I’ve had issues for a long time with my gallbladder, with acid reflux, with headaches, debilitating headaches, with brain fog. Like, a whole slew of crazy things. But then, when I jumped in with both feet, and started doing the eating Program, it was like within a week or two, it felt like all of those things, those headaches, everything, was gone. I was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes about 5 years ago, a little over 5 years ago. I had been prediabetic for probably another 5 years before that. Cooking is one of my hobbies, and my husband loves to eat. When we moved into our house about 4 years ago, that really took it over the edge. I don’t have it anymore though, that’s the great thing. Completely gone. Not even prediabetic anymore, so I’m really happy about that. I never enjoyed taking the medications. Like, Metformin is not my friend.
I spent probably 2 years refusing to take the medications, and then I went to a different doctor and she said, «No, really, you need to take the medication. Oh, by the way, we’re going to make you take more». Because I told her, I said it wasn’t working. It’s not working. So she wanted me to take more medication, so I did, I’ll try it. And my neuropathy in my feet, even though my A1c went down to a respectable 7.2, the neuropathy in my feet got really bad, and that’s what scared me enough to say «I got to figure this out», because walking is not something to be taking for granted, on your own two feet.
One of the things that happened was I felt and broke my ankle about 3 and half years ago. And so, they had to put in a metal plate and a whole bunch of screws, and in the process of doing that surgery, caught a whole bunch of nerve endings in my foot. So it was already bad to begin with, from that, and then the neuropathy in top of that, it was just like crazy. So, one foot, I went for a walk and I was like «I’m going to get better, I’m going to start exercising».
So I went for a walk one day, and it was like my foot was asleep, and it never woke up. The whole time I was walking, for like 40 minutes. And it never, you know, it was like that pins and needles sensation of «my foot is asleep». And because I had already fallen once and broken my ankle, I was very scared that I was going to do that again, because I couldn’t feel my foot. I would be walking and have to look at the ground and be like, «what’s going on?». So, I said, «this got to stop, this definitely is not okay». I watched all the videos and started following the eating plan, and doing all of that stuff. And I really enjoyed the Facebook group, and people sharing their questions, and their setbacks, and their wins. It was really helpful to see all of that.
In addition to having type 2 diabetes, I’ve had issues for a long time with my gallbladder, with acid reflux, with headaches, debilitating headaches, with brain fog. Like, a whole slew of crazy things. And when I started the program, I had already been intermittent fasting for like 3 weeks before that. So I was starting already to see some really good benefits. I’ve testing my blood sugar 3, 4 times a day, trying to get an idea of what what’s affecting it, how’s the fasting affecting it, and how was what I was eating affecting it. So, I was starting to get a really good handle in it. But then, when I jumped in with both feet, and started doing the eating Program, it was like within a week or two, it felt like all of those things, those headaches, everything, was gone. And I was like, «Wow, that’s really cool». Because I’m 53 years old, and I can tell you, I mean when I went back to school a year and a half ago, and I was really scared that I wasn’t going to be able to make it through because of my brain fog, and my energy levels and everything, but I feel 10 years younger.
So, and I don’t need a nap anymore in the afternoon. I can get through. And I can walk across campus. Working full time and going to school at night, and trying to maintain the household here at home. I got a lot going on, I never really said «I don’t have time to make all of this, chop this vegetables». You know what? If I can do it, so can you. It’s definitely worth it to put that time and energy in. I don’t have… I sleep well now, I don’t have any headaches. I used to eat Advil, like two, three times a day, because of my headaches. And I haven’t had any for 4 months now, at all, so I’m very happy about that. My husband also type 2 diabetes, and high cholesterol, and all these other things. So, I never said to him «you must do this with me». I said, «I’m going to do this, and I’ll make you your food this way, and if you don’t want to eat that, that’s fine».
So, he probably follows the program for about 50%. If I’m not home, and he has to eat dinner on his own, he’ll go and get bean burritos from Taco Bell. But he still lost like 30 pounds, and he’s doing much better, and went to the doctor and all of his numbers are way down. So, you know, his doctor is thrilled and cut down his medications. But when I was starting all of this and I needed to feed everybody in the house, I was like «Okay, how am I going to do this, and make it easy for him?» Because he works from home, and make it easy for me. So, I noticed that people were doing this thing called «batch cooking» on the weekends, and like, yeah, that makes a lot of sense. And I have an Instant Pot, and I can totally do this, I can make a bunch of beans, and a bunch of rice, or some kind of grain, and put those in the freezer in single serving containers.
And then just take one of those out of the freezer, before I go to work every morning. So, making sure that you have stuff that is easy to put together is super helpful. You know, making sure that your pantry has all of the little dos that you want. I would make like a jar of oil- free dressing on the weekend, so I have that available. And when I go to work in the morning, because I basically would be eating breakfast, lunch, and dinner out from the home, I would have this huge shopping bag of food that I would take with me.
So, I mean, it can be done, for sure. And it would only take me probably 15 minutes in the morning to put it all together. So, I would have the beans and rice already done, and then I would just look in my produce drawer and say «Oh, what do I need to use up?». So, I either take some of that with me to work, or I chop it up at home and put it in a bag and take it with me. And then, when I ate, whether I was eating in my car at school, or eating at the office, it was super easy to just pull everything together. I think one of my favorite’s go-to at school meal would be a whole wheat pita with some hummus and cucumber, and maybe some spinach rolled up with some sriracha.
And it’s a perfect little meal. You don’t need a microwave, you don’t anything, you just put it together and you can eat it in your car. I was trying to eat really healthy, but I didn’t realize how much fat I was still eating. So, a typical day before that would be like a big salad for lunch, but my salad would have an entire avocado in it, and a bunch of nuts on top. Not to mention the tahini dressing that I bought, from the bottle. So, you know, that was easily 30, 40 grams of fat if not more, right there. And then, we would go out to dinner a lot, and have a burger and fries. Because I felt with my one salad I was making it so that I could eat whatever that I needed to eat at night, with my husband, who definitely wanted to eat that way. So we were eating some of that. We had typical breakfasts on the weekends. We’d go out. That’s another thing, we would go out to get breakfast on the weekends and have, you know, the eggs and bacon, and waffles, and the typical.
I mean, «It’s only once a week, right? So how bad can it be?». So, we used to do that a lot. We still go out for breakfast now, but we have found some really good vegan places to go to, they are not as low-fat, but I know how to order, so that’s definitely better. But now, typically what I do is, I eat breakfast around 10, 10:30, and I have somewhere between 3 or 4 different servings of fruits. I don’t even, I was doing all the chia seeds, flax seeds and stuff on it originally, but I got to the point where I’m like, «You know what? I don’t need to do that, and I really enjoy the fruit just on its own», so I save that whole chia seed mixture thing for the weekends now. So I’ll just have a banana, and an orange, and an apple, or a bunch of grapes, or some melon.
You know, like all the fruits right now are there. Costco mangoes, kiwis. Every day is a different breakfast of fruits. And I’ll bring a bowl of those down to my husband’s office and say «Here you go, eat it when you can». So I’m trying to keep him on track too. Lunch is usually a leftover from dinner from the night before. So, last night we had thai peanut noodles with cucumber, and bell pepper, and cabbage, and green onions, and all of these good things with a little bit of tofu in there. So I had that for lunch today. And dinner is usually a little bit lighter. So I might just do some roasted vegetables and a grain with some sauce on it. I feel awesome. I’m not trying to do portion controls, because I’m not worrying about fat, I’m not eating the fats.
So, I’m eating usually, I don’t know, 500-ish calories, maybe 600-ish calories of vegetables. That’s a lot of vegetables. The beans and rice will obviously give you a little more density. But I’m full, I’m not depriving myself at all. I don’t feel the need for snacks. I don’t feel the need for dessert. If I do, every once in a while, I have popsicles that I make out of fruit, so I just put them in the blender and then in the freezer. So, yeah, it’s funny because I definitely can be addicted to food, or I have been in the past, and I haven’t felt that. I haven’t felt the cravings at all. It used to be like, let’s go get a PayDay candy bar. There was definitely some of that addicted to sugar and oil going on. The thing that’s important to know is that, A it works, B there’s a lot of support from lots of knowledgeable people who have been through it.
So, you will have all of the support you need. What I found to be the most important, for me, it was just to know what my motivation was. It can be really hard when your whole family doesn’t want to eat that way, and you’re like, «Look, I need to do this, and I would like your support», and sometimes they don’t want that. So, having a community that will have your back around that can be the most important thing to keep you from feeling like you’re all alone on that. I would say that I’ve been pretty blessed that my husband has been quite as supportive about it, you know. He only teases me probably 2 or 3 times a week now, that he’s not getting his eggs and bacon on the regular. But, you know, it’s really nice to be able to go for a walk and not be out of breath.
And it’s really nice to be able to sleep through the night. And it’s really nice to not have to take all of that medication. You just have to keep reminding yourself about why you’re going through it. And once you get over the hunt of making all these changes of habit, then it’s n ot an issue anymore. It may seem like you’re at the bottom of this really huge mountain right now if you’re just starting out and you’re just like, «Oh no, how am I ever going to do this?».
But, you can do it. You absolutely can. The decision trees were really helpful to look at, even, I wasn’t one of those that necessarily needed some feedback about why this or that was happening. But I see a lot of people who sometimes are just like, «I don’t understand what I’m doing wrong», and those decision trees really do come in handy. So, you know, it might seem like a lot of homework or whatever, but your life is worth it. My life is worth it. In the past, because I thought I had a low blood sugar problem, I thought I would have to eat every 2 and half or 3 hours, or else I’ll be crashing. And since I’ve been on this program, and since I’ve been doing the intermittent fasting I can go, like, I’ve gotten all the way down to not having any meals and not freaking out about it. There’s nothing for me to eat, I’m okay with that, I can totally drink water or whatever and just be, «That’s cool!». .