Off the Dial

Graeter’s Low Glycemic Ice Cream – Review

Well, this was fun.

The people at Graeter’s asked us to try their new low glycemic ice cream. Their slogan for this is “Don’t be shackled by sugar… 50% of the sugar and 100% of the fun. Whether you’re managing diabetes or shopping for someone who is, one scoop of our low-glycemic ice cream serves up a deliciously responsible indulgence.”


What does low-glycemic mean? It’s a way to help figure out which carbohydrates are more slowly digested. Some foods, like white bread and white potatoes are high glycemic, they’re easy for your body to change into glucose. High glycemic foods shoot your blood sugar up quickly. Low glycemic foods like vegetables and whole grains are more slowly digested and are better for steadier blood sugars. Here’s a good idea of how some common foods measure up. 

My husband has type 2 diabetes, my son type 1.  We don’t really use the glycemic index, especially when it comes to sweet stuff like ice cream. After some trial and error, we’ve settled on smaller portions of the real thing when it comes to desserts. I was pleased to see this ice cream was sweetened with monk fruit instead of chemical/artificial sweeteners. But it still has a longer ingredient list compared to the “regular” flavors.


My husband and I thought the vanilla had almost an ice-milk taste about it. Not our favorite. We both liked the chocolate chip varieties better, especially the giant chunks of chocolate Graeter’s is known for. Really yummy. My son loved the taste of the butter pecan, but was trying to avoid the actual pecans.  Graeter’s puts a lot of chunks and nuts in their ice cream, so that was kind of impossible. My daughter liked the mint chip best.


Giant chocolate chip chunk!

The carb content on this product is almost identical to the “regular” Graeter’s product: the chocolate chip has 29 carbs for a 1/2 cup of low glycemic, compared to 30 carbs for the same “regular” portion. Since we dose insulin based on carbs, that’s a wash. Of course, if Benny ate the whole pint, the higher fat content of the regular version (6 more grams of fat per serving) would probably then slow down the carb absorption.

Overall, if you’re looking to cut some calories and sugar out and still eat the same portion, this is a quality product and tastes better than other low-fat or low-cal desserts I’ve brought home from the grocery store. The big chunks of chocolate are fun to dig out and taste terrific. Are people looking for a low-glycemic ice cream product? I guess we’ll find out.

Disclosure: Graeter’s PR firm sent us the ice cream at no cost and asked me to share our thoughts. They did not ask to see my remarks or compensate me in any way other than with the product shown above. 




Changes – #dblogweek

Dblog week buttonToday let’s talk about changes, in one of two ways.  Either tell us what you’d most like to see change about diabetes, in any way.  This can be management tools, devices, medications, people’s perceptions, your own feelings – anything at all that you feel could use changing.  OR reflect back on some changes you or your loved one has seen or been through since being diagnosed with diabetes.  Were they expected or did they surprise you?

What would I like to see change about diabetes?  I want to see all the changes to care they talk about in this JDRF video. Artifical pancreas, encapsulation, smart insulin. I want people with diabetes to have choices for excellent, automated care and affordable access to it.

This is why we walk and educate and raise money. Yes, I want a cure for my son and for everyone with diabetes. But this research is much more likely to come to fruition in the near future.  I’d love to send Benny off to college (eight years away) with one of these therapies.


Clean It Out – #dblogweek

dblogweek bannerYesterday we kept stuff in, so today let’s clear stuff out.  What is in your diabetic closet that needs to be cleaned out?  This can be an actual physical belonging, or it can be something you’re mentally or emotionally hanging on to.  Why are you keeping it and why do you need to get rid of it?  (Thank you Rick of RA Diabetes for this topic suggestion.)

Every closet in my house needs cleaning! I’m not a pack rat, but I am a bit… cluttered.

My diabetes cabinet is in pretty good shape right now (for me). Although, if everything fits it’s probably time to order more supplies.


I cleaned it out last year, can’t you tell?

Somehow, all this used to fit in there too:


I even found these old brochures from when we were looking at pumps in 2007!



Spoiler alert: we went with the Animas 2020. Now we use the Ping. This summer we’ll decide to either stay with the Ping or switch to the Vibe. Eight years pumping already!

Hidden in that cabinet above are a few things I know I’ll never clean out. My 13-year-old daughter made that orange mug when she was 6. The handle broke, but I’m keeping it. And Benny’s first, tiny medical ID bracelet is on the top shelf. He was three when we put it on and he’s only taken it off to switch to a bigger size.

Going through this cabinet is usually just about grabbing some supplies and going on with the business of diabetes. But as I look more closely I realize, as diabetes is also linked with my kids’ earliest childhoods, some mementos are hard to let go.










Keep It To Yourself – #dblogweek

Many of us share lots of aspects of our diabetes lives online for the world to see.  What are some of the aspects of diabetes that you choose to keep private from the internet?  Or from your family and friends?  Why is it important to keep it to yourself?  (This is not an attempt to get you out of your comfort zone.  There is no need to elaborate or tell personal stories related to these aspects.  Simply let us know what kinds of stories we will never hear you tell, and why you won’t tell them.) (Thank you Scott E of Rolling in the D for this topic.)

Dblog week buttonAs a parent of a child with diabetes I’m in the odd situation of writing about something that’s an inseparable part of my life, but isn’t actually mine. My life was changed the day my 23 month old was admitted to the hospital, but that’s because his life would never be the same.

I began blogging one month after Benny’s diagnosis. I’ve always loved to write and I was already on the radio talking about everything else. Sharing my family’s journey with type 1 diabetes seemed natural and right. It also helps me process all the crazy things diabetes brings to our lives.

Each post brings decisions. How much to share? How much to keep private? A good example is Benny’s A1C results. I used to post them, I don’t anymore. That number is my son’s private health information. I do share momentary blood sugars and lots of ups and downs, but I’ve decided to draw the line there. The A1C is a loaded number for many of us. Pride, shame, dread, whatever. Keeping it private helps make it less of an emotional issue for me. And I think that makes a difference to my son.

(I’m also guessing that as he hits his teenage years his A1C is going to up. I don’t want to be the mom who went from bragging about amazing numbers to the one who feels ashamed and embarrassed, asking herself “what happened to my awesome kid?” Of course, the kid is still awesome, but I’ve seen those posts. It’s not pretty.)

When I share online, I try to remember that my child’s diabetes is not mine. Our experience is tied together but it’s not entirely my story to tell.