Making Pffs Your Bffs, Thin Crust Pizza Traditional Vs. Atlantic City - Type 1 Diabetes Delicioso Blog at - 198134

Type 1 Diabetes Delicioso

Making PFFs your BFFs, Thin crust pizza traditional vs. Atlantic City 
Oct. 2, 2010 10:19 am 
Updated: Oct. 11, 2010 6:19 am
What says Friday night like pizza? It’s been quite a week, and we’re ready to kick back. The last thing I want to do is cook a detailed meal. It’s a time for laughter, fun, and friends. Did you know that laughter is good for you? It has been proven to lower blood sugar and even used to improve the outcomes for chemotherapy patients. I may not be a doctor, but here is a prescription for each and every one of you to fit laughter into every day. Make it a priority and you’ll be amazed at what a difference it makes!


The pizzas

We have become fans of the food network show Man v. Food. It’s a great program with a host that travels all over the country sampling different local cuisines and taking on eating challenges along the way. Every time he sits down to eat things like an 11lb pizza, all I can think about is that if he knew what he was doing to his body, he wouldn’t be doing it! We get a good laugh at trying to guess whether he’ll be able to finish and watching his facial expressions along the way. One of his stops was Atlantic City, where we were inspired by the different style of the Atlantic City pizza and decided to do a taste test of our own.


The ingredients

My type 1er is a big fan of the thin crust pizza, and in the deli section of the local Publix they sell a brand call Mama Mary’s Pizza Crusts, sweetened only with honey, no sugar. I’ve included pics of the package as well as the ingredients list. For the sauce, the HANDS DOWN best we have found is Mario Batali Marinara Sauce. It’s fabulous, can’t say enough about it. The ingredients are fresh, with no preservatives, no sugar. It’s so tasty, I recommend it to everyone I know. The cheese is just run of the mill part skim mozz. Fresh mozz would be better for him, but his taste buds won’t go for it. For pepperoni we use Boar’s Head brand from the refrigerated section. I pre-slice it and keep it in a Ziploc bag in the fridge to be ready to go.

In general, it’s better to avoid foods that do not need to be refrigerated or will not decay. If they don’t break down on the shelf, they won’t break down as easily in your digestive tract either. Fresh is always best. Ever seen any of the experiments about the McDonald’s burgers? They last forever, like twinkies, never rotting. Another reason not to eat fast food.


The different recipes

For the traditional style (the pics show no pepperoni):

1 Mama Mary’s thin crust pizza shell (114 carbs)

½ cup Mario Batali marinara sauce (6 carbs)

¾ cup part skim mozzarella cheese (3 carbs)

pepperoni slices to taste (no carbs)


Preheat the oven to about 400.

Spread marinara sauce on pizza shell, followed by mozz & pepperoni.

Cook for about 10-15 minutes or until golden brown.


For the Atlantic City style (the pics with the sauce spiral):

1 Mama Mary’s thin crust pizza shell (114 carbs)

1 cup part skim mozzarella cheese (4 carbs)

½ cup Mario Batali marinara sauce (6 carbs)

pepperoni slices to taste (no carbs)


Preheat the oven to about 400.

Spread mozz evenly over the pizza shell. (Yes, in this style, the cheese comes first, it makes for a different taste experience)

Drizzle the marinara sauce over top of the cheese, and top with pepperoni.

Cook for about 10-15 minutes or until golden brown.


The outcome

With basically the same ingredients, how much difference does the order of the layers really make? Taste it and see! I was amazed at what a different taste experience it was. Moving the cheese layer to the center of the dish helps it to meld to the carbs in the crust. This is a good example of what a difference the order in which things are eaten makes.


Protein, Fats & Fiber (the PFFs)

In type 1 we are trained to focus on carbohydrates, because they have the most direct impact on blood sugar. A healthy diet contains a balanced mix of proteins, fats & fiber (indigestible carbs). Your nutritionist can help you set personal nutritional goals that are right for your age, weight, height, etc. A good starting point is to track what you are actually eating for a few weeks in order to gauge what better choices can be made. There a many tools available to do this. A couple that we have used are My Fitness Pal (website & iPhone app we are currently using) and CalorieKing Nutrition & Exercise Manager.

You may be surprised at what you discover. For us, I found that my type 1er was getting too many of his calories from fats & carbs, and not enough quality protein and fiber. When we brought things more into balance, his blood sugar became more stable as well.


Joslin Fiber Guidelines

The Joslin Diabetes Center (part of Harvard) recommends a between 20 and 35 grams of fiber per day, and aiming for closer to 50 grams per day if possible on page 51 of their Nutrition & Meal Planning book from their Staying Healthy with Diabetes series. This has been shown to improve glucose control, lower insulin levels & improve lipid levels. Drastic changes in fiber intake can mess with your digestion, so if you are not getting enough, work a little extra in at a time. Don’t try to go from 10 to 50 grams per day overnight. The best source of fiber is from whole grains, fruits & veggies. We’ve also found the FiberOne brand is really helpful here. My type 1er loves chocolate and granola bars. With the FiberOne brand, he can satisfy these cravings and get some of the extra fiber he needs as well. And while we generally avoid sugary cereals, the FiberOne Honey Clusters cereal tastes awesome, has only 6 grams of sugar per serving and packs in 13 grams of fiber. He also loves Iced Tea, and Kellogs Special K brand makes a yummy Protein Water mix in tea with 5 grams of fiber (and protein) included. Part of caring for a teenage type 1er is trying to make sure he doesn’t feel deprived or singled out apart from his non type 1 friends. And while his friends may make faces at some of his choices at first, he can usually get them to try it a bit and then they realize these are treats that taste good, and are just a little better for you.


Back to the Pizzas

So I have the pizza ready, am headed out the door for a girls’ nite out, and text my type 1er that it’s time to come home from his friends’ house to eat. What is it about teenagers and not answering their parents’ texts or phone calls! Argh! So the carb count gets left on a post it note for him to be able to count it himself, and I head out down the street to tell him it’s getting cold.


Pizza and insulin

Being a teenage boy, he can, and often does, destroy a whole pie at once. This is one area where the insulin pump is vastly superior to injections. The endos say that you should make insulin fit food, not adjust your food to fit insulin, but an injection can’t do a thing called an extended bolus, sometimes called square or square wave bolus.

What is an extended bolus? Proteins & Fats digest at much slower rates than Carbs, so when eating a carb laden meal that also has high levels of either protein or fats, some of the carbs become bound in with them, taking longer for them to hit the bloodstream, kind of like a time delay. Once they do hit, they still spike it the same as they do when eaten on their own. In these instances, like this pizza, my type 1er takes 80% of the insulin as an immediate bolus, and the remaining 20% is spread over the next 2 hours. This keeps the delayed carb spike in check and post prandial numbers more in range. We’ll talk about this more in the upcoming entry “The Peanut Butter Than Ruined Spring Break”


Being a solitary caregiver for a type 1er can feel like going to school every day with a bully who likes to knock you down, take your lunch money, and stick your head in the john. It takes courage, and perseverance. If you can find a way to laugh while doing it, somehow it feels like everything will be alright.

Atlantic City Style Thin Crust Hot From The Oven
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traditional thin crust hot from the oven
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Atlantic City Style Thin Crust Ready To Cook
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Traditional Thin Crust Ready To Cook
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Mama Mary's Thin Crust
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Mama Mary's Nutrition Info
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Mario Batali, the BEST sauce
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Mario Batali Nutrition Info
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Oct. 2, 2010 4:22 pm
Looks good. I was glad to see there is still pizza to be had in your 1er's live. Also...wonder about the honey vs sugar thing. How is honey so different than sugar in the blood stream?
Oct. 3, 2010 6:11 am
All foods are converted to glucose in the bloodstream eventually. Table sugar has a bit higher glycemic index than honey, which means it enters the bloodstream faster. Also, honey's not as highly refined and a small bit goes a long way, it's more of a whole food. I have a bit of sugar sensitivity myself, and recently finished a 5 month sugar fast. After being away from it for that long and then having a bit, the different physiological effects are evident. There is also more of an after digestion "crash" with sugar.
Oct. 5, 2010 12:36 pm
DH and I watch MvF every chance we got (I heart Adam Richmond). I think the show is on the Travel Channel and not Food Network. I'll definitely have to try out these recipes, though. Maybe DH and I could have a "pizza-off" as well!
Oct. 5, 2010 11:09 pm
Tina...thank you. We are leaning toward alkalinity/acidic 60/40 balance. At least, we are more aware now. I knew honey was "sweeter" than sugar. Actually, our sugar canister used to sport a homemade label that said "Empty Calories". That's when the kids were here. DH mainlines the stuff. Sigh.
Oct. 7, 2010 12:59 pm
Thanks for the info. Our type 1er is 7 now, he was diagnosed at 21 months. In general he's a healthy eater. As a family we've changed the way we eat. Though I'm having more challenges with diet lately. My son wants to eat more vegis but really wants to eat what his peers are eating. So I've been working on my creative cooking skills. Made a moroccan vegi stew that was a hit with the whole family. Ah, the parsnips altered my son's glucose level a bit, he was higher than expected. live and learn. Love the pizza article. We're mastering the square and dual wave on his pump. Good to see you're talking about that with pizza. what's your experience with Mexican food. We focus on eating that early in the day. also, helps to have lots of physical activity when you eat those super slow GI's from Mexican food. I look forward to your recipes and hope to share a few, too.
Oct. 11, 2010 6:19 am
@ Elaine, Ah yes, the good ole parsnips... who'd have thought they'd be high GI? You will probably see from my recipes coming up that we love Mexican & Asian inspired foods. They are very nutritious, fast & yummy. When I'm late getting home my type 1er loves to cook a plate of nachos in the oven as an after school snack. If I'm making them for him I often add tuna to the salsa on top and we call them "tunachos" That one may or may not make it to the blog. It's so simple it's ridiculous! The only Mexican food we're giving the thumbs down are the chicharones! Too much fat gums up the works... Funny story on the extended bolus... the omni asks you how much you would like to take immediately, once my type 1er read it backwards and entered 20% (the amount he wanted to extend) instead. Boy was that a fun night!
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Was the queen of take out until July 2009. Since then I have cooked almost every meal for myself & family. It's actually fun now! In the beginning I hated it...
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Too much salt in the beef stew. Had to throw out the entire contents of the slow cooker.
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