Tuesday, September 30, 2014

It's been a while since I last posted.  The weight loss continues.. now at 42#.  Am experiencing some tiredness.. to the tune of 4 naps or 'lay downs' a day.  Not a good thing.  My appt with the PCP is this week- on Thursday.  I had blood work done today in anticipation of my supplements making a dramatic difference.   I'm still taking Morrs .. likely the rest of my life.
I've got some "other" symptoms now.  Can I ever stop this craziness?  Not just tiredness, but for 2 weeks or so, a feeling of nausea- every day all day.  A feeling of 'fullness' even before I eat.  Odd.
I'll catch up here when my labs come back.

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Discharged from the hospital

I should have called this post 'saved by the bell'  or something like that.
Wednesday I got my discharge!  The neurologist says perhaps I'd had a mini stroke, that he hadn't seen any new pathology since the previous strokes.  The opthamologist said likely an atypical migraine unrelated to the dizziness.  My PCP agrees mostly with the fact that the dizziness likely isn't related, but wants me to be on statins and see her in 2 weeks to discuss rapid weight loss.
Yesterday I saw my nutritionist.  I'm calmer now. 
She had to do some reminding of discussions we had when I first started this nutrition program.
1. She treats 1 or 2 of the most critical issues first, and then when they resolve, be ready for another issue to arise.  My #2 issue was blood sugar and controlling diabetes.  This would be resolved through supplements and diet changes until my A1c came into a normal range.
2. Don't be afraid and don't give up just because another strange problem occurs.  I have many health issues and they don't all show up at the same time.  Stick with the program and she will guide me through the next phase of new issues.
3. Remember that some medications mask the problem but don't solve it- like putting a bandaid on a leaky pipe.
4. My problems didn't happen over night and won't resolve over night.  Patience.

So a 6.0 A1c is really good.  I've lost 32# to date.  I was becoming more and more tired though I was following the program as best I could.  I had bloodwork done at the hospital and my cholesterol went from 160 to 240 and triglycerides went from 200 to 311.
Using statins might lower the cholesterol, but won't affect the triglycerides.  I've been so careful- why are these tests so out of control?
It is genetic.  It has to do with the MTHFR gene that is abnormal in my genetic picture.  yes, I had genetic studies done when I had my last stroke.  The answer was B vitamins- all of them, but particularly folate.
The nutritionist mentioned this to me and jogged my memory back a few years to when I did actually have the testing done.
She suggested that I try a supplement made for people like me with this aberration.
So I'm on the supplement Thursday and today so far.  I suddenly realized I was feeling peppier.. and bouncing from one task to another.  YAY!
She suggested I need to try a 'cleanse'.. but not yet.  She feels I'm too weak for it yet- but soon.
So doing the CRA , she has determined that I am mineral deficient along with vitamins.
This is my favorite part.  My new suggestion for increasing minerals in my system: celery, spinach, baked potatoes in the jacket with lots of real butter, and peaches.  Well, I love all these things.. no problem.
As for losing weight too fast... no, I don't think so.  And I don't exercise much except in the Z's pool.
Dr Agnes thinks my dizziness comes from the mineral deficiency and I think she might be on to something- she hasn't let me down yet.. she is one smart cookie.

Friday, June 20, 2014

There will be bumps in the road...

Some bumps are bigger than others.  This bump was frustrating, but nothing that should not have been expected in hindsight.
I've been experiencing light-headedness and sometimes downright dizziness over the past month.  I mentioned it to a number of folks including doctors.. but opinions varied.
In May, I saw the cardiologist and he said the RBBB (right bundle branch block) was nothing more than a nuisance and not to be concerned about it.  That's a relief.  It came from a pulmonary embolus I had when I was pregnant.. yes, that many years ago.  He felt that I had a worse problem- pulmonary hypertension- and decided I need to be on a diuretic (Lasix) and wrote a script for 40mg daily.  I told him I wouldn't know if I lost weight due to fluid or body fat because I'd been losing a few pounds every other day or so.  He had me call in my weight in 4 days- 2# loss- I felt it was fat, not fluid.. and he thought I should take the med anyway twice a week.  I've taken 1 since that day.  He also told me things would go better if I would try to lose a few pounds.. like about 75 of them.  I laughed, as I intended to lose more than that.  On my next visit in September, I should be well on my way to that 75# mark.

Fast forward now to this past week.  I was slowing down, more tired, less energy.  As I stood outside on the back deck, I noticed something weird about my vision..  Like when you watch TV and they blot or blur out a person's face.  It was only in the right eye and not all the vision was affected.  It alarmed me since I've had 2 strokes already, and that day the dizziness was more pronounced where I was walking very slowly and hanging on to furniture and walls so I wouldn't fall.  I wondered if I should call the opthamologist or my PCP.. and opted for the latter.  "Find someone to take you to the ER and be evaluated.. the doctor is on call today and she can see you there too".
So I went and I walked in carefully.  They put me in a wheelchair immediately when I said I was there because of dizziness and eye disturbance.  
I was whisked away pretty quickly to the triage area where they asked me a few questions and then did an EKG on the spot before I was taken to have a CT of the head.  I warned the tech that I knew about the RBBB and had seen my cardiologist recently about it.. but he jumped up and said he'd be back, he wanted the doctor to see the strip.
In #10 room in the ER.. waiting.  IV started and lots of blood taken for workup.  I actually felt kind of guilty taking up a bed when other people had much worse problems than I.
ER doctor came in and did his exam.. more like a sobriety test than anything I can describe.  "walk on your toes, put one foot in front of the other, do you use alcohol?"  What?
I guess he had to ask.. I was a little unsteady on my feet.
Next thing I know, they are going to admit me for observation.  WHAT?  I hadn't seen that coming.
I hadn't eaten since 10am that day and it was after supper hours.. they offered me a sandwich.. I declined knowing I can't do the bread.. ugh.  I was very hungry.. and yes, I'm diabetic too.  Hello?
JJ got me cottage cheese. .. it was soooooo good.  Thank you JJ.
That night I just couldn't make anyone understand that I eat 6 small meals per day, am diabetic, under the care of a nutritionist and had so little to eat, I felt weak and needed a glass of water.
The water was chlorinated-really foul smelling stuff.  I could barely drink it.  I had no pitcher.. just a glass with ice and water that they gave me 8oz per shift.  
Next morning I found out that I was scheduled for an MRI/MRA .. and the opthamologist had to see me, and then I could likely go home.
Things seem to run together here time-wise.  I did see my PCP and she said my cholesterol was up to 240 and my triglycerides were up to 311.  "we need to talk about statins".. Oh, no... not again.
The neurologist came in and he said we'd talk later after I had the MRI.. and did his exam.. 
I was scheduled as an outpatient already on Thursday at the Heart Center for an echocardiogram, and the docs decided to do them while I was there in the hospital and added the carotid doppler too.
The report of my A1c wasn't back yet, but she was happy to report my blood sugar at 103 .. non fasting.
YAY!  She was impressed with my weight loss .. in that short a time.
I told her I was seeing a nutritionist and doing very well.
I regulate my diet with the clock.  I eat within 1 hour of awakening and go from there every 3 hours all day having a small amount of protein and carb to keep the blood sugar stable.  I always check BS in the morning right after I wake up and do a spot check most afternoons before 3pm snack time.  Bedtime snack was about 11pm.. not the 9pm that I needed.  "You can have saltless crackers, ice cream, sherbet, cookies..."  AAAAACCCKKK!  Wait! something is crazy here.. so I asked for an apple or piece of fresh fruit with peanut butter.. they didn't have that.. but.. but.. I'm diabetic and need a nutritional snack.. "sorry."

Tuesday morning I asked for REAL coffee, as I found a cup of decaf on my tray.  "NO.. you are on a healthy heart diet and we can't give you any".  But I need some coffee... "sorry- I can give you 2 cups of decaf"... No, don't bother.. I use coffeemate or 1/2 & 1/2 in my coffee.. but here I was given a tiny little container of I suppose whitener is the best description.. and I drank it because I was thirsty and the chlorine flavor was masked.  JJ shared a bit of her cup later that day.. angel to the rescue!
Now, breakfast Tues morning came at 8am.  I'm not being hypercritical, but I'd been awake most of the night and needed something to ease my belly that was hungry.  I was tired and hungry and just wanted to go home and make a nice cup of coffee in my Keurig. 
They gave me oatmeal.  2 packs of real sugar and a cup of watered down lactaid.  WAIT!  I can deal with oatmeal, but this oatmeal was more like soupy wallpaper paste because they used nothing to season it before it arrived.  SUGAR?   Wait!  I'm diabetic and I don't use white sugar...
Eggs and homefries... I know not to ever order scrambled eggs anywhere because they always end up powdered eggs which are gaggy.  There is one thing worse than this and that is no salt for the eggs.. just plain watery "scrambled eggs".  They gave me pepper.. yay!  but salt substitute doesn't make it.
I was sent to MRI for testing and while I was gone, the opthamologist had been there but couldn't wait around.. he said he'd see me in the next morning.. WHAT?  WAIT!  Another night here??
No wonder my BP was elevated.  (systolic hit the 150s.. diastolic was 4-50 range)  I had had a horrific night with little sleep , certainly not good sleep.  My roommate had an amputated leg and cried most of the night.  I felt so sorry for her and wanted to help her,but the nurses came in often and moved her about and tried to ease her pain.  I do want to say, I had a really great bunch of nurses who cared for me as well.  I was using an O2 nasal cannula to sleep- I use a CPAP and can't really go without it.. and of course, not expecting to stay over .. It was at home.
Dietary came by to see what they could serve me for lunch.. I requested a LARGE grilled chicken salad with Italian dressing.. "how about some brussel sprouts?"  OH, YES!  I love those.. and some cottage cheese with pineapple?   YES YES!  "would you like a fresh fruit cup ?"  OH.. finally .. yes!
And .. tomato soup?  why , yes!  I'm very hungry.
I got a very tasty grilled chicken salad.. about a cup worth.  Brussel sprouts were boiled and looked great- about 8 of them- but no seasoning at all.. there was that packet of Nu-Salt substitute.. no!  I put a  bit of my salad dressing on them and ate them all.  The cottage cheese I'd envisioned ended up approximately 1 Tablespoon with something yellow garnishing the top.. and though the fruit cup was delicious, 4 small pieces of fresh melon and pineapple didn't make it.. I eat more fruit at my snack time than this.  After 2-3 bites of the tomato soup, I realized this was likely a joke- it tasted nothing like real tomato.. more like watered down thin juice with corn starch to thicken it.  Never in my life have I had soup like this.. no seasoning at all.  and there were saltless saltines- 2 of them.. I'm gluten free.
That night I ordered chicken marsala , beets, and scandinavian blend veggies (I told the girl I would eat a lot of veggies), tossed salad, and fruit cup.
the chicken was good- thin flavorless sauce with 2 tiny slices of mushroom.  The beets ended up Harvard beets loaded with sugar.  I ate them anyway.  The scandinavian blend veggies ended up about 1c of the stickiest, gelatinous rice I have ever seen.  The rice kernels were as big as corn kernels.
The peaches were delicious as was the mini green salad.
Time for snack- you know.. 11pm?  I asked for an apple with peanut butter.  she gave me 2 packs of peanut butter and an apology for not having any apples.  I smeared the peanut butter on the saltless saltines and ate it.  Awful.  I had a belly ache for hours after- okay it was my own fault- I've been gluten free for several months and this is what happens when you try to go back.  I dared not tell anyone about the bellyache or I'd end up with Mylanta or some acid reducer which would add insult to injury.
That evening I asked the dietary lady for just a banana and peanut butter for breakfast.  'Well, that's not very nourishing and not enough food for breakfast.  I'll send you juice and 2 bananas".. I didn't argue.  I ended up bringing the banana home.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

I'm not just losing, I'm WINNING!

WOW!  It's hard to believe that at the end of March 2014, I was such a wreck physically and even emotionally.  So much bad news about my health- blood sugars elevated, diabetes out of control, tired, fatigued, 20# weight gain in the past 12 months.. yeah.. lots to be a wreck over.
Today I got on my scales- have lost 26# and have more energy than I have had since I was in my early 20s.  It never ceases to amaze me how this is happening.
My nutritionist, Dr Agnes, has instructed me on so many things that are just plain against everything I ever learned or taught my patients  while in nursing school and beyond.  Against everything I'd read about weight loss... but I listened and did as instructed.  I had nothing more to lose..except perhaps my life.
Who would have thought that to lose fat, one needs to eat more fat?  Not just ANY fat, but the good ones: butter- REAL butter, avocados, coconut oil and cream.. olive oil and olives, and nuts- all high calorie foods that burn the fat off the body.  I stopped buying "I can't believe it's not butter".. no more unhealthy foods.
My eating has changed and I'm happy with the results.  Even hubby is altering his eating habits- really a good example of watching someone eat a colorful meal vs a bland white one with a colorless hunk of meat.  He bit and is making changes as well.
I have been encouraging him to visit Dr Agnes, as I know she can get him eating the things he needs to recoup some semblance of health.  So far, he's bucking it, but one day....
More water please.. 
Every day I make a large pitcher of water with a whole lemon floating in it.  Actually, it ends up more like lemonade, as I add stevia to it and it is super palatable.  I'm not a good straight water drinker, but can drink 24-36 oz of this every day without a problem.  Stevia is not an artificial sweetener- it's a natural sugar replacement with none to negligible calories.. I don't count calories, so it is a great sweetener to have.
I have overturned the 'no beef' in my diet.  I had one meal with a small piece.  In June, I'm planning on another larger piece of roast beef to test myself even more.  No hurry here.
I've also been lactose intolerent for nearly 40 years.. I now can consume all sorts of dairy products without repercussion.  Milk, cheese, yogurt, cottage cheese, etc...
Here's to another 25# loss in my near future...

Wednesday, May 07, 2014

Recipes for coconut oil

A few suggestions for some fat burning...
I am living proof that one doesn't have to do any exercise to lose weight.  I'm down officially 21#, though my own scales says 22.  I'll not quibble over 1#.. 
I'm trying to incorporate coconut oil into my diet.  It isn't that hard if you find something that is pleasing to your tastebuds.  For instance:
1c hot water
1 tsp cocoa powder
1 pkt stevia
1 tsp coconut oil
Half &Half to taste
It's a good pick-me-up in the afternoon.

or how about this one...
2c chicken/beef broth
2 Tbsp coconut oil
2 Tbsp butter
2 Tbsp sea salt if you make your own broth- which is much more nutritious than store bought.  
Drink 2c once a day.
It really is quite delicious- very rich and not greasy at all.

Here's one I haven't tried yet, but have the tea..
1 c prepared Chamomile tea
1 Tbsp coconut oil

Another recipe I saw on Dr Oz was for Green tea
2c green tea- steep for 20 minutes, no less
Juice of 1/2 lemon
I added stevia to mine and it was super duper.. 
Drink 2c / day for fat burning.
I'm enjoying mine right now.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Coconut oil

Yes, coconut oil is almost 90 percent saturated fat, but not all sat fats are created equal. “The saturated fat in coconut oil is mostly lauric acid, a medium-chain saturated fatty acid that appears to have a more neutral effect on heart health when compared to longer-chain saturated fats found in meats and dairy products,” says Wendy Bazilian, R.D., author of The SuperFoodsRx Diet.
 Some research even suggests that coconut oil can paradoxically improve cholesterol numbers by revving up enzymes in the body that breakdown fats.
 Bazilian adds that medium-chain fats are metabolized more easily into energy in the liver, meaning they may be less likely to be stored as extra padding on your thighs if you keep your overall calories in check. “Up to 1 to 2 tablespoons of coconut oil a day, depending on individual calorie needs, can be a healthy and tasty addition to your diet when replacing other less-healthy calories,” Bazilian says. “But don’t believe the hype that simply adding coconut oil to your diet can help you shed a bunch of body fat.”
 More proof that coconut oil is a worthwhile addition to your pantry: Lauric acid appears to have antibacterial properties, and studies show that the tropical oil (particularly the virgin varieties) contains a bounty of antioxidants that may help knock out those pesky cell-damaging free radicals that are thought to accelerate aging and disease. Topically, coconut oil is also a great skin moisturizer.

With all that in mind, I'll just say that I like using coconut oil.  Dr Agnes suggested to me yesterday that I start to replace my Coffeemate with a tsp of coconut oil and a dollop of whole milk.  The first gulp was shocking.. a very mild coconut flavor, but not a bad thing.  Half way through the cup, I decided I could do this every morning for a while, but my 2nd cup would be with my favorite creamer.  We shall see how that goes.  I'm going to try it in my tea later.
If that's what it takes to warn off alzheimers, I'm for it.  

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Let's talk counting calories...

Let's face it.. counting calories is not what I want to be doing to help me lose weight and adjust my blood sugars into normal.  Think about it.. I could eat 10 bananas and have most of my calories in for the day.  The problem is, they don't have the nutrients that are in vegetables and other fruits.  A good rule of thumb is the more color, the more nutrients.  
Dr Agnes reminded me that I could eat a lot of calories in some really densely packed nutritionally sound foods and not gain weight or mess with my blood sugars.  The body handles these foods well if it is operating smoothly.  I'm not suggesting that you go out and eat a quart of strawberries or pig out on any one food.  I'm saying that eating those more dense foods are good for your body and you should eat them often in small amounts.
Take peanut butter, for example.. it carries a walloping 200 calories in a 2 tablespoon measure.  If you eat bread, that's 140 calories for 2 slices- and a very poor choice since there are 13Gm of carb in one slice and only 2 Gm protein.. So a simple PB sandwich could cost you 340 calories plus that glass of milk at another 150 calories for just one cup.   The peanut butter is a wonderful choice as it is a "good" fat and nourishing to the body.. so eat it with something other than bread.. the whole milk is wonderful too- a healthy choice.  I eat a small banana for breakfast- about 90 calories and add 1 tbsp PB for a great total of 190 calories... I don't measure precisely, but just estimate.  It's good to be aware of the calories in foods, but just knowing that some foods are promoting good nutrition and others don't is good for planning meals.
I do like the CalorieCount site and make no excuses for that.  As I go through my day, I add my  water intake and love to see how many nutrients my body is getting for the day.  But do not become overly obsessive and lose sight of the fact that you may be eating 500 more calories than you think you should, but you are gaining nutrients to heal your body and support your weight loss.  Generally speaking it's a good site to visit and participate.. but my first line of nutritional defense is my nutritionist who discourages counting the calories.. and just eating normal food in moderation with the support of vitamin/mineral supplements to assure you aren't lacking anywhere.
For diabetics, it is so critical to make sure you don't miss meals or snacks.  That keeps the glucose level all day long.
Test the blood sugar in the morning and spot check during the day to see how far off or on target you are.  2 hours after a meal is good timing for that.  For me, anything under 100 but not lower than 84 is good.. I get shaky at 84 and feel very hungry- 2 symptoms of hypoglycemia. 
Empty calories are a thing of the past for me.  I know if I eat sugar or wheat, I'm going to feel pain or sick.  It's like my intolerance of beef and turkey.. 3 days to recuperate from one tiny tiny bite of either of these .. just not worth the trouble.
I was amazed at how quickly I got over any cravings for sugar or wheat.. as a carboholic, chocoholic, and more.. I am shocked that I feel no need for cookies, cakes, breads, donuts, etc.. I don't even crave ice cream!  I have repented.. turned around and am back on the right track again, but not particularly by counting any calories, but by eating the foods I like in a reasonable amount.. colorful foods that have many nutrients.  Granted, I am fairly knowledgeable in nutrition, so I just am aware of food values.  You may have to educate yourself about certain foods.
Remember, you may fall back, but don't kick yourself.. next time make a better choice.

Here we go again- now down 20#

March 24, 2014.. my regular appointment with my PCP for an annual physical. 
Nervously, I got on the scales..ugh!  I hadn't been faithful to eating habits and the scales didn't lie.
When I finally got to see my doctor, she said "Marilyn- you have gained 20# in 12 months, your A1c is 7.3- and your fasting blood sugar was 147!  Your diabetes is out of control obviously. "  Feeling depressed over all this news, she  finished the physical with an EKG.  It was abnormal with a right bundle branch block- I'd have to have the dreaded cardiolite stress test.  Couldn't be much worse.
I went home feeling like a ton of bricks had fallen on me.  I decided that I'd really have to do some work to get on track again.
I sat down when I got home,  and clicked on the tv to drown some of my misery.  Dr Oz was talking about his 2 week weight loss program.. I took notes.  I had never watched his program before- it was providence that led me there. What I decided that day would be life changing.
1. Eliminate white sugar
2. Eliminate wheat
3. Eliminate processed foods
4. Eliminate all "diet" foods, artificial sweeteners
Good choices.
That Wednesday I was picking up my sister's supplements at the chiropractor's office when I ran into Dr Agnes and when she asked how I was, I unloaded my burden onto her shoulders and asked if there was anything she could do to help me..  Dr Agnes is a nutritionist- and a very good one at that.
She gave me an appointment for the end of the week and I kept it.
She identified several main problems using contact reflex analysis (CRA).. and then suggested supplements to support my lymphatic system and my pancreas as well as another problem I'd been having.
She gave me a food log to keep every day- an in depth one- and I was on my way.
Protein to rebuild tissues that have been abused for so long was the order of the day.  Eating low glycemic veggies and fruits along with the protein would get me going in a right direction.
I have my coffee- two cups- every morning with coffeemate- not a problem.
Taking vitamin supplements that are power packed would assure that even if I didn't get the diet right, I would be supported.
I found that giving up the sugar, wheat, and processed foods, diet foods and sweeteners wasn't a problem.  BUT.. those first 2 weeks, I was eating 2-3c of cabbage with my meats and though I was losing pounds slowly, I was struggling with the 3 snacks /day that would keep my blood sugars stable.
5.The answer is 6 small "meals" and not to obsess over them.
6. Do not eliminate fats from the diet plan
Fats are essential to weight loss.. not just any fats.. there are good and bad ones.
Following the BACON rule, I now eat the right fats and don't worry about them causing me to gain.
B- Butter- REAL butter, no margarines
A- Avocado- I am ambivalent over these .. I don't not like them, but can't say I'd buy them again
C- Cream and Coconut oil- WalMart has this for $10- organic- around 16 oz
O- Olives and olive oil
N- Nuts - lots of them- all kinds
7. Once I got started, I started losing the excessive baggage I've been carrying around for years.  One night I had a problem sleeping because of itching feet, arms, hands, chest.. just about everywhere.  Dr Agnes informed me that this was likely my body getting rid of toxins- they have to come out somewhere.  So the next order of the day was to assure that I was getting plenty of fluids.. at LEAST 8 glasses of water per day.  I am a notoriously poor water drinker.. so I added some grapefruit juice doctored with ACV and honey to my water those first few weeks and was able to keep up.  Later, I decided to try water with fresh lemon and a packet of Stevia.  It worked!  I now drink 10-11 glasses of water/day easily.  Getting enough water to flush the system and keep the bowels regular is critical.
*The grapefruit was a suggestion of Dr Oz- 8oz juice with 2 tsp Apple Cider Vinegar and 1 tsp honey.  One was to drink 1c before every meal.  Wendell's endocrinologist approved the idea, but suggested using 1/2c and water to make a cup.  Good.
I need it.. lots of it.  I've damaged my body over the years, and now need to build it back to health.  At first I ate larger portions- 5-6oz of chicken.  I LOVE chicken.  Dr Agnes suggested cutting back half of the portions and making up for it in the snacks.  Yes.  This would be easier.
My main sources of protein are chicken, tuna, and eggs.
I bake the chicken, weigh it - about 2oz- not obsessive here- it it's 2.6oz.. I'll eat it anyway.. some days it weighs 1.6oz.. that's okay too.  I do add Italian dressing before I bake it- yes, I know it is a processed food, but it is in a very tiny amount. Several times a week I eat tuna salad.  I make it myself with real mayo- again, a very small amount of a bad fat.. and I add lots of vidalia onions and a couple cups of chopped celery to this.   Eggs are valuable too.  I eat LOTS of eggs!  Sometimes 3 whites and 1 yolk for breakfast.  I don't care for the yolk much.. so this works well for me.  I snack on egg whites through the day- on salads or just by themselves.  Low calorie and pure protein.  Lest someone think I avoid the yolks because of cholesterol- you'd be mistaken.  Eggs are very good for you and you NEED cholesterol.
I'm intolerant of lactose in dairy, beef and turkey.. just not worth eating for the 3 days of cramping an diarrhea that comes with these foods.
I bought 3 planks of fish from Long John Silver.. removed all the visible breading possible, and ate the fish underneath.  I didn't know they made a baked fish without breading.  Silly me.  The 3 planks made 4 oz of fish- I weighed it- and about 2 full cups of breading- WOW!
My tendency is to eat low glycemic veggies and fruits.  I really love cabbage and salads- organic spring mix from WalMart..  inexpensive.. and so delicious.  I use a serving bowl to make and eat my salads... Lettuce, tomato- a whole roma- , cucumber slices - half a cuke, colorful peppers, vidalia onion- 3 good sized slices,sliced fresh mushrooms, and then some protein like 3 egg whites or an ounce or two of ham or chicken.  I do use regular Italian dressing in a limited fashion.  I also have added cabbage slices , grated carrot, and other veggies as they are available.  Very filling.  COLORFUL makes for many nutrients!
Low glycemic veggies are the ones I like most anyway- green/yellow beans (home canned especially), the salad stuff, broccoli, brussels sprouts, asparagus, pickles, oriental stir fry veggies..
The higher glycemic veggies I eat a few times a week in moderation- potatoes, carrots,peas, beets..
I don't eat corn practically ever except when we have a party next door and have it on the cob.. can't turn that down.  Gotta remember to limit or avoid that in the future.  There are good and bad carb foods.. I like certain ones, so those I like, I eat.
A sample of my diet for the day would be:
Breakfast:7am 1 small (6" or less) banana with 1 Tbsp creamy peanut butter.  Crazy, eh?  But it is majorly power packed and gives my body the energy to get my day going and keep going.  The usual serving of PB is 2 Tbsp, but I found that rather overwhelming, so I cut back to 1.
Mid morning snack:9am  1/4c cottage cheese, a whole roma tomato, 3 collosal ripe olives
Lunch:12 noon  Salad of my liking with LOTS of veggies-
Mid afternoon snack:3pm  2 egg whites, 1/2c frozen fruit (peaches, pineapple,mango,strawberry)
Supper:6pm  2 oz baked chicken, 1c boiled cabbage or any other veggie that meets my eye that day.
PM snack:9pm  Greek yogurt and 4 fresh strawberries
Peanuts are great to add to salads too.. an extra bonus.
8. Always be prepared.
One of the problems with eating often to stabilize blood sugars is making sure I don't miss fluid intake, meals or snacks.. timely intake.  I found it a problem at first when I left for church at 10am and didn't get home till 1pm and had to make a meal for lunch so late.. Shopping did the same thing.  I felt like I couldn't catch up.. led to stress and frustration.  Dr Agnes put me on track  "Always be prepared".. get that little lunch bag out and put things in it that  could qualify as a 'meal/snack'.. Carry a drink in that bag- I use a pint mason jar with a lid filled with my lemon water- that's 2c of fluids.  I also carry a small container of nuts with me and eat them one at a time while I'm out.  Knowing I'd be out longer, I'd also take some egg whites in a small container or baggie in my insulated bag.  I've also carried a half cup of frozen fruit.  I must add that finger foods are easier, but not a necessity.   I'm now ready for whatever.
9. Don't obsess over scales.
Your weight goes up and down on a daily basis.. It's better to NOT be checking every day.. it makes for disappointment if you haven't lost something daily.  Better to weigh in with Dr Agnes to see the progress officially.. once a week for now.  Then weekly is the better choice.  
Sometimes you will lose inches and not pounds.
10. Dairy
As time goes on, I'm becoming less intolerant of dairy.. I'm careful not to get too much at any one time, but the ability to digest these proteins with lactose is becoming easier.. without digestive complaint.
I read an article about what it takes to make 2% milk and skim milk.. I was horrified.  From that point on, I haven't bought anything but regular whole milk.  We actually need the fats in the milk.  We simply need to limit the amounts.   So, I cautiously started out with some Greek yogurt.  The first stuff I bought was the WalMart brand.  It was so bad, we decided to never buy it again.  But then, with some encouragement from family members, we tried the name brands.. traditional style (fruits mixed in), and decided we wanted more of this stuff.  It is super good for you- up to 14Gm protein in each little cup.. and about 140-160 calories each.  Not bad.  I use it pretty much nightly for a snack.  No GI upsets.  The next dairy item I tried was cottage cheese.  Not the limited fat kind.. the 4% fat kind.  If I'm going to eat this stuff, I want the real deal.  I am using about 1/4c a day without repercussions.  YAY!  This is an indication that my GI tract is on the mend.  This past week I decided to try milk.. I have a Metabo-shake that Dr Agnes suggested for times when I'm just not hungry- which tends to be at least once a day.  The first was Almond milk- no lactose, and just made the shake funky tasting.  So I added another cup of vanilla Silk.. and didn't care for it either.  I bought Lactaid milk.. but discovered it was fat free milk when I opened it.. rats!  .. Yesterday I made a shake at lunch time with 1c ff milk and 1c whole milk.. no GI problems at all!  And the taste was much better.
Looks like my system is adjusting to dairy much better.
The Greek yogurt is very tolerable as well.
* The metabo-shake is for either meal replacement or just adding nutrients to the diet - a great snack item.  It is pricy.. but worth it for convenience.  I won't be buying it again for a while.. just the price, not the product.
11. Keeping up the momentum
I need to share information about what I am doing to correct my diabetes and lose weight.  Wendell and I are both diabetics, so in the morning we have a friendly competition over who has the better blood sugar.  This morning he had a winner.. I was 99 and he was 82.  We have a winner on both counts though, as his N insulin is doing what it is supposed to do in the morning, and my metformen and diet are doing the same for me.  Other than comparing the BS each day, there is little that he wants to discuss.. like foods .. but he does like the metabo-shake, and one a day would be helpful to him.
The other person I love to share with is my sister.  We share similar weight issues and she is helpful in making suggestions to help me along.  Usually I don't want to try some of the things she suggests, but I end up doing just that and she is right normally.  One of my concerns is that while I am losing pounds, I don't overwhelm her with what might seem like 'bragging'.. but is really just overflowing joy at being able to regain good health and lose weight while I'm at it. 
I am using this blog because it helps me to put things in perspective, and who knows?  someone else might gain insight to how to eat healthily.. someone may have the same problems as I do.. leaky gut and diabetes with an aging body that is leading a more sedentary life than before.
All these things are helpful to keep moving in a right direction and keep me accountable.  I am accountable to Dr Agnes weekly for now.  She is the most encouraging person.  She looks at things with positivity no matter.  If I would 'mess up' she would say 'you know what to do, now, do it' and say it without making me feel like a failure.  We need more people around us with that attitude.
I also occasionally make an unofficial statement on my facebook page about my progress.. another issue of accountability.  Mostly, I jump on the scales once in a while and am blown away by what I see.. like yesterday morning when I noted I've lost 20# since March 24.  That's just 4 weeks ago!

What's next?
I have an appointment with my PCP to check my weight and A1c before she decides to put me on insulin injections.. in June.  I can't wait to see her face when she sees what has happened to me in the 3 months I had to correct these issues.
I will be so happy to give her my medication list that says I no longer need Zantac for GI upsets and heartburn.  I gave that up 3 weeks ago when I realized I hadn't had any of that for over a week of eating correctly.  Then the Zyrtec for my allergies and asthma.. eliminated with corrections in nutrients and eating correctly.  This past winter the allergies were awful to the point that the asthma attacks came.. I had to use a nebulizer to help me breathe.. and the inhaler that causes thrush.. ugh.  While everyone else is complaining that their allergies are out of control.. I'm breathing just fine without wheezing at all.
I did make an appointment with a new cardiologist for the end of May.  I had the cardiolite stress test- walking the treadmill at a clip while hooked to a monitor- heart rate a steady 140 and then the isotope and 6 minutes at this pace..  The test was successful and within normal limits.  I still have the RBBB, but there is no pathology causing it.  Maybe it might just disappear?  Who knows? 
My weight and spinal issue causes me to not walk far or for long periods.  I'm seeing the chiropractor who uses a gentle tool rather than a drop table to adjust all but the affected vertebra.  Less back pain and more mobility- what a combo! 
I found that the more I tried to use my exercise bike, the worse my back got. I gave the bike away.   Even the chiro said that the bikes aren't for everyone and perhaps there is a better exercise for me..like swimming.  Can hardly wait for the pool to be opened.  Last year I did well just walking several times a week for 20-30 min or more. 
Walking is getting a little easier- and my distance is improving.  I'm referring to walking to the mailbox up our driveway.. it's a longer one and has a grade to it.  Not good yet, but improving.
Grocery day was always a horror as well.  The walking, carrying heavy bags, and then loading and unloading at home wore me totally out.. The last time I went, all was well.. no pain, no feeling worn.  I was tired and took a nap in the afternoon, but was back to normal when I got up.
I had been feeling very weary throughout the day.  Lately I notice that I'm feeling sleepy and wanting to lay down after lunch.  So I do.  There is nothing wrong with napping during the day as long as it doesn't become 2-3 hours which will ruin good sleep at night.  Napping is healing for the body.. the fact that you feel like you need to lay down is listening to your body.. I set my sonic screamer for no more than 30 minutes and usually doze off for the last 10 minutes.  Love it.
I changed my bedtime.  I used to wait until I felt tired to go to bed.  One of Dr Oz suggestions was to be fasting for 12 hours.  This is not good for a diabetic.  So now I go to bed around 8-9pm, fall asleep 30 min later usually and then sleep soundly until the screamer says it's time to awaken.. 7-9 hours later.
I eat within 1 hour of awakening.. and get the day underway.  I have energy and keep moving.