Exploring a country full of carbs
I am back! With my new sports bra project launching, I was giving my website a little makeover. I hope you will like the new website and especially the new project that I worked for so hard. I am also back to writing new blog posts to tell you about my experiences and like always, some tips to manage T1 diabetes.
A couple of months ago, I've been away and I was exploring a country in the Middle East. I had the opportunity to take a trip to Lebanon, and you can guess, the food there was A-MA-ZING!
But of course, most of the food was full of carbs: sandwiches, fried falafel, chickpeas, Lebanese handmade pizzas, bakeries, and finally dessertssss!
To be honest, and because of the 7-hour difference between Beirut and Montreal, I thought that my blood sugars would be so high there. Of course, and mostly at the end of my trip ( I stayed there for 10 days), I've had low and high bgs, but I was surprised to have good numbers most of the time.
With the help of the T1 community on Instagram, I learned that changing the time of my pump would help with my basal insulin. So that's what I did and to my surprise, I was very stable!
But then there was SO much yummy food, and of course, late night eating as well. Here is what I did to manage all of these carbs:
1. Try not to overeat
The first day, I went to a place called the Lebanese Bakery. Basically, it is a bakery that serves homemade ''pizzas'' made with Lebanese bread and there was a zillion choice of which food to have on top of them. I wanted to try everything. The people I was with ordered a lot of options so we can try them. For me, this was good and not good. It was good cause I was about to try a lot of different things on the menu, but it also meant that I had to be careful with the carbs that I had to calculate because I had to eat what I already had calculated for my insulin. So the food came, and I ate my pizza and shared it with others, but made sure that in total, I ate a full ''normal'' size pizza and not more. Then the man who works there gave us ''dessert'' pizzas made with Nutella, honey, and so many sweet things. Of course, I wanted to eat that, and I know that T1s can eat anything and are not limited, but you still need to think: is this going to cause me a high? In my case, I just ate a FULL pizza full of carbs so more carbs and sugar would not be a good idea. Again, everyone is different and you should not limit yourself, but overeating is not the perfect thing for your stomach, even for a non-diabetic!
2. Take your insulin little by little
For pump users, that means giving yourself a combo bolus. For pen or needle users, that means extending your insulin intake on more than an hour or giving yourself small corrections during the hour or two after eating. I AM NOT A DOCTOR SO DO NOT START DOING THIS WITHOUT A HEALTHCARE PROFESSIONAL'S APPROVAL. In my case, the combo bolus helped me so damn much during this trip. I was eating a lot of food that would normally have an effect 1-2 hours after eating because it's either full of bread or fat. So having insulin being injected during these 1-2 hours helped me a lot. I also ( rarely) set a temp basal to increase my insulin after eating because sometimes I noticed that I miscalculated my carbs and I didn't want to give myself a correction since I still had insulin on board, so instead I decided to give myself a little bit of insulin on a longer period.
Of course, diabetes is always full of surprises. I don't want to be this perfect T1 blogger telling you that I managed my diabetes so perfectly during my trip because yes, I've had bad days there. Especially if I ate late at night, my numbers would not cooperate with me. Sometimes I was also very low and I couldn't really understand how I got this low. But the important thing is that I tried to manage it the best way that I could. Even when I was on vacation, I wasn't really. T1 diabetes follows you 24/7. But I was proud of myself because I used to go on vacation and not even bother checking my numbers that much. But this time I was taking care of myself.
That doesn't mean that you can't have fun though!
Diabetes shouldn't get in the way of your plans and happiness!!