Archive for August, 2009

2009 - Aug - Mum in hospital, recovery 053Peaks and Valleys - 3Paleolithic Pyramid - Karolinska Institute diet study h-healthhabits.wp.c 5-10-08






“Everyone Knows Someone Who Needs This Information!” (TM)

I’ve been overwhelmed this month — some for happy reasons, others for stressful, life-threatening reasons. How to survive the Peaks and Valleys and reach the balance-point that everyone, especially diabetics, need to find to be Healthy?!

I think the recipe is: stable well-thought out routines, drinking plenty of spring water, eating healthy alkaline food, using effective stress reduction techniques, having a positive outlook and  moving your body!

After the happiness of a family-wedding and family visits (which we enjoyed and needed), we were plunged into the great stress of having 2 weeks of roller-coaster rides to the ER and a 4 day hospital stay for my 86 year old Mum.

Getting out beyond her normal routine was good on the one hand, and devastating on the other. I think the disruption in diet, especially not drinking enough water on car trips and not walking enough (using her wheelchair instead) anywhere, made a huge difference.

She has had a return of blood clots in her legs which became pulmonary emboli, and those blood clots which entered her heart and lungs were / are life-threatening until her body re-absorbs them.

The emergency room doctors and internal medicine “hospitalists” were very clear:

___   if you want to keep your legs, move!

___   if you have to be very sedentary (as she is), then exercise-in-place while seated. The physical therapists gave her 5 or 6 exercises to get the venous blood moving back to the heart at a better pace and which will improve her leg muscle strength. She’s to do them at least twice an hour, if possible. Her oxygenation levels were excellent, even at rest, with the clots — amazing how your body copes.

___   even for seniors, drink at least 2 quarts of pure water a day, even if you are not “thirsty”. (Most seniors have impaired signals for thirst.) Drink by the clock, through-out the day, until you have completed at least that quota. You can start right away at that amount, unless you have known kidney disease (in which case, follow your urologist’s guidelines).

Additionally, I will mention:

___  Dr. Robert O. Young, PhD would say to drink 1 quart of pure spring water for every 50 pounds of body weight.

I’ve also seen suggestions to pre-load as much of a quart of spring water as you can while you do your morning wake-up routine. Your body has all the waste it gathered during the night to flush out or sweat out — so help!

___   If you do not have enough water every day, your body will “rob” your tissues to put more of it into keeping your blood at a flowable level. This will dehydrate your tissues and your cellular biochemistry cannot work properly without water! Diabetics are always “thirsty” for a reason!

Robbing tissues will also not necessarily be enough for the right blood viscosity, and so your blood-pressure may rise, as your heart is trying to pump “sludge” instead of easily-flowing blood!

___   Nothing else counts as fluids except water. Other “liquids” may actually be dehydrating, as tea and coffee are, or require so much water to dilute the havoc of ingestion e.g. drinking any soda pop requires  something like 50x as much more water to dilute it for your body! If you drink 8 oz. of soda pop, then it’s like you’d need to drink 400 ozs. water to get your body back to Balance and Health! Most people don’t do that. So, they keep getting more and more pH acidic. This kills your Health and takes your life.

___   Life-threatening clots can form in overly-acidic, viscous blood. Soda pop, carbonated beverages, sugar, artificial sweeteners, prescription medications, some over-the-counter medications are major causes of causing acidic pH tissues. Smoking, alcohol consumption and stress also cause acidic body pH levels.

___   If you are going to eat meat, only eat grass-fed animals — ones which are NEVER given “grains” or “finished” in feed lots. Online, you can find the Grass Fed farming’ association members at  www.americangrassfed.org . Grass-fed, organic animals are best.

___   If you are going to eat fish, make sure that it is NOT farmed! Make sure it is not endangered or over-fished (check out the Monterey Bay Aquarium site), Make sure you know about the cleanliness and safety of the waters where it was fished!    www.seafoodwatch.org

___   The Paleolithic Diet Pyramid above shows what our Paleolithic Body expects for food (it doesn’t know we are in the Space Age or Computer Age). Our body is still the same human design that its been for the past 100,000 years! It wants organic vegetable foods, grass-fed animals, clean fish, only naturally-occurring sweeteners in natural quantities, pure spring water, naturally-occurring fats, whole-foods (not fractionalized by industrial processing).

Dr. Mercola interviews Dr. Loren Cordain, PhD. expert in Paleolithic nutrition.

Dr. Loren Cordain, PhD – website

Paleolithic Diet – discourse

Now, to the hospital realities.

___   In looking at the menus within the hospital (one of the 10 best in the US for nursing care, I might add), I saw that there was too much leeway for people to make poor choices among “healthy” foods. Even though there was a dietician available, and you were pigeon-holed as to type of diet, and each floor had a diet-host to consult with, I don’t think anyone was paying attention to our actual food orders from the “approved” menu.

That wasn’t good enough for me, on Mum’s behalf.  I was allowed to stay 24/7 and I did.

I monitored her water intake. I encouraged her to drink, when she and busy nurses weren’t thinking about it.

I insisted that she couldn’t keep having grilled cheese sandwiches, even though it was a small, easy-to-eat meal like she wanted. It just wasn’t going to help-her-heal as it was filled with denatured protein, acidic cheese and grains etc. etc.

Even when we ordered “side salads”, they weren’t big enough to combat all the pH acid-producing foods — from any sugar, artificial sweetener, dairy, grain or meat foods, all readily available on her “approved” menu.

The biggest entree salad was a healthy meal — salmon to help with Omega-3 oils to thin blood and lots of leafy veggies and anti-oxidant fruits.

But most of the meals were too heavy — especially the pastas etc., which combine all the big acidic pH producers.

The soups were well done, and were light, as well as keeping all the nutrition in the original vegetables. But saltine crackers were ever-present, even for someone on blood-pressure medication. What’s with that! Read all about my views on “salt” in the archive. It’s important!

The only dessert I allowed her when we made up the menus was yoghurt a few times — as it had the probiotic bacteria her immune system needed (80% of your immune system is in your intestines — did you realize that?) and calcium, an alkaline mineral.

You may have to sign-up for Dr. Mercola’s site before you read the following article, but it’s worth it to learn lots.

Good Bacteria Fight The Flu

I tried to have her avoid the grains as much as I could. If it had been me, I wouldn’t have had them at all. At every turn, there were grain “snacks” and “desserts”.

She also avoided the fruit juices in favor of whole fruit. This is not just good for fiber content and not spiking blood sugar levels, but it’s also imperative because you are getting ALL the nutrition, which does not happen in juicing.

___   Now, she’s back on the two-edge sword of a Coumadin / Warfarin routine. It’s really difficult. You have to be constant through the week with the ingestion of the high Vitamin K foods (which save your life, if you need to have blood-clotting).

A reasonable daily amount of Vitamin K for regular people is normally around 80 mcg (micrograms). Those on Coumadin therapy can aim for this too; what’s important for them is to have stable amounts daily, so the medication is balanced for it.

In the past, the Vitamin K charts we’d been given by the doctors just “grouped” foods into categories. This time, I got actual numbers, and there were surprises!

1C blueberries, raw = 28 mcg.

3 oz. tuna, canned in oil = 37 mcg.

1C frozen asparagus = 144 mcg. (other charts differ)

1C cooked broccoli or Brussels sprouts = 220mcg. (other charts differ)

1C boiled carrots = 21 mcg.

1C celery = 56 mcg.

1C raw cabbage = 53 mcg.

1C romaine lettuce or green leaf lettuce, raw = 97 mcg.

1C iceberg lettuce is only 13 mcg. which points out how little this “food” has of anything!

10 sprigs of parsley = 165 mcg.

1 C peas, cooked = 48 mcg.

1C spring onions / scallions = 207 mcg.

and now the powerhouses:

1Cmustard greens = 419 mcg.

1C collard greens = 1059 mcg.

1C Kale, cooked = 1146 mcg.

1C spinach, cooked = 1027 mcg.

1C spinach, raw = 144 mcg.

This spinach differential between “cooked” and “raw” values points out that raw greens are best! Their Vitamin K amounts are more likely to be bio-available in just the quantities we need, without excess.

It means that when I construct salads from now on, just a few raw leaves go a long way to helping get the nutrition we need and that there are some sneaky, non-leafy sources that we need to be aware of, so we don’t over-use them, either. A sprinkle or small portions of some foods really is all that can be used to stay close to the optimum daily goal.

Even for people on Coumadin / Warfarin, it’s important to keep the dark green leafies in your diet. Get the medicos to adjust for them. The leafies give you important sources of alkaline pH minerals, B vitamins to combat stress too. Vitamin K levels are not the whole story and people on Coumadin may become nutritionally bankrupt if they don’t eat properly from laziness or from fear.

Food List Chart for Vitamin K foods.

For recipes which are safe for people on Coumadin / Warfarin, (but you will still need to tally up your Vitamin K consumption and keep it fairly constant), use:

Dr. Gourmet’s recipes for Warfarin patients

___   After this experience, I really recommend that a family member always be in the room with a senior family member – day and night. Under stress, fearful and unwell, many seniors will not remember or absorb what’s going on — well enough or at all. Nursing staff changes constantly as does the medical staff. They only have a few minutes to assess a senior’s cognition, and I have to admit, many times my Mum seemed quite cogent and in control, when most of the time, knowing her and being with her constantly, she showed me that was NOT the case.

___   Now that she’s back home, she’s gradually settling down. That’s good. We won’t be out of the woods for weeks yet. I’m trying not to let that stress me out. All of us are eating as well as we can, getting extra rest, as needed. We’re reaching out to other family members who weren’t there for the craziness and letting them support us in various ways.

___   Keeping Mum as independent as possible, while watching out for her is primary. We’ve also instituted better in-house protocols — new, modern baby monitors in her room and portable receivers for us; new multiple walk-around phones in all the places she sits, so she can just call our cell on speed dial etc.  We found that having a loud bell at bed-side didn’t penetrate distances well enough, but we’ll keep the bell there to be loud through the baby monitor.

___   We’re doing her exercises with her when we finally get to sit and watch some TV, so we know that at least some exercise sets got done.

___   All of us were happy when we drove away from the hospital — not with the balloons flying out the window (but that’s how we felt!)(they were covered by a blanket, so not to hamper vision while driving).

Hospital was a benign jail, and just as in any incarceration, you’d better have an advocate and you’d better learn the ropes, fast!

___   I kept a spiral note-pad with me at all times and entered all the discussions, questions, procedures, who cared for her and our instructions in there. It worked out well, especially over many days and multiple ER visits.

I hope all these tips will lessen the likelihood of you ending up in the Emergency Room.

And, our thanks to all the ER personnel and Cardiac floor personnel, too.

I’m glad I no longer have to administer abdominal injections to my Mum and I’m going to try to catch-up on more of my own life within a reasonable-goal scenario.

Be sure to read my archives at the Titles Tab above, to learn more to help you.

Best to all,


(c) 2009 Em at https://diabetesdietdialogue.wordpress.com

Unless it’s a quote of only a couple of sentences, please write for permission to use more of my article. Contact: use the About Me tab above. Thanks.

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(c)2009 Em at https://diabetesdietdialogue.wordpress.com - Oriental Poppies
My Mum has been in the hospital 4 days last week (so I missed my second post in 2 1/2 years. Sorry.) and to the emergency room twice this week. I’ll try to post tomorrow. Thanks.

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(c)2009 Em athttps://diabetesdietdialogue.wordpress.com - Diabetic Wedding Advice 1816(c)2009 Em at https://diabetesdietdialogue.wordpress.com Diabetic Wedding Advice 2022(c)2009 Em at https://diabetesdietdialogue.wordpress.com Diabetic Wedding Advice 2 - 1967


“Everyone Knows Someone Who Needs This Information!” (TM)

Missed my post for the first time in 2  1/2 years, last week, due to the family wedding, but I have valuable thoughts to share for diabetics about the experience. This was a family-and-close- friends-only, small DIY wedding, and there are lessons to be learned.

The bride did a great job of getting everyone involved and everyone “came through” for her, but the food was a “mystery” as we were just given a “category”: appetizer, cookies etc. So, I was amazed to see that most people made thoughtful and healthy choices — everything from a big platter of vegetables with lots of different dips to strawberries as big as half a palm – which were delectable all alone.

The key to off-setting the carbs in this meal was, as usual, using as many low-glycemic foods as possible (like the whole, raw vegetables and whole, raw fruits) and then using oils, fats, proteins and fiber to slow-down the carbs. I only have a general gist of the recipes, but will ask for more detail, if people request that at the About Me tab, above.

We did a great job. Here’s the impromptu, informal appetizer (tapas, mezas) recipes, beverages, desserts menu for a garden wedding:

___   Raw vegetables with a variety of dips

___    Fresh fruits salad (in their own juice)

___   Huge fresh strawberries

___   Green leaf lettuce, grapefruit and homemade citrus-oil dressing (from a 100 year old family recipe of the maid of honor)

___   Mini pizzas: on tiny bagel-round slices or Trader Joe’s pizzettes with spinach dip + red potato salad with dill mix, brie then Asiago,  4 Italian Cheese Mix or Parmesan sprinkle

___   Mexican Bean Dip Platter with Toppings and chips

___   Hot Chipotle Salsa -Apricot Preserves or minced dry apricots + TJ Orange- Apricot sauce, agave over Cream Cheese with Lavash Crackers to pare away the cheese

___   Artichoke Pasta Salad with Heritage Tomatoes

___   Trader Joe’s Sun-Dried Tomato- Pesto topped Cream Cheese Torta with a variety of crackers

___   Trader Joe’s White Bean Hummus (with olive and pinenuts)  with a little Sun-dried Tomato,  minced Parsley on sourdough

___   English Sausage Rolls with Traditional Sauce

___   Crockpot mini-meatballs

___   Oatmeal-Raisin cookies, Chocolate Chip cookies, Brownies

___   Em’s Traditional Aleppo, Syrian Jewish Wedding Almond Cookie Rings (Gerebyes)(Graybeh) (Morroccan version = Ghouribi)

___  Em’s  Jewish PanLevi from Curaçao (the oldest surviving Jewish community in the New World)

___   Celtic Shortbread

___   Wedding Cake with Marshmallow Fondant (vanilla and chocolate layers of cake, inside)(served in small portions)

___   Waters, Beverages, Aussie Wines and Champagne

All of us felt we had given the couple a gift of love and felt connected in ways that no formally-catered wedding could ever do. Her family and friends attended, for all her needs. (I did the table flowers, too.)

His family was ecstatic that they were able to do this in their garden in the midst of finalizing the sale of their long-time home, buying a new one and moving!

We felt that we “celebrated” this union the way that weddings have been for millennia, before the advent of commercial weddings. It was SO meaningful. It helped the families to “blend” and that’s important, too.

Unfortunately, most relatives (and friends) from further afield could not come, but there are many ways to still share the photos and the happy day.

Times are tough, but these are celebrations meant to last a lifetime of good memories. I think the quality of our memories is enhanced by it being a true labor of love and all of us showcased our talents.

We wish them a long, happy, healthy and prosperous life together.

Don’t be afraid to try this route for your own celebrations. You will be the richer for the experience, rather than poorer!

The same advice applies to any pot-luck. Unless asked to bring something specific, like I was, bring a part of the meal that you know you can eat and depend on it for as much of the meal as you can. Here, I was asked to make cookies, so I could only make them as low glycemic as possible and use the healthier foods that others brought. It all worked out fine!

One last hint: be sure to put out sugar bee, wasp, yellow-jacket traps (far away from the food … to attract them strongly in the traps’ direction!).

Best Regards,


(c)2009 Em at https://diabetesdietdialogue.wordpress.com

If you wish to use any of this post, please write for permission at the About Me page above.

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