Sometimes It is Hard to Prepare a Diabetes-Compatible meal


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.

For all I write about, for all I preach, sometimes you and I are not able to be in your kitchen to prepare some spectacular Diabetes-Compatible meal. Sometimes time does not even allow you the chance to defrost a soup from your freezer. It doesn’t have to be a big thing. It can be as simple as a meeting with your kid’s teacher, your car being in the shop, having to work overtime. Whatever it is, sometimes you have not had time to plan in advance to get a great meal on the table, or even defrost one you were saving for just such an occasion. What you are left with are some less than perfect choices that YOU can make into better choices.

Your Pantry:
When time gets your meal planning in a swivit, you don’t want to visit or have no time to visit the salad bar at your local “stupidmarket” or local convenience store, a well stocked pantry (I love the British term…larder) can be your salvation. It doesn’t have to be filled with every seasoning known to man or woman. The basics, alone, or in combination can do some really special things to brighten up the boring “fast” meal. A can of lower sodium chicken soup with a few left over vegetables and some chopped up luncheon meat can make you a soul warming meal in seconds, okay minutes. It might not be a 5 star meal but will get you through without busting your carb budget.

If you also have a stash of lower carbohydrate bread options, you can augment the soup or even the luncheon meat into a satisfying sandwich. If you have some mustards, mayonnaise or one of my quick sauces on hand, it makes a pretty ordinary sandwich into something really special.
I like to remind you that there are a host of lower carbohydrate options out there. With maybe one or two exceptions, they don’t say: BREAD FOR PEOPLE WITH DIABETES. They are usually out there for those people that are trying to:

  • -lower their calorie intake
  • -raise their fiber intake
  • -increase the quality or variety of the grains they eat.

Who cares? If it works for them, great. That it can work for us…even better!

Do we actually care what the original intention of the product was? I don’t. I am just so happy that it exists for me and that I can turn that can of tuna into a sandwich or have some garlic bread or chips with my soup, again without busting MY carbohydrate budget.

Survival kit
Let me take this one step further. Everything lately takes more time than I thought it would. There are too many days that I am out running necessary chores and bang, before I know it, it is time to refuel (both my car and my body). I have taken to carrying a small package of sandwich thins or rounds or a low carbohydrate pita bread, and the sweetener of MY choice in the car. Let’s NOT get crazy. This is no more a problem than carrying an extra package of tissues in case you sneeze. When I don’t WANT to go to a salad bar (NO, NOT AGAIN!), or have little or no time, I can stop into one of the chain fast food places, order a burger or grilled chicken sandwich and replace the “fluffy” bun with my sandwich thin, round, or pita bread. If the temptation of fries on the side gets too much for me (the scent alone starts me drooling) I can almost always order a side salad. Is it a great side salad? Not so much. I did actually have one at a WENDY’S one day that was not too bad. But mostly it is pretty basic. Hey, if nobody is looking, how odd is it to have a side salad with your burger?

Life isn’t ALWAYS ideal
Since we all have Diabetes, or love someone with Diabetes, we know it is not always a perfect world. We can make the best of it, and what we can do “ain’t” half bad.

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

Ward Alper, The Decadent Diabetic