Monday, October 29, 2018

The Diabetes Dilemma

Early in September my husband was diagnosed with Type2 Diabetes (like he doesn't have enough health issues already), and we've been scrambling to adjust our eating patterns to fit each meal's carbohydrate counts into his "per meal" allowance.

His doctor wasn't much help. He tells him he has diabetes and hands him a prescription. And that's it. That's all he bothered to do. If I hadn't already been through a bunch of research to help my cousin out a couple of years ago, we'd still be floating on little raft without paddles on huge sea called "lack of knowledge". I went back and looked up my previous research, explained the carbs per meal to the hubby and adjusted my own cooking habits and meal choices to ensure what I fed him (and me) fit within that. He's getting better at it, but after years of counting calories he had a hard time getting used to looking at carbs rather than calories.
Although everything counts, the carb grams minus the fiber grams give you the actual carbs you count. That's something we didn't know - that you subtract the fiber g from the stated carb g. What that means is eating better carbs (those that have higher fiber counts) is a better choice.

A new blood glucose meter.We have a local Diabetes Clinic here associated with our hospital and made him set up an appointment there and he came back from that with a lot more knowledge, and way more confidence in what he's doing. They provided charts, as well as information. They tested his blood (the finger prick thing) and gave him a monitor and showed him how to use it. (No, the doctor never said a word about using a monitor).

They did tell him that the weeks we'd already been working away at his carb intake were on the right track, told him how well he was doing and told him just to keep on that track. Because of the dietary adjustments we'd made, he's also lost 10 pounds, which he's pretty happy about (me, I've lost 3, not much but since I'm doing this with him, hopefully there's be a little more). I highly recommend looking up a diabetes clinic in your area and making an appointment. The 2 hours he had for educating him made a huge difference in how well he handles this.

A digital weigh scale for weighing food in the kitchen.That's the thing ... when you aren't doing something alone, it's a lot easier. That's something I don't really understand. I've seen programs on TV (notably My 600 lb Life) where none of the family members are really willing to give up or change the way they eat to help the person whose vastly obsese (and honestly, many of the family members are also obese, just not to the extent of the other).

I mean if you love someone, don't you actually want to help them succeed and be healthy? I do.  And if I decide to eat something he can't, I don't do it in front of him (have managed to stick to it myself so far, but we'll see how long that lasts ... Christmas is coming with all it's yummy baking).

Anyway, that's more than I wanted to say about that. What we've had a harder time doing is finding the right snacks for him. He likes his candy - high in sugar, and high in carbs, so we had to change that. We did manage to find a variety of snacks that satisfy his urges most of the time, and he's very good about controlling the amount he eats. He's getting used to weighing and measure out the snacks and checking the carbs (he's allowed to have snacks that equal 15 carbs). It's getting so most of the time, he doesn't eat all that he's allowed in his snack.

A handy carbohydrate chart from the diabetic clinic.
This chart was provided to hubby by the diabetic clinic. Very helpful to have on hand!

Some of the things we've found that he likes:

A frozen ice cream replacement from cool way.
CoolWay Frozen Dessert (Similar to Ice Cream) & comes in different flavours.
Crispy Minis cheddar flavoured rice snacks nutritional values.
Crispy Minis Cheddar Flavour

Packaged fruit cup containers.
Fruit Cups

Sugar free jello cups in strawberry.
Sugar Free Jello

The nutriontal counts for raw peanuts in the shell.
Raw Peanuts in the Shell
Detour Protein bar showing the nutritional ingredients.
Detour Protein Bars from Costco

And the last thing surprised me. We just found these. Pizzelles (this particular brand). Not that we didn't know what pizzelles are, my family has made their own forever but I always assumed they'd be very high calorie and very high in carbs, but they aren't that bad. The calories are far lower than I'd have expected, and the carbs, while too high for a snack aren't out of line when you consider the value on the package is for 6 pizzelles. If you eat 3, you fit well within the carb zone for a man. When I make my pizzelles this year I'm going to try a half-batch using granulated stevia instead of sugar.

Packaged pizzelles from the grocery store.
Store bought pizzelles

Nutritional values for store bought pizzelles.
Pizzelle Nutrition Values for Reko Brand

The other thing I have to mention about these pizzelles ... we generally don't find store bought pizzelles to be as good as our home made ones, but I have to admit ... I could serve these on Christmas day and I doubt the family would know that I didn't make them. They are every bit as good as home made. That's rare.

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