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Summer 2024 Diabetes-Friendly Meal Plans: Salads Provide the Most Options

Summer fun is around the corner…. or if you are a family with an early end to the school year like we have, then it is already in full swing! When school is out, and work takes a bit of a shift (especially for families with kids) it doesn’t necessarily mean that things get any less hectic. In fact, I find that without the routine of the school year for our family, summer tends to be a bit harder to navigate.

One of the first things to adapt to is a change in scheduled meals.

While my work schedule remains about the same for me, with later times set for our kids to get up and out the door it means that other meals of the day get shifted a bit. The sun goes down much later, so afternoon sports and activities (ah, the pool!) go later and there are more evening gatherings. This is lovely, but also shifts the mind to thinking the time is earlier than it is, and later meals come into play.

With diabetes, a lot of people navigate on many known factors in day-to-day life. Scheduling does help with managing – meals at the same time, similar things to eat, active time planned with the ability to adjust medications ahead of time.

How do you navigate with all the upheaval? One of the 3 big pieces that play a role in diabetes management is food (insulin/medication and activity being the other 2).

I’ve found that despite the change in when I might eat, if I have some go-to recipes that work well and if I have stocked my fridge with items that make a quicker meal it goes a long way in my own diabetes management.

Along with an article for this newsletter every other month, I put together the recipes as well. I pull from many different sources and often try to aim for lower carb/lower glycemic recipes. While I believe everyone has a choice to make in what type of fueling plan works best for their management, I find that most recipes can be adjusted to fit most needs. If you were ever aiming to try a lower carb or lower glycemic approach, the best season to try this is Summer. The growing season brings a plethora of wonderful low-carb/non-starchy vegetables and fruits that pair beautifully with grilled meat/protein.

salad recipesSalad – An easy meal!

When we bring in the issue of a busy schedule and later meals, salad is one of the things I find easiest to incorporate.

Salads can be easily thrown together in a few minutes, and the wealth of different types of greens provides an array of micronutrients and vitamins that are a powerhouse for your busy body. Salads are often a bit easier on glucose management as well and can be different day to day to avoid boredom. Dressings can be adjusted to include many different oils and vinegar options with seasonings that can be seasonal as well. Dill, green onion, garlic, essential oils – it is the variety of added seasoning that often make the salad ingredients come together.

As you look at your summer, consider being the one to offer to bring the salad to a gathering. Keep, or better yet grow, salad greens to always have on hand for a quick light meal. Easy to pair with tuna salad, boiled eggs, or grilled chicken from the night before to add that protein boost to keep you full for hours.

To get things going, I’ve added several salad options to the recipes this month:

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