100 things: my favourite tips – by Pushpa Kalu

 Pushpa-Kalu-150x150Type 2 blogger Pushpa Kalu is 65 years-old. She was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes 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.

I found myself very immersed in he Diabetes UK publication “100 things I wish I’d known about living with Diabetes” and agreeing enthusiastically with many tips along the way. It was hard to pick three, but these stood out particularly for me.

Tip 19

“Try to prepare and cook everything yourself
from fresh ingredients. That way, you know
what you’re eating.”
Keith, 70, from London, who was diagnosed with
Type 2 three years ago.

I totally agree with Keith on preparing from scratch. I like cooking from source more and more these days. My husband and I both love fresh vegetables and tend to go for texture and taste in vegetables like kale, spring greens, beans and cabbage. I now go one step further and have started growing some of my own vegetables such as lettuce, watercress, yellow carrots and golden cabbage. It’s a joy to see the fruits of your labour and I believe home-grown vegetables definitely taste better.

Tip 26

“Never risk it, always get travel insurance
and make sure it covers your diabetes –
ask if in doubt.”
Iain, from Cumbria, who has Type 2.

We recently travelled to the States for three months for my nephew’s wedding and then spent time touring America. Going on a trip like this highlighted how important it was to take out a comprehensive policy to ensure our diabetes and other long-term conditions were covered. My husband was 70 last year, so although insurance gets more expensive with age, knowing we were covered for any eventuality in a country where treatment is notoriously exorbitant helped us relax and enjoy the trip even more.

Tip 82

“If you’re offered a course like DAFNE, DESMOND
or XPERT, go on it – it will change your life. I have
been diabetic for 42 years but never had good
control before attending the course.”
Julia, 45, from Saffron Walden, who was diagnosed when she was three.

I recently attended a Diabetes UK Living with diabetes day and I think everyone should go on a course to learn about their condition. It’s an opportunity to hear from experts, Diabetes UK and other people living with diabetes. It’s very different to looking it up on the Internet; because you benefit from human contact, shared experiences and get a real sense of community learning.

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