Warning: Health matters. Boring. But I'll post some pics of my flowers to relieve the monotony.
In February, my diabetes had gotten out of control, and I felt lousy. My A1C was 10, which meant my average blood glucose level was around 250 to 275, depending on which chart you consult. I had low energy, and I didn't walk well. Last fall, I'd gone off glyburide because it wasn't helping, and my BGs were always above 200—sometimes 300. I cut my carb consumption a bit, but apparently not enough.
I signed myself up for a diabetes class, which was a major waste of time and filled with misinformation
. I eventually dropped out
, but I read a few books that maybe saved my life. At least they improved it. Those books, which I've mentioned upstream in this blog, are Wheat Belly, by William Davis, MD
, and two books by Gary Taubes—Good Calories, Bad Calories
and Why We Get Fat
Since making some changes in medication and what I eat (or don't eat), I've gotten better. A lot better
. I started taking Prandin, which didn't cause me the problems that other diabetes drugs had in the past. (Years ago, Metformin caused bad muscle aches; Januvia put me in the hospital with breathing problems plus high blood pressure, Glyburide didn't seem to help and occasionally made me shaky.) I cut my carb intake severely and eliminated certain foods that might be a problem.
My A1C dropped to 7.3. That means an average BG level of 163-183 (depending on which chart, etc.). I've dropped 20 pounds. My energy level is higher. My cholesterol levels have improved slightly. HDL has gone up; LDL has gone down.
I can walk faster and for longer periods of time. My balance is better. My leg pains are mostly gone. I still have trouble sitting for more than a half hour, so long car rides are out of the question for a while. I've noticed that I can almost make it to Roanoke before numbness and tingling start in my hands and feet. If I can stop and walk around a bit every 40 miles or so, I'm OK.
What I try not to eat?
: This meant giving up bread, pasta, etc. I'd already cut way back, so this wasn't much of a problem. Once in a while, I allow myself a cookie, but it has to be a really good
cookie. Problem: wheat is in so many things, so I can't eliminate it entirely. But eliminating most wheat also eliminated my acid reflux and occasional bloating.
Potatoes and rice
: I gave these up long ago. Potatoes—besides spiking my BGs—gave me bad muscle cramps. Sweet potatoes didn't give me muscle cramps, but my BGs shot upward when I ate them, so they had to go. Rice has always spiked my BGs.
High fructose corn syrup
: This stuff is in so many things, though, that I still ingest some. But not as much as I used to.
Most processed/prepackaged foods
: I've given up the convenience of microwave foods that have all sorts of additives. I'm trying to eliminate additives—especially high fructose corn syrup.
: Aspartame gives me bad back-of-the head headaches, so I eliminated that long ago. Others, such as Splenda, raise my BGs substantially—just like sugar does.
: Fruit is sugar, and it raises my BGs considerably. I occasionally eat blueberries or strawberries, but not very often. When the apples on my tree are ripe, I'll eat an apple while I am walking around.
: Margarine is something I avoid. Ditto many oils (What the heck is a canola anyhow?).
: Thanks to Monsanto, the soybeans planted in the USA are Round-Up resistant. I don't care to eat Pesticides. Like wheat, though, soy seems to be in a lot of things.
—either regular (sugar/HRCS laden) or diet (artificial sweeteners). I eliminated soda from my diet years ago. I don't miss it.
What do I eat?
: I love broccoli and cauliflower. Ditto the kale and mustard greens I grow in my little garden. I also eat cabbage, eggplant, brussel sprouts, yellow squash, zucchini, spinach, green beans, and a few other low-carb veggies. Kale chips
are my favorite snack.
: A minimum of three a day.
: Especially steak or other red meat, which is loaded with nutrients. And bacon. Every morning begins with a bacon and eggs breakfast. I occasionally eat chicken but rarely more than once a week.
Butter, olive oil, and coconut oil.
: Black. Three to four cups a day. Maybe more. Sometimes tea.
: Satisfies my taste for something fizzy. I like LaCroix and Perrier.
A little ice cream:
Preferably natural flavor with a high fat content and few additives.
: But just a few a day.
Basically, I eat few carbs and more fat and protein. I don't count calories, just carbs. I always have a full plate at each meal and eat until I'm satisfied. Because I eat high fat, I rarely get hungry between meals. (I do not
follow the American Diabetes Association's advice to eat according to the food pyramid
Do I exercise?
I don't go to the Y or a gym. I consider activity—such as housework, gardening, yardwork, and horse/dog walking—as my exercise.
I've bounced back considerably in less than four months, but I still have a way to go yet.