Tag Archives: diabetic diet

How To Set Your Daily Calorie Requirement For Weight Loss

 I realized recently that I didn’t know what it took to lose a pound and since I currently set a challenge on myself to lose 20 pounds, it was finally time to find out.

So here is the basic info for you in case you aren’t sure what it takes.

First of all, to lose 1 pound you must burn 3,500 calories.  This can be done through eating less or exercising more.  People find the most success by eating less or eating healthier and exercising.  I can attest that the combination of diet and exercise works best for me.

Anyway, A reasonable goal for weight loss is to lose half a pound to 1 pound per week.  Any faster than this is not recommended.  To lose say, 1 pound per week, we must burn 3,500 calories.  The easiest way to do this is to burn about 500 calories a day. 

Personally, I find it easiest to eat 300 fewer calories each day and to burn 200 calories each day by exercising.  If you keep this up you should lose a pound a week.

Now, for starters you need to find out what your personal caloric requirements are.  This varies widely depending on your daily activity level, age, height, weight, gender, and metabolism. 

Click here to find out your daily calorie requirement with this handy calculator.  (May not get you an exact figure but, you’ll be close enough).

Once you’ve done that, if you want to do what I’m doing, you want to subtract 300 from that number.  Then, each day, count calories and shoot for that number of calories.  If you want to lose 1 pound per week, stick to that calorie amount and exercise enough each day to burn 200 calories.  You could instead, eat 200 fewer calories per day and with exercise burn 300 calories each day-if this appeals more to you.

This is just an example.  You can of course, go much slower than this and I urge you to go at a rate that is comfortable to you.  If you currently consume many more calories than what you should, cut back very slowly so you don’t have to feel hunger-this will only backfire on you. 

Helpful tips:

Cut back on any processed foods and instead, fill your appetite with vegetables and protein like fish and chicken and beef.  If you buy organic beef you will be consuming a good amount of CLA.  CLA is conjugated linoleic acid.  This helps your body burn fat!  So no need to forego red meat, just get organic red meat.  If you can, try to get organic chicken.  (I realize these are pricier so just do what you can). 

Remember a calorie isn’t a calorie.  They say it is in many places I’ve read but, more and more of us are beginning to realize that 100 calories from your olive oil sauteed veggies is not equivalent to the 100 calories from your chocolate chip cookie.  Focus on consuming mostly good calories. 

Here is a helpful grocery list of really healthy foods to consider when making your next trip.  Make sure you don’t go to the grocery store hungry! 

If you are a guy (or girl) you may be interested in reading the article:  How to lose 20 pounds of fat in 30 days! by Timothy Ferris, author of The 4 Hour Work Week.  He also tells you on his blog how he gained 34 pounds of muscle in just 4 weeks and he posts before and after pictures to prove it!  Check it out here: From Geek to Freak.

Wine and diabetes, is there low carb wine?

Indeed, there is.  I haven’t tasted any personally but, so far there are two popular low carb wines.  They are called One.6 Chardonnay and One.9 Merlot.  How many carbs are in these wines?

The number is impressive, in fact, surprising.  The Chardonnay has 1.6 grams of carbohydrates per 5 oz glass and the Merlot has—you guessed it, 1.9 grams of carbs per 5 oz serving.

From what I read…they taste pretty good. 

Important note:

Do remember that although alcohol in wine is NOT a carbohydrate, our bodies seem to metabolize it much like it does a carbohydrate.  For some, this means you may need to plan for this by giving a little more insulin to cover the wine.

Anyway, if you are interested in knowing, these two wines are produced by Brown-Forman Wines, can be found in stores all over the US, and cost only about $10-$13 a 750ml bottle.

If you’ve tried this, fill us in to the taste!  In any case I’ll look for it during this week’s trip to the store.  I may have to go to a wine shop, I think.  I’m so curious it just may be worthwhile.

Type 1 Diabetes Weight loss, Lose 20 by Christmas

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It’s hard to lose weight.  When your a type 1 diabetic, it’s even harder. 

Let me share my story with you…

I spent the last few years finally figuring out how to go from “overweight” to “ok weight”.  And it wasn’t too bad once I knew what to do and stuck with it. 

Now I feel like my last 20 pounds are just impossible to lose.  This is because in many cases, those pounds have been there a while.  I’ve carried around my extra 20 since age 15.  That means those 20 pounds have been with me for over 12 years!  My body doesn’t consider the need to shed them easily because it thinks those 20 aren’t even extra pounds anymore. 

Me many years ago, feeling good!
Me many years ago, feeling good!

 

I’m tired of the excuses though and I’m tired of being THISCLOSE to the weight I want to be at.  Am I healthy with these extra 20 pounds?  Sure, but I could be healthier!  I’ve got 20 pounds I can stand to lose and I think I owe it to myself to do it.  Many may criticize this because I’m not really overweight.  I mean, I could lose 10 pounds and stop.  Yet, I remember a time when I was really athletic, slim, strong, flexible, and it was heaven.  I enjoyed not worrying about how clothes would fit and I enjoyed feeling light on my feet.  Plus, now that I’ve got loads of loose skin left over from my twin pregnancy, I feel like that is all I can handle.  The extra fat has got to go. 

You know…when I lost my last 20 pounds I immediately felt less self-conscious, my feet hurt less, I could wear high heels, it was easier to exercise, easier and cheaper to shop for clothes, and my knees felt so much better!

So I imagine getting off the last 20 should feel awesome, too. 

Another plus I’m looking forward to is I’ve noticed that after losing weight my body requires less insulin.  It’s easier to manage blood sugars when the need for insulin isn’t so high.  I remember being 165 pounds and needing to give 4 units of insulin for a piece of bread.  Now at 130 pounds I give 1 unit of insulin for that same piece of bread.  It makes my life less complicated, makes the math easier, and it saves me money on insulin.  So I feel that getting these last pounds off is going to streamline my health a bit more.

Of course, my priority will always be controlling blood sugars and healthy eating.  I won’t do this by starving myself (the weight will just rebound afterwards) and I won’t do it by training for a marathon (I don’t have the time nor the willpower).  I plan on doing this by cutting out the extras I currently allow myself and exercising moderately.  Instead, I’ll treat myself to treats you can’t eat.  I’ll have to figure out what these treats will be because I’ll be the first to admit:  This isn’t going to be easy. 

I realize 130 pounds doesn’t seem like much.  See, I’m 5’3 and small boned.  I have a friend who is my height and weight but she looks much thinner than me.  We were both confused about how we weighed the same and then we compared wrists.  Her bones are just much larger.  So she is heavier.  (This is my disclaimer of sorts, because I don’t want to give the impression I want to be unreasonably thin-which is unhealthy unless it’s one’s natural body type.)

I want my beloved skeptics out there to know a few things as well…A) I quit my job last year when my twins were born and so my husband and I are short on extra money (we’ve spent over $400 each month on baby food alone!).  End result?  I think twice before buying a pack of gum or a bottle of water.  So I’m not going to be able to just distract myself with a pedicure or reward myself with some shopping sprees.  B) I don’t have the liberty to get out of the house much right now because I have two one year olds’.  They are a complete joy but the situation I’m in drains my motivation because I can stay at home all day in my pajamas if I so please.  This also means I have to tell myself, “Yes, it’s just you and the babies but, brush your teeth and fix your hair!”  and C) I often feel like you and every other person out there with diabetes.  Diabetes is awful to live with and because of it we can’t lose weight as easily as someone without it.      Gosh darn it.

I want to prove to myself and everyone else that I can overcome all of the above and lose my last 20 in a short but adequate amount of time.

I’m proposing a challenge for myself.  I’m going to lose 20 pounds by this Christmas Day 2010.

This gives me about 19 weeks to achieve my goal which is perfect because they say one shouldn’t lose more than 1.5 pounds per week.   You know what else?  If I get halfway to the goal I’ll be ecstatic!

If any of you out there need or want to lose some weight I invite you to join me!  We can communicate via email, comments, skype, whatever you want.  We can support our special diabetes circumstances and share tips about what is and what isn’t working for us. 

Please don’t feel that if you aren’t a stay at home mother you can’t relate to me.  Before this past year I worked 10 straight years, traveled, played sports, and when out dancing.  In other words, I know about all of the struggles and realities of balancing those things and diabetes.

Not sure you want to jump in on the fun?  If by Christmas Day you have lost even 5 pounds, think about how amazing it is that you lost weight during the time most people gain weight! 

If you want to join me on this journey email me at sysymorales@thegirlsguidetodiabetes.com and in the title state “Lose 20 by Christmas”.  In the body of the email write your first and last name, email, and mailing address (none of this info will be shared with anyone, I promise).  I will put your name into a running to receive a special Christmas present from yours truly.  (And you don’t have to have lost any weight)  I want to do this because you, my readers, are a huge support and motivation.  I thank you so much!

So, staring you in the face is the chance to win a free gift and a chance to get motivated to lose a little weight by Christmas. 

Are you in?

Interview with Registered Dietitian, Emilia Klapp

Emilia Knapp
Emilia Klapp

 Emilia Klapp is a Registered Dietitian and author.  She wrote the book called, Your Heart Needs the Mediterranean Diet.  She also has a website dedicated to helping diabetics improve their health through good lifestyle habits.  Go to The Diabetes Club to check it out. 

Emilia works daily with diabetics helping them to learn the basics of nutrition and teaches them about the wonders of the Mediterranean Diet.  She follows this diet herself and was kind enough to answer all of my curious questions.  I think you’ll enjoy her honesty and openness (and bonus recipe!). 

1. Emilia, tells us a bit about yourself.

I was born and raised in Madrid, Spain. I really have wonderful memories from my childhood and teenager years. I always remember how our family, my parents, my sister and I, we all reunited at lunch and dinner time and had our meals together. Since we had no TV set at the time, we spent our evenings conversing with each other, sharing the experiences we had through the day. I also spent a lot of time with my friends. We didn’t have too many toys but we had a lot of fun playing outside.

Early in my life I developed a fear of growing older and being at the mercy of doctors, so although I was an accountant at the time, I started reading every book I could find on the subject of natural health to see how I could protect myself from ending up at the doctor’s office. This led me into my career as a Dietitian. Now, I have my own consulting business where I teach people how to eat to lose weight, prevent or manage diabetes type 2, and lower high blood pressure and high cholesterol.

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2. You’re a strong proponent of the Mediterranean Diet and even wrote a book on the subject.  Will you tell us about the book and how you arrived to this recommendation?

Being born and raised in Spain made me a firm believer of the Mediterranean Diet. Spain, along with Italy and Greece, has always been a poor country and I’ll never be able to thank Providence enough for this fact. Living in a relatively poor country forced us to eat what the land produced. There was very little red meat, so we grew up with fish, dry beans, fruit, vegetables, and the best extra virgin olive oil in the world. All this, plus a fair amount of walking, is what has made Mediterraneans some of the healthiest people in the world, so I felt the need to tell the world.

I wrote the book as a dialogue format where patient Al and registered dietitian Emi embark on a journey into good health. Diagnosed with high blood pressure and high levels of cholesterol and triglycerides, Al is at risk for heart disease. Chapter by chapter, he learns about the Mediterranean diet where better health comes from eating the right foods and enjoying a lifestyle enriched by family, friends, and physical activity.

Al discovers ways to avoid harmful foods like saturated fats and processed foods and how to cook with healthy foods such as garlic, tomatoes, and olive oil, and Emi shares healthy and delicious recipes that are easy to prepare. Al learns how to introduce more physical activity into his busy schedule. Walking, dancing, and other activities help strengthen his heart and improve his body chemistry.

Al also begins to discover how to improve relationships with his family, friends, and coworkers. As the sessions progress, he decreases his risk of heart disease, spends more time with his family, and reduces stress at work. Al realizes he is becoming happier and healthier by following the Mediterranean diet.

3. Is this diet for everyone?

Yes, it is. However, people with diabetes need to be careful with the amount of fruit and starchy vegetables they eat.

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4. For those who may be interested, are there ways to eat a low carb version of the Mediterranean Diet?

Yes, because the foundation of the Mediterranean diet is legumes such as dry beans, lentils, and garbanzo beans, whole cereals, whole grain breads, fruits and vegetables, olive oil and fish. Legumes for example, are very rich in fiber; fiber prevents a high raise in blood sugar.

But again, diabetics need to pay attention to the amount of fruit servings. In Mediterranean countries we eat a lot of fruit, but a person with diabetes should not eat more than 3 servings of fruit per day. Starchy vegetables also need to be limited. As for pasta, it should always be whole wheat or durum semolina pasta and cooked “al dente”, meaning cooked for just only 5 or 6 minutes.

 
5. I think your website, The Diabetes Club, is a great resource for diabetics.  Why did you begin the site?  What kind of information do visitors get at The Diabetes Club?

At my consulting business I teach patients who are diabetics or who are at risk of developing the disease. However, I felt that because of the nature of my business, I was limited on the amount of people I could reach. So, I decided that a way to “reach the world” would be to have a site where I could literally tell everyone on earth how to prevent or manage diabetes and other health conditions very much related to diabetes such as high blood pressure and high cholesterol. People coming to my site will find articles that will help not only with diabetes but also with their general health. One example is the article I wrote on how to read Nutrition labels. This article can be found at my site, under “Archives”.

6. Being a Registered Dietitian, do you get a different point of view of our society’s state of health?

Because of my profession, I spend most of my days around people who have different health conditions. This means that on a regular day, I see more sick people than healthy ones and if I am not careful and I make sure I put things into the right perspective, I tend to go home in the evenings thinking everybody in this world is sick. Unfortunately, the truth is that this epidemic of obesity we are experiencing, the way we eat, and the lack of physical activity, are causing a large percentage of the population to have at least one chronic health issue. This is a very sad fact, because many of these health conditions can be prevented.
7. What do you think will take for most people to change their eating habits?

Unfortunately people wait until they are sick or overweight to take some action regarding their health. Somehow, they don’t believe in preventing. But part of the reason why people take this position is because they don’t have the facts. People need to be educated on nutrition and the consequences of eating poorly. To give you an example: I haven’t met one single person who has come to my nutrition classes who knows how to read a Nutrition Label. If the person doesn’t know what is inside a box of cereal or a can of juice because they cannot understand the food label, they cannot be selective and make the right choice.

The result is that people keep eating processed foods with a lot of hidden sugar, wrong fats, too much sodium, very little fiber, and so on. There is no doubt that eventually we pay a price with our health for eating this way. At this point, to stop overweight, diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, and any other chronic health condition, educating the population in nutrition and exercise seems to be the best course of action.

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8. Do you yourself, follow the Mediterranean Diet?  If so, what is your favorite healthy meal?

Yes, I do. I eat a lot of fruits and vegetables. One item that is never missing in my kitchen is a juice extractor and every day I make my own raw vegetable juice. As for protein, I mainly eat fish, some chicken, and dry beans; red meat once in a blue moon. Extra virgin olive oil, nuts, whole grain breads and pasta are also part of my diet.

One of my favorite dishes is a seafood stew. It is very simple to make. Heat three tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil in a pan, medium heat. Add one large yellow onion finely chopped and 3 or 4 garlic cloves, crashed. Sauté for 3 or 4 minutes. Add one pound of calamari rings. Cover, lower the heat, and let it simmer. After ten minutes, add a can of marinara sauce, low sodium, if possible, organic. Let simmer for five minutes and add six cups of water. Add a bay leaf and some aromatic herbs such as parsley, oregano or any other one you like. When the calamari are tender, add two zucchini cut in small cubes and cook for 3 minutes. Add half pound of medium size scallops and half pound of medium size raw shrimp and cook for three minutes. Remove from the heat. Serve hot. It serves about 4 to 6 people.

9. If you had to give only one piece of advice to a client, what would it be?

Cook more at home. Cooking your own meals gives you a better control of what you eat because you can limit the amount of sodium, sugar and bad fats that come with many of the meals we eat outside. If you like hamburgers, no need to deprive yourself of them. Just buy organic, lean beef and make them at home.

 

Ah ha! About that last point Emilia makes…  Since I’ve begun cooking most of what I eat, I’ve been able to reduce my salt/sugar intake, UP my good fat intake, AND eat more food all while staying the same weight! 

Something additional we can take away from this interview that I’d like to point out is how a lifestyle habit such as family dinners without the TV can be so beneficial.  I too grew up with dinner at the dining room table with the family.  This habit makes us pay attention to the food we are eating and the people we love.   

Muchas gracias Emilia for all of the great info and tips!  If you want to check out her site you can find it here: The Diabetes Club and if you want to learn more about her book click here: Your Heart Needs the Meditteranean Diet.

Wine and diabetes

 

Wine is becoming increasingly popular in many places. Many are even learning to like wine in place of beer. This can be a good thing for wine loving diabetics, if we can exercise the discipline to stop after several ounces.

Most people who drink beer do not stop at one or two where as most people who drink wine do. (According to certain stats, anyway) Since beer has more carbohydrates than your average red or dry white wine, the wine lover is going to have less of an impact on their blood sugar.

What if you don’t like wine? Be glad! Because diabetics really don’t need it. To those who don’t have perfect health, alcohol is just a system aggravator, throwing off the balance even more. But, that lady down the street with diabetes drinks wine all the time you say? Well, chances are, her health could improve big time. Don’t be fooled. A lot of diabetics don’t take care of themselves the way they should.

For those of you who have pretty good diabetes control and health and cannot stay away from beloved wine, well, a dry wine is probably your best bet-and certainly just one glass at a time.

We hear a lot about resveratrol, the anti-aging chemical found in red wine. Problem is, you could get a lot more resveratrol from a pill than a glass of wine. And that glass of wine gives you alcohol.

Another thing to point out is if you are the type that can stop drinking when you want, you have a big advantage towards those who cannot. If you cannot, you really shouldn’t be drinking. I tend to do most things in extremes so I am not big on drinking. If I don’t have a drink I’m fine. If I have one I want another. So, I just don’t start. How about you? Which category do you fall in? And if you drink wine, what type works best for you? Do you just have one glass?

For guidance and info on drinking alcohol, read: Diabetes and alcohol; how much can I drink?

When diabetes was cured (a fable)

  

(the following is a fictitious story meant to make us think, please don’t be confused)

 

When Diabetes Was Cured

 

One day, the cure for diabetes was found by a small and private group of scientists. Soon after, everyone had been injected with the healing serum.

There was no more diabetes.

There were no more diabetics.

What did people do?

“How about we throw a party?”  someone said.  “A party sounds like a great idea.  After all, when was the last time we’ve celebrated something this HUGE?” someone else exclaimed.

So a fabulous and joyful party was planned.  We all attended, of course.  We even bought the most fancy outfit because we were going to have a ton of extra money now that diabetes was out of the picture. 

At this enormous party we found all the carbs we’d been dreaming of.  There were hot buttered breads, mountains of pasta, tables full of cookies and ice cream galore!  We had all been waiting for this moment.  We had long dreamed of being able to stuff ourselves full of whatever it is we wanted without having to suffer the repercussions.  We had discussed this often in blogs and forums, about how we wanted to be fully cured and be able to eat our cake without any blood sugar problems.  So of course we all ate!  We were all very happy about eating like non-diabetics.  We also no longer had to count carbs, take our diabetes medication, or worry about giving a bolus or an injection.  We were free!

Everyone loaded their plates and ate and laughed, laughed and ate.  Some cried because the emotions were just too much.  “My child won’t have to suffer ever again!” one woman said.

After a night full of drinking champagne and eating ourselves happy we all woke up to a new and wonderful day.

We went to work like usual, but with an extra skip in our step.  Many of us stopped by our favorite breakfast spot and grabbed a pastry or a big muffin.  Others drove by McDonald’s and enjoyed something yummy and greasy.  Some of us ate at home.  We served ourselves our favorite sugary cereal, some orange juice, or a stack of pancakes drenched in syrup. 

We continued like this for a long time because we, “deserve to be treated after this diabetes disaster we had to endure”.

Most people also didn’t exercise much.  They had intentions of it but, after trying so hard to exercise while diabetic they just figured they’d give themselves a break.  “I’ll get in shape later, I have my whole life ahead of me right now and I’m going to be busy living it!”

A few people, the minority for sure, never did eat like the others.  They were just as excited don’t get me wrong, but, they ate really healthy and exercised just as they might have before the cure came along. These odd few got comments from the others like, “Why don’t you have some cake with us?!  It won’t hurt you anymore!” and “You’re such a drag, what do you mean you won’t come over for pizza?”  This strange minority felt lucky to be free of diabetes and wanted to support their health-especially now that it was easier to do so.  They did their best to not abuse their body.  People called them “uptight”. 

One day doctors realized most everyone was feeling sick.  Some had cancer, some had heart disease, others had metabolic syndromes.  Everyone was baffled.  They searched for ways to feel better and joined campaigns for cures for each problem. 

Time passed.

One day a 10 year old girl in science class began thinking about how she lived in a world where most people didn’t feel well.  She began researching for the cause.  She didn’t find much.  Most medical information seemed somehow tied to making money or running a business or providing symptomatic relief. 

Then one day she met a healthy looking woman walking in a park.  She marched right up to the woman and with hands on her hips asked her how she did it.  “How do I do what?”  The woman asked.  The girl persisted, “Are you healthy?  Do you feel well?  And if so how do you do it?”  The lady smiled.  She sat down on a bench with the girl and told her about the time, many years ago, when this disease called diabetes was cured.  She then told the girl this:  “You see dear, the problem never was the diabetes itself.  Everyone said, “Cure diabetes, fight diabetes, end diabetes!”  but, the real enemy was the fact that we didn’t have the right information, healthy habits, or enough discipline to follow those habits.  Since it’s difficult to consistently do the right thing, many people became sick and this over time affected their genes and their children got sick faster and next thing we knew, diabetes was a serious and complicated epidemic.  Obviously there are exceptions but, most likely, had people taken better care of themselves, diabetes would have never become what it was.” 

“Why are so many people sick now that there is no diabetes?” the girl asked.  “Well, perhaps it is because despite being healed of diabetes, people still didn’t change their lifestyles and suffered other health consequences as a result of this.  Our bodies were never meant to handle continuous abuse.  People haven’t understood yet that to feel good and be healthy we have to take the necessary actions-like eat healthy and exercise.  The cure was a wonderful thing, but we didn’t learn much from our experience with diabetes, I’m afraid.”

The girl sat contemplating for a few minutes.  Then she looked at the woman and asked, “Is it too late for us?”

The woman smiled at the girl, looked her square in the eyes and said firmly,

“No.  It’s not too late.”

Diabetic pregnancy diet

 

My belly at my babyshower (6 months pregnant)
My belly at my babyshower (6 months pregnant)

 

 

First off, I’m going to assume that you want to take extra care while pregnant because you’re a diabetic and want to do everything in your power to keep your child safe.  Yes, there are women who eat anything and everything and gain 100 pounds while pregnant.  You know better and the fact that you’re reading this right now means you want to do your best.

I researched a ton while pregnant and even before getting pregnant (even though my pregnancy was unplanned).  I am a total worrier-not warrior, worry-er.  I felt that I should do everything in my power to keep my children safe (I had twins) and I wanted to have a non-guilty conscience should something go wrong.  Obviously I would be extremely sympathetic to the woman who did some things I wouldn’t and had something go wrong during her pregnancy because anything but sympathy in this case would just be cruel and illogical.  The point is we women are very sacrificial like this so I know you get what I’m saying.  I wanted to do everything I personally could stand to do right.

Anyway, I was really strict with how I ate.  I looked all around me during my pregnancy and saw all of these happy pregnant women, lounging in restaurants or parks, eating chocolate ice cream and deli meat sandwiches while drinking regular coke.  I was jealous of how relaxed they were.  I was pretty on top of things.  Especially when it came to blood sugar control-but that’s another post.

I can give you is reassurance in knowing that A:  I had out of control diabetes for over a decade before getting it well under control, B:  I had a twin pregnancy which is risky even for a non-diabetic, and C:  My babies and I ended up fine-which I hope can give you some consolation if you are feeling anxiety or worry over your own pregnancy as a diabetic.

Here is how I ate during my pregnancy:

The first trimester I was so severely nauseated that eating healthy was pretty tough.  I craved salads and carbs.  The salad part was easy and I would eat a huge salad about 3 times a week that consisted of:

-Romaine lettuce

-Iceburg lettuce

-Spinach

-Kidney beans

-Chickpeas (great source of iron which I was deficient in)

-Boiled eggs

-Carrots

-Onion (for some reason I craved lots of onions!)

-Green peppers

-Tomato

-Cheddar cheese

Dressing:  Extra virgin olive oil and vinegar plus salt, pepper, and lemon

(I would get these salads at Ukrops where I could build this huge salad in minutes!)

-Now a typical breakfast for me was 2 lightly fried eggs (sometimes raw in a milkshake) (salmonella is very rare in organic eggs by the way-I’ve had raw eggs for years and never had a problem)

Or-sometimes for breakfast I would have:

-A piece of toast with butter or cream cheese.  I didn’t have just any old bread though, I ate/still eat Ezekiel’s 7 Grain Bread which is made from sprouted grains so is much higher in nutrients and is low glycemic-great for us diabetics.  It also keeps me full for a long time.  Literally, one slice is good for my entire breakfast nowadays (keep in mind I’m naturally petite though so you may need 2-3 slices).

Let me pause right here for a second.  You may be thinking, that is all she ate for breakfast while pregnant with twins??  Yep.  I ate 3 meals, 2 snacks a day and kept everything small but healthy (except for my gigantor salads).  We are fooled into thinking that when are pregnant we need to eat, eat, eat!  Sadly, we don’t need but an extra snack a day.  If carrying twins, make that two snacks.  Pregnancy isn’t a time to go nuts with food.  It is a time to carefully eat what you and your baby need during this special journey.   It really feels nice to be almost back to normal once the baby pops out too ;)

That said, here is what a typical snack was: 

-Raw vegetables dipped in light ranch

-Fresh fruit

-Cheese (usually organic mozzarella sticks)

-More bread with butter (for some reason this made me feel really good throughout my whole pregnancy-this bread is also a miracle against constipation which I really didn’t deal with despite 2 iron pills a day for months)

I normally eat more different foods than the above but, during pregnancy lots of foods suddenly smelled awful and so I was forced to eat a lot of the same stuff.  (But, I did vary the fruit and veggies a good bit)

A typical lunch/dinner:

-Rice and black beans

-Chicken (I ate lots of organic chicken)

-Beef (I could eat it if it wasn’t cooked near me lol)

-Pasta (my mom made me a lot of different pastas which helped my nausea a lot)

I ate all of the above with some vegetable, my favorite was steamed broccoli.

I drank mostly water and caffeine-free tea.

As you see I ate plenty of protein and vegetables so that I’d have nutrient rich meals.  I would add rice, pasta, or legumes so that my body would have enough calories to do the big job it was doing.

What I strictly did NOT consume:

-No caffeine (this meant I didn’t even have a single piece of chocolate-boy did I miss this!  This also meant no caffeinated drinks like coffee, tea, sodas)

-No corn syrup (this was hard because corn syrup is in so many things but, I think it’s worth staying away from)

-No artificial sweeteners (I’ve heard this is bad news during pregnancy and for health in general so instead of risking it I just did away with it).

-No seafood whatsoever (most seafood has far too much mercury and since it can harm unborn babies I chose to just not have any-what is 9 months anyway?)

What I limited:

-Non-organic food

-Non-filtered water

-Junk food (I had about 5 Hardees thickburgers during my pregnancy :D )

-Greasy or Spicy food (just because it made me feel like I was dying after eating it)

I was very careful with deli meats and soft cheeses like Brie.  It is best to know where your deli meat came from before eating it and it is best to not consume certain cheeses.  Just do a search to find out which those are ;)

Obviously some of these things are difficult to follow.  I think you should do your own research and think about what you can/can’t live without (I promise you can live without everything you think you can’t however ;)  But, just make a list of things you’re willing to sacrifice and follow that. 

-My splurge was ice cream-high quality ice cream like Haagen-Dagz. mmmm…..(but, I wouldn’t eat a pint a day mind you, maybe a pint a week, and the hubby helped)

In the end I’m sure you and the baby will be fine.  Remember, the best feeling is trying your best and having a great outcome.  The proud mama feeling will be a great source of strength for you once it’s time to change those never-ending diapers!

A note on guilt:  At 8 months old my daughter was diagnosed very allergic to peanut and egg, two allergies that cause a life-threatening condition.  This has changed our lives.  Some days I wonder if I could have done something different while pregnant to have prevented her allergies.  Yet, when I look back at what a decent job I did, I truly can’t figure out what I would have changed.  Maybe worry less?  Anyway, this is why you want to try your personal best :)  And try to relax!

So…Oh, is there anything I’ve left out?  Anything you would or wouldn’t eat while pregnant?  Share in comments, others desperately want to find out!

Dr. Mercola’s Total Health Breakthrough

 Dr. Mercola’s Total Health Breakthrough is a book that quite literally saved me. 

Before reading this book I was overweight, constantly fatigued, depressed, and lost about what to do to feel better.

I knew I needed to control my blood sugars better but, I also knew I needed to eat better, exercise more, and beat my depression.  I write a lot about how I changed my lifestyle habits and totally turned my health around.  Well, here is the book that started it all!

At some point I was referred to Dr. Mercola’s Total Health Breakthrough by a multimillionaire mentor.  I began reading reviews by people who had read the book.  I saw how passionate people were about the book so I ordered it right away.  And thank God I did.  This book simplified things for me.  It taught me key secrets of those that live long healthy lives and clearly showed me what foods to eat and which to stay away from including other crucial lifestyle habits to follow. 

I learned about what foods to eat for my particular “type” and I adjusted my diet to these recommendations.  I was blown away by how spot on the information was.  In other words I found out which foods I could eat and do well with and I discovered which foods didn’t give me energy, vitality, or health.  My energy immediately doubled.

By taking Dr. Mercola’s advice, I managed to better control my blood sugars.  This in turn led to nerve damage reversal in my feet.  I quite literally was on the verge of giving up on life when I found this book and 6 months after trying what the book outlined I found myself…reborn, you could say.  Because that is how I felt.  My nerve pain disappeared and my energy levels were much higher than they had been. 

Even the cloud which hung over my head lifted.  Not only did my depression begin to vanish but, my entire outlook on life changed.  I also could think clearly for the first time since I was a child.  This led me to a crucial relationship decision which led me to the man I’ve married and had twin babies with.  I owe so much to the information in this book.

The thing about this information is it goes straight to the root of health issues many of us suffer from.  How many books do that?  I mean that is the toughest thing to do.  And yet, Dr. Mercola has managed to keep this book very simple to understand and its quick and easy to read.  I read it in one afternoon.  I implemented one chapter every few days until I found a whole new and improved me just 3 weeks later. 

I lived a decade with my health spiraling out of control in great part because I didn’t have the knowledge from this book.  You don’t just find it anywhere.  You find extreme diets to try for a month and you find exercise plans and lifestyle tips but, none so truthful and long lasting as the ones in this book.

If you want to learn about what to eat and how to deal with emotions that are not letting you have the necessary discipline for healthy changes, then this is a book for you.

If you want to finally stop the dieting cycle this book will help you. 

For me though, this book was like having an epitome.  As I read it I thought to myself, “My life is going to change”.  And it did.  Dramatically and for the better. 

My favorite part of the book is that instead of limiting yourself, you are just filling up on really healthy and satisfying foods-and a very wide variety at that!  You are also changing your lifestyle habits a bit and reaping rewards you never thought you could have.

Now I will be honest.  It took me several months to really come to follow the recommendations in the book.  You see, change doesn’t happen overnight.  You know that.  You have to give yourself time to slowly adjust your body and change your habits.  This change kept going however, because I saw good things happening to me so how could I stop?  As I already said, I looked better, felt better, and get this:  my blood sugar lowered, my cholesterol and triglycerides lowered dramatically to the right level, and I dropped a lot of water weight that I had been carrying around for a long time.  My face and ankles were no longer bloated! 

With my newfound self-esteem I hopped on this train and it hasn’t stopped.  I’m still getting better.  My vitals have improved every year for the past 5 years.

Without discipline we are not likely to make any lasting changes that will positively impact our health.  BUT, without the right information we don’t stand a chance.

This book gives you the right information and if you slowly put these recommendations into practice you will emerge a healthier more fabulous you, I promise!

If you want to get Dr. Mercola’s Total Health Breakthrough I recommend getting it through this link because you will also get 5  reports on the following topics:

  • Discover the magic of nutritional typing
  • The lowdown on cholesterol
  • Vitamin B12: essential for vigorous good health
  • The amazing wonder nutrient that may prevent or cure 7 common diseases
  • Artificial sweeteners: more sour than you ever imagined (something we diabetics NEED to know about)
  • You will also get an amazing cookbook to guide you! (Trust me these are delicious!)

When I bought all of this information it cost me a lot more than you can get it for in this bundle.  I wish it had been available to me at the time.  Not only that but, you’ll get it in PDF format which will simply and automatically be uploaded to your computer so you can start reading it right away. 

 To order this Dr. Mercola’s Total Health Breakthrough bundle Click Here!

I can’t rave enough about this book.  You’ll also get straightforward info about healthy water, exercise, which supplements are worth your money, and even how to sleep well!  All of the things that make a huge impact on our health if done right.  Had someone brought my attention to it much earlier, I know I would have suffered a lot less than I have.  From the bottom of my heart I would like to bring your attention to this book.  If it helps you (and I truly know it will) I’ll be so grateful.  My biggest goal on this site is to help fellow diabetics to avoid my pitfalls and avoid feeling the way I have in the past.  Most of all I want to help you feel how I feel now-which is awesome!

So check out the link to Dr. Mercola’s Total Health Breakthrough and give yourself the opportunity to live the best life possible.  Remember, you deserve it.

Hugs,

Sysy

Does this happen to you with caffeine?

 

I think I’m entirely too sensitive.  I’ve always been very emotional, have always dealt with sensitive skin, and have always responded to about half the normal dose of any medication (Seriously, you don’t want to see me on morphine pills).

So naturally, with caffeine, I’ve got to be careful.  Why you ask?

Well, like many people I love coffee in the morning (or noon…or at night) and I don’t like the taste of decaf. 

Yet, I’ve found that if I have too much coffee, I begin getting symptoms much like those I get when my blood sugar is low.  You know, shaky, irritable, anxious, fast heart beat…

Lately I’ve been enjoying 2 cups of coffee a day.  This is better than the 4-6 cups (hello, psycho!) I used to have years ago but, I think it is still too much-for me anyway.  During my pregnancy and while breastfeeding I had absolutely zero caffeine.  For the first time in many years I was caffeine free and I was amazed at how body felt so relaxed, my heart didn’t race, and I believe I was even more patient with everything. 

The biggest thing was I didn’t confuse the caffeine overdose with low blood sugar symptoms.  It was nice.  Lets face it, sometimes we eat something when we feel low without testing first because we’re sure we feel low.  Then this leads to high blood sugars because we were not really low.  Now we’re just mad because we ruined a perfectly good blood sugar level. 

Lately I’ve done this a couple of times.  Also, when I eat meals I eat them so fast because I’m all wired and the fastest thing on me seems to be my jaw.  I’ve noticed the more days I consecutively drink coffee the worse my symptoms.  The more I snap at my husband.  If I take a day or two off in between days when I do drink coffee I feel almost normal.

So I’m really wondering…does anyone else experience this with caffeine?  Or is it just me and I should quit coffee altogether before I start biting off heads or find myself testing every hour because I feel low all the time?

Maybe I should buy myself a cute little coffee cup that can only hold a tiny bit of coffee and limit myself to that each day?

The smartest nor the strongest diabetic survives, find out who does

 

It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent that survives. It is the one that is the most adaptable to change.

Charles Darwin

 

The first time I read the above quote I was surprised.  After all, don’t they say “only the strong survive” and “knowledge is power”?  Being strong and having knowledge is powerful but, if you are both these things and unable to adapt to change, you will become extinct just like the dinos.  In other words, you either won’t be well, or you won’t be alive, period.

Kind of harsh I know…but, when you focus a lot of energy on knowing that you don’t have to be the smartest or strongest (frankly a relief for me seeing as I’m not very big nor hardly capable of doing math) you can best handle things in life.

One of the most important things in our lives as diabetics is managing our blood sugar levels.  Most of us really know plenty about how to do it.  Many of us in fact, are experts.  We are also very strong individuals-I mean we deal with something very challenging every minute of every day and night!  So there is no question about that. 

The question is, are we able to jump from lily pad to lily pad as things constantly do what they are guaranteed to do: change.

Your diabetes is to be handled minute by minute because it is permanent.  If you just go with all of the changes throughout your day and try not to think twice about it, your control will probably be better than the person’s who doesn’t want to adapt to their diabetes out of frustration.  If you go with the changes and even try to see them coming in advance you will definitely do better than the person who doesn’t do these things.

So in essence you want to always be moving forward, doing what you know is needed-when it is needed.  Procrastination is not your friend.  If you procrastinate when your blood sugar is low you may just end up unconscious.  Most of us don’t have a problem with this.  We have a problem with anticipating change.

This is important because those who are diabetic and able to anticipate change are best capable of keeping their glucose in the right place. 

Example: 

Diabetic A is not capable of handling change.  He is stubborn and upset about having diabetes and each time he sees a high blood sugar reading, he complains, throws himself a pity party, eats whatever he wants out of anger, and eventually gives insulin to bring down his sugar.  

Diabetic B is capable of handling change but, not too gracefully and she doesn’t anticipate it.  She accepts her diabetes and yet often thinks about how unfair her life is.  She has a high blood sugar reading and will give the correct amount of insulin right away to lower her blood sugar.  She never sees those high blood sugar readings coming.

Diabetic C is capable of handling change and regularly anticipates and expects it.  She sometimes has blood sugar readings that are too high but, not as often as Diabetics A and B.  She prevents frequent high readings by anticipating change.  She anticipates change by keeping a schedule and trying to stick to it.  She anticipates change by carrying emergency supplies with her.  She anticipates change by testing more frequently in order to catch high sugars before they are too high.  She anticipates change by exercising when she gets a chance because she knows sometimes things will come up and she will have to skip a workout.  She anticipates change by eating fewer carbs at each meal because she knows this will lower the chances of fluctuating blood sugars later. 

She anticipates change by accepting her diabetes and takes care of herself because perhaps one day she will encounter a big life changing opportunity and she knows that having her blood sugar under control will help her take that opportunity and run with it instead of have it pass her by because she was 280 and didn’t feel up to it.

Some ways we can be more like “Diabetic C”:

  • Eat fewer carbs at each meal.  Doing so will reduce the amount of insulin you give and reduce the likelihood your blood sugar will swing way up or down afterwards
  • Don’t get in your car without some emergency supplies.  Just as you wouldn’t drive without a license for fear you may encounter the chance of meeting an officer who would ask to see it, don’t drive without your meter and insulin and some form of sugar.  Anticipate the possibility of something stopping traffic.
  • Expect costs of diabetic supplies to only rise and put some extra money aside to cover these costs so you don’t go without what you need.
  • When you are out and about and very busy, look out for opportunities to test your blood sugar.  For me, each time I get in the car to go somewhere is an opportunity to take a second and test.  This way, if I’m going to eat somewhere for example, I have a heads up before getting there.  If my blood sugar is high I can start getting it down and still eat with everyone else.
  • If you will be some place where testing and giving insulin is challenging, plan ahead.  Don’t eat within 2 hours of the event so that you don’t have to deal with any extra “live” fast acting insulin.  This has helped me avoid lows and highs during long exams, dates, soccer matches, and movies. 
  • And finally, don’t count on a cure.  We will hopefully see one soon but in the case we don’t, maintain your health.  Don’t count on a cure coming along and saving you.  Instead, no matter what happens…survive.

Anything you have to add about how we might anticipate change in our daily diabetic lives?

Share with us in the comments section!

Thanks in advance ;)

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