Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Ode to My Cereal Bowl

A spoon containing breakfast cereal flakes, pa...Image via Wikipedia

I don't eat cereal for breakfast.

"What?" you ask.

That's right, I don't eat cereal for breakfast.

I don't complain about all the dietary restrictions having type 2 diabetes places on me, probably because I have been dealing with this for 11 years now and have become quite accustomed to all the things I have to do to keep my blood sugar under control. Things like eating meals that balanced carbohydrates (carbs), protein and fat, watching my portion sizes and limiting my carb intake to about 45 grams per meal. I accept that breakfast is the hardest meal of the day to eat, simply because breaking the fast often means inducing high blood sugar, even when I reduced carbs to only 15 grams at that meal.

If you are not diabetic, you probably have never read the nutritional information on the side of the cereal box or the carton of milk. So you might be surprised that milk has carbs too, in the form of sugar lactose. Soy milk is really no alternative; it has more carbs than cow's or goat's milk and even less protein and fat. Between the cereal and the milk, I'm was lucky to get one half of the suggested serving of cereal (typically about 1/2 cup) with about 1/2 cup of milk for a total of about 20 grams of carbs. That's not much of a breakfast.

So you see, a regular bowl of cereal just has too many carbs to be considered a breakfast food for me, even if I throw in a handful of nuts to try and balance the carbs with some extra fat and protein.

Up until a couple of month ago, the only breakfast cereal-like food I could eat was oatmeal. I'm not sure why oatmeal was O.K. A small bowl of plain oatmeal made with water (about 15 grams of carbs), with a soft boiled egg on the side, was the closest thing to cereal I could eat on a regular basis.

Then my endocrinologist switched me from Byetta to Victoza, a new injectable medication for people with type 2 diabetes. Victoza is a once-daily dose of the new-generation GLP-1 drugs that stimulate pancreas cells to release insulin when blood sugar levels are high. Now, with Victoza, I can eat Kashi Go Lean cereal (1 cup = 1 gram fat, 30 grams carbs and 13 grams protein) with milk (1 cup = 2.5 grams fat, 13 grams carbs and 8 grams protein) with a handful of walnuts (7 halves = 9 grams fat and 2 grams protein) for dinner without my blood sugar skyrocketing and making me regret each bite for several hours afterward.

With Victoza, my fasting blood sugars are closer to the normal, non-diabetic range (70 to 110) than they have been since I have been diabetic. Yesterday my fasting blood glucose was 113! They used to be between 130 and 140 on a good day. My after meal blood sugars are equally impressive. I've also noticed that my stomach seems flatter and my appetite smaller too.

I'm enjoying my victory with Victoza!

I can't believe that I can eat cereal again. I'm tickled that I quite possibly can bring my cereal bowls out of retirement. I'm working up the courage to actually try eating cereal for breakfast to see if it is doable. All of this makes me grateful that diabetes is one of my many chronic illnesses that I can enjoy a modicum of control over. Which is perhaps why I don't often blog or complain about my type 2 diabetes.

Yes, I almost feel like a normally eating person again.

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Migrainista said...

Congrats on your victory!

Anonymous said...

Ya know I never realized how difficult it must be to manage your daily eating when you have diabetes. I am usually so tired I eat whatever is there. Cereal and bagels are my usual foods when I don't feel good. Not good I know. I found this interesting Selena, hope this new med is going to be a God send to you and your health!

ragosto said...

Selena-so glad to read your blogg. I have been diabetic about the same amount of time. I am coming off of Humolog 3 X per day at meal time(aprox.18) and Lantus at bedtime (70 units) I began Victoza 2 weeks ago in two days. The first week I felt pretty bad, I began on the .6 and then after a week went to 1.2 and on Tues I will go up to the final level. I can say that Fri. was the first day I felt good since beginning this drug. The Dr. did however chang my blood pressur med. also so I know that it was a shock to my system. My blood sugars are running about what they were on insulin, average of about 150 a high of 200, when did your sugars level out in this process? I have really had terrible constipation which I have tried Metamussel to know avail. Of course when they did my blood work, my Vit D was way low and now I am on a boosted bolt of that. For about the past 2 months (before victoza) I have been extremely tired and not wanting to do anything. I am hoping when the Vit D kicks in, and the victoza I will feel much better. Thanks for your blogg as I had no idea what to expect. My e-mail is: ragosto@cbtulsa.com Thanks again

Anonymous said...

I was just told about Victoza today by my doctor. I tried for years to watch what I eat. I do well for a while then I crash. I am an emotional eater and stress is my number one enemy which I cant control as much as I though. I changed my job, I changed as much as I could, and it has helped but not enough. So anyway I started doing some reading and came across your blog. I have never done injections was only on oral pills medaformin and januvia. I still feel nervous but reading your blog helped.

Anonymous said...

I could of written your comment
I now find out I like Special K
could never eat it before Victoza

Anonymous said...

Ditto. And fresh peaches never taste so good as they do with cereal! Go Victoza!