A Diabetes Holiday in Italy


Last week we went on a long awaited trip to Italy. The trip was a family success, but a blood sugar disaster.  I love Italy but it seems my body, or at least my pancreas, doesn’t feel the same way.

I knew ahead of time that when visiting the land of pizza, pasta and gelato, I wouldn’t be able to follow my usual rule of travel, which is eat no carbs. I thought I would just taste a little bit of the kids’ pizza and pasta, but stick to my usual protein based diet of eating meat and fish most of the time.

My plan failed.  It failed because it wasn’t easy finding meat and fish while on the road with little kids (especially when they want to eat pizza and pasta all day long) and because the pizza and pasta were so good, it was hard to say no.  And weirdly, although I wasn’t feeling so good with blood sugar in the 300’s, I didn’t care. 

Usually seeing a number like that would make me crazy.  But I didn’t stress.  I simply decided that I would do my best to balance out the pizza, taking much more insulin than usual and trying to eat other things, too.  I was not going to beat myself up over my lack of control. It was like taking a little vacation from diabetes.  Not that having roller coaster blood sugars is easy, but I enjoyed myself. (Don’t worry, I didn’t go as far as tasting gelato).

I’m back home now and back to my usual diet and running. I’ve signed up for the Tiberias marathon again (this will be my 4th) and am trying to get my back in shape.

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brian mccusker
brian mccusker
8 years ago

La Dolce VIta the sweet life for sure. I have just returned from Sicily. The breakfast on offer at the b and b’s were like a poster in a doctors diabetic surgery, with all the foods on it having a big red cross through them. Sugar was dripping off everything, a ‘plain’ croissant exploded with white sweet gunge when I bit into it. When i returned I looked up diabetes in Italy. Sure enough it is off the scale with probably the majority of the pop showing signs of it. So much for the Med diet. Diabetics beware and prepare.

9 years ago

I had gestational diabetes when I went to Italy and I missed out on a lot of great food. I ate some, but had high readings. I said I had to go back to Italy again just so I could eat all the great pasta and pizzas. But now I am recently diagnosed as a Type 1.5, treated as a Type 1, so although I won’t be able to indulge like I wanted to, I’ll go again anyway. Sigh.

Jennifer Jacobs
9 years ago

These pictures are making me salivate! It’s so hard to resist the amazing food in Italy. When I was in there, I ate caprese salads for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. I felt like I had turned into a giant piece of mozzarella. And I also didn’t eat gelato (if you don’t count the tastes I took  from the ones my sister bought).

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