Well, I’m going on a 90-day journey to really buckle down and get my numbers straight for my next A1C test. As much as I want to be diabetes free, I know it’s going to take planning and adjustments to get there. One thing that has remained consistent is my 3 main strategies for keeping me accountable and steer clear of as much added sugar as possible. There’s nothing unheard of or new but they really make a huge difference throughout my week. Check them out!
One of the biggest issues that we face today is access to nutrient-dense foods. I’m fortunate to live in a city with a lot of options. Austin offers several big and small grocery stores that carry products where you actually know what’s in it. There are also several neighboring farms that participate in CSAs (more on that later). So I’m going to start my journey with the source: food. By making a conscious effort to obtain my groceries from places that are diligent about carrying items where the labels are straightforward on what’s in it, I can make my grocery list and know that I’m picking up quality nutrient-dense foods. If you don’t have access to that type of environment that’s ok. A lot of chain grocery stores are picking up that carrying the right brands and products are extremely important. Just be sure to check the labels before you set anything in your basket. But always, always have a list made. Don’t go into the store hungry. It’s an oldie but goodie for a reason. Sometimes I’ll even include a picture of the specific brand that I know works well for me. It also helps if you have to share the list with a significant other or roommate. There’s no question of what to grab because you’ve got a picture to reference!
Meal prepping has also made a huge impact on me. If I’m making my meals I know I’m going to ensure that they’re balanced meals that will keep me level all day long. You don’t have to do the entire week if that’s a lot to do. Maybe do 2-3 days, especially if you like variety. I’m ok with eating the same thing for the week. Either way, having a preset menu for the week keeps me accountable.
One thing that I recognized when I got my first place on my own is that when I didn’t have non-nutrient dense foods in the house, I didn’t eat it. I had to utilize what I did have or starve basically. Starving isn’t really an option because well I like to eat lol. But even more so to maintain my levels I obviously need to eat. Years back I tried out paleo and kept up with it for a little over 6 months. It’s because of paleo that I don’t really use dairy very often (mainly cheese) and that I don’t have a heavy attachment to bread, grains, and pastas. When I took the step I literally gave away or threw out anything that wasn’t in the approved list. Most of those items were products stuffed with sugar. Nowadays, I’ll just throw it out. By keeping items in the house that I know won’t spike my blood sugar and that will keep me balanced throughout the day, I end up thinking less about food.
I also keep delivery apps off of my phone. I know. That’s big. Lord knows post mates and favor were my lifelines on lazy nights. I found though that not only did I spend waaaay too much money, but I had the tendency to order things that weren’t in my best nutritional interest — especially the sweet stuff. I could have ordered something better, but it was rare. I also noticed that I didn’t want to leave the house as much. I would just lay around playing games or watching TV stuffing my face. Getting up to grocery shop got me out of the house and moving. It’s like it puts me in this productive state where I’m like “alright what’s next? Lets get shit done!”
Soooo I’m very much a planner/journal/stationary enthusiast (anyone bujo?). It’s a struggle not to buy new pens and journals knowing I’ve plenty at home that need to be used. I still keep digital versions for those moments when I’m on the go and can’t carry them with me, but writing things down really helps me to get things out of my head. I do my best to take note of how I’m feeling, or to notate a recipe that I really liked. Keeping my head clear helps me to analyze areas that can be worked on. I do have a separate small food journal that I carry on me but I find it’s better for me to write about how my body feels vs. every single thing that I ate. During my 90 journey however, I will be doing just that along with my numbers since I’m in the gathering data stage. Do what works for you, but definitely take note about what you feel and how something you have helps or maybe doesn’t help. Did you make a breakfast smoothie that had you feeling great and kept your blood sugar balanced? Notate that! Maybe experiment with variations of the same recipe so you’ve got an arsenal of recipes that you KNOW works great for you. Did a friend mention a brand that had products that are right up your alley? Take it down. Quality products are being made more and more and helps to have a running list of brands that you know deliver what you need without the sugar spike and crash.
Do what works for you!
Now my process isn’t perfect and I’m constantly tweaking what I do, but these 3 strategies have really been the foundation of keeping myself accountable. Find what works for you. Don’t be afraid to try different strategies. Once you land on something that really works, stick with it! Consistency is key when trying to ensure the success of your plan. Got any strategies that keep you accountable? Let me know! I’m always down to try different options. Comment below!