Diabetes Diet #63: A Tonic for the Diabetes Doldrums

Diabetes Recipes:

Boiled Eggs
Scrambled Eggs
Egg Salad

The look and sound of 2010 has promise.  It appears open and friendly.  Maybe it will be the year you come to a new partnership with your diabetes.  Maybe it will be the year you really do get in some exercise everyday.  Maybe it will be when you’ll get to know your kitchen better and spend more time there becoming a satisfied and smiling cook.  The bright light of a new year gives us freedom and power to reach for new heights. The day-to-day regimen of living with diabetes can get pretty dull and time weary.  The radiance of a new year can be the perfect tonic for a case of the diabetes doldrums.

My wishes and recommendations to you are to shake things up a bit in 2010.  Diabetes demands a certain rigidity and discipline that we learn to live with.  Stepping out of the cocoon by trying new adventures can have positive results and bring in a refreshed attitude on managing diabetes.

Go roller-skating instead of walking.  Dance instead of play tennis. Bowl a strike instead of riding a bike.  Take a Zum-ba class!  Enter a 5K run. Have fun while making your body strong, lightening stress and balancing bg’s.  You might even be interested in signing up for a cooking class at a culinary school or community college.  Some local restaurants give cooking classes, too. 

Being able to prepare your own satisfying meals is a banner accomplishment that reaps ongoing rewards.  Learning to buy and prepare local seasonal foods in simple ways can be very satiating as well as surprisingly economical.  More than this though, is the link of understanding food and diabetes.  Getting to know and appreciate that “we really are what we eat”.  (I wonder if whoever created these words of wisdom had diabetes).  Reading that the value of a small apple is 15 carb grams is one thing, but coring that same apple and filling its center with a few toasted walnuts and plenty of cinnamon and baking it in the oven for 45 minutes expands the senses and seems much more intriguing than simply counting 15 carb grams.  

 I have been teaching my 3 ½ year old grandson some basic cooking skills lately. In the process I realize how much fun it is to spend more time in the kitchen.  We crack fresh organic eggs, whisk them and pour them into a warmed buttery skillet, scramble them around with some fresh chives, grated bright green zucchini and a little ricotta cheese and watch them cook.  So simple.  So delicious.  We put wheat bread in the toaster, and cut it up into dinosaur shapes with a cookie cutter and add it to the eggs.  We take off our aprons and sit down to enjoy our breakfast feast.  It is very rewarding to see a child enjoy healthy eating by participating in the cooking process at a young age, although age doesn’t matter.  If you are just stating out in the healthy kitchen I hope I inspire you to continue the journey. In fact, if you’re in the mood, why don’t we step over to Cyber Kitchen right now and see what’s going on there.

Nature’s Design Masterpiece

Eggs are said to be nature’s masterpiece of design.  They contain over 11 vitamins and minerals, including Vitamins A, B, D and E, folate, iron, phosphorous, selenium, iodine and powerful antioxidants lutein and zeaxanthin, choline, high quality protein and healthy fats.  Eggs have been a valued food source since pre-history times when eggs were hunted and as time went on they became domesticated.  There is evidence on 1420BC Egyptian tomb carvings of men carrying bowls of large eggs, perhaps as offerings.  In ancient Rome, eggs often started a meal, with shells (which, by the way, are edible) crushed into bowls to ward off evil spirits.  In the Middle Ages, it was forbidden to eat eggs during the holy season of Lent because of their richness. In the 17th century, France added citrus to eggs creating what we call lemon curd today.  Dried eggs were useful during WW1 & 11 to feed the armed forces.  And the paper egg carton was invented in Vancouver to settle a dispute between a hotel owner and farmer about broken eggs.


This oval shaped phenomenon is made up of several parts.  The ones we are commonly familiar with are the yolk, 60 calories, containing the majority of protein and nutrients.  27% of the yolk is saturated fat while the remainder of its fat content is mono-saturated.  The thin gelatinous white portion of an egg carries 15 calories with 87% water and 13% protein. 

Eggs and Type 2 Diabetes

When it comes to eggs and diabetes, a 2008 Physicians Health Study of 50,000 people found that high levels of daily consumption of eggs increased the risk of developing T2 diabetes. in both men and women  Another 2007 study showed that moderate (6 eggs weekly) egg consumption increased instances of heart disease in T2’s.  As always, balance and moderation are the keys to good health.  If your health professional advises that you be attentive to fat and cholesterol you probably should only consume a coupler eggs a week. You can use the proportion of 1 whole egg to 2 egg whites to lower fat consumption.  If you are interested in learning more about the humble egg, check the Egg Nutrition Center in Washington, DC.

The Nutrition Chameleon

Besides being a nutritional miracle, the egg has the power to transform itself like no other food.  Eggs on their own are easy to cook.  They like a low fire and don’t like to have their flavor compromised with too much butter or any fat.  A drop of olive oil should due when frying or scrambling.  Boiling or poaching is pure. If you get the chance to purchase eggs at a farm, don’t hesitate as flavor and freshness are sublime. 

Three Secrets to Boiling an Egg

  1. With a thin pin or needle prick a tiny hole in the broad bottom base of the egg.  This relieves pressure.
  2. Cook on low medium heat. This prevents bouncing and overcooking.
  3. Never overcrowd saucepan.
Boiling Eggs

Hard Boil:  Lower eggs with a spoon into gently boiling water.  Cook for 12 -15 minutes.  The shorter time leaves yolks slightly soft.  When cooked to your liking, run eggs under cold water for at least 30 seconds to stop cooking process and make peeling easy.

Soft Boil: Cook egg for 4 minutes.  Run under cold water, crack open and scoop out.

  1. In a small skillet bring about 1” water, 1 t. vinegar and a pinch of salt to the boil. 
  2. Lower heat to where water is just under boiling.  Small bubbles form.
  3. Crack 1 egg at a time in a bowl and carefully slide it into skillet.  Cover and poach for 3-5 minutes until yolks set.
  4. Remove with slotted spoon and serve on top of wheat toast or whole grain English muffin.


The trick here is low heat. It might take an extra minute or 2 but it is worth the time. 

  1. Using whisk or fork, scramble to incorporate yolks and whites. 
  2. Add 1 T. milk and continue to mix lightly.
  3. Heat skillet.  Add a small drop or spray of olive oil. 
  4. When warm pour eggs into pan. 
  5. Add a couple T. of fresh salsa and grating of reduced fat cheddar.
  6. Mix lightly as eggs begin to settle.
  7. Cook for about 4-5 minutes on very low heat.
Egg Salad

4 hard boiled eggs
peeled and chilled
¼ cup each: sliced scallions, chopped parsley, sliced celery, 1/3 cup light mayonnaise, 1 t. spicy mustard, ground black pepper, 1t. Curry powder.

  1. Chop eggs and mix remaining ingredients together.
  2. Add to eggs and mix well. 
  3. Serve on bed of Boston or leaf lettuce. 

Nutritional Value: 1/3 cup = 135 cal, 7 grams protein, 2 carb grams, 10 fat grams