Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Homesteading for Diabetes

Being Type I diabetic and staying healthy takes time and effort.  Every thing I do and everything I eat impacts my disease.  A few years ago I left my job as a teacher and am currently unemployed.  Leaving a stressful career was the right choice for me and finding a job that I love and one that continues to support my healthy lifestyle is on my to-do list!

In the meantime,  I have been focusing more on my diabetes and how our lifestyle affects my disease.  My hubby and I were "healthy" folks before my diagnosis, eating mostly healthy foods and exercising on a regular basis.  I have always considered myself to be an aware consumer, eating natural and whole foods as often as possible.  But now more than ever I feel like what we put on our table has more of an impact on my current management of this disease and my long-term health. 

By default, I have begun to eliminate packaged foods from my diet (and in turn the diet of my hubby!).  I can't claim this was all because I had a vision of eating naturally and returning to the earth for my food (although I truly believe that is one of the best ways to eat).  It started as a necessity to controlling my diabetes.  It's much easier to count carbs and eat things when there are not hidden ingredients, sugar, and generally bad stuff.  In other words, I usually go for the pieces of fruit or a handful of nuts instead of something that I have to unwrap to eat.  As I began to incorporate this type of eating into my diet, I found that eating naturally has a positive impact on controlling my blood sugars, and the other benefits are not too shabby either (no artificial ingredients, no added chemicals, etc). 

Hubby and I have always been advocates for getting off the grid, living off the land and being as self sufficient as possible.  Our plan for the future includes land, a solar home, and a small working farm.  Right now, we are working hard to achieve that goal.  In the meantime, we are focusing on our humble one acre plot of land, doing the best we can to live off of what we have...a reasonable garden, 3 laying hens, and soon to come a hive of bees.  The prospect of being as sustainable as we can is exciting to both of us.

As our plans for the future merge with our current lifestyle, I can't help but smile when I think of what we have, what we are working towards and what this all means for me and the management of my disease.  As we work towards living as naturally as possible I think of all the homegrown veggies, fresh eggs, and fresh honey and know that the more natural foods I consume the healthier I will be and the easier my disease will be to manage.  I mean, is there any better way to manage diabetes than to get your exercise tending to a garden and livestock and eating healthy food that comes from your own hard work?  I think not! 

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