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.

oats

Image credit: http://porridgeclub.wordpress.com/dr-oats/

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 🙂

 

Link

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! 😉

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!

I’m powerless over my diabetes that my life has become unmanageable..


It was 9pm today when I got out of my diabetologist’s clinic/hospital. I was clutching my medical file. I walked quietly out of the clinic with  my friend. He turns to me and says, “I think your doctor was quite mean if you ask me.” I took a second to say anything. I was recovering from something. I didn’t exactly know if it was a shock. Before any words could come out of my mouth, tears came rolling down my cheeks. I was weeping out loud. “I can’t eat anything anymore though I’m trying desperately to get my sugar levels in control. I can only eat fruits and vegetables. I can’t eat wheat or rice.” MY LIFE HAD SUDDENLY TURNED MISERABLE. I didn’t know which direction I was walking in. Oh! I almost forgot. My doctor had asked me to follow the Rule of 1. If I feel like crying about my health then I could eat one chapathi or one dosa or one idly, nothing more at all. Of course, I can drink 6 cups of buttermilk, soup and nimbu pani (lemon juice). I can eat as much as vegetables and fruits as I wanted. I can do all this and take an injection – GLP -1 (not insulin is what I was told) everyday and lose weight. Or I can do all this and not take injection and lose at least 4 kgs weight and if I don’t lose weight then I go on injections anyway. He follows Rule of 1 for food and I follow one rule for sure which is I will not let any kind of injection touch me. NO NEEDLES. No needle of any kind will ever touch me. Blood tests are fine but not medicines especially insulin or anything diabetes related. I have been asked to google on this GLP – 1 because “I’m an intelligent lady” with a tone of sarcasm. To top all that, I think my doctor was just having a really bad day so he decided to take my trip on my weight and fat. He wanted me to publicly display my fat so he made me stand up and pointed to my stomach and reminded me of all the extra loops hugging my waist. Thank you very much doctor it was such a pleasurable visit that I came out crying. No actually I was weeping out loud. I was ANGRY. Who was I angry with? The usual… angry with myself. But why? I was working so hard at getting my sugar levels down, lose weight and get off medicines. But the doctor wants to add more to my prescription. I didn’t like it. I cried my lung out in the middle of a busy road in J.P.Nagar hugging my friend. He patiently stood by me letting me cry as much as I wanted to. It is good to cry. So I cried and cried and cried till we found an auto (that was about 15mins). We found an auto and something strange happened. I was feeling better. I remembered that I had lost 2kgs in 3weeks in the last month only by eating the right amount at right times of the day enough number of times. And of course, I had completely stopped eating rice. I only eat wheat now. I hadn’t done anything else in fact, not even extra exercise. I was not just going to lose 4kgs in 3 months. I know that I can lose 6kgs in 3 months – the healthy way. Besides I’m going to get a good dose of detox that I always wanted but could never have done it because I thought that my doctor wouldn’t approve. Not anymore. 3 months – I’m going to be having great skin, controlled sugar levels, hot body and fabulous health. So I begin my new count down. My latest levels – fasting – 205 mg/l  Pbps – 265. Not so good uh? I know. But I believe cure is possible. And I’m working at it one day at a time. My first step to my diabetes recovery – I’m powerless over my diabetes that my life has become unmanageable. I have hit a bottom. It’s now time to get up 🙂 🙂

For those who want to know what GLP – 1 is click – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Glucagon-like_peptide-1

It works if you work it:

Right food, right amount, right time – EVERYDAY to keep lose weight, stay fit and keep your sugar levels in control. (so I have been told)

Are you sugarfree? Then have a sweet day…


I begin my day affirming to myself, ‘This moment is filled with joy. I now choose to experience the sweetness of today.’ After 7 years of diabetes, I still believe that a cure awaits me. Where did I begin? Somewhere in Oct, 2005, I was diagnosed with the condition of diabetes. I repeat, “Diabetes is a condition” meaning my pancreas cannot secrete enough insulin. My pancreas has been conditioned to feel so. I was born with healthy pancreas. Over the years, various reasons had contributed to this conditioning. I refuse to agree with anyone who calls it a disease. Having a short sight or long sight of the eye is not considered a disease. It is a condition. Anyway I’m done convincing people who brand themselves ‘diabetic’ instead of considering themselves as people with the condition of diabetes. Having said that, I’m on a journey to find answers for this condition. I want to condition myself back to good health. I have been at it for years. Nothing like what I’m trying now. I have tried a lot of things. It is not trying that has been my problem. My problem has been that of consistency. So here I’m going public with this condition sharing it with the world so I find the strength to do it everyday. I want to make my healing fun by sharing it. Tell the world what I did each day, what I discovered new about this condition, any new learnings, what are sugar levels like, what does the doctor think, are there alternate healing methods to heal diabetes, some new experimental recipes that are working well for me, good food for diabetes, the right nutrition, the right exercise – everything that I try to sort it out. You are more than welcome to talk to me about diabetes, what works and doesn’t. Let’s share. Let’s talk beating diabetes.

If I should get into some fact sheet details then Diabetes is one of the fastest growing conditions in the world. More people are diagnosed with this condition everyday due to the high flying lifestyle, fast food, lack of exercise and HIGH stress levels blah, blah, blah… So finally I’m super excited to be doing this. Blogging about diabetes so I can beat and so can you (if you are diabetic that is :P)

Talk to you soon 🙂

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