Diabetes Does Not Mean NEVER AGAIN

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After finishing eating a piece of my incredible chocolate cake, my SECOND thought was I never expected to be able to eat this…. again.

When the shock wore off after my diagnosis of type 2 Diabetes, a new sensibility set in. If I had to limit or control my carbohydrates, there were an awful number of foods that I liked I would never be able to have again.

BOY WAS I WRONG!

The list of those foods was incredibly long and it took me years to get most if not all of them back on my table and still fit with my carbohydrate budget.

I guess it was the shock and the incredible lack of my personal knowledge about Diabetes that had me so sad and hopeless. As soon as I found my old rose colored glasses, and figured out how many carbohydrates per meal worked for me, my life changed for the better. I made peace with the restrictions and moved on to figuring out how to eat again. After that I figured out how to eat what I wanted again. Finally, I thought it might be a good idea to share it all with you.

Restricted
It was pretty hard to come to terms with the items (breads, taters, rice, and pasta) that were so high in carbohydrates that too little did not go far enough in satisfying my appetites. Two ounces of pasta had more carbohydrates that I chose to allow myself for one sitting but more important, that amount did not satisfy me.
Bread products on the other hand were a lot easier. It just took a lot of label reading. Moving out west also made a change. I could not easily find the same brands here as I did before. The internet became my go to for some of the brands I “couldn’t live without.” The rest were filled in by, yes, more label reading.
My “trick” was to take the foods that needed to be restricted and make the small amount taste sooo good that presented with the other items on the plate I was satisfied. Oven “fried” potatoes as part of my plate of Fish & Chips is a perfect example. I got a good amount of fish (I love fish), some fried potatoes, and a heap of skinny slaw (cole slaw). When I prepare this dish, nobody leaves the table either hungry or unhappy.

Re-Thought
Who knew eight years later, I would be enjoying deserts and sharing those recipes with the world? It was all about not being stuck in what was but looking toward what could be. I have dozens and dozens of cake and tart recipes, mousse-like crèmes and even a form of a rice pudding (ish) dish made from spaghetti squash. The cakes became possible by replacing some of the flour with ground toasted nuts. This not only lowered the carbohydrate count but added protein and a wonderful flavor to the cakes. Yes, I do use a sugar substitute. It is my personnel choice. It is something you have to decide for yourself.
Cauliflower is my go to as plate filler. Mashed it is scrumptious and soothing like mashed potatoes. Riced it is perfect as a side for chicken, beef, pork and shrimp, Riced and “fried” it is a great accompaniment to Asian style dishes. And last but not least, formed into small pillows it is a fun dish for kids (of all ages) as “cauli” tots.
Come the holidays I always made sweet potatoes as a side dish. I thought I would never have that taste again. Even though sweet potatoes are somewhat better for you than white potatoes (it is the way they metabolize in the body) the old preparation with pineapple, cinnamon, ginger, and marischino cherries (hey tradition is tradition) is way beyond my carbohydrate budget. What I do now is bake the potatoes and use a compound butter flavored with ginger, cinnamon, and nutmeg. It may not have red cherries on top, but the flavor is the same and the carbohydrate count is way down. True I don’t eat as much of it as I once did; but I don’t leave my table sad.
Many of the comfort foods depend on bread crumbs. Meatloaf comes to mind. I still have meat loaf and turkey loaf, but much of the crumbs are replaced by parmesan cheese. It does the same thing in holding the loaf together. I still enjoy my chicken pot pie. The change is a little parmesan cheese to replace some of the flour in the crust; and frankly a little less crust. The crust now does not extend over the edges of the casserole….but it is enough to still count.

What I really want and want to share
One of my big aha moments came when I figured out what I wanted and expected from a dish. What is it in Mac & Cheese that I liked? Was it really the pasta or was it the ooey gooey sauce that covered the macaroni. You know the answer.
It all takes time and work. If what I do can assist you in getting there faster and enjoying your table more, trust me….it is my pleasure.
In case you are wondering what my first thought was, the answer is this tastes incredibly good.

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