Here is a great article I came across today that I had to share/repost. I have family members who suffer from diabetes and I know how difficult it can be living with this disease.
Full credit goes to Sharlene Johnson and Jennifer Goldstein
“I kept saying, ‘This food will heal me. My body needs this.'”
54; married with three kids, ages 22, 24, and 26; height: 5’8″
Before: 249 lb
Now: 169 lb
Lost: 80 lb
To look at Nara Schiller’s beautifully laid table, you’d never guess that she’s watching her diet. That rich-red “cabernet” in her wineglass? It’s actually a homemade blend of organic vegetable juices. Her fresh menu of brightly colored salads, flavorful soups, and other vegan dishes looks so appealing that even her meat-loving husband and sons decided to try it—and switched to her diet.
Schuler’s focus on healthful food developed in 2010, after she was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes and learned that her blood glucose was more than double the normal level. Two of her three older sisters already had the disease, and she didn’t want to follow their path of increasing dependence on pills and, ultimately, insulin injections. She refused the doctor’s prescription on the spot.
Back home, Schuler began looking for other options and discovered the best-selling book Eat to Live, by Joel Fuhrman, MD, who advocates a mostly plant-based menu, densely packed with nutrients but not calories. “I changed my diet that very moment, not as a short-term fix but as a way of life,” Schuler says. “At first I didn’t like the vegetable juices and greens, but I kept repeating, This will heal me. My body needs this.” Then she realized that making her meals attractive made them much more palatable. Even something as ordinary as a spinach-blueberry-banana-flaxseed smoothie looked appealing when served in her best crystal.
That hasn’t been the only change in her daily routine. Although she didn’t exercise much at first, her new body has inspired her to hit the gym 4 days a week for 90 minutes, with a mix of classes from boot camp to Zumba.
Schuler has no desire to return to her old ways. “My taste buds won’t accept poor-quality food anymore,” she says. “I’m used to really nutritious food now. Since it’s all low-calorie, I get to eat large portions. I don’t feel deprived in any way.” And there’s an added benefit: “Now I can wear shorter skirts and dresses that show off my legs and figure. My body feels so much younger, it makes me want to dress younger too.”
Nara’s Top Tips Her get-moving mantra: Take a variety of classes at the gym to avoid getting bored with your routine. In the warmer months, walk outdoors.
Her diet discovery: Blend frozen chunks of bananas and strawberries with a little bit of vanilla extract for an ice-cream-like treat that will satisfy a craving for something sweet.
Her stay-motivated secret: Plant a garden: There’s nothing like the taste of freshly picked organic veggies. Schuler has set aside a small area in her backyard for kale, Swiss chard, tomatoes, zucchini, and other easy-to-grow favorites.
Miriam Geraci Olson NEW BRITAIN, CT 38; married with one child, age 11; height: 5’3″ Before: 256 lb Now: 144 lb Lost: 112 lb
On a muggy day in August 2010, Miriam Geraci Olson stopped by her doctor’s office for an appointment. “I brought my daughter in because I thought I was just getting the results of some routine blood work,” says Geraci Olson, who works as a paralegal. Instead she was shocked to hear that she had type 2 diabetes, not to mention high cholesterol and hypertension. “At 36 years old, I was a heart attack waiting to happen,” she says. “All I could think of was my grandmother, who had her leg amputated in addition to several open-heart surgeries before she died at 65, all from complications of diabetes.”
While her physician demonstrated how to use a glucose meter, wrote prescriptions for all three conditions, and talked about the importance of weight loss and diet, Geraci Olson looked at her daughter, then 9, and her eyes filled with tears. “I felt horrible that she was hearing all this,” she says. “I thought, I need to be around to watch her grow up, and I’m killing myself.”
Coming from a big Italian family where the word mangia (“eat”) was frequently spoken, Geraci Olson had long been overweight. But that evening she ate her last frozen pizza (her favorite meal). She quit her fast-food habit cold turkey, started eating smaller portions, and began walking with her daughter most nights after dinner. Still, cooking healthy meals was a challenge until help arrived in the form of Eat What You Love, a cookbook by Marlene Koch, RD. A gift from Geraci Olson’s mother-in-law, who also has diabetes, the book contains low-fat, low-carb recipes that were a hit with the whole family. “I adopted it as my bible and made all our meals from it,” Geraci Olson says.
By November she had lost 50 pounds and no longer needed drugs to control her blood pressure and cholesterol. Within a year, her blood sugar was completely normal and she was able to stop taking her diabetes pills. “I haven’t been on a lick of medication since,” she says proudly.
Geraci Olson has stepped up her workouts, going to the gym every other day. “The adrenaline and endorphins from exercise put me in a much better place,” she says. “I want to keep up this good energy.” Now, when she joins her daughter on amusement park rides at Six Flags New England, “the seat belt actually fits.”
Miriam’s Top Tips
Her get-moving mantra: Add strength training to burn off blood sugar by building more muscle. Her diet discovery: Set aside time every weekend to plot out your menu for the week. That way there are none of those “I don’t feel like cooking; let’s order pizza” slips. Her stay-motivated secret: Build in quiet time every day. Take a walk, read a book, or do something else that makes you feel good.
How Diabetes Affects Your Looks—And What to Do About It
Save your smile
Diabetes reduces your body’s ability to fight bacteria, which can cause plaque to build up on your teeth, says Pankaj P. Singh, DDS, of Arch Dental Associates. He stresses the important of twice-yearly cleanings and suggests scheduling them for mornings—after taking diabetes meds, since “the stress of dental work can raise blood sugar.”
Help your hair
Hair needs oxygen and minerals to grow, but diabetes can impair circulation, even to your scalp. The result? Strands may become brittle and dull. Spend a few minutes rubbing in a hair oil before you shampoo. The massage increases blood flow to your scalp, especially if you use an oil with rosemary or eucalyptus, which has a stimulating effect.
Nourish your skin
Women with poor circulation—especially those who have diabetes—are more prone to dry skin, says dermatologist Sapna Westley, MD. “Apply a daily moisturizing cream with ceramides, which help repair the skin barrirs,” she says. Try Curél’s new ceramide-infused Intensive Healing Cream