Diabetes Diet #30: Catching Up On Control

Diabetes Recipes:

Seasonal Vegetable Platter
Salt Baked Fish
Italian Tuna Wrap

When life is running circles around us, causing a little mayhem in our lives, it can mean it is time to stop, take a few long deep breaths and review your diabetes control. There are many ways to achieve this. Here are a few ideas that have come my way recently.

  1. I attended a diabetes and exercise conference in Montecatini, Italy recently and learned how differently the Italians treat diabetes than we do in the USA. Much of it has to do with cultural and lifestyle attitudes. The largest percentage of the Type 1 diabetes population controls their blood sugars with Lantus and Humalog insulins. They are not very keen on wearing insulin pumps.Type 2’s rely on the well-balanced Mediterranean diet, exercise and usually only one medication, instead of a cocktail shaker mix that many American Type 2’s uses in their treatment programs. Italians fully enjoy the pleasures of their wonderful sun-kissed diet and do so with a relaxed frame of mind. At the conference, we Americans geared up to our usual rushing from one project to the next and were gently counseled by our Italian hosts, “piano, piano” (slowly, slowly). Where are you going in such a hurry all the time? They asked. We couldn’t answer.

    Within a few days, we took their advice and slowed down to a more relaxed pace and learned to savor things and laugh more. By the end of the conference, we were enamored with this lifestyle and really enjoyed taking the time to sit at the table, partake in lively conversation and appreciate the beautiful surroundings. I brought back some delicious recipes for you to savor at your own leisure at this time of the year filled with fragrant blossoms and longer hours of sunlight to sit outside for an evening meal.

  2. We all know how important it is to embrace exercise as part of our daily healthy lives, but sometimes we enter into that pit called “the rut”. If and when that happens the best way out is change. If you’ve been going to the gym and working out on machines, go outside, instead, and enjoy some fresh air and take a bicycle ride or rollerblade. If you are tired of tennis, switch to hiking as a new sport.As for me, I still take jazz dance 3 times weekly because I love to dance. I have added Tai Chi to boost my fitness regimen and a few months ago, with the suggestion of a friend, I started distance walking. We started walking 12 miles every Sunday morning and now we are off to walk a marathon in Denmark and Sweden June 13. Changing routines can be a great motivational tool in recharging diabetes care. As long as you monitor your blood sugars to see how the changes affect them and absolutely carry quick carb snacks wherever you go. A fresh start has the power to awaken our energy with gusto and optimism.
  3. Another inspiration to take a look at is a new book called “28 Days To Diabetes Control” by Lance Portor. The book itself is comprehensive and written in an easy to understand style. The last part of the book is for the reader to fill in his/her daily routines for 28 days. You may be amazed at what you find out about your day-by-day care, and learn ways to make changes for the better. It might be a fun way to start on your new refresher course in diabetes management.

I don’t know about you but I’m getting pretty hungry with all this talk about exercise and changes in routine. I ‘m ready to go over to Cyber Kitchen and cook up something good. Care to join me?

Cyber Kitchen

Great Recipes

Seasonal Vegetable Platter(serves 4)

Salt Baked Fish(2 servings)

Throughout our travels, we ate “local”, frequenting neighborhood restaurants called “Trattoria” or “Hosteria” in Italian. There was always an abundance of market vegetables on the menus and it didn’t take long to fall into the habit of ordering a platter of those beautiful fresh vegetables as our appetizer.

4 small zucchini
4 small yellow squash
1 large fennel bulb
4 small ripe tomatoes
2 fresh carrots
4 large pieces of cauliflower
4 T. extra virgin olive oil
4 T. good quality balsamic or red wine vinegar
sea salt and pepper mill

Blanch vegetables to tenderize. Cut fennel bulb into 4 sections, Cut carrots in half. Group vegetables on large platter and drizzle with oil. Let each person use vinegar and seasonings to their taste.

Nutritional Value: 1 serving = 230 cal, 22 carb grams, 2 grams protein, 14 monounsaturated fat grams, 7.5 grams fiber

This melt in your mouth fish was surely one of the most memorable delights we enjoyed in Italy. It is a prime example of the brilliant yet uncomplicated way the Italians have with food. There is no residual salty taste in the fish at all. Let me know how you like it.

1 1-lb. fresh Sea Bass or other mild white flesh fish, such as snapper
1 lemon, thinly sliced
1 T.. olive oil
handful fresh parsley, oregano, and basil
rock salt

Layer a baking sheet with rock salt. Rinse fish with cold water, pat dry and rub with oil. Insert herbs in cavity. Place a layer of lemon slices on salt and rest fish on top. Cover fish with a thick layer of rock salt and bake in 350 ovens for 15 minutes. Let sit for a few minutes before lifting off the salt crust. Slice fish open and remove the bone. Serve with lemon wedges.

Nutritional Value: 1 serving = 250 cal, 22grams protein, 15 fat grams, 0 carbs

Italian Tuna Wrap (2 sandwiches or wraps)

There is a huge taste difference between American and Italian canned tuna. Italian tuna has much more flavor. It has become a staple in my kitchen and this recipe is a favorite.

4 oz. Italian tuna “Tonno”
2 ribs celery
1 small carrot
2 scallions
1 / 4 cup each: chopped flat-leaf parsley and fresh basil
2 T. snipped fresh chives
salt and pepper to taste
1 T. each mayonnaise and plain low-fat yogurt
a handful of coarsely chopped watercress
1 flax roll-up***

**Flax roll-ups are terrific high fiber, low fat, low glycemic, great-tasting wraps. I discovered them at www.damascusbakery.com

1. Drain tuna and place in mixing bowl. Slice celery and add to tuna. Grate carrot on the widest part of the grater. Add to mix. Slice scallions and add. Add remaining ingredients and mix very well.

2. Divide in half and place along one side of each roll-up. Top with chopped cress and roll tightly away (instead of towards) from you.

Nutritional Value: 1 sandwich = 380 cal, 18 carb grams, 27 grams protein, 14 fat grams, 8 grams fiber