Keto Quiche

This is something that has made low-carb a lot easier. It is what gets me out of bed in the morning. It is literally one of my favourite foods.

Here’s one I prepared earlier

A friend with epilepsy who is on the keto diet for seizure control put me onto an amazing very-low-carb “quiche.” The trick is to use cheese instead of pastry to form the shell.

Basically you line a dish with cheese, pour over eggs and cream, then put more cheese on top, and bake. Quick and easy and makes a big batch that you can keep in the fridge.

Here’s the recipe:

Ingredients

Suits baking dish of approx. 28cm diameter.

  • butter
  • lots of grated cheese (tasty)
  • 1 finely chopped tomato
  • handful of diced bacon
  • 1/2 small onion finely chopped
  • Optional: chopped cooked zucchini, squash, cauliflower etc.
  • 10 eggs
  • small tub (300mL) thickened cream
  • salt and pepper
  • generous amount of mixed herbs

Method

  1. Grease the baking dish with a little butter
  2. Line the greased dish with cheese
  3. Put the eggs, cream, salt, pepper, and herbs into a bowl and whisk until combined
  4. Heat a chunk of butter in a pan, and fry bacon, tomato, and onion
  5. Distribute fried mixture evenly in baking dish
  6. Optionally add cooked vegetables
  7. Pour egg mixture into baking dish
  8. Top with more grated cheese
  9. Bake at 180°C for approx 50 mins; keep an eye on it after 30 mins
  10. Insert a knife into centre to check if cooked
It can rise quite a bit so don’t overfill the dish

And you end up with...

Well, this:

Somebody should bottle this and sell it

It’s firm and fluffy and is just as good when fridged and reheated. I’ve been eating it for weeks and I’m not sure I could ever get tired of it. Bon appétit!

Trickle-me Almo

A few weeks ago, Bianca and I were lost for what to do on a Sunday. We happened to walk past the Melbourne Exhibition Centre (yes, the one of Diabetes Expo fame) and looked inside.

“Health and Wellness Expo”. Pfft.

“Free entry”. Ohh... what the heck. If there was any chance I could improve my health and wellness it would be time well spent. Nothing better to do anyway.

We weren’t particularly surprised by what we found. There must have been about 50 clairvoyants. Healing crystals, dreamcatchers, tarot cards, aromatherapy. I don’t mean to ridicule these things; I think many of them do work, just not necessarily by the principles that the proponents put forward. And that’s OK, because the real principles are so complex and subtle that science is hopeless at describing them.

Of course there are things that are downright dangerous, or nothing more than making money off the gullible. They’re not OK.

Anyway, there was a much wider variety than that, such as saunas, beanbags, gluten-free, massage, and vegan meat (pretty good actually).

I saw someone up ahead holding out a little cup of almond milk, and having recently become an almond milk convert (it tastes like milk but has hardly any carbs! Almonds are like unicorns I swear) I was on the lookout for what was available.

It was good. Really good. So smooth. I had a nice chat with the lovely lady who seemed to know the additives in my previous brand off by heart and sold me on the benefits of this product. I’m not going to repeat the spiel here, as the claims aren’t mine to make. Do your own research. All I claim is that I think it tastes better than other almond milks I’ve tried.

I think they’re going for the “liquid gold” look

It was a pleasure talking with her and she was so convincing that I just assumed she was a salesperson. As it turns out, she actually started the business, because of her own experiences with an autoimmune condition!

It’s called Almo and it’s becoming easier and easier to find. It’s probably cheapest online but it’s stocked at Harris Farm among other places if you want to try some.

I also got to try this Almo Creme stuff which is really nice.

Now, just because Bianca and I like almond milk doesn’t mean you will, but if you’ve never looked into it, almond milk is really low in carbs! But make sure it’s unsweetened.

The adventure

We ordered two boxes of the stuff online, thinking they would last for ages. (But we like it so much, our intake of milky beverages has increased, so they’re going pretty fast.)

We made the order the day before we were due back, thinking it would take a couple of days. Apparently delivery was attempted within a day. We got one of these:

For once we actually weren’t home

Then the drama began. I logged onto the Star Track site, and elected to go and pick the stuff up directly. I was told I would receive a message shortly.

... nearly a week passes ...

While waiting and waiting we eventually got fed up (or rather, dehydrated) and bought a bottle from Harris Farm. Then another.

Anyway, after nearly a week I called up Aus Post. They tell me that my request was submitted but not actioned, and that they would resubmit for me and I should hear back the same day.

The next evening, I called again. This time they put a case worker onto it! I didn’t know they even had those. Apparently the depot in Botany was not responding to the requests and needed someone to get on their back. Fine by me.

Another day passes. I get a very apologetic call from my case worker who explains that she’s in another part of Aus Post in Melbourne and is doing everything she can from where she is, and that she will ramp up the pressure.

Later that day, and over a week after it all started, I got a call saying I can go pick it up. If I can find it. It’s in the most obscure part of an out-of-the-way industrial complex full of trucks. I nearly got hit by a truck when I tried to reverse out of a wrong turn.

Then I got to the depot and waited about half an hour for them to find my package. They were very friendly people. They had trans-friendly posters on the walls. But the delays were ridiculous.

I shouldn’t be so excited about this

My first Almo box!! (Well, two boxes.) Bianca and I are giddy. I know it’s silly. I guess it’s just fun to be part of an adventure.

You can imagine how much I love these puns

UNGGHHHHHHHH

Good Bad morning everyone! I hope you slept better than I did, although knowing diabetes I’m sure there are a couple of you who really didn’t.

I lost count of how many times I was jolted awake by my CGM alarms last night, but it was around 5. Lows and highs, as usual. Geting up to treat lows several times.

I’m sleep deprived already, for various reasons, so when I woke up this morning with that disgusting lazy tired angry lead-weight feeling, I was like

Obviously I Do Not Want this to happen again. Preferably ever (haaaah). The go-to approach is to try to isolate the cause. Recent exercise? Pre-sleep carbs or insulin?

But... recently my insulin sensitivity has plummeted (4 units seem to do what 1 unit did a couple of weeks ago), my basal needs have been playing party politics (right, left, and independent!) and pretty much nothing is stable so basically...

The way things have been going recently, the “diabetes debugging” approach is futile. That’s when I resort to “diabetes tinkering”.

(Don’t do this at home.)

In plain English, that means that it is useless to try to find what caused this problem; I just need to mess around with things until they work. Which is actually fairly typical of MDI basal problems, although I don’t think that’s the main factor at play here.

Over the last couple of weeks, my Levemir dose has been slowly migrating from evening to morning. It was at around 8 in the evening and 2 in the morning, and there was a complex dance including the addition of a few units in the early afternoon, and an overall rise in total daily basal, and now my evening basal seems intent to reach zero.

Such crazy things are happening—I’ve been steadily losing weight on low-carb, which of course is supposed to increase insulin sensitivity. The opposite has happened. People say their insulin needs drop when they start low-carbing. Well, mine didn’t. (When I tried low-carbing for a while years ago, insulin needs dropped maybe 60%.)

So once again,

Of course, I have been having snacks in the evenings, and being lazy or making mistakes. And I’ve also started using a very different kind of insulin (Afrezza). And my epilepsy medication hasn’t been consistent recently. Those last two things scream for “diabetes tinkering”.

Plus, life is hectic. I feel like, because of this blog, I need to be an example for others, or something. But after all these years I haven’t managed to get to the point where I can usually go “ahhh... it’s doing that thing again” and know what to do about it. It’s like the space of diabetes configurations is infinite and diabetes wants to explore them all.

Some people have it easier; some have it harder. Some can find carb ratios and basals that more or less work for long periods of time. Others are living on a roulette table that never stops spinning. And it can change over time. In the years when my epilepsy was untreated, everything would swing and flap around, weekly. Now it’s not too bad—although I’m asking for trouble by changing diets and insulins and psychotropic medication.

Did I have a point...? Oh that’s right—my diabetes is all over the place and I wanted to share that with you, rather than hiding it.

PS I remembered that in one of my fitful dreams last night, I had a compelling reason to remove a pillow from a pillowcase. I don’t remember the reason but there was one. I thought it was just a dream. But I went to the bedroom just now and I found this...

Staring me in the face

I expect this is a known psychological effect, or maybe it’s just me. But I think it’s a psychological effect.

When you have two options to solving a problem, and one of them feels out of the question, you can sometimes forget it’s still an option, no matter how bad the problem gets.

Take Type 2 diabetes for example. Most people are terrified of insulin injections, so they will choose diet/exercise/tablets and forget that insulin is an option... no, wait, they won’t. Bad example.

It’s more in situations without an inevitable ‘last resort’. For example, if a person hates the idea of a teacher’s wage, and becomes a lawyer or software developer but ends up unhappy with their job, there’s a good chance that it won’t even occur to them that they can change careers.

So here’s what happened to me.

Thanks to Lamictal, I shot up from being so crippled I could barely work, into an intense, high-stress job in the space of a month. An absolute miracle.

Due to the stress, I didn’t feel I could handle giving up the comfort of my favourite foods. Due to the fast-paced job, I couldn’t afford risking a loss in energy, cognitive function, mood, triggering epilepsy, or changes to my medication needs.

So low-carb was considered, and deemed absolutely out of the question.

Makes more sense than diabetes

Diabetes was pretty terrible. Teaching has the same effect on blood sugar as sporadic bursts of exercise—which for me are disastrous. Stress levels were up and down, and we all know that stress hormones are not easy to measure. My general routine was unpredictable. And I comfort-eated. Ate. Whatever.

Low carb had already been discounted. Didn’t even occur to me. I just got on with a roller coaster of bolusing and correcting and CGM alarms and crappy sugars.

This got worse and worse. Stress built up. Diabetes got harder which created more stress. I had a day here and there of extended exercise, each time making diabetes wash out for a week. Possibly worst of all, my intramuscular injections gradually became ineffective.

Low carb was still off my radar. I was trying to problem-solve some diabetes related thing with Bianca’s help (as frequently happens) and suddenly it hit me. Low carb was an option.

It became apparent that the status quo had become more out of the question than low carb. Impossible, right?

So, grudgingly, I switched. Having done it years before, I knew what to expect food-wise. And how limiting the options were for eating out.

Nothing bad happened. My cognitive function and energy levels did not decline. My epilepsy seemed to be fine. It’s a pain to cook and clean up, and food is much less fun. But in the last few weeks my sugar has stopped being so out of control.

I do feel that, had a new option become available, I would have jumped at it. But since low-carb was old and dismissed, it didn’t even register. Well, for quite a while, anyway.