Is it possible to follow the Beating Diabetes diet when you are so rushed that you don’t have time to eat breakfast at home while lunch and dinner are ingested in a local eatery? Here are a few suggestions for staying on diet.
As anyone who has been reading my articles or who has read my book Beating Diabetes knows, it is perfectly possible to control your blood glucose and “reverse” your diabetes by following a strict diet:
Eat natural unprocessed food that is … low in sugar … low in fat … low in salt … high in fibre … low GI … mostly plants … all you want … with lots of water
To get this right it is best to prepare your own meals at home. And so, given the pace of modern business life, following the Beating Diabetes diet seems to be impossible.
But in fact it is entirely possible … with a bit of planning.
First you have to do a bit of research to find out the nutritional value of various on-the-go meals. Doing so is easy.
Most restaurants, especially the chains, show nutritional information on their menu cards or on their websites. In some countries this is a legal obligation.
You should research these thoroughly and decide which menu items or combinations of menu items are within the parameters of the Beating Diabetes diet and are thus healthful. With this knowledge you can make sensible choices when you visit the eatery.
General tips for eating-on-the-go
Armed with your knowledge of the healthful menu items that are available, you should be able to stick to a low sugar, low fat, low salt, high fibre and low GI diet fairly easily. Here are a few general tips:
- Decide on the restaurant and what you are going to eat before you enter and the odours entrap you.
- Don’t let yourself get too hungry before you eat as it can lead to overeating.
- Begin a meal with a salad, a broth or a bean-based soup which will make you feel full and prevent overeating.
- Rather than ordering meal combinations, order a-la-carte, which will allow you to easily pick the most healthful items.
- Don’t be afraid to ask for the child menu or order smaller portions.
- Drink plain or sparkling water, unsweetened iced tea or hot coffee or any other sugar-free beverage
- Walk as much as you can, to and from restaurants, to burn more calories.
- Instead of going to a single restaurant, order small amounts of healthful items from two or three takeaways and eat these sitting on a bench. This is especially easy in shopping malls.
Lunch or dinner on-the-go
Most small restaurants, especially the kind you find in shopping mall food courts, offer a full range of deep-fried and cheese-topped items, all of which will destroy your diet.
But there are plenty healthful options.
Here are some suggestions for main dishes:
- Try a fresh salad with low-calorie dressing but only use a little dressing.
- How about turkey or roast beef on whole grain bread? Garnish it up with loads of vegetables … lettuce, tomatoes, peppers and onions. Skip the mayonnaise and try mustard and vinegar instead.
- A grilled chicken sandwich (wholemeal bread) with a garden salad can be highly satisfying.
- A quarter of a roast chicken with steamed vegetables is another healthful choice.
- A plate of stir-fried vegetables with wholemeal rice also makes for a great meal.
- If you must have pizza, make it a low-fat vegetable pizza rather meat and cheese. Choose thin-crust to keep the carbs down and eat only one or two slices. If you cannot adhere to these restrictions it would be best to avoid pizza altogether.
Skip the desserts.
Finding healthful breakfasts in local eateries is extremely hard. However it is still possible to eat well at breakfast time without ingesting too much sugar and fat.
- Avoid croissant, brioche, Danish pastries and other sweet concoctions like the plague.
- Try porridge with soy milk for a filling energy-laden start to your day. You can add berries to give the flavour a bit of pep.
- Fruit with low-fat yogurt makes for a refreshing light breakfast.
- For something a bit more substantial try wholemeal wraps filled with chicken or beef, spinach, tomatoes and other salad vegetables.
- For a protein heavy breakfast, try tuna and yellow corn on toasted wholemeal bread.
Breakfast without coffee or tea would be unthinkable. Just make sure you don’t add any sugar and, if you must add milk, make sure it is non-dairy.
As for fruit juice, it is unlikely that you will be able to get juice without added sugar in a local eatery.