Blog Entries With Tag: eating

Posted: Oct 6, 2013

I recently watched the season opener of the Fifth Estate (a show similar to 60 Minutes on USA television) – about the evils of sugar and what it is doing to the populations health around the world (it’s effects on diseases like diabetes to cancer and Alzheimer’s to name just a few).

It was interesting for the most part – it opened my eyes up abit to what sugar does in the breakdown in our bodies (liver – wow does that take the brunch of access sugar).  My only concern was how it was made that sugar is EVIL – that we should really avoid it all together.   That’s not possible.


Sugar is in in everything we eat – it’s either added – or its part of the natural structure of the item we are about to gobble down.  I do believe in reducing my sugar intake but for myself that’s mainly for my being a diabetic (and no – the type I have is not brought on by eating sugar or being overweight - SCREAM – the amount of times I’ve had to explain this to people).  My Type 1 diabetes is all to do with my autoimmune system destroying my pancreas which produces insulin, a hormone that enables the human body to get energy from food.   Capiche?

What I wasn’t aware of when watching this show – that the American government over the past 5 years has been trying to persuade food manufactures to show more information on their food labels as to the “percentage” of sugar – just like  it shows for Fats, Salt.

In the USA, there are no government recommended limits for sugar but the American Heart Association recommends 9 teaspoons (45 ml) for men, 6 (30) for women.  Meanwhile, USA lawmakers are trying to make information on sugar consumption clearer. ”

To me – this makes sense – if you want to have a more informed population of what they are putting into their guts.  As we diabetics all know – especially those of us who match our insulin injections to our food intake – we scrutinize the food label like it’s a mystery novel!  Or at least I know I do. 

Not only, what is shown on the food label, but also the ingredients that are listed on the food label – make a big difference to what I purchase and put on our table to eat.  And we always hope that what is shown on the label is truthful (even more so for those with food allergies – which could result in death).

So, would looking at the percentage of sugar on the product you’re about to purchase make a difference to you?  Or would it just be another time consuming factor in your grocery isle experience?

Personally for myself, even though I try to cook from scratch most of the time, yes, it would help determine my reason for buying a product to consume!


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Posted: Mar 22, 2012
My faithful readers might be missing some of my posts, as of late, and I dully apologize. Sometimes, life throws us much more than diabetes to handle. :) 

Close to a month ago, we discussed some of the knowledge basics of Taking Control of Diabetes, the significant role that carbohydrates play in our diets, as well as learning how to read nutrition labels, and how and when to use our glucose meters. We learned that not just knowledge is power, but that data derived from that knowledge is, also, power.

We reviewed quite a bit of information... and perhaps what is one of the more challenging aspects of managing diabetes is that the weight and volume of this information can be signifficantly overwhelming for a patient -- whether they be newly diagnosed, or often times, a veteran. It may even be enough to make us throw our hands in the air, and proclaim we're doomed, without even starting.

Which brings us to this week's baby step: Finding the Motivation. 

Just how exactly do we find the motivation, and the *oomph* to really start doing the things we need to take care of ourselves...? Well, that, my friends is a question which will NEVER stop getting answered during the lifetime you live with diabetes, and for as many struggles as you face in your daily life. However... we'll discuss at least, a few very important steps to get you started.

Quieting the 'I just can't do it' voice. 

  • I'm too ingrained in my habits -- I just can't do it.
  • I'm too addicted to sugar/fat/salt -- I just can't do it.
  • I'm too fat -- I just can't do it.
  • I'm too old to change -- I just can't do it.

The fact is... that while there might be some truth to some of these excuses, there are also a lot of lies. 

For one, you are NEVER too ingrained in your habits to change, especially... when the price of staying the same exceeds the price of changing. If you have found 20 ways around getting nailed by the rising price of gasoline, or 20 different ways to be a cheapskate, then you can change; if you have found 20 different brands to use, in protest of a company giving you crappy customer service, or not doing something your way (or the right way)... THEN YOU CAN CHANGE. If you got mad at your cell phone company and found another one... Oh, guess what? You can change! :) 

There is no habit too ingrained, which with a little patience, can get changed. 

*But I have tried, and I can't get a single day of dieting and exercising in place!* 

Of course we're going to fail. If we can barely climb a hill, why go for Mount Everest? We have to realize that our habits were formed over years, and decades, of mentally stimulating, and instantly gratifying behaviors. It's going to take some time, and some delicate work, to rewrite and rewire some of those messages that we were CONSTANTLY receiving.  

Many folks fail because a common misconception is that we need to start an entire clean slate of healthful eating and exercising -- from January 1st -- or some other epic date, in order to "do it right." This is just NOT so, and in fact, might be incredibly overwhelming for a beginner. 

So how do we start, then? Work on small steps, and small habits. For example: 

  • Instead of pursuing an entire day of healthful eating, why not simply try to add vegetables to ONE meal of your day? 
  • Instead of pursuing an entire day of blood glucose testing, why not try to at least test around ONE meal of your day? 
  • Instead of thinking you need to do 15 or 30 minutes of intense exercise, why not just go for a relaxing walk around the block, after a meal? 
  • Instead of sticking to X number calories a day, why not try to focus on not overeating during meals? (You know... eating so much, you can tell your body has long ago told you it was full...?) 
For someone who has never done some of these behaviors, these are small steps that can pack quite the punch. While these small steps might not seem very large ones, over a small amount of time they can become powerful, ingrained habits... and lead to many more. You might feel so good, health-wise, on your walks... that you might want to add 15 or 30 more minutes to them, or even intensify your pace; you may love those veggies so much that ALL your meals will have to have them. We can create a snowball effect of good habits with just one little baby step. 

Personalizing your journey.

Have you ever put on someone else's glasses? It's really quite uncomfortable, and even painful. It's so annoying, you quickly take them off. We never put on someone else's glasses, or their underwear, or use their toothbrush... and frankly, we understand those are intimate, and personal things. 

One thing we might not understand is that what we eat every day, is also, an intimate and personal thing. We are individual beings, with refined tastes, and often those tastes go unnoticed, and unidentified. In this day and age of technology, and instant gratification, it's really not easy to listen to our internal dialogues anymore. Eating the "wrong things" is often the same as wearing a bra that doesn't fit, or a shoe the wrong size.

The dieting industry BANKS on that you do *NOT* know what to eat, and will sell you their notions, and ideas, as your own. They know you're going to fail, and frankly, your success is not their goal. Their goal is to even get you hooked for a little while, long enough to add to their bank account. The business of recurring business is their business.

But you have EVERYTHING you need, within your self... to succeed. Trust me: You *KNOW* which foods are healthy; you *KNOW* which foods your blood glucose meter tells you are a no-no; you *KNOW* that portion size matters and you can read labels; you *KNOW* that food doesn't have to be bland; and you *KNOW* you ought to stop when the belly says you've had enough. Just knowing these five things, you can put Jenny Craig, and Weight Watchers, et al, out of business.

The rest is merely experimenting with your taste buds. Really, why the heck settle for frozen food, or pre-made food, or live within checked boxes of exchanges? Those programs are NOT personalized; they do not know your height, your age, your specific body wants and nutritional needs... They were not meant with your specific YOU in mind. 

So... eat without distractions, and buy a lot of spices. :) 

Not exactly easy, I know... you won't always be distracted. You *WILL* have moments, though, when you can pay attention to your body, your hunger signals, your taste buds. Do you realize that half the time we eat something, we don't even like it, and just eat it out of habit? 

Yes, it's true... I don't like Hershey's Kisses. They taste like the cheap wax they're made with. Give me 80% fine dark chocolate, any day, instead.

Aside from the things we mindlessly eat, and mindlessly follow... we give up, because it's simply disheartening to just eat boring food. Healthy food does NOT have to be boring. You don't have to eat boiled green beans, with no salt, in order for them to be good for you. You don't even have to eat them fresh.

Become your OWN culinary science experiment. Steam, broil, grill, sautée. Use olive oil, and spices; discover thyme, rosemary, oregano, marjoram, savory, cumin, etc. Why make bland food? I will never understand many peoples' desire to make bland food, and feed their kids bland food. 

While I tried to live the bland life, I'd always give up, and never eat vegetables, or tried healthier ways of cooking... Now, the broiler is my friend, and every veggie dish packs a fantastic punch. I could *NEVER* give up my veggies. No way! ... And a serving of broiled, seasoned asparagus has more appeal to me than a bowl full of macaroni and cheese. Any day. 

You might think this is not going to happen to you... but trust me, I once weighed 248 lbs. I've struggled with morbid obesity since I was around 7 years old. It can, and it WILL happen to you. One step at a time. 

Self Awareness is Power.

The magic of self motivation, is self awareness. Learning to establish, and keep an internal dialogue going will go far in helping us identify the blocks that might make us stumble in our life time path of diabetes management. It is critical to know that not only will our diabetes management vary, but that so will our tastes, our drives, and motivations. We are all individual persons, and we need to address ourselves with as much respect and awareness of that individuality as we reserve for others. Take a moment, today, to go discover yourself. Visualize it!


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Posted: Jun 10, 2009

Les piggy chefAs I'm typing out this little ditty to you all, I am turning around from time to time in my chair to flip over the Ziplock bag that has a piece of sirloin steak marinating in it ( a mixture of olive oil / Balsamic vinegar / black pepper ).  There, did you miss me?  I just gently flipped the bag - so the meat gets equal time with the marinade (no more then 1/2 an hour with this mixture I make). 

Right now, I have an actual appetite, abit rare in me and it seems common with some of my other diabetic friends I know that are long term such as myself  I really want to sit down and have a good meal!  Though if you had been with me last night - you would have wondered if I was on some sort of diet! 

Last night Mike and I went out for dinner, we've been planning on doing this for the past 2 weeks, but something always comes up or it doesn't fit into the budget.  Here was my chance, to not "slave" in the kitchen, making yet another home made meal along with left overs.  Now, don't get me wrong - I love to cook, as some of you know, I have been making my own bread over the past year.  No mass marketing bread finds their way into our household - heaven forbid - therefore the baker (moi) is never sick .  I just felt like a break last night, sitting down and getting served for a change of pace while I swirled my red wine in my glass. 

Well, here I am, in the restaurant after I've had my salad and main dish arrives ... huge piece of salmon on it (usually I can eat most of it), surrounded by roasted potatoes, rice and veggies.  My appetite just went poof - like that.  I tried to eat, but my heart wasn't into it as I tried to enjoy what was in front of me.  Poor Mike is trying not to feel uncomfortable as he indulges in his meal because he is hungry! I managed to discretely slide some of my salmon into a baggie (you're not supposed to do this at the restaurant I eat at but I come prepared).  This piece of fish will make my cats worship me of course. 

I'm back again, just flipped the bag over and I'm going to go upstairs and get veggies and other side dishes going while Master Griller  Mike gets the BBQ good and hot.  I AM HUNGRY - I HAVE AN APPETITE.  Am I doomed to never eat in a restaurant again because frankly my food tastes much better as well as the service is impeccable here at home (push aside the flyers on the kitchen table and other crap - viola - place setting for two)?  Please tell me I'm not sounding too loopy here (and my BG's are very good right now - so I cannot blame what I've written here on having a hypo).

Alright - trotting off to the kitchen.  Bon appetite everyone!



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About me  |  A Diabetes Diagnosis: Finding the Motivation  |  Ontario doctors urge fast-food chains, schools to list calories  |  Daily recommended limit of sugar on food labels  |  Diabetes Expo  |  What's for dinner Ma?
Posted: Mar 4, 2009

Well, I’m marinating up a block of tofu for tonight’s dinner.  I get a pretty good deal on a 3-pack of tofu for just $3.00 CDN at Costco. A block of tofu – feeds 3 nicely in the recipe I’m using and just by itself is about 17g of protein and 2g of carbs.  Not a bad deal – and change from the usual pork/chicken/lamb/fish dishes I cook up.


I know a lot of people aren’t into vegan foods.  I have a few meat ‘n potato friends that go “yuck” at the mention of tofu, lentils, beans – thinking that you have to wear love beads and go tripping thru’ the tulips. I have surprised them a few times when bringing a dish to a party.  As they’re gobbling it up – licking their chops – they do not realize they are eating the stuff they go “yuck” at (I bring out the love beads at that point).  Yes, I do tell them later what they have just devoured – and then I’m being asked for the recipe.  I personally think it’s all in the mind – vegan food – as long as it tastes good – that’s all I care about – and is somewhat healthy.


The recipe I’m using for tonight’s meal is called Asian steak tofu (cooked up on the BBQ even tho’ it’s only -10C).  We either eat along side of it some brown rice that I mix in with abit of  wild rice from Lundberg Family Farms in California.  Their rice isn’t exactly cheap – but I only use ¼ cup with ¾ cup of brown rice – but it just adds that little extra bit of zest.  The way I’m serving up the tofu tonight is with salad – lots of it as I got a good deal on romaine lettuce (some of that will be incorporated into a soup this week – yes – romaine lettuce soup – delicious).  With abit of triple rye bread on the side you have yummy meal less than 25g of carbs (yes Brad – I said yummy).

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From: ekc

Posted: Mar 20, 2008

Went to the Boston expo and met a lot of parents with kids who were recently diagnosed with type 1. I  have been reading about the prevalence of type 2 in younger people but the since the majority of people I spoke to had kids with type 1, that makes me start thinking more about the genetic component of the disease. It also makes me think about what effect the environment might be having on these kids. All the foods today that are fortified with stuff and have tons of additives and preservatives – that has to be having some effect.

I know I eat pretty well but should try to be more conscientious when it comes to that. It's definitely hard to limit artificial stuff in the food you eat.

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