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KimberM

Adjusting diabetic diet to include family's needs...ARGH!!!

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KimberM

Soo...lately I've been wanting to tear my hair out at the grocery store. Granted this isn't anything particularly new for me, but I feel like my new diagnosis has just added more stress to an already stressful situation.

 

1) Daughter 1 has reactive hypoglycemia (non-diabetic) and experiences frequent sugar dips daily.

2) Daughter 2 is prone to gastrointestinal issues and frequent constipation, but is also sensitive to high-fiber foods. Also highly active and needs adequate fuel to keep her going.

3) Husband is "stubborn" and will fight tooth and nail over many foods (even more so than my children at times).

 

Add to all of this the fact that I am trying very hard to transition to as many organic foods as possible...well, you can see why even a quick trip to the grocery is like entering the fiery pits of Hades. I suppose it also doesn't help matters that our health food options are few and far between--our nearest Whole Foods is 2 hours away and our local grocer doesn't have nearly enough variety. Granted we are lucky enough to live in a rural farming town and can buy locally-grown produce, meat, and eggs, but that's a small shot in a huge barrel.

 

So I'm curious. What (if anything) do y'all do in order to meet your family's needs? Have you come across any really perfect food choices that meet a variety of different and non-related issues? Have you had to sacrifice your "food values" (organic, gluten-free, vegetarian, etc) as a result of your dx?

 

~Kimber

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andersgeorgsson

Wow - Here I thought that I have problems...

 

My wife cooks for our kids (ie... high carb like Mac'n'Cheese , Spaghetti etc....) - I have been able to control two out of three meals on the weeks, so I guess that's "good enough" for now..

 

Last night I was able to "order" whatever meal that I wanted.... Steak with a baked potato and a nice salad :)

 

It took my youngest a whole 90 minutes to finish her dinner! I wish you the best of luck... I feel your pain.

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Moonpie

I can't give you any advice, other than to say, cook regular meals for everyone, & when you serve it up, just don't give yourself much ( if any) of the carbier items in the meals, ie stick to the meat & veg ( no spuds). Good luck.

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Daytona

I don't have to deal with cooking for children but my husband is vegetarian. We don't eat any of the same foods. Eventually I admitted 2 things to myself

 

1. It's too stressful dealing with shopping for and cooking 2 sets of meals, especially when it's so tempting to prepare foods I can't eat

2. He's a grownup and can feed himself! :D

 

I'm not sure how old your children are but would it be possible to have them help out with their meals? If they are old enough, it would be a good experience for them to learn how to shop and cook some meals that meet their dietary needs, even if it was just one meal a week. One thing I regret is not learning how to meal plan, shop and cook from my mother before I moved out. It was a struggle learning how to take care of myself and still eat healthy.

 

Another idea is that some foods are diabetes friendly and yummy for everyone. For instance, microwaved cheese crisps aren't really "diet" food and yet are okay for me to eat and I don't feel like a jerk given them to guests instead of other snacks like popcorn or chips.

 

Either way, I understand the frustration!

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jwags

As others have said everyone doesn't to eat the same diet. I usually make a meat, salad, veggie and a carb for family members who want it. I just don't eat the carb. I don't shop at Whole foods because it is an hour away. I do buy a lot of my baking ingredients online for a fairly competitive price. Many of my low carb baking goodies are so good that my husband chooses to eat them. I would make other snacks for your other kids. Even before I was diabetic meal time with my 5 kids was very challenging.

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Haniwitch

I guess I'm lucky in a way. My sister, her son and I all live together. My sister works split shifts so she's only around for meals two weeks out of the month and my nephew was 18 when I was diagnosed. Neither of them like the foods that keep my bg levels in the good numbers so the three of us have just sort of gone our own ways mealwise and each cook our own. My only concession is I don't cook salmon, brocolli, cauliflower or brussel sprouts when my nephew is around (he can't stand the smell). That's not as bad as it sounds because he spends the weekends out of town so those are my weekend foods. It does get a bit crowded in the kitchen when we all decide to fix our meals at the same time but that only happens when my sister is working days.

 

The really funny thing is every so often my nephew tells me when I'm preparing the grocery list to "just double up on stuff you eat" so he can eat healthy. He did it again tonight and I showed him my meal logs so he could see what healthy eating is. He took one look at the eggs, broccoli, cauliflower, brussel sprouts, mushrooms, salmon, tuna etc. and changed his mind. Poor guy he knows he should eat better but just can't give up his potatoes, McDonalds, other junk food etc. for food he hates. Oh well, his loss, my gain, and more of the good stuff for me. :)

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jillybean

My understanding is that the best way to control type 2 for most folks is to eat low carb. I also understand that the best way to battle reactive hypoglycemia is often to eat low carb (thereby reducing anything to "react" to). In talking with others extensively on low carb forums (not just diabetes forums), I understand that eating low carb and high fat often battles constipation and obivously wouldn't include much in the way of fiber.

 

The more I read about low carb, high fat diets, the more I appreciate that NO ONE really needs carbs. A ketogenic diet (low carb, high fat) has ben helpful in controlling or treating an astonishing number of conditions, and not just obesity, diabetes, and high cholesterol, but also alzheimer's, epilepsy, schizophrenia, autism, cancer...the list goes on.

 

As for hubby, what is it he's "picky" about? My husband has no problem eating what I cook for dinner for us - things like pork chops wrapped in bacon, chicken thighs marinated in a creamy dressing and topped with melted cheese, stew beef cooked in a crock pot with salsa and cream cheese and topped with melted cheese, Italian sausage and ground beef or turkey with tomato sauce and lots of cheese melted on top...

 

I've even been reading more lately about how we don't even need the nutrients from fruits and veggies as long as (and this is a big IF) we eat a wide variety of meats, including organ meats (which many folks don't). I don't generally eat things like liver and brain, so I usually add a veggie with my meals, but it's a non-starchy veggie (usually broccoli, green beans, cauliflower, or baby brussels sprouts, all from frozen), and I add cheese or a creamy dressing/sauce with it (I just don't like veggies very much!).

 

While this all seems to laugh in the face of what is societally generally accepted as a "healthy diet," our results speak for themselves - increased energy (no more afternoon naptime!), lowered cholesterol, controlled glucose levels, weight loss, and deliciousness :P

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PINK

Kimber, sounds kraaazy at your house!

 

All I'd like to add is I was heading to Vegetarian-ville when I discovered I was T2 and went back to meats, lot of veggies and hardly any carbs.

 

I miss carbs because I am a foodie but operate much better this way. I never have high carb stuff in the house except for the occasional rice dish and cannot live without a little bit of dark chocolate covered almonds. I cook low carb at home but it is delicious. If my family or guests want super high carb they have to hit the liquor store! : )

 

hang in there!

Pink

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NickP
Soo...lately I've been wanting to tear my hair out at the grocery store. Granted this isn't anything particularly new for me, but I feel like my new diagnosis has just added more stress to an already stressful situation.

 

1) Daughter 1 has reactive hypoglycemia (non-diabetic) and experiences frequent sugar dips daily.

2) Daughter 2 is prone to gastrointestinal issues and frequent constipation, but is also sensitive to high-fiber foods. Also highly active and needs adequate fuel to keep her going.

3) Husband is "stubborn" and will fight tooth and nail over many foods (even more so than my children at times).

 

Add to all of this the fact that I am trying very hard to transition to as many organic foods as possible...well, you can see why even a quick trip to the grocery is like entering the fiery pits of Hades. I suppose it also doesn't help matters that our health food options are few and far between--our nearest Whole Foods is 2 hours away and our local grocer doesn't have nearly enough variety. Granted we are lucky enough to live in a rural farming town and can buy locally-grown produce, meat, and eggs, but that's a small shot in a huge barrel.

 

So I'm curious. What (if anything) do y'all do in order to meet your family's needs? Have you come across any really perfect food choices that meet a variety of different and non-related issues? Have you had to sacrifice your "food values" (organic, gluten-free, vegetarian, etc) as a result of your dx?

 

~Kimber

 

Hey Kimber,

 

I am in the process of reading the Atkins Diabetes Revolution (by Dr Mary Vernon). In the book, she describes four milestones on the path to Diabetes (pg 15).

 

1st - Insulin Resistance

2nd -production of large amounts of insulin

3rd - reactive hypoglycemia

4th - pre-diabetes

 

Again, IMHO and based the information you gave above, it appears that Daughter 1 is on the path to Diabetes. A Low Carb - High Fat diet can stop this progression. Therefore, Daughter 1 should be sharing your diet with you. She is she is willing to try this diet with you, and see how it impacts her reactive hypoglycemia. You may be pleasantly surprised!

 

Good Luck!

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Mich

Hi Kimber,

 

This has all been excellent advice!

 

We didn't have it as complicated as you do, but close. We had me, low carbing, hubby normal but liked carbs, one daughter with hypoglycemia and one daughter who needed carb loadding for sports.

Our anwer was to make sure there was at least one dish to suit everyone, then we all picked and chose to make the meal suit each of us. We generally had meat or cheese, one high carb vegetable, one low carb vegetable, salad or raw veggies and bread of some sort.

 

I had a big salad with added veggies and meat, hubby ate it all and added bread, potatoes or pasta. hypo daughter ate equal parts meat and carbs, and the sports daughter ate more carbs in addition of everything else. Our meals included things like grated cheese, salsas and other condiments. On days when it was higher carb than suited me, I just ate less.

 

Over the years, all members of the family drifted toward choosing more limited carbs as I learned to make better veggie dishes like ratatouille and eggplant parmisana without the breading, and good thick dinner soups. This is years later and we are all of normal weight. They claim it's living with a diabetic that made this happen. :) I just let them think that.

 

Good luck with your dinner adventures! Mich

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mjrc64

I feel your pain. I have a daighter with life-threatening peanut and tree nut allergies and an egg allergy. So, While I can bake a few things with eggs, she cannot have eggs in most foods or on their own. I am the diabetic, so have added some almonds back into our home for dh and I to eat. Usally when she is in bed or not around and we wash our hands and need ot clean up any crumbs! Raw almons are safest that way(no salt or crumbly bits).

 

We must check every lable for an cross contamination of her allergens to the nuts and peanuts, including made on shared equipment, etc... So, some of our need fall by the wayside when we need to stick to certain "safe" brands of things for her. There is where the organic and healthful stuff has to fall here and there. Alot of better organic brands of a cereal will have nuts or be contaminated by them.

 

But, overall, we do it the way Jwags does. I cook a dinner with a protein, a veggie, maybe two, a salad, offer fresh fruit, and a starch. I strive to serve a whole grain starch and have a small portion. Or, i cook pasta(for the kids) and make a sweet potato for me(i can do this with no spike).

 

I pack lunches for the kids, so it does not have ot be what I eat. I buy stuff they eat and like and they are good togo, or they buy sometimes.

 

Dh will pack or sometimes lunch at work. I buy lunch meats or he does leftovers of other meals we eat. he is pretty close to eating what i do, but maybe a bit more starch.

 

It does get easier, once you all get into a groove.

 

mi-

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debbiedoes

The dinners I make tend to consist of a meat protein, a starch, and one or two veggies (say cooked veggies and a green salad). My husband eats all components. My son, who is picky, eats the starch, some of the protein, and skips the veggies unless forced to eat them. I eat the meat and the veggies, and sometimes will put a 1/4 cup (or so) of canned beans (kidney, black, garbanzo, ect) on my plate if I want some carbs (I keep the beans in a plastic container in the fridge...sometimes I make a vinegrette for them out of equal parts vinegar, grapeseed oil, and a bit of Splenda).

 

There's also bread/margarine available to those who want it. Cheese is also stocked in the fridge. Containers of unsalted nuts in the pantry. Milk or water to drink. Sometimes I'll boil up a half dozen eggs to keep in the fridge for any who might want some. And there's always fresh fruit and veggies in the fridge. Peanut and sunflower seed butter in the cupboard, also. Oh, and I also keep a selection of canned fish in the pantry.

 

It's somewhat plain eating, but it's tasty enough (I like to use herbs and spices to jazz things up), and everyone gets fed.

 

What I've basically been doing is getting the highly processed foods out of the house. Hungry? Make a sandwich, peel an egg, grab a handful of nuts (or a spoonful of nut butter), have a salad, or grab some fruit/veggies, ect.

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NickP
What I've basically been doing is getting the highly processed foods out of the house. Hungry? Make a sandwich, peel an egg, grab a handful of nuts (or a spoonful of nut butter), have a salad, or grab some fruit/veggies, ect.

 

This is the KEY to healthy living, and where the SAD falls very short! Good Job Debbiedoes!

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gphx

I was prepared to write a long post only to find Jillybean had already said it all beautifully. Except for the mealtime prayer:

 

"If you don't like it cook it your own **** self"

 

=)

 

My understanding is that the best way to control type 2 for most folks is to eat low carb. I also understand that the best way to battle reactive hypoglycemia is often to eat low carb (thereby reducing anything to "react" to). In talking with others extensively on low carb forums (not just diabetes forums), I understand that eating low carb and high fat often battles constipation and obivously wouldn't include much in the way of fiber.

 

The more I read about low carb, high fat diets, the more I appreciate that NO ONE really needs carbs. A ketogenic diet (low carb, high fat) has ben helpful in controlling or treating an astonishing number of conditions, and not just obesity, diabetes, and high cholesterol, but also alzheimer's, epilepsy, schizophrenia, autism, cancer...the list goes on.

 

As for hubby, what is it he's "picky" about? My husband has no problem eating what I cook for dinner for us - things like pork chops wrapped in bacon, chicken thighs marinated in a creamy dressing and topped with melted cheese, stew beef cooked in a crock pot with salsa and cream cheese and topped with melted cheese, Italian sausage and ground beef or turkey with tomato sauce and lots of cheese melted on top...

 

I've even been reading more lately about how we don't even need the nutrients from fruits and veggies as long as (and this is a big IF) we eat a wide variety of meats, including organ meats (which many folks don't). I don't generally eat things like liver and brain, so I usually add a veggie with my meals, but it's a non-starchy veggie (usually broccoli, green beans, cauliflower, or baby brussels sprouts, all from frozen), and I add cheese or a creamy dressing/sauce with it (I just don't like veggies very much!).

 

While this all seems to laugh in the face of what is societally generally accepted as a "healthy diet," our results speak for themselves - increased energy (no more afternoon naptime!), lowered cholesterol, controlled glucose levels, weight loss, and deliciousness :P

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debbiedoes
This is the KEY to healthy living, and where the SAD falls very short! Good Job Debbiedoes!

 

Thanks! I'm lucky to have a lot of support about this at home. Makes it easier to make the changes.

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Cormac_Doyle
Seasonal Affective Disorder

 

Actually, in this context I think they meant "Standard American Diet"

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Daytona
Actually, in this context I think they meant "Standard American Diet"

 

Oh that makes much more sense, thank you!

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KimberM

Thanks everyone for all your great advice. Since starting this thread, things have become increasingly easier. We're finding a lot of information on the forums and through research, and I think we've finally settled into a groove. :D

 

Our biggest obstacle has been processed and prepared foods. I try really hard to keep them out of the house, but sometimes you just can't avoid it...especially with kids. But I've been able to find some really good organic alternatives in our grocery store, so all is not lost! Annie's and Back to Nature brands seem (IMO) to taste the best and are a favorite with the kids (especially Annie's Bunnies). We also like Cascadian Farms cereals (although they tend to cause a spike in BG for me).

 

I've also come to accept that my husband will always be difficult. He's a meat and potatoes kind of guy, raised on PA Dutch cooking...I'm a Southern girl raised on fried foods and LOTS of different veggies (cabbage, Brussels sprouts, okra, asparagus, squash to name a few...none of which he will touch). Oh well...more for me!!

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rak1978

Glad to hear things are getting easier for you! I didn't read through the whole thread due to lack of time at the moment, but wanted to respond. Hopefully this is still applicable....

 

I feel your pain on everyone having different needs & tastes. I have three children and a somewhat picky husband (he is picky on the other end of the spectrum though...likes things ULTRA healthy, and has some quirky preferences). Anyway, my 5 yr old has a very severe allergy to all nuts, is lactose intolerant, and is pretty sensitive to wheat. My 2 yr old hates vegetables, and my 7 yr old is just easy...she'll eat whatever (yay). I try to eat very low carb (under 30 per day).

Let's just say we have LOTS of taco nights. I make a salad, the kids make tacos or burritos with whatever fillings they want, and everyone is really happy. I feel like it's pretty healthy too.

Another option is burgers of any kind. Buns and cheese optional. Also served with a salad and often times sweet potato fries (roasted in the oven).

We also have what my kids call "asian style pasta" quite often. Garlic, lots of ginger, lots of thinly sliced (matchstick) fresh veggies, grilled chicken, soy sauce, chili sauce, etc...stir fried with brown rice noodles (I remove my portion of chicken & veggies before adding the noodles). Add fresh cilantro and green onions at the end. This is also great with quinoa instead of the brown rice noodles.

 

These are the most popular in the rotation and suite all of our needs nicely. I just try to make things that are flexible.

Good luck!!!

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