Blog Entries With Tag: obesity

Posted: Mar 6, 2015

The other day I emptied out a 4 kg (about 10 lbs) of white sugar that I had dated a year ago when I opened it.  I use white sugar purely for cooking (I make my own bread, so have to proof the yeast usually with sugar or honey depending on the recipe). 

I'd posted on my Facebook page about emptying out this bag after a yearand asked the question .... how much sugar do you go through in a year?

Here's a few of the responses (names have been removed to protect their privacy):

  • I probably go through about 8 4-lb bags a year. I bake roughly 40 dozen cookies and 15 or more banana bread at Christmas time. I looove to bake. 
  • I bake a lot so maybe 10-20lbs a year!
  • My 1 cup was for visitors coffee/tea.. I personally do not use sugar.. I use stevia/Sucralose.
  • Don't use it, ever. I'm not much of a baker, so I'm sure that helps! My husband and I don't even keep sugar in our home.
  • We do not buy or have sugar in the house unless you count a packet or two from coffee my husband brings home from Starbucks. I do not have or use artificial sweeteners either. I take that back. We bought sugar a long time ago for hummingbird food which my husband makes. I do not even know where he keeps it. Hmmmm ..
  • Don't ever buy white sugar - only bake orange flax bran muffins, and they need 1 cup brown sugar, but we use a mix Brown Sugar Splenda, which needs only half measure, so very, very little for 24 muffins. We do buy some turbinado sugar, a type of brown sugar, of which I like a tiny sprinkle, over my microwaved apple. (allergic to raw apples).

So, there you have it, various answers to my question ... and to the Humming Bird poster  ... I use sugar for my feeder too ... so that's how I used up the 4 kg bag of sugar <lol>.

Picture above courtesy of Scrollgirl at Lumberjocks


What brought me to this subject today though was coming across an article at The Heart and Stroke website in Canada ( I skip all over the place for reading online). What it states is, and we don't really have to be told this is ...

" Consuming too much sugar is associated with heart disease, stroke, obesity, diabetes, high blood cholesterol, cancer and cavities "

Duhhhh, I know that, though maybe being diabetic makes me more conscious of eating foods with sugar due to how it affects our blood sugar, as well as causing weight gain if we eat too much sweet stuff, even with giving the right amount of insulin to keep the blood sugars (BGNow) at a good level.

Again, it's all about how much you consume, and if you don't want to consume it, that is fine as well!! I know many people who don't use sugar in their coffee (I'm like one of the posters on my wall, I use a small amount of turbinado sugar into my coffee ... and my husband ... he drinks it black ... ugh).

And, to get you even more excited about sugar ..... NOT ...

" For an average 2,000-calorie-a-day diet, 10 per cent is about 48 grams, or 12 teaspoons of sugar. One can of pop contains about 85 per cent of the daily added sugar limit "

So, if this blog has perked your interest about the evils of sugar (it's not ALL evil, just watch what you eat) - check out this link to find out sugar reduction tips by The Heart and Stroke Foundation!

Remember too, which is what I follow religiously .....

" Cooking at home more often will help you reduce sugar in your meals "

Though next week in Las Vegas at the Diabetes unConference - who knows what I'll be eating / drinking in the after hours of the conference, so I'd better walk it off, or else face weight gain, and higher blood sugars! LOL


NB:  I thought I'd written about sugar consumption before ... click on this this link from October 2013 ... and you'll find more on the subject.

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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: Feb 23, 2012

If you've never heard of bisphenol A (BPA) before - then you must have been hiding your head in the sand.  No worries though, I'm here to tell you the latest and greatest about this "evil" product that here in Canada since October 2010 had been added to Health Canada's Toxic Substance List.    The controversy over this chemical that's found in hard plastic containers and toys is also found in the lining of the resins that coat the interior of food cans to prevent corrosion.  It's been shown to mimic the hormone estrogen and does not occur naturally in the environment.  Also, animal studies theorize the chemical may be linked to obesity, infertility and insulin-resistance in rodents. 

I came across an article in the March 2012 Chatelaine about a study done by the Harvard School of Public Health that indicates BPA link to diabetes and obesity.  Two groups were split into one that ate a serving of canned vegetable soup every day for 5 days while the other group had a fresh version.  The results were that those who ate the canned stuff had a 1,000% increase in their BPA levels over the other group.  Now, who eats canned soup EVERYDAY?  Scary stuff nevertheless!

The weird thing though is that when Canada added BPA to their Toxic Substance List - that many countries (USA included) thought we were being abit far fetched in making this statement.  

All I know is, as a diabetic who likes to eat healthy in order to maintain my quality of life - I try my best to eat foods prepared by myself (not mass produced where you have no idea what gets slopped into the pot).    After reading this latest bit of news about this test group - I think I maybe going to the local farmers market in the Fall time to get a bushel of tomatoes to make my own tomatoes!

The only other thing that I buy that is in a tin can is maple syrup (me produce some good stuff here in Quebec).  I think I maybe opening up the cans in future and pouring into one of my many canning jars I keep for storing leftovers in them (I don't use plastic if I can avoid it - glass is easier to clean/sterilize, etc.).

So, does reading this make you squirm abit and reconsider what you eat?  Are you thinking like I am that more manufacturers of tinned items should sell their food in a glass jar?  Hmm, decision, decisions.

Cat in bottle

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Posted: Jun 13, 2011

Last week, to my surprise, George Simmons aka Ninjabetic tweeted a link for a Type 2 diabetic camp for kids in the United States.  Just his statement alone floored me.  I mean a Type 2 diabetic camp for kids?  Except this one is not just aimed at Type 2 diabetic kids, but also families/kids at risk.

I went to a diabetic camp (
Camp Banting) as a child (which I loved) – but that was for Type 1 diabetics aged 8-15 years of age.  I searched the Canadian Diabetes Association website for Type 2 diabetic camps – but only was able to find Type 1 – period.  As a few other members of the D-OC got into the conversation (limited to 140 letters in Tweet – so you’ve got to be concise) – we started to share thoughts.  As George pointed out – “I think the stigma about having type 2 would have to be that much worse being a kid. Adults are mean, kids can be cruel”.  His words struck a nerve there – since I had been made fun of at school for the way I spoke (English accent which I lost very quickly) as well as other little quirks that made me stand out differently from Canadian kids.  Diabetes was never an issue thank goodness – but still – George had it right with kids being cruel. 

I really must be out of the loop!  I know that Type 2 diabetes is on the increase on our big blue marble – but I like many people – associated it with older folks. When I was diagnosed as a youngster, I was in the diabetic ward at the hospital – and the only child on the whole floor – everyone else was … old (like me now ).    So, curiosity got the better of this cat and I went to the library the next day – and came across Diabetes for Canadians for Dummies – and there it was standing point blank at me on page 231 – Your Child Has Type 2 Diabetes!  Because of the epidemic of obesity – children here in Canada (and elsewhere as it points out) is much higher than it used to be (or higher in some communities).  Once again, I learned something about diabetes that I wasn’t aware of!

Another great link that came out of the Tweet conversation was one that Virtue B. posted that she’d seen at her endocrinologist’s office in Toronto on a recent visit.  It’s called KidsType2Diabetes.  It’s a really impressive site here in Canada with tips on healthy eating and getting active along with some great links and personally not just for kids - for the whole family!  Get active - get involved!!

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Posted: Apr 8, 2009

A group of doctors in Ontario are urging the provincial government to enact legislation to require calories to be listed next to the price of items on menus and menu boards at large chain restaurants / school cafeterias across Ontario.  Along with the food values, they would like to see an education campaign to inform people about the impact of calorie intake on weight gain and obesity - which in the long run can lead to health complications, such as diabetes to name just a few.

  In NYC, restaurant chains with more then 15 chains nationally are required by law to list calories on menu boards and menus.  In California a similar law has been passed and a bill before the U.S. Congress would make calorie content mandatory across the country.

  I know today when I was waiting for my Smart to have its winter tires taken off - I got chatting with a few of the clients also waiting.  They were curious about my blood testing and insulin pump after they found out I was a diabetic.  They were surprised that I was eating a few of the shortbread cookies with my coffee - and I explained to them that I could eat them - but just a few as they're high in not only fat - but also carbs.  So, once again, I started to do my part time diabetic educator job I seem to be doing lately (and I love doing it).  Telling them about sugar and how it affects me, insulin pumping, etc.  One of the Mum's is concerned about what her children eat at their school cafeteria of course and is hoping that Quebec follows along with Ontario in passing the same type of legislation with showing the food.  Due to our two languages here in this country - it may take a little while - but hopefully it is sooner then later!  I do find though that more people that I talk to lately - seem to be more informed as to what is in the food that they eat - so times are changing hopefully for the better.

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