Tag Archives: points

There is Nothing Fair about The Fair

Well, here in Texas we are smack dab in the middle of “Fair Season.”  You know, the place you go and take your kids and spend gobs of money on absolute cr@p and rides that scare the bejeezus out of you (and not because they go upside down, but because you find yourself praying that they do not fall apart while you are upside down!).  However, it is not the trinkets or rides that 1st spring to mind when 99.9% of people are asked about the fair…… it is THE FOOD!  Corn dogs, funnel cakes, strawberry lemonade, turkey legs, caramel and candy apples, curly fries, sausage-on-a-stick, chocalate covered bananas rolled in candy, brisket wrap and ‘the fried’s”….. the bevy of items that are rolled in batter and thrown in hot grease –  fried snickers, fried twinkies, fried oreos, fried cheese, fried corn, fried coke (seriously, look it up, The State Fair of Texas has it)….. if you can fry it, the fair has it!  So, in the name of all that is good, all that is diabetic and all that is TRYING TO LOSE WEIGHT, I propose that “The Fair” forever be known as “The un-Fair!”

This past weekend we thought it would be fun to attend the South Plains Fair and take in a concert by Eddie Money.  Yes, I am keenly aware that this dates me.  If you were born somewhere after 1985 you do not know who Eddie Money (or as he calls himself, The Money Man) is; however, if you were born, say, in the ’70’s, you can sing every word of “Take Me Home Tonight.”  This evening was made all the more interesting as I left work 30 minutes before expecting the babysitter which left no time for dinner (at least the kind of dinner you eat at home, the safe kind).  Surely, I thought, the fair will have something I can eat, right? Um, well, WRONG!

The classic part about being a type II diabetic who was obese upon diagnosis is that not only do I need to manage my blood sugar, I need to lose weight.  So, it is like all foods that enter my mouth must 1st pass through the diabetic-blood-glucose-carbohydrate filter that I employ to successfully manange my blood glucose.  But, wait!  I am not done there.  Next, the Weight Watchers Points system kicks in.  As my potential food choices pass through the diabetic-blood-glucose-carbohydrate filter, they are assigned a points value that is designed to help me lose weight.  I can only eat so many points a day (right now that # is 23) and as you can imagine, it is not a very big #, hence the losing weight part!  Let me just say, I have spent the past few days dousing my diabetic-blood-glucose-carbohydrate filter in Drain-O…… my food choices at the fair clogged this filter beyond recognition!

A few items did make it though the filter; somehow, they eaked by “The Fried’s”, the funnel cake, the corn dog, the candy apple, the chocolate covered banana and my favorite…..the liquid sugar over ice (aka strawberry lemonade).  Total # of items to pass through the filter – 3.5.  #1, the Turkey leg; #2, the  sausage-on-a-stick; #3, the brisket wrap (minus the wrap); and #3.5, the sliced apple with a smidgeon of caramel on top (the missing .5 is the rest of the caramel).  So, in keeping with the routine order of the process, these 3.5 champions-of-the-filter were then subjected to the assignment of their Weight Watchers points (courtesy of the Weight Watchers application on my nifty little iPhone).

1 Turkey Leg – 27  points (0 carbs)

2 Sausage-on-a-stick – 19 points (0 carbs)

3 Brisket Wrap (no wrap) – 3 points (0 carbs)

3.5 Large Apple – 2 points (25 carbs)

2 Tbsp Caramel Topping – 2 points (30 carbs)

So, for me, here is how this breaks down….. if I exercised for 1 hour and did not eat anything else all day long, I could split the items above with a willing party and not exceed my daily allowable points.  Not exactly realistic and deep down in places I don’t like to talk about, the consumption of the items listed above would not qualify as an indulgence.  You see, when eating items that pass the diabetic filter and Weight Watchers test while surrounded by hundreds of items I would rather be eating, the “qualifying” food choices seem like, well, qualifying food choices.  So un-fair!!

Are you a fair fan?  Are you a fair foodie?  What are your favorites?  Do you have any diabetic, weight loss friendly suggestions while navigating the fair season?  Let me hear!!

The Dishing Diabetic

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It’s Burger Time, Baby!

Can you remember those first couple of months after you received your diagnosis of type II diabetes?  Those horrifying moments where you realized your list of “favorite foods I can not have anymore” just got one item longer?  I spent most of the first month after my diagnosis feeling like I was in a mine field.  Each time hunger would set in, I would launch my “what am I in the mood for?” routine and somehow that list would end up longer.  It felt like every time I came up with an option I had not already assigned to this list, it, too, had too many carbs!  Pre-diagnosis, I might only have to pass up the 1st 2-3 ideas because they had too many points (Weight Watchers lingo).  Post-diagnosis, I found the list of foods I was in the mood for being knocked over like dominos the length of The Great Wall of China.   A donut, pizza (even Lean Cuisine pizzas!), cereal with milk, hamburgers, pasta, Subway, po-boys, chips and queso, just chips, french fries, waffle fries, cheese fries, Bahama Buck’s (BEST snow cones ever), Texadelphia (BEST cheese steaks ever), enchiladas, ice cream (Blue Bell – the BEST ever) …….and the list goes on…..

SIDENOTE:  before I go any further….. I look at that list and I can’t escape the rediculous notion that IS IT ANY WONDER I have type II diabetes to begin with??  Hmmmmm…..

I digress. It was awful.  At least to me it seemed all but devastating.  3 years ago I had happily navigated a 93 lb. weight loss over 18 months with the help of Weight Watchers and exercise.  The beauty of this time in my life was that I could eat anything I wanted as long as I minded the points.  In addition, there was always a way to take a favorite and “modify” it to make it lower points.  The “devastating” realization for me is that you can make high fat foods “low fat”; but, you can rarely make high carb foods “low carb”.  I realize I may be opening the floor to debate along the lines of the use of sugar alcohols, etc.  There is some debate on the effect of sugar alcohols and how you count them.  I personally still get a high blood glucose reading after eating “no sugar added” foods that added sugar alcohols instead sugar (please share your own experiences with me, I always love to learn!).  Back to my point, if I wanted to make a high carb food fit in with my new diet I had to eat crustless pizza, bunless hamburgers, chipless salsa, wrapless wraps, … you get my drift.

Well, have I got news for you!!  In a moment of titanium nerves mixed with a sheer determination to eat a hamburger WITH A BUN….. I acutally REMOVED an item from my “favorite foods I can not have anymore” list. 2 hours after my hamburger endeavor I had a blood glucose reading of 119!!  Can I get a Woo Hoo?!!  Fire up the grill, it’s burger time, baby!

Blood Glucose Lovin’ Burgers (9 points, 22g carbs/4g fiber)

1 lb ultra lean ground beef (to season: I mix garlic salt, ground pepper and A-1 steak sauce into the meat) – divide into 4 patties

4 Mrs Bairds 100% Whole Wheat hamburger buns (22g carbs/4g fiber)

sliced tomato, sliced purple onion

1 small avocado

4 slices reduced fat cheese (my fave is pepperjack)

Spicy mustard

grill or cook patties on the stove top.  Spread spicy mustard on top and bottom bun. Then, from bottom up layer: 1/4 avocado sliced, burger patty, 1 slice of cheese, sliced purple onion, top bun.

Take that, list!!  As of today, I am a hamburger eating BWWD2 (Busy Woman With Diabetes 2)!

On a serious note…. I refer to the three months between my diagnosis and my follow up appointment as The Greatest Pity Party Ever Thrown.  Over this 90 day period I managed to drive my A1c up 1 whole point, much to my wonderful endocrinologist’s dismay.  It is my opinion that those of us lucky enough to get a diagnosis early on can get swept away down the river of denial.  We get bogged down in the lists, the no-no’s, the frustration, the depression and on top of all of that, the disease is invisible (when it finally becomes visible, it is too late).  For me, it was my best friend (Mr. Man) and my hope to be  sitting in side-by-side rocking chairs decades from now and my beautiful daughter and wanting to be here to witness every moment of her future that brought the lights up on my pity party.  What is your party pooper?  I would LOVE to hear what drives you and why you are fighting the good fight!!!!

Enjoy the burgers!!

The Dishing Diabetic

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