New host!

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For all my wordpress.com subscribers(not email subscribers, but people who are hosted and have a blog on wordpress.com). Since there is no way to export your contact information to my new host please visit my site http://www.myt1dlife.com/  and please “subscribe via email ” to follow me and stay current on my blog!

I will try to update this mirror site for the next blog post so that you receive notification, but the email links will not work so please update your subscription on my newly hosted site.

 

Thank you!

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I’m Back!

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Did you miss me? I know I did! I have truly wanted to be more dedicated to this blog but the past couple months have been a little rough for me. (I know, not a good enough excuse!) In one of my previous posts I let everyone know that I was going to try nutritional ketosis, by which my body would effectively use fat as it’s primary fuel.

Let me tell you as a Type 1 diabetic this is not easy to do! I was inspired to do it by others seeking its health benefits, however these people are not necessarily Type 1s. Truthfully I haven’t been blogging because I have been very disappointed with my attempt and the results. Unfortunately, I could not control my numbers good enough to get my body into nutritional ketosis. In fact, I had some horrible numbers! Or at least much higher than I want to be in the high 100s. Now I know some diabetics think this is OK, however, it is my opinion that it is NOT OK. Although it is harder to control, I know that having consistently high blood sugars is not good for the body, and with work and diligence it is possible to get them closer to normal. Not to mention these high numbers didn’t work for me because you can’t possibly get your body in nutritional ketosis if your body is running off of sugar. I haven’t read anything that confirms some sort of cutoff but I am thinking that if you are consistently over 120, your body is NOT running off of fat and you cannot get into nutritional ketosis. Since I couldn’t keep my numbers low enough, this wasn’t happening.

But why couldn’t I? I felt like I had enough knowledge and gumption to do it but why were my numbers always so high? Let’s review. It is my own conclusion that digestion plays a large role in a diabetics life as well. First of all if you are eating high fat, which is required to get your body into nutritional ketosis, your digestion will be much slower. This is something I had not considered previously.

Also, I had read that if you eat pure fat then your blood sugar should not rise. Yet, unless your drinking cups of olive oil or eating sticks of butter for dinner (both gross and strange!) then you are going to see a rise in blood sugar when you eat. Even if you eat no carbs, if you are eating something high in fat but also containing protein (salmon, beef) then most surely you will see a rise in blood sugar due to gluconeogenesis. For a non-diabetic it may not be pronounced because their immune system and pancreas is functioning properly, but in a Type 1 pretty much everything you put in your mouth with very few exceptions causes blood sugar to rise and I stick by that.

I also believe I had a problem because I feel we diabetics have an overeating problem. This I believe for several reasons, some biological and some psychological. Looking back, my portions have been too large. I am fairly petite but I have been puttin’ it away so to speak. Conceptually I was thinking to myself, “eat more fat! OK I’ll eat MORE FAT!” It is not necessarily about MORE than it is about ratio. I mean it is just not realistic to be eating hamburger meat ALL DAY LONG!

Lastly, I feel I failed because I have not yet moved past the indoctrination of “eat three square meals a day” or “eat frequently throughout the day.” Really now. If I have eaten something high fat and protein in the morning I am usually not ready to eat by noon. When I stop and listen to my body I end up eating lunch as part of the routine instead of being hungry.

Am I said it didn’t work out? A bit yes. But if we do not experiment we will never know. I am the scientist of my own body. I am sure I will try again. For the moment I am going to take a little step back and refocus on keeping my blood sugar in check before anything else. Then I can move forward again with another round of experimentation, which I am already planning. Next time around I am going to use a different strategy. To share, I am going to start recording my actual data. As much as I can help myself, if there is no one out there recording their experiments for others to analyze then how can we help each other? Look out for upcoming posts that will fill you in on when I start this, what I will do and what my objectives will be!

Rome Wasn’t Built In A Day

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I’ve been MIA for a few weeks switching web hosts and working on my website.   But now I’m up and running again.  I plan to blog more consistently now.  I’m going to try and hold myself to that!

In my blogging “downtime” I’ve also been working on my website http://www.modernprimalexchange.com.  My initial vision for this website came after I realized there was no central resource for the paleo/ancestral/primal community (you can call it whatever you like).  My goal is for it to become a comprehensive list of all things primal: doctors, co-ops, dietitians, restaurants, books, links and more.  Some may think this is an ambitious undertaking but my reason for doing it anyway is three-fold.

One, as with all other “fad diets” (I don’t consider eating primal a diet, rather a lifestyle), I feel the focus ends up on marketing and making money.  This is not to say there isn’t money to be made off of this up and coming health market but it is very different.  It is not a get rich and get out kind of deal.  There are a lot of real people out there starting to take notice of the health benefits paleo affords and these people want true and quality products and services with the intention of receiving this long term.  Also, There are some great things happening in the paleo community but I as a mother of two small children cant participate in a paleo based event that lasts for three days and costs me just under $1000 just for registration.  That to me just isn’t realistic.  Connecting with those who make the same lifestyle choices as me should be much easier and much cheaper.  My fear is that by doing this, the paleo/primal movement will pigeon-hole itself and become just another trendy/fad weight-loss scheme.  We all know it is much more than that.  We should be setting it up for success.

Reason number two.  After being told I was Type 1 diabetic I thought about a lot of things.  I could continue to eat the was I was eating and allow diabetes complications to slowly kill me over time or I could choose to be proactive.  I chose the latter.  As any diabetic knows, it is not just a disease cured by taking insulin.  It is a daily battle with my own body.  Having two tiny innocent children I had to stop and think about what my actions will teach my children, from a health perspective as well as regarding character.  I would never wish diabetes on my children and if there is anything I can do to prevent my children from going through what I go through everyday then I will do it! Nuff said.  Thus, I am vocal.  Creating http://www.modernprimalexchange.com is part of my voice.  Who knows if anyone is listening.  But who am I if I choose to stay quiet?

Three. As I mentioned above, my children get a sense of my character not just by what I say but by what I do in conjunction with those words.  It is my duty to my children to lead by example.

With that said, http://www.modernprimalexchange.com is my passion.  It may be rather empty now but I am patient.  It will come together one day at a time and grow into something wonderful and useful.  Obviously the title of this post applies here.

If you know of any great low-carb doctors, or awesome CSAs in your community, or would really love to share an amazing book others should read, please let me know and I will gladly put it up on the site.  Here is your chance to get involved and participate in this growing health movement!

Nutritional Ketosis: My Journey Begins

This week my goal is to get my body in nutritional ketosis (a state in which my body utilizes fat before sugar).  I half experimented with this after my diagnosis not knowing it was called nutritional ketosis.  All I knew was that if sugar is a problem for me then I should try and make my body run off of fat.  Now that I am a little more informed and after several months of falling off the wagon, I’m making some changes.  At the beginning of my diabetic journey I weighed in at 103 and my goal was actually to gain a few pounds.  However, after these recent months of rollercoaster blood sugars and less than quality food choices, I notice that I have put on weight rather quickly.  Now everyone around me will look at me and say that I haven’t.  You can’t tell by looking but my clothes are much tighter than they were previously.   
 
Also, now that I feel a little more in control of my blood sugars and feel more comfortable about my diet and digestion, I plan to incorporate more exercise to stay toned and maintain an ideal bodyweight.  Thus, I will be attempting nutritional ketosis starting this week and I will be tracking it here on my blog.  I have been very inspired by another who is Type 1 diabetic who is doing this as well as this guy Jimmy Moore.  http://livinlavidalowcarb.com/blog/jimmy-moores-n1-experiments-nutritional-ketosis-day-1-30/14409 
 
So far it has been 24 hours. My blood sugar has averaged 98, although I would ideally like that to be slightly lower.  I also bought the strips to test ketones in your urine.  I would like to have one that checks them via your blood but those are pricey.  I am going to ask about getting a prescription for them at my next appointment but until then these simple urine test strips will have to do.  Hopefully I will see an increase in my ketones as the days go by.  It will definitely be a bit of a struggle to do this since I have two little kids and a husband to take care of, but ultimately extending my years as a Type 1 diabetic is top on my priority list.  I am ready for this next challenge.  Wish me luck!

Bubbles In My Line

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Bubbles. Yep.  My kids love em.  But I don’t.  At least when they’re in the line that connects my pump to my body.  Obviously if there is a bubble then I am not recieving insulin and consequently my sugar goes up.  I have tried to be so careful when drawing the insulin into the vial but I still get bubbles in my line all the time!  The nurses say to use a pen and tap on the vial to get them out.  I swear I get them out and somehow they still form.  Every time. 

I saw one this morning and it was sort of close to my pump site.  It was good size too, not little champagne bubbles.  I was rushing around getting myself and the two kids ready so I told myself to remember to get it out a little later, however when I got to work I realized it was too late.  Checked my sugar. 185.  Totally bummed.  Did not start my Monday off right.  Hoping that this day ends better than it started, at least in terms of my blood sugar.

Out With The Old, In With The New

Once you are diagnosed diabetic, Type 1 or Type 2, there is no longer just a yearly checkup with your primary physician.  Instead, you must now add to that a visit to your endocrinologist about every 3 months for an A1c, as well as see a dietitian to ensure that you are managing your diabetes well. 

I am very fortunate to have insurance that allows me to see doctors within the Cedars Sinai group here in Los Angeles.  I saw doctors in this group before I was diabetic and I also gave birth to both of my children at Cedars Sinai Hospital.  They have always provided excellent service. 

I like my endocrinologist, who, lucky for me is also my primary physician.  I don’t think that is common.  I also like my dietitian.  Every time I see them for an appointment they are at a loss for words at how well I am managing my diabetes (I am guessing there is a vast majority that does not???).  I can see the shock on their faces.  I pretty much run my appointments.  My main purpose for seeing them is to make sure I get my prescriptions. 

I remember my appointment with my dietitian to discuss applying for the pump.  As usual she asked me a bunch of questions and how I was doing.  But when I got to the part where I told her I  don’t eat grains she promptly chimed in to say “Well you can have grains.  It is good to include whole grains as part of a healthy diet.”  Whoa.  I could have schooled her right there but I decided to save her dignity as a health professional.  Afterall, my goal was to see her so that I could get an insulin pump. 

My next visit with her was after I had received my pump and been using it for a couple weeks.  It is standard for you to come in to see how you are doing and to possibly make basal rate and/or carb ratio changes if necessary.  Because the pump was new to me I had a lot of questions for her.  My last question, however, was a complete curve ball.  I asked her what she thought of paleo.  (Most who are close to me know that I follow a primal way of eating and that I truly believe it has helped me immensely in dealing with my auto immune disease, Type 1 diabetes.)  Man did I have her stumped with my question.  She stumbled over her words saying “Well I haven’t really heard anything about that.  I’ll have to look into that.”

As much as I like her, I thought to myself how the heck can you be a “practicing” dietitian who is not keeping up with current health news and reports?  I must amdit thought I half expected this answer from her because she is older and I imagine has been doing this for more than a couple decades.  So I left and left it at that.

About a week ago, I recieved a letter in the mail from her.  It was announcing that she had made the decision to retire and would no longer be my dietitian.  This was a standard letter sent to all her clients.  She was very instrumental in getting me on my insulin pump in a quickly manner and I am very grateful for that, yet there is part of me that thinks this is a good thing.  This tells me that the generation is changing and with that the current health and diet paradigms too.  We need new health professionals that realize and put into practice a new way of thinking about diet and health.  Health professionals that know you DON’T need whole grains and starchy carbohydrates for proper bodily funtcion.  Not only that but health professionals who know what “paleo” is, ones who will take a more whole body approach to diagnosis and treatment and ones that don’t look at me wide-eyed in amazement at how well I am managing my diabetes because that should be the goal.  I am very excited to see how this change takes place and you can bet that I will have my own part in this upcoming health revolution.

Get Back On Track!

I admit it. I’ve been bad the past couple months. Bad with food that is. I kept making excuses for why it was ok to eat the chocolate chunk cookie every morning and the pound cake and other goodies they keep bringing into the work lunchroom. They tasted so good but that is so short-lived. Then the guilt sets in. And the rollercoaster of blood sugar levels doesn’t make me feel any better. So I feel down and then I eat some more. Talk about spiraling downward day after day. Living with diabetes I have found is a daily battle. It’s not just about maintaining my blood sugar. It’s also about maintaining my sanity in the process.

After all of this sugar debauchery, I put my foot down. I mean I have got to pull myself together! After my diagnosis I hardly put anything with sugar in my mouth and my A1c went from 8.3 down to 5.5! My last check up was not as good at 6.3. Where did I lose my way? So last week I made a change. For the last several days in a row I have eaten without needing to bolus. I havent had one single crash and my blood sugar hasn’t gone beyond 130! That, my friends, is the power of high-fat, low-carb eating. I am no scientist but the proof is right there. Sure there is always going to be that day when everything is totally wrong, including your blood sugar. Those just can’t be avoided sometimes, but I definitely want to be strong enough after having a bad day that I can wake up the next morning and get right back on track! How about you?