The time it takes to prepare healthy meals is often a major concern for people with diabetes. The good news is there are plenty of tasty choices that don’t take a long time to make. Discover how to prepare delicious breakfast, lunch and dinner options in 15 minutes or less.
- Resist the temptation of fast food, sweet treats and sugar-laden coffee beverages on-the-go in the morning. There are fast breakfast choices that fit into your diabetes self-management plan. Make your own coffee with a sugar substitute, such as Stevia, and whipped low fat milk. There are battery operated spinning devices that whip your milk into a frothy low calorie topping. Add cinnamon or nutmeg for a rich morning drink. Grab a whole grain wrap or pita with a hard- boiled egg for breakfast. Whole grain cereal or steel cut oatmeal with a handful of slivered nuts as a topping is another fast option. You can cook a large pot of oatmeal at the beginning of the week and reheat a portion in the morning for more resistant starch which helps lower blood sugars.
- If you have a few minutes to cook breakfast, eat scrambled eggs with a slice of whole grain toast topped with sugar-free jam. Use nonfat cooking spray to fry the egg and avoid fatty breakfast meats such as sausage, bacon and ham. If you indulge, choose turkey or Canadian bacon. Enjoy low-fat Greek yogurt topped off with a mix of berries or a few chopped walnuts. Add a tablespoon of wheat germ or Chia seeds to your cereal or oatmeal for added fiber.
- Lunch energizes you in the middle of the day and can help you get through the rest of your hectic schedule. Put 2 slices of turkey, a few spinach leaves, a slice of tomato or red bell pepper and mustard between 2 slices of whole grain bread to make a healthy sandwich. Serve with some carrots or celery sticks on the side and fat-free ranch dressing.
- Make a hearty salad using white beans, tuna, cooked quinoa, bell peppers and broccoli with a dash of olive oil and lemon juice to pack for lunch. Another quick lunch salad can include greens such as spinach and romaine lettuce topped off with shredded carrots, a sliced hard-boiled egg and fat-free dressing eaten with 4-6 whole grain crackers. Try a low sodium canned soup that contains lentils, beans and vegetables plus a piece of fruit for a quick lunch.
- Using diabetic food choices for dinner doesn’t have to be complicated. Boil whole grain pasta while you simmer chopped tomatoes, broccoli florets, oregano and garlic in olive oil. Put the tomato mixture with a few shrimp over the pasta and serve with a salad made from greens. Make grilled chicken strips and serve them with colored peppers over wild rice.
- Pan-fry a lean, 4-ounce steak with a dash of olive oil and spices such a garlic, oregano and rosemary. Serve with steamed broccoli and a sweet potato for a complete meal.
- If you choose frozen or canned foods to create a quick meal, always read the labels. Avoid processed foods and choose whole foods as often as possible. Stay away from foods with a high content of salt, sugar and fat. Keep portion sizes in mind when you prepare quick meals for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Use the plate method of eating.
- Never skip meals as this can cause blood sugar fluctuations.
- Purchase a cookbook that features 15-minute recipes for people with diabetes to keep your meal plan simple and quick.
It doesn’t need to take a long time to prepare healthy meals when you have diabetes. Experiment with your favorite foods to create your own unique recipes that take 15 minutes or less. These delicious options help you stay away from the fast-food windows and maintain a healthier diet for optimum well-being.