You’ve desired it for awhile now. You’ve thought about it almost every day. You’ve longed for that “forbidden food.” You have truly wanted it so badly and for so very long that you could taste it. You find it difficult to understand how Billy Joel sang such a romantic tune about an Italian restaurant and yet all you can equate it with is dreadfully high blood sugar.
But, the antipasto wins out and you finally convince your friend to accompany you to your favorite Italian Restaurant. You walk in knowing this could be trouble. The scent of the garlic rolls follow you from the front door all the way to your seat. Before you even look at the menu you can hear that dietitian/certified diabetes educator’s song ringing in your ears about testing your blood sugar before the meal and about 2 hours later so “it will either give you peace of mind or you’ll know you better not do that again” and you can make a better choice next time.
Alright, so she was reasonable and never told you to refrain from your favorite food, just find out things. And then you remember – oh, that voice again – she also said to sit down, peruse the menu and think of every food you would like that might have a dramatic effect on your blood sugar. Minestrone soup or salad? How many garlic rolls? Side of pasta or full plate? Breading on the chicken parmigiana or chicken cacciatore? The tomato sauce? Dessert?
Decisions, decisions. You get angry for a moment because you really want to just eat what you want and not think so much about it. Just then, your friend comments about her desires and how she needs to choose carefully because she is trying to keep her weight in control and that she works so hard exercising and making healthy choices. She decides to order the salad with dressing on the side, shrimp parmigiana – hold the cheese (saturated fat, 100 calories an ounce and tons of sodium) – and sautéed spinach. As she orders, she munches on one garlic roll and pushes the rest aside. “I’ll have the same”, you say, as you indulge in a delicious meal at your favorite Italian restaurant knowing you can come back here as often as you like.