All Things Are Possible!
This article was written by Ward Alper, a type 2 diabetic and chef who lives and eats decadently in Portland, Maine. Since his diagnosis more than five years ago, Ward has refocused his recipes and eating to support his diabetic health.
I was diagnosed as a type 2 diabetic in December of 2008. Three weeks later, my doctor arranged an appointment at a diabetes education center. I felt that my life, especially my eating life, was over. Never to have this again, never to have enough of what I was simply used to eating. I thought that my food life would become dull, boring and tasteless for the rest of my life.
Overcoming Negativity Is the First Step
While not suicidal, I was certainly depressed. There was the day in the parking lot when I realized that I could not even have that diet standby, cottage cheese and fruit salad. Well not the fruits I used to have in the quantity I used to have. Raisins, for example, were too high in carbohydrates for me to just toss them on top of the plate. If raisins were too much for a fruit salad, would I ever be able to have a carrot and raisin salad again?
That may have been the low point if you don’t include the nights pushing away from my table, depressed and stressed by the small portions of pasta and rice I was “allowed” to eat. Nobody stood over me and said, “You can’t have that.” It was just me wanting to be as healthy as I could be. It was also me wanting to enjoy food.
Bit by bit, piece by piece, I took everything that I knew about food and cooking and turned it into a world of eating that was again wonderful. Life is full of trials. A type 2 diabetes diet was not going to be one of them. There is so much more in life, so many other challenges.
Attitude and Praise Go a Long Way
My friend Jack was over yesterday. He started going to a nutritionist again. His numbers are getting better. We talked about some easy changes he could make to his diet. And to my pleasure, shock and amazement, Jack was interested and involved in his own care. This from the man who used to taunt me by saying that he just had a Klondike bar on the way over.
Part of what happened is that his nutritionist patted him on the back for his improvements and his attitude. The rest may turn out to be his healthy future – or not. It is Jack, after all, and at 70, he is set in his ways.
You Can Have Your Cake and Eat It Too
Last June, I got married to my love of 32 years. It was a long time in coming. Something that, years ago, was not even a thought. But there we were surrounded by our friends and basking in the joy and loving support of the day. And you had better believe there was plenty of delicious food. So did I have a teaspoon of wedding cake? Not bloomin’ likely! The resort allowed me to bake my wedding cake.
Years ago when our friends Mary and Harold were married, Mary’s brother suggested I bake my prize-winning cheesecake as their wedding cake. Well, clearly, what was good for Mary and Harold is good for us! It was not the same cake recipe I baked for them. My skills have gotten sharper. It might even be better! There was none left on any plate in the house, and it was diabetic-compatible.
Going back to the fruits for my salad, berries are a good choice. An even better choice is using those berries for a summer berry and cream tart. You see, all things are possible!
Enjoy, be happy, be Healthy, BE DECADENT!
Get more nutrition tips and recipe ideas from Ward Alper, the Decadent Diabetic, on his website.