July 26th, 2011 / No Comments » / by Chris
So, I wrote this post some 2 and a half years after finishing my juice feast.
In that time I’ve received a few emails from people asking what happened, did it work? Some of them quite angry that I hadn’t updated the blog.
Well, a few things happened…
After an initial period of stable blood sugar levels, they started to go back up as my diet changed back to a more reasonable, sustainable diet. If I remember rightly, I was back on insulin by late December / early January 2009.
Personal circumstances didn’t help matters either, but I’m not getting into that here
One very positive thing that I did - and this was part of my plan since around November 2008 - was visit a hypnotist in Minneapolis called Devin Hastings, who specializes in stress reduction and diabetes coaching - you can find his website here: http://www.mindbodyhypnosis.com/
I spent 3 days with Devin and he gave me some very effective tools that I could take away with me to reduce stress and allow me to attain a level of calm in future stressful situations.
What did I learn - looking back on the juice feasting experience?
I learned that for me, the juice fast (not feast because I only drank a half of the recommended volume of juice per day, as I couldn’t stand the taste) was unsustainable as a diet - and it was never supposed to be - but as a result, I viewed it as something I couldn’t wait to get off, and eat “normal”, everyday foods.
Within about 2 months, I’d put back on 50lbs, but needed to, as I was unhealthily thin.
If I can give some advice to anyone with diabetes reading this blog, I’d like to stress the importance of sensible eating - something that I’m still working on - and plenty of exercise. Not exactly round breaking advice, but you’d be surprised how many people eat crap and just don’t exercise. Also, very important is testing and finding out what medication is right for you. Take an active role in this and work with your doctor.
For years I struggled and struggled with the idea of taking insulin and just didn’t want to do it. I couldn’t come to terms with the idea that I needed something external in order to help me live. Which is kind of crazy when you think about it, because that’s what food is: something external that you need to live. Manufactured medical Insulin is the same thing, it just helps you process the food you consume and turn it into fuel.
I took metformin and gliclazide for a few years and ended up so tired. My pancreas was being force to spew out whatever insulin it could during the day, I was eating a very restrictive diet in order to keep my sugars low, and was unsurprisingly not very happy, or energetic. For me the metformin / gliclazide combo felt like someone pinning me to the bed in the morning, it was that hard to get up.
Insulin can gave me the boost you need to get up and start exercising. Yes, it takes some trial and error to get your levels right - both dosage and exercise levels, but the end result was increased quality of life.
For anyone with diabetes, whether you’ve had it for a while, or you’ve just been diagnosed, educate yourself.
There’s plenty of material on the web about it - try to keep to the more reputable sources, as there’s plenty of people that want to make money from people with diabetes. Actively seek knowledge and view it as something you can tackle and cope with, rather than something that’s happened to you.
I view my 92 day juice fast as a success. After all, I did it. When I think about it now, I have no idea how I did it, but while I was doing it, there was no doubt in my mind that I was going to go all the way. I didn’t get the result that I wanted at the end - to be released from diabetes, or no longer have diabetes, or cured of diabetes - however you want to phrase it, but it’s an experience that I will never forget, and one that I have learned from immensely.
So, in closing, If you’re still reading this, you probably either have, or know someone with diabetes.
Good luck to you on your journey. Be strong, make yourself and others happy, and actively look after yourself.
All the best,
December 8th, 2008 / 5 Comments » / by Chris
Well my sugars headed uphill a little this morning, but they’re still OK. But I think I’m on the brink of a cold too. It’s like my body is saying “Right… so now you’re looking like you’ve got enough energy to support a cold, I think what you really need is… a cold!”. Imaginative eh!? and bloody typical.
My sugars this morning were 7.9 - no just kidding, they were 4.7, a few points up from the previous 4.1s and 4.2s, and to be honest my heart sank a little when I saw the reading, but, having thought about it since (not all day honest) it’s still a good reading really, considering it accounts for 5 days in a row of prunes and fruits for breakfast and as a ingredients in the salads I’ve been having. - I’ve kept prunes in the salads to, shall we say, alleviate any issue my bowels might have with digestion. And it’s worked.
So, although it’s a little higher, and maybe gives me pause for thought, I’m not, and shouldn’t be overly concerned.
Today was a good day in terms of food though, a landmark really. Around lunchtime I finished off fixing the door frames in the basement and garage and we headed to Jamocha’s (now called “the Market”) for our lunch. I had veggie chilli, and it was lovely. But the key thing here, is that it was the first full, hot meal, that I’ve had in over 3 months! So you can imagine how much I enjoyed it. It was followed by a coffee with a nip of Carolans (an Irish liqueur, kind of like Baileys).
Back at home, we both took care of business for a while, and my wife started preparing the Vegan feast.
Man oh man was it ever good!
Curried potatoes, a nice Thai coconut broccoli and bok choy curry dish and a lovely quinoa and roasted peppers dish. I may have got some of those dishes wrong by the way, but my wife got them spot on. We had a nice glass of wine (or two) with it as well and finished the meal off with a lovely dessert invested by my wife, a kind of nut based, tofu topped raspberry cheesecake.
I don’t think I’m doing it any justice in the description, but it was fantastic. And I think I did a pretty god job of chewing everything I ate tonight too
Well we’re off for a break tomorrow for a few days. A little getaway for some together time and some Christmas shopping no doubt, so the blog entries will probably calm down a little - certainly after the #100 mark I would imagine, but keep checking back as I want to keep everyone informed as to how this whole adventure turns out.
So, for tonight though, let me bid you all
December 8th, 2008 / No Comments » / by Chris
I didn’t sleep last night to say the least.
I got woken up by our next door neighours who are renting for the ski season and were partying last night. As a result I was up at around 03:45, and that was me for the evening. I went downstairs, had a cup of peppermint teat and did a little work on a future podcast I’m working on.
My sugars this morning, before I forget, were 4.2
I was fully planing on getting a little computer stuff worked on, and then heading back to bed around 6 or 7 in the morning for a couple of hours to catch up with the rest of my sleep, but it wasn’t to be.
Before I went back to bed, the phone rang at around 07:30. It was search and rescue. We had a call out, and it wasn’t a drill, repeat “this is not a drill”. I won’t go into any details as I’m unsure of the legal implications of data protection and all that, but my wife packed some fruit in a bowl for me and I got off to Sparwood pretty fast to meet up with the rest of the team there. I was unsure exactly of how I was going to be able to contribute, after all I’ve only been to a few practices, but when I got there, a few of the guys and girls were really helpful, and also told me that every roll on a SAR team was equally as valid to the success of the operation.
As it turned out, I did a little work at the command base, answering the radio and noting team updates, and then went out on an assignment with one of the more experienced members of the team, and later on even got to interview someone who had seen the missing party, and we got some new information. Like I say I can’t go into details for legal reasons, which is probably frustrating, be hey, what can you do. The long and the short of it was however, that the missing people were found late this morning and there were no fatalities.
I made my way home after we had lunch and were de-briefed and had a lovely salad with my wife and son. The first time we’ve all sat down and eaten with knives and forks and plates together in 3 months! I enjoyed it. We all did.
After that I headed to bed for a kip and slept like a baby for a couple of hours. When I woke up I hadn’t even moved position - I was knackered.
My son decorated our Christmas tree tonight to his traditional Christmas tree decoration music, which is “Any way you want it” by Journey. I was playing it one year in our old house as we decorated the tree, and it’s kind of stuck since then, which is nice.
We also finished off watching “American gangster” tonight - what a good film. It was accompanied by a few nice sips of whisky and a lovely little nutty dessert my wife whipped up, with a little honey and tahini mixed in there. Nice.
So, an interesting day, and good experience for me on a SAR team. And even though, I slept this afternoon, I think I’ve still got a good enough sleep deficit in the bank to be able to sleep tonight pretty well.
December 6th, 2008 / No Comments » / by Chris
Shh, don’t tell anyone…
My sugars this morning? 4.1
Today was a fantastic day. I was seven different kinds of bad in terms of being kind to my digestive system, but hey, a guy needs a break right, and I wasn’t that bad….
We went out into the bush with some friends for a “hike” and took along some salad and green juice, and also some “tofu dogs” - they’re shih tzus but tastier and less yappy, mulled wine and a hip flask of whisky.
Our friends took along actual meat smokies, and some coffee with baileys. Once we’d found a nice spot on our hike, we made a fire and got to business, what a great time! I had a lovely salad, and also, the “tofu dogs” - that’s actually what they’re called I swear, tasted phenomenal after being cooked over the raw flames of the fire - man they were good.
I had a few nips of whisky during the day, a lovely taste of the baileys coffee, and the mulled wine was great. It felt good to be alive! Now you might think - whoa Chris! you’ve gone a bit over board there haven’t you mate, that’smoving way too fast, and I think you’re probably right, but everything was in moderation, and we all shared, plus there’s no way I could drink too much, even the smell of most of it was enough to make me slightly giddy.
After getting back, my wife actually had juice for tea / dinner / supper and I had another salad - talk about role reversal, and then we watched the first 2 thirds of American Gangster. It’s unravelling as an excellent film, and the only reason we didn’t watch it all is so we could get a semi early night and get some DIY done tomorrow.
So, I’ll wrap this up for now, at the end of a fantastic Canadian outdoors winter day with friends.
December 6th, 2008 / No Comments » / by Chris
I slept really well last night! Only got up to pee once. makes a hell of a difference not drinking so much cold green juice I guess.
My sugars this morning were 4.1
I went down to the hospital to get my blood checked yet again, this time to check the potassium level, not iron or blood sugars.
All the different tests I’ve referred to in this blog should give you an idea that if you are thinking of embarking on a juice feast, please do it with the blessing and supervision of your doctor. I’m been pretty lucky since moving to Fernie as I have two good doctors that I get on with, who are open (somewhat) to what I’m doing, and supportive.
My previous experience with doctors in England was not good. I was registered at a Doctor’s clinic and you couldn’t guarantee who you were going to see on any given appointment, and when you did…well one doc mis-diagnosed my diabetes and told me to go to the sex clinic, when I went to him with my symptoms (peeing all night, tired, hungry all the time and losing weight). He cost me several months of undiagnosed diabetes. Another doc wouldn’t even make eye contact with me, and yet another was just Johnny Negative. You’d come out of his office feeling so down it was crazy.
Here in Fernie? Two good understanding doctors, and I can’t fault them. I’m truly grateful believe me, knowing what the alternative can be.
I met up with a friend for a cup of tea at lunch time and while I was there got a call from my doctor - the potassium level was normal. Nice.
We’re going to keep an eye on it and get it checked again in a few weeks just to make sure, but we discussed the supplements and I told him I’d knocked the Super B Complex and Bee Pollen granules on the head, as I thought that’s what had done it. Turns out I was right. Good stuff.
I enjoyed each and every bowl of fruit that I ate today - absolutely loved them. I’m moving onto salads tomorrow, but will be having the fruit bowl for breakfast I think, and I’ll make enough green juice for between meals filler.
On that note, I’ll bid you good night.
December 5th, 2008 / No Comments » / by Chris
My sugar this morning was 4.2 again - nice.
I had fruit for breakfast this morning, and man was it nice! I had a bowl of the following:
Strawberries, Raspberries, blueberries, kiwi fruit, tomato and prunes: a lovely bowl of fruit.
Check it out - here’s a picture I took of it on our snowy deck:
It was nice to chew again too, my jaw just seemed to remember what to do
I had a little juice before lunch, and then had another bowl of fruit - fantastic, and I wasn’t even really that hungry before lunch either - something that I’m completely not used to. Hunger has been a pretty normal state of affairs for me over the last 3 months - more so the first 2 months of the juice feast than the last month, but I think I’m just going to be absolutely ravenous for a while, enjoying all these long forgotten, newly appreciated flavours and textures.
As part of my gift from my wife for completing the juice feast, she got me a treatment with an NLP practitioner, and I went to see her this afternoon, which was really cool. It was a good session and was helpful.
I had to whizz back home after my appointment and quickly make up my fruit dish to go, to take with me to Search and Rescue practice in Sparwood. We watched a video on the dangers of avalanches, which was very moving, a group of 5 guys skiing in Montana who triggered an avalanche. One of whom died as a result, another lost a leg at the knee. Then there was more map and compass work.
Back at home in the evening, a friend of mine was ’round seeing my wife for a homepathice remedy, so it was nice to see him, and have a chat for a while.
I not long ago checked my sugar and it was 5.2, so I’m happy with that, we’ll see what it is tomorrow.
I almost forgot! I actually had the energy to run to the postbox today. It’s not far away, just down the street, but I didn’t even feel like I was running underwater or anything, it felt good. I was seriously out of breath when I got back home, but it still felt good!
OK, that’s enough form me, I’m going to head up the wooden hill to bodkinsville, and get some rest for tomorrow - got a blood test to take - let’s hope my potassium levels have calmed down eh.
December 3rd, 2008 / No Comments » / by Chris
My sugars this morning were 4.2
More prunes for breakfast and lunch too today, I really enjoyed them for both meals.
I checked with my Doctor for my HbA1c results today and it came back with as 6.3 which he said was normal. That’s the lowest it’s been since late 2002. There was a bit of concerning news however regarding my sodium and potassium levels.
My sodium level is a little low, but my potassium level is a little high, and that’s the one concerning my doctor. Apparently too high a potassium level can lead to cardiac arrest, so I’ve got to go for a test on Friday morning to see if it’s gone up any more, and if it has then he’s going to prescribe some kind of drug to get it lowered. So we’ll see on Friday I guess.
In the meantime, I’ve had a look at some of the supplements I’m taking and the bee pollen granules are high in potassium apparently, and the super B complex which I’ve also been taking has potassium in there, as well as bee pollen, so I’m going to cut those two out of my regimen. Whether that will make a difference or not by Friday, I’m not sure.
My wife and I went to the cinema tonight to watch Mongol, a film that the local arts council has brought to town and rented a screen at the cinema to show. It’s basically about the young Genghis Khan and how he came to be one of the most powerful, successful warriors / empire builders in history and is a damn good story. Really beautifully filmed too. If you get a chance, go and see it.
After the movie we nipped down to Extra Foods to get some celery, and some fruit for tomorrow -that’s right it’s a fruit day tomorrow - plus some of the prunes too (which are also apparently high in potassium). To add to the list of things that are a “good source” of potassium as well, we have cucumbers and celery - two of my staples for the juice feast, so it looks like it could just be the perfect storm of supplements and diet that have lead to the elevated level of potassium in my blood.
I think it’ll sort itself out when I come off the diet, but my doctor seems worried. I guess Friday is crunch day.
I checked my sugars when we got back and they were 5.7 which is still in the post prandial (after meal) normal range.
So, I’m off to bed in a minute, ready for my fruity breakfast tomorrow. I’m pretty sure my body doesn’t have a bloody clue what the hell is going on, with all this prune juice, and prunes and now the fruits tomorrow, it’s kind of having to wake up and get out of the hospital bed, shake itself off and get back in the race, so I think a few anomalies are to be expected.
With that, I’ll bid you goodnight.