|photo by Rev Stan|
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