To carb or not to carb. That is a good question. Let’s talk about the benefits of each decision.
Disclaimer: Now, I am not a nutritionist, nor do I remember anything from my college nutrition class I took to fill a general credit requirement. The only thing I remember was the professor saying that people who eat Total cereal think they are so smart because they are getting 100% of their daily vitamins and minerals. “What do they do the rest of the day?” she asked. Hmm. Good point. One bowl of cereal in the morning and you don’t have to eat the whole rest of the day! That would be awesome for an anorexic.
Man cannot live on meat alone, especially when he’s diabetic and has an inevitable low. Let’s face it, at some point carbs will have to be consumed.
But I have tried carb abstinence with my last two pregnancies. I kind of had to. My blood sugar was impossible to control if I ate anything, bolus or not. I ate lettuce wrapped hamburgers. That was not as romantic as it sounds. I ate a lot of veggies because they have less carbs than fruit. And I ate crackers or fruit snacks when my blood sugar dropped low enough between meals. I could guarantee that lows would happen every day and I looked forward to it! I savored every bite of that rich carb goodness!
It is worth noting that my modified Atkins diet really did affect my weight. I gained a pound a week with my second pregnancy. Not an average, no, I gained 6 lbs by the time I saw my perinatologist when I was 6 weeks along. By the third trimester I was gaining almost 2 lbs a week, which is when I started the Atkins diet to control my blood sugar. The couple weeks where I had gained extra were followed by an equal number of weeks where I gained nothing. Then I was back to gaining a pound a week. My last pregnancy was hard for me to gain weight. I finally gained about 30 lbs with most of the weight gain in the last month or two. I was on the good old modified Atkins diet for about 7 out of 9 months.
Once the baby was born I was back to normal. I asked for a plain bagel with plain cream cheese after my second was born. The guy who delivered it was kind enough to cut the bagel for me since I only had one free hand with my 6 lb. 8oz. baby discreetly nursing in the other arm.
I went a little nuts with carbs after my short stint with carb abstinence. I am not even the tiniest bit surprised I still carry around as much baby weight as I do.
My philosophy is not to make food taboo. I believe that if you think a food is “bad” you’ll want it that much more. Moderation in all things, I say. My favorite doctor agreed with me. Based on his validation when I was 18 I have lived this way ever since.
As you can see in the video, I’m not afraid to let my children experience childhood, including *gasp* sugar. But how do I feel about consuming sugar myself? Eh, I’m not too interested. I don’t have a sweet tooth. But give me tangy, sour, chewy candy and I’m all over it. I love Skittles, Air Heads, Starburst, Laffy Taffy. Stuff like that.
I am a traitor to all womankind by not being much of a chocolate fan. Shocking I know. Every once in a while chocolate sounds good but that’s about it. My favorite candy bar is Snickers.
Oh but you wanted to know about regular food with carbs. Healthy food with carbs. I think healthy food has almost more carbs than the packaged stuff. The packaged stuff is a little easier to measure and bolus for. Just my opinion.
Foods I find bolus worthy regardless of carb content:
Cheetos, Fritos, pasta, Mexican food, burgers and fries
Foods I hate:
doughnuts, pizza, cinnamon rolls, pancakes
A food I don’t understand all the negative hype about is popcorn. Have you ever looked at the label on a package of microwave popcorn? It loses a lot of carbs just by popping it. Popcorn doesn’t affect my blood sugar so I snack on it with wild abandon. My all time favorite thing to eat after a long day, when the kids are in bed, is a bag of popcorn and a 20 oz. bottle of Diet Coke. Maybe watch a movie or catch up on DVR’d shows. It does not get any better than that!
Given the facts, I still strive for carb freedom but realistically I can’t do it like I used to. After 22 years with diabetes and three babies later, my body doesn’t respond to carbs like it once did. I hate to admit I’m getting old but it appears I am. So I am trying to cut down on carbs and eat more fruits and vegetables. It really helps my waistline. It’s not easy but I’m getting more used to it.
Do I want to be the model diabetic? Not really, if it means I have to eat a certain way. I am a human being whose pancreas gave out years ago. I try to live my life as normally as possible. The good news is with all the medical technology we have now, living normally is a lot easier.