A diagnosis that’s helping all of us
Since Nelson’s diabetes diagnosis in February, things have changed for all of us at home. Not in a “If my diet is going to have to change, so is everyone’s” kind of way, though.
Nelson has lost a lot of weight, and he’s managing to maintain his blood sugar levels in a healthy way, without the need for meds. The kids and I are so proud of how he’s doing and how committed he is to his new lifestyle of healthy eating and moderate exercising. And it’s rubbing off on all of us. We’re all eating healthier regularly.
While Nelson occasionally still makes me and our boys a side dish of potatoes, pasta, or rice, for the most part, the side dish for most meals now consists of only salads or roasted veggies. Michael has adjusted with no problems. In fact, he’s really grown to love veggies and is enjoying creating new healthy dishes on his own now.
Our youngest is adjusting the slowest, but even he is starting to try new veggies. I think he’s accepted that this is the new norm and resistance won’t result in there being carbs and starchy vegetables on his plate every day. It’s an adjustment, but it’s certainly been a positive change for me and the kids as well.
Wet paint! Do not touch.
It’s human nature to want what we can’t have. I mean, who hasn’t touched a wall where a “Wet Paint” sign was telling us not to touch it.
It’s the same for Nelson. While he can’t have sugar or foods that are high on the glycemic index, if he could never enjoy a dessert again, he’s told me he’d most likely fail in his attempt to avoid diabetes meds.
Sugar is an addiction and it’s a tough habit to quit. Sure there are substitutes, but a lot of them are processed and we worry that in order to avoid one problem, we may be creating a new one altogether. Nelson didn’t want to go that route. Luckily, he loves cooking and baking and learning.
Nelson’s been reading about diabetes and sugar and the good and bad of various diets. He’s using social media to connect with others who are trying to navigate this diagnosis too. He’s watching documentaries, and just soaking up information wherever he can get it.
Nelson’s the first to advise others to get professional medical advice, but as he’s figuring out what works for him, he’s happy to share.
Then came dessert
For Nelson, maintaining normalcy is important. For example, he no longer drinks pop, but he still gets his fizz fix by drinking sparkling water. He’s finding healthy and natural alternatives that keep him full and make him happy.
Main dishes are fine and dandy – he loves veggies and all sorts of other foods that are good for him. But what about desserts? Many desserts contain flour and sugar—both no-no’s for Nelson. While he’s managed, every once in a while he wishes to snack on a cookie or muffin and just plain feel like he’s not missing out.
So obviously Nelson is solving this problem. It’s requiring a little more time testing and tweaking in our test kitchen (which is just our regular kitchen), but he’s been creating treats that are almost equivalent to their sugary counterparts.
It’s been a cool new challenge for Nelson. So far he’s got cookies and a few types of muffins in his repertoire. He’s going to keep developing new treats that he can eat without guilt or harm.
These treats are sweetened with a blend of erythritol and monk fruit sugar and use almond flour instead of all purpose flour. This is a low carb combination that’s perfect for diabetics. They’re a little more crumbly than traditional muffins, but we can see past that. The blueberries add a little sweetness and they provide little pops of flavour in every bite.
A flexible recipe
Yesterday we went to visit friends for an afternoon of swimming in their pool and enjoying a fabulous bbq dinner. Nelson brought a fresh batch of muffins, but since we were out of blueberries, he used walnuts (same quantity) and they were a perfect new version.
Everyone enjoyed them and nobody felt like they were missing regular granulated sugar. We can certainly live with this.
I’m so glad that Nelson is staying committed and now, more than ever, he’s also committed to creating new treats that we can all enjoy together. What’s good for him is proving to be good for all of us.
It goes to show that it’s possible for something good to come from something not-so-good. Always try to find the positive and use it to make you stronger. And along the way, always eat well, friends.
Almond flour blueberry muffins
- 2 1/4 cups blanched almond flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp fine sea salt
- 1/3 cup monk fruit and erythritol granular sugar blend
- 1/3 cup butter partially melted (not liquid or hot)
- 3 large eggs room temperature
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 1 1/4 cups wild blueberries
- Pre-heat the oven to 350 ºF.
- Line a 12 muffin pan with paper liners.
- In a medium sized bowl, combine the flour, baking powder and salt.
- Use a stand mixer bowl or hand mixer to beat the butter and sugar on medium high for about 3 minutes.
- Continue to beat while adding one egg at-a-time and then the vanilla. Continue beating for another 2 minutes.
- Pour the butter/egg mixture over the flour mixture and combine well using a spatula.
- Add 1 cup of blueberries and mix well with the spatula.
- Divide the batter evenly between all 12 liners. Use a soup spoon to scoop the batter and another spoon to help drop the batter into each liner.
- Use the remaining 1/4 cup of blueberries to add a few blueberries to the top of the batter in each liner.
- Place the pan on the middle rack of the oven and bake for 22 minutes, or until the muffin tops have a light golden colour.
- Let the muffins cool in the pan for about 10 minutes and then transfer the muffins to a cooling rack to finish cooling completely.
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