Blog Entries With Tag: T2D


Posted: Feb 20, 2015

I am home now from a working holiday, in the Bahamas and Miami.  Despite the weather being abit cooler then normal (they only get 2 weeks of winter - we were there in that period <lol>) - we had a great time.

I managed to meet up with some great diabetics along the way, that knew I was coming into their ports ... and here is one little story I'd like to pass along to you (more to flow from my finger tips over the weeks).  This will hopefully warm your heart as much as it did for me - especially now that I'm the land of snow and cold winter temperatures in Canada (with wind chill it is currently a balmy -30C as I'm composing this - not the 20C we were having in Miami yesterday - brrrhhh).

Straw Market Nassau

When I got off in Nassau, I headed off for abit of a jaunt to get my sea legs back into shape (and burn off some of the foods I'd been eating on the cruise ship - oink, oink).  I sauntered through the Straw Market on that chilly day.  I had on a wool sweater - and looked like a local compared to the tourists in little flimsy gear.  I was warm and cozy that was the main thing.

I happened to come across a stall that had some cute hand embroidered straw bags with of course ... Hello Kitty on them.  Because I love to spoil my grand niece Mallory, I stopped by and picked up one, and had her name put on it.  I started chatting to the owner of the booth as she was embroidering my neices names on to the basket, to discover that her Grandmother's name was Anna and things progressed from there to a few of us sitting around on chairs just chatting away like we'd known each other for years.  This is the best part of when I travel, meeting up with people.

She was tellling me that in the Bahamas diabetes is a very big problem due to what she feels is the introduction of foods brought from other countries. Before canned, processed food came to their islands from other countries, she said that diabetes was something that you rarely heard of.  As she was talking to me, I noticed how beautiful her skin was, how vibrant she looked, despite the hard work that she has to do every day (the Bahamian government rents out the stalls to them - hers had belonged to Anna and passed on down to her).  It's not an easy life, but she is happy and manages.  

When I told her I'd had Type 1 diabetes for 50 years, and how old I was, she told me how old she was. What shocked me is that she is 70 years old and to me, she looked much younger.  I told her this, and that got her and her friends laughing away.  They all told me that they feel that eating from the ground, foods that are not over processed (no foods that have been canned) are what they think is the secret to good health (and I told them maybe not having frigid cold temperatures like Canada probably helps). Food that is prepared fresh, not fast was the big point that I came out of our conversation about their healthy way of eating.   

Cassava or yuca

She gave me verbally the recipe for making her favourite cassava dish (or yuca as it is also known).  Full of vegetables and slow cooked to perfection. When I find time to do some research and make up the dish myself, I'll post the recipe.  It's not a dish for the low carb eaters out there, but even if sampled abit, am sure it won't spike your blood sugars as drastically as what a potato based stew would do for you.

Peruvian Yucu fries

I can add further to this proof, of the yuca wedge fries I had in a Peruvian restaurant in Miami about a week later, that were to die for.  I guesstimated the amount of carbs, and no crazy spiking.  It helped that I had a bowl of fish soup that was to die for to slow down the process of the carbs!!!  Psst, if you're in the SOBE area ... check out Chalan on the Beach - good prices (dishes are large portion - so shareable) - fresh ingredients - drool worthy!!!  Even Sock Monkey liked it there!

In the meantime, I've come across a yuca oven fry recipe that I'll be giving a try once I've got restablished back here at home.  Maybe you'll want to check it out for youself and give it a go.

How many of you have incorporated this root vegetable into your meal plan and had great success with blood sugar control?  I'd love to hear from you!!

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Posted: Jun 28, 2013

Love me - I'm a cow - moo!!Recently I got together with some friends from high school.  Sadly, it wasn’t for a happy occasion, like we have done in the past, but for saying good bye to a good friend of ours, who had battled breast cancer for 5 years, and sadly lost to it, as it invaded their body.   I didn’t realise until last w/e when we got together to raise a glass to her time their time here on planet Earth – that they had become diabetic during those years.   All of you know, from my past blogs and statements I’ve made within the social media …. “ if they’d had diabetes – they would be alive today “.

I found out that many have now become Type 2 diabetes (T2D).  As one of my friends put it – their whole family has it – so they “inherited” it.  I had to hold my tongue back on their statement, as I’m still on the fence post about whether Type 2 is passed on.  I am under the belief that the rise of Type 2 diabetes has a lot to do with how we now lead our lives, such as inactivity, foods that are eaten … the list goes on.

One thing I performed as soon as I arrived at my friend’s house for the good bye party – was test my blood sugar (BG) after the 2 hour drive.  I’m getting better now, as an insulin dependent gal to test before I hit the road.  I pulled out my little Lolita who was interviewed a few years ago otherwise known as my FreeStyle Lite meter.   Of course, they thought this was a nifty little meter (I have cool skins for it).  They thought I was such a good diabetic to be testing my BG, but of course, with wine and food awaiting me, I wanted to make sure I’d be in the good zone (neither going low or high).

One thing that one of my Type 2 Diabetic (T2D) friends told me when we started  talking about my scribbles here at Diabetes1.org and my Facebook/Twitter posts – was how different we feel when we go either low or high.  For myself, I feel tired when I go low, and when I go high, which isn’t too often, I don’t tend to feel much different.  For them, it was going high that made them feel tired.   Maybe being a Type 2 diabetic – the symptoms of our blood sugar number varies?

One of them is using Victoza  – which according to my Mum – her sister uses – and it appears to be working for helping her shed weight/keep BG's balanced BUT apparently she has become lactose intolerant since starting on it.  I asked my friend if he had some of the symptoms that my Aunt has – and they said yes (they love cheese like I do – it’s a low carb food!!!).  It’s hard to say after reading the link above on Victoza if the stomach/bowel problems could be all due to lactose intolerance – since this is a common complaint of many Victoza users.  Therefore, the only way to find out if you are lactose intolerant is to either do it the inexpensive way – of cutting out lactose products – and then reintroducing them OR the more scientific way of knowing for sure – is a hydrogen breath test.  
Picture credit of breath test - Phineas H/Flickr
It’s hard though to really pin it just on the Victoza – since lactose intolerance is also common with osteoporosis, osteopenia, pain, high blood pressure, depression to name a few.

The other scenario –since symptoms are similar is having a wheat and gluten intolerance.   It’s an iffy there as far as self testing goes –as you can tell by this link from the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness (NFCA).  

Just remember –anything you read on the Internet – even from me – ALWAYS question your health care practitioner. about what is happening if you’re taking Victoza or have other health problems. Take note of some of the things you’ve read here – and be an advocate of your own health!!  If you don’t ask – you’ll never know.

Hmmm, the things I learn about when I start to research for a simple blog!

Picture of two cows breaking up - from my DairyFreeDream blog site

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Posted: Jun 16, 2013

Have you ever read a book that made you so emotional about how good it was – that you wanted to shout it out to the world (okay – Facebook / Twitter / Google+ it?).  Usually it’s reserved for a fiction book in my case, but today, I want to give a shout out to this book by Johanna Burkhard and Barbara Allan, RD, CDE along with Canadian Diabetes Association (CDA).  This book is aimed at folks wanting to prevent and manage their Type 2 diabetes (Gestational Diabetes Mellitus (GDM) / Type 1 is explained VERY well too) in TEN steps.  Though, in actual fact I’m thinking it’s a book that everyone should delve into – diabetic or not – if they want to live a healthy life.   I feel like the Doctor Oz / Oprah of the big blue marble with getting this book out to you!!!  I’m wanting to give this book to every friend I know, every aging parent I know  …  but sorry – at $24.95 (Cdn/US) – you’ll have to fork out the money for it yourself - but it’ll be a great investment – even for those of you like myself who’ve lived with diabetes most of their lives.  I have actually learned some new things – or my mind was refreshed with stuff that I’ve forgotten over the years.  When I’ve returned this book to my local library – I’m going to be using the Amazon gift certificate my brother gave me for my birthday.

Now, I do realise that some diabetics may poo poo some of what is written in the book – especially those that are die hard low carb fans of Dr. Bernstein (See Note 1).   Fair game – since I am a sort of a "semi" low carb eater myself (120 grams on average if I don’t “cheat”) – but I think for anyone wanting to know more about diabetes and try to at least learn how to eat wisely – then progress otherwise – this book is a valuable resource for those trying to understand diabetes.  The nice thing, in less than 150 pages the explanation of diabetes will NOT send you to sleep – it will make you learn/question more – which is a good thing in my books. What is contained is easily understood by the layman like me and not using language that sometimes goes right over my head with some books I’ve read by doctors and well learned scholars (e.g. university geeks).   The other point is that after you browse over the sections of the diet plan they have (for weight loss they aim for 1,600 calories) - you can also modify the meal plan (28-day menu) to suit your lifestyle with their simple suggestions.

One great tip I got from the book (and there are many) – with every meal – ensure that you have a minimum of 15 grams of protein.  So this morning, I had my toast with jam, along with ½ cup of 2% cottage cheese.  I’m hoping with my next blood glucose reading (BG) – I won’t have spiked up too much – since protein/fat help keep your BG’s more stable.  I think I’ve always known that having protein/carb helps with more level BG’s – but the little reminder on the side of the section I was reading was a great reminder.  The section offers a list of choices for ALL meals – to help meet that protein requirement!

Here’s a little factoid from the book – “­Did You Know?  People with prediabetes are likely to develop Type 2 within 10 years unless they take steps to prevent or delay it.”

In the section on Low-Sodium Cooking, most of us know that high blood pressure can be contributed to the way we eat – with processed foods we do not have much control over it.  If you are of African descent, age 51 or more, have diabetes or high blood pressure you should aim to limit your sodium to 1,500 milligrams per day rather than the upper limit of 2,300 for healthy individuals.  In actual fact – as they state – we ALL should limit our salt intake.  Luckily, all the recipes in Chapter 2 use very little added salt, using herbs/spices to make the food tastier, which is what most people use salt for.
                                             Picture courtesy of USDA (My Plate)

One area I always have problems with is eating lunch.  I’m usually too busy to remember and before I know it – dinner is almost approaching.  That may not be my problem anymore – of wondering/remembering to eat (and maybe not consume so much at dinner time because I’m so hungry).  There is a great section on Combo Sandwiches – Combo Salads – that allow you to choose your Carb Choice / Vegetable Choice / Fat Choice / Extras – and some of them are very drool worthy!  You’ll even find a great section of 100-Calorie and 200-Calorie snacks.  The breakdown of the foods is easily understood for ALL diabetics and nondiabetics (exchange values are given to those who follow that method – or those of us who count their carbs to match their insulin requirement – too easy!!).

One thing that shocked me - did you know that children born to mothers with GDM have a higher risk of diabetes themselves, and a higher risk of being overweight?  Following/using some of the recipes in this book is the course of action (and of course – they’ll eat larger portions due to growing – but they will be healthier choices).   Really, when it comes down to it, the menus shown here are really a “menu for life” – and not to look at the way diabetics in general  eat as being a “diet” which often makes people think of weight loss only – but a healthy diet for everyone.  My Mum who is not a diabetic, to this day still follows the CDA way of eating that she brought me up on – and has no serious health issues!

The tried and true steps to good health – eating a variety of whole foods, including plenty of vegetables and fruit, exercising and getting enough sleep – will never go out of style.”

There’s a very good section (2 pages – short read) – about Artificial sweeteners and their “safety” issue.  I have a few nondiabetic friends who will not eat/drink anything that contains artificial sweeteners (Stevia is written in this section as well).  Sadly, some of my friends, who are aging like me, are increasing in weight, and still continue to consume regular sugar soda.  I keep on telling them that the after taste they remember from many years ago is no longer a big issue – at least not for me.  Despite the recent research that shows people gain weight when drinking diet soft drinks (this is talked about in the book) – I still think it’s all about moderation – e.g. don’t drink a case a day!   Now if only I can get my friends to see the light on artificial sweeteners – so I can keep them away from becoming possible Type 2 diabetics! 

So, run to your local library (or check for book online like I can with my public library system) - I want to see if you feel the same way as I do about this book!!!  Along with your own blogs about meals you've cooked up from the book!!!  Eat, Eat!!!  Mangi! Mangi! 

Note 1: I can now maybe see why Americans dislike the ADA by this statement in the book - “ADA system “counts” more of the fiber and more of the vegetables.  This results in more Carbohydrate Exchanges per day in the ADA system – roughly 13, compared with 11 CDA Food Choices “. 

Recipe you can find on page 270 of the book

Tandoori Chicken with Cucumber Mint Raita (baked in oven rather than BBQ as per the recipe) –along with some Coconut Milk Quinoa with Sprouted Bean Trio & Peanuts

 

 

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Posted: May 3, 2013

So, if you read my Twitter / Facebook feed you’ll know that for some reason –  for about 5 days earlier in the week – I thought I was perhaps CURED after almost 50 years with Type 1 diabetes (T1D).  I wasn’t the only one having the same thing happening – other T1D mates of mine were having the same lows like I was – tho’ for me – I wasn’t rebounding up (e.g. blood sugar spiking high) – but I was having the opposite – of going lower or not moving at all from a range of 3.5 – 4.5 mmol/l (63 – 81 mg/dl).  Sometimes I would go lower, and this was just on my basal insulin – which currently is Lantus while I’m taking a siesta from George Michael my Animas 2020 pump since the beginning of the year.


Of course, things have gone back to normal, but still, times like this, where we feel like we are detectives, trying to figure out what is the cause of the crime is sometimes so frustrating that at that point – diabetes takes over your life – as you try to accomplish what you want to do – but blood sugars (BG) are not cooperating.  Even worse for me, with the onset of menopause and thyroid acting up, I’ve been told to shed weight.  This is so hard to do, trying to lose weight, when you are having to stuff your face with sugary things to keep your BG in balance.   Of course, after having a low blood sugar (hypo) it makes some of us exhausted, sleep head folks.  I’m very lucky that of course, these 5 days of being low, were during my days off from work, when I have so much to do at this time of the year with Spring clean up, getting ready for the sailing/motorcycle season.  If you heard a lot of screaming coming from up north in Canada – that was moi – frustrated as all hell, as I laid on my comfy couch in the spare room, cat in my crotch purring with contentment of a human pillow.  I feel so unproductive at times like this – when I have so many plans – and poof – with a low BG’s that last more than just 1 day but goes on for many- … this is when I hate being a diabetic!!!   This is when FatCatAnna is not a happy cat like she appears to all she meets and greets!  On top of dealing with hormonal changes, I’m surprised during those 5 days I wasn’t ready to be locked up with the ups/downs of mood swings .

Now that the warmer weather is occurring (Spring is very short here in Montreal, boom, suddenly we are having summer like temps) – more of my neighbours that I chat to during the year are coming out of their homes.  One of my neighbours is a Type 2 diabetic (T2D) – and her sister who lives close by is always coming to me to ask for advise on her.  She says her sister eats too much bad food, doesn’t test her blood sugars enough, yadda, yadda, yadda.  I always ask her, is she seeing her doctor, is she getting ill frequently, is she happy?  Of course, the answer is, yes, she’s doing fine.  So, I try to tell the sister that if she’s okay – then not to worry too much - but that she is a good sister for caring.  Now, if she was losing weight/gaining weight drastically, getting ill, then there would be concern to worry I told her.


My neighbours sister asked me how I was doing.  Of course, I told her about having low blood sugars and saying I’d been CURED (I was joking of course).  She looked at me and wondered how could I have diabetes – since I look so healthy.  Nice compliment I told her, but sadly my T1D doesn’t just go away like that – I’m on insulin for the rest of my life.  She then cried out when I told her that I’d had T1D for almost 50 years.  

I explained to her the difference between
T1D & T2D.  T1D is an autoimmune disease - - and your body makes little or no insulin at all and then T2D is usually age related or being overweight along with insulin you produce not being used efficiently She then went onto tell me that 2 of her other sisters also have diabetes and just on pills.  I’m not sure if what I told her will be retained in her memory banks – but like many T1D’s – we always have to explain “our” type of diabetes against the more common T2D.  If I really wanted to confuse her, I could have gone on about the other forms of diabetes – but that’s another day of my advocating about diabetes. 

On with staying balanced in my little world of cat nip and sunshine!

 

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