Diabetes Diet #55: Diabetes and Extremes

Diabetes Recipes:

Baked Salmon with Vegetables
Broccoli and Garlic
Yogurt Parfait

Extreme Case #1:

  • 3 fried egg sandwiches with cheese, lettuce, tomatoes and fried onions
  • 1, 5-egg omelette
  • 1 bowl grits
  • 3 slices French toast
  • 3 chocolate chip pancakes
  • 2 cups coffee

Question: Is this meal worth a bolus?
Answer: NO

It is a typical breakfast for Olympic gold medal swimmer, Michael Phelps. His total daily calorie intake while training, strokes between 12,000 and 16,000 calories. I must admit, as a food lover. I got a little nauseous when I read about this copious, unbridled food consumption. I also had some questions. Where was the balance in this meal? Where were the fruits and veggies, the whole grains, the lean protein, the good fats? I suppose that an athlete of his caliber and high pitched training can eat just about anything since all the body is interested in, at that level of stress, is fuel to power the machine. However, where were the guiding dieticians and nutritionists to recommend the food groups? Maybe I am being too much of a food nazi and nag-ulater pushing my perennial mission that everyone should eat healthy, fresh, local, seasonal foods. Furthermore, at a time in our culture when the encouragement is to eat less and lose weight, the Frosted Flakes cereal Phelps endorses as a breakfast for champions …. well. I’d better zip my big mouth shut, editorialize less and talk more about better choices.

Extreme Case #2:

The October issue of Bicycling magazine posted an article by Jeremy Katz, titled “1 Sweet Ride”. It celebrates the athletes with type 1 diabetes who are members of Team Type 1 (founded by 2 young Georgia type 1 athletes, Phil Southerland and Joe Eldridge) which rode to capture first place 2X in the Race Across America 3000-mile ride! One of their goals is to inspire everyone who has diabetes, another is have a Team Type 1 presence in the Tour de France 2012. The article explains in very specific detail how the body and insulin and nutritional needs work during long, stressful endurance sports. It also talks about insulin pumps and CGM’s. These young diabetic cyclists have raised the bar for all active people with diabetes. They motivate by their example, showing diabetes can do anything if the dream and drive are there to pursue. In the case of the cyclists, checking blood sugars and replenishing glucose supplies to compensate for drops in blood sugar with gels, carb and energy drinks is vital. Eating real food after a long ride is also extremely important to sustain energy after the quick glucose fixes are gone. This is when a sandwich or pizza comes in handy. Food is fuel for the engine for all extreme athletes, whether diabetic or not.

Back in the ordinary world of people living with diabetes who do daily exercise and sports and maybe an occasional marathon or another endurance feat, the body doesn’t need a hungry man’s size diet to fuel the machine. Rather, for both type 1 and type 2 diabetes, balance and stabilization of body weight are targets to aim for. At the same time, I found out about the Phelps diet and the cyclists I also ran across a list of 100 calorie food portions that seemed quite encouraging to me, the average Jane with type 1. Are you interested in hearing about them? Step over to Cyber Kitchen and we’ll go through the list.

Cyber Kitchen Recipes:

I once took a cooking class where everyone in the class was given the same ingredients and a time limit to create a dish with the ingredients. It was a lot of fun and interesting to see how we all made different dishes even though we started out with the same components. Here is an abbreviated list of 100 calorie foods from various food groups. I will make some dishes from the list. Why don’t you try your hand at it too?

Our Ingredients
Meats, Fish, Poultry
½ chicken skinless breast, 3 ½ oz. halibut, tuna or salmon, 4 oz filet of snapper, 1/3 canned tuna in water, 2 oz. lean steak, 2 strips baconFruits
1 medium apple, 1 medium banana, 1 large orange, 1 cup grapes, 2 cups strawberries, 1 cup blueberries or raspberries, 4 prunes or datesDairy
1 large egg, 1 cup skim milk, 1 oz. cheddar or Swiss cheese, 2 T. cream cheese, 1/3 cup cottage cheese3/4 cup non-fat yogurt, 1 T. butter, 4 T. grated parmesanVegetables
3 carrots, 2 small heads Romaine lettuce, 3 tomatoes, 1 small baked potato, 2 cups cooked: cauliflower, broccoli, cabbage, 3 cups green beans, 2 ½ cups steamed spinach, 2 onions, 1 cup green peas, 5 cups mushrooms

Fats and Oils
1 T. vegetable margarine, 1 T. peanut butter, 1 T. mayonnaise, 1 T. most vegetable oils, 1 T. most salad dressings

Baked Salmon with Vegetables (2 servings)
2 salmon filets, 3 ½ oz. each
grated zest of 1 lemon and 2 T. lemon juice
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
2 T. minced red onion1
1 small zucchini and 1 small yellow squash, sliced
12 cherry tomatoes
¼ cup chopped flat-leaf parsley and 1 T. dried basil

  1. Marinate salmon in lemon juice, zest, and seasonings for 5 minutes.
  2. Coat 2 pieces of heavy-duty foil with olive oil cooking spray and place 1 salmon filet in the center of each piece.
  3. Top each with remaining ingredients, fold foil into envelopes, crimping corners.
  4. Bake in 400° oven for 12 minutes. Remove packets to plates, slash with a knife and carefully pull back foil. There will be lots of steam. Serve immediately.

Nutritional Value: 1 filet = 220 cal, 24 grams protein, 8 fat grams, 12 carb grams, 2 grams fiber

Broccoli and Garlic (3 servings)
1 lb. broccoli
1 t. olive oil
6 cloves garlic, peeled
salt, black pepper and red pepper flakes to taste

  1. Cut broccoli into florets and peel and slice stems. Steam for 5 minutes. Drain.
  2. Warm oil in a skillet. Add garlic and seasonings and cook until garlic becomes translucent. Don not brown. Add broccoli and stir for 2 – 3 minutes.

Nutritional Value: 1 serving = 65 cal, 2 fat grams, 5 grams protein, 10 carb grams, 4 grams fiber

Yogurt Parfait (2 servings)
½ cup lemon non-fat yogurt
1 T. grated orange zest
1 naval orange
½ apple, peeled and cored
½ cup red grapes

  1. Mix yogurt and orange zest. Chill.
  2. Cut fruit into bite-sized pieces.
  3. Layer yogurt and fruit in dessert dishes when ready to serve.

Nutritional Value: 1 serving = 120 cal, 27 carb grams, 4 grams protein, 2.6 grams fiber