Diabetes: It Is About Making Choices


This guest post was written by type 2 diabetic and chef Ward Alper. It originally appeared on his website, The Decadent Diabetic, and was republished on Information About Diabetes with permission.

I write in a no judgement zone. The choices you make are the choices you make. I don’t judge YOU for doing what you do. All I ask in return is YOU don’t judge me for not liking….lima beans. It does not affect my life of choices at all. Or does it?

From the minute you get your diagnosis of Diabetes, your life is about making choices.

The first choice you can make is to do nothing at all. I hear from people all the time, even my electrician, that they “probably” have Diabetes. This is usually followed by:
“I should do something about it.”

Another choice is to take some kind of medication, and go on as you have before. One of my friends does pretty much that. He injects a product once a day and goes on eating what he wants. For the fun of it he shows up at my door with his Klondike bar dripping onto his fingers. What are his readings? We don’t talk about it except when his doctor yells at him and he is depressed for a few days. He gets over it and goes on as before. For HIM that is perfect.

Another choice is to start exercising and watching what you eat. Lots of people do that to various degrees. Some to excess. As long as your medical team is in agreement, some more exercise and more careful eating choices is almost always a good idea…even if you don’t have Diabetes.

If you AND your medical team decide, you can combine a medication, eating and exercise. However it is TOTALLY up to you how you follow the regime.

“I am type 2 diabetic. I try to eat right but a lot of the food is so dull and tasteless.”

As for eating, you get to choose whether a new eating plan is a burden or a challenge. It can be either. It all depends on you. Clearly, my choice is to make it a challenge. The challenge turned into a joy I choose to share with you.

My goal is to create dishes that taste so good:

1- You enjoy eating them.
2- It makes it easier for you to “stick” with your plan.
3- The rest of your family enjoys the food for how good it tastes.
4- You lower the amount of carbohydrates you eat without feeling deprived.

Some totally eliminate high carbohydrate foods from their table. Others use portion control. Both work for many. For me, too small a portion of something I love to eat is TOO SMALL. I usually go away from the table angry and hungry. Take that smaller portion and make it taste spectacular, then make it a part of a plate filled with other things that are lower in carbohydrates works better for me. I still have fish AND chips. The fish portion is larger (and baked with a light panko crust), the cole slaw is HUGE, and the beautifully seasoned baked “fries” is so good, I am happy for the smaller portion. It is exciting have the meal as part of my repertory.

Pasta is still a different story for me. Try as I might to search out new products that fill that slot on my plate, nothing as yet has completely satisfied my palate and carbohydrate budget. For now… it is off the table.

I keep going back to a comment made way back when I first started writing. The reader said: “If I have to look at another plate of baked chicken and vegetables, I will cry”. Actually he said vomit.

I can only hope that he has chosen to try some of my recipes and prepare the chicken in new and wonderful ways or tried some of the chicken dishes made on top of the stove. If he has the will, there is a way. I am not even going to go as far as to suggest fish. I grew up with it on the table. It was a non-issue for me. It was there and we ate it or my grandmother would pout. She was a great lady, who of us would choose to make her pout?

To the elephant in the Diabetes room: Sugar replacements. All I can say about this subject is YOU get to choose. I strongly urge you to look at REAL SCIENCE, not speculation, not rumor, not old data, and certainly not social hysteria. Then make your choice. I stay out of the fray with the exception of mentioning MY use of replacements in my baking recipes. It is up to you to try the recipes or not. I leave it all up to you. Whatever you choose to do about that subject is perfect.

Life with Diabetes, or anything else is what you make it. To those of you that find Diabetes a horrible thing, just remember you can choose to make it a less or even a lot less miserable….or not.

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

Source: Ward Alper, the Decadent Diabetic