When you think of a person that with type 2 diabetes, does a tall, svelte, and active girl come to mind? Probably not, but that was the bombshell that was dropped on me about a year and a half ago. My HbA1C, average blood glucose across a 3 month period, was slowly creeping up each time I had blood work drawn at my doctor, and when I was finally told that I was pre-diabetic (5.9% HbA1c) and only a few decimal points away from being diagnosed a diabetic (6.4%), I knew I had to see an endocrinologist and make some lifestyle changes.
After a short 3 week period of following a very strict regimen, I was able to bring my HbA1c down to just 5.2 and got a lot of my energy back, too. Before I was tired ALL the time and in general just felt bblllahhhh. By no means was this new approach easy, and it is something I will have to keep up with my ENTIRE life (I did say lifestyle change), but if it means a healthier and happier me, it is worth it. Here is what I did to lower my HbA1C naturally without any prescription medications.
Increase Protein Intake – For my build, my endocrinologist recommended I strive for 26 grams of protein and a dairy product at every meal. Protein helps balance out the all too familiar “sugar crashes” I would get throughout the day (Seriously, I even fell asleep while wedding dress shopping!), and will give you longer, sustained energy. What are good sources of protein? Milk, yogurt (plain and unsweetened), poultry, fish, cheese and nuts.
Eat Breakfast – I got in the nasty habit of skipping breakfast when I was working full time in an office and it wreaked havoc on my health. Food got put on the very back burner during the morning frenzy to get out the door, and my body actually started producing TEN times the amount of regular insulin to keep up and give me energy until lunch. Aaah! Try eating a scrambled egg with a slice of bacon, and if you are in a real time crunch, at least drink a glass of milk so you aren’t running on E. Your body will thank you! (Also, sweet lattes don’t count as breakfast; I tried pulling that one off with my doc too. )
Decrease Carbs – This was the hardest part for me, as I ate a carb side dish at nearly every meal! For my health needs, I had to cut everything, even healthy choices like brown rice and sweet potatoes, for the first 3 weeks, and then slowly got to add in items little by little after. It is important to do a reset like this so when you start adding carbs back in, you know what foods trigger blood sugar spikes or sleepiness, and how much of a certain carb your own body can handle. Things to avoid: Bread, rice, cereals, pasta, sweetened yogurts, potatoes, chips, honey, sugar, all fruit (except berries), fruit juices and alcohol.
Snack Smart – Bye bye potato chips, hello nuts! Snacks throughout the day should increase your protein count. Think beef jerky, string cheese, or a cup of cottage cheese and step away from the pretzels.
Take Green Vibrance – I could write a post on just this vitamin because I recommend it to so many people and get asked about it every time I go to buy it at my local grocery store. GREEN VIBRANCE! Green Vibrance is a health food powerhouse with vitamins, probiotics and green superfoods that focus on improving the four foundations of health – nutrition, digestion, circulation and immunity. It comes as a green powder that you will need to place in your freezer after purchasing. 40 minutes after eating a light breakfast is the best time to take it, but really the only important thing is that you take it… every day, and mix it into 8 ounces of cold water – juice if you’re not worried about sugar. It does not have the best taste and is a little thick, but with the ability to lower HbA1C, lower high blood pressure, and more, who cares! Although it may seem pricey compared to the bottle vitamins, you have to keep in mind that is has the added probiotics ( 25 BILLION in each scoop) and green essentials and antioxidants with it. At around a little over $1/day, it is worth every penny to me. Check out the nutrition information below.
The old adage “don’t judge a book by it’s cover” definitely holds true when it comes to health. I didn’t fit the definition of a typical diabetic and although my new diet helped, my diet was not the cause. My endocrinologist boiled it down to one simple word – GENES. Some people are fortunate enough to eat whatever they want, whenever they want and never have a problem (SO JEALOUS!), and I come from a family where insulin resistance is prevalent. It isn’t a matter of if my A1C will creep back up, but when because it will. Until that day comes. I’m going to do the best I can fighting it off.
Do any of you have any other health tips? I’m always open to suggestions… That’s how you learn!
I am by no means a medical doctor, or can guarantee that this plan will work as well for you as it did for me, but because of my results, I wanted to share. Even if you have no concern with blood sugar at all, and all you take away from this is the Green Vibrance, I will be happy knowing I was able to positively impact someone’s health and life.