Clean Eating



Blogger Mila Buckley walks you through managing diabetes.

Mila Buckley, the author behind acclaimed diabetes blog hangrywoma­, was initially diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. Only when treatments were found to not be working was she accurately diagnosed with a rarer disorder: latent autoimmune diabetes in adults (LADA). Her journey hasn’t been an easy one. That’s why she’s made it her purpose to shed light, share tips and bring hope and community to her readership.

How did your diagnoses influence the way you eat? My eating habits were actually pretty good before my first diagnosis. I worked out a lot and ate lots of greens, fruits and water. I’d enjoy the occasional burger or cocktails with friends, too. After being diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, my eating patterns didn’t have to change too much. I did have to start being more conscious of macros – especially carbohydra­tes, which spike blood sugars.

But food became hard to manage. I felt like I was eating well and counting carbs, but my blood sugars weren’t reflecting that. When I found out I actually had LADA and that I needed insulin, I had to be even more conscious of counting carbs so that I could take the appropriat­e amounts of insulin for my food without having low blood sugars. At first, rememberin­g to count carbs all the time was di cult. Also, researchin­g what I ate and weighing it to find the carb counts were so time consuming. But now? I’m a human carb calculator!

I can look at foods and estimate the carb counts pretty closely.

What’s something positive that came from your diagnosis? One of the healthiest habits I have now is not shunning food. All food groups do di erent things for your body. I’ve gained the confidence of being able to include foods I love in my diet without feeling guilty. I’ve had my ups and downs with diabetes and food, from not eating enough because I felt like it was the only way to stabilize blood sugars, to eliminatin­g cultural foods like rice and peas and Jamaican beef patties. Now, I feel so much better and freer knowing how to incorporat­e these foods without shame or guilt.

Name a common pitfall for newly diagnosed people.

People with diabetes are always told to avoid carbs very broadly but not always given good advice about how carbs can be a great fit in moderation and with proper portion size. That can lead to stress around food, feeling like you can’t eat anything, and lots of frustratio­n. I think it’s important to figure out what works for your body, learn about portion sizes and use your glucose tests to your advantage to learn how di erent foods a ect your blood sugars.

What are your top tips for the newly diagnosed?

You can absolutely have exciting foods when you have diabetes. The challenge is always understand­ing how di erent foods may a ect your blood sugar levels. Re-evaluate portion sizes (most things will surprise you), weigh your foods and get a general understand­ing of measuremen­ts. The small changes add up and make a big di erence.

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