Dx: DIABETES…Now What to Eat?

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You have been diagnosed with diabetes…what’s for dinner? Should I eat a paleo, LCHF, vegetarian, vegan, gluten free, or Mediterranean eating plan? Lots of choices but which one should I choose? My answer is any of them, or none of them, or a combination of all of them. What works is one you can stick to and… enjoy.

You may have noticed that I don’t suggest or endorse any specific diet. I am not qualified to do that. I am a chef, not a doctor or nutritionist. My “shtick” Is for you to decide what works best for you, and look to me for ideas about how to make it taste better and keep it interesting. But be clear that it is also my intention to assist you in doing… something. Once you have chosen to do that, I am your man. Well, in truth there are lots of us around that you can turn to for advice and ideas on how to keep your diet interesting. I just choose to focus on eating for people with diabetes. Makes sense, I am one of them.

I look at what I eat, and therefore what you eat, as choices. Not as anything more than all of us do every day.

I would bet that there is not a family or person around that doesn’t restrict something from their diet. For some it is gluten. For others it is nuts. Others can’t tolerate shellfish. Some people will not eat foods for religious or moral reasons.

Then there is the bulk of us that just hate something. Peppers, spinach, spicy foods, fish, broccoli, mushrooms, beans, eeewe! The list is endless. What we and all those people have in common is that there are foods that they can’t and/or won’t eat. Lima beans are my one “just can’t do it”. So here we are with a restricted diet, and we choose to restrict it more? Does that make any sense? You bet it does! I don’t care how good kale is for you, if you hate it, you won’t be likely to eat it. If you don’t see other alternatives to it, you might get upset.

I am about sticking to a positive food choice regime. If you treat eating choices as something nasty, how long will you be able to keep it up?

The goal is to give you as many choices as I can to assist you in reaching your goals. I am absolutely clear that no matter how much I love kale, no matter how many variations on a kale recipe I give you, I may not be able to convince you to love kale. Guess What? That is just fine with me. Kale is ONE of millions of possibilities. Even I don’t love all kale recipes.

I looked over an old article this morning. What struck me is that many of the choices I mentioned had a common thread of Mediterranean cooking. It is because I personally love those flavor combinations. I am NOT suggesting you follow the “Mediterranean” diet. One reason is: which Mediterranean Diet? Surely not what the city people eat. Is it what the country people eat? Since I am not sure about the answer, I just suggest the flavors of that region to add to your diet to spark it up. You see, I want you to think about what will make up a plate that you enjoy and are willing to come back to time and again.

I can just as easily sing the praises of Asian foods. However, I am somewhat limited in my skills in preparing those cuisines. I only have a limited number of dishes I do regularly. Hey, I too get to dine out once in a while. Asian restaurants are a pleasant change for me. But I like to share what I got. One blend of spices that I use a great deal is called Chinese five spice. It is readily available in most “stupidmarkets.” It is a blend of star anise, cloves, cinnamon, fennel and pepper.

I usually don’t recommend using a prepared spice mixture. Why? Because it can be far more expensive to buy a pre-made mixture and buying a little bit of each spice in bulk is usually fresher than the packaged products. In this one instance, I don’t yet get how to balance out those five spices, so I leave it to the experts (I hope).

Just because I like the flavor, I usually add ground ginger to the dishes as well. When using this as a marinade for chicken or pork, adding soy, and mustard along with a neutral oil, and either low sodium chick stock (or broth) and dry sherry will give the protein great Asian flavors. If this is too adventurous for you to start with, then just try the ginger, mustard, soy and lemon or lime juice. Instead of rice or noodles, I suggest you try some Brussels sprout salad or spaghetti squash, or just some simple steamed broccoli.

The deal is: the world of flavors is there for you to tap. Just let your fork, knife and napkin be your passport to a world of tastes that make Diabetic and all eating more fun.
Diagnosis Diabetes: Make the most of it.

Enjoy, be happy, be Healthy, BE DECADENT!

Source: Ward Alper, the Decadent Diabetic