“Everyone Knows Someone Who Needs This Information!” (TM)
Not wanting to be the Grinch Who Stole Christmas, it is still necessary to discuss a few important relevant topics for diabetics as you go through a round of parties and holiday eating, especially if you want to be reasonably healthy at the end of this Season! How do you do it?
___ Be open to a wake-up call!
Example 1: What do I mean by that? Well, for example, I just gave my sister, who had spent the summer and fall successfully losing weight by increasing exercise (swimming) and cutting back on food quantity and making smarter food choices, a copy of Dr. Rosedale’s landmark book about diet biochemistry. Bad choice. She wouldn’t read it.
I backed off as she’d been self-motivated and was being successful. She’d just asked for and received a pair of top-notch running shoes and was prepared to start her running regimen in winter. But, the information I was trying to share with her would have made it all “easier”, as she would have been learning how to work WITH her body, instead of trying to bash-it-into-compliance.
She’s off to California. The book is here. I’m sad. I wish her well, and I know I was helping. She doesn’t know what she missed. I think she will succeed, but it will be harder than it needed to be.
Example 2: You all know that I try to respond to the good and the bad on the TV program “The Biggest Loser”. Next week will be this season’s finale, and America is voting for the last of the three contestants who will make it to the finale. I am voting for Ada, as she has had the bigger obstacles in her life, least support from family and shown herself to be a person of great determination and fortitude which I want to reward. She just made a new record when winning the Biggest Loser Marathon! Brava! You can vote, too, here Biggest Loser Vote.
Surprisingly, I am proud of Americans. They are starting to get the wake-up call and starting to see that, especially in tough economic times, their Health is even more precious and in need of protection by their own Good Choices! If we lose our health insurance (which I did for the second time, several years ago and still have none), all you have is Knowledge and good judgment to protect you! Many more people are in that boat now.
Being practical — going in to try to apply for a job looking overweight and unfit is not going to “cut it” when employers are concerned about health costs and there are 5 times more applicants for every job, than usual. Time for you to start to re-invent yourself, with your doctor’s permission and guidance.
If you have no physician, then my suggestion is to just walk for at least an hour, everyday, at conversation pace (not being breathless, but being able to constantly talk to a companion, comfortably, if you wanted to for the whole time). You need to try to carve out the whole hour, as biochemical steps “kick-in”. But, if you can’t do the whole hour at once, then next-best choice is to cut it into either 40 minutes at lunchtime, 20 minutes in the morning or evening OR 20 minute chunks: morning, lunchtime and evening. Do this everyday. Walking isn’t strenuous enough to say “one day off, one day on ” or using “cross-training” rules, as we were meant to walk everyday.
___ Learn all you can about your body, food and exercise!
You’re here, so I am patting you on the back! Stay away from the American Diabetes Association food pyramid like the plague. Remove most grains from your diet (even if whole-grain). Get celiac, non-gluten recipes and start to try them. Use quinoa and wild rice (this is not a grain) as your main “grain” substitutes; both are very good for diabetes.
Use no artificial sweeteners. Use low glycemic stevia and agave nectar for natural sweetness and maple sugar, prudently. All these are good for diabetics. Eat way more than the 5 a day vegetables and fruits recommended by the US Government health bureaus. Eat less fruit, more vegetables. Include Vitamin C veggies and fruits everyday – kiwi is a good choice as it has Omega-3s, too.
Learn how to make your body pH alkaline everyday. I’ve written about this many times and have given you charts of pH alkaline foods. Look in the Titles Archive on the navigation bar above.
When you go to holiday parties, eat ahead at home, first. Then, at the party, with the roster of good pH alkaline foods remembered, indulge moderately. Also, calculate the empty calories of alcoholic drinks, the seriously acidic pH of any soda pop. Consider club soda with a twist and a shot of lemon or lime juice and 2 T of a little sweeter juice like pomegranate — with beneficial ellagic acids. It looks festive and has beneficial aspects to it. Do NOT use Seltzer Water. On the Club Soda label, look for either sodium bicarbonate or potassium bicarbonate, only.
If it’s a sit-down dinner, enjoy the healthiest parts of it.
There is time for celebration on the Middle Path. But, it’s important to know just when and how much is the time to choose. Not every office and collegial friend’s party is an “excuse”, but maybe you just really enjoy the time you spend on your main meal with family. Choose a time to truly celebrate, in a moderate way.
___ Become a role-model for others!
The severely overweight, morbidly obese contestants who succeed on The Biggest Loser are very aware about Pay It Forward actions. You can too. Here are some amazing numbers about global obesity. These statistics come for the United Nations World Health Organization (WHO), but they are not perfectly meshed (as the country details are sometimes from different years and vary in sample size). But this is the best snapshot we have, so far, for the Globesity Epidemic.
The “healthiest” countries, which have at least 70% of their population still at “normal” body-mass index are, in order (best first): Laos and Ghana
The next tier has 60% – 70% of their populations at normal weight, in order (best first): Madagascar, Japan (mostly because of Okinawa), Viet Nam, Mongolia, Philippines, South Korea, India, Kyrgyzstan and Estonia
This third tier has 50% – 60% healthy weight, in order (best first): Morocco, Switzerland, China, Singapore, Thailand, Austria, Brazil, Belgium, Denmark, Romania, Pakistan, Zimbabwe, France, Finland, Italy, Sweden, Cuba, Iran, Latvia, Norway, Colombia, Bulgaria
The fourth tier has only 40% – 50% of the population at normal body mass index, in order (best first): Cyprus, Iceland, Malaysia, Vanuatu, Slovakia, Lithuania, Canada, South Africa, Czech Republic, Poland, Spain, Hungary, Portugal, Jordan, Ireland, Saudi Arabia, Turkey
This next group is in serious trouble, with only 30% – 40% of their populations at normal weight, in order (best first): Australia, Fiji, New Zealand, United States of America, Croatia, Malta, United Kingdom, Kuwait, Panama
And, the worst country in the world, for obesity, where only 18% of the people are at normal weight, is Kiribati.
Next week, I’m going to give my thoughts as to why these numbers and what more can be done, but find your country of residence; find your ethnic heritage and start thinking about where you get your food behaviors from and exercise outlooks from. Then, you’ll be ready to take part in next week’s important conversation.
Meanwhile, prepare for your holiday season carefully and thoughtfully.
I sincerely wish all of you a Happy, Peaceful, Secure Holiday Season and I fervently hope all will be much better when I write, again, this time next year.
Best to all — Em
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(c)2010 Em at http://diabetesdietdialogue.wordpress.com
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