Saturday, September 19, 2015

Review: Hail Merry Macaroons

So I've been spending a lot of time looking at nutrition labels with the new dietary rules, and the key is low net carbs. That is Carbohydrates - Fiber. This makes trips to the grocery store take a lot longer, and sometimes sad faces too. For instance, some of my favorite things are chocolate & caramel. Something like a Twix Bar... has 217 calories, 27 net carbs (14 of which are sugar). This is my favorite candy bar, but it exceeds any sane budget for blood sugar control.

Then I found these by Hail Merry Organic, gluten free, kosher, vegan, delicious:

Macaroons - Choco: with 110 kcalories (for 2), 8g net carbs (7g are sugar) and so much amazing flavor that I don't crave any additional sweets. They are dense, moist, with tons of coconut and the perfect amount of chocolate (I like super chocolate when I can get it).

Macaroons - Caramel Sea Salt: with 140 kcalories (for 2), as well as the same 8g net carbs (7g of which are sugar). These just melt in your mouth and with a touch of maple syrup, vanilla and of course the saltiness (not to forget the coconut) you'll wonder why you ever wanted any other caramel treat.

While writing this post, I discovered they have other flavors I'm going to have to seek out and try but for now, these are permanently on my shopping list whenever I see them.

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As you can see, its been well over a year since I posted. What's happened in that time? I spent much of the period from March 2014 - August 2014 in the hospital, suffering from a necrotizing pancreatitis. That was a horrible experience that has effected my life for ever. I am lucky that I don't have any of the lasting pancreatitis issues (need to avoid fats & alcohols) but I have developed diabetes... going assumption at the moment is type 2, but there is another test to be done first. I do still need to watch fats because they took my gallbladder out at the end of my healing process.

I had the benefit of an expert in GI medicine on my case when things went bad for me. Dr. Rajeev Attam, out of Kaiser Permanente, Southern California in the Downey facility. Something like my case can be found here (medical publication). Unfortunately however my case was not so successful as the ones in the study. My stents (there are 2) are permanent due to scar tissue blocking full exocrine function. I believe this scar tissue is an influence on my recent diabetes diagnosis.

I was sent home with a glucometer and told to test. I was also told I needent worry until I was averaging a read around 300. The problem for me is that at around 285-300 I experienced some really odd sensations that I now associate with hyperglycemia. After a couple months of this occurring off/on I started experiencing full hyperglycemia... this prompted me to get my A1C levels tested (I was averaging meter reads of around 200 or so at this point).

At the moment I am being treated for Type 2 with a drug called Metformin. It's only been a week so far, but I"ve already seen a drop in my average blood sugar reads. I have also made a conscious effort to back down on net carbs I take in with each meal and working towards more regular exercise. This last one is honestly going to be the hardest for me.

So in the future, my plan with this site is to find ways to take some of my very favorite sweet things, because I still really love to bake and make things for people, and find ways to make them lower in carbs (that means lower in sugars) and if I can do one better, maybe even lower in fats. My husband is sensitive to lactose, so we'll also be shooting for alternatives to milk & buttermilk (yogurts and cheese don't seem to be issues for him) and I suspect some of the alternations may end up being gluten free too (when you have to avoid the white foods (flour, potatoes, rice) you occasionally stumble on gluten free alternatives too).

In the meantime, some resources if you stumbled on my site for words like Diabetes, or Pancreatitis.

The Pancreas has 2 primary functions. They are labeled simply enough as Endocrine & Exocrine.

The Exocrine system produces digestive enzymes released into your digestive system at the beginning of the small bowel. The Endocrine system is responsible for production of insulin and glucagon which is released directly into your blood stream. These hormones help control your blood sugar.

On the WebMD list of Digestive Disorders of the Pancreas you'll find things like Type1 & Type2 diabetes, Pancreatic pseudocyst, or Pancreatitis (among others).

Pancreatitis seems to have 3 major/common causes. 1) Diet high in fats. 2) Alcohol Abuse. 3) Blockage of common bile duct by gallstones. (mine was #3). Many people who have suffered from Pancreatitis find they can no longer consume fats or alcohols without facing acute symptoms. While I was learning and reading all I could, I found "Beating Pancreatitis". This is a blog/website by a guy who was looking for his own answers. He's not a doctor, but offers a ton of good advice and I highly recommend a read if you are concerned.

Diabetes has two commonly known types.
Type 1, In short means the pancreas does not produce insulin, leaving all those simple sugars free in the blood stream with no way to convert it to energy. These people tend to be dependent on insulin injections or pumps.
Type 2, Your Pancreas is creating insulin (though potentially not enough), and your body is not using it correctly. You in effect become insulin resistant.
I won't pretend to know enough to explain further, but maybe some of these sites can help you understand them better.
Web MD - Differences between Type 1 & 2
Type 2 Diabetes - A Personal Journey
Diabetes update - What they Don't tell you about Diabetes
diabetes subreddit: r/diabetes

Well that's it for this rather lengthy post. See you soon.