The Truth About Food

Posted on August 14, 2012


I sat down intending to share some really good (and healthy) recipes from Walgreens publication – Diabetes and You.  However, I suddenly decided to change topics.  To still talk about food – which I love.  But to share some of my experiences with food.

As many diabetics (and non diabetics) know, food is so yummy but can be tricky.  Yes, tricky.  What do I mean by tricky?  Well….let’s just say it is not always easy counting carbs, measuring and only eating a specific amount, guestimating in restaurants, knowing how one carb may interact with a certain protein and or fat.  You get the idea.

Diabetics cannot sit down and randomly eat.  But to be honest, no one should sit down and just start shovelling food into their mouths.  We should all take the time to think about what we are eating, why, and how much?

Are we craving sweet or salty?  Treating a low bloodsugar?  Following a mealplan designed by a dietician?  Trying to lose weight?  Stop and think about what you are doing.  What you are about to eat.  And why?

I don’t restrict any foods from my diet.  I would not even call it a diet.  I eat what my body wants and needs.  However, I don’t eat a whole bag of Hershey dark chocolate kisses.  I do not finish off a jar of almond butter.  And I don’t eat 6 cups of pasta with alfredo sauce.  Moderation.  Everything in moderation. 

And if I can’t do that, then I don’t buy the food.  This happened once with Ben and Jerry’s Cookie Dough ice cream.  One of my favorite treats.  I thought I could eat 1/2 cup or less of Ben and Jerrys.  Well, a pint later I was feeling guilty and sick.  I had lost control.  It happens to all of us.  Ice cream and Cheesecake Factory Adam’s cheesecake are triggers for me.  But I know and acknowledge it.  Moderation.

Part of moderation for me is measuring what I eat and reading all the labels.  Really paying attention to the carbohydrates and fat so I can program my pump appropriately.  Some thinking goes into this.  Refined carbs act a whole lot differently then whole grains.  Fat lingers in my system and then raises my blood sugar several hours later.  And  too much protein acts like fat.  Knowing how I respond and then eating the right amounts for me is key to feeling well (and managing my blood sugars and cholesterol).

But don’t take the fun out of food.  Part of life is enjoying what we eat.  It should not be torture.  Find foods and recipes that you love.  There is something for everyone.

Experiment.  Be adventurous.  Find out what your body needs.  Listen, and it will tell you.  Cravings happen for  a reason.

For example, when my blood sugar is low I want peanut butter.  The more I can get, the better.  Right off the spoon and onto crackers.  Yet, I know glucose tabs would work a lot more effectively and quickly.  So I used to eat some tabs and top it off with a peanut butter and cracker.  But now I suspect a peanut allergy so I have been staying clear of peanuts.  Bummer!  But I listen to my body.  A swollen eye and hives around my neck after eating peanut butter is not a good sign.  My body is telling me something.  Stop eating peanut butter.

I think you get the point.  Diabetics and non diabetics need to fuel their bodies with the good stuff.  But allow room for treats and cravings.  You cannot live on salads.  And you cannot live on M & M’s.  There has to be a balance that works for you and your lifestyle.

I eat a lot of carbs but I run 50 plus miles a week.  I need carbs.  Others may not need as many carbs.  Don’t compare yourself to others.  Take a look at your own life, your activity level, goals, etc.  Figure out what  works best for you.

Find easy recipes online.  Make a grocery list.  Have fun shopping (I love grocery shopping).  And have even more fun eating what you bought and made.

So there it is.  Food.  We all need it.  Enjoy it!

Have a good dinner!  And I will post the recipes from Walgreens.  I promise:)

Michele Brown

Totally Diabetic