Eating to Live

By denipink Latest Reply 2017-12-10 05:22:25 -0600
Started 2013-06-16 20:46:01 -0500

Hi everyone, i really struggle with eating right. I have recently revamped my entire diet and i am feeling better.

Can you tell me how you came to decide on your way of eating?

Are you on any kind of special diet?

How do you know what to eat to be getting good nutrition?

Appreciate your feedback :) Denise

34 replies

JSJB 2017-12-10 05:22:25 -0600 Report

I am not on a special diet, I just read the articles on this site and put together a eating plan which helped keep my BG in a safe area. Recently I went off and my BG is high but not dangerously high. There are so many good articles on this site to keep your diabetes under control but you have to stick to them. good luck

denipink 2013-06-24 08:58:03 -0500 Report

Just a little follow-up — for someone that was upset that i didn't receive posts to an earlier thread, this thread has sure provided me with so much help. Thank you to everyone for caring and sharing. I love this group and i feel very fortunate to have found you all!

The diabetes clinic reduced my insulin dosage to 60 Lantus and 30 Humalog for breakfast. Humalog 30 for lunch and Humalog 30 for dinner. Bedtime is 60 Lantus. Since, i have not experienced one low and my BS is always in the "zone."

I am feeling so much better now and can concentrate on eating a vegan diet (wanting to give my body a break from meats, fish and dairy) eliminating gluten and exercise. This is all a huge challenge for me, but, one i seem to have taken to just fine. Again, i feel so fortunate to have found my way to a vegan, gluten free and more active lifestyle. If i feel so much better just one month into this new lifestyle, i can just imagine how much better i will feel as the weight starts to come off and my weight stabilizes. Eventually, i want to get off my meds, too, as much as possible.

The way i lived before, i feel i was grooming myself for a stay at a home for the aged. Today, i have new energy, new hope and plans for a productive future.

At the end of the month i start a College program in diet, nutrition and health sciences. I would like to become a Health Coach. This new interest was spurred on by all the research i have been doing for the past 3 months. I have found my little niche and at 56 it is never too late to live your dreams!


tabby9146 2013-06-23 22:13:08 -0500 Report

I was going to say some of the things Joyce said. some of us can eat more and varied amount of fruits than others, and lots of veggies, some of those shakes with the raw veggies as well as cooked, are great. lean protein, lean chickem, turkey, lean ground beef, what the sugar free stuff, some is better than others, have to read the labels, drink lots of water , basically this is it and when people get enough fiber and varied types of foods everyday, and watch the fat, everything I have said ,they get enough or close to enough of what their body needs. That is a good way to make sure you are getting enough nutritin, and nuts are another thing I swear by, whole grains, some of us can have more of them than others for some it spikes them up too much, seeds too, are really great, low fat cheese,that kind of thing, broiled fish, salmon. I was telling someone the other day, who needs to lose weight, to eat as if you have been told you have diabetes, but it should not be a diabetes diet, just a lifestyle change, which everyone should try to follow

PJs - 61320
PJs - 61320 2013-06-20 00:31:45 -0500 Report

Hi, I decided to make changes when my hubby and I split up after 23 yrs of marriage. I had a new granddaughter and I want to be around for a LOOONNGGGG time. I now have a 3 wk old grandson, too. I started drinking what we call "the green shake". I lost 60 lbs in 11 months. I had the shake for breakfast and lunch. Fruits and veggies for snacks, lots of water, NO sodas. A well balanced meal for dinner. I went from five shots a day to 2 Metformin/daily. Just recently had my A1c done and it was 4.9 (last year it was 6.9)! Dr now has me on only 1 pill/day. He said if I keep up like this I may not have to take anything for my diabetes. (I'm type 2 since 1993). Besides losing the weight, my cholesterol levels lowered to great numbers!!! I was also taken from 2 Atenolols/day to one for my blood pressure. I also walk 2 miles Mon-Fri. Went from size 18/20 to 14!!! It can be done, keep the faith. Feel free to contact me if you have any questions. Good luck to you…

Just Joyce
Just Joyce 2013-06-18 21:10:56 -0500 Report

I had that problem for the first 24 hours of being diagnosed. I was at a community meeting and snack food (cookies and cake) was being served. A neighbor asked why I didn't eat it and told her I was just diagnosed. Two days later a meal plan was emailed to me. I didn't know she is a certified nutritionist and after telling her I could have 60 carbs per meal, she was able to do my meal plan.

I can't tell you what to eat this is basically something you learn through trial and error. I eat poultry and meats, fish when I am in the mood, veggies and fiber. Trial and error taught me to learn how foods affected my blood sugar. I have food allergies so some foods I have to avoid at all cost.

I try to avoid processed foods. I don't look for quick fixes such as grabbing food at fast food places and I don't use supplemental foods such as shakes in place of a meal. I choose weight loss without diet medication or any kinds of weight loss supplements and I won't ever go near Weight Watchers again in life.

I have all kinds of diabetic books with meal plans and educational information that I read when I was diagnosed. I haven't opened one in 3 years. I adjust foods and am willing to try new foods from time to time. You have to find your niche so to speak. Find foods you enjoy, be willing to try new foods and seasonings. This keeps me out of having boring meals.

jigsaw 2013-06-17 19:01:59 -0500 Report

Quite a bit of excellent info here. I hope not to be redundant and to add some additional info in a summarized, and simplified way.
I went through various stages, when it comes to different diets. It all took place over the twenty years that I've had diabetes. Lo carb diets of sorts, modified Atkins diets and so on. They all helped me to manage my blood glucose adequately, but I'm not so sure that they were the best from a nutritional stand point.
I have seen a few dieticians and numerous diabetes specialists over the years also. Here is my current belief, this is basically what I eat. Poultry, fish, some meat, kept to a minimum, many veges, and some fruit with caution since some fruit is high in carbs. I consume very little processed foods. Grains and fibre are very important. I utilize portion control, since it is much easier to manage ones weight this way, and not overload yourself with carbs. Actually, I believe that the basic nutritional needs of a person without diabetes, are the same as for someone with diabetes. Eating a nutritionally balanced diet in the correct portions for ones height, weight, and body is a big part of the battle. Certainly, anyone can modify the quantities of any food they consume, or even eliminate them if need be. Variety with foods is a key way to obtain a good mix of nutrition. So, here I am, no complications from diabetes, cooking up my own delicious, nutritious and reasonably healthy meals!

denipink 2013-06-17 19:14:01 -0500 Report

Hi jigsaw, well, that certainly wasn't the fish that got away! Did you really catch that? What kind of fish was it? Did you eat it?

Thanks for talking about your own journey. I think you have certainly taken good care of yourself with 20 years of D and no complications.

Your eating strategy sounds very healthy to me. Good for you on such success. You are a good example to others that can learn from you.


jigsaw 2013-06-17 20:57:13 -0500 Report

Yes, I did catch that fish ( it's a Cobia) a few years ago, and I ate it too! Of course I had five other people help to eat it, you know, portion control and all that stuff!
Anyway, I'm sure you'll reach your goals more quickly, with all these terrific members sharing their experiences.

Type1Lou 2013-06-17 13:13:39 -0500 Report

After reading Dr Richard Bernstein's "Diabetes Solution", I greatly reduced the number of carbs I was eating. The pounds dropped off and I got greater blood sugar control. Also, by losing weight, you may increase your body's insulin sensitivity factor. Here is a quote from Gary Scheiner in "Think like a Pancreas": "Your sensitivity factor is how much each unit of insulin lowers your blood sugar. Each person's sensitivity to insulin is unique. In general, the heavier you are and the more insulin you take, the less sensitive you will be to each individual unit." For me, the key was reducing my carb intake to no more than 120 grams of total carb per day. That has meant giving up a lot of the foods I loved with bread and desserts in particular. I still indulge, every now and then, in one square of dark chocolate covered with a tablespoon of all natural PB…around 6 or 7 grams of carb.l And, like others mentioned, I fanatically read the labels for serving size and carb content.

denipink 2013-06-17 13:39:02 -0500 Report

My diabetes clinic wants me eating 150 - 195 carbs each day. I think that is on the high side. I see the dietician Wednesday. It will be a very interesting meeting!

Did you decide on that carb amount or were you told to eat that much? I feel very shy of asserting myself with a professional because i sure don't know much about this. I will simply tell her that others are telling me that is a high carb count. I will also tell her i really need to lose weight and if i need to eat less carbs to lose weight then that is what i want to do but if i am told by her that i must eat all those carbs to properly process my insulin then that is what i will have to go along with for now.

I am reading Dr. Neal Barnard's Program to Reverse Diabetes. All in good time i will do my best to adapt to his recommendations. I know he says the majority of those that do his program end up lowering their dosages by at least half and some go off completely and never go back on. We will see.

Thanks for posting! Denise

Type1Lou 2013-06-18 11:43:46 -0500 Report

I came to the 120 grams of carbohydrate by trial and error. It is more carbs than Dr Bernstein would advocate but less than many nutritionists advise. It allows me to maintain my weight at 120 lbs (good for my 5' 3" frame) and my last A1c was 6.7, in a range that indicates good diabetes control. I have been following this regimen for a good number of years now with no adverse health or mental effects, so, it works for me. The key is to learn what works for you and, I found, not be afraid to research advice that you might question. If I hadn't questioned my PCP's approach back in 2010, my quality of life would have suffered and I might not even be here now. Not all the "so-called experts" have all the answers. I was told that my daily carb intake would cause a mental decline yet I am still able to correctly complete the New York Times Sunday crossword puzzle each week!…so much for that opinion! I eat salads for many meals. I substitute the pasta on my plate with french style green beans when I serve the real spaghetti to my husband…these are adaptations that have helped me gain better control and this is a great site for tips and advice. No one person has all of the answers but it's nice to hear what works well.

denipink 2013-06-18 11:49:35 -0500 Report

Hi Lou, you must feel pleased that all of your hard work has paid off. I think you have done very well.

Thanks for sharing that with me. Continued success!


Graylin Bee
Graylin Bee 2013-06-17 11:21:02 -0500 Report

My BG meter is my best guide to what to or what not to eat. It helped me decide to limit grains. Oats, corn, wheat, and rice all gave me BG spikes. Same reason for limit potatoes, corn, and bananas
My BG meter tells me that if I choose a yogurt that has over 8 grams of sugar carbs I get a spike. It has also shown me that if I am going low the 15 rule doesn't work sometimes. Last week I was 68. So I drank an apple juice box of 17 carbs. Surprise in 15 minutes I was130. Then down to 110 within an hour. Had the same issue with glucose tabs, was low and used two tabs, so only 10 carbs, BG rose about 50 points.
Balanced nutrition, I hope, I am getting from eating a variety of vegies, dairy, meats, nuts, and fruits.
I try to go with the lower salt options. This is just because I prefer the taste.
Plus like Gabby, I read labels and try to choose foods with fewer unpronounceable words. Also fewer ingredients thrown in. But their are some exceptions. If I really want to eat something "bad" I will just go ahead and have a taste, often that convinces me I don't like it anymore as my tastes have changed. If I still like it the first two to three bites always taste the best, then I can usually stop. If I go crazy and eat a whole serving, oh well, I got the urge satisfied and will more than likely not be wanting it for awhile again.
When I find myself craving something, I try to figure out what about it I want, the flavor, the texture, etc.
Last week I was craving chili rellenos - deep fried and wheat flour breading did not equal a wise choice. So I tried an almond meal, green chili and cheese mixture. Taste spot on, texture not quite right. But with a few tweaks version two made a great tamale/chili relleno concoction. BAM two cravings met in one food. Low BG impact to boot.

denipink 2013-06-17 12:02:49 -0500 Report

Hi Graylin, you are doing really well, too! Thanks a lot for sharing your personal experience with me. It helps me to figure out my own.


Nick1962 2013-06-17 10:40:57 -0500 Report

Ditto everything Gabby said (except the part about growing my own).
When I actually looked at what my daily activity level was and just how many (or more accurately just how few) calories I needed to maintain that life I was shocked. I was consuming between 4 and 6 times what was necessary. No wonder I was obese. There was no way I was going to exercise my way out of that, and I felt horrible all the time so something had to give. Not only did I need to lose weight, but being newly diagnosed had the added challenge of gaining control.

I guess you could call my new eating plan a “diet”, but it’s really a way of life now. Learning what I had to eat to get the proper nutrition was really more common sense than anything. Like Gabby said, reading labels and paying attention to portions is a biggie. Some guesswork, some education, and of course feedback by way of my blood work from my doctor visits lets me know I’m on the right track.

Just need to lose a few pounds now to be out of the “overweight” category and into “normal” for my height (or grow an inch or two).

denipink 2013-06-17 12:01:33 -0500 Report

Hi Nick, you have done really, really well :) Congratulations to you my dear! I love reading these success stories. Did you eat anything special/not eat some foods to get your weight down or did you just eat right each day and exercise?

Thanks a lot for posting :) Denise

Nick1962 2013-06-17 14:58:35 -0500 Report

First thing I did get rid of processed foods and the convenience foods like Healthy Choice type meals and went back to actually cooking for myself. Then we learned label reading and carb/sugar counting. This was all part of a 12 week healthy eating class/competition.

There are a lot of foods I gave up eating regularly like breads, potatoes, rice, pastas, etc., but that doesn’t mean I don’t have them from time to time. Just nowhere near every day, and only when I feel like I “earned” them from exercise. I also learned I ate out of habit like a smoker smokes. Had to have something while I watched TV, had to have something for the drive home from work, etc. I had to cut that out (which really wasn’t that hard). I was surprised just how much I ate that I wasn’t really hungry for, (and didn’t need) and that alone accounted for most of the weight loss. I’d say I cut my overall food consumption by about 60% and what was left in my diet was mainly protein.

I did have to force myself to eat some form of breakfast (and still do) because it made a big difference in my numbers. I didn’t eat anything like Weight Watcher’s diet foods – everything was straight from the store. I did experiment with things like protein shakes and supplements, but found out that besides being expensive, they were high in calories and usually carbs and if I ate healthy foods I didn’t need them.

Exercise for me was critical because I was obese and had to get rid of body mass. My wife did the same diet with me and lost the same amount of weight in the first 12 weeks, but didn’t exercise and stayed kind of the same shape. So exercise isn’t mandatory, but it sure helps.

Right now I do just as your post suggests – eat to live. I try to eat just what I need to stay in shape, both body and mind, and tailor that to my day.

denipink 2013-06-17 15:23:03 -0500 Report

Nick, reading your post really helps! Thanks a lot! You have done so well, both you and your wife! I am learning to eat well again as i once did years ago before being diagnosed diabetic.This is a huge challenge for me but my bs numbers are showing me that i am eating good for being diabetic. I still reward myself with food now and then but 90% of my diet is made up from just four food groups: whole grains, veggies, fruit and beans. I also eat healthy seeds in my salad. I walk now. Not far but it is a start. I can feel my tummy shrinking and that feels soooo very good :)

All in good time! Thanks a lot for being such a good example…i just feel so encouraged by your story.

Take care, i will be looking out for your posts.


Nick1962 2013-06-17 15:51:24 -0500 Report

It was an eye opener to me fo sure, and like you each little victory led to another.
It's a good feeling and I know you'll make it!

GabbyPA 2013-06-17 07:23:53 -0500 Report

I will tell you that my eyes were opened when I started reading labels. Oh my! That was one of the biggest factors for making my changes in my diet.

My goal is simple, eat to reduce my glucose levels. If I keep that always in mind when I have food choices to make, it helps me make better choices. In fact, since being diagnosed, my way of eating has become much, MUCH better.

I grow a lot of my own vegetables since I was diagnosed. I have eliminated artificial sweeteners and was amazed at how much weight I lost doing that. Who knew?! I try to keep processed foods out of the house. Anything that has ingredients I cannot pronounce is most likely off my shopping list.

I won't lie, I do some things that oppose my direct goal for convenience, but I do try to keep things as simple and whole as possible.

As far as nutrition, I am confident that eating veggies, fruits, meats and limited grains that I am getting nutrition that I need without all the junk I don't. So much of our food today is empty of anything useful, that is why our bodies crave more food, because what we often feed it doesn't really help it run well. I do take fish oil and B vitamins to supplement my diet, but that is it.

I do fall down and I do treat myself, sometimes too much. But that goal is always there, and if I keep my eye on the levels, that is the best thing for me.

denipink 2013-06-17 08:27:19 -0500 Report

Hi Gabby, thanks for sharing that. You certainly have a good plan :) I have been researching nutrition for months now and i am eating mostly vegan. I really need to heal my body. I have type 2 D. bipolar disorder, osteoarthritis, fibromyalgia, incontinence, psoriasis, irritable bowel, high blood sugar and high cholesteral. See why i am so concerned? I have been very sick. I am also 275 lbs. so eating properly has become an obsession for me!

Being D is my major concern right now. If i can't control my D i can't heal from any of my others health issues. D is my foundation and i need to get this down right.

I am grocery shopping today so i am going online to make my grocery list. I now eat only low glycemic foods and i choose my foods from the four food groups: veggies, fruits, whole grains and beans. I also eat a bit of healthy seeds in my salad. Next week i see the dietician again. It will be interesting to see what she says about my diet. I am only trying to speed along my recovery and i decided to give my body a break from meat, fish and dairy. I stopped drinking pop, too, and only drink club soda now. I drink almond milk instead of cow's milk. It is like drinking a bit of a milk shake! I just love it.

I also take the B vits and fish oil but when that bottle is done will get my Omega 3's from algae because i don't want anymore fish.

Well, i took my wee walk so now i get to drink some coffee and look for my shopping list. Thanks a lot for posting to me. This way, i can say that going by what works for you what i am doing must be ok, too. I haven't talked to too many with D that are also vegan or vegitarian. BTW - the way you eat is described as Flexitarian. Eating Flex was how i transitioned over to vegan. Don't they just have a name for everything? haha.

Hope your day is great! Denise

snuggles11 2013-06-17 02:18:46 -0500 Report

I'm Going the first week of July to a refresher course at my local hospital on nutrition!
Ask your doctor about it or check into it at one of you're local hospitals !
It's actually a great program that they have on nutrition!

bbchen68 2013-06-16 22:16:03 -0500 Report

I struggle too. I try not to get upset about it but at least twice a week I end up frustrated! I count carbs, even if I eat too much I really try to stay in a certain range. That being said, I also try to eat food that looks like food. Not over processed, not covered in sauce. Sounds simplistic but those two rules help a lot more than DIETS and failure, at least for me. Good luck and best wishes!

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