Even if you are not directly a part of the paleo world (seriously, what are you waiting for??), you may have heard others describe paleo as more than just a diet, but as a lifestyle. It’s not so much about eliminating things from your life (contrary to the carbaholics’ opinions out there) as it is making better choices to live a more optimal life. And while I know many of you stop by here to see what’s for dinner, I’m not just talking about the food here, friends.
When I look back to when Jake and I started eating paleo 1.5 years ago, it seems like that was just the tip of the iceberg for us. We had no idea where this adventure was going to take us. We only knew that we wanted better for ourselves.
Once we started taking charge of our diet and feeling the million plus benefits, it opened up our minds to so many other areas. What else could we do to live optimally? What part of our lives isn’t as optimal as our diet? And while I wish I had a list of concrete answers for you, we’re in the midst of that journey now.
While I am only 2 months in to my 3-month goal of reaching a 5.0 AIC, I am officially cancelling this deadline. I can tell where my averages are at right now that I’m not going to get there, but as always, every single day I will strive to have the best blood sugars possible as a type 1 diabetic. I still wish to reach a 5.0, and believe I will get there eventually, but I know that I have much to work on to achieve this goal. What I have learned the last 2 months is exactly what I need to work on. So here goes:
- Lifestyle: A routine schedule is ideal for type 1 diabetics. We dance a fine line between food and different insulin types, and the one thing I have always agreed with my doctors on is that predictability is key. If you eat the same amount of proteins/carbs/fats around the same times every day, then you’ll know exactly how much insulin to give. We know life doesn’t always go according to schedule, but the more often it can, the better, which leads me to realization #2…
- The J.O.B.: As a photographer, I work opposite hours of the rest of the world. Weekends & evenings are prime shooting times, and weekdays are filled with emails, client communication, editing, and more business stuff. I have to make a concentrated effort to take one full day off of work a week, which only sometimes happens. Being fully commission-based, I am constantly concerned about when business is coming in and what the future looks like. I know that this is the life that I chose and that I built for myself, but after many, many glances at our lifestyle, Jake and I have decided that being primarily a photographer may not be the best choice for my health. Photography will always be food for the soul and something I LOVE to do, but we’re looking into other options that might provide a more “normal” schedule and steady pay. Anybody hiring? :)
- Hormones: As if balancing my blood sugars on a day-to-day basis isn’t enough of a challenge, I have observed that my insulin sensitivity changes at different times of the month as well. Yes ladies, the monthly “gift” (seriously. who made that name up?) impacts our sugars as well. Oh joy. While this might be TMI for some of you, I am posting this here for the purpose of helping others. I have noticed that from the day I ovulate to the time I have my period, I need much more insulin – I double my NPH dose as well as adjust my carbohydrate and correction ratios. Then, when I have my period, I become much more sensitive and tend to drop low. But, that’s only on day one. Days 2,3,4 pretty much mellow out to my “normal” sensitivity rates. I am still perfecting my ratios and it’s going to take some work. I have only been able to determine this pattern since eating paleo, and I would not have been able to do so without the help of the book, Taking Charge of Your Fertility by Toni Weschler. This is a book that every woman should own.
- Eating out: I tend to be a bit lazy when we go out to eat. We go out maybe once a week or so, and I tend to order the most Paleolithic item on the menu, such as a chicken salad, or meat with a side of veggies. But, I don’t always ask what oil it’s cooked in or what the “special sauce” consists of. And as a type 1 diabetic, it often kicks me in the rear. How a piece of restaurant chicken can shoot my blood sugar up so much baffles me, but does let me know that I need to ask more questions & take more responsibility.
None of these changes are going to be easy, and I’m not going to stress myself out by setting due dates for them, but I am excited to work on them and see where they take me over the next 6 months or so!
Also, Jake and I attended the Whole 9 Foundations of Nutrition Workshop in Vancouver led by Melissa Urban and Dallas Hartwig this past weekend, so I can’t wait to share about that, and we also have some other fun posts coming up about sleep, fats, and 2 great restaurants we’ve discovered. And if that isn’t enough, may I tempt you to revisit with a new goulash recipe that I discovered today? I hope to try it out and blog it sometime this week.
Also, if you want to see more of the “in-between” meals… what I eat on a more regular basis, be sure to connect with me via facebook or twitter! I often post photos of my meals on those accounts. If you’re connecting with me on facebook, be sure to put a paleogirls note in the friend request so I know you’re legit :)
So stay tuned folks, and happy eating! Joey