Hay bales and fresh pickles – by Pushpa Kalu




Pushpa-Kalu-150x150Type 2 blogger Pushpa Kalu is 65 years-old and found out she had Type 2 diabetes back in 2004. She is now on Metformin to help keep her blood glucose levels within range. Her husband Kalu was also diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes in 2012. Two years ago, Pushpa attended a Diabetes UK Living with Diabetes Day which has helped her keep on top of her diabetes.

“It’s been some time since my first post, but I’m now back on board after my three-month trip to the States for my nephew’s wedding. And what a wedding! In true Sinhalese style, but with a cowboy twist, it lasted four days and there were over 120 guests who were entertained and catered for throughout the weekend.

Travelling to the States for three months, let alone attending a big family wedding, made me wonder how my husband and I were going to keep on top of our diabetes, but it was far easier than I thought. In California, where we stayed for a few weeks before the wedding, I was amazed at how many fresh fruit and vegetables were available.

We usually had breakfast, consisting of fresh fruit and juices from a local farmers’ market before heading off for a walk around San Francisco Bay. For lunch, we’d stop off at a deli and choose from an array of cheese, salads, and cold meats for an open sandwich which we usually shared between us. We were spoiled for choice when we went out for the evening, but usually opted for Vietnamese or Sushi, steering well clear of burger joints.

Hay bales and fresh pickles

The wedding itself took place in a huge meadow and we sat on hay bales for the wedding ceremony! We had fresh pizzas made in wood fire ovens from dough the Bride had home-cooked herself in advance of the wedding. There were an array of fresh herbs on the table to help yourself to, from basil and tarragon to oregano and thyme. There were also lots of homemade pickles to choose from which were delicious.

I don’t drink alcohol anymore, so I was glad to sample the home-made non-alcoholic wine on offer. One night, there was a big Barbecue with lots of different meats and vegetables cooked on the grill, which pleased me as I’m mostly vegetarian these days. We helped ourselves to platters of lightly frozen cauliflower, broccoli and carrots – served up raw, just the ticket in hot weather.

Three kilometers a day

After the wedding we travelled round the States with my family who came form Australia, Sri Lnka and of course our whole family from the UK. We visited Yosemite National Park, the Grand Canyon, and Boston and a brief trip to Canada Niagara Falls. Sometimes it felt like a punishing schedule because we were always up early and made the most of our sightseeing, coming back well into the evening. We were always keen to see sun rise and sun set and I worked out we walked an average of three kilometers a day. I have an app on my phone with a pedometer function which kept us in the loop and our exercise regime on track.

Since we’ve been back and now it’s the New Year, we’re really trying to keep on top of our ever growing healthy life style. My husband is losing weight and I make sure I stretch every day and keep active. I’ve added nuts to our diet (made from our own Almond milk which is soaked overnight into a smoothie consistency – lovely for cooking and with coffee) and stick to fresh vegetables, pulses, salads and yams with a bit of fresh fish here and there.

My Kale tree, (yes it is called a tree, and supposed to make good walking sticks), is doing very well in the mild winter. The leaves are just gorgeous cut into strips and cooked with a dash of olive oil, a spoonful each of roasted steel-cut porridge and dessicated coconut served with fresh lime and sea salt.

We eat three meals a day, but never snack. We have a good breakfast, always sit down for lunch and have a light supper. I would say we eat pretty healthily, but eat too much rice. This year, I’m trying to eat more brown rice, rather than Basmati rice, but Kalu finds brown rice “too cardboard-y”, so at the moment I’ve got two rice cookers on the go!”

Living with diabetes days

Enjoy food

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