I thought I was doing everything right. Conventional Wisdom and the Medical Establishment said to follow the Government Food Pyramid with its emphasis on grains. Oatmeal for breakfast. Bagels for a mid-morning snack along with a grande soy latte. A sandwich and fruit for lunch. Whole wheat chips for an afternoon snack. Spaghetti or stuffed baked potato for dinner. Fruit (or sometimes ice cream) for dessert. I didn’t eat junk food or candy, but my health continued to deteriorate.
Several years as a vegetarian did nothing to halt the progression of the arthritis that left me in constant pain. Surgery to repair a dying ankle (osteochondritis dissecans of the talus) had removed over 60% of the cartilage which made every step a conscious action, wondering if the pain would shoot up into my hip or be isolated to the ankle. Winter was very difficult as impending storms left me hobbling like a decrepit old man. At one point I even qualified for a handicapped parking placard but was too embarrassed to use it most of the time.
By the age of 49 I was ready to give up. At 6’ 1” I weighed 178 lbs. with approximately a 20% body fat ratio (that means I was carrying over 35 lbs. of fat!). Systemic inflammation was ravaging my body. My chiropractor mentioned the warmth she could feel in my joints every time I visited her. Exercise was difficult and almost pointless as the pain was too restrictive to gain much benefit from the routines.
About mid-2004, I happened to read “The No-Grain Diet” by Dr. Joseph Mercola and was stunned to learn that the foundation of my diet was probably causing the inflammation. I broadened my research and the more I read the more I realized that everything I was doing was wrong. I decided that enough was enough and I eliminated grains and high glycemic foods from my diet, going cold turkey, (not recommended but I was desperate).
Within six months I was able to begin an exercise routine that had been impossible for me to perform due to the pain and limited range of motion in my joints. Within a year I’d cut my body fat ratio in half while keeping the same total weight. Within two years I’d dropped to a sub-10% ratio and have maintained that ratio for the past several years. That first year without grains resulted in a dramatic decrease in pain and I'm now essentially pain free.
I now eat a source of protein at every meal. Carbohydrates are sourced from vegetables, not grains, and healthy saturated fats come from coconut, olive oil, butter and avocados when in season. I eat organic as much as possible and make a concentrated effort to avoid conventionally processed foods. I’ve since learned that this is essentially considered a primal or paleo diet. Whatever its label, it works and I’ll never listen to Conventional Wisdom again.
I am a 75 year-old woman who has been a diabetic for ten years. I have been insulin dependent, for the last five years.
I did take Novolog (insulin) before each meal and Lantus (insulin) before bed every day. This would also require taking my glucose four times a day.
"Post the results of the glucose readings;"
I would take 6 - 8 units of Novolog before breakfast, 2 -4 units before lunch and 14 units before dinner. I would take 28 units of insulin ( Lantus ) before bed. I was taking approximately 56 units of insulin per day. I sometimes required more, especially if I ate out and did not have the control over my food.
A year ago, a friend, who is a physician, was giving a seminar in New Jersey, and is his habit asked those attending, his medical seminar, what was purpose of each attending his seminar and what line of work they were in.
One of the attendees, advised he was an integrative health doctor and a food scientist. He reported he thinks many health problems are because of poor diets.
My good friend, who has been concerned about my diabetes, listened carefully and then set up a telephone conference call with him. My friend, said, since I am a nurse, I would understand his plan and if I thought it valid, may wish to decide to consider this program. He, (my physician friend, ) said he had questioned the alternative health doctor/food scientist , in depth and his plan seem a valid one, which would do no harm (no medication, quack formulas, etc) and was based on good nutrition.
I spoke with the alternative, health doctor/food scientist, on April 26, 2011, to understand how his plan worked. He gave me an overview, advised he would send me recipes, tell me what foods I could and could not eat. I would be expected to keep a daily food journal. H e would call me once a week to check my progress and get the glucose numbers / amount of insulin required .I would be required to send in, urine, salvia samples to him to check nitrogen levels, salt levels, etc.
I began the program mid May (2011) post my birthday and mother's day, as my family always takes me out to celebrate to a nice luncheon.
So, after one year, I have lost 1/3 of my body weight ( I weighed between 137 #- 139#) I now weigh 102.2.# ....
I exercise 3 - 5 times a week and in good weather, spring, fall summer, I walk about two miles after dinner.
I had been exercising and walking prior to my changes, no change.
My blood pressure, body fat, cholesterol levels, are all within normal ranges( which they were not before) my internist, who has been managing my diabetes these past ten years is extremely pleased.
I currently require no insulin during the day and take approximately 8 units of Lantus before bed, as I still have not conquered my diabetes totally. I have been a diabetic ten for years taking 56 units of insulin per day and and now only 8 units once per day, I am more than happy.......so this is where I am in regard to the insulin.
My physician friend..........., said in his opinion, I have probably added five years to my life- but not just years, but quality years.
I feel I have "dodged the bullet," in regard to heart attack, stroke, blindness, kidneys failing or possible body parts being amputated, which are some of the health problems all diabetics realize may become their fate.
This is my story in regard to healthy eating, in regard to diabetes.
As a nurse, I am more convinced then ever that the host of illness, maladies, we are currently seeing are ,for the most part , due to the poor nutritional habits of the majority of people, in addition to the lack of knowledge about food , in general.
I believe some of it is lack of education as to what foods are good for you, that organic foods, may cost more but perhaps with all the GMO/ pesticides, additives, we may, be as a nation destroying the health of our children as well as ourselves
Many people, especially with working couples, go for convenience or fast foods not realizing the damages they are doing to their children as well as themselves. There is of course, the element of simply being lazy, it is just easier to stop by a fast food place and get it instantly the problem is multifaceted.
This is my story, and I would like you to use it on your website, Heidi, and I commend you on your work to help people understand before it is too late, how eating properly can change their lives for the better.
I hope there will be more of an awareness regarding the foods we consume and start to understand healthy eating.