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Changing my plate – stabilising blood sugar

A couple of weeks ago I shared my journey with changing my diet and moving to a clean eating approach. I also had the lovely Katie Rainbird from Katie 180 undertake an analysis of my food intake for one day which you can read here.

Together we also offered the same opportunity to readers of Planning With Kids. We were blown away with the response and while I can’t guarantee will get to all of them this year, Katie has been busy working on many of the submissions already and we will publish as many as we can.

It is not possible for Katie to cover off everything in these posts. The aim is for her to find some small things you can change to what you are putting on your plate to help you achieve your current goal for your eating habits. You can read previous Changing my plate posts by clicking here.

Changing my plate – my day

image_katieKatie Rainbird (AKA Katie180) is a Sydney-based Nutritionist who is just as likely to be found jogging as she is baking. She is a mother to two, a keen home cook, prefers to get around in her workout gear and has a major passion for the written word. You can learn more at

Katie reviewed what the reader Barbara submitted that she ate in a 24 hour period. This is what Katie had to say about her day:

What is your current goal with your eating habits?
Stabilising blood sugar. Diabetic. Currently using long acting insulin injections at night.

It’s important I know which type of Diabetes you have and how long you’ve had it for. Also which insulin you use, when you use it and how much.

Protein shake. 2 cups coffee with flavoured cream and sweetener.

I want to axe the flavoured cream and the sweetener. And I want to take away one coffee. Sorry! Use full fat milk and flavour with natural flavours: perhaps some vanilla? And use honey or maple syrup instead of artificial sweetener: try just half a teaspoon, use a measure. I also want to know which protein powder and what else goes in with it?

Sometimes a sandwich (pb&j) or just a cheese stick and some pretzels or fruit. .

Use good bread, buy the best bread you can afford. Use sugar free peanut butter, Sanitarium do a “natural” version, it’s great. Try sliced banana or a handful of sultanas instead of jam. Cheese sticks are crap. Eat real cheese instead: slice four pieces and put them on wholegrain crackers, add a fresh carrot to the meal.

Lean meat, some type of potato or pasta and a veggie. A 1/3 can if soda. After dinner coffee.

More veggies please! Even if all you can manage is to steam some frozen veggies, this is better than nothing. But ideally you’d be adding two extra veggies and ideally these will be green. And try switching white potato for a sweet potato every other night. No coffee after dinner, it’s too close to bed time! Switch to Dandelion tea I find this the best coffee substitute although it IS an acquired taste. Also, no soda (boo hoo Katie you’re mean!) I know, I know… but it’s full of crap. Try mineral water with fresh lemon or lime, maybe a dash of apple juice concentrate.

Snack 1
Some mid mornings I have a granola bar if I’m hungry.

Here is an apportunity to eat some fresh fruit, vegetable sticks with hummus, rice cakes with cottage cheese and tomato or if you like granola bars, make these yourself! Here’s a recipe from my blog, tweak it to your liking.

Snack 2
Some popcorn with butter or chips and salsa after kids are in bed watching tv and relaxing. If I’m not hungry, I don’t eat anything. Depends on what time dinner was.

Pop your own popcorn using coconut oil insead of vegetable oil and butter it yourself using a moderate measure of butter, go easy though! Corn chips are high in vegetable fat so switch to brown rice cakes, you can cut these into quarters and dip them much like you would a chip. But if you’re hungry, always drink a glass of water before you eat – you’d be surprised how hunger and thirst feel the same!

A cookie or some other small sweet.

How about some natural yoghurt with stewed seasonal fruits and a garnish of crushed nuts and seeds? You get the crunch and sweetness of a cookie but also protein and fibre to slow the release of sugar into the blood. It’s also more satisfying and you’re less likely to mindlessly overeat.

Nutritional supplements
Align probiotic. Cold catch Alaskan omega 3 fish oil. 1 per day.

Increase fish oil capsules to 3 per day to meet the baseline thereapeutic dosage of EPA/DHA, I know it seems like a lot, but most fish oil capsules contain only 1/3 of the EPA/DHA that we know we need as a minimum. A probiotic is a good idea to keep your gut health in check, but I’m interested to know why you’re taking it?

Daily fluid intake
Average 4 cups of water.

Not enough water! Especially in comparison to the amount of coffee you’re drinking (minimum 3 cups per day.) Coffee is a diuretic, so you are likely dehydrated. Increase this, cup by cup, day by day until you are drinking 8 – 10 cups of water.

Any further information you’d like to share or special dietary requirements to factor in?
I don’t like salads or greens and I don’t do seafood of any kind.

I’m sorry that you don’t like greens because I’ve advised that you eat them! If you really want to make changes to your health via your diet you’re going to have to make peace with certain parts of it that are harder than others.

I look at your diet and see soft drink, coffee, sweetener, flavoured cream, cookies, granola bars, white potatoes and when I think that this is a diet of a diabetic I feel a bit sad to be honest. I know this is frank, but looking at our diets with really open eyes can be confronting. It’s OK. It’s never too late to make changes, even hard ones! You start with it in small bits and you work your way to bigger bits. You don’t try to make big, sweeping changes all at once or you’ll fail and then beat yourself up. I don’t want that to happen!

Katie’e summary

In summary: reduce processed snack foods, switch soft drink to mineral water, halve coffee intake and increase fresh produce. Increase water by double, do some home baking using whole ingredients and include things such as pepitas, sunflower seeds, chia seeds, linseeds and try adding nut meal as well as flour (you can always add a 1/4-1/2 cup of nut meal and a bit of extra liquid to keep it moist.)

If I was going to pick just ONE thing for you to change at first it’d be breakfast: have an egg on good toasted bread instead of drinking your protein and have only one coffee without any unnatural sweetener or flavour. Then have two cups of water! I’m really keen to see your feedback and keep up with how you go, Katie, x

Further reading


Katie is a qualified nutritionist (Adv. Dip. Nutr. Med.).

Any diet or lifestyle changes that you implement as a result of reading this blog are your own responsibility.

This blog does not provide medical advice, any particular health conditions must be managed by your own health professional.

The content of this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this blog.