If you have been diagnosed with prediabetes or with type 2 diabetes, it can feel like your plate is being emptied of all of your favorite foods. This is because living with type 2 diabetes will mean that certain parts of your lifestyle will have to change. But, it doesn’t have to leave you feeling defeated. In fact, it can act as a great reset for your plate, helping you learn to appreciate and look forward to nutrient-packed, delicious meals.
Learn to Love Real Food Again
Eating to reverse type 2 diabetes can involve finding new favorites you didn’t know you loved. Food can be a powerful medicine, so it is important to find a meal plan that works for you. We want to feed not just your health but your happiness, too! Here are a few tips for finding foods you can enjoy:
- Start with the list of what you can have - So often when someone is newly diagnosed with diabetes, they are given a list of foods they can no longer eat. Instead of focusing on that list, head to the list of foods you can happily enjoy. We recommend that you get 80+% of your calories from the carbohydrates found in intact whole grains, fruits, and vegetables, with the remaining calories coming from plant-based fats and proteins. These are known as green light foods
- Celebrate no portion control - The green light foods we mention above (whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and so on) also have one BIG difference to what you might have been eating before – you can eat them as often, and in whatever quantities, you want! We’re entirely serious here, these foods are so good for you that you can eat them until you’re full whenever you want, and they’ll always support your health.
- Find out what the “sometimes” foods are - These are called yellow light foods. Yellow light foods are foods that are okay to include in small quantities because they are slightly processed or have higher fat content. They shouldn’t be daily staples but are still considered a “healthy” choice. “Yellow light” foods include whole grain or bean pasta, whole grain cereals, refined grains, whole grain bread and tortillas, avocados, nuts, seeds, coconut meat, soybeans, and soy products. Knowing your yellow light foods will allow you to have some freedom as you adjust to a new way of eating.
Enjoying a Plant-Based Diet
So often when people think of moving to a plant-based lifestyle, they think of everything they will have to give up. In fact, for many the idea of a plant-based diet brings up mental pictures of big piles of spinach or lettuce heaped up onto a plate. For most people, that sounds rather drab and not very appetizing. We’re here to change that.
In fact, a plant-based diet that includes a variety of delicious fruits and vegetables can work wonders for your overall health. Not only is fruit packed with vitamins, minerals, fiber, and water -- all things that our bodies need -- but the natural sugars from fruits are actually one of the secrets that can help you reverse insulin resistance, prediabetes, and type 2 diabetes.
If you're looking for some fantastic (and easy!) recipes that will help keep your blood sugars stable while still tasting delicious, you've come to the right place. These four simple salad recipes that will help you look forward to meal time. Paired with a refreshing glass of Amla Green tea, which has been scientifically proven to help manage diabetes, you are on the right track to managing your type 2 diabetes.
- 1 cup cooked farro
- 1 tbsp lime juice (or 1/2 lime)
- 1 tbsp Mexican spice
- 1/4 cup cilantro
- 1/2 cup corn frozen
- 1/4 cup salsa use your favorite heat level
- 1/2 bell pepper or hot pepper
- 1/2 red onion thinly sliced
- 1/2 cup low sodium black beans
- 1/2 avocado sliced
- Add lime juice, Mexican spice, and cilantro to cooked farro and combine well. Place the farro mixture into a bowl.
- Around the farro place corn, pepper, onion salsa, and black beans.
- Stir everything together before eating.
- 2 peaches
- 2 big, juicy tomatoes
- 1/2 small purple onion
- 1 medium corn-on-the-cob, raw
- 2 tbsp nutritional yeast
- 1 tsp black pepper or cayenne pepper (optional)
- 4 fresh basil leaves (optional)
- Slice the raw corn kernels off the corn-on-the-cob and place in a bowl.
- Stir 1 tbsp nutritional yeast into the corn.
- Slice the peaches, tomatoes, and onion.
- In a large plate or bowl, place the sliced peaches, tomatoes, and onion on top of the corn.
- Top with 1 tbsp nutritional yeast and garnish with fresh basil leaves.
- Optional: Add other savory fruits, such as sliced cucumbers, zucchini, or bell pepper. Spice it up with black pepper or cayenne.
- 1 head of cauliflower, medium size
- 1 head of broccoli, medium size
- 2 carrots, shredded
- 1 cup red cabbage, thinly sliced
- 1 cup shelled edamame, thawed
- 4 tbsp coconut aminos
- Break cauliflower into individual florets and pulse in the food processor until rice-like consistency is achieved. Be careful not to over-process or it will become too watery. Pour into a large mixing bowl.
- Break broccoli into individual florets and pulse in the food processor until a consistency similar to the cauliflower is achieved. Pour into the mixing bowl along with cauliflower.
- Shred carrots using the food processor "shredding" blade attachment. You can also use a carrot peeler or cheese grater, instead. Pour into the mixing bowl along with other ingredients.
- Thinly slice red cabbage with a sharp knife or a mandolin. Add to the mixing bowl.
- Allow the shelled edamame to thaw, or place in a strainer and run under hot water until thawed. (Note, do not consume raw soy. All frozen soy is blanched, so it is safe to eat as is). Add to a mixing bowl.
- Measure out coconut aminos, starting with less, and adding more to taste. Pour over veggies in the mixing bowl and mix with your hands until evenly coated and dispersed. Enjoy!
- Note: For a soy-free option, use lima beans instead of soy beans.
- 1 large red bell pepper, seeded and chopped into 3/4” pieces
- 1 large yellow bell pepper, seeded and chopped into 3/4” pieces
- 1 medium onion, chopped into 3/4” pieces
- 3 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
- 2 cans cannellini beans (15.5 oz cans), rinsed and drained
- 3 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 1 tbsp lemon juice freshly squeezed
- 2 tbsp finely chopped parsley
- Preheat the oven to Bake at 425°F.
- Place the prepared bell peppers, onion, and garlic on a baking sheet and roast for 25 minutes or until beginning to soften and caramelize.
- Toss the roasted vegetables, cannellini beans, apple cider vinegar, lemon juice, and parsley in a medium, non-metal mixing bowl. Add pepper to taste.
- Chill in the refrigerator for 1 hour (optional). The longer you let this rest, the more the flavors will marinate.
- Adjust seasonings to your liking. Enjoy!