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Thursday, December 5, 2013

Diet or Meal Planning? Part 1

Do I watch what I eat or plan what I eat - that is the question

Once again I find myself apologizing for not producing any posts.  I live in Nashville as you know, and down here, this time of year the weather gets a little confused between nice weather, really cold weather, and wet weather.  Along with a crazy work schedule and stress I was getting my headaches back again.

I am trying really hard this go around to say there are a few things important in my life, my wife, My God, my diabetes, and the gym.  The gym takes 2.5 hours a day and I am trying hard not to give it up - so it puts pressure on me some days not to have enough time to do this blog justice.

I am just glad you are all patient with me.

My FBS level has ranged from 97 - 124 during the holidays.  I do not think ti is eating that causes the issues, I am truly starting to realize a nice snack, like a small plate of meat and some vegetables late at night before I go to bed appears to help a lot with my FBS.

It is the Holiday times with Thanksgiving feast and Christmas - so it is a good time to discuss our food intake.

We just finished a series on carbohydrates and why they are important.  During this next few posts and series I am going to discuss meal planning and the importance of that versus dieting or just monitoring your calories or carbohydrates.

 The metabolic and physiological responses of the body to diet

WOW!  That is a mouth full.  Nice way of saying - Hey our bodies are complex.  God's Amazing Body and Science series brings that to life.  Our bodies are amazing and complex.  They are not one dimensional  so we cannot see our food intake as a simple diet monitoring exercise.

The human body contains chemical compounds, such as water, carbohydrates (sugar, starch, and fiber), amino acids (in proteins), fatty acids (in lipids), and nucleic acids (DNA and RNA). These compounds in turn consist of elements such as carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, nitrogen, phosphorus, calcium, iron, zinc, magnesium, manganese, and so on. All of these chemical compounds and elements occur in various forms and combinations (e.g. hormones, vitamins, phospholipids, hydroxyapatite), both in the human body and in the plant and animal organisms that humans eat.

As you can see, one must understand this battle we fight of diabetes is not as easy as saying - hey cut the carbohydrates.  It is not as easy as just picking a fad diet - we will discuss later - and staying the course.  It is much like a battle and any battle won is done so through planning - not just letting it happen.  Conquering our eating habits should be like the battle - plan for success and you will be success.  

It is about planning what we eat and when we eat it to stay constant.  Am I perfect at this - no way.  This is one of those post you can call - do as I say not as I do!  Well maybe I am somewhat good in this category.  You see my eating has become 66% regimented and planned.  The other 34% is really controlled by a smart chef - my wife Kathleen.  I know for breakfast I am going to get up and cook the same breakfast each day - yup my green drink.  I know what I am adding and how it will all be mixed.  In six months I have missed three days of doing that.

When it comes to lunch I am going to get a really cool salad made  by my lovely wife Kathleen.  It will be a surprise, but I think she should open up a salad restaurant as she has so many different ways of whipping a salad up into something that I enjoy.  I even like being surprised but I do have my favorites and she mainly provides those for my lunch.

That leaves me with an evening meal and that one is covered as well.  Again, it is the wife to the rescue.  She has been a nutritionally minded person our entire marriage.  She weaned me off salt when we were first married.  She knows what it takes to have a balanced meal and she is not a big fan of red meat but she does know I need protein.  She is a great cook and knows what a proper portion looks like.  Given all of that - she makes me a super.

So I am in charge of my snacks and that requires a meter check once in a while to determine if I need to eat and what.  Since the life style change - I have cut out snacks except at night and that is somewhat sporadic, meaning some days I have one and many days I do not.

A Meal Plan

Try finding a site you enjoy as there are several who want to help with planning a meal.  Real Simple is just such a site.  Again there are others but here you can get help planning a meal and finding some great recipes.  The American Diabetes Association (ADA) also has a lot of information on meal planning.

The planing of meals is not easy but I think the effort pays off - especially if you are a diabetic or live with one.   The meal plan allows you to develop patterns or know which foods you like that can be mixed together and the combination helps maintain a lower BG level.

We will investigate a good meal plan, some additional sources, additional nutritional information, and some fad diets that might help - or be a problem.

So sit back, relax, come along for another ride and be prepared to learn a little more about nutritional eating and planning for success.

God please grant us the will power to develop a meal plan and stay the course.  Let us learn what is good for our bodies and what it truly wants and needs from us.  Give us the wisdom to make good choices of the foods we eat.



  1. Hi Bob! Meal plans are so individual and frankly I am glad I am the one who takes care of the planning, grocery shopping and cooking the main meal of the day. We each do our own thing for breakfast and lunch since I eat on a regular schedule and Gabby eats when he wants something. He is not a good diabetic....LOL, but his last A1c was much better with my main meal prep., at a 6.1. He is also losing weight steadily. He enjoys many things that I do not eat; but his lungs will give out before diabetes effects his health too badly. His oxygen levels were 85 at the doc's office this week.....he did not take his oxygen tank since he was there to be recertified for medicare that he needs oxygen 24/7. If he wants grapes, cookies, and ice cream that is fine.

    I was surprised that I had lost 3 more pounds, I have been eating more calories, but sticking with the same 15/15/30 and a 15 g snack before bed. Today, has been a nightmare with my bg control....the infection, diarrhea from the meds, and eating poorly.....just wanted something plain and no meat. I ended up having cheese toasted on a hotdog roll and of course it raised my bg to 139 even though I only had 22 carbs total.....wheat does not like me...LOL I took my bg at 11 pm and it was 88 so maybe I am getting back to closer to normal for me.....will see in the morning at FBG. Just have to go with the flow right now.

    I thought I should let you know that Dora has healed well and is her usual cheerful self. Thank you for your prayers and concern for her. I found her a couple of new hats to keep her head warm.....hers are getting worn out. I have ordered small natural product lotions and lip balm throughout the year to fix goodie bags for many of the residents. We add a bit of Christmas candy and fruit to the bags. It is not much but it does let them know someone is thinking about them. I need to get Robert some new sweat pants I noticed his are wearing out. Our money is tight, but we will find a way.

    I always get off topic Bob! I love sharing parts of my life with you that others know nothing about. Looking forward to your next segments.....I keep don't have to be here everyday.....


    1. Marty,

      As always I have been busy and will share with you privately in the ADA group what else I am up to.

      Where do I begin - I will ask the group to add Gabby to our prayers. He sounds like a "ABD" diabetic like me. I wonder how many men are "Good" diabetics. I think this is a good post someday! LOL. Like I need more ideas.

      I think I just noticed something in your comments and that appears you eat three times a day 15/15/30 and a 15 nighttime snack. I am finding this to be a good pattern. Since you are always low in your FBS - do you think this is the trick. I am getting there.

      I am so glad to hear about Dora. I must remind everyone to keep her in our prayers. By the way - I want to get her story. I think I am close to releasing a free place for diabetics to journal and I want to keep her front and center and other diabetics like her.

      By the way - you are so good to your friends in the nursing facility - God must look down everyday and smile on your heart. If you need some money to help out, please let me know how to get it to you. I do not have much but what I do have can be shared with those I know.

      God bless you and all of your work for humankind - you will be rewarded.

  2. Bob, thank you so much for offering your resources to help with our friends at the nursing home. My sister who lives in WI helps us with that. She sends extra funds to help cover gas, small gifts, etc. She and her family cannot be here near as often as they like, but have been here enough to recognize that the needs of these people are not often met.

    My meal plan is based on the fact that mornings up until late afternoon have to be pretty low-carb. Dinner is the only time I eat a starch or have a good-size serving of fruit, one or the other not both. My starch is pretty much potatoes or starchy beans like pintos, since no grains work for me, except for fresh corn. The snack more often than not is nuts of some sort and a slice of cheese. I also eat dark piece with 1.6 g carbs. My treat! I discovered just this week that I can eat a whole small navel orange without hardly any bg rise at all....and a mandarin orange also works...this made me so happy. My baking is coming along well with using the almond meal flour with very low carbs....I felt like I was breaking the rules while eating a copycat recipe for Red Lobster's Cheddar Bay biscuits....they are so good and very close to the same taste as the originals. Delores is making those too and loves them. I really think the steady, almost unvarying carb count that I follow is what keeps my bg the way it is. I eat about the same times everyday and the calories change but not the carbs.

    Thank you for adding Gabby to your list! He is well aware that he may not have many more years here on earth....there is not anything left to do that can improve his breathing any better than it is. He does have some things going for him health high cholesterol, no blood pressure problems, and his heart has checked-out fantastic.

    Dora's story may not be as easy to do as we might think. I have found out very little about her as a younger woman....I know that she has outlived all but one remaining child...sometimes older black women do not share a lot about themselves. I will see what else I can find out from her about the length of time she has been diabetic and what measures, if any, where taken early on.. being a poor black woman in the south was not easy I am sure especially in regard to medical care and healthy eating.


    1. Marty,

      No problem on all accounts. We will work on the resource thing in a side email.

      I am not looking for much on her story - something simple to splash up there - might make her feel good.

      You are right about the south and it was a black period in this country's time.

      I figured as much about Gabby - just the way you talked. We will keep him lifted up there.


Please leave your comments or suggestions - looking to getting some good discussions going. Tell me what you have tried and what has or has not worked.

Thanks for the support