A question about my general diet and exercise was asked and I thought this would be a good time to introduce the topic. I will go into more detail in future posts, if you want to know more about it.
Diet and Exercise are the two of the most important ways for you to control your blood sugar, cholesterol and general well being. For a diabetic there is only one more important item – TAKE YOUR MEDS AS PRESCRIBED!
The exercise part is the easier to address. I walk. I walk 5 or 6 days a week for about 30 minutes. Sometimes it’s 35 or 40 minutes because I decide to walk a bit farther. I walk because it’s something I can do easily and gives me a time to consider life in general, see the neighborhood and at say hi to folks I see as I walk by. Once I start my walk, I do not stop to talk with people. My walk is exercise – not a leisurely paced walk around the neighborhood to see what’s going on.
I walked for the first 2 1/2 years in old shoes that my wife wanted me to throw away. Yes, my shins ached a bit, but I would rather have a little ache than have a high A1c. The first day I walked maybe 3/4 of a mile in 30 minutes, but the important thing was that I was doing something. Over time my pace increased, so I go much farther in 30 minutes now. My normal ‘walk’ pace is 124 paces per minute (yes, I am just anal enough to count them several times during my walk); I have several areas of my walk where it increases to 132 paces per minute. I do have an advantage because my walk is done on level ground.
Do you know the most important reason I walk? I hate the idea of going to a gym and I think I might dislike the idea of actually running almost as much. So, I walk.
Don’t worry about the ‘right’ shoes, by the way. Use whatever you have. Just get out and start walking.
My current diet? I count carbs. I stay to about 45 or 50 carbs for breakfast – whole grain cereals, hard boiled eggs (no more than four per week), toast (whole wheat and high fiber – found a great brand that does not taste like cardboard), blue berries and black berries mixed (a little over 1/2 cup each), very low carb yogurt like stuff and coffee with a splash of milk. Now, understand I do not have all of that at the same time! I mix and match to get to a carb count.
Lunch is a sandwich of turkey (not my favorite), left-over roast, peanut butter (watch the portion size), ramen like noodles (watch the carb count), maybe low carb yogurt stuff, fruit, fresh raw vegetables, and iced tea to drink (unsweetened). I will have the occasional hamburger (but they normally come in at 55 carbs by themselves) and nothing else. Again, I mix and match to get to 50 + or – carbs.
Dinner is a taco type salad with a piece of bread or corn tortilla, roast, salad, broiled or rotisserie chicken, fish, fish tacos (2 and I use corn tortillas) and iced tea to drink. Again, I use 50 carbs as the magic number.
For snacks I use low carb yogurt stuff, low carb granola bars (that really are good), fruit, half of a peanut butter sandwich, fresh raw vegetables. Most snacks I try to keep to 15 cards, more or less.
When I drink milk, which I love, I use 2%.
This diet works for me. Will it work for you? I don’t know. I just know that I was strict in following it because the alternative was letting diabetes win. My A1c is currently 6.1. So, what I am doing works for me; it might work for you.
You can beat diabetes. You can control it. It will take a bit of dedication and maybe a few life-style changes, but I know you can do it. Yes, you might have days that are not great. And, yes, you might be a little hungry sometimes, but I’d rather be a wee bit hungry than be on dialysis! Yeah, that’s how I think about it sometimes.
Again, thank you for reading.
“The best years of your life are the ones in which you decide your problems are your own. You do not blame them on your mother, the ecology or the president. You realize that you control your own destiny.” Albert Ellis