I love January. Sweeping cathartic brushstroke on a new calendar, a veritable Tabula Rasa, the precious clean slate, the promise of another new beginning. The annual ritual of pouring promises and resolutions onto the unblemished pages of a new year is always an inspiration. January is a the time to peak into the well of a year gone by, and pick out memories to keep and lessons to learn. The new resolutions are often the same new year after new year, but the desire is always fresh and wistful.
One resolution I have been making for the past 40 Januarys has been to learn more and take better care of that most intimate part of my life, diabetes. Peering into the crystal ball, slightly veiled by the cataracts that have been a petty annoyance over the years, I perceive major strides to improve the quality of life for the more than 15 million members of our exclusive diabetes club, in this new age millennium. In the next year, I would hope to see that the potent healing power of regular exercise will finally be broadcast loud and clear by health professionals and the acclaim, advocacy and inspiration of diabetic super athletes will carry the message to each one of us to seek, find and actualize the athlete within ourselves.
Because of the unfortunate rapidly growing number of cases of diabetes, more and more companies, advertisers, and media hounds are learning about diabetes. Even Washington is paying attention. Through nagging, screaming and letter writing efforts of individuals like you and me, legislation gets passed to approve research grants and insurance coverage. The President is scheduled to approve a bill that will increase research funds for type 1 diabetes from $134,000.000 to $220,000,000 in 2001. So, let's keep encouraging the politicians to do their part in the battle, so one of these days the war may be won.
Keeping so busy with tracking information and participating in daily exercise, along with managing work, family and friends, gives us little time to prepare great meals. Or does it? A consideration for the new year may be to consolidate cooking. How does this work, you are wondering. Jog over to the cyber kitchen for some news you 'll want to print out and tape on the fridge for easy reference.
A Week Of Feasting In January
One of the secrets of good cooks is a well stocked pantry. An added advantage of the diabetic good cook's pantry is the ability to choose ingredients that can turn out meals that result in good bg readings. It's like the mechanic having access to the right tools. The new year is a good time to take a nutritional inventory. Take a peak in your sacred food stash spot and freshen it up with some of the following staples.
- Pasta Have a supply of 6 boxes of dry pasta on hand. I suggest Barilla brand as a good bet since it holds it shape and flavor after 12 minutes of cooking. The longer cooking time absorbs more water into the pasta and lowers the carb count per cup. For example, 2 cups pasta cooked for 7 minutes = 88 carb grams, whereas 2 cups cooked for 12 minutes = 64 carb grams. Significant difference, I would say. Look for whole grain and other enriched pastas, such as buckwheat or artichoke. Variety is the joy of cooking.
- Grains couscous, bulgur wheat, oatmeal, bran, millet, barley and quinoa are great grains to keep in stock.
- Cans and Jars I hate to admit it, but there are certain canned goods that are actually acceptable. Staples like tuna, minced clams, whole, crushed and tomato sauces, fat free chicken and vegetable broth, pumpkin, artichoke hearts, natural juice pineapple slices or chunks, mandarin oranges, peanut butter, sugar free jams and fruit spreads are a few trustworthy items to keep on hand.
- Rice jasmine, basmati, brown, wild, and Italian aborio rice for risotto, come in handy when putting together a meal.
- Beans bags of dry beans such as black, lentils, split peas, kidney, garbanzo and white beans, as well as canned beans, which you simply open, rinse and use.
- Condiments kosher salt, peppercorns to fill your pepper mill, red chile pepper flakes, dried parsley, thyme, basil, oregano, dill, bay leaves, cumin, curry, rosemary, cinnamon, whole nutmegs and other faves. Worcestershire, hot sauce, low salt soy sauce, chutneys, plain Dijon and grain mustards, horseradish, extra virgin and pure olive oils, canola oil, peanut oil, balsamic, red wine, white wine, cider and Sherry vinegar, and remember to stock regular and olive oil cooking spray
- Breakfast, Beverages and Baking your favorite cereals, whole grain pancake and muffin mixes, sugar free maple syrup, tea, coffee and sugar free hot cocoa For baking keep unbleached and whole wheat flour, cornmeal, baking soda, baking powder, vanilla, semisweet chocolate chips and sugar free Jell-O on board.
- Freezer When boneless skinless chicken breast are on sale, load up. Before freezing them, clean off membranes, flatten a bit and wrap in packets of 1 or 2. Lean ground beef formed into patties for burgers, veggie burgers, corn, tiny peas, blueberries, cranberries and raspberries, pizza dough, English muffins, tortillas, pita bread and fresh ginger, al freeze well.
Well there you have it. I have just revealed my cozy overstuffed personal pantry to you. The most important advice though is to only buy items that you enjoy cooking and eating. Once I bought 6 cans of guava puree, which hibernated on the shelves for 2 years, until finally I pitched them
Two Recipes For Seven Days
Here are 2 recipes that can be made in the oven at the same time and stretched out to use for a week of easy meals. Just pick up some fresh veggies and visit your newly stocked pantry to choose a favorite side dish.
|Garlic Roast Chicken|
2 fresh, plump, 3 - 4 lb. Chickens, rinsed and patted dry
Nutrition Information: Serving Size: 3 oz white meat, no skin, Calories: 120, Fat: 3 grams, Carbs: 0 grams, Protein: 21 grams, Cholesterol: 60 mg, Serving Size: 3 oz dark meat, no skin, Calories: 140, Fat: 7 grams, Carbs: 0 grams, Protein: 21 grams, Cholesterol: 55 mg
A few suggestion for later on in the week Chicken potpie, chicken salad, chicken soup, chicken burrito.
|The Comfort and Versatility of a Good Loaf|
1 lb. 90 % lean ground beef
And for use later in the week, you can add a few slices to a simple pasta sauce , make a great meatloaf sandwich, or crumble a bit onto a pizza as a delectable topping.