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.

Diabetes and food bank foods

I had a doctor appointment last week.  My sugar is down more, my cholesterol is down more, and I lost 12 pounds.  About a pound a week.  I forget what she said my A1C was.  My doctor asked what I’ve been doing because she knows I get most of my food from the food bank.

Art ideas 2014 023

I’m staying away from foods with words I can’t pronounce or spell which means almost all pre-processed food.  I cook from scratch and eat the way we did when I was a child.  Foods people ate before the age of fast food and set down, eyes only sports.  I’m eating what I recognize as “food” instead of opening a package of something resembling food.

About a year ago I had told the doctor how difficult it is to follow a diabetic diet when the food I get from the food bank is not diabetic friendly. I can’t pick and choose the food I get.  After that visit I kept asking myself why?  Why can’t I pick and choose from the food I get? Just because I get food bank food doesn’t mean I have to eat it.  I do have a choice.

Yes! I decided I would pick and choose.  Ok, I admit I don’t like wasting food, but seriously, some of the processed stuff isn’t really food.  Its chemical time bombs made to resemble food.  I always got more than I could eat anyway.  So, I came up with my plan.  I would treat the mobile food bank as if it was a trip to the farmers market or like having a yard garden.  Hey, I can pretend can’t I? I started in earnest storing and eating only the fresh produce from the weekly mobile food bank and getting rid of the processed foods.

I’m always able to find a willing person to trade with me.  I’ll trade a dozen donuts for someone’s carrots.  I gave up sugary drinks and its easy to trade my cans of juice concentrate or beef stew for a cabbage.

Food and kitchen 2015 648

I sometimes wish there was a greater variety of fresh food donations, especially fruit, but I take what is available.  When there is some new fruit or veggie handed out its usually gone before I get my turn in the line.  People start lining up at 7 am for a 2 pm give away.  I don’t have that much free time.  We get potatoes, cabbage, onions, and carrots almost every week.

Food and kitchen 2015 027

I supplement my food bank hauls with fruits and veggies from store discounted produce bins although its harder to find any these days.

Food and kitchen 2015 600

I was already in the habit of food preservation and scratch cooking but I started with new determination for my plan.  Oh sure, I sometimes talk about prepping for emergencies or I talk about being thrifty but my main goal is being healthy….. even when living on a food bank diet.  The benefits are that by storing food for my health I also have food storage for emergencies too.  If for some reason I can’t get to the food bank its not a major disaster because I have a supply of canned or frozen to see me through.

Food and kitchen 2015 613

These days I eat more vegetables than I have in years.  For example, carrots may not have been high on my list of likes but I eat them anyway.  Filling up with plain carrots didn’t seem all that appealing either until I remembered how carrots can be used in a variety of recipes instead of just plain. I can or freeze the fresh produce right away.  But not the potatoes, onions, and cabbage.

Food and kitchen 2015 652

I’m staying away from any foods that say low fat, fat free, or diet. Those diet foods compensate by adding sugar. Even so called sugar free stuff has sugar alcohol which is actually sugar in a chemical form.  I stay away from anything with disguised sugars in them. I’ve been using the natural sugars in fruits to satisfy my sweet tooth. I still have to be careful and not over do by eating too much fruit.

I still eat my homemade breads, biscuits, and other baked goods.  I just limit the portion size to what it would have been in Grandma Mama’s day.  Food portions back then were much smaller.  There was no “super size” meals.

I’m hoping by the next appointment in 3 months I’ll again have good reports.

Advertisements

17 comments on “Diabetes and food bank foods

  1. Dorothy cripplewing
    September 29, 2015

    Congratulations Anita twelve pounds is really great! I am so proud of you and your techniques. I am going to do more of what you do, myself. Hopefully I will have a similar success. So is there a new baby quilt being planned?

    • Na Na
      September 29, 2015

      Thank you Dorothy. You’d be surprised how your taste change when you stop eating pre-processed foods. I can take a taste of something now and it will taste horrible. I much prefer my own scratch cooking.

      He got the superman quilt.

  2. craftytadpole
    September 28, 2015

    🙂

  3. Donna
    September 28, 2015

    It is amazing how we have allowed our food to become so bad for us. I don’t drink sodas and I try to stay away from fast food and processed. It is a mind set you have to make. My grandkids eat so much of that “junk” it scares me for them. But only 1 is listening. At least 1 is. Congrats on the good news. You are an inspiration!

    • Na Na
      September 28, 2015

      Thank you Donna. You are right. It is a mind set. I have a neighbor who takes pills and insulin shots just so he can continue eating junk foods. One is a start.

  4. Nathalie
    September 28, 2015

    Congratulations! It takes much willpower to do this and lots of common sense, both of which you seem to have in droves. Good luck with the continuation of your diet!

    • Na Na
      September 28, 2015

      Thank you Nathalie. Sometimes I slip a little but I keep at it. One step at a time. One day at a time.

  5. Amy
    September 28, 2015

    Anita, you are such an inspiration. I am always so excited when I see an email from you. Keep us all posted with your good works and words!!

    • Na Na
      September 28, 2015

      Hi Amy. Thanks. A big part of my inspiration comes from having readers who encourage me to keep posting. 🙂

  6. Frugalwarrior2
    September 28, 2015

    wow. Good for you. 12# is amazing. You need to ask about the A1C. should be 6 or lower for a diabetic. Very good plan and nice article. FWIW you encouraged me to buckle down a bit more.

    • Na Na
      September 28, 2015

      Thanks Sue. I believe it was in the 7.5 or 8 range but I can’t remember the exact number. That’s not too bad considering I had A1C of 11.9 a couple of years ago. It continued to be high for a year as I got over the shock of having diabetes and then started really looking at what I was doing to my body. So actually its only been about a year of eating better to get my sugar down about 4 points. Another year of doing as well as I’m doing and it should be in the normal range again.

  7. Randal Oulton
    September 28, 2015

    World’s most amazingly organized freezer!

    • Na Na
      September 28, 2015

      Why thank you Randal. I’m kinda proud of it. There is a LOT of stuff packed into it and I know exactly where everything is. Would you like me to write a post about how it works?

      • Randal Oulton
        September 28, 2015

        I figured you already had, was searching your site for it, LOL… would love to read about your system,,,,, I sometimes buy something at full price that I know I already have in freezer that was bought on sale, just because on that day I don’t have the time or energy to face hauling everything out of the freezer to find it… I just found a whole haggis in the bag of the freezer the other day and you could have knocked me over with a feather… no memory of that!

        • Randal Oulton
          September 28, 2015

          *back of the freezer.

          • Na Na
            September 28, 2015

            I guessed that’s what you meant.

        • Na Na
          September 28, 2015

          I did write one several years ago on my other blog but my whole system has changed over the last year. Its much simpler now. I was thinking of writing another post to show the new way of organizing it. I’m running behind on my quilting work due to the arrival of the newest baby so I need to work on that first. This is my Christmas rush season. Gotta get them quilts done. 😉 Give me a few days and I’ll write a detailed explanation with several pictures. Maybe over the weekend. Doing the freezer this way has prevented me from duplicate purchases and nothing gets outdated.

          I call the loss of memory of things or events a “senior moment”. My granddaughter called them “kindergarten moments” when she was younger.

Comments are closed.

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 198 other followers

Follow Na Na pinches her pennies (aka frugal living) on WordPress.com

Down memory lane

Visitors since 7-1-2013

  • 253,149 Hits
%d bloggers like this: