Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Good Morning, I Love You!

I've been on a long health journey. I have Type I Diabetes, which is an autoimmune disease that doesn't go away with diet or exercise. A cure would be required to eliminate it, and 40,000 people a year are diagnosed. Between 20-60 children die a year from something called "Dead In Bed Syndrome" which is a complication of T1D (Type I Diabetes). It's a scary disease to contend with. My second son also has it. Coupled with Hypothyroidism, it makes gaining weight super easy and losing it a constant battle.

I've found different tricks that work for me to get optimal blood sugars and in turn, help me to slowly lose weight and maintain. Increasing my energy is also a plus. So lets start from the top of the day!

So I start my day, minutes after waking up, checking my blood and taking my insulin shots, I drink a glass of lemon water. The recommendation is a full lemon squeezed into a glass of water. Keeping up with a supply of fresh fruit can be hard, so I just get lemon juice and follow the directions for making lemonade (minus the sugar). Two tablespoons of lemon juice for 3/4 C. of water and a couple ice cubes. I take this with my morning meds but make sure you check to make sure you don't have medications adversely affected by citrus. Drink this on an empty stomach to purify and detox the body, at least 30 min before eating breakfast. This is also purported to jump start the metabolism.

Next, it's time to think about breakfast. Reports state that eating fruit first thing in the morning is more optimal for utilizing the nutrients in the fruit and distributing the sugars through the day. I get my two servings of fruit knocked off the list doing this. I have apples chopped up with a drizzle of nut butters and cinnamon. Here is my "recipe":
Coconut Manna is blended coconut meat. It's basically a nut butter.

 Nutty Apple Breakfast
  • 1 large apple or 2 small apples chopped into bite size pieces. 
  • 1Tbsp coconut manna 
  • 1Tbsp peanut or almond butter
  • 1tsp cinnamon
 Place chopped apple in a bowl and set aside. In a small microwave safe bowl add butters and cinnamon and microwave for 20-40 seconds until melted. Stir well and drizzle over apples. Enjoy!

It's delicious and filling. The ratio of protein, fat and fruit sustain me until almost one in the afternoon!

With this lovely concoction, I drink a large mug of green mint tea (about 2 cups). I also have my water bottle handy so I continue taking in fluids. The goal is to drink 64oz by the afternoon.

Now we're on to lunch. I avoid all grains at lunch time. It helps me prevent an inevitable blood sugar spike prior to dinner time that can make me feel sluggish. So lots of veggies and protein. I've taken to making veggie soups that I can add whatever protein I have on hand. Today, I made a wonderful veggie soup and topped it with a few strips of grilled chicken and a sprinkle of cheese.

Here is the recipe for the soup so you can make your own. It would pair well with ground hamburger, chicken, and I even had some with leftover pulled pork and it was awesome! It nearly fills a 6 quart crock, so consider cutting it down if you don't think you'll be able to eat it all within a week.

Classic Veggie Soup
approx 45min to prepare
  • 5 carrots, chopped
  • 3 onions, chopped
  • 10 stalks celery, chopped
  • 6 mini bell peppers, diced 
  • 1 (1 ounce) envelope dry onion soup mix
  • 1 Tbs tumeric
  • 1 Tbsp smoked paprika  
  • 2 (16 ounce) cans diced tomatoes with garlic & peppers, w/liquid
  • 1 (15 ounce) can cut green beans, drained
  • 2 quarts spicy tomato juice
  • 14oz beef broth
  • 3 bay leaves 
  • 1 medium head cabbage, chopped 
  • salt and pepper to taste
 Saute onions, carrots and celery until onions start to sweat and turn translucent. Add peppers, soup mix and spices and stir well, allowing spices to toast for 5 min (stirring constantly). Add rest of ingredients except cabbage. Bring soup to a boil and add cabbage. Push down the cabbage into the liquid and cover. After about 10 min, check to make sure it is just simmering (increase or decrease heat if necessary), stir well and cover. Cook until the celery is tender. Remove bay leaves before serving. This freezes well, and if you like to share with others, it would be a wonderful meal to split with another household.

Dinner can be difficult due to my family not being quite on the same restrictive diet as me. Often times, I just have some of the protein if it's gluten free. Then I pile half my plate with salad. I will allow for starchy veggies at dinner and even allow for multi grain tortilla chips in a small amount. I try to keep my carb intake very low as this helps me reduce my insulin need which is what causes weight gain if overused.

I try to be done eating by 9pm and so far, I am usually done by 8pm. I then sip 4 cups of green tea up until bedtime. Now, this might be too much caffeine for some, but I've found that it doesn't affect my sleep, but I cannot sleep much after 6:30-7am and will be up and getting the day started before everyone else, which is an accomplishment if you have thyroid issues. My theory, is that I metabolize the tea slower at night and the affect of caffeine doesn't hit me until early morning. I don't tend to start drinking the tea until after 9pm and don't usually finish until 10:30-11pm. Check out this article about the benefits to drinking green tea. It's truly fascinating: 10 Proven Benefits of Green Tea

So there you have it! That's how I am managing my conditions and health/weight with diet. Exercise isn't my focus just yet, but I do stair climbing and other strength exercises. No cardio until spring/summer. Then I jog/walk. I hope these give you some ideas for a healthy day!

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