So, it seems like working in pastry arts...not so great for diabetes. My doctor has asked me to consider leaving my job. Given that I just got my lab results back, I think I should. Apparently inhaling powdered sugar 6 days a week hasn't been doing me any favors. But now I'm in a tricky position. I love my co-workers and I'm great at my job but I need to find something that won't screw up my health. So now I wonder if investing my future in the culinary arts was a poor life choice.

With such grueling hours, few chances to tend to monitoring my health, and less than ideal food choices surrounding me, I think I've made a mistake. A mistake that I stuck all of my eggs in. I have no idea where to go from here. I could stay in the field, but if I can't find a job that doesn't adversely affect my health I might as well have stayed at my current job. I could look into a different field, but I have no idea where to start when all of my education and work experience are wrapped up in something else.

I'm kind of panicing and have no idea what to do or where to turn. I don't want to hop from job to job looking for something that fits my health needs. I want to be able to establish a career. Unfortunately, until I can figure out what will balance my wants and needs, I'm stuck in limbo.

Views: 43

Comment by Joe_h on June 30, 2011 at 12:28pm
definitely don't leave this job till you got something else lined up

BUT don't quit your career just yet might try contacting
http://diabeticpastrychef.com/

http://www.starchefs.com/chefs/rising_stars/2007/dallas/html/bio_s_...

or maybe these guys but they are T1 & T2 and not pastry chefs
http://diabetes.palmbeachpost.com/four-diabetic-chefs-tell-how-they...

get your sugars under control and find a way
Comment by Bradford on July 1, 2011 at 8:47am
I agree w/ Joe. Definitely don't quit your job until you have something else lined up. And like Joe, I also think you shouldn't let diabetes dictate your career. Sure, it has limitations for some things (like joining the military, for example), but I think with the right strategy about your diabetes management and your profession, you can make it work. Especially if culinary arts is what you want/love to do! I wish you well in your decision-making process.
Comment by LaGuitariste on July 2, 2011 at 4:30pm
There are counselors at most community colleges who can help you with testing and evaluating what you might like to do if you find being around the powdered sugar all day to be too much. I know I would.

Perhaps you could segue into something tangental but less difficult, such as purchasing or sales of restaurant or bakery supplies or working with wine and spirits sales or manufacturing (I'd have no trouble there as I have little interest in drinking) or something else in the food service industry like the business end of catering -- perhaps even floral arranging, which is also creative and involves working with your hands. Editing cookbooks?

The world's your oyster, just look carefully and plan before you jump. It's always easier to get a job when you already have one and the economy is still pretty darn difficult right now.
Comment by Lila on July 3, 2011 at 3:32pm
I'm not exactly sure I see where the problem lies?

I think it's great that you are good at your job and I second those who say you shouldn't leave until you find something else.

The thing is, it's quite normal for jobs to have gruelling hours and few chances to tend to monitoring your health. And you don't need to be a pastry chef to be surrounded by less than ideal food choices. I have been to many work events where food was catered and there was literally nothing I could eat.

And OK, maybe I'm lucky in that I have an absolute lack of sweet tooth - but it was running my own dessert club in the early 1990s that killed my sweet tooth. Kinda like people who work in chicken factories or abbatoirs, who as a result of their job become vegetarians...

I'm just saying, take a step back before thinking of quitting something you are good at, because you might find your health challenges might remain just the same in a new job?
Comment by Elizabeth on July 3, 2011 at 6:57pm
Well, my suggestion would be to either change your focus to breads and non-sweet baked goods, or put a mask on and start working out pastry recipes that are sugar-free (made w/xylitol?), dairy free, and /o or gluten free. I can tell you I've looked far and wide for sweets that are low glycemic index & dairy free (because I'm allergic to dairy) that don't taste like frigging cardboard, so there IS a need for pastry chefs who can make magic without using sugar or any of the other high-glycemic sweeteners. But if you've got a talent for baking, please don't give up what you love!
Comment by Scott E on July 3, 2011 at 8:20pm
Is the problem really from inhaling powered sugar? (I've never heard of that as a problem with blood sugar, but I suppose it's possible). Or is it a lack of willpower to not sample morsel of goodness that comes in front of you (which would be my weakness)?. Not trying to be accusatory, just wondering what the problem is.

If it's truly the first, you should be able to adjust your pump to accommodate - maybe with a higher (15%?) temporary basal while at work. There is no real reason you shouldn't be able to continue in your career.

However, if you feel the need to change, I wouldn't abandon culinary arts altogether, nor would I even abandon baked goods. You can do as Elizabeth suggests and look into breads or something similar.

But don't give up a career you love for something that merely pays the bills. That's where I am now, professionally, and if you don't like your job - something you do for 8+ hours a day, you won't like life much. And that's really no way to live.
Comment by Elizabeth on July 11, 2011 at 12:48pm
PS just baked a goat-cheese cheesecake with xylitol in place of sugar, and, well... let's just say I'm not a professional baker and someone like you could probably do a better job, but it worked out reasonably well for a first attempt (meaning... I didn't have to dump it in with the pig food).
Comment by Rye on July 11, 2011 at 4:53pm
where a paper mask over your nose, maybe that will cut down the intake. Other than that I think I would look for a kitchen that bakes with alternative sugars or natural sugars....
Comment by Asma on July 11, 2011 at 10:41pm
Are you having a taste every now and then?,maybe that's the problem.I'm sure you can find a way to work around it,Hope it all works for the best!.
PS:That's really cool,what you do I mean :)

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