Last week I got the best news! My A1C was 5.6. Best it has been in 8 years and I am no longer in the pre-diabetic range. Several years ago I had routine blood work and was shocked to learn I was a borderline diabetic. I had no symptoms. I was already at goal. I learned that the years of binging and eating high-carb/sugar food had put a toll on my body. The doctor’s first response was to go on a drug called Metformin. I did not want to take medication if there was something I could try on my own. She gave me 3 months to make some changes and I did and it worked.
Type 1 is different from Type 2. Type 1 is insulin-dependent and cannot be reversed. Type 2 can be reversed by diet and exercise. The A1C test is a simple blood test. It gives the doctor a 3-month average which is the best benchmark. 5.7-6.3 is considered borderline or pre-diabetic. I was right there at 6.3. Anything over is considered diabetes. My new goal or why was to get my A1C down and stay off medication.
A common question in the Healthi community is which plan is best for diabetes. All the plans work. Any change you make to commit to a plan will be a positive one. The most important choice in picking a plan is what best fits your lifestyle, and whether you’ll be able to stick with it long-term. For me, it was Carb Conscience and Sugar Smart. As a coach, I routinely receive questions about my approach. Here are some of the things that worked for me to achieve a medication-free healthy lifestyle.
First, if you are on medication consult your doctor about the following carb-to-med ratio. When I read nutrition labels I look at carbohydrates. Not sugar. Many foods are loaded with carbs that can raise blood glucose that do not have sugar like bagels, rice, potatoes, pizza, and pasta. I only have one carb a meal. When I go to a restaurant if I have bread I skip the pasta, potatoes, or rice. The question is what do I prefer or will enjoy more. My Italian husband would never give up his pasta but he doesn’t have to make that choice.
It is important to move more. As I have mentioned in past articles I go to the pool year-round. It is part of my life, I don’t find it a chore I enjoy it. You don’t have to join expensive gyms but you do need to get the blood flowing by moving more. Unfortunately, my dog died a few years ago which helped me get my steps in. Our walks were enjoyable for us both.
I am far from perfect. I do have snacks and sweets. But I have found substitutes that satisfy my sweet tooth and crunch. Rice cakes come in so many flavors from sweet to salty with some PB or cream cheese you can have a low-carb snack. Protein Smoothies, Yasso and enlightened bars, Fruit with humus or PB. I don’t even miss those funny bones anymore! Lastly, I know some people want to stay away from sweeteners. Obviously, I can’t have sugar. I use Truvia which is more natural but this is a personal choice. Be careful about Honey and Agave as the body sees them as sugar.
This is my own personal journey and what worked for me. I hope that it can help some of our members. Diabetes can be a devastating chronic illness that can wreak havoc on the body. We will always have to practice making better food choices to keep the weight off and stay healthy. Look at all the money you will save by staying off medication and not having to visit the doctor so often. But most of all you will feel better. I couldn’t wait to tell my family last week when I got my blood results. You would have thought I won the lottery!!!
Author: Jerylan Zacarese