“Half a cup? Let me get the measuring cups,” my mom would say, foraging around in her purse for the ubiquitous set of measuring cups she toted around.
She always knew what “half a cup” looked like because she didn’t guess. Her management of my diabetes was precise when she was in charge, back in the day.
I am admittedly not so precise. At diabetes camp, I knew exactly what “half a cup” of coleslaw looked like because we were forced to eat everything on our plates (rules and regulations of diabetes camp in the early 90′s). And when I was pregnant, I measured the hell out of everything out of fear of blood sugars over 180 mg/dL. But in the ebb and flow of regular, non-specific life, I forget what half a cup looks like. Is that size portion supposed to be closer to a pack of cards or a baseball? (I kept writing that as “pack of carbs.” Appropriate.) Is half a cup supposed to fill 1/4 of my plate or more like 1/3 and what if it’s mashed cauliflower – does that mean half a cup is more of a loose estimate – and if it’s mashed potatoes, if I spread it around with my fork, is it like half a cup gains more surface area and thereby the carb count is diminished?
Logic isn’t my strong suit. What works for me is reminding myself every few months what proper portion sizes actually look like, using measuring cups and scales and taking a few minutes to actually portion things out properly.
I tried to do this the other day, but realized that the measuring cups we received for our wedding were so worn that the measurement specifics weren’t legible anymore.
“Is this the half cup? Or the third?” I asked Chris.
He leaned over. “I think that’s a tablespoon?”
So, for starters, we bought some new measuring cups. And for the last few weeks, I’ve been trying to refresh my portion size memories. For some of my go-to foods, like hard-boiled eggs, avocado, and chicken, I’m not worried by the “how much?” quandary, but this reminder helps a LOT for higher carb foods like pasta and fruit. (The banana conundrum forever haunts me – “one banana” is usually the noted serving size, but bananas range from five inches to like fifteen inches, so which size is best and does size matter that much when it comes to bananas and also get your mind out of the gutter.)
Knowing proper serving sizes helps me better SWAG (scientific wild-ass guess) bolus, which helps me make better diabetes decisions and improves my blood sugar outcomes. Blah, blah, blah, right? I just wanted another excuse to use the picture of Siah in a banana.