When last we jawed about dietary matters I discussed 'safe' starches
and noted that I was experimenting with upping my carbohydrate intake by consuming a few foods that were previously frowned upon in the LCHF (low carb/high fat) menu. My major interest was chomping on potatoes -- both sweet and white -- and experimenting with other starches like Taro, Yams and white rice.
No grains -- aside from rice: no bread, for instance, no pastry -- at all.
That was my project.
The first consequence -- albeit a subjective one -- is that I have more energy. I wouldn't be alone in that. Those who have been eating ketogenic -- low carb, say below 100 grams/day -- do note more verve when they up their carbohydrate intake. I appreciate the change.
However, my blood sugar has bounced around a bit post meals. I had been living at around 6.7 mmol -- an hour after eating (and points below) -- as a sort of blood glucose formatted lifestyle. This was well within 'normal' range despite my diabetes.
Since consuming the spuds and such my blood readings have gone up post cibum (pc) maybe something like 1 mmol. The problem is:
- that if I eat a lot of starches my blood glucose goes up even more -- say if I pig out on roasted potatoes; and
- that I respond to rice more sharply than I do to the tubers.
The takeaway message is, of course, that while I can eat this stuff, I need to watch my serving sizes.
Nonetheless, I haven't put on weight, my gut feels better and fuller; and my menu options have expanded greatly while I explore the wonderful world of vegetables that grow under the earth.
I've still got more work to do combining foods. I try to cut my meals with an acid like vinegar (as in pickles or salad) or yogurt. I also try to to eat with a reasonable fat quotient on the plate. These are strategies that have been proven to reduce the blood glucose peaks by impacting on a meal's Glycemic Load.
I'm also taking a tablespoon or so of Potato Starch each day...in a glass of water -- as a rich source of Resistant Starch . While Resistant Starches impact on gut health by altering intestinal flora more in favour of the good guys, they also moderate blood glucose. Indeed, I find my blood sugar levels to be more stable and predictable and my gut more settled than it has ever been.
All very benign, really.
In fact once I've practiced these changes a bit more I suspect that my 'diabetes episode' is over. I'm not saying I'm 'cured' but that I have engineered habits of daily living that keep my hormonal Islets of Langerhans pathology in place.
Nonetheless my blood pressure is still in the hypertensive range -- perhaps on average 10 mmHg higher than I'd like. Indeed while I have bought my Systolic BP down by 10 mmHg I am still short of the 'sweet zone' --esp with Diabetes hanging over me.
On this matter I'm out of creative options for the moment. Lose weight? Exercise more? I suspect that my blood pressure gets elevated like it does by sleep issues. So we're talking overnight apnoea. But I'm not sleeping with one of those horrible CPAP machines strapped to my face!
I guess you can't get everything you wish for...
Exercise and dancing
As part of these changes I've altered my exercise regime.This didn't happen consciously or to any plan. I'd been so ill over the past year that I found it hard to sustain my previous kickbike, dog walking and HIIT weight lifting habits.
What I did sustain, and what sustained me, was the dancing.
So today that's the centrepiece. No threat. Creative. A very easy routine. I still love the kickbiking and the dog walking (now with funky music in my ear)...but the HIIT has gone off the agenda and I'm waiting for the chutzpah to start canoeing again.
It's not that I've suddenly upped my dancing time. I suspect I've become a better dancer so each session offers me more as my body adapts to the funkier me. In fact, my body 'feels' the best it has felt for years in terms of mobility and movement awareness. I'm more flexible (when I'm not stiff and sore).
After all that kettlebell and dumbbell lifting , all that gritted teeth exertion and grunting, the somatic zone offered by dance has had a greater impact on my existence than all that other sweat. It's like Tai Chi Chuan to music. I guess what they waffle on about 'the core' is for real. It's just that you have to find your own way there.
For me its via dance and kickbiking.
Now that I walk with music in my ear my pace has picked up because of the push off and drive offered by the funky vibes I'm listening to. It's strutting'. I'm more sprightly despite my usual episodes of crippling stiffness and pain. (I gotta have my quotient of those!)
And I try to be active throughout the day. In that regard I'm working in the garden every day, just as I've trained myself not to spend long sessions on the computer without a stand up and walkaround break.
Regrettably my concentration is shallow.I suspect this is the lingering consequence of the past year's ill health angst. It spent me a bit. I've paid a price.
I'll know I've moved on when I get back to cartooning and making comics. There's a tragedy in the fact that I was cartooning so well (or so I thought) -- and so routinely -- before I lost my mojo.
But now I'm getting it back...with both hands.
I guess you can't get everything you wish for... You just gotta be patient, right?