Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Pre-Diabetic Weight Loss Foodie Frustration

Navigating the world of what to eat and what not to eat is extremely frustrating.  Any google search will most likely end up with you having cancer from any product that isn't air (and even then...) and searching on is like having the entire nutrition section of a real world book store dumped on you.

In today's world of dieting - labels are all the rage.  Whether it's Paleo, Atkins, gluten free, carb cycling, or keto - associating some famous person with that label makes it even more appealing it seems.  If that gorgeous, slim, healthy person eats this way then maybe we should too right? If [thisfood] is good for you and [Famous Celebrity] is eating it, then let's rush out to Trader Joes/Whole Foods/Specialty Store and buy it, right?

Except I'm pretty sure you and I AREN'T celebrities. Most people don't have countless hundreds to spend.  I also don't have a personal trainer that comes to my house or my posh gym and someone to cook and clean for me.  I also don't have a nutritionalist on hand to answer my questions. I have Google.  And Google gives me cancer, every time.

So what to do?  For me - I haven't found an exact answer yet. I'm muddling through the best way I know how, trial and error.  I was recently diagnosed as pre-diabetic. I can't lose weight, I feel like shit, and I feel like I look like shit. My skin, hair, everything. Yuck.  After quitting smoking and having a baby 3.5 and 2.5 years ago, respectively, the weight never came off.  I cycle. I try to eat healthy. Nada. Nothing. Zero. Zilch. I'm still holding steady at a whopping 170 lbs.  I refuse to become diabetic and if I can turn this shit-train around I'm going to.

There are days when I'm frustrated beyond belief.  As a mom of 3 kids, one with a pretty much full time job, one in Football, and a busy toddler, I don't know where I"m going to find time to meal plan everything that goes in our faces.  One meal for me, one meal for the family? Twice the meal planning? I already take 5 hours a week or so couponing.  Where am I going to carve out the additional time to plan every meal I eat? If you're like me, you go to the fridge and find a suitable snack or lunch and eat it.  Now I have to rethink that.  I can only stock things that are suitable.

I love food. I love buying it, making it, smelling it, tasting it. After being diagnosed and getting frustrated  with all of this information overload, I just want a shake or something that has everything I need in it and keep it moving. I'm tired of failing or being wrong or spending hours trying to learn and ending up with grilled chicken breast, steamed broccoli and brown rice.  Can you just give me a pill or a shake and I'll end my love affair with food and swear it off indefinitely?


This isn't a very upbeat blog post and for that I apologize. I hope to share with you what I learn, if anything about preventing this disease from actually manifesting. If I can help even one person avoid Type II diabetes then I'll be happy.

So I will try, each time I post, to list one new thing I've found to help me navigate the not-so-easy world of weight-loss, low carb, low glycemic, low sugar, low fat, low calorie world.

Today's find: Norbu Sweetener. (or any Erythritol sweetener, but I like this brand)  

If you're like me you've already given up on the lovely legal crack that is refined sugar. I love the crunch, that little pop of sweetness, and the warm feeling of joy and light and sun and perfection that is white sugar. I stumbled on this at ShopRite and thought, well why not. I'm sick of the Pink Blue & Yellow war. And of course, if you Google them, they give you cancer. If you Google this - it does NOT give you cancer. Silliness aside, the benefits for us prediabetics and those with diabetes are pretty good.  According to the site and the science of it, this is mostly erythritol, an alcohol sugar. They add Monkfruit but I'm not thinking it's very much since pure monkfruit is super sweet and you have to use a tiny bit more of this than sugar for sweetening.

I'm not going to go into the science of it because frankly, I'm not sciency. Or Englishy apparently either. You can go Here (with actual sources) or Here or Here to learn about it but basically here are the Pros & Cons:

Zero Calorie sweetener
Does NOT raise blood sugar
Easier on the gut than others
Doesn't contribute to the formation of cavities
LOOKS like sugar
Crunches like sugar
So far long term studies suggest NO carcinogen issues

You have to use more of it, it's only 70% as sweet as sugar
Can cause a tiny bit of stomach upset if you use excessive amounts (but so can sugar to a diabetic or prediabetic)

In my search for healthier and safer options, this seems to be a good one. I'll gladly pay the exorbitant price for it - heck I would go to Starbucks for basically melted ice cream with a pinch of coffee and dropped upwards of $5 a pop so why not take that money and put it towards sweetness for the week?

Please comment on anything you found to help you if you've found your way here about diabetes, weight loss, or just life in general.


  1. Can you use it for cooking/baking? Or is it more for a replacement in .. say .. coffee or tea?

  2. Yes you can! If you're going to use it as a sweetener add add a bit more. I don't know that it will make syrup though. Awesome if you're going to use it for the sugary crunch!

  3. Great writeup! I have never heard of it, but plan to give it a try. Have you tried Agave? It is much sweeter and also does not raise the Glycemic Index although no crunch or pop.

  4. Great writeup! I have never heard of it, but plan to give it a try. Have you tried Agave? It is much sweeter and also does not raise the Glycemic Index although no crunch or pop.