Solving the World's Problems While Eating with Diabetes
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.
At 6:45 every morning at a café, coffee shop, diner, bagel joint, or donut shop somewhere in the world, men of a certain age and status arrive one by one. They have come together for an hour or so to argue, debate, discuss and solve the problems troubling the world.
There is no topic too sacred not to be dissected by these men. They will fight about everything and agree on nothing. They do not agree on anything except…. that they are there for breakfast.
These are the long retired men of the world, who for an hour each day get out of the house to escape the tedium of retired life and perhaps their wives. The days of 18 holes of golf 4 times a week have turned into 9 holes on Wednesday if it is not too cold or too hot or too rainy.
What does this have to do with diabetes? Nothing and everything. The common denominator for these men is the place that welcomes them to sit and suck coffee out of a cup for an hour or so as they save the world. However, along with the coffee are the “treats”.
The bagels, donuts, flapjacks, muffins, and breads that are so filled with carbohydrates. Some of these men have diabetes, others have different issues. Each man has to figure out how to save themselves and the world.
Controlling our Blood Sugar
For those with diabetes, the trick is to figure out how to save the world without messing up your blood sugar. For others it is how not to cause a heart attack.
A distant cousin of ours is one of these men. He is struggling with diabetes. Every morning he leaves his wife and heads for the local diner. He has done this for years. He is smart. He knows that the “treats” are not the best way to start his day. So does his wife.
Yet, morning after morning, in all kinds of weather, there he is at the diner. He tries to eat better. He has whole wheat toast with his eggs and uses “lite” syrup with his pancakes. His wife knows that he should not eat this way every day but it is also her time alone. After forty plus years of marriage, she ain’t gonna change him.
After all these years she is not going to take away his hour of freedom and fellow man companionship, or for that matter the time for her to quietly eat her breakfast and watch the news.
We All Have Our Vices
Cousin Ed is not alone. Millions of us enjoy something so much that they don’t want to give it up. What can he do? In Ed’s situation it might be a little easier. He and his companions are longtime customers of the diner. If he wants to bring his own lower carbohydrate bread, I bet management won’t object to toasting it for him. Another choice would be to order a bagel, eat half of it.
I am certain that some of his buddies would be willing to scoff down the rest so he wouldn’t be tempted to eat the whole thing. The restaurant already serves egg white omelets to some of his friends, Ed is not asking for anything more than they are.
The flapjacks are a problem and using a sugar free syrup is a somewhat better choice, but for Ed, sticking to eggs (even egg whites) may be his best bet. How can you get bored with eggs? They are delicious fried, scrambled, as an omelet (with green stuff at breakfast?), poached on a high fiber English muffin, soft boiled and hard boiled.
As a” regular” he could ask Mabel (I hope there are still waitresses named Mabel and Flo, and waiters named Joe) to stock a high fiber cereal or bread for him. No question other customers might (for reasons of their own) also be interested in something that did not have comic book colors.
Perhaps the Eds of the world are too embarrassed to ask for “special” treatment. Ed will be more embarrassed when his pals come to visit him and he is in bed in his jammies.
You and I know it is hard to ask for special stuff without feeling like an invalid. Are you less vital if you are conscious of your health needs? Does asking for what will be of benefit to you make you less of a person?
Nobody should have to give up the joy of companionship just because they have diabetes. It takes a little more work and thinking. Ed could have breakfast at home before he goes off to meet the men. I think his wife will kill me for that suggestion but it is a real choice.
From time to time he can choose to have a “real” breakfast and balance it over the day. He can just slurp cup after cup of coffee while he and his buddies solve the problems of the world.
I need these guys to do that for me. I am too busy cooking diabetes-compatible recipes to share with you.
ENJOY!!! Be happy, be healthy, be creative, and BE DECADENT! –w!
Get more cooking tips and recipe ideas from Ward Alper, the Decadent Diabetic, on his website.
Photo credit: Kevin Dooley on Flickr