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Sunday, December 22, 2013

The Value of A Higher Power - Part 2

Calming storms within us

To all my readers, again I apologize for being absent.  I left you hanging when I was struggling last week - still struggling but for many reasons.  I am not as depressed about being a diabetic as I was and I am not quitting.  It was a storm for a short time period and I know it is a storm that will come again.

FBS - 121 this morning.  Not bad after I had a lot of home made toffee last night during the movie.  That is truly my down fall.  I just love toffee and it is nothing but sugar.  I am going to have to find a low-carb toffee recipe for the upcoming years - NOT!!!!

As you know, it is Sunday and this is the day I want to keep our Higher Powers in our minds and working for us.  I am a Christian and practicing Catholic as I have said before.  I think I am blessed as I have two Higher Powers, God and Jesus.  To me they are one in the same; but represent different strength in my life.

I think it important that your Higher Power play the same role for you that mine does for me when it comes to calming life's major or minor storms.  This topic is fitting today for two reasons, right now my life is filled with many storms and last night we were out as a family and got caught in the storms that went through the area.

The evening just made me realize diabetes is like a storm and we have to constantly have mechanisms or methods to help us deal with the storms of diabetes.  We have to test to make sure we are monitoring the "storm" patterns.  We have to manage our food intake so we do not create any major storms.

So let me explain how my Higher Power(s) calm my storms.

Jesus Calms The Storm

Matthew 8:28 - 34 from the New International Version bible.

23 Then he got into the boat and his disciples followed him. 24 Suddenly a furious storm came up on the lake, so that the waves swept over the boat. But Jesus was sleeping. 25 The disciples went and woke him, saying, “Lord, save us! We’re going to drown!”
26 He replied, “You of little faith, why are you so afraid?” Then he got up and rebuked the winds and the waves, and it was completely calm.
27 The men were amazed and asked, “What kind of man is this? Even the winds and the waves obey him!”

This verse in the bible has always been a player in my life.  Yes, Jesus calmed the storm and weather was the storm.  But to me, like so many things in life, the storm was symbolic of  life's storms and how my Higher Power can calm those storms that are much easier to control than the weather.

We know that stress drives up our glucose levels.  So let's examine my life and how daily events can cause stress and how I use my Higher Power (God and Jesus) to help calm the storms.

Work Related Storms

I have a career that can cause a lot of stress from deadlines. failed computer outages, or people just wanting to get something done quicker than they should.  I also have my own business so on top of the normal storms that occur within the technology field, I compound mine by adding the stress of finding new contracts or work.

At the moment, I am on a contract and the pressure is on to deliver ahead of schedule because the company is out of money; but, the project needs to get done.  So we are all under a lot of stress to make it happen.

In addition, I am running into a stream of good luck and I have created 3 proposals for potentially new business just this past two weeks.

In the past I would have worked all night doing both and would have put myself through a lot of stress.  I would not have eaten right, I would not have gone to the gym, and I would not have gotten much sleep.  All of these things lead to my diabetes onslaught and my levels continually rising.

Today, I now go to church twice on Sundays and listen the word of God and give myself a 3 hour break from all of the noise.  In the past I would go to church - maybe - and I would be thinking about work.  I would tune out the sermon and the time time I could relax and find comfort from life's storms.  I did not realize I was removing the one thing in my life that could help the rest of the week be better.

I also used to worry about deadlines and I would work all hours of the day to make it happen.  Now I realize, that is not that important and giving 8-10 hours a day is enough time for work.  Yes, I still put in extra hours and do more than my fair share - but I do limit it and when possible - I take some quiet time.

So use your Higher Power to grant yourself some personal time and time to pay attention to your Higher Power and to yourself.  Your diabetes will appreciate the quiet time.

Relationship Storms

Relationships are important to all of us - they make us feel like we belong, like we are loved, and like we have value.  If you are lacking in relationships, then I would encourage you to get one with your Higher Power - it will really help.

But here I am talking about how these relationships can cause stress and storms in our life.  I love my wife and I am positive after 38+ years she loves me.  But we do have our moments - maybe more than we both like, when we are in love but not loving each other.  We have things that get in the way.

During those times, I feel rotten, I feel alone, I feel anger, I feel frustration, and just about every other feeling you can imagine comes out.  I do not eat right and I do not think about taking care of myself.  I just do not care!  I never used to know how to move on from these situations - none of us come with owner manuals to explain these things.

These are the times I "lean" into my Higher Power the most.  I ask God to calm my heart, take away my frustration, and get me off my dead butt and go apologize - even if I do not feel I did something wrong - just go engage and get the conversation stared.

Do not let these kind of storms run for a long time - this is the tornado, hurricane, or typhoon in your life.  It is you cancer that eats at your heart and destroys the very thing that makes us humans.

I have two lovely children, Sarah and Brian.  I have not always been a good Dad and there are times I was wrong in my punishment or anger.  They are over 30 now and I still think there are times I am supposed to be their Dad and tell them what to do.  This puts strain on our relationship.

Then I remember my Dad and how I hated when he would tell me what to do.  Then I smarten up and back off and know they must run their own lives.  Then I look to be their Father not their Dad, if you get my drift on that one.

My God is like that, he is my Father in Heaven and the beauty is, he does not tell me what to do.  He laid out some simple rules to live by that are nothing more than being a good human being.  Then he sits on the side and pours out his love and waits for me to come to him.  If only us earthly Fathers could be like that.

So let your Higher Power show you how to manage your relationships and calm those storms in your life. Do not let these storms rage without calling on your Higher Power to be the source of love and a support team. 

 The Diabetes Storm

Ah yes, the beast that lives in all of us.  The "perfect storm."  The one that can make our live miserable, can cause us to go blind, can cause us to lose body parts, and can cause us to have all kinds of other diseases.  The "beast" that drives our lives to the brink of quitting.  The "monster" that haunts us in our sleep and lives below our skin in places we cannot see.

Our Higher Powers are truly needed to help us fight this horrible storm.  I use God to talk to, to help me when I am weak, and to listen to my pain.  I "USE" him and I think he is okay with that.  I use him to remind me when I should not eat something.  I use him to let me know it is better to go work out than do something else.

I use him as my most effective medicine to fight this disease with all his power and might.  For without him, I think I would lose the battle.  

All I can say is use you Higher Power to give you strength to eat right.  Use your Higher Power to remind you to test, test, test.  Know what is going on inside you at all times.  Never ever go without knowing what the monster inside you is doing.

Use you Higher Power to lift you up when you are down - no one else might be around.  My God wants to lift me up and care for me.  As I have said before, I feel lucky, I have learned to face my disease with my family and my God.  When I let it alone inside where no one could see it, I failed.  When I brought it out in the open and faced it, I started winning.  I have a long ways to go but I believe I have the support from God to get there or fight the good fight.

The Calmness of Love

I mentioned as a Christian I get two Higher Powers.  I have Jesus, Son of God, who came to earth to bring a new message for all of us - the message of Love.  Love thy God, Love thy neighbor, and Love they enemy.  His message was simple and to show me how simple and easy was his message, he stretched out his arms on a cross and gave his life because he Loved me.  It is as simple as that.

So his Love, can calm my storms as easy as he looked to the skies and asked the raging storm to leave and it left.

He is the greatest Higher Power as he was with us today.

'Lean" into your Higher Power to calm your storms.  Your Higher Power wants you to feel calm and wants to help you manage your disease.   "Lean" into your Higher Power and find strength that only Higher Powers can bring.

May God calm our storms. May he brush them away with the love of his heart.  May he bring us peace when our diabetes is raging within us and the lightening is striking and our earth is shaking.  May he give us the strength to stand tall against the winds of temptation to eat wrong.  And may he allow us to find those moments of solitude when we can relax and know we have braved another storm with His help.



Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Diet or Meal Planning? Part 6

Unloading Fats

FBS - 133 this morning.  I was up all night with my dog as he is sick.  I drank coffee to stay awake and none of my normal body functions probably did anything right.  But he appears to be better around Noon today, so hoping I bounce back as well.  Just had my first meal - talk about compounding the problem.

By the way, speaking of dogs, I use the saying a lot "eat my own dog food."  I guess in this case I am not eating my own dog food.

I want to thank each of you again and have a small confession to make.  When I first started this blog I was asked to do so by a couple of my cousins.  Then it started to grow and the readership is now up to about 100 readers or people entering a day.  So here is my small confession - I have just been tired of being a diabetic this past two weeks.  I think I went into a state were my numbers were good, low FBS which is unusual for me, and then I just started feeling sorry for myself.


But I find strength in knowing all of you are there with me and this blog is what is helping me pull through.  Not sure when I am going to put my head back on straight, but if it was not for you guys, and me not wanting to let you down - I think I would have just given up a couple of weeks ago.  

My Higher Power brought you guys as part of my support team and I really need it now.  And all of this time I thought this was about you.  Funny how Higher Powers can turn things around on us.

Anyway - thanks again for being there.  By the way we added Panama to the growing list of countries.  Welcome Panama to the blog.

I do ask that you continue to raise up Dora to your Higher Power.  She fell out of her wheel chair last weekend - she is okay and getting better but she needs our prayers.  I also want to keep Dr. Bayne's dad in there - he is fighting each day to hang on - so please ask that he gets an opportunity to fight a good fight.

In the last post in this series we were taking a look at the FDA and discussing the food groups they advice us to eliminate.  Again all of this series is building towards putting together a meal plan - like I need one now.  Hope this helps me "eat my own dog food when I am done!"

The second group the FDA wants us to reduce is fats.  We will discuss that but also remember, some fats are good for us so when we talk reducing we are not talking eliminating.

What are fats?

"Dietary fats are found in both plant and animal foods. Fats supply calories and essential fatty acids, and help in the absorption of the fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E, and K. The IOM established acceptable ranges for total fat intake for children and adults (children ages 1 to 3 years: 30–40% of calories; children and adolescents ages 4 to 18 years: 25–35%; adults ages 19 years and older: 20–35%). These ranges are associated with reduced risk of chronic diseases, such as cardiovascular disease, while providing for adequate intake of essential nutrients."

Again, we must keep in mind these are guidelines.  Only you know your body and need to adjust accordingly.  This is done by testing with your home meter on a regular basis.  If you want to lose weight then maybe you cut back a little more than recommended.  If you need to gain some weight, maybe you can add some or the weight gain might come from protein. 

Reduce Solid fats (saturated and trans fatty acids)

"Fatty acids are categorized as being saturated, monounsaturated, or polyunsaturated. Fats contain a mixture of these different kinds of fatty acids. Trans fatty acids are unsaturated fatty acids. However, they are structurally different from the predominant unsaturated fatty acids that occur naturally in plant foods and have dissimilar health effects.

The types of fatty acids consumed are more important in influencing the risk of cardiovascular disease than is the total amount of fat in the diet. Animal fats tend to have a higher proportion of saturated fatty acids (seafood being the major exception), and plant foods tend to have a higher proportion of monounsaturated and/or polyunsaturated fatty acids (coconut oil, palm kernel oil, and palm oil being the exceptions).
Most fats with a high percentage of saturated or trans fatty acids are solid at room temperature and are referred to as “solid fats,” while those with more unsaturated fatty acids are usually liquid at room temperature and are referred to as “oils.” Solid fats are found in most animal foods but also can be made from vegetable oils."

I will not go into these in great detail as it takes a lot of material to fully understand fats.  So I will let you do your research and find out the complexities associated with each of the fats and what might be good for you or not good for you.  It is safe to say reducing the solid fats are important.

Fats do what for diabetics?

The link is to a great little paper on explaining the impact of fats on our management of glucose.  Please read it for greater detail. 

Although type 2 diabetes is determined primarily by lifestyle and genes, dietary composition may affect both its development and complications. Dietary fat is of particular interest because fatty acids influence glucose metabolism by altering cell membrane function, enzyme activity, insulin signaling, and gene expression.  Replacing saturated fats and trans fatty acids with unsaturated (polyunsaturated and/or monounsaturated) fats has beneficial effects on insulin sensitivity and is likely to reduce risk of type 2 diabetes. Among polyunsaturated fats, linoleic acid from the n-6 series improves insulin sensitivity. On the other hand, long-chain n-3 fatty acids do not appear to improve insulin sensitivity or glucose metabolism. In dietary practice, foods rich in vegetable oils, including non-hydrogenated margarines, nuts, and seeds, should replace foods rich in saturated fats from meats and fat-rich dairy products. Consumption of partially hydrogenated fats should be minimized. Additional controlled, long-term studies are needed to improve our knowledge on the optimal proportion of different types of fats to prevent diabetes.

I have mentioned before the study that stated animal products cause an increase in glucose level and to control our glucose level the Vegan diet may be appropriate.  It appears this study lends some credibility to those studies as well.

I will discuss the different diets in a separate post and that will be the next to the last post in this series when we can understand what the diets are trying to do for us.

We have now covered the reduction of sodium and solid fats.  Again, we are talking reduction, not eliminating.  We can see both have a place in our meal planning - just in moderation and the correct amounts for us.

God grant us the desire to get to know which fats are good for us and which ones are not.  Give us the ability and courage to eat those that you intended us to eat.


Sunday, December 15, 2013

The Value of A Higher Power - Part 1

How can a Higher Power Help Manage Diabetes

Once again I have to say I am completely amazed at the number of readers and people coming to this blog.  I truly appreciate you taking the time and energy to read about my journey.  But more importantly, I hope one of you can start a journey of success and complete a life style change as I am on.  We have a long ways to go - I hope many years of the journey.

You have been able to top the 2,000 mark and we now have ten countries in our little community.  We are truly blessed to know each other.

FBS - 126 this morning.  I watched the Carrie Underwood Sound of Music last night and got so carried away - I ate a lot of pop corn.  All of that, after I just posted how much sodium us Americans have.  Well, sometimes, you just have to enjoy life.  I can honestly say if you get a chance to watch the special or it comes on again, it is worth it.  Carrie has done some amazing things with her voice and has taken many lessons to get it where it is at.  I am not saying she is Julie Andrews, that would be a real difficult act to follow - but man was she close.  I could not put down the pop corn - just keep eating and watching.  It was fantastic - oh yeah - Carrie was really good as well!!  LOL (Laughing Out Loud)!

So many of you have sent nice compliments on the series God's Amazing Body and I appreciate the feedback. I only hope this Sunday series is as good as that one.

This series will focus on Our Higher Power and how they can help us manage our lifestyle change and how they can help us get our diabetes under control.  We will explore stress management. relationships, support, and many other aspects of a High Power and how they can contribute to our lives.

Introduction to my Higher Power

I do not know who your Higher Power is; but, there is a good chance your Higher Power is my Higher Power - God.  I say that as the world claims that 75% of the religions people follow are based on Abrahamic (Abraham) - God focused.  

I have another blog which is being done out of passion and not from a desire to help manage a chronic disease.  That blog is about a historical view of Christianity and the United States.  One of the posts, I discuss One God, Three Religions.  This is who my Higher Power is.

I am a Christian who practices the Catholic faith.  I am a true believer that Jesus Christ was the Son of God and arrived here on earth to remove our sins.  But that is just part of the story and what a Higher Power can do for us.  On this small journey I hope to show you how eating right, exercise, and medications are not the only thing that helps.  They are the only things we will read about in magazines, journals, and from doctors; but, for this community, we will use our Higher Power also to help manage our diabetes.

A Higher Power Other Than God - Story

I was listening to my Christian radio station and heard a story about a young lady (well younger than me) and she was discussing when she was a drug addict, living on the streets, a prostitute, and  an alcoholic.  WOW, and I only have diabetes, this is amazing that someone like her could be on a radio discussing her Higher Power.  She is truly lucky to be alive today to tell her story.

But her story got me wondering, does our Higher Power do more for us then we think, and the answer is probably yes - and that is what this series will explore, how do we tap into that power to help manage our life style change.

Sorry, back to the young lady.  While she was living on the streets at night, she had picked up a Power Ranger (you know the Power Ranger heroes) along the way when she was first getting started.  That Power Ranger went with her everywhere and she relied on that Power Ranger.  

She kept it in her pocket and when things were difficult she would pull out the Power Range and she would talk to it and she could hear it talking back to her and helping comfort her.

When she was afraid or something was happening to her, she would pull out that Power Ranger and she would cling on to it with all her hopes and all her fears and the Power Ranger would help her make it through the event.

Being lonely a lot, she would use the Power Ranger as a companion and talk to it.  She would share her dreams and innermost thoughts with the Power Ranger.  These conversations would give her hope and allow her to stay alive and try one more day.

When she needed something, she would pull out the Power Ranger and explain her needs and somehow the Power Range would deliver what she wanted.

Then one day - the Holy Spirit arrived on the scene and demonstrated to her a better POWER RANGER - the one true POWER RANGER!  She was able to give her life to Christ and defeat her addictions and is now on a better path and journey.

Now we know, and she knows, the Power Ranger did not do any of those things - but to her it did and it was real.  I think she still has the Power Ranger just to remind her of those days.

My point with this series will be, how can we use our Higher Power to help us on the journey.

"Lean" Into Your Higher Power

The basic concept of this series will be for us to learn how to "lean" into our Higher Power and use our Higher Power to alter our lifestyle.  The young lady I just mentioned, "leaned" into her Power Ranger for support and comfort.  We will explore ways of doing that and how that lean will help us manage a better lifestyle.

Leaning into your Higher Power means to give it all up and fully trust your Higher Power.  I am not an inventor of this Higher Power concept - it really comes from the 1930s and Alcoholic Anonymous.  They use it in their 12 step program of recovery.  Here is what they say: 

Alcoholics Anonymous

The terms 'higher power' and 'power greater than ourselves' appear in the "Big Book", on three occasions:
  • "Came to believe that a power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity." 
  • "The alcoholic at certain times has no effective mental defense against the first drink. Except in a few cases, neither he nor any other human being can provide such a defense. His defense must come from a Higher Power." 
  • "Follow the dictates of a Higher Power and you will presently live in a new and wonderful world, no matter what your present circumstances!"
Simple concept - NOT!!!  This is not easy - we often discuss this and we mention it - but I challenge you to truly lean into your Higher Power for support.  Get ready to use them as effectively as you use eating, exercise, and medicines to control your diabetes.

Times I Leaned Into My Higher Power - God

You are reading this blog so you know how I leaned into God to help me quit smoking and how I leaned into him to help me with my life style change.  These stories are just a few times that I leaned into God for his help and trusted him to deliver.

The most difficult time in my life is when I lost a business during the 2008 - 2009 Credit Financial crash.  I had a business that developed software for banks and was just getting started.  We were making good traction and then the crash hit.  Many small businesses went under during that time - I was not the only one.

Kathleen and I was in the process of losing our house and home.  I had invested our life savings into the company and I lost it all.  We had no idea where we were going to live, how we would survive, or what would happen to us.

During the business years, I traveled and worried more about the business than my relationship with God or Kathleen.  So when it all went south, I had a choice, lean into God or be angry.  I am so fortunate to have a steadfast wife who talked me into leaning into God for help and support.  During that time, I learned to pray more, learned to love a little more, and learned to live a little more.

Most importantly, I learned living in the "Present Moment" with God and Kathleen was the best moment of my life.  Then I noticed each day and each moment started feeling like that.  We prayed together, we played together, and we learned to love each other as we did when we were younger.

I am a firm believer that without God, I would have never pulled through those times.  But what really happened is I found it okay to "Lean" into my God and ask him for help.  I was worthy of his love and support.

That is the place I want you to get to with your Higher Power as we go through this series.  Learn to trust them.  Learn to listen to them.  Learn to "Lean" into them.  No matter who or what your Higher Power is, get close to them to help you through this life style change.

God, a simple request, please give us all the ability to "Lean" into you and to allow you to give us the gifts you want for us.  Allow us to take care of this temple you have provided and this Amazing Body you gave us.  Give us the courage to treat it right.


Saturday, December 14, 2013

Diet or Meal Planning? Part 5

What Foods to Reduce

Before getting started today, it has been a while since I have thanked my readers for coming to the site and I am still being blown away by the readers we as a group have grown to be and those being added.  Not to scare anyone, as I mention we have added two new countries to our list, Poland and Italy.  I am not able to see who they are - just that we have added two more countries.  

For the new readers, you can send me an email to if you want me to cover anything in a post.  You can follow me on Google or send messages there.  You can also leave comments on the post and I will see them - does not require any of your information.  You can also sign up by email and get this to you inbox.

If you are sharing with your friends, I appreciate it as I am just hoping to help one person manage their life style - then this blog has been worth it.

FBG 103 - not bad as I had a nice meal last night at song writers night.  One of the nice things about living in Nashville is the great talent we have and the collection of song writers.  They get together at places and for $25 per person, Kathleen (my wife) and I get a meal and entertainment.  The bad news is the meal is usually not for a diabetic.

BP - 131/77 - HR - 58 on my home machine that I should be replacing.

I have another request for you to lift up to your higher power.  I mentioned Dr. Bayne's Dad yesterday has had a stroke and is fighting for his life at the moment.  His Dad indicated to the doctors and his family that he would love to hold on for a little while longer.  So I think our prayers to our higher powers is to grant his Dad the ability to fight the good fight.  Thanks again for each of you caring about people who are reading this blog or a part of my life.

We will continue with the FDA report and discuss foods we should eliminate in our diets or reduce.  Part of planning is to know what to eat and what not to eat.

Please keep in mind that "text in quotes and underlined" is straight from the source of my research - in other words I am cheating!!  Actually, I am just looking to help you get a snap shot - you can go and read the entire report - it is awesome.


" The Dietary Guidelines for Americans provides science-based advice to promote health and reduce the risk of major chronic diseases through diet and physical activity. Currently, very few Americans consume diets that meet Dietary Guideline recommendations. This chapter focuses on certain foods and food components that are consumed in excessive amounts and may increase the risk of certain chronic diseases. These include sodium, solid fats (major sources of saturated and trans fatty acids), added sugars, and refined grains. These food components are consumed in excess by children, adolescents, adults, and older adults. In addition, the diets of most men exceed the recommendation for cholesterol. Some people also consume too much alcohol."

As a diabetic, each one of these major groups should cause us to be concerned and we will discuss how each of these "bad" food groups can cause us diabetics more problems than the normal person.


"Sodium is an essential nutrient and is needed by the body in relatively small quantities, provided that substantial sweating does not occur. On average, the higher an individual’s sodium intake, the higher the individual’s blood pressure. A strong body of evidence in adults documents that as sodium intake decreases, so does blood pressure. Moderate evidence in children also has documented that as sodium intake decreases, so does blood pressure. Keeping blood pressure in the normal range reduces an individual’s risk of cardiovascular disease, congestive heart failure, and kidney disease. Therefore, adults and children should limit their intake of sodium.

Virtually all Americans consume more sodium than they need. The estimated average intake of sodium for all Americans ages 2 years and older is approximately 3,400 mg per day."

WOW - the recommended level is 2300 mg a day and 1,500 mg for people over 51. The normal progression for diabetics is to reach a stage of high blood pressure.  There are many reasons for high blood pressure but sodium is a major player.

The amount of sodium we get from processed foods is the major source - how do I know that.  Kathleen took me off sodium as soon as we were married.  Unlike her mother, she does not cook with sodium and allows people to salt as they desire.  We do not really have a salt shaker anywhere - so for 38+ years I have not added salt to my food - yet I developed or had high blood pressure and taking medicines.

I have reduced the processed foods I intake and I have added magnesium to my supplements.  Along with the weight lose, I have been able to get my blood pressure under control.  We should explore high blood pressure in another post.

"Some sodium-containing foods are high in sodium, but the problem of excess sodium intake also is due to frequent consumption of foods that contain lower amounts of sodium, such as yeast breads (which includes white bread or rolls, mixed-grain bread, flavored bread, whole-wheat bread or rolls, bagels, flat breads, croissants, and English muffins) contribute 7% of the sodium in the U.S. diet).  Other sources of sodium include chicken and chicken mixed dishes (7% of sodium intake), pizza (6%), and pasta and pasta dishes (5%). Some of the sources discussed here and in the following sections contain larger varieties of foods than others (e.g., chicken and chicken mixed dishes). Therefore, some of these sources include foods that can be purchased or prepared to be lower in sodium, as well as lower in other food components recommended to be reduced. For example, chicken naturally contains little sodium. Chicken and chicken mixed dishes can be prepared by purchasing chicken that has not had sodium added to it and by not adding salt or ingredients containing sodium."

Now we know that Americans should cut down their sodium intake.  I do have a difficult time with my government stepping in and banning salt shakers on the tables in restaurants - only one state so far.  I think all of us should have the freedom to eat as we desire.

On the other hand - it is evident that us Americans do not know or have not been taught enough when we were kids to eat balanced meals.  We are also a nation on the go and fast foods are a primary source of our diet.  These are all heavy in sodium.

The following table is directly from McDonald's nutrition guide.  Now I am not picking on McDonald's.  Totally the opposite, they are my favorite and I have spent a lot of time in one of these babies - eating while on the road.  I could pick hundreds of fast food or foods prepared and you would be shocked at the amount of sodium you are getting.

McDonald’s Item
Sodium Level
Percent of Daily Recommended MG

2,300 mg
1,500 mg
Big Mac
Pounder® with
Quarter Pounder
Bacon &
Premium Crispy
Chicken Club
Premium Grilled
Chicken Club

You know, each one of these sections is fascinating to me and I want to do each one justice.  So I am going to dedicate a post to each one.  My apologies but since this is fascinating to me and I am putting out the post, I get to select where we go.  J


May God grant us the ability, courage, and wisdom to read labels.  Give us the daily guidance to understand what we are putting in our bodies and what harm it can be doing.  Simply give us strength to change.


Friday, December 13, 2013

Diet or Meal Planning? Part 4

Balancing Calories To Manage Weight

FBG - 107 this morning.  I am enjoying the cookies.  I was getting down on myself on being in the hundreds but then I look back once in a while to see where I have been to see how well I am doing going forward.  I do not take the time to journal much at the moment with everything going on but will start again.  

Looking back I noticed that 130+ was my morning readings and now being around 100 and lower sometimes - is not bad and I should not be too hard on myself.  I say this, not knowing where you are in your journey - we all need to reach around and pat ourselves on the back once in awhile.  If we do not - who will?

I have discussed many times, this is my body and my disease to manage.  Therefore, it only makes sense to say it is also probably myself who needs to let myself know when I am doing okay and when I am not.  At the moment, I am doing okay.  I can look for better numbers and better times ahead - but I am a baby just learning to crawl - I have a long ways to go.

Before getting into the post, I do have a couple of special people I need for you to lift up to your higher power and that is Gabby, Marty's husband.  He had another bought with his breathing yesterday and is struggling with that.  As yesterday's post mentioned, so many times a diabetic has more than one disease and Gabby is one of those people.  I also have an associate whose Dad had a stroke and things are tough and going poorly.  So if you could lift up Dr. Bayne's Dad that would be great and thank you.  By the way - many people know you do this and they are grateful.

Get you attention yesterday?  It sure did mine.  I found that little touch of information a little frightening and makes me glad I am trying to get on the right path.  Us diabetics have something every disease must want - TOO MUCH SUGAR!  We are just so sweet that all the diseases want to come and live with us!

We will continue with Chapter two of the FDA nutritional guide lines.

Calorie Level?

"Maintaining a healthy body weight and preventing excess weight gain throughout the lifespan are highly preferable to losing weight after weight gain. Once a person becomes obese, reducing body weight back to a healthy range requires significant effort over a span of time, even years. People who are most successful at losing weight and keeping it off do so through continued attention to calorie balance."

Okay, this blog is about diabetes not losing weight.  Or is it?  Many of us diabetics have to admit we are over weight for what our bodies can handle.  Once we have lost the weight it is even harder to keep off.  So I was 224 pounds and 5'11" tall.  Most people did not think I was over weight - I carried it in my gut.  I lost 50 pounds and down to 175 (okay close) but I have added back 5-6 pounds.  I am not worried as I am adding a lot of muscle back in the gym.  So it is not truly about weight - it is about the weight being fat or muscle.  You will have to decide for yourself and use resources to get you where your body wants to go.

Understanding calorie needs

"The total number of calories a person needs each day varies depending on a number of factors, including the person’s age, gender, height, weight, and level of physical activity. In addition, a desire to lose, maintain, or gain weight affects how many calories should be consumed. Table 2-3 provides estimated total calorie needs for weight maintenance based on age, gender, and physical activity level. A more detailed table is provided in Appendix 6. Estimates range from 1,600 to 2,400 calories per day for adult women and 2,000 to 3,000 calories per day for adult men, depending on age and physical activity level. Within each age and gender category, the low end of the range is for sedentary individuals; the high end of the range is for active individuals. Due to reductions in basal metabolic rate that occurs with aging, calorie needs generally decrease for adults as they age. Estimated needs for young children range from 1,000 to 2,000 calories per day, and the range for older children and adolescents varies substantially from 1,400 to 3,200 calories per day, with boys generally having higher calorie needs than girls. These are only estimates, and estimation of individual calorie needs can be aided with online tools such as those available at"

Table 2-3.

Age (years)
Moderately active
child (female and male)










So I am age 60 and I am spending 2 hours in the gym each day.  I spend one hour on the treadmill and it shows I am burning 600+ calories.  In addition I lift weights for 30 - 45 minutes which burns another 300+ calories.  I also walk my dog twice daily and each walk is about 45 minutes.  So I might be burning a 1,000 calories per day.  This tells me I should be looking at 2,400 calories to maintain my weight properly.

There is no way I am consuming this many calories.  I wonder what the effect on a diabetic is when they are not getting the right balance?  Oh yeah - that is why we are at this post - making sure we plan what we eat and allowing our bodies to function as best it can - it will never be normal.

Placing individual food choices into an overall eating pattern

"Because people consume a variety of foods and beverages throughout the day as meals and snacks, a growing body of research has begun to describe overall eating patterns that help promote calorie balance and weight management. One aspect of these patterns that has been researched is the concept of calorie density, or the amount of calories provided per unit of food weight. Foods high in water and/or dietary fiber typically have fewer calories per gram and are lower in calorie density, while foods higher in fat are generally higher in calorie density. A dietary pattern low in calorie density is characterized by a relatively high intake of vegetables, fruit, and dietary fiber and a relatively low intake of total fat, saturated fat, and added sugars. Strong evidence shows that eating patterns that are low in calorie density improve weight loss and weight maintenance, and also may be associated with a lower risk of type 2 diabetes in adults. The USDA Food Patterns and the DASH Eating Plan, described in Chapter 5, are examples of eating patterns that are low in calorie density."

This is moving towards our end game - how to eat balanced meals - takes planning.

God help me to manage my weight and know that it too is an overall part of my journey.  Help me to understand my body structure was designed to manage a certain weight level and help me stay at that level.


Thursday, December 12, 2013

Diet or Meal Planning? Part 3

USDA and HHS Guidelines - Introduction

FBG - 118.  I attended the most amazing traditional Christmas service last night with my lovely wife and it was amazing.  One of the great things about Nashville is it has just a tremendous amount of talent and all of the songs and singers sounded like they come from the radio.

Nope, that did not drive up my glucose level, I had pizza before the service, a small dish of ice cream and when I got home I had 3 small homemade cookies - prepared by my personal chef.  Yes, I knew I was in for a rough ride this morning but was not something I worried about last night.

Today I ask for prayers for Trish, BRR, and James.  These are diabetics I have gotten to know in the community and each have things going on that I ask that you help me lift them up to your high power.  

As the title says, I am going to use the professionals to guide us through this meal planning.  Keep in mind you will need to find out on your own, what works and what does not.  Regardless, you need to have a balanced meal plan and eating regiment.  

You can read ahead of me at:  USDA   This is a series of pulling it all together and I think this along with some of my own experience will help set the final stage - a meal plan.


 "In 1980, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) released the first edition of Nutrition and Your Health: Dietary Guidelines for Americans. These Dietary Guidelines were different from previous dietary guidance in that they reflected emerging scientific evidence about diet and health and expanded the traditional focus on nutrient adequacy to also address the impact of diet on chronic disease."

This is us - we have a chronic disease.  Most of us were born with this and did not eat our way into it.  However, we contributed to the onset of our disease.  Remember me as a young man, I would never eat - never felt hungry.  Now I am an old man and wish I had listened to my wife.  I would still be a diabetic, but not as pronounced as I am now.  My entire reason for this blog - maybe just maybe one person will listen and wake up before it is too late.

"Poor diet and physical inactivity are the most important factors contributing to an epidemic of overweight and obesity in this country. The most recent data indicate that 72 percent of men and 64 percent of women are overweight or obese, with about one-third of adults being obese   Even in the absence of overweight, poor diet and physical inactivity are associated with major causes of morbidity and mortality. These include cardiovascular disease, hypertension, type 2 diabetes, osteoporosis, and some types of cancer. Some racial and ethnic population groups are disproportionately affected by the high rates of overweight, obesity, and associated chronic diseases."

BANG - in your face - we Americans are not very smart when it comes to eating.  I have had the opportunity to manage people in 30 different countries, and I can say - we do not get it when it comes to eating.  I was also stationed in Okinawa, and now there are many advertisements about supplements and pills that have harnessed the life longevity of the people in Okinawa.  Sorry medical world, you cannot harness how they life in a pill.  It is their diet, but also many other things they have going for them including low stress.  But here, we are focused on diet and meal planning.

"The DGAC report presents a thorough review of key nutrition, physical activity, and health issues, including those related to energy balance and weight management; nutrient adequacy; fatty acids and cholesterol; protein; carbohydrates; sodium, potassium, and water; alcohol; and food safety and technology. Following its completion in June 2010, the DGAC report was made available to the public and Federal agencies for comment."

And there we have it summed up in one sentence,  it is about eating balanced meals and living a balanced life.

The heavy toll of diet-related chronic diseases 

The study goes on to list the major diseases related to a poor diet or life style.

Cardiovascular disease

• 81.1 million Americans—37 percent of the population—have cardiovascular disease.  Major risk factors include high levels of blood cholesterol and other lipids, type 2 diabetes, hypertension (high blood pressure), metabolic syndrome, overweight and obesity, physical inactivity, and tobacco use. 

• 16 percent of the U.S. adult population has high total blood cholesterol.


• 74.5 million Americans—34 percent of U.S. adults—have hypertension.

• Hypertension is a major risk factor for heart disease, stroke, congestive heart failure, and kidney disease.

• Dietary factors that increase blood pressure include excessive sodium and insufficient potassium intake, overweight and obesity, and excess alcohol consumption.

• 36 percent of American adults have prehypertension - blood pressure numbers that are higher than normal, but not yet in the 16 hypertension range.


• Nearly 24 million people—almost 11 percent of the population—ages 20 years and older have diabetes. The vast majority of cases are type 2 diabetes, which is heavily influenced by diet and physical activity.

• About 78 million Americans—35 percent of the U.S. adult population ages 20 years or older—have pre-diabetes. Pre-diabetes (also called impaired glucose tolerance or impaired fasting glucose) means that blood glucose levels are higher than normal, but not high enough to be called diabetes.

Pardon me, but this is where the world goes wrong and I can only hope someday they get it right.  PRE-DIABETES - that is like saying Pre-Pregnant - or partly pregnant.  I HAD THE WRONG GENE POOL TO STRAT WITH - ONCE I HAD THAT I WAS DESTINED TO BE A DIABETIC - THAT IS WHAT THEY SHOULD HAVE SAID.  No they come at me like - "Hey you might be going to be a diabetic, you need to change your eating habits.  Eat 45 carbohydrates a meal and 3 snacks of 15 carbohydrates" - I did and now I am a full blown diabetic.


• Almost one in two men and women—approximately 41 percent of the population—will be diagnosed with cancer during their lifetime.

• Dietary factors are associated with risk of some types of cancer, including breast (post-menopausal), endometrial, colon, kidney, mouth, pharynx, larynx, and esophagus.

OUCH and scary.


• One out of every two women and one in four men ages 50 years and older will have an osteoporosis-related fracture in their lifetime.

• About 85 to 90 percent of adult bone mass is acquired by the age of 18 in girls and the age of 20 in boys. Adequate nutrition and regular participation in physical activity are important factors in achieving and maintaining optimal bone mass. 

Okay, I have had all the bad news I can take for one day - get the picture.  This is about taking care of our bodies and feeding it what God intended it to get.  If you are younger, or have those that you love that are younger.  Get them started, reading this says many of us will have 2 ailments or chronic diseases by the time we reach age 60.  I have one right now - diabetes and I am blessed.

In the beginning I asked you to pray for some people and unfortunately, they are those that have reached the stage of having more chronic diseases then just diabetes.

Let's all commit to take care of ourselves.  If you are one of my readers outside of the United States - you might be lucky from certain respects as you do have better eating habits - but you do not have some of the resources we have.  We all need to learn our bodies in our environment and help it live long and prosperous.

God please help us to understand the power you have given us over our body.  Yes we truly understand that many of us will get these ailments and they are not from you.  However, you have given us a body and a mind where we can take care of our bodies and it starts today - today I will be better and think of the greater picture.  Thank you for the people you have placed here on earth to help us gain the knowledge we need.  Now we just need the spirit and the will power.