Dark Pecan Joy – Diabetic Super Snack Food

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We are making diabetic candy! I call them Dark Pecan Joy! They are made with dark unsweetened chocolate, Pecan halves, unsweetened coconut flakes mixed with coconut oil, all sealed in with the dark chocolate. They are about 6 carbs a piece, however the dark chocolate has a very low glycemic load (45). Read what it does for our health:  http://www.grinningplanet.com/2007/02-13/chocolate-and-health.htm

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We started by mixing coconut oil and unsweetened shredded coconut together. Make sure that you just coat the flakes. Too much oil will cause leakage. We found that out on the first batch. The unsweetened coconut is so low on the glycemic index it is zero.

http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/custom/766068/2?print=true

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Coating the bottom and sides of the candy mold with the dark chocolate, we then inserted one pecan.

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Putting the coconut and oil solution in next, we made sure to leave the sides open enough so that when we drizzled the top on it, it will seal the sides. IMPORTANT: In order to make this traveling food, it must be completely sealed. The dark chocolate has a melting point of about 94 degrees, so in most circumstances it should travel well in a baggy.

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These are pre-made bottoms called “Choco Maker”. They are Dark Belgium chocolate and quite a bit larger than the smaller molds.

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We were able to add two pecans to each cup. The pecans are very low on the glycemic index. They actually lower your glycemic load: 

http://www.nutsforlife.com.au/wp_super_faq/faq-nuts-glycemic-index/

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Filling with CO & Coconut we then capped them with the Nestle Dark Chocolate.

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For experimentation and taste, we used Bakers and Nestles. Both are dark chocolate, however the Nestles is a little more refined and sweeter. If you can handle the Baker’s (which is not bad) it will be better for you and a little less carbs. If you need candy, the Nestles is the way to go.

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First batch out you can see that some of the coconut oil seeped through. We then reduced the coconut oil and did better.

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These are the pre-made cups. About the size of a Reese’s Cup.

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Second batch of the smaller ones turned very nice. Sealed up very well. And did I mention delicious!

Near as we can calculate, about 6 carbs a piece for the small ones and 9 carbs for the large. The size of the small ones is 1/2 an ounce and the large one is 3/4 of an ounce. My 1 hour post meal BG reading only raised about 6 points. Individual results may vary. Test, test, test! Enjoy!

Signs and Symptoms of Hypoglycemia

 

Signs and symptoms of hypoglycemia include the following:

Confusion (e.g., inability to read the time or to find things)

Headache

Hand tremors

Tingling sensation in fingers or tongue

Buzzing in ears

Elevated pulse rate

Great hunger

Tight feeling in throat or near rear of tongue

Clumsiness

Impaired ability to detect sweet tastes

Stubbornness

Inappropriate laughter or joking

Irritability

Nastiness

Anxiety or panic

Pounding hands on tables and walls or kicking the floor or other objects

Miscellaneous visual impairments, such as blurred or double vision, seeing spots, visual hallucinations (e.g., letters or numbers seem to be printed in Chinese)

Uncontrolled extension, stretching, or movement of the arms or legs

Poor physical coordination (e.g., bumping into walls and dropping things)

Tiredness

Convulsions

Weakness

Sudden awakening from sleep

Shouting while asleep (or awake)

Rapid shallow breathing

Nervousness

Light-headedness

Faintness

Hot feeling

Cold or clammy skin, especially on the neck

Restlessness

Insomnia

Nightmares

Pale complexion

Nausea

Slurred speech

Nystagmus  (This symptom may be demonstrated by slowly moving your eyes from side to side while keeping your head immobile.  If another person is asked to watch your eyes, she will notice-when your blood sugar is low-that they may jerk briefly in the reverse direction, or “ratchet,” instead of moving smoothly.  You can observe the effect of this by looking at the sweep second hand of your watch.  If it seems occasionally to jump ahead, your are experiencing nystagmus (actually, as your eyes jumped to the side for brief instants, you missed seeing bits of motion of the the second hand).

Several of these symptoms may occur at the same time.  One symptom alone may be the only indicator.  In some cases, there may be no clearly apparent early signs or symptoms at all.

Information compiled from “Diabetes Solution” by Dr. Richard Bernstein

Why your ldl and cholesterol may temporarily go up on LC/HF

CholesterolWhen starting the LC/HF WOE (low carbohydrate/high fat way of eating), there is a possibility that you will experience an increase in LDL. Do not despair if this happens for there are 2 different kinds; LDL and VLDL-A which is large-buoyant and is produced by fat intake, as the name suggests, they are large and float in the bloodstream unable to form plaque on the walls. The other kind of LDL is VLDL-B, small-dense which is caused by carbohydrates, these are the kinds that fall under the blood-cells and form plaque. It is difficult for simple blood-tests to show the difference, so the medical industry lumps them all together (its better for selling you cholesterol meds). If your triglycerides are  low that is a good indicator your LDL is mostly the good kind. High triglycerides are the indicator for the bad kind.

Another factor is weight loss. Weight loss can cause a temporary increase in your serum cholesterol levels during the weight loss process, according to “The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.” AJCN notes a study in 1991 during which six obese women, their cholesterol levels and body composition are all taken into consideration. The study shows an initial decline in cholesterol levels, followed by a rise during continued weight loss. Levels declined again once study participants entered weight maintenance. AJCN offers an explanation for the temporary increase in serum, blood, cholesterol levels with weight loss. Your body has adipose fat stores. The adipose stores begin mobilizing as you lose weight, moving into the blood. This is a possible cause for a late rise in serum cholesterol levels with major weight loss, explains AJCN. As your weight loss stops, so too does the rise in cholesterol levels.

Here are six things that we need to know about cholesterol:

i)    It is virtually impossible to explain how vital cholesterol is to the human body. If you had no cholesterol in your body you would be dead. No cells, no bone structure, no muscles, no hormones, no sex, no reproductive system, no digestion, no brain function, no memory, no nerve endings, no movement, no human life – nothing without cholesterol. It is utterly vital and we die instantly without it.

ii)    Cholesterol is so vital to the body that our bodies make it. The body cannot risk leaving it to chance that we would get it externally from food or some other external factor – that’s how critical it is.

iii) There is no such thing as good cholesterol and bad cholesterol. Cholesterol is cholesterol. The chemical formula for cholesterol is C27H46O. There is no good version or bad version of this formula.HDL is not even cholesterol, let alone good. LDL is not even cholesterol, let alone bad. HDL stands for High Density Lipoprotein. LDL stands for Low Density Lipoprotein. (There are three other lipoproteins, by the way, chylomicrons, VLDL and IDL).

Fat and cholesterol are not water soluble so they need to be carried around the body in something to do their vital work. The carriers of such substances are called lipoproteins. We can think of lipoproteins as tiny ‘taxi cabs’ travelling round the blood stream acting as transporters. So, lipoproteins are carriers of cholesterol – oh – and triglyceride and phospholipids and protein. All lipoproteins carry all of these substances – just in different proportions. LDL would more accurately be called the carrier of fresh cholesterol and HDL would more accurately be called the carrier of recycled cholesterol.

iv)    The standard blood cholesterol test does not measure LDL  – it estimates it. The fasting blood cholesterol test can only measure total cholesterol and HDL. There are two other unknowns in a four variable equation – LDL and VLDL. The estimation is refined further using the Friedewald equation (named after William Friedewald, who developed it).

Total cholesterol = LDL + HDL + VLDL/5 (Ref 8)

As any mathematician will tell you, one equation, with four variables, only two of which can be measured, is a fat lot of good. We need at least one more equation or known variable, to avoid circular references. This also means that:
–    All other things being equal, LDL will rise if a) total cholesterol rises and/or b) if HDL falls and/or if c) VLDL falls.
–    All other things being equal, LDL will fall if a) total cholesterol falls and/or b) if HDL rises and/or if c) VLDL rises.

No wonder an inverse association is observed between LDL and HDL – it is by definition. More surprising is that a fall in VLDL (triglycerides), which would be welcomed by doctors, would be accompanied by an automatic increase in LDL, all other things being equal, which would not be welcomed by doctors. And you thought that this was scientific.

v)    Statins stop the body from producing the cholesterol that it is designed to produce. They literally stop one of our fundamental body processes from being able to function. The intelligent view on statins is that in the very limited arena where they appear to have some ‘benefit’ (men over 50 who have already had a heart attack), they ‘work’ by having anti-inflammatory properties and that the fact that they lower cholesterol (by stopping the body from being able to produce this vital substance) is a very unfortunate side effect. (Drug companies should work on developing something that has the anti-inflammatory benefit without this huge and damaging side effect – it’s called aspirin).

One in 500 people have familial hypercholesterolemia and may have a problem clearing cholesterol in their body (rather like type 1 diabetics who can’t return their blood glucose levels to normal). For anyone else to be actively trying to lower their vital and life affirming cholesterol levels is deeply troubling.

vi)    “Cholesterol in food has no impact on cholesterol in the blood and we’ve known that all along.” Ancel Keys.

Ancel Keys, the same man who did the brilliant Minnesota starvation experiment, spent the 1950’s trying to show that cholesterol in food was associated with cholesterol in the blood. He concluded unequivocally that there was not even an association, let alone a causation. He never deviated from this view.

Cholesterol is only found in animal foods (it is a vital substance for every living creature). Hence the only foods that Keys could add to human diets, to test the impact of cholesterol, were animal foods. Given that he concluded that eating animal foods had no impact on blood cholesterol levels, it follows that animal foods per se have no impact on blood cholesterol levels.

There is no need, whatsoever, to avoid liver, red meat, other meat, fish, eggs, dairy products etc for any cholesterol that they may contain, or for any other reason.

The body makes cholesterol. It will continue to do so regardless of whether we eat cholesterol laden foods or not.

Ref. Zoe Harcombe’s blog on cholesterol.

So how does this apply to the low carbohydrate way of eating?
Question: How do low-carb diets affect cholesterol and triglycerides?
Answer: In general, low-carb diets tend to improve blood lipids. Specifically:

Triglycerides

Triglycerides are the form in which the body stores fat (our body fat is mainly made up of triglycerides.) When we talk about someone’s triglyceride level, however, we usually mean the amount of triglycerides that show up in the blood when it is tested. A high triglyceride level is a risk factor for heart disease and stroke.

Numerous studies find that low-carbohydrate diets cause high triglyceride levels to fall; in fact, the results are quite consistent and dramatic. Many physicians now recommend reducing carbohydrate as the first line of defense against high triglyceride levels, and this is often successful.

High Density Lipoprotein Cholesterol (HDL) — “Good Cholesterol”

HDL cholesterol seems to protect against heart disease; it becomes a risk factor for heart disease if it’s low. Scientists think it carries excess cholesterol back to the liver, where is it broken down. There is also evidence that some aspect of HDL is involved in the initial response after injury or acute illness, and that people with higher levels of HDL have improved recovery.Low-carbohydrate diets tend to raise HDL cholesterol levels, so this is a good thing.

Low Density Lipoprotein Cholesterol (LDL) — “Bad Cholesterol”

Although there is some controversy on this point, LDL cholesterol is considered “bad” in terms of heart disease risk. The relationship between low-carb diets and LDL cholesterol is more complex than with triglycerides and HDL cholesterol. There are some studies in which LDL is reduced on a low-carb diet, some in which it doesn’t change, and some in which it goes up. But there is one thing about LDL changes which is consistent with low-carb diets, and that is that it causes a change in cholesterol particle size.

What has particle size got to do with it? Evidence is accumulating that the size of cholesterol particles has a lot to do with risk for heart disease. Basically, the smaller the particles are, the greater the risk — it is thought that perhaps the small particles lodge in the walls of blood vessels more easily.The good news for those of us following a low-carb way of eating is that studies of diet and cholesterol particle size have consistently shown that low-carb diets produce larger-sized cholesterol particles. However, a larger-sized particle weighs more than a smaller one. When LDL does go up on a low-carb diet, it may be due to the larger particles, since weight is what’s being measured. (A total cholesterol of 200, for example, means 200 mg per deciliter.)

On the other hand, high-carb diets seem to produce a greater percentage of smaller cholesterol particles in some people. So the total LDL goes down (particles are smaller, so the total is lighter.) While the reading may be low, it can be deceiving as risk goes up in those cases.

A good way to sort out risk? LDL particle size seems to be strongly correlated with triglyceride level (high triglycerides go with small particle size and vice versa). So if your triglycerides are low, your LDL particles are probably larger.

Another article about a Swedish study on the low carb high fat way of eating:

A recent study confirms the results of prior U.S. studies 

showing that lower carb and higher fat diets improve blood 

sugar status, as well as weight and other markers.

Diabetes is a deadly epidemic, afflicting 11% of adults as well as one in every 400 children in the U.S. Conventional diabetic diets (high in carbohydrates and low in fat) are notoriously unsuccessful. In this Swedish study, insulin levels were reduced by 30% and “good” cholesterol levels improved in the diabetics on the higher fat, lower carb diet compared to those on a conventional low calorie, higher carb diet.

Earlier studies of low-carb, higher-fat (including unlimited saturated fat Atkins-type diets) came to similar conclusions. Quoting from chapter 10 in the Diet Cure: “Other studies have confirmed the superiority of Atkins-type diets’ positive impact on blood pressure and on the lowering of weight, cholesterol, tryglycerides, glucose, insulin, and A1C levels. These last three are diabetes markers. Several studies on diabetes document the benefits of lowering carbs and including fat in the diet. To quote one such study’s author, ‘When we took away the carbohydrates, the patients spontaneously reduced their daily energy consumption by 1,000 calories a day. Although they could have, they did not compensate by eating more protein and fats and they weren’t bored with the food choices. In fact, they loved the diet.The carbohydrates were clearly stimulating their excessive appetites.’”

“Four studies, three on type 2 diabetics and one on mildly obese men and women, used a high-fat and protein, low-carb diet. Their results: all subjects showed improvement in weight, as well as insulin and cholesterol levels. A fifth, Harvard School of Public Health, study ‘found no association between low-carbohydrate diets and increased cardiovascular risk, even when these diets were high in saturated animal fats.’ “

In summary, the low carb/high fat way of eating is good for all aspects of a person’s health.

Food Journaling For The Diabetic (and why we need to) rev.1

A food journal is a wonderful way to find out what foods you are going to be able to eat and what ones to avoid. Not only the type of food, but the volume of food also. It is always best to test foods by themselves. That way, you know exactly what they will do. As an example, let’s say you test green beans. You start with 2 ounces and after the proper testing you find that it has spiked your blood sugar above the 140 level. Do not despair at this point. Redo the test the next day, but only eat 1 ounce and follow the testing procedure. If that still causes to high a number, then test the next day at half the quantity. You will either get the food down to a volume your body can handle or find that you cannot eat that food.

Testing should be done as follows: Allow at least 4 hours to pass from the last meal. This will give you plenty of time to digest the previous meal and not affect your readings. Start with a good test of your blood to get a baseline of where you are beginning from. Write this number down on a scratch paper. Later you can transfer this information into your journal. Let’s say as example you eat 1 ounce of green beans. After eating them you will want to test your BG (blood sugar) at 1 hour after eating. This should be your peak BG reading as you digest the green beans. If it is below 140, then you probably will be able to eat them. Write that number down on your scratch pad. The last BG test is made exactly 2 hours after finishing the meal. The BG should be pretty close to the starting amount.

Of course this is a generalized procedure and everyone may be a little different. My stomach empties slower, so I am more on a 3 hour cycle than 2 hours. This link explains delayed stomach emptying symptoms.

http://www.diabetes.org/living-with-diabetes/complications/gastroparesis.html

All foods that contain carbohydrates will have a glycemic index of either high or low. If they are low, they will take longer to digest and are better for you. (see chart)

Low-Glycemic-Foods

As you can see, dates are very high (103), whereas plain yogurt is very low (14). The slower the better for you. You want to keep the peaks down. To learn why read up on Phase 1 & Phase 2 insulin here.

https://diabetictreatmentalternatives.wordpress.com/2014/02/25/phase-1-and-phase-2-insulin-response-excerpt-from-dr-bernstiens-book-diabetes-solution/

OK, back to our example. So the 1 ounces of green beans were a success. In your journal you want to add green beans, the amount you ate, and how much it raised your BG. If you want you can put starting/one hour/two hours (94/125/97) like that. So, now you know the beans will raise your BG by about 30 points. You can then add a non-carb meat to this and make a meal that won’t hurt you.

As you get ready to test a new food, use the same procedure, and if successful, you can add that one. In a short time your book will have many, many foods that will keep your numbers down. If you bolus for meals, eventually you should be able to go sliding scale and eventually reduce your basal also. Use care, go slow, make small corrections, any will start lowering those numbers.

How Does Exercise Directly Affect Blood Sugar? – Excerpt from “Diabetes Solution”

Exercise does affect blood sugar, and for that reason  it can make your efforts at blood sugar control slightly more difficult if you’re taking insulin or sulfonylurea blood sugar-lowering medications.  The benefits, however, are so great that if you’re a type 2 diabetic, you’d be foolish not to get involved in an exercise program.

For years, guidelines for the treatment of diabetes have repeated the half-truth that exercise always lowers blood sugar levels.  In reality, physical exertion can indeed lower blood sugar via increased umber and mobilization of glucose transporters in muscle cells.  Certain conditions, however, must be present: exertion must be adequately prolonged, serum insulin levels must be adequate, blood sugar must not be too high, and for most of us, exercise should not be performed within 3 hours of arising in the morning (See Here).

Moderate to strenuous exercise, such as swimming, running, weight lifting, or tennis-as opposed to more casual exercise, such as walking-causes a immediate release of “stress,” or counterrevolutionary, hormones (epinephrine, cortisol, et cetera). These signal the liver and muscles to return glucose to the bloodstream by converting stored glycogen into glucose.  The non-diabetic response to the additional glucose is to release small amounts of stored insulin to keep blood sugars from rising.  Blood sugar therefore will not increase.  If a type 2 diabetic without phase I insulin response were to exercise for a few minutes, his blood sugar might increase for a while, but eventually it would return to normal, thanks to phase II insulin response.  Thus, brief strenuous exercise can raise blood sugar, while prolonged exercise can lower it.

Based upon the above information, casual exercise such as walking will not raise initial blood sugar and prolonged casual exercise will definitely lower it. I might also add that an exercise with a lowered pulse rate will burn fat rather than glucose. And we know that by reducing fat we make our insulin more effective, lowering our numbers even more. This would apply to both T1 & T2’s. Even the injected insulin a T1 must take would work better in this case. The T2 would need to produce less insulin, thereby reducing blood sugar numbers and the stress placed on the pancreas. Once fat reduction and lowered numbers had been accomplished, a more rigorous exercise routine could be utilized.

Think of the insulin resistance caused by fat like this: You have two cloths; one is thin and loosely woven and the other is thick and tightly woven. When you pour the same amount of water through each the loosely woven one (less fat) will allow the water to go through faster and the thick woven one (more fat) will greatly slow it down. Of course, in this case the water is the insulin. Think of it this way, the more fat you add the thicker the cloth becomes making the water flow (insulin) even less.

My Fitness Pal Carb/Fat/Protein & Calorie adjustment Tutorial

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From the main screen, click on goals.

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At the next screen, click on Custom and then Continue

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This screen shows how many grams of Carbs, Fats, and Protein based upon the number of net Calories consumed daily. This is just below Nutritional goals on the upper right.

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The three red arrows show where you can customize your carb, fat, protein ratio. The only rule is that they must equal 100% for the program to accept them. When done with those three areas, click on change goals and it will show you screen number three with the new modifications. Note: There are many other things that can be done from this screen and will be added as time allows. The easiest thing is to plug in your information and let the program initially calculate your calories and percentages, then modify your Carb/Fat/Protein ratio. You can then modify the other factors as needed.

Telomere Chains (excerpt from “Diabetes Solution”)

While many people may begin exercising out of a sense of responsibility – the way children eat vegetables they don’t like – the main reason they keep exercising is that it feels good.  Whether it’s the intense competition of a fast and furious basketball game, or cycling alone in the countryside, exercise brings many rewards – physical, psychological, and social. The genes of all our cells contain at their tail ends a sequence of identical groups of nucleic acids called telomeres.  Every time a cell replicates, it loses a telomere.  After the last telomere is gone, that cell line dies off.  Thus the lifetime of every cell and, in turn, of the whole person, depends upon the lengths of telomere chains.  Intensive exercise generates new telomeres and thereby prolongs life.  This discovery is very new and obviously very important. People who aren’t diabetic and exercise strenuously and regularly tend to live longer, are healthier, look healthier and younger, and have lower rates of debilitating and incapacitating illnesses such as osteoporosis, heart disease, high blood pressure, memory  loss as a result of aging – and the list goes on.  Overall, people who exercise regularly are better equipped to carry o day-to-day activities as they age.

Many type 1 diabetics have been ill for so long with the debilitating effects of roller-coaster blood sugars that they are often depressed about their health and a positive mental attitude.  If you’re a type 1 diabetic, as I am, strenuous exercise will not improve your blood sugar control as it will for type 2’s (which we’ll discuss shortly), but it can have a profound effect on your self-image.  It’s possible, if you keep your blood sugars normala nd exercise regularly and strenuously, to be in better health than your nondiabetic friends.  Also, it’s been my experience that type 1 diabetics who engage in a regular exercise program tend to take better care of their blood sugars and diet.

Think of exercise as money in the bank – every 30 minutes you put into keeping in shape today will not only leave you better off right now, it will pay continuing dividends in the future.  If going up the stairs yesterday left you huffing and puffing, in a while you’ll bound up the steps.  Your strength will likely make you feel younger and possibly more confident.  There is evidence that exercise actually does make you look younger, even the skin of those who exercise regularly tend not to age as rapidly.

After working out for a few months, you’ll look better, and people will mention it.  With this kind of encouragement, you may be more likely to stick to other aspects of our regimen.

Although most of us who engage in bodybuilding exercise can experience increases in muscle mass and strength, the degree to which we respond in part genetically determined. With very similar exercise regimens, some people will show dramatic increases in both muscle mass and strength; others will show neither.  Most of us lie between these two extremes.  There are even people who gain strength but not large muscles, and others who build large muscles without getting much stronger.  Unlike men, women who engage in strength training are much more likely to develop muscular definition than bulk.  They don’t become “muscle-bound.”  If you don’t develop big muscles or great strength, you will still enjoy the other benefits from the weight training described here.

It has long been known that strenuous exercise raises the levels of serum HDL (good cholesterol) and lowers triglycerides in the bloodstream.  Recent studies suggest that bodybuilding exercise (anaerobic rather than aerobic exercise) also lowers serum levels of LDL (bad cholesterol).  There is even evidence that atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries) may be reversible in some individuals.  I’m nearly eighty years old, I exercise strenuously on a daily basis, I don’t eat fruit, I’ve had type 1 diabetes for sixty -five years, and I have eggs for breakfast every day.  Where’s my cholesterol?  It’s in a very healthy range that nondiabetics one-third my age rarely attain (see here).  Part of that is due to my low-carbohydrate diet, but part of it is due to my daily exercise program.

Frequent strenuous exercise has been shown to reduce significantly the likelihood of heart attack, stroke, and blockage of blood vessels by lowering serum fibrinogen levels.  Long-term strenuous exercise lowers resting heart rate and blood pressure, further reducing the risk of heart attack and stroke.

Weight-bearing, resistance, and impact exercise slow the loss of bone mineral associated with aging.  Ever hear the slogan “Use it or lose it”?  In a very real sense, if we don’t use our bones, we lose them.

Although exercise does make weight control easier, it does not directly -at least not as much as we may wish-“burn fat.”  Unless you work out at a very strenuous levels for several hours each day, exercise isn’t going to have a significant direct effect upon your body fat.  The effects of exercise are broader and more indirect.  One of the great benefits is that many people find that when they exercise, they have less desire to overeat and are more likely to crave proteins than carbohydrates.  The reasons for this are probably related to the release in the brain of neurotransmitters such as endorphins. (As noted i the previous chapter, endorphins are “endogenous opiates” manufactured in the brain.  They can elevate mood, reduce pain, and reduce carbohydrate craving  Brain levels of endorphins are reduced in poorly controlled diabetes.) It might be said that in the same way that obesity leads to further obesity, fitness leads to further fitness.

Even though your fat won’t  “melt away,” exercise, particularly if you’re a type 2 diabetic, is still of value in a wight-reduction program because muscle building reduces insulin resistance.  Insulin resistance, remember, is linked to your ratio of abdominal fat to lean body mass.  The higher your ratio of abdominal fat to muscle mass, your insulin needs will be reduced – and having less insulin present in your bloodstream will reduce the amount of fat you pack away.  If you remember my old friend Howie from Chapter 12, his insulin resistance dropped dramatically when he lost 100 pounds and radically changed his ratio of abdominal fat to lean body mass.

Long-term, regular, strenuous exercise also reduces insulin resistance independently of its effect upon muscle mass.  This makes you more sensitive to your own and injected insulin.  As a result, your insulin gradually becomes more effective at lowering blood sugar.  If you inject insulin, your dosage requirements will drop, and the fat-building effects of large amounts of insulin will likewise drop.  In my experience, daily strenuous exercise will, over time, bring about a steady, increased level of insulin sensitivity.  This effect continues for about two weeks after stopping an exercise program.  Awareness of this is especially important for those of us who inject insulin and must increase our doses after two weeks without our usual exercise.  If you go out of town for only a week and cannot exercise, your increased insulin sensitivity will probably not suffer.

Although increased muscle mass also increases insulin sensitivity independently of the above effect, this is very gradual and may require many months of bodybuilding before its separate blood sugar effects become noticeable.

Self-Hypnosis to stop carbohydrate craving

Hypnosis has been around for a long time. In fact, papyrus has been found that the Egyptians wrote about it on. The man that is credited the most in “modern times” is Franz Anton Mesmer. Here is more information if you want to dig deeper about him:

http://www.historyofhypnosis.org/franz-anton-mesmer/

With that being said, we are working on carbohydrate craving and how to stop that.

NOTE: These methods can be used for any type of behavior modification that you want to use them for. Wherever you see carbs, just substitute your problem and it should work well.

A surprising number of people are able to be hypnotized. Some believe over 90%. As with anything, practice and persistence are keys to success. Everyone should be able to do at least part of these.

The Dr. Bernstein’s technique turbo-charged:

This is best practiced in the privacy of your home away from others at first. Sit comfortably and loosed any restrictive clothing (ties, shoes, belts, etc.) The key here is to get as comfortable as possible. Even some music playing softly in the background is OK. Pick a time when you won’t be interrupted, if possible. You need to make sure that you are awake and refreshed. Being half asleep won’t help. Consuming some type of fatty food 3-4 hours before trying this may help to feed your mind and make it more alert. Concentrate on your breathing for a moment. Try to breathe out through your mouth and in through your nose. As you do picture white light or pure energy entering your body. As you exhale, see blackness or negative energy leaving. This technique is from Hatha Yoga and works very well to energize you and increase your well being. After a few of these cleansing breaths you can go to the next step. As your body learns this procedure it will automatically do all these things naturally without your having to think about it. For now, while we are learning how to do this, we will do exactly what Dr. B suggested. Later on, I will show you easier ways that are less intrusive or noticeable that can be done so easily or quickly, you can be walking in a store, at a traffic light, or at your office desk, watching the kids, etc.. The reason we don’t start out that way is you have to first train your body to respond to you.

OK, next after breathing, roll your eyes up towards your eyebrows, then close them, and return them to normal. This is a trigger that tells your body you are getting ready to enter a trance state. If you are in public, you can close your eyes first, then roll them for a moment and return them to normal. Clear your mind of any problems that are on-going.  Picture your arm as a balloon that gets lighter and lighter and floats up on it’s own accord. If you are in public, you can put your hand to your forehead like you are in deep contemplation about something. That way, no one around you has to know what you are doing. Either technique will work. You then begin to speak to yourself in your mind. Talk gently and speak as if you are speaking to a little child. Do not scold, inform. Such as this. “I am so sorry for the damage I have caused and the danger I have put you in from these carbohydrate foods. We cannot eat them. They will eventually kill us if we continue eating them. I need your help to make me strong so we can be safe. If I see something that starts a craving and it is a bad food for us, I will say, “That is POISON”. You will then know that even though it has a pretty package, or the pictures on the box look really good, or even if the smell makes you want it, that it would hurt you to eat it. I care about you and want the best for you. I need your help to keep me away from foods that will harm us.” You get the idea. Doesn’t have to be be long or involved. Figure out your own words. We call this getting in touch with the inner child. You will know when you have beat the craving and can then come out of the trance. You want to exit with, “I am now coming back up to consciousness and I feel calmer and more rested and energized.” Open your eyes and move your arm back down and you are done. You can then return to whatever you were doing before the craving began. As you reinforce this you will find that you will automatically enter into the trance state. It will become easier and easier.

Another way to enter a trance state:

In your minds’ eye you are now on a small island. The air is clear and the sky is a beautiful blue. The weather could not be better. It is neither too hot or too cold. You can hear birds softly whistling and singing off in the distance and you can hear the water making a soft rippling noise as it is divided and travels on each side of the little island. You feel at peace and completely safe. You cannot believe the luck at finding a rock shaped perfectly so that you can sit and comfortably lean back on it. When ready, no hurries and no worries, you begin to examine the choices you have made in your life that has gotten you here.  Examine without any pain or guilt, just as an observer. When you have briefly examined the past, start to think about what you would like to do; lower your blood sugar or your weight, etc. Whatever you can do that will increase your quality of life. After you have pondered on that for a moment, think of what you would like to say to your “inner child”. Visualize a smaller you sitting next to you. Tell them that you love them and want the best for them. That you sometimes are weak and need their help to be strong enough to make the correct choices. That you do not blame them or yourself for your situation. Just that you need their help in being stronger. After giving your “inner self” a few positive reinforcing comments, you can relax for a bit After going there a few times in your mind, it will become easier and easier. If you are doing this correctly your inner child will never speak to you, just listen. To finish the session, you then just picture your island fading away as you become aware of your surroundings again. This is a wonderful relaxation technique to use when you are by yourself.

But what about being in public? And doing things that make you extremely nervous?

The Silva Mind Control Method

Jose Silva was deathly afraid to speak to large groups. Many call that stage fright. All Jose knew was that he would have a panic attack, his hands would sweat, and his knees would become like water when he got ready to speak. So he developed a trigger. Now, I spoke briefly about triggers in the first section. What a trigger does is to immediately put you into a light trance state. Using Dr. B’s “arm straight out” or ” hand touching the face” trigger is much too observable in my opinion. Mr. Silva knew of others techniques, but none that were truly ambiguous so that people around him wouldn’t notice. The trigger he finally figured out was to use the non dominant hand, place the thumb right at the first joint of the first finger.

silva

A little practice with this trigger will give you the ability to engage it anywhere at any time. Many public speakers have used this technique when behind the podium without anyone ever knowing. Practicing at home will make this much easier to use when out in public. Say you are walking through the local grocery and you see a colorful display of candy. You can immediately use your trigger and reinforce the fact that to you, that food is poison. This is a very valuable tool when out in public.

The next one is almost the same as the little island. It differs in the fact that you are not trying to achieve relaxation, you are actually trying to cause a danger/revulsion reaction. Living with a non diabetic wife, I find this the quickest, easiest, and most effective of all. When cakes, candies, or other poisonous sweets are right there in front of me in the kitchen, as I am looking the box or package I picture a POISON sign with a skull and crossbones over the top of it.

3-skull-and-crossbones-granger

With a little practice you will be able to do this with very little effort. You may put yourself in trace and reinforce to yourself that the skull and crossbones is poison to you and will hurt your body. Over time your body will learn to recognize this as danger and will stop the craving immediately.

Another technique that can be used by itself or incorporated into the other procedures is to internally speak to yourself. When you walk down that candy isle tell yourself, “This is poison and it will eventually kill me if I eat it.” After your body gets used to it, just saying, “POISON” while looking at the item will be enough to curb your craving.

And last but not least, for those of you that are triggered by smells (fresh bread, etc.), you may be able to modify that by using a substitute smell. For example, you could use a scent that you dislike, such as that tube of vapo rub inhaler in your pocket. Or it could be anything. Easiest would be to have something easily put in your pocket. Ammonia could be put on a cotton ball and placed in a baggie. You could begin the reprogramming process at home, telling your self bread is bad for you and that it is poison to your body. Each time you tell yourself this, take a brief whiff of the offending odor. Graduation would be then to go to a store bakery and reinforce it several times by smelling the bread odor, then smelling the offending odor. Eventually, after practice every time you smell bread you will immediately smell the ammonia or whatever else you are using and will lose the craving. It’s just how the mind works.

Two additional methods were offered from the DTA group. Both are very goos and may help you!

Debbie uses aroma therapy. She uses lemon and eucalyptus oil under her nose and on her wrist so she confuses herself and does not want snack foods.

Tammy suggests wearing a rubber band on your wrist. When you are tempted you snap the rubber band on the inside of your wrist. This will cause an association with the food and pain. I associate food with pain and for me it is very real pain. I consider most food to be poison to my body and this is a huge help to me. I can fry chicken (traditional) and make biscuits and gravy for my family and not even want to touch it.

I’m sure there are more techniques that can be learned and I hope I have opened the door to some tools to stop your cravings. The members and I have completed a de-programming video that we feel is very powerful. We have taken pictures of foods that we shouldn’t eat and have superimposed poison warnings, skull and crossbones, etc. over the pictures in the video. It then transitions to actual diabetic complication pictures. CAUTION: Some of these are very graphic and 100% real. You will be able to view the video as much as you need on You Tube. Here is the link. Many thanks to everyone that was involved in making this.

Good luck and stay strong! Someday we will have a cure, but until then we have each other!

-Doc