Unfortunately, aging is something that we can’t just stop, reverse, and pretend nothing is ever going to happen to us physically—or mentally, for that matter. It’s time I stopped ignoring my condition, which I’ve often done on our wonderful 5 days for our summer vacation to Gatlinburg.

You see, I’m a diabetic, and you wouldn’t know it from all the pictures and wonderful Southern food I’ve consumed on our dozen plus trips to the Smoky Mountains. It’s not that I haven’t made smart choices on our trips; in fact, I don’t even snack between meals at all the free sample displays like I used to. No, I’ve been checking my blood sugar the past few visits like a good diabetic should. I just got tired of feeling like crap every time I consumed carb-heavy breakfasts and wondering why all the walking I was doing wasn’t making me feel better.

It’s taken me 20+ years to figure out why my blood sugars were high even after eating a light lunch with granola, yogurt, and fruit. That’s why I’ve been on the low-carb thing lately: my blood sugars are better and my focus is much better too, with much less fatigue. I see no reason to still not enjoy my Gatlinburg trip coming up, though.

I’m actually looking forward to trying new things, even if it does mean more salads and a lot less bread—and yes, I do realize how difficult that can be in Gatlinburg of all places. Pizza is going to be the hardest, but I’ll allow myself a piece. Gone are the days where I could just fill up with as much as I pleased, then suffered the rest of the night feeling fatigued—not realizing that the way I felt the next day was related to the previous day’s food-gorging.

Being a diabetic in Gatlinburg isn’t easy I’m sure for even the strictest dieter. I’m sure most restaurants cook in some of the most unhealthy oils too, but I can temporarily deal with that as long as the food isn’t causing a meteoric spike in blood sugar. I know I’ll still enjoy some of those great meats at Cherokee Grill, whether it’s the Prosperity Steak or Pork Chops. However, I might have to rethink the Neva’s Potatoes, because white potatoes are right up there with ice cream as some of the worst offenders on my blood sugar. Crockett’s Breakfast Camp won’t be too difficult either, because I love their omelets, and the corn pone is too small a serving to have a major impact on my blood sugar.

As I’ve mentioned, I’ve already made some huge sacrifices in not indulging in a bunch of sugary samples—as I had done in our first visits—so that won’t be a problem, even though it’s hard getting a whiff of that carnival-like atmosphere in Gatlinburg. The changes I’ve started making in my home life is preparing me for how I want to feel throughout our time in Gatlinburg and tackle the challenges in that minefield.

I almost forgot to mention one more thing that will be torturous cutting back on, because I have absolutely no intention of skipping the deliciosity (I made that up) of The Donut Friar. The only difference is I’m only going to get one donut on my morning walk, instead of the normal two: Chocolate Cruller and Chocolate Chipper. I think maybe I will put that on my Twitter account as a poll and see what one you guys think I should choose. As I’m writing this, I’m not looking forward to that decision—AT ALL!

So to finish this up, my dietary changes are going to consist of as little bread as possible, no sweets (the exception being The Donut Friar), more meat (easy on the sweet BBQ sauce from Bennett’s), and I’m going to try a salad from somewhere. Any suggestions on where I might find a good salad in Gatlinburg would be greatly appreciated too. I don’t have a specific number I’m trying to stay under in my low-carb eating, but I’m certainly not going full-on keto; I’m just a proponent of keeping my blood sugars fairly level, and it’s something we diabetics can struggle with on a daily basis.

Thanks for reading, and I’m sorry for the delay, but I’ve had a lot on my plate lately…well, some good stuff, anyway. Sorry, but I had to do that:) I may write another post prior to our June trip that’s almost here already, but if I don’t you’ll see a Gatlinburg trip soon after, where I’ll let you all know how it went and fill you in on some the new places we discovered. Thanks again, and see you all again soon!