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How Do You Bolus for Art?

Over the weekend, Chris and I took a trip up to The Balsams hotel in New Hampshire.  We were there for an event for Chris's side of the business, and part of the event included a dressy dinner with food that was far fancier than the turkey and cheese sandwiches my pallet is accustomed to.

The welcoming sign

So here's a problem I've never encountered before:  when the food looks like something from MoMA, how do you bolus for it?  Our menu included items like foie gras and tuna tartare with carrot gelee ("gelee" = carrots that enjoy Glee, at least in my head), and I didn't have a clue as to how to actually eat it, nevermind the concept of carb counting it.  It's moments like these that make the Dexcom indispensable.  By keeping an eyeball on the graph, I felt more comfortable going to bed that night, knowing that I wasn't bottoming out.  It was a tricky dinner, of plates with an architectural and artistic flair and I bolused willy-nilly for them.

And by "willy nilly," I mean that I cranked up a few tenths of a unit every course.  it was trial by foie gras fire.  I wasn't sure how to shoot for the salted caramel-tangelo sorbet, or jambom de Paris.  (Can you tell I'm copying these words right from the menu?  I was relieved when the tenderloin arrived, because I knew what it was.)  I mean, how do you bolus for art?

Thankfully, the grounds of the hotel were far less intimidating than the food, but no less impressive.  The garden alone, comprised of more than 1500 flowers that are planted during the course of one, single day (check out this time lapse video), held my attention captive for quite a while:

Part of the hotel - tell me that doesn't look haunted to you??

The hotel itself was a living, breathing entity with more history and charisma than your average Doubletree.  This place looked as though it was the inspiration for countless short stories, and we heard that Stephen King used The Balsams as his mental catalyst for The Shining.  Chris and I (directionally-challenged, as always) ended up happily lost in the beautiful halls of this hotel more than once during our short stay. 

The gardens at The Balsams.

And despite the five hour drive, the lack of coffee (I need to have a second pump just to ensure 24 hours of caffeination), and the fact that my infusion set rolled off my arm the precise second I lay my head down on the pillow to go to sleep (was awesome: had to leap up and put in a new infusion set at 1:30 in the morning), it was a leaf-peeping drive and a quality getaway.


bolusing for art = the fine art of SWAGing ;)

i'll be doing a lot of this when we visit london and paris this winter. thank god for the dexcom!!

Pretty, the scenery reminds me a lot of Powerscourt House in Ireland. It's also a great place to get lost in.

Great post...loved it...luckily I haven't had to tackle that one yet...there is NO WAY in HELL I would take Joe to such a fine establishment yet. LOL.

Beautiful photos! I love art! And eating!

Funny coincidence, I wrote about art today too on my blog. Slightly different approach - but art just the same.

My favorite food is that gourmetish stuff that looks gorgeous and confuses us diabetics when carb counting. So I have made myself learn to cook some of it and voila! Since making some of this stuff, I now know what is in it and thus how to carb count it. Fun post, I enjoyed it.

Beautiful pictures! Sounds like a wonderful weekend.

Sometimes I just wing it and correct later. Not always the smartest move diabetes-wise, but sometimes it just isn't worth it. I'd rather enjoy the yummy food I will never be able to cook than stress about the carbs. When I do that, I either keep a strict eye on the CGMS or I test every hour or so to see where I am headed.

Wow! If I ever find myself in New Hampshire, I know where I want to stay! the Balsams is just gorgeous! Love their web site too. But I’m a sucker for good jazz music and spectacular scenery.

My job requires lots of those types of dinners. The saving graces for me are: (1) that those meals are usually soooo high in fat that everything digests really slowly and (2) they are eaten over a long period. For me, fat slows blood sugar changes down, so I have enough time to catch up and react to trends with the Dexcom.

Looks like an amazing trip! I need to get back to NH soon!

When ever I get in situations like that I know that I will be eating high fat that is off the chart. the Tuna Taretar is the only dish that is somewhat safe, not many carbs, the duck liver(foie gras) with the Gelee is as you know going to be high in fat and the garnish (gelee) is a sometimes high in carbs, but most times there is not that much of it. If it is real sweet, ya gotta know that they put a lotta sugar in the jell. I have never had it made with carrots, sounds intresting. The sugar is used to give the main ingrediant a flavor boost. The one I like is made with dried apricots. No added sugar is needed. Sounds like the meal was a YUM meal

I just had the same experience recently. I just waited until each course came, and tried to figure out ingredients/portion, and did EZ carb to bolus (One Touch Ping). It worked pretty well! Am looking onto the Dexcom... hear great things about it!

Kerri,it's Jambon de Paris. I think there's no carb. I really like the park and those flowers! How many rooms?
Here, in france, they add sugar into carrots in the restaurants. I like Foie gras.

Kerri, Looks like a beautiful spot, I hope you enjoyed yourself! P.S. what is carrot gelee? (yes, I know, it sounds silly but I'm totally serious) lol

Hi Kerri, It was a pleasure meeting with you and having the opportunity to dine with you and Chris at http://www.thebalsams.com

I was not aware at the time of the challenge that faced you as we dined, thank you for helping me better understand. As I explained later, my step daughter's boyfriend faces these same challenges. Thank you!

I'm sorry to bring down the conversation. But your title reminded me of something I just said to my daughter. She is 5 and she does what a lot of 5 year olds do, so I finally said to her "I don't know how to bolus for boogers so you are just going to have to stop picking your nose."

We need like a carb scanner. A little device you bust out and press a button. It then shoot a lazer into your food and tells you the carb count.

If they can make the Shake Weight, than they can make anything!

I thought your post was the perfect opportunity for me to show you the diabetes artwork I've just made:


I love this post. All of the fancy food stuffs made me chuckle a bit with their names.

I would have tried to order a grilled cheese sandwich or pasta alfredo. Like "dude, can you just hook up something from the kids menu?"

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