It can be quite challenging for a newly diagnosed diabetic to know how to go about making dietary changes. It can even be a struggle for someone who has been living with the condition for a while. November is National Diabetes Month in the U.S., hence the focus on this population.
There is a unique intersect between making changes in the dietary approach itself with the various lifestyle habits that are related to actually making those shifts happen.
It didn’t take long after I started working with people living with type II diabetes for this facet to become clear to me. Typically people are trying to figure out what actually spikes their blood sugar and are often concerned about other health outcomes, such as weight loss. Their approach usually ends up, indirectly, rather haphazard at best.
Although I am not a clinical nutritionist, I do specialize in helping people with behavioral shifts and lifestyle plans. Coming from an extensive health science background and experience working directly with integrative nutritionists for close to 10 years, I’m rather clear on this topic.
When we think about blood sugar regulation and our daily meals, a few key principles are at play; fiber, complete protein, and healthful fat. Getting more in-depth is factoring in the glycemic index or load, but that can often get overwhelming. Typically if we can hone in on content itself and simplify the process, it can lead to significant strides in making the lifestyle shifts.
So… for example, start with a plate consisting of about 75% veggies (whole-food, not processed concoctions). Then, make up the remainder of the plate with a complete protein, such as baked chicken or quinoa for a vegetarian approach, and at least 2 tablespoons of healthful fat, such as avocado or, perhaps, a raw, unfiltered olive oil drizzle.
(Note; it can be helpful to emphasize veggies first, then discuss the incorporation of ideal fruit options).
There will undoubtedly be targeted shifts down the road for the specific person at hand, but, generally speaking, this can offer a good baseline for meal composition. After options for various food combinations per meal are understood, it’s then figuring out how the heck to make sure those are the meal choices selected.
This is where meal preparation and storage become one easy thing to support a better health plan. It can be specifically relevant for those living with chronic conditions, such as diabetes.
Furthermore, combining meal preparation with a homemade approach and storing the excess for future meals ensures that most healthful options will be readily available. It makes the choices easier, there is complete awareness for what ingredients went into the dishes, and, although some prep work is necessary, it can actually save time in the future.
In thinking about this for people who need a little help sticking with a healthful diet and plan, I went on a pretty significant search to find freezable compartmentalized dishes. I also wanted to focus on options that weren’t plastic because putting both hot foods and/or fats into plastic can be problematic from a toxin uptake perspective.
This search led to a few viable options as well as some other cool food storage swag.
If you are thinking of a great gift for someone aiming to stick to a healthful diet, such as someone with diabetes, these options might be good to consider :).
- Outermart 2-compartment glass storage containers
- Thermos Stainless King™ Stainless Steel Food Jar with Spoon
- Ambrosia Bags (for storing produce)
- Prepd Pack
- Stainless Steel Bento Lunch Box w/SECURLOCK Lids by GRUB2GO (may be in limited supply)
- Classic mason jars (be sure to leave room if you freeze them)
- Eco family life’s blog post, Can you freeze food in metal containers?