Vodka has zero (0) carbohydrates & Creme Brûlée is better for me than cake!
While intending a bit of wit and tongue in cheek perspective on “what to eat” that’s still yummy and fitting within the parameters of one’s diabetic diet, these two facts were actually helpful for me to learn.
Ten years ago, I participated in an 8 week course for diabetics (I was pre-diabetic at the time). When my numbers shot up last summer, I went back to see what knew news was available from the nutritionist’s world regarding this insidious disease. My dietician said, “really, nothing had changed in the last 10 years.” I told her I was flying somewhere soon and usually needed a drink or two to relax during the flight, but didn’t want to hurt myself with too much alcohol (wine was my usual drink – 4 grams of carbs are in five ounces and anticipated needing 10 ounces for a good buzz…her comment…”vodka has no carbs”…hmmm… Vodka it was! (I decided I’d rather eat my carbs than drink them that day.)
What I realized at that nutritionist appointment, (an epiphany of sorts), was that I am now “on my own” in figuring out “what to eat.” I know all the general info. about what’s good and what’s not, what I want now is a personal, individualized, actual, customized action plan that let’s me still love my meals….and the only place to get that kind of detail, specifically designed for me, was from one source… me! So I went to work on one.
Thanks to getting my own glucose monitoring device, I can check my blood sugars after eating and see what actually happens with certain foods – which ones spike my sugar levels and which don’t. While I thought I’d drive my wonderful husband crazy with my diligent measuring, logging, testing, and cheering and/or bemoaning the results …he’s been so supportive (no surprise really) and has gotten into complimenting my efforts. There are other factors I am figuring out too, like the “dawn phenomena” of sugar spikes in the early a.m. hours and how to manage that. It’s a work in progress – but I can assure you, I AM making good progress. Each day, I am more comfortable with knowing “what to eat” and am expanding my testing to more exotic and once forbidden items with tweaks in the recipes. What’s working for me…using a little math (45 grams of carbs at a meal is my target) and ensuring balance between fats, carbs, and proteins. Also, I eat real food, not artificial substitutes (more on that in upcoming posts).
Recently I’ve put puddings, brûlées, & custards back into my diet. I just love them, savory and sweet, but have stayed away from the sweets completely for a couple years. The reason a brûlée or pudding is better for me than cake is that there are normally more protein and fats in a pudding than those that exist in a cake. Refined grains and sugars spike a diabetic’s sugar levels enormously. Eggs and dairy (in puddings) are proteins and fats, which you actually need for balancing the sugars. It’s all about balance…think balance and you can have a bit of everything. Last month I enjoyed my niece’s pumpkin brûlée, and another day, a savory flan from Market Restaurant in San Diego. Neither spiked my sugar levels…yay, I got to have my pudding, and eat it too 🙂
Along with a lovely cup of tea…usually an oolong in the evening.