Posts Tagged ‘nutritionist’

Thanks Dr. Barnard

Friday, July 20th, 2012

Neal BarnardWhen I first found out that I was having some pretty serious health problems I wasn’t quite sure what to do.  It made sense that being told you’re a diabetic means you have to change the way you eat, but how was a big question.  Thankfully a family friend who happens to be a physician recommended Dr. Barnard’s book “Program for Reversing Diabetes”.  I will admit that it’s a pretty radical diet.  I will also admit that I don’t actually follow it that stridently any more even though I should probably get a little closer to it than I a now.

Dr Barnard advocates a strict Vegan diet no matter what ailments you are suffering from.  He has a number of books out that more or less advocate the same style of eating .  It comes down to eliminating all meat and animal products from your eating habits and severely limiting the amount of fat you consume.

For three months I stuck to it and I must say I felt a lot better for it.  However, being a chef and general lover of food I found it really difficult to sustain.  I like meat, I love cheese and although I don’t have a particularly sweet tooth I had been consuming WAY to much sugar.  Physically and mentally I felt amazing when I imposed his limitations, except for the intense craving for my savoury favorites.   Allowing myself a meat dinner once a week took the edge off and it didn’t seem to screw up things too badly.

A dietician cautioned me about not getting enough fat in my diet and I understood her reasoning.  Commonly held belief says we need approximately 24 grams of fat a day to maintain a healthy balance in our bodies and trust me when you honestly break it down, that’s not very much.  Well Neal Barnard’s plan calls for quite a bit less than that.  Remember it is extremely important with a vegan diet to make sure you are getting enough protein as well.

So although I do recommend having a look at his logic and success rate it is also important to me to have a lifelong sustainable food plan that isn’t going to drive me away too easily.  My tastes have certainly changed from taking Dr. Barnard’s recommendations.  Sweets are really unpleasantly too sweet for me and I really don’t miss the cheese too much.  My feeling is that it’s more important to not go crazy obsessing about any eating format but to also not use that for an excuse to just let healthy eating fall by the wayside. His books contain excellent resources and tips for improving your diet at the very least.  The recipes (sorry Bryanna Clark Grogan) are not really all that enticing and contain far  too many artificially low-fat, fake meat sort of components.  I prefer more naturally occurring and self made alternatives whenever possible.

I’m still looking for the right balance.  Right now a little closer to a vegan diet would help me out and as I write this I feel I can get back there again.

Wish me luck and good health and I wish the same for you.

Click on the picture above to get to some of Dr. Neal Barnard’s videos on youtube.

Going Good!

Monday, June 25th, 2012

Me June 2012Everything is right on track.  Went to the Doctor the other day and he had me do an A1c (test that measures blood glucose) and it has yet again improved from his original diagnosis.  Ha…nutrition and activity all the way.

Since January I have eaten pretty much what I want.  Within reason of course.  I try to keep my veggie consumption high and my carb intake low.  Sweets are out except for the very odd taste of delicious birthday cake.  Bottom line I don’t find I am lacking anywhere and I’m loosing weight and gaining energy.

The two big things that have made a difference are the most basic and backed by any expert I’ve encountered.  Eat Breakfast, Don’t eat too late in the evening.   Oh and really enjoy your food (that’s not really backed by anyone, I just really enjoy food).

So this is me 35 lbs lighter than I was in October.  Feeling great, looking good and happy that my plan is working.


It’s all about honesty.

Tuesday, June 12th, 2012

pillsWell some one asked me what my motivation was for doing this whole weight loss thing.  It started for sure as a need to improve my health and mood.  All this high blood sugar and high cholesterol and depression was really taking it out of me.  So I had to start eating well again.  I will gladly admit that I had been eating like crap for a good 3-4 years mostly due to the depression.   This of course (and a bit of genetics) is what contributed to my doctor panicking and wanting to put me on drugs for diabetes mellitus.  A totally bogus diagnosis as I have since proven to him.   What I found out by doing the rampant research that I have, is that the most effective treatment for high blood sugar is diet and exercise.  Metformin is negligibly effective if  exercise and diet are taken into consideration.

The fact is people are lazy and want to keep eating the high protein, high carbohydrate diet they are used to and therefore need Metformin in order to regulate their blood sugars.  That doesn’t even take into consideration that pharmaceutical companies want to sell you this drug because they make a ton of money on the “Diabetes Epidemic”.  Pharmaceutical companies are a huge lobby group and the last thing they want, or fast food/pre-prepared food companies want is for you to find out that the cure for this “epidemic” is for people to eat more vegetables and get out more.   Now I really don’t want to go all conspiracy theory about this nor would I want to discourage people from seeking the treatment they feel comfortable with but please do yourself a favour and do your own research.

The beauty of the interwebs is that all the information is at your finger tips.  Please take the time to read and cross reference all the information you can find if you have been diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes.  We must take responsibility for our own health.  Doctors are overworked and very specifically trained to prescribe medications as the way of controlling disease.   Doctors have little to no training in nutrition or exercise unless they have specialized in those fields; and as we all know specialists are hard to get hold of let alone get an appointment with.

Please don’t just take your GP’s word for it if all they have to say is “take these pills”,  the first line of defense is to create a healthier lifestyle.

Please don’t be intimidated into only doing what your doc says,  they are fallible people just like us and have limited knowledge based on training controlled by a board  heavily influenced by the pharmaceutical industry.

Make your own choices.  Even if you do choose to use sulfonylurea drugs remember that you will have to change your diet and exercise habits anyway or you will end up on more drugs and eventually be insulin-dependent.  That’s just how this disease progresses with drugs and no lifestyle change.

Anyway, that’s just my personal opinion based on my own research; you go make up your own mind.

Be honest with yourself and what you are and aren’t capable of.  You are stronger than you think.