Friday, March 7, 2014

Changes in the Kitchen

Prior to my diabetes diagnosis preparing just about any daily meal was a simple task.  Few dishes were required as a rule, little thought ahead of time was the norm, meal planning and timing nearly non-existent.

How life in the kitchen has changed!

It used to be that the only collateral damage from breakfast was a plate, glass and knife left beside the sink for washing.  Not any more.  Now, when I stumble out to the kitchen in the mornings my first order of business is to line the counter with the needed accoutrements for preparing what is still, in the end, a simple breakfast.  Out of the cupboards come a dinner sized plate, 2 small bowls, a glass, a cereal spoon, a long handled spoon, a bread and butter knife, a butcher knife, a cutting board, a tablespoon measure and a 1/2 dry measuring cup.  Once this array of implements is set out the gathering of food items can commence.

First up is one slice of whole wheat bread. Then come a jar of peanut butter, an orange, a box of whole wheat cereal with no sugar added and the milk carton.  

The bread goes onto the dinner plate. The peanut butter is pulled out of the jar with the long handled spoon, measured into the tablespoon measure, then scraped out onto the piece of bread and spread with the bread and butter knife.  The cereal is measured out in the 1/2 cup and dumped unceremoniously into one of the small bowls, then the cereal spoon is tucked in beside it.  The orange is placed upon the cutting board and sliced in half lengthwise with the butcher knife, 1/2 then chopped into 4 more or less evenly sized pieces and set onto the dinner plate beside the bread and cereal bowl. The other half of the orange is placed in the second small bowl and returned to the refrigerator. Milk is then poured into the glass and over the cereal. FINALLY it is time to actually EAT breakfast! The routine is the same every day. It never varies and my body likes this routine meal.  The dirty dishes count has tripled over what it used to be.

Last night we had spaghetti for dinner.  Again, a simple meal prior to the diagnosis, but now leaving a trail of pots around the entire counter space as I prepare the meal slightly differently for my husband than for myself.  In one pot was the tomato spaghetti sauce that he can eat, in another the sauce I have to make for myself to make sure I get the carbohydrate and protein counts just right.  One pot held the green peas he so loves at any meal and another the cauliflower/broccoli combo for myself so that I don't have as many carbohydrates as he has with the peas.  At least I was able to cook the spaghetti in the same pot for us both.  2 strainers joined the mix of used instruments for pouring the water off the spaghetti and draining the vegetables. 2 separate salads in separate bowls were required. My husband's salad included a large slice of avocado and oil and vinegar dressing. My own salad had only 1/6 of the avocado and a 1/2 tsp of dressing to keep the fats to a minimum.  I decided to forego the tsp. of low fat margarine on my vegetables in order to have that avocado/dressing combo on the salad.  Yes, fats have to be measured that carefully while my liver is still healing from its previous distress and while my cholesterol count is attempting to lower itself.  No salt was added to anything in the meal.  My blood pressure is down into proper range at last from all this fat and salt reduced dieting so it is worth it to me to keep being very strict.  Beside my dinner plate was a little bowl with 3 teeny tiny prunes in it, as well as a glass of milk.  My husband had a glass of water and a cup of tea.

We finished eating our simple spaghetti dinner in about 10 minutes or less.  There was barely enough of each item I had cooked to completely cover each of our plates, but the number of dirty dishes left sitting on the stove, on the counter and in the sink, would have left an outsider with the impression that I had just fed a small army.

Doing dishes has become more of an issue since moving into this rectory that has low water pressure and doesn't support the use of a dishwasher.  Fortunately standing up immediately after a meal to wash all the dishes is a great way to keep my blood sugar from spiking.  The energy and motivation I have to do this, after having dishwashers to use for most of my adult life, is amazing to me.  I am so grateful for it.

At least all these changes in the kitchen are contributing to the overall improvement of my health so it isn't discouraging to be doing so much extra work in there.   It is all good!

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