Diabetes and Good Food, What you can do
This topic is very personal to me, and I want to explain how this journey began and why it is crucial in my life. ( I will update this post at the bottom from time to time. While I plan to reverse this, it may take a while.)
Hopefully, you do not have Diabetes, and reading this will convince you to do all you can now to prevent having it later. If you already have it, I want to help you find the best information to make good choices for your life. Diabetes and good foods can be a crazy hunt for affordable foods that do not taste like tree bark. Finding any food with no sugar and low carbs is a challenge.
How I Knew I had Diabetes
Waking up to painful muscle cramps in the middle of the night was not something I had ever experienced. And these cramps were so sad that they woke me up immediately. Nevertheless, I grew up and played sports year-round, worked very physical labor jobs, and took my health for granted without worrying about things like muscle cramps. As far as I can remember, I had never had them even while playing sports.
I have always been skinny and ate as I pleased. My doctor said I was the poster child for perfect blood pressure. I could eat like crazy and not gain any weight. I weigh now what I did as a freshman in high school. (don’t hate) I never had a gut or any issues with being overweight. Which makes it seem a bit odd that I would suddenly be so worried about my health, right?
All of the Symptoms
If a few cramps in my calves were all I was dealing with, I would consider myself lucky, but there was more. And they came on like a freight train, refusing to be ignored anymore.
The first thing I noticed was the tips of my fingers turning white when my hands got the least bit cold.
2- My toes
The second thing was my toes would begin to burn for no apparent reason.
Within a week of my toes burning, my feelings started to swell and turn red as well.
I went from impaired vision to blurred vision and could not see even with my glasses on. The dramatic drop in vision and neuropathy in the eyes is nothing to be ignored!
Ignoring slight symptoms for a long time was easy. And I knew very little about diabetes and how it worked. Because of that, I was not worried about getting it.
Procrastination & Indifference?
Not anymore. Those days were over for good. I knew what was happening, and it was something I had refused to think about for years. A willful ignorance, if you will. But now, I had to deal with it if I wanted to continue to have any future. Having lived a lifetime of eating anything I wanted, drinking Dr. Pepper like it was water, and somehow thinking I had escaped the consequences of it all, finally caught up with me.
Oh, how I loved Sugar- but Sugar did not Love me
As if any of that is too much for God to handle, right? He came through as always, and I am so grateful to Him.
The realization that I could not have any sugar did not set in entirely at first. When you have done anything for decades, it becomes automatic. When suddenly removed, whatever it is, it can create all kinds of unwanted feelings, both physical and mental. And at least in the beginning, I had no idea that things like bread and fruit would have to be eliminated for the most part as well.
And no potatoes, are you nuts?
These pictures below may look colorful and sweet, but they are far from innocent.
Besides being a junk-food junkie, I had the lazy habit of never looking at the labels of things I bought or ate.
Even though I sometimes overheard coworkers or friends talking about the carbs they consumed, which was a foreign concept, I never gave it serious thought. Therefore, I can guarantee you that you will not be the only one around who has Diabetes. You may have already heard or read about these statistics, but I will mention them here for those who haven`t.
Diabetes is a Massive Issue
One in ten Americans has already been diagnosed with type one or two diabetes. They were making this a real pandemic in my mind. And eighty-eight million more Americans are very likely on their way if they do not cause permanent, drastic changes to their diets. It breaks your heart to know so many are suffering and dying from this disease. Yet, the only solution by the majority of those in the medical field is to take meds. In their defense, most doctors are trained to perform the same practice of writing prescriptions for Diabetes.
And change that involves billions of dollars in profit will never be readily accepted by those who stand to lose them.
I became weak, sick, hungry, and generally felt ill, but I had to do something. At some point, you realize that no one will save you or rescue you, and you have to find a way. And food to me was like a foreign language. One that I needed to learn as fast as I could.
I began reading any information I could find on my condition and watching videos on YouTube, especially Dr. Berry. (thank God I did)He not only educated me on the facts of what it was and what I should do right away, but it was evident that this doctor marched to the beat of a different drum.
This doctor has been treating Diabetes for over twenty years daily. And he has a real passion for getting the correct information out to the public. He has witnessed the devastating effects of this disease firsthand. If you or someone you know has or may have diabetes type one or type two, you need to watch this video. This free information can make all the difference in how you view and treat this horrible medical condition.
There is more to this post, including updates at the end with foods I can eat. My advice would be to watch the video, which isn’t too long but packed with good information.
Dr. Ken Barry:
So Now What?
So here is an even bigger issue for me and possibly others out there who are discovering similar problems with their once-perfect health. Carbs turned to sugar, and when I realized that it was not a good moment.
That knowledge alone came close to giving me a heart attack. And on top of that, I thought Keto was a form of Karate. There was no time to taper down or ease my way into a new way of life. I had to act immediately and change what I was eating and drinking.
As I looked through the cabinets and refrigerator, there was almost nothing that I could eat. I had a couple of can goods, some water, and a bunch of food I could no longer eat. Looking at every label, I was shocked to find high amounts of sugar, carbs, or both.
So, I thought no big deal. I can find myself a list of what I can eat, run to the grocery store, and Wala, problem solved. What was I thinking? The grocery store looked just like my kitchen at home. Lots of food and nothing I could eat. Maybe I can learn to fly as well, bouncing around from one article to the following, one opinion to the next, and one disappointment to the next.
I was trying to find out what was available and scrounge up enough knowledge about affordable foods to keep eating. Was I asking too much? And what makes it all so difficult to bear is that I am the pickiest eater you have ever met. It is so true. No one could make all this up.
It is on! I got this!
So here I am, a skinny man, a picky eater, and someone who knows very little about food. My feet are burning and swollen, and my vision seems to be getting worse by the hour. At this point, I am simply praying I find food before I go blind and can no longer see to get to the store. I was frantically reading all of these blogs and advertisements talking about losing weight or buying some product. What? Is this Skinny discrimination again?
I put up with all the weight-loss competitions at work, and did I complain? No, I took it like a grown-up. But now they ignore me, and I am going blind, and my feet are puffing up like a hot air balloon.
So I am screaming at those articles and googling skinny diabetics and any term to find something that isn’t fat-free and is sugar-free. But, unfortunately, that combination is a rare one. Even those who put the word lean in their title only tried to get fat people to read their blog.
It was nothing to do with skinny diabetics!
Then it hit me. I must be the only one. Who would have thought?
So I managed to find a few ( and I mean very few) things that I could search for at the store. You know, like seeds and grass, yum. And filling, I might add. Why would someone go on about seeds as part of a diabetic diet like that is a meal or even a snack. Child, please! I swear I spent hours going up and down one row after the other reading labels. Not easy with blurry vision. As it turns out, there is less than 25% of food in most stores that do not have sugar. And, most of those have too many carbs, which I cannot understand for the life of me.
Is this some sick joke? You mean to tell me I spend 45 minutes looking for something without sugar only to find out the carbs are too high.
You know what? Screw it! I’m buying a chocolate pie and some Twinkies, and I’m out of here.
I never claimed to be super-smart or anything like that.
So when I was able to walk again, it was back to the store to buy some spinach. I do not mind spinach, it has very little taste, and I can cut up some chicken and cheese and I actually like it.
But I cannot eat that for every meal, every day.
When I can find something edible, it requires a co-signer and a massive down payment to afford it. And that’s just the snacks. It was becoming clear that Diabetes and good food may end up closer to Diabetes and enough food to stay alive. That, however, was still an uncertainty.
Seriously, I am amazed at the meals you can order and have delivered to your home. And this service is something I am going to be testing out the moment I hit the lottery. And wouldn’t you know it, the one kind, the only kind, the absolute ONLY type of chocolate I do not like is? You guessed it, dark chocolate.
Am I being punished?
When I think about this, it makes me so happy that this is a “Keto admissible” substitution for natural, rich, creamy, ok-maybe not. I will say that after months of little to no sugar, dark chocolate works just fine for me.
In Reality, I am Very Thankful
I joke sarcastically, so I hope you have a sense of humor and do not take all that I say seriously. Diabetes is a severe disease, but we can still have a laugh or two, even if it means laughing at ourselves. There is no choice when faced with the possibility of losing your vision and health. While I was already going to the gym, that has little to do with my condition.
The cause: Eating sugar and garbage combined with drinking cokes all the time, my own doing.
However, I plan to overcome this and inform others how they can too.
Southern disclaimer: Every soft drink is a “coke” in the south. Dr. Pepper, Sprite, Coke is all coke. We keep it simple.
Foods That I Can Still Eat:
I love them and used to pick and eat them when I lived in North Carolina. ( It takes a few to fill a person up, but an excellent healthy keto snack nonetheless.
Update-May 28,2021-no longer eating blackberries. Blueberries are better for me. I love fruit, but the fruit has too many sugars to eat all the time. Recently this is fine because finding any that doesn’t look rotten in the story these days is rare anyway.)
I love cheese!
It is all I drink now, and if you have high blood sugar or high A1c levels, you should never drink another carb or look at sugar- run away; that way, you will still have your legs to run in a few years. Most of the so-called heathy fruit drinks are complete garbage as well. Water and sugar-free flavor mix works fine. I thought this would be the hardest part but I don’t even miss Dr. Pepper that much. But I do miss chocolate milk shakes.
Eggs are my other saving food that keeps me alive. I love eggs, so it is not a sacrifice to eat them. However, changing up from fried eggs to scrambled helps the monotony of eating them every day.
You may have to hunt to find one not packed with carbs and sugar, but they do exist. There are many foods out there that are whole organic foods that I have not tried. Again, I am very picky and cannot stomach much from the list of allowed vegetables. One of my all-time favorite foods was tomato soup. There are recipes for keto-friendly versions, but I have not yet tried them. It was such a pure, simple meal, geez!
Salmon is good, along with many others. I like tilapia, but because most of it comes from China` fish farms. And for reasons we won`t share here, it is always recommended that we buy the wild caught salmon.
Chicken is excellent and easy to find. Grilled or baked is what I stay with and is a perfect addition to my daily salad.
Update- May 30,2021- I have been eating KFC chicken daily. I always eat the breast. They have zero sugar and 11 carbs. Their grilled chicken is the best choice with zero sugars and zero carbs. Tastes good as well.
I still get the lean ground beef because the greasy stuff does not work for me.
(5-28-21Update) I bought one of those inside, electric/smokeless grills so I could eat hamburgers, chicken, and steak. It has worked well, but I burned out on eating hamburgers and steak after a while.
Iceberg lettuce does just fine, and I have found that the organic ranch dressing tastes just as good to me as the regular. (5-28-21 update)update on that statement, Organic tastes like someone put worms in a blender and added water)
My saving grace! (must check the labels and stay away from the name brand filled with garbage, and any that have high sugar added)
(5-28-21 update ) I do still eat the organic peanut butter even though I am still unsure they use peanuts-strange and not near as tasty- but tolerable Oh, and it right at $5.oo for a small 16oz jar. I found Smucker’s organic has zero added sugar outside of buying powder form yet shows 1g of sugar. Only five carbs as well. ( but then you have the cracker issue and bread is a no-no)
I have found that is the least harmful, and that is Town House light and buttery original. ( 1 g sugar, 1 g sugar added, nine carbs. )
I don`t recommend eating either because they still have some sugar, even if it is minuscule compared to the rest)
Best of luck, and I will post more as I learn and discover this new life of eating the way I should and eating KETO.
Please leave your comments below (or maybe some food)
Never Give Up
update -April 13, 2021
Just a quick update on my personal experience with Diabetes. My feet and the pain associated with it in less than one month.
I am confident that fasting and eating foods with low carbs and sugar are the key to reversing this horrible condition that I am determined to overcome.
I have cut out all the snacks and try only to eat twice a day. I am pretty inconsistent, but I have cut out practically all food, making it more manageable.
I have been eating chicken almost every day. Kentucky fried chicken is my friend. Colonial Sanders may be long gone, but he is still helping me out.
I could slide under the bottom crack of most doors, and a grain of rice could become a choking hazard for me.
My neuropathy in my feet is much better so long as I do not walk anywhere. One trip to wally-world, and my feet turn red and burn for a while.
Never give up, keep learning, and I pray you overcome and reverse your type 1 or type 2 diabetes.