Expanding your Diabetes-Compatible menu (or…how come I never thought of that?)


The other day I was being interviewed by Renee Norris-Jones the host of Healthy Moments radio.

As we chatted about the things I have done and shared with you, Renee kept saying things like: “I do cauliflower but never thought of making mashed cauliflower, I’m gonna write that down”.

My point here is that sometimes Diabetes-Compatible choices are hidden from us….in plain sight. This is why I write for you every week. The intention is to assist you in finding things that MIGHT/POSSSIBILY work for you.

I mentioned to Renee that the big “ah ha” moment (this is what I can do) came for me when I was speaking at a retirement community. I was showing the audience some of the products that I use to expand my diet. One product was a low carbohydrate orange juice. This lovely lady in the back row burst into tears. She had not had orange juice in years. It was a flavor she loved and missed. I learned then that what I was learning was not only making a difference in my life, but that it could make a difference in other people’s lives.

It turns out that a lot of people like the taste of orange and they realize that oranges are a higher carbohydrate food. But if you are willing to look at it a “little” differently, orange flavor can still be part of your menu. First, the carbohydrates are mostly in the juice. However, the flavor is mostly in the zest of the orange. The zest has very few carbohydrates. Try using a little orange zest to spark up some of your dishes. Orange chicken is one of my favorites, but a ¼ tsp. in a salad dressing or on a steamed vegetable adds a fresh and new taste to old tired foods.

Another choice is to use an infused olive oil with orange. The taste is so “orangey” it will permeate a simple cake. Another choice is orange teas. There are a batch of them on the “stupidmarket” shelves. If hot tea doesn’t fill your cravings, try it iced. Where there is a will, there is sometimes a way. It is a matter of looking at what you like and finding ways to fill that empty spot on your table.

One of the other things that came up in our conversation was the sense of feeling alone and isolated. I wrote about carrying a lower carbohydrate bread in the car in case I had no other choice but a fast food burger. Replacing the “bun” with the bread makes the meal work for my carbohydrate budget. One of my readers wrote to me and said:

“I thought I was the only one to do this. I was embarrassed. Thank you for sharing. Nice to know I am not alone”. My advice to her was to create a diversion as she switched the bun for the bread. Something like: “Look- Isn’t that Tom Hanks?”

All kidding aside, we do sometimes feel alone and isolated. We don’t have to.

Another reader (online friend), Deborah, likes the recipes for some of the cakes. Her problem is that she has a grandchild with a nut allergy. All of my pastry recipes use ground nuts to replace the higher carbohydrate flour. Often I can suggest using coconut flour in place of the nuts. In some recipes the substitution of coconut flour won’t work. Deborah’s solution is for her and her husband to share the cake without the grand kid. It is not just Diabetes that causes us to rethink what we eat. Many of us have other issues.

I am currently working on another substitution. The first cake was great. After I do it a few more times I WILL share here on Diabetes Support.

Not to preach (too much) but it is my hope that some of you will be willing to try some new food or an old food in a different way. The thought is that for everything you have to reduce or eliminate from your table, you will find one or two or more things that you like just as much and make them amazing.

The “ah ha” moment comes to all of us at different times. I did not just “figure it out” on day one or day two or in the first year. One of the great combinations is lemon and ginger. There are lemon ginger teas and lemon ginger chicken. Why did it take forever to realize that some ginger added to a lemon tart was more wonderful than the original tart? DUH! There I am, still learning on my own and from many of you. Thank you and…

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

Source: Ward Alper, The Decadent Diabetic