Finding YOUR way to Filling YOUR Diabetes-Compatible Desires

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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.

The other day I was in the checkout line at my local “stupidmarket.” The person ahead of me was buying a product I have seen advertised specifically for people with Diabetes. It is a drink (shake) that isn’t supposed to spike your blood sugar. I HAVE NEVER TRIED this product. Not for any other reason than that I don’t like the taste of the pre-packaged shakes that I have tried in the past. Even as a kid I didn’t like packaged chocolate milk or strawberry milk. Made fresh to order, that is an entirely different story.

Being the nosey (I like to think inquiring) shopper that I am, I asked this person about the product and if she liked it.
“I am a chocoholic and this allows me my daily bit of chocolate without eating a candy bar or a power bar and does not spike my sugars.”

What a great approach to feeding her cravings. Find something that works for YOU!!!

She went on to say that she was not as vigilant about her eating as she should be, especially since she is a nurse and thought that she should know better. Good thing none of us, except you and me ARE perfect. I see perfection in what she is doing: MAKING IT WORK FOR HER.

I pulled one of my cards out of my wallet and handed it to her. I mentioned to her that I use Hershey’s Special Dark cocoa powder to make my chocolate, but Diabetes-Compatible desserts. Her eyes lit up like Christmas. No dreams of Sugar Plums for this lady….just chocolate in abundance.

Now, it isn’t that I particularly endorse this brand of cocoa powder. It is NOT made for people with Diabetes. What is so is that it is very widely available. It is made for anybody who likes that deep dark chocolate taste. It just happens to fit into MY carbohydrate budget with 3 grams of carbohydrates and 1 gram of fiber for a tablespoon. A tablespoon of dark chocolate gives you a big chocolate bang for very few carbohydrate grams. As a kid, I used to separate the dark chocolate minis from the big bag of candy. They were my favorite. I know, I know, some people hate dark chocolate. Lucky for me I am not one of them.

My point is that there are a lot of everyday foods out there that YOU can incorporate into your daily meal plans. Some of them like the cocoa powder are special treats. Some things are just as decadent for example mayonnaise or butter that are low or carbohydrate free and are made for everybody that wants them. Chicken or tuna salads are a little dry without a bit of mayo.

Some of the breads that I buy and enjoy are not made specifically for people with Diabetes. They may be designed to have fewer calories or high fiber content. That they fit into my carbohydrate plan is just a LUCKY coincidence.

The few things that are promoted as “Diabetic-Friendly” are not always as tasty as they might be. What, are we being punished? I tried some low carb tortillas here in New Mexico. They tasted sorta alright, but were dry and mealy. On the other hand, Joseph’s, Flatout and Tortilla Factory all make very good products that I use often.
It is trial and error. I am talking about flavor here. I know, I always talk about flavor and texture. What good is a low carbohydrate product if YOU don’t like it?

The rest is up to you. I can’t tell you how many grams of carbohydrates a day are going to work for you. I am NOT going to tell you what products to use. I just share with you my experiences with recipes and products that have kept me on track for the last seven years and have helped me maintain a healthier lifestyle and a comfortably low A1C. It was up to me….and it is up to you.

In honor of this nice lady that shared her experience with me, I dedicate this recipe to her. I love chocolate, I love pecan pie and they say…bippity bobity boo!

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

Ward Alper, The Decadent Diabetic