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low caeb/low cal meals?

Looking for some low cal / low dishes that taste good. I'm a type 2 diabetic + need to lose 30 lbs.

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    1. One thing, you will be amazed that spaghetti sauce (any kind that comes in a jar) is amazingly successful with squash---try it with zucchini, sliced and sauteed in a little olive oil, or spaghetti squash (cut it in half, place face down on foil on a pan, bake until tender, then pull the "spaghetti" out with a fork and mess it around in tomato sauce). You use it as a substitute for pasta.

      3 Replies
      1. re: Querencia

        Sorry to be a bummer Querencia, but jarred sauces have way more sugar and salt than they really should. They are getting much better and you can find lower salt ones, but the sugar levels are still high-ish.

        Buckskin2: I'd say try the recipe above as it sounds awesome, but make your own tomato sauce. It takes a couple hours to cook down but is awesome and you'll know exactly whats in it.

        Simple one would be couple tbsp OVOO, sautee chopped garlic and 1 chopped onion a minute, add couple sprigs fresh thyme, a tsp dried oregano, stir a minute. Add 2 cans diced tomatoes, bring to a boil, turn down to med low and let reduce for 90 mins or so (stirring every 15 mins or so) till the thin water disappears and it's a nice saucy consistency. salt and pepper to taste.

          1. re: melly

            well, the OP wasn't asking for Paleo dishes. (and i don't know which Paleo guru you follow, but Mark Sisson & Loren Cordain both say that tomatoes and tomato-based products in jars or BPA-free cans are fine as long as the ingredients are clean/Paleo-friendly.)

        1. Jerry, my best advice to you is to read your food labels. Spaghetti sauce, like Querencia suggests, is often loaded with sugar. You'd be surprised at how much serving sizes vary and how many carbs and calories are in the food we eat and we don't even realize how it's much worse than what we imagined. Another suggestion, use a salad plate as your dinner plate to help control your portion size. Focus on lean proteins like chicken, turkey, ham some pork balanced w/ veggies (veggies are free, don't even count them, unless you're taking insulin or a diabetes drug), fruits and a little bit of whole grains (quinoa is a beautiful thang, bulgur, farro, etc).

          Not to sound too preachy, but I am a Type 1 and I am rooting for ya, brother! You can do it! :)

          1. I think you might give us ideas for the sorts of foods you want to sub for. Lunch at work? Eating out? Stews or mixed dishes?

            Some general things: baked and poached fish with a simple sauce of butter and hot sauce; grilled veggies, and you'd be amazed how many sorts of veggies you can grill; brothy soups with beans and greens; only whole grains, and only in moderation; open faced sandwiches, such as a tuna melt made with reduced fat cheese; sub sweet potato for white and eat in moderation; use all natural lunchmeat rolled with reduced fat cheese instead of a sandwich for lunch.

            With more info from you about what you'd like to eat, I think we could give you better ideas.

            I wish you luck in this journey. I started on my similar journey 2 years ago, and I've avoided diabetes so far.

            3 Replies
            1. re: sueatmo

              After a recent heart attack scare, my cardiologist put me on the Paleo Plan. I am also running from a Diabetes II diagnosis. I love pasta....and grains..and beans..so didn't think I could do it. After 2 weeks...I feel so great that it is what keeps me motivated to continue. The added benefit? I am shedding pounds too!!

              Finding grass fed beef difficult to cook to tender though..and I like my meat med rare at best. Also using squash as my new pasta!

              1. re: melly

                glad to hear you're doing so well! isn't it amazing how easy it is to embrace Paleo simply because you *feel* so good?

                you'll get used to cooking grass-fed beef, it just takes practice. how do you usually prepare it?

                1. re: melly

                  Yeah Paleo is AWESOME! We've been doing it for about 2.5 years now. About the only grass fed meat that we do have is venison. Actually we eat quite a bit of home-made pulled pork, prepared low and slow in the crockpot. So it's actually quite lean and most of the fat rendereds right out. So it actually needs fat added back in - and I liberally infuse it with EVOO, fresh ground pepper and some kosher salt.

                  Like you we also love squash: spaghetti, acorn, kambucha, butternut ...

                  You may wish to look into a spiral slicer. I've got the world kitchen one and for only $35 it's a really cool tool for making veggie pasta.

              2. You won't typically need to restrict calories to lose on low carb, especially if you're insulin resistant.
                You can focus, instead, on protein, fats and colorful, high fiber veggies and by eating only til you're no longer hungry, not til you're full. Protein and fat make you feel fuller longer and the combination with low carb reduces appetite for your next meal. If that doesn't work for you, then consider reducing portion sizes. Good luck, and congratulations on how much better you're going to feel! Here's the best piece of info you're very going to get for learning to manage your diabetes with diet: http://www.phlaunt.com/diabetes/flyer...

                1 Reply
                1. re: mcf

                  AMEN..."you didn't get fat from over-eating, you are over-eating because you are getting fat"...

                  quote by Taubes I think

                2. I just turned 64, retired. Fairly active. Live on a hobby arm and volunteer at an animal shelter to walk dog. We make our own spaghetti sauce from our home grown tomatoes, but I'm sure my wife doesn't add any salt or sugar. There may be some in the spice mix.

                  6 Replies
                  1. re: Buckskin2

                    Being active is in your favor. So is preparing fresh foods at home. Making sure not to add unnecessary carbs helps, too. Properly prepared fresh tomatoes are mighty sweet, if you ask me.

                    Since you live on a farm (assuming "arm" is a typo), you have the opportunity to raise heirloom varieties of fresh veggies that aren't bred for higher sugar content, and you can eat them in season at their peak, too, very envious!

                    1. re: Buckskin2

                      Yes, being active helps. I think changing your eating habits is hard. But you just have to do it, for your health's sake.

                      Spaghetti sauce is usually high in carbs because the tomatoes are concentrated, whether or not sugar is added.

                      I disagree respectfully with mcf a little here, as low carb (meaning no calorie restriction otherwise) doesn't always work for everyone. Do you have a dietitian? Often newly diagnosed diabetics are referred to one. I think that is a good place to start. You will begin to get a feel for what works for you. Reducing your carbs will make you feel better, and you might start sleeping better at night and feeling less foggy during the day.

                      1. re: sueatmo

                        "I disagree respectfully with mcf a little here, as low carb (meaning no calorie restriction otherwise) doesn't always work for everyone."

                        I, too, don't want to be disrepectful, but that is completely false. In fact, it's the ONLY dietary regimen proven to reverse diabetic complications and to halt the progression of it. The markers you tend to focus on are not relevent here, and you don't ever test your blood glucose levels. http://www.pslgroup.com/dg/10786a.htm

                        A focus on meaningless lipid markers proven to be irrelevent does not mean low carb doesn't work, just that you're not looking at the most meaningful results and focusing on the least.

                        Dietitians are the folks who tell you to eat lots of starches, 50-60% of calories per day, that's the ADA way.

                        1. re: mcf

                          That's changing though, don't you think? I agree that the rant I heard after Mr. Sueatmo's bypass 12 years ago seemed antediluvian to me at the time, but attitudes are changing.

                          If someone is newly diagnosed, and is having a hard time getting info, I think a dietitian might be the first place to go for this information. I did suggest that he would get a feel for what works for him.

                          We DO agree that the OP must decrease his carb intake, probably a lot. But surely he needs some guidance about where carbs are found, how to cook low-carb, what sorts of food to look for in the market? You have to start somewhere.

                          A family member has just coped with gestational diabetes, and I thought she got really good guidance from a dietitian.

                          1. re: sueatmo

                            I WISH it were changing, but the grain and sugar lobbies have poured money into preventing that. Limbs, kidneys and eyesight are being lost, it's all so sickening.

                            No, he'll only get guidance to eat a lot of carbs, including starches and sugar and to take meds if spreading them out through the day doesn't help. In the hospital, the dietitions give diabetics cereal, juice, fat free pudding and milk, etc... almost all carbs.
                            They follow ADA guidelines. Gestational diabetes, btw, aims for lower targets than the ADA and AACE call for with type 2. Frankly, using the TEST TEST TEST flyer is the best plan any diabetic is ever going to get, because it's completely individualized, and everyone has different trigger foods and tolerances, and different ones at different times of day. Most type 2s cannot eat any carbs at breakfast without a spike, but can have a serving after 4 pm, when diurnal cortisol rhythm isn't pushing up glucose any more.

                            Eat to your meter, it's the best advice, use the TEST TEST TEST flyer. Adjust carbs based upon 1 and 2 hour post meal response.

                      2. re: Buckskin2

                        Will your wife be doing most of the cooking for you? What have you been told so far by your doc or dietitian?

                      3. I am predisposed to diabetes. My grandfather on my dad's side was type 1 - he's long since passed. My father became type 2 as he got older. And I became more sensitive to the insulin reaction after eating carbs, especially in the last few years, and am now in my early 40s. A few years ago my weight was up, I wasn't feeling so great and I started doing a lot of reading.

                        Two years ago we switched to a mostly Paleo diet and life has been great. She lost 50 pounds and I lost 40 pounds. I can still eat some "bad carbs" here and there but need to control the insulin reaction by pairing it with protein &/or fat. Dr. Sears does a great job detailing this in "the zone diet". Once I really starting "eating Paleo" - after a few weeks, I could readily tell very quickly when I ate something that didn't really agree with me. When you eat the bad stuff regularly, it's hidden away. But ... eat truly well for a few weeks ... and you'll really feel quite different!

                        The best part ... we eat really well. If you are remotely creative, you will eat very well, feel great - with a nice constant energy level, and you'll lose a lot of fat. It's not a super restrictive diet - you'll still have "open meals" where you can have some pasta or rice or whatever - but it IS important for you to pair those high glycemic foods with protein/fat to prevent the insulin spikes.

                        Here are some resources for you:

                        Another option for you would be the Zone diet. But we'll keep doing what we are doing, since it suits us.

                        Here's an idea of what I might eat in a given day:
                        - breakfast. 4-5 eggs but only 1 yolk.
                        - mid morning snack or with breakfast: fuji apple
                        - lunch. 6 ounces protein (pulled pork, chicken breast, whatever). seasoned w/ olive oil, kosher salt & fresh ground pepper.
                        - afternoon snack. Handful of raw almonds and/or walnuts - or an apple/orange/whatever
                        - dinner. 7-8 ounces squash or broccoli or brussels sprouts, covered with 6 ounces protein. I usually make some kind of sauce for it all.

                        Bottom line ... with the Paleo diet we don't really weigh anything. If we want to eat something we just do it. If it's "on the list" ... then don't worry too much about it.