There’s something comforting about sipping juice to treat a low blood sugar. Perhaps it’s the fact that it doesn’t require chewing. Perhaps it’s the fact that juice tastes more appealing than a handful of powdery glucose tablets. Perhaps it’s the fact that holding a juice box with two hands and sipping from a straw makes me feel like a kid again. Whatever it is, juice is definitely my low sugar treatment of choice. Apple, orange, Five Alive – as long as it’s fruity and juicy, I’ll take it. Flavour isn’t really a consideration when my body’s screaming out for fast-acting carbohydrates…
But, there’s a problem. A single juice box generally contains around 25g of carbohydrate. That’s 10g more than I need to treat a mild to moderate low, enough carbs to make me spike from a 3.7 to a 13.6 faster than you can say, “Whoa Laura, slow down. Don’t drink the whole thing!” But when my sugar is low, I want to drink the whole thing. My glucose-deprived brain slows and starts communicating in a simpler language, a language akin to that of cavemen, sending forth signals in grunts and uggs, “SUGAR. ugg. NOW. grunt.” And I want to listen. The result? That dreaded post-low rebound. Crash and climb. Sink and spike. Plunge and peak. Whatever you want to call it, it feels awful.
So, I find great pleasure in portion controlled juice. 15g of carbohydrate in one neat package. I can guzzle the whole thing, right down to that annoying, slurpy, air-through-straw noise, without worrying about over treating.
For years, I bought McCain Junior Juice boxes by the crate. From the time I was diagnosed (at the age of nine) up until a few months ago, these tiny juice boxes for tiny people (and for me) could be found tucked in my school bags, purses and panniers, shoved in the middle console of my parents’ and my own car and stacked neatly on my pantry shelves. Each Junior Juice contained 15g of carbohydrate and each box came illustrated with friendly looking critters (usually rabbits or frogs), wearing formal, turn-of-the-century clothing and picnicking in the great outdoors.
But one day, standing helplessly in the juice aisle, I couldn’t find my beloved rabbits or frogs. I scanned the colourful rows of juice boxes and there were no Junior Juices to be found. I asked the teenager restocking the shelves if he knew when they would be coming in and was met with a blank stare and a mumbled, “Mmmdunno.”
“Uh oh,” I thought. “Does this mean curtains for my frog and rabbit friends (and for my properly portioned low blood sugar treatments)?”
The answer, happily, was no. I did some research and discovered that McCain Foods Canada sold its ready-to-drink beverage business to A. Lassonde Inc. who, I was pleased to learn, did not exterminate my frog and rabbit friends. Despite this happy news, Junior Juices are still nowhere to be found on my grocery store shelves. But, I have found an alternative. A new, portable, portion-controlled serving of juice.
Until my Junior Juice returns, it seems that I’m going to be shopping in the baby food aisle.