Saturday, February 28, 2009

Contrast to What I Wrote About Attention Giving

I found this interesting article at

Here's an interesting sample that contrasts with my post, Veering Off the Subject:

"How Much Attention Is Too Much?

"That depends on you. How much attention-seeking can you tolerate? The rule is that children will seek as much attention as you give them. You must strike a balance between how much your children want and how much you can give. Even normal attention-seeking can drive you crazy on some days.

"Do not let your children's need for attention turn into demands for attention. When children do not get enough attention, they resort to outbursts, tantrums, nagging, teasing, and other annoying behaviors. They think, "If I can't get attention by being good, then I'll misbehave to get Mom's attention."

The first paragraph directly contradicts what I wrote in my post; the second one reminds me of something I sort of left out of my post. So I will say it here: I define whining as complaining before asking nice OR displaying any sort of bratty behavior to protest or appeal to parental law, such as crying or nagging to try to change a parent's already given answer from 'No' to 'Yes.' As I mentioned in the other post, there is no relation between giving attention and spoiling, and I believe not in spoiling a child. Per my definition, my wife and I do not ever budge a millimeter to whining; we do not respond to it at all. I coached my wife on this and she (for once) took my advice. She ceases dialogue with the child after giving her answer. Our kids see how their friends repeal parental law and they sometimes try it out on us, but they soon learn it's no use. This is one form of Vitamin N. Like my dad used to say, nothing so soothing as the sound of a baby crying during the daytime. Meaning, the baby would be less likely to cry in the night and keep him awake. So he'd just let them (us) cry. But fairly often, you see parents try to avoid or minimize embarrassment in public by caving to their child's tantrum. They do not realize that other parents watching do not appreciate this; rather, they'd like to see them stand fast and let the kid scream. It's disgusting to watch them cave.

In response to the first quoted paragraph, I'd like to reiterate: step into their world, spend a little time there, and they will seek less attention than you give. Realize that loving them is your primary purpose in living. Turn your thoughts and your time from your self to them (you will find out this is the secret to happiness - it really works - you feel great when you are there for someone else, not you). Love them, don't spoil them, and you generally won't have any tantrums, rivalries, boredom, disobedience, showing off, typical teenagers or whining to deal with, though we all know there are special cases. Special cases are special challenges, the purposes for which are known to God. For those cases, remember: your satisfaction depends not on their response and performance, but on your own performance. God will take care of you and them; you just do your job and you will be satisfied and blessed.

The Biggest Factor

The biggest factor in how you struggle is your environment. If you are single, or if your family eats the way you want to eat, you will have a cakewalk. Otherwise, you will struggle big time.

I struggled big time, except during periods of living alone or with my parents, largely from whom I learned to eat this way in the first place. But as I have said, the struggle gets easier over time.

Until I was about 30 years old, I never knew anyone with diabetes. Now, 18 years later, I know tons - people with Types I and II. The first person I knew was a small boy with Type I. He had just been diagnosed. His father was talking about it at church one day. He told how they had to tell the kid he couldn't have any ice cream when the rest of the family was having it. I was surprised. I would have expected that the family would have given up ice cream upon receiving the diagnosis of the kid, at least in the home if not in individual privacy. Silly me, but even today I think that would be the right thing to do.

Roughly 5 years after that, I had a much bigger surprise: I was diabetic myself! I never would have imagined it. My family made no adjustments for me. It was difficult. Now it's not, except for one thing.

We are like Pavlov's Dog. Last night was my son's birthday. We always make a junky cake from a can and a box, light and blow out candles as a minimum for the kids' birthdays. Last night, she also picked up a ready-made lasagne from the store. By now, I'm secure enough in my tastes, desires and discipline that I have no trouble staying away from the cake and the lasagne. In fact, since they were eating so differently, I just stayed over here by my computer and ate my own stuff.


I cannot help it affecting my appetite. Something switches in my brain so that when they have ice cream, I have to have bananas, for example. When they eat chips and salsa, I have to have millet and tomatoes. Stuff like that. Last night, because they were having a party, something in my brain was turned on full blast and I had to have a party too. So although I ate nothing sweet, I ate into the night, well past 6:00 p.m.

I regretted it. But I'll probably do it again.

So if you go to one of those retreats where you isolate yourself with other like-minded people and learn how to plan meals and get used to eating a different way, you'll do super while you're there. Then you'll come home. If your family all went with you (like if all you have now is a wife and she went), you have a great chance at keeping it up. Great for you. If not, watch out. What is easy to snuff out in the water can be extremely difficult to suffocate on dry land.

Your biggest factor in your struggle will be your environment. I do not suggest extreme measures (such as divorce) to change your environment. I suggest just being bigger yourself.

Here's a Simple One for Ya

Tonight as I was fixing my salad I snitched some room temperature light red kidney beans my wife had cooked and ate my romaine hearts with them. That's a meal right there. They went really well together.

Here's my meals today:

Carrot and broccoli juice and raw sprouted wheat/kale sticks, 2 units insulin, run up the hill.

Bowl of popcorn with coconut oil, a few pistachios, dab of cream and a few tropical fruit cocktail pieces from a can, rome apple, chocolate, one banana (almost one), 2 units insulin, run up the hill and some other workout stuff.

Some light red kidney beans and romaine, no insulin, go hold the baby and fall asleep just as my salad was almost ready.

My usual salad, sans mushrooms, with lots of ginger (first time - it was great), and lots of peanut butter afterward, more ginger, dab of milk, no insulin, run up the hill. No insulin resulted in sugar level of 233; oops. This is typical. I usually find a huge difference between zero and 2 units, but not much difference between 2 units and anything over 6 units.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Great Source for Calcium

For a couple of years, all I ate for lunch was a handful of raw, dry almonds and one or two large raw leaves of collard greens. These were organic greens, either from the store or that I grew myself. I had collards growing and supplying me every day all the way to Christmas before they finally froze. I was picking them out in the snow.

Anyway, during this time, my nails were a real pain. I had to keep trimming them all the time. But it was kind of nice because they were also very thick and strong.

But they were also ribbed. A friend expressed her concern that I was calcium deficient because ribbed nails were an indication. Shoot, I thought I was the opposite and that the ribs were just extra nail material, since my nails were so thick and strong and growing like crazy. Anyone have any insight to this?

Well, if I was not calcium deficient, you might want to try it yourself, but make sure you eat your collards raw and chew slow and enjoy it, or it won't taste good. Also, do not attempt this with ordinary grocery store collards; they pr'y don't have any calcium in them and they are awful to eat, in comparison with the huge, thick, green ones at the organic store. Plus, the ones I grew were smaller and hotter and I did not like them as well. Look for the huge variety. Whatever you do, never attempt to eat a collard green if it is not extremely green. When they start to go yellow, they really lose their appeal.

I have heard that sesame seeds are another great source of calcium. Is that true? I don't eat almonds anymore, just because of my sugar.

Foods I Avoid

Summary: I avoid GMO, flour, sugar, sugar substitutes and replacements, preservatives, additives, conditioners, dyes, enhancers, "chemicals," beef not free-range grass-fed, pasteurized dairy products, rice (unless it's wild), grapefruit and almonds.

Instead of finding a low-carb sweetener to help me keep my sugar down, I opted to lower my need for sweet. So I don't use sweeteners generally. However, sometimes I will sneak a few raisins. And I do like my chocolate with apple or squash or similar sometimes. But usually just plain.

I used to like almonds or soaked almonds (both raw) with my chocolate or collard greens, but I have found that they pretty much up my sugar, so now I generally avoid almonds.

I avoid grapefruit. It seems to be the worst wholesome food of all for upping my sugar. But I can eat an orange without taking a shot. Kinda funny but true.

I avoid Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO) and GMO-fed meat. I try to avoid pasteurized dairy but I'm still working on that. GMO soy gave me hives. It's funny how they should think I would care about their studies that show GMO doesn't cause allergic reactions and one should not base their actions on anecdotal stories. I mean, what do I care if it's just anecdotal if I'M THE ONE WITH THE HIVES???? I sorta gave up eating soy anyway.

This should be redundant, but I do not eat anything with white flour in it, or sugar or other sweeteners, or anything I can read but don't know what it is. Recently, I began eating only things I have prepared myself. Last summer, I went a week or two with no insulin and no hunger; I'm trying to get back to that point.

I avoid other foods that I've always been very allergic to, but that is of no use to you. But I wish I could eat clams, oysters and squid.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

The Appetite

I learned this from dad.

The appetite will tell you what to eat and how much. This is how you best know what nutrients your body currently is wanting. The simpler you keep your food, the better it works.

Try eating some raw sweet corn on the cob, next time you're hungry for it. Guarantee you, you will feel terrible if you do not quit right when your appetite says.

Try figuring out when to quit next time you are hungry for lasagna. I used to like it, but I found that I felt exactly the same after the 10th serving as I did the 1st.

Since I rely on my appetite, I don't pay much attention to eating the same kinds of breakfasts, lunches and dinners every day. I have never said, "Okay, time for lunch - I need to make sure I have so much from this group, so much from that group, .."
and so on. You don't need meat every day. You don't have to have this with that.

I never measure food or count exchanges, calories or carbs. I am aware of the carbs, however. In the beginning of my illness, I carefully measured and counted carbs. Once I was familiar with them and the foods that carry them, I was able to just play by ear. I know what a Rome apple is going to do to me. Etc. But the prevailing force in how I conduct my meals is my appetite, not a meal plan.

But no one with a human brain is perfect in following their instincts. So there are safeguards. You have to know what foods are dangerous, what some people call "red light" foods - foods that you have a tendency to lose control of yourself in eating. And there's the time limits I try to stay within. When you have a brain, you have the responsibility of using it wisely; you can't just pretend you're a dumb animal and only follow your "instincts," because your unwise brain will be tainting the instincts to some extent. Well, practice makes perfect, they say.

Since we eat food produced in less than ideal conditions, we may need supplements. Supplements may affect the appetite's performance and may be over-consumed. I don't know. I use supplements. I play it by ear. It's not a perfect world.


I loved bread and ate it as much as anyone.

In my journey learning to eat enough without making sugar levels too high, I found that just one or two slices of commercial bread, whether or not it contained white flour or whole grains, seemed to have a lasting (like a couple of days) level-increasing effect. Eating a couple of loaves in a day, as I was used to when younger, had a devastating effect. My wife's homemade bread has a similar effect to a lesser degree.

I found that I could eat unlimited amounts of boiled wheat without raising my sugar level. Similar story for plain sprouted wheat or spelt uncooked. You just don't eat as much. Face it: bread is highly processed food. The more processed a food, the greater the tendency to overeat on it. Bread is ground, squished, raised and baked to death, and in the commercial case, usually has more industrial things added to it than a can of commercial soup.

My current exclusive bread is sprouted and raw. I do not overeat on it. I eat very little every day. Which is good because it ain't that easy to make and I can't buy it. It has very little effect on my blood sugar levels. I eat as much as I want and do not need to restrain myself. My appetite works. I never go hungry for bread. It was hard in earlier years to resist white, french bread and other delicacies, but now I don't miss them. When you're eating sprouted bread, especially if it's raw, you really can feel the better feeling.

In general, the appetite is most keen with raw food.

Raw fooders tend not to eat grain at all. I am just learning about them, but I understand they have something against too much gluten. I know nothing about that. I would have guessed that allergies to wheat are mainly due to hybridization and genetic engineering. One known result from hybridization is more gluten in the wheat. In any case, I am eating less grain and I am eating less gluten simply because I am eating simple now rather than processed. The simpler the food, the better the appetite works, and you don't eat as much. I do not believe in cutting out gluten or grains just because someone had ill effects from eating too much of them or doctoring them. I have said similar things about meat.

It is a universal philosophy for me, I guess. I see the world slowly eliminating things from the Wholesome Food list based on one logic or another, but none of the arguments I have heard have been compelling to me. I believe in wisdom and prudence in the use of what we have, not the total elimination of it from our diet. When will they stop - when all you can eat is nothing? So go ahead - have a peanut! Wait! Slow Down! I said "a" peanut!

Iceburg Lettuce

I keep hearing not to eat iceburg lettuce because it has very little nutritional value. Who proved this negative proposition? I eat it all the time; it has a good, unique flavor. I do not believe it is particularly bad for my health. But I don't eat it nearly as much as collards, broccoli, chard and wheat grass. I like those even better most of the time. But not always.

Fruit vs. Sprouted Grain


Isn't that a worse comparison than apples vs. oranges? Or dump trucks vs. book ends?

People actually argue (I saw it just now on the web) that it is good to eat fruit instead of sprouted grain because the fruit is closer to the sun and therefore has more solar energy.

So let me get this straight: My Colorado sprouted wheat is better to eat than my Orange County orange? - Even if my current greatest need is Vitamin C?


Have I mentioned ginger?

Does Subway have fresh ginger slices to substitute for pickles in their fixin's? Unbelievable if they do not.

I was thinking, though it's been years since I had one, a Wendy's single would sure be good with fresh ginger on it.

My wife tells me, "Ginger is not a vegetable. It is a spice." As a rough guesstimate, I eat up to 5 oz of fresh ginger per day.

For a long time after first hearing the suggestion, I did not include it in my carrot juice. Lately, I have included quite a lot. It is better than ginger ale pop ever was.

The other night, I was sick to my stomach from fasting for 2 days. I had a mild case of hypothermia and I barely made it home after walking around in the cold night.... Too Much Information. Anyway, I had a sour stomach that would not quit and my wife brought me ginger crushed in water with a garlic press. I drank one mug and the condition disappeared completely. But I ordered another mug for good measure.

My brother John turned me on to it, even though I have been in the land of ginger, Japan. I have a lot to thank John for. Like his wonderful incessant optimism. Irrelevant. Not.

Ginger is one of the most alkaline-forming foods for the body. Try some. Have a cheese sandwich with "ginger pickles."

Some people have suggested that I would have been an alcoholic had I ever tried alcohol, after observing my love for kim chee, sukemono, pickles and ginger. John says my ginger-carrot juice would be a good aid in fighting alcoholism. Maybe. It does make the top of your head tingle and put fire in your throat, if that's good. But my juice also has a lot of good nutrition in it which John and I believe is key to beating addictions.

Coconuts and Certificates

Had my first Young Coconut today. Loved it. The flavor took me back to childhood, even though I never actually tasted one before. I had that and some pecans and cashews and some Baker's chocolate for lunch. And two units. I have a stump out back that I sometimes chop away at instead of running up the hill; I did that after lunch. It is very effective because it requires a surprising amount of rotational input from my body's trunk muscles (such as the rib muscles, not just the abs, etc.). It gets you breathless pretty quick, especially since the stump is now down to ground level and I mostly attack it swinging in the horizontal plane.

Then I got ready to go to the Bank. I went through my pile of life certificates to gather some things for the safety deposit box. I came across certificates of my blessings and ordinations performed by my dad from 1960, 1968 and 1978, and my marriage certificate and birth certificate. My dad had photo-copied the birth certificate and sent the original to me in 1988, keeping the copy for his records, which I now have. A scrap of paper was paperclipped to the copy; on it was written, "Sent Scott Original March 28, 1988." The paperclip was rusty.

The old certificates, filled out in fountain pen and showing signs of a style and technology from yesteryear were quaint. Seeing dad's characteristic care for record keeping and thinking of his preparation for performing the ordinances was sentimental.

Looking at these certificates that, with the exceptions of the birth and marriage, no worldly institution (and very possibly nobody at all) will ever care about (even I never thought much of them), I was brought to tears - not so much from sentiment.

I have a lot going on. I have lots of hobbies, kids (relatively), friends, ideas for a career, projects, duties, diabetes, etc. Sometimes the temporal aspects of these things give me quite a thrill and a bright outlook. Other times, I can feel nothing, like I don't care what happens. There is only one thing I know that always feels substantial. Always real. It feels peaceful, comforting and certain.

It doesn't even feel anything like the other things. I mean, it doesn't just feel more or better. It is completely different. It feels real, and nothing else does. And it's bigger, much bigger. Sometimes, it brings me to tears when I least expect it.

So sitting there with my certificates, I realized (not for the first time) how empty my life would be without it. I wondered how one can stay enthused about life if they do not have it. Every enthused person must have it in some form and degree. I should think no one can always maintain diversions enough to keep them from feeling the emptiness of it all in this world, especially during these tough times.

It is so big, and the only thing really relevant, that it matters not whether this is my diabetes and diet blog or how you may know me, or not know me, or who employs me, or where I may be able to make a sale, or what the government says about a religious object in a public park or on a government contractor's employee's desk, or whether I live or die, or who my friends will be, or whether I will be rich or poor ..... I just had to tell everyone on a venue where it seems out of place that it is the true gospel of Jesus Christ.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Social and Professional Implications

My boss actually used to tease me with cookies and such, not knowing he was messing with something Major Sensitive. When I was having trouble with my sugar, he didn't believe it. Many days, even I was not aware that I was moving slow due to my sugar being low. When it goes down to 60 or 70 and you do not get the heart beat, the sweats or the fading out, you just move a lot slower and don't know it's happening. So you don't perform so well as an employee.

People who haven't gone through it do not realize there is a big struggle with diabetes. Some have an easier time than others. Even my wife doesn't seem to know how hard it is. But when I say hard, and how I have struggled, I am talking about the past. It does get easier and easier with time if you don't give up. Fortunately, when my boss was teasing me with cookies and minimizing my struggle, I was already to a point where his teasing caused me some indignation but really had no effect on my resolve or suffering.

But when you're first starting out, they tease you and it can be tough if you're trying to be good. Try not to punch them in the face; you'll just end up apologizing later.

When someone sees me eating a raw vegetable, they usually ask, "Are you a vegetarian?"

Sometimes they add, "Eat meat."

I'm like, "When - right now?"

I do consider myself a vegetarian because I love to eat vegetables. I eat meat but not necessarily right when people say, "Eat meat."

I'm sure it hurts me professionally to demure from going to lunch with business associates. You can imagine. But somehow my family survives and they still have a live dad. I don't imagine what I am missing out on; I only express gratitude for my very sufficient means.

Like the American business world, much of what I try to accomplish at church is normally accomplished through building unity through social dinners and refreshments. Well, I used to kind of fudge through going to these gatherings but now I am to the point where I just have to say no, I just can't eat that.

It's ironic because all my life I have been taught at the church how not to compromise my standards, that no matter the social or professional situation, I should demand that people respect my absolute need to remain alcohol and drug free. Yet the same people load my kids down with candy and junk almost every time they go over, and they expect me to go to their parties, which to me is like going to someones beer party - something most of them would never do.

Another thing they teach is not to be picky or proud, but to graciously accept and consume any strange fare offered by hospitable folks from other cultures (as long as it doesn't contain alcohol or tobacco or worse), no matter how grotesque. So I appear picky and proud when I refuse standard American party food, but to me, it is as bad as alcohol, tobacco and worse, so I do not budge or apologize. I get by and do my best without compromising my safety and well being.

This may sound like sour criticism of the people of my church; it is not; many of the people have some distance to cover before they eat, clean and garden right, but they will cover it.

There are people out there (though they seem to be thinning) who do whatever and live long healthy lives. To them, my blog will be a bunch of hooey. This blog is not for the bullet-proof.

I have made three observations about people in general that I find truly amazing. Two are not relevant, but I gotta include them anyway:

1 - They are in a big hurry to get to the red light and come to a full stop. Then they take a really long time to get going again when it turns green. News Flash: Stopping for a while does not save time or gas.

2 - If they see that you are asleep, there is some reason that they need to wake you up. I don't know what the reason is.

3 - If they see you doing something different, they assume you are trying to convert them.

The last one, No. 3, applies in the case where people ask me, "Are you a vegetarian?" They seem to think to some degree that my eating a leaf is only to challenge them to a debate about eating leaves. I had a boss once who just could not restrain himself from my office at lunch time. He was drawn by wild horses to my desk to see what I was eating and comment on it. He would ask whether I had gotten my office mate to eat any cold baked potatoes. I would not know what to say, since I had not thought about my co-worker and potatoes at the same time. He kept asking leading questions that I did not have an answer for, since I was just eating my lunch and that was all. He eventually figured that out.

I had a lot of dandelions once and I invented a way to dig them. I made a sharpened, tapered tube, mounted through the center of a wooden block, convenient for pushing down into the lawn with both heels of my hands. I would punch the centers of the dandelions with the tube and aerator-type plugs of root and soil would come up through the top of the tube and out. It worked pretty good, but did not always get most of the root like it was supposed to do.

My neighbor's parents-in-law were visiting from a neighboring state. They saw me using my tool and told my their son-in-law that they had never seen anyone do it like that before. Imagine my gratitude! To think I might have gone on using my own invention, not knowing how new and different it was! HOW EMBARRASSING THAT MIGHT HAVE BEEN!

A few months or years later, I saw a tool being sold on TV that was pretty much my invention, except that you stood up and held it much like a pogo stick and pushed it into the ground with your foot instead of kneeling down, and to expel the pellets, you shot them back out the way they went in by expanding axial sections of the tube. This was in about 1991 or so.

My point is, I just wanted to dig my dandelions, but someone had to make an issue out of it since it was so non-conforming to The Way Things Are Done.

So you may find that although you do not intend to bother anyone, they will bother you if you diverge a bit.

It may seem I am contradicting myself by talking about tolerance and minding one's own business, while writing a blog saying Americans ought to eat differently. But I am not trying to change any body's mind. As I said, it is not an emotional issue for me. I am only trying to encourage like minds that possibly exist out there. Now that I am trying to share my philosophy, I want to say that I am content if I share; I don't need anyone to respond for my sake.

Seems the older you get, the less best friends need to have all the same favorite everything.

True Joy

Think of your favorite culinary thrill.

For some, it may be a Snickers bar. Or perhaps something similar, but more exotic or of better quality.

When you find out how, you will know that I have enjoyed chewing a raw leaf of Collard Greens more than you ever did or ever will enjoy a Snickers bar. Or pie. Or ____.

This is the fundamental truth that every person will come to know before they get to first base with the things I am blogging.

It is a universal truth that extends beyond temporal food. It is also true of spiritual food. You think you want to gamble, pig out and watch TV or ski naked. Or _____. These are the exciting, lustful, sparkly things. You think you like them better. Better than say......sitting in church. Or wasting an afternoon helping an old widow clean her closet.

Okay, try this: Water is arguably our most basic and important wholesome food. Let's use Snickers as our representative for the most unwholesome, for the sake of illustration. Better yet, let's use a drink. Like pop? Let's just say pop. Okay, here's the experiment: How long can you go before water starts not to taste as wonderful as it did when you were first into it? 500 Years or more. Okay, now pop: A day? A week?

The more sparkly and uptown a thing is, the more tendency it has to dull over time and you may even get downright sick of it if you partake of it too much. After you are sick of it, you get used to it again, because water now seems even less attractive. So you get so pop is just what you are used to and although it doesn't feel great, it's what you need. Not the case with water. Not the case with real food. Not the case with the true gospel of Jesus Christ.

This principle is true for other things. Music is also a good example.

When one learns how to slow down, settle down and appreciate the fine, the subtle and the sublime, he discovers for the first time a joy previously unknown if he were raised in the din of the sparkly world. He finds that raw collard greens are a much bigger thrill than Snickers - in his mouth, his stomach, and all the way out.

I Believe It's Curable

Most of what you see me write on this blog may not be new. But although someone else may already have said it, I discovered it for myself and am trying it, not just thinking about it. The purpose is to encourage you, knowing that I am out there doing it.

I don't follow my rules perfectly, but I have not given up. I always do my best. I used to be the kind of perfectionist who would fall into self-destructive behavior if I didn't reach my goals. Then I learned to turn in imperfect work, but still the best I could do after screwing up. It's like the sprinter who falls flat on his face but still tries for the best time under the circumstances - and then falls again. And still tries for the best time under the circumstances. God blesses such behavior and such an attitude.

This may sound crazy, but I have this idea in my head that there is no abnormal condition or disease known to man that the body is not designed to heal itself of. I know how hopeless this may sound, but when I really think about it, it is actually what I think. You hear which ailments are curable and which are not from the medical profession. As time goes on, things are transferred from the latter list to the former. For example, until about 25 years ago, ripped cartilage didn't heal. Now it does. I didn't believe them then. I believe them now. My belief did not change. They did. I view diabetes the same way. I don't care whether it is Type I or II.

Medical data is based on unhealthy people who do not live the way they were designed. I'm not saying diabetics are people who did not take care of themselves. Personally, I don't even think much about whether I deserved this disease or not. I just know God knows what's going on with my body and I look ahead. That's all I need. No, I am saying that I think most Americans have been duped into eating the way they do, no fault of their own. I don't get emotional about it, it's just that I have done a lot of thinking in trying to figure out what I should do in my situation, and after a long, cyclic struggle of trying this and trying that, I am pretty much convinced that we don't generally eat right at all.

I believe that when God is willing and it fits with purposes for our own best interests, all diseases are curable right now. The market that drives the medical profession are interested in treating the symptoms, not changing their lifestyle enough. Who is that market? It's you. It's all of us. Most of us treat the symptoms and drive on.

I was raised such that when I got sick, I was sent to bed until I was all better. So when I was diagnosed with diabetes, my natural reaction was to call my doctor and ask if she could sign for me to take sick leave so I could go to bed for several days and get better. You can imagine the response the general public would have to this. Unheard of. Treat those symptoms and drive on; this is a serious disease that we do not yet have a cure for. Suck it up and get to work. But suppose I had gotten better by resting for let's say 2 weeks. I would have avoided many times more sick days that I did end up taking, not to mention the turmoil and the poor performance over the years.

I'm not saying I would have gotten better or even that it would have been worth a try. Just that if I could have, they still would not have let me.

When Moses raised the serpent for the people to turn their heads toward and look, many simply could not. I used to marvel at that. All you had to do to be healed was to turn your head and look at a snake and you were guaranteed relief from your poisonous snake bite. Why not just do it, try it? But then I observed myself: I am sometimes very afraid, lazy or reluctant to do what the Lord's servants tell me to do, simply because I am afraid it won't work. We all do it all the time. That's why upon hearing the gospel, people's first question is, "how do I know this isn't a scam - how do I know it won't cost too much?" rather than, "Where do I sign up?" It's like, why would you refuse to go over a knoll if you were dying of thirst and someone just told you there was fresh pure water over there? Why wouldn't you think, "hey - this would be great news; I had better go see whether there's water!"? People are just afraid to look. They are that suspicious, or at best, that afraid to be disappointed. Pretty much, they are just convinced there is no water. To them, that's the definition of reality.

I don't mean to touch a nerve with such talk. I really don't get emotional about this. My dad, from whom I learned the basics, never discussed his philosophy, not even with me in full. He did not like the emotions it awakened. For a long time, I was the same. But now, knowing I may be wrong about any number of things, yet knowing I truly know something that my neighbors would like to know if only they knew, I am compelled to adopt a new disseminating policy. In my training as an engineer, I learned early on not to care about who was right, just what was right. I was impressed by the people in that profession who were never concerned about who came up with the solution, only about the solution coming up. I don't care if I'm wrong; I'm not going to let it stop me from talking and writing. So watch me, if you will, and we shall see what happens to me. And maybe you.

This isn't just about the body and a hope to escape the inconveniences and discomforts of diabetes. It is about living by faith and what that will do for your spiritual growth. You are experiencing difficulty for a purpose. If there was nothing to deal with, you would have no reason to live. This is about developing your greatness.

This is not a contest to see who lives the longest. Nor who was right or the strongest. It is about hoping to optimize your energy and well being while you are alive, however long that may be.

Empty Calories

They have you attend classes on diet and nutrition when you are diagnosed with diabetes. I have been to two or three courses at different times. Once while attending a class, I had been keeping my thoughts to myself because I didn't want to upset what the teacher was trying to accomplish, but it was hard because the people there were all brand new at this and none of them had any idea about real food.

We were figuring out our personal meal plans and one lady asked if she could still eat spaghetti if she put less sauce on. She was told that would be fine.

At one point, I had to say something and I remember mentioning "empty calories." One good brother raised his hand then, and asked what was meant by empty calories. I didn't know what to say without taking over the class, but I managed an answer, I guess, sort of.

I wanted to tell him, "everything you eat." The first example I thought of was lasagna.

Empty calories are foods that taste and feel substantial, but because they lack basic nutrients, you tend to eat more and you still have the munchies so you eat a rich dessert and that seems to sort of satisfy and you are able to walk away from the table. The problem here is that you never do get those basic nutrients. Just one result from this for some people might be the shutting down of their pancreas.

If you don't get what you were designed to need, your organs will suffer.

As I have said, the empty calories are usually accompanied by bad things such as over-abundance of quick starch, preservatives and other crap. But these problems pale compared to the main issue that you aren't getting basic needed nutrients.

I think nothing in the body cannot be healed - now. Treat it right. Go easy on it for a while. Have faith and reach out for wisdom and truth. And your God, who is the general source of these.

The scientific is one legitimate sub-method for discovery of truth. It is slow and clunky though, and cannot produce wisdom consistently. Truth is truth. It is invariant across all applications, disciplines, contexts, societies. The very best and most general way to determine it is with the assistance of the Holy Ghost. But by this method, you will not be spoon-fed. You must seek, study, work, pray, maybe even use the scientific method to obtain this help. Why does this guy talk like he knows? How do you think a guy like me made it through college?

Skin Injuries and Other Symptoms

Early on in my diabetic career, my skin was like wax. Like if I rested my arm on the edge of my desk for a bit, the resulting red mark would be redder, deeper and last many times longer (hours) than normal. The skin with the furrow in it was not just discolored and a little dented, it was firm like warm molded wax, having a very articulated impression from the desk.

As time went on, and I got better control, this condition went away. But my shins were getting ugly. The surface layer of skin was about as thick as onion paper. If ever so slightly bumped, it would peel off, but the skin underneath looked no different than the unbroken skin had - at first. But later in the day, blood would ooze out. Next day, a total redness was present where the skin had peeled back. Another couple of days and it was a thick, full-blown scab. I would carry the scab for months and it would get thicker. When it healed more or less, it left a nice red scar. All from a bump on the shin through my pants like you would get if you very slowly walked into a chair but it did not hurt at all. Now the scars are mostly brown. The condition now is similar, but about 90% less severe. It takes more than a little bump now to break the skin, and if it does, it heals in about a week (or two? - I'm not sure). But my shins are still pretty ugly.

I heal fast now. Whether it's a cut on my hand or anywhere else, or recovering from oral surgery. My skin is fine. Neuropathy has been a problem during the time I was recently using excess insulin, but now it's pretty much cleared up.

The first symptoms I had early on were numb feet and a little later, bloodshot eyes. The bloodshot eyes cleared up but left extra veins in the whites of my eyes. But for about a year, my whites were yellow. Then they went white again and still are. But the extra veins are still there. My feet are pretty normal now if I've been doing good and my sugar has not been elevated in the night. Otherwise, they can be as numb as ever, and sometimes, downright mincemeat feeling. My feet almost always feel fine if I have shoes on; it's when I am barefoot that I can tell how they really feel. Sometimes they feel great, even barefoot.

Chard today

I was down to a few units of insulin per day last summer but have not been doing as well this winter. I found that I had tapered off of my juicing and my post-meal exercise and was getting gluttonous with the cow cream. So I jammed the gears and stopped the cheese and the butter, the cream and most of the milk, and for the first while, the peanuts and the meat. I also got more green salad going. In about 4 days, I was back to just 4-6 units of humalog per meal (instead of 15-35).

I have observed over the years that no matter what I do, my tendency to high sugar is much more imminent in the morning. I can relax a bit the rest of the day, but whether I slept enough, early or late, pigged out or not the night before, exercise or not, nothing makes a difference to the fact that I have to have a bigger shot and not eat too much in the morning hours - whether I eat ANY breakfast or not.

Since jamming the gears and getting back onto it, I have been doing my brief exercise after each meal. I usually run with the dog up the hill that we live on. It consists of running about 100 yards up a hill that is almost too steep to pave or drive a car on, walking down about 30 yards, run up another hill about 50 yards, walk 100 yards down, and finally, run about 100 yards back up another way, maybe stop at the playground and do some pullups and/or pushups. I'm not sure, but it seems to take about 10 minutes.

I have been limiting my breakfast to my mug full of juice. Then it's up the hill. This morning, I only needed 2 units of humalog before my juice. When I got back (the dog stayed home with his raw meat) I fought the dog, I felt so chipper.

Normally, my juice is carrot and broccoli but today I was out of brocco so I tried chard instead. It worked better than I expected. I also put in ginger, almost too much. Man, that's Real Ginger Ale!

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Veering Off the Subject

While I'm at it, I want to post something I think is of utmost importance to people with small children, people with big children and people with no children. It is getting a little off the subject of diet and lifestyle - or is it? But because it is so important......

It may be that all girls already know this and they will just say, "huh?" So but fathers, Pay Attention!

I have a theory that jerks are so to the degree that they have been starved for attention.

So if you know a jerk, give them more attention.

If you know someone cool, give them more attention.

Most importantly, give your kids attention. Growing up, I learned how to raise kids by flipping my sibling's kids in the head to discipline and control them. I knew well the value of Vitamin N. I knew how not to spoil a child and I was only 13.

Then I met my wife Sharon. When I met her, I thought I was pretty nice. When I married her, I began to discover fields of ignorance and imperfection all ready to harvest for repentance.


Secondly, I discovered that a child can tell when you are playing or talking with them without stepping into their world.

And need I point out that if you are paying attention, by definition, you are not lecturing or threatening or advising superfluously or saying anything irrelevant? Come to think of it, maybe that's the difference between paying and giving attention. All kinds of negative attention could be given, but I think only the kind of attention I am talking about can be paid. On second thought, paying attention means listening; giving attention means doing for. So both. Both are always positive. And if you're yelling, complaining or accusing, you are probably demanding attention.

Sometimes, when little Eirik had been ignored too much, he would start to act spoiled and bratty. Or just plain irritating. The cuteness would begin to fade a bit. When this happened, Sharon or I would sit down and read him a book (one of his). This would make him perfect and cute again and we could go another couple of days without paying any attention to him.

Some kids may require a little more.

If you want them to behave and obey well, this is the secret. If you want them to be wise, respectful teens, this is the secret.

Remember, you can never do it too much - that's what makes it so profound.

Remember, but don't worry, you will regret not doing it more. You will.

Another thing that I learned, not from Sharon, but from a friend's wife's friend's husband, was the virtue of his statement, "I like teaching them things." Yes, doing things that work so well that they are easy are generally fun. So giving the little sponges something to soak up is quite an experience.

Healthy = Proper Weight NOT!

Health and fitness mean different things to different groups. To the older group, it means low cholesterol and blood pressure. To young women, it means slenderness. To young men, it means muscle mass. To just about everyone who would be happier lighter, it means less fat. Many discussions today have begun to synonymize health and “skinny.” I want to point out that while excess fat or weight can cause problems, the major health issues are deeper in the body.

Organs are important too.

This was completely ignored, in my opinion, by the low-carb, high-protein diet movement. Give me a break. How can you expect anything but trouble if you limit your intake of fruits and vegetables and eat mainly meat? A slender and toned body, if that’s what such a diet can get you, is not going to make you feel good. It will be of little value to you in the near future when you get sick. It amazes me how caught up into body fashion a person can get. I stood with two women one day and listened to their conversation about a high-protein diet. One woman was one of the main nurses at my place of employment. She asked the other woman for her opinion on such a diet. The other woman was a visiting dietician that had just finished a lecture. She was clearly against such a diet but spoke very diplomatically. It floored me to hear a nurse ask such a question, under whose care I had been. From the way she spoke, she was actually considering such a diet.

I did dumber things as a teenager to manipulate my weight for wrestling competition.

Opposite the high-protein, I suspect commercial vegan programs stress the abstinence from animal products more for the weight-reduction (face it – this is where the money is) effect it definitely seems to have than the internal organ and cells benefit it may (I’m not so sure) have. I certainly am convinced that unhealthy meats (those with preservatives and raised with hormones and un-natural feed) are bad and that healthy meats are best consumed only when the appetite truly dictates, but I don’t go for the idea of cutting out animal products altogether, especially if you are not a heavy person to begin with.

You often hear that obesity increases risk of developing diabetes. This may be, but I was never obese and I developed diabetes. So I think of obesity and diabetes as parallel potentials from a common set of bad practices rather than cause and result, one from the other.

What are the benefits of obtaining a body that takes a lot of un-natural doing and maintenance? I used to lift weights an awful lot because I was told I was skinny. As I got older, I found that no exercise program undertaken for cosmetic or self-glorifying purposes could be sustained more than a few years – a few months in most cases. I kept hard at it for about 20 years, partly for the glory and partly because I felt good and aspired to keep up my wrestling ability. My motives to keep up my wrestling were pretty pure; I simply loved the sport. This enabled my consistency. But I began to care less and less about formal competition and more about the sheer activity. I learned that for running to be enjoyable, sustainable and really beneficial, I could not be thinking about getting to a finish line by some certain time. Rather, I learned to focus on the beauty of the present workings of my body and run in the moment. Long before this, I began to realize the absurdity of spending hours each day lifting weights to get big and strong without accomplishing any work beneficial to anyone else. So I began to incorporate my exercise with actual work wherever possible. Like using the reel mower rather than the gas one, and using the old dogs to go places rather than drive.

So I ask you, what good does it do a man to gain muscle mass greater than such as was known to man until 20 years ago, by lifting weights (don’t even talk to me about supplements and drugs – even though I realize they are why the average joe these days has more muscle than the big boys of yesteryear)? He may have the opportunity to lift a washing machine all by himself once in a while, or some such task, and he may look good to some, but other than that, does it allow him to fit into small places, run like a deer or labor through the day with stamina? No. Talk about vanity at the cost of health and time that could have been spent serving.

At six feet and 150 lb, I don’t think I need more mass if I’m not playing the front line in football and if I can lift 180 lb boxes onto overhead shelves, climb like a monkey to do ceiling or tree work, break all the bolts loose that I need to, or work a shovel all day in the fields.

Then there is my buddy, Ken. He would simply look funny if he had more muscle. He is naturally muscular and very strong compared to the typical weight-lifting athlete. He can lift washing machines and break bolts loose without extra leverage that I usually need. I’m sure it comes in handy for him. But he can still run too. In fact, he used to sprint faster than me. And his endurance was respectable (he wrestled too) after he overcame an asthmatic condition. I used to think I had to be like him even though it would require a lot from me.

Another thing that helped turn me from the chase of glory was the realization that very precious few people gave a darn what I accomplished in sports and that those who did only did because they wanted to best me. Except Ken. But my friends loved me anyway. Girls? Forget it. Girls worth saying hi to don’t care about such things. In short, an ego is not attractive and is not seen as something that will benefit the seer.

But don’t get me wrong – sports are great, given the right attitude. I would never trade my wrestling experience, and I am sure that a mate finds avid interest in such activity attractive when it is done for the love of diligence, development, art and fun, and not for ego.

Health is a daily thing as well as a long-term goal. The Book of Mormon, speaking of restoration and reward in the life to come says, “he that is happy shall be happy still.” Health is that way. If your food tastes great, feels good going down your gullet, feels great in your stomach, feels great through the digestion process, feels great leaving the body, and if your exercise feels great and your sleep too, you are healthy now. You that are healthy now shall be healthy still.

I implore all people to be humbly grateful for the body they were given, enjoy the strengths it has and when you think of health, think of what makes you feel really great. Build or maintain the body that will best serve your family.