Wishing for Environmental Changes

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Last week I was battling high blood glucose. This week, I’m tending toward low. In fact, I woke up this morning thinking, “sugar-frosted cereal, candy pumpkins, doughnuts,” with my yearnings leaning toward the pumpkins.

Instead, I took a couple of gulps of cranberry juice and fixed myself a bowl of instant oatmeal, all the while shaking just a bit and with my slightly fuzzy brain urging the microwave to hurry up and finish so I could wolf down some food. As occasionally happens when I’m hypoglycemic, I was HUNGRY! Tilting the refrigerator up and dumping the contents into my mouth hungry. Specifically, I was hungry for something super-sugary and there wasn’t any in the house.

Normally, we would have some doughnuts, cake, pie…something…on the counter. But my husband had finally listened to me when I told him to stop bringing that stuff home. “It’s there, I want it, I eat it, and I don’t need it,” I told him.

Yes, I know that ingesting something with fat in it — such as cake, pie, or doughnuts — isn’t the best thing to raise glucose. It’s best to have something that’s pretty much pure carbohydrate: glucose tablets or –gel, hard candy, candy pumpkins, Smarties…stuff like that. We all have our favorites. Oatmeal may not be the best to get your glucose up quickly, but you’ll notice that I drank some juice before making it.

But I really wanted doughnuts. Or candy pumpkins. But I don’t keep candy pumpkins around any more because they’re too tempting.

During the American Association of Diabetes Educators (AADE) meeting in August, I attended a presentation on changing your environment to make healthy behavior easier. i.e., don’t keep food in the house that you don’t need to eat. David Spero wrote about the presentation here.

Yeah. Like that’s going to work in a house with a 20-year-old bottomless pit of a grandson and a husband who has a habit of stopping at the grocery store every day and bringing home whatever is on sale and/or clearance, whether we need it or not. I’m afraid to open the cupboard doors for fear that things will fall out (they have).

After filling the cupboard to overflowing, he moved to a cabinet — despite my pleas to leave my cabinets alone — filled one up, then another. He then moved to some shelving I’d gotten to store small appliances, oversized platters and such, then to the kitchen countertops.

Needless to say, we usually have an extra thing or two to give to food drives.

So changing my environment, at least when it comes to food, would be difficult in my house. Maybe if I lived alone, but that’s not an option I would like.

Many years ago, both he and I took a series of classes together based on a low-fat diet. We did rid our house of high-fat foods at that time, but slowly added them back. I still eat reduced-fat foods for the most part, but my husband does not. He should: He, too, has Type 2 diabetes, plus he has heart disease in his family. I have no family history of heart disease (but that doesn’t mean I can’t be first).

Perhaps I should stop telling him to stop bringing all of that food home — or at least be more selective about what he buys — and convince him our food environment needs to be changed for both our sakes.

The food bank would be happy, I wouldn’t be tempted (no, I don’t have much willpower), and maybe even our grandson would start eating more healthfully.

Perhaps I have a chance. After all, he stopped bringing bakery goods home.

Darn it.

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