When we got home from the hospital after Naomi’s diagnosis 5.5 months ago I knew a few things about how to live with diabetes and I also knew there was so much more to learn. One thing was clear, we were going to be counting every carbohydrate that would pass Naomi’s lips from now until she’s old enough to manage her diabetes on her own. The next day was a school day and I knew I had to plan out a simple breakfast and prepare a properly carb counted snack and lunch. The doctor had set a carb count range for meals and snacks. It didn’t take long for me to understand that all my homemade cooking was going to be a real challenge. How in the world would one know for sure exactly how many carbohydrates are in those healthy chocolate chip pumpkin muffins? Yes, the ones she loves for breakfast that I make every week or so. Lasagna and enchiladas same thing…one thing was for sure I hadn’t a clue on how to figure it all out without it taking what felt like an eternity. So no mixed combo dishes for a while in our home. Snacks are supposed to be 15 grams of carbs. Okay, sounds easy but well there aren’t too many items in the grocery store simply labeled 15 grams of carbohydrates. Sounds simple, sure buy a ton of those items labeled 15gC per serving or 30gC plan to split in half and go for it. It’s survival mode at this point. I quickly realized that my grocery cart was full of stuff I would probably very rarely would have purchased before, it was a horrible feeling and I ended up in tears in the middle of the store. I was staring at things I didn’t want to buy, and felt like I had no choice. Clearly this food had no mother, didn’t come from the ground and well wasn’t even close to being friends with either of those ideas. Now, I wasn’t a total health nut, I made exceptions to the healthy food rule for our children all the time, but those were exceptions and special treats not regular daily snack and meal foods. I’ve always aimed to keep a balance in the big picture when it comes to the food thing for our children, no extremes. Anywho.. . the list of ingredients on these “food” items was horrendous, like 15+ and that means there is a bunch of preservatives and stuff to make them taste good but they would probably exist on the shelf for the next 10 years. High Fructose Corn Syrup, MSG, Sodium Benzoate, BHA/BHT, hydro…..you get the idea, all were jumping out at me. How is this going to help my daughter who has a chronic disease? Really, is this the way it’s going to be? I broke down in tears every time I put some of this garbage in the cart, I was so overwhelmed. Well a good thing did happen on that trip to the store. I learned I needed a food scale. I was going to have to weigh out the foods so I could get the proper carbohydrate count. I got one and oh our food scale, I love it. Sure there are better ones but the one I bought is pretty great. I am now able to weigh out all her food and the scale has coding in it to give me the carbohydrate counts for specific items like sliced apples (0693) and peeled oranges (0628)…I’ve got some of them memorized now. 🙂 So… for the first few days and weeks I was feeding Naomi some foods that were just not what I really wanted her to eat but we were surviving and really that was the main goal at the time…just get through the day and then go for the night, one at a time. One thing I quickly learned and continue to learn about is how different foods affect her blood sugars and creating the “perfect” balance makes such a difference. I’m also learning to balance giving her foods with the “perfect” balance. Naomi is a child she will eat pizza, it will make her blood sure do things that make her feel horrible but do we take it away totally – nope can’t..not in my mind. Every Wednesday my baby will have her pizza after gymnastics…they balance out during her rest at night. 🙂
One of the most important meals for Naomi is her bedtime snack. This snack has to hold her blood sugar up through the night while she sleeps, slow increase with stability and then the decrease so that she wakes at a blood sugar that’s ideal for before breakfast. Ugh..yeah…it’s a lot. Think 15gC but you have to also have the fat and protein to help manage the rate of increase/decrease and hold it steady through the night. Could be easy for an adult but lets remember this is for a six-year old…she’s gotta at least kinda like the food, right? In an attempt to create the “perfect” bedtime snack she would be served up a dish of sliced apple, sliced cheddar cheese and some sliced turkey breast. To me it seemed like a lot of food to have a child eat and put to bed. One thing is for sure I was spending a lot of time in the kitchen trying to figure out what to feed my sweet girl. Come December I finally tried what had been suggested to me by a few nutritionists and nurses…ice cream for the bedtime snack..you got carbs, fat and a little protein. Really though, feed Naomi that dreaded boxed ice cream from the store? The one I won’t be able to resist myself because of the crack like chemicals (not that I have a clue what crack is really like because I don’t) they put in it? Great now I”m going to gain 50lbs because of emotional eating and she’s going to put it on with me so she can survive through the night…yeah sounds like a great idea. Well..it was supposed to be a great bedtime snack for her so I practiced a little (not too much) self-control and bought some to try. It worked, it was great! Ice cream! A treat for my girl, yahoo! I was so excited and so was she, it was like hey you’re diabetic and while everyone thinks you can’t have sugar etc.. you “have to” have ice cream every night before bed! HA! Go figure. So….once we had it established that the ice cream worked well for her and of course was a hit I was excited but still…those chemicals were on my mind. Okay..so I had my dad, king of homemade gelato making, mix up a few quarts. I had him promise to follow his recipe exactly and then I would figure out the carb facts. We started off with a quart of peppermint and a quart of vanilla, both had like 5.2gC per ounce. So nightly I would dish it up, stick it on the scale and hand Naomi’s ice cream over with a smile. So..then it was my new thing..I could make something from scratch again, something healthy and yummy and I already knew it would be great for her. Organic I went.. oh yeah and guess what flavor she wanted, coffee. So I started making organic coffee gelato (used decaf SBux Via) and she and I happily ate it nightly for months. I just made her a batch of regular vanilla ice cream (not gelato) last night and she loved the change so we’ll stick with that for a while and see how it goes. Last night after making the vanilla ice cream I made some new brownies. Naomi had wanted a “brownie ice cream” so I thought well….with the right recipe she’ll be able to mix the two together. Ah ha……use almond flour! I made her some brownies without any wheat flour in them at all, they have almond flour, eggs, butter etc… (good fats and proteins) – only 9 carbs per brownie…they are good. So…what’s cookin’? 10gC Homemade Vanilla Ice cream, 17gC almond flour brownies that are actually really yummy, served with a 10gC side of freshly sliced strawberries…that was this happy Sunday mornings breakfast. 37gC breakfast and her blood sugar never went over 165…she was stable mabel (MDI considering) all morning.
I’m going to look into coconut flour now… I’m already sold on coconut oil and have been using it for quite a while so stay tuned, something delicious might be cookin’ one day soon!
Look at Dexie from earlier today: