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.
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.
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!
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.
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!
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.
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.