Monday, February 23, 2015

What is your diet called?

The world is full of diets. The internet makes it easy to feel overwhelmed due to all the diet advice we are bombarded with every day. Add diabetes into the mix and it can quickly become ridiculous! 

“You should eat a well-balanced diet that includes whole grains.”

“Low carb! If you eat a low carb diet you will be…”

“Avoid the fats, for heaven’s sake! Low fat everything is the way to go!”
“Eat lots of fat!”

“Buy my pre-made meals and you will lose pounds and gain confidence.”

“Take this pill/drink these smoothies/ingest this supplement for a skinnier you!”

Confused yet? I don’t blame you. It’s important to realize that most of these pitches are just that: pitches to entice you to spend money on their products. Now, there is legitimate information out there from doctors and medical websites or health blogs but even they don’t agree on what is the healthiest way to eat! Take, for instance, the back and forth you can read these days on whether saturated fat is bad for you as we’ve been told for decades. Or, the recent revelation that dietary cholesterol isn’t bad for us after all. It often takes years for the medical community to get up to speed on new ideas in the dietary world and there will always be dissention in the ranks. So what is a person to do?

I’ve written before about how important it is for people with diabetes, especially type 2 folks, to pay attention to what your meter tells you. You can’t rely on someone else’s advice about whether or not you can eat a certain food. You and your meter have to figure that out for yourselves.

There are many proponents of a low carb lifestyle for weight loss and controlling blood glucose. Some say high fat to go along with it and others tout higher protein. It seems like a no-brainer to reduce or stop eating processed carbs but that doesn’t mean it’s an easy thing to do. I feel that reducing my carb intake makes it so much easier to see better blood glucose readings. It’s not always easy to shun the carbs but it’s getting easier these days and I feel better for it. I feel as if I have more control over myself and am less under the spell of processed foods. Does that mean my level of carb intake will work for you? I dunno. 

I was excited to read this blog post at, written by an M.D. that finally says that people with type 2 diabetes should reduce the amount of carbs they’re eating in order to better control their diabetes and ward off possible complications. This isn’t just someone’s opinion, this is brought forth by a reputable diabetes medical organization after research. I highly recommend that you go read it. Go ahead…I’ll wait.

Regardless of how you feel about carb amounts, vegan, paleo or cinnamon, you will eventually need to settle on some type of eating plan to best control your diabetes. You should decide what you can eat and quit letting the food rule your life.

Personally, I eat a lower carb diet that avoids processed carbs. That means I don’t eat bread or pasta. No wheat flour. No sugar. No boxed foods, no crackers or cookies (unless they’re the low-carb ones I make myself). If it’s “convenient”, I don’t eat it. (Not to say that there aren’t amazing foods I eat that are easy to make.) I have found that I can’t eat starchy vegetables so I avoid potatoes, carrots and peas (never liked peas so that’s not a big loss). “Sweets” are only those I’ve made myself that are low carb. I try to consume lots of leafy veggies, zucchini, peppers, avocado and other fats like butter, cheese...lots of yummy stuff. Chicken, fish (especially baked salmon…yum!) and even beef. The one thing it all has in common is that it's real food.

So what do I call my diet? I’ve decided to call it Esther. Esther was my paternal grandmother’s name. She is the lone ancestor (that I’m aware of) who also had type 2 diabetes. In honor of her, I’m calling my diet Esther to remind myself that, despite my genetic propensity to develop diabetes, I can attempt to control the bugger by eating foods that make sense for me. I’ve created a diet that works for me; picking and choosing from the information I’ve found online instead of listening to someone else tell me what to do. We are all individuals with individual needs. Who says we can’t have our own diet? What name will you give yours?


  1. T2s should just eat less and move more.

    1. I can't begin to count the ways that your comment is wrong. Wrong, and misinformed. I've written my response here: (Since this doesn't show up as a link, you can find it as the next post.) I hope you'll go and read it and maybe you'll understand a bit better that weight loss (which wasn't my goal in this post) and attempting to control type 2 diabetes are anything but simple.

  2. My doctor told me to eat less and move more. T2 for 50 years.

    1. I don't know you or your doctor but I have to ask, has it worked? How does that make you feel? While it's true that most people should eat less and get more exercise, it's wrong to throw out a blanket response to the issue of excess weight and blood glucose control. Everyone is different and one thing doesn't work for everyone. I would never condone ignoring a doctor's advice, but I would encourage people to think for themselves and research what works best for them. Doctors are educated but that doesn't mean they know everything. It's ok to speak up and ask questions. Bless you for living with diabetes for so long. I wish you well.

  3. Maybe the Esther diet can come to my house also:-) My problem these days is that I have strong views on what I should and should not be eating, but the "should nots" are showing up too often. Being on insulin gives me more flexibility in what I eat than those on you just on oral meds. Unfortunately for me it is almost impossible to match insulin action to a lot of carbs.

    I am looking forward to the UnConference and will be interested to discuss food issues with a group made up of T1's and T2's.

    Good post, Kate.

  4. Hi Kate! I just wanted to comment that I have eaten real food over 4 months and called it eating clean. I lost 30 pounds and never once counted a calorie or a carb. My blood glucose fasting levels stayed around 130. But I couldn't stand not eating bread or ice cream and started eating carbs again. It is a real struggle!
    Diet is complicated!

  5. I love it!!! Calling a diet by a person's name instead of all that other nonsense. Kudos!!!!


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