Thursday, March 8, 2012

Carb Counting Blues

Since I got my Dexcom, christened Dexter by my husband, I’ve learned more about how food affects my blood sugar. I learned oatmeal has to be the worst food ever invented. I ate a bowl and watched my blood sugar shoot straight up and then crash to 62. That roller coaster ride was scarier than Space Mountain. Yes, Space Mountain scared me. Yes, as a matter of fact, I am a wimp.

Sometimes Dexter is like a pocket version of a school hall monitor. It tattles on me in ways my meter doesn’t. Like… eat the wrong thing, know I ate the wrong thing, exercise a whole bunch and skip testing until much later, oh look, my blood sugar is 112. Good me! That kind of funny business doesn’t work with Dexter the Electronic Hall Monitor. It can tell if I ate boneless skinless chicken and broccoli, or if I ate a plate of nachos and sucked down a beer.
Carb counting is more important than ever. Nutrition labels are supposed to tell me how many grams of carbohydrate are in various foods. But sometimes they lie. Tonight my carb count was for ⅔ cup of dry tortellini. Excuse me does anyone eat dry tortellini pasta? I realize I could have measured out ⅔ of a cup of dry pasta, counted the number of noodles, and then cooked it. A smart person would have thought of that before pouring the noodles in boiling water. I, uh, didn’t do that. So I guestimated.

Carb counting has also made me more aware of serving sizes. Sometimes I think they got it right. A single cheese stick for example. Or, a half a cup of ice cream because it fits well on a cone. However, some of these serving sizes are truly ridiculous. A serving of cereal should not fit easily inside a glass custard cup. Four crackers. Nine chips. Who makes these serving sizes?

Oh, I get it. Now I know what all those annoying hall monitors grew up to be. It begins with ordering us not to run in the halls Their power trip continues with telling us to eat only nine potato chips with half teaspoon of dip. And to share a can of soup with two and a half people. After a few years working as the food police, they are ready for the ultimate career move: working at the DMV.

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I am not a doctor. I do not have a medical degree. Nothing on this site qualifies as medical advice. These are lessons I'm learning at the University of Catastrophe. What I find to be correct answers in my classes may not be the right answers for you.

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