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Monday, June 25, 2012

The Hopefully Not-So-Hostile Dietary Takeover

I spent 9 hours yesterday at my parents house educating them about food and diabetes, constructing a week's worth of meal plans and snacks for each of them, inspecting their current food supply and then going to the grocery store with our list.

We filled the cart with fruit, vegetables, nuts, ground turkey and light dairy products.  When we got to the register the total bill for a week's food for the two of them came to about $130, but next week should be less because there were quite a few items that will carry on into the next few weeks. We didn't know what cereal we would be buying for Dad to have every other morning, so we had to read some labels in the aisles. One of the books I read said it was important for the cereal to be oat, barley or bran based and to have a minimum of 4 grams dietary fiber. I was so busy looking for those parameters that I forgot to also check calories and carbohydrates. He discovered that the Oatmeal Squares cereal we bought turned out to be very high in those areas. Luckily we bought Kashi's Heart to Heart honey oatmeal cereal also, so he'll be switching to that instead.

We also stopped at the Calphalon Outlet Store to buy some vegetable keeper containers. When we got back to their place I washed them and filled them up with the fruits and vegetables so that they would stay fresh all week long.

The key to a diet that will stabilize blood sugar is smaller, high fiber, low carbohydrate meals and snacks eaten frequently throughout the day. We're also aiming for increased water intake and lower calories to encourage weight loss. I used the internet to find websites that give calorie and carbohydrate information for food to determine portions and get all our statistics for the form I printed out. I'm going to call them at the end of every day to see how it went and they are going to make notes about any difficulties they had and why. At the end of the week we'll meet again to discuss what worked and what didn't and make a plan for next week. It should take much less time because all the homework is done and they will shop on their own after the next plan is made. Today my father is planned to eat about 180 g carbs and 1500 calories, which was at the top end of our goal due to the mix-up with the cereal. My mother is planned to eat about 156 g carbs and 1100 calories, which is a little under goal so she may add something throughout her day if she's feeling hungry.

I'm excited about their goals and they are too! Hopefully it will all come together and they will stick with it and change their health for the better. I will make weekly updates on how this plan works out. If anyone has any questions as I go along, feel free to contact me for additional information!

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