Thursday, February 28, 2008

First Steps

I got in to see the new doctor today. The office was very clean and when I went back, the nurse was nice (although she laughed at me, more on that later) and nothing screamed that I needed to leave and make an appointment somewhere else. We went through all the weight, temperature, blood pressure stuff and since I was in for diabetes testing, she did a finger prick for blood sugar. She told me I better hope I never got diabetes, because I was horrible with the finger prick. The dr. came, was very nice, went through all the family history stuff, talked for a little bit, and she said that she is not really worried about diabetes, but because of the history we will be doing tests. I go in sometime next week to do a fasting blood sugar, lipid panel, and general blood work and go back to discuss the results and get a physical next month (assuming nothing in the lab work is horrible).

This check-up:
Weight: 236.6
BMI: 37.1
Temp: 99.7
BP: 114/70 (lowest I've ever had it!)
BS: 107

The only thing she told me was to try to up the exercise, so we'll see what the lab shows and play it by ear.

This week I ate entirely vegan (except for the leftover pizza) and tried to get in some exercise.

Exercise: 30 minutes on bike
Meals: smoothie
left over veggie pizza
1.5 liters water
(Can't remember what I had for dinner, maybe nothing?)

Exercise: walked home; 15 minutes fast pace,
Meals: whole wheat bagel with vegan cream cheese
pre-made inari sushi from the Depot on campus
whole wheat pancakes with corn and hot dogs mixed in
1.0 liters water, .5 can Pepsi

Exercise: walked home; 15 minutes fast pace
Meals: left over pancake with vegan butter and peach jam
seitan salad wrap, apple, handful Terra veggie chips
whole wheat couscous with Moroccan vegetables and steamed greens
vegan strawberry milkshake
2.0 liters water

Exercise: none
Meals: left over pancake with butter and peach jam, 1 soy sausage
left over couscous with vegetables, handful Terra veggie chips, 1 dark chocolate kiss
Baked whole wheat rigatoni with zucchini and mushrooms, steamed broccoli
1.0 liters water

Exercise: none
Meals: granola bar (may not have been vegan, was in the cupboard)
left over baked rigatoni
will have Panko stuffed mushroom with green salad and seared green beans, maybe some mashed potatoes
so far 1.0 liters water, .5 can Pepsi

Not a bad start. I need to make more of an effort to go to the gym and I'm thinking about buying a locker so I don't have any excuse not to go and work out because I couldn't stuff gym clothes in my backpack. If anyone wants, I will start posting the recipes I'm using and give them some sort of a rating system (how I liked them, how David liked them).

Saturday, February 23, 2008


I am writing this blog to document my journey to health and hopefully the prevention of diabetes. Since I discovered less than a week ago that I must start making immediate changes to help avoid what my family history has left me, this blog will document every step.

Currently I am 21 years old, roughly 230 pounds (carried evenly over my body), 5'7" and vegetarian. Diabetes, high cholesterol, high blood sugar, high blood pressure, and heart attacks are very common in my family. I have always had trouble with my weight, and even when actively making an effort to lose weight I have had very little success controlling my weight. I am fairly active, although I could move a lot more.

This issue came up from a trip to the student health clinic on campus for a UTI. The doctor noticed a slight yellow/light brown discoloration around my neck (acanthosis nigricans). She asked if I usually had very heavy, painful periods. Yes, before going on BC. Did I have a family history of diabetes. Yes. Did I have trouble with my weight. Yes. Did I notice that I sometimes get very tired and "crash" after eating. Yes. She told me that I have pre-diabetes, and unless I take steps to correct it, I could be looking at Type 2 diabetes in a few years. She recommended the South Beach Diet, exercising 30 minutes a day, and trying Metformin to help my body absorb insulin.

At this point I have not been tested for diabetes. I will be going to another doctor early this week for testing and to find out where I should go from here. From doing some research on the internet, I have come up with this approach that will be fine tuned after my doctor's appointment:

Eat a whole foods vegan diet. Currently I eat no meat, very little fish (once a month maybe), no eggs, and very little dairy. I plan on replacing all my grains, breads, and pastas with whole grain alternatives and work harder at getting in more fiber, fruits, vegetables, legumes, and to cut all milk and cheese from my diet. I hope to still be able to eat sweets occasionally, but I will be cutting the majority of them out of my everyday diet.
Exercise 30 minutes a day. Starting next week, I will make a effort to bike or row 30 minutes on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday and do weight training with my boyfriend on Tuesday and Thursdays. I will also start doing yoga for 15-20 minutes everyday.
This blog. Hopefully by documenting my progress and having support from others, I can stay on track and live a much healthier and more active life. I also hope it can help others who are going through similar situations or who are hoping to use a vegetarian/vegan diet to manage their diabetes.

The photo was taken out of my back window in Arcata.