Living with Diabetes, T1 or T2, is not always a walk in the park - let's be honest, there are a lot of ups and downs...no pun intended. It can be frustrating when no matter how healthy you try to be your blood sugar still goes up, or drops more than you planned. For me, going low when I'm not hungry or not in the mood for juice really bugs me! Or, when I move my site for my insulin pump and it's not working properly so I start going higher.
The best ways for me to manage my diabetic lifestyle is to eat as clean as possible, get moving every single day no matter what, even if it's just a 20 minute walk around the block. The 3 rules I live by as a Diabetic now are:
• Nourish, Balance and Calm my body, mind and spirit
• Eat as fresh and clean as possible
• Accept the disease as a part of me and not try to fight it, let it define me, or let it bring me down
There are some people out there that claim carb-free is the way to go for either weight-loss or for diabetic control. Here's where they're wrong: it's portion control and the right foods that will help you lose weight AND will help keep your sugars under control.
Here are some tips I incorporate into my every day life when it comes to food:
• Never make the carbohydrate the main part of the meal: f I'm having quinoa pasta, I sauté greens as the base and then have 1/2 - 1 cup of cooked pasta as the topping instead of the other way around. If I'm having amaranth porridge for breakfast I add pumpkin seeds, cinnamon, almond milk, walnuts and maybe 3 apple slices but 1/2 the amount of amaranth I would need to fill me up!
• The grains you eat matter! Sweet potatoes, quinoa, amaranth are all great sources of carbohydrates that won't spike your sugars AS MUCH as white pasta, rice (both white and brown), bread etc.
• Veggies are important at every meal: Ok, maybe not breakfast per se, but even if you're having an omelette fill it full of carbohydrate-free vegetables that are not only healthy, but will not effect your sugars AND leave you feeling full! My favourite? I make scrambled eggs and top them with tomatoes, green peppers, olives, asparagus, onions, spinach and some black beans topped with avocado!
• Fruit = Sugar. Yes, I love fruit...when the season is right. I also portion my fruit correctly so it doesn't effect my blood sugar as much. For example, I use 1/3 of a banana in my smoothies instead of a full one. I snack on small amounts of berries as they are extremely beneficial for our health with all of their antioxidants, and won't effect your sugars as much as a full orange or apple.
• Proteins make the best snacks: almond butter, hemp seeds, walnuts, almonds, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds - they are all great sources of protein and healthy fats that will stabilize your blood sugars and fill you up between meals. Just don't have TOO many nuts at one sitting...portion control is key when it comes to high-calorie nuts and seeds.
• Sugar is the devil: Sugar is in MOST packaged foods - crackers, cookies, cereals, granola bars - you want to stay away from these things most of the time as they are empty calories and hidden sugars without any vitamins or nutrients for your body! The more sugar you consume, the more fat your body will store because sugar = fat.
• Water and herbal teas are your best friends! Coffee once in awhile isn't a bad thing, but if you rely on it every day it's a problem. Try a smoothie or green juice - trust me, you will experience more of a energy boost than any cup of coffee you've consumed. Caffeine and alcohol can put your body's adrenal glands into overdrive which causes more stress and more inflammation - 2 things you don't want extra of in your body as a diabetic.
Remember, the key is you want to nourish your body and your mind with the food you eat. When you eat a clean diet your body starts to balance out more and not fight the stress you are putting it through, leading to better sugars and better control of your Diabetes.
Daily yoga practices, meditation and self-love are just a few other things you can do to balance out the stress in your body and therefore calm down you down.
For any other tips or questions please feel free to write on my Facebook Page!