Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Ruth Deming's Healthy Recipes for People with Diabetes

Hi everyone, Ruth Deming here. On April 1, 2011, I had a kidney transplant - lithium ruined my kidneys - courtesy of my daughter Sarah. Read her latest essay here.

Five weeks later I became an insulin-dependent PWD, (person with diabetes), caused by my antirejection meds. 10 to 12 percent of people on these meds get diabetes, which is the main reason why people get transplants in the first place!

Not wanting to lose my wonderful new kidney, or get complications from the disease, I try to eat the right foods and exercise frequently.
My stationery bike - which converts into a real bike for the warm weather - sits in front of the TV. I ride several times a day and if I've eaten too many carbs, I'll immediately hop on the bike. I ride from 5 to 45 minutes at a time.

Since biking is so boring, I try to talk on the phone when I bike. "What's that noise in the background? Are you mowing your lawn?

Here's my Diabetes Logbook, where I keep track of my numbers - 80 to 120 is good.

I tried half a dozen different meters before settling on the FreeStyle Freedom Lite.

When I worked at the Intelligencer/Record many years ago, I briefly interviewed a Diabetes doctor for our Health News column. Rachmel Cherner, MD, told me diabetes was an insidious disease that could slowly destroy your body.

 That's the first thing I thought when I was diagnosed with the disease.

Sadly, I've given up eating a lot of fruit, like the above mango, which I first tasted in a marketplace in Puerto Rico 40 years ago, before it became a regular import in the USA.

A PWD must always prepare for low blood sugar, which, in the worst case scenario can kill you as your brain is deprived of oxygen. I remember when I went to the Giant pharmacist, Bob Mazda, told me his diabetic roommate at Temple Pharmacy school was find dead on the floor by his mother.

Cautionary stories like this one do have an impact on you!

My nutritionist Mary Ann Moylen of the Willow Grove PA Giant Supermarket recommended these hi-protein granola bars - 10 grams protein - higher than other brands.

A person with diabetes must never be without quick sugar. I keep a bar in my pocketbook and in my glove compartment. If I'm going on an outdoor bike ride or a hike in a park, I carry Glucose Tabs with me.

I limit my CARBS, especially starches like rice, pasta, and bread, and, for the most part, have given them up.

Get in the habit of looking up carb counts on the Internet. After a while, you'll know what's low and what's high. And, how your own body reacts to each one.

Every person with Diabetes reacts differently to foods. Beans, such as Kidney, Pinto, and Black Beans, are very healthy, but for me, they cause an inordinately high blood sugar count.

This isn't to say I'm never going to eat chili again or delicious baked beans - made with Navy Beans - that go so well with hot dogs, but I will limit the amount.

I follow the guidelines of Joel Fuhrman, MD, as seen on PBS.

Fuhrman is a vegetarian. I am MOSTLY a vegetarian but enjoy eating salmon and other fish upon occasion.

I also follow the teachings of Mark Hyman, MD. He's also on PBS. 

New research shows that Butter is okay to eat. Thanks to Mark Bittman for his comprehensive article in the Times.  

I never use salt, but use turmeric, curry powder, bay leaves, cinnamon, and other spices. Food contains natural sodium.

How I love eggs! As a treat, I made a poached egg - with ground pepper - and served on one piece of whole-wheat toast. Boy, did I ever have to "bike off" that toast.

Dr Hyman, whose recipes are on his website, suggested putting your poached eggs on spinach. This is a delicious dish. I also used green scallions for flavoring plus a sprinkling of sunflower seeds.

Usually I make an omelet with mushrooms and onions. I gave up cheese - o delicious cheese - in an apparently successful attempt to lose weight.

 My favorite: EGGS WILLOW GROVE. Made with sauteed - you choose it! - mushrooms, onions, garlic - and two fresh eggs.

Since I'm updating this post in late May, 2014, I can tell you that this portion is much more than I should eat. I've cut down on my portions and now weight 131 instead of the steady 138 I've been for many years.

Altho eggs keep quite a while, the fresh ones hold together when you crack the shell. Color of shell has nothing to do with nutritional content of egg. 


 Saute your favorite veggies in olive oil. I sprinkle peanuts on top for protein. Green and red peppers, green scallions, carrots, broccoli and cauliflower, mushrooms and celery with leaves on.

Mmmm! Make enough for several portions. It keeps well in the fridge.

C'mon over, I'll clean off the kitchen table and we'll dine together.

Into the yellow pitcher goes 'food trash,' which I dump into my compost heap.


In a big pot, saute pre-chopped peppers and onions in butter or olive oil; add a handful of mushrooms; one parsnip, if desired; then add the sodium-free veggie stock and the soymilk or almond milk. Both organic soymilk and almond milk contain sugar! BOO!

Add an entire sweet potato or yam. I leave the skin on for more nutrition.

Season with cinnamon. 

Add pecans for protein. 


Saute onions and peppers and lots of finely chopped mushrooms in butter or olive oil

Add soy or almond milk plus tangerine juice or lemon juice.

Garnish with green scallions.

May top with pecans for protein.


Truth or fiction? Immigrants who came to America soon adopted the unhealthy American diet. They stopped eating cabbage and in a generation or two, began to die of cancer.

I make my cabbage soup with chopped purple cabbage, garlic, and onions, all of which I saute in olive oil or butter. My stock is water.

Because the soup contains no protein, you can eat a scoop of peanut butter or eat it on a Triscuit Cracker, the only cracker I've found that has no sugar.


Chopped butternut squash, onions, peppers, and five scallops, chopped finely. Almond or soy milk. Leave out scallops for a vegetarian meal.


At Mom's house, split pea soup is a tradition. I make mine with either dried green or dried yellow split peas. I add the usual suspects - onions, peppers, and pre-chopped carrots - and, if desired, dried chick peas, plus spinach. Turmeric adds a nice yellow color plus is flavoricious!

WATCH OUT! When you cook peas or beans, make sure your pot doesn't boileth over with foam, thinking it's a calorie-loaded latte.


All my GOMBS are in here: Greens, Onions (green scallions), Mushrooms, Beans and berries (I use frozen blueberries) and Sunflower Seeds. Also, cut-up artichokes.

Again, make at least four servings, which keep well in the fridge. 


 Grated nutmeg adds a nice flavor to the soup, which tastes deliciously sweet. See the nutmeg grater? My daughter Sarah bought it for me as a gift.
 Into my Slo-Cooker, I put everything and set on High.

The 'cream' is soy milk and rice milk.


Scott and I make our own pizza. We buy a ready-made Boboli whole-wheat pizza crust 
and top it with olive oil, pizza sauce, veggies and cheese.

Better than a bought-pizza!

In my freezer, I stock

and also their spinach patties.

Fresh scallops sauteed in butter, add mushrooms and onions. These green olives, from Whole Foods, have barely any salt.


 Celery and peanut butter.


Peanuts, Pecans, Sunflower Seeds, Punkin Seeds, and Whole Grain Pretzels with Salt.

New Addition: Exactly one dried apricot cut into bite-sized pieces.

Excusez-moi! My Trail Mix is calling!

1 comment:

  1. Now you made me hungry, except I have a cold and maybwewill just have some soup. Loved Sarah's piece!