After sharing my food/fitness/diabetes story, I want to talk about tools that helped me lose 25 lbs and get (more) fit over the past year. I am not some amazing physical specimen, but I hope that something here might work for you, too...
Sorry, but these are NOT sexy, high-tech solutions.
Quite the contrary; my tools are very simple:
- Books (okay, I buy on Kindle, is that high tech for you?!?!)
- A few physical gadgets
Yes, low-tech might be boring, but these things have been great reference materials and have kept me accountable. Which, in my opinion is the most important thing. Don't knock it if it works.
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"It Starts With Food" Book: This is where I started two years ago. Mind-blowing. Contains very detailed descriptions of what grains and sugar -in particular- do to your body and how to re-set your diet to reduce cravings and move in a healthier direction long-term. It's the basis for the Whole30 (of which I've completed 2) and Paleo programs.
"Well Fed" Cookbook: This is a cookbook spin-off of It Starts With Food (above). I was very excited for the first Well-Fed cookbook (there is also Well Fed 2 which I have not read). I cooked a lot of whole foods before starting to eat Paleo, but this had some great concepts for organization, shopping, meal planning and prep.
If you are not accustomed to cooking whole foods, or are looking for ways to cook once or twice per week and create flexible meals for the rest of the week based off of your pre-prepared ingredients, this is a great place to start.
Now that I am doing more meal planning ---Imagine that! Me, plan ahead!?!?---and have less time to cook every day, these cookbooks are a great fit for my (our) lifestyle. Time for me to start reviewing and planning our recipes. I'm already using several recipes and concepts from the first book and I look forward to digging into Well Fed 2.
Diabetes Solution Book: The Holy Grail. THE guidebook for Type 1 Diabetes management and low carb eating to control blood glucose levels. The author is an 81 year old medical doctor and engineer who has type 1 diabetes for the last 69 years. After suffering serious complications due to high blood glucose levels, he revolutionized diabetes self-care and developed the low carb eating plan for diabetes in the late 1960s to botain normal blood glucose levels (using himself as a test subject). Dr. Bernstein went to medical school at age 40 so he could teach others what he had already learned from his years as a diabetic, successfully reversing many of his long-term complications.
This book is incredible, but strict stuff. Not for the faint of heart but it works like nothing else I've read/seen/experienced to control blood glucose levels.
ONLINE and PHYSICAL RESOURCES:
I tried MyFitnessPal, SparkPeople, MyPlate by Livestrong and others but I prefer MyNetDiary w/ optional Diabetes App for the metric food inputs, more whole foods listed and the diabetes trackers. Integrates with Fitbit, Jawbone and Withings. You can get the app for Ipad/Iphone for $10 on the iTunes store.
DoYogaWithMe.com is my favorite free yoga website where you can search through a variety of styles, class lengths and fitness levels to find the perfect at-home yoga class. Classes are all beautifully shot in a professional studio or gorgeous natural setting and the instructors are all seasoned professionals. You can also download your favorite classes for a small charge, which is perfect for when you can't stream video.
A DIGITAL FOOD SCALE: Simple, simple. Costs less than $15 and it's crucial for accurate inputs of non-processed foods into your online food tracker program (such as MyNetDiary, as listed above). You can get some cool bluetooth digital scales that connect to Ipad apps for automatic food tracking, but that is not where I am right now. Simple is fine, just make sure it has a "tare" function. This food scale on Amazon is similar to mine.
A PEDOMETER (OR WEARABLE FITNESS TRACKER): I had a pedometer and really liked it. Then I shattered it on the tile floor when I forgot that it was clipped to my belt (damn tile floors!!). I wanted a fitness tracker but it is too hard to get one to Argentina, and I'm cheap, so I've done without.
One thing that helped keep me on track with walking (my every-day workout) is to have a non-flexible walking schedule (I had to get my daughter to school every day). If you need to see your numbers to stay accountable, get a pedometer at the least or a wearable fitness tracker that can sync to an online program such as....
MAPMYRUN / MAPMYWALK / MAPMYFITNESS: Using these programs can show you where you've gone, track your steps and keep you pushing forward. I love to see my maps and log a new entry (Yes, ahem.. I am SO analog and log the routes by hand after they are completed). You can also sync with all the major wearable fitness trackers to automate your fitness and connect with your friends to see how everyone is doing and stay accountable. Do you see this common accountability thread here?? ;)
WHOLE30 WEBSITE: The companion to the Whole30 book and It Starts with Food (listed above). Positive online community in the forum, recipes, sample menus, shopping lists (including specialty lists, such as Vegetarian Whole30, GAPS Whole30 and Nightshade-free) and answers to all your questions/real-life situations when starting a Whole30 diet re-set or beginning a paleo eating plan.
Dr. Richard K. Bernstein's Diabetes Solution Website: Additional information and online forum for Dr. Richard K Bernstein's plan for both Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes management. Includes excerpts from his book, Diabetes Solution (mentioned above) and includes numerous supporting articles, research and patient testimonials.
Dr. Bernstein's Diabetes UNIVERSITY on YouTube: Dr. Richard K. Bernstein's online resources, with an incredible amount of sort video sessions answering questions and addressing recommendations about his diet/blood glucose maintenance plan for the treatment of Diabetes.
TypeOneGrit Fan Page on Facebook: Facebook page and FB online community for Type 1 Diabetics following Dr. Bernstein's recommendations for diet and optimal blood glucose control. This is the most strict of the Dr. Bernstein groups and dedicated to those trying t achieve A1c level in the low 5% and upper 4% range, in an attempt to reduce and reverse long-term diabetic complications through the maintenance of normal (non-diabetic) blood glucose levels. A closed group for Type 1 Diabetics (and parents of juvenile T1 diabetics) that requires vetting prior to acceptance.
This group has been incredibly supportive and full of additional information about Dr. Bernstein's plan, along with recipes, research and real-world experiences. It's like family.
So, yes, I might be SO 2005 in my technology here, but This works for me. Please Leave a comment to share what works for you.