Thursday, August 20, 2009


Food is my biggest enemy. It really is. Pizza is my FAVORITE food.

(from Mellow Mushroom, one of my favorites)

My diabetes says, "no thanks." It alarms me when I set foot in Italian, Mexican, Italian-Greek, Greek, American, Chinese restaurants, buffets, and anything in between. Okay, so I exaggerate. Whether you are a type 1 or 2 diabetic, you understand the possible dilemmas that can occur. Namely, how do you count for carbs without seeming like an idiot?

For instance, there are many restaurants that don't (nor probably can't) tell you exactly how many carbs, in that plate full of angel hair pasta, are swimming in that ocean of rich bolognese sauce. Add warm, soft, sourdough bread and your favorite beverage and...

your diabetes is screaming louder than a young teenage girl at a Jonas Brothers concert.

(Nicholas as seen here on dLife)

Traveling can also add a kink in the proverbial hose. I recently visited an Italian-Greek restaurant, in Minneapolis, that had plate-fulls of pasta, yellow rice, couscous, etc. I had to rely on old school measurements, e.g. 1 cup of angel hair pasta is approximately 30 grams of carbs. (Did I even get that right?) All I know is that my insulin handled the approximations well. It doesn't happen all the time.

Sometimes I bottom out 30 minutes after dinner or a yucky 280. Oh the joys of food and guess work. Here are a few tips for all of us to follow:

1. When ordering at a restaurant, ask for a carb-count list.

2. If the 'mood' doesn't call for asking, half the portion size and take the rest home as leftovers.

3. Try to order in 'half' sizes. Many restaurants will cut the portion size in half and charge you a few dollars less. This is great for us travelers.

4. Split the meal with someone.

5. Try to keep the carb count low. Then again, this is coming from a guy who loves pizza. Go figure...

You may have other suggestions and tools that work for you. Please share away, so that we can help each other. Lastly, enjoy your food! Cheers!


Tim said...

By wild coincidence I'm going to an Italian this evening (La Piazza on Shandwick Place in Edinburgh if you care). I'm going to scoff down delicious things and hope for the best re: insulin. It usually works out alight in the end!

Mmmmmm, food!

CALpumper aka Crystal said...

What time at La Piazza? I'll be there. ;-)

Great post Mark. That pizza looks DElish. My breakfast just can't live up to that.

Good advice. I hardly ever finish a restaurant portion. I can usually make it last for 4 meals.

wv: paterm

It's quite the paterm we PWDs experience when dining out -- carbs, carbs and more carbs. With a side of insulin, please.

The Mindful Diabetic said...

Funny you should write this post now as I indulged in pizza on Monday for the first time since getting on the pump! And I split said pizza with M at the JDRF meeting :) BGs stayed in reasonable range which really surprised me!

Tim said...

@CAL - we're there from 8pm; but we're going to Teuchters on William Street first for a pint. So see you there. :-)

Mark said...

A pint or two? I'm in! It is Friday after all...

I believe pizza will do us well tonight! :)

Tim said...

@Mark - cool, see you there - you can get the first round in. Mine's a pint of Deuchars, ta.