Gluten Free and Diabetes – A Day in the Life
(meal plans vary depending on the individual’s nutritional requirements)
8:00 am: You wake up and test your “fasting” blood glucose
Today, it reads 105 mg/dL (excellent reading!)
8:30 am: You prepare and consume your breakfast of 30 grams of carbohydrates and 2 ounces of protein and maybe 1 fat serving such as: 1 Udi’s gluten-free English Muffin with 1 egg, low-fat cheese and a slice of tomato or ½ cupcooked Bob’s Red Mill gluten free Steel Cut Oats made with unsweetened vanilla almond milk, chopped walnuts and cinnamon and a poached egg.
Medication must be taken as directed. Some pills need to be taken before a meal, others during or after a meal.
10:30 am: Test your blood glucose to see how your breakfast choice and medication regimen affects YOUR body. Does your glucose remain the same? Drop? Or rise less or more than 50 points? If it drops then perhaps you are taking too much medication or you need to eat more carbohydrates. You never want to eat to feed your medication. If you need to gain weight you can eat more. If you are trying to lose weight then speak with your doctor about possibly lowering your medication if the numbers drop consistently around this time of day.
12:00 noon Time for lunch! Test your blood sugar. How has the medication and your morning routine affected your blood glucose? Prepare and consume 30 grams of carbohydrates and 3 ounces of protein and 1 fat serving ** such as a large salad with ½ cup garbanzo beans and 3 -4 ounces of protein (fish, poultry, meat, eggs, tofu). Have an apple on the side of cut up into the salad. Use 2 tablespoons of Annie’s lite Honey Mustard gluten free dressing.
2:00 pm Test your blood sugar. How did lunch affect you, along with your medication regimen and your daily routine?
IT’S TIME TO EXERCISE!! With your doctor’s approval, try a mix of cardiovascular exercise such as the treadmill, riding a bicycle, walking or running, aerobics AND strength training such as lifting weights and toning and endurance exercises like Pilates or Yoga.
3:00 pm Exercise is over and now you want to see how many points your blood sugar changed from exercising. Did it drop? OK, exercise can lower your blood sugar because you are using energy to get you through the exercise. Remember, sugar IS energy. The more energy you expend the lower your sugar should drop. Did your blood sugar remain the same? Some people maintain their blood glucose for various reasons: the liver stores sugar and sends it into the bloodstream as needed (and sometimes it sends more than is needed). If your blood sugar starts to drop, the liver will protect you and try to help balance the sugar level. HOWEVER, for some, the blood sugar rises! In this case, if your blood sugar is dropping too dramatically because you have expended a lot of energy in your particular exercise and/or your medication is still working or even peaking during exercise, your liver will overcompensate and send out too much sugar into the bloodstream which results in higher glucose.
BE CAREFUL not to exercise when your medication is peaking (working it’s hardest).
3:30 pm Snack
Since you need to eat every 3-4 hours to maintain the most level blood glucose your snack can be a combination of carbohydrate and protein or fat for best results. Try a non-fat, plain Chobani Greek yogurt with chopped nuts or 10-15 gluten-free corn tortilla chips and guacamole.
6:00 pm Time for dinner. Check your blood glucose at this point. You may need to take more medication if that was advised by your doctor. Choose 45 grams of carbohydrates, 6 ounces of protein and 3 fat servings such as 6 ounces wild salmon, grilled with garlic and lime juice, 1 medium sweet potato, 1 cup of cooked broccoli and ½ cup beets (colors offer a variety of nutrients!)
8:00 pm Check your blood sugar to see how your dinner choice and medication regimen affects you.
9:00 pm Snack (optional)
Have a healthy snack such as a fruit and nuts or low-fat cheese and rice cakes or Crunchmaster gluten free crackers.
11:00 pm It’s time for bed! Check your blood sugar one last time for the day. This will enable you to see the difference in glucose readings at bed vs. first thing in the morning (fasting).
Will all of this information you will assist your team of diabetes experts in making the best recommendations for you and to fine-tune your disease. Remember, everyone’s body works differently so you are unique and must be treated as an individual. When you get to know how your body is affected by the diabetes and your lifestyle and daily routine, you won’t need to test as often. To control your diabetes you need to exercise, eat right, take the appropriate medication regimen (if medication is needed at all), monitor your blood sugar, stay on top of your HbA1c number (3-month blood sugar average percentage), visit your diabetes team and always remember that
YOU are the most important part of your diabetes care team.