On Mother’s Day you hope to feel like a Hallmark card. Being a mother is supposed to be celebrated. Well I celebrated it all right, but not with the cozy feeling you’d expect.
Prior to this year’s Mother’s Day, I had been following the type -1 diabetic diet (as outlined by Dr. Bernstein in Diabetes Solution) pretty well. Absolutely no grains. No high-carb vegetables. No fruit. I had even cut out gum. And my macadamia consumption was down to a maximum of six nuts a day.
Four things happened on Mother’s Days, however, that marked my downfall.
Firstly, I was fighting a a bacterial infection which had caused my blood sugar to rise and my insulin requirements to go up.
Secondly, we had a cold snap, which also equals even higher blood sugars and the need for more insulin.
Thirdly… well, I already covered that. High blood sugars resulting from point #1 and #2.
Bacterial infections, cold weather and high blood sugars all make me feel stressed. Back in the day (before a low-carb diet) I would resort to North America’s #1 stress-busting substance (sugar) to (temporarily) relieve stress levels. Of course, this wasn’t an option anymore…
Point #1, #2 and #3 all lead to the factor that truly caused the “diabetic downfall”…
For Mother’s Day I bought an ice cream cake from a mom and pop’s store downtown. Not for me, mind you, for my mother. I took this boxful of temptation to to my parent’s vowing to my husband that I would not even think of trying some. Instead, I said I would bring a snack (like those six macadamia nuts I mentioned earlier).
Six oily macadamia nuts versus a large, sweet ice cream cake. The nuts probably didn’t stand a chance. I’ll never know… since I forgot to bring them with me. In the end I was on my own. Just me versus the giant ice cream cake.
Of course, as I help my son eat his piece of the cake, my mind suggested that I try a few teaspoons. After all, my growing state of mental fog whispered to me, a few teaspoons can’t hurt. So I listened to the tempting devil.
Turned out a few teaspoons did hurt. My already high blood sugars (due to the infection and cold weather) did not need a hit of high-fructose corn syrup. I had already reached 12 mmol/L (216 mg/dL) earlier that day. By the time of the cake incident a shot of Humalog had brought me down to 6.8 mmol/L (122 mg/dL), A few teaspoons of the sugar cake, however, rocketed me back up to 10 mmol/l (180 mg/dl) faster than an MD can scribble a statin prescription.
The rest of the day hovered around 7 mmol/L (126 mg/dL). After the excitement of tasting sugar wore off, I felt quite grumpy. This was followed by a headache for the rest of the day. Upon returning home I nearly divorced my husband (after all, this was all his fault, wasn’t it?).
As for my six-year old son Jonah, he isn’t on a ketogenic diet, but we keep his carbohydrate load very low. He doesn’t eat grains and only a little fruit. We keep him away from sugar entirely. I’d wager that small piece of ice cream contained more fructose than he consumes in a week. His behavior was absolutely crazy and very unlike him. I was ready to drop him off at an orphanage.
Conclusion: Do some baking for the freezer so my son can have some safe desserts. And, most importantly, arm myself with a snack next time I attend such an event. “Be prepared” is always a good adage.
Or maybe I should have just bought flowers for Mother’s Day.