I have mentioned before that the paleo template is a great place to start for T1’s. This way of eating eliminates much of the highly inflammatory carbohydrates that drive your BG levels through the roof, required super-human doses of insulin, and over time risk further breakdown of your body’s ability to stay lean and healthy. I stand by this advice as a starting point, but I failed to mention the most powerful food group when it comes to improving the way you look, feel, and perform while minimizing insulin requirements and BG swings.
The answer…lots and lots of vegetables. I’m not talking about potatoes, but leafy greens, carrots, bell peppers, onions, mushrooms, radishes, beets, avocados (ok, not a veggie, but who’s paying attention?), leeks, broccoli, cauliflower, etc. Potatoes are ok, but time them around exercise and eat in moderation. The rest of the non-starchy veggies should be the bulk of your diet. These foods are nutritionally dense, will fill you up, and maintain BG levels for hours.
Here’s an example of a typical afternoon for me starting with a huge salad for lunch. First, I take 1-2 units of Novolog and then dig into a salad consisting of 1/3 to 1/2 pound of dark leafy greens, one large carrot, half a red onion, half an avocado, a handful of macadamia nuts, and finally topped with olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt pepper and garlic. If I eat this lunch at 12 pm, I will feel satisfied until 6pm and BG levels will go up to about 105 and return to 70 prior to eating dinner.
So, if I haven’t stressed it before, make non starchy veggies a large portion of your daily food intake. Healthy sources of meats and eggs are important as well, but the veggies will do your body good and stabilize energy and BG throughout the day.