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Book Review: Your Diabetes Science Experiment

I firmly believe in telling the truth when I review a book or product and this post is no different.

There were particular changes I made to my diabetes management several years ago.  As a result, my blood sugars went from chronically high to very well managed.  Nerve pain in my feet and cramping in my legs ceased.  My kidney function returned to normal.  My head stepped out of a fog.  I had the clarity of mind and the physical and emotional energy to change my job, relationship, and diet.  My depression alleviated.  I’m much happier and healthier now, a wife, and a mother.  So it’s my opinion that getting my blood sugars managed was a completely life altering experience.  I now consider blood sugar management my top priority.

The steps I took, the reason that I have improved my blood sugars over the years had to do with a few basic ideas that I acted upon.  Recently I read Ginger Vieira’s book, “Your Diabetes Science Experiment” and practically jumped for joy when I finished it.  The very information that saved my life and changed it entirely for the better is in this book! This book does what every Endocrinologist should do, but doesn’t have time to do or doesn’t do because he or she doesn’t feel the info is relevant to share with patients. This book educates you on how the human body works in relation to insulin, stress, food, and exercise.  This book does not give you any unscientific nonsense.  Instead, the information in it, if taken seriously, has the potential to make your diabetes management what it needs to be.  Our reality is we need to avoid lows and highs.  We need to know how to manage our diabetes largely on our own.  We need to understand how our bodies work so that we can make our own adjustments quickly and accurately.  This book can help you do that.

The info in this book will empower you.  I find it incredibly useful to know for example, that a low uses up glycogen stores in my muscles and is therefore the reason that my post low blood sugar workout is going to make me feel like a wimp.  For someone who isn’t aware of this, they might be the person to say something like, “Sometimes I have energy for my workouts and sometimes I just don’t, there is no rhyme or reason, and it’s because I have diabetes.”  We need to empower ourselves with knowledge and get away from these general expressions that mean nothing.  They just reveal our vulnerability to the facts about the body and diabetes.  They also take away our power to foresee changes in our diabetes management which could otherwise be dealt with successfully or at least more successfully, more often.

I started this blog to share what I’ve learned the hard way over the years and tell you what has worked for me, just in the case it works for you.  Reading this book has confirmed what I do and why I do it.  It does much more however, as it gives you the full, clear, and organized explanation as to why something is the way that it is.  Ginger shoots from the head but is also quite warm and inspiring.  She is a record holding power lifter and uses the information in the book in her own life.  I appreciate the examples she provides in the book which have to do with her own experiences.  I also really appreciate her positive attitude and the clever metaphors she uses in order to make concepts easier to understand.

This isn’t a book published by a huge agency.  It’s not coming to you through the ADA.  I do however, wholeheartedly recommend it to you.  If you have money to buy only one book this year, make it this one.  And when you get the book, travel slowly through it.  Take your time soaking in the information and sit down with your own data to perform your own diabetes science experiments.  Seriously, do them.  As Ginger reminds us, the work involved is well worth it.  I have little adjustments that I do according to variances in my routine which took some time to get right but now that I have those adjustments, I don’t know what I’d do without them-because they work so well.

Diabetes management can be less of a puzzle.  Many don’t like me to say that I usually know why my blood sugars are what they are.  The old me wouldn’t have liked it, either.  Maybe you don’t want to read this book because the idea that there is a scientific reason behind each one of your blood sugar results seems unrealistic or far fetched.  I assure you it’s not.  I completely understand the place many people are in where they work very hard and don’t see the results they deserve.  It’s too bad that doctors never shared any of this information with me and that people like Ginger and I had to look it up and research it for ourselves.  It’s not your fault that your diabetes causes this cycle of ups and downs but the ability to improve your situation is in your hands.  I promise you can improve your diabetes management with the information in this book.

I have a lot of respect for someone who writes a book that has no BS factor and is altogether upbeat, hopeful, and honest.  Ginger, thank you for writing this book.  I did not know how I’d feel about it.  Instead, I was pleasantly surprised to find this book is a treasure and it is my strong hope that you’ll all read it.

You can buy the book here.  Check out Ginger’s website here.

Product Review: Lindsay Olives

lindsay olives

I got some free Lindsay Olives to try out from the company.  All I could think was, well I wonder if my husband and family will like them because I’m not going to eat them.  I don’t like olives.  Yet, in essence I’m a food lover so when the box arrived I thought, “ooh let’s see what these taste like”.  I’m one of those people who like most foods (the high quality version).  Olives however, are one of maybe three foods on earth that make me gag.  My mom makes a Christmas bread called “pan de jamón” which has pieces of ham, raisins, and olives baked inside.  It’s delicious except I must pick out the olives.  I hate them so much a tiny bit ruins the entire mouth of goodness.  A shame considering olives are full of antioxidants.

So anyway, I open up the box and find black olives and natural green olives.  I try the black first which are packed in a re-closeable tub for convenience.  Scared of what I will taste, I close my eyes and place one on my tongue.  “Hmm…no vinegary taste”  Then I chew.  “Hmm…this doesn’t taste bad…very mild…”  Then I have another.  “Oh yeah…these are good!”  Before I know it I’ve had 10.  Uh oh, how much insulin do I need to give for this…”whaat? that’s it?  these barely have any carbs!”  I don’t have to give insulin!  Nice!

Then my husband comes home and I offer him some.  He says everything is “good”-even really good stuff.  So I know what I need to do.  I need to watch him.  1, 4, 5, 8…he keeps eating them like candy.  So I guess they’re more than ok.  Something you must know about my Alex is when he doesn’t like something a lot, he truly doesn’t eat it.  He was born with a self-restraint that bewilders me and it’s why he is thin, I swear.

Then I try the natural green ripe olives that come in a can.  They are packed in water and only contain a little bit of added sea salt and as a plus contain no preservatives or color additives.  I try one and melt.  “Alex!  OMG I didn’t know I loved olives!”  He congratulates me and joins in the eating.  The green are our favorite.  We finished the entire can of green olives that afternoon.  They are nothing like those olives that are so strong they overwhelm your whole mouth.  They are nothing like the rubbery and slimy olives found in your martini.  These are REAL.  And I wouldn’t say so if it weren’t true.  I have no tolerance for bad quality, boring snacks and if this was a review for Nabisco cookies, it would not be favorable.  I’m looking for indulgent snacks like these olives to ease my carb counting throughout the week and keep processed foods away from me.

For those of us trying to avoid gluten, olives are naturally gluten free and contain no soy or lactose. 

If you don’t like olives but suspect you might if they were milder and treated as nature intended, then try these.  If you already like olives, oh my are you in for a treat! 

I had my parents and brother try these and they all liked them.  They like how these olives were very tender instead of tough.  My 12 year old brother ate them like grapes.  My mom enjoyed their mild flavor.  Someone like my dad who appreciates a strong olive would probably really like some of the other Lindsay Olive varietals they sell.  I didn’t know but there are many different types of olives ranging from mild tasting to strong tasting.  Do you like wine?  Olives are a nice low carb accompaniment. 

Don’t forget about foods like these.  I always tell people that we can start breaking away from the traditional indulgent foods like mac and cheese and ice cream and try upgrading to whole foods like avocados, almonds, and now olives.  Mouth is still happy, but body is even happier. 

My only complaint is I can’t get these at a grocer near me, yet.  Luckily I can order online.

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