Spicy Chicken: Sugar Nemesis

I don’t know what it is, but I LOVE spicy chicken. The kind that has the sweet/hot chili sauce. The craving for it comes out of nowhere, but it may have something to do with my allergies and sinus issues. Anything that will open up my head and clear it out of the heavy mucus-filled disaster area that it becomes in the Spring and around various blooming times is a welcome event. But it never fails – any time I eat spicy chicken, I pay the price for it.

English: Spicy Chicken 中文: 辣子鸡

English: Spicy Chicken 中文: 辣子鸡 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

After 19 years of diabetes, I apparently still don’t know how many carbs are in it, or how I should wrangle the dual-wave bolus on my pump in order to keep my blood sugar from soaring into the 200s and staying there for several hours. I’ve tried not eating any rice with it. I’ve tried eating only brown rice. I’ve tried eating the fried rice in such small proportions that it wouldn’t satisfy a small rodent creature. No matter how many carbs I think are in it (sometimes upwards of 60 or 70 grams, I guesstimate!) and I allow for, it still jacks up my sugars.

Then, after say 4-5 hours of being in the 200s and feeling like crap, it’s time for dinner. So of course, I eat something sensible, and what happens? Crash, crash, crash. So frustrating. But, I still LOVE my spicy chicken. I may not eat it very often because of it’s negative sugar effects, but I surely do savor and appreciate it when I make that sacrifice.

2.5 Pounds on the Scale

Going to a monthly weigh-in at my doctor’s office the day after my birthday was NOT a good idea. How do you think I’ve been celebrating for the past 2 weeks with friends and family? With food, drinks, food, drinks, and more food, of course! There was a wine and dinner night out with my girlfriends last weekend, a big bash of BBQ and cake last night, various meet-ups with people for lunches out, etc. I wonder why it never occurs to us to say, “hey, let’s go celebrate your birthday by working out together at the gym?” Because That. Sounds. AWFUL. And sweaty. Ewwww.

Needless to say, it was no surprise this morning when the scale showed I had gained 2.5 pounds since last month’s weigh-in. Which is a real bummer since I have steadily been on the downward path for over a year now. I’ve lost 45 pounds since January of 2012, and my goal is to lose at least 45 more in the coming year. As a diabetic who has struggled with weight even before my diagnosis, that is no mean trick. It took a LOT of work and effort. Added onto the daily monitoring of blood sugars and carbohydrates intake, I added in the hard-to-measure variable of exercise, as well as religious calorie-counting through using MyFitnessPal on my smart phone.   I am proud beyond belief of that 45 pounds lost. (Why do we say “lost” as if we want to “find” it again? Trust me, I don’t.)

Now, I have to get back on the wagon again post-turning-40. Regroup. Get motivated. Implement some changes in my diet and routine that will help me continue the work I began last year. And let me tell you, this IS work. My doctor today had some suggestions for me, and while I don’t think I can incorporate them all at one time – terror, the terror of changing things and ruining my blood sugars! – I do hope to take on one or two at a time to attack and conquer over the coming months.

  • Reduce carbohydrate intake – eat more protein-based snacks in place of carb-based snacks
  • Choose more foods lower on the glycemic index
  • Take 200mcg of Chromium per day (supposed to help with blood sugars, will research that more later)
  • Reduce/remove as much processed food as possible – eat more fruits and vegetables (duh)
  • Don’t eat wheat – it’s genetically modified and she doesn’t like it
  • Drink more water (I feel I already do this-water is my favorite drink next to wine. Ha.)
  • Exercise more (always a struggle to find the time when I have a daughter I’d rather spend that time with)
  • (And the killer for me) Cut out the microwave meals, like Healthy Choice/Weight Watchers/Lean Cuisine

    Is this really so bad??

    One of my (many) weight-loss crutches

I could spend paragraphs going through each of those bullets, and I’m sure over time here I will be addressing each one in other blog posts, but today, I’ll touch upon microwave meals. As a diabetic who works full time, has a toddler, and a very busy life in general, I LOVE them. All the nutrition information is RIGHT THERE – I can take the right amount of insulin, they are low-calorie,  fast to fix , and most of the time, pretty tasty. The convenience is so alluring that I’m not sure I can give those up, not quite yet. I do know in my heart that anything I take out of a box & put in the microwave – even the more organic and “natural” meals I pick up from Trader Joe’s – can’t be that “good” for me, but they are a hard habit to break.

Do you all have this same problem, or a similar ease-of-convenience vice with regards to food? If you have overcome using the “crutch” of microwave meals, how did you do it?