August 15 2013
FB:Ward Alper, THE Decadent Diabetic
“The choice may be wrong, the choosing was not”
-Move On From SUNDAY IN THE PARK-Stephen Sondheim
Being diagnosed with diabetes does not mean you have to give up the pleasure of eating. It just means that you have to choose to think about what you are eating and what flavors and textures make eating a pleasure for you. A lot of it is about learning to making “new” food memories.
Living with any disease is about choices. Do I give up eating, smoking, drinking, sitting on the sofa, or anything else we enjoy just in order to live a healthier life? Is there any smoker who does not know the dangers of smoking? They (I was one) keep smoking despite all the evidence that smoking it is not good for you. For some, that moment comes when they choose to quit. Giving up anything you enjoy is difficult. When giving up smoking, you just don’t smoke anymore. As a diabetic, you can’t give up eating. You just need to limit some foods. In many ways this choice was harder for me. What I did was to make what I ate have more meaning and enough weight on the plate and on my palate to keep me from dwelling on the stuff I was not eating .It became clear that leaving the table empty and unhappy, was not going to work.
Now before you think that I am picking on my late sister I want to remind you that I am a type 2 Diabetic as was she, my late brother and my father. I hail from a long line of type two Diabetics. Wish it were a long line of rich folk, but what can I do?
For my sister it was much harder. She was diagnosed decades before I was. Her choice was not to have things she shouldn’t very often, or at least not with anybody looking on. It was if nobody saw her eating it, it could not harm her(don’t the calories fall out of a broken cookie?). Her choice was to have those foods as a treat from time to time. For her time to time just got out of control.
As long as she took her medication, and did not eat that strawberry shortcake (in public), she thought she would be alright.
I talked to her about all these products I found. I showed her how to make a low carbohydrate snack. It did not seem to impress her. Martha did not want a lecture. I threw up my hands and finally decided it was time for me to shut up.
A few months later, when we went down to Florida, we went to her condo. Martha had prepared hors d’oeuvres for me I had always teased that “I traveled almost two thousand miles and you don’t even make hors d’oeuvres for me, some sister”
Her face beamed as she pulled out some cheese and the low carbohydrate crackers for us to munch on. Some of what I said to her had sunk in. The hors d’oeuvres were all about showing me that she heard what I said, and to please me she was also doing something about it. I later discovered that she was sneaking into the kitchen at night and eating peanut butter in the dark. That was also a choice. She and I were brought up with the emotional concept that food is love. Sometimes the love happens in the dark and out of the jar.
We went out for dinner that evening. My sister ordered a salmon with a potato crust. She sat there waiting for my approval. I chose not to say anything, no lecture from me tonight. She was trying. When we left to go back to our hotel, my sister asked “what I ordered at dinner? Was that ok?” I said that it was an ok choice, if the potato crust added enough to the enjoyment of the salmon. It might have been better to have a salmon without the potato crust and use your carbs differently. She was trying so hard for my approval, and did not quite get it as enthusiastically as she might have hoped. The important thing is she made a choice, perhaps not my choice, but a choice. The biggest choice of all, and that was to give some thought to what she was eating, at least in front of me.
I don’t think that choosing to do what is best for you is ever easy. Choosing to do it for someone else’s approval is a waste of energy.
My sister’s choices were her choices. My choices are my choices. Your choices are your choices. The big choice for me was be willing to think about every meal I cooked or ate. Making it taste and feel good just came with time. If I was a ”foodie” before, I am more so now. It is just a different twist.
There are a million little choices. Do I have one piece of ARNOLD DOUBLE FIBER bread for 14 grams of carbohydrate, or two slices of SARA
It is easy. It is hard. For me it gets easier every day. It is a lot of work. I am healthier, my numbers are beyond great. I enjoy eating. I am decadent! What is your choice?
Enjoy!, be healthy, be DECADENT!
Decadent Orange & Ginger glazed carrots
Two 1 ½ cup servings
Net carbohydrates 13 g.
6 – carrots, peeled and sliced
3 - Tbsp. butter or SMART BALANCE
6 - ounces TROP 50
1 – cup water
1 –Tbsp. SPLENDA
small pinch of salt
½ - tsp. ground cinnamon
½ Tsp. ground ginger
Garnish with ¼ cup toasted pecans or walnuts
HOW TO PREPARE THE RECIPE::
Melt butter in a sauce pan. Cook carrots in the butter of high heat for 1 minute. Add TROP 50, water, cinnamon, ginger, salt, and SPLENDA. Continue cooking over medium high heat until all the liquid is evaporated, about 10-15 minutes.
Garnish with the nuts for extra spark of flavor and crunch