Starch-Smart Blogging

Blogs from people supporting the Starch-Smart lifestyle helping improve world-health, one meal at a time!

Counting Calories

Counting Calories
I used to believe that one's weight was a simple matter of calories in verses calories out and that calories are calories regardless of source.  However, over the years of Type-1 diabetes testing, logging and analyzing, I have learned that it is not that simple.  A major lesson learned is that carbohydrate calories and fat calories are processed and used differently: Fat is storage, Carbohydrates are fuel. It is indeed true that calories are calories and energy is energy, however, the form of energy dictates what is done with it.  Fat contains the highest energy density by a very large margin.  That would suggest that fat should provide more energy than carbohydrates, how...
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Insulin Resistance Insulin Sensitivity

Insulin Resistance Insulin Sensitivity
As a Type-1 Diabetic and due to the manner in which I learned to manage it, Insulin Resistance became a passionate topic for me as it is a fundamental element of metabolic control. I learned that the lower the insulin resistance, the less insulin I had to inject and the better I felt. However, it wasn’t until two and a half decades later that I discovered that there was actually a technical term for this metabolic relationship; Insulin Resistance. What is insulin?Insulin is a hormone that enables the metabolism (“burn rate”) of glucose. Insulin is produced by a portion of the pancreas and is secreted into the blood stream. It is produced in direct response to the level of glucose in the blo...
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Sean Carney
Fantastic post Ken! Wow. I am so grateful for such a good resource to share with others. That is what I am doing now. Sharing ... Read More
Friday, 24 April 2015 18:11
Nancy A Kalis
Thanks Ken for this really informative post. My 23 year old daughter has just been diagnosed as insulin resistant and hypoglycemi... Read More
Monday, 27 April 2015 16:27
Ken Thomas
Hi Nancy, Thank you for the kind words. I really look forward to your daughter's improved health! About your question: "One q... Read More
Monday, 27 April 2015 17:57
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Ken’s Type-1 Diabetes Journey: Control Part 2 - When Things Go Amiss

Ken’s Type-1 Diabetes Journey: Control Part 2 - When Things Go Amiss
By far, the most valuable knowledge I learned at the beginning of my Type-1 diabetes journey is that my blood-sugar is directly controlled by me. The inability to make my own insulin means that my metabolic system is “open-loop”. Open loop means the automatic control mechanism, insulin production, is broken thus requiring manual control. A side benefit of manual control is the freedom to make my blood-sugar whatever I want. It is entirely up to me. But, it is somewhat like riding a bicycle; it isn’t easy at first, but with practice it becomes second nature. Blood-sugar is a balance between glucose burn rate and supply rate. These two ends of the control see-saw change minute to minute. The ...
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Sean Carney
Love this post. Everybody needs to read it.
Monday, 16 March 2015 20:14
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Ken's Type-1 Diabetes Journey: Control

Ken's Type-1 Diabetes Journey: Control
My previous doctor(s) informed me that no matter how diligently I controlled my diabetes that I will still suffer diabetic complications.  I believe this is said because the conventionally prescribed A1C levels of 6 to 7 percent, for Type-1 diabetics are damagingly high.  Further evidence is that my energy levels are lower in the 6 to 7 range as when it is in the normal, non-diabetic 4 to 6 range.  In fact the difference in energy / feel-good level is quite profound.  With that, my interest was / is to maintain normal – non-diabetic blood-sugars at ALL times (70 mg/dl to 100 mg/dl); not just average or fasting, but always, even after an uncomfortably stuffed high carb mea...
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Sean Carney
Ken Thomas strikes again. What a wonderful blog! So informative and helpful. I wish every Type 1 diabetic would give your blogs a ... Read More
Saturday, 17 January 2015 16:15
Mary Jo Oft
Thanks so much for this excellent information based on your experience. I am still experimenting and your experience is quite a mo... Read More
Saturday, 17 January 2015 21:01
Sean Carney
Mary Jo, You are inspiring us. And, I hope many others will find this better way through reading your experience! Sean
Saturday, 17 January 2015 21:57
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Sacrifice?!

Sacrifice?!
Almost always, when describing a low-fat Whole Foods Plant Based Starch-Smart lifestyle with most people, their response is something like, “Oh, I could never give up my [some sort of meat], and cheese, [etc.]”. The unfortunate truth is that they literally do not know what they are missing. When it comes to diet, we tend to consider any healthy change a sacrifice. We consider eliminating a favorite food a terrible loss. In reality it is simply a trade. We make trades every day. We buy a car, home, clothing, etc. and we are happy to trade the money for the item. Even if we have to save money for an extended time, the benefit of the purchase is easy to realize. It is an instant gratification....
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Sean Carney
Wow Ken, Really great blog. Thanks. You have outlined very clearly something that many of my wife's patients exclaim after making ... Read More
Saturday, 30 August 2014 21:07
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Kens Type-1 Diabetes Journey: Part 4 - My Story

Kens Type-1 Diabetes Journey: Part 4 - My Story
The year 1988 was a pivotal year for me. Prior to 1988 and even the early part of 1988, my health and physical ability was median normal with all my friends and family. In 1972, I was drafted into the US Army and underwent basic combat training for service in the Vietnam War. My physical abilities were also median normal during my Army tour. After the Army, my occupation did not involve a lot of physical activity, but I did go to the gym, took up skydiving and went hiking as often as possible. I had my share of colds, Flu, stomach aches, joint aches and other illnesses just like everyone else. The point is; prior to November 1988, my health was very typical average. Then, at the age of 36 i...
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Sean Carney
Ken, Thank you so much for your blog. My brother just now subscribed to your posts and I hope his son will be here reading very so... Read More
Tuesday, 24 June 2014 22:48
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Carbophobia

Carbophobia
Carbophobia as defined in the Urban Dictionary is “An irrational fear of element 6 of the periodic table (aka carbon), from which all organic life is based. …Currently a source of great hysteria. Carbophobia has reached such levels it’s become its own religion.”   While that definition is just as wee bit tongue-in-cheek, I think there is also a lot of truth to it. Every day in my discussions with would-be or new vegans, they “confess” to (what they think of as) a guilty pleasure in eating foods high in carbohydrates like potatoes, rice, whole grain bread or pasta. I remember living with that fear and I feel badly for them. For me as their mentor, it’s a bit like being a midwife at a ...
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Sean Carney
We are going to design a T-Shirt one of these days that says in big letters: Should I Eat Carbs? Then below the letters there will... Read More
Wednesday, 18 June 2014 17:42
Deborah Anne Pageau
Good point. That's one of the advantages of the low-fat, whole foods plant-based diet approach: donuts are not part of the discus... Read More
Wednesday, 18 June 2014 19:57
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Where there is life, there is hope!

Where there is life, there is hope!
So there I was, plugging along in my low-fat vegan lifestyle. Everything is going fine, although I will admit that I was feeling a little lonely for more flesh-and-blood vegans (in addition to my lovely facebook vegan friends!). In the past, hubby & I would go into the city once per month to socialize in a hospitable group, but having to stay overnight on someone’s sofa bed was becoming a little onerous. So we stopped doing that, and the ensuing sense of isolation of which I previously wrote began to build. Fast forward a number of years. Suddenly, out of the blue, without any warning, a VEGAN food column appears in our little small town local paper! In it, the author says she plans to s...
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Sean Carney
We keep thinking to purchase some picnic tables and start a potluck behind our office. We have a very park-like yard with about a ... Read More
Tuesday, 17 June 2014 19:01
Cindy Mitchell
So happy for you Deborah! I'm excited for you! We've started doing the same thing. A small group of my veggie friends and I got... Read More
Tuesday, 17 June 2014 22:20
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Wild Claims

Wild Claims
Do wild claims about foods made on marketing websites annoy you?  Here’s an example that disturbed me.  http://www.smoothiehealthyrecipes.com/healthy-smoothie-recipes/weight-loss-smoothie-recipes/almond-butter-smoothie-for-weight-loss/ It’s a smoothie “for weight loss”.  It's probably ultra yummy, but would it be effective?  Let’s look at the ingredients: One cup of coconut milk: 445 calories, 48 grams of fat, 43 grams of which is saturated fat ¼ cup almond butter:       384 calories, 35 grams of fat. One banana:                    &nb...
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Taming the cravings

Taming the cravings
I've had a love/hate relationship with my bathroom scales most of my adult life. Up & down, up & down... sigh... Looking back at the heavier me, I see me eating a healthy vegan diet, but with lot of high fat foods such as oil, chocolate, nuts & vegan cheese products. When I look at the leaner me (in memory & now!), I see my diet focused on low-fat whole plant foods: NO oil, NO avocado, NO nuts, NO vegan cheese products, NO coconut & NO chocolate. "Why so strict?" you may wonder. "Come on, you gotta have a little treat now and then!" And you’d be right. I do, but I am less and less thinking of those sorts of foods as "treats".At this stage of the game, I see them mo...
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Sean Carney
Thank you for the very well written blog. We are a nation of food addicts and don't have a clue. This weekend Dr. Carney is doin... Read More
Thursday, 01 May 2014 15:54
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