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Visual Reminders.

There are approximately 1,152 grams of carbs in a bathtub full of Golden Grahams. That's without taking the plumbing into account.A deck of cards.  A baseball.  A pair of dice and you only look at one of them. (Sorry for the clumsiness; I think it's weird to write "A die." as a sentence.  Looks odd.)  A tennis ball.   A hockey puck.  

The things that health-related articles use as "visual cues" for portion sizes and serving sizes makes me wish I was more athletic, because then I'd have a really strong feel for the size of these different balls, etc.  (Sidenote:  Hey. Ever write something you want to immediately delete but then you keep it and just wish your brain was less daft?)  But these visual cue things are helpful for me, because if I don't take note of just how big "one small apple" really is, it's easy to lose track of how much I'm eating.  I need to constantly refresh my eyes on serving sizes, which in turn helps me better estimate carbs when I'm SWAG (aka Scientific, Wild-Ass Guessing)'ing it.

(Second sidenote:  The hamburger pictured here looks exactly like a fudge-drizzled chocolate cookie, which is making my brain very confused.)

Which is what I spent part of my morning doing today:  busting out the measuring cups in my house and reminding myself what certain foods look like when properly measured out.  I'm not shooting for serving sizes or anything FDA official.  I needed to do this purely for carb assessment reasons.  What does 35 grams worth of Rice Chex measure out to look like?  How much salad dressing is 10 grams of carbs?  Brain, be reminded of what 28 carbs-worth of banana goodness looks like!!

Birdy thought I was a basketcase this morning, measuring things out and then putting them back.  "No eat banana, Mama?"  "No more cereal and milk, Mama?"  "That chicken is very good, right, Mama?" By the time I started eye-balling the lunch meat and measuring it on our kitchen scale, she threw her hands up in disgust and went to find her Thomas trains.  (Tertiary sidenote:  Spencer, the silver, streamlined diesel train, is the same size as 15 grams worth of banana, dagnabit.)

But now my brain is brought back to reality.  Less guesstimating and more true and proper estimating, which should help me fine-tune my boluses a touch.  Reminders like this are helpful in keeping me from sliding down that slippery slope of eating 18 lb apples and bathtubs full of Golden Grahams.  

(Last sidenote:  I'm sorry that only 2/3 of this post made sense.)


The WHOLE post made sense to me. I pretty much measure unless it's broccoli or spinach. The one that is ridiculous is that a serving of cheese is equal to the tip of your thumb. What kind of a measurement is that!?!? I know people whose thumb tip is equal to 2 ounces. A serving of cheese equal to my thumb tip wouldn't justify making a knife dirty. But hey, it's cheese, it's not like it has any carbs.

We're still trying to figure out eyeing how many carbs are in no solid foods. It's easy to remember no carbs for meat and cheese, 30 for a hamburger bun, 15 for normal bread. It's harder when remembering what a cup of something is supposed to be. My husband doesn't have to watch his waistline, but if we underestimate his blood sugar drops and if we overestimate it gets too high.

Visual cues still confuse me to be honest. My son is T1D and I am so horrible with guestimating that I look at the roundness or the portion and not so much the thickness. Oops.

When we start with the pump I will have to pay much closer attention in the begining for myself and training my son too.

I usually ask my girls for a sip of their juice to see how sweet it is as part of my data collecting to make the best guess at carbs possible. Highly scientific and accurate? Oh sure! ;^) But my kids usually think it's just my way of scoring a sip of their juice. Which, sometimes it is. Shh.

You remind me that I, too, need to get accustomed to portion sizes. When I first started carb counting way back when, Suzi carried around measuring cups in her suitcase-sized purse to help. Eventually started using my cupped hand as a visual. Great post, Kerri.

and let's not forget our "free" foods
10 cups shredded lettuce =
10 gm carbs
100 calories
that IS almost a bathub full !!
oh yum

When I first started carb counting, I bought two new sets of measuring cups. My husband said, "I know what I can get you for your birthday: measuring-cup-of-the-month club."

I still weigh everything. Except bananas. I call half a banana 15g, no matter the size. I do it with confidence and flair. That's how I roll.

I have specially calibrated glasses for beer so I don't get either too high or too drunk.

Mmmm...a bathtub FULL or cereal! Too bad you'd probably only fill a shoebox before reaching 1,152g of carbs...

My older brother developed T1 at 12 when I was in the first grade. Back in those days, everyone used a scale and there were not blood glucose strip tests.

I thank God that when I was diagnosed in 2009 (at the juvenile age of 43) that carb counting was around. About a year ago, I took an advanced "insulin dosing" class because my transition to meal-time insulin took two years. It covered all the things you veteran T1s have been doing for years. It also had a portion where we wrote down what we ate, and how many carbs we estimated it to be. I had no problem nailing it, but I realize the best test would be a "show me" test where you had to dole it out on the plate. Now where is my 1/3 cup measuring cup?

My challange are the hidden carbs!!! Bread, pasta, fruit are obvious. But the sauces and dressings are overlooked. Like carbs in the relish in the egg salad. ????

I typically do not not micro manage those carbs. Those are my WAG CARBS.

So am I the only one hoping that you took pictures of all of this hard work/research and your next post will be a nice family album of portions for the rest of us?? I need to do this same thing - I know I am way off on some things, and I for SURE know that my husband is way off when he serves up dinner at home - his method is closer to "she is a girl, so I should give her half of what I would eat." And sadly, for me, 9 times out of 10, if it is in the bowl or on the plate in front of me, I eat it.

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