Aside

Post-Thanksgiving Diabetes Update | How My Diabetes Management Fared with Dietary Restrictions

I did a lot of planning for our Thanksgiving menu. I wanted a delicious meal that would be enjoyed by everyone, even those used to eating gluten and dairy. I succeeded on that front! The day was so fun and everyone, including me, enjoyed themselves.

I did not share how my diabetes fared though. It’s all well and good to go to great lengths to exclude gluten, grains, and dairy from the menu, but if my blood glucose (BG, blood sugar level) is sky high at the end of the night, was it really worth the effort?

I am happy to report, my body managed the extra carbs superbly. I decided going into the evening meal that I wasn’t going to hold back. I wanted to see how my body would respond with a rich, indulgent meal.

**Note: For anyone not familiar with my story, I am a Type 1 diabetic (as of April 2017) who went on insulin after initial diagnosis. Upon finding the research of gluten’s effect on the gut and subsequent autoimmune triggers, I went gluten-free in April 2017. I have since refined my diet to be paleo (gluten-free, grain-free, dairy-free) for continued blood sugar control. Here’s the kicker: I am not taking any additional insulin. My pancreas is still working and with diet and lifestyle control, it can keep up with the carbs I eat.**

Appetizers (4:30pm)
  • I ate 3 bacon wrapped dates. I guess I did hold back on these because truthfully I could’ve eaten the whole batch! I knew the dates are very high in carbs so I only had 3, which was wonderful and delicious.
  • I had a large scoop of the pumpkin dip with a handful of apples and maple-bacon pecans.
  • I didn’t weigh or measure anything.
  • I had one glass of wine.
Dinner (5:30pm)
  • I filled my plate with a little bit of everything.
  • Again, I did not hold back, measure, or weigh anything.
  • My plate was full, and I only went back for seconds of turkey and gravy because I really was full already (but those were SO good!).
  • I had one glass of wine.
Dessert (7:30pm)

Diabetes Glucose Meter

I tested my BG level before bed at 10:00pm: 118. Normal is around 100, and as a Type 1 diabetic, I am aiming for between 100 and 150 before bed. 118 is rocking amazing after Thanksgiving!

A.Maze.Ing.

The next morning I was a touch high for a fasting blood glucose reading: 169. This usually happens for me when (1) I don’t get enough sleep and (2) drink alcohol the night before.

Just for records sake, I ate Thanksgiving leftovers all day Friday, and my lunch BG was 117 and dinner was 106. I was high before bed (200), but I’d just had a slice of pie. 🙂

Main Point: Eating a large holiday meal did not derail my blood glucose numbers.

Holidays are not an event to dread if you have Type 1 Diabetes, any autoimmune disease, allergy, or really any ailment. You can plan a holiday meal that you and your family can enjoy without getting off track on your health management.

I wish I had a scale. Ours broke a few months ago so I don’t have proof of this, but here’s my hunch: I didn’t gain a pound over Thanksgiving. I ate mostly healthy food. Yes, we had more sugar in the form of maple syrup and honey, but everything was made from scratch: zero store-bought processed food, a little home-processed food, all in all: mostly whole foods. These homemade foods are things your body can process more efficiently, and since my body is being fed completely, without missing macros or nutrition, my body is not holding onto excess fat for a rainy day.

This can mean the same thing for you too. You can enjoy the holiday food within your diet restrictions. You CAN make it through a holiday season without gaining weight! You can flourish with the life and health you have.  

If you are suffering from an autoimmune condition. Start researching. Change your diet. You can change your life. If you have Type 1 Diabetes, get rid of gluten completely and you will greatly reduce your insulin need (potentially be able to completely stop bolusing for meals!) and have more stable blood sugar. Can you imagine the freedom?!?


Are you inspired??? I get so on fire about food nowadays. It used to be hard for me to believe that food affects your health. “You are what you eat” is TOTALLY true! The food we eat is so important. It can allow us to live healthy lives or slowly kill us. Crazy, right?! 

What changes do you think you should make? Have questions? Contact me!

Aside

Gluten-Free, Grain-Free, and Dairy-Free Thanksgiving Menu

Thanksgiving is almost here! Holidays with dietary restrictions can be tricky, but with a little bit of research and preparation, you can enjoy the holiday meal just as much as the next guy.

I did some searching on Pinterest, and there are recipes a PLENTY for modified traditional Thanksgiving recipes. You can check out my Thanksgiving board here. Quick reminder, due to my Type 1 Diabetes (an autoimmune disease that is aggravated by some foods) we are currently eating grain-free (which also means gluten-free, just more strict) and dairy free.

Don’t worry, folks. There is still so much to enjoy even with these restrictions! Shall we begin?

Appetizers

Multiple courses makes any meal feel like a party, and Thanksgiving is the perfect time to pull out all the stops! There is a very practical need for appetizers too: my kids get hangry. We will be having our traditional Thanksgiving meal at dinner time which means my kids will be eating their legs around 4pm. Or my legs…

I’m planning bacon wrapped dates, maple bacon pecans, and a fruit tray with a pumpkin spice dip. I think that will hold them over until the main event, which just might be late…you never know!

Main Course

Turkey

Dan and I went to college with a local turkey farmer, so we’ll be picking up our bird from Otto’s Turkey Farm in Middleville, MI. The turkey is Dan’s territory so I know he’ll be smoking it on his grill (we’ve got a Big Green Egg), but beyond that, I don’t know his method. Likely he’ll create a spice rub and cover the bird in that along with oil. Spices are gluten-free (as long as plain spices are used, not pre-blended ones), and butter will be avoided. We do have ghee though (clarified butter) so maybe he’ll use that instead of oil…we shall see!

Gravy

Also Dan’s department. He’s made some rockin’ gravy in the past so I’m quite excited about this. He goes a traditional route that includes the drippings, gibblets, and veggies. I will post a how-to or a link to the recipe if he’s following one. This gravy is to die for. It is so much richer and hardier than other types.

Bread

I will be making these coconut flour biscuits. I hope to get a trial run in before the big day, but I’m not sure I’ll get it in. I’m very curious how the texture and flavor will be.

In general, I don’t miss bread, but I want my family and extended family to have a bread at the meal. I think this one looks tasty.

Potatoes

White potatoes are not a part of my diet right now, so I’ll be making a sweet potato casserole instead (or maybe this one). There are so many delicious looking/sounding sweet potato recipes out there these days. This dish will be delicious, I know!

Cranberry Sauce

Alton Brown never lets me down! I’ve been making his recipes for years, and they are delicious and foolproof! I will be making his cranberry sauce, as I have in the past, it is gluten/dairy-free as is!

Dressing

I love love love dressing or stuffing, not sure what the difference is. I’m slightly concerned that this dish will bite me as not quite as delicious without gluten. I won’t be making it ahead of time, so it’s going to be great or a great disappointment!

I do love the flavor of celery, sage, and butter in my dressing, so I think I’ll alter the recipe a bit and add sage. I’m sure it won’t hurt!

Green Bean Casserole

I found a couple recipes, and I think this one looks the best. Read the ingredient list carefully! There are items with gluten, make sure to make a substitution.

  • whole grain bread crumbs –> GF bread crumbs or maybe almond flour
  • all purpose flour –> I think coconut flour or arrowroot powder would work
  • soy sauce –> tamari or coconut aminos
  • white wine –> most are fine as long as not barrel aged, chardonnay is NOT ok, use something else

Dessert

This category is the most likely to change. SO many good options! I’ll list some I’m considering:

  1. Pumpkin Cheesecake – I’m so curious how this will be without dairy! This has a more “normal” list of ingredients. I did come across one that had cauliflower and cashews as primary ingredients…Dan vetoed that one.
  2. Pumpkin Pie – I’m intrigued by the pie crust. I haven’t tried a grain-free pastry crust yet. I do love almond crusts though (like a graham cracker-style crust but with crushed almonds).
  3. Pecan Pie Bars – I think a spin on traditional pecan pie would be great!
  4. Cranberry Crumb Bars – Yes, please. I just love anything with cranberries!
  5. Coconut Whipped Cream – to lather liberally on ALL desserts!

So there you have it! Way too much food for 6 people, but Thanksgiving is all about leftovers, right? I hope this encourages and inspires you. With a little research, every meal, even holidays, can be delicious with diet restrictions.

What are you having for Turkey day??

Eat Food. Not too Much. Mostly Plants.

This is Michael Pollan’s summary of how to eat mentioned in his documentary, In Defense of Food. It’s on Netflix. I highly recommend it.

Those statements have been rolling around in my head. This is really how I’ve come to manage my diabetes without insulin:

  1. Eat Food. Real food. Pollan goes into more detail in his book and documentary but basically if your food can rot, you should eat it. If it doesn’t rot (hello, processes/shelf stable items!), don’t eat it. For me, this also means no gluten. This is specifically because gluten is causing my body to create antibodies that kill my pancreas.
  2. Not too much. I am still a Type 1 diabetic. My pancreas is still 80%-ish dead. I cannot go carb crazy and eat all the cake I like (even if it is gluten free). I eat moderate meals and snack, and I do not have trouble with my blood sugar.
  3. Mostly Plants. This is the biggest change for me. I’ve never eaten enough vegetables. It’s something we all know but rarely do: eat more veggies. Now I do. I try to cover more than half my plate each meal in vegetables. Guess what happens when I do? I am full. I return to normal body weight (bye bye excess baby weight!). I have stable blood sugar (below 130 before a meal).

Here is my latest addition that has allowed me to stop taking the 1 unit of Toujeo and have a “normal” (again, for a Type 1 diabetic) fasting blood glucose (BG).

Go to bed on time and wake up on time.

Every. Single. Day.

This was hard for me, folks. I had been struggling with the 1 unit of insulin I was taking because it would send me low at lunch and dinner if I was even a little bit late for that meal. It really felt like my body didn’t need it if I could just figure out how to lower my BG overnight. I found the answer in two different places (so it is likely out there in more places!).

The Grain Brain Whole Life Plan

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3 Ways to Regulate Insulin That Have Nothing to Do with Food

I have been going to bed at 10pm (9:45 when possible!) and getting up at 6am every day for almost 3 weeks, and my fasting BG has been in the 120’s since the first morning I started going to bed/getting up on time.

A.MAZ.ING.

I’ve been completely off additional insulin for 3 weeks now, and I think I’m off it for good. If I can keep my pancreas from dying more, I’m done with injecting insulin, and I’m a Type 1 diabetic.

Type 1 diabetes can be manages by diet and lifestyle changes, if caught right away before the pancreas dies completely.

What in the world? This goes totally against everything I knew growing up in a family with a Type 1 diabetic (a family that now has 4 Type 1 diabetics!).

I meet with my endocrinologist next Wednesday for a quarterly check-up. I am excited to show them my findings, and also to get an A1C (a blood test that gives a 3 month average of past BG levels). I’m curious to see if my average is still good. It should be, but I only check 4 times a day without testing how quickly my BG returns to normal after a meal.

So here’s my modified mantra:

Eat real, gluten-free food. Not too much. Mostly plants. Go to bed/get up on time.

 

Gluten Free Daily Menu #4

Today’s menu utilizes leftovers. Don’t let them rot in your fridge! Leftover veggies go great with eggs for breakfast or a quick lunch when you are pressed for time!

Breakfast –  Scrambled Eggs, Pan-Fried Sweet Potatoes (leftovers from dinner the night before!), water and coffee

Notes:

  • The key to fluffy, delicious scrambled eggs is cooking over low heat and stirring frequently (constantly, if possible). We whisk our eggs then sprinkle with salt and pepper either in the bowl or in the pan before we cook them. Grease the pan with oil or butter and turn heat on low. Stir and scrape the bottom of the pan as they cook. Stop cooking when they are still moist. Serve immediately.
  • The sweet potatoes were peeled and chopped then cooked in a lightly oiled frying pan and seasoned salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until soft.

Lunch –  “Snack-y” lunch: cheese and gluten free crackers, apple, carrot sticks, bell pepper sticks, dill dip, and garlic/dill pickles from our garden

Notes:

  • Nothing earth shattering here, folks. My goal is to have veggies, fruit, and some protein on my plate, and to have half or more of the plate covered with vegetables.
  • You will be full! I promise!

Dinner – Skillet Rice and Beans with Corn and Tomatoes

Notes:

  • Another fantastic recipe from this cookbook.
  • I left out the corn because while it is gluten free, it is very high in carbs. It always sneaks up on my in recipes, so I avoid it when it’s paired with other high carb food: rice and beans.
  • The tomato salsa on top is the killer part: quarter grape or cherry tomatoes toss with chopped green onions 1/4 cup cilantro and 1 tablespoon of lime juice. It’s to die for. Make any kind of rice and beans and throw this on top. You won’t be disappointed!

Gluten Free Daily Menu #3

Today’s menu is some dishes that are becoming staples around here: steel-cut oatmeal and “snack-y” lunch.

I had a weekend where I felt really tired and empty. I had a couple periods where my lips were chalk white. My google-doctor told me it might be low iron. A lot of the foods I eat contain iron (oatmeal and raisins for one!), and I also to most of my cooking in a cast iron pan. Food cooked on cast iron absorbs some iron from the pan. So I was confused how I could have low iron. When I get blood work, my iron levels are usually great.

I did a little digging, and it looks like you need vitamin C to actually absorb the iron in my food. I eat oranges on the regular through the winter but hadn’t had citrus in a while. I’ve been taking Vitamin C pills the last week or so and I’v never felt better! Crazy, huh?

Breakfast Steel-cut Oatmeal (base recipe), Raisins, Cashews, and Banana; Green Smoothie

Notes:

  • I’ve found that toppings or garnish, if you will, make all the difference in a plate a food. Garnish takes any dish to the next level in both flavor and aesthetics. Take the extra minutes to gather something from the pantry to throw on top of your oatmeal. Grab those herbs and cook that bacon to toss on top of your soup, it will make it so much better!
  • Green Smoothie – 1 cup of water, 2 tablespoons of lime juice, 1 apple, 1 cup pineapple chunks, a whole bunch of Swiss chard

Lunch – “Snack-y” lunch, grape tomatoes, dill dip, marble cheddar cheese, crackers, sweet potatoes and Swiss chard

Notes:

  • This lunch is a quick, clean-out-the-fridge kind of lunch. I regularly do a lunch like this: cheese and crackers then load up the rest of the plate with veggies (raw or some leftovers like the sweet potatoes above).
  • I use these lunches to make sure we are finishing random jars of pickles, olives, etc. too. I found I like pickles, and my kids LOVE them. So I usually toss one pickle on everyone’s plate for lunch.

Dinner – Tortilla Soup

Notes:

  • I am ridiculously proud of this dinner. It wasn’t too difficult, and I was able to pack in a ton of greens into this soup.
  • The broth and chicken came from my favorite Mexican cookbook. I did find the recipe online, but I don’t think you can view it without a subscription. Here’s a blogger’s take which is similar to mine (the broth and chicken prep is exactly the same as in the cookbook).
  • I took my idea from the rice bowl I had at a new restaurant in town, Core Eatery. It is the only completely gluten-free restaurant around. It makes me so sad it’s a chain, but it did have the freshest, realest food I’ve ever had at a restaurant. I was pleased when i went there. Could I make it better? Sure, but for eating out, I loved leaving a restaurant feeling satisfied and not sick-to-my-stomach full. 🙂
  • Basic idea: make a yummy broth then fill your bowl with chopped greens (mine is kale), black beans, chopped chicken, rice, and other veggies (We did avocado, green pepper, and jalapeno.) and pour the broth over everything. Top with queso fresco and sour cream.
  • It was so good. Dan thought possibly the best dish I’ve ever made. Woot! Try it!

 

Gluten Free Daily Menu #2

Here’s another example of what we eat at our house. I’m still not finding the diet super restrictive. I love to cook, and I think almost everything we already made was gluten free. The biggest change for us is lunch. No more sandwiches. 🙁

We did just purchase ingredients to make gluten free flour. We are going to try converting our sour dough starter to gluten free. I’ll let you know how it goes!

BreakfastSteel Cut Oatmeal (stovetop method, base recipe), Cinnamon Apples, Toasted Cashews, Coffee & Water (of course!)

Notes:

  • The boys (and I!) love cinnamon apples. I peel and slice the apples thin, put in small sauce pan with a couple tablespoons of water and cinnamon, and cook until soft. Add cinnamon until your liking. These are deliciously sweet without any additional sugar. When we’re running low on fresh fruit near the end of the grocery cycle, this is our go-to breakfast.
  • The cinnamon apples also pair very well with sausage.
  • The cashews are black spotted because I’m lazy and didn’t wipe out my cast iron pan before toasting. Just trying to keep it real, folks. 😉

Lunch – Egg Salad with lettuce and crackers, carrots and dill dip, and a green smoothie

Notes:

  • This is my go-to lunch if I’m craving a sandwich. I make the typical filling for the sandwich, egg salad in this case, then eat it by scooping it up with lettuce or crackers. I honestly love it this way. I just don’t tell myself it’s a sandwich because it so isn’t.
  • Green Smoothie: 1 cup water, 1 whole apple, 2 kiwi, 1ish cup of pineapple, and a whole bunch of kale (I fill my pitcher to the top. I’ll take a picture one of these days). Blend until smooth. I add more pineapple if it’s tasting too “green.”

Dinner – Smoked Bratwurst, Roasted Broccoli, Wilted Leaf Lettuce Salad

Notes:

  • The smoked brats are complements of my wonderful husband. He is king on the grill/smoker. I don’t know how he made them, but we agreed, these were the best ever. They are Kirkland brand brats (Costco store brand) smoked over apple wood.
  • Roasted Broccoli (my new favorite way to eat it!) – Toss broccoli in olive oil, salt and light pepper then roast at 425 for 15-20 minutes (until desired doneness) then sprinkle with lemon juice. The lemon juice is key! It turns this veggie into delight to eat! I did substitute lime juice in a pinch one night, and that worked just fine too!
  • Wilted Lettuce Salad – Folks, this is the way to eat salad – covered in bacon grease! Recipe complements of Zach Gembis.
    • a large amount of leaf lettuce, torn/chopped
    • 3-4 slices of bacon cooked and crumbled, reserve grease
    • a large amount of green onions, chopped (4-5 store bought, 2-3 homegrown)
    • 1-2T brown sugar
    • 3T cider vinegar
    • 1.5T water
    • Cook green onions in bacon grease until starting to wilt, stir in sugar until melted, stir in vinegar & water until all combined. Pour over lettuce and bacon crumbles, stir to wilt, then serve immediately, warm.
    • Delish! We added queso fresco and cashews this time because it sounded good. You need to try this salad! You can eat a TON of greens because they are partly wilted. I never knew a warm, wilted salad could be so good!

Quick Diabetes Update

As you might know, I was completely off insulin when I started my gluten free diet. That lasted 4 weeks, and then my morning, fasting blood glucose (BG) numbers started to creep up. They were in the 170’s. My doctor and I thought these were too high so I started taking 1 unit of Toujeo (a slow acting, long acting?) insulin once a day.

This helped my morning numbers making them in the 130’s or 140’s, but it made me so dependent on food and food timing for the rest of the day. I had to be eating lunch by 12:30 (preferably 12:15 or 12) or I would be shaky and in the 70’s. I also needed to be on time for dinner (5:30 at the latest) or the same thing would happen. Even being on time for these meals (with snack in between!), I would regularly be in the 80’s or 90’s when I tested prior to eating.

I was tired or being tied to food!

So enters my dear friend, Karen, with some more good research. This article was just what I was looking for! I use “looking for” oh so lightly. More accurately, this is the information I needed but lazily didn’t seek on my own!

The article is titled “3 Ways to Regulate Insulin that have Nothing to Do with Food.”

I skimmed the article quickly for the main bullets…

  1. Exercise? Check. I work out 5-6 mornings a week (I believe I’m in the best shape of my life, believe it or not! It’s amazing what consistency will do to you!).
  2. Stress? Check. Likely. I don’t live a very stressful life unless you count trying to keep up on laundry. High stress there, folks.
  3. Sleep? Oh my. You got me there. Being off my even 30 minutes can affect your blood glucose? What? My sleep is all over the board. Maybe this is what I should try…nah…gotta be something else! Something easier…

I just finished watching Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead (another health documentary, this on focused on juicing as a means to resetting the body and weight loss). My take away was “EAT MORE VEGETABLES!” Sigh. I know. I’ve always known. I never eat enough. Never have. Maybe I should try now.

So 3 weeks ago, I challenged myself to provide my family and I with a fruit and a vegetable at every meal. Every. Meal. This is when we started regular green smoothies. Drinking kale and swiss chard for breakfast are so much easier for us!

I don’t notice much of a change in my fasting BG, but I know we’re on the right track. We all need to eat more veggies, right?

In the documentary, one of the experts is Dr. Perlmutter, MD. I check out one of his books from the library (unknowingly checked out book #3…need to go read #1 and #2!).

This book goes a bit into the theory behind the gluten free diet but is mostly how to change your lifestyle to follow his plan. So I definitely plan to read his other two books because this stuff is fascinating! What we eat affects our whole body and the diseases or disorders we face!

My first big take away: “EAT MORE VEGETABLES!” Again? Really? Ok, already on track but realize after 2 weeks of offering a fruit and veggie at every meal that I can pretty easily offer 2 veggies and a fruit. Hm, maybe this won’t be so bad!

My second take away: get consistent and sufficient sleep. Again. Here it is by another specialist. Maybe I should give this a whirl.

I had my last dose of Toujeo Saturday, June 24 at 9am. My morning BG on Sunday was 135, pretty normal but insulin still in my system.

Sunday night I start my new bedtime routine:

  • Chamomile tea around 1 hour before bed
  • Begin the “to bed” process 30 minutes before official bedtime (turn off phone, head upstairs, nighttime toiletries, etc.)
  • Leave phone downstairs and use old fashioned alarm clock…shocker!
  • Spend the last 10-15 minutes coloring and praying
  • Go to bed right on time

Monday morning my BG was 122. (no extra insulin in my system!)

Tuesday morning my BG was 129.

It’s only 2 days in so we’ll see how this shakes out, but the initial results are encouraging!

**Update: In my rush to post this (read: kids screaming their heads off at me!), I forgot my humorous note.**

I like this doctors logic and findings. I will likely be unable to follow his diet though because of this:

The above circled list is the “approved” list of “fruits”. Those, my dear doctor, are not fruits in my dictionary. 🙂

Gluten Free Daily Menu

Here’s another “day in the life” so to speak. What do we eat on this gluten free/fresh-as-possible diet?

Well, let me show you…

Breakfast: scrambled eggs, bacon (burnt, of course), and a green smoothie (or brown, if you will)

Notes:

  • The bacon is burnt because it always is when I cook it! Too many things going on! I actually like it burnt too so I’m not too motivated to change. Ha!
  • Green (Brown) Smoothie: 1 cup water, 1-2 cups strawberries, juice of 2 limes, 1 big bunch of Swiss chard. Chard + strawberries = brown. Luckily my kids don’t know brown to be a yucky color! I show their breakfast also so you know they eat what I eat. No special meals here!

Lunch – kimbop made from leftovers, carrot sticks and dill dip

Notes:

  • Kimbop is a Korean dish. It’s rice (plus veggies or maybe meat) rolled in kim (roasted seaweed wrap). We love it, and I like to use up leftovers in this way for lunch with the kids. The chicken is from our previous dinner of Adobo Chicken and the brown/white rice mix from that meal too. Take a small amount of each plus a little spicy if you wish (ssamjang in the middle of the plate), roll it up like sushi and devour in one bite. Yum!
  • The carrots can be dipped in the ssamjang, eaten plain, or with another vegetable dip.
  • See the kiddos love this meal too! They like to ask me to take their picture while they say some silly made up word. I can’t remember the word from these photos but it makes for genuine smiles!

Dinner – Smoked Kielbasa, Wilted Kale and Roasted-Potato Winter Salad, Strawberries

Notes:

  • We LOVE this kale and potato salad recipe. I’d made double of the dressing though. Ours above only had 1x the recipe, and it was a little dry. Although, it was probably dry because I used 2-3x the kale. 🙂 Gotta get those greens in somehow!
  • The kielbasa was homemade by a friend. Dan smoked in on our grill. I have no tips for you on this. It appeared cooked and delicious on the table, like magic!

Snack/Dessert – Fresh Strawberries and Homemade Whipped Cream

Notes:

  • Our boys are in the habit of getting a snack right before bed, so this was their snack. Delicious, no?
  • I love whipped cream, but due to the diabetes, try to keep extra carbs out that I don’t need. This whipped cream is only heavy cream plus a 1/2-1 teaspoon of vanilla. That’s it. Guess what? You’ll never miss the sugar when it’s on sweet berries like this! Yum!

So what do we eat?

Backstory: I am on a gluten free diet because I am a Type 1 diabetic. I have learned that gluten irritates the gut and does not allow carbohydrates to absorb through the intestines causing raised blood glucose and the body to produce more insulin. Gluten also causes the body to produce antibodies that attack the beta cells in the pancreas thereby killing the pancreas and causing Type 1 diabetes. My pancreas is not dead yet (I’m in the “honeymoon” period), but I’m hoping to prolong that period as long as possible through a gluten free diet. Research I’ve read suggests a gluten free diet will halt the body from producing those antibodies and attacking itself.

This is not the easiest diet change in the world. It goes along the lines of Whole30, Paleo, Primal Diet, etc. Eat real fresh food. However, it does mean more time in the kitchen and more thought and planning, I get it. I hope to encourage you to eat healthier by seeing what my family is actually eating.

Here is a day’s menu from last week:

Breakfast: steelcut oatmeal with strawberries and green smoothie

Notes:

  • I used the “Basic Recipe” for steel-cut oats in the link above then put fresh strawberries on top.
  • I rinsed by oats before I cooked them. I don’t have official “gluten free” oats. Oats are naturally gluten free, but there is a chance for cross contamination due to harvesting equipment and processing in facilities that contain wheat.
  • Smoothie recipe (roughly!): 1 cup of water, 1 apple, 1 cup of pineapple chunks, 1 lime (to cut the bitterness of the greens) and a lot of a leafy green (kale, spinach, swiss chard)

Lunch:  Dried cherry, cheese, candied walnut salad with balsamic vinegar and oil

Dinner: Adobo Chicken over brown and white rice

Notes:

  • The recipe came from this cookbook, and it is hard to find them free online because Cook’s Illustrated/America’s Test Kitchen requires a subscription. This is hands down my favorite cookbook. Nothing has failed, and I’ve probably made 20 recipes from it. They are more involved though, so read the recipe through before starting!
  • I cut back on the adobo chilis so my boys can hand the spice. I think it calls for 3 tablespoons, and I use 1-ish.
  • The rice is 1-1 ratio of brown rice to white made in a rice cooker.

Bedtime Snack: plain yogurt with strawberries and cashews (for Emily to limit carbs), plain yogurt with honey, cashews, walnuts, strawberries, and coconut (for Dan)

I do usually have a morning and afternoon snack, but I don’t have any pictures. Some ideas for these are popcorn, veggies and dill dip, fruit, trail mix, cottage cheese, etc.

I hope this is encouraging and not discouraging. My husband and I like to cook, but our culinary skills have evolved over time. Success is changing one small thing tomorrow. Vow to make breakfast (or something) better first. Conquer that then tackle the next meal. You can do it!

 

Delicate Balance

I thought I had my diet and blood glucose (BG) levels all figured out, and then, I got lazy. Two meals this weekend I eyeballed my portion and carb load and definitely missed the mark, by a lot.

Oops.

The first meal was meatloaf, rice, and corn. I knew I had about 20 carbs in a half cup of rice, and I guessed the meatloaf was very low in carbs, say less than 5. I didn’t give the corn much thought. Big mistake.

It’s a vegetable, right? The diabetes educator said I could basically eat as many vegetables as I wanted because it requires so much energy to digest them that the carb load is negated.

Well, I forgot her caveat about starchy vegetables.

I tested 4 hours after dinner on Saturday night, and wouldn’t you know, 284 BG. WHAT?!?

I thought my hands were dirty so I washed then tested again…283 BG. Hmmm…

I immediately thought it was the meatloaf…it did have a sauce…oh, ketsup has like 4 carbs. So it’s not the meatloaf.

Then I thought I had forgotten how many carbs are in rice…nope, about 20 for a half a cup is right.

I guess, maybe, it’s the corn. (Still in doubt, still believing it’s a regular vegetable.)

Google: “Carbs in corn”

123g in 1 cup

Holy moley. That’s the problem. Unknowingly, I had eaten close to 90 carbs for dinner. Lesson learned, not all vegetables were created equal!

Although, the lesson was not learned completely because I did a similar mistake the next day.

Lunch on Sunday was red beans and rice. My portion was probably a touch large, but should’ve only been 40 or so carbs. What I forgot to account for was dessert…creme brulee…my favorite!

So that meal, I ate 70 or so carbs and was pushing 300 BG three hours later.

So here’s where I’m at now: keep each meal less than 50 carbs (including dessert!) and eat lower glycemic vegetables.

My BG have been super good since introducing exercise again last Thursday. I think I may be able to control my diabetes without insulin! When eating gluten-free and 50 or less carbs per meal (with a 20 or so carb snack in between), I’m able to be below 130 BG before each meal and before bed. Woot!

Now to see if the doctor’s agree…