Carb Algebra

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The carb counting guide I received after my diagnosis assures me that carb counting doesn’t have to be hard. You just add up all the carbs in the food you plan on eating and then take an appropriate insulin dose for it. While there’s nothing “just” about counting up all the carbs in a given meal, as long as I have my calculator I’m ok. The University cafeteria where I eat most of my meals posts the nutrition information for each meal a week in advance, so I could count carbs for next Monday’s meal today if I wanted to.

But though some days carb counting is a simple addition problem, other days it’s more like an algebra problem. That pizza is 32 inches across, 1 inch thick, and is cut into 8 slices. Now solve for x. Have fun.

Other days it’s like a word problem: 1 cup of pasta contains 40 grams of carbohydrates and 1 cup of spaghetti sauce contains 20 grams of carbohydrates. Nel has 15/16 cup of pasta, 1/14 cup of spaghetti sauce, it’s 85 degrees Fahrenheit in Cleveland, and Nel is eating dinner on train traveling 95 miles per hour towards Toronto. How many carbohydrates does Nel have?

I don’t eat food. I eat math problems.


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About Nel

As a graduate education student, I've come to the conclusion that teaching requires an addiction to caffeine. My favorite caffeinated beverages are coffee, tea, and diet Coke. And when I was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes in January 2012, I also came to the conclusion that living requires insulin. I blog about my busy life juggling graduate education courses, a teaching assistantship in my University's English department, and my recent type 1 diabetes diagnosis the The Clumsy Juggler. I do not live in New York City.

2 responses »

    • I’m not so great at it either! I heap blessings upon the head of the brilliant individual who invented the calculator. My life is in his/her/its hands. The time when carb counting is hardest for me is when I go out to eat at places that don’t post nutrition info. I can easily find carb counts for a serving of [fill in the blank], but I have to guess how much I’ve got on my plate.

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