Sunday, 14 June 2015

My Habitat Home: I Can't Live With Diabetes

I was a member of a Facebook group that I just left.  The reason I left was because I can't live with diabetes.  Everyone is all "We need to live with this disease."  and I'm all, "No!"

I will not conform to the diabetes diet that a doctor that had three hours or less of nutrition studies advises.  I will, instead, become my own nutritionist.

I will find foods that reverse diabetes.  Why?  Because I do not accept diabetes.  I refuse to allow my children to see this life and death struggle and I refuse to be on a diet that makes no sense at all.

Why would I want to eliminate a plant from my diet altogether?  Really?  If you have type 2 diabetes, I'm going to assume you know what got you there and it was not a bowl of pinto beans.  I'm going to assume it was sugar, ice cream, breads, cakes, saturated fats, and an excessive amount of meat foods.  That was certainly the case with me.

I refuse to "live with the disease."  I think that is the difference between myself and most diabetics.  I don't do the "Oh, poor me!"  I give myself a week to morn my carefree ways and then read every scientific study I can find.  I study nutrition like a mad woman.  For diabetics there are more articles supporting beans than meat.  In fact, many of the studies I read, link meat to being carcinogenic and it increases toxicity if you grill it.

Corn... yes, let's go there!  Sure you should not consume it like a crazed lunatic.  One ear will be fine.  I have never had raised sugar due to corn. Ever!  My two highest numbers, I ate meat and to be precise it was grilled chicken.

Bread... find either a whole grain or low carb option and for God's sake don't eat that like a crazed lunatic either! Grain for breakfast and lunch and then do plants for dinner.  Large salad with nuts or beans and a salad dressing made with Tofutti sour cream, vegan milk, and herbs.

How do I know this works?  My numbers were checked.  Fatty liver disease, gone. High Cholesterol, non-existent, My blood pressure was normal but that went down by 10 points.  My diabetes A1C number wen from 10.9  to a 5.7 at the last check up.

Do I struggle?  When my family is in "I support you" mode no.  When they get tired of not seeing ice cream or chips, yes.  I absolutely do struggle when the junk is brought in.  If they gave a fair warning and I was able to slice bananas and freeze them it would go over better but they usually don't give me time to prepare my equivalent.

I'm not saying I'm perfect.  I am saying research your disease.  Don't just go for a diet because you want to live with a disease.  Go for a diet because you can't live with the disease.  I am quite aware that everybody works different but  let's be real.

You watch enough tv to know what foods are crap.  There are plenty of nutritionists on tv even if you eat a meat diet.  You do know a portion is the size of your fist right?  Gah!  I just cannot be part of any group that make no sense at all.

Tuesday, 2 June 2015

My Habitat Home: Plant Based on a Budget

I have mentioned in previous posts that we are on a tight budget.  We spend about $450 a month on food for our household.  I maintain a plant based diet and my family does not.  How could we possibly afford this?

First, I shop the ads.  I look for products we eat on sale at Aldi's, Kroger, Walmart, and Sav-Alot.  We mostly go to Aldi's for the bulk of it.  Second, I see if I have coupons for the sales.  Kroger will often give coupons for free things like water, cereal, and sometimes veggie burgers.  I believe you have to sign up through their website for those coupons.

Here is the key to affordability, soups.  Yup, you read right!  Soup is the key.  You purchase lots of dried beans garbanzo, pinto, kidney, lentils, navy etc and then you buy a tray of crushed tomato, a tray of diced tomato, and a tray of mushrooms.  Your veggies for most of these soups include onions, peppers, zucchini, leeks, butternut squash, spaghetti squash, kale, spinach, cabbage, and carrots.

With those few ingredients you have so many meals!  In my freezer I house chili, butternut squash soup, spaghetti squash (made like spaghetti without meat), lentil curry, lentils and spinach, cabbage soup and more!

I also have to make meals for my meataterians.  Soups are a key component here too.  I find meat to be horribly expensive.  It doesn't even matter what it is,  it costs an arm and a leg.  I truly don't understand the "vegetables are too expensive" attitude when the truth is, meat is horribly expensive.

The soups for my family include beef stew (I buy a large package of the meat and divide it into three or four portions), chicken noodle soup, chili and then they also eat the vegan stuff because it's really abnormal to not eat veggies at all.

I buy other ingredients to make massive amounts of homemade bean burritos (mine have a low carb tortilla which costs extra but the key is, you eat only one), chicken fajitas for them and mine are a soy based fajita.

I have a garden so we eat lots of salad while in season and we eat weeds like dandelion, blackberry and raspberry leaves, and grape leaves.

We have a large freezer in our basement so we have tons of things for the family on ice.  What we do not have is tons in the refrigerated part.  We run out of refrigerated stuff the closer to the end of the month we get.  Which is ok because we have soup and frozen veggies.

Maybe, I'll start posting some of the recipes soon because they have helped in getting my blood sugar where it belongs.

Monday, 1 June 2015

My Habitat Home: Random Thoughts

 I've been pretty busy working on my plant based meals.   I don't eat meat but I refuse to call myself vegan.  Why?  I have experienced some of the most nasty attitudes toward others trying to be healthy and live healthy.   I will never, ever be a vegan because self preservation will never allow it.

I do love animals but I am also into survival skills for my kids.  Let's say there are no plants left.  What then?  Never say it won't happen.  We already have an issue with bee reduction.  We will be lucky if we survive that.

I've already had the "pleasure" of seeing first hand what a water shortage could do through poison in the water and nine times out of ten, it's due to corporate greed.  Corporate greed is also why a vegan is a vegan.

 As I said though, I do not think of myself as vegan.  I have no clue what a vegan would do with leather boots they previously owned.  The environmentalist in me says please don't toss them!  You toss them and you contribute to part of your animal issues.  Animals are killed from us tossing stuff out, water destroyed, your leather shoes destroyed an entire environment and then vegan shoes... I'm not certain that they biodegrade.  Leather does biodegrade but synthetics have a harder time of it.  This is what I don't get about the whole vegan thing.

You think you are solving an issue but maybe you are creating another issue and it has potential to be far worse.  I think I'll just be happy eating my plants and avoid the Facebook vegans.\

 This weekend my husband and I took the kids to an event called Beyond the Back Yard.  We saw a lot of animals.  They got a chance to go fishing, shoot with a bow and arrow, and learn to safely shoot a Daisy bb rifle because these skills are important.  It's not like we live in a big city where the only guns owned are by gang owners.  We live where people hunt to survive.

 Last but certainly, not least, there's homeschool.  I have been working on next years' schedule.  I'm so happy I will have my daughter join us and we will have more field trips and activities because we ditched public school.  This is the end of that.  I'm tired of my kid getting bullied.  Maybe if I were more confrontational.  I really hate calling school and asking what the heck is going on here?

My daughter's grades went down and she has suffered migraines over this junk.  No, no brat is allowed to take my daughter's health from her.  No brat is allowed to make my kid miserable.  No brat is allowed to turn a public school that's ok into an inner city school with metal detectors.  Just stop!  And for God's sake take parental responsibility!

Friday, 22 May 2015

My Habitat Home: Ugly

260 lbs
 As my husband and I did our mile long walk we had a conversation.  I said "I know I'm not ugly!"  I know it sounded a little vain perhaps but my husband needed to understand, I never thought of myself as ugly, I thought of the fat as ugly.

There are celebrities that can pull it off and be completely beautiful.  I am not in that category.  It takes a certain amount of confidence and self esteem to pull it off and I never could.

At 260 lbs, I never felt beautiful.  My husband would tell me that I am but when you look like the Stay Puff Marshmallow Man, pulling off beautiful is hard to do.  This photo, in the white dress... I hated myself that day.  I took one look in the mirror, I never told my husband that I hated how I looked t.he day we were married.  I never told my husband how it upset me that there was no way he could carry me over the threshold.  I did not feel like a young blushing bride.  I felt like a cow.

Me at 21, 175 lbs.
My husband loved me at this weight and I did not.  I knew who I was before this weight and I wanted her back.  I just could not achieve that while my husband wanted to continue bringing in fast food.  It took a disease for my husband to understand that I can't live like that.

I think my husband liked me at this weight because he did not have to worry if men were hitting on me.  Clearly, men were not.  I think he has confidence issues of his own.

Me at 18
As I went to pick up my daughter at the foot of the hill, it began the cat calls.  I knew it would happen as I said, I never thought I was ugly.  I studied broadcast journalism and that requires a certain look for women.  It's wrong, men can look like trolls and women really cannot.  You will probably never see a 260 lb woman on tv.  Let's not even get into the very popular weatherman that had surgery. Understand that I admire that weatherman so, this isn't a jab at him.  This is a jab at the sexism that this position holds.   Have you seen a woman that big in that position?

When I was young, I worked really hard to fit that image.  At some time I gave up on me and I gave up fighting for the dietary choices that I knew were best for my family.  It is so hard to have to always fight your family for the choices that you know are the right ones for your family.

Don't even get me started on how I feel about the food choices my husband puts in his face.  We could completely change his "hereditary" high blood pressure around.  He would never have that though unless he were dying of cancer right now.

It doesn't matter that his heart is fighting to pump blood and oxygen in his body.  He will stay on this pill so he can eat what he wants, when he wants.  I love him and to be honest, that mindset scares the crap out of me because the end isn't an old age death.

Anyhow, as I was saying before my rant,  being overweight never felt good. I never felt pretty or healthy.  The smaller I get, the more I feel like me.  I never felt like me when I was really heavy.

The self esteem issue is exactly why fat shaming is stupid.  Overweight people fat shame themselves without you.  Obesity has a psychological effect that is a lot like anorexia or bulimia in the opposite direction.  It is all done due to self esteem.  You wouldn't anorexia shame an anorexic would you?  I mean you could make the condition worse.
Me currently 190 lbs

Obesity is like that.  You fat shame which causes depression, eat.   Happy, eat. Sad, eat. With friend, eat.  Obesity is an emotional issue.  Try instead to say "Do you want to go for a walk with me?" and don't give up when they say no.  Ask every day.  But do not tell anyone how fat they are.

Thursday, 21 May 2015

My Habitat Home: Today's Check Up

Vegan "chicken" fajita
10.9 that was my beginning A1C.  That's bad, real bad, off the charts bad.  So bad, I was placed on insulin and a pill.  I was about to be placed on a cholesterol pill at this appointment.

5.9 that's good, real good.  That's normal.  That was the result of my A1C today.

My Dr. entered the room with a few students.  She looked a little bit giddy.  She said, "I've never had a patient like Shirley before."  She went on to explain all my medical history.

The talk revolved around me not being medicated for cholesterol.  She said, "We are looking at reversing diabetes with a vegan diet."

There it is boys and girls.  Type 2 diabetes can be reversed.  Now, I am going to be completely honest... I do not eat crap food.  We saw The Avengers Age of Ultron at the theater and I drank water and five pieces of popcorn.  I eat huge plates of veggies and fruit is eaten at every meal.  I did not cut out potatoes or berries.  I eat the high GI fruits and veggies.  I do not eat meat or crap food.  My blood pressure was good but it has gotten even better.

Here is the game plan:  We need to hit a blood sugar of 70 to get off the last med. today, I hit 94.  In a matter of weeks this is going to be it with the diabetes meds.

Wednesday, 20 May 2015

My Habitat Home: Food Elimination

My blood sugars were well over 200 when I started.
I saw a post that suggested that diabetics should not eat potatoes and should only eat berries and no other fruit.  Say what???  I eat potatoes and all fruit.  The highest my blood sugar has been in over a month is 120.  120 is my cut off, you know, before medical intervention.  Any more than 120 and I am in trouble.

FYI my sugar was high because I ate meat.  I have eaten potatoes and it did not bounce me.  In fact I had a 70 carb breakfast and it did not bounce me.  You do not want to cut out fruits and veggies they have nutrition that your body needs.

Instead, think about what you are putting in your face.  During my A1C we found I have diabetes and a fatty liver.  I had nothing else wrong with me at all.  Each person is different though.  You want to think about if you will gain weight or clog your arteries.

Not everyone needs to think of diabetes this way but a lot of people are cutting out real food unnecessarily.  Yes, to get your numbers down cut it out for a short time but once they are down and you can get off meds, eat a serving size (one small potato) and see what it does.

I got my numbers down by cutting out all breads and grains only eating fruit, veggies, nuts, and legumes.  When I was taken off the needle, I began incorporating oatmeal and a low carb tortilla shell because you need grain!  I mostly cut out meat but as you can see, my highest numbers are meat eating days.  In fact, I made sweet potato fries, way more than a serving, and I had low blood sugar.

Here is my challenge to anyone reading this blog, watch Forks over Knives on Netflix, think about what meals you make that do not have meat.  Think about eating real food that isn't ice cream and chips.  Challenge yourself to find meals you can easily make.  We are on a budget in my household and I have managed to afford a plant based diet.  This can be done.

Exercise... If you've never done it before, it will jump your numbers.  As you loose weight and gain muscle, it will have a reverse effect.  It lowers your sugar numbers.  When fat surrounds your muscle it does some sort of sugar thing.  When you exercise and build muscle, it crowds out the fat and the fat can't make sugar in your muscles any longer.

This is all stuff that I have researched heavily.  When I had almond flour pancakes with maple syrup (my 70 carb breakfast)  in two hours my sugar was 100.  It should have jumped really high.  It did not.  I called my health coach and she said it's reversing.

Don't be afraid to research your own body.  Don't take anyone's word that you can't change things and for God's sake! Don't be afraid to change your diet because you want gravy slathered, butter slathered, breaded meat.  If I listened to my doctor, who said it was unlikely I could reverse it, I would still feel like garbage.  Listen to yourself first.  When did we stop researching our body? When did we stop getting a second opinion?

Saturday, 16 May 2015

Happy at Homeschool: What About Socialization?

Let's just work on infuriating homeschoolers all over the world.  I went someplace where I mentioned that I homeschool.  Generally, I welcome questions but this is one of those questions that just rubs me in all the wrong ways.  What about socialization?  Really!  You're asking me if my kids are passing notes in class, whispering when they aren't supposed to, moving when they aren't supposed to playing with friends for only 30 minutes?  That's socialization? Really?

Because she is the show.
A two hour ice show couldn't
possibly have other people in it.
First let's settle all class issues such as note passing... I welcome that because that will go in a portfolio showing they write.  Moving during class, I welcome that too because you aren't supposed to sit on your bum for seven hours.  I welcome talking in the middle of class we have no behavior chart.  I do not shut off lights to get my kids to shut up.

My kids, that are homeschooled, are not bullied.  My kids, that are homeschooled, do not have to report to the office because they were bullied.  My kids, that are homeschooled, can learn naturally and don't have to be on a mad dash to learn before a test.

You know, because this was a
group event, it could be we were
the only people there.
For a second, let's pretend.  I keep my kids behind doors at all times.  They do nothing but stare at walls all day.  They are so bored  they can hardly contain themselves.  Wait,  I hope you don't really believe my kids or any homeschool kid is treated like that.

Sure, there are exceptions.  There are homeschool parents that abuse their children.  Funny, I was in public school living in domestic violence and I told an adult and no one did anything.  You can't blame domestic violence on homeschool just like you can't blame it on public school.  You can't stop psychotic parents you can help the children involved.

Because children don't hang out
What homeschool is actually like... We've done Girl Scouts, camping, going to the playground, ice skating, going out of our way to plan field trips for other homeschoolers, joining a co-op, bowling on and I I could go.

Because this is our own private
playground.  We are scared of
the public.
All of these things require specific behaviors and heaven forbid, play and socialization.  From now on, think before you speak.  Don't assume public school kids get to socialize because in comparison, they don't.  I've actually had to cut back on our activities because my daughter wanted public school.  There isn't enough time in the day to cart her to school have our fun and do what we want to do.

We trick or treat by ourselves
too. We never see other children
when we do this.
I'm quite relieved she will be homeschooled next year.  We can get back to doing a lot more of that socialization that homeschoolers apparently don't do according to the opinion of some.

And certainly, we never ever expose ourselves to learning opportunities with children just like us at the local news station.  I mean that involves socialization!  Why would an unsocialized homeschooler EVER do that?

 I'm hoping that you now see how silly it is to make the assumption that the kids aren't socialized. Honestly, every homeschool parent I know makes the effort to not sit back and do nothing.  We put a lot of effort and planning into what we do.  It isn't a mindless event.  You need a few extra brain cells to homeschool.