I love cooking, and while having Type 1 Diabetes can really put a damper on exploration, lately I’ve been taking it as a challenge.
My first endocrinologist was the most inspirational woman and doctor I have ever met. She told you like it was, but that made you trust her even more – even if you just wanted to ignore what she said. She told me that diabetes didn’t have to control my life, but it would if I let it. Only now – as I begin to fear passing my illness to my children, worry about making my husband follow my diet unintentionally, and become overwhelmed by envy as my friends boast about hiking the Appalachian Trail, running marathons, and biking 100 miles in a day – do I realize what she meant.
It is not the disease that controls you, but your own fear of it and your anger toward it.
But I’m determined not to live in fear, anger, and envy. We have too many resources at our disposal to give in to those emotions that so easily consume us. So, my challenge to myself has been to conquer my biggest temptation – “I can eat whatever I want as long as I take insulin.”
Don’t kid yourself. You know what it feels like four hours after you give into a gourmet pizza because it’s a special occasion, a donut while you’re on a road trip, or pasta because it’s just sooo easy. These are of course things that I have learned to steer clear of because no matter how much insulin I take over whatever amount of time – I PAY.
BUT! My way of conquering is not just depriving myself of those scrumptious eats, it’s to find something better. American diets are so unbalanced in favor of starchy fillers like bread, pasta, rice, beans, and potatoes that we forget to EXPLORE. We should be bored of them by now! Really all this comes down to is I have some great recipe ideas to share for Diabetics who are tired of boring salads when their sugar is high and settling for raw carrots time and again when all you want is a friggen snack.
Best thing about it is – I’m no chef – so these are things anyone can make!
Overnight cereal: 1/2 cup of oatmeal, 1 Tbs chia seeds, and 1/2 cup of milk then top with walnuts, blueberries, and cinnamon and soak overnight for a quick breakfast.
Chicken Kabobs: Soak kabobs for at least 20 minutes. Cube chicken breast and marinate in olive oil, salt, pepper, Worcestershire sauce, and sriracha. (or whatever you want!) “Cube” (or chunk really) zucchini, summer squash, red onion, and baby ‘bella mushrooms then toss in olive oil, salt, and pepper. Load up the sticks and grill or bake (400) them for about 10-15 min.
Pasta ANYTHING: Spaghetti squash is the way to go whenever you’re craving something saucy and Italian. Always throw in the squash first though because it should bake for about 40 minutes. Preheat the oven to 400, halve the squash lengthwise, brush on some olive oil, and sprinkle it with salt and pepper. In the meantime, fix your sauce, protein, veggies, etc. When it’s done you should be able to stick a fork into the flesh and easily pull apart it’s stringy goodness! You can throw your sauce and toppings on right away or mix it all up and return it to the oven for that southern comfort of baked pasta. Best part? A comparable serving of spaghetti squash is 10-15 carbs as opposed to the easy 40-50 of any given pasta.
Guac Burger: Bunless burgers don’t need to be boring. Sautee some onions and mushrooms and top with swiss cheese to mix it up. OR make my awesome guacamole and you can’t go wrong.
Cube 2 avocados, dice 4 cloves of garlic, 1/2 a red onion, chop a small handful of cilantro mash to desired texture (smoother is better for burgers), squeeze in half a lime and toss in some salt, pepper, cumin, and cayenne pepper – add a jalepeno if you like it spicy.
One more for my love avocados….
Baked Egg & Avocado: Preheat the oven to 400. Scoop out a little extra of the avocado before cracking an egg into the center. Top with cayenne pepper, cumin, salt, pepper, cilantro, grape tomatoes, and white cheddar. Bake for 15-20 minutes depending on how hard you like your eggs.
I hope you all enjoy these simple recipes and are inspired by the revelation I shared.