Sunday, April 7, 2013

Step 1 ... Learn and Study

Just this January we discovered (through constant high BGs) that Ben had likely hit a growth spurt and he now was requiring a lot more insulin.  Because Ben uses a pump increasing his insulin dosing is not a simple as it may seem.  There are lots (and lots) of settings that affect the amount of insulin he recieves.  There are basal rates for 3:00am, 6:00am, 9:00am, 12:00pm, 3:00pm, 7:00pm and 11:00pm.  There are insulin to carb ratios that also vary throughtout the day and sensitivity factors that again vary through the day. 

Our Nurse Educator has always advised us to make a small adjustment to one setting and then wait and see how Ben's body reacts.  I detailed some of this process in my post
Poking the Beehive (the post that ended with me raging like Shirley MacLaine.)  Even though at times I wanted to scream and pull out my hair, I kept tweaking Ben's pump settings, waiting to see if the tweaks worked, and then do it again.  It was a test of patience and persistance ... And guess who won?  Me and Ben (alright mostly Ben).

Now I am hoping I can apply some of those lessons I learned this January to our new challenge: Diet.  I realize when a problem seems insurmountable it is best to approach it using baby steps.  I need to attack this new problem with the same patience and persistance.

Step 1 ... Learn and Study

This January when I needed to make adjusments to Ben's pump settings I felt confident (somewhat) that I could make them because I have spent the last three years reading books, attending seminars, and grilling our Nurse Educator on all things diabetes.

But this time where do I start?  Maybe it would be a good idea to start with an expert. (I am a genius, really.)  So I started with a Facebook message to my lovely, new sister-in-law, who happens to be a dietician, and asked ... How many carbs does a growing child need in day?  She told me there is no one size fits all answer.  (I am guessing this is no surprise to anyone who lives with T1.)  She then suggested I first needed to figure out the percentage of Ben's daily calories that come from carbs.  Nice!  I liked this suggestion.  A concrete starting point.  So I pulled out my logbooks and starting recording Ben's total calories along with his carb intake.  I did this for a day.  Yep, just one day.  And I didn't need to do the math to realize Ben's daily % was a lot closer to 100% then to 50%.  My sister-in-law was not going to be impressed.

I now had the proof (the slap in the face) things needed to change.  But how do I do it?  I simply could not just take away Ben's favorite plate of plain pasta or his bowl of cereal.  That would surely lead to arguing, angry voices and tears (lots and lots of tears.)  I scoured Amazon for a book that could help, looking for something to help a parent fix a kid's diet.  I found nothing.  I know Ben needs to eat more protein, fruits and vegetables.  But how do I get him to put them in his mouth, chew, swallow and then most importantly want more!?

Then one afternoon I was chatting with a friend about my new obession, diet, and he lite up.  He had just finished reading the book "It Starts with Food" and insisted that I give the Whole30 diet plan a try.  I was admittedly skeptical (I am a cynic by nature) and I told him I would think about it.  The next day UPS knocked on my door with a package from Amazon.  It was the book.  OK I get it.  He really wants me to give this a try.  So that evening as I sat down with my glass of wine to watch American Idol I pulled out the book and started reading.  Quickly I understood the message.  And quickly I decided I better put down the book so I could enjoy what I realized was likely my last glass of wine.

It was time.  It was time to fix my diet (and Jeff's).  It was time to try this Whole30 experiment on us.  It was time to lead our kids to a proper healthy diet.  And the truth is the kids already were following us.  But sometimes it is just not a good idea to follow me ... Because sometimes I bang into walls!

Which leads me to Step 2 ... Experiment

1 comment:

  1. Exciting stuff! I'm sort of in the middle of this too, but without the actual reading of the book. (Just copying a friend's menus.)

    So far my experiment shows that *I* feel much better when I eat more Whole30-like and less Yogurtandgranola-like. A lot of eggs-from-a-friends yard, greens, sweet potatoes, avocados. Nice.

    I will definitely read the book, unless I think I can get away with just reading your posts about it and my other friend's facebook updates about it.

    Shifting the experiment onto my family will be harder. I've already stopped baking bread and cookies and rhubarb crisp. That does not seem sustainable, with rhubarb season now upon us.

    I cut out pasta (but not completely) a few months ago with great BG success but less great PR. I can't wait to see how it goes for you!