The only purpose of this video and website is to educate and to inform. It is no substitute for professional care by a doctor or other qualified medical professional. This video and website is provided on the understanding that it does not constitute medical or other professional advice or services. Instead, we encourage you to discuss your options with a health care provider who specializes in treating Type 1 Diabetes.
https://hannaboethius.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/06/T1TEP47Art.jpg7201280Hanna Boëthius/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/HannaDiabetesExpertLogo@2x.pngHanna Boëthius2020-06-25 21:05:002020-06-26 13:15:38“Why are you so harsh on yourself?” 😳
The only purpose of this video & website is to educate and to inform. It is no substitute for professional care by a doctor or other qualified medical professional. This video & website are provided on the understanding that it does not constitute medical or other professional advice or services. Instead, we encourage you to discuss your options with a health care provider who specializes in treating Type 1 Diabetes.
https://hannaboethius.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/44eatweek.png7201280Hanna Boëthius/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/HannaDiabetesExpertLogo@2x.pngHanna Boëthius2020-05-28 17:49:572020-05-28 17:49:59“What do you eat in a day, Hanna?”
Do you ever keep a food log? 🤔 As you may know, if you’ve seen it on my Instagram I’ve been doing an experiment on myself with exactly that this week.
Having had to do so many, many times since my T1D diagnosis 35 years ago (including during my nutrition training…), the result is that I absolutely can’t stand it. It’s fiddly, too many numbers and honestly, I don’t even care about them (anymore).
Despite this, I decided to check that I’m eating enough, if I eat consistently and how/if my blood sugar and insulin requirements would change with changes in kcal (etc) intake. Normally, I care as little about kcal as I do about ketones, i.e. not at all. Counting calories doesn’t work, food is nutrition, which is information that the body uses.
BUT – I do believe in eating when I’m hungry/my body needs fuel, which ends up being two meals a day for me. I also believe in eating real foods from nature and minimally processed. And I believe natural fat is good for us (yes, also saturated fat). Throughout this week, I found a few patterns:
🌟 I ate somewhere between 1100-2000 kcal/day. My basal metabolic rate is around 1300 kcal. I had a few comments that that would be too little as an intake, but if you see me I’m not exactly skin and bones. I’m also a big believer in nutrition density, and I think my kcal contain more nutrition.
🌟 I seem to intuitively vary the amount of kcal according to what my body needs and tells me. LISTEN 👏 TO 👏 YOUR 👏 BODY! It’s natural that the level of hunger varies, and as long as I’m happy, full, satisfied and well nourished, I trust my body to eat what I/she needs. For example, I seem to be eating slightly less on my more active days. And I’m ok with that.
🌟 I bolus for my meals (this I already knew, of course). As bolus strategies are very individual, I didn’t see the point in announcing doses. Throughout this experiment, I’ve used a total daily dose of 17-21 units/day, with a 85% basal, 15% bolus split, just like I usually do. My blood sugars have been fantastic, too!
How do you feel about logging food? A fun experiment or personal torture? 🤔 Discuss!
As a reminder, to yourself or someone you know needs to hear/see it, this is my main point:
Would you prefer to read more about my food log experiment? Here’s a written version:
My Food Log Experiment
I have done something different this week. And I’m excited to tell you about it. I will tell you what I did, how I did it (well, that’s pretty straightforward)! But I will also reveal all the patterns that I found doing this little experiment.
As you may have seen, I have been logging my food, again for the umpteenth time in the history of my diabetes career, which has become quite long by this point, despite me only being 25 and I cannot see how that works?! 😉 But as you may have seen on Instagram, I have been logging my food again. I want to know from you, while I keep yapping on here, how about you tell me in a comment somewhere whether you are pro or contra logging food? I am very much against logging food – I really frickin loathe it, like I hate logging food. I hate it so much and this comes from my diagnosis having to do it well, I didn’t have to do it my but my parents had to do it for my diagnosis about 35 years ago this year. And also I’ve had to do it so many times since and especially when I’ve been struggling with diabetes, and it was really shit everywhere. And I yes, also of course, when I became a nutrition professional, I had to log a lot have food and I really, really don’t like it. So that’s, you know, my bias.
Despite this, I decided to do it now anyway, because I do think it’s good to sometimes check where I’m at in terms of how much I’m eating and all this stuff. I have to be honest and say that I really don’t care about calories, I really don’t care about macros, I really don’t care about the percentages here and energy percentages there. I don’t care about ketones at all, unless I’m sick, and ruling it out as a cause. I just focus on minimising the carbs because that’s what works for me. I know you’re a lot of people out there where this doesn’t work for or you don’t agree with it. But let’s just assume that we can be individual in our care and that different things fit different people. So yes, I really think it is a good idea sometimes to do check what it is that I’m eating. And you can do this with different providers such as My Fitness Pal or Cronometer.
My basal metabolic rate, as in what my body burns, when I do nothing when I sit and breathe, basically, is about 1300 calories. You can find out this in many ways, you can use manual things, or you can use online calculators or I also have my wearables calculate for me as well, and they’re always around 1300 calories. So that’s, you know, what I’m working with here.
In this week’s experiment, it has revealed itself that I eat something between 1100 and 2000 calories a day. To be honest, I don’t even believe in calorie counting. So I don’t even know why I’m keeping track. But I thought it could be interesting. I don’t see that calorie counting works, and especially not the way it has been made to seem to work. I much more believe in that nutrition is information for the body that the body can use to function properly. And I also strongly believe that our bodies are wonderful machines who can regulate this! If you dare to listen to your body, and this is my main message today; if you dare to listen to your body, it will tell you if you need more calories, less calories, more energy and in which form less energy in which not form.
I did get a few comments, not just one, about why am I eating so little calories? Again, for me, this is not really a problem because I don’t really pay attention to it, I pay much more attention to whether I’m full, whether I’m happy, whether I’m satisfied, whether I’m in a good mood, all of these things. And of course, my yearly checkup, I check if I have any deficiencies, but so far, it hasn’t been that way. So why so low calories? I really believe that I do eat food with very dense nutrition. So there’s a lot of nutrition per calorie, per gram of carb, per gram of fat and protein. There’s a lot of nutrition in the calories and the macros that I do eat. That’s why, if I’m not hungrier than 1100 calories one day, I’m not going to force feed myself just to get up to an arbitrary number for me. I am well nourished, as you can see, I’m not just skin and bones. There’s ample things to take off from here, so I’m not malnourished either. I eat however much I want, I don’t have any limits for myself, I eat however much I want until I’m full, happy, satisfied. And I really believe in that.
This experiment showed me that I intuitively vary calories according to my needs. It is something very natural for hunger to vary, and for calories to vary from day to day, depending on what you’ve done, how you feel, all of these things that have an impact. I came to the conclusion that I am quite good at intuitive eating actually, where I really listen to my body in terms of what it wants, in terms of how much it wants, in terms of what nutrition it needs on that day in that moment. Really, my philosophy is really as easy as, Eat when you’re hungry. Don’t eat when you’re not hungry. This leads me to mostly eat two meals a day, sometimes I have a snack between the meals, sometimes I don’t. It really depends on what my body is calling out for. An important point, because this is a completely different ballgame if this is your problem, but I eat without emotion. I think that food is joyous and it’s good and I enjoy food and it has to taste good. But I don’t eat because I’m sad. I don’t eat because I’m happy. I don’t eat because you know, there’s an underlying emotion. So if this is your ballgame, then there are tonnes of experts out there who can help you with this, but it’s a completely different thing to handle.
I also noticed that I tend to eat less when I have a more active day which sounds completely weird. Three days a week, I do bodyweight exercises for half an hour, I go out walking at least half an hour, and I do at least half an hour of yoga. So that’s 1,5 hours on those three days that I move my body. I do it because it feels good and not because I feel I have to do it. And again, I listen to my body, and it wants to move! On the other four days of the week, I do walking or yoga or both. It all depends on how I feel during the day. But yes, on the days I move more I eat slightly less calories, which was weird to me. But again, I don’t worry about it. I know my body can take care of itself. It’s fine.
Bolus for minimal carbs?
I also got a lot of questions if I bolus for the meals that I eat, considering there’s very little carbs in the food that I eat. Do I even bows for it? And yes, I do bolus for my food (which is what I said in my Instagram Stories very many times, “yes a bonus for this”). It is very important, of course, to keep blood sugar stable, healthy and at normal levels. This was a great success in the in that respect as well this week, my blood sugar’s have been great! I’m very grateful for that. I also corrected when I had to, and used insulin as normal.
Because bolus strategy for every person with diabetes is very, very individual, I didn’t see the point of actually disclosing any numbers or how many units I was taking or anything like that. It’s turns out to be a pretty arbitrary number, much like calories. How much bolus I take doesn’t really matter because it’s so individual. A lot of it comes down to what your routine is, what your eating habits are like, what do you usually eat? Do you eat a lot of carbs usually? Or do you eat less carbs? Usually, your bolus strategy will depend on these factors. It also depends on what kind of a role of your basal insulin, the underlying insulin, plays, along with so many other things, like what your fat and protein factors are and how much you need to bolus for protein, for example. There are rules of thumb, absolutely, for all of this, but for you as an individual, you will need to play a little trial and error to see what works for you in certain circumstances.
But as a little factoid, I used anything between 15 and 21 total units per day in my insulin pump. That means it’s both basal and bolus insulin. It works out to a ratio of 85% basal and 15% bolus. It doesn’t really tell you much, but it just shows that I do take insulin and I do take adequate amounts of insulin and I won’t go into DKA (as that is the danger of taking too little insulin, DKA is always due to at least the relative lack of insulin in your body).
Food Log Conclusion
So what is my conclusion of my (now) four day experiment, I cannot wait to finish it tomorrow. But my four day experiment so far is that I still loathe, I still hate logging food. It was a great reminder for me., It really takes away that joy for food, the joy of eating the sheer pleasure of eating and puts it too much into my head. There are too many thoughts, there’s too much planning. There’s too much of, “oh yeah, how many blah, blah blah was this and how many walnuts did I eat there?” and “how much cream was that?” It takes the complete joy out of it for me. And it also takes me out of trusting my body, listening to my body-feeling, that I find is so, so important, especially when it comes to eating. This was the quick-ish conclusion of my four day experiment of logging food!
Before I go, I wanted to ask you, what does food logging mean to you? Have you used one of these terrible chart-things that I used to get from my dietitian (when I still saw one)? Is it a fun experiment to check in on yourself every once in a while, or are you more Team Me and it’s a bit of a personal torture? Please let me know in a comment!
The only purpose of this website is to educate and to inform. It is no substitute for professional care by a doctor or other qualified medical professional. This website is provided on the understanding that it does not constitute medical or other professional advice or services. Instead, we encourage you to discuss your options with a health care provider who specializes in treating Type 1 Diabetes.
Hola, Sunshine! ☀️ Today on Type 1 Thursday, we’re talking about vitamin D!
Where do we get it from, how can we improve our levels (if needed) and what is it good for?
Did you know vitamin D is THIS important? How do you make sure you have enough vitamin D? Let’s chat in the comments!
Ps. Why don’t you share this video with someone who needs to learn more about vitamin D?
I made this handy graphic about the sources of vitamin D to go with the video. Got any questions? Let me know in the comments!
If you prefer to read about vitamin D, here is a text version of the information :
Welcome to this week’s Type 1 Thursday and today’s topic, vitamin D. I asked you on my Instagram Stories again what you wanted me to talk about and vitamin D was the clear answer. (Well, actually it was a yes or no question, so anyway, it was Yes on that! So that’s what we’re talking about today.)
Vitamin D is claimed to help anything and everything in your body, like your immune system to Alzheimer’s to MS to cancer and blood sugar. There have been studies showing either way on all of these so it’s quite an important thing for our body.
Did you actually know that vitamin D is something like a pro hormone, so like a precursor of a hormone and not as much of a vitamin as we are made to believe? It’s so important in our body, and its role in many, many functions is astonishing. Our bodies can make it on its own, which I will go through in a little bit, but it basically uses cholesterol and sunlight, and we can also get it from food sources if the sunlight is not enough, which it can be, for example, in the Northern Hemisphere during the winter half of the year.
Benefits of Vitamin D
What are the benefits of vitamin D? It can help regulate and control the body’s ability to absorb phosphorus and calcium. It may also help the body regulate the insulin production in the pancreas. Vitamin D levels in a person should ideally be around 20 to 56 ng/l and with anything clinically as low as 20 ng/l is considered deficient. It is now of course known that we need a sufficient amount of vitamin D in our system, in our body and something around 60 to 80 mark even 100 ng/l can help, for example, blood glucose levels to keep them under control, which is absolutely vital for people with diabetes.
What else is it good for then? (If you know, how about you send me a little comment so I know I’m not completely alone out there on the interwebs!) In the meantime, vitamin D does support our immune system, our brain and our nervous system which can be very good and especially at this point of time. It also is very good for lung function and our cardiovascular system, and it can also influence the gene expression of cancer tumours. It’s not quite clear how it really works there, but it seems to be able to have an influence on cancer metabolism.
Vitamin D also helps you have better skin, it helps you have healthier muscles. Also, more studies are finding a link between Type 1 Diabetes and vitamin D levels because of the auto immunity aspect, as well. Something I learned very recently is that there is a presence of vitamin D receptors on insulin secreting pancreatic beta cells. And to this, multiple studies have shown that vitamin D supplementation as a young child can seem to be able to prevent a Type 1 diagnosis later in life. It’s quite an interesting topic and if you’re interested, I suggest that you Google it because it is a very interesting field of research! (And of course I am invested myself, so please go find all the good stuff and report back.) It also can also help with depression in some cases, as well.
How to get Vitamin D
So how do we get vitamin D at all? The obvious one is (I tried to depict it in my clothing today); sunshine! It is the one very natural and fantastic way of getting vitamin D and this is because 80 to 90% of the body’s vitamin D is made by the skin with the help of cholesterol and the UVB rays of the sun. This is when vitamin D3 gets transferred to the kidneys and the liver and it’s converted to Calcitriol, which is an active form of vitamin D. It’s said that 20-30 minutes daily sun exposure is recommended and this is clearly more difficult when we are not in the summer time of the year. If you wear high enough sunscreen, it will block your vitamin D production in the skin, which is not a great thing if you are out in the sunlight trying to get vitamin D!
This is actually why it’s best to do short periods of time in the sun, however be very careful not to burn yourself, which is the key to all sun exposure. Make sure that you go without sunscreen so that you get the full benefits carefully. There are apps like for example, my favourite summer app in the universe, which is the D-minder app. I can’t tag them as they are not on social media and I do not work with them, but I think the app is fantastic! It takes into account your location, your altitude, all of these things to see what the UV index is for that day in that weather, you can put in how much clothes you’re wearing, how overcast it is, and your skin type and it calculates how long you can safely be out in the sun to get vitamin D and sun exposure. (It also helps you get a great tan, if that’s what you’re looking for!)
What if you can’t be in the sun?
If being in the sun is not an option, what are your other options? Well, you have two other ways of getting vitamin D. One is from food sources and this is of course, I always recommend whole foods sources. Personally, I’m not really sure about the “fortified” foods that are out there and in my opinion, the best forms of exogenous vitamin D is D3 and it comes from animal foods. That’s where it’s most widely available and most grains and other non animal foods, they really need to be fortified with this extra vitamin D and I feel like that’s a little too much chemistry for me so I’ll leave that alone. That’s up to each and every one of you to decide but I would recommend things like cod liver oil, salmon is a great vitamin D source and salmon roe and it’s delicious. And how about some tuna or sardines, eggs are great, cheese and liver. (I’m having liver pate tonight and I cannot wait also because of the vitamin D, but mainly because it’s yummy.)
If you can’t get in the sun, you can’t eat any of these things, you can supplement vitamin D, so you are not left alone! Make sure that you get the vitamin D3 and not the D2, because the D2 is not bioavailable, so it doesn’t get absorbed as well in your body and D3 is already one step closer to being used, so make sure it’s D3. And make sure you take the supplements with a fatty meal for the best absorption, as it’s a fat-soluble vitamin. Otherwise, what’s the point eating them if they don’t get absorbed, right? H
How much does one supplement? That is an everlasting question and I cannot even tell you how many people have asked me this, but and the fastest and easiest and safest way to check is actually with a blood test so that you can see where your level is now, and then you can try supplementing for a while, before taking a new blood test and see if you need to increase or decrease. That’s the safest way.
Generally, living in the Northern Hemisphere, it’s difficult to get enough during the winter and especially if you also have some sort of autoimmune thing going on, like I do, and many of us do here. Remember that the official recommendations, as in what you see on the supplement package, usually tends to err on the low side. Having an excess of vitamin D is very difficult to achieve. You have to take many, many supplements for very long to get an excess which would manifest in a too low calcium in your body.
Did you know that vitamin D is this important and if you did, tell me how you make sure that you get enough vitamin D. And if you didn’t, how are you planning to get enough vitamin D into your system?
The only purpose of this video is to educate and to inform. It is no substitute for professional care by a doctor or other qualified medical professional. This video is provided on the understanding that it does not constitute medical or other professional advice or services. Instead, we encourage you to discuss your options with a health care provider who specializes in treating Type 1 Diabetes.
/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/HannaDiabetesExpertLogo@2x.png00Hanna Boëthius/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/HannaDiabetesExpertLogo@2x.pngHanna Boëthius2020-04-16 21:00:002020-04-20 09:53:59All About Vitamin D
Do you remember when you were little and your mom would make you these amazing, perfectly fried pancakes?
Well, I do. And I’ve been missing them a little since I cut out grains from my diet, a good few years ago now.
Throughout the years, I’ve been trying one low carb pancake recipe after the other, but they never quite get to where I would like them.
They’re either too soggy, too thick (I much prefer crepes to american style pancakes!), taste too much like nuts, don’t contain enough fat, or, frankly, are too complicated to make with ingredients that you have to really go on a hunt for.
Call me the Goldilocks of Pancakes if you will, but finding an easy, yummy, healthy, low carb pancake recipe has not been easy. I might as well have gone out for that hunt of those ingredients no human has in their pantry ever.
I’ve recently given up a bit on searching for The Pancake Recipe. Too much milk products isn’t an option, neither are fake ingredients. Or combinations of ingredients that give them a funky flavor. No, thanks!
I’ve quite frankly completely stumbled upon what might just be The Complete Pancake Lovers Awesome Recipe For Low Carb High Fat Pancakes!
I was first alerted to this recipe through a fantastic Facebook group I’m in, and thought it sounded a little weird, to be honest. “Egg and cream cheese, that’s it?! They’ll never keep together and the’ll taste like, well eggs and cream cheese. Perhaps sometime when I have n o t h i n g else at home.” my mind started blabbering.
That day was the other day (although we had tons of other yummy food at home). Turns out, they hold together just fine, almost better than “normal” pancakes. And the taste… I bet you anything no one would realize they’re not “normal” pancakes if I served them these. They taste exactly like I remember pancakes tasting!
Yummy LCHF Pancakes
This recipe is from the wonderful blog I Breathe I’m Hungry, where you can find the recipe in all its glory and originality.
This is my version:
Real LCHF Pancakes
Makes: Four pancakes/crepes
2 oz (60 grams) cream cheese (I used Philadelphia)
1 teaspoon xylitol (or sweetener of your choice) (this can also be completely skipped, they’ll still be awesome)
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon (because who doesn’t love cinnamon?!)
Put all ingredients in a blender. Blend until smooth
Let rest for 2 minutes
Pour some batter into a hot pan with some melted butter. Cook for 2 minutes until golden, flip and cook 1 minute on the other side.
Serve with some fresh berries, cinnamon, sweetener if you want, lemon, almond butter, butter, bacon… The world’s your oyster and the sky’s the limit!
LCHF Pancakes with Raspberries, Coconut cream and Cinnamon
Approx nutrition info per batch:
2.5g net carbs
Enjoy these amazing pancakes!
Hope they can become a staple in your food routine, it’s always nice with new inspiration.
Do you have a favorite pancake recipe you want to share with me? Comment below!
How am I supposed to summarize a wonderfully magical week full of meeting amazing people, seeing paradise islands and learning superinteresting new information? Perhaps just like that?
This years Low Carb Cruise in the Caribbean at the end of May was a complete success. We were about 200 participants, with a wonderful mix of backgrounds and reasons for being there, that set sail on the 24th May 2015.
Our ship, “Independence of the Seas” is one of the biggest cruise ships in the world, with over 4000 passengers. This made our group of low carbers pretty small, but at the same time feel closer together.
With that big of a ship, the food was definitely not low carb adapted. The sheer mix of sugar, grains and other stuff we know we donät do well with was at times overwhelming before seeing the options before my eyes. Every night was a sit down dinner in the glamourous 3 floor dining room, where you could choose freely what to have to eat from a menu that changed each night. A certain knowledge of how to navigate a menu was required, at least if you are handling food insensitivities (like most of our group are). This sometimes meant that you had to choose something else than what you really wanted from the menu, although the staff were amazing at meeting every single request of special orders that they possibly could.
Food on the ship (and mainland USA, too) is still very calorie based. “Low-fat” and “sugar-free” are still considered “words of wisdom” for most people, without a care in the world that these removed items have been replaced with chemicals and additives that I would prefer not to have in my body.
Lobster Night at the Low Carb Cruise 2015
As for the Low Carb Cruise itself, we were listening to presentations by the speakers when the ship was in transit at sea. The days on the islands of Puerto Rico, St. Maarten and St. Kitts I spent with other low carbers that had chosen to go on the group excursions as well. It was wonderful to see all these places of paradise that I’ve previously only heard about!
The first seminar day of the Low Carb Cruise had a clear theme: diabetes. This was the whole reason for me to initially actually click “book” on the cruise, so my expectations were high to say the least. Especially with speakers such as Dr. Eric Westman, Dr. Keith Runyan, Jimmy Moore, Jackie Eberstein and Sweden’s own Diet Doctor, Dr. Andreas Eenfeldt.
Both Dr. Runyan and Dr. Westman talked about how eating low carb high fat helps in the treatment of diabetes, the former focused on both Type 1 and Type 2, the latter more focused on Type 2. These presentations were, for obvious reasons, particularly interesting to me! But it can’t be denied that Diabetes was mentioned in a vast majority of the other presentations as well.
Dr. Westman and I at the Low Carb Cruise 2015
Dr. Runyan and I at the Low Carb Cruise 2015
Amongst other highlights from the first seminar day was Dr. Justin Marchiagiani’s presentation on hormonal imbalances and the blood sugar connection, where thyroid issues were lifted forward as well. And Dana Carpender’s colorful presentation about ADHD and low carb eating. And, brilliant as always, was also Dr. Eenfeldts presentation about the Food Revolution.
For the following 3 days there was socializing and excursions on the menu:
Amazing view on St. Kitts
Orient Beach, St. Maarten
Yummy fresh coconut in San Juan, Puerto Rico
San Juan, Puerto Rico is one happy place!
Once we had all gotten some sunshine on our noses, fresh ocean breeze in our hair and were many smiles and laughs richer, it was time to continue the seminars. By this point, the ship was already on her way back to Fort Lauderdale in Florida.
This seminar day was nothing short of amazing, either. Speakers such as Dr. Ann Childers, Jackie Eberstein, Cassie Bjork, Dr. Jay Wortman, Emily Maguire, Jimmy Moore and the founder of Ketonix, that measures the ketone level in your breath, Michel Lundell were responsible for masses of great information, laughs and well-made presentations.
Perhaps not surprisingly, Diabetes got a lot of attention here as well, although it wasn’t explicitly on the agenda. The BIG focus was on Type 2, and how it often comes hand in hand with other health issues.
We were taught about the misunderstandings of a ketogenic diet, why you won’t lose weight although you’re eating low carb, how women’s hormones relate to weight loss and how LCHF is seen in the rest of the world.
The final day of the Low Carb Cruise 2015 was featured by Dr. Michael Fox, who spoke about women’s hormones, fertility and how low carb eating ties into it. As well as Dr. Jose Lozado’s presentation on how certain forms of cancer can be prevented by eating low carb high fat and other lifestyle choices. After that the whole intensively awesome week was wrapped up with a great Q&A session with all the speakers (and a private cocktail party after that).
The whole experience was absolutely phenomenal! I’ve met so many amazingly warm and open people (see some of my heroes that I met below! (I’m still kicking myself that I didn’t get a proper picture with Mr. Moore…)), made new friends, learned so much of the latest research and had such a fun week!
Even if this week definitely wasn’t just fun in the sun and beach life, I’ve gotten to see and experience new knowledge, new places, new food and new, lovely people.
I really can’t wait for next years Low Carb Cruise!
Dr. Andreas Eenfeldt, Sweden’s Diet Doctor, and I at the Low Carb Cruise 2015
Jackie Eberstein and I at the Low Carb Cruise 2015
Emily Maguire and I at the Low Carb Cruise 2015
Cassie Bjork, aka Dietitian Cassie, and I at the Low Carb Cruise 2015
It’s been widely proven by now that eating fat isn’t bad for you.
But just how much fat is too much fat? And especially on a low(er) carbohydrate eating plan?
Let’s go back a couple of steps first…
When you eat something, your body starts digesting it in your mouth with enzymes. Starting with the sugars, as the food moves along the digestive path, other carbohydrates, proteins (amino acids) and fats are all digested and broken up into little, usable parts for the body. The body uses these small parts to rebuild itself, give you energy and make sure every single cell works just like it should, from your hair follicles to your intestine wall. If you’re eating the right things, that is…
So what should you eat, whether or not you have diabetes?
Essentially, it’s pretty simple: proteins, fats and carbohydrates. But whether or not you’re eating too much fat majorly depends on what else you’re eating.
But I guess you were looking for a more detailed description?
The issue with carbs is that it’s really a double-edged sword.
On the one hand, they provide you with lots of energy that your cells know exactly how to use.
On the other hand, it’s way too easy to over-load on said energy, which your body will only turn into saturated fat in your fat cells.
And then we add in where the carbs come from.
Phew, no wonder everyone seems confused about this and keep arguing about what’s right and what’s not!
What’s true in terms of how the body works is that every type of carbohydrate you eat is eventually split up into a simple form of sugar (aka glucose). This means that all that bread, pasta, cereal, potatoes, rice, fruit, dessert, candy, and sodas (to mention a few) you eat and drink eventually end up as glucose (sugar) in your body.
While sugar is indeed energy, and your body needs some to survive, it is actually quite toxic in large amounts. The cells in your body has an amazing capability of burning (and also storing) this energy, but for that the sugar needs the key to get in. The key is called insulin. And what don’t we produce (enough of) if we have diabetes? Yep, INSULIN.
In super simplified terms, insulin stores sugar as fat in your fat cells. And if you’re insulin resistant (Type 2 Diabetes), or not producing insulin (Type 1 DIabetes), it prevents sugar AND protein (amino acids) from entering muscle cells, so you can’t build or maintain your muscle mass. Joys of diabetes, hey?!
I think we can all agree that knowing this makes it a good idea to make sure we don’t get too many carbohydrates. And I haven’t even mentioned high blood sugar yet!
How many carbs you can eat is quite individual, but if you have problems with your blood sugar (diabetes of any kind or type) or insulin resistance/hyperinsulinemia, your carb count should stay low. How low is up to you, but I’m sure you’ve figured out that the mentality of just “eating whatever you want and cover for it with insulin” doesn’t exactly work flawlessly for many of us…
Which carbs are good for you and which are not?
It comes down to processed versus natural carbs, really.
All of the ones I mentioned before (bread, pasta, cereal, potatoes, rice, fruit, dessert, candy, sodas…), I wish would just disappear from our food supply. They’re all highly processed, made in a plant with ingredients that have little or no resemblance to the natural, nutrient dense foods we used to eat. Making them easy to overdose on.
What you’re left with is basically vegetables. Organic, if you can. Some berries. And sometimes fruit (but they have quite a lot of carbs, so watch out if you have diabetes!).
But, if you eat less of the carby stuff, what is left?!
Proteins are really important for your body.
They are the building blocks that your body uses to repair itself.
How much protein is good to eat, then?
A great rule of thumb is to calculate about 0.8-1.0 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight a day. If you’re looking to lose weight, this should be 0.8-1 g per kilogram of your goal weight.
Let’s put this into practice!
So, if a person weighs 60 kg, they should be eating somewhere in the range of 48-60 grams of protein a day. That does NOT mean 48-60 grams of meat, for example, as meat only has 20% protein. This means this awesome person should be eating between 240 and 300 grams of meat a day (if meat is the only protein source, of course).
On the other hand, if a person weighs 100 kg and wants to weigh 90 kg, they should be eating around 72-90 grams of protein a day, meaning 360-450 grams of meat a day.
Keep in mind that there are other protein sources as well, and I’m only using meat as an easy, accessible example.
Eating more than this runs the chance of your liver (mainly) turning the excess protein into glucose through gluconeogenesis anyway, which you really don’t want, especially if you have diabetes.
To summarize it so far, less carbs and moderate protein. Are you with me?!
Lastly, but most gloriously, we have fats.
The fear of fat is really outdated by now, being started by a scientist that turned data into what he wanted it to show (Ancel Keys).
Today we luckily and happily know a lot better! Now we know that eatingfat is necessary, there are essential fatty acids we need to get in order for our bodies to work properly.
Generally, there isn’t really an upper limit for fat intake. You just eat the rest of your food in the form of fat when you’ve fulfilled the carb and protein ratios.
Again, there’s a difference on fats and fats, just like i mentioned for the carbohydrates.
The key really lies in starting with the cleanest saturated fats (butter, coconut oil, dairy (if you can handle it), meat, cocoa butter) you can. Everything gets better with butter! Secondly, choose your monounsaturated fats (nuts, olives and avocados). Lastly, choose your healthy polyunsaturated fats like certain nuts, seeds, avocado oil and fish oils (omega 3).
It’s not more complicated than that, really.
Of course, if you’re eating lots of fat, keeping your carbs and proteins where they should be, and STILL gaining weight, you could be eating too much of it for your individual needs.
Another way of telling that you’re eating way too much fat is by looking at what comes out, i.e. your poop. What you put in is what you get out! If your poop sticks to the toilet (you have to use the brush a lot), it’s a sign your body can’t use all the fat you’re eating.
To sum these shenenigans up: figure out your carb count, then your proteins, fill the rest up with fats. Simple, right?
But whether or not you’re eating too much fat majorly depends on what else you’re eating.
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?
Sure, food is a big part of losing weight. But it’s not the only part.
This is such an important realization to make, if nothing else to stop yourself from buying into the next fad diet with some super formula that will make you loose weight faster than lightning.
That’s nothing more than excellent PR and marketing work. Rarely there’s any science at all behind it.
The following tips are true for the vast majority of people, whether or not you have diabetes, metabolic syndrome, adrenal fatigue, other problems with endocrinology, or just plain don’t-know-what-to-do status.
1. Mental Clarity
The major, number one on the list of weight loss tips is: Mental Clarity.
This is so important I could talk about it all day.
What you eat and how/if you move is crucial to what happens to your weight.
But so is also your mental state.
You’re probably confused and feeling lost when your weight loss suddenly stops or you can’t keep the 500 kcal limit a day (ok, that last one is i n s a n e). You start wondering what’s wrong with you and why you can’t look like that Victoria’s Secret angel…. (ok, that last one is probably self-explanatory… We all have different circumstances and starting out points; all of us can’t end up looking like a super model!)
So you end up feeling stuck. What’s a girl to do?!
a)Answer these crucial questions for yourself:
– What/who/why am I holding on to this weight for?
– What is my excess weight shielding me from? (This can be mental or physical things, like not wanting extra attention or having been bullied around the time when you started gaining weight.)
– Who will I be when I’ve lost this weight?
– How will people see me when I’ve lost the weight?
The answers to these questions will help you clear your mental blocks around weight loss.
Answering your “why” (as in why you want to lose the weight) is bringing back the enjoyment in the whole process. It’s a motivator, part of the goal and something to look at on days where everything is blah.
So WHY do you want to lose weight?
If that doesn’t work, you might need more help, in which case I’d recommend working with a coach, therapist or practitioner (for example nutrition and/or emotional freedom technique (EFT Tapping))
No sleep – no weight loss.
This has so much to do with hormones, de-stressing and giving your body the time it needs to heal and repair itself.
When you’re depriving your body of sleep, you’re actively stressing it. And let me tell you this, nothing will happen to your weight if you stress! (Apart from if you want to gain a few and feel miserable.)
Stress hormones, such as adrenaline, norepinephrine and epinephrine give your body other things to do than to focus on weight loss. They throw your body into a “fight or flight” mode and all your body will care about is surviving. Certainly not about losing weight, it will rather hold on to it in case it needs it for the flight-part.
A night here and there without proper sleep is, admittedly, not going to do much. But when it becomes a habit, it might halt your progress.
This goes for any other stressors as well, not just the lack of sleep. Our new favorite hobby, “being busy”, definitely doesn’t help and is a reason why I think so many are overweight these days.
“Eat less, exercise more”, right?!
God no, please don’t!
Exercise shouldn’t be a self-punishing mechanism, although I know very well that it can easily be one.
You should exercise because you enjoy it. Because you feel that your body feels well. Because your mood improves and you can push yourself a little further every time.
Yes, it’s important to exercise. But it’s just as important not to do it out of hating yourself. You have to love the weight off!
As for what kind of exercise you “should” be doing, I couldn’t care less!
Do what motivates you, what makes you feel good and what makes your heart and soul sing those happy tunes.
Be it power walking (with a good audio book!), running, dancing, weight lifting, swimming, mountain climbing, (aqua-) aerobics, pilates, yoga, tennis, football, floor ball, basket ball… You get the point; whatever it is that makes you feel good – do it!
4. Eating only when you’re hungry
“Ooohhh, it’s almost 12 o’clock, that means I get/need to have lunch!”
Unless you actually are hungry (and by hungry I mean properly so, not just any little rumble in your tummy), don’t eat a full meal.
If you’re not hungry when your usual lunchtime rolls around, there’s no one who says that you h a v e to eat. Save it for when you actually are hungry.
Eating because you’re used to it is frankly pretty silly. It makes you eat more than you need to, and, in most cases, it puts you back on the blood sugar roller coaster. (You don’t want that, whether you’re diabetic or not.)
I’m definitely not advocating any type of eating disorders!!
But I am telling you to listen to your body. What does it tell you? Are you really hungry, or are you just bored? What does it need? Are you procrastinating something that you know you should be doing with a snack or a meal?
Check in with yourself before your next meal, are you really hungry?
This point could (and will be) a whole blog post/a third of my book.
That you are what you eat is clear by now, with everything you eat slowly becoming part of your cells, muscles, skin, bones, organs, hair and nails.
So that what you eat plays a more-than-crucial role on your weight journey is clear as crystal.
Let’s assume you’ve realized that all them carbs aren’t your best buds.
And let’s assume you’ve done something about that. Like starting to eat less processed carbs, flour, bread, pasta and rice, and have started eating more healthy, healing, happy fats. For instance.
And what if your weight is still the same? Or, gasp, has increased?!
If you’ve gone over the point’s I’ve mentioned above, here’s 3 things for troubleshooting Vol. 2.0:
– You’re not eating enough fat, and still eating more carbs than your body can tolerate.
– You’ve fallen for the “low carb baking” train and use almond flour (etc) like it would be water. There is such a thing as eating too many nuts, and in this case, I’m pretty sure that’s what’s happening.
– You’ve heard dairy is basically a “free food” instead of the carby stuff, so you use it. A lot. But it might be that your body cant handle all that diary, and reacts with bad skin and weight gain.
No bueno. Dial back on these things one by one until you find which one(s) is(are) your culprit(s).
Patience, my dear, patience.
Being someone who has close to zero patience (working on it!), I understand you completely.
You’ve made all the changes needed; you’ve even given up on bread.
So, naturally, you expect results, like, yesterday.
Except that’s not always the case.
After years, even decades of abusive eating, your body won’t “get it” straightaway.
We can adapt, and your body will adapt to your new, healthier ways. Being animals of habit, the same goes for your body when it comes to weight loss. It knows what it knows and not a thing more. But it can definitely learn new things.
All you need to do is to give it a fair chance to do so, too!
Can you show yourself, your weight loss journey and your body a little more patience? I think you can!
Quick recap of what’s important with weight loss:
1. Mental Clarity
4. Eating only when you’re hungry
Which of these have you tried? Where are you still struggling? Answer in the comments below!
All you wanted was a little crunch in your life, but all you got was disappointment.
Were they a little… papery? Or were they full of chemical stuff, or stuff that you can’t/don’t want to eat?
I’m making you a very happy bunny today.
Almost everyone who has tried these seed crackers has asked for the recipe. I’ve even ended up selling quite a lot of it!
So today I’m going to be super nice and share it with you so that you can make it yourself! ! It’s safe to say that this will be the only crack(er) recipe you’ll ever need.
And, what’s fantastically awesome about these is that they are completely allergen free! No grains, no gluten, no dairy, no egg, no soy, no funky chemical stuff. Well, unless you’re allergic to seeds (sesame?), or crunchy seed crackers!
The recipe is actually super simple, and can be tweaked exactly to your liking.
GrainBrain’s Seed Crackers
3,5 dl (1,5 cups) sunflower seeds
1 dl (0.4 – 0.5 cups) flaxseed
1 dl (0.4 – 0.5 cups) sesame seeds (can be swapped if you’re allergic, see below)
0,5 dl (0,2 cups) pumpkin seed
3 tbsp psyllium seed husk
a pinch of salt
2-3 tbsp olive oil
4-5 dl (1,7 – 2 cups) water
Mix all the ingredients carefully. I like to mix all the dry ones first, then add the olive oil and mix again. Lastly, I add the water. Mix!
Let it rest for 10 minutes. Put the oven on 150 degrees celsius (300 fahrenheit).
Bake half of the mix out between two sheets of parchment paper. Use a rolling pin to flatten it out. The mix gives you two baking sheets, depending on the size of your oven, of course.
Remove the upper layer of parchment paper, and cut the dough into cracker sized pieces before putting it in the oven.
Let it dry in the oven for 55 minutes each.
Et viola! Enjoy with some butter and your favourite sandwich topping.
Carbs: 55 g
Protein: 36 g
Fat: 114 g
(If you divide the crackers into 24 pieces per baking sheet, 48 pieces total)
Carbs: 1 g
Protein: 0,75 g
Fat: 2,4 g
These are super filling and contain so much good stuff, like fibre, Vitamin B, Vitamin E, Calcium, Iron, Copper, Magnesium, Manganese and Zinc.
The only problem you’re going to have is to stop eating these…!
Customise it (or Pimp my Crackers)
You can add all kinds of herbs and spices to it to make it your own and to add variation.
Here are some ideas: chili flakes, Italian/French herb mixes, sea salt, pepper, paprika spice, taco spice mix (make sure it’s a clean one), fresh garlic, rosemary, oregano or basil, or even cinnamon or cardamom to put a sweeter spin on it.
I’ve also played around with adding and removing different seeds to the mix. I’ve added chia seeds and whole psyllium seeds, for example. This gives it a completely different taste and texture.
I’ve also used a chili-garlic infused olive oil instead if the plain one. There were some sparks flying off of that one! J
Please try this out, it’s definitely worth the longer time it takes to make it than just picking any old crap up from the store. And don’t forget to leave your comment below of what you think of it!
Click on the different category headings to find out more. You can also change some of your preferences. Note that blocking some types of cookies may impact your experience on our websites and the services we are able to offer.
Essential Website Cookies
These cookies are strictly necessary to provide you with services available through our website and to use some of its features.
We provide you with a list of stored cookies on your computer in our domain so you can check what we stored. Due to security reasons we are not able to show or modify cookies from other domains. You can check these in your browser security settings.
Other external services
We also use different external services like Google Webfonts, Google Maps, and external Video providers. Since these providers may collect personal data like your IP address we allow you to block them here. Please be aware that this might heavily reduce the functionality and appearance of our site. Changes will take effect once you reload the page.