Entries in Farewell Food (1)

Tuesday
May292012

Ode to a Marshmallow

Turns out that marshmallows, well, they are mostly sugar.  I knew this. But as we have begun preparing for Nathan's birthday camping trip this weekend, I had to face the reality of this.  Let me roll back however to first describe my deep and unabiding love of the marshmallow. I love them. I recognize they hold no nutritional value however there is something about that powdery coating that then melts away into ooey-gooey stickiness that just calls to me.  

Let's be clear I am referring to jumbo sized, roasting on a spit, s'more making marshmallows and not the mini version that might as well be used as museum putty.  I love roasted marshmallows so much that I've been know to make them happen over a gas, or hell, even an electric stovetop.  Of course over an open fire is preferred. And then I don't just roast those babies once, I take a twice as nice approach. First I do a quick burn so that the outer layer of the marshmellow takes on a dark amber color and the sugars crystalize to form a bubbly crispy shell. Then that layer is gently removed when it has cooled just to the touch, and again, into the flame the interior cotton ball of marshmallow goes for a slow roast till golden brown and delicious.  

Now it's important to note that I can and I just might have a marshmallow in the future - be it this weekend or some other time - let's however take a look at the numbers and what that means for Ms. Diabetic over here. A single lonely marshmallow is 6 grams of carbohydrates.  But let's be honest with each other - who eats just one, right?  A serving size of marshmallow is 4, so now we are up to 24 grams of carbs.  Now for just the one I could maybe get away with not taking any insulin but odds are good I would see a sharp blood sugar rise as marshmallows aren't exactly complex carbs so they would pretty much hit my blood stream straight away. So when the math is said and done, I would have to take 2 units worth of my fast acting insulin prior to consuming just the marshmallows.

What about s'mores, Michelle?  Well let me tell you that would push us up to about 3-4 units of insulin depending on how good of chocolate is used and assuming a 10 carb graham cracker.  To give some perspective, I've been averaging 4 units of insulin for full meals. This would be 4 units for a single desert. 

With all this in mind, I found myself in Whole Foods this weekend (a dangerous game, let me tell you).  I think in my head I thought that perhaps they would have an ridiculously expensive albeit alternative marshmallow that would somehow miraculously be low carb.  Unfortunately this was not the case. Like a fool I found myself tearing up with the bag of marshmallows in hand. Seriously, I got weepy. 

I think the hang up is not that I can't eat this marshmallow or any other, essentially sugar packed product, but more that I have to think about everything that goes in my mouth. And not from the perspective of "don't be a fatty, Michelle." But rather from the perspective of - will this cause significant BG rise which despite offsetting with insulin will proably still result in a sharp sugar spike that will then cause all the associated symptoms of yuckiness and feeling awful?  Everything in this disease is constant.  Worse part - I'm only 29 days in.