My Bizzy Kitchen blogger Biz Velatini has a three-word mantra when it comes to her healthy eating philosophy: don't be boring. "I have favorite meals and I'm a leftovers queen, but I try not to eat the same exact meal over and over," she says.
This can be challenging for two reasons. One, she relies on meal-prepped food during the week because of her three-hour long daily commute. Second, she has type 2 diabetes, which means she has to plan ahead even more than the average person. "I worked with a diabetic dietitian and she explained how to use carbs, protein, and fats together to avoid huge blood sugar spikes," Velantini says.
Registered dietitian and The Southern Comfort Food Diabetes Cookbook author Maya Feller, RD, says there's no one-size-fits-all eating plan for managing diabetes, so it's important for any diabetic to work with a doctor or dietitian specializing in the disease to figure out what will work for your individual numbers and lifestyle. "When working with patients, I recommend having a nutrition routine based on whole and minimally processed foods that promote euglycemia [normal glucose levels]," Feller says. That's because diabetes affects a person's ability to metabolize sugar, making balanced blood sugar levels especially crucial.
To Velatini's point, food pairings matter a lot when managing type two diabetes, Feller adds, as well as portion sizes. Eating just rice alone, for example, can have a more significant affect on a person's blood sugar levels than if you had a slightly smaller serving of it, and added in a non-starchy vegetable and a lean protein. The balance helps keep blood sugar levels more stable, says Feller, which is crucial for diabetics.
While she's conscious of managing her diabetes by regularly checking her blood glucose levels and being mindful about her food intake, Velatini says she strives to be non-restrictive. "I don't really exclude anything from my diet, I am just more aware of the occasional indulgences," she says. With that philosophy in mind, she shares what an average day of eating looks like for her.
Keep reading to see My Bizzy Kitchen blogger Biz Velatini's food diary.
"For breakfast, I make these little platters I call 'picky plates,' because I pick at them over the course of an hour or so," says Velatini. "On this day, I ate hard boiled eggs with salsa and Everything But The Bagel seasoning, deli ham, mango, watermelon, grapes, and a mini Babybel cheese. That way, I get good protein from the eggs and some carbs from the fruit."
"This stuffed potato is something I meal-prepped in advance and brought into the office to eat," she says. "On the weekends as part of my meal prep, I put three baked potatoes in the air fryer for six minutes at 400°F, so that they get nice and crispy. I scoop out most of the middle to use in another way, but save the potato boats with the skins on them because the potatoes have good carbs and the skins have fiber. Then, I use my leftovers to fill them. On this particular day I ended up having some leftover seasoned beef from a taco night, so that's what I used here. Then I just added some avocado, salsa, and Greek yogurt to top it off."
"This shrimp and grits looks impressive, but it really only took me ten minutes to throw together," Velatini says. "Southern people may not like what I'm about to say, but I just make instant grits in the microwave; it literally takes five minutes. For the shrimp, all I do is cook it with a tablespoon of butter, a little cheddar cheese, and Cajun seasoning. Just like that, dinner's done!"
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