Tuesday, February 5, 2008
The lament of the diabetic would-be vegan
I've been tweaking my diet a bit recently. I'd been having pretty strong cravings and unstable blood sugar. I did a lot of thinking and realized that in the past the only type of diet to successfully keep these things at bay has been a lower-carb, higher-protein diet.
For the past 3 or 4 weeks, I've been restricting carby foods to lunch only. I've been eating some eggs, cheese, and fish--more than I have in a while, but not huge nasty quantities. I try to make the carbs I eat at lunch have some redeeming value (whole grains, sweet potatoes, etc.).
The difference in the way I feel has really been striking. I no longer walk in the door after work ready to eat anything in sight. I don't have to have a mid-morning and a mid-afternoon snack. I feel more alert and have more energy. After I eat carbs, I feel markedly sluggish and I can feel my heart rate increase. (This happens even if they're healthy carbs, but is most pronounced when I have sugar.)
My grandmother is diabetic and I've always thought I am borderline. I don't know yet how much I can cut down on my intake of animal foods without getting the blood sugar swings I know so well. I feel best after a meal with fish or eggs as the main course. I have been eating a lot of vegan, vegetable-based meals, though, and I try not to have two animal-based meals in a row.
Being a semi-diabetic vegan seems pretty daunting. Especially when I come across sample diabetic vegan menus like this one, with pretzels, white rice, and sugar substitutes. Bleck! I hope I can find more non-animal meals that satisfy me and aren't heavily processed. So far I like beans, tofu, stir-fries and salads, avocadoes, and--anyone have other suggestions?
(Pushups completed: 190)