The last time I visited my CDE, she looked at my 65/35 basal/bolus ratio and said, “You must eat a pretty low-carb diet.”
This surprised me, because I don’t feel like I eat any kind of “-carb” diet. Instead, I eat what I eat, and I try to cover for carbs as accurately as I can. Maybe I’m doing a poor job, or maybe, as she put it, my basal and bolus needs are simply different from most people’s.
The way I see it, the flexibility that my insulin pump — and insulin itself — afford me is one of the few advantages of having Type 1 diabetes instead of Type 2. When people ask me about it, I probably exaggerate a little much.
“So, do you have to watch what you eat?”, they’ll ask.
“Oh, no,” I’ll insist. “I could eat, like, a whole entire cake, and as long as I figure out how much insulin I need, I’m fine.” (I’ve never actually tested this theory.)
I think it was the Atkins craze of a few years ago that really put everything into perspective for me. Here were perfectly healthy people with precisely functioning pancreases, forgoing their God-given right to enjoy the most important food group of all. It drove me nuts. I watched friends and acquaintances gnaw glassy-eyed on beef jerky and shellfish and bacon and eggs, and push away foods like baked potatoes, rolls — even brown rice. On the outside, I was silent, but on the inside, I was screaming, “Eat it! Eat it because YOU CAN!”
Whether or not my diet is low-carb, medium-carb, or a-little-on-the-high-side-carb, I just try to eat as best as I can — without sacrificing the foods that I really, really love. Ultimately, I think that having a normal, healthy relationship to food is just as important as maintaining a kick-ass A1C. Potatoes, pasta, popcorn, bagels, cereal and granola bars are my friends. Diabetes is tough enough without having to give them up.