I used to eat freely. Before March 2008, that is.
Now, I know some of you reading this are saying, "Here we go again. She's complaining about how she wishes she could just eat."
Bear with me.
Am I technically venting? Well, yes. So please bear with me because maybe I'll make all you non-diabetics hungry and you can go out after reading this and buy yourself some of the snackies I so wish I could freely eat without complication. Things like granola.
Because it's damn tasty, that's why!
Granola is made of:
oats (carbs), fruit (carbs), nuts (protein-fat-carb), [often] honey (carbs). Then of you course you must have milk with it (carbs-protein).
As you can see, granola is a high-carb food. Off the top of my head I can tell you a 1/2 cup (that's right, 1/2 cup!) has 56 grams (!) of carbohydrate (and this can go higher depending on the type of granola) in and of itself. This does not include the tasty milk that mustmustmust go with it.
I am abnormally educated in nutrition. No joke. Every type 1 diabetic (I believe I mentioned this a loooong time ago in one of my posts how we are your [free] source of information on food) who is even slightly attempting good blood sugar control knows so much about food it's almost enough to make you lose your appetite. So really, just ask away.
Everything from what type a food is and why, how it metabolizes in your body when you eat it, and the best part: how it metabolizes in combination with other types of food.
I am simultaneously getting hungry and irritated as I write this, believe it or not. And this is mostly because I'm craving granola.
I would say though that the hardest foods to process are not just 'pure' carbohydrate---like granola. You get quite the spike in blood sugar from a purely high carb food just because it takes a lot of work for your pancreas to spill enough insulin in time to keep up with that amount of carb floating around. The problem therein lies in that combination issue I mentioned above. So do yourself a favor and take it easy on purely sugary foods. This is why it's so important for everyone (not just diabetics) to combine proteins with carbs; it helps slow the carbohydrate release down so that you you burn food more like the "normal" function part of this graph than the "diabetic" function image part. Oh, the struggle.
But as you can see, I'm also not saying what a lot of people like to say to diabetics Oh, you can't eat sugar!
They're trying to talk about straight sugar, like we all crave sitting around downing restaurant sugar packets or something. Um, no. As a side note though, I did see this guy at a coffee shop last week who pouuuuuured (I say pouuuuured because he did not just 'add' some, he pouuuuuured) white sugar and then pouuuuured honey into his coffee for nearly 5 seconds a pouuuuur. Kid you not. Just because his pancreas works doesn't mean it wasn't giving him the finger for that.
So the hardest foods to keep up with as far as diabetes goes (at least as far as I know) are those that are equally high in fat as they are carbs. And of course, they are often the most comforting and tastiest foods:
Nutella. Oh, deardeardear Nutella---you are a post in yourself.
Why so difficult? Because when you eat a carby-fatty food (or a fatty-carby food, depending on your view, I guess, haha) the fat literally slows the carb's release and then later, as the carbohydrate finally begins to make its way through for metabolizing, your pancreas has to do one helluva job to keep up with all that carbohydrate suddenly entering your bloodstream. This is why type 1 diabetics have major issues when they take a huge dose of insulin for say, pizza. They crash an hour later (the fat in the cheese is holding the carb back so now you have all this insulin floating around and no glucose to attach to) you treat the awful low, but then 4 hours later (sometimes up to 7!) you have this HUMUNGOUS spike because now there's no more insulin to help the carbs now ready for processing. Nice. And so fun to deal with, right? Low, high, high, high, looooow. So thanks be to god for pump technology; that's what "combo bolusing" and "dual wave" bolus functions are for---they break up your insulin dose into a percentage over a period of time that you decide on so you don't get this boatload of insulin all at once. Kinda like the way everybody else's pancreas functions. Well, the way our pancreas is supposed to be functioning. Hooray! Let's all go eat pizza.
(Hmm, it has just occurred to me that I think I'm writing this post because it's basically a pep talk for me not to raid my snack cabinet of all its granola.)
But it's also a pep talk to all of you out there who are perhaps reading this. Well, obviously you're not 'perhaps' reading this if you're reading this. ;)
Our health is so worth it, though; all this annoying-but-oh-so-important figuring it out. And some foods that are advertised as healthy snacks can be sneaky---like granola. So I've learned to take it easy on my pancreas (Peabody). He did his best and now my insulin pump (Peabody Jr.) does his best, but let's not push it.
So I am now going to go have some granola. Strawberry Almond Hemp, my fave. A small bowl, not like the bowl in that picture up there. That's gotta be like 115 grams of carbohydrate, easy. And while it frustrates and embarrasses me to no end that whenever I want certain things like this I actually need to use a food scale which then makes me appear to be on a diet (I guess I am, kind of) it only helps me to learn how to eyeball foods better in public when I um, do not have my food scale with me. (Can you imagine?! Just call me Type 1 Mary Poppins; I'll be pulling lamps out of my bag before you know it!) Hey, it's better than counting out 23 pretzels, haha. But please note the food scale's not for restricting food so I can restrict my weight. It's the food scale's fault: it's actually restricting me from eating an entire bag of potato chips (the way I'd really like to sometimes!) Honestly, it's helped a lot in doing correct measurements for my carbs so my insulin dose is correct, too.
I've also found this reallyreallyreally great vanilla almond milk to go in my granola and to eat cookies with. It's only 2 grams of carb per cup and quite creamy and is absolutely awesome chilled. Oh, but it's yucky in coffee, though, just a warning. :)