Posts Tagged ‘A Guide to Complementary Treatments for Diabetes’

Fact, Fun, & Fiction: Mini-Book Reviews

Monday, November 30th, 2015

Note:  In college I has a wonderful Eng. Comp. teacher who gave us latitude within a long list of books to read. We did not even have to finish a book we disliked, just add the number of pages read to the total needed for the semester. That did the trick for me after the required readings in high school.

Now I read voraciously, and do not feel compelled to read or finish a book I do not enjoy. As for book clubs, I generally shy away from them because the books are chosen by others and I may not want to read that book.  Do feel free to accept or reject any of these as reading material.

Product Details

Bruno. Gene, MS, MHS: A Guide to Complementary Treatments for Diabetes. The title from Square One Publishers Health Guide Books of this book is perfect, especially the headline before the title: Enhancing Your Diabetes Treatment Naturally and the subtitle: Using Natural Supplements, Nutrition, and Alternative Therapies to Better Manage Your Diabetes. In a nutshell, the title says it all! What’s the author means by complementary is that these  suggestions are not meant to replace what your doctor has prescribed, but rather to help you deal with diabetes to improve your overall health.

The first four chapters are important to read because they provide the background for the treatments later in the book and the author requests you read them first. But after that, the book becomes more of a reference book that allows you to jump around depending on your diabetic issue. In the next four chapters, Bruno tackles health information on diabetic neuropathies, cardiovascular issues, eye health, and weight gain. He ends with a chapter on how to choose and use dietary supplements and a one-page conclusion.

The four appendices following the conclusion are quite helpful: A: Following a Low Gycemic Index Diet, with charts and menus; B: Resources; C: Complementary Therapies highlighted from the earlier chapters defined at length; and D: Body Mass Index information. Very impressive to me were the 37 pages of References that the author lists as his research sources.

This is comprehensive guide and reference book will be very helpful to anyone who is pre-diabetic or diabetic and seeks some natural remedies and non-prescription aids to complement the doctor’s guidelines. Showing the book to the doctor first might also be a good idea, so you are both on the same page with your treatment.

Square One Publishing has a very reasonable price ($7.95) for this helpful book by Gene Bruno. It is available (new and used) through and

P.S. This month is National Diabetes Month and my recent posting on  it promised a review. This is it!

The Fat Burning Kitchen by Mike Geary (Certified Nutrition Specialist) & Catherine Ebling (personal trainer)  and The 23-Day Advanced Nutritional Fat-Burning Blueprint by Mike Gary are two guidebooks that are easy-to-read and to understand. The first combines foods that keep you fir with exercises to stay fit. They discuss teas, protein sources, cruciferous vegetables, Onions, Garlic, Krill Oil, Coconut Oil, etc. to help you plan your diet. The exercises focus on weight training and give you a workout plan that requires barbells and kettle bells. It is a good primer to get you started on a healthy lifestyle. (122 pages.

The 23-Day booklet is only 31 pages and contains some of the same information as the first book, so I would recommend the first Fat Burning Kitchen as my first choice. Both were sent to me gratis for review purposes and are currently available for $10 on (Photo is from the website promotion.)

My third offering is actually a repeat from August, because this past Monday evening my husband and I saw Dr. Ruth in person in Center City Philadelphia and the National Museum of American Jewish History. She was interviewed by Maiken Scott, the host of WHYY’s program,  The Pulse, and did a wonderful interview. Ruth Westheimer is funny, honest, and in-your-face about the importance of sex in your life. She linked healthy sex with Jewish traditions and said something we older women would appreciate. In Judaism, even after menopause, it is the husband’s obligation to please his wife sexually. A tiny bundle of energy (4’7″), Dr. Ruth made us laugh, made us think, and inspired us with her positive attitude and voie de vivre, which  is the focus of her book. I think she sold a slew of books at the talk and her words and ideas  are like brilliant jewels! Here is the link back to my review:   Enjoy again!

Finally, a fiction book that I think Dr. Ruth would love: Fear of Dying by Erica Jong. If you read Fear of Flying or Fear of Fifty, you know that, like Dr. Ruth, Jong is graphic about sex. But this book is much more, because it deals with the death of her parents, the serious illness of her husband, and her own fears about herself and dying. I found the book enlightening, funny, and heartfelt.

After reviewing Judith Lieberman’s books last year: Growing Old is a Full Time Job (Link: and Death, Dying and Dessert  (Link: , Jong’s book addresses many of the issues found in Lieberman’s books, only in a fictional backdrop. But like many if Jong’s other books, I am sure this is autobiographical. It feels too real to be made up. I recommend it highly if you are at all interested in how someone writes with raw honesty about death and life after death.

Her main character Vanessa’s trip to India with her husband Asher in the book after his near-death crisis helped her cope with all the issues surrounding her parents’ deaths, her own mortality, as well her husband’s critical illness. On that trip, her character  is lauded for her work as an actress in “giving  women permission to be tough yet feminine.” And perhaps that is Jong’s legacy. She seems fearless when it comes to honesty about sex and feminism and notes a quote by her (fictional) mother in the book, who had died recently: “You must seize your life.” Jong’s honest takes on life and death, as well as love and sex, may be written as fiction, but they sure feel like real life to me!

Fear if Dying is published by Macmillan and the price varies depending on whether you buy hard cover, soft cover, new or used. Check at your book stores or online @ Amazon or Alibris.

November is National Diabetes Month

Tuesday, November 10th, 2015

Note: I forgot to mention on my Home Page that November is National Diabetes Month. I am waiting for a book to review on natural remedies for diabetes, but it has not yet come, so I am providing some general information and my own journey.

The information below is from

1. Nearly 30 million children and adults in the United States have diabetes.
2. Another 86 million Americans have prediabetes and are at risk for developing type 2 diabetes.
3. The American Diabetes Association estimates that the total national cost of diagnosed diabetes in the United states is $245 billion.

The mission of this organization is a life free of diabetes and all if its burdens. Raising awareness is one of the main efforts.

My personal path: Diabetes is rampant on my mother’s side of the family. My mother died at 66 from a massive heart attack linked to her obesity and diabetes. I was just beginning to become interested in nutrition, but at that time had no clue about what caused it and how to treat it.

Now, of course, there is a great deal of information on the Internet, on TV ads, and in articles in magazines.  When I had my routine blood test two years ago, I discovered that my A1C level was borderline normal. (A1C test is a common blood test that measures the amount of hemoglobin in your red blood cells that are coated with sugar.If your A1C level is 4.5-5.6%, you do not have diabetes. If you have an A1C level of 6.5% or higher on two separate tests, this indicates you have diabetes.) My A1C level was 5.7%.

Even though my family doctor said that I am okay at this point, knowing my family’s history with diabetes, the borderline number become a wake-up call for me. I obtained a blood test kit for diabetic control and took a free course at the pharmacy where I obtained the kit. I learned that I could test certain foods for their ability to raise my blood sugar levels. For example, I had a baked potato one evening and then next morning my fasting blood sugar level was a little over 100. While 100 is considered acceptable, at a workshop with Dr. John Douillard, I learned that 85 is the ideal number, and my goal is to have my numbers be between 85-90. During the past two years I have tested different foods to see how they affect me personally, avoiding those that raise my blood sugar levels above 100.

Even though I consider my diet to be very good, I do love fruit and probably eat more than my share of natural sugar from fruit, so I sometimes refrain from another piece of fruit and choose nuts or a taste of goat cheese. I also rarely eat dried fruit now, because the sugars are so concentrated. I think the awareness factor is important to prevent diabetes, and if you already have been diagnosed, make sure your doctor or nutritionist provides you with a dietary guide. Also learn to read labels of level of sugar and carbs in your food.

When I review the book I am waiting for, I will have more information on insulin levels, dietary changes, and  how you can avoid or reduce insulin with your doctor’s guidance. I found one website advertising medication  ( that has recipes you can try. Here are their general dietary guidelines: (Direct quote)

Healthy eating and diabetes

Healthy eating is an important part of managing your type 2 diabetes. You may not always have to follow a special menu, but you should try to make smart decisions about what you eat. Follow the healthy eating recommendations of your diabetes care team.  (Most of my recipes are diabetic friendly, but check with your health provider for specific

  • Eat a variety of healthy foods, such as fruits, vegetables, lean meats (like poultry and fish), and beans for protein
  • Balance the number of calories you eat with your activity level
  • Choose foods rich in whole grains, vegetables, and fruits
  • Limit your intake of saturated fats, cholesterol, salt, and added sugar

Raising your level of awareness is the first step. Start today!

P.S. Below is a photo from You can sign up for free to view recipes.

Post-dated P.S. At the end of the month I will post or have posted a review of the book I mentioned above. You can  access it with this internal link on and after 11/27/2015: