Happy Fourth of July!
Regina Aguilar is an Advice for Eating star. She was my greatest success story early in my career and over the last 13 years she has become a dear friend to me. 5 years ago she was diagnosed with a rare form of ovarian cancer and recently it has spread to her lungs with no treatment available. She is the single mom of 3 kids. Her dream has always been to remodel her home, and we are working feverishly to make this dream happen!
To help Regina and her family go to:
Read Regina’s nutrition success story from 2008 and you will get a hint of what an inspirational woman she is.
She was diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes 15 years ago. It was initially controlled with diet. Later she had to use oral medication for control and then finally she was put on insulin. In August of 2003, Regina Aguilar took control of her own health. “I decided I wanted to feel good and to be healthy” states Aguilar.
She met with dietitian, Catherine Kruppa, MS, RD, LD, to help develop an eating plan to control her diabetes. She started keeping a diet record and wrote down everything that she ate and she monitored her blood sugar levels at least four times per day. The main change to her diet was portion control. To help her with this she began reading food labels and measuring her servings. “When it came to steak I used the palm of my hand as my measuring tool. I also tried to buy smaller packages that only included one serving like Starkist Tuna Kits”, says Regina.
One of the most challenging dietary changes that Regina had to make was to cut back on her starches. In the past she had eaten only carbohydrates for breakfast. Now she has added protein in the form of egg whites or high protein, low carb cereal. The protein helps to control her blood sugar as well as her appetite. For lunch she had been eating at the employee cafeteria. “Of course, I ate everything that they put on my plate”, states Regina. Now she tries to bring her lunch (ham and turkey sandwich, soy chips and a fruit). This helps her to control her portions. For dinner Regina cut back and sometimes eliminates the starch at her meal. Keeping a diet record made her think twice about eating something that she shouldn’t. She also added her calories every day to help her stay on track.
Finally, Regina began exercising regularly. Currently, she plays basketball twice a week. She runs or walks 2 miles twice a week and lifts weight twice a week as well. Regina says, ” I love playing basketball and I look forward to playing every week. It is so much more fun to do things in a group than to do them alone. I also love walking or jogging with a friend instead of alone”.
In 13 months Regina has lost a total of 52 pounds and she has been off of insulin since March. This saves her ~ $100 per month in medical costs. “Since losing the weight I feel healthier and have more energy. Shopping for clothes is much more pleasurable experience I have more fashionable choices now”, states Regina. Congratulations Regina! You are an inspiration to us all.