Friday, July 11, 2014

Ch-ch-ch-ch-Changes--Turn and Face the Strain!

My boyfriend is an excellent cook. The first meal he cooked for me was boeuf bourguignon a la Julia Child, a dish that he literally started the night before. When it came time to serve it, he ladled rich glistening helpings of it over thick slices of toasted italian bread cut into the shape of a heart (am I lucky or what!). It was unbelievably delicious and I was falling in love.

The next time he cooked for me, it was a traditional bolognese sauce over pasta. Again, it was a day's labor as he cooked the sauce from scratch and used it to smother a bowl of thick noodles.

Then a week later I found out I had an A1c of 12.2 and my doctor wanted to see me to talk about treatment for Type 2 Diabetes.

All this by way of saying that I am not the only person who has been affected by this sugar beast. When we met, my boyfriend's recipe repertoire featured those dishes that we are told to stay away from when managing blood glucose levels. Specifically, pizza, pasta, and meat and potatoes with gravy.

But over the past year and a half, he and I have learned how to amend our favorite dishes so that I can make more sensible choices to manage my blood sugar and still eat scrumptious food.

So rather than post some recipes, I though I'd just share some TIPS on how to enjoy a traditional meal in a more sensible, low GI kinda way.

Check it out . . . 

Looks like meat and potatoes with a rich gravy, right?

That's pretty much what it is, but with minor differences that make all the difference to my blood sugar. Here are the secrets:

  • PORTION SIZE - We split one porterhouse steak. He eats the strip, and I eat the smaller filet side. And I make sure I hold back a few bites as treats for the dog.
  • MASHED CAULIFLOWER INSTEAD OF POTATOES - My boyfriend never even ate cauliflower before he met me. Now he loves mashed cauliflower with our steak. Unlike making mashed potatoes, you need very little butter and milk to mash the cauliflower. I like to boil my cauliflower in vegetable broth just to give the dish more flavor. If you don't have vegetable broth, make sure you salt the water you boil the cauliflower in.
  • GRAVY - Use beef broth with your pan drippings and a little bit of butter. Thickening can happen in one of two ways, either REDUCE, REDUCE, REDUCE. That means just boiling away the liquid until it becomes its own thick sauce. Or, if you're impatient, use oat flour as a thickening agent. Unlike wheat flour, you can add oat flour directly to a hot liquid and it will dissolve completely. And, it thickens the gravy without compromising my blood sugar the way white flour will.
  • EXTRA VEGGIES - I always make sure I serve lots of veggies with a meal like this. Besides adding to my overall fiber count, which is always good for diabetics, the more veggies I eat, the fuller I feel and that helps me control my portion sizes. 
  • RED WINE - A glass of red wine is the diabetic's alcohol of choice. Yes, sometimes I miss beer, but when it comes to a steak dinner, there's no substitute for a glass of Cabernet.
One year after I had an A1c of 12.2, my A1c was down to 5.5!!