Learning to eat lower carb

Recently, I started to use a CGMS (along with my 2 daughters, also type 1 D, all 3 of us D’xed at <12 months old). And the one thing I’m noticing, in a glaring way, is that I need to start to change my diet. I’ve been diabetic for a very long time (40+ years), and I think, even though I’ve been pumping for about 10 years, in some part of my brain, I still held onto my “you have to eat a certain amount at a certain time” type mentality. And, looking at my daily trending info, that attitude isn’t doing me any favors. . . nor my girls.

I’ve always managed A1c’s in the 6.5-7.5 range, nothing to brag about, but according to Dr’s, decent. The really frightful thing about CGMS is seeing how that, what I thought was a nice, healthy meal of steamed vegtables with rice of pasta with beans does to my BG, and the wicked spike it brings on, occasionally hours later.

So, I’ve got myself used to a carb pattern that’s basiclly 30g for B-fast, 45-60 for lunch, 50-70g for dinner, an occasional 10-20g snack here or there throughout the day. I do a majority of the cooking, and am trying to steer us to a lower carb diet, but seriously, it seems like every time I try it, we end up hungry later and hitting up the cracker stash. Anyone have any advice, or maybe a decent book that they’ve found that was helpful to them?

It may just be a matter of mind over matter, that we need to retrain our minds and stomaches, but the evidence that we need to change our habits stares me in the face every time I look down at my CGMS, and I need to figure out how to do it, while also keeping our food budget in check. Ideas?

Call me not aware, but what is CGMS?

Your post shows exactly what we have to do…retrain our thinking and our abilities to take care of ourselves in the healthiest way possible.
This summer having been ousted from WW for a corporate decision, I found myself staring at a low carb plan. As hard as it was to change some food thoughts (ie in WW cheese is a definite NO NO, in low carb words, it’s okay in moderation) I have retrained my mind to think vegetables and fruits (some) and meat, to less bread and fillers. It wasn’t easy, it’s still not, and I am dreading the holidays and all the choices or non-choices I will have to make. But the glory is I feel better, I look better, my numbers are far better…and that makes it all worth it.

I do low carb (30-35 for the day). What keeps hunger away is eating enough protein. I don’t know what your previous lower carb meals were like, but mine are basically protein & low carb vegetables. I never feel hungry & it was the high carb meals that had me hungry constantly. I use almond meal, coconut flour & golden flaxseed meal for baking & unsweetened almond milk instead of milk.

Jenny’s site is a wonderful place to start: http://www.bloodsugar101.com & her book of the same name.

Dr. Bernstein’s Diabetes Solution is a great book.

I thought low carb would be blah & boring, but found some wonderful recipes. I don’t feel deprived at all.

Linda’s Low Carb Menus & Recipes http://genaw.com/lowcarb/index.html
The Low Carb Cafe www.lowcarbcafe.com
Low Carb Luxury http://www.lowcarbluxury.com/index.html
Simply Recipes http://simplyrecipes.com/recipes/low_carb/
Low Carb Eating http://lowcarbeating.com/

CGMS–Continuous Glucose Monitoring System. It’s attached with sensors & gives a constant reading of BG. You still need to test, but a CGMS shows upward or downward trends.

When I was first diagnosed, and eating a low carb diet, I was really hungry all the time. Eating more protein, but also a higher fat diet can also help keep hunger at bay. I find nuts help me to feel fuller. I also bake with almond meal, coconut flour & golden flaxseed meal, and have some great recipes for scones, pancakes and muffins.

Dana Carpenter is pretty famous for writing low carb cookbooks. Then there are the low carb websites, Living la vida low carb, low carb friends. I think anything low in calories is also going to be lower in carbs.

I agree that low carb is a good idea, but here is another one:

Have you tried bolusing early?

I have not used a CGMS yet, but with very frequent testing, I figured that my blood sugar starts dropping about 25 minutes after I take a bolus of Humalog. If I wait 20-25 minutes before eating, I can eliminate the spike, even with meals of 50-60 g of carb. Doesn’t always work perfectly, but it helped me dramatically!

Many people vary in how long they wait. For some people it is only 10 minutes. If you try waiting, then be careful and check often. Early bolusing can cause bad lows.

Lower calorie isn’t necessarily low carb. Fat is very high calorie, but virtually carb free. Cheese has a lot of calories because of the fat content, but is extremely low carb. Low carb veggies are low in calories. It just depends on the food.

30-35 carbs for the day!!! Oh my goodness. You must be a saint, Gerir! I thought I was doing pretty good at about 150g (before the subtraction of the fiber intake which is usually around 30 g). Good for you! Maybe I should try to tighten my intake too.

Jacky–I know that once I broke the carb cravings-I felt a lot better about lower carb meanls. I have weak times, but then when I have more carbs, I feel worse…I am trying to find a way to add variety into my meals to keep up the excitement of low carb-but I don’t beat myself up too much if I fall back. I just try again the next day. :slight_smile:

I love veggies, which is a GOOD thing. This would be much worse if I didn’t like them. I try to mix protein with them too–I back a fish fillet and put it on top of my salad to wilt it a little…warm meals make me happier than cold ones all the time! :slight_smile: But I try to not cook my veggies too much-it raises the carb content and lowers the fiber (at least that is what I have read).

Best of luck to ya-I’m gonna look at some of the links Gerri listed…:slight_smile:


Going to tell my husband about your saint remark. He’ll be laughing controllably:)

Cooking veggies does raise the carbs a little. I’ve got an EatSmart scale & it allows entering if food is cooked or raw & gives different carb counts depending on this. Guess cooking breaks down the fiber making it more digestible.

I’ve become quite good at the whole low carb thing. I was never much addicted to carbs, so I certainly had it a bit easier than some. The real challenge, beyond learning to recognize and count carbs (which I presume you already know) is to be able to find a diverse and interesting set of options for your diet. If you prepare your own food (as you do), then that makes things a low easier.

I cook extensively and have found as noted below that Dana Carpenter is a good low carb author, as is George Stella. Over time, I’ve also become much more agile at adapting regular recipes to low carb by finding substitutes for carb laden ingredients. In truth, you will be hard pressed to really find good subsitutes for things like breads, cakes, rice and pasta, but you already know that.

When you first take up a low carb diet, it can be difficult in the first few weeks as your body adapts to fat burning rather than carb burning. Some of your cravings may be due to those feelings. What I like to tell people is to not focus on too many goals at once. If you are going to markedly reduce your carbs, don’t at the same time try to limit calories. If you are hungry on a low carb diet, then just “eat more!” Still hungry after dinner, then just have a snack. In fact, why not just plan on a mid afternoon and evening snack, just make it low carb. If you have a virtually zero carb snack, you may not even have to bolus for it. I found in my days of very low carb I was able to eat unlimited amounts of food without weight gain. I ate 5000 calories a day for months without gaining a pound.

Think about just letting everyone eat low carb snacks if they are hungry, at least while everyone is adapting. Also you might check to make sure that you are getting adequate levels of protein in your meals. If you are eating a mostly vegetarian low carb, you can often really miss out on the protein.

Jackie -

I started low carb within the last 2 months, and it really has made a difference in my management. I am learning a ton about how my body works (I’ve had type 1 for 15 years) and how much small amounts of carbs really do affect my sugars.

One thing I would say regarding hunger and cravings is do not be afraid of higher fat content. I was pretty skeptical at first (especially reaching for real butter instead of margarine, heavy cream, full fat yogurt instead of low fat - it was just totally different than my old mindset!) but your body really does re-train itself to burn fat instead of carbs (this advice is in Dr. Bernstein’s book as well - worth a read). I am not hungry nearly as much as when I was doing the typical low-fat, higher carb + whole grain diet. Also, I’ve actually lost a bit of weight. Not all fats are created equal, of course, but there are some good clean fats out there that will keep you satieted (coconut oil, butter, coconut milk come to mind…)

Check out this website for tips - www.marksdailyapple.com

I have also had a ton of fun playing around with gluten-free recipes on this website - www.elanaspantry.com (I do cut the agave nectar in some recipes down to make stuff lower carb, but the recipes are great!)

So far I am very encouraged so I think I’ll stick with it for awhile - interesting because now that I’ve cut my carbs so much it’s easier to figure out more accurate doses (my insulin needs have decreased some as well).

Good luck- let me know how it goes!!

If he laughs- tell him he can take a shift polishing your halo as punishment! :slight_smile: HA ha…BTW-I spelled your name wrong in my post—I just noticed that. Sorry!! :slight_smile:

I just bought my EatSmart scale–still trying to work it so I can add to the plate and keep a total–but I’ve not spent much time with the book yet. But your idea of the fiber breakdown during cooking makes perfect sense!

LOL–I’ll tell Tim that! Didn’t even notice about my name:).

I love the EatSmart scale.

This link is helpfu:l http://caloriecount.about.com/cc/recipe_analysis.php. You plug in recipe ingredients, number of servings & it gives you a nutritional breakdown including carbs. Makes it so much easier!

Oh–this is a handy site! Thanks for sharing! :slight_smile:

And I agree, bsc. Let’s add protein to each meal up front. I haven’t been hungry at all with low carb due to the protein I added.

Great for on-line recipes to cut & paste ingredients without typing. Yea, I’m lazy. Before I found this, I avoided recipes with too many ingredients not wanting to figure out carbs. Lazy again:) There’s only so much grilled fish & veggies a girl can eat before getting bored.

I just wanted to thank every one for their ideas and suggestions. I’ve done a bit of reading and looking things over on all the different websites people were so kind to suggest. I don’t know if I’m actually ready to go whole hog to a very low carb diet (30g per day-amazing!), and I think I probably need to talk to my Dr about this anyway, there’s a really strong cardiac disease presence in my family, and I already deal with an elevated cholestrol and I’m not sure if adding proteins and fats would help, or just hurt.

There’s good research showing that a high carb diet leads to bad lipid profiles, not fat. Unfortunately, most doctors know very little about nutrition.