Powered by plants

Being a type 1 can be a lonely experience. I know only one other type 1 ‘in the flesh’. The internet is a wonderful place to meet others who share the same common ground: a faulty pancreas.

I manage and integrate diabetes into my life through a plant based, high carb, no fat, high exercise, minimal insulin way of life. With great results! These kind of starchivores are even harder to find than omnivore or carnivore diabetics.

It would be nice to be able to swap stories, exchange experiences or just to hang out with others who share a similar common ground: faulty pancreas and powered by plants.

Looking forward to everyone’s stories!

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Hey @Rien! Welcome to TuDiabetes.

I also eat a plant-based diet. My diet choices have more to do with contributing to suffering of others than the health benefits (although I did lose some pounds after I made the switch a few years ago). Choosing to remove dead animals from my diet was something I knew I wanted to do, but I had been brainwashed into thinking that ultra low carb was the only way to manage diabetes properly. It took a lot of research to really convince me that it was possible to stop contributing to the awful treatment of animals while also eating healthy.

I’m not quite what people would call “vegan” - I still use dairy in my coffee each morning. It’s been really difficult to find a replacement for the fatty cream that I’ve grown to crave. But I think I’m evolving toward being completly vegan.

I love meeting people that eat this way AND have diabetes. What does a normal day’s menu look like for you?


Wow!! Hi Rien :slight_smile: It is so great to read your way of managing. You have found another who does the same. I don’t have a story that would be very interesting, but I have also had great results being powered by plants, the great outdoors, a good attitude…and Coffee!

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Hey Mike, great to hear from you. I too was brainwashed into believing that carbs are the problem. Doing LCHF for 18 months made me ill. Apparently up to 30% of low carbers don’t do well on LCHF. High carb has been a revelation to me.

My daily diet? Before my pre-dawn walk I have a rye bread roll, after the walk breakfast. That’s the biggest meal of the day, consisting of oats, barley and rye, cinnamon, mango, banana, a good handful of dried fruit, flaxseeds and chia seeds. After breakfast I ride my bicycle to Cairns and back, takes about 90 minutes. For lunch I have half a kilo of potatoes and half a kilo of green vegetables. That lasts me till 4pm when I need to snack some more carbs before the afternoon walk. Evening meal is light, another rye bread roll, a small salad and a cup of vegetable broth. All pretty simple meals. I eat to live now, instead of living to eat. All up about 3000 calories, 80% carbs, 10% protein, 10% fat.

What does your menu look like?

Hey Karen, I’m sure you have a great story. Bucking the usual diabetic ‘standard of care’ is a story and a half in itself. What was your journey to being powered by plants?

The great outdoors: which wonderful part of the world do you call home? My home is 500 metres from the shores of the Coral Sea, just north of Cairns in Australia. My sunrise walk along the beach is the same every day, but never, ever boring.

Good attitude is fundamental. Make the most of it, I think, even of a lousy pancreas!

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Me too, still failing sometimes but have been trying for a while now. I just coudn´t… I love all living creatures. I lost some weight also. Have been trying low-carb for some years as well…(i do carb but not the high percentages suggested by ADA). I mostly use carbs before my running sessions every evening. I also use some dairy products…Im almost sure that my coffee milk is mostly water but still…could try some different options. I love all types of salads and vegetables… i also love cakes and cookies but try to find out how they were made first…obsessive perhaps?

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Have you tried the commercial coconut milk based creamers (So Nice brand makes some, I believe), or just straight coconut milk? I’ve actually modified the old “bulletproof coffee” recipe to suit my tastes and needs by using coconut milk and MCT oil, and liked it better than the butter and coconut oil recipe. Just a thought :slight_smile:

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I have tried many different options including every coconut milk cream I could find. A vegan friend of mine uses and suggested the cans of condensed coconut milk and that was the closest I could get to the fatty milk I use each morning, but it still didn’t do the trick. They all feel too…light?

This coconut milk and MCT option actually sounds interesting. I’m looking up “Bulletproof Coffee” now.

I know it’s sort of crazy, but I’ve also considered giving up coffee completely.

I can attest to this. They were giving away cookies at one of the booths at AADE last summer and every time I saw @Mariana11that weekend she looked like this:

LOL. Just kidding! :blush:


Ive tried almond milk…yuck…still looking for other options

I was so happy with the cookie give away LOL …

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I’ve heard that cashew milk is really creamy and great in coffee. I haven’t been able to find any at the regular grocery store I go to (even here in Berkeley where the number of herbivores may actually outnumber the omnivores)…the hunt continues.

You know, I can just about understand the whole plant-based, compassionate-eating thing, especially since it works for you all in terms of managing your BG. But that statement makes me question your sanity. :wink:

Seriously though, I tend to use bulletproof coffee and coconut milk to get calories, rather than because I need cream in the coffee. I’m normally happy to drink my coffee black, and doubt I could survive without it. My largest problem from eating low-carb is that I have a hard time getting enough calories, and things like BPC and adding coconut cream/milk to soups are a way for me to add a few hundred calories without adding carbs.

I was vegetarian for years, and am definitely considering moving back to eating vegetarian when I get my treatment sorted out in the next few months. I’m LADA who has been on Metformin and diet/exercise only since diagnosis, although I’m pretty sure it’s not working for me at this point for various reasons. Before diagnosis, I ate a whole-foods, “healthy” high-carb diet, and have been a vegetarian at various points in my life. Although I don’t have any particular moral, ethical, or intellectual reasons to avoid eating meats, I just don’t like eating meats, for the most part. I also have a natural aversion to consuming fat, so this whole low-carb deal has been pretty difficult (although my BG has been nicely controlled).


Check out Winco, which you all should have in Berkeley :slight_smile: That’s where I purchase cashew milk (which I prefer out of the non-dairy options for taste and consistency). There are WinCos in Pittsburg and Brentwood, and they are fairly standardized in terms of what they carry. They also are employee-owned so I feel pretty good shopping there and Costco for most of my grocery needs I can’t fulfill from local farms and the CoOp.

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I know it’s sort of crazy, but I’ve also considered giving up coffee completely.

I actually don’t think this is crazy at all! For a while I tried to drink my tea without the milk and sugar that I grew up with. It just was such a depressing experience I found it easier to simply change my hot beverage to coffee. Now if I drink tea I just drink it the way I like, but since I do it much less frequently I don’t sweat the milk and sugar.


In case you have always wanted to know what a high carb no bolus diabetic’s blood sugar looks like, but were afraid to ask: you are in luck!

I have posted the last two weeks’ profile from my Libre on my blog here

I look forward to your comments.

I was going to recommend Cashew Milk—I’d be shocked if it’s not available in Berkeley, since I find it in a lot of stores (not just Whole Foods and such) in my small Northeastern city, including some large supermarkets. The brand I use is So Delicious (I find it in the boxed alternative milks section), but Silk also makes one. I get the unsweetened plain kind, and it’s my favorite for coffee/beverages I’ve found so far (very neutral and relatively creamy), but I don’t actually like milk, so can’t really say how it compares to that. Probably still much more watery than cream, but if you made a homemade version (you can get raw cashews from nuts.com), you could make it more of a cream consistency.


How do you explain the steady drop in blood glucose if your not producing a far amount of insulin on your own? I’m a LADA myself, but I don’t produce enough insulin to lower my bg that quickly.

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This is very interesting, but it does beg a question: have you basically recreated the old exchange diet for yourself? :slight_smile:

Your daily regimen reminds me of my great-grandmother’s. She injected (twice a day), and ate on a schedule, virtually the same thing every day, and lived a good, long life. She also ate a lot of carbs (I grew up in coal-country, so we had cornbread, biscuits and gravy, vegetables, and beans as the staples of our diet).

Obviously what you’re doing is working for you over the course of a couple of weeks. I’m curious to know how lowering the basal Levemir works for you. If it does cut out undesirable lows, will it result in undesirable highs after your meals? If it does, that leads me to suspect the reason you’re able to not bolus is that you’re unintentionally using basal to cover your meals.

Have you tried fasting basal testing to see if your basal amount keeps you level in the absence of food? Or do you go low in that case? Again, if that’s what you are aiming for (enough basal to cover meals, eat on a schedule, maintain good numbers), then that’s fantastic!

I congratulate you on finding an eating style that keeps you in good blood sugar range (nice graph!) and otherwise healthy. I caution you, however, to not draw too strong of a conclusion that your diet is the sole or main reason for you blood glucose success. Like @David49 has noted, your body may be using some of your basal dose to cover a small need for meal insulin. In addition, you may be producing a small yet significant amount of home-grown insulin to help with post-meal BG spikes. In any case, I hope your current success continues.

You are doing right by your health and if your needs change, I’m sure you will make any changes needed to stay in range. Keep up with the good work!