I was diagnosed in June 2006 with Type 1 Diabetes, I was experiencing the 4 T’s symptoms (Toilet, Thirsty, Thinner and Tired) which at the time I put down to a lifestyle change. It was only after a doctor’s appointment that the seriousness of my situation was apparent, my blood sugar levels were above 30mmol and I was told I was lucky not to have been hospitalised. It was only back in 2011 after a routine hospital appointment, that I realised I needed to take control of my diabetes. My HbA1c, a long range blood test indicating blood sugar levels over a period of time, was running high, I had put on weight and I was generally feeling quite unwell.
After countless hours of research, I decided to adopt a low carbohydrate diet to try and reduce my HbA1c. Some diabetics may argue that insulin dependent diabetics don’t need to maintain a low carb diet in order to control blood sugar levels as they should be able to accurately carb count and inject the appropriate insulin requirement, however since lowering my carbohydrate intake it has made the world of difference to me. I have lost a considerable amount of weight, my cholesterol levels have dropped, I feel energetic and healthy and after 6 months my HbA1c was down to a level that even the doctors couldn’t believe. Diabetes isn’t the easiest disease to live with, it requires a lot of planning and monitoring, however I don’t let it restrict me in any way. Since being diagnosed I have graduated from University, travelled to some amazing countries across the world, married my amazing husband and most recently taken on the challenge of running my very own online marketing agency, Design that fits.
What is your current goal?
My goal is to love and live life, be happy and to see as much of the world as I can.
What is your proudest achievement?
I have a few – graduating from university, buying my very first house, crossing the finish line of the 2012 Great Manchester Run and now, seeing my company grow.
What is a typical day’s diet?
Breakfast usually includes eggs in some way shape or form, during the week it’s usually hard-boiled (done the night before) but if it’s weekend I may have Egg, Bacon and Mushrooms. Lunch is usually ham or salami and cheese with lettuce leaves or cucumber (as a bread replacement). During the winter I have soup made with Slim Pasta, blended in the processor with mushrooms, mushroom stock, onion, garlic, thyme, double cream and salt & pepper. My evening meal usually consists of Pasta, Rice or Noodles from the Slim Foods range. Spaghetti Carbonara, Chicken Fettuccini Alfredo, Spaghetti & Meatballs, Curry & Rice, Stir Fry with Noodles, or Seafood Pasta. I also often make Macaroni Cheese using Slim Pasta Penne as a side dish to a piece of meat or fish. I always try to introduce fresh, lower carb vegetables to my meals wherever possible such as onions, peppers, spinach and mushrooms. Daily snacks include almonds or Brazil nuts, homemade low carb biscuits, cheese, and berries. Drinks include coffee with a splash of cream, sugar free squash, water, diet drinks and the occasional glass of wine.
As a diabetic, how do you motivate yourself to eat healthy and what advice would you give other diabetics out there?
My motivation is those little numbers on my testing device, seeing a “normal” (4-8mmol) reading is such a good feeling for me.
My biggest piece of advice would be to learn how your body works, learn what it actually means to have diabetes, what insulin does and how different food sources are used and processed by your body. Once you get your head around this it all starts making some sense!
I would also advise other diabetics to regularly test their blood sugar levels, I’ll admit it, I was extremely bad at this but now it’s just part of my routine and helps me manage my diabetes so much more efficiently.
Why the Slim foods range?
I had just started my low carb diet and was browsing a popular diabetic web forum when I saw a thread mentioning low carb pasta/noodles. Being a huge pasta fan and having been looking for a suitable replacement for some time, I was extremely pleased when I found Slim Pasta.
For me, the range replaces the need for pasta, noodles or rice completely in my diet whilst allowing me to maintain a steady blood sugar level. The range allows me to eat normally, without feeling like I am missing out on anything.
Favourite Slim foods range?
Do I have to choose? I like them all!