Since my buddy is a newly diagnosed diabetic (his blood sugar was like 500 when he was diagnosed six weeks ago), and muscular and athletic and skinny, there isn’t much medicine or exercise can do beyond a point (or so I think. I’ve spent the last couple of days since I knew he was coming and read everything I can find), it really looks like (from what I have read, again, I am no expert), that for his case, diet is going to be supremely important. He’s not a great cook, and has been killing himself eating healthy crap but hating it, so we are working on some easy recipes he can make that are really healthful and flavorful.
From what I understand, as far as proteins go, fish and beans and nuts and lentils and chicken and turkey are all great, but I wanted to ease him into it, so I made a beef tri-tip that I seasoned pretty well, and tomorrow I am going to make cod filets with a red pepper puree and then try to ease him into some more fish and white meat dishes. I don’t understand the relationship fully, but from what I can tell red meat is something that should be a treat, but at the same time, the fats from meats and oils are also really vital for a balanced meal, because it helps (might be using the wrong words) slow the release of glucose.
Again, if I am wrong in any of this, please let me know. I am trying to help a brother out and am basically taking a self-taught course in this. He has mentioned he is using a low carb approach, and this is what I came up with in the last couple of days. Again, if I am wrong, send up an SOS, cuz I’m trying to help and not kill him.
For a side dish with the tri-tip, I made a summerish cold salad with quinoa. He had never heard of it before, and my dad started eating a lot of it a couple years ago, so I have some tricks up my sleeve. Basically, I made a quinoa salad, and I added diced green onions, some diced kalamata olives, quartered artichokes (and I drained the brine and soaked them in water before dicing them, because apparently sodium is also a real issue with diabetics), a diced red pepper, an avocado, some cut cherry tomatoes, and cilantro, a little bit of garlic and an olive oil/red wine vinagrette. I looked all the stuff up under various glycemic load charts, and nothing in this should spike his blood sugar.
I also read that they still need to have some carbs, so what I did was round out the quinoa salad (with a cup of quinoa) and added a 1/4 cup of orzo. Again, not sure of the dynamics, but I read that carbs can be poison for diabetics, but no carbs is also a problem, and that you should have 1 serving for breakfast, 1 for lunch, and 2 for dinner, which makes no sense that they would break it down into three meals when Shawn has been told he should be having multiple small meals every day. I figure both of us are clueless and we will just test and retest and try to get him on the right path.
I also read that one of the best things for diabetics are leafy greens and olive oil (again, I think the olive oil is related to the fat and glucose release), so I sauteed a bunch of baby spinach in two teaspoons of olive oil and fresh garlic, and at the end when it was starting to wilt threw in some diced red pepper. One of my family friends gave me a grinder full of Pink Himalayan Salt (I cracked up when I opened it at Christmas, but I kept the joke to myself), so after it was done, I McMeganed it.
At any rate, I tried to include everything that you should while rounding it out with the necessities. It was actually awesome, and I think I may start eating like this because it makes the whole act of cooking more fun, because you have to really think about what ingredients you are using. It’s kind of like cooking in hard mode, and it tasted great and I could stand to shed a couple
hundred dozen lbs.
If I am doing any of this wrong or suffering misconceptions, let me know ASAP, please. Although the preliminary results are kind of good, I think, as his blood sugar an hour after eating is basically the same (4 point difference).
Oh, and for a snack tonight, we are having Edy’s Outshine Pineapple fruit bars, which seem to have no truly objectionable ingredients, are only 80 calories, use sugar instead of corn syrup, and the primary ingredients are pineapple and water.