Taming The Food Managment Beast: diabetes, carb counting, menu planning, and improving health for all!

So many people living with or without diabetes, need help when it comes to managing their menus. Many families struggle with time to shop and prepare healthy food for the family. Many families are two income households. Most all of them are concerned with budget. Surprisingly, health seems to fall at the far end of this list. We don’t like to admit this, but it is usually true. As The Diabetes Coach, I work with families in the capacity they need for food planning. I am given a list of any food likes and dislikes, any allergies, and/or medical concerns. I am given a dollar budget in order to shop for the family. I come back to my office, where I wash, chop, and prep most of the food. I deliver to the customer: menu plans, recipes to follow, and the food ready to be stored for immediate use in their refrigerator and pantry. Many times I am asked to clean out the junk and prepare healthier snacks for kids to grab. This takes time and effort, but is worth it for the health of you and your children. Especially if you live with diabetes, this aids in lessening the consuming task of food management. If I have the time to bag up healthy snacks and determine the carbohydrate count, it is easier to feel secure that your child is eating not only more healthy, but also learning the tiresome process of carbohydrate counting a little at a time.
I love being able to provide this service for busy families. It helps them stay on track throughout the week. They are not worn out from work, then shopping, then bringing home, then storing, and finally figuring out what to prepare. We spend so much money on healthy activities, but sometimes forget the basics of keeping a clean and healthy food system in our own homes. IMG_0166

Many people would like to tackle this process on their own. The Inspired Chef, Steve Norton, provides some wonderful tips for conquering the food management beast below. Steve has an amazing sense of reality when it comes to preparing food in today’s busy world. He knows what tastes great, looks appetizing, and most importantly is healthy!
This is the third blog post from Steve.

Menu planning is an important aspect to consider when cooking for yourself. Thinking about what you’d like to eat allows you to plan ahead and also helps you stick to a budget when shopping. A good way to make a meal plan is to keep a weekly sheet that lists what you’d like to have for breakfast, lunch, dinner and a snack each day. If you’re having trouble deciding what you’d like to eat, you can consider giving each week a different theme such as Mediterranean or Italian. A handy tip to keep in mind is that most stores keep a guide of all the foods they carry. The guide lists the food items by the aisle where they are found. You can pick up this guide at the customer service department of your store and organize your shopping list by aisle.
When considering shopping on a budget, be sure to check out grocery store coupons. You can find these both online or in newspaper ads for your favorite store. For example, if blueberries are on sale, it may be cheaper to think about making a dish that includes them. You should also think about how you can use items for various purposes. For example, bread that is good for French toast for breakfast would also be good for sandwiches for lunch. Remember that foods such as frozen vegetables or plant based items are often more budget-friendly than expensive red meat or fish. If something is on sale, you can buy more than you might need and freeze it for later. Websites such as www.cooks.com can help you menu plan for ingredients you might already have by allowing you to search for recipes that contain a certain ingredient.
It’s also important to make sure that your meals are balanced nutritionally when menu planning. While you may have specific nutritional needs, here is a good rule of thumb. Fifty percent of your plate should be non-starchy vegetables, a quarter should be a protein, and a quarter should be a starch. An example of a balanced plate would be leafy greens, chicken or beans, and rice. Menu planning can help you eat healthier because everything is planned out and this stops you from impulse buying unhealthy food.
Although menu planning might seem like a chore at first, it will save you time and money in the future and help you think about your nutrition. It may even help you take a new adventure by helping you plan to try a new type of food!
I’m excited to continue our food journey. I’ll be back next month to talk about essential items and spices to keep in your pantry.
Steve Norton
“The Inspired Cook”

Wishing you All The Best,
Marianne Tetlow
The Diabetes Coach

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