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My! It's been a while!
Long time no see!
It's been 80 days since my diagnosis and the results of my latest HBA1C test is...
"Normal for a non diabetic person"
In specifics :
They read my Fructasamine levels because of my blood mutation which is 241 and registers as < than 42mmol.
At diagnosis my HBA1C was 55 mmol/mol.
I'm just really relieved to know that the things I have been doing to get here are paying off!
This intrigues me and so I bought some to try.
Not exactly sure what I'll make with it, was thinking spaghetti perhaps!
My hands and feet are always cold these days - icy even.
But I do notice that when I've had a little too much carbs in my diet, they stop being so cold.
How curious metabolism is...
That time of the month and my first days are usually the worst.
This is really the first month that I have a different awareness of it, coupled with my T2 and now tracking and recording the rise and fall of my BS which is definitely up from where I had it before in the 4's and despite doing nothing different from before now, it's lingering in the 5's and 6's.
Before all this, my partner would tease me about my time of the month Narcolepsy; and now looking back I do wonder if it was because my BS was so out of whack at the time.
Tomorrow is my 1st Diabetic Review.
I'm anxious about it...
""Every year a person can live free of diabetes means an added year of life free of the pain, disability, and medical costs incurred by this disease," said Dr. Allen Spiegel, director of the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK), which sponsored the DPP. "The DPP findings represent a major step toward the goal of containing and ultimately reversing the epidemic of type 2 diabetes in this country.""
I feel very lucky in that the friendships I have fostered now are the sort that can weather change.
I think having a good support system is really crucial for how well you do; with the caveat that if you are a scrappy survivor type - you will just claw your way through anything with or without it.
But to have support is amazing. It lifts you up and just makes this next journey in your life easier.
What you don't want around you are people who refuse to understand you or your needs.
Although they do not need to compromise for you, you most certainly should not for them; and food in that sense can be divisive!
People believe all sorts of different things about it and what is healthy, what is good for you, what you should or should not eat, what time you should eat and not etc...
Many well wishing friends and family like giving you well intentioned advice because really food is life, love, culture and identity.
Today marks the 55th day of my life as a T2D on a mostly low carb, moderate protein and 'sensible to me' amount of fat meal plan.
I also intermittent fast which basically means that sometimes I omit having breakfast or breakfast and lunch, or breakfast and dinner.
I calorie count - I'm not particularly strict about it but I try to be in a ballpark guestimate of the Kcal value of things.
At the moment I'm restricting myself to around 800 calories a day. It's sometimes over or under depending a lot on what's happening but I rarely deviate past 1000 and often fall within a range of between 600-950cal.
I keep my carbs to within a tolerance of 30-40g.
I use apps (https://www.nutracheck.co.uk/Home) to keep track* (https://lifeapps.io/apps/life-fasting-tracker/ keeps track of my Intermittent Fasting - when I can remember to set it! )
I have omitted the following things as much as I can humanly manage from my current food intake ie.
Pasta, Rice, Potatoes
Fruits and Fruit Juices
Baked goods with grain based flours
Low fat anything
The only really regular exercise that I do is to try and keep to 10k in steps daily (I average about 5-6 days a week on target, sometimes more sometimes less)
Sometimes I achieve those steps in a 2 hour walk (I'm up to a pace of about 1km in 15 mins), sometimes it's spread out in a day, sometimes I run them.
Why I say that I have a new renewed friendship and passion for food is this :
1) I'm rediscovering what food really tastes like.
I have now found out just how much food contains sugar in one form or the other.
Even a famous brand mustard contains quantities of it that just boggled my mind. So much of what we have been consuming contains it even when it seems utterly unnecessary for there to be any such amount needed at all. When it became important to me to know how much sugar I was consuming ordinarily, it totaled up. That healthy glass of juice, that low fat tub of yogurt, that heart healthy high in fruit and fiber with no added sugar cereal coupled with my indulgences. However, I could have been a diet saint and still have ended up here based on my own ignorance.
Without the 'taint' of sugar in things, I really believe that my sense of taste has become much more acute. Also, since I have dropped carbs from my diet, I'm less afraid of fat. I don't deliberately set out to add more of it to what I would regularly eat, but I am no longer afraid of it. I'll eat it if it's part of the steak I'm having instead of cutting it out and leaving it on the plate. I buy full fat yogurt and cream because it's actually better for me than low fat versions! I'm even starting to incorporate cooking with beef dripping - which I would have avoided before now and fat is definitely flavour!
2) I'm exploring new ideas, things and tastes.
We all fall into that habit , we like our comforts - it's an effort to try something new and I'm guilty of it. I had become somewhat routine in some of the things I'd cook because we have our favorites and we know that they go down well and that we like them enough. Now I had to throw out the old books and try some things I'd never tried to cook with before, like celeriac and swede, coconut, chickpea and almond flours, venison etc..
I was restocking my larder and expanding my cooking palette with different things!
3) My world is even more delicious now than it ever was before.
I'm not a bad cook and that helps. This was never going to work if it wasn't delicious and sustainable as a way of life for myself and my partner.
It has forced me to be more creative and to milk every trick in the book that I know for yumminess. The best part is that I see results. My partner (he's not T2D) has lost weight and he's not even doing what I'm doing full tilt. He has weekend meals with me in which we'll eat the same but our weekday meals differ. He still enjoys a full English as he's training it down to work. I also made a dear friend of mine get on the same guidelines I was following to his diet (he's not T2D either) but his mobility has improved vastly since the diet helped him loose and keep the weight off. It is also amazing to discover just how satiated you can feel when you are eating really well.
We only consume aprox. 800 cals a day so I try to pack those calories with good nutrition as well as deliciousness
Of course we have indulgences too. I have ice-cream and I make cakes and muffins. Whilst I can't currently have a lot of what I used to enjoy eating, I'm finding different ways to eat just as well, to reimagine them.
I find myself almost a little evangelical about it ( I am a preacher's daughter after all)
Here are some of our meals :
Burger with Grilled Flat Mushroom bun & Celeriac Chips
(522 Kcals, 14.9g Carbg. For all you see here)
Custard Egg Tofu & Almond Tarts
(145 Kcal, 5.0 Carbg per Tart)
Roasted Skatewing & Sambal in Banana Leaf with Cauliflower Rice.
(186Kcal, 8.5 Carbg)
*at least for this year where I am learning to eyeball things and to understand portions and portion sizes - this app is subscription base and I didn't mind subscribing for the convenience of being able to barcode scan and tally up my totals for the day. I did buy carbs and cals which was what my DN recommended but found it limiting since it wouldn't allow me to calculate the value of my own meals as easily.
I put myself on a Pleato800 diet - A self blended mix between Paleo, Keto and the Blood Sugar Diet.
I've lost a stone since being on it (25/02) and better still I haven't found it back again. Not even a pebble!
This is the first loaf of bread we've bought since Feb!
It appeared at our local Sainsburys today - or maybe it's always been there and we just haven't noticed.
Still, I'm silly excited about it!
Perhaps because my diagnosis was made at a point in time after one of the darkest periods of my life; that it almost seemed rather trivial by comparison.
Or perhaps the enormity of the issue had not (has not) quite settled in yet.
Maybe it's even more than that, maybe it's just the way I've always been...
I was just grateful it wasn't anything worse.
I was thankful that I have it at this point in time where there's much more known about it; and where you are actually empowered to be able to do something about it.
I was elated that there's still low calorie ice-cream to be had and life can still be artificially sweet for people shunned by sweet things!
Calamity seems to come in clumps. The past few years of my life were spent in grief of loosing loved ones;
Spent in emergency rooms, looking at time tick and life fade...
Spent seeing differing medical conditions come and go in 8 person wards, where my father was the longest living dying resident...
What is healthy in the face of all that?
What is the value and quality of life?
Those were questions I'd already visited.
I don't particularly like change, but I've always just learned to adapt and get on with it.
What I appreciate about a challenge in life is that it makes the dross fall away if you can rise up to meet it.
"Sometimes your life won't turn out how you plan it. It turns out how you work for it."
“I am more than my generational curses”
I love food, and I think most of my blogging is likely going to be about it; though here I'm going to talk about not eating!
Even before my diagnosis, I had already been intrigued about fasting as medicine.
I also knew people who were on a 5:2 fasting plan mainly for summer bodies and weight loss.
I had also tried it out - a full 24hrs in which all I did was to drink water simply because I was feeling bloaty (this was after a succession of celebration meals where the social culture was to stuff ourselves to the brim with festive food and booze).
I thought of it as an easy reset and logically to me, the excess we'd indulge in would truly sometimes be a bit much.
Some of the banquets we'd had would likely have fed some remote tribe in the Amazon for a whole month!
So I called it my vacation from food,(after the holiday season) and dabbled. I didn't die and I actually benefited*.
*There's more to this story then just this brief summary but that's for another day.
Fast forward a year later and I'm in a different head space about life, health and wealth in general.
I decided to finally get around to that NHS health check that I'd put off a couple of years.
I had 3 draws and was informed about my T2D over the phone.
I didn't ask all the other questions that might have been useful.(eg. How they came to that diagnosis, what sort of diabetic I was, what the results of my blood tests actually were exactly etc...)
I immediately asked if it would help if I did intermittent fasting.
My GP *bless him*, who did not remember who I was, (I honestly don't blame him I've only ever seen him once in 20 years that I've been at my current address) asked tactfully if there was a little more of me to love than there should be.
He said I could give it a go and that there had been some articles about it helping.
This is what led me to doing searches on the www. about Diabetes and Fasting.
Today I did a BMI retrospective calculation. Turns out that I was mildly overweight and not as "fat" as I thought I was.
However, since starting this journey on the 25th of Feb. 2019, I have lost 10.1kgs (aprox.22 pounds or 1.6 stn)
This works out to be approximately 15% of my bodyweight.
In his book "The 8 Week blood sugar diet", Dr Michael Mosley wrote about loosing 11% of his bodyweight which helped him reverse his condition.
The caveat here is of course that we are all different with our different histories , cultures and influences - the extent of abuse to our bodies etc...
It's a funny thing when you discover that your moderately healthy eating habits haven't actually been all that good for you at all!
The standard eating advice ie. (have more fruit and vege, an apple a day keeps the dr away, eat more pasta.. ) was actually making me sick.
In this topsy turvy world I suddenly found myself in, my occasional food indulgences like chips fried in beef dripping were actually better for me than the majority of chips that I'd had fried in "healthy" oil!
I decided to give my body the break it obviously craved from my loading it with all the wrong things it rejected and no longer wanted.
I would go No (obvious) Sugar/No (obvious) Carbs (The starchy ones mostly)
I gave myself a weekend to get used to the idea first and promised to commit to it fully on the Monday.
I had my last pasta meal at my favorite Italian restaurant on Sunday. My partner took me to it as a treat.
It was Pasta Ala Norma (Fettuccine with Aubergine and a beautifully rich sundried tomato sauce)
Then I moved forward...**to be continued**
I should caveat this with the fact that I have an obsessive manner about me and I quit cigarettes the same way - dead on and cold turkey. (More or less)
So as it happens, I've been keeping mum about my T2D from Mum and she found out when she accidentally called me via Video call today.
I've had my diagnosis since the 25th of February (2019) give or take; and have been sitting on the fence about telling her. It's the sort of thing you want to do in person but given that she is retired in a different country, it's not as easy as driving over for a cuppa; also I hadn't wanted to worry her with it. We loss Dad 6 months prior to Cancer and he had the same; so I wasn't all that shocked that I had it. It's always been plausibly in my 'Jeans' pocket for some time.
It all came out in something of a jumble. Her making a comment about my weight loss and I explaining that the drama of my appearance had little to do with the gym. I tried to assure her that I'm actually the healthiest I've been in a while but I could hear the mental cogs in her mind ticking over across the distance. I imagine that the information will now be disseminated via the family grapevine. Apart from a few rogue branches of said vine, we're not the sort who snoop in each other's lives and tend to carry on in our self contained little spheres of influence.
That is also another reason I delayed informing her. I wanted to have some measure of control over my T2D; some tangible good news about it to share with her when I next saw her (tentatively this July), instead of dropping a bomb of discombobulated facts on her person.
You'd think that she'd be experienced with it given my Dad had T2D, but honestly I don't think she really knows what to make of it. My Dad never talked about his T2D, nor did he ever request anything different to his diet (As far as I'm aware). When he said he'd handle things, it was always with the sole stubborn conviction that he knew best and once that happened - that was that. It was not a topic up for discussion - or maybe we never really asked. I don't know and I find myself feeling reflective about that...
Now that it is completely out there I thought to myself, why not be out here too?
I like cookies! Not the sort you get in browsers on the Tinternet.
Turns out, cookies don't like me as much
I am often described as being somewhat Kookie, so that's how I decided on my Pen name.
Too much of a noob still to rattle off figures about my HAB1what?
Yes sadly I didn't know what questions to have asked when they informed me that I had T2D. I have an appointment coming up and this time I'm armed! Maybe then I'll add some personal stats here.