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The View Co-Host Sherri Shepherd Shares How Diabetes Has Altered Her Diet (VIDEO)

 
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Sherri Shepherd, co-host on "The View" and author of "Permission Slips: Every Woman's Guide to Giving Herself a Break," discusses how her mother's death at 41, and her own diagnosis with diabetes, altered her life and promoted her to support the Dreamfields Diabetes Friends Forever campaign.

Todd Hartley:
Did you know that if your mother, father, sister or brother has heart disease or diabetes your risk of developing diabetes goes way, way up? Well Sherri Shepherd from the hit morning show “The View”, well she knows all about how family history affects diabetes, but she had to find out the hard way. You see, Sherri’s mom passed away at a young age, the young age of 41 and because the apple doesn’t fall far from the diabetic family tree, Sherri grew up and eventually became a diabetic.

To share her story and lessons learned, “The View” Sherri Shepherd joins me right now on EmpowHER. Hi, Sherri.

Sherri Shepherd:
Hi, how are you Todd? Good to talk to you.

Todd Hartley:
Sherri, it’s an honor to talk with you. Your big discussion topic in my family, my mom every morning, while having breakfast, watches “The View” and it’s a real treat to get to talk with you. Can you talk with me about your oldest memories that surround diabetes?

Sherri Shepherd:
Oh wow! My oldest memories of diabetes is people in my family who were diabetic who have, I had an aunt that was blind, I knew people on the block who had had amputations but, knowing that it’s, even still with them having diabetes and in my family we didn’t call it diabetes, we called it “the sugar” and knowing that they had “the sugar,” they would still come up to the table and get, you know, sweet potatoes and pies and cakes, and macaroni and cheese and we just thought it was normal. We just went, “Oh, you know, they got ‘the sugar’,” and eventually somebody would get an amputation or you know, like in my mother’s case at 41, passed away, you know, and nobody really did anything about it. We just went on life as normal.

Todd Hartley:
I have an unbelievable sweet tooth craving and the only way that I can keep it under control is that if I just let it know who’s boss. In your book, “Permission Slips: Every Woman’s Guide to Giving Herself a Break,” it’s really, really funny. Great read. You wrote, “Diabetes was the only thing that kept me sane for a while. I was experiencing stress that brought me to my knees and prayer and agony nearly everyday. In fact, if I didn’t have diabetes I would weigh almost 400 pounds right now.”

Sherri Shepherd:
Yeah.

Todd Hartley:
Can you talk with me about how diabetes, you know, in a bizarre way, as it may sound, how diabetes kept you sane?

Sherri Shepherd:
You know why? Because having diabetes every single day I have to make a choice and look at what I am putting in my mouth because everything that I put in my mouth affects my body, and if I did not have diabetes as a safeguard, because I also write in my book that everybody from my church always wants to go and go. I am going to pray that god takes it away, and I say, “No, please don’t pray that. Diabetes is something that really helps me keep eating healthy food. Diabetes is something that keeps me exercising.” So I say that to say if I didn’t have it, I probably would be going to a fast food restaurant ordering a number six super size right now.

Todd Hartley:
Sure.

Sherri Shepherd:
But I know that because I have diabetes it’s so important for me to eat right and maintain a healthy lifestyle because I got a little boy who is four years old, who looks at me and he expects his mother have some sense, you know? And he doesn’t know anything about diabetes. He just knows he wants his mommy to hug him, feed him and put him to bed at night.

Todd Hartley:
Yeah, that’s a big responsibility. You also wrote in your book that “diabetes forced me to see food as fuel, which is no fun.” How is food and exercise decisions changed how you take care of your health?

Sherri Shepherd:
Well, I tell you what. You know, one of the things I used to eat before I got the diagnosis of diabetes was, I don’t know how you are as a man, but, you know women, we are very emotional and when I went through anything emotional, a big bowl of pasta and a fork was all I needed to get through the night. That was my, you know, thing that would put me in a euphoric state.

As a diabetic you don’t need to be in a euphoric state and I would eat stuff to just make me feel good but I realized that I had to let that kind of stuff go because I didn’t feel good afterwards. My blood sugar level was through the roof after eating a bowl of pasta and so I had to give up, you know, certain things like that and it was a bummer, you know, when you are used to eating certain foods. It was a real big bummer and that’s why I was just really excited because I found a product, which is Dreamfields pasta, and I found that that pasta had five grams of digestible carbs and it had five grams of fiber and I am very leery about eating pasta because as a diabetic, you really have to look at your carb content. You have to look at your sugar content, and people would try to say, “Oh Sherri, eat the whole wheat pasta”, and I don’t know about you; whole wheat pasta tastes like cardboard.

Todd Hartley:
It sure does and the recyclable cardboard, I mean not even the good stuff.

Sherri Shepherd:
Not even the good stuff so if you like, if you don’t mind putting marinara over some corrugated boxes, you know, God bless you, and so I haven’t had pasta, which is one of my favorites, for a few years and I tried this pasta from Dreamfields. I was a little leery. I pricked my finger and, you know, took my blood sugar level before I started. It was okay. I ate it. Two hours later I pricked my finger again and I saw that my blood sugar level had gone up slightly but it wasn’t all over the place, which is what pasta tends to do because it has a lot of carbs. So I was very excited that I could eat this moderately, you know, in moderation with the salad and I could still do what I needed to do. That it was so good that my son likes it. I could make it for him and we could do our bonding moment over some pasta.

Todd Hartley:
You know if your son likes it, if your son can give it a permission slip, right? And your son knows its okay and cool to eat, and it’s good for you, then by all means enjoy it, right?

Sherri Shepherd:
Absolutely, because, you know, you don’t want to be forced to say, “I can’t eat anything.” You want to find things that and you want to eat it in moderation. So for me, pasta is a big deal. I love pasta. I love, you know, lasagna, so when I found this pasta from Dreamfields that, you know, had the five digestible carbs and didn’t raise my blood sugar and make it go all over the place I said, “Oh my goodness, this is great.”

So, you know, like I said, I eat in moderation and they have a really wonderful website called http://www.diabetesfriendsforever.com, and I tell people, “If you don’t know if you have diabetes or you do have diabetes, this is a great website because it’s very interactive and it tells you,” you know it gives you different tips everyday to maintain your healthy lifestyle, it gives you the signs of what to look for if you think you might be diabetic. So it’s really wonderful working with Dreamfields.

Todd Hartley:
You know, it sounds like it’s a lot more effective than praying that God takes it away for you. It’s a lot more proactive and food options is so huge. In your book you talk about god slays Pinkberry and can I read this little part, which I just think is a real gem?

Sherri Shepherd:
Yes.

Todd Hartley:
You wrote – “I knew I was,” and this is about Pinkberry, “I knew I was killing myself and one day I made an announcement on “The View” that I had to stop. Yet right after the show I headed to Pinkberry and I was about 20 feet from the store when God spoke loud and clear and God said, ‘No more Pinkberry,’ and I never heard God thunder before. I have read about such trembling in the Bible, right? But in all conversations I had with God over the years he never made me cower, but as I approached the little yogurt shop, God thundered, ‘No more Pinkberry,’ and this was not the loving advice of the New Testament God. No, this was the fearsome booming command of an Old Testament God. This was the God that drowned every creature on earth save the passengers on Noah’s boat. This was the God who killed every first born Egyptian boy on Passover and this God, well he wanted me to stay the heck out of Pinkberry.”

Talk to me about the food cravings and the Pinkberry addiction and how you really, you know, without God really thundering down, how you take charge?

Sherri Shepherd:
Wow! That’s so funny. I like that part like I got to get that girl’s book. Pinkberry is a yogurt place. I think they have it out west and you know, you think when you hear yogurt that, oh it’s not ice cream, it’s not Häagen-Dazs® so I can eat as much of it as I want.

Todd Hartley:
Right, it’s good for me.

Sherri Shepherd:
Yeah, exactly. I had gotten fooled into thinking that, and I would go to this Pinkberry yogurt and I’d get a large Pinkberry yogurt, it’s about 33 grams of carbs and 33 grams of sugar. So that’s all you should have in a day, especially if you are diabetic. I would have three of those. I’d have it when it opens, I’d get it for lunch, and I’d get it right before it closed at 10 o’clock. So you’d go, I am eating 99 grams of sugar and 99 grams of carbs every single day and every single day I am killing myself, you know, but I kept thinking, “Oh it’s yogurt so it’s great,” and I just wouldn’t stop because I got addicted to it.

Todd Hartley:
It’s a crack berry.

Sherri Shepherd:
It was my crack berry. I couldn’t, because I knew, “You can’t have a cheesecake Sherri, you can’t have Häagen-Dazs®, but you can have yogurt.” So I would neglect to look at the sugar content and slowly I was, my energy level was going down. I couldn’t, I’m sitting at the table doing hot topics; my mental clarity wasn’t together, you know, and I had friends that said, “You’ve got to stop,” but it’s like, I had started and I couldn’t stop and so, the way I said, you know, normally, if somebody says, “God said this to me,” I’d go, “Hmm, you better run,” but for me, I think God had to really shake me by the shoulders. “Stay away,” and it scared me so bad. Look, I have been two and a half years sober from Pinkberry.

Todd Hartley:
Congratulations!

Sherri Shepherd:
Thank you. I am a person that literally went in there for three for, times a day and sometimes I would get two of them, so I would get more than 100 grams of sugar and carbs. So, I am doing it and not to say that’s not, it’s a great place and I am not saying don’t go to Pinkberry, but if you can, do everything in moderation.

Todd Hartley:
Yeah, and if God speaks to you, definitely stay away.

Sherri Shepherd:
Yes, if he speaks to you to go, “No more,” than you need to stay away. You need to stop but that’s what that was for. Thanks for reading my passages.

Todd Hartley:
Oh it’s so good. It’s just a piece of gold right there. Now every morning my mom, just like women all over the country, she watches “The View” while eating breakfast and probably women like my mom need a little tip on how to talk to their doctor about diabetes. Do you have any guidance for them?

Sherri Shepherd:
Well I’d say don’t be afraid. I think a lot of people don’t, we’re not proactive in taking charge of our health because we are afraid, and it’s not something you have to be afraid of. It’s quite the opposite. If you find out you can do something about it because a lot of people find out that they are pre-diabetic, which is, it means you are not diabetic, which means you can make the changes before you go over to that, you know, before they give you that diagnosis so if you are proactive you can find out what’s going on.

If you find out you have, it then you can make those changes so that you can live longer and you don’t want to get to the place where, you know what, the signs and symptoms are so bad that all of a sudden now they are talking to you about your foot. You can’t feel your fingers and your toes and now they are talking about amputations, or you got, you know, you’re almost inline for a stroke. So do it before it gets that far and I would say, get a support system around yourself. Get friends who will help you eat healthy. Get a team of doctors because they want to help you. This is something where it’s like, every 20 seconds somebody is diagnosed with diabetes. It’s expensive. It’s expensive health wise. If you can just be proactive, you don’t have to go through all of that stuff.

Todd Hartley:
Yeah, you know, you and I, I think have something in common – we both have a tremendous support group around us. Dreamfields health carb pasta is putting together just a wonderful campaign that I’d like to talk with you about. It’s Dreamfields Diabetes Friends Forever campaign where listeners can nominate a diabetes friend who has helped them love and understand, even manage and live with their diabetes. Can we talk about that for a second?

Sherri Shepherd:
Absolutely, it’s so wonderful, this campaign, it’s called Diabetes Friends Forever, and if you go on to the Dreamfields pasta website, it’s http://www.diabetesfriendsforever.com, and along with the tips on just healthy living and eating and exercise tips, they have a wonderful contest going because, you know, sometimes it’s those people that don’t get the thanks who help us along and who help us stay strong and, you know, who will say to me, like my DFF, we call them DFF, which is Diabetes Friends Forever. So my DFF goes, “Sherri, put that box of M&Ms down, you know, you don’t need that,” and I love that they love me enough to say that to me and this is a way you can just say thank you to them, just to nominate them and say thank you to them and if they win the contest, Dreamfields pasta will give them a lot of prizes, but if you are anything like me, I love thank yous, I love hugs and kisses, but give me some money. So one of the prizes is cash and in today’s, you know, what we are going through today everybody needs some cash.

Todd Hartley:
Yeah, you are so right. Well she is my DFF; she is Sherri Shepherd from the hit morning show “The View”, the author of “Permission Slips: Every Woman’s Guide to Giving Herself a Break.” If you haven’t read it, it’s a great read – fun, easy, short fun stories and if you’d like to nominate a special diabetes friend just go to http://www.diabetesfriendsforever.com and click on the entry form.

Sherri Shepherd, thank you for helping us improve health and change lives.

Sherri Shepherd:
Thank you so much.

Add a Comment1 Comments

EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous

Sherie shepard should use her ivy league education to educate her hooligan attacking friends of the consequences of harassing them mocking or seeking approval for clown antics from unevolved people and co-workers which she puts out to provide for a life as a single mother, be more responsible and do not seek physical confrontation like overpaid hollywoods, anyone can do what you are doing are you getting free money?

June 8, 2010 - 9:31am
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