Cake. Cookies. Ice cream. Yummy, right? But we’re Diabetic, and have been told we can’t have any of that or our glucose numbers will go sky high. So instead we crave these things and hope for the best, that the cravings will go away and our Dabetes will improve. Then the BINGE happens. You see any of these sweet treats or soda or whatever else the sweet tooth wants and you go hog wild. And feel the guilt afterwards. I should know. Been there, done that, writing the blog article to prove it.So today I am writing to all Diabetics out there – type 1, type 2, or diet control, that YOU can earn your cheats. It’s true. There are six easy ways where you can eat desserts. Read the following suggestions, try them out in your kitchen, and let me know if they work for you.
Cake image found at (http://www.knowledgeoverflow.com/luscious-chocolate-cake-designs/)
Ice cream image found at (http://www.pasadenanow.com/living/do-a-good-deed-and-get-a-cool-reward/)
Here are SIX easy ways to earn your desserts as a diabetic:
1. Meal Plan
Yes, I typed those words. The dreaded words all Diabetics here, aside from ‘don’t eat this, don’t eat that’. I was diagnosed with Type 2 in 1998 and struggled with this concept of a meal plan until one summer in 2005 where the light went off and everything clicked. I realized the HOW to eat, instead of what to eat. I had gone to visit nutritionists and, though helpful, did not provide me with the information I needed. I wanted to know what to make, what ingredients, what to plan.
Moving forward, I learned how to meal plan, to write out what we were going to eat and what was going on my grocery list. I knew if I wanted to eat anything bad for me or my family,
Image on the blog http://thenourishinghome.com/
2. Check your glucose numbers
Sounds easy, right? Just prick your finger several times a day to see if you are on top of your glucose numbers. I, for one, admit to you that I am guilty of NOT doing this. The only time when I was consistent with checking my numbers was when I was pregnant with my two kids. Back then, I was the most stringent about EVERYTHING diabetic. But now, I have to remind myself to check. My doctor even has to remind me.
Why is checking your glucose numbers important? Because then we know what we can eat and what we can’t. That’s all. And if there is a cheat you are craving, then it’s best to be cognizant of what you are putting in your mouth and how your body is responding to this. And your glucometer will give you the yay-or-nay when it comes to those delightful sweets.
3. Count Out The Carbs
On the way when the light went off for me regarding diabetes and how I could earn cheats, I knew it was going to take some work, not just with creating a meal plan or checking my glucose numbers. If I wanted to gobble up ice cream, which I love, I needed better monitoring of my carbs.
So I did some research and learned how to count carbs. I also learned the amount of carbs it took for your glucose levels to rise. Let me explain.
Image displayed at https://www.fda.gov/default.htm
See the words above TOTAL CARBOHYDRATES? These are the amount of carbs in the food. When you multiply the total carbs by how many servings you plan to eat, you end up with the total amount in your meal. Plus look at DIETARY FIBER. Dietary fiber is the indigestible food portion derived by plants (https://www.dietaryfiberfood.com/dietary-fiber/dietary-fiber.php). So when you are computing your total carbs, a simple way of calculating is to subtract your dietary fiber from total carbohydrates, which sums up the amount of carbs consumed. I was elated after discovering this nifty trick and almost ran to the store to buy more things.
One more note. During my pregnancies, I plagued my nutritionists with questions about counting carbs. Eventually I understood that for every 15g of food consumed, your glucose levels elevate. I remember being given a sample meal plan where it stated I was allotted 30g carbs for breakfast, 15g for snack, 45g for lunch, and 45 for dinner. Yes, I know. A little confusing, but worth figuring out.
A food journal may help with keeping track of carbs, etc. Knowing what you put in your mouth will help earn those cheats. I promise!
I love exercising. It takes a lot for me to do it with kids wanting my attention or Spouse or whatever, but I make the effort to do it. Why? Because exercise, along with food tracking, helps control those pesky glucose numbers.
As a kid, I participated in sports and ate like a horse. I gained a ton of weight at 13 and always worked towards losing weight, but I never took the time to learn how to eat healthy. In 2005 I was still exercising, but decided to be a healthy Diabetic and NOW exercising nudged me along towards that ice cream cone.
Moving to 2016. This is year when I really started to love exercising. In February, my doctor told me I needed to work harder at controlling my glucose numbers and gave me another pill. I told myself that was it. I was going to do something about all of these pills. I decided to start exercising 4 to 5 times a week, actually using YouTube videos. I found some Walking Workouts by Jessica Smith (http://jessicasmithtv.com/) and incorporated strength training via Fitnessblender videos (https://www.fitnessblender.com/). I started to see results after a month and when I next saw my doctor, my A1C was down and she praised my hard work.
Exercise CAN be fun, whether it be dancing, sports, fitness videos, or just walking. Every little bit helps. If you are just started out, start with 10 minutes then gradually add a little more as you make progress. It works…I am PROOF!
5. Measure Out The Treat
I know. The above title sounds OCD, but I promise it’s not. When you have earned your cheat, you can enjoy, but carefully, with measured portions. If you go hog wild with the portions, then all of your hard work goes out the window. Right? For example, I have mentioned the ever beloved ice cream. Well, since I understand the food label a little better, now I prepare for my treat by eating healthy throughout the day then portioning out the ice cream. This way, I satisfy my craving AND keeping my glucose numbers in check. See?
6. Lessens the Guilt
By following the above reasons, your guilt over eating a treat LESSENS. I admit to you I have dealt with a lot of guilt as a diabetic. Every time I saw my numbers out of control because I wanted cake, the guilt overwhelmed me. And I finally got tired of feeling guilty and motivated myself to build a plan where I could literally have my cake and eat it too. YOU can too. I promise.
I am open to questions or comments regarding this article. Diabetes is a stringent disease, but it’s not the end if diagnosed with Type 1, 2 or diet control. This article provides loopholes in the overwhelming disease that is Diabetes.
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