In Which We Talk About Eating Whole Foods
Considering the facts and the little face in front of me.
By Kathryn Foss
Editor's Note: While this columnist is no longer writing for dLife.com and we have ceased to update the information contained herein, there is much to be read here that is still applicable to the lives of people with diabetes. If you wish to act on anything you learn here, be sure to consult your doctor first. Please enjoy the column!
August 2010 — No, I am not talking about the famous grocery store, also known in some circles as "Whole Paycheck." When I say "eating whole foods," I'm talking about foods that are as close to natural as the good Lord intended them to be. You know, fruits, vegetables, whole grains, all the things I should be eating, but for some reason, seem to be the hardest to get in.
Since I had my little girl about a year ago, I have been thinking more about food and better food choices. My thought is, "If I wouldn't feed it to my little girl, should I be eating it?" (Warning: this kind of question can be very dangerous because this kind of question always has a really obvious answer.) With the exception of things like alcohol and blowfish, the answer is always NO! No, I shouldn't be eating it if I wouldn't give it to my little girl!
Unfortunately, the obvious often eludes me. I am a creature of cravings, and being a creature of cravings and being a diabetic with no self-control do not go hand in hand. If you are a faithful follower of this column, you are well aware by now that I have some rebellious tendencies, but I've made a lot of effort to turn over a new leaf here in 2010. Part of my overhaul has been to start eating whole foods--the things I would feed my girl.
To be honest, the hardest thing for me to eliminate has been sucralose--yes, good old Splenda. Splenda has been touted as a miracle for diabetics, something akin to penicillin, and so naturally, once I was diagnosed, I embraced Sir Sucralose whole-heartedly, from sodas, to my coffee, to candy, to baking. I heard the whispers of the naysayers, but chose to ignore them. I continued to use it. I even used it through my pregnancy. However, once my girl started eating and drinking stuff other than breast milk, I got a stern warning from her pediatrician that she could not have anything with artificial sweeteners. That gave me pause, and it was then that I decided to go down the rabbit hole of Splenda research. I was always under the assumption that there was nothing wrong with it; after all it is made from SUGAR, right? Well, kind of. It's actually the chlorination of sugar, which makes it sound pretty scary.
So I made a whole food shift and started using Stevia. It's more natural and achingly sweet, but after a few weeks of using it I got used to it and had effectively stopped using Splenda. I'm certainly not on an anti-Splenda crusade here. I love the stuff and would still be using it had my doctor not made me feel like I would be poisoning my daughter by giving it to her!
Eating whole foods is just a small part of trying to be a healthier me and laying a good foundation for how my daughter relates to food. It's just one more tiny step I'm making in the right direction towards what I see as acceptable diabetic behavior. Tiny steps seem to be working for me. Tackling bad behavior and habits is not for the faint of heart, but I'm getting there, one day at a time.
dLife's Viewpoints columnists are not all medical experts, but everyday people living with diabetes and sharing their personal experiences, most often at a set point in time. While their method of diabetes management may work for them, everyone is different. Please consult with your diabetes care team before acting on anything you read here to find out what will work best for you.
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