I have also been concerned about the number of carbs but I am going to try it and cut carbs when possible choosing lower Glycemic Index foods. I will monitor my BG closely. Dr. B. claims it is the fat not the carbs that gum up the cells and cause insulin resistance. The real proof will be my A1C number in just under 3 months. I hope some other diabetics will join me this month and we can compare eating plans and results together.
Diabetes and the kickstart plan
My husband (Lee) and I would like to try this, but most of the foods I see in this kickstart plan would run his BG up way too high. For instance, he cannot eat oatmeal, rice, pasta, potatoes, beans--and I mean normal size servings--without sending his BG from 200 to 280, which is unacceptable for him. So there is not much left to eat.
Also, I have a gluten problem that gives me indigestion, sour stomach, heartburn when I eat wheat, spelt, oatmeal (yes, even gluten free oatmeal does this). I think I could do this plan on my own, as I can eat rice, pasta, potatoes, beans--but it will not be possible for him.
Dr. Barnard claims that his diet will reverse diabetes, but all these foods do the opposite for Lee--they raise his blood sugar to unacceptable levels. When he eats from 25 to 35 carbs per meal, his BG's are usually okay, though not always even then.
I can try to put together some kind of a low carb vegan menu plan for him and see if he will be willing to try it, but that would be so restricting, I think, that it could be downright depressing.
If anyone knows where I can find such a plan online, would appreciate the links.
I don't know much about insulin resistance, but that is not the same as diabetes. Perhaps fat does "gum up" cells, but it is carbs, not fat, that raise the blood sugar after eating, and the more carbs eaten the higher the BG goes. Fat alone does not raise the BG. Good luck with it. You will have to learn what foods to eat and what to avoid in order to keep your blood sugar under control. Let me know how you do.
Ms Sandra, I also don't know much about diabetes and the health issues that face your husband...they all sound scary. Because he is so limited in what he can eat right now and you say you will put together a menu of something for him to follow for this program (you mentioned boring and restrictive)...I was just wondering what his menu or diet consists of now and is it restrictive and boring? Also is what he is eating right now working for him? if so, continue down that path. You don't say how old you both are, but my heart reaches out to you both in this challenge you both face.
I have not yet had the time to put together a plant-based menu for him, mostly because he really does not want to give up meat and eggs, and then also because a totally plant-based diet would be too many carbs for him. Right now, I'm trying to work out a plant-based menu for myself, with my dietary restrictions, and work it in with his menus. Not easy. I did, however, serve him two all-veggie dinners this week that were 42 and 44 carbs, the highest carb meals of the week.
You asked what his diet consists of now, so I'll give you a few example and start with the two meatless dinners. To replace the meat, one meal I gave him 1/2 cup butter beans (served with 1 cup cooked kale and a saute of yellow squash/onion/orange bell pepper, and a small side salad for a total of 44 carbs. The other meatless meal was Qrunch burger, leftover kale, and a yellow squash/onion/Cherub tomato saute. I say meatless, not plant-based, because he likes ranch dressing on his salad.
A meat dinner example was last Sunday, I made salmon patties, roasted cauliflower, sauteed asparagus, and a side salad, for a total of 32 carbs for the meal. Lunches are almost always either a deli turkey sandwich on my homemade flax bread, with mayo and lettuce, sometimes a slice of cheese but I'm trying to "wean" him off that, a Claussen dill pickle spear, and fruit, for instance a Mandarin orange, for a total of 23 carbs. The tuna sandwich on the flax bread with a pickle spear and some fruit, say 1/2 cup blueberries, for a total of 24 carbs. The fruit varies but the total lunch carbs do not exceed 28. Breakfast almost always consists of some type of eggs and Applegate Farms turkey links. There is just not enough room here or time to list full menus for a week.
His total daily carbs for this week ranged from 82 to 112. Last night, after a day's total of only 88 carbs for three meals, his BG was up to 177 three hours later, so he couldn't have his nightly snack. He thinks that was because he didn't shoot enough insulin, as he is experimenting and trying to reduce the insulin if possible.The rest of the week, his BGs were okay with a couple of exceptions in the morning (we think he has that "dawn" syndrome).
So yes, what he is eating right now is working, for the most part. And yes, it is restrictive.... maybe I shouldn't have said boring, because he's one who doesn't mind eating the same foods a lot, so I often repeat meals. I feel bad for him that he cannot enjoy many things that he loves (pasta, rice, oatmeal, grits, potatoes, and other things), but he does enjoy the things that I make.
Yes, we face a lot of challenges. Lee is 72, and a year and 8 months ago, had to have his left leg amputated below the knee due to diabetic ulcer and bone infection. And his remaining leg is not in the best of health, but it's okay. The biggest challenge is to keep the diabetes in check so that he doesn't ever have to lose the other leg. He was only in the wheelchair for about two months before he got his prosthesis. He doesn't get around good, uses a cane and doesn't have good balance, so everything falls on me. Not complaining, I'm just glad he made it (came close to losing his life).
So, that's it in a nutshell.
wow! I had absolutely no idea. He is very lucky to have you by his side. And you, I can see reading between the lines how he is your world. You keep on as you are doing...firguring this thing out...keep notes...soon you'll be writing a book about it and will be able to share with others. Those meals you make and serve sound great.
I'm doing the best I can and keep on trying to improve, yes.... my computer has so many documents I've made regarding diet and health and menus for us.... but as for writing a book, well, no time for that. I do have an old and very neglected website that I hope to be able to "resurrect" as some point and maybe I can share some things there. Just have not had time to do anything with it for several years. I'm wanting to go all plant based and gradually working toward that. I have Dr. Greger's book, How Not to Die, and it's really good.
I also have his book and am reading it. Did you happen to download the recommended app for this? The daily dozen I think it's called. Kinda fun.
I didn't know there was an app. Where do I find it? I'm not finished with the book, and I'm not reading it front to back, I'm skipping around in it for now. I'll search for the app.
I don't recall if he talks about it in the book. However, the daily dozen (in the book) starts on page 272. Also, sign up for his emails if you have not already done so...google him I think it's nutritional al something. Another thing I've come to love is the pure planet nation website.
Dr. G's book is two sections...my favorite part is the last half of the book.
I do get his e-mails, seems like about one a day. His website is NutritionFacts.org. I don't recall seeing any ads for an app, but I'll check when I can make the time, will also check out Pure Planet Nation..... that sounds familiar. Yes, the last half of the book is all about the daily dozen. Time is something I don't have nearly enough of, considering my lifestyle, which revolves around keeping my husband healthy and doing double-duty in managing the household. However, I do make time for Tai Chi classes and a little craft hobby that I've gotten in to.
Also check out the website One Green Planet. It's funny what you say about time...how is it we were (at least me) able to work full time make dinner and rear kids...giving them quality time and now...life should be slower but it seems there are NOT 24 hours in each day...huh? Funny.
I think I get e-mails from One Green Planet, in another e-mail address that I don't check often and when I do, I sometimes have to do lots of deleting without reading. You're so right about time.... however, I was fortunate enough to be able to stay home and raise my four kids.... didn't go to work till youngest was 13 or 14, and then part-time. But I was able to get so much more done because those were the days before computers came into my life, and not only computers, but other things as well.... it's a different world.
So, are you able to do the plant-based way of eating? I'm doing better, but have a way to go. Today was all plant-based except for an egg at breakfast. Breakfast is the most difficult for me. I'm going to have a sweet potato in the morning, with some toasted pecans and coconut butter and cinnamon. Maybe an apple too. I want to get into the apple-a-day habit if I can. I can easily have an apple with peanut butter for lunch and be happy with that.
Hello Ms. Sandra, I worked a few days this week so I am behind on getting to talk w/ you. Breakfast is easy for me because I am a creature of habit and do love oatmeal so I'm ok w/ it everyday. I also like a slice of wheat toast w/ almond butter and banana which is probably not a good thing for your husband...I've never been into boxed cereals. I have been putting a small chopped apple in my oatmeal these past few days w/ cinnamon and a few raisins or craisins...it's almost like a dessert!
I'm loving the plant based program. I joined up for this one because I wanted to try new recipes. I am a little into withdrawals though because I tend to eat a banana every day as a snack and I enjoy wine most evenings. I've had neither. A good thing though, once dinner is done, I'm done and haven't been snacking in front of the TV. I love to be in the kitchen and am always making a plant based desert which seems to call my name after dinner but my husband says it always after a glass of wine...
I'm glad you are doing good on a plant-based diet. Is your husband doing it also? I wish I could get my husband to go plant-based, but he says it's too many carbs, and he's gotten his BG under "fairly" good control now. Neither of us can eat oatmeal, him because it runs up his BG and me because it gives me indigestion, just as all gluten products do and some that do not have gluten. I get heartburn and sour stomach with certain foods. I used to put apple in our oatmeal, back when we ate it. I have a good recipe for oatmeal-blueberry squares. I think I might try that again and use half almond flour and half oatmeal and see how that works.
I make a nuts and seeds granola that I really like, and also have homemade "cereal" of blueberries, flax, sliced almonds, coconut milk and cinnamon (a Dr. Axe recipe). I also like rice pudding for breakfast. I have no problems with breakfast for myself, even without oatmeal, but hubby is a different story. Every morning, it's like "how do you want your eggs today" or something similar.
I also have a glass of wine in the evenings, usually merlot. And a snack to go along with it. I should forego that until I can lose the 10 pounds I need to lose, but habits are hard to break.
I've read Dr. Joel Fuhrmans book The End of Diabetes and I'm following it. My daughter, age 26, is a type 1 diabetic which they are calling type 1.2 (latent adolescent diabetes). She lives with her boyfriend who is a body builder and so they are into the "protein" and low carb lifestyle but that means meat. She exercises a lot and is at a beautiful weight so that is in her favor. She used to be on metformin but the endocrinologiist stopped that when he determined she is type 1 and not type 2. Now she uses an insulin pen and monitors her BS throughout the day and depending on food. So we can agree on the plants, fruits, nuts, seeds but not the meat. The other thing that really makes me nervous is how she likes wine and seems to think that it's ok to drink a bottle of it or several glasses. I don't know where she is reading in her diabetes research that drinking wine in that amount is ok. She doesn't drink every day and it may be once a week that she'll drink a bottle of wine during an evening with friends. My sister is an alcoholic so this always weighs heavily on my heart...about my daughter. I am grateful that we talk and we share information. I would love to see her someday where she doesn't need as much insulin and that she can find a consistent level with her BS. It is a journey and I am walking it with her.
I have had diabetes for many years but decided to try vegan even though carbs are in the forefront. My blood sugar tests have not been better since going "whole hog" (so to speak) on this whole food, plant-based diet. I eat almost all carbs and my last AIC was perfect. I think you should have your husband eating the vegan way and tell him not to experiment with his insulin anymore. My doctor said the large amount of fiber we eat carries the carbs so the blood sugar doesn't spike, and stays level. Does your husband stay in contact with his doctor? If his doctor is not one that knows nutrition and not experienced in treating diabetes, I suggest you get a second opinion on his treatment. The vegan diet should not be causing the jump in his blood sugar.
Thanks for writing. I'm glad that you are doing good on the vegan diet. However, everyone is different, and if my husband's diet was almost all carbs, like yours is, he would be in a state of high blood sugar most of the time.
As for experimenting with the insulin, that is necessary in order to find the right amount of insulin for the amount of carbs to be eaten and considering what the BG is before the meal. He's pretty much got it figured out just how much to take based on the meal and the BG before the meal.
Yes, fiber does delay the rise in BG, but it still rises, just more slowly. It's not good to reach 200 even if it takes a while to get there.
Certainly he stays in contact with his doctor about his diabetes, always has. He goes for regular visits. He saw endocrinologists for quite a few years, but now he's letting his new primary care doctor take care of his diabetes, who is an MDVIP, and he's doing a really good job, better than the endocrinologists did.
A vegan diet might or might not cause the BG to rise, depending on the amount of carbs and the type of carbs. We do not do "bad" carbs, only the healthy carbs. I have a few vegan meals, dinners, that are around 50g or less of carbs, and if he takes the right dose of insulin, he's usually okay with that, but not all the time. It gets to be a thin line somewhere around 40 to 45g carbs. Sometimes he can get away with it, other times not.
Breakfast seems to be the biggest problem with trying to keep the carbs low enough for him. For some reason, he can't do as many carbs for breakfast as he can for dinner.
Again, very glad that you can do vegan and keep your BGs under control. Not everyone can, though.
Thanks for the information. I just assumed everyone with type 2 would be the same. I guess I am lucky that the vegan diet is working for me. I was amazed because I was always counting carbs before, 45 to a meal. I also don't know about insulin because I am on metformin. I hope your husband can keep things under control. Diabetes is no fun. I have to be careful with any little wound because infection sets in so easily. I've had a foot ulcer and an infected toe from a corn that put me in a nursing home for six weeks for IV antibiotics. I wish I had paid enough attention to my health when I was younger.