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  1. #1
    Registered User Cedar1974's Avatar
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    Default Diabetic Trail meals

    I have just recently been diagnosed as a diabetic, and I was wondering what kind of trail meals and foods I might want to stay away from? Are there Diabetic friendly dehydrated meals? I ask this not just for hiking. I am working on getting my CDL and becomign a trucker, so I might want these kind of meals for in the truck as well.

  2. #2
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    you want low carb, no bread, rice, potatoes or pasta.

    Making homemade dehydrated stew might be a good choice, I've done this and it works well. Just make sure everything is finely chopped so it rehydrates well.

    I think there are some "primal" backpacking meals out there, not cheap and I have no idea how good they are. Look for things that are high in fat.

    My father is type 2 and with watching carbs, his sugar is really good.

  3. #3
    Registered User runt13's Avatar
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    As mentioned, watch your carbs, and sugar intake. I have type 2 as well and i control it fairly well with diet. Here are some of the things that work for me.

    1. stay away from as much processed foods as possible
    2. when looking at the nutrition charts add the carbs and sugar...that is closer to the real sugar content, then minus the fiber. keep a count and you will see how much sugars you really consume in a day, it may scare you at first.
    3. eat high fiber [nuts are my favorite, 1 or 2 large handfuls of almonds] before you go to bed it helps with AM sugar count
    4. lots and lots of water, brewed teas.
    5. if you are going to eat carbs at a meal eat a piece of citrus fruit as well, it slows the absorption of the carbs / sugar, limits the spike.
    6. i check my sugar right before my coffee in the am, and right before dinner this months average was 105 with no meds.
    7. eat small snacks every hour instead of feasting at meals

    This seems to work for me, next months A1C test will verify or dispel this.

    Probably the hardest part is the control, once it becomes a involuntary part of life, you can adjust it as needed.

    Please work with your doctor on this and be 100% honest with both yourself and doctor.

    RUNT ''13''

  4. #4

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    I won't say being a truck driver is a detriment to your malady, but it's definitely not a check in the win column. Staying active is a great way to drop your sugar, so force yourself to go for walks when ya can.

  5. #5

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    I'd expect learning about nutrition and health would translate from hiking to trucking, however the actual meals and portions would have to vary a great deal.

    Ignore the nutrition claims on the front of the box, pay attention to the nutrition information on the side of the box.

    Twice a year, I take a three day road trip. At first I felt kind of crappy, gained weight, lost energy ... in just three days. Now, I have to make an effort to stop, search out something worth eating, and go for a walk. Just walking around the perimeter of a rest area is good enough. I know time is money in trucking, but your health has to come first or you'll be spending that money on prosthetic feet.

  6. #6
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    Welcome to the club nobody wants to be a member of!

    My expertise is a bit off since it is based on backpacking with my Type-1 son, not personal experience as a type-2 adult. But, there is plenty of overlap when it comes to managing blood sugar.

    First: I would suggest that trail food and trucker food are completely different and probably don't overlap very well. The beauty of trail food is that you are getting so much exercise and burning so many calories, you can probably eat a pretty "normal" diet and have extraordinarily good blood sugar control. The exercise will vastly improve your insulin sensitivity. For many type-2 diabetics, especially early in the disease process, backpacking, especially on long distance trail, will essentially "cure" the disease . . . I say essentially, because it's not cured, it is just being managed, for the time being, more with exercise, so diet and medication are not as important if needed at all.

    Conversely, trucker food would need to be low carb and low fat because the job is sedentary and you are back to managing your diabetes (your lack of sensitivity to insulin) more with diet (and meds?) and less with exercise.

    I think the only logical conclusion is that, with the onset of diabetes, it is time to retire and live on the trail. ;-)
    I'm not lost. I'm exploring.

  7. #7
    Registered User runt13's Avatar
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    Best option..................''I think the only logical conclusion is that, with the onset of diabetes, it is time to retire and live on the trail. ;-)''

    RUNT ''13''

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    +1 to everybody's good advice on eating, exercise, etc. But like everything else here (boots/tents/sleeping bags/packs), there is no "best", only what is right for you. Hike, eat sensibly and keep track of things, see how you react.

    For me (after the doctor put me in the hospital for three days) it's been eating in moderation, hiking for exercise, etc. I'm well controlled (averages near 100, last A1c 4.9) on meds. Go get off the meds would take the next step in being more cautious in what I eat. (He says after a fish sandwich and mac and cheese lunch).

    Hike Your Own diabetic Hike.
    76 HawkMtn w/Rangers
    13 HF>CramptonsG
    14 LHHT
    15 Girard/Quebec/LostTurkey/Saylor/Tuscarora/BlackForest
    16 Kennerdell/Cranberry-Otter/DollyS/WRim-NCT
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    18-19 AT NOBO 1540.5

  9. #9
    Registered User Cedar1974's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nsherry61 View Post

    I think the only logical conclusion is that, with the onset of diabetes, it is time to retire and live on the trail. ;-)
    Sorry, nto an option. I am only 41 years old. Now if I had won that 1.2 billion dollar lotto jackpot, I'd be on the trail as we speak, but for now, I need a job.

  10. #10
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    After hiking Georgia in November, I am more concerned about trail food. My A1c has been 5.4 for quite a while, but the latest one was 5.7 after consuming trail food and hiking Georgia. It was impossible to find enough low carb food in the places I visited for resupply. I tried reducing carbs and ran out of steam. So, I added complex carbohydrates and quickly shot up over 200. Insulin production in someone with type two diabetes is not fast enough to stop the spike. The hiking does bring the glucose levels down, but the roller coaster glucose levels are not a good thing. They do damage.

    The first person to use a glucose meter to monitor his own blood sugar levels was an insulin dependent type one diabetic - he still is. He could not buy the machine because they only sold to doctors and hospitals. So, he ordered the machine in his wife's name, as she was an M.D. He was an engineer. He began charting the response to food, insulin, etc. and did what the medical professionals said was impossible: he normalized his blood sugar levels to within the range found in healthy non-diabetics. His health drastically improved. He wrote papers on maintaining normal blood glucose levels in diabetics, but the medical journals would not publish them. The professional opinion was that what he was claiming was not possible and would offer no benefit. The only people listening to him was the manufacturer of the glucose meter. Richard Bernstein decided to go to medical school at age 46 and found that after getting his M.D. his papers began to be published. His opinion began gaining traction after a study or two found that there was benefit in the form of reduced complications for tight control of blood glucose levels. Today, he is about 80 years old and healthy. He still has a diabetic practice and is the author of a couple of books. The first one I read was Dr. Bernstein's Diabetes Solution. I thought that I had pretty good control of my type two because my doctors told me that I was doing better than all of their other diabetic patients. Since trying Bernstein's diet recommendations, my glucose levels have been maintained between 85 and 125, when I stay on the reservation. Recently, I have no spikes, because I don't eat carbohydrates in any significant quantity. Bernstein had significant kidney impairment when he began his quest. Today, he is living free of complications. He claims that patients who follow his program simply do not develop complications from diabetes and that many complications are reversed over time. His kidney damage is totally gone.

    What has this to do with hiking the AT? Bernstein makes some recommendations about exercise. He observes that it can significantly lower blood glucose. Those who are on insulin, and other drugs, eat carbohydrates and exercise significantly can have huge gyrations in their glucose levels. It can be dangerous in the short run if they get too low and damaging in the long run if they get too high. He recommends eating protein and fat to provide the nutrition and bulk necessary to satisfy hunger and using dex4 tablets to control blood glucose levels so that you don't run out of energy. Walmart sells Glucose tablets in 4 mg doses. (One tablet will raise glucose levels about 20 points in a 150 lb person.) Suppose you eat foods that do not result in a spike in your glucose levels (never putting you over 120) and then use the tablets to boost your glucose when you exercise to maintain at about 100 mg/dl. If you monitor your sugar and determine the rate of glucose burn, you can compensate periodically with a grape flavored glucose tablet. Maybe one an hour, or one half of the scored tablet every thirty minutes will do it. I intend to try this with multiple day hikes in local forests before setting foot on the AT again. Since I am not using insulin, using the tablets will let me maintain an adequate glucose level for energy, without have to worry about getting too low.

    There is nothing radical or really new in Bernstein's book. But, I have never found all of it in one book before. My doctor's have not pushed me to the degree that Bernstein has pushed himself, or his patients. The typical guideline is to have glucose down to 140 two hours after a meal and not let it spike above 180. I have become convinced that those levels cause damage. I have been feeling a little better since trying for better glucose control. I recommend the book to my fellow diabetic hikers. We need to save the beta cells we still have.

    A good list of foods to eat on the trail is something I would like to see. I doubt that any of us could do a truly healthy thru-hike relying entirely on resupply along the trail. With support via mail drops, it should be practical.

  11. #11
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    One carbohydrate source that is very popular among many hikers and, at least for some people, does not lead to a blood sugar spike is the endurance sports drink Hammer Perpetuem.
    Perpetuem is a maltodextrin based carb source where the particular maltodextrins used in the mix are designed to provide a long steady release of carbs into your system so there neither a spike nor a crash. Added to a water bottle, a person can sip the Perpetuem at whatever rate needed to maintain energy without spiking blood sugar. My type-1 son found that the Hammer Gel products were one of the best tools for him to maintain his blood sugar as a competitive cross-country runner. For a type-2 diabetic, the Gu gels should also work well - it's even a slower maltodextrin mix.
    I'm not lost. I'm exploring.

  12. #12

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    Look around for the videos that this individual had on PBS a few years ago http://www.pbs.org/program/michael-mosley/ The Eat, Fast and Live Longer alone with The Truth About Exercise are real eye openers.

  13. #13

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    This is an important thread because more than half of the population is diabetic or prediabetic and just doesn't know it. If you have stubborn belly weight, you are insulin resistant and at high risk. This is nuts because it T2D is not a disease, it's a diet-related condition of carbohydrate intolerance. It has skyrocketed since dietary guidelines in the 1970's and 1980's recommended reducing dietary fat, so the proportion of carbs in the diet went up enough to cause the obesity/T2D epidemic. If you want to understand this better, read "The Big Fat Surprise" by Teicholtz. The best course of action IMO is to follow "banting" as repopularized by Running Doctor Tim Noakes in South Africa. His book "Real Food Revolution" gives green, orange, and red lists for foods to eat. Noakes lays out the biological science better than anyone else. Noakes is a reformed high-carb athlete who came down with T2D and sat down and figured out what went wrong and what to do about it. In short, "Bant". Eat real food, no grains or sugar. Especially avoid processed foods containing maltodextrin (GMO corn). Eat real food.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by runt13 View Post
    As mentioned, watch your carbs, and sugar intake. I have type 2 as well and i control it fairly well with diet. Here are some of the things that work for me.

    1. stay away from as much processed foods as possible
    2. when looking at the nutrition charts add the carbs and sugar...that is closer to the real sugar content, then minus the fiber. keep a count and you will see how much sugars you really consume in a day, it may scare you at first.
    3. eat high fiber [nuts are my favorite, 1 or 2 large handfuls of almonds] before you go to bed it helps with AM sugar count
    4. lots and lots of water, brewed teas.
    5. if you are going to eat carbs at a meal eat a piece of citrus fruit as well, it slows the absorption of the carbs / sugar, limits the spike.
    6. i check my sugar right before my coffee in the am, and right before dinner this months average was 105 with no meds.
    7. eat small snacks every hour instead of feasting at meals

    This seems to work for me, next months A1C test will verify or dispel this.

    Probably the hardest part is the control, once it becomes a involuntary part of life, you can adjust it as needed.

    Please work with your doctor on this and be 100% honest with both yourself and doctor.

    RUNT ''13''
    +1 !!! My basic approach as well for Type 2 Diabetes


    Bruce Traillium

  15. #15
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    One of Bernstein's suggestions was to make a slice of "bread" out of American cheese. Put the cheese on the shiney side of a piece of freezer paper and stick it in the microwave for about 90 seconds. It ends up about half and inch thick, with pores on the underside, somewhat like bread. Kroger brand works well. Kraft, not as well. Walmart was very difficult because it was thin. A slice of Walmart under a slice of Kraft worked pretty well.

    A sandwich made with two slices of nuked American cheese, three slices of turkey, a slice or two of pepper jack and a couple of dill slices - topped with horseradish mustard makes a very tasty lunch. I get no significant spike in blood sugar from it.

    If they would only keep the microwaves in the shelters a bit cleaner, I would't mind trying this on the trail.

    Try this at home. You likely would not guess what the "bread" was made from by looking unless you have heard about it. It looks like the slice at the end of the loaf.

  16. #16
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    great thread

  17. #17
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    i need to look into this more

  18. #18

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    Great thread!!!

    I just saw my Dr. yesterday. She took me off my insulin. I did it by going low carb, exercise and meds. She was concerned with having lows while hiking and even suggested not taking one of the meds while on the trail. She also insisted on taking my meter with me to monitor. A couple of grams I will gladly carry.

    Keep the food suggestions coming!

  19. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mudsock View Post
    One of Bernstein's suggestions was to make a slice of "bread" out of American cheese. Put the cheese on the shiney side of a piece of freezer paper and stick it in the microwave for about 90 seconds. It ends up about half and inch thick, with pores on the underside, somewhat like bread. Kroger brand works well. Kraft, not as well. Walmart was very difficult because it was thin. A slice of Walmart under a slice of Kraft worked pretty well.

    A sandwich made with two slices of nuked American cheese, three slices of turkey, a slice or two of pepper jack and a couple of dill slices - topped with horseradish mustard makes a very tasty lunch. I get no significant spike in blood sugar from it.

    If they would only keep the microwaves in the shelters a bit cleaner, I would't mind trying this on the trail.

    Try this at home. You likely would not guess what the "bread" was made from by looking unless you have heard about it. It looks like the slice at the end of the loaf.
    I did the microwave cheese thing today. 1st try with one slice came out a little overdone. 2nd try was with 2 slices for the same length of time 90 seconds.....perfect. I'll make it again later for my wife when she gets home :-)

    Thanks Mudsock

  20. #20
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    Check out intermittent fasting. Fasting is great for guys in our boat - and once you ease into it, its not that bad. Check out Dr. Jason Fung, MD on YouTube and in print. Start with the Obesity Code.

    Watch Dr. Lustig's lecture on YouTube - Sugar, the Bitter Truth

    Since I never eat in the car, my eating urges don't get triggered and I can fast a long time behind the wheel. Being on the road you will be tempted by all those pre-packaged items you ca get at 7-11. Cut out the chips, candy, pretzels, fast food completely. Especially soda. And learn to drink your coffee with no sugar or artificial sweetener.

    So basically, the processed carbs like bread, pasta, chips, rice, fast food - just think of them all as sugar, because your body turns them all into sugar as soon as you eat them. As you learn to fast and learn to eat low carb, your weight will reduce and your T2D will improve. You may get to a point where your T2D is reversed completely. Good luck and be well.

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