Listen, I always offer a disclaimer at the end of every post. I am not a doctor. I am not a nutritionist. And I am not making any suggestions or giving any advice. I’m simply exploring, talking about my own journey with diabetes, making observations about what is happening in my body/mind/spirit as I go along. Like the old bumper sticker says, “Don’t follow me. I’m lost too.” (Full disclaimer at the end of this post).
January was a rough month for me. For one thing, in spite of all of my precautions and my best efforts to avoid it, I got Covid. I’ve been dealing with the effects of that for about 3 weeks now. During that time, obviously, I’ve been in quarantine. I haven’t been going out for walks. I haven’t had the energy to exercise at all inside (on my rebounder) either. I have also not been super careful about what I’ve been eating. I haven’t been totally careless, but I have eaten significantly more carbs than usual. I’ve relied on what’s convenient, even frozen meals when microwaving something was all I could manage (if you haven’t had Covid, you can’t imagine how exhausting it can be). I ate Saltine crackers for the first time in years because I was craving them so bad (something about feeling sick and childhood memories). Even so, my blood sugar has been doing about the same as (or better than) when I was exercising regularly and being more careful about what I was eating. Explain that!
Let me tell you something: after about 3 years of not eating cereal at all because I was afraid it would raise my blood sugar too much, I’ve had cereal with half a banana for breakfast the last 4 days in a row. The first day, my blood sugar went up to 250 at one hour post prandial (I think that’s how you say it – one hour after eating). It was 181 at 2 hours. The next day, it only went to 235. I didn’t measure it the past two days. The interesting thing, though, is my morning sugar readings.
The first day after eating cereal, my morning reading was 132. Not great, but I’d also had a little ice cream the night before too. The next morning, it was 122. This morning, it was 113. I had a little ice cream last night too. When I say “a little” – I mean that – just a few spoonfuls of Haagen Daas. Not even half a cup. Still, I also had some little cinnamon rice cakes and a square of dark chocolate last night before bed. In addition to the Mexican chicken casserole my friend made, with some blue corn chips and salsa for dinner. And yet, my sugar went down! What?!?
It’s got me thinking. When I went about 18 months being “perfect” on my program – not eating basically anything off program (other than a little dark chocolate), no breads or potatoes or anything with carbs – one day I ate a bag of microwave popcorn and I felt like I was going to faint. My blood sugar skyrocketed and then plummeted. My body was so unused to handling that kind of food that it freaked out. It makes me wonder if I wasn’t being too careful – and setting up a situation where my body couldn’t handle “normal” eating (i.e. including some grains and other carbs in my diet).
I’d already been considering the effect of those restrictions on me mentally/emotionally. I’ve talked about that quite a bit before on this blog. But what about the physical effects? I remember my chiropractor decades ago talking about the dangers of antibacterial soaps – how the body needed some germs to fight against sometimes to keep up the immune system. It makes me wonder if my body doesn’t need a variety of foods to keep up the ability to handle, process, and assimilate different types of foods. Is that possible? I don’t know.
What I do know is that now that I’ve been less careful for over a year, I can eat a bag of microwave popcorn with no ill effects. I find that interesting. I’ve noticed that even though I’ve eaten basically the same things the past four days for all of my meals and snacks, my blood sugar has gotten better each day. I’m not sure why. Is it because my body actually got better at processing those foods each day? Is that possible? That fast? And the real kicker is that I haven’t exercised at all for three weeks – and at 113, that’s a pretty good reading for me – even for when I’m exercising regularly and being more careful about what I eat.
I’m not planning to be careless. I’m aware of quantities and combinations of food that present an issue for me. I’m also quite happy to be able to have cereal with banana slices on occasion. I’m looking forward to trying some other “healthy” (what I used to think of as healthy) favorites, like sweet potatoes, cream of buckwheat, and oatmeal in moderation. I’m monitoring how I feel and checking my blood sugar levels when I eat things that are out of the (new) ordinary. Definitely watching what’s happening with my morning fasting blood sugar levels. I’m finding some relief and pleasure that I don’t think I have to be quite so careful as I’ve been.
I wonder if anyone else has experienced this – that your body handles everything better if you aren’t too careful about what you eat and about avoiding carbs? So many people are so worried about “eating clean” – and I wonder if that doesn’t just make your system more sensitive and less able to handle variations in diet. I’ve noticed people who start cutting things out of their diet due to “sensitivities” – and then it just seems to keep escalating until there’s practically nothing left that they can eat. Maybe the “worried well” system isn’t the best way to go? I don’t know.
One other thing that may be impacting my morning blood sugar readings, is that I’ve been doing Reiki self-treatments each morning for the past 23 days (and counting), holding the intention that I return to perfect health and blood sugar balance, no matter what I eat. Maybe that’s working? I don’t know. I’m planning to keep going with that and see what happens. I’ll let you know.
Disclaimer: Please be advised that I am not a medical professional nor a dietician. This site is not in any way, shape, or form providing any sort of diagnosis, advice, cures, or recommendations for medical or dietary treatments. I am simply sharing my own journey and experiences. Nothing I say is intended to replace proper medical care.
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