Traveling diabetic #10

Hi,

Jan here.

Highway 4 – Hanoi

One of those frustrating travel days when I pushed and prodded the food to find anything that wasn’t smeared with three table spoons of sugar, or wasn’t bread, rice, noodles (the awful instant packet type). The Pho, a distant cousin of the excellent pho we had been spoilt with in Hanoi. Low blood sugar grumpiness?

Back in Hanoi, ‘Highway 4’ recommended for Vietnamese Cuisine, with a speciality in foods from the North.

Excellent food in a relaxed atmosphere, with a great music playlist from what are now vintage Bose speakers, and eager, if ditsy service.

Duck and bamboo salad. ‘Rau Thom’ (fragrant leaves). Ngo (cilantro), hung que (anise basil), xa (lemon grass) chili, made for a delicious dish. The licorice of the basil a tad strong for my taste and we had to remove the more obvious chili slices. The sauce, while delicious was loaded with sugar and had to be ignored.

Black Vietnamese pork ribs, cooked in the speciality Son Tinh liqueur, had a strong gamey flavour. Tender and tasty. The sauce meant that I could only sample the ribs and settled for the stir fried crispy pork belly. In typical Vietnamese style, the rau thom on the side of the pork belly meant I could add as much, or as little, as I wanted, for me to flavour the food to my palette.

Blood sugars

High 7.4 mmol/L

Low 4.7 mmol/L

Weight unchanged 

Traveling diabetic #9

Hi,

Jan here.

Flamingo Cruise – Ho Long Bay

Set menu’s, trampoline sugars, hidden, unavoidable. Rice and the dessert easier to ignore. 

A seafood soup starter, followed by prawn and green mango salad. ‘Flamingo’ spring rolls and a main course of bass with cabbage. There was a sweet peanut sauce with the salad and the bass was glazed with a sweet sticky sauce.

Dinner of banana flower and beef salad, with pork spring rolls, which I helped to make! Mixed sea food skewer and chicken casserole with stir fried veg. Tasty, if not quite to the standard that Terry has been preparing at the cooking school.

They accommodatingly provided watermelon, rather than the prepared dessert and peanuts. Which, were still coated with a salt-sugar mix.

Blood sugars

High 8.2 mmol/L

Low 4.8 mmol/L

Traveling diabetic #8

Hi,

Jan here.

Hanoi

First real encounter with Pho for breakfast at the upmarket Huyen on Cau Long Street. Chicken amongst the noodles, which I kept to a minimum, and broth. No discernible impact on my sugar levels.

Tastes of lemon-grass, garlic, ginger and lime hidden within the depths of crystal clear broth, delicate enough to make a French Chef envious. Translucent onion moving between the noodle strands like exotic sea creatures.

The noise of the city driving me a tad crazy, and I was happy to escape to the apartment with a stop at the market. Excellent pork spring rolls, with tomato and their small patties.

Bamboo shoots, lettuce and pate in rice paper rolls our dinner, with the French doors open to make the most of the cool air. LM radio, that touch of unreality.

Blood sugars
High 8.8 mmol/L

Low 4.6 mmol/L

Traveling diabetic #7

Hi,

Jan here.

Hanoi

Weigh in time. The pharmacy on the corner from the apartment seemed the best place to find a scale. Google translate helping the young assistant to understand what I was asking. ‘Kg!’ Slight decrease in weight, which was expected. Still within the range prescribed by the nutritionalist. 

Too early for the market to be functioning, which was my planned breakfast stop as Terry was heading out for her Street Food tour, while I messed about with paint. That my stomach has decided at this point to rebel, a coincidence.

Frustration of not being able to fall-back to a bougette or easy sandwich meal and having to pass over 90% of any menu. Thank goodness wine here is astronomically expensive so that’s not an option!

Weight 87Kg
Blood sugars
High 6.7 mmol/L

Low 4.7 mmol/L

Traveling diabetic #6

Hi,

Jan here.

Hanoi

Maison de tet our morning stop after walk out along West Lake. A brunch of eggs Benedict with salmon and avo, served on potato cakes, which I mostly ignored. The coffee, outstanding.


Shrimp chips (Bánh Phồng Tôm) a new evil, apparently without carbs or sugar. 

However, the cumulative effect of the day on my sugar levels a tad concerning.

http://www.myfitnesspal.com/food/calories/b-nh-ph-ng-t-m-vietnamese-shrimp-chips-or-prawn-cracker-205157454

Blood sugars
High 10.3 mmol/L
Low 4.6 mmol/L

Traveling diabetic #5

Hi,

Jan here.

Hanoi

Feeling a tad jumpy and out-of-sorts. Sugars, normal. Jet-lag and the morning rocket-fuel coffee?

Totally intimidated by the guys sitting at the next table with their gazillion dishes of different stuff, and bowls of assorted sauces. Was feeling chuffed at my stir fry cabbage, spring onions and tomatoes, with pork strips! Even if I added noodles or rice, I wouldn’t get near to their spread.

A lunch of northern Vietnamese cuisine. Chef Y, of the Hanoi Cooking Centre, had an excellent approach to preparing a diabetic meal. Making the food diabetic ‘sensitive’. Without added sugar, no dressings and soya as a dipping sauce. 

Banana flower salad, with pork, prawn, garlic and ginger. The soya (rather than sweet chilly) sauce a tad strong for delicate rice paper spring rolls, which had prawns and a touch of pineapple. Ginger chicken, served with rice. The sauce unbelievable. Coconut cream, with sweet corn and sticky rice desert didn’t work without the sugar that is usually included. Glass of Italian wine an excellent foil for the subtle food flavours.

Blood sugars

High 6.9 mmol/L

Low 4.7 mmol/L

Traveling diabetic #3

Hi,

Jan here.

Care needed at the ‘Coffee Culture’ shops, where even the black coffee with ice has some sort of sweetener (sugar or syrup) added.

That cold sweat from stomach cramps. Glucophage or as a result of the water in Ho Chi Minh?

Not being sure of what would be available on the train to Hanoi (1700km and 36 hours), we stopped at Annam Gourmet Market for a picnic French-style meals of cheese, pate and nuts.

Trolleys of fast food and drink were constantly moving through the train. The coffee, shaved ice with some sort of coffee syrup, which we skipped. Settling for the occasional beer we could get at the main stops and plenty of water. Food was available a couple of times a day. Plastic trays with rice served with some sort of meat looking thing, a bit of green veg, sauce and Pho. One of the meals also had tofu, and pickled egg. Completely manageable if one avoids the obvious rice and noodles. Eat around them. The hidden sugars (from sauces etc) seem to be nominal and diluted. 

Blood sugars

High 6.6 mmol/L

Low 5.3 mmol/L