Well, I guess folks like me because I have been hearing this a lot lately, just wondering how I am doing with this latest little development in my overall health. Primarily, the diabetes thing. Well, I think I’m doing fairly well, actually. Have gotten past the whole “why me?” sort of self pity party that comes when you get some big news like that. It did affect me for awhile, I will admit, a sort of heavy weight that just plopped down on my chest and refused to leave without being formally recognized. I did what I always do when confronted with something like that, I started to read, educate and learn as much as I could about the situation. Spent a lot of time at websites, got a few good books, just learned all I could on the disease.
Was given a blood sugar meter by some friends with a bunch of supplies and a funny lesson on how to use it. (It’s a long story, but still… it was kind of funny.) Started to test daily, a couple times a day and found it to be very depressing as it was often just way too high and wildly fluctuating. But then, that pretty much summed up my diet and way of life.
I got on the American Diabetes Association website and found it to be super good and informative. I found a diet there for a woman, my age, wanting to loose weight. With all these diabetes diets, they use a diet exchange program, that counts carbs primarily. One carb exchange is 15 grams of carbohydrate. For me it said that I could have up to 13 carbs a day, spread out, say 3.5 carbs a meal and then two to use for snacks. Up to 3 fruits a day, 6 dairy, pretty much unlimited veggies and 3 meat exchanges. Well, I decided that 13 was too much, so I went with 10… 3 carbs a meal and one for a snack. That way if I went over one or two, I was still under the recommended levels and if I could live with 10, that would be even better. And after watching a few movies/documentaries on health, I am also convinced that too much dairy and meat is really not good for you. So I’m trying to keep my dairy down to 3 a day and meat down to 2. I am writing down everything I eat… everything, even when I’m bad. (Which I have been a time or two, but still, over the last three weeks, I’ve been so darn good, I think I can be forgiven for that donut and a BIG sip of regular pop I canoodled out of Maggie. She is weak… hahah…. oh, well, I am more!)
So… my daily diet goes something like this…
2 eggs, a piece of toast, a fruit juicing of apples or peaches, maybe an orange
couple slices of ham or turkey lunchmeat, a big salad with veggies and fruits and coutons for crunch, maybe a pulp cookie*
popcorn or a piece of fruit, maybe some veggies cut up, maybe a pulp cookie…
A portion of chicken or pork or beef, veggies (try for two) and maybe a potato, or some noodles, cottage cheese or salad
A slice of bread and peanut butter, perhaps fruit, perhaps a juiced veggie/fruit drink, pulp cookie, cottage cheese, slice of cheese…
Seems to be working for me. A lot of the time I am 8 carbs or less. I’m even learning how to eat out, say Chinese or a diner, I just make sure I look for veggie loaded things, and say a chicken or fish dish, since I am not a good fish cook, so eating it out makes it much more delightful. Watch the whole bread/carb thing.
I’ve also really been reading up on the whole theory of glycemic indexes in foods and that makes a whole lot of sense to me. Rather than eating foods with processed sugar/corn syrup/white flour, I’m sticking with whole foods, whole wheat and really avoiding rice. I found that white rice really seems to knock me for a loop, where noodles made with semolina flour are much more tolerable. In fact, I found this pasta called Dreamfields that is recommended by the ADA and is really good and super low carb, yet tastes just like normal pasta. It’s awesome! I love pasta, so that really floats my boat for sure. And it’s not that much more than say a good brand of pasta.
Apparently, the best thing for a diabetic is to have a nice slight rise in sugar/carb intake through a meal than to say dump 5 carbs worth of pop into a dry stomach and then fast for 6 hours. And foods that have a low GI rating take longer for the stomach to break down into sugars. So it makes a lot of sense. 15 grams of pop which is pure easy to digest liquid is much different than 15 grams of whole wheat bread, which takes the digestive system much longer to break down and use as sugar. This slower process gives the body more time to regulate the sugar with insulin.
And I’ve also read and found to be logical, that certain foods eaten in order are better for you. Starting your meal with just a tablespoon of fat, say a small piece of cheese, will trigger the stomach to close down because it fears all the food will be fatty. And then followed by veggies, fresh, say a salad or coleslaw or crunchy carrots etc, will fill up the stomach and are harder to digest than say mushy steamed veggie or mashed potatoes. Setting your fork down between every bite slows you down and allows the body to reach that 15 minute “I’m full” level. Eating your meat/dairy/carbs after generally makes you satisfied with less, more with the taste than the bulk. And then if you want something sweet, make it a DESSERT… put a small yet delightful bit of sweet on top of it all and chances are it will not freak out your bloodstream and will leave you feeling happy for that little treat. Never dump sugar in your body on an empty stomach. Make sure it’s the last thing down so it gets to be in the whole meal mix and doesn’t spike your blood sugar.
So, yah, if you’re diabetic or live with one, this is probably nothing new, but it was pretty good stuff to me. And it’s working. I have dropped my blood sugar average down 50 points and have lost 10 pounds. Feel awesome for the most part, just a little tired at times because my poor old body was SO used to near constant sugar and carb overload for fast energy that now it’s having to deal with like 75% less!!! I’ve been told it might take a month or two before that feeling goes away. I’ve noticed that my skin is cleaning up considerably, especially my psoriasis. And I’ve been sleeping better, and just have been really feeling good. Focus is better, just feel more, alive? Active? I couldn’t believe all we got done this week, I just felt great even working in the near 90 degree weather. I love naps but to be honest, I didn’t take one all week yet!!! (I think I’m due one tomorrow afternoon though… in the hammock…. yeah….)
Haven’t had the A1C test yet, and I’m not on any drugs yet. Am waiting for an appointment through the cheap clinic, have to finish a ton of paperwork first. I am testing my fasting blood sugar every day. Three weeks ago it was wild from 270 to 350 fasting. Now, its between 220 and 240. I know its still high, but I am super enthused that just a few weeks of flying straight and eating good, carefully has shown such a good improvement. And what I really like is that even 2 hours after a good meal, it only goes up about 100 points where the first week it would go sky high easily. So there must be something to this careful eating, watching the carbs closely, laying the food in the stomach in a good way, and watching portions carefully. And lots of good exercise.
And the best part??? A York peppermint patty is only 1 carb!!! Yahoooooo! (Those are my most favorite candies in the world and I am so happy that I can actually have one here and there, or heck even every day if I am a good girl and allow for it.) Right now if I come to the end of the day at dinner under 7 carbs then a York patty is my reward for desert. Life is pretty darn good!!!!
And I began to think… if I hadn’t have been in pain, and gone to the ER, this other issue might never have been found until it was too late. It was a true blessing in disguise. Sure, I really didn’t need a $5,000 ER bill. (Which hopefully, I will be able to qualify for a few reductions through income programs and such….) but still, I could have easily ended up in a coma or with a heart attack, dead as a doornail. Everything has a silver lining and I think that I may have just dodged a major bullet. I am thankful that I have the chance to work on this, be a good girl and get my life in order. I got a whole lot more living to do for sure!!!!
Sherri’s Super Awecious Juicer Pulp Oatmeal Cookies
1/4 cup melted butter
1/4 cup white flour
1/4 cup whole wheat flour
1/4 to 1/2 cup granular sweetener
(Use what you like… I like brown sugar best, and about 3/8 a cup… 1/2 cup is too sweet, but 1/4 is a little too, ah, not sweet… haha…)
1 cup quick oats
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon or more of cinnamon (Cinnamon is being found to really help with your blood sugar!)
1 cup of juicer pulp (apple, carrot, peach, plum, grapes, anything!)
1/2 cup of chopped nuts (walnuts are awesome)
Mix all the first ingredients up, stirring after each one. Get it all nice and good and batter like and then add the last two, the pulp and the nuts. Super simple to stir up. Will be sort of sticky, a little gooey. Either spread in a pan to about 1/2 inch thick, like a small cookie pan, or use a scoop to make individual cookies.
Bake for 15 to 20 minutes at 350 degrees until they are dense but feel done. I used a light spray of cooking oil spray.
These are really heavy, dense and satisfying cookies. Moist and super good. They feel like you are SO cheating, but they are filled with super good stuff, oatmeal leaves you very content and is a low GI food. And the fruit, yummy!
I calculated the entire batch of cookies with nuts and brown sugar as my sweetener to be 230 grams of carb. I usually get 18 cookies from the batch, so that makes each one 12.7 grams or lets call it 15, or one carb exchange. If you make them smaller, you can get 2 cookies for each carb exchange! And if you drop the sweetner to 1/4 cup, you can lower the over all carb count of the batch by 20 grams. (So you can have more cookies for the same old carb exchange!!!) Just count how many you end up with and divide by either 230 or 210 depending on how much sweetener you use. If you use something low sugar like an artificial sweetener (Splenda?) then you can take away 45 grams and add whatever your sweetener is, to the grand total. I haven’t tried that yet because I’m not a big fan of those other sweeteners.
I fiddled around with an old oatmeal cookie recipe I had for years and adapted it to work out nice, taste good and just give me that feeling of a sweet cookie treat. With the carrot in the mix they almost taste like a super good carrot cake. I bet you could dribble a wee bit of cream cheese icing to make them super special. Just a wee bit.
And it’s awesome to use that good fruit and veggie pulp for something so good!!! Nothing is wasted!!!