Temp basal is not the name of a salad, it’s mechanical happiness!

May 29, 2012By 4 Comments

Celebrating any event which includes lot’s of food and alcohol is like the diabetic olympics.  We train for our entire lives to be put to the test at such events like major holidays, birthdays, and the ever-lasting summer cook-out.  Memorial Day is of course primarily for remembering our hero’s, but it’s also a fantastic reason to eat and drink like it’s no ones business while we enjoy the festivities.  I am a firm believer that if you eat healthy 80% of the time, or during the week, that you can splurge during these festive times.  Thanks goodness for the pancreas in my pocket.

If you have never used an insulin pump, I am sure you have your reasons.  But let me just say that the not-so-perfect little mathematician living inside the tiny nuts and bolts of my pump allowed me to thoroughly enjoy Memorial Day weekend and keep my blood sugars in great shape.  Some of the best features of most pumps which are often underutilized is the dual-wave bolus, temp basal rate and basal patterns.  For the lay person, a temp basal rate is when you program the insulin pump to give you a percentage of more or less of the current hourly basal rate, in turn tightening the reins on erratic blood sugars.  Knowing I would be munching on chips, pasta salad, and some fruity frozen drinks (I made a sad attempt at a homemade watermelon mojito…drank it anyways), I set up my pump for a temp basal most of the weekend.  Most people don’t know where to start when it comes to a temp basal, and I recommend talking with your CDE or Endo first before trying.  But, you’ll never know unless you start experimenting!  Start slow… for example, if you know you’ll be munching on higher carb items most of the time, turn on your temp basal to give you 110-120% of your normal basal for a 12 hr time period.   Keep in mind, alcohol tends to make most people’s blood sugars plummet in the middle of the night, so before you go to sleep (check your blood sugar first) and put on a temp basal of 85-90% so that you can try to avoid any impending lows.

While I did enjoy myself with all the lazy eating and drinking this weekend, I tried to lend some balance to my bingeing while jamming to the reggae station on Pandora.   For example, I woke up early on Saturday and prepped food for the long weekend.  I went grocery shopping and made sure I had a higher ratio of veggies to carbs available when there would be nothing to do but snack and snack some more waiting for the grill to heat up.  I prepped organic bell peppers and sweet vidalia onions in some foil with extra virgin olive oil, rosemary, and a dash of salt.  I also cut some cucumbers, peppers and celery to dip in the light veggie dip that I made using light sour cream.  I marinated the free-range chicken breasts in a mango-lime salsa using fresh herbs, and I also made some lean turkey burger patties (which I mixed in dijon mustard, minced garlic, thyme, pepper and a bit of gruyere cheese).   Of course I also made a pasta salad (but using light mayo and extra chopped onion and celery for flavor instead of using extra salt).   It wasn’t perfect, as there also may have been potato chips and corn on the cobb in there… oh, and maybe a couple of ice cream cones in a matter of a few days… but with the help of my temp basal (and a few dual-wave boluses), I stayed in between the lines. 🙂

Happy Summer!!

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Comments (4)

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  1. Kelly Pheulpin says:

    Rachel and I love to read your blog!! thanks for sharing with us

  2. Beth says:

    Great post; loved reading about the food choices that work for you as you manage diabetes during “social eating” situations. Gives us food for thought (no pun intended!) for future family get togethers!

    • busybag says:

      Thanks Beth! We do a pretty good job of trying to balance enjoying food and trying to make some of it a bit healthier to eat than the original versions 🙂 But a little splurging is okay…just means extra miles on the tredmil the next day!! You guys do a great job of balancing as well!

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