Eric was diagnosed with Type II Diabetes on July 31. Earlier this month when I shared the news on our blog, we were still trying to get his blood sugar in the normal range of 80-130. Thank you for the outpouring of encouragement and advice. The least we can do is give you an update on how things are going here.
Medical Stuff on the Road
Though we don’t recommend doing this, Eric waited a few days to start taking his medication, Metformin. Our reasoning was that we wouldn’t know what impact diet changes were really having if he was starting a new medication at the same time.
While his blood sugar did get down to the 200-range, diet wasn’t quite enough. After friends gave us a nudge, Eric started taking the recommended dose of Metformin, twice a day. We were fortunate to have Kolan (family friend and physician) review Eric’s charts from his hospital visit, and prescribe the pills Eric needs until he gets back to his doctor in Austin. Otherwise, I’m not sure what hoops we’d have to jump through to get into a doctor on the road.
I’m happy to announce that Eric hit the target glucose range of 80-130 for the first time on August 11. In fact, he’s stayed consistently in the zone ever since then! We cut the Metformin dose in half last week. All this, and it hasn’t even been one month since Eric learned he has Diabetes.
Feelings, Nothing More Than Feelings
A lot of our friends have been asking how Eric is feeling. Well, better. There have been some side effects from the medication, but his fatigue is gone and he has actually had a lot of energy. One Sunday shortly after his diagnosis, we went to church and out to eat, and he was exhausted by the time we got home. One week later, he was touring the largest single family dwelling in the United States (Biltmore House). He’s back into daily walks, too.
Our New Favorite Recipes
It’s one thing to pop a pill every day, but we believe the diet changes should get the credit for the drastic turnaround in such a short time! I’m thinking of sharing our favorite recipes as we find them. Who’s in?
As a reminder, Eric is on the keto diet: high fat, moderate protein, and no to low carbs. No sugar. No bread. No processed foods at all.
We flew by the seat of our pants for a while. We weren’t exactly sure what Eric was supposed to eat, and what he wasn’t. I never knew what was for dinner, and I was going to the grocery store every day. That was pretty exhausting.
Last week, I made a meal plan for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and went shopping for the entire week. Talk about cost savings. I think the math works out to about $20/day, or less than $7/meal. And we are really enjoying these new recipes we’ve found.
Here are our favorites so far. Click on the name of the dish for the recipe.
- Chicharrones con huevos – Hearty breakfast. Be aware that the serving sizes from the recipes are on the big side. I’m going to make half a serving for Eric next time. Each serving is 348.33 calories, 22.71 g fat, 3.74 g net carbs, and 23.79 g protein.
- BLT lettuce wraps – Easy lunch. We’re still playing with this one, but we’ve found the bacon really makes the wrap with its saltiness. So don’t scrimp on the bacon, people. I like to use rotisserie chicken, which I can also use for the chicken enchilada casserole recipe (see below). If you follow the recipe, it’s 570 calories, 42 g fat, 12 g carbs, and 36 g protein.
- Egg roll in a bowl – I think this is my favorite keto meal so far. We used to eat a lot of Chinese and Thai food, and that’s probably what I miss the most. This super healthy dish satisfies my cravings. We don’t have a wok, so I have to halve the recipe for it to fit in my 12-inch frying pan. 264 calories per serving, 18.6 g fat, 9.4 g carbs, and 15.5 g protein.
- Chicken enchilada casserole – Seriously tastes just like chicken enchiladas, but without the tortillas. You can play around with it by using different enchilada sauces. I found a delicious Hatch chile sauce. Be aware that it turned out crazy soupy for us. Maybe it’s because I used rotisserie chicken, so I skipped the first step of cooking the chicken in the sauce.
- Fish sticks – More delicious than any fish sticks you’ve ever had! This is such an easy dinner. I usually steam some broccoli or roast some asparagus to go with it. You can get the nutrition facts through the My Fitness Pal app. Actually, you can search My Fitness Pal for almost all the recipes on this list.
- Taco salad – You really don’t need a recipe for this one…it’s taco salad without the tortilla chips. But you can look at the recipe if you need to know the nutrition facts. 570 calories, 42 g fat, 12 g carbs, 36 g protein.
- Burgers – No recipe here, unless it’s the secret Highland Family recipe. Eric has pretty much perfected his burger seasoning and grilling. Except now, we substitute big leaves of romaine lettuce for buns.
- Loaded baked “potatoes” – There is no way we should be allowed to eat something this good. I wanted to eat all six servings. The hilarious thing is that the whole huge thing is basically the same amount of calories in one combo meal at a fast food burger place. I don’t have a food processor, so I couldn’t get the mashed potato consistency. But that didn’t matter for taste. Before this recipe, Eric didn’t care for cauliflower and never ate it. But he gave the dish an honest try, and I was surprised and excited to find out how much he liked it.
Let me know whether you’d like to see more recipes! This is all new for us, but we are taking our health seriously and finally learning how our diet really impacts our bodies.
Thanks for tuning in. I owe you a couple of travel logs–for our last leg in Kentucky, as well as the rest of our time in Asheville as we wrap up here.
The picture at Pisgah Inn is a great picture of all three of you. I’m so glad to hear the good news about Eric.
@jerryminchey:disqus, thank you for introducing us to such a wonderful place. That view is one we’ll never forget.
So awesome to hear he’s doing better. I’m definitely interest in more recipes. My husband is borderline diabetic and I believe if we change our diet he will get out of the risk range. Thank you so much for always posting great information. And hope for the best for you guys. We started our journey (with 2 little ones) at the end of May and now we are stationary fulltime in Boise, ID. And I do miss my full size kitchen lol but we adjusted pretty well ? thank you for always inspiring me.
I’m glad you let me know, @inissmith:disqus! The keto “muffins” we tried this morning weren’t a huge hit, but we’ll keep working on it. All the best to you and your family as you adjust to full-time life.
Deborah Spiess Seeley
Glad to hear he is doing better……
Thanks so much, @deborahspiessseeley:disqus. We are in good shape!
Glad to hear Eric is doing better. We had the pleasure of meeting you and Eric at Mr. D’s in Kingman in 2016. My sister is also a Type II Diabetic. She turned me on to ‘The Calorie King Calorie FAT & CARBOHYDRATE Counter available from Barnes and Nobles (and possibly other bookstores). The latest version is the 2017 edition. She counts carbs. She was finding that she had a tendency to get extremely tired, but found that having a low carb snack between breakfast and lunch as well as lunch and dinner seemed to give her more energy and reduce her tiredness. She also has a meter and checks her blood sugar every morning, and is managing very well. She also takes Metformin. Some prescriptions are available free from Meijers pharmacies, but I do not recall if this one is. Am willing to share some recipes, if you would like.
@sharonabert:disqus, I remember you and your husband! Eric has a great app called My Fitness Pal that breaks down everything he eats into carbs, fat, and protein. He is shooting for 10% carbs a day, max. Yes, would love the recipes! Perhaps you could use the Contact page on our blog to send them. That will go to my email address.
Great looking meals, Brittany! I’ll bet they are delicious. For the most part, you will find yourself shopping the perimeter of the grocery store (fresh foods) and avoiding the center (processed). Glad Eric is doing well!
You are absolutely right, @jimbelisle:disqus! I only venture into the center now to find a flour or oil I didn’t know existed. 🙂
I’m also controlling my diabetes with meds and diet. i was on 1000 MG (?) of Metformin for a while, but it played hell with my GI system…those “side effects” you mentioned. Now, I’m on 500 MG Metformin and Farxiga (sp?), 12 hours apart. Much much better. Numbers are unchanged.
Like Eric, I’m blessed with a smart, assertive wife that keeps my diet smart.
Good luck, guys.
Thanks for the kind words, @disqus_q8m9RuHhuw:disqus. We’re looking forward to seeing Eric’s doctor when we get back to Texas. We’ll keep your medication mix in mind if we find we need to adjust things, too.
Glad to hear he is doing better! Thanks for sharing the recipes!
And enjoy your time in Asheville!
Kendra @ HeyKendra.com
I just found out this year I am borderline diabetic. I also started full-timing so I’m having some challenging times balancing that. Would really love to see more of your recipes! And, congrats to Eric for all the progress from his hard work. I know how challenging it is!
@kendramwright:disqus, are you part of the diabetes Facebook group that Eric is in? We’ve learned a lot from it.
Kendra @ HeyKendra.com
I am not. What is the name of the group? I’ll search for it!
Kendra, here’s the link to the group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/DiabetesJourneys/.
Kendra @ HeyKendra.com
Awesome! Just sent a request to be added. Appreciate that link!
We were camped next to you in the Flair at Wilson’s Riverfront RV Park, & I was not aware of medical issues. I am glad Eric is feeling better and hope to see you again on the road. I wanted to sit and chat some since my wife and I are new at full-time, but it never happened. I can only imagine how hard it must be to work on the road, that’s the main reason I didn’t knock on your door! It’s all good and I only wish the best for you. Keep us updated and thanks for the pictures (worth a thousand words!).
@steamyb2:disqus, thanks so much for being so considerate. We love to meet and talk to other RVers, but we can be hard to pin down. 🙂 Working on the road isn’t so hard–it’s much like working from home before we started RVing. But we’re still trying to figure out working with an infant! Hope our paths cross again. We’re happy to be a resource for you if you have any questions. You can use the Contact page on our blog, which goes straight to my email.