Every time I eat something marketed as ‘healthy’, I want to cry in despair at how disgusting or tasteless it is. Moreover, if I should follow my mother’s yardstick of yum, the level of a dish’s disgusting-ness is directly proportionate to its health benefits, i.e. the worse it tastes; the better it is for you. While forcibly shovelling a spoonful of callaloo (without saltfish) or Ferrol tonic down my throat, my mother would always reassure me, ‘it’s good for you.’
Sigh…the lies mothers tell.
This misconception was driven home for me when Ted from Chopped told Jennifer Iserloh (Secrets of a Skinny Chef) that she should probably opt for delicious over healthy when she tried to make some healthy substitutions in a dish in one of the rounds.
As a lover of butter and a firm believer in the luxury of the carbohydrate, it suffers me intensely whenever I am relegated to eating ‘healthy food’. And it begs the question; does food really have to be horrible or tasteless in order for it to be healthy?
Even my inner conspiracy theorist wonders…is this just a massive conspiracy against the butter industry and a way for the health-crazed government to control our happiness?
Conspiracy theory aside, why can’t we have the best of both worlds? Why should I asphyxiate the foodie who lives inside me just because I’m a Type 1 Diabetic? I’m not for it.
Ever since I was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes at age 16, every nutritionist I have ever seen has always provided me with an extensive ‘No’ List: no patties, no pastries, no buns, no sodas, no pasta, no cereal (unless its whole grain and tastes like the cardboard box it comes in), no rice, no coffee, no this, no that, no none of anything that tastes remotely delightful.
One crazed nutritionist even wanted to put me on a lacto-ovo-vegetarian diet (which had so many conditions applied I went on a hunger strike out of frustration). Another one wanted me to avoid rice, bread and pasta completely. WTF? I only have one life to live – and that life needs to have donuts and Basmati rice in it.
That said, I have committed my life to finding diabetic-friendly dishes that still have the delicious factor – because after all, what is life without food? I firmly believe that with a little moderation, innovation and a sprinkling of creativity, we should not have to choose between what’s delicious, and what’s good for you.
That said, I’ll be sharing some of my favourite ‘diabetic-friendly’ recipes on this blog soon; I’d also love if you leave a comment with some yummy ones you think I can try out!