A Peek Inside a Diabetic’s Kitchen Pantry

A Peek Inside a Diabetic's Kitchen Pantry

3 weeks into the New Year, I am very proud of the progress I have made toward my goals of being the healthiest person that I can be.  I am down 7.5lbs, and I have discovered a new green smoothie recipe that has literally replaced my need for caffeine.  But this year, my journey toward becoming healthy involves more than merely losing that baby weight, and fitting in to those Seven jeans that have been neatly folded in the back of my closet since I returned from my honeymoon…eight years ago.  In an effort to dig a little deeper, I began researching trending health topics, and one that I keep seeing over and over again is Diabetes.  For those who live with the disease, each day holds unique challenges and life-altering decisions that those of us who do not live with the disease don’t even blink over.  For instance, I took the Packers loss personally, and as a result downed a bag of m&m’s.  For a diabetic, this is not an option.  But my decision to research this disease goes way beyond a tough loss.

I recently reconnected with a college friend of mine whom I have primarily kept in touch with through Facebook.  At the age of 34, she still manages to look like the same girl who won Miss Atlanta 13 years ago.  Today, she is an amazing musician, businesswoman, and as of six years ago, a Type 1 Diabetic.  I was caught completely off guard when she told everyone her diagnosis.  So, how does a former beauty queen who makes her health a daily priority acquire Diabetes? I’ll share her own words.

I was diagnosed October 2008, at 28. I got shingles that summer and when my white blood cells increased, they attacked my insulin producing cells in my pancreas and that was that.  Mine is auto-immune, which leaves me just a smudge weaker than most people.

Just. Like. That.  No warning, no chronically unhealthy lifestyle, no obesity.  Just really bad luck.  This is what we all need to realize.  Nobody is immune to Diabetes.  Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes can affect anyone; at any time regardless of age, weight, or how many times a week we hit the gym.

It is important to note that Type 1 Diabetes is an autoimmune disease, not preventable, and not reversible.  But there certain factors that we can control to keep ourselves as healthy as possible and one of those is our eating habits.  Below is a very basic list of foods that balance glucose levels, and are essential to have in pantries of Diabetics and non-diabetics alike.

I urge each and every one of you to take a close look at this list, and try to incorporate these foods into your regular diet.  I’m certainly going to.  After all, if they’re good enough for a beauty queen, they’re good enough for me.

Whole Grains Beans & Legumes Fruits & Veggies Healthy Fats Fresh Produce Fish & Meats Snacks Seasonings & Condiments
Whole oats & oatmeal Black Beans Tomatoes Almond Butter Grapefruit Salmon Fat-Free Yogurt Sugar-Free Syrup
Barley Garbanzo Green Beans Peanut Butter Oranges Tuna (Fresh) Skim Milk Sugar-Free Jam
Whole wheat flour Cannellini Asparagus Canola Oil Lemons Chicken Breasts Nuts Mustard
Almond Flour Pinto Mushrooms Olive Oil Avocado Turkey
Quinoa Red Spinach Grape Seed Oil Bananas Ham
Whole Grain, high-fiber, high-protein cereals Vegetarian baked beans & lentils Artichokes Low-Fat Spreads Sweet Potatoes Pork Tenderloin
Whole grain & High-fiber Pastas Dried Peas: Black Eyed, Split Green Beans Low-Fat dairy Onions Cod and Tilapia


-Susan Madden; Member, Mom, and Guest Blogger

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