Tag Archives: diabetes and low carb

When Diabetes News Overwhelms You

I write about 6 articles a week for Diabetes Daily.

Most of what I do is share information regarding diabetes news and a great deal of that is comprised of studies that effectively help us learn more about the effects of diabetes on our bodies.

If it depresses or overwhelms you to read this types of news, believe me, I completely understand. I felt sick for the first few months of doing this kind of writing because every piece of what seemed like bad news gave me a strong negative physical reaction. I quickly realized I needed to do two things: compartmentalize and use actions to attack my fears.

What many of these studies iterated to me was that I needed to find a way to avoid as many high blood sugars as I could. One of the reasons I feel so strongly about this is that I’ve already dealt with the negative effects of prolonged high blood sugars and if I had been diagnosed last year, I’d likely feel a little less motivated to employ some serious interventions. Yet, maybe not, who knows.

Time and too many high blood sugars has taken it’s toll and I must fight to win back as much health as is humanly possible. I’m stubborn, as I’ve said before many times, and I want not just so-so health, but I want to be as healthy as a healthy person without diabetes. Will I achieve that? Probably not to the degree I’d like but I believe in striving for the best possible outcome, so that when I fall a little short, I’ll still be in a great place and proud of my efforts.

So how did I compartmentalize? Well, I started to read these harrowing news stories almost as if I was outside of my body and I didn’t personalize anything of the data for myself. For example, if I was looking at how many people with type 1 diabetes suffer kidney damage after a certain number of years with type 1, I did not allow myself to apply that to my many years with type 1. I basically pretended I didn’t have diabetes while I read and wrote about this. It sounds robotic, and it certainly kind of is, but my sanity is crucial to my overall health so I needed to get through the information, log it into my brain, and keep it there as pieces of useful data available to guide or influence my future decisions.

Now for the real important bit–attacking fears with action. The best way I know of to feel more in control and more motivated about a situation is to act on it. Action needs to be fueled by knowledge and caution, of course, but action is THE catalyst for any positive outcome we might enjoy. No one ever lost weight by thinking about it or wishing for it.

Here’s the dialogue that plays out in my brain:

What is my fear? That i’ll develop any number of complications.

What causes diabetes complications? If I’m going to generalize and I am, it’s high blood sugars both acute and prolonged over time.

So what should I do to manage my fear? Avoid high blood sugars.

How do I avoid high blood sugars? For about 8.5 years i’ve written about Dr. Bernstein and his low carb recommendations for people with type 1 diabetes. I’ve lowered my carbs gradually over the last 13 years and seen much fewer highs as a result. I’ve continued my efforts to the point of following a very low carb diet in a more consistent manner and i’ve seen even fewer episodes of high blood sugar and fewer episodes of low blood sugar, too. Also, the catastrophic highs and lows are nearly non-existent.

Fewer highs and lows have literally been the remedy to my fears. Now, I still have fears about certain aspects of this condition and I get tired of living with diabetes, but just like any human, I can’t expect to live without fear, I can only hope to manage it in a way that lets me accomplish what I want and be happy with my life.

Each time I read or write about diabetes, I keep it impersonal but I save the information away to use when I need motivation or information with which to make a decision.

I hope that you, too can consider new information carefully versus letting it alienate you from something that might help. Don’t be afraid to talk to a healthcare professional about what you read, too. Some studies are not as reliable as they seem. Others are funded by the very companies that stand to make a profit.

Remain skeptical but don’t turn away from information–it might be just what you need.

The Case for Lowering Carbs, Part 3

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First off, isn’t my type 1 sister, Ana’s art work (above) fantastic?  Will you Like her Facebook Art page pretty please?  Thank you!

I’ve been discussing my reasons for lowering carbs in Part 1 and Part 2.

It’s also Fabulous Friday and part of what I try to promote is that we treat ourselves right and that includes eating for our health.  That doesn’t mean you have to eat like me.  My point is it’s never a bad idea to assess what we eat and make improvements here and there.

A reader suggested I share my typical carb count for the day and some sample meals.  I thought it was a great idea so:

(Keep in mind each line is one meal, I don’t eat all of this at once, they’re different options ;)

Breakfast:

-One fried egg

-Slice of ezekial sprouted whole grain bread with almond butter or low fat cream cheese.

-Omelet that includes spinach, tomato, and any other vegetable lurking in the fridge.

-One whole grain pancake made with a lot of low fat cottage cheese, shredded apple, and blueberries so that the grain content is low.  The kids love these.

Snack:

-Some fruit (usually berries, and lately, the frozen organic ones)

-Low fat cheese

-Raw vegetables with hummus

-Flat crisp bread with goat cheese

-Avocado slices with salt

-Handful of almonds

-Kale chips

Lunch:

-Salad with vegetables such as onion, celery, spinach, radish, purple cabbage, broccoli and some chicken or fish or tuna topped with salt, pepper, extra virgin olive oil, and vinegar.

-Ezekial whole grain bread with almond butter and a side salad

-Lettuce wrap filled with sprouts, black beans, boiled egg, and broccoli (sounds crazy but it’s so good!)

Dinner:

-Tortilla (the low carb ones are pretty good) wrap with vegetables like cucumber, carrots, asparagus with some chicken or fish.

-Very small amount of brown rice, brown pasta, quinoa, or legumes with loads of vegetables (I only have this on days I work out a lot)

-Turkey burger (no bun) with a side of peas and pearl onions

Dessert:  (optional)

-Chocolate (usually 70% cacao and up)

-Fruit (my favorite fruit dessert is some frozen mango or papaya with lime)

-Sweet potato cubes with a little butter

-Occasional beer/wine/liquor (I steer clear of fruity cocktails because the sugar load is so high)

Beverages:

-Water

-Tea (I love Tulsi, Peppermint, and Chamomile-though I’m allergic to Chamomile so I no longer drink it)

-Almond milk (unsweetened)

-Water with lemon or lime squeezed in

-Teeccino Herbal Coffee (Because I can’t handle much caffeine) with a little cream (I like Horizon half and half organic creamer in Hazelnut or Vanilla, only 2 grams of sugar per serving)

-The occasional Diet Coke

By the end of the day I’ve typically had about 50-75 carbs.  I choose what to eat based on how hungry I am.  For me, hunger is best treated with some carbs so I leave those meals on the list involving a little grains for those days when I have a larger appetite.  There are days when I’m not very hungry and on those days, I just enjoy blood sugar heaven.  My focus is to go by what my body is telling me.  Once a month I’ll splurge and have up to about 200 carbs in a day, usually in the form of some Ben and Jerry’s.  And yes, my body tells me to do that, sometimes :)

In general, I find I can add a little bit of carbs as long as they’re not processed and still do ok, like fruit or vegetable carbs. Those tend to match up with the insulin and cancel each other out. Whereas the complex carbs are what give me a headache with their long life span. Processed food carbs are the worst because they increase my insulin resistance for the entire day and totally make me gain weight in the long run. I really limit those if I want to stay sane :)

Well this is me just sharing some thoughts that have been long brewing. Thanks for reading. And if you have thoughts, please, I’m all ears.  Also, I could use food suggestions, I love changing things up!

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday Revisit: The Wisdom from Bruce Lee

 

 

 As you think, so you shall become.

~Bruce Lee

I can’t help but be a fan of Bruce Lee.  Much of what he said was such intelligent philosophy.  He advocated for respecting one’s body and taking care of it.  He also advocated for increasing one’s success in any matter by removing variables rather than adding variables.  This post is about how I did just that and found out he was on to something.

Originally posted on August 29th, 2009

Why Should a Girl Care About What Bruce Lee Had to Say?

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