Old Habits, New Habits
Whether we like to admit it or not, diabetes forces us to adopt or improve habits in order to manage it effectively. Diabetes is a little hard to manage if we also maintain a daily Oreo habit...or is that just me? I might have cut back my Oreo consumption to just a few days of the week, but I also have some other habits that I’ve changed (or adopted) because of my diagnosis.
- Bringing a healthy lunch to work. Before I was diagnosed, I could get away with eating whatever was available in the work cafeteria that day or running out to grab a Chipotle salad (extra black beans, rice, lettuce, guac, sauteed veg, in case anyone is wondering) but now, I really need to know the nutritional content of what I’m eating. Specifically, I’m talking carbs-carbs determine insulin doses and accuracy in carb counting determines the efficiency of the insulin. Chipotle provides nutritional information at the counter that is based on exact measurements but honestly, have you ever seen a Chipotle server measure anything? Same goes with the food at work- I can make my best guess at what and how much of something I’m eating, but a best guess doesn’t exactly cut it for insulin accuracy. I started to make the majority of my lunches at home because I can control the ingredients and can figure out the carb impact pretty easily. It also saves money and helps me eat better, since the majority of the lunches I make are salads.
- Guzzling water like I was just rescued from a deserted island. I drank water before, but now I really, really, really drink water. I can’t even tell you how much I drink in a day, but my water bottle is 36 ounces and I fill it up at least 3 times at work. Yikes. Water is great because it has no sugar impact whatsoever, flushes out your system of toxins, and helps clear your mind. It’s also great for your skin, but that’s a different story. This is also good because when I need a sugary drink to get my sugar up, my body reacts pretty quickly because it isn’t used to all the sugar. That last sentence might not be true at all but that’s what it feels like when I drink juice, which is all that matters right?
- 2 beer max, no mixed drinks need apply. If you’re under 21 then this bullet point does not apply to you... but I try to keep my alcohol consumption to a minimum, especially when I’m out at a bar or restaurant. Alcohol does weird things to BGs and its effects differ based on whether you’re drinking a beer, a margarita, or a washington apple shot on your 21st birthday. Since its so unpredictable, I try to keep my consumption low and eat whenever I’m having a drink. I have to say, I haven’t had a margarita since I was diagnosed and it makes me really, really sad. My nutritionist said I was better off taking a shot of tequila instead of drinking a marg based on the carb counts, but I just can’t hang that way.
Those are some of the pretty noticeable adjustments I’ve made since I was diagnosed. Some are healthy and positive changes (salads) and some are slightly depressing (no more casual margaritas.) I’m sure I’ll be making more changes as time goes on and I’ll be sure to update you when I do.