Quinoa is my savior. She saved me from helping upon helping of pasta and rice. She’s easy to prep for a whole week, can be eaten cold or hot, mixed or plain, and isn’t a grain that I was trying to avoid as I decreased my dependence upon insulin shots.
I still prick my finger now and then when I’m feeling a bit “off” just to be sure that I’m still on track. I still meet with my endocrinologist yearly, not quarterly anymore. Always ask your Doctor a lot of questions!!! How can I decrease my insulin dose? What foods are known to help with digestion and insulin resistance.
Back to Quinoa (keen’-wah)… You can make it in a rice cooker (as irony would have it) or stove top. I would make a batch on Sunday or Monday and then take it out as needed. Here are some recipe suggestions:
- cold quinoa on salad, at least 1/4 cup*
- heat it up in a frying pan with a little coconut oil, fresh kale (next blog post), diced yellow squash and red pepper
- heat it up with some grass-fed ground beef and place in lettuce leaf
- cold quinoa mixed with green, red, yellow peppers, garbanzo beans, olive oil, red wine vinegar as a side salad
Examples of spices to mix in: turmeric, curry, oregano, sage, Italian seasoning (make your own), cumin
*note: get rid of salad dressings, all you need is pure olive oil and red wine vinegar plus some spices
When you are starting your health journey and are told you must get rid of bread, rice, pasta and crackers (basically all white flour products)…. your first reaction? YEAH RIGHT!
There are substitutes! Sprouts and sprouted grains are a way to feel filled up and not crave more. Ever notice how you can’t just have one slice of toast or just 1/2C of the recommended serving of pasta? Eventually you will get rid of the grains, but not at this beginner step in the health journey.
To get rid of my dependence on insulin, I started slowly. Here’s the progression:
- No toast or bread with any meals (if you go out to eat, tell them to keep the bread basket – or chips)
- Replace pasta and rice with quinoa – there are different types, experiment with different veggies mixed in
- Buy sprouted grains bread (read the ingredients for no extra sugars or fats) and keep in freezer for when you crave a slice
- Black Bean Pasta instead of white pasta (and there’s not such thing as pure whole wheat pasta, they mix in the white flour
- Instead of croutons, buy different sprouts for some crunch
The Beginner Bread I mentioned in the title (cue the angels’ singing): Ezekiel 4:9 Sprouted Grains.
It doesn’t last as long as the well-preserved square breads, so I put mine in the fridge. On my diet, I was allowed grass fed butter – cold, not heated up, so voila! I got my bread and butter fix and didn’t crave more than one slice.
Here are some products I tried. Note: the red quinoa has a “bolder” taste. Buy smaller quantities if you’re just trying it out.
Coconut Oil – I’ve heard that those who have nut allergies may still be able to use coconut oil because coconut is a technically a seed.
This was one of the FIRST items I bought when I started my new “foodstyle” .
My health team (A+A Wellness – Fitness and Nutrition) taught me that olive oil – cold pressed, extra virgin – is only to be used cold, like on salads.
For ALL heated items for which I normally used vegetable or olive oil, I now use coconut oil. The intense heat transforms the other oils into something your body doesn’t need. (If you want the technical reason, please Google it).
At first, we weren’t used to the taste; kind of like a popcorn – don’t know how else to describe it. Now I don’t even notice the difference at home but when I go out… oh my gosh… I can taste the oils and it isn’t good!
Items I heat up with coconut oil:
- scrambled eggs
- any veggies: broccoli, cauliflower
- chicken, some lean meats, turkey burgers
- spaghetti squash
- broccoli sprouts
Please let me know if you’ve found a recipe with coconut oil that you particularly like and share it in a comment below or on Facebook – Healthy Diabetes Management
FYI – Coconut Oil becomes a liquid in warmer weather and solid in colder weather. All of the major stores sell this now.
Helpful Link on Use of Oils: http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/nutrition-and-healthy-eating/expert-answers/cooking-oil/faq-20058170
If you’re not sure if you’ll like it or not, buy the smaller jar instead of going for the Costco size. But, remember:
This health journey is about releasing your dependence upon all the other junk you’ve been using in the past.
Use positive phrases in your day to day. You’re changing YEARS of nutritional education. Some new, some you already knew.
Do it now. Just get rid of all artificial sweeteners; they only fuel your cravings for more sweetness. How many of you drink a diet soda to quench your thirst only to find that you’re still thirsty or crave something chocolate? Stay away from “sugar-free” items; they are packed with either fat or fakeness. Learn to love natural. Yogurts are big culprits of artificial sweeteners as are cookies and nut butters (that’s for another blog).
I’ve cut out all artificial sweeteners; instead I use a natural sweetener; stevia (steev’-ee-ya). I use it in cookie recipes, smoothies and coffee. And yes it has a flavor difference, but we all got use to the other stuff, didn’t we?! I can’t live without it now.
Years ago I cut out diet sodas when pregnant and then just due to the fact that my pants would “tighten up” after a few, I just gave it up in ’98. Then I needed that extra “kick” in the afternoon so I took up coffee and fell into the artificial flavored creamers – rarely do they actually contain milk cream. There are so many flavors and choices – who cares what they’re made of! Wrong! Wrong! Wrong!. What have I taught you over the past few months on Facebook?! READ LABELS!! If you have no clue what it is, don’t put it in your body!!
If you need sweetness, switch to liquid stevia – it’s an extract so you don’t need much. My daughter saw how much I used it so she thought she’d drop it on her tongue for a sugar hit; yuck! She didn’t do that again!
Truvia is ok as well, but it is processed, so only use that when you’re out and about town. I carry liquid stevia in my purse. Note: put it in a little baggie – it can get sticky.
I bought the small bottles at first, but then figured out that I could buy a larger bottle (cheaper per oz) and refill the smaller bottles. Whole Foods delivers within a day – found that out once when I ran out.
Eventually I’ll have the products I’m recommending on this website for easy selections but for now, just stop by Whole Foods or Trader Joe’s for liquid stevia.
(Tried buying a stevia plant one year, but it didn’t last. No green thumb here.)
LOVE LOVE LOVE THESE: http://lilyssweets.com/baking-chips/ Chocolate Chips for baking (or popping in your mouth) – all of you diabetics on insulin will catch the irony of “Lily” vs “Lilly’s”.
There will be a local seminar coming up soon in the Marietta, GA area. Stick to Facebook to learn more.
Remember – I’m not on insulin anymore after 18 years of just doing what the Dr told me to do. Eat “right”. Measure your glucose. Take your medication. Optimal is a goal, but not for everyone. I still struggle with ‘optimal’ eating especially in social situations, but be strict for 2 weeks at a time and you WILL notice a difference in your blood sugar regulation.
Healthy Homework: Try stevia in your coffee or smoothie #healthyhomework
Most Americans are brought up on basically 5-10 “side” items. Apples, Bananas, Grapes, Bread, Pasta, Rice, Peas, Carrots, sometimes Broccoli.. and #10 .. Potatoes.
I’m going to teach you that there are more choices!!!! As a Type 2 Diabetic, I’ve come to grips with the fact that I AM DIABETIC and WILL ALWAYS BE DIABETIC. ***BUT***
I AM (and YOU are) IN CONTROL.
On insulin since 1998, on Januvia for approx 1/2 those years. Can you say cha-ching $$$$…
Over the past 3 years I’ve been working with a wonderful team, A+A Wellness, that provides personal training and nutritional advisement. I’ve learned so much over the three years and am off ALL diabetes medication (Januvia and Lantus Insulin). It was after only 6 or so months (I’ll look it up later and update) that I was off Januvia with diet and exercise which opened my eyes to nutrition.
Since then I’ve been reading nutritional magazines, herbal remedies, oil supplements, etc. You don’t have to do that. Just watch my journey, test your results and take control as I have.
SCIENCE IS NOT AN EXACT SCIENCE
My endocrinology group never stressed nutrition. They stressed proper insulin management.
WRONG WRONG WRONG!
So, if you pre-diabetic, type 2 or even type 1, read these blogs, monitor your blood sugar throughout the process and challenge your Doctor and your beliefs.
Learn to love the variety of colors, shapes and tastes that are out there.
I’ll even teach you how to get past those people around you that give you false news like “avocados are so full of fat; you can’t have that”, or “you’re already at a good weight why lose more”, or … you will find these naysayers at EVERY stage of your health journey. I’ll teach you my tricks for getting through:
- a food/alcohol orgy party with your gut still intact,
- a business meeting with Southern Comfort cuisine
- a kid’s sugary sweet birthday party and more!