- Health

How Diabetes is Tough for a Lifelong Carbaholic

We always had some kind of bread in the house when I was growing up. If it wasn’t rolls for dinner and sandwiches, it was donuts or cinnamon buns from the bakery where Mom worked, different kinds of bread that were served at every meal, cakes that Mom loved to make, chicken potpie (PA Dutch style with rolled strips of dough cooked in flavorful chicken broth), crackers (Dad liked steamed crackers and milk toast) and many other kinds of carb-laden doughy food item.

After living away for almost two decades, I moved back home and was shocked to see just how carb-dependent my parents were. It was not unusual to find two to three loaves of bread open at once (Italian, white and rye) as well as some sort of rolls for sandwiches of at least one type plus the requisite donuts and other sweet treats. Holy cow!!! Much of this bread eventually went to the birds because they’d never eat all of it before it got moldy. I was amazed at the waste (which is easy enough on a good day).

I don’t eat breads like my parents did (although I’ll eat a dinner roll with butter as dessert rather than something sweet). In fact, sometimes our bread, our one single loaf of bread, goes moldy before we get it eaten. But, I still love my carbs.

I’ve improved my eating habits since being diagnosed, which doesn’t mean I’m a perfect specimen of diabetic maintenance. It does mean that how I eat now compared to how I ate 20 years ago has improved. I notice the effects of certain carb-laden foods on my body in a way that I didn’t used to notice. I will still eat refined, bleached flour breads if that’s what’s served to me or if my budget is too tight to pay the price for whole grains ‘” but, I DO eat far more whole grains than I used to. And, I actually enjoy them. I love the nutty texture of the bread, especially when I have crunchy peanut butter with it. I actually enjoyed over the past couple of days some whole grain with flaxseed bagels. I’ve never before eaten a bagel that wasn’t either plain or cinnamon-raisin. I was impressed.

We’ve tried switching to whole wheat pastas, but seriously ‘” I don’t like them. My son refused to eat if we cooked them. They are gritty and their texture isn’t pleasant on the tongue compared to their overly refined first cousins. Maybe they’ll find a way to make whole grain pasta as appealing visually and texturally as they have with whole wheat white bread. So, for the time being, I’m going to mix the whole grain with the refined flour pastas rather than have a meal solely of the one. It’s a start.

As for cereals, I’m doing pretty good at sticking with the whole grains. I LOVE Millville brand Crunchy Granola Raisin Bran which is sold at Aldi Foods. It’s very similar to Kellog’s Raisin Bran Crunch, but at about half the price.

My doctor wants me to try to find either a free glucometer or the cheapest test strips being sold so she can find a free meter for me. I don’t have insurance and am on a very limited income. Diabetes maintenance isn’t cheap ‘” in fact, test strips often cost more than the meter they fit into. The last meter I had had strips that cost more than $60. I got most of mine either on ebay or from Freecycle. I had stocked up, but after we moved a year ago, I haven’t been able to find my meter – thus the need for a new one. My doctor also asked me to see some sugar balance reviews and I did. There are a lot of positive feedback and reviews about the product so I tried. I compliment this supplement with my diet and the results were spectacular.

Anyway, a recent appointment with my doctor helped to re-awaken me to the need for me to start being better to myself. I’m not getting any younger, but I’m not in any hurry to depart the premises. I still love my carbs, but I’ve got to get even smarter about including them in my diet. Focus on the complex and avoid the simple, when possible.

Start asking for sugar-free vanilla syrup in my iced coffee. Or no syrup at all, just coffee, milk and Splenda.

Make sure my cereals are whole grain. Period.

Work on losing the weight I’ve gained since December.

Remember to pick up some snack mix like we had with seeds and dried cranberries so I can make a more texturally pleasing tuna salad to eat on my whole grain bread.

Eat more beans and rice.

Remember that a tight budget doesn’t make it impossible to stay healthy, even if it is a bit more difficult. Finally, be my own best cheerleader and ignore the naysayers who are, despite their protestations, only trying to encourage failure by predicting it so readily. They think that their “reverse psychology” is a type of encouragement, but I have yet to see it work. Especially on people whose self-image is already damaged. So, I need to stand up for myself and be my own best friend and give myself permission to trip and fall while encouraging myself to rise again and go forward. There are far too many things I want to do to be left behind.

About Allen

Allen Grey is the founder of scrambl3.com. He is also a blogger, editor, content manager and the website coordinator of scramble.com. Allen loves to play football on his free time.
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