Summary: April 2014 to Feb 2015

6 Mar

Yes, it’s been a long, long time since I’ve written a post. In fact, I saw the last time I posted something was June 2014!

Today, I’m on top of the world so I said to myself, I must sit down and write something, just for the sake of recording my progress. I read what I wrote on my home page and yes, I have definitely made progress.

First of all, my excuses for the long absence. In May last year, I contracted a really bad bout of gastroenteritis and was down and out literally, for 5 weeks! At the end of the 5 weeks, no doctor was able to tell me what I had! Anyway, all the diarrhea and vomiting resulted in some weight loss so I was really happy. The bad part is, anyone will tell you that if you lose weight that way, you will put it all back again, and more, when you start to eat.

I did. We had visitors come after I got well and so I ate with them. My parents in Singapore got sick and I was down there for a very long time. Everyone wanted to meet up and have a meal – that’s the national pastime in Singapore! So I ate and ate. After all the stress, when I came back, Christmas was approaching and since my diet was so messed up anyway, I reverted back to eating all kinds of crap! Horror of horrors. Needless to say, you can guess which way the scale numbers went. One step forward, two steps back.

New year, new resolutions as always. In January 2015, I got fed-up with how I looked. My blood glucose levels were ok but that was because I took more insulin to control it. Furthermore, none of the aches and pains I had been complaining about for years had gotten any better.

The book which led me to start this blog, Dr Bernstein’s Diabetes Solution, wasn’t my solution to diabetes and did not seem to bring about the results I wanted. It wasn’t so easy for me to put what Dr Bernstein preached into practice. I did end up reducing my daily insulin intake but my Hb1AC wasn’t budging as much as I wanted it to budge.  I low carbed  but making all those low carb replacements (some were down right unappetizing) was just taking up a lot of time.  It takes even more time to cook when the other members of the family aren’t low carbing and you have to prepare another meal for them! I guess I should have just stuck to vegetables. As time went on, I got lazier and lazier at packing out my kitchen equipment to make my noodles, cakes, etc, etc. And all the cleaning afterwards…

Bringing my Hb1AC down to under 6.0 (my goal) seemed to be distant. I did bring it down once to 6.1 but it went up to 6.5 again.

Find a new strategy for 2015? The lucky stars seemed to have been upon me. While in Singapore, I learnt of how Chinese acupressure had helped my mum during her illness. One thing led to another and I decided to find out more about building up my qi, releasing energy blockages and how to cook the TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine) way in order to eat more healthily. On Amazon, I found two books – one containing recipes and Qi Gong called The Dragon’s Way* by Nan Lu (Website) and another called Energy Medicine* by Donna Eden (Website). The Dragon’s Way is actually a diet book but I bought it because of what people said about the Qi Gong exercises and the author’s explanation of the Five Elements. I bought the book on Energy Medicine hoping to help rid my body of a lot of persistent problems.

Armed with these books, I started to incorporate some of the recommended exercises into a daily morning routine – which ended up taking a whole hour of my time each morning. I am a skeptic but nevertheless, I did them diligently and saw some startling changes. I started having hypos and needed to reduce my insulin dosage. I also started to lose some weight but that was mainly because I went vegan.

Then I was introduced to another fantastic book called Healing with Whole Foods* by Paul Pitchford. This turned out to be a real treasure. Pitchford explains western nutrition through the TCM perspective and how these affect your body. An amazing and very educational read. Check it out. I still haven’t finished reading the book yet.

Since Jan 7, I have been doing Qi Gong daily. I also go to Zumba classes twice a week and have cut out meat and dairy by 90%. You could say I’m on a vegan diet but I do sin by taking things like cakes, biscuits and chocolates which do contain butter, refined sugar and milk, when hungry. Of course, all in smaller quantities than I previously took and I look for the ‘healthier variety’. I also drink 1-2 cups of espresso a day. Basically, I try to be as good as I can but I am, by no means, very strict. Other than that, I just try to eat veggies and tofu (I’ll talk about tofu further down) in different ways, some whole grain and take a fruit and vegetable juice with bee pollen almost daily. When possible, I also go out for a walk of between 45min – 1 hr.

To cut a long story short, something good has come out of all this. I went to my endocrinologist yesterday and my Hb1AC has dropped to 5.8! I got such a shock – a good shock of course! 🙂 Whether 5.8 is a diabetic value or not depends on who you ask. Dr Bernstein says most non-diabetics have Hb1ACs of 4.2-4.8. My endocrinologist says diabetics can’t expect to attain such values without compromising on something else. He would consider anything above 5.5 the beginning of being diabetic but he would be very happy with 6.4. The lab reports I’ve done indicated that anything below 6.1/6.2 is in the normal range. Whatever it is, I am happy to have cracked the 6.0 mark!

If I can make this value lower, I’ll be sure to report it here but for now, I am going to continue with what I’ve been doing and make sure I maintain an under 6.0 reading. I don’t feel that it’s as much of a strain as when I was making all those carb replacements or too much work.

This is definitely a reason to celebrate (sensibly)! Have a good weekend!

………

Note about Tofu: I’ve been warned about taking too much soy products and there are many articles being circulated about the dangers of consuming soy. If you’ve read them, the articles claim taking large amounts of soy can lead to breast cancer, thyroid problems, kidney problems, impotence, frigidity, Alzheimer’s – the list goes on. Yes, it’s probably true – the key word is large amounts.

In an effort to come up with alternatives to meat, the American food industry has developed all kinds of soy products mostly made from genetically modified soy crops. I think overdoing any product will be harmful to your body, especially eating stuff which is unnatural. Everything should be consumed in moderation.

If one sticks to tofu, fermented tofu products and soy milk without additives (read the labels. Best is homemade), then soy products have many positive, healthful attributes. The Chinese have eaten tofu for centuries. They should all be suffering from terrible diseases by now. In TCM, soy is cooling and if you take too much, your body will end up being in a state of imbalance causing all kinds of problems. Use food wisely and it won’t harm you.

………

* My thoughts on the above mentioned books

TCM: A Natural Guide to Weight Loss that Lasts – The Dragon’s Way, Wu Ming Meridian Therapy – I found the book easy to read. However, TCM was not covered to the level I was looking for. It was a good starting point for me and gives the beginner a good, albeit shallow insight into TCM. The qi gong exercises were badly described so I wasn’t (and still am) not sure if I am doing them right. More photos could have been included. I didn’t try any of the recipes in the book. I also did not lose ’12 pounds and 8 inches in 6 weeks’ as the book claims one would most likely lose. I did however, gain other benefits like becoming more alert, calmer and enjoyed reading about the Five Elements. The book provided the springboard to the other two books which follow.

Energy Medicine – This book clearly explains what qi energy is all about and how one can remove blockages in the body. I tried some of the techniques and was very surprised that some do work. The gains from doing the others have yet to be noticed.  I haven’t read the book cover to cover yet. Only picked out the stuff I was interested in and am doing the exercises. This and any of Donna Eden’s other books are worth buying.

Healing with Whole Foods – as mentioned above, this is a very comprehensive book which will help you understand the foods you eat and how they affect you. Definitely worth buying.

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