Monday, July 6, 2015

Diabetes Today

The detox finally ended and bit early too - our friends invited us over for a curry night and I wanted red wine and so I was like screw it! I made it through 24 days without booze, coffee and attempting to eat more alkalizing foods. So good on you, Lisa. Good on you!

After the detox I was off to NYC for a week and upon landing I met with Dr. Salzarulo - holistic doctor and specialist in homeopathy, nutrition and natural detoxification. We spoke about my history with pre-diabetes and my current issues with eczema and tummy troubles. I had several tests done and he said my primary detoxing organs (liver, colon, lungs and kidneys) were weak and he found inflammation in my gut, which was causing the eczema. However, what was more surprising and more of a concern was my blood sugars. They were high and Dr. Salzarulo said that if I went into a diabetic clinic now I would be diagnosed as diabetic. My HbA1c was 6.5, which is where it was two years ago.

I had hoped that my blood sugars had further improved since my last test, but not the case. There have been a few changes in the past year that may have influenced my glucose levels. As of January I've been working full time as a maitre'd, which at times is stressful and is physically very tiring. This has been a big adjustment for me because not only am I working 6 days a week, but I'm on my feet the entire time. Sometimes I feel like I'm stressed in some form or another and stress can have a huge impact on blood sugar. And of course my diet has changed a lot since I started working. For starters I'm no longer preparing all my own meals, I eat staff meal almost every day. There's also perks to working in a restaurant like easy access to Michelin-star desserts, french fries and buttery petit fours, which are hard to resist.

Leftover desserts from pastry. Arg!!!

I was disappointed by my results and coward a bit when questioned about my high carb vegan diet. Based on my food diary, the doc said my diet was high in wheat, soy and corn which was not good. Dr. Salzarulo said my primary focus should be to reduce and stabilize my blood sugars to 5.6 and he put me on a supplement plan to strengthen my gut and detoxing organs as well as a low sugar, low-carb diet. Here's the gist of my new diet moving forward:
  • Breakfast and lunch consist of non starchy vegetables, salads included, high quality protein and one low glycemic fruit
  • Avoid all foods that are made with processed sugar and other sweeteners – candy, soda, sweets, ice cream, pastries, pies, cakes. Other Sweeteners include  honey, agave, molasses, barley malt, fructose, carob, cane juice, maple syrup, sucanat, brown rice syrup, corn syrup, dates and date syrup
  • Absolutely no fruit juice and 1 low Glycemic Fruit per day
  • General dinner rule is to have at least 50% vegetables, 25% protein and 25% starch (can include grains, starchy vegetables and/or legumes)
  • Wait until after 4 p.m. to add starchy foods: including starchy vegetables, legumes – beans, wheat and gluten-free cooked grains, peas, winter squash, and pumpkin
  • Starch – ½ cup 
  • It is best to avoid grains, but you may have them 2-3 times a week
  • A serving of protein is about a fist full or 3-4 ounces and recommended proteins: Free range chicken, Grass feed beef, Wild Alaskan salmon, Trout, Mackerel, Tempeh, Organic non-GMO sprouted soy
  • Cook with Coconut oil, Ghee (clarified butter), Butter or Grapeseed oil
  • Best for dressings, dips, unheated uses Olive oil, Flaxseed oil, Sesame oil and Avocado oil
  • Oils to avoid: Margarine and spreads, Partially hydrogenated oils (including hydrogenated palm oil), Trans-fats, Vegetable shortening, Canola oil, Cottonseed Oil and Corn oil 
  • Personally I am also to avoid rice, wheat, sugar, eggs, dairy, soy, shellfish, peanuts, cashews, tomatoes and chocolate
Needless to say this is a huge blow to my vegan pursuits. If I wanted to continue eating vegan then my diet would be very limited; I would have to eat lots of legumes everyday and I don't enjoy them that much. Personally without the bulk of my calories coming from starches, fruit and soy, I would feel deprived and no one's diet should feel like deprivation. I also believe that food should be both nourishing and pleasurable. So I've decided to add seafood back into my diet and as mentioned before I still love seafood. I'm determined to get my blood sugars in the healthy range and am willing to give this a try. So now my diet is mainly whole plants-based, but I'm enjoying fish again and try my best to find sustainable and ethical sources here in Brasil.

My last supper complete with deep fried corn fritters

Will keep you posted on my progress, wish me luck!

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