The goal of this Type 2 Diabetic has been to GET OFF THE MEDICATION!!! Yes, I AM screaming — at myself. My frustration level when my doctor increased the dosage of Metformin to three a day, was overwhelming. I did this to myself kept popping through my head, and it was true! I had been playing games — how much can one piece of cake hurt? The answer is…PLENTY!
FINALLY, I’ve been making progress. It is due in part to my “dental dilemma” — hard to gain wait, if you can’t chew. The problem is that during that time period, I realized that cake’s easy to chew. 🙂
Bottom line is that I was determined to get my act together. I worked on eating healthy foods, portion control (MOST important), and exercise. Don’t get excited. In my world, exercise does NOT include going a gym. Get a grip. No, there will be no sweating, weeping, and gnashing of teeth. NO, no, no — I walk. That’s it — just walk. But, guess what? It works! Try it. Take your blood sugar prior to walking and then again when you return. It’s pretty amazing. It’s been brutally hot here in the
northeast, which gave me a great excuse to stop hoofing it. However, I let my conscience be my guide and got back on track. I’m not a 5-days a week yet, but I’m building my way back up. Truth is, I live near a mall which is air conditioned. It’s a perfect place to walk in the difficult weather of both winter and summer — so there is NO excuse.
When I’m truly determined to do something, I can move mountains — and believe me, I was determined. Here’s what happened: I went to my doctor last week who was ecstatic. Why? My A1C was 5.8!!!! I practically jumped off the table, I was so excited. She shared my joy. She asked how I did it, and I told her. (Not wanting to take all the credit for my disciplined behavior, I explained the effect my dental dilemma had on my appetite.) She was thrilled. I explained that I had lowered the dosage of Metformin from 3/day to two, because the three, along with what I was doing, was too much and I wasn’t feeling well. For the most part, I was taking just two. She told me to continue consistently with two and, if that became too much (I’d know it), decrease it to one. In three months we’ll see where I am and what the next step will be. Here were her words, and they were MUSIC TO MY EARS — “At this moment, you are in a non-diabetic state.” Did she say non-diabetic? YES, she did!
Of course, that doesn’t mean I’m not a diabetic — it simply means that the blood work indicated those results at that moment. What did this do for me? It made me even more MOTIVATED! Now I’m really on a roll. The thought that there’s a real possibility that I may be able to get off the medication, brings tears to my eyes. I have been working hard to hear those words, but I’ll be working even harder now.
I’m grateful for the “Doggie Bag.”It helps this Type 2 Diabetic with portion control. If I ask for a container when I order my food, I put half in it as soon as my dinner hits the table. This prevents me from “enjoying” it too much, gives me a meal for the next day and prevents waste. I just wish they wouldn’t use styrofoam containers (Our poor planet!); depending on what I’m eating, I often ask them to wrap it in aluminum foil.
There’s an interesting history behind the proverbial “Doggie Bag.” In many countries, asking for a take-home container is considered vulgar. In the U.S., this practice is commonplace and sometimes applauded — even in fine-dining restaurants. It’s looked at as a way to avoid waste and this is great in helping our environment.
In Paris, the City of Lights, the practice of taking home leftovers after dining has long been a faux pas. Thanks to the 21st Century, Parisians are finally accepting this practice. A law was passed and went into effect on January 1st., in an effort to cut down on the enormous amount of food waste. The French have replaced the term “le doggy bag” with “le gourmet bag.” 🙂
On the Italian front, the “cartoccio” or Italy’s version of the “doggy bag” is finally being embraced. Combatting food waste has become a priority, as a result of a summit in Italy on global food sustainability.
As stated in my prior post, I read a great article in Everyday Health, titled “Sizing Up Your Plate: Why Portion Control Matters.” This post (#2) is a continuation of #1!
Along the course of my (diabetes) blog journey, the topic of dining/eating out has come up a few times. Because this was discussed in the article in Everyday Health, I’d like to revisit it. Some important bullet points that were brought up–
NO Supersizing! You and I know this is common sense, BUT — sometimes the challenge of the “good deal” gets in the way. It’s obvious, right? If you can get double the size of an item for only a few cents more, why not do it? Why not? Because it’s a deadly decision. More food, more carbs is NOT what we need. It will cause weight gain and elevated blood glucose.
NO Entree, Please — A great tip to help with portion control, calorie consumption, and monitoring blood glucose, is to order a combination of soup and an appetizer — skip the entree. Trust me, it will be enough. I’ve had some wonderful meals by exercising this tip.
“Doggy Bag” — WHY is the take-home container called that??? When I was kid and my parents went out for dinner, oftentimes they would bring home the proverbial “doggy bag.” Funny thing — the dog never got the contents. Why then, was it implied that the contents of the container was for the dog? I think it was a way for people to bring home their leftovers, without being embarrassed. Was it a case of “waste not, want not?” OR was it a case of “I’m no millionaire; I can eat that tomorrow!” (They’ll just throw it out.) My theory is that the “doggie bag” originated to save face — feed the dog; no embarrassment there. What’s your opinion? Diabetics would be wise to look to the “doggie bag” (or take-home container) as a way to cut down on calories as well as carbs. Here’s a tip that my sister gave me a long time ago and I found it to be very helpful. Ask the waiter/waitress for a take-home container, when placing your order. That way, when the food arrives at your table, you can immediately place half into the container. Voila! Out of sight, out of mind. (Thanks, Jean!) It works perfectly. The following day, you can enjoy your leftovers for any meal you like. [See my next post for a history lesson on doggie bags 🙂 ]
The Dreaded Wedding (or other catered affairs) — Why do you dread them? Obviously, catered affairs are the Sodom and Gomorrah in the life of the Type 2 Diabetic. Seriously, it’s an orgy of food. Every catered affair that I’ve ever gone to has included an open bar, followed by food, food, and more food. Between the cocktail hour, the smorgasbord, and/or the sit-down dinner, you’re counting 17 courses topped off with a flaming Viennese table! 🙂 Ugh. They pull out all the stops — there ARE NO stops, no boundaries. Here are some tips to help you get through these unavoidable fiascos. Plate #1 — Choose low calorie, low carb foods (shrimp, raw vegetables, etc.). Plate #2 — WAIT! Gauge your time. Remember it takes 20 minutes for the brain to get the message that you’re full. Whether you decide to venture forward or not, remember NOT TO PILE FOOD on your plate. Take a reasonable amount. It’s better to go back a second time, if you really want more food. Take your time. By the way, nowhere is it written that you HAVE to eat the wedding cake. A bite of it is all the “good luck” that the bride and groom will need.
My last and most important tip for the wedding-goer is DANCE!!! Dance, dance, dance — you’ll burn calories, lower your blood glucose, and you’ll feel really good with those endorphins “dancing” through your body.
Do you live for a buffet/smorgasbord dinner? NOOOOoooooo! My conscience screams, DON’T do it! If you have issues with portion control, that kind of dining can be a downfall.
I read a great article in Everyday Health. the title was, “Sizing Up Your Plate: Why Portion Control Matters.”
Everyday Health does a great job in its discussion of diabetes and this T2D “listens” very carefully when they “talk.” D. Wolter-Nitta, RD, CDE, nutritionist and certified diabetes educator at Montefiore Medical Center in Bronx, NY, was quoted on the topic of portion control. For the Type 2 Diabetic, who may be overweight, losing some pounds can lead to better blood sugar control and “possibly” less need for medication. Some of the information noted in the article will be familiar to you and some will seem like common sense. I read everything diabetes related. Truth is, there’s always more to learn and, if nothing else, reading the info will put it in the forefront of my mind. Can’t hurt, right? Everyday Health noted that Jill Weisenberger, RD, CDE, and writer, out of Yorktown, VA, stressed that “not eating proper carbs at a meal can lead to higher or lower blood sugars,” and we know what that can produce. Problems.
She, along with others, had some good points:
Weigh and Measure your food. LOL — right! We’ll see about that. 🙂 Okay, I’ve never been thrilled with doing “the scale thing,” but she’s right. It’s really difficult to guess how much food is the right amount, and we know that portion control is imperative. That’s why…
Visual Aids are so important! I was having difficulty awhile back in my T2D journey, and I went to a diabetes educator for help. I thought I had portion control down pat but was stunned to learn that the fact that I was eating apples the size of a softball didn’t make the grade. She tossed me a tennis ball and informed me that THIS was the size I should have been consuming. “Really?” I queried, while looking at the small ball that seemed to be lost in my hand. I realized that the difference in size meant that I was eating what would be considered two apples at each sitting. AAArrrggghhh! That explained my weight gain. By the way, when shopping for apples, TRUST ME, the ones that come packaged in the plastic bags are the size you should be eating. It’s called SMALL! At first, I was saddened by the fact that my beloved apple snack had just shrunken to about one-third of its size. Here’s what helped a LOT: I sliced the apple into very thin slices — VERY thin! During that same appointment, the Diabetes Educator shocked me into realizing that I’d been overeating just about everything — without even knowing it. She showed me a plastic hamburger to demonstrate the portion that we should be eating. It seemed so small and alone on the plate — probably one-third of the size I’d been scoffing down. Next on her agenda was the “deck of cards” — another visual aid to slap me silly into “getting” the world of portion control. WHAT??? How many of us eat a portion of chicken, fish or beef that takes up one-third to half of the dinner plate? Well, get a grip! The deck of cards it is.
Read Food Labels! Besides the obvious — carbs, protein, fiber, it’s important to check out the food labels for the SERVING SIZE.You may be surprised to learn that a can or package contains more than one serving per person.
Use Smaller Plates. This is an easy one. Substitute a luncheon-sized plate for a regular dinner plate. This tricks your eye, because it looks like you have a lot of food on your plate when, in fact, your plate is smaller. 🙂
Beverages. Again, read those labels. You may be surprised to see that the serving size information will force you to make a different decision. Drinking is the fastest way to get carbs into your system; therefore, for better blood glucose management, it’s better to eat your carbs than drink them.
SNACK, SNACK, SNACK! Tim Harlan, M.D. and Medical Director of Tulane University Group in New Orleans, states (in Everyday Health) that snacking is important for the diabetic. He says that snacking “controls overeating, controls cravings, and keeps blood sugar stable.” MAKES SENSE! 🙂
WRITE, WRITE, WRITE! Another common sense tip. Keeping a food log is important when managing blood glucose levels. Simply put, it keeps us on track and holds us accountable. Not a big deal.
“PLATE” #2 — continued in next post — will focus on eating out and will include social events such as weddings!
As promised, this morning, I put my best foot forward — DAY #1!
Started out by checking my blood sugar = 106, weight = 137.0 lbs. Continued 3x during the course of the day. Numbers were level.
Drank 4 oz. of V-8 juice.
Walked from 8:30 – 9:15, in between the rain drops.
Returned home and had breakfast (1/2 peach, 1 slice whole wheat bread/peanut butter) This is the most difficult meal of the day for me. I’m allergic to eggs — everyone’s favorite breakfast food! I’ll be working on finding alternatives for healthy breakfasts.
Jumped in the shower, then off to my writing group (11 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.)
Dr. app’t 2:00 p.m
Oops — lunch? Didn’t happen. 😦 Got to dr. office early. Chinese take out across the street. I ran in and got a cup of chicken/rice soup. (ate half. It’s something…)
5:00 p.m. — HIT THE BRAKES — Kathy: You’re diabetic — EAT!
5:30 p.m. — Prepare and eat dinner. (bowl barley, vegetable soup/a few saltine crackers.
7:00 p.m. — Dessert (sugar-free pudding. Dollop of whipped cream).
SLOW DOWN — bedtime routine. This is the most difficult time of the day for me. Why? because most people would refer to it as “bed”time but I’m just getting rolling. My plan is to start to slow down around 8:00 p.m. and actually go to bed at 10:00 p.m. I brought a cup of chamomile tea to bed with me and started to read. Perfect, right? It would have been, except that I realized I hadn’t finished my blog. I broke the #1 Sacred Rule of Nighttime Routine — I grabbed my laptop. Ugh. I know better than that! Quickly, I finished this post and now, it’s off to bed for this Type 2 Diabetic.