Diabetes Management: When Does the Exception Become the Rule?


Do you ever get caught in the dilemma: Hot or Iced?

That used to be one of my nonsensical problems. But when I was pregnant with Maya, the coffee decision resolved itself. I always wanted iced. I treated myself to decaf iced coffee a few times a week, even when it snowed.

Munchkins - When Does the Exception Become the Rule?

Maya is 9 months old now, and I am still in my iced coffee phase. I love it. There’d be nothing left to say here, except that iced coffee has inadvertently changed my eating habits.  

I often buy iced coffee from Dunkin Donuts. (It’s down the block and very convenient.) When I wait in line, the donuts, muffins, and croissants call out to me.

Of course, as a person with diabetes, I try to stay away from high-carb snacks like donuts, muffins, and croissants. And if you asked me if I eat donuts, I’d tell you No. Except maybe a bite. As a treat.

But when I stop to really think about it, that’s not true.

On my iced coffee excursions, I used to order one chocolate munchkin, once or twice a week. It was a reasonable way to get the satisfaction of a donut, without all the carbs. (One chocolate munchkin is 8 carbs.)

But once a week has progressed to three or even four times a week. (A little embarrassing.)

What’s worse is that the person behind the counter always says, “They’re four for a dollar.”

Four for a dollar! Who could refuse?

I walk away with an iced coffee and 32 carbs. I take them to go and tell myself that I won’t eat them all. I used to save two for Gary. But not anymore!

Throughout the day, I pop one. And then another. And then another. And then the last. Until I’ve consumed all 32 carbs.

32 donutty carbs.

I might as well have ordered a whole donut for the same 32 carbs.

So I do eat donuts.  

My exception has become my rule. And it happened gradually. Without my noticing.

I guess diabetes control can be like that. You test your blood sugar ten times a day, until somehow ten becomes six. Three gym sessions a week becomes two, and then one. On the wagon, off the wagon. It starts with a single munchkin, and suddenly you’ve crossed the line.

Surprisingly, my blood sugars have been standing up to these little devils. (I attribute this to breastfeeding. The body treats breastfeeding like exercise. It makes diabetes easier to manage, a small miracle.)

But it’s still not okay. I can’t breastfeed forever just so my body can handle a ridiculous amount of donut holes. And I generally eat a healthy, low carb diet. Munchkins, while tasty, aren’t the most nutritious. If I allow myself to continue down this munchkin trail, what’s next? Bread pudding? Cinnamon buns? Lasagna?

I’ve thought about how I got all wrapped up with chocolate munchkins in the first place – besides the obvious, which is that they taste good. I think it’s because they’re easy. I have become a busy mom and I don’t always have time to prepare healthy snacks like cut up veggies and hummus. Munchkins are a shortcut.

But I’ve learned in life that there are no shortcuts. Shortcuts always become longcuts. One day, those munchkins are going to bite me in the ass.

And so. I am going to do better. As we get closer to the New Year, I have a resolution: I won’t shut chocolate munchkins out completely. But I am going to put them back where they belong – in moderation – my exception.  


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Michelle S.
Michelle S.
9 years ago

Excellent post!  When I was nursing my twins, I relied on my soy chai latte every day.  It was out of place in my fairly healthy diet. But it was so comforting that I got hooked. After I stopped nursing, there was a trend i tried to deny at first…. every morning that I picked up my latte on the way to work, I had a spike in my BG.  I tried to give it up but…. i missed it too much!  Then I discovered I could ask for it “half sweet” and make sure to bolus for it well… Read more »

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