How Can One Possibly Eat Very-Low-Carb For Life?

Jerrymat left an insightful and inspirational comment on my review of Dr. Bernstein’s Diabetes Solution. Here it is: 

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I am a 74 year old diabetic (T2) and have been following Bernstein’s plan for 26 months. I have lost 51 lbs, lowered my intake of insulin and have had reversal of several diabetic complications. My blood chemistry is much better than before and my A1c has gone from 9.1 to 5.0. My blood pressure is lower and I am healthier in virtually every measured way.

I cannot bring myself to abandon all fruits but I found I can satisfy myself with a quarter of an apple, a half of an orange, a quarter of a grapefruit, etc. I eat them much more slowly and with concentrated mental feelings of enjoyment. I currently limit myself to 40 grams of carbs per day and I continue to lose weight at the rate of a pound and a quarter a month. There was a long plateau period of no weight loss in the middle of the two years (13 months) but I kept at it. It has paid off.

Several writers on dieting say one cannot continue indefinitely on a low carb diet. I think they have the wrong attitude. The word “diet” has two distinct meanings. It can refer to what people eat on an ongoing basis. “The Inuit live on seal fat and protein in the winter and the same supplemented by summer time vegetative materials found on land.” The Inuit do not give up their diet or they would starve.

The other meaning is a special temporary change in one’s eating habits. As long as one considers what they are doing to be temporary they are doomed to drop off the temporary diet and resume their normal faire.

I have found a useful mental image to conjure up to help me. I once lived in the Mariana Islands where I could eat breadfruit. It was a wonderful food and in season very abundant. Breadfruit could be eaten every way that potatoes can. One can make breadfruit chips, french fries, mashed breadfruit, etc. A typical tree could produce thousands of lbs. However, now living in the Seattle area, I have no chance to obtain breadfruit. It is just a memory from earlier years. I find it OK to remember breadfruit with fond affection, even though I will never taste it again.

Now being on Bernstein’s diabetic diet, I no longer eat a number of once-loved foods: pizza, bread, corn-on-the-cob, catsup, etc. I just have the same fond memories of my lifestyle then as when I had breadfruit. It is OK to think of how I used to like ice cream, candy and cake. I just no longer live so that I can have those items. Pizza and french fries are just fond memories. They are just like the breadfruit. It is true that I could go to the supermarket and buy them. I could also take a plane flight to Guam and enjoy breadfruit. I don’t do either.

It is important to learn new concepts about food and invent new recipes.
One example is that I put store mix cabbage slaw in a bowl and added small defrosted salad shrimp. I added bacon bits, chopped radishes and green onions, along with both chopped black olives and a special brand of green olives. The latter were very large olives double stuffed with both garlic and jalapeno peppers. For dressing I mixed a store bought creamy Ranch dressing with raw tomato salsa and added the juice of half a lemon and half a lime. It is an absolutely wonderful taste combination. For side crunch and texture I used an idea of Dr. Bernstein, a couple of squares of processed cheese heated briefly in the microwave to become substitutes for crackers or bread, on the side. This tastes simply wonderful and I can eat it always as part of my new survival-to-old age diet.


Filed under Inspiration

5 responses to “How Can One Possibly Eat Very-Low-Carb For Life?

  1. Jan

    Lovely article, there is a lot of good low carb news around. I have shared this on our blog, hope you don’t mind.

  2. Insightful and inspirational says it all! Wonderful story and some great meal and snack ideas for other very-low-carb devotees. Thanks so much for sharing, Steve.

  3. gibson

    It’s not only possible, it’s easy now that I’ve done it awhile. It has become my lifestyle.

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  5. I am glad that Jerrymat found a plan that is appropriate for him and it is keeping him healthy and helping him to deal diabetes. I am not sure if I could abandon fruits and vegetables since I still need the nutritional value that I have. And I do not know if I will try the low carb since there are foods that I cannot live without. Thanks for the interesting article.