A Lesson Re-Learned

i-will-learn-my-lesson

So, there I was.  Going into a grocery store to get some of the granola-type bars I was using for a snack.  Those snacks are an important part of my War On Diabetes. They not only help control my hunger between meals; I am normally less hungry at meal times, so it’s easier for me to eat smaller amounts.

Makes sense, right?  I eat less overall.  My glucose remains lower and more constant; and – get this – I keep my weight under control. It all works together.  For me – and I emphasize for me – part of my War On Diabetes is a war on weight.

Meanwhile, back at the store, I can’t find my usual granola bars.  They are lower carb bars, taste good and curb my hunger. What’s not to like?  I’ll tell you – the store no longer carried them.  They were there two weeks ago and the day I went in they were gone and there was no label on the shelf for them to be re-stocked.

What do I do?  I read all of the labels I read over a year ago when I came across the ones I was using.  They were all telling me the same thing: Carb counts of 25 to 30 per serving.  Too high for my snack.  For the next couple of weeks I put a bit of peanut butter on some lower carb bread; I was able to have a snack that met my reduced carb requirements and curbed my hunger.

Then, I come across a package that contained two granola bars.  Two.  If I eat one, just one, I get the carb count I want and need – about 15, or a bit less.  Half the package, half the carbs.  In fact, the package lists nutritional information for one bar and two bars.  How much plainer could they make it?  There was no rule that told me I had to have two of the bars. And, my immediate hunger is satisfied.

I re-learned a lesson I learned and use almost daily.  Half an orange is okay.  Half of a banana or on apple is just fine.  Why didn’t I just automatically apply it to the granola bar snack?

I wish I could tell you, but I can’t.  I didn’t take the simple lesson of half is okay, is just fine, and apply it to the packaged product.

oranges

Chances are you might be laughing at me at this point.  Enjoy it.  I’d be laughing at me, too.  In fact, I did when it suddenly dawned on me that I had not applied the basic lesson I wrote about some months ago, In Which Half Is Better Than None.

Just a reminder: portion sizes are really important as you work to control Diabetes, and weight.  Read the labels to learn what the specific portion size is and follow it to figure out how many carbs (or calories) you are getting.  Please.  Portion control is a huge weapon in your War On Diabetes.

As always, thank you for reading and sharing.

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News & Views

snoopy reading a newspaper

Welcome to the First Friday of 2014!  It seemed like a good time to change the graphic.  It’s Winter in the Northern Hemisphere.  Seemed a bit appropriate.  What do you think?

And, while you are thinking, let’s see what’s going on.

An apple a day keeps the doctor away...“Prescribing an apple a day to all adults aged 50 and over would prevent or delay around 8,500 vascular deaths such as heart attacks and strokes every year in the UK – similar to giving statins to everyone over 50 years who is not already taking them – according to a study in the Christmas edition of the BMJ.” Statin (pill) or apple?  Tough choice. Not!  I pick the apple. It’s an interesting study that just confirms what a good diet can do for you.

Tips For Eating Out   From the Canadian Diabetes Association.  Great ideas for when you are eating out and are just not quite sure what to have.  It’s a great guide that will allow you to keep to your diet and enjoy eating in just about any restaurant.

How to Make Sense of the New Blood Pressure Guidelines.  “If you’re confused about the latest recommendations for treating high blood pressure, take heart. Doctors are confused, too….On Wednesday, a panel of specialists called the Eighth Joint National Committee published guidelines saying that many people over 60 don’t need to start taking medications to lower blood pressure until it’s above 150/90 millimeters of mercury.” A lot of Diabetics take blood pressure medicine.  In fact our own pharmacist, Katherine, will soon begin writing about the most popular blood pressure meds.  If you are as confused as I am about the new blood pressure guidelines, this is a great article.

Comfort Foods to Love  “They’re called “comfort” foods for a reason — they bring back warm memories, tickle your taste buds, and soothe your soul. Though some comfort foods are deep-fried, covered in cheese, or packed with sugar, some can actually help you lose weight. Beat the battle of the bulge with the following cozy eats.”  Comfort foods that can help you lose weight and battle high blood sugar? Too good to be true?  Not according to this article!  Just a hint: watch the portion sizes, as with all foods.

Brush Up on Cholesterol Meds  “Getting and keeping your cholesterol in good range is one of the ABC’s for diabetes control (A1C and blood pressure are the other two). As with glucose control, lifestyle management is the foundational step of any program emphasizing heart health.”  A great over-view of the basic cholesterol meds.  Our pharmacist, Katherine, is in the process of writing about these for the blog and provides more information, but this is a great place to get information.

And, there you have it. The first News & Views of 2014.  Of course there are more articles available here.

I know I changed the graphic at the top of the post.  If you have ideas for others, or want to see the old one back, let me know.

As always, thank you for reading – and, if you found it valuable, please share it.

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Once Again, Thank You

thank you

I am not sure what I thought would happen when this blog was started.  The goal from the beginning was, and still is, to offer common sense solutions for the prevention and control of Type 2 Diabetes.  It was never about being the most popular or most read; it is about helping and encouraging you to take and keep control of a terrible disease one reader at a time.

Why take control?  Because you can.  And, the complications that Diabetes can bring if not controlled, can be devastating.

So, why thank you?  For the growth this blog has received during the last year.

In 2013 this blog was viewed 17,739 times.  Last December there were 383 views.  In December of 2013 there were 2,076 views.  5.4 times more views!  We have continued to do nothing to promote the blog – we wouldn’t know how, actually.  We believe that content will win readers.  And, if the content is good, you will share it.

We have nothing to say except thank you.  We will continue to provide unbiased information on medications and to encourage, cajole, and plead with you to prevent and control Type 2 Diabetes.  And, because weight is so closely linked with Diabetes, we will continue to promote weight loss.

Folks, there are no magic bullets for preventing or controlling Diabetes.  No oil – snake or otherwise.  No single pill.  No magic cures.  It’s a battle; a war that is fought meal by meal, snack by snack every day. It’s a war of choices.  Make enough right choices, and you prevent or control Diabetes and weight.

The War On Diabetes is the fight of your life for your life.  And, one that you can win.

As always, thank you for reading and sharing.

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Resolutions Anyone?

new-year-s

This time of the year I am sure folks are going to be writing about the need for resolutions for 2014.  You are going to see and hear a lot about resolutions during the next few days.  Heck, you are going to be bombarded by the need to make them.  You need to have goals, right?

Well, goals are good.  But instead of making resolutions, just get out there and do it.  And, any day is a good day to start; how about today?

You want to control your Diabetes? You want to lose a little weight? The two do go hand-in-hand quite often and are on resolution lists.  But, the truth of the matter is that only 8% of resolutions are achieved. 8%!  Seems like a lot of work for such a small success rate.

So, what are you going to do?

Wage War – you just start and do it.  No bells, whistles or trumpets announcing your beginning.  You just start your battle. And, what do you do to start? You eat a bit less and eat healthy food.  Your exercise a bit more.  You don’t have to go to the gym; you just have to do a bit of moderate exercise.  It’s amazing how fast the body will respond when fed the right food and given a little exercise!

Don’t get me wrong.  Resolutions are great, if kept and achieved.  They can impart a sense of purpose.  But, doing is better. Lowering your A1c is more empowering than making a resolution.  Losing 10 pounds is better than making a resolution to do so.  Getting out and just walking imparts a better sense of well-being than writing that you will get out and walk.

You know the tools you have to use to control Diabetes: Diet. Exercise. Meds.  Use them to lower your A1c and lose weight in 2014.  You can do it.  You can declare War On Diabetes and win.  I know you can. I believe in you.  Lose just 5 – 10% of your weight and you will begin to win your War.

Please, join me in Controlling Diabetes.  You only have your health to gain.

And, lest I forget: Happy New Year!  My wish for you is that the coming year is a healthier one; one in which you take control of your life and win your War On Diabetes.

As always, thank you for reading.

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News & Views

News and Views

You know, with the Holiday Season, I thought that News and Views wouldn’t have much to share this week.  How wrong can I be?  So, let’s see what’s going on…

One Meal Daily May Be Better Option for People With Diabetes  “While most nutritional experts say that eating three meals a day is important to maintaining a steady metabolism, a new study suggests that one meal a day may be a better option for those with diabetes.”  I am just not sure about this one.  One big meal?  The Mediterranean Diet is being highlighted in this article – it’s getting a lot of attention in a number of places – like all over.  My basic thought is fidn what works for you to control your Diabetes and stick with it.  But, if you are still searching, I’d be remiss if I didn’t point out this new finding.

Best and Worst Health Trends of 2013  “Each year comes with its own unique brand of health trends. Some wind up being passing fad diets, while others prove surprisingly on point. The key to healthy living is knowing which trends are worth your time. To that end, here are the year’s shape-up and slim-down trends we’d like to forget — and the ones we hope will stick around into 2014.”  This is about evenly split between Diet and Exercise.  Trends are interesting, but, once again, find what works for you to beat Prediabetes or control your Diabetes.  Try not to pay a whole lot of attention to trends that come along and then disappear.  That being said, some of these trends are just a bit too much and make for interesting reading.

How To Reduce Damage From A Week Of Too Much Eating And Too Little Exercise  “The Journal of Physiology study showed that people who exercise on a daily basis are less affected by the negative health effects of one week of overeating, such as poor blood sugar control…”  I have not been able to exercise for the last four days and really miss it.  I have given up one of my weapons in my War On Diabetes for a few days.  Not one of my brightest moves, but my glucose is staying within limits…and this study will tell you why that is happening!  According to this small study, less damage is done by not exercising for a week, if you are one who exercises 5 or 6 times per week.

Protein Deficiency Linked to Type 2 Insulin Resistance  “People with type 2 diabetes who use insulin to help control elevated blood sugar might be able to end their dependence on it if new research progresses.”   This is great news for those Type 2’s who use insulin to control glucose (about 30% of Type 2’s).  But, what I am really excited about is that there might be an application of the research for other Type 2’s to reduce insulin resistance.  How great would that be?

If you want more news, you can find it here.

As always, thank you for reading.

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Surrounded by Temptation!

cookies, pies

I know. I know. I told you yesterday that there would be fewer posts during the next week or two yesterday.  And, here I am with another post.  Well, something happened to me today that might happen to you in the next couple of days.

There I was simply walking from one room into another.  Unsuspecting.  Feeling safe and secure.  Then, as I entered the room I was suddenly surrounded from out of nowhere.  A surprise attack.  Ambushed.

Cookies to my left.

Two cakes to my right.

An apple pie to my left.

Ice cream in the freezer.

There was no escape! I was surrounded.

And, people were embracing the enemy.  The enemy was giving them comfort and a false sense of security.  And, I wanted it, too.  I wanted to eat a cookie.  No, I wanted a dozen cookies.  Good cookies.  Maybe one big cookie with ice cream. I didn’t care.  I was just overcome with desire for something…anything.

Maybe just one cookie.  One.  What could it hurt?  But, I did’t want just one.  I wanted more.  My heart was pounding.  My desire was real and palpable. What was I going to do?

The reality is that this kind of desire rarely hits me.  I very rarely want sweets.  And, when I do, a bit will normally take care of that desire.  Just one bite.  But, today, literally today, I wanted more.  Have you ever felt that?

And, what did I do?

I thought about the 70 pounds I had lost.  I thought about controlling a disease – Type 2 Diabetes.  It all happened in just a matter of a minute – not any longer.

And, I decided that the price was too high to give in to my momentary desire for any one of those wonderful looking desserts. I decided that controlling Diabetes was more important.  I decided that my weight loss was more important.  I knew that if I didn’t say no, that I would have more that just a bite, or two.

That was my decision.  That was the way I handled being surrounded and just wanting.  I wasn’t hungry.  I wasn’t thirsty. But the urge felt so primal; so strong that it was an act of will to walk out of the room without having anything.  And, once out of the room, I was just fine.  And, I felt great!

During the next day or two or seven you may well be facing the same ambush.  And, you will have a choice.  A choice to fight, or not fight.  A choice to follow that almost primal urge, or to take a deep breath and walk away.  What are you going to do?

Look, I know it’s not about a bite of something, it’s about having 27 bites of something so sweet and delicious that it must have been made by the hands of angels.  But, the truth is that the price is too high.  It does not matter if you are just starting your battle or are used to having daily control, you might be suddenly ambushed and have a decision to make.

Sometimes it’s just best to walk away; turning your back and not giving in to what used to be trusted and valued ‘friends.’ Yeah, friends.  Just look where they led you.  Diabetes and/or added weight.

It will be easy to surrender to that ambush.  There will be folks around trying to push food and desserts on you.  Be kind. Be courteous.  Be firm. If you must, have just a bite.  And, they will all marvel at your will-power and wish they had it, too. They will marvel at your weight loss and wish they could lose weight, too.  They will ask your secret, thinking there must be some secret involved.

The truth is, “No, thank you” can be a very powerful weapon in your War On Diabetes and weight.  They, too, could employ the same tool – it just takes practice and a willingness to value your health more than you value desserts or high carb foods.

You can do this.  You can say, “No, thank you.”  You can control your Diabetes.  You can control your weight.  Even during this time of the year.  And, in return you will learn you are far stronger than you think; you will feel great about yourself.

My reward for not having some wonderful sweet earlier in the day?  I ‘allowed myself’ to walk an extra half-mile tonight.  Don’t laugh.  I felt great doing it – far better than I would have felt eating a cookie or 12.

Is it going to be easy?  Not everyday. Most days will go very well.  But, every once in a while you will be ambushed.  Don’t be surprised when it happens.  Just take a deep breath and remember the battles you are winning; and, win one more.

What happens if you give in?  What happens if you surrender?  A higher glucose level.  A few added pounds.  Ground lost in the War.  But, you pick yourself up.  Dust yourself off.  And, do battle the next day.

Not everyday is easy.  Some days are really tough.  You can win.  You are already winning your War On Diabetes or Weight.  Just keep winning because that is worth far more than any cookie or dessert could be. You CAN do it.

As always, thank you for reading.

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Our Christmas Wishes

Christmas Tree

It’s Christmas Week.  I know you are busy.  Buying last minute gifts, perhaps.  Going to parties and family gatherings.  Or, perhaps you celebrate Christmas, or another Holiday, quietly.  Regardless, we have Christmas Wishes for you.

We wish that you have the happiest of healthiest of holidays.

We wish that you win your War On Diabetes and never have to consider the complications the disease can bring.

We wish that if you have been told you have Prediabetes, that you take it seriously and beat it back.  Or, at the very least delay the onset of Type 2 Diabetes.

We wish that if you are working to lose weight, that you will continue to do so through the Holidays – the most difficult time of the year to be losing weight.  If you can do it now, you can do it anytime!

It’s Christmas this week and New Year’s next. As a result, there will be fewer posts this week and next.  But, stay tuned because there are some changes coming by the beginning of the New Year.

As always, thank you for reading.

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