What’s on Your Plate? (#2)

Saturday, August 13, 2016

“Plate” #2

As stated in my prior post, I read a great article in Everyday Health, titled “Sizing Up Your Plate:  Why Portion Control Matters.” This post (#2) is a continuation of #1!

Along the course of my (diabetes) blog journey,  the topic of dining/eating out has come up a few times. Because this was discussed in the article in Everyday Health, I’d like to revisit it. Some important bullet points that were brought up–

  • NO Supersizing!  You and I know this is common sense, BUT — sometimes the challenge of the “good deal” gets in the way. It’s obvious, right? If you can get double the size of an item for only a few cents more, why not do it?  Why not? Because it’s a deadly decision. More food, more carbs is NOT what we need. It will cause weight gain and elevated blood glucose.
  • NO Entree, Please — A great tip to help with portion control, calorie consumption, and monitoring blood glucose, is to order a combination of soup and an appetizer — skip the entree. Trust me, it will be enough. I’ve had some wonderful meals by exercising this tip.
  • “Doggy Bag” WHY is the take-home container called that???  When I was kid and my parents went out for dinner, oftentimes they would bring home the proverbial “doggy bag.” Funny thing — the dog never got the contents. Why then, was it implied that the contents of the container was for the dog? I think it was a way for people to bring home their leftovers, without being embarrassed. Was it a case of “waste not, want not?”  OR was it a case of “I’m no millionaire; I can eat that tomorrow!” (They’ll just throw it out.)  My theory is that the “doggie bag” originated to save face — feed the dog; no embarrassment there. What’s your opinion?          Diabetics would be wise to look to the “doggie bag” (or take-home container) as a way to cut down on calories as well as carbs. Here’s a tip that my sister gave me a long time ago and I found it to be very helpful.  Ask the waiter/waitress for a take-home container, when placing your order. That way, when the food arrives at your table, you can immediately place half into the container. Voila! Out of sight, out of mind. (Thanks, Jean!)  It works perfectly. The following day, you can enjoy your leftovers for any meal you like. [See my next post for a history lesson on doggie bags  🙂 ]
  • The Dreaded Wedding (or other catered affairs) — Why do you dread them? Obviously, catered affairs are the Sodom and Gomorrah in the life of the Type 2 Diabetic. Seriously, it’s an orgy of food. Every catered affair that I’ve ever gone to has included an open bar, followed by food, food, and more food. Between the cocktail hour, the smorgasbord, and/or the sit-down dinner, you’re counting 17 courses topped off with a flaming Viennese table!  🙂  Ugh. They pull out all the stops — there ARE NO stops, no boundaries.  Here are some tips to help you get through these unavoidable fiascos.  Plate #1 — Choose low calorie, low carb foods (shrimp, raw vegetables, etc.). Plate #2 — WAIT! Gauge your time. Remember it takes 20 minutes for the brain to get the message that you’re full. Whether you decide to venture forward or not, remember NOT TO PILE FOOD on your plate. Take a reasonable amount. It’s better to go back a second time, if you really want more food. Take your time.  By the way, nowhere is it written that you HAVE to eat the wedding cake. A bite of it is all the “good luck” that the bride and groom will need.
  • My last and most important tip for the wedding-goer is DANCE!!! Dance, dance, dance — you’ll burn calories, lower your blood glucose, and you’ll feel really good with those endorphins “dancing” through your body.

 

 

 

 

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“Dining Out v.s. Eating Out — How to Deal With It”

Thursday, May 14, 2015

“Dining Out  v.s.  Eating Out — How to Deal With It”

Is there a difference? Absolutely — at least to me there is.

“Eating Out” in my book means grabbing something to eat and moving along with the day. Often, no real thought goes into this. If I eat in a rush or because I’m hungry or it’s time, and I’ve got things to do and places to go, I’m usually in for a mistake.

Example: The #1 Meal at Nathan’s, a hot dog, fries, and a soda. There’s nothing healthy on that tray. (OMG, I love those dogs! Sorry, but it’s true.)

I’ve found that other fast-food places usually pose the same difficult choices for me. (Disclaimer: Some DO have a healthy choice or two and some even indicate the calories for each item — that’s a help). Do I make good choices when I’m there? No. My bad, I admit it. The smell of the fries overtakes my senses, my mouth begins to water, my breathing accelerates and a bad decision is usually ahead. Allowing that ‘rush’ to overcome my brain is frustrating! Do I cave? Sometimes. No one ever said diabetes was easy, but they did say it can be controlled.

My answer to this dilemma? DON’T go in. For me, I’m aware that eating in a fast-food restaurant will lead to disaster. I need to think about what I’m doing to my body. Slow down. Make a healthy decision. What would Spock do? “Live long and prosper,” of course. Now THAT sounds like a wise decision.

O.K., here’s the other end of the spectrum — “Dining Out.”
If I’m going to lunch or dinner with friends, or breakfast too, for that matter, my first line of defense is the Internet. I enter the name of the restaurant, pull up the menu, check out the choices and determine what the best decision for me might be. It’s easy to make the right choice ahead of time, sticking to it is the difficult part.

I’ve found that there are tools to help me follow through with my healthy choice:

1. Drink an 8 oz. glass of water, prior to leaving for the restaurant.

2. Consume a healthy snack an hour before going.

3. Remember that, even though there’s a menu, you can usually get any of the items on it grilled. Just ask.

4. Avoid the prix fixed choices. They may be a good deal money wise, but they usually include an appetizer and dessert. Do you really need that? NO, and try not to convince yourself that you ‘deserve’ it — you deserve to be healthy.

5. IMPORTANT:  If at all possible, be the FIRST to order, and then hand your menu to the waiter. It’s not spiritual reading; no need to hold onto it. Consider your decision complete. Done! Finito!

6. Stick to your guns; don’t let anyone sabotage your decision. Here’s an answer to:

“You’re not having an appetizer?”
Ans: “No. Saving room for dinner. I’ve been looking forward to it all day. I don’t want to spoil my appetite.”

What, no dessert?”
Ans: “Are you kidding? I couldn’t eat another thing. Dinner was deeeelicious!”

Believe it or not, you will survive without an appetizer and dessert, and your friends will get used to you making healthy choices. With any luck, they’ll follow your lead!

The payoff at the end of the meal is that you will have made good decisions that will lead to a healthy life. Isn’t that all that matters?

Hey! Let me know the tools that you use to make healthy choices
–OR– Having difficulties? Want to share..?