Diabetes…I don’t have it. Or do I?

The numbers are in.  According to the Center for Disease Control , over 23% of diabetics don’t know they have it!  The number is staggering, 7.2 million people in the United States have diabetes and don’t know it!  How can we battle an enemy we don’t even know about?  Obviously, we can’t.  We can’t #deraildiabetes if we don’t even know it’s on our track.

Do any of these apply to you?

  • You are above age of 45, and have begun to notice a little muffin top
  • You have been diagnosed with pre-diabetes
  • You are overweight and/or inactive, weight loss seems harder than it used to be
  • You are African American, an Alaska native, American Indian, Asian American, Hispanic/Latino, or Pacific Islander American and are experiencing any of these signs…

10 signs you might have diabetes…

  1. Fatigue or lethargy
  2. Blurred vision
  3. Nausea
  4. Frequent urination
  5. Increased thirst
  6. Weight loss
  7. Slow healing wounds
  8. Frequent sickness and infection
  9. Skin tags
  10. Other skin conditions, including itching

If any of these risk factors or signs apply to you, it’s so important that you find out if you’re heading down the path towards diabetes.  Schedule a test with your doctor, if you have one and if you don’t you can use a walk-on-clinic.  It’s even possible to check it out for yourself by purchasing a blood glucose monitor at any drug store.  After eating a high-carbohydrate meal, wait one hour and check your blood sugar.  Then check again at 2 hours.  If your blood sugar is above 140, it’s time to get serious about diabetes.

Diabetes Derailed…are you ready?

As I go about my December days, I inevitably end up talking with people about food, sugar, diabetes, and the inevitable “Holiday Weight Gain”.  Ineveitable, they say.  Will get a handle on the sugar-binge in January.

Get Started…TODAY!

In a conversation with a diabetic a diabetic yesterday, she said she had to think about it, making positive changes in her food to help manage blood sugar. Said she might start after the first of the year. I aske her, “Why not start Today?  Right now?”  She couldn’t answer that question.  I guess she’s just not ready.  My heart breaks.  Maybe my mission in life isn’t to educate about blood sugar till I’m blue in the face, preach about the evils of sugar and it’s addictive nature, blab on incessantly about insulin resistance and weight gain…Maybe it’s to help people “get ready.”

According to my friend Valerie Berkowitz, registered dietician and certified diabetes educator, “If you have diabetes (or any medical condition that can improve with lifestyle changes), wish to lose weight or want a better relationship, your readiness to change will make the difference in your long term success.”  (to read today’s blogpost by Valerie click here)  Ready, Set, Go

Are you READY?  Let’s get healthy and #deraildiabetes!  I’m getting ready to help y’all get ready!

If you have a story about the time you “got ready” and made a postive change, I want to hear about it! Comment below.

Beer and Diabetes…and where do beer bellies come from?

Do I have to give up my cold beer on a hot day?  Well, not exactly.  If you’re diabetic, it is a really good idea to keep your carb intake really low, and eat small meals.  If you can do this AND drink beer, then it may work for you to have a “cold one” now and then.  However ,alcohol can increase your appetite and lower your resistance to carb-infested food, like pizza!

What’s Wrong With a Beer Belly?

Belly fat in the midsection does more than kill your chances of winning a swimsuit competition. It’s linked to a variety of health problems, from type 2 diabetes to high blood pressure and cardiovascular disease.

Carrying extra pounds in your thighs or hips is less risky than carrying them in your tummy. The visceral fat that’s found deep within the abdominal cavity surrounding your organs is the most dangerous fat of all.  Visceral fat within the abdominal wall is  measured by waist circumference.

In the past, when my husband wanted a beer, (I loathe the taste and am never tempted by beer) he automatically reached for a Micolob Light.  Be it marketing, what he was used to, I don’t know.  But recently he learned that many other brands have low-carb options, and some have even less!  There is even a relatively low carb dark ale on the list.  Low Carb Beer Options
Armed with this information, you can manage your blood sugar AND enjoy your brewsky.  As always, anything that causes you to fall into a sugar-loaded abyss is worth giving up.

Wine or not to Wine, can diabetics drink alcohol?

Living life as a diabetic, I am fascinated by the sector of peeps in the world we lovingly nickname, “The food police”.  Inevitably they will be found stalking me at happy hour, ignoring the carb-loaded pizza I’m eating or the hamburger bun…(this, of course, is hypothetical) and they will say to me “OMG!  You’re not supposed to drink wine, think about all that sugar, you’re diabetic!!!”  (Big news)

I totally understand that these are well-meaning people, just worried about the state of my blood sugar, and I do appreciate their concern.  However, at this festive time of the year, I’d like to set the record straight, and share some surprising information about vino.

On page 157 of my book, #deraildiabetes, I list the carb counts of both red and white wine.  They are relatively low, and can be enjoyed in moderation.  That being said, moderation is the key.  I have checked my sugar before and after a glass of wine, and found that it doesn’t go up.

Sparkling wines, like Prosecco and Champagne, actually have the lowest carb count of all, and are a good choice….especially on New Years Eve!

I found an article based on a recent study, and the conclusion is this, “Obviously excess drinking is harmful, but there is no good evidence to discourage moderate consumption among diabetics who have no other contraindication,” says Meir Stampfer, MD, DrPH, professor of epidemiology and nutrition, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.

Armed with this information, there are still a few good reasons NOT to drink wine…

Three Reasons to Avoid Wine

  1. It can stall weight loss
  2. Your liver
  3. Can lessen your resolve to eat healthy…watch for this at parties!

I hope you’ve found this information interesting, and ask that you pass it on to your friends and family asking this question.  Tomorrow I’ll chat with you about another popular beverage…Beer.  (There’s a logical explanation for the beer belly!)


Fat is the Answer to Holiday Weight Gain?

Who knew?  In 1977 a decree was issued by Caesar US Government, that we should eat less fat. Since then, study after study has poked holes in those dietary guidelines, because history has now shown that the #lowfatlie has led us down the path of declining health, bigger waistlines…and Holiday Weight Gain!

This weight gain…which, by the way, is much less than people in my audiences guess it is, leads us to the number one New Years Resolution…to LOSE WEIGHT!   (People guess 7-10 pounds, actual weight gained is much less. In a 2013 study from Texas Tech, participants gained only about 1.3 pounds between Thanksgiving and New Year’s.  It doesn’t seem like much, but studies also show that if they lose it at all, it takes them 5 months to lose that 1.3 pounds.  And if you don’t lose it, in 20 years that adds up to a whopping 26 pounds!  Enough to increase your risk of diabetes.

So what’s the answer to you getting to choose a new Resolution this year? Hard to believe for those of us who were young adults in the 70’s, and hammered by media that eating fat will kill us, but the answer is eat the fat.  That’s right folks, the fat you eat will keep you full and help you resist the temptation to eat the foods that are the root of the problem, foods high in sugar.

End holiday weight gain by following these 3 simple guidelines.
(do NOT make them optional.)

  1.  Don’t go to a party hungry!  It’s a sure way to fall off the wagon.  Temptation is at it’s peak when we are hungry, and that line-up of carbs in every imaginable irresitable form will attack you when you’re weak.  I eat before I go, sometimes a full meal.  Temptation low, resolve is high.
  2. When you get to your party, look for tasty filling choices available at most parties, the meat and cheese platter, and start nibbling there.  Work your way to the veggie tray, and follow it up with berries and whipped cream.  Bam, you’re full, nourished, and didn’t binge on the deserts.  Start with sugar and it’s a slippery slope.
  3. Drink water.  My daughter says she sips on water throughout the party, and it helps with the temptation to indulge.  Added benefit, of course, is hydrating the body.  Thirst is sometimes mistaken for hunger.

10 Strategies to Stay on Track During the Holidays

Here are 10 great ideas from Dr. Mark Hyman.  #eatfatgetthin.  If you have any tips to add for enjoying the Holidays without gaining nary a pound, I’d love to hear them!  Comment below.

Best Five Foods to Eat Forever

  1. Meat & Fish
    Complete sources of protein and good sources of healthy fats. Nutritionally, meats and fish pack a lot of nutrition for their size and provide vital nutrients like iron, fat soluble vitamins, Omega-3s and more. We also use the bones to make bone broth, which is a very nutrient dense healing food. Also, one word: Bacon.
  2. Green Vegetables
    Green vegetables are an excellent source of nutrients and offer a lot of variety. Some of the best well rounded vegetables, and some of our favorites, include: spinach, kale, brussel sprouts, asparagus and broccoli.
  3. Coconut
    I love coconut oil, coconut cream concentrate, dried coconut, fresh coconut, coconut water, etc. There a million ways you can consume coconut. It is an excellent source of healthy fats, including brain and immune boosting medium chain fatty acids and lauric acid.
  4. Berries
    Berries are nature’s dessert. They are full of antioxidants, nutrients and have the lowest carb count out of all the fruits. We like to eat them plain or couple them with fresh whipped cream. Ask Kim for her recipe.
  5. Fermented Foods
    Fermented foods have the added benefit of naturally occurring beneficial bacteria and enzymes. These beneficial bacteria help bolster the immune system, increase nutrient absorption from food, and improve digestion. Examples: kombucha, kefir, and sauerkraut.

If one of your goals is to lose weight or improve your physique, consider drastically reducing your carbohydrate intake. If weight loss is a major goal, that that morning bowl of oatmeal or potato salad at lunch is out. To keep it simple, just get your carbs from vegetables (minus starchy root vegetables like potatoes) and you will enjoy healthy, low-carb nutrition that nourishes and ultimately helps you #deraildiabetes!