is occasionally aggravating and frustrating, it is working.

The new diet I’m on is all natural, nothing processed, no meat, dairy, eggs, added salt or sugar, no added oils. they prefer it if one of your meals is all raw vegetables as well. While it sounds restrictive, I am getting much better at fixing vegetables with a variety of tastes and textures.

Growing up on a farm, we always had plenty of fresh vegetables on the table, but we had meat also. In thinking back, while meat may have been on the table, it wasn’t the main attraction. There was enough for everyone to have one serving, but plenty of fruits and vegetables to fill up on. Of course, we also had home made bread, which is off my menu.

So, what do I eat?

Breakfast is my difficult meal of the day. I like something hot in the morning, but so far cereal grains are not friendly. I’m beginning to be able to eat buckwheat, but I do better with it later in the day with a lot more in the way of leafy greens than as the star of the show for breakfast. So I usually have a mix of raw nuts, sunflower seeds, hemp hearts, and a few dried goji berries or dried mulberries for a tiny burst of flavor. I’ve found I don’t really need a lot in the morning, so it works for me.

Lunch is when I usually go raw, with a big bowl of salad. I have romaine lettuce and some sort of greens mix, like baby greens, spring mix, or herb mix as a base. Then I add everything but the kitchen sink. I’ll put on tomatoes, bell peppers, olives, cucumbers, broccoli or cauliflower florets, mushrooms, and anything else I might have in the fridge. As a dressing, I sometimes use just plain old vinegar. Other times, I mix up vinegar with tahini or natural peanut butter and some fresh ginger.

Note to self. Go easy on the ginger…

Dinner time is fun. When I first began this journey, it was kind of a one vegetable at a time things. Green beans with tomatoes and onions. Steamed broccoli. That sort of thing. But now I take a variety of vegetables, cut them into like-sized chunks, and add them to my wok to steam quickly. Some of my favorites are broccoli, zucchini and yellow squash, with onions and garlic, and maybe some snow peas. Other times, it might be lentils with tomatoes, zucchini, onions, garlic, herbs of some kind, and kale.

I love kale. I can toss it in at the last minute and let it wilt to add texture and color to an otherwise blah looking meal. I don’t like it cooked to mush, so I stir it in, turn off the heat, and replace the lid for about three minutes. Ready to eat! I do the same thing with spinach, only it doesn’t take as long to wilt as the kale.

Lately, I’ve been able to add a little grain to this regime. With about a quarter of a cup of millet or buckwheat, I can have something similar to rice without making a huge impact on my blood sugar levels.

I’ve found I can eat dried beans if I cook them myself and check the label for the carb to fiber ration. Taking the carbohydrate figure, I subtract the amount of fiber from it and compare the result to the amount of protein in the beans. If the protein is the same or higher than this number, I probably won’t have a problem with it.

Some of my favorite beans are fava beans. Most people peel them after they’re cooked, but if I do that, I lose most of the fiber. As the skins can be a little tough, I pop them into the food processor and give them a whirl. Then I can top them with fresh tomatoes, onions, and green peppers for a dish similar to ful medames.

Frustrations? Going out to eat and family barbecues.

Going out to eat can be tricky. I need go to someplace with a good salad bar, or a Chinese place with steamed vegetables. Of course, watching everyone else eat things I used to be able to eat can be a little depressing, but it isn’t like can actually eat them anyway. My system as come to the conclusion that meat is not a happening thing. One tiny taste sends my stomach into fits.

Our first family barbecue after the change in diet left me depressed. Everyone else had burgers, hot dogs, or chicken breast. I had several skewers of vegetables. Not that they weren’t tasty–I nearly had to fight one of the family off to keep them to myself–but they weren’t really barbecue material.

Don’t get me wrong. I love vegetables. I just miss being able to eat other things.

So what has been the result of all this?

When I first went in to the doctor, my A1c–which tells the blood sugar story of the last three months–was at 11.5, which is really high.

My first check up three months later, my A1c was down to 5.5 and my doctor was amazed.

The next three month check up it was down to 5.4.

Last week, after another three months, I had been off all medication for at least three months and my A1c was down again, to 5.3. If my blood sugar is still under control unmedicated at my next visit, I will only be going in every six months.

I love my doctor. He is very supportive and actually listens when I talk. He also likes to follow a natural route as much as possible, so he was delighted that I’d been able to stop taking my medications and still have blood sugars down in the normal range.

I have also lost over 30 pounds in the process and I’m slowly creeping down a little more. My goal is to be below 160.

CAUTION

If you are diabetic and wanting to try this approach, please talk to your doctor first, especially if you are on medication to control your blood sugar. Yes, the diet works if you stick to it. But you have to be dedicated and in it for the long haul. It works well enough that if you are on medication and try to go it on your own, you could wind up with hypoglycemic incidents, which are very dangerous.

Do I recommend this approach?

Very much. But under supervision if you have a blood sugar problem.

Interested? Go and get a copy of one of Dr. Fuhrman’s books on Eating to Live. Then talk to your doctor. Change doctors if necessary. But do think carefully before you make the choice. This is a lifestyle change, not a quick fix and then back to your old way of eating.

Now, what can I fix for dinner tonight?