Why Paleo with Type 1 Diabetes?

Nutrition has always been a huge part of my life, nailing down what worked best for me and my body, well that was another issue altogether.  I was raised on cereal, baked ziti, Rice-A-Roni, stuffed shells, chicken every way possible, pot roast…the list goes on. My parents were good cooks from Italian and German backgrounds, let’s just say we ate WELL.  I ate my fair share of crap.  Who didn’t? I loved ice cream. I loved mashed potatoes. And if someone made a good yeast roll, well just sign me up to be your best friend.  I was full of grains and gluten and dairy.

Being diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at age 8, the only recommended guidelines for meals were to make sure you were stuffed with carbs, low fat, use artificial sweeteners, processed foods were cool by the dieticians standards because of the nutrition labels making it easy for them to show me how to count carbs.  Can we see how this was a recipe for failure when diabetes is a disease where we can’t metabolize carbohydrates?

I was always searching for a way to control my blood sugar, have energy, feel great and still fit into my clothes.  I tried following what the dieticians said year after year then finally turned to Weight Watchers, calorie counting/restricting, Dr. Phil diet, Lean Cuisines, Slim Fast and other meal replacements, The South Beach Diet, and finally clean eating.  Let me remind you all of these occurred by the time I was 22 years old! YIKES!

Sick and tired of being sick and tired, done with seeing my blood sugars climb, my energy plummet, my depression kick my ass, and my weight slowly creep, I did what any Millennial would do, I took to Google.  At this point I don’t even remember what I googled but I somehow stumbled across Robb Wolf and a few testimonials from type 1 diabetics.  Honestly, I couldn’t find many type 1’s doing anything that wasn’t the ADA (American Diabetes Association) recommended diet (which wasn’t working for me) so seeing a few t1s have success and reading that Paleo is really just a whole foods lifestyle that eliminated the BIGGEST offenders to our health, I figured what did I have to lose?

The summer of 2011 I embarked on my Paleo journey.  Armed with books from Barnes and Noble, I dismantled our pantry, rebuilt it and completely overhauled how I was eating. The changes in my insulin needs happened pretty quickly!  I was reducing what I was taking daily and over that first summer I lost a few pounds and already started to see better blood sugar control!

Over the last five years, I’ve had ebbs and flows in my journey.  I’ve had strict compliance and had times of practicing the 80/20 rule. Cheese occasionally finds its way to my plate and if I want a bite of something a family member is having it’s not the end of the world, but I can definitely tell with my blood sugars and digestive troubles when I’ve overdone it with “non paleo foods.” It’s amazing how quickly I realized that what I considered feeling “good” pre-paleo, was a far cry from what good actually was.  

For years I struggled with constipation, bloating, gas, skin rashes, lack of energy, bouts of insomnia, depression, anxiety, brain fog, roller coaster blood sugars finally peaking at 7.4% a1c, weight fluctuations, high cholesterol and hair loss.  It wasn’t until I took charge of my own health that all of this changed.  It’s crazy to think that all of it DID change not with pharmaceutical drugs, which is what all the doctors wanted to do, but through FOOD!

Food is medicine! Nutrition has the power to heal or hurt us.  Unfortunately, what we’ve been taught is how to use it to hurt ourselves thanks to grand marketing schemes and mega corporations that are in it for the profits. The food we are eating today is not what our great grandparents ate.  They didn’t eat partially hydrogenated oils, red dye #40, high fructose corn syrup or whatever the heck Velveeta cheese is made from!  They ate food that came from the ground or had a mother.  There food wasn’t trucked in from Chile, China, Ecuador, or Thailand, it was grown locally or by them. It wasn’t genetically modified to taste sweeter, grow bigger and faster, it wasn’t picked before it was ripe so that by the time it got to the store shelf it was finally the right color but lacking nutrients.  The soil their food came from wasn’t over farmed and sick and lacking the basic nutrients as it is today.  They knew where the animals they were eating were raised and fed.  Cooking was part of life not relying on fast food or pre packaged franken-foods.

Switching gears back to the basics of nutrition, eating like we were designed to eat lowered my a1c to 5.5%, helped me lose 10lbs, lower my HDL, triglycerides, up my HDL, my skin cleared up, I no longer struggled with painful gas on a regular basis or was so bloated I couldn’t button my pants, I could sleep SOUNDLY through the night, I kicked the depression, I had energy for all my daily tasks and workouts! I floored my doctors who couldn’t believe what I achieved with FOOD and not medicine.  I felt like I had a new lease on life.  One that without me becoming my own advocate, doing my own research and being willing to go against the grain, would never have happened.

beforeafter2015

So why am I telling you this story? Because I know there are those of you reading it that have suffered with the same things I have.  You’ve tried a million and one different things to try to get healthy and repeatedly failed…we all have.  You’re frustrated…just like I was.  You want answers you’re not getting mainstream.  You want help.  You want to feel GREAT because you know there’s a better way.  That’s why I’m sharing!  I’ve found the better way and I’m shortening the learning curve for you.  I’m not saying it’s easy, but I am saying it’s worth it and you’re 100% worthy of feeling amazing and having a long healthy life. If you’ve struggled with any of the things I’ve talked about (or other things) I hope you’ll connect with me!  My heart’s desire is to truly serve people to help them reclaim their health.  Each month I work with 10 new clients and if you feel like this is the month for you, fill out your contact info on my website and I’ll be so excited to connect with you!

Healthy is Happy!

Xoxo

Dorothy

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