If you have found this blog, saying Welcome does not really seem appropriate. I know you wish you weren't surfing the internet for diabetes. I felt the same.
A big part of me wishes I were not writing about diabetes, nor did I anticipate to become so opinionated or informed on the subject, but it happened. In 2010, my son was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes.
It wasn't really part of the plan… Correction - it was not part of the plan, but it happened. It is not always easy, but I think we are all doing okay, and I hope we continue to do so.
Why the Middle East? I happen to live in Dubai. I don't think that living in the Middle East makes mine or my son's diabetic experience any more unique or challenging than it does elsewhere in the developed world.
I hope you stick around, or read something you like. Feel free to comment and join the conversation, subscribe or follow this blog by liking the Facebook page Diapoint.
Please note: This blog does not give medical advice. I am opinionated, and I share my experiences, but the first rule of diabetes is to follow up with your doctor and/or nurse educator about your care, diagnosis or medication. If you do not have a medical practitioner that is helping you find your way through this crazy world, then do not give up until you find the right one.
Friday, January 22, 2016
Master Chef Junior, Gordon Ramsay & Diabetes
In the earlier days, my son was always a pretty good eater. We like to eat food that is fresh and healthy, so why would I not feed my child the same?
If we ate out I would not order for him off the children's menu. They would often consist of the usual suspects - deep fried, fat, too much sugar and sometimes other ingredients that were not the most nourishing for an active, growing boy - which he was not a fan of at the time.
I remember the day that I cringed inside when we were out with friends and he wanted to forgo his favorite grilled protein and order from the children's menu like the other kids. Although small, this was one of those caretaker moments where I knew not to interfere and let him experiment. Type 1 or not, this is a fact of life. We still ate healthy at home, but I had to get used to seeing more of those kid's menus from time to time.
Fast forward a few years later. One spring day we were both home sick. Looking for something entertaining for both of us to watch, we found a food channel. My son loved it. He enjoyed shows like Master Chef and Chopped. Despite his young age, I was impressed at how good he understood who would prevail.
So when I came across Master Chef Junior with Gordon Ramsay I thought it might be interesting - and it definitely was. The things that the children on that show can cook would have many adult chefs walking away defeated.
Since we started binge watching all the earlier seasons to catch up, my son wants to cook and be more involved in his food choices than he did before. He is also more aware of the ingredients in what we are eating. It has taken our dialogue about food and his necessary understanding about ingredients and carb counting to a much deeper level. And, he loves Gordon Ramsay.
At an age where many children are infatuated by the kid's menu, he wants to also see the bigger menu to decide on his order. He knows what he likes, but he is more experimental and his selection process is much more sophisticated than it was before.
Another fast forward....
I recently received an email that Gordon Ramsay would be in town hosting some events at his restaurant the week before my son's 8th birthday. So of course I booked an early dinner at Bread Street Kitchen last week hoping he might get to meet his food hero.
As soon as I felt one of the tables nearby get a bit excited, I looked up and saw him across the restaurant. Rather than wait for him to make the rounds, my husband suggested that my son go to him before he got too busy.
Apologetically I interrupted his conversation and introduced him to Erin. He was very kind and genuine - used to being approached by strangers I am sure. Although their meeting was short, my son was incredibly excited to have met him and danced all the way back to the table. Full of Ramsay's signature beef wellington, he was over the moon excited.
It is quite a task to grow up diabetic and learn to manage all aspects of this disease. Type1 is not like Type2, and carb counting and knowing what you put into your body is critical for survival and longevity. It requires an almost hyper-awareness that those of us with functioning pancreases take for granted.
On that note, I would like to thank the team at Master Chef Junior, Gordon Ramsay and the other chefs on the show. While you are role models for many life lessons, you probably have not realized that you touch a whole other market segment. Thank you for facilitating my Type1's deeper awareness and interest in what is in his food, and the quality of food that he eats. You have helped me lay some of the foundation to raise a healthy Type1 Diabetic.