I didn’t realise that my 6th diaversary (diabetes anniversary) went by last month without me noticing. In 2013 when I presented abruptly with an HbA1C of >15% it was as though I had stepped into an ugly future with restrictions and medications. I remember I spent the first year coping and grieving. The why’s were many especially as I went through a major surgery in that year as well. Looking back I remember being supported by the prayers of many friends and the dear support of my family. I’m so thankful I came across Dr Richard Bernstein and Typeonegrit barely a week into my diagnosis and the diet change and lifestyle has kept the disease in decent control over the past few years. I remember also that I was given this bible verse as a promise and it has held me well over the past few years: “I will not die but live, and will proclaim what the LORD has done.“- Psalm 118:17.
There were moments as I learned to manage my insulin dosing when I didn’t really know if I would wake up the next morning and this disease means that you never let down your guard. I realise that mind has become an automatic counter of carbs and insulin adjustments. It’s become instinctive and I barely know how to explain now how I do the calculations. And though management has been automatic, I need to periodically pull up my socks especially when I realise that the exercise commitment has been slipping or I may have been unconsciously stress eating.
What has changed about me? I think I’ve become a much better planner. You should see my packing system when I need to travel – I often overpack food and insulin just so there are no unpleasant surprises. But the flip side is that I also have a low level anxiety when I’m not at home as I’m never sure what food I am going to be faced with. Yet I’ve learned to be pretty good at fasting on and off when the need arises – I realise that I don’t need to eat 3 square meals to survive. I don’t carry a low carb protein bar with me any more unless I travel. I also cope by offering to bring food when I am invited for dinner or better still, invite people over so that I can cook what I like for them.
I realise that my friends also pick up on my habits. I have cheese buddies who always make sure there’s some cheese or nuts for snacks at meetings. They also check in with me when we go out for meals to see if the restaurant has enough low carb options. Their sensitivity is really amazing.
In the first few years I think I was pretty evangelistic about the low carb lifestyle but while I completely believe in it still, I think I’ve become more inward-looking. I think the focus has shifted to just taking care of my own needs and only talking about the lifestyle if people actually ask me about it. Because I realise it is all about personal choice. I know I need to keep on this path to survive. Other people may have medical conditions that I feel would really benefit from the change in lifestyle but I can’t lend my willpower to them. Especially when they think they can have off-days or cheat days – I just can’t do that. One of the things I like about the 100% rule is that it is easier to follow something 100% than 99%. It is SO true. So I won’t do cheats, I won’t taste my friends’ piece of cake even though they say it’s “only a taste”. It’s easier to be 100%. But it’s a personal choice and I don’t really feel that I need to explain myself to others.
At the end of the day I think over 6 years my lifestyle has simplified a lot. Truth is I don’t always eat breakfast. If I do, it’s an omelet or a small bowl of homemade greek yogurt. Lunch is variable; dinner is my main meal. I don’t make lots of treats and if I do so it’s usually for the sake of experimenting or writing this blog. If I travel, I carry ketobuns with me as well as some packets of shirataki noodles (those without the lime water preservative as they stink!). I also carry a bar of sugar-free chocolate with me so I won’t have comparison envy when others are having dessert!
Oh! Another thing that has changed is that my tastebuds have become acutely sensitive to sugar – I think because I don’t take sugar now, I am much more sensitive to added sugar in sauces and gravy. I think this was how people were in the times when sugar hadn’t become a staple in the home. I like to think I’m the equivalent of a drug sniffer dog – except that I can sniff out hidden sugars pretty well. It is really helpful in my strange and unexplainable way of managing my meals and insulin dosing.
Anyway today I decided to post my tweaks on a staple in the home – ketobuns. I’ve tried a lot of recipes and the Diet Doctor one appears to be the most popular one online but it doesn’t really work! But I think in every kitchen there are differences in the almond flour, oven and so on and I’ve tweaked the recipe to suit my own environment. Funny story – I was having continuous failures for ever so long because my keto buns were always flat – until one day I finished my tub of baking powder and opened a new one…and the buns were high, fluffy and perfect! Tip to self – buy small baking powder containers and keep them in the fridge! Still I make no apologies for tweaking the ketobun recipe and posting it because in all my attempts to conquer the flat bun problem, I think I made so many changes to the recipe that I solved all the problems other people had posted about their attempts to make keto buns.
Keto Buns With Tweaks
- 1 1/2 cups of fine almond flour
- 5 tbsp psyllium husk powder
- 2 tsp double acting baking powder
- 1 tsp sea salt or kosher salt
- 3 egg whites (from medium sized eggs)
- 2 tsp organic cider vinegar
- 3/4 to 7/8 cup of boiling hot water
- 1 tbsp white sesame seeds or pumpkin seeds (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 175 deg C. Put the kettle on the boil at the same time.
- Mix the almond flour, baking powder, psyllium husk and salt together in a bowl,
- Add the egg whites and the cider vinegar to the dry ingredients. Use a mixer (I used a hand mixer) to mix up the ingredients till the ingredients are well mixed.
- Pour the hot boiling water into the batter and continue to beat with the mixer for about 30 seconds.
- Allow the mixture to rest for a while – the hot water will act on the baking powder and the batter will rise slightly.
- Using a large ice cream scoop or a ladle, scoop the batter onto a baking tray lined with baking paper. This should just about get 6 buns. Use your hands to gently shape the buns if the buns look asymmetrical but don’t over handle the buns.
- Sprinkle the sesame seeds or pumpkin seeds over the surface of the buns.
- Bake for 50-55 minutes. Serve warm. These buns can be kept in the fridge and toasted again the next day too!