Spring-clean your diabetes – by Andy Broomhead
Now we’re starting to be blessed with lighter mornings and evenings, it’s possibly worthwhile taking time for a bit of a spring clean. But you’ll be pleased to hear I’m not talking about that ominous pile of boxes and papers in the spare room, but a diabetes spring clean!
If you’re anything like me, you’ve got at least one cupboard or drawer crammed full of “diabetes stuff”, including lancets, pen needles, test strip boxes, cannulas, reservoirs, tablets… even spare glucose meters! You may also have various kinds of insulin taking up the space where the egg tray goes in your fridge.
Make some time to sort through all your supplies and ensure you’ve got enough of everything you need. Also check that nothing has gone beyond its ‘use by’ date. That’s particularly important if you have some occasional use medication (e.g. back up insulin for if your pump fails, or glucagon in case of severe hypos, ketone strips etc.). Equally you might have some tablets that have been stuck at the back of the cupboard, so check the boxes carefully.
It might also be time to have a review of how you approach your diabetes. Do you keep having highs or lows at similar times each day? Have you stopped recording your BG readings in a diary, or perhaps stopped testing quite as often as you used to? It could be a worthwhile exercise to take a closer look at those things that have been bothering you and try and make some changes. For example, I’ve suspected my overnight basal insulin rates aren’t quite right for a while now so I’m resolving to take the pain of overnight testing to make sure everything’s OK. I’m also considering digging out my paper diary for my BG readings (or at least to actually go back and review the info on my meter!)
If you can’t put off spring cleaning your house any longer, it might be worth considering what you can do with some of the odds and ends in your kitchen cupboards. We all know the importance of eating well with diabetes, but it’s important to remember that eating well doesn’t mean we have to sacrifice the enjoyment we get from food.
I’ve been trying to eat more green veg for a variety of reasons (lower calorie, nutritionally good for me, bulks out a meal) but at the same time, trying to make it a bit more exotic than boiling some broccoli to within an inch of its life! So in the spirit of having spring cleaned my kitchen cupboards (and Diabetes UK’s Enjoy Food section), I thought I’d share this simple, low calorie veg recipe with you:
– handful of green veg per person (e.g. broccoli, green beans, mange tout, sugar snap peas)
– 1 carrot chopped
– sundried tomato paste – generous squirt
– garlic paste (or fresh garlic) to taste
– small piece of fresh ginger, finely chopped or grated (or use powdered)
– splash of lemon juice
– black pepper
– teaspoon of olive oil
1. Par boil the veg for a few minutes – don’t leave it too long as it’ll lose it’s shape, texture and a lot of the vitamins
2. Add the oil, tomato paste, garlic paste (or garlic) and ginger to a small frying pan and heat for a few moments
3. Drain the veg and add to the frying pan
4. Toss the veg until the tomato and garlic has coated them all
5. Add a dash of lemon juice and black pepper to taste and cook for another minute or two
6. Serve with a main meal such a grilled chicken or fish
Hopefully it should look a little bit like this:
For other delicious, healthy recipes, go to Diabetes UK’s Enjoy food section