Tuesday, November 10, 2009


This slide show is for my fresh new start. Sorry so long before posts, I'm over having a tantrum over my alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency diagnosis and back into a positive frame of mind. :)

See it larger here: http://www.scrapblog.com/viewer/viewer.aspx?sbid=2327530

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Getting things back into perspective

I had two disasters happen and 1 predicted challenge.

First I went to a doctor check-up and mentioned that I didn't understand if I was eating raw food, why wasn't I losing weight faster. He asked what I was eating that was fatty, and I told him I ate nuts, seeds, and avocado. So the doctor told me he'd have his diabetes educator talk to me when I checked out at the front desk.

Mind you, up until this point I was eating at least 80% raw food with no problems. No cravings, except for the cravings I felt were caused by my metformin. I could handle those. I was eating vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, and seaweeds most of the time.

So I'm standing there at the front desk with a full waiting room. The educator walked out, looked me up and down, and said, "Well, when I have a SKINNY diabetic and I want them to gain weight, I tell them to eat nuts, seeds, and avocados." She stopped and looked me up and down again. Then silence. So I was like, "Ummm so.....I don't eat those?" She exclaimed, "BINGO!" Told me not to eat them, and walked out.

As I'm walking to my car, my sister calls and says she's been diagnosed with alpha-1 antitripsin deficiency and her doctor told her because both our parents were carriers, I had it too. Great...another chronic disease? So I was pissed and not really in a positive frame of mind.

Okay, so I go home and try to eat vegetables, fruits, and seaweed. I started to get really bad hunger pains and cravings. It was awful. You know....if my other foods are fruits, vegetables and seaweed - what's the big deal if I eat nuts, seeds, and avocados? And how can she make diet recommendations based on one question to her from my doctor? At least I wasn't eating hamburgers or pizza.

Combine this with my "who gives a turtle" attitude over the A-1-A deficiency, I started eating more "regular" food. I gained 4 pounds back, lost the glow, and pretty much just fell off the raw wagon.

So, I've been off the raw and therefore my diabetes control sucked. In addition, the Arizona heat was too much for me and my sister to continue the jogging/crossfit stuff in the evening when we both had time. So that stalled in May.

I had a little talk with myself and got some great feedback here and on my YouTube site. Thank you all you great people!! It's not the end of the world. And we always have more control over things than we think we have.

I'm going back on the raw - with the nuts, seeds, and avocados, thank you. My plan is mostly veggie smoothies and salads during the day and then cooked veggies or more indigenous recipes for dinner, most of the time anyway. Hopefully back to about 80% again.

I found a cheap Parks and Recreation center that looks promising with cardio machines and a weight room - so we are going to go check that out. Cross your fingers it has good cooling.

I was so bad I didn't go for the A-1-A deficiency lab...but I went ahead and did that this past Friday. See what it says, and I'll let ya'll know.

So I was down, but I'm not out. :)

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

I got me a brand-new chronic incurable disease - yay

Here is a video update...in a nutshell, I got sick and had something that resembled a stroke. Doctor has a feeling it wasn't, but getting tests anyway. He does not feel the diet or exercise caused it either - he thinks if anything they are helping and keeping away more serious complications.

Then my sister calls me and informs me that she has been diagnosed with an incurable chronic disease - Alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency. This is a disease also called inherited emphysema. And, it's supposed to come on earlier and more severe than emphysema caused by smoking.

She also informs me that she got it because both our mom and dad are carriers so...I have it too!

It is a problem with our DNA. Our bodies don't produce a protein that protects our lungs and eventually it begins to attack our lungs and our livers, eventually destroying them.

I do have a lot of the symptoms - asthma (mine is induced only by illness), difficulty drawing blood, easy for respiratory illnesses to progress, etc.

He told her diet and exercise will NOT make a difference - no matter what she does. However, I've looked around the internet and it looks like many doctors recommend vegetable juices and vegetable juice fasts with flare-ups. I myself know my illnesses don't get very bad if I keep to vegetables.

I've also seen that inflammation is a component - and most raw foodies know that when you go raw, inflammation goes down. So I'm going to up my raw and see. She is younger than me and her symptoms are worse...but she does smoke a lot. So far I don't have a lot of problems unless I catch something or the weather changes.

Anyway, here's my video.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Update 3/31/09

Been exercising and planning my son's birthday party and dealing with all the unexpected stuff that pop up...so been really short on time lately.

In addition to my cousin joining me when I workout at the park, his girlfriend and my sister have joined us. My son comes too. I have another friend with 4 kids...and they might all join us too. So pretty kewl. :)

I'm not superwoman yet...but I've made some nice improvements! Little steps in the right direction, woohoo. I hope to get a video uploaded soon. I'm way behind on the videos! Need to set aside a day for that.

Oh ya, a big update as far as a weird health issue. I started getting strange heart palpitations. They happen when I'm angry, stressed, or tired. They also happen when I've had a lot of chocolate or caffeine.

It started with one big hard heartbeat that I could feel in my whole body followed by a few seconds of no heartbeat. It happened once in a while. Then it started to happen for a couple hours. Now for most nights, they go through the night and morning. It doesn't hurt. When my heartbeat pauses, it seems like it's hard to breathe. It's annoying. It started happening after I started to do a lot of jogging.

I saw my doctor yesterday. I have to wear a holter heart monitor tomorrow for 24 hours and get that evaluated. I also took a slew of lab tests yesterday. Seems like he might be worried about my thyroid. I have big cow eyes, so he's always worried about that anyway lol. I'll let ya'll know when I find out.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Update 3-23-09

I'm still doing "mostly" raw. With the economic situation it gets tough...but been trying to be creative.

I just discovered my local swap meet actually sells fruits, vegetables, and nuts at pretty good prices. They even claim it's organic. That would be kewl...but not sure if they just stick the stickers on regular produce haha. I got some stuff, even a few bags of acorns I plan to make some acorn flour with to use for mushes.

I have some friends who get fruits and veggies from this guy and they give me their extras. He doesn't really share where he gets the stuff from...but I highly suspect some of it may be dumpster dived. LOL. There's lots of stuff, even avocados. One time I got an entire box of avocados. The outsides were a little wrinkly looking, but when I cut them open they were green with no black spots whatsoever. I also get bags and bags of bagged greens and greens in sealed containers. Just about everything is labeled organic. I never know what I'm going to get, could be all squash for a week or all cauliflower.

It's actually pretty sad if this is dumpster diving stuff - because some days we get tons (like up to 8 big boxes)....we couldn't possibly eat it before it goes bad and we have to throw most of it away. So sad to think of how much stuff like this goes to the dump. My neighbors won't take any because I told them it could be from a dumpster haha. Well, one will but they are just a young couple and don't eat much. My sister and her hubby also gladly take some.

I've also picked up an exercise pal...one of my cousins who decided to put his money where his mouth is and try to get fit. He's been walking around the park with me and trying to get familiar with the exercise equipment they have there. It's been a lot of fun spending time with him.

I've been faithful pretty much with the daily jogs, doing at least a mile a day. Partway through the course I do some situps (up to 3 sets of 20 now - up from one set of 1 a couple weeks ago). I also do 3 sets of 10 of push-ups (on an elevated bar) and 10 pull-ups on a chin-high bar that I hang from with my legs extended out at a slant and on my heels. I also have gone from not being able to hang from the pull-up bar at all to hanging for about 5 seconds and even getting in a couple swings. My achy right shoulder has been the main obstacle. It really hurts. I think I need to start some special exercises to break up the scar tissue in my arm.

My sister has been wanting to come...and tried to tonight but she has some dental problems..an infection going on, that is making it hard for her. Hopefully she'll be able to get that worked on (expensive though!) and come out with me and our cousin.

I hope to put up a video soon of my starting workouts at the equipment - kind of to show where I began. It's really amazing to see how much progress you can make in a couple weeks.

As far as the CrossFit beginner plan - I have still been working with a weight bar with no weights on it as I'm not all that confident with my form. Not sure whether to remain at week 1 - I think I may and maybe next week put a little bit of weight on the bar if I feel I've got the form right.

That's pretty amazing too. I used to hate deadlifts. HATE THEM. My back and neck would hurt after doing them. But I've been pretty good watching videos and reading the instructions on the CrossFit site before I do a session and now they are actually enjoyable. Doing it with the correct form makes a huge difference.

I'm also really enjoying jogging with the new method. I bend at the knees and try to have my whole body slightly lean forward. I try to have my foot hit the ground underneath me and because my knees are bent, it's easier to be "springy." I don't strike with my heel, but try to have the mid and forefoot strike more...pretty much running on the balls of my feet. When I lean, my body is kind of in a "fall" and my legs act more like vaulting poles or like the wheels on a car instead of being pounded on or acting like a motor. I let gravity propell me forward.

I jog with very little steps and I'm not very fast, but I can go a whole lot farther with more comfort and enjoy the sunshine, the birds, the plants, the mountains.

In the past when I've tried to run regularly I've gotten shin splints, foot pain, head and neck pain. My spine is not formed right and is not naturally springy. I have no curve in my neck - so before my skull literally pounded on my rigid spine. I also don't have the curve in the back like I should...meaning a curve you would see from the side. Instead, my spine is curved sideways and I have a big extra vertebra at the bottom - kind of like a deformity. So it wouldn't "spring" like it should. That would give me a lot of problems.

This time, no problems. Again, what a great difference good form makes. It's amazing.

Oh yea, one more weird thing. I've actually GAINED at least 4 pounds. Which is odd because finally I have tons of people telling me I look like I've lost weight - at least a couple times a day now. Also, my clothes are looser. My shorts used to be really tight and now kind of hang. My doctor gave me an article on body composition, to illustrate how that can happen - because muscle can displace fat and muscle weighs more than the fat did.

Also, this weekend I was browsing a store with mirrored walls. Once in a while I would look up and catch a glimpse of myself and be surprised because I would expect more pudginess...but there's a lot less now and almost seems like looking at another person.

Anyway...that's my update. Sorry haven't done more - been busy exercising and planning a birthday party! :)

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Exercising my butt off...literally!

Sorry I fell behind a couple days on blogging. I've been very busy starting up my new exercise program. I started the beginner Crossfit program - which in itself is very easy but I've decided to do some walking or jogging every day in an attempt to get off Glucophage. Yesterday I refilled less than a month's supply of Glucophage and got some new strips for my meter...$60!!!! WITH insurance. Ya, that's gotta go. It's much better than the $250 per month I was spending before when I was doing insulin and syringes - but I'm determined to get it down to just the testing strips. Send me good vibes!

I've also become very determined to re-learn how to jump rope so I've been doing that quite often as well.

I've been scouting new walking/hiking/jogging locations as you can see in this video on my YouTube channel: Scouting Exercise Locations

As many of you know, I was inspired by Gayle Jordan's story here. I mentioned her in one of my videos. Imagine my excitement and happiness when she responded! Here is her response:

Of course I had to respond to her. Here is my response:

And you can bet, I've been working on my pull-ups!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

How can insulin make you fat?

We all know insulin is a hormone and escorts sugar into cells to be burned for energy.

However, not everyone knows that insulin has multiple functions. Some that can make you fat or make it easier to gain/retain weight. Some of it's other functions:

1) Signals for carb cravings.
2) Signals for fat to be retained and not be burned for energy.
3) Forces fat cells to convert blood lipids to triglycerides.
4) Speeds up aging.
5) Etc., etc., etc....insulin has MANY functions and most of them are not fully understood.

The more insulin there is...the worse these things can be. If you have insulin resistance you often have excess insulin in your system but your body can't use it to get glucose into cells...but it might be able to still be used for the above functions. This insulin can be from your own body producing it or insulin you inject.

If your body still produces insulin, your insulin levels increase when there is glucose in the blood from carbohydrates, when protein is ingested, or there is circulating adrenaline (stress, exercise, etc.).

Muscle cells and fat cells are effected by insulin's levels...and they make up about 2/3 of all our cells. So insulin has a BIG effect on our health.

Blood sugar control is a sign of how much sugar we have in our bloodstream. However, diabetes is much more complex than that. I personally have been around people who regularly inject excess amounts of insulin while eating tons of carbs and sugar. Yes, they may have a 4.5 HbA1c...but that insulin is making them gain or retain weight and who knows what else. So it's better to try to watch your diet and try to limit how much insulin you need from meds.

When I was diagnosed, I was told by the nurse, "Oh mija (little girl), I'm so sorry. I would rather have cancer than diabetes."

However, as diseases go...I think diabetes is pretty nifty in that you do have some control over it. I know the above stuff may make you feel like - omg, what the hell am I supposed to do then? But if you exercise, even just a little each day, it makes your cells produce more receptors so that you can use more of the insulin that's in your system.

Insulin degrades once it has been docked onto a cell receptor. So the more receptors you make, the more insulin you degrade or burn up.

Diabetes - I am going to beat you!

I am very happy with my diet. I can live with "mostly" raw food. It makes me feel good and I allow myself leniency.

My problem is that 1) I want to eat fruit, 2) I want to eat "regular" food occasionally, 3) I don't want to take the metformin anymore. How to do that? Exercise? So that's what I'm trying.

I was inspired by Gayle and Graham who I've talked about in previous posts.

Gayle is an awesome inspiration - someone who kept trying and trying until she found something that worked for her - CrossFit. CrossFit stresses functional exercise - exercise that benefits you daily and makes you able to climb, jump, etc. She looks like a whole different person now.

Graham is incredible and funny. He has made tremendous strides in improving his fitness. He went from barely able to stand up to jogging - in about 22 days! He realized if an alien were to come from outer space and try to abduct him - he was too unfit to get away!

So that got me to thinking. What kind of emergency situations am I fit enough to get out of? In my previous video I mention what if a building were on fire and I had to climb down...or what if a bear came after me and I had to climb a tree - would I be able to climb? No!

Also, recently a man fell down a large mine shaft around here. He happened to catch a beam on the way down, and kept himself on the beam for a couple hours until he could get rescued. Good thing...because it was another 150 feet to the bottom I hear. What if that was me? Splat!

So, I am attempting CrossFit at home. I started the 12-week beginner program on Monday. I've been running everyday and adding in the program exercises.

My first goals are to be able to do a push-up and pull-up with good form. I can do neither. I would like to eventually be able to do 10 push-ups, 10 pull-ups, and 100 sit-ups.

Today I went to the track and it was being used for a track meet. I had been running around my neighborhood, but there are a couple of dogs that are almost escaping their yards wanting to come after me. So I have been looking around at other alternatives.

Yesterday I went to a park not to far from my home and found some nice outdoor equipment. I also attempted a pull-up. Not pretty!

Here's a video of the visit to the park:

Monday, March 9, 2009

Friday, March 6, 2009

My Grocery haul this week - staying in a budget

Groceries for three on a budget for four days. I am a 75% raw food diet eater, my 7-year-old son eats "normal" food, and my husband likes mostly vegetarian but won't eat poultry, is tired of fish, and hates cucumbers, cilantro and some other vegetables, haha. I gotta make 3 different meals sometimes!

This is what I got for $105 (including a $10 can-opener - hubby broke the other one). I'm trying to feed my family healthy wholesome foods, as much organic as possible. I show how I figured out my shopping list and tried to keep under budget.

If you have more tips - PLEASE let us know!

There are two parts below:

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Omygawsh...what an inspiration!!

Over a year ago I started to follow a girl named Gayle on YouTube. She was starting to do Alli pills like me.

In her videos she was funny, bubbly, and would do crazy things. The first video I saw, she had done a little silly dance and then jumped fully-clothed into her swimming pool. I can't find that one. She must have deleted it. So I have to show you the second video I watched Gayle in:

She lost weight with Alli - but then she gained it back and then some! She tried everything - Kangoo jumps, long-distance walks, personal training, organic healthy eating. She even got into the running for The Biggest Loser - and was in a Biggest Loser commercial. In spite of her perseverance she would lose weight and then gain more back. To see more of her videos go here: http://www.youtube.com/user/fittness02

In the meantime I started eating raw food and lost my first 30 pounds. During that time Gayle had gone silent. She was depressed from not making it onto the Biggest Loser show, feeling it was her only chance to lose weight. She was also dealing with negative attitudes from people around her. She would be trying to psyche herself up on the video and then someone would call her a fat ass or something else rude.

She posted again in August of last year. She said she felt like a hypocrite because she would start and fail and start and fail. I was able to relate to that because I had to try a million things before I found something that worked for me. At this time she was going to try Weight Watchers, the old tried and true.

On November 2, she recommitted again and started to do Body for Life and doing a home fitness weight loss program.

Later in November, Gayle decided she needed to find a gym. She wanted a gym that would "kick her ass." So she did a Google search and found a gym with a "funny" name called Compound Crossfit that had pictures of people getting their asses kicked, haha.

She called them and asked if they would train a fat person haha. They said yes. They invited her to come for 3 free sessions. She decided to go although she knew couldn't afford the $150 a month for membership.

That Monday she reported back to her YouTube members. She had gone to the class, and had her ass kicked but she she wasn't sore. She wasn't sure how effective it was. Plus she was upset because they had told her she would get 3 free classes. But at the end of the class they started to talk about money.

She asked if she could sign up for a month because she couldn't afford it with the economy the way it was. They said no, they only did 6-month contracts. However, they told her she could do drop-in classes for $20 each. In this video said she was just going to do it herself then.

I don't know what happened. She never explained, but suddenly she's posting videos about how much she loves CrossFit and everyone should be doing it. The pounds were just melting off of her.

Here is a pic she shared of when she started CrossFit:

Then the videos kept coming. Suddenly she is doing rope ladder climbs, push-ups, olympic weight lifting, etc.

Then she posted this video. Fellow crossfitters had invited her to do a 6 mile run. She was nervous because she didn't think she could do it. CrossFit workouts aren't that long and she didn't think she was conditioned enough. Amazingly she did it without stopping and didn't WANT to stop! Her reaction is priceless. Watch the video. Plus, she's beginning to look like a whole different person.

Okay so that started to really get my attention. While my diet rocks. My exercise part does not so I've been trying to find something to get this stubborn fat off.

Then she posts this video. Check it out! She does pull-ups! Her belly is GONE. She has lost at least 65 pounds!

So I can't afford the $150 myself...but I've looked into CrossFit and find there are a lot of people doing it at home. CrossFit is actually a website that posts a "Workout of the Day." And gyms and individuals do the workout, or a scaled down version for newbies. Then people can share with others how they did.

So, I'm going to start the 12-week beginner program and see how it works! Maybe I need a drill sergeant and will end up going to a gym. But I'll try it on my own first...and maybe try to hook up with other home crossfitters.

I started a free community site on Ning if anyone wants to try it. I tried to compile links and organize the CrossFit info for beginners. I'm going to start it on Monday. My sister and a couple neighbords might try it too and post their workout logs online. If any of you are interested, the site is at: http://crossfitpals.ning.com/

Saturday, February 28, 2009

I got an email from Jack Lalanne!

Okay, it wasn't directly from him. And...I don't know if he was even aware of my email. BUT, it came from his company and contained a LaLannism customized just for me!

Anybody who knows me knows that I love Jack LaLanne. Which is crazy because of course if he was younger...or I was older...and we both were not married...well, I would be too fat for him anyway, haha. It's like someone who smells chronically of wet dog being in love with the president of the We Hate Everyone Who Smells Like Wet Dog Association.

I had sent him an email a while back, explaining how he was the inspiration for me becoming a raw fooder, how I had already lost 30 pounds and was going for the next 30. I gushed about how much I loved him - even more than Obama Girl loves Obama, lol. I asked when I got to 145 pounds if he would consider having a short chat with me and my members who are following along.

Well, I got an answer today. The email was signed "BeFit Enterprises" - no name. It didn't say yes, but it didn't exactly say no either! It said when I got to 145 I could contact them again, but of course Jack. LaLanne is very busy. I totally understand that, he's one of the hardest working guys out there - literally. Plus I'm sure they want to protect him from crazy women like me.

Oh and it also said "Anything in Life is Possible and YOU Make it Happen!" That's a LaLannism...and it was customized just for me because usually it says "IF" you can make it happen. :)

Hec, I'll even be happy when I make it to 145 pounds and just get an email that is signed "Jack LaLanne!" I think I would frame it!

Anyway, wanted to share the latest crazy little Jack-induced impulse. I'm sure they think I'm nuts, haha.

Is there a cure for diabetes?

When I embraced the raw food diet, it was largely due to reading Dr. Gabriel Cousen's book which answered the question "is there a cure for diabetes" with, "There Is a Cure for Diabetes: The Tree of Life 21-Day+Program."

I have a very dear friend who has lost 65+ pounds the past 3-4 months also due to this book. Like me, she was on a lot of medications and had dangerously high blood pressure. We both lost weight, brought down our blood pressure and were able to stop our medications.

My blood sugar numbers were close to "normal" as long as I was close to 100% raw. Does this mean there is a cure for diabetes? I don't know, because I was having crazy cravings for bananas, so I decided to indulge in fruit and resumed my metformin. My numbers are better than before raw foods, but not as good as when I was 100%.

I admit it is my own fault. The book recommends you maintain low blood sugar levels and remain in the first phases of the diet for a much longer period of time (years) to give your body a chance to "heal."

Maybe with more weight loss I could become more sensitive to insulin and react less to fruit. However, even if I lost weight and maintained 100% raw for a decade, I don't think I would ever be able to eat a banana/honey smoothie without my blood sugar levels spiking. I will still, for all intents and purposes, be a diabetic - I think. Is there a cure for diabetes? Will I be able to eat bananas later if I hold out and lose some more weight?

I once had an endocrinologist who told me that once my blood sugar levels got to 180 mg/dL for an extended period of time, my body underwent cellular changes that could be identified under a microscope. If I remained on raw food for a significant period of time, would those changes go away? It would be interesting if anyone could answer that question. Dr. Cousens?

So I guess the answer to "is there a cure for diabetes" depends on what your definition of "cured" is. For some reason I have a problem with that word. I have such an issue, I have a hard time recommending the book to friends, family, and especially the 4000+ members of my website, DiabeticMommy.com - even though it had a big part in changing my life.

I don't want to appear like the ads that bombard my members with advertisements for potions that will cure diabetes. Another issue, is when I was done reading the book, I felt I really should go to the Tree of Life Spa (which is literally down the road). Would I really have received more benefit going, or would I have gotten the same results and lost money? I don't want my members thinking I'm trying to get them to blow a lot of money either.

So is there a cure for diabetes?

Is there a cure for diabetes? I don't know. Should I recommend this book? Yes, I believe so, but I have to express my reservations. Thank you if you read this post all the way to end.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Diabetic Snacks

Diabetic snacks are a great way to dabble with some simple raw foods. No I don't mean carrots with ranch dressing either. I mean tasty foods that pack a nutritional punch that are easy to prepare.

GUACAMOLE - single serving

*1 Ripe avocado - chopped
*2 Tomato - diced
*1 Green onion - sliced
*1 Jalapeno, serrano pepper (optional and use less if preferred)- minced
*1 small garlic clove. Use half if you don't like garlic. - minced or smushed.
*1 Lime (Can use lemon, but lime is more traditional)
*Salt to taste
*Lettuce, chips, or sheets of nori for dipping or to use as a wrap

Prepare the ingredients. Chop the avocado last so it has less time to turn color. If you choose to use peppers, slice them and remove the seeds and white veins if you don't like it very hot and mince them very small. Be careful to handle them by their outer skin and try not to touch their flesh or you may have burning hands later. You could also use canned green chilis if you want.

Mix everything together except for the lime, salt, and last ingredient. Hopefully the avocado is kind of soft so it mixes well. Slice the lime and put the juice of half or all of it, to taste. Sprinkle with salt and stir.

Play with the ingredients to find the right mix for you. This is a great for diabetic snacks because it is low carb (unless you choose to eat it with chips). However, be aware the avocado has a good amount of fat so don't eat this every day.


This is also great for diabetic snacks - be sure if you use a very sweet fruit to mind the serving size and count carbs.

This is a popular snack in Mexico. It is traditionally made with jicama, coconut, pineapple, mango, and watermelon. It is often served from street carts with the sliced fruit spears served in a big plastic cup and the extras sprinkled on...from pinched fingertips that resemble a rooster's beak - hence the name Pico de Gallo (Beak of the Rooster).

The ingredients I have suggested below are to keep it lower in sugar. You can play around with the ingredients, but always watch serving sizes and carbs on your diabetic snacks.

*1 Apple
*1 Jicama (about the same size as the apple)
*Small amount of other fruit - mango, pineapple, melon, etc.(optional)
*Chili Powder
*Agave nectar or sugar

Slice the fruit into long spears or into thick French-fry shapes. Place them on a plate or into a cup. Sprinkle on chili powder and salt to taste. Add a small amount of agave nectar or sugar. If you use sugar, use just a small pinch or two and just sprinkle it on give a little balance to the flavors. Remember to count them as a carb. Then squeeze lime juice over the entire thing. Enjoy!


*Note: These are great for diabetic snacks, but if you are taking the medications coumadin or warfarin, dark leafy greens high in vitamin K will interact with these medications and can cause clotting.

*1-2 bunches of kale - any kind
*olive oil
*a dehydrator

If you have a dehydrator, it is worth it to break it out. Believe me, this does not sound very good, but it is fantastic for diabetic snacks. I don't use the dehydrator very much, but I love to make these. Plus it's very easy clean-up.

All you do is clean and dry your kale. Tear out the stems if they are thick. If you have large pieces, tear them up to large tortilla chip size. Double the size is good too. If I have flat-leaf kale, I often don't tear it up.

Drizzle on a little olive oil (a little goes a long way) and sprinkle a little salt (this goes a long way too, you'll be surprised). Mix it around so most of the kale gets coated.

Place the kale on your dehydrator tray and dehydrate. Check them after 2 hours. Some of them should be ready by then. I personally use a cheap Ronco dehydrator with no fan - and after about 2-3 hours most of them are done.

They will be crispy like a potato chip. If you have a Bamboo Club in your area and like the fried spinach, this is similar. You can even do this with spinach...but don't eat too much spinach as you don't want to overdose on oxalates.


I hope you enjoy these diabetic snacks. I'm sorry my measurements are so vague and not very precise. I used to hate it when my grandma did the same thing...but I find relaying recipes that way and encouraging others to experiment with measurements and ratios is really the best way to get a recipe how you want it. Food can have different flavors according to season and region. So play with it. :)

I also apologize if I have left out something - make sure and let me know if I have and let me know how the recipes worked for you.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Sorry no update the past couple days - sick as a dawg

I've been sick, so no update for the past couple days. I always get sick when the weather changes and the weather here in Tucson is CRAZY.

One day we are freezing, a bitter wet cold. The next day we are almost 100 degrees fahrenheit! The other day we were the hottest in the whole country. Even Phoenix was at least 10 degrees cooler than us! We are about 20 degrees above average right now.

So the weather gets me sick and then my asthma acts up. It's not as bad as it could be. Before I started raw I had to go into the doctor for inhalation treatments on a machine and I could barely breathe at all. Now I might have to have a puff or two of an inhaler before I go to sleep.

Anyway, wanted to let you all know I was still alive and kicking. I'm sure I'll get better soon but pissed I missed the Rodeo Parade they have here every year. :(

As far as raw, it's hard because I haven't been able to get to the store. I had a big green juice when this first started and I felt better that day. Then the next couple days I didn't have very high raw and no juice. Tomorrow I'm making a point to make a big fat green juice with lots of lemon in it and later have a salad with tons of garlic and onion in it. I'll let you know how I feel. :)

That's the nice thing about raw. If I have bad days, if I make up with a lot of really high-raw days afterwards, I'm fine.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

My personal raw food diet nutritional data

I eat a "mostly" raw food diet, and I have type 2 diabetes - so I can't get a lot of help from fruits yet. I've been trying to keep track of what I eat and trying to get my diet as complete as possible.

This is what I ate today and the nutritional breakdown from Nutritiondata.com. Most of it is fantastic. The carb, fat, protein ratio is not where I would like it yet. The highest fat thing I ate was an avocado and that really raised my fat intake. I need to lower that without lowering the nutrients I struggle to get (see below). If anyone has any suggestions or wisdom to share, I would appreciate it.

Here is a picture of my daily values chart. The yellow ones are ones I don't want to get a lot of. They are salt (Na), cholesterol (Ch), saturated fat (Sf), and total fat (TF).

nutrient chart

I'm amazed at my vitamins and minerals! The raw food diet rocks! The total fat is high, but again that avocado threw me off, and not sure how stressed I should be over an avocado. I haven't had an avocado in a week either.

Tomorrow I could try to omit the avocado. I could also try to omit the nuts & seeds (but I need the zinc from the pumpkins seeds). I could also try to omit the olive oil.

By playing around with this site, I've gotten an idea of what nutrients I have to be especially vigilant about getting because they are harder for me personally to get from fruits and vegetables.

  • Vitamin D. (I do get this from at least 5-15 minutes in the sun 2-3 times per week, but wont be reflected on these charts) Good sources are fish, fish oil, sardine, mushrooms, egg yolk.
  • Vitamin B12 (don't need daily). Good sources are liver, beef, fish, poultry, meat broth, cheese, eggs.
  • Selenium (Need to find balance, toxic in excess and the body stores it). Good sources are liver, brazil nuts, meat, poultry, fish, shellfish, nuts (not peanuts), chicken, mung, red kidney beans, lentils.
  • Zinc (Little ability for body to store zinc). Good sources are shellfish, red meat, calf liver, poultry, giblets, pork, cheese, yogurt, peanuts, beans, yogurt, pumpkin seeds (most concentrated non-meat source). Many foods have less because often deficient in soil. Diabetes can make zinc absorption harder. Overdosing on zinc is a bad thing too.
  • Calcium (Vitamin D necessary to absorb calcium). Good sources are broccoli, kale, spinach, oranges, legumes, salmon, sardines, sesame seeds, corn tortillas, almonds.
  • Vitamin E. Good sources are wheat germ, vegetable oils, whole grains, nuts, peanut butter, tomato puree/paste/sauce.


Breakfast (Juice)
1 apple
2 C chopped celery
1 cucumber
1 tsp ginger root
8 oz kale
juice from 1 lemon

1 banana

1 avocado
1 tomato
raw corn cut off cob
2 scallions
handful coriander
1/2 tsp mesquite meal
1/2 tsp chia seeds
1/2 tsp sunflower seeds

5 baby carrots
4 oz canned salmon, bone-in
1/4 cup pumpkins seeds
1 tbsp shallots
1/4 ounce sunflower greens
juice from 1/2 lime
half a head of lettuce
1 tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp salt

5 dates
4 almonds


Total calories: 1753

Estimated glycemic load 92 (under 100)
Inflammation factor 1700 (over 50)
Protein quality 120 (over 100)
Ratio Carb/Fat/Protein 50/37/13 (60/30/10)
Total Fat 118%
Saturated Fat 57%
Vitamin A 2500%
Vitamin C 547%
Vitamin D 261%
Vitamin E 95%
Vitamin K 2640%
Vitamin B6227%
Vitamin B12 231%
Panthothenic Acid 151%

Belated BMI calculator dance

I forgot to have a party when my BMI went down. I really never gave it a lot of thought until today when I entered my weight into a BMI calculator. So I'm doing it now!


Here are the facts friend:

  • My ideal weight is between 114.6 - 154.9. My ideal BMI is under 25
  • At my highest I weighed 280. My BMI was 45.2 or extremely obese.
  • I got down to 205 for many years. My BMI was 33.1 or obese.
  • After juice and raw foods I got down to 175, my current weight. My BMI is 28.2 or overweight. Overweight! Never thought I would be so excited being called overweight, haha.
Want use a BMI calculator? Go here: BMI calculator

Monday, February 23, 2009

Raw food detox noticed by dental hygenist!

A few years ago my dentist said I needed $3000 worth of work on my mouth. I had the beginnings of gingivitis, cavities, cracked teeth, etc. He scolded me for not getting my teeth cleaned for a couple years. When he poked around my mouth to make measurements for bone health, my gums bled. I would have thought detox in this area based on my diet was impossible.

Research is showing a strong relationship between diabetes and oral health. Oral health could also indicate an even higher risk for heart disease - something I have to worry about with diabetes and my family history. So this is something important for me.

I had read that raw food could not only detox your blood and organs, but also improve your mouth, gums, and even teeth. I read about some of these benefits in a Victoria Boutenko book. She is well-known in raw food diet circles.

In fact, when I read this, I questioned whether she was a quack and trying to make the raw food diet seem like it was magic. I brushed it off. It was the last thing I expected to see - raw food detox in my mouth.

I finally went to get that dental work done a couple months ago. I had been on green juice and raw foods for a few months at that time. They did X-rays and poked around my mouth. The dentist said, "Your mouth and teeth look great. You just have a couple cracked teeth and need two crowns." I was like, what? I mentioned what he told me the last time. He looked in my file, and he said hmmm, I don't know what's going on, but I don't see a lot of the problems we listed before.

I got the work done and then scheduled a cleaning with his dental hygenist. I hadn't gone to get my teeth cleaned for at least five years! Bad I know, I'm scared of the dentist! I went a few days ago to get my teeth cleaned. Finally. :)

Usually when I get my teeth cleaned, it takes a long time and requires a lot of tartar scraping. I expected it to take forever. Also part of the regular routine is some bleeding, a report on the state of gingivitis, warnings about my gums and bone health, etc.

She poked around and said, wow, looks great! She said, "Your gums are healthy, your measurements are perfect, your teeth are pretty clean. The only place I see any tartar is on the back of your lower front teeth, but that's common." Then she said I was doing a great job taking care of my teeth and obviously having regular cleanings.

I laughed and said no I wasn't. She looked at my file, and said that's odd.

I told her I was eating a lot of raw food and drinking a lot of green juices. Green juice can eat away at enamel if you don't rinse your mouth out after. I asked if it was possible the green juice had eaten away the tarter. She said no, and that my enamel was fine.

She said she suspected I changed the pH of my body from acidic to alkaline and that changed the chemistry in my mouth and made the tartar go away! What a trip!!! I still can't believe it.

I was out of there in no time. I didn't even get watch the whole episode of Oprah they had playing in the room. It seems so unbelievable, I keep expecting to wake up at any time.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Australia, Diabetes, and Mankinis...Oh My!

I was surfing one day on YouTube and ran into Graham's channel. At that time he was a 500-pound Australian who gained popularity on YouTube running around in a mankini and giving free hugs. Who could help but love him!? Hey, I wanted a free hug too!

I was pleasantly surprised to find he had subscribed to my channel and was interested in what I was doing. Wow! What an honor because he had become an inspiration to ME.

Graham was diagnosed with diabetes recently. He also realized that if an alien from outer space came after him, he was too out of shape to run away! What's a cuddly Aussie to do? He decided to take baby steps toward his goal. Anything was better than nothing.

On January 1st he started his fitness regimen. He was only able to walk around a small rose garden, and had to stop for rests. He had a really hard time sitting down and getting up from benches.

Just 22 days later, he posted a blog, and the difference is AMAZING. He's walking around the whole park, even doing short sprints, and gets up and down with no problem now.

He's stronger! He's fitter! And he's got a scary haircut! Check it out, I'll post the video below. Make sure and watch to the end to hear his song and see this cuddly man go warrior. Check out his channel:


Saturday, February 21, 2009

What I've learned about gestational diabetes

I created my website in 2001 as a result of being very dissatisfied with my pregnancy experience with gestational diabetes. I was scared. I felt alone. I had a really hard time finding information.

When I made the site, I didn't think I would find many others like me, maybe a handful. Since then I've been overwhelmed not only with members and posts on the site but desperate emails sent to me by women with all types of diabetes - type 1, type 2, and women with gestational diabetes. I remember what it was like, and I feel for them.

When I got pregnant, my doctor had me see a diabetes educator. She freaked out and the rollercoaster began.

I had so many appointments, pamplets, and lectures, it's all a blur. It was a very negative experience. There was no "congratulations!" or really anything positive. I was told my A1c was too high, and that I had a chance of losing the baby. I was told all the risks, complications, history of diabetes, etc. So that was it. I was going to lose it. I was convinced.

Almost every initial personal email I get from someone with gestational diabetes is from someone in that mindset. They think they are going to lose their baby. They are in sheer panic.

As my pregnancy progressed, I got my HbA1c into very tight control, in the 4's and 5's. I got tested up the wazoo (literally, haha). Because of how I was dealt with, the brief wording and grave faces, I thought the baby had Downs and birth defects. I accepted it and prepared. My husband and I are not naive stupid people. But I don't think caregivers realize what impact their comments have, combined with those of nurses and tech's.

I've had nurses tell me they would rather have cancer than diabetes. I've had tech's tell me it's too bad I'm going to lose a foot. It wasn't only health professionals either. Friends and family who had seen movies like Steel Magnolias were predicting my death. I hear shocking things from the ladies with gestational diabetes who contact me.

When my son came out healthy and normal, I was shocked. My entire pregnancy was a very high-stress experience. Most of it was negative. I was lucky that halfway through I found a midwife who educated me and let me know that I COULD do this and let me know I was doing an awesome job. She was one little glimmer in the sea of images that were like Evard Munch's The Scream painting.

Now that I look back. I realize the doctors and others were not evil. They had a limited amount of time with me, and these are very serious issues and facts they had to get across within minutes. These are very valid issues. However, it would have been nice if they had injected a little bit of happiness or positiveness and mentioned they were talking about risks and statistics...not about my current situation.

When I chat with these ladies with gestational diabetes, I ask if they actually have lab tests or something that confirms that something is wrong. I ask if they've been asked to go in for extra appointments, monitoring, or appointments. It turns out the many of them already have really nice HbA1c levels. When I tell them, it sounds like the doctor is just trying to get these warnings and facts across so that you understand the importance of compliance, I am met with profound relief.

Often a woman with gestational diabetes won't ask her doctor more questions because they are confused, in shock and are afraid to hear more. If they got gestational diabetes in pregnancy, they are sometimes ashamed, feeling they caused it with bad habits. They worry they will get scolded. If they had pre-existing diabetes, they are worried the doctor may be implying they shouldn't have gotten pregnant in the first place. So they clam up.

It's not uncommon for me to hear that an HbA1c came back at 4.5% and the doctor was still negative rather than telling them good job. They don't understand what they are doing wrong. I remember so well.

When I tell ladies with gestational diabetes or even those who are thinking about getting pregnant that if they have no pre-existing complications, good healthcare, comply/work with their doctor, and get their A1c levels into tight control, they could have about the same chance as a non-diabetic to have a successful pregnancy - the fight begins. They work hard and they are able to enjoy their pregnancy. It's amazing how positive messages can be strong as well.

I realize not all doctors are negative, but I get enough emails to worry.

How do you get protein eating fruits and vegetables?

I'm "mostly raw" myself. I do eat meat once in a while, but I try to eat fish or free-range or wild grain-fed, no-hormone-added chicken or beef. Or I try to get organ meats like liver - those have lots of B12 and your body stores it so you don't need it often.

I also get protein from nuts, seeds, and dark leafy greens - but it's a balancing act since I can't have nuts or seeds in large quantities.

Every day I usually have at least (a lot of it juiced):
1 head of red leaf lettuce: 5 g
1 head of kale: 8 g
1/4 cup nut, usually sunflower: 7.25 g
1 cucumber: 2 g
1 head of celery: 2g
1 large banana: 1 g
1/2 cup beans: 6 g

So that's almost 30 g. That's just basic, of course I eat more than that. I usually have more fruit, dark leafy greens, and other colorful vegetables. If you boil or stir-fry the greens, it seems to increase the protein...but I think that's because you can pack more cooked collards into a cup than raw (same as if you juice it).

If I choose to eat cooked food, I try to eat it at night, and separate from meals that contain a lot of raw just because raw food digests better on it's own. Mix them and you can get an upset stomach. If I choose to eat animal-based protein, 3 oz of salmon has about 22 g of protein, a boiled egg has 17g. I also tend to undercook veggies at this time.

I found this list on the About network...it has columns with non-meat-based proteins. Meat, eggs, and dairy make up complete proteins with all the amino acids. The foods below are not complete. According to the About Guide, she says to pick from two or more columns to make a complete protein:

  • Grains: Barley, corn meal, oats, rice, pasta, whole grain breads
  • Legumes: Beans, lentils, peas, peanuts, soy products
  • Seeds & Nuts: Sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, walnuts, cashews, other nuts (be careful of nut allergies especially to cashews)
  • Vegetables: Leafy greens, broccoli

According to this calculator I need 74 g per day. Some people argue that's too high. This is a very heated debate with some feeling we don't need any, some saying just 40 g, etc. I do what feels right. Here is the calculator: http://www.healthcalculators.org/calculators/protein.asp

Weight loss motivation from Jack Lalanne

I had to include this video. It fits very well with my previous post. Have I mentioned I'm in love with Jack LaLanne? haha Of course I'd never have the courage to meet him until I lost some more weight. lol

For more Jack LaLanne, check out his website: http://www.jacklalanne.com

Friday, February 20, 2009

Sugar cravings - how can you beat them?

Everyone has sugar cravings, but they seem magnified when you have type 2 diabetes - or at that's how it seems to me. I have managed to maintain my weight around 175 pounds after I lost 30 pounds in April - May of last year. This is a big accomplishment for me. I have lost weight before, but it came back quickly. I also had to exercise constantly or starve myself to keep it off. I am doing neither of those now.

I think part of my success is due to including raw dark green leafy greens in dishes and in juices. This gives my body needed nutrients and cuts cravings. I also think some success is due to some deep thinking and a mental flip I had to go through. Together these things have helped keep my food cravings at bay.

Sometimes it feels like I have two people inside me. There is the good person who says, "I need to lose weight," "I shouldn't eat that," "I should exercise." Those words will even come out of my own mouth or I'll type them or make resolutions.

Then there is a soft yet persistent bad voice that says, "give in to your sugar cravings and eat that. It's okay. Just do it." Sometimes that soft little voice works some magic and makes me forget about the other voice or my goals. Then after it's gone down the hatch, I remember my resolutions and feel guilty. I'm sure Freud has a name for this, but I don't know what it is. Some people would even say it's the devil, and I could totally see that! Totally.

What a lot of people don't know is that when you have diabetes, carb and sugar cravings can be much worse than a "normal" person. Have you ever taken a sleeping pill and felt the effects of those chemicals on your body? It's really hard, if not impossible to fight off sleep. Imagine being given a pill that makes you crave sugar or carbs. That happens in diabetic bodies everyday and I'll explain why. Once you understand, it's easier to resist with practice and trying to put some mind over the matter.

We all know many people with type 2 diabetes have bellies - but there are many who don't who are slender. What we all likely have in common is some intra-abdominal visceral fat. Intra ab-what? This is a special kind of fat, it gets in around the internal organs and grows and becomes an entity unto itself. It becomes a little monster. And it sends out signals to your brain and chemicals to the rest of your hormonal system to signal for behavior that will cause it to survive and grow.

So this little monster has a lot to do with the frequency and intensity of that second bad voice. It will talk to you like it's your friend - "just have a little more cake, it's okay, you deserve it" - but it doesn't care about you at all. It's wholly self-serving. It causes feelings of discomfort and stress if it doesn't get what it wants. It really doesn't care if you live or die.

What I do before I go to sleep or find myself in a quiet state is think about these two conflicting voices. I realize and envision that first good voice. That is the beautiful, healthy me. The REAL me. I love that me. The second voice is literally an ugly disgusting little monster inside my belly. It is NOT me. I get a picture of it in my mind...what I would look and feel like if I let it have it's way.

Another way to look at it, if you have kids or pets, is those times they bug and pester for something they cannot have. You have to stick to your guns out of love for them. Eventually the pestering stops or they can be distracted. It's the same thing.

Something else that many people don't know is that when you have diabetes you have excess insulin circulating in your body due to insulin resistance. Oral meds often increase insulin in your system, and of course injecting insulin adds more. Most of us know that insulin helps to escort sugar into cells to be burned for energy. However, insulin has other duties. Insulin signals for carb cravings, fat storage, and sends signals telling the body to not release fat for energy.

What can you do about this? First of all, knowledge is power. This is where your brain comes in. You have to pay attention to what are real cravings and what aren't. Sometimes you really may crave something because your body is wanting those vitamins or you really are hungry. You will crave something familiar that has those vitamins...but doesn't necessarily have a concentrated amount of them so you over-indulge to satisfy the need. You have to be mindful. Of course you still must eat, but pay attention to what you are putting into your body and what your body is asking for. Starving yourself is asking for failure.

If you suddenly have a very strong craving for carbs or sugar, then you can assume you are low on energy or it's your little belly monster. If you start to crave something specific like fried sweet potatoes or a can of cranberries - look up what the major nutrients are. Maybe your body is needing those and you can find a healthier alternative that provides those nutrients.

I try to look at what I'm about to eat and ask myself, "Is this enough to sustain me for the next three hours?" I think about what "real" serving sizes are and what was considered a serving size for my grandparents or great-grandparents when they were younger. When I do that, I often find myself cutting my portion in half or adding something that is more nutrient dense and less calorie-filled. It's okay to have a grumbly stomach a few hours later...and to feed that stomach as well. It's a balancing act. I've come to welcome my little grumblings a few hours later and take them as a good sign. At first I was really uncomfortable with it, but now I enjoy it.

Another thing to remember is when you do eat carbs or sugar, they will cause more cravings. So if you try to cut down or eliminate white sugar or white flour, you can cut down your sugar cravings a lot. Many people will say (and I've experienced this myself) that when you cut those things out, sometimes the cravings for those things go away. You go through withdrawal at first, but then they are gone.

There are times people give in to cravings because the food in question is something special, or something they don't usually get to have. They want to have that treat now for fear they won't get another chance. Nobody wants to feel deprived. There is no reason why you can't have it if you can fit it into your diet plan.

If you can't have it now, write it down. I have a friend who religiously keeps a little notebook and pencil with her. When she sees or craves something and she's already eaten or she's trying to have a good food day, she'll write it down. When she can have a treat, she'll remember and won't feel deprived. In her diet, she is really good during the week and has treats on the weekends. So often I'll see her enjoying something with that notebook open in front of her, haha. For her it works, she is one beautiful skinny biatch.

People often say eating raw food is easy because you don't have write anything down if you follow the rules. As a diabetic who tries to be "mostly raw," I have to write down when I've eaten something outside the rules. It's too easy to forget that I had some meat yesterday morning, some roasted nuts, or some bread with dinner last night. So I write it down. That way I can really keep track of what percentage of raw I'm eating. Also, I still try to pay attention to total carbs, protein, and fat.

There is a really great website for analyzing foods - a great resource for beating sugar cravings. If you have never used that site, I highly suggest trying it out. It is really interesting to see graphical representations of the make-ups of different foods. You can put in what you ate for the day and see how nutritionally complete it was.

You CAN get a handle on those cravings, and you CAN beat down that little monster. YOU ARE NOT ALONE. As you lose weight and exercise you won't have insulin interfering as much. Remember you deserve health and happiness more than you deserve that brief pleasure from over-indulging in that chocolate cake and the detrimental effects it will cause later.

This won't happen overnight either, and you'll slip. The little belly monster will make you forget everything I've written here. When it happens, remember, it's not your fault. Forget about the mishap and move on, keep trying. Try to get into the habit of being mindful when you eat or are hungry.

YOU ARE NOT ALONE. When you start to feel down because of the struggle, remember someone over here in Arizona is going through the same thing and is sending you good vibes, wishes, and encouragement.

Need to vent? Even if you aren't "mostly raw" feel free to make use of the "Venting" folder in my Rawbetes forum: http://forums.delphiforums.com/rawbetes. We'll listen and understand. :)

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Diet tips for diabetes prevention and control

Researchers at Tulane University have analyzed data from the well-known Nurses' Health Study from 1984 to 2002, that followed 18 years worth of diet and health info from 71,346 nurses.

They have concluded that a diet that includes just one serving of dark leafy greens such as lettuce, kale, and spinach along with three servings of whole fruit a day reduce diabetes risk.

Lydia Bazzano, an epidemiologist at Tulane said "Based on the results of our study, people who have risk factors for diabetes may find it helpful to fill up on leafy greens like lettuce, kale and spinach and whole fruits, like apples, bananas, oranges and watermelon rather than drink fruit juices, which deliver a big sugar load in a liquid form that gets absorbed rapidly."

They also found that one serving of fruit juice can actually increase a woman's chances of developing diabetes. Probably due to the high sugar intake in a short time.

Many diabetics have found they get better control of their diabetes by including more raw food in their diet, especially dark leafy greens and fruit as discovered by the Tulane researchers.

However, this can be tricky and hard to maintain. Many raw food gurus and plans advocate not only high amounts of fruit - but fruit juice as well. Searching for juice recipes produces results that include mostly fruit. Many plans state because it's natural and not processed sugar it is actually good - or even healing for everyone across the board. If you have diabetes, approach these plans with caution and care.

Because raw food diets are restrictive, fruits are one of the few pleasures. As diabetics, we may discover yet one more thing we cannot have - or find the diet way too limiting to maintain. However that doesn't mean we should abandon the idea of adopting some raw food into our diet. A "mostly" raw diet or just including more raw foods into your diet is a great way to take steps towards better control and health.

I identify myself as a "mostly" raw fooder. I try to have green juice or a green smoothy daily that may include one apple. Other than that, I try to enjoy limited fruits in their whole state by themselves as snacks and choose a variety of colorful raw veggies when I can. When I cannot totally follow the raw food rules, I make sure what I eat is still low-glycemic and follows what is generally acceptable in the diabetes community - or what was enjoyed by local indigenous cultures before they were effected by diabetes from modern foods.

This is a great way to not only prevent diabetes, but according to my own non-scientific, non-professional opinion to help improve your health when you have diabetes.

Ancient wisdom from a diabetes microcosm to help us all

I am of Mexican heritage along with a motley mix of other cultures which includes Native American ancestry, but I don't know which tribes.

I do know my family has been here in southern Arizona for hundreds of years. The earliest written documentation I have found, has been family living in the Spanish presidios or forts.

Because of this I pay a lot of attention to the tribes from this area. Not only is there a possibility of some familial ties, but for sure our histories are intertwined. My great-great grandfather was a settler but it's been written he never denied peaceful tribes access to his land for their cultural ways. He held great respect for them.

I am very happy to share history and possibly blood with them. However, there is one element I am NOT happy to share - and that is diabetes.

In my family diabetes runs rampant. It's pretty much a given that someday you will get it. I received the family honor of type 2 diabetes in my mid twenties.

I know many families like mine - usually other ethnic families. It used to be primarily an ethnic problem...but that is quickly changing. It's becoming everyone's problem.

There is a tribe in my area, the Tohono O'Odham, who have the highest incidence of diabetes in the world. Yet in 1960 diabetes was unknown to them. What a difference mere decades made!

These people have learned that if they return to traditional foods they can prevent diabetes and help current diabetics get better control and health.

I'm not talking about traditional foods as in fry bread...I'm talking earlier than that, before they were introduced to processed, frankensteined foods. I'm talking back when a bowl of gruel and reconstituted sun-dried vegetable was the norm. I'm talking back when they gathered wild greens, seeds, and cactus for food.

There is an organization called TOCA (Tohono O'Odham Community Action) that is trying to reintroduce traditional foods, tradtional farming, improve health, and revitalize culture. I feel the whole world should be paying attention to, and supporting this community. They represent a microcosm of diabetes in the world - and hopefully we can learn a lot from their traditional foods and traditional ways. We can learn a lot as they fight their way back to health with food.

See the video below to meet these people. I will include more videos under my favorites on my YouTube channel and you can expect to read more about them here. http://www.youtube.com/user/bjay100

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Which raw diet is best?

I'm so glad you guys are interested in adding more raw foods. :) I am so excited with the talk in the forum and the emails I'm getting.

I was surfing around today, and have been reading a lot. I realize the "raw food world" might be pretty confusing to new people. So I wanted to share share something with you.

It's that there is no ONE raw food diet. There are high-fat raw food diets, low-fat, high-fruit diets. There are diets that allow some lightly cooked items, some that don't. There are some that allow beans, others that call them poison.

There here I come confusing things, saying I personally believe we need to look at the wisdom of the diets of some indigenous cultures before the Spanish explorers arrived, calling specific attention to the Tohono O'Odham and Pima Indian early traditional diets. Enough to make your mind spin! Sorry!

Currently there is a big split happening in the raw food world. At one end are the diets that say you can eat anything as long as it's raw - eat as many high-fat avocados and nuts as you want. At the other end are the ones that say, no you can't, this is way too much fat, eat fruit instead (like the 80/10/10 raw food diet). The former leans a lot on "gourmet" foods, superfoods, and manipulating raw foods into copycats of old favorites. The latter says, how can anything be or taste better than a fresh pineapple?

I know, it's confusing. So what is the RIGHT diet? The right diet is the one that makes YOU feel food and you see positive benefits from. As diabetics, of COURSE you know, we are all unique and different and what works for one person won't necessarily work for another. We know that all too well. 100% raw might not be right for you. Maybe you are someone who can handle a lot of fat. I personally can't. While my blood sugar numbers and blood pressure went down to normal eating raw foods, my cholesterol numbers did not go down to normal - they DID decrease, but not to normal. So I have to cut some more. Also some diabetics can have tahini (raw sesame seed paste) with no ill effects while others will have their blood sugar numbers skyrocket.

It's important to keep records and be observant (another curse of diabetes, haha). Pay attention to what you eat and then how your blood sugar reacts. Just because it's raw doesn't necessarily mean it wont effect your sugars. Pay attention to foods that might be irritating your digestive system - because in the end it's all connected via our hormonal systems.

MOST IMPORTANT...you have to work with your health care team. Ask your doctor before starting a new program and ask what foods you might need to avoid because of complications, medications, or any special conditions you may have. For instance, if you are on Coumadin/warfarin, you shouldn't be eating ginger - and maybe even limit the dark leafy greens. Let your doctor know what your plan is and have him or her work with you on your drug dosages and strategy. Don't make changes on your own.

So what should you do? How should you start? The basic thing these diets all can agree on is - get more raw fruits and veggies, especially green leafy vegetables into your diet. So, that is a fantastic starting point. Figure out simple ways to get more of these things into your diet. Take baby steps and see how you feel. In the meantime, research! Pay attention to your basic needs - carbs, fat, protein, calories, vitamins, minerals, water - make sure you aren't deficient or extreme on any of these. We need balance.

You can add green juice or a green smoothie. You can decide to have fruit or veggies for breakfast or replace a meal with a big salad. You try a raw recipe once in a while. It doesn't have to be complicated, and it's best to make it simple and go slow. Anything you do will be an improvement and as long as you are headed in the right direction, don't worry too much about how fast you get there. Enjoy the ride. :)

Friday, February 13, 2009

My First Update! Going after my next 30 pounds!

Here is my first update since re-committing to raw foods and green juice. Please subscribe to this blog to keep up-to-date! :)

In short, I see a big difference in my skin. The inflammation on my face has gone way down and lumps and bumps have gone down as well.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

How I Make my Green Juice

This is the green juice I try to drink everyday. Diabetes-friendly juice recipes are hard to find, even for green juice. Good luck at juice bars - they are usually loaded with carrots.

Anyway here it is.....

Saturday, February 7, 2009

I wanted to post this video of "Mike." He describes himself and his wife as "2 OLD Surf Bums Gone bad.....Sad to see what happens when the old longboard ain't long enough anymore, when wax won't keep ya from slipping, when that water just seems a bit TOO COLD to bother with. Yep, OLD age......2 Cats, both fat and lazy. Crap, maybe we do look like our pets after all?"

Mike doesn't have diabetes, but he deals with chronic issues too. He's also a "regular" guy who kind of fell into juicing. He started it out of boredom, wanting to see what it tasted like. Now he's juiced about every day since. He hasn't had a beer in two months, lost 16 pounds, and has gone from 21 medications to one.

I just like this video.

More Magic Bullet Blender Abuse

In my last post, I let you all know how I was able to use my little magic bullet blender in a pinch to blend up some spinach and water when I wasn't able to make my regular green juice. It worked GREAT for that.

Yesterday I tried Kale. Big pieces of kale with stems in it. It didn't work so well. It couldn't chop it down fine enough. Perhaps if I had removed the stems. I'll have to try that next time.

I think the Bullet does good in a pinch with spinach, but don't know if it would be good for regular use.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Rawbetes - When a diabetic wants to eat more raw food

I just had to do it.

I searched and wasn't able to find a place that was just for "Rawbetics" so I started one. Come talk to me if you have diabetes, pre-diabetes, or at high risk for diabetes and have been interested in raw food or or want to share your story.

Join me!

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

"As Seen on TV" comes to the rescue!

Yesterday was a bear. I was totally off schedule, running behind, and out of my mind. :)

It happens.

All day long I kept feeling like I was forgetting something. Then about 9 pm I realized I hadn't had my green juice for the day. It was 9, my son had just gone to bed, I was tired, and my kitchen was a DISASTER.

I've found if my dishes and counters aren't clean, it's not conducive to making juice or raw food in general. I need to be sure to do dishes at night and empty the dishwasher upon rising and rinse stuff off and stick it in there. Because of my off day, the dishes had gotten neglected and I was not in the mood for washing them. I just wanted to go to bed.

What do do? My "regular juice" requires a clean counter and my big (clean) blender.

A while back a good friend was moving and unloading things she didn't want anymore. She gave me a Magic Bullet Blender. You've probably seen the infomercials. This thing has been really handy with raw food. I probably use it in ways it was never intended to be used, but it's working for me, haha.

Anyway, the basic thing I'm trying to get out of my green juice is chlorophyl from the dark leafy greens. The other stuff is gravy. So I packed the blender cup with as much spinach as I could and filled it with water. I screwed on the blades and blended it. FAST! I strained it really fast through my bag (while balancing the bowl on the counter with my stomach, haha). I suppose I could have just drank it as a smoothy right out of the cup, but I felt like strained juice.

So, anyway...that worked!

It's so small, I could probably pack it pretty easy for trips. It along with my paint strainer bag (or nut milk bag), and my little sprouter, and I'm set lol.

Health benefits to the raw food diet? My opinion.

Q & A

Question: Are there health benefits to the raw food diet?



If you look around the web, YouTube, etc., you will find lots of awesome personal testimonials.

For instance, I have type 2 diabetes and was on oral meds and insulin. After I did a 100% raw diet for two months, I lost 30 pounds and went off my meds. I saw liver spots go away, joint pain go away, my eyesight improve, blood pressure went down. I got more energy, improved skin, etc.

There are many variations to the raw food diet. People who are on a 100% raw food diet, believe they achieve maximum health benefits being 100%. I don't know if there is any data to support this. I haven't found any - yet. I do find plenty of information supporting the fact that adding more raw fruit and vegetables to your diet is extremely beneficial for a number of reasons. I personally am "mostly raw."

Many believe health benefits occur because you greatly improve the quality of your nutrition. Also your body expends less energy for digestion, and that energy is used on other bodily processes, like repairing. You have less food sitting and rotting in your gut and putting toxins into your body. We all know the benefits of increased fiber and less complex sugars.

I personally believe a raw food diet is good for you, but you need to be educated because your diet needs to be well planned to make sure 1) you are getting all the nutrients you need and 2) you are preparing your food properly to get maximum nutrients and not eating foods that will harm you in their raw state.

Here are some studies that show the good and bad. Remember to take studies with a grain of salt and consider the study design...but you can't deny more raw fruits and vegetables along with nuts, seeds, certain whole grains, and sea vegetables is just good common sense:

Here is a study that shows good effects on lowering cholesterol levels and triglycerides but also lowered B12 and good cholesterol levels. Many people on the raw food diet take a supplement of B12. Some make sure to get B12 other ways. And good cholesterol can be raised with exercise..the abstract doesn't mention what kind of exercise the participants in the study got. http://jn.nutrition.org/cgi/content/short/135/10/2372

Here is a negative study, showing more dental erosion...but I know to drink lots of water and rinse my mouth out after eating certain foods - like after citrus or juice: http://md1.csa.com/partners/viewrecord.php?requester=gs&collection=ENV&recid=4506749&q=raw+food&uid=&setcookie=yes

More stuff:








Sunday, February 1, 2009

Raw Food Chia Seed Recipes

Chia seeds are an excellent food for people with diabetes and are popular with the raw food community. I live in southern Arizona and chia seeds have been an important food source for the indigenous people here.

Many traditional foods are especially good at helping diabetes, and chia seeds are one of them. Here are some tradtional-style recipes to use Chia seeds.

(fresh water)

1 tbsp chia seeds
1 cup apple juice
2 tsp lemon juice

Place the seeds in the juice, and stir or shake. Let it sit for 30 minutes until it becomes the consistency of jelly. Add the lemon and ice if desired to make a slushy drink.


1/4 cup chia seeds
8 oz water (use more or less to your own preference)
tsp lemon juice

Place seeds in the water, and stir or shake. Let it sit until the water starts to become a gel. This can take up to 45 minutes. Add the lemon juice and enjoy. Chill if desired.


2 tbsp chia seeds
1 cup apple juice
16 oz unsweetened frozen berries

Place seeds in the water, and stir or shake. Let soak for 30 minutes. Put the chia mixture and berries into a blender (or just mash with a fork) until it has a smoothy consistency.


1-2 tbsp chia seeds
1/2 cup fruit juice
3 cups chopped fruit

Place seeds in the water, and stir or shake. Let soak for 30 minutes until it thickens. Toss chia mixture with fruit.


I like gruels. They are portable. Kind of like porridge. You can take a mix of seeds, flours and spices and mix in water. You have to remember that they are highly concentrated sources of calories and energy. So you don't need very much. It has been said that a tablespoon of chia seeds could provide enough energy for a long-distance runner for 24 hours.

I also use mesquite meal in these gruels. This is another food good for people with diabetes. Mesquite is an indigenous tree to southern Arizona. Bags of meal can be pricey, but you don't have to use a lot of it in gruels. Mesquite meal has kind of a lightly sweet, carmel flavor. Some say it tastes like mild Cracker Jacks. Here is a place that sells mesquite meal near me. They are a great organization and need support to preserve wild and traditional seeds.

I have a typical "base" of chia seeds, mesquite meal, and sunflower seeds. This can be made into so many dishes.

Here is a recipe to try. If you have never had mole before, then don't go in with preconceived expectations or be too disapoointed if you don't like it. Mole is kind of gritty, a little chocolate taste, not very sweet, sometimes savory too. Many different types of mole's. It is usually served as a sauce over some type of meat. But I always liked the taste of the sauce, so I made it into a gruel. I suggest you make this and then play around with it to get it where you like it.

BJAY'S MOLE GRUEL - makes 1 small serving

2 tsp chia seeds
2 tsp sunflower seeds
2 tsp mesquite meal (alternative: can try more flax and agave nectar)
2 tsp ground flax seed
2 tbsp raisins
1 tsp cocoa powder or other type of chocolate type powder
1/4 tsp mild chile powder (hotter if you prefer)
shake or pinch of cinnamon
shake or pinch cumin
shake or pinch of nutmeg
shake or pinch of cinnamon
shake of garlic salt (or combo of a tiny bit of mashed garlic and salt to taste)
1 tsp agave nectar or use other preferred sweetener
1/2 cup water

Mix together. It will thicken as time goes on. It will be more like a cereal at first. If you stir occasionally it should be more like a porridge after 15-20 minutes. If it isn't thick enough, you can add some more flax, chia, or mesquite.

Why do raw food, diabetes, and indigenous traditions go together?

I have diabetes, eat mostly raw food, and pay attention to what, when, and how the local indigenous people ate. It all naturally goes together. Why?

I live in the southern Arizona desert. Home to the Tohono O'odham and Pima tribes--two tribes recognized for a severe diabetes epidemic. About 75% of those over 55 have obesity and diabetes.

When these people were introduced to the standard American diet and encouraged to abandon their traditional diet and native foods, it was disaster.

As diabetics, we can learn a lot from this. They have the so-called "starvation gene" that allowed them to survive through regular periods of hunger. For instance, on the tradtional Tohono O'Odham calendar, May had been listed as "The month of hunger." This is when I like to do longer fasting or juice feasting. It keeps me in touch more with the natural cycles of the desert.

Their bodies were able to store more fat for the future. Studies have found they gain more weight than the "average" person consuming the same amount of calories. This is thought to be due to a low metabolism.

A similar thing happens with diabetes. Most of us have low metabolisms. It is harder for us to lose weight sometimes because our hormonal systems are sending messages to the brain to hold on to fat - even if we already have plenty of fat. The indigenous people would store the extra fat in their bellies. That's the common storage place for us...and it's been found that our belly fat, or abdominal intra-visceral fat, even acts as an organ unto itself, sending out messages to the brain to sustain itself.

If the local Native American people return to eating traditionally, they often lose weight, belly fat, and can better control their diabetes.

Their traditional eating and a raw food diet have a lot in common. They are both low-fat, high-fiber. They both use fresh seasonal foods and nutrition is condensed into less so less empty calories, as well as less overall calories, are consumed.

In scientific circles there is high debate as to which came first, the chicken or the egg...did diabetes appear undetected and cause the weight gain or did weight gain cause diabetes.

I found this interesting article from the Asia Pacific Journal of Clinical Nutrition and it explores those questions. It considers the Pima indians. The thinking seems to be that the Pima have low metabolic rates, low fidgeting, and probably genetic factors that make it easier to gain weight. Interestingly, they start out with low insulin resistance and low insulin levels. When they gain weight, the weight gain itself causes insulin resistance, higher insulin levels, and progression to diabetes and high blood sugar.

Anyway, it's pretty interesting. But all the scientific mumbo jumbo aside, regardless of the studies, for some reason traditional foods and raw foods seem to help.

I'm not going to say that either one is a magic cure in and of itself, but the components of each allow a person to eat a good amount of food with more nutrition and less calories. They also tend to help with food allergies which may complicate diabetes since many diabetics are allergic to gluten and they are both so much easier on our digestive systems.

Saturday, January 31, 2009

Diabetes expert Dave Mendosa on "Raw Food People"

I came across this today surfing around the net on Dave Mendosa's site. He's a fantastic and well-respected source of diabetes information on the internet. His blog post is not an attack on raw food diets, he's writing about a study.

In a nutshell he writes how some "raw food people" may not be entirely correct when they say raw food is better for you. I agree with this and don't.

I Agree: I agree there was a reason why primitive peoples took the time to cook certain foods rather than eat them raw. They had to avoid pests & poison. Some foods had to be prepared a certain way to become safe.

In the raw food circles, I wish there was more information out there about the need for proper preparation or limited eating of: Raw kidney beans, buckwheat greens, spinach, prickly pear pads, unpeeled potatoes, alfalfa sprouts, some types of raw cassava, unfertilized raw eggs, apricot kernels, and parsnips.

For example, spinach and prickly pear pads are pretty high in oxalates which can be detrimental. They are better in limited raw amounts or cooked to reduce the amounts of oxalates.

I Don't Agree: The blog post did not talk about these foods, it talked about everyday foods like broccoli, carrots, and zucchini. It referenced a study that said cooking allowed certain nutrients to become more available, "probably because of matrix softening and increased extractability."

This is a big misconception people have about raw food (just like how some people think raw food means sushi, haha).

Most raw fooders don't eat a lot of broccoli, carrots, or zucchini in it's whole state. I personally am not going to bite into it like an apple. It will get stuck between my teeth and feel like hell going down if I eat a lot of it.

These things I either juice...or blend or grate or slice into paper-thin slices and marinate them. This causes the aforementioned "matrix softening and increased extractability."

Anyway, I wanted to throw my 2 cents into the fray as I felt this touched on a major misconception of eating common raw foods while ignoring other foods which could realistically pose a threat in their raw state.

I don't have anything against Dave and I think he has provided an INVALUABLE service to the diabetes community. Thank you Dave!