Several years ago, I had a woman in my Bible study who was in the midst of battling many health issues. One of those health issues was type 2 diabetes. She said something to me, that I've heard so many times before, and is always so difficult to hear...
"My doctor said there is nothing I can do about my diabetes. It's just genetic and there's nothing I can do about it."
Ugh. These words upset me so much because, yes, even though many of us (including me) may have been born with a genetic predisposition to type 2 diabetes, there is so much we can do to counter its effects.
Today, I am going to specifically focus on type 2 diabetes as well as those who have been told they are pre-diabetic.
First, let's discuss genetics.
If you come from a long line of family members with type 2 diabetes, you may think this is just your fate. Take me for example. My mom, my grandmother, and all the women on their side of the family were diagnosed with diabetes after 40 years old. Just reading that, you may think, "Wow Isabel. Seems like that's just the way it is in your family." But, what I know for sure is I have control over whether or not that gene is turned on.
Yes, you read that correctly. If you have type 2 diabetes, or are at risk for type 2, you have a lot of control over whether that gene has an opportunity to express itself inside your body.
Currently, my sister has already been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes (at 40 years old) and I, per my doctor, am nowhere near a diagnosis and have an optimal A1C.
I don't say that to brag or speak negatively of my sister in any way (if you asked her, she would share this information with you just as I am doing right now). I tell you this because I want you to know that, no matter how strong your genetic inclination is for type 2 diabetes, you can overcome it and keep that diabetes gene quiet using the strategies I give you below.
What if you have already been diagnosed with diabetes or pre-diabetes? The strategies you would use are the same, except you may need to discuss the adjustment of your medications with your physician.
Here are the top 3 things you can start doing right now to naturally manage your blood sugar levels (regardless of how high they may be at this time).
#1 - Keep your blood sugar balanced throughout the day by using optimal food balance. After following the meal plans in your New Life Promise plan for even just a few days, you begin to notice a consistent theme... every meal includes healthy protein, carbohydrate, and healthy fat... no exceptions. This optimal balance of macronutrients keeps your blood sugar stable throughout the day, keeping your blood sugar balanced naturally, without the need for excess insulin to control your blood sugar. This is why many type 2 diabetics experience a drastic reduction in their blood sugar and their need for medication, even after just a few days on the New Life Promise plan.
In order to ensure you are achieving this balance in each meal, look at your plate and ask yourself, "Where is my protein? Where is my carb? Where is my healthy fat?" Even if you're not struggling with diabetes, this is a critical question to ask at every meal... so much so that I've even taught it to my 8- and 10-year-olds.
#2 - Eat those optimally-balanced meals 3-4 hours apart throughout the day. Managing your blood sugar also requires you to provide your body with consistent fuel throughout the day. If you're going long hours with no food, and then eating large meals in one sitting, this is a recipe for a blood sugar roller coaster ride. That is why every New Life Promise meal plan provides 3 meals plus 1 mid-afternoon snack to prevent any blood sugar drops throughout the day.
#3 - Walk, walk, and then walk some more. One of the best ways to get your body to naturally use up the glucose flowing through your blood stream is through activity. Walking is one of the best ways to achieve this. With so many types of exercises to choose from, walking just doesn't receive as much credit as it's due. It's easy to do, requires no equipment, is easy on the joints, and can be done anytime, anywhere. I do my best to go on 2 short walks each day. I take a break from the computer before lunch and go for a 20-minute walk, and then I go for another 20-minute walk late afternoon. With all the fancy exercise strategies out there, sometimes we forget the simplest ones may be the best ones.
I pray that you read the words above and they bring you great hope... not just for yourself, but for those wonderful people in your life who may be struggling with type 2 diabetes or pre-diabetes and may feel hopeless in their efforts to overcome its side effects.