Newbie needing some help.

Martin1981

New Member
Relationship to Diabetes
Type 2
Hi Everyone,

I'm a 38 year old man, and was diagnosed with Type 2 in 2013. At first it was diet controlled, and I was told to knuckle down and get it under control, which I did try to do for a while (although looking back now, there is lots more that I should have done)

A couple of years ago I was put on Metformin - I take 1 in the morning and 2 in the evening but my blood sugars have remained between 14-20.

I feel like I've got to the point where I am slipping down a slippery slope if I don't get my sugars in order. My body knows when my sugars are too high and it makes me feel unwell.

Reading many posts on here, it seems my problem is food. Obviously sugar and carbs! I don't have many hobbies and my job is long hours isn't very active. I don't drink or smoke, so my enjoyment in life is my food - and sugar and carbs are in all my favourite things :(
Due to my long hours, I often don't feel like standing around in the kitchen, peeling and chopping so it is so much easier to bung in a pizza or some chips and in 20 mins I've got something to eat - but I know it isn't really that good for me. I know my portion control isn't great either.

I've done so much reading, and its so confusing. Some websites say something is great for diabetes, and a different site says that same thing is really bad.

What I am also finding hard, is that because I have been this way for a number of years - when I see a recipe online that I'd like to try, I don't have all the cupboard staples. So it says to add a pinch of this, and a splash of that. So to make a meal that most would only need to buy 2 or 3 items for, I've got to buy 20 different things that I have only got for this one specific meal.

I really want to change my eating habits, but I'm finding it really hard with knowing what is right and how I can work that into my life and routine.

Thanks for reading,

Martin
 

trophywench

Well-Known Member
Relationship to Diabetes
Type 1
Martin yeah, know what you mean about lists of ingredients - BUT many of them don't really affect the taste of the thing, they're just an enhancement, if you should happen to have a bunch of fresh parsley, chop some and sprinkle it on top. Doesn't actually have any effect whatsoever other than looking pretty!

Other herbs DO affect the taste - and you gradually get to know which do what - and whether you like it, by experimenting. It is the only way to find out in practical terms, to be honest.

Seriously - years ago Delia Smith wrote a cookery book entitled Cooking for One - many of the recipes in that are both simple and pretty quick. Or look for a children's cookery book!
 

Anitram

Well-Known Member
Relationship to Diabetes
Type 2
Hi, and welcome to the Forum. Good to see that you've accepted that your diet is an issue and that it's currently too carb-heavy. Pizza? Chips? Sorry, mate - not good.

The good news is that you don't have to become a chef, or spend hours preparing & cooking, to eat a healthy, low-carb diet. Omelettes, for instance, are a doddle and you can add all sorts of low-carb extras to bulk them out. For tea tonight I'm having a smoked salmon & spinach omelette with salad. That'll take only a few minutes and just needs a frying pan.

Running with BG in the range 14-20 is not good as once you're in double figures your kidneys will start clearing the excess glucose, and over time this can damage them. There is also the risk of other diabetes complications. It's those risks that keep me focussed on managing my BG.

There's plenty of dietary advice on the site and members, all of whom are managing their diabetes day-in, day-out, will chip in with their own suggestions, so if you have any questions please ask. We're here to help.

Martin
 

Ruby/London

Well-Known Member
Relationship to Diabetes
Type 2
Hello Martin,

I was diagnosed with T2 in 2018 and was really motivated to reduce my blood sugar and did really well for ages... and then, having achieved a good result, I stopped testing and starting eating heavy carb food again - an act of complete self sabotage! Why? I have no idea but I am back and I am determined to get back on track. If you like structure, it might help to follow a low carb eating plan and take some time to stock up on basics. I tell myself, if I can find time to shop for biscuits, I can shop for herbs! I find it all a complete bore. I hate cooking and I love carbs BUT I value my health more than I value pizza. This was brought home to me this year when my best friend had a heart attack and my ex had a stroke. We still tend to see ourselves as invincible baby boomers but I have seen them both stopped in their tracks this year. This has been motivation enough to make me want to get back on track.

In many ways, it is like a daily practice at this stage... I need to keep disciplined not to carb binge. If I am working I can easy polish off a whole packet of ginger nuts while telling myself what exactly? I convince myself on some level that it doesn't count.... well, my blood sugar level are telling me otherwise and the only way I can reverse this is by changing my diet. I am not going to pretend that I like it. I am not going to turn into a happy chefette and I can't promise not to be grumpy but I am going to do it solely to mitigate the risks to my health.. I am also posting this to make a public commitment to myself. By tracking and posting my food I know I will want to do better.

Good luck Martin. Every day is a new day:)
 

Inka

Well-Known Member
Relationship to Diabetes
Type 1
Hello @Martin1981 :)

Would you be ok with posting an average day’s food for you? That way you’d get some good suggestions of easy ways to improve your diet. Also, are you happy to share your BMI?

Cooking can be simple. Save the posh things for special occasions! My simple tip is to eat more veg. It’s very good for you in so many ways, generally low carb, and fills you up. Although we might think of salad as boring old lettuce, tomato and cucumber, there are some fantastic (and simple) recipes around that are so tasty. Cooked green veg is great too.

What kind of things do you like meal-wise?
 

Shells2909

Member
Relationship to Diabetes
Type 2
Hi Martin
I've tried quite a few recipes from a YouTube channel called 'headbangers kitchen'.really simple recipes and nothing fancy. Lots of keto recipes so great if you're trying to lower the Carbs.
I found out just before Xmas I was T2, a couple of weeks before I'd started eating low carb and increasing my steps each day. So far I've lost half a stone and had my lowest bg result last night of 4.9 so it definitely does work. If you're a meat eater why don't you try something simple like bacon, eggs, mushrooms and some salad? Or chicken topped with bacon and cheese and salad and veg. Meals don't have to be fancy or contain 30 ingredients sometimes the most simple are the tastiest.
Good luck! You will get lots of help from this site
Michelle
 

everydayupsanddowns

Administrator
Staff member
Relationship to Diabetes
Type 1
Welcome to the forum @Martin1981

Glad you have joined the forum, and I really hope the friendly folks here can give you some practical tips and lots of support.

It sounds like you already have a pretty good handle on some of the less than ideal choices that are easy, but not helpful for your BG. And you are right, it is those high carb meals which will be giving your metabolism a really tough time.

Keeping a food diary for a week or two might be a really helpful way of taking stock of exactly what you are currently eating, including any snacks.

Time and energy sounds tight for you, but eating to suit your BG better doesn’t have to be laborious or time consuming. Familiar things will always feel quicker and easier to prepare, but there are lots of shortcuts these days with ready-prepped ingredients including things like cauli-rice which can make a huge difference to the carb load of a slap-up curry fest.

I’m sure our experienced T2 members can make some suggestions for quick and easy starter meals which don’t need a huge store cupboard of herbs and spices.

Speaking of which, in my opinion the best way of building up a solid stock of staples is to start cooking some meals! As soon as you’ve got a few basics in, you’ll be re-using them, and only have to add a few more. Some cook books have handy lists in the front if you want to get a head start.

Let us know how you get on :)
 

Martin1981

New Member
Relationship to Diabetes
Type 2
Hi everyone - apologies for the delayed response.
Honestly, I'd prefer not to post up a daily food diary - I know what I have been eating is all wrong and quite frankly I think I would feel embarrassed to post it when even I know its wrong! When I think about what I normally eat, it is just all carbs..

I have read loads on the forum, and the posts on this thread regarding food and I can see that it is simple to reduce my carb intake, and yesterday I really tried and was quite pleased with my choices. Plain yoghurt with a small (30g) of crumbled apricot flapjack and a few blueberries and raspberries for breakfast, Cheese and mushroom omelette for lunch, and haddock peas and carrots for dinner. I did have another handful of berries, and the other half (30g) of apricot flapjack as snacks during the day.

Before bed, my blood sugars were down to 10.9 which I was pleased with... Although this morning, they were to 14.7 this morning which was disappointing. Why do they go up overnight when I haven't eaten anything?

I have a BMI of 26.7

Thank you again for all your responses, and I'm already looking forward making some of the suggested meals. As has been said, the simple stuff is good and I don't need to make it complicated.

Although I love Pizza, so I am going to try making Flathead dough which I am looking forward too.
 

helli

Well-Known Member
Relationship to Diabetes
Type 1
Why do they go up overnight when I haven't eaten anything?
There are many things that affect our blood sugars. I remember seeing a chart listing 42 different things and food was only one.
Other things include stress, illness, drugs, alcohol, exercise, a bad night's sleep, weather, heat, ...

But the most likely cause of a high reading in the morning is called Dawn Phenomenon. This happens with most people, diabetes or not. Our helpful livers dump glucose into our blood stream to give us the energy boost we need to get moving. A healthy pancreas will respond with an insulin dump. Those of us with diabetes, are not able to match that insulin dump correctly so our blood sugars rise in the morning.
For this reason, the morning fasting reading is often the last one to come down as you start to manage your diabetes. So don't feel disappointed. You saw the gain at night so the diet change is working.
 

everydayupsanddowns

Administrator
Staff member
Relationship to Diabetes
Type 1
Before bed, my blood sugars were down to 10.9 which I was pleased with... Although this morning, they were to 14.7 this morning which was disappointing. Why do they go up overnight when I haven't eaten anything?

Ah the pesky liver sticking its oar in just when you were giving yourself a well-earned pat on the back.

Don't let it put you off... Morning levels can be one of the last ones to come into line depending on how twitchy your liver is (everyone is different, but everyone gets a degree of DP to some extent or other).

Sounds like you had a great response to your lower carb choices - keep at it! :)
 

Martin1981

New Member
Relationship to Diabetes
Type 2
Thanks again for your responses. I really appreciate your time and the info you've shared with me.

Another good day today. Woke up and had a reading 11.7, so I'm much more pleased than I was yesterday morning.

More berries yoghurt for brekkie, omelette for lunch and baked fish with veg for dinner. I did cave and have 1 cadbury hero this afternoon. I know I shouldn't have, but it was just 1 (normally it would have been 6 or 7).

I'm really enjoying the food - I know I needed to change before but I was expecting to have to cut out everything I actually liked and have to just eat salad leaves for the rest of my life! Although, I haven't had much work on for the past couple of days so it has been much easier to get a good lunch.

I'll have to put my thinking cap on for a good lunch that travels well. All suggestions welcome!

Thanks again,
Martin
 

Drummer

Well-Known Member
Relationship to Diabetes
Type 2
I have not needed to think about lunch for ages, but I have a proper meal for breakfast and only eat every 12 hours - it frees up a lot of time for other things.
Remember to add a nice layer of melted butter to your baked fish or put fat into the meal somehow - protein and fat are the essentials for good health and energy.
If you like pizza look up 'fat head' pizza dough - good for sausage rolls too. I am trying to work out how to create pockets of the dough to form something like Cornish pasties.
 
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