In a couple of recent posts, I've let my interest in cooking show. Since I think I'll continue to do that from time to time, I feel the need to justify the presence of those posts in a blog dedicated to Type 2 diabetes. While I'll never promise not to write about irrelevancies from time to time, I should explain a new recurring theme.
A huge, huge part of coming to terms with my diabetes is learning to eat a more healthy diet. For the past decade or so, I've prepared some of my meals at home (bland stuff, mostly) and eaten the rest out (fast food, mostly, or inexpensive sit-down places), or had pizza/Chinese delivered (maybe once a week). Given the realities of my cooking skills as they have been, there are really only a few possible approaches to improving my diet:
1) I could learn to not much care about the yumminess of what I eat. Plenty of wonderful people really enjoy delicious food when they get it, but eat the bulk of their meals only as fuel, to get their bodies through to the next meal. It's a sound approach, I think, if you can do it -- and I can't.
2) I could continue to eat out, but do so more healthily. The options for doing this are sadly limited -- I can only eat so much salad. This doesn't work for me either.
3) I can learn to cook well enough so that the food coming out of my own kitchen is usually the most attractive option. This is the path I'm trying to follow.
So, over time, I'm working hard on learning to work with unfamiliar ingredients (especially vegetables) and flavor enhancers like herbs and spices. My growth is limited by the fact that I hate to cook from recipes. But I watch a lot of cooking shows, and I'm finding that I can sometimes read several different recipes for the same item to get the essence of the thing and cook it off the top of my head.
I'm making good progress. OK, it has to be admitted -- some of my experiments are acceptable only because I live alone and don't have to talk anybody else in to eating what I've prepared. But most of what I turn out is acceptable, and occasionally I turn out something that's fabulous. I'd have been proud to serve one batch of chipotle chili to anybody. And, more to the point, I'm eating out in the evenings much less often and even taking my lunch less infrequently. Plus, when I want to indulge, I can make treats of types and in amounts far more modest than the pizza place would bring me.
Chipotle chili, anyone?