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Meal Planning and cooking for a loved one with diabetes.

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 
Does anyone here have, diabetes or have a loved one have diabetes? I am sure the answer is yes, since it is such a wide spread disease.

My husband was just diagnosed with diabetes, and we had to change many things about our life in an instant (last Thursday). We are still learning what his needs are, and my main goal as his partner is to support him in eating healthy. This means that our whole family will be eating regular, well balanced meals.

Up until his diagnosis we had fallen into the habit of eating really poorly. We are facing a huge learning curve and seeking out any and all resources to help us make this transition. I will be reading this forum for ideas and information. If anyone -- particularly anyone with knowledge about diabetes wants to share tips here that would be greatly appreciated.
post #2 of 4
to you mama! I remember that scary day in our household!

Pre-diagnosis, DH (and we) were eating out all the time. He was having a pint of Ben and Jerry's every night or two, and was losing his eyesight. We slowed way down, cut out the sweets, and he started eating a huge salad for lunch every day. (Seriously, my farmers can't believe that I buy 6 bunches of lettuce at a time!) My main concern became cutting out the high fructose corn syrup in the pre-packaged foods, so I started making as much from scratch for him as I could.

DH eats:
Breakfast is a grilled cheese sandwich with tomato, lettuce, canadian bacon. Coffee with soy milk (just because I don't keep regular milk in the house.)
Snack: a piece of fruit, slice of homemade zucchini bread
Lunch: Big salad (6 cups of lettuce, probably) chicken, carrots, cucumbers, onions, tomatoes, croutons or nuts, homemade ranch dressing.
Snack: fruit, another slice of zuch. bread with homemade strawberry jam
Dinner: here are my last 2 weeks of plans as posted on MDC and edited for reality.
Dessert: about 2-3 nights a week, he'll have a big serving of homemade cobbler, or other treat, but has found that watermelon (his former favorite summer dessert) has too bad a negative impact on his #s. He doesn't have a problem with popcorn, however.

Our diabetic educator told us at our first meeting that there is no such thing as a bad food. Our problem is moderation, so I cook as much good stuff as I can, and go from there.

Thus ends July:
Sat 7/26- Pizza with Canadian bacon, olives and tomatoes (mine has goat cheese) freeze one batch of dough
Sun 7/27 Burgers
Mon 7/28- Chicken and Dumplings (double batch to feed the freezer?)
Tues 7/29- Leftovers
Wed 7/30- Hamburger Buddy double batch (Eating Well recipe)
Thurs 7/31- Leftovers
Fri 8/1- Pizza (freeze one batch of dough)
2-lamb shoulder roast, mashed potatoes, green beans and salad
3- homemade pasta, eggplant marinara, and meatballs, salad
4- leftovers
5- slow cooked ribs, summer veggie sautee, garlic bread, peach caprese goat cheese salad
6- tortellini with red sauce
7- leftovers made fabulous
8- slow cooked chicken with summer salad and vegetables

I realize that there are fewer whole grains on here than I normally cook, and fewer leafy greens. I got big into cooking Kale, beet greens, etc. after he found out. I'd put them in his fritatta every week, and we'd have a side of them too.

Let me know if you have any further questions, Camellia, I'd be happy to help. Basically, we eat like we would normally, but we go out much less and rely on processed foods much less. Cutting out the sugar was the biggest early challenge. Oh, and I know it's not food related, but it is very much health-related: exercise became the biggest key to getting and keeping his numbers down.
post #3 of 4
Thread Starter 
Kelli, thank-you so much for taking the time to write out a detailed reply! I'm beginning to learn that diabetics CAN eat good food, but striking that balance and being creative is the challenge.
post #4 of 4
I totally know how you're feeling!

Back in June, my DH was suddenly diagnosed with type 1 diabetes after a visit to his Dr with some strange new symptoms. He was sent straight to the ER. For whatever reason, just short of 30, his pancreas started shutting down. I realize that it could always be worse, but it turned our worlds upside down.

Since our first child was born we had been very aware of our diet and tried to practice good nutrition in order to avoid health problems, so that made it even more of a blow to us. We ate mostly whole foods, most things from scratch, and so on.

As the meal planner/grocery shopper in the house I felt totally overwhelmed and responsible for his health and well being!

With my husband not being overweight (he's considered under by whatever standards they use) we don't need to watch fats too much, but we do try to stick to "healthy fats." We generally eat as we normally would and he just portion controls his carbs. We always use whole grains, lots of salads, veggies, and fruits. The biggest change for him was learning to eat more salads and veggies. He is able to eat lots of fruit. It is a carb, but we have discovered that he does not experience the same glucose spike from it as something like bread or potatoes.

The hardest part for us to swallow is the artificial sweeteners. We're very uncomfortable with them and generally feel they are unhealthy, but there aren't always a lot of options. Generally he would avoid sweets altogether rather than consume them, but even a drink, other than water, has carbs so we do use some drink mixes.

It will get easier!!! I can tell you from experience, that right now you're still trying to digest all the info you've been presented with.
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