We Know We Have Diabetes, But Don't Tell Us

Woman Talking

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.

On March 26, 1964 a musical opened on Broadway staring a little know actress. The next day Barbra Streisand was a Broadway star. The first act closing song is: Don’t Rain on my Parade.

Don’t tell me not to fly, I simply got to. If someone takes a spill it is me and not you. Who told you you’re allowed to rain on my parade.
(Jule Stein and Bob Merrill)
What a great example of positive energy and sticking up for yourself.

Last week one of my readers, Margaret, commented on my article:
"Thank you once again Ward, you are a lifeline. On the bad days when someone is giving advice on what "diabetics should do..."

That was very kind of Margaret, but I am no lifeline. I am just here for you to pick my brain for some interesting (I hope) recipes and for you to know you are not alone.
The last person that told me what to do regarding my diabetes got the wrong end of my very sharp tongue.

Diabetics Deserve Respect

I / we may have diabetes, but ABSOLUTELY need to be treated with respect and dignity. It does not matter if it is a professional or personal “friend”, it doesn’t help if their well-meaning comments hurt our feelings and cause us to feel bad about ourselves. Being told what they think we should do doesn’t always work for us. “You REALLY shouldn’t wear red” is not nearly as effective as “I wonder if blue might bring out your eyes more."

In that spirit, I have never told you what you should or should not eat. Other than a few very special products that I use and have made a difference in my eating life, I don’t recommend products.

My thought is to share what I learned that made my life better. I am always asked what sweetener I use. My answer is the one that works best for me. I want to give you the space to find the one that works best for you, in every aspect: taste, ease of use, safety, and price.

The only suggestion I have for you is NOT TO get caught up in someone else’s hysteria. Do you own research and look at the real science.

Make Your Own Choice

I love to cook mushrooms. I love eat fish. I love how many ways I can make spaghetti squash work as a stand in for higher carbohydrate foods. I know many people (am I wrong or is it mostly men?), don’t like mushrooms, fish or spaghetti squash. That is fine with me. Would I like you to try any or all of those things? ABSOLUTELY, but ONLY you can make that CHOICE to include it as part of your meal.

Another reader asked me:
"Where are the mushrooms in the recipe for “Philly” cheese steak?"

He said his girlfriend, now wife, got him to eat and like mushrooms.

My response to him was:
"If you find someone that likes mushrooms, marry them. If they also like onions…elope!"

Life is too short to allow stuff to get in your way, unless you are about to tell me to leave the garlic out of a recipe. If you don’t like something, don’t eat it. If someone is upsetting you by supplying a bunch of unsolicited advice, tell them to go prick their fingers and to leave you alone. And for good measure, while they are bleeding tell them they look lousy in red!
ENJOY!!! Be happy, be healthy, be creative, and BE DECADENT! –w!

Click here for Ward's Hungarian Cucumbers recipe!

Get more cooking tips and recipe ideas from Ward Alper, the Decadent Diabetic, on his website.

Photo credit: Karsten Bitter on Flickr