Diabetes eating: Being in the moment
The mind plays tricks on us. It never occurred to me that sometimes I eat and enjoy food out of habit rather than desire.
I always ate a small apple as my afternoon snack.
I would stop what I was doing and go get an apple but lately the apples have gotten very expensive (for apples) and have no apple taste. They are sometimes sweet, juicy, and crunchy, but if you blindfolded me I bet I could NOT identify the food as an apple. So I stopped buying them. I missed them like crazy for the first few days and then I forgot about having not only the apple but the 4 PM snack. As it turns out I was eating the apple out of sheer habit even when they tasted eh. I don’t miss the apple snack at all. If I am peckish or want to keep myself even, I will now have some nuts or a piece of cheese. I realized that I really did not miss that formerly coveted apple at all. What is up with that?
I really like apples. Except in the heat of summer I always enjoyed them. In the summer I would switch to peaches or better yet, nectarines. Here in New Mexico those fruits don’t keep very well. They go from bricks to mush almost overnight. No matter how carefully I plan, I usually wind up tossing a few out. So I now don’t buy them often. Why eat something that is not as good as you expect? Why squander those carbohydrates just because “you always ate an apple/peach/nectarine?
All this made me think about how much all of us eat out of habit. Many years ago, some colleagues and I were sitting in this wonderful restaurant in Milan. We had been traveling in Europe for months and were on the verge of flying back home. In front of us was one of the most wonderful meals you can imagine. One of my colleagues stopped eating and wistfully said:
“Boy I can’t wait to get back home and have a burger and fries.”
For him, food was tied up with home and what he always ate. It had nothing at all to do with how wonderful the meal in front of him was, but with a yearning for what was familiar. Each of us in turn shared our desire for something from home. I am far too embarrassed to tell you what my food choice was. The apples and the Milanese meal made me think about what was going on with me since my diagnosis of Diabetes.
My menu is as delicious and varied as it was before Diabetes. It is just different. One thing has replaced another and with time has improved in flavor either by my skills or the sense on my palate. I enjoy eating and cooking as much as before. Perhaps I enjoy it more now because it is a challenge to me, to feed my Diabetes, my tastebuds, and my family.
And yet….sometimes I crave a food that I have all but eliminated from my table. Sometimes I see an advertisement on TV for some food that I know is really not very good, but because I “shouldn’t” have it, want it. Does that double chocolate rocky road shake with whipped cream and a cherry really taste any good? YOU already know the answer.
No matter how much tastier my parmesan and nut coating for chicken or fish is, I still sometimes crave fast food fried fish and chicken. I may indulge myself. Try NOT to feel too guilty. What almost always happens is that the deep fried food doesn’t taste as good as I remembered or it doesn’t agree with me. Do you think they changed the recipe in the years I wasn’t looking? More likely it was me that changed.
Another piece to this puzzle is for some dishes I attempt to create something like the old dish, and that reminds me of what I did eat and stops me (us) from being in the moment.
Thinking of something else when presented with something much more delicious is a lost food moment. Heck, it is a lost moment in life. It is no different than thinking about your first love when you are with your new love. But let’s not go there.
When I go back to Milan, I will enjoy it more for being there in the moment.
As for the apples; fall is coming. Maybe this year’s crop will be as delicious as my memories are. Until then there are other snacks to explore.
Enjoy, be happy, be Healthy, BE DECADENT ! -w!
Diabetic Compatible Breakfast Pizza
Chef’s Note: I am NOT suggesting you try this recipe on a busy Monday morning. But if you have a day off, this is really a fun breakfast. This is such a fun recipe for children of all ages. You get to choose what you top it with and you can prepare the ingredients the night before.
Serving 1 Pita Pizza
Net carbohydrates >10 grams.
As Pictured for EACH pizza:
2 ounces Ham cut in strips and fried (you substitute another meat or peppers or….)
2 Scallions fried with the ham in
1 Joseph’s Low carbohydrate pita or any low carbohydrate tortilla
2 large eggs scrambled with:
1 TBSP. milk
1 TBSP. Grated parmesan cheese
Salt and pepper to taste (and your Doctors advice)
1 roasted tomato or
2 TBSP. drained diced tomatoes
2 slices Mozzarella, Swiss, provolone or Cheddar cheese
2 TBSP. Fresh basil (divided)
1 TBSP. butter
How to prepare the recipe
Heat oven to 425°F.
Poke holes in the pita with a tooth pick. Place on a baking sheet lined with parchment or non -stick foil.
Bake until the edges just start to curl and brown. (3-5 minutes)
While you are baking the pita or tortilla, scramble the eggs with milk in 1 TBSP. of butter.
Carefully remove the pita or tortilla from the oven and spread with butter. Sprinkle with ½ of the basil. Spoon the eggs onto pizza. Top with the cheese followed by the remaining toppings. Place the pizza back in the oven until the cheese melts. Remove from the pan and sprinkle with remaining basil.
You can substitute bacon, sausage, or prosciutto for the ham.