Overcoming T2 Diabetes – An Update

I thought I would give an update on my quest to reversing this diabetes that I happen to have. The short update is that I am not there yet, in fact I am a little further away than I would like to be but I am learning a lot along the way.

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Discipline has not been my strength

The reality is that if I just get into the habit of preparing my food over the weekends or at least the day before, I know that I will reach my goal a whole lot faster. Preparation is key and I have just not made the effort. One thing I have changed is that I do cook from scratch almost every day now. Prior to this I ate fast food at least 3 to 4 times a week. This actually created a new problem. My cholestrol levels were starting to rise. Thankfully, eating home cooked meals and lots of avos seems to have done the trick and I have gotten my readings back under control. Phew.

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I actually enjoy exercise

I had made a vow that I will achieve my vitality goals every week this year and I did up until last month when I was not well for a few days so I couldn’t exercise. Of course with the rising cost of living, a new gym membership was out of the question and I don’t want to spend on petrol where I can avoid it so I turned to the FitOn app. I love the diverstity of the workout types and intensities. I have my favourite instructors that I follow like Jeanette Jenkins who has such a sense of humour so I have a good laugh here and there while working out. Sadly, I haven’t lost a gram and in fact, I have gained a bit but I tell myself that is muscle mass as I can see some muscle definition peeping through my fat. It gives me hope that I will get there and who knows, maybe I will have a toned body like I did in my 20’s soon. I am clearly getting fitter as well as the workouts that took my heart rate to 80% -89% of my max heart rate a few months ago now only get me to 70-79%. It’s a bit of schlep because now I have to work out more often in order to achieve the same amount of points…lol. I now have to work out 5 times a week instead of 3 in order to achieve the max number of points I need for the week but this is not a bad thing.

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Sleep is my friend

Don’t ever underestimate the knock on effect that a break in your sleep has on your blood glucose levels. A good night’s sleep is so important. Those nights where I have a broken sleep for whatever reason, always result in higher blood glucose levels in the morning.

So, while things have not gotten better, they have not gotten much worse but they definitely are not where I wanted them to be by now. The fault does lie with me and, at the end of the dusty day, it lies with my diet. There is no way around it. I have got to change my diet or I will not achieve my goal. I have to cut down on my carbs in order to reduce the amount of insulin I produce and the amount of glucose in blood ant any point in time. I have not stopped Intermittent Fasting (IF) by the way. I just eat way too often during my 8 hr eating window and too many of the wrong things. IF on it’s own is just not enough. It worked well initially because I only ate twice, max three times, in those 8 hours and I actually kept that window at 6 hours and not 8. I let a few bad habits creep in during lockdown that I am battling to shake. I guess I just haven’t committed to leaving them behing yet.

So that’s where I am currently at. I will succeed. In fact, you know what, I commit to succeeding. Snacking stops here and now. I am not a snacker anymore. That is no longer who I am. Watch this space for more updates 🙂 The news will be better next time.

Ciao for now!

Book Review: 3 books in 4 days-Diet, Surrender and Inspiration

Wow, 3 books in 4 days and I have 2 others open😱. I am on a role! 😂 In all honestly, each book had me captivated, entertained and a little wiser. Thought I would share a review of each while it is all still fresh in my mind. Besides, with covid infection rates rising, home and reading is the safest place to be right now.

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1. The Surrender Experiment: My Journey into Life’s perfection by Michael A. Singer

How does a man go from just wanting to be on his own in a cabin in the woods to being a CEO of a multi-million dollar company (while still living in a cabin in the same woods)? He surrenders to life’s flow, that’s how. If you think back to the times when you just followed your instincts and things just fell into place and everything turned out way better than you could have ever expected, that’s surrendering and following life’s flow. Michael Singer discovered his ego voice (my words not his) by chance one day and became obsessed with trying to silence it so he could enjoy inner peace. The book details how this obsession led him on a journey that he could never have foreseen. It teaches us the power of faith in a higher power/life’s flow and how important it is to get out of your own way and not overthink things. Accept that everything and everyone is in your life for a reason and that if you are focussed on the right things, the right people, experiences and even money will appear just as you need it. It’s a very powerful story.

2. A Recipe for Miracles by Jeanne Danielle Brooks

I was so inspired by this book. This is the founder story of Wicked Donuts, a hand crafted gourmet donut brand that is available in Durban, South Africa. The author takes you on the roller coaster ride that was her life until she found her calling. My heart broke for her, then I got excited for her and next thing you know I was punching the air in sheer joy. If you find yourself in a space where you feel like nothing ever works out for you and you don’t know what your next step forward is, pick up this book and let the author inspire you with her story. The last 20% of the book is filled with tips and tricks for budding entrepreneurs which the author learnt along the way. I am sure that she and her brand will only go from strength to strength in the future.

3. The New Keto Friendly South Beach Diet: Rev Your Metabolism and Improve Your Health with The Latest Science of Weight Loss by Arthur Agston, M.D.

I remember buying the original book when low carb diets became the in the thing back in the day but I didn’t follow it at all. I don’t even think I got very far into the book. This time round, I didn’t put it down until I was done. This is probably because I am far more invested in my health now than I was back then. (Oh how wish I was still that weight. That was about 30kg ago🙈🤪) The science is so easily explained that each time you put an item of food in your mouth, you are making an informed choice. There is no space for excuses. I bought it because it was only $2 on the Hay House Sale and because I knew I needed to be more serious about my nutrition and I was looking for a ready made eating plan that I could just start using. I find creating one for myself overwhelming so I end up procrastinating and, next thing you know I am a few kg’s heavier instead of lighter because my eating goes off on a tangent. 🤦🏽‍♀️ I got way more than I was expecting for my $2.29/R34.66. I received an invaluable education in nutritional science and the eating plan I was hoping for. I cannot begin to detail the where, why’s and how I have diabetes today but I am grateful to finally have a better understating of where I went wrong and how I got here. The authors aim is really to help you prevent diabetes but the science was very relevant to me as well. Science has come a long way in a very short space of time in understanding how we ended up overweight and pre-diabetic/diabetic and how to turn the tide. If you are looking for links to scientific papers to back him up, you will be disappointed but hey, he even references Dr Tim Noakes who essentially woke South Africa to the benefits of the low carb Lifestyle and Banting. Dr Tom Noakes does science! He also incorporates Intermittent Fasting into his recommendations so he ticked all my boxes.

Each of this books happened to catch my attention at just the right time and the message in each was just what I needed to hear at this moment in my life. I am so excited about 2021 because I feel better equipped by them to achieve the goals I have set for myself. I could have ignored them and told myself I have enough books to last me a good few years (which I do) and I don’t need more but they tugged at me so I followed my instincts and purchased and read them anyway and I am really glad that I did.

I hope you enjoy these books and find them as enlightening as I did. All are available on Amazon right now. 50% of the profit from A recipe for Miracles will be donated to Gift of the Givers who do amazing work throughout the country and the world.

Stay Safe! Happy Reading!

Life with Diabetes

It’s World Diabetes Day today. I had the displeasure of being diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes in 2016. It is what it is though and what choice does one have but to accept it and learn to work around it. I am determined however to get it into remission and I will succeed. For now, I will share what seems to work for me at the moment, however do bear in my mind that this is based on my personal experience and is not an sort of medical or dietary advice.

My Diet

There is no doubt that controlling your blood sugar takes more than just diet but what you eat does play the biggest role. The following has worked for me based on trial and error:

  • Refined carbs are not my friend. I will still enjoy a piece of cake here and there but I don’t make a habit of it
  • Sweeteners, and this includes natural sweeteners like Xylitol, cause a spike in my blood sugar so I just don’t bother with them
  • I stick to drinking water, and unsweetened black coffee. I have started drinking unsweetened black tea as well.
  • Intermittent fasting (IF) really helps as well. I stick to the 16:8 fast but I have learnt that fasting alone is not enough. Discipline is required in that 8 hr eating window. I have worked from home since lockdown started and found myself constantly “grazing”. I slowly gained 4 of the 6 kg’s I had lost in the first 3 months of following IF. Of course it wasn’t just the constant nibbling, it was also the lack of movement every day that caused the weight gain. I have a timer so that I ensure I don’t eat for 2,5hrs at a time for now. I plan on getting myself to two meals a day before year end.
  • My blood sugar readings also appear to be affected by my weight. When I lose weight, I have lower readings. When I gain weight then my average reading rises as well. It seems to take as little as a 2-3kg change in weight to make a difference. Clearly it is in my best interest to keep the number on the scale moving in a downward direction.

The Power of Exercise

I am not exercise’s greatest fan but I have finally accepted it’s importance in maintaining good overall health and in keeping my blood sugar levels within a normal range. Diabetes is known to take a toll on one’s heart so it is important to maintain good heart health and that is where exercise comes in. Since self-discipline is not my strength when it comes to this topic, I have signed up with a personal trainer to make exercise a habit in my life. I have to admit that after 2 weeks, I look forward to our sessions and feel fantastic after them. My circulation has clearly improved and I appear less prone to retaining water. My average blood sugar reading has also lowered over the last 2 weeks so this was clearly a great decision on my part. 😜

Stress Management

I was blown away when I saw the difference stress makes to my readings. I immediately know when I have underlying stress. It’s right there in my blood sugar readings. It is actually quite scary how much stress affects my body. On the flip side, I have also noticed how spending time with certain people in my life results in lower levels regardless of what I eat when I am with them. These people are good for my body, mind and soul. It’s important to never underestimate the damage stress can do so I try to keep my stress levels as low as possible. Some of the techniques I use to de-stress are:

  • Dancing at the end of the day to my favourite music. It as has the added benefit of getting the circulation going burning off excess sugar in my blood.
  • Reading. I can happily spend an entire weekend reading.
  • Focusing on a conversation with my son or cooking/baking with him. It requires me to live in the moment. It is an amazing feeling and I love doing it (When he allows me to)
  • Connecting with friends, although, it is mostly via whatsapp these days
  • Meditating every morning for 10 minutes. I am so thrilled that I have kept this up for over a month now. I am well on my way to making this a habit! (Whoop whoop)
  • Saying my morning mantras in the shower. I say mantras to keep myself aligned with my purpose. It is so calming to say these at the start of the day
  • My morning prayer. I find it so peaceful to start the day giving thanks for what is and what will be and just handing the day over to God.
  • Journal writing. I love writing. I have a normal journal as well as a special gratitude journal. The one thing I have noticed is that when I am consistent about writing in my gratitude journal, I get wonderful surprises ever so often. How cool is that!
  • A candle-lit bubble bath, especially on a exercise day. I also use this as my visualisation time.

I don’t view diabetes as a life long disease. I choose to view it as something that can be overcome and that is what I plan on doing. My first milestone is to start 2021 free of meds.😁 It is to be respected at all times though or it will do some serious damage. If you have been diagnosed with it and don’t take it seriously, then I invite you to reconsider this choice, to start monitoring what causes your spikes and to work around them. You have everything to gain from doing so. If you are prediabetic do what ever you can to turn that diagnosis around.

I wish you all the success in keeping a diabetes diagnosis under control. It can be done. 😉

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