Is What's Good For Some People with Diabetes Good for YOU?

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I am unable to count the number of times I have said to my readers that each of us is different. What works for me may NOT work for you. While we did not ask for this disease, it is up to each of us to find the way to manage it that works for us.

This goes beyond my being able to eat a small amount of potatoes once a week or carrots without having any ill effects (spikes), and many of you having the exact opposite reaction.

I posted a recipe for a fresh berry tart a few weeks ago. While most of the responses were very positive and supportive, others commented on how and why that recipe would NOT work for them:

“Berries spike my sugars”

“The flour in the crust would send me into a coma”

“The cream in the filling will cause my heart attack”

I am not too thin skinned. Rather the opposite. It is great when people comment about how one of my recipes will AND will not work for them. I write to encourage POSITIVE sharing of ideas and information. For the person that has problems with berries or potatoes, or flour, it is great for them to know that these foods don’t work for them. It is more important to share this with others that might have the same reaction and NOT blame themselves for being different.

Some of you consider 10 grams of carbohydrates the daily limit for them. Others have 20 grams, 30 grams, 90 and so on. They did not, and I did not, figure the correct amount for them out in one day. It took time, trial and…error.

The original pamphlets that my doctor gave me suggested 45 grams for breakfast, 60 grams each for lunch and dinner and two “snacks “of 15 grams each. I immediately decided that I had to cut those amounts by at least 1/3. Why? Not for any sound medical reason but because of my inter-competitive nature. If 60 grams was good, I COULD DO BETTER with 25-45 grams. As you know by now, it worked…. for me.

Eight years later, I am not as strict with myself now as I was in the first months. What became clear was that for me to make my regime work was to keep the carbohydrates lower and foods tasting as good, or better than before.

The key ingredient in any dish is flavor. What is usually the case is that high carbohydrate foods like potatoes, rice and pasta, tend be neutral flavors. It is what surrounds them like sauce or butter or gravy that makes them so good. Don’t believe me? Ask a friend to tell you exactly how good a bowl of unflavored pasta, rice or potato really tastes. These are foods from our past. Memories of things past. What made them good was what was done to them. The trick for me was to come up with lower carbohydrate foods and find ways to prepare them to make them stand out on my plate. Rather than feeling that I was missing...x, y, or z.

That worked for me because I am pretty open to trying new things. However, I was talking to the wife of one of my new neighbors the other day (he has type 2 diabetes and is currently struggling). I suggested to them substituting cauliflower for potatoes. The look of nausea on his face was a wonder to behold. No matter how it was fixed, no matter how much I liked it, in his mind cauliflower was “yuck, phooey.”

The question is, do I suggest that his wife make mashed cauliflower and just tell him or try to “sneak” them onto his plate?. He is a mature man. Why should his wife have to “sneak” vegetables into his diet? The answer is that she shouldn’t. When he is ready to try something, then HE is ready to try something. All the trickery in the world isn’t going to work. I could have suggested spaghetti squash. I suspect that he has never had it and there would be some fear of it being yucky.

On a positive note, his face grinned from ear to ear when I pulled out some of the lower carbohydrate breads that I use. For many of us, most breads are a poorer choice except in VERY small amounts or on special occasions. The big problem is : we like bread!

I found ways to make what I had, into what I (or anybody) would want. Those of us with Diabetes can still eat chicken, fish, steak pork, etc. Think about what those “regular” foods would taste like if you did not season them. It is all in how you make it work…for YOU. In the meantime…

ENJOY!!! Be happy, be healthy, and BE DECADENT! –w

Source: Ward Alper, the Decadent Diabetic