I love food.
I love going out and finding amazing ingredients. Preparing it. Cooking it. Eating it. On my own, with my girlfriend, with friends or with family.
Jamie Oliver writes:
“It’s about recipes that really hit the spot at a certain time, and have the capacity to pull out explicit feelings and old memories, as well as creating new ones and passing that joy onto the next generation.”
I couldn’t agree more. When I left home after University at the age of 22 I lived on my own for 2 years and really developed a love of cooking and spent a lot of time reading about good, nutritious foods and their effect on the human body. I’m a big believer that if my grandmother wouldn’t recognise what’s on the ingredients list – it usually doesn’t end up in my fridge or cupboards. The typical Western diet isn’t a particularly healthy one.
I think the word “diet” has a different meaning to a lot of people. I think the general perception of that word means to cut calories, to reduce what you eat, to detox, something temporary in order to lose a couple of pounds and a few months later being back where you started.
There is a lot of confusion and a lack of real understanding on what to eat these days to be healthy. Your goal could be to lose weight, reduce body fat or build muscle. You can pick up one of 10 magazines on the shelf and find all sorts of people promoting pills, magic supplements or the latest ‘this will give you the body of your dreams if you drink it 3 times a day’ shake.
For diabetics, what we eat really is crucial. Having a good, stable blood sugars allows our management of our condition far easier. Trying to reduce glucose spikes and dips and instead have a more sustained slower release of glucose throughout the day makes it all far easier and helps lower complications later on in life.
So, to clear up some confusion – here are 10 tips which I have found that will help balance blood sugar levels, give you good digestive support and essentially help you have a more sustainable and manageable approach to food and diet. All whilst keeping you healthy and happy and letting you live the life you want to lead.
1) You Need to Want to Change.
This is incredibly important. There’s no point just hoping, wishing, thinking – you need to put all that into action and stick with it. There needs to be a reason why you want to change. A goal. To feel better. To look better. To help your family. To make living with a condition just easier.
There isn’t a X number of weeks transformation “diet” that actually works in the long term. Not from my experience anyway. Our bodies are not designed for liquid diets or ready made meals based on a points system. This is usually the primary reason that once you leave your “diet” within a few weeks your back where you began originally.
Getting the hang of eating healthy is actually really easy. Healthy food is not bland or boring. It’s not steamed vegetables 3 times a day. It’s not chicken, rice and broccoli. It’s so much more than that – and it’s brilliant.
2) Recognising Hunger.
There’s a real difference between actually being hungry and thinking that you need food. Recognising the difference is key.
- Lacking: Chromium, carbon phosphorus, sulphur and tryptophan.
- You Can Get This From: Broccoli, grapes, cheese, chicken, turkey, fresh fruit, beef, organ meats, fish, eggs, dairy, nuts, legumes, cranberries, kale, horseradish, cabbage, spinach and sweet potato.
- Lacking: Nitrogen.
- You Can Get This From: Chicken, beef, pork, turkey, fish, nuts.
- High-fat Snacks:
- Lacking: Calcium.
- You Can Get This From: Dairy, mustard, dark leafy greens, legumes.
- Lacking: Phosphorous, sulphur and iron.
- You Can Get This From: Chicken, beef, organ meats, fish, eggs, dairy, red peppers, garlic, onion, dark leafy greens, apple vinegar.
- Fizzy Drinks (just a side note – “Diet” Cola etc. does not mean it is good for you – far from it):
- Lacking: Calcium.
- You Can Get This From: Broccoli, dark leafy greens, dairy, legumes.
- High-salt Foods:
- Lacking: Chloride.
- You Can Get This From: Fish, sea salt, Himalayan pink salt, goats milk.
Diabetics – fat will also slow down the release of glucose into the blood stream which will lower the fast acting impact of particular foods on your blood sugar levels. In return this should keep your appetite under control and will help keep your energy levels stable and constant. If you’re interested in a low carb diet then fats should account for a large proportion of your daily calorie intake.
You only need to actively avoid hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated fats (trans fats). That’s it.