Diabetes Diet #27: Less In More Out

Diabetes Recipes:

Ginger Chicken
Fresh Applesauce
Brussel Sprouts

It’s Your Time For Less In, More Out

Mixed messages are coming in loud and clear with advice that runs in circles. At this time of year, the wind-down of the holiday season and advent of a new year, a ruffled deluge of advice bobs and weaves like a calliope of jumping jack clowns all pointing the way to a shopping mall of diet books. Being diabetic, we have a slight edge on this shell game because we appreciate the importance and consequences of eating with a grain of sanity, and the day to day (sometimes minute to minute) effects, food has on our health and well being.

However, some of us may have wavered a trifle during holiday celebrations (perhaps even indulged in a few bites of the rich English dessert of sponge cake, custard, berries and cream, called Trifle). Statistics show this is the time when many people look to improve their health and diet. New year. New beginnings. It makes perfect sense.

About the overload of diet books on the market, most have been written by MD’s, RD’s and diet gurus who are sincere and passionate about their theories. It may be worth taking a cursory look at some of the books currently making the rounds while keeping in mind that none will result in producing a slim healthy permanent 100 bg body or a 5.5 A1c. Blood sugars would surely start a revolution from deep within the pancreas if we jumped on the roller coaster of testing diet book methods. But it’s interesting to see what diets people are currently following. It helps bolster confidence in the wisdom of my favorite, the good old well balanced, fresh food diet.

The South Beach Diet by cardiologist Dr. Arthur Agatston calls for 0 carbs for the first 14 days of the diet. It is basically protein, fat and a little salad, followed by slow and limited integration of low glycemic index carbs.

The Ultimate Weight Solution by Phil McGraw reveals the 7 keys to weight loss.

Dr. Atkins’ New Diet Revolution by Dr. Robert Atkins, teaches how to lose weight and achieve good health through a high protein, high-fat diet. The Atkins principal draws clear lines of believers and skeptics in any discussion on weight loss and diet. There have been no long term studies on this diet.

Dr. Dean Ornish teaches a high complex carbohydrate, extremely limited fat regimen, similar to the Pritiken Diet, which in its original form, extolled zero tolerance for any fats.

Dr. Howard Shapiro shows us in Picture Perfect Weight Loss, vivid pictures on how to make good, low cal food choices. It is interesting to see the gamut that 600 calories offer.

Dr. Andrew Weil, Eating Well For Optimum Health author, believes in variety, freshness, unprocessed foods and an abundance of fruits and vegetables to ensure a sound and healthy diet.

The “Zone” series of books by Barry Sears has grown into a business of low carb meals, that can actually be delivered to your doorstep each day to help you stay in The Zone.

What Works For The Long Haul aka The Be Kind To Blood Sugars Diet

Eat a variety of foods that contain the macro and micronutrients necessary for good health. Do this on a daily basis.

Pick and choose the freshest and most seasonal foods available.

30 minutes of exercise a day reaps significant, long-lasting benefits. Heart, circulation, blood pressure, BLOOD SUGAR, muscle tone, clear thinking, stamina, and sense of well being some of the brilliant advantages of a brisk daily constitution. Walk with a friend, Buy a pedometer. It’s 2004 and it’s already your time to get moving!

Portion Control
Moderation means avoiding extremes. These helpful visual images are good to keep in mind when dishing up your healthy meals.

  • A 1 cup serving of rice, pasta, dairy, fruits or vegetables is about the size of your fist or a tennis ball
  • 1 3 oz. serving of poultry, fish or meat is the size of a deck of playing cards or the palm of your hand
  • For bagel size, picture a hockey puck, anything larger is too big
  • 1 domino piece equals 1 oz. of cheese

Drink Water
Yes, you’ve heard this one before, but do you do it??? Put it on your 2004 list, please.

An endocrinologist/nutritionist in NYC, Dr. Nicholas Mezitis, once taught me his theory of making each meal complete, packed with protein, carbohydrates, fat, and fiber. For example, a breakfast meal of whole-grain toast spread with ricotta cheese and topped with sliced pear provides all the nutrients to energize the start of a new day. The carbohydrate from the fruit gives a quick rise to the blood sugar, supplying that “get up and ‘go” fix, while the protein from the cheese furnishes the longer, steadier flow of fuel necessary for the next few hours. The fat contained in the cheese slows down the absorption of the carbs in the bread. And the whole grain bread dishes up a nice portion of fiber, thus completing a wholesome balanced meal.

I’m a big fan of the tuna sandwich at lunchtime, provided I get to make my own. I jam in celery, shredded carrots, green onions, a few toasted nuts, lots of fresh parsley and a dab of mayonnaise mixed with low-fat plain yogurt. Stuff it into a whole wheat pita bread, lined with lots of salad greens, and you have created a very tasty lunch that will keep the machine well fueled.

Dinner is anybody’s game. A moderate portion (3 ounces) of lean meat, poultry, fish or a vegetarian combo of beans and grains, all provide appropriate protein and fat. A good rule of thumb to remember is to make half your plate leafy vegetables. Those dark green wonders: spinach, broccoli, chard, kale, green beans, dandelion, asparagus and, of course, salad greens, are so beneficial to the diet, providing vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, fiber, bulk, eye appeal and tallying up to a low calorie, low carb count. EAT MORE VEGETABLES. In many countries, an evening meal begins with a bowl of soup, a small dish of pasta or rice and is followed by a little protein, fat, and vegetables. It sounds like a lot of food, but a dinner eaten in courses has the result of slowing down the appetite and slowing down the dinner rush. No need to “wolf down” dinner. The day’s work is done. Learn to enjoy time at the table with family, friends, even alone. Take time for conversation, listen to a radio show, read a magazine, chew your food. IT’S YOUR TIME

Is 2004 your time to lose a few pounds?
A catchy daily reminder that can develop into a healthy habit is
LESS IN (eat less) MORE OUT exercise more)

Diabetes Recipes
Ginger Chicken (adapted from The South Beach Diet book) Serves 4
4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts
2 T. fresh lime juice, plus 1 t. grated zest
2 t. grated fresh ginger
1 / 2 t. ground black pepper
2 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed

  1. Place chicken in a large bowl.
  2. Mix remaining ingredients and pour over chicken to marinate in the fridge for 1/2 an hour to 2 hours.
  3. Spray a large skillet with cooking spray and heat. Remove chicken from marinade and saute on medium-high heat for about 5 minutes per side, or until cooked through with a golden-brown crust.

Nutritional Value: for 1 chicken breast = 130 cal, 26 protein grams, 3 carb grams, 2 fat grams

Fresh Applesauce (6 Servings)
6 apples (I like to mix and match a variety of apples: Macintosh, Cortland, Empire)
1 / 2 cup apple juice
1 t., or more, ground cinnamon
1 / 2 t. grated lemon zest

  1. Peel, core and cut apples into chunks. Place in a saucepan with the juice, cover and simmer for about 20 minutes until tender.
  2. Break apples up with a potato masher or fork. Stir in cinnamon. Let cool a bit before serving. Or cool, refrigerate and enjoy cold.

Nutritional Value: in 1 serving = 95 cal, .5 fat grams, negligible protein, 24 carb grams, 4.4 grams fiber

Brussel Sprouts for the “I hate Brussel sprouts” crowd (adapted from The Healthy Kitchen by Andrew Weil, MD) Serves 4
1 pound Brussel sprouts
Salt and ground black pepper to taste
2 T. Extra virgin olive oil
1 t. Hot red pepper flakes (or to taste)
1 / 4 cup fresh chopped parsley
5 garlic cloves, peeled and finely minced
1 / 2 t. Freshly grated nutmeg
1 / 2 cup freshly grated parmigiana cheese

  1. Trim Brussel sprouts and cut into quarters. Boil in salted water, uncovered for about 5 minutes, until tender but still crunchy. Drain.
  2. Heat oil in a large skillet. Add garlic and pepper flakes and sautÈ for 1 minute.
  3. Add Brussel sprouts, parsley and nutmeg and sautÈ for another minute. Mix in cheese to melt.

Nutritional Value: in 1 serving = 160 cal, 10 fat grams, 8 grams protein, 12 carb grams, 4.5 grams fiber