I understand what you mean about worry, and all the anxiety/stress that comes with it. If it helps, I get the same way, about the same things
There are many calculators on the net you can search for, that will tell you how many calories you need to ingest to maintain your weight, as well as adjustments if you want to lose weight. Meat is basically carb free, unless you like fried chicken but chicken itself is great, as is a steak, or pork chop. I eat my share of unsalted peanuts, walnuts, and even a spoonful of peanut butter. If you want calories, those will give them to you.
Finding what to eat to fill you up, is just a matter of asking here, and all around the diabetes forums. You can send me a private message if you like, and I will tell you what I eat. It may not be the ideal for you, since we are all different, but if you think you want to hear what others eat, please go ahead and ask. I won’t fill the forum with it all, but then, its not that much either. I tend to eat the same things over and over. Pretty boring, actually.
www.calorieking.com sells a great piece of software that lists practically every food you can think of, along with its nutritional values. You can make menus, total each meals carbs and calories, and even the whole day’s worth of eatin, track exercise, and all kinds of cool things. The trial package is, I think, 7 days, so you can take a look at it if you like. I don’t work for them and its a bit costly, but its a very complete tool for tracking what you eat, and what’s in it. You can also just go to the site and search their huge database for whatever you are looking for. They list fast food and other popular restaurants as well. Be sure you know about the carbs, in everything you eat. Crackers can fool you so check on em.
Soap vs alcohol? I don’t think the term is “best way” but more like, “what works for you” so you can get a routine. I would like to hear from others on this one, because in my mind, alcohol will dry out your fingers and make them crack and get sore eventually. At least, that is my feeling about it, so I have always just used soap and water, plus the hot water helps bring the blood to the tips so I can keep the pokey thing on a lower number. If using the pads gets you consistently doing morning readings, and you don’t worry about drying out your finger tips, that is the way to go in my book.
I keep repeating myself but this is a lifetime disease, and we have to rebuild our lives around it, so whatever makes it easier to control, that is not shown to be detrimental, seems like the logical way to go.
I would have to agree with those who recommend finding and Endo to set you up and help you along, but money and maybe time, is always an issue, and frankly, if your A1c is 6.0, you are doing pretty well for yourself. My theory was when I was first dx’d, I am gonna try this myself, make a pest of myself on the boards, and see if I can handle it. If things don’t get in control and stay there, I will have to get someone to help me out. So far, I think I have it under control. Might not stay that way forever but for now, I am at 5.0 on A1c, and so I hope to avoid spending money on professional help.
As Michael said, we are all different. There is no one, right way that applies to everyone. We have to take ownership of this disease, and we are the only ones who can control it.
Keep working on the small steps, and before you know it, it will be second nature.