Have you ever read a book that made you so emotional about how good it was – that you wanted to shout it out to the world (okay – Facebook / Twitter / Google+ it?). Usually it’s reserved for a fiction book in my case, but today, I want to give a shout out to this book by Johanna Burkhard and Barbara Allan, RD, CDE along with Canadian Diabetes Association (CDA). This book is aimed at folks wanting to prevent and manage their Type 2 diabetes (Gestational Diabetes Mellitus (GDM) / Type 1 is explained VERY well too) in TEN steps. Though, in actual fact I’m thinking it’s a book that everyone should delve into – diabetic or not – if they want to live a healthy life. I feel like the Doctor Oz / Oprah of the big blue marble with getting this book out to you!!! I’m wanting to give this book to every friend I know, every aging parent I know … but sorry – at $24.95 (Cdn/US) – you’ll have to fork out the money for it yourself - but it’ll be a great investment – even for those of you like myself who’ve lived with diabetes most of their lives. I have actually learned some new things – or my mind was refreshed with stuff that I’ve forgotten over the years. When I’ve returned this book to my local library – I’m going to be using the Amazon gift certificate my brother gave me for my birthday.
Now, I do realise that some diabetics may poo poo some of what is written in the book – especially those that are die hard low carb fans of Dr. Bernstein (See Note 1). Fair game – since I am a sort of a "semi" low carb eater myself (120 grams on average if I don’t “cheat”) – but I think for anyone wanting to know more about diabetes and try to at least learn how to eat wisely – then progress otherwise – this book is a valuable resource for those trying to understand diabetes. The nice thing, in less than 150 pages the explanation of diabetes will NOT send you to sleep – it will make you learn/question more – which is a good thing in my books. What is contained is easily understood by the layman like me and not using language that sometimes goes right over my head with some books I’ve read by doctors and well learned scholars (e.g. university geeks). The other point is that after you browse over the sections of the diet plan they have (for weight loss they aim for 1,600 calories) - you can also modify the meal plan (28-day menu) to suit your lifestyle with their simple suggestions.
One great tip I got from the book (and there are many) – with every meal – ensure that you have a minimum of 15 grams of protein. So this morning, I had my toast with jam, along with ½ cup of 2% cottage cheese. I’m hoping with my next blood glucose reading (BG) – I won’t have spiked up too much – since protein/fat help keep your BG’s more stable. I think I’ve always known that having protein/carb helps with more level BG’s – but the little reminder on the side of the section I was reading was a great reminder. The section offers a list of choices for ALL meals – to help meet that protein requirement!
Here’s a little factoid from the book – “Did You Know? People with prediabetes are likely to develop Type 2 within 10 years unless they take steps to prevent or delay it.”
In the section on Low-Sodium Cooking, most of us know that high blood pressure can be contributed to the way we eat – with processed foods we do not have much control over it. If you are of African descent, age 51 or more, have diabetes or high blood pressure you should aim to limit your sodium to 1,500 milligrams per day rather than the upper limit of 2,300 for healthy individuals. In actual fact – as they state – we ALL should limit our salt intake. Luckily, all the recipes in Chapter 2 use very little added salt, using herbs/spices to make the food tastier, which is what most people use salt for.
Picture courtesy of USDA (My Plate)
One area I always have problems with is eating lunch. I’m usually too busy to remember and before I know it – dinner is almost approaching. That may not be my problem anymore – of wondering/remembering to eat (and maybe not consume so much at dinner time because I’m so hungry). There is a great section on Combo Sandwiches – Combo Salads – that allow you to choose your Carb Choice / Vegetable Choice / Fat Choice / Extras – and some of them are very drool worthy! You’ll even find a great section of 100-Calorie and 200-Calorie snacks. The breakdown of the foods is easily understood for ALL diabetics and nondiabetics (exchange values are given to those who follow that method – or those of us who count their carbs to match their insulin requirement – too easy!!).
One thing that shocked me - did you know that children born to mothers with GDM have a higher risk of diabetes themselves, and a higher risk of being overweight? Following/using some of the recipes in this book is the course of action (and of course – they’ll eat larger portions due to growing – but they will be healthier choices). Really, when it comes down to it, the menus shown here are really a “menu for life” – and not to look at the way diabetics in general eat as being a “diet” which often makes people think of weight loss only – but a healthy diet for everyone. My Mum who is not a diabetic, to this day still follows the CDA way of eating that she brought me up on – and has no serious health issues!
“The tried and true steps to good health – eating a variety of whole foods, including plenty of vegetables and fruit, exercising and getting enough sleep – will never go out of style.”
There’s a very good section (2 pages – short read) – about Artificial sweeteners and their “safety” issue. I have a few nondiabetic friends who will not eat/drink anything that contains artificial sweeteners (Stevia is written in this section as well). Sadly, some of my friends, who are aging like me, are increasing in weight, and still continue to consume regular sugar soda. I keep on telling them that the after taste they remember from many years ago is no longer a big issue – at least not for me. Despite the recent research that shows people gain weight when drinking diet soft drinks (this is talked about in the book) – I still think it’s all about moderation – e.g. don’t drink a case a day! Now if only I can get my friends to see the light on artificial sweeteners – so I can keep them away from becoming possible Type 2 diabetics!
So, run to your local library (or check for book online like I can with my public library system) - I want to see if you feel the same way as I do about this book!!! Along with your own blogs about meals you've cooked up from the book!!! Eat, Eat!!! Mangi! Mangi!
Note 1: I can now maybe see why Americans dislike the ADA by this statement in the book - “ADA system “counts” more of the fiber and more of the vegetables. This results in more Carbohydrate Exchanges per day in the ADA system – roughly 13, compared with 11 CDA Food Choices “.
Tandoori Chicken with Cucumber Mint Raita (baked in oven rather than BBQ as per the recipe) –along with some Coconut Milk Quinoa with Sprouted Bean Trio & Peanuts