WORKING to Manage Your Diabetes

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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.

There is no question that life with Diabetes is a little harder and takes more work than life before Diabetes. WE ARE WORTH IT!

I posted a recipe for a “riced” cauliflower dish and was kinda sorta surprised at a question from a reader:

“Where do I buy the riced Cauliflower?”

I was even more surprised when I saw riced cauliflower for sale at my local produce market. IT DOES EXIST. It never occurred to me that a product like riced cauliflower existed in the marketplace. Part of that is for the longest time, I thought I invented it….WRONG! I should have expected it.

I try to buy the biggest cauliflower I can find when I am planning to make any of the many forms of riced cauliflower that graces my plate. I usually freeze much of it for later use. So why should I be surprised to see that frozen riced cauliflower is actually available in the marketplace? I have to tell you that I have not heard any positive comments about the “stuff” you can find ready- made. Mostly I have heard complaints about the size of the “rice” or it having an off texture. I think this is because the commercial packagers use more of the cauliflower stem and some of the stalk.

I find making it myself very little work whether I use a box grater or my trusty food processor. Why, I thought should anybody want or need to buy it pre made? The answers are of course, time and fear of the unknown. A reader actually wrote:

“This is totally new to me, I don’t want to mess it up.”

It takes more time to continually make Diabetes-Compatible dishes than it did to make higher carbohydrate sides. Some dishes that is. Chicken is still chicken and steak is still steak. They naturally fit into a smaller carbohydrate budget without any effort.

It usually does not take any more time or effort to make 4 portions than it does to make two. To save time and effort, try doubling or tripling a recipe and freezing the amount you don’t use the first day.

I also am amazed that I see more than a fair share of comments about NOT being able to easily find good recipes for people with Diabetes. Forgetting that there are hundreds here for the “clicking”, there are thousands and thousands of good to great recipes out in cyberspace just waiting for you to look at and cook up. It really doesn’t take much work to find the recipes but it does take work on YOUR part to know if the recipe is really right for a person with Diabetes and right for you.

I cringe at the thought that 25 years ago or so, I created a recipe book for an uncle of mine that had all kinds of issues, including Diabetes. One of the recipes was for a potato soup. He loved it. In small amounts it probably wasn’t an issue for him. For most people with Diabetes, that soup is most likely not the best choice. The thing is that like most people at the time, I thought he ONLY had to control the SUGAR he ate. Good thing for me and for you, I know better now. There is work involved in looking at a recipe and making the determination (for you) whether it is right for you carbohydrate budget. It is up to you and your medical team to figure out what may work and what may not.

The real work is not in cooking a Diabetes-Compatible meal, but in figuring out what meals will work for your carbohydrate needs and your tastebuds. You won’t eat it if you don’t like it or it blows your numbers.

Meal planning can be a real exercise in high mathematics. If I make X dish, which is acceptable in terms of carbohydrates, and serve it with Y dish, will I go over my budget for the meal? For example: a small amount of oven fried potatoes works for me, but it may blow the budget if you serve them along with a burger even on a lower carbohydrate bun. Both work on their own but perhaps not in combination. Maybe use the potatoes with some fish or chicken and make a cauliflower salad or skinny slaw to serve with the burger.

Like I said, It takes some work and getting used to. You can do it. You are worth it….don’t you think?

Enjoy, be happy, be Healthy, BE DECADENT.-w!

Source: Ward Alper, the Decadent Diabetic