Tuesday, December 10, 2013
Now that the year is coming to an end, if you have not been as diligent as you perhaps should have been, it is time to go to the doctor and get checked. If you have hit your deductibles for the year, then really go as it won't even cost you anything. Or if you have some form of a health savings account, use it up by going to the doctor.
But I have been to my internist and my endocrinologist, you say. What else should I do?
Have you been to the podiatrist? Call now to get an appointment to see the doctor by the end of the year. The doctor will check out your feet so that if there is anything that needs to be taken care of you will know and can plan for it. If you are wondering what happens when you go to the podiatrist, please check my prior post (click HERE) and you will see what happens and why you should go.
How about the eye doctor? You may go to an ophthalmologist or an optometrist. But you need to get your eyes checked at least annually if not every six months. Diabetes can have terrible effects on eye sight but if caught early enough, something can be done to prolong your vision. I also have a prior post about going to the eye doctor (click HERE) for why you should take the time to go.
So go to the phone now. There isn't much time to get an appointment so don't delay. It can be your Christmas treat for yourself.
Thanks for reading!
Thursday, November 28, 2013
Happy Thanksgiving from the 9 Inch Plate! We are so thankful that you read this blog and stay in touch with us. Silent Sam appreciates the support and well wishes!
As we get ready to eat our way through the day, let's try and make one change for the better. Now, if you always behave yourself, this isn't for you. But if, like most, you give in to temptation (especially today!) then how about making one or two changes that might not be that hard but will help your health.
For example you could -
1. Forgo the whipped cream on the pumpkin pie.
2. Not put gravy on everything. Stick to the potatoes and taste the rest without gravy.
3. Watch your plate size. Remember the 9 inch plate concept?
4. Drink a full glass of water in between each alcoholic beverage.
5. Go for a walk around the block after dinner - wait - after you have cleaned up for dinner if you didn't cook.
6. Eat your salad and vegetables first.
7. Skip the rolls.
8. Put your fork down in between bites.
9. Drink a full glass of water before you sit down to eat.
10. Try and remember the term "moderation". Take smaller portions and eat slower.
Have a wonderful Thanksgiving. We wish you the best!
Thanks for reading!
Wednesday, November 20, 2013
I RESOLVE TO POST TO THIS BLOG AT LEAST ONCE A WEEK FOR THE NEXT YEAR.
Hello! I know, I have fallen behind again. I am feeling confident that I will be better in the future. (Mostly because I just made that resolution!) Also, while it is hard to tell since I have been inconsistent writing here, this blog is my first love. The subject is near and dear (quite like the husband that has diabetes) and much it needs more attention.
Part of the problem is that we have been not behaving very well around here. I hate coming back and admitting that to you AGAIN but I will let you either think that we are human or you can feel superior to us. I can’t control it, so take your pick.
The Glycemic Load diet, while it sounds very logical and scientific was beyond us. Most of the new meals that we were making since Silent Sam was diagnosed had pasta in them, which we were not supposed to eat. Also, I like rice and potatoes. I missed them – even in the small quantities that we were eating. So we were starting meal planning all over again. Unless you have missed this from previous posts, I am not that interested in meal planning and I am not that good a cook. (Could be where our problems begin but that is for another day.) And really, telling someone that eats too much that they can have some M&M peanuts because the glycemic index is low is just asking for trouble. (Okay, it doesn't work for me. I am now not interested in having M&M peanuts for a long time.)
So we are back at square one. We know that we have done it before but it is harder to re-start this time. We are now also meal planning for two, which as silly as it sounds, is harder. Almost all my recipes serve 4-6. That leaves us with lots of leftovers. Also, it is more motivating to cook (even for me) when there are more for dinner. Life is full of adjustments, huh?
But weren't the leaves beautiful this fall! (That is me being sick of starting over…)
November is National Diabetes Month. I think it should be moved. November is also “it is getting cold and it gets dark really early and we are all tired just thinking that winter is coming, again”. And really, November is an eating month. Thanksgiving is not a diabetic friendly holiday. Yes, I know, diabetics can eat anything in moderation but still to have awareness month during our national gluttony month seems odd. Let’s change it to April or May. Those are months of hope. The weather is getting better and we feel ready to take on the world. Am I being too negative?
Thanks for reading!
If you are looking for my writing in other spots, you can try www.epsfootdocs.com (where I hang out as the foot blogger chick) or at www.carolearlycooney.wordpress.com .
Monday, September 30, 2013
What's so fascinating and frustrating and great about life is that you're constantly starting over, all the time, and I love that.
I have to admit that I have been slow in writing here. I confess, I thought that you all might be tired of hearing that we are starting over again. We have not been doing that well.
I think that we join most Americans in falling off their eating plan and having to start again.
It is discouraging. We have learned a lot in the past (gasp!) two years. We are at least not starting from scratch but it is hard to get back up on the horse time and time again. There is a fair amount of “What is wrong with me” that accompanies having to start again.
As you may have noticed, I have been doing a little research on the concepts of the glycemic index and the glycemic load. The glycemic load diet really stresses the ill effects of breads, rice, and potatoes. I don’t know if you have tried, but it is hard to give those things up. Add in cookies, cakes, and brownies and life looks a bit bleak.
We started last week. I have had to, once again, give up my friend Coke. It is certainly my downfall. I have now made it 8 days without a Coke. A friend suggested a product called Zevia, which is a diet soft drink that is made with stevia rather than aspartame. (I can’t use products with aspartame. Aspartame seems to be a trigger for my migraines.) I tried it on Sunday. It really has that diet drink taste. I tried to add some lime to see if it would help but I added too much. I might work on getting used to the taste but I think I will just use it occasionally. I have been back to decaf green tea and water. They are fine but sometimes you just want something more.
The only cereal that is allowed is All Bran. In truth, I wasn't eating cereal before but I find that I want something that has some crunch to it at breakfast. I have been adding it to my cup of yogurt.The yogurt should be plain no sugar added and instead I have Greek yogurt with fruit. I have found that the combination works well. I am still modifying my choices. I am working toward it. Really, giving up the coke first thing in the morning is hard enough right now. I have also cut back considerably on the bread, potatoes, and rice.
One of the things that is (AMAZINGLY) allowed on the diet is a handful of candy. It seems (although I would agree that it doesn't sound right) that peanut M&Ms have a very low glycemic load. So, in the afternoon after lunch, I will treasure my handful. You can get that feeling like you are cheating but you aren't!
The other important part of the program is to exercise using your slow twitch muscles. The exercise talked about the most is walking. The recommendation is for 40 minutes of exercise 4 times a week. And it does not call for huffing and puffing exercise. It is much more just get out and move for 40 minutes. Somehow, I had kept up the exercising and then last week when it mattered, I had a hard time getting to the gym. Well a new week has started and I will begin again.
I hope you are doing well. I will let you know how this goes.
Thanks for reading!
Tuesday, September 17, 2013
(In the last post, I shared what I had learned about diabetes, glucose, and started talking about the glycemic index.)
Finding a food’s glycemic index is an involved scientific process. It was decided that since it is known that sugar will increase blood sugar quickly and then it will drop quickly that sugar would be assigned a ranking of 100 on the glycemic index and that all other foods would be measured against sugar. To test a food’s glycemic index, 10 or more test subjects are given 50 grams of a carbohydrate. Scientists then test the blood sugar of the test subjects at intervals over a two hour period. After that information is recorded, the scientists then test the same test subjects after giving them 50 grams of sugar. The difference between the tests indicates the carbohydrate’s glycemic index ranking.
This is a long and involved process. There are still many foods that have not been tested. Also it has been determined that when you combine ingredients, the glycemic index can be affected. So, while the glycemic index is very scientific, there is still much that needs to be learned.
High glycemic index foods are not bad nor are low glycemic index foods good. The glycemic index information has to be balanced with other information. For example, peanut M&Ms have a low glycemic index. You would need to consider the amount of fat that you were consuming when you ate the candy. Let’s compare the peanut M&Ms with a baked potato without the skin. The potato has a high glycemic index but it has other nutrients that are good for you. You cannot just depend on the glycemic index of a food to decide whether or not you should eat it.
Also, it was determined that the glycemic index portions were not the same as the portions that people would normally eat. There are times that the amount of a food tested would give it a high glycemic index but you could eat a smaller quantity and the effect would be much different. It was because of this that the glycemic load was introduced.
For example, if you were to look at the glycemic index for carrots, they have a ranking of 68 which would put them in the medium category on the glycemic index. In the testing process, scientists feed the subjects enough of each food to provide 50 grams of carbohydrate available for absorption into the bloodstream. Because carrots contain unavailable carbohydrates and a lot of water, the portion size tested for carrots is seven (7) full size carrots.
The glycemic load takes into account the glycemic index and the amount of the food that you are actually going to consume. To determine the glycemic load, you have to do a little math. The calculation is as follows:
(Glycemic index X Grams of carbohydrates) / 100*
Going back to the carrot example, when you look at one 8 inch carrot, the glycemic load is 11. Compare that to 2/3 of a cup of instant white rice which has a glycemic load of 26. When you change from using just the glycemic index to using the glycemic load, the values for food items come more into line with what you might expect. The highest glycemic load items are potatoes, rice, and bread. Vegetables and fruit are at the lower end of the scale.
In summary, the glycemic index and the glycemic load are tools that can be used to help control a person’s blood sugar level. The goal is to avoid highs and lows in one’s blood sugar levels. By utilizing the glycemic load information, a person can eat various foods that will spread out the effects from those foods.
Thanks for reading!
*For those of you who have been away from algebra for a while, you do the calculation inside the brackets first and then you divide by 100.
Thursday, August 29, 2013
I have gone back to the beginning and started trying to learn more about diabetes. When Silent Sam was first diagnosed, I just accepted what I was told and did not ask any questions. As a result, I didn't really know what diabetes was, what happened if blood sugar isn't controlled, and how eating really affected blood sugar.
It has been very interesting. I now know that for Silent Sam, his beta cells are either not producing insulin or his body is insulin resistant. Insulin resistance means that even though it is there, the body is not using the insulin it produces.
I have also found that the body uses glucose as energy. Glucose is produced in the body during the digestion of carbohydrates. In a person without diabetes, the glucose is joined by insulin and is carried to the cells to provide energy and if the cells don’t need all the glucose and insulin that they are then stored either as glycogen (long term energy) or as fat. In a person with uncontrolled diabetes, the glucose cannot be used for energy because it’s not matched with insulin. Cells will not accept glucose without insulin. The glucose then flows through the blood stream and eventually is excreted in urine. The problem is that while the glucose travels through the blood stream it damages the passageways. That damage is particularly bad in small blood vessels. The glucose thickens the blood vessels and less blood can get through. The glucose also damages the walls of the blood vessels.
|Red blood cells|
In learning all this information, I also came across the concept of the glycemic index and the glycemic load. At first, I thought that the glycemic index was just another fad diet. I was wrong. The glycemic index was introduced in the 1980s. It was introduced as a way for people with diabetes to be able to control their blood sugar better. The basic concept is that there are some carbohydrates that when ingested affect the blood sugar quickly and there are others that the affect takes much longer.
The basic desire is to have the blood sugar be pretty constant during the day. Therefore by watching which carbohydrates you eat, you can help to maintain your blood sugar levels.
The best quote I read about including the glycemic index information in your diet indicated that if you are careful with your carbohydrates already then adding the glycemic index information is just another layer of help.
Next week – How they determine the glycemic index of a food and what is a glycemic load.
Thanks for reading!
Thursday, August 22, 2013
This week, I want to forward information to you that I received from the American Diabetes Association. Please note that I think the information is important and I am passing it along. I did not write the following:
The Affordable Care Act is bringing additional major health insurance changes for people with diabetes over the next few months, including—finally—the end of discrimination against people with diabetes in the health insurance market. No longer can an insurance company stamp “NO” on an application, simply because you or a family member has diabetes.
While these changes will benefit people with diabetes all over the country, we are aware that there is some confusion about how they will benefit you, your friends and your family.
That is why, at the American Diabetes Association, we are bringing you information about the Affordable Care Act to help you get insurance that best meets the needs of you and your family.
There are two important dates to keep in mind:
- On , people can start signing up for health insurance through their state Marketplace. Coverage purchased in the Marketplace will go into effect as early as .
- brings a host of other changes including ending discrimination based on diabetes, ending lifetime dollar limits on benefits, and providing financial help to pay for insurance.
We have two new documents to help you understand both Marketplaces and the upcoming changes in health insurance rules related to diabetes. These documents are also available in Spanish.
In the Association’s new Q&A, “The Health Insurance Marketplace and People with Diabetes”, you will find a list of frequently asked questions about the new Health Insurance Marketplace opening in your state on . If you or anyone you know is uninsured or shopping for new coverage—or simply wants to explore other insurance options—this document will help you learn more about Marketplaces. The American Diabetes Association does not recommend specific health plans, but we want to provide you with an understanding of the new Marketplaces and link you to available resources for assistance. Click HEREto read the Q&A.
The American Diabetes Association’s new “Health Insurance Update: Protections for People with Diabetes” provides information on changes to health insurance rules which impact people with diabetes, including changes that are already in effect and some starting on the first day of the new year. We want to help you understand these changes and how they can benefit you, your friends and family. Click HERE to read the update.
Making sure that people living with, and at risk for, diabetes can access the care they need for optimal health is at the core of the American Diabetes Association’s mission. The new Marketplaces, coupled with the new health insurance rules, will help people with diabetes get the care and treatment they need. Please help spread the word about these changes by forwarding this email to friends and family affected by diabetes.
We appreciate your support and everything you do to Stop Diabetes®.
Karen D. Talmadge, PhD
Chair of the Board, American Diabetes Association
P.S. Those who are seeking assistance in choosing a health insurance plan, or who want to learn more about the Marketplaces, can also visit www.healthcare.gov, or call 1-800-318-2596.