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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've just got Dr Bernstein's new book! My head is spinning! OK, this is obviously a huge radical change to my diet, which I am not against making, I am simply worried that any mistakes will be magnified – I know that if I’m trying, the mistakes will be smaller, and therefore the fluctuations will be smaller, but there are still things which are a problem. Now, this isn’t a moan, this is just my initial thoughts whilst I try and get to grips with a new regime.

Firstly, the cost. Whilst Dr Bernstein advocates we eat a large portion of protein (and by large portion, I mean larger than I can afford currently) I think I can fit it in, particularly if I can fall back on fish as a last resort. I don’t mind eating lots of fish. However, looking through some of his recipes, he suggests using simple items which I don’t know about, and I’m pretty sure I don’t have them. I’ll need some time to sort them out. But also money to buy all this new stuff for my kitchen. Also, apparently I’m doing the ‘wrong’ exercise. I need to be doing weight training, but I don’t have any weights. I certainly can’t afford a gym membership right now, although swimming would not be out of the question. But again, this is not the right kind of exercise.

Secondly – I can’t get my head round the fat. I’m trying. It’s just I have been trained all my life to think of fat as being the enemy, and the thought of adding fat to a diet where I have spent years trying to eradicate it (and failing in terms of still eating stuff with it in) is frightening. I will try it, it’s just I am absolutely terrified. Mind you, I still have no energy at all, so I presume my body hasn’t thought to itself, “Hey……I haven’t any carbohydrate, but there’s lots of this fat around”.

Thirdly, bye bye fruit. Having fallen in love with certain fruits – and vegetables too – I now have to get rid of them. I have no idea what I’m going to snack on if I’m desperate (I don’t snack all the time, just when my stomach won’t shut up and I have an important meeting). And tea! Tea is a food group to me. I’m not sure about coping with cream in it (plus water) instead of skimmed milk.

What I’d like is a book which says, “OK, you’re in the supermarket. You haven’t time to prepare anything complicated”. Under those circumstances, I would go for a tiny piece of steak, grated carrots, beetroot, corn on the cob and maybe some raw cabbage. Under this new regime, I basically can’t have any of that (apart from the cabbage), and have to go for bean sprouts, Okra (which I’ve heard of, but never cooked) and some other stuff. Can some of the UK readers suggest a book which will offer a translation for some of the food (like mung beans?)? And the crisp breads? Also, at the moment, some of the foods he’s saying don’t eat actually don’t seem to spike me at the moment. Should I still avoid them, or should I rejoice I haven’t screwed up my body that much and enjoy what is still fairly healthy (in comparison to a slice of chocolate cake)?

Lastly, it seems like sausages are allowed. In the UK, don’t they put sugar in sausages? I’m pretty sure that since they chuck pretty much anything in the cheaper ones, they include sugar (and I think that they spike me – it’s them or eggs, for some peculiar reason). Whilst I am happy to buy more expensive sausages for me, if I were, say, at a restaurant, can I be certain that they aren’t using cheap sausages? Am I wrong about them having sugar in them?

I’m hoping I’m going to be lucky, that I haven’t done so much damage that I can’t stop this slippery slide which is at least a reason to be grateful and happy.
 

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Hey Mayfly,

I got his book too and if you followed it to the letter I am sure it would do exactly what it claims to do. I wasn't able to train myself to the degree of rigour required though!!

However, I have used his book as a guide/baseline rather than a bible and have reduced my carbs to a level of 40-70g per day, which I seem to be doing alright with. Like Shanny and others recommend I use my meter primarily to guide me as to which foods I can or can't eat. I haven't upped my protein intake much, other than swapping snacks to nuts. Breakfast was one of the hardest to sort out, obviously no cereal and I couldn't face eggs in the morning, but I have come to an arrangement with greek yoghurt and fruit compote (homemade with Splenda) that I have got to really enjoy... The eggs have become a frequent lunch item instead. The only bread I can tolerate (one slice only) is Burgen Soya and Linseed. Shop around - we tend to do half our food shop in Aldi/Lidl then finish off with any of the major chain supermarkets. It helps bring the cost down.

Also, I don't weight train. I might at some point - I just haven't got there yet. I DO have an elliptical machine bought second hand - I also walk 3-4 miles and cycle 6-10 miles. Occasionally I swim. I do try for at least half an hour of exercise from the above choices a day though.
Strangely, I have found that the only time of day for me for this is after the evening meal. Other times have my BS swinging wildly up and down.

I hope this helps you a bit. Nice to chat with another UK user too ;)

Regards,
Clea
 

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PS I haven't upped my fat intake - just little things like having "full-fat" greek yoghurt and butter instead of spread, real cream instead of Elmlea. Otherwise I continue to use olive oil for cooking and salad dressings etc...
You are so right - after the years of NHS advice on fat it does feel a bit odd to stop looking for the low-fat option - however after weeks/months of staring at labels I have found so often if things are lower in fat then sugar has been added to enhance flavour and carb count is then high...:confused:
 
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PS I haven't upped my fat intake - just little things like having "full-fat" greek yoghurt and butter instead of spread, real cream instead of Elmlea. Otherwise I continue to use olive oil for cooking and salad dressings etc...
You are so right - after the years of NHS advice on fat it does feel a bit odd to stop looking for the low-fat option - however after weeks/months of staring at labels I have found so often if things are lower in fat then sugar has been added to enhance flavour and carb count is then high...:confused:
Yep, you hit the nail on the head, Clea. We raise our fat consumption simply by avoiding the low-fat & fat-free products which have carbs added to replace the fats. I had previously used "lite" versions of mayonnaise, sour cream, etc., and I stopped that in short order. Since I no longer use milk because of its high carb content (lactose), I use heavy cream which I dilute with water to get the consistency of milk. Cheeses too - always buy the real thing - not low-fat or fat-free.

Honest, Mayfly, it's the carbs that cause the trouble. The myth of bad fats was a deliberate hoax perpetrated back in the 50s, and it weaseled its way so deeply into government policy that nobody will admit they were flimflammed & are only now beginning to consider that they might have been wrong all these years. The Greatest Scam in Medical History. So butter & its siblings are not the enemy. If you fry a piece of fish in butter, it's great. Butter on bread is the dangerous choice. Most of us can't eat much bread . . . butter doesn't hurt us at all.
 

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Mayfly, you are where I was some months back...I had to retrain myself and it still seems strange to buy and cook a fatty piece of meat rather than the lean one for example. We generally don't put sugar in our sausage, but frequently smoke our bacon in a sugar coating. I just ignore that, and do the best I can to eat by his rules and Dr. Atkin's. I found both difficult for months, but now I follow the rule to shop the outer aisles of a store...that helps me a lot. Be patient with yourself and do let us know how it goes! It gets easier in time, trust me.
 

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I read lots of books and sites. None -- individually or collectively -- have all the answers. In the end, it's all up to my meter.

Yeah, the fat thing is counter-intuitive. But the real deal tastes and feels so much better and richer than the fake stuff ... I actually find it less likely that I'll overdo it. But I don't really limit myself, either. Feeling starved all the time is just as unhealthy as scarfing junk food.

Sausages, cold cuts and bacon may contain a trace of sugar, but in my experience, not enough to spike. I do check package labels, especially for sausages and prepared meatballs and such, because they sometimes do contain carb fillers in addition to sugar.

I look at total carbs, not just sugar. (Some folks subtract fiber from the carb total, and go by "net carbs," but for some reason that doesn't work for me.)

We each react differently to foods and everything else, so with all "new" foods, I make sure to check glucose before eating (for a base mark), then 1 hour after the first bite, then 1 hour after that. If I don't spike, and I didn't start out low-ish in the first place, it's probably an OK Food. I usually repeat the testing the next few times, just to be certain.
 

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I use Dr Bernsteins diet as a framework and I rework to fit the things I like to eat. I usually eat between 30-40 carbs a day but depending on how high my bgs are I will adjust the food. For example for breakfast I will eat almost no carbs or grab a low carb proteing bar ( 2-3 net carbs), lunch I can eat as many as 15-20 and still get good bgs. Again Dinner I try to cut back to 10-15. So each day may be different but I add or subtract carbs based on my bgs. As far as the fat goes it is hard in the beginning but believe me fat will become your friend. The fat really does fill you up and keep your bgs in a good range. I don't eat huge portions of meat, maybe 2-3 ounces at a time and usually only once a day. I have also added things to my meals that he doesn't recomend like beans, but I limit it to 1/2 cup. If I were you I wouldn't try to do this all at once because it can be overwhelming. Pick one meal like breakfast and use his recipes. I find certain things he recomends are hard to find so I order them off the online site Netrition.com - The Internet's Premier Nutrition Superstore! My favorites are the DaVinci syrups, the Walden Farm 0 carb jam, BBQ sauce, pancake syrups and the GG Scandanavian brancrips. He does not advocate bread but I found I can use the Flat Out low carb tortillas as wraps, pizzas or for sandwiches. I do think Bernsteins approach is good and if done correctly you can get your bgs down . I still can't get my bgs as low as his but they are usually in the 100-120 range most of the day. I know protein is expensive but you can eat eggs, hot dogs, the lower carb sausages. Even if it has 1-2 grams of sugar it seems ok for me it has a lot of fat. Usually our bodies can digest a small amount of sugar, it actually helps jumpstart our metabolism but try to keep the overall count within his daily ranges. For snacks I make a lot of MCS's cookies and other recipes, they are high fat but low carb. I also will take some cheese and melt it on one of the GG crackers or put peanut butter or almond butter on it. Nuts are also a good snack. There are also ways to make comfort food like pancakes and waffles but do it without carby flour. I routinely make blueberry muffins with almond meal and flaxseed meal and add coconut oil. They make a great breakfast or snack, especially with butter or cream cheese.

As far as exercise you don't need expensive weights. Use what you have. Fill empy milk jugs with water or use large cans of food as weights. The best weight bearing exercise is walking and it is free. You can also get those stretchy bands at most department stores and use them for developing muscles. Push ups are another weight bearing exercise.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 · (Edited)
Thanks for all the replies, sorry I haven't responded, but I managed to pick up a tummy bug, and was off work for a day.

OK, stupid body! Well, not stupid really, just…..”Please hurry up, body and get your energy from somewhere!”. Admittedly I was ill yesterday. Woke up with violent stomach pains at 4 in the morning and just couldn’t face the cycle ride. Lucky for me, as it turned out. At 8.00 in the morning, I was texting all and sundry to say I wouldn’t be in – the timing is important because something weird happened. I had the telly on, and on it there was a detective, fighting with three men. I thought, “He hasn’t got a hope” and sure enough they beat him up quite badly. Blood everywhere. Now, how can they be showing a programme like that at 8.00 in the morning? I came to the conclusion I must have dreamt it. But I was texting people at the time, so that’s just very strange.

I made myself a mushroom omelette as instructed, and ate it very slowly because I didn’t really want it. Was very hungry right up until lunchtime, when I didn’t want anything, but I put on some beef stew. Sugars had tested at 4.something – very pleased! Cooker went a bit wrong, so ended up with hot stew AT LAST at about 1.40 – was sort of hungry. Was sort of hungry most of the day, but two hours after lunch, sugars still at 4. About 3.00, the reason for stomach cramps became horribly obvious, although everything seemed to be quiet at about 5.00 – I went to the shops at 5.30, but came back determined to go back to bed. Settled down to watch “Torchwood” but disturbed by sudden nausea. It all quietened down again, but I went to make myself a cup of tea and was rather alarmed to find I was staggering about a bit, shaking, and feeling hot (but kind of clammy at the same time). Sugars were now 3.7. Now, I know the aim is to get them down, but I hadn’t yet taken my night time dose, and I don’t feel qualified to decide when I need to come off my meds, if at all. Therefore, I took an uncontrolled dose of peanut butter (about two teaspoons) and had a cup of tea. I think me and Dr Bernstein are not going to agree on the tea thing. When I came back from shopping, I found that I had bought two pints of skimmed milk, although I only remember buying one. Think my body is rebelling! I might be able to start blaming it for portions of chocolate cake and treacle tart……oh, ok, maybe not! Felt slightly better after peanut butter medication, and slightly better today - sugars this morning were 5.3, which is good, but it shows how much I react to peanut butter.

I see that although Dr Bernstein suggests an increase in fat, it is not an uncontrolled amount of fat (by increase, I get what people are saying about not having low fat stuff, but like the spinach dish I had yesterday said to add cream to it, which to me is extra, on top of cooking it in full fat butter). Maybe that’s where Ican overcome my issues – if I carefully weigh and measure everything, it’s not as if I’m sitting and eating 16 pots of double cream in one sitting. However, I do think that his diet is actually a bit rich for me at the moment, so I may need to add slightly more carbs than he recommends, instead of following all the recipes to the letter – just until I get a bit more used to cream in my eggs and so on (which seems to be what people do). The cheese I had this morning is starting to make a bit of a come back. I can see why people think that this is a bland diet – the list of vegetables is very small, and I worry about increasing it because I don’t want to have to test lots of times – I have a hang up about testing since normally it’s always over 10. But the 3 suggests I can at least have some more control than I have at present – I suspect that like he says, I make more insulin than anyone else, even though my doctors have assured me (having given up on giving me pancreas stimulating pills) that my pancreas is dead and buried. The other thing to note is again, I have probably been eating far more than I should have been. So weighing stuff, whilst a nuisance, should still reduce my weight since I will be eating what ‘normal’ people eat as opposed to eating whatever I want (even though I think of eating three pounds of carrots as being healthy).

I do think fruit is not good for me though, even stuff like black currants (not exactly sweet!). But I will take on board what people are saying (waves at Clea somewhere in the UK!).
 

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I consider Bernstein a paragon -- as a vegetarian I could never eat 6-12-12.

You have to work out what will work for YOU. And it can be gradual over time. I have slowly moved toward more fat, etc.
 

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I agree that it's tough making the transition to high fat after having lived our lives with the low-fat mantra. Some of the transition is easy because full-fat versions taste better, and helps with gradually purging ourselves of the very successful low-fat indoctrination.

Glad you're feeling better!
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I am going to have to introduce some new tastes into my cooking repertoire. Yesterday, I cooked Pak Choy, bean sprouts and fresh sardines. I was put off the sardines somewhat as they hadn’t been cleaned properly, so I was squelching out fish guts, hearts and livers which I normally wouldn’t mind, but just turned my stomach yesterday. So I sit down to eat what was already a pretty small meal, only to find that Pak Choy is tasteless even with butter on it, bean sprouts not much better and the sardines were making me sick. I ate all except two of the sardines, and didn’t feel full but also didn’t feel hungry because I felt sick. It was the blandness that got me but also the fishy smell. So I was feeling ill throughout the evening. I ate a piece of cheese and one chunk of pineapple and felt better. Not hungry. This morning, we discovered we hadn’t got any eggs, so I bumped my two slices of bacon up to four. Sugars were 4.7, not bad. However, I’ve just been sick in the toilets and feel so tired. I mean, collapsing sort of tired. This is getting worse, not better. The whole world just tips over if I lean a bit too far over on my seat. I’ll test two hours after breakfast and see what’s happening. But surely I should feel better by now, not worse?

Also, I can’t stop peeing! Just non-stop, as soon as I’ve been I need to go again. It’s like having an infection, except that my sugars are too low for that to happen. I mean, I presume I have a trace of thrush all the time, and if I were to eat, say, a bar of chocolate, or a couple of packets of biscuits, it would be par for the course. However, I feel I need the toilet all the time (like cystitis, but with no pain) and there is a general feeling as though I have thrush. I just don’t get it.

Lastly, I feel cold, non-stop. D keeps opening the front door because he’s too hot, and I keep going and closing it again because I’m freezing. I’m going to have problems at work soon, because I just want to sit in my seat, close my eyes and go to sleep.

Later note : OK, feel a bit better, and my sugars are now 5.7, which is a heck of a climb after eating something which shouldn’t spike me, and a cycle ride. Sausages do, even without skins – two points, my BGs went up! But bacon shouldn’t.

Anyway, continuing with the diet, I'm only concerned with the fact that I CAN'T eat a lot, because of the sickness.
 

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When I had changed my diet and my BG dropped down a bit I was freezing cold for a few weeks (especially odd for one who was until recently constantly having hot flushes). You'll be pleased to know it does settle down - your body has to catch up with all the changes you are making...
Also, I tried sardines shortly after dx too - not for me. Try some Omega-3 supplements if you are not a fish-eater. I thought I could add fish to my diet but I really didn't enjoy it so knocked it on the head...
Good luck. I know it is hard to do but try to relax a little, high levels of stress can also affect your BG - not in a good way.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Cool - literally! Thanks for that, I just want things to be less up and down. I feel a bit better this morning - it may be the Byetta making me sick in the morning - perhaps the new diet is reacting with it.

I love fish, but perhaps not the really, really oily ones. I had Tipali....I think that's right...yesterday which was very nice. Even risked some carrot and onion yesterday, and everything was good this morning.
 

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Cool - literally! Thanks for that, I just want things to be less up and down. I feel a bit better this morning - it may be the Byetta making me sick in the morning - perhaps the new diet is reacting with it.

I love fish, but perhaps not the really, really oily ones. I had Tipali....I think that's right...yesterday which was very nice. Even risked some carrot and onion yesterday, and everything was good this morning.
Excellent - as an aside I have found that carrot, onion and even tomatoes don't spike me as I don't really have large amounts so the Glycaemic Load is better. This is despite them carrying the dreaded carbs :p

That said, we are all soooo different. :p
 

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sorry you are making me laugh....I can see my daughter as I chased her through the house trying to get her to try tofu once lol sorry...

pak choy is a chinese veg...I have only ever cooked chinese greens as a stir fry (you could use coconut oil as its excellent for diabetics) I'd chuck in some ginger and garlic....and a splash of soy sauce...yummo! Throw in some thinly sliced beef and you have a meal!

I think diabetes requires us to look at food from a different perspective...I (when Im in a good space) look at it as a challenge...if I crave a flavour I find a diabetic friendly way of getting it....this has meant much experimenting...and HEAPS of failures but also masses of wins...

You do need to get creative about cooking...I eat foods now I'd never have tried before with some excellent results. I make a killer marbled cheesecake choc fudge slice...rhubarb chutney (awesome on roast chicken)...yummy home made ice cream....pancake that you can add prawns and grated veg to for an awesome meal...or cinnamon and splenda for a sweet treat...

Don't be shy about asking about any flavour you're craving as there will be someone here that can help lol we do like to eat!

Also sometimes foods are called different things on different continents...so again just ask :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Right, I want to taste homemade fudge - the one made with so much sugar it's crumbly, lol!

OK, will ask, thank you. I don't know what I'm having tonight - that's the only thing, D used to cook for me and now he's stuck because I don't eat the same as him. So I try to buy simple stuff, and then he can cook the meat or whatever, and I do the veggies. Although he managed to buy "Light" mayo yesterday - grrrr! He keeps insisting that I will put on weight with the fat, even though I can feel changes to my middle every day. And then sometimes he tells me I don't eat enough, even though I tell him, "This is why I don't get fatter, I eat a certain amount. It's like a diet." I can't seem to make him happy.

I had a no sugar sweet yesterday, a treat for me, and I was 5.0 the next morning! Hoorah!
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Excellent - as an aside I have found that carrot, onion and even tomatoes don't spike me as I don't really have large amounts so the Glycaemic Load is better. This is despite them carrying the dreaded carbs :p

That said, we are all soooo different. :p
I found tomatoes do, groan! Although they may not when mixed with chick peas....... :llama: Sorry, just like the llama symbol.... Onion can do, although it didn't yesterday - that might be because the diet is getting better. I feel a hundred times better today, despite scoring a 4.4 just now (long bike ride).
 

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Right, I want to taste homemade fudge - the one made with so much sugar it's crumbly, lol!

OK, will ask, thank you. I don't know what I'm having tonight - that's the only thing, D used to cook for me and now he's stuck because I don't eat the same as him. So I try to buy simple stuff, and then he can cook the meat or whatever, and I do the veggies. Although he managed to buy "Light" mayo yesterday - grrrr! He keeps insisting that I will put on weight with the fat, even though I can feel changes to my middle every day. And then sometimes he tells me I don't eat enough, even though I tell him, "This is why I don't get fatter, I eat a certain amount. It's like a diet." I can't seem to make him happy.

I had a no sugar sweet yesterday, a treat for me, and I was 5.0 the next morning! Hoorah!
I do think one of the most difficult things we have to do is educate our partners our family and our friends. It's hard when we're still struggling ourselves. He has to trust you and allow you to eat to your meter...that way you can show him what foods raise your levels...
 

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I can totally relate to your pain of adjusting. I never towed the low-fat line, (I am a chef by trade!) but I always ate a LOT of carbs.
I read DR. Bernstein's book, and it was a godsend to me. Granted, I don't follow the diet restrictions to the letter though, as they are based on mainly HIS experiences. (I.E. he will use a glucose strip after chewing something in his mouth to test for rapid glucose response.)
The best advice is to just take it slow. Eat to your meter. Test, Test, Test. You will find what is best for you.

As for Pak Choy I can help with the preparation on that. I worked in a Pan Asian restaurant for 2 years, and us North American people don't get it. We like to totally kill the flavors of our vegetables.
The best pak choy to get is the baby kind. When you cook them, they will be less bitter, and have a hint of sweetness.
The best route I have found is this:
Put your garlic and ginger with COLD oil in your pan. Bring them up to heat (with a medium heat) slowly until you can smell the ginger and garlic. (This will take about 2-3 minutes.)
Once you smell the ginger and garlic, then you toss in your chopped Pak Choy. You then stir it until the pak choy is wilted. Season it with salt and pepper. (Or the best I saw is shredded dried pork or shrimp!) and serve.

Simple is best with that preparation. Let me know how it goes.
 
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