I Did It.
Can You Do it?
By Bobbie Jo Lieberman
Although this was a good beginning, my insulin response to the glucose-tolerance test showed considerable weakness. My work was cut out for me!
In addition, we’d receive almost daily “tickler” texts to be sure we were staying on track with our goals, journals and challenges. There was no place to hide!
In my case, learning to stop snacking between meals proved to be my greatest challenge.
Snacking, and specifically snacking on nuts, was my downfall.
I never considered myself as having an addictive personality. I could eat one chocolate-chip cookie and stop right there. I could eat small amounts of chocolate or drink a half glass of wine and be satisfied. I didn’t especially care for candy.
Nuts, although heart-healthy in moderation, are high in fat and calories. A steady stream of nuts wasn’t good for diabetes. The daily allowance was actually very small, I learned, and they are best consumed as part of a meal—made into nut milk in a breakfast smoothie, for example, or chopped and added to a salad. Never alone!
Turns out that four to five hours is the ideal gap to maintain between meals. I also learned that it’s much better to eat two or three satisfying meals a day rather than several smaller meals.
This gives the digestive system, including the pancreas, a chance to rest and heal. My pancreas was showing signs of wear and tear, as evidenced by my lab results, which indicated fairly advanced insulin resistance.
Folks from across the US were signed up for the course. At the beginning of each webinar, we’d do a quick “check-in” during which each of us shared our celebrations and challenges of the week. We could also ask questions throughout via interactive texting. It’s the next best thing to a live conference!
During the first weeks of the program, I became much more aware of my automatic tendency to snack on nuts, especially while traveling or under any kind of stress. I also realized that eating our main meal of the day so late in the evening was setting me up for higher fasting glucose levels in the morning as well as compromised sleep patterns. Making these shifts would prove to be challenging, as my husband Kenny and I live on a ranch with a dozen horses, six cows, five cats and a cattle dog. The animals come first, and we often don’t get back into the house before dark. The upside of that is that we are always moving.
Still, the net effect, group support and sharpened focus on plant-based eating was extremely positive. I gave up the remnants of all dairy, eggs and the occasional wild salmon. I recorded much more frequent blood-glucose readings and kept a journal. About a month later, I rechecked my Aic, which reveals the average reading over the past three months. This critical
value had plunged from 6.3 to 5.3! I was now in the “diabetes-free” zone. If I could stay there or even improve the numbers even a bit more, the likelihood of complications would be erased.
When he began to experience energy crashes and “my own health took a dive,” he began a lifelong journey into the connection between plant-based nutrition and vibrant health.
Whoops—exercise is not enough.
Yes, movement is good, and it’s crucial after meals, but extreme exercise is not
necessary or even desirable. Just getting up and moving around for 15 to 20 minutes can help lower your post-meal glucose spikes. So get off your duff and do the dishes!
Skinny, active people with no family history of diabetes also get diabetes (I’m a poster child for that.) For years I thought I was immune to diabetes due to my slender physique. Then, when I was in the acute state of diabetes, I actually lost nearly 20 pounds. I struggle to gain back the muscle mass I lost today.
Steps on the Journey from Participants