Eating With Diabetes: My Silver Lining

Gretchen Becker Health Guide
  • Sometimes I feel incredibly lucky.


    For one thing, I'm alive. I know a lot of people who aren't.


    Also, I can see and hear reasonably well. I can walk. I live in a beautiful state on a beautiful hillside with a river and mountains across the road.




    And I eat delicious food.


    I thought of this the other night when I looked at my dinner plate. I had a lamb chop from a lamb some friends raised on pasture. From my garden I had some boiled red amaranth and some broccoli, picked just before I cooked them,  both with a little butter melted on top.


    I also had a salad from lettuce I had picked minutes before I ate it, plus a little purslane, a "weed" that is very high in omega-3 fatty acids, with virgin olive oil and a little lemon juice. Also some red wine.

    Add This Infographic to Your Website or Blog With This Code:


    Then I had a few blackberries and some heavy cream.


    I was thinking how unfair it is that I have this delicious, fresh, healthy food and people in the city are eating fast-food junk. Even if they wanted to eat healthier food, many of them couldn't find any in the stores. The "bodegas," or convenience stores, in the city sometimes sell only old bananas and potatoes as their produce.


    One man is trying to bring more fresh produce to the South Bronx, but there are still millions of people who don't have access to really fresh food. I do.


    Before I was diagnosed with diabetes, I didn't eat so well. I was lazy. I'd boil up a pot of rice and eat rice and cheese or rice and a little meat or rice and kim chee for day after day. And lots of sweet yogurt. And ice cream.


    I kept a food diary several months before I was diagnosed because I found that wheat gave me acid reflux, and I wanted to confirm the relation by logging what I ate. I didn't actually break down the food into meals, but here's a sample of what I ate one day:


    French bread with butter, French bread with cheese melted on top, orange juice, chocolate milk, vanilla ice cream, spinach with olive oil and garlic, peanut butter cups, pears, spaghetti with tomato paste, garlic, and olive oil.


    Another day I had:


    Rice, tomato paste, olive oil, cheddar cheese, pie, ice cream, pie with ice cream, apricot jam, raisins, rice with broccoli, turnips, onions, leek and ginger, frozen curried spinach with lentils, a mound of chocolate chips, rice with cheese, broccoli, and peppers.


    Another day:


    Rice, cheese, ham, orange juice, hazelnuts, candy, oatmeal with cranberry, orange, and ice cream, raisins and nuts, rice with buttered beets, hot dog, doughnut.


    I seemed to have eaten mostly starches and sweets, plus a lot of fat. Some meat and vegetables, but not a lot. A horrible diet even though I didn't eat a lot of convenience foods!


    Without the diabetes diagnosis, I would still be eating like that. Maybe even worse. And I'd be 30 or 40 pounds heavier.


    Yes, sometimes the diabetes seems like a pain in the whatever. But mostly, I feel I'm lucky to have gotten a disease that has made me eat these much more delicious meals!



Published On: June 28, 2010