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I.M.MAGIC's Photo I.M.MAGIC Posts: 13,196
4/11/14 2:16 P

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Amen!
LOL

I saw my endocrinologist, day before yesterday...I was concerned because I'd been forced to spend about six weeks without SP. Educated guesses are not nearly as effective as actually having the figures you need. Creepy, that...

It wasn't as bad as I was expecting, but it was NOT great... my A1C is 7.3 right now--and I'm crashing down into the 50's and 60's, 2-3 times a day, with a pretty wicked back-swing spiking pattern. The doctor lowered my insulin dosages, and told me to get back to what I was doing ASAP! LOL

It's been just a couple of weeks, and I can already tell the difference!
So...
Good luck with your new experiment! Wish me luck on my return to the sanity of the Spark...

emoticon

"The real secret of success is enthusiasm..." thanks, Walter P. Chrysler. I believe it. That's what I want in my life--to give my imagination a chance, to live with energy and enthusiasm!
P.S. I looked up enthusiasm, and it says the root words mean God within... interesting...!

Ralph Waldo Emerson said 'Life belongs to the energetic.' But you don't have to be frenetic and hyper--some energy is quiet and steady, like a heartbeat... and that works too! LOL

Life comes one mome


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RUSSELL_40's Photo RUSSELL_40 Posts: 16,826
4/10/14 6:40 P

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I have decided to go ahead with the Bernstein diet for 20 weeks starting next Tuesday. I am giving myself till then to flesh out the diet, since a lot of what I eat ( fruit/onion ), is taboo, so I need to come up with new veggies, like snow peas. I can still have broccoli ( limited due to Coumadin ), green beans, and mushrooms, and may add 3-4 NEW veggies, to add variety.

I am a big pre-planner, so a huge freezer would be a great idea. There are so many ways to shop when prices are cheap, or you could can your own veggies from the garden, and use the cheaper fresh veggies during the season, and the canned ones during the winter to avoid buying expensive ones. If you had a big freezer, you could do the same with meats, when they are on sale. I had a friend give us 10 lbs. of venison, and my little apt. freezer was packed, along with the 10 lbs of chicken, and a couple bags of frozen broccoli. I had to turn down FREE deer meat, when another relative of his got a deer himself. Another 10 lbs. would have really helped my budget.

Pre-planning is huge for me, because I think if you don't have a plan, then you are acting, and then recording your actions afterwards. This makes the possibility of failure greater. If you have food, and your menu already available , then when you need a meal, you know what to eat, and where to get it, and any food you can stock up on, removes the " I can't afford it " excuse.

Sometimes my veggies are 50 cents, sometimes 59, sometimes 75, and sometimes $1 a can. When they put green beans on sale for 5/$2, I bought 192 ( 16 dozen ). I will always eat green beans, so why not stack them in my closet. even if I buy fresh string beans at the market all summer, I will still have 100-150 cans waiting for me come winter, and I can make it till they repeat the sale, or something close, and re-stock. You just need somewhere to put it.

Kathy - I live in MI, and 1/3rd of the canned aisle is No Salt veggies now. We even have No salt canned beans ( those are much more expensive though... $1.50 vs 75 cents ). I would pay more for No salt though. They last longer in a can, and I can buy lots, but sodium is a huge problem with my CHF.

I also have had a lot of complications, and while on one hand I am constantly trying to make myself healthier, on the other, I am always thinking of how I could help others achieve the same results. If this lowers my blood sugars to 4.2, without meds, and I don't hate it at the end, then my hope is to be able to explain it in a way that others may benefit from also doing it, and avoid many of the complications I have had, although minor ( worsening vision, teeth falling out, and some neuropathy in my right foot ). All of these have stopped getting worse, and my neuropathy has actually gone away.

My first thought is always my own survival, but in the back of my mind, I always think.. no one needs to be going through this. Simple dietary changes could prevent all of these, and if there is any way I could help someone avoid what I have gone through, I will do it. As someone who also has major complications, I think you understand it in the same way I do. Everyone hears what the complications are, but until you have lived through them, you just have no idea, and I hope they never do.

So whether it be a strict diet, making a plan, canning veggies/buying on sale, or getting a huge freezer, there is a lot we can do, if we don't wait till we get bad, or worsening news, whether it be diabetic complications, or a doubling of the price of veggies. We know that these problems exist, so let's make sure they are ameliorated.by our actions today.

"We can't solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them "

- Albert Einstein

“Whether you think you can, or you think you can't--you're right.”

- Henry Ford


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I.M.MAGIC's Photo I.M.MAGIC Posts: 13,196
4/7/14 11:16 P

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don't know where you live, Russell, but around here the no salt canned stuff costs more (crazy, they put less in and charge more??), and it's 89 cents a can or so. BOOO!

I usually buy fresh, or frozen if I can find it without the added salt. I don't have a huge freezer, just what's in the top of my fridge, but it holds most of what I need... I love the local produce stand, the prices are quite a bit lower, though the selection is smaller--but what they do have is fresher and it's relatively easy to buy organic there.

Because of kidney damage, I can't eat a lot of veggies, and have to take fiber supplements. I really do think that if you can get it under control, it can help you to avoid some of the things I've been through--but we are individuals, and the only way to get where you want to be is to find your own path. These forums are so helpful in the search!...

Kathy emoticon

"The real secret of success is enthusiasm..." thanks, Walter P. Chrysler. I believe it. That's what I want in my life--to give my imagination a chance, to live with energy and enthusiasm!
P.S. I looked up enthusiasm, and it says the root words mean God within... interesting...!

Ralph Waldo Emerson said 'Life belongs to the energetic.' But you don't have to be frenetic and hyper--some energy is quiet and steady, like a heartbeat... and that works too! LOL

Life comes one mome


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HOUNDLOVER1's Photo HOUNDLOVER1 Posts: 8,869
4/2/14 5:41 P

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Oh boy have we gotten off topic, sorry Russell, I guess we better open a freezer thread, LOL.

Birgit

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FANCYQTR's Photo FANCYQTR Posts: 13,688
4/2/14 5:11 P

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I don't know how much it would hold, but do they have the front door type freezers that would be low enough you could put some kind of table top on it and have a bar-height table? I would think that a tabletop on top of a chest freezer would make it awkward to get in, but if you don't have stuff on your table it might be okay.

My place is large enough for the front-door type, but door placements and all the junk I have make it hard to find a place to fit a freezer. Definitely not in the kitchen. Mine is in the garage and now used as a pantry for storing pans and stuff and a few canned food items. Have stuff in there that I want to not freeze now.



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GLIOWIENRAYNA's Photo GLIOWIENRAYNA Posts: 68
4/2/14 5:07 P

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I bet that would work for some arrangements. Alas...I actually have a desk in there, I have a moonlighting job I do at night.

I tried redoing the bedroom to fit it in there...still pondering that set up. The joys of living in a small 2 bedroom with narrow hallway.

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HOUNDLOVER1's Photo HOUNDLOVER1 Posts: 8,869
4/2/14 4:54 P

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Someone on another team gave me the great idea to put it in the living room (behind the couch?) and cover it with a big table cloth.
Birgit

BE THE CHANGE YOU WANT TO SEE IN OTHERS.

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GLIOWIENRAYNA's Photo GLIOWIENRAYNA Posts: 68
4/2/14 4:39 P

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Girl....you read my mind!

I live in a tiny place now. I keep rearranging trying to find a way to fit in a little chest freezer and still be able to put a table in the kitchen.

So.....how would it work to have a freezer, then put the the table OVER the freezer? I don't have to put my legs under the table....LOL

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FANCYQTR's Photo FANCYQTR Posts: 13,688
4/2/14 4:38 P

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Stocking up in the fall is a great idea. I had a big freezer, but it crashed completely last summer. Had to use both my neighbor's freezer and mine to save the food I had. Both are really small top of fridge freezers.

I see your problem there with prices. It's that way a lot in the mountains around here. I think most of the small towns still keep their prices fairly close to those in the city, though not quite the same around here. I am sure glad we haven't had the weather you had. Don't think I would last long.



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HOUNDLOVER1's Photo HOUNDLOVER1 Posts: 8,869
4/2/14 4:28 P

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Seems like the kind of situation where a giant freezer and a big pantry would come in handy, even for a single person. Then you could stock up in the fall.

Birgit

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GLIOWIENRAYNA's Photo GLIOWIENRAYNA Posts: 68
4/2/14 4:21 P

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I did a half share CSA, and I am splitting it with a single lady neighbor, so it was doable, at least this year. Who knows about next?

The farm it comes from started her greens in he hot house with a tarp and heater in February but did loose some plants when the temp hit -50*F (windchill) and ambient temp was -25*....you just can't heat a green house hot enough when it's like that. But anyway....hothouse greens will start the first of May (we hope).

I live way out in farm country, in a little town of about 3000 people. The nearest store of any size is about 35 minutes away, and WalMart is about 45 minutes away, so the local market, especially in bad weather is the only option and they know it, so it's uber expensive. But there has been snow on the ground since before October....and bad roads a majority of the time, so shopping local has been necessary.

Thank goodness summer is coming!

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HOUNDLOVER1's Photo HOUNDLOVER1 Posts: 8,869
4/2/14 4:17 P

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Getting half or even a quarter CSA share can be a great idea. As far as frozen fruit, they don't even sell the sweetened kind here, except for strawberries. The less expensive ones are not organic and probably heavily sprayed, so moderation is a good idea anyhow.
I thought for a long time that I could not live without fruit and focus now on staying with lower-sugar fruit and reduce the amount. One slice of apple when a family member has one provides all the taste I need. If I feel like more I know it is either a sugar craving (last summer I sometimes had 5 pears from our tree in one day or even in one sitting) or I'm actually thirsty. I fill a glass with water, add a slice of lemon or orange and after I've emptied 12 oz. of that I know if I really still feel the need for fruit.
Birgit

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FANCYQTR's Photo FANCYQTR Posts: 13,688
4/2/14 2:45 P

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Wow, those are high prices. Our lettuce is now at $1.79/head for leaf types. Don't know what for iceberg since I can't eat it. We have been having a lot of sales for berries, which is a blessing for me since I like them. Frozen ones, though, are $3.49 when on sale for the sugar-sweetened container that is mostly juice. The bags are around $5, I think, and most of them sugar-sweetened, too. I will get them on sale if they are not sweetened, though.

Giving up fruits is one thing that keeps me from the really low carb diets, since I can't manage to do that. I would end up going nuts if I did that. I did when I was first diagnosed because the NP told me that I could not eat any fruit. Then the diabetes educator asked me why there were no fruits on my eating lists and told me to eat fruit. I don't eat a lot and my veggies usually end up tomatoes, sometimes asparagus, and spinach.

I understand about the healthy eating being out of people's budgets. Everything around here that goes for a healthy diet is usually high priced. Can get fruits and veggies low priced, but if you want meat it is only the high fat that is low (except chicken when it is on sale is okay). Ground Turkey is $4.99/lb and up. The Farmer's Markets are higher priced than the grocery stores, though they do have more local produce once it starts coming in (usually July to October). I would like to try one of those CSAs, but can't manage that much money all at once or eat as much as it would give. Maybe I can figure a way to share one with a friend. It's nice that in Iowa you start getting stuff from them in May. We can't plant until the middle of May.

Russell, I hope that I can reach the level you have with your control. I haven't got the results of my last A1c, though I know it isn't anywhere near normal yet. Might manage to get it below 7 by June. Still have to get more active like you are. Congratulations on keeping it there.



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RUSSELL_40's Photo RUSSELL_40 Posts: 16,826
4/2/14 11:48 A

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I don't understand why fruit/vegetables are so expensive. I can buy a large bag of seedless oranges here for $4, and a head of lettuce for 99 cents. Are you buying organic? I eat canned No Salt veggies, which cost me 50 or 59 cents, and are 3.5 servings each.

Hopefully your costs come down with Spring coming.

"We can't solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them "

- Albert Einstein

“Whether you think you can, or you think you can't--you're right.”

- Henry Ford


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GLIOWIENRAYNA's Photo GLIOWIENRAYNA Posts: 68
4/2/14 11:39 A

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Everything I go has to be frozen. I moved to Iowa from the Southern most tip of Missouri and was not at all prepared for the cost of food to more than triple.

I do buy berries frozen at Wally World when I am in town, and use about a tablespoon in my smoothies. Same goes for most vegis....which means most things have to be cooked, which i'm actually not a fan of most things cooked....

So with the coming of Spring, and the Farmer's Market where it's fresh and organic, I am so excited to have the simple things, like a lettuce salad!

Head of lettuce last week? $7.....people who say you can eat healthy as cheaply as unhealthy have never lived on Ramen Noodles and Mac and Cheese during lean weeks! LOL

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HOUNDLOVER1's Photo HOUNDLOVER1 Posts: 8,869
4/2/14 11:29 A

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We can buy a pound of good quality frozen berries for about 4 dollars (less when on sale). At 3 oz./serving that works out to about 5 servings and 80 cents/serving. Maybe something to do once or twice a week as a treat as it is much cheaper and far lower in sugar than oranges.

Birgit

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GLIOWIENRAYNA's Photo GLIOWIENRAYNA Posts: 68
4/2/14 11:14 A

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Now that spring might finally be around the corner here in Iowa, I hope to increase my vegitables by quite a bit....but right now? Oranges are $2-$3 EACH...in fact all berries are out of my budget, and vegis are mostly frozen, the fresh ones are outrageous and not very good quality. I bought into a CSA share this year....I'm anxious for it to start in May

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1CRAZYDOG's Photo 1CRAZYDOG Posts: 418,869
4/2/14 10:16 A

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Oh my little sis has kidney disease too (stage 4) and dietary issues are HUGE! I agree . . . I may have to dive into that Krispy Kreme and other "naughties" head first too if there were any more.

Love is the root of all things good in life.


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GLIOWIENRAYNA's Photo GLIOWIENRAYNA Posts: 68
4/2/14 9:16 A

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1crazydog: I think that sums up how I feel. I am on a low phosphorous/low sodium diet for kidney function, and that takes legumes, whole grains, and a few other things off the "table"....if I were restricted anymore I think I would loose all motivation and just dive face first into Coke over ice and a plate of Krispy Kremes

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1CRAZYDOG's Photo 1CRAZYDOG Posts: 418,869
4/2/14 9:00 A

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Russell: Just your one sentence says it all to me. "
Still, the idea that I would have to give up onions, tomatoes, and peas, as well as fruit, would leave me with almost no fruitveggies that I really love." Life is too short to feel deprived, and you are wise to continue on the path you're on. It IS hard being on Coumadin . . . it does limit what you can eat.

I have Hashimotos thyroiditis, in addition to my controlled type 2, so that also limits the foods I can eat. The thought of limiting it even further, not appealing, and I don't think it's something I could follow for the rest of my life. THAT'S ultimately what it's all about. . . doing what we can sustain for the long haul.

Love is the root of all things good in life.


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HOUNDLOVER1's Photo HOUNDLOVER1 Posts: 8,869
4/2/14 8:38 A

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Russell,
I'm with you on not wanting to give up some of the foods I like a lot. Berries and the occasional apple are in that category as are onions. Even the very occasional piece of sugar-free chocolate is something I want to be able to have.
Beans are in a different category for me, they are almost as bad as grains and potatoes and I have no temptation at all to try them ever again.
What you say about doctors not even aiming for normal blood sugars is so important. We need to shoot for much higher goals than the very mediocre standards that so many physicians have. Being in the pre-diabetic range is better than being in the diabetic range but it should not be the goal for most diabetics, just a stepping stone to the goal.
I will do everything possible to get to 5.0 or very close to it. I'm planning on another A1c test this week to see if I have made any progress towards my goal compared to where I was at 5.8 a month ago and will monitor blood sugars closely and regularly until then.
I found yesterday that when I did not exercise much (was sitting in the car a lot) that my blood sugars were about 10 points higher on average, so being fairly active throughout the day is a very important part of keeping blood sugars low for me.

Birgit

Edited by: HOUNDLOVER1 at: 4/2/2014 (09:15)
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RUSSELL_40's Photo RUSSELL_40 Posts: 16,826
4/2/14 8:10 A

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Thanks for the responses everyone. The reason for wanting to get to 4.2-4.6 is purely that Bernstein says that is a normal range for the average person. I feel incredible these past 3 years that I was below 5.4, especially since getting below 200 lbs. That isn't why I am trying to get below 5.0. If 4.2-4.6 is normal, then I doubt it can be harmful to get there as long as the method you use isn't drastic.

I don't know if these fiber crackers ( GG crackers? ) are just what he chooses to eat, and if I could just stick to the 30 grams a day, and skip the foods he says to. It may also be so he can get his fiber. I find I really don't need fiber, as long as I eat 65% fat, but at my current level 60-70 grams, I am getting 15-20 grams of fiber.

Still, the idea that I would have to give up onions, tomatoes, and peas, as well as fruit, would leave me with almost no fruitveggies that I really love. I can eat broccoli a couple times a week, or salad, but have to limit greens due to A-fib, and being on Coumadin. So maybe my other health issues prohibit me from doing something as strict as Bernstein's diet. I was kind of hoping to hear that someone did his diet, maybe with different foods, and got similar results ( 4.2-4.6 ). Right now, while I would love to have his blood sugars, the menu he showed me in his book sounds horrible.

So along with replacing my heart valve, I think getting below 5.0 will have to go on my " I'll do it eventually " list. Something I may need to do in the future, but not really looking forward to.

I do limit fruit to 3 ozs berries, or 1/2 an apple, but have worked hard in gym, with daily walking, and weight loss, to be able to fit peas, and kidney beans BACK into my diet. I think that getting the 5.0 just kind of made me think I am so close, maybe I should try for 4.5.

I think my decision is that I will just enjoy my diet, and if that means I stay at 5.0-5.5 A1C, that should be enough.

As far as my doctor is concerned, he is happy with anything below 7.0, and giddy about anything below 6.5, even if I accomplished that while taking medication, so without medication, he is doing back-flips. If my next A1C was 6.4, he would probably hug me, and cry, and praise me. The average goals that doctors set for diabetics are so mediocre that I passed them a long time ago. My blood sugars are very stable, and low, so he doesn't even check my blood sugars, unless I ask him to. Considering that ALL of my health benefits are because I decided to ignore their advice, and do low carb, I think that starting to listen now would be counter-productive. We have a mutual agreement that I never use the words low carb, and he will just pretend he doesn't know I eat that way. He love the results, but not the method, so I just use him to handle issues that arise FROM my health problems, such as any sores I might develop, or if I had chest pain/A-fib. While my diet has done wonders, I still wake up some days and find out I am still diabetic, and some cut isn't healing right, or that I need to lower BP meds because it dropped below 90/65 again. Other than that, we just high 5 every 3 months, and he gives me pills. He knows that if I had followed his methods, I would probably be dead, so we don't really speak of diet.

Thanks for all the input. I guess I kind of knew that the Bernstein method was a little more extreme than even I want to do, but figured someone else might have done it. I just enjoy my veggies and fruit a little too much to imagine myself eating tasteless foods just to get below 5.0. I do think that at my next visit, I may ask my doc if there are any health benefits of having a 4.6 A1C, over a 5.2 As many of you have experienced first hand though, a lot of doctors don't have a clue. They are taught how to get patients below 6.5-7.0, while still on meds, so health benefits of a diabetic patient who isn't on meds, and has a 4.6 A1C may not have been covered. emoticon I am always encouraged to see that other diabetics are getting below 6.0, and have to wonder why the goal isn't normal blood sugar levels, and possibly getting off meds, if so many people can do so.



"We can't solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them "

- Albert Einstein

“Whether you think you can, or you think you can't--you're right.”

- Henry Ford


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1CRAZYDOG's Photo 1CRAZYDOG Posts: 418,869
4/1/14 8:35 P

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Thank you. It has taken lots of patience in tweaking nutrition, but well worth the effort.

Love is the root of all things good in life.


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GEORGE815's Photo GEORGE815 Posts: 103,464
4/1/14 8:19 P

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Congrats Crazydog on your 5.2 score. I hit a 6.2 after soon be diagnosed. My hats off to you.

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I.M.MAGIC's Photo I.M.MAGIC Posts: 13,196
4/1/14 7:59 P

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Russell, it really is your choice, of course, between you and your medical team.

For myself? I do eat crackers, but only as an occasional side dish, and never as a substitute for something.

There are all kinds of nutrients in "real" foods, found in nature, that we are only now learning about. I don't believe a man-made product can ever reproduce or take the place of that... and why should they, when we have the "real thing?"

Crackers do not grow on trees--or any where else in nature, for that matter. LOL

I'd rather take a fiber supplement that has little or no calories and no taste at all, than substitute a cracker for some lovely veggies... and I do take that supplement, because it has been prescribed as part of my maintenance and prevention for cancer: because of their mineral content affecting my kidneys, I can't eat enough veggies to make up what I need. We're all different, so...

You and your doctor know your needs. Choose what you think is best for you!... I know you'll make a good decision!

Be well, friend!
Kathy emoticon

"The real secret of success is enthusiasm..." thanks, Walter P. Chrysler. I believe it. That's what I want in my life--to give my imagination a chance, to live with energy and enthusiasm!
P.S. I looked up enthusiasm, and it says the root words mean God within... interesting...!

Ralph Waldo Emerson said 'Life belongs to the energetic.' But you don't have to be frenetic and hyper--some energy is quiet and steady, like a heartbeat... and that works too! LOL

Life comes one mome


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1CRAZYDOG's Photo 1CRAZYDOG Posts: 418,869
3/31/14 8:22 P

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I guess the one thing I'd ask is how do you FEEL with your A1C right now? I manage my type 2 with diet and exercise too, and am happy with my A1C of 5.2.



Love is the root of all things good in life.


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HOUNDLOVER1's Photo HOUNDLOVER1 Posts: 8,869
3/31/14 6:30 P

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I guess we all need a reminder once in a while that diabetes can kill. To me it's the idea of understanding that I can fall off the cliff and to learn how to stay as far away from the cliff as possible rather than playing around with how close to the cliff I can get and not fall.
This is what makes it appealing for me to get my body as close to normal functioning as possible. I agree that never eating any fruit at all seems pretty extreme and for some people may set up cravings (emotional, not physical) for what we can't have. I am personally just going to keep the servings very small: 3-4 oz. of berries, 1/4 apple, I chunk of pineapple, 1/4 orange etc. so I can have the taste as a special treat. It makes those fruits really special and saves a ton of money to boot.
We used to go through 10 lbs. of apples in less than a week, now they last at least 6 weeks.
Birgit

Edited by: HOUNDLOVER1 at: 3/31/2014 (18:31)
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FANCYQTR's Photo FANCYQTR Posts: 13,688
3/31/14 5:26 P

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I think that she was one of those people who has "fragile" diabetes or whatever it is called when it is hard to get control over anything. It has shown how much of a problem it is when you cannot get coverage for testing supplies or anything. Her company and her family didn't care anything about her. It was an ex-employer who took care of her funeral. I think if she had the supplies to test more that she would not have had all the problems with going too low and might still be around now. It was very sad when we heard of her passing.



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HOUNDLOVER1's Photo HOUNDLOVER1 Posts: 8,869
3/31/14 4:34 P

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I think the lower the blood sugar is within the normal range, the more important it gets for people who are on insulin and/or diabetes drugs to monitor their blood sugars very closely. I can imagine if someone just cuts the carbs and continues insulin and diabetes drugs that they would have low blood sugars that are dangerous. The Bernstein book explains in great detail how to manage blood sugars closely, recommending frequent testing throughout the day. It also says to watch very closely and immediately lower insulin/medications when lowering carbs in the diet.
Birgit

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FANCYQTR's Photo FANCYQTR Posts: 13,688
3/31/14 2:50 P

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I read a few months ago that studies they have done say that control bringing the A1c to below 5.0 (or it might nave been a bit higher than that, even) were doing more harm than good. I cannot give a source anymore. So I don't know how good that would be to go that low.

I started reading Bernstein's book and knew I couldn't handle his diet, so I can't tell you anything much about it. I wouldn't have problems giving up peas since I don't care for them anyway, but I couldn't give up all fruit or things like that. I know there was someone on a list that I am on that followed Bernstein's diet and she was always getting lows. Lost her job because of all the lows, but she swore by that diet. I do not know what happened in the end, if she had a low she couldn't come out of or what, but she passed away last year.

I don't use my meter often like most people do, but did ask for a prescription for strips this year to be able to see what eating some meals with minimal carbs and some with lower than the normally recommended amount of carbs would do to my BS. Guess that is the best way to see what Bernstein's does. For the most part, Russell, you have had good control and I think what you are doing is right for you, but that is between you and your doctor.



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HOUNDLOVER1's Photo HOUNDLOVER1 Posts: 8,869
3/31/14 1:23 P

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I still have not read the Bernstein book enough in detail to answer the question for myself if going below 5 A1c would be worth it. I do know there is very clear evidence that anything above a 5.3 is definitely too high, and my last one was still 5.8
With monitoring exactly how my body responds to different foods and including about 90 minutes of exercise (some moderate cardio, some strength training, some sprinting), I am now pretty sure I can get very close to 5.
I guess I will decide then if getting below is worth it.
I think one of my important criteria is whether I can get my fasting blood sugars consistently below 100. I have read more evidence now that determining this is possibly the best indicator if my body has a relatively normal insulin response (type 1 and type 2) that allows it to process any blood sugar created through gluconeogenesis in the liver at night.
After 2 days of almost fasting (1 meal/day) low-carb my morning blood sugar was down to 85 this morning. I decided to allow myself my favorite breakfast of full-fat yogurt and berries with almonds and see if my blood sugar will stay under 100 or close.
Russell,
I think you have done amazingly well. My doctor's words I agree with in principle: "optimal looks different for someone who is 20 compared to someone who is 40 or 50."
But the definition of optimal that she has is still not the same as my definition of optimal. I think you are definitely in the range of A1c that is considered ideal by most people's standards. With reading more about the Rosedale diet and the link between any carb consumption/sugar levels in blood, I am also wondering if there is further benefits in increasing length and quality of life by setting even lower ideals.
I guess if it is not painful I would say "Why not?". If it pushes your comfort level too much may not. I could see the potential for restoring health of other organs (heart among them) to go for extra-low in the mid 4's but I doubt that there is too much research on it to know for sure. You could try for a number of months and see what happens as long as your doctor is aware of what you are doing and can monitor existing medications.
Great thread! We need to try to optimize our health, not just get by for a long and good quality of life.
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Birgit


Edited by: HOUNDLOVER1 at: 3/31/2014 (13:41)
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GLIOWIENRAYNA's Photo GLIOWIENRAYNA Posts: 68
3/31/14 10:58 A

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What does your doctor say the benefits of being below 5.0 are?

There can be "too much of a good thing?....we need some sugar to keep our organs working, so I'm curious why you feel it's necessary to get so far below what is generally thought "optimal" of 5.0?

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CANNINGNANNY's Photo CANNINGNANNY SparkPoints: (558,030)
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3/31/14 10:52 A

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Hi Russell...Sorry I can't help with the Bernstein thing...But I did want to congratulate you on ALL of your Accomplishments...
Way to Go !!!

Patti / NE Ohio Zone 5
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RUSSELL_40's Photo RUSSELL_40 Posts: 16,826
3/31/14 10:31 A

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When I found out I was diabetic, my first blood sugar was 526, and I weighed over 350 lbs. (2002)

The first goal they gave me was a 7.0 Hemoglobin A1C, and told me to aim for 130 daily blood sugars. At that time my morning blood sugars ranged from 180-300, and after eating breakfast might go UP, might go DOWN, but were always high. After 7 years on the " diabetic diet ", I was still over 350, but I was below 8.0 A1C, and had days where I didn't go over 150 blood sugars.

That was in 2009, and at that point, I read Dr.Atkins New Diet Revolution, and decided my heart problem was a bigger, and more immediate problem than diabetes. So I started Atkins, with the goal of rapid weight loss. I ate lots of meat, butter, and eggs, and not much else. On day 2, I had a low blood sugar for the first time. My entire first year, I had been taking 1000 mg Metformin twice daily, as well as 4 mg Amaryl immediately upon waking, to lower morning blood sugars. Within 3 months, they dropped my Amaryl, because they tested my fasting blood sugar at doc appointment, and it was 86. After 6 months, my A1C was 6.2, so they dropped my Metformin to 500 mg twice daily ( easier pill to swallow ). Finally at 1 year, I was down to 5.4 A1C, and they removed all my diabetes pills.

Remember that I never started Atkins to help with my diabetes. It was purely for weight loss. In fact up until recently, when I re-read the book, I didn't know it had anything about diabetes. I had skipped those chapters, just to get to how to do the diet. Along the way, I have learned to space out my carbs, and don't have any issues with low blood sugars. Certainly losing 180 lbs. has helped,but also what I eat has too.

Anyways, I am always looking to improve my A1C number, and recently read that 4.2-4.6 is normal, and according to Dr. Bernstein is possible. So that has been my goal. I had been at 5.1-5.4 for the past 3 years, but now that 4.2 is " possible ", that seemed high. I have started exercising at the gym again, and increased walking to 45-60 minutes a day, and on March 5th, I had my A1C tested again.

I finally decided to get 2 Berstein books, and read the first one. What I read was amazing. How he used his blood sugar readings to determine what to eat, mirrors my own experience.
However, when I read what he eats to get his blood sugars so low, including fiber crackers, I didn't like the sound of that.

The other day I got my bloodwork back. My overall cholesterol, triglyderides, and LDL went up a little ( still very low ), but my HDL aslo went up to 46 ( previous high was 37 ), and my A1C was down to 5.0.

So now I am wondering if 5.0 is good enough, and if eating like Bernstein does is necessary to get below 5.0 A1C. He is a Type 1 diabetic, and I am type 2, and I am not sure if I am willing to eat crackers to get below 5.0. Currently I eat 8-12 servings of veggies and some macadamia nuts to get my carbs, and crackers sounds terrible. The food I eat is delicious, and is real food. I cheat every so often, and I think how strict I have been these past 6 months, as well as losing another 30 lbs. is behind the new low A1C, but I only have 21 lbs. left to lose, and it is more likely that I will bounce back up to a 5.2, instead of dropping lower.

Should I just be happy with the 5.0, and forget about 4.2-4.6?
Has anyone here followed the Bernstein way of eating, and seen those results?
Would you cut real food like peas, and substitute a cracker to achieve lower A1C?

I would like to hear opinions on this topic, because it would mean a huge dietary change to go for 4.2-4.6, and while I know a lot of people who are on low carb, especially at my current levels ( 60-70 grams a day.. 45-50 NET ), I don't see any diabetics, who say they follow Bernstein's diet. I already feel more isolated doing low carb, instead of the normal diet for diabetes, but when I talked about it, many people came out and said they also did low carb, and were off pills because of it. I am wondering if a similar phenomenon is happening with Bernstein, or if it is just too strict, and I would be even more isolated than on low carb.



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