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Diabetes Developments - A blog on latest developments in diabetes by David Mendosa

David’s New Diabetes Diet

August 3rd, 2009 · 6 Comments

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What I eat keeps changing all the time. Since I change regularly everything else that I do, this should be no surprise.

My breakfast starts with two glasses of GreensFirst. This is one breakfast that I can consume immediately after getting up from bed. The experts all tell me that we do better when we eat within an hour of arising, but that’s always been hard for me to get down. GreensFirst solves that problem beautifully.

I absolutely love this way to start the day! Much better than the two cups of coffee I used to start the day with. Now, I drink only decaf, and much less of that (I also stopped drink single malt Scotch whisky). I don’t drink any alcohol now. I stopped drinking regular coffee and alcohol to help control my headaches, which are now gone, but I am staying off of them for my health (and budget). So sometimes bad things can lead to good outcomes!

When I wrote the article about GreensFirst, I hadn’t experimented much with it. But since I keep changing, I now make it with protein powder and refrigerated sparking mineral water and really enjoy the fizz. Of course, I have to mix it up with a little bit of filtered tap water, because cold water doesn’t work as well.

The best type of protein powder to use still puzzles me. I’m currently using rice protein powder, because I can find fault with all the others except egg white protein powder. That type has the highest protein quality, but doesn’t mix well. So I’m thinking about getting a blender, although it seems that I already have too many kitchen appliances.

Then, a half hour or so later I sometimes eat two egg whites that I poach in my microwave with a little egg poacher I got from Target. I spice up the eggs with salt (”Real Salt” is the best salt I can find), a little hot sauce, and a little summer savory. I also make sure to sprinkle on some chia seeds because I love them and they are so good for my body. Besides, eating chia seeds means that I will have to floss my teeth, another good thing to do to fight inflammation.

Lunch is a BIG salad, which I make with a flaxseed oil and vinegar dressing. Lots of greens, starting with romaine lettuce and including arugula whenever I can get it at Whole Foods. Sometimes other cruciferous greens like mustard greens, watercress, or mizuna.

BroccoSprouts are essential. I often now eat some broccoli flowers in my salad, even though I wrote that I didn’t (my diet keeps changing!).

Green peppers or red ones for a dash of color (even though the red ones are a bit higher in carbs).

Extra firm tofu, although that may go soon. A comment by Joan (”verdungal”) about hexane in soy troubles me a lot.

Sometimes a can of VitalChoice.com sardines or mackerel. They have the best — by far.

Sometimes a little bit of daikon radish. I also use a bit of a shallot, rather than an onion, following a comment by DJ Rainer. While shallots are actually higher in carbs than onions, they are much stronger in flavor so you need much less.

Chia seeds on top.

Dinner is usually fish or sometimes a chicken leg (skinned) that I simmer on the stove top for an hour (I simmer 6 or 8 at a time). Often my dinner is a half pound of fresh wild king salmon that I baked on a wood cooking plank that I use for all my fish cooking. Nothing better for us and it tastes wonderful with salt, pepper, lemon, and capers.

Sometimes I will have one of my favorite low-carb veggies with dinner. Like an artichoke with mayo or okra with a butter substitute that has no trans-fats.


My favorite snacks are avocados and a handful of raw almonds. I also love edamame.

All of this assumes that I’m at home. And right now I’m not.

As I write this I’m overnighting in a Reno motel. In my “Nevada” post on my “Fitness and Photography for Fun” blog I covered my favorite road foods.

On August 2 I will begin a two-week trip 100-mile hike through the Emigrant, Hoover, and Yosemite wilderness areas of the Sierras. My producer at Health Central will post this article on my behalf about half way through my hike.

When I am on a day hike at lunch time, my usual lunch will be a handful of raw almonds and/or one or two cans of sardines or mackerel from VitalChoice.com. That’s easy.

But this two-week trip is a lot more challenging. Breakfast of GreensFirst and protein powder is no problem. But since we won’t have any fresh veggies, salads are out of the question.

I will take along my usual almonds and cans of sardines. For a little variety I hope that other members of the Sierra Club group that I’m hiking with are better fishermen than I am.

Of course, we won’t hunt any game, whether big or small. And unlike John Muir who made many long hikes in the Sierras with nothing but tack bread, that won’t work for me. However, I do expect to go a little off my very low-carb diet if the camp cook serves beans, which have the virtue of being at least low glycemic.

Not a lot to eat! No wonder I have been able to lose half my body weight. But I very, very seldom get hungry at all. And all of my food is delicious and healthy. At least it is delicious to me. Everybody is different!

It works for me. On this diet I have kept my weight down to a BMI of 19.0 and my A1C to 4.8 percent, which is in the normal range. That’s what really counts.

This is a mirror of one of my articles that Health Central published. You can navigate to that site to find my most recent articles.

What I eat keeps changing all the time. Since I change regularly everything else that I do, this should be no surprise.

My breakfast starts with two glasses of GreensFirst. This is one breakfast that I can consume immediately after getting up from bed. The experts all tell me that we do better when we eat within an hour of arising, but that’s always been hard for me to get down. GreensFirst solves that problem beautifully.

I absolutely love this way to start the day! Much better than the two cups of coffee I used to start the day with. Now, I drink only decaf, and much less of that (I also stopped drink single malt Scotch whisky). I don’t drink any alcohol now. I stopped drinking regular coffee and alcohol to help control my headaches, which are now gone, but I am staying off of them for my health (and budget). So sometimes bad things can lead to good outcomes!

When I wrote the article about GreensFirst, I hadn’t experimented much with it. But since I keep changing, I now make it with protein powder and refrigerated sparking mineral water and really enjoy the fizz. Of course, I have to mix it up with a little bit of filtered tap water, because cold water doesn’t work as well.

The best type of protein powder to use still puzzles me. I’m currently using rice protein powder, because I can find fault with all the others except egg white protein powder. That type has the highest protein quality, but doesn’t mix well. So I’m thinking about getting a blender, although it seems that I already have too many kitchen appliances.


Then, a half hour or so later I sometimes eat two egg whites that I poach in my microwave with a little egg poacher I got from Target. I spice up the eggs with salt (”Real Salt” is the best salt I can find), a little hot sauce, and a little summer savory. I also make sure to sprinkle on some chia seeds because I love them and they are so good for my body. Besides, eating chia seeds means that I will have to floss my teeth, another good thing to do to fight inflammation.

Lunch is a BIG salad, which I make with a flaxseed oil and vinegar dressing. Lots of greens, starting with romaine lettuce and including arugula whenever I can get it at Whole Foods. Sometimes other cruciferous greens like mustard greens, watercress, or mizuna.

BroccoSprouts are essential. I often now eat some broccoli flowers in my salad, even though I wrote that I didn’t (my diet keeps changing!).

Green peppers or red ones for a dash of color (even though the red ones are a bit higher in carbs).

Extra firm tofu, although that may go soon. A comment by Joan (”verdungal”) about hexane in soy troubles me a lot.

Sometimes a can of VitalChoice.com sardines or mackerel. They have the best — by far.

Sometimes a little bit of daikon radish. I also use a bit of a shallot, rather than an onion, following a comment by DJ Rainer. While shallots are actually higher in carbs than onions, they are much stronger in flavor so you need much less.

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6 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Tyra Somers // Nov 4, 2009 at 7:14 am

    I’ve been trying a low GI approach for two weeks. What I’ve found is that very low GI foods will drive my blood sugar up anyway (Recommended portion of all bran and greek yogurt with 10 blueberries, for instance, raised it 90 points.)
    Does the increased protein in a low carb diet endanger the kidneys? My doctor (who’s vegetarian) and my nutritionist friends say it will.
    They also tell me that we need carbs. It’s confusing.
    Also, should I be trying to find foods that do not raise my blood glucose, or should I accept that it will go up and down with food and just test 2 hours after eating?

  • 2 David Mendosa // Nov 4, 2009 at 8:57 am

    Dear Tyra,

    A very low-carb diet means a high fat diet, not necessarily a high protein diet. That’s because the only sources of energy that our bodies have are carbs or fat. Only fat can safely convert to the glucose that we, especially our brains, must have.

    Even if we do eat more protein and don’t already have kidney damage (you need to be checked to be sure), no studies show that it will lead to kidney damage. I have written about this, citing Dr. Hamdy of Harvard and Dr. Bernstein and his book “Dr. Bernstein’s Diabetes Solution.”

    Our bodies have absolutely no need for carbs. We do have a need for glucose. This is a common misunderstanding that I wrote about in “The Carbohydrate Brain Fuel Myth” at http://www.mendosa.com/blog/?p=282

    There’s no question that you need to find foods that will not raise your blood glucose. Please read “The Normal A1C Level” at http://www.mendosa.com/blog/?p=366

    Best regards,

    David

  • 3 Rita // Sep 3, 2012 at 3:25 am

    David, I am thinking about adding Greens First to my diet. I have read that it helps lower blood sugar in some folks. This post is a bit old so I am wondering if you are still using this supplement.

    I am already on a moderate carb diet & pretty much ideal weight & still fasting sugar is 99. I am pretty happy w/ my diet & dont want to change much, just looking for tweaks that may work to lower blood sugar.

  • 4 David Mendosa // Sep 3, 2012 at 8:22 am

    Dear Rita,

    I still think that Greens First is wonderful and it remains a part of my diet. I make it with sparkling water, which makes it even more delicious. Amazon seems to have the best prices for Greens First.

    Best regards,

    David

  • 5 Lisa // Sep 18, 2012 at 9:11 pm

    I hope you also see my post, too.I tried a very low-carb diet when first diagnosed, to try to avoid meds. Before long, I was having diarrhea most everyday after arising but before eating. Dr. diagnosed “classic” irritable bowel syndrome. Adding more carbs back into my diet has been the only that helps the IBS. So I feel caught between trying to keep BG down & IBS controlled. My fasting BG is usually 100 -120. I know Diabetes kills & IBS doesn’t, but the Diabetes has never made me late for work but the IBS regularly did.
    Do you have any thoughts, info or suggestions regarding this? Thanks for all your work

  • 6 David Mendosa // Sep 19, 2012 at 1:53 pm

    Dear Lisa,

    Unfortunately, I don’t know anything about IBS. Still, your message surprises me. But your body knows best, so give it time on a diet as low in carbs as works for you. Meanwhile, you can of course manage your diabetes with drugs. If weight is not an issue, metformin is your best bet for several reasons, cost, weight neutral, proven safety. If weight is an issue and health insurance isn’t a problem, clearly your best choice would be one of the GLP-1s, of which Bydureon could be best.

    David

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