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.

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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!

Acting Like Adults

Thanks Hyperbole and a Half

The hubs and I tend to use the extended Thanksgiving weekend to clean our house before decorating for Christmas. This year, we rented a carpet shampooer and cleaned the carpets! Woot! Exciting!

But because of our lovely furbabies, this clean feeling will disappear in about 2 weeks, max. But hey! At least I can decorate now. And my nose doesn’t itch a bunch from the dust and dander.

And all this activity is keeping the sugars under 100. Yay?

Happy Black Friday

Here is a great example of what Black Friday looks like in the US.

No seriously… most stores and malls opened at midnight last night. But I thought it would be a good time to sleep instead. Or at least I tried. Since I was up around that time, I thought, well, why am I not shopping right now? Oh well, right, I want sleep.

Our Thanksgiving plans were altered slightly. Well, maybe more than slightly. The hubs woke up with an epic cold and we were slated to sit in a car for 2+ hours to visit my family. Since I have an ailing grandfather, we both figured it’d be a horrible idea to spread the cold to everyone in my family. Plus – the hubs just felt miserable. And I’d have to do all the driving. No thank you.

We had two options. Some of my good friends host an “orphan Thanksgiving” every year for those in the swing community that can’t afford to travel or don’t want to travel to their respective families. And then my brother-in-law and his wife were also hosting a mini Thanksgiving at their apartment. After some phone calls, it turns out I’m heading to two Thanksgiving dinners. One at 3 and one at sometime after 5 pm.

So here comes the ultimate game of pacing yourself so you don’t overeat and overdose on insulin. Since I was hungry at 3 and could stand to eat, I did. But chose my weapons wisely. And bless my friends for having a diabetic friendly meal prepped. I brought all my Splenda/Low Carb desserts to enjoy and carb count. They offered sweet potatoes that were boiled; not mashed, marshmallowed, and brown sugared, thank goodness. Plain steamed green beans with onions, rather than in a high carb/fat casserole. Dinner rolls with carb info. Just a couple things on the appetizer table. The biggest offender on my pump was a slice of jalapeño cheesy cornbread that everyone fought over. Yum!

Oh. And wine. Lots and lots of wine. I had to drive, so I mostly just watched everyone down glasses while I nursed my one and half. With some water.

On to the next party…

I started that part of the evening at 210 mg/dl. Which is crazy. That never happens. My average Thanksgiving blood sugar is 250 or higher. So for being 2 hours after I ate and that’s as high as I recorded, I was pretty stoked. (Though, I have no idea what my pre-dinner sugar was because… well… oops.)

I didn’t partake in second dinner, with the exception of dessert at the end. The hubs hadn’t eaten yet, so this was his meal after napping for most of the day. This dinner was quite different. Sweet potatoes with brown sugar and marshmallows. Green beans and bacon. Mashed potatoes. Mostly the stuff from my hubs and his brother’s childhood. And while delish… way hard to carb count. So I refrained, stating that I already had dinner, but would take some leftovers home. And then enjoyed a slice of homemade pumpkin pie.

Which I grossly overestimated.

I read somewhere that a good size piece of pumpkin pie is 37 grams of carbs. This was a good size piece, but maybe not a store bought size piece. I also over corrected to bring down my sugars floating at around 160 at this point and had been for the last couple hours.

By midnight, I’m 54 mg/dl. In an effort to not mess with my morning sugars too much, I only have juice and try to go to bed. 15 minutes pass and I still can’t shake the low feeling. Check again and I’m 46. Another round of OJ and some crackers and PB because obviously something isn’t sticking. I’m browsing Facebook to keep my mind occupied while my sugars hopefully come up. 15 minutes pass again and I’m at 96. Thank goodness. Bolus to cover the midnight snack. Briefly consider changing to go shop with the crazies. Decide against it and head to sleep.

Wake up at 9:00 am with a 101 blood sugar. How the hell did that happen? No idea. Let’s go shopping!

Thanks… Merci… Gracias… Mahalo… Danke… Grazie…

 

It’s Thanksgiving here in the states. It falls into one of the holidays I have a love/hate relationship with. Love hanging around my family and friends during an extended weekend… then using the weekend to dig out my Christmas decor. Hate that it’s all centralized around food and no matter how diligent I am, I still end up with highs off the charts at all hours of the evening. Since my blood sugars have been FANTASTIC for the last few days, with a few blips here and there, I’m trying to devise a plan that doesn’t center around the appetizer table. And maybe I will skip the mashed potatoes this year.

But, let’s not talk about food anymore because I’m sure I’ll be guiltily enjoying a piece of pumpkin pie later despite my best efforts.

What I am thankful for, instead, is the following:

1) Medical technology that allows me to eat said pie. And the medical insurance to allow me to purchase said medical technology. I know it’s not great right now, but at least I have it.

2) A wonderful support network. Since I started this blog and shared it with a limited audience of IRL friends, I’m thankful that a number of them have taken a greater interest in my journey, struggles, and successes. (Probably now that they understand it more.) I can continue the conversation offline with a couple of them and grateful for that added personal support. (Yes, that includes the hubs, but that’s kind of a given since he sees me the most.)

3) My fellow D-readers, who I don’t know in real life, but they offer insight in their own blogs, and sometimes share it on mine. For only having the blog for a month, I’ve already got a pretty good network established.

4) A new team of doctors. And a new diabetes educator that reassured me that I am doing fantastic and only need a “tune up” to get me where I need to be for next year. Let’s hope this move to the new hospital (and insurance) continues to be worth the hassle in funding and paperwork.
Happy Thanksgiving all!

Eggs… Eggs Everywhere

Om nom nom

Based on feedback, I decided to bring these yummies to Thanksgiving tomorrow. Here are some notes if you decide to make them.

  • I have no idea why the recipe says use stevia. Especially in that amount. No other stevia recipe I’ve seen uses that much, mostly because it’s so concentrated. So I subbed in Splenda for the exact amounts listed. They are definitely sweet though.
  • This recipe uses EGGS. So many eggs. Five total. Luckily, you only actually use one whole egg. The rest are egg whites. So, if I were to make this again, I’d probably by the “pour your eggs” from a carton to save on time. My little egg separator was taking it’s dear ol’ sweet time.
  • They stick to paper cups really bad. I’d suggest waiting until they are completely cool before taking them for a taste test.
  • They are really dense.
  • I used reduced fat cream cheese rather than fat free.
  • I beat the cream filling ingredients with a hand mixer rather than cleaning out my Kitchen Aid.
  • It passed the hubby approval test.

We’ll see how they stand up against the multitude of other desserts we’ll have tomorrow.

Diabetes and Desserts

Just keep swimming… my fun body art from last night’s formal.

First off: Happy Veteran’s Day to all those who have served or are currently serving. Thank you for your time and dedication.

I’ll be spending the observed holiday working from home because I have a massive deadline coming up and I’m nearly done. So – why wait until Tuesday? And, I was reminded that there are only 33 days left until, possibly, my last showcase at my home studio. I have two routines that have completed choreography. (YAY!) Now I just have to practice them both… a lot. Which I’m not doing… at all. Sigh. If only I could learn my routines by osmosis.

But I got the fantastical news from my mom today that I’ve been put in charge of bringing a dessert to Thanksgiving this year. Why we need 4 different types of dessert for 20ish people is beyond me, but whatever. I now get the choice to bring something I can have and not feel guilty about it later.

I have this collection of low sugar desserts on Pinterest, plus a smattering of cool looking gluten free recipes that I might try, pending I can find the ingredients. I also may try a vegan recipe that I know works. But something with Pumpkin in it… or something fall-like is probably a better idea.

Here are my contenders:

1) Stevia Apple Cake – I’ve never worked with Stevia, but I find it creeping up more in recipes. I generally use Splenda, so we’ll see.

2) Pumpkin Brownies – Which just sound amazing, but I’m having a hard time imagining brownies without chocolate.

3) Crustless Mini Pumpkin Pies – This would be interesting to see if subs for whole wheat flour and Splenda would still keep this palatable. I like the portion size… and never liked pumpkin pie crust anyway.

4) Pumpkin Cream Cupcakes – Already has a decent amount of calories kicked out by using low fat/sugarless everything. Can’t imagine the carb count would be out of control either. They just look way too labor intensive for a Wednesday afternoon.

5) Apple Crisp – Duh! This NEEDS to be at every party I attend. And it’s low sugar/fat? Cool.

6) Cinnamon Apple Cake – Sounds delicious. Not sure how I feel working with agave yet.

So those are my options. For the record, the party already has cookies, pumpkin pie, and a small cheesecake coming.

Any thoughts on what I should try?

How many days until Thanksgiving?

Gah! Post election Facebook feed is unreal. It’s amazing how crazy both sides are. If your candidate won, you gloated. If your candidate lost, you claimed the world was really going to end in December and you were off to go buy guns.

Then there is me who wasn’t a fan of either large party candidate, but liked one over the other. So – I’m happy with reservations. There is a lot of work to be done, kids. It’ll be an interesting four years. But really, can the awful memes about Muslim domination stop? Jeez. We’re all in this hot mess together.

Anyway, enough of my political banter.

Now that the election is over, it’s time to start thinking about all the holidays that force my insulin pump into overdrive. If you thought Halloween was bad… wait until we get to Thanksgiving and Christmas. Anyone can avoid Halloween candy. You don’t buy it. You don’t hand it out. The end. But how do you turn down invitations to parties where the centerpiece is a giant turkey and overindulgence is the norm? The holiday social hour is centered around a high carb display of appetizers and the actual meal isn’t served until later. So you have no choice but to snack.

Don’t let me start on desserts.

So, what to do? Take a “day off” from being a staunch diabetic to enjoy the meal you only get once a year? (Seriously, when else are you going to make candied yams?) Well, that’s normally what I do. Despite my best efforts, I annually end up in the 300s post dinner and take my dear sweet time coming down. Sometimes I try to load my plate up with salad instead. (Not a big turkey fan.) But that generally doesn’t work. (See note about the appetizers.)

The added challenge will be if I have to encounter the holidays while pregnant. Since I can’t guarantee a mid-October birth in any year, I might as well start training myself now to not eat everything in sight. (Oh, I’m just sampling! Yeah…)

The problem? I’ve been so incredibly hungry in between meals. My sugars have been okay. (My app says I’m running around a 132 average or so.) But even with the added morning and afternoon protein-laced snacks, I’m famished by the time my next meal rolls around. My activity level is about the same and I’m not gaining any additional weight, so I suppose the extra calories won’t be awful. But feeling hungry an hour before your next scheduled meal just makes everything way more dramatic than I want it to be. (I’m really surprised my stomach hasn’t started singing 3 part harmonies yet.)

My fear for the holidays, that despite my best efforts and restraints, the snack table will call and I will eat All.The.Food! And it’ll all be empty carbs because that’s how my family rolls. Unless there are cashews. Then maybe all might not be lost. (Well, except maybe the cashews.)

I have two weeks…