Breakfast Unwavering

Has living with diabetes made you a boring eater? Do you lack adventure in your diet? Are you resigned to buying and eating the same foods again and again because the prospect of miscalculating an insulin bolus and seeing your blood glucose shoot too high or drop too low scares you?

If so, then I’m probably not the person to talk to. At least not for breakfast. OK, maybe I’m not that boring, but I am very routinized, which makes getting my day going a lot easier since counting carbs and thinking about insulin and worrying about blood glucose throughout the morning isn’t something I really want to be doing.


Routine, you ask? Oh yes: In the past two years or so, I’d be willing to bet (although I don’t have records to back me up) that 99% of my meals consisted of one of the following:

(1) A little less than a cup of low-fat granola mixed with nonfat or low-fat Greek yogurt, often blueberry or vanilla — though I will step out occasionally with other berries. I bolus for 60 carbs, approximately, depending on how much granola I’ve shaken into my Tupperware container (I used to measure, but now I just eyeball the portion). This is a meal that I don’t find myself tired of at all. I love Greek yogurt. It’s packed with protein, and I’m not sure why, but it’s one of my favorite meals. I’ll even have it for dinner sometimes if I get home late from the gym and don’t feel like dealing with making a meal that involves actual cooking.

(2) A reduced-fat turkey bacon sandwich[1] from Starbucks. Now, don’t judge me for purchasing from this corporation; I’m aware that by doing so I’m single-handedly destroying everything that’s good and just in the world. Oh, OK, preach if you must, it’s just that most Sunday mornings on our way to the dog park (often referred to by us as Church of the Dog), it’s convenient, relatively healthy, and although there are carbs attached to the meal, I know I can eat this sandwich and not have to bolus due to my hour-long walk that follows the in-car dining.

It’s a treat (no more than once a week), and because I’m also a fan of the Starbucks coffee with a bit of half-and-half and Splenda, I’m not going out of my way to pick up the sandwich on Sundays. (Confession, or Disclosure: I worked at a Starbucks in California for three months back in 1997, before I realized the barista life didn’t suit me and I jumped back to Kansas and graduate school. It took me about twelve years before I was able to drink Starbucks again, and even if I didn’t have diabetes, there’s no way you’d ever get me near a Frappuccino. You make those day in, day out for even a couple of weeks, and you’ll find yourself ill at the sickly sweet stench of that beverage.)

(3) Best for last: the chorizo burrito at Beezy’s[2]. This is my favorite of the three, but because it’s probably the most caloric option (though I’m not calling it unhealthy by any stretch), it’s the least consumed. Maybe once a month, on Saturdays, my wife and I will head to Beezy’s for this wonderful meal that comes with home fries and a side of fruit. And, of course, coffee. While I’m not writing a café review here, I do have to say there’s nothing so comforting as sitting in a bustling Beezy’s on a Saturday morning and noshing on that burrito and those crispy potatoes. Carbohydrates in the meal? I don’t know. I’d guess somewhere from 75 to 100, but I only bolus for around 30, because I will be at the gym about an hour or so after breakfast and doing 3 to 5 miles on the treadmill. I’ve learned that halving that bolus keeps me in my ideal blood glucose range while working out on Saturdays.

  1. reduced-fat turkey bacon sandwich:
  2. Beezy’s:

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Eric Lagergren: Eric Lagergren was born in 1974 but didn’t give much thought to diabetes until March 2007, when he was diagnosed with Type 1. He now gives quite a bit of thought to the condition, and to help him better understand his life as a person with diabetes, he writes about it. Eric is the senior editor for the Testing Division at the University of Michigan’s English Language Institute in Ann Arbor. (Eric Lagergren is not a medical professional.)

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