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Posts Tagged ‘dessert’

Levan restaurant

Like a true Negrense, I love food. Food is sacred and not something to be dealt with haphazardly. And because we are the sugar capital of the Philippines, we know desserts like the backs of our hands. Yup, we know the good life, and when life comes collecting, we have to pay.

Our family has lived with diabetes for as long as I can remember. My grandfather had it, and early in our childhood we were accustomed to seeing him use Equal instead of sugar in his coffee. Ironic, since he was in the sugar business.

His son, our uncle, also had diabetes early on. He dealt with it by exercising, cutting down on carbohydrates in his diet, and taking a daily dose of insulin.

My brother does not have diabetes, but has a rather strange blood sugar disorder (I am not quite sure how to call it, so doctors, feel free to correct me). He is not allowed to miss meals, because his blood sugar level will drop and he could faint or fall asleep and not wake up.

Bar Gurion Chocolate SouffleMy Independence Day souffle

When I found out I was pregnant with the BooBoo Bear, I became more cautious with the food I ate. Then I had my sugar test at around 20 weeks and it was (tadaaaa!!!!) normal.

At this point one would think that an intelligent creature would maintain what it was that they were doing to keep their blood sugar levels down.

Apparently I am not an intelligent creature because, despite my family history, I went to town on the Nutella and all things chocolate.

Brewhouse dessertMy blood sugar is high but my EQ is low

So at around 30+ weeks I looked like I was lugging around a giant watermelon and my body was threatening to go into labor. Needless to say, my doctor was NOT very happy.

Gestational diabetes only occurs when a person is pregnant, but once there, it raises their risk of having the actual thing later on in life. It also increases the baby’s risk of becoming obese and developing diabetes.

The solution was going cold turkey. I was placed on a horrible, horrible diet that threatened to drive me mad. I was in a foul mood for days until my body finally adjusted to the diet.

The dietician called it the “Mediterranean Diet.” I don’t recommend it to anyone, because it has to take certain things into consideration such as your body mass index, general health, nutritional requirements and such things. But for more than a month I subsisted on a few slices of (diabetic-friendly) bread a day, one egg, some 5% cheese, quinoa or brown rice, a small slab of meat, yogurt, fruits and veggies. Lots and lots of veggies.

Diet

Good thing I like veggies.

What surprised me the most was that I actually survived living on very basic food. Who knew the human body, a pregnant one at that, needed so little in order to survive and function?

I didn’t think I would make it to the finish line. I did. Eventually. But now I understand why my grandfather was so recalcitrant and would dip his fingers into some cake and ice cream when no one was looking.

I can’t even begin to imagine what life is like for people who have the full blown disease. At least in my case, I knew that once I gave birth it would all be over. I know I still need to take care with what I eat though, so no more midnight excursions for dessert. No more full course meals (except maybe after a day of fasting?). No more ice cream marathons (yes, I’ve been naughty!).

Everyday is still a challenge. I’ve set my limits and, thankfully, I’ve kept to them. For now. Crossing my fingers.

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I like to think that I have pretty good taste in food. Not always cheap, but as a true Negrense, I know my food.

I wish I could prove that more often, but as it turns out, I always end up remembering to document my food only when most of it is already in my stomach. Yeah, it’s that good.

So when R, BBB and I went out with some friends last week, it came as no surprise that I had eaten 3/4 of my vegetable quiche when I remembered I needed to take pictures (yes, I would not survive as a news reporter).

We went to a quaint bohemian cafe near the heart of the Jaffa flea market called Cafe Puaa. On weekends it is absolutely swamped with people, but it was a weekday so things were quieter. It was the night BBB introduced his girlfriend to us, and the relaxed ambiance was perfect for the occasion.

What makes Cafe Puaa unique, aside from its fantastic food and great value for money, is that everything in the restaurant are flea market finds. Interested customers can purchase the cutlery, glasses, plates, even the tables and chairs. That night I ended up buying the blue flower-shaped plate my quiche came on.

It was a nice, warm evening after a stressful day, capped by dessert and coffee that kept us all awake until the wee hours of the morning (yeah I know, bad idea). And the only thing I managed to take a picture of was the decadent kadayif, with layers of mascarpone and berries.

Enjoy.

Kadayif at Cafe Puaa

When I told the Shnufflebubby about this unforgettable dessert, she gave me a worried look and said: “It’s not made of real ponies, is it????”

=D

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