I know, everybody thinks I’m so cheerful. But I’ll tell you the truth – lately, every little health problem makes me feel like I’m dying.
Lately I’ve found out I am in position to become a diabetic. This I have suspected ever since our family doctor told me my grandmother had been diabetic for years. It runs in the family he said, watch out.
I’ve always tried to be a healthy person because it affects the way I feel when I don’t take care of myself. I don’t eat deep fried foods, avoid “fast food”, eat low-fat meats and try to go meatless a night or two a week. I eat whole grains, salads and vegetables every day, as well as whole fruits. But I’ve found, you can’t eat perfect. My dentist just told me the fruit smoothies I’ve been enjoying for my colon health are giving me cavities – not just the sugar, but the acid in the fruit. Don’t drink milk he says, that’s just a sugar bath for your teeth. Coffee can actually be good for you, he says, if you just drink it black. Bleeeecccchhhh!
The diabetes moves in subtly, the hot flashes and cold sweats when blood sugar suddenly plummets, the various rashes from poor circulation and sweating sugar, the tingly hands and feet. Eat less sugar and get more exercise, they say. Of course, I rely on articles fished online, I can’t afford to go to a reliable doctor. For this reason, I went in good faith to the Covered California website, and found out, healthcare is for rich people. The rest of us are left to flounder around on our own.
So, sure, I cut back on sugar. It’s not so hard, when it makes you sicker than a cheap pint of Gilbey’s vodka. Things like candy are easier to turn down. I still eat it, but instead of a handful, I eat one piece. I take a bite, and I leave in on a little saucer next to my coffee maker. When I finish some task around the house, I take another bite. This sounds dumb, but has helped me wean my sweet tooth without going Cold Turkey. Cold Turkey never works for me. Everybody has to do their own way.
The smoothies are harder. Unsweetened juice is harder to find and way more expensive than the Jumex I’ve been buying. I can only make my own juice when I get a a lot of my own fruit, or get a good deal at the farmer’s market. And, let’s face it, apple juice is loaded with sugar, nobody needs to sweeten that. So, I have started using unsweetened canned pineapple and the juice to supplement the Jumex. And, I’ve been making my own yogurt, so I put a lot of that in there. I think this is working, I feel better in the morning.
I’ve cut coffee, cause I can’t drink it black. I cut the amount of sugar I put in, but still enjoy a nice dollop of whole milk. Shoot me.
And here’s the easy part – I just say NO alot of times, when I formerly would have shoved whatever in my mouth. It’s as easy as that.
It is hard to do anything when you live with your family, and not involve them too. Of course my husband is a candidate for dieting – at least I’ve got him to stop eating pork, that was a big deal. Jenny-O turkey bacon played a huge role here. Even though it still has plenty of fat, it’s not half as bad as pork bacon. We ate BLT’s almost all summer, and he actually lost a few pounds. We also stopped putting so much mozzarella cheese on all our Italian dishes – just bought a smaller ball of cheese, and that was that. Alot of things we were doing without thinking. As soon as you start thinking about things, you find it’s easy to change your habits.
The other half was exercise. I always think because I’m active around the house (for goddsakes we live UPSTAIRS!) and ride my bike on errands, I’m “in shape.” It takes a good ride to Upper Park to show me otherwise. By the time we got to the Manzanita bridge last week, I wanted to turn around and go home. My legs were burning like crazy, and I was huffing and puffing. But, I made it all the way to the old rifle range, and yesterday my husband took me on a longer loop over by the horse arena and up the north side of the creek. My back hurt really bad last night, but I just got out my hot pad and whenever I sit down to do something like this, I plug it in and wrap it up – good as new in 15 or 20 minutes. Plus, I’ve gone on an aspirin regimen – they say aspirin is also good for your circulation.
I call this “Juanitacare”, you should start your own plan too.