Tired of Diabetic Jargon?

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Ward Alper is a type 2 diabetic and chef who lives and eats decadently in Portland, Maine. Since his diagnosis more than four years ago, he has refocused his recipes and eating to support his diabetic health. In this article, Ward shares how he makes and finds foods that aren't specifically for diabetics but are healthful choices for people with or without diabetes.

Tired of hearing about, eating, thinking "diabetic-friendly?" Me too! What does that mean anyway? For me, it conjures up dry, tasteless, have-to-settle-for-less food. And, please, when was the last time your food said anything nice to you? "Hey there, how is it going?" Well, for me, starting here and starting now, it is no longer "diabetic-friendly" – it is "diabetic-COMPATIBLE" foods.

What does that mean? It means foods that don't cause problems for you to maintain your diabetic lifestyle; foods that look good, taste good and you look forward to eating. Foods that satisfy you and don't leave you craving what you can't have. Not second-class food, not just better-than-you-expected food, but really great tasting foods you are HAPPY to eat and HAPPY to serve your family and guests.

Diabetic-Compatible Foods

Now, what do I mean by that? Many different things go into making up my criteria for diabetic-compatible foods. All share the same two things: They satisfy and they taste great (to me).

  • Foods loved and remembered like pizza and Chicken Parmesan. Once you realize that you can use Joseph's Pita Bread for a crust for the pizza, and that you don't need the breading to add flavor for the Chicken Parmesan, you still have the taste and flavors you crave. It is the tomato and cheese that you really wanted anyway. OK, a little pepperoni if you must. Anchovies, anybody? Click here for Ward's Easy Diabetic-Compatible Breakfast Pizza recipe!
  • New combinations of foods that work for you and that you use in a different way can not only satisfy but also delight your taste buds and spur on your creativity. For example, spinach is great, mushrooms are great, lemon is great, Parmesan and feta cheeses are great; combine the spinach with the lemon and cheeses, then stuff a Portobello mushroom, and dinner is served, dinner is filling, dinner is DECADENT – and you are Diabetic Happy. Click here for Ward's Simple Spinach Casserole recipe! Add a little tomato sauce over the top, and you have yet another new level of flavor on your plate. One of my readers tells me, “I never have these things in the house.” Make your life easier. Go to the “stupidmarket” and put them in the house. Once they are there, trust me, you will use them.
  • I cannot begin to express how happy I was to find out about some readily available products that are not made exclusively for diabetics but are good choices for some of us. They include, among many others: Joseph's Lavash, Tortillas, and Pita; Trop 50 Juices; Ken's Steakhouse Salad Dressings (Hey, I am a chef, and I can make my own dressings, but sometimes ain’t it grand to have something just ready?); Dannon Greek Light and Fit Yogurt; and Healthy Choice Premium Fudge Bars.

Enjoy, be happy, be healthy, be Decadent!

Get more nutrition tips and recipe ideas from Ward Alper, the Decadent Diabetic, on his website.