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The reason behind my recent success.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

For the past week or two, I have wanted to write about the recent changes in my diet and lifestyle. Thank your lucky stars, people...today is the day!

Warning: This post has not been checked for spelling, grammar or logic. Proceed at your own peril.

Ten years ago, my fiance had a heart attack at 48 years of age, and was diagnosed with diabetes about 15 years ago. Recently, after many failed attempts to control his diabetes with medication complicated by an incident with his heart, we decided to do something a bit, well, drastic. Drastic for two Italian-Americans, that is. We found a book online that claimed to cure diabetes and restore balance to the body in 3-6 months. The program calls for the total elimination of carbohydrates, complex or otherwise, eliminating dairy and animal protein during the first 6 weeks. Any carbs and protein will be from eating vegetables, beans, nuts, soy and things like that. We began this program the first week of January, on the heels of an angiogram and blood sugar readings in the upper 200s and 300s. Within a day or two we saw his sugar levels slowly dropping. Soon, we not only left the 300s behind, but the 200s as well. Within 2 weeks, he lost close to 10 pounds and I dropped about 5 pounds, busting out of the plateau of the century! After the first month, he was seeing glucose numbers like 104, 120 and 130 on a consistent basis. He was no longer having dramatic spikes in his readings. The pain in his legs went away, and he was on the elliptical for more than his intended 10 minutes/day! We are losing those confounded cravings, our systems are more regular and (I know this sounds weird, but...) our perspiration is sweeter.

Today I had a huge NSV and I am convinced it is due in large part to the changes to our diet. I was able to donate blood today!!! This is a big deal for me, I mean a REALLY BIG DEAL! I have what the techs fondly refer to as "baby blood". Not only am I a universal donor, but my blood contains a vital antibody that makes my donations ideal for preemies and newborns. The past three attempts to donate were unsuccessful because my hematocrit levels were too low. At each attempt, the technician encouraged me to increase the amount of red meat and whole grain in my diet, and each time I did, but the results remained the same. Today my reading was 45! The normal range for women is 36.1% - 44.3% with 38 being the lowest allowed for donations. I damn near cried!

We have been eating this way since January 8th-just 6 weeks, and the improvements are astonishing to me. I cannot wait to see where we are at the 3 month and 6 month mark. Presently, the doctor is looking to modify my fiance's medication for his diabetes as well as his cholesterol. Did I forget to mention his cholesterol is now in the low range rather than high?

I am going to be honest with you all. This is a huge diet overhaul and not for the faint of heart. I say that because I spend a lot of time with food purchasing and prep. I have recreated our favorite meals with substitutions that include tofu ricotta, squash spaghetti, and cauliflower rice. I have eliminated all interior aisles of the supermarket except the ethnic foods where I buy beans by the can as well as the bag, and tomato products by the truckload! My time in the produce department easily exceeds 30 of the typical 60 minutes I spend shopping. You should see my cart! It is loaded to the brim, but I walk out with four very light bags (veggies and fruit) and one very heavy bag (beans)!

While we still crave the occasional Friday Night Pizza, we trust our doctor who tells us that once his blood sugar levels are maintained at a healthy number for an extended period, the occasional slice of pizza will not send his numbers off the chart. We are waiting patiently for that day.

Peace to you and your families,

Disclaimer: Weight loss results will vary from person to person. No individual result should be seen as a typical result of following the SparkPeople program.

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