Ok, so, so far I haven’t really gone into any great detail on the specifics of what I eat – and more importantly why. Quite frankly, that’s because it’s a friggin vast topic; virtually every choice has a counter choice, and simply put, is not a topic I could ever possibly cover in one post.
However, I’m starting to get emails and so on asking me for a bit more info on this ~ which, as this blog is primarily to share with you what I’ve learnt thus far, then I thought I best make a start…
So, I am by no means a doctor – nor am I a qualified nutritionist, though I have a diploma in Naturapathic Nutrition, so did have a foundation in place. What I also have is a strong thirst for knowledge, and a very stubborn nature ~ and when both of these aspects of my personality are combined, it leads to – well, this blog… ;-)
I have literally done *hours* of research, and am reading new information every day – I’d guess to date I must be hitting around 500hrs of reading that I’ve done in the last 8 months or so – and I think that may even be a conservative guesstimate! Plus I’ve experimented on myself pretty much every step of the way; of course using my meter so I knew what it was all doing to my blood sugars…. and I encourage you to do the same (the experimenting / testing bit, not necessarily the reading – I know I’m very fortunate I’ve had the time to do so).
What I’m sharing with you is by no means a “prescription” – I’ve learnt that all our bodies, diabetic or otherwise, respond differently based on our history, constitution, emotional health, physical shape, and a whole host of factors that are too vast to go into; but there may be info in one of these articles that you may not have read or tried – and it may make a difference – which will make me happy :)
So, without further ado, I currently, mostly eat:
- Veggies: mostly non-starchy vegetables; such as spinach, asparagus, celery, cucumber, cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, fennel and so on. I do occasionally have more starchy veggies like beetroot and carrots, but I keep the amounts of these low in any one meal. ie they are an accompaniment rather than the “main” part of the meal.
- Fruits: mostly, the only fruits I have are: lemons, limes, avocados & tomatoes. I do occasionally have some berries or other low sugar fruits, but they seem to not agree with me if I have them regularly, for reasons I will expand upon below.
- Nuts: I eat a lot of nuts and seeds, the only exceptions to these being peanuts (not actually a nut, but a legume) and cashews I try to go easier on as they are higher in carbs. Almonds are a firm favourite, as are walnuts for their omega 3 content.
- Coconut: I’ve separated this one as a) I’m honestly not sure if it’s a nut or fruit (!) and b) I eat *loads* of it, and in so many different forms! I eat at least two to three tablespoons of coconut oil a day, plus often make treats using fresh coconut flesh, coconut flour, coconut nectar (one of the only sweeteners I use), coconut butter, and coconut water that’s inside a newly opened coconut. I’ll do a blog on coconut alone at some point!
- Oils: as mentioned above, coconut oil is a large part of my diet, and the oil I most commonly use – but I do also use cold pressed olive oil on salads sometimes, plus cold pressed sesame oil.
- Herbs & Spices: lots and lots of! Again, I’ll need to write a separate blog post as herbs and spices have so many wondrous properties!
- Superfoods: Anyone who knows me, will know my love of cacao! Plus a few others… yes, they’re a tasty treat – but they’re also packed with nutrients and other properties I will expand upon.
So, as you can tell from above, what I *mostly* eat is relatively limited; however thus far I’ve not gotten bored!
Here’s a little more of synopsis on each “food group”;
Raw Veggies: I am mostly sticking to raw food; simply because cooked food doesn’t contain the same level of nutrients as raw food – and whilst my body is healing I feel it’s the best I can be giving it for now. However as we move into winter, I will experiment more with soups – plus for special occasions, so long as it’s a dish that’s meat, grain & dairy free; I sometimes do eat it. I am careful to ensure this isn’t more than once a week maximum though, as I know currently any more and my body would start to object. In time I will probably experiment with more and more cooked things, though I will almost certainly always remain meat, dairy and grain free.
Fruit: I mostly avoid fruits as they are high in sugar. There is much, much debate on whether fruit sugars are OK – and, yes, again I will write a separate post on this; but in short I have found that when I eat fruit I get very, very hungry afterwards (which I believe is owing to it contributing towards Leptin Resistance; which I’m pretty sure I have), plus it makes my intestinal flora go funky, as basically it feeds candida, plus it makes my blood sugars go up and thus makes me sleepy. Lastly, fruits can be loosely broken down into high fructose or high glucose (of course there’s some crossover) – high glucose will, in my opinion, put unnecessary strain on my pancreas as I will need to produce higher levels of insulin to process the glucose ~ and higher fructose fruits, though they don’t require insulin, it’s because they are processed via the liver; which means a lot of work for it to be doing.
Grains: I don’t eat grains, as quite simply, when I do, my body makes it very clear it’s not happy. I get aches (a sign of inflammation in the body), bloated, lethargic, and my blood sugars go up. There’s a lot of research that says we aren’t really meant to consume grains – I will write more about this too!
Dairy: I don’t eat dairy in any form as it’s *strongly* linked to the specific auto-immune reaction my pancreas is having; therefore it’s a bit of a no brainer for me. Again, I will expand in due course, however if you’re a recently diagnosed type 1 diabetic, and *especially* if you’ve been told you’re in the “honeymoon” phase, or still producing insulin; if you only do one thing today, make it cutting out dairy. Then google why it’s associated with type 1 diabetics; basically the auto-immune reactors the body produces after dairy consumption are almost identical to the auto-immune antibodies that get produced in the pancreas of type 1 diabetics – so its believed the body gets confused after dairy is put into it and instead of pumping out the dairy antibodies, it pumps out the GAD (pancreatic) ones. This makes it 100% worth cutting out, in my humble opinion.
Meat: I don’t eat meat as I’ve actually been veggie since I was very young – but there’s lots of evidence that supports that meat makes the body overly acidic, which then puts it at risk of developing all sorts of diseases, including diabetes.
High Protein/Low Carb: Some people say that high meat based diets are the best way of eating for diabetics, as meat contains almost no carbs or sugar. However, we only need a relatively low amount of protein – and once we eat over that amount, our body starts breaking any excess protein to glucose (glycogen) – which is why some diabetics can be baffled that they only had steak for dinner, but still have a high blood sugar reading. I did try high protein for about a month when I was very first diagnosed; via cheese, eggs, and fish… I was also baffled by the high readings I would get, particularly towards the end of the day (as my body had exceeded it’s amount of protein it was able to use as straightforward protein that day) – and as soon as I more fully understood why this was, plus a few other bits and pieces, I have remained on a medium/low protein diet.
High Fat/Low Carb: I know I am repeating myself; but again this is too vast to go into in one post, so I will write more ~ but essentially, this is what I follow. It’s also known as a “ketogenic” diet; and again has massively conflicting information out there – so it’s something I’m still exploring with – but for now, it’s the diet that works best for my body. There is plenty of research that says that the brain needs glucose to run, however my brain works much clearer on very low amounts of glucose (mostly obtained via veggies) so I’m inclined to think that the sources that say the amount of glucose the brain actually needs is very low, are correct. I am aware that high fat, like high fructose fruit, is also taxing on the liver; but for me, so far, the fat is the better of the two – just because I don’t get the other problems; plus it’s about the only way of eating that has ever caused me to lose weight (I suspect because it doesn’t feed leptin resistance in the same way some other eating styles do – but this is just a hunch I have.)
In short, I currently get around 70% of my calories from fat, 20% from carbohydrates, and 10% protein.
Phew – and already I feel like I’ve *bombarded* you with info; when I’ve only really scratched the surface on each point above… I will expand more soon ~ but in the meantime I really encourage you to google whatever resonates with you ~ and experiment; it’s the only way you’ll ever really know what way of eating suits you.
I hope that’s helped shed some light on things as a starting point; and as always – share with me your thoughts and findings in the comments box below… xo