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Sunday, February 16, 2014

The Value of A Higher Power - Part 4

Teaches Us How To Live - And To Die

FBS - 02/16/2014 - 135.  I am still running high and trying to get back to norm.  However, last night I played cards with our new neighbors group and I had great cards and great food - so I won at cards and lost the meter game.  By the way I was high man and my wife was high lady - a good night for the Dant's and the cards.

BP - 02/16/2014 - 139/78 - not bad after giving up my medicines and not taking anything over the past 2 weeks.  I will have to monitor closely as now it has returned to normal and I have to be careful.

This sure seems like a morbid topic or it could be.  But I think it a fact of life us diabetics live with constant life threatening events like losing limbs, heart failure, and many other related illnesses and threats on our life.  Therefore, I think it valuable that we have a higher power who can help us deal with both subjects.

David's story

I have a close friend and partner in London.  A few years back David was diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor.  Doctors told David he had till the end of the year to live and his diagnoses come in June - 6 months to live at the longest.

I struggled with what I was going to do as I knew I was going to see him but what would I say, how would I handle the situation, and how would I say goodbye.

Then as I discussed this with my Higher Power - God, I received a simple answer to my question.  Go see David and take him the Book of Life and Death - the Bible.  I went to see David on his birthday - or the day after - in August.  The first night I was there I presented David with the Bible I had wrapped to give him as a present.  Before giving David the Bible, I explained it would either be the best gift he could receive or it was going to be a disaster for both of us.  I did not know David's belief system - yet I knew he knew mine.  So I was afraid David would be offended and might take my meaning wrong.

I should have known that if God sent me the message then it would be OK.  It turns out God did know best.  David and I had a solid discussion about how the Word of God teaches us how to live and how to prepare for death.  My intent was to remove or reduce David's burden knowing he only had 6 month's to live.  We also discussed his childhood and how his parents took him to church but when he become older he moved God out of his daily life but still believed.

So David and I agreed that only he and God would decide when he was going to leave this earth and we as a team were going to spend time preparing David.  I explained to David that I think my God loves it when his children lean into him for help and comfort.  So going to church and reading the Bible and using it for comfort - I thought was just what he wanted.

Well, David's story could take a blog all by itself - but we should cut it short here.  David did pick up the Bible and went to church with me that Sunday.  After I left, David had many thoughts and figured it would not hurt to get to know God again, so he went back to his church that his parents took him to.  At a Sunday service, David ran into a female friend he used to work with and they liked each a lot when they worked together.  Long story short - David has a new life and a new soul mate.  The two of them now enjoy a lot of time together, travel together, go to church together, and share each other's life threats and successes.

Yes, much to my surprise and David's surprise; God did use me to send a message to David, Time to start living, not dying.  David listened and he is living.  Yes, he will die like all of us - but not until he and God decide.  When he does, we both know where he is going.  By the way, I had an hour chat with David today and he is doing great although London is getting pounded with bad weather.

Love at first site

Many of you might know I am a Catholic and my wife and I also attend a non-denominational church.  So we go to two churches on Sunday. Today, like many times the sermons were the same and each reminded me of the small things we should do in life to live as our High Power wants us to live.

Love at first site and what does that truly mean.  We were asked in the Catholic service if we believed in love at first site - and there was a split.  Father went on to explain how God sees love at first site and how the things in us do not allow us to see other humans for who they are and not to prejudge - but see them as his children.  If we come to meet someone with prejudice, anger, hate, and any other mean attitudes, how could we see the other person with love when all of that exists in our heart.

In the ADA community, we have an individual who posts things and gets beat up by the professionals and I am not sure why - other than his means of doing that do not come across right to the other members.  I think if they saw him as someone who was near death and pulled himself back out of his situation or if they saw him as someone who did that a certain way and had a certain believe, I think they would not be hard on him - they would actually congratulate him for fighting back.  You see, he appears to have different thoughts than many of those on the site.  Does that make him a bad person, no just has different thoughts.  So my God ask me first to see him as a Child of the King and then start there.  If I disagree I can do that without being mean or prejudice.

Us diabetics go through this all of the time and so do many people with ailments.  It is like when I am at a party or place for the first time and say "No thanks, I am a diabetic"; people will stop to think and then treat me different.  Why is that, I am a human being who happens to have a disease that cannot be cured call diabetes.  The reason, they have no knowledge of the disease and their first impression is I am a person who has not taken care of myself and therefore I am a bad person.  Too bad the world usually judges a book by its cover first.

Our Higher Power teaches us to love unconditionally and accept those around us for who they are. If we march through life being frustrated we are diabetics and carry a chip on our shoulder - we might miss seeing Love at First Site.  We might miss that small moment  when we get a chance to enjoy a small slice of life and create a moment.

Building friends

In the other church, the lesson was on building friends and how studies are now saying that friends and close friends are what gives long lasting life and helps manage so many ailments.  The concept is that building close friendships allows one to be free of mind and find support in others.  You did hear me right, having close friends can help with many ailments.

The example used was David and his relationship with Saul's son - Jonathan.  David and Jonathan had a life time friendship that was a priority to each in their life and that friendship helped them accept the adversity of life.  The friendship turned out to save them both in the end.

There are friends we have had for life time and we should nourish those relationships and also create new ones.  A person who has two or three close friends they can share their frustrations and joys with, be honest with, support and get support is invaluable in this attempt of ours to fight this disease.  Our friends will never judge us a bad because we are diabetics.

For me, I think the internet and communities allow us to develop a different kind of close friend - one we share the same situations (like diabetes) so we have the ability to generate close friends and share with each other, our ups and downs.

Back to the person who the community is a little rough on, then it does not always work out that everyone is going to be friends - some people will be and some people will not be friends.  We need to chose our friends so they bring these things to our life; support, openness, honesty, and the ability to express our deepest thoughts with someone who cares.

So if you have diabetes and reading this - join a group, build some relationships, get involved with those that suffer from the same disease - it will help.  Do not try to fight this as a lonely person, you must reach out to your High Power for all they provide, learn to live, get some friends, and go through life noticing love at first site in all of life's little moments.

 God grant us the ability to learn how live and die.  Give us the first love site we need to go though life and enjoy all the moments we are presented and to get the full view of the benefits we have received.  May you fill our hearts with lots of friends to help us manage our emotions along with our blood glucose levels.

Bob,




Saturday, February 15, 2014

Diet or Meal Planning? Part 7

What should we increase in our diet

Again, I must apologize for taking so long to get back to this series - it is very important in managing our diabetes to manage what we eat, to make sure our bodies are getting the right supplements, and other nutritional products.

Some house keeping before getting into the topic.  People continue to find this blog and I want to welcome everyone to a blog that simply is designed to pass on what I have done and managing diabetes in my life.  I also want to thank my loyal readers for sticking out my time off.

I also want to take this time to ask you to lift up a couple of people to your higher power.  Dora and Gabby could really use your prayers at the moment as they are struggling with effects caused by diabetes and other diseases.  As I have said in the past, I thank God I am only diabetic.  I also ask that you lift up Lyndol as he has numerous illnesses and some procedures coming up.  Please add these people in your conversations with your higher power.

Where have we been on this subject

Since I have taken so much time off, I should do a little review.  The following list will allow you link back to the previous posts in this series.

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

Other Valuable Nutrients

USDA and HHS Guidelines - Introduction

Balancing Calories To Manage Weight

What Foods to Reduce

Unloading Fats


Again this series is based solely on the FDA and HHS guidelines.  Not that they are the only guidelines but they have some great information.

What the guidelines say about what we should add

"A wide variety of nutritious foods are available in the United States. However, many Americans do not eat the array of foods that will provide all needed nutrients while staying within calorie needs. In the United States, intakes of vegetables, fruits, whole grains, milk and milk products, and oils are lower than recommended. As a result, dietary intakes of several nutrients—potassium, dietary fiber, calcium, and vitamin D—are low enough to be of public health concern for both adults and children. Several other nutrients also are of concern for specific population groups, such as folic acid for women who are capable of becoming pregnant. Recommendations are based on evidence that consuming these foods within the context of an overall healthy eating pattern is associated with a health benefit or meeting nutrient needs. Guidance on food choices for a healthy eating pattern generally groups foods based on commonalities in nutrients provided and how the foods are viewed and used by consumers. The following recommendations provide advice about making choices from all food groups while balancing calorie needs.”

Here is what I and many Americans are guilty of - not knowing.  We have stopped buying products from farmers as it is cheaper to buy in large stores - so many of our products are picked long before they ripen by the nature of the product.  We have a tendency to take on way too many foods that have large amounts of preservatives.  I have lived outside the US and in many countries, you stop and buy your food each day so it is fresh as they do not have the preservatives we do have in our food in the US.  I think it is important for us diabetics to understand the food we eat and be careful.

I have two people in the ADA I trust and learn a lot from, Marty who has made comments here and Dolores.  Each have their focus in life and are amazing people in how they manage their diets, foods, and, supplements.  Marty can cook up anything from nothing and make it taste like a desert for the king.  Dolores has spent a long time getting to know supplements and vitamins our bodies need because we do not have the proper food intake.  She grows her own stuff so she knows the quality of the supplement or herb.

I find encouragement from both of these people and admire what they do.  If I had 10% of their courage and tenacity - I would be healthy - I have so much to learn.  Marty and Dolores, I know you read the blog - try not to shoot me for mentioning you - you are truly amazing and I think people should know that.

Key recommendations

Individuals should meet the following recommendations as part of a healthy eating pattern and while staying within their calorie needs.

Increase vegetable and fruit intake.

Eat a variety of vegetables, especially dark-green and red and orange vegetables and beans and peas.

Consume at least half of all grains as whole grains. Increase whole-grain intake by replacing refined grains with whole grains.

Increase intake of fat-free or low-fat milk and milk products, such as milk, yogurt, cheese, or fortified soy beverages.

Choose a variety of protein foods, which include seafood, lean meat and poultry, eggs, beans and peas, soy products, and unsalted nuts and seeds.

Increase the amount and variety of seafood consumed by choosing seafood in place of some meat and poultry.

Replace protein foods that are higher in solid fats with choices that are lower in solid fats and calories and/or are sources of oils.

Use oils to replace solid fats where possible.

Choose foods that provide more potassium, dietary fiber, calcium, and vitamin D, which are nutrients of concern in American diets. These foods include vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and milk and milk products.

Recommendations for Specific Population Groups

Women capable of becoming pregnant

Choose foods that supply heme iron, which is more readily absorbed by the body, additional iron sources, and enhancers of iron absorption such as vitamin C-rich foods.

Consume 400 micrograms (mcg) per day of synthetic folic acid (from fortified foods and/or supplements) in addition to food forms of folate from a varied diet. 

Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding

Consume 8 to 12 ounces of seafood per week from a variety of seafood types.

Due to their methyl mercury content, limit white (albacore) tuna to 6 ounces per week and do not eat the following four types of fish: tilefish, shark, swordfish, and king mackerel.

If pregnant, take an iron supplement as recommended by an obstetrician or other health care provider. 

Individuals ages 50 years and older

Consume foods fortified with vitamin B12, such as fortified cereals, or dietary supplements.

My wife has been following these recommendations for years and she is very healthy - I might have been wise to listen to her a long time ago.  When I was a young man in the military, I had the opportunity to serve in Okinawa.  It was hard on me but it was the start of teaching me how to live with and understand people from other nations.  I always knew the Okinawan people lived a special life - now look they are trying to sell me the fact I can get that life in a bottle.  NO YOU CANNOT AND PLEASE DO NOT FALL FOR THESE FALSE STATEMENTS.  I do not advocate buying everything - no what and why you are buying something.

Do you want to know why the Okinawan people live longer, think of this live style and you will get it.  They all have community gardens and they grow their own food.  They share their crop with the community so there is a lot of natural products delivered daily - NO PRESERVATIVES.  They do not lock their homes as they are not worried about each other stealing or entering someone's home.  They live a very peaceful life with little stress.  They do not drive to work and live high stressed lives, they fish, they farm, they build homes for each other, and they live as family units taking care of each other.

YOU THINK YOU CAN PUT THAT IN A BOTTLE - NOT!  What is important and you should understand, what supplements are they putting in the bottle and will they help your situation.  

I think for now I will end this discussion as the aspect of what we should add to our food is critical and there is a lot of material and foods to add.  We have an idea of what to remove and what to add.  I think it is time to move on to the discussion of meal planning and what we can do.

The next post will be a small research on the Diets that exist out there and which ones might work given what we have discussed up to this point.

Although I detest the term Diet because it is associated with "limiting" something versus planning something.  However, in many circles or with legitimate Diets, they are attempting to help with meal planning.  Therefore, discussing some of these diets in the next post will help with meal planning.

God, please grant us the "will power' and knowledge to know what our bodies need and what we need to add to our food intake.  Give us the ability to listen to others and to learn from their successes and failures. 

On a personal note, God thank you for keeping my readers in my life and for them sending me messages and caring for me.  Thanks you for this opportunity to share my thoughts and how important you are in my life and in my Diabetes management.

Bob,

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

I Am Back and I Am Blessed

Where has Bob been?

I will get to all of that in this post but first want to thank those that were concerned and reached out.  I also am still amazed as this blog continues to find its way into the lives of people around the world.  I hope the material is / has helped someone to reach my level of success with my journey or even just helped them accept that being a diabetic is not a a hopeless state to be.

Morning fasting Blood Sugar levels:

02/10/2014 - 155
02/11/2014 - 116
02/12/2014 - 133

Yes that is horrible but when you find out what I have been up to I am good with these and actually shocked they might be this low.

Where was I?

My wife and I try to take Christmas and spend it with her aging parents in Florida.  She goes down there 4-5 times a year but Christmas is my time to go and spend a couple of weeks.  This year, I am on a contract that allows me to work remotely so I decided to take an extended time in Florida and try to rebuild my batteries as I was getting ready for some heavy work schedules coming in February.

During this time, I was going to put out a few posts but my machine at home shut down with a power outage and I had no access to my pc.  I have a laptop for my contract I am on hat machine but the machine belongs to my client and I can only do things back on the local servers when using their pc.  I can use the browser and log into my pc at home remotely but when it is not one it does not work.

So I apologize for no posts or contacts.

Why am I okay with my numbers being so high

When I went to Florida I thought what a good time to analyze my body and run some tests regarding my diabetes.  I am still a diabetic and have some solid proof that it is not cured, but I can put it under control.  I also bought a new book that has some great information regarding natural methods for controlling diabetes.  Many of the things I have been doing are in the book.  The book is Miracles From The Vault, Anthology of Underground Cures.  It is fascinating to learn of the science studies that have been conducted and have proven there are some natural cures out there for diabetes, cancer, joint ailments, and many other diseases.

I am cautioned about the word cures for diabetes but do understand what it means to remove cancer and be cured.  I will share this information in a series of blogs along the way.

Back to my tests.  I was going to be out around 6 weeks so thought I would see what thing appears to be the one thing that holds my BG level in check - not to hold you in suspense but I am convinced it is the supplements.

Test One - Remove Regimented Exercise

When I started my exercise program I had already dropped my BG level.  I have always suspected that exercise is more about life style and long term health.  DO NOT GET ME WRONG - EXERCISE IS A MUST.  So keep up the exercise for your mind, body, and soul.  However, when I was in Florida and did not exercise - my BG levels did not change much.  One could argue it was the first week and the long term effects were still in place.  I think it is my return that is convincing.

Test Two - Remove diet concerns and add back exercise

I stopped my green drink, stayed with the supplements, and added in a couple of trips to the YMCA but more importantly I took up Hot Yoga or went a few times.  It is AWESOME and I plan on adding it to my program back in Nashville at some point in time.  Once again during this phase my BG levels did not change much.  So now I was eating normal food, things I would stay away from in my former life.  What was changing was my weight.  Not a big surprise, but exercise was not helping that much with keeping my weight down.  Yup I did gain 10 pounds over the 8 weeks I was gone - ouch will take the same time to get it back off.

Interesting thing, I am now at the same place I was back in September when I had my first doctor visit and was at  187 pounds and A1c was 6.4 with Fasting Blood Sugar levels about what they have been the past two days.

So is diet important - yes it is and the series I will finish on meal planning, I think the key is meal planning not diet.  I am a big fan of what my Dad taught me - "If you do not stand for something - you will fall for everything."  I think when you are not planning your meals and watching your food intake - you will random buy and intake bad food.

Test Three - all bets off and have a good time, no supplements, no exercise, but I was cautious on food intake

Needless to say my BG level shot up.  I did have a scoop of ice cream each and every day for the second week.  I am sure that is the major contributor to the 10 pounds.

So why do I think it is the reduction of the supplements that was the real tool.  When I returned home on Sunday I started taking the supplements again and have only had one chance to go exercise and my BG levels are starting to come back down.  Please keep in mind, when I discuss my supplement regiment, I am including my green drink and the power foods I put into the drink.

I think a good supplement program is important in controlling our diabetes.  This is all I did originally when I started to lose weight and also drop my BG level.  After this trip - I am even more convinced of it.

The book I mentioned also confirms this with some good science to back up why.

I am not saying drop your medicines and go to supplements.  I am saying it is going to be the long term brick I keep in my foundation of fighting this disease.  I would encourage you to talk to your doctor about a good supplement program.

Why am I blessed - I am a diabetic?

Most of you know I do not feel that way.  Yes, I am a diabetic but to me this is so small when put it up against those wounded warriors, people with no jobs, no medical insurance, other severe health problems, and so many other life situations.  So I have diabetes, I guess it is my small cross to bear but I do have so many other blessings.

My dog had surgery to remove cancer before I left.  We could not leave before Christmas because he had a severe infection and had to go back into the hospital.  When this happened, my son changed his plans and rode with us to Florida, so I got two days in a car with him.  See, one small thing with my dog gave me a day with my son - what a blessing

 My father-in-law was placed in the hospital twice while I was in Florida.  He is okay and had some minor issues.  But through the process I think he continues to learn of the value of his eating habits and taking care of Mom.

My mother-in-law had to have some deep facial cancer removed.  She is okay but it was hard to see such a loving face cut and left with a scar.  She is 84 years old, double stroke patient, and suffers so many things but she still has the soft looking skin of a 60 year old.  She looks great - so when they cut her face it was a shocker.  However, she did not appear to mind as much as she was excited to get the cancer removed.  I think her state of mind that we sometimes get frustrated with was a small blessing to help her accept the surgery.

I have my own business and have had my ups and downs in this bad economy.  While in Florida, I had to work to keep my current contract requirements completed and to complete proposals for two more opportunities.  God must have been on my shoulders as I landed both of those contracts and they will be good long term revenue for the company.

I had one week of time with my wife in a quiet little community, Cedar Key, in Florida.  Our hotel room faced west and we saw some of the best sun sets.  The entire week was a blessing to get that much time with my wife - she is so much fin to be with and times like this make me wish I had more time with her.

God, I want to thank you for the people you have placed in my life and the blessing they bring.  I am also grateful for your support in landing the new contracts.  But most importantly, the week you gave me with my wife and the times we shared are priceless and I thank you for that time.  

Bob,

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Where is Bob?

Lost?

I must apologize and I will update everyone in another week.

My home machine was corrupted and I could not get to it or my blog.

I am now going to be on vacation until February 9th and will not have my PC with me.

I really appreciate everyone's reaching out and sorry I could not get back to you.

Give me one more week and I will be back.

Things are good with me and going extremely well.

I miss all of you and hope God has been taking care of you during this past month.

May God watch over all of us for the next week but I ask God to grant me a quiet week to regenerate as this past month has been extremely stressful but good. 

Bob,