Truly Scrumptious – by Lucy Thomas


Lucy-thomas80x80Whether you’re a diabetic or not, food is vital to survive. Ironically in most world countries where food is in abundance and choice is aplenty here you will find those with serious health issues such as diabetes, obesity, food allergies and intolerances. It would seem that by creating so much choice our bodies are revolting by limiting what we can actually eat.

I read a statistic recently that more people are dying due to complications from being obese than those through malnutrition. By unnecessary amounts of food being easily available, the richest and most powerful nations on the planet now face similar epidemics to countries where people are starving to death. It would seem that there is no middle ground.

With that in mind, being aware of what we eat and the implications food can have, whether you have diabetes or not, has never been more important.

I’ve now been a diabetic for 16 years so whilst I am fully equipped with the knowledge I need to manage my diabetes that doesn’t always means I do so to the letter. Constantly watching what you eat and not eating certain things because you know they’ll send your sugars sky high is BORING. If I spent my whole life carefully monitoring what I ate, making sure I was a perfect diabetic to ensure I lived the longest life possible, only to be mown down by a bus in my late fifties I’d be pretty sodding miffed. You never know what’s round the corner.

I’m not saying you should throw caution to the wind and start every day with seven Krispy Kreme doughnuts and a load of candy floss, but being so regimented that eating becomes monotonous and dull will not do you any favours. You don’t want to become the person no one invites to dinner parties because you’re a nightmare to cook for. As with most things in life, it’s all about balance.

Personally, food for me is always a bit of a challenge. I don’t really enjoy eating and always see it as more of a means to an end rather than a pleasurable experience. When it comes to cooking I don’t really – for me cereal for dinner is always a winner! As mentioned in previous blogs I am really busy but this shouldn’t be an excuse for not eating properly so perhaps I should pay close attention to the launch of Diabetes UK’s ‘Enjoy Food’ and re-adjust my attitude.

One of the hardest things as a diabetic is trying to explain the management of it to those with very little understanding of the disease. As far as they’re concerned you ‘just’ inject yourself with insulin and don’t eat chocolate. Oh if only it were that simple!!! The amount of times I’ve gone off on a detailed overview of all the nooks and crannies involved with diabetes only to realize a few minutes later that the recipient of said information has a glazed look in their eye and are wearing a look that clearly states ‘I wish I’d never asked’.

Anyone with diabetes, through trial and error, soon comes to realize how different food impacts their sugar levels in different ways. EVERYTHING, it seems, has sugar in it so even just a couple of pieces of toast with Flora can impact your levels more than anyone could ever know.

Anyone who’s ever had an office based job knows the perils of the communal biscuit/cake area of joyful doom. Chocolate hob nobs are amazing, this we all know to be true BUT the guilt and dilemma eating one brings to us diabetics is sometimes almost too much to bear.

Additionally there’s the constantly having to say ‘sorry I can’t eat those’ which could mark you out as a boring weirdo. That being said, regardless of whether or not you’re a diabetic, you shouldn’t really be eating a copious amount of cake, chocolate or biscuits anyway. Perhaps if everyone approached food the same way as diabetics perhaps people would be a lot healthier and there would be less issues with people being overweight or obese. Maybe that could be a campaign run by Diabetes UK – live like a diabetic for a week and the money you don’t spend on anything sweet could be donated to the charity?

Nothing bugs me more when I am eating something I shouldn’t…perhaps as a treat or I’ve been caught short and it’s the only way to treat a hypo…and someone says ‘You shouldn’t be eating that’. Oh really? Well actually you’re no picture of health either and maybe you should put down the chocolate too and enjoy some vegetables for once.

You are what you eat, and if you want to feel and be healthy, you have to eat sensibly and exercise regularly. It’s not rocket science, there’s no big secret to unlock, no private club to join; just making some subtle differences in your lifestyle can have a really big difference and contrary to what Mary Poppins says a spoonful of sugar does NOT make the medicine go down. Especially when you’re a diabetic….

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