Normally, diabetologists will tell you this, as my own doctor does, "I'm not telling you not to eat", that is, after he discovers that you have an increased level of blood sugar reflected in the results of your check-up. And it is normally followed by, "Eat with moderation", "Eat a balanced diet".
However, even this face-saving advice doesn't take away our fears because we simply don't know how to choose a varied diet. Did I hear, too, that diabetics themselves, find it nearly impossible to eat balanced diet everyday? That's true! Pressures of everyday life, the frequent occurrence of social gatherings, special occasions like this approaching Valentine"s Day celebration where the common treats are taboos for a diabetic, can play havoc with diet plans and mealtimes.
Well, nobody is going to tell me now not to dip my spoon in that ice cream cup or pick a chocolate candy or two to nibble at, as I watch my favorite shows on TV. That's an enjoyable prospect of relaxing the limit to these sweet foods. In a way, I can spend just 3 or 4 days to wash out whatever I put in my guts afterwards.
I didn't stop looking for some down-to-earth justifications though that I would be all right after my planned overindulgence. And voila! I got hold of this edition of my favorite Reader's Digest, and chanced upon the answer to my quest.
Astrid Van Den Broeck's Cut Calories, Boost Health (Reader's Digest, March, 2009), has this timely recommendation to "Trim Down Your Calories". Indeed, smart swaps or food exchanges can help us prevent excess fats and sugar in our diet that put us at risk of life-threatening diseases like heart disease and diabetes. So, it seems that if we can't follow a strict 100 percent standard diet for diabetics, we can do a little circumnavigation this Valentine's Day when every sweet and sugary, fatty foods are common treats.
- Whip that margarine with a blender to incorporate air into your spread so you end using less.
- Choose light beer, it has about 100 calories compared to a regular beer with 150.
- Choose a honey doughnut with 210 calories instead of medium-served french fries with 380.
- Have a fresh orange fruit rather than a fruit juice packed with high calorie punch.
- Spread sugar-free jam on your toast or sandwich, 2 tablespoons are only 20 calories compared to 250 in the traditional jam with 100.
- Use egg white, instead of whole egg, and skim milk for your french toast, cooked in a non-oiled, non-stick pan.
- For your spaghetti, simmer your paste sauce with ground chicken or turkey instead of ground lean beef.
- Buy a veggie burger instead of a beef burger.
- Try a kid's meal of chicken nuggets rather than a regular fast food meal.
- Dip your fried chicken in water rather than beaten eggs and coat it with cornflake crumbs instead of bread crumbs.
- Indulge in a scoop of sherbet or gelato instead of a cheesecake.
- Order a glass of water with the McDonald's burger and skip the 360-calorie Coca Cola.
- Get a low-fat waffle for only 70 calories compared to a large bagel of 360.
- Have a grande Coffee Frapuccino Light Blended Coffee at Starbucks instead of the Mocho to save you 250.
- Select a thin-crusted pizza with half the cheese and doubled vegetables instead of the thick one.
- Make your own breakfast sandwich with an English muffin, 2 slices of multi-grain bread, poach an egg, microwave it, then add a small size of fat-free cheese.
These are some healthy cuts to your daily calorie-intake recommended by Broeck. And let me add my personal idea. The ampalaya (bitter gourd) fruit is proven to help in the opening of body cells to absorb nutrients in our food. After you treated yourself with the above meals, you may be happier to sip a hot unsweetened ampalaya (bitter gourd) tea to ease your guilt a little.
To have this homemade tea, cut fresh ampalaya (bitter gourd) fruit into chips in advance, have them sun-dried for 4 days at most and keep them dry in tight canisters. Use a pinch or two in a boiling cup of water to take before breakfast with stomach still empty or before bedtime after an indulgence of food. You may nibble at the remaining boiled chips for more effect. The bitter gourd tea chips can stand 1 year of use. In fact, this is a cheap source of my Charantia tea substitute.
Happy eating this Valentine's Day! Happy Valentine's Day to everyone.