Food / Diet / favorite tips about recommendations?

By SweetinNJ Latest Reply 2014-10-04 21:46:09 -0500
Started 2014-10-01 10:21:05 -0500

Hello. I'm newly diagnosed and am confused on what I can eat and not eat. I understand no carb/high protein (easier said than done!). But I need more info! Did you all take a class? read a book? Got a suggestion? ALso.. what are your favorite "GO TO" "SAFE" foods to eat?
I'd love some breakfast ideas, and Lunch Ideas. (at work.. from a deli) . and favorite TAKE OUT ideas. See how I got myself into trouble? I"m a busy working woman with a hectic stressful lifestyle and i've ignored myself for too long and have been eating on the run. (cereal, soups, chinese take out, italian, etc…) and all of that seems to really not work! I need some quick tips on where to start with this food thing.. thank you so much!

18 replies

Chopstix 2014-10-04 21:46:09 -0500 Report

When I was diagnosed in 2005 the doctor told me to lose weight. I weighed 250 pounds at that time. He was not too forth coming on how to do it either. Since I was on medical leave from work(truck driving), I had time to think of something. It was not go on a diet but change my diet and figure out how to get exercise upon going back to work. Getting exercise was easy. Just go walking! But I had to find safe places to that though. I started remembering the lay out of my favorite truckstops and would stop and go walking there. Eating was more of a challenge. I purchased a plug-in type cooler and quickly found out the RubberMade ones only last about 3 months. Found one in a truck stop I liked. Good! When I left the house I would take enough for 3 or 4 days since my wife loves to cook. After that I would visit Kroger or Wal*Mart and get a rotisserie chicken and broccoli, cauliflower, carrot mix that I could heat up in the microwave. If you like oatmeal, there is an instant oatmeal that does not have any sugar added. Brown, or wild rice over white rice. Baked, broiled, grilled, steamed meats or fried. Eat your vegetables, eat your vegetables. We tried spaghetti squash last year for the first time and enjoyed very much. Have had it a few times this year too. Over all I eat the foods I like to eat with the exception of foods that are refined. I tell people if it's white don't eat it unless she taste good. Eat Right For Your Blood Type by Peter D'Adamo, MD was an eye opening read. Diabetes Without Drugs by Suzi Cohen, Rph is another good read. Toxic Relief and What You Don't Know May Be Killing You by Don Colbert, MD, got me to looking closer at what I was and was not putting into my body. You can find the books online or at a book store. I got my copies at a used book store dirt cheap and they were brand new. Not having enough chromium and/or magnesium in your body can cause you to have whacky blood sugar, too. I'm just saying…

AlexInAtlanta 2014-10-03 17:47:05 -0500 Report

If you don't own a crock pot or a slow cooker, might I suggest investing in one? They're perfect for us busy people on to go, because you can throw all your ingredients in there the night before, refrigerate it overnight and then just turn it on to cook on low while you're gone at work. Th en, when you come home, the house smells like amazingly delicious food and you don't have to do anything but eat it!

I wouldn't focus too much on what you can't have. That just leads to feeling sorry for yourself and bingeing or going off your meal plan (I hesitate to say diet because that sounds temporary and eating like a diabetic is a life long thing). Instead look at the foods you DO like that are healthy. Personally, I love broccoli, Brussel sprouts, sweet potatoes, cabbage, cauliflower (I could go on), so I started substituting those for things like pasta, rice, bread, and other high carb items. If you're seriously craving sweets after dinner, try toasted coconut chips or dried dates. They won't spike your blood sugar, but satisfy the cravings.

I am 25 years old and have had diabetes for 22 years. It's only been on the last 4 years that I started to realize how badly I needed to change the way I was treating myself. I ate whatever I wanted, drank a lot of alcohol, never checked my blood sugar and rarely took my insulin for food. My a1c was 14.5% and I didn't even realize how terrible I felt all the time. I slowly started making changes in my daily habits, like just testing my blood sugar a few times a day for a few weeks and then bumping it up gradually until I was testing almost 10 times a day. Then I started really looking at what I ate. The biggest change and challenge for me was giving up on meals with a ton of carbs. I loooove pasta. Love it. But it does terrible things to my sugars. I really like spaghetti squash, so I started using that as a base for my pasta dishes instead. Rice turned into cauliflower rice (just put it in a food processor and then sautee till it's a bit brown and soft). Cereal became oatmeal, then oatmeal became green smoothies. Now my a1c is 6.9% and I went from a size 13 pants to a size 6.

If you have the opportunity to meet with a diabetes educator or a dietician, I would HIGHLY recommend it! Otherwise, just listen to what your body tells you and try not to focus too much on what you can't eat. Eat what you DO like and it'll be easier to stick with it.

I wish you all the best!

AlexInAtlanta 2014-10-03 18:10:25 -0500 Report

Breakfast smoothie
8 oz coconut water (or coconut cream)
1 medium ripe banana
Giant handful of spinach
Small piece of ginger
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
3/4 cup frozen pineapple or mango
2 tbsp psyllium seed husk powder or ground flax seed

Put the liquid, powders and spinach in the blender on high until its smooth. Add the other ingredients slowly and allow it to blend till its smooth. Taste and adjust accordingly with more fruit/cinnamon/ginger etc until you like it. Pour into a travel mug and drink it in the car on the way to work! There are about 35g carbs in this smoothie, depending on how much fruit you add.

Lunch/dinner (make the night before)
1 baseball/fist sized sweet potato, cut into bite sized pieces
Chicken thighs
Salt, pepper and spices
Onion/garlic (optional)

Steam the sweet potatoes until 2/3 cooked, then add the broccoli and continue to steam until they are both done. About 7-10 minutes for the sweet potatoes and an additional 4-7 minutes for the broccoli. Cook time varies based on size of pieces.
Trim the excess fat and ligaments, tendons, inedible parts off the chicken. Rub salt, pepper and whatever spices you like under the skin of the chicken, but leave the skin attached. You can also stuff onions or garlic under the skin for extra flavor. Bake on a lined sheet pan at 350 for approximately an hour. Rub the skin with a touch of grapeseed oil to make it crispier.

Dinner in a crock pot
Fresh garlic
Any kind of meat you want. Chicken is my favorite, but you can do this with pork or beef. The tougher cuts of meat come out better in a slow cooker
Golden beets or sweet potatoes

Cut all vegetables into 1 inch cubes
If you're using chicken, you can leave th e pieces whole woth the bone in. Pork and beef you can cut into cubes or leave in larger pieces depending on your taste.

Toss the veggies in a light coating of grapeseed oil with some salt and pepper and whatever spices you like. Layer the veggies at the bottom of your crockpot.

Season the meat to your taste and lightly coat in grapeseed oil. Layer the meat over the veggies. Turn it on low heat for about 6 hours and viola, dinner!

Vhm 2014-10-02 19:40:04 -0500 Report

Tons of books available At public library or for purchase on line or stores including used book stores. I like the low carb books by Dana Carpendar and George Stella. Also informational books like "Bitter Sweet" and "Diabetes for Dummies."

As for foods: Eggs, cooked any way. Jerkey. Tree nuts and seeds in 1/4c servings. Raw veggies with or without dip such as guacamole. Lower carb wraps in lieu of bread/grain carbs. Any kind of protein. No sugar added spagetti sauces dressed up with ground beef or pork, herbs. Mushrooms. Cheeses. All non starch veggies. Stevia (natural sugar substitute). Bitter 85 percent or higher) dark chocolate in small servings.

No no's: Grain carbs. Starchy veg: potatoes, corn, beets. Rice. Pasta. Fruits, except berries. Sugars such as table or brown sugar, honey, agave, corn or beet sugars/syrups, rice based sugar. Legumes.

Note that eating brown rice or whole wheat bread or pasta DOES NOT eliminate the carbs! It's still carbs. So if you eat these no no's at all, it should be a reduced amount. Example: 1/4 cup legumes, at most.

gvarner10 2014-10-02 17:24:08 -0500 Report

Diagnosed May 2013, husband & I went to 2 of 3 free classes in our town. would have went to the 3rd class but class size was limited and it was always full.
Breakfast for me is 1 of these 1) cheerios with blueberries, almonds & walnuts, ground cinnamon, flaxseeds, unsweetened vanilla or plain almond milk 2) Hungry Jack wheat blend pancake (1) with almonds & walnuts & blueberries & Mrs Butterworth's sugar free syrup 3) egg wrap - I use egg beaters, turkey sausage pieces, mushrooms, peppers (all colors), almonds/walnuts, cilantro, small amount of shredded cheese on a whole wheat wrap this is my version of the sausage burrito & blueberries. My go to meal are the rotisserie chicken/turkey (favorite) or pork from the local grocery stores. I buy the bags of frozen veg like lima, speckled butter beans, green beans, black eye peas, etc I cook these with low sodium chicken or beef bouillon cube with smart balance for heart health. My lunch is a Wendy's salads 1/2 size, I add cilantro to it. I use Dreamfield pasta for spaghetti or mac & cheese dishes. I also use my slow cooker a lot with beef, pork or chicken cook them in the heart healthy soups from Campbell. The main thing for me is portion size. I've also discovered the Glucerna bars that are great for the afternoons when my bs seems to spike. Husband uses left over turkey or chicken to make sandwiches better than the processed sandwich meats and I have also use leftovers to make chicken/turkey salad on a whole wheat wrap. You'll get the hang of it and may even find you're eating better than before.

rolly123 2014-10-01 22:01:12 -0500 Report

I love bean sprout from can top it spag sauce or stewed tomatoe with hamburger onion and green pepper that very good! Love idea cabbage have how u do it put together? Lou

Type1Lou 2014-10-02 08:27:35 -0500 Report

Hi Valerie! I par-boil the cabbage leaves to make them less rigid and then just assemble the lasagna like you usually do but instead of the pasta/lasagna noodles, I use the cabbage leaves. I make a small pan for myself and make a larger pan for my family using the pasta…this way, we can both eat lasagna and I'm not subjecting them to my dietary limitations. Another recipe I make often is called Eggplant Rollups. You slice the pared egglant lengthwise into 1/8 inch slices, cover them with bread crumbs and sautee them. Then roll the eggplant around a mixture of ricotta, mozzarella and parmesan and parsley ( 2 to 3 tbsps). Put some tomato sauce in the bottom of a pan then place the rolls, seam side down in the pan and cover with more sauce. Cover and bake at 450 degrees for 30 minutes. The way I make it, I calculated it was 36 grams of carb for 2 rolls. If you omit the breadcrumbs or substitute the crumbs with almond meal, you'll reduce those carbs.

Glucerna 2014-10-01 20:06:36 -0500 Report

I love all the ideas folks are sharing here! Attending a class gives you the opportunity to connect with even more people to share ideas. Making time to eat meals at home is going to give you more control over the foods you eat. Using a crockpot and cooking double portions so you have food to freeze for later meals are helpful ideas. There are crockpot recipes on this website to give you a start. ~Lynn @Glucerna

Type1Lou 2014-10-01 14:42:02 -0500 Report

Here are some of the things I've done to make low carb work for me: I eat a lot of salads for lunch and/or dinner, eliminating any pasta salads or potato salads and really limiting my bread (I allow myself 2 thin sliced pieces of whole grain bread with dinner occasionally). Read the nutrition info on packages of salad dressings to be sure it is not loaded with carbs…many have only 1 to 3 grams per serving while others are considerably higher (the low-fat dressings usually have higher carbs). For breakfast, eggs and sausage without any bread or hash browns is virtually no carb. My breakfast is usually 2 slices of Wasa Light Rye Crispbread (14 grams), topped with 1/3 cup of plain greek yogurt (3 grams) and the yogurt is topped with either fresh berries or no-sugar jam (8 grams) and 1/3 cup of milk (4 grams) in my coffee for a total of 30 grams of carb. My husband loves his pasta, but I replace the pasta on my plate with french style green beans and put the sauce and cheese over that. I get rid of the pasta carbs and never miss it because all of the flavor is really in the sauce and cheese. I've made lasagna and substituted the pasta with par-boiled cabbage leaves or eggplant or spinach for a lower-carb, higher fiber, healthier dish. I've eliminated all deep fried foods because of the breading. You can substitute most wheat flour in recipes with almond flour which is much lower in carbs. The key is to become CARBOHYDRATE AWARE. Read all of the labels of the packaged food you put into your shopping cart. Some are real eye-openers (like I discovered when I looked at the carb content in the imitation crab and lobster meat…no more deli seafood salad for me unless it's made with the real stuff, and it usually isn't.) Sorry this is so long…hope it helps!

SweetinNJ 2014-10-01 15:23:37 -0500 Report

It's not long.. it's full of great info..I appreciate you! I like the idea of the french cut beans.. do you buy frozen ones? cabbage lasagna sounds interesting too. ANy other ideas for b'fast so i'm not having egg whites every day? HA! (I fight cholesterol too!). My friend has smoked salmon on top of cucumber slices for b'fast instead of a bagel. (oh.. to give up bagels???) any other tips are welcome. thanks again!

Type1Lou 2014-10-02 08:24:00 -0500 Report

I hear you NJ! When I was working, my breakfast was 1/2 bagel with cream cheese. Ever since becoming "Carb aware" and limiting my carbs (I have a 120 gram per day limit), it's been "Bye bye" to the bagels (and muffins and waffles and hash browns and French Toast and cereals) since they are loaded with carbs. I love smoked salmon! Don't be constrained in your choices for breakfast by what we Westerners usually eat…look at the proteins or a salad that you like and choose those, even though it may not be "normal" breakfast fare. Proteins have little or no carbs. A good starting point is to calculate how many carbs you are currently eating each day. If your BG's are too high, reduce your daily carb allowance until you achieve the desired results. The "limit" will vary by individual.

kimfing 2014-10-01 16:57:24 -0500 Report

We made a lasagna with homemade sf sauce 15 c per cup and instead of pasta we uses zucchini slices. Last night we used up sauce with spiral sliced zucchini as the pasta. Make sure to season the veggie. Kroger. Has a carb smart yogurt and milk. I know people will cringe when i say this but cheerios works for me so does kix cereal. My post meal bs are really good after. Steel cut oats in crock pot over night work well for me. I didn't go to a class my husband is also t 1 and has been for 30+ years. We do attend support meetings.

Type1Lou 2014-10-02 08:14:45 -0500 Report

Thanks for the idea about using zucchini instead of pasta Kim! I find I need to stay away from cereals but am happy that you can enjoy them.

jayabee52 2014-10-01 10:52:31 -0500 Report

Howdy "Joisey"

I disagree with the "No carb" part of the edquation, I found it easier to go with LOW carb/ high protein. I have been on such a meal plan for more than 3 yrs now. It has eliminated my need for injected insulin, or any other diabetes med, kept my BG (blood glucose) at a "normal" level, achieved an A1c of 5.5, and I also lost 65 lbs over the course of 5 mo, and would have probably lost more had I not introduced more fat into my meals again. (I believe I looked too gaunt in my face when I looked in the mirror)

I wrote this meal plan as a new discussion about 3 yrs ago, and I am willing to share it with you should you request it. it is not a be all and end all plan, but it would give you some suggestions for a way to go for your personal meal plan.

God's best to you


SweetinNJ 2014-10-01 15:21:12 -0500 Report

James… thanks for that.. and yes, i would love to see it.. just to get some tips.. both of these responses are very good. Can you ever have wine/alcohol? (ever… i can't imagine giving up alcohol for the rest of my life!) thanks..

jayabee52 2014-10-01 15:56:26 -0500 Report

Here is the link ~

Please do me the kindness of commenting on that discussion when you've read it.

RE: Alcohol: It has been much discussed here on DC as alcoholic drinks can be dangerous since they can create a low. BG level Please check out this discussion from last year ~

Read through that and you'll get the gist of what we can or cannot do with alcohol

Myself, I drink alcohol maybe once or twice a year and then only in small amounts due to my kidney issues.