Diabetes Diet #64: Can Someone Please Tell Me What’s Going On?

Diabetes Recipes:

Broccoli with a Kick
Broccoli and Little Ears

I placed my groceries on the conveyor belt in the supermarket, the usual milk, eggs, pasta, a few plum tomatoes, lemons and limes and a variety of fresh greens. The kid working the register pushed through the packaged goods, tomatoes and fruit just fine. Then a perplexed grin came over his face as he held up a bunch of flat leaf parsley and asked “broccoli?” Thinking that he was joking I said of course it was broccoli, what else could it possibly be? Next came a nice big bunch of turnip greens. He looked at it and me and smiled “So you must really like broccoli?” Sure enough when I checked the bill, he had charged me for 2 bunches of … yup … broccoli! CAN SOMEONE PLEASE TELL ME WHAT’S GOING ON?

Last week I stopped by a diabetes support group. Fifteen of us sat at a long rectangular table and each person had a few minutes to introduce themselves and say what they hoped to gain from attending the group. By the time it was my turn I didn’t know what to say after hearing fourteen people talk about strokes, heart problems, overeating, complaints about having to take several shots of insulin daily, and the curse of having diabetes and why they couldn’t exercise. Did I dare say diabetes is in your hands? You are its keeper to take care of and manage as best you can by becoming educated about it, asking questions and living a balanced lifestyle with a healthy attitude. When I tried to make my point with as much aplomb and ginger as possible, a very heavy set woman commented that I could say these things because I was skinny. Didn’t she understand that by eating well and exercising daily is how I got skinny. By the way, I am fit, not skinny, lady. CAN SOMEONE PLEASE TELL ME WHAT’S GOING ON?

I think I can answer my own question. It is one bunch of broccoli at a time, losing one pound of weight at a time and it’s about commitment to seeking and finding solutions.

This is What’s Going On At a recent JDRF program I sat on a diabetes and sports panel. Parents, kids and coaches were so enthusiastic about learning the very best ways to manage sports and blood sugars. They know how important exercise is in the big picture of diabetes care. We talked about Kris Freeman, the Olympic Cross Country skier (and great looking guy!) who competed in the Vancouver Olympics a few weeks ago. Kris speaks openly about his type 1 diabetes. He is one of the new role models we need in today’s diabetes world. For many years the face of diabetes was Mary Tyler Moore who spoke about finding the cure through research. Mary was a terrific spokesperson for the time. But the world and culture has changed and more children are being diagnosed with diabetes than ever before. For a child to have diabetes role models like Kris or gold medalist swimmer Gary Hall Jr. or ultra- marathon running champion Missy Foy …. This is what’s going on. These athletes are inspiring realists who say go for your dreams, you can do anything you set out to do as long as you take good care of your diabetes.

Michelle Obama is on a mission to fight obesity in children which can and does lead to diabetes. She is trying to bring healthier foods into schools and to the dinner table at home. As wife of the president, she has a big voice. Let’s wish her great success in this valuable project. This is what’s going on.

These people are powerful positive forces in the diabetes community. They are the ones who might inspire the kid at the supermarket register to learn the difference between parsley and broccoli and actually find out how good they taste. They are the ones who motivate people who attend diabetes groups to want to learn and understand more about their diabetes and how to be more responsible for its care. Perhaps some of them are reading this and are waiting for the Cyber Kitchen door to open. I’d better go check.

Broccoli with a Kick (4 Servings)

1 bunch broccoli [about 1 ½ lbs.]
2 T. olive oil
5 plump garlic cloves, skin left on
Good pinch red pepper flakes, about ½ t.
Salt and ground black pepper to taste
1 -2 T. fresh lemon juice
grated zest from 1 lemon

  1. Set oven to 450.
  2. Cut broccoli into long stems and toss with oil.
  3. Place on baking sheet and sprinkle with garlic cloves and spices.
  4. Roast for 20 minutes or until tender and browned, mixing every 5 minutes.
  5. Remove to plate and toss with lemon juice and zest.

Nutritional Value: 1 serving = 128 cal, 7 fat grams, 5 grams protein, 13 carb grams, 4.5 grams fiber

Broccoli and Little Ears

½ lb. orecchiette (little ears) pasta
1 T. olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
2 cups broccoli florets
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
½ cup low fat ricotta cheese

  1. Cook orecchiette in plenty of rapidly boiling water for about 10-12 minutes. Taste for doneness. Don’t overcook.
  2. While pasta is cooking heat oil in skillet. Add garlic and cook for about 30 seconds to soften. Add broccoli and stir fry for 4-5 minutes until crisp tender.
  3. Drain pasta. Toss with broccoli and immediately stir in ricotta. Season to taste.

Nutritional Value: 1 ½ cups = 270 cal, 4 fat grams, 45 carb grams, 12 grams protein, 2 grams fiber