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?

I Know. It Has Been a While…

But you know how things are. Life has a way of becoming hectic at times, and we’ve been through one of those periods lately. But to kind of catch  you up to speed, I thought I’d make a short post today.

My mother’s side of the family has always had a problem with Type 2 diabetes. I had hoped to give it a miss, since several people in my father’s family had the exact opposite problem–hypoglycemia.

But in November, 2018, our daughter insisted we go to the Urgent Care to have them look at one of my toes. When she looked at it, she found a small piece of metal embedded in the wound, which was healing far too slowly. Once the doctor there looked at the blood test results, I thought they were going to forget the toe altogether.

With a blood sugar of 417, they immediately sent me over to the ER. After several hours of sitting around and waiting for test results, they treated the toe and put me on metformin until i could see a persona physician. Several years ago, our insurance changed, and several of my doctors were out of network. Due to the whole new patient process to find a new doctor, I’d kept postponing it.

Our daughter is an LPN and she recommended a doctor to me. She had worked with him before and thought I would appreciate his approach to health care. Instead of waiting for me to make an appointment, she came over the next day and made the appointment for me, as well as one with a podiatrist I had seen previously.

My first visit was frantic. Although my blood sugar was down a bit–into the 300’s–Dr. Fogarty wanted to get my blood sugar down as quickly as possible. I hadn’t wanted to use insulin, but agreed to a once a week injection along with twice daily Metformin. The surprise was the diet he had me adopt.

I had been expecting a high protein low carb approach, but no. He asked me what the body ran on. Well, glucose. And then he asked what sort of diet I thought I should be on. Well, since my body’s glucose levels were high, I assumed low carb, which should lower my glucose levels.

Wrong! He told me he intended to flood my system with more sugars, with a different kind of diet. No meat of any kind, nothing processed. No flour of any kind. No added oils or salts. And obviously, no sugar. To keep the glucose levels level, I was to be careful with any starchy vegetables, fruits, and grains, but not eliminate them entirely.

Proteins would come from grains, nuts, and seeds. He suggested quinoa and chia seeds added either to grains or salads.

I thought the man was crazy, but it turns out he knew what he was doing. Score one for the doctor.

I started with an A1c of 11.5. Three months later, in February, my blood sugar was mostly down around 100 in the morning. My A1c was 5.5. Three months after that, my A1c was 5.4 and most of by blood sugars were below 120 after eating.

I’ve also lost 30 pounds in the process.

But with all the meal prep and figuring out what I can and can’t eat, and checking my blood 4 times a day, I have felt like I’m always playing catch up. My novel writing has taken a back seat as well. But since things are about to level out, I think I’ll have some time to get things going again.

I have been un-medicated since about halfway through March, and my blood sugars are still down in the normal range.

Anyway, I’ll write more about adjusting to this lifestyle change in my next blog. I hope to keep a sort of diary of my progress here and share it with you.

For now, have a wonderful summer. Eat plenty of nice fresh veg from your local vendors, and get out and enjoy the sunshine.

And if you like to read, I write fantasy romance, with a paranormal twist. And all my books are on sale at Smashwords this month. I hope to have another book out this summer, and I will be adding my book on cancer and a book on my experience with diabetes and Dr. Fuhrman’s nutritionist diet.

https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/meleigh53

A piu tardi…