Sherri’s Life Diet Program…
( Folks have been asking, so I thought I would just write it out and pop it down here. Your results may vary. It’s helping me greatly. And there is always room for continued improvement…. )
It’s really pretty simple. Since I learned that most diabetics use a carb system, where they count “carbs” over the day, I decided that I would use that.
In this system, every 15 grams of carb – ONE carb count.
And they said a normal diet would consist of 8 to 10 carbs a day.
(Of course, I’ve heard some say that is too much and not enough and so on and so on.)
So… I decided that 6 carbs would be my limit. 5 would be a good day!
It’s relatively easy to avoid carbs for breakfast. Eggs are a good thing. I do eat a lot of eggs because we always have a lot of eggs. And I like to add some sausage or bacon or ham and veggies to my scrambled eggs if possible. And cheese. A nice big omelet can be like NO carbs. Ditch the toast and you’ve got a winner.
Now, I love all breakfast foods, so sometimes I do have a bagel and cream cheese. Sometimes I have pancakes!!! Or French toast. But I will just have two small pancakes. Or one slice of french toast. Or ONE biscuit with a little sausage gravy. I really watch my portions. And I eat SLOW. I often will take a bite, and set the fork down and then chew and wait and then take another bite.
Portions seem to really be HUGE with diabetes…
I will have a WEE bit of syrup with my pancakes or french toast. I just count it as a carb count. Sometimes, I will add fresh strawberries or blueberries to my pancakes and that way I get a better sweetness and I just go SUPER light on the syrup.
(Just a word… I know there are lots of fake sugars out there… but to be honest, I hate the idea of all the weird chemicals and such of them. And the taste. So I prefer to go with the best natural things I can and just really limit them and try and be super careful. It’s your choice, but to be honest, the only fake sugar I take in is from the occasional diet soda. (Just because I love the bubbles and kick and all. But even with diet soda, I really try to limit that to a couple servings a week MAX…..)
I try to eat a small snack between meals. I always try to have veggies first, then dairy, then meat. Snacks are for the most part not allowed to be SWEET or CARB.
Lunch is small, and I really try to load up on veggies. Salads mostly. But I usually will have at least one or two carbs for lunch. Could be two slices of bread. Or maybe some Dreamfields pasta and sauce. Even maybe a baked potato now and then. I find that I need the carb in the daytime to keep feeling fueled. I tried doing no carbs till as late I could stand it and I felt just really drained. Carbs are the power juice of life! We need them… you just don’t need 27 carb units a day! haha…
(I cringe to think of how many “carbs” I would have taken in during my old life. I drank a LOT of pop. Honest. Probably half a liter a day. Through the day. Just 12 ounces of pop is like 40+ grams of sugar, so that is like ah, 3 carb units. And let’s face it, who drinks just 12 ounces when you’re a pop freak? Then throw in processed foods which have a lot of sugar and carbs…. fast food…. yikes!!!)
Dinner, I usually eat a nice normal dinner. Again, veggies max… then light on the meat and dairy with some good carbs.
My carb choices are usually as follows…. Whole grains first then potatoes then Dreamfield pasta (lowest glycemic index and highly recommended for diabetics and taste great!) then regular pasta and lastly.. rice. Rice really seems to blow my sugar out of whack. So I really rarely have it. It’s just not a good choice for me. When you are diabetic, some things are so so with your blood sugar and others are WOW and they can have the same carb count. I highly recommend that you read about glycemic index values of foods… that really seems to help me a lot. I try to reach for low glycemic foods first. They are very slowly absorbed into your blood stream, rather than fast and that is so much better for your body to control your sugar.
If I have been good during the day, and IF I really am craving a sweet, I will always have a very small something RIGHT after dinner. I never eat sweets on an empty stomach. Never. I might eat a carb that way (though I try not to….) but sweets? Candy, ice cream, cake, whatever? Never on an empty stomach.
I read an interesting study about how our body reacts to food. (I read a lot! haha) Whatever you send down the pipe first is what triggers the body to react. So, if you throw down veggies or meat, the body says, oh, no big deal and sends a modest amount of insulin to react with the food. If you say, drink sugar pop on an empty stomach, the body freaks out and over reacts. Now, the body stops reacting to the input of food after about 15-20 minutes. And after that point, your blood sugar will be what it’s going to be. Pretty much. (Of course, downing that triple scoop fudge sundae might mess with things, but say something like a slim slice of cheesecake or a mint patty or even a small scoop of ice cream will pretty much not be digested and registered as well on a nice full stomach of salad and beans and a piece of baked chicken, etc. Most average people do not completely process all food that enters their body. If we did, our poop would be little pellets and not, well, ah, just not little pellets… So I always try and solve that “dessert” craving RIGHT away… and just go as lightly as I can. And buddy, I enjoy it. I savor each bite. I let it linger. It’s your reward for being good and you don’t want to just gulp it and not really enjoy it!
And I always am on the lookout for good treats. Like, take Lifesavers for example. Or a small hard candy. One Lifesaver is hardly anything. It’s like 2 grams of carb. So that is like 1/7th of a “carb” unit. If I REALLY need a sweet taste, I will pop a Lifesavers candy and suck on it for a good long while. It gives you the sweet taste for a good while, but not the real sweet reaction of a piece of cake. Most small candies are like that. To get to a full carb count (15 grams) you have to eat like 3 or 4. Or more. So I eat ONE. And slowly! Enjoy.
I try not to eat bigger sweets too often in a week. So say, I have two of Maggie’s wonderful chocolate chip cookies after lunch on Monday. I will try to refrain from something like that until Wednesday or Thursday if I can. I’ll go with a hard candy if I absolutely need a sweet finish to a meal. That way when I really really want something like a slice of a friend’s birthday cake, I can do it and not feel bad at all. I just watch the next day or two. You gotta enjoy life! And if you’re doing good most of the day, a reward just makes it feel less like some dreadful thing and instead it rewards you for being good and healthy!
That’s pretty much all I do. I try to eat 6 or less carbs a day. I try to make breakfast 1 carb or less. Lunch is 2 carbs… and then 3 for dinner. If you like a bigger meal at lunch, then switch it. 3 carbs at lunch and 2 at dinner. If it’s a special day I might do 7 carbs. But then I try and make it 5 the next. I only count carbs. (Because nutritional packaging makes sugars into the carbs….) And I really try to stay with things like whole grains, whole fruits and veggies, and whole meats.
What is a “whole” food? Simply, I call a whole food something that is recognizable as it’s base thing. IE, an apple. A banana. A carrot. A slice of beef. I try and avoid processed meats, for example. Hot dogs, lunch meat, sausage, bacon are meats that are often messed with and have added ingredients and even carbs. So I go sparingly with those. I wouldn’t have sausage at breakfast and bacon in a sandwich at lunch and then hot dogs for dinner. We like a lot of chicken, turkey and pork. Sliced up and cut up and roasted. Simple. Whole foods are often simple foods.
My liquid intake is usually in this order of choice. Water, then ice tea, then diet soda. I rarely rarely drink commercial juice. It’s worse than sugar pop. The only fruit juice I will drink is from a juicer, and from a whole fruit. (An apple juiced or strawberries, etc.) Take a look at the nutritional label, oh my gosh, it’s amazing. I am trying to cut back on diet soda to just 2 or 3 cans a week. Some weeks, I do it. Some weeks I need a little more. It’s mostly the caffeine and bubbles and the soda sensation that I crave. So I try and make it more a treat. I rarely drink coffee. I make my pitcher of ice tea every day or two… Half gallon of hot water, two regular tea bags… when done seeping, I add just under 1/4 a cup of sugar. (I’ve tried 1/8th and it’s just not quite right and 1/4th is a bit too much.) I always drink it with a huge serving of ice and I count my tea as one carb a day. Usually, I drink about a quart of it over a day. It’s really weak and mild but it’s just perfect for me. And I get a lot of water with it.
In the beginning, I would write down everything I ate and tallied up the carb units. But now, I don’t because I’ve just become pretty routine with it. If I start to see blood sugar counts a little whacky, I go back to counting and writing it down. Usually I will find that I overdid it a bit with each meal, and then I back down on serving size and that usually gets things back in whack.
Every so often, I just don’t worry to death over it. If I really want to have McDonalds with friends… I do. If I really want a piece of cake or an ice cream, I do. I just make sure that I cut back the next 4 or 5 meals and go lightly. Carefully. I’ll even skip a meal if I don’t feel hungry. I do try to make sure I eat small meals and snacks throughout the day at a fairly regular routine, though, as I have read that is much better than binge and skipping meals with your blood sugar.
I try not to eat past 9 o’clock in the evening. I think your body needs a rest and a chance to digest and work through the day’s food. And since I tend to be a late riser, I usually don’t eat breakfast until 9 or 10 am. I’ve just heard that in general, that is a good thing for your body. And it keeps me from being bad.
I’m not a doctor, I’m not a nurse. I am someone that reads a lot and tries to weigh all that I discover with a common sense, easy way that works for me. My life is too full to be weighing and counting and laboring over every single drop of food in my life. I know that before I started this, my blood sugar was way way out of whack, dangerously so. High 400’s. After a year of getting into this newer way of eating, my average is now around 200. Still high, but cut by 50%. I have room for continued improvement. I am on no medications, no insulin. I moved my A1C from 10.7 to 8.2. Getting better every test. I don’t do a regular exercise routine, but I have a small farm and I try to do a lot of walking, gardening, moving heavy feed and hay bales around and that sort of thing. Every day. I’ve just started to do yoga, very gentle, easy stretching with a couple DVDs I like. I always feel great after I use those for 15 or 20 minutes in my day. I would like to add swimming to my routine, maybe once or twice a week, but I haven’t found a nearby place to do so, year round. I have a bad knee and swimming is very relaxing and less of a strain on it for me.
I hope this helps… it has sure worked for me.
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