Diabetes…Moving Off Your Position


This guest post was written by type 2 diabetic and chef Ward Alper. It originally appeared on his website, The Decadent Diabetic, and was republished on Information About Diabetes with permission.

“Sometimes I stand in the middle of the floor
Not moving left, not moving right.”
-Stephen Sondheim, “Losing My Mind” from “Follies”

I still remember the feeling of being overwhelmed by my Diagnosis of Diabetes nine years ago. It really did not matter that I “almost” expected it given my ethnic and family background. Still it hit me like a ton of bricks.

I tell you this, so those of you that are still trying to come to terms with managing YOUR Diabetes will NOT give up hope.

I get that people feel hopeless after they get their diagnosis. It is a lot to swallow without a lot of comfort food to swallow along with it. Very few of us see instant results in this world of instant gratification. I am here to share with you that it is worth all of the effort.

My eating life today is as good as it was before…only different. It did not come about in a day or a week or a month. Slow, piece by piece, bit by bit, adding one recipe or process at a time, I have so many choices that I can actually make a different dish every day before having to repeat any of them. I do of course repeat all of my favorites over and over again. Those other dishes, they become a nice change from time to time.

What becomes very clear in reading reader’s comments here and on other Diabetes-specific sites, is some folks are paralyzed and don’t know what to do first. The trick is to do something. Start small. Find one new food or preparation that is lower in carbohydrates than what you had been eating….all of your old life. If you don’t like it, you never have to make it again. If you like it even a “little”, enhance it so you like it a lot. Once you have mastered not only the recipe but the idea that things can be used in a different way, keep going. For me it was finding a lower carbohydrate bread. Yeah, sandwiches! Then I baked the bread in the oven to make chips, and baked it in a different way for garlic bread. The truth is that there is nothing stopping you, just like nothing has stopped me. I am preparing a chicken dish today with the intention of the leftovers becoming a wonderfully (and work done) pre-seasoned and different meal for an older recipe: Chicken Tortilla pie.

I admit it, you do have enjoy cooking, at least a little. It is really hard to come up with Diabetes-Compatible meals from a box or in the freezer case. Make it easier on yourself. Remember the chicken, fish, and meat you always ate is still a good part of what you can still eat. Even the side dishes you love, say string beans are still available to you. Make them more interesting by adding some crunch to them with almonds or bell peppers.

Rather than pining over the loss of double fudge rocky marshmallow peanut butter chunk smoothie, go online (posted recipes for a start) and look for Diabetes recipes for some of the foods you used to love to eat. I am surprised to see how many variations on A Diabetes-Compatible there are out in cyberspace.

Don’t be afraid to tweak them to suit your tastebuds. If you like hot and spicy foods, add some more spice to the recipe. Start small and add more each time until you have created a dish flavored perfectly for …you.

It was amazing to me, and I think it will be to you that just starting to look at food in a different way will make such a difference in your life.
Feeling paralyzed by Diabetes does not lower your A1C. When the time is right for you, move off the position of “woe is me I have Diabetes” and figure out what small thing you can do to make a difference in your Diabetes life. We all get to it in our own time.

I found, and you may find out, that you are heathier. Certainly it gives you the sense of being more in control of your Diabetes. And with your Diabetes you might realize that you are in control of much more of your life than you thought back when the doctor told you….you have Diabetes.
Enjoy, be happy, be Healthy, BE DECADENT.-w!

Source: Ward Alper, the Decadent Diabetic