About Me

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I'm a glass-half-full type of girl. I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, grave's disease and celiac disease in 2010 and life-altering allergies in 2013. I believe having a positive attitude is the only way to live with dis-ease. I also believe that life doesn't have to be PERFECT for it to be WONDERFUL. Dis-ease is expensive, so I live a frugal yet healthy lifestyle. This is just my blog; my day-to-day story.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Gluten-Free, Diabetic-friendly dieting.

Me, feeling my best with exercise, good diet, and a great spray on tan.

Just a word to say I am not a medical professional and am not giving you medical or diet or lifestyle advice. I'm just spilling my life here on these pages. :) My OWN advice doesn't even always work for ME in every situation so I'm certainly not telling you to follow it. :)

Being bored, sitting at home all day with this cervical collar on is not doing me any favors. I have more than enough time to look in the mirror and identify every flaw on my body. As of late, I have noticed that I've entered the world of "skinny fat." What is that? It's when the scale lies to you. It says you haven't gained weight yet you can't seem to comfortably fit into your clothes anymore. Not being able to do any form of exercise over the last 8 weeks has not been good to my mind OR my body. At last week's doctor appointment, I was given permission to walk on a treadmill, and not like rigorous walking or anything. That's not much to work with when you want to lose some belly/butt/wherever fat. I just need to get back on track. Eating good, feeling good plus liking what I see in the mirror are great mood lifters for me.

Weight management is a tricky thing to accomplish when you are both gluten-free from celiac disease AND you are diabetic. Your routine and your diet must be done with great intention. The diet piece is tough when you must follow two conflicting medical diets. Food in my world must already be gluten-free and lower carb... add in that all foods must be healthy and low fat and what you've got left is grass and twigs. (Okay not really, but that's how it feels sometimes). Really, the only food categories where the two diseases don't seem to disagree are meat and vegetables. How much easier the diet portion of weight management would be if I only had one or the other of these two diseases... sigh. Diet books and magazines don't work for me because they always direct me to eat food that conflicts with one or the other of my medical diets. Nowadays, I follow a gluten-free diet plan that is also diabetic friendly. It was worth every penny.

So let me give you a run-down of common food categories and where the medical diets conflict.

Fruit- Fresh fruit in a person without disease is healthy. Fresh fruit in a person with diabetes (at least for me, anyways) can be downright ugly. Fresh fruit is always gluten-free. I don't eat much fruit because I cannot figure out the correct way to bolus for it; my blood sugar always goes super high after eating it. Dried fruit is asking for a 300+ blood sugar reading. I avoid dried fruit altogether.

Grains/breads- the low carb versions of tortillas and breads are made from whole wheat, which is a no-no for celiac disease. Gluten-free breads and tortillas are almost always made from rice flour or corn and are not low in carbs. Rice (in any form) jacks up my diabetes by causing high blood sugar. Sigh. Therefore I don't eat much bread products.

Sweets- this is really a no-win situation with either disease. Most of the desserts I like either don't have gluten-free versions or don't taste the same gluten-free, and sweets and baked goods do a number on the diabetes due to their high carb counts. Thumbs down all the way around!

Soda- Soda is usually always gluten-free. However, I dislike diet soda, and regular soda is a diabetic nightmare for me. I usually just drink water or tea now.

Vegetables- fresh veggies are gluten-free AND are usually low enough in carbs that I don't have issues managing my blood sugar when I eat them. Frozen veggies I have to watch for gluten, especially if there is any sort of seasoning or sauce on them. Lucky for me, I love all vegetables, no exceptions.

Meat- Meat is usually gluten-free, unless there is cross contamination involved (e.g., meat from your grocery deli, even if labeled gluten-free, is usually cross contaminated from being cut on the same meat slicer as other lunch meats and cheeses that are not gluten-free). Fresh meat that is pre-marinated is off limits. Any meats that contain seasoning/marinade are generally off limits like sausage, hot dogs, lunch meats, seasoned chicken/beef. A few brands offer gluten-free versions but you have to be careful to ensure their gluten-free status. Meat doesn't affect my diabetes, either. Eggs work well for me, too, for both celiac and diabetes.

Cheese/Dairy- Cheese doesn't affect my diabetes, but it is tricky when it comes to my celiac disease. Some cheese is gluten free; some is not. I've had to do a lot of research on different brands of cheese, because there is also risk of cross contamination in the processing and cutting/slicing process. Dairy like yogurt is sometimes gluten-free. I don't drink milk (yuck), but it is generally gluten-free. Dairy products affects my diabetes, especially creamer and yogurt, so now I only use low carb soy or almond milk products.

Snacks/chips- the gluten-free versions are almost always made from rice or corn, so I have the same problem with snacks and chips that I do with grains/breads; high blood sugar readings.

Protein powders- these are more-often-than-not NOT gluten-free, although I've finally found one that IS gluten-free, dairy-free, vegan, non-gmo and organic and actually tastes good. And it's only 3 carbs per serving.

And that's just the DIET part of the weight-management process. Exercise is a whole other consideration when you have diabetes, since for me it almost always results in dangerous low blood sugars, so I have to be super duper careful. It's frustrating when you work out to burn calories, only to have to drink/eat them all back to treat a low blood sugar the exercise caused.

I won't be focusing on the numbers on my scale, since obviously they are deceitful. According to them, I should fit into my clothing. It will be the measurements that I will be focusing on, so tomorrow morning I will be taking down my measurements before walking on the Dreadmill.

Which reminds me that this week I will try to blog about my grocery haul from today, as I said I would, showing what staying in my $50/wk grocery budget looks like. I did well and have enough groceries to last me through the week.

Anyway, my work-in-progress, treadmill/walking exercise regimen and diet plan will help kill time while I'm sitting at home dying of boredom. It gives me something to do; to focus on and to take my mind off of other things. Why not work towards goals while you're down and out? Beats sitting in front of the tv all day. It's a good way to make something good come out of a bad situation, right? Don't get me wrong, I've done my fair share of sulking and feeling sorry for myself since getting the spinal cord injury diagnosis. But that's over and done. I don't like to wallow there for fear I'll stay there.

Which reminds me of the newest addition to my happy book collection I picked up at Barnes & Noble last weekend, from who else? My favorite author, Louise Hay of course!

I mean, look at that book. Aren't you happier just LOOKING at it? That's nothing compared to the positivity crammed inside. If you've read my blog you know I am a lover of positive-thinking, positive-attitude books. Louise Hay is Queen of it! I bought her book at B&N even though I could have gotten it off Amazon for $7 cheaper. I just wanted to take it home with me that day so I could absorb all the positivity right off the pages!

She says beautiful, powerful things like "The moment you say affirmations, you are stepping out of the victim role. You are no longer helpless. You are acknowledging your own power." Think how powerful of a statement that is to someone who is trying to manage a chronic disease! Or when she says "Notice what you are thinking at this moment. Is the thought negative or positive? Do you want this thought to be creating your future and your infinite possibilities? Just notice and be aware." Genius! I would definitely recommend this book to you if you need some uplifting. I am not a paid sponsor or anything like that, I just found this book on Saturday and HAD TO HAVE IT. Her previous books have helped me so much in my journey.

Anyway, it's time for me to tie up my kicks, fire up my iTunes and get movin! Movin towards a physically fit, happier, healthier me. :)


  1. I love reading your posts. Especially the ones that are aimed at diet as it relates to low carb (diabetes) and gluten free (celiac) since I have both.
    and it really sucks. You're right, cookbooks suck because they only seem to cater to one or the other. What's low carb sucks for celiac and what's gluten free sucks for diabetes.
    You will be back in your groove in no time. There's no much you can do for now as you're healing but just be patient. :)

  2. One day at a time! Before you know it you will be back into full swing with all your old routines! Like my mom always says "This too shall pass!" :)

  3. Could you share the protein powder you found? I'm just starting on diabetic/gluten free eating plan...

  4. I guess I am not the only one having all the enjoyment here! keep up the good work
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