What it is like to eat like a diabetic

On the first of September, I decided to go low-carb like I imagine my kid would when he is a little older. We’re not there yet, as he needs a certain amount of carbs with every meal since we are injecting according to his before-meal sugar reading as opposed to what he is about to eat.

So, it has been almost three weeks now and I have learned quite a couple of things from following a low carb diet. I understand why diabetics are always peckish. I am not sure whether it is because they are hungry or because they know they can’t overindulge in certain things, but I am definitely peckish the whole time! It may be because snacking at regular intervals speed up your metabolism which makes you hungry more often. I don’t know.

Focusing on what you put into your mouth is not easy, but it becomes more natural as you go along. All of a sudden I don’t just rely on junk anymore. I take time to actually pack something other than a packet of cookies for work.

I enjoy chocolate more. Yes, you read that right. Now that I am not allowed to eat as much chocolate as I can, I actually savour the taste of the two blocks I eat more. Previously I would just swallow the slab and be sorry that there is nothing left.

To me, it is not about the kilojoules so much anymore. I have not gained any weight and have been snacking on almonds more than I would like to admit. Clearly it works for my system.

I decided to allow myself one cheat day a week. The first week I was so happy for it to be cheat-day! The second week I tried not to cheat as badly, but cheating is cheating. All of a sudden cheating days are not that big a deal anymore. I really really felt like eating a rusk yesterday with my afternoon coffee, and hubby reminded me that I have not had a cheating day this week yet. And I was like, no. Just no. If I am going to have a cheat day, it won’t be for two rusks with my coffee. It must be something I really love and would cheat for.

It is not as inconvenient as it sounds. Instead of potato salad, we have a green salad with our braai. Instead of spaghetti, we have omelettes. It really takes only a week and a half to get into the swing of things.

I am not a big fan of bread. Sure, I eat toast in the mornings – I still do – but that is almost as far as it goes. Because I am a lazy self-feeder, I used to rely on something quick and easy for lunch. Normally a Bovril and cheese sandwich or something like that did the job. And not because I wanted a slice of bread, just because it was the easiest thing to eat. Now that I am not allowed that much bread anymore, my quick-and-easy options are few. So I am experimenting with different bread recipes. When Rudi fell ill I bought this book called The Low Carb Solution for Diabetics. I love the book. From a designer’s point of view, it is beautiful. From a medical point of view – honestly – I did not read the introduction. Recipe-wise it is brilliant. The book has a lot of low-carb-alternative recipes and I slowly started making my way through the bread ones. Even for a non-bread-lover like myself, I found it hard to cut bread from my diet. So yes, this book is proof that there is an alternative to bread.

For the first time, I feel ready for the diet days that are closing in at a tremendous speed. It really is not that difficult to stick to a carb-conscious diet, we can do this!

Yours in positive vibes,

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