Waiting for the delivery truck, behind Whole Foods
Then I started paying closer attention to the ways different foods affected my blood sugar levels. I read some books and articles about a phenomenon I'd already experienced first-hand — the extreme difficulty of matching exogenous insulin doses to carbohydrate intake — and I radically cut back on carbs. While nothing makes Type 1 diabetes easy to control, reducing my carb intake made things a little easier by limiting the impact of one of the four hundred variables that can affect blood sugar control.
Predictably and reasonably, some people asked: "Don't you need carbs to fuel your exercise?"
I used to think so, but apparently not. I haven't noticed any change in my energy levels (other than the usual fluctuations I've always experienced). And, for what it's worth, lots of low-carb/primal/paleo nutrition experts, argue that the small quantity of glucose we do need (for the brain) can be manufactured internally or acquired through a small amount of dietary carbohydrate.
Kinda cute, how this guy identifies himself ...
[This photo has nothing to do with food, except that it was taken on a walk with Freddie during which I was thinking about this post!]
Going back to my vegetarianism, however, cutting back on carbs also meant cutting back on meal options. So I started eating meat again (except for pork — pigs are just too much like dogs for me to think of them as food).
Fortunately, by this time, there were lots of pasture-raised/free-range/drug-free/organic/hippy-dippy/ethical meat choices available (though I realize that, for many people, there's no such thing as "ethical" when it comes to eating animals, and I respect that view ... except when it means feeding a vegan diet to a carnivorous pet!).
I enjoy eating meat/eggs/fish, and, having experienced various health improvements (not just diabetes ones) after ditching grain products, I can honestly say I'm not missing pasta or bread or cereal (OK, maybe cereal a little bit — but it's very weird not to be tempted much by the likes of hot cross buns and chocolate croissants).
Enter Freddie — befanged hunter/scavenger, digester of raw prey, gnawer of bloodied bones!
Winner of today's pinkest tongue prize!
[Yesterday we tried a new trail. We've now walked 12 of the 33 dog-friendly trails in Pacific Spirit Park! Freddie sniffed much potential prey but caught nothing — not even a low blood sugar, as I was more or less in range the whole time.]
Freddie loves his food, and although much of it comes from a specialty shop for dogs and cats (I've written about the place here), he sometimes eats the same stuff that Paul and I do. The last time I made stew, for example, I set aside a portion of raw lamb chunks for Freddie's dinner and cooked the rest for us (and the guy down at the dog park). I'm convinced by the people who argue that grains are bad for dogs, so Freddie's diet is, like mine, grain-free. He doesn't seem to like vegetables as much as I do, but if you count green tripe, which he loves, then our diets are really quite similar.
The Bone Mat!
AND YET (there's always a "but") ... it's unsettling, to put it mildly, that my dog (not to mention his humans) eats considerably better than most of the world's population. "Steak for everyone" is obviously not a sustainable dietary plan for the planet, even if all the vegetarians were to opt out.
Much bigger brains than mine have been tackling this problem for some time now and aren't in any need of my assistance. In our own little family, however, I'm thinking it might be time to replace much of the lamb and beef with ocean-wise fish and/or to start experimenting with stews of smaller, foresty animals (rabbits?). Food for thought ...
And now, on a completely different topic ... it's that time of year again! The time when Heather and Paul start anticipating the summer teaching term and spending increasing numbers of hours engaged in, er, scholarly pursuits.
Walking With Freddie has, since its inception in late September 2013, been posting almost daily, but, for the next few months, I'll be cutting back to a weekly(ish) schedule. If you've been enjoying the blog and want to be notified of new posts, be sure to sign up for email notifications (on the home page) and/or, if you have a Google+ account, sign up as a Walking With Freddie follower (also on the home page).
Many thanks, as always, for your visit!