My dreaded, yearly appointment to the hospital is coming up. It’s not always dreaded, despite the 3 hours spent in that grim little portacabin waiting room. However, this time around I have a feeling the doctors will have a bit to say about my HBA1C. This is a reading of your average glucose level from the past 2-3 months. Considering that the past 2-3 months consisted of my final days in Boston followed by the Christmas season, my sugar levels haven’t exactly been plain sailing. However, I decided that this year I’m going to make even more of an effort with my diabetes. I'm not to let sugar level control take over my life, but I will consistently do the little things that will help me improve my HBA1C. These are my five New Year’s resolutions, specifically for my health.
Exercise Fist Thing
What I began to do last year and what I will continue to do this year, is exercise first thing in the morning. I know, it’s difficult enough to get up in the morning, never-mind getting up to run. However, I find that if I don’t do it first thing, the chances are I’m not going to do it. I am worryingly skilled at convincing myself not to exercise. So, the trick is to get out and do it before I get a chance to think. I get up, get dressed and have a quick coffee before heading out. Exercise boosts insulin sensitivity. Also, if it’s done before eating or taking a shot of rapid acting insulin, I’m far less likely to have a low blood sugar or a sugar spike afterwards. You can click here for some exercise motivation tips.
The second thing which I discovered this year to be an actual blessing to my sugar levels, is to take my shots at the same time. That is, my background insulin twice- one shot at 8am and one shot at 9pm every day. I’m not going to lie, despite my alarm, I didn’t wake up at 8am once over the Christmas break. Not one single time. This was due to either wine hangovers or a late night of an excessive amount of Harry Potter watching. It really showed from my sugar levels. I noticed a significantly higher number after breakfast simply from that gap in the morning when my nighttime shot had run out and I had no background insulin in my system. The same goes for when I forgot to take my evening shot at 9pm, my sugar levels increased notably after a snack that would normally require no rapid acting insulin at all. This year I’m going to focus on getting back into this routine, no matter how desperately I want to put my alarm on snooze.
Limit to One Cocktail
If you’ve read any of my previous posts or glanced at my Instagram, you’ll know I’m a big fan of an espresso martini. Unfortunately, like any cocktail, they’re not great for sugar levels. It’s so difficult to estimate the amount of insulin to take with one, especially because they can be made differently depending on the bartender. However, I absolutely hate restricting myself, especially from something I love as deeply as an espresso martini. So, if I’m going for drinks, I’ll treat myself to one then switch to a sugar-free drink. Everything in moderation. Vodka, sparkling water and a splash of lime cordial is the drink that works best for me. The lime cordial makes all the difference and doesn’t spike my sugars at all. You can click here for some other sugar-free, alcoholic drink options I like to go for.
Pack a Lunch
Growing up with an allergy to nuts and gluten meant that I never left the house without packed meals and snacks. Gluten-free food has really only come onto the scene in recent years, so if I didn’t have a packed lunch, I was going hungry. This turned out to be beneficial in a way, because now I save money and have a steady sugar level. By packing your own lunch, you know what’s in the Tupperware, you know how much insulin to take with it, and you can choose a healthier option. I love eating out, but it’s always a little bit of a guesstimation of how much carbs and sugar are in the meal. That’s why this year, I’m going to save my restaurant meals to evening’s out and weekend brunches, rather than wasting it on just another day at work. You can click here for a list of my favourite, healthy packed lunches.
Drink More Water
By more, I actually mean just drink water in general. Currently, my only water is the little bit in my coffee. If it’s caffeine free and tasteless, I just won’t choose it. My new year’s resolution is to be one of those annoyingly perfect people with their reusable water bottle who consistently re-fill it throughout the day. By drinking more water I’ll be less likely to pick at food between meals causing a blood sugar rise. Also, according to ‘Diabetes Strong’ “Even a mild level of dehydration — something you may not even feel — could easily leave your blood sugar levels 50 to 100 mg/dL higher than if you were drinking enough water.” Staying hydrated is important for everyone, especially diabetics. So, from the 1st of January my aim is 3 refills a day from my new, overpriced water bottle.
Those are my 5 New Year’s Resolutions specifically to help my sugar level control. If you have any more resolutions you would like to share please let me know! Hope you enjoyed.