As a type 1 diabetic, sushi is my nemesis for sure. I can’t get enough of it. On the occasions that do get to have it, I eat so much of it, that I can’t move. For most diabetics, pizza is their nemesis, but not for me. For me it’s sushi that’s my nemesis. Both pizza and sushi are high in carbs, but I can eat way more sushi carbs than I can pizza carbs. With pizza, I could eat it or leave it. With sushi, I can’t live without it. Did you know that each little piece of sushi or slice of a roll, has around 10 carbs?! Each little piece!!! I ate sushi for a long time before I figured that out.
I was introduced to sushi in my early 30′s by 2 asian friends, Toan Traan and Rich Kim. I became friends with them because we all worked together, and started hanging out a lot. So one night we went for sushi, and I was eager to try it, but they pulled a fast one on me. They told me the wasabi as guacamole! They told me how to apply it on the rice under the fish, and how to swirl it into your soy sauce, and then to dip the sushi into the soy sauce. The scene of my first bite of sushi had to amusing, to them. LOL! It was amusing to me when I could finally breathe again! I enjoyed being friends with those guys because they liked introducing me to foods I’ve never eaten before. They once said they liked taking me because I was willing to try new things and never asked what it was until I tried it.
For many years, I had a career that allowed me to travel the country rather frequently, so I’ve been able to eat sushi in cities all over the US. My favorite all time sushi restaurant is by far Blowfish Sushi in San Francisco. It’s an anime themed restaurant, and so they have glass tables with panes of anime underneath them that you can read at the table, anime posters on the walls, and in every corner of the restaurant, they have anime movies running on TV’s mounted near the ceiling. Their waitresses wear anime costumes (imagine a skimpy casino waitress costume, but with an anime theme), and they serve the deadly blowfish as a sushi delicacy. Now, the last time I was there was close to 10 years ago, so I hope it’s still the same. If you’re ever in San Fran, you should check it out.
Now back to being diabetic and a sushi lover. Sushi is evil. It’s so freakin’ high in carbs that we should never eat it, but who likes doing what they’re suppose to, right? We all gotta be a rebel sometimes, or we’ll die of boredom, right? So yesterday I was a rebel. I was like Billy Idol. I was that kind of diabetic rebel. When I woke up yesterday, I was having the craving of all cravings for sushi. I didn’t eat breakfast because I knew I was going to have sushi for lunch. I didn’t care if my blood sugar skyrocketed to 500, I was going to enjoy as much sushi as I could stand. So I eat 3 plates of sushi (all you can eat sushi for $11.68, including drink). I estimated close to 200 carbs, but I played it safe and bolused for 160. I hate hypos. I once saw Kim Vlasnik over at Texting My Pancreas post her sushi strategy, which, if I remember correctly was something like “enjoy your sushi and throw a lot of insulin at it”. That’s exactly what I did. I try to count the carbs, but with sushi, it’s not easy. Sashimi is better for you, because it’s just the fish, but they don’t serve sashimi at lunch. I would make them go broke if they served sashimi for $11.68 all you can eat, and I wouldn’t eat as much carbs, but dinner is twice the price, and I have to be frugal.
Hours later I was at my grandpa’s 97th birthday party (I think he’s immortal or something. He even lifts weights and exercises! No excuses!), and my blood sugar never climbed above 220 after the sushi. So maybe I should have bolused for 180 carbs? Anyway, I’m happy I didn’t skyrocket, and still enjoyed my diabetic nemesis. What’s your nemesis? Do you love sushi like I do? Tell your sushi or nemesis story in the comments below!