Posts Tagged ‘type 1 diabetes’

Goodbye to Raw, Hello to Paleo…

It has been many months since I updated the Raw Diabetic….and for a good reason.  My health has been suffering and I’ve spent the past few months dedicated to finding the root of the problem.

Unfortunately, I have ultimately discovered that the raw diet was the perpetrator in my situation.
I may disappoint some, and some may argue against this….but from my own personal experience, I do believe the diet royally screwed me up.
Rewind to February, when my levels started becoming unpredictable.  I was eating the exact same way, yet what used to work, was not working anymore.  My hair started falling out,  my digestion went awry (constipation, then diarrhea, then constipation again).  I was in a constant state of brain fog and fatigue.  The energy I once had plummeted to near nothing.  My blood sugar levels started to run high, then higher…I needed to take more insulin again.  Bloating to the point of looking pregnant became the norm.   Mood swings, anxiety, mouth sores, dizziness, lack of coordination, shortness of breath, irregular menstrual cycle, lack of patience…. I could go on and on.
I didn’t think it was the diet at first….of course not!  This is the healthiest diet in the world! (Or so I thought).
So I proceeded to see many different types of doctors (including a neurologist, gynecologist, ophthalmologist, dermatologist)  and then eventually a naturopath.  The naturopath, I assumed,  would be impressed by my “perfect diet” but instead, she told me to eat meat!   She said all the raw vegan patients she has seen are not well!  Well, I heard what she said, but I didn’t let it sink in.
This wasn’t easy for me.  I thought maybe I just needed to eat less nuts, or make sure to soak them?  I had let all the dogmatic teachings of the raw vegan lifestyle brainwash me.  Over the next couple months, I flip-flopped back and forth between raw vegan, eating chicken occasionally, not eating meat, only eating fish, to just eating a cooked vegan diet.  I was really struggling with the concept of eating meat.
One day, I remembered an inspiring ‘hero’ of mine: Jenna Phillips.   She is a personal trainer in California who also has Type 1 Diabetes.   Her goal is to inspire others in beating this disease with fitness and nutrition and taking the least amount of insulin as possible.   So I decided to ask her (via her Facebook page) what type of nutrition she follows?
Jenna was generous enough to let me call her on the phone so we could chat about her diet.
This was very exciting for me, as I’d been following her for a while, which included working out to one of her exerciseTV videos.
I would have loved to have talked to her longer than I did, but in our short conversation, she let me know she eats a Paleo diet.
This means eating meat….and LOTS of it!   Protein, Veggies and fat at every meal is what she recommended.  She obtains all her carbohydrates from veggies.
So I ran to the library, checked out “The Paleo Solution,”  did some research online, and made a complete 180 in my purchase decisions at the grocery store.
Eating this much meat, especially red meat, seemed very foreign to me.  My catholic upbringing also gave me a good dose of guilt as I chowed down on steaks, ground beef, chicken, pork chop, deli ham, and turkey.   But you know what?
I woke up!   The constant brain fog that haunted me was lifted and I literally felt like I woke up.  All of a sudden, I had energy, my mood swings disappeared, and my blood sugar levels were doing pretty darn good too!   I desperately needed the nutrients that these amazing animals were able to provide my helpless body.
So, currently, I am sticking with this “Paleo” style of eating.  I will be avoiding all dairy, soy, corn, grains, legumes, and fruit (berries on occasion).  In the “Paleo Solution,”  I really related to the author, Robb Wolf, who was also a long-term vegan before he ate this way.   Many of the health complaints I was experiencing, he had experienced as well.  The more internet research I did on vegans switching to ‘Paleo,’  the more I realized I was not alone.
My sunny short-term accounts of eating a raw food diet should be viewed as such.  It worked very well at first…but I believe cutting out dairy, grains, and caffeine is where the real credit should be given.   As a quick cleanse, eating nothing but veggies might be great, but I can no longer recommend this diet as a long-term way of life.  Who knows what might have happened to me if I continued eating this way?   I was low on Vitamin B12 (even though I supplemented) and a host of other nutrients I was unable to obtain from such extremism.  Balance is key.  I may still make some raw veggie dishes that I learned from my time on the diet, but I’ll be making it as a side dish alongside my meat from now on.

A bump in the road…

Today has been a rough day. My sugar levels have been amazing for the past two weeks of eating raw vegan, but last night I got myself into trouble. Tonight is a holiday potluck at my friend, Julie’s house. I wanted to bring a yummy raw dessert and decided on making a chocolate strawberry mousse pie. Now, typically I only use Stevia when I create something sweet for myself, but I wanted to save the amount I had left and also please the palates of the guests, so I used a combo of soaked dates and raw honey. Well, while creating this lovely pie, I was taking taste tests to make sure it was turning out right (bad idea). All the itty bitty tastes definitely added up and spiked my sugar level. As any seasoned type 1 diabetic knows, once your sugar is spiked, it’s difficult to return to balance without going on a roller-coaster ride. I’m trying to ease it down with small amounts of insulin but it’s been in the low 200s since last night. This of course has given me a depressed and negative attitude for most of the day. I’m reminding myself however that I am actually doing a really good job and this is just a bump in the road.

Today I had a green smoothie made with spinach, a little leftover kale, Stevia, a couple spoonfuls of Greek yogurt, nutiva hemp protein powder, and half a small apple with a small handful of walnuts on the side.

For lunch I ate a large spinach salad with cherry tomatoes, 1/2 avocado, green pepper, a few baby carrots, sunflower seeds, flax oil, sea salt, and apple cider vinegar.

I have not tested my post lunch blood sugar reading yet,…so I am about to do so and will let you know what I end up with. ((drumroll….))

88! What a relief…!

With perseverance all things are possible. 🙂

To our health!

Discovering hope!

Hello world! I’ve decided that I ought to start blogging about my journey through plant-based foods as a type 1 diabetic. My progressive results have been extremely hopeful and I am inspired to share my experiences so that I may hopefully inspire and support others’ journeys.

Just to clarify, I am a type 1 diabetic (which means my pancreas no longer makes insulin) and I’ve been so for 18 years. Type 2 diabetes is the more common type these days, and anytime you hear someone talk about diabetes, nine times out of ten, they are referring to type 2. The general public typically does not know the difference between the two, which can be very irritating.

Anyways, I’m sure I’ll post more on this in the future (especially on the preposterous claims that type 1 is curable with diet- which it is not! Only type 2 diabetics have the means to reverse and wean themselves off of medications). Insulin to me is like water- I will always need it to survive. However, I do believe diet (especially now!)can heal the body in extraordinary ways, and decrease the amount of insulin that it’s dependent upon.
The last two weeks, I have taken coffee, meat, and dairy out of my diet. I was eating generally healthy before, but my sugar levels were not in control (generally ranging from 180-300), I was often fatigued (which I tried to combat with coffee), and I felt an overall sense of poor health. I did try eating as low carb as possible, even tried following Dr Richard K Bernstein’s diet (which worked for my levels but left me feeling very unhealthy and hungry).

My goal on this blog Is to record what I eat, recipes, and a general overview of what the raw vegan lifestyle has accomplished for my health. Please share your experiences- we can all learn from each other.

To our health!