Having your Diabetes-Compatible Cake and Eating It Too

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When I was diagnosed with Diabetes in 2008, I knew as little as the general public still knows about the disease. I knew that my brother, sister, and father all had Diabetes. I thought that they ONLY had to cut sugar out of their foods. I was certain it was the end of deserts for me.

When I asked my doctor if it meant that I could NEVER have chocolate again, he smiled warmly and put his thumb and forefinger VERY CLOSE together and said: “well maybe a little”. I really like chocolate but if it meant that I could stay healthier without it, it was gonzo.

In the first few months after my diagnosis, I did what I was told, ate fewer carbohydrates, not just sugars, lost some weight, and took my medicine despite the side effects. I was a regular “good boy”. I wasn’t happy about what I was eating, but truth be told, I wasn’t miserable either. I knew it was all for the best. Boy I wished it would get easier. I am happy to report that it did get easier, much easier. Sometimes you don’t know what really makes you happy until you stumble upon it.

Of all the things that I miss since my diagnosis in 2008, cake/desert is not one of them. The reason is that I have learned how to make some pretty scrumptious deserts that fit perfectly into my carbohydrate budget (I have over 50 variations in my files). Not only are they delicious, I can have a real people sized slice instead of a sliver or a teaspoon full. That thumb and forefinger have gotten wider apart.

Being able to have my cake, and eat it, is really only important in the scheme of things because it re-enforces that my food life is really not all that hard to live with. It is for that reason that if I ever get a book to market, chapter one will be deserts. I figure that if I can give you a serious batch of deserts, you too will find the rest of living and eating with Diabetes a little easier to deal with. It is a case of: I can still eat cake and many more foods that help me in managing my Diabetes and sticking to a Diabetes-Compatible meal plan.
Please be very clear that I don’t have baked goods in my kitchen every day of the week. I follow my grandmother’s tradition of baking on Friday for the weekend. Come Monday if I want a treat, it is a lower carbohydrate, and delicious, yogurt. In my grandmother’s time there was always homemade applesauce in the fridge.

Creating Diabetes-Compatible deserts is intentional. Rather than pining over the rice or potato, or breads you need to really limit, I am more content with cauliflower or spaghetti squash. It has become both a challenge and adventure to read the labels on breads and know there are a few out there (it differs from area to area) that work just fine for that slice of toast with my morning coffee.

The rewards are better managed Diabetes and better overall health. My cholesterol level is well within the normal range, and my blood pressure is perfect. And yes….the deserts are wonderful and real. But then again, so are all of my new side dishes.

You may even be happy to eat these “new” foods when you find more and more ways to prepare them. It is easy to make these lower carbohydrate vegetables so intensely flavorful, you and everybody at your table will wonder why you never thought of eating them that way before.

The weekends are as full as ever with desert. The weekdays are fuller with more and more interesting ways of making dishes that fill my health needs and are so good we all enjoy eating. No “special” foods needed here. It is one delicious meal for all. Thank heaven for that. I always hated working the line. Tuna tommy down, hold the grass (tuna and tomato on toast, hold the lettuce).

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

Source: Ward Alper, the Decadent Diabetic