Money-Saving Tips for The Diabetes Diet

Emma Baird
A microwave is the cheapest way to cook. And I needed another excuse to share this picture.

January usually means tightening the belt, money-wise. Is it possible to do a low-carb diet cheaply? Here are our money and energy-saving tips…

If you want to spend less, one area to look at is how much energy you use to cook. This is where crock pots and pressure cookers come in, as they use far less energy than the oven and hob.

I listened to a recent episode of The Kitchen Café on Radio Scotland, and MasterChef Professionals winner Gary McLean raved about pressure cookers. You can do a lamb stew in about twenty minutes, as opposed to two hours.

While a crock pot (slow cooker) works the opposite way, they are also much more energy efficient. As is the case with pressure cookers, food cooked the slow cooker way doesn’t move as much as it would when done on top of the stove. This results in vegetables that are less mushy. Recipes that work in both the pressure cooker and the slow cooker are ones that involve liquid, so soups, stews and curries are your best bet.

Pressure and slow cookers work well for cuts of meat that need lots of cooking, i.e. the cheaper cuts.

Poach, rather than boil eggs. If you want a hard-boiled egg, you’ll need to bring the water to a boil and then keep it simmering – something that can take ten minutes or more. Poached eggs, on the other hand, can be done by boiling water in the kettle, putting it on the stove and bringing it to the boil, adding your egg and turning off the heat immediately. Cover the pan, and your egg will be done in five minutes.

Buy your eggs at the farmers’ market – they are usually cheaper than the supermarket (for free-range eggs) and tend to come from hens that are treated better.

Eat liver. Chicken and lamb’s liver are very cheap, quick to cook and super nutritious. Chris Kresser calls it the most potent superfood.

Batch cook. If you batch cook, you can create plenty of tasty meals that can be stored in the fridge or freezer. Many American recipes, for example, tend to specify lots of portions. If you batch cook, you might use the oven for more than one recipe, which is more energy efficient. It also saves time. Do all your cooking in one go for the week, and then you just need to heat up meals.

Buy the bargains. If you shop later at night, you’ll pick up meat that is on its sell-by date. You can freeze it immediately or do your batch cooking afterwards.

Make the most of mince. Mince is a versatile ingredient, and it’s interchangeable. Turkey mince can take the place of steam mince in most recipes and vice versa.

Use your microwave. Microwaves vary greatly, but if you can work out how to use yours to cook fillets of fish, poach eggs or do slices of bacon, you’re laughing. Microwaves don’t need to be heated before they will cook food, making them one of the most energy-efficient ways to cook.

 

Better quality of life reported for young type one diabetics with lower HbA1c levels

nutritional scale

Better quality of life reported for young type one diabetics with lower HbA1c levels

Summarised from Independent Diabetes Trust Newsletter Sept 17

An international study of almost 6,000 young people showed that lower HbA1c levels were associated with a higher quality of life scores between the study age range of 8 to 25 years.
Those who reported the lowest quality of life scores were aged 19 to 25 and females had lower scores than the males across every age range.
The study showed that advanced ways to measure food intake, more frequent blood sugar testing, and taking exercise for 30 minutes a day, were all associated with higher satisfaction scores.
The researchers concluded that if young people have trouble controlling their diabetes, they should focus on the three factors that they can potentially control to make life easier.
Measure your food accurately
Test your blood sugar frequently
Exercise for at least 30 minutes a day

(Diabetes Care May 26 2017)

Diabetes Resolutions for 2018

diabetes dietHave you made yourself big promises this year? It’s tempting to say, “Well, 2018 is THE year I eat low-carb ALL THE TIME and achieve near-normal HbA1c results every time I get my levels checked…”

I decided on some small goals this year. And when I’m finished, it’s your job to add your own super small goal to the comments – the more modest and dafter the better! As any goal-setter knows, wee ones are achievable and sustainable.

  1. Change the needle on my blood lancer more frequently. There is a video on YouTube where a young type 1 confesses to changing hers infrequently. I’m the same. (Blushes deep red – like, weeks can go by…)
  2. Inject mindfully. When you’ve had diabetes for 35 years, you do injections automatically to some extent. I won’t be the only person who sits down to a meal and can’t remember if the medication has been taken or not. Pump users don’t get this, as their device will tell them. You can also get pens that tell you too. In the meantime, FULL ATTENTION INJECTIONS only*.
  3. Stop going on about my steps. See my earlier post on this. Is there anything duller than the step bore?
  4. Tell people in the gym I have diabetes. Ahem, I don’t bother ‘fessing up when the instructors ask if anyone has anything wrong with them as I hate drawing attention to myself. But it’s irresponsible of me.
  5. Stop reading articles about the ‘potential’ cure for diabetes. Whatever stage this is at, it’s a long way off. I’ll pay attention when it’s the headline article on BBC News at Ten.
  6. Book in for a pedicure. Tenuous, I know, but we diabetics are supposed to take extra care of our feet so an hour of having them rubbed, descaled and anointed with unctuous cream counts, right?
  7. Stop thinking having diabetes makes people fabulous. My example here is James Norton. Before November 2017 I was already in love with James. Then, I found out he’s a type 1 diabetic and my heart imploded. Oh sod it, that’s not a resolution. Clearly, diabetes makes you AMAZING.
  8. Turn down s**t I don’t want to do and use the diabetic excuse. I’ve had 35 years of not using it, so it’s about time I took advantage.

 

*I joke about this, but there’s a serious side of course. Inject yourself twice accidentally, and you’re at serious risk of hypoglycaemia.

Virtual reality has changed my attitude to computer games

virtual-reality-

I was never into computer games. My sons certainly are and since X box first made an appearance they have drove numerous vehicles, shot armies of opponents, and have died a thousand times.
This year, Steven brought his new super powerful computer, the headset and hand controls to match, back home for ten days over the winter holidays so that the rest of us could marvel at the worlds you can explore from your living room or bedroom.
I am now hooked.
Although I am as clumsy as a two year old with the hand controls there are plenty of games where you can get involved without needing to use your hands much. So far I’ve been on roller coasters, flown various aircraft around futuristic towns badly, and entered Mexican fiestas. I’ve been killed a great many times over the last week but have also dished it out. When it comes to dexterity and the ability to figure out what button or fingers I should be pressing I’m even less good. I’ve broken nearly all my toys, set fire to my office, and fallen off a few mountains. I now understand why two year olds should never handle small animals no matter how well intentioned they may be. I’m a two year old again.
I can see why kids don’t come out their bedrooms for days now.
As if this wasn’t enough to blow my mind, Steven gave me an Amazon Echo dot for Christmas. Surprisingly it was easy to programme since we have home wi fi set up already. Very soon we were asking Alexa all sorts of questions. She comes in handy for playing music, telling stories, telling you the news and weather and setting timers and alarms. This backfired a bit. I had told Alexa to get me up at 8am. I was already up getting my breakfast by this time. She woke up my husband on the dot, but for some reason he couldn’t remember her name to get her to shut up! He had to open his tablet and find the amazon site to get her name. Of course, he could have come down stairs and asked me….same issue as the directions!
So how will this help the people with diabetes who read our posts? A little bit perhaps. There are apps that can tell you the nutrient content of various foods including the carb count per 100g. There are some exercise apps. There are meditation and relaxation apps. Have you found out any apps for Alexa that you have found helpful?

 

Having Hypos in Public

There was a story in the news this week* about a BBC presenter who had to apologise to listeners after having a hypo while on air.

World Service presenter Alex Ritson has type 1 diabetes, and apparently, his introduction to an early morning news programme left him stumbling over words. He later explained what had happened, and said it was appropriate, as the programme would also be running a story on new research into diabetes published in The Lancet.

I’ve often wondered how public figures who have type 1 diabetes cope with hypos. Those of us who aren’t famous only need to worry about treating them—and sometimes that isn’t always easy—but what about if you’re in the middle of presenting a news programme, or fighting with other politicians a la Theresa May?

[Perhaps she can blame low blood sugars for the immense confusion that currently surrounds Brexit. Some people get violent when they are hypo too so she could use that as an excuse to punch Boris.]

When you have experienced hypos over the years, your body adjusts to them, and the symptoms you get are nowhere near as severe as they were the first few times. Nevertheless, confusion and brain fog still occur.

I remember sitting at meetings or trying to explain myself at work and scrabbling around for words that suddenly seemed to vanish. You get a split second where you panic—where are the words, where are the words—before realising what is going on. I reckon that’s what happened to Alex Ritson, and the panic was probably vile because he was on-air and knew millions of people were listening to him.

Alex later said on Twitter that having a hypo on air had been a recurring nightmare for years, but the Twitter community responded really well with people sympathising, and the JDRF tweeted a handy infographic that showed the signs of hypos, a useful guide for family, friends and colleagues of we type 1s.

*While researching this article, I found out that actor James Norton is a type 1, which made me happy. Nothing at all to do with the fact that he’s exceptionally good looking, #T1DLooksLikeMe…

 

 

Lifestyle changes add up to a longer life

Adapted from an article by James Hamilton in the Herald 14th October 2017

If you want to improve your life expectancy you can do the sums and see just how much extra time you can have according to Scottish researcher Dr Peter Joshi.
Obesity levels are now three times more than in the 1980s. At that time six percent of men and eight percent of women were affected. This has spurred an Edinburgh team to look into the genes affecting longevity in families and the lifestyle factors that affect life span in individuals. The old nature/ nurture debate again. Overall 600,000 people were tested and their family histories explored.
When it comes to longevity the balance comes down much more to lifestyle than your genes.
Educate yourself: add a year to every year educating yourself beyond school. That’s really like going to university for free. You get the time back at the other end!

Graduated!.jpg
Get slim: add a year for every surplus stone you lose. Diabetes complications is the main factor in causing the reduced life expectancy.
Stop smoking or don’t start: add seven years to your life if you don’t smoke those 20 cigarettes a day.
Praise the parents: some people have a gene that improves their immune function giving an extra six months life expectancy.
Blame the parents: Addiction to drugs and alcohol are somewhat genetically based.
Blame the parents (again): A gene that affects cholesterol reduces lifespan by about eight months.

The full report is the journal Nature Communications.

Diabetes Diet Book – Updated & Given a Make-over

We’ve been doing a little work in the background here at the Diabetes Diet. We decided to go for a print version via CreateSpace, and we’ve updated our book and uploaded it onto Kindle.

This is the new cover. What do you think?

diabetes diet
The Diabetes Diet is now on Amazon.

The Diabetes Diet explores what people affected with type one diabetes and type two diabetes, pre-diabetes and obesity need to do to get mastery over their blood sugars, metabolism and weight.

The scientific reasoning behind the low carbohydrate dietary approach is fully referenced and made easy by menu plans and low-carb recipes. You will be introduced to information and case studies that help you decide what level of blood sugar control, carbohydrate restriction and monitoring is most appropriate for your individual needs.

This book can help those with type 1 diabetes AND type 2 diabetes. It won’t cure diabetes, but it will make living with the condition so much easier.

The print version is going though some final checks, but should be ready in a few weeks’ time and we’ll update you.

You can buy the Diabetes Diet on Amazon.com here, and Amazon.co.uk here.