Not long after we turned 60 my husband learned that he had type 2 diabetes. He was shocked! this was not part of our retirement plan! We wanted to travel the world, have fun, serve as volunteers, and especially: enjoy our grandchildren! He asked me to do the research, tell him what to eat and what to do, and he promised to do it - and he kept that promise - and it worked. From high doses of two meds that didn't fully control his blood sugar to his doctor taking him off all medication (little by little) in less than a year. Now we are serving in the same nation where our daughter - with her husband and ten children- are helping orphans :) This is me with my current two year old grandchild.
What Dennis Did to Beat Type 2 Diabetes
1. Eat lots of vegetables 6 to 7 servings a day (LOTS of variety) & 2-3 fruits *
2. Keep carbs to small servings of whole grains, legumes, yams, corn . . . (max 45 grams per meal)
3. Eat healthy fats: EVO, nuts, avocado, fish, flax seed, sunflower seeds etc.
4. Limit portion size: eat when physically hungry & stop when you begin to feel satisfied
5. Always accompany carbs with protein, fiber, or healthy oils to slow sugar absorption
6. Walk miles each day (including a walk after meals)
7. 5 minutes or more of muscle building exercise most days - weights, push-ups, etc.
8. Have healthy treats in small amounts: dark chocolate (70%+) with nuts, Activia yogurt with fiber
9. Cook from scratch or carefully read ingredients - looking for added carbs
10. Natural & organic: your liver is a major factor in sugar metabolism so avoid artificial ingredients.
11. Eliminate all deep fried foods and trans fats – eat nothing that lists partially hydrogenated oils in ingredients
12. Love, forgive, smile, laugh, pray, have fun, live to please God, trust Jesus.
All you want – in moderation:
Do not limit: quality protein foods (high omega 3 eggs, poultry, lean meats, seafood, nuts, yogurt, kefir ...)
Do not limit low carb fruits (berries, pomegranate, grapefruit) or veggies.
Do not limit healthy high fat / low carb foods (nuts, seeds, avocados, peanut butter . . .)
· Avoid foods with a high glycemic index: sugar; white flour, potatoes, rice, alcoholic beverages, and foods containing these ingredients. (limit to a small serving once or twice a month)
· Avoid carb-containing foods that you have trouble eating only small amounts of (pasta, pizza, bread, etc.) When you do, be VERY careful about the portion – to keep it under 50 carbs in a meal!
· Limit moderately bad fats: canola, soy, and corn.
Never eat this:
· eliminate all trans fats - nothing that lists partially hydrogenated oils in ingredients
· eliminate all deep fried foods
How do you eat that many vegetables and fruits!?
Think: 1 veggie or fruit at breakfast, 2 at lunch, and 3 at dinner - then just have 2 or 3 snacks with veggies or fruit - and TA-DA!! You can do it!
You can also get a lot of vegetables by having a large salad or soup with lots of vegetables for lunch every day. Chili is an excellent food.
There are so many vegetables it is so possible to find a wide variety to enjoy. . We enjoy asparagus, kale, spinach, artichokes, eggplant, summer squash (like zucchini), red & yellow bell pepper, avocados, tomatoes, cucumbers, carrots, broccoli,celery, and frozen or fresh berries. Even people who don't like vegetables need to suffer and just eat the ones they dislike least, and after a few weeks they usually begin to taste good
And there are so many ways to eat them: stir fried, steamed, baked, raw, marinated, grilled, salads (with or without lettuce) . . . Keep ready to eat veggies like red bell pepper chunks, cherry tomatoes, cucumber chunks, carrots, etc. in the fridge. Look for chopped or sliced etc. veggie salad recipe and try one - if you like it, make it a regular. Invent your own salads. Keep a marinated salad in the fridge most of the time
Learn about glycemic index so that you can stay away from foods that quickly raise your blood sugar levels.
Learn how many carbohydrates are in each food - the simplest way is to learn how much of a food makes one 15 gram serving of carbs: ½ cup cooked pasta, 1 corn tortilla. Keep in mind that dietary fiber is actually an indigestible carbohydrate – so you can subtract the carbs of fiber in a food from the total carb count (making foods like beans, peas, carrots, and lentils much lower in useable carbs and calories than they seem on paper).
half the plate two different low carb vegetables (usually a hot vegetable and a small dinner salad)
1/4 to 1/3 plate of high quality protein
¼ plate, or less, high fiber, low glycemic carbohydrate food (beans, lentils, sweet potato, winter squash, granny smith apples, buckwheat, quinoa, are the best choices) . . . Now, after the first two years, he has expanded his choices to include whole grain bread, brown rice, regular potatoes, pasta – but the amounts stay about the same.
Breakfast: (most mornings)
About ½ to ¾ cup oatmeal with walnuts, raisins, and cinnamon, with milk or yogurt and 1-2 eggs
Omelets are a good choice too
Large salad – with an egg, chicken, ham, strips of beef, tuna, cheese
Or similar ingredients as a sandwich in a wrap or on thin wholegrain bread – not over 30 grams of carbs
Snacks: He had Activia yogurt, a granny smith apple, or cut up veggies for snacks, strawberries, sunflower seeds in their shells, some nuts - possibly with a small piece of dark chocolate.
His favorite dessert is frozen berries mixed with plain yogurt and a few drops of organic stevia – stirred together to make “ice cream.” I make homemade kefir and cream cheese from kefir that he mixes with the berries.
He drinks: water, coffee with cream and stevia drops, tea, tomato juice, milk, a little 100% pomegranate juice mixed with sparkling water, homemade seasoned bone broth.
To make it easy to keep carbs under 45 per meal, we only allow 30 grams (two small servings) of carbohydrate foods – that way he can have 15 grams of hidden carbs in milk, carrots, etc without worrying about it.
Healthy oils in nuts, fish, seeds etc are an important part of the diet – they decrease insulin resistance, by rebuilding the cell walls to work better at getting sugar out of the blood and used for energy. They also slow down the digestion of carbs. And they satisfy hunger without raising blood sugar.
He often takes a walk after meals, to allow his body to burn the sugars rather than leaving them circulating in his blood or storing them, as fat or in the liver as ready sugar. He usually walks two to four miles a day. He does a little weight lifting, but for a woman I would highly recommend the TTapp 18 minute workout three times a week. It’s important to increase your muscle mass to burn and store sugar more effectively. It wasn’t until Dennis added the muscle building to all these other things that he was able to go off metformin completely and still have normal blood sugar.
If you do these things you will naturally find yourself at your ideal weight. The fat that is stored around the belly really messes up natural insulin production in many people.
When Dennis stops doing all these things, the diabetes starts to return and he finds himself at prediabetic blood sugar numbers - which of course motivates him to get serious again! He is doing great, he looks great,and it’s been seven years.