When I tell people I’ve been following the 30 Day Diabetes Cure, and that it involves things like eliminating sugar and processed food, many people say, “Oh, yes, I have done that, it’s a good idea,” or something like that. Although the plan is similar to many other plans like The South Beach Diet, that reduce sugar, carbs, etc., it is actually a lot more than that. Enough more that it’s very difficult to condense into a conversation. I’d have to stand around lecturing for quite a while to describe all that goes into it. I do believe it’s very smart to combine so many strategies to reverse the damaging metabolic changes associated with diabetes, but it doesn’t have an easy sound bite.
I thought it would be interesting to catalog all of the stuff I’ve been doing. I’ve continued to lose weight, after a tiresome month-long plateau, so I’m feeling happy and positive about it all again. Plateaus suck. I’m down 15 pounds since last spring, and since I started 30DDC in Sept., I’ve lost 8-9 pounds, including 3 inches from my waist, without counting calories or terribly much deprivation. Although this list is long, it’s actually not that hard to do, especially phasing changes in a day at a time. It becomes automatic. I think it’s all a lot more easier and effective than calorie/carb counting.
The list is divided into stuff I’m doing that’s on the 30 DDC plan, stuff I’m doing on my own, and stuff from the 30DDC that I’m not doing, for various reasons.
Stuff I’m doing from the 30DDC
1. No sugar, not even natural sugars, including added sugars in packaged foods. This is easier than it sounds. You stop craving it after a few days.
2. No white flour. Not really missing this.
3. No industrial oils (canola, safflower, crisco, margarine etc.). I eat peanut oil, coconut oil, butter, olive oil, sesame oil, and so forth.
4. No factory farmed meat or fish.
5. No commercial cured sausages.
6. At least five servings vegetables a day. (This was tricky until I remembered frozen veg. Now I just grab some veg from the freezer any time I need to boost my veg servings for the day. This morning, I had a small serving of green beans with my (whole wheat) waffles. Frozen green beans, peas, or broccoli can also be thrown into just about any casserole, curry, stew, or stir fry.)
7. Beans with every meal. This one is weird and a little challenging. Beans slow the release of sugars into the blood, and have huge beneficial effects on metabolism. I cook a big pot of beans about once a week, different each time, and grab a side dish of them whenever the meal doesn’t already have beans in it.
8. Green superfood smoothies. I don’t fit one in every day, but I have a semi-daily smoothie featuring whatever fruit I have around, plus coconut milk or yogurt, and a green superfood powder containing chlorella, spirulina, and a bunch of other “superfood” ingredients.
9. Magnesium supplements.
10. Cinnamon. Book recommends a teaspoon a day. I quickly realized capsules were the only practical way to consume this much cinnamon. Reduces release of sugars into the blood.
11. Fish oil. (I’ve been taking fish oil supplements for several years.)
12. Whole grains, including whole grain bread, oatmeal, quinoa, and barley, the latter of which is supposed to super long-lasting satiety and blood-sugar lowering properties. Replacing processed cereals with 100% whole grain cereals.
13. Fish two or three times a week.
14. Yoga. (Obviously, I’ve been doing this for a while. The book recommends a regular practice of gentle, restorative yoga. Mine is quite a bit more intense.)
15. Walking, running. I also did this before, but have stepped it up since starting the 30DDC. The dogs appreciate this.
16. Tea or coffee daily. Mostly herbal tea, because I don’t do well with caffeine.
17. No artificial sweeteners.
18. No soda of any kind, ever.
19. Minimal fruit juice–100% real fruit juice as an occasional treat only.
20. Removing plastics and teflon from food containers, cooking equipment, utensils. A work in progress. I’ve replaced most of our plastic stuff, but still have some around.
21. Use shampoo free of sodium laurel sulfates.
22. As little BPA as possible, aka, very little canned food. We still do use canned fish, but we buy Pomi boxed tomatoes, and some glass-jar varieties of tomato sauces and pastes. Vegetables we get fresh or frozen.
23. Adequate sleep every night. I’ve never really had a problem with this, but it’s part of the plan and a big challenge for some people.
Extra Stuff I Do Because It’s a Good Idea
1. Calcium supplement, because I’m a petite woman with a family history of osteoporosis. No brainer.
2. Vitamin D supplement, prescribed by my doctor, also recommended by 30DDC
3. Multivitamin, when I remember.
4. Going easy on the carbs. I’m not counting carbs, but it seems like the weight tends to come off better if I keep the daily carbs to 2-3 servings.
Stuff Recommended by the Plan that I Don’t Do
1. Use step counter to take 10,000 steps/day. Haven’t purchased a step counter yet. Nice idea.
2. Additional diabetes-friendly supplements like Co-Q. Seems like I’m doing fine. I don’t want to spend a ton of money on supplements. You can go pretty far down that rabbit hole without anything to show for it. I think some of these are definitely worth pursuing for people with diabetes or other chronic illness, however.
3. Milk thistle for liver detox. I did this for a couple of weeks, but it was not clear how it was benefiting me, and when I stopped taking it, some digestive troubles I was having cleared up.
4. Strength training. I get some of this with the bikram yoga. There’s a lot of bodyweight muscle building exercise included. But it would be nice to do some added weight training, especially upper body. At this time, I simply don’t have the wherewithall to include it in my schedule. Maybe some day.
5. No alcohol. There’s no drinking during the official first 30 days, and I obeyed that rule. Alcohol is not absolutely forbidden forever by the book, but it’s kind of not recommended. I have a drink a week or so–not very much because most alcoholic beverages still have a lot of added sugar, especially my favorite, gin and tonic.
6. Turmeric. Another spice superfood, available in capsule form. Nice-sounding idea. Haven’t tried it yet.
In addition to slow, steady weight loss, I feel like I have a lot more energy. I’m doing a lot of yoga, and seeing a lot more progress in yoga than before 30DDC. I think my complexion has changed, too. Not quite as pale. I replaced some of my makeup recently with slightly darker tones, even though it is November and I in NO WAY have a tan. I’ve read this can happen when people eat a lot of vegetables. I also seem to have lost my dairy intolerance. Hard to say if it’s the diet or the weight loss or what, but I realized recently that I’d gradually been consuming more and more dairy without any ill effects. Yay! I think if I drank a large glass of milk plain, I might still have belly rumbles, but I’m getting away with a lot more cheese and small amounts of milk, in my smoothies, for example.
Overall, I’m quite pleased with this lifestyle, and now that I’ve worked out a lot of menus and figured out what products are safe and what are off limits (almost everything), it is pretty much on autopilot.