Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Infographic: Surprising Downward Trend in BS


___ Refusing The Needle: A Diabetic’s Natural Journey To Kick-Ass Health by Russell Stamets ebook available for all devices at https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/145608 and for kindle at http://www.amazon.com/dp/B007P6L5C4 tags: type 1, type 2, autoimmune, diabetes, lada, natural, alternative, diet, supplements, acupuncture, meditation, lifestyle
10/26/11 thru 11/30/11 (pre and post layoff)

Follow my Gut?

Wow. Is this role reversal for my mind and my body? For the last year, my mind has been trying to convince my body to settle down. It’s been broadcasting soothing logic mantras, telling my gut, and pancreas in particular, that none of the nonsense of the day job meant anything in the big picture. But my gut has generally said “Baloney!” as stress incidents rolled over us, and reacted anyway, spiking blood sugar no matter what calming spin machine message was broadcast from the upper mind office.

So what gives now? Laid off nearly 3 weeks ago, with daunting lists of legitimate reasons to freak out…but now it’s my body saying “Chill.” My blood sugar readings are dropping to a new lower level even while my mind is a little wild-eyed and dis-oriented. My gut is calmly taking the lead, relieved and unburdened, telling me with these daily readings, more powerful than words, to be thankful. Somehow, this body knows, without any flicker of doubt, that expulsion from that organization, a widening pit of fear and devastated morale, is a gift.

So I’ll follow my gut. We’ve got a new trust thing going on any way. My body finally trusts me to stick with this regimen and not pour garbage into it. And I’ve learned to hear my body. It’s definitely a team strong enough to climb the challenge mountain ahead. It’s is nice to look up for a change. The light and air are far improved from the pit. And I think I understand what my body’s telling me – sometimes an unknown road ahead is better than the one where the dead end is clear.





___
Refusing The Needle: A Diabetic’s Natural Journey To Kick-Ass Health by Russell Stamets
ebook available for all devices at https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/145608
and for kindle at http://www.amazon.com/dp/B007P6L5C4
tags: type 1, type 2, autoimmune, diabetes, lada, natural, alternative, diet, supplements, acupuncture, meditation, lifestyle

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Judge Not


___ Refusing The Needle: A Diabetic’s Natural Journey To Kick-Ass Health by Russell Stamets ebook available for all devices at https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/145608 and for kindle at http://www.amazon.com/dp/B007P6L5C4 tags: type 1, type 2, autoimmune, diabetes, lada, natural, alternative, diet, supplements, acupuncture, meditation, lifestyle
Photo courtesy of Marion Doss

It’s the title of an early Bob Marley tune. This simple two-word rule might be all you need in your battle with stress. You are battling stress, aren’t you? Not just for diabetes of course. Stress kills. If not directly, it’s indicted for multiple chronic inflammatory diseases. Stress is trickier than any other component of healing. You can’t eliminate it by conscious choice. Understanding it intellectually doesn’t really help. You can’t will yourself to chill. And the real kicker is that even if you don’t feel stressed, your body can still be suffering damage from it.

Libraries full of books, medical professional buildings full of psychologists, ashrams full of gurus,  and a multi-billion dollar pharmaceutical industry all provide answers to the stress problem. I would charitably assume that every one of these must’ve actually provided a solution for somebody at some time. But I know for a fact that any sustainable solution involves some proactive work by the stressee. And among all the exercises, meditation practices, and the rest, the most powerful tip is probably the simple mandate to quit being judgmental.

I was sorry, in a way, when it became apparent how critical this is. I’ve always been quite good at judging others. It was a skill to be proud of, maybe even one of those self-defining pillars. But no more - at least not the proud or defining part. It’ll probably take years, if ever, before I can say I never slip. Still, 90% less judgmental has huge payoffs. It’s cut the angry, sad, pained, vindictive, and all such ugly moments that arise from it. Those moments are prime stress drivers.

I’m saying you can’t directly will a reduction in stress; but, you can consciously begin to limit your judgmental tendencies. A little less fist pounding when cut off in traffic will, in itself, be well received by your head and gut. If, simultaneously, you begin treating your body with some respect in terms of what you put in it, you can spark a beneficial feedback loop. Because a less stressed body is “calmer” at a cellular or gut level and less likely to suggest fist pounding.




___
Refusing The Needle: A Diabetic’s Natural Journey To Kick-Ass Health by Russell Stamets
ebook available for all devices at https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/145608
and for kindle at http://www.amazon.com/dp/B007P6L5C4
tags: type 1, type 2, autoimmune, diabetes, lada, natural, alternative, diet, supplements, acupuncture, meditation, lifestyle


Friday, November 18, 2011

Codetalkers


___ Refusing The Needle: A Diabetic’s Natural Journey To Kick-Ass Health by Russell Stamets ebook available for all devices at https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/145608 and for kindle at http://www.amazon.com/dp/B007P6L5C4 tags: type 1, type 2, autoimmune, diabetes, lada, natural, alternative, diet, supplements, acupuncture, meditation, lifestyle
We diabetics are totally defined by numbers and acronyms. It’s quite a shorthand between us.

One says,” How’s your day?”
“122”, I reply.
“Nice! Seems controlled.  A1c?”
“5.8”
“Hell, no wonder you’re smiling. Still doing it all with diet and lifestyle?”
“Yep.”
“And you said you were LADA, right?”
“Yeah, C-peptide and GAD both confirmed it.”
“And no insulin?”
“No pump, no pen, no needle, not ever if I can help it.”
“You know they say that’s impossible?”
“I know. I’m either ignored, a liar, or anecdotal.”
“Ouch. Harsh. But I’M listening.”
“Cool. That’s my hope. One person, one chat at a time…”




___
Refusing The Needle: A Diabetic’s Natural Journey To Kick-Ass Health by Russell Stamets
ebook available for all devices at https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/145608
and for kindle at http://www.amazon.com/dp/B007P6L5C4
tags: type 1, type 2, autoimmune, diabetes, lada, natural, alternative, diet, supplements, acupuncture, meditation, lifestyle

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

We interrupt your regularly scheduled programming...


firing squad photo by IMLS DCC

Beginnings… again. The universe knows I’m a problem solver, and has decided I’m not challenged enough.

I’ve been given the opportunity to experience the Great American Layoff firsthand. I wish I could say that the shortsighted axing of Education resources within an organization was new or surprising. In Healthcare specifically, only those that boldly restructure, making social networking and mobile communication the source of patient-service interaction, will survive. No point dwelling on the others, not much to learn. In a fearful knee-jerk, they shoot themselves in the foot, when there are miles yet to walk.

What I do best, and now seek another venue in which to do it, is communicate. I leverage the experience that only a little gray and facility with web presence tools can give. I craft a message with wit, humor, and punch, for the specific target audience. 
If you or someone you know needs a resource like me, please refer.

For various reasons, mostly distrust of Zuckerberg, Facebook is the last holdout for me in terms of significant online presence tools. The urgency of a job hunt makes it imperative to utilize its reach, so now I will hopefully be liked and friend-ed. You have, for a while now, been able to find me on LinkedIn (check for resume detail), Twitter (@russellstamets), Google+ (Russell Stamets), my blog (russellstamets.blogspot.com), my you-tube channel (russellstamets) or of course quaint old email (russell.stamets@gmail.com).

If you don’t follow already, and care to look, you’ll notice that my focus for the last year has been on a diabetes advocacy project. Facebook updates are likely to point in that same direction.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Infographic: Insulin Use

___ Refusing The Needle: A Diabetic’s Natural Journey To Kick-Ass Health by Russell Stamets ebook available for all devices at https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/145608 and for kindle at http://www.amazon.com/dp/B007P6L5C4 tags: type 1, type 2, autoimmune, diabetes, lada, natural, alternative, diet, supplements, acupuncture, meditation, lifestyle





___
Refusing The Needle: A Diabetic’s Natural Journey To Kick-Ass Health by Russell Stamets
ebook available for all devices at https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/145608
and for kindle at http://www.amazon.com/dp/B007P6L5C4
tags: type 1, type 2, autoimmune, diabetes, lada, natural, alternative, diet, supplements, acupuncture, meditation, lifestyle


Thursday, November 10, 2011

Mind the Roadies

___ Refusing The Needle: A Diabetic’s Natural Journey To Kick-Ass Health by Russell Stamets ebook available for all devices at https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/145608 and for kindle at http://www.amazon.com/dp/B007P6L5C4 tags: type 1, type 2, autoimmune, diabetes, lada, natural, alternative, diet, supplements, acupuncture, meditation, lifestyle
photo by Mike Schmid
Stress has to be mentioned in and around almost every aspect of controlling or curing diabetes or any other chronic inflammatory disease. Stress may be the trigger, as is probably the case with my LADA. It will most certainly exacerbate any condition and prevent healing. No drug, supplement, or single approach can tackle this toughest component. Reducing stress will probably mean going even further than remodeling your lifestyle. Odds are, you’re going to have to remodel your life. And that means taking a hard look at how you interact with everyone around you.

You can’t forget your fellow travelers. Spouse/partner, family, friends -- they’re all along for the ride. They’re only doing it for you. And you can’t do it without them. So what are they getting for this trip they didn’t choose? You, living longer? Let’s assume they want that. But do they want the same old asshole, only now who’s more self-absorbed? OK, relax, if you’re saying “I’m not an asshole”, I’ll take your word for it. But the point is, maybe these folks deserve a little more return on their investment. As disclaimered often, I’m reporting from one perspective, that of a 50-something, Texas-born, (ex)beer-guzzling, sarcastic, all-about-me kind of guy. For me, it’s about becoming a little kinder, because that will reduce stress, both on my body, and on those around me.

Your challenge may be opposite, but equally difficult. Maybe you’re too kind, too self-sacrificing. Different source, but it produces the same stress that’s killing you and affecting your world of those that care. Both your body and your community will breathe easier to see you take charge of yourself and just do whatever it takes. The benefits of your drastic lifestyle changes will far outweigh any confusion, concern, or inconvenience to anyone. Know that it stresses anyone out to be around a victim. And I’ll repeat often, you can’t succeed at this if you haven’t sent your victim packing.

Now if you’re neither an asshole or a victim, the cause of your stress may be from being a little too perfect, and we’ll need more than the space allotted here to walk you through your penance.



___
Refusing The Needle: A Diabetic’s Natural Journey To Kick-Ass Health by Russell Stamets
ebook available for all devices at https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/145608
and for kindle at http://www.amazon.com/dp/B007P6L5C4
tags: type 1, type 2, autoimmune, diabetes, lada, natural, alternative, diet, supplements, acupuncture, meditation, lifestyle

Saturday, November 5, 2011

You Know We’re All Addicts, Right?

You don’t really need proof like this Bloomberg article, do you? We openly admit that nicotine, caffeine, and alcohol are addictive. But fat and sugar? Well, duh! How else could you explain the voluntary slow suicide so much of our race is engaged in? Our irrational consumption of french fries and milkshakes is identical to the smoker or alcoholic or crack user. Of course it’s addiction. We dress up our craving for fat and sugar with wholesome sounding pseudonyms like “comfort food”. It’s certainly anti-american to disparage mom’s apple pie or girl scout cookies. 


We’re in some deep fudge here. How the hell are we going to get anyone to leave our Willy Wonka World for the valley of the jolly green giant? I feel like the bell-ringing prophet of doom character Kareem Abdul Jabar played in Stephen King’s The Stand. As a diabetic, I’ve been forced off the fat/sugar drug. Now that the DT’s are passed, the siren call of the drive-thru is revealed. I’m pulled over on the side of a highway choked with bacon-wrapped acolytes honking and hurrying on toward the diabetes/cardio abyss. And the billboards! Holy crap. We are so screwed. Look what was tweeted unsolicited to me this morning:


___ Refusing The Needle: A Diabetic’s Natural Journey To Kick-Ass Health by Russell Stamets ebook available for all devices at https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/145608 and for kindle at http://www.amazon.com/dp/B007P6L5C4 tags: type 1, type 2, autoimmune, diabetes, lada, natural, alternative, diet, supplements, acupuncture, meditation, lifestyle


I'll bet you a Twinkie they want to email me free "supersize your order" coupons.


You could read the Bloomberg article, “Fatty Foods Addictive Like Cocaine in Growing Body of Scientific Research. It’s just more to confirm what you know in your gut to be true. These studies are showing things like the fact that a picture of a milkshake is lighting up the same part of the brain as a smoker anticipating a cigarette. One could get all weird and conspiratorial if one starts to connect some of the dots. 


Maybe, instead of an apocaplytic bell ringer, I’m feeling like the woman at the end of the Twilight Zone episode “To Serve Man” episode who has run to warn her friend walking up the gangplank into the until-then-believed-friendly alien’s ship that the title was actually that of a cookbook. 





___
Refusing The Needle: A Diabetic’s Natural Journey To Kick-Ass Health by Russell Stamets
ebook available for all devices at https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/145608
and for kindle at http://www.amazon.com/dp/B007P6L5C4
tags: type 1, type 2, autoimmune, diabetes, lada, natural, alternative, diet, supplements, acupuncture, meditation, lifestyle

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Eat Differently And Ye Shall Blaspheme


___ Refusing The Needle: A Diabetic’s Natural Journey To Kick-Ass Health by Russell Stamets ebook available for all devices at https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/145608 and for kindle at http://www.amazon.com/dp/B007P6L5C4 tags: type 1, type 2, autoimmune, diabetes, lada, natural, alternative, diet, supplements, acupuncture, meditation, lifestyle
photo by Rev Stan 
With the holiday season upon us, it’s time to try again to devise the best way to prevent panic in our hosts. Do not underestimate the deep cultural roots of sharing food and drink. They WANT to feed you, and the unknowns around a diabetic diet cause panic. You can see it in their eyes. Their respiration quickens. You can only hope they haven’t already bought whole tubs of things they think you eat but will never get used again after your 2-day stay.
The trick is to come up with the quick explanation spiel when dining with family or friends that can calm the unease and frustration. I want to explain, as soon as it comes up,  what the heck I eat, when I eat it, which rules are flexible (or not), and how much I love talking about it (or not).

My current Reader’s Digest version of the explanation of my diet regimen goes something like this:
Sugar - sucrose (the white stuff) is to be avoided. If numbers are good, and I choose to have two bites of key lime pie, than so be it. All fruit, in any quantity, anytime is good. Fructose, in other words, as it occurs naturally in fruit, has no detrimental affect on me (many physicians have told people otherwise).
Starch - potatoes, white rice, white flour (including pasta) are to be avoided. I might steal one french fry off Kathy’s plate. But eating just one takes extreme force of will. Whole wheat, whole grains in breads, pasta, rice, are great. So is Quinoa. This is all classic Type 2 diabetes advice.
Saturated Fat - no dairy (milk, cheese, butter, sour cream, etc); no beef or pork cooked in it’s own juices (like pot roast), but grilled is fine. Any chicken or fish is fine. Chicken brats and turkey bacon have been a savior. This saturated fat connection with blood sugar is not as prevalent in the literature, but it’s an absolute fact for me that it will spike my next morning fasting BS reading if I have even the cream in a lattee.
Note: the saturated fat included on nutrition labels does not distinguish animal-based from plant-based fat. It’s the animal based fat like bacon grease that are bad. Olive oil, for example is OK.
Caffeine - 1-2 morning cups of coffee, de-caf tea the rest of the day. The science on this is limited to a study linking the late day intake of both saturated fat and caffeine. It was the only suspect when looking at many of my spikes.
Alcohol - the beer, rum, and wine are gone. I’ve experimented with a couple of glasses of champagne on special occasions. As long as the special occasions aren’t more than monthly, it seems OK. Most western science would allow some more regular wine, touting it’s proven benefits. My eastern trained consultants, disagree, stating that the liver and pancreas are closely tied, and that any stress on the liver (even if IT is healthy), puts stress on the pancreas.
Timings - I eat all day. Something like oatmeal, for breakfast, a banana and almonds at 10:30, a wrap and an apple for lunch at 12:30, dried mango and almonds at 3:30, dinner by 6:30. Early dinner appears key. Especially if you’re still on diabetes oral medications, carry your almonds, dried mango, powerbars, with you. None of this is new advice.

The problem with eating what someone else has cooked is guessing what’s in it. Was it sauteed in butter? Cream in the sauce? Molasses or brown sugar in the marinade or dressing? And if you start asking, that wild-eyed, trembling, hurt, panic thing can appear in some hosts. And I refuse to ask more than one ingredient question in a restaurant. So you eat nothing you know is bad and very little of anything suspect. For Thanksgiving, it’ll be turkey and salad for me. The mashed potatoes will call, but I will remind my lower mind that I’ve already eaten a lifetime’s worth of mashed potatoes.

The other strategy is to eat something before you go. Don’t tell my family, but I travel with beef jerky, almonds and dried mango in my backpack. If dinner is going to be too late or questionable, I’ll eat enough ahead of time so I can just nibble without the embarrassment of a rumbling stomach.

Not drinking alcohol adds another strangeness factor to the new me as viewed by those I socialize with. I understand it. I always thought those who chose not to drink were a little... different. The fact that I believe it’s not really a choice, that it’s to save my life, doesn’t change the unease some old friends and family can feel when I’m the only one without a beer or glass of wine in his hand. But the strangeness dissipates. On the upside, there’s a measurable entertainment factor observing proceedings from a less sloshy perspective.

The strict, lean, clean, consistent diet that’s the cornerstone of my Type 1 LADA diabetes’ apparent reversal will be tested during these family holiday times. Emotions, comfort food, gut feelings, habit, and desire for normalcy swirl together. But I’ll have to look no further than my missing beer belly, peak functioning body, and clear mind to find the strength and peace to pass the pumpkin pie with a sincere and un-forced smile.



___
Refusing The Needle: A Diabetic’s Natural Journey To Kick-Ass Health by Russell Stamets
ebook available for all devices at https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/145608
and for kindle at http://www.amazon.com/dp/B007P6L5C4
tags: type 1, type 2, autoimmune, diabetes, lada, natural, alternative, diet, supplements, acupuncture, meditation, lifestyle