Surviving a Holiday – T1D Style

Thus begins the season of extra stress, extra meals, and wondering how I managed to plunge through 150 units of insulin in 2 days flat.

It’s the HOLIDAYS!

And if you are celebrating Hannukhah, you get double the celebration today and tomorrow.

With all of the home-made goodness, piles of appetizers, and a litany of desserts, carb counting becomes damn near impossible a challenge. And it’s not just the variety of food that’s available with my family – it’s the amount. Seriously – Thanksgiving is an ordeal. We invite 30 people, but we cook for 50 and for whatever reason, everyone feels inclined to also bring a dessert. It really doesn’t make sense. But – I press on anyway. Usually avoiding my mom’s latest Pinterest find.

So what to do? Well, let’s start with the basics. This really cool infographic got tossed around on Twitter by Glucolift (and was created by Tandem Diabetes Care.) Give it a whirl.


Not a bad place to start. But it’s missing the appetizers, wine, beer, cupcake turkeys, y’know… what really messes with your carb counts and makes you wonder why you suddenly have 15 active units in your system by the time dinner rolls around.

Here’s my plan – For appetizers, I try to stick to the veggie platter and dip. I’m trying this recipe instead of buying regular ol’ Ranch. Since it has avocados, I’m hoping it’ll fill me up faster so I don’t sit in front of the appetizer table and fill up before dinner actually starts. I just have to watch the carrot intake and I’m good.

For dinner? I’m actually not a huge fan of Turkey by itself. On a sandwich with cheese? Fine. Alone? Nope. But you kind of have to eat it on Thanksgiving. Then I load up the plate with salad, because salad expands and takes up a ton of room on a plate, thus leaving zero room for not so D-friendly items. (Like cheesy casseroles, mashed potatoes and whatnot.) I also don’t like Stuffing, gravy, and certain vegetables. (And definitely not the canned cranberry sauce.) See? Being a picky eater has its benefits! I just avoided a crap ton of carbs right there!

Dessert time! I’m usually too full to stick try and stuff more food down my throat. But if I have room, a sampler plate is generally the way to go. Or I share with my husband. Small tastes of everything are a lot easier to manage than trying to eat all the pie, cupcakes, cookies, candy… yes it’s ALL there!

Or I’m nursing a glass of wine for dessert. Either or. (Alcohol intake and your D may vary.)

So – there you go. A mini survival kit for your holiday experience. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving and thank YOU for following along!


Why I Should Be Allowed to Have Nice Things

Finally getting back into my routine habits after being on my death bed two days ago. (Figuratively.) This included a trip back to dance class and some exercise that I sorely needed to get the blood sugars back in check.

I almost didn’t make it.


Oooh… shiny.

Let’s start back at my endocrinology appointment yesterday. In addition to the non advice I received, I was also told that upgrading my pump for the shear need of experimenting with .5 and .25 insulin to carb ratios is unnecessary. No one is ever really affected by giving a .5 extra unit of insulin per carb, right? I conceded and said that I wouldn’t pursue getting a fancy new Revel because my current pump still has 2 years left on a 5 year warranty. And if I really wanted to try it, I could just do the half ratios manually. Maybe he was right and I was just making up excuses for the lack of control on the fact that I simply must have the latest pump model out there. (Even as I type this, that doesn’t make sense, medically.)

Well today was bad. It started off great with an 84 mg/dl and just went downhill from there. I’m pretty sure I fried my mini blender trying to process pineapple for a breakfast smoothie. Hated the smoothie after realizing how much fat was in it. Proceeded to eat a piece of toast to cover the insulin I had already administered for the smoothie I was no longer drinking. Stayed elevated all afternoon for no reason, other than I consumed more fat than I thought. (Another reason for me not to switch to paleo… I don’t think I could handle the high fat meals with my insulin resistance.) Debating my breakfast choices, I finally come down to a decent sugar around 1:00, only to be treated to a lunch of appetizers and wine. (Well, there goes my afternoon.)

I stop on the way home around 5:30 pm for gas. I’m 153 before I hit the road again. In another 10 minutes, I’m home and decide to correct for that 153. My dose is .3 units of insulin with some still on board. Fine. Obviously what I had on board wasn’t enough.

An hour later, I’m 97. We’re about to serve dinner. I convinced the hubs to cook quinoa instead of rice so I can enjoy “grains” without actually having them. Quinoa is perfectly measured according to Bolus four units for dinner and eat. Half way through I’m not feeling right. My dinner insulin hasn’t even really started working yet, let alone finished coming out of the pump. I finish eating and check again. I’m now 58. WTF!?

I need to leave for class… 5 minutes ago. Now I have to treat a low with 4 units of insulin working against it. It was the first time ever that I had gotten three consecutive readings of the same (low) blood sugar. After three glasses of juice, some graham crackers, some cheese… I hit 81 and I’m safe to drive. (Or at least, if a cop were to pull me over, I can safely show that my last blood sugar said it was safe to drive.) I start class at 116. I end class at 181. Sigh. Rebounds.

So .5 units doesn’t really affect anyone huh? I guess .3 wouldn’t either, hmm?

I’m really hoping these last couple weeks don’t sincerely mess with my A1C too much. At this rate, I’m hoping for 6.5% or lower, just because it means I can hold this type of control for 6+ months. Though I’m going slightly crazy trying. Especially since it’ll all change whenever I end up pregnant.

On the bright side, I have a shit-ton of quinoa to enjoy at breakfast. That stuff doesn’t do jack to my blood sugars. Maybe I’ll try some quinoa oatmeal.

And then maybe I’ll fire my endocrinologist.

National Pancake Day


To celebrate, we made these tonight for dinner. (Mostly because I didn’t think I could stomach anything else.)

A couple of edits.

  • I mixed in almond milk, rather than regular milk.
  • I used a food processor because our blender is still horrible. (And now sitting in the trash.)
  • We added mini semi sweet chocolate chips for no reason at all.

They are incredibly dense and 3 small pancakes definitely fills you up. And there weren’t carb breakdowns, so I guessed. (Incorrectly of course, but that could also be the flu I’m fighting.)

I ended the evening by finally sitting down and watching Pitch Perfect, which was way more entertaining than my earlier choice, Forks over Knives. Forks over Knives is a documentary that promotes a vegan lifestyle, which I sort of got into, but I like my chicken, eggs, cheese and fish, thanks. Don’t get me wrong – eliminating processed foods and refined sugars is a good thing. Eating more veggies and plant based items is also a good thing. However, the occasional grass fed hamburger isn’t going to be the death of me. It also conflicts with everything that the Paleo diet stands for. (No grains, all animal food sources.) Since I’m not into either extreme, though I pick and choose when I can, I’m all for a “well balanced diet” that encompasses all things and substitutes when appropriate.

For the record, I have tried vegetarianism. I’ll be the first to admit that I didn’t do it correctly. One can’t live on peanut butter and cheese as protein sources alone. My blood sugars were so erratic. My CDE and dietician thought I was nuts. (And probably secretly wished I ate more chicken.) That lasted about five months. Can’t say I saw the same results that those documented did.

But, I’m not the diabetics they were talking about. Ha. No one is rushing over to change my diet to “reverse my diabetes” and really they shouldn’t. This organ of mine is dead and staying dead.

Judgement Day

If you’ve never seen this in person (the painting… not judgement day), it’s pretty out of this world.

I know, I know… the end of the world isn’t supposed to happen until NEXT month. But this morning was kind of my own mini-judgement day.

My lab results came in. (For the most part; I’m still waiting on the orange vat of despair.)

Good news: My A1C is down to 6.3%. Probably the lowest I’ve seen it since I was in elementary school. But yeah… most of those are hypos. So I still have some work to do. Yay basal testing next week! Ugh!

Bad news: My cholesterol sucks. My overall is about 169, which is still “normal” but elevated from my last test. And my LDL is 108, which is also semi normal, but really, should be under 100. So, maybe that statin was doing something. Or I’ve chosen really bad snacks to consume. (Many almonds… cheese… full fat yogurt… my boxed Indian food… yeah…)

My endo recommended that I maybe start my statin again. However, the whole trying to conceive thing may hinder that. But, I should at least go back on it for good when I turn 35.

In the meantime, it’s time to start looking at diet changes… again.

Just a Little Bit

When ever I read that certain foods are okay in moderation (either for pregnancy or diabetes), I’m always reminded of that How I Met Your Mother episode where Lily’s OB answers her diet questions with, “Just a little bit.” And then Ted and Marshall essentially go bat shit crazy, convinced that Lily’s doc doesn’t know what she’s talking about.

The list of food restrictions for a pregnant woman is fairly decent. No soft cheese (feta, blue, basically anything that tastes good), raw fish and sushi (sad face), lunch meats need to be warmed up or avoided, cut back on caffeine, alcohol, and other strange toxins that could affect your health, or your baby’s development.

As a diabetic, that list seems to double. In addition to avoiding foods, I need to eat even smarter than I have before. Say good-bye to mac n cheese, cereal with milk at breakfast, and that slice of birthday cake for a really long time. Especially for me, since any amount of refined sugar seems to send my blood sugars into an upward tailspin.

After reading blogs, forums, emails, and news journals, I’m damn well convinced I’ll be eating the same thing for 40 weeks straight. And there are women out there that go to great lengths to avoid these foods and complain about it for their entire pregnancy.

But some perspective: when I told my mom this weekend that my cousin couldn’t have the lunch meat in 80% of the prepared food for the baby shower, she looked at me like I had three heads. What do you mean she can’t have lunch meat? We all ate cheese when we were pregnant with you… why can’t you now? It’s just a little bit!

So I guess that’s the question. What if you really just craved a turkey sandwich? It’s not like you are eating the whole package at once. And is that any worse than eating a pint of Ben and Jerry’s with pickles?

Everything is fine in moderation has been drilled into my head since I was a kid.  Our parents did it. Why the sudden fear now?

Soda’s Evil Twin


Borrowed from this blog, I thought I’d post another PSA infographic about what’s sitting on your grocery store shelves these days. Many people see fruit juice and think “healthy.” Hell, I do it. But even the “light stuff” has so much sugar in it. And then we give this stuff to kids. Bleh! Pass on the Capri-Suns. (Seriously, who liked stabbing those packets with straws anyway.)