Author Sidebar: When I was diabetic, meal planning was not easy for me. It was a lot easier to just stop by McDonald's, KFC or Pizza Hut than it was to go to a grocery store and then have to go home and cook something. :-)
But, after my recovery from the coma, I learned the critical importance of proper meal planning. If I had not learned this, I believe that I would still be diabetic and on medications today or possibly even dead.
Proper meal planning is truly one of the key enablers for diabetics to eat healthy and be successful with controlling and reversing their Type 2 diabetes.
So, why don't many diabetics (and non-diabetics for that matter) do a better job at meal planning and following a healthy diet?
10 Meal Planning Problems
There are 10 major reasons why most people (including diabetics) don't do a better job at planning their meals and following a healthy diet:
1. Time/Convenience: Most people feel that they don't have the time to go grocery-shopping and prepare healthy meals every day for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Also, it's a lot more convenient to just stop by McDonald's or KFC on the way home from work or just call and order a pizza.
2. Motivation: Most of us are not motivated to eat healthy --- until one day we find ourselves diagnosed with a disease such as diabetes, or, we become severely overweight or obese; or, we have a wake-up call due to a heart attack or a diabetic coma (like I did).
3. Nutrient Absorption: We all metabolize and absorb food and its nutrients differently. A a result, our bodies react differently and respond differently to blood glucose control.
4. Cost: Some people tend to believe that it cost more to eat healthy foods. Nothing could be further from the truth! Especially if you take into account the amount of money that is saved from prescription drugs, hospital stays, and surgeries.
5. Taste/Addiction: Most people love the taste of processed foods, fast food and junk food (including me! :-)). This is due to the chemicals added to these foods that cause us to crave these foods. In other words, we become addicted to these foods (chemicals)!
6. Stress: Stress from work, finances, family problems, and life in general leads many of us to seek comfort in a bowl of ice cream or a plate of mashed potatoes or mac 'n cheese. Ice cream was my primary comfort food at night usually around 11 pm.
7. Knowledge/Awareness: Some people don't know how to plan and prepare healthy meals on a daily basis for their family; and, stay within a budget. We're not consciously aware of how we're influenced by the media to eat fast food and junk food. TV commercials have brainwashed us to eat fast foods and, by default, we ignore healthy foods. When was the last time you saw a TV commercial about broccoli? Ironically, TV tells you to eat fast food; and, then, when you get ill from all the years of ingesting the chemicals from the fast food, TV commercials then tell you to get a drug for your indigestion, constipation, headache, etc. Hello! When are we going to wake up?
8. Diet Complexity: Most diets are complex and difficult to follow and stick with -- since most diet programs are about rules, deprivation, calorie restriction and calorie counting. This leads to anxiety, frustration, and anger. Plus, in the long run, diets just don't work. That's one of the reasons why I designed a simple diet program that doesn't require carb and calorie counting.
9. Training of Healthcare Professionals: Unfortunately, since many healthcare professionals are aligned with medical doctors and the pharmaceutical industry, they need to receive training in effective meal planning. When health coaches, naturopaths and other healthcare professionals kept coming to me for advice -- that's why I finally developed the Health Coaching ebook.
But, later on, many of the health coaches and other healthcare professionals wanted more detail, so I developed the Health Coaching & Online Training Program and Training Kit.
10. Access/Availability: Some of us, depending on where we live, don't have access to healthy and fresh foods.
But the good news is that my Death to Diabetes Super Meal Nutritional Program addresses all of these issues (see below).
My program addresses these issues by utilizing a well-structured easy-to-follow Meal Plate Model that doesn't require any calorie counting or carb counting (because it's built into the model).
Now, to ensure that you're planning and preparing your (super) meals properly (to reverse your diabetes), you should use my DTD Super Meal Plate Model that makes it easy to figure out what healthy foods to purchase when you go grocery-shopping.
Proper Meal Planning Helps to Reverse Diabetes
The DTD Super Meal Plate Diagram or Grocery-Shopping Chart is an easy way to remember what foods to buy in order to eat healthy at every meal.
In addition, some diabetics (and some non-diabetics) believe that eating healthy is expensive. However, that couldn't be further from the truth! -- just read our blog posts about this:
- Eating Healthy Foods Is Not Expensive!
- Tips for Eating Healthy Inexpensively
- Living and Eating Healthy vs. Unhealthy
So, as you can see, eating healthy is not expensive -- especially if you know what to buy and take the time to plan your meals and stick to the grocery list.
Some diabetics (and non-diabetics) don't perform meal planning because they think it's boring, they think it's time-consuming, or they don't know how to plan their meals -- especially to improve their diabetes and their overall health. Also, they may find it difficult to do meal planning if they travel a lot.
However, proper meal planning can solve all of these problems. Proper meal planning is all about organization, planning, and good recipes. If it's done right, meal planning will save you a lot of money as well as time.
Author Sidebar: I admit that it was very intimidating when I realized everything that I would have to do to manage my diabetes. Trying to navigate through the various activities every day was very intimidating and confusing at times. There was a lot to remember: from pricking my finger 6-8 times a day, to recording the blood glucose readings, analyzing the readings, injecting myself with insulin 4 times a day, taking other medications (i.e. Coumadin, Lipitor), planning meals, preparing the meals, shopping for groceries, making doctor appointments, recordkeeping, and finding time to exercise.
I was surprised to discover that there was no structured, systematic step-by-step process that would guide me through managing my diabetes on a daily basis, including how to do meal planning -- something I didn't do before I got sick. It was easier to stop by KFC or Pizza Hut on the way home from work.
But, after I got well and wrote my book, I decided to develop a set of meal planning diagrams, charts and journal templates that would make it easier for diabetics to perform proper meal planning.
For example, my 90-Day Meal Planning Charts provide a specific menu of meals (breakfast, lunch, snacks, and dinner) for 90 days in chart format. The meal plan is laid out in a structured table for ease of use to support your meal planning. The 90-Day meal planner is divided into 3 phases for a more effective meal plan based on your blood glucose readings and health needs.
In addition, I expanded my Death to Diabetes cookbook to show and explain how meal planning is not boring and it's not time-consuming.
In fact, when done properly, meal planning will save time and will save money, and can even be enjoyable. And, if someone like me who can't cook a lick, can figure this out, so can you. :-)
Key aspects of proper meal planning include:
- How to shop for groceries
- How to read food labels
- How to select the proper foods
- When to shop for groceries and why
- How to save time and money when grocery-shopping
Another key enabler is meal preparation. Once you purchase the proper foods, it's very important that you know how to prepare the meals such that you obtain maximum nutrition from the meals. For example, if you overcook the vegetables, then, you destroy many of the key nutrients that your body needs to fight the diabetes.
Key aspects of proper meal preparation include:
- The best oils for salads, cooking, etc.
- How to prepare super meals
- How to prepare quick meals that are healthy
- How to prepare snacks that are healthy
- How to prepare quick lunches
- How to prepare vegetables
- How to prepare vegetable soups
- How to prepare stir-frys
- What herbs/spices to use with what foods
- How to transform comfort foods into healthier foods
- How to transform your favorite meals and desserts into healthier meals
- How to reduce the fat and sugar in your meals but keep the meals tasty
Dieting is Hard! (But, It Doesn't Have to Be ...)
I recognized very quickly that changing and sticking with my diet was going to be very difficult -- especially, once my mother and daughter went back home, because, when I was sick, they prepared all my meals during my recovery. They also did all the grocery shopping and meal planning.
As a result, I had no choice but to eat the (healthy) foods that they prepared. The primary reason why I changed my eating habits was not because it was healthy and good for me -- it was because my mother made me eat lots of vegetables; and, I was afraid of disagreeing with my mother. :-)
But, after my mother, daughter, and sister returned home, I knew it was up to me to continue eating healthy. But, I struggled with the grocery-shopping, meal planning, and meal preparation. It was a lot easier to just stop by McDonald's or Kentucky Fried Chicken, or order a pizza from Pizza Hut.
Because I wasn't much of a cook, I put together some quick charts and diagrams that helped me with my grocery-shopping, meal planning, and meal preparation. As a result, I was able to stick to the diet plan that my mother had started by keeping things simple.
But, after a few months, I found that he was missing some of my favorite foods, i.e. ice cream, apple pie, steak, fried chicken, French fries, pizza. I found it difficult to accept that I could never eat any of these foods ever again for the rest of my life!
So, I used my biochemistry background to analyze these desserts and other comfort foods to better understand how these foods harmed my health. I then figured out how to transform these foods into healthier versions of my favorite foods!
Later on, while I was writing my book, I realized that it would be ridiculous to tell people to ignore their favorite foods for the rest of their lives. I also felt it would be ridiculous to tell people to ignore parties, picnics, weddings, and other happy events because of the food challenges that these events presented to diabetics. But, these are happy events that we should enjoy! -- not events that we should ignore or be afraid of because of the food!
So, I added some information in Chapter 14 and the Appendix to help people transition to eating a healthier diet but not feel deprived of their favorite foods! Consequently, it would make it easier to stick with my program.
Because of the positive feedback that I received from diabetics and my readers, I expanded on this information and developed the cookbook, food tips, and other meal planning ebooks to give people hundreds of ideas about how to eat healthy and still be able to enjoy some of their favorite foods! I also discussed how to eat out and still maintain proper blood glucose control! True genius, yes? :-)
Even if you're not following the complete program and The 10 Steps (Page 329), most diabetics experience lower blood glucose readings during the first 14-17 days of my program. If you need help, I recommend that you get my cookbook, food tips ebook, or juicing ebook. Next to the paperback book, they are my most popular books.
I realize that life gets in the way, making it difficult to change our lifestyle and the way we eat. But, there are very few problems that I haven't heard of, so don't try to do it all alone -- so take advantage of my experience and the information on my website and in my diabetes books and ebooks.
I designed my program on the assumption that my program is not perfect and that people will make mistakes or become discouraged.
My message is to just make a few changes each week, and learn how you can still enjoy your favorite foods while improving your diabetes and your overall health.
Note: Below are some of the many meal planning ideas from my Death to Diabetes Cookbook. When used in combination with my 90-Day Meal Planning Charts, the specific menu of meals (breakfast, lunch, snacks, and dinner) make it very easy to support your meal planning on a daily basis. In addition, my 90-Day Meal Planner is divided into 3 phases to help you reverse your diabetes at a faster and more effective rate.
And, remember: Don't give up -- don't every give up. The power is within you to live the life that you're meant to live.
10 Meal Planning Strategies: Diabetes Meal Planning Made Easy!
Here are the 10 counter-strategies for the aforementioned 10 meal planning problems. These strategies will help to make it easier to do proper meal planning and preparation.
Time/Convenience: Learn how to prepare quick and easy (healthy) meals, e.g. ensure you have the right appliances, lay out your kitchen to optimize meal preparation.
Motivation: Think about what's really important to you (e.g. your partner, your kids) and use that to motivate you; or, think about what it would be like if you went blind or lost a leg.
Nutrient Absorption: Use a science-based diet program that maximizes nutrient absorption.
Cost: Find a diet program that shows you how to eat healthy inexpensively.
Taste/Addiction: Find a diet program that has scrumptious but healthy recipes; and, explains how to address cravings and food addictions.
Stress: Learn how to reduce the stress in your life, e.g. exercise, take a walk with a friend, become a community volunteer, get quality sleep, yoga, prayer, meditation, etc.
Knowledge/Awareness: Educate yourself about food and nutrition; and, how they impact your health.
Diet Complexity: Find a simple diet that's easy to implement and stick with.
Training Support: Find a program that provides training tools to help you with proper nutrition and meal planning.
Access/Availability: Talk to your local grocery store manager about providing more healthy and fresh foods.
Good News: The Death to Diabetes Nutritional Program addresses all 10 of these areas, usually in multiple ways. Below are some of the DTD meal planning books and tools that will make meal planning a lot easier and beneficial to your diabetes and overall health.
DTD Meal Planning Ebooks and Tools
If you want to learn quickly how to meal-plan and design super meals and snacks, and how to still enjoy some of your favorite foods (but still maintain good glucose control), then, get the Death to Diabetes Cookbook or the very popular CD "Diabetes Diet, Nutrition & Food Tips" and/or the Meal Planning Tool Kit.
If you want a structured meal planner (with table charts), then, we recommend the Death to Diabetes 90-Day Meal Planner, or the 90-Day Boot Camp Meal Planner. If you only want the charts, then, we recommend the 90-Day Meal Planning Charts (which works well with the cookbook). All of these meal planners lay out what you should eat each day for breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks, and dessert for 90 days.
The 90-Day Meal Planner and 90-Day Boot Camp Meal Planner are unique meal planners that guide you from Day 1 to Day 90 through 3 phases of meal planning charts:
1. Phase 1 Weeks 1 to 4
2. Phase 2 Weeks 5 to 8
3. Phase 3 Weeks 9 to 14
Each phase of the meal planning charts helps you to stabilize your blood glucose levels, cleanse & detox, initiate cell repair, and burn excess fat to support weight loss.
If you need hundreds of healthy recipes to help with your meal planning, we recommend the Death to Diabetes cookbook, which also contains cost-saving and time-saving meal planning ideas.
If you need help with meal planning and recipes, we recommend a combination of the cookbook and the 90-day meal planning charts.
Note: If you order printed copies of the cookbook and meal planner, we will send free copies of the 6 meal planning tools.
If you would like more structure and meal planning guidance to make it easier for you to reverse your diabetes, obtain the cookbook and one of the following meal planners:
- 90-Day Meal Planning Charts
- 90-Day Meal Planner Schedule & Template
- 90-Day Boot Camp Meal Planner
- Grocery-Shopping & Meal Planning
- Meal Plan for a Typical Day
- 1-Day Meal Planning Guide
Diabetes & Meal Planning Guides & Charts
If you would like to make meal planning easier, obtain our Meal Planning Tool Kit, which contains six of our most popular diabetes and meal planning tools to help you on your journey to wellness.
The tools include a color meal planning guide, detailed meal plan, Super Meal Model Meal Plate diagram, favorite foods chart, diabetes management tracking chart, reverse diabetes 10-steps guide, and workshop folder.
The color Super Meal Planning Guide provides a simple overview of what a meal plan should look like for one day. You can use this 1-page guide as a template to design your meals for the rest of the week.
The 4-page detailed Super Meal Plan provides a very detailed meal plan for a typical day, with very specific foods for a healthy breakfast, lunch, snack, and dinner.
The Super Meal Model Meal Plate diagram is one of our popular tools because it shows on one piece of paper what your meal plate should look like, plus it identifies the foods to avoid, and it identifies the key supplements for diabetics. This diagram along with one of the meal planners eliminates the need to h ave to count calories! Halelujah!
The Favorite Foods Chart is another popular tool, because it shows a list of everyone's favorite foods and comfort foods in one column, and the alternative (healthier) foods for each of those favorite foods in the adjacent column. Many of our clients use this chart when they go grocery-shopping.
The Diabetes Management Tracking Chart, or the Tracking Charts booklet or Journal help diabetics track and record their activities from sunrise to sunset, without having to spend a lot of time writing. Many of our clients use this chart instead of the diabetes journal to track their progress.
The Reverse Diabetes 10-Steps Guide helps clients remember the program's 10 steps that they should be following without having to go back and extract the information from the 400-page book.
Get these popular diabetes & meal planning tools to save you time, money, and frustration.
If you need help with designing a super meal, a super salad, or a super smoothie, and you're not ready to get the cookbook or juicing book, then, get the How to Design a Super Meal, Salad & Smoothie meal planning guide.
If you only want one or two of these planning tools, then, you can get each of them separately:
Note: If you're going to implement the mostly raw version of the Death to Diabetes Diet, we recommend that you get the Raw Food Diet and Power of Juicing books, along with the Death to Diabetes paperback book (or ebook); and, possibly, the Diabetes Cookbook, which includes some Level 3 recipes, e.g. salads, soups, stir-frys.
Meal Delivery Plans: eDiets, Diet-to-Go, Nutrisystem, BistroMD
If you really don't like meal planning or if you don't have the time but you have the financial resources, then, you may want to try a meal delivery program.
Why Meal Delivery Diet Plans?
Because of work schedules, family life, travel, and other lifestyle issues, some of us rely on junk food and fast food restaurants because of time and convenience.
Because of our busy lives, we don't have the time to prepare healthy meals every day.
However, we want to eat healthy -- if only there was a way to eat healthy but not have to spend a lot of time in the kitchen or shopping in the crowded grocery stores.
And, there are some of us who just can't cook! :-)
But the good news is that there are ways to eat healthy, and not spend a lot of time in the kitchen or in the grocery store.
One of the most effective and cost-effective ways is to have your meals prepared and delivered to your home. Online meal delivery programs have grown and come a long way; and, provide a lot more options for all of us -- especially for those of us who are very busy, but still need to lose some weight or get our diabetes under control.
In addition, these types of online meal delivery programs prevent us from giving in to the fast foods and junk food.
By the way, there is another reason why we choose fast foods -- the perceived cheaper cost. It appears on the surface that fast food is a lot cheaper that healthy foods such as extra virgin olive oil and wild salmon.
However, fast food is actually NOT cheaper, when you take into account the detrimental health impact of eating too much fast food.
Once you realize that eating healthy is not as expensive as eating fast food and junk food, then, the challenge becomes finding a service that will address the areas of time and convenience -- and, not be more expensive than preparing healthy meals every day.
That service is called Meal Delivery Diet Plan or Meal Plan Delivery. Just google one of these phrases to find various companies that provide these services.
Here are just a few examples:
- Magic Kitchen
But, make sure that you do your homework first before you spend any money on any of these types of services.
Disclaimer: This site does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.
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