I'll try to put together some more of my thoughts and experiences since I started my quest to turn my life around. It is about a week since I last met with my doctor, and he sent me away for a couple of months to see if I can continue my progress. I am still excited about what I am doing, and I know that I am on the right track. But I feel like a recovering addict, in that I am only a donut or an ice-cream away from disaster. When my blood glucose level is low, is when I have to be careful. I have to eat something, but not too much carbs that it will over-correct and send me into high blood glucose level territory.
Driving With My Eyes Open
Last article I talked about driving as a metaphor for maintaining my blood glucose level within range. Here is another diagram to show my thinking on this:
If you get it, am I sorry to bug you with it, but it took me a long time to get it. Perhaps it is helpful to you. If I eat carbs, my car turns to the left and my blood glucose level goes up. If I fast I turn to the right and my blood glucose level goes down.
Also the amount of hypoglycemic (blood glucose level reducing) drugs, like Metformin also steer the car to the right. It is like the steering is a bit wonky. Once I take my meds in the morning, my blood glucose level will slowly go down. I'll need to eat some carbs to keep going in a straight line. But then as the day goes on, the drugs start to wear off, the car will drift to the left.
There is more. I found stress can steer the car to the left too. Last weekend I spent hours installing a new framed door, and that increased my blood glucose level without eating anything. When I visited my doctor it had a similar effect.
So, it is kind of like driving a clown car, with some weird steering. If I didn't check my blood glucose level often, I would soon be hitting the curb.
I take some meds before I sleep, and now because I am already in range, I wake up in the early hours with a low blood glucose level, often around 3.9. That is bumping into the right curb. I get cold sweats and feel rather disoriented.
At those times I need to take a reading, eat something modest, and go back to sleep. I have to fight the urge to panic and over compensate by eating too much carbs. I have done that at least once, and woke up with an unwanted high blood glucose level.
Long term, I need to adjust the amount of meds I take before I sleep, so that I wake up still in range. I tried reducing one, but I did too much, so this will take some trial and error before I work it out. I said previously, this is like my lab where I experiment and see the results, then try again.
This is the amount of variation, how much my blood glucose level goes up and down. I want to drive my car fairly smoothly and not zig-zag too much as I go along the road.
I'm improving on the standard deviation. So a bit more straighter driving. This can be due to smaller portions, and taking regular readings of my blood glucose level. If I make adjustments to my meds, it needs to be small adjustments too.
Perhaps you'd like to know what kind of food I am eating. The emphasis is on low carbs. Breakfast has been egg, and sometimes bacon (both zero carbs). I can add a couple cherry tomatoes to add some carbs if I have room.
For dinners, I have done several salads with vinaigrette dressing, together with some protein. I like fish, like tuna, salmon, mackerel and tilapia. They have zero carbs, so I can eat lots.
I also have done a miso soup, with some vegetables added, like yue-choi, a little carrot, some bamboo shoots (fresh if you can get them). I tried adding either tofu or pork for the protein.
A favourite of mine is daikon or law bak (Japanese and Chinese names) a big white carrot/radish. I grate some of it raw and eat it with grilled or baked fish.
For the most part we've done away with lunch. If my blood glucose level is low enough during the day, I can have a snack or two. My wife decided to skip lunches during the week as she is at work. She packs some snack for in case she needs something.
I've tried to have some low-carb options available for me, especially when I only need to eat a small amount. I like walnuts, pecans (1/4 cup about 4g carbs) and cheese. I also have some plain yoghurt. I either eat it as-is, or I blend in a couple of strawberries. Not too much though. I sometimes grab a couple cherry tomatoes.
As we gave up anything flour based, crackers and cookies are out.
Here is a really cool list of low-carb foods. It is worth printing out for reference. Thanks to the folks at Keto Size Me.
Scales Of Doom
I have been checking my weight a lot. My wife locks the door so no one can see her do it. I found that if I move the scale around in the bathroom, I can get different results. I am thinking about getting a better, more reliable scale. During the day, my weight varies quite a bit. I am a lot less bothered by it than my wife. I would like to see further improvement by the time I see my doctor next. I see weight loss as a side effect. When I severely reduce my carbs, and my blood sugar drops, then my body will have to find sugar elsewhere - by converting fat into sugar.
I guess that is all for this update. Let me know what you'd like me to write about.
Disclaimer: I am not a doctor. This is based on my own experience. Your mileage may vary. Check with your doctor before doing anything drastic based on what I wrote above.