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Old 02-10-2015, 07:38 PM   #21
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Oh, I though a carb sat on the intake manifold of an internal combustion engine. Am I on the right site?
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Old 02-10-2015, 08:03 PM   #22
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Oh, I do look at fat and protein. I record everything I eat in MyFitnessPal so I see all the nutrients. I just didn't put all that in the post since I knew it was already super long.

I don't really go out of my way to eat low fat foods, but there are a few things that I have around here that are lowfat. I do check the carb content before buying since I know they often add sugars to make up for the fat. I actually prefer to make my own salad dressing (with olive oil and balsamic vinaigrette), but I was in a hurry the day I ate the salad I mentioned. Normally, I eat about 40% to 45% of my calories as fat.

I hate avocados so don't eat them. I use olive oil as my fat whenever possible. I eat 1 ounce of nuts almost every day (usually pistachios, but can be almonds or walnuts). I've done this for many, many years.
40 to 45% fat is definitely in the right ball park. I just picked up on a couple of your choices and wondered.
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Old 02-10-2015, 09:12 PM   #23
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Wow! so much detail, I'm impressed! I'm definitely going to look up the book by Jenny Ruhl, it sounds great. Hopefully it can get me motivated enough to do some similar testing.

One thing to remember is other things like amount of sleep, stress, exercise can change your numbers as well. A meal could be a problem meal one day, and not a problem another day, especially once you figure the error range on those meters.
I quite enjoyed her blood sugar book and it really helped me in figuring out how to test what I eat. I'm a person who likes data so it has been helpful to me to really get into the details.

And, you have a good point on the other things that affect the numbers. Just today I ate something I've eaten before and it has been one of the borderline type foods, but one that was barely borderline and most acceptable. Today it raised my blood sugar to 147 at one hour! So, I agree that it is best to test a meal a few times before making a final decision on it.

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40 to 45% fat is definitely in the right ball park. I just picked up on a couple of your choices and wondered.
Yes, and thank you for your post. I thought you made some really good points.
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Old 02-10-2015, 10:05 PM   #24
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They have home A1C kits available at pharmacies, if it gives you piece of mind well worth it.
It is however highly inaccurate which makes is totally useless in my opinion. (Yes, I have bought a couple and they were way off in comparison to the lab results.)
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Old 02-10-2015, 10:13 PM   #25
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Katsmeow,

You are sooo very methodical. I am very, very impressed! I wish I had the discipline, but I am glad for you that you figured out a lot by doing it the way you did. I should try some time also. (I react severely to white food as far as blood sugar is concerned, and overall, my results seem worse, but my A1C test showed 5.7 and 5.8 a couple of years ago.

I use Truetest strips, which may be a dollar cheaper (for 100 strips) than yours (< $18 is the lowest I see on eBay.)
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Old 02-10-2015, 11:24 PM   #26
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Katsmeow, did your feeling of coldness improve any with the Thyroid medicine?


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Old 02-11-2015, 12:24 AM   #27
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Katsmeow, did your feeling of coldness improve any with the Thyroid medicine?

That is an interesting question. I hadn't really thought about it. Now that I do think about it, I actually haven't been complaining about being cold as often. So...possibly.
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Old 02-11-2015, 04:14 AM   #28
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Katsmeow - You haven't mentioned exercise in your very detailed, scientific report. I don't know as much about blood sugar as others on the forum, but I have read that regular, vigorous exercise can affect blood sugar levels. Have you considered including your exercise levels in your monitoring, to see whether vigorous exercise could counteract the effects of a particular meal?

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I posted previously about my recent blood test results. I was surprised by an A1C of 5.9% given that my fasting blood glucose as 84 and my triglycerides were 104. I also eat lowish carb usually in the 100 to 120g a day range, occasionally higher or lower.

An A1C at that level supposedly maps out to an average blood glucose of around 123. I know this can vary and be misleading if you have long-lived red blood cells.

From research, I know that results like I received could be valid if I was spiking really high blood sugars which took a long time to come down. I wanted to know so I bought a meter and have been testing my blood glucose. My fasting blood glucose in the mornings have 87 to 94. I had one outlier at 110, but I retested 20 minutes later (without having eaten) and got a reading of 87. So I think the 84 fasting result at the end of December seems reasonably accurate. (I'm using a Relion Prime meter which my internet research indicates tends to read slightly high).

I have also been testing after meals, usually 1 and 2 hours after although occasionally I vary from it. Some of the results have been surprising. It is clear to me that some foods do raise my blood sugar to a higher level than I would like. Others are a bit more equivocal. And, some carbs do nothing bad at all.

I read Jenny Ruhl's book on how to do this. She gives 2 potential targets to shoot for. One is to be at 120 after an hour, 100 after 2 which is what she says truly normal people end up at. Another option (which I gather is more for people not truly normal but which she seems to think is sufficient) is 140 after 1 hour and 120 after 2 hours. She says is up the individual which target to shoot for. My thought is to be close to the 120/100 most of the time, with it rarely going over and to work really hard to never go above the 140/120.


My results so far have been interesting. I’ve tried during this time to eat as normally as possible so I can get a feel for my usual diet. I did eat a few things that, in actuality, I eat only a few times a year but I wanted to see what they would do. I put things with carbs in 3 categories: OK, Problem, Borderline/Mixed. (Things that aren’t carbs are all OK for me in terms of blood sugar).


Since I’ve been testing my total daily carbs have ranged from 46 to 129. Average daily carbs is 99.

Would appreciate any feedback from those of you who have looked at this kind of thing.


Things that so far are OK:

Pistachios (9g carbs)


Quest bars (25g carbs, 16g fiber or 21g carbs, 17g fiber)


Dark chocolate square (4 to 7g carbs depending on whether 70% or 86%) – at least 70% cocoa (this is one square which isn’t a problem. That is only about 60 calories.)


Whole wheat tortilla with high fiber, with hummus, and half cup blackberries (25g carbs, 13g fiber) – I had this twice and neither time did do anything problematical


Whole wheat tortilla with high fiber, with scrambled egg, lowfat cheese, bell pepper (13g carbs, 8g fiber)


Tuna Salad Sandwich – this was on 2 pieces of 45 calorie whole wheat bread (19g carbs, 5g fiber) – Much better than I expected. 118 at 1 hour, 106 at 2 hours, and 100 at 3 hours.

Problem:


Salad with chicken, greens, bell peppers, cucumbers, cherry tomatoes, 3 T. friend wonton strips, 2 T. Lite honey mustard dressing (38g carbs, 6g fiber) – 140 at 1 hour, although it was down to 99 at 2 hours. Next time I will do this without the wonton strips


Tortilla chips (about 18), chicken fajitas with 2 whole wheat tortillas, about 3/4 serving Mexican rice, few bites of charro beans (94g carbs, 9g fiber) (this is a meal I rarely have, but wanted to see the result) – 160 at 1 hour, 135, at 2 hours, 116 at 3 hours, 90 at hours. Definitely not having this. I think at least the chips and rice have to go. I might be able to have 1 of the tortillas, but not sure. Will check next time we go there.


Panera – Thai Chicken Salad, Mediterranean Flatbread, chips - (73g carbs, 8g fiber) 158 at 1 hour, 136 at 2 hours, 108 at 3.5 hours. I was surprised by this as it was so much worse than the BBQ chicken salad, turkey chili, and chips that I have in the borderline/mixed category. However, this meal has more refined carbs and slightly more carbs and a little less fiber.. Specifically, the fried wontons on this salad (the BBQ chicken has corn and beans instead) and the flatbread itself (the other meal has turkey chili with beans instead). Both meals have 1 oz. chips. I don’t actually usually eat this meal, but wanted to test it out. The BBQ Chicken salad with turkey chili is my common meal there.


Panera – Cinnamon Crunch bagel. I expected this to be bad. I don’t often have this, but was curious. My blood glucose was 87 right before starting to eat it. An hour after eating it was 179. Holy cow! At 3 hours (I was not able to test at 2 hours) it was back to 100. No more of these for me.


Potato chips, 1.87 oz (35g carbs, 2g fiber) – 121 at 1 hour, 131 at 2 hours, 102 at 3 hours. This is a larger serving than I usually eat (1 oz). 1 oz. might work out OK for me, perhaps with a meal, but need to check.

Borderline/Mixed (these are things that don’t go above the 140/120 and are close to the 120/100 but might go a bit above or where I need to investigate more)

Panera – BBQ chicken salad (half), cup turkey chili, 1 oz. Panera potato chips (64g carbs, 14g fiber) – Somewhat to my surprise this was 118 at 1 hour. I wasn’t able to test at 2 hours, but it was at 112 at 3 hours and was 79 at 4 hours. I was reasonably happy with it and think it would be fine if I dropped the chips. I’m going to try this meal again and test at 2 hours.


Luvo Chicken Verde Poblano Burrito (38g carbs, 6g fiber) – I had this a couple of times. Did not go above 120 at one hour but was a little over 100 at an hour. It was....OK...but I don't love it that much that I necessarily want to keep it to try again.



Luvo Breakfast Burrito (38g carbs, 4g fiber) – Was 95 at one hour, 111 at 2 hours, 124 at 3.5 hours and 107 at 4.5 hours.

Grilled fish with a Green Giant vegetable medley that had potatoes as one of the vegetables. (32 g carbs, 2g fiber) – Kind of surprised that it was at 126 at 1 hour, but was 95 at 2 hours. I want to test this one again.


Skillet crisp fish with green beans and almonds. (27g carbs, 3g fiber) (This is Gorton’s Skillet Crisp Fish with have a light flour coating. This was baked in the oven) – 122 at 1 hr, 20 minutes. 116 at 2 hours 20 minutes and still at 109 at 3 hours. This didn’t come down as quickly as I would like. Again, I probably just won't buy this fish again.



Mediterranean buffet – Hummus, Falafel, tabouli, small amount of pasta salad (oil dressing), chicken shwarma, fattoush salad, 1 small piece of baklava – (82g carbs, 10g fiber – this restaurant doesn’t give nutritional info – estimated from similar items elsewhere) - Was not able to test at 1 hour. Was 111 at 2 hours. Will try this again and not include any baklava. I think without the baklava, it will probably be OK for me.


Conclusions – I don’t really see anything that would equate to an A1C of 5.9%. Most of the food that I ate during these several days didn’t create any issue at all and isn’t mentioned. There were only a few times that my blood sugar ever got above 140. I looked back at what I was eating before the A1C. It was a little higher carb (my test was on 12/30 right after holidays). So I could see my average blood glucose being a little higher then than it is now, but looking at what I was eating then I can’t see it actually being that high. I wonder if I'm just one of those people with long-lived red blood cells.


That said, it is clear that I do react negatively to some carbs so I want to modify my diet so I don't have it going as high as it did with some of those meals.


Going forward, pretty much any meal below 25g carbs seems OK. Meals between 25g carbs and 65g carbs may be OK depending on what it is. The more refined carbs the less OK it is, even if the total carbs are still relatively low. The few things that I ate above 65g carbs (the Mexican food meal, the bagel and the salad/flatbread Panera meal) all raised my blood sugar a lot compared to anything else and what is notable are the refined carbs in them.


On the other hand, I don’t see a need to avoid all grains. A single whole wheat tortilla with hummus or with a scrambled egg in it did fine. Also, a square of dark chocolate was totally fine so I don't see a reason to avoid eating that which I do a few times a week.


My sense from this is that I can fairly easily tweak my diet to avoid refined carbs that raise my blood sugar. I already don’t eat them a lot (I ate more during this period so I could test what was problematical). Some of the problem or borderline meals could be easily modified (no baklava, no chips, etc.). My 100g or so of carbs doesn’t seem to be a problem. Even my higher carb days (in the 120s) weren’t problematical as a whole, unless individual meals created a problem.

I don’t see a reason from this to lower my total carb intake specifically, but this does suggest to watch how many total carbs I eat at a meal and to avoid even relatively small amounts of refined carbs (such as the wonton strips). Those don't seem very difficult changes for me to make.
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Old 02-11-2015, 06:40 AM   #29
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Wow! so much detail, I'm impressed! I'm definitely going to look up the book by Jenny Ruhl, it sounds great. Hopefully it can get me motivated enough to do some similar testing.

One thing to remember is other things like amount of sleep, stress, exercise can change your numbers as well. A meal could be a problem meal one day, and not a problem another day, especially once you figure the error range on those meters.

But overall, it looks like you're doing really well with finding meals that work for you, and stuff that tends to make you react too much.

And I agree that the A1C looks high for your numbers. Mine was 5.8 at last testing, my fasting were numbers are 110-120, and after food was in the 140 range most times.
I agree with you on the effect of sleep, stress, exercise and I add weight control on diabetes.

In my case I was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes 18 months ago with a fasting blood glucose of 194 and an A1C of 7.8 with no family history of diabetes whatsoever. I was overweight, lacked sleep, unhappy at work and dealing with mother's health issues and long term care. I was on Metformin for 6 months and went on a strict low carb diet and walked 3-4 miles daily. I lost 30 lbs, retired from my job and my stress level dropped considerably . I am now medication and stress free, continue to walk, play tennis and sleep about 8 hours a night and I am no longer on a low carb diet. My A1C at my last checkup was 5.3. I check my fasting blood glucose weekly at home and it's been averaging 93 for the last 6 months.

I know people are different but I do think that reducing stress and weight control play a major role in managing diabetes especially when no family history is present.
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Old 02-11-2015, 07:18 AM   #30
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I agree with you on the effect of sleep, stress, exercise and I add weight control on diabetes.

In my case I was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes 18 months ago with a fasting blood glucose of 194 and an A1C of 7.8 with no family history of diabetes whatsoever. I was overweight, lacked sleep, unhappy at work and dealing with mother's health issues and long term care. I was on Metformin for 6 months and went on a strict low carb diet and walked 3-4 miles daily. I lost 30 lbs, retired from my job and my stress level dropped considerably . I am now medication and stress free, continue to walk, play tennis and sleep about 8 hours a night and I am no longer on a low carb diet. My A1C at my last checkup was 5.3. I check my fasting blood glucose weekly at home and it's been averaging 93 for the last 6 months.

I know people are different but I do think that reducing stress and weight control play a major role in managing diabetes especially when no family history is present.
I'm interested in how you are progressing. I understand the "strict low carb" to achieve the initial weight loss and numbers changes but can you provide more detail about maintenance? Did you return to your previous diet? Or did you modestly increase carbs? How long have you been on your maintenance diet and how have your weight and numbers been? I proceeded similarly to you but have to be careful (not fanatical) with the carbs, averaging probably 100-120 grams a day or weight starts slowly drifting up. I pay close attention to what I eat but never how much I eat, letting appetite govern. I know quite a few people who went with very strict low carb and/or high protein diets with great initial results but then lost almost all the ground they gained by going back to what they assumed was a more balanced diet with some half assed effort at portion control. But I am curious about how individual this all is.
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Old 02-11-2015, 07:34 AM   #31
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I'm interested in how you are progressing. I understand the "strict low carb" to achieve the initial weight loss and numbers changes but can you provide more detail about maintenance? Did you return to your previous diet? Or did you modestly increase carbs? How long have you been on your maintenance diet and how have your weight and numbers been? I proceeded similarly to you but have to be careful (not fanatical) with the carbs, averaging probably 100-120 grams a day or weight starts slowly drifting up. I pay close attention to what I eat but never how much I eat, letting appetite govern. I know quite a few people who went with very strict low carb and/or high protein diets with great initial results but then lost almost all the ground they gained by going back to what they assumed was a more balanced diet with some half assed effort at portion control. But I am curious about how individual this all is.
I was trying to limit carbs to less than 100 grams a day and I was vigilant about keeping track of that. Now I don't track it as much but I guess it's between 160-200. I did not gain any weight since I dropped the 30 lbs and I never worried about portion control when I dieted either and I still don't.
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Old 02-11-2015, 09:07 AM   #32
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I will agree that your regular testing doesn't reveal anything that would lead one to expect an a1c of 5.9. I've spent many years in the a1c range of 5.6 to 5.8 and my blood sugar spikes to the foods you have tested would be much much higher.
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Old 02-11-2015, 07:53 PM   #33
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Katsmeow - You haven't mentioned exercise in your very detailed, scientific report. I don't know as much about blood sugar as others on the forum, but I have read that regular, vigorous exercise can affect blood sugar levels. Have you considered including your exercise levels in your monitoring, to see whether vigorous exercise could counteract the effects of a particular meal?
I think it may. A lot of my exercise hasn't been near any of the problematical meals, but one time I did make a note of it. When I had the BBQ chicken salad/turkey chili/chips at Panera, blood sugar was 118 at one hour, 112 at about 2 hours and was 79 at 4 hours after a 40 minute walk on the treadmill.

I do want to test this more thoroughly. I didn't do it during the testing in this thread after problematical meals because I wanted to see what would happen without any exercise. Now, on some of those I want to eat the same meal and then exercise and see what difference it makes.

On another note -- I found out today that French Fries need to come off the list. This is not a big problem because I very, very rarely ever eat French Fries. This evening I had grilled fish and shrimp and a serving of French Fries (not any better choices at this restaurant so I decided to make an experiment of it, although I thought I knew what would happen). At 70 minutes after eating, I was at 159. This wasn't a surprise (I would have been surprised by any other result).

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I will agree that your regular testing doesn't reveal anything that would lead one to expect an a1c of 5.9. I've spent many years in the a1c range of 5.6 to 5.8 and my blood sugar spikes to the foods you have tested would be much much higher.
Yes, that is my sense as well. I plan to have the A1C tested at the end of March (3 months after my last test).
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Old 02-11-2015, 08:39 PM   #34
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Looking forward to reading about your results with exercise!
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Old 02-11-2015, 09:58 PM   #35
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Most folks like me will see blood sugar go down during and after exercise, but a few note that exercise can raise their glucose readings in the near term. Overall though, regular exercise will show a great benefit in blood sugar levels, with the timing of the exercise not being all that important.
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Old 02-14-2015, 06:23 PM   #36
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Something interesting I've just discovered that seems appropriate to this thread. In my many years as diabetic I've gone through all sorts of phases of bread/pasta eating, from none at all (not very successful) through gluten free (either not very good or too much sugar or lousy texture or something) through just whole grains (yummy but not effective in lowering blood sugar) through other imitations like spinach pasta and such. Mostly I go back to regular pasta, but I try to eat very little of it.

Some of the foods I tried were good/ok, and some helped control my blood sugar, but it has been rare to fine anything that is both. For bread I've been pretty happy with Ezekial bread, but I've never found a good pasta substitute.

Recently I bought a box of Explore Asian Organic Black Bean Spaghetti, and jackpot! This is obviously JMO, but it's an excellent replacement for spaghetti noodles, both with spaghetti sauce as well as in other dishes like Asian food. It doesn't taste like durum pasta, but it's quite tasty in it's own right, and has a good texture when cooked. It can be a little sticky like regular spaghetti, but a little drizzle of olive oil takes care of that. I didn't have any great expectations, but it's been a fabulous surprise.

Nutrition info is:

Gluten free
92% black beans, 8% water
180 cals in 2 oz serving
2g fat, 25g protein, 17g carbs (12 fiber, 5 sugars), 2 mg sodium.

I can't find anything wrong with it. It tastes good, has a good texture, doesn't raise my blood sugar like all other pastas and substitutes, doesn't have any beany side effects. Good stuff. I got a big 2 lb box from Costco, and I think it was under $5. If anybody else tries (or has tried) I'd be interested in your opinions. Seems like a magic food to me, as a life long bread/pasta addict.
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Old 02-14-2015, 07:09 PM   #37
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Something interesting I've just discovered that seems appropriate to this thread. In my many years as diabetic I've gone through all sorts of phases of bread/pasta eating, from none at all (not very successful) through gluten free (either not very good or too much sugar or lousy texture or something) through just whole grains (yummy but not effective in lowering blood sugar) through other imitations like spinach pasta and such. Mostly I go back to regular pasta, but I try to eat very little of it.

Some of the foods I tried were good/ok, and some helped control my blood sugar, but it has been rare to fine anything that is both. For bread I've been pretty happy with Ezekial bread, but I've never found a good pasta substitute.

Recently I bought a box of Explore Asian Organic Black Bean Spaghetti, and jackpot! This is obviously JMO, but it's an excellent replacement for spaghetti noodles, both with spaghetti sauce as well as in other dishes like Asian food. It doesn't taste like durum pasta, but it's quite tasty in it's own right, and has a good texture when cooked. It can be a little sticky like regular spaghetti, but a little drizzle of olive oil takes care of that. I didn't have any great expectations, but it's been a fabulous surprise.

Nutrition info is:

Gluten free
92% black beans, 8% water
180 cals in 2 oz serving
2g fat, 25g protein, 17g carbs (12 fiber, 5 sugars), 2 mg sodium.

I can't find anything wrong with it. It tastes good, has a good texture, doesn't raise my blood sugar like all other pastas and substitutes, doesn't have any beany side effects. Good stuff. I got a big 2 lb box from Costco, and I think it was under $5. If anybody else tries (or has tried) I'd be interested in your opinions. Seems like a magic food to me, as a life long bread/pasta addict.

I'll get it and try it out on DH and see how his readings go. Thanks!
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Old 02-15-2015, 10:51 AM   #38
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Is this the product?

http://www.amazon.com/Explore-Asia-O.../dp/B0078DU1CY

Interesting that the 6-pack for $25 is 60˘ an oz. and the single unit (w/add-on to order of $25) is 57˘ an oz.

(I am posting this only because of the image... there are plenty of sources. See Google search.)
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Old 02-15-2015, 02:22 PM   #39
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Yep, that's the one. At 2 lbs. for $5 Costco has that beat big time.

I just had some leftover for lunch. It's still good. This may be my best substitute food find so far. I don't do well with dropping foods I love off the menu, or substituting zucchini for pasta, or other tricks for going low carb. I prefer substituting something that is similar to what I am trying to get away from. Now I need to look into a black bean pizza crust. Wonder how that would work?
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Old 02-15-2015, 02:45 PM   #40
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[QUOTE=harley;1557635]Yep, that's the one. At 2 lbs. for $5 Costco has that beat big time. QUOTE]

That's ~16˘ an oz. That is a big difference. In fact, it throws up a "too good to be true" flag.

In any event, I will look for it the next time I am in Costco (we go every couple months or so).

Thank you.
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