Tag Archives: low carb

A diabetic snack fix to check out!

 

 

 

Replace your Doritos with these
Replace your Doritos with these

 

 

Not a paid advertisement.

I got some snacks from Kay’s Naturals to try out.  I was pretty skeptical about whether or not I’d like these products because A:  I’m really picky about what I call “healthy” and B: these snacks come in your typical processed food bag.  So I was worried because I’m not going to tell you something is good if it just isn’t.

Luckily for all of us Kay’s Naturals has come up with a bunch of munchie-attack-relieving goodies that surprisingly taste great and pass the test when it comes to the ingredient list.

All of the ingredients are natural.  No corn syrup, no strange chemicals, and plenty of natural flavorings to make sure its far from bland.  A big plus for me is the products I tried out are all free of egg and peanut.  My daughter is very allergic to those two foods so finding safe snacks is always on my mind. 

These products get their high protein content from soy protein isolate.  I don’t recommend eating tons of soy products but, in moderation it should be fine.  Plus, if you are going to have these products in place of something with higher carbs and less fiber I’d suggest going with what is going to help out your blood sugar control the most.  These snacks are all really low in carbs.  I ate this stuff all afternoon (to test it out and because I couldn’t stop) and managed my blood sugars very easily which was nice.

Things I noted as I tasted:

I tasted plenty of salt (I think I´m quite sensitive to it).  To give you an idea of how salty…Utz potato chips have about 240 mg sodium while the same serving of one of these snacks is around 150-230 mg.  So, less salty than your average potato chip but, for you salt lovers-there is still plenty to keep you happy. 

Everything is really crunchy which makes the snacking more satisfying and the protein content fills your appetite.

Protein Chips:  These come in different flavors such as Crispy Parmesan which really tastes like Parmesan cheese! (Oh look, real parmesan cheese in the ingredient list)

White Cheddar Cheese Kruncheeze:  Are really thick and crunchy and loaded with white cheddar flavor.

Pretzel sticks:  These come in different flavors.  The Jalapeño Honey Mustard is my favorite.  The flavor these sticks pack is ridiculous.  I was sad when I got to the bottom of the bag and found myself licking it.  One generous serving of these will only cost you 9 grams of carbs.  They also have 3 grams of fiber and 10 grams of protein. 

Cinnamon Almond Cookie Bites:  Oh. my. gosh.  These are just as low in carbs as the other stuff but, sweet like a cookie.  I searched the ingredients trying to figure out how they tricked my taste buds and it turns out they used natural Stevia!  How clever.  Now apart from that the texture of these is great for snacking.  Crunchy but not too much and covered with tons of cinnamon and filled with almond-man I loved these.  If you have a sweet tooth like me these just may be your favorite of the bunch.

Protein cereal:  Cereal is a food that sends my blood sugars through the roof.  This protein cereal doesn’t and it tastes great.  My kids loved these as well. 

Taking into consideration that diabetics highly benefit from natural ingredients, low carbs, fiber, and sufficient protein means I have to give a thumbs up to these snacks.  I personally wouldn’t eat them all of the time but, for those times when I want a really tasty and crunchy snack that I don’t have to fix or work for-this would be it.  I had my non-diabetic family members (some of which are real picky) try these snacks and they really enjoyed them as well.

Oh by the way these are also gluten free for those of you who need to watch for gluten.

Now, where can you get some Kay’s Naturals?  Go online to: Kay’s Naturals.  To try almost all of the snacks and figure out what your favorite is try ordering Kays’s sample pack which is 50% off right now!  There are lots of other specials to take advantage of as well.  PLUS, for The Girl’s Guide to Diabetes readers, you get 30% off any order this week if you enter “30off” as a coupon code!  You can take advantage of this special offer and even combine it with the sales on the site right now!

Enjoy!

What to get your diabetic dad for Father’s Day

  

Father’s Day is this Sunday the 20th! 

Don’t forget to think of a little something for papa.

Things that come to my mind are:

-super dark high quality chocolate (real low in sugar)

-movie tickets

-a book or gift certificate for Barnes and Noble or some other book store

-your company and undivided attention (many dads welcome this kind of gift)

-dry wine (if he likes wine)

-tickets to a sporting event he would enjoy

Notice these things are either low carb or not edible. 

 Aimey Stinchcomb from The Houston Diabetes Examiner has these great ideas:

 

“Give him a healthy low-carb gift basket:

  • Well Baskets has a lovely healthy all-natural Father’s Day diabetic gift basket loaded with vitamin and nutrient-rich snacks specifically for Dad’s with type 2 diabetes. Contents include smoked salmon, pistachios, artisana nut butter and more! Does your Dad love golf? They have a golfer-themed diabetic basket too!
  • Does your diabetic Dad love to BBQ? CarbSmart has a great low-carb BBQ gift basket that includes all-natural meat seasoning rubs, salsa and guacamole mix, reduced sugar ketchup, and much more! Also included is an autographed copy of Dana Carpender’s The Low-Carb Barbecue Book.

Show him you care about his health with a magazine subscription:

  • Men’s Health is a one-stop guide to fitness, nutrition, weight-loss and more. With tons of tips and healthy all-natural guides, this magazine is a great read for all men – including those with type 1 & type 2 diabetes! Click here to enter your Dad for a chance to win a Weber Genesis EP-310 gas grill or click here for subscription information.  
  • Diabetes Forecast is the American Diabetes Association’s healthy living magazine with information about news, research, food & recipes and more. For a free trial issue and subscription information click here.
  • Is your Dad newly diagnosed with diabetes? Diabetes Self Management magazine is a great source for learning about insulin, blood sugar monitoring and control. Click here to receive a free internet trial issue and to learn more about subscribing.

Honor him with a donation:

 Source:

The Examiner June 15th 2010

 

I LOVE these ideas! Nice job Aimey!

Do you think you’re safe with a 6% A1c?

 There is a big debate out there about what is best for diabetics:  tightly controlled blood sugars with a higher risk of hypoglycemia or more loosely controlled blood sugars with a lower risk of hypoglycemia.

Many doctors and the American Diabetes Association like your A1c to be around a 6.5%.  After all, hypoglycemia kills quickly and there is a fear of being sued by patients who had been told to keep tight control.

Yet, damage occurs to the body when blood sugar levels are a tiny bit too high.  So doesn’t it seem like diabetics should aim for non-diabetic glucose levels?

Considering how great I feel at 90 and how bad I feel at 150, I think that uh yeah, I do deserve to have non-diabetic glucose numbers.

I just read an excellent interview over at Diabetes Daily with Dr. Bernstein whose advice I have taken in order to lower my A1c below 5%. 

It is a long interview but, quite shocking and informative.  I strongly urge you to read it here

Something to think about:  the main reason many people say they wouldn’t follow Dr. Bernstein’s advice is because they have been told by their doctor that their A1c of 6% is perfectly fine.  Another reason is that they say they don’t have the discipline to follow the advice about a low or lower carb diet.

Well, so you and I either work up some discipline or suffer the consequences right? 

I know diabetes is hard and I know you just want to eat that spaghetti.  Me too.  But, don’t you want to keep your sight and limbs?  Don’t you want to be able to see your grandkids grow up?  Well, I do.  And if you want, you can say I’m as stubborn as a mule (my husband already does).  But, it is one thing or the other.  We don’t eat what we shouldn’t and have great diabetes management or we enjoy our pancakes and struggle with that post 200 reading.  Obviously what we eat is just part of what we must do.  It has a huge influence on our diabetes, however, so we should take it very seriously. 

I mean you take your meds right?  Maybe food should be looked at like a prescribed medicine.

I have often stated the mental aspect of diabetes is the most difficult.  And I have written on the subject of discipline.

Check out here: my widely read article on Diabetes, self-discipline, and a paradigm shift Part 1 and Part 2.

And keep up the good fight.  You’re worth it.

Minimalist cooking for diabetics

Oil Olive and condiments.

Lately I’ve been doing a lot of on-the-go eating. I’ve even given meal delivery a thought or two (I read a bunch of reviews on Consumers Advocate, but I haven’t pulled the trigger yet).  I eat breakfast while jumping over baby gates with one baby in arms and another trying to hitch a ride on my legs.  Long gone are the days I would eat a carefully assembled egg and vegetable omelet with organic chicken sausages…

I have proven to myself one can eat healthy while in a hurry.  Organic chicken in a can with some raw veggies on the side.  Yes, it can be done.  Yet, honestly?  Eating cold chicken and broccoli gets tiresome so it is best to vary eating that way.

This led me to check out some minimalist cooking sites on the web such as The Stone soup blog which has some great, easy, and diabetic friendly recipes (check out the salads!)  The idea is to keep ingredients fresh and to a minimum.  This also means a short preparation time.

With a little planning ahead of time you can make yourself some divine gourmet-like recipes.  (In fact something about gourmet food is that it is fresh and simplistic, more about quality rather than quantity.)

It takes getting used to but, once you adapt to acquiring a taste for less-is-more food, you’ll never go back to Wendy’s.

Mexican food is huge in the United States and it is making us more huge.  All those tortillas…(shaking head)…Did you know authentic Mexican is healthier?  My parents gave my husband and I (the hubby is from Mexico) a great cookbook a while back called Fresh Mexican by Mónica Medina-Mora and Angeles Ayala.  I was stunned to find delicious, healthy, modern, and simple soups like Black bean and salads like Baby spinach and mushroom.  Let’s not forget my husband’s favorite Chicken breast with pine nut sauce.  All of these keep carbohydrate intake low and where there are carbs, there is fiber-a big help to a diabetic diet.

So no, I don’t have time to whip up homemade bread or apple pie, but, I shouldn’t be eating much of that stuff either.

Anyone have any good, simple, recipes to share?  I promise I’ll try them out, even if this happens around 10pm when the kids are asleep.

Share your simple and healthy go-to recipes in the comments section!

Don’t let your environment sabotage your diabetic diet

 

 One of the most important influences on our diet (maybe the most important influence) is our environment.  Most people around us don’t have to eat like us and this causes great pressure.

Here is something that should make things easier:  Knowing everyone else SHOULD be eating like us.  Medical science has confirmed that humans do better when insulin levels are low.  This means everyone should avoid sweets and processed food-not just us diabetics.

Living in the US makes things even more challenging for diabetics and so it is no wonder we have a diabetic epidemic on our hands. 

So what is a diabetic to do?  We must specifically decide what we want out of life and stick to a plan to get it.  One thing we want is to stick to our diabetic diet so we stay healthy and to do this we have to not allow our environment to mess it up.

For a long time I allowed what everyone around me ate to really get to me.  It took years to realize I couldn’t afford to eat like them and frankly neither could they (although they might experience the damage later than I would). 

I felt I would seem out of place if I didn’t go to town on the brownies at the get together or have soda and whiskey at the party.  There is irony here you know?  We often look up to famous actors, athletes, and authors and wish we could be more like them.  Yet, maybe we don’t realize that to be like them we need to be more like ourselves?  What I mean is, these people became something because they chose to be different.  The actor or actress was brave and moved to Hollywood unlike their peers from acting class.  The athlete practiced long after practice was over.  The successful author got up early every day to write, while millions of other writers still slept. 

We are diabetics and when we place discipline upon of one of the most crucial aspects of our disease-what we eat, then we are in a better position to let our unique selves take center stage, instead of the diabetes.  Be proud that you can eat right, even if that means eating different from everyone else around you.  Besides, you might inspire someone to better themselves :)

Top 5 beverages for diabetics

 

 I know you were hoping diet coke and margaritas would make the cut (me too).  But hey, I was generous and left coffee on the list because of its high antioxidant count (contingent upon a few factors). 

The closer you get to number one the better the beverage.  For your health’s sake, including great skin and hair, make sure to hydrate!

 

5.  Coffee

I had to add this because most of us just can’t quit java.  Coffee can obviously be very free of calories (helpful to diabetics) but, don’t drink if you have blood pressure problems as coffee is known to worsen blood pressure.  Also, if you can, drink organic coffee because coffee is one of the most heavily sprayed crops.  Oh and do go easy on whatever you add to your cup or you can just scratch this one off the list and replace it with coconut milk or coconut water (high in electrolites and low in sugar). 

4.  Raw milk

Why raw?  Go to rawmilk.org to find out.  Whole, unpasteurized milk is very healthy-just keep portions small.  If you are like me and live in a state where drinking raw milk is illegal then you may want to consider limiting dairy.  Worried about getting enough calcium?  That’s easy, just make sure to add leafy greens to your diet.

3.  Green tea

This tea is great because it contains a high level of antioxidants, as I’m sure you’ve heard.  Organic in this case is also best.

2.  Tulsi tea

This special yet very affordable tea is often enjoyed in India where people know it as Sacred or Holy Basil tea.  Tulsi tea is so special because it is an adaptogen, thus totally beating green tea on my list.  Plus, if you’re like me and can’t stand the taste of green tea, try this tea-it tastes great!  Organic India carries this tea among other great products.

1.  Water

You knew it…I knew it…it may be the toughest to drink enough of on days we want something tastier but, there is no denying this is number one.  Filter your water if you can and then make sure to get plenty of it!  Try a tiny bit of fresh orange, lime, or lemon juice in your water for some flavor.

Top 5 diabetic snacks

 

These all have one thing in common-low carbohydrate count.  And diabetics benefit from eating things that don’t highly impact blood sugar.  Non-diabetics would still be encouraged these snacks because it keeps insulin levels low-and that lowers all sorts of health risks. 

So, in no particular order…

 

5.  Raw Veggies

If you need a dip, fresh guacamole or hummus are great options!

4.  Nuts

Walnuts are best for their omega fat content. 

3.  Beef Jerky

Plenty of protein

2.  Hard Boiled Eggs 

Just be sure to get organic eggs.

1.  Avocado

It is the best fruit a diabetic can have (since it is so low in carbs) and it has healthy fats!  Just don’t overdo it.

Diabetic women and yeast overgrowth

Just in case you need yet another reason to keep blood sugars in check, here I give you another good one:  preventing yeast overgrowth.

 I hear this is quite common in diabetic women and admit I’ve struggled with this myself. 

I’m talking about Candida yeast which can grow too much in one’s gut and create all kinds of health problems.  Symptoms and signs of candida yeast overgrowth are:

-feeling generally bad all over

-courses of antibiotics make you feel worse or don’t help when taken

-a craving for foods containing yeast like bread, alcoholic drinks and for any sugary or processed foods

-you regularly take birth control pills

-you have major pms

-you suffer from frequent infections, feelings of tiredness, food allergies

-you suffer from high blood sugars

This is a difficult thing to diagnose.  At a visit to the allergist the doctor discovered Candida yeast in my mucous membranes along with a TON of allergies. 

If you have these symptoms talk to your doctor.  You could mention the possibility of Candida yeast overgrowth.

With today’s diet, more and more people are growing too much candida in their gut. 

If you suspect this and want to try something to see if it alleviates your symptoms I suggest doing a few things which helped me a whole lot.

Stay away from any bread, cereal, crackers, pasta, and rice

-Don’t eat anything sweet-not even fruit

-Eat a lot of fresh vegetables (except for carrots and potatoes)

-Eat plenty of protein (and don’t forget organic eggs-they are awesome for you)

-Enjoy yogurt every day but, with one caveat:  buy the unsweetened or least sweetened versions you can find

-Don’t skip any meals (and place cut up raw veggies in plastic bags to encourage you to snack on healthy foods when you are hungry)

-Definitely avoid alcoholic drinks

-Last but not least, try your best at keeping blood sugars within the acceptable range.  Yeast loves and grows abundantly on sugar and high blood sugar literally makes Candida yeast that much worse.

If you are serious about getting down to what is making you feel miserable and wonder if this is why, try doing these things for a month. 

In the end it is possible you don’t suffer from Candida yeast overgrowth.  If that happens at least you will have lived one heck of a healthy month! 

Maybe some good habits can be created.  If you feel better after one month you know now to go to your doctor and explain just what you did to feel better.  This deserves some looking into.

Hope you feel better soon!

Do you make these 7 mistakes with your diabetes?

      The following can be very costly if you are a woman with diabetes.  I know they are mistakes because I’ve personally committed each and every one of them and suffered the consequences. 

1.  Forgetting to check blood sugar.

Find a way to remember to check at least 5 times a day for two weeks and it will be ingrained as a habit and something you are unlikely to forget.  I bought a watch with alarms that went off every hour.  Every time the alarm went off it triggered me to ask myself, “do I need to check my blood sugar?”  It worked great during my pregnancy

2.  Guessing as to what blood sugar levels are instead of checking and knowing what they are.

No matter how sure you are that you know what your blood sugar is by feeling it, you will sometimes be wrong.  This often leads to a severe low or high-one that can be avoided by just taking 10 seconds to check blood sugar. 

3.  Not rotating insulin shot or pump infusion sites.

I have so much scar tissue from not having rotated my pump infusion and injection sites which in turn impedes insulin absorption.  Oh and it also makes my arms seem thicker-something we women do NOT appreciate at all.

4.  Eating too much on the insulin pump just because it is so easy to hit those buttons.

I gained weight when I switched to the insulin pump after 7 years of using simple syringes.  7 years later I switched back to shots and lost weight.  If you get too tempted to snack because giving insulin is so convenient, think twice about staying on the pump.  Extra weight hurts us diabetics in more ways than one.

5.  Skipping yearly doctor visits.

Do make sure you get your eyes checked each year as well as your feet.  Also get your blood tested for the A1c and have your lipid profile, liver, and kidney functions tested.

6.  Being envious of non-diabetics.

Since this hurts more than helps you, try to limit to 5 seconds and then move on.  Feel grateful for insulin and the technologies which created the pump and the meter and be happy to be alive.  A hundred years ago your story would have been very different.

7.  Eating too many carbs.

This complicates your ability to control blood sugar.  If you are a type 2 diabetic, carbs are your worst enemy.  Try reducing the amount of carbs you eat by a small amount every week so you don’t feel the change so drastically.  Read more about why low carb is best for diabetics.

Like I said, I have been there, done that.  By avoiding the mistakes on this list I quickly lost weight, greatly improved my A1c, and made my life easier and much happier in general. 

You can, too!

Why should a girl care about what Bruce Lee had to say?


 

“One does not accumulate but eliminate.  It is not daily increase but daily decrease.  The height of cultivation always runs to simplicity.” 

~Bruce Lee

When I stumbled upon these words by Bruce Lee-master of martial arts and fascination to every man on earth, a light bulb went off. 

I realized I had been practicing this very idea with my diabetes management for some time.  Bruce Lee was right on with this.  Here’s why:

First off, I decided a while back to simplify the task of giving insulin by following a lower carbohydrate diet.  What I eliminated were some carbohydrates. 

This allows for less insulin administering and smaller scale errors afterwards.  It also translates into less time waiting for the insulin to work before eating.  Sometimes I eat something which I don’t have to give insulin for, depending on my blood sugar at the time and in that case there is less pain, too. 

All in all I eliminated a lot with one move. 

Another example is when I switched from using an insulin pump back to the humble syringe.  I wanted to eliminate the possible impediments of air in the tubing, a faulty insertion site, and a mishap with the computer of the pump itself.  Any of these issues would hurt my diabetes management (and frustrate me).  So I eliminated them. 

Left to use was a bottle of insulin and a syringe.  I draw up the exact dosage I need everytime and inject in a different spot (practicing good rotation).  Then I relish in the fact that I don’t have to worry about the insulin not reaching me for some reason.  And if I am not home I don’t have to worry about a problem with the pump-which would makes me return home to fix or take the time to inconveniently redo the site wherever I’m at. 

Simple, yet reliable.

These two changes alone have made my life so much easier AND have allowed me to take my A1c level to the 5% range.

Oh yes, and did I mention I lost weight?  It is more tempting to hit a button on the pump than pull out a needle and inject. 

So just think about this concept, you don’t have to try anything I have.  Just consider what you might simplify in your life.  Then joke with your guy about having something in common with Bruce Lee.  He’ll give you a strange look, but he’ll be listening.