What I Learned In My Diabetes Nutrition Classes…

Vodka has zero (0) carbohydrates &聽Creme Br没l茅e is better for me than cake!

Darjeeling tea martini at "tea and tinis" end of 2013

Darjeeling tea martini — 0 carbs but still…one is probably enough 馃檪

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). 聽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.” 聽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… 聽 聽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! 聽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. 聽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 聽been so supportive (no surprise really) and has gotten into complimenting my efforts. 聽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. 聽It’s a work in progress – but I can assure you, I AM making good progress. 聽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. 聽Also, I eat real food, not artificial substitutes (more on that in upcoming posts).

Recently I’ve put puddings, br没l茅es, & custards back into my diet. 聽I just love them, savory and sweet, but have stayed away from the sweets completely for a couple years. 聽The reason a br没l茅e 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. 聽Refined grains and sugars spike a diabetic’s sugar levels enormously. 聽Eggs and dairy (in puddings) are proteins and fats, which you actually need for balancing the sugars. 聽It’s all about balance…think balance and you can have a bit of everything. 聽Last month I enjoyed my niece’s pumpkin br没l茅e, and another day, a savory flan from Market Restaurant in San Diego. 聽Neither spiked my sugar levels…yay, I got to have my pudding, and eat it too 馃檪

Sammy cakes Pumpkin Br没l茅e...I had mine without the "carmelized sugar" and no sugar spike later ...hurray...

Sammy cakes Pumpkin Br没l茅e…I had mine without the “carmelized sugar” and no sugar spike later …hurray…

Parmesan savory pudding with corn bread from Market in San Diego

Parmesan savory pudding with corn bread from Market in San Diego



Along with a lovely cup of tea…usually an oolong in the evening.



  1. It seems you’re learning a lot, and it sounds to me like exactly the right approach, finding out what works for you as an individual. I’m delighted to hear you can have puddings again, that’s a reason to celebrate!

    • Yes, can you imagine not getting to eat puddings? I just love them and the texture of any custard…hope all is well with you Lorna…and thanks for your optimism and positive outlook…it is always encouraging to me!

      • I would be deeply distressed if puddings were entirely off the menu. All fine with me, thanks, and nice to see your new post today. 馃檪