Many people I talk to are very surprised to hear that it is possible to manage, and even reverse, Diabetes II without medication. I have been taught that if you are diagnosed with a disease like this, you will be bound to pharmaceuticals for the rest of your life; but when I was diagnosed and prescribed medication, I felt terrible from the side effects. So I made a choice, and opted out. Since then I have met many others who want to do the same, but don’t know how to do it.
Here are 8 tips I used to beat Type II Diabetes without drugs. Note: Do not stop taking any medications without talking to your doctor first about how to do it safely!
1) Educate Yourself! When I was first diagnosed with diabetes I spent a lot of hours reading and talking to experts. I also found some really great videos, that documented other people’s journeys from sickness to health without drugs, or with limited drugs. I researched different diets and stories to the find ones that worked for others. I wish Further Food had existed back then!
2) Shift Your Perspective: Say it with me, “DRUGS ARE NOT THE ONLY WAY!!!” I am certainly not against drugs, there is a time and a place for everything, but too often they are what we turn towards first. You will have many skeptics, who will tell you that defeating diabetes without drugs cannot be done. I want to encourage you to be confident and know that thousands of people have done this. For me, drugs are a band-aid, while developing healthy habits in your food and exercise helped me to get to the root of my disease!
3) Invest in Yourself: If you’re worried about the time and effort required to make healthy changes, think of it this way: you are going to have to invest time, money, and energy into dealing with diabetes, regardless of which route you take…you can’t just ignore it. Do you want to spend your resources on doctors, drugs, needles, and hospital visits, or do you want to spend them on freedom and health?
4) Find Health Expert: a chiropractor, nutritionist, or naturopath, who can assist you on your journey. I know this one isn’t possible for everyone, but I highly recommend investing here if you can! Like I said earlier, do not stop taking any medicine, unless you also talk to your regular physician, and keep him or her in the loop about the experts you’re seeing.
5) Don’t give up on food! I was pretty excited when it was time to open my diet up to a wider variety of whole foods, including more fruits and healthy treats. It took me about 6 months to get into a good rhythm in preparing food for me and my family. Now that I’ve gotten past the initial stress that change inevitably brings, it is not overwhelming for me to consistently serve healthy food (and I have four kids to feed too!). Trading out your pantry is a big piece of this puzzle, this involves finding easy, healthy substitutions for the food you usually consume. Also, get creative with produce, nuts, and seeds. My diabetes diet needs to both avoid refined sugars, and include lots of veggies, fruit, healthy fats, and proteins. Veggies and fruits provide my body with tons of vital nutrients, while healthy fats and proteins help to slow down the release of sugars into my system.
6) Be patient with yourself! It is not an easy process to break deeply embedded eating habits! Food can truly be an addiction, and you will have some very low moments, I know I did! If you mess up or aren’t seeing progress as quickly as you’d like, try not to beat yourself up about it. Actually, the extra stress that comes from judging yourself will only make the diabetes worse!
7) Find Motivation: My first and foremost motivator was that I didn’t want to be trapped in drugs and symptoms. I felt terrible on my prescribed metformin, and I wanted to be free! I believe that making healthy food and lifestyle choices are part of that freedom. My second motivator was and is my family: I want to give them food that brings life, and teach the children healthy habits that will last their whole lives. A third motivator was certainly weight: It feels good to be at my healthy weight again. What motivates you? Support from loved ones? Maybe a gym membership? There are lots of ways to be motivated…find yours!
8) Share the truth with others. My story has been encouraging to others who are fighting the same battle. In sharing it with others, I’ve found joy in helping them, and encouragement to keep going on my new path! Another benefit of sharing your story is that you develop a community of like-minded people. While some will reject your story, or call it a fluke, or maybe even tell you that you never had diabetes in the first place (even though your original A1C came back at 10.1), others will want to walk alongside you and encourage you, and maybe even embark on the journey for themselves.
Here are some of my favorite diabetes-friendly recipes:
Note: PLEASE consult with your doctor before making any changes to your diet or medications. The material on this site is provided for educational purposes only, and is not to be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.