The Spoonie’s Guide to Low-Carb Living

Life is tough when you have a chronic medical condition. It’s even tougher when you have multiple chronic medical conditions. It’s intensely tough when you have multiple chronic medical conditions and want to maintain a healthy low-carb lifestyle.

There are surprisingly few pre-made foods out there that are low carb and aren’t filled with questionable ingredients. And when you feel like you’ve been nailed by a Mack truck all you want is a quick TV dinner and bed. You don’t want to grocery shop, you don’t want to stand up and you sure as heck don’t want to cook.

However, sometimes you have to. Sometimes you have a medical condition that requires low carb eating. Often you think that eating well just might make your life a little better. And all the time you just want to feel better.

I would be lying to you if I told you that low carb living was easy. I am not lying to you when I say that it can be done. It just takes digging your heels in and making it a priority. But, these few tips and tricks just might help.

Title3

1. Plan, plan, plan

If there is any piece of advice I give you, take this one. Plan your meals out in advance. I will plan out lunches and dinners for four days and I write them on a whiteboard I keep in my kitchen. This has several benefits:

a. Grocery shopping will be easier. Why? Because you have just planned out your meals for the next few days. You can now build your grocery list off your plans.

b. It takes the pressure off of figuring out what’s for dinner because you have already decided. As an added bonus, when someone asks you “what’s for dinner,” you can point them to your list.

c. It will help you keep on the low carb track. If anything, because it takes too much effort to change plans.

2. Cook when you feel good so you don’t have to when you feel bad

Making a casserole? Make a double batch and freeze the leftovers. Do it on one of those super hefty paper plates so that all you have to do is take off the plastic wrap and throw it in the microwave. It will be a homemade TV dinner, and much better for you than the ones you find in the grocery store.

3. Make your freezer your BFF

To follow up on the previous tip, make extra and freeze it. Buy meat in bulk and freeze it because it’s cheaper. Frozen vegetables are just as good as fresh. I have even stocked up on butter when it was on sale and frozen it. I would recommend though organizing your freezer better than mine is…because I often hate opening my freezer for fear of having a long-forgotten bag of flax seed falling on my face.

4. Invest in a good slow cooker

A slow cooker is a spoonie’s best friend. I am not exaggerating when I say I use mine all. the. time. I haven’t made a roast or baked a cake in the oven since I got mine. My slow cooker of choice is the Hamilton Beach Set-And-Forget. It comes with a temperature probe that you can jab in your roast then program the cooker to cook the roast until it hits the temperature you set and then will automatically turn to ‘warm’ so that you don’t burn the meal. It takes all the guesswork out of whether or not your meat is cooked all the way through – and when you’re immunodeficient like I am, that is huge. It also makes the most moist roast chicken you will ever have and your cakes will be amazingly rich. I don’t normally use them since I’m a little eek about cooking plastic, but use a slow cooker liner to keep cleanup to a minimum.

5. Keep a whiteboard (or two) on your fridge

Those locker whiteboards you get in the school supply section of Wal Mart (dirt cheap in late August, at that) have been a godsend. I keep it on my fridge so that whenever I realise I need something I can just turn around and jot it down. Before I go to the grocery store I take a photo of it and then load it into a drawing app so that I can cross off items. Super simple and saves trees. I also use whiteboards to calculate nutrition facts for quick meals that I want to eat immediately.

6. Grocery shop online

Online grocery shopping is seriously a thing now. And it’s awesome. It makes life a lot easier for the spoonie. No getting up and going out. As an added bonus, you can help bloggers support their activities by buying items from their stores so that they can keep bringing you free recipes. Many recipes contain affiliate links. Seriously, click on them and buy your almond flour through them. I have a suggested list of things I keep in my kitchen regularly available through my store. It’s a work in progress and updated somewhat regularly.

7. Make cooking fun

Cooking is a chore for a lot of people. You have to stand up, think, mix, source ingredients and ultimately clean up afterwards. But there’s an element of fun to it, the thrill of things coming together to make something delicious gives me a high.

Maybe I’m just crazy. But food highs are WAY cheaper than drugs.

The key to happiness is to find joy in everything. Sometimes it takes a bit of effort to find a minuscule amount of joy, but it’s there. If you can focus on that itty bitty bit of joy in cooking, you will be happier. Sometimes all it will be is the smell of a comforting meal cooking – and often, that is all you really need.

8. Clean as you go

I spent a very long time working fast food. Longer than I want to admit, and long enough for me to realise that it sucked and it was time for me to go back to college. But I did learn several valuable lessons working fast food that I don’t think I would have had the opportunity to anywhere else. While the big one was “be nice to your server, no matter what,” the one I want to talk about now is “clean as you go.” I spent a good chunk of my career closing, often not getting out until 3 in the morning – and sometimes 4 when the kitchen was trashed. Those nights were not fun and they could have been easily avoided if we had simply wiped things down as we went, did dishes when we had down time and kept the floor swept. Taking home those habits is crucial for the spoonie – it takes minimal extra effort to throw trash out or quickly wipe down a counter. Keep a large bowl in your general vicinity to throw wastes in so that you only have to walk to the trash can once when you’re done. No one wants to cook in a dirty kitchen, and keeping it clean is crucial to wanting to cook. Cleaning it in small increments instead of all at once helps make what could possibly be a daunting task a little easier to handle. In that vein, however, be able to proritise which chores need to be taken care of immediately and which ones can wait a little bit. I often leave the dishes for my husband. ūüėČ

9. Break up larger, more labour intensive recipes into smaller, more manageable tasks done over several hours – or even days.

It is not uncommon (AKA I do it all the time) for me to start getting things prepared for supper after breakfast. This is when I have the most energy and am able to get the most things done. Often, supper is nothing more than just throwing a couple pork chops on the grill and serving sliced vegetables, but I will usually rub down the pork chops with my seasoning blend of choice in the morning and then slice the vegetables after lunch. I have taken three days to prepare a casserole (this is where planning meals in advance has an advantage): Day 1 I will chop up the vegetables, Day 2 I will make the sauce and on Day 3 I will throw it all together and put it in the oven. Planning in advance makes it so that I can easily break up tasks, that way when life throws me a sudden knock-me-on-my-butt event I can still put supper on the table with minimal effort or  even have my husband do the final bits for me.

10. If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again

The amount of times I have heard people tell me that they often won’t try making a recipe again because they failed the first time makes me sad. For every good thing I have made and goes into the “must make again” rotation, I have likely had 5 or 6 failed attempts, ranging from “meh, could be better” to “ohmygod I’m eating baby vomit.” I take these failures as lessons and will immediately think of ways to make the end result meet my taste expectations. There are very few recipes I use where I haven’t tweaked to meet my personal taste preferences. Never be afraid to alter a recipe, even if it’s not your own. And if it doesn’t work, don’t be afraid to try again. Tomorrow is another day, after all.

Low carb living is not easy. But with a little work, a little planning and a lot of kitchen time you will be able to do it. Just don’t give up!

Low Carb Oatmeal Cookies. Or: How I Learned to Stop Slacking and Love the Fat

It’s been a really rough ride these past few months.

First, I fried my laptop. In a computer science class, of all places. It was working just fine, then I went into class, tried to boot it up and…nothing. Except for an awful sound coming from the fan. It had been overheating in recent months (like, the past year) and I figured it was on its last leg…but couldn’t it have waited until AFTER I was done with a class that I actually needed it for recitation?

My health has been meh lately too. I’ve been completely worn out, dizzy and unable to function – and no one can figure out why. My thyroid has been fully checked twice, I got the most half-assed adrenal check ever and a “mostly normal” brain MRI that landed me in a neurologist’s office. The “minorly abnormal” part happened to be nothing more than some serious sinus congestion, odd considering I haven’t been stuffy, but a report was forwarded from the neurologist to the immunolgoist to see what he wants done about it. Since it’s been two weeks and I haven’t heard back, I’m going to assume that he just doesn’t care. Which, given the vibe I got from him, wouldn’t surprise me in the slightest. CVID is such a boring disease, after all. A second MRI was done with contrast and at least from a brain standpoint it looked normal, but if those sinuses are still clogged methinks I may be headed toward a sinus surgery. Good thing I have an appointment scheduled with an ENT next month and she can access the MRIs herself. We’ll discuss it then.

Then there was the binge I went on a couple of nights ago. We’ll start this story talking about the discovery I made yesterday that with my whole-foods low-carb everything-from-scratch diet I don’t get anywhere NEAR the daily recommended 2300 mg of sodium for women. Even when eating a tuna casserole made with homemade alfredo (AKA sodium city) I still was at 1800 mg by the end of the night and had to eat some cheese to get myself up. Now that we’ve covered that, Tuesday I was craving pretzels. BAD. So, I ate them. A TON of them. Which included me shooting up (blindly, might I add) 8 units via syringe with the intent of eating half the bag. What happened was a blood glucose roller coaster that I have no intentions of ever repeating again. I started at 319 mg/dL (a result of my previous pretzel binge – which was adaquately covered by insulin, BTW). An hour later, I found myself at a delicious 32 mg/dL – and by my estimation, a good 10 units of active insulin. A 20-oz bottle of cherry Coke and half a bag of pretzels later and I was at a whopping 72 mg/dL. Which became 519 mg/dL by 3 in the morning.

Thankfully I was able to get it down and woke up at 82 mg/dL in the morning. But I awoke with a new mission to get things under control. My neurologist had dropped the words “autonomic neuropathy” at my last appointment and had suggested getting a blood pressure cuff and keep an eye on that as well. After Googling “autonomic neuropathy,” I thought it would be a good idea to monitor EV-UH-RY-THING. So, I have a notebook monitoring EV-UH-RY-THING…and that was how I discovered that I don’t eat anywhere NEAR enough sodium. I also noticed that I feel dehydrated ALL the time despite drinking very close to a gallon of fluids a day. A result of the lack of sodium? Perhaps. Further investigation is required…the four words in a journal article that translate to “we’re putting off doing the research so that we can have another publication. Because publications = grants.”

Which brings me to the reason I actually plopped myself on the desktop despite the toddler I have walking around dumping my pencil case all over the living room floor…

Another thing I have been craving lots of have been sweets, and in particular my mother’s oatmeal cookies. But I really had yet to find a recipe that I felt could even come close to matching the deliciousness of them. They’re moist, tasty, not too sweet and all-in-all absolute perfection. And then I came across this recipe from Low Carb Yum. These cookies, friends, are a game-changer. They taste just like your carb-laden chocolate chip cookie and you need to go make them. Now. However, when I say they taste just like a carb-laden cookie that means I found them a little TOO sweet and I found the erythritol a little strong in it. Knowing that the erythritol was a major component in the cookie dough being actual dough and not a puddle of nut butter, I thought about what I could add that would give them the structure they need while cutting back on the erythritol? The answer: shredded coconut.

Shredded coconut has become the darling of the low-carb cookie world. It makes for a wonderful substitution for oats in baking as the texture is pretty similar with only mildly noticeable coconut flavour. You can find dozens of low-carb fauxtemal cookie recipes using unsweetened shredded coconut. But even with my tweaks, I couldn’t get any of them to taste like Mama’s.

Until now.

No, this is not generally a food blog but I’ve been spending a lot of time in the kitchen and have note cards up the wazoo with my creations that I think I am going to share. Because I’m excited about them. Get excited with me. At 1.18g net¬†carbs per decent-sized¬†cookie¬†you should get excited. And without further ado, the low carb oatmeal recipe you have been waiting for, inspired by Lisa at Low Carb Yum.

Low Carb Oatmeal Cookies

Makes: 24 cookies

Per cookie:
Fat: 7g
Sodium: 31mg
Total Carbs: 2.12g
Total Fibre: 0.94g
Net Carbs: 1.18g

Ingredients

1 C Walnut halves and pieces
2/3 C Pecan halves
1/2 C Cashew halves and pieces
1/2 C Erythritol
1/4 tsp Liquid stevia drops (it’s roughly about 15ish drops, to taste)
1 Large egg
1/2 tsp Baking powder
1/4 tsp Salt
1 tsp Pure vanilla extract
1 tsp Pure almond extract
1/2 C Unsweetened shredded coconut

Destructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350¬ļF. Line baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Place the walnuts, pecans and cashews in the bowl of a food processor and process until nut butter is formed. It will first get grainy, then clump together, then it will become a smooth nut butter.
  3. Stop the food processor for a second and add the erythritol and liquid stevia. Pulse until combined.
  4. Add egg, baking powder, salt, vanilla and almond to processor and pulse until combined.
  5. By now it should look like a runny cookie dough. Remove processor blade and add coconut. Alternatively, you can transfer the dough to a bowl and add coconut. I just hate dishes.
  6. Roll into balls about 1″ in diameter. Place on cookie sheet and press gently to flatten.
  7. Bake in oven for 12-15 minutes or until golden around edges.

The Smartass’ Guide to Handling the Food Police

So, I participated in my first Diabetic Connect Diabetes Education chat tonite, and it was a lot of fun. I always like to meet new people online (because we all know I have super social anxiety in real life, eek!) and the group was a kick. Tonite’s topic of discussion was handling eating during the holidays, and someone mentioned the thing that is always on the Top 10 Biggest Annoyances list for any diabetic: the food police.

You know who I’m talking about, those people who watch over your shoulder, asking if you can eat that roll, telling you to put down the pie and generally just being worse than your mother was 6 days after coming home from the hospital.

Every diabetic has come across at least on in their life.

Diabetic Connect has a very good list of ways to handle the food police, and they are most certainly very good and should be given a look by anyone who has ever found themselves in a position where people are questioning their culinary choices. But since I’m a snarky smartass, I really can’t see myself implementing them after the first round of being asked “doesn’t that have sugar?” six times is over.

You were warned

You were warned

So, in that vein, I now give you

THE SMARTASS’ GUIDE TO HANDLING THE FOOD POLICE

Snarky Responses to “You Can’t Eat That.”

1. Really? I thought I was the one going to college.

2. That’s cool, because you really shouldn’t be talking with your mouth full.

3. I think this pie would look way better on my ass than on yours.

4. That’s too bad, because these mashed potatoes are so lonely, they need a friend. Like the turkey I just ate.

5. For one day, my body can handle it. You, however, will always be ugly no matter what you eat.

6. Several peer-reviewed articles in Diabetes Care seem to disagree with you.

7. Good thing your insurance premiums/tax dollars are paying for my insulin pump.

8. Blame Obama.

9. I’m a piranha. They in the Amazon.

10. Silly me, I forgot you are an expert on diabetes care! Please, what can I eat?

11. Hold on, let me grab my towel and consult the Hitchhiker’s Guide.

12. You’re fired.

13. Taking a break from bothering your spouse/significant other/parent I see. How about you take a break from bothering me, too.

14. I need you to go outside and double-check that the dairy elves haven’t smeared the metal posts outside with ice cream again. It’s impossible to get off and I don’t want to spend the money replacing them again. The only way to do it is to preform a taste test. (Works best in cold climates).

15. Your ever-widening ass shows that you have no business giving me dietary advice.

What would be on your Smartass’ Guide to Handling the Food Police?

Low Carb South Park

I. Love. South Park.

I know, it’s a polarising show – you either love it or you think it’s stupid and vulgar. I am in the first camp (as I’m sure you can tell), simply due to the fact that they tackle some pretty serious issues in that stupid and vulgar manner that makes you really look at the issues in a completely different light – which oftentimes is quite necessary.

So I finally got around to watching the episode that aired the Wednesday before last, Gluten Free Ebola. I will admit that, as a low carb eating person, for the first time in my life I went into the episode somewhat cautious. But knowing that for the past what, 18 years, South Park’s MO has been “look at it one way and then another,” I kept going.

The male genitalia flying off did make me laugh way more than it should have.

In the end, Cartman has a dream where Aunt Jemima tells him that the pyramid is upside down. He calls up the USDA to tell them, and then they come up with this:

Screenshot 2014-10-11 18.16.30

Well it’s about damn time!

Now THAT is the pyramid how I see it. We’ll ignore the fact that it never was a pyramid to begin with but a triangle for a moment, and focus on the fact that even Trey Parker and Matt Stone know what’s up.

Fat is not bad, people!

Well, let me modify that to say that not all fat is bad. Trans fats, they’re still bad. Refined fats, still bad. Now, the ending scenes where people are eating steak with a stick of butter are a gross overexaggeration, but that’s South Park for you (although I will take this moment to say that steak is in fact quite tasty with butter on it – just not a whole quarter pound of the stuff). I also find it quite coincidental that the butter-and-steak party was thrown for the kid with diabetes. Sort of.

The point I’m trying to get at in my incoherent rambling is that it’s about damn time that low carb/high fat got a good show in the mainstream media. Studies are starting to come out that all those carbohydrates are bad, and that’s good too. I am the kind of person who does not think that there is a one-size-fits-all diet plan, but I do wholeheartedly agree that the “you must have a serving of complex carbohydrates at every meal!” mentality needs to go. I shudder when I recall what I was initially taught by my dietician as a child – I had to chose one starch, two for supper, and record them in what I will admit was a handy worksheet that made it easy. If I didn’t make choices from every recommended group, I got a proverbial finger shaken at me.

I eat a very balanced diet while on low carb. I still make things like biscuits and bread and cakes and cookies, just they’re all without grains and low on the carbohydrates. I can still have all the tasty and delicious sweet things, and I do still bake up a storm. I eat a ton of vegetables, and contrary to popular belief I do not make an entire meal out of bacon (I love bacon more than most people, but not that much). Almost everything I eat is handmade, there are very little processed foods, and I spend WAY less money on food now that I don’t get a burger and fries all the time and I never order a pizza anymore. I also weigh less than I did in high school and once again I now have to go buy more jeans because they all fall off my ass.

I also need a new belt because I destroyed the only one I own yesterday.

Anyway, I high five Trey and Matt for their bringing this to the minds of those who would likely not even think about it. South Park is the in-your-face voice that LCHF needs to get through to the younger crowd. Put down that multigrain muffin sugar-filled monstrosity (because muffins are nothing more than cake for breakfast) and eat a low carb, no sugar version. It tastes better, and is better for you too.

I have also decided that the ultimate way to know you’ve arrived is for South Park to make fun of you. I have switched my life goal to be from winning the Nobel Prize to having South Park poke fun at me. Or maybe I could have South Park poke fun at me FOR winning the Nobel Prize. Hmm…

And as a side note, I’ve been super craving potato chips lately. I think imma try deep frying radishes and see how that turns out…

SO. FREAKING. EXCITED.

My mama spoils me rotten.

I worship the ground Carolyn Ketchum walks on. For serious. My recipe binder is full of stuff I have printed off of All Day I Dream About Food. So when she posted her slow cooker chocolate cake recipe, I started some serious envy. And not my usual “OMG it looks so pretty!” envy (because we all know everything I make looks like dinosaur poop), more of the “wow, I really want your equipment, but I’m a broke college student with a kid *sadface*” envy.

I’ve been wanting a new slow cooker for years. Mine, it’s done its job. But it’s gotta be a good 40 years old. I got it from someone who got it from someone who got it from someone. It’s served its purpose, but it just doesn’t do what I want it to do anymore. It doesn’t even have temperature settings – it’s either on or it’s off. So when Carolyn suggested the Hamilton Beach Set-and-Forget 6-qt slow cooker, I was all

OH. EM. GEE.

I would have drawn you a graphic, but my scanner is on another peninsula and I’m too broke to own a tablet.

This thing could be a life changer, I thought to myself. I can put a roast in it, go to class, and it will be ready when I get home. I can program it to automatically turn the temp down, so I can make soup or something and walk away. Just the exact thing that a mother with a full-time class schedule and a part-time job needs. Not to mention, it would probably bake that little cake there way better than my ancient slow cooker would.

But alas, the price tag was way out of my price range, and while it had the potential to save my life, it was by far not a necessity. So, I figured I would put away a little money here and there and treat myself here in a few months.

This is where my mother comes in.

Lord Imp and I have recently moved into a new house a loooong way away from home, and along with both of our parents, we have been working on accumulating everything that a house needs. We have all the necessities, all of our furniture has been either purchased or acquired from siblings looking to offload stuff they no longer need, the house came with all the major appliances and all the necessary minor appliances have been purchased. Apart from a garbage can and a broom, we have everything that is necessary for life. What’s left are the little things that will make what will inevitably be a hectic 9 months a little easier to manage. Thus the reasoning for needing the slow cooker.¬†

My mother has been working on getting everyone’s Christmas presents as the year has gone on, and it turns out that I was one of the last she had to buy for. So when I told her about wanting this slow cooker, her response was “well, we’re going to Meijer, if they have what you want, I’ll buy it for you. Call it your early Christmas present.”

I am spoiled rotten. But so immensely grateful that there are no words to fully express it.

So I am now the proud owner of a new Hamilton Beach slow cooker. And I have been going through my 1700 bookmarks of low-carb recipes planning out what I’m going to make in it. And Carolyn, that cake of yours is going to be the first thing that’s going in my brand-spaking-new slow cooker.

But, I’m not allowed to take it out of the box until I get back up to the house. Because I’m back down at my parent’s for the week because of doctor’s appointments (*le sigh* falling apart), and Lord Imp still has another week and a half at his job before we go up there for good. So here I am, with this tempting new toy sitting there, staring me down with its tempting devil eyes, and I have to be patient. Because I’m not going to get it out to only have to pack it back up. That and all my low-carb ingredients are up in the new house.

Although I do need more almond flour, I’m almost out. And it’s high time I finally bought real stuff. Time to order me a bag of Honeyville almond flour, now that I finally have the freezer space for it.

#dblogcheck 2014 – Or, I Don’t Miss Egg McMuffins

I’m new to this whole blogging thing, so when I was cruising on Twitter thinking that I should probably take a nap since Baby Imp is sleeping and came across #dblogcheck, I thought that it sounded like a good idea and was something I should check out.

I then thought that maybe I should probably write a new post for it. Yaknow, because reading the same crap over and over again gets old.

I mentioned in my post last night that I was going to talk about my diet-killing this past weekend. Many of you know that I eat low carb, high fat. I’m quite vocal about it, as a matter of fact. Ever since going low carb, my blood sugar levels have been far more consistent, my A1c levels have dropped to the high 5-low 6 range, I’ve had more energy and I also don’t find myself eating constantly like I used to. What I’m not quite vocal about, however, is the fact that there are times when I do cheat on the diet.

This past weekend was tough, with the baby being very sick and running for a 24-hour stretch that included only an hour or so of sleep. Between all that, I was working all weekend, and worrying about the baby even though she was safely home snuggled up with her daddy.

In addition to being straight-up exhausted, after leaving the ER at just after 5 in the morning, I was starving and had exactly no energy to make myself anything. I just wanted to get home and sleep so that I could be rested up when I showed up at work at 10. So, I did what any normal person would do: I swung through a McDonald’s drive-thru and got myself an Egg McMuffin meal, complete with the hashbrown and a big ‘ol unsweetened iced tea.

In a former life, that meal would have made me incredibly happy. Egg McMuffins used to be my favourite thing to eat in the morning. The delicious saltiness of the Canadian bacon and their special English muffins that I swear must have crack in them because they’re just so damn addicting. I ate that sandwich in the car on the drive back to the house, smiling because it brought back happy memories of deliciousness and road trips.

In 10 minutes though the smile had faded as the nausea set in. In a past life, my response would have been “OMG, so much fat!” and to some extent there may be a grain in truth of that since fast food joints aren’t exactly known for using the healthy kinds of fats. But after nine months of gradually getting myself down to under 60g of carbohydrates a day using a sugar free/grain free approach, I knew that it wasn’t the corn oil that was the cause of my gastrointestinal distress – it was the carbs.

My blood sugar promptly climbed up to the upper 200s after that meal, not surprising considering my pump just isn’t calibrated to handle that kind of diet anymore. I started to feel awful, dry mouth along with the upset stomach. But my pump wasn’t giving me any more insulin since it doesn’t let me stack doses, so all I could do at that point was wait for my blood sugar to come down.

And let me tell you, it did. To the tune of upper 50s three hours later coming down.

In a past life, I would have adjusted the bolus rate to give me a little less insulin, resulting in my peaking higher but at least not having a hypoglycemic episode when all was said and done. But I am now more educated, I know how carbohydrates work and I know that not all carbs are created equal. I know that my pump is set to handle more of my low carb/high fiber/high fat lifestyle, and it works very well for that. When I’m eating normal, it’s rare that I see a blood sugar above 140 even an hour after eating, and I always come back down to my usual 90 mg/dL and stay there.

But Sunday was cheat day. So Sunday was also see-saw day.

I spent the rest of the day repeating the process – eating bad and suffering the consequences. My blood sugar got down to 47 mg/dL while I was in the ER for the second time with Baby Imp. So I was given some juice, graham crackers and peanut butter. I was so out of it, I didn’t care what I was eating, I just ate it. And got sick. Again. I also sent Lord Imp out for cheeseburgers, fries and a cherry Coke. I couldn’t finish it, not even the Coke, it just didn’t taste good even with the low blood sugar. I took insulin for it, and once again went through the huge spike and crash scenario that I went through earlier.

We got Baby Imp home around 11 that night, and I found that my mama had ordered pizza from the only place that doesn’t destroy my blood sugars provided I don’t eat the crust. It’s greasy, loaded with cheese and the crust is thin enough to remind me of the pizza I used to get when living in New Jersey as a kid. It’s good stuff.

I ate that slice without bolusing and woke up at 195 mg/dL the next morning. Which is actually surprisingly low given the grains in the crust.

I will be honest though, despite thinking that I was being bad throughout the day, I am actually quite glad for the diet-destroying experience. Blood sugar swings that I once thought were normal I now know aren’t, and seeing them after the new knowledge I acquired made me very aware that my diet is an enormous part of my control regimen. And the nausea I experienced after eating every meal on Sunday only reinforced the fact that my body just doesn’t like carbohydrates. It is much easier to eat low carb when you have something physical to remind you that your body just doesn’t like eating any other way, and for me the tummy ache is a good “this is a really bad idea” notification.

Yesterday the diet was much better. Lunch was a little carby due to a low blood sugar, and once again I felt sick after eating it. Supper I got back on track, and ate an Atkins TV dinner over a small pile of cauliflower rice (let’s face it, I was exhausted and incredibly lazy). That TV dinner, even with its additives and lord only knows what else was the most amazing and welcome meal after my 36-hour carbohydrate binge. I felt amazing after eating it, I had more energy and I continued to have a full feeling well into the night. At around midnight I had a small handful of almonds before going to bed since I was a touch on the hungry side. Woke up with a blood sugar in the 170 range that hasn’t gone down, and I’m thinking I’m having dawn phenomenon problems (AGAIN). I really wish I could get that under control, but that’s another battle for another time.

In the end, I have learned my lesson. Grains do not like me. And I’m finding that I really don’t like grains anymore. This is what makes low carb dieting so easy, after a while you just lose your taste for all that carby stuff. Sure, it’s a little more work, but the blood sugar numbers make it worth it for me. That and I love to cook, that helps as well. I think though that my experience this weekend will serve as a lesson of how important it is for me to maintain my low carb focus, not only for the sake of the diabetes, but also the sake of my poor tummy.

Now all I need to do is find a way to make a low carb strawberry Charlotte…


 

This is my post in the 2014 #dblogcheck event, where people read diabetes blogs and comment on every blog they read, even if it’s just to say “check!”. Read about it here.

Steep Downward Slide

Please allow me to acquaint you with the progression of my blood sugars over the 4 hours since discovering my site was kinked:

I think my site is working perfectly fine now.

It doesn’t help that my blood sugars tend to crash following an IVIG infusion. The last time around, I spent the day of in bed sleeping and I spent the day after adjusting the pump. I’m in for an awfully long night. Good thing I can spend all day tomorrow sleeping.

After seeing that lovely blood glucose reading of 48 mg/dL, I did what any normal girl who had her sugars drop 355 points in 4 hours would do:

Mmm carbs…

I’ll be honest, after 8 months of low carb I really didn’t enjoy those Doritos and Faygo as much as I used to – and it has nothing to do with the fact that those chips should be Better Made¬†ones. I’ve read about people losing their taste for carbohydrates after going LCHF, and I’m now wondering if I am one of those? In a past life, that can would have been gone as well as 3/4 of the bag…well, I only drank 1/3 of it and I stopped at maybe 2 oz of chips – twice the serving size, but way less than I would have eaten a year ago. Blood sugar right now is at 73, so I’m at least at a perfectly liveable state, the temp basal got cancelled and that extreme 10 unit dose of Novalog at 7 this evening in an effort to drop the sugars, I have no idea how much is left active because I didn’t deliver it through the pump. I’ll probably be up for another couple of hours just to make sure I don’t crash. In the meantime though, I’m uploading the pump settings since I’m curious to see what the IVIG will do to my settings so that maybe I can anticipate it next month. I seem to go on a dip and then I start raising my settings after 2 and a half weeks or so when I start running out of Ig because I’ve started out with active infections and I’m having a tough time fighting things again. I want to be able to have data so that I can anticipate what I need to do for next month’s round.

My life would be so much easier if illness didn’t spike the crap out of my blood sugars.

Of course, I will be doing this all over again when I start on the SCIG, but whatevs. The more data, the better. I do hope that the SCIG will keep me on a more even level so that I don’t go through the peaks and valleys with the blood sugars and the peaks and valleys with my energy levels. Because last month was extreme. I’m hoping that this month, like the infusion, will go better.

And here I was trying to add a “Diabetes” tag to the post, getting pissed off because I am mashing on the enter key and it’s not adding, yet I can add everything else…until I realised that “Diabetes” was the first one I put in…yeah, I think it’s time for me to go to bed…