In the week between Christmas and New Year’s, you evaluated your diabetic health and practices over the past year, and you wrote out your Goals/Objectives (“What do you want to accomplish (and by when)?”) and Strategies (“What do you plan to do in order to accomplish that?”). If you wanted to track your progress, you may have also recorded your starting numbers, such as your most recent A1C (with date), your average or typical fasting blood glucose (in mg/dL or mmol/l), your weight and body measurements (if one of your goals is to lose or gain weight), and any other health issues you may have along with medicines that you are taking. Or you may have preferred to just start with a blank book. But you need to have a journal, whether paper or digital.
Based on your personal Goals/Objectives and Strategies, by the end of January, you should have established four habits that you will continue for as long as you have diabetes (which is for the rest of your life or until Jesus comes, whichever comes first!).
- Find and practice the best way for you to stick your fingers to test for blood glucose.
- Test every day (1-3 times).
- Keep a record (digital or paper) of your blood glucose numbers, with time of day. Most meters have computer and/or phone apps that you can use to record blood glucose.
- You should continue to do this until you have reversed your fasting blood glucose to normal levels (70-99 mg/dL or 3.8-5.6 mmol/l) and A1C to normal levels (4.0-5.6%).
- Drink the optimum amount of water for YOU daily (in ounces or millilters).
- Record total amount in your blood glucose journal.
- You should continue this practice indefinitely.
- Eat 3-5 non-starchy vegetables every day. (You did not journal this in January, but you will in February!)
- Spend 30 minutes daily in a physical activity customized for YOU.
During this month of February, we’re going to focus on the fifth Law of Health: Temperance (while continuing to practice the four habits established in January). “Temperance” (from the word “abstemiousness”) for a diabetic is abstaining from any foods, beverages, or practices that will harm your body and make your diabetes worse. For diabetics, the most important thing to abstain from is sugar. Sugar in all its forms! (More details in the pages about Sugar & Sweeteners.) You may have recognized that, during the week we focused on water, the purpose was twofold: first, to drink enough water to stay hydrated; and, second, to replace sugary beverages (sodas (diet and regular), fruit juices/drinks, coffee drinks, etc.) with pure water!
During the week that the focus was on non-starchy green vegetables, the underlying purpose was to replace processed foods, especially highly refined carbohydrate foods and trans fats, with “every green plant” in its whole food form. Did it work for you?
During the week that we focused on exercise, the purpose was simply to move your body in the way it is intended to be moved. Every day! It was to replace inactivity, which is a harmful practice for diabetics.
Now the time has come to journal your food. The first task at hand is to begin, from this day forward (if you haven’t been doing it already), to keep a detailed food journal. You can write in your paper journal, create a document or spreadsheet, or use a computer or phone app, like MyFitnessPal or something similar. For every meal or snack, planned or unplanned, you will enter (1) the food, (2) the amount of one serving (and how many servings you ate), and (3) the grams of carbohydrates. If you’re using an app, you can also choose to enter (4) calories, and (5) the other macronutrients: fat, fiber, and protein. MyFitnessPal will then calculate the totals for each column for each eating time, and will calculate the daily total. You can also enter the amount of water you drink and the type and amount of your daily exercise. Please be proactive in researching what food journaling apps are available and decide what would work best for you.
Below is a video tutorial and an article that may be of help to you in getting started with MyFitnessPal.
Introduction to MyFitnessPal
ESSENTIAL GUIDE TO MYFITNESSPAL