By Taylor Sutton, MS, RD
United Supermarkets’ Lifestyle Desk
Online meal plans can be tricky with diabetes because everyone has unique lifestyles, needs, goals, food preferences, medication regimens, etc. So our top tips to meal planning with diabetes takes these three things into account:
1. The Plate Method
The plate method replaced the food pyramid a while back and took in a few different dietary patterns and research and formulated a structure around a dinner plate for consumers to use as a guide. It mirrors moderate protein and carbohydrate intake, prioritizes fruit and vegetables and a lower calorie beverage on the side. So when you’re thinking about your weekly meals try thinking in terms of where you are currently and where you’d like to start with your first change. For example, if you’re only filling a quarter of your plate with non-starchy vegetables, add in another quarter. Once that change becomes a habit, add another adjustment and so on until you’re close to the recommendations and what you find works best for your body.
2. Prioritize Produce
This shouldn’t come as a surprise with the above method showcasing that half of your plate should be coming from fruit and non-starchy vegetables. Produce gives us a lot of bang for our buck both on the wallet and in the body. All of the micronutrients they deliver are wonderful for the processes your body goes through. You probably know how great fruit and vegetables are though, so let’s not spend a lot of time there. Let’s start with a myth, ‘fruit has too much sugar’. While fruit does have naturally occurring sugar there is another benefit of fiber content. Carbohydrates (a.k.a. sugar) is a necessary macronutrient for the body to do its job of living. With that said, carbohydrates help regulate blood sugar throughout the day, which is the goal when living with diabetes. So consuming a diet that incorporates 2-4 servings of fruit per day is a nutritious way to consume part of your suggested daily carbohydrates.
3. Plan Ahead
With the above two mentions in mind that is the initial starting point. Start with 1-2 meals per week and when you become confident in those, add more based on your goals and needs. With planning ahead, you’ll be able to start incorporating more by being prepared with the right tools. Through practice, the planning of one will slowly lead to adding another. By planning ahead you are setting yourself and family up for a bigger success.
2 lbs skinless chicken thighs
5 Tbsp. fresh rosemary
1 Tbsp. Garlic powder
2 medium pears
1, 10oz pkg pre-cut butternut squash
1, 12oz package of arugula
1 bunch green onions
Preheat oven to 350
Dice pears to about ½ an inch cubes
On 1 sheet pan place chicken thighs in the center and generously season with rosemary, salt, pepper and garlic powder
Place pears on one side and butternut squash on the other and sprinkle both with salt and cinnamon
Bake for 35 minutes
Dice green onions
Build 4 plates by starting with a base of arugula on each
Layer the sheet pan contents evenly amongst the 4 plates
Sprinkle with green onions and enjoy.
By Taylor Sutton, MS, RD