live with physical challenges.
I am NOT a DOCTOR!!! I don't even play one on TV!!! It is my goal to live a more healthy lifestyle. Living well and being happy is what this blog is all about.

"Nothing,' wrote Tolstoy, 'can make our life, or the lives of other people, more
beautiful than perpetual kindness."

- Gretchen Rubin

I write about my own experiences and what works (or does not) for me. Nothing I write is to be taken as medical advice.

Only your health care provider, personal physician,Disclaimer:
I am not a doctor - I don't even play one on TV! This
or pharmacist can provide you with advice on what is safe and effective for your unique needs.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Carbohydrates, Portion Control and Self-Control

The lack of carbohydrates can make you a little crazy.  - Tom Hardy

Most people like to load up on carbohydrates at breakfast.  They run to the cereal box and add the sugar-laden milk and some add sugar on top of all that!  My blood glucose readings tend to be high in the mornings, so I don't eat carbohydrates for breakfast.  I drink a protein shake, which is enough to keep me full and satisfied until snack time at mid-morning.

I begin eating either simple or complex carbohydrates at mid-morning, but I pair that with a little protein.  One of my favorite snacks in the morning is a bunch of grapes with a piece of low-fat string cheese.  By a bunch, I mean about 1/4 cup or so.  I have a small dish that holds 1 cup of liquid.  I fill it just 1/4 full with grapes.

Carbohydrates are only as bad as the company they keep. In other words, if I eat a baked potato for lunch (a complex carbohydrate) with no protein paired with it, it is a demon and my blood sugar will rise significantly. If I put a nice lean piece of skinless chicken breast beside it - oh about 4 to 6 ounces or so, then it makes that baked potato an angel.  Protein buffers the effect that carbohydrates have on blood sugar.

One other little side-note about baked potatoes.  Do you have to put butter on the potato or is there a lower-fat option?  This may sound odd at first, but it's really good (don't knock it until you've tried it!)  Try putting some fresh homemade salsa on your baked potato!  Salsa has no fat and depending on how much spice you like (I get the mild), it can give a little kick to an otherwise boring potato.  If I'm pairing my potato with some chicken tenders, I also put some salsa on them.  It makes my meal more interesting - gives it a little "Ole'".

The most evil demonic blood glucose spiking carbohydrates are the simple carbohydratesThese foods use a mass amount of processed white sugar in order to make them taste good.  It's fairly obvious what foods these are:

  • Table Sugar
  • Biscuits, cakes, pies, pastries
  • Processed Chocolate
  • Fudge
  • Jams and jellies
  • Canned Fruits
  • Soda 

  • Here comes the million dollar question:  Should diabetics eat fruit?  If you ask someone representing the Adkins diet, the answer would be no.  If you ask me, the answer is - every day!  To be honest, would you say you still have a bit of a sweet tooth?  If you answered that question honestly, then you realize that living without anything sweet for the rest of your life is just impossible!  So, when you get a craving for something a little sweet, don't you think it'd be a better bet to reach for a little fruit than to reach for - oh, I don't know - a candy bar?  This is where I veer off from a true alkaline lifestyle.  They do not recommend eating much fruit at all.  They would have you eating grapefruit and little else.  I can't do that.  I do not eat an abundance of fruit, but I have not cut it completely out either.

    I used to do my level best to stay away from any simple carbohydrates, including fruit.  When I did finally binge, it was pretty bad!  As I recall, the last binge I had, I bought a bag of mini peanut butter cups. Now, see - that's the bad side of diabetes!  I maintain that nobody can live a totally sweet-free life!  If you can, then you're made of stronger stuff than I am!  By the way, since I have welcomed a little fruit into my diet, I have not had a single binge - and that's been about five years ago this Halloween.

    Fruit actually has nutritional value - vitamins and stuff.  That other junk is, well - junk!  The key to enjoying fruit is portion control.  You can have a small bunch of grapes today.  You just can't eat the whole bag of grapes today!  Once that clicks in your brain, you've really got the question settled and there's no longer any debate or discussion about it.

    Besides, there's no way I'm going to live without an apple every day.  Forget that noise!  Ain't happenin' - !  I look forward to a sliced apple and 2 tablespoons of natural peanut butter almost every day for a snack.  

    A lot of people have asked me if dark chocolate should be eaten by diabetics.  I don't have any research to back this up, but it's my personal opinion that the amount of fat and the calorie burden in dark chocolate far exceeds any health benefit.  I'd rather eat a little bit of fruit, which contains no fat, and get nutritional value in the process.  I know they've been saying a lot of good things about dark chocolate and heart health, but it doesn't compute in my brain that the fat and calories in it could be a good thing.  When I put the good on one side of the scale and all the bad on the other - in my mind the scale just does not balance!

    That is not to say that on Halloween I won't purchase and eat one little piece of  dark chocolate.  But it's also not to say that I will consume an entire bag of them either!  I no longer buy a bag of individually wrapped dark chocolates and tell myself I'll just eat one of them.  I don't lie to myself anymore!  If I eat a simple carbohydrate, it is dark chocolate, but it is just one piece of dark chocolate, not any more. 

    I got a great insight into portion control when I worked a full-time job.  My boss used to distribute chocolate - just one piece to each of us - at Easter and Christmas (which was so cool because she was Jewish).  I found that it was just enough to satisfy me, but I didn't eat so much that I felt guilty about eating the chocolate.  It finally hit me, "I can have this stuff, as long as I don't gorge myself on it!"  That's a very freeing revelation!  I understand that for some of you that clicked a long time ago - maybe I'm just a slow learner. 

    My rule today is, "If the food is obviously healthy, I can eat more of it.  If the food is obviously not healthy, I have to enforce portion control, then I have to exercise to burn some of it off!"  Usually, the more unhealthy the food is, the better it tastes (unfortunately), so to exercise that self-control and portion control is tough!  If it was easy, nobody would have a weight problem and Type 2 Diabetes would be a distant nightmare.  Yeah, don't we wish??? 

    I literally pray before I walk into a party where I know there will be a lot of foods that I don't usually eat.  Self-control is one of the Fruits of the Spirit, and if you look at it like that, then over-indulging on junk food is actually a sin.  I know some of you won't agree with my assessment, but this is my personal truth.  This is light I've been shown. 

    But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,  gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. 
    - Galatians 5:22-23 

    So, if we can think of portion control and self-control in the same vein, it will help us to do a better job of eating the right amount.  You know, actually, when you think of all the other fruits of the Spirit, if you are putting all the others into practice at a party, then your main focus won't even be on the goodies at the party, but on the people at the party.  Think about it.  God Bless you today! 

    Listen to Joni Mitchell singing "People's Parties".


    Some days I ask myself, "Why am I sharing this useless bit of information with you?"  This would be one of those days.  Today is WEAR SOMETHING GAUDY DAY!!!!!!!!!!!  Yeah, you heard it here first.  You may not hear it anywhere else, actually.  If you work outside your home it probably would not be wise to dress in a gaudy fashion - just sayin'... 









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