Dear Dani, Grace and Jude,
Note: This page is advice for Grace, Jude and John. For any other reader, it’s information only. No therapeutic relationship is formed – read this.
You are in for a treat, but not the sweet kind.
I have been obsessed with nutrition since my early body building days. I have tried every diet going and spent countless hours reading research papers.
I bet you’re thinking this is going to be a head wrecker?
Well, if I wrote this section three years ago, it would have been.
I was lost in the world of Nutritionism.
I was learning about specific nutrients and dietary interventions such as omega-3 fatty acids, nutritional ketosis, glycaemic load, and mono-unsaturated vs. poly-unsaturated fats, to name but a few.
My head was bursting with what I thought was invaluable knowledge.
This page would have never ended.
Then something happened!
Grace was born.
I quickly realised that babies don’t eat nutrients, they eat real food!
They don’t follow diets, they should eat what’s natural and easily available in their environment.
If they eat naturally, starting with breastmilk, they stay in great shape and do not become neurotic about counting calories of pinching a muffin top.
It was quite clearly time to ditch Nutritionism and swallow some food realism.
Therefore, I recommend you only one book. A book not by a nutritionist, but by a University Professor who is skilled in the art of Commonsense!
Michael Pollan’s – Food Rules.
Grace and Jude, in truth, one conversation with your grandma will cover all you need to know about food. Meat and two veg is how I was brought up, it worked wonders for me, it will for you both too.
You only need one line from the book.
Ok Dani, I know you want a little more. If you follow these ten rules, you will never need to read a “diet book” again.
These messages are really simple but not easy to follow in the normal food environment.
I apologise upfront about this rant!
Let me make clear the difference between normal and natural eating.
Normal eating is eating food based on marketing, what friends and family eat, what celebrities eat, and what’s on trend.
What’s natural eating then?
Natural eating is eating food which has not been processed much, has not had artificial ingredients added, and usually grows from the earth or runs on the ground.
Dani, if we let Grace and Jude follow normal eating, they will end up like today’s average child:
- Always hungry for more sugar (hint – overeating switch from the hypo section)
- Going for a poo once a week
- Lacking colour in the face and wind in the sails
- Lack of gratitude for food they receive
However, if we take it upon ourselves to create a food environment at home that supports natural eating, Grace and Jude will be:
- Healthy weight for height
- Fully nourished and vibrant
- Rarely craving more sweet food
- Filling nappies every day
- Grateful for the food they eat and cultivating a strong relationship with mother nature
This will not be easy, but looking at them, we have started well. We need to be very grateful to your mum, she really helps us create our natural food eco-system.
The pressure to be normal is immense. It’s in our face every time we turn on the TV, go to a kids party, are offered school meals, and go to some friend’s houses.
Here are some tips that will help us eat naturally:
- We eat what’s in the cupboards – buy natural food and forget the normal crap
- Cook with the kids – Grace and Jude will learn to appreciate the value of normal food and develop a connection with it.
- Grow vegetables in the garden – we are just about to start three planters!
- Get Grandma, Grandad and Nanny on the same page – encourage shows of love by hugs, not Haribo.
- Take natural food with you – no school dinners
- Develop an appreciation for herbs, spices and seasoning – these should be the only additives.
Dani: “Can we never eat processed food?”
Of course we can!
But remember – “Monkey see, monkey do”.
We need to – “Be what we want to see”
We are their role models and they will copy what we do. They are always watching and learning from us.
We just need to apply the 80:20 rule. At least 80% natural food and 20% wriggle room for treats, eating out and the occasional takeaway.
I will be following the 90:10 rule, but that’s because I enjoy eating natural food and I know one more important thing about diabetes:
The more consistent the meal, the less diabetes frustration you feel.
Rant over, lets get back to diabetes.
This will be brief.
In the Mealtime Insulin Guide, I teach you how to manage high carb meals, high-fat meals, low carb meals and use elements of Dynamic Glucose Management to keep the glucose under control, no matter what you eat.
However, this page is about real food and eating structure, not Coco Pops and Pop-Tarts.
Choosing one of these two options will ensure health, keep glucose in check and reduce diabetes distress.
Adults: Eat three balanced meals
Children: Eat three balanced meals with a snack
What’s a balanced meal?
A plate of natural food contains half a plate of vegetables and the rest split equally between carbs and protein
I go through a lot of options in the Mealtime Insulin Guide.
I thought all I needed to do is count the carbs and match with insulin. I can eat what I want, right?
Make up your own mind after reviewing these two graphics.
One more page to go before we get to Dynamic Glucose Management.
Next step: Measuring Success
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