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PatriciaJ

Diagnosed with Pre-diabetes 2 years ago

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PatriciaJ

Hi, I'm a senior citizen and I was diagnosed pre-diabetic 2 years ago after a fasting blood sugar of 100. In early May of this year my A1C was 6.1, but 6 weeks (June 23) later is was down to 5.9.. But 3 days ago (Nov3) it was up to 6.2 How can it go down, then up again? I know A1C measures glucose over a 3 month period, but I've made drastic changes in diet since June. I stopped all candy, cake, ice cream (all sweets) except occasional animal cookies, lol, which are low in sugar. I've only had low fat everything; light margarine, mayonnaise, 1% milk (which has 16 grams of carbohydrate per cup). I don't drink fruit juice and actually not much water either. Drink mostly the milk or decaf coffee and Hazelnut creamer. I know I should get more exercise, other than just taking short walks 3 times a day. I'm not overweight (5'3" 123 lbs) except for a little tummy bulge. I tried so hard between June and Nov, but the A1C went up and I'm very discouraged! I'm afraid to eat and I'm afraid not to eat! I've been doing some reading, but it's so confusing. Another thing that concerned me is the liver dump of glucose during the night? I'm hoping to prevent type 2 diabetes.

Does anyone have suggestions for me? Thank you..

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Kit

How often do you test your BG levels?

 

It sounds like you are perfect;ly following the average ADA and doctor guidelines.  Which is exactly the reason you are seeing what you see.

 

Have you learned to count carbs in your food?  Milk is pretty carby.  So is anything marked as "light".  If they remove fat out of it, they usually add sugar, hfcs, and starches to improve flavor and mouth feel.  Check out your creamer as well.  Most creamers have sugar in them.

 

It sounds like you have really been trying and being good.  Its just that you are working from piss poor information.

 

The first thing I recommend is that, if you haven't already, get yourself a meter and test yourself before and at least 2 hours after your meals.  This will allow you to discover how you react to the various foods you eat.

 

You will also want to set BG goals for yourself.  A good recommendation is to be under 100 for fasting and pre meals.  Under 140 at one hour and under 120 at 2 hours.  This will usually lead to an A1C of under 6.0.  My personal goal is to be under 100 as much as possible.  I don't always make it, but the effort has put me in the low 5s for 2 years now.

 

Anyway, welcome to the group.  There is a ton of info here.  Poke around, read as much as you can, ask any questions you have.  People here love to help others.  :)

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adiantum

Hi Patricia, Welcome to the forum.

 

Kit has given you a great reply . Please don't be alarmed at being told the information you have been given was "piss poor".

That was the best description Ive ever seen relating to what the supposedly professional diabetic educators give.

 

Together, us with diabetes have researched & experimented enough over the years to know how to live with diabetes,

without complications, even though its contrary to what the ADA recommend.

 

We eat really well & on a diet that can be maintained  for life.

 

Hope you stay with us.

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Kit

I have to apologize for the disjointedness of my previous post.  I was doing too many things at once that never bodes well for my writing.  :)

I'm going to hash out some things in this new post.  Some you may already know.  If that's the case, I apologize.  but I am of the opinion that too much is better than not enough when it comes to information.  :D

 

The number 1 rule most of us follow:  Eat to your meter.  This means that we test the foods we eat and then modify what we eat based on the results.  This is the only way to know what foods behave well for your blood glucose levels and which ones don't.  All of us are a little bit different and so testing is vital.  Some people can eat things I can't even touch while I can eat some things that causes problems for others.

 

If you don't have a meter already, I recommend getting one with inexpensive strips so you can feel free to test as often as you need.  I personally use the ReliOn Prime from Walmart.  The strips are $9 for 50, which is a fraction of others out there and just over half of the copay for the brand my insurance accepts.

 

General rule of thumb for testing is to test right before you eat and then 2 hours after taking your first bite.  Some people may also test at 1, 3 and 4 hours after depending on the food and what all they are trying out.  However, 2 hours is a pretty good general rule of thumb.

 

As you get a grasp of how your body reacts, you can decrease that testing frequency.  I currently test an average of 3 times a day.  One of my morning fasting reading.  The other two are before and after a random meal.  If I'm in a new situation or trying something new, I might test more frequently.  but I use those 3 readings as a spot check to make sure I'm still where I want to be.

 

I will also admit, I get frustrated by the outdated recommendations for diabetics from places like the ADA (American Diabetes Association), the doctors who follow its guidelines unthinkingly, and similar.  The maternal line of my family is chock full of T2 diabetics.  I have watched all of them follow the guidelines and I have watched all of them slowly head down hill.  Neuropathy, retinopathy, kidney disease.  My brother went blind about 2 weeks before I was diagnosed.  Scared the crap out of me to say the least.  He's also now on dialysis, heals poorly, and I fear is on track for at least one amputation.

 

So, what actually affects our blood glucose levels.

 

There are 3 macronutrients.  carbohydrates, protein, and fat.  Carbohydrates get converted pretty quickly and efficiently into glucose by the body.  This is the major factor we need to keep an eye on.  Protein, however, can also have an affect.  Any excess intake of protein can get converted by the liver into glucose.  Its nowhere near as efficient as carbs, but it can happen.  This is called gluconeogenesis.  The third macronutrient, dietary fat, does not and has almost no affect on our blood glucose levels at all.

 

Because of this, many of us here follow a low carb\moderate protein\high fat diet (or LCHF).  I personally get about 80% of my calories from dietary fat.  And its real natural fats, not transfats (like margarine).

 

Now the boundary for carb intake varies from person to person.  I personally eat nothing with sugar, honey, agave, corn syrup, and similar.  I also eat no grans (wheat, rice, barley, corn, oats, etc).  I also eat very limited fruit.  Mostly berries and mostly when they are in season.  I also avoid most root vegetables like potatoes, yams, sweet potatoes, beets, and similar.  Exception are onions, garlic, radishes (mostly used for seasonings instead of bulk).  In moderation carrots.

 

So, you may ask, what do I eat.

Meats:  The fattier the better.  No more boneless skinless chicken breasts here.  I go for thighs, skin on for preference.  Or chicken legs.  I also do chick wings, but mostly because I adore them.  Skin on, no breading.  The benefit to this is that my fatty meats are really inexpensive and taste amazing.  Eggs are a staple in my diet.  Real eggs, not the liquid in a carton stuff.  Pasture raised by preference, though I am not hypocritical enough to say its always that way.  I adore pork shoulders with a passion.  They taste amazing, and make for excellent leftovers.

 

Dairy:  Butter, cheese, heavy whipping cream.  You can make a great pan sauce\gravy by mixing a little heavy whipping cream with drippings and simmer until think.

 

Vegetables:  (This is a very large list and I am certainly not including everything that should be here).  Broccoli, cauliflower, zucchini, yellow summer squash, spaghetti squash, sow peas, spinach, kale and other greens, peppers, green beans, wax beans, asparagus, and as I said, many others that I can't think of at this time.

 

Fruits:  Fruit is full of sugar.  It may be natural sugar, but to our bodies its sugar none the less.  Berries are usually the safest bet.  My personal favorites are blackberries and strawberries.

Also fruits are avocado (lots of fiber, tons of healthy fats), tomato (I eat often by try to keep it at moderate levels).  And, I just recently discovered, zucchini is also a fruit.  It is almost amazingly low in carbs and I am always finding a new way to add more into my diet.  :)

 

Nuts and Seeds:  Some have more carbs than others.  While flax (seed) has a number of carbs, it is almost all fiber and so works well for most people.  I find the fiber still affects my levels so I have to moderate my flax intake.  The common nuts for me are almonds, pecans, and macadamia, coconut.  People here frequently make use of coconut, almond, and flax meals\flours or baking purposes.

 

Beans\Legumes:  carby, yet some have a decently amount of fiber.  This is the area that breaks my heart.  I adore beans with a passion, yet they do not play well with my BG levels.  I can eat a very small amount maybe once a week and do ok, but any more or more often and my numbers climb.

 

The nest question you might ask (and its one I did) is, well how much can I eat.  The dietician I was sent to gave me a "strict" diet of 30g of carbs per meal and an additional 15g of carbs per snack, and there should be 3 of those a day, which comes to 135g of carbs a day.  And an excellent way to keep my blood glucose levels over 200.

 

By carefully examining my meals and testing my reactions to them, I discovered that I do best averaging around 30g of carbohydrates a day total.  Once in a while I might splurge up closer to 40, but normally keep it around 30.

 

And this is where testing is so important.  Looking at your statements I can assume the kinds of things you are eating.  It was the same kind of things I was eating for over a decade before I was diagnosed as diabetic.  yet, unlike me, you were not going into the 200s on a frequent basis based on your A1C.  Likely you will have more wiggle room than I do.  How much, however, only you can discover by testing yourself.

 

I also want to repeat, please feel free to ask any questions you may have about anything related to the subject.  We can't learn if we don't ask and people here are friendly and helpful, and really don't mind if the question has been ask 1000 times prior.  :)

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meyery2k

Patricia - Welcome.  I can tell you from my own personal experience that Kit is giving you great advice.  I had my doubts but getting my A1c from 8.5 to the mid 4's following Kit's advice removed all doubt.

 

Once I got my eating plan down, I am not hungry, and eat great food.

 

There are plenty of low carb foods that are wonderful to eat.

 

I would encourage you to post your daily fasting readings in the appropriate forum.  It helps me stay accountable to myself and the friends I have made here.

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carfree

Welcome PatriciaJ! I know how frustrating diabetes( and pre diabetes) can be. I was in a similar situation: not overweight, A1c of 6.1 (but I do love exercise). I cut out all sweets and flour, but was still eating grains, beans and some lower glycemic fruits, lost a few pounds, and my A1c did not budge. I had to go more low carb high fat, but not quite as low carb as some folks here (as mentioned people have different tolerance for carbs and types of carbs). Kit summed up some great advice. The more you test, the more you will learn how foods affect your blood sugar. Exercise really does help so it's something to continue to pursue.

I know it's frustrating and I'm still perplexed and struggle sometimes, but it's doable and you sound motivated which is a great help.

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PatriciaJ

Hi Patricia, Welcome to the forum.

 

Kit has given you a great reply . Please don't be alarmed at being told the information you have been given was "piss poor".

That was the best description Ive ever seen relating to what the supposedly professional diabetic educators give.

 

Together, us with diabetes have researched & experimented enough over the years to know how to live with diabetes,

without complications, even though its contrary to what the ADA recommend.

 

We eat really well & on a diet that can be maintained  for life.

 

Hope you stay with us.

Thank you Adiantum. I might be around for awhile as I'm new to this condition and have lots of (silly) questions.

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PatriciaJ

I have to apologize for the disjointedness of my previous post.  I was doing too many things at once that never bodes well for my writing.  :)

I'm going to hash out some things in this new post.  Some you may already know.  If that's the case, I apologize.  but I am of the opinion that too much is better than not enough when it comes to information.  :D

 

The number 1 rule most of us follow:  Eat to your meter.  This means that we test the foods we eat and then modify what we eat based on the results.  This is the only way to know what foods behave well for your blood glucose levels and which ones don't.  All of us are a little bit different and so testing is vital.  Some people can eat things I can't even touch while I can eat some things that causes problems for others.

 

If you don't have a meter already, I recommend getting one with inexpensive strips so you can feel free to test as often as you need.  I personally use the ReliOn Prime from Walmart.  The strips are $9 for 50, which is a fraction of others out there and just over half of the copay for the brand my insurance accepts.

 

General rule of thumb for testing is to test right before you eat and then 2 hours after taking your first bite.  Some people may also test at 1, 3 and 4 hours after depending on the food and what all they are trying out.  However, 2 hours is a pretty good general rule of thumb.

 

As you get a grasp of how your body reacts, you can decrease that testing frequency.  I currently test an average of 3 times a day.  One of my morning fasting reading.  The other two are before and after a random meal.  If I'm in a new situation or trying something new, I might test more frequently.  but I use those 3 readings as a spot check to make sure I'm still where I want to be.

 

I will also admit, I get frustrated by the outdated recommendations for diabetics from places like the ADA (American Diabetes Association), the doctors who follow its guidelines unthinkingly, and similar.  The maternal line of my family is chock full of T2 diabetics.  I have watched all of them follow the guidelines and I have watched all of them slowly head down hill.  Neuropathy, retinopathy, kidney disease.  My brother went blind about 2 weeks before I was diagnosed.  Scared the crap out of me to say the least.  He's also now on dialysis, heals poorly, and I fear is on track for at least one amputation.

 

So, what actually affects our blood glucose levels.

 

There are 3 macronutrients.  carbohydrates, protein, and fat.  Carbohydrates get converted pretty quickly and efficiently into glucose by the body.  This is the major factor we need to keep an eye on.  Protein, however, can also have an affect.  Any excess intake of protein can get converted by the liver into glucose.  Its nowhere near as efficient as carbs, but it can happen.  This is called gluconeogenesis.  The third macronutrient, dietary fat, does not and has almost no affect on our blood glucose levels at all.

 

Because of this, many of us here follow a low carb\moderate protein\high fat diet (or LCHF).  I personally get about 80% of my calories from dietary fat.  And its real natural fats, not transfats (like margarine).

 

Now the boundary for carb intake varies from person to person.  I personally eat nothing with sugar, honey, agave, corn syrup, and similar.  I also eat no grans (wheat, rice, barley, corn, oats, etc).  I also eat very limited fruit.  Mostly berries and mostly when they are in season.  I also avoid most root vegetables like potatoes, yams, sweet potatoes, beets, and similar.  Exception are onions, garlic, radishes (mostly used for seasonings instead of bulk).  In moderation carrots.

 

So, you may ask, what do I eat.

Meats:  The fattier the better.  No more boneless skinless chicken breasts here.  I go for thighs, skin on for preference.  Or chicken legs.  I also do chick wings, but mostly because I adore them.  Skin on, no breading.  The benefit to this is that my fatty meats are really inexpensive and taste amazing.  Eggs are a staple in my diet.  Real eggs, not the liquid in a carton stuff.  Pasture raised by preference, though I am not hypocritical enough to say its always that way.  I adore pork shoulders with a passion.  They taste amazing, and make for excellent leftovers.

 

Dairy:  Butter, cheese, heavy whipping cream.  You can make a great pan sauce\gravy by mixing a little heavy whipping cream with drippings and simmer until think.

 

Vegetables:  (This is a very large list and I am certainly not including everything that should be here).  Broccoli, cauliflower, zucchini, yellow summer squash, spaghetti squash, sow peas, spinach, kale and other greens, peppers, green beans, wax beans, asparagus, and as I said, many others that I can't think of at this time.

 

Fruits:  Fruit is full of sugar.  It may be natural sugar, but to our bodies its sugar none the less.  Berries are usually the safest bet.  My personal favorites are blackberries and strawberries.

Also fruits are avocado (lots of fiber, tons of healthy fats), tomato (I eat often by try to keep it at moderate levels).  And, I just recently discovered, zucchini is also a fruit.  It is almost amazingly low in carbs and I am always finding a new way to add more into my diet.  :)

 

Nuts and Seeds:  Some have more carbs than others.  While flax (seed) has a number of carbs, it is almost all fiber and so works well for most people.  I find the fiber still affects my levels so I have to moderate my flax intake.  The common nuts for me are almonds, pecans, and macadamia, coconut.  People here frequently make use of coconut, almond, and flax meals\flours or baking purposes.

 

Beans\Legumes:  carby, yet some have a decently amount of fiber.  This is the area that breaks my heart.  I adore beans with a passion, yet they do not play well with my BG levels.  I can eat a very small amount maybe once a week and do ok, but any more or more often and my numbers climb.

 

The nest question you might ask (and its one I did) is, well how much can I eat.  The dietician I was sent to gave me a "strict" diet of 30g of carbs per meal and an additional 15g of carbs per snack, and there should be 3 of those a day, which comes to 135g of carbs a day.  And an excellent way to keep my blood glucose levels over 200.

 

By carefully examining my meals and testing my reactions to them, I discovered that I do best averaging around 30g of carbohydrates a day total.  Once in a while I might splurge up closer to 40, but normally keep it around 30.

 

And this is where testing is so important.  Looking at your statements I can assume the kinds of things you are eating.  It was the same kind of things I was eating for over a decade before I was diagnosed as diabetic.  yet, unlike me, you were not going into the 200s on a frequent basis based on your A1C.  Likely you will have more wiggle room than I do.  How much, however, only you can discover by testing yourself.

 

I also want to repeat, please feel free to ask any questions you may have about anything related to the subject.  We can't learn if we don't ask and people here are friendly and helpful, and really don't mind if the question has been ask 1000 times prior.  :)

Hi Kit, Thank you for all your great advice. I'm sorry to hear about your family and brother. Diabetes is an awful disease that apparently wrecks havoc on the body.

I don't have a glucometer, but sounds like I better get one. The thing is my cholesterol is high at 229 (normal is 200), triglycerides 189 (normal is <150), good cholesterol HDL is great @ 3.1, but LDL is 117 (normal is <100). I also have a "fatty liver" and a small plaque in the abdominal aorta and my doctor advised low fat diet and the medication Lipitor. Taking Lipitor is scary from all I've read about it and I haven't taken it and not sure I will..  I'm not sure a high fat diet would be right for me? I used to have high blood pressure and was on medication for it, but got it down by exercise and not adding table salt and only buying no salt or low salt things. The doctor took me off the BP med about 6 months ago and readings have been normal since then.

I love most everything you said you avoid. Love whole wheat bread, potatoes, yams, and beats.  So what carbs do you eat? Whats left, lol? I don't know if I should stick with 1% milk and just use less of it on cereal or what. I love Raisin Bran and Cheerios. And oatmeal. Now I just don't know what to have for breakfast besides eggs.. Not crazy about beans, so that's no loss. Love and eat most of the vegetables you mentioned. Love chicken, but have been buying skinless. I used to eat a lot of red grapes, but learned they're kinda high in sugar. I like walnuts and pecans, but walnuts might be too high in salt. I'm so confused and sad as it almost sounds like there isn't a lot of choice as to appropriate foods. No more going into a restaurant and ordering anything on the menu!

 

Lately I've been reading labels at the grocery store, but mainly for sugar or fat content. What are more examples of carbohydrate foods?? OMG, you only have about 30 carbs per day? Now I'll have to start checking more labels for carbs also and plan out every day, every meal what I can eat. Guess it would be a good idea to keep a log too. It just sounds like so much work and it sounds depressing to me. There was a time when I had no thoughts about food, just ate whatever I wanted.

I have no idea if diabetes runs in my family. Neither my father or mother were diabetic, but my grandmother died before I was born. She was very obese, so maybe she was diabetic. I don't know anything about my fathers side of the family and never met them before they all died. I'm just wondering why I have this condition if no one in my family was diabetic?

 

Do you know anything about the liver dump of glucose into the blood during sleep? Somewhere I read it's a good idea to have a bedtime snack, but I thought that was more for people taking insulin.

I usually have 2 or 3 meals a day and rarely snacks. What snacks would be good? Sorry for all the questions! As I learn more, I'm sure I'll have fewer of them.  

 

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PatriciaJ

Welcome PatriciaJ! I know how frustrating diabetes( and pre diabetes) can be. I was in a similar situation: not overweight, A1c of 6.1 (but I do love exercise). I cut out all sweets and flour, but was still eating grains, beans and some lower glycemic fruits, lost a few pounds, and my A1c did not budge. I had to go more low carb high fat, but not quite as low carb as some folks here (as mentioned people have different tolerance for carbs and types of carbs). Kit summed up some great advice. The more you test, the more you will learn how foods affect your blood sugar. Exercise really does help so it's something to continue to pursue.

I know it's frustrating and I'm still perplexed and struggle sometimes, but it's doable and you sound motivated which is a great help.

Hi carefree, Thank you for the encouragement:) How did you post your A1C's in this post? What kind of exercise do you do? I don't belong to a gym..

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PatriciaJ

Patricia - Welcome.  I can tell you from my own personal experience that Kit is giving you great advice.  I had my doubts but getting my A1c from 8.5 to the mid 4's following Kit's advice removed all doubt.

 

Once I got my eating plan down, I am not hungry, and eat great food.

 

There are plenty of low carb foods that are wonderful to eat.

 

I would encourage you to post your daily fasting readings in the appropriate forum.  It helps me stay accountable to myself and the friends I have made here.

Thank you Meyery2k:) I asked Kit for suggestions on carbs, but also wonder what carbs you enjoy? I don't have a glucometer yet (will buy one soon) any suggestions on that?  I should start keeping a personal diary of foods I eat and BS readings, right?

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samuraiguy

Welcome to the forums, I had near cirrhotic fatty liver, but after eating low carb for the last five plus years and exercising daily my liver panels are normal. If it was me, I would tell my doctor I'm going to try lifestyle changes for several months to get my cholesterol down before trying Lipitor.

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jwags

Welcome Patricia to a grest site. When you are diabetic all sorts of things affect your BG's. Foods like milk, grains, yogurt, any type of flour and even some artificial sweetners may increase bg's. Stress and Inflmmation also increase bgs. Many meds we take as we age als increase bgs. Diabetes is complex. When I exercise my bgs spike high. It is a lot of trial and error. We are about the same size but I try t keep my weight closer to 110-112.

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gabrielo

I know I should get more exercise, other than just taking short walks 3 times a day. 

I just wanted to add that exercise is cumulative; 3 walks of 10 minutes each adds up to 30 minutes of exercise.

Adding 5 minutes to each 10 minute walk results in the equivalent of a 45 minute walk.

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NoraWI

Welcome, Patricia. Yes, walking is an excellent exercise. You don't have to belong to a gym to do that. You should get your blood glucose levels under control first. Cutting down on carbohydrates will also bring your triglycerides down. It is all connected. Kit gave you some excellent advice. Low fat and lite anything is actually higher in carbohydrates than the "regular" stuff. Margarine is not fit for human consumption. I am a senior citizen as well and well past the point of wanting to experiment with cooking so I cook very plain things... a protein... beef, chicken, turkey, fish or cheese... plus plenty of green veggies on the side. Kit gave a good list to choose from. So far as milk is concerned, the more fat that is removed from it, the higher the carb count. If you MUST drink milk, then drink the full fat or the 2%. Also try unsweetened almond milk which has 50% more calcium than regular milk. Abandon the cereal for breakfast! It is grain and grain raises BGs. I enjoy farm fresh eggs, bacon, sausages for breakfast. Sometimes I eat leftovers from the day before. Frequently, I eat a salad with olives and a full fat salad dressing. There is plenty to eat if you start thinking out of the box. :D

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jwags

I also eat low fat because of GI problems. I eat vegetarian and the only fat I eat comes from nuts or seeds or a little olive or coconut oil. My doctor advised me to cut out all dairy and it has really helped my gut. While fat does not cause high bgs it can cause it can cause other problems. I tried a Statin drug 7 years ago and it almost killed me. It depleted all of my muscles, overtaxed my kidneys and caused constant swelling. It also affected my memory and I was sick all the time. So I think you are smart trying to address it with diet first.

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meyery2k

Patricia - I empathize with you.  I was diagnosed in January 2016.  I foolishly did not visit a doctor for years.  Diabetes was unexpected but, knowing what I know now, not surprising due to my ethnicity and family members that have had it.

 

I certainly can't say my way is right for everyone but it worked for me in many dramatic ways.

 

I am 5'11" and weighed 314 pounds so I was definitely obese.  My BP was 180/110 go to the emergency room high, and my resting heart rate was 110.  I finally realized I was a walking stroke or heart attack waiting to happen.  I found out a week later on a follow up visit that I also had diabetes.  This was my wake up call.  I will be 50 this year and I am aware that I have some control over how my middle and old age can be health wise.  I have seen relatives lose feet, go blind, and die from diabetes complications.  It was time for a change.

 

I loved my fast food and large portions.  Didn't care a bit about carbs or any nutrients at all.

 

I sound positive and upbeat now, but I came home that night depressed, angry, and bewildered.  I thought for sure I was going to go down the miserable path of others that have had diabetes.  I then proceeded to Google and, as would make sense, the first site I visited was the American Diabetes Association.  Looking at the information, there was some encouragement that I would not have to change my diet too radically.  Thinking it through though made no sense.  I already found out that carbs are broken down into glucose quickly so why would I eat so many of them?  It didn't compute so I dug deeper and found Diabetes Forums. 

 

I did my first introductory post and received the same advice you are now receiving from the same people.  I didn't like the advice but I figured they have been living with diabetes for decades so they have to know what they are doing.  I also decided that if they can do this, I can do it, and my journey started.  Kit (please forgive me) became my "diabetes daddy" and schooled me on how to think this out and adapt.  EVERYONE on this forum helped but Kit's posts struck a chord in me that made me believe I could do this.

 

Cutting out carbs at first was difficult.  I also had to learn portion control and start exercising.  The only thing I really could do was walk, so walk I did.  I was sore, huffing and puffing, blisters, but I knew if I stuck with it, exercise would get better as I got stronger.

 

Food - I made a pretty quick change but there were some foods that I boldly declared I would never give up.  Success on my weight loss and BG control, in addition to encouragement from my friends here, convinced me I didn't need those particular foods.  Especially flour tortillas.  You need to understand that a typical meal for me used to be 8-16 oz. of steak, a box (yes, a box) of Stove Top or Mac and Cheese,  and a salad drenched in dressing.  Maybe even a pint of ice cream for dessert.  That had to end, and end quick...

 

So what do I eat?

 

Here is a typical day...

 

Breakfast is 2-3 ozs of breakfast meat, daikon, zucchini, or cauliflower, 2 eggs, 1 oz. cheddar cheese, unsweetened almond milk flavored with vanilla extract and Splenda, and coffee.  I sometimes add a Tbs of cream or 2 to the almond milk to add flavor and consistency.  I sometimes make a coconut flour mug muffin with a cream cheese frosting.  Another favorite is old school celery and Adam's old fashioned peanut butter (the one you stir).

 

Lunch is 2-4 ozs of protein, vegetable, salad with 28g of ranch or bleu cheese dressing.  Sometimes a handful of pork rinds if I need a "potato chip" fix.

 

Dinner is similar to lunch.  Last night was 4oz. steak, pan seared in butter and seasoned with thyme, sage, salt, pepper and garlic.  I then sautéed some mushrooms and daikon (cut with a zoodle maker) in the juices of the pan.  I will sometimes use the juices as a base for a no flour gravy (I use sour cream for the thickener) that nobody gets enough of.  I swear that I make 2 cups of gravy and it is still not enough!  Romaine lettuce with ranch dressing and a few almonds for crunch (to replace the croutons).

 

Think you can't have dessert?  Think again.  There are some good low carb ice creams that can be purchased.  Look up fat bombs and you will see that you can make your own candy.  There is a mousse recipe here that you can bring to a potluck and it will disappear.  People are astounded when I point out that no sugar or flour was used.

 

Believe me, it is not boring at all.  I have actually learned how to prepare food.  My teen daughter ate what I would prepare when she was not off at college and commented that my meals were often better than her take out.  In time, this became my new normal and I have new comfort foods like cauliflower and zucchini.  I am always trying new ways to prepare these favorites and finding new foods all the time.  Diet will be the least of your worries.  My new way of eating is now ingrained habit.  It migrates to the restaurant, pot lucks, and everywhere else that I eat.

 

Ok - So we know I was a mess when I started out.  Where am I today?

 

My last A1c at the doctor was 4.5.  When I was first diagnosed, my first morning testing was 291.  I now test somewhere from 80-95 every morning.  I now weigh about 217 pounds.  All from the diet above and just walking about 45 minutes a day.  I get lots of negative comments about the diet but those stop when I bust out a picture of myself at 311 pounds!  My BP is around 120/70 and my resting heart rate in the high 40's.  All of this in less than 1 year.  It was not as difficult as I feared it would be.

 

Honestly - Maybe this diet is not completely good for me.  I don't know.  I can only say I am a lot better off than I was.

 

I am now running (I recently ran 3 miles non-stop), swimming (about .75 mile), cycling (just started), and still walking.  I now have the energy and the will to fix things around the house, work on cars, and do things I have not done in years. I have participated in 5K's, marched in a parade, participated in neighborhood clean up events, and have the confidence to try things and not worry if I can do them or not.  If I can live, and thrive, with diabetes, I can do mostly anything I set my mind to.  Perhaps I won't be the best at it, but I will do it in my own way and be satisfied at the outcome. 

 

The irony of my story is that I am healthier now because of diabetes than I have been for many, many years. 

 

My friends here know that I had skepticism at first.  At first, I thought these guys (once again, sorry Kit) were a bunch of Atkin's kooks.  Based on what we have been told for so many years, the advice here seems so counter-intuitive.  I know it does not work for everyone but it works often enough that it is worth a try.

 

I see this has become one of my typical "novella" posts so I am going to end this.  I write this because I do sense a sincere desire in you to learn about this.  Ask your questions.  The only bad question is the unasked one.

 

Welcome and I hope we all help to set you on your path of life with diabetes.

 

I have one more thing to add.  You already know this so I am just kindly reinforcing this.  Get a meter and start testing!  If there is a Walmart near you, the Relion Prime meter is fine.  Many here use it (me too).  It is accurate enough and the strips are among the least expensive you will find.  You are going to burn through strips early on with the testing so you want cheap strips.  Don't get hung up on getting the more expensive gear.  Yes, in many cases, you get what you pay for but the Relion is fine for what you are using it for.  You are using it to observe trends. ~ Mike

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Kit

Hi Kit, Thank you for all your great advice. I'm sorry to hear about your family and brother. Diabetes is an awful disease that apparently wrecks havoc on the body.

I don't have a glucometer, but sounds like I better get one. The thing is my cholesterol is high at 229 (normal is 200), triglycerides 189 (normal is <150), good cholesterol HDL is great @ 3.1, but LDL is 117 (normal is <100). I also have a "fatty liver" and a small plaque in the abdominal aorta and my doctor advised low fat diet and the medication Lipitor. Taking Lipitor is scary from all I've read about it and I haven't taken it and not sure I will..  I'm not sure a high fat diet would be right for me? I used to have high blood pressure and was on medication for it, but got it down by exercise and not adding table salt and only buying no salt or low salt things. The doctor took me off the BP med about 6 months ago and readings have been normal since then.

I love most everything you said you avoid. Love whole wheat bread, potatoes, yams, and beats.  So what carbs do you eat? Whats left, lol? I don't know if I should stick with 1% milk and just use less of it on cereal or what. I love Raisin Bran and Cheerios. And oatmeal. Now I just don't know what to have for breakfast besides eggs.. Not crazy about beans, so that's no loss. Love and eat most of the vegetables you mentioned. Love chicken, but have been buying skinless. I used to eat a lot of red grapes, but learned they're kinda high in sugar. I like walnuts and pecans, but walnuts might be too high in salt. I'm so confused and sad as it almost sounds like there isn't a lot of choice as to appropriate foods. No more going into a restaurant and ordering anything on the menu!

 

Lately I've been reading labels at the grocery store, but mainly for sugar or fat content. What are more examples of carbohydrate foods?? OMG, you only have about 30 carbs per day? Now I'll have to start checking more labels for carbs also and plan out every day, every meal what I can eat. Guess it would be a good idea to keep a log too. It just sounds like so much work and it sounds depressing to me. There was a time when I had no thoughts about food, just ate whatever I wanted.

I have no idea if diabetes runs in my family. Neither my father or mother were diabetic, but my grandmother died before I was born. She was very obese, so maybe she was diabetic. I don't know anything about my fathers side of the family and never met them before they all died. I'm just wondering why I have this condition if no one in my family was diabetic?

 

Do you know anything about the liver dump of glucose into the blood during sleep? Somewhere I read it's a good idea to have a bedtime snack, but I thought that was more for people taking insulin.

I usually have 2 or 3 meals a day and rarely snacks. What snacks would be good? Sorry for all the questions! As I learn more, I'm sure I'll have fewer of them.  

 

 

My cholesterol was also very high right after I was diagnosed.  Triglycerides were up around 400-500 if I remember right.  LDL was uncalculated (due to high triglycerides) and HDL was down in the 30s.  Since I switched to this way of eating, my triglycerides are sitting just above 100 now, my LDL is about to drop below 90, and my HDL is just about to hit 50.  I can't guarantee the same results for everyone, but a number of us have seen similar affects.

 

I made a post a little while back with some pictures of the kinds of meals I eat.

http://www.diabetesforums.com/forum/topic/79212-could-this-really-be-working/#entry979794

I believe that should take you straight to that post.

 

Also, take a look at our recipe section.  Lots of good info there, links to recipe sites, and similar.

 

My favorite breakfasts, when I have time for them, is an egg scramble with various vegetables like onions, peppers, mushrooms, spinach, kale, asparagus, and broccoli.  Not all of them at once, but I usually vary depending on what I have on hand at the moment and they are very good.  :)

 

As for walnuts, I missed them in my previous post.  They are on the lower carb end and I don't see salt being an issue unless they are roasted\salted.

 

I highly recommend keeping a log of what you eat, macronutrient count of that meal, and your pre and post numbers for that meal.  Its a really handy way to help go through and determine which foods are causing you problems and which are not.

 

While I do about 30g of carbs in a day, it doesn't mean that you have to do the same.  You will likely be able to tolerate more.  I was diagnosed with an A1C of 10.4 and a non fasting BG reading of close to 250 and I suspect my body just can't tolerate as much as others.  Your meter will show you the way.

 

That morning liver dump (dawn phenomena) can be a pain at times.  In the early hours of the morning (mine usually happens around 3am) our livers release glucose into our systems as a way to help us get up and moving in the morning.  For non diabetics, this has no affect, but for diabetics, our bodies struggle to handle the load and this is why you can see morning numbers higher than when you went to bed.  A small snack before bed (a little cheese, maybe a few nuts) seems to help, but doesn't always work for everyone.

 

There are three big things you want to look at on nutritional labels.  Serving size, total carb count and the ingredient list.  The total carb count lets you know how many total carbs there are in the item.  The serving size is vital.  Some manufacturers can get away with looking really good because their posted serving size is so tiny.  The ingredient list is also helpful as it lets you know the kind of things (like high fructose corn syrup - HFCS) and similar.

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carfree

Regarding exercise: as others have said, you don't need to join a gym. Walking is great. Whatever exercise you enjoy is best. I like variety and also do high intensity interval training because it is supposed to have some advantages for insulin resistance. It's basically doing some kind of aerobic exercise with intervals of pushing yourself for a minute or so at a time so you get out of breath.

I too loved 'healthy' carbs. Cereal used to be a favorite. Now I often eat a cereal I make out of nuts and seeds. Also you can search for Muffin in a Minute, or One Minute Muffins. I make a low carb zucchini muffin in a bowl and then use tahini or a non dairy milk, unsweetened, as a topping and it's kind of like a hot cereal. Sounds weird, but it's very satisfying to me.

To post a signature (where people out A1cs and meds, etc), I think you may have to have a certain number of posts, like 15. You can then add it under your settings.

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PatriciaJ

Patricia - I empathize with you.  I was diagnosed in January 2016.  I foolishly did not visit a doctor for years.  Diabetes was unexpected but, knowing what I know now, not surprising due to my ethnicity and family members that have had it.

 

I certainly can't say my way is right for everyone but it worked for me in many dramatic ways.

 

I am 5'11" and weighed 314 pounds so I was definitely obese.  My BP was 180/110 go to the emergency room high, and my resting heart rate was 110.  I finally realized I was a walking stroke or heart attack waiting to happen.  I found out a week later on a follow up visit that I also had diabetes.  This was my wake up call.  I will be 50 this year and I am aware that I have some control over how my middle and old age can be health wise.  I have seen relatives lose feet, go blind, and die from diabetes complications.  It was time for a change.

 

I loved my fast food and large portions.  Didn't care a bit about carbs or any nutrients at all.

 

I sound positive and upbeat now, but I came home that night depressed, angry, and bewildered.  I thought for sure I was going to go down the miserable path of others that have had diabetes.  I then proceeded to Google and, as would make sense, the first site I visited was the American Diabetes Association.  Looking at the information, there was some encouragement that I would not have to change my diet too radically.  Thinking it through though made no sense.  I already found out that carbs are broken down into glucose quickly so why would I eat so many of them?  It didn't compute so I dug deeper and found Diabetes Forums. 

 

I did my first introductory post and received the same advice you are now receiving from the same people.  I didn't like the advice but I figured they have been living with diabetes for decades so they have to know what they are doing.  I also decided that if they can do this, I can do it, and my journey started.  Kit (please forgive me) became my "diabetes daddy" and schooled me on how to think this out and adapt.  EVERYONE on this forum helped but Kit's posts struck a chord in me that made me believe I could do this.

 

Cutting out carbs at first was difficult.  I also had to learn portion control and start exercising.  The only thing I really could do was walk, so walk I did.  I was sore, huffing and puffing, blisters, but I knew if I stuck with it, exercise would get better as I got stronger.

 

Food - I made a pretty quick change but there were some foods that I boldly declared I would never give up.  Success on my weight loss and BG control, in addition to encouragement from my friends here, convinced me I didn't need those particular foods.  Especially flour tortillas.  You need to understand that a typical meal for me used to be 8-16 oz. of steak, a box (yes, a box) of Stove Top or Mac and Cheese,  and a salad drenched in dressing.  Maybe even a pint of ice cream for dessert.  That had to end, and end quick...

 

So what do I eat?

 

Here is a typical day...

 

Breakfast is 2-3 ozs of breakfast meat, daikon, zucchini, or cauliflower, 2 eggs, 1 oz. cheddar cheese, unsweetened almond milk flavored with vanilla extract and Splenda, and coffee.  I sometimes add a Tbs of cream or 2 to the almond milk to add flavor and consistency.  I sometimes make a coconut flour mug muffin with a cream cheese frosting.  Another favorite is old school celery and Adam's old fashioned peanut butter (the one you stir).

 

Lunch is 2-4 ozs of protein, vegetable, salad with 28g of ranch or bleu cheese dressing.  Sometimes a handful of pork rinds if I need a "potato chip" fix.

 

Dinner is similar to lunch.  Last night was 4oz. steak, pan seared in butter and seasoned with thyme, sage, salt, pepper and garlic.  I then sautéed some mushrooms and daikon (cut with a zoodle maker) in the juices of the pan.  I will sometimes use the juices as a base for a no flour gravy (I use sour cream for the thickener) that nobody gets enough of.  I swear that I make 2 cups of gravy and it is still not enough!  Romaine lettuce with ranch dressing and a few almonds for crunch (to replace the croutons).

 

Think you can't have dessert?  Think again.  There are some good low carb ice creams that can be purchased.  Look up fat bombs and you will see that you can make your own candy.  There is a mousse recipe here that you can bring to a potluck and it will disappear.  People are astounded when I point out that no sugar or flour was used.

 

Believe me, it is not boring at all.  I have actually learned how to prepare food.  My teen daughter ate what I would prepare when she was not off at college and commented that my meals were often better than her take out.  In time, this became my new normal and I have new comfort foods like cauliflower and zucchini.  I am always trying new ways to prepare these favorites and finding new foods all the time.  Diet will be the least of your worries.  My new way of eating is now ingrained habit.  It migrates to the restaurant, pot lucks, and everywhere else that I eat.

 

Ok - So we know I was a mess when I started out.  Where am I today?

 

My last A1c at the doctor was 4.5.  When I was first diagnosed, my first morning testing was 291.  I now test somewhere from 80-95 every morning.  I now weigh about 217 pounds.  All from the diet above and just walking about 45 minutes a day.  I get lots of negative comments about the diet but those stop when I bust out a picture of myself at 311 pounds!  My BP is around 120/70 and my resting heart rate in the high 40's.  All of this in less than 1 year.  It was not as difficult as I feared it would be.

 

Honestly - Maybe this diet is not completely good for me.  I don't know.  I can only say I am a lot better off than I was.

 

I am now running (I recently ran 3 miles non-stop), swimming (about .75 mile), cycling (just started), and still walking.  I now have the energy and the will to fix things around the house, work on cars, and do things I have not done in years. I have participated in 5K's, marched in a parade, participated in neighborhood clean up events, and have the confidence to try things and not worry if I can do them or not.  If I can live, and thrive, with diabetes, I can do mostly anything I set my mind to.  Perhaps I won't be the best at it, but I will do it in my own way and be satisfied at the outcome. 

 

The irony of my story is that I am healthier now because of diabetes than I have been for many, many years. 

 

My friends here know that I had skepticism at first.  At first, I thought these guys (once again, sorry Kit) were a bunch of Atkin's kooks.  Based on what we have been told for so many years, the advice here seems so counter-intuitive.  I know it does not work for everyone but it works often enough that it is worth a try.

 

I see this has become one of my typical "novella" posts so I am going to end this.  I write this because I do sense a sincere desire in you to learn about this.  Ask your questions.  The only bad question is the unasked one.

 

Welcome and I hope we all help to set you on your path of life with diabetes.

 

I have one more thing to add.  You already know this so I am just kindly reinforcing this.  Get a meter and start testing!  If there is a Walmart near you, the Relion Prime meter is fine.  Many here use it (me too).  It is accurate enough and the strips are among the least expensive you will find.  You are going to burn through strips early on with the testing so you want cheap strips.  Don't get hung up on getting the more expensive gear.  Yes, in many cases, you get what you pay for but the Relion is fine for what you are using it for.  You are using it to observe trends. ~ Mike

I thank you and all the others for the replies. All very encouraging and inspiring:)

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PatriciaJ

My cholesterol was also very high right after I was diagnosed.  Triglycerides were up around 400-500 if I remember right.  LDL was uncalculated (due to high triglycerides) and HDL was down in the 30s.  Since I switched to this way of eating, my triglycerides are sitting just above 100 now, my LDL is about to drop below 90, and my HDL is just about to hit 50.  I can't guarantee the same results for everyone, but a number of us have seen similar affects.

 

I made a post a little while back with some pictures of the kinds of meals I eat.

http://www.diabetesforums.com/forum/topic/79212-could-this-really-be-working/#entry979794

I believe that should take you straight to that post.

 

Also, take a look at our recipe section.  Lots of good info there, links to recipe sites, and similar.

 

My favorite breakfasts, when I have time for them, is an egg scramble with various vegetables like onions, peppers, mushrooms, spinach, kale, asparagus, and broccoli.  Not all of them at once, but I usually vary depending on what I have on hand at the moment and they are very good.  :)

 

As for walnuts, I missed them in my previous post.  They are on the lower carb end and I don't see salt being an issue unless they are roasted\salted.

 

I highly recommend keeping a log of what you eat, macronutrient count of that meal, and your pre and post numbers for that meal.  Its a really handy way to help go through and determine which foods are causing you problems and which are not.

 

While I do about 30g of carbs in a day, it doesn't mean that you have to do the same.  You will likely be able to tolerate more.  I was diagnosed with an A1C of 10.4 and a non fasting BG reading of close to 250 and I suspect my body just can't tolerate as much as others.  Your meter will show you the way.

 

That morning liver dump (dawn phenomena) can be a pain at times.  In the early hours of the morning (mine usually happens around 3am) our livers release glucose into our systems as a way to help us get up and moving in the morning.  For non diabetics, this has no affect, but for diabetics, our bodies struggle to handle the load and this is why you can see morning numbers higher than when you went to bed.  A small snack before bed (a little cheese, maybe a few nuts) seems to help, but doesn't always work for everyone.

 

There are three big things you want to look at on nutritional labels.  Serving size, total carb count and the ingredient list.  The total carb count lets you know how many total carbs there are in the item.  The serving size is vital.  Some manufacturers can get away with looking really good because their posted serving size is so tiny.  The ingredient list is also helpful as it lets you know the kind of things (like high fructose corn syrup - HFCS) and similar.

Hi Kit, I goofed up on a couple of the labs. My last (in May 2016) HDL was 81 and LDL was 110.  I tried the link, but it didn't work? The thought of completely cutting out breakfast cereals and bread is quit a shock to me and wonder about alternatives for both. I love cereal and bread/rolls and cornbread. I'm not one for exotic types of foods, preferring plain simple foods. The egg breakfast you described sounds like a California omlette which I very much enjoy. Is the a good book on the market for pre-diabetes you could suggest?

 

How do I plug in my A1C numbers on my profile. I'm new and not sure how to precisely use this site, for example the "muliQuote" feature. I've used to "Quote" thing to reply to some posts. I'll try to look for recipes, but also interested in a list of various foods that would be appropriate to my condition.

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PatriciaJ

Regarding exercise: as others have said, you don't need to join a gym. Walking is great. Whatever exercise you enjoy is best. I like variety and also do high intensity interval training because it is supposed to have some advantages for insulin resistance. It's basically doing some kind of aerobic exercise with intervals of pushing yourself for a minute or so at a time so you get out of breath.

I too loved 'healthy' carbs. Cereal used to be a favorite. Now I often eat a cereal I make out of nuts and seeds. Also you can search for Muffin in a Minute, or One Minute Muffins. I make a low carb zucchini muffin in a bowl and then use tahini or a non dairy milk, unsweetened, as a topping and it's kind of like a hot cereal. Sounds weird, but it's very satisfying to me.

To post a signature (where people out A1cs and meds, etc), I think you may have to have a certain number of posts, like 15. You can then add it under your settings.

I can't find lists of low carb foods on this site or recipes either? Does this site have them or it there another site I could find suggestions as to specific food items?

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Kit

Hi Kit, I goofed up on a couple of the labs. My last (in May 2016) HDL was 81 and LDL was 110.  I tried the link, but it didn't work? The thought of completely cutting out breakfast cereals and bread is quit a shock to me and wonder about alternatives for both. I love cereal and bread/rolls and cornbread. I'm not one for exotic types of foods, preferring plain simple foods. The egg breakfast you described sounds like a California omlette which I very much enjoy. Is the a good book on the market for pre-diabetes you could suggest?

 

How do I plug in my A1C numbers on my profile. I'm new and not sure how to precisely use this site, for example the "muliQuote" feature. I've used to "Quote" thing to reply to some posts. I'll try to look for recipes, but also interested in a list of various foods that would be appropriate to my condition.

 

Huh, the link was working for me.  Lets try it again

http://www.diabetesforums.com/forum/topic/79212-could-this-really-be-working/#entry979794

 

There's also a thread under Dieting and Nutrition for Diabetes\Recipes called 'don't worry ~ i got this' started by Angie where she talks about recipes she's trying, reports on them etc.  A few of us others have joined in here and there, including myself.

 

Here's a page that goes through some of the best low carb\keto cereal recipes

http://alldayidreamaboutfood.com/2015/02/25-delicious-low-carb-grain-free-cereal-recipes.html

 

And another that I don't believe is included in the other list but looks good to me

http://www.wickedstuffed.com/keto-recipes/coconut-keto-cereal-my-new-favorite-low-carb-breakfast/

 

For searches, don't search for diabetes or similar.  You'll get all the usual junk.  Search for lchf (low carb high fat) or keto (ketogenic).  You'll find the better things that way.

 

Its difficult to answer the "what do I eat" question as we all have different tastes.  An example for me

 

Breakfast - I mentioned the scrambles.  There are also the one minuite muffins (or muffin in a mug) using alternative flours.  Most often however, I am late and have to run out the door 15 minutes ago and just grab a little cheese or some nuts.  Sadly, as I'm not a morning person and my commute 1 way averages about an hour 15, the grab some cheese or nuts happens more often than I like to admit.  :)

 

Lunches - honestly these are usually more or less what I eat for dinner.  Usually some protein (meat or eggs usually) with low carb vegetables.  Sometimes various salads, though mostly I prefer roasted or sauteed or stir fried.  Chef salads are pretty quick to make and I use full fat dressings, usually what I make myself.

 

Dinner - One of the images I linked to was a pork roast (pork shoulder cooked at 250 degrees for something like 6 hours.  So tender) with fresh green beans stir fried with onion, pepper and lots of garlic.  I added to the mix a small roma tomato quartered, drizzled with olive oil, a pinch of salt and some cracked black pepper.

 

Or perhaps some salmon with zucchini fritters and a side salad.

Zucchini Fritters - http://slimpalate.com/zucchini-fritters-paleo-grain-free-gluten-free/ - pretty good in my opinion

 

Oriental stir fry using left over meat (I love left overs), bell pepper, snow peas, onion, garlic, ginger, sesame oil, soy sauce and zucchini noodles (zoodles).  It turns out really well.  No rice was used and I used the zoodles instead.

 

Really the options are quite varied, but it can take some time to get used to the idea that meals aren't full of lots of filler (starches).  Instead I leave the starches out and replace with more lower carb veggies.  :)

 

The only real book I have read on Diabetes is Dr Bernstein's The Diabetes Solution which some people refer to as the bible on the subject.

 

As for having your information in your signature.  You have to have a minimum number of posts before you can setup your signature.  I forget what the limit is however.  Once you have reached it, you can edit it by going to the drop down by your name in the upper right corner, choosing My Settings and then choose the Signature tab on the left side bar.

 

I've not used MultiQuote yet so I'm not sure exactly how it works.  :)

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