Does anyone have a few minutes?

By TsalagiLenape Latest Reply 2012-02-06 09:51:18 -0600
Started 2012-02-02 18:38:26 -0600

I am trying to figure out the info I have been collecting so I can shake up my eating habits so I may control my diabetes and maybe lose some weight at the same time. I am so novice like in many areas i.e. carbs dark green leafy vegetables and etc. Mind you that my "shake up" is going to be on a tight budget due to lack of funds. So if anyone can and would please share what you can so I may finish my puzzle. Wanishi Wado Thank you

28 replies

Judyku 2012-02-06 09:30:03 -0600 Report

I know every person is different, but I am so happy to hear how many people on this forum are low carb and am grateful for the recipes and ideas that are shared. When I was first diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes 12 years ago, my BG was 465 and my A1C was 12.4. Put on meds right away and sent to a diabetes educator/nutritionist who described what my plate and portions should be - 1/2 carbs, 1/4 protein, 1/4 fruits and vegatables, be careful of salt and fats. Even a Diabetes magazine I subscribed to for awhile shared recipes for foods with high carb counts. With reading and personal discovery, that "recipe" was totally wrong for me.

I have not been on any diabetes meds for over 10 years, have A1C close to 6, and know I can do better than that with diet (only watching carb intake) and exercise (basically just walking more, and occasional swimming) alone. A1C has been as low as 5.2. My weight is stable (I lost weight and never put it back on) and body mass index is 24.3 (high end of normal). I am blessed with low cholesteral and low blood pressure. I do not watch portion size, count calories, fat, or sodium. I am 68 and know diabetes is progressive so I may not always be able to stay off meds.

But for the past 12 years and now what works for me:

I pretty much stay away from rice, pasta (although I did find a low carb pasta that was good once), potatoes, corn, peas, squash, cereal, most kinds of bread, chips, crackers. I DO eat lots of meat and fish, cheese, eggs, most vegetables, sugar free jello, nuts (especially almonds), a modest amount of fruit (especially berries and cantalope). I do not buy things like sugar-free candy or cookies. I have found Breyer's low carb ice cream (chocolate) is great with lots whipped cream and peanuts. I enjoy pizza (just don't eat the crust). I love VIllage Hearth bread (7 carbs/slice) - often have toast and peanut butter or a cheese omlet for breakfast. If I eat at McD's for breakfast - an Egg McMuffin (throwing away half of the English muffin) works fine. If I eat fast foods - e.g. hamburgers - I throw away half the bun. Buffets are wonderful since I can concentrate on things I know I can eat. Diet drinks (Crystal Lite and pop), coffee and tea are fine, but some of the low-carb fruit drinks, V-8 and tomato juice are good and probably better for me.

Thanks for all that you share on this forum!!

Young1s 2012-02-06 09:51:18 -0600 Report

Welcome to DC Judyku. Wow! Sounds like you have a great bead on your do's and don'ts. I'm a ways away (I think) but I'll get there. One thing I do know for sure, fruit juice of any kind drives my BG's us something awful. That's why I stick to fresh fruit. Haven't tested V8 yet though.

Caroltoo 2012-02-04 17:12:16 -0600 Report

Lo-carb eating obviously means different things for different people and you will need to find what definition works for you.

I am seriously reative to carbohydrates and so rarely eat more than 20 carbs per meal.

I tend to purchase more than I need at one time, so have an end of the week refrigerator cleaning day when any produce that looks like it is becoming marginal goes into soup and is frozen for a night I don't want to cook.

I shopped yesterday and cooked up 12 beets, beet greens and stems, and 3 bunches of kale. The beets are helpful with gall bladder issues so I eat lots, even as a snack. The greens will be added to soups, stews, and other things I cook during the week or eaten as a side dish.

Type1Lou 2012-02-04 17:05:09 -0600 Report

I found that the best way for me to control my BG's is to reduce the carbs I eat. An added benefit is that following a low carb diet usually leads to weight loss. I always read the food labels and am frequently surprised at some of the carb values. For example, light or no-fat salad dressing will usually have more carbs than the regular version. I am 5'3" tall and try to limit my carb intake to no more than 120 grams of carb per day. When I initially went on a low-carb diet, I lost about 10 pounds. I now weigh 118. I do eat a lot of salads.

Caroltoo 2012-02-04 17:10:01 -0600 Report

Light and no-fat products frequently use some type of sugar/sweetener to replace the taste lost when they remove the fat.

Just Joyce
Just Joyce 2012-02-03 22:30:45 -0600 Report

To save money, I buy fresh veggies cook and freeze them in portions for two people for two days. I make large pots of soup, beans, chili and spaghetti and freeze that also. Around Thanksgiving, I buy a whole frozen turkey and have it cut in half. Cook one half for Thanksgiving and the other for Christmas. I cook enough veggies and dressing and freeze it in portions for both dinner's. You can buy a gallon of milk and freeze half. You can also freeze butter and bread bread. They have low fat biscuit mix and you can make that and freeze it also. You can also make a batch of waffles and freeze them see my freezing tip. You can thaw them, add fruit and you have a dessert.

During the summer months you can buy veggies at a farmers market cheaper than supermarkets and cook and freeze them also. My sister is a Master Gardener so she grows veggies which also saves money.

I also clip coupons and buy meats on sale. Stay away from buy one get one free items as they actually cost more. For instance Safeway had buy one get one free chicken drumsticks. They were 10 bucks a pack and the next week, the same size was 4.99. They mark up the price and offer one free yet you are actually paying for both packs.

I go to the Amish Market every Saturday and buy wheat bread, dinner rolls, sugar free apple pie (cooked in its natural juices) sugar free cookies (chocolate chip the chocolate makes them sweet enough) I freeze all of it. I can get 12 cookies for 2.99 and wrap them individually and freeze them. When I want a cookie, I take one out and thaw it. Since I don't eat all of my required carbs per meal, I can have a cookie once in a while so the cookies last at least a month and a half.

Tip for freezing portions of meat. It is only my sister and I so I will freeze two of everything but drumsticks and wings together. I wrap them in plastic wrap, stack them in a freezer bag with a paper towel between each portion. Make sure the wrap is dry this prevents them from freezing together and you can take out the portion you want without taking it all out.

Finally go to food banks and apply for an EBT card. Go to Social Services and apply. They can tell you if you qualify the same day. If you have no food they will also give you emergency food stamps.

pixsidust 2012-02-03 13:06:04 -0600 Report

Buy some simple basics
first search the ads online to see who has what on sale.
85% Lean Ground Turkey at my regular store is $2.00 a pound
At my discount store its $3.00 a pound but fresh vegetables are less there. Fortunately they are on the same street so I hit both.

I would buy Ground Turkey Family Pack $6
I patty it up and use regular fold over top baggies. I put a ball of meat in the bag and smash it flat when its inside. You can then thaw it for all kinds of things, spaghetti, burritos, burgers, taco salad etc…

Also a bag of chicken. $7 I prefer thighs but many prefer breast meat.
You can make fajitas, chicken parmasian, lemon pepper chicken etc..
You can also make soup especially if you get bone in chicken for .49 cents a pound

I also get a bag of talapia.$5 I eat it steamed with lemon and it cooks in mere minutes

With this comes your veggies,$20 carrots, peppers, onions, broccoli, fresh spinach and romaine lettuce. A 10 lb bag of potato's costs 4-5 dollars at my regular store and $2 at my discount grocery.

Throw in $15 eggs, milk, a cheese, a hot cereal and chocolate sugar free pudding cups then you are done.

These items can last you a while and be made so many ways. If you have to forego something make it the talapia or trade up what you get each week.

Contact your food pantries. I go to one for food and to volunteer my time. I get veggies both canned and fresh not to mention a large Honey Suckle turkey breast. They even give me Greek yogurt. You need the same help so please reach out to get it

Young1s 2012-02-02 22:30:56 -0600 Report

Here's a few links to the Diabetic Living website that you may find useful. The links consist of slide shows that discuss the basics of a diabetic diet, how to lower BG levels, and weight loss. Each page has additional links to other related info and/or recipe ideas. Hope this is helpful to you.

Basic Diabetic Diet Info:

Lower BG's:

Weight Loss:

Set apart
Set apart 2012-02-02 20:27:23 -0600 Report

I started something on Monday and met with my Diabetic Educator yesterday who said this sounded okay and called me clever and so far it seems to be working for me. I am on a very low carb meal and snack plan. I got the idea from James, but what I am doing now is checking my BGs and what the # is depends on what I eat. I am not eating over 30 grams of carbs per meal and make up for extra carbs and energy in between meals maybe a small piece of fruit and about 5 almonds go bring me a little higher when I need it. If I don't need extra carbs I stay carb free for snacks or raw veggies with very low carb count. I always have protein no matter what the number is. This also helps to get the weight off. So far haven't had fast acting novolog all week as premeal correction, and take 16 units of Lantus nightly let's see what happens. Oh and you are right the best diabetic educators i have found are all right here.

TsalagiLenape 2012-02-02 23:02:32 -0600 Report

Now that is great! Wanishi Hugs

Set apart
Set apart 2012-02-03 05:37:32 -0600 Report

Thank you, it really does work!

Nick1962 2012-02-03 08:48:18 -0600 Report

Yup, really does work. I do no more than 7 carbs or sugars per food item (try to at least) and 7 or more protein if I can. This also cuts corn and carrots out unfortunately, but I work them in occasionally.

Young1s 2012-02-03 11:42:05 -0600 Report

I'm not doing this myself but I have cut out corn to once or twice a month. But I love carrots, so I make them about 3x a week.

red flower lady
red flower lady 2012-02-02 21:55:34 -0600 Report

That is great that you are doing this. But, it is how we type 1 are supposed to eat. Watch our carb intake and take our insulin according to our number as well as what we are about to eat. Have protein for snacks and watch our portions, and add in exercise. It is awsome that you have been able to not take one of your insulins by doing this. Maybe you'll eventually be able to reduce your Lantus soon as well, we can hope:)

Keep up the good work.

Set apart
Set apart 2012-02-03 05:35:18 -0600 Report

Thanks I think I learn more and more every day, cuz when I was first diagnosed Drs said stay at 45 g of carbs and such a good listener that I am I did. The only thing with that is I always thought I had to have 45 grams of carbs in a meal, not true. Not sure about reducing the Lantus because right before I take it I have it my basal so it is already weakening in my system will start rising at this point. Any ideas?

Just Joyce
Just Joyce 2012-02-03 22:33:33 -0600 Report

Set my Dr. told me I can have 60 carbs per meal. I never eat that many per meal . He also told me that one day a week, I can eat whatever I want. Even then I still don't eat all of the required carbs.

Caroltoo 2012-02-02 19:09:47 -0600 Report

Most of the dark green veggies are low glycemic index and you can eat about as much as you want, Temi.

I will send you a copy of my refrigerator "cheat sheet". It's not exhaustive, but it keeps me on my toes.

Do you have access to an online copy of the Glycemic Index? I usually aim for veggies that are 40 or less on the scale of 1-100.

TsalagiLenape 2012-02-02 19:39:12 -0600 Report

Well the dark green veggies is a list I have some I dont know about yet or how to cook it yet! LOL Wanishi for the "cheat sheet" I will print it out. I didnt know of the online Glycemic Index thing so will go look for that. Hugs Wanishi

Jeanae 2012-02-04 11:23:30 -0600 Report

My dietician said for diabetics try to have at least onr dark leafy veggie every day if not more- I love kale. I saute it and throw it in my egg white omelet with garlic and onion. I throw it in soups, epecially a veggie soup or a white bean soup. Or I saute it and drizzle a little balsamic vinegar on top. I also eat a lot of spinach, turnip greens, beet greens, collards, dandelion greens, and love cabbage and brussel sprouts. I gave up corn (b.s. spiked high) I eat carrots in moderation, lots of cucumbers, celery, broccoli and cauliflower. I try and buy fresh and only buy what I think I will need. I don't want to waste precious $$ throwing away wasted food. I stick to boneless, skinless thighs and breasts (frozen). I buy fish when it is on sale and freeze it. I love fruit and sprinkle it with chili powder or cayenne. Love spicy foods. Good luck!

Caroltoo 2012-02-02 20:13:16 -0600 Report

I need to leave here in a few minutes, but if you want to talk more about this tomrrow, I will be here.

red flower lady
red flower lady 2012-02-02 18:52:55 -0600 Report

Good idea, have you been counting carbs yet? Did you get any info from your dr, diabetes class, or nutritionist. You learn carb counting, portion control, etc. Check to see if there are free classes in your area, and contact the American Diabetes Association and they will send you info for free.

TsalagiLenape 2012-02-02 19:37:32 -0600 Report

Carb counting actually is quite easy for me now. Info from the doctor diabetes class or anyone else is a laughing matter. I get the best and useful info thus far here. No where else. The ADA has no classes that are here unless they are 53 miles away and I am grounded for driving for now. Safety issues. Ugh. Thank you Wanishi Hugs