In my former blog, Why I Eat the Way I Eat, Part 1, I discussed my diet journey through the past about 35 years, and that I am now eating a very low carb, locavore, paleo diet.
In this blog I want to discuss: What I eat, how are my blood sugars, and how is my healing From Type 1 diabetes coming.
And, of course, what’s next, since this is a journey after all.
After all this research, reading and contemplating, what do I eat?
I’d say about 95% of all the food I eat is raised on farms within a hundred mile radius of where I live. And soon, some of it will be from my own garden that I just planted with my husband at the end of May. We are so fortunate in Maine! Even though our growing season is comparatively short, we have a plethora of committed farmers, supplying us with eggs from foraging hens, grass-fed meat, vegetables, a lot of which is fertilized by local seaweed or manure from their farm animals, and raw dairy from grass-fed cows or goats that we buy from the farmers or even from stores. Yes, we are fortunate in Maine. Thank you farmers!
So what do I, as a type 1 diabetic, actually eat? Certainly NOT what is advised by diabetic educators, doctors or dietitians. Yet, I am having the best blood sugars of my life! Almost all of my blood sugars are between 70 and 90. My last A1c was 6.1, but I am hoping for the low 5’s next time. (And a note here, as I am editing this blog and finishing up, I just did an A1c this morning which was 5.6. This is a excellent number, considered nearly normal and I’m very happy!)
Here’s my diet:
Breakfast around 7 o’clock:
2-3 sunny-side up eggs from a farmer in my neighborhood, cooked in bacon fat;
Bacon, from a local farm, nitrate-free
Yerba Mate Tea, not local!
Lunch around 2-3 o’clock:
Grass fed burger, from a local farm, cooked with local onion, in spring water or bacon fat, OR
Bone broth, with grass fed meat in it, OR
Liver, cooked with onions, usually in bacon drippings or lard;
Salad of greens from local garden, dressed with coconut oil or olive oil, not local, but organic
vegetables from a local farm sauteed in coconut oil or bacon fat. These veggies are very low carb, like greens, broccoli, kale, etc.
Supper/Snack, around 7:
6 soaked, dehydrated brazil nuts, sadly not local;
1.5 ounces of raw butter from grass fed cows in Maine or New Hampshire, sometimes I make it from local raw cream, sometimes we are lucky enough to find fresh farm made butter.
I mix this butter with a few spoons of powdered colostrum or grass fed powdered whey, or both, along with, DandyBlend, powdered dandelion beverage mix, and a superfood called Mucuna, which is a tasty superfood for brain health. Then I sweeten it with stevia.
So that’s pretty much it. I find this diet very nourishing and satisfying. Even though Denny, my husband, eats cream and yogurt and kefir and does fine with it, I find that all dairy products other than butter make my blood sugar rise, so I stay away from all dairy but butter.
Right now my blood sugars are very stable and I am taking a total of 15-16 units of insulin a day, NPH and Regular combined.
So How’s my Healing Coming?
Well, I’ve been doing a lot of research, so my healing is pretty much on hold. But this is something that I’ve learned the hard way. If you are hoping to heal any condition, but aren’t sure what to do next—first do no harm. Gee, that kinda sounds familiar. In other words, keep your blood sugars as close to normal as possible so your pancreas stays calm, AND there is no damage or inflammation going on for the rest of your body. That is really the reason I left the raw/vegan diet. When I realized I was not healing, I did realize my blood sugars were all over the place, often very high, because this diet was so difficult to do low carb. But, I also left the raw/vegan lifestyle was because through research I found that there are no long lasting cultures living and sustaining generations on a raw/vegan, or even just vegan diet.
Between, 1996 and 2003, I was on Dr. Richard Bernstein’s low carb diet. It saved my life! I had been a vegetarian since about 1976 and diabetic since 1971, and my blood sugars weren’t great. I was on one shot a day, and on a high carb cooked vegetarian diet. I thought I had some weird disease that I’d never heard of. I was stiff, I had 2 frozen shoulders, my hips were stiff and hurt. It took me a long time to get out of a chair or off the floor. A diabetic friend snail mailed an article by Dr. Bernstein about frozen shoulders being a complication of diabetic uncontrolled blood sugars. Whoa! Really? He had cassette tapes which I ordered, this was really ancient history (1996). I anxiously listened to the tapes. The next day I started a low carb diet, basically high protein, AND went from 1 shot of insulin a day to taking 5 shots a day! I actually did this on my own without a Doctor’s supervision! I monitored my blood sugars meticulously, several times a day, as I still do to this day. My blood sugars began improving immediately, and my body healed, I was so happy! No more stiffness, my frozen joints were healing. Shortly after I started his diet Dr. Bernstein came out with the first edition of his amazing book, Diabetes Solution. (I still recommend it to all diabetics. I now have his 3rd edition.)
I felt great! I stayed on the Bernstein diet for 7 years, happy, pain-free years. But I was realizing that I had lost track of my desire to heal. and I still believed I could heal. During this time I tried lots of promising supplements, herbal combinations. Anything that was listed as being good for diabetes, I bought it and tried it. I spent a lot of money hoping some natural cure was out there.
Then, in May 2003, I began the Raw/vegan experiment, as I explained in my previous blog at great length.
And, in 2010, I went back to a low carb diet, Dr.Bernstein style, as I had before, but this time very, very differently.
- Over 95 percent of my food comes from local farms. I buy from farmers markets, health food stores that buy from local farmers and from farms that I actually visit.
- I eat red meat! My first time low carb, I still believed vegetarian diets were best, so I ate fish, chicken, turkey, eggs and cheese and lots of tofu! But this time I tried one bite of red meat and realized that for me, an O blood type, red meat nourished me the best.
- I eat a lot of real fat. I eat no vegetable oils. I eat lots of saturated fat, coconut oil, lard, bacon drippings, butter, and a little olive oil.
- I eat no nut butters! My blood sugars end up rising too much, nuts are just too high in carbs. And I eat very limited amounts of nuts. A few walnuts and a few brazil nuts.
- I eat small portions. I think that is probably the hardest part, but my blood sugars are so much better this way. I just move away from the table and get involved with something else AND love my good blood sugar numbers! I just realized that loving good blood sugar numbers, more than the taste of food, is the key.
I want to say here that my diet remains an experiment., I feel more nourished, happier, and my energy is more constant. I have fewer headaches. I still have more work to do, I still get bloated by the end of the day, although it is much improved.
I plan to add two things to my diet, EM (Effective Microorganisms) and Camel’s milk. Look it up!
More on this in my next blog!