Love or Hate Diabetes — We are EVERYWHERE

3 GALAXY (1).jpg

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.

We had a new house built for us in New Mexico. Turns out to be the perfect place for THE Decadent Diabetic. When I was signing up for local health insurance, my agent told me that Diabetes is rampant in this area. It seems that both the Native American and Hispanic populations are prone to Diabetes.

We are everywhere

The other day I was purchasing a ceiling fan. How it came about I don’t know, but the salesperson turned to me and said: I just found out that I have Diabetes. The sadness in his face broke my heart. We are everywhere. He also said he was at fault. Boy did he ever have the wrong person to say that to. I could not help myself. I laid into him like a bat out of hell, “You have Diabetes, I have Diabetes, 30 plus million people in the United States alone have Diabetes and….we are not the cause of it”. It hits some ethnic groups more than others. Diabetes is not contracted by something you did. Oh you say you ate badly and did not exercise. That may have contributed to it but so many people that ALSO did not eat right or exercise DO NOT have Diabetes. It is how our body reacts to those practices.

I commiserated with him and told him how I felt when I was freshly diagnosed. I also shared with him that it will get easier and better. I told him who I was and what I did in the Diabetes community and to give him a glimpse of hope, mentioned this spectacular Almond crème cake I pulled out of the oven that morning. “Oh I wouldn’t like that. I like almonds but not anything flavored with almonds.” No way was I going to argue with him. Some like them, some do not.

And I mean everywhere

The next day I am looking at window coverings for the house. You guessed it, another person with Diabetes in their life. I gave her my card. On it is a picture of my Almond Vanilla crème. She gushed.” I love almond. I love vanilla. She almost hugged me when I explained that it took less time to make this fantastic dessert than it does to clean the food processor I make it in. “That is my kind of recipe.”
Two days, two people one to hate almond, one to love almond. Hey, everyone can’t like everything.

Even at the deli counter

The young man at the deli counter mentioned to me that his dad has Diabetes. I gave him my card. The next time I was in he said “I looked at your site. My dad is really going to like some of those things. I told him about the Almond cake and a lemon cake I make. WOW- He was so excited for his dad.

Now the reason that I mention the almond thing is that I use a lot of toasted and ground almonds to substitute for some of the flour in my cakes and crusts. This cuts down the amounts of carbohydrates in the recipe and allows us to have a people sized portion. For the fan sales person, I suggested making a walnut crème or pecan crème cake. Both work EXACTLY the same way (and in truth the cake tastes almost EXACTLY the same. The thing is that he did not have to even think about the almonds he does not like. Is everybody happy now?

And then there is the Dentist

I found myself a new dentist. Part of all those things you have to do when you move. I am in his chair and having my teeth worked on. I tell him that I have Diabetes and write articles and share Diabetic-Compatible recipes for others with Diabetes. He is worried about his mother that has Diabetes. He isn’t sure if she is taking the best care of herself. “She knows that if she has a tortilla for lunch she should not have a lot of carbohydrates for dinner.” I recommended a couple of low carbohydrate tortilla products to him and gave him my card so his mom could go online and see if my work can be of assistance to her. I think his concern was that the lower carbohydrate tortillas might not satisfy mom. She is used to what she is used to.

I know that we all like what we like and hate (too strong a word?) what we hate. I am not about telling you to love everything I share recipes for. I hope you will give some of them a try and love them. If you don’t…remember, you NEVER have to make it a second time.

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

Ward Alper, The Decadent Diabetic