I thought I would post this, and if you aren’t interested in reading this one, I understand!  It will be categorized appropriately, so you can skip to those posts that do interest you….however, if you choose to read it, thanks!  And don’t forget to leave comment, particularly if you deal with any or all of these.

Dietary change #1:

Last May, I was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes.  For those unfamiliar with diabetes, Type 2 is the insulin-resistant form of the disease, therefore, I do not take insulin daily.

Of course, with this, I was force to cut out most refined sugars, simple carbs, etc.  No big deal, actually.  In fact, diabetics can still have those sugary treats….but in small quantities and on few occasions.

Dietary change #2:

Later in May, I was also diagnosed as having N.A.S.H. or Non-Alcoholic Steato Hepatitis.  No treatment, but needed to follow a very healthy, low-fat, diet, and get plenty of exercise (yep….needed that!).

So, these are pretty simple to follow….diets for these are what a healthy diet should consist of anyway:  whole grains, fruits, veggies, lean meats, milk (limited due to the carbs), etc.

Enter Dietary change #3:

I went to see a new doctor on the recommendation of a friend.  This doctor has co-authored a book, and is very good at treating diabetes, and at treating other conditions without always resorting to drugs.  The first appointment was a long one, as she took a very detailed medical history, and talked with me about all my concerns, as well as my recent diagnoses.

After hearing everything, including some symptoms I’d had prior to my May visit, and then prior to my visit with her, she gave a new diagnosis:  Celiac.  (She did keep the diabetes, too…woohoo!)

Ok, this newest dietary change is, so far, the hardest….it means I can’t eat gluten.  Do you what gluten is in?  Pretty much everything!  Breads, pastas, pancakes, donuts (ok, I know I’m not supposed to have them, but we all cheat occasionally, right?), baklava (my FAVORITE), etc….yes, even the whole grain ones that were good for me to eat with diabetes.

However, the silver lining is that she said that the last 3 patients she had who were previously diagnosed with NASH were actually Celiac.  Now, the silver lining there is that NASH, if left untreated (by diet & exercise) or simply ignored, can eventually progress into cirrhosis.  So, as a friend (the one who recommended this new doc) pointed out, it is a very simple answer to what could be a very big problem.

So, for the last 2 1/2 weeks, I’ve been doing my best to eat a diabetic (ok, not so much diabetic), gluten-free, low-fat diet.  And then….

Dietary change #4 (I don’t think there are any restrictions left to add!):

NOW, I go back for my 2 week checkup.  Dr. Kittley has written a book called Obesity’s Answer (check out the website at Obesity’s Answer) and in it, has laid out a diet plan – no, lifestyle eating plan – for people who have struggled with weight loss.  This was me…this was one reason I went to see her – I have had years worth of trying to lose, and nothing worked.  Anyway, back to the point: 

I was thrilled when Dr. Kittley told me yesterday that my A1C was down to 6.2 (in May, at my original diagnosis, it was 10), and that she didn’t see any evidence of NASH.   So, I thought, “AWESOME!!” 

Then her nurse practitioner (who is so sweet!  In fact, I can honestly say her entire office staff is a pleasure!  That is so rare in doctor’s offices these days!) told her I had asked if I was supposed to be following the CELL Program Dr. Kittley had laid out in the book, or simply eating a diabetic/gluten-free diet.  The verdict:  CELL needed to be added.

(Can you hear the grim reaper song playing in the background now?)

Now, if I were a single woman with no children, this may be a little easier.  But, by the grace of God, I am married to a wonderful husband, and have two adorable little girls.  So, implementing this NEW restriction is going to be tough…here’s the basics:

14 days of a very restricted diet following the guidelines below, then 1 free day.  From that point on, its a 6 days restricted, 1 free day plan.  Once on maintenance, you can, if you choose, have 2 free days a week.

Basics (there is a little more to it than this, but Dr. Kittley was gracious enough to lay it out this way for me so it didn’t seem so daunting):

Meat:  nothing battered or fried (easy enough, right?)…no beef except on free days…no processed meats (lunch meats, hot dogs (not a big fan of wienies anyway), etc.)

Veggies:  7 servings a day…that is a LOT of food!

Fruit:  4 servings a day….ok, tastes good, but harder than it sounds

Nuts:  1 serving a day of almonds, cashews, walnuts, pecans, Brazil nuts, etc.

Eggs:  2 per day including in cooking.  (Gee, I wonder where I can get some fresh eggs….maybe my back yard??  Or, these days, my front porch…lol)

Starch:  1 per day (including rice, sweet potatoes, tapioca rice bread (gluten-free, and acutally very good toasted), oatmeal, etc.)

No dairy!  (Ouch!  I LOVE milk!  I come from a long line of avid milk drinkers!  But, I can adjust there…soy milk is good.  Rice milk is good (but have to watch for gluten)….haven’t tried almond milk yet…)  And the cheese I’ll be missing 6 out of 7 days is another whole blog post!!!!  (Did I mention that pizza is my favorite food??)

No caffeine!  (Not a big coffee drinker, but you always want what you can’t have, right?  However, I do love a glass of ice-cold sweet tea.)

No artificial sweeteners!  (Ok, this pretty much wipes out any sugar-free stuff that would otherwise be good for diabetics.)

No potatoes (white/yellow), corn (or derivative), onions, white rice, white breads, etc.  No white stuff.

So, I ask you, what does this leave?

Well, it leaves me with the foods God has given us:  lean meats, fruits, veggies, nuts, eggs.  It takes out nearly all processed foods.  So, is that really a bad thing?

Well, convenience-wise, yes.  Although, preparations can be made to prevent it from being an issue.  I think it means I need to readjust my taste buds to enjoy healthy, life-giving foods more than those that will be harmful to me.  Again, all fairly simple to do in a household of one.

But, this is a household of  four.  In her defense, my nine-year-old is sharing the load with me, so to speak.  She told me yesterday that she would follow this new diet with me…..what she doesn’t know, is that we will all be following it….

I can’t have those things that are no-nos even in the house, or I will want them.  So, whereas I used to teach my children that it was better to eat whole wheat or whole grain breads and pastas, etc…now I have to retrain them (and my husband!  LOL) to eat, enjoy, and even crave more healthful choices than that:  fruits, veggies, nuts, soy milk, tofu!

Change is hard….but inevitable.  Some changes are good, and others not so.  I believe this will be a good change.  I have already noticed that I feel a little better eating gluten-free…not so weighed down, I guess is the best way to describe it. 

So, I’ll be journaling my thoughts, ideas, maybe some recipes, triumphs, and failures here on my blog.  They’ll be categorized accordingly in a new category labeled “Health & Fitness.”  I’d love to hear from anyone out there facing similar challenges, or just anyone who could offer a little encouragment!  This is going to be a very daunting task!

See you soon, with more DGFC (diabetic, gluten-free, cell) thoughts!

Preparing for the adventure!

Toni

PS – Your prayers for strength and willpower and wisdom are ALWAYS welcome, and much appreciated!

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