Cleanse this! (Diabetes and the Cleanse Diet)
Food cleanses are definitely the new fad of 2012. There are so many types of cleanses to choose from I may as well be a kid in a candy shop. You can fast just starve yourself no big, eat only raw food, only drink water containing lemon juice maple syrup and cayenne pepper (yum…), or the newest trend the soup diet.
I would say at my work alone there are at least three people participating in some sort of cleanse, me being one of them.
I decided to research where cleanse dieting entered the scene and for what reasons. I came across an article on livestrong.com, which explained that cleansing diets have been around for a while. Some of the first cleanse diets were used for creating discipline, for religious reasons, or to help cure diseases. Today though, the reasons for doing a cleanse diet are not as noble. In most cases I feel the reasoning behind a cleanse diet is vanity. I will even admit, my reasoning behind my cleanse diet was I wanted to drop weight and drop weight fast. It’s one of Hollywood’s newest weight loss trends. The newest IT girl is cleanse dieting to prep for her next role or lose her baby weight. But the real purpose of a cleanse diet is to detoxify your body from all the harmful toxins it inhabits from the world around us. (Just to clarify I promise I am not judging).
Considering these diets as a diabetic, my main concern was low blood sugars. Is it even possible to be a diabetic and do a cleanse diet considering the lack of food, treating a low, and maintaining blood glucose levels? All of the cleanse diets out there do mention to be sure and talk to your physician before beginning a cleanse, but let’s just say I decided to skip that step when deciding to go on mine. I know what you’re thinking, BIG MISTAKE! Mom don’t panic, I survived. But here is why I bypassed the conversation with my doctor, it costs money to go and visit the doctor covered by insurance or not, and the cleanse diet I chose to do seemed diabetic friendly because you could eat actual real food and as much as you wanted as long as it stayed in the limits of the cleanse.
The cleanse diet I participated in was given to my husband by a physical trainer from the morning show his local television station puts on. The point and idea of this cleanse diet was to rework how your body digests and stores the food you take in. I read through the cleanse diet directions to see if this was even a possibility with my diabetes. When I finished the directions, I felt like this was a good option for me as a diabetic for these few reasons: one) the ability to eat as much as I want of the food on the cleanse. 2) the ability to treat my low blood sugars if they were to happen and 3) Memorial weekend at the lake was just around the corner and losing 5-7% of my body weight before then seems like a great plan.
Day one began, fruit day, piece of cake. I packed my lunch to the brim with my soup and my fruit choices of the day. I was planning on needing to give myself lots of insulin this day because fruit has a lot of sugar in it. BUT the weirdest thing happened, I was getting more low blood sugars than high blood sugar. I decided to lower my basal intake to an active day (my insulin pump has different basal patterns set for when I am being more active like a day in Disneyland or when I am not being as active, a sick day). I also, decided to test not give myself a bolus when I ate (Mom don’t get upset). And all of that did the trick, I literally did not have to give my self any insulin (other than my basal insulin) for the first time in a long time I got to remember how it felt to just to have a normal pancreas and liver again. Let me tell you, it felt amazing! This trend continued through the day 2 (veggie day) and day 3 (fruits and veggies day).
Then day four came (bananas and milk day), that changed the game a little. Now, bananas are a fruit but we were not allowed to eat until this particular day because by day 4 of the cleanse, your body will need the potassium. And for those of you who didn’t know this little fact, milk has a lot of sugar in it as well. The fat slows down the sugar from spiking your blood sugars until a few hours later, but the spike will come unless treated with insulin in the beginning. Unfortunately, my body wanted insulin this day and a lot of it. My highest blood sugar for the day was 236 (for those of you who don’t know what that number represents it’s the amount of sugar mg/dl in your blood where you want to be between is between100-120). I gave myself a correction bolus and then continued to bolus any time I ate throughout the day and put my basal setting back to their normal pattern. By doing this my blood sugars maintained their normal levels.
Day five was beef, fish, tomatoes, and soup. I was back to not needing insulin with my meals. The day went well other than a mishap in the morning and my blood sugars were still doing great. We had planned a dinner date with my parents, sister and brother-in-law, and great aunt and uncle. Hubs and I were a little worried about making eating out work within the cleanse diet guidelines, but we managed. My parents chose a Peruvian restaurant that happened to have seafood tomato soup. Hubs chose to stick with steak and eat only the steak. And blood sugars were great and very sad to have missed out on the flan.
Day six went well, even though my self-control was tested to the max I managed not to cheat and was able to keep my blood sugars under control. Bolus and basal insulin back to their norms in my pump my working pancreas defected again….so sad….
Day seven was probably the hardest day of the entire cleanse diet. One because I am not a fan of quinoa or brown rice, but that mixed in with veggies is what you are allowed to have for the day. And two because it’s the last day and all I could think about was I could go back to eating my paleo food tomorrow. But I made it….sort of….ok, ok, we went to chipotle and I had cheese in by burrito bowl. Ugh! I feel so much better now!
All in all I lost 7lbs in one week from the cleanse diet and I feel good. It didn’t bother my diabetes too much, other than lowering the amount of insulin I was giving myself on a regular basis. From a diabetes standpoint, this cleanse was the smarter route to go. You are still eating as much as you would like, it’s low carb (which is probably what lowered my insulin intake), and showed me that I have self-control, which is really what you need to get control of your diabetes. For all you diabetics out there who have wanted to try out this new cleanse diet fad here is one that shouldn’t affect your blood sugars. Diabetic tested and diabetic approved.