Valentine’s Day and Diabetes

There is no need to skimp on the traditional romantic and decadent aspects of Valentine’s Day just because you or your sweetheart has diabetes. In fact, keeping your sweetheart’s diabetes in mind (or keeping your own diabetes in control) is another way to show you care. Here are a few ideas to get you started:

Send Flowers

From now until February 13, you can send flowers and $20 from your purchase will benefit the American Diabetes Association.  What says “I love you” better than flowers that also say, “I am supporting the cause to Stop Diabetes”? Click here to get started!

Talk About It

Diabetes can affect nearly every aspect of your life, including the bedroom. Did you know that both men and women can suffer from diabetes-related sexual dysfunction? This is one of several aspects of diabetes that can create barriers in your relationship. Because diabetes can have an impact on your relationship, the authors of Sex and Diabetes: For Him and For Her recommend you open up about your feelings when it comes to diabetes:

The more that you and your partner know about this disease and what you can do to attain better control and reduce your risk of complications, the more comfortable you should both feel about the future that you can share together. Discuss your concerns with your partner. If you suspect that he or she feels negatively about your diabetes, talk about it. You may be right about your partner’s feelings or you may discover that this is now how he or she feels at all. An honest and open discussion will hopefully provide you with information that you can use to help strengthen your relationship.

Remember, there is no reason to blame yourself or your partner for anything related to diabetes.

Cook up Some Love

This Valentine’s Day, I’ve decided to skip the reservations and restaurant lines. I love cooking, so I think it’ll be better to splurge on high-quality ingredients and make a nice meal at home. I chose to do this for a few reasons: it’s more economical, it allows me to know exactly what’s in the dishes and thus, better calculate the carbohydrate, and my sweetheart is a little picky – so I can tailor to his likes and dislikes. Here are a few recipes from the cookbooks I intend to use:

Diabetes & Heart Healthy Meals for Two

I like using this book because the recipe amounts are specifically designed for two portions, which means less overeating.  I also enjoy the idea of showing you care by cooking a healthy meal for both you and your partner. It’s just another subtle way to show that you care about your sweetheart’s health.

I chose this recipe because, well, even if you can’t take your sweetie to the beach for Valentine’s Day, at least you can bring some tropical cuisine to the table!

Caribbean Chicken and Rice

Fragrant spices from the jerk seasoning mingle with the pineapple-infused brown rice in this incredibly easy baked chicken dish.

Ingredients:

1 (8-ounce) can pineapple tidbits in their own juice, drained
½ cup fat-free, low-sodium chicken broth
½ cup uncooked instant brown rice
2 medium green onions, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons diced red bell pepper
1 teaspoon salt-free jerk seasoning blend
2 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves (about 4 ounces each), all visible fat discarded
2 teaspoons soy sauce (lowest sodium available)

Instructions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 375°F.
  2. In an 8-inch square baking pan, stir together the pineapple, broth, rice, green onions, and bell pepper.
  3. Sprinkle the seasoning blend over both sides of the chicken. Place the chicken in the pineapple mixture. Pour the soy sauce over the chicken.
  4. Bake, covered, for 40 to 45 minutes, or until the chicken is no longer pink in the center and the rice is tender.

The Big Book of Diabetic Desserts

This book has it all – from traditional cakes and cookies to custards & puddings, tarts, and even “pleasers from the freezer” with unique treats like Frozen Orange Soufflés! For Valentine’s Day, I want to try something that you’d normally see in a restaurant, but might not attempt too often at home. The solution? Cappuccino Crème Brûlée!

Cappuccino Crème Brûlée

The coffee flavor in these custards is delicate – it’s more of a gentle nudge than a jolt. If you love a bold coffee taste, simply increase the amount of espresso or coffee granules. The creamy cappuccino custard and the sweet brown sugar topping combine perfectly in this luxurious and impressive dessert.

Ingredients:

2 large eggs
2 egg whites
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup granular no-calorie sweetener
3 cups 1% low-fat milk
1 ½ teaspoons espresso granules or 1 tablespoon instant coffee granules
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
16 teaspoons light brown sugar

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 325°F.
  2. Combine the eggs, egg whites, sugar, and no-calorie sweetener ina medium bowl and whisk until smooth. Set aside.
  3. Combine the milk and espresso granules in a small saucepan. Cook over medium-high heat until bubbles form around the edges. (Do not allow to come to a boil). Slowly whisk the hot milk into the egg mixture. Whisk in the vanilla. Divide the mixture evenly among 8 (6 ounce) crème brûlée cups or custard cups. Place the cups inside a baking pan and add water to the backing pan to a level halfway up the cups.
  4. Bake 40 to 45 minutes or until custards are almost set but still a bit soft in the centers. The custards should wiggle a bit when you shake the cups, but will firm up as they cool. Remove the custards from the water bath, let stand just until cool to the touch, and cover the surface of the custards with plastic wrap to prevent a film from forming. Refrigerate 4 hours.
  5. Preheat the broiler. Place the custards in a backing pan and top each one with 2 teaspoons of the brown sugar. Broil the custards 2 to 3 minutes until the sugar melts and caramelizes, rearranging the cups as needed for even browning. Remove the individual custards as they are ready. Let the custards stand 5 minutes before serving.
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3 Responses to Valentine’s Day and Diabetes

  1. wallace Hale says:

    i think this is so refreshing an helpful suffering with diabeties is hard during valentines as well as all holidays

  2. Barb says:

    I hope you can help me understand why do some many diabetic recipes have such high carbs like the ones above? I thought you were only supposed to have 15carbs per meal ideally.

    • Dayle says:

      Barb,
      The American Diabetes Association doesn’t recommend a specific amount of carbohydrate to consume because this varies from person to person. Diets should be individualized, so it’s best to consult with your health care team. Most people consume more than 15 grams of carb per meal, but if that was a recommendation from your health care team, you can find recipes for recipes with a specific amount of carb or less on MyFoodAdvisor at http://www.diabetes.org/food-and-fitness/food/my-food-advisor/. (Go to “Recipes” and you can search for recipes with a specific amount of carbohydrate, calories, sodium, etc.)

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