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Mindful Eating and a Day of Diabetic-Friendly Meal Planning

Terrie has type 2 diabetes. She has a certificate in fitness and nutrition. She has a passion for helping others find their path to health.

Good foods equal good health.

Good foods equal good health.

Getting Started With Good Food

When you learn that you're diabetic, you need to become mindful of what you eat. It's the quickest way to bring your blood sugars back in check. Mindful eating is about always being aware of what you put in your mouth. Once you get used to portion size and how it relates to your health, your blood sugar levels will follow.

Foods that are as close to their natural form as possible are best. Some foods need to be cooked by steaming and combined with other foods for their best nutrient absorption. Eating good food more often will help your body use glucose more effectively, instead of overwhelming it by eating only a couple times a day. Some people find eating this often to be difficult. Once you get used to it, you'll see how much better you feel.

I am starting this article with a food list to help you purchase the food you will need to complete a full day's worth of meals and snacks. The list can be copied so you can use it for your own shopping needs. After that, I share a meal plan that provides 3 meals and 3 snacks.

Now let's get started with your mindful eating day plan.

Food Shopping List

This list is to help you shop for the food items you need to make mindful meals and snacks. You can copy and paste it into your smartphone, or print it off and take it with you to the store. I keep a list on my iPhone under "Notes."

Bread/Grains

  • Brown/wild rice
  • Whole wheat pasta
  • Sourdough or rye bread
  • Hot cereal
  • Oatmeal
  • Whole grain crackers

Meat

  • Salmon
  • Other fish
  • Canned tuna (in water, not oil)
  • Poultry
  • Low-fat lunch meat
  • Lean beef or pork

Beverages

  • Coffee
  • Herbal tea
  • Vegetable juice (low-sodium)
  • Water

Dairy

  • 2% milk or almond milk
  • Cheese or cottage cheese
  • Butter/margarine
  • Eggs
  • Plain Greek yogurt

Snacks

  • Nuts
  • Graham crackers
  • Sugar-free Jell-O
  • Sugar-free pudding
  • Peanut butter (natural only)

Frozen

  • Vegetables
  • Frozen dinners
  • Sugar-free ice cream or sorbet

Cans/Jars

  • Low-salt canned vegetables
  • Canned fruit in its own juices (watch for added sugars)
  • Broth—chicken or beef (look for organic)
  • Salsa

Condiments

  • Vinegar
  • Lemon juice
  • Mustard
  • Ketchup (limit amounts)
  • Olive oil or cold-pressed coconut oil
  • Salad dressing (no sugar)
  • Sugar-free spices

Fruits/Veggies

  • Apples
  • Asparagus
  • Bananas
  • Berries of any kind
  • Beans—white, navy, or pinto
  • Green beans
  • Broccoli
  • Cucumber
  • Garlic
  • Green onion
  • Herbs
  • Kale
  • Melons
  • Onions—red or yellow
  • Oranges
  • Pineapples
  • Potatoes
  • Romaine lettuce
  • Spinach
  • Squash
  • Tomato
  • Zucchini

Calorie and Carb Counts for Raw Foods

The calorie counts are based on 100 grams of veggies. Fruit is per fruit.

  • Asparagus (20 calories) (3.9 g carbs)
  • Apples (52 calories) per fruit, (5.2 g carbs)
  • Beets (43 calories) (13 g carbs)
  • Broccoli (34 calories) (7 g carbs)
  • Brussels sprouts (43 calories) (9 g carbs)
  • Carrots (41 calories) (10 g carbs)
  • Cabbage (25 calories) (5.8 g carbs)
  • Cauliflower (25 calories) (5.3 g carbs)
  • Celery (16 calories) (3 g carbs)
  • Cucumber (16 calories) (3.6 g carbs)
  • Grapefruit (42 calories) per fruit, (4 g carbs)
  • Kale (49 calories) (10 g carbs)
  • Lemons (29 calories) (9.3 g carbs)
  • Onions (40 calories) (9 g carbs)
  • Oranges (47 calories) per fruit, (4.9 g carbs)
  • Tomatoes (17 calories) (4 g carbs)
  • Watermelon (30 calories) per cup, (3 g carbs)
  • Zucchini (17 calories) (3 g carbs)

What's a Carb?

Carbs or carbohydrates need to be kept low.

Carbs, just like sugar, turn to glucose in your body.

They are foods that contain starch.

There are both high- and low-index carbs.

Natural food carbs are best.

A diabetic plan should be low-index foods or low-carb.

Fresh fruit and yogurt, yum yum.

Fresh fruit and yogurt, yum yum.

Breakfast Suggestions

The saying that breakfast is the most important meal of the day really is true. Through the night, your body is fasting. When you eat, it starts your metabolism going again. Picture the food as the fuel that keeps your furnace or body functioning effectively.

Food Ideas

  • 2 eggs and 1 piece of sourdough bread.
  • 1/2 cup of oatmeal with 1/2 cup of fruit, instead of eggs and bread.
  • 1 English muffin with an egg and back bacon is also a good way to start your day.
  • 1/2 cup of plain Greek yogurt with mixed berries, 1 teaspoon honey, and 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon.
  • 1 cup of coffee or herbal tea.

If you aren't used to eating breakfast, turn the yogurt and fruit into a smoothie. Add a powder protein or whey powder. Follow the instructions on the label.

Breakfast Is Important

Fresh raw veggies are oh so good.

Fresh raw veggies are oh so good.

Snacks: Eat 2–3 a Day

Keep your body running smoothly by eating a snack between each meal. Then at night have a snack about 2 hours before bed. Your snacks shouldn't have more than 20 carbs.

Suggested Snacks

  • 1 cup fresh fruit, mix it up so you get a variety of nutrients.
  • 1 cup raw vegetables like carrots, colored peppers, celery, and cucumbers. Mix more than what you need for a snack and keep in the fridge for an easy and quick snack.
  • Homemade trail mix—1 handful is a serving. Mix together in a bowl: 1/2 cup sunflower seeds, 1/4 cup dried cranberries, 1/4 cup raisins, 1/2 cup pumpkin seeds, 1/4 cup dried blueberries, and 1/2 cup almonds. Pour the mix into a Ziploc bag or glass jar. Seal and have on hand when you need a snack.
  • The yogurt and berry mix in the breakfast ideas above can also be used as a snack.
  • 4 soda crackers and 4 small slices of block cheese; either marble or mozzarella makes a good snack. If you're a fan of pickles, baby dills are great with this snack. Only have 2 or 3 pickles and slice them up.
  • Individually packed yogurts are convenient to have. Just make sure there is less than 6 grams of sugar and no syrup or added sugar. I use the Greek yogurt.
My super salad.

My super salad.

Lunch or Dinner: Super Salad Recipe

Prep timeReady inYields

20 min

20 min

6 to 8 servings

Ingredients

  • 3 tomatoes, diced
  • 1 large English cucumber, sliced
  • 4 green onions, chopped
  • 1/2 ounce feta cheese, crumbled
  • 1/2 cup Greek dressing
  • 1 pinch of black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon minced garlic

Instructions

  1. Mix all vegetables together in a salad bowl and toss.
  2. Add black pepper, feta cheese, and garlic and pour over the salad.
  3. Add the dressing.
  4. Toss everything together and place in the fridge till serving time.

Now You Can Be Mindful of What You Eat

Now you have a good start on how to be mindful of what you eat. Whether its preparing breakfast, lunch or dinner. Even the snacks you choose between the meals will nourish and fuel your body. You can mix it up, add items you love or add foods that are good for you. I suggest you use a snack size plate, it helps with portion control.

Sometimes it's enough to get blood sugars under control. The addition of more raw foods and good snacks will make it even better. This is a guide to get you started, the rest is up to you. You will never know how good real food is until try it. Now its your turn, comment below with changes you've made and if anything that helped you more than anything else. May you feel as good as real food tastes. Health and happiness to all.

© 2017 Terrie Lynn

Comments

Terrie Lynn (author) from Canada on June 24, 2017:

Hi Tamara, thank you for reading. I am glad your a mindful eater. It is so imprtant to think about what we eat. I am happy that you find it helpful. Have a beautiful day.

Tamara Moore on June 24, 2017:

The Super Salad looks super delicious!

I try to eat mindfully. Even when I eat Jujubes and ice cream, I do so mindfully. I am a vegetarian, but do eat chicken, sometimes.

I find that healthy eating, such as you described above, makes me feel much more energetic, and even thinking more clearly.

Your article is of great value to not only myself, but anyone who eats. I am glad it is on the internet to refer to.

Thank you!

Terrie Lynn (author) from Canada on June 21, 2017:

Hi Dora, that happens to us all. I believe if we work on it and don't get down on ourselves when that happens. Then eating better will get easier. I started playing mind games with myself and it seems to be working. like arranging or planning that treat or special food day. I no longer get upset when i have a minor ops. I move on and make tomorrow a new day. I found it helps to trck the time of day. something that might of just happen or emotions. It has allowed me to the reason behind why I made some of the choices I did. Encouragment is good. thank you and have a great week.

Dora Weithers from The Caribbean on June 21, 2017:

You pose a great challenge here, Terrie. I try to be mindful and succeed much of the time, but there's that off moment when I pass through the kitchen, grab something and then ask myself why am I eating. However, you encourage me to try even harder. Thanks for the suggestions.