Na Na pinches her pennies (aka frugal living)

Shh… don't tell anyone I'm poor. They all think I'm living frugal and green just like everyone these days. This is a blog about a senior citizen living a frugal life, on a fixed income, in a low income food desert, and passing along knowledge from lessons learned. Some she learned from her Grandma Mama many years ago and some learned only a few days ago.

Senseable centsable eating

I’ve grown weary of reading all the information about diabetes diets. For every website, book, blog, doctor, nutritionist, and whatever, there is a different idea of what a diabetes diet should be.  Eat this, not that.  Take this pill, not that one.  Paleo diet, gluten free diet, Pritikin diet, super foods diet, vegan diet, high fat low carb diet, non dairy diet, more whole grains diet, grain free diet, caveman diet, Atkins diet, glycemic index diet , macrobiotic diet, zone diet, blood type diet, and on and on and on.

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In my opinion, the diabetes industry is just as big and just as aggressive as any other food industry.  They want to get our money by any means necessary.  Diabetes is a modern, ultra money making disease and people spend billions each year to prevent complications of a disease CAUSED by the food industry and the technology industry.

Diabetics pay for a ton of diabetic supplies.  Everything from test strips to shoes to lotions and creams to medications to special diet supplements as well as all the food labeled as “diet”  “sugar free” “diabetic” or “gluten free” these days.

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Every year thousands more people are added to the roll of diabetes patients.  In my personal opinion, everyone age 50 and older is told they are diabetic and everyone turning 35 and older are being told they are pre-diabetic.  I read a news article that said 1/3 of the population is now considered diabetic. Just think of all the billions of new profits for the diabetes industry as more people are added to those rolls each year.  You want to become a millionaire or billionaire?  Start selling something made (or labeled) specifically for a diabetic.

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Anyone can come up with a diet of any kind and promote it these days.  Hmm… I think I should start a new fad diet too.  I’m calling it the sensible centsable diet for diabetics.  Ok, I’m just kidding.  I won’t be starting a new fad diet no matter how much money I could make.  I’m not that great a cook and I’m certainly not a nutritionist but I do know how to work with what I get from the mobile food bank or from the discount bins in grocery stores.

I’m not the only person who can work with what they get from a food bank.  There are lots of people who rely on food bank foods either temporarily or on a more regular basis like me.  I don’t qualify for food stamps but there are lots of people who rely on those to stretch their food dollars as well.  Somehow we all learn and adapt to use what we are able to get or to purchase.

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I’m amused when I hear of a celebrity or other well known person taking a food stamp challenge.  A week without their usual food does nothing but make them very hungry.  They know their challenge time will end and they can go back to normal eating. But I don’t condem them for bringing attention to the situation.

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If someone truly wanted to know about poverty they would shadow a poor person.  Follow that person to the grocery and see how the food stamps are spent.  Stand in a food bank line and then watch what a poor person does with the food given.  You can learn a lot by watching and observing a poor person.

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I’m tired of the stress about what I eat.  I’m tired of counting my food. I’m tired of counting the calories, counting the carbs, and measuring my food portions.  I’m tired of someone else telling me what I should be putting into my body.  Ain’t that what got us (the diabetics) into this mess in the first place?  Someone telling us that the added chemicals were/are ok?

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I intend to simply eat as healthy as I’m able using what I remember from my youth.  The things I remember my Grandma Mama taught me that she had learned from experiences during WW1 rationing, the great depression, and WW2 rationing.

Over the last four or five years I’ve eliminated almost all pre made and pre processed foods from my eating.  I love the canning I’ve been doing with the produce from the mobile food bank and the store discount bins.  I feel much better than I have for years even if my A1C doesn’t say it.

8 comments on “Senseable centsable eating

    September 8, 2015

    I know several of my family’s medical risk factors & my own — about 40 lbs overweight, higher blood pressure (abt 135-140), little vigorous exercise (but I do have foot problems that prevent long walks).
    I do the best that I can by eating regularly, particularly fruits & veggies & fewer starches. I also do some stretching & flexibility workouts & gardening in the dry summer months. It keeps chipping away at the pounds, 5-10 per year, but they stay off…
    Best of all, I work at having a true spirit of thankfulness for what I do have. That’s why your feisty spirit of making do with little is so encouraging!!

    • Na Na
      September 11, 2015

      Yippie and a cyber hug sent your way! For eating healthy as you are able. I stopped thinking (and stressing) about my health issues. I’m aware of them but they are not the focus of my life anymore. My health issues are simply a part of me, not the whole me. I concentrate on simply eating as healthy as I’m able with the food I get from the mobile food pantry. I’m staying away from as many pre-processed foods as possible by doing the processing myself. Instead of reading a label to see how much is a serving and how many calories or carbs in it, I ask myself can I make this myself from unprocessed food. Usually I can.

      Thank you, I hope I keep inspiring you.

  2. sandy
    August 6, 2015

    My grandmother was a very controlled type 2 diabetic who never had to take insulin shots. She watched her diet but she always felt the key to her success was eating at the same time every day (or as much as practically possible). You could set your watch by her: breakfast at 7, lunch at noon, dinner at 5. It worked for her and I never saw her weigh or measure portions, she eyeballed them and especially if it was a starch. She lived to be 89 by the way.

    • Na Na
      August 6, 2015

      Thank you, that gives me encouragement. It confirms what I thought might be possible.

  3. Pastor Susan
    August 5, 2015

    Amen to that! I think that, while diabetes is a serious disease, it is also an over-diagnosed disease. I was told I was diabetic and needed medication when my A1C was only 6.2!! I got a second opinion, and keep an eye on my numbers, but I think if one eats wisely and in moderation, no “special” foods are necessary.

    I LOVE your blog! You are so realistic and inspiring! I have reduced my food waste and eaten better (and canned more) this summer, largely due to reading your blog!

    Thank you!

    • Na Na
      August 6, 2015

      Has your canning helped control your sugar count? It sure has helped me with mine and saved money too.

  4. sarasinart
    August 5, 2015

    What a neat post this was. Continued good luck with your diabetic process.

    • Na Na
      August 6, 2015


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