Thursday, 14 April 2011

Eating out

The two types of food I enjoyed the most when eating out were creamy Indian dishes like kormas and chicken tikka masala and Chinese food. And Pizza! The three types of food ... I could go on a la Monty Python’s Spanish Inquisition sketch, but I won’t. I like eating out, generally speaking, creamy, sweet, fat laden dishes that helped put me in the position that I’m in now.

So it’s true that Indian and Chinese foods now scare me. I’ve completely cut back on eating out and I have only had a small number of takeaways in the three months that I’ve been diagnosed. I’ve had pizza, which pushes up my blood sugar levels if I have it at night – too much bread – and kebab, which I heard from a diabetic friend of my parent’s is probably the best take away to have, if you have to have one, it’s got meat, it’s got salad, it’s got bread. It’s the perfect balanced meal!

So three months and not a Chinese or Indian meal has passed my lips. Last Saturday night this was all set to change with a trip down to Brick Lane, the heart of the Indian/Bangladeshi food community in London. I arranged with a couple of friends for a night out. Only I got scared. I literally got scared of eating a curry. I wasn’t ready. I didn’t know what would be in it and what it would do to my sugars. So as it was a balmy evening I suggested we use my barbeque to cook up a feast of meats and salad. I didn’t barbeque the salad in the end.

It feels so silly to be scared of a curry. In fact it feels ridiculous. I need to arm myself with the information to tackle either an Indian or Chinese meal. It may well be that I should stay the heck away from both these types of foods. I’ve been looking at books on type 2 diabetes online and ‘eating out’ is a chapter in all of them so I’m guessing I’m not the only one who’s scared and confused.

As ‘they’ tend to say, ‘you are your own diabetes doctor’ and ‘most of the doctoring is done by the patient’. Diabetes UK (http://www.diabetes.org.uk/Guide-to-diabetes/Food_and_recipes/Celebrations_and_eating_out/Eating_out/) gives the helpful tip that you should give it a try and monitor blood sugar levels closely to see what it does to you – a sort of suck it and see policy. But only really suck it if it’s low in fat, sugar and salt. I’m looking for a crystal ball or magic eight-ball (in US parlance) that will tell me the affect of eating it before I eat it, only there’s no such thing as fortune telling so I’ll just leave it for a bit. Or perhaps I’ll set up an experiment. A curry laboratory if you will. I’ll let you know how it goes.

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