Momma Told Me: 5 Diabetic Friendly Lifestyle Tips + My Personal Story

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Monday, May 23, 2016

5 Diabetic Friendly Lifestyle Tips + My Personal Story

I have been compensated by Glucerna for this post; however, I am sharing my own thoughts. All opinions are my own. Talk with your health care provider about a diabetes management plan that’s right for you. #GlucernaHungerSmart #CollectiveBias
For most diagnosed with adult diabetes it can feel as though one's world has been turned upside down. Follow these 5 Simple Diabetic Friendly Lifestyle Tips to help support loved ones newly diagnosed with diabetes. #GlucernaHungerSmart (AD)
Momma Told Me: You won't be able to eat whatever you want forever!

When I was a little girl it seemed like I could eat anything I wanted. Of course, most of the things I could eat I had no desire to because my taste buds were far from developed enough to appreciate them. I remember sitting cross-legged on the floor in my nightgown, a hot fudge mustache on my face; my father and I unwrapping chocolate kisses and tossing them back like it was going out of style. I was born with my father's sweet tooth, and, because he worked so often during my waking hours, he was inclined to indulge the both of us with sugar and treats when he was home.

Of course my childhood was a slightly different era. Back when juice boxes and sports drinks were sent to school without a second glance of a label. When we passed out candy bars at holidays without concern for allergens, or behavioral issues. And the children who's parents monitored their meals and snacks were the minority. I simply was not raised to care much about what I ate in that sense-

And then I turned 28.
Generations of high glucose levels.
To say my lifestyle and diet has changed dramatically with strong motivation in the past few years would be a very mild way of explaining the transformation I've undergone. When my grandmother passed away on my mother's side I inherited a small life insurance policy which helped me pay off my school loans, buy a better car, and finally afford health insurance. Everyone is always telling me about how great it is to be young, that I'm still a 'baby' and how wonderful youth is to have.

This is true. But I'm far from too young to take charge of my health. And, while I did not feel or look unhealthy, my new physician was quick to explain my blood-work said otherwise. At 28 I was a pre-diabetic. I was crushed.

Immediately I began making dramatic lifestyle and diet changes. I joined a gym, I gave up nearly all beverages for water, allowed myself 'dessert' only twice a week (and on social occasions) and prepared special meal plans. My family thought I was going overboard- my father, who had once been my partner in crime, continued to give me massive sweets as gifts for holidays. And then, 3 months ago, his own doctor declared him diabetic. It was then I began digging deeper into my family history and discovered the genetic predisposition to diabetes that I'd already been struggling to fight the past several years. For generations back the adults in our family have ALL struggled with glucose levels, and eventually, diabetes.
Healthy Fruit Options For Diabetics #GlucernaHungerSmart (AD)
If you or someone you know has recently been diagnosed diabetic it can be tough to know where to start. For me, on my journey, just having the support of friends and family to encourage me to make smarter decisions about food and lifestyle has been invaluable. Adult diabetes often comes as a surprise, and can greatly interrupt the lifestyle of those diagnosed. So today I'd like to share 5 simple tips to help manage diabetes that have proved comforting for our family.

TIP #1: Replace Old Cravings With Fruit- It may seem contrary to reach for something naturally sweet when you're attempting to manage your blood sugar but there are a variety of fruits with positive sugars and carbs that the body actually needs, and digests much easier than processed or refined sugars. In addition, fruits often have additional vitamins and nutrients essential to a healthy diet!

Check out some of my favorite fruits for diabetic living-
  • Kiwis: High in fiber and vitamin C with minimal (essential) natural sugars.
  • Clementines: Low in fat with a low glycemic index and packed with Vitamin C
  • Peaches: Vitamin A + C, as well as rich in Fiber, making them great for hunger curbing smoothies!
  • Bananas: Bananas are high in carbohydrates, so they should be enjoyed in portions, but provide a great source of natural energy and potassium, perfect to start the day!
  • Avocados: This delicious savory fruit may be high in calories, but the fatty acids inside can also help bring down glycemic index levels inside the body. 
  • Tomatoes: When eaten raw, tomatoes are found to be low in carbohydrates, and tomato juice may even contribute to a better lifestyle. Just remember to avoid sugar ridden sauces, such as ketchup!
TIP #2: Get A Full Night's Sleep- Getting a good night's rest is a 'Pro' tip for anybody, diabetes or not, but studies have also found that those who get 2 or more hours less than the recommended amount of sleep per night may be at greater risk for developing diabetes, or suffering from increased complications. While the full link between increased glucose levels and less sleep on average is not completely understood, quite yet, waking refreshed and ready for the day will surely help you make smarter decisions, and feel more inclined to maintain an active lifestyle.

So what's the magic number? Ideally adults 25-40 will get a full 7-9 hours of uninterrupted rest, each night. For people who struggle with falling asleep, or making the time to sleep, dietary and lifestyle changes often associated with healthy diabetic living will often naturally extend the value of sleep gotten.
#GlucernaHungerSmart shakes at Walmart (AD)
Tip #3: Stay Fueled On The Go- For me, personally, the biggest threat to my glucose levels comes when I am out and about. When I am at home I know not to stock my pantries with tempting sweets and dangerous foods. However, when I go out there is an entire world of advertising, merchandising, and fast food bombarding me, no matter where I look. It's easy to feel the grumble of my stomach and want to swing through the drive through for a Tall Mocha Whatever, or a $.99 Frozen Cola. There are many times when I have to talk myself down, so I always keep an easy to consume alternate on hand- Glucerna® Hunger Smart™ Shakes, available in satisfying Vanilla and Chocolate.

Sold at my local Walmart, Glucerna® Hunger Smart™ Shakes (*use under medical supervision) have just 6 grams of sugar and 1 carb choice per bottle. They come in convenient 6 packs of individual 10oz, easy to reseal, bottles. And, with 15g of protein and 3g of fiber, they feature 55% more protein than leading weight loss shakes, which helps me manage my hunger longer. Their unique CarbSteady slowly digestible carbohydrates are even specially designed for those with diabetes. You can currently save up to $3 when you purchase 2 large packages of Glucerna® Hunger Smart™ Shakes at Walmart!

I keep a Glucerna® Hunger Smart™ Shake in my purse often, and especially when I'm planning on going out on a long day trip- not only is it a nice treat to have a sweet shake, but I don't end up giving into my hangry cravings for sugar ridden alternates. And, if you'll remember my father, who was recently diagnosed diabetic- well, he takes one on the road every day at work!
3 Ingredient Nourishing Lotions- Avocado, Cream + Honey #GlucernaHungerSmart (AD)
Tip #4: Nurture Your Skin: Staying hydrated is one of the most important things a diabetic can do- not only will great hydration help the body naturally purify, it will improve the appearance and health of your skin. Skin health is a high concern for those who have been managing their adult diabetes for years. Even with the best diet and treatment diabetes can cause circulation, nerve, and hydration issues that will impact the skin over time.

Having a regular skincare regimen will not only foster beautiful, hydrated, skin, but also reminds a diabetic to be on the lookout for any changes or skin-related symptoms that may be developing as an impact of their diabetes. Try this recipe for our 3 Ingredient Nourishing Lotion to help pamper and nourish diabetic skin:

3 Ingredient Nourishing Lotion

3 TBS Heavy Cream
1/2 Ripe Avocado
2 TBS Honey

Combine all ingredients in a blender and puree into a smooth cream. Apply directly to dry or rough spots and leave on for at least an hour. Rinse with warm water.
#GlucernaHungerSmart (AD)
Tip #5: Stay Fit And Flexible- My final tip, like many of the others, will benefit non diabetics just as much. Maintaining an active lifestyle is essential to not only heart health but regular sessions of even small activity can help lower blood glucose naturally. You don't have to bench press 300lbs, or start running marathons (though either would certainly be beneficial), in fact, relaxing and even easy activities such as yoga, water aerobics, and flexibility training can assist in managing diabetes. Promoting healthy circulation, while encouraging an active heart rate, is key to a successful diabetic exercise routine.

Managing adult diabetes is a lifelong commitment- While there currently is no cure, there is a myriad of lifestyle changes that can be made to make living with diabetes more tolerable. Personally, I've found eating and living better really isn't all that bad- in fact, I feel even better every day knowing I am fueling myself with more energy through a healthier lifestyle. If you or someone you love struggles to manage diabetes consider asking a doctor about adding Glucerna® Hunger Smart™ Shakes to their management plan. Sign up here for a money saving coupon!


What Daughter Says: These days I manage my diet so I can enjoy many more years of delicious food, and amazing memories.

4 comments:

  1. I love this post! You shared so much great information and I can totally relate. When I was younger I ate ALL THE THINGS and my dad still gives me candy for holidays (and he knows I don't eat that stuff). I am so glad you are taking your health seriously and I hope the changes you have made will keep you free from full blown diabetes! Keep on keepin on girl! [client]

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  2. My husband is diabetic. I really wish that I could get him to change his diet but he won't. Glad you are making better choices!

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  3. It sounds like you are making very smart choices. There is nothing better for a person - diabetic or not - than lots of fresh fruit and healthy vegetables. I've heard a lot about Glucerna and I'm glad it's working for you.

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  4. Thanks for letting me now about Glucerna® Hunger Smart™ Shakes I think I would try the Vanilla. Do you have a favorite flavor? I found it interesting how diabetes runs in your family and how you are tackling your issues. Smart eating choices just make sense.

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