Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Cooking as a Survival Skill

Over the four years that I’ve spent reading and posting on the various diabetes forums I’ve noticed that people seem to fall into one of three categories:
Those who cook for themselves, and enjoy doing it; those who cannot cook and survive on someone else’s cooking at home or in a restaurant – or eat pre-packaged or ready-made foods; and those who can cook but don’t enjoy it and only do it when they have no alternative.

My research after diagnosis led me to two unsurprising revelations for an obese T2. I needed to lose a lot of weight and I needed to control my blood glucose. Of course, there are other factors, but those two were paramount.

It is a never-ending task, but I believe it was much easier for me to achieve reasonable weight and control because I am a person who enjoys cooking. It allows me to be the one who controls what goes into the recipe by type and quantity, to control the size of portions, and to experiment by testing the results.

I can only imagine the stress it places on a relationship when the diabetic is trying to tactfully tell the cook that the new dish or dessert that they made with love is either too many carbs or so full of Splenda it tastes horrible – and that the real problem is the flour, not the sugar anyway. Or that they now need five meals or snacks a day, and so on. A major chronic condition places enough stress on relationships without that.

There is also a continual search by non-cooks for "safe" pre-prepared foods in the supermarket, "low-carb" this and "sugar-free" that, or "safe" fast foods and restaurant foods. Some people are forced to eat out, by work or local social requirement; and fast or pre-prepared foods are convenient. But there is no doubt in my mind that the easiest way to control your own diet is to be the person who creates the menu and cooks the dishes on it.

Basic home cooking is not that difficult. One reason I've included recipes here is to show that. All of my recipes are simple and pretty basic with reasonably short lists of the sort of ingredients found in most homes.

Practice, experiment, and don't get upset if you have an inedible failure. That's why you cooked extra the time before so there was something in the freezer for a quick zap in the microwave.

Bon appetit.

Cheers, Alan, T2, Australia.
Everything in Moderation - Except Laughter

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