This is a question that I have been thinking about a lot lately: Do you really always say no to the warm homemade roll fresh out of the oven, the gourmet chocolate chip cookie your co worker picked up from the bakery down the street, a few of the garlic truffle oil fries your friend orders at the bar?
I was diagnosed with type 1 just before last Christmas, and only know a couple other type 1 diabetics. I am grateful and lucky that I went into the diagnoses with a more or less stellar diet. I have always enjoyed whole foods, vegetables, etc. I already ate sprouted grain bread (11 grams of carbs as opposed to sometimes up to 30 for white bread) and quinoa ( 35 grams per cup as opposed to 45 or so for white rice), etc. I never drank soda and have always tended towards large salads for lunch and maple syrup and date palm sugar as a form of sweetener. In other words, I didn't feel that I needed to make drastic dietary changes to control this disease (such as cutting out soda, cookies, white bread, processed foods, cereal, hamburgers, etc).
BUT....I love food! I was raised eating gourmet and homemade meals and baked goods. I used to work as a baker, and I appreciate good food. I love to taste everything. I also love to celebrate. I have discovered that for me, white foods such as rice, flour, sugar, milk, and potatoes are terrible for controlling my blood sugar. I am sure many other have the same problem. However, I don't say "no" to the homemade dark chocolate lavender brownie someone offers me, or the lemon chiffon pie with tayberry compote that my mom makes for Christmas! I don't say no to a sample from Trader Joes, even if it has over 5 grams of carbs. I don't say "no", but I eat a lot less than I would if I didn't have diabetes.
I have read from several people on here, and through my research, I get this idea that the majority of diabetics out there just "don't risk it" or "feel too guilty" about these "indulgences". I want to be empowered and feel strong in my health, even with this disease but I am also wondering if there are others out there who are "imperfect" diabetics at times, so I don't feel so alone when I eat cake on my birthday!
Not the reply you're looking for, but I really do say no. I can turn things down, not from guilt, but because it's not worth it. I don't want to take large doses & don't want to play the waiting game of high/low. That takes all the pleasure away from eating an indulgence. If I have to taste something, than I just have a bite & savor it. For some, that would be torture. I'm ok with just a taste. Don't get me wrong, I do love good food & my father was a snooty epicure. Seems from what I've read the majority of diabetics do indulge frequently & have the eat whatever you want & cover with insulin &/or exercise approach.
Not a professional baker like you, but I bake things I can eat using flours other than high carb wheat. Some have been great & some have been disasters.
Thanks for your honest reply Gerri. I am not looking for any particular answer, simply curious as a fairly new diabetic. I want to know what those within my community consider to be normal. I have found that what works best for me, is to stick to my healthy/low carb diet because it is predictable and I feel more emotionally balanced when I go to sleep around 100-130 and wake up around 100-130. But, I also indulge 1-2 times a week and so far don't feel too bad about it. I haven't quite gotten over the inadvertent social/family pressure. There is still a part of me that looks around and sees everyone else happily and casually tasting and snacking, and convinces myself just for that moment, that surely I can do it too!
You shouldn't feel bad about what you do or don't do. Easier said than done, I know:) I think the key is setting your goals & doing what's needed to get there. What other people do really is immaterial. I said I didn't think my reply was what you were looking for because often people want validation that it's fine to eat whatever. We hear this from the ADA, doctors & just about everywhere. The prevailing sentiment is that diabetics can eat what they like since we have insulin or meds. Be normal, eat normal. Honestly, I feel this is a risky philosophy. Eating a brownie certainly isn't going to kill you, but for many it can be slippery slope. The more of that stuff you eat, the more it's craved. Food fills a lot more than merely our stomachs.
I hear you on seeing everyone munching away. If you choose to resist the social pressure, people give up pressuring. Been down the "just one piece won't hurt, surely you can cheat this one time, I made this for you, it's a holiday have fun" road. Now, friends & family realize I simply don't eat certain things. I want everyone around me to eat whatever they enjoy, but I don't join in.
I agree that eating certain high sugar or processed carb foods can affect the body in such a way that the aftermath is a blood sugar roller coaster. I have met some diabetics who I see eating a bagel that is near to 76 grams of carbs. I never say anything of course, because I do believe we are all entitled to our beliefs. Inwardly though, I feel shocked-I could never do that!
Social pressure is a big constituent of course, and after having diabetes for a year, I am still trying to teach my family and friends about what I can and can't eat.
"We want diabetics to just eat a normal diet." That was the sentence that sent me over the edge when I was diagnosed. My "normal" diet before T1 often consisted of something like warm french bread fresh from the bakery followed by chocolate cake. "Normal" is a relative term. I had to re-phrase it and tell myself I wanted to eat a "balanced diet." I'm not saying no to everything, but my "normal" diet is definitely different than it was three months ago!
I don't say no. When I was diagnosed with diabetes, I decided (with my doctors) that I would not let diabetes restrict me. So I immediately switched to a pump and now, almost 2 years later, I have great control and I can eat, drink and do almost anything I want. So, I say yes! (yesterday, I ate a piece of cake with almost 50 carbs in it..)
I have yet to use a pump, but I feel that the chemistry of my body as someone who needs to artificially pump insulin (as opposed to my body's innate ability to do so), makes it too much of a roller coaster, were I to eat whatever I want whenever I want. So, I save it for special occasions. I have met couple type 1 diabetics with pumps though, who I see eating nachos and mochas and the like.
The pump can be used to more closely approximate time varying physiologic insulin levels than MDI can....I know I really needed the pump just to hold things flat when not eating....my basal rates at night and in the morning are more than 2.2 x late afternoon/early evening levels. I couldn't do that easily with shots and always ended up too high at one time of day and too low at another. Starting from good basals makes boluses SO much easier.
I do eat a piece of cake or pie once in awhile, but not too often. I've been experimenting with various recipes in diabetic cookbooks . We made a low carb flourless chocolate cake a couple of days ago that tasted great and had only about 15 grams of carb for a slice that was 1/8 of the cake.
I got it off of the dlife web site:
It tasted good and was moist, but I had problems removing it from the pan, so it wasn't very pretty..
I'd suggest making sure the pan was well buttered and non-stick. One slice didn't seem to cause much problems with blood sugar for me.
I don't say no on Thanksgiving and Christmas, but the rest of the year I typically say no. Not because I feel guilty, but it is just easier not to have to chase my BG all day long.
Yes, so far this has been the lifestyle I am trying to adopt, though after just a year with diabetes, I am still learning how to make it work!