(Maybe Way Off Base and This is Just Another Dumb Passing Phase)

Everybody go through this? Brain churning. Barf this out on way to baseball.

Way behind Dolores.

Currently thinking…

  • We (we = entire T1D community) are at the tail end of a backlash against diet-control as part of the treatment for Type 1 diabetes
  • Doctors and patients were so happy and relieved to have access to Humalog/fast-acting insulins that they sort of spazzily over-reacted and chucked the whole previous NPH treatment plan which included advice like “don’t eat starches and hot fudge”
  • At the same time every thinking person notices a tightly-controlled, low(er)-carb diet helps PWT1D control their blood sugar, but no one medical wants to officially recommend it because it reminds them of How Things Used to Be before fast-acting insulins and no one wants to go back to those dark times
  • Add in our generation’s current emphasis–in parenting–on making sure kids WT1D feel like they fit in, and a big part of that is eating Cheetos at parties?

But Hippocrates let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food. Also publisher send Bigfoot giant stack paleo cookbooks (this one current favorite) and–it slowly at first but now crash boom–Bigfoot drink Kool-aid. Whole time realize unfortunate so susceptible radical diet cookbook science.

Now questioning:

  • Why is it important for kids to fit in by eating Cheetos? (Snotty sidebar: obese children also required fit in by eating Cheetos?)
  • If carby-fatty-processed foods make our diabetic kids’ insulin not do its job as well, why are we encouraged to allow them to have those foods anyway?
  • Why is it OK to make our kids use insulin pumps/injections/etc. but not OK to (make them/encourage them) to eschew Cheetos et al?
  • Is this really how self-esteem happens? What about kids w. celiac or nut allergies—are they just doomed to be outcasts? (Rhetorical! If outcast, it for something like nose picking or annoying personality)
  • Shouldn’t families of T1D kids take food at least as seriously as celiac/nut allergy?

Pros of strict(er) diet:

  • better BG control
  • better health

Cons of strict(er) diet:

  • Teenager w T1D will rebel (true, but at least get few good years in?)
  • Makes child feel deprived/weird (maybe recompense = more Lego/car?)
  • Not fair to rest of family (actually better diet for everyone, regardless T1D)

What would strict(er) diet include?

  • Vegetables galore
  • Meat galore
  • Some fruit
  • Nuts
  • Probably lots of “cheats” too
  • Water

Oh my gah but if paleo what about:

  • Diet Coke
  • Beer!
  • Touching so much meat
  • Cheese
  • peanut butter

Maybe skip paleo, just go low carb, get back:

  • Diet coke
  • Beer
  • cheese
  • peanut butter


Feel like slowly, slowly catching on. Really hope paleo is not right answer.



  1. Katie · September 7, 2013

    Agree with this 1,000,000,000%. I don’t think it’s mandatory to go Paleo, but use the books/magazines for more low carb ideas. I am the odd one in my office because I don’t eat the sweets that are constantly brought in, I pack my own lunch everyday and I take a walk on the paths out back. It scares me that this is what makes someone “not normal” when everyone could improve their health by doing this.


    • Carlyn · September 7, 2013

      I’m the same way. People try to force donuts on me, and when I deny them, they ask if it’s because I have diabetes. NO! It’s because I don’t eat the shit everyday.

      I bring my lunch and exercise daily too, and its true — odd man out.


  2. Carlyn · September 7, 2013

    You’ll find the right diet for you and your family. When I was little, my mom didn’t really worry about going low carb — because I HAD to eat X amount of carbs at each meal (and at a certain time, too — ugh). These days, I tend to go low carb, because as you mention, it’s better for my blood sugars (YDMV, some people swear by carbs and that if they don’t eat them their sugars skyrocket. I haven’t really noticed that.). What I don’t do is force myself to give up things I love, like beer and burgers. It’s a fine balance. I don’t want diabetes to control my life, so I don’t let it. So far, working ok šŸ™‚

    Bottom line, don’t let it stress you out too bad. You’re doing great with Bubs, you’ll do great with you. Looks to me like you eat pretty damn good already.


  3. Meredith · September 7, 2013

    I believe there is something to a low(er) carb diet for everyone’s health. Given what I’ve been reading these last many years (ie the low fat, high carb diet has been doing bad things to us), the research suggests over and over again that the impact of carbs (esp high carbs)–> insulin–>the body is that too many can be devastating to our health over time. As for the restrictive aspect with kids, I’ve been giving this a lot of thought recently. We’ve been buying fewer carbs overall and trying to replace breakfast cereals with smoothies, etc. There IS some push back, and I don’t restrict what they eat outside of our home- but if we’re making it here, or in their school lunches, it’s gonna be high fat, high protein, high veg, high fruit (yes, fruit) but low carb.


  4. Jackie · September 7, 2013

    Being 19 and a biomedical engineer in training make me understand more of your reasoning than Bubs probably does/would but I’d be up for Lego in lieu of Cheetos, even disregarding science. Legos are fun and Cheetos are just a tasty short term thing.


  5. Scott E · September 7, 2013

    I agree entirely with your first set of bullets! The rest of them, well, they apply equally to D’s and non-D’s. I’m personally not a fan of paleo or Doctor Low-carb Bernstein, but Dr. B’s theory that Little Carbs can lead to Little Mistakes, and Big Carbs can lead to Big Mistakes is one I believe. That’s why I go with moderate carbs.

    Historically, if I did eat things like cookies or cheetos, I’d inevitably go high from them. So I bolus the hell out of them beforehand, and then keep a close eye and make little corrections (more bolus, less basal) along the way. It’s all about practice. The low(er) carb method may be good at first to get your feet wet, but after awhile, feel free to venture out into the deep end. Just make sure you have a life-vest.

    Tip: do your research beforehand on beer. You’d be surprised at how the carb counts vary from one to the next, and they’re not printed on the bottle.


    • mollyjade · September 7, 2013

      I do “moderate” carb, too. If I keep my carb levels below a certain level at each meal, I do pretty well. Things get more complicated if I go beyond that level.

      I grew up under the nph routine, and one consequence is that I have a really screwed up relationship with food. I never learned how to eat dessert and forbidden foods. I spent a lot of my childhood sneaking food. When the rules changed (it’s not sugar, it’s carbs), it took me a long time to figure out how to adjust. One day Bubs is going to be in charge of his own care, not just as a rebellious teenager, but as an adult navigating the grocery store and work potlucks. None of which means he needs to be eating cheetoes, but just another thing to consider.


  6. Linda · September 7, 2013

    Interesting about the evolution of d care thought in med community. Sounds right on. My version of d-evolution includes the all or nothing step of moving to the country so I could even grow all my own food = organic, cheap veggies year round + lots of exercise + great scenery and woods for kids to play in. At this point (a few decades into it) I’m so burned out on freezing and canning and curing and cooking food, all I can think of is how to get someone else to do it for me so I can go play. Still, it’s been a good plan d-wise.


    • Katy · September 7, 2013

      I love how you do things, and it makes it all the more lovable that you’re sick of preserving food. Ha!


  7. Mary M · September 7, 2013

    At this point I just need to chime in and point out that cheetos are gluten free. Not useful, but I don’t want anyone thinking I can’t eat cheetos!
    Everything in moderation, best diet I ever heard. Think it comes from Julia Child. It’s achievable and you don’t have to beat yourself up if you cheat. I have so many limitations already with celiac that I wouldn’t want to artificially add any more.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Linda · September 7, 2013

    P.S. Agree about checking carbs on each kind of beer. Can go to website of microbreweries and ask them. Once Deschutes Brewery (Oregon) sent me 4 beautiful pint glasses w/ cool logo on them for just asking them how many carbs were in their Obsidian Stout = 50/50 alcohol carbs (don’t count) to carb carbs, or ~ 30g (yum!!). We have brand loyalty now and keep a keg one of of their GREAT beers in our root cellar with the pickles and potatoes and salsa = cheaper per glass, no packaging, but gotta have serious quantity discipline…. Another plus is that our grown kids show up to visit often.


  9. scully · September 8, 2013

    I love how uber candid and honest you are. You’re the best!
    My thoughts are similar to yours.
    I hate that us T1D’s go on about “oh we can eat everything just like you” Well yesterday I was talking to my friend (Non PWD) and she was telling me how she ate a whole pint of coconut bliss ice cream. She told me not to buy it because it’s vegan and celiac friendly i will most definitely make myself sick eating it all. I told her not bloody likely. I have diabetes on my side and diabetes and BG guilt is what keeps me in line. No I can’t eat a whole pint of ice cream. It doesn’t matter what kind of insulin magic I use it will still eff up my BG no matter what. It’s just not safe. I avoid so many foods because it’s not worth the fluctuating BG disaster that inevitably follows.
    I eat low carb because it’s easier to manage and it’s healthier for me and for everybody. I don’t agree with the paleo diet but I also don’t agree that there is any one “diet” for everybody. I am vegan but sometimes I like cream in my coffee. Exceptions to every diet, find what’s best and manipulate it to your own needs is what I think life should be about.


    • Katy · September 8, 2013

      ā¤ I love this. I can't buy the Liz Lemon frozen yogurt for the reason your friend mentioned.

      I know it's not so black and white, but it seems there are people who care/love/respect themselves enough to not hurt themselves with excessive pintage, and then there are those who are just NOMNOMNOM. I'm hoping to transfer into group 1. Working on it.

      Vegan + cream.
      Paleo + peanut butter and Diet Coke and beer.

      I'm finding my niche.


  10. Dolores · September 9, 2013

    I am still a fan of paleo … But since this summer we have fallen off the wagon a bit … I am the most guilty … Added in a few too many glasses of wine and margaritas … But what I still believe is that we need to eat lots and lots of veggies and we should not eat any over processed food … Which includes diet coke but maybe not include organic wine šŸ™‚


  11. nicolemariepurcell · September 9, 2013

    The key phrase in this post “actually better diet for everyone, regardless T1D” regardless T1D, clean eating matters… It’s something that’s not graspable in the crapola food world we live in… I say go clean – paleo – whatever translates to lots of veggies, good proteins, fruit, and staying away from processed carbs… And I’m saying this as a person, not a t1d… LOL


  12. fifteenwaitfifteen · September 9, 2013

    Since having a child, I’ve eaten healthier than I think I’ve ever eaten in my life. Why? 1) because I don’t want to harm that perfect little body and fill it with preservatives and icky bad things 2) because I want her to see me as a role model, and want to do what I do, not just do what I say and 3) because it IS more healthy for all of us. Do we occasionally have sweets? Yes. Do we occasionally have a day where maybe we didn’t eat enough vegetables? Sure. Do we sometimes go out for some really crappy fast food? Yup. But the majority of the time, we are eating healthy, and I think that is the most you can hope for. Perfection in any kind of diet is crap. Because, you DO feel like you’re missing out on something, and you’ll get pissed off about it and swing over to the other side of the pendulum of binging on bad things. Everything in moderation, and all that jazz.


  13. Sara · September 11, 2013

    Insulin is a hormone, a storage hormone that allows our cells to store energy. That storage can cause cardiovascular inflammation (especially if the insulin/carb ratio is not exactly matched). Big doses, big mistakes, little doses, little mistakes. We CAN eat whatever we want. But it is no healthier for us to eat a Snickers for breakfast than it is for anyone else. There’s no way I could go Paleo but I don’t think that anyone can deny that a low(-ish) carb lifestyle is a healthy way for EVERYONE to live.


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