Jet Lag, Sunshine, and the Death of the Atkins Fad

We arrived home yesterday afternoon. I was up most of last night making lemonade and PB&J sandwiches for the jet-lagged kiddies. And today I’ve got that post-trans-Atlantic-flight wrap-around headache that makes it hard to figure out what you were doing just now… just now… just … now.

Posting, yes… so I suppose I ought to start with the very quick European Vacation Wrap-Up. Kids: A+, Weather: B+, Wedding: A+, Diabetes Care: B-. That’s an average of A-minus. Commendable, and a major improvement over last year’s C-something. With the sun shining almost all day, the wedding at the castle felt like a real fairy tale. The reception was on a sunny veranda overlooking what felt like all of the German countryside with a zippy jazz band playing everything from Oompah favorites to Chattanooga Choo-Choo. Kerpen

The evening shindig was held in a historical mill-cum-restaurant with low ceilings and heavy beam construction that made you feel like you were stepping back in time. A tiny patch of hardwood floor in the corner was all we needed to rock the night away. In fact, parents that we are, only one of us could truly rock the night away, while the other went home to put the kiddies to bed. He won, since it was his brother’s wedding, after all. But the kids actually lasted till past midnight (slumped on chairs watching me dance), so it was a Big Night Out for moi, let me tell you!

The daily experience is harder to describe. Life is slower, yet still eventful. People seem to have more time for each other, for meals, and long coffees, and reading, and shopping with care, and a dozen other things that never seem to fit into our hectic days — at least here in California, where life is convenient but very rushed.

On the diabetes front, I really only made two “mistakes”: 1) too much Lantus, apparently, as I regularly had night-time or early morning lows that required stumbling around an unfamiliar room in search of glucose and snacks packed in some zipper compartment, somewhere; and 2) not enough test strips. Naturally, if I had to underpack something, it had to be the most expensive of the diabetes supply lot. Spent 40 Euros for one canister, which usually buys me three months’ worth(!), and which I seriously doubt that my health plan will care to reimburse, although I’ve brought home all the paperwork just for good measure.

And, on a totally unrelated note, I’m sure I’m not the only one with “told you so” on my lips: the Atkins people aggressively marketing all those low-carb foods have gone bankrupt! Weren’t they aware of the cardinal rule of investing that says “never bet the bank on a fad diet”? How long did they think mainstream America could stay off bread and French fries, really? As we who count carbs as a way of life know, balance is the key to success. “Diets” come and go, while a sustainable “lifestyle” keeping your carbs in check is like a long-term relationship: a lot of work, but also a force that can make your life so much better than it might have been.

Enough waxing poetic. I’m off to bed.


One Response

  1. Alexis
    Alexis August 8, 2005 at 6:47 am | | Reply

    I think I still owe a small debt of gratitude to the Atkins Diet for shedding more light on the relationship between carbohydrates and blood sugars. It seems like carbohydrates vs. blood sugars were rarely discussed with Doctors, Diabetes publications, and Diabetes forums before the South Beach and Atkins Diets came out. I agree that a healthy balanced diet is certainly the way to go, but knowing now that carbohydrates are the main cause of making your blood sugar rise, it makes it much easier to determine how much insulin to take for each meal.

    When I was first diagnosed, I was given the standard meal exchange plan, and there was a long process of figuring out how much insulin to give. Changing my diet, meant simply guessing how much insulin to use and relying on glucose to keep me out of trouble. Seeing that you were diagnosed 2 years ago, I wonder how different the information you were given by your doctors was compared to someone like me who was diagnosed about 15 years ago.

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