Always be prepared

The Low Carb Cruise almost seems a distant memory as I settle into my daily routine. I have been making my meals and experimenting with flavours.I think the key to staying on track is to make sure each day I am fully prepared with what I need to eat. I also need to batch cook each weekend the things I will need to eat through the week. I will explain this later but I need to share something exciting with you all.

For many years my darling husband Chris has never quite grasped the importance of my diet, and he’s always resisted to follow it. Chizzy Nwankwo one of the Heal Clinics team tried talking to him while we were on the cruise, he was quite flippant about not subscribing to it. I was a bit hurt by what he said but I know it would be his choice and I cannot make hime eat how I eat. If he changed it would have to be his choice and he would have to do it for himself and not for me.  

Well to my surprise since we have been back in England he has been for the most part sticking to the foods I eat. The only exception is he has his lattes with milk. Each night I have made something meat oriented, I made steak one night and even made a butter sauce to go on it which he liked. I’ve cooked chicken in garlic butter. Omelette is also a good choice as you can add meat to it. During the day he doesn’t really eat, he used to eat crisps(potato chips) and chocolate, now he says he just drinks water. I really hope he sticks with this as I do not want him to get diabetes or any other illness related to a high carb diet. He still hasn’t grasped the eating out bit, but baby steps are better than nothing , right? 

My second piece of news is, my youngest son Luke is 19 and has Aspergers. He has a mind of his own and, while I try to influence him, I believe he is old enough to choose for himself. I can only try educate him of the best food choices but ultimately it is his choice. I have always prepared my own meals different to the rest of the family, unless we have meat then I eat what I have prepared for the others. Since returning home I have been planning ahead and making tasty snacks to keep me from straying. I’ve made beef jerky and pork rinds, and my meals have always smelled nice. Luke has been very tempted by everything I have made so far, but when he wants to eat I have said to him if he follows my eating plan then he can eat the food I am eating. I have always told the family to leave my food alone, it’s not that I’m unwilling to share, it more the fact that they eat my food then move on to their high carb stuff. As they are adults I can’t make them eat low carb, I’d rather they did this willingly. I don’t buy lots of carby foods they can buy their own if they wish. But if there is bread in the house it usually goes mouldy before it is eaten which shows they don’t eat a lot. So back to Luke, last weekend he came to me and said I want to eat the foods you are eating. So I explained that he couldn’t be eating anything that contained sugar and anything that contained grains. So far he is doing really good but I will keep you updated. 

Now back the the title of this post. I’ve often found in the past I would be more tempted and had more cravings if I didn’t start the day off covering every eventuality. So every day I take to work with me everything I might need. I have a cool box which I load up with with my food for the day. I have bottles of water with covers on them to keep them cold as I hate drinking warm water. At the moment I am still drinking coffee so I take cream with me too. I carry salt and pepper too. I also carry a small set of scales to weigh my food to log on My Fitness Pal. Doing all this keeps me totally focused, it may seem a little OTT, but we all have to find what works for us in this way of eating. 

So each day I get my food ready, If I am starting very early I get it ready the night before. I usually cook a pack of streaky bacon and let it cool. I have got it down to a fine art,

I like my bacon crispy.

Heat the oven to 200ºC/400ºF Gas 6

Line a baking tray with foil, this is purely to make cleaning easier for me.

Lay the bacon on the foil and put in the oven for 10 mins

Turn the bacon over

Return to the oven for a further 10 mins.

I often leave the bacon in the oven and turn it off.

The result for me is perfectly crispy bacon.

   

 

If you miss crisps(potato chips) then this is a great alternative.

I plan my lunch which is usually any of the following:-

Smoked salmon with cream cheese

Ham and cream cheese

Meat from the night before dinner

Fish fillet cooked in lemon and butter

Breakfast Muffins

My list of foods is growing but above all I follow the KISS rule, keep it simple!

My taste buds have changed considerably, I am tasting so much more so finding I have had to cut back on the seasoning.

I have a cool box, it’s a small one to be able to carry with me. I am quite mobile in my job so it stays in the boot(trunk 😉) I put al the food in containers and enough freezer blocks that stay frozen all day.

Each day my cool box always contains,

 

 Cream for my coffee

 Almond milk for tea.

Butter

Salt

Pepper

Bacon(this is my snack food)

Mayonnaise

Water

Plus whatever lunch I’m having.

I weigh everything so I can measure how much protein and fat I’m having each day.

If I have chicken wings I weigh them first then I eat, I weigh the bones and subtract this from the start weight, the answer is the amount of meat I have eaten.

I have lots of containers which I can fill for the day.

   

  

 

I haven’t so far had a day when I feel tempted, I think it is because I prepare carefully each day. If ever I feel hungry I have coffee with cream in and it satisfies me. I have coffee cup that will keep my coffee very hot for 3-4 hours and that is always by my side. I only really have 2 cups a day but I sip it so it lasts me.

If ever I see anything that would be tempting I am totally fine not having it. I don’t miss anything either. In fact yesterday I looked back over the day and I’d hardly eaten anything, I was so busy all day that I didn’t even think about food. Last night we went to the cinema and I took a coffee with me and I didn’t even miss having snacks. I wouldn’t normally have coffee in the evening though.

Coming up:-

I will be sharing some of my favourite recipes

I will give you an update on my Blood glucose and weight loss.

Ailsa

The first week back at home.

After a very long journey back from the States, I was still very motivated to continue. I managed on the flight with the food I had with me, thanks to Kim who we had stayed with by a lake! I knew I had a lot of people behind me and Chris knew the importance of me succeeding. I started to focus on foods I could eat and while Chris went for a lie down I went shopping for meat!! I felt energised and wanted to prepare for my meals.

I made beef jerky, got lots of bacon and bought some chickens to cook. I stayed basic because I knew I would be tired this week and wanted quick and easy food to keep me going. I knew the only way to stay on track was to always be prepared. I had to start each day knowing exactly what I would be taking with me to eat. I work with a lady with Autism and spend my day away from home and often away from cooking facilities, so I try to make sure I have everything I need for the day.

We arrived back on the Sunday and I was back at work the following day. Thankfully it was only for a few hours. I decided that I need to take some time each day just for me, my main problem with my blood sugars is stress. My life is always busy and I often start work at 7:30am and I am running around all day I sometimes work 12 hours straight and the nature of my job is I do not get a break, then when I come home I am busy like most mums are. My husband Chris is a mechanic and he too comes home from a full days work then friends turn up at the house with car trouble wanting their cars fixed. This for me is often really frustrating as I am usually making tea or coffee. I sometimes get so stressed I feel like screaming, as one person leaves another one arrives. So I spoke to Chris and told him that every day I will be coming home from work and going upstairs to be alone for half an hour or so.

I have been doing this every day now and I feel so much better for it. Just laying down and closing my eyes, I sometimes fall asleep, but I set an alarm so I just have a power nap. This has made such a difference to my mood. I don’t snap at the kids nearly as much, and I feel happier within myself.

I have recorded my BG 4/5 times each day and due to jet lag they have been quite high. One day it even rose to 374mg/dl 20.8mmol/l, now that day I was really worried but I emailed Dr Eric Westman of Heal Clinics and he advised I do a sliding scale of Insulin so when my BG goes above 250mg/dl 14mmol/l I can implement it. This really eased my mind and made me feel in control again. Its great knowing even though Eric and I are thousands of miles apart, I know he is at the end of an email. I also am in contact with other members of his team too. This alone gives me great reassurance.

The one thing this did prove however is that stress is my main enemy with my diabetes, not the food I eat. I stuck 100% to zero carb, I even cut out coffee and drank just water. Looking back though I’m thinking I was stressing my body cutting everything out while trying to deal with Jet Lag. I also returned to bootcamp which I have noticed gives me a spike in BG just after, which is a normal stress response. So I put coffee back in my daily routine, I only ever have 1-2 cups in the morning, and I have cream. Once my BG stabilises I will withdraw it again. People have often said to me, “you must be eating the wrong foods if your BG is so high”. It can be frustrating but I know what I eat, after all, if I ate the wrong foods I would only be cheating myself wouldn’t I?

The amazing thing is I was on a combined total of 170iu of insulin a day, on the sliding scale I have had at the most 10iu and that was enough to bring my BG back to normal. This has only happened once so far but at least I know I have a back up plan if needed. So although my bloods for this last week look bad, I am not worried as my body needs time to adjust back to bein in the UK. I have seen this before, and I am always worse when we come back home. My body is recovering and my continued blood monitoring is showing that.

I have learned to be patient and give my body time. I have also learned to be kinder to myself and try to combat stress. I am finding my energy levels are improving, but if I’m tired through the day I try take a power nap when I get home from work.

Even though my glucose levels were high last week, I have still followed this 100% and I still trust 100% that I will continue to improve and this way of eating is right for me.

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The Low Carb Cruise the start of my journey.

May 24th 2015 was the 8th annual Low Carb Cruise, I have been involved with the cruise since its start. I am on the committee and one of the organisers. Each year we meet up, have great seminars and socialise with like minded people who don’t think you’re weird for your choice of eating.

This year I was excited to be going but also dreading it as my insulin had caused a weight gain and I felt awful. When we landed I was exhausted from the long journey, my blood sugars were totally out of control. I had 3 hypos in one day, then my glucose would go high. My husband even started to worry as he had not really seen me like this before. My good friend Lynne Ivey came with us on a shopping trip, she notice I wasn’t my usual self, I am normally very bubbly and joking all the time. I talked to her and said I was thinking of talking to Dr Eric Westman to ask his advice, she said it was a good idea.

At the pre cruise dinner as it was ending I found Eric and explained what had been going on briefly. I said I was desperate to sort my health out, he asked me if I was 100% committed to doing this, well of course I said yes. At 10:30 pm we did a run to a pharmacy as I had forgotten my glucose monitor, I know stupid right?

Eric had advised me to totally give up carbs, I was thinking wow, I’m on vacation, really!!! It was only a slight thought! Of course who wouldn’t follow his advice? I was surrounded by all my friends and a ton of support, this was the ideal time to get sorted. Eric said I would be off insulin by the end of the week, I didn’t doubt him but I was doubting myself! Could I do this and stick to it?

On the bus to the ship I felt so ill, Insulin gave me terrible headaches, numb fingers and I constantly had a fuzzy head. Normally I would be busy organising people onto the coach, all I could do was find a seat and just sit without speaking hardly a word. The nausea was so bad I couldn’t talk. We got off the bus and Amy Dungan saw me getting off, she asked if I was OK, she went to hug me but I stopped her as I could barely hold it together. When we got settled on the ship I did my glucose level it was 204mg/dl or 11.3mmol/l. We got something to eat and finally i started to feel better.

People often ask me if you can eat Low Carb on a cruise. Well its like eating at a restaurant, choose steak ad salad, careful with the dressing and sauces. I have never found it difficult choosing something off the menu. As I was Zero Carb(ZC) I would order steak, chicken or fish, these were available every night, I would not eat the vegetabes. I ate these with butter to get my fat content in. I drank club soda all week. I don’t really drink diet cola so I didn’t miss it. I didn’t get carb flu as I ate low carb already, in fact by the second day of ZC my head started to clear and I felt more alert. Eric advised me to not have my fast acting insulin and just take my night time insulin. I was also on Dapagliflozin which draws glucose out of the blood and excretes it out in the urine. but I stopped taking that too. Our first port I picked up some supplements of a multivitamin and magnesium.

Typical breakfast on the cruise Chicken on the cruise salmon on cruise

I recorded my blood glucose regularly, and kept a log of it, Eric kept finding me and asking for updates and advising what course of action to take. I am a panicky sort of person and i kept worrying when my levels were high, Eric had a way of convincing me this wasn’t a problem. After 4 days I stopped worrying about the numbers in front of me and focused on not worrying about anything. I would get someone I didn’t know asking me for updates on my BG levels, they worked with Eric, so I felt so well cared for. The whole week was so easy to do as I was surrounded by so many good friends who were behind me 100%. Most people would think I was crazy for following this diet, but I know it works, and has helped so many people with diabetes.

By the end of the week as promised I was off my insulin, here is  a table of my progress.

Insulin table

So watch this space for regular updates of my progress.