Cooking with Marlene Koch


When my stepdaughter, Colleen, was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, the first thing she asked me was if she could still eat chocolate cake (well, perhaps not out loud, but we both knew that was what she was thinking!). Colleen is not alone. In fact, a recent poll asked those with diabetes  what the hardest part of adjusting to life with diabetes is and the resounding response was-- changing their diet! Adding exercise, constantly dealing with physicians, and even feeling like a human pin cushion did not compare to concerns about what and how to eat.

Of course there is good reason for this. There is no single factor that affects your blood sugar more than the food you consume. Wouldn’t it be nice if you could simply take your pill, or injection, and you would be free to eat whatever you wanted? The truth is, when you have diabetes, or even if you are just trying to avoid having diabetes, you must be conscious of what you eat, and when. The reality is that this is no different than what everyone must do to be healthy, and that’s what I told Colleen as she embarked on creating a new, healthier, eating plan. Yes, she would still be able to have chocolate cake, but how much, and when would need to be factored more carefully.

My goal as the new Diabetes Diet and Nutrition Advisor for  Destination Diabetes is simple: to help you enjoy both Good Food and Good Health. I don't have diabetes myself, but, as a registered dietitian, a cookbook author, and the mother of a stepdaughter (and now also the daughter of a father) with diabetes, I want to help because I know I can.

Each month, as a special feature in our monthly newsletter, I will be bringing you essential and accurate food and nutrition information that will help your daily living with diabetes. Plus, I'll have a fantastic new recipe for you to try. I am also looking forward to answering your questions and chatting with you. Together, I know we can help each other explore and learn about living with diabetes--and, we can have fun doing it!

This month, to launch Cooking with Marlene, and to help you beat the summer heat, I am bringing you a delicious and easy-to-make recipe for one of my favorite summertime salads: Chinese Chicken Salad.  Once a favorite for me at restaurants, I was stopped in my tracks when I discovered my “healthy” salad had over 1,300 calories, 80 grams of fat and 70 grams of carbohydrate (much of it from sugar).  Well, I've created a truly healthy version you can enjoy, and  I can’t tell you how much I love it myself. It's light and fresh, and simply perfect for lunch or a light supper. Most importantly, it will easily fit into any healthy meal plan. So please - enjoy!

Marlene Koch, RD, is a registered dietitian who has specialized in delicious food and healthy lifestyles for over twenty years. Marlene holds a degree in Nutritional Science from the University of Los Angeles, California. Marlene is a best-selling author of healthy, low-sugar cookbooks. Marlene is a frequent guest on TV, radio and websites such as iVillage and
Read more about Marlene Koch

The goal of Destination Diabetes® is to be a useful and credible resource for the more than 20 million children and adults who have diabetes in the U.S. and their families. Destination Diabetes® provides information on a wide range of diabetes health and wellness topics. Articles are written or reviewed by diabetes advisors who have experience in diabetes education.