Good afternoon, @Simpops:
I realize this is a bit long, so I’ll summarize the tips here and let you read my response at your leisure:
- Be gentle on yourself; diabetes is hard
- Focus on simple changes that you feel you can do so it nurtures into a habit
- Check your glucose before and after Huel (or any new food) to see how it affects your body
- Utilize the plate method to build your meals: 1/2 non-starchy veggies, 1/4 lean protein, 1/4 whole grain/starchy vegetables
- Keep food you love in your diet, but just see how it affects you and how you can work it into your day
- Have “movement snacks” like jump rope without the rope to incorporate more activity each day
- Have “de-stress snacks” like deep breathing exercises to help reduce your stress each day
I’m glad you asked for tips. Although I’ve just started myself, support is really important, and I hope you find something supportive in something I wrote.
I just started my T2DM journey in October 2020 with an HbA1C of 13 and overweight by BMI by 20 pounds. I can speak a little bit about my experience with Huel and diabetes in general, though I caution that everybody’s body is unique and what works for me may not work for you–at least says my DSME.
Firstly, though, I want to say it’s alright and diabetes is hard. So please be gentle on yourself.
Incorporating Huel into my meals has made my meal planning significantly less overwhelming. Feeling less overwhelmed means less stress–and a positive effect on glucose levels–and increases the likelihood of sticking to your meal goals. My initial post about me using Huel in my meal plan has my pre-meal and post-meal glucose levels, and replacing 2 meals each day with Huel Black Edition and Hot & Savory with a regular meal for dinner has lowered my HbA1C to 5.6 and lowered my weight to 10 pounds overweight by BMI in January 2021.
For meals and snacks outside of Huel, I tend to follow the plate method whether eating at home or ordering takeaway. I will admit, though, that I don’t always stick with a recommended 9-inch plate, but I keep the same ratio whenever I plate myself food: 1/2 Non-Starchy Veggies, 1/4 Lean Protein, and 1/4 Whole Grains or Starchy Vegetables. My family and I have a very Asian diet (read: rice tends to be the staple grain and usually ends up being 1/2 of the plate), so I’ve been using non-starchy vegetables in my rice (cauliflower, broccoli, cabbage, etc.) to increase veggies and decrease carbohydrates.
Related to the rice, it helped me a bit to make a list of my regular and favorite foods and look at their nutrition facts. Diabetes doesn’t mean you can’t eat food you love, but sometimes it’s required a bit of planning and portioning to make sure it doesn’t screw me up too much or affect any of my ABCs (A1C, Blood Pressure, Cholesterol) too negatively.
Also make simple changes that you can stick to. I appreciate the desire for quick results, but for me I’ve put the mentality that diabetes is going to be a friend sticking with me for a long time. I could probably make faster changes if I want to, but simple changes are a) easy, which reduces stress, and b) more lasting–especially once they become habits.
If you can afford and budget it, I also recommend checking your glucose before and after eating something new when you don’t know how it will affect you. I appreciate that strips, lancets, control solution, and other DMEs are expensive and not everyone has an option to get unlimited strips and lancets like I have with my insurance, but having the data was really instrumental to me to figuring out how and if I can eat certain foods. As every diabetic is unique this data is important to figure out what is working for your body and what isn’t.
Try, also, to incorporate some exercise each day and de-stress each day, too. My mailbox is about a half-mile walk from my house and takes me about ten minutes when walking briskly. I also take “movement snacks” during my work breaks by either going up and down some stairs or doing jump rope without the rope. If you aren’t active at the moment I suggest being gentle and adding simple “snacks” that you can stick to. For de-stressing “snacks” I like to do breathing exercises and journaling.