As the parent of a child with Type 1 diabetes, you’re a pancreas, nurse, counselor and nutritionist. The initial loss of freedom unfolds over the first year … well actually, within the first hour of diagnosis, when you’re told to cancel your life and check-in to the hospital. It’s shocking, scary, completely overwhelming … and everything, including food as you know it, will never be the same. Hypos and hypers are real. A bad ingredient choice or miscalculated measurement can result in either. The tightrope between insulin and diet is perilous, and sadly there are no days off. For some, the nutrition guidelines you leave the hospital with are sufficient, others find radical low-carb diets a success, but I knew for my family, this was not enough. Restricted, bland food only resonated the loss of freedom we were desperately trying to wrap our arms around.
I had grown up in the Midwest where farm-to-table produce was limited to corn and tomatoes from the summer farm stand. Flavor was infused through a deep-fryer and everything beyond was strange and odd. My mother loved to cook, but was far from adventurous, I learned by her side through repetition. Years later, I decided to expand my children’s palettes. We were a family that loved to travel and the memories of our adventures and the cultures we had sampled revisited our dinner table. Then, diabetes arrived.
The recipes and cookbooks from the chefs that had inspired me now were a challenge. Not only would most foods be difficult for blood sugar management, but nothing was MEASURED to the level diabetes dictates. Ingredient lists became minefields — juice of an orange, medium onion, spoonful of this and that to taste– all potential pitfalls to carb-counting.
I’m not a chef and I never went to culinary school. I love food, family meals, and entertaining … I’ve learned from reading, traveling and stirring. For Good Measure is about low-carb, farm-to-table cuisine — a resource with specific ingredient lists and nutritional data geared to diabetics. I’m hoping with my heart and hands it will make your life a little more flavorful.