The rules that a diabetic has to follow are as divine and pristine as what the ‘Lord’ issued to ‘Moses on Mount Sinai’. Much like the original 10 commandments, these rules will help us lead uncomplicated and guilt-free lives.
Once a diabetic, the ‘ok’ and the ‘not ok’ lists are very well defined. There are no overlaps. They encompass every aspect of our lives. Here are the 10 rules of the game that i know worked for me and are good to follow. I hope they help you too:
- I started eating right
- I started exercising
- I focussed on the fruits and nuts
- Portion control
- I checked my sugar levels on a regular basis and I didn’t avoid doing my HbA1C
- I made friends with my doctor and people at my pathlab
- I started discussing diabetes openly
- I didn’t forget water
- I started managing stress better and slept the required number of hours
- And most importantly i focussed on knowledge like never before
Here’s are the first 5 of my decalogue:
1- Eating right
- I cut out high glycemic foods as much as possible starting lunch. This apart from white rice, wheat and some vegetables included my favourite snack – samosa. If at all, I have chapati or puri for breakfast. Mornings are the best time to indulge – with caution though.
- I included low glycemic foods like brown rice and quinoa in my diet. Brown rice did wonders to my body and I find it to be almost medicinal in nature.
- I included legumes and pulses in my diet (refer to the blog ‘Learning from the poor’) and that took care of a lot of my protein requirements
- I do have eggs once in a way, just as a break. Max two a week.
- I sometimes have milk and an elchi kela for dinner. My body reacts well to it.
- I started walking – morning walks 6 kms – 60 minutes. At least 5 times a week.
- Combined with the change of diet, it did wonders for me. In simple terms I lost 10 kilos over a year. Do I need to say anything else here.
3 – Fruits & Nuts
- These were my snack replacements.
- I replaced the typical, high carb, oily, trans-fat loaded snacks with nuts and fruits.
- I stuck to almonds and walnuts.
- In fruits seasonal (apart from mangoes / watermelon etc). Apple, pear, guava, muskmelon. Suited me beautifully and curbed that crazy hunger in-time.
- I do have wada-pav sometimes, but invariably before 12pm. The magic of morning lasts till around noon. But despite that the blood sugar levels after one wada-pav goes to around 160 for me. Try knocking the pav off. One wada doesn’t do much damage in isolation.
4 – Portion control
- I stared measuring everything I ate and arrived at optimal numbers.
- Almonds / walnuts – around 10 (not each, one of them).
- Fruits – not too sweet and medium sized. Indian fruits are the best.
- When it comes to regular meals -80 gms each of dal, veggies and brown rice. A small bowl of curd. That’s the way to go.
- In the initial days, buying a kitchen weighing machine along with measurement bowls helped conditioning.
5 – I checked my sugar levels on a regular basis
- I check my sugar levels frequently to stay in touch with how my body reacts to foods, stress, exercise, lack of sleep, lack of food etc.
- It helped me arrive at an optimal way of life. Go through this for a year. It then takes into consideration all the seasons of the year.
- I test fasting, post-prandial and random. I also test immediately after a workout to know all the variations possible. I have now reduced checking very often because now I know. In the last quarter I did not check at all and my HbA1c was still 6.3 (not bad). Frequent checking may have got it down to 6. But I am happy that my mind is now able to condition my body.
The latter part of the decalogue to follow soon.