Counting Carbs and Resisting Temptations

On one of the LapBandTalk forums, someone asked me if I really do count even the carbs in my coffee creamer and manage to stay under 30g a day.

I do indeed count the creamer in my coffee. It kills me to limit my coffee, but switching to hot tea helps in the winter. I stopped taking Metamucil and switched to Miralax on my doctor's recommendation. I don't have to count the Miralax.

Yes, keeping the carbs that low is very rough sometimes, especially during holidays and family celebrations. However, I can be forgiving of myself for the rare celebrational moment, as long as I'm reasonable. Sometimes it means getting inventive, other times it means depending on someone else to be "coach" and say, "Aunt Bea, we really appreciate what you did baking that birthday cake, but Lena's only allowed a sliver of cake. Anything more will cause a blockage and a hospital visit. Thank you."

Really, it's outside influences that cause me the most distress. I actually have learned to love living low carb now that I no longer crave the carbs like I did at first. It's others who think they're being kind by offering me carbs despite my protests and refusals that make it difficult. "Oh, this little bit of mashed potato won't hurt you!" Yes, it will.

That's the hard part-- getting them to understand what kind of damage one little serving of rice, pasta, bread, cakes or potato can do to us. I've actually had to make a paste of ground up cooked rice to prove how it can create a plug that will act like a cork on the LapBand. A bowl, a “little bit” of rice, and a just a few tablespoons of water all mashed with a fork prove my point very well.

When I'm in control of what is on my plate, I love how my LapBand forces me to live a low carb life. The food is delicious and plentiful. Who knew real mayonnaise, real butter, and whipping cream were lower in carbs than the so-called diet foods?

I challenged my daughter recently concerning learning to live low-carb. I told her that I can live with 30g or less of carbs every day and still eat things like Saigon Shrimp, Cauli-rice, Sausage and Egg Cups, hot dogs, bun-less hamburgers, pickles, salads, and even cheesecake without going over 30g of carbs a day.

I told her to pick up her favorite soup, salad dressing, Special K cereal, and a steak-n-potato meal for dinner. She considers this a good healthy diet meal plan. Seems healthy, right? Her calories and carbs would have choked a healthy adult male. The soup alone had 60 carbs. I thought she’d faint over the number of carbs she put in her mouth every day, thinking she was dieting!

The next time my daughter went to the grocery store, she did some comparison-shopping and came home sputtering with outrage. All those so-called “diet” foods were often higher in carbs, calories, and/or fat than the regular versions. My daughter was furious that she’d paid extra money for bad tasting “diet foods” only to find she’d have done better to get the better tasting real things.

Then I gave her a one-day meal plan based on many things she already had on hand, such as eggs, tuna, cheddar cheese, and some ground beef. Instead of Special K cereal, she had a hearty breakfast of an egg and broccoli frittata with a sprinkling of cheddar cheese, for lunch a Caribbean Lime Tuna Salad wrapped in romaine leaves with a homemade tomato soup, and for dinner a “comfort food” special of Bacon and Cheddar Meatloaf with sides of canned green beans (with a bit of beef broth replacing the water they were canned in) and Faux-tay-toes using some frozen cauliflower she’d stuffed in the bottom of the freezer.

Her husband was ecstatic. He plowed through his dinner like a man on a mission, according to my daughter. No one believed her that this all was her new diet food. Yes, she portioned out the servings for herself and kept to the carb count. Any lifelong dieter knows how to measure a serving! The big deal was, she wasn’t hungry! She prefers hot tea anyway, so she didn’t have to count the carbs in the creamer like I do, but she did have to switch to Splenda.

Sure, she’s struggling. She doesn’t have the help of a LapBand, and her husband and kids squall when she gets rid of the breads, cakes, potatoes and rice. But She’s learning she can do without or substitute where she can. I have hope one day she’ll be able to join me in the low carb world. Nevertheless, for now she’s aware of how much she puts in her body and does her best.

I wish all my friends and family would understand how they’re harming me whenever they offer me carbs.

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