When you start on a new journey, you ideally want to know what the eff you’ve gotten yourself into.
Not least when it’s about your health, well-being and future life.
I get that. I totally do.
And I’ve got something really special up my sleeve for you today!
This is one of my biggest secrets in doing what I do. You could see it as a 4-year short cut, as that’s how long it took me (well, plus 26 years…) to get to where I am today.
Diabetes Sweet Spot
Let me explain this diagram a little (?) more in detail…
First up we have
Sexy Food and Water
What I mean by this is real food that makes you feel your absolute best, fuels your body, your mind and your soul whilst not jerking your blood sugars around.
In my experience, and many others that I’ve helped and talked to, the mentality of “eating and covering for it” simply doesn’t work.
Eating a lower amount of carbs than we generally do today is very beneficial to most people. Even more so if you’ve got diabetes as a constant companion.
Picture this, a doctor tells their patient, who is lactose intolerant, to drink 1 liter of milk a day, “because it’s good for them”… Do you see the flaw in logic here?
If that patient does drink that milk, “like the doctor said”, they will be in a world of pain, discomfort and also spend too much time on the porcelain throne. Because their body is unable to process lactose properly.
Now, picture this; a doctor/CDE/nutritionist tells a person with diabetes to eat 60% grains and carbohydrates with every meal, “because they need it”… (Wait, where have I heard this before…?!)
Carbohydrates, no matter in which form (pasta, rice, bread, cereals, pastries, cookies, ice cream….) turn into pure sugar (glucose) as soon as it hits your mouth and the enzymes in your saliva.
And what do people with diabetes not produce (enough of)?! The hormone that lets energy, in the form of sugar, into the cells, namely insulin. And if we can’t produce it ourselves, we have to add it in a much less precise and guesstimating way in comparison to our well-oiled-running-like-machines-bodies.
Ergo, removing some (or even all) of those sugar-shape shifter-carbs from what you eat is a great idea.
That would be the same logic as for our lactose intolerant friend I mentioned before – to take away what your body can’t process properly to reduce pain, discomfort and make life easier.
(I’ll happily talk more about this, if you don’t agree, let me know in the comments below!)
And water. Tons of clean, clear water infused with alpine air (in a best case scenario).
You need water not only for hydration, but also for moving energy/sugar around, to keep the insulin you take active and to flush your system of toxins and other stuff slugging around.
Medications & Supplements
Even if you do everything else right, it doesn’t disguise the fact that you’ll still need insulin. Just a lot less of it, which in my books is a definite winner! Today, I’m taking 1/3 of the amount of insulin that I used to a couple of years ago.
When you start taking better care of the other areas in your life, you’ll usually get the privilege to cut down on, or even completely stop taking, other medications you might be on.
For me it was the case with my blood pressure medicine. I could cut my dosage with 75% after I started eating better, relaxing and taking better care of myself. But just because I was able to cut down, it doesn’t mean I don’t have to take them at all, I still do. Just a much smaller dosage.
And I still haven’t needed medication for my Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis, which is usually treated with hormones.
I generally recommend a series of supplements, which I’m currently taking myself as well. Yep, all of them:
Vitamin D3, Omega 3, Antioxidants (in the form of green powders), Probiotics, Vitamin B Complex, Magnesium and Zinc. Sometimes I add Chromium to the mix as well.
But these aren’t set in stone; it really depends on you and your own journey.
Self-love & Attitude
Oh, how I can go on about the importance of self-love!
The fact is though, that when you start seeing yourself, your body, mind, soul and brain (and every little cell in between) as one Team, shit starts to shift.
This means that you don’t think of your pancreas (for example) as the bad guy for having applied for (way too) early retirement. Or hate your immune system for attacking your pancreas, thyroid, skin (or whatever else it’s decided you could do without).
And how do you get to your Team Me status?
A lot of it comes from self-love, making sure you feel good and love yourself.
What is self-love then? Here are some ideas:
Eating well. Healthy, healing real food full of happiness and love.
Water! It purifies you, makes sure you get energy to your cells and hydrates every part of you.
Breathe deeply, truly and all the way into your toes.
Stretching or going to that yoga class you know you love.
Rocking it out to your favorite tune is the pure definition of self-love!
Make Gratitude your Attitude! Tell yourself what you’re grateful for every day, either just mentally, or write it down in a journal, or make a gratitude jar.
“Do nothing” days
Reading your favorite magazine with a cup of tea/coffee/or hey, even bubbly.
Treat yourself to a massage or a mani/pedi.
Treating yourself to that one thing you’ve been eyeing up lately. It’s ok to be materialistic, too!
Putting up boundaries. What’s ok for you and what isn’t? Break up with those things that aren’t.
Prioritizing good sleep is good self-care. (Danielle LaPorte said that, and I know she’s right!)
Put. Away. Your. Phone. I promise you, you don’t need to know what is happening on Facebook every second of the day.
But how can you make sure you don’t forget about loving yourself?
Here are my Top 3 Tips:
Schedule it. Otherwise it’s the easiest part to neglect for me (even though I really know I can’t afford to).
Make it a daily practice. Can you feel the benefits of it when you meditate? Make sure you practice it regularly. Does a long walk in the sunshine do you worlds of good? Get hooked on them!
Make yourself your first priority. It sounds really selfish, but it’s not. Think about it, how can you be there for others if you’re not feeling well yourself? Make a team out of your body and yourself, call it “Team Me”. This team always has priority over everything and everyone else. Fact.
De-stress & Movement
This point goes much hand-in-hand with the previous one.
If you’ve changed your attitude about yourself and diabetes, you will have a lot less stress in your life. That’s a promise.
Meditation, eating well, and all of the others I mentioned above help de-stress you and your life.
As does exercise, for example.
I’m not saying you have to turn into an instant iron man competitor, ultra marathon runner or Olympic-grade swimmer right now. (Although if that’s what you want, then by all means go ahead! You have all of my awe and respect)
Start s l o w l y, gently and build on your exercise and fitness level every day. It’s not more difficult than starting with a short, brisk walk outside.
After a while, the walk will automatically become longer or more intensive, as your body feels it can perform better. Before you know it, you might even want to try jogging or hiking in the mountains.
And all of this while not even thinking about your daily walks as exercise! How flipping great is that?!
It doesn’t have to be a walk though, anything exercise-y that floats your boat is awesome, be it yoga, zumba, dancing on your own to your favorite tunes, body exercises, stretches, skiing, swimming, or a royal mix of them all.
The most important point is that it shouldn’t feel like exercise – you should do it by yourself, without thinking “this is hard”.
The rituals you set up for yourself is what you can lean back on when times get a little less rosy and sunny, for example.
If you feel a little lost, you know that your ritual (or routine, but that’s a boring word) can be a saving grace.
Also, if your body knows approximately when or in what order something will be given to it, it knows to prepare for it.
My daily ritual looks a little something like this…
I wake up at 7:30am, find myself a centering thought for the day, after which I check my blood sugar (both on my cgm and manually). Then I check the main notifications on my phone (I want to change this)… Then I get up, take my supplements and proceed to my morning meditation. After a shower and putting some clothes on, I open my laptop and work until lunch, before which I check my blood sugar manually again. It’s a healthy, happy meal. After checking the notifications again…. I go back to my computer and work for another 2 or so hours. Then I go out for a walk (my daily walks are holy) as an afternoon break, after checking my blood sugar. Back to work (client/computer/meeting) until it’s time to make dinner and check my blood sugar. After dinner, my husband and I talk, go out for a date or do something productive. Before bed time there’s the last batch of supplements, taking my make up off with coconut oil, checking my blood sugar and showing gratitude for the day I’ve just experienced. Lights out, sleep.
Of course this differs when I have something special to do, but this is my ground framework.
But this way things like checking my blood sugar becomes part of my routine and it doesn’t feel as difficult or even impossible to do it. I even miss doing it if I somehow skip it in my routine, or have ran out of test strips… (I know, I’m a little weird. But I’m happy that I am, life is that much easier when you’re a little weird.)
Et viola, if you get these areas right for YOU, you’ve entered into what I love to call the Diabetes Sweet Spot.
This diagram is essentially a summary of the last 30 years of my own research and experience, and if you do need some help on the way here, I’m all ears and would love to help you.
Have you found your Diabetes Sweet Spot? How did you get there? And how long did it take you?
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