Posts Tagged ‘Thanksgiving strategies for diabetics’






Everyone Knows Someone Who Needs This Information! (TM)

I’ve pretty much maxxed-out the time for research on a diabetic safe-menu for Thanksgiving. I’m disappointed in what I found from sites purporting to be diabetic experts. So, I decided to piggy-back my recipe gathering for my blog and my own table to see what I could find. I will give you a list of some of the best recipes I found and strategies that I think will work for diabetics, but as I still have to make up my own shopping list, get the groceries and cook a meal both Thursday and Friday, I will be as brief as possible. I apologize.

If you don’t get to this in time, then use these guidelines and options for entertaining in December.

General Guidelines:

1.   Start your holiday meal with a soup course and then a salad course! Doing this let’s you fill up on healthier foods first, and then  “graze” or “dabble” with smaller, portion-tastes of all but your absolute “favorites” (be sure to still use a moderate portion of those). The key here is not to overwork your pancreas in its efforts to provide alkaline buffers for your food, before food enters your body to nourish you.

2.   The more leafy veggies and non-root vegetables you eat, the less calorie “dense” the meal will be, and the more you will be helping to create an Alkaline Reserve for the meal; two root vegetables are excellent alkaline foods – organic potatoes (only if you include the skin) and organic sweet potatoes; use them in moderation. You can click the link below in Reference for my food charts to see the most alkaline foods. Alkaline foods need to be included to help to “balance” the pH of all the animal foods and sugars which are rife in these holiday meals, usually.

Include RAW fruits and vegetables as much as possible as their enzymes will also aid your digestion and help to increase the nutrition of all the cooked food. It is important to try to get organic vegetables and foods in their proper season, as much as your budget and local sources allow. Wash all produce well, even when it’s been pre-washed in a factory. Dry them well with a salad spinner or a clean kitchen towel. Eating foods in season will also help your food budget! When you are going to cook veggies anyway, consider buying them frozen, from the beginning; Frozen veggies are almost as nutritious and because they were always destined to be frozen, commercial farmers apply less pesticides on them as they don’t have to look perfect.

Try to feed children and pregnant women organic foods! Some foods NEED to be organic more than others do. The foods to try to buy organically-grown are:apples, bananas, berries, cherries, grapes, nectarines, peaches, pears, carrots, celery, green leafy vegetables (especially spinach), peppers, potatoes and sweet potatoes, yams! The dirtiest, most pesticided food of all is peaches, regularly-farmed spinach is also a big problem. Organic dairy is also important, as are free-range meats and free-range, vegetarian-feed sourced eggs. The regular commercially grown bananas, carrots, potatoes, sweet potatoes and yams have systemic pesticides applied to the soil which are drawn-up and permeate the whole fruit or vegetable; they can’t just be “washed-off”, and pesticides sprayed on spinach and peaches are impossible to wash off (and permeate the peach’s peel, too). Steaming spinach gets rid of a great many pesticides, and peeling carrots does the same; each of these techniques reduce the food’s nutrition, but if you can’t get these organically, that’s a good proven strategy for those 2 foods. Blueberries have the least problem in that fruit group. Choose local produce; and in America, buy American produce (You know what has been allowed to be done in farming and processing far more than for foreign produced goods — especially from China, Mexico and South America — which have lax rules or no rules).

You may now refer to the barcode, remember if the first 3 digits is:
00 ~ 09                                   USA & CANADA
30 ~ 37                                   FRANCE
40 ~ 44                                   GERMANY
49 –                                        JAPAN
50 –                                        UK / Great Britain
That however doesn’t mean that all of the contents were produced here.

3. Use LOTS of vegetables, especially in the stuffing (except mushrooms, as my loyal readers know) and MUCH less grain. DON’T use bread!

Just eat a few tablespoons of stuffing, if you must. You’d be amazed at how much it raises the carbohydrate content in a meal when it’s made the “usual” way. Carbs impact blood-sugar faster and more than any other nutrient group. Protein and fat content in a meal help to balance the effect of carbohydrates, which ARE needed for carbs provide the cleanest-burning cellular energy.

I am going to be mixing QUINOA into my organic whole-grain brown rice stuffing, along with nuts. The quinoa is a high-protein food; it is NOT a grain, but can be used like one. You will be able to find it in good health stores and in some natural food sections of major markets. Nuts will also raise the protein content of the stuffing.

4.   Don’t be afraid of the fats in the meal, as long as they are “healthy” monosaturated fats (like olive, macadamia nut oil, hemp and flax oils [not to be cooked at all] and non-GMO canola [as a last choice]). Choose the least fatty meats (i.e. white meat in poultry), if you’re having meat or poultry. And, if you are the chef, then limit the amount of these fats to reasonable levels in each dish.

Try to use water or low-fat stock to cook as much as possible, when you can steam, pressure cook, braise or poach — then do it. These are low-fat cooking techniques.

And, in the instances where you must add fat, then make sure its organic and moderate as mostly monosaturated. If you want some butter richness, only use a little and only use organic butter! All the environmental toxins are harbored in animal fats (flesh, and other animal products, especially dairy). Do not use margaines; they are very acidifying and completely artificial, too.

5.   Try new ways of doing recipes for the most traditional foods e.g. substitute healthier options for the too-sugary yams / sweet potatoes and canned cranberry sauce routine. Also, if you must have potatoes or sweet potatoes, in what is already a huge calorie “hit” meal, then use different recipes – not mashed potatoes or sugar on already SWEET potatoes (amazing, how did that idiocy ever start!) — unless you are able to be really good to staying with about 1/8 – 1/4 cup serving and no seconds! Most people couldn’t do that. Better not to be tantalized.

6.   I found recipes where the veggies were in smaller “blocks” — shredded or partially sliced so you can have a taste of something flavorful, but keep portions moderate. And, it’s less of a temptation. Just take 1 unit, like in the Accordion Potatoes recipe or 2 tablespoons of the Shredded Sweet Potatoes. You’ll be satisfied with that if there are lots of things to try.

7.   I advise not having alcohol with the meal. It’s a useless extra burden. I’m going to try to make a quickly home-made Ginger Beer (which is NOT “beer”), but ginger is great for settling tummies. This is a Martha Stewart recipe and I’m going to add lemon and lime and make it more like an alkalizing, non-alcoholic Sangria!

I am also going to serve my Evamor water, as this highly alkaline water should help our pancreas by providing alkalinity to the stomach with every sip (and it tastes good too). If you can’t get Evamor, then Safeway stocks Essentia in its natural food section. Those are the only 2 waters I recommend. Put some lemon in regular water to help alkalinize it, as a last option.

8.   Desserts, well some people can take them or leave them. I’m one of those people, luckily. I may have trained myself into it, or just increased a natural disposition, but dessert is NOT the delight of my life.  So, I’m lucky (but potatoes ARE my downfall; everyone has those foods they must be watchful about).

You know that I usually try to use fruits only at the beginning of a meal, in order to help our digestion, but I’d rather us be very careful about using less sugary desserts, so I’ll include them in these Feast Menus at the end, as dessert replacements or stuffers, in the hopes of using less grains and sugars.

As far as pies and tarts, try to make them crustless (yes, even though I put up the empty pie-crust photo above!).  If someone else is doing the cooking, or you want to make a beautiful-looking conventional pie, then just leave the crust on your plate! It’s a big Carbohydrate debtor!!!!

Avoid cakes, too, unless you have a knife that will cut just a sliver or you leave 2/3 – 1/2 of a regular slice on your plate. These “foods” are SO carbohydrate and fat dense, they’ll just undermine everything.

In my opinion, it’s NOT OK to say, ‘Well, I’ll just take a blood sugar reading and up my meds if I need to’. That may happen anyway, and you have to do what’s needed. But, why act to MAKE that HAPPEN! Learn to be Moderate! That will help you be much healthier.

9.   You can still have a great time getting together with family and friends. Make them the center of your attention, and NOT the FOOD!

10.   Be prepared with a Balance Bar or scout out some nuts to help keep you OK if the dinner is late. Now, go have a good time!




Ginger Beer – Sangria, With Lemons and Limes (Click here)  My adjustment to the recipe is to use Agave Nectar to substitute for half to all of the sugar, and to add a couple of lemons, and limes sliced, so it looks festive and is more alkaline. Taste it until sweet enough to just balance the spiciness of the ginger; add agave or stevia as you need to.


Ginger – Pumpkin Soup (Click here) I usually try not to double-up on major foods or flavors in the meal. This soup also uses ginger, but I think you could leave it OR use less OR leave it out. Your choice. I’m leaving it in this time, and will probably just use half the amount as a start. It’s for (10) 1/2 cup portions (that seems really small — so I am saying it serves 5!), so I don’t think ginger was an overwhelming flavor in the soup. I think the cayenne will provide more kick, anyway. If most people are not set to drink the Ginger Sangria, then leave the ginger in the soup.


Here are the choices for the salad course. You can use several, if you want — side by side or as you wish. The first salad is Citrus Ambrosia Salad – Without the Marshmallows (Click Here) and the next is Beets with Feta and Pecans Salad (Click here) and lastly, one that will definitely help deal with the fattiness in these Feast Meals by having bitter greens to help your liver and gall-bladder which aid in fat digestionFuyu Persimmon, Pomegranate Seeds and Escarole or Frisee Endive Salad (Click here).


For estimating serving portions, the amount of turkey to buy per person equates to:

6 pounds: serves 4-6 people
8 pounds:            6-8 people
12 pounds:          8-10 people
15 pounds:        10-12 people
18 pounds:        12-15 people
22 pounds:        15+ people

(Be sure to use the carcass to make soup stock!)

If you like the dark meat, which although it is fattier, also has its own healthy-aspects if the animal was fed their natural diet and was free to roam, then you might want to buy just turkey parts to make this dish. If everyone in your family only like white meat, then consider just buying a turkey breast (on the bone or off). Don’t be confined to having a whole bird, most of which no-one wants to eat, and you have to hide the left-over, non-wanted parts as mush as possible in other meals. If you don’t care about the photo-op of a big bronzed bird, maybe for practicality and for frugality, think about using parts.

(If you are serving beef, lamb, bison, goat or lamb or farmed venison, then free-range, grass-fed, no corn fed at the feed-lot to “finish”,  meats contain a healthier fat profile that actually helps your lipid profile [cholesterol and triglycerides], if these meats are eaten moderately.)

These two turkey recipes are quite different. For those wanting dark meat, it’s best to cook it low and slow, as a braising technique. This way, the dark meat will be tender and succulent. I’m leaving out the mushrooms and pork products in this recipe and will make substitutions, but you do as you need to. Braised Turkey – Dark Meat Recipe  www.nytimes.com/2008/11/12/dining/121mrex.html?_r=1&ref=dining&oref=slogin

As I said, a whole bird is rarely cooked perfectly; it’s almost impossible to accomplish this because the 2 kinds of musculature need different techniques. If you make sure the white meat on a whole bird is not over-done, then the dark-meat will be tough.

Here are the instructions for the white-meat portions, using a whole, fresh turkey breast, with bones. If you have the butcher bone it, then it will be even faster and you will have to watch it carefully! Be sure to watch the video he does not segregate the dark meat as I am suggesting and then using the recipe above for just the dark, and making the next recipe for just the white meat.

VIDEO for 45 minute technique (Click here). 

Recipe for Turkey White Meat (Click here).

Pierre Franey’s Quick Version Another Quick Turkey Recipe (Click here).

Vegetable Side-dishes

Now for the side veggies, to serve with the Turkey. Accordion Potatoes  www.delish.com/recipefinder/accordion-potatoes-ghk1207?src=syn&mag=ghk&dom=delish&link=emb This looks like it may become a new favorite for me!

And, personally, I can’t stand the more-usual green bean recipe (but we’ve made accomodations to improve it, over the years). However, starting fresh, I like the look of this recipe, which we can do this year at our house. Green Beans With Lemon (Click here) and the same page will give you options for a Sweet Potato Home Fries recipe if you would prefer sweet potatoes rather than the red potatoes used in Accordion Potatoes, as well as an unusual frozen Pumpkin Parfait, to substitute for Pumpkin Pie.

Another sweet potato recipe for small portions is Shredded Sweet Potato Stir-Fry (Click here). 

I may not even make these following recipes, but for those who expect stuffing, then here are my suggestions for the stuffing substitutes. Tomato-Quinoa Risotto (Click here) OR  Brown Basmati Rice, Pine Nut and Raisin Stuffing (Click here). Use a cup of well-rinsed quinoa in this and add water or stock according to the quinoa package. Adjust to add a bit more of each seasoning. The quinoa will raise the protein content of this dish without changing the flavor.


As I said, use small portions — just a delightful gem of a taste. Try these small-unit recipes. Just use a small portion for yourself. Let the non-diabetics eat most of them! Or, save them for another day. Just don’t over-indulge. Obviously, be sensible about how much sugar to use, and better still use Agave Nectar as a low-glycemic substitute. I will NEVER recommend that you use an artificial sweetener. They are deadly, in my opinion. Use real foods. Both Stevia and Agave are real foods.

Cranberry Clafouti – A Freshly-Made Protein Dessert (Click here) and another with oats. The oat’s fiber will help cut-down the sugar surge. Cranberry and White Chocolate Cookies (Click here). I would reduce the sugar as most recipes have too much anyway. Try cutting out 1/3 of it and use Succanat, an organic whole sugar that still has minerals.

You could do quite well using just a few of these recipes, especially if you are not feeding a crowd. And, they will work as ideas for any entertaining that you are doing in December, if you already have your Thanksgiving menu in place.

In any eventuality, enjoy the Holidays, and that includes if you are by yourself. You ARE your own best company. Learn to become comfortable with just your own self. It’s an important step.

Best to all — Em

Look in the Title Archive on the Upper Navigation Bar on this page for the link to the Alkaline Food Charts. I’ll post it here when I can.


Em’s Alkaline foods Charts:


and Part 1 of this series:


(c)2008 Em https://diabetesdietdialogue.wordpress.com[/bold]

Please respect my copyright. If you want to quote from or use my article, please include the copyright and website location in your footnotes or reference section. Thanks!


Read Full Post »