Kristine M. Kierzek
Two years after being diagnosed with diabetes, Jayne Jones believes she has missed many signs over the years. On her 45th birthday, it took a major health crisis to get her attention.
Jones landed in the emergency room that day on high sugar levels that threatened an impending stroke. She lost her eyesight for almost two weeks. That was August 2019.
According to her doctor’s instructions, she avoided sugar, white flour, and snacks. She went from eight to ten cans of soda a day just to drink water. Two years later, these changes helped her lose 60 pounds and stay drug-free, but eating presented new challenges.
Always an enthusiastic baker and eater, she lost her love of food for months after being diagnosed with diabetes. She didn’t want to bake or cook anything.
When she got back into the kitchen, her family used her as taste testers. They encouraged her and suggested that she start a blog called No Sugar Baker. Every Saturday, Jones now shares live cooking demonstrations on Facebook. She has published a cookbook herself, “The No Sugar Baker’s Cookbook of Healthy Living & No Regrets” (2021, $ 23.95).
A lawyer working with scholarship and legislation not for profit, Jones last lived in Hayward before moving to Sarasota, Florida with her husband, Chris Beehler.
Before the blog
I write grants and laws for nonprofits. I work from home and believe COVID helped launch No Sugar Baker. I would have been too busy in any other setting.
Your recipe for success
It’s more than just desserts. I have quiche, salads, soups, my life story. There is no magic formula. Now I know the formula for my body. It’s 25 carbohydrates a day or less and is sugar-free. I have to exercise for 45 minutes four to five days a week. I have to drink half of my body weight in ounces of water every day. Water is the only thing I drink now.
A recipe she wants to be known for
Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Bacon Cookies from No Sugar Baker. I would never have rounded up the combination, but I’ll tell you it’s a grand slam.
Roots of family dining
We have always dined as a family, but there is part of my upbringing that you look back on and see that the family budget is important and you sometimes make quick dinners that are full of preservatives and foods that are not the best …
As a child, I never thought of food as food. Jayne has been confirmed, let’s get some cake. Jayne has clear ones, let’s get tacos. There was always a reward with food. Now I only see food as nourishment for my body, which I need to live.
Lose sight (temporarily)
Nobody told me that would happen. Apparently it’s pretty common. … I was so addicted to sugar. The glucose was above 600 and you should be 100 or below.
When the doctor in the emergency room immediately said you need to eat lean meat and salads, we started. But when you do that, your glucose levels drop so quickly that your eyesight deteriorates. … I went to a retinal specialist, ‘You were inches from two detached retinas.’ That scared me. … He literally said I have to save your eyes. You will need to have an injection in both eyes for the next 12 months. We need to get insurance approval because it costs $ 4,000 per eye. … In the now 24 months I only needed this one month of injections because I was so strict with the sugar. …
People don’t understand. Wouldn’t you rather live and have a peanut butter mug? Are you kidding me? I know how it is. I understand what it is like to sit in the stands at a volleyball game and not see your daughter because you had some sugar. If it’s a choice between the darn peanut butter cup and my vision, it will always be vision and good health.
Behind the baker
I’m just a lawyer, a Minnesota girl who always bragged about the cheesecakes she made. I got sick and had to find a way to get my life back. If I can do it, the 10% of the population diagnosed as prediabetic or diabetic can too.
Your new alternatives
I don’t have a relationship with Swerve, but it saved my life. That brought me back to the kitchen. It doesn’t taste fake and it doesn’t raise my blood sugar, most importantly. It doesn’t increase my glucose levels. Never have I ever used butter, I would only use margarine. I now also use unsweetened almond milk and am a big fan of sugar-free chocolate chips.
Peanut butter, I’ve always found that healthy. The first thing I wanted to make was a peanut butter cookie. I ate it and got super sick. I looked at the glass, it’s full of sugar. I had to find out. It made my glucose levels off the charts. I have to go to freshly made peanut butter, just peanuts, no sugar or anything added.
What she cannot recreate
I was born and raised in Minnesota and lived in Hayward. I’m very much a part of the Tater Tot and Hotdish cuisine … and I can’t. I keep getting this question. There is no substitute for Tater Tot Hotdish.
Find her on Facebook
On Saturdays I do cooking demonstrations, a Facebook live. 40,000 people watch it every Saturday when I come back from my flea market. You see, cooking and baking used to be my hobby. I had to think of a new hobby that turned into a flea market on Saturdays. I let people guess how much I spent for the day, then I talk about the recipes.
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