"So...can you eat that? What things are you not allowed to eat? What is your diet like?" Believe it or not these are the kinds of questions that I receive most about having diabetes. I always answer with a smug smile...
The diabetic diet is the same diet that everyone should have!
Of course, there are things that we should avoid and things that we should eat more of, but a healthy, balanced diet is key to good health. I am not a medical doctor, nor am I giving medical advice today. Everyone's body is different and has different needs. For example, I've learned that if I completely cut out all sources of carbohydrates in my diet I tend to experience extremely low blood sugar which brings about different health issues! I also will have high blood sugar if I have a heavy carb-laden breakfast even if I take my medication. So BALANCE is key.
I have had diabetes for 12 years and in order to make it through the day while keeping my sugar levels balanced and not falling off the brink of insanity I have learned to adjust my diet.
When we lived in the United States it was more difficult to control with all of the ready-made, pre-packaged convenience foods available. Not to mention a McDonalds on every corner! Here in Peru I must make nearly everything from scratch so we automatically have a healthier diet.
For homeschooling I have found that I need to have a good plan for my own breakfast or I fall into the vicious cycle of cereal overdose! My children will eat anything and everything so it is my responsibility to provide them with healthy choices.
We try to have a snack sometime during the morning as well because if my sugar goes low then I become cranky and it takes awhile for my body to feel stabilized again. We keep the cookie purchases to a minimum because it becomes an easy way to cave in to cravings. If I have to load up four children and take a ten minute walk just to buy a bag of Oreos (each bag here has 4 cookies in it)...believe me I will think twice before attempting it. But if in the snack drawer we have a six pack of baggies I will not think twice before eating two and eyeballing a third one!
The best way to eat for diabetes is about five times a day. That doesn't mean a bag of chips here and a bag of cookies over there. It means a balanced breakfast, lunch, dinner and two low carb snacks. We tend to have our bigger meal for lunch and something light for dinner. This also helps keep my sugars in check.
The menu planning idea that has worked best for me is to not assign meals to certain days...at first. First I will make a list of lunch/dinner options for the week and base our grocery list off of that. Then I know what things are available and I can pick and choose throughout the week or make something totally different based off of what's available. I need a base plan so that I don't end up eating peanut butter on a spoon and sprinkling it with chocolate chips.
However, since my husband is a pastor we often receive various and sundry food items as gifts from our church members and I have learned to do marvelous things with a sack of potatoes.
Keep it simple. Keep it real. Keep it healthy!
Read this series from the beginning: part 1