One of my favorite dishes growing up was Chicken Fettuccine Alfredo. Mom would make it a little less often than her spaghetti and homemade sauce, since we were the only ones that loved alfredo sauce. She showed me how to make this simple recipe before I moved away to go to school. I made it at least once a week, maybe more. Add days of left overs, and you have too many days of pasta. This recipe became my go-to dish anytime I had guests, and almost everyone loved it.
After my pre-diabetic diagnosis, it was confirmed that I could not eat pasta like I used to. I had to learn to pass the pasta. Oh, that was a hard one, especially when mom would make it for a family dinner when I was home. Thankfully, my will power was much better back then, so I passed on it more times than not. There was even a time that I would not touch it. This was before being married and having children. Then during a visit to the diabetes clinic while I had gestational diabetes, I was reminded that I needed to allow myself to have a little bit. I just needed to learn more about moderation and limits.
Moderation? What is that?
I mean, if there is pasta, how can you not eat an entire plate of it? Add some garlic bread to that and you have a carbohydrate overload. I had never bothered with counting platefuls, let alone counting carbs before my diagnosis. There was definitely a learning curve as I tried to behave but found myself failing more than succeeding. Trying to cut back in the middle of gestational diabetes, while craving carbs, was not pleasant at all!
It took some time, but now I understand that I can have a small side portion of pasta, with a protein, but I cannot have pasta alone, as a meal. For example, instead of adding small chunks of chicken into a large dish of fettuccine, it is better to have a whole chicken breast with a small portion of pasta and a salad.
Now when catering arrives at work with nothing but salad and pasta, I am the one with the large plate of salad and a very small amount of pasta. It is not a fun meal for me, but it is better than eating more of it and dealing with higher blood sugars later.
I must admit that I still have a hard time with eating carbs in moderation. Somehow, pasta is not the hard one anymore to eat in moderation. Maybe it is because I mentally allow myself to eat a little of it when I really want it. In all honesty, I have not been serious about my other cravings like I have been about pasta, so I know that now I need to conquer the cookies and pastries.
I believe that as long as I keep trying, at least I am mentally moving in the right direction. The important thing is that those of us that deal with type 2 diabetes do not quit trying. It is hard to make the right choices, but ultimately, it will help our health. That makes it worth it.