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Delicious Discoveries

A little knowledge—from carb sense to portion hints—has made a big difference for Sam Gillespie.

Sam Gillespie

Age: 54
Hometown: Chicago, Illinois
Diagnosed with type 2 diabetes: 2000

Before Sam Gillespie was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, he didn’t think much about what he ate or when. “I might skip breakfast or lunch, and then I’d get hungry again at night after dinner. And I would eat more than I should while watching television.” These days Sam understands how important it is to space his eating throughout the day, not only to keep his blood glucose in line but also to manage his hunger. But that’s not the only way he’s getting in balance.

It’s About More Than Sugar

Sam figured sugar would be off-limits once he got the diabetes diagnosis. While his doctor suggested he switch from regular cola to the diet version and add a low calorie sweetener instead of sugar to his morning coffee, Sam was surprised to learn that he could, in fact, have some sugar. “It was helpful to know that this wasn’t an all-or-nothing situation.”
What Sam discovered: Sugar is just one type of carb. It’s total carb count—and not sugar alone—that will have the most impact on your blood glucose levels. That said, sweets (including beverages) can take up space that should be reserved for more nutritious foods. So choosing sugar free options is one easy way to watch carbs.
TIP: Try enjoying more water and sugar free CRYSTAL LIGHT Drink Mix throughout the day.

On-the-Go Options Can Work

In his job working for the state of Illinois, Sam is often in the field over the lunch hour. While there’s no lack of dining-out options in downtown Chicago, portions have always been a challenge for Sam. Fortunately, one simple guide could make it so much easier for Sam to gauge smart portion sizes on the go. The tool: Rules of Thumb on Portion Size.

There’s No Need to Skip Celebrations

Like most workplaces, Sam’s office has treat-filled staff celebrations from time to time. Sam still goes, but with a different perspective so he can have his cake and eat it too—only a smaller portion than he might have taken in the past. And when it comes to celebrations at home, Sam’s family has him covered with better-for-you recipes. “They help me stay on track,” he says

Movement Makes a Difference

Part of living well with diabetes means finding more ways to get active. But that doesn’t mean you need tons of extra time or expensive equipment. Sam used to drive to the train station on his way to work; these days he’s walking. “It’s 20 minutes to the train station from home,” says Sam, “and 20 minutes from the train station to my office.”
He’s found a fun, family-friendly way to get active as well. Sam and his two children volunteer at a local animal shelter on weekends, and they always sign up to walk the dogs.

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