How I Decide What’s “Bolus-worthy”

“Bolus-worthy” is a term that, I believe, is semi-universally used by the diabetes community to describe food/drink that’s worth taking insulin for. Not just any typical amount of insulin, though – usually something that meets bolus-worthy criteria is something that requires extra insulin, and probably a little bit of guesswork, too.

What makes something “bolus-worthy”? And is it always truly worth it, even if it produces less-than-desirable blood sugar outcomes? I’ll attempt to answer both of these questions from my own unique point-of-view.

I think that a food or beverage is bolus-worthy when it’s something that I can’t and won’t indulge in often. It’s important to consider the “and” between those statements because it must meet both of those conditions; otherwise, it’s simply not special enough to be considered bolus-worthy. So something like the slice of carrot cake that my mom and I shared on our annual outing to a local teashop was totally worth taking extra insulin for, whereas pretty much anything I could order from a McDonald’s menu isn’t (I only ever go to fast food restaurants as last resort, and it doesn’t make me feel particularly good to eat food like that often). I believe in allowing myself carb-laden foods – ice cream, pizza, desserts from a bakery, you name it – whenever the desire strikes, but I do try to be careful about making sure I don’t do that often so that way I can have a better handle on my blood sugar levels as well as make myself more likely to really enjoy the indulgence.

But just because something fits into my “bolus-worthy” definition, is it always worth potentially paying the price of having a blood sugar I’m unhappy with later on? It depends. On an occasion like my birthday, I like to pretend that any out-of-control blood sugar levels don’t count as I eat whatever celebratory goodies I like – even though I’m subconsciously aware that of course they do, and TBH I actually prefer to stay in-range on my birthday so that my diabetes can’t steal the day from me. I guess this is kind of the beauty of the “bolus-worthy” label, though. To me, it implies that whatever it is that I’m having is reserved for special moments. That in itself makes anything worth it, if it’s contributing to the meaning behind an occasion.

And I look forward to putting this theory of mine in action on my birthday in a few short weeks, a time that I guarantee will be filled with food and drink that I deem 100% certifiably bolus-worthy!


3 thoughts on “How I Decide What’s “Bolus-worthy”

  1. For me, I bolus for at least three reasons. 1. special occasion 2. very special food 3. I have to really want it.

    So for instance we had pizza last evening. I had 1.3 pieces, WW – 7 points, tons of salad, no fat dressing and presto I was full. I dosed 3.4U and took a walk. Blood sugar 143 and going great.

    Was it bolus worthy? Well we ended up with pizza because I told Mrs. Sheryl that i was hungry for it. We waited 5 days and got a small. We enjoyed each bite.

    What is not bolus worthy? Peanut butter parfait at DQ. I want one so badly but I decided when they were introduced, I would not have one until I was dying or diabetes was cured. That was 48+ years ago. Gosh I want one badly, but not so badly I need to jump off the cliff just yet.


    • My mom and I always said to each other that we’ll treat ourselves to GIANT cinnamon buns from Cinnabon as soon as we have a cure…I’m salivating just thinking about that tasty cream cheese frosting!!!


      • Ahh I had one of those. I gave in. Hence my blood sugar from 1986 to 1988. Why is blood sugar so high? Oh yeah I had a cinabon. Every had one doc? No? Yeah well you go to the mall some day. Wow talk a cool place. Sick kids – mean clerks, fights cinabons you gotta go.

        Liked by 1 person

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