How many carbs?

In the spirit of our mission, to show kindness in small ways, we decided to spend the weekend making pumpkin-apple bread for our neighbors, (thank you Shana for sharing that great recipe from Gourmet Cooking with me!).

The weather was cold, windy and grey. As Mother Nature has a right to be, she was a little fickle about how she was feeling. Rain, snow, sleet…oh heck, why not all three. It was a perfect day to enjoy something warm out of the oven.

Zoe and Logan helped make and deliver these tasty treats to our nearest neighbors. They enjoyed being the bearers of small things in return for a heartfelt thank you, though I think they were having more fun by surprising them at their doorstep. I love the idea of cinnamon and nutmeg trailing behind the two of them as they went from house to house.

Whenever I bake or cook something from scratch I’m always a little challenged if there isn’t a carb count included in the recipe. So sharing the bread with our neighbors made me think about carb counts, ingredients, and wanting to attach the recipe just in case there was a dietary need that I wasn’t aware of.

When Logan was first diagnosed our life was quickly consumed by nutritional information and how available it was on most products but not all. In the beginning it was not uncommon to hear one of us yell out  “SAVE THE WRAPPER!” as the other one is in mid-throw for a two-pointer into the garbage. We still save wrappers, cut out the sides of boxes and keep packaging, though over the years we have come to memorize the things that Logan eats on a regular basis.

If given a gift, such as this bread, we would first slice a piece and weigh it on our scale, giving us a measurement in either ounces or grams. Then we would look it up for some type of generic listing under bread in our “Calorie King” book, which has become our bible of sorts. Out of curiosity I looked up “pumpkin” bread in our book and there was no listing under breads, nor was there a listing for even a “banana” bread. Sometimes you have to be creative and do a little searching. There does happen to be a listing under Starbucks for “pumpkin” bread, so we would use that information when dosing Logan, unless of course, we found a better resource. I’m betting that our bread probably has better ingredients in it, but when you don’t have the exact ingredient information you have to punt and get as close as you can.

With most of the homemade things that I make, like waffles, pancakes, and cookies, I have been able to gauge pretty accurately by weighing them, physically measuring them with a ruler and using a generic reference from our “Calorie King” book. Just this morning Tony used his Black and Decker measuring tape (we couldn’t find our ruler), to measure how big the waffles were from corner to corner. This may sound tedious, but sometimes the amount of batter I use doesn’t fill out the entire square in the iron, leaving the waffles to be random in size. We need to do our best to calculate for the most accurate dosage.

Unfortunately, even with the measurements, sometimes our calculations are off. For his breakfast, Logan was given 5 units of insulin to cover his food, he was a startling 467 when he checked his blood sugar for lunch time (keep in mind that his range right now is 80-150). Logan said that it was probably because he just sat and did homework after breakfast and didn’t drink as much water….he’s right, it might have partly contributed to why he was so high, but we obviously under-dosed him.

We would never discourage Logan from eating something that he wanted because it didn’t include the carb information, just think of all the birthday and other social celebrations he would miss out on. That being said, I have been known to talk him out of a multi-layered frosted treat, and truthfully he’s going to want them from time to time, we just keep his diet as healthy as possible and make sure he is active.

Like anything in life, we make the best decision given the information we have. We get as close as we can to the actual carb count, we consider the ingredients and then follow our formula based on what his blood sugar is at the time. His mood and whether or not he’ll be participating in a physical activity or if he’ll just be hanging out around the house are also taken into consideration.

So don’t ever hesitate to share those delicious treats with us, like our friend Mary did recently. She delivered a plate full of homemade snicker-doodle cookies to our mailbox. The kids thought that was pretty cool, and ever since moving to Colorado snicker-doodles are closing in on Logan’s favorite cookie, chocolate chip.

If you are looking for a good resource for carbohydrate counting, the Calorie King book is easy to use and small enough to fit into most purses, though they do have apps available as well. While it is not necessarily geared toward T1D specifically, it is  a resource that continues to be recommended by health care professionals that we work with.


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