grocery shopping

By Rader Latest Reply 2013-04-13 21:00:12 -0500
Started 2010-04-20 21:22:28 -0500

I am on a low sodium, no sugar, low fat, low calorie diet. I am only able to have a small dorm size refrigerator so my cold food storage is limited. I wonder through the store each week looking for foods and I always end up leaving with salad fixings, oatmeal and enough fresh fruit and vegetables that can fit in my frig. which isn't much. food has become my enemy. I dread having to eat. I'm open to any ideas or suggestions or just others who want to vent

255 replies

DragonDreams 2011-10-11 00:18:18 -0500 Report

Meat is usually the most expensive item at the grocery store, but I have found a way to get my meat for half-price or less.

Some stores mark down their meat on the last day before the sell by date. You do have to use it or freeze it right away. I like to cook it, package it in freezer-friendly bags (2 serving size), and freeze it. I can find the leanest cuts for less than the regular cuts. I know the Cub and Super One Foods in my area do this.

Also you could talk to your local salvation army. They may know of programs where you pay less than the going rate for food. In my area there is a program where if you volunteer for as least 4 hours a month you qualify to get food at a reduced price. There are different food "packages" that you can choose from, even a meat only one.

As for Fish, have you tried Tilapia? It has almost no fish taste. I have used it instead of tuna and ground beef in many recipes. My daughter hasn't even noticed a taste difference! A little lime juice (fresh squeezed) in the pan, and away I go. No need for oil, butter, or anything else.

If you look around, you can find substitutes for most of your favorite foods.

Good luck, and happy shopping!

2011-10-10 17:49:12 -0500 Report

Well look at it this way Radar. You've seen in the mkts mst produce doesn't need to be refrigerated. So you could use your limited space for sm pkgs of meats,& frozen veggies.As long as some type of diary prods.

valentine lady
valentine lady 2011-10-10 13:08:07 -0500 Report

I agree with Dr. Tom, your almost forced to use supplements that you can store in a cabinet. Otherwise look on recipes and where might have to go to the store quite often ( due to lack of space ) there are wonderful low cal, low fat, low sodium recipes there that are easy to cook. I'm not quite as limited as you for space but have the same problems; a word of warning limit your trips to resturants. Their food is loaded with sodium…Valentine Lady

DrTomGibson 2010-11-01 13:21:16 -0500 Report

What about using supplements? There are many of them out there that use shakes or bars, that fit into your mentioned criteria. In the treatment of migraines I am looking into options for those that simply want to loose weight.

geoialover 2010-05-25 00:25:59 -0500 Report

Rader - I feel your frustration. I was initially diagnosed with diabetes and then with Celiac Sprue. I felt like I couldn't eat anything, the truth was I couldn't eat anything that was 'prepared' - I could eat anything that was fresh, fresh fruits, vegetables and meat/fish. I realize you have a small frig, so it may mean more frequent trips to the store, however if you can reframe it to shopping like the French and other Europeans who go to the stores and buy fresh foods on a regular basis that may help. The exercise is always good for us, too. I also had to watch the sodium at one time in my life and I learned you have to "acquire" tastes for certain foods and experiment. Using spices instead of salt is exciting, and I finally learned to eat black pepper - something I had avoided. Mytrose has wonderful suggestions - the spaghetti squash is a winner for starters - Experimenting is the key. Good Luck

Judy(JP) 2011-10-10 15:30:35 -0500 Report

I have exactly the same diagnosis… Diabetes and Celiac. Fresh food is important for me. Limited refrigerator space made me think of shopping more often as well. I also agree if the market is within walking distance it would be great to get in some exercise seeing as you can't get that much at a time it would be easy to carry :) Good Luck! Keep some Glucerna shakes on hand just in case you run out of fresh food before you can get to the store..

GloDen 2010-05-16 20:09:45 -0500 Report

I have a friend who has been diabetic for over 20 years, along with having high blood pressure and some kidney problem. Shesays that alot of time you have to decide will I do a little sugar, a little carb or a little sodium today. I was diagnosed a year ago with Type 2 and I'm down 42 lbs. Murray's makes good sugar free cookies and Dole makes really good no sugar added individual fruit cups. I have the no sugar added diced peached and Musselmans' Natural applesauce, no sugar added, most morning for breakfast. I eat a lot of baked chicken. The American Diabetes Association has some wonderful cookbooks. One that I use all the time is their Meals in 30 Minutes or less.

hac62 2011-10-10 15:22:27 -0500 Report

i too bake more now than before I was diagnosed with diabetes and make myself more aware of what I'm eating. Ans actually love the taste of no sugar added food and fresh is always my preference

Rader 2010-05-16 20:19:07 -0500 Report

I wasnt aware of the fruit cups. I will look for those next time I go shopping. Thank you : )

Rader 2010-05-15 21:22:48 -0500 Report

My prayers were answered. A chain Grocery store named Earth Fare opened in my town. Its a full grocery store of healthy foods. meat ,dairy, fruits, vegitables, deli etc I was in heaven. They are opening all over the country. I hope one opens near you. The best part is the prices are much different than any other chain grocery store like a Kroger ot piggly wiggly

myrtrose 2010-05-15 20:09:18 -0500 Report

I have found there isn't much processed/prepackaged stuff available for low carb/low sodium/low cal. I try to eat clean. I try to plan out meals and snacks for the week ahead and then do my shopping and cooking on the weekend. That way I can have snacks and meals ready to go when I need to just grab and run. Here's some things I always have on hand:
First off, buy a good set of measuring spoons, cups and a food scale. I got a great digital food scale at Walmart for less than $20. I think you suffer from portion distortion! I saw a reply where you stated that 2 oz of tuna is less than a tablespoon…you're way off! Oh and by the way there are no salt added canned tunas available in the health food sections of grocery stores.
- Mukimame. They are shelled soybeans. I buy them frozen and roast them in the oven with different spices. Cumin/chili powder/garlic powder/cayenne is a great combo. 425 degrees for about 20 mins, stirring once. They make a nice substitute for nuts. High protein, low carb, low cal (in moderation). You can also use edamame (soybeans in the shell) and shell them before roasting.
- Frozen fruit. I love berries, mango, dark sweet cherries. A whole serving is a LOT. Just use a handful, which is usually 1/4 of a serving or less. I throw mine in the microwave for about 30 secs to defrost. Use in cereals, both cold and hot. Mix with plain, nonfat yogurt, or cottage cheese. I also love them in smoothies!
- Soymilk. Be careful! Read labels, shop around and find a good one. Mine is a store brand, organic, vitamin and mineral enriched. It's vanilla and sweetened but has less carbs than plain nonfat cow's milk! Just as much protein too. If you opt for the "light" lower fat versions they genrally have less protein and my personal preference is for the higher protein "full fat versions". I don't usually use a full 8 oz serving. 3 or 4 oz with cereal. 4 oz for a smoothie. Take a handful or 2 of froxen fruits, 1/2 of an extra small banana, and 4 oz of vanilla soymilk. Blend for an awesome 100 calorie smoothie. I put my ingredients in a huge plastic cup and blend with an immersible blender right in the cup. Easy cleanup.
-Tofu. I chop and roast a couple packages of it at a time. Most people fry tofu but it's too high cal for me. Once it's cooled I make several different dishes for the week. I like some mixed with a little bbq sauce. Pair that with homemade coleslaw for a good sandwich. I also make a curry "chicken" salad. "Egg" salad is good too. Just use the same seasonings and sub out tofu for the meat.
-Eggplant. Another great meat substitute, another one I don't fry. Roasting it brings out it's natural sweetness. Most recipes call for soaking eggplant in salt water to remove any bitter taste. I never do this, I don't want the added sodium and I've never had bitter eggplant. Just buy young fresh eggplant. I slice it and roast it, and then top it for mini "pizzas". Chop and roast it and top with a little sesame oil, grated carrots, ginger and diced cucumber for an asian flare. I swap it for pasta and have it with homemade spaghetti sauce. If you make your own low cal sauce, you can have a huge plate of eggpalnt with sauce, cheese, a side salad and a slice of garlic bread for under 300 cals!
-Shirataki noodles. Get them in the healthfood section at the store. They're sold refrigerated in bags. Drain, rinse, boil 2 mins. They are AWESOME!! A 4 oz serving has 20 calories, 1/2 gram of fat, 15 mg sodium, 3 g carbs. I use these as a pasta substitute in soups, casseroles, any and every pasta dish!!
Seriously, these have changed my life!
-Soups/stews/chili. Make big batches of your favorites and freeze in individual containers. Again, get a little creative. Use unsalted canned or frozen beans and veggies. Mrs Dash makes a good variety of no sodium seasoning blends if you're uncomfortable concocting your own.
-Lemon and assorted vinegars. They help me not miss the salt. They're great on hot veggies and in cooking. Broccoli with lemon and garlic is sooo good, and to die for leftover and chilled! I gave up salad dressings years ago. There are so many different vinegars out there with a big variety of flavors and strengths. They can get pricey but a little goes a long way.
-Bread. I use bread sparingly but it's nice to have. I go to the bakery and buy a loaf of whole grain Italian bread and have them run it through the slicer for me. 1 slice is around 7 g of carbs and 35 cals. The whole wheat beads are too high carb for me, many are sweetened.
-Eggs. I eat 3 or 4 egg whites every morning for breakfast. I do indulge in bacon. I get the lower sodium, lower fat bacon and can have 2 slices for 45 cals, 3 g of fat and 90 mg sodium. Not bad and it makes me feel very satisfied to be eating such a "bad" food! So an egg white omelet with mushrooms, onions, peppers and a little swiss, 2 slices of bacon, 1 slice of toast with a teapoon of good jam, and a smoothie runs me around 250 cals!
-Cheese. It can be high in sodium, especially if you buy the lower fat versions. I stick with the full fat versions and use sparingly. A little goes a long way! Swiss, Mozzarella, and Muenster are lower sodium choices. Shop around. I keep a good parmesan on hand always, and again, use sparingly.
-Deli. My deli has a couple low sodium choices, one is called Just Turkey. I occasionally get that or the no salt added roast beef. But they are pricey. Mostly I cook meats on the weekend and use during the week for lunches and quick dinners. I boil and shred chicken for salads, tacos and bbq. If I'm running late for work a fast option is to dump some frozen stir fry veggie mix in a microwavable container, top with a few drops of vinegar, add some shredded chicken. By lunch time it's defrosted, I nuke for a min or two and voila…a low carb, low cal healthy hot lunch.
-Fresh fruits and veggies. I try not to go overboard beacuse they can spoil so fast, but I do keep a lot on hand. Raw veggies and some homemade yogurt dip, bean dips, eggplant dip (called baba ganoush), homemade salsa. I try to be careful with fruit and purchase smaller pieces. They have these tiny apples called Apple Teasers at my local grocer. They have several different varieties and they're only about 30 calories and 15g of carbs.

I could give you 100 more ideas. I want to say that a great website for tracking your nutritional choices is It's totally free and has an amazing database. They have nutritional plans or you can log your own foods. It really helped me to see what I was eating over the course of a day and how to balance things out. It allows you to track your carbs, calories, fat, protein, sodium, plus like 70 other nutrients. They are not set up for diabetics but you can edit your nutritional goals to fit your needs.
Since I started tracking what I was eating and exercising I brought my A1C down from 8.9 to 5.8 in 4 months and went off Glipizide. I now just take Metformin and am hoping to get off that soon as well! Sparkpeople has a lot of user interface, similar to facebook. People have pages, blogs, friends, and there are teams you can join for support. They also have fitness plans. It can be overwhelming at first. I just use the aspects that are helpful to me and it's been a real tool in controlling my diabetes.
They also have a recipe database that is mostly user submitted. I've gleaned some good ideas from there, but I prefer They have a huge database and I like the advanced search options. I find recipes I like and do some tweaking to fit my needs.
I hope this has helped. Good luck! You can do it!

joni55 2010-05-15 23:58:53 -0500 Report

Thanks for this. Have you ever used spaghetti squash. It is another good pasta substitute and it actually, except for the color, looks like spaghetti and has a nice crunch.

justathink 2010-05-15 18:09:12 -0500 Report

i care for my uncle ,he is on a low sodium diet as well as being a type 2 diabetic ,since i began shopping for him i have never read so many labels in my life, but i have noticed the store brand no salt added canned items as well as any rolls or bead have the least sodium, carbs ,sugar,preparing meals from scratch has brought glucose levels downand his insulin use,we use carb friendly yogurt and fruit cups pre proportioned instead of fresh fruit witch will metabolized to sugar. the first few times to the store learning witch brands are the best to consume were lengthy but we are getting it down

Rader 2010-05-15 21:05:47 -0500 Report

I know what you mean. I had a God send here where I live. They opened a Earthfare grocery store. Its a entire grocery store of healthy food. I was in heaven

joni55 2010-05-15 23:33:46 -0500 Report

I will check this one out. We have a Martindale's but it is a health food store. We don't have anything like Earthfare here.

mariecc 2010-05-15 16:29:09 -0500 Report

I can so identify with your frustration! I've survived 3 bouts with cancer, chemo, radiation, kidney failure and am now a transplant recipient and I've never been as frustrated with anything as I am with diabetes, which for me was a side effect of dialysis. The only thing I can add to this discussion is my sympathy and a tip I learned at the dialysis center. Buy the solid white tuna in water and rinse it . I run it under water before I take it out of the can and then drain it. It takes out quite a bit of the sodium.

Janet Webster
Janet Webster 2010-05-15 15:48:53 -0500 Report

I am on a low sodium, no sugar, low fat, low calorie diet also, it is hard, I agree but I just try to prepare my lean meats a different way , like instead of the George Foreman grill, I will cook them outside over the Bar-b-q grill for the smoked flavor or I will sautee it in low fat margerine, like my fish for instance. Try using dipping sauces that are low sodium then you can cook your meat any way but the sauces will change the flavor. I love light ranch dressing or low sodium bar b q sauce. Try different herbs or seasonings too. Go to the Farmers Market for fresh fruits and veges and try not to even go in the Grocery store, it is so tempting to go to the bakery or down the snack food isle. Try new fruits and veges that you haven't had before. Look for new recipes too. You'll get the hang of it, take care

Anonymous 2010-05-15 10:02:53 -0500 Report

I have recently dianosed with diabetes.It is so hard shopping for groceries.I follow this rule low salt and low sugar.My friend told me you do not have to deprive yourself of what you love any food and drink can be modified.Hang in there and Google some recipes.

Rader 2010-05-12 11:35:01 -0500 Report

I always say "the front of a food package is like a politician. it will say anything to get you to buy it but it rarely lives up to what is says" always remember that when your shopping

Dragonman25 2010-05-15 12:55:51 -0500 Report

Boy ain't it the truth! My first day shopping as a diabetic actually brought me to tears, it seemed as if the whole store was stocked with nothing but death to diabetics. I have since learned several really good techniques that make eating shopping and life bearable. Of course I have much more storage space than you describe! I would suggest renting a food storage locker or sharing with some one who has more space.

RAYT721 2010-05-04 18:39:46 -0500 Report

Rader: I am not a dietitian so along the lines of suggestions, I don't have a lot to offer but would suggest a few things to you… first is to get comfortable with reading food labels (and check the library for those nutritional content reference books that list fat, protein, sugar, etc) so you can start to list things that fit into your restrictions. Keep a journal based on that and aim for ten meal plans (recipes, etc), then fifteen, then twenty, etc. Keep open to what you DO like. Don't just settle for things because you can eat them but don't truly enjoy them. That will help with attitude of dreading to eat. Keep in mind in the plan some single serving items that you can pick up at the store daily instead of just weekly. What about protein shakes and/or bars? What about grabbing low fat yogurt (6 oz) while out and about? What about healthy soups? What about low fat cheeses sticks? Don't forget water (64 ounces)!!! Don't forget about spices, regular exercise, medical checkups, vitamins, etc. It will take time to get down what works for you. There are lots of online websites/recipe to check out. You may wish to get a hold of a dietitian/nutritionist for the kind of information that you need. Food shouldn't be your enemy so long as you plan things out. Positive thinking can bring positive results.

Rader 2010-05-04 23:20:25 -0500 Report

Thank you Ray that's a lot of good advice. Take my word for it, I do read labels. That's one of the reasons I get so discouraged.
Soups even the so called heart healthy ones have way more sodium than I'm aloud. things like cheese sticks also have too high of a sodium level. Basically if it is packaged it has a high sodium level. Turkey is a better choice? Wrong… compare turkey lunch meat, hot dogs , burgers etc to beef or pork and you will find it has a higher sodium level. Is tuna a good choice? nope. its very high in sodium. cottage cheese is always a suggested healthy snack, it has a high sodium level. heart healthy cereals have as much sodium as most other regular cereals. Did you know celery has a high sodium level? then after I get past the sodium then I have to check the sugar and starch levels and then I wrap it all up with a check on the fat levels

joni55 2010-05-05 07:54:33 -0500 Report

The tuna I use, white in water only has 140 mg. per serving. Lunch meat can be bought low sodium, although I am still not sure if that would be low enough for you. I am not sure what your restrictions are. There is such a thing as getting too low sodium that can also cause you problems. I have to watch myself because I have this number thing. I have been trying to only eat stuff with around 100-200 level and I am not sure that is healthy either. The cottage cheese I use has about 400 mg. per serving. If you balance it out with the rest of your day, it might work. Celery? Really? How much does it have? I have a book that says celery is 128 mg. per 4 stalks. That, I think, is good. Of course, I am not sure what your restrictions are. I am not sure what the fat level that we are looking for is. Can someone tell me? Things I have been eating have about 3.5. I am hoping that once I get to know what has high sodium, I won't even be tempted to look at those labels, as they will not be an option as far as a food. I guess I will always be looking at them. What frustrates me is that if you eat with someone who has provided the food, you never knows what is in it.

joni55 2010-05-05 07:56:09 -0500 Report

Oh, by the way, I checked my book as I was talking to you. My mind goes in different directions sometimes.

joni55 2010-05-05 07:59:39 -0500 Report

I just looked up the fat thing in my book. I can't believe it said 9!! And, that is for a 2250 calorie diet. Wow!

Rader 2010-05-05 09:14:47 -0500 Report

my sodium restriction is 1500mg a day and I'm on a 1500 calorie diet. a healthy blood sodium level is 135-145. Yea tuna is around 140mg per serving but a 6oz can has 2.5 servings so a serving is a little over 2 oz which is less than a table spoon. That's not even enough for a tuna sandwich. and if you add celery to your tuna salad or sandwich that's a double whammy. My local Wal-mart or dollar general mart doesn't offer low sodium lunch meat. I'm on a fixed income so a Kroger or Piggly Wiggly would be too expensive for me. : )

BellaJ1977 2013-04-13 21:00:12 -0500 Report

For me it is odd hearing what has low sodium because I am on a high sodium diet. I have a genetic disorder called POTS which makes my blood pressure plummet to where you almost cannot find it at times and where my heart rate skyrockets. My normal heart rate is high because of this as well. It usually sits between 105 and 120 beats per minute. I was just diagnosed with this 2 years ago after many tests and many ER and Hospital stays. It is actually what brought me to Cleveland before I moved here in 2011. I was being seen at the time at the Cleveland Clinic as they are one of only 4 hospitals in the US that can treat my disorder. So for me it can get frustrating finding foods that are high in sodium but low in sugars and carbs. It is a very tight balancing act for me. For those on low sodium I have noticed that campbell soup now has low sodium soups that actually taste really good according to my dad is on a low sodium diet due to a previous massive heart attack. He also said there are low sodium cheeses and low sodium breads. Not sure on the carbs in those though. Hope this helps.

joni55 2010-05-05 10:31:34 -0500 Report

We don't have those stores here. Wow, I was totally blown away by what the level is for sodium. I am online with Rite Aid. There is a weight loss program there that is saying to lose weight you should restrict your carbs to 50-100 a day. Are they kidding? I was having a hard enough time with 150.

I was told to lose weight to play up the proteins, but seriously, what kind of protein can you have that is low fat? I was just looking at the nuts I have and they were 8 grams per serving.

joni55 2010-05-05 10:34:01 -0500 Report

I get my lunch meat at Shop Rite. It isn't bad, but I get food stamps. I live with $144 a month for food, not much, especially if you have to be fussy.

Okay, I am officially frustrated!

Rader 2010-05-05 20:31:41 -0500 Report

My budget allows for about the same amount. Its tough to eat healthy on about 30 to 40 bucks a week. I tried clipping coupons but they are usually for processed foods which is a big fat no no for us

joni55 2010-05-05 20:59:04 -0500 Report

I always found that when I brought coupons to the market, I would buy things I normally wouldn't buy, so I stopped.

Danielle B
Danielle B 2010-05-06 15:43:52 -0500 Report

Hello! Sorry to read-drop on some personal issues but I have a secret that has been with me for almost 21 years that I have recently admited to with my doctors, fiancee, and therapist. I am on a great deal of meds and I REALLY do need them but I have an excellent pysch doctor who regulates everything that he has me on and no other doctor messes with them. All my doctors communicate and keep each other posted on the things that are going on even if it is something as simple as labwork. I have had two episodes of depression and I came off the antidepressents after one year the first time but was warned that if I went on them again that I mightnever come off of them again. I have been on them again since about Jan. 2004. I lost part of my sight in 8-2005 and that caused me even more issues.

But when I was 12 I stopped biting my nails and then to curb the actions and energy, I started scratching my head and sometimes I cause sores that require me to use some kind of antibiotic cream on them to help heal them but the problem is that I do not leave them alone enough for them to heal quickly. I used the analogy about the way people cut themselcves to my pysch and therapist. They agreed that the actions are similar. They called it an addiction. I am sorry that you both went through all that! I now have a weekly appointment with my therapist instead of just a group session every week to take up ,my time and he suggested that we start with dealing with the issues from my childhood that made me bite my nails in the first place and then transfer the acton to my head. Did either of you experience the ability to show no emotion and state the issues as plain facts? That is the first thing that my therapist commented on when I started seeing him. So I get the problems you described very clearly. I have had sucicidal thougths off and on for years. They are not as bad now but I still know exactly how to do it when I need to do it.

You have a friend!

joni55 2010-05-06 16:16:12 -0500 Report

I am so sorry Danielle to hear this. I have been biting my nails on and off almost all of my life. I just started again. It is a hard habit to break. When you have a bad tooth, do you always have to touch it to make sure it still hurts? I do. Weird, huh?

I remember in college, I could sit and tell all the horror stories of my childhood as if it were someone else's story. It never would make me flinch. I can still do it to some extent when I tell about my bouts with suicide, and yes, I was very actively suicidal. I would even read books like Final Exit just to get ideas. Pretty sick stuff. If someone even mentioned a way to hurt yourself, I would have to try it. It was an obsession with me. One time, I hung myself and almost succeeded. I got to a point where I had to make a decision whether to live or die. I chose to live. There were times when I hated that decision very much, but I somehow went on. I would get angry that I was alive after an attempt.

I am so much better now and don't need the meds, although they did serve a purpose at the time. I am so glad that you have a good support system with your doctors. And, I am glad the meds are working for you. I think it is definitely an individual thing.

The only problem I have now is sleeping. I go to bed real late and wake up real early. I did go to Rite Aid today and asked about it. They recommended Benadryl. She said that would help quiet the racing thoughts but wasn't sure if it would help me stay asleep. I will try it tonight and see.

If you want to chat, please feel free to contact me. I am here and I have been where you are. We might be a good support for each other.

Danielle B
Danielle B 2010-05-07 15:59:02 -0500 Report

I scared myself so bad for months that I had the means and hte thoughts of how to kill myself and no one was the wiser to my plans. I usually ended up sitting outside in all kinds of weather in a lawn chair and rocking myself while I craied for all hte feelings that i hid from everyone else. I would sit for hours. The longest I sat was for about 10 hours because I knew if I got up and went inside that I would never leave my apartment alive. I lived alone and stayed so busy that no one wouldhave noticed if I did not call for a few days. I had three bottles of pain meds and two alomost full bottles of myscle relaxers that I had in mind to swallow with a bottle of strawberry liquer.

THe last straw was when I had the opportunity of a lifetime to go to a conference outof town and I literally stood in my hallway for about 30 minutes holding my bags and debating the odds how long it would take me to do the job and no one would be expecting to hear from me for over a week. Then I decided that I could not throw away the chance that someone had put faith in me enough to invite me to a conference where I was the only student among the professional crowd covering three states. The thought that someone believed in me that much and my ability to do a good job at what I was training for made me realize that I needed help and that I could no longer fight it on my own. It was embarrasing to have to call and make the appointment and admit to my family doctor that I had the thoughts of suicide. I felt weak and pathetic!

After a VERY BAD thing occuured I took two teenagers with me to the beach because I could not stand the thought of being at home. I needed to escape! I stopped at the ABC store and bought over $100 worth of alcohol before leaving town. I made it to the beach on Friday night about 2am and we got a room with a great ocean-front view with a balcony. I thought how beautiful my last sunrise looked as I sat there and fed the birds. That night i drank three large full bottles of liquer, 8 Jack Daniels coolers and a 4-pack of wine collers in about an hour and a half. And I did not share with my friends. They went out cruising the strip looking for girls. I apparently passed out on the bed and one of the boys came back to get me to come out with them and found me in a coma and almost dead. You can only imagine what all that alcohol did to by BG levels on an empty stomach. He went to go find the other guy and then they came back and tried to decide if I was just drunk or in need of help. The room was a mess and that made them decide on help being needed. I woke up the next day in the hospital and was totally pissed that i even brought them with me because it was the perfect end and I did not feel a thing while I was in the coma.

As far as sleep…I usually do not sleep much and then there are times that I cannot get up. I am on meds for nightmares and sleep aids. It takes hours for me to calm down my head enough to even try to think about sleep. I am a regular at the public library because I read as my escape from my head now. I read the funny and sometimes trashy romance books and they are just plain silly sometimes and they work wonders to clear my thoughts or at least disract me. I am also big into music. I am constantly on my computer with the radio playing.

And yes I seperate myself emotionaly form all these events and most others from my past. Sometimes I live in memories and want them back but I know they are only fantasies. Wishful thinking maybe? I now reasearch every drug the doctors give me and only pain meds when there is no other option. So progress is possible but it is hell getting there!


joni55 2010-05-07 22:53:42 -0500 Report

I am so happy you are better. I had the same problem in being alone. I often wondered if anyone would notice or care if I was gone. One time, I had a friend who kept trying to off himself. I told my mom about it and she asked if I didn't wish that maybe he would just succeed and have it over with. I knew that she was thinking about this with me as well. It hurt, it really did. But, I remember thinking how hard all of this was on her and my husband. It didn't slow me down though. I was frustrated with the hospital stays that did not help. Even now that I am better, I still don't hear from my brother and his wife. It saddens me.

You are doing well and yeah, the thoughts will still be there. It is important that you just don't act on them. Recovery is very hard and impossible without God.


joni55 2010-05-08 13:32:56 -0500 Report

You know what the sadest thing is about my depression? My dog, Charlie, won't play any more. She won't fetch. She used to love it. Granted, she is 15, but I blame myself for that and it makes me sad.

Danielle B
Danielle B 2010-05-08 23:49:50 -0500 Report


I have a cat that knows when I am sick and lays by my side the whole time. He is lazy and is very lovable and that thelps me through anything most times. As I speak he is curled up in the chair behind me sound asleep. LOL He is spoiled rotten I am afraid and I love him that much more for it. He is my sounding board and thought collector.


hac62 2011-10-10 15:38:19 -0500 Report

beautiful I too have a cat who feels my emotional side she looks at me and purrs so sweetly as if too calm me and say it is ok you will feel better, even if it's a MOOD thing because having a disease can be unnerving at times…

joni55 2010-05-09 00:06:57 -0500 Report

Charlie and my cat Ashley are always sleeping beside me when I am sick. Sometimes, even my other cat, Puff is there. I truly have a senior center. Puff is 18 and Ashley is somewhere in between.

I don't remember if you are a mom, but I never had any children. My friend from church sent me a message from Charlie saying "Woof, woof, you are such a good mom!" That meant a lot to me. I have felt so much like a failure to my family and my husband because I didn't have any children. I feel so alone.

Happy Mother's Day! (I don't remember if you are one or not, but have a happy day anyway.) I sent my neighbor Carol a daughter's card. She is truly like a daughter to me, and I love her daughter.

Rader 2010-05-09 08:09:43 -0500 Report

Animals have a amplified sensory. our bodies are like a giant aroma candle to them. our bodies release chemicals. we will release a chemical for when we are sad ,mad, happy , sick etc and animals pick up on it and knows us sometimes better than we do. the same amplified sensory is why they can sense cancer or when someone is about to have a seizure or diabetic comma. I have studied K9 behavior for about 6yrs and I tell you. dogs and most animals in general are extraordinary and rarely get the credit they deserve. I truly believe God placed dogs on this earth to be human companions because there is such a connection that goes far beyond humans will ever know. that is why I have been involved with animal rescue for several years up until I got sick and I cant do it as much as I use to

joni55 2010-05-09 15:49:35 -0500 Report

I love Charlie. I plan to get another dog when she passes. I am just not sure what breed. I need one that is quiet, not like her, and I live in an apartment. I was thinking of a lab but a friend was saying that it might be a dog I would have trouble controlling because of its size and energy. Any thoughts? I also would want a short haired.

Rader 2010-05-10 09:21:45 -0500 Report

If you are looking for a lazy laid back dog I suggest a Greyhound. Greyhounds can sleep 14 to 18 hrs a day. They are true couch potatoes. They don't require a lot of exercise and they are not big eaters. Greyhounds don't shed as much as other breed (the white ones shed slightly more than the other colors) so they are recommended for people who have allergies. Greyhounds retire from racing on their fifth birthday some will retire before that if they don't race well. so most greyhounds available will be well through their puppy stage. greyhounds live to be 12 to 15yrs old and some have lived up to 20yrs. Greyhounds are a very loving affectionate dogs everyone who meets them falls in love with the breed. Before I got sick I had a greyhound rescue organization

joni55 2010-05-10 22:42:47 -0500 Report

Thanks Rader! I was kind of hoping to get a puppy and train it myself. I was hoping to get something active to get me active. LOL

Danielle B
Danielle B 2010-05-10 15:09:40 -0500 Report

Nope, afraidnot on the kid thing either. I was told at the early age of 14 that I would never be able to carry and survive children. But I make up for it with 14 nieces and nephews between my finacee and myself. I do not see them often enough but I do keep tabs on them. My fiancee sent me a card from Salem (cat) for Mother's day though. Happy ad seragate-daughter day to you.


joni55 2010-05-10 22:41:03 -0500 Report

That was so sweet of him!! Does he have a brother? LOL! I love spoiling other people's kids!! Carol has a daughter and I think it is fun. I also babysit for a boy and love to do it to him as well.

Danielle B
Danielle B 2010-05-11 11:27:45 -0500 Report

Reader and Joni,

I have been adding a recipe a week to the discussion forum for about two months now and they are made to spread out your money and eay healthier. Check out the discussion called Help us eat healthier and if I can find a link to it I will send it in this discussion for you. I have a link to every one of the recipes on that one site. They are made tto feed large families or adaptable to have left overs for single people or smaller families on budgets. No more processed foods and yet they are still frozen but in smaller portions for better control over what and how much you eat at a meal. Interested in me finding the link for you or anyone else followinf this discussion?


Rader 2010-05-11 13:25:17 -0500 Report

I will check it out for sure. I always looking for a easier cheaper way to eat healthy

Danielle B
Danielle B 2010-05-11 20:36:21 -0500 Report


The cheapest food that I know of that is awesome for all sorts of things is peanutbutter. It is loaded with protein (Pater Pan - sugar free and low sodium). It also helps lower bad cholesterol (HDL) and helps increase the numbers in your good cholesterol (LDL). I eat it on toeast for breakfast or even at bedtime I have a half sandwich with a glass of milk. I am on a pump so it is easier for me to count my carbs. Nuts works just as well but are more expensive. But it only takes a handful to get the right amount of protein and the added benefit of Omega-3 (brain power magic). Consult dr before starting a diet loaded with these things or even starting a vitamin regimine. Dosage and brand makes all the difference.

Check out the labels too!


joni55 2010-05-11 21:51:35 -0500 Report

What about Nutella? Is that a good one? I like the taste and I hear it is supposed to be good nutritionally but I haven't had a chance to look at a label yet.

joni55 2010-05-12 13:28:35 -0500 Report

The carbs seem a little high. I wouldn't use 2 tbsp anyway though, any more than I do with peanut butter.

Thanks! I would love to know if Charlie would like it.

Rader 2010-05-12 15:27:01 -0500 Report

I never tried Nutella. I never even heard of it until I was in my 30's. My step daughter would put it on toast for her kids for breakfast. I always thought it wasnt a good breakfast food and she kind of turned me against it

Danielle B
Danielle B 2010-05-12 10:32:23 -0500 Report

You know I keep seeing the commercials for it but I have never tried it or even looked at a label. You might could look on the Internet and see what their site looks like and the information that they can offer about the product. I do that with a lot of different things. BEst suggestion I have other than going into store and looking. Just type in and see what comes up.


Rader 2010-05-11 22:35:04 -0500 Report

Thanks for the info. I am going to add PB to my diet. All this time I've been feeding it to my dogs LOL. Oh and you can rest assure I read labels. That's my problem I read labels of things I don't even buy LOL . I actually point out stuff to people at the store when I see it in their cart. So far I have gotten good responses. I'm sure one day I will get someone to tell to buzz off LOL

joni55 2010-05-11 23:35:13 -0500 Report

Charlie loves peanut butter and I admit I am sadistic. I love to see her try to get it off of the roof of her mouth!

Rader 2010-05-12 01:17:11 -0500 Report

lol hey anything to keep them busy. I buy the 7lb institutional size Peter Pan Pb from walmart. my dogs get a tbsp twice a day.Want to keep a dog occupied? fill a Kong with PB and add a some kibble or small pieces dog treats. Then freeze it. They will work on that thing for hours

joni55 2010-05-12 21:34:39 -0500 Report

I think I know what you mean. I will check your link later. I am having fun with a scammer on a dating site. He tried to tell me he went to a college in NYC. When I checked it on google, it was a women's college. My cousin and I are having fun with this turkey. We aren't letting on that we are on to him. He is asking that we arrange something so he can get money to come back to the U.S. LOL I have played this game a lot over the past 2 years. I have never given anyone anything. Sometimes, they give up.

joni55 2010-05-12 23:58:01 -0500 Report

He went away totally frustrated because he still hasn't solved his money issue! More fun tomorrow.

joni55 2010-05-13 09:39:38 -0500 Report

Over the past two years, I have had nothing but scammers try to get to me. I would love to know why that is or if maybe it is the same person. It is hard to tell because they each have a different photo and user id. Conveniently, none of them have a working webcam but they always ask to use mine. Hmm! I actually saw one guy with two different user ids. This guy last night told me he went to a college in NY. When I checked it through google, it was a WOMEN's college and is very actively still a women's college. Interesting. I have not let on that I know this yet. I just make little notes about the stupid things he says to hang himself. And, yes, I do call him honey! Hey, why not? These idiots do it to me all the time. It is really good for a laugh! My neighbor, cousin and I are dying and this guy has no idea what is going on.

Rader 2010-05-13 10:41:42 -0500 Report

LOL I've never been to a dating site.And I'm Not saying you are vulnerable. But it sounds like those places are a good place for bottom feeders to hang out and try to latch on to vulnerable people.

swlinda 2011-10-11 08:13:11 -0500 Report

I agree wholeheartedly. I went on several after my husband of 34 years left me for a younger, thinner, blond. I met my present husband on a yahoo site but he was definitely not a player, just a honest person who was looking for a life partner. The only problem is that he is originially from the north and I am from the south and that makes for some big arguments. Just be careful on dating sites because I met some real losers. Make sure if you do go out that you meet at a restaurant and take your own car so if he is not what you think he should be, you can take yourself home at any time. They will lie to you in an instant and can mess with your mind. I almost committed suicide after one loser that told me he was a widower and turned out to be very married.

joni55 2010-05-13 16:36:41 -0500 Report

You are probably right. I just don't have a lot of other options to meet people and there is a Christian community there where I can meet men and women for fellowship. So, that is a plus. There are 4 guys in my church who are single. One is into the music world and not like me anyway, one ignores my attempts to get his attention, one is somewhere in his own time zone and the other, although nice, also has emotional problems and I have been advised that that is not a good match (by my shrink). So…

Anyway, I am having fun!

Rader 2010-05-13 19:34:03 -0500 Report

it really sucks having to get back into the dating world as an adult. I pretty much have prepared myself for the notion of being alone for the remainder of my life.

joni55 2010-05-13 21:21:15 -0500 Report

I don't mind the dating part, it is just meeting someone to begin with that is the hardest part.

Rader 2010-05-13 22:03:34 -0500 Report

I have mixed feelings. I like the freedem but the evenings and nights are real quiet and lonely here

Rader 2010-05-14 22:12:18 -0500 Report

I miss having someone who understands me and I can trust enough to have intimate personal conversations with. I miss having someone to come home to. I miss waking up early on a Saturday morning and getting in the truck and just drive and explore all day and maybe spending the night in a hotel and return home the next day after a nice brunch. I miss buying gifts for someone for no other reason than I love them. I miss a lot of things

joni55 2010-05-14 22:15:52 -0500 Report

I used to love buying things for my husband. I used to leave him little notes too. One time, I left one in his sandwich. He came home that day and told me the ink came off on his meat. LOL

Danielle B
Danielle B 2010-05-15 09:36:03 -0500 Report

I used to do the little note thing but for the past 4-5 years I have not done that. And I am not sure why I stopped and how things have gotten this far out of control with my finacee. Not completely sure I want to write anymore notes.


swlinda 2011-10-11 08:19:28 -0500 Report

I used to send little notes in my current husband's clean clothes bag when he would leave to go back on the road (truck driver). He thought it was stupid so I quit.

joni55 2010-05-15 12:42:58 -0500 Report

If you left a funny note, it might liven things up a bit. Little things like leaving notes, flowers…keep a relationship alive.

Danielle B
Danielle B 2010-05-12 10:41:46 -0500 Report


You have a special gift with labels. I have given more than one presentation on how to read a label and the important parts that people should look at and the things that are there just to make it "pretty" and usually confuses them enough that they quit trying to read them. The percentages on how the nutrients rate are based on a diet of 2000 calories and honestly that is unrealistic to a normal person's calorie intake per day. I do not know if you have hard my speech on the word "DIET" or not but in class we labeled it a four-letter word. LOL We lived by that rule from day one!


Rader 2010-05-12 11:31:09 -0500 Report

I agree "diet" is a for letter word werthy of a mouth washed out with soap LOL. Yea I tell people to ignore the daily percentage and pay attention to the serving size. most people will eat two or three times the serving size. I also tell people to ignore the front of the package

Danielle B
Danielle B 2010-05-12 15:50:46 -0500 Report

Also tell them to ignore the sugar content and just pay attention to the amount of carbs that are in ONE serving. They throw you off by adding that fact and making you think that it is lower in sugar when the carb amount is crazy high. And it is our goal to teach people to carb count as a way to control their eating and calorie counting.


JourneySong 2010-05-15 10:39:08 -0500 Report

You can get around this a little by gardening. contact the city and see if you have any public gardens available. My raised bed is 4X8 and costs me $20 a year to the city, and then I can do what i want with it. If you live somewhere where there are no community gardens run by the city with raised beds, then a very few dollars in plastic gardening buckets for a sunny spot on the porch will do it. Seeds are inexpensive. Fresh veggies taste delicious, and if you grow herbs and other things and learn to cook you can avoid the sodium and fat that come with the canned and prepackaged stuff. It's perfectly possible to make soup with no added salt at all and only the sodium that is in the fresh unprocessed veggies themselves, and then add a sprinkle of it if it needs it when you are ready to eat. That's how I learned to make soup when I was 16, because my grandmother had a heart condition; everybody added their own salt level at the end in their own bowl. I make most of my own food and buy almost nothing prepackaged. Of course my food budget has no specific limit to it; if I want something I can get it. I don't usually though. However The gardening option and cooking option are still inexpensive. You will also find you will like your food more when the ingredients are fresh grown by you and the cooking is done to your taste. Fresh always tastes better.

joni55 2010-05-15 12:46:53 -0500 Report

I live in a second floor apartment with very little light. Planting something outside will only mean the kids will destroy it. Have any suggestions. A community garden is not really and option, though they are around. I have no transportation. How much light do tomatoes need, or herb?

Rader 2010-05-15 21:12:42 -0500 Report

Thank you for the info I check on that and found a local college raises a large community garden. all I have to do is go pick my own stuff. Im excited about that : )

Rader 2010-05-05 20:28:27 -0500 Report

I'm basically blown away by everything in the world of being a diabetic and heart patient.
I have to watch my proteins because of gout LOL

joni55 2010-05-05 20:33:15 -0500 Report

Wow! My blowing away with this world has also been extending to my dating sites. I have had two guys who are supposedly Christians basically tell me that they had a problem with my being a born again Christian because they wanted to be sexually active. What is with them?!!

Rader 2010-05-05 20:39:30 -0500 Report

LOL did they think being a Christian meant having a bible somewhere in the house? all though I am not anywhere where I need to be and I will never deserve the grace of God. But I get a kick out of what some people call being a christian

joni55 2010-05-05 21:02:23 -0500 Report

Yeah, I am constantly being told my standards are too high and that I will spend the rest of my life alone. If that is what God wants, I am sure He will give me the grace to pull it off.

I have been sharing some of my interesting experiences with online dating with my cousin. They are funny. I am finding that I am handling it so well that they are usually the ones to leave.

Rader 2010-05-06 11:10:04 -0500 Report

I never tried the online dating thing. I did meet my ex wife on the Internet but it was in a chatroom. That's how I ended up in Alabama. I got lucky she turned out to be a extraordinary woman she was 16yrs older than me. We had a wonderful marriage until a psychiatrist ruined our lives.
She was experiencing a little depression after her mother died so she went to see a psychiatrist to help her cope with it. Before I knew it she was on 5 different depression meds and lithium. she started to get worse. she was hallucinating (furniture would chase her, she would see army tanks in the yard. food would talk to her etc)then she became paranoid and started to cut herself and became suicidal. She could no longer work. I had to send her away with her daughters one day while I stayed home and cleared the house of everything she could use to cut herself or commit suicide with. It scared the hell out of me to leave her home alone all day while I was at work . every afternoon when I would get home my stomach would be in knots as I approached the front door in fear of what I would find. Then they wanted to start shock treatments. I was talking to a friend about it and he told me from the sound of things he thought she was being poisoned from a bad mixture of medications and too much of it. I made her stop the meds. In 2 days the hallucinations began to stop. the cutting and suicidal thoughts went away. then after about a week all the symptoms were gone. except now the Lynn I married was gone. she changed from a loving supportive wife and mother who was always happy and positive to a dark emotionless person who was very bitter and cold. She left me 6 months later and then up and moved to Florida for no reason leaving her children and grand children behind. WOW I don't know why I told you all of that. Guess I needed to get it off my chest. sorry to spill all that out on you : (

joni55 2010-05-06 12:13:25 -0500 Report

That is so okay. I know what she was going through (except the hallucinations). I would cut myself for anything. I felt everything that happened in this world was MY fault. I would do it as a form of punishment. It has been several years since I did it. God has really helped with that issue. I can't say the thoughts aren't there, but I am in such a better place right now. Praise God!! I also stopped the meds. I feel they were keeping me in depression, not helping it. I still have trouble sleeping at night. I can only sleep a few hours and then I am AWAKE. It is hard. I caved and took a clonapin last night. It was the last one I had but I was up until after 3:30 thinking about how to get some kind of work. Do you see that as a sign of weekness that I did that. I am going to go to the store and try to find something over the counter. I so do not want to go back on the scripts. You can share anything with me. I am hear to listen and there is very little that you can tell me that will make me judge you or think less of you. You handled your wife the best way you could. So did my husband. I actually pushed him away for not dealing with my emotional problems. I so wish I could go back a few years and start over. There are so many things I would have done differently. But, with God's grace, I will move on and I don't feel that anything in your past should be something that you spend the rest of your life condemning yourself for . God forgives! I have a hard time forgiving myself. I have such a problem with the concept that God forgives and FORGETS. My family never did. They always bring up the garbage from the past.

Have a nice day, Rader.

Rader 2010-05-06 15:04:42 -0500 Report

No I don't see that as a sign of weakness. You made a decision to give your body and mind some rest. over exhaustion can have serious consequences on your over all health. I'm sorry your family doesn't give you the support you need. Good support is as important to ones health as would be a doctor or medication. I so very much know what you mean when you say, you wish you could go back a few years and start over. I live alone so I have a lot of time to sit around and think about the "would of 's, should of 's and could of 's" I guess its a form of self torture. I regret I didn't take better care of myself but mostly I feel like I failed my wife and I will have to live with that for the rest of my life . I pray the Lord keeps you strong and gives you rest


joni55 2010-05-06 15:15:51 -0500 Report

You didn't fail your wife, any more than my husband did me. You did what you could. I was not open to my husband's help or suggestions. You have to be at your lowest point before you are willing or able to take help from anyone, including your spouse. I know that if Ciro were here now, we could make things work. But, he isn't and I know he is smiling right now seeing me happy. I just need to move on. I do so want to meet someone and am praying about it, as I am now ready to give to someone and not just take.

I went to the pharmacy and asked about something for sleep. She gave me a few suggestions to quiet my mind. One was to concentrate on your breathing in and out. The other was Benadryl. She said she didn't know if it would keep me asleep, "thorns in the flesh," little things that are annoying but not serious. One is my immune system. I get colds real easy. I need someone to hold me and keep me warm. LOL

Rader 2010-05-07 20:20:55 -0500 Report

Thank you for saying that. I really needed to hear that. Benadryl usualy knocks me out

joni55 2010-05-07 22:36:55 -0500 Report

That is basically what happened to me. Not good. I will save it until I absolutely need it. I had a real busy day today and I am wiped out. Guess I should have gone to bed earlier. LOL

pianomomof4 2010-05-17 10:58:21 -0500 Report

Rader, the whole point of being a Christian is that NONE of us deserve God's grace; we become Christians because Jesus died to pay the price of us not deserving it, and we accept His free gift. That's quite a story you told of your wife's saga; it took courage to share it. I share your frustration with reading labels as well—I too cried the first time I went shopping as a diabetic. I also have days where I wish I didn't have to eat—it would be so much simpler! I think it's fantastic that you're reaching out and getting support and advice—keep it up, and stay strong!

Rader 2010-05-17 14:30:24 -0500 Report

Pianomomof4 . Everyone has been so supportive and helpful concerning my frustrations with my diet. I so appreciate every ones input. Oh and I see how I didn't word it the Way I actually meant it but I was professing that I am not worthy of his grace no matter how much I try but I will always fall short because I am human. But he is a patient understanding God : )

Rader 2010-05-17 14:30:51 -0500 Report

Pianomomof4 . Everyone has been so supportive and helpful concerning my frustrations with my diet. I so appreciate every ones input. Oh and I see how I didn't word it the Way I actually meant it but I was professing that I am not worthy of his grace no matter how much I try but I will always fall short because I am human. But he is a patient understanding God : )

Rader 2010-05-17 14:30:51 -0500 Report

Pianomomof4 . Everyone has been so supportive and helpful concerning my frustrations with my diet. I so appreciate every ones input. Oh and I see how I didn't word it the Way I actually meant it but I was professing that I am not worthy of his grace no matter how much I try but I will always fall short because I am human. But he is a patient understanding God : )