Diabetes and Bento

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Diabetes and Bento

Postby shellygirl814 » Thu Jan 08, 2009 6:55 am

Hello all,

I am a new diabetic. I have been bentoing for almost a year and this past August I was diagnosed. Because of that I have been more "packing my lunch" and less bento because of the rice and such. Does anyone have any suggestions about good recipes for more traditional bento items that are lower carb? I can have 30g of carbs total at a meal. Oh and I am also allergic to nuts so some asian food is out.

On another note, is there a "Hi, this is me" place to post who we all are? I love the Lunch in a Box blog and have been reading since last February!

Shelly
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Re: Diabetes and Bento

Postby Cherrychan » Thu Jan 08, 2009 7:11 am

Hi Shellygirl,

Sorry to hear about your diagnosis, I'm unsure as to whether they sell low-carb noodles or such things you could try, perhaps the best thing would be to make a mixed stir fry of vegetables with a little tofu or chicken or halloumi cheese or something, and then have a very small.. say, half portion.. of noodles, or just one rice ball?

What I can help you with is ...
The link to the introductions board is here:
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I'm the only one who's posted there at the moment hehe! :)
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Re: Diabetes and Bento

Postby TNT » Thu Jan 08, 2009 7:43 am

I'm not diabetic, but I have PCOS and am insulin resistant. The insulin resistance diet has the same limitation on carbs as your diet - 30g in any 2 hour period.

I just found a great whole grain bread by Arnold which is high protien. 2 slices have 36g of carbs, so maybe some crust cutting is in order, but the same two slices have 14g of protien - compare with the usual 4g for 2 slices of most other kinds of bread.

I have to balance the 30g of carbs with at least 15g of protien, and with this bread, I can actually just have toast! The bread isn't dry like some whole grain breads either, it's very soft and moist. A really good find.

I've also just adjusted the amount of rice in my bentos when I pack it. I ignore the traditional bento ratios in favor of what my circumstances require. For me, that's the point of doing it myself.
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Re: Diabetes and Bento

Postby Lethargic » Thu Jan 08, 2009 9:53 am

I very rarely pack rice in my boyfriend's bento lunches. So there are definitely other options. I usually pack pasta or a sandwich to to replace the carbs of rice. However I have heard that there are low carb tortillas(or whole wheat or corn maybe?) if you like mexican food. Even non-mexican things, like breakfast burritos or various wraps with sandwich fillings. I like to pack burritos and things because they reheat very well since my boyfriend has a microwave at work. But if you can't reheat, beans are great heat insulators. I hope this helps and you find some new ways of packing bento. :)
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Re: Diabetes and Bento

Postby furina1975 » Thu Jan 08, 2009 11:55 am

I'm not diabetic, but I do try and eat lots of whole grains. I like using brown rice instead of white, I find that I get full faster and am full for a lot longer after eating brown rice. I make a big batch on a weekend and freeze individual servings. I find that 1/3 cup cooked brown rice is more than enough. I also like quinoa a lot. It's a whole grain that is high in protein and it cooks in far less time than brown rice, about 20 minuets. It's nutty and slightly and I've served it with a large variety of mains and veggies and it's always tasty.
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Re: Diabetes and Bento

Postby gfbentomom » Thu Jan 08, 2009 7:23 pm

I'm looking forward to sharing ideas. I have been bentoing for a while now but was diagnosed with diabetes in October and am managing without meds. or insulin right now so I am able to tolerate about 15-20g carbs from starches or starchy vegetables or beans per meal. I am posting my bentos on my photostream at Flickr but not labeling them as diabetic friendly or low carb. There are a few from pre-diagnosis. My starches/carbs are all gluten-free. I post my kiddos lunches often but mine are only occasionally, although I often bring bentos with me, they are fairly repetitive right now. I also focus most of my energy on my nutritional needs rather than appearance. I save my creative energy for kiddos bentos. Quinoa works well for me. It is my understanding that it is the only vegetarian source of complete protein equal to meat. Trader Joes makes a Basmati Rice Medley that has some wild rice and dehydrated veggies in it. It cooks up quickly and works well for me too. TJ's is a ways away from us so I stock up when we go! I also use brown rice instead of the white and find that the longer the grain, the less effect on BG(I still have to really limit my portions though). If you add lots of veggies to the grains it makes the portions seem bigger. ;)

http://www.flickr.com/photos/21012380@N ... 502391694/
Come visit me at Flickr for bentos that are always gluten-free for mom and kiddo, sometimes casein-free and now always lowcarb for mom.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/21012380@N08/
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Re: Diabetes and Bento

Postby jskidmoreca » Thu Jan 08, 2009 10:30 pm

Nothing says that bento has to follow the traditional formula - as a matter of fact, most of my bentos are thrown together with leftovers that so throw the traditional formula on it's head...

I am not diabetic, but I am hypoglycemic so I do much better with a low carb diet and although I love me some good old med grain white rice I soooo gotta limit that.

I am using a higher protein 1200 calorie "serving" checklist. Kind of like the serving checklist that WW used many eons ago (before points) I try to use 1/3 of my servings for each meal - I make a breakfast and lunch bento each day (or at least I try) but the emphasis is not on carbs like a typical bento. I do really great with what I pack, but when I get home, I go bonkers, but at least 2/3's of the day I have eaten pretty well.

A great noodle alternative are shiritake noodles. They are made of yams/soy (I think) not wheat. Basically they are fiber so they don't affect your blood sugars like regular pasta. I guess they take a little getting used to, but I have loved them from the start. They are "rubbery", but I like a bite to my pasta so the chewy texture doesn't bother me.
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Re: Diabetes and Bento

Postby Kyoki » Sun Jan 11, 2009 3:12 am

TNT wrote:I'm not diabetic, but I have PCOS and am insulin resistant. The insulin resistance diet has the same limitation on carbs as your diet - 30g in any 2 hour period.

I just found a great whole grain bread by Arnold which is high protien. 2 slices have 36g of carbs, so maybe some crust cutting is in order, but the same two slices have 14g of protien - compare with the usual 4g for 2 slices of most other kinds of bread.

I have to balance the 30g of carbs with at least 15g of protien, and with this bread, I can actually just have toast! The bread isn't dry like some whole grain breads either, it's very soft and moist. A really good find.

I've also just adjusted the amount of rice in my bentos when I pack it. I ignore the traditional bento ratios in favor of what my circumstances require. For me, that's the point of doing it myself.

Holy crap, me too. o_o Finally, someone else who understands the argument in EVERY emergency room visit. "Are you on medication?" "Metformin." "So you're diabetic." "No..." "But you're on metformin." "Yes." "So.. you're diabetic." "... no." (Metformin is a medication used to help insulin work better in the body, most commonly used by diabetics.)

I've found that packing a high veggie-protien combo is a great way to go. Mixing chicken in with veggies for a stirfry, and then having just a half portion of rice to 'take the edge off' my hunger really works well. Veggies like broccoli have a certain feel, too, that helps you feel satisfied.

Then again, insulin resistance is a little easier than diabetes- at least in my case. I can eat carbs if I work out daily. So if I'm swimming every day, my body processes the sugars fast enough that I can eat normally.
Sakura Blossoms Spokane- a Japanese interest club for women
The Laughing Otter- bento stuff mixed in with other stuff!
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Re: Diabetes and Bento

Postby bluefrogj » Sun Jan 11, 2009 8:01 am

Well let me join the not diabetic but insulin resistant bandwagon. LOL! I must agree with the previous poster who mentioned not following traditional bento guidelines. Not only does my diet not particularly allow white rice, I'm not a big fan to begin with (unless I'm packing gumbo or red beans). When I pack my bentos, I try to keep my carbs into 1/4 - 1/2 of the top tier in a rectangular Lube Sheep box. I try not to go over that. The last few months with the busy time the holidays bring, I've been a bit lax and have felt the affects. Now that the holidays are behind me, I'm ready to start back to my typical bentos. Mostly my bento packing tends to be (1) top tier: meat/bit of carbs (usually sweet potatoes), and maybe a steamed veggie. (2) bottom tier: fruit (normally blueberries), and raw veggies (like carrots and broccoli).

Good luck! Keep us posted on how your progress is going. I'd be very interested to hear. :)
:) Jenn of Not Exactly Bento
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Re: Diabetes and Bento

Postby minyad » Tue Jan 13, 2009 7:50 pm

I was in the PCOS/IR category, but now I have upgraded and I am now in the PCOS/diabetic category.

For bread, check out the freezer section for eziekiel bread. You want the orange packages, I have seen bread and hamburger buns and they are a sprouted grain. Our body processes them like a vegetable rather than a flour. If your grocery store doesnt have it, try the health food store, but it is more expensive there (almost $6 a loaf at mine vs $4 at the grocery store) You have to store it frozen or refrigerated though. I take mine out in the morning for each day, or if I forget put it in the toaster or microwave to take the chill off before use.

As for pastas take a look in the heathfood section. In addition to the shiritacki noodles, I have come across some made with artichoke or other vegetable based flour. If you are having problems with the texture of the shiritacki noodles, try mixing their spaghetti 1/2 and 1/2 with some ramen noodles (no packet), makes a fabulous lo mein, although add a lot of veggies.

Havent found a great substitute for rice, but I hear tell that grated cauliflower will work, but I havent tried it.
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