Oh, the joys of carb-counting when you have diabetes... (enter sarcastic chuckle).
Yep, struggling with food is a key aspect of living with diabetes, no matter what meal philosophy you happen to live by. Fortunately, there's a new resource on this front, from fellow PWD (person with diabetes) Shelby Kinnaird, a 50-something in Richmond, VA, who's been living with type 2 diabetes for about 20 years. She's published a new book to help the D-Community with carb-counting their food intake.
Before we get into the new Pocket Carbohydrate Counting Guide (and your chance to win a free hard-cover copy of the book!), let's start with the story of how diabetes changes Shelby's life.
Shelby's Type 2 Diabetes Story
Shelby tells us the best word to describe her feelings about being diagnosed with T2D in 1999 is "grateful" -- because it changed her perspective on life in general, and especially her approach to eating and managing her overall health.
"The best thing diabetes has done for me is help me find my passion… for food," she tells us. "I have always loved to eat. I grew up surrounded by amazing Southern cooks who never met a bread product, dessert, or fried food they didn't like. When I first found out I had type 2, I was overwhelmed by the dietary restrictions. Everything I knew about cooking was seemingly useless."
After buying several "diabetic" cookbooks and trying a few recipes, Shelby says she was disheartened by supposedly "healthier" versions of classic recipes that never seemed to measure up. She eventually started going to farmer's markets for inspiration, and began making foods that were interesting and new to her, like a vegetable she'd never seen before that would allow for food experimentation -- kohlrabi, fuzzy squash, celery root, yard-long beans, garlic scapes, and mizuna (Japanese mustard greens), pureed watermelon as a frosty summer granita, eggplant and sweet potatoes for savory dips, and cauliflower for mashed potatoes, pizza crust, and rice.
When people kept asking her online for recipes, she decided to create her website, Diabetic Foodie. It's a collection of recipes and some diabetes-related articles, and now she has the new book to share.
A Pocket Carb-Counting Guide
Her new book just released on June 26 is called the Pocket Carb-Counting Guide, and at 140 pages it delves into anything you'd want to know about diabetes and food.
What's nice about this new book in particular is that it's in a "guide" format -- meaning you can easily skip around to various sections that fit best for what you need at the moment.
There is the science of carbs and how they impact blood sugar (a LOT!), and this book digs deep into how different types of food play differently in your body. It also outlines importance of sleep and heart health, and general D-specific tidbits like how A1C is important and you need to be honest in talking with doctors and Certified Diabetes Educators (CDEs) when it comes to diabetes management and the food you're really eating. Each chapter includes a tip sheet to personalize the information for your own life.
For example, the "Out and About" chapter offers a bunch of advice on restaurant eating and grocery shopping, prompting you to be honest about your personal choices. Having a list in hand, checking out menus beforehand, and exploring farmer's markets for fresher, healthier options are some great tips for anyone!
I also loved the lower-carb recommendations in this book, such as in the section titled "Eat Your Colors" that outlines ways you can limit carbs without actually counting them, by embracing a "rainbow" of naturally colorful fruits and veggies on your plate. There are the greens, plus orange and yellow, purple and blue, red and white foods that all have different vitamins and protein content and carb variables that promote health and generally better blood glucose levels. Yay!
Interestingly, while Shelby's book offers a plethora of sample meal plans, it does include many actual recipes. Still, I loved the one offered for cauliflower rice, which along with cauliflower pizza and squash noodles, have recently become staples in our house.
Late in the pages, you can find a handy summary of everything in the chapters before. The "Staying on Track" chapter has useful group of 10 tips that pretty much recap the entirety of the book, from being honest about tracking food and BG numbers to reading nutrition labels carefully and consuming healthy fats and food types that are healthier for you.
While many of the suggestions are already staples in my D-Life, I definitely learned some new tricks that I'll be weaving into my world more often. This book seems like a great addition to any PWD's bookshelf, whether you're newly diagnosed or a longtime D-veteran or the loved one of someone pancreatically-challenged in your life.
For Shelby's part, she says this kind of "how-to" writing is just her thing.
"I can't tell you how much (this) has changed my life," she says. "Writing about food helps me keep my own diet on track and I've met so many wonderful like-minded people, both virtually and in real life. There's something special about the bond between people with diabetes. Bottom line: I'm grateful that my diabetes diagnosis helped me discover my passion for food and, in the process, helped me launch a new business."
You can find The Pocket Carbohydrate Counting Guide on Amazon for $9.99 in paperback form, and for just $.99 cents in e-format. But before you go buy the book for yourself, check out our exclusive 'Mine giveaway below to win a free copy...
A DMBooks Giveaway
Interested in winning your own free copy of the new Pocket Carbohydrate Counting Guide by Shelby Kinnaird? Here's your chance: we're thrilled to give away two free paperback copies of this new book!
1. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org with "DM-PocketGuide" somewhere in the subject line to let us know you're hoping to win. Alternatively, you can leave a comment on Twitter or our Facebook with the same codeword included in the comment. For shipping purposes, we must limit the giveaway to those with mailing addresses within the United States.
2. You have until Friday, July 13, 2018, at 5pm PST to enter.
3. The winners will be chosen using Random.org.
4. We'll announce the winners on Facebook and Twitter, so make sure you're following us! And please be sure to keep tabs on your email and/or Facebook/Twitter messenger box, as that's how we contact our winners. (If they don't respond within a week, we select an alternate.)
We'll update this post to let you all know who the lucky winners are.
Best of luck to all you D-Foodie fans out there!