Seniors and Diabetes III – Resources and Recipes for Diabetics
Hello again. I would like to first thank Doug Wood for letting me be a part of the Time 4 Seniors family and write a third article, this time focusing on diabetic nutritional needs.
I am Chef Laurent Vals and I specialize in meeting seniors’ culinary needs. I own, in The Woodlands, chefs for Seniors, a new, convenient and affordable personal chef service for seniors, veterans and the physically handicapped. My staff and I prepare healthy, nutritious meals for the week in the clients’ homes. Each meal plan is customized to their diets and restrictions. Our professional chefs shop, cook and clean up all in 3 hours, providing a unique in-home experience.
The American Diabetes Association (ADA) offers a lot of good information on diet along with several healthy recipes, so I will not repeat here what they have to share. You can find their information quite easily on their site, diabetes.org/nutrition. Doug’s recent articles covering causes and symptoms and then tips on diet and exercise provide brief synopses of a complicated disease.
A third resource I heartily recommend is the book, Prescription Detox, by Doctor Cheryl Winter whose Vital Health Resource Center is located just up the road in Conroe, TX. Her book has become my bible for figuring out what nutrients are best suited for my clients, especially with regard to those suffering from chronic diseases like diabetes.
Diabetic-friendly meals are going to be focused on fresh vegetables (mostly green), fresh fruits with lower PH (more acidic) and fresh lean proteins. Avoid red and processed meats). FRESH is the keyword here. That means no frozen prepared meals or produce, no processed foods and definitely no canned foods. Furthermore, you should avoid sodas and bottled fruit juices. Avoid starchy vegetables, they tend to be high in carbs and sugars. Make sure to keep a balanced diet on a weekly basis.
From my experience with my clients, sticking to a diet is difficult. 75-80% of people with diets and restrictions will quit within the first month of changing their eating habits. Why? Because most of the time what is “good for you” does not look very appealing on the plate. Broccoli is a great vegetable to eat if you can make it delicious, but just raw on a plate looking miserable with a dash of supermarket sauce is not going to make me change my eating habits (after all, I’m not a rabbit).
To begin with, most seniors are too tired to slave over the stove to make themselves delicious meals that would take too long to cook. Therefore, I am today, giving you a couple of recipes that are fun, healthy and easy to make. Enjoy
Chilled Shrimp salad with basil dressing, celery, tomatoes, goat cheese and honeydew melon (2PP)
1 lb of cooked shrimp
6 leaves of fresh basil chopped
2oz apple vinegar
1TP of mustard
4oz olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
4 oz of chopped celery branch
8 cherry tomatoes
2 oz of crumbled goat cheese
4 oz of cubed honeydew melon
In a stainless-steel bowl combine mustard, basil, vinegar, and oil and whisk together. Once the dressing is made add celery, tomatoes, and melon. Mix well. Taste to adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper. Spoon that mix into a plate, alternating the different ingredients and save some of the dressing. Mix the shrimp with the left-over dressing, arrange the shrimp on top of your garnish. Sprinkle the goat cheese over the top. That is all and is very simple. This is an original and different shrimp dish. The combination of melon, celery, tomatoes, and goat cheese makes this salad very refreshing, a winner for Spring and Summer and very healthy too.
Chicken tenders with spinach, apples, honey, and ginger. (2pp)
1 lb of chicken tenders
1lb of fresh spinach
1 apple (cubed)
2 TP of honey
1 TP of fresh ginger chopped
2TP of chopped onions
2 tp of chopped garlic
2 TP of olive oil
¼ cup of water for the spinach
Salt and pepper to taste.
Preheat your oven at 400 degrees. Cover a sheet pan with a lining of aluminum foil, layering your chicken tenders on top and season with salt and pepper. When the oven is at the right temp bake them for 10 to 15 minutes. (This a very healthy way to bake proteins using the oven- your chicken tenders will cook at a low temp keeping them moist. You can do the same thing with fish, pork tender or beef. Remember, baking the entire piece will keep your proteins moist and tender). While the chicken is cooking, preheat a sauté pan, with a bit of olive oil, onions, and garlic. Add the spinach and water and cook them all the way for a couple of minutes. The spinach is going to release water which you need to keep, so strain the spinach in a calendar over a bowl and save the juice. Get the juice back into the sauté pan add the apples, ginger, and honey and cook for a couple of minutes. If too dry add a little water, adjusting the seasoning. The chicken will be ready by now, so on a platelayer your spinach. Put the chicken tenders on top and finish with the apples-honey- ginger garnish. A little swirl of olive oil will finish this very healthy dish. This is one of my favorite chicken dishes and is the one dish most requested by my clients. I am positive you too will enjoy it.
Owner, Chefs for Seniors, the Woodlands
Owner, Taste of Paris Catering