Not everyone’s a vegan, I know, so here’s the version for carnivores, with some variations on the original.
Prep time: 30 min
Total Time: 1 hr 15 min
2 tbs canola oil
2 cloves minced garlic
1 onion, finely slices
2 serrano peppers, thinly sliced
2 whole cloves, bruised, or ¼ tsp ground
1 tsp garam masala
1 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp chili powder
1 tsp turmeric
1-1/2 tsp ground cumin
1-1/2 lbs beef tenderloin, cubed*
1 tsp sea salt or kosher salt
1 cup tomatoes, chopped
2/3 cup coconut milk*
10 oz spinach, fresh or frozen, chopped
1 tsp lemon juice
Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Stir in the garlic and onion, and cook until softened, about 3 minutes. Add the serrano, and continue to cook for another 3 minutes. Season with the cloves, garam masala, coriander, chile powder, turmeric, and cumin, cook for 2 to 3 more minutes to release the flavor. Stir in the beef and salt, cook for 3 minutes more. Add the tomatoes, coconut milk, and spinach. Bring to a simmer, then cook, covered, for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Remove the cover and stir in the lemon juice. Cook for 10 more minutes, stirring frequently, until the sauce has thickened.
*I mix beef and cubed chicken (skin removed, of course). You can also use (lean) hamburger or ground chicken or turkey, if that’s what you have on hand. This is not a fussy dish.
*Coconut milk: buy the canned one, which is only coconut and water, or it’s easy to make your own. Recipe follows Again, you can substitute almond milk, which is very good for type 2 diabetics. Should you decide to go the purist route…
Homemade coconut milk:
¾ cup unsweetened shredded coconut
2-1/4 cup of hot water
Jar with Lid
Place the shredded coconut and boiling water into the blender and just let it sit for 5 minutes. Next, blend the mixture on high for 1 and 1/2 minutes, then let the blended mix sit for at least 10 minutes. Blend once more, for 30 seconds.
Prepare cheesecloth over your chosen container, making sure to cut a large enough piece, and do this in stages: Pour the blended coconut mix over the cheesecloth. The liquid will drain into your container. When liquid is no longer coming from the cheesecloth, use your hands to squeeze out the excess liquid. When all liquid is drained set aside excess coconut. It can be used again.
Put a lid on the container and store in the refrigerator. The next day you will find that separation has occurred. The separation is the coconut cream that has settled at the top. The coconut cream can be scooped out and used separately in recipes or you can break up the coconut cream and pour the milk and cream into a blender and blend until smooth. This will produce a full cream coconut milk that can be used in any recipe that calls for coconut milk. For a reduced fat coconut milk, use just the milk, with the cream unincorporated: health first. This recipe can be halved for the purposes of our recipe at large, and the excess coconut milk can be stored in the refrigerator for about a week. Rumor has it that it can also be frozen, but I have no first-hand experience with that, so that’s between you and your conscience.
This dish is traditionally made with coconut milk, but I substitute almond milk. Despite the fact that Himself is vegan and coconut milk falls into this category, his cholesterol level is high and according to livestrong.com, “a 1-cup serving of coconut milk contains about 50 g of saturated fat — more than 2 1/2 times the daily recommended allowance. It also contains about 3 g of unsaturated fats, and one-fifth of the recommended allowance of dietary fiber. Taken together, this makes coconut milk a bad choice from a cholesterol standpoint — all right for an occasional treat, but not for daily consumption, and dangerous to those already struggling with high cholesterol (http://bit.ly/KRcup0).” Almond milk also tends to boost the ‘good’ (HDL) cholesterol level, to retain some of that coconut flavor, I use coconut oil, but you can use canola oil instead, if you’re really concerned. There’s always a tradeoff, what, eh… Full disclosure: he’s not a big fan of coconut anyway, and he loves this dish: it’s nice and spicy, so if you’re not into hot dishes, make sure to tone it down on the peppers and chili spice.
Prep time: 30 min
Total Time: 1 hr 15 min*
2 tbs canola oil (or pure, not partially hydrogenated, coconut oil2 cloves crushed garlic
1 onion, finely sliced
2 serrano peppers, thinly sliced*
2 whole cloves, bruised, or ¼ tsp ground cloves
1 tsp garam masala
1 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp chili powder
1 tsp turmeric
1-1/2 tsps ground cumin
1-1/2 lbs tofu, frozen, thawed, then cubed*
1cup tomatoes, chopped
2/3 cup almond milk
10 ozs spinach, fresh or frozen, chopped
1 tsp lemon juice
Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Stir in the garlic and onion, and cook until softened, about 3 minutes. You’ll probably need to reduce the heat to medium low. Add the serranos and cook for another 3 minutes. Season with the cloves, garam masala, coriander, chile powder, turmeric, and cumin, cook for 2 to 3 more minutes to release the flavor in the spices.
Stir in the tofu and salt and cook for 2 minutes more, stirring to coat the tofu. Add the tomatoes, almond milk, and spinach. Bring to a simmer, then cover and cook for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove the cover, then stir in the lemon juice and cook for 10 more minutes, stirring frequently, until the sauce has thickened a bit. Serves 4.
*Ok, technically, make that 12 hr and 15 minutes, or something like that: freeze the tofu overnight in the freezer and remove the next morning to thaw. Freezing tofu gives it a meatier texture. You can also substitute seitan, cubed, for the tofu, which brings us back to 1 hr 15 minutes.
*If you can’t find Serrano chili peppers, use two jalapenos, however, serranos are hotter than jalapenos, so if you like the heat, add also add a teaspoon of red chili flakes, or to taste
Mock and Cheese
Comfort food junkie that he is, one of the foods G missed most was his macaroni and cheese – a dish that’s a testament to carbs and cholesterol, if ever there was one. In this very simple variation on a theme, those two ingredients are literally off the table – and he didn’t even miss them.
I now make him the vegan version, which means zero cholesterol – only animals produce cholesterol, fyi. If high cholesterol isn’t one of your problems, well, feel free to use dairy products, if you’d like, but do try to find lower-fat alternatives, such as skim or 2% milk, reduced fat cheddar cheese. Whether or not you use butter is between you and your conscience. Yes, I know breadcrumbs are the traditional topping. At least try the ground flax replacement.
2 tbs. unbleached white flour
2 tbs. non-dairy ‘butter’
1-½ cups soy or unflavored almond milk
1-½ cup shredded almond or soy cheddar cheese
½ tsp. black pepper
½ teaspoon kosher salt
½ tsp. nutmeg (optional)
2 tbs. good mustard, like Dijon
2 -3 tbs. white or cider vinegar (depending on your tastes)
½ – ¾ head cauliflower, grated or cut into very small pieces
¼ cup ground flax seeds
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Steam the cauliflower in a medium sized sauce pan for 10 minutes, until soft.
In the meantime, heat the soy or almond milk in a small saucepan, but don’t let it boil. Melt the ‘butter’ over low heat, then add the flour, stirring with a whisk, to make a roux, which is ready when the mixture turns to a sort of paste and begins to brown just a bit – about two minutes. While whisking, add the hot milk and cook for a few minutes (3-5), until thickened and smooth. Whisk in the mustard and vinegar and cook for another minute, until they’re incorporated into the mixture. With the heat on medium low, stir in one cup of the cheese (a bit more, if you’d like, or save some for the topping), salt, pepper and nutmeg and cook for another 2-3 minutes. Note: the cheeses won’t melt and disappear into the mixture the way dairy-based cheese does; don’t worry about it, and thought I’d give you the head’s up.
Drain the cauliflower well in a large sieve. Add the cooked cauliflower to the cheese mixture and stir well. Pour into a 9×5” baking pan and top with another 1/3 cup cheese (optional) and the ground flax.
Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until the sauce is bubbly.
 I use Smart Balance Light or Earth Balance. Whatever, as long as it’s non-dairy, and only to keep the cholesterol count to zero
I know chicken soup is the old standby for colds and flu. I’ve always sworn by hot and sour soup, and load it with plenty of freshly ground black pepper for heat. It also cuts down on the oil/fat/calories that one usually finds in Hot & Sour Soup recipes. This one is easily adaptable for both vegetarians and meat-eaters. Most importantly, is always comforting, especially on a cold winter day. And filling, too. Serves 5
1 tofu cake (fresh, if possible)
2 ounces marinated pork tenderloin (optional)
1 to 1-1/2 cups bamboo shoots
1 cup water chestnuts (optional)
4 tablespoons black fungus (Wood Ear) or 3 – 4 Chinese dried black mushrooms, or shitake mushrooms
½ cup dried lily buds
7 cups water
1-1/2 tbsp. miso paste
¼ cup soy sauce
4 tbsp white vinegar, or red or white rice vinegar
½ – 1 tsp sesame oil (depends on your tastes and it’s potent stuff)
1 tbsp cornstarch dissolved in 1/4 cup cold water 
1 tbsp white or black pepper, freshly ground
2 spring onions, chopped (optional)
Cut tofu into very small squares. Cut bamboo shoots into thin strips. To reconstitute the fungus, soak in warm water for 20 minutes. Rinse, and cut into thin pieces. (If substituting Chinese dried mushrooms or shitakes, soak to soften, then cut off the stems and cut into thin strips.)
To reconstitute the dried lily buds, soak in hot water for 20 minutes or until softened. Cut off the hard ends.
Bring the water to a boil and add the miso tastes, stirring occasional to make sure it all ‘melts’ into the water. Once the miso has dissolved, add the soy sauce, vinegar and the freshly ground pepper. Bring the liquid to back to a boil, reduce the flame to medium and add the bamboo shoots, water chestnuts, fungus or mushrooms, and the lily buds. Stir. Add the tofu. Bring back to a boil and add the marinated pork. Stir in the sesame oil.
Test the broth and adjust the taste. Mix the cornstarch and water. Slowly pour the cornstarch mixture into the soup, stirring while it is being added. If using the navy bean ‘flour,’ sprinkle it into the soup and stir to incorporate. Let the broth come back to a boil. As soon as it is boiling, reduce the heat and cook for a while – 10-15 minutes – until the soup thickens. Remove from the stove. Add the green onion and more pepper to taste, if necessary. Serve hot.
Hot and Sour Soup can be prepared ahead of time and stored in the refrigerator. Keeps for about a week
 Marinade for the pork:
1 teaspoon soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
1 clove garlic, minced
Shred pork. Mix marinade ingredients and marinate pork for about 30 minutes.
 I sometimes replace the cornstarch with navy beans that I’ve ground in the blender to a fine powder. Healthier, and a good thickener. Use two tablespoons and skip dissolving it in water.
 I use the pepper rather than a hot chili oil or chili paste as the heat in the soup. If you like the ‘hot’ in hot and sour, feel free to add more and I often do
 Honestly? When I’m in a hurry, which is always, I toss the mushroom in rather early on and let them reconstitute in the soup. It works. Same goes for the dried lily buds, which, btw, are not a critical ingredient.
 Cornstarch can ‘clump’, so I usually take just a bit of the hot soup and gradually stir it in with the cornstarch/water combo before adding it to the pot. Sort of tempers it and prevents clumping. Trust me.
Top 10 lists are popular because, believe me, I found at least a dozen of them. And no two were exactly alike. Yogurt (especially Greek yogurt) made it onto a number of them, but I didn’t include it here, as I’m dealing with a cholesterol problem as well, so all dairy is automatically out. For us, anyway. So while yogurt may be way up there on the list – and yes, I know that there is such a thing as soy yogurt – it’s just not one of my personal top ten. So, in no particular order:
1. Oats. You could go for oat-based cereals (not the sugar-coated kids stuff) or of course, old-fashioned oatmeal itself – good one, and no, not the quick cooking kind. It’s not the same. There’s also oat bran and oat flour, which you can buy, or make by throwing some old fashioned rolled oats into the food processor or blender. 1 1/2 cups of cooked oatmeal provides 6 grams of fiber (add fruit and you add even more fiber) and lowers your LDL. If you don’t care for oatmeal, take note: oat bran makes a great thickener in cooking, and is unrecognizable in the final dish, in many dishes. Try that instead of cornstarch or flour. Good to know: current nutrition guidelines recommend getting 20 to 35 grams of fiber a day, with at least 5 to 10 grams coming from soluble fiber, like oats. The average American takes in about half that amount. Barley and other whole grains are also rich in soluble fiber. As I said, I started replacing brown rice (medium high in carbs) with bulgar in dishes, or use half of each. Or sometimes I mix ½ bulgar and ½ quinoa, which I realize is a pseudocereal rather than a grain or a true cereal, but it has a high protein content, and like oats, contains a balanced set of essential amino acids, making it a complete protein source. It’s also a good source of dietary fiber and phosphorous and high in magnesium and iron, and it’s gluten-free (for the celiacs out there) and easy to digest.
2. Fish and omega-3 fatty acids. Fatty fish like salmon, albacore tuna, mackerel, lake trout, sardines, halibut and herring are high in omega-3 fatty acids, which can reduce your blood pressure. If you’re vegetarian or won’t eat fish for whatever reason, you can get your omega-3s in ground flax seeds (flax meal, actually – the seeds must be ground), canola oil and avocados.
3. Nuts Almonds, walnuts and some other nuts are rich in polyunsaturated fatty acids to keep blood vessels healthy. Just make sure they’re not salted or covered with sugar. Pecans, pistachios and peanuts (which I know are not nuts at all, but rather legumes) are also up there on the list and yes, nuts are fattening and here comes that word – moderation. I know raw almonds are supposedly better for you, but if you like them roasted, get roasted almonds. Salt-free, please. If your cholesterol is high, you might also consider replacing dairy-based cheeses with almond cheese, and dairy milk with almond milk as well. It comes plain or vanilla- or chocolate-flavored. Make sure to buy unsweetened.
4. Olive oil Olive oil contains a mix of antioxidants that can lower your ‘bad’ cholesterol without compromising ‘good’ cholesterol, and extra virgin olive oil is less processed, so is higher in antioxidants. I use it mostly in salad dressings and only rarely in cooking – it burns at a lower temperature than most other oils, so I tend to use canola for sautés and stir-fries. It is not low in calories – no oil is – so only use a couple of tablespoons a day. I also throw olives onto his salads. Salt free at first, but salt isn’t one of his problems and olives are good for you. Again in moderation, but isn’t that the general rule for most foods?
5. Vegetables You know the ones I mean. Cauliflower, broccoli, zucchini, peppers, brussel sprouts, eggplant, string beans, cabbage, okra and beets. The list of non-starchy vegetables goes on. Dark, leafy green vegetables are especially good: spinach, collard greens, mustard greens, Swiss chard, kale and the like are nutrient-dense, vitamin-rich, low in carbohydrates and low in calories, so you can eat all you want. They’re also filling, versatile and won’t drive up your blood sugar levels. Besides, didn’t your mother always tell you to eat your vegetables? Right again!
6. Avocados They’re good for your heart; have anti-cancer benefits and help in blood sugar regulation. Avocados have gotten a bad rap for a long time, as being high in fat, but they’re monounsaturated fats, which are is one of the healthiest fats, also found in olive and canola oils and nuts. And like anything: moderation. PS – the dark green part closest to the skin is the healthiest part of the avocado, so if you can, peel but make sure not to leave the dark stuff behind. Scoop it out, if you must.
7. Fruit Apples, grapes, strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, and citrus fruits are rich in pectin, a type of soluble fiber that lowers LDL. Fruit is also high in sugar, so the grapefruit diet is definitely out. Diabetics are also known to have lower levels of vitamin C, so feel free to use lemon and lime juice in cooking, on salads, or grate some fresh lemon or lime peel onto salads or into certain baked goods.
8. Beans Beans, beans, they’re good for your heart. And they’re not only especially rich in soluble fiber and nutrients: they also take a while for the body to digest, meaning you feel fuller longer after eating. Good choice for people trying to lose weight, and lots of beans to choose from: black beans, navy and kidney beans, lentils, garbanzos, black-eyed peas. The list goes on and yes, some are a bit better for weight loss than others. Another health/weight loss trick: try sprouting some lentils and/or mung beans and throw them onto a salad or into a sandwich. They’re easy to sprout at home. Just get yourself a wide-mouth mason jar, throw in ¼ cups of lentils or mung beans (1/4 cup produced a LOT), cover the beans with water for 24 hours (do make sure to add at least twice the amount of water as beans; the beans absorb a lot of water and you may even have to add more water). Drain the water and cover the jar with a sprouter lid or cheese cloth and a rubber band. ‘Water’ the beans daily (I do it morning and evening), draining the excess water each time, and keep them in out of direct sunlight. In 3-4 days, you’ll have your sprouts. Store the lentils in the refrigerator in a sealed container. Same with the mung beans, but unlike the lentils, they must be covered with water while in refrigerator storage. That’s it. Easy.
9. Vinegar Ok, it’s a condiment, but it does deserve its own place on the list. Our doctor recommended the generous use of cider vinegar early on. A study at Arizona State University East found that taking two tablespoons of vinegar before meals lowered sugar levels in diabetics by 25 percent. In prediabetics, blood sugar levels were cut in half. Italian researchers discovered that apple cider vinegar with meals slashed blood sugar levels by 30 percent, so I always make sure to pour some vinegar onto some dish somewhere at dinner.
10. Dark chocolate. The best for last: Rich in anti-oxidants and flavonoids, dark chocolate has been shown to help counteract insulin resistance, the condition that prevents your body from using insulin effectively. And notice I did say dark chocolate. Trust me, you’ll come to love it.
 For those of you who say that nuts, avocados and olives are fattening: Food is not fattening: overeating is.
 Once you take your first bite at any meal, it takes the brain 20 minutes to register that there’s food in the system, from what I’ve read and heard. Eat slowly. Take human-sized bites. Chew. Then swallow.
I’m not just talking about diabetes. I’m talking about Depression and Denial, too, because that’s the first thing we experienced: he was depressed; I was in denial.
How the hell could this be happening? When we sat in our doctor’s office and he was explaining that G would be on the meds for at least a year – but that there was no cure for Type 2 diabetes and he’d have to change his lifestyle, lose weight and that we’d revisit the meds in a year – it felt like I had somehow woken up in someone else’s nightmare.
And that’s all he wrote: a prescription, some good advice, but not a clue as to what I could safely feed him. According to the doctors in my family, doctors study nutrition for about three weeks in med school. A list of foods/ingredients to avoid would have been helpful. You know, something practical, besides “get this prescription filled and you’ll need a blood sugar monitor, too.” And just for the record, we like our doctor. He took his time and explained the diabetes to us; he told us that the meds had side effects, so a change of lifestyle that would get G off the meds wouldn’t be a bad thing. Which left me squarely in terra incognita. I weigh about a hundred pounds. What do I know about dieting? Or which foods wouldn’t set off a blood sugar attack? Given the choice, G would live on pizza and pasta. Neither of which were on the menu, at the moment. And what if they were off the menu forever?
We stopped off at the pharmacy on our way home, and of course, G also stocked up on neutriceuticals – you know, foods created by pharmaceutical companies.
Who goes grocery shopping in a pharmacy?
I would let it slide for now – he had to eat something – but when he picked up a pound of a sugar substitute that was supposedly natural and derived from sugar, that’s where I drew the line. Fine, buy it, but I wasn’t about to use it any time soon, or ever. First of all, I’m suspicious of food products where I can’t pronounce the majority of the ingredients. Second: I’m going to take food advice from someone who’d eaten his way into Type 2 diabetes in the first place? And just for the record, it was soda that did him in. It’s what does a lot of Type 2’s in and no, I wasn’t the one who was buying it. Or drinking it.
Other sugars/sweeteners on my no-fly list, and careful: they’re in a lot of food products out there, so read the labels. They’re sugars and only the names have been changed to deceive the clueless:
- · brown sugar
- · corn sweetener
- · corn syrup
- · dextrose
- · fructose
- · fruit juice concentrates
- · glucose
- · high-fructose corn syrup
- · honey
- · invert sugar
- · lactose
- · maltose
- · malt syrup
- · molasses
- · raw sugar
- · sucrose
- · sugar
- · syrup
- · turbinado sugar
- · demerara sugar
- · agava
There are more, I know, and some of these are natural, unprocessed sugars, I know, but they affected his blood sugar levels and not in a good way, so there you have it. Yes, I know he sweetens his beverages with the zero or low calorie stuff. There’s only so much I can do and he likes his sweet beverages. Obviously. The natural sweeteners I do use, in moderation, of course, and which have lower glycemic levels:
I think of xylitol and the new ‘white sugar’ and sucanat as our new ‘brown sugar.’ Yes, I know about stevia as well. Didn’t like it, personally. And erythritol, which, from what I read, is nearly zero calories and is a great sugar alternative for diabetics. I just haven’t tried it. Yet.
Also on the no-fly list, and yes, it included a lot of our pantry:
- White rice
- White bread
- All purpose flour (I use unbleached white flour now; he doesn’t like whole wheat flour; he doesn’t react to the unbleached and why torture him?)
- Vegetable oil
- Corn Oil
- Prepared Salad dressings
- Pasta (yes, I know there are all kinds of pastas out there: whole wheat, quinoa, etc.; he either didn’t like them, or they played havoc with his blood sugar. High carbs are high carbs)
If you’re like me – a hoarder and an optimist – you won’t ditch all of these foods/ingredients immediately. You’ll just sort of move them to the back of the cabinet, until things get back to normal. Newsflash: this is the New Normal. Might as well ditch them now and make room for the foods and ingredients that you need and can safely use.
Oh, I did find pasta called ‘Dreamfields’ that was supposedly lower in digestible carbs and had a lower glycemic index than most pastas. Maybe, but we found that the reaction was just delayed. No cigar and I stopped buying it because he stopped eating it. Eventually, I came up with my own recipe for pasta dough. The ingredients are very different from traditional pasta – and he says it tastes like freshly-made pasta, and it doesn’t affect his blood sugar levels. At all. I can’t give away my pasta dough recipe here, but I will share my mock and cheese recipe anon. Oh, I should also mention that because his cholesterol levels were (also) off the charts, he turned completely vegetarian, since cholesterol is only produced by animals. And humans. I’ll tailor the recipes for the non-vegetarians on the list, but I should add that I am a meat eater, and I cook – and season foods – like a meat eater, so if you do decide to try the vegetarian versions, no worries: your kitchen won’t smell like a sweat lodge. Trust me: I grilled kebobs this past summer and didn’t feel like doing separate chicken and tofu versions, so I made them all tofu. Which I’d marinated, of course. And everyone thought it was chicken anyway.
So, if you’re cholesterol is also high and you don’t want to go on the statins – which do have some pretty bad side effects – also on the no-fly list:
- All dairy products:
- Milk, whole, 2%, skim; doesn’t matter
- All dairy-based cheeses, hard and soft
- Heavy cream
- Light cream
- Sour cream
- Cream cheese
- Butter (try the Smart Balance – not bad at all and holds up best as a butter substitute, IMHO)
- Sausages, turkey, chicken, beef and pork (trader joe’s has a chorizo that’s vegetarian and amazingly, tastes like the real thing!)
I’ll do lists of ‘gotta go’ and ‘gotta get’ which I will post, when I find the time. These are more or less my crib notes and it took much research and months of trial and error to figure it all out.
I didn’t list brown rice because it was on his menu. At first. Upon further research, I found that grains like bulgar, buckwheat and quinoa were much healthier and better for him. Take a look:
Brown rice nutritional facts: http://bit.ly/gOzm7x
Bulgar nutritional facts: http://bit.ly/sw8vkq
Quinoa nutritional facts: http://bit.ly/gBE1QX
And don’t just look at the calories. I also consider the dietary fiber, protein, sugar, carbs. Brown rice isn’t bad – it just doesn’t have to be the only grain on the table.
I started off by sneaking the other grains into dishes. For example, I’d mix half brown rice and half bulgar or quinoa. After a while, I dropped the brown rice completely. And he didn’t even miss it. I’ve yet to try millet, which is more the domain of the celiac set. As are tapioca flour, potato flour, rice flour and corn starch, all of which I avoid. To thicken sauces, I grind navy beans or chick peas in the blender and use that. Healthier, plus higher in protein and lower in carbs, and I only use a tablespoon or so of each.
It’s been three years and yes, he’ll have pasta out once in a while and by that I mean, every few months. And he’ll have sushi every couple of weeks. Or chinese food. With brown rice, of course. His numbers are good – and he doesn’t order pasta smothered in some butter- and cheese-rich sauce. It’s a privilege and he’s learned – the hard way – not to abuse it.
This is our life. We’ve made adjustments – and it seems there’s no going back.
This blog came about out of love.
When my husband was hit with sudden onset type 2 diabetes in early 2009, we were devastated and I was terrified. Yes, he was the one who was sick – but I was the one who had to figure out what to safely feed him and the last thing I wanted to see was his health deteriorating. Even further. I have to thank the various websites out there for explaining Type 2 diabetes to me – very helpful – but when it came to what to feed him, not so much. Problem: while they define and differentiate between Types 1 and 2 diabetes, when it came to recipes, the two were suddenly pretty much lumped together. Ok, so from what I’d read, Types 1 and 2 diabetes are two completely different diseases, with two different courses of treatment – yet no differentiatiation when it comes to food? Did I miss something? Or is the idea to keep Type 2s on medications forever and damn the torpedoes – and the side affects. I realized I had a lot more research to do if I was literally going to save his life and get him off the medications, and finally, all that science I’d studied, my background as a former professional baker and having always had a fascination with food, came in handy. Ok, having doctors in the family helped, too. A lot. But at the end of the day, there is no more powerful motivator than love.
I am not a doctor, a dietician or a nutritionist. I have no medical qualifications whatsoever, nor am I giving you medical advice. Anything you decide to do should be discussed with your doctor. All of these ideas, suggestions and recipes are based on personal experience as I learned, based on trial and error and living with it every day, how to manage Type2 diabetes, normalize a high cholesterol level, figure out a healthy weight loss program and prepare meals everyone could enjoy. I am just someone like you: a spouse/loved one/significant other/family member/caregiver/Type 2 or pre Type 2 diabetic. Someone who has had his or her world turned upside down because, like it or not, all of a sudden you have to live with Type 2 – like me.