Diabetes is one of the strangest diseases I’ve ever encountered. I must deal with my diabetes on a daily basis as well as the tangent issues it causes. Uncontrolled diabetes can cause a breakdown in circulation, blindness, high cholesterol, triglycerides, and many other circulatory problems. I recognize today that my four heart attacks and the following bypass surgery was a by-product of uncontrolled diabetes.
Food intake, stress, and infection are the major sources of out-of-control diabetes. The biggest thing I can do to control my diabetes is a constant watch of my food intake and get some physical activity into my life. Beware most doctors don’t know enough about the food issues to council you. They have possibly a two credit hour course of nutrition in their years of education. You do need a good dietitian to council you in your everyday choices. Yes you can still have a piece of pie occasionally but you must know how to adjust the rest of your day’s eating to allow for it. Uncontrolled diabetes will kill you. You must be the advocate who will keep you alive.
I have a problem following a regimented diet. I know from past experience that this won’t work for me. I did need to follow the regimentation to learn the ins and outs of what I eat and how it effects my daily life. Today I use a Bubba version of the Diabetic Exchange diet. It works for me and perhaps it will inspire you to think about variations to your diet that will improve your diet. The Weight Watchers point system is similar and will work if that trips your trigger.
I learned in the restaurant business that portion control is very important to insure a profit. Portion control in my new lifestyle is equally as important if I wish to get the desired results. Just as an example I once heard green beans were a free food. The next seven days I ate nothing but green beans, and I mean nothing else. After seven days my blood sugar was averaging over 200 (normal is between 75-120) and I had gained two pounds. You might ask why? Well I would eat three cans of green beans for breakfast, six cans of green beans for lunch, and an even dozen cans for supper. My two snacks for the day were a bag of frozen green beans each snack. I had to do this to understand that one cup of green beans per day is free, I must count the rest. Even the added exercise of walking to the john several times a day didn’t off set these extra calories.
I also found that a food journal was a very effective means of helping me understand my food intake. I must write every bite down to have an honest value and cause with affect. I must be honest. If I write two eggs they best be chicken eggs not Cadburry eggs. The food journal also helped me be creative in my choices. I love sandwiches and know I need ten to twelve bread exchanges per day to maintain my current weight. I quickly learned that a half cup of pasta, rice, potato equals one slice of bread. It made more sense to me in this perspective.
Let me share a typical day’s food to show you how well you can eat. This satisfies almost every need and most of my wants for a day. I will add a few comments to help with the reasoning of my choices. Eating like bird only means more frequent small meals, it works.
Breakfast is a bit Spartan by some standards but remember I’m only a few hours away from my main meal of the day. Two slices of twelve grain toast dry and a piece of fruit. Today it was a banana and I made it into a sandwich. I don’t normally drink juice for an important reason, four ounces of OJ is the same as a whole orange and I would rather have the volume as well as the fiber. Black Columbian coffee and ice water were the beverages of the morning.
Lunch today was a simple chicken casserole. I sauteed some diced boneless skinless chicken thighs with a few green peppers, mushrooms, onions, and a bit of celery added a can of low fat cream of celery soup. Serve about one fourth of this over a cup of rice that I made with chicken stock instead of water. The leftovers will reheat in the microwave for another meal. Enhance this with a green salad dressed with a balsamic vinaigrette. Beverage was an eight ounce glass of V-8, ice water, and black Columbian coffee.
Afternoon snack was Columbian Coffee and two Peanut butter oatmeal cookies.
Supper was an open face deli turkey sandwich on Pumpernickel toast, a cup of homemade chicken noodle soup, and a sliced tomato seasoned with garlic powder, dried basil, and fresh cracked black pepper. Beverage was ice water and Columbian coffee.
Evening snack was a bunch of ice cold green grapes, four ounces of a sharp white cheddar cheese, and a tall glass of diet Vernor’s Ginger ale.
Dining out is always a challenge. I was in the restaurant business and know the volume of food is always needed to reflect the price. This is why many fast foods want you to super size. When we are out to eat the responsible thing to do is ask for a to go box with your meal, put half of everything in the box immediately. Yes even the tiny piece of cheesecake you so richly deserve put half in the box or share it with someone. Moderation must be our mantra today.
I have found I can have a piece of pie, cake, even cheesecake if I adjust my intake the rest of the day. For me it only means eliminating a bread, a fruit, and a fat. Of course some additional physical activity wouldn’t hurt either. Yes even the Queen Goddess’ Chocolate Covered Cherry pie is an option but it must be about 1/12 of the pie instead of the traditional 1/6.
I’ve lost over fifty pounds following this lifestyle. I know I need to loose another one hundred pounds but this is progress not perfection. I feel better than I have in years but still am able to be satisfied on most days.