Because it is time for diabetologists to take diet for what it is really worth

I went to a new diabetologist last week. Thanks to my recent accident and my state of mind that I don’t entirely remember meeting the doctor but I definitely do remember meeting the dietician. Somehow, she is not the first dietician I was meeting in a diabetes clinic, thanks to the ten long years that I have lived with diabetes and the number of clinics that I have visited in these ten years. But interestingly, her behaviour was one that was typical of any such clinic – ignorant! No I’m not being unduly judgmental. For a person who has visited sufficient number of these clinics, I’m in fact being liberal. But the way she questioned the patient (me) seemed absurd even to my accident hit head. The conversation between her and me was as follows:

“Please give your regular diet.”

Unfortunately for her, I’m someone who has been very aware of her condition and sugar levels. It might be hard to believe but there are people like me who do their research work on their health condition. We actually exist for real. So I gave her a detailed account of my diet,

“Breakfast: oats + milk + fruit

11.00AM: green tea with a fruit

1PM: oats, dal/sambar and vegetable

3PM: green tea and another fruit

5PM: oats cookies

7PM: salad for a snack

9PM: oats, dal/curd and vegetable”

“You are eating too much oats. Too much oats will increase your sugar levels. May be you should include other grains.”

“Yes I have other grains like whole wheat, ragi and others for dinner.” I said it only to make her happy because her ignorance was only blissful to her. It annoyed me but I chose not to lose my cool.

What kind of oats to eat?

Please Google oats and you will find diabetes associated with it in most places. But the dieticians at these clinics are either not aware of this or they never want to talk about eating the right kind of oats. Quick cooking oats might not be good for all and I understand that it might add to quick release of glucose into the blood stream. However, all kinds of oats don’t have that effect.  For instance, steel  cut oats is supposed to be very good, a grain with complex carbohydrates causing slow and sustained release of glucose into the blood stream over a period of time. It does not cause instant release of blood glucose. But there is no emphasis on such things.

Lack of emphasis on diet & exercise

I’ve seen that the doctors largely focus on the drugs and far less on the diet, and exercise, definitely not as much as they should be. The standard instruction for exercise is usually 45minutes of walking, that’s it. Only Ayurvedic and alternative medical practitioners place high emphasis on diet and exercise for patience with diabetes.

Allopathic practitioners make it a part of their routine to first prescribe heavy dosage medicines and then put the patients through a routine of spending 5 minutes with the dieticians who will recite their learnt up lines about diet without rice, banana, potato/root vegetables and sugar along with the 45 minutes of walking everyday. There ends the emphasis on diet and exercise or lifestyle choices.


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What oats did to me?

Seriously there is so much more to diet for diabetes like for instance oats. You may ask me what proof I have. Well, I’m the living proof. I had been on the same medication for over one year and my levels were sky rocketing, HBA1C levels at 9. Yes I brought that down to 7  and fasting blood sugar to 83 and PPBS at 142 in just 2 months (December 2013 and January 2014) with only changes in exercise and diet. I had the same medicines I had been consuming for over a year. That was proof enough for me to know that it is not always about the drug you take. It is also about your lifestyle especially if you have Type II diabetes.

The need for doctors to emphasis more on lifestyle choices

I might sound old and irritated saying this but doctors in India are waaaaaaaaaaaay toooooooo used to prescribing medicines as opposed to letting the body heal on its own. Letting the body heal is more and more possible only if they start placing enough emphasis on lifestyle choices.

“Can you not always be so focused on increasing or decreasing my drug dosage? Can you also give me more explanations about what actually will cause the increase or decrease in my drug dosage? Diet and exercise for instance? We will not know about it unless qualified people like you all take the time to explain about our bodies which actually make us suffer. Being considerate to patients is part of your job description.”

Did you know that developing sufficient muscle mass in the body is of great relevance to people with diabetes? That’s for later but just so you know that just means that 45 minutes of walking everyday won’t  do for people with diabetes.


BIG DEAL!! I get a little ANAL about it!! :P

Ok today, I’m feeling very bored being diabetic. But yeah, it is just there. So I think I might as well do something about it, a little more sincerely. So I recently met this nutritionist last week. Guess what I discovered about myself! I’m very ANAL about Diabetes. Obviously with all the love-hate relationship I have with Diabetes, I do have a tendency to get anal about the condition or whatever it is called. I’m extremely bored today and I don’t feel like addressing it with respect after a lot of thought and analysis. In fact, that kind of thinking and analysis only puts me in trouble. So anyway, I was talking about the nutritionist. The next thing I found out was that I’m actually ok with my diet except the binges over dinners when I’m out with friends which is about 3 or 4 times a week which kind of makes my diet pointless.Nevertheless I would like to give myself a little more credit for what I’m doing for myself. I don’t do a lot of things right for my diabetes but today I want to see all the things I’m doing right so that I inspire myself to right those things that I don’t do right otherwise.

I’m glad I went to the nutritionist because she kinda made me realise a lot of good things that I’m doing like

  1. I eat about 5 or 6 meals in a day instead of 3 square meals that make the sugar and carbs concentrated
  2. I have this small obsession about all my meals being balanced so I eat a portion of carbs, protein, fat and vitamins for most meals
  3. I don’t drink tea or coffee. I mostly drink only green tea and when I don’t find green tea, I drink black tea with lime which is very rare.
  4. I eat a fruit before I go gyming instead of going without eating anything which can make my sugar drop or make me very weak
  5. I include at least two fruits in a day in my diet
  6. Luckily I don’t like red meats so I don’t have to worry about the fat. Though its to do more about my taste, I still think its me so I’m glad there’s another thing right about what I’m doing
  7. I take methi seeds soaked in water overnight or dried neem leaf powder first thing in the morning on empty stomach. It really helps my sugar levels
  8. Oh and I like and eat all vegetables including bitter gourd. That’s just awesome because my body will get all kinds of vitamins.
  9. Though I’m a rice eater, I have developed the taste for oats and quinoa which is not always easy. Now I can eat oats and quinoa for all meals in a day.
  10. This one is something that my nutritionist mentioned about me – I have made the first move to eat right and take care of myself by visiting the nutritionist

Weirdly, as I’m writing this post, I should share that I found it so hard to write ten things that I was doing right. No, not because I’m not doing even ten things right to help my condition after having this condition for over 7 years but because I have always been a person who was obsessed about what was not right. And every time I focused on what was not right, it only made me fall even more and slack more out of the fear of the bad outcome because of all the things I’m doing wrong. So now I’m counting and telling myself its good that I have so many things going good for me on a positive note as a motivation for me to set all those things that may not be there yet.

Also, I’m to start a 3month nutrition programme with this nutritionist of mine. So I think I will keep a journal to see how I feel, react, act, what I do and don’t follow, how easy or difficult I find it, how consistent I’m. My journal is going to mostly be my blog. I’m looking forward to writing about it every day. For now, I’m happy for all the things I’m doing right and who I’m. That sounded almost like a prayer so here goes. AMEN! 😛

Burger that keeps your diabetes happy and smiling 😀

The latest dia-safe or pro-dia food that I discovered was quinoa. It is supposed to be even better than oats. It tastes yummy. It’s full of protein and fibre. And if you are a person like me who eats a lot of rice then you can psyche yourself to believe that this is rice because of the way it looks and you have eat with spoon unlike the way we eat rice or chapathi. So I’ve been obsessing with oats for sometime but seems like quinoa might be my new switch. I went to a new nutritionist yesterday and she seems thrilled that I like oats and quinoa. I shared the oats khichidi recipe in my last post. But before I could write about the oats biryani, I found the killer stuff on quinoa – Quinoa Burger. Beat that!!

Imagine having diabetes and being able to still eat stuff like burger. Seems like dream? No its not! I’m so glad and happy that this blog – Eating well living thin has come out with this great recipe that I want to share on my blog.Also if you are diabetic and also keeping tab of your fat, you can replace the cheese in the recipe with some tofu or just more interesting vegetables like mashed cauliflower/gobi so that the fat in the burger is less. And of course eat it with whole wheat bread so you get your fibre.

But yes I will keep with my promise of the oats biryani. Not just that. I’m also going to share all my experiments with quinoa, yes my experiments with truth too. 😛

P.S: So yes try the recipe and tell me what you think 😀

P.P.S: I will soon share the nutritional details of oats and quinoa after consulting my nutritionist 🙂



It’s not a Maggi 2min promise but it takes only 15mins.

I wish I had the time to make lunch everyday, you the whole deal with veggies, dal and roti/oats. No, but that never is the case. I never have the time. I wish I could eat Maggi which most people keep doing for convenience. I’m glad I’m forced to be on a diet. Maggi can be very unhealthy over time. So I need to give more than 2mins now that I have no Maggi. Let’s say I got 15mins. Let’s make lunch!

Being a person who is on medication for fluctuating sugar levels, I have been advised to eat about 6 small meals a day – Breakfast – snack – lunch – snack – snack – dinner. And following the right timing is lethal. But for some reason, the moment you realise that you need to be doing something extra or something different for meals, there is a certain lack of motivation. At least, I initially felt so when I had to start on a diet that too living alone. It sucks sometimes to cook for yourself when you live alone. Moving on, I can’t help but be on this diet. So I thought why not make my life easier. I started eating oats. I’ll discuss oats in detail over a period of time but for now, lets discuss what I plan on eating for lunch – OATS KHICHIDI – Tadaaaaa!!!

Fulfills my requirements:

  • Nutritious and wholesome meal – tick
  • easy to make just in 15mins  – tick
  • tastes yummy – tick

What do I need to make this fantastic dish here today:

Lets check my kitchen. I have got:

Onion – 1 should do

Carrot – 1 last piece in the fridge

Capsicum – 1/2 remaining after yesterday’s salad

Tomato – 1 should do

You can add any veggie you like. The veggies add the vitamins to your khichadi.

Oats (gives you your complex carbs) – 1 cup roasted to a mild brown in a frying pan

Moong dal (gives you protein) – 1/2 cup soaked in water

red chillies – 2 or 3 depending on how spicy you want it to be

mustard – 1 tsp

jeera – 1 tsp

asafoetida – 1 tsp

tumeric powder – 1tsp

curry leaves – a few

corriander to garnish

Oil – 2 tsps

salt to taste

How to make it:

  1. Chop up all the veggies separately
  2. Heat the cooker, add the oil. When the oil is hot enough, add mustard. After the mustard starts popping, add jeera, red chillies, tumeric powder, curry leaves and asafoetida.
  3. Now add the onions, fry till golden brown and add the tomatoes. Tip: Add the salt with the tomatoes and simmer the flame to let the tomato cook faster.
  4. When the tomato is cooked, add all the veggies, the dal and the roasted oats
  5. Add 4 cups of water and pressure cook this mix. Determine the number of whistles depending on your cooker. I pressure cook it for about 10 whistles.

15minutes and I’m good to go for lunch. Try it and tell me how it went for you. I’ve got something more exciting for my next post. Oats biryani! 😉

To the last person I still stand fighting to save me from Diabetes

Dearest EGO,

I’m writing to say that I’m done bickering with you. It is time I took on my life back for the best or worst. I’m tired of you planting your interesting but clever excuses inside my mind to stop myself from curing myself of diabetes. I’m tired of fighting the people I love for their advice for my good health. I have been fighting my uncle for years because of you. He has had stronger intent than me to get me cured of diabetes. I see you create a cozy corner for me where I can curl up and wallow in my own misery and fear and not face the fact that my body will rot and this life will go to waste if I don’t take care of my health. You have kept me in inaction and it pains me. I said a prayer this morning – the serenity prayer.

God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can and the wisdom to know the difference. 

I definitely know the difference now and I’m packing your bags. It’s over. You and me, we are done believing that we can live together. I don’t heal as long as you stay inside me. You don’t let me love myself. You keep me in fear, anger, pain and misery. I’m losing relationships and people because of the pain you cause me. I’m done fighting with you and today you leave. Today I started my day doing the first 3 steps of the 12 steps

  1. I’m powerless over my health and fitness that my life and relationships have become unmanageable
  2. Came to believe that a power greater than myself can restore me to sanity
  3. Turned my will and life over to the care of god as I understood him

I’m 12stepping myself like a person trying to quit on a substance just to learn to love myself more. I want more love in my life. I want to experience the sweetness of this day, the joys of this day, accept and give love in peace without the trouble of a troubled body that is hurt and decaying because of my ego. No it is not a lack of will. It is the pure inability, the powerlessness I feel with respect to my health. And so today I surrender, let go of all my ties with my ego, willing to be open to the concern of people, which is but the voice of my conscience speaking to me through others. I let go of my ego and accept my powerlessness before I WILL myself again to do something for myself.

Yours Sincerely,

My new self

I have Harry Potter to cure diabetes!!!

It’s been a while and where do I stand with my sugar levels? I have Harry Potter as my new doctor. Yes, my new doctor is magical. I’m going to go off all kinds of medicines by the end of this year. Even better, he doesn’t call me fat, believe I can heal more than I do and is an ayurvedic specialist. How I found this doctor? My uncle is on insulin. He used to take (15units morning + 15units night) 30 units of insulin in  a day before he went to Harry Potter. After a few months of ayurvedic medication, my uncle now takes only 20units a day. You can imagine how thrilled I was. But of course, as always, just his medicines won’t work magic. Deadly diet and  exercise was also prescribed to me. 4kms in 40mins walking twice a day was the exercise prescribed to me. You see I’m more awesome than the doctor knows so I started running instead but only 4kms in a day. Ran like that for about 3 months. My levels came down. My Hba1c – 3 month blood sugar average test was normal. My average blood sugar level was 150. I was doing great. It was an exhilarating experience to know see those numbers and for the first time believe for yourself that a cure is truly possible.

And then December happened in my life. It was time for a vacation. I was off to Sri Lanka and off exercise and diet too. Of course, there was January that landed after December. I needed time to get readjusted to a new routine. I shifted homes and then adjusting to that and then finding a new place to run around my new home, it was a lot of work. Basically, health took a back seat. It is always like that isn’t it? Everything else apart from health becomes so much more important – that new assignment I have to finish writing, another movie to watch, but my school friend is coming into town to visit, I will drink some beer only tonight. Imagine, I’m so close being off medicines and here I have been procrastinating and putting my health last on the list for two months. I did not go to the doctor for replenishing my medicines after November. It has been 3 months now. I’m just plain scared to go back to him because he is going to be upset that I have not gone to see him to get myself tested. The same fear kept me from sharing on this blog about what I have been doing right and wrong. There was nothing really wrong about anything I did. There was only fear that led t0 my inability to put my health before everything else in my life no matter what happens. I’m glad that it hit me at some point by mid-Jan and I started running again. I also did join the gym and started exercising more. But I know I have fallen back. That’s alright. I’m back to catching up again. Back to my diet and my exercises. I’m bent on getting off those medicines end of this year come what may.

I also realised that it is not just me but a lot of people around me put their health, sleep, body, nutrition, rest, exercise behind, calling everything else more important. Only difference I see is that I have been forced to see the signs of how my body reacts because of this condition of fluctuating sugar levels. Soon they will also be forced to see the same signs like the way I do if they don’t take enough preventive measures as a reaction to their lifestyle right now. It is sad to know that as I get off medicines this year, there might be getting into medicines due to pure negligence and ignorance. But hope always prevails.

Overeating, the first cousin of Diabetes

Yes, you heard me right. I have diabetes and I happily overeat. Do you know what that means? It’s called digging your own grave for a slow death. What happened to my ever so positive words and attitude? It is right here. So I love to eat and also eat a little more. BIG DEAL!

First, let me start by saying I have officially lost 3kgs in the last month. I was 75kgs and I now weigh 72kgs. Ok how did I do that? I overate. Don’t believe me alright. I can bet on anything that I eat more number of times in a day than you do. Yes I eat 7 meals in a day which means I eat more than you and I have lost weight. The magic is in the number. I eat more times in a day and so I eat less because my stomach is pretty much always full. Previously, I used to eat everything at once in one meal packing myself with food and calories. Now I don’t.

Rule 1: Eat less but more number of times in a day

Now the next one. I eat at the same time everyday. It has really helped me set my body clock. I’m hungry everyday at the same time. I’m not telling you this. I’m telling myself. STICK TO THE SAME TIME EVERYDAY!

Rule 2: Stick to the same time everyday

The next one is a little tricky. I gave up on the one thing that really gets me to binge when I’m upset, stressed, sad, angry, PMSing and the like – RICE!!! You won’t get it till you know what it’s like to grow up eating rice everyday for all 3 meals and then having to give it up. It is a bloody big deal. Anyway mine is rice. I have heard some people give up on maida/refined flour. And the one that most will flip hearing – some give up on sugar, sweets, chocolate. That hurt didn’t it? Yes it can also hurt your body a lot. Of course, there are many who truly believe they have the will power to conquer temptation. Sorry but I lost it a long time ago with rice. Kudos to all those still have their will power intact. I’m so jealous yet so grateful that this has given me the opportunity to learn to take care of myself.

Rule 3: I should give up eating rice. Tip: if you want to quit eating rice then there are two things to it – taste and mind. For me, my brain accepted wheat rice instead of regular rice as long as I could eat it with hand or spoon just the way we eat regular rice. This way, taste really didn’t matter to me. My brain got used to it. I no longer crave for rice.

Rule 4: NOTHING IS EVER A RULE. 🙂 Flexibility is key. Love yourself enough to spend some time with yourself everyday? Then its easy to figure out what works for you. It is usually instinctive. Don’t believe me? So the following is the diet I figured I should follow

7:00am Wake up

7:20 Eat an apple or 3 oat/ragi biscuits

8:30 Cereal with milk

11.00 Oats biscuits

1.30pm Wheat rice, dal with all kinds of veggies – more like a khicadi

4:00 green tea

6:00 soya milk w/o sugar

8:30 roti 1 or 2, veggies and dal

The diet that my naturopathy doctor prescribed

7:00 Half spoon of cinnamon powder (helps in bringing down sugar levels)

7:05 Methi seeds soaked over night (helps in bringing down sugar levels)

7:20 Bittergourd juice (helps in bringing down sugar levels)

8.30 cereal with low fat milk

11:00 apple

1:30 wheat rice, dal and veggie like khichadi + salad (1 tomato is a must) + low fat curd

4:00 10 almonds (yes, it has good fat that helps you lose weight) powdered with skimmed milk

8:00 1 roti, veggies, dal and buttermilk.

I don’t see too much of a difference in my meal plan for myself and what my doctor gave me. Her plan seemed more like streamlining mine. That’s all. Oh! I also once in a while eat things I like because my calorie get balanced out by the other meals.

Confession: I’m not exercising right now. But I will soon start doing it. Living alone, making all the meals and working is tying me down right now. I plan on working that out soon.

Rule of all rules: SHARE WHAT YOU GOT…. So I’m sharing my experience with you so that it gives me the energy to do it every day, one day after the other. Also I’m giving you what I have got. You can have it now. You can also give it to others. Share this blog with your friends and help me heal. Who knows, you could be helping yourself too!

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