When I decided to start experimenting with the Paleolithic diet I did not know what would happen or what to expect. I imagined I would lose some weight and that there would be a reduction in the amount of insulin I take, but I could not have imagined a situation like the one I’m in now.
I’ve been on the caveman diet for a week and three days and since the first day I haven’t used any of my short acting insulin (Apidra). I didn’t intend to stop taking Apidra, but I never went high and actually went a little low a few times until I lowered my basal insulin (Lantus) by 2 units. I’ve been checking my blood sugar often and I haven’t been anywhere near 200 since starting. My waking BS has been better than ever with numbers in the 80’s and 90’s. (I’ve always had trouble with waking BS levels.) My blood sugar has not been this controlled- ever. I have to say that I’m not sure if this is the way most diabetics would react to the diet, but I suspect that eliminating grains and dairy reduces the amount of insulin anyone needs to take (Eric Devine, longtime Paleo dieter, told me he has cut down his insulin but still needs it and wears a pump).
This situation is a bit addictive. I know I’m not cured of diabetes (especially because I’m still taking 18 units of Lantus at night) but I love not injecting myself 3-6 times a day. I also love the fact that I haven’t had any real highs or lows.
The problem is that I rationally know that I need to eat some grains (although apparently there are those who live on a strict Paleo diet).
I have bent the rules of the diet a bit already since I ate halva during my last few runs (I ran 8.5 miles on Sunday and 6.5 miles on Tuesday). The halva definitely gave me the energy I needed to run. This bending of the rules is in accordance with the “The Paleo Diet for Athletes,” and didn’t require any extra insulin since I ate during the run.
I planned on adding some grain to my diet this week but when the time comes and the carbs are in front of me, I can’t bring myself to eat. I know I need to bend the rules some more (the way the guide tells you to), and eat some kind of grain, but I know that will require rapid insulin.
Last night I prepared a salad with quinoa thinking I would have a little but then, after staring at it for a while I decided to skip it and put it off eating carbs until tonight, since I’m intending to run Thursday. And so tonight I did it. I ate about a ¼ cup of cooked quinoa. Right now, an hour after eating, my blood sugar is 200 (and I just took 2 units of insulin).
Going on the Paleo diet, even if it’s not something I end up doing for a long time, has made me much more aware of what I eat. When cutting out grains and dairy completely, overeating or miscalculating carbs/insulin becomes almost impossible. I have also been limiting the amount and kinds of fruit I eat so my BS doesn’t go very high. I think that the diet has made me do things I should have been doing as a diabetic, but didn’t feel like doing. I also think that if I continue eating like a caveman, even without the grains, I will need to add a little insulin to eat a little more.
*Note: This diet is not for everyone, and I do not encourage anyone to change their insulin regimen without consulting a doctor or health care professional. I am neither of those.