Tag Archives: type 2 diabetes diagnosis

The importance of looking out for #1

In a perfect marriage, you and your spouse would always walk side-by-side, hand-in-hand, tackling whatever life throws at you as a team. You’d always say (and mean) I love you before turning out the light, and the toilet seat would always be in the down position.

But let’s face it, there is no such thing as the perfect marriage. The toilet seat is up more often than not, one or both of you will be too tired or angry to utter those three special words, and sometimes one of you will need more holding hands.

There will be times when you will need to be your spouse’s support system (emotional, mental, and sometimes even physical), and you just can’t expect much support in return. And that’s okay. That’s one of the reasons marriage can be so awesome—they support you when you need it, and you support them.

But what happens, when your own strength begins to fail and they still need you to hold them up?

Andy’s Type 2 Diabetes Diagnosis began a period of struggle within our marriage. He was dealing with anger, embarrassment, fear, frustration, and a myriad of other emotions. I was struggling with my own frustration and fear, but I knew it was important to be strong for him. I started making dinner more often. I encouraged him to exercise with me—all the while spending hours online trying to figure out a way to keep our current lifestyle from disappearing into a world of broccoli and kale.

I was exhausted trying to stay positive and uplifting when all I really wanted was to dive into a gallon of ice cream (it didn’t even need to be good ice cream) and drown my sorrows.

I can remember one day, I just needed to feel like everything was normal so I went to Taco Bell and got a soft taco and a 7-layer burrito. I stuffed both in my purse and sneakily ate them in the kitchen while Andy was watching TV. It wasn’t healthy—emotionally, or physically—but it was what I needed at the time.

It’s important to remember as you’re struggling with your spouse, or friend, or parent, or sibling as they go through the early stages of a Type 2 Diabetes Diagnosis, that sometimes it’s okay to take a step back and do something for yourself. Go buy yourself some nail polish, get a massage, go for a walk, indulge in something you really love. And don’t feel guilty. You’ll feel renewed and stronger. Strong enough to keep being the strong one for a little while longer.

In the years that have passed, our lives have returned to a better form of normal. Our meals are healthier, we spend more time being active, and less time watching TV. We’re happier inside and out. We’ve gone back to walking side-by-side, hand-in-hand. And we’ve realized that all the struggle was worth it to see Andy come out on the other side stronger than before.

Grocery shopping 101: Tips & tricks

After Andy’s Type 2 Diabetes diagnosis, meal planning and (subsequently) grocery shopping were integral to getting us both back on the road to recovery and health. Nothing set us back faster than being really hungry with nothing planned and no food in the cupboard. Pizza Hut was just a phone call away!

I’ve already shared my process for attacking the grocery store and the importance of a grocery budget, but I wanted to end this mini-series with a few more tips and tricks I’ve picked up that will make your entire grocery experience that much easier.

• Make a plan/list. Nothing will frustrate you more than milling around a busy grocery store trying to figure out what you want to eat. You’ll find yourself randomly throwing things into the cart that you’ll kick yourself for later. I’m looking at you S’mores PopTarts!

• Set a budget. I know I’ve already covered this in a blog post, but I really can’t stress enough the importance of a grocery budget. Keeping track of where and how you spend your money is good for your health and your bank account.

• Go shopping consistently. Whether you go once a week, once a month, or every Wednesday and Saturday, make sure that your house has the healthy food you need when a case of the munchies hits.

• Go early/late in the day. Mid-day at a grocery store is my personal definition of hell. So many people with baskets going every which way. If you can get there early, you’ll have your pick of the best produce and won’t have to reach around 10 people to get it.

• Be nice. Nobody likes grocery shopping. Everyone wants to be done. Pushing your way past people isn’t nice. Be as courteous as you can to fellow shoppers and staff (especially the staff!) and if you have to, sing a happy song in your head. I promise it helps!

• Make friends with the staff. The staff knows their product and they can help you find exactly what you want. If I ever have a question about how to cook a certain cut of meat the guys behind the counter are a great resource.

• Try something new. Don’t be afraid to try that strange looking vegetable or a new cut of meat. You may find a new favorite to add to your meal cycle.

If you have any tried and true grocery shopping tips, I’d love to hear them!

Grocery shopping 101: Where we shop

Some people I know shop solely at New Seasons and Whole Foods, and I totally get it. Those places are great sources for healthy food. They have beautiful produce sections, solid meat and dairy, and let’s face it, bakeries to die for. I do the bulk of my shopping at Winco, with stops at New Seasons, Trader Joe’s, and Fred Meyer to supplement what Winco doesn’t have. Why don’t I do all my shopping at these other places? Because we have a grocery budget and the way we eat now isn’t cheap.

After Andy was diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes the way we shopped for groceries changed, and our weekly grocery expenses went up. Sticking to a budget has always been important to me, and I didn’t want our budget to suffer because of our health (or vice versa) in order to afford an $8/lb. bunch of asparagus. I knew we wouldn’t always be able to afford organic produce (thankfully, we have a garden full or organic veggies), but incorporating more fruit and veggies into our meals was a necessity.

I don’t want to start a political discussion about the virtues of eating locally sourced food, but I wanted to share where and how we shop for groceries because I know how expensive it can be to start living a healthy lifestyle. Good-for-you food isn’t cheap—that’s another discussion for another time. I grew up in home that didn’t have a lot of money to spare. There were weeks when I know my mom had no idea how she was going to put food on the table for a family of five. We ate a lot of beans and rice.

In this economy, not everyone can afford to shop at the local high-end natural foods market. And that’s okay. Winco’s produce isn’t always the best around, but they do have a fairly new organic section, and if you buy what’s in season you’ll be okay. Plus, they have an amazing bulk section full of dried fruits, nuts, spices, and other goodies that I have on my list on a weekly basis.

If you’re just starting out on this lifestyle journey, don’t feel that you have to take out a second mortgage to put healthy food on the table. By making small changes where you can–swapping out that bag of chips for a new vegetable to experiment with in the kitchen–and adding in the freshest ingredients possible, you’re already making a step in the right direction.

Next week, I’m going to share how I navigate the grocery store, and give you some tips and tricks for making the process easier and healthier.

The power of marketing

Have you walked through a grocery aisle lately? I’m not talking about rushing through the aisle as quickly as possible to cross things off your shopping list. I’m talking about just walking through and looking at stuff—in particular, labels. Both front and back.

You might be surprised.

One of the things both Andy and I started doing after his Type 2 Diabetes diagnosis was reading labels. Okay, maybe you’re one of those people who’s been doing it for years. The point is we did start looking, and found ourselves putting stuff back on the shelf on a frequent basis. To say our eyes were opened is an understatement. High fructose corn syrup is in everything. Everything! Why would you put HFCS in dill pickles of all random things? It blew our minds.

I have a background in marketing so I’m very familiar with “spin”. Ever look at a movie poster and wonder what those ellipses (…) might be omitting? That’s spin! In the food industry spin is all over the packaging—from the flashy color labels that distract you from what’s really in the product, to the word burstss that proclaim: Fat Free! Sugar Free! All Natural! Organic!

The fact of the matter is, you can’t really trust the front of the label. I wish you could. It would make shopping so much easier. The only way to truly know what’s going into your body is to turn the product over and read through the ingredients list on the back. You’d be amazed at what they like to hide in that fine print. A while back, someone gave us a bottle of salsa that had both chicken and beef paste in the ingredient list. Meat paste. In salsa. Bummer dude.

If you’re just starting out on your own lifestyle obstacle course, I encourage you to start peeking at those food labels. Yes, it does require some work, and you’ll probably start putting some of your favorite foods back on the shelf when you realize what they’ve been sneaking into your body. The more we read, the more we realized the only “real” food we ate came out of our own kitchen. Even those awesome, time saving, rotisserie chickens from the grocery store have questionable ingredients.

I’m not saying you have to avoid all boxed food, but I encourage you to, at the very least, turn the box over and look at the ingredients list so you know what you’re getting into with your eyes wide open.

In his words: Documentation, Accountability, and Consistency (or “You’re Only Cheating Yourself”)

Have you ever heard the phrase “You’re only cheating yourself!”? Have you ever wondered exactly what someone meant by that? Growing up teachers, parents, and other adult/authority figures would say that to me and it really didn’t make sense. Until I was 34 years old. Then it made complete sense.

After my initial diagnosis of Type 2 Diabetes I started to record my daily blood sugar numbers along with the times that I took them as well as any pertinent notes regarding what I ate or drank that may explain a spike or dip in numbers. I know that the digital meters all record numbers, but over the years I have found for myself that if I write something down in my own handwriting, it tends to stick with me.

Starting April 21st, 2011, at 7:51 AM, I began a lifelong habit that, while it did not directly result in reversing Type 2 Diabetes, definitely supported the effort–I began documenting my progress in a tiny little notebook. The first entry was 240, “no food.” Right when I woke up.

The reason I started doing this was so that I could track my progress in my handwriting. Type 2 Diabetes is all about a number. Oversimplified explanation: Less than 6 (your A1C number) and you don’t have it. Over 6, and depending on how high it is, you’re either a pre-diabetic or full on Type 2 Diabetic.

If I could see a pattern, then I could figure out what to change, what to keep doing, and what to do more of. That’s also when I started to record my weight. I wanted to see a correlation and pattern with that as well.

For about a month before I started walking (more on that in a bit), I made dietary changes thanks to my beautiful, patient, and loving wife. And as the days went by, my numbers went down–weight AND blood sugar!

When we hit Memorial Day weekend that year, I went and bought a pair of Nike ACG hiking shoes (mentioned in this post) and started walking. That same weekend, I decided it might be a good idea to start logging my miles in addition to my blood sugar and weight to see what those numbers would show me.

It may seem silly, or obsessive, or a waste of time to most people, but one of the greatest tools that helped me was that notebook. Every day that I walked, I weighed myself and wrote down the mileage and the weight. At the beginning, walking wasn’t a daily, let alone twice daily, occurrence. There wasn’t a LOT of consistency until late June when I began walking twice a day.

But as I walked more and more, I weighed less and less, and my blood sugar numbers came down. As I got more consistent with my efforts, I got more consistent results. And documenting that was what helped me on days when I might have weighed MORE than the day before or my numbers were inexplicably higher than they should have been based on what I ate and how much I moved prior to checking myself (… by the way, always make sure that you wash your hands before you check yourself…). If I hit a plateau or stalled, I could flip back a page or two and look at the progress that I *HAD* made and be encouraged.

One the biggest challenges to my success early on was myself. Liv has admitted in earlier posts, she was a bit naggy at the beginning. Some days after a rough day of work, I understandably didn’t feel like doing anything but sitting on the couch and vegging out. And truth be told, there are still nights like this and sometimes I do skip my afternoon walk, but it’s very rare and it’s either weather related or my cat cries/whimpers at me and she just wants to play.

One evening that first year, I was walking past the middle school and it was a really nice evening and I thought to myself, “You know, I could just go lay down in the grass, set an alarm, close my eyes for a minute, and then go home. Liv would *never* know!” And then a voice said very clearly, “YEAH, you could do that. But you’d know. And you would only be cheating yourself.”

That’s the day my attitude changed. That’s the day that I got serious about the lifestyle change. That’s the day that I went from “Well, I’m gonna do this until I am all better and then go back to the KFC and Taco Bell for lunch every day and a couple of Cadbury Easter Eggs for dessert every night” to That was the moment that I realized no one could or should actually care more than me. As concerned as Liv was for me and my health, at the end of the day, I was the only person who could change. If I wanted to cheat on the diet when I was at work, there wasn’t a thing that she could do to stop me. If I wanted to lay down and take a nap in the park before dinner, I could. She’d never know (until of course she realized that all that walking wasn’t doing anything!). I could cheat, sure. But in the end, I would have been cheating myself. And I would have known. And I didn’t want to live with that.

My advice to anyone starting out on a health/lifestyle change or weight loss effort is this: Be consistent with what you do, when you do it, how you do it. Be patient and believe in the process. Document your efforts for self-encouragement down the road. Write it down in a notebook like I do or take photos, but be consistent with that as well. And be accountable to you. Take it seriously and if you do these things as well as make simple, modest adjustments to your diet and activity level, you will be successful.

By the way, I still have those original notebooks. The blood sugar notebook entries ended in August 2011 and I filled up my fitness log notebook on December 31st, 2014. That one contains my notes from over 6000+ miles and I started a new notebook the next day on the 1st.

A tale of a sweet tooth

This week I (Liv) wanted to take a little time to share my own personal relationship/struggle with food. You’ve read a lot about Andy and how our lives have changed post Type 2 Diabetes diagnosis, but Andy wasn’t the only one with food issues prior to Spring 2011. Here’s a little bit of my story:

For as long as I can remember I have loved sweet things. From candy to donuts, muffins to ice cream, if you put something sweet in front of me I will eat it. I’ve never smoked. I’ve never done drugs. Sugar is my addiction.

When Andy and I first started dating, I would get home late at night and dig into the freezer for the German chocolate cake ice cream my mom had stashed away. There’s something very special about eating ice cream with a fork (those cake pieces were pretty big) at 2:30 on a Saturday morning.

There was rarely a time when I needed an excuse to indulge in a treat. Usually “I want it” would suffice. Andy would chuckle and call me his little junky.

After Andy was diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes, I started to take a hard look at my own health journey and realized that I may have a slight problem. Little junky indeed. My reliance on all things sweet was beginning to be a crutch. Any day of the week warranted a side trip to the store for some candy. Whether I’d had a good day (Hooray, candy!), or a bad day (Blerg. I need candy.), I was becoming overly familiar with my store’s candy aisle.

Sometimes the candy would be completely gone before I got home. It was only a 5 minute drive, and I’d have no idea where it had gone. Not good.

After a fairly indulgent family vacation week in 2012, I decided to curtail my sugar habit. I didn’t want to rely on any food (much less candy) to provide me with life happiness. So I stopped. Cold turkey. And frankly, it wasn’t as hard as I thought it was going to be. Sure, I still had mild cravings, but the first few weeks were a breeze.

After that, the cravings came back full force. If possible, they might have been even louder. For those who say the cravings go away, well, they lie. For me anyways. My struggle with sugar is still daily battle (you’ll see what I mean later this week). Almonds don’t replace See’s Polar Bear Paws. Cashews and avocados don’t replace Brach’s Bridge Mix.

I did notice, however, that my blood sugar issues drastically diminished. Low blood sugar used to plague me at least once a week. In the first six weeks of “no sugar”, I think I had 2 episodes, and they were much less severe.

Over the last 3 years, my relationship with sugar has had its ups and downs. I haven’t kicked the habit fully but I do have a better understanding of how my  body responds to sugar, and what it means for me when I do indulge.

Coming down the mountain

This week I (Liv) wanted to take a little time to share my own personal relationship/struggle with food. You’ve read a lot about Andy and how our lives have changed post Type 2 Diabetes diagnosis, but Andy wasn’t the only one with food issues prior to Spring 2011. Here’s a little bit of my story:

Did you know that walking downhill is actually harder and more physically taxing on your body than walking up hill? It seems counter intuitive, but it’s true. It’s certainly that way in the dieting world. It’s very easy to eat yourself up that food mountain, but the descent is always a rude awakening—at least it is for me.

The first holiday season after Andy’s Type 2 Diabetes diagnosis was difficult. While we were definitely eating better than the previous year, by the time we hit Andy’s birthday in mid-February, we’d hit full stride up that sugar/carb mountain. At the end of a long birthday weekend—where we essentially ate out every single meal—Andy and I decided that we needed a major food break.

And so began the descent. Our bodies were so overwhelmed with the food we’d been eating that the first couple of days were a relief. We were eating our standard diet of lots of lean protein, veggies, and fruit. It was refreshing! Then our bodies started detoxing. We weren’t detoxing intentionally, but when you stop eating processed food all those toxins eventually start leaching out—and that’s when my cravings hit. The kind of sweet cravings that can’t be satisfied by an apple or some pineapple.

I’ll be straight up, Andy is much better at this food self-control thing than I am. I caved more than once on the journey from his birthday to mine (exactly six weeks later). Most women’s food issues are much more deeply rooted than men’s and I shamefully used that as my excuse. I wanted candy, so I had candy. Not to the extent that I was eating it before, but enough that my climb off the sugar mountain had a lot more hills and valleys than Andy’s. Slowly–finally–my metabolism, blood sugar, and willpower returned to pre-holiday levels.

Lifestyle changes are difficult (no one ever said they were easy), but in those six weeks I found that I didn’t need a “night off” in the kitchen at least once a week. Eating out wasn’t cutting it anymore. Andy’s diagnosis had changed more than him– it changed us, and me.

In his words: Staying motivated

My walking route has stayed pretty much the same since Spring 2011. It’s a beautiful neighborhood with wide streets, hardly any traffic (especially in the early mornings when I start my day), and it’s overall a very safe place for me to walk. The only downside is that it’s expensive, so we don’t live *in* the neighborhood, but it’s a mile from our front door so it’s easy enough to get to.

My routine has evolved a bit since the VERY first time, but it’s generally the same. Which means that on most days I walk past the same houses about every 12 hours.

So after a while, people notice you. And after that, sometimes they wave from their cars or their kitchen windows. After that, they start saying hi, introducing themselves, and even talking to you regularly.

So all of this back story gets us to my point regarding my motivation:

The other day on my after work/before dinner walk, an older couple walked past me, introduced themselves, and mentioned that they see me day in and day out walking past their house and wanted to know what keeps me motivated.

Now as an extrovert who has completely fallen in love with exercising, being healthy, and feeling good, I could probably have talked about the variety of reasons that the residents of the West Slope/Valley View neighborhood see me so much, but the most immediate and easily understandable reason that I gave them was that I used to be very overweight and a Type 2 diabetic and now I am not and I feel better than I ever did before and that I want to stay that way. We chatted for a few minutes and then I headed home.

Here are just a few of the reasons I still walk 3.5 miles twice a day (getting up at 4:15 AM every morning and heading out for a walk right when I get home from work), even when it’s wet or cold or below freezing or I am tired in the morning:

  • I have more energy overall.
  • I am virtually unrecognizable to people who haven’t seen me in over 4 or 5 years. This can be a good things sometimes.
  • I like being small. I’m only 5’8″ and generally weigh in around 155 lbs. Call it whatever you like, but I like being able to wear a size 30 waist in shorts and pants and a size small in shirts and jackets. For the first time in my life, I actually like how clothes look on my body.
  • For the first time in my life, I am actually at peace with my body and like it. Growing up, I was always heavy and had very low self esteem and poor body image. Sometimes I still struggle with it, but each day is easier.
  • I haven’t flown in an airplane in 4 years, but the last time I was on a plane, I fit in the seat more than comfortably and that was great.
  • Sex is better.
  • On the weekends, I like being up very early (before the sun rises) and drinking my coffee and eating breakfast after my walk before Liv gets up for the day.
  • It wakes me up in the morning and gets me set in the right frame of mind for the day and then helps me decompress and relax at the end of the work day. Lots of time to think, problem solve, reconcile the day that I have had, and to pray – which I need to do more than I am currently doing during this time.
  • I love watching the change of seasons each and every morning and each every evening. Especially in the late spring/early summer when the weather is nicer and the days are longer.

But one of the biggest things that really motivates me is something from the very first morning walk that I ever did.

When I first started walking after work I noticed that my blood sugar numbers were coming down, and as they did, my weight started to drop as well. I had been heavy my entire life and had always wanted to lose weight and be thin/athletic/skinny. I also knew from a young age that I would probably be bald at some point. I told myself that I could be bald or I could be fat, but I wouldn’t let myself be both at the same time and that I had little control over being bald. I also figured this was probably the best time to make that change in life. I had exercised and dieted in the past, but as most people often do, I gave up before results ever started to take hold and I didn’t really understand the basic principles of how to make those changes to my life in a long term fashion.

After a few weeks of better and better blood sugar numbers and modest weight loss, I decided that if I was going to get serious about losing weight, I should probably try walking twice a day. And that meant getting up extra early. 5:30 AM to be exact. A time of day that exists for very few people in life. And a time that up until June 22nd, 2011, only existed for me on rare, rare, rare occasions. And usually unwillingly.

Well, I did it. And it changed my life. See, June 22nd, 2011, was the second day of summer that year. And it was GLORIOUS. It was 60 degrees,  the sun was up, the birds were chirping, and it was just delightful. The neighborhood that I walk in is on top of a hill with lots of ups and downs and beautiful views of the valley below. With the sun reflecting off of windows in the distance and the warm (relatively speaking) weather, I was sold. That was it for me. The sun coming up on a warm summer morning is what keeps me going day after day. I get up a little earlier now than I did that first summer, but I go for an extra lap or 2 on summer weekend mornings so that I can watch that sunrise.

Sure, it’s great being skinny and fit, I won’t lie. I love being able to fit in to clothes that would have been snug on me when I was a fat little 12 year old (YES, I own 3 pieces of clothing that are technically from the children’s section, but you’d never know it at first glance).

I love being able to walk past someone who I haven’t seen in a long time and watching them try to guess who I am when I start talking to them. I love feeling better physically than I did for as long as I can remember. I love knowing that I can walk faster than a Target or Fred Meyer store automatic door opening sensor can detect me (true story – yes, I ran in to a door once…). I love the lifestyle change that my wife and I made and the things that those changes have brought.

But those early morning sunrises on my walks in the summertime? That’s what keeps me going day in and day out, even when the weather is nasty. The knowledge that it will be summer again.

Check out this blog post to see how I initially found my walk.

A bit of a backslide

There were times that first year when Andy and I would convince ourselves that we really could eat the way we used to and be just fine. One Saturday in particular, after a long day of excursioning (in and around town), I was tired. The last thing I wanted to do after a full day of errands was make a healthy dinner. As we headed home I had a brilliant idea! Andy had mentioned how he had a hankering for sandwiches, and I thought that would be an awesome dinner idea—if we kept it on the healthier side.

I pitched the idea and he was all in. We stopped at the store to grab some fixins’: a loaf of Dave’s Killer Bread (like I said, we were trying to be healthy), some deli lunch meat, a tomato, and a bag of salt and vinegar Kettle Chips. (Okay, we weren’t trying to be *that* healthy.) We had pickles, cheese, avocado, and mayo at home already.

I’m not going to lie, it was the most amazing dinner I’d had in a long while. It had been so long, I’d almost forgotten what a perfect little package a sandwich is. And the salt and vinegar chips were scrumptious. We both had a sandwich (or two) and polished off the bag of chips in one sitting.

We had done our best to be as healthy as possible. The bread we chose had plenty of fiber, protein, and the smallest number of carbs we could find. The sandwiches were topped with lean protein, just a bit of cheese, and some nice veggies. We’d really gotten into the habit of lots of lean protein and veggies, and we honestly thought we’d be fine.

An hour after dinner we both had a headache.

The next day was even worse. I’ll be the first to admit that I suffer from a bit of the “hangries”. I’ll get into my own personal blood sugar issues at a later point, but they can be pretty awful. Ask Andy. He’ll tell you. Even so, it’s unusual for me to wake up with low blood sugar, eat breakfast and still have low blood sugar, and then eat a snack to see if that will help and still have low blood sugar. And then have lunch. And another snack—all good combinations of fruit, nuts, healthy carbs and lean proteins—and still have low blood sugar. Now, I wasn’t a raging maniac, just low-level cranky, but 8 hours of feeling low-level cranky sucks the fun out of a lazy Sunday.

I couldn’t figure out what was wrong with me until I reminded myself of the delicious dinner I’d had the night before. Chock full of whole grains, and heavily processed white potatoes.

The truth of the matter is, our new lifestyle required sacrifice. But is it really a sacrifice to eat healthier and feel better? Every now and then we still get a hankering for a taste of our old life. We just have to remind ourselves that it’s not worth a headache, the hangries, or the digestive issues (not to mention the temporary, or not, weight gain). At this point I’ll take an apple with some cheese over a sandwich any day. And I know Andy would agree.

Everyone’s got an opinion

If you’ve done any research at all on Type 2 diabetes- based diets and lifestyle changes, you’ve probably noticed that everybody’s got a cure-all. You’ve got high-protein/low-carb, low-protein/high-carb, vegetarian, vegan, whole grains, no grains, all meat, raw, and the list goes on!

After Andy’s diagnosis, I played around with dozens of diets to see if I could find the miracle cure that would get us back to normal. We tried South-Beach (neither one of us is a big fan—no matter how much we ate we always felt hungry). We tried recipes from diabetic cookbooks (I’m not a numbers person, so it was difficult to remember how many carbs we weren’t supposed to be eating). We tried switching entirely to whole grains (it just never felt quite right for us).

We realized that for our situation, no one-size-fits-all diet plan was going to work. We needed to find a combination of foods that worked with our chosen treatment program—one that kept our blood sugar in check, didn’t leave us hungry, and didn’t leave us missing all the food we’d “left behind.” This can mean different things to different people. But for us it meant more veggies and lean protein and less starchy carbs (including grains).

Andy and I were blessed because his diagnosis hit in early spring heading into the peak produce season of the year. We filled our plates with fresh fruits and vegetables. From tomatoes and broccoli to pineapple and watermelon our plates were always colorful. We found that a diet low in carbs (both whole and refined), high in lean protein (we eat a lot of eggs and ground turkey), and high in fruits and vegetables perfectly complemented Andy’s workout routine. Just enough food to energize his day, not too much leaving him dragging and sluggish.

We encourage you to play around—it’s very likely that certain elements of several diets will be your winning combination. And be patient. It will take you a while to determine which foods will and won’t work for your lifestyle.