Diabetes Diet #32: A Celebration Feast For HbA1c

Diabetes Recipes:

Easy Celebration Chicken
Gorgonzola Polenta
For the Wild Crowd

A Celebration Feast For HbA1c

It’s official, Sheldon Bleicher, M.D. has retired. He was my diabetologist for over 20 years. I called him “The Wizard”. He ruled with a nudge if you were not performing up to par and a smile and reassuring hug when there was cause to celebrate something like excellent numbers. He had the gift of communicating bad news with gentle encouragement and optimism. He recommended modalities that could only make you feel better and help with better diabetes management. Dr. Bleicher was smart, kind, extremely knowledgeable, caring and on the cutting edge of diabetes care. The wizard was a healer. I feel lost without his guidance.

Over the years when time approached for an appointment I never failed to create an exaggerated fear perception over the dreaded A1c test results. Dr. B was a real stickler about keeping numbers under 6. Although the HbA1c test measures an average reading of blood sugars over a 2-month period, it does not indicate high and low number swings. These can only be determined by diligent and regular testing with a handy home blood glucose monitor. It’s your responsibility to manage that part. But having a good A1c reading is better than having a high one, which may indicate inadequate care or control. And even though I try very hard to control my blood sugars, they are not always 105. Having an A1c reading of 6 or below (which usually was the case) seemed to have a gleeful effect on me. It meant that yeah! I’m trying and succeeding in caring for my diabetes. It is like getting a good report card at school. You work hard to achieve something and are rewarded for your effort.

Whatever your A1c readings are, the important part and direct reason for this test is to learn and act from the results. If the number is on the high side, step back to have an objective look at your routines. Are you eating too many carbs for your lifestyle? Are you slouching on your daily exercise regimen? Has stress been a factor in your life? Examine and tweak any areas of your diabetes care that are tipping the A1c scale. Diligence in daily care has an enormous payoff in good health. It’s up to you.

Replacing the Irreplaceable
There are few people we meet in life who are really irreplaceable. Dr. B is one of those rare species. But reality tells me I still have diabetes and must find someone to trust for guidance, support and medical care So Iím on a shopping spree for a new doc. And until I find one I am taking extra care with day-to-day diabetes concerns with confidence that the next A1c will be one to celebrate.

Celebration Feast
Over the years I have always interpreted good numbers as a cause to celebrate with a proper A1c feast. So please join me over in the CYBER KITCHEN to prepare an autumn meal that encourages future excellence in achievement for all of us who work hard for good numbers. We deserve a pat on the back and a great dinner.

Here is a dinner fit for any fall celebration. It is, particularly delicious when it celebrates good diabetes care! Accompany with a bright green salad for fiber, hydration, color and texture.

Cyber Kitchen Summer Recipes

Great Recipes
Easy Celebration Chicken
(4 servings)
Gorgonzola Polenta
(4 servings)
There is a culinary term in Britain called “spatchcooking”. In the States, we call it “butterflying”. When spatchcooking a chicken the results are economy of time and ease in serving. These are two pretty good reasons to try it. When you purchase your chicken, keep in mind QUALITY COUNTS. Look for local, young, organic birds. After all, it is your health you are feeding. And you deserve the best.

1 3-4 lb. roasting chicken
2 cups low fat buttermilk
2 large garlic cloves, crushed
1 T. each: sea salt and cracked black pepper
3 T. fresh rosemary leaves, coarsely chopped
¼ cup olive oil
1 T. honey

Rinse chicken with plenty of cool water and place breast side down on cutting board. With kitchen shears, cut along both sides of the backbone and remove bone and any fatty tissue. Rinse chicken again. Turn chicken over and press with force to flatten. Place the remaining ingredients in a large sturdy plastic zip bag and whisk to blend. Add chicken and refrigerate overnight or for up to 2 days. The chicken will become tender and moist due to the buttermilk.

Turn oven to 400, drain chicken and roast on the rack inside roasting pan for 35 minutes. Turn oven down to 325 and continue to cook for another 30-40 minutes until juices run clear. Allow chicken to rest for 10 minutes before cutting. Use a sharp knife or kitchen shears to cut the chicken into 4 pieces. Drizzle with a dot of pan juices and serve.

Nutritional Value:
1 white meat breast no skin = 215 cal, 8 fat grams, 0 carb grams, 35 grams protein
4 oz dark meat with skin = 300 cal, 20 fat grams, 28 grams protein, 0 carb grams.

Polenta is the perfect accompaniment to roast chicken, particularly at this time of year, early autumn. This polenta recipe is a little different because of the addition of delicious Gorgonzola cheese.

½ cup yellow cornmeal
cup low-fat chicken broth
1-cup water
minced garlic cloves
red pepper flakes to taste
¼ cup gorgonzola cheese, crumbled
2 scallions, thinly sliced

Combine water and broth and bring to boil in a saucepan. Slowly, in a stream, add cornmeal. Stir briskly with a wooden spoon to incorporate. Continue stirring steadily for about 20 minutes until polenta pulls away from sides. Add remaining ingredients and stir. It is easy to serve with ½ portion cup or ice cream scoop. This also creates an attractive presentation on dinner plates.

Nutritional Value:
½ cup = 90 cal, 12 carb grams, 4 fat grams, 3 grams protein

For the Wild (mushrooms) Crowd (4 servings)
8 oz. assorted wild mushrooms, such as Shitake, Portobello, Chanterelle, Porcini or Cremini
¼ cup sherry vinegar
¼ -cup extra virgin olive oil
2 large cloves garlic, minced
2 shallots, finely chopped
salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
2 t. dry thyme or ¼ cup fresh thyme leaves

Carefully brush mushrooms to remove any grit or sand. Slice. Whisk together the remaining ingredients and add mushrooms to mixture. Marinate, covered in fridge several hours or overnight. Heat oven to 325. Bake mushrooms with marinade for 30 minutes in an aluminum pouch made by placing the mushroom mix in the center of a large piece of foil and twisting covers together to form a pouch. The mushrooms can bake while the chicken is roasting.

Nutritional Value:
1 serving = 120 cal, 11 carb grams, 4 grams protein, 7 fat grams, 2 grams fiber