Acres and Acres of Carbs

Most Supermarkets Are—To Me Anyhow—Carb-filled Minefields

Most Supermarkets Are—To Me Anyhow—Carb-Filled Minefields

Under my new way of life, after I learned that my pancreas was in the process of giving up the ghost, mealtimes are fraught with danger. This morning was all right: I ate a can of smoked trout from Trader Joe’s and a few stoned wheat crackers. I made it through lunch all right, too: A tasty spicy calamari salad at a local Thai restaurant. Tonight, Martine and I will eat some of my ham and lima bean casserole, which has not proven too destructive, along with, perhaps, some cherries and a white peach. As for my beverages, it’s always unsweetened hot or iced tea.

But God, how I miss the carbohydrates! There are times I would sell my soul for some white rice, potatoes, noodles, bread, or candy. As for pizza, it is a thing of the past, a fond memory of times gone by.

I wish I had something to replace rice. My doctor says that barley has too many carbs (though it has an acceptable glycemic index). In tonight’s casserole, the lima beans are filling in for the carbs, though again my endocrinologist says they have too high a carb count, but an acceptable glycemic index. Perhaps I could serve Styrofoam pellets with meat and vegetables?

Going to the supermarket is like crossing a dangerous border. Whole aisles of the market are loaded with stuff I can’t eat. I never realized before that our whole culture is based on carbohydrates, that Americans eat vast amounts of the stuff. Some of them become grossly obese, some of them develop diabetes sooner than they normally would otherwise.

Tonight I will go to the market, mostly for tomatoes (they’re OK) and sweet peppers and other stuff I can munch upon without sending my sugar levels into the red zone.

It used to be that my doctor told me that if I lost weight, I might overcome my diabetes. But how does one lose weight when one has to take Prednisone, a known appetite-enhancer, just in order to survive? Oh, I can lose weight all right; but I would have to be in a concentration camp.

But I have free will to choose anything I want at the market. Perhaps some tasty noodles, some sugar-laden breakfast cereal (like 99% of them) or a fruit smoothie. But no, I will try to be good. I lost both of my parents to Type II Diabetes. I want to survive, even at the cost of jettisoning virtually everything I like to eat and concentrating on salads, fish, fruits, vegetables, and tea.

If you see a sad guy in the supermarket line with a pile of stuff that’s good for you, it may well be me.