Diabetes Diet #57: Splurging and Losing

Diabetes Recipes:

Scones: Plain and Easy
Favorite Blueberry Corn Muffins
Wowza Winter Vegetable Soup

Splurging and Losing

What is life all about anyway? Is it destiny? Is it balance? Is it knowing the difference between the two and how to maneuver the detours and pop-ups? I pondered these things as I struggled to lose the 4 lbs. I gained over the holidays. I created some very valid excuses for the weight gain …. It’s winter and I am an outdoors person therefore I need the extra fat as insulation and protection against the cold and wind. (Not so bad, eh?) or how about …. It is a natural phenomenon to gain weight as we age (I don’t really buy that one). Fact of the matter is that I accepted too many party invitations and succumbed to foods and bubbly drinks that are not part of my real life diabetes management.

I mention this personal dilemma because I really like my solution and thought I’d pass it on to you. I found that eating the same healthy meal through the week was an easy and stress free regimen. Being a soup lover, I made a big pot of vegetable soup on Sundays and enjoyed 2 healthy bowls with a little whole grain bread and fresh low fat mozzarella on weekday nights. This gave me the luxury of not having to shop and cook everyday, kept my bg readings a nice even tempo and kicked in a renewed source of energy. For breakfast I splurged on delicious, nutritious homemade baked goods from my own kitchen. The great residual benefit here, besides the wonderful aromas wafting through the house, is that I know exactly what goes into these delicious scones and muffins. At lunchtime I usually ordered a nice salad with grilled fish or chicken at a restaurant, being starkly aware to ask for dressing “on the side”. Having worked in restaurant kitchens I know the copious amounts of dressing that flow from chef’s ladles for the sake of sparkling up a dish, when 1 tablespoon is sufficient.

Following this simple way of eating I lost the 4 lbs. in 3 weeks. One of the lessons I learned from this structure was that I got to enjoy the process of creative cooking using simple ingredients again. So much fanfare and attention to food has taken away from the reality of eating well for nourishment and good health. Going back to basics at this time was successful both nutritionally and economically. It seems the perfect yin/yang balance of good food and good value. It also fits in very nicely with basic training for diabetes management where patterns, format, structure and planning reap the best rewards.

I’m headed over to CYBER KITCHEN right now to make some scones, muffins and a big pot of vegetable soup. Care to join me at the stove?

Scone Zone:

One day as I was whipping up several variations of a basic scone recipe my son looked around the kitchen and asked if he was in the scone zone. The name scone might sound a bit fancy but scones are a very simple and basic baked good. They require using whole eggs to give them the tender texture that defines them as scones. This is not such a bad thing. Eggs have become a political seesaw. Good … Bad …Good… Bad. Moderation balances the seesaw. Egg yolks contain vitamins A, D, E, K and iron and Omega3 fatty acids. Whites are a source of high quality protein.

Scones: Plain and Easy
1 cup + 2 T. unbleached flour
2 T. sugar
1 T. baking powder,
¼ t. each: salt, baking soda
2 T. cold butter
1 large egg
1/3 cup low fat buttermilk

  1. Mix dry ingredients in bowl, reserving 2 T. flour
  2. Add butter, using pastry cutter or 2 forks, cut to coarse meal consistency.
  3. Whisk egg and buttermilk together and add to batter. Powder hands and work area with reserved flour to prevent sticking. Form 6 rounds and place on ungreased baking sheet.
  4. Bake 12 minutes in 400 oven.

Nutritional Value: 1 scone = 125 cal, 4 fat grams, 4 grams protein, 20 carb grams

Fancy Options: You can be as creative as you like by adding your favorite flavors and textures to the plain scone recipe. Add 6 diced dried apricots, ½ cup raisins or cranberries, 1 T. vanilla, ½ cup nuts, ½ raspberries or blueberries, ½ cup grated apples or pears, ½ cup chocolate chips, etc.

Favorite Blueberry Corn Muffins
1 cup each: unbleached flour, yellow cornmeal
½ cup sugar
1 T. baking powder, ½ t. baking soda
1 cup low fat buttermilk
¼ cup canola oil
2 egg whites
1 ½ cups fresh blueberries, 1 T. grated lemon zest

  1. Mix dry ingredients in a large bowl.
  2. Whisk together wet ingredients in separate bowl.
  3. Add wet to dry. Don’t over mix. Gently stir in berries and zest.
  4. Spoon batter into 12 lightly sprayed muffin tins and bake in 400 oven for 20 minutes or until golden in color. Pierce with toothpick. If it is dry, muffins are done. Best served warm.

Nutritional Value: 1 muffin = 170 cal, 5 fat grams, 3 grams protein, 27 carb grams, 2 grams fiber

Wowza Winter Vegetable Soup

This soup, like many great recipes, is a movable feast. In other words, you may gleefully substitute and exchange your favorite vegetables for those written here … spinach for kale, parsnips for turnips, etc.

2 onions, chopped
3 shallots, chopped
1 small celery root, cubed
2 white turnips, diced
1 fennel bulb, sliced
2 cups broccoli flowers, in small bites
2 carrots, thinly sliced
2 ribs celery, sliced
2 cups each: kale and mustard greens
6 cups vegetable stock or chicken broth
1 T. prepared pesto
1 28 oz. crushed tomatoes
½ cup each fresh parsley, snipped chives and dill
freshly ground black pepper to taste

Place all ingredients except parsley, chives and dill in a large soup pot. Bring to the boil. Turn down to simmer for 20 -30 minutes. Stir in herbs and serve piping hot. Garnish with a little freshly grated parmesan cheese if desired. This will make approximately 12 cups. When you reheat soup add additional broth.

Nutritional Value: 1 cup = 90 cal, 16 carb grams, trace fat, 2 protein grams, 3.5 grams fiber