When you read, write, and talk about diabetes as much as my colleagues and I do, you also quite often find yourself explaining what diabetes is. Currently, my favorite way to say it is: "Diabetes is a problem with how my body deals with food." An oversimplification, but it happens to be true.
And when I hear from people who are dealing with a new diagnosis, their first question almost always seems to be, "What can I eat?" Sound familiar? Many of us still feel hamstrung by the arithmetic of carbohydrates and insulin and exercise. Add in other people's assumptions about what you should or shouldn't eat if you have diabetes, and the frustration multiplies.
As Thanksgiving approaches each year (and with it, the coming onslaught of rich and plentiful food), the stress of "What can I eat?" looms large. That's why we do a special food issue every November. This time around, we've tackled some of the toughest dishes on the traditional menu, giving recipe makeovers to mashed potatoes and pumpkin pie, for example. We also offer some ideas for a light but satisfying family brunch, for later in the Thanksgiving weekend.
Speaking of family, you'll want to check out our tips for helping your loved ones get with the healthy eating program, whether they have diabetes or not. Warning: It may mean a bit of sneakiness, like replacing whole milk with skim when no one's looking. (We won't tell if you won't.)
Finally, we've come up with some fun ways to bring the kids into the kitchen, with recipes they can help to make—and will love to eat. A chance to pass along your good eating habits to future generations? Now that's something to be thankful for.