Diabetes and Blood Pressure.
Diabetes and Blood Pressure stuff isn’t pleasant. Canada and the US has some of the highest rates of Diabetes among 34 developed countries. It’s not actually as shocking as you think though. Considering the lifestyle that most of us live. The foods we eat, the stress levels, time crunch, etc etc. But eating healthy has become a huge trend in the last decade, but it’s actually also become a lifestyle where we become foodies- which might not always be good. It’s good to love food and be passionate about it, but the downside is that we’re not really focusing on portion control and even though we may be making healthy food choices, we might be eating foods that are not helping our blood sugar or our blood pressure.
Fruit for example is sugar, though it’s not refined but eating too much isn’t a good idea. When I was pregnant with my daughter, at 5 months I became gestational- I couldn’t believe it. I was eating tons of good food, especially fruits. And that might have done me in. Don’t forget about the random bursts of sugar in the foods we eat- such as sauces, grilled chicken etc etc
Salt can sneak into any food, and you might not even know how much you’re eating. Roughly 2300mg of sodium (or 6 grams) is equal to 1 teaspoon of salt. We are only supposed to take in about 460mg of salt a day…that’s a big big difference.
Eating out, and eating foods that we may not realize has excess sugar and salt could be all stacking against you. Everyone knows that chocolate bars are bad, but not many people know that sushi rice has sugar in it. Or that a lot of restaurants add sugar and salt into a lot of their foods to give it a balance of flavours – salty and sweet and it might not be obvious to your tongue. You might also not know that a lot of sauces like BBQ sauce has tons of sugar in it on top of tons of salt. Now imagine eating BBQ chicken salad at lunch- with all that extra sugar and salt going in.
Now salt doesn’t affect your blood sugar levels but you have other things to worry about for that- like blood pressure. Both are scary and have to be maintained properly. As a gift from my son’s delivery, I was diagnosed with Preclampsia and the high blood pressure is permanent for me since it runs in my genetics. I am on medication to control it, but the ideal would be to lose some weight and control my salt in take and perhaps even be medication free!
Reading Sneaky Labels
Salt and sugar is sneaky, and it’s literally in everything we buy. When I finally learned how to read labels, I realized damn, even healthy food has crazy amounts of salt and sugar. Even naturally occurring sugar and salt, is STILL sugar and salt and it still impacts your body. And a lot of people don’t know that. They think because the label says ‘no added sugar’ that means that it’s sugar free or the natural occurring sugar is somehow not going to do anything to your body. But it does, and it’s not good.
So how does one make healthy choices with all these presumably healthy choices out there that have all these unhealthy amounts of sugar and salt in it? You’re probably thinking, well then I’ll watch out for how much sugar and salt I take in a day. That’s not how it works exactly. To avoid something like diabetes- like with any other illness, weight control, healthy eating habits and water is the best way to ward off health problems. And its difficult sometimes when you’re buying food at the grocery store or eating out, to know exactly how much sugar and salt you’re taking in. Reading labels is a must and don’t just fixate on calories- look at the whole label especially sugar, sodium and carbs.
But with so many things to look out for, with so many options, and so many rules and things to keep in mind, how does one filter out and do a proper diet without having to insanely plan everything. Because lets face it, moms especially already have tons on our plate and sometimes we don’t always have time to make the perfect pinterest healthy meal. So we need something that is easy to plan and make.
And this is where the diabetic and Salt diet comes in. It’s a lifestyle change, but it’s exactly what we need in North America to get back on track to proper eating.
Eating Out, Even Healthy Can Be Bad
When I go out, it’s always big portions, tons of salt and sugar and tons of unhealthy fats. So that’s the first thing I had to eliminate. There is no ‘healthy’ restaurant. Even the uber vegan all organic GMO free restaurants have to use tons of sodium and sugar to make that food taste flavorful. Problem is you don’t know how much of it is in your meatless burger and baked sweet potato fries…
At least when you’re purchasing your food at a grocery store, you can see the full label and ingredients. But don’t be fooled with the ‘only 50 calories’ fluff, check out the sodium, carbs and sugar…you’ll see they make it up in crazy there…
Portion Control Is The Key!
Literally eat what you want, but keep the size down! You have to look at your plate and see how much of this bad food is occupying your plate. For example, you can make a healthy pizza at home, with thin crust, low sodium pizza sauce, tons of veggeis and delicious cheese on top, but don’t think you can just chow down the whole pizza. That’s a lot of salt, sugar and carbs horking in all at once. Instead, 1 or 2 slices and a side of roasted veggies should fill up that plate. So you can have that slice of cake, but it better be an actual proper slice yo! LOL
My Gestational Diabetic Diet
I felt really healthy and good during the time I was gestational- weird of me to say. But I had lost 20lbs alone from simply changing when and how much food I ate. Since then my weight has fluctuated with my anxiety and physical pain issues. And every time I reaffirmed to do better, I always fell off. But this time, I dug up my diabetic diet sheet and decided that I’m not going to fail this time! With diabetes running in my family, coupled with the fact that I was gestational diabetic with both pregnancies makes me a prime candidate in getting it- and I don’t want it. I already have blood pressure issues, I don’t want diabetes complicating my health and my life.
So here’s the diabetic diet. It’s no fancy gimmicks, no gym time, no 5 am runs, no stress. It’s easy and this diet can really force you to change your whole life just be simply changing your food, it can change your mental health too and a bonus it can change the health of your family 🙂
Some tips to go along with this meal planning sheet:
1) Eat on time! When you eat is just as important is how much you eat. Eating on time before you get hungry with small meals and snacks is not a new thing but it can change your food choices all day!
2) Portion control. Again not a new thing, but many people don’t realize that even sweet potatoes are a carb and turn into sugar. So now imagine if you’re eating some roasted sweet potatoes with rice? That’s carb overload and basically a sugar overload.
3) You can’t just eat all the meat you want. Proteins are good for losing weight, and it’s better to up your protein and down your carb, but too much protein can have a bad affect on your health.
4) Beans and some veggies are carbs- yeah like chickpeas are good carbs and protein combo and can fill you up nice. But if you eat a can full…you might be in trouble.
5) Eat 2 handfuls of veggies before you eat your carb or main.
So here’s how you get started today:
First things first: GET RID OF ALL THE CRAP IN YOUR HOUSE!
I kid you not, you need to get rid of everything and anything that is processed, full of sugar, salt and carbs. I’m not just talking about candy bars, I’m talking about Sidekicks packages, I’m talking about canned tomatoes that have salt in it, healthy baked snacking chips are FULL of salt, etc etc you get the hint.
Don’t do it in steps- trust me that never works. Take a Saturday, tell the husband to bugger off with the children and you do an overhaul. Check the labels of everything.
Second: Buy ingredients to make things, not things that are already made. If it’s already made for you, it’s probably full of crap you shouldn’t be eating. I’m not saying cut out everything, but you should have 20% packaged in your grocery store cart and 80% ingredients you make things with.
Third: Spend 20 mins a day to look for easy healthy foods and baked goods on the internet and make a grocery list from that. You don’t have to preplan your week, but at least have staples in the pantry. Here is a grocery list to keep stocked up.
Fourth: It’s not going to be hard, as long as you tell yourself everyday that your cravings can just go die! Having a partner, friend or group of people to support you helps tons!
Fifth: Keep a food journal! Everything you eat, write it down! Even the small handful of nuts or a healthy smoothie. All of it. It will help you keep track of how much you are actually consuming vs how much you think you are. Seeing how much you eat also helps the psychology of your brain to realize you are actually getting plenty of food.
Lastly: Water yourself! Drink a lot of water during your day. If you feel peckish for that something sweet, drink water. You can add different fruits and veggies to get the best flavours.
This is the meal schedule. You can print this one out
Now go out there and be the best and awesome you!